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The Trebach Report







HAPPY NEW YEAR? ONLY IN SOME RESPECTS

As this poor old year draws to a close, I have been awash with the good feelings that usually come during the holiday period, surrounded by family and friends and cheerful spirits. I am happy as a clam in those respects.

Then I made the mistake of reading a story on the internet written by Reuters and headlined “France braces for annual New Year’s car torching.” Datelined today, 5:30 am, the story explained that “youths in depressed suburbs of French cities have been torching hundreds of vehicles on New Year’s Eve and Bastille Day since the early 1990s.” The text went on to say that arson in France’s “sensitive urban areas” rose by 17.2 percent between 2008 and 2009 and that a total of 12,874 cars were burned in 2009.

At no point did the intrepid Reuters’ reporters or editors feel compelled to mention that almost all of the youths were Muslim and that the influx of so many followers of Islam in recent years has caused enormous problems for France. Like so many Western opinion leaders in government and in the private sector, the Reuters journalists practice self-censorship so as not to offend Muslims. This is part of the much broader campaign to seek to win the good favor of Muslims by downplaying Islamic violence while at the same time emphasizing any apparent misstep, whether violent or not, by Israel and her supporters.

The Islamists and their Western appeasers know that terror works. So does adherence to the oldest hate of all, that is, hatred of Jews and of course of their one nation on the face of this small planet. The current Western ideology sees that the Jews and their shitty little country – to quote a French diplomat not too long ago – can be offered up as sacrifices to obtain peace in our time with the violent forces of the jihadists. During my lifetime the Europeans offered up another country as such a sacrifice to other violent forces and after the expected fall of Czechoslovakia, it turned out that the sacrifice was in vain and millions of people died in the subsequent war.

It is not just hatred of Jews and Israel that is motivating the current forces of aggression; it is also hatred of America. Thus for decades the Islamist forces have preached the destruction of Israel and her major supporter, America. I have personally seen how anti-Americanism is part of the current European intellectual ideology, taught in universities along with the need to delegitimize Israel.

As I look back at this year, it is appalling to realize that Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton have bought into this destructive ideology and seem intent on pushing Israel to commit suicide as happened to that other little nation so long ago. They do not seem to realize that the destruction of Israel may well lead to the continued decline of our own country, even to its eventual complete Islamization. Future presidents may find it necessary to always bow to Islamic despots.

Nevertheless, I intend to celebrate the good tidings of the season tonight and tomorrow and act like none of this is going to turnout as badly as I just said. Sometimes denial of apparent reality seems the only rational way to live through these awful situations.

December 31, 2010

[COMMENTS]




PERPLEXING WAR ON TERROR

The war on terror is a very ill defined term which can denote a variety of different things suggesting numerous courses of action. In her latest column Diana West uses the story of Pvt. William Long, killed in Arkansas outside a military recruitment center by a self-proclaimed jihadist but denied battlefield honors to argue that our own government does not fully understand its meaning.

December 31, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ARMY NAVY GAME GESTURE

Our government puts an enormous burden on its military personnel, so it is fitting when private citizens and organizations demonstrate our appreciation for their sacrifices. Here is an inspiring holiday story that came in an e-mail and is verified by Snopes.com, which tells about people, Bennett and Vivian Levin with the help of others, who did something extraordinarily nice for some of our wounded service members. It involved the Army vs. Navy football game.

December 29, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WONDROUS EVENTS AT LOWELL HIGH SCHOOL

When I received the news that I had been selected to be honored as one of the Distinguished Alumni of Lowell High School, I was quite happy and looked forward to a pleasant time returning to my old school in northern Massachusetts. However, I was not prepared for the emotional impact the event had on me and on members of my own family still living in that area. It was a wondrous, almost miraculous visit.

Everything about the visit was more powerful and more profound than I had imagined. The main event took place last month on the evening of November 3 at the main auditorium of the school. While much has changed about the city of Lowell and about the school, the basic structure of that auditorium has barely changed at all. It was almost spooky and yet wonderful to enter that hall again, 64 years after I graduated with the class of 1946. My baby brother, Malcolm, who graduated years after I did, had some of the same feelings; he said it was almost as if time had stood still.

The fact that Mal, his wife, Charlene, and my sister, Leona, were in the audience sweetened the event for me. Also in the audience of many hundreds of people were Libby Glazer and her two adult children, Hugh and Ruth, who I knew as nice little kids. Libby was the wife of my best friend, Mel Glazer, who sadly passed away several years ago. I have maintained contact with Libby and her children. She still lives in Lowell.

Libby gets the lion’s share of the credit for my receiving the award. During many conversations with her, she mentioned the fact that Lowell High School had started the process of honoring selected alumni and that I should apply to be included. Of course, Libby has always been one of my boosters and it was natural of her to think I deserved to be honored. For years, I listened to her but did nothing to seek the honor. Libby persisted in her prodding of me and also of the selection committee attached to the school. Eventually I did as she asked and sent in a brief written summary statement of my life and career to the selection committee. Many months latter I received the notice from Brian Martin, representing the selection committee, to the effect I had been chosen to receive the honor this year, 2010.

As I said, the events had a powerful impact on my emotions and my thoughts about Lowell and the high school. It was full of happy surprises. I was not prepared for yet another surprise when yesterday, December 27th, I discovered that videos of the entire event were on the Lowell High School web site. During the event itself, I said that I was greatly impressed with the quality of the four other awardees. When I watched the videos, I was impressed all over again. What an extraordinary group of people and what an honor it has been for me to be associated with them and with the school!

The videos can be seen here. My talk occurs in Part 5. If my readers and viewers have the time, it is worth viewing the entire event.

December 28, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MODERN DAY JURY NULLIFICATION

Echoes of the past have been regularly appearing in recent debate over drug policy. The same kind of economic arguments that went so far towards repealing alcohol proscription in the early 1930s were widely employed during the effort in California to legalize marijuana in this last election. Now another major contributing factor to the end of Prohibition, jury nullification, is being seen with regards to marijuana prohibition. In Montana the Missoula District Court was unable sit a jury in a trial involving a miniscule amount of pot because too many people in the pool said they would refuse to convict. This happened despite the fact that the defendant had a very unsavory reputation and past criminal record. In effect, the potential jurors put the law on trial instead of the accused.

Also, significant is the headline for this story, Jury Pool Rebels Against State's Wasteful Marijuana Prosecution, used by the Vision to America e-mail newsletter whose readers tend to be religious conservatives. Just as with Pat Robertson’s remarks (see item directly below) here we see another crack in the up until now solid support for marijuana prohibition among the Christian right.

December 26, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A SMALL SIGN OF PROGRESS

In the field of reforming drug policy it often seems that little progress is being made. With the election of Barak Obama came an expectation of change but with the performance of Obama as President those hopes were pretty much dashed as it has become increasingly clear with regards to drug prohibition it is business as usual. Also, the drug related killing in Mexico continues unabated and the voters in California just turned down the commonsense step forward of legalizing marijuana.

Now, however, a sign appears that things could improve. Broadcaster and religious right icon Pat Robertson told his 700 Club viewers that “harsh penalties for marijuana possession are costly for the nation and damaging to young people.” Reaching people like him is half the battle.

December 24, 2010

[COMMENTS]




UN SPENDING MONEY CELEBRATING ANTI-SEMITISM

Many people are beginning to seriously question U.S. taxpayer support for an organization, the United Nations, that celebrates the ten year anniversary of an anti-Semitic hate fest by holding another one. In 2001 the UN sponsored the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa. It turned out to be an occasion for some intense bashing of Israel, including the absurd claim that Zionism equal racism. Now the UN wants to celebrate the Durban event by holding another such spectacle in New York City financed in part with American taxes, despite our current economic distress. In her article concerning this sad state of affairs Anne Bayefsky informs us that the UN is violating its own rules designed to insure fiscal responsibility in order to fund this event, which will in all likelihood promote more anti-Semitic propaganda.

December 18, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A MORE OPEN ANTI-SEMITISM

There is no question that we are living in period of history where anti-Semitism is on the rise. This is demonstrated by more open expression of such feelings. In order to illustrate this point the Simon Wiesenthal Center has posted a list containing the top ten public anti-Semitic remarks of 2010.

December 17, 2010

[COMMENTS]




CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION MAKES REPORT PUBLIC

When the Justice Department inexplicably dropped an uncontested voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party it caught the attention of the U.S Commission on Civil Rights. Despite a distinct lack of cooperation and even obstruction from the Justice Department the Commission held hearings and completed its investigative report in November. The Washington Times is reporting that the information has been made public today. The Commission asserts that when incidents involved white people being victimized by minorities it found that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department showed “numerous specific examples of open hostility and opposition” to pursuing such cases.

