Saturday, August 02, 2014

ISRAEL NEEDS OUR VIGOROUS SUPPORT

By Teas Governor Rick Perry

It’s difficult to imagine the terror that the people of Israel must live with every day. For Israelis, at any given moment a missile might be detected, rocketing toward a residential neighborhood; a bomber might detonate him or herself in a crowded public place; and terrorists sent by Hamas might infiltrate their borders through secret tunnels to kidnap or kill their children.

Thousands of miles away, it might be convenient to criticize Israel for having the temerity to defend itself against these murderous terrorist attacks.

Those of us who have been to Israel and have seen the effects of these attacks first-hand have a deeper understanding of what the Israeli people are being forced to endure.

On my own visits to Israel, I’ve visited with families who were afraid to let their children play outside, and seen the fortified playgrounds where they can go. I’ve seen the rubble of structures brought down by missile strikes and looked in the eyes of people who live with the threat of violence day-in and day-out.

The conflict between Hamas and Israel is merely one part of a much-larger conflict, one with far-ranging implications that can affect the lives of every person on the globe.

To begin, anyone tempted to suggest Israel has used a disproportionate amount of force to defend itself needs to remember the origins of this latest round of violence. It’s Hamas that continued to launch rockets, despite Israel’s willingness to discuss and abide by multiple cease-fires. It’s Hamas that uses Palestinians as human shields to protect its leaders and its arsenals, and to preserve its extensive system of tunnels. And it’s Hamas that would, if given the opportunity, take the life of every Israeli within range of its thousands of rockets.

Israel needs more than our passive support—it needs our vigorous support. The overwhelming success of the Iron Dome defense system has been the only thing to prevent the deaths of thousands of Israelis, and changes nothing in Hamas’ deadly intent. And under the circumstances, Israel’s response has been anything but disproportionate. In fact, Israel has taken extraordinary – even unprecedented – measures to protect as many lives as possible in its efforts to disarm and disable Hamas.

The United States must take the lead in bringing the international community together to demand the total removal of every missile in Gaza, as well as the complete destruction of the tunnel network being used by Hamas terrorists. To facilitate this, the United States must use the tools available to us diplomatically and continue to support the actions of the Israel Defense Forces. Should the international community fail to join us in sufficient numbers, the United States should block actions in the United Nations aimed at preventing Israel from defending itself.

HOLDER DOES HIS PART TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALLTY

The AG is calling on the death penalty states to reveal the source of their lethal drugs

During an interview on Thursday’s PBS News Hour, Attorney General Eric Holder called on the death penalty states to reveal the source of their lethal drugs. In reacting to several botched executions, Holder said:

There may not be a legal requirement for transparency and talking about, describing the drugs that are used. But you sometimes have to go beyond that which is legally required to do something that is right. For the state to exercise that greatest of all powers, to end a human life, it seems to me, just on a personal level, that transparency would be a good thing, and to share the information about what chemicals are being used, what drugs are being used.

Make no mistake about it, Holder’s request is nothing more than a veiled attempt to abolish the death penalty. He has admitted being an opponent of capital punishment. Holder is being rather disingenuous when he calls for transparency of the chemicals and drugs being used in executions. The death penalty states have been pretty forthcoming about the lethal drugs they use. The actual issue is over the identification of the pharmaceuticals that furnish the lethal drugs.

Holder knows damn well that once the identity of the supplying pharmaceutical has been revealed, that source of lethal drugs will no longer be available. And that in effect abolishes the death penalty.

Holder also revealed that he has ordered officials in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Criminal Division to look into the protocols used to execute murderers. That's another veiled attempt to block executions.

What scares me is that Holder, who plans to resign at the end of this year, will be appointed to the Supreme Court by Obama if the President gets the chance to do so before he leaves office.

FACEBOOK PICTURE LEADS TO RIOT AND DEATHS BY FIRE

A blasphemous picture of the Kaaba on Facebook leads a Pakistani mob of 1,000 to riot and to burn a grandmother and her two young granddaughters to death

Ahmadis are members of a minority sect that is an offshoot of Islam, but they are forbidden by Pakistani law to identify themselves as Muslims.

Blasphemy, disrespect to Allah or holy things, is one of the most serious offenses under Islamic religious law.

The Kaaba is the sacred shrine in Mecca toward which all Muslims face during their daily prayers.

Aqib Saleem, 18, an Ahmadi youth, supposedly uploaded a picture on Facebook of the Kaaba, with a seminude white woman sitting on top. That led a mob of 1,000 to rampage Sunday night through an Ahmadi neighborhood in the eastern Pakistani city of Gujranwala. The mob looted and set Ahmadi houses on fire. Bushra Bibi, 55, and two of her granddaughters, ages 7 and 8, died in the flames Here is how The New York Times described what happened:

Officials said that a Muslim friend of Mr. Saleem’s, Saddam Hussein, 18, noticed the Facebook post and alerted others in the neighborhood. Soon, a crowd of about 400, including some Muslim clerics, reached a nearby police station and urged the police to register a blasphemy case. Meanwhile, the larger mob began rampaging around Ahmadi houses in the Arfat neighborhood of Gujranwala, an industrial city in Punjab Province.

Ahmadi community leaders accuse the police of looking the other way while the violent mob ransacked property, obstructed a fire brigade truck and threw stones at ambulances on their way to the scene. At least eight houses were set on fire.

As the flames spread, Bushra Bibi, 55, and two of her granddaughters, a 7-year-old and her 8-month-old sister, were trapped in their house and died of smoke inhalation, officials said. Another Ahmadi woman, who was seven months pregnant, had a miscarriage.


Whatever possesses people to riot over the photoshopped picture of a semi-nude white woman sitting on top of the Kaaba? Whatever possesses them to riot over a 2006 Danish political cartoon depicting Muhammad having a bomb with a lit fuse in his turban? You don’t see Christians riot over blasphemies perpetrated against Jesus Christ. Remember “Piss Christ”?

Piss Christ was a 1987 photograph of a small crucifix immersed in a jar of the photographer’s pee. The ‘artist’, Andres Serano, won the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art's "Awards in the Visual Arts" competition for his disgusting and obscene ‘masterpiece.’

So, how did Christians react when Serano placed a crucifix in a jar of piss for all to see? They sent letters and voiced their protests to members of Congress and to the National Endowment for the Arts, a U.S. government agency which helped sponsor the competition. But Christians did not riot all over the world. As a matter of fact, they did not riot anywhere.

Let me add that I get perturbed at some of my friends when they refer to America's Muslims with suspicion, seeing them all as unpatriotic and potential terrorists. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of Muslims in this country are not Islamists. They are hard working loyal Americans. And none of them rioted in reaction to blasphemous cartoons of Muhammad or an anti-Muslim video put together by a crackpot Christian preacher.

DOG FOR SALE: ONLY $10

The Unconventional Gazette
August 1, 2014

A guy is driving around the back woods of Virginia and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: 'Talking Dog For Sale'

He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.

The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there.

'You talk?' he asks.

'Yep,' the Lab replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says 'So, what's your story?'

The Lab looks up and says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so... I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for five years running... But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals. Finally I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.'

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

'Ten dollars,' the owner says.

'Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?'

'Because he's full of shit! He's never been out of the yard.'

Friday, August 01, 2014

ISRAEL’S WAR WITH HAMAS GIVES EUROPEAN ANTI-SEMITES THE EXCUSE TO COME OUT IN THE OPEN

Many, if not most of those who are participating in pro-Palestinian demonstrations throughout Europe do not really care about the civilian casualties in Gaza, but are there because they hate Jews

If anyone really believes that guilt feelings over the Holocaust eradicated anti-Semitism in Europe, they are dumber than a rock. Latent anti-Semitism has continued to flourish since the end of WWII. Before the advent of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, only the neo-Nazis were out in the open expressing their hatred of Jews. Israel’s war with Hamas has given rise to the latest wave of anti-Semitism. The civilian casualties are merely an excuse for the anti-Semites to come out in the open to express their hatred of Jews.

