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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?

Blaxthos and Fred the Oyster Operate in the Shadows

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.

Wikipedia Promotes Mob Rule in Information

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.

Wikipedia and John Doe Lawsuits

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.

Making America and the Entire World Safer through Energy Security

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.”

Barack Obama Refuses to use the G Word on Armenians

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.

Blaxthos and Fred the Oyster Edit Holocaust History

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 blaxthos-info@edwinblack.com.

Wikipedia Is Insidious and Dangerous

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.

Wikipedia Threat is Actually Google's Fault

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.

Our Subways May One Day Require Airport-style Screeners

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.

University of Wisconsin Press Provides Comic Relief

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.

Ezekiel's Tomb in Iraq Still Endangered

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.

School Lunch Obesity Problem Must be Tackled

April 12th 2010
Instead of just complaining about the obesity of our children, parents must face uncomfortable facts which your artuicle illuminated ( see Society April 5, 2010 School Lunches May Make for Obese Children). The schools have stopped the physical exercise that we all knew, those programs are gone. Then because of lobbyists and salesmen, schools fill their tummies with the worst, cheapest food that is guaranteed to make our kids overweight. Junk food is a fact in school whether it is served hot or in a wrapper. The answer is to hold the feet of our school district officials to the fire and demand immediate change in the menu and in their mentality.

Michael Marrus Misses Thomas J. Watson Conviction

April 5th 2010
The great Canadian professor Michael Marrus claimed that Thomas J. Watson, president of IBM, was no "corporate scoundrel" (see Michael Marrus Falters in Some Measure of Justice, Arts, March 1, 2010), but rather just a "maverick." Here is what I did. I checked Google Books and after one minute found several biographies written over a period of years that all referred in some detail or another to Waton's criminal conviction and jail sentence in the National Cash Register extortion and harassment conspiracy. Watson was not alone--he was part of a gang--all convicted. I did not have a foundation grant, but I did locate the information using my laptop. Our nation is being hammered by corporate thieves right now from the mortgage industry to health insurance. This is not the time to rewrite history to minimize the crimes corporate executives commit in the name of profits or amassing sheer power. If we cannot face up to what corporate robber barons and clever criminals like Thomas J. Watson have done in the past, just think about what the next generation will be reading about Enron, Countrywide and the like.

Trolley Lines Should be Encouraged Not Dismissed

April 5th 2010

I am another who believes The Washington Times has written a dismissive editorial (entitled “Obama’s Trolley Folly”) that frames streetcars and public transportation as a left versus right issue. Nothing should be further from the truth. Support for public transportation, especially streetcars, should be a non-partisan, non-ideological infrastructure issue. No one can seriously argue that our over-reliance on the automobile doesn’t have serious consequences for our economy and our national security. Perhaps you have heard that sucking sound, of all those dollars that we spend on oil being sent back to ruling regimes in countries such as Venezuela and Iran that, frankly, do not wish us well. Streetcars are one attempt to stimulate livable communities where working, shopping and recreation are within easy reach of a mode that promotes economic development, reduces our dependence on oil and fosters stable, energetic communities. While the successful Portland example is like waving a red flag in front of anti-rail bulls, the successes found in Kenosha, WI, the F line in San Francisco and the vintage streetcar lines in Little Rock, AR and Tampa, FL make the point as well. Nothing begets success like success. That’s why Oklahoma City residents recently voted to retain a tax will provide dollars to build a downtown streetcar system and why Cincinnati residents voted to reject a proposal to prohibit funding for a downtown streetcar. And, each recent Stimulus grant mentioned in the editorial (Tucson, New Orleans, Portland, and Dallas) will continue these successes. Rather than The Washington Times approach to treat every rail transit project as a potential diversion from some badly needed highway project, we need to adopt a truly balanced approach to our transportation needs. Comparing streetcar costs to “just $680,000 for a bus line” indicates a superficial appreciation of the differences between modes and the capabilities of each mode. Where transit is competitive, that is, where high quality transit exists to compete with auto, people will use it. The percentage of people using transit to access downtown Washington, DC is a healthy 40 percent, not exactly the 1 percent cited by The Washington Times. Finally, streetcar operating costs per passenger mile are much efficient for the very reason that they carry more passengers per mile. Streetcars are a mode whose time has come (again).

Coverage of Africa Top Notch

April 5th 2010
As a man who spent some time a few years back associated with the European diplomatic corps and residing in Africa, I find news coverage of both the tragedies and the majesties of every day life in Africa is simply absent from newspapers and networks in the United States. For this reason, I am happy that The Cutting Edge News finds it useful to present features and analysis involving Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, the Sudan, South Africa and the other countries of that troubled continent. Typical was your unusual take on the pending World Cup in South Africa, focussing not just on the glamour of the games but the seemy side of human trafficking, child sex slavery and organized international prostitution that will be employed to service the crowd. Please continue with such "cutting edge coverage" as it makes your publication a staple on my computer every Monday morning.

Michael Marrus and Ford Foundation Money

March 29th 2010

I was fascinated to read that Michael Marrus thanked the Ford Foundation for generous financial support for his book (see Michael Marrus Falters in Some Measure of Justice, Arts, March 1, 2010). That means, I am guessing, that American taxpayers directly or indirectly were a factor in a Canadian professor's work, since the Ford Foundation is a U.S. tax exempt entity. I would like to know just how much Michael Marrus received and what the money was used for? What was the foundation's input into how its money was spent is something I would like to know as well. Do they get to review the manuscript? In the future perhaps, such books should disclose somewhere the scope of involvement of a tax-exempt foundations, such as Ford, in the books we read.

Another Bump in the Mideast Road

March 29th 2010

While the Israeli interior minister’s announcement that new housing has been approved in Jerusalem may have been inopportune for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., it was inappropriate for Mr. Biden to issue his “condemnation” of the announcement. Israel has made it clear that its building freeze does not extend to Jerusalem. What you refer to as “East Jerusalem” is the heart of historically Jewish Jerusalem. The Jewish presence was eliminated by force between 1948 and 1967 and has since returned. Where is America’s “condemnation” of the Palestinian Authority’s announcement that, coinciding with Mr. Biden’s visit, the central square in Ramallah would be named for a terrorist responsible for many Israeli civilian deaths, despite the request from Israel to withdraw that decision? Doesn’t that undermine the trust he seeks to develop between the parties?

Obama Shows He’s No Friend Of Israel By Disgraceful Action Toward Jewish State

March 29th 2010

Reports and editorials from around the world state that President Obama treated Prime Minister Netanyahu of the Jewish state of Israel in a disgraceful and unwarranted manner. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly condemns President Obama for his behavior toward the Jewish state. We consider Obama’s actions an affront and an insult to all Jews in America and throughout all the world. Obama apparently also made new and substantial demands of Israel while making no demands of the anti-peace regime of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.

The ZOA concurs with the words of Commentary Magazine’s Jennifer Rubin who wrote, “… the Obami are sticking with their modus operandi – preconditions and ultimatums for the Israelis, and water-carrying for the Palestinians; Netanyahu reportedly wanted to know where the “reciprocity” was and why he was the one making all the concessions. … (“Netanyahu, according to senior officials, said that while the US held him responsible for the timing of the announcement to build 1,600 units in Ramat Shlomo, rather than holding Interior Minister Eli Yishai responsible, Abbas was not held responsible when it came to the PA – which recently presided over the naming of a square in Ramallah for the terrorist responsible for the Coastal Road massacre.”) … It is not that the Obami fear daylight between the U.S. and Israel; it is that they flaunt it. It is not credibility as an honest broker that the Obami are establishing but rather fidelity to the Palestinian negotiating stance. And after all this, and the revelation that the proposed sanctions will be pinpricks at best, would any reasonable Israeli leader believe this administration will do everything (or even anything too strenuous) to remove the existential threat to the Jewish state?

The low point in the history of U.S.-Israel relations has come about not because of a housing permit but because we have a president fundamentally uninterested in retaining the robust, close relationship between the two countries that other administrations of both parties have cultivated. The Obami set out to separate the U.S. from Israel, to pressure and cajole the Jewish state, and to remake the U.S. into an eager suitor to the Muslim World. In the process, anti-Israel delegitimizing efforts have been unleashed as Israel’s enemies (and our own allies) sense that we have downgraded the relationship with the Jewish state, the Israeli public has come to distrust the administration, the American Jewish electorate is somewhere between stunned and horrified, and Israel is less secure and more isolated than ever before.

If mainstream Jewish organizations are serious about their stated mission, it is incumbent upon them to protest this state of affairs clearly and loudly and make their support for this president and his congressional enablers conditional, based on a change of policy in regard to Israel.  Otherwise, they are enabling a potentially fatal assault on the security of the Jewish state.  Silence is acquiescence, meekness is shameful.  A generation from now, Jews will be asking those who led key American Jewish organizations, what did you do to protect Israel?  What did you do to protest the creep toward a “containment” policy for a nuclear-armed Iran? They better have a good answer.”

Morton A. Klein is the president of the Zionist Organization of America.

University of Wisconsin Press Should Fact Check Once Notified

March 22nd 2010
I think Edwin Black errs if he suggests that university presses must fact check before they publish a book (see Michael Marrus Falters in Some Measure of Justice, Arts, March 1, 2010). That would simply be too massive a job for any publisher given the wide variety of topics from science to history to biography. But certainly Edwin Black is completely correct, as are others, to suggest that any publisher—including and especially academic publishers—should have a system in place to aggressively and independently respond to credible notice of errors or potential errors. This process should be independent of the author and the author's circle of endorsers. Publishers should take the initiative. If they find a problem, publish their findings; if no problem is found, then say that. The University of Wisconsin Press should not be immune from this standard.

Turkey Must Recognize the Armenian Genocide

March 22nd 2010
For decades, Turkey has been holding the world hostage as it grapples with the unavoidable truth: the Ottoman Empire committed a systematic war of genocide against Armenian civilians during the first World War. Istanbul has threatened allies, funneled cash into bogus academic efforts, and created it own myths about the mass murder of over 1 million Armenians. It does not change the facts. America should stand up to Turkey and Turkey should stand up to its own history—as Germany did after World War II. I thank the Cutting Edge News for its recent coverage of both the past facts and the current events to deny it.

Appalled that the University of Wisconsin Press Does Not Fact Check

March 15th 2010

I was appalled to read about the University of Wisconsin Press (see Michael Marrus Falters in Some Measure of Justice, Arts, March 1, 2010) and their attitude toward editorial errors and fact checking. The excuse, “We are an academic press,” is no excuse at all. As I watch TV, I see students and teachers protesting throughout this country about the high cost of tuition only getting higher and budget cuts that are undermining the campuses we expect to turn out our next leaders. If the colleges want to cut to save money, maybe they should examine their support for university book publishing operations, especially the ones that claim they are not bound to check their facts. If any college press cannot get its facts straight, it is hardly doing education favor. I agree with the reviewer that the University of Wisconsin Press should "rethink its answers in this realm," and let me add a suggestion to the University of Wisconsin itself: rethink its book publishing arm.

Holocaust Museum Urged to Oppose Yad Vashem on North African Victims

March 15th 2010
I just received a letter from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum asking people to speak up against Holocaust deniers. What about those among us who deny? Please, help stop Yad Vashem from promoting a false history of the Holocaust with false quotations and manipulations of history of the Holocaust, in order to justify not continuing research, documentation, and information on Jews in the European possessions in North Africa who suffered in the Holocaust. With the Internet, even Holocaust deniers will soon learn about Yad Vashem and the silence of Holocaust groups.

The Washington Times vs Public Transit

March 8th 2010

The Washington Times wrote an editorial which amounted to a slam on public transportation. And more specifically, it was a slam on the rebirth of electric street cars in this country. The reason today's streets are congested is because far too many people are clogging them with private cars. And in most cases, it's one person to a car. Not enough people are using mass transit. The reason may be because the mass transit alternative to the private auto isn't attractive enough or reliable enough. Instead of blaming the Obama administration for supporting electric mass transit, they should bame the previous administration for allowing it to wither and die. The sad fact is that we're addicted to oil in this country. We're in an automobile society. Most everything is based on the automobile.

It's almost impossible to get many places without a car today. And it was all planned this way. We're paying the price with pollution, noise, stress, and unnecessary wars to keep us in oil to run all of these cars. The billions of dollars we spend each week in wars and loss of life is a hidden cost factor to that traffic congestion they complained about. Electric street cars are not an obsolete form of transportation. There is nothing nostalgic about them. It worked before and will work again. They were killed off by the oil industry, automobile and bus manufacturers, tire companies, etc. The concept of swift, safe electric transportation on rails was and still is a good, viable idea.

As a matter of recorded fact, transit use declined about 75 percent in the years from 1946 to 1981, when buses replaced most street cars. That is what congested the streets and ruined downtown business. A lane of auto traffic downtown can move only 900 people per hour in autos, but with street cars on a two-minute headway, that same lane can move 3,000—more than triple. That makes for less congestion, not more. Read more ..

Ed Martin Should Not Play Dumb

March 8th 2010

On March 3, 2010, Ed Martin, candidate for US Congress, held a Town Hall meeting. He winked at several facts rather than dealing with them. What does it matter if candidates and Representatives and Senators play dumb? Martin claimed to not understand the Federal Reserve or fractional reserve banking--fair enough if true. But in his faux ignorance, he knows enough to demand complete transparency and an “audit” of the super private Federal Reserve. But he doesn't know the Federal Reserve is the largest international scam on the planet? Read End the Fed by US Rep. Ron Paul (R, Tex) or watch “Money as Debt” by Grignon—and judge for yourself.

Surely Martin does know banks “loan” into existence (create) money and then expect it to be paid to them as if it had been theirs all along. These same banks are private member banks of the Federal Reserve, making private profit from collecting “repayment” and “interest” of national debt that is neither. It's not money they ever had so it isn't “re-paid;” it's just “paid." Sounds like a protection racket, doesn't it? It is an open secret. Let someone (who cannot get so much money any other way) use the money first, to pseudo-legitimize it: launder the funds through borrowers and the economy. The interest charged just reinforces the air of undeserved legitimacy to the idea of them getting what is not theirs. Eventually the interest compounds until it is larger than all of the principal in the system. The Pyramid falls, the banker takes all. They foreclose on what they can get away with.

You can't play dumb, let the voters believe a lie, and call that serving them honestly, can you?

The writer is a candidate for US Congress and can be found at www.DavidArnoldForCongress.com.

Attempts by Disruptive Islamists to Take Over Campuses--Are Rocks Next?

March 1st 2010
Mr. Edelman's report on Muslim extremists disrupting the free flow of ideas on campus (see A Week of Uncivil Discourse on Campus, Features, February 15, 2010) is just another reminder of what is happening to this country. If in one week we witness identical disruptions at UC Irvine, UCLA, York University in Canada, Cambridge, and Oxford Universities in Great Britain, we are seeing an organized, planned and coordinated program to destabilize our campuses. The regents, boards of governors, and faculty should move swiftly to recapture their institutions as places where ideas can be expressed, and where leading speakers can openly take the rostrum. As a recent grad, I know that is a tall order. But if the regents allow this to happen, there is no hope. Students disrupting should be arrested and expelled as surely if they threw a rock at a window. I assure you, that is next.

