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Israel Failed to Jail First Flotilla

June 27th 2011

I am one of those who completely agree that Israel messed up when it failed to jail the first Gaza flotilla team. I regret the loss of life on all sides. But the ones Israel took into custody were the cause. They should have been prosecuted for what they did. That is why the second flotilla can sail with impugnity. Because Israel messed up. Hopefully, it will be wiser the next time around--which will be any day now. What would the US do if that flotilla was headed our way.

Send Gaza Flotilla Activists to Jail--Israel Erred Last Time

June 26th 2011
For sure, sending Gaza flotilla agitators to an Israeli jail would be the best idea. By now, it must be obvious to everyone that Israel erred the last time in simply coddling and releasing those who had entered combat with her own naval officers. Long terms behind bars are called for--whether the agitators are Turkey or American.

Imprison Flotilla Participants in Israel First and Then Prosecute in the USA

June 26th 2011
I agree with the notion that Gaza flotilla participants who are obviously coordinating with a known teroriorst entity--that is, Hamas, should be prosecuted. But not just in America. The Israeli government should go beyond simple detention and deportation. They should arrest, try, convict, and imprison all those involved, from the ringleaders to the passengers to the deck hands. Monetary penalties to recoup the naval and military expense should be added. The second Gaza flotilla, like the first, is an obvious naval provocation. The crossing with Egypt has been open for some weeks. Israel has expanded all international deliveries. So what is left but but what the flotilla organizers profess: violate Israeli sovereign rights to protect itself and create an international incident. After the provocateurs are released from Israeli prisons--then and only then should they prosecuted once more in their home locations. Then the next wave may think twice about such antics.

Washington Warns Flotilla Against Arrest

June 24th 2011
On June 21 I wrote to Attorney General Holder urging the Obama Administration to warn the Gaza flotilla participants "that they are placing themselves in jeopardy of breaching federal criminal law." Today's  warning from the State Department does just that. Since the participants have made clear that they are moving forward, the question now is whether the government will follow through and investigate and prosecute.

Reflecting on Yale University's Decision to Close YIISA

June 20th 2011

Recently, Yale University officials informed us of their precipitous decision to close YIISA, the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism. It became evident that YIISA and Yale University have different visions and approaches to the study of antisemitism. YIISA, like Yale, believes in the necessity to publish in top tier journals. YIISA scholars, its graduate and post-doctorate research fellows, esteemed senior visiting professors, and scholars associated with YIISA have done so at a high caliber and with success.YIISA, however, is committed to critical engaged scholarship with a broader approach to the complex, and at times controversial context of contemporary global antisemitism.It is this mission that my colleagues at YIISA so eloquently and with a sense of integrity engaged. This was reflected, for example, in the conference, “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity”. Held in August 2010 it was the largest academic conference on the study of antisemitism ever.This illustrated not only the relevance of YIISA, but the concern, if not alarm, that scholars of antisemitism have for the contemporary global condition. It also marked the launching of the International Association for the Study of Antisemitism (IASA) a professional association, of which I was elected by peers to be its first President.
We believe that the role of a true scholar and intellectual is to shed light where there is darkness. It is a responsibility of scholars to understand the implications of antisemitism on society, nationally as well as internationally. YIISA has been successful in this regard since our formation in 2006. YIISA was the first research center based at a North American University dedicated to the study of antisemitism, and will continue to be a trailblazer in the field. I wish to express appreciation for the role Yale students and professors played in the development of YIISA. I am especially grateful for the community of scholars from across the United States and from around the world that contributed to YIISA. I look forward to continuing to work with these scholars. I also look forward to work with academics that will be associated with the new Yale Program on Antisemitism, to be constituted, especially with my esteemed colleague Maurie Samuels. We are all colleagues on a subject matter with profound implications. I would also like to thank members of the YIISA Board of Trustees for their efforts and for their continued commitment to further our mandate. I am also grateful for the thousands of people that attend our events and support our work. We are in conversation with several academic institutions that understand the importance of our mission. They have expressed interest in YIISA becoming part of their academic community. It is also my hope, given the importance and timeliness of the subject, that several research centers, dedicated to the study of antisemitism, especially the contemporary global context, will open at universities across the United States.

Charles Asher Small is Executive director and founder of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism.

