Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday 28th Dec Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Nathan Boyd,Jimmy JongCandice Trieu and Charles Huynh. Born on the same day across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.


December 28Day of the Holy Innocents (Western Christianity)
San Francisco cable car





[edit]Holidays and observances



Tim Blair – Friday, December 28, 2012 (11:46am)

General Norman Schwarzkopf, leader of Operation Desert Storm, has died at 78.



Tim Blair – Friday, December 28, 2012 (11:22am)

George Monbiot is mugged by reality, but retains his giddy leftism. Comedy bonus: warmist George opens this genuinely funny column with the story of a bicycle accident caused by ice.

Democrats don't respect cultural assets. To a bureaucrat, the words of a writer are the same as those of a reporter - ed
Why all the cool kids are reading Executive Order 13423
A war of words is brewing. But this one doesn’t involve slinging insults. It’s a battle over what forms of writing – novels, poems, and non-fiction – will define English instruction for millions of American schoolchildren in the years to come.
Sparking this war is the Common Core standards push – an effort to nationalize the standards and assessments upon which every public school in America would base its curriculum. The Obama administration has poured billions of dollars into the effort via federal “Race to the Top” grants.
As always when it comes to federal largesse, there are strings attached. And in this case, it’s pulling the rug out from under classic literature.

Literacy experts point out that The Common Core denigrates the value of teaching literature in the classroom. Instead, English teachers are being told that 50 percent of their course material must be derived from “informational texts.” (Actually, the informational text requirement starts at a “mere” 25 percent of reading material for kindergarteners. It rises to 70 percent for high school seniors.)
What, exactly, meets the definition of informational texts? Among those recommended on the national standards list we find The Federal Reserve Bank’s “FedViews,” “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag,” and “Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas.” And, roll over “For Whom the Bell Tolls” it’s time to make way for that GSA classic: “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.”
Thus is the literary genius of Washington bureaucrats elevated over that of Hugo, Heller, and Huxley.
Eschewing great literature for ghastly technical reports doesn’t make much sense to those charged with getting young people to read—hopefully with some degree of enthusiasm. And there’s a total lack of research suggesting that education will be advanced by a forced march to Executive Orders.
The University of Arkansas’ Sandra Stotsky argues that an emphasis on informational texts actually prevents children from acquiring “a rich understanding and use of the English language” and “may lead to a decreased capacity for analytical thinking.” Dry government documents such as those recommended in the Common Core’s are “hardly the kind of material to exhibit ambiguity, subtlety, and irony,” she observes.
Fiction authors try to describe phenomena in a way they haven’t been described before. They use figurative expression to convey abstract ideas. These are writers who create art and expression in a way that tackles difficult philosophical questions in a palpable format; in a way that gets to the root of all things. This is the kind of reflection that trains citizens capable of self-government.
Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, J.D. Salinger, Washington Irving, Edith Wharton, James Joyce, Sinclair Lewis – all achieved that complex goal. And all are absent from the Common Core list.
Granted, the list is a list of suggested material. But the requirement for teachers to derive more than half their assigned reading from informational texts is no mere suggestion. States have signed Memoranda of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Education agreeing to meet the requirement. Inevitably, teachers will have to jettison great literary works to ensure children consume the government’s minimum daily dose of executive orders.
No wonder columnist Alexandra Petri refers to the Common Core as “the great Purge of Literature.”
“Words in regulations and manuals,” she writes, “are words mangled and tortured and bent into unnatural positions, and the later you have to discover such cruelty, the better.” Indeed.
If the central planners make mistakes with Common Core, Dr. Jay Greene argues, they impose those mistakes on the entire nation—and such mistakes will be nearly impossible to correct. But the arguments over literature make it clear that even if we could correct mistakes, widespread, national consensus about what should be taught in every school in America will remain elusive.
More importantly, those decisions will be far removed from teachers and parents – the people who should have the most say in what children are taught.
The good news is: states can end this war of words. Instead of abdicating responsibility for standards and assessments—and ceding more control over education to Washington and national organizations—state leaders can extricate their teachers and students from this national standards boondoggle.
States and local school districts can have success improving their standards and assessments without surrendering control to Washington. At the same time, they should work to increase transparency about school outcomes to parents (for example, implementing a straightforward A-F grading scale for schools), provide flexibility for local school leaders, and advance systemic reforms that include school choice options for families. Those reforms will go a long way in improving academic outcomes while at the same time preserving local control of education.
But if states stay on the Common Core bandwagon, say goodbye to “1984,” “Animal Farm” and “Brave New World.” No need for kids to be reading those books, anyway. They’ll be living them.

