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|Daniel A. Klein||June 28th 2010|
Santa Rosa, California
I am only a Deaf Child in my growing up family. My late father forced me and my two Deaf sons to get the cochlear implants but I refused. He then removed my name from his wills because of this. Last weekend, I bought Edwin Black’s book War Against The Weak after learning about his work on behalf of the deaf in Sacramento, California. The book was painful and stunning to read about life experiences in America. I see those same experiences in my own life.
I have written this letter to Judge James Stow in Idaho about a case where he has ordered a Deaf girl's parents to make her wear her cochlear implants “all her waking hours” regardless of whether or not they are working or if the parent feels they are not needed at certain times in the day.
Dear Judge: Before you, you have a very complicated case. You have a Deaf girl with a Deaf father and a Hearing mother. The girl has bilateral cochlear implants (CIs). Recently you ruled that the father must force his daughter to use her bilateral implants all her waking hours. That judicial decision basically says that this girl is forbidden to be Deaf.
I am surprised that in a court room in the U.S. someone can ban someone from being what they are. You are ordering someone to use artificial technology all their waking hours when it is not a medical necessity. You have removed someone's right to their own private property—their body. You have said you can come into their lives and bodies and control them. That decision has serious impact on a child, her relationship with her father, her relationship with her mother, and her relationship with her self. It may also have a severe impact on other children. When a Deaf baby is born, does this mean automatically that a judge can order the child be implanted with bilateral implants and be forbidden to be Deaf? It may also have a big impact on Deaf adults who have CIs. Does this mean if they want or need some type of reasonable accommodation—an interpreter (either oral or sign) or CART (transcription) for a trial or job interview—it can be forbidden? That someone could order them to rely solely on bilateral implants—order them to use their CIs all their waking hours? Read more ..
|Guy Leibovitz||June 28th 2010|
Kibutz Harel, Israel
Something bad is happening in the world. The “good guys” are looked at as the “bad guys” and the “bad guys” are looked at as the “good guys.” Unfortunately, today in the world there is a lot of confusion and misinformation. Many people are misinformed. We all watched the reports on the news about the Israeli commando forces that took over six boats of aid to the Gaza Strip. Those six boats and many others are trying to bring aid to the Gaza Strip. At this point, we need to ask ourselves if this is the real intention of the organizers of the naval aid? And, if in the Gaza Strip, we really have humanitarian catastrophes, then the answer to those questions is: we have no humanitarian problem in the Gaza Strip.
The Israelis in the past year allowed more than one million tons of supplies to enter the Gaza Strip, after completing a standard security check of the trucks on the Israeli and Egyptian side of the Gaza Strip border. In the past, we had many attempts to smuggle in machineries to build weapon systems and ammunition including long range missiles. In the past ten years, almost one million Israeli civilians have been sleeping in shelters. As a country, we have the right to check everyone and everything that enters into the Gaza Strip as the Palestinians have proven in the past that they have no problems smuggling and using missiles against Israelis. If the condition of their own people is so important to their leaders, I would expect those leaders to invest their money in food, education, medication, etc. instead of relying on the humanitarian aid provided by your taxes. The state of Israel has many times allowed bringing aid into the Gaza Strip checking the cargo on-board. The same thing happened with those six boats that refused to cooperate with the state of Israel who refused to take with them humanitarian aid to Gilad Shalit, a prisoner of war, the soldier who has been held in captivity for the past four years. Hamas is also preventing Gilad Shalit from meeting with the Red Cross, against every civil rights declaration. It brings us back to the question: who are the people on those boats? Read more ..
|Wayne Hayward||June 21st 2010|
Adolf Hitler admired California eugenics enough to emulate it in the Third Reich. The California approach called for the elimination of all people considered unfit. That is what American eugenics was about, and that is what Nazi eugenics came to be. The deaf were assaulted in California by sterilization programs. The deaf were assaulted in Nazi Germany by sterilization programs. Hitler would certainly approve of Mendoza's eugenics. But that does not mean that we in California must approve of Tony Mendoza. If Mendoza and his Health Committee can get their way with bill AB 2072 against deaf people in California, the deaf will be under attack across the country, state after state as the rest of America rushes to imitate California--just as Hitler did.
I am not deaf, but I have a good friend who is. I know very much how passionate our deaf neighbors about their right to exist as equals who communicate a slightly different way--with visual signs and text. I find it abhorrent that Assemblyman Tony Mendoza would want to start a campaign to destroy the deaf culture by trying to mislead parents of deaf newborns into thinking that cochlear implants is the only solution to deafness. That may be an answer for some, but all the deaf people I have met cherish their unique identity. Mendoza should back away with this attempt to make deaf second class citizens who don't deserve to continue as they have for generations.
On Wednesday, June 16, 2010, I watched the press conference
on the south side of the Capitol in Sacramento regarding California's proposed eugenics law for the deaf, AB 2072, commonly called "Mendoza Eugenics" for its sponsor California Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, and heard a shocking message from Edwin Black, author of the bestselling, award-winning IBM and the Holocaust
and his book on American eugenics, War Against the Weak
. Black said that Nazi eugenics started here in the United States and California played a major role in this dark time of our world's history (see the video). Because of the people behind AB 2072 and their wish to distribute propaganda which would marginalize Deaf people who use American Sign Language, it is a slippery slope which could nudge California back to eugenics. Maybe it seems far-fetched that California would ever consider an eugenics-style bill. But it is our duty as Americans to be alert and not to remain silent and let history repeat.
It is time to recognize that modern Turkey is the same bad old Turkey. Allying itself with Iran against the West, sponsoring a confrontational flotilla to attack Israeli commandos armed with paintball guns, and blackmailing America if we mention the Armenian genocide is Turkey showing its true colors. Dark colors. If Turkey cannot be trusted to face its own history of genocide against Armenians, how can we trust it as a partner for a progressive world. I am boycotting Turkey and cancelling a trip to Istanbul for this summer. Greece, here I come.
|Tina Jo Breindel ||June 14th 2010|
I oppose California Assemblyman Tony Mendoza's AB2072 as it clearly shows that age-old prejudice still has a hold on the U.S. and the world in regard to deaf people. Efforts to reveal anything but the "mainstream," medical perception of deaf people fail to touch the juggernaut of the medical industries' hold on the view of deaf people. The supporters of AB 2072, especially professionals in influential positions, have done everything in their power to marginalize American Sign Language (ASL) users for the past 100 years. It is shattering, and it's past time for a breakthrough, as we cannot thrive in an atmosphere of callous indifference. The California Deaf Newborn Identification & Advocacy Stakeholder Coalition (CDNIAS) is paving the way to show "AB2072" is propaganda with corporate muscle, promoting technology at the expense of giving parents and deaf babies the information they deserve. Against this private army of professionals, who have every economic advantage, the message of ASL and deaf life is struggling to be "heard." I shudder to think about the fact that many deaf babies make it as successful deaf adults through sheer luck. We need to get rid of the inherent attitudinal barriers that exist throughout the current system, as there are many ways to be deaf in the world. Intolerance and same-old, same-old doesn't work today. Now is a time we can get through to people and show the value and riches of ASL and a deaf life. Parents need this information to be fully informed about raising their
children, who happen to be deaf. We see ASL and deaf culture as the bedrock allowing many of us to live a fuller life. All deaf babies and children should have the same opportunity as I had. We need to move on by making past mistakes the portals of discovery.
The author is deaf, as is her husband, and our eldest son. Her last two children, twins, are hearing (also known as CODAs, Children of Deaf Adults).
|Jacob Rems Smario||June 14th 2010|
A bill is being proposed to destroy natural rights of deaf people. A bill to modify the human species. A bill to destroy a culture that most are unfamiliar with: deaf culture. On April 20, 2010 a bill was presented in hopes of creating a "flawless" society in the future. Doctors would give hearing parents with newborn deaf children the option of giving the child a cohclear implant A cochlear implant is an operation where a device is placed in a small incision made in the cochlea of one's ear, enabling a flight hearing. Ninety percent of all deaf children are born to hearing parents. Ninety percent of those parents have not been enlightened on deaf culture and practices. This ninety percent will most likely choose for their child to undergo a cochlear implant, leading to a reduction in the deaf population. American Sign Language (ASL) is not commonly viewed as a language, but as a crutch that the deaf use to try survive in a hearing world This arrogant misconception is quite common; most are unaware that ASL is an actual language and that it is not a disability to be deaf, but a culture. One may argue that a deaf child's life would be more "accomplished" if they have a cochlear implant and a hearing lifestyle. One may also claim that if a deaf person had the chance to hear, they would not want to return. However the deaf are proud of their culture, and most would immediately refuse even a taste of the hearing world. It is not man's place to play God and tinker with nature. The deaf have walked a difficult path all throughout history. Read more ..
|Bill DeSteph||June 14th 2010|
I have written the following letter to Mayor Bloomberg and Members of New City City Council:
We, the citizens of the City of Virginia Beach and the Commonwealth of Virginia - birthplace of our great nation - are strongly opposed to the plan to build a mosque at the very site where Islamist jihadists destroyed the World Trade Center and took the lives of nearly 3,000 people on September 11th, 2001.
We are strongly opposed to the grotesque symbolism represented by the building of this mosque at "Ground Zero." We are especially appalled that those promoting this disrespectful idea for this mosque have designated its grand opening date for September 11, 2011 – the ten-year anniversary of the worst domestic terrorist attack in U.S. history. We are deeply disturbed by the insensitivity exhibited by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his supporters to the families of the victims of the 9/11 jihadist attack. We find it grossly hypocritical that Islamists and their allies repeatedly lecture Americans about the need to be "sensitive" to Muslims, yet Imam Rauf and his allies exhibit the ultimate display of intolerance and insensitivity through their disgusting proposal to build a mosque at "Ground Zero." We are highly offended by the views Imam Rauf has expressed about 9/11, including his conspiratorial theory that Muslims did not perpetrate the 9/11 attack, and that America's policies were partly to blame for the attack. Such views are a slap in the face to the victims and families of 9/11 and those who cherish their memory.
We find it repulsive that Imam Rauf and his followers and supporters would seek to build a mosque near “Ground Zero,” while simultaneously promoting the same Sharia ideology that the 9/11 hijackers embraced as justification for their act of unconscionable murder. The irony and disrespect this exhibits is an indignity to the victims, their families and all Americans. Therefore, out of respect to the families of the 9/11 victims and their memory, we strongly urge the elected officials of the City of New York to oppose the building of this mosque at “Ground Zero,” and urge them to insist that Feisal Abdul Rauf and his followers look elsewhere to carry out their plans. Sincerely,Councilman Bill DeSteph.
Bill DeSteph is a Councilman in Virgina Beach VA.
A State Department spokesman told Fox News that the IHH (Humanitarian Relief Foundation) has not been designated as a foreign terrorist organization. He added: "We are fully committed to taking appropriate action against foreign groups engaging in terrorist activity in order to prevent such groups from obtaining the resources and support needed to undertake terrorist activity." The Treasury Department, which is mandated to implement Executive Order 13224, was even more evasive. Asked if they had seen Danish, French, and Turkish intelligence reports and other information on the IHH, a Treasury official acknowledged that the NGO is not on their “Specially Designated Nationals List,” and would not “comment on other governments’ intelligence.” This is not about Israeli security; it is about threats to American homeland security. A foreign NGO with a documented history of contacts with terrorists has been directly linked with Islamist terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, and government agencies tasked with protecting America have suddenly become impotent and ignorant. Concerns about keeping Turkey pro-Western and in NATO are legitimate, but they do not override American security needs. An important U.S. ally, Turkey is increasingly moving towards radical Islamism, embracing Iran and its own jihadists. Are U.S. security agencies hampered by President Obama’s mission to reach out to Muslims? Criticizing Israel for stopping a Gaza-bound flotilla sponsored by the IHH and the Turkish government is easy. But when terrorists affiliated with the IHH try to get into the United States, who will stop them if no one is looking at the organization to which they belong? As long as the IHH targets Israel, it is given a pass. But they have been actively recruiting and supplying terrorists, with ties to Islamic terrorist networks throughout the world. A decade ago, Ahmed Ressam, who had connections to IHH, planned to set off a bomb at Los Angeles International Airport. This could happen again. Political analyst Barry Rubin suggests that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan deliberately misled the Israelis into believing that there would not be violence if they stopped and boarded the Gaza flotilla. The Americans were no doubt also involved. But in fact, the Turkish government was working with the IHH. All are culpable. The State and Treasury Departments seem to be in denial about the IHH’s threat. This is characteristic of Obama’s administration. Where, however, are the congressional committees that should be supervising these agencies? Where are the FBI and CIA? Are they asleep because the IHH is attacking Israel instead of America? The role of IHH was only exposed because of its attack on Israel, but how many other organizations are given a pass to satisfy political agendas? And who is next? Instead of leading the fight to stop IHH, the American government is ambiguous, and this sends a dangerous signal.
If ever there was a candidate for a John Doe action, I think it should be this person Blaxthos on Wikipedia who tried to rewrite history. I recently went into his publicly accessible Wikipedia User Page. He has complaints aplenty for combative editing and revisions on a whole variety of topics--not just Holocaust. The comments made against him by other Wikipedia users cry out for action. I hope the supervisors at Wikipedia see him for what he is. As it is, the world can see for themselves what Wikipedia is--a free-for-all jungle masquerading as an encyclopedia.
|Sergei Charney||June 14th 2010|
Your recent coverage of the on-going Wikipedia scandal is right on. Many who know Wikipedia up close and personal know that some of these anonymous editors are actually working for major tech companies such as IBM, Dell, LodgeNet, AT&T and a bunch of names that many be lesser known to the public at large. In some cases, these editors have the use of the corporation Internet connections to do their work, and sometimes use company computers. My question is does that make those companies responsible? One day, one of these Wikipedia players will libel one person too many and the Blue Chip company that made it possible with unlimited Internet access will be responsible. Then these corporations will crack down.
|Sen. Charles Schumer||June 7th 2010|
I have sent the following letter Hillary Clinton.
Dear Secretary Clinton:
I write to ask that the State Department investigate whether the Turkish-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Insani Yardim Vakfi (I.H.H), otherwise known as the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, is providing financial, logistical or material support to any terrorist organizations listed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). There is reason for concern that this so-called charitable organization may have links to terror groups. A 2006 report by the Danish Institute for International Studies described the group as a front for funding terrorist organizations and sending Mujahidin to fight in places such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. Recently, France's former top anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, stated that IHH was connected to the "millennium plot" to bomb the Los Angeles airport in late 1999. And it has been stated in recent media reports, that major international Islamic charities such as IHH, while providing genuine humanitarian relief, are "charitable front groups that provide support to Al-Qaida”. Based on statements from U.S. State Department officials, we know that IHH representatives have met with senior Hamas officials in Turkey, Syria, and Gaza over the past three years and international media reports have also referenced IHH’s “clear, long-standing ties to terrorism and Jihad". It is especially disturbing that an organization such as IHH, with possible connections to terrorism, has been afforded Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. I believe it is crucial that the State Department attempt to determine which organizations are dedicated to providing humanitarian aid and which groups are providing support to terrorist organizations. The distinction should be clear and unambiguous and if there is any reason to believe that an NGO is providing support to terrorist organizations, then appropriate measures should be taken. The U.S. government must do everything in its power to combat support for terrorist organizations. I urge you to take the necessary steps todetermine if the IHH currently - or in the past - provided financial, logistical or material support to any terrorist organization listed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). Thank you for your consideration of this important request. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance. Sincerely, Senator Charles E. Schumer
Charles Schumer (D) is the U.S. Senator from New York State.
|Rep. Shelley Berkley||June 7th 2010|
I am deeply concerned about the recent incident involving attempts by a flotilla to break an Israeli blockade of Gaza and I regret the tragic loss of life that followed this provocation. Unfortunately, efforts are now underway to unfairly paint Israel as the aggressor in this incident. These assertions come even as mounting evidence points to passengers on the vessel, not Israeli forces, as the instigators of violence. Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal under international law. This policy is in place to ensure that weaponry and rockets do not reach Hamas, a risk to Israeli families that our democratic ally cannot -- and will not -- allow. Israel acted to avoid violence by intercepting these boats at sea and offered to bring all aid to Israeli ports for inspection and delivery to Gaza. This offer was flatly rejected, as was a similar invitation to deliver aid made by Egypt that was also refused. The government of Israel repeatedly warned flotilla organizers that the boats would be intercepted before reaching Gaza. On five of the six boats, the Israelis were met peacefully and calmly by the passengers, without incident. This demonstrates Israeli personnel had no intention to use force and only did so in self-defense. But these activists attempting to illegally break the blockade were not solely intent on delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza. They made it clear before their operation ever began that they were seeking conflict with Israel and to break the blockade. Mounting evidence now points to the presence of passengers linked to Hamas on the sixth boat, who attacked Israeli soldiers without provocation. In the aftermath of this incident, I call on the world community to stand with Israel against further illegal provocation aimed at Israeli forces pledged to defend innocent lives against terrorist threats.
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV 1st District) is a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is a member of that panel’s Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.
|Alban Strada||June 7th 2010|
NBC should be ashamed of itself. How is it possible to cover the Turkish funeral of the flotilla attackers and not utter a single word about the fact that these were terrorist IHH members? What is wrong with the media? Have they no conscience or shame or element of journalism? Why did not NBC show footage of the attackers beating, stabbing and attacking Israelis as they came onto the ship incredibly outnumbered and in some cases armed with paintballs. Why did not NBC show them chanting beforehand "Death to Israel, Death to the Jews?"
Your articles on Wikipedia show how people like the so-called Blaxthos can be a danger to a civilized use of the Internet and everyone's desire to share knowledge. Wikipedia should not protect the identity of those who use the service to maliciously rewrite history. Once their names are known, if they have indeed crossed the line, they should be called to account in our legal system.
|Curtis Showalter||May 31st 2010|
Your coverage of the interception of the armed protesters aboard the Gaza flotilla by Israel (see Israeli Interdiction of Palestinian Flotilla Met with Violent Armed Activists
, New May31, 2010) was among the most balanced I could find in the first hours of the media coverage. The clear provocative nature of this pro-Hamas stunt is amazing to any who will look. No country would allow a fleet of boats whether pleasure craft or military boats to approach its shores. Israel offered to accept the complete cargo of goods at its regular port of Ashdod. That was refused because as one organizer admitted to the media the goal was not humanitarian aid as much as "breaking the blockade." Had this happened off the coast of San Diego or the British shore, or even that of Saudi Arabia, the response would have been probably more escalated. For this reason, the protesters armed themselves with common weapons such as knives and rams, and began a violent resistance when the Israeli Navy came to interdict. For the media and to make martyrs. This was a stunt--nothing less and no country should be expected to tolerate it. America was prepared to engage in a nuclear war with the Soviets to enforce the blockade of Cuba. I remember that. Does anyone else.
|Timothy Silva||May 24th 2010|
By now it must be perfectly clear to all Americans that our addiction to oil hurts us in so many ways. We have seen how foreign oil can squeeze our economy. Our troops are bogged down through the Middle East and in other Islamic countries essentially because of oil and what our involvement with foreign oil has wrought. Now it is abundantly clear that even domestic oil is a massive risk to our environment. In addition to infecting the air we breathe through the tailpipes of millions of automobiles and trucks, the spills are poisoning our waterways, from the Exxon Valdez, to the annual spills big and small, to the ecological disaster now playing out in the Gulf of Mexico. If anyone thinks we really ever needed to be on oil, I suggest reading Edwin Black's book Internal Combustion
and his companion book The Plan.
The world never needed to be addicted to oil, and these books and many others like them, make it clear the solutions and alternatives are more than a century old and begging to be revived. It would cost us a fraction of what we now spend on the economic, environmental and military catastrophes oil -- foreign and domestic -- has inflicted upon us to do the right thing and save our world.
Edwin Black has it right in his review of oil spills -- the one we see in the Gulf because of BP's negligence -- and the incremental barrel by barrel spills that mount up each each year to an annual Exxon Valdez (see Oil Spills—Large and Small—Create Continuing Disaster by Edwin Black, Energy, May 10, 2010). I imagine BP and our nation is spending well over a billion dollars on this spill alone. That would be enough to give every family an alternative fuel car. So when we ask why this calamity has happened to our environment and the working lifestyles of so many in the Gulf, the answer is "Oil." Think about it.
If there is no justice for the weakest and the most despised in our society, then none of us can be assured justice. The "Lady Justice" statue wears a blindfold for a reason. Thus, I appreciate both Edwin Black and Brett Tollman’s articles regarding the injustice that Shlomo Rubashkin is and has faced (see Is A Life Sentence for Iowa Kosher Butcher Disproportionate Justice?, Features April 19, 2010 and "Does Rubashkin’s Sentence “Serve Justice?” Slices, April 26, 2010). I am neither judging Shlomo Rubashkin nor am I condoning any criminal conduct. But, it is evident that Rubashkin’s trail has been fraught with injustices. From denying bail to the proposed lengthy sentence, we should all be furious and ashamed that this is occurring. We are Americans and this is our government. Please search for justice and assure it for all.
|Andrew Martinson||May 10th 2010|
The current massive Gulf spill only serves to reinforce what we should all know. The risk for oil involve risks that society need not take. It is not just a political risk or a military risk, but also an environmental risk. The millions we are now spending on this horrid clean-up—if we can ever clean it up—could easily finance alternative fuels that will not foul the land or sea. When will we learn?
|Debbie Maimon||May 3rd 2010|
Thank you Brett Tollman (see, "Does Rubashkin’s Sentence “Serve Justice?” Slices, April 26, 2010) for reminding the public so eloquently about the ethical mandates that ought to inform the conduct of federal prosecutors. Now that the trial transcripts in the Rubashkin case are available to the public, troubling irregularities in the case are on full display. It appears that, although immigration charges were legally severed from the bank fraud trial to avoid overwhelming and confusing jurors, prosecutors nevertheless made immigration-related testimony a lynchpin of their case. In an Orwellian twist, the prosecutor later dismissed all immigration charges. His reason? He had already won the case on these charges, why go to the trouble and expense of a separate trial? The guilty verdict was already "premised," he said, upon these very immigration violations now being dismissed. Yet, the trial was supposed to be over bank fraud, not immigration! Talk about juries being bamboozled by prosecutorial duplicity.
|George Lassiter||May 3rd 2010|
Your article on Electro-magnetic weaponry is long overdue (see Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons Remain An Unaddressed Threat, Security April 26, 2010)
. So is the response of the Western world. If you listen to the terorrism experts, they will tell you that those who hate the West and our free society intend to dismantle it by using these bombs which strike at the heart of our modernity. Our leaders should pay attention
|Lindsay Craig||May 3rd 2010|
I admire the courage of Edwin Black in taking on the band of anonymous zealots that comprise what we know as Wikipedia (see Wikipedia—The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge, Page One, April 12, 2010). It was not bad enough that people with the bizarre names of Blaxthos and Fred the Oyster tried to delete the word "Holocaust" from articles about the Holocaust. Now as we see from a report by Martin Barillas, there is a concerted effort by a few people to block articles about Jewish matters, or this whole Wikipedia dust-up altogether from the Wikipedia article on the "Edwin Black" page (see Wikipedia Struggles with Holocaust Disinformation; Ravensfire Deletes Jewish Content, News April 26, 2010). As a reader who has followed Edwin Black's work on eugenics and heard him speak at our college, I did some checking on my own. Not only is some character named Ravensfire blocking any new articles on his entry, another editor with yet another fake name called Robofish of all things, has pasted up a special warning that all primary references on Mr. Black's biography be rejected in favor of second-hand and third-hand information. It actually says that. Now that's true scholarship. Since all these people hide their identities, I could not write Robofish a letter. I cannot find a way to call Mr. Black. But I can write to you and I am doing so in the hope you will publish.
|Yossi Bryski||April 26th 2010|
My community and I have been following the Rubashkin case since the beginning. First of all, we are shocked that Sholom Rubashkin is not with his family during this difficult time. Sholom Rubashkin shouldn’t be in jail. He has a right to bail! Every attempt was made by thousands of supporters to ensure that Sholom would be present at his sentencing, eliminating the need for him to be behind bars throughout this ordeal. Secondly, the suggestion of the Prosecutor (a life sentence) is shocking and ridiculous. We say stop targeting Sholom Rubashkin. From the very beginning it seems that someone “had it out” for him. For Goodness sakes, stop treating Sholom Rubashkin more harshly than you have treated others with similar offenses. At the very least, every American would agree that Sholom Rubashkin should be treated no differently than other similar defendants.
|Jacob Sherman||April 26th 2010|
Kansas City MO
Edwin Black’s otherwise astute article on the Sholom Rubashkin sentencing is forgetting something (see Features, Is A Life Sentence for Iowa Kosher Butcher Disproportionate Justice?, April 19, 2010). In sentencing, the prosecutors and judge consider other factors. Even still, I was unaware that he was convicted of paying his beef bill a few days late. Reluctant as I am, I must admit that it would be a miscarraige of justice to sentence this man, troublesome as he is, to life in comparison to other similar criminals convicted of similar crimes.
|Mindy Katz||April 26th 2010|
Your readers probably know Edwin Black's article on Sholom Rubashkin (see Features, Is A Life Sentence for Iowa Kosher Butcher Disproportionate Justice?, April 19, 2010) was reprinted throughout the United States, in Canada, in Israel, and even on the anti-Rubashkin websites. His article was fair, and investigated a little-known aspect of the case that no one has looked into. What your readers probably don't know is that when someone added this story as an article by Edwin Black at Wikipedia to his other articles, the person known as Ravensfire took it upon himself to claim the article should not be listed and deleted it. Why? This appears to be more editing out of Jewish and Holocaust information which is now a pattern at Wikipedia. There is no way to know who Ravensfire is or how to contact him or her because everyone at Wikipedia is operating behind a front name. But I wish Ravensfire would not edit out Jewish content where it involves a man's life. This was the only article of its kind on this subject. But there is no one to talk to.