Shame on Obama for Dalai Lama's Exit Through the Garbage Bags

February 22nd 2010

I was never so ashamed of this country as when the White House forced the revered Dalai Lama to exit through a side entrance through piles of garbage bags after out of his meeting with President Obama. Everyone knows the Chinese protested loudly over Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama. Everyone one knows we must now kow-tow to the Chinese because they own almost a trillion dollars worth of our debt. But no one could imagine how low we would stoop to satiate our creditors the Chinese. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry gets to walk out the front door. But a man of peace such as the Dalia Lama must exit through the service door in the middle of a brutal winter because our government is afraid of upsetting the Chinese masters. I have now seen it all.

See US Downplays Obama's Meeting with Dalai Lama as Part of Chess Game with the Chinese.

Optimism is Possible After Dalai Lama's Visit to White House

February 22nd 2010

The visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President Barack Obama has far more far reaching significance than many commentators are giving credit. The President, despite Chinese objections, is showing the Dalai Lama greater respect than any president before him and this is also a meeting of two very special people.

First of all the Dalai Lama is meeting with the first African-American to hold that office, a symbol of how intolerance and repression can give way to freedom and high achievement. Secondly we see two men, both leaders of their people and both winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, sitting together. As they talked, we cannot imagine them doing other than attempting to map a strategy of understanding between Tibet and China, two peoples of such character, learning and spiritual development. Thirdly, President Obama is the first American President to formally invite the Dalai Lama to the White House on an official visit. This meeting was not planned as a casual encounter during a walk in the park.

As I watched the interviews following the meeting my outlook for the results of this visit was optimistic. My sense is that Chinese government members and negotiators are feeling some pressure to make a breakthrough in their Tibetan stance. A few months ago while President Obama was in China talking with President Hu, many critics at home were complaining that our President was snubbing the Dalai Lama for economic and political reasons. My reading is different. The White House had already sent two envoys to Dharamsala to discuss and carefully plan a visit by His Holiness to Washington. These discussions did not seem like a haphazard, spur of the moment apology for a snubbing. Neither man is ever unmindful of what he must do nor what he must say to achieve the goals he desires and avoid the pitfalls that lie in wait. Read more ..

Coptic Christians Must Be Protected

February 15th 2010
I applaud The Cutting Edge for its coverage of the plight of the Coptic Christians in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. There are at least 70,000 Coptic Orthodox Christians here in Australia who have fled to this country from their persecution in Egypt. Egypt and the Muslim world want tolerance for their status and religion. I am for that. But the same must apply whey they are the dominant group in their own countries. The example set by Egypt where its own citizens are persecuted just because they are Christians is not an anomaly. It is a harsh norm we all should take note of and seek to rectify.

Haiti Medical Rescues Need Prosthetics As Part of the Team

February 15th 2010
I was disappointed to read Lee Miller's comment about the prosthetics profession. As I think of the many medical professionals I have seen on TV or read about in the newspapers volunteering for Haiti, the list has spanned everything from heart surgeons and pediatricians to x-ray technicians and dentists. I have not seen any of the prosthetics professions, not even doing a survey. Apparently, prosthetics are very expensive. So is the time of the prosthetics professional. But the same can be said for every other medical doctor and piece of equipment. The more doctors save the shattered lives of the victims in Haiti, the more their futures will require thousands of artificial limbs. Hopefully, the prosthetics industry will step up to the plate.

Why is the Prosthetic Profession Silent about Haiti?

February 8th 2010

I do not think I am alone wondering when the prosthetic profession will step up to the plate on the Haiti crisis. Students at my school recently called several individuals in the prosthetic world in various cities to ask what they were doing about the estimated 100,000 individuals in Haiti who are said to need artificial limbs. This may be the biggest sudden need for artificial limbs in recent history. But all we heard was "no comment" or "haven't even thought about it." Doctors and therapists from everywhere have been volunteering, even TV medical correspondents have worked round the clock. Hospitals have established field clinics. Hollywood has gone to bat. But from the prosthetic profession we get silence. What gives? Are they waiting for a big payday before mobilizing?

Editor Note: The Cutting Edge News repeatedly tried to contact leading local and national orthotic and prosthetic sources to get an insight into their plans and were repeatedly told there were no plans and no comment.

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