December 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




LIBERAL PROTESTANT ATTACK ON ISRAEL

The issues revolving around Israeli survival often take their toll on Jewish Christian relations. In 2007 The World Council of Churches an organization representing580 million mainly liberal Protestants produced Amman Call which denies the right of Israel to be a Jewish state by insisting on the right of return to millions of Palestinians who left in 1948 and their descendants. Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper have written an op/ed piece and they inform us that the “Simon Wiesenthal Center will soon meet with the president of the World Council of Churches to urge an end to its campaign against Israel and the Jewish people. Like anti-Israel diplomatic and academic campaigns, such religious calls and writings won't improve the life of a single Palestinian. But they will certainly embolden terrorists and anti-Semites, and cast carefully nurtured interfaith relations into darkness and disarray.”

December 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WIKILEAKS PROVIDES SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION

When Israel claimed that the Red Crescent was smuggling arms to radical Islamists waging war against the Jews very few in the Western media believed them. Now thanks to Wikileaks we now know they were telling the truth. More importantly, we also learn that the Arab leadership is much less concerned about issues such the Israeli settlements than the Obama Administration. A wide ranging and excellent discussion of the implications of these revealed diplomatic documents has been provided by Melanie Philips. In it she quotes Spangler arguing that what “comes through most strongly from the Wikileaks documents, however, is that U.S. Middle East policy is premised on a web of self-justifying fictions that are flatly contradicted by the assessments of American diplomats and allies in the region.”

December 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]




UN SAYS TERRORISM IS A HUMAN RIGHT

The United Nations is the most anti-Israeli organization on the face of the earth. Here is video evidence that at the UN terrorism directed at Israel is considered a human right. Not surprisingly the U.S. delegation did not object to this.

November 21, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A UNIQUE COMMENT ON ISRAEL BY A LAW STUDENT IN THE UK

A debate took place at Cambridge University last month on the proposition, Israel a rogue state. The motion failed by a substantial margin and this speech in favor of it probably had a lot to do with that outcome.

November 18, 2010

[COMMENTS]




CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER ISRAEL’S TRUE FRIEND

On the campaign trail Barak Obama will claim friendship with and support for Israel, especially when Jewish voters are listening. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our President’s actions do not match his words, when he follows policies designed to make the Israelis more vulnerable. . In contrast, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has proven himself to be a true friend of Israel. Addressing a conference on the problem of worldwide anti-Semitism, he asserted that Israel “the only country in the world under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.”

November 18, 2010

[COMMENTS]




AN ARAB WHO WOULD RATHER BE A SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS IN ISRAEL THAN A FIRST-CLASS CITIZEN IN ANY ARAB COUNTRY

When it comes to the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians one point of view not heard often enough is that of the Israeli Arab. In an exception to that rule Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh gave a wide ranging speech in Jerusalem addressing such issues as the charge Israel is an apartheid state, the right of return, Islamic extremism, and the way forward to a lasting peace. In a must read article on the talk Israpundit quotes Toameh on the Apartheid assertion as saying that, “Israel is not an apartheid state. But there are problems and some discrimination with the Arab minority inside Israel. If Israel were an apartheid state, I, for example, would not be allowed to work for a Jewish newspaper or live in a Jewish neighborhood or own a home. The real apartheid is in Lebanon, where there is a law that bans Palestinians from working in over 50 professions. Can you imagine if the Knesset passed a law banning Arabs from working even in one profession? The real apartheid is also in many Arab and Muslim nations, like Kuwait, where my Palestinian uncle, who has been living there for 35 years is banned from buying a house. The law of Israel does not distinguish between a Jew and an Arab.” He also stated that “I’m not pro-Israel, I’m not pro-Palestinian and I’m not pro-American. But as a journalist, I’m pro the facts and pro the truth.”

November 15, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A JEWISH COMMUNITY UNDER SIEGE

The seventy thousand Jews living South Africa reside in a country which is very hostile towards Israel. The media there displays intense bias against Israel and there is a growing movement to boycott Israeli products. This attitude starts with the ANC government and in her description of the situation Caroline Glick explains that “ignoring the Jewish community's deep involvement in the anti-apartheid struggle, the ANC berates it for Israel's economic and military ties to the apartheid regime. The fact that the Arabs - and particularly Saudi Arabia - had much stronger and longer economic and military ties to the apartheid regime than Israel is never mentioned.” She concludes that it is “clear that Jewish life in South Africa will only get worse. The ANC is unlikely to improve its general governance or its policies toward Israel.”