The demonstrations, especially those in France and Germany, have taken an ugly turn. Synagogues have been defaced. People believed to be Jews have been physically assaulted. Windows of shops known to be owned by Jews have been smashed, just as they were during Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany. Shouts of ‘Death to the Jews’ and 'Gas the Jews' ring out at many of the protest demonstrations.

Being Jewish, if I were now living in Europe, I would seriously consider packing my bags and heading for Israel. Even though Israel is besieged by deadly enemies that have vowed to destroy the Jewish state, I would rather take my chances there than be subjected to the virulent anti-Semitism now spreading out in the open throughout Europe. After all, Israel is the last place of refuge for Jews who are unwanted and persecuted throughout the world.

TOO MANY COPS ARE POOR SHOTS

During a gun battle with Minnesota cops, the killer of a Mendota Heights police officer was merely wounded

Shortly after noon on Wednesday,, Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick, 47, pulled over Brian George Fitch,39, on a routine traffic stop in that suburb of St. Paul, Minn. Fitch, a career criminal, opened the car door and promptly shot Patrick in the head, killing the father of two teenage daughters before he could draw his gun.

Fitch then burned rubber with his Pontiac Grand Am. He was spotted by cops in St. Paul about eight hours later driving with a woman passenger. A patrol car cut off Fitch, preventing his ability to escape. He opened fire on the cops, they returned fire. When the gun battle was over, both Fitch and his companion had been wounded. Both are hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Fitch had been serving time for burglary and was released from prison in February. He has been wanted as a parole absconder since June.

There are too many cops that are piss-poor shots. Now, if the cops in that gun battle with Fitch had only been better shots, justice for Officer Patrick’s wife and daughters would have been swift. Alas, Patrick's loved ones will never get justice because Minnesota is not a death penalty state.

I make no bones about it. Once someone starts shooting at the cops, the police should return fire until the shooter is dead meat, especially when he or she is believed to have already killed a cop.

SHOTGUN TOTING TEXAS GREAT GRANDMA HOLDS OFF SWAT TEAM FOR FOUR HOURS

90-year-old Eleouise Adcock threatened construction workers with a shotgun because they were excavating dirt and loading it onto a barge next to her house

Channelview is a town of fewer than 40,000 residents located by the San Jacinto River, about 15 miles east of downtown Houston. Eleouise Adcock, 90, has lived in the house built on the bank of the river more than 40 years ago by her late husband. All the property around her has been bought up by businesses and developers. She has refused to sell her property. A marine towing company has moved in on either side of her hose, tearing down four other houses to make room for their equipment.

Construction workers were excavating dirt next to Adcock’s property Thursday morning and loading it into a barge. That seems to have pissed-off the great grandma. She came out on the porch and threatened the workers with a shotgun. She had done this before, but this time she seemed more menacing. The workers called 9-1-1.

When Harris County sheriff’s deputies arrived they found Adcock sitting in a chair on the porch, holding a shotgun in her lap. When she refused to drop the gun, the deputies called for the SWAT team. Finally, after a four-hour standoff, Adcock put the gun down. SWAT officers rushed her, first grabbing the gun and then her. They did treat Adcock gently and took her to waiting paramedics to be checked out. Because of her age, she was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

A Harris County Sheriff’s official said that no charges were expected to be filed in this case.

SINCE ROCKS CAN KILL, THROWING THEM CONSTITUTES USE OF DEADLY FORCE

Cops should be able to meet deadly force with deadly force

The age of a rock thrower notwithstanding, when cops are attacked with rocks they should be able to respond with deadly force since the rock thrower is using deadly force against them. The fact that in this case the rock throwing teenager was on the Mexican side of a border fence makes no difference. And the fact that he was hit in the back by 10 shots does not necessarily mean the Border Patrol agent in this case deliberately shot him in the back.

MOTHER OF SLAIN MEXICAN TEEN SUES U.S. BORDER PATROL
By Astrid Galvan

Associated Press
July 29, 2014

TUCSON -- The mother of a Mexican teen who was shot to death by a U.S. Border Patrol agent nearly two years ago sued the agency on Tuesday, saying her son was walking home after playing basketball with his girlfriend and friends when he was hit in the back by 10 bullets.

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was in Nogales, Sonora, near the tall, steel fence that divides the United States and Mexico when a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot him from Nogales, Ariz., on Oct. 10, 2012. An autopsy showed the teen was shot at least eight times.

The Border Patrol has said Elena Rodriguez was among a group of people throwing rocks at agents across the border, endangering their lives. The ACLU, which filed the lawsuit in federal court in Tucson on behalf of Araceli Rodriguez, says the shooting was another example of border agents using excessive force without consequences. Araceli Rodriguez says her son never had a rock or any other weapon.

The Border Patrol does not comment on pending litigation, spokesman Andy Adame said.

'Systematic' problem

Agency officials in the past have defended agents' use of force.

Chief Michael Fisher said at a border expo in March that there's been a mischaracterization that agents "indiscriminately" open fire.

"If you are like me, there's nothing more terrifying than fighting for your life when you're alone with no communication, and the thought for a split second that you may never get home at the end of that shift to see your wife and son again," Fisher said. "The only thing that is equal to the ripple of fear is thinking of having to use deadly force against another human being."

Immigrant rights groups have long claimed that agents are trigger-happy.

In the lawsuit, the ACLU alleges that the Border Patrol has a "systematic" problem with use of force. Border Patrol agents generally are allowed to use lethal force against rock throwers because rocks can be potentially deadly. Rock throwers have attacked agents more than 1,700 times since 2010.

"Jose Antonio's killing by U.S. Border Patrol agents is unfortunately not a unique event, but part of a larger problem of abuse by border patrol agents in Nogales and elsewhere," the lawsuit states.

Attorneys acknowledge they face an uphill battle in their case against the Border Patrol.

"This is not only about justice for the family and Border Patrol abuse, but it's potentially going to be a test case for an enormous constitutional question," said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project.

Gelernt anticipates that the U.S. government will claim a Mexican citizen on Mexican soil does not have American constitutional rights.

Similar case in 2010

A federal appeals court ruled last month that the U.S. Constitution protected another Mexican teenager killed by a border agent even though the teen was in Mexico when he was shot in June 2010. Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca was 15 when an agent who said he was attacked by rock throwers shot the teen near a bridge between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. The Border Patrol is appealing that 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

Gelernt says the ACLU will continue to seek the release of the names of the agents involved in Elena Rodriguez's killing. The FBI, which is conducting an investigation, has not released information regarding the agents involved. The Border Patrol also has kept mum about whether agents have been disciplined in the case.

At a news conference Tuesday, the teen's grandmother pleaded for justice.

"It was a cowardly murder," Taide Elena Rodriguez said. "Jose Antonio was not an animal."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

ALLIGATORNADO: THE BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE WITH A $130 MILLION BUDGET IS NOW IN PRODUCTION

Clint Eastwood promises that Alligatornado, his blockbuster film now in production, will make Sharknado and Sharknado 2 look like childsplay

The Unconventional Gazette
July 30, 2014

HOLLYWOOD – Clint Eastwood, with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson , Russell Crowe, Jessica Biel and Beyonce at his side, told a gathering of the Hollywood press corps on Wednesday that Alligatornado, his blockbuster film was now in full production with a budget of $130 million. The legendary star and movie director promised that Alligatornado will make SyFy’s Sharknado and Sharknado 2 look like childsplay.

“It’s going to have everything – action, horror, laughs and sex – as a supertornado sucks up all the alligators in the Everglades and deposits them on Washington, D.C.,” said Eastwood. “Unlike the unknowns in those two cheap SyFy Sharknado TV films, I’ve secured two of Hollywood’s leading action heroes in Dwayne and Russell, and two of the sexiest looking women in the world, Jessica and Beyonce … and yes, they’re both going to bare it all on the screen.”

Eastwood pointed out that unlike the unbelievable and ridiculous scenes of sharks flopping through the air and Los Angeles and New York being flooded all over, Alligatornado will be much more believable since "we won’t need to flood the District of Columbia because alligators are at home both on land and in the water. My alligators are going to hit the ground running and attack the White House and Congress … oh yeah, and they’re going to have a feast at the IRS. But just wait until you see them chomping away at the members of congress while both houses are in session. And they’re after the president and his family as Secret Service agents try desperately to save them."

