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Despite Volatile Financial Markets NY Retirement Fund is Strong

May 24th 2012

Despite a volatile year in the financial markets, the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) earned an estimated 5.96 percent rate of return for the state’s 2011-2012 fiscal year. The estimated value of the Fund is $150.3 billion, the highest since the global economic meltdown in state fiscal year 2008-2009. The financial markets took investors on an up and down ride last year, but the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s diversified investment portfolio coupled with a long term view have helped us weather these large swings. Over the last three years, the Fund has experienced strong gains during a period of economic instability. We remain one of strongest pension funds in the country, providing retirement security to more than one million New Yorkers. The Fund, the third-largest public pension fund in the nation, remains among the highest funded plans in the country according to the Pew Center on the States. In September 2010, the Fund lowered its assumed long-term investment rate of return from 8 to 7.5 percent. The New York State and Local Retirement System provides benefits to state and local government employees, retirees and beneficiaries. Over the last 20 years, 82 percent of the costs of benefits have been funded from investment returns.

Thomas P. DiNapoli is New York State Comptroller.


Supreme Court Faced with Solomon's Choice on Obamacare?

May 24th 2012

The fight over Obamacare remainds me a personal situation. I work “graveyard shift” alone. I’m allergic to cats. A day foreman, unknown, had been feeding some feral cats. Eventually, their meowing at dusk caught my empathy and I began feeding three of them—a year and 384 pounds of dry cat food ago. Correction: I only appease their empty stomachs with a bedtime snack. On near-minimum wages I can’t afford the 1.5 cups/cat/day, now that there are 8-12 of them at any given time now. I heard a mewing in the spreading yews at the entrance a few nights ago. So thick I couldn’t  see where it was coming from, I parted several layers of branches. Surprised, I glimpsed a 5-6” kitten, it’s eyes closed—one-week-old? I thought “leave it alone.” Perhaps it’s mother was hiding it there? At midnight, its cries were fewer and weaker. Gently, I picked it up and held it as I noted the eyes of several onlooking cats in my searchlight. I set it down on some mulch and backed away. An adult  inspected it. I left them alone. At shift’s-end the kitten was sleeping where I had set it against a rock, mewing when it saw me. I took it several hundred yards and placed it by the feeding bowls. I saw a few cats approach it as I left work. Twenty-four hours later, I almost drove over the kitten in the dusk as I pulled in to work. The mother had placed it curbside beside the same yews. This time it was fair game for the first coyote or fox to come along. I placed it in a spare shirt in a cardboard box and it fell to sleep immediately. Silent, cozy, and safe; too tired to whimper for food. I called everyone I knew. The list is too long to name. No one could nurse a feral kitten; I couldn’t blame them.

 

Resigned to take it to the SPCA, I made one last-ditch appeal to our feral clan. I gently set the kitten between their feeding bowl and my accepted stance at twenty-feet as all of their eyes watched my every move. I said firmly: “Alright! This is your last chance to claim this kitten or you’ll never see it again!” The kitten mewed weakly as it tried to stand on spindly legs; it’s eyes still unable to see. With only a slight hesitation, one adult came forward, gently picking up the kitten in its mouth and taking it back beside it to nurse it. Is it “just nature’s way?” Whatever your opinion, whatever your belief, whatever your creed, if you could have held this kitten in your hand, and heard its cries, you too might have wished it well. 308,000,000 Americans have been treated as this kitten. Some caring persons have recently filed lawsuits hoping to preserve their freedom from being forced to help to pay to kill more humans. I hope and pray our Supreme Court has the heart of a mother and the wisdom of Solomon.