The diminution won't achieve voter support .. that is the Democrat way of divide and rule. The conservative path is always to act with integrity for the good of all. Cultural assets deserve support not fictionalised minorities .. who will never be told the good news by an oppositional media - ed
How Republicans can create more jobs and win over Hispanic voters

In the stampede of media advice to Republicans to pass “comprehensive immigration reform” (supposedly to win more Hispanic votes in 2016), hardly any dust has been kicked up by discussing whether more immigration would be good for Hispanic Americans themselves.
If Republicans want more Hispanic votes, they might consider pushing policies that actually help Hispanic voters get back to work and increase their incomes.
Comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) would do the opposite because all CIR proposals are about increasing the number of citizens of other countries who are allowed to jump into the job-application lines to compete with the 20 million Americans who want a full-time job but can't find one.  (more at the link)

As fiscal crisis looms, taxing charitable gifts by the rich will hurt the poor the most

For nearly two years now, we have heard about the divide between wealthy America and the rest of us. We are told that the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes. We hear that the wealthiest one percent run the country for their own benefit. 
Whether you agree with this or not, there is no shortage of proposals in Washington targeted to address this sense of inequality. But my personal experience as a former corporate CEO and now as president of one of the country’s largest charities, is that many wealthy women and men are voluntarily bridging this gap through their charitable giving.
For nearly as long as the income tax has existed, the U.S. government has allowed individuals to deduct their giving from their taxes, recognizing that private organizations contribute to the common good and to economic growth. Our country does need to get its fiscal house in order, but policy makers need to be extremely careful in their zeal to find new government revenue. Raising taxes on the wealthy by taxing their giving is likely to hurt the poor the most. (More at the link)

.. rocket launchers? How can one defend their home without one? - ed
Rocket launchers handed back with guns in LA
LONG lines of cars formed as Los Angeles gun owners turned in weapons and rocket launchers, in a gun buyback event brought forward after the Connecticut school shooting.
Authorities promised there would be no questions asked at the drive-thru style event, where owners handed over weapons including assault rifles and Uzis directly from their cars, in exchange for grocery store gift cards.
Two rocket launchers were among the thousands of weapons handed back, with officers telling local media the "shoulder launchers" were decades-old devices bought by collectors or handed down by war veterans to their family.
"We've had them in the past," one official told LA Weekly who said the "non working"  weapons once propelled grenades, but contained no "projectiles".
Protesters meanwhile made their presence felt at the buyback and tried to stop gun owners from handing over their rifles, assault weapons and guns. (more at the link)



Dear Mr. President:

During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive Shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone. 

While glancing over her Patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.

And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman's health care?

I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture", a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.

It is a culture based on the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me". Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.



This is an incredibly powerful video:

IAF Israeli Air Force fly over Auschwitz- tribute to victims

It's said that time heals all wounds and that with time things get easier......and it does, the sharpness of it dulls with time but the memory will never go that what you have endured has made you who u are today and that what you may be going through now is shaping who you will become....things are being purged out right now, things that no longer serve you, and things that you have learned deep soul lessons have come so far and have done so amazing, you are becoming brighter and brighter with each and everyday!!!! Know that you are not going through these changes alone, and know that you are truly and deeply Loved by the Lord above ~♥~ - Holly
It was a joke when someone said that time wounds all heels. A more straight arrow loosed against me was when I was quoted Deepak Choprah's "The condition you are in reflects the choices you have made" But while there is truth in casually flung insults, the deeper truth that Jesus loves you and God has forgiven your sins is a liberating message for the believer. You are troubled. You cannot succeed alone. But you don't have to. Some say they will come to worship Him when they get their house in order. There is no need to wait. He knows you and he knows why you do as you do. Come worship Him, and let Him heal you. You aren't alone. Let Him help. - ed===





Brilliant article detailing the history of how Black activism came to embrace anti semitism in favor of terrorism - ed

Martin Peretz - an appreciation

By the time I began developing a political consciousness in the early 1980s, I didn't have any choice but to be on the right side of the political spectrum. By the early 1980s, the political Left in the US had already abandoned support for Israel.

