Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Honduras Defending Democracy and Constitution

by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

In researching the events taking place in Honduras, I see President Obama immediately cited the outster of President Manuel Zeyala as "not legal." Another "gird your loins" moment for the American President. The question is: was this a coup d'etat or a constitutional succession?

Roberto Micheletti

Why did the Supreme Court rule that ousted President Manuel Zelaya was subverting the rule of law in Honduras? Why did Congress rule the same?

Zelaya's term of office ends in 2010. He called for a "controversial referendum" to take place on June 28th. The referendum, if approved, would have made changes to the Honduran Constitution to allow Zelaya to run for office for another term, an action the Supreme Court says is not lawful.
While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.

But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.
After the Supreme Court declared the referendum not lawful, Zelaya vowed to hold a vote on the referendum anyway. Zelaya dismissed "the military chief," Romeo Vasquez, who opposed Zelaya's position on the referendum. The Supreme Court asked that Vazquez be reinstated. Zelaya refused.
So on Thursday he [Zelaya] led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court's order.

The attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out. Yesterday, Mr. Zelaya was arrested by the military and is now in exile in Costa Rica.
The Supreme Court voted to remove Zelaya "to defend the rule of law."
The Honduran Congress later swore in its leader, Roberto Micheletti, as the new head of state after voting to remove Mr. Zelaya for "manifest irreuglar conduct" and "putting in present danger the state of the law."
Micheletti said that the orders carried out as issued by the Supreme Court and the Congress "was not a coup d'etat, but a constitutional succession."

The new government's foreign minister, Enrique Otez Colindres said the new government looks forward to meeting with OAS officials:
...so they can realize that this is a government that respects all laws and the only thing it did was to remove a president for systematically violating the constitution.
Manuel Zelaya was elected as a conservative. He has progressively moved away from that position and cemented relationships with Cuba's Castros, Venezuela's Chavez and Bolivia's Morales. As Wall Street Journal writer, O'Grady said, it is not "about left-right politics."
It is about defending the independence of institutions that keep presidents from becoming dictators.
So how do the Honduran people feel about the ouster? The Latin Business Chronicle says that Honduran business support the Supreme Court and Micheletti's new government:

It is extremely popular,” says Jacqueline Foglia Sandoval, former president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Honduras. “I don’t know of any one who isn’t celebrating."

[The attempted referendum] followed three years of Zelaya policies that were seen as arbitrary and often hurting business, Foglia Sandoval says.

Over the last three years, our ex president had created political and social chaos,” she says. “He [was] very unpredictable and many times [imposed] arbitrary actions that …affected the business climate.
The Latin Business Chronical reports that wage hikes smacked of socialism and resulted in the loss of 150,000 jobs.
[Zeyala] in December to raise the minimum wage by 60 percent despite that unions had demanded 20 to 30 percent and employers had countered with zero to 10 percent.
Not only did he exceed the union demands, but also imposed the new laws as companies already had their 2009 budgets ready, Foglia Sandoval points out. As a results some 150,000 jobs were lost during the past six months, she says.
Another concern was his talk about implementing socialism of the 21st century, modeled on Venezuela. “People associate socialism with ration cards, with lines, with the things we do not want,” Foglia Sandoval says. “It’s a poor country, but we don’t have rationing, or lack of mobility, or have to ask permission for moving.” Further issues raised by the business community is the lack of security, which Sandoval said Zelaya completely ignored. Drug trafficking is growing and people fear for their personal safety. Foreign investment has diminished, and Zelaya's treatment of foreign oil companies was considered "hostile."
In January 2007, Zelaya announced plans to temporarily assume control of oil terminals and restrict imports of oil to one company in an effort to reduce fuel prices. However, after the US Embassy in Honduras warned that the takeover would have serious consequences, the government reversed its position on the terminals.
Fogliz Sandoval said relations with the U.S. were "worsening."

The people of Honduras are standing to protect their Constitution. This is a hallelujah moment for Democracy.

President Obama has said that the ouster of Manuel Zelaya was "not legal." Obama has said the U.S. will "stand on the side of democracy." He has said nothing about the legality of Zelaya subverting the Honduran Constitution. That is the issue. If a democratic election is held, and then the one democratically elected attempts to take over the government illegally - then why are we not talking about that?

Rudi Stettner at Rant Rave looked at the differences in Obama's handling of the Iranian election and the Honduran succession and summed it up this way:
One thing that was established in the Honduran coup. When there is a "progressive" consensus, Obama will quickly find his voice. Since Islamic radicals are the fascists that liberals love, a blind eye will be turned to their sins.

Monday, June 29, 2009

EPA Hushes Dissent: Inconvenient Truths

By Maggie at Maggie Thornton

Repeated lies from a Government to the people is usually the strategy of a third-world country or a dictatorship, but we find it happening in the United States every day. These are big lies, important lies, lies that affect the future of all of us...the future of our children and grandchildren and their children. Just as the media has refused to do much reporting on the Cap and Trade Bill, they also will not tell you of the lies leading up to the vote on the Waxman-Markey Bill. In this case, the EPA silenced and suppressed opposition, and blatantly lied. See a video below.


Here's the opening of an Investor's Business Daily editorial from Friday, June 26th, 2009 - the day of the House vote:
Climate Change: A suppressed EPA study says old U.N. data ignore the decline in global temperatures and other inconvenient truths. Was the report kept under wraps to influence the vote on the cap-and-trade bill?
The Competitive Enterprise Institute released a study that they say was "suppressed" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report says that the United Nations uses "outdated research" on climate change and "ignores the latest scientific findings." From the report:
Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."
As Obama and Pelosi have shoved this legislation down our collective throats, many Americans are gullible enough to think this legislation takes us to nirvana. Many are dreaming of working among the "green" jobs that will save America. Wake up America. Those dreams you are dreaming of, will turn into nightmares.
Little evidence? Outdated U.N. research? No reason to rush? This is not what the Obama administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were telling us when they were rushing to force a Friday vote on Waxman-Markey. We were given the impression that unless we passed this cap-and-tax fiasco, polar bears would be extinct by the Fourth of July.
Internal EPA emails show that the Agency knows and understands that their data is wrong, and those emails also show that they were intentionally suppressed. This is the people's EPA. Wake up America. Do you get your news from David Letterman?
The report was the product of Alan Carlin, senior operations research analyst at the EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE). He's been with the EPA for 38 years but now has been taken off all climate-related work. He is convinced that actual climate observations do not match climate change theories and that only the politics, not the science, has been settled.

One of the e-mails unearthed by CEI was dated March 12, from Al McGartland, office director at NCEE, forbidding Carlin from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues such as those in his suppressed report.
All this is particularly interesting because of the charges by Al Gore, NASA's James Hansen and others that the Bush administration and energy companies actively suppressed the truth about climate change.
Carlin was told March 17: "The administrator and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. . . . I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office."

In other words, the administration and Congress had their collective minds made up and didn't want to be confused with the facts. They certainly didn't want any inconvenient truths coming out of their own Environmental Protection Agency, the one that wants to regulate everything from your lawn mower to bovine emissions and which says the product of your respiration and ours, carbon dioxide, is a dangerous pollutant and not the basis for all life on earth.

