Saturday, April 21, 2012

Welcome home, Soldiers!

AMERICANS STAND WITH ISRAEL
By Bee Sting
April 21, 2012 - Saturday

File:Iraq, Saddam Hussein (222).jpg
The U.S. troops in Iraq returned home after years of fighting Islamic terrorism in a war no longer called "A War on Terror" - a war that began on 9/11, followed by U.S. troops landing first, in Afghanistan, and later, to the country of Iraq.  To refresh our memories, from Wikipedia:
In March 2003, a coalition of countries led by the U.S. and U.K. invaded Iraq to depose Saddam, after U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused him of possessing weapons of mass destruction and having ties to al-Qaeda. Saddam's Ba'ath party was disbanded and the nation made a transition to a democratic system. Following his capture on 13 December 2003, the trial of Saddam took place under the Iraqi interim government. On 5 November 2006, Saddam was convicted of charges related to the 1982 killing of 148 Iraqi Shi'ites and was sentenced to death by hangingHis execution was carried out on 30 December 2006. ... continue reading

"Mission Accomplished" has a hollow ring to it and some would say the "mission" that began in 2003 may take 10, 20, or more years (if ever) before Iraq begins to symbolize a true democracy.  History and Americans will debate until the cows come home if it had been a wise decision to invade Iraq and I'll leave that up to the historians.

The issue I want to discuss is the fact that our troops have been fighting wars on all fronts: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, (and now, add Libya, Yemen, and South Africa) and this administration could not even allow a "Welcome Home" parade when our troops were pulled out of Iraq last December.  Our men and women have had multiple tours in distant, far away places; many lost their friends and many more have suffered loss of limbs, while all have sacrificed their lives in serving our country.  And, America was denied an opportunity to say "Thank you!  Welcome home!"  Hasn't the Vietnam War taught us anything about thanking our troops for their service?  War Memorials are good for future generations, but how about those living today - is it too much to show our appreciation for a war lasting longer than WWII, Vietnam, and probably longer than all wars combined and sadly, this War on Terror is not over yet!  
In an article printed in 2007, the health of our soldiers returning from war in Iraq is mentioned on Medscape Education:
November 15, 2007More soldiers returning from the war in Iraq show signs of mental health problems such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 6 months after their tour of duty vs immediately after coming home, according to a new study appearing in the November 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study is an analysis of the first 88,235 soldiers from the same deployment (56,350 active and 31,885 National Guard and Reserve soldiers) to have completed 2 separate screenings: the Post-Deployment Health Assessment (PDHA) immediately on their return from the war and the Post-Deployment Health Re-Assessment (PDHRA) at a median of 6 months later. continue reading ...
 Have things gotten better since that November, 2007 medical report about our soldiers?  The answer is "No" - worse!  See the report posted on Danger Room, by Katie Drummond, entitled - Darpa to Troubled Soldiers: Meet Your New Simulated Therapist (see video below:  
 DANGER ROOM - By Katie Drummond:
The Pentagon hasn’t made much progress in solving the PTSD crisis plaguing this generation of soldiers. Now it’s adding new staff members to the therapy teams tasked with spotting the signs of emotional pain and providing therapy to the beleaguered. Only this isn’t a typical hiring boost. The new therapists, Danger Room has learned, will be computer-generated “virtual humans” programmed to appear empathetic.
It’s the latest in a long series of efforts to assuage soaring rates of depression, anxiety and PTSD that afflict today’s troops. Military brass have become increasingly willing to try just about anything, from yoga and reiki to memory-adjustment pills, that holds an iota of promise. They’ve even funded computerized therapy before: In 2010, for example, the military launched an effort to create an online health portal that’d include video chats with therapists.
But this project, funded by Darpa, the Pentagon’s far-out research arm, is way more ambitious. Darpa’s research teams are hoping to combine 3-D rendered simulated therapists — think Sims characters mixed with ELIZA — with sensitive analysis software that can actually detect psychological symptoms “by analyzing facial expressions, body gestures and speech,” Dr. Albert Rizzo, the lead researcher behind the project, tells Danger Room. ... continue reading
 Wow!  A computer program that generates "empathy" to our military soldiers!  

