Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Your America

The U.S. War Department described this film in the following words: "An American soldier, during his combat career, realizes the greatness of his country and determines to assume his share of the responsibilities of good citizenship upon his return to civilian life."

Contains "seized enemy material."

Produced by the US Signal Corps, it was not shown to civilian audiences but to soldiers returning to civilian life.

Its Your America 1945 Part 1

Click here if the video doesn't load.

Its Your America 1945 Part 2

Click here if the video doesn't load.

A common soldier picks up a penny and discovers the truth about the United States.  A tale of patriotism from 70 years ago and today.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday's Hero: MstSgt. Raul Perez Benavidez

This Post Was Suggested By Michael

Mstrsgt. Raul Perez Benavidez

MstSgt. Raul Perez Benavidez
63 years old from El Campo, Texas
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group
August 5, 1935 – November 29, 1998

Raul (Roy) Benavidez has one of the most amazing stories. Injured in combat and declared to never walk again after stepping on a landmine. Not only did he walk again but he was able to get back to the battlefield where he was declared dead only to come back from 37 separate bayonet, bullet and shrapnel wounds to be awarded the Medal Of Honor.

You can read more on this hero's amazing story here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look.

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.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

AMCHA Initiative Letter to UC Davis Chancellor

Gary Fouse

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi trying to "explain" use of pepper spray to students

In response to last November's incident in which Jewish students were bullied by pro-Palestinian students at UC Davis, the AMCHA Initiative has sent a letter to UCD's chancellor, Linda Ketehi, asking her to take action to deal with this recurring problem. There is a link below where you can also send a letter to Katehi.

Katehi trying to explain her pay raise to students

Enough is enough. It takes public pressure to get these universities to act.

Don't let this hate take over our universities.

Brownshirts in Action at UC Davis

Gary Fouse

"From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free"

Another shameful episode has occurred on a University of California campus-this time at UC Davis last November, when the usual pro-Palestinian thugs  engaged in thuggery against Jewish students. The below letter is from Tammi Benjamin, a teacher at UC Santa Cruz and co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative, which is attempting to combat anti-Semitism on California college campuses. The letter is to UC Davis President Linda Katehi.

From: Tammi Benjamin 
Date: January 28, 2013 8:45:53 AM PST
Subject: Jewish students threatened at UC Davis event

Dear Chancellor Katehi,
As you know, we are faculty members at the University of California, who have been investigating and documenting anti-Jewish bigotry on California public university campuses for the last several years.  
We are writing to you now to express our serious concern regarding an incident that occurred during a student protest on November 19, 2012, during which UCD students “occupied” an administration building on campus. We believe that numerous violations of state and federal law and university policy may have occurred at the event.  To our knowledge, your administration has neither acknowledged nor addressed these violations.
In addition, it appears that at least 5 university administrators, including the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, were present and witnessed much of this behavior, yet they did not take action to ensure the safety of the students who were targets of possible assault and hate crimes. Please see below for an account of the events as well as the federal and state laws and university policies which were potentially violated as a result of them.
Detailed Account of Events
Takeover of Dutton Hall
We have learned the following from newspaper articles, on-line videos, and conversations with Jewish students who attended the rally on the East Quad and the subsequent "occupation" of Dutton Hall.
 At 12:30pm on November 19, a rally entitled "March in Solidarity with Gaza," sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, began on the East Quad. (See HERE for an announcement of the rally).
 At approximately 2pm, about 40 of the protesters marched from the East Quad to Dutton Hall, where they hung a larger banner that read "DAVIS+GAZA ARE ONE FIST" from the building's entryway and "occupied" the building's entrance hall. Several protesters held anti-Israel and anti-Zionist signs and large banners, two of which read "DEATH TO ZIONISM" and "LONG LIVE THE INTIFADA!" 
 The occupation leaders refused entry to Jewish students who were known to identify with the Jewish state, and at least one Jewish student associated with a pro-Israel group on campus reported that when he tried to enter Dutton Hall at the beginning of the "occupation," a rally organizer physically blocked his entry through the front doors and refused to let him pass, because he was a "Zionist."
 At about 2:15pm, three Jewish students managed to slip into Dutton Hall, and one of them proceeded to film the discussion taking place inside the "occupied" entrance hall. Although a chief complaint of the "occupiers" was that pro-Palestinian students were being stifled on campus and not afforded their constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of speech, nevertheless, several times in the 20 minutes of the rally captured  the "occupiers" themselves expressed the sentiment that "Zionists," including pro-Israel students at UCD, should not be given freedom of speech. For example, when a Jewish student wanted to know whether free speech could involve a civil discussion between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian perspectives, the leader answered, "I would say absolutely not. I would never discuss anything with Hitler.  He is our enemy...there's no question of free speech when it comes to the Nazis. And the KKK, when they march in Sacramento and the cops defend should not talk to these white supremacist, racist, mother-fuckers." 

 Escalation of the Protest
 At about 2:30pm the rally leader said, "I just want everyone to know that there are Zionists filming everything we’re saying, and I think we should ask them to leave." Several protesters demanded that the Jewish students leave the public building, loudly chanting “Leave our space” and “Shame on you” repeatedly, and accusing the Jewish students of “hate speech” because of their support for Israel.

After the Jewish student stopped filming, most of the 40 protesters surrounded the Jewish students, who were standing up against a wall of windows, and screamed "Death to Israel," "Fuck Israel," and other curses. For about 10 minutes the protesters, many of whom stood 1 to 2 feet away from the Jewish students, continued to scream at the Jewish students to leave Dutton Hall and pounded their fists into their hands in a threatening way. Although the Jewish students were not physically harmed, they reported feeling physically and emotionally harassed and threatened until they finally managed to leave the building.
 When an Aggie photographer who had photographed the confrontation inside the hall followed the Jewish students outside for comments and contact information, protesters at the rally turned on him and demanded to see his photos of the physical confrontation and that he delete them.  Aggie staff members were also told by protesters that unless they were on the side of the "occupiers," they would also have to leave the administration building.
 See article written by an Aggie staff member (below)  In the article, the staff member asserts, “We witnessed many students…[end] up leaving, disgusted, as soon as the bullying began. Free speech is crucial. Ideally, our campus would be rife with protests, counter-protests and open dialogue regularly. But if students are scared to speak — scared of other students who resort to intimidation tactics — we have a serious problem.”

At approximately 2:45pm, after a student in Dutton Hall expressed disagreement with one of the protest signs, a protester grabbed his collar, raised his fist and forced the student to leave the building.
 UCD and Staff Member Witnesses of Event
According to a student outside of Dutton Hall at the time of the "occupation," 3 UCD administrators (the Vice Chancellor and 2 Associate Vice Chancellors of Student Affairs) and 2 staff members associated with the Center for Student Involvement were right outside the building during the "occupation." According to one of the 3 Jewish students surrounded by protesters inside Dutton Hall, since she and her friends were standing against a bank of windows which were in full view of those standing outside, she believed the 5 administrators and staff members could see them being harassed and intimidated by the mob of protesters.
 The administrators and staff standing outside did nothing to help the 3 Jewish students, but when they exited the building, one of the administrators asked one of the students if she was OK, which suggests that the administrator had witnessed the violent behavior of the protestors but did not take action. The Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, who it appears also witnessed the protestors’ behavior toward the Jewish students, spoke earlier that afternoon at the rally on the East Quad, where she was quoted as saying: “I will not permit violence to occur in the context of free speech.” There were no other administrators, staff or faculty present at the rally inside Dutton Hall, and at no time did any campus police appear in or near the hall.

Violations of Federal, State, and University Policy
We would like to bring to your attention the following aspects of this deeply troubling series of events:
1) We believe that incidents of this sort have the potential to create liability under the following legal authority:
  • Civil assault (Restatement 2d, Torts §21) - "An actor is subject to liability to another for assault if (a) he acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with a person, or an imminent apprehension of such a contact, and (b) the other is thereby put in such imminent apprehension."
  • Civil battery (Restatement 2d, Torts §13,18) - "An actor is subject to liability to another for battery if (a) he acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with a person, and (b) harmful or offensive contact with the person directly results."
  • Criminal assault (CA Penal Code 240) - Assault is "an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another." To be charged with criminal assault, physical contact is not required.  A person must simply place another in reasonable fear of immediate bodily harm.
  • Criminal battery (CA Penal Code 242) - Battery is "any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another."
  • Disturbing the peace (CA Penal Code 415(3) - It is illegal to “…maliciously and willfully disturb another person by loud and unreasonable noise…[and to] use offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.” In other words, it is illegal to use “offensive words” that “necessarily invite a breach of the peace.”
  • CA Civil Code 51.7 “The Ralph Civil Rights Act” - "All persons within the jurisdiction of this state have the right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against their persons or property because of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or position in a labor dispute, or because another person perceives them to have one or more of those characteristics."
  • CA Civil Code 52.1 “The Bane Civil Rights Act” -  "If a person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interferes by threats, intimidation, or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threats, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney may bring a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the State of California, in order to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured."
  • CA Penal Code 422.6 - "No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress, or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States in whole or in part because of one or more of the actual or perceived characteristics of the victim."
  • Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act – Prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance.

2) We believe the protesters' behavior may have violated the following UC Davis policies and principles:

  • UC Standards of Conduct for Students 102.06 -  prohibiting the “unauthorized possession…of any University properties.”
  • UC Standards of Conduct for Students 102.08 -  prohibiting  “physical assault, including threats of violence, or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of a person.” 
  •  UC Standards of Conduct for Students 102.09 - prohibiting racial and other forms of harassment, defined as “conduct that is so severe…objectively offensive, and so substantially impairs a person’s access to University programs or activities, that the person is effectively denied equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities on the basis of his or her race…national or ethnic origin, alienage, religion…or perceived membership in any of these classifications.”
  • UC Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students (PACAOS) Section 30 - “The University is committed to assuring that all persons may exercise the constitutionally protected rights of free expression, speech, assembly, and worship…It is the responsibility of the Chancellor to assure an ongoing opportunity for the expression of a variety of viewpoints.”
  •  UC Davis Policies and Procedures Manual Ch. 270 Section 05(C) -  “The University prohibits illegal, arbitrary, or unreasonable discriminatory practices. Campus organizations receiving University privileges, assistance, or supervision must abide by the University’s policy on nondiscrimination to qualify for any University privileges or assistance.”
  • UC Davis Policies and Procedures Manual Ch. 270 Section 20 - Public expression in the form of freedom of speech and advocacy may be exercised on University properties at such times and places and in such a manner as is compatible with the use of the property and as follows: 1) Assures orderly conduct; 2) Avoids disruption or interference with University operations; 3) Allows for the free flow of persons and traffic; 4) Avoids disruption or interference with the ability of the University to carry out its responsibilities as an educational institution; 5) Protects the rights of all individuals who use University properties; 6) Protects persons against practices that would make them involuntary audiences; 7) Assures the safety of all members of the University community; 8)  Does not interfere with property entrances or exits.
  • UC Davis Student Judicial Affairs Statement on Free Expression - “Efforts to quell unpopular opinions (e.g., by shouting down a speaker) stifle discourse and cut off dialogue…Even legal acts of intolerance and incivility erode our capacity to trust, and to work, live, and learn together...We can uphold both the need for respect and understanding and the right of free speech by responding appropriately to each incident. Crimes must be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent, and infringement of civil rights must be addressed by campus administrative processes and/or state or federal agencies. Discriminatory acts or violations of campus conduct standards, including disruption, are subject to disciplinary sanctions or grievances.”
  •  UC Davis Principles of Community - “strives to maintain a climate of justice marked by respect for each other….affirms the right of freedom of expression…and commitment to the highest standards of civility and decency towards all…recognizing the right of every individual to think and speak as dictated by personal belief, to express any idea, and to disagree with or counter another's point of view… promoting open expression of our individuality and our diversity within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity and respect.” In addition UC Davis vows to “confront and reject all manifestations of discrimination, including those based on race, ethnicity…religious or political beliefs, status…or any of the other differences among people which have been excuses for misunderstanding, dissension or hatred…striving to build a true community based on mutual respect and caring."

3) We believe the UCD administrators and staff members who witnessed the illegal and unethical behavior of the protestors but did not take action may have been negligent in carrying out their administrative responsibilities:

  • The Vice Chancellor and 2 Associate Vice Chancellors of Student Affairs who witnessed the "occupation" are responsible for Student Judicial Affairs, whose role is to enforce community standards and campus codes of conduct. As noted above, the protestors were in blatant violation of several UC policies which have the primary goal of ensuring student safety.  Evidence points to the fact that the administrators were aware of most, if not all, of these violations, and that student safety was being threatened as a result of their inaction.
  • Two staff members from the UCD Center for Student Involvement witnessed the "occupation." CSI avows that it promotes the UC Davis Principles of Community, which affirm the right of freedom of expression within the Davis community and its commitment to the highest standards of civility and respect, by helping students learn from each other in a safe and constructive environment.  However, during the solidarity rally, the protestors were in blatant violation of the Principles of Community in addition to violating 7 UCD students’ rights of free expression.  Protestors also failed to treat these students with civility and respect. The staff members from this department did not ensure a safe and constructive environment for students when they failed to intervene during a student group’s assault, harassment and violation of fellow students’ rights.

Outcome of the Events
Jewish UCD students, within sight of UCD administrators and on public university property, were harassed, intimidated, and physically threatened. This is an abrogation of university policy and unlawful. 
We are deeply concerned about the virulent and hate-filled actions taking place on the UCD campus as a result of students’ religion and beliefs. And we are also concerned for the safety and well-being of Jewish students who want to feel free to express their beliefs and attend public university events without fear of harm or intimidation.
As the Chancellor of UC Davis, we know that you too have these same concerns.
As a result, the following are important actions that we urge you to take now in order to protect the physical and emotional safety and civil rights of Jewish (and all) students on your campus:
  • University policy must spell out actions that campus police, administrators, and staff are responsible for taking to ensure the safety and civil rights of all students, and we urge that this policy be published widely to the campus community.
  • Police, administrators, and staff must be immediately informed about actions they should take and protocols they can access to afford all members of the campus community — including Jewish students — the protections that are afforded to them under University policy and state and federal law.
  • Perpetrators of disruptive and threatening behavior must be identified and appropriately disciplined.
  • The University Chancellor should use her First Amendment rights to consistently and publicly condemn behavior which targets other students for harassment and intimidation.
  • The official status and funding of student groups that engage in behavior which targets other students for harassment and intimidation should be subject to suspension and revocation.

We look forward to hearing from you whether these steps can be taken to ensure that Jewish UCD students – and all UCD students – can enjoy a campus where they feel safe, protected, and able to enjoy their civil rights no matter their identity or beliefs.
You will be receiving a copy of this letter by U.S. mail.
Leila Beckwith
Professor Emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Lecturer, University of California at Santa Cruz
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative

Cc:   UC President Mark Yudof
        UC Regents
        UC Chancellors
        UC General Counsel Charles Robinson
        UC Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion (c/o Jesse Bernal)
        UC Davis Counsel Steven Drown 
        California Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez
        California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
        California State Senator Lois Wolk  (Davis)
        California State Assembly Member Mariko Yamada  (Davis)
        Congressman John Garamendi (3rd District) 
Bcc:    Members and supporters of the Jewish community

If you are wondering where the campus police were, probably hiding under their desks on the orders of Chancellor Katehi. This incident occurred on the one-year anniversary of the protest in which UCD police pepper-sprayed unruly students who refused to get up off their sorry duffs and disperse only to be condemned by the university. Is it any wonder they were afraid to intervene?

This is the kind of outrageous nonsense that UC President Mark Yudof (and his predecessors) have presided over for years. Instead of brown shirts, black and white checkered kaffiyah-clad thugs and nitwits swagger around campuses bullying any Jewish student who dares stand up for Israel while university officials stand by silently and passively. Talk about the inmates running the institution.

Let's not forget the professors here. These dopey kids are merely acting out the indoctrination they are getting from UC professors just as their counterparts at Harvard, Columbia, Yale and countless other universities.

Until the university gets a bold and competent president as well as bold and competent administrators, this shameful behavior will continue. Unfortunately, it will take a drastic change in the university's culture before that happens.

Kreskin’s Super Bowl Challenge

The Amazing Kreskin (born January 12, 1935), born George Joseph Kresge, is a mentalist who became popular on North American television in the 1970s.  He is known as an illusionist and a skeptic.

Kreskin will be appearing on Fox Business Network on Thursday, January 31st on After the Bell airing at 4 pm. He will return to After the Bell the day after the Super Bowl, Monday, February 4, at the same time.

Four years ago, Kreskin successfully predicted the results of the Super Bowl. Now he will be taking a giant risk and for the first time in his career will attempt to name the final score of the game.

Can The Amazing Kreskin Do It Again?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why Did President Jefferson Read the Koran?

Stolen From a12iggymom

WHEN KEITH Ellison was sworn into office as a congressman, he wanted to swear on a Koran instead of a Bible, so they used Thomas Jefferson’s Koran, which they borrowed for the occasion from the Library of Congress. The story behind Jefferson’s Koran, and what he did with it, is an instructive look at the power of accurate knowledge.

It began before Jefferson was president. He was then the American ambassador to France, and he was disturbed by what was happening in the Mediterranean. For centuries, the “Barbary Coast Pirates” had been raiding ships passing through the Mediterranean. These were not “pirates” in the sense that we usually think of them. They weren’t rogue agents acting independently. They worked for the governments of the North African countries. They would steal the ship and return to their countries, confiscating the booty aboard the ship, most of which added to the wealth of the Islamic state. They also took the ship’s crew members captive and ransomed the ones they could. Most of that money also went to the Islamic government. The crew who could not be ransomed were sold into slavery.

In addition, these “pirates” randomly raided towns on the coasts of Europe and captured people, bringing them back to North Africa to ransom or sell into slavery. They even came so far as the shores of America to capture settlers, to bring them back to Africa to ransom or sell. They especially prized young women and children who could be used as concubines or made into eunuchs. Over a million Europeans and Americans were sold into slavery during the 200-year reign of the Muslim “Barbary Coast” rulers.

Many European countries wanted this to stop, of course, to which the leaders of the North African countries replied, “All you have to do is pay us a certain amount of money annually, and we will not attack ships from your country.” Many European countries paid the tribute. It was cheaper than going to war. Of course, that was a short-term, self-defeating solution, since paying the tribute made the North African Muslim countries more powerful and more capable of terror, plunder, and mayhem.

The United States was paying this tribute also. This bothered Jefferson. It just so happened that while he was an ambassador in France, Jefferson met with John Adams (then the American ambassador to Britain) and together the two men met with the ambassador from Tripoli (one of the North African Muslim pirate countries). Jefferson and Adams sat down to talk with this man. They asked him why Tripoli attacked ships. Why attack the United States? They had no previous interactions. Why the hostility? Why did they choose America as an enemy?

The Tripoli Muslim ambassador was very straightforward. He said, basically, “That’s what we do. We are commanded to do so by Allah.” Jefferson later wrote that the Tripoli ambassador told him, “It was written in their Koran that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman (Muslim) who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to Paradise.”

Completely taken aback by this revelation, Jefferson decided to look into the matter further, and did the one thing everyone should do: He read the Koran. He learned what Islam was about.

And when he became president, he formed the United States Navy, created the Marine Corps, sent them to the shores of Tripoli, and soundly defeated the Muslim warriors. This brought an end to the “Barbary Coast Pirates.” This was the first foreign war fought by the U.S. and military aggressiveness of Islamic countries remained contained and weakened for over a century.

It’s amazing what a little accurate information can do.

Read more: Thomas Jefferson’s Koran.

And for goodness sake, Take the Pledge to read the Koran yourself and convince everyone you know to do the same.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Muslim Awareness Week at UC Irvine -2013- Sohail Daulatzai

Gary Fouse

This week, Sohail Daulatzai was one of the featured speakers at UC Irvine, hosted by the Muslim Student Union as part of their annual Muslim Awareness Week. The theme of the week's events was, "Meet the Muslim next door". Daulatzai, who teaches African-American Studies at UCI, spoke on "Return of the Mecca: Muslims, Multi-Culturalism and the Enduring Legacy of Malcolm X".

Due to family illness, I was unable to attend the event. However, I was able to learn a few details about Dr Daulatzai. He was born somewhere on the Pakistan, Afghanistan border (not further specified) came to the US with his parents and grew up somewhere on the US-Mexican border (not further specified).

Below is his UCI faculty page.

Below is an article Daulatzai wrote on Malcolm X, which appears on Al Jazeera. I have chosen certain excerpts.

"For to be black in America is enough to be deemed un-American, but to be black and Muslim is to be anti-American"

"In Cairo, Malcolm implored the heads of state not to be fooled by the "imperialist wolf" of the US or the State Department's attempts to use propaganda to convince African nations that the United States was making serious progress toward racial equality through Brown v Board and the passage of Civil Rights legislation." 

"In highlighting the use of propaganda and the managing of America's image abroad, Malcolm anticipated not only how after 9/11 the State Department would place Muslims in high profile positions in the arts and political realms to influence Muslim public opinion abroad, but also how the election of Obama and the rhetoric of "diversity" would be used to redefine America as inclusive, "post-racial" and progressive in order to mask the entrenchment of white power domestically and globally".  

"While Obama went to Egypt to co-opt this sacred city and put a benevolent face on American power, Malcolm had been there to strip away the veneer of benevolence and reveal the naked truth about US racial injustice and imperial ambition. This is why the legacy of Malcolm X is so important, as it sheds light on the racial dynamics that shape the global landscape today under US power."  

"Just as "anti-communism" was a proxy for race during the Cold War, "anti-terrorism" has become the new proxy for race and the re-entrenching of white supremacy by justifying US intervention abroad while also containing dissent domestically, as the logic of "terrorism" is used to determine who is a citizen and who is an enemy, who is human and who is not, and who is to be killed and who is allowed to live". 

"It's the recognition that the logic of mass incarceration in the US that has destroyed black political possibility and contained dissent through local policing and counter-insurgency is also what drives the US military and its imperial imprisonment in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Bagram and other places. It's the recognition that the plight of migrants across the heavily militarised US-Mexico border resembles the conditions that contain and destroy Palestinian lives and livelihood. And it's the recognition that the neoliberal economic policies that have destroyed the social wage and witnessed the emergence of the warfare state in the US is deeply rooted in the exploitation of the third world through global finance capital and war." 

"To ignore this falls into the worst forms of liberal internationalism that presume the US to be a force for good in the world, and it replicates the very problem that Malcolm X heroically struggled against, and was ultimately killed for."  (emphasis mine)

I'll stop there. I think you get the point. It appears obvious that Dr Daulatzai doesn't have a very high opinion of his adopted country. He also seems to think that nothing has changed (racially) in America since the time of Malcolm X. Of course, I doubt seriously that Daulatzai was here at the time.

It is bad enough that Daulatzai is teaching college kids that America is such an evil nation, but when he suggests  that Malcolm X was killed because of his criticism of the US and its policies, that is a flat-out falsehood.

Sorry, Doctor. You have been watching too many Spike Lee movies and buying into too many conspiracy theories. Malcolm X was murdered by the Nation of Islam on the orders of Elijah Mohammed (never charged) because he become a Sunni Muslim, had broken with the organization, was publicly critical of it,  and was exposing Elijah's corruption and illicit sexual relations. Malcolm's widow, Betty Shabazz, spent the remainder of her life believing that the current leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, was involved in the conspiracy to kill Malcolm.

This is the problem, folks. This is what our children are being taught in American universities-that their country is inherently evil and has not changed racially since the 1950s and 1960s. Daulatzai refers to the fear of communism driving the US's international policies. Let's put it another way since I also grew up during the Cold War. After World War 2, we were locked in a struggle with the USSR for our freedoms and the freedom of the world. From Korea to Vietnam to Nicaragua, you can criticize the policies in retrospect, but  it has to done within the context of the Cold War. Had the USSR prevailed in that struggle, who would be living in freedom today? In fact, were it not for the US and our military, who would be living in freedom today?

Personally, it makes me sick that we have professors like Daulatzai in our universities. At the risk of sounding jingoistic, I will even say that if Daulatzai has so little regard for his adopted country, as reflected in the above article, why doesn't he go back to that place on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border from which he came? Surely, he would have little problem in finding like-minded friends.

And how ironic that the MSU's theme for the week was, "Meet the Muslim next door." I feel sorry for whomever is unfortunate to be living next door to Sohail Daulatzai.

Muslim Awareness Week at UC Irvine-Zahra Billoo

Gary Fouse

This week, the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine is hosting their annual Muslim Awareness Week with a series of presentations. The theme of this week's events is, "Meet the Muslim Next Door". On Tuesday and Wednesday, the speakers were Hussam Ayloush, the director of CAIR in Southern California, UC Irvine professor Sohail Daulatzai, Sheikh Osman Umarji, and Imam Muzammil Siddiqi. I was not able to attend the above events. On Thursday, I attended a presentation by the Executive Director of CAIR in San Francisco, Zahra Billoo, who spoke on the topic of women's rights in Islam. Billoo is an outspoken activist most noted for the time when her office issued a poster urging Muslims not to talk to the FBI.

The speech was attended by about 50 people, almost all Muslim students, mostly female. The women and men sat on separate sides of the room. In addition, there were a few non-Muslim students in attendance who seemed to be accompanied by a female professor who was having them write reports. The event was also in conjunction with "wear a hijab" day, in which non-Muslim females would sign up to wear a hijab during the day and report their experiences that evening at another event headed by Ms. Billoo ( I did not attend this event.) The MSU was video-taping the speech, and I noted another female student intermittently taking pictures or recording video shots.

Nevertheless, a couple of minutes after Ms Billoo began her talk (I was videotaping), a male MSU student came up to me and told me politely that no video-taping was allowed. I responded politely but firmly that this issue at UCI had been decided a few years previous (when state legislator Chuck DeVore came to an MSU event and was told not to videotape), and that it was very clear that this was a public event at a public university, and that I had every legal right to videotape. At this point, the young man backed down and politely asked me to change seats (from the front to the rear, where I would not be a distraction). I agreed,  changed my seat to the rear, and kept filming (see first segment, first minute).

In her talk, Billoo spoke of the "spiritual equality" of women under Islam. She described how in pre-Islamic times in the Arabian peninsula, women had very few rights. This changed under Mohammed and Islam, according to Billoo.

Billoo spoke of how men and women, indeed, have different makeups, physically and in terms of their responsibilities. She told us that the Prophet Mohammed had said that women should be educated.

As to marital rights, Billoo conceded that men could have up to four wives (before Islam, it was much higher). She said that while a wife could not stop her husband from having other wives, she could leave the marriage if she wished. A Muslim woman also had the right to agree to a marital partner.

As to intermarriage, she said that Muslim men could marry women from the "religions of the book" (Christian or Jewish). Women did not have the same rights except under certain circumstances where no Muslim men were available.

During her talk, she made note of the fact that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had this week announced that women could now serve in combat in the US armed forces. Billoo had mixed feelings about this since on the one hand, in Mohammed's time, women had fought in combat, but on the other hand, she had negative feelings about recent US military action conducted, "not in our name".

In the question and answer session, I was called on first. I referred to the theme of the week's events, "(Meet the Muslim next door"), and stated that I had a Muslim family as neighbors a couple of doors down. I said that I was sure that if the FBI came knocking on their door asking for information, they would happily provide them with any information they had since, like most American Muslims, they didn't want any more 9-11s or any other acts of terrorism. Yet, here was CAIR in San Francisco coming up with a flyer (which I drew from my pocket and showed her and the audience) in which CAIR was advising the Muslim community not to talk to the FBI. I added that in my view, this only increased the level of suspicion toward the Muslim community when the largest Muslim organization in America was advising the community not to talk to the FBI. In the second part of the question, I asked if she could tell us the punishment for adultery under (hudud) sharia law. (Hudud is the section which provides criminal penalties.)

Billoo replied that the flyer in question had been created decades ago and had been used by many activist organizations. She advised that CAIR (national) had not endorsed that the flyer since it "did not represent appropriate legal advice". Yet, she added that the US Constitution insured that every citizen had the right to remain silent and have legal representation when questioned by law enforcement (see second segment).

As to the second question, Billoo said that the laws against adultery in Islam applied to both men and women, and an accusation of adultery required 4 eye-witnesses, which she added was, in practical terms, almost an impossibility. In the end, she stated that for both men and women, the penalty for adultery was death by stoning (see second segment).

Part 1 

Part 2
Part 3

Tu B'Shvat

From Judaism 101:
Tu B'Shevat, the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat, is a holiday also known as the New Year for Trees. The word "Tu" is not really a word; it is the number 15 in Hebrew, as if you were to call the Fourth of July "Iv July" (IV being 4 in Roman numerals). See Hebrew Alphabet for more information about using letters as numbers and why the number 15 is written this way.

As I mentioned in Rosh Hashanah, Judaism has several different "new years." This is not as strange a concept as it sounds at first blush; in America, we have the calendar year (January-December), the school year (September-June), and many businesses have fiscal years. It's basically the same idea with the various Jewish new years.

Tu B'Shevat is the new year for the purpose of calculating the age of trees for tithing. See Lev. 19:23-25, which states that fruit from trees may not be eaten during the first three years; the fourth year's fruit is for G-d, and after that, you can eat the fruit. Each tree is considered to have aged one year as of Tu B'Shevat, so if you planted a tree on Shevat 14, it begins its second year the next day, but if you plant a tree two days later, on Shevat 16, it does not reach its second year until the next Tu B'Shevat.

Tu B'Shevat is not mentioned in the Torah. I have found only one reference to it in the Mishnah, and the only thing said there is that it is the new year for trees, and there is a dispute as to the proper date for the holiday (Beit Shammai said the proper day was the first of Shevat; Beit Hillel said the proper day was the 15th of Shevat. As usual, we follow Beit Hillel. For more on Hillel and Shammai, see Sages and Scholars).


There are few customs or observances related to this holiday. One custom is to eat a new fruit on this day, or to eat from the Seven Species (shivat haminim) described in the Bible as being abundant in the land of Israel. The Shivat Haminim are: wheat, barley, grapes (vines), figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (honey) (Deut. 8:8). You can make a nice vegetarian pilaf from the shivat haminim: a bed of cooked bulgar wheat or wheat berries and barley, topped with figs, dates, raisins (grapes), and pomegranate seeds, served with a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar (grapes) and pomegranate juice.

Some people plant trees on this day. In my childhood, Jewish children commonly went around collecting money to plant trees in Israel at this time of year.

In the 16th century, kabbalists, developed a seder ritual conceptually similar to the Pesach (Passover) seder, discussing the spiritual significance of fruits and of the shivat haminim. This custom spread primarily in Sephardic communities, but in recent years it has been getting more attention among Ashkenazim. provides a traditional text for this seder. The Jewish college student organization Hillel also provides materials for a Tu B'Shevat seder.

And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as forbidden; three years shall it be as forbidden unto you; it shall not be eaten.

And in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy, for giving praise unto the LORD.

But in the fifth year may ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you more richly the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.

---Leviticus 19:23-25

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Irvine 11" Appeal Convictions (Naturally)

Gary Fouse

Today's headline in the Orange County Register announces that the so-called "Irvine 11', the arrogant students who were convicted of disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the US at the University of California at Irvine, have filed an appeal.

Are we surprised?

Never mind that they were not sentenced to any jail time for their outrageous conduct. These characters want total vindication.

Last year, four of these young men returned to UCI to participate in a panel as part of the Muslim Student Union's anti-Israel week of events. They expressed no remorse when confronted with the fact that they could not extend the same right of free speech to the Israeli ambassador that they enjoyed at UCI as they spoke.

As their point of justification, they responded that Michael Oren (the Israeli ambassador) was a "war criminal" even though they had no solid grounds to back up that charge.

Make no  mistake: These young men gave a black eye to UCI (one of them was a UC Riverside student.) They also gave a black eye to the Muslim community as a whole. They showed that they could not tolerate speech from someone with whom they do not agree. They showed that they could not listen and participate in a courteous question and answer session. Instead, they tried to shut down the words of the Israeli ambassador. Videotapes showed that they thought they had succeeded in doing exactly that in the moments after the disruption. They lied to the university about their intentions and tried to cover up their plans to disrupt the speech.

Keep in mind, most of these former students were either born in America or are American citizens. Yet, they have no concept of the principles of freedom of speech.

I try to respect the line between one who teaches at UCI and the students. As such, I hold back a lot of fire when it comes to students. These young men are now departed from UCI, so I feel no such compunction.

They are arrogant.

What Has America Become?

Hat Tip to a12iggymom

This is getting nationwide attention.

Where is Tawas City , MI? Actually, it is on Lake Huron and has a Population of Just over 2,000!!


Short and to the point…

Glock Commercials

Stolen (with permission) from Wake Up America

Glock has some amazing commercials out, all showing that despite the constant attention gun grabbing liberals want to highlight about guns and the Second Amendment tied to hunting and sporting purposes, both guns and the Second Amendment are  about defense.

Here a few examples:
Georgia woman who protected herself and her two children from an intruder in their home, by using her gun to defend her home and family.

A young Oklahoma mother shot and killed an intruder to protect her 3-month-old baby on New Year's Eve, less than a week after the baby's father died of cancer.

An Alabama woman said she was forced to shoot an intruder that broke into her home  in order to protect herself and her daughters.

[Update] Another example reported on January 22, 2013- Resident scares off shooter by shooting back. [End update]

Whether it is protecting your home, your family or the "security of a free state," guns and the Second Amendment are about defense.

Picked The Wrong Diner- Extended Version

Click here if video fails to load.

Picked The Wrong Girl- Extended Version

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Picked The Wrong House

Click here if video fails to load.

Lesson Learned" Lay Down With Gun Grabbers, Lose Second Amendment Supporters

Stolen From (with Permission) Wake Up America

Back story: The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show decided to to limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles (also called ARs) at their February 2-10  event in Harrisburg, Pa.

>The NRA and 170 companies and celebrities pulled out of the show, one saying "We need to stand firm against those siding with the anti-gun crowd."

Via Washington Examiner:
Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino said he was disappointed in the cancellation, and blamed Reed Exhibition's gun ban. "The decision represents yet another attempt to undermine protections guaranteed to all Americans under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and it restricts the ability for law-abiding citizens to purchase legal firearms that are increasingly being used for hunting in a number of states. I encourage Reed Exhibitions to swiftly reverse its decision and for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to take steps to ensure that all future events of this nature held at the Farm Show Complex are held in a manner that respects the Second Amendment rights of all Pennsylvanians."

The National Wild Turkey Federation, a group supported by turkey hunters, said they were boycotting to raise awareness of the threat against the Second Amendment. "We feel strongly about the importance of the Second Amendment in pursuit of our mission of preserving our hunting heritage," said Skip Motts, president of the NWTF Pennsylvania State Chapter.
Outcome: Show organizers have been forced to cancel.

Lesson learned and should be carefully observed by any politician in Washington is: Lay down with gun grabbers and lose Second Amendment supporters.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Synchronized Walking

This group of Japanese men are amazing.  Just think of the hours they have spent preparing for this event.  This is the funniest Synchronized walking ever, Just look how good these Japanese are especially during the middle and end stages.  Just sit back and enjoy a fine example of the art of Synchronized Walking.

Click here if the video doesn't load.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday's Hero: Gen. Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.

Gen. Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.

Gen. Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.
78 years old from Tampa, Florida
August 22, 1934 - December 27, 2012

U.S. Army

On December 27 we lost 4-Star General Norman Schwarzkopf. Younger people may not really know who he was, but those of us 30 and older will remember him during the Gulf War. And rather than try and condense his life and career into a small post, which is impossible by the way, I've found a couple of links that do a much better job telling the story of this hero.

You can read more here and here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look.

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.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Bantustans of New York City

'Palestinians' claim that their 'state' would not be viable without territorial contiguity. Anything else, they claim, would make their territory into South African style bantustans.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Once Again He Spoke Upon The Multitudes

Book of Obama Chapter 17 

And it came to pass that on the 21th day of the month of January. (The 20th being the day of the Sabbath [Christian] and a celebration of this magnitude is not permitted.) At a time when all is dead and dying. The Anointed One retook the High Office. This being over 2 months since the Anointed One defeated the Good Romney. Amid the hosts of Heaven, singing the mantra FOWARD, The Anointed One started his trip down the Avenue of Pennsylvania towards the Dome of the Capital.

Unlike the last time The Anointed One took this trip, the multitude did not chant: "Hope, Change." In fact, the multitude assembled was quiet lessened from 4 years ago.

Upon the steps of the Dome of the Capital, amid the assorted assemblage of the chapter of the Congress, Biden the Bungler was sworn as the lessor. Then the Holy Chief of Justice, John of Roberts, given his office by Bush the Lessor, came forward to invest upon the Anointed One the mantle of office.

And after this holy act, the musicians played, and the assembled multitude cheered in triumph. And there was great rejoicing.

The Anointed One, renewed as the Wearer of the Mantle of Power, stood before the assembled and spoke.
So many have gathered here to witness My Awesomeness.

I have quoteth Jefferson, but we all know that I am the creator of all.

Patriots of old threw off the tyranny of King George III, for a republic now headed by Me.

As a nation we threw off slavery, built a modern nation, saved a world from tyranny twice.

But today we as a nation cannot do any of this. We must remind ourselves that we are but one nation of many, nothing extraordinary, nothing special. To thrive in this world we must join into a collective.

I have ended the wars of the last decade. Not in victory but our troops will be coming home to their families. Victory is not important. Muslims will always be the victors with Me.

I will destroy the Republicans, the rich and the middle class. They must be demonized and driven into poverty. This does not apply to My friends in Hollywood. Whose propaganda not only helped My reelection but continues to promote My message to the people.

I will keep promoting the myth that a poor child can grow up to have a better life. But the truth is that the poor child needs to remain poor, ill educated, and voting Democrat. For the the poor ever come to realize that if they supported the Republicans and their economic and moral ideas, they would leave our side faster than a speeding bullet.

It is through My will that welfare and other entitlements will increase to the poor. For every poor person will have:
Free Food, Free Healthcare, Free Money
This I give the masses.

It is through My will that the military will be destroyed. I have decreed that we do not need so many fighting men and women.

The guns that I hate (Actually fear) will be taken (by force) from the people. It is through My will, My power that you will be safe.

This nation under My benevolent guidance, will support the democracies around the world. The democracies in Asia, Africa and the Mid East will get My support and care. But not the true democracy run by the Jews. For they are an evil people who stole the land they live on from the Muslims. It is through My will that gay men and women will be given more rights than others.

Through My will, free elections in this nation will be a thing of the past. I will transform this nation into a larger version of Detroit. Thus the nation will be transformed through My will.

This I swear in the name of Allah.
And after the speech He went into the Dome, to feast on seafood, beef and apples.

Then the bands played and the multitude cheered as the parade marched. The Anointed One watched and blessed them all.

The great and the mighty danced the night away. Secure in the dogma of liberal and socialism.

To the rest of the nation while some actual hope. The rest of pray:

God Save Us All.

Obama's 2nd Inaugural Address

Though it will be posted many places, I am posting President Barack Hussein Obama's 2nd Inaugural Address here without commentary.  That will come later.
Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

For more than two hundred years, we have.

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope.

You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.