Thank you to Investor's Business Daily for making this information available. I hope you will read the entire editorial. Thank you to Senator Jim Inhofe who has led the way to understanding the deception behind global warming/climate change. This video is a bit long, but it's full of useful information.

Media Ignore EPA Suppressing Skeptical Global Warming Report

California Zoning Laws Coming to Your Neighborhood, In Any State - Courtesy Cap and Trade

Senator Jim Inhofe

Iran: Liberal Thought, Liberal Democracy Ends

by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the June 12th elections were "the end of liberal democracy and liberal thoughts."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

In other words, the next time "Western states" meddle in Iran's affairs, the President has a plan.
President Ahmadinejad said, “From now on, we will bring you to justice at any international meeting.”
He excoriates the West and cannot understand how the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K. can talk about human rights when our own hands are "stained with the blood of innocent people," and then there's our rotten and satanic attempts to "damage Iran's Islamic system...."

Ahmadinejad had something to say about Obama's outreach to Iran - you remember that offer to "talk." After Obama's comments during the Iranian street protests, Ahmadinejad said the U.S. didn't follow "international rules and norms," and besides that, we were just downright "impolite." He advises us to "correct" our "behavior."

You can read the article here or here at Judeopundit who also has some commentary worth reading.

Remembering Shifty Powers

Darrell "Shifty" Powers was born on March 13, 1923 in Clinchco, Virginia. He enlisted in the US Army during WW 2 and volunteered for the Paratroopers. He served with the famed E Co./2/506 of the 101st Airborne Division (the Band of Brothers). Shifty was an original member of Easy Company, training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia.

Darrell Powers passed away on June 17, 2009.
Even as an adult, Margo Johnson would find fake fuzzy spiders in her bed and shower. And they still scared her, much to father’s glee.

The 56-year-old said she and her father always played pranks on one another, even recently, after her father, Darrell Powers, was diagnosed with cancer in January 2008.

Powers, better known as Shifty and more widely known thanks to a book and television series featuring him and other World War II soldiers, died June 17. He was 86.

“Daddy had a very unique personality,” Johnson said. “He was always interested in everything. He loved reading and fishing and hunting.”

Powers made sure his kids, Johnson and his son, Wayne, got to spend plenty of time with him in the outdoors, trout fishing and squirrel hunting.
“He spoiled us,” Wayne said.

Even if they made a mistake, Johnson said, he was easy going.
“He always said about me that I didn’t pay attention and I talk too much,” she said. “One time I drove right through the garage door. I don’t know why I did it but I don’t think he was surprised.”

The men who served with Powers during World War II remember him in the same light.
“I can’t recall ever seeing him real angry at anything, I can’t remember him ever saying a mean thing to anyone,” said friend and fellow service member Earl “One Lung” McClung of Colorado.

“He was a real Southern gentleman and kind-hearted to everyone. We were real good friends.”
McClung said he and Powers had a chemistry, a way of making people laugh.

“Everybody said we should take our show on the road because we were pretty funny,” McClung said. “We’d just pick something right out of the blue and start talking about it. We’d go back and forth teasing and get people laughing.”

That was before the world knew of McClung and Powers and the rest of the men of the 101st Airborne’s 2nd battalion, 506th regiment, E Company. Easy Company. The Band of Brothers. And it was a Powers his own kids didn’t get to know until after the 1992 Stephen Ambrose book “Band of Brothers, E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne: From Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest.”

Johnson said when her father talked about the war, it was funny stories, mostly about his buddies.
“Some of the guys would come to visit and they’d tell funny stories but never anything about it,” Wayne Powers said. “He never talked about it or dwelled on it.”

Neither Johnson nor her brother had heard many of the stories of their young father’s life as a soldier until after the book came out.
“They only told us the basics,” he said. “Nobody other than these guys know everything about it. I’m sure there are things that they did that nobody will ever know about other than these guys.”
“I learned about another part of him,” Johnson said.

Read the rest here.
I find it strange that the US Congress could not find the time for a moment of silence for Sgt. Powers, but did so for a nutcase called Michael Jackson.

Nor did the media even mention his passing.

Farewell Sgt. Powers and Thank You For What You Did To Set The World Free!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

School Is Out!

Let the games begin?

On June 22, 2009 a Latino teen ran out of his house carrying a bottle filled with homemade acid. His target: Jewish children. 8 of them were injured in the eyes, 2 of them seriously.
The incident happened about 8 p.m. on Sunday at S. 8th Street in the Williamsburg section of the borough. One of the victims, 10-year-old Yaakov Frankel, along with several witnesses told police that someone ran out of a building across the street from the courtyard where children were playing and tossed the homemade device at them. An explosion that released some sort of Drano-type mix got into the eyes of Frankel and a 12-year-old girl, causing them to be hospitalized. Six other children suffered burns and were treated at the scene.

"They were playing and all of a sudden a bottle came in with liquid, and it spins around and exploded into their eyes and [onto] the clothes of the kids," said Hindy Frankel, Yaakov's mother. "Everybody ran!"

The two injured children were kept in Bellevue overnight as their eyes were flushed out. What has residents even more upset is that they believe police had a chance to prevent the incident from happening when they called about rocks being thrown at them from the same building.

Read the rest here.
The police aren't calling this a hate crime, they don't see it as any more than the run of the mill neighborhood feuding. I wonder if the reverse would be true if the victims were Latino and the perpetrator was Jewish. Then you would see everyone from Maxine Waters to Al Sharpton marching down the street chanting: Death to the Jews! Just like he did in 1991.

Now if this was the only incidents involving minority attacks on Jews, it would be isolated. But it isn't.
New York City police arrested two youth who vandalized two Lower East Side synagogues on Thursday with eggs, smoke bombs, and swastikas.

The teenagers, a 15-year old Asian and a 16-year old black, drew a large swastika on the United Hebrew Center on East Broadway. The two then set off a smoke bomb before heading to the Bialystoker synagogue on Willet Street, where they drew a second swastika and through eggs at the building.

Police plan on charging the Lower East Side vandals with the hate crimes of aggravated harassment, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

“This is a desecration of G-d, no matter what your religion,” said New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who attends the Bialystoker synagogue. “It is just a despicable act that really should tug at the heartstrings of all of us.”

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced that the Civil Rights Bureau would open an investigation into the crime calling it “outrageous and deeply disturbing.”
Now who or what put this idea in these teens heads? Could it be the Mainstream Media and their anti-Semitic take on Israel and Jews? Jeremiah Wright blaming the Jews for not letting him see Obama? Or was it the loving rants from the idiot for the left Cynthia McKinney? Someone put this idea in their brains. The good thing was that these two idiotsmorons did not have the knowledge on how to make bombs. Sometimes a substandard education does have great results.

Sderot: Iran and A Cinemateque

Just 2 separate articles on the occurring violence that is happening in Sderot from Gaza:

by Noam Bedein

While the world follows Iranian developments from the grandstands of YouTube, the people of southern Israel have had front row seats for some time now.

When Iran's protege, Hamas, staged a coup in Gaza that placed 1.4 million Palestinians under 'Hamastan' military rule, no one thought of how southern Israelis would be affected. Located less than one mile away from Sderot, Gaza's dramatic developments would come to affect everyone in the region.

Before Israel disengaged the Jewish communities from Gaza in August 2005, the Palestinian Authority had promised vast properties of some of these communities to Hamas. Four months later, in January 2006, Hamas won a stunning victory in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections, which resulted in the Mecca Accord of March 2007, which obligated the PA to share all foreign assistance with the Hamas organization.

All this placed Hamas in a strategic position from where it could launch attacks on Israel, even before the Hamas military coup.

Iranian Hamas terror tactics have dominated the lives of the people of Sderot. A town battered by sustained attacks for eight years, Sderot has become the only city to remain under continuous siege in the 21st century.

Sderot woman overlooks her home, damaged in a Qassam attack during the recent Gaza war.
Photo: Noam Bedein

In 2008 alone, the Hamas-controlled Gaza regime fired over 3,300 rockets, mortars and Grads towards the Western Negev and southern Israel, 50 percent more than the previous year.

Five months after Operation Cast Lead, Hamas has fired over 215 rockets during the Hamas-Israel 'ceasefire.' Is anyone even keeping track of the number of failed ceasefires that Israel has held with Hamas in the past two years?

For Sderot residents, the knowledge that this has been Israel's third failed ceasefire with Hamas is not surprising.

In a June 17 appearance at the Knesset, Israel Security Agency director Yuval Diskin warned that "Hamas is continuing to increase its strength, manufacture longer-range rockets and smuggle rockets of a far superior quality,". In that light,every citizen of southern Israel knows that a massive escalation is around the corner, which will force more than one million Israelis in southern Israel into the seeming safety of protected rooms and bomb shelters.

Shoshana Swissa, a kindergarten teacher in Sderot recently told Sderot Media Center that ”Even today, in these relatively quiet days in Sderot, every single morning we exercise a drill for the 3-year-old children in our kindergarten. The staff teaches them how to run in 15 seconds towards the safe room when the Color Red alert siren sounds. ”

Turning the Gaza Strip into an Iranian military buffer zone

During Israel's second ‘ceasefire’ with Hamas, between June 2008- December 2008, Hamas did not waste any time building up its military capabilities. Israeli intelligence sources confirm that Hamas dug between 400 and 600 smuggling tunnels that connected Sinai and Gaza in order to “import” guns, missiles, explosives, money,and terrorists, along with oil, fuel, metal, cloths, electronics and even a lion for Gazan's zoo - earning the Hamas regime between 30-50 million dollars a month from the digging of the tunnels and the goods smuggled through.

The Iranian influence and involvement with the Gaza Strip peaked during the summer of 2008, when hundreds of Iranian missiles were smuggled in, to be fired massively only a few months later at southern Israelis during Israel's last military operation in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Hamas regime trained tens of thousands of children and woman in Gaza during summer 2008, in anticipation of an Israeli counterattack to the Hamas reign of missiles.

Accepting Iran, accepting Hamas

Hamas today has become more acceptable as a resistance organization among political sectors worldwide. The most recent acceptance overture was made by the former US president Jimmy Carter, who visited Gaza this June and asked the European Union to take Hamas off the charts as a terrorist organization.

It should come as no surprise that a terrorist organization like Hamas, which has killed and wounded thousands of Israeli by suicide bombings and rocket fire, is now accepted as a legitmate governing body. If Iranian President, Ahmedinejad is invited to open a UN Conference on Human Rights and is then invited to meet with the Swiss President, then Western embrace of Hamas is just around the corner.

In the meantime, Sderot and southern Israel can only gear up for another round of rocket fire in the near future.

If Iranians really want to know where all their money from the sale of oil is going to they only have to look at 3 places: Their nuclear program which IS attempting to build an Nuclear bomb, Hamas and Hezbollah. With poverty in their own land, food prices soaring and violent crackdown on dissent, Iran is more concerned with providing weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah, then anything else. If you ever wondered where the Kassams that Hamas still fires into Sderot and the rest of Israel come from, look no further than Iran.

by Anav Silverman

In a region where rockets have hammered civilian residents for the past eight years, the local Sderot Cinemateque remains a popular pastime for residents looking to enjoy a film. As the only rocket-proof cinema in Israel, the Sderot Cinemateque was built eight years ago, right around the time when the first Qassam slammed into Sderot.

The rocket-proof cinema allows local residents to enjoy a film uninterrupted when the rocket alarm, or Tzeva Adom sounds to warn residents of impending Qassams from Gaza. It remains a popular hangout regardless of rocket fire.

A week ago, I had the opportunity to watch a film at the Cinemateque during the eighth annual Cinema South Festival which was held from June 7-12. The festival features the films of graduate students studying in the Department of Film & TV at the local Sapir College. The festival also screened Israeli films that were awarded top prizes abroad as well as international films from Mexico, Hong Kong, and France.

International festival guests included filmmakers Carlos Reygadas from Mexico, Thierry Michel from Belgium, Osvalde Lewat-Hallade of Cameroon and Abi Feijo from Portugal among many others.

I had the opportunity to watch Ajami, one of the featured films of the festival,along with the hundreds of other area residents and international guests. Ajami, named after the largest Arab neighborhood in Jaffa, was co-directed by Israeli Yaron Shani and Jaffa-born Arab, Scandar Copti. The film tells the story of two Muslim Arab brothers and is set against the background of a revenge murder, gangs, Bedouin revenge squads, a Christian Arab godfather and Israeli police.

Ajami was filmed in Arabic -and most of the actors were from the Ajami neighborhood. The mostly Israeli audience at the Sderot cinemateque, myself included, followed along by reading the Hebrew subtitles below.

The film has won international acclaim and was shown in France’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival this past May.

In an interview with the New York Times, the directors of the film, Copti and Shani described their relationship outside of directing of the film, to which both wrote the script. When Shani’s city, Ashdod, was targeted by Gaza rockets in the recent war, Copti called him and said “Take your daughter and your wife and leave.” According to the NYT article, Shani does the same for Copti. Both the directors and the cast where present at the screening in Sderot.

There was something quite unique about watching Ajami in an Israeli rocket-proof theater on the Gaza border. In area that has been devastated by rockets and trauma, it is cultural events like the Cinema South Festival which brings hope for a normal reality that citizens on both sides of the Gaza border continue to seek.
Strange that a movie theater has to be bomb-proof, isn't it? But that is the reality of life in Sderot. Sderot is a small town that has faced the brunt of rocket attacks for 9 years now. Israel was guaranteed that if they "ethnically cleansed" Gaza of all Jews the rockets attacks would cease. The Israelis did just that in 2005, and the attacks got worse.

Now President Obama is singing the same song: "If you "ethically clean" Judea and Sameria of all Jews, there will be peace!"

Right, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn for those who believe this lie to buy.

Unless the PA is willing to be demilitarilized, there can never be peace. Strange as that sounds, it is not Israel who is anti-peace (regardless of what the Useful Idiots of Free Gaza keep saying), but it is the thugs and murderers of Hamas and the PA who will never accept a Jewish nation, never accept Israel and never stop their attacks.

Yet the world loves Hamas. It cries make peace with Hamas. How can one make peace with them when they have openly stated that their goal is the total destruction of Israel and the death to all Jews world-wide?

Again I ask you, my reader to pray for the people of Sderot, to pray for an permanent end to the rocket attacks, and if you are able to, to donate a few coins to the Sderot Media Center. They do such good work in the city of Sderot. Just click here and follow the instructions. All the funds collected go directly to helping the people of Sderot.

Hot and Humid

You know the weather is hot and humid when blogger Snoopy the Goon of SimplyJews starts to do community service. In his case it is a listing of reverent and sometimes a bit of irreverent news items and blog posts (including one from me).

I am returning the favor and posting a link to his latest edition of Haveil Havalim:

Haveil Havalim 223 – Hot and Humid Edition

Enjoy the read and have a good look at the flag on the upper right hand side. I do believe that the Israeli flag should be changed to that symbol. How about you?

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Major Shift in Priorities

From Radarsite.
Michael Jackson is dead. All other current crises will now be put on hold. Sorry Ahmadinejad, sorry Kim Jong Ill, but your audiences have all left the room. No one is paying any attention to you today, current events have pushed you off the stage. Ahmadinejad, you will just have to continue work on your nuclear weapons without comment from the West. And Kim Jong Ill, your threats and provocations have no weight with us today. Your newsworthiness has been usurped by a much more significant story, a much more significant crisis.
Michael Jackson is dead. From Fox News to the BBC, it has already been decided, this is the major issue of the day. Forget about nuclear proliferation. Forget about escalating threats and impending confrontations. Forget about the Global War on Terror. The Western World has spoken, they have made their priorities known. The Western World has decided what is truly important today, and what is not. And you, Ahmadinejad, and you Kim Jong Ill, just don't have what it takes to compete with this current crisis. So, just do whatever you want to do, we're going to be ignoring you for awhile. You see, you're just not as important as you thought you were. - rg

The Stupidity of the Media!

With a revolution being suppressed in Iran. And the President proposing a Universal Health Care that will cost over $1 Trillion. With a recession and unemployment getting worse. And the looming threat of North Korea attacking South Korea and Japan. What is the Media reporting on almost non-stop?

The death of Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson was a singer, and entertainer, and a businessman. Yes he was talented. Yes he sang beautifully and his songs will last forever. But he never saved another life. He never invented a miracle cure for a disease. He never brought about peace in any region of the world.

Michael Jackson had the name pedophile follow him. Not once, but a few times did young boys come forth and claim that he molested them. In 1993 the first investigation was started, he was acquitted of molestation charges in 2003. Yet more rumors spread about this aspect of his behavior.

This is not an obituary of Michael Jackson. He was an entertainer. Instead I will give you a different person for me to honor:

Roi Klein


Major Roi Klein, IDF, Golani Brigade.

Born in Raanana, Israel on July 10, 1975, husband to Sara and a father to Gilad and Yoav.

During the Battle of Bint Jbeil, a hand grenade was thrown into the house where Klein and his unit were present. Klein told his men "Report that I've been killed" and subsequently jumped on the live grenade and stopped the explosion with his body. Klein was killed on the spot but his soldiers were saved by his act of self-sacrifice. The soldiers reported that Klein recited the Jewish prayer, Shema Yisrael, as he jumped on the grenade.

Roi Klein became a symbol for heroism in Israel. New schools in Netanya and Raanana have been named after him.

For his actions during the war Klein received the Medal of Courage posthumously.

With All Your Soul

View at YouTube

I prefer to honor true heroes, not unbalanced rock stars. It is too bad the Media refuses to do so too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3 Years Is Too Long!

June 25, 2009 will be the 3rd anniversary of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. 3 years of being a POW. Yet in his case the International Red Cross is not allowed to visit, the world's media (excluding the media in Israel) is silent, and the leaders of the world are more concerned with recognizing Hamas (the kidnappers) and not one lone Israeli soldier.

It was Yelena Bonner, the widow of Andrei Sakharov who brought up Gilad's plight to the public forum in a speech given at the Oslo Freedom Forum:
Why doesn’t the fate of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit trouble you in the same way as the fate of the Guantanamo prisoners?

You fought for and won the opportunity for the International Committee of the Red Cross, journalists, and lawyers to visit Guantanamo. You know prison conditions, the prisoners’ everyday routine, their food. You have met with prisoners subjected to torture. The result of your efforts has been a ban on torture and a law to close this prison. President Obama signed it in the first days of his coming to the White House…

But during the two years Shalit has been held by terrorists, the world human rights community has done nothing for his release. Why? He is a wounded soldier, and fully falls under the protection of the Geneva Conventions. The Conventions say clearly that hostage-taking is prohibited, that representatives of the Red Cross must be allowed to see prisoners of war, especially wounded prisoners, and there is much else written in the Geneva Conventions about Shalit’s rights.

The fact that representatives of the Quartet conduct negotiations with the people who are holding Shalit in an unknown location, in unknown conditions, vividly demonstrates their scorn of international rights documents and their total legal nihilism. Do human rights activists also fail to recall the fundamental international rights documents?

And yet I still think (and some will find this naive) that the first tiny, but real step toward peace must become the release of Shalit. Release - and not his exchange for 1,000 or 1,500 prisoners who are in Israeli prisons serving court sentences for real crimes.

Returning to my question of why human rights activists are silent, I can find no answer except that Shalit is an Israeli soldier, Shalit is a Jew. So again, it is conscious or unconscious anti-Semitism. Again, it is fascism.
Gilad Shalit is a Jew. That is why the world accepts Hamas' continued captivity of Sgt. Shalit. Dr. Bonner saw the truth, when will the rest of the world see it.

Dhimmi Carter has suggested to President Obama that Hamas be taken off the terror group list. Perhaps President Obama do so when and if Hamas releases Sgt. Shalit first. It would be a gesture on Hamas' part that they are willing to become civilized and follow international law. Until that they must be kept on the terror group list.

Not once during President Obama speech to Muslims that he gave in Egypt did he mention Gilad Shalit. Not once. Isn't it about time that he did.

And isn't it about time you did too. You can. For the next 24 hours go onto Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites and shout out about this injustice. A Soldier's Mother has done just that with:
We MUST get #Gilad to the top on Thursday! Spread it using RT Facebook, LinkedIn – email. Please Thursday remember #Gilad!"
Let us all make Thursday Gilad Shalit Day.

It is time to bring Sgt. Shalit home. Let it be soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

U.S. Attorney Larry Brown and CNCS Displeasure with Walpin

By Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

One of the issues concerning Gerald Walpin's firing that is not being discussed much, is the displeasure of acting U.S. Attorney General Lawrence Brown with Walpin. Another not being discussed at all, is why the CNCS board turned hostile toward an investigation CNCS had tasked Walpin with, via Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Lawrence G. Brown

Acting Attorney General Lawrence G. Brown sent a letter to the "Integrity and Ethics" Counsel of Inspectors General, asking that Walpin be scrutinized for an ethics breach in the investigation of Kevin Johnson, Sacrament0 Mayor, and of course, former NBA "star."

At this point, the investigation had been completed. Here are Brown's concerns about Walpin:

1) Walpin was not authorized to recommend Suspension and Debarment for Kevin Johnson and Dana Gonzalez - overstepping his authority.

2) Walpin's report and his conclusions seemed overstated and not reflective of the investigation

3) Walpin released information to the press that the case was being referred to the U.S. Attorney's office for a decision on whether to prosecute criminally or civilly, before notifying Brown's office. Brown asserts that he learned about it through the Sacramento Bee and not through proper channels.

4) Walpin withheld information from the U.S. Attorney's office.

5) Walpin did not achieve a "settlement agreement" quickly enough to allow Johnson to be released from the Suspension upon becoming Sacramento's Mayor. The Sacramento Bee was calling for a quick resolution because it was believed that the City of Sacramento could not receive federal funds if their Mayor was under suspension.

Brown wrote the letter to the Ethics Committee on April 29, 2009.
You can read Brown's letter here.

Gerald Walpin responded with an 18 page letter [undated from what I can see]. You can read Walpin's letter here. Because he answers every accusation by Brown in detail, I cannot easily put it down in a bulleted list. I've outlined what I see as the pertinent points dispelling Brown's claims.

This is important because after Walpin was fired, reports were everywhere that he mishandled the investigation of Kevin Johnson? But did he? We have an acting U.S. Attorney General making the charge. How does Walpin fight back against that? Maybe his 18-page response "to the complaint" shows another side, and in fact, it does - if the media would just report it.

Here are snippets of Walpin's counter:

About overstepping his authority: Walpin said it is his job to forward an investigation to the U.S. Attorney when he believes it may merit criminal or civil prosecution. He explained to Brown that the difference between "grant fraud" and the "contract fraud" that U.S. Attorney's offices are more familiar with, is an important difference. Walpin said I:
...quoted one of "Mr. Brown's ultimate supervisors, the Deputy Attorney General in emphasizing the importance of prosecuting "grant fraud," and support of "an energized and empowered IG community working in tandem with...Federal prosecutors" to achieve that end.
Walpin pointed out his procedure for submitting the case to the U.S. Attorney General was the same procedure his predecessors used:
I am informed that it has been the custom in my office, before I commenced as IG, to send a referral with such a covering letter. Aside from personally communicating the seriousness of the OIG’s decision to make the referral, it serves as an Executive Summary of the referral, which here was 33 pages long. Most United States Attorney’s offices to which I have forwarded referrals with such an “executive summary” cover letter, always containing my explanation of why I believed the conduct warranted prosecutorial action, have expressed appreciation for such explanations and summaries. Indeed, when I, together with Supervisory Special Agent (“SSA”) Morales and Special Agent Wingers, met with Mr. Brown and several of his fellow Assistant U.S. Attorneys, on August 25, 2008, they complimented us on our referral and the personal interest we took in it by traveling to California to meet with them.
Walpin responded that Mr. Brown's view that an IG has no further role is wrong:
The Senate Report, explaining the purpose of the Inspector General Act of 1978, specifies that the IG has the duty to “[a]ssume a leadership role in any and all activities which he deems useful to promote economy and efficiency in the administration of programs and operations or prevent and detect . . .waste in such programs and operations.” S. Rep. No. 95-1071, at 27 (1978), reprinted in 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. 2676, 2702 (emphasis added).

Mr. Brown’s misunderstanding of the proper role of the IG is further shown in his
assertion that the IG is the “investigative arm of the CNCS Agency.” The IG is statutorily made independent of the CNCS Agency, with responsibility to oversee and criticize what CNCS is doing if the IG believes that the agency is thereby wasting Federal funds -- including the waste of the right to recovery Federal funds from a grantee that misused Federal funds granted to it.
Of Brown's assertion that the IG "is not intended to act as an advocate for suspension or debarment," Walpin responds:
...the procedure exists to protect all Federal funds by denying new funds to an individual or entity who/which has shown by uncovered facts not to be trustworthy or responsible in the prior use of Federal funds....For the Suspension and Debarment procedure to work to protect Federal funds, the investigative agency, upon determining that the facts it uncovered warrant suspension, must make a recommendation of suspension to the agency's Suspension and Debarment official. That is exactly what OIG did here.
Walpin's response on When and How Mr. Brown Learned of the Suspension Recommendation: Brown not only knew "long before" he says he knew, but "he and his office assisted OIG in its suspension recommendation by submitting a letter, requested by the Suspension and Debarment Official as needed before that official would issue the Suspension order.
Mr. Brown’s assertion of lack of advance knowledge and surprise at the suspension
procedure is clearly without factual basis.
There's far more on Brown's alleged surprise notification in the letter on pages 4-6.

Walpin's response on The Propriety of the OIG Press Release: The Sacramento Bee, on September 24, 2008 and it's morning edition on September 25th, reported "its own discovery of the names of suspended parties" from a list that the General Services Administration (GSA) maintains. He says the OIG issued no press release on that date, as Brown accused.

After The Bee's initial article was published, Walpin says the OIG issued a press release on September 25, 2008. In that press release, Walpin says he "largely repeated the grounds for suspension set out in the Notice of Suspension, issued by the Corporation's Suspension and Debarment Official and publicly posted on the GSA website.

It's important to note that before the idea of firing Gerald Walpin became the thing to do, the corporation, CNCS, issued the Notice of Suspension of Kevin Johnson. Perhaps CSNC didn't know that their soon-to-be-President Obama would not be happy with their actions.

Walpin responds to The OIG Investigators' Alleged Withholding of Information From the U.S. Attorney's Office: Brown said that Walpin held back a letter from an elementary school principal (Herinder Pegany) where the principal claimed that "St. HOPE AmeriCorps members had performed after-school tutoring at his school." Walton said the letter actually said that the principal "knew that members were assigned to his school to conduct tutoring," but "he did not know how many members were assigned to his school...because he did not directly supervise the members." The point, said Walton, was not whether or not AmeriCorps members had been assigned to the school, but if in fact, they had "performed such tutoring." That fact was not established through the Principal's testimony because he said he had "no personal knowledge" of such tutoring.
Simply put, OIG does not provide to U.S. Attorney’s office all documents prepared as memoranda of work done during an investigation (and OIG’s Special Agents so informed Mr. Brown when they met with him), but rather all documents which provide usable evidence, whether probative of guilt or innocence. Particularly given the lack of personal knowledge provided by Mr. Pegany, I fully understand, as I previously told Mr. Brown, the good faith judgment call made by these two experienced Agents not to include that memorandum in the referral to the United States Attorney’s office. That decision certainly does not warrant the charge against them of any intent to conceal.
Brown asserted that Walpin "misled" his office through a heading in OIG's referral letter, titled "AmeriCorps Members Performed No Tutoring." Walpin says below that heading was the explanation that substantiated interviews with staff.

Brown's assertion that in the August 25th meeting he and his staff "expressed [their] concern that the Walpin's report conclusions "seemed overstated...."
What Mr. Brown and his colleagues said was that they would be studying all of the files that OIG had provided to see if criminal intent and knowledge could be established for a criminal prosecution; they never expressed any concern concerning the existence of a viable civil case.
Regarding the charge that Walpin failed to conduct an audit:
OIG then responded that an audit was neither feasible nor needed, and is not used in many investigations. OIG explained that the allegations in this case involved misuse of AmeriCorps members, and not to missing or misused funds, making an audit not warranted.
However, on September 11th, Assistant U.S. Attorney Newman asked OIG to prepare a report on St. HOPE's financial records to determine the extent of St. HOPE's liability to return any or all of the grant funds that it had received." At this time, a subpoena was served on October 1, 2008 on St. HOPE. As late as January 22, 2009 only partial information had been provided. Repeated letters to St. HOPE and St. HOPE's attorney on non-compliance were issued.
Yet, the U.S. Attorney's office took no action to enforce the subpoena.
On February 4, 2009, additional documents were provided, and AUSA Newman advised that OIG auditors "should base their report on the documents" available, "even though a big void in the required documents remained." Missing were:
“Source documentation for costs charged to the grant; complete general ledger (only a partial ledger was produced); reconciliation of costs charged on the Financial Status report to the general ledger, including match funds; explanation of the methodology for allocating costs between match and federal share; [and] identification of the accounting system used.” In other words, there were gaping
holes in the documentation. But to demonstrate OIG’s cooperation with the USA’s office, OIG's audit staff prepared its report.
The conclusion:
The report’s conclusion was straight forward:
None of the costs charged to the grant are allowable, primarily because the
AmeriCorps members’ service activities were not consistent with the grant

Contrary to . . . grant requirements and prohibitions, we found that St. HOPE AmeriCorps members performed little, if any, of the service agreed to and stipulated under the grant. Instead, they were used for non-authorized and prohibited activities, including services that displaced St. HOPE employees, a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12637 Non duplication and Non displacement. We also found instances where AmeriCorps living allowances and benefits were unlawfully used to supplement the salaries of St. HOPE employees. Another grant requirement is that all allowable cost must be adequately documented. . . . . We found an almost total lack of documentation to support St. HOPE’s performance of the grant, despite our repeated requests to St. HOPE for grant-related documents.
After the U.S. Attorney General's office asked for an audit, and after a subpoena was largely ignored by Kevin Johnson, the Attorney General's office refused to enforce the subpoena. Note also that Executive Director of Kevin Johnson's St. HOPE Academy, Rick Maya, resigned due to misconduct by Kevin Johnson. Maya claims that another board member deleted Kevin Johnson's emails during the federal investigation that Walpin was conducting. This article details 9 reasons for Maya's resignation. It's astounding. I hope you'll read it.

At the time of Walpin's firing he had also completed an investigation into City University of New York (CUNY), AmeriCorps largest program. Walpin said neither the CUNY report or the Kevin Johnson-St. HOPE Academy investigation were "well-received by top CNCS management."

So what changed at CNCS, because after all, the investigation came at the request of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
A Sacramento-based nonprofit run by former NBA star and Sacramento mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson is facing scrutiny after a teenager complained of inappropriate touching by Johnson.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office asked the federal government to investigate because the nonprofit, St. HOPE, has received money in the past from the federal AmeriCorps program.

One thing changed? Barack Obama was elected President and we know he has big plans for AmeriCorp. How can you achieve the huge expansion he has in mind, with millions, probably billions in federal funds funneled to them, with a-Gerald-Walpin reporting some nasty theft of taxpayer dollars?

A new report:
Schwarzenegger Involvement: Kevin Johnson Investigation by Gerald Walpin

Related and Background:

Michelle Malkin has news of The First Lady's coming speech at CNCS

Gerald Walpin Firing Update: AmeriCorp $75 Million Musused: Michelle Obama Hires?

Kevin Johnson - St. Hope Scandal: Rick Maya Resigns, Gerald Walpin Investigates

White House Charges Walpin Confused, Disoriented, Disruptive

Who is Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson - Walpin-Johnson Investigation

Multiple births should not be confused with entertainment!

Was written by the 3 surviving Dionne Quintuplets in 1997 to Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey (parents of sextuplets). So what you might ask.

The Dionne sisters know a lot about what it is to be a multiple, and the exploitation of multiples.
On May 28, 1934 5 beautiful baby girls were born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne. The Dionnes already had 5 children. The doctor, Allan Roy Dafoe didn't believe that these babies would survive, but they did and thrived. They were the first set of quintuplets to survive birth in Canada. For 4 months they lived with their parents and siblings, and would have stayed there but Dr. Dafoe saw the girls as a money making scheme.

Four months after the birth of the sisters, the Ontario government intervened and, in an unprecedented fashion, found the parents to be unfit for the quintuplets, and custody of the five babies was withdrawn from their parents by the Ontario government of Mitchell Hepburn in 1935, originally for a guardianship of two years. Although Oliva Dionne remained part of the guardianship, they were put under the guidance of Dr. Dafoe and two other guardians. The stated reason for removing the quintuplets from their parents' legal custody was to ensure their survival into healthy toddlers. The government realized the massive interest in the sisters and proceeded to engender a tourist industry around them. The girls were made wards of the provincial crown, planned until they reached the age of 18.

Never before in history has any child been subjected to the scrutiny and lack of privacy that these girls were. Their parents were thrown out of the picture, the parents were denied the right to raise their girls in their faith. The Dionne girls were taken across the road to a specially designed compound, formally called Quintland, that would allow the multitudes of tourists to gape at them (while they didn't see the people, they did hear them). Their likenesses graced the boxes of Quaker Oats, Karo Corn Syrup and other brands. They starred in 4 movies. Millions came to gawk at them. They were poked and prodded by members of the medical community like laboratory animals.

Needless to say that when the bottom dropped out of the Quint market, the government and Dr. Dafoe returned custody of the girls to their parents.

Theirs was not a happy childhood. They had troubles in adulthood, and the money that was suppose to be placed aside for them, had mysteriously disappeared (The government claims that it was spent on their upkeep while they lived in Quintland).
Now why did I bring this up?

Today we have the same thing happening. Only this time the children are sextuplets, and instead of the government and a Dr. Dafoe, we have the parents and TLC. We see weekly on our televisions the exploitation of 8 children (the Gosselin sextuplets and their older twin sisters). And we forget history.

This type of raising a child or children is not healthy for their emotional and psychological growth. They experience life not as it is, but in a fishbowl, always on display for the cameras. What the world has witnessed is not a caring, loving couple, but a couple who cannot stand each other in front of the cameras (what goes on when the cameras are turned off is just speculation). We don't see a loving mother, but a drill Sergeant who berates her spouse almost each and every minute. We see a couple who show very little love and respect not only to each other, but to their older children. And we see parents who dote on their sextuplets to the harm of the other members of their family.

Shame on these parents! Shame on TLC! And shame on those idiots who not only watch this trash of a show, but support this exploitation of these children by buying the items and books they have for sale.

In 1997 the Dionne sisters wrote this letter to new parents of sextuplets:
Dear Bobbi and Kenny,

If we emerge momentarily from the privacy we have sought all our adult lives, it is only to send a message to the McCaughey family. We three would like you to know we feel a natural affinity and tenderness for your children. We hope your children receive more respect than we did. Their fate should be no different from that of other children. Multiple births should not be confused with entertainment, nor should they be an opportunity to sell products.

Our lives have been ruined by the exploitation we suffered at the hands of the government of Ontario, our place of birth. We were displayed as a curiosity three times a day for millions of tourists. To this day we receive letters from all over the world. To all those who have expressed their support in light of the abuse we have endured, we say thank you. And to those who would seek to exploit the growing fame of these children, we say beware.

We sincerely hope a lesson will be learned from examining how our lives were forever altered by our childhood experience. If this letter changes the course of events for these newborns, then perhaps our lives will have served a higher purpose.

Sincerely, Annette, Cecile and Yvonne Dionne
It is a shame that the Gosselins didn't read it and take it too heart.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Getting their panties tied up in a bunch!

Is what will happen after the IDF distributes Korans with this on it:

Yes it is true. The IDF will start distributing Korans emblazoned with the Ten Commandments on the cover.
The IDF Rabbinate intends to emboss its emblem on military-issued Korans, according to IDF journal BaMachaneh. This may be the first time in history that an overtly Jewish symbol – the emblem of the Israel Defense Force Rabbinate – will be embossed on Muslim holy books. The Rabbinate’s emblem depicts the Tablets of the Ten Commandments, as well as the sword and olive branches that appear in numerous IDF logos.

The IDF provides Korans for its Muslim soldiers. These include Bedouins, as well as non-Bedouin Muslim Arabs, who have served in the IDF as trackers and in other combat roles since its earliest days.

The idea for embossing the emblem on IDF Korans was brought up by the Chief Jewish Chaplain for the French Army, Maj.-Gen. Rabbi Haim Corsia, who visited the IDF last week. Corsia noticed that the IDF Rabbinate emblem is embossed upon the prayer books that the army hands out to religious Jewish soldiers, but does not appear on military Korans.

Rabbi Corsia pointed out the matter to the IDF’s Chief Rabbi, Brig.-Gen. Avichai Ronsky, who promised to fix the situation, the military magazine reported.

“Not having the Military Rabbinate’s emblem on the Koran is a mistake," Rabbi Corsia said. “If the IDF issues Korans to Muslim soldiers, that means the Koran is part of the army. I look at the Book of Tehillim (Psalms) and it has the stamp, but the Koran does not. In the French army this would not happen. This is an area in which we can help the IDF."

Read the full story here.
I wonder how long it will take the Muslim world to rise up in indignation over this outrage. Could you imagine what a group like CAIR would be saying if the US military did a stunt like this.

Yet the Chaplains have a good reason. It is their insignia, and they are the group distributing the Korans.

Still I expect some cleric, some where in the world will stir up trouble about this.

It will be fun to watch though.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Wishes

I lost my father many years ago and my husband 8 years ago, so Father's Day in our household is a bitter sweet day.

On Father's Day your family should provide you, the Dad with the following:

1. Breakfast in bed. Forget the low-fat, low cholesterol nonsense of the rest of the year. This is Dad's day. He needs Man Food! Bacon, Eggs, Toast, Coffee, (you get the picture). Pancakes are a good choice too.

This breakfast should be served with the paper turned to the sports page.

2. No Honey-Do list. Ladies forget the list of chores for Dad. Let him lie back, watch the TV and just lounge around for the day. This is his special day, let him enjoy it.

3. Take Dad out to his favorite restaurant. Actually let him go out with the guys to the nudie bar if they wish. Or down to the local watering hole for a couple of beers. Or where ever they want. It is his day, let him enjoy it as he wants to.

4. TELL HIM HOW MUCH YOU LOVE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!! No matter what he does on this day, remind him that you are still very much in love with him. Or if it is your own father, remind him of how much he means to you.

We women really don't ask much from our men. Change a dirty diaper, burp the baby, play with the kids, do a few chores around the house, and kill those mean, nasty, horrible spiders that keep popping up (especially in the bathroom).

Still My Daddy: Fathers Day Video

View at YouTube

Have A Great Day Dads!

In The Footstep Of His Father

On February 1, 2003, Colonel Ilan Ramon died upon the Columbia Shuttle when it broke apart over Texas.

Col. Ramon's career in the IAF was remarkable. Born on June 20, 1954 in Ramat Gan, Israel, Ilan excelled in his schooling. In 1974 he became a fighter pilot with the IAF, was one of the first F-16 pilots for Israel, he was the youngest pilot who took part in the 1981 Raid on the Osiraq Nuclear Plant in Iraq, and Israel's first astronaut.

Ilan was posthumously awarded the US Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Space Flight Medal, and the Distinguished Public Service Medal. He remains the only foreigner to be awarded the US Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

The love of flying runs in his family. It must for his son, Assaf has earned his wings.
Assaf Ramon, son of Israel's first astronaut Ilan Ramon, will receive his wings and officer's ranks this Thursday at a graduation ceremony for the Israel Air Force's pilot training course.

Ilan Ramon became the first Israeli in space aboard the Columbia, which exploded during its reentry over Texas in 2003.

Ramon was a colonel in the IAF and before joining NASA he held a number of staff positions at the branch's Tel Aviv headquarters.

Assaf Ramon announced his plans to follow in his father's footsteps shortly following the Columbia tragedy.

In 2006 he was enlisted in the IDF and successfully passed the IAF's grueling examinations and trials for the prestigious pilots course.

Ramon has also been chosen as valedictorian.

Several months ago, during a routine training flight in a Skyhawk A4, Ramon encountered a technical failure when the engine suddenly died.

Instead of injecting, as protocol dictates, Ramon, together with the flight instructor, successfully restarted the engine and safely returned to base.

Ramon is training to become a fighter pilot and following the course will be assigned to a squadron.

Ramon's graduating class is comprised of men only, most of whom are residents of cities, in stark contrast to the IAF's early days, when most pilots came from kibbutzim.
To become a pilot for the IAF you must be the best of the best. For the IAF only takes the best students from Israeli schools, and only the best of these can even hope to become fighter pilots.

Young Assaf is following in his father's footsteps, but also blazing his own trail upon the skies.

Neda: The Voice of the Iranian People


By now the videos of Neda’s death have spread far and wide across the world making her the symbol of the voice of the Iranian People.

Today is Father’s Day. No father should have to live to witness the death of a beloved child.

While glued to Twitter early yesterday afternoon I made the mistake of clicking on the link to the close-up, gruesome, and very graphic YouTube video of Neda’s death. The image of her beautiful eyes in the last moment of her life seared itself into my soul. I could not shake her dying image from my mind and just prayed all day for her family.

By nighttime the new Twitter hashtag: #Neda was burning up the internet with Tweets and RT’s.

RT Woman killed in front of her father "ندا (#Neda) which means voice or call in Farsi. She's the voice of the people a call to freedom"

4 Neda, girl murdered in Iran on film: Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord & let perpetual light shine uponher. #neda

Read the moving account from the doctor who tried to save her from BreakForNews with graphic still shots taken from the video.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Flight 93 Blogburst:: Tell the EPA, 'no state-establishment of CO2-phobic religion'

EPA comment period closes Tues: tell ‘em no state-establishment of CO2-phobic religion

Only a couple more days to let the EPA know what you think of its proposed war against CO2. Just click on the little yellow “add comments” balloon. The following is a comment (ending at "sincerely") that you can copy and paste. (If you choose to roll your own, feel free to leave it here too.)

Dear EPA:

There is overwhelming statistical evidence that the primary driver of natural temperature change is solar-magnetic activity, yet the solar flux is completely omitted as an influence on climate in all four IPCC assessments and in the Obama administration's new "Climate Change Impacts in the United Sates" report. This omission is rationalized on grounds that the existing theories of how solar activity affects climate are still formative. The scientific method rejects this rationalization. Observational evidence is supposed to trump theory, not vice versa, but the IPCC is using theory (its distrust of existing theories of the mechanism by which solar-magnetic activity drives global temperature), as an excuse for ignoring the overwhelming evidence that solar-magnetic DOES drive global temperature. Not all religions are anti-scientific, but the demonstrably anti-scientific nature of CO2 alarmism proves that it IS religion, not science.

EPA regulations are supposed to be science based. Imposing restrictions based on an anti-scientific religious doctrine would not just violate the EPA's mandate, but would violate the constitutional prohibition on state establishment of religion.

Solar-magnetic warming: theory and evidence

The sunspot-temperature theory is actually looking pretty solid. A strong solar-magnetic flux is known to shield the earth from high energy cosmic rays which otherwise, according to the theory of Henrik Svensmark and Friis-Christensen, would ionize the atmosphere, seeding cloud formation. Thus the solar wind in effect blows the clouds away, giving the earth a sunburn.

Whatever the precise mechanism, researchers have found that solar-magnetic activity “explains” statistically about 60-80 percent of global temperature change on all time scales going back hundreds of millions of years. On the millennial time scale, see the seminal 1991 paper by Christensen and Lassen (“Length of the Solar Cycle: An Indicator of Solar Activity Closely Associated with Climate”) and the 2003 isotope study by Usoskin et al (“Solar activity over the last 1150 yrs: does it correlate with climate?”), which found: “a correlation coefficient of about .7 - .8 at a 94% - 98% confidence level.”

For longer time scales, see the 2003 paper by Shaviv and Veiser (“Celestial driver of Phranerozoic climate?”), which found that found that the cosmic ray flux explains statistically about 75% of global temperature variation over the last 550 million years.

Omitted variable fraud

Solar activity was at “grand maximum” levels from 1940 and 2000 which, given the historical correlation between solar activity and temperature, could easily explain most or all late 20th century warming. When the IPCC and others omit the solar-magnetic variable from their models, any warming effect of solar activity gets misattributed to whatever correlated variables ARE included in their models.

By sheer coincidence, CO2 reached its own “grand maximum” levels (at least compared to the rest of the Holocene) in the second half of the 20th century. Thus in the alarmist models, whatever warming effect the omitted solar-magnetic variable is responsible for gets misattributed to CO2.

You can find rationalizations for this omitted-variable fraud in every IPCC report. For instance, section of the Third Assessment Report does not question the correlation between solar activity and climate, but dismisses the cosmic-ray cloud THEORY as too speculative to include in their climate models:
At present there is insufficient evidence to confirm that cloud cover responds to solar variability.
But they don't just leave solar-magnetic activity out of their models. Because their forecasts are based entirely on their climate models, they also leave solar magnetic effects completely out of their climate forecasts, despite knowing that there is SOME mechanism (even if the cosmic-ray/cloud theory turns out to be wrong) by which solar-magnetic activity is the primary driver of global temperature.

The only solar variable they do include is solar output or Total Solar Insolation (from long to short-wave radiation), which does not include the solar-magnetic flux. The Fourth Assessment Report does the same thing, looking only at TSI, as do all of the analyses that follow from these reports. For instance, if you look at he “Natural Influences” subsection of the Obama administration’s new report, you will see on page 16 that the only natural influence listed is “solar output’ (or TSI), which is why it is shown graphically to be so tiny.

Solar output is close to constant over the solar cycle (less than 0.1% variation), which is why it is called “the solar constant." Because TSI is nearly constant, it cannot account for the many thousands of years of close correlation between solar activity and temperature. That must be coming from the one solar variable that DOES vary with solar activity: the solar magnetic flux. Every IPCC climate scientist knows this, yet they still omit the solar-magnetic variable.

Proof of omission: page 16 graphic from the June 2009 report by U.S. Global Change Research Program (in effect, the NOAA). The only natural warming effect listed is total solar output, which does not include the solar-magnetic flux. Similar graphics can be found in each of the IPCC's assessment reports, where this analysis originates.

Religion, not science

When the alarmists omit solar-magnetic effects on the grounds that they are not satisfied with with existing theories of HOW these effects work, they are not just committing statistical fraud, but they are contradicting the very definition of science. Observation (the overwhelming correlation between solar activity and global temperature) is supposed to trump theory, not vice versa.

Consider an analogy. Until Einstein developed his theory of general relativity there was no good theory of gravity. Newton had a description of the gravitational force (that it diminishes by the inverse of the square of the distance) but nobody had any sensible account for the mechanism by which massive objects were drawn to each other. Applying the standards of the IPCC, a pre-Einsteinian or pre-Newtonian scientist should have forecast that when a stone is released in the air, it would waft away on the breeze. After all, we understand the force that the breeze imparts on the stone, but we don't understand this thing called gravity, so we should not include it, even though we observe that heavy objects fall.

That is not science, and neither is CO2 alarmism. Data is supposed to trump Theory. By using theory (the proclaimed insufficiency of solar-magnetic theory) as an excuse to ignore the evidence (where solar activity is known to somehow warm the climate), warming alarmism perverts the scientific method.

That makes it religion in the constitutionally barred sense. Not only is this belief system embraced by millions of people WITHOUT EVIDENCE, but it is embraced in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence. Alarmism about CO2 is not just a religion, it is a demonstrably irrational religion, equivilant to believing that rocks will waft away on the breeze.

EPA is supposed to make science-based rulings. If you regulate CO2 based on demonstrably anti-scientific ideology, it will be an unconstitutional state establishment of religion.

The current cooling trend fits the solar-magnetic theory, not the CO2 theory

All of the major temperature records show that the earth's average temperature has been falling for ten years now (with the 21 year smoothed temperature falling for five). In this period, CO2 has continued to increase, while the sun has descended into a prolonged solar minimum. This turn in the sun (breaking the coincidental correlation between solar activity and CO2 that existed for the previous 70 years), is rapidly unmasking the hoax of anthropogenic global warming.

It should not take a rare astrological event to unmask an obvious statistical and scientific fraud. Will the EPA now destroy its reputation by codifying the "green" religion at the very moment when the heavens themselves are exposing its dishonesty? If you choose this course, you will be destroying the nation's economy and the lives of your countrymen in the service of your own anti-scientific religious beliefs, in violation of your oath of office.


On the subject of state established religion

Blogburst logo, petition

This is also the subject of our blogbursts, trying to stop the Flight 93 Memorial Project from stamping a giant Mecca-oriented crescent on the graves our murdered heroes:

A crescent that Muslims face into to face Mecca is called a mihrab, and is the central feature around which every mosque is built. (Some mihrabs are pointed arch shape, but the archetypical mihrab is crescent shaped.)

The Crescent of Embrace memorial is actually a terrorist memorial mosque, replete with a full complement of typical mosque features, like the minaret-like Tower of Voices that has an Islamic shaped crescent on top and turns out to be a year-round accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial.

Outcry over the apparent Islamic symbolism forced the Park Service to make changes. They promised that they would remove the Islamic symbol shapes, but they never did. They call it a broken circle now, but the circle is broken in the exact same places as before.

The unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, is still a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.

To join our blogbursts, just send your blog's url.