Saturday, February 22, 2014

Facebook Prevaricates: People Are Not Stupid

Sometimes it baffles me how stupid corporations think people happen to be....

By the way, freedom of speech, as with all rights under the Bill of Rights, are limits on the power of government only. It does not apply to private corporations without a showing of state action. The fact that facebook has a "freedom of speech" policy with caveats shows that they not only understand the differentiation between private and governmental, they do monitor what is placed on their pages. Their explanation for allowing the Third Intifada page is a huge prevarication. Shame on them for promoting Jew-hatred and slaughter. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg needs to remember that just because he doesn't view himself as a Jew, and bends over backwards to prove that his Jewish heritage doesn't matter to him, the rest of the world really does see him as a descendent of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The Truth About Christianity in the Land of Its Birth

There has been much excellent academic study of the history of Christianity in the land of its birth. It could fill a whole library. In recent years, however, all that fine work has been eclipsed by the myth, created by the so-called "Palestinian narrative," of Palestinian Christianity.

It has become fashionable to talk of "narratives" and defer to them. But what is a narrative in this sense? Maybe all of us have received spurious emails in the name of a friend who desperately begs money, having allegedly been robbed while on holiday in a foreign land. That is a "narrative": often a pack of lies that demands immediate uncritical assent. Beware of those who solemnly plead with you to listen to their narrative.

Conveniently, last month the main elements of the myth of Palestinian Christianity were neatly summarized in a blog post entitled "The Vanishing Church in the Holy Land." Its author, who styles himself Sir Jeffery Abood (his knighthood comes not from Her Majesty but from Rome), already published it on December 30 last in America Magazine. So he has had ample time to become advised of its many errors, but it reappeared, unchanged, apart from insignificant stylistic touches. Myths are impervious to truth.

Sir Jeff's blog post (he prefers "Jeff" to "Jeffrey") has one great virtue: concision. It brings together in relatively few words a mass of often repeated misrepresentations about Christians in the Holy Land. It also contains one important statement that is true; we shall invoke it at the end. In all other regards, Sir Jeff has provided the opportunity to compile a handy equally concise demythologization of this myth of Palestinian Christianity.

The tone is set by an opening statement that is not merely false, it is patently and absurdly false: "For two thousand years, Christian communities there have thrived." Let us recall the destruction of Christian communities under Diocletian in the fourth century, under the Persian invasion in the seventh, under the Muslim Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim in the tenth, and under Bibars in the thirteenth. Not to mention other cruel regimes, invasions, massacres, plagues and famines.

Freedom of Speech- The Reality

Below is a wonderful discussion about freedom of speech in our politically correct age by Sultan Knish. If you haven't read Daniel Greenfield before you are in for a treat.

Freedom of speech is governed by legal restrictions and public mores. And what most of us have discovered is that a multicultural society means more 'mores' and more people to offend. That has taken us from one general set of social speech codes that governed such things as obscenity and public abuse, to a thousand fiefdoms of speech in which every group strives to impose its own speech codes in public forums. The Constitution still protects some forms of political speech for now, but it is a weak and fitful defense in a society where it is not the content of speech that matters, but who is offended by it.

In Postmodern America, censorship has become one form of political clout. The ability to suppress a word, is bona fide power. Municipalities, corporations and public figures are constantly pressured to neuter their vocabulary.

Economic Issues, Political Musings and Constitutional Rights

Birth certificate: Obama has one of the best political strategy teams in recent history. He did not release his birth certificate because Trump scared him or anyone forced him. There is an underlying reason that behooves the President to release that piece of paper at this time. Trump better stop patting himself on the back and so should any of the "birthers." Honestly they are about to get the Obama boot up their butts.

Natural Born Citizen- enough already with stupidity. We have serious problems in this country and it is time that people look to some serious answers instead of playing ridiculous ignorant games.

Obama College records/Law school transcripts/passport visas: sorry but who cares. The man has been President since 2009 and we already know what he thinks and how he operates. We knew who his friends were along time before he got elected. We know who he chooses as advisors and his leftist radical agenda for our country and especially his inadequacy in foreign policy. That the majority of the American populace did not care to actually pay attention to these issues when he was running the first time, says more about the lack of seriousness of the US electorate than the lack of transparency on behalf of the Presidential team.

Budget Battle: Quite frankly both parties suck. The Ryan budget is draconian and the President's budget is devoid of reality and the detriment of the deficit. Standard and Poor's threat should be enough that both parties learn the word compromise. The majority of the country while they want to take care of the deficit also believes that the government should be there as a safety net. The irony of both budgets is that while entitlements for the people are slashed perks to the Congress and their cash cows and supporters are barely touched. Why is it that corporations like GE paid no tax last year, but those of us who are privately successful are the targets of the President? Meanwhile watch this video with Alan Simpson and Erskine Boles, both of whom chaired the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, about what needs to be done.

Libya: WTF, that is all.

Syria: WTF again- I guess the "responsibility to protect doctrine" does not apply to friends of Iran or Iran itself for that matter,  with the Obama administration. On another note, even before this recent slaughter, Syria was one of the most repressive regimes in the world. How they are unchallenged, especially by the US, for a seat on UNHRC only shows how the US should not even be on that committee. Belonging and paying for the UN is a totally different matter, another reality devoid of any sense what so ever. Well at least, as long as the UN remains a corrupt criminal enterprise for tyrants, dictators and oligarchs.

Royal Wedding: Furthermore, it was reported that the UK has withdrawn the invitation to the Syrian ambassador's to the Royal Wedding. Question to the UK Foreign Office, why were they invited in the first place? The Foreign Office invited every Middle East dictator and tyrant but forgot to invite leaders of democratic nations and even past Prime Ministers of England. Are those that lead the foreign policy of the UK  devoid of any sense what so ever? It seems that they have taken the same  "leave of senses pill" that is being ingested by those at Foggy Bottom.  

Meanwhile I am very glad for the young couple and wish them untold happiness (remember the royal family and the Middletons are paying for the event mostly themselves to the tune of 10 million dollars).

Palestine: Now that the pretense has been dropped and the PA (Fatah) has rejoined forces with the openly genocidal Hamas, what will the US do as far as the peace process? Will they allow a vote in the UN? Will they continue to send over 400 million dollars of our hard earned American tax money to theses modern day Nazis? Will the US continue to give the PA weapons and training? Or will they true to form, blame everything on Israel and say that "Israel's hardline stance to build settlements and refuse to commit suicide by just moving back to the 1948 armistice lines, forced the poor misunderstood Palestinians to go completely openly evil." By the way, if anyone had been paying attention to the media and politics of the PA they would have noticed that the PA was quite good at this Nazis propaganda actuality themselves. They do not need help for that from Hamas.

Oil: We can't drill offshore in the US but we can underwrite offshore drilling in Brazil. We don't want to be dependent on foreign nations for our oil, but Obama was thrilled to tell Brazil how we are going to buy our oil from them. We are not allowed to access our potential energy sources here in the US according to the President, the only thing we can do is fund, solar, wind and buy electric cars. Meanwhile, he takes a 17 long gas-guzzling-car caravan to an electric car factory to teach us all about earth day and energy efficiency. (You can't make this stupidity up.) In my home town, a gallon of regular is now $4.25. Tell me why the gas and oil companies get tax breaks?

Food: Have you been to the food store lately? Just know as food prices go, so goes the economy, even if for some reason food prices are not figured into the consumer price index (CPI). Now that I don't get at all. After housing, it is what people spend most of their budget on. If you do not have disposable cash because you are spending more and more on food, there is no money for luxuries, vacations and the things that are figured into the CPI. They say food prices are too volatile to include in their calculations...well duh. But wouldn't you think that somewhere some Nobel prize winning economist, instead of telling everyone else how stupid they are would figure out how to include into the CPI one of the things on which we spend most of our money.

DOMA: Get over it. Just because Congress passes a law does not mean it is Constitutional and quite frankly does not mean anyone has to defend it. It is not, as some say, akin to John Adams defending the Soldiers at the Boston massacre. This is not a criminal case, where everyone is entitled to representation. While reprehensible clients have been represented to defend aspects of the Bill of Rights, be it GITMO internees, Nazis, the KKK or as of right now Pastor Terry Jones, but that is not the reality of DOMA.There is an underlying Constitutional right in DOMA, but it is the infringement on the humanity of all citizens of this country and the cynical attempt by some in Congress to continue the second class status of those whose sexual orientation differs from the majority.

Duty to defend: A major law firm has resigned from defending DOMA. It has caused a huge hullabaloo. However, it brings up the question of the right of an attorney to not represent a client it finds reprehensible as long as that refusal to represent does not harm the client. Another ethical issue is the question of attorneys perpetrating a fraud upon the court which means if the attorney new that the client was guilty of a criminal offense are they not obligated to tell the court? There is a pull between attorney-client privilege and the fact that attorney are officers of the court and obligated to uphold the law. In fact the issue is so hot button, that many criminal defense attorneys do not ask their clients if they are guilty or not. They defend with the information at hand and while accessing the law.

Here the issue in DOMA is if you as an attorney believe the law to be unconstitutional are you obligated to defend it? If there was a law that stated it was a citizen's obligation to kill red-headed people would you have to defend it because it was passed by Congress? I think not. I would also hesitate to guess that you would have the right to defy that law and to hold it up to the ridicule it would deserve in addition to calling out the purveyors of that law as unAmerican.

Lastly and as I have said before, in our system of checks and balances, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is and is not Constitutional, not the Congress. Congress can pass any number of laws that it likes, however, it does not mean they are allowable under law. Just because they are elected and represent the people of this country does not mean they are not venal ignorant morons devoid of any sense of ethics or understanding of law. Their purpose is to get themselves reelected and to pander to whatever their constituency requires. It is why the Supreme Court exists. It is why there is an executive branch. Congress can do an endrun around the court once a ruling is handed down, but it must comply with the ruling and the rules set out by the Court. Simply put it is called JUDICIAL REVIEW.

Anyway these are some of my latest musings going on in the world. You don't have to agree with my assessment. But being that this is the United States of America and as yet, I have not lost my freedom of speech be it to the leftist-political correct machine nor the rightist-conservative-disenfranchisement machine (honestly I see them as just different sides of the same coin), I will  call them both out about their hypocrisy and self-righteousness. I guess you can figure out why I call myself an independent.

Presidential Proclamation--Jewish American Heritage Month

      Since before our Nation's founding, America's shores have been a safe harbor for people seeking shelter, hope, and new lives free from persecution.  Here, people of all faiths have broken bread, come together, and built a better future for their families.  The Jewish story is intertwined with the American story    one of overcoming great hardship, and one of commitment to building a more just world.  This month, we embrace and celebrate the vast contributions Jewish Americans have made to our country.
      Seeking a brighter future, a small band of Jewish refugees came to this land more than three centuries ago, to a place called New Amsterdam.  Hundreds of years later, as Holocaust survivors and families caught behind the Iron Curtain made their way to America, their perseverance in the face of unimaginable tragedy inspired the world and proved that the Jewish people will not be defeated.  Many endured bigotry even here, reminding us that we must continue to fight prejudice and violence at home and around the globe.  In this spirit, President Truman recognized the small, fledgling nation of Israel within minutes of its creation.  To this day, we continue to foster an unbreakable partnership with Israel, and we remain committed to pursuing peace in the region and ensuring Israel's security.
      From those first days in New Amsterdam, Jewish Americans have dedicated their innovation, creativity, and hearts to the greater good    contributing scientific accomplishments, pioneering works of literature and musical genius, and performing distinguished service in our Nation's military.  Jewish Americans have defended our country since the days of the American Revolution as devoted service members and chaplains, and they continue to serve with distinction in our Armed Forces.
      Nearly 70 years ago, during World War II, the U.S.A.T. Dorchester suffered an explosion at sea while carrying almost a thousand soldiers and civilian workers.  On board were four Army chaplains    two Protestant, one Catholic, and one Jewish.  While the ship sank, the four chaplains gave their own life jackets to four men without any, calmed the wounded, and preached strength to the survivors, linking arms and praying together as the ship submerged.  In a time of great need, these chaplains showed that their shared commitment to the lives of others was stronger than any division of faith or background.
      This same spirit is found in the countless Jewish Americans who, through their every day actions, work to provide a better life for future generations by joining hands with all who seek equality and progress.  This month, we remember that the history and unique identity of Jewish Americans is part of the grand narrative of our country, forged in the friendships and shared wisdom between people of different faiths.
      NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2011 as Jewish American Heritage Month.  I call upon all Americans to visit to learn more about the heritage and contributions of Jewish Americans and to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.
      IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of April, in the year two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

Jewish-American Heritage Month: It's All in the History 

Repost from May 4, 2010. 

So lo and behold I am reading the news and guess what, I find out that May is Jewish-American Heritage Month. Fancy that, an entire month that people are supposed to sit down and learn about the history of the Jewish people. Of course, having grown up Jewish I sort of lived Jewish Heritage Month every day, but these are not lessons for me but for the nation as a whole. I kinda like it. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t. But then again I have discussed the global growth in anti-Semitism, so why should I be surprised that it is here in the United States? Why should I be shocked that people recent a Jewish Heritage Month? In fact a huge bone of contention has to do with the removal of the phrase, “in the year of our Lord,” I guess deference to the fact that the Jewish people do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah and respecting that fact in proclaiming Jewish Heritage Month seems to aggravate people. Intolerance just makes my skin crawl.

I can tell you that I never resented any "History" month. I quite frankly reveled in the idea that everyone should have a month or if there are too many groups, at least a week maybe. We could always share you know. It’s not as if every ethnic group that landed on the shores of the United States did not have some hand in the creation and development of this nation. The founding fathers did not do it all alone. Those who stubbornly hold to the idea that this nation is the brain child and the blood child of only white men descended from British colonists has a new history lesson coming.

Yes, those that wrote the US Constitution were all white Christian men, but they also deviated from European Christian philosophy or they would never have broken from England. The philosophy that they rejected is called the Divine Right of Kings and it was adhered to by every nation-state in Europe at the time. It was how things were done for centuries. It was how life remained the way it was for centuries. The Divine Right of Kings, held, and still holds, that the monarch is consecrated by God, in the same manner as the Biblical Kings of Judea (yes, Judea until the year 135 C.E. when Rome renames the province Palestine (in honor of the Jew's ancient enemy the Philistines) in punishment for the Bar Kochba revolt. Where do those idiots, who refuse to acknowledge Jewish historical attachments to the area, think the words, Jews, Judaism,Jewish come from? What, we drew lots and these were the titles that won?) and hence since they are God’s chosen they cannot be overthrown, disenfranchised nor disrespected(meaning you have to do as they decide). To reject this political tenet was to reject Christianity itself as it was known until that time. The American Revolution was for all tense and purposes a break with Christianity as it had been practiced for centuries; so for some to go around saying that Christianity inspired our revolution is patently false. No, this does not mean that the founding fathers were not religious men, they were. They believed in a Christian God, well most did, except some like Jefferson who was basically a Deist. However, what it means is that our founding fathers, who were the offspring of enlightenment philosophers, Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire, all patently irreligious men, charted a new course. For the first time in recorded human history religion was not the guiding force behind nation-building at all. In fact, if anything the American Revolution was a total rejection of theretofore accepted theocratic law.

The truth is that every ethnic group that came to the shores of the United States, and those that greeted them on those shores added to the culture that is the United States. Everyone came here with hopes and expectations of a better life, and while our ancestors gladly joined in the present American culture, they added a bit of the home country to the mix. Each ethnic group gave to this country that little bit of uniqueness that is America and I for one, think that it is high time that we all recognize that we as a nation of immigrants built upon the foundation that is the Constitution, developed, nursed it and saw it through its growth spurts. Every ethnic group helped build this nation and deserves a time of recognition and a time of respect.

Many complain that this is just another form of identity politics. That it takes away from the idea of a united America. But we are all different. We come from different places, with families with different experiences, but that does not stop us from wanting to be a part of this nation. Why should not an African-American child, a Jewish-American child, a Hispanic-American child, a name-your-background-American child be taught about the wonderful additions that their ancestors made to this nation or even to the world at large. Why shouldn’t every child be allowed to feel the pride in whom they are and where they come from? Why does this frighten so many people? It baffles me.

I remember a book that I read as a child called Americans All. It no longer exists, but it was a child’s book about the history of the Jewish people in the United States. One of the first people I read about was a man called Chaim Solomon. He along with the Gratz family of Philadelphia helped finance a large part of the American Revolution. He had been promised to be paid back, but never asked for reimbursement. Never needed it. Never wanted it. He received what he wanted and that was freedom for this nation and place for those who were persecuted to be able to come. He got his wish and then some I think. I can’t tell you how proud a ten year old child was in reading about this man. Even when the classroom teacher made fun of me for being so excited, I never gave up my pride. She wouldn’t believe the book, and told me that I could believe what I wanted and she would believe what she wanted. BITCH. I also, along with my sister, happened to be the only Jews in my school. (Believe me this is only one of many anti-Semitic incidents thrown at me during my years in public school)Oh, and wouldn’t you know, somehow the universe had it planned that I would marry a descendent of that Chaim Solomon. Meanwhile antisemitism doesn't ever end. Here is a story about my youngest and antisemitism.

This episode is one reason why we need months like Jewish-American Heritage month. No child should ever be told their history is not important. No child should ever be demeaned because of race, ethnicity, religion or creed. No child should ever be made to feel that they do not belong to the nation of their birth. We all made this nation what it is today. We all have a right to claim her. We are all the inheritors of the founding fathers; it does not matter if our ancestors go back to the revolution or arrived on shore today. We are entitled to be proud of our hyphenated heritages. We are Americans All.

So to that teacher from so many years ago and to those who resent Jewish-American Heritage Month, especially because it shows the Jewish people in a positive light- Bite Me.

By the way, here's a little ditty, you might recognize,written by one of those Jewish-Americans, called Irving Berlin: