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Rosenthal is Doing a Good Job--Don't be Distracted

July 12th 2010

I am responding to Gregg Rickman's recent article on Hannah Rosenthal's performance as the State Department's Special Envoy on anti-Semitism (see Our Confused Special Envoy on Anti-Semitism, Slices July 5, 2010), especially at last week's OSCE high level conference on tolerance and nondiscrimination in Kazakhstan. I was in Astana last week as a public delegate in the US delegation. My "on the ground" impression was that Hannah pursued the anti-Semitism agenda indefatigably, in the official sessions, in bilateral meetings with key foreign government officials, in side events, and in the hallways of the pyramid. The reversal of roles, with Hannah delivering Farah Pandith's statement on Islamophobia and Pandith denouncing anti-Semitism, seemed to be very well received by conference participants. This community relations message of mutual responsibility and the value of working across religious and ethnic lines was one that I also stressed in my own statement to the conference. Anyway, I say -- Hannah, don't be distracted by inaccurate accusations. Just keep up the good work!

Martin Raffel is vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Barry Sewell and BigBenFactor: Sad Examples of Internet Blogging

July 12th 2010
I have seen some sad characters on the Internet in my day, but about the saddest assemblage I have seen yet are the two bloggers who took out after Deaf people, Barry Sewell and BigBenFactor (see Society, Mendoza AB2072 Supporters Taunt and Insult the Deaf on Blogs, June 28, 2010). I really found it sad that Sewell accused author Edwin Black of impersonating Edwin Black on Edwin Black's own official website. This was all done as part of a campaign of bashing and humiliating Deaf people for exercising their rights. Nowadays anyone with a computer can type anything for all the world to see on the Internet--true or not, silly or not, insulting to Deaf people or not. Ten years ago, nonsense spewers like Sewell and BigBenFactor would have been restricted to trading notes in a bar. Now this dribble passes for a public globally viewed blog--or even an offshoot of journalism. After following three or four links on these webs, I realized these jokers have had the last laugh as what a waste of time it was for me.

Mideast Freedom Forum Demands German MPs be Investigated on Gaza Flotilla

July 12th 2010
The Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin (MFFB), a German NGO has demanded a parliamentarian inquiry commission to investigate the participation of left MPs Annette Groth and Inge Höger and former parliamentarian Norman Paech from the party Die Linke at the Gaza flotilla and their connections to Islamist organizations. After Islamists violently attacked Israeli soldiers on the vessel Mavi Marmara with the result of numerous casualties and injured one fact becomes clear: Leading in the organization of the Gaza flotilla are groups who under the cover of humanitarian aid support Islamist terror organizations and global jihad. The main responsible organization for breaking the Gaza blockade is the Turkish group IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi, IHH). According to a study by the Danish Institute for International Studies cited in the German paper FAZ, the IHH underwent an "terroristic infiltration" to the highest ranks. Documents would suggest that "members of the IHH tried to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya." According to its profile, IHH is collecting donations for humanitarian aid but there is suspicion that they use the money for arms deals. The study mentions a razzia where "firearms, explosives and manuals for bomb construction" were found. Scores of press conference photos of IHH representatives together with Hamas officials prove the cooperation with the Gaza dominating Islamists. Also the dubious activities of the German branch of IHH based in Frankfurt should be subject to the inquiry of the German Parliament. Adjacent to the IHH, another big supporter of the Gaza flotilla is the "Perdana Global Peace Organization" founded by the former Malayan president Mahatir Mohamad. On the occasion of a summit of Islamic states in 2003 Mahatir Mohamad caused a sensation with an antisemitic speech. The German MPs of the left party were on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, the only ship that used violence against Israeli soldiers. When the Mavi Marmara, was leaving the port of Istanbul antisemitic chants were sung, warning the Jews of the return of Mohammad´s army. Any appeal of these people to humanitarian causes and human rights is mockery of these ideals. In their antisemitic delusion they make themselves common with Iran's Ahmadinejad and other Jew haters.

The writer represents the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin. Read more ..

Barry Sewell, Bizarre Blogs and the Deaf

July 5th 2010

Not sure if I was amused or saddened by Barry Sewell's bizarre denigrations about the deaf community's objections to a new California law (see Society, Mendoza AB2072 Supporters Taunt and Insult the Deaf on Blogs, June 28, 2010). I saw Sewell's picture on his so-called blog. He looks like a very sad man, frowning. How sad. If one were to waste one's time following this nonsense, you could see that he persists on his own blog and something equally silly called "BigBenFactor" in accusing Edwin Black of impersonating himself and the deaf of trying to do something against the interests of deaf people. What a bizarre experience it must be for Black to see such accusations. Blogs plastered with raucous anonymous insults are the new dumbing down of our society. Why are these people so afraid to sign their names?

Edwin Black replies: It has been bizarre indeed. I have had one public email for more than a decade, inquiry@edwinblack.com that receives mail from all over the world daily. I can be reached at my own public website www.edwinblack.com, or any of the book websites such as www.ibmandtheholocaust.com or www.NaziNexus.com. After I posted a statement in my own name on a point of clarification inviting contact at my public email address, and then left a routine phone message asking for contact, it was repeatedly claimed that I was an impostor only pretending to be Edwin Black. My attempts to confirm that I was really me were twice censored by Sewell on his blog. This view of me being an Edwin Black impostor persists today on one or two of the blogs. In point of fact, rumors of me impersonating myself are premature.

Bible Verses Say Do Not Insult the Deaf

July 5th 2010

I enjoyed seeing Edwin Black in June speaking on the deaf and eugenics in Sacramento. For those who insult the deaf (see Society, Mendoza AB2072 Supporters Taunt and Insult the Deaf on Blogs, June 28, 2010), I have two good paragraphs from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.

LEVITICUS 19:14 says "You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord."
ISAIAH  29:18 says "And in that day shall the deaf hear the Words of the book. and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness."

Art Pedroza and Hitler

July 5th 2010
I am not deaf, nor do I live in California, but I share the opinion that Art Pedroza did not need to post a huge picture of Adolf Hitler to make is point bashing the deaf (see Society, Mendoza AB2072 Supporters Taunt and Insult the Deaf on Blogs June 28, 2010). The gratuitous use of Hitler's image, especially for mocking, is widely condemned. And by the way, why bash the deaf? They have enough problems in their life--and they overcome them marvelously. I hope Mr. Pedroza will reconsider the flip use of Hitler's image to attack the deaf, and also, stop attacking the deaf. I hope Mr. Pedroza is not deaf on this issue.

Coverage of Indigenious Peoples of Latin America

July 5th 2010
A recent edition of the The Cutting Edge News offered three separate articles about Latin America's indigenous people: first about indigenous peoples and their complete uninvolvement in Argentina's Bicentennial, the second about Bolivia installing its first indigenous president, and third covering the challenges to many indigenous groups across all of Latin America. Your publication is to be commended for helping the world know more about Latin America's many diverse indigenous peoples. I would not expect to see such coverage in the Washington Post or the New York Times, or any other major American newspaper--online or otherwise. Please continue to tell this important story.

Used Car Dealers Are Part of Washington's Insidious Lobbying Reality

July 5th 2010
Used car dealers are part of Washington's insidious lobbying reality and it is good that their antics have been exposed in The Cutting Edge News (see Features, Car Dealers Try to Wheedle Their Way out of Financial Reforms, June 28, 2010). Most of us think that lobbying is mainly Wall Street, Big Oil, Detroit and big business. That is the top of the problem. But scattered in the halls of Congress are thousands of lobbyists representing big and small issues many of us have never heard of, or from groups we would never suspect. Money drives this and until lobbyists are banned from Congress, or severely curtailed, the big and small ills that afflict the nation will not be reformed. Congress is for sale--even for used car salesmen.

Barry Sewell Exposes Himself as Having Zero Credibility

June 28th 2010
I had to laugh at this man in the silly hat, Barry Sewell, being afraid of historian Edwin Black's website and even Mr. Black's public email address (see Society, Mendoza AB2072 Supporters Taunt and Insult the Deaf on Blogs, June 28, 2010) as being part of sinister plot by Edwin Black to impersonate himself. I think Barry Sewell has exposed himself as having zero credibility, so any comments he has about the California legislation as it affects the deaf community should be taken with a grain salt. It seems the supporters of AB2072 will go to any length, but this is pretty far down the road. I just wish Barry Sewell had not dragged his daughter and his family's picture--oh yes and his dog--into the blog website links. Do they need to be party of his silliness? This just proves that bloggers should be careful what they wish for. They want the right to run an uncensored website, but that means there is no one to stop them from making absolute fools of themselves in front of the entire world.

