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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The CUNY Controversy And What It Says About Education Today

Whether you support Israel, the Palestinians, Hamas or Fatah, the deceit and arrogance of the City College of New York (CUNY) is illustrative of the state of our universities. The current issues that are facing this college show how out of touch it is.  Universities used to be places of learning that encouraged discussion of the issues of the day without a right ( or shall we same "correct") answer. The process of researching your opinion and making the intelligent argument to validate your point of view was the point, not necessarily what the professor thought. Now it seems these bastions of education have morphed themselves into "indoctrination farms" where the only correct answer is  anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-west. Should you disagree with your professor or he with your opinion, you are ridiculed and your grade suffers. Where have we gone wrong?

It seems the movement started in the "free-thought" days of the late 60's and early 70's.  The awakening of the "me" generation where everything was OK and nothing in the past was good.  Many of the young people who were educated during that period have become professors in the colleges of today. 

As a student in those times, I found it very interesting that the free thinkers were anything but that. They were so sure of their philosophy that any discussion was unnecessary. They were right and you were wrong and they were not interested in discussing it. In essence their "free thinking" was an oxymoron. Those for the Vietnam War were baby killers and those against were heroes.  Servicemen were spit upon when they returned and Jane Fonda was idolized. The Bernadine Doren's of that generation were heroes when they shot people and blew up things like ROTC detachments on the college campuses. There was no middle ground, it was us against them and if you were not with us, you were the enemy.

So with this type of attitude, it is no wonder that when they got the reins of power in the universities, that they would install the same type of doctrinaire thinking. This is where we are today. Discussion is limited to the professor's view of the topic. Disagreement is thought to be not educational but disrespectful. The professor knows all and the students are to hang on his/her every word.  This is not education, it is the way of the Soviet gulag.

So when CUNY only brings in anti-Israeli speakers or flies the Palestinian flag, should we be surprised? This is the college of today.  For example, when CUNY is challenged regarding the flag, their first response is that they were flying all the flags of the United Nations (UN). However, then it was pointed out that the Palestinians are not members of the UN, they said in essence, they did not care.  Arrogance and intentional deceit by an educational organization does not bode well for education in America.

In the following article by Alana Goodman in Commentary Magazine dated May 11th, 2011 we read about this deceit.  What is your opinion and do you have any suggestions to improve education in America? Or do you think it is too late to make the necessary changes?  I would like to hear your opinions.

Palestinian Flag to Fly at CUNY Commencement
Alana Goodman - Commentary Magazine, May 11th, 2011

The City University of New York, which has already outraged Israel supporters with its decision to honor anti-Israel playwright Tony Kushner, will also be taking the unusual step of flying a Palestinian flag at the upcoming commencement for City College, a spokesperson for the university told me today.

“The City College flies all of the flags that are flown at the United Nations,” the Vice President for Communications Mary Lou Edmondson told me. “It has nothing to do with foreign policy.”

But there’s one problem—the United Nations doesn’t fly the Palestinian flag. It only flies the flags of its 192 member states.

Then what prompted the college’s decision? I’ve asked Edmonson to clarify her statement, and haven’t heard back yet. But it seems pretty obvious that politics did play a role. CUNY’s City College hasn’t flown the flag in previous years, and so this decision had to have been made recently. And with the Kushner debate still raging, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a no doubt the most volatile subject on campus.

Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, who’s been at the center of the Kushner controversy, said that the flag issue seemed to point to a double-standard at the university.

“I would think if we were going to fly the flags of aspiring nations, then we should certainly those of aspiring nations that have been in the mix even longer, like Tibet, like Kurdistan,” Wiesenfeld said. “In other words, whatever the policy is, it should be based on a consistency, but not a fashion of the moment.”

One City College faculty member said it reflected a deeper problem in academia. “It seems completely inappropriate, considering that there are no other flags of non-nations,” she said. “I just personally feel very upset by it because I feel that there’s so much anti-Israel sentiment in general, and specifically on college campuses.”

Flying the Palestinian flag is not a problem in itself. But flying it alongside the flags of UN member countries, at a public university, makes a particular statement. It says that CUNY’s City College is recognizing the state of Palestine, and its quest for UN member status, regardless of the outcome of the peace process. The college is free to argue that this has “nothing to do with foreign policy,” but the reality speaks for itself.

Update: CUNY’s City College VP of communications Mary Lou Edmondson emails this response: “I regret that I misspoke about the flags flown at the United Nations. At this time, in this 10th anniversary year of 9/11, we are focused on prominently displaying ten American flags in silent commemoration of the thousands of men and women who lost their lives.”

