During this week of uprising that left 12 pro-democracy protestors dead in Iran, the sister of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, a human rights attorney and activist, was detained by the Iranian government because of her sister’s human rights work, according to Ebadi.
Barack Obama is right. The ability of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board a plane to Detroit represents a “catastrophic” failure. But he is also wrong. The system did not fail. He did. He sent signals which led the people working in the system to fail. These people no longer worked for an anti terrorist warrier called George W. Bush but a cool, imperturbable Barack Obama whose primary enemy was “over reaction.” This is the conclusion I reached reading that the warning received in Nigeria was not buried in Nigeria. The opposite is true. It triggered a multi-agency meeting, the kind of meeting designed to insure that the dots are connected. WSJ reports:
In Tuesday’s New York Times, Ethan Bronner reported that Israel is planning to build 700 new housing units in Jerusalem, a decision which has angered the Arabs and contradicted Obama policy which sees such construction as counter-productive to peace talks. Mr. Bronner wrote nothing about the refusal of Hamas or Hezbollah to recognize Israel as a legitimate state, nor did he mention that Mahmoud Abbas has announced his intention not to run for another term of leadership of the West Bank, leaving Israel in the strange position of wondering who there is to negotiate with. Instead, our reporter opted for a brief historical background to the problem between Israel and its neighbors:
In March I fulfilled one of my stand-up comedy goals: a tour to entertain the troops serving in Iraq and Kuwait. Having served in the region twice before as a U. S. Marine, during this Iraq War and The Persian Gulf War, the comedy tour took on even more meaning. Being Jewish added another layer: I was a Jew in an Arab country. More importantly, I was glad to let the troops know that this New York Jew, although a transplant from New Mexico, supports them and their mission.
On my last flight to Israel and from Israel on an American carrier we were told that Israeli regulations demand that passenger remain in their seats during the last hour of the flight. Had the US instituted similar precautions, those on the flight would not have owed their lives to pure luck and passenger courage.
When children take up sports or musical instruments, what is required of them to become supremely talented? With natural ability, long hours of practice and extraordinary dedication, a lucky few become virtuoso musicians or championship athletes, years later.
The attempt to bring down an airliner approaching Detroit reminds us that 2009 saw a remarkable number of terror incidents in the United States. Most of them ended up as foiled plots. One, Fort Hood, was catastrophic. Had the bomb gone off on the airliner yesterday, as planned, it would have been the worst successful terror attack directed against Americans since 9-11.
I submitted a letter to the editor at Miami Herald about the writer’s insertion of the adjective “Jewish” to describe the concentration camps at Jasenovac, but in the meantime there is another point to make about the same article, which appeared last month:
This Christmas Day, the Jerusalem Post features my piece on Iran’s nuclear program, specifically the warnings of Iraqi Parliamentarian Mithal al-Alusi, who says it is possible that Iran is only weeks away from nuclear capability.
“At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”–sign posted by atheists at the Illinois state capitol Christmas display.
On the eve of Christmas 2008, I shifted from my ongoing field of research and commentary in Terrorism, international and ethnic conflict and global strategies to write about a subject dear to the heart of many among us, and dream maker to most of us, i.e., the children: Christmas. On the eve of the 2009 celebration I will reiterate this assertion: Christmas as a celebration is not negotiable.
Throughout the presidential campaign, and especially after Sarah Palin came on the scene, liberal Jews used the issue of abortion as a prime reason for voting for Obama. Even those people who claimed to be avidly pro-Israel were willing to ignore the candidate’s long history with the Reverend Wright and his association with many other leftists who espouse varying degrees of anti-Zionist/anti-Israel/anti-semitic dogma. They argued that domestic issues such as the fragility of Roe v Wade in a conservative Supreme Court outweighed the concern for the degree of American support for Israel. 77% of American Jews voted for Obama, only to find a scant year later that the senate health care bill, spearheaded by their president would allow states to prohibit abortion coverage in state-based insurance exchanges. The New York Times gently tsked this in their next to last paragraph of an otherwise glowing editorial on the imminent passage of this bill. No feminist protests have appeared in its op-ed pages this week as if the entire women’s movement has colluded with democrats to just push this bill through and worry about fine-tuning it later - a preposterous notion akin to deciding that it’s easier to catch that fraudulent cat once it’s out of the bag.
I do not know what irked me more, the truth about U.S. diplomat John Service’s betrayal or China expert reporter Jonathan Mirsky’s cover up. Together they serve to continue to propagate the myth that those accusing American diplomats of dubious loyalty are mendacious paranoids. You can find the charge seamlessly inserted in a popular movie such as Julie & Julia and you can read it in the oral interview conducted with Service by CNN in the late 90s.
In today’s New York Times, Paul Krugman rails against the filibuster. He writes: “A Congressional Research Service report from 2005, when a Republican majority was threatening to abolish the filibuster so it could push through Bush judicial nominees, suggests several ways this could happen - for example, through a majority vote changing Senate rules on the first day of a new session.” Funny - back then, he seemed to think that the filibuster was a valuable safeguard against a zealous majority. On March 29, 2005, he warned that “the big step by extremists will be an attempt to eliminate the filibuster, so that the courts can be packed with judges less committed to upholding the law than Mr. Greer [the judge in the Schiavo case].”
Apparently only kings make Obama feel humble and only speaking as an American president makes him apologetic. In Copenhagen Obama spoke and acted as a president of the world and that made him aggressive and self righteous. After all, he was there to make the world fairer by making his own country poorer. It was Indian PM Singh who had to remind to him that leaders of democracies are accountable to their people. Imagine if George W. Bush had behaved thus. The Calcutta Telegraph has the amazing story!?
You might never take a test that will ask you what the story of a homeless black boy adopted by a southern white Republican family has in common with the groundbreaking end of apartheid in South Africa. But if you see two current movies, The Blind Side and Invictus, you’ll be surprised at how they overlap. The Blind Side concerns a true story about an uprooted, oversized and overlooked black teenager who is adopted by a white southern family and becomes a successful student and real-life football hero. At a critical juntion in his academic life, he is inspired by a 19th century British poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Understanding its message of courage and heroism, our hero writes an intelligent essay assuring that he will graduate from high school, be eligible for an athletic scholarship and embark on a future far different from any he could have previously imagined.
December 16th is the 65th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive. On December 16th, 1944, Nazi Germany, only months away from defeat, launched a surprise attack on Allied troops on the western front, hoping to drive a wedge in our line and ultimately wreck the Allied advance into Germany. The German attack, after bitter fighting, failed.
Finally, everybody is admitting the obvious, even Obama. The uncertainty created by the Obama/Democratic legislative and economic activism is the real culprit for the unusually high American unemployment. Big companies are hiring abroad. Small business cannot get credit, hence, cannot hire. Seeking to deflect the anger of the American people from his administration to the financial sector, Obama gave the banker a public spanking. Amity Shales, author of The Forgotten Man, has seen this all before, during the 1930s. Capitalism cannot function when NERVOUS Capital is sitting on sidelines, distrustful of the future. She writes:
As Greg Pollowitz notes, Senator Charles Schumer recently called a flight attendant a “b****.” Some history is relevant here. During Schumer’s first Senate race in 1998, incumbent Al D’Amato called him a “putzhead.” Expressing outrage, Schumer milked the incident for all the advantage he could get. The Washington Post reported: “The remark, made Tuesday, was seized upon today by Schumer, who called it `a cheap slur against me.’ He linked the insult to D’Amato’s claim earlier this week to be more committed than Schumer to helping survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. He also challenged the senator to `have the guts to use that same slur to my face’ when the two meet for debates this weekend.” After his own outburst this week, Schumer merely had an aide issue a pro forma apology. So here is Schumer’s Law: It is an outrage to use a vulgar epithet against a Harvard-educated politician, but it’s no big deal to use one against a working-class woman.
While the Climaterati caucus over cappuccinos in Copenhagen about polar bear habitat and the fate of small island nations from rising sea levels, there are other possible climate change implications, too - those of the security kind.