Eastwood said that Cuba Gooding has been cast as President Barack Obama and Halle Berry as Michelle Obama. When asked if Barack ad Michelle would be devoured by the gators, he replied, “Well, I hate to give the plot away … all I will say is get accustomed to President Joe Biden.”

When reporters asked Jessica Biel how she felt about appearing in the nude, she blushed and replied, “I’ve never done anything like this before and I didn’t want to do it, but Clint is such a great director, and he’s so persuasive, that I couldn’t turn him down. There’ll be no body double, it’ll be my boobs and my butt. And my scenes with Dwayne will be absolutely steamy.

Beyonce said she did not hesitate to appear nude in the film when Eastwood proposed she bare it all. “How can I turn down such a great director? Besides, many of my concert tour costumes make me look almost naked anyway. I promise you, my nude scenes with Russell will be eye-popping.”

Russell Crowe said that he and Beyonce are playing the part of two Secret Service agents, and “we will be performing several simulated sex acts throughout the movie. When we’re not making love, we’re busy trying to save the President and the First Lady from a bunch of snapping alligators.”

Dwayne Johnson said he was playing the part of the National Zoo’s reptile expert who is called upon to rid the nation’s capital of the alligators. “Jessica plays the part of the zoo’s assistant director who has been having a longtime affair with me and insists on accompanying me as I try to get rid of the gators. And yes, like Russell and Beyonce, we too are going to perform several steamy simulated sex acts throughout the movie.”

Eastwood also announced that Tiffany Coyne, the stunning model on Let’s Make a Deal, will play a leading role as a stripper and pole dancer at Camelot, a well-known D.C. nude club. “Tiffany has also been having an affair with Russell. Wait till you see the cat fight between Tiffany and Beyonce … it will blow your mind as they battle over Russell, ripping each other’s clothes off, yanking at each other’s hair, punching and kicking each other amidst snapping alligators.”

When a reporter yelled, "Hey Clint, who's going to win that brawl, Beyonce or Tiffany?," Eastwood replied, "I'll never tell. Come see the movie."

Eastwood said that the movie is being bankrolled by George Soros. “George made me promise that the alligators would wipe out the officers and staff at the headquarters of AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee]. He told me the reason he was willing to put his money into my film was because he hated that pro-Israel lobby group so much that even though this was a science fiction movie, it would give him the greatest satisfaction to see alligators chomping up the Zionists at AIPAC.”

Eastwood added that Sheldon Adelson wanted to bankroll the film, “but only if I got a real alligator to actually kill George Soros and some real gators to chew up everyone at the headquarters of J Street [a lobby group bankrolled by Soros to counter AIPAC].”

One of the reporters yelled, "Hey Clint, are your critters going after the Democrats or the Republicans?" Eastwood replied, "Well, I thought about them attacking only Democrats, but my alligators are bipartisan. I'll tell you one thing for sure ... Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are gator meat!"

Eastwood promised an electrifying climax when Dwayne and Jessica carry out a plan to exterminate the alligators. He estimated production would wind up by the end of the year and he is planning for the premiere to be held in the nation’s capital next July.

HAMAS WANTS TO FINISH WHAT HITLER STARTED BUT LEFT UNDONE

A Hamas imam is calling for the total extermination of the Jews

I’m sure that from the get-go, the goal of Hamas was to exterminate the Jews as much as to destroy the state of Israel.

HAMAS IMAM: ‘TOTALLY EXTERMINATE’ THE JEWS
By Cathy Burke

Newsmax
July 30, 2014

A Hamas imam is calling for the organization to "totally exterminate" the Jews because "wherever the Jews lived, they spread corruption," a video posted by the Middle East Media Research Institute shows.

The hate-filled speech was broadcast on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV on July 25, and was videotaped from Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, Israel National News reports.

In an excerpt from the alarming sermon posted by Jihad Watch, the cleric fumes:

"Our doctrine in fighting you [the Jews] is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive, because you are alien usurpers of the land and eternal mercenaries.

"You are the mercenaries of all times. Research the history, my brothers. Wherever the Jews lived, they spread corruption. Oh, Muslims, didn't you notice that Allah said: 'They spread in THE land…' The definite article in 'THE land' means the entire land. 'They spread in the land corruption, and Allah loves not the corrupters.'"

Breitbart reports that the extermination of the Jews is included in Hamas' charter, where an introduction states, "Our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave."

The genocide theme is then picked up in several articles of the charter, Breitbart notes, including the declaration that "Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims," and elsewhere:

"Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah's promise whatever time it might take. The prophet (prayer and peace be upon him) said (in a Hadith):

'The time (of Resurrection) will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!'"

Jihad Watch decried the lack of attention by "the international media." to the genocide threat.

People posting messages on the organization's website agreed.

One commenter on Wednesday said, "Those of us who are the sons and daughters of survivors know that when a group of people led by a death-cult ideology say that they will kill all the Jews, they mean it."

"The fact that this rhetoric is not reported in the mainstream press is frightening to me personally," the poster wrote. "Each time, it should make the headlines. I am amazed how many Jews don't get it."

Another commenter on the website is not alarmed just by the Hamas cleric's vow to "totally exterminate" the Jews, but also that "this is in Hamas' charter!"

"How dare [President Barack] Obama attempt to put Israel in harm's way by suggesting a 'ceasefire' from Israel! Hamas is the one to be condemned, not Israel. Jeez, the world has gone mad under Obama."

U.S. TAXPAYERS WILL FOOT THE BILL TO REPAIR GAZA POWER PLANT BOMBED BY ISRAEL

The Gaza power plant is insured with a U.S. Government agency, but I’ll bet that when the current Gaza war is over, American taxpayers will be stuck with paying for reconstruction of the devastated conclave.

POWER PLANT BOMBED IN GAZA IS INSURED BY U.S. GOVERNMENT
By Christina Wilkie

Huffington Post
July 30, 2014

WASHINGTON -- As lawmakers on Capitol Hill scrambled to approve increased military funding for Israel this week, a little-noted federal agency across town prepared to spend as much as $84 million to compensate an American company for losses sustained in the Israeli bombardment of a Gaza power plant.

The money would come from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which helps U.S. companies expand business abroad in ways that, to quote OPIC's website, "help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, [it] advances U.S. foreign policy." The agency does all this in part by offering insurance policies designed to protect companies from political risk, a broad term that includes "war, civil strife, coups," and "terrorism."

An OPIC spokesman told The Huffington Post on Tuesday that a "U.S. investor in the power plant whose investment is covered by OPIC political risk insurance ... notified OPIC that the facility in question has been damaged."

That investor is likely Morganti Development LLC, a Delaware-based corporation that owns a stake in the only power plant in the Gaza Strip. As of Wednesday, OPIC said the company had yet to file a claim for the losses.

The Huffington Post was not able to contact Morganti Development LLC directly, and a representative for Morganti Group Inc., an affiliated company, did not respond to a request for comment.

The potential Gaza insurance claim highlights the costliness of U.S. foreign policy. First, the United States sends more military funding to Israel than to any other country. That kind of aid makes it possible for the Israel Defense Forces to conduct its highly sophisticated -- and some say overly brutal -- campaign in Gaza. Ultimately, paying for the results of that operation will also partly fall on the U.S. government.

The Obama administration is already working to rebuild Gaza and restore the region to a pre-war state, starting with a $47 million humanitarian aid package and more likely to come. The destruction of the power plant could produce a second wave of costs to be borne by U.S. taxpayers.

Complicating matters is the fact that Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel, and Hamas leaders have repeatedly pledged to keep up those attacks until Israel and the international community lift the blockade currently imposed on Gaza. In Washington, most of the recent funding proposals have been aimed at bolstering Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense shield, which has neutralized hundreds of missiles fired from Gaza in the past month.

As part of Israel's response to that rocket fire, the Gaza power plant was bombed on Monday, the flames and smoke visible for miles. Amnesty International argued that the bombing amounted to a "collective punishment of Palestinians."

The power plant had been bombed for the first time in 2006, during a similar wave of fighting between Israel and Hamas. At that time, Israel stepped in to help supply civilians in Gaza with power, but only after the United States and Great Britain applied diplomatic pressure. The OPIC spokesman told HuffPost that, despite media reports to the contrary, Morganti did not file a claim for the 2006 damage.

Morganti is part of the global construction empire of Palestinian billionaire Said Khoury, a prominent philanthropist whose Consolidated Contractors Company is the largest builder in the Middle East. Morganti Group has been a subsidiary of CCC since 1988. Khoury partnered with the energy conglomerate Enron in 1999 to build the Gaza power plant, an unprecedented project for Gaza and one supported by then-President Bill Clinton. When Enron dissolved in 2002, Khoury acquired its shares in the plant and holds them through Morganti Development.

The OPIC insurance policy for the Gaza power plant was issued in 2004 and has been maintained since then.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

OBAMA SENDS DEUPTY LIAR IN CHIEF TO DEFEND KERRY

National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the Israelis have been ‘mischaracterizing’ Kerry’s efforts to broker a cease fire between Israel and Hamas

I must tell you, we’ve been dismayed by some press reports in Israel mischaracterizing his efforts last week to achieve a ceasefire. The reality is that John Kerry, on behalf of the United States, has been working every step of the way with Israel in support of our shared interests.

So spoke National Security Adviser Susan Rice as she addressed a meeting of Jewish leaders on Monday at the National Press Club. She was there to defend John Kerry against Israeli criticism that he was either incompetent or anti-Israel when he tried to broker a Gaza cease fire together with Qatar and Turkey, both strong supporters of Hamas.

To her credit, Rice did not criticize Israel’s Gaza operation and she staunchly defended Israel’s right to defend itself. She went even further with a blistering criticism of the United Nations for constantly taking a one-sided position against Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians. Rice said:

When countries single out Israel for unfair treatment at the UN, it isn't just a problem for Israel, it is a problem for all of us. No country is immune from criticism, nor should it be. But when that criticism takes the form of singling out just one country, unfairly, bitterly and relentlessly, over and over and over, that is just wrong – and we all know it.

Concerning last week’s vote by the U.N. Human Rights Council to consider possible war crimes charges against Israel, a vote in which 17 nations abstained and the U.S. was the lone vote against, Rice said:

The United States stood with Israel, and said 'no'. We were the lone vote in the human rights council. Even our closest friends on the council abstained. It was 29 to one. But the one, as usual, was America. That is what we mean when we say: you [Israel] are not alone.

Of course, it should be noted that Rice was talking to Jewish leaders and told them what they wanted to hear. I wonder what she would have said had she been addressing Palestinian advocacy groups instead? And all of what Rice said must be taken in the context that it was Rice appearing on the Sunday morning TV news shows, who lied about the Benghazi consulate attacks having been a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video showing.

The CIA had briefed the White House that the Benghazi consulate attack was planned and carried out by an organized terrorist group. It is inconceivable to me that Rice, our U.N. ambassador at the time, had not been briefed aboout the CIA assessment. Did she take it upon herself to lie on the news shows? I seriously doubt it. I think she was was following the big boss’ orders.

Nice try, Barack, but the next time you want your Secretary of State defended, try sending someone other than your deputy liar in chief whose credibility you damaged back in September 2012.

THE LUCKIEST ‘KILLER’ IN NEW YORK

A NY appellate court overturns a murder conviction because the killer’s mother couldn’t find a seat inside the courtroom during jury selection

On March 9, 2008, Daniel Floyd, 23, gunned down Leon Hill during a dice game in Brooklyn. The two had argued over money on the crap table. Floyd split, but returned 20 minutes later with a gun and shot Hill to death.

Floyd was tried, convicted and given a prison sentence of 15 years to life. But on April 25, 2013, the Court of Appeals, NY’s highest court, overturned the conviction because Floyd’s poor old mommy could not find a seat inside the courtroom packed with potential jurors. A panel of judges ruled that because the courtroom was packed with potential jurors, the proceedings were unlawfully closed to the public.

Here is the New York Post’s description of the ruling:

“Defense counsel observed, ‘Certainly, as a public spectator, she has an absolute right to be present,’ ” the decision states. “Defendants have a constitutional right to a ‘public trial,’ ” the decision goes on, adding that overcrowding does not justify courtroom closure.

“This violation . . . requires a new trial,” the judges ruled.


The Post called Floyd “The luckiest ‘killer’ in New York.

On Monday, Floyd was back in court for a preliminary hearing on his retrial. His next court appearance is scheduled for September 12.

When I first read about the appellate ruling I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t a joke, but the ruling sure made a joke out of our criminal justice system.

L.A. BEING PROTECTED BY GHOSTS

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
July 28, 2014

Yes, it’s true, though these are not the ectoplasmic spirits of movies and TV. These are inventions of local police commanders who are falsifying records in the same sort of way that CompStat was being tweaked, to make things look better than they actually are.

Assuming the LA TIMES piece is correct, what is going on is that the local commanders are listing ghost cars as being on patrol, when in fact they are not, to ensure that their on-patrol stats are up to snuff. Since these are tracked by computer you can’t just invent them from whole cloth, so they use real cops who are on their days off or in the station doing paperwork and show them as being out on patrol in real cars that are in fact in the garage and not out patrolling. This is a way of making it look as though the local commanders are doing their job by getting a required number of cops out on patrol when that is in fact not happening.

The LA police union has forwarded complaints along these lines to the Inspector General who is said to be actively investigating the case.

GAMING ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

By George Friedman

Stratfor Global Intelligence
July 29, 2014

We have long argued that the Arab-Israeli conflict is inherently insoluble. Now, for the third time in recent years, a war is being fought in Gaza. The Palestinians are firing rockets into Israel with minimal effect. The Israelis are carrying out a broader operation to seal tunnels along the Gaza-Israel boundary. Like the previous wars, the current one will settle nothing. The Israelis want to destroy Hamas' rockets. They can do so only if they occupy Gaza and remain there for an extended period while engineers search for tunnels and bunkers throughout the territory. This would generate Israeli casualties from Hamas guerrillas fighting on their own turf with no room for retreat. So Hamas will continue to launch rockets, but between the extreme inaccuracy of the rockets and Israel's Iron Dome defense system, the group will inflict little damage to the Israelis.

War Without a Military Outcome

The most interesting aspect of this war is that both sides apparently found it necessary, despite knowing it would have no definitive military outcome. The kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers followed by the incineration of a Palestinian boy triggered this conflict. An argument of infinite regression always rages as to the original sin: Who committed the first crime?

For the Palestinians, the original crime was the migration into the Palestinian mandate by Jews, the creation of the State of Israel and the expulsion of Arabs from that state. For Israel, the original sin came after the 1967 war, during which Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. At that moment, the Israelis were prepared to discuss a deal, but the Arabs announced their famous "three nos" at a meeting in Khartoum: no negotiation, no recognition, no peace. That locked the Israelis into an increasingly rigid stance. Attempts at negotiations have followed the Khartoum declaration, all of which failed, and the "no recognition" and "no peace" agreement is largely intact. Cease-fires are the best that anyone can hope for.

For Hamas, at least -- and I suspect for many Palestinians in the West Bank -- the only solution is Israel's elimination. For many Israelis, the only solution is to continue to occupy all captured territories until the Palestinians commit to peace and recognition. Since the same Israelis do not believe that day will ever come, the occupation would become permanent.

Under these circumstances, the Gaza war is in some sense a matter of housekeeping. For Hamas, the point of the operation is demonstrating it can fire rockets at Israel. These rockets are inaccurate, but the important thing is that they were smuggled into Gaza at all, since this suggests more dangerous weapons eventually will be smuggled in to the Palestinian territory. At the same time, Hamas is demonstrating that it remains able to incur casualties while continuing to fight.