When I grew up in what would later become Barack Obama's neighborhood in Chicago, the black political machine in the neighborhood and the city, led by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan was openly anti-Semitic and pro-Muslim. The white Left was also hostile. The Communists were anti-Israel. The media was anti-Israel. 

As a proud Jewish girl, it was clear to me from adolescence on that I could only locate myself on the political Right. 

This was not the case for people who came of age in the 1950s and early 1960s. At that time, the USSR had not yet cut off its relations with Israel. The civil rights movement was a joint Jewish-black movement. 

For those of you who don't know the history, the NAACP was founded by Jews. The plaintiff in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark Supreme Court decision from 1954 that opened the path to school desegregation, was represented by the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund's legal team of Jack Greenberg and Thurgood Marshall. The famous Mississippi Burning incident where three civil rights workers were lynched in 1964 involved the murder of one black civil rights worker James Earl Chaney and two Jewish civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwermer.

But starting sometime around 1965, the blacks began the process of expelling the Jews from the Civil Rights movement, as they embraced anti-Semitism and the Arab war for the destruction of Israel. In New York City, this period reached a culmination in the 1968 teachers strike. The strike was caused by the decision of a black school board in Brownsville, Brooklyn to fire many of the Jewish teachers and administrators from the local schools and replace them with black separatist teachers and administrators. 

The head the teachers union Albert Shanker dated the end of Jewish-black cooperation to the strike.

While researching my book, yesterday I came across a fascinating FBI report from 1970 that was declassified under the Freedom of Information Act in 2009. Titled, "FBI Monograph: Fedayeen Impact - Middle East and United States, June 1970," it is focused on the PLO, and Fatah's penetration of the American political Left. 

Here's the link:

In the section on PLO operations in the US, The monograph discussed its outreach to the African American political leadership and the radical white establishment. These sections of the report are fascinating and I recommend you take an hour or so to read the entire document yourself. 

As the report puts it, "Since the June 1967, war, reports emanating from various sources have suggested that the Arabs have co-opted black extremists in the United States to assist the 'struggle' against Israel in the Middle East and in the United States."

The report makes specific mention of the co-optation of the Black Panther Party, (BPP), the Student National Coordinating Committee, (SNCC), Stokely Carmichael, and the Nation of Islam.

Several BPP leaders participated in anti-Israel conferences in Africa and the Middle East where they gave stridently anti-Semitic speeches calling for the destruction of Israel. In one speech in Algeria in 1969 BPP "Minister of Information" Eldridge Cleaver, "Proclaimed BPP support for the Arab position and criticized 'US-Zionists,' mentioning Arthur Goldberg, Henry A. Kissinger, and Judge Julius Hoffman. He also expressed BPP admiration for Yasir Arafat and al-Fatah. Cleaver and Arafat reportedly hugged and kissed each other and received a standing ovation from those at the conference."

In an interview with the New York Times on August 15, 1967, SNCC leader Ralph Featherston launched an all-out assault against Israel and Jews.

According to the FBI report, in the interview he said that "SNCC is drawn to the Arab cause because it is working toward a 'third world alliance of oppressed people all over the world - Africa, Asia, Latin America - and considers the Arabs have been oppressed continually by Israelis and by Europeans as well in such countries as Algeria.' He denied that SNCC was anti-Semitic, but was interested in indicting only 'Jewish oppressors,' a category he applied to Israel, and 'to those Jews in the little Jew shops in the ghettos.'"

Stokely Carmichael sang from the same song sheet and did so not in Algeria but on US college campuses such as George Washington University and Harvard beginning in 1970.

The Soviet Union openly sided with the Arabs in the Six Day War and cut off relations with Israel immediately following the war. The radical American Left, populated by the Communist Party USA and other Communist front groups and New Left groups abandoned Israel at the same time. This mass abandonment included the Progressive Labor Party; Students for a Democratic Society, (SDS); SDS-Weathermen; the Socialist Workers Party; Workers World Party; and the Communist Party - USA, (CPUSA).

