If you’re a movie buff of a certain age, you’ll remember a film called The Mouse That Roared, in which a tiny, debt-ridden country declares war against the United States in order to gain all the benefits that would be showered their way as the losers. It was a sharp little satire that unfortunately persists in ringing true to this day. It comes to mind not only with respect to foreign policy, but also with how we deal with criminals and terrorists. In today’s paper we learned that the state of New Jersey continued to pay 23 million dollars of entitlements and benefits to incarcerated people who were not entitled to any of it while in jail. This should aptly be considered “criminal negligence” and heads should roll all the way to the diminishing hulk of the governor. More disturbing in today’s news is the ongoing saga of Nidal Hasan, the Muslim army psychiatrist who shot 45 people at Fort Hood in 2009, killing 12 and severely injuring the rest. It is four years later and though Hasan is incarcerated, he has still not been tried for this heinous act of terrorism. During the past years of legal stalling, he has collected $280,000 of salary, because according to our American system of justice and the vagaries of military protocol, he is entitled to his money until proven guilty. No matter that there is no disputing who pulled the trigger each time during his rampage - the only thing to be determined at trial is what degree of murder this fits and what the appropriate sentence will be. If common sense prevailed, would a terrorist still get paid?
In my experience, Buddhists tend to be largely a non-violent bunch.
But, even the most peaceable people can have limits, and, evidently, for the Buddhists in Myanmar, it’s having “a Muslim man reportedly splash gasoline on a Buddhist woman and set her alight.”
The Associated Press called what happened after that “anti-Muslim violence,” and didn’t get to the cause of the “unrest” that “left one person dead and four injured,” until the article’s second-to-last paragraph.
Even so, it seems to me, that going around lighting people on fire is not the best way to win friends and influence people. Neither is beheading people or running them down with cars and chopping them up with knives — just a couple of examples of the type of behavior too many of the world’s Muslims seem too often to favor.
“Most if not all of Wednesday’s attacks in the town of Lashio appeared to be carried out by Buddhists on Muslim targets,” the AP report says. The man who set the woman on fire was arrested, the story notes, “but Buddhist mobs took revenge by burning a mosque, a Muslim school and other buildings.”
What a nerve those violent, intolerant Buddhists have, burning buildings just because someone felt like turning a woman into a Roman candle.
I honestly don’t know how much random, horrible deadly violence the world is expected to take from these crazy, bloodthirsty barbarians before striking back.
And the Islamic community, rather than work strenuously to get a handle on the savages in their midst and loudly and often decry their behavior, instead complain, loudly and often, that people are mean to them.
They hit the West, for instance, in its collective guilty conscious by accusing it of racism, knowing we will fall all over ourselves to disprove that accusation, to the point, apparently, of cultural suicide. And I’d bet that’s exactly what the Islamists are counting on.
Why do the press and others seem to pander to this; to play right into their hands, propaganda-wise? It seems to me it really shouldn’t be so hard to outwit mindless savages. Let’s try it, why don’t we?
Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote in the Brothers Karamazov, “The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.”
Will the National Defense Authorization Act get policies and spending priorities right? Congress is expected to “drop” (introduce) the bill soon; if it gets things wrong, the nation could pay a very high price
Rain didn’t keep Cinderella away from the 58th annual Drama Desk Awards, at Town Hall in New York on Sunday evening. Laura Osnes, who won Outstanding Actress in a Musical for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” looked the part in a gold dress with spike heel sandals to match. What, no glass slippers? “I’m Laura,” she quipped. “Cinderella wears the glass slippers . . . and besides, it’s raining!”
When a forgotten star from Hollywood’s Golden Age died recently it brought back the story of her long-ago professional competition with a more famous contemporary who died many years ago. Now that both stars are gone, if you’ve ever imagined what it would be like as a famous Hollywood movie star, which one would you choose to be?
