Monday, May 30, 2011

My Friend Bob and the Boston Red Sox

The year 2004 was momentous, full of great ups and terrible downs for me. Early in June I watched the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team I had started following when I moved to Florida, win their first Stanley Cup. A little later that month I lost my older daughter, a truly beautiful woman who succumbed to many years of alcohol addiction. In August there was another disaster when my Florida condo was severely damaged by Hurricane Charlie, which ravaged the state and single-handily changed the economics of Florida living, perhaps for all time.

Then in October, 2004, the Boston Red Sox came from three games down to win the American League pennant and the World Series, for the first time since 1918, and this really starts my little story.

In 1946 in Rhode Island, one of my best childhood friends, Bob, introduced me to baseball and to the Red Sox, who were in the World Series that year, but lost to the Cardinals. At that time, Ted Williams, the last .400 hitter, had just returned from military service as a Marine fighter-pilot in World War II to resume his role at the best hitter in major league baseball. (Ted would later, in the early 1950’s, take more time out of his career to become once again a Marine pilot, flying 39 combat missions during the Korean War.)

From the time Bob introduced me to baseball, the Red Sox and Ted Williams, we became inseparable companions who played baseball morning, noon and night, usually wearing out three sets of playmates every day. Eventually, as we went to different high schools and made our separate ways in life, we lost track of each other, and the Red Sox never won another World Series.

For more than 50 years our lives never crossed until the fall of 2004, when the Red Sox finally won another world championship. At the time I was living in my summer home in Rhode Island, and I decided that I had to find out if Bob was still around and where he was, so we could revel in the Red Sox win.

I took out my Rhode Island phonebook and looked up his last name, intending to call everyone with that name until I found someone who might know him. As luck would have it, the very first name I called was Bob’s older brother who gave me his phone number and e-mail address. I found out that Bob lived in a small town in North Carolina, and I immediately called him.

For six and one-half years now we have communicated by phone and e-mails and talked baseball talk and other things. We have tried to visit one another, but some crisis has always prevented it from happening.

Last week I discovered this video of Ted Williams, and I have placed it just below. This is for you, Bob:

If video doesn't play, go here.


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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Please Pat Down That Baby!

Usually I'm on the side of those seeking to limit government actions and maximize individual freedoms, but in the case of the protection of airline passengers from Muslim terrorists, please pat down that baby! I have felt that way ever since I learned of that Iraqi couple who put explosives in their baby's diaper so they could blow him and themselves up in the midst of American soldiers. The people who want to kill us are crazy, and it takes mind boggling measures to stop them.

Please, you nuts in Texas and Utah, get out of the way and let the TSA do their job so I can feel some measure of safety when I fly. You are obviously ignorant of what has been going on in the world.

Texans Revolt Against TSA Tyranny

Steve Watson May 27, 2011

Utah looks likely to be the next state to follow the example set by Texas in attempting to make TSA grope downs a felony.

Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman has introduced a bill into the Utah House of Representatives that would ensure TSA agents would have to abide by the same Fourth Amendment limits that police do when performing searches on Americans.

“It is a work in progress,” Wimmer told the Utah Daily Herald. “What it would do right now is simply say TSA agents are not exempt from the requirement of reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pat down a citizen.”

Like the bill that was recently unanimously passed in the Texas House, Wimmer’s legislation would make it an offense to touch the private parts of the person on the receiving end of the pat-down.

As we reported yesterday, the man who was instrumental in working with the federal government to sabotage the Texas bill was Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a former CIA agent and establishment insider considered to be the wealthiest man in Texas politics.

The bill stalled in the Texas Senate, after the Department of Justice sent a letter threatening to impose a no fly zone over Texas and shut down Texas airports. The warning was nothing short of a federal blockade and an act of financial terrorism.

Rep. Wimmer, a long time champion of states rights, told the Utah Daily Herald that it is untrue that the federal government has supremacy over the state of Texas in the matter.

“The absolute overbearing audacity of the federal government in threatening Texas while Texas is trying to protect their citizens should really offend any red-blooded American,” Wimmer said, adding that the issue has been transformed from solely a Fourth Amendment concern to an assault on the Tenth Amendment and states rights.

As a former police officer, Wimmer is adamant that TSA agents should be held up to the same standards as law enforcement officers, and that law abiding citizens should not be subjected to personal searches without reason.

“It does not feel like America when you are going through a TSA checkpoint at the airport,” Wimmer said.

Wimmer’s bill will be considered and debated in the new year when the 2012 legislative session begins in Utah.

Lawmakers in other states, including New Hampshire and California, have already looked into banning TSA gropedowns.

A number of other lobby groups, state and local authorities around the country have also resolved to either block the TSA body scanners or kick the TSA out of airports altogether, including New Jersey, where Republican state Senator Mike Doherty has vowed to push for legislation that will ban both the scanners as well as invasive groping techniques.

Should several more states follow the same example set by Texas, the TSA and the Justice Department will have a major job on their hands threatening half the country with no fly zones and convincing Americans that it is the prudent course of action.


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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Palestine, Israel and its Peoples and Borders

The recent, clumsy attempt by President Obama to meddle in the life or death border issues of Israel has sparked wide interest in the history of this area and its peoples, which has motivated me to republish an article I originally published two years ago.

The original Mandate for Palestine, agreed to unanimously by the League of Nations in 1920, designated 124,466 sq. km. for the Jewish National Homeland, to be known as Israel. Here’s the map of that area:

Two years later, that 120,466 sq. km. had been reduced to 28,166 sq. km., as requested by the British trustees and approved by the League of Nation. The remaining 77% of the land originally proposed for the Jewish homeland was to become the Arab state of Jordan.

The creation of an Arab state in eastern Palestine (today Jordan) on 77 percent of the landmass of the original Mandate intended for a Jewish National Home in no way changed the status of Jews west of the Jordan River, nor did it inhibit their right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

These documents are the last legally binding documents regarding the status of what is commonly called “the West Bank and Gaza.”

The Jewish homeland was to consist of all the land west of the Jordan River, stretching to the Mediterranean Sea - and including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Arabs would not have it. The League of Nations dissolved into the United Nations and the problem was handed over to the U.N., including the trusteeship of the British mandate to make a Jewish state a reality. The Mandate stood.

U.N. Resolution 181, known also as the U.N. 1947 Partition Resolution, was passed by the U.N. General Assembly, and implemented but never accepted by the Arabs. The Iraq spokesman took to the podium and put on record “Iraq does not recognize the validity of this decision.” From Syria: “My country will never recognize such a decision [Partition]. It will never agree to be responsible for it.” From Yemen: “…the Government of Yemen does not consider itself bound by such a decision,…”

The Partition Plan was met not only by verbal rejection on the Arab side but also by concrete, bellicose steps to block its implementation and destroy the Jewish polity by force of arms, a goal the Arabs publicly declared even before Resolution 181 was brought to a vote.