For the Israelis, the point of the operation is that they are willing to carry it out at all. The Israelis undoubtedly intend to punish Gaza, but they do not believe they can impose their will on Gaza and compel the Palestinians to reach a political accommodation with Israel. War's purpose is to impose your political will on your enemy. But unless the Israelis surprise us immensely, nothing decisive will come out of this conflict. Even if Israel somehow destroyed Hamas, another organization would emerge to fill its space in the Palestinian ecosystem. Israel can't go far enough to break the Palestinian will to resist; it is dependent on a major third-party state to help meet Israeli security needs. This creates an inherent contradiction whereby Israel receives enough American support to guarantee its existence but because of humanitarian concerns is not allowed to take the kind of decisive action that might solve its security problem.

We thus see periodic violence of various types, none of which will be intended or expected to achieve any significant political outcome. Wars here have become a series of bloodstained gestures. There are some limited ends to achieve, such as closing Palestinian tunnels and demonstrating Palestinian capabilities that force Israel into an expensive defensive posture. But Hamas will not be defeated, and Israel will make no concessions.

Sovereignty and Viability Problems

The question therefore is not what the point of all this is -- although that is a fascinating subject -- but where all this ends. All things human end. Previous longstanding conflicts, such as those between France and England, ended or at least changed shape. Israel and Palestine accordingly will resolve their conflict in due course.

Many believe the creation of a Palestinian state will be the solution, and those who believe this often have trouble understanding why this self-evidently sensible solution has not been implemented. The reason is the proposed solution is not nearly as sensible as it might appear to some.

Issues of viability and sovereignty surround any discussion of a Palestinian state. Geography raises questions about the viability of any Palestinian polity. Palestine has two population centers, Gaza and the West Bank, which are detached from one another. One population center, Gaza, is an enormously crowded, narrow salient. Its ability to develop a sustainable economy is limited. The West Bank has more possibilities, but even it would be subordinate to a dynamic Israel. If the Palestinian workforce is drawn into the Israeli economy, both territories will become adjuncts to Israel. Within its current borders, a viable Palestine is impossible to imagine.

From the Israeli point of view, creating a Palestine along something resembling the 1967 lines (leaving aside the question of Jerusalem) would give the Palestinians superb targets, namely, Tel Aviv and Haifa. Given its history, Israel is unlikely to take that risk unless it had the right to oversee security in the West Bank in some way. That in turn would undermine Palestinian sovereignty.

As you play out the possibilities in any two-state solution, you run into the problem that any solution one side demanded would be unbearable to the other. Geography simply won't permit two sovereign states. In this sense, the extremists on both sides are more realistic than the moderates. But that reality encounters other problems.

Israel's High-Water Mark

Currently, Israel is as secure as it is ever likely to be unless Hamas disappears, never to be replaced, and the West Bank becomes even more accommodating to Israel. Neither of these prospects is likely. Israel's economy towers over its neighbors. The Palestinians are weak and divided. None of Israel's neighbors pose any threat of invasion, a situation in place since the 1977 neutralization of Egypt. Jordan is locked into a close relation with Israel, Egypt has its peace treaty and Hezbollah is bogged down in Syria. Apart from Gaza, which is a relatively minor threat, Israel's position is difficult to improve.

Israel can't radically shift its demography. But several evolutions in the region could move against Israel. Egypt could change governments, renounce its treaty, rearm and re-enter the Sinai Peninsula. Hezbollah could use its experience in Syria to open a front in Lebanon. Syria could get an Islamic State-led government and threaten the Golan Heights. Islamists could overthrow Jordan's Hashemite monarchy and pose a threat to the east. Turkey could evolve into a radical Islamic government and send forces to challenge Israel. A cultural revolution could take place in the Arab world that would challenge Israel's economic superiority, and therefore its ability to wage war. Iran could smuggle missiles into Gaza, and so on.

There is accordingly an asymmetry of possibilities. It is difficult to imagine any evolution, technical, political or economic, that would materially improve Israel's already dominant position, but there are many things that could weaken Israel -- some substantially. Each may appear far-fetched at the moment, but everything in the future seems far-fetched. None is inconceivable.

It is a rule of politics and business to bargain from strength. Israel is now as strong as it is going to be. But Israel does not think that it can reach an accommodation with the Palestinians that would guarantee Israeli national security, a view based on a realistic reading of geography. Therefore, Israel sees little purpose in making concessions to the Palestinians despite its relative position of strength.

In these circumstances, the Israeli strategy is to maintain its power at a maximum level and use what influence it has to prevent the emergence of new threats. From this perspective, the Israeli strategy on settlements makes sense. If there will be no talks, and Israel must maintain its overwhelming advantage, creating strategic depth in the West Bank is sensible; it would be less sensible if there were a possibility of a peace treaty. Israel must also inflict a temporary defeat on any actively hostile Palestinian force from time to time to set them back several years and to demonstrate Israeli capabilities for psychological purposes.

The Palestinian position meanwhile must be to maintain its political cohesion and wait, using its position to try to drive wedges between Israel and its foreign patrons, particularly the United States, but understanding that the only change in the status quo will come from changes outside the Israeli-Palestinian complex. The primary Palestinian problem will be to maintain itself as a distinct entity with sufficient power to resist an Israeli assault for some time. Any peace treaty would weaken the Palestinians by pulling them into the Israeli orbit and splitting them up. By refusing a peace treaty, they remain distinct, if divided. That guarantees they will be there when circumstances change.

Fifty Years Out

Israel's major problem is that circumstances always change. Predicting the military capabilities of the Arab and Islamic worlds in 50 years is difficult. Most likely, they will not be weaker than they are today, and a strong argument can be made that at least several of their constituents will be stronger. If in 50 years some or all assume a hostile posture against Israel, Israel will be in trouble.

Time is not on Israel's side. At some point, something will likely happen to weaken its position, while it is unlikely that anything will happen to strengthen its position. That normally would be an argument for entering negotiations, but the Palestinians will not negotiate a deal that would leave them weak and divided, and any deal that Israel could live with would do just that.

What we are seeing in Gaza is merely housekeeping, that is, each side trying to maintain its position. The Palestinians need to maintain solidarity for the long haul. The Israelis need to hold their strategic superiority as long as they can. But nothing lasts forever, and over time, the relative strength of Israel will decline. Meanwhile, the relative strength of the Palestinians may increase, though this isn't certain.

Looking at the relative risks, making a high-risk deal with the Palestinians would seem prudent in the long run. But nations do not make decisions on such abstract calculations. Israel will bet on its ability to stay strong. From a political standpoint, it has no choice. The Palestinians will bet on the long game. They have no choice. And in the meantime, blood will periodically flow.

TIME FOR SOME SERIOUS FATHER AND SON TALK

The Unconventional Gazette
July 29, 2014

A young Arab boy asks his father, "What is that weird hat you are wearing?"

The father said, "Why, it's a 'chechia' because in the desert it protects our heads from the intense heat of the sun."

"And what is this type of clothing that you are wearing?" asked the young man.

"It's a 'djbellah' because in the desert it is very hot and it protects the body." said the father.

The son asked, "And what about those ugly shoes on your feet?

His father replied, "These are 'babouches", which keep us from burning our feet from hot sand in the desert."

"So tell me then," added the boy.

"Yes, my son?"

"Since we’re living in Dearborn Michigan, why are you still wearing all that shit?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION UNABLE TO ACCEPT DESERVED ISRAELI CRITICISM OF KERRY

Administration officials said the criticism of Kerry could put the relationship between the U.S. and Israel in jeopardy

No one should blame Israeli officials for saying that Kerry is either incompetent or anti-Israel when he places Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if Israel is not an ally of the U.S. and as if Hamas is not a terrorist organization, while trying to broker a ceasefire with the help of Qatar and Turkey, two strong supporters of Hamas. Not only is Qatar an enemy of Israel, but Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan hates Israel with a purple passion. Kerry should never have chosen the supporters of Hamas as bedfellow.

The Obama administration angrily claims that the Israelis have misinterpreted and distorted Kerry’s proposals and are out of line in their criticism. But when even Israel’s dovish left joins in the criticism, then you know they did not misinterpret or distort Kerry’s actions.