Yale Bowed to Foreign Donations in Cutting YIISA

June 19th 2011

Yale University has shown itself to be cowardly in cutting out its distinguished Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA). This university has now figured out that foreign donations are now more important than promoting American values of tolerance and religious freedom. For shame, Yale. I would have thought that an institution as entrenched as Yale would have shown more independence and the gumption needed to promote freedoms.

If Yale Cannot Stand Against Religious Hatred, It Facilitates It

June 15th 2011

Yale should not be bending to the forces of religious hatred. Like others, I am ashamed the university has done away with the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA). These are times when men are returning to the bad old ways. Regretfully, Yale cannot stand up to that trend and in doing so facilitates it.

Recent Yale Action Rivalled by University of Wisconsin Press

June 13th 2011

I can understand why Yale is being excoriated for putting down anti-Semitic studies at its [Yale] Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism. It is just another sign of the decaying quality of universities just when we need them most. But let us not forget the great minds at the University of Wisconsin Press who publish books without even so much as a staff fact-check. That revelation still sends me. In any event, it now seems crystal clear that there is need for reform at our campuses--not just in the Midwest, but in the Ivy League as well.

Yale Should Show the Way on anti-Semitism After Dark Eugenic Past

June 11th 2011

Yale now joins the ranks of other college campuses which have proven they do not stand for tolerance at a time when intolerance is on the rise. I refer to its decision to terminate its anti-Semitic study program [Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism]. Yale and the other Ivy League schools should be leading the way after establishing a dark record of eugenic intolerance that led to the death and destruction of so many Hispanic communities in the early part of the twentieth century. See Edwin Black's work, War Against the Weak for the scoop on just murderous this science was and Yale's role. I guess some things never change, especially when donations can make a difference.

Ashamed to be a Yale Alum after University Axes Anti-Semitism Program

June 11th 2011

Speaking as an alumnus who remembers my days at Yale as among my best, I am ashamed of the University’s action discontinuing the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA), which I only learned at The Cutting Edge News. Axing this program just as anti-Semitic agitation is on the rise across the country is a dire mistake which to me only suggests money was speaking louder than values. If an institution as respected and fiercely independent as Yale can succumb to money talk, than all of academia takes a hit. I call on my alma mater to change its decision.

Wrong to End Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism

June 10th 2011

Yale University’s decision to shut down the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA) at the end of July is deeply dismaying given the persistence of anti-Jewish hatred in the United States and around the world. Whatever purported issues and problems arose regarding the Yale Initiative, what was required was a concerted effort to work out the problems rather than preemptively ending the program. At a time when anti-Semitism continues to be virulent and anti-Israel parties treat any effort to address issues relating to anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as illegitimate, Yale’s decision is particularly unfortunate.  The Yale Center was organized in a serious way and, under the leadership of its director, Professor Charles Small, produced significant programs and research in its short history. f there were problems that the university raised, they needed to be dealt with and resolved. The decision to close the Center was a bad one on its own terms, but it is even worse because it leaves the impression that the anti-Jewish forces in the world achieved a significant victory.

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

Egypt's "Arab Spring" Shifting Power from Monster to Mob

June 5th 2011
The so-called Arab Spring seems not a wave of democracy but rather an wave of Arab Street actions in which the power is shifted from one monster to a group of new monsters. Egypt gang raped a CBS-reporter in the Tahrir Square and the ruling military junta that saved the day imprisoned a blogger for a mildly critical comment. This same junta per your coverage enforced "virginity checks" on protesters. Also in Egypt, the Copts continue to be threatened and mistreated. Soon, the Muslim Brotherhood will take half the seats in Parliament, and control many more through front candidates. Why does the leadership in Canada and the United States fail to see what is really happening. Instead, billion-dollar loans are being forgiven, and all sorts of other aid is on the way. So the monster of Egypt, Mubarak, is now to be replaced with a another monster--the mob.

Australia's Place in the Universe Assured

May 30th 2011
As a Monash University alum, I can say that I and every Australian is proud that a student here, 22-year old Amelia Fraser-McKelvie, helped locate the great missing matter in the universe (see Australian Student Astronomer Finds Universe's Missing Mass, Page One, May 29, 2011). I think Australia's place in the universe is now assured.