Look, I'm all for modern technology and science, but personally, I think this program is as "empathetic" as a pet rock.  It's greeting is as warm as a bucket of ice water dumped over me.   The program may be good to diagnosis someone with depression (and computers are only as accurate as the one operating it), but it does nothing for the one sitting in front of it, watching what appears to be an SPC3 reality game, only this program is not an "action" game or one that would interest anyone for longer than 2 minutes.  If I were fighting off depression, the last thing I would want is someone telling me to go sit in front of a computer and listening to a "Sim" puppet.  And, has anyone thought about privacy?!  We're talking about typing personal information on a computer - and how many "leaks" have been distributed world-wide that should have been confidential?  Computers are NOT a safe place for bank accounts and/or medical information - period!

So, what have we learned today?  We've learned that our soldiers are arriving home to fight off another type of battle - not from bullets or bombs, but from years of fighting wars, they need medical treatment for both physical and emotional scars.  And, I'm just saying it would be nice if this administration would allow Americans the joy of greeting, meeting and welcoming home our soldiers.  

Our soldiers fought the Germans; North Koreans, Vietnamese, and today, we fight Islamic terrorism.  Get over the fear of offending those whom our troops were/are fighting  and allow us to welcome our soldiers home.

God bless our soldiers and God bless America!

I'm Already There (Message From Home)-Military Tribute





Friday, April 20, 2012

Hamas Won't Honor Peace Accords With Israel


Gaza-Hamas terrorists
The Hamas politburo's number two reaffirmed the terror movement has no intention of honoring peace agreements struck with Israel
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 4/20/2012, 1:44 PM


Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal
Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal
Reuters
A senior Hamas leader on Thursday said that if the terror group came to power in a future 'Palestinian state,' it would not abide by any previous peace agreements with Israel.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, the Hamas politburo's number-two, says any potential deal, even if ratified in a popular referendum, would be considered to be merely a hudna, or temporary truce agreement.
Abu Marzouk's remarks underline Hamas' stance that it considers itself to be at perpetual war with Israel so long as the Jewish state continues to exist.
His remarks were published Thursday in the US-based Jewish Daily Forward. It was the first such interview by a senior Hamas leader to a Jewish publication. Israel's Hebrew-language press carried the interview Friday.
They are significant in that they underscore the growing weakness of longtime politburo-chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal after the rise of Hamas as the ruling power in Gaza.
Mashaal has tentatively accepted the notion of a state on the 1967 borders, and offered PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas a one-year mandate for negotiations with Israel – but has been effectively overridden Hamas leaders in Gaza.
The Fatah-Hamas unity deal Mashaal brokered with Abbas in Qatar earlier this year has also met with stiff resistance from the terror groups Gaza faction, who fear the loss of influence a unity government would entail.
Abu Marzouk spoke from Cairo after having fled the Hamas politburo's longtime base in Syria due to President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown there.
His remarks echo previous statements by the top Hamas leaders in Gaza – Ismael Haniyeh and Mahmoud al-Zahar – than any peace agreement with Israel would only serve as a "prelude to war."




Video: New Video Reveals ISM Provocation of IDF Col. Eisner


FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

DALED AMOS

The footage below of the clash between ISM and the IDF is from Palestinian TV.
Watch the video and then check out the notes below.
The provocation by ISM, not visible in the original, edited ISM video, is evident here:

A forum on the Jewish Press site notes that though this excerpt is heavily edited, it is revealing:
  • 1:35 The Palestinian in Charge tells the ISMs to start
  • 1:40 This entire segment involving the ISM violence is now heavily cut and edited.
  • 1:43 You see part of a physical attack by an ISM on the soldiers with a bicycle, as the ISMs try to break the line.
  • You'll note the entire segment is edited, so you see parts of what the ISMers are doing.
  • You then see Eisner in the background hitting the ISMers clearly trying to break the line.
Bottom line:
  • The ISM used violence and force first with their bicycles to try to break the line.
  • Eisner is only hitting people trying to break the line, and clearly after the ISM initiated with force.

Those are key points that need to be emphasized--and are thus far being forgotten or ignored.



The elephant of Jew hatred - By Caroline Glick


Bee's note:  One comment (below) posted on Caroline's blog is one that many supporters of Israel would agree with, especially since BHO took Office.  Never before, in my lifetime, have I witnessed such animosity between a U.S. President and America's ally, Israel:

By Independent Patriot on April 20, 2012 8:14 AM

"The real reason the US and the EU won't acknowledge Jew-hatred in the Arab world is because they would then have to acknowledge the Jew-hatred in their own establishments and governments.Their own complicity in the dehumanization of the Jewish people would shine too much of a light on their own bigotry and racism."