Friday, May 13, 2011

Poll Results -- Is Osama bin Ladin Dead

In our latest "not so scientific" poll of our readers, we have tabulated the results and find that most of our readers believe that Osama is dead.  68% believe this to be true.  Add another 8% think he is probably dead. However, by the  same amount (8% ) are not sure. 16% said they wanted to see the body and another 16% said they would believe it when they see Obama's college records.

Wherever you stand on the issue, the White House handling of the entire debacle has been terrible. For an organization who prides themselves on running things with a consistent message, this has not been their shining hour.  The inconsistent message has changed repeatedly and sometimes on a daily basis.  No wonder there are some who doubt the words that emanate from Washington.

Our next poll is about the next "political show" in Washington. The effort to increase the national debt by the Democrats who claim it will cause the United States to default on its debts if the increase is not passed. On the other side, the Republicans are saying that nothing of the kind will occur.  For those of us in "flyover" country, we know someone is exaggerating.  It probably will be somewhere in the middle but when are these political animals we call legislators going to become statesmen/stateswomen and do what is best for the country rather than grandstanding?

Please let me know what you think?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Deliberate Destruction Of A Great Nation

In a posting today on Israel Commentary, I read one of the best articles about where the country is headed. I encourage you to read it and make a comment.

So often we do not put together the pieces,  but in this article, it comes together. I guess the big question, can we really save the country?  Or is it too late? Or will the rowdy left get their way?  Will Obama continue to run ram shod over laws or can his ambitions be curtailed?  Where do you think we are headed?

Here is the posting:
Israel Commentary

The Deliberate Destruction of a Great Nation
Redacted from WHISTLEBLOWER MAGAZINE, May 2011

It may have been “Morning in America” during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, but under Barack Obama life is becoming a blinding fog. What is real and what is not? One week, polls show most Americans think Obama is a liar, his popularity reaching an all-time low. The next week, his ratings skyrocket on news that terror kingpin Osama bin Laden has been killed.

But as the modern entertainment medium called “news” switches gears from week to week, lurching from story to story, what is really going on underneath it all?

For tens of millions of Americans, what is going on is the destruction of the greatest nation in history, whose morals and money are both in free-fall and whose politics have been steered maniacally leftward under Obama. They see their legendary liberty, prosperity and sovereignty evaporating into the mist of an advancing new global order where America and Americans are being intentionally diminished in every conceivable way.

Realizing they’re being deceived and misled constantly by both their government and the elite media, they’re doing two things simultaneously: Preparing themselves and their families for hard times, and organizing and working as diligently as possible to save their troubled country.

And one of the most disturbing manifestations of the Age of Obama is documented in the eye-opening May issue of Whistleblower, “RISE OF THE LAWLESS LEFT.”

“America – at least America as it has long been known and loved – is disintegrating,” said WND Managing Editor David Kupelian. “It is becoming a more lawless place, one where the old rules, the old standards, values, understandings and laws no longer hold sway. And it starts at the top.”

While previous presidents have stretched and even distorted the Constitution to accommodate their ambitions, Obama contemptuously tramples the supreme law of the land, which he has publicly condemned as “fundamentally flawed”:

Obama’s Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder, not only refused to prosecute the most brazen case of voter intimidation in modern history, starring club-wielding New Black Panther thugs. Its Civil Rights Division refuses to prosecute cases where the perpetrators are black and the victims white.

Not only is Team Obama unconcerned with stopping the tidal wave of illegal aliens flooding into the U.S. from Mexico, but when one state, Arizona, passed a law to enforce federal immigration laws, Obama’s Justice Department sued Arizona to halt the enforcement.

Though citizens in every state given the chance have voted to reject same-sex marriage, Obama is intent on imposing it on the entire nation. For while Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act by a huge majority in 1996 and Bill Clinton signed it into law, Obama’s Justice Department now says it won’t enforce the law, without which the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause will be perverted to force all states to recognize same-sex marriages as legitimate within their borders.

An overwhelming majority of Oklahomans, 70 percent, voted in November to exclude Shariah – the barbaric 7th century legal system that amputates limbs of shoplifters, stones women to death for adultery and burns homosexuals alive – from consideration in settling American legal cases in American courts. But then one judge overturned the law, leaving the door open for one of the most enslaving forces on earth – Shariah – to become a guiding principle in an American courtroom. With such contempt for the rule of law at the top, no wonder leftists around the country are becoming increasingly and openly lawless.

When Wisconsin’s governor had the courage to try to bring his state’s near-bankrupt budget into balance by limiting the power of government-employee unions, Democrat legislators went AWOL for weeks, running from their elected jobs, crossing their southern border and hiding out in Illinois to avoid being apprehended by police. Meanwhile, thousands of leftist agitators and union thugs vandalized the capitol building. Following their example, 37 out of Indiana’s 40 Democratic lawmakers likewise fled westward into Illinois to prevent the Republican majority from balancing their state’s budget by checking the power of public-employee unions.

But all that’s just the tip of the iceberg, says Kupelian. “Respect for law is breaking down in America. Those on the hard left, encouraged by our radical-in-chief, are increasingly rising up and revealing themselves as the lawless revolutionary ground troops they truly are.

ACORN is back and the unions are just getting warmed up. “Now that we’re heading into the 2012 presidential election cycle,” said Kupelian, “be warned: Obama and his people will do whatever they possibly can – legal or illegal, moral or immoral – to win the 2012 election.

Remember that community organizing guru Saul Alinsky, whose teachings Obama said were ‘seared into my brain’ and provided ‘the best education I ever had,’ taught that it’s perfectly fine to violate your own ‘individual conscience’ – in other words, to lie, steal and cheat – in order to accomplish what is ‘good for mankind.’”

Added Kupelian: “We’re now in the midst of a civil war between two Americas – between traditional middle-class, hard-working, Judeo-Christian America and the angry, deluded, redistributionist, utopian left. Only one side can prevail. So, while we fight the good fight to restore our culture, economy and constitutional government, understand that the lawlessness on the left is only going to increase.”

Read: Whistleblower Magazine, May, 2011

© 2011 WorldNetDaily

Monday, May 9, 2011

Will Palestinian Unity Bring Peace?

The recent joining of Fatah and Hamas into one organization has been praised or condemned around the world. Those who support Israel are concerned.  In the following article Caroline Glick writes, in the Jerusalem Post on May 6, 2011, a very comprehensive analysis of the issues facing Israel and the "new" representative of the Palestinians.

I think it is a very bad idea and believe Israel should not negotiate with this organization until Hamas and Fatah formally indicate their acceptance of Israel as a permanent part of the Middle East. If not,  negotiations with a party or parties that wants your destruction is like playing Russian Roulette with all chambers loaded.

We saw what happened in Gaza when Israel unilaterally gave up their settlements. Not only was it traumatic for the uprooted Israelis but it did not give them any safety, rather, Gaza was used to launch rockets against the nearby settlements. Israel needs to not have a repeat of this.

Anyone (including Israelis) who believes differently is naive or wishes the destruction of the only democracy in the Middle East.

That is what I think, what are your comments.

The PLO's desperate defenders
Caroline Glick - The Jerusalem Post, May 6th, 2011

By most accounts, the Fatah-Hamas unity deal signing ceremony Wednesday was a grand affair. Hamas terror-chief Khaled Mashaal jetted in from Damascus. PLO/Fatah/Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas flew in from Ramallah.

The ceremony was held under the auspices of the newly Muslim Brotherhood-friendly Egyptian intelligence services. UN representatives and Israeli Arab members of Knesset were on hand to witness the “historic” accord which officially put the PLO in bed with Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and a terrorist organization dedicated to the annihilation of Israel and the establishment of a global caliphate.

No less significant than the pact itself are the lengths the Left is going to obfuscate and belittle the importance of what happened. At home and abroad, leftists have used three means to hide the meaning of the pact from the public.

First, some have upheld the deal as a cause for celebration. On Wednesday, Channel 10’s senior political commentator Raviv Drucker opined that the deal may increase the chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Ignoring the fact that the pact paves the way for Hamas’s integration into the PA’s US-trained security forces, and its membership in the PLO, Raviv vapidly claimed that the villain in all of the recent developments is none other than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is destroying all chance of peace by pointing out that the Palestinians have opted for war.

On the world stage, Drucker’s case is being made by former US president Jimmy Carter. In an op-ed in The Washington Post on Wednesday, Carter similarly praised the deal as a step forward. Never mentioning the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization, Carter claimed that the deal will enhance Palestinian democracy. It will also increase chances for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel and peace between Israel and the Palestinians, he promised.

The second way the leftist establishment is trying to hide the game-changing nature of the Fatah-Hamas deal is by belittling it. Most of the Israeli media, for instance, highlighted remarks by outgoing Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin asserting that the agreement is likely to be short-lived.

The New York Times, too, emphasized the deal’s high chance of failure. But whether it succeeds or fails is irrelevant. The point is not that Fatah and Hamas don’t like one each other. They point is that they are terrorists.

Finally, voices in the Left have sought to hide the importance of the agreement behind bureaucratic illusions. For example, the Obama administration is using the artificial distinctions between Fatah – led by Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO – led by Mahmoud Abbas, and the Palestinian Authority – led by Mahmoud Abbas, to claim that there is no reason to get excited. Since the PLO signs the deals with Israel, and the PA pays the bills, the State Department has argued that the fact that Fatah signed a unity agreement with Hamas won’t have any immediate impact on US aid to the PA.

Abbas himself has gone out of his way to encourage this notion. During his meeting with a delegation of far left, retired Israeli security brass last week, Abbas said there is no reason for concern about the agreement because the PLO, which he leads, rather than Fatah, which he leads, carries out negotiations with Israel.
The reason that otherwise intelligent people are willing to make such obviously absurd statements is because they are in a state of panic. They realize that the Fatah-Hamas unity deal discredits the land-for-peace paradigm. If the public is permitted to recognize the importance of what has happened, then that policy will be abandoned. All Israeli and US support, recognition and legitimization for the Hamas-partnering PA/PLO/Fatah will have to be ended.

The Left’s panic was revealed on Wednesday in a Haaretz report of a classified Foreign Ministry report regarding the unity deal. Written by unnamed officials at the ministry’s leftist-dominated policy planning division, its authors rebuked the Netanyahu government for condemning the agreement. They claimed that the deal represents an opportunity for Israel. They further called on the government to “be a team player and coordinate its response to a Palestinian unity government with the [Obama] administration.” Doing so, the authors claimed, “will empower the United States and serve Israeli interests.”

Obviously displeased with the government’s failure to heed their ridiculous advice, the diplomats released their cable to Haaretz in a bid to intimidate Israel’s elected leadership into submission before it is too late.

This is not the first time we have been at the point of recognizing the truth – that the PLO/PA/Fatah never turned its back on terror and that all the commitments it has made to Israel have been subordinate to its commitment to maintaining its support for terror. We were here in 1990 and again in 2000.

In 1990, PLO chief Yasser Arafat refused to condemn a seaborne terror attack on Ashkelon and Tel Aviv carried out by the PLF faction of the PLO. As is the case today, Arafat tried to characterize the subordinate group as an independent organization in order to deny his own culpability for their crime.

At the time, the US was engaged in a dialogue with the PLO facilitated by the group’s November 1988 professed recognition of Israel. Faced with this clear breach of good faith, the US Congress and the Shamir government demanded that then-president George H.W. Bush cancel US recognition of the PLO and end its dialogue with the terror group. Although Bush had been a great champion of US-PLO relations, he had no choice but to agree to this obviously justified demand.
A year later, in 1991, Bush rejected the notion of reinstating his recognition of the PLO. Speaking to reporters he said, “To me, they’ve lost credibility. They’ve lost credibility with this office right here.”

In 2000, Arafat again lost credibility when he rejected then prime minister Ehud Barak’s offer of peace and Palestinian statehood at Camp David, joined forces with Hamas and launched a terror war against Israel. Upon returning from Camp David, Barak bragged that he had taken the mask of peacemaker off of Arafat’s terrorist face.

But Barak’s peace-crazed leftist voters weren’t interested in the truth. Just as they are condemning Netanyahu now for acknowledging that Abbas’s deal with Hamas proves that the PA is uninterested in peace with Israel, in 2000 the political Left responded with vitriol to Barak’s announcement. From their great leader, he became their worst enemy.

Barak’s supporters’ decision to prefer their ideological commitment to the peace paradigm over their commitment to their country or to the facts on the ground made it impossible for Barak to act on his revelation. If he wished to have a political future, the only thing he could do was obey his voters, and put the mask back on Arafat’s face. After all, the Right, which opposed his massive concessions, would never vote for him.

So Barak dutifully elevated uber-leftist and then-justice minister Yossi Beilin to the head of his negotiations team. He empowered Beilin to make even more far-reaching concessions to Arafat at Taba, even as Arafat’s security forces were lynching IDF soldiers and planning, financing and ordering the suicide bombings.

Today the situation is closer to 1990 than to 2000. As in 1990, the US Congress fully supports ending US funding, recognition and support for the PLO/PA/Fatah. Even before the deal was announced, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, had already called for ending US financing of the PA in light of its refusal to negotiate peace with Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Immediately after the unity deal was announced, Ros-Lehtinen reinstated her demand that the US end all support for the PA. She noted that since Hamas is a terrorist organization, the US government is legally barred from providing it with assistance or recognition of any kind. Sen. Mark Kirk has led efforts in the Senate to end US aid to the PLO/PA/Fatah in light of the unity deal.

If Netanyahu follows the advice of his leftist critics and cooperates with the Obama administration in its apparent bid to ignore the legal and policy significance of the Hamas-Fatah deal, he will undermine Congress’s ability to support Israel. No American lawmaker – or presidential candidate – will want to be more pro-Israel than Israel’s prime minister. And if Netanyahu bends to the will of his leftist critics he will stop these welcome initiatives in their tracks.

So far, Netanyahu has been holding strong. His government’s decision to freeze tax transfers to the PA in response to the agreement with Hamas has sent a strong signal that Israel is withdrawing its acceptance of the PA as a credible peace partner and now views it as a terrorist entity. This move will facilitate swift congressional action to defund the PA and limit the administration’s ability to pressure Israel to make further concessions to Abbas.

From the perspective of US-Israel relations, the Fatah-Hamas unity pact couldn’t have come at a more crucial time. Netanyahu’s speech before the joint houses of Congress on May 24 provides the premier with a rare opportunity to radically alter the terms of reference for the discourse on the Palestinian conflict with Israel at home and in the US.

If he continues to highlight the PLO-Hamas alliance, Netanyahu can drive the political discourse away from the false narrative of Palestinian peacefulness and towards the truth about their devotion to terror and war. With just one address, Netanyahu can potentially do more to strengthen and safeguard Israel than he has in his entire career. And in so doing, he will guarantee his place among the ranks of the great statesmen.

Politically, Netanyahu has much to gain by remaining on offense and much to lose by surrendering. Unlike Barak’s voters, Netanyahu’s voters know that the discredited land-for-peace paradigm has failed, and they will reward Netanyahu for speaking the truth.

On the other hand, if he bows to leftist pressure, and empowers Obama to demand still more Israeli concessions to the Fatah-Hamas government, Netanyahu will place his political future in jeopardy. His voters are liable to transfer their support to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman or to one of Netanyahu’s Likud ministers. They will not understand why they should vote for Netanyahu only to get Barak’s policy.

International affairs rarely provide the opportunity to correct past mistakes. If Netanyahu does the right thing, he will be attacked viciously by the mindless supporters of endless concessions. But their condemnations will be drowned out by hoots and cheers of enthusiastic support from the overwhelming majority of the public at home, and from Israel’s friends in Congress and throughout the world. They will thank him for freeing us all, finally, from the myth of peace with terrorists.

So Much For A Moderate Egypt

The following article illustrates that we cannot expect so called moderate governments in the Middle East to moderate their attitude toward with Israel. Egypt, we were told, would maintain its relations with Israel and would be a model for the "new Middle East."  If the Muslim Brotherhood should gain control of the new government, we will longingly hearken back to the days of Mubarak.

Obviously Mohammad Habib is a most radical member of the party. However, it is telling for him to be so forthright. If this does not chill you to the bone, nothing will.

Here is the article. What is your opinion.

Senior Egyptian Party Member Urges Full Halt in Normalizing Ties with Israel
Unknown - FARS News Agency, May 9th, 2011

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior member of the Egyptian Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun (Muslim Brotherhood) party called on the government in Cairo to stop normalization plans with the Zionist regime.

“The Egyptian nation believes that normalization of relations with the Zionist regime is among the most important issues which should be stopped completely,” Mohammad Habib said on Sunday.

“The Egyptian nation believes that the Zionist regime is a danger threatening the national security of not just Egypt, but also other Arab countries,” he added.

Habib also reiterated that the Zionist regime is getting prepared for a full-scale war in the region since it cannot feel to be on the safe side as long as it has not gained decisive political and military supremacy over the entire Arab and Muslim countries.

Another member of the Muslim Brotherhood party had also earlier called on the Egyptian officials to downgrade relations with the Zionist regime and annul the contract on the supply of Egypt's gas to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Kamal al-Halbawi had also demanded the Cairo officials to promote bilateral relations with Tehran.

“Egypt should have good relations with the powerful and great countries of the Middle-East, like Iran and Turkey, to confront the influence of the US and the Zionist regime in the region,” al-Halbawi told FNA late April.
“I see no justification for the cut in relations between Iran and Egypt,” he added.