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The Cutting Edge welcomes letters not to exceed 500 words on any topic. They must be signed, with a verifiable daytime phone number, street address and email. The Cutting Edge reserves the right to edit all letters for size, content, format and appropriateness. All such letters become the property of The Cutting Edge. No attachments please, embed all letters in the body of an email and click



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. 


Who Decides What Traits are “Desirable?”

January 3rd 2012

I just read an article published January 1, 2012 in the Sacramento Bee, “Should parents be able to select a deaf child?” by Michael Wilkes, M.D., and I have deep concerns about the direction society seems to be headed. I believe if similar questions were asked about whether a parent should be able to select black, gay, or Jewish children, the article would get a visceral reaction from people and the author could even be called a racist, homophobe, or anti-Semite. So, why is it ok to ask questions about whether Deaf people should exist? Some people think preventing more Deaf births by outlawing certain genes could be a good thing like United Kingdom did in 2011. But frankly, it’s just as sick and perverse as sterilizing human beings or loading them into gas chambers. To preserve our humanity and respect for diversity within the human race, we cannot tolerate decisions to eliminate a population no matter the method of doing it. When we cross that line, what message do we send to society? That it’s ok to view certain populations as undesirable and to target them for extinction one way or another? What traits are undesirable? Who gets to decide?


Go Daddy Hell of Arrogance and Infallibility Remembered

January 3rd 2012

Your article about the mass exodus from Go Daddy (see Go Daddy Suffers Mass Customer Exodus Over SOPA Support and Business Style, Action Line, Jan02, 2012), and another letter writer reminded me of my own hell with Go Daddy. I went over my paltry daily email units by 3 because I mailed out Christmas greeting to my colleagues in the company, and my townhouse complex and my family--all in one day. That was 81 people total. Go Daddy stopped my email and I was forced to buy more units for a $3. I could tolerate the $3. What I could not tolerate was the fact that I could not just pay them on the spot or be billed, as in a cell phone plan or a a normal data usage plan--and keep using my email. I had to wait 24 hours for the purchase to kick in. They told me a stupid story about me being a suspected mass spammer because once a year I send a Christmas message to those I work with and my family. I was not able to use my normal email on my computer to send out a really vital work related series of emails. It cost me dearly. Go Daddy was so arrogant, so inflexible, so infallible in their manner, I just transferred a week later. This company should wake up. If it weren't for their cheap prices--no one would work with them.


Go-Daddy Was So Insulting

January 2nd 2012
I read your article about mass transfers from Go Daddy with complete empathy (see Go Daddy Suffers Mass Customer Exodus Over SOPA Support and Business Style, Action Line, Jan02, 2012). Our house worked with Go Daddy for a few years. My husband handled all the computers. At some point, I needed them to help me personally to fix a problem. The phone representative was so insulting. He said, "We can't help you if you aren't smart enough to understand the basics." That was the nicest thing he said. He made me feel like an idiot. I thought, look at their marketing approach to women. No wonder. Contacting his supervisor did nothing. We took our business to another company. Now I see tens of thousands of unhappy customers have done the same. Hooray for them.

Syrian Crisis Shows it is Time to Dethrone the Palestinian Crisis from the top of the Arab Agenda

January 1st 2012

It is time to place the Palestinian problem in perspective and dethrone it from the apex of the Arab stage. While we appreciate the efforts of those calling the world's attention to the Palestine-Israel crisis, right now we have more pressing issues at hand. Syria is burning, as is Egypt and Yemen. 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 elsewhere. A perfect example is the boycott issue at University Pennsylvania  (see U of Penn Rejects Boycott of Israel, Distances School From Upcoming Boycott Conference, Slices, December 24, 2012). I wonder how many Arabs would ask that such efforts be tabled so as not to detract from the crisis at hand. Blood is flowing in Homs and Cairo. The United States should take the protests seriously and intervene. The entire world should act.


How Can Israeli Boycotters Remain Silent About Carnage in Syria

December 31st 2011

How can these Israeli boycotters remain silent about the carnage in Syria and instead seek to divert the world's attention from where it is needed the most to where it matters the least--at least for right this moment (see U of Penn Rejects Boycott of Israel, Distances School From Upcoming Boycott Conference, Slices, December 24, 2012). Unless these boycotters can loudly speak up for the Syrian people now, murdered daily in the streets, they have lost all legitimacy in my mind. History will portray them for what they are. Part of the problem not part of the solution.


Why Don't Anti-Israel Boycotters Work to Stop the Bloodbath in Syria?

December 29th 2011

The true colors of the Israeli boycotters are oh so clear (see U of Penn Rejects Boycott of Israel, Distances School From Upcoming Boycott Conference, Slices, December 24, 2012). Look at Syria. Every day we hear about massacres, with dozens killed, and wounded. CNN just showed how people must throw bread across a street because anyone walking will be shot be government snipers. Anti-Israel boycotters should hang their head in shame for spending so much time and energy on Israel when they should be trying to stop the bloodbath in Syria. Nor to my knowledge did they try to stop the bloodbath in Libya or Yemen. No wonder the University of Pennsylvania has rejected them as hypocrites. They should immediately organize a boycott of Syrian oil and merchandise. If they do not, they have lost all moral legitimacy. I doubt anyone will listen.


Mideast Boycotters Should Turn Their Attention to Arab Nations or Admit They are Anti-Semites

December 25th 2011
Excuse me if I don't get it. I read your article about the groups trying to boycott Israel, and the University of Pennsylvania, my alma mater, turning them flat down (see U of Penn Rejects Boycott of Israel, Distances School From Upcoming Boycott Conference, Slices, December 24, 2012). I did a little digging and little bit of thinking. I see the boycotters want us to stop purchasing Israeli humus, and shampoos and hot chocolate because it will help Palestinians. I don't see the Israeli oppression as much as the intransigence on the part of Palestinians who bring it upon themselves with bombings and a refusal to live in peace. It seems that if the boycotters really want to help Mideast men, women and children who are beaten, bombed, raped, disfigured, shot, and tortured every day and almost every hour of every day--sometimes for offenses as small as protesting oppression, and sometimes for just being people--then the boycott targets should be the regimes of Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and Bahrain. Look at the headlines which tell us how Syria kills dozens in a day and cripples elderly men because family members protest. Or Saudi Arabia which wants to whip women for driving or whip a man 500 times for being a Christian. Or Iran which persecutes people of the Baha'i faith, protesters and anyone else. Or Iraq where Shiites and Sunnis slaughter each other daily with bombs in public buildings and at mosques. So maybe the protesters should boycott Iranian oil and pistachios, Iraqi oil, Syrian oil and dates, Egyptian cotton, Saudi oil, Libyan oil, and I think you get the point. If the boycotters won't include this then perhaps as the critics of their movement say, it is nothing more than plain, old anti-Semitism dressed up as something more noble.

Downeast LNG, Misinformation, and Reality

December 24th 2011

Downeast LNG has insurmountable problems, failing to comply with the US Coast Guard requirements to obtain approval from Native Tribes for use of the waterway, offensively claiming Native Tribes have no rights in the waterway; and to obtain secure transit coordination from the Government of Canada—an issue unrelated to any existing maritime treaty. Downeast LNG’s website has consistently and falsely claimed the project is needed. However, US natural gas prices this November were at a 10-year low due to a decades-long surplus. The three new regional LNG import terminals are operating at mere fractions of their capacity, with massive winter storage just a stone’s throw from Downeast LNG’s proposed site.

Downeast LNG president Dean Girdis claimed in the December 13 Bangor Daily News that the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline cannot be expanded to bring more natural gas to Maine; however, his project’s website states: “M&NE can readily expand capacity to serve demand growth.” Girdis has even contradicted himself. Hubris and falsehood seem to be Downeast LNG’s guiding principles. Maine state government’s website indicates natural gas access already exists in over 16 communities, and is being expanded to at least 12 more. And yet, Downeast LNG continues to cite outdated 2006 and 2007 market data because reality weighs fatally against the project. Girdis and company still want to increase US dependence on overseas imports when the US is moving rapidly toward natural gas independence. Downeast LNG’s credibility has failed. Downeast LNG predicted correctly in 2005 that the project had little chance of success—the project obviously cannot succeed, and Girdis and the investors know it. It is time for them to face reality, pack up, and go home.

Robert Godfrey of Eastport, ME, is researcher and webmaster for Save Passamaquoddy Bay; Vera Francis of Sipayik, ME, is an environmental justice activist; and Hugh Akagi of Saint Andrews, NB, is chief of the Saint Croix Schoodic Band of Passamaquoddy.


Sugar Cane Industry Should Step Up to the Plate

December 19th 2011

Clearly, sugar cane workers in Central America are exhibiting an inexplicable onset of kidney disease (see Thousands of Sugar Cane Workers Die as Wealthy Nations Stall on Solutions, Page One, December 17, 2011). But no one can conclusively state the cause. What strikes me as odious is the reluctance of the sugar industry to step up to the plate and either rule themselves in or out as a causative factor. If prior occupational diseases serve as example, it makes one suspect that they--the growers--know something the rest of us and the workers do not. Rigorous study must begin to uncover the culprit.


Sugar Cane Workers in Monster Occupational Hazard

December 18th 2011

Thank you for helping to bring to light the plight of the sugar cane workers of Central America (see Thousands of Sugar Cane Workers Die as Wealthy Nations Stall on Solutions, Page One, December 17, 2011). They now suffer in disproportionate numbers a disease, chronic kidney disease, that Western Civilization thought was a relic. Not so in sugar cane fields where something is killing the peasant workers. Unfortunately, no government--north or south, least of all the United States, will pause long enough the crucial production of cane sugar for fuel and sweets to discover the source and cure for the illness. So it is now up to the public to pressure the industries and their government sponsors to get to the bottom of this monster occupation hazard.


Ease off the Sugar Until Progress in Cane Worker Illness

December 18th 2011
I am astonished at the revelations in your recent article on the tragedy of sugar cane workers in Nicaragua (see Thousands of Sugar Cane Workers Die as Wealthy Nations Stall on Solutions, Page One, December 17, 2011). It is clear these workers have no power and no voice to stand up to the great industrial forces that profit by their labors. I, for one, say until the public can see progress on the diagnosis and treatment of the widespread chronic kidney disease that has afflicted these workers, that we all ease off the sugar purchases. Everyone will be healthier with less process cane sugar.


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