Friday, April 23, 2004

London Independant Reports on Rising Anti-Semitism in Britain

The London Independant ran an article the other day on rising anti-Semitism in Britain:

MPs have warned that the "virus" of anti-Semitism is beginning to infect mainstream politics in Britain, as figures show a record number of attacks on Jews last year.

The former cabinet minister Stephen Byers said yesterday that the "line is now being crossed from legitimate criticism" of the Israeli government into "demonisation, dehumanisation of Jews and the application of double standards".

In a debate in the House of Commons, James Purnell, chairman of Labour Friends of Israel, criticised caricatures and cartoons of Jews in the media as dangerous. He said: "Today overt anti-Semitism is still taboo, but anti-Semitism is a virus that once again has started to infect our body politic."

The warnings come after an unprecedented number of attacks on Jews in Britain last year, including desecration of synagogues and cemeteries. Jewish women walking down the street have been attacked by strangers, and Jewish schools and community centres have been put on a high state of alert.

Attacking women? Jeez, what kind of self-respecting racist would do that?

Now, follow the logic of these next two paragraphs closely:

There were 375 attacks in Britain last year, part of a rising number of anti-Semitic incidents within Europe which has been blamed on the far right and Islamic extremists. The attacks have been linked to unease about Israel's policies towards the Palestinians and its campaign of assassinations and enforced curfews.

Yesterday, MPs warned that anti-Israeli feeling should not spill over into criticism of Jews in general, many of whom do not support the policies of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.

Ok, so you read that one paragraph there saying "attacks have been linked to unease about Israel's policies" and it seems like the writer is making a distinction between "unease" with Israeli policies and Israel and Jews in general. But then, you read the next paragraph and Member of Parliament are warning that "anti-Israeli feeling should not spill over" because not all Jews support Sharon?

But, those Jews who do support Sharon are fair game?

Am I missing something here?

Anyway, there are more important points in the article. Read on:

Stephen Byers, a former transport secretary who chairs the committee on anti-Semitism, said that anti-Israeli criticism should not be used as "a cloak of respectability" for racist views.

Mr Purnell said memories of the Holocaust had largely inoculated Europe against anti-Semitism for 60 years, but some people on the extreme left had allowed themselves to find "some extremely strange bedfellows" in their criticism of Israel. "During the anti-war protests there were some really terrifying pictures of individuals dressed up as suicide bombers holding banners with the Star of David and an equals sign to a swastika," he said. "This apparent embrace of such symbols by the anti-war left is absolutely astounding."

We've got the same problem here in the U.S..

Weekly World News Has A "Suggestion" For Europe

Hat tip to Merde In France for making me aware of this article. Weekly World News is an important journal breaking stories crucial to the development of Western Civilization. For instance, one earthshaking scoop was their April 2003 revelation (complete with photos) that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were sharing a "Gay Love Nest."

Anyway, now they have this "scoop." I'll just call it a "suggestion":

Member nations of the European Union have announced plans to discontinue their status as individual countries in order to merge into one giant theme park!

The new park will be called EuroWorld and will cover the entire continent of what is now known as Europe. The decision was made by the EU countries in response to their collective realization that no one in Europe has had an innovative idea in well over a century.

With nothing new to offer visitors, the European countries decided to stop pretending they were still relevant, and to start celebrating their colorful pasts.

"Our stagnant continent has been a virtual museum for decades," explains an unnamed EU representative. "Many could argue that we already were nothing more than an amusement park. The decision to legally become a large theme park is really only a formality."

Each country will now be an exhibit within the park. For example, what was once known as Germany will now be the Germanland exhibit. Only traditional German foods such as bratwurst, sauerkraut and beer will be permitted in Germanland.

The citizens of each European country will now be considered "Euro hosts." The Euro hosts will be required to dress in traditional ethnic outfits from their respective homelands to better entertain visitors.

Thus, Germans must wear lederhosen at all times, Scots must wear kilts, and so forth.

"It's better this way. I remember vacationing a few years ago in Holland and nobody was wearing wooden shoes. And very few of them lived in windmills. I was outraged and demanded my money back from my travel agent," comments sociologist Alan Kennedy, a consultant to the EU for the theme park initiative.

Admission tickets to EuroWorld will actually be one-week passes that allow visitors access to each exhibit.

Much of the entertainment for visitors to EuroWorld will come from creative new activities that incorporate established European traditions.

For example, there will be bungee jumping from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, waffle juggling in Brussels and prostitute races in Amsterdam.

Because of the relatively large size of EuroWorld, it is expected to become a significant competitor to the Disney theme parks in Florida.

Amusement park consultant Dee Hamel explains, "Disney has an advantage because it is an established name and has been in business for more than 20 years. It is also in close proximity to a number of decent hotels.

"EuroWorld needs to establish its own identity and not be simply another cliched theme park with ferris wheels and people dressed like animals. And they cannot possibly allow mimes and expect anyone to want to go there."

Hamel also believes that EuroWorld will need new accommodations. "The park will need to upgrade the antiquated hostels and bed-and- breakfasts found in European cities.

"Nobody wants to go to an amusement park all day and then stay in a crowded hostel with other malodorous tourists. Especially French travelers, as we all know of their aversion to bathing."

Many experts agree that the reason Europe has become an intellectual wasteland is that all of the industrious and motivated European citizens had the good sense to emigrate to the United States over the past 100 to 150 years.

"The cupboard was left bare, so to speak," notes respected historian Dr. Peter Sanvorth. "While the best and brightest of the Old Country found their way to America's shores, left behind were buffoons like Jacques Chirac and madmen like Adolf Hitler.

"It saddens me that the continent that once developed the printing press, experienced the Renaissance, and built beautiful cathedrals and cities has reached this point of intellectual bankruptcy," says Dr. Sanvorth.

"With no new European ideas, inventions or architecture, all that's left is their history. So why not celebrate it with a giant theme park? I think it's a great idea."

Sometime You Just Gotta Love Your Enemies - Part II

Farouk Kaddoumi, the PLO's "foreign minister" (that means he's holed up in Tunisia) was interviewed in the Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab the other day. Via the Jerusalem Post , he offers us the wisdom of his enlightenment:

In response to a question what does Arafat mean when he talks about the continuation of the struggle, Kaddoumi, who is one of the few PLO leaders still living in Tunisia, said: "Yes, the national struggle must continue. I mean the armed struggle.