Protect Singer Shahin Najafi and Close Iranian Embassy in Germany

May 18th 2012

State-controlled Iranian media like Day News are calling upon the international Muslim community to murder Shahin Najafi, an Iranian singer living in Cologne, the online news agency Shia online even put a bounty of $ 100,000 on his head. The media referred to a death fatwa, issued by the Iranian Grand Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani in April. The decree demands that not only Shiites, but also other Muslims kill the convict. The death fatwa proves that the Iranian regime tries to enforce the Islamic law internationally. The German Federal government has not commented publicly on the case, German authorities have instead suggested that the singer who is living in Cologne should leave Germany. The silence of government officials is a scandal. Berlin must condemn the death-fatwa unequivocally and publicly. It is absolutely unacceptable that German authorities suggest that a critic of the Iranian dictatorship should leave the Federal Republic. The German Federal government should follow the example of Great Britain and expel all Iranian diplomats in order to protect Shahin Najafi and other critics of the regime. The murder of three Kurdish opposition leaders and an interpreter in September 1992 in Berlin's Mykonos restaurant proved that the Iranian regime does not hesitate in murdering its critics in Germany. A incomplete list of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre shows that the regime has murdered at least 162 Iranians critical of the government abroad. The Iranian embassies have repeatedly served as the nerve centers of terror. Grand Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani, who has pronounced the death fatwa, is a confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. This suggests that this call to murder Najafi was made with the consent of the regime. This fatwa therefore has to be taken as seriously as the fatwa against Salman Rushdie in 1989, or the fatwa against the Azerbaijani journalist Rafiq Tagi, who was murdered in 2011, following a death fatwa by Iranian Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani.

When Ayatollah Khomeini demanded the murder of British author Salman Rushdie the German parliament rightly declared that this fatwa was "a declaration of war against our laws and values ​​system, as well as against the universal principles of the Charter of the United Nations". This assessment is also true for the order to murder Shahin Najafi. With its silence the Federal Government is suggesting that it will accept this 'declaration of war against our laws and value systems', in order not to burden the forthcoming nuclear talks in Baghdad. In this way the government is encouraging the captors of the regime. The federal government must not give in to Islamist terror neither in the nuclear weapons issue, nor with respect to its duty to protect Iranians living here in exile." We demand the closure of diplomatic missions of the Iranian regime but also an immediate ban of Hezbollah, because the Islamist organization serves as a henchman to the Iranian regime.

Michael Spaney represents STOP the BOMB in Germany. 


Golden Dawn, neo-Nazi Party, Emerges in Greece Touting Holocaust Denial

May 17th 2012

We are deeply concerned about the emerging role of a neo-Nazi party in Greece, Golden Dawn, whose party leader recently questioned whether the Holocaust actually happened and asked an interviewer: “What Auschwitz?  Were you there?” In a televised interview, Nikos Michaloliakos, the head of Golden Dawn, said there were no gas chambers or crematoria in Auschwitz and the number of six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust was “an overestimation which was made up.” Golden Dawn won 7 percent in the first round of elections earlier this month in Greece, with enough votes to earn seats in parliament. While we appreciate the Greek government’s immediate and unconditional condemnation of Michaloliakos’s statement, other political, civil and religious leaders need to speak out. The Greek people should be fully aware that a vote for Golden Dawn is a vote for Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism and should reexamine this choice during the new round of elections.

Abraham H. Foxman is National Director of Anti-Defamation League.


Best Approach to Spirit is Total Boycott

May 12th 2012

Like others, I have found Spirit Airlines the carrier to hate. I did try to book a few times to take advantage of a cheap deal. But the come-on quickly fades into the scam extra charges for luggage or other booking fees (see Hated Spirit Airlines Now Charges $100 for Carry-on Bags, Travel, May 4, 2012). So concerned travelers should do the country a favor and boycott this company--that is the best approach to ridding the skies of this terrible corporate citizen.


Spirit is the Airline I Avoid Most

May 6th 2012

Spirit is the airline I avoid most because several times I booked on a cheap deal only to discovered a scam of extra hidden charges for luggage or what have you (see Hated Spirit Airlines Now Charges $100 for Carry-on Bags, Travel, May 4, 2012). Now I know better. I agree with the earlier writer who ask that this company be boycotted into bankruptcy. Don't be fooled. Your cheap ticket on Spirit will end up costing you two to three times more than you think.


Spirit Airlines is the Worst

May 4th 2012
No one is worse than Spirit Airlines (see Hated Spirit Airlines Now Charges $100 for Carry-on Bags, Travel, May 4, 2012). Nor do I think their brand of sneaking in fees on the gullible among us is anything that can be called cute and clever. Nor do I find their vile email advertising entertaining. This is an airline that has run amuck and the only remedy is to avoid them into bankruptcy.