Editor's Note: This topic was covered in a News item in this edition.
|Ariel Levin||April 26th 2010|
Edwin Black's article on Sholom Rubashkin (see Features, Is A Life Sentence for Iowa Kosher Butcher Disproportionate Justice?,
April 19, 2010) did what no other journalist has done. It investigated the inequities of the sentencing. I think we all know that Rubashkin has dishonored himself, his family and the Jewish people. But, as another publication urged, "let the punishment fit the crime." Life in prison is too much since Rubashkin was never even tried on his main offenses—mistreatment of illegal workers. As I was looking into this whole issue on Wikipedia, I found that Edwin Black's article had been listed as "further reading" in two locations. First was the section on Sholom Rubashkin and the other was the section on Edwin Black Articles. When I tried to send a friend to Wikipedia and checked again, I saw the article had been vetoed and erased. I checked further and found it has been done by by one individual, an individual named "Ravensfire" and he left a snide remark to explain he did not think the article was worthy. When he was questioned in a Wikipedia chat, no one could over-rule him. No wonder Wikipedia is getting such a bad name. Does Wikipedia allow censors to decide which articles about Jews should and should not be read? Wake up, Wikipedia, and check into Ravensfire. Somebody may have an opinion besides him—or is it a her?
|Seymour Bernstein||April 26th 2010|
This is where we are in our world. After decades of trying to establish the true facts of the Holocaust, people like Blaxthos and Fred the Oyster operating on Wikipedia (see “Wikipedia—The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge”
, Page One, April 12, 2010), can just change the history at a moment's notice. And based on what? The problem here is that they work in the shadows behind fake names. If they were accountable for what they write—like the rest of us—this would never happen. But Wikipedia makes this possible. If it can happen to the Holocaust, it can happen to any topic. If Blaxthos and Fred the Oyster are reading this: I say to them: do not hide behind fake names. If you have a question, contact any Holocaust museum or historian anywhere and get the true facts. But think.
|Mark Pappas||April 26th 2010|
I quite agree with your author that Wikipedia is a vast threat to mankind's reservoir of knowledge (see “Wikipedia—The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge”, Page One, April 12, 2010). This threat increases each day as more and more students consult Wikipedia, even though teachers and scholars continue to warn them of the dangers of seeking information at this polluted source. Just look at what has happened to topics as they relate to Canada and how information is coloured or otherwise falsified. Bravo for standing up to them. More of it, please.
|Bill Hendricks||April 26th 2010|
Thank you for your thorough investigation of Wikipedia (see “Wikipedia—The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge”
, Page One, April 12, 2010). The best part was discovering that the individual hackers and malicious posters can be sued as John Does in any location where the false material appears. I know of a man who had spent years studying a little known aspect of nineteenth century European history only to see it relentlessly massacred and he himself subjected to ridicule and personal attacks especially by two hackers who hid behind the mask of fake names and were at long last untrackable. We suspect they were in North America. No one ever knew for sure. Maybe John Doe lawsuits are the answer, and I hope someone succeeds in reforming Wikipedia’s wicked practice.
|Stephen Oppenheimer||April 26th 2010|
Another day ... another 70 cents of every American dollar spent on gasoline benefitting, directly or indirectly, countries like Venezuela, which collaborate with America’s enemies and undermine American foreign policy in the Americas and the Caribbean. America consumes 25 percent of world’s annual oil production. But we are 5 percent of the world’s population and control only of 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves. So we have accelerated the world’s oil consumption, creating fabulous wealth for oil producers such as Iran, which directs its petrodollars to build nuclear weapons and support terrorism world wide. There are things we can do, despite the fact Washington has failed to lead. As an individual citizens, we can vote with our next auto purchase. In the next year, a variety of electric vehicles and plug in hybrid electric vehicles will be available in America. Make your next auto purchase part of the solution. As a business, vote with your purchase orders and fleet purchases, protecting them from oil disruptions. All citizens should also support the “Open Fuel Standard.”