If deserved criticism of Kerry is going to jeopardize relations between the U.S. and Israel, then there isn’t much of a relationship to start with. The strong traditional relationship between America and the Jewish state has been slowly but surely withering away under Obama’s inept and biased leadership.

Actually I believe both Kerry and Obama are pro-Israel. It’s just that in trying to broker a peace agreement they keep bending over to the side of the Palestinians so as to avoid the appearance of favoring Israel. In doing so they are either turning a blind eye to or are ignorant of what is really behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – Israel wants to live in peace and security as a Jewish state and the Palestinians want to destroy the Jewish state.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FUMING OVER ISRAELI CRITICISM OF KERRY

Associated Press
July 28, 2014

Obama administration officials were fuming Monday over a torrent of Israeli criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

In unusually harsh language, officials said the criticism of Kerry could put the relationship between the U.S. and Israel in jeopardy. They also said the personal attacks on Kerry crossed a line and were particularly disappointing at a time of active conflict.

Israeli media commentators have leveled almost nonstop criticism at Kerry in recent days over his attempts to bring Qatar and Turkey — two countries viewed by Israel as strong Hamas supporters — into the cease-fire negotiations. Kerry was also being accused of abandoning some of Israel's key demands during the negotiations.

In trying to implement the cease-fire over the weekend, "U.S. Secretary of State of State John Kerry ruined everything," wrote columnist Ari Shavit in Monday's Haaretz, Israel's leading liberal newspaper. "Very senior officials in Jerusalem described the proposal that Kerry put on the table as a 'strategic terrorist attack'."

Kerry did not directly mention the criticism during brief remarks Monday. However, he did seek to debunk the notion that the U.S. had backed away from its support for the demilitarization of Gaza, which has been a top priority for Israel.

"Any process to resolve the crisis in Gaza in a lasting and meaningful way must lead to the disarmament of Hamas and all terrorist groups," Kerry said.

Kerry returned to Washington Sunday after a week of shuttle diplomacy in the region failed to secure the weeklong cease-fire he sought.

U.S. frustration with Israel seeped into the White House's readout of a phone call Sunday between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House said Obama told Netanyahu that the U.S. had "serious and growing concern" about the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza. He also called to an "immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire," according to the White House.

The U.S. officials who described the administration's view of the Israeli criticism insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter on the record by name.

UNLIKE OBAMA AND KERRY, JOHN BOEHNER IS UNEQUIVOCAL IN HIS SUPPORT OF ISRAEL

The Speaker of the House makes it crystal clear that the U.S. should stand on the side of Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians

It’s a shame that the Obama administration does not see fit to back the conditions Israel insists it needs for a safe and secure nation.

BOEHNER URGES U.S. SOLIDARITY WITH ISRAEL

The Associated Press
July 28, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner said Monday that support for Israel must be the United States' main focus and not peace mediation in a subtle jab at the Obama administration.

"At times like this, people try to isolate Israel - but we are here to stand with Israel," Boehner said in remarks at the National Press Club. "Not just as a broker or observer — but as a strong partner and a trusted ally."

Boehner defined that support: "Well, it doesn't mean issuing vague, on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand statements. No, it means backing up our words, and showing solidarity with our friend."

The comments from the Ohio Republican came as Secretary of State John Kerry has tried to negotiate a humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas after weeks of fighting, with little success.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned his country that it faces a prolonged campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Boehner said the U.S. House will always support Israel's right to defend itself.

"We will not equate professional militaries with terrorist organizations that use human shields and seek to maximize civilian casualties," Boehner said. "And we insist that the demilitarization of Gaza be not just a House goal but a shared, uncompromising U.S. and international objective."

Boehner addressed the National Leadership Assembly for Israel, which was organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

MARIJUANA ISN’T NECESSARILY SAFE TO TREAT WHAT AILS US

Many medical scientists say marijuana has not been proved safe and effective for medical treatment

By David Murray

Houston Chronicle
July 26, 2014

The state of Texas is deciding whether to embrace medical marijuana as approved policy, perhaps in the spirit of Gov. Rick Perry's receptivity to "states' rights" on marijuana. While the Legislature will have several bills to consider by 2015, an important question remains unanswered: Is medical marijuana really what it seems - a compassionate response to genuine suffering? Or is it a bait-and-switch move by drug legalizers?

Supporters cite the suffering of those with serious illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, as the reason for their project. And they readily tout a list of medical conditions that they think will generate public concern. For instance, marijuana is claimed to treat glaucoma, and even rare forms of childhood epilepsy.

But medical scientists know that marijuana has not been proven safe and effective. The American Glaucoma Society has written: "There is no scientific basis for marijuana's use in treatment," and there is evidence that it could actually do damage.

And in the journal of the American Epilepsy Society we read: "Marijuana itself has major shortcomings as an epilepsy treatment ... evidence for efficacy in treating seizures does not meet the necessary standard to recommend it to patients." Worse, researchers state that "marijuana use or withdrawal could potentially trigger seizures in susceptible patients."

It's true that studies are ongoing, and there is excitement over the potential of a substance found in marijuana, cannabidiol, to be more beneficial than the intoxicating compound, THC. Anecdotes have surfaced concerning efficacy for seizures, but clinical trials have yet to validate these reports. It is easy to understand the hopes of parents wishing to help their suffering child. But marijuana is unproven as an appropriate response, and, as with any proposed medication, scientific results must drive the decisions.

Are medical marijuana advocates playing on public sympathy in order to advance their political agenda? It often seems that way, particularly when their argument takes this form: "Cannabidiol might be a valuable therapeutic substance for a rare form of childhood epilepsy. Therefore, we demand that legislators give everybody a smoked weed full of high-potency THC."

Beyond the absence of evidence of medical value, marijuana itself is a source of major risk, both for its effects as a compound, and for the impact of the dispensaries on communities.

The THC found in marijuana has been called a neurotoxin and has been linked to damaged IQ. As two Yale University psychiatrists wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month, "The potential harms associated with medical marijuana need to be carefully considered. No other prescription medication is smoked … furthermore, there is evidence that marijuana exposure is associated with an increased risk of psychotic disorders in vulnerable individuals."

In Colorado, where marijuana is flooding the streets following legalization, the percentage of THC has soared to unprecedented levels through deliberate cultivation. The THC has gained at the expense of the potentially useful cannabidiol; lab analysis shows this compound remains but a small percentage of the product. The ratio of the intoxicating compound to the potentially beneficial one stands contrary to the claim that "it's all about the medicine."

As for the dispensaries, many in law enforcement believe that medical marijuana, while masking itself as a compassionate intervention, has become a front for drug trafficking. In Colorado, parents and the medical community argue that the slippery slope from medical to recreational legalization was in fact planned, whereby medical compassion was enlisted as the first deliberate wedge to gain wider access to the drug.

We know that the marijuana dispensaries serve as a substantial source of "diverted" marijuana going to high school students. Last year, the "Monitoring the Future" national survey of youth found, of those living in medical marijuana states, fully 34 percent of drug-using 12th-graders pointed to a medical "card holder" as a source for their drug.

In sum, we learn that careless use of marijuana can actually make things worse for patients. Second, there is a need for more research of potential value and potential risks, but it must be done by proper standards of medical evidence. Third, there is evidence that "medical" marijuana actually leads to greater illicit drug use, particularly by youth.

Approve medical marijuana? Legislators in Texas would do well to follow the ancient adage of medicine: "First, do no harm."
__________

Murray, formerly chief scientist at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is a senior fellow in the Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research at the Hudson Institute.

THE POLITICALLY CORRECT CAN’T TAKE A JOKE

A sign placed in a bar’s window that included a reference to Irish drunks, offended a lot of people, but probably not the Irish

It just goes to show that the politically correct crowd can’t take a joke. The people that objected to the sign need to get a life.

NO YAPPING MUTTS
NO IRISH DRUNKS
NO SCREAMING KIDS
NO CELL PHONES
NO STROLLERS
NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS


So read a sign in the window of The Dock, a bar in Montauk on New York’s Long Island. The NO IRISH DRUNKS part of the sign set off a shitstorm of protests.