Spirit Airlines is Hated Indeed

May 4th 2012
You hit the nail on the head with your headline Hated Spirit Airlines Now Charges $100 for Carry-on Bags, (see Travel, May 4, 2012). Spirit is hated because they are so obnoxious and deceptive. They actually tried to sneak an insurance charge on my ticket even after I declined it. I cannot imagine they will stay in business much longer. They are not a discount airlines. They are a deceptive airlines with bait and switch pricing.

Euthanasia is an Unacceptable Alternative

April 25th 2012

As an individual I am very opposed to “mercy killing,” otherwise known as assisted suicide or euthanasia. Any change in the law to allow assisted suicide or euthanasia would place pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden upon others. This would especially affect people who are disabled, elderly, sick, or depressed. Persistent requests for euthanasia are extremely rare if people are properly cared for so our priority must be to ensure that good care addressing people's physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs is accessible to all.


German Companies at the 2012 Iran Oil Show

April 20th 2012

Currently the four-day trade show “Iran Oil Show—International Oil, Gas, Refining, and Petrochemical Exhibition” takes place in Teheran, where numerous German companies participate, presenting their technology for the sanctioned Iranian energy sector. Key technology for the Iranian energy sector has been sanctioned since July 2010. The non-governmental organization Stop the Bomb calls on the responsible authorities in Germany to actively look into the business deals of these companies. Only through participation at the exhibition, companies cooperate with the Iranian regime and sanctioned companies. The exhibition is essentially organized by the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum. The participating companies must pay the stand fees to an account of Iran’s Bank Mellat, which is sanctioned by the EU and the USA. An extract from the EU legislation regarding Bank Mellat from October, 2011 says “The conduct of Bank Mellat fosters and relieves Iran's nuclear program and Iran's program for ballistic missiles.“ Also, Iranian companies such as Khatam Ol Anbia, which belongs to the sanctioned Revolutionary Guards, uses the exhibition to cultivate business contacts. Among the German companies that have confirmed their participation at the Iran Oil Show are Bopp & Reuther, Helmke, Hova and Schauenburg. The companies Herrenknecht and Pepperl + Fuchs are also present at the Iran Oil Show, according to exhibition's homepage. The range of products of the German companies include all kinds of products for the energy sector, including pumps, pipes, and construction machines and specialized measuring instruments. During April 2011, Stop the Bomb had compiled a list of German companies which took part at the Iran Oil Show in Teheran last year. Deals in the Iranian energy sector support the Iranian regime. The German companies that are active in this sector are therefore responsible for the fact that the regime can go on with its policy of human rights violations, its nuclear program, and the export of terror against the will of the Iranian people and in spite of massive protests against the regime. Revenues from the energy sector made up nearly 50 percent of the state budget and 80 percent of the export income in 2009–2010. The biggest part of the Iranian energy sector is state owned. Business partners in Iran are mostly companies connected to the economic empire of the Revolutionary Guards, who run the majority of the projects in the energy sector. The Revolutionary Guards are on the US terror list and since July 2010 have also been the EU sanctions list. Read more ..


No Need to Spend Taxpayers’ Money for Tax Hikes

April 12th 2012

Even though Annapolis politicians displayed dysfunction at its finest during the final hours of the 2012 Legislative Session, Americans for Prosperity Maryland opposes another special session to raise taxes on working class Marylanders. Our political leaders decided to play political games instead of taking their responsibility seriously. Now, the same politicians want to waste more time passing tax hikes on working class Marylanders. AFP-Maryland is opposed to another Special Session. Taxpayers are tired of politics, bloated budgets and tax hikes. It’s time for politicians to go home and explain why the state budget grew at a time when residents have been cutting spending to make ends meet. Americans for Prosperity Maryland is calling on all Marylanders to contact their elected officials telling them not to convene for a special session of the legislature for any reason.

David Schwartz is director of Americans for Prosperity Maryland.