Since President Obama's political world is populated by individuals from all these groups, and since Obama launched his political career in the living room of SDS-Weathermen terror commanders Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, it is worth noting that in the SDS-Weathermen magazine "SDS Fire" December 6, 1969 issue, contained an editorial stating that "Arab peoples, above all the Palestinian people, will not and cannot accept the existence of Israel, a colonial-type creature imposed by outside forces on the area."

A notable exception to the far Left's abandonment of Israel and embrace of anti-Semitism was Ramparts Magazine, the New Left publication founded by David Horowitz and Peter Collier. Among other pro-Israel Ramparts articles the FBI report cites, it notes in particular one by then Harvard Professor Martin Peretz from July 1967. 

In his article, Peretz took on the propaganda claims against Israel one by one and discredited them. Among other things, he said that Israel is not a colonialist state; there is no similarity whatsoever between the US war in Vietnam, which as a self-proclaimed radical he opposed, and Israel; the creation of Israel was not sponsored by imperialist powers; Nasser is not a socialist. 

Peretz excoriated the Third World and Communist countries for their failure to recognize the Arab threat to Israel's existence, calling their behavior "disgusting."

The FBI report notes that the CPUSA's support for the Arabs against Israel caused massive dissention in the ranks of the party, mentioning that some 75 percent of CPUSA's members were Jewish. Jewish Communists in Chicago collected blood and plasma for Israel and donated money. Dissenters were also heard loudly in New York.

The reason I entitled this post "Martin Peretz, an appreciation," is not for what he wrote in 1967, but because of what has happened to the Left, the Jewish Left and to Peretz in the 46 years that have passed since he wrote that article. 

In the late 1960s, Peretz wasn't alone in defending Israel against the radical Left - white and black. In 1967, even Jewish Communists were willing to break ranks to support Israel. And as the 1968 New York Teachers Strike showed, at the time, liberal Jews in general were willing to defend themselves from attacks by black anti-Semites. 

But in the intervening years, fewer and fewer voices on the Left, and specifically on the Jewish Left were willing to take such positions and pit themselves against their movement. And so as the decades passed, what were the positions of the radical Left in the 1960s became increasingly the positions of the mainstream Left, until by last summer, they became the positions of the majority of delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

When I was growing up in Chicago, the local Jewish establishment's refusal to support Israel in the 1982 Lebanon War is what made me decide to make aliyah. By the time I arrived at Columbia in 1987, and the Palestinian uprising broke out, it was hard to find Jewish leaders who were willing to stand up for Israel without stuttering. 

Today the situation has become simply untenable. Suffice it to say that Bill Ayres's political protégé Barack Obama's success in garnering 70 percent of the Jewish vote is not an aberration. 

Yet through it all, Martin Peretz has rarely wavered. Despite his attempts to support the Palestinians, he has not allowed his desire to see the Arab conflict with Israel resolved  diminish his support for Israel. He has remained a staunch, loyal defender of Israel. When I was growing up, I relied on his New Republic for its reporting on Israel and the Middle East. Peretz was one of my intellectual heroes. 

In recent years, I've felt more bemused by than respectful of Peretz. A colleague of mine quipped some years back that Peretz and Allan Dershowitz live in an intellectual universe populated only by Peretz and Dershowitz and they refuse to acknowledge that they are alone. That quip has probably anchored my thinking on both men ever since. 

But even if my colleague's remark was more true than false, reading the FBI report, I decided I should discard its snide diminution of Peretz. The fact is, he has been fighting this fight for nearly fifty years. As a man of the Left, he has fought the fight for Israel and Jewish rights, increasingly alone for nearly fifty years, and has done so despite what must have been enormous personal costs as his comrades all jumped ship, and in many cases, joined the cause of Israel's enemies.

don quixote.gif

Cervantes's Don Quixote is generally reviled as a fool for his futile battle against windmills. By the same token, Leftists who insist that their movement -- which long ago parted company with the ideals it claims to represent, and serves as a warm political home for totalitarian anti-Semites -- must  side with good against evil, necessarily call up the image of Don Quixote fighting the forces of nature.

But when you think about it, there is something heroic about keeping up a battle even if it is doomed to fail, simply because it is the right thing to do. So hats off to Peretz for keeping true.

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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for December 27th. Enjoy!

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