Art Pedroza Should Stop His Cruelty and Learn About History

June 28th 2010
I am not deaf, but I could not help a sense of outrage at the blog pages against the deaf community from Art Pedroza. Although your article (see Society, Mendoza AB2072 Supporters Taunt and Insult the Deaf on Blogs June 28, 2010) did not list the website, I found it. Let me say, I have seen Hitler hero worship on openly neo-Nazi websites. But I would not expect a gentle picture of Hitler on a site that claims to be about contemporary California politics and one that that cruelly refers to the deaf as "loons" and as "crazies." Art Pedroza should stop his cruel online treatment of deaf people, get rid of that Hitler picture on his website, and learn something about history. His advertisers should think about this the next time they or anyone considers being associated with his blog. Art Pedroza, please stop.

Pro-Mendoza AB2072 Bloggers Twist Deaf Comments

June 28th 2010

I appreciate Martin Barillas's article (see Society, Mendoza AB2072 Supporters Taunt and Insult the Deaf on Blogs June 28, 2010) posted this morning. A number of us has had repeatedly and politely attempted to clarify our positions or corrected some misinformation, only to see our comments being twisted in unbelievable ways to benefit their anti-ASL/deaf agenda. It was really incredulous to see those type of bloggers dismiss our offer of clarifications, and how they interpreted those comments as lies and myths. I respect their disagreement, but, really, they have been arguing vociferously with little to no information about AB2072. They also were "DEAF" to listening to why we initially opposed AB2072. Some of those bloggers/vloggers are unfortunately deaf themselves. As I told one of them, we fought two battles... one against AB2072 and another against "deaf vlogging/blogging detractors."

Discrimination against the Deaf Mirror Eugenics

June 28th 2010

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.

Can a Judge Require Someone to be not-Deaf?

June 28th 2010

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 ..

Was it Really “Humanitarian” Aid to the Gaza Strip?

June 28th 2010

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 ..

Hitler Would Approve of Tony Mendoza's Eugenic Assault Against Deaf People

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.

Tony Mendoza Should Back Away from Attacking Deaf Culture

June 21st 2010
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.

Edwin Black on Mendoza Eugenics on Capital Steps

June 21st 2010
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.

Turkey Being Boycotted

June 21st 2010
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.

Mendoza Eugenic Legislation Marginalizes the Deaf

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).

Mendoza Eugenics Legislation Heard Loud by Deaf Youth

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 ..

Mayor Bloomberg Urged by Virgina Beach to Oppose Ground Zero Mosque

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. 

Washington is Covering for IHH, a Turkish “charity” Organization with Ties to Terrorists?

June 14th 2010

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.

Blaxthos Is a Candidate for John Doe Action

June 14th 2010
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.

Wikipedia Revisionists Work for Major Tech Corporations

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. Schumer Asks Hillary Clinton to Investigate Flotilla Terrorist Ties

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.

World Community Must Stand with Israel in Flotilla Incident

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.

NBC Did Not Give Balanced Coverage of Flotilla Funeral

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?"


Blaxthos on Wikipedia

June 7th 2010
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.

Gaza Flotilla A Stunt That Would Not Be Tolerated by Any Nation-- We Didn't in Cuba

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.

World's Oil Addiction Hurts in Many Ways

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.

Oil is the Answer to the Spill Question

May 17th 2010
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.

Rubashkin Despised but Lady Justice Must be Blind

May 10th 2010

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.

Gulf Spill Arises from a Risk Society Must Not Take

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?

Rubashkin in Orwellian Twist

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.

EMP Weapons Are of Concern

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

Ravensfire and Robofish Continue Wikipedia Blockage

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.

Rubashkin Seems Targeted

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.

Rubashkin Sentencing Must Include Other Factors

April 26th 2010
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.

Ravensfire and Rubashkin on Wikipedia

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.

Ravensfire Deletes Rubashkin on Wikipedia

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?

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