Commenting on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, Kaddoumi said: "If Israel wants to leave the Gaza Strip, then it should do so. This means that the Palestinian resistance has forced it to leave. But the resistance will continue. Let the Gaza Strip be South Vietnam. We will use all available methods to liberate North Vietnam."

Let me think about that one for a moment. There's South Vietnam and there's North Vietnam. That's pretty much all of Vietnam, right? So, he's saying ... no Israel at all. Hmm, well, you just gotta love your enemy when he tells the truth. Read on:

Kaddoumi revealed that the PLO leadership has entrusted him with being responsible for the "portfolio" of supporting the Iraqi resistance against the US-led coalition forces in Iraq. "There is no doubt that the Palestinian revolution supports the Iraqi resistance and we have seen demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories in backing the intifada and resistance in Iraq," he said. "I'm in charge of this issue and I condemn the American position."

Kaddoumi welcomed the establishment of an armed group in Iraq named after slain Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin, saying this would increase pressure on the US. He described the new anti-American group as an "excellent phenomenon."

Why Farouk, that is excellent. With an enemy like you who needs the CIA, FBI, or the "9/11 Hearings" to connect the dots. Read on:

Kaddoumi said that, contrary to what many people believe, the PLO charter was never changed so as to recognize Israel's right to exist. "The Palestinian national charter has not been amended until now," he explained. "It was said that some articles are no longer effective, but they were not changed.

Good job, Farouk. I do love you. I could listen to you talk all day. The major media (NYT, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.) don't give us this much truth. The thing is, the truth has been staring us in the face for all these years, but we don't see it.

After all, the PLO Charter, calling for the destruction of Israel, is on the U.N. website.

But, I am glad that Farouk gave us the reminder.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Went Down To The Crossroads ...

With that ungodly talent, clearly he has made a deal with the devil.

Yes, that's right. That is actually from the John Kerry For President website. Well, Clinton played the sax, so what can you say. The thing is, I got the sense (maybe it was the stupid black sunglasses he wore on the Arsenio Hall show) that Clinton knew it was a joke. Kerry looks like he's at "Rock n' Roll Fantasy Camp."

Of course, it could just be a photo-shopped image.

I Wish I Was In Jack's Club

Jack, over at Jack Of Clubs, posted some comments about my article on Jonathan Ariel and Maariv International - whoever they are. As usual, Jack just clubs me. I mean, the dude is so smart.

You can probably tell, from reading my blowhard postings, that I'm an arrogant guy who thinks he knows everything. But then, I have this friend Jack who reads my stuff, and analyzes it so effortlessly, and finds so many things that I have clealy left out. It's just embarrassing. Because, you know, I try so hard and I'm so convinced that I'm brilliant, and then Jack comes along and takes my opinions and kind of spins him on his finger, and runs them up and down his outstreched arms a few times like he's the Meadowlark Lemon of Critical Analysis and ...

Oh well, as Steve Martin said, "Some of us have a way with words and some of us, uh, oh, I don't know ... not have way, I guess.

So, anyway, let's get to the point. I wrote a scathing fisk of a Jonathan Ariel article suggesting that "nuking Pyongyang" was a good, even moral, way to stave off the genocide Kim is committing on the people of North Korea. Jack's response:

I share Pastorius' dismay at the logic of this statement. While I am not generally more opposed to a nuclear strike than any other necessary act of war, Ariel has failed to make the case that what he proposes could actually be necessary. Let us be clear: he is proposing a preemptive nuclear strike in order to decapitate the North Korean leadership. His moral case seems to be based on the sentence, "Pyongyang is a restricted city, populated only be the leadership and the Communist party faithful." If this were literally true, then I would have no objection. If the city were indeed entirely populated by "the willing accomplices and profiteers of Kim’s crimes", then they have indeed forfeited the status of civilians and have become legitimate military targets.

But can such a situation ever be the case? Are there no waitresses or bus-boys in the city? No gas station attendants or housekeepers? No prostitutes? I am willing to take Mr. Ariel's word that all such people would be vetted for party loyalty; that is a well known characteristic of dictatorships. But also characteristic is the fact that many people are forced to claim loyalty in order to survive. Our experience with ex-Baathists in Iraq is a good illustration of this principle. It is all very well to laud those martyrs who are willing stand up to an evil regime, but to condemn those who are too weak to do so as willing collaborators is beyond the pale.

It may very well be that a nuclear conflict with North Korea will become justifiable, but the burden of such a decision is far heavier than Mr. Ariel seems willing to acknowledge.

See what I mean. I actually was kind of vaguely feeling all those points as I was writing my article, but I didn't actually write them down. And since close only counts in horseshoes and, well, "nuking Pyongyang," then I guess my vague feelings weren't really worth much.

Thanks to Jack for actually putting those thoughts into words because that's really the human truth to the story. Jonathan Ariel thinks that it's ok to kill hundreds of thousands of bus boys, gas station attendants, ballet dancers, little league ballplayers, future humanitarians, etc.

Oh, and by the way, I've been given security clearence that it's ok to reveal his true identity. He is the Jack. You know, the one with the big round plastic head and the cone-shaped nose, from all those fast food commercials.

Warning: Possible Lie in The Major Media

Yahoo is carrying a story today, from Reuters, accusing the Israeli Army of tying a 13 year old boy to the hood of a jeep in order to use him as a human shield as they drove down a street in the West Bank. If this story is true, and for all I know it very well might be, then the IDF is guilty of a horrible abuse of power and they deserve to be condemned.

However, there are some things about this story which are questionable:

BIDDO, West Bank (Reuters) - When older Palestinian boys started throwing stones at Israeli border police in the flashpoint West Bank village of Biddo, 13-year-old Muhammed Badwan went along to watch.

He ended up on the hood of an Israeli jeep, at least one of his skinny arms tied to a wire mesh screen that blocks the windshield from incoming stones, according to a photograph of the purported incident distributed by an Israeli rights group.

The problem is while there is a photo accompanying the story it is not the photo of the little boy. Instead, it is a Reuters stock photo of Ariel Sharon looking to be in full child-eating mode.