Arabs not only rejected the compromise and took action to prevent establishment of a Jewish state but also blocked establishment of an Arab state under the partition plan not just before the Israel War of Independence, but also after the war when they themselves controlled the West Bank (1948-1967), rendering the recommendation ‘a still birth.’

The UN itself recognized that 181 had not been accepted by the Arab side, rendering it a dead issue:

The U.N. partition began. More land was taken from the Jewish homeland.

The partition plan took on a checkerboard appearance. This was largely because Jewish towns and villages were spread throughout Palestine. This did not complicate the plan as much as the fact that the high living standards in Jewish cities and towns had attracted large Arab populations. This demographic factor insured that any partition would result in a Jewish state that included a substantial Arab population. Recognizing the need to allow for additional Jewish settlement, the majority proposal allotted the Jews land in the northern part of the country, Galilee, and the large, arid Negev desert in the south. The remainder was to form the Arab state.

The map now looked like this:

These boundaries were based solely on demographics. The borders of the Jewish State were arranged with no consideration of security; hence, the new state’s frontiers were virtually indefensible. Overall, the Jewish State was to be comprised of roughly 5,500 square miles and the population was to be 538,000 Jews and 397,000 Arabs. The Arab State was to be 4,500 square miles with a population of 804,000 Arabs and 10,000 Jews. Though the Jews were allotted more total land, the majority of that land was in the desert.

Israel’s land which was originally mandated at 126,000+ sq. km., was now to be a mere 14,245 sq. kms. In addition to limiting Jewish lands, the immigration of Jews was also limited so that a majority of Jews in the land would never be accomplished.

Arab immigration had no immigration restrictions.

Israel accepted the partition, but in reality, it did not change or diminish the legality of the lands mandated for Israel - which still included the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - BECAUSE, the Arabs would agree to nothing which facilitated Jews in Palestine.

Creating the Arab state of Jordan in no way affected or “changed the status of Jews west of the Jordan River, nor did it inhibit their right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”

Nothing from the time of the Mandate until today, changes the fact that under international law, the West Bank and Gaza is open to Jewish settlement.

Under international law, neither Jordan nor the Palestinian Arab ‘people’ of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have a substantial claim to the sovereign possession of the occupied territories.

The UN Charter’s Article 80 implicitly recognizes the “Mandate for Palestine” of the League of Nations. The International Court of Justice has reaffirmed the validity of Article of 80.

In other words, neither the ICJ nor the UN General Assembly can arbitrarily change the status of Jewish settlement as set forth in the “Mandate for Palestine,” an international accord that has never been amended.

All of western Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, including the West Bank and Gaza, remains open to Jewish settlement under international law.

The new Jewish state was to have the right to self-determination of political, civil and religious rights. “Not once are Arabs as a people mentioned in the Mandate for Palestine. At no point in the entire document is there any granting of political rights to non-Jewish entities (i.e., Arabs).”

The Arabs accepted nothing. They wanted no Jews in Palestine, under any circumstance - there would be, to this day, no acceptable plan to which Arabs would agree to living next door to Jews.

On May 14th, 1948, a temporary legislature of the soon-to-be Israel, accepted the U.N. partition and declared statehood.

Eleven minutes after, the United States recognized the State of Israel. On May 15th, 1948 Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria invaded the sovereign nation of Israel, crossing international frontiers, and the Arab-Israeli War (Israeli War of Independence) began.

By July 24, 1949, Syria had signed an armistice agreement and Israel had increased it’s land area by almost 50% over the U.N. partition plan. The resulting armistice determined Israel’s borders for nineteen years. Egypt gained Gaza in the armistice.

By Fall 1949, Jordan had control of Gaza and East Jerusalem.

The odd and secretive 1956 War began. The short but incomplete story is that Israel took Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and then under threat by the U.S., gave it back.

Then came the 1967 Six Day War. In the Spring, Syria conducted terrorist raids against Israel, water was diverted by Syria from Israel and from irrigation projects for south and central Israel, although approved by Arab engineers as non-detrimental to Arab lands, were not approved by the Arab governments. In May, Egypt blocked the Strait of Tiran to Israeli ships. “Lebanon, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia all activated their militaries. Iraqi troops reportedly approached the Syrian and Jordanian borders while Jordan moved tanks towards the West Bank.”

Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia formed a “defense pact.” Egyptian President Nasser said “Our basic objective will be the destruction if Israel. The Arab people want to fight….” The tiny nation of Israel was surrounded by “some 500,000 troops, more than 5,000 tanks, and almost 1,000 fighter planes.” France, Israel’s major arms supplier, issued a “complete ban on weapons sales and transfers to Israel.”

Under the leadership of Moyshe Dayan, Israel decided to go to war on June 5, 1967.

After a three days of fierce fighting, especially in and around Jerusalem, Israeli forces defeated the Jordanians and gained control of all of Jerusalem as well as the West Bank, the historical heartland of the Jewish people known to Israelis as Judea and Samaria. Following an air attack by the Syrians on the first day of the war, Israel dealt a shattering blow to the Syrian air force. …on fifth day of the war, the Israelis mustered enough forces to remove the Syrian threat from the Golan Heights. This difficult operation was completed the following day, bringing the active phase of the war to a close.

Israel now looked like this:

The areas shown in bright green (Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem) were occupied by Israel during the 6-day war. Israel has since returned all of Sinai to Egypt in return for peace. Most of Gaza is currently under the jurisdiction of the autonomous Palestinian Authority (2002). Parts of the West Bank (see Map of Israel and Palestinian territories following Oslo II) had been ceded to the Palestinian authority, but these areas are currently re-occupied by Israel.

Following the 6 day war, Israel began building settlements in these areas.

The aftermath of the war was complicated, but one fact was all too simple: Arabs rejected all diplomatic attempts.

Some of [the] displaced people were able to return to Israeli-controlled West Bank and, along with their neighbors, witnessed unprecedented economic growth over the course of the next two decades. Israeli investment into the infrastructure of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, coupled with policies that allowed Arabs to move freely increased the standard of living of Palestinians, who were now able to work both in Israel and in the oil rich countries in the Middle East.

After years of relative prosperity followed, but Palestinians and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) insisted that they would replace Israel, not co-exist with her.

