Thursday, March 31, 2016

This may shock you: Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-honest-transparency-jill-abramson

I’ve investigated Hillary and know she likes a ‘zone of privacy’ around her. This lack of transparency, rather than any actual corruption, is her greatest flaw

Monday 28 March 2016

It’s impossible to miss the “Hillary for Prison” signs at Trump rallies. At one of the Democratic debates, the moderator asked Hillary Clinton whether she would drop out of the race if she were indicted over her private email server. “Oh for goodness – that is not going to happen,” she said. “I’m not even going to answer that question.”

Based on what I know about the emails, the idea of her being indicted or going to prison is nonsensical. Nonetheless, the belief that Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy is pervasive. A recent New York Times-CBS poll found that 40% of Democrats say she cannot be trusted.

For decades she’s been portrayed as a Lady Macbeth involved in nefarious plots, branded as “a congenital liar” and accused of covering up her husband’s misconduct, from Arkansas to Monica Lewinsky. Some of this is sexist caricature. Some is stoked by the “Hillary is a liar” videos that flood Facebook feeds. Some of it she brings on herself by insisting on a perimeter or “zone of privacy” that she protects too fiercely. It’s a natural impulse, given the level of scrutiny she’s attracted, more than any male politician I can think of.

I would be “dead rich”, to adapt an infamous Clinton phrase, if I could bill for all the hours I’ve spent covering just about every “scandal” that has enveloped the Clintons. As an editor I’ve launched investigations into her business dealings, her fundraising, her foundation and her marriage. As a reporter my stories stretch back to Whitewater. I’m not a favorite in Hillaryland. That makes what I want to say next surprising.

Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.

The yardsticks I use for measuring a politician’s honesty are pretty simple. Ever since I was an investigative reporter covering the nexus of money and politics, I’ve looked for connections between money (including campaign donations, loans, Super Pac funds, speaking fees, foundation ties) and official actions. I’m on the lookout for lies, scrutinizing statements candidates make in the heat of an election.

The connection between money and action is often fuzzy. Many investigative articles about Clinton end up “raising serious questions” about “potential” conflicts of interest or lapses in her judgment. Of course, she should be held accountable. It was bad judgment, as she has said, to use a private email server. It was colossally stupid to take those hefty speaking fees, but not corrupt. There are no instances I know of where Clinton was doing the bidding of a donor or benefactor.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-honest-transparency-jill-abramson

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Can Your Boss Claim Their Religion Means You Can’t Get Birth Control Coverage?

Yet another example of right wing Christo-Nazi men protecting women.

From The ACLU:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/can-your-boss-claim-their-religion-means-you-cant-get-birth-control-coverage
 
By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project March 25, 2016
 
I’ve had Donna Summer’s 1983 hit playing in a loop in my head:  “She works hard for the money, so you better treat her right.” Okay, maybe this dates me a bit, but you get the point. We all work hard. So why should any of us be denied health insurance coverage guaranteed by law because of our employers’ religious beliefs?


That’s the question the Supreme Court considered in Zubik v. Burwell when it heard argument this week in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that health insurance plans cover contraception without a co-pay. The employers that have challenged the requirement have a religious objection to providing contraception coverage for their employees. But here’s the deal: The employers before the court don’t actually have to provide the coverage if they fill out a one-page form opting out. If the employer opts out, the insurance company provides the contraception coverage to the employees in a separate plan, at no cost to the employer.

But the employers object even to filling out the opt-out form, and they object to what happens when they opt out — that their insurer then provides the coverage to their employees.  What would happen if the Supreme Court accepts their argument? Tens of thousands of employees would lose their contraception coverage.

The contraception requirement was designed to reduce the disparities in health care costs between men and women — women have historically paid more for health care than men. Also, in establishing the contraception requirement, the government recognized the basic principle that contraception is crucial for women’s equal participation in society. Being able to decide whether and when to have children has a direct effect on women’s ability to make their own paths in terms of their schooling, their careers, and their families.

The employers before the court should not be allowed to use their religious beliefs to block their female employees’ contraception coverage any more than they should be allowed to use their religious beliefs to pay them less than men.  Religious liberty is a fundamental value in our country, but religion cannot be used to discriminate against others.

Laws written by men to protect women deserve scrutiny, Supreme Court told

Most laws written by men "to protect women" actually tend to do the opposite which is oppress and harm them.  Think the laws barring certain foelds of employment, restrictions on abortion or birth control.  This is especially true when men claim a magic invisible imaginary sky daddy tells them to do this to protect women.

The same can be said of men dictating the proper role or behavior for women.

From The Chicago Tribune:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-supreme-court-abortion-20160207-story.html
 
Robert Barnes
Feb. 10, 2016

 
History holds a lesson for the Supreme Court, the brief warns: Be skeptical of laws protecting women that are written by men.

The nation's past is littered with such statutes, say the historians who filed the friend-of-the-court brief, and the motives were suspect.

Some protected women from "the embarrassment of hearing filthy evidence" as members of a jury, a sheltering instinct that resulted in female defendants being judged by panels composed only of men.

Some shielded women from having to work nights as pharmacists in hospitals - but not as low-wage custodians.

Some barred women from working as bartenders - jobs coveted by men - but not as cocktail waitresses.

The brief is filed by professors from across the country in the court's upcoming abortion case, Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt. The brief urges the justices to examine the intent of Texas legislators who say they approved new restrictions on abortion providers as health safeguards for the women undergoing the procedure.

"Any new law that claims to protect women's health and safety should be scrutinized carefully to assess whether its ostensibly protective function actually serves to deny liberty and equal citizenship to women," said the brief filed by 16 historians, 13 of whom are women.

It is part of an avalanche of amicus briefs filed by both sides in the case, which will be the court's most important look at abortion rights in decades.

And the attempt at persuasion, like many of the others, is representative of a specialized brand of legal brief that aims to school the court not about law but about life.

"Brandeis briefs" are long on history and science and short on detailed legal citations. The first of its kind was filed in 1908 by lawyer Louis D. Brandeis, who eight years later became famous as the first Jewish Supreme Court justice.

Last month, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discussed the importance of the revolutionary brief at - where else? - Brandeis University, in Waltham, Mass., at a ceremony marking the centennial of his Supreme Court appointment.

Brandeis's submission "was unlike any the court had yet seen. It was to be loaded with facts and spare on formal legal argument," Ginsburg said. The facts consumed 98 of the brief's 113 pages.

"The aim of the Brandeis brief was to educate the judiciary about the real world in which the laws under inspection operated," Ginsburg said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-supreme-court-abortion-20160207-story.html

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Natural's not in it: just because a product calls itself 'natural' doesn't make it good

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/08/natural-products-food-labeling-healthy-living-consumer-research

Not only are hurricanes, disease and mosquitoes natural, the way the word is defined by regulators can render it practically meaningless

Tuesday 8 March 2016

I’ve repeatedly come across the idea that natural means good among eco-friendly folks like myself. It has emerged in online forums, conversations with friends, and discussions at health food stores. It has also popped up regularly in the comments section of this column, where astute readers can often be found cautioning against making this assumption.

I happen to agree with them: the assumption that natural equals good is wrong. But it’s understandable that people would feel that way, isn’t it? Natural just sounds good; easy. Natural sounds like puppies and sunshine and fresh air. Natural! The way nature intended! Before meddlesome mankind stuck our big noses in and ruined everything, that is.

The problem is twofold. First: “natural” doesn’t mean good – not entirely and not always. Second: “natural” sometimes doesn’t mean anything at all, at least not in the way it’s most commonly used – to imbue a product with a vaguely positive attribute in the hopes that consumers will buy it.
Beginning with the first point, as we learned from vaginal detox pearls, natural does not necessarily equate to beneficial, effective or even safe. In fact, here are some natural things which are also actually quite terrible: death, disease, beets, cute little zebra babies being eaten by lions, poisonous plants, mosquitoes, hurricanes.

All of these things fit the dictionary definition of the word natural (“existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind”) yet none of them are really all that appealing as they relate to humankind. Beets stain everything and taste like dirt; sunburns ruin vacations; the seeds of the castor oil plant have the distinction of being the Guinness Book of World Records holder for world’s most poisonous plant, yet its charming purple flowers litter gardens around the world.

It is therefore not enough to see “natural” and read “good for me” in its place. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of natural treatments and beauty remedies and homemade cleaning products, but in order for them to be useful, they have to do more than simply have “natural” as their main attribute. There’s no sense in having a natural cleaner that doesn’t clean, or a natural remedy that only makes you sicker. In these cases, natural isn’t doing you any favours.

The reverse isn’t necessarily true either. I’m reminded of this daily: without the dose of 11 decidedly unnatural pills I take twice a day, my chronic kidney condition would make it impossible for me to write this column. My daughter was born when surgeons strapped me to a table, cut an incision into my lower abdomen and then reached in and pulled her out – it really doesn’t get much more unnatural than that. But if it had been left up to nature, my full placenta previa would have meant that one of us would have died during labour.

So, on to point two. In the US, at the time of this writing, the US Department of Agriculture does not restrict the use of the word “natural” to describe food or beverage products unless there are added colours, synthetic substances, or flavours.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/08/natural-products-food-labeling-healthy-living-consumer-research

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Europe's karmic destiny

From Israel National News:  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18592#.VvRoVLXlqUn

Europe's actions, now and in the past, have led to the reaping of a horrible harvest.

Phyllis Chesler Tuesday, March 22, 2016

In 2004 and 2005 Islamic terrorists blew up the Madrid train and London subway;  243 civilians were murdered and 2,750 were wounded.

Neither attack stopped the flow of Muslim immigrants nor staunched the politically correct thinking of European leaders about Islam.

In 2012, a terrorist shot and blew up seven people and wounded 125 civilians on the street of Liege, Belgium. That same year, in Burgess, Bulgaria, an Islamic terrorist blew up six civilians on a bus and wounded thirty more. The bus was transporting 42 Israeli tourists.

These murderous attacks did not change the immigration policies of Europe, which did not close its national borders or the borders of the EU. Anyone who arrived in Europe could still travel to any other European destination.

In early 2015, Islamic terrorists shot down and murdered 20 civilians and wounded 22 more in the infamous attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices and the kosher deli. Later that same year, Islamic terrorists murdered 130 civilians and wounded 368 more in Paris.

World leaders marched and sent condolences, but the European Union did not change its policies. It did not clean up its “no go” zones which police fear to enter, where terrorists hide out as they plan their attacks, and where Sharia law prevails, not European civil law.

In 2016, women were sexually assaulted by gangs of Muslim men in many cities in Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia. In Cologne alone, over 1,000 women were terrorized, corralled, robbed, groped, and penetrated.

Now, three months later, and despite police vigilance and an ongoing manhunt, Islamic terrorists blew up 34 civilians and wounded 83 more in Brussels, Belgium.

The groups which claimed responsibility for these terrorist attacks include: Al-Qaeda, a lone non-Muslim Jihadist, Hezbollah (our Iranian partners), and ISIS (Obama's JV team).

Of course, European Jews have been attacked as Jews everywhere in Europe during the 21st century. They have been bullied, beaten, stabbed, shot, kidnapped, tortured (remember Ilan Halimi z”l in Paris?) and blown up, mainly by Muslims.

It is all quite awful. What is going on? Here’s but one idea.

Historically, Europeans mobs and European leaders either led or were passively complicit in the systematic and perpetual pogroms of Jews and thereafter in the Nazi murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust.

Continue reading at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18592#.VvRoVLXlqUn

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Rutgers Professor Insists Israel Harvests Terrorist Organs

I am coming to have a very hard time telling the difference between Intersectional Anti-Zionists and Nazis.  Their Jew Hating and use of Blood Libels is identical.

From The Jewish Press:  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rutgers-professor-insists-israel-harvests-terrorist-organs/2016/03/21/

A Rutgers professor uses new anti-Semitism in an old blood libel, this one about Arab terrorist organs.

By: Hana Levi Julian March 21st, 2016

A Rutgers University associate professor of women’s and gender studies claims Israel is stealing organs from the bodies of Arab terrorists — and she’s threatening to sue anyone who publishes a recording of the lecture at Vassar College in which she made the claim.

Professor Jasbir Puar’s February 3 lecture “was taped without my permission or that of the people who had invited me,” she said. Nevertheless, she slammed a “current Zionist strategy” of what she called “silencing and intimidation tactics” aimed at stifling the “exercise of free speech and academic freedom.”

Moreover, Puar recently canceled a scheduled lecture at Fordham University on the “biopolitics of debility in Gaza” – because the administration insisted on recording the talk and making it publicly available, according to The Tower.

For some odd reason she appears unwilling to see that her unwillingness to share her words with the rest of the world is if anything, a much greater self-censorship – one that raises deep suspicions about the legality of what she said.

In a column written in Jadaliyya, (produced by the Arab Studies Institute, ASI) Puar writes about her Feb. 3 lecture, which she said was delivered to a “welcoming and enthusiastic audience.” ASI has received funding from the Social Science Research Council, and the Open Society Institute, supported by George Soros.

The Jadaliyya publication combines local knowledge, scholarship and advocacy aimed at audiences primarily in the United States and the Middle East. The site currently publishes posts both in Arabic, French, English, and Turkish.

“The fraught history of organ mining practices from both IDF soldiers and Palestinian bodies during the 1990s is well documented. During the second intifada, Palestinian bodies were held at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine for prolonged periods without explanation. Even mainstream Israeli press such as Ha’aretz have reported on the collecting of illegally obtained organs at Abu Kabir,” Puar wrote.

“In my lecture, I made clear that I was not making any empirical claims about current organ mining. Rather, I was conveying a small part of the sheer terror of life in the West Bank since the uprising began in October 2015. I can only surmise that the charges of anti-Semitism and blood libel leveled against me were intended to discredit scholarship about the deleterious effects of the occupation on Palestinian daily life.

Continue reading at:  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rutgers-professor-insists-israel-harvests-terrorist-organs/2016/03/21/

'Don't tell her to smile': the subtle sexism still facing Hillary Clinton

Yet another reason why defining women by gender is oppressive.

From The Guardian UK: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/17/hillary-clinton-facing-sexism-sexist-politics

Explicit sexism against the democratic frontrunner might be unacceptable, but subtler forms of prejudice are everywhere – and women have had enough


March 17, 2016


As Hillary Clinton was giving her victory speech after Tuesday night’s primaries, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted out two sentences that nearly every American woman has heard some version of at one point in her life:
Smile. You just had a big night.
Women on the internet were, to put it lightly, not amused. Many took Scarborough on immediately; even Full Frontal host Samantha Bee responded by replying with a picture of her not-so-smiling face.
This meme-able moment is part of a broader trend this election season: as the explicit sexism we saw during Clinton’s 2008 run has mostly been quelled or deemed unacceptable, women are pushing back against less easy-to-name offenses. And the visceral response against Scarborough demonstrates just how tired women are of having to explain how sexism operates over and over again.

Of all the things women hear from men – whether street harassers or pundits – there is special disdain for “smile” because of its particular condescension, and the tired trope that women should be forever chipper even as they’re walking down the street or, you know, running for president of the United States. In fact, men telling women to smile is such a universally hated prompt that there are feminist art projects dedicated to it, Buzzfeed lists that outline imagined responses (“just fart instead”), and a popular Broad City gif of the lead characters responding to a stranger’s insistence that they put on a happy face.

But it hasn’t been just Scarborough’s poorly thought-out tweet that women have found familiar. There are certain phrases, sentiments and actions that might not seem gendered upon first glance but are so typical to women’s everyday experience of sexism that they rub a lot of us the wrong way.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/17/hillary-clinton-facing-sexism-sexist-politics

The scientist who first warned of climate change says it’s much worse than we thought

From Grist:  http://grist.org/science/the-scientist-who-first-warned-of-climate-change-says-its-much-worse-than-we-thought/
 


The rewards of being right about climate change are bittersweet. James Hansen should know this better than most — he warned of this whole thing before Congress in 1988, when he was director of NASA’s Institute for Space Studies. At the time, the world was experiencing its warmest five-month run since we started recording temperatures 130 years earlier. Hansen said, “It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.”

Fast forward 28 years and, while we’re hardly out of the Waffle House yet, we know much more about climate change science. Hansen is still worried that the rest of us aren’t worried enough.

Last summer, prior to countries’ United Nations negotiations in Paris, Hansen and 16 collaborators authored a draft paper that suggested we could see at least 10 feet of sea-level rise in as few as 50 years. If that sounds alarming to you, it is — 10 feet of sea-level rise is more than enough to effectively kick us out of even the most well-endowed coastal cities. Stitching together archaeological evidence of past climate change, current observations, and future-telling climate models, the authors suggested that even a small amount of global warming can rack up enormous consequences — and quickly.

However the paper, publicized before it had been through peer review, elicited a mix of shock and skepticism, with some journalists calling the news a “bombshell” but a number of scientists urging deeper consideration.

Now, the final version of the paper has been published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. It’s been reviewed and lightly edited, but its conclusions are still shocking — and still contentious.

So what’s the deal? The authors highlight several of threats they believe we’ll face this century, including many feet of sea-level rise, a halting of major ocean circulatory currents, and an outbreak of super storms. These are the big threats we’ve been afraid of — and Hansen et al. say they could be here before we know it — well before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sanctioned climate models predict.

Continue reading at:  http://grist.org/science/the-scientist-who-first-warned-of-climate-change-says-its-much-worse-than-we-thought/

BDS: Jew-Hating Propagandists on the March

From Minding The Campus: http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2016/03/bds-jew-hating-propagandists-on-the-march/
 
March 16, 2016

The anti-Semitic Boycott-Divest-Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel keeps reaching for—and finding—new depths of indecency.  Among the deepest descenders into this abyss is Jasbir Puar, an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers.  Professor Puar recently garnered national attention for her address at Vassar, February 3, “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters.”  The talk has not been published, but some in the audience reported that Puar exhorted armed resistance to Israel; alleged that Israel “mined for organs” from dead Palestinians; and claimed that Israel systematically starves Palestinians as part of a medical experiment.

Readers can get a good idea of what Puar had to say from her November 2015 essay, published in Borderlands, “The ‘Right’ to Maim: Disablement and Inhumanist Biopolitics in Palestine.” The “right to maim,” to be clear, does not refer to the epidemic of stabbings of Israelis by Palestinians.  It refers to an “implicit claim” by Israel “to the right to maim and debilitate Palestinian bodies and environments as a form of biopolitical control.”

The talk provoked heated responses, both to its substance and to the eight Vassar academic departments (including Jewish Studies) that sponsored it. But it also introduced a new angle in the current controversies over free expression on campus. The Vassar professor who introduced Puar asked the audience to “refrain from recording this evening’s proceedings, in the spirit of congeniality and mutual respect, though it is not against the law.” This request was also made as part of “the modest contract of trust essential to the exchange of ideas.”

As Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson observed, “Requesting non-recording of an open, public event on the pretext that non-recording is ‘essential to the exchange of ideas’ is odd.”
Puar’s talk leapt to national attention when Mark Yudof, former president of the University of California, and Ken Waltzer, an emeritus professor of history from Michigan State, published an op-ed, “Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar,” in the Wall Street Journal. Puar objected that Yudof and Waltzer quoted her out of context. If they erred, it would be easy enough for Puar to set the record straight by releasing the transcript. Instead, she has protested her right to give public lectures that are off the record.

Continue reading at:  http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2016/03/bds-jew-hating-propagandists-on-the-march/

Monday, March 21, 2016

Labour and the left have an antisemitism problem

Jew hating lately seems to have become a litmus test as to whether or not one can consider themselves either left or progressive.  Seems that because I support both Israel and an individuals right to keep and bear arms for the purposes of self defense while loathing the present day so called Left's drum beat of attacks upon Free Speech I have, in my old age become a former leftie.

Fortunately for me I have grown weary of politics and have come to view both the left and the right as a bunch of pompous, full of shit trip pushers.  As a result I don't give a shit as to what either group of extreme lunatics has to say.

My politics can be summed up by the phrase, "Leave me the fuck alone."  It has all become a game of self promotion and gathering a fan base of sycophants who adore you and lavish praise upon you for your extreme positions.

The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/18/labour-antisemitism-jews-jeremy-corbyn

Under Jeremy Corbyn the party has attracted many activists with views hostile to Jews. Its leaders must see why this matters

Jonathan Freedland Friday 18 March 2016

As the Conservative party divides its time between running the country and tearing itself apart over Europe, Labour has been consumed with a rather different problem. In the past two weeks, it has had to expel two activists for overt racism. That follows the creation of an inquiry into the Labour club at Oxford University, after the co-chair resigned saying the club was riddled with racism. The racism in question is hatred of Jews.

I suspect many in Labour and on the wider left dearly wish three things to be true of this problem. That these are just a few bad apples in an otherwise pristine barrel; that these incidents aren’t actually about racism at all but concern only opposition to Israel; and that none of this reflects negatively on Jeremy Corbyn.

Start with the bad apples. The cases of Gerry Downing and Vicki Kirby certainly look pretty rotten. The former said it was time to wrestle with the “Jewish Question”, the latter hailed Hitler as a “Zionist God” and tweeted a line about Jews having “big noses”, complete with a “lol”.

It’d be so much easier if these were just two rogue cases. But when Alex Chalmers quit his post at Oxford’s Labour club, he said he’d concluded that many had “some kind of problem with Jews”. He cited the case of one club member who organised a group to shout “filthy Zionist” at a Jewish student whenever they saw her. Former Labour MP Tom Harris wrote this week that the party “does indeed have a problem with Jews”. And there is, of course, the word of Jews themselves. They have been warning of this phenomenon for years, lamenting that parts of the left were succumbing to views of Jews drenched in prejudice.

But this is the brick wall Jews keep running into: the belief that what Jews are complaining about is not antisemitism at all, but criticism of Israel. Jews hear this often. They’re told the problem arises from their own unpleasant habit of identifying any and all criticism of Israel as anti-Jewish racism. Some go further, alleging that Jews’ real purpose in raising the subject of antisemitism is to stifle criticism of Israel.

You can see the appeal of such an argument to those who use it. It means all accusations of antisemitism can be dismissed as mere Israel-boosting propaganda. But Downing and Kirby make that harder. Their explicit targets were Jews.

What of those who attack not Jews, but only Zionists? Defined narrowly, that can of course be legitimate. If one wants to criticise the historical movement that sought to re-establish Jewish self-determination in Palestine, Zionism is the right word.

But Zionism, as commonly used in angry left rhetoric, is rarely that historically precise. It has blended with another meaning, used as a codeword that bridges from Israel to the wider Jewish world, hinting at the age-old, antisemitic notion of a shadowy, global power, operating behind the scenes. For clarity’s sake, if you want to attack the Israeli government, the 50-year occupation or hawkish ultra-nationalism, then use those terms: they carry much less baggage.

Continue reading at: Chttp://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/18/labour-antisemitism-jews-jeremy-corbyn

Why Neither Party Can Survive the Downfall of the Working Class


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Unrepentant Convicted Palestinian Terrorist Rasmieh Odeh Plays Victim to get U.S. Citizenship

From O-blog-dee-o-blog-da: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2016/02/26/unrepentant-convicted-palestinian-terrorist-rasmieh-odeh-plays-victim-to-get-u-s-citizenship/

Unrepentant Convicted Palestinian Terrorist Rasmieh Odeh Plays Victim to get U.S. Citizenship

by Melanie Nathan
Feb. 26, 2016


On a Friday afternoon, in February 1969, as Jewish Sabbath shoppers filled local markets and stores, terrorists planted a bomb in a crowded grocery store in downtown Jerusalem. The bombing sought to take more lives than it did. While many were spared, 2 people died and 8 were wounded.   The terrorists were caught, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.  Who would have thought that 47 years later, this saga would replay in an America courtroom. And who thought that the convicted terrorist mastermind would become the victim and the victims would be forgotten!

This convicted terrorist served only 10 years of her life sentence in Israel due to a prisoner swap, and is now fighting her immigration fraud conviction to become a U.S. citizen. If she succeeds she will enjoy the privileges, rights and all America has to offer a free person.  Rasmea Odeh, (Rasmeah, Rasmieh) seeking citizenship in the U.S.A., was convicted of lying on her immigration forms, and a movement of anti-Israel BDS supporters have enveloped her, attempting to turn the terrorist into a revered victim, for their cause, with unconscionable insult to the memory of those who were robbed of their lives, and at great expense to the families who mourn their deaths, all these years later.

How anyone can support U.S. citizenship for a person convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the bombing murders of fellow human beings, escapes me.  How anyone can participate in the dirty trick of converting a terrorist into a victim, escapes me.  Yet Rasmieh Odeh, has become a poster victim for the BDS movement and anti-Israel activism here in the U.S.A.

Yesterday a panel of judges on a U.S. federal appeals court, sent back to the U.S. District court, the case of Rasmieh Odeh,  found guilty of lying on immigration forms , about her alleged role in bombings in Israel in 1969 that killed two civilians.

Continue reading at:  http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2016/02/26/unrepentant-convicted-palestinian-terrorist-rasmieh-odeh-plays-victim-to-get-u-s-citizenship/

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

‘Intersectionality’ and the Bizarre World of Hating Israel

From The Observer:  http://observer.com/2016/03/intersectionality-and-the-bizarre-world-of-hating-israel/

Bogus new linkages blame Jewish state for basically everything

By 03/15/16

Have you heard of “intersectionality,” the latest strategy of Israel-haters who, like Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic, reside in a “looking-glass world,” where clocks run backwards, language is nonsensical and everything is topsy-turvy?

Have you wondered why Black Lives Matter activists carry signs “Justice From Ferguson to Palestine,” seeking to link claims of American racism and police violence with claims of Israeli brutality against Palestinians?

How about the National Women’s Studies Association endorsing a boycott of Israel to condemn the “sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated [by Israel] against Palestinians,” making a fictitious claim about the only Middle Eastern country with full gender equality and ignoring repression of women’s rights in Palestinian society?

Jewish Voice for Peace, a rabidly anti-Israel organization, links the Palestinian issue to “the struggles of students of color, student survivors of sexual assault, and all others who on campus fight against oppression, whether imperialism, racism, patriarchy, police violence, or other systemic inequities.”
At Columbia University, Students for Justice in Palestine and No Red Tape, a student group fighting sexual violence, join forces. What does opposing sexual violence have to do with Israel and the Palestinians?

At Vassar, Africana Studies offers course AFRS 383, “Transnational Solidarities: Palestinian Struggle for Self-Determination/Black Struggle for Liberation” and Jasbir Puar, a Rutgers Gender/Queer Studies professor, delivers a diatribe accusing Israel of harvesting Palestinian organs for research, experimenting on Palestinian children and targeting Palestinians for “stunting” and “maiming.”
Welcome to the world of “intersectionality,” inhabited by Israel-haters on college campuses and elsewhere.

Proponents of intersectionality see a world of all-encompassing oppression, where racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and ableism constitute an intersecting system. All injustices are interconnected, even if occurring in unconnected geographic, cultural and political environments. This is the rationalization for building alliances among unrelated causes like LGBTQ rights, fossil fuel divestment, prison reform, racial discrimination and immigration.

Decades ago, UCLA law professor, Kimberle Crenshaw, described intersectional theory to relate identity and power for black women. Her ideas have been vastly expanded to other so-called marginalized, victimized groups. Uniting “oppressed” groups, the theory goes, strengthens them against the dominant white power structure.

The anti-Israel BDS campaigns have successfully injected the Palestinians into this intersectional mix as victims of colonialist oppression by pro-Western Israel. The marriage of intersectionality with the Arab-Israeli conflict allows any victim group to make common cause with the Palestinians. The Palestinian struggle is linked to other “social justice” causes, no matter how disparate, in an aggressive strategy to attract supporters and speak with one unified voice.

Continue reading at:  http://observer.com/2016/03/intersectionality-and-the-bizarre-world-of-hating-israel/

Thursday, March 10, 2016

College Professors Defend Colleague Who Accused Israel of Harvesting Organs

From The Algemeiner:  https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/03/09/college-professors-defend-colleague-who-accused-israel-of-harvesting-organs/
 
Cinnamon Stillwell
March 9, 2016 

 
Leave it to the Middle East studies establishment to defend the vilest forms of conspiratorial antisemitic rhetoric — provided it’s in service of demonizing Israel. Jasbir Puar, the Rutgers University women’s and gender studies professor and Israel-boycott advocate who, in a controversial February 3 lecture at Vassar College, charged the IDF with the organ harvesting, deliberate maiming, and stunting of “Palestinian bodies,” can certainly count on support from its ranks.

Notorious Israel-bashers such as Rashid Khalidi (Columbia University), Joel Beinin (Stanford University), and Steven Salaita (American University of Beirut) are among the signatories to an open letter to Vassar College President Catharine Bond Hill defending Puar against an alleged campaign of “vilification and hatred” following her inflammatory lecture. Unlike the vast majority of academic jargon-filled apologias for bigotry that populate the lecture circuit, Puar’s talk was widely covered and rightly condemned by a disgusted public.

In evoking “hate mail and other threats” against Puar, the authors allude to the specter of death threats — whether real or imagined — a time-honored tradition among academics unaccustomed to the twin horrors of criticism and accountability.

The letter inveighs against the particular evils of a February 17 Wall Street Journal op-ed by Mark G. Yudof, former University of California president, and Ken Waltzer, professor emeritus of history at Michigan State University, titled, “Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar.” Yudof and Waltzer had the temerity to point out the obvious: by accusing Israel of extracting organs from Palestinians for medical research, Puar was “updating the medieval blood libel against Jews.”

In the face of such censure, and unable to silence Puar’s critics, the letter’s authors urge President Hill to take the drastic action of writing “a letter to the Wall Street Journal . . . condemning in no uncertain terms the unjustifiable attack on Vassar and on Professor Puar.” Take that, free speech!
With Puar’s case as the catalyst, the open letter goes on to bemoan the supposed “suppression of speech or academic freedom related to Palestinian rights or Israeli policies” on “college and university campuses.” Predictably, it blames the “millions of dollars in donations” from “political pressure groups” and “right-wing, hawkish Israel advocates such as the casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and media owner Haim Saban” — otherwise known in conspiratorial circles as the Israel Lobby. Of the destructive impact of the millions of dollars flowing into academe from Saudi ArabiaTurkeyIran, and other despotic Muslim nations, it authors are conveniently silent.

C9ontinue reading at:  https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/03/09/college-professors-defend-colleague-who-accused-israel-of-harvesting-organs/

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Marine Veteran: Drafting Women is Key to Ending Gender Discrimination

From Motto Time: http://motto.time.com/4234492/draft-women-military/

By Kate Germano Feb. 29, 2016
'We can't demand equality on one hand but say we should be excused from the draft solely because of our gender on the other'
The debate about whether women should be required to register for Selective Service and the misguided commentary surrounding it has made one thing clear: Many senior leaders are out of touch with the attitudes of younger Americans. I think this younger generation believes that changing the current system is a natural step toward the elimination of gender discrimination in the military and the establishment of a level playing field for citizenship in America.

The proponents of keeping women in traditional roles assume that requiring us to register for the draft will create such a hue and cry from the public that it will cause officials to reconsider the wisdom of allowing women to serve in combat.

But such comments are highly emotional at best, and at worst, they demonstrate the same benevolent sexist tendencies that have prevented American women from having equal job opportunities and equal pay for decades.

Many men (and women) of a certain era believe that women need to be protected by men because we are not emotionally or physically capable of looking after ourselves. But such individuals fail to comprehend that, in seeking to shelter women from the evils of the world, they deny women the opportunity to succeed in every aspect of society. They also fail to consider that, since the Revolutionary War, women have served in combat “under the radar” and that we possess more ability to successfully wage battle than we are routinely given credit for. 

Of all of the services, the Marine Corps has been the most pedantic when it comes to diversity and cultural evolution. From racial desegregation to the abolition of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and now the integration of women into ground combat jobs, the service has historically been the slowest to embrace change. 

Over the past 12 months, the online commentary from current and former Marines has revealed significant fault lines in how male Marines perceive and treat female Marines. While I was the commanding officer of the only all-female unit in the Marine Corps, I experienced incredible pushback from my superiors when it came to trying to improve the performance of my recruits and Marines. I felt my superiors were quick to apply much harsher evaluative leadership criteria to me than to my male counterparts. Their characterization of me as an abusive leader was a clear example of the damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenarios women experience every day in both the military and civilian sectors. (I was fired after being characterized as “mean” by Marines I was simply holding accountable—an expectation for any leader in the Corps.)


An Anti-Semitism of the Left

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/08/opinion/an-anti-semitism-of-the-left.html
 
March 7, 2016

LONDON — Last month, a co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, quit in protest at what he described as rampant anti-Semitism among members. A “large proportion” of the club “and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” he said in a statement.

Chalmers referred to members of the executive committee “throwing around the term ‘Zio’” — an insult used by the Ku Klux Klan; high-level expressions of “solidarity with Hamas” and explicit defense of “their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians”; and the dismissal of any concern about anti-Semitism as “just the Zionists crying wolf.”

Noa Lessof-Gendler, a student at Cambridge University, complained last month in Varsity, a campus newspaper, that anti-Semitism was felt “in the word ‘Zio’” flung around in left-wing groups.” She wrote, “I’m Jewish, but that doesn’t mean I have Palestinian blood on my hands,” or should feel nervous “about conversations in Hall when an Israeli speaker visits.”

The rise of the leftist Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of Britain’s opposition Labour Party appears to have empowered a far left for whom support of the Palestinians is uncritical and for whom, in the words of Alan Johnson, a British political theorist, “that which the demonological Jew once was, demonological Israel now is.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/08/opinion/an-anti-semitism-of-the-left.html

Bernie Sanders or bust? That's a stance based on privilege

From The Guardian UK:   http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/democratic-vote-hillary-clinton-election-2016-bernie-sanders

People who refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton on principle may be able to ride out the storm of a Republican administration. Many of us can’t

Monday 7 March 2016

As it becomes ever more likely that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination, a host of people have announced that they either won’t vote for Clinton, or won’t vote at all, if Bernie Sanders isn’t the candidate on the ballot. I believe there’s a self-righteousness about this that only people with a certain level of privilege can afford to have.

Among them is the author of the recent Huffington Post column, “The Problem With Hillary, Chez, Is I Don’t Vote Republican”. Radio show host Russ Belville wrote:
If Donald Trump wins the presidency over Hillary Clinton, it’s not the fault of people like me who won’t vote for Republicans. It’s the fault of the Democratic Party for nominating a Republican.
There’s a long list of policies that Belville and others argue keeps Clinton in step with Republicans. But anyone actually paying attention to the Democratic primary debates of this election season will have noticed that Clinton and Sanders agree on more issues than they disagree on, and that both their platforms are polar opposites to those the GOP candidates are promoting. Sanders has even pushed Clinton to the left on certain issues.

But like the people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 in protest at Al Gore, Bernie-or-nobody voters are making a decision with implications that go far beyond their narrow frame of reference. To use Belville as sacrificial lamb, again:
We survived eight years of George W Bush, and though it did us a lot of harm and killed thousands of us, he didn’t appoint himself dictator and abolish the supreme court or anything crazy. Democracy continued.
Actually, had George W Bush never been elected, thousands of Americans would have never died in the Iraq war, not to mention many thousands more Iraqis. Then there is the matter of Hurricane Katrina, in which a natural disaster turned into a man-made catastrophe due to the incompetence of the Bush administration and their total lack of regard for the lives of poor black people in New Orleans.

Yes, affluent, mostly white progressives survived the last Republican regime, but those who literally cannot afford to act as piously as y’all suffered. I have critiqued the Obama administration, but to act as though he has not been an agent of change – and that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t do more good than Donald Trump – is to dance with delusion. Had many of these voters supported the Democrats in the non-presidential election years, Obama would’ve been able to promote an even more progressive agenda.

People who refuse to vote for a less-favored Democrat on principle are just punishing a second constituency unlikely to vote: those who know very little about the power they yield because they are so marginalized they feel their say doesn’t matter.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/democratic-vote-hillary-clinton-election-2016-bernie-sanders

“Global warming is now in overdrive”: We just hit a terrible climate milestone

From Grist:  http://grist.org/climate-energy/global-warming-is-now-in-overdrive-we-just-hit-a-terrible-climate-milestone/
 
By
4 Mar 2016 


We’ve just surpassed a historic climate threshold — and the world is still heating up.
As of Thursday morning, for the first time in recorded history, average temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere briefly crossed the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius above “normal.” Eric Holthaus picked up on the momentous occasion over at Slate, adding that global warming is now “going into overdrive.”

A few degrees warmer since preindustrial averages may not seem like much, but in the grand scheme of things, it matters. Countries around the world formally agreed years ago to hold warming under the 2-degree mark, and the respected Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned of the dangerous impacts of 2 degrees of  global warming.

The news comes in the wake of a parade of record-shattering temperatures. Last year was the hottest on record for the globe, and last month is looking pretty warm, too:

Complete article at:  http://grist.org/climate-energy/global-warming-is-now-in-overdrive-we-just-hit-a-terrible-climate-milestone/