Thursday, September 30, 2010

Remember This On November 2nd!

Hat tip to Crusader Rabbit

Remember their words, their actions on November 2nd and vote them out!

Like A Big Baby!

That is how Abu Mazen Mahmoud Abbas is behaving now that Israel is not extending the settlement freeze.  It is the behavior of a child.  Do what I say or I'll have a tantrum.
The PLO said on Wednesday that they cannot be expected to continue peace talks unless Israel reverses the decision to lift restrictions on settlement construction.

Hanna Amireh, a member of the PLO body, said there was widespread opposition to resuming talks without a settlement curb.

"The consensus is that since the entire world is in favor of a Palestinian state and against settlements, then let us throw this problem in the face of the world and see what they can do about it," Amireh said.

Also on Wednesday EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said that the recently expired settlement construction moratorium must be extended if the peace talks are to have any hope of succeeding

Ashton made the comments after a Washington meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ashton announced an imminent trip to Israel, where she is expected to land on Thursday. Ashton said she was heading to the region "as a matter of priority" after talking to Mitchell and international Mideast envoy Tony Blair.

She reiterated in a statement that the European Union regrets Israel's decision not to extend a 10-month-old moratorium on West Bank housing starts that expired this week.

Starting Thursday, the EU foreign policy chief will meet with Netanyahu, Abbas and Mitchell over two days to try to prevent the collapse of negotiations. She reiterated in a statement that the European Union regrets Israel's decision not to extend a 10-month-old moratorium on West Bank housing starts that expired this week.

For 9 months the PA, refused to come to the table and talk.  They told the world that unless their preconditions were met.  They weren't and Abu Mazen Mahmoud Abbas came to the negotiations any way.  That time his temper tantrum didn't work.

Will it work now?  So far Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Hussein Obama has tried to pressure Netanyahu and the Israelis into giving in to the demands of the 2-year old Abu Mazen Mahmoud Abbas, and so far Netanyahu and Israel says NO!

Now a new player is trying to compel Israel into giving into the PA's demands.  EU President Catherine Ashton, old horse face herself (I wonder if her mother ever won the Derby?) is demanding the PA be accommodated.

If the PA really wanted their own nation,nothing would stop them from any negotiations.  Wild horses nor ugly EU Presidents could or would keep them away from the table.  But the PA is not interested in ever succoring a nation for their people.  To do so would mean that the PA would actually and finally have to provide for their people and not allow the UN, EU or US to feed, clothe, house , teach and give medical aid.  It would be the job, the responsibility of the PA for their people's well being, their safety, and the leadership of the PA could no longer steal the aid that is sent for their people in order to enrich themselves.

It is time to finally dissolve UNRWA and force the Arabs  to take responsibility for the people living in their lands, now and forever.  It is the adult thing to do.

Baring that, look for more childish behavior from the Arabs and more so-called world leaders appeasing them by pressuring Israel.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday's Hero: Cpl. Brian Downard

Cpl. Brian Downard

Cpl. Brian Downard

U.S. Marines

Brian Downard was 23 years old, a father, a country music fan, and a corporal of Marines. He joined the Marine Corps in July of 2005, and would do two deployments to two different scenic locales. The first was to Iraq, where he served from November of ’06 to April of the following year. While in Iraq, Brian suffered a concussion from an IED strike while patrolling. Undeterred, Brian stayed in the Marines and deployed to Burma in 2008 when Marines and sailors with the Essex Amphibious Readiness Group provided humanitarian assistance operations to aid the cyclone-stricken country. He would eventually leave the service just last July, after four honorable years of service.

One month after separation, he discovered that he had testicular cancer, and a very aggressive strain at that. The cancer spread quickly to his muscles and fatty tissues, and Brian suffered so greatly with the pain that they put him on morphine. He was released from the VA to enjoy his last days with the love from his mom and his 7-year-old son Jesse.

You can read the rest of Cpl. Downard's story here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

They Really Have Conned The World!

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) also known as the Kill the Jews Commitee has voted that Israel committed War Crimes against the Mavi Marmara on May 31.
A report by three United Nations appointed human rights experts Wednesday said that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing nine activists, earlier this year.

The UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded that Israel's naval blockade of the Palestinian territory was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and described the military raid on the flotilla as brutal and disproportionate.

Israel has maintained that its soldiers acted in self-defense when they shot and killed eight Turkish activists and one Turkish-American aboard the Mavi Marmara on May 31. Israel Defense Forces released footage showing its troops coming under attack as they tried to board the boat.

The Human Rights Council blamed Israel prior to the investigation and it is no surprise that they condemn after, said Andy David, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, referring to the 47-member body's resolution in early June condemning the raid.
This is the same organization headed by that bastion of Liberty and Human Rights:  Libya.

Yes they excel in the pursuit of human rights for all people.  You can find such outstanding examples of their humanity here, here, and here.

Or listen to the words of Kristiana Venelinova Valcheva, a nurse from Bulgaria.

I am Kristiana Venelinova Valcheva, a nurse from Bulgaria. To make my identity clearer I will add a few keywords - Bulgarian medics, hostages, inquisitions, Libya, Qaddafi, death sentence, issued trice.

If someone told me eleven years ago that these words would become my "visit card", I would laugh. Because eleven years ago my life, the lives of my husband, Dr. Zdravko Georgiev, of another four Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor Ashraf., as well as the lives of our families were cut in the middle - before and after 1999.

It all began on February 9, 1999, in Benghazi. On that day we, five Bulgarian nurses, were abducted in a gangsters' manner by the Libyan authorities. They abducted us from our homes and workplaces, threw us into a bus with our hands, eyes and mouth tied, and carried us overnight one thousand and hundred kilometers away to Tripoli 1,100 km. In Libya they call this a lawful arrest.

We did not know why this was happening and what was coming after. We did not know that we ware a part of a sinister scenario of a dictator. We did not know that what was awaiting us were eight years and a half in the hell of the Libyan prisons.

For 14 months they kept us at a school for police dogs. For 14 months we were subjected to barbaric torture, humiliation and mockery.

They stretched me at a window frame and beat me with sticks and cables. Night after night they forced us to stand on one leg with our hands raised and if anybody tried to put his second leg on the floor out of exhaustion, that one would be mercilessly beaten. They would beat us over the soles of our feet, and then make us run with our feet swollen and black of beating, blood and lymph flowing from them. They injected me with drugs, undressed me totally naked, bind me to a metal bed and then the worst started -- inquisition by electrical shock.
You see that under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights every Muslim nation is allowed to torture, falsely imprison, rape and even murder any non-Muslim in their land.  So it is ok for Libya or any other Islamic nation hellhole to do what they want without any repercussions from the rest of the world.  In fact they are rewarded for their actions!

Yes they have really conned the world!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Civil Rights and Hate Crimes

Gary Fouse

The revelations about how the Justice Department dropped charges against the New Black Panther Party over the incident that occurred in front of a Philadelphia voting station leads to a discussion of the entire issue of how to enforce civil rights law, which in turn, leads to a discussion on hate crimes. This also corresponds to a report issued this week by an Orange County agency named the OC Human Relations Commission. Don't ask me what they do. All I know is that they are led by an empty suit named Rusty Kennedy. As I have previously written, I wrote to Kennedy in 2008 complaining about anti-Semitism on the UCI campus, and all I got back was a nastygram because I had also criticized what I considered the lack of an effective response by the university. Anyway, here is the link to the OC Register article on the study on hate crimes in 2009 in Orange County followed by the report itself.

Note: If you go to the above website, you are going to wind up someplace else, so I suggest you go to the OCHRC main site below, see all the happy faces, read all the puff, and then click on the report, which is on the right.

So what are we to make of the situation in Orange County, which has evolved into a multi-ethnic county? As for the OC Register article, it is completely centered on hate against Muslims. Note the title and the statements from CAIR. Interestingly, it features as its lead photo, a shot of Muslim Student Union members at UC-Irvine as they were disrupting the speech of the Israeli ambassador to the US last February. I wonder if that incident was included in the stats. Eleven arrests would have had some kind of impact on the OCHRC results, would it not?

If you really look at this study, you are talking about 77 reported instances in 2009, most of which were vandalism and committed by unknown persons. There were only a handful of cases of serious violence. Not a bad record, but one case is one case too many.

First of all, is insulting someone and referring to their ethnicity or religion a crime? Two such incidents are mentioned in the OC Register article in which Muslims were insulted. I do not condone that action, but is it a crime absent a threat? (The boy in the restroom was, in fact, threatened. That is a crime.)

The article mentions that over half of the incidents involve graffiti or vandalism. That is a crime-and especially despicable if in occurs on a religious building, such as a mosque or synagogue. The question I have is whether legally, the offense should be enhanced because of the "hate" aspect. I still have a problem with charging people for what they think as opposed to what they do. Is the motive for a crime not an element of proof rather than part of the charge? For example, if I kill you because I want to rob you or I am a hired killer carrying out a contract, is that any more or less than if I kill you for racial or religious reasons? Of course, self-defense, temporary insanity etc are considered mitigating factors. If I kill you because I just saw you kill my daughter, that would also be a mitigating factor.

Some would argue, quite reasonably, that to assault someone because of their religion or race has implications far greater for society than just the individuals involved. Yet, I think there are some legal issues involved including whether they are applied equally as to who the victims and perpetrators are.

Back to the study. From reading this study, it would appear that non-white, non-Christian minorities are the chief victims. Keep in mind, there were 77 reported incidents. Do we know who the perpetrators are? Or do we just assume they are the old boogey man-whites? For example, who is attacking who? The best this study can tell us is that out of 77 reported cases, the majority of offenders are unknown, but that among known offenders, the majority are white -just as nationwide they add. The numbers on the screen are tiny, but by my adding, it looks like 16 out of 33 known offenders were white (offense not specified), but who's quibbling? They also came up with a figure of 75 cases of unknown perpetrators so it gets rather confusing to a simple guy like me. My conclusion is, since I follow the news, is that the vast majority of incidents in Orange County involve defacing or destruction of religious property (synagogues and mosques) and that the perps are unknown. All in all, we have a pretty good county when it comes to this issue. I wonder how much money this bunch gets paid to put out these statistics based on 77 incidents in a single year. Is it significant to say attacks against a certain group tripled during the year-from 2 to 7? Just nitpicking.

In Los Angeles (not in Orange County), the most serious attacks (deadly) against African-Americans are generally carried out by Hispanics-and vis-versa-due to the gang wars. Drop into any California state prison some time and see how the blacks and the Hispanics get along. Hell, the Hispanics are divided against each other according to whether they are Nortenos or Surenos (North or South-sorry, I can't get the diacritical marks down on my blog).

Another questionable aspect of this study is that the lowest victim group is......whites, of course. Strange since we live in a society where you can pretty much say anything you want about whites and get away with it. Are you telling me that the OCHRC couldn't find a white guy who had never been insulted as a "white so and so"? Maybe they found two, but then again, insulting is not a crime unless it involves a terroristic threat (of violence). Surely, a few have been punched in the nose the past year by a minority.

Let me get a little more daring and lay out this scenario. Suppose I (a white guy) decided one night to take a drive to South Central LA and try out the nightlife. You know, hit a few bars, nightclubs, maybe hit on a few black ladies, maybe get lucky. What do you think is going to happen within the first hour or two?

If you guessed hate crime, you WIN!

Now I know there are still some places and bars in the US where a black guy would be ill-advised to spend the same kind of evening. Yet, the places I have frequented my whole adult life (and they are many) are not like that. The point is that it is all wrong. Expressions of hate toward another group is wrong. Civil rights in the US are supposed to be for all-even the group that historically discriminated against others. What we learned from Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement was that everyone should be treated equally. His message was not that only certain groups should be protected, but all groups.

That leads us to the mess in the DOJ and Eric Holder's little fiefdom. It is being alleged that current DOJ policy is to not pursue cases in which minorities commit an act against whites. Unless you believe in the principle of "pay-back" (which has no legal standing), these laws must be applied equally. We now have strong reason to believe that DOJ is not doing that.

Of course, political correctness tells us that society is divided into certain "victim" groups and "oppressor" groups, and that the victim groups deserve special protection. Yes, they deserve protection and a guarantee that we will never go back to "Jim Crow", but at the same time, everyone deserves the same protection. Let's not forget that many "hate crimes" or hateful statements are being made both to minorities and whites by.......other minority groups. If you don't believe me, you need to listen more to the words of the New Black Panthers and their spokesman Malik Shabazz. I have also written many times about anti-Semitic expressions made by Muslims though they are much more frequent and open in other parts of the world as opposed to the US.

That leads me to the topic of Islamophobia, however you wish to define it. Is there Islamophobia in the US? Of course. Millions fear Islamic terrorism. Millions still smolder over 9-11. The recent issue of the NY mosque, acts of terror world-wide, and other expressions of radicalism and hate toward others (mostly coming out of the Middle East) have convinced millions of people that Islam is violent, intolerant and bent on taking over the West. These are legitimate concerns and cannot be swept under the rug in the name of political correctness. The dilemma is how to deal with this evil-and it is evil-without harming innocent and peaceful Muslims in our country who simply wish to go about their daily lives, raise their children as best they can and be left alone.

A major part of the Muslim issue is that political correctness has determined that Muslims are now a major "protected group". Thus, if you talk about these issues or protest against a Ground Zero mosque, you are a hater, you are a bigot, and no American wants to be called that. It is also well known that American Muslim groups like CAIR and others are ready to file lawsuits on a moment's notice. Furthermore, we know that perceived "insults" toward Islam will be answered with violent protests in the Islamic world. Our news media will jump to pump up a story about a misguided pastor who wants to burn Korans, but ignore an imam in Lebanon on tape calling for the beheading of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. (His name is Feiz Muhammad.)

The fact is that double standards have no place in American society. We are a multi-ethnic society, and we are still struggling to make the best of it-and we can. However, the laws and the rules must be the same for all. How sad that the man who was going to "bring us together" (President Obama) is dividing us. How sad that the Department of Justice, which I was proud to work for for almost 25 years in several Republican and Democrat administrations, has come down to the point where it is little different than a local Alabama courthouse in the 1950s.

As for the next OCHRC report on 2010- I can hardly wait. Hopefully, there won't be any incidents to report. Wouldn't that be great? Then Orange County can get rid of Rusty Kennedy and his Human Relations Commission.

Race-Based Corruption at DOJ

Gary Fouse

Today, Dept of Justice attorney Christopher Coates testified under oath before the US Civil Rights Commission about his department's handling of the New Black Panther Party case. The Fox News report is linked below. If you can read this account and still maintain that this case is no big deal, I want to hear your reasoning.

Coates is acting courageously because he is testifying against his employers. Because he supported the statements of J. Christian Adams, the lead attorney on the case, he was transferred from Washington to South Carolina and ordered to ignore a subpoena from the Civil Rights Commission. He is relying on "whistle blower" legislation to protect him from further retaliation.

As a retired career employee of the Justice Department, I think I have a pretty good sense of when the integrity of that department has been compromised. Either civil rights protection is for all, or it is for nobody. This department is in dire need of a housecleaning.

"Bull" Conner must be laughing in his grave.

Latma reveals the real Churchill

And describes the world's enraged response to Succot

The weekly broadcast of The Tribe from Latma TV.

Have A Great Weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mourning In America

Hat tip to Wake Up America

In 1984, the Reagan reelection campaign set the standard for modern political advertising with its fabled "Morning in America" series, which included one of the greatest political ads of all time -- "Better, Prouder, Stronger." The ad captured the zeitgeist -- America under President Reagan was coming back, full of optimism and confidence in the future.

Today, the zeitgeist is exactly the opposite. Americans are worried about their future, and about a government determined to implement policies that just don't work. But like its predecessor, "Mourning in America" offers a new hope -- if we can just get our government to return to time-tested policies that can spark a rebirth of liberty.


The Original Morning

How have times changed!

Washington's Farewell Address

Part of the Founding Document series, this was written to "The People of the United States" near the end of his second term as President of the United States and before his retirement to Mount Vernon.

Originally published in David Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796 under the title "The Address of General Washington To The People of The United States on his declining of the Presidency of the
United States," the letter was almost immediately reprinted in newspapers across the country and later in a pamphlet form. The work was later named a "Farewell Address," as it was Washington's valedictory after 45 years of service to the new republic, first during the Revolution of the Continental Army and later as the nation's first president.

The letter was originally prepared in 1792 with the help of James Madison, as Washington prepared to retire following a single term in office. However, he set aside the letter and ran for a second term after his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, convinced him that the growing divisions between the newly formed Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties, along with the current state of foreign affairs, would tear the country apart in the absence of his leadership.

Four years later, as his second term came to a close, Washington revisited the letter and with the help of Alexander Hamilton prepared a revision of the original draft to announce his intention to decline a third term in office; to reflect the emerging issues of the American political landscape in 1796; and to parting advice to his fellow Americans, express his support for the government eight years following the adoption of the Constitution; and to defend his administration's record.

The letter was written by Washington after years of exhaustion due to his advanced age, years of service to his country, the duties of the presidency, and increased attacks by his political opponents. It was published almost two months before the Electoral College cast their votes in the 1796 presidential election.

Washington's Farewell Address 1796

Friends and Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.

I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.

While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union by which they were procured ? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it - It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.

How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the twenty-second of April, I793, is the index of my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

Geo. Washington.
Why is it that George Washington sees religion as a cornerstone of the American Republic and the leftists refuse to see this truth?  These men and women held deep religious beliefs. Even the so-called atheists among them accepted the concept of an "Supreme Creator".  They did not at any time deny this belief.  Yet those on the left would have us believe otherwise in order to destroy the faith of the nation. In order to impose their idea of a Godless state, devoid of all beliefs, answerable to no one and without a sturdy moral compass.

It is time to remember the words and warnings of President Washington and restore honor, and morality to this great nation.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Feast of Tabernacles is once again here.  7 days of eating in a booth or tabernacle built by the family.

From Chabad:
For forty years, as our ancestors traversed the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into the Holy Land, miraculous "clouds of glory" surrounded and hovered over them, shielding them from the dangers and discomforts of the desert. Ever since, we remember G‑d's kindness and reaffirm our trust in His providence by dwelling in a sukkah – a hut of temporary construction with a roof-covering of branches – for the duration of the autumn Sukkot festival. For seven days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah – reciting a special blessing – and otherwise regard it as our home.

Another mitzvah that is unique to Sukkot is the taking of the Four Kinds: an etrog (citron), a lulav (palm frond), at least three hadassim (myrtle branches) and two aravot (willow branches). The Midrash tells us that the Four Kinds represent the various types and personalities that comprise the community of Israel, whose intrinsic unity we emphasize on Sukkot.

On each day of the festival (except Shabbat), during the daytime hours, we take the Four Kinds, recite a blessing over them, bring them together in our hands and wave them in all six directions: right, left, forward, up, down and to the rear. (The Four Kinds are also an integral part of the holiday's daily morning service.)

Sukkot is also called The Time of Our Joy; indeed, a special joy pervades the festival. Nightly "Water-Drawing Celebrations," reminiscent of the evening-to-dawn festivities held in the Holy Temple in preparation for the drawing of water for use in the festival service, fill the synagogues and streets with song, music, and dance until the wee hours of the morning.

Sukkot runs from the fifteenth through the twenty-first of Tishrei. The first two days of this festival (in Israel only the first day) are a major holiday, when most forms of work are prohibited. On the preceding nights, women and girls light candles, reciting the appropriate blessings, and we enjoy nightly and daily festive meals, accompanied by the Kiddush.
Now imagine trying to explain the building of a sukkah to your landlord or local building authority. A hut with 4 wallsof cloth  and a roof with big holes in it. Could lead to some interesting civil discussions.

Or you have a father who cannot hammer 2 boards together, and yet insists on designing and building a sukkah (We've destroyed those pictures for the sake of family honor). Needless to say I learned some new words on those days.

I do love this holiday (one of 3 mandated in the bible).

So have a safe Sukkot! And remember that next year you can buy the pre-made Sukkah and avoid the embarrassment and laughter of your neighbors.

Wednesday's Hero: Lt. Ronald Markiewicz

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Mike Golch

Lt. Ronald Markiewicz

Lt. Ronald Markiewicz

U.S. Army

The year is 1971. A Lieutenant in the United States Army by the name of Ronald Markiewicz is serving near the Laotian border. He is a helicopter pilot. In March of that year he is sent out to fly two missions. The first one was to resupply a group of Vietnamese Marines and pick up wounded service members. The second mission was to allow troops to recover the crew of a downed helicopter. One both occasions he faces anti-aircraft fire and is wounded each time.

Fast forward to 2010 and Lt. Ronald Markiewicz finally received the Silver Star and a Distinguished Flying Cross. The awards he earned 39 years ago.

All Information Was Found On And Copied From

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

12 Hard Months!

Or 1 long year.  That is how long it has been since I have had a cigarette.  Not bad.

It is not hard to quit.  I had done it many times before.  But I was always drawn back to smoking.  Not this time.  It isn't that I don't want a smoke (I'll always want to smoke.  It is the nature of the addiction.), it is that I WILL NOT SMOKE!  I am stronger than the drug.

I discovered that what worked for me to quit was just one thing:

Will Power!

No pills, patches, or gimmicks would do the trick for me.  I stuck to the plan of never buying or bumming a smoke and it worked!  There were times I wanted to kill, maim or otherwise destroy people and property (A great big thank you to the HTBC [if it exists and I'm not confirming its existence or denying it.]).  But I did get over it (For now.).

And now I have the satisfaction knowing that I can do something that Barack Hussein Obama doesn't have either the will power or desire to accomplish.  Even with all of his resources.

For those who are contemplating or just starting out on this journey I have some words of advice:

Keep trying.
Use what ever method that helps you quit.
Have a great sense of humor.
Know that the HTBC is there to help you (If it exists and this is NOT a conformation of its existence.)
Have a support system.  (I used the great people at QuitNet.Net)

And Finally, don't fear.  If you try and fail, just try again, and again until you succeed you can do it.  I know you can.  For I did it!  Just keep at it until you win.

Today and this year could be the year you finally quit.  Do it for yourself, your kids, your loved ones, just do it!

Celebrate Life!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Holiest Day Of The Year

From Chabad:
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year -- the day on which we are closest to G-d and to the quintessential core of our own souls. It is the "Day of Atonement" -- "For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G-d" (Leviticus 16:30).

For twenty-six hours, from several minutes before sunset on Tishrei 9 to after nightfall on Tishrei 10, we "afflict our souls": we abstain from food and drink, do not wash or anoint our bodies, do not wear leather shoes, and abstain from marital relations.

The day is the most solemn of the year, yet an undertone of joy suffuses it: a joy that revels in the spirituality of the day and expresses the confidence that G-d will accept our repentance, forgive our sins, and seal our verdict for a year of life, health and happiness. When the closing Ne'illah service climaxes in the resounding cries of "Hear O Israel... G-d is one" and a single blast of the shofar, the joy erupts in song and dance (a Chabad custom is to sing the lively niggun known as "Napoleon's March"), followed by the festive after-fast meal, making the evening following Yom Kippur a Yom Tov (festival) in its own right.

May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.
May you have a meaningful and easy fast.

Controversy over Congressional Muslim Staffer Association & Anwar al-Awlaki

Gary Fouse

Anwar al-Awlaki

A lot of web sites are featuring a story about the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association (CMSA) on Capitol Hill and whether there is a connection to radical Islamic ideology. Much of it centers around the fact that fugitive Anwar Al Awlaki gave a sermon to this group in 2002. One central question is whether Awlaki was already radicalized at the time he appeared on Capitol Hill. Here is the story by Patrick Poole on Pajamas Media. It contains a video clip of Awlaki speaking to the CMSA with an accompaning article (courtesy of the Investigative Project on Terrorism):

The video tape shows nothing objectionable said by Awlaki in the clip. It is noted that also present in the audience was Randall ("Ismail") Royer, a former communications official with CAIR and member of other Muslim organizations in America, as well as Nihad Awad, the head of CAIR. What does that prove? Well, at the least, it seems to demonstrate that our government is reaching out to the wrong Muslims when they go to the heads of these groups like CAIR, which was listed as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Holy Land Foundation trial a few years ago in Dallas. Royer is now serving a long prison sentence for terror-related activities.

The article by the IPT counters the arguments that Awlaki was once a moderate who turned radical only recently. IPT presents CDs from the late 1990s that show Awlaki had radical views (see link).

Also mentioned in the IPT article from July 2010 (linked from the Pajamas Media article) is Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was head of the American Muslim Council and founder of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center recently visited by Wellesley Middle School children (which has raised a recent furor). Alamoudi is now serving time for terror-related activities connected to a plot to kill the King of Saudi Arabia. Yet, he was a most influential man in Washington, who had access to the highest levels of power in both Republican and Democrat administrations. How is that?

Abdulrahman Alamoudi

I realize that this story has gone viral over the Internet and may be interpreted different ways as as to questions about who was in attendance when someone spoke. I do trust the words of the IPT as well as terror-expert Frank Gaffney, who is also linked.

At the very least, it indicates that our government leaders are reaching out to the wrong Muslim groups and individuals. There are several large Muslim organizations which are considered "moderate" or mainstream". Yet, time and time again, we find them linked to known radicals and Islamists-and in the case of Abdulrahman Alamoudi and Randall Royer, they themselves are convicted terrorists. One wonders why our leaders in Washington cannot spend more time consulting with true moderates, like Zuhdi Jasser and Steven Schwartz.

I am not prepared to indict the CMSA for their choice of a speaker in 2002, who may or may not have been known then as a radical, nor do I object to them having their own group. However, it is amazing to see who is freely walking around the halls of Capitol Hill. Is anybody up there paying attention?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Indoctrination of our Kids

Gary Fouse

ACT for America has sent me this article and video, which was produced by Americans for Peace and Tolerance, a Boston-based organization of Christians, Jews and Muslims truly committed to inter-faith peace-without bowing to Islamic extremists. It is run by Charles Jacobs, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting. This is an organization worthy of support.

In this article, a local mom in Wellesley, Massachusetts described how she accompanied her child on a field trip to a Boston mosque (Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center), which has come under considerable suspicion recently. (I have written about this mosque previously.) The bottom line here is that PUBLIC school children (Wellesley Middle School) were subjected to religious indoctrination. Here is the article and video. Watch as the kids are actually led into prayer.

Imagine the outrage had these public school kids been taken to pray at a Christian church. Is there not supposed to be a strict separation of church and state in public schools? This is obviously a violation, and those at the Wellesley Middle School who are responsible should be held accountable.

This is not an isolated case. I have reported on two schools that use textbooks that give a positive and misleading account of Islam. The reason is that Muslim activists have inserted themselves into the school offices that decide on textbooks. This is going on nation-wide.

There is no law in the US against proselytizing, nor should there be. That, however, does not extend into our public school systems. Furthermore, given the history of this particular center's leaders, this is no place school children should be taken in the first place.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Some History About Israel and its Enemies You May Not Know

Gary Fouse

1951- Jews in Baghdad line up in front of a synagogue to surrender their assets and register to obtain exit permits

Hat tip to Miggie for the article

This article by Richard Z. Chesnoff is a must read for those of you Westerners who have been fooled by the pro-Palestinian version of the conflict in the Middle East. Read it, and read the referenced book by Sir Martin Gilbert. You might learn a few things about the issue and its history you didn't know.

Surprise, Surprise! Palestinians Won't Recognize Jewish State

By Richard Z. Chesnoff

" The Palestinian Authority will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state … Such a declaration would directly threaten the Muslims and Christians in Israel and prevent Palestinian refugees, who left their homes and villages a number of decades ago, from being granted the right to return to them."

— Senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath, shortly after the start of US sponsored peace talks

"This rather shocking comment made at a Ramallah press conference last week by one of the supposedly more "moderate" members of the Palestinian leadership produced headlines throughout both the Arab world and Israel.

Amazingly it received nary a mention in the major American media!

As Mr. Shaath well knows, Israel was established and internationally recognized as a Jewish state more than 60 years ago. He also knows that Arab refusal to recognize that fact is at the very core of the Mideast conflict. So how does Shaath expect to win Israeli confidence and concessions for peace if Palestinians still refuse to accept Israel's Jewishness?

And why is Mr. Shaath so worried about Israel's Arabs, that 20 percent of Israel's population of 8 million whose forebears were smart enough not to run away during the 1947-48 Arab-launched war? Surely he knows that Israeli Arabs -- Christian, Druze and Muslim -- are full fledged citizens of the Jewish state. They occasionally face problems, but they always vote, elect their own members of parliament, work in the Israeli government, in Israeli industry, agriculture and commerce, are doctors and nurses in Israeli hospitals, teachers and professors in Israeli schools and universities, serve in the Israeli army if they wish, share in a democratic system unmatched in the Middle East and enjoy a standard of living that is the highest of most Arabs anywhere!

Mr. Shaath also fails to explain that when he speaks of "a Right of Return" he's not referring merely to survivors from 1948's original 700,000 or so Palestinian refugees. He is talking about all their descendants -- four (sometimes five) generations of them -- roughly 4 million souls by Arab count! Does the Palestinian leadership really expect Israel to commit demographic suicide as part of a "peace deal"?

The Palestinian exodus during the Arab war on nascent Israel is part of history. Most fled out of fear of war, others because they were urged to make way for "victorious" Arab armies, and some -- but certainly not most -- because Israeli troops drove them out in the heat of battle.

Other mid-20th century refugee problems were all quickly settled (the millions who simultaneously fled Pakistan and India, for example). But the Arab refugee problem was made to fester with the compliance of the Palestinian leadership. Israel, with millions of Jewish refugees at its gates, understandably refused to allow a hostile Arab refugee mass back onto Israel's sliver of land.

The Muslim world turned its back on its brethren. With the exception of Jordan, no Arab state has ever granted Palestinian refugees citizenship, let alone a permanent home on any of its millions of open acres . Instead Palestinian Arab refugees were kept penned up in overcrowded refugee camps - tent cities that have become squalid towns. They still live off massive international welfare doles, are used as political pawns by corrupt officials, and sit waiting for Israel to be destroyed so they can invoke a "Right of Return".

Compare that to the other, lesser know Mideast refugee crisis that coincided with Israel's birth - the forced exodus of almost 900,000 Jews from their centuries old homes in the Arab world; from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Aden, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia , Algeria and Morocco.

These Jewish communities, some of which had existed 1000 years before Islam, were rich in culture, with their own Judeo dialects and traditions, their own scholars and religious literature. The true story of this other Mideast refugee saga, is now told in a powerful new book by prize-winning British historian, Sir Martin Gilbert called In Ishmael's House; A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (Yale University Press).

To be sure, says Gilbert, Jews in the Arab world were subject over the centuries to occasional violence and forced conversion. Nor were they ever accepted as anything but Dhimmi -- "protected" but always second class citizens.

Still, by 1947, close to a million Jews lived in the Arab world. Many played primary roles in local economies, global trade, and medicine. Some became senior advisors to kings and presidents and helped enrich the cities of the Arab world ( Baghdad's pre 1948 Chamber of Commerce was 50% Jewish).

The historic decision to establish the State of Israel changed all that. Outraged by the idea of even a tiny Jewish state in their midst (and with an avaricious eye on their Jewish citizens' belongings), the Arab world turned on its Jews, targeting them with legislated discrimination, government sponsored anti-Semitic riots and murderous pogroms. Faced with growing threats, outright violence (some were hung for public amusement) and moves to completely disenfranchise them, close to 900,000 Jews were forced to abandon their ancient homes between 1948 and 1967 . In Cairo, the former home of of one of Egypt's wealthiest Jews became the residence of the Egyptian president.

Almost all were eventually "allowed" to leave their native lands on condition they signed agreements never to return and -- most important -- to leave their property and belongings behind. Recently uncovered documents indicate that much of this massive theft was a coordinated scheme by several Arab governments to grab Jewish property worth as much as $100 billion today.

Today, with the exception of small communal pockets in Morocco, the Arab world is effectively Judenrein. Egypt which once had 180,000 Jews now literally has a handful of mostly aged Jews living in Cairo and Alexandria; Iraq which had 160,000 Jews now has 10, Libya and most other Arab states have none.

But here comes the difference between the fates of Arab and Jewish refugees. While the corrupt Arab world condemned Palestinian Arabs to statelessness, squandered opportunities to make peace with Israel and stole mega-millions in welfare funds, the Jewish state and the world Jewish community worked tirelessly to resettle its fellow Jews from Arab lands. More than half a million have settled in Israel where, after early years of economic and sometimes social hardship, they and their descendants have been successfully integrated and now form more than 50% of the Jewish population. Others found new homes in South America, Western Europe, the United Kingdom, United States, Canada -- rebuilding lives while trying to retain their own unique cultural ties and communal institutions.

Most important, not a single Jew from the Arab world remains a "refugee", not one lives in a squalid camp or demands UN funding or a "Right of Return" to the Arab world. Above all, not one angry, Arab-born Jew has ever strapped a terrorist suicide bomb to his or her waist and climbed aboard a bus to murder dozens of innocents.

There are reports Shaath is fighting to win the primary seat on the Palestinian negotiating team. The buzzing swarm of apologists for the Palestinians will argue that Nabil Shaath's statement was strictly for "Arab street consumption." Therein lies the problem. It's time for the Palestinian leadership to tell their people that the only hope for peace is a two state solution -- to recognize Israel as the Jewish one, to build permanent homes for Arab refugees in the Palestinian Arab one and to seek resettlement for those who can't fit on it in other Arab lands.

Won't somebody please send Mr. Shaath a copy of Sir Martin's new book?"

* Richard Z. Chesnoff, a prize winning veteran of more than 40 years of global news work, has covered many of the major stories and personalities of our times. A former foreign correspondent for Newsweek and executive editor of Newsweek International, he was senior correspondent of US News & World Report from 1985 to 2003 and has been an op-ed columnist for The NY Daily News since 1994.

-Huffington Post

Well, shiver me timbers. That great "independent scholar with a PHD from Princeton", Norm Finklestein (above) never told us that. (Don't call him Norm; he doesn't like that.)

To all you college students, the next time your professor or some invited anti-Israel speaker at your campus starts to rail about the "Nazi state of Israel", why don't you ask them about some of the above historical facts? It will be interesting to see how they respond.