This is a new motif Reuters has been empoying lately (very well documented by Little Green Footballs). They write a story, based upon the quotes of Palestinian "passersby," accusing Israel of this or that atrocity and they accompany the article with a photo of Sharon in this or that angry pose. It's actually kind of funny, if you don't take into consideration the actual intent.

Moving on, in the interest of fairness, read this quote:

"I was scared when they got me at first. I thought they would put me in prison...I was scared a stone would hit me," Muhammed said, nursing a split lip a week after his hours-long detention. Stone throwing mostly stopped when he was on the jeep.

"I cried on the hood of the jeep, and when I saw my dad."

The truth is, this quote from Muhammed has the sting of real experience. It doesn't sound like the kid is lying. But, of course, he still could be. As I said, I have no idea.

But, the thing is, where is the photo? Why would you publish an indictment like this and not include the photo? It must be a very dramatic photo. So, it would help sell papers, and get more eyeballs on Yahoo, etc.

And then there is this:

A left-wing Israeli rabbi who said he too was detained as a human shield when he tried to intervene to free Muhammed Badwan last week said he planned to press charges.

Why don't they tell us the name of the "left-wing rabbi?" Every other person quoted in the story is named. That's curious, isn't it?

But then again, you have this:

"It is very depressing and very sad to see that we have come to this position where this is what we do. There is disbelief," said Rabbi Arik Ascherman, head of Rabbis for Human Rights, which distributed the picture, taken by a foreign photographer, of Muhammed strapped to a jeep.

A Rabbi is distributing the photo. Of course, we don't know this Rabbi, but that would seem to be an unimpeachable source.

And in conclusion, the 13 year old victim, Muhammed Badwan, offers the wisdom of a child:

Muhammed, though said he still wanted to throw stones at soldiers...

I guess that's what they mean by a "cycle of violence."

When You Get Old It's The Simple Things In Life That Count The Most

Mark Steyn has an article which goes a long way to explaining Europe's lethargy in the face of direct threats to it's existence:

One reason (why America is so diffferent from Europe) can be found by taking a trip to the multiplex to see the new Starsky & Hutch movie, based on the old Seventies cop show.

Starsky & Hutch is one of a zillion Seventies retreads around these days. They’re all the same: S&H opens with Barry Manilow, but it could as easily have been the Starland Vocal Band or the Partridge Family or the Village People. And after the song come the cheesecloth shirt jokes and the flyaway collar jokes, and afros and discos and Tab.

That’s the difference. If you’re American, the Seventies mean tank-tops, Charlie’s Angels and Jimmy Carter. If you’re Mediterranean, the Seventies mean Franco, Salazar and the Colonels. Not so funny. In Madrid and much of the rest of Europe, the day before yesterday means dictatorship. The men and women who run Spain today grew up under Franco ...

For many Spaniards, the desire to reach an accommodation with the forces of history is natural – indeed, the default mode.

So, three days after their fellow citizens got blown up, they shrugged to the Islamists, “You’re right. We’d rather sit this one out. Go blow up the Anglo-Saxons.” “Don’t mention the war,” John Cleese instructed Manuel the Spanish waiter in “Fawlty Towers”. Manuel has no intention of mentioning the war, and if the British are foolish enough to keep doing so they can take it up with al-Qa’eda themselves.

Just over a year ago, in one of those wretched Security Council performances before the Gulf War, the French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, turned to Colin Powell and offered the umpteenth variation of the familiar argument that, if we Europeans are resistant to ze idea of war, it is because we have seen so much of ze horrors of ze war. The reality is the other way round: the reason they’ve seen so much of the horrors of war is because they’re so resistant to the idea of it - until it’s too late and conflagration is all that’s left.

If one had to cast the great Continental fatalistic shrug in a less jaded light, one would do it this way: the Second Republics and Third Empires, Fascists and Communists and European Unions come and go; they’re mere political forces. The ancient buildings, the old vineyards, the big stinky unpasteurised cheese your village has made for centuries and which the wimps at that Yankee Federal agency responsible for regulating all the taste out of American food won’t even let into the country: this is the essence of a man’s identity; the political fashions of the day come and go, but underneath you endure. By contrast, an American’s sense of himself as an American is much more explicitly political – it’s about First and Second Amendments, or, according to taste, a “woman’s right to choose”. The United States is a political project in a way that Spain – imperial, Fascist, monarchist, republican, pacifist, Euro-federalist, your-ideology-here-ist – isn’t.

I, being a stupid American, honestly never thought about it that way. However, Steyn actually trivializes America's experience in the seventies a bit with that vamp about Charlies Angels, etc.

Here's what I think of when I think of the seventies; middle-aged men in crew cuts and white t-shirts calling people "niggers" and "faggots," long-haired young people carrying signs protesting the Viet Nam War and getting shot at by police who were convinced of "My country, right or wrong," Richard Nixon's paranoid, flatulent face filling up my TV screen when I wanted to watch Andy Griffith or Scooby Doo, the frightened look on my parents face as bills crushed them and interest rates soared into double-digits, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Elton John, John Lennon and Jesus Christ, all long-haired "faggots," seeming to make more sense than any adult that I ever met.

Well, how's that for a memory of the seventies? Yes, I was just a kid, but I remember that stuff and I'm still angry about it. The truth is, while we don't have a dictatorship haunting our dreams, we did have a really sick society. Things are much better now, in my opinion. The world has become a much better place.

But, clearly Steyn has a point. In America, our memories are not of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Communist governments elected into power, or grabbing power by force. We do not have those horrors weighing on our minds.

And, just as I said that I took refuge primarily in rock n' roll music, Europeans do seem to take refuge in the small aesthetic blessings of life. And that's why we Americans love Europe so much. We love going there and hearing people wax rhapsodic about wines, and cheeses, and paintings, and sculpture, and architecture, and all these things that most of us tend not to really contemplate and enjoy in our busy, daily, capitalist lives.

But there are two things we Americans always seem to forget about Europe;

1) Our experience of Europe comes when we are on vacation, meaning we're relaxed, having a good time. That's no way to acquire a world view.

2) Europe's history is, truly, a mixture of wine and cheese and Hitler and the French Vichy collaboration with Auchwitz.

I've always suspected that, for some old people, senility is as much a case of not wanting to remember as it is not being able to remember.