With continued PLO agitation of the people, violence became common. Israel made peace with Egypt and returned the Sinai. The 1993 failed Oslo Peace Accord had Israel giving up the Gaza Strip and the West Bank - which was accomplished with Israel’s withdrawal, including the ejection of Jewish residents in the area in 2005.

Once out of Gaza, nothing changed. The terrorists of Gaza Strip became slumlords and violence against Israel has continued.

Palestinian militants—with the support of their Hamas-led government—have used the evacuated territory to launch rockets into Israel’s pre-1967 borders, shelling residents of Sderot and other neighboring communities and causing death, injuries and damage within Israel. Since Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the territory has also become the site of deadly internecine violence among Palestinian factions, kidnapping of journalists, vandalism, looting and general mayhem. Far from bringing peace to the Gaza Strip, the withdrawal has resulted in less secure borders for Israel.

In the 1973 War (Yom Kippur War), again the Arab world came against Israel, as Egypt sought to regain territories lost to Israel in 1967. After two days of trying to recover from the surprise attack, Israel’s IDF blocked Syrian, Egyptian and Iraqi assaults and once again took the Golan Heights. By the time a U.N. ceasefire was implemented, “Israel had completely surrounded the Egyptian Third Army.”

How could they succeed when Palestinian leadership remained and remains committed to the destruction of Israel? For those deluded into thinking that Palestinians will accept “peace” with Israel, and co-exist next door to her - if only Israel will remove all settlements from wherever they may be…that just doesn’t wash. The issue is not the Jews in the settlements. The issue is the Jews in Palestine.

No discussion of the Israeli-Arab conflict is complete without taking a look at the Palestinian people. Who are they? Who did they evolve from?

The area known as Palestine was and is a geographic area, not an ethnic people. In other words, Arabs living in the area are not ethnically Palestinian. To say it another way: Palestinians are not a native people. “The word Palestine is not even Arabic.”

Palestine is a name coined by the Romans around 135 CE from the name of a seagoing Aegean people who settled on the coast of Canaan in antiquity – the Philistines. The name was chosen to replace Judea, as a sign that Jewish sovereignty had been eradicated following the Jewish Revolts against Rome.

In the course of time, the Latin name Philistia was further bastardized into Palistina or Palestine. During the next 2,000 years Palestine was never an independent state belonging to any people, nor did a Palestinian people distinct from other Arabs appear during 1,300 years of Muslim hegemony in Palestine under Arab and Ottoman rule. During that rule, local Arabs were actually considered part of, and subject to, the authority of Greater Syria ( Suriyya al-Kubra).

Archeologists explain that the Philistines were a Mediterranean people who settled along the coast of Canaan in 1100 BCE. They have no connection to the Arab nation, a desert people who emerged from the Arabian Peninsula.

Tagging the Arabs in Palestine as Palestinian was a mission fabricated by Arabs to attempt to assert the Arab right to the Jewish holy lands at the time when Jewish statehood was becoming a reality - but history shows that Arabs were never identified as Palestinians:

This is substantiated in countless official British Mandate-vintage documents that speak of the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine – not Jews and Palestinians.
Other examples:

The Jerusalem Post, founded in 1932, was called The Palestine Post until 1948. Bank Leumi L’Israel, incorporated in 1902, was called the “Anglo-Palestine Company” until 1948.

The Jewish Agency – an arm of the Zionist movement engaged in Jewish settlement since 1929 – was initially called the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

Today’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936 by German Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, was originally called the “Palestine Symphony Orchestra,” composed of some 70 Palestinian Jews.

The United Jewish Appeal (UJA) was established in 1939 as a merger of the United Palestine Appeal and the fund-raising arm of the Joint Distribution Committee.
Fifty-one countries acknowledged that Israel had an historic connection to the land eventually known as Palestine:

Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.


The rhetoric by Arab leaders on behalf of the Palestinians rings hollow. Arabs in neighboring states, who control 99.9 percent of the Middle East land, have never recognized a Palestinian entity. They have always considered Palestine and its inhabitants part of the great “Arab nation,” historically and politically as an integral part of Greater Syria…

The Arabs never established a Palestinian state when the UN in 1947 recommended to partition Palestine, and to establish “an Arab and a Jewish state” (not a Palestinian state, it should be noted). Nor did the Arabs recognize or establish a Palestinian state during the two decades prior to the Six-Day War when the West Bank was under Jordanian control and the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control; nor did the Palestinian Arabs clamor for autonomy or independence during those years under Jordanian and Egyptian rule.

The population of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq did not “evolve,” but were created by “colonial powers.” No “Palestinian DNA exists!

Unlike nation-states in Europe, modern Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, and Iraqi nationalities did not evolve. They were arbitrarily created by colonial powers.

In 1919, in the wake of World War I, England and France as Mandatory (e.g., official administrators and mentors) carved up the former Ottoman Empire, which had collapsed a year earlier, into geographic spheres of influence. This divided the Mideast into new political entities with new names and frontiers.

The prevailing rationale behind these artificially created states was how they served the imperial and commercial needs of their colonial masters. Iraq and Jordan, for instance, were created as emirates to reward the noble Hashemite family from Saudi Arabia for its loyalty to the British against the Ottoman Turks during World War I, under the leadership of Lawrence of Arabia. Iraq was given to Faisal bin Hussein, son of the sheriff of Mecca, in 1918. To reward his younger brother Abdullah with an emirate, Britain cut away 77 percent of its mandate over Palestine earmarked for the Jews and gave it to Abdullah in 1922, creating the new country of Trans-Jordan or Jordan, as it was later named.

The conclusion: don’t waste your energy and your angst blaming Israel for stealing the homeland of the Palestinians. Don’t obsess over the dead and dying in Palestine.

The time has come to recognize that Palestinian leaders have gravely failed their own. The millions of dollars of aid to feed and clothe the poor and oppressed seldom get to the people. Philanthropy buys weapons and means to attack Israel.

Westerners supporting Palestine believe that if Israel will only turn over their settlements to Palestine, Israel and Palestine will live side-by-side in peace. This is inane and vacuous thinking. It is the willing suspension of disbelief. It is pure anti-semitism. Serious thought cannot arrive at such a conclusion.

The Fatah Constitution Articles 12 and 19: Complete liberation of Palestine and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.”

The PLO Charter Article 15 calls the liberation of Palestine a national (qawmi) duty to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the “liquidation of the Zionist presence” in Palestine.

The Hamas Charter: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees….Hamas Charter Article 15 (a portion): “The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised. To do this requires the diffusion of Islamic consciousness among the masses, both on the regional, Arab and Islamic levels. It is necessary to instill the spirit of Jihad in the heart of the nation so that they would confront the enemies and join the ranks of the fighters.”