I’ve been wondering what makes some disorders sexy and worth confessing while other remain embarrassing and permanently in the closet. It’s ok to be bulimic, for example, even though that conjures up horrible images and smells but you won’t hear Christine Quinn come out about her hemorrhoids or bunions. All sorts of addictions are “in” - drugs, alcohol, sex, compulsive shopping - even shoplifting, but ulcers, diabetes, psoriasis, emphysema, gum disease, irritable bowel syndrome - you can’t find any public figure admitting to one of those.
In January of 2011, Delta Airlines announced its support of Saudi Arabian Airline’s application to join its Sky Team global airline alliance. Delta’s vice-president had this to say: “We are honored that Saudi Arabian (airline) has chosen to link its future growth and success with Delta and our SkyTeam partners.” We should remember that word “honored” in light of Delta enforcing the rules that pertain to the Saudi Airline and Kingdom: No Jew can enter Saudi Arabia. This means that no Jew can board a plane on American soil headed for Saudi Arabia. Let’s be more specific: no American Jew can board an American Delta plane on American soil that is jointly operated by Saudi Air. When pressed on this disgraceful practice, Delta blames it on the Saudis, saying that they (Delta) are merely following the dictates of the country of destination. We should keep in mind that Delta voluntarily entered into this partnership with eyes wide open regarding Saudi policies and mouths watering for the increased income that 35 additional Middle Eastern destinations would provide.
The multi-talented Sam Harris has had quite a ride since winning Star Search in its first season to his two nights performing at 54 Below in NYC earlier this week. The singer/songwriter is sensational! He kicked the show off with a strong U2 and Sondheim medley including “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “I’m Still Here” with his own special lyrics backed by his musical director Todd Schroeder on piano. Schroeder showed off his jazz skills with Jimi Hendrix’ “Red House Blues.”
In his influential book, A Checklist Manifesto, Dr. Atul Gawande describes how simple checklists can revolutionize medicine. The use of hospital checklists has already produced significant benefits including fewer surgical mishaps, and lower infection and hospital complication rates. Most checklists are simple and easy to understand, so outside review organizations have embraced them in the practice of medicine.
What a tragedy that someone as intelligent in some areas as British physicist Stephen Hawking, can be so stupid or weak in others.
In what is unfortunately a big win for the forces fighting to destroy the Jewish state, Hawking capitulated to the demands of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement and cancelled his plans to attend a major international conference in Israel in June. He apparently cited “his belief that he should respect a Palestinian call to boycott contacts with Israeli academics,” the Associated Press story notes.
Boycotting academics because one has a quarrel with their government is as ugly and unfair as boycotting athletes for the same reason – it’s bullying; it’s blaming individuals for the policies of their government. It’s wrong. Particularly in a free country where the government is not overseeing the academics or the athletes. Academia, like athletics, is supposed to be above the political fray, but, of course, the refusal of the International Olympic Committee to hold a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes murdered during the Munich games proves otherwise, so, this should not be such a surprise, I guess.
Rumors flew for hours the other day when the story broke in the notoriously anti-Semitic British rag The Guardian.
He was boycotting, then he cancelled for health reasons, then he was boycotting again.
The AP headline read “Stephen Hawking backs boycott of Israeli academics.”
What a fine plan, to boycott one of the world’s most academically productive countries, where things are developed to better mankind all day long, in favor of the folks whose biggest claim to fame is the suicide bomber.
What kind of a moron is this guy, to lend his name to such an effort?
I will never be able to see him in the same light, again. And, hopefully, his stock in the academic world will suffer a fate similar to that of former movie great Mel Gibson, whose star has faded to the point that people think first of his anti-Semitic leanings rather than his latest film, when his name comes up.
My question to Mr. Hawking would be, was he unaware of the Israel/Palestinian conflict when he first agreed to attend this conference? Did this decades-old conflict come as news to him, so that rather than just not attend if he sides with the Islamists over the Jews, he had to hand the anti-Semitic anti-Israel forces a publicity coup? Does he not recognize the repugnant nature of depriving the world of what could be gained by including Israeli academics – arguably among the world’s most accomplished – in favor of an ill-conceived movement that threatens the entire region and the world?
The A.P. story says that “the University of Cambridge released a statement Wednesday indicating that Hawking had told the Israelis last week that he would not be attending ‘based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott.’”