CAROLINE GLICK

April 19, 2012, 4:09 PM
Palestinian obsession.jpg
Hatred of Jews is the central animating feature of the political and strategic reality of the Middle East. It is hatred of Jews that dictates the legal regimes, foreign policies, military aspirations, cultural mores, educational themes and even public health policies of our neighbors from Ramallah to Tehran.

Despite the centrality of Jew-hatred in all aspects of public life in the Arab and Muslim world, our neighbors' unrelenting and irrational abhorrence for Israel and the Jewish people remains a dirty secret that you aren't supposed to mention in polite company. From Washington to Brussels, talk of the policy implications of Arab and Muslim Jew-hatred is prohibited.

Omar Abu-Sneina, a convicted terrorist murderer, is one of the thousand Palestinian terrorists that Israel released from prison in order to secure the release of Israeli hostage IDF Sgt.- Maj. Gilad Schalit. Originally from Hebron, Abu-Sneina was released to Hamas-controlled Gaza.

This week the IDF announced that since his release Abu-Sneina has returned to the terror business. The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intercepted a computer memory card he sent his family in Hebron with instructions for how his fellow terrorists should go about kidnapping and holding IDF soldiers hostage. The instructions demonstrate how for Abu-Sneina, Israelis don't even deserve to be treated like animals.

Among other things, he discussed how to hide a hostage. As he put it, "Avoid hiding [the captive soldier] in desolate places, tunnels or forests, unless the aforementioned [captive] is a corpse or a severed head. If the aforementioned is a live human, that must be visited at least once a week and provided with food and drink, it is best to hide him in a house, an agricultural farm, a workplace, etc."

Abu-Sneina's coldblooded cruelty and rejection of the inherent value of the lives of Israelis is not simply a function of the fact that he is a terrorist. It is a reflection of the values of Palestinian society. Those values are continuously expressed and reinforced by Fatah- and Hamas-controlled media outlets, cultural and educational institutions and religious authorities. The ubiquitousness of Jew-hatred in the daily lives of Palestinians is so overwhelming it is difficult to imagine any facet of Palestinian life that isn't inundated by it.

Take grammar lessons. According to a translation provided by Palestinian Media Watch, the Palestinian Authority's Arabic language matriculation examinations for high school students include questions such as "Punctuate the underlined phrase: Do not view the occupier as human." And "Punctuate the underlined phrase: We shall die in order that our land may live."

THIS WEEK, a Palestinian court sentenced Muhammad Abu Shahala to death for selling a home in Hebron near the Cave of the Patriarchs to Jews. Shahala was arrested shortly after several Jewish families moved into the house last month. He was reportedly tortured and quickly tried and sentenced to die by a PA court.

The PA was established in May 1994. The first law it adopted defined selling land to Jews as a capital offense. Shortly thereafter scores of Arab land sellers began turning up dead in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria in both judicial and extrajudicial killings.

Leaders of the Jewish community of Hebron wrote a letter to international leaders this week asking them to intervene with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and demand that he cancel Shahala's sentence. They addressed the letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, the director-general of the International Red Cross, Yves Daccord, as well as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. In it they wrote, "It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a 'capital crime' punishable by death.

"The very fact that such a 'law' exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages."

They went on to make the reasonable comparison between the PA's law prohibiting land sales to Jews to Nazi Germany's Nuremburg laws that constrained and finally outlawed trade between Jews and Germans. The letter concluded with the question, "Is the Palestinian Authority a reincarnation of the Third Reich?" 

The Palestinians of course are far from unique in their obsession with hating Jews. Their hemorrhage of hatred, their obsessive need to reject any move towards peaceful coexistence with Israel, or what the renowned late Palestinian poet Yousuf Al Khatib referred to picturesquely as "the Jewish filth of Europe," is matched in every Arab land. And of course, it is the primary obsession of the Iranian regime.

The parallels between Nazi laws and the laws of the PA and the Arab states that outlaw all cooperation with Israel and make such cooperation a capital offense are obvious and straightforward. Yet generally speaking, anyone who points out this fact is automatically dismissed as an alarmist or an extremist. Given the PA's relative military weakness when compared with Israel and the Arab world's current lack of interest in waging active war against Israel, noting their inarguable ideological affinity with the Nazis is considered socially and even intellectually unacceptable. The fact that they lack the ability to implement their ideology renders it improper to mention it.