Once Again Science is Slapped Awake

May 30th 2011
Once again, science is slapped awake--this time by a Monash University astronomy student no less, who just happened to discover a large chunk of the missing matter in the universe that had baffled and eluded so many experts before him (see Australian Student Astronomer Finds Universe's Missing Mass, Page One, May 29, 2011). The greatest minds thought the world was flat, but they soon discovered they were wrong. Until the mid-20th Century, no one understood the existence of tectonic plates that move entire continents. To me this is a re-affirmation that our ignorance is far greater than our grasp, and sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can find an entire universe of reality.

Why Not Support the One Existing Democracy in the Middle East

May 26th 2011
It is certainly a glaring example of our hypocrisy that we are moving billions of our tax dollars and battalions of our precious men and women under arms to "promote democracies in the Middle East." But the one flourishing democracy--Israel--Mr. Obama wants to shrink, pressure, and threaten by financing its opposition along the extremists in Egypt. Say what? We have not been able to speak with a clear policy since the Arab uprisings began. We bomb Libya and we baby Bahrain. No wonder we are not respected and ineffectual. The Obama Administration should stand with our one true ally in the Mideast--Israel.

Obama Directly Undermines Israel Security by Calling for pre-1967 Borders

May 21st 2011

Israel is the United States’ strongest friend and ally. By calling for a return to the pre-1967 borders, President Obama has directly undermined her. Rather than stand by Israel against consistent unprovoked aggression by longtime supporters of terrorism, President Obama is rewarding those who threaten Israel’s very right to exist. This is not only ridiculous, but dangerous. There is strong disapproval in Congress for the President’s new posture towards Israel, and I will introduce a resolution next week affirming Israel’s right to maintain its territorial integrity. Now, more than ever, the security interests of the United States and Israel are linked.  Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons is a clear and present danger to both of our nations.   We cannot distance ourselves from our Israeli friends.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is introducing a Congressional Resolution disapproving of President Obama’s new policy towards Israel.

Nuclear Energy Must Now be Deemed Hazardous at Any Level

May 19th 2011
The tragic and continuing saga of Japan's nuclear crisis is only the latest nuclear shock in the wake of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and many other lesser known catastrophes. It must now be enormously clear to all right thinking individuals that nuclear power cannot be made safe, because of the prodigious threat it poses. Atomic energy must now be considered hazardous at any level. What a disastrous way to boil water.

Pakistan Surely Knew about bin Laden Lair

May 9th 2011
We are not dumb. Pakistani intelligence surely knew about bin Laden's lair. If a bunch of guys in Virginia at our intel centers figured it out, how come the guys next door and down the street did not. Throw some more billions at Pakistan. As many have said, Pakistan is the most troubled country in the world, and we see it here in action. Problem is, we are tied at the hip.

New Palestinian Government has Rejected the Basic International Standards for Peace with Israel

May 4th 2011

Today’s signing of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement confirms that the Palestinian Authority has chosen unity with a terrorist organization over peace with Israel. This new Palestinian government has rejected the basic international standards set forth by the Quartet, including the rejection of violence and recognition of Israel’s right to exist. This agreement comes just days after Hamas condemned the U.S. operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, a vile terrorist whom Hamas mourned as a “holy warrior.” Israel cannot be expected to move forward without a partner that shares its same commitment to peace. Just days after news of the reconciliation broke, I visited the Israeli community whose children’s school bus was just recently targeted by a Hamas rocket. Pursuant to U.S. law, American aid to the P.A. must cease now that these terrorists are part of its government.

Ted Deutch is the U.S. Representative for Florida's 19th Congressional District, and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Open Letter to Mahmoud Abbas: Your Actions Threaten U.S. Assistance

May 2nd 2011

We write an open letter to Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee and President of the Palestinian National Authority:

We have serious concerns about your intentions to seek recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the United Nations and the pursuit of a unity government with Hamas, which has not recognized the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist. We urge you to end these actions and return to direct negotiations with Israel, which will provide the only path to a viable and durable two-state agreement. The 1993 Oslo Accords were explicitly understood to be part of an ongoing, negotiated peace process. In fact, a letter from the Palestinian leadership stated that the PLO “commits itself to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.” That understanding enabled Israel to turn over governance of significant aspects of Palestinian society to an elected Palestinian government.

Since that time, the U.S. Congress has been a strong partner in your government’s efforts to build the institutions that will someday govern an independent Palestinian state. The U.S. government has provided billions of dollars as well as technical assistance and training to increase security, promote economic growth and fiscal independence, strengthen public institutions, and meet humanitarian needs.

U.S. aid is predicated on the premise that your government has demonstrated a firm commitment to pursuing efforts to establish a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace with Israel. As you know, U.S. law also requires a commitment to countering terrorism, confiscating weapons, and dismantling terrorist infrastructure. In addition, it prohibits aid to Hamas, Hamas-controlled areas, and any power-sharing government that includes Hamas, until Hamas publicly acknowledges the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist and commits to a two-state solution. Your current courses of action undermine the purposes and threaten the provision of United States assistance and support.

We have been strong supporters of aid to the Palestinian Authority in the hopes of ensuring prosperity, stability, and peace for the Palestinian people and all people in the region. However, our ability to support current and future aid would be severely threatened if you abandon direct negotiations with Israel and continue with your current efforts.

Kay Granger chairs, and Nita Lowey is the ranking member of, the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Committee on Appropriations of the U.S. House of Representatives. Read more ..

Bin Laden Killing Apparently Was Subject to Sharia

May 2nd 2011
All Americans should celebrate the killing of Asama Bin Laden, but apparently it seems this killing was done according to Sharia with a rush to dispose of the mass murderer's body within 24 hours, ritual washing and all the rest. If it is not a religious war, why did we employ religious doctrine and compliance as part of our operating procedure?

Fatah Power-sharing Agreement with Hamas Puts US Funding At Risk

April 28th 2011

In response to reports that the Fatah party has reached a tentative power-sharing agreement with Hamas, as the highest ranking Democrat on the House foreign aid subcommittee, I am releasing the following statement:

"Unless Hamas accepts the Quartet Principles, which include renouncing violence and recognizing Israel, the formation of a unity government with Fatah will be a deathblow to the peace process. For decades, the United States has provided assistance to the Palestinian Authority to build government institutions, strengthen security forces, and promote economic development. This aid is predicated on the PA’s commitment to pursuing efforts to establish peace with Israel. A unity government with Hamas would put U.S. assistance and support at risk, based on restrictions I authored as Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. I strongly urge the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to reconsider forming a unity government with Hamas and to instead return to negotiations with Israel, which are the only hope for a peaceful, stable, and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Congresswoman Nita Lowey is the former Chair and current Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, which writes the annual U.S. foreign aid bill. She represents parts of Westchester and Rockland Counties in New York.

The Peace of Easter Should be a Lesson for All Religions

April 25th 2011
Coming out of the cathedral after high mass this Easter I was filled with the spirit of peace fully within for myself and for all humanity. It made me wonder if all religions emerge from their houses of worship with the same uplifting internal spirtual to create peace on earth. It would be a gift if that could occur.

American Jewish Committee Picks an Odd Time to Oppose Efforts to Reduce anti-Jewish Campus Hate

April 25th 2011
I think the American Jewish Committee has picked an odd time to oppose efforts by right-thinking people to reduce anti-Jewish campus hatred behavior. Passover should be a time of celebration of freedom for the Jewish peoples and their return to Israel, their homeland, and the resulting democracy that they gave to the world. It should not be a time to wonder if their own organizations are offering aide and comfort to those would see that process reversed. Passover was hardly the right time for such an action.

Obama Betrays Pledge to Recognize Armenian Genocide by Turks

April 24th 2011

On the eve of Easter and the April 24th National Day of Prayer for the victims of the Armenian Genocide, President Barack Obama again betrayed his pledge to properly condemn and commemorate this crime against humanity. Despite his repeated, detailed, and unambiguous pledges to recognize the Armenian Genocide, the President offered only euphemisms and evasive terminology to describe the murder of over 1.5 million men women and children - effectively keeping in place the gag rule imposed by the Turkish government on the open and honest discussion of this crime. In refusing, under foreign pressure from Turkey, to his honor his pledge, he again fell far short of his own view, as voiced during his campaign, that America deserves a President who uses the term "genocide" to convey the full factual, moral, legal, and contemporary political meaning of this crime against all humanity.

President Obama's disgraceful capitulation to Turkey’s threats, his complicity in Turkey's denials, and his Administration’s active opposition to Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide represent the very opposite of the principled and honest change he promised to bring to our country’s response to this crime. Instead of standing up for the truth, and standing by the extensive U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide, President Obama is today, under threat from an increasingly unfriendly foreign power, standing in the way of the broad-based American civil society consensus for a truthful and just resolution of this crime.

For a President who ran for office on the platform of ‘change’ and ‘honesty’, his record on this score – including, notably, his deeply offensive reference today to ‘contested history,’ has been shameful. He has, in addition to betraying his own words and compromising America’s moral standing, gravely disappointed Armenians here in the United States, in Armenia, and around the world who had looked to him as an example of courage, conviction, and conscience.

Kenneth Hachikian is chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America.

Abdulwahab’s Extreme Views and Farasat Latif

April 24th 2011

Your article entitled Neutrality Will Not Shield Sweden from Terrorism (see Security, January 10,2011), by Walid Phares quoted me as saying: "Farasat Latif, the secretary of the Luton mosque to which Abdulwahab belonged, said, “Despite Abdulwahab’s extreme views, nothing pointed to the fact that he was going to do something stupid.” While not rock-solid evidence of a plot in the making, Abdulwahab’s “extreme views” were at least an indication that he was a potential danger to others. Contradicting his statement above, Latif added, “Soon Abdulwahab began making extremist statements focusing on suicide bombings.”

As for the second statement; "Soon Abdulwahab began making extremist statements focusing on suicide bombings”, I never said such a thing. Abdulwahab's main focus was on the Muslim leaders, and the Muslim scholars. His brief episode with our mosque lasted no longer than 3 weeks in the summer of 2007 during which time he never espoused violence. Although at the time, we were criticized for not reporting him, would we now, in light of the upheaval in the Middle East, be expected to report someone who called for the overthrow of a Muslim leader.

Farasat Latif is Secretary of the Islamic Centre, Luton.

Nelson and Stern Statement Helps Afflict Jewish Campus Experience

April 23rd 2011
I applaud the comments of Kenneth L. Marcus in his analysis of the over-reaching protective proclamation by Cary Nelson and Kenneth Stern in aide and service of campus hate speech against Jews (see The Wrong Statement on Campus Anti-Semitism, Opinion April 22, 2011). Why a Jewish organization, the American Jewish Committee, would take pains on the Jewish holiday of Passover to help the further affliction the Jewish experience is baffling. People should think about that before donating. Not all speech is protected and some is downright dangerous, some purely illegal. Hate speech is real. Sexual harassment is real. Bullying is real. Threats are real. A balance must struck between free speech and harm, just as there is a balance between free religion and harm. The threat goes way beyond the "fire in the theater" analogy. If displaying a noose on the locker of an African-American fireman creates a hostile environment--and there are many more examples, than surely, we can understand how Jews would be entitled to the same level of peace on campus.

Pepco Broke my Computers With Outages

April 22nd 2011
I work in Rockville, Maryland and the historic outages that Pepco inflicted on the DC area were so numerous, so prolonged, and so punishing when the on-off on-off nightmare sequences began, that I lost two new computers. No one will pay me for these. It cost me thousands. The new legislation will help millions of companies and residents--but it is not tough enough. Pepco needs to not only pay penalties to the state, they need to pay claims by individuals and businesses.

Pepco Must be Made Responsible for Electricity Outages

April 21st 2011

I am very pleased to report that the Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act has passed the General Assembly and is going to Governor O’Malley for his signature. Our goal is to ensure that electric power companies provide their customers with high levels of service quality and reliability in a cost effective manner.  The amended bill requires the Public Service Commission to establish certain standards relating to downed wire response, service interruption, vegetation management, customer communication, and periodic equipment inspections. Each company will be held accountable if it fails to deliver reliable service. The penalties assessed for failing to meet these standards are considerable.  Provisions include: $25K per violation per day on penalties, increased penalties for safety violations, and the utilities are prohibited from passing on the costs of penalties to the ratepayers. The bill is an emergency bill so it takes effect as soon as the governor signs it into law. When I first asked the Public Service Commission to investigate Pepco’s power outages after the 2010 snow disasters and testified at its first hearing on the problems in March 2010, I certainly did not expect the outages to continue this long or Pepco to be so unresponsive. When we introduced this comprehensive legislation, many delegates, who have other utilities, had no idea of the extent of our outages and the safety, health, and economic problems that resulted. I give special thanks to the Prime Sponsor of this bill Delegate Brian Feldman, Delegate Brian McHale (floor leader) the entire Montgomery County Delegation, Governor O’Malley, and Councilmember Roger Berliner.

Kumar Barve is the Democratic Majority Leader in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Peaceful Existence of Amazonia Under Threat

April 20th 2011

In a piece by Michael Reaney, (see Peruvian Presidential Election May Decide Amazon Future, Analys, April 11, 2011), the issue of rampant deforestation and its devastating consequences for the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon, contacted and uncontacted alike, was addressed.  The consequences of illegal logging for the uncontacted peoples of the Amazon could be especially tragic, as contact with outsiders could mean exposure to diseases that uncontacted groups have no immunity to. History shows that such exposure can fatally diminish a group to a fraction of its number even in the space of one year.  Yet this potential loss of life can be avoided, if there is the political will to enforce policies that promote the rights of the indigenous peoples. Those who tuned into Discovery Channel on Sunday night (April 17) to watch ‘Human Planet - Grasslands and Jungles,’ would have seen the aerial video footage (http://www.uncontactedtribes.org/) of one of these uncontacted tribes inhabiting the Amazon. But the peaceful existence of these peoples is under threat. If your readers could take a moment to sign Survivals petition (http://www.uncontactedtribes.org/act-now) to President Garcia, it would add to the weight of nearly 100,000 voices who have already asked Peru’s President to stop invading logging and oil companies in indigenous territories.  We need as many voices as possible to insist that Peru's prosperity is dependent on policies that protect its people and the environment they depend on.  Thank you for your consideration and action, and please spread the word about the work of Survival International.

Arrogant Hawaiian Tourism Officials Too Much for Aussie

April 19th 2011
I can empathize with the content of your article on the arrogant sleepy heads running the tourism offices in Hawaii (see Sustained Drop in Japanese Visitors Has Befuddled Hawaiian Tourism Officials At a Loss, Page One April 18, 2011). My family tried to visit last year, and received so many dodgy stories from the airlines and tourism offices, we gave up and went to Malaysia. Hawaii is beautiful I am sure. So is Malaysia with astonishing beaches, vastly cheaper rates all around, and no arrogant attitude by tourism hucksters or people with an attitude that says: "We don't need you." Now, today, Hawaii does need all the extra bookings it can get--but now, today, I am planning a return trip to guess where? To the heavenly shores of Langkawi in Malaysia.

Keystone Cops Running Hawaii Tourism

April 19th 2011
Your excellent coverage of the bust in Hawaii's tourism (see Sustained Drop in Japanese Visitors Has Befuddled Hawaiian Tourism Officials At a Loss, Page One April 18, 2011) only confirmed to me that Keystone Cops abound in government funded or allied agencies. We have seen it here in Detroit where the city refused to see the warning signs of an economic collapse tied to one sector--the auto industry. Hawaii seems to be in the same pickle with a sudden downfall in its tourism and a slow reaction because for years it has been a cushy industry. But here we see that Michigan tourism officials actually has picked up the ball and started running with an energetic advertising program and reach out. Call Michigan tourism --they will pick up the phone. I like many other people owe my job to a rebounding tourism field in this state. The Keystone Cops in Hawaii should take a lesson. It may be colder here, but we offer a warm reception--and we answer the phone.

Hawaiian Airlines Difficult to Deal With

April 19th 2011
I was not surprised by your reporter's comment that Hawaiian Airlines does not return calls (see Sustained Drop in Japanese Visitors Has Befuddled Hawaiian Tourism Officials At a Loss, Page One April 18, 2011). Earlier this year we had a less than happy experience with them. Our hopes to fly to Honolulu were dashed because we could not get solid information about flights and charges. Their operators are very courteous but their English can hardly be understood, and every time we called, we got a different answer. By the time we finally figured things out, the fairs had zoomed. So as wonderful as their in-air service is reputed to be, Hawaiian has a long way to go if people are put off before every stepping on the aircraft.

ElBaradei is the Advance Man for the Muslim Brotherhood

April 18th 2011
I am glad that someone is bringing out the fact that the media darling, Mohammad ElBaradei, despite his Nobel Prize and his prior status as the obstructionist former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is at this time a mere advance man for the Muslim Brotherhood (see Increasing Concern Over Connections between Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's Leading Presidential Contender, Analysis April 18, 2011). He is a radical Islamist advance man, but he is dressed in a three-piece suit. The man is as radical and any of his colleagues. ElBaradei's recent proclamation to the newspapers that, “if Israel attacked Gaza we would declare war against the Zionist regime," fits perfectly with the Hamas strategy of provoking Israel into a major military action. The mainstream media will never learn. But we should learn not to listen to the mainstream media.

A-380 Incident--Just another Reason Not to Fly Qantas to Australia

April 13th 2011
The recent collision at JFK of an Air France A-380 is just another reason for me not to fly Qantas on my next trip to Sydney. I plan to fly Down Under in a month, but I have been put off by the horrible A-380 safety record at Qantas and the evasive answers I get when I call the airline with questions. This latest incident at JFK seals it for me. I will fly any airline that does not use A-380s.

Earthquakes--Millions of Years in the Making

April 11th 2011

What will take to convince the public and the government that earthquakes are events millions of years in the making? Your article on earthquake readiness was most timely (see Lax School Construction Oversight Raises Doubts about Earthquake Safety, Features April 11, 2011). Shall we learn nothing from the Japan calamity? The planet does not ask for permission before disrupting the landscape. We must be prepared not just for the recent past, but for the geological past.

Jewish Students Sent to Meet with Hamas

April 11th 2011
A recently published letter to Chancellor Drake of UC Irvine signed by the O.C. Jewish Federation and the Rose Project dated October 8th. 2009 clearly shows the extent to which the Olive Tree Initiative and UCI were prepared to go in order to conceal the very real danger in which they had placed students when they arranged a secret meeting with an Hamas leader well inside the disputed territories. It seems their devotion to burnishing their liberal, one-way multiculturalist credentials far exceeded their responsibility to their students and constituted a prima facie case of reckless endangerment as well as an awful lapse of judgment. The students were deliberately put in harm's way and for what exactly? What sort of arrangements had been made for their security? Who was going to rescue them if anything went wrong while they were in the lion's den? Who was going to make the call to their parents if they had been kidnapped or murdered? How was this surreptitious meeting with an avowed Jew-killer supposed to enhance the students' understanding of Judaism or the State of Israel which, after all, was the ostensible purpose of the trip? Read more ..

Mosques Are Supposed to Be Places of Peace Not Violent Agitation

April 4th 2011
Mosques are supposed to be places of peace not violent agitation--we are told this every time a community objects to the construction of yet another giant mosque. But look at what happens every Friday in the news after Muslim prayers. Riots and horrid violence break out. Not just in one place--but throughout the Muslim world from Afghanistan to Tunisia. Last Friday, after prayers, the crowds in Afghanistan raced over to the UN headquarters and murdered seven people--including the beheading of two--because they were angered over an unknown preacher in Florida supposedly burning a Koran. The Christian church, the Mormon temple, the Jewish synagogue, and the Catholic cathedral are all places of peace where people emerge in peace and brotherhood. My church ends its mass telling all to "go in peace." So explain what is happening at the mosque that produces such violent effects?

Tokyo Nuclear Disaster and Israeli Solution Recalls BP Intransigence

March 30th 2011
If there is a solution or a potential solution of containing the entire nuclear disaster with new Israeli technology--monster domes, why haven't we heard that the fixes are being rushed into Japan (see Technology from Israel Can make Tokyo Safe from fallout in 3 Weeks, Sci-tech March 28, 2011). To me, this recalls BP's intransigence over stemming its oil spill. If something is not done soon, the fallout will become worse worldwide. Nor do I believe our public officials who claim the radioactivity will never reach our shores. No one knows how bad it is, or how bad it may become.

Hawaii Tourism Officials Need to be Nimble

March 28th 2011
I was stationed in Hawaii some years ago. Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I hope Hawaii Tourism officials can be nimble enough to redirect their efforts to make up for the unfortunate lost of Japanese tourisms (see Shocked Hawaii Tourism Reps Scramble As Japanese Visits Drop Sharply, Page One March 21, 2011). If not, replace them. Nowadays, no one can rest on their laurels.

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