|Mike Stern||April 26th 2010|
We see once more that Barack Obama has submitted to Turkish blackmail and refused to use the G word in commerorating the Armenian Genocide. The Turks do not mind admitting that they brutally masacred a million or so men defenseless civilian men, women and children; they just want to deny this organized and deliberate destruction of an ethnic minority was “genocide.” Because the Turkish regime is thought by many to be the Western gateway to the Muslim world, and provides NATO with key airbases, Washington allows it to rewrite history and deny the Armenian Holocaust. The next thing you know, we can say that America did not commit genocide against Native Americans, that Hitler was engaged in simple resettlement programs when Jews were sent to death camps, and that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was not a sneak attack—just an aerial accident where some bombs fell.
|Ellen Cohen||April 19th 2010|
It is frightening to think that Holocaust history on Wikipedia is in the hands of anonymous contributors with names such as Blaxthos and Fred the Oyster (see “Wikipedia—The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge”, Page One, April 12, 2010). Who are these people? What are their real names? What are their real credentials? What are their real agendas? We are now in the midst of a worldwide effort to deny, remake, and redefine the Holocaust. Our teachers, survivors, and next generation like me are working constantly to keep the facts and reality preserved. Wikipedia must act now to stop such random editing. IBM's involvement in the Holocaust is now as firmly established as the gas chambers. To delete this information is unthinkable because it explains "how" the mass murders were achieved, not just that the mass murders "were" achieved. I cannot help but think that Blaxthos and the others would change their mind if they read a copy of IBM and the Holocaust, which I doubt they ever have.
Edwin Black responds: I would be happy to send Blaxthos a copy of IBM and the Holocaust. Anyone with information on his identity, location, or address should contact email@example.com.
|Jamie Awamleh||April 19th 2010|
Edwin Black's investigation of Wikipedia offers an incredibly calm and thoughtful article (see Wikipedia—The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge
, Page One, April 12, 2010). It sounded much like an elder jurist handing down his well-thought-out decision after much consideration and the lower court's inability to make the right decision for far too long. I don't believe the threat of Wikipedia is just a distinction between generations. Wikipedia is far more insidious and dangerous. Thank you for stating it so eloquently.
|Leslie Warren||April 19th 2010|
Edwin Black's exquisite expose of Wikipedia's sloppy scholarship--or what poses as scholarship--places this question now firmly in the public record (see Wikipedia—The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge
, Page One, April 12, 2010). If the Wikipedia adminstrators cannot control the content and its accuracy, then it is up to Google to remove Wikipedia from the top position on its search engine. As Edwin Black rightly points out, it is Google that has made Wikipedia the most visible source of information on earth. Hello Google—the next step is up to you.
|Raymond Rios||April 19th 2010|
Congrats on running your excellent story on the vulnerability of this nation's subways (see How Safe Are America's Subways
, Page One, April 5, 2010). This is the next frontier in our war on terrorism and terrorism's war on America. Anyone need only look at the trend in London, Madrid and now Moscow to see that subways and mass transit will be the next target. This country may have to quickly create screening systems as we now have at airports. Eventually, all public movement by sea, airplane, bus, car and train will be paralyzed unless we defeat this enemy. Until then, the price we all must pay is an end to normal convenience. This is sad but true.
|Samuel Gregory||April 12th 2010|
I really enjoyed the admission that university publishers, such as University of Wisconsin Press, do not check their facts before publication (see Michael Marrus Falters in Some Measure of Justice
, Arts, March 1, 2010). My professors drove me bats to get it right, check and doublecheck my facts. Now I guess I was a fool. I should have submitted my papers for official publication at my college--and saved myself a lot of aggravation. I have to laugh at both myself and this hypocritical and arrogant system.
|Lillian Sadka||April 12th 2010|
I am writing to alert Cutting Edge readers that the shrine of the Jewish Prophet Ezekiel in central Iraq is in danger of being turned into a mosque. Hebrew inscriptions and decoration have already been erased at the shrine, which used to attract thousands of Jewish pilgrims throughout the ages. Recently, the Arabic press has reported that the Shi’a Wakf, or Endowment, in charge of renovation work at the shrine, considers that the shrine is exclusively Muslim. Only international pressure might stop the Iraqi authorities from planning a mosque over the tomb. Readers are urged to contact local media, write a polite letter to the UNESCO Director-General, Mrs Irina Bokova, at this Address: http://www.unesco.org/webworld/portal/processing/forms/contact/en/form.php) or Sign the Save Ezekiel’s Shrine Petition at this URL http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveezekielstomb/signatures. We thank The Cutting Edge News for your continuing interest and concern on this issue.
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