Europe is senile and I can't say that I blame them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Jonathan Ariel and The People at Maariv International - Whoever They Are -
Ought to Be Ashamed Of Themselves

Thanks be to God that whoever it is that runs Maariv International does not have too much power in this world. And let's pray they never acquire much. In an article which rivals any of the stupidity that I have quoted from the Arab and European press, the Maariv International writer, Jonathan Ariel, makes a moral case for dropping a nuclear bomb on the city of Pyongyang.

And Maariv International published this, for God's sake.

What makes this article doubly apalling, and frightening, is the fact that it starts out so reasonably. I actually thought I was reading the words of a sane man. Check this out:

Ten years after the Rwanda genocide, Holocaust Day is a fitting occasion to see just what, if anything humanity has learned from the Holocaust.

The most important achievement is how we view sovereignty. Historically sovereignty has been viewed as sacrosanct, allowing any regime to do as they please within their own borders, which were inviolate.

This is no longer the case, We have, especially over the last decade or so, witnessed several cases in which the international community decided that sovereignty could be violated for a greater good.

The best example is, of course former Yugoslavia. Initially the response to Serbia’s attempt to create a “Greater Serbia” by ethnically cleansing Croats, Bosnians and Albanians from those parts of Yugoslavia they wanted to annex as part of Serbia was timid and craven, and it looked as though fifty years after the Holocaust Europe was going to once again allow its soil to be soaked with the blood of victims of genocide. Once the West belatedly woke up to what was going on in its own backyard, things began to change. The US assumed leadership, saving Europe from the ignominy of its own political and military feebleness.

So far, so good, right?

"However it is not clear whether this marked the hesitant beginnings of a new world order, or whether it will go down in history as a footnote, a one time exception to existing rules ..."

Yeah, yeah, ok, I'm with you, so far, Mr. Ariel.

"The other post Holocaust horrors, such as Rwanda and Cambodia occurred before this precedent was set, and do not shed light on this issue.

What could determine the answer to this question is North Korea, a Stalinist state carrying out a policy of state sanctioned terror and genocide against what its regime perceives as internal enemies."

Yes, it does seem like North Korea is the next test, or perhaps Iran. Although, I must note that you didn't mention Iraq as a further example. After all, Hussein was carrying out a slow genocide of his own people as well, and the United States did intervene without having been attacked.

"Continuing appeasement of Pyongyang will be a giant step backwards from the Balkans. Getting rid of the regime will show that the world has undergone a watermark change for the better in learning and internalizing the lessons of the Holocaust."

Yes, yes. That makes sense. But, just watch where he goes with it.

"The fact that North Korea may have a few primitive nuclear bombs is no reason to treat Kim any differently from Milosevic. Pyongyang is a restricted city, populated only be the leadership and the Communist party faithful. Nuking the entire city, if that is the only way to rid the world of an unspeakable abomination, would be more than justified. The willing accomplices and profiteers of Kim’s crimes are as guilty as he is, and since there are no innocents in the city, there is no problem. Such an act would also send the ultimate lesson civilization has to send if it is to survive, namely that genocide is unacceptable, and he who lives for it by virtue of the bomb, shall die by the bomb."

WHAT THE HELL?!? We didn't nuke Milosevic.

I've tried to read some sense into that statement. I've tried to consider it from different angles. Like ok, so, let's look at it this way. We can't just march in with an army because Kim might nuke them, but then he'd be nuking himself, so that doesn't make sense. Or like, we can't just bomb the city because Kim might shoot off a nuclear weapon into South Korea, but we don't know if he would because he must understand Mutually Assured Destruction as much as the next guy ...


I can only conclude that there is something seriously wrong with Jonathan Ariel, and the publishers of Maariv International, whoever they are. I hope someone will tell me.

Listen, God created humans in His image. Therefore, we have free will and life is sacred. To take that free will and sanctity away from hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings is evil.

Jonathan Ariel quotes the Talmud to back himself up (actually one of my favorite passages):

"The Talmud says “he who is overly merciful to the cruel ends up being cruel to the merciful”. Every day we spare Kim and his cohorts, we become accomplices in the unspeakable cruelty being inflicted on the North Korean people, who are suffering selective genocide at the hands of their regime, including the ultimate use of gas chambers to expedite the process, 59 years after Auschwitz was liberated."

There would be other ways to do it. An invasion, a strategic, targeted, long-term bombing campaign. We must try other options first. You can't just presuppose that "the madman will use his nuclear weapons so we have to beat him to the punch."

Sometimes I wonder if the fact that there has not been a nuclear weapon used for close to sixty years now has somehow made them seem less real to people and, thus, more of a potential option. I don't think we should ever consider nuclear weapons as a preemptive option.

* Now, in the interest of fairness, I will note that Mr. Ariel prefaces his recommendation of "nuking Pyongyang" with the qualification "if that's the only way to rid the world of an unspeakable abomination." But, if Mr. Ariel thought there were other ways he would have entertained them first, rather than jumping right to the nuclear option. He might defend himself by saying his language was only meant to provoke thought. However, I would suggest that, just as we don't use words like "nigger" or "kike" to provoke thought, maybe we should not use phrases like "nuke 'em" to provoke thought either.

Newsflash: New York Times Reports the Truth

Albeit, the headline is a little weak.

The New York Times actually published an article about the propoganda abuses in the Arab world:

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Quick. What is the name of the Palestinian village near what is now the Israeli city of Ramla that was destroyed in 1949 and replaced by a town called Yavne?

Too difficult? It's Yibna. Try another.

What structure built of gray sandstone in 1792 became the source of all oppressive decisions the world over?

This one should be easy: the White House.

If you answered both questions correctly, you might be prime fodder to compete on "The Mission," a game show running on Al Manar, the satellite television channel of Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese group.

Contestants from around the Arab world compete each Saturday night for cash and the chance to win a virtual trip to Jerusalem. To heighten the drama, points won by the finalists translate directly into steps toward the holy city that are flashed onto a map of the region.

The show is a novel way for Hezbollah to promote its theme - that all Arab efforts should be concentrated on reconquering land lost to Israel, especially Jerusalem.

"Any program at this television station must present the idea that the occupation of Palestine must end," said Ihab Abi Nassif, a 28-year-old high school physics teacher who is the show's host. "That is the core issue, which is why we work day and night to keep it vivid in people's minds."