How Can Burleson Govern TAPPS

April 4th 2012

How can people like Edd Burleson govern an organization such as TAPPS  (see The Texas Sabbath Showdown: The Inside (and Still Blazing) Story, Page One, March 27,) which holds itself out as a modern day association? It makes you think we have a long way to go in this country.


TAPPS a Thing of the Past But Still Around

April 4th 2012

Well, judging by the recent remarks of Edd Burleson of TAPPS and his sense of religious intolerance involving at the Beren School controversy (see The Texas Sabbath Showdown: The Inside (and Still Blazing) Story, Page One, March 27,) it is doubtful he has learned anything. TAPPS is a very old thing of the past but still around. Why?


Beren's Sinoff and TAPPS Burleson Both Narrow-Minded

March 31st 2012

I am not sure who was worse in the cause of equal rights and religious tolerance at the Beren School controversy (see The Texas Sabbath Showdown: The Inside (and Still Blazing) Story, Page One, March 27,). Was it the narrow-minded Edd Burleson of TAPPS who could not see past his own prejudices, or the narrow-minded Rabbi Harry Sinoff who could see past his fears? I can understand Burleson, but why Sinoff. His "please step on me" attitude only encourages such incidents.


Beren Academy Basketball Team Beat Their Own School Leadership

March 30th 2012
Based on the play-by-play story by Edwin Black on the Beren Academy confrontation (see The Texas Sabbath Showdown: The Inside (and Still Blazing) Story, Page One, March 27,) it appears that the school's Jewish basketball team only won "on the court" because their lawyers "went to court" and did it despite the objections of the school leadership. I was frankly put off by the comment of the school head person, Rabbi Sinoff who was unwilling to demand equal rights on so small an issue as moving up the game by five hours. Looks like the team that the players beat was their school leadership.

Indict IBM and its Execs for Both Treason and Obstruction

March 29th 2012

I endorse the suggestions of two prior letter writers. We should criminally indict IBM for treason--no statute of limitations. Then we should indict the executives and publicists mentioned who have now or in the past past enbgaged in a cover-up of IBM's Holocaust criminal activites (see IBM’s Role in the Holocaust—What the New Documents Reveal, Page One, February 28, 2012). This would be a shining example to corporations that justice will catch up to them just as certainly as it catches up to the monsters and killers they enable in the name of profit.


Is IBM a Treasonous Company?

March 26th 2012

How is it possible that that more people are not talking about this outrageous revelation, that IBM was a prime mover in the Holocaust  and even Germany's attack against civilized Europe (see IBM’s Role in the Holocaust—What the New Documents Reveal, Page One, February 28, 2012). More importantly, since IBM organized and made more efficient the Nazi war machine--which was used against Americans, why was this company and its officials not prosecuted for treason? Is there a statute of limitations on treason?


IBM Was Immoral in Holocaust--But Corporations Have No Morality

March 17th 2012

I think you may not using the right standard in judging IBM and its involvement in the Holocaust (see IBM’s Role in the Holocaust—What the New Documents Reveal, Page One, February 28, 2012). Sure, IBM was immoral in helping the Nazis murder six million Jews, but corporations have no morality--just a desire for money. So how can a corporation be immoral if corporations have no morality? Maybe you mean "amoral?"


IBM Now Stands For International Brutal Murderers

March 16th 2012

A stunner indeed to learn of the accusations--firmly back up, contained in the book IBM and the Holocaust (see IBM’s Role in the Holocaust—What the New Documents Reveal, Page One, February 28, 2012). How is it this escaped the notice of so many? It appears that IBM's long and arduous relationship with the Nazis was a labour of love--love of money. For me, this company will forever more be known as International Brutal Murderers for the organizing and accelerating of Hitler's Holocaust, and of course the Third Reich's mass murder of millions of others across Europe.


IBM as Hitler's Willing Henchman

March 10th 2012

I was shocked to learn of the book IBM and the Holocaust (see IBM’s Role in the Holocaust—What the New Documents Reveal, Page One, February 28, 2012). I was only in elementary school when this book originally came out in 2001. Now I can scarely believe that a company with the image of IBM was a willing henchman for Adolf Hitler. My question is what is being done about it?