November 11, 2010

[COMMENTS]




FEDERAL JUDGE PROTECTS SHARIAH LAW

In order for a legal system to be effective and just it must treat each individual, no matter what gender, race, ethnicity, or religion they belong to, the same. However, some Muslims believe that they should be subject to a different legal system from the one put in place by our legislators, Shariah religious law. In last week’s election the voters in Oklahoma took up this issue and seventy percent of them felt that there should be one set of laws for everyone. They passed a measure prohibiting their state courts from considering Shariah law when making decisions.

Now, in response to a law suit by Islamic activist Muneer Awad federal Judge Vicki Miles-LeGrange ignored the Constitutional intent to separate church from state and blocked the law from going into effect. Awad executive director of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Oklahoma ironically praised the very legal system he is trying to destroy saying that "today's ruling is a reminder of the strength of our nation's legal system and the protections it grants to religious minorities." The CAIR official claimed the new law violated his constitutional rights but I do not recall any section in the Constitution giving people the right to follow their own set of laws.

November 11, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION SIMPLY DO NOT GET IT – AT HOME AND NOW ABROAD

Bizarre behavior at the UN by the Obama folks. They sent three top State Department officials to Geneva’s U.N. Human Rights Council so that the likes of North Korea, Cuba, and Iran could pass judgment on our Human Rights record. Anne Bayefsky informs us that “Cuba said the U.S. blockade of Cuba was a ‘crime of genocide,’ Iran ‘condemned and expressed its deep concern over the situation of human rights’ in the United States, and North Korea said it was ‘concerned by systematic widespread violations committed by the United States at home and abroad.’”

November 5, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OUR VERY EXTRAVAGANT PRESIDENT

Our country is trillions of dollars in debt with ten percent of its people unemployed yet now is the time President Obama chooses to take the largest trip ever by an American chief executive. The MailOnline is reporting that Obama will take 40 airplanes and six armored cars with him. Adding to the expense will be his wife and two children, which brings up the question; if this trip is so hazardous as to require all of that security hardware why is he putting his family in danger?

Update: The Economic Times tells us that only thirteen planes went to India with Obama.

November 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY?

It appears the Obama administration is going to face some very tough times in the near future. A fascinating but cryptic interview in two parts (part one here and part two here) with the anonymous well placed Democrat White House Insider strongly suggests that Obama may be in serious trouble. First there is the Insider’s statement that, “if Barack Obama is the Democratic Party nominee, I will not participate in any way in his election. It will be the first time in some 20 years that I will have removed myself totally from the process of helping elect the Democratic Party candidate for President. (Leans toward me) I do not know if the country can survive another four years of Barack Obama, and frankly, I want nothing to do with helping us find out. The man is an incompetent. The man is a tool of the extreme far left that has utterly corrupted the Democratic Party. The man and those now closest to him in the administration appear to abhor America’s history. They detest anyone who does not fully subscribe to their positions. They are corrupt, they are increasingly paranoid, and they are taking this country down a path by which we may never recover.”

In addition, this source believes a challenge to Obama for the Oval Office by Hilary Clinton in 2012 is becoming more likely. Lastly, the White House Insider hints that a damaging scandal coming out of Chicago will plague the present administration.

November 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A REMARKABLE WEDDING GOWN

Even in the most trying and distressing circumstances, such as the aftermath of the Holocaust, the human spirit displays a surprising capacity to create occasions and even objects of joy. Here is an inspiring story of one such instance, which resulted in a wedding gown of historic significance,

October 31, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF A PEACE AGREEMENT WITH THE PALESTINIANS

I hate to be pessimistic but does anyone with at least half a brain see any hope when you read the story of the Oslo Accords. The Arabs still have the provision to eliminate Israel in their basic charters, despite promises to delete them, how sad and how hopeless. I cannot imagine how the Israelis keep up any hope in the face of this intransigence – and in face of the support the Palestinians get around the world, especially in liberal precincts, for their continued fight for the destruction of Israel.

October 22, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A CASE THAT INVOLVES OUR FUNDAMENTAL VALUES

The case against The New Black Panther Party for voter intimidations dismissed by the Obama administration will likely go down as the most controversial one in history. The dispute is over whether or not our government is going to enforce its laws without regard to the race of a particular individual, the fundamental goal of the Civil Rights movement in the past. Many, including career lawyers in the Justice department, believe that with this case the Obama Administration has betrayed that basic value. Today The Washington Post has published a through review of the events surrounding this incident. The article asserts that “the case tapped into deep divisions within the Justice Department that persist today over