The game show, begun last fall, is a tad more subtle than the channel's other offerings outside its fairly straightforward news shows. The program "Terrorists," for example, plays endless loops of film from Israeli attacks that killed civilians. "Sincere Men," drawing its name from a Koranic verse about the strength of the faithful when facing battle, profiles either Hezbollah fighters who undertook suicide missions or those in waiting.

Funny, I'd swear Hezbollah is a mainstream political party in Lebanon with ten percent of the seats in the governing council. How could it be that they are so extreme?

Some critics label Manar pure propaganda. They suspect that Hezbollah's backers, Iran and Syria, use the relatively free speech of Lebanon to promote hatreds they would not dare pronounce at home.

"Its television programs show that the Jews are bad, the Europeans are bad, the Americans are bad," said Waddah Sharara, a sociology professor at Lebanese University.

There is no doubt that Manar is popular among Shiite Muslims, especially in Lebanon, but it is hard to gauge the show's overall popularity.

"These kinds of programs are very important, repeating the issue of the Palestinians, keeping it vivid in our minds, keeping it alive," Dr. Ghararah said. "It is like commercials. When there are so many commercials about a toothpaste, for example, when you go to the supermarket you spontaneously think about it and buy it. The same with Palestinians. We always have to remember the Palestinian cause, and that is what Manar does."

But, to be fair, all our TV shows promote globalization and American hegemony.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Jews May Not Control The Whole World But They Invented Damn Near Everything

IsraPundit has posted a great article about why it is important that Israel survive and prosper:

Here is a capsule of accomplishments you may not be fully aware of. I thought you might find these statistics interesting.

The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average tree is about 18-20 feet tall and yields about 38 pounds of dates a year. Israeli trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.

Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population, can lay claim to the following:

The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.

Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.

The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel. Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.

The Pentium microprocessor in your computer was most likely made in Israel.
Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.

The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.

Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.

Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people --as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U. S. (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).

With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world -- apart from the Silicon Valley, U. S.

Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.

On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.

When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship -- and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.

Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books.

Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.

Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.

An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U. S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.

Israel's Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, the camera helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.

Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.

A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the ClearLight device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct -- all without damaging surrounding skin or tissue.

An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California's Mojave desert..

All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth.

It seems like Israeli's are almost as smart as Grandma Europa thinks she is.

Michael Powell - King Of All Media - Part II

The King is on his throne. Let all the earth keep silence before him.

Michael Powell uttered some holy pronouncements at the NAB convention today:

Michael Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said he does not support a bill that would take away a broadcast station's license after its third indecency violation.

Well, that seems like good news. But, you've got to wonder if maybe it's because, if he can find some sucker who will keep violating his proclamations at $500K a pop, he might as well not kill the goose that layed the golden egg.

But wait, there's more:

He also suggested he would support extending decency regulations from broadcasters to other media, such as cable and satellite, if the move were supported by lawmakers.

Asked if he would support legislation extending content regulations to cable and satellite, he said: "I think the government should be exceedingly conservative about any regulation of content for anyone."

Oh, for God's sake. Just a couple weeks ago he was asking for this power, now he indicates he doesn't really want it but, like Frodo Baggins, he will carry the ring to Mount Doom if he must.

But wait, there's more:

He also added: "I don't generally support the extension of content rules unless Congress supports a statement asking us to do so."

What's the matter Michael? Gandalf didn't have to ask Frodo. Just suck it up and carry the ring already. Please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

But wait, there's more:

Powell also labeled as a "red herring" a proposal by Mel Karmazin, the president of Viacom Inc., for more specific decency statutes. Viacom owns both CBS, which aired the controversial Super Bowl half-time show with Janet Jackson, as well as Howard Stern's radio show.

So, Michael Powell accuses Mel Karmazin of requesting a clear ruling, "raising a red herring?" Nowadays, if you ask the King to tell you what you can and can't do, the King says you are only trying to divert him from doing what HE wants to do.

And then he says this:

"You do not want the government to write a red book of what you can say and what you can't say," Powell said.

What, is he threatening us?

"You don't want to see me go and define you out of existence, do you, slave?"

Michael Powell has clearly gotten way too big for his britches.

The U.N. vs. Israel

Great article from Anne Bayefsky from National Review:

Hamas has been declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, as well as the European Union, Canada, and Australia.

The 1988 Covenant of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, speaks for itself. It begins "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." It continues: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." Its violent message is invoked in the name of defeating the "plan of World Zionism" "embodied in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion." In Rantissi's words of July 2001: "I urge all the brigades the Israeli political leaders and members of parliament...";

Rantissi himself (and others, such as Yassin) was named by the State Department as a "specially designated global terrorist." Last month the Bank of England froze the assets of Rantissi because "the Treasury have reasonable grounds for suspecting that...Rantissi, is or may be a person, who commits, facilitates or participates in" "the commission of acts or terrorism."

As soon as Rantissi took over the leadership of Hamas on March 23, 2004, after the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) killed Yassin, he called for further bloodshed, "The doors are wide open for attacks inside the Zionist entity."

Israelis keeping the grim statistics have counted at least 425 Hamas attacks killing 377 Israelis and wounding 2,076 in less than three and a half years of violence, including 52 separate suicide attacks.

The international legal framework, therefore, could not be clearer.

Rantissi was a combatant in a war. His killing was not "extrajudicial" because the legal term, by definition, applies only to individuals entitled to judicial process before being targeted. Combatants — including the unlawful combatants of Hamas who seek to make themselves indistinguishable from the civilian population — are not entitled to such prior judicial process. Furthermore, the manual on the laws of armed conflict of the International Committee of the Red Cross, states that civilians who take a direct part in hostilities forfeit their immunity from attack.

The overriding legal limit on the conduct of war and the targeting of combatants like Rantissi is the rule of proportionality. In the words of the Geneva Conventions, an attack on a military target "which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life" is prohibited if "excessive." The likelihood of civilian casualties must be carefully considered prior to taking action.

With zero civilian casualties (the only deaths being that of Rantissi and two Hamas accomplices, one a bodyguard, the other his 27-year-old son), the Israeli action could not have been more precise, and hence, proportionate.

The United Nations response to the legality of the killing of Rantissi (and Yassin) is therefore enormously revealing.

U.n.demns Israel's assassination of...Yassin...[E]xtrajudicial killings are against international law." On April 17, he used the identical words to condemn the "assassination of Rantissi."

Almost immediately following Yassin's death (along with eight others at least four of whom were also Hamas terrorists), on March 22, 2004, the U.N. Human Rights Commission convened a special sitting. This move was despite the fact that the commission was already in session, and at that very moment set to consider the only country-specific agenda item at the commission for the past 34 years — on Israel. The suffering of Yassin's victims, or the current genocidal plight of Sudanese in the Darfur region — reported by international agencies to involve 10,000 dead in the past year, and which may now have reached 1,000 dead per week — didn't move the commission to hold a special sitting. But they did see fit to schedule an extra three hours to denounce Israel over the death of one man — a man who personally instigated and authorized suicide bombing, ordered the firing of missiles at Israeli communities, and repeatedly exhorted his followers to "armed struggle" against Israelis and Jews "everywhere."

Having glorified the terrorist in particular, the commission went on to sanction terrorism in general. On April 15, the commission adopted a resolution, sponsored by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which aimed to condone suicide bombing by referring to "the legitimacy of the struggle [against] foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle" and the " resist." The resolution passed by a large majority.

Now, I'm going to break in here to make a point she implies, but doesn't actually state. That is, the U.N. is telling the Palestinians it's ok to make war on Israel and, at the same time, telling Israel it is not ok to retaliate.

What kind of sense does that make, U.N.?

It goes on:

Shortly thereafter, resolutions which would have criticized Zimbabwe, China, and Russia (in relation to events in Chechnya) were either blocked by procedural maneuvers or voted down. The total tally of country specific votes coming from the 2004 Commission now stands at:
Rest of the World-4
(the other states being Belarus, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Turkmenistan).

If the U.N., and it's resolutions of condemnation, were a realistic gauge, that would mean Israel is responsible for 55% of the evil in the world in 2004.

But, when I think about it, there are probably a lot of people who actually agree with that idea.

The Shot Heard Round The ... well, around my den, anyway

Dennis Prager has written a beautiful article. This article should be a clarion call for the growth of humanity in the 21st century. Unfortunately, I believe it will pretty much fall on deaf ears. Those who agree will agree. And those who don't will think he's a naiive old coot. A blowhard.

Check it out:

If you love goodness and hate evil, this is a tough time to stay sane.

Israel has killed Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the Hamas terror leader, and almost every nation in the world – and the nations' theoretical embodiment, the United Nations – have condemned Israel for doing so.

World leaders and the world organization have said almost nothing about Communist China's ongoing destruction of one of the world's oldest civilizations, Tibet. World leaders have said almost nothing about the Arab enslavement and genocide of non-Arab blacks in Sudan. But they convene world conferences to label Israel, one of the most humane and decent democracies on earth, a pariah.

In order to retain my sanity, I ask the reader's indulgence as I use this column to express personal thoughts.

I have contempt for "the world." I cherish and admire countless individuals, but I have contempt for "the world" and "world opinion." "The world" has never cared about evils inflicted on human beings. The communist genocides meant nothing to humanity. The Holocaust meant nothing. With almost no exception, the mass atrocities since World War II have likewise absorbed humanity less than the Olympics or the Miss World Contest.

I have contempt for the United Nations. It is one of the great obstacles to goodness and decency on this planet. Its moral record – outside of a few specialized agencies such as the World Health Organization – is almost entirely supportive of evil and condemnatory of good. It is dominated by the most morally backward governments in the world – those from the Arab and Muslim worlds, the communists during their heyday and African despots. It appointed Libya, a despotic, primitive state, to head its Human Rights Commission, whose members include China, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Neither the United States nor Israel sits on the Commission.

By the way, I left this part in because I think it's important for people to know who sits on the on the Human Rights Commission. However, to my knowledge the fact that Libya is the chair is merely a function of the bureaucratic system of the U.N. The chair rotates and it was Libya's turn.

It's a shame that countries like Libya, China, Saudi Arabia and Sudan are on the Commission at such a precipitous time in World History, but it's not because they were chosen.

Read on:

I regard the European Union with similar revulsion. With little opposition, Europe murdered nearly every Jewish man, woman and child in its midst, and a half-century later provides cover for those in the Middle East who seek to do to the Middle East's Jews exactly what the Nazis did to the European Jews. For the European Union to condemn Israel's killing of a Hamas leader – when Hamas' avowed aim is another Jewish genocide – is so loathsome as to board the incredible. For Germany and France (who, unlike America, have almost never shed blood for the liberty of others) to do everything they can to undermine America's attempt to liberate Iraq is similarly repugnant.

As for the international news media and journalists, I regard most of them as aides to evil. This is not new. The 1932 Pulitzer Prize – American journalism's highest award – was given to Walter Duranty of the New York Times for reporting from the Soviet Union. In his reports, Duranty repeatedly denied Stalin's forced starvation of Ukrainians that led to the murder of more than 6 million of them. The same "newspaper of record" deliberately toned down reporting on the Nazi annihilation of Jews 10 years later so as not to appear "too Jewish."

The Soviet decimation of Afghanistan was so little reported in the international media – especially radio and television – that when I talked about its scope and horror on my radio show in the 1980s, listeners kept wondering if I was telling the truth – they had never heard anything about it.

In the last years of the Saddam Hussein regime, according to John Burns of the New York Times, major news reporters refused to write stories about Iraqi mass murder and atrocities lest the Saddam regime remove their press credentials. For most journalists, and their newspapers and television stations, it was better to lie for Saddam and have a bureau in Baghdad than to tell the truth but have no Baghdad bureau.

And not one international news organization calls Hamas or any of the other Palestinian terror organizations "terrorists."

I love learning and revere the title of "professor," but with few exceptions, universities, too, merit contempt. The vast majority of professors who take positions on social issues are moral fools. They teach millions of students that America and Israel are villains and that the enemies of those decent societies are merely misunderstood victims who are often justified in their hatred. And they loathe the American Judeo-Christian value system that has made the United States the world's land of opportunity and beacon of liberty.

In sum, I feel that I am living in a world that is morally sick. Good is called bad, and bad is called "militant," "victimized," "misunderstood" and "the product of hopelessness," but rarely bad. Only those who fight the bad are called bad.

Good job Mr. Prager.

Free Speech Limits - Broadcasters Fight Back?

I'm not a lawyer but, I've got to say, I don't see anything in this article indicating that the broadcasters have made much of a case for themselves. Check this out:

U.S. broadcasters on Monday struck back at the government's crackdown against indecency on the airwaves, warning regulators that harsher policies were threatening free speech on radio and television.

A coalition of more than 20 broadcasters, artists' groups and media organizations filed a petition on Monday asking the Federal Communications Commission (news - web sites) (FCC (news - web sites)) to reconsider a profanity ruling that is part of what some commentators have called a new sexual McCarthyism.

The petition, signed by broadcast network owners Viacom Inc. and Fox Entertainment Group as well as the Screen Actors' Guild and other groups, charges the FCC has expanded its authority beyond constitutional limits and that broadcasters are being coerced into self-censorship.

That's true. They are going beyond their constitutional limits. My question is how? I know my answer. What is their answer? Maybe the writer of the article just didn't want to go into the legal mumbo jumbo. But, the problem with that is the people need to know.

Writers and broadcaster, if they want to win this battle, need to find a way to make this issue "sexy." They need to simplify the issue and turn it into an exciting battle for the people of the U.S. They need to make the people of the United States sit up a little higher on their couches and say, "Yeah, yeah, screw you F.C.C., we've got the right to free speech in this country and, unless you have a law to back you up, your rulings don't mean jack."

From what I can tell from this article, the Broadcasters instead are framing the article in such a way as to tell the F.C.C. how their rulings are negatively effecting them.

Who cares?

That's like a salesperson going into a meeting with a client and saying, "If I don't make this sale I'm not going to be able to buy a new Mercedes." The client doesn't care about that. He cares about what the product is going to do for him.

In this case, if the F.C.C. is the client, then the question is, what do they care about? What they care about is their existence and their funding.

I say you've got to kick them right in the testicles. You've got to show the FCC for what they are, an almost irrelevant and useless bureaucratic organization which, in a ridiculous, absurd, and Napoleanic grab for power, is trying to redefine itself as our countries mother, threatening to "wash our mouths out with soap." You've got to make the case to the people that the F.C.C. is a government agency gone mad. That they are breaking the law and trying to take the people's rights away from them.

You've got to make the case that the FCC really only exists to take care of licensing issues and technical issues regarding bandwidth and wattage. That's what the F.C.C. was originally established for.

If this case is made clearly, in a way that causes the people of the U.S. to get angry, then the FCC will get scared. They will start to think, "We better back off here, because if we don't we'll be back where we were 35 years ago, just filing licensing paperwork. If they take away our authority to monitor profanity then our jobs won't be glamorous anymore. Stars won't suck up to us."

Go to this link and click on "Fun Moments" to see Michael Powell getting to meet big stars, because that's what's important to him.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Hats Off To The Daily Telegraph of London

Since I've been ripping on Europe so much lately, I figured I better give credit where credit is due. I mean, let's face it, there are many good people in Europe, and there are quite a few anti-Semites in the U.S.

Hats off to the Telegraph of London for publishing this Barbara Amiel editorial:

Targeted killings are counter-terrorism and as such they are not an activity any civilised human being can relish. Still, there is a moral distinction between counter-terrorism and terrorism, best described as the distinction between acts of war and war crimes. A further distinction on grounds of utility can be made: the targeted killings ordered by Israeli prime minister Golda Meir after "Fedayeen" terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics eliminated eight Arab operatives of varying importance but not the masterminds behind them. The deaths of Yassin and Rantissi, on the other hand, were a blow to the brains of the West Bank Hamas operation.

Yassin, bizarrely described by Westerners as the "spiritual leader" of Hamas, certainly embodied the spirit of Hamas: he called on all Muslims to kill Westerners "everywhere", declared that Israel would disappear by 2027, and forbade any peace initiative or dialogue with Israel. He was successful. Between December 2003 and January 2004, the Egyptian government convened three meetings with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to discuss a suspension of violence as a prelude to peace negotiations. Hamas refused any ceasefire. The talks failed.

Moral indignation over the deaths of Yassin and Rantissi remains impossible to fathom.

The Palestinian cause is an honourable one, but Hamas and similar groups, such as Hizbollah, Islamic Jihad or Arafat's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, have no interest in an honourable two-state solution. Apologists for these groups routinely condemn suicide bombers and then describe them as part of "the cycle of violence in the Middle East" which would stop if only Israel would address their grievances. No doubt. Their grievance is the existence of Israel.

During his life, Rantissi vowed to take every inch of Israel by blood, accused then-Palestine Authority prime minister Abu Mazen of thrusting "a knife" into the Palestinian dialogue by offers to restrain the intifada, and called for "convoys of suicide bombers" with "thousands of sophisticated explosive belts".

If you are against Israel's security fence, in favour of the Arab so-called "right of return" (a demographic weapon of mass destruction which no Israeli government could accept) and opposed to Israel's withdrawal plans, the only possible end you have in mind is the total elimination of the Jewish state. In effect, the return of land by Israel is good news if your purpose is to create an independent Palestinian state but bad news if you want to destroy Israel.

All the same, one would expect that with Hamas weakened by the assassinations, Yasser Arafat might see the opportunity to come out of the rubble, take a bath and become the leader of an actual, functioning state. Palestine as a political entity has never existed. It has been an area owned or ruled by Turks, Egyptians, Lebanese, British and Jordanians. In a democratic election, it is most likely that Arafat would be elected and in any event would be the new nation's titular head of state. But he seems unable to give up the "struggle" and metamorphose from terrorist into statesman ..."

I concur.

Anti-Semitic Cartoons in Major European Media

The Jerusalem Post has an article about disgusting and stupid anti-Semitic cartoons in major European newspapers:

One easy way to capture the essence of anti-Semitism succinctly is to examine European political cartoons.

The demonization of Jews has historically included accusations of deicide, religious infanticide, blood lust, and – post World War II – Nazi-like behavior. Some present-day cartoons reflect classic 21st-century caricatures of key anti-Semitic motifs.

The cartoons, appearing in mainstream papers in different European countries, also demonstrate how acceptable anti-Semitism has again become in European society.

In April 2002, the Italian quality daily La Stampa published a cartoon about the IDF's siege on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. It showed an Israeli tank turning on the infant Jesus, who asks: "Surely they don't want to kill me again?"