Indicting IBM Execs on Holocaust Cover-up a Good Idea

March 9th 2012

The suggestion to criminally indict IBM executives and publicists over any cover-up on IBM's Holocaust activites is a good one (see IBM’s Role in the Holocaust—What the New Documents Reveal, Page One, February 28, 2012). Murder is a crime. Covering it up is criminal. The world will no longer tolerate such conduct.


IBM Publicists and Execs Should be Indicted for Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice

March 9th 2012

The new edition of IBM and the Holocaust (see IBM’s Role in the Holocaust—What the New Documents Reveal, Page One, February 28, 2012) reinforces even more graphically the crimes against humanity commited in WWII. Why has this information not been more readily available? It appears that IBM executives and publicists have hidden, obscured, and obfuscated in a systematic effort. These people should named and indicted for conspriacy to obstruct justice. Is the International Criminal Court listening?


What Would Jesus Do About the Beren Sabbath Basketball Fight?

March 8th 2012

Like many, I have heard about the attempt to bar a Jewish religious high school team in Texas from the basketball playoffs of their religious school league. The conflict is that the league has scheduled the game on a Friday night when the Jewish students observe their sabbath. This seems grossly unfair. Why can't the league be flexible by a few hours. After all, what would Jesus do about the Beren basketball team request for just a few hours? I think he would be happy to help a neighbor especially one requesting so little. I urge the league to change the policy.

Editors Note: The league relented after a lawsuit was filed and moved the game up a few hours to Friday afternoon.


IBM's Guilt in the Holocaust a Certainty

March 8th 2012
I do not know why I missed it for a decade, but the new edition of IBM and the Holocaust (see IBM’s Role in the Holocaust—What the New Documents Reveal, Page One, February 28, 2012) woke me up. The evidence presented in the article, and the 90 pages I have thus far read in the book I purchased, seem to show a dark certainty. As the author states, IBM is guilty of organizing the Holocaust.

BB&T a Good Bank But Treating Its Customers Like Children on Security

February 25th 2012

I also disagree with Erwin Kayton, the vice president of at BB&T, who defended BB&T (see BB&T On-Line Site Treats Its Customers Like Children, Action Line, February 15, 2012). He defended them wrongly. I am a customer and I know they are a good bank. But beyond my relationship banker, I find many at the bank to be arrogant to customers. That is why they dictated childish questions to their customers and did not permit us to make up our own questions. BTW, my favorite is "Name the lake you fell in love at." Nice.


BBT&T is In Fact Treating Its Customers Arrogantly

February 22nd 2012

I disagree greatly with Erwin Kayton, is the vice president of transportation at BB&T, who defended his bank claiming: "Your article and readers completely missed (see BB&T On-Line Site Treats Its Customers Like Children, Action Line, February 15, 2012) what was obvious to me. BB&T, the bank who always goes above and beyond in caring for me as their customer, took the time to think up questions with answers that are likely to be known ONLY by the account-holder, as opposed to the usual questions that can be found on every Facebook profile or would be known be close friends and family members ... BB&T deserves kudos, not condemnation!" Give me a break. If BB&T was not in fact arrogant in its treatment of customers it would have allowed them to make up their own questions. I have that with Blue Cross and my own bank. By the way, I switched to that bank a few years ago, when a BB&T credit card customer service person insulted my intelligence. I guess not much changes. So if Erwin Kayton is so proud of his bank--answer this: why can we not create our questions like "favorite restaurant in Manhattan."


BB&T Deserves Praise Not Condemnation

February 17th 2012

Your article and readers completely missed (see BB&T On-Line Site Treats Its Customers Like Children, Action Line, February 15, 2012) what was obvious to me. BB&T, the bank who always goes above and beyond in caring for me as their customer, took the time to think up questions with answers that are likely to be known ONLY by the account-holder, as opposed to the usual questions that can be found on every Facebook profile or would be known be close friends and family members -- the very ones most likely to be signing in to an account without authorization. BB&T deserves kudos, not condemnation!

Erwin Kayton is the vice president of transportation at BB&T.


BB&T's Stupid Security Questions Symptomatic of Vastly Larger Problem

February 17th 2012

BB&T's stupid security questions are symptomatic of a vastly larger problem in our banking system (see BB&T On-Line Site Treats Its Customers Like Children, Action Line, February 15, 2012). The methods objected to are a mote compared to the one-sided, autocratic if not dictatorial rule banks are wielding against its customers. We saw the backlash against the Bank of America fees. The key detraction here is not permitting customers to create their own security questions as I did with Blue Cross. Why is that? The banks don't care what their customers think. Otherwise, they would have allowed us some flexibility. I am not a BB&T customer. I prefer banking with a small community institution--and its security questions are just fine. I don't plan to switch soon.


What BB&T Idiot Made up Those Questions?

February 15th 2012

I have always felt BB&T was a cut above the other banks. But when I opened the online account and saw those idiotic security questions, I was bewildered. I am glad it is not just me that was put off. Thank you for writing this up (see BB&T On-Line Site Treats Its Customers Like Children, Action Line, February 15, 2012). Good to know I am not alone. At 66, a grandmother of five, and a life full of volunteering, I cannot relate to silly security questions like the one about the name of my favorite stuffed animal. I had to ask, "What idiot at BB&T made up these questions." What was wrong with the old questions? I would like my old BB&T back, and the old account security system with it.


Israel Peace Week Showcases Youthful Initiative

February 14th 2012

Pro-Israel students at 75 universities across the US and Canada will showcase Israel's commitment to peace by participating in the third annual "Israel Peace Week" movement, February 20 - March 9, 2012. “Israel Peace Week” was created by student leaders trained by Hasbara Fellowships, and is primarily student-run. "Israel Peace Week (IPW)" is a grassroots initiative to counter anti-Israel propaganda with a simple, positive message: Israel wants peace and has demonstrated its willingness to make painful sacrifices for peace. The campaign also outlines options for peace, existential threats to the Jewish state, and the values and accomplishments of a thriving Israeli democracy in an otherwise despotic region. Last year, Israel advocates at 50 universities organized IPW events, and this year 75 campuses are expected to participate. Let’s commend the courageous and innovative young adults making the case for Israel on the front lines.

Natalie Menaged is the director of education at Hasbara Fellowships.


Boycott Israel Movement Criticizes Humus While Homs in Syria Burns

February 10th 2012

I completely agree with the earlier writer who wrote, "It is time to place the Palestinian problem in perspective and dethrone it from the apex of the Arab stage...Syria is burning." (see U of Penn Rejects Boycott of Israel, Distances School From Upcoming Boycott Conference, Slices, December 24, 2012). A friend recently attended a so-called Boycott Israel conference at the University of Pennsylvania. He says that not a word was uttered about the tragedy in Syria. Where indeed is America? Where indeed is the U.N.? Where indeed are the Arabs? Why are our Arab brothers in Palestine with an audience in America shouting about trivialities and boycotting humus when Syrians are being slaughtered and butchered by the regime. I also agree with the earlier letter writer, "The world needs to focus its attention where it is needed the most. It almost seems trivializing to ask major institutions to channel their emotional wrath on Palestine when so many are dying in the streets" in Syria. Thank you for running those letters. America, the crisis of the minute is not humus. It is the children of Homs.


British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement A Stunning Revelation

February 5th 2012
Edwin Black's presentation on Book TV about the pernicious history of BP (see Edwin Black Exposes War-Stained Oil History of British Petroleum on C-SPAN's Book-TV with "British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement," Page One January 21, 2012), was nothing less than stunning. Like others, I ask, why is this history not taught, known and mentioned by the mainstream media and our academic institutions. To think think that this one oil company was so intrinsic to the very concept and conflict of twentieth century war in the Middle East--and for what? For oil--which as the author proves handily--was a fuel we never needed.

Seeking Information on Jews Rescued by Japanese

January 30th 2012
In 1940, at least 6,000 Jews were rescued from Lithuania by Japanese consul Chiune Sempo Sugihara who provided them with transit visas enabling them to travel east through the Soviet Union, and sail to Japan. In gratitude, some passengers on board gave photos of themselves to Tatsuo Osako, an escort and clerk on one of the ships. Seven photos of the refugees have never been identified, and after Osako died in 2003, his assistant, Akira Kitade, is seeking to find them. The photos can be viewed at After 70 Years: Fragments of Memory - Photos of Rescued Jews - The Righteous A Please send information or queries to Mr. Kitade at kitadeakira@hotmail.com.

Edwin Black's "Farhud" Opened My Eyes on Yugoslavia and the Mufti

January 29th 2012
Following up on your story about Edwin Black on Book TV (see Edwin Black Exposes War-Stained Oil History of British Petroleum on C-SPAN's Book-TV with "British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement," Page One January 21, 2012), I did check it out. It was informative. But it caused me to pick up his related book, The Farhud, Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust. The two I think are intertwined. I found the Farhud was even more amazing. It really opened my eyes about Yugoslavia, the Balkans, and in general the unrevealed story of the Nazi-Arab alliance in Europe and the Mideast during World War II. The Mufti of Jerusalem was as much a war criminal as any of the Nazi thugs and surrogates who murdered so many in the Balkans. Why is this not taught and remembered?

The Lawrence Bully Who Attacked Autistic Man is a Spineless Coward

January 28th 2012

How cruel that a spineless bully in Lawrence Kansas jumped an autistic person (Autistic Man Viciously Attacked in Kansas by Unknown Assailant, News, Jan07, 2012). I am certain that this spineless bully belongs in prison so he can get some of what he dishes out. The sooner police catch this cowardly menace, the better. I hope the sentence matches the crime--and he spends hard days behind bars. By now you have figured out that autistic men and women are special human beings--and that I am the proud parent of one. None of them deserve this type of treatment in a world already hard enough.


The Lawrence Bully Needs to be Apprehended

January 28th 2012

My son is autistic and brilliant but certainly must put up with a certain level of abuse in school. This is why I join others in being absolutely infuriated by the bully of Lawrence who attacked the defenseless autistic person in broad daylight near a shopping district in Lawrence (Autistic Man Viciously Attacked in Kansas by Unknown Assailant, News, Jan07, 2012). He must be apprehended. If this vile bully with so bad a self-esteem issue will do this to a defenseless man, he can do much worse to any other member of the community.

EDITORS NOTE: The Cutting Edge News will be following up on this assault. Anyone with information on the man responsible should send information to editors@thecuttingedgenews.com. The information will be shared with law enforcement. Sources will be fully protected and remain confidential.


Eugenics Town Hall Meeting in NC-Womble to be Missed

January 25th 2012

House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) and State Representative Earline Parmon (D-Forsyth) have just announced that they will host an information session and town hall meeting on eugenics on Wednesday, February 1 at 6:00 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. The meeting will be open to the public and the press and will feature educational information on the history of North Carolina’s eugenics program. Comments will be made by representatives of the NAACP, the John Locke Foundation, and by legislative leaders on the issue.  The meeting will conclude with a question-and-answer session with members of the public who attend.

“This event is the first of its kind,” said Speaker Tillis. “Rep. Parmon and I are hoping to bring citizens together in an effort to educate people on the history of eugenics and discuss a practical way forward.” Rep. Parmon, who has represented Forsyth County in the State House since 2003, will co-host the town hall with Speaker Tillis. “This is an issue that demands education, discussion, and action from everyone involved,” Parmon said. “It is our goal to bring everyone together in Charlotte in a way that will help bring us closer to a positive result in the end.”  Parmon is also a close friend of Rep. Larry Womble, who has led the fight on eugenics, and was seriously injured in an automobile accident in early December.  “Rep. Womble is aware of the ongoing efforts to complete the final chapter of compensation for victims and is excited that his work is continuing.”

“We are sad that Rep. Womble, who has done so much to advance this issue to this point, will be unable to join us,” Tillis said.  “But clearly, he will be there in spirit as we build on the work he has advanced for many years.” Tillis said that he and Parmon are working to map out a strategy to create a working group that will discuss the best way to pursue a legislative solution to the eugenics problem.  “This meeting is the next step – and we hope it will put us on the path toward finally reaching a solution.”

Jordan Shaw is Communications Director for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis.


Atlanta Jewish Times Op-ed Calling for Obama Assassination “Appalling”

January 23rd 2012

We were shocked and appalled to learn that the owner of the Atlanta Jewish Times suggested in a recent op-ed column that Israel should consider assassinating the president of the United States as one of its options in confronting the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. While the publisher and editor, Andrew Adler, has since apologized for the January 13 column in which he wrote that Israel should “give the go-ahead for U.S.–based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel,” it begs the question of how this shocking suggestion could ever have seen it into print into the first place. No apology can possibly begin to repair the damage done. There is absolutely no excuse, no justification, and no rationalization for this kind of rhetoric. It doesn’t even belong in fiction. These are irresponsible and extremist words. They have absolutely no place in a civilized discussion over the Iranian threat, or any other threat facing Israel. Mr. Adler’s lack of judgment as a publisher, editor and columnist raises serious questions as to whether he’s fit to run a newspaper.

Abraham H. Foxman is National Director of the Anti-Defamation League


How Dr. King Affected My Life

January 17th 2012

This is America.

I grew up middle class in a middle-class, more-black-than-white neighborhood in NJ. Mom was a librarian (and worked her way up to Director); Dad worked for the Post Office (and worked his way up from letter carrier to auditor). Both of Mom's parents, born in 1892, had postsecondary educations. I was 20 years old before someone called me a nigger in serious -- on the beach in Virginia Beach before classes started at Hampton. Oh, and the KKK picketed our campus. This was 1980.

I haven't been refused service because of my skin color (well, there was that one time at a restaurat in DE). I know I never got a fair shot at one job because of my skin color (but none others to my knowledge). I've been told I don't "sound black" -- probably because Mom and Grandma and Grandpa insisted on proper grammar and vocabulary, both from me and around me. (But when Grandma and Grandpa and Mom moved from Atlantic City to Jersey City in the 1930s, Mom couldn't join the Y with the pool because "little colored girls don't need to learn how to swim.") I've never been told where to sit on a train, or in a movie theater (but as late as the early 1970s, Grandma still had to move to the "colored car" to transit Washington, DC, and if I ride certain bus lines right here in New York City, they'll tell me I should sit in the back with the other women).

Growing up when/where I did, with the parents and community I had ... I haven't had it that bad. There was the Civil Rights Act. There was the Voting Rights Act. (Bill Moyers, LBJ's then-speechwriter, quotes him as having said the Democratic party had lost the South for a generation; et voilá, Nixon's southern strategy).

Because the SCOTUS decided Brown v Board of Ed and Loving v Virginia the way they did. Because the SCOTUS decided Griswold v Connecticut and Roe v Wade the way they did. I was eight when Dr King was assassinated. We've achieved parts of his dream, and we still have some to work on.

Because Dr King and his allies did what they did, I could (among other things) make it to 20 without the n-word falling hatefully on me. I never had to look at a "No Colored Need Apply" sign or a "Whites Only Waiting Area" sign -- to face the daily erosion of spirit that those kinds of signs caused. Because they stood up. And got beaten, and had dogs sicced on them, and got arrested, and went peacefully to jail, and did it again and again. They did that for us. They did that for me.a

This is America. It belongs to me no more (but no less) than to any other American. (I put "American" down for race on the last census; I mean, African, Scots, French, and Apache? What else? Where else on Earth?)

This is America. This is my home.

Happy Birthday, Dr King.


Lawrence Kansas Bully of Autisic Man is a Coward

January 8th 2012

As the father of an autistic young man, I am revolted by the cowardice of the bully in Lawrence who attacked a defenseless autistic person outside a coffeehouse in Lawrence (Autistic Man Viciously Attacked in Kansas by Unknown Assailant, News, Jan07, 2012). This man must be found and imprisoned. Then, in jail, he might learn what it means to be attacked for no reason. The bully will be bullied.

EDITORS NOTE: The Cutting Edge News will be following up on this assault. Anyone with information on the man responsible should send information to editors@thecuttingedgenews.com. The information will be shared with law enforcement. Sources will be fully protected and remain confidential. 



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