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Obama's Perfidy On Israel

My Obama-supporting morning paper had on its front page an Associated Press (AP) story that President Obama had, in announcing that the USA wanted Israel to return to it’s 1967 borders, that he was really only restating what had been US policy all along. People like me, who pay attention to these things, have long known of the anti-Israel bias and left-wing bias of the AP, but I still gasped at this lie. More pro-Obama spin.

With what is happening now in the Middle East, a return to those borders means death to Israel. Egypt is making many noises about renouncing it’s treaty with Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood is calling the shots all along the African rim, and Iran is close to making good on its threats to vaporize all Jews.

These are the borders that Obama was proposing:

Notice that Gaza was under Egypt's control, the West Bank was under Jordan's control, and the Golan Heights were controlled by Syria. At some points Israel is only 9 miles wide.

Below are Israel's borders after they won the 1968 war resulting from combined attacks by Egypt,Iraq, Syria and Jordan on Israel. Israel hung on to Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights, territories won by blood, and providing borders that have some chance of being defended. The Sinai desert was ceded back to Egypt by Israel when the two countries later signed a peace treaty.

It is clear that Obama regards Israel as a colonial power like Great Britain and despises them both. To understand Obama's obsession, read Dinesh D'Souza's book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage". We should not allow his obsession to destroy our only ally and the only real democracy in the area.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

What Should Netanyahu Say?

In my 76 years I have never before been moved to call the White House to complain about a president's actions; yesterday, after Obama's outrageous speech that marks the beginning of the end for Israel, I called.

I've never called before. Not when Johnson bombed Hanoi. Not when Nixon lied about Watergate. Not when Carter pulled the rug from the Shah and lost Iran. Not when Bush 41 lied about "no new taxes". But today I did. The number is 202-456-1111.

What Should Netanyahu Say?

By Jerold S. AuerbachMay 20, 2011 American Thinker

Next Tuesday, four days after he meets with President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu will address Congress. With Israel now confronting a triple-security threat that leaves the country more vulnerable than at any time since the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, it is imperative for the Israeli leader to stand firm.

Netanyahu's planned "peace initiative" has been undermined by recent events. With its peace treaty with Egypt fraying since Mubarak's forced departure, Gaza will surely become a Hamas arsenal. Reconciliation between Hamas, sworn to Israel's destruction, and the Palestinian Authority, too weak to resist, will trap Israel between Palestinian pincers in Gaza and the West Bank. Looming in September is United Nations recognition of Palestinian statehood, another step in that organization's persistent delegitimization of Israel.

Pressure continues to mount, from the international community and from the Obama administration, for Israel to relinquish the West Bank for a Palestinian state -- and, presumably, "peace." That is a delusion.

It is time for Netanyahu, in his address to Congress, to decisively reject the seductive but menacing mantra of "land for peace." His recent declaration that the Palestinian Authority can have peace with Israel or with Hamas, but not both, was reassuring. His conditions for peace, recently outlined to the Knesset, sounded firm: Palestinian recognition of Israel; its refugee problem to be solved outside Israel's borders; settlement blocs to remain part of Israel, with Jerusalem as its united capital. But they are insufficient.

The West Bank mountain ridge forms the major land barrier against an attack from the east that could decimate the coastal plain (including Tel Aviv), where 70 percent of Israelis live. The widely despised Jewish settlements located there are not the primary obstacle to peace; enduring Arab hostility to a Jewish state is. Between 1948 and 1967, there were no settlements -- and still no peace.

The prime minister might use his opportunity to remind the world that the West Bank, biblical Judea and Samaria, is the biblical homeland of the Jewish people. Two thousand years of ancient Jewish history unfolded there. If there is Jewish land anywhere in the world, it is there.

Until after the Six-Day War, however, this land was Judenrein. Only then, following yet another failed Arab attempt to annihilate the Jewish state, could Jews return to live in their historical homeland. More than 300,000 Israelis have done so. Surrounding settlements with a Palestinian state will destroy them and undermine Israeli security. The alternative -- Israeli expulsion of tens of thousands of Jews who live outside the settlement blocs -- is no better.

Finally, given relentless international efforts to delegitimize Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu might remind critics that Jewish settlement, protected by international guarantees ever since 1922, is fully consistent with international law.

The League of Nations Mandate then cited "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the legitimacy of grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." After Great Britain lopped off three-quarters of Palestine for Trans-Jordan (the first Palestinian state), Jews were assured the right of "close settlement" in the remaining land west of the Jordan River. That right has never been rescinded.

Article 80 of the United Nations Charter explicitly protected the rights of "any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which members of the United Nations may respectively be parties." Drafted in 1945 by Jewish legal representatives (including Ben-Zion Netanyahu, the Prime Minister's father), it preserved the rights of the Jewish people to settle in all the land west of the Jordan River.

Settlement critics often cite Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, adopted in 1949 in the shadow of the Holocaust, as a restriction on settlement. They are mistaken. Drafted to prevent a repetition of the forced Nazi and Soviet deportations of civilian populations, it declared that an "Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."

This provision has no applicability to Jewish settlements. Neither during nor since the Six-Day War did Israel "deport" Palestinians from the West Bank or "transfer" Israelis there. Settlers acted on their own volition to restore a Jewish presence in the Jewish homeland -- precisely as Zionist kibbutzniks had earlier done in the Galilee and Negev.

After the Six-Day War, Security Council Resolution 242 permitted Israel to administer the West Bank until "a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" is achieved. (In case anyone has noticed, that has not yet happened.) Even then, Israel would be required only to withdraw its armed forces "from territories" -- not from "the territories" or "all the territories."

The absence of "the," the missing definite article, was not accidental. The result of prolonged negotiation, it meant that Israel would not be required to withdraw from all the territory that it had acquired during the Six-Day War; indeed, precisely such proposals were defeated in both the Security Council and the General Assembly.

Prime Minister Netayahu's speech should be framed with reminders of these international guarantees, the historic Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel, and the menacing security situation that Israel will confront should its ancient homeland be abandoned. The consequences for Israel of surrendering its legitimate security and its historic and internationally guaranteed land claims would be dire, if not fatal.

But if his past is prologue, then Netanyahu is likely to revert, once again, to what Harvard Yiddish scholar Ruth Wisse has aptly called "the Diaspora strategy of accommodation." This is precisely what Jewish statehood was intended to terminate.

Netanyahu's willingness to sacrifice Jewish land, first demonstrated when he capitulated to Clinton administration demands under the Oslo II Accords, is a disturbing harbinger. Last year he acceded to President Obama's insistence on a ten-month freeze on settlement construction -- in return for nothing. Even after the freeze expired, with no discernible Palestinian willingness to resume peace negotiations, Netanyahu tacitly acquiesced to its continuation.

Appeasement paved the way for one horrific Jewish tragedy. It is imperative for Israel's Prime Minister to state, clearly and unequivocally, that the Jewish state will not become another Czechoslovakia, sacrificed by "friends" to please its enemies. Clinging to the fantasy of land for peace can only deepen Israel's alarming vulnerability.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Martians Examine Our Energy Policies

If aliens from outer space ever do come here and observe our energy policies, they will certainly think we are all nuts.

1. We are getting ready to substitute highly dangerous $10-50 CFL's for harmless $0.50 incandescent bulbs.

2. We are substituting a food source (corn) in short supply in a starving world for a much more efficient automotive fuel, gasoline.

3. We are subsidizing the building of windmills to supply electricity at a much higher cost even though we need to expand backup capacity for when the wind doesn't blow.

4. We are subsidizing electric cars with a range of 30 - 50 miles even though we basically burn coal to produce the electricity to run them.

5. We have a president and a political party that is doing everything they can to drive the price of energy up and make us even more dependent on people who want to kill us.

6. This same president and political party want us to spend trillions on programs to counter climate change when those programs will accomplish nothing except to destroy whatever heavy industry we have left - and at a time when the temperature has not increased since 1998.

Adventures in the Climate Trade

By Norman Rogers May 01, 2011 American Thinker

Global warming, now called climate change, is a big industry with academic and commercial branches. One way or another the government provides the money to keep it in business. The academic side supports thousands of scientific workers churning out some good science larded with lots of junk science. The commercial side is busy turning out tank cars filled with corn ethanol and covering the landscape with windmills. Nobody would be doing any of this without government subsidies and mandates. A recent example of how the geniuses in Washington direct policy is the loaning of hundreds of millions to electric car companies like Tesla. Tesla is the stock that everyone is going to be trying to short when they aren't trying to short First Solar.

Some of this government support is direct, such as the 1.8 cents per kilowatt hour subsidy for windmill electricity. But much is mandated by regulations that result in increased consumer prices -- a hidden tax. For example utilities may be required to generate a certain percentage of their electricity from green sources such as windmills. Since the electricity from these sources is expensive, prices to the consumer must be raised.

Why the government even bothers trying to reduce CO2 emissions is a mystery. Rising CO2 emissions from China and the rest of Asia make any efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in the U.S. irrelevant. The numbers and trends are very obvious on this point. China currently generates 1/4 as much electricity per capita as the U.S. and China has 4 times the population. This suggests that China could eventually increase its electricity generation by a factor of 16 to match the per capita electricity usage enjoyed in the U.S. In the single year 2010 electricity production grew 15% in China, a pace that would double production in 5 years.

Electricity in China comes mainly from coal, the indigenous fuel available in large quantities and the most CO2 emitting fuel. China is also consuming ever increasing quantities of oil to support its growing automobile population. Even at its current early stage of economic development China passed the U.S. in the generation of CO2 5 years ago. Some apologists for Chinese CO2 policy claim that China is leading in windmills and solar panels while neglecting to point out that these are export industries, selling hardware or emissions credits to Europeans who are even bigger believers in the climate change religion than we are. Those Chinese industries are currently suffering because the Europeans are running out of mad money.

How big is the climate change industry and how large could it become? Probably the research side is in the single digit billions. The mitigation, or CO2 reduction, side is where the big bucks are. To get an idea consider that the cost of electricity amounts to about $3 a day for each person in the U.S. or around $300 billion per year. Double the cost of electricity, something that is seen as good start by the preachers of climate change, and you have another $300 billion per year. That's half of the cost of Medicare in 2008. Some people in California are already paying 5 times [i] as much as people in areas less affected by the green virus. The beauty of green electricity mandates is that it results in a gradual creep upwards in the cost of electricity and it's not easy to know who to blame. Of course the climate change industry reaps the benefits as surely as if the government wrote them a check. Perhaps writing a check should be considered, because it would be a big savings if the government just bribed these people to stop building windmills.

The U.S. climate change industry, if allowed to grow, could surpass the trillion dollar mark. The uneconomic schemes will become a drag on every sector of the economy. We already have corn ethanol increasing the price of food and gasoline. More biofuel schemes are in the wings. Electric cars will give us a new and more annoying way to run out of gas. The power grid must be rebuilt to support the intermittent electricity from windmills. We' re supposed to bury CO2 emissions underground. The list is endless. Perhaps our young people can emigrate to China and get jobs in factories building windmills for export.

One financially minor, but intellectually important, part of the industry is the writing of alarming reports detailing the global warming catastrophe that awaits us if we don't support the industry. This is the marketing or propaganda side of the climate change industry. A constant drumbeat of propaganda is needed to generate support for the high cost borne by the rest of society to finance the industry. There are many of these alarming studies. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) generates the most prominent alarmist tract. The World Bank has a report. The National Academies of Sciences has a report. The British government did the well-publicized Stern Report. Even the state of California gets into the act, albeit with more amateurish [ii] reports.

The reports lend a scientific gloss to what otherwise would be science fiction type speculation. There are plenty of distinguished scientists who have looked at the global warming thesis and pronounced it nonsense. Notably absent are those scientists whose work is financed by the global warming juggernaut. Since the juggernaut controls the research money and has plenty of propaganda money, the global warming activists have controlled the public conversation until recently. Numerous scientific mistakes and scandalous revelations from bloggers and journalists have changed the public conversation and now the juggernaut is in retreat.

USGCRP stands for the U.S. Global Change Research Program . In spite of the name the USGCRP does not directly do any research. It writes reports. The research is done by numerous programs spread about federal government entities. The USGCRP is hard at work on its periodic national climate assessment. In the jargon of bureaucratic action, numerous conferences, workshops and inputs from stakeholders are driving this supposedly accountable and transparent project.

The report writers are well informed concerning the requirements of political correctness. They consider tribal (and Alaska native) interests as well as considerations of environmental justice. A federal advisory committee has been formed with more than 40 outside experts and representatives from various federal agencies. Supposedly this advisory committee will write the report and ensure its scientific validity. But a committee of 40 unpaid academics is unlikely to accomplish anything beyond a lot of talk. The staff will write the report and the purpose of the committee is to bless it and lend credibility. It's a status exchange. The unpaid academics get to add membership in the federal advisory committee to their resumes and the schemers in the bureaucracy get scientific credibility for their ideological promotions. The wizard behind the scenes is John Holdren , the president's science advisor, radical environmentalist and one of the most talented science politicians of our time.

I had the experience of attending a 3-day meeting of this federal advisory committee at a hotel in Washington, DC. Meetings of federal advisory committees are open to members of the public such as myself. The welcoming speech was given by presidential adviser Holdren. Most of the public attendees were professional climate change people, either working for the government or non-profits. The outside experts on the federal advisory committee were overwhelmingly academics professionally engaged in promoting or interpreting the alleged imminent global warming catastrophe. There did not appear to be any member of the committee even mildly skeptical of the global warming catastrophe story. This was surely not an accident. I was told that every member of the committee had to be approved by the White House, presumably by John Holdren.

The organizers were very welcoming to the members of the public. For a fee we were able to participate in the lunches and coffee breaks. A majority of the key staffers were women and that might account for the welcoming and friendly atmosphere. But even nice people have been known to waste taxpayers' money.

Those who work for the global warming juggernaut realize that public opinion and elite opinion are turning against them . For this reason there is a new emphasis on propaganda, called communication inside the climate change bubble. The climate change workers seem to think that people outside of the bubble can be won over if the message is dumbed down enough. For example, instead of the traditional term "greenhouse gases" we now have "heat-trapping gases." In order to make the global warming predictions of doom more meaningful the USGCRP will issue personalized predictions of doom for various regions of the country. These regional predictions will be based on downscaling studies. Downscaling is a complicated scheme for supposedly extracting regional long term climate forecasts from global climate models. The global climate models disagree with each other concerning global climate trends and often their predictions are contradicted by reality. Extracting regional forecasts from the dubious global forecasts requires extensive adjustments to the data in order to get anything remotely plausible. Downscaling lacks a convincing scientific basis . But, downscaling studies are very popular because they can be sold for cash to credulous local governments.

The Global Change Research program is mandated by the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 to produce a scientific assessment at least every 4 years. The scientific assessment, among other things: "analyzes current trends in global change, both human-induced and natural, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years." Never mind that a scientific basis for predicting global change trends for the next 100 years is nonexistent. If the Congress wants it, the Global Change Research program will provide it. A better name than scientific assessment would be the crystal ball report.

The 2009 previous scientific assessment is not an impressive document. The process that produced the document involved a previous federal advisory committee, various reviewers including so-called blue ribbon reviewers. The resulting document is a rehash of global warming alarmism doctrine. Annoyingly citations are not given for most of the claims. In the first paragraph of the executive summary the following unsupported claim is made:
The global warming observed over the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases.

This statement could be called the fundamental theorem of global warming alarmism. If it is not true the whole house of cards collapses.

The evidence for the fundamental theorem is runs of various clashing computer climate models. The scientists who have fertile imaginations when imagining all the bad things that global warming will do are unable to think of anything that could have caused the warming of the last 50 years except CO2 and the other greenhouse gases. But, early in the 20th century from 1910 to 1940 there was a very similar warming not caused by greenhouse gases. Back then greenhouse gas generation was in its infancy. Neither the scientists nor their computers know what caused the early century warming . If the scientists can't explain the early century warming why are they so quick to pin the late century warming on greenhouse gases? There are plenty of alternative explanations available such as cosmic rays or oceanic climate cycles. But, if global warming is not our fault and we are the helpless victims of nature, we wouldn't need the climate change industry. Restraining their imaginations is a precondition for continued employment.

The 2009 crystal ball assessment report recites the dubious claims of global warming disaster so loved by the popularizers of environmental doom. The cute polar bears will die. We'll all get tropical diseases if we don't die in heat waves. Agricultural productivity will suffer from weeds, droughts and floods. The sea will rise up and flood the coasts. This stuff has been refuted by angry experts many times, but no matter, some stories are too good to check. No doubt we are in for more of the same with the new report to be published in 2013.

Norman Rogers is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Heartland Institute , a Chicago-based think tank. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. His personal website is

[i] Pacific Gas and Electric residential tier 5 is $0.403 per kilowatt hour for usage 300% over baseline allowance.( ).Compare this to the U.S. residential average of $0.1104 per KWH and many states with average costs between 8 and 9 cents per KWH. ( )

[ii] The California Air Resources Board wrote an allegedly scientific analysis of the wonderful results that would follow for the California economy from draconian greenhouse gas limitations. The Board was mandated by law to obtain a peer review of their report. The 4 peer reviewers, all hired hand professors, demonstrated that there are limits to corrupting academics with money. They all said, not very politely considering the source, that the Board's economic analysis was garbage. The Board ignored them.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Day, Another Outrage

Yesterday's outrage was the filing of a charge by the NLRB aimed at stopping the marvelous Boeing Company from building a new plant in South Carolina. Because in South Carolina unions can not force employees to join a union, the union thugs who support Obama are being rewarded with this outrageous and anti-American action. Since when can the federal government tell a private company in what states it can build a plant?

Today's outrage is the plan to plunder the retirement funds of government employees to cover the spending plans of this administration. Could your retirement account be next?

Treasury to tap pensions to help fund government

By Zachary a. Goldfarb, May 15, 2011 Washington Post (Excerpt)

The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations after the government loses its ability Monday to borrow more money from the public, adding urgency to efforts in Washington to fashion a compromise over the debt.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has warned for months that the government would soon hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling — a legal limit on how much it can borrow. With the government poised to reach that limit Monday, Geithner is undertaking special measures in an effort to postpone the day when he will no longer have enough funds to pay all of the government’s bills.

Geithner, who has already suspended a program that helps state and local government manage their finances, will begin to borrow from retirement funds for federal workers. The measure won’t have an impact on retirees because the Treasury is legally required to reimburse the program.

The maneuver buys Geithner only a few months of time. If Congress does not vote to raise the debt limit by Aug. 2, Geithner says the government is likely to default on some of its obligations, which he says would cause enormous economic harm and the suspension of government services including the mailing of Social Security checks.

Many congressional Republicans, however, have been skeptical that breaching the Aug. 2 deadline would be as catastrophic as Geithner suggests. What’s more, Republican leaders are insisting that Congress cut spending by as much as the Obama administration wants to raise the debt limit, without any new taxes. Obama is proposing spending cuts and tax increases to rein in the debt.

“Everything should be on the table, except raising taxes,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Because raising taxes will hurt our economy and hurt our ability to create jobs in our country.” Washington Post


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Sunday, May 15, 2011

More on Kelo and the Abuse of Eminent Domain

I think that liberals had hoped that the outrage over the Kelo decision would fade away, but it hasn't. One of the concepts that has always defined America has been the protection of private property rights, a tradition that the Kelo decision washed away. Typically, the property stolen by the City of New London today stands empty and barren, almost a testimonial to the abuse that took place there. The developer walked away, as another attempt by a government agency to make business decisions came a cropper, but this doesn't help Susette Kelo or the others who were forced out of their homes and businesses.

Helping to End Eminent Domain Abuse

By Daren Bakst May 15, 2011 American Thinker

Six years ago, the United States Supreme Court effectively gutted property rights protections in the Fifth Amendment. A pending bill in the United States House could help to address some of the damage caused by the Court.

In Kelo v. City of New London , the Court held that the government can seize private property from one private citizen and transfer the property to another private citizen for economic development. If a home would generate more tax revenue as a mall, then the government can seize the home.

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution states "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." This language is supposed to limit the government's power to take private property except for a "public use."

However, for decades, the term "public use" has been effectively deleted from the United States Constitution, and instead replaced by "public purpose" or "public benefit." These terms are judicial creations that drastically broaden when the government can seize private property.

Yet, even with these terms, it was not a given that the Court would allow these economic development takings that were at issue in Kelo . By allowing these takings, the Court has rendered the "public use" limitation virtually meaningless and gutted the Fifth Amendment.

As would be expected, some states took action to provide stronger property rights protections for their citizens. The federal Constitution acts as a floor on rights that a state may not go below, but states can exceed the floor by providing greater rights.

Eight states have passed constitutional amendments since Kelo and many other states have passed statutory changes, all with varying levels of protection. Regardless, the federal government must play a role in protecting property rights.

If freedom of speech were gutted as severely as the Fifth Amendment has been, Congress would not hesitate to take immediate action. They would even consider passing a constitutional amendment.

The idea that Congress should defer to each state in order to protect the federal constitutional right of freedom of speech would be laughable. The same arguments apply when it comes to protection from eminent domain abuse.

Further, the federal government helps to make these economic development takings a reality by providing economic development funds to state and local governments. Without those funds, many of these takings wouldn't occur.

The United States House is currently considering the "Private Property Rights Protection Act." This bill would be an important step in ensuring that all Americans, not just those in some states, have protection from eminent domain abuse.

First, the bill would prohibit the federal government from engaging in economic development takings. Second, it would deny federal economic development funds for two years to any state or local government that engages in economic development takings.

There are significant challenges in properly crafting a prohibition on economic development takings that doesn't permit the government to engage in end-runs. For example, the bill doesn't allow the taking of property for economic development. This type of language forces a court to examine the intent behind the taking. Is the taking for economic development or is it for another reason, such as a legitimate public use?

Courts generally provide significant deference to the government when it seizes property and the real reason for a taking can be difficult to ascertain. As a result, so long as any legitimate reason for seizing property is identified, the taking will be allowed regardless of whether it appears to be motivated in large part by economic development reasons.

This is why the bill wisely puts the burden of proof on the government to show that a taking is not for economic development. By doing so, it makes it far more difficult for the government to seize property using a legitimate public use as a pretext for taking the property for economic development.

The bill also doesn't solely rely on the government to enforce the law, as often is the case with laws that withhold federal funds. There is a private right of action allowing property owners to challenge the takings and possibly triggering the denial of federal funds to states and local governments.

In 2005, the House overwhelmingly passed this legislation in a bipartisan manner 376-38. Unfortunately, it died in the Senate. Congress once again has a chance to make it clear that no matter what state you live in or how much money your property generates, you will be protected from eminent domain abuse.


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Sunday, May 01, 2011

So Why Did Obama Hide His Birth Certificate?

One has to wonder why President Obama spent so much effort and so much money (reportedly millions in legal fees) to keep his official birth certificate hidden. We all knew that his mother wasn't legally married to his father. We all knew that both parents were America-hating socialists. We all knew that his father deserted him shortly after birth, and that his mother took him to Indonesia - and then shipped him back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. What was the big deal?

Was this a deliberate deception designed to ensnare and ridicule his opponents as he knew the left-wing press would do?

This below is one person's opinion:

Trump and the Hunt for Red Obama

By Clarice Feldman May 01, 2011 American Thinker

Before the last presidential election I ran into many people I had considered reasonably well-informed and educated, only to be surprised by the extent to which they had been utterly taken in by the obviously ghostwritten Obama hagiography and the media airbrushing of his background. It was scary. A first hand view of how easily manipulated public opinion is.

I was astonished that few of these people knew anything about Obama's failures in his one prior job -- getting the asbestos out of Altgeld Gardens -- and his singular executive endeavor, managing (at terrorist Bill Ayers' recommendation) millions of dollars from the Annenberg Foundation. Nor had they any notion of the thin record in support of the claim that he was truly brilliant. It was, to be blunt, enough that he was cool, black, had a degrees from Columbia and Harvard, talked the talk, and was a blank slate upon whom they could project all their fantasies of a highly intelligent, post-racial, post-partisan leader who would just fix up everything for them. (In case you missed the story of Obama the major media hid, Bill Whittle has nicely summarized it in this video.)

A few weeks ago Attorney General Holder petulantly backed off of the preposterous notion of trying terrorists in civilian criminal trials, the hallmark of this administration's New Deal for Jihadis. The Administration's Olympic level backstroking continued this week with the President's pissy, arrogant presser in which he finally released his long form birth certificate, something his staff and allies had earlier said had been burned, or was the Certificate of Live Birth the Daily Kos had posted, or didn't exist, or was impossible to obtain even by Obama. It turned out that all he had to do was ask, and the state of Hawaii provided it to his lawyer almost instantly.

This left people asking why he'd expended so many dollars, caused the Hawaiian officials and employees so much needless work, and embarrassed Mike Isikoff, CNN, and others in the Obama media claque who'd been busy peddling the White House spin that Obama couldn't get the document Trump and others had been demanding to see. Why did he go through so much effort to conceal, why did it take what he called "sideshows and carnival barkers" to force him to provide a document all of us must present countless times in our own lives? I think because he's an obstinate egotist determined to control all information about himself. A juvenile jerk, in other words.

The most amusing account of the presser -- and there were many -- comes from the New York Times:

"People are out of work, American soldiers are dying overseas and here were cameras to record him stating that he was born in a Hawaii hospital. It was particularly galling to us that it was in answer to a baseless attack with heavy racial undertones.

Mr. Obama practically begged the public to set aside these distractions, expressing hope that his gesture would end the "silliness" and allow a national debate about budget priorities. It won't, of course."

So, per the Times, this demand that the President reveal what the rest of us must -- and what his opponent McCain did -- was "silliness" and a "distraction." The Times never mentioned that immediately after dealing with this the President did not work on the "budget priorities." Instead he flew to Chicago with Michelle to joke around on Oprah's show and then off for some more fund raising for his 2012 re-election campaign. Schmoozing with Oprah and fund raising are obviously not silly distractions where the NYT is concerned.

If you asked me, I'd say the internal polls respecting this issue and public trust of the White House must be awful and forced his revelation. And given that he and his Chicago press allies forced the unsealing of court records of two of his earlier opponents -- Jack Ryan and Britt Hill, with potentially harmful consequence to innocents, I regard the president's implicit claim to privacy one of particular chutzpah.

Nor should we accept his defense that he did this because the "birthers" were proving a distraction. His own allies in the press, particularly MSNBC and CNN, were the folks who kept the issue alive in an effort -- pre Trump -- to embarrass his opponents and those who questioned his bona fides for office. No putative Republican candidate could appear on any television "news" show to present his views without being forced to disavow the birthers, often at the expense of presenting his own position on the issues. (Would that the press had treated the "truthers" who claimed the Bush administration was in on the 9/11 genocide of their own countrymen with even a fraction of the disdain shown those who asked for evidence of the president's right to hold office.)

Whether you think the revelation even at this late date is a plus for Obama, proving those who questioned his constitutional eligibility for office wrong, or a minus, indicating that a blowhard like Trump was able to force the President off his narcissistic insistence that he alone should dispense to the public what he chose to of his background, the claim that those who were dubious of his eligibility were motivated by racism was uncalled for and I think the last sad play of the race card that Obama's operatives and press toadies can play unless the current batch of Republican office holders and candidates allow this game to continue unchallenged.

As James Taranto observed:

The Washington Post reports that professional attention grabber Donald Trump responded to the White House release yesterday by raising "new questions":

"The word is, according to what I've read, is that he was a terrible student when he went [to] Occidental. He then gets to Columbia. He then gets to Harvard," Trump said. "I heard at Columbia he wasn't a very good student. He then gets to Harvard. How do you get into Harvard if you're not a good student?"

Obama, a former constitutional law professor and the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, is widely recognized as an intellectual heavyweight.

As an aside, that last sentence epitomizes what drives conservatives crazy--sometimes, alas, actually crazy--about the formerly mainstream media. Obama "is widely recognized as an intellectual heavyweight"? If they said this about Woodrow Wilson or Daniel Patrick Moynihan, we'd probably agree, but even then, it's more a statement of opinion than fact.

At any rate, according to Obama supporters, Trump's rhetorical question was racist. "That's just code for saying he got into law school because he's black," CBS's Bob Schieffer said. "This is an ugly strain of racism that's running through this whole thing."

Politico quotes another Obama pal likewise:

"Trump and the rest have played a very divisive card from the fact of his birth to now implying that he got into two Ivy League schools . . . by affirmative action, which clearly brings race into the matter," said the Rev. Al Sharpton. "It certainly enrages a lot of African-American voters, Latino voters and progressive whites that feel that this is the most divisive, polarizing tactic."

As Mickey Kaus notes, "Obama himself, while at Harvard, wrote that he had 'undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action.' " And you'd think that people who support both Obama and racial preferences would proudly cite the former as evidence of the latter's success, rather than getting defensive and angry whenever anyone even indirectly broaches the topic.

But it's the last sentence of the Sharpton quote that gives away the game. All this race talk is aimed at angering blacks and shaming whites into voting for Obama next year, whatever doubts they may have about his policies or his leadership.

Any opponent who runs against Obama and doesn't demand an end to this race baiting is a fool. I believe the voters see through it, and find it unpersuasive and needlessly divisive. They ought to call on him to insist his supporters stop it.

In fact, perhaps it's time to examine Obama's educational record and the role affirmative action played in it -- something as Mickey Kaus observes, he has admitted.

Trump has now demanded to see the transcripts of the man the Post calls an "intellectual heavyweight."

Was he the kind of heavyweight that Adlai Stevenson, who flunked out of Harvard Law School, was billed as when he ran against Dwight Eisenhower the "dummy," whose only claim to higher office was that he led the Allied troops to victory in Europe? Was he the sort of intellectual heavyweight that Al Gore and John Kerry the press touted until their records were revealed?

Ace of Spades reviews the records we do have of the "intellectual heavyweight" and it seems he probably has only a slightly above average I.Q. --probably 116. How big a thumb was on the academic scale of this part black man with the exotic life history, the sort of applicant college admission officers love? Don't doubt me on this. Your kid could take nothing but A.P. courses and ace every one of them, be the valedictorian of his class and an outstanding person in every possible way, but the admission officers at the most selective school might well pass him by for a minority kid with far worse academic achievements under his belt, particularly if his parents (unlike you) abandoned him. The exotic fillip of an African and then an Indonesian father would also help.

Of course, all the evidence is circumstantial; Valerie Jarrett says the president will not release his academic records. But the circumstantial evidence by this time has grown. Ask yourself -- better yet ask those who voted for him -- what evidence in his presidency or in the Senate can you provide of his vaunted genius?

Was it jumping into the war in Libya?

Caving in to Trump's challenge?

Leaving Pelosi and Reid in charge of ObamaCare ‘s drafting and passage?

Was it "leading from behind" as an unnamed Obama aide described of the president's saying that Gaddafi has to go and then making it clear he wouldn't do anything much to make that happen?

Was it pushing out Mubarak without consulting with our Middle Eastern allies or even knowing who would take his place?

Was it his insistence on Israel coming to peace terms with those who refuse to concede her right to exist?

Was it shoveling out trillions of dollars on "shovel ready jobs" that didn't exist?

Was it yanking out General Petraeus from the field just as the war is about to really heat up and putting him in charge of the truly ungovernable CIA?

Was it naming Leon Panetta, a hack, as his Secretary of Defense to oversee the department, which is now involved in three wars and faces the challenges of an increasingly unstable Middle East?

Is it his operating style in which he "is a consensus-seeker whose decision making style rewards polarization and a conciliator who loses friends without winning over enemies"? ( source )

*** Maybe they can find what I cannot -- proof of superior intelligence. I know Dana Milbank tried. After consultation with "experts" he concludes that Obama might be too complex and rational for us:

Obama's strengths and weaknesses come from his high degree of "integrative complexity" -- his ability to keep multiple variables and trade-offs in mind simultaneously. The integratively simple thinker -- say, George W. Bush -- has one universal organizing principle that dominates all others, while the integratively complex thinker -- Obama -- balances many competing goals.

Too complex and rational is not how I'd rate him. I'd say confused, lacking executive skills and lazy. I do think, however, that the dam has been broken and we are going to continue to learn a great deal more about the President and his true background than we have to date.

On the other hand Milbank might just have written a subtle insult to the intelligence of the Post editors and readers.


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