The social prohibition on drawing parallels between the threats facing Israel today and those that faced the Jewish people 70 years ago is not limited to the discourse on the Arab world's conflict with Israel. It also extends to polite society's discourse on Iran's nuclear program, which the Iranian regime has repeatedly made clear is aimed at destroying Israel.

In his address to the nation at the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took aim at that taboo when he attacked those who accuse him of belittling the Holocaust by comparing the annihilation of European Jewry to the threat posed by Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Netanyahu said, "I know there are also those who believe that the unique evil of the Holocaust should never be invoked in discussing other threats facing the Jewish people. To do so, they argue, is to belittle the Holocaust and to offend its victims.

"I totally disagree. On the contrary. To cower from speaking the uncomfortable truth - that today like then, there are those who want to destroy millions of Jewish people - that is to belittle the Holocaust, that is to offend its victims and that is to ignore the lessons.

"Not only does the prime minister of Israel have the right, when speaking of these existential dangers, to invoke the memory of a third of our nation which was annihilated. It is his duty."

NETANYAHU IS right, of course. Unfortunately for Israel, raising the Holocaust in the context of a discussion about contemporary threats to the Jewish people is the rhetorical equivalent of dropping a nuclear bomb. Just as no one is allowed to use a nuclear bomb, no one is allowed to mention the Holocaust. And that means that there is ultimately no way to speak about the violent hatred that animates our enemies in every aspect of their policy making. From the seemingly anodyne issue of property sales to the existential issue of nuclear weapons programs, the Jew-hatred that lies at the foundation of their actions is out of bounds for discussion.

Actually, the situation is both better and worse than that. Netanyahu's rhetorical boldness in drawing the parallel between Iran and the Nazis is arguably the only reason that the EU and the Obama administration have taken any actions against Iran. No, as their feckless negotiations with the mullahs, their foot-dragging in implementing economic sanctions, and their outspoken opposition to military action against Iran make clear, they do not really mind the prospect of Iran acquiring the ability to wipe out the Jewish state. The only reason they have adopted sanctions at all is because Netanyahu's Holocaust rhetoric made them fear that Israel would attack Iran's nuclear installations if they didn't.

On the other hand, when it comes to their direct dealings with Jew-haters, Westerners not only fail to confront them about their prejudice. They enable it. For instance, at a townhall meeting during her visit to Tunisia last month, Hillary Clinton was asked how US leaders can be trusted when during elections, "most of the candidates from both sides run towards the Zionist lobbies to get their support."

Rather than reject the anti-Jewish premise of the question - that Jews exert inordinate control over US politics or that there is something wrong with candidates expressing support for Israel - Clinton treated the question as legitimate.

She said, "A lot of things are said in political campaigns that should not bear a lot of attention."

Clinton even congratulated her anti-Jewish questioner, saying, "I think it's a fair question because I... sometimes am a little surprised that people around the world pay more attention to what is said in our political campaigns than most Americans."

Similarly, a report on the behind the scenes goings on at last weekend's nuclear negotiations with Iran published by Al-Monitor described the friendly discussion that took place at a dinner Friday night between EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili. According to a European diplomat, the conversation was aimed at breaking the ice. And it included a discussion of "political party funding in the US."

It is hard to imagine that such a discussion involved anything other than a group tongue-clucking session directed against the inordinate impact of "Jewish money" on US electoral politics. That is, it is all but impossible to imagine that the discussion involved anything other than Ashton attempting to build a rapport with her Iranian counterpart based on shared hatred or contempt for Jews.

The fact that the West refuses to consider the policy implications of the most powerful force in Arab and Iranian policy-making and political life does not mean that Israeli policy-makers should necessarily expand their discussion of the topic - although it would probably not hurt for them to do so. What it means is that the general policy debate in the West about the nature of Middle Eastern politics is completely divorced from reality.

Because the Americans and the Europeans refuse to acknowledge the elephant of Jew-hatred in the middle of the room, they cannot be trusted to make reasoned or rational policy decisions. And since they cannot be trusted to act rationally, Israel cannot rely on the Americans or the Europeans as allies or partners when it confronts threats from its Jew-obsessed neighbors.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 

Flytilla: Prevent, arrest and deport


THE JERUSALEM POST

By DANNY DANON
04/16/2012 21:45

In dealing with those who openly call for the destruction of the Jewish state, it is a waste of time to make ‘the case for Israel.’

Detained 'flytilla' activists at Ben-Gurion AirporPhoto: Avi Ohayon / GPO
The unfortunate incident which took place in the Jordan Valley on Saturday where an IDF officer was forced to fight off an anti-Israel activist has proven once again that we are not dealing correctly with this latest attack on the very legitimacy of our existence.

We witnessed this regrettable phenomenon again this week with the ludicrous internal debate that has surrounded the “flytilla” attack on Israel. Our society is busying itself with an absurd internal debate that includes calls from the extreme Left to welcome these anti-Israel activists and open a dialogue with them.

This is not only misguided, but actually endangers the foundations of our society.

Attempts to explain the rationality behind the Zionist dream of building a state in our historic homeland will simply not work with those who are attempting infiltrate Israel’s borders only to attack us from within.

It is time that we recognize the reality we are faced with. The State of Israel is at war. This war is being fought on a completely different battlefield than in the past, one in which the word de-legitimization has replaced bullets and provocative actions such as the flotilla have replaced tanks and fighter planes.

Nevertheless, we must not be confused by this new type of warfare. Just as we did not hesitate to confront to violent acts perpetuated by our enemies in the past, we cannot waver in our resolve against this new threat.

Would we allow a suicide bomber into our country so that we could attempt a “dialogue” with him? Of course not.

Here, too, we must not be na├»ve and bury our heads in the sand. While the “delegitimization battle” may be sometimes confusing and seem less dangerous then actual acts of war, the implications of capitulation will be just as dire for Israel’s future as a military loss would be.

TO COMBAT this new form of warfare we must be just as creative now as we have been in the past on the traditional battlefield.

We must immediately implement a three-pronged approach to keeping these terrorists out of Israel: prevent, arrest and deport.

Our diplomats and envoys abroad must work with our allies around the world to ensure that these troublemakers never make it on a plane in the first place, and our security and immigration officials here in Israel should ensure that those who do get through are arrested and then either jailed or deported.

During this past week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his ministers prepared well for the current onslaught and the results of having a well thought-out policy are evident in the fact that the “flytilla” we were warned so much about ended relatively quietly. They should be commended for their vigilance.

Still, as we saw with the Jordan Valley incident these steps must be further strengthened and stringently implemented.

The militant activist from Denmark who attacked the IDF officer should have never been in a position to do so. He never should have been allowed entry into Israel. Once he was allowed in, he should have been arrested and tried at the first sign of illegal activity. Even now, it is unacceptable that he is walking free in our country after violently attacking an officer. He must be arrested and deported immediately.

The State of Israel must defend itself against anarchists and all those who openly state that their only reason for entering the country is to work from within to ensure its destruction. We have seen what has happened in the past when we allow such activities to go on unchecked. What began as “non-violent” protests against our right to build a security fence to defend against suicide bombers has turned in to weekly riots in places like Bil’in where rocks, concrete blocks and firebombs are regularly hurled at our soldiers.

Theses so-called activists not only take part in these violent attacks on our security forces, but also gather intelligence against Israel and donate to organizations that bankroll terrorism against our citizens.

While I am a fervent advocate of hasbara (public diplomacy) outreach – I have personally spent countless hours, days and weeks traveling around the world speaking out on behalf of our legitimate rights – we must also know when the time for talk has ended. In dealing those who openly call for the destruction of the Jewish state, it is a waste of time to make “the case for Israel.” Instead, we must meet this challenge as we have similar threats in the past, with creativity and determination, to ensure that the interests of the State of Israel and the Jewish people are safeguarded against those who seek to hurt us.

The writer is deputy speaker of the Knesset and chairman of the World Likud.


Dog-Eating and Obama’s Identity

PJ MEDIA
April 19, 2012 - 4:44 am - by David P. Goldman



What a careful reader will take away from Barack Obama’s memoir Dreams from My Father is not only that the president used to eat dog meat, but more importantly, that he identifies with dog-eaters. He wants us to understand that he is one of them. Obama’s most severe critics on the right think of Obama as a socialist, for example, Dinesh D’Souza, or Stanley Kurtz in his exhaustively-researched book Radical-in-Chief. Obama used to attend the annual “Socialist Scholars Conference” in New York, which was a hard-core affair; I went to a couple of them, and they weren’t for the curious. But there is something far more visceral, more existential to the president’s dislike of the United States, and that arises from his early residence in the Third World, and his identification with the people of the Third World whose lives are disrupted by the creative destruction that America has unleashed.
Obama is the son of a Kenyan Muslim father, the stepson of an Indonesian Muslim, and the child, most of all, of an American anthropologist who devoted her career to protecting Indonesian traditional life against the depredations of the global marketplace. Her doctoral dissertation, “Peasant blacksmithing in Indonesia: surviving against all odds,” celebrated traditional cultures hanging on desperately in the face of the global economic marketplace.
Ms. Dunham was not only a Communist fellow-traveler, but the sort of 1960s woman who (as we used to say) “put her body on the line,” first by marrying two Third World men, and then by spending her career in the Third World. It is no surprise that Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States. Consider this description of the Jakarta of his childhood from Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from My Father: “And yet for all that poverty [in the Indonesian marketplace], there remained in their lives a discernible order, a tapestry of trading routes and middlemen, bribes to pay and customs to observe, the habits of a generation played out every day beneath the bargaining and the noise and the swirling dust. It was the absence of such coherence that made a place like [the Chicago housing projects] so desperate.” Obama had chances to compare the orderliness and regularity of traditional life with the rough-and-tumble of American capitalism, and chose to identify with the former.
One has to spend time in the Third World to appreciate how intensely Ann Dunham’s boy dislikes America. Once in Lima, around the corner from the Finance Ministry, I watched a father and mother selling chewing gum at a stoplight. At the curb sat a little girl who couldn’t have been more than four and probably was younger, taking care of her one-year-old sister. They were indigenous and probably spoke little Spanish. And they would spend the day at the stoplight to earn enough to buy sufficient calories and cooking fuel to keep body and soul together for another day. No wealthy Peruvian would think to fund a soup kitchen; they were more likely to get help from foreign charities, American evangelicals or perhaps the Catholic Church. But there wasn’t much help to go around. I gave the four-year-old a few dollars in local currency; she took the money and ran to her parents to show them the manna that had fallen from heaven.
One sees things like this every day, a hundred times a day, in most Third World cities. If you grow up watching this sort of pain around you, and you are told by daddy and step-daddy and mommy that it is the United States of America that is to blame for the pain, you form the sort of attitudes that Obama represented frankly and without disguise in his autobiography.
Globalization — which ultimately is a good thing — may be unspeakably destructive for traditional societies in its path. Tens of millions of people are forcibly torn out of their roots. In Thailand, farmers become construction workers in the big cities, and the girls they would have married in their villages become prostitutes. Education and income and health all improve, on average, but the disruption of lives produces immeasurable hurt.
We laugh about it, but people in some Third World countries eat dog meat because they are poor — not only so poor that they will consume almost any source of protein, but so poor that they cannot afford to enjoy the natural bond between human and canine that began almost 15,000 years ago. For a billion or so people, life is a daily struggle to survive. People who are that poor also sell their daughters into prostitution. Female flesh is almost as cheap as dog meat in parts of the Third World, and for the same reason.
I wrote in February 2008, nine months before Obama was elected:
America is not the embodiment of hope, but the abandonment of one kind of hope in return for another. America is the spirit of creative destruction, selecting immigrants willing to turn their back on the tragedy of their own failing culture in return for a new start. Its creative success is so enormous that its global influence hastens the decline of other cultures. For those on the destruction side of the trade, America is a monster. Between half and nine-tenths of the world’s 6,700 spoken languages will become extinct in the next century, and the anguish of dying peoples rises up in a global cry of despair. Some of those who listen to this cry become anthropologists, the curators of soon-to-be extinct cultures; anthropologists who really identify with their subjects marry them. Obama’s mother, the University of Hawaii anthropologist Ann Dunham, did so twice.
Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics. Anthropologists, though, proceed from resentment against the devouring culture of America and sympathy with the endangered cultures of the primitive world. Obama inverts the anthropological model: he applies the tools of cultural manipulation out of resentment against America. The probable next president of the United States is a mother’s revenge against the America she despised.
It really isn’t unfair at all to bring Obama’s canine consumption to public attention. The president isn’t really one of us. He’s a dog-eater. He tells the story in his memoir to emphasize that viscerally, Obama identifies with the Third World of his upbringing more than with the America of his adulthood. It is our great misfortune to have a president who dislikes our country at this juncture in our history.