George Watson, the owner of The Dock, is a retired NYC firefighter who bought the bar in 1973. In response to the protests, Watson used his website to say:

At The Dock, we feel that in order for a joke to be funny, it must be told at someone’s expense. We tell ethnic, sexist, and racial jokes - everyone gets their turn in the barrel. If you are self absorbed yuppie scum with a cellphone and ''free spirited'' children, go elsewhere.

While Watson was unapologetic, he did cover up the word ‘Irish’ with a sheet of paper that reads: SENSITIVE.

Monday, July 28, 2014

MAN AWAKENS TO THE TRUE MEANING OF 'UP YOURS'



Hmmm, I wonder if this were to happen in the U.S., would it be covered by Obamacare?

ISRAELI GOVERNMENT MINISTERS SAY KERRY IS EITHER INCOMPETENT OR ANTI-ISRAEL

The Israelis are infuriated that in his cease fire proposal, Kerry placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if Israel is not an ally of the U.S. and as if Hamas is not a terrorist organization

I’m surprised it took them this long to see what a jerk Kerry really is. Even Israelis opposed to Netanyahu’s policies are shocked over Kerry’s bias against Israel. But then again, the Secretary of State is merely carrying out Obama’s incompetent anti-Israel policies.

While Kerry was conniving with the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey, both strong supporters of Hamas, Obama made an angry call to Netanyahu on Sunday indicating he was losing patience. Although he condemned the Hamas rocket attacks and reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself, he demanded that Israel institutes an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now.” Since the two can’t stand each other anyway, I hope Netanyahu had the balls to tell Obama, “Fuck off you idiot!”

ISRAEL SHOCKED, INFURIATED BY KERRY CEASEFIRE PROPOSAL

Israel Today
July 27, 2014

Israeli government ministers who on Friday unanimously rejected US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Gaza ceasefire proposal said a day later that the entire affair had clearly demonstrated either the incompetence or the anti-Israel bias of America’s top diplomat.

“Kerry took the terms put forth by [Hamas leader Khaled] Mashal and then presented them as an American [ceasefire] proposal,” one Israeli government official was quoted as saying by Israel Hayom.

According to some of the details of Kerry’s plan that were leaked to the Israeli press, the Americans wanted an immediate halt to all hostilities in Gaza, followed by negotiations between Israel and Hamas in Cairo. On the table would be vastly increased funding for Gaza’s Hamas regime and an opening of the border between Israel and the volatile coastal enclave.

Kerry’s proposal apparently made no mention of the need to eliminate Hamas’ ability to militarily threaten the Jewish state.

As Ha’aretz correspondent Barak Ravid, one of Israel’s premier left-wing reporters, put it:

“The document recognized Hamas’ position in the Gaza Strip… [and it] placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary US ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.”

Ravid, like Israel’s government ministers, was forced to conclude that “if Kerry did anything…it was to thwart the possibility of reaching a cease-fire in Gaza. …the American secretary of state will be responsible for every additional drop of blood that is spilled.”

What really irked Israel was that an acceptable ceasefire had already been tabled by Egypt, and Kerry had initially backed that initiative and signaled that his proposal would be based on it.

What Kerry ultimately put forward after consulting with Hamas allies Qatar and Turkey was a complete departure from the Egyptian proposal and a “prize for terror,” according to Israeli officials.

When the Israeli cabinet met again on Saturday to discuss further action in Gaza, there were reportedly few kind words for Kerry. According to Channel 2, various ministers described the US secretary of state as “negligent,” “lacking the ability to understand” what is happening on the ground, and “incapable of handling the most basic matters.”

As Israel draws ever closer to Arab neighbors who have a shared interest in seeing Hamas and similar groups defeated, the Obama Administration’s handling of the situation is likely to further drive a wedge between Jerusalem and Washington.

JOEL EDOUARD SHOULD HAVE WATCHED WHERE HE WAS STEPPING

Another NYPD cop is in trouble for the way he struggled with a man who was resisting arrest

A bystander used his cellphone to videotape a cop who appeared to be stomping on the head of a man who had been struggling with NY cops trying to arrest him. This comes after the July 17 videotape of another NY cop taking down Eric Garner with a choke hold which may have contributed to his death.

On Tuesday night, police officers in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn observed Jahmiel Cuffee with some marijuana. Gary Dorner, a bystander, started recording the incident on his cellphone when the cops asked Cuffee to identify himself. He handed over his ID, but when the officers tried to arrest him, he resisted them. One cop briefly pulled his gun. The cops wrestled Cuffee to the ground. All this time a crowd screamed at the cops. One of the officers walked away, then suddenly returned and placed his foot on the head of the still struggling man.

Dorner told Pix 11;

He abruptly stomped on top of the gentleman’s head. He lifted his foot with excessive force and came down like he was stepping on an ant or a roach or something at the time. He wasn’t doing anything wrong and the officer just stepped on his head.

Cuffee was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor neck and head injuries. He was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana.

Cuffee had at least eight prior arrests for possession of pot. In January 2008 Cuffee was packing a gun when he got busted for selling marijuana. During that incident, he also resisted arrest and fought with the cops.

Joel Edouard, the officer who allegedly stomped on Cuffee’s head, was placed on desk duty and stripped off his badge and gun.

Speaking about the videotaping of cops making arrests, police union spokesman Patrick Lynch said:

They never capture the criminal act or offense that brings police action to the scene, They present an isolated period of a police interaction but never the entire scenario. That's why it is necessary when video tapes surface to have a complete review of the facts in every case before arriving at any conclusion.

My only comment in this case is to say that I do not think that NYPD trains its officers to place their feet on a struggling arrestee’s head. Edouard should have watched where he was stepping.

NO SURPRISE BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

In an editorial, The Times calls on the government to repeal the laws against marijuana

In an editorial on Sunday, The New York Times called on the federal government to repeal the laws against marijuana. The Times editors wrote:

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.


The editors then played the race card with this liberal pablum:

The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.

I wonder if The Times editors ever bothered to consider that many of those young black men were already criminals - thieves, burglars, muggers, carjackers, gangbangers - when they got busted for pot possession. Of course, it’s not politically correct to acknowledge that it’s the culture of the ghetto that creates career criminals.

As far as I’m concerned, The Times can play the race card all it wants, but to say that pot is “far less dangerous than alcohol” infuriates me. Because there is plenty of research to the contrary, that statement is a bald-faced lie!

All the anchors on the Sunday morning news shows expressed surprise that The Times would call for the repeal of the pot laws. Are they kidding? This should come as no surprise to anyone since The New York Times is the most liberal of our nation’s major newspapers.

WHILE WAITING FOR THE CONGRESSMAN, PRIEST DECIDES TO GIVE OWN RETIREMENT SPEECH

The Unconventional Gazette
July 27, 2014

A Priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish.

The parish’s Congressman, who was also a member of the congregation, had been chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner. However, he was delayed in traffic, so the Priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:

I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place.

The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents; embezzled from his employer; had an affair with his boss’s wife; had sex with his boss’s 17 year old daughter on numerous occasions, taken illegal drugs; had several homosexual affairs; was arrested several times for public nudity and gave VD to his sister.

I was appalled that one person could do so many awful things. But as the days went on, I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people.


Just as the Priest finished his talk, the Congressman arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his talk:

I’ll never forget the first day our parish Priest arrived. In fact, I had the honor of being the very first person to go to him for confession.

COP STOPS MAN DRIVING TO A LECTURE AT 2 A.M.

The Unconventional Gazette
July 27, 2014

A man was stopped by the police around 2 a.m. and was asked where he was going at that time of night.

He replied, “I'm on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late.”

The officer asked, “Really? Who's giving that lecture at this time of night?”

He replied, “That would be my wife.”

Sunday, July 27, 2014

IT’S NOT ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE THAT KEEPS GAZA IMPOVERISHED

Hamas claims that Gaza is being strangled by Israel and Egypt’s blockade and it demands that the blockade be lifted before it will agree to stop firing rockets at Israel. But it’s not the blockade that is strangling Gaza, it’s how Hamas allocates its funds.

GAZA'S TERROR ECONOMY
Imagine how much it costs to build those tunnels and buy rockets

The Wall Street Journal
July 25, 2014

A common argument by critics of Israel in its conflict with Hamas is that Palestinians wouldn't have to resort to terror if they didn't feel isolated and economically beleaguered in Gaza. This ignores that Palestinians on the West Bank have enjoyed generous foreign aid and a period of strong economic growth. More important, this ignores that Hamas pours whatever money it has into what is essentially a terror economy.

Consider the network of tunnels, whose number and expanse are the big surprises of this latest Gaza war. These are not the tunnels scratched out of dirt by hand a la Charles Bronson in "The Great Escape."

These are large and sophisticated passageways that sometimes run for miles and are often more than 60-feet down to escape seismic detection. They are reinforced by concrete and some are large enough for vehicles. Their purpose is to hide and transport weapons, as well as to infiltrate men into Israel to grab hostages or murder civilians.

The economic point is that building these tunnels and smuggling thousands of missiles takes money—lots of it. If Hamas cared about the well-being of its citizens, it would use that money to build schools and public works or invest in businesses. Instead, Hamas devotes its scarce resources to building a terror economy of tunnels and rockets and sending its young men to die in suicide raids. That is why Gaza is impoverished.

WICHITA MASSACRE: DAMN THOSE DAMN TECHNICALITIES!

The Kansas Supreme Court overturned the death sentences of two brothers who massacred four people on the technicality of them not being tried separately during the sentencing phase

In a case that became known as the Wichita Massacre, brothers Jonathan and Reginald Carr broke into a Wichita, Kans. home in December 2000 and forced three men and two women to have sex which each other before shooting each of them in the head.

Jonathon, then 20, and Reginald, then 22, forced the five victims to have sex with each other. The two women were also repeatedly raped by the brothers. Then they kidnapped the five and forced them to withdraw money from ATMs. Finally they took all five to a snow covered soccer field where each was shot in the back of the head execution style. One of the women, a 25-year-old school teacher identified only as H.G., survived because her metal barrette deflected the bullet. H.G. ran naked through the snow seeking help. She was a compelling witness against the brothers during their trial.

In 2002, Jonathan, now 34, and Reginald, now 36, were tried and convicted on 93 counts, including capital murder, rape, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. The brothers were sentenced to death.

The Carr brothers had an extensive criminal history. Just prior to the Wichita Massacre, they robbed Andrew Schreiber, 23, a Newman University assistant basketball coach. Three days later they shot and mortally wounded Ann Walenta, 56, a cellist with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, as she tried to escape being robbed by them.

On Friday, in a 6-1 ruling, the Kansas Supreme Court overturned the death sentences because the brothers were not tried separately during the penalty phase of the trial. The court upheld 57 of the 93 convictions, but overturned three of the four capital murder convictions. Most of the overturned convictions involved the counts charging the brothers with forcing the victims to have sex with each other.

In the three capital murder convictions that were overturned, the court ruled that the instructions to jurors had been flawed because the judge tied those charges to the rape of the surviving victim rather than to the four murdered ones.

On the remaining capital murder conviction, the court ordered that the brothers be returned to the Sedgwick County District Court for a new penalty phase of the trial, with each to be tried and resentenced separately.

The Sedgwick County District Attorney has not decided whether to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme court, but he has promised to continue seeking the death penalty.

Here we have a case in which there was overwhelming evidence of guilt, but the Kansas Supreme Court chose to overturn the death sentences of two worthless pieces of shit on technicalities. Damn those damn technicalities! Justice is being denied the four murdered victims – Aaron Sander, 29, Brad Heyka, 27, Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25 – and their loved ones. And justice is also being denied Ann Walenta and her loved ones.

I have no objection when a death penalty is overturned because the defendant had a piss-poor attorney, or where the prosecution withheld mitigating or other evidence favorable to the accused, or where a serious error was made during trial, but none of that applies in this case. What the Kansas Supreme Court did is a dirty rotten shame!

By the way, right after these horrendous murders, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were nowhere to be found screaming for the scalps of the killers. Could that be because the victims were white and the Carr brothers black?

KERRY CONNIVING WITH ISRAEL’S ENEMIES IN BROKERING GAZA CEASE FIRE

The Secretary of State is meeting in Paris with his counterparts from Qatar and Turkey to broker a Gaza cease fire even though Qatar is a strong supporter of Hamas and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has promised to haul Israel before the International Court for war crimes

The Obama administration continues to show that it is not a true friend of Israel. It is upset with Israel over the disproportionate killing of Palestinians in the conflict with Hamas. That conflict would come to a screeching halt if only Hamas and Islamic Jihad would just stop firing rockets at Israel’s civilian population.

The air attacks and ground offensive against Gaza are designed to take out the rocket launchers, the rocket supplies and the tunnels that have been built to store those supplies and to provide a way for terrorists pop up inside Israel. The problem for Israel is that the rockets are launched from the grounds of homes, schools, hospitals and Mosques, and the rocket supplies are hidden in schools, Mosques and even in hospitals, as well as the tunnels. And those tunnel entrances are inside Palestinian homes. Thus the high toll of civilian casualties.

Any cease fire that will lead sooner or later to a resumption of rocket attacks against Israel will be seen as a great victory for Hamas. For Israel it will mean that the deaths of its soldiers have been for naught. And a cease fire will also allow Hamas and Islamic Jihad to regroup.

Kerry has chosen to partner with Israel’s enemies to broker a cease fire. He is conniving in Paris with his counterparts from Qatar and Turkey. Qatar is a strong supporter of Hamas and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has declared that Israel “is surpassing Hitler in barbarism” and has promised to haul the Jewish state before the International Court for war crimes. With Qatar and Turkey involved, Israel is not going to get a square shake out of any cease fire.

I am sure that the people of Israel deeply regret and are truly saddened that there are so many Palestinian civilian casualties, especially of women and children. Israel is not deliberately targeting those civilians, but civilian casualties will always be high in urban warfare. Of course, there would have been far fewer casualties if Hamas had not been using the civilians in Gaza as human shields.

It is especially ironic and the height of hypocrisy that the U.S. would be so concerned about the deaths of innocent civilians at the hands of Israel in its war with Hamas. During WWII, half-a-million German civilian men, women and children were killed because American and British warplanes deliberately targeted civilians by carpet bombing Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin and other German cities. And we dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, thereby killing and wounding 150,000 men, women and children in Hiroshima and 75,000 in Nagasaki.

At the time the A-bombs were dropped, I was overjoyed because if it weren't for those bombs, I could have easily been killed had we invaded Japan. Today, I am just as pleased that President Truman ordered those bombs dropped. But that doesn’t alter the fact that during WWII we deliberately killed and wounded millions of civilians. The civilians being killed and wounded in Gaza were not deliberately targeted by Israel’s armed forces. Why then is Israel now accused of war crimes when the U.S. wasn’t?

If Obama and Kerry were true friends of Israel, they would not interfere in Israel’s efforts to wipe out Gaza’s rocket launchers, rocket supplies and terrorist tunnels, whose sole purpose is to bring death and destruction on Israeli civilian targets.

SCORE ONE FOR GUN RIGHTS

A federal judge rules that the D.C. ban on carrying handguns outside the home is unconstitutional

Federal judge Frederick Scullin ruled Saturday that the Washington D.C.'s ban on carrying handguns outside the home is unconstitutional. Judge Scullin said:

There is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.

The judge ordered the city to allow residents to carry handguns outside their homes and to let non-residents carry them as well.

The case, Palmer et al v. District of Columbia et al, was filed five years ago. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that D.C.’s total ban on handguns violated the Second Amendment. An appeals court ruled in 2011 that all handguns in D.C. must be registered.

You can bet your life that the gun control crowd will appeal Judge Scullin’s ruling. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Obama’s Justice Department joined in to support the appeal as a friend of the court.