In the same month the Greek daily Ethnos, close to the Socialist Party, depicted two IDF soldiers (with stars of David on their helmets) dressed as Nazis stabbing helpless Arabs. The caption: "Do not feel guilty, my brother. We were not in Auschwitz and Dachau to suffer, but to learn."

In 2003 the British Independent daily printed a Dave Brown cartoon showing Ariel Sharon as a child-eater. This fits neatly into the anti-Semitic libel that Jewish ritual required the use of the blood of Gentile children. Perhaps it is no coincidence that this accusation originated in England during the Middle Ages.

An examination of what happened after Brown's caricature was published shows how mainstream anti-Semitism has become.

In response to protests, the UK press complaints commission officially cleared cartoonist Brown. In fact, he later won the UK political cartoon of the year award for 2003 from the Political Cartoon Society. The competition, held on November 25, 2003, was hosted by The Economist. Labor MP Claire Short, a former minister, presented the award.

Isn't Europe just so sophisticated and nuanced in it's thinking? Read on:

The anti-Semitic concepts presented in cartoons such as those above also manifest themselves in statements by European politicians and intellectuals.

THIS CAN be demonstrated by looking at "Holocaust inversion," which turns Jews into Nazi-like persecutors Palestinian Arabs. It is an important element of the new anti-Semitism targeting the State of Israel.

Since the 1980s several high level European politicians have made radical Holocaust-manipulating and anti-Semitic declarations.

For instance, in 1982 Greek socialist prime minister Andreas Papandreou compared Israelis to Nazis. Nowadays senior members of the Greek Socialist Party often use Holocaust rhetoric to describe IDF actions. In March 2002, parliamentary speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis referred to the "genocide" of the Palestinians.

In April 2002, Franco Cavalli, the Swiss parliamentary leader and a member of the Social Democratic Party (part of the government coalition), claimed that Israel "very purposefully massacres an entire people" and undertakes "the systematic extermination of the Palestinians."

Norbert Bl m, a former German Christian Democrat minister of labor, wrote to Israeli ambassador Shimon Stein referring to Israel's Vernichtungskrieg against the Palestinians. This is the Nazi expression for "war of extermination." Bl m repeated this in an interview with the weekly Stern.

That's disgusting. It is Holocaust Minimalization, which, in my book, when committed on this level, is almost the equivalent of Holocaust Denial. Isn't Europe just so clearly a more tolerant and compassionate society? Read on. It just gets better and better:

European intellectuals such as British poet Tom Paulin have made various classic anti-Semitic statements. For example, Paulin told an Egyptian newspaper that Jewish settlers in the West Bank are Nazis who should be shot dead

Isn't this sounding familiar, Europe?

Portuguese Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago, a communist, compared the blockaded Palestinian city of Ramallah to Auschwitz.

When did we last hear you so openly express your contempt for Jews, Europe? Can you remember? Oh, wait, I forgot. Here I am asking a senile old Grandma to remember something that happened 60-70 years ago.

What am I thinking?

Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos Voices Concern
Over the New Anti-Semitism

Tom Lantos, a Democratic Congressman from California who is given high marks by environmental groups (I note this because, in our inverted world, these days it is usually the conservative Republicans who are friendly to Jews), displayed insight on Middle-East affairs during a ceremony commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day in Los Angeles yesterday:

Lantos noted what he called a rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and defended recent military actions taken by Israel, including the assassination of leaders of the Islamic militant group Hamas.

"People are perfectly prepared to commemorate the Holocaust, but they won't recognize our right to prevent the next Holocaust," Lantos said.

He's right. For whatever reason, the news media, and people in general, are too willing to grant legitimacy to Anti-Semitic terrorists like Yassin and Rantisi calling them "insurgents" and "freedom fighters." To my mind, calling for the death of a people makes one a racist. A racist should not be given any authority or respect by civil society. It should not be difficult to make such moral distinctions.

Patriots Must Act

At some point, whether it is during or after the War on Terror is concluded, we, the people of the United States, may have to have a little war on terror of our own. The terror of which I am speaking is that which can possibly be afflicted on us by our on government.

Now, I must say that I am sorry for sounding alarmist, but I would like you to read this article by Nat Hentoff.

On April 28, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in two cases that New York Times reporter David Stout noted are likely to result in rulings of "profound importance, drawing the lines between the powers of courts and the administration and, perhaps, affecting the civil liberties of Americans in ways not yet imagined." (Emphasis added.)

The justices will hear the cases of two American citizens, Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla, who have been held as "enemy combatants" in Defense Department prisons on American soil indefinitely, incommunicado, without charges, and without the continual Sixth Amendment guarantee of access to a lawyer.

Bush's solicitor general, Theodore Olson, had tried for months to persuade the high court to not even hear these cases, insisting that "the Constitution leaves these core political questions to the president as commander-in-chief. . . . The courts have no jurisdiction . . . to evaluate or second-guess the conduct of the president and the military."

It was George W. Bush, without going to the courts or to Congress, who, by himself, decided that Hamdi and Padilla, though American citizens, were entitled to none of the fundamental due process rights in the Constitution. No previous president has done this.

The cases of Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi are two examples of the Bush Administration stepping over the line of power which is granted them by election. As with the issue of free speech where the FCC and John Ashcroft are attempting to define free speech when no specific law grants them the power to do so, the Bush Administration has attempted to define an "enemy combatant" and what to do with said "combatant" without having the legislation to back up their decisions.

While I generally like Bush as a President, I must say I believe he is off on this.

We are a nation of laws. One of the greatest things about our country is even the President (in theory) is beholden to the law.

Let's make sure that idea and practice is continued. If the Supreme Court does not take care of this, then the people must. We must insist on legislation from our Congress that defines the notion of an "enemy combatant" and what to do with such a person.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Hamas Shows Some Smarts

According to Associated Press, Hamas has appointed a new leader, but refuses to name him for fear the IDF will kill him.

Forgive me for finding this funny, but let's face it, Mossad is one of the most sophisticated intelligence organizations in the world. I mean, come on, do they really think Israel won't be able to figure it out?

If they really want to show some smarts, maybe they should try telling Israel:

"We've picked a new leader of Hamas, and his name is Ariel Sharon."

Ah, hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah.