Thursday, September 22, 2011

CERN Reports Particles Moving Faster than Light Speed

If this story turns out to be true, it would invalidate Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity and revolutionize physics. Also, it restores hope for intergalactic space travel at warp speed. "Mr. Zulu, warp factor seven."

Dry Bones on Uncle Sam's Current Economic Dilemma

How said, but how true.

Palestinians Want It All--All of Israel that is

Saree Makdisi, a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA, has an op-ed column in today's Los Angeles Times. It is particularly revealing if one wants to understand the Palestinian Arab world view. He criticizes the effort of the Palestinian Authority for recognition as an independent state within the 1949 armstice lines (the so-called "1967 borders") because it would leave 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs as citizens of Israel within the 1949 armstice lines and would abandon the right of Palestinian Arabs to return to their homes within Israel. If one gives his arguments any thought, one realizes that what Professor Makdisi is advocating is the reversal of the 1947 resolution partitioning the Palestinian Mandate into a Jewish State and an Arab State. In its place he wants a partition into an Arab State and a binational state that would in due course become an Arab State.

The only surprising aspect of this column is its criticism of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, because if the truth were known what Makdisi wants is what Abbas wants as well. Abbas just does a better job of hiding the ball. If all the PA wanted was a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, it could have achieved that objective long ago, but only at the cost of relinquishing any claim on the part of Palestinian refugees to resettle inside Israel. Abbas, like Arafat (may the name of the wicked be erased) before him would not make that concession.

That is the main justification behind the PA's effort to obtain recognition of a Palestinian State through the United Nations, bypassing negotiations with Israel. A negotiated peace would require recognition of Israel as the Jewish State called for in the 1947 partition resolution, and relinquishment of any Palestinian right of return. A unilateral declaration of statehood, on the other hand, would give the Palestinians a state without compelling them to recognize Israel, relinquish claims to Israeli territory, or relinquish a claimed right of return. It thereby preserves the true Palestinian objective, the elimination of the world's only Jewish State.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Useful Idiot Update-Ahmadinejad Cancels Dinner Invitation to Columbia Students

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad abruptly cancelled his dinner invitation extended to Columbia students while he visits New York City for the UN General Assembly session. The cancellation came without explanation.

Oh dear! Who can the students find for a substitute dinner guest? After all, neither Bashar al-Assad, nor Muammar Gaddafi are expected this year. Of course, there is always Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. He meets the relevant anti-Jewish criterion.

Refusal to Sell F-22 Jets to Taiwan Raises Doubts About U.S. Reliability as Ally

"Why won't Israel take risks for peace, and rely on the United States to protect its security?" That is a question one often hears from well-meaning American friends of Israel who are puzzled by what they perceive as its obstinate preoccupation with security issues.

Taiwanese may be able to partially answer that question today. The Obama Administration announced that it will not sell Taiwan the 66 new F-16 C/D fighter planes requested by that government. Instead, the United States will only agree to upgrade Taiwan's existing fleet of F-16 A/B aircraft.

The decision, apparently intended to mollify China, drew instant bipartisan criticism. Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, in whose state Lockheed Martin would have built the Taiwanese jets, called the move a "slap in the face of an ally." Even Obama partisan Howard Berman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called it a "half measure."

Half a measure was not better than none as far as China was concerned. The U.S. action intended to defer to Chinese diplomatic sensitivities was instead met with an angry denunciation by Beijing. The pressure from China for a complete U.S. abandonment of the Taiwanese government continues unabated.

Understandably, U.S. allies, including Israel, watch and wonder. Are their fears overblown? Well, have you ever heard of the Shah of Iran? Or a former Egyptian dictator named Hosni Mubarak? Or a country called the Republic of Vietnam, more commonly known as South Vietnam? They also were allies of the United States, until the United States abandoned them. Who's next?

Israel Sends Assistance to International Disaster Sites

If an extraterrestrial visitor to Earth were to judge only by resolutions condemning Israel passed by the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council, the visitor would assume that it is the most evil nation in the world today, if not in all human history. More resolutions condemning Israel are passed than against all other nations of the world combined.

Once the visitor educated itself about earthly politics and the sorry condition of the United Nations, and then examined the facts further, it would come to a very different conclusion. Here is an incomplete list of how Israel has responded in recent years to international disasters, by rendering humanitarian assistance:

Albania- After severe flooding in December of last year, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered 307 family-sized tents for families made homeless by flooding there.

Congo- Israel sent 4 tons of humanitarian aid to the country in November 2008 to relieve the suffering of the population in rural areas.

Dominican Republic- Israel sent relief teams to assist in cleanup operations in the wake of Tropical Storm Noel in November 2007.

Greece- Israel sent 52 firefighters to assist in battling major conflagrations there in August 2007.

Haiti- In January 2010 Israel was the first country to successfully setup a fully equipped field hospital just 4 days after the devastating earthquake that struck the country.

India- Israel sent 150 emergency personnel to assist in relief efforts after the January 2001 earthquake in Western India.

Indonesia- In January 2005 Israel sent 75 tons of relief material for the benefit of those made homeless by the December 2004 Tsunami.

Kenya- Israel sent search and rescue teams to Kenya after the bombing of the US Embassy there in August 1998.

Macedonia- Israel sent firefighting equipment twice in 2007 to assist in battling major blazes there in July and August 2007.

Mauritania- Two medical missions sent to the country by Israel in 1999 to treat eye problems among the populace.

Mexico- Israel sent relief teams to assist in cleanup operations in the wake of Tropical Storm Noel in November 2007.

Myanmar- Israel sent relief workers to help local officials in the wake of the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis.

Nepal – Israel's non-profit organization Tevel b'Tzedek sends volunteers to help with Kathmandu street children's crises in ongoing programs.

Nicaragua- Israel sent relief teams to assist in cleanup operations in the wake of Hurricane Felix in September 2007.

Nigeria- Israel sent medical supplies to Nigeria in March 2006 to battle bird flu.

Philippines- In response to the damage caused by typhoon Ondoy, Israel sent planeloads of medicine to the beleaguered areas in October 2009.

Sri Lanka- After the December 2004 Tsunami Israel delivered emergency food kitchens to help feed those displaced by the devastating wave.

Turkey- Israel sent 250 relief workers to assist in cleanup operations after the August 1999 earthquake that hit Turkey, followed by a complete field hospital. After the area was cleared, Israel then built a village of prefabricated houses for the survivors.

This list does not include Israeli humanitarian assistance sent to Japan, China, Kashmir, Chad & Somalia'

The source of all this humanitarian aid is a tiny nation with a land mass the size of New Jersey and a population of only seven million. Its humanitarian contributions dwarf those of the Islamic nations, probably combined, with their billions of petroleum income and over a billion and a half in population.

Indeed, a number of the recipients of aid listed above are Islamic nations and other countries who regularly vote to condemn Israel in the United Nations.

Hat tip: Israel Up Close,

Friday, September 16, 2011

Palestine will be an Apartheid State

The Boycott and Delegitimization Campaign against Israel tries to portray Israel as an apartheid state. The charge will not stand up to scrutiny-Israel's 1.6 million Arab citizens, about 20% of its population, have full civil rights, vote, form political parties, serve in the Knesset, and participate in every aspect and institution of Israel, including (if they are Druse or Beduin) in the military. Whether Moslem or Christian, their freedom to worship and to teach their religion to their children and others is unfettered. Of course Israel is not free of discrimination against Arabs, just as the U.S. is not free of discrimination against its racial minorities. However, the situation can only be termed "apartheid" by someone who is recklesssly or wilfully ignorant of the facts.

Now let's turn to Saudi Arabia. Jews are not even allowed in the country. Christians--including visiting businessmen-- may only practice privately. Jewish and Christian books are banned. The situation for other non-Islamic religions is the same or worse. Only Moslems have any civil rights. Why is Saudi Arabia not branded an apartheid state?

How about the areas of Yehuda and Shomron (the so-called West Bank) under the control of the Palestinian Authority or Gaza, under the control of Hamas. Except for the formerly Jewish wives of Arabs, who no longer practice their religion, the life expectancy of an unarmed Jew in those areas may be measured in minutes. Forget about legal rights, mere survival is an issue. Why are Hamas and the Palestinian Authority not condemned as apartheid regimes?

In case you might think that matters will improve with Palestinian independence, this week Maen Areikat (the smiling gentleman in the photo to the left), the Palestinian Liberation Organization's ambassador to the United States, met with reporters in Washington D.C. this morning at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. He informed them that Jews will not be permitted in the new Palestine.

Why are so many nations eager to approve the creation of a truly apartheid racist state, at Israel's expense.

(Hat tip: Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Desperately Spinning Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the GOP Victory in NY9

"It's a very difficult district for Democrats."
--Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to the Wall Street Journal, regarding the victory of Republican Bob Turner in the special congressional election for the New York Ninth Congressional District.

The New York Ninth Congressional District is 57% Democratic and 18% Republican, and has not elected a Republican to Congress since 1920.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In NY9th, Orthodox Jews Voted Their Conscience, Not Their Affiliation

Just how much of a repudiation of the Obama Administration's policies was the election of Republican political novice Bob Turner (photo right) over Democratic NY state Assemblyman David Weprin in the special election for the New York Ninth Congressional District? Well, here's a hint: the large Orthodox Jewish community in the Ninth apparently voted heavily in favor of the GOP's Turner, in preference to the Orthodox Jewish candidate, Assemblyman Weprin. And the issues that drove votes away from Weprin were (1) his decisive vote in the New York State Assembly for gay marriage, and (2) anger over the Obama's Administrations lack of support for Israel. Concerns over Israel led to cross-party endorsements of Bob Turner by former New York City Democratic Congressman and Mayor Ed Koch and by Weprin's fellow Orthodox Jewish Assemblyman Dov Hikind (Democrat-Brooklyn). Hikind summed up the race nicely, when he said that he hoped the election of a Republican by the heavily Democratic Brooklyn and Queens congressional district would "send a message to President Obama about his failed, disastrous economic policies and his reckless policies toward Israel."

I am proud that the Orthodox Jewish voters of the New York Ninth Congressional District chose their principles over feelings of religious or ethnic loyalty in electing Bob Turner to Congress.

Useful Idiots Update: NBC Films "Day in the Life" of Ahmadinejad

Continuing to fulfill its self-designated role as a "useful idiot" promoting the enemies of the United States, NBC News has filmed a "day in the life" of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during which reporter Ann Curry shadowed the Islamist radical from dawn until well after midnight. NBC News will no doubt defend its decision to provide free PR to one of the world's most dangerous political leaders by arguing that it is trying to increase understanding between Americans and Iranians. Will NBC warn its viewers that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a totalitarian state bereft of a free press, and that everything NBC was allowed to film was carefully stage-managed? Probably not. Read all about it in the Jerusalem Post.

Not to be outdone by the mainstream media, higher education is doing its utmost to educate useful idiots in training. Columbia University has announced that 15 of its students will have a private dinner meeting with Ahmadinejad when he comes to New York City later this month to address the UN General Assembly. Perhaps they can offer him a tour of the newly opened 9-11 memorial. Or, they may prefer to join him in a demonstration against Zionism and in favor of the UN vote on Palestinian statehood. It is good to know that a new generation is being nurtured to defend our freedom.

To be fair, Columbia President Lee Bollinger acquitted himself quite well back in 2007, when Ahmadinejad appeared at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs' annual World Leaders Forum. The Iranian President faced critical questions from both students and faculty--memorably responding to a question about gay rights in Iran by stating that there are no homosexuals in his country. (It would have been more truthful for him to say, "There are no live homosexuals that I know about in my country.") In introducing Ahmadinejad to the audience, President Bollinger said, "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator."

However, this format of this year's event allows Ahmadinejad to avoid public questioning about the radical Islamist policies of his government. It is likely to be an Iranian PR triumph pure and simple. When the students shake the dictator's hand, it will be still be dripping with the blood of the pro-democracy protesters murdered on the streets of Tehran last year.

Motorcyclist rescued from beneath burning car

This happened in Logan, Utah. The quick, organize action by this group of bystanders is impressive. Reports are that the motorcyclist who was pulled out from under the car is expected to recover fully. Maybe he'll start wearing a helmet after this.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Glenn Beck Was Right--Update: Cairo Mob Invades Israeli Embassy

Lest we forget the mentality in the Arab world that led to 9-11, on Saturday, a mob broke away from "pro-democracy" demonstrations and stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo. They broke into the embassy and began throwing documents out the windows. Fortunately, the embassy staff had escaped. The Israeli ambassador, his staff and their families have been evacuated to Israel. The Egyptian army and police did not interfere with the mob or intervene at all until hours after the attack began, and then only after urgent calls to the Egyptian Defense Minister from U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who warned his Israeli counterpart that a failure to act swiftly to end the attack on the embassy would have grave consequences. (Under international law, a nation's embassy is its sovereign territory. The actions of the mob legally amounted to an invasion of Israel.) Following Secretary Panetta's call, Egyptian commandos rescued 6 embassy guards from the mob. Previously, the Egyptian Defense Minister had refused to take calls from Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Typically, in today's Los Angeles Times, a front page feature story portrays Israel's mounting tensions with Egypt and Turkey as Israel's fault. The story falsely distorts Israel's refusal to apologize to Turkey for May 2010 deaths of nine Turkish nationals on the Mavi Mamara, a ship that was part of a flotilla seeking to run Israel's Gaza blockade. The article fails to mention that Israel offered an expression of regret at the loss of life, but insisted that its soldiers not be exposed to civil liability; that Turkey demanded that any apology include a termination of the Gaza blockade (which even the United Nations report on the incident concluded is legal under international law); or that when Israeli commandos initially attempted to board the Mavi Mamara, armed only with paintball guns, the "activists" on board attacked them with clubs and knives. On the other vessels in the convoy, which offered no resistance to boarding by the Israeli commandos, no one was injured on either side.

Turkish Islamist Prime Minister Erdogan has announced that Turkish warships will now escort flotillas to Gaza. That is an extremely provocative action; if Israel is to maintain a legal naval blockade essential to its security, it must risk an armed confrontation with the Turkish navy.

Rick Rescorla Remembered 10 Years Later--"The Real Heroes are Dead."

As my commemoration on the 10th anniversary of 9-11, I remember my personal hero who gave his life that day, Rick Rescorla, the Vice President of Security for Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter, who is shown in the photo above speaking into a bullhorn, supervising the evacuation of 2700 of his firm's employees from the south tower of the World Trade Center. From his post in the south tower, he also supervised the successful evacuation of another 1500 Morgan Stanley employees from the WTC5 office building. When all of the employees had been evacuated safely, he returned to the south tower to insure that no one had been left behind. He was in the tower when it collapsed.

Rick Rescorla had led a heroic life even before he gave his last full measure of devotion on 9-11. To honor Mr. Resorla, and the other heroes and victims of 9-11, I am reprising a Hedgehog Post from May 25, 2009. As the Baal Shem Tov once said, memory is redemption.

He was born in Hayle, Cornwall in 1939. He enlisted in the British Army in 1957, trained as a paratrooper. After emigrating to the United States, he joined the U.S. Army in 1963, attended Officer Candidate School and upon graduation was assigned as a platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore. It was in that capacity that he served with distinction at the Battle of Ia Drang, between November 14 and November 18, 1965, as related in "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young," by Lt. Gen. (ret) Hal Moore and Joe Galloway. His iconic photo taken by then war correspondent Joe Galloway during that battle appears on the cover of the book. Described by Hal Moore as "the best platoon leader I ever saw," his companions at Ia Drang related how he raised their morale during a critical night of the battle by leading cheers and singing Cornish battle songs.

Rescorla's Vietnam honors included the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Yet he rarely spoke about Vietnam, and when he received a copy of "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young," with his picture on the cover, he set it aside and never read it. "The real heroes are dead," he told his wife, Susan.

On September 11, 2001, Rick Rescorla was Vice President of Security for Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter, stationed at its headquarters in the World Trade Center. There he gave his last full measure of devotion to his adopted nation. The last years and hours of his life are related in a heart-rending narrative by James Stewart, "The Real Heroes Are Dead, a love story" published in the New Yorker in February 2002.

Recorla had predicted that the twin towers would be the target of a second attack by Islamist terrorists, and had prepared for it. On September 11, the frequent evacuation drills he had imposed on the Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter employees paid off, as under his direction over 2700 employees safely made their way down the fire escape stairwells of the south tower of the World Trade Center. From his post in the south tower, Rescorla also oversaw the evacuation of another 1000 Morgan Stanley employees from WTC5.

When an old army buddy, Dan Hill, reached him by cell phone during the evacuation, he could be heard calmly and collectively barking orders through a bullhorn. He exhorted his fellow employees to " proud to be an American ...everyone will be talking about you tomorrow". He then burst into song:

Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can’t you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors’ pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!

In his last cell phone call with his wife Susan, he told her, ”Stop crying. I have to get these people out safely. If something should happen to me, I want you to know I’ve never been happier. You made my life.” After evacuating the employees from the south tower, he took his security team back into the tower to make one last sweep, to make sure everyone had safely escaped. When one of his colleagues told him he too had to evacuate the World Trade Center, Rescorla replied, "As soon as I make sure everyone else is out". He was last seen alive on the 10th floor, moving upward, shortly before the south tower collapsed.

Every year, on March 25, Medal of Honor Day, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, a society of the some 100 living recipients of the Medal of Honor, selects three civilians to receive the Above and Beyond Medal. In this manner, those of our living veterans who most exemplify the ideals of courage, sacrifice, integrity, patriotism, commitment and citizenship associated with the Medal of Honor itself, continue to give to our country by recognizing those qualities in civilian life. On March 25, 2009, in a ceremony before the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, Rick Rescorla posthumously received the Above and Beyond Medal.

posted by The Kosher Hedgehog at 1:12 PM

Anonymous said...
Every time I read Rick Rescorla's story, it bring me to tears. It has broken my heart. He is more of a hero than most of the people born here. His name should be fill our history books but sadly it will not. He is a HERO!!!! As Sept 11th draws near once again the tears will flow and and the pain in my heart will return. The world is alot more empty without Mr. Rescorla in it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009 9:29:00 AM

UPDATE 9/11/2011: After completing the above post, I learned that James Stewart published a book-length treatment of his New Yorker portrait of Rick and Sue Rescorla, and Rick's best friend Dan Hill, called "Heart of a Soldier." Most incredibly, the San Francisco City Opera commissioned a new opera based on "Heart of a Soldier," which premiered last night!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The PAC-12 Era Begins

Today the Utah Utes play the Southern Cal Trojans for the first-ever PAC-12 conference football game. On this historic day, we are flying the University of Utah flag at our house.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

When Many Arizona Hotels Barred Jews

We often forget the progress made in civil rights in the United States in a relatively short time. This story from the Arizona Republic relates how many Arizona hotels and resorts banned Jewish guests until the 1950s and 1960s. The story focuses on the San Marcos Hotel in Chandler, Arizona.

It also focuses on a Southern California Jewish businessman, Adolph Weinberg, who befriended the Basha family, helped rescue that family's dairy business following the death of his friend Eddie, the patriarch, in 1958. Eddie Basha, Jr., who became a grocery store magnate, fondly remembers Weinberg to this day. A few years earlier, Weinberg even contributed $75,000 to build a convent at St Mary Basha school, the first Catholic school in Chandler, and a pet project of Eddie, Sr.

I did not know about the San Marcos Hotel. (Who went to Chandler?) But I well remember my parents telling me about how the Camelback Inn formerly banned Jews. Indeed, one of the dintinctions between that Scottsdale resort and its neighbor, Del Webb's Mountain Shadows, was that Mountain Shadows welcomed Jewish patronage. Needless to say, for years after the Camelback Inn changed its evil ways, the Phoenix Jewish community tended to book banquets and other events at Mountain Shadows in preference to the Camelback Inn.

This all changed in my lifetime, and legal segregation by race, religion or national origin ended with the Public Accomodation anti-discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sadly for the Republican Party, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater chose to oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because he strongly believed that it unconstitutionally extended federal authority over the use of private property. His opposition, although well-intended, was the beginning of the Southern Strategy of the Republican Party, which contributed greatly to the Presidential electoral victory of Richard Nixon in 1968, but at the same time changed the GOP from the party of freedom for African Americans (which it had been since the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln) to the party, in the eyes of most African Americans, of former Dixiecrats and segretationists. That sad legacy continues to this day. Many Americans now forget that among the champions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were Republican Senators Everett Dirksen of Illinois (who helped draft the law) and Jacob Javits of New York. Other prominent GOP champions of civil rights legislation included New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Michigan Governor George Romney (father of Mitt Romney).

Ironically, unlike many GOP former Dixiecrats, Senator Barry Goldwater was no racist or segregationist. His reservations concerning the federal civil rights act were sincerely held. He had no such reservations about local government acting to end racial segregation. As a private citizen, operating his family's Phoenix department store, he was the first Phoenix business man to hire African American sales clerks, and he had been instrumental in integrating Phoenix public schools and restaurants and the Arizona National Guard. Yet he was tarred with the charge of racism, and that charge plagues the Republican Party to this day.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

"It's the Sun, Stupid" Update

Anne Jolis in The Wall Street Journal writes how advances in research of how cosmic rays affect cloud formation have reopened the scientific debate on the causes of climate change, despite the best efforts of Al Gore to suppress it.