Iran stonewalling efforts to inspect Parchin site


THE JERUSALEM POST

By REUTERS
04/19/2012 20:36

Tehran claiming it is ready to resume talks with UN nuclear watchdog over its nuke program, Western diplomats say.

IAEA meeting Director General Yukiya Amano Photo: Herwig Prammer / Reuters
VIENNA - Iran says it is ready to resume talks with the UN nuclear watchdog two months after their last meeting ended in failure, but still appears to be stonewalling a request for access to a key military site, Western diplomats said on Thursday.
Just days after Iran and six world powers restarted negotiations in Istanbul, the Islamic Republic delivered a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on holding new discussions with the UN body as well.
But Vienna-based diplomats said it did not mention the IAEA's most pressing demand - that its inspectors be allowed to visit the Parchin military site southeast of Tehran, where the agency believes nuclear-relevant research may have taken place.
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told Reuters last month he did not rule out that Iran may be trying to remove evidence prior to any visit. Western diplomats say they suspect the site is being "sanitized", a charge Tehran dismisses.
Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, handed over the letter to senior agency officials on Tuesday which said Tehran is "ready to resume the negotiations", one Western diplomat said.
But, another envoy said, it "does not offer the agency access to Parchin."
A third diplomat said, the IAEA may decide to travel to Tehran again in any case, before a meeting of the agency's 35-nation governing board in early June to show that it is giving "dialogue a chance."
Neither the IAEA nor Iran was immediately available for comment on the issue.
Iran's overtures to the UN agency, which is tasked with preventing the spread of nuclear weapons in the world, coincides with renewed diplomacy between the Islamic state and the six world powers.
Both Tehran and the powers said they were content with progress made in last Saturday's talks in Istanbul which did not go into detail but, unlike earlier rounds of negotiations, stayed on the subject of Iran's nuclear program.
Access to Parchin site still being blocked
Iran's foreign minister said on Monday that his country was ready to resolve all nuclear issues in the next round of talks with the powers - the United States, Germany, France, Russia, China and Britain - if the West starts lifting sanctions.
The United States has ruled out, however, any easing of punitive measures before Tehran takes concrete and significant action to allay suspicions over its disputed nuclear program.
"The negotiations may be long, arduous, and ultimately unsatisfactory," said Alireza Nader, a senior analyst at RAND Corporation, a US-based research group.
Western powers suspect Iran is seeking to develop the capability to make nuclear bombs. Iran, one of the world's largest oil producers, says its program is a peaceful project to generate electricity and produce medical isotopes.
An IAEA report late last year revealed a trove of intelligence pointing to research activities in Iran of use in developing the means and technologies needed to assemble nuclear weapons, should it decide to do so.
The UN agency's document lent independent weight to Western suspicions and paved the way for the United States and its European allies to dramatically ratchet up sanctions against Iran, targeting its lifeblood oil exports.
One salient finding in the report was information that Iran had built a large containment chamber at Parchin in which to conduct high-explosives tests that the IAEA said are "strong indicators of possible weapon development."
Two rounds of meetings between a senior IAEA team and Iran in January and February in Tehran failed to produce any breakthrough in the nuclear dispute, with Iran not granting access to Parchin.
Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

Iran has rejected suspicions aired about the site as "ridiculous" and "childish."
But RAND's Nader said Iran must come clean "regarding clandestine work directly related to nuclear westernization", including opening up sites such as Parchin to inspections.

Compare and Contrast, II - Class Warfare

IS THIS BLOG ON?

“I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn’t, either,” the president said to a crowd of 400 students at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio. “But somebody gave us a chance. Just like these folks up here are looking for a chance.”
Of course, the Obama fortune is estimated to be around $11 million dollars, and his children were born -practically – with silver spoons intheir mouths. They’ve grown up with privileged and excess of which most of us can only dream.
Obama was given “a chance”? Obama had some sort of golden path laid out for him; one that lead to spectacular achievement from very little accomplishment.
Obama insinuates that Romney doesn’t understand the struggles that most Americans face, but he – of course – does. This feeds the fantasy story he’s created of some hard-luck life that he didn’t live. He grew up rather privileged, to be honest, and attended an elite prep school paid for by his well-off grandparents. After that, he was able to attend schools that pretty much guaranteed future success.
Having graduated Punahao, Obama went to Occidental -not cheap by any means- , then on to Columbia, and then Harvard. None of these schools are attended by average or middle class Americans. The income distribution for all three is skewed towards the top 10 % percent of the social ladder.
As a couple,  the Obama’s didn’t exactly live the life of your typical struggling young family, living in a Hyde Park before they moved to their mansion in Kenwood. His daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (tuition -starting at $23,526 per year) , and now attend Sidwell Friends (starting at $31,960 per year).
But, no silver spoon, remember?
The problem with Obama’s class warfare argument is that it’s based on a lie. His redistributive policies don’t work, and he – personally – has NO idea what it’s like to struggle. What it’s like to attend a horrible school that won’t open any doors for you later. What it’s like to wonder if you’re going to be able to afford those braces your kids need, or worry about the rising price of beef.
He doesn’t know what it’s like to have to tell this kids “No, we can’t go on vacation this year. ” :
“The fact of the matter is, I think if you look at my track record, I’m raising a family here. When we travel, we got to travel through Secret Service, and Air Force One, that’s not my choice. I think most folks understand how hard I work and how hard this administration is working on behalf of the American people,” Obama told KMOV of St Louis.
Yea, buddy. I’m raising a family here too.
Via Mare – this rant:
You weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth but you sure as hell have one now… bought and paid for with the money of the American people. You have plenty of silver spoons today but it is hard to see where you ever in your life had a productive job.
*****

No, you may not have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth but you have had the entire world handed to you on a silver platter. You may not been born with silver but you have gamed the system to, without producing a goddamned thing, create a lifetime supply of silver, gold and power.
Your little girls sure as hell have silver spoons in their mouths. Are you going to begrudge them that? Are they to be held in contempt for it? Or is the contempt for others “born with silver spoons” hypocritical? The American people want to know.
Now, just because I’m pissed off, here’s your “Compare and Contrast” for the day.
– Spring Break 2012, Malia Obama in Mexico with 25 Secret Service agents.- added as update
– President’s Day 2012, Michelle and the first daughters in Aspen, Colorado to ski.
– Christmas 2011, the first family in Hawaii for an extended vacation.
– Summer 2011, in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., for the annual beach break.
– June 2011, the first lady, her mother and daughters traveled to South Africa and Botswana.
– President’s Day 2011, the first lady and first daughters travel to Vail to ski.
– Christmas 2010, in Hawaii.
– August 2010, the first family traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for some sun and fun at the beach.
– August 2010, Obama spent the weekend alone in Chicago for his 49th birthday bash.
– August 2010, the first lady and daughter Sasha traveled to Spain for a mother-daughter vacation.
– August 2010, summer vacation again at Martha’s Vineyard.
– July 2010, the first family went to Mount Desert Island, Maine.
– May 2010, the first family had a four-day trip to Chicago.
– March 2010, first lady and daughter spend Spring Break in New York City.
– Christmas 2009, Hawaii again for the annual break.
– August 2009, at Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon for a short vacation.
– August 2009, their first summer vacation as first family at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
The O’Brien family Vacation:
- Two separate one-week camping trips to Pennsylvania (2009 and 2011)
- grand total of 8 weekends (over the course of three years) skiing in Michigan (done as inexpensively as possible)
- One long weekend away to a Bed and Breakfast in Michigan (2011)
The cost for some of the Obama vacations can be found here – hey, he’s just raising a family folks.
This entry was posted on April 19, 2012 at 9:08 am

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Bee's Note:
The "O'Brien's family vacation" sounds similar to my married son's vacations with his family.  As a matter of fact, for the past two years, he's down to one week camping with his younger children, while his two oldest sons no longer can afford the camping trips (which they loved!), as they will be working to help pay college expenses.  This year, he found a camp ground closer to home, as the price of gas is so expensive, he is cutting down on travel time.
I have a feeling that between the costs of everything, including gas, food, etc., there will be fewer families able to take a vacation this summer.  
It never bothered me to hear about vacations my Presidents were able to take; but when you consider President Bush's idea of a vacation was spending time on his ranch in Texas for a few weeks and compare that to what the Obama family is spending, as they go whipping around the world every few months, ... not even spending their money in the USA, it does make me think of that old expression: "Let them eat cake".