University officials said they had “previously understood” that Hawking’s decision was based solely on health concerns, but were later informed otherwise by Hawking’s office.
No one said so, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the good professor had received threats against himself or his loved ones that helped him reach his decision.
In any case, his decision is the wrong one, and the respect I had for the man before this has vanished like the morning fog. I hope I’m not the only one feeling this way, and that Mr. Hawking soon comes to understand the breadth of the wrongness of his decision and his handling of the matter.
Thought ObamaCare was an unaffordable and an unsustainable entitlement that hasn’t even kicked in yet? You haven’t seen anything yet…for behold amnesty for illegal aliens, which makes socialized medicine look like a walk in the budget park.
The New York cabaret community turned out at Birdland, Saturday afternoon, to celebrate their special affection for our four-legged pals at a benefit for Zani’s Furry Friends, an animal rescue organization, with a special show, “Love Makes The World Go ‘Round.” The nearly two hour show kicked off with song and dance man Lee Roy Reams doing a terrific high energy “Before The Parade Passes By.” He was so terrific that the shows co-host, Eric Michael Gillett, later urged: “Lee Roy, I’ll pinch you if you sing some more.”
Having long been a political junkie and covering that “biz” in Washington DC for most of my career, I’ve transitioned to NYC where Cabaret and Broadway is my bailiwick. So it seems apropos to take a closer look at an actor who combines the two in one role.
There was this article in the Associated Press this week that, with a seemingly simple tale, really tells the whole story of the Israel Palestinian conflict.
It was titled, Disabled Gaza baby lives in Israel hospital, and it described the life of Palestinian toddler Mohammed al-Farra, who has never lived anywhere but “the yellow-painted children’s ward in Israel’s Tel Hashomer hospital.”
Because he was born with a rare genetic disease, the baby’s hands and feet had to be amputated, so his parents abandoned him. The Palestinian government won’t pay for his care, so the 3 ½-year-old lives in the hospital with his grandfather.
“There’s no care for this child in Gaza, there’s no home in Gaza where he can live,” said the grandfather, Hamouda al-Farra. “He can’t open anything by himself; he can’t eat or take down his pants. His life is zero without help.”
So, where is this child – a product of the people bent on the destruction of the Jewish state and the extermination of its people – being cared for? In Israel, naturally, by Israeli medical personnel.
This seems to me to say everything one needs to know about who each side of this conflict is.
But, there’s more.
The story goes on to explain that “Mohammed’s plight is an extreme example of the harsh treatment some families mete to the disabled, particularly in the more tribal-dominated corners of the Gaza Strip… and it also demonstrates a costly legacy of Gaza’s strongly patriarchal culture that prods women into first-cousin marriages and allows polygamy, while rendering mothers powerless over their children’s fate.”
So, what we see illustrated here is that the Palestinians have some very serious cultural issues that, if not corrected, doom them, and therefore their neighbors, to a terrible future, and that the Israelis possess all the compassion and humanity in the equation.
The story says that “Mohammed was rushed to Israel as a newborn for emergency treatment” because “his genetic disorder left him with a weakened immune system, crippling his bowels, and an infection destroyed his hands and feet, requiring them to be amputated.”
His mother was forced to abandon him, the story says because her “husband, ashamed of their son, threatened to take a second wife if she didn’t leave the baby and return to their home in the southern Gaza Strip,” where “polygamy is permitted but isn’t common.”
Incest, sexual slavery, no women’s rights, no compassion or mechanism for caring for the disabled, appear to be just the tip of this group’s cultural/societal deficiencies.
“In deeply patriarchal parts of Gaza — not in all the territory — men believe they have ‘first rights’ to wed their female cousins, even above the women’s own wishes,” the story says. “Parents approve the partnerships because it strengthens family bonds and ensures inheritances don’t leave the tribe.” It goes on to say, “Repeated generations of cousin marriages complicate blood ties.”
One doctor at the child’s hospital said “one third of patients in his department are Palestinians and most have genetic diseases that were the result of close-relation marriages.”
Then, having corrupted the gene pool and produced these disabled children, the children “are often stigmatized,” the story says. “Some families hide the children, fearing they won’t be able to marry off their able-bodied children if the community knows of their less-abled siblings. And they are seen as burdens in the impoverished territory.”
The article says nearly 11 percent of Gaza’s Palestinian Arabs “suffer some kind of disability that affects their mental health, eyesight, hearing or mobility,” and that “two thirds of young disabled Gazans are illiterate and some 40 percent were never sent to school, suggesting either their parents kept them home or did not have the means to educate them.” Over 90 percent of the disabled are unemployed, the story said.
What a set-up.
So, while these in-breeding parents (or others of their in-bred clan members) plot ways to damage or destroy Israel, this little boy’s grandfather stays with him in this Israeli hospital as his Israeli doctors raise funds to cover his bills.
The story notes that inside this hospital in Israel – a country the Islamist propaganda machine is convincing an anti-Semitic-leaning world is an anti-Muslim apartheid state – “patients and medics chatted in Hebrew and Arabic. Women in Muslim headscarves strolled in a corridor. An Orthodox Jewish woman affectionately patted Mohammed on his head. She nodded kindly at (his grandfather)…. as doctors’ fundraising has covered Mohammed’s years of treatment and one donor provided $28,000 for Mohammed’s prosthetics.”
The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is supposed to fund transfers to Israeli hospitals, but stopped covering Mohammed’s bills six months after he arrived, an increasingly common practice, according to the story.
It seems like just one more way the Palestinians are using the Jews’ compassion and expertise against them, in the same way the 9/11 terrorists used the U.S.’s freedom of movement against it.
The grandfather, who is only 55, says he’s caring for the child to save his daughter’s marriage, as “a good deed,” but wants his life back.
He said wished he could find a foster home or caregiver for Mohammed.
“He needs many things in his life,” he said, “He needs a home.”
I would bet money that offers of that very thing have poured in since that story ran, and I would bet they came from the Jewish and not the Arab side of the Gaza border.
More bad jobs numbers. CNBC reports today: “The gloomy news continued for jobs as ADP reported Wednesday that private companies created just 119,000 new positions in April. That was well below expectations and confirmation that the labor market is slowing heading into late spring and early summer. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected the ADP report to show the private sector created 150,000 jobs in April.” This comes just two days before the government releases its numbers for April. Doesn’t look good. Unexpectedly!
It doesn’t take a law degree to see what was behind our state’s archaic rape laws, now that it’s been brought into sharp relief by the recent case of Julio Morales.
Associated Press reports that Morales was initially convicted of impersonating the boyfriend of an 18-year-old woman so he could have sex with her while she slept. The woman filed rape charges after realizing the man in her bed wasn’t her boyfriend, the story notes.
Being a contemporary jury, living in today’s world and recognizing the equal rights of people of both genders, the rapist was convicted of the crime.
However, California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned the conviction in January, citing an 1870s state law that says perpetrators in such cases can only be guilty if the victim is married and the assailant pretends to be the spouse, according to the story.
Wow. I can’t believe such a law is still on the books.
But, I understand there are a slew of laws throughout the United States that are so outdated that they recall a different world or, in some cases, maybe an alternative universe.
For instance, in Missouri, it’s illegal to drive with an uncaged bear and in Maine, it’s illegal to keep your Christmas lights up after Jan. 14, according to various websites.
Those sites say that in Connecticut, it’s illegal to walk across a street on your hands while in Ohio, it’s illegal to get a fish drunk. Here, in California, women can’t legally drive in a housecoat and no vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
It boggles the mind to imagine the circumstances that triggered the adoption of these laws.
Clearly, this impersonating a spouse law is left over from the days when sexually active unmarried women were damaged goods.
This law is more about property rights than human rights.
So, I certainly hope SB59, a bill introduced by Democratic Sen. Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa, which fixes this outdated statute, passes the Assembly as it recently did the Senate, 37-0. If it fails, take down the names of those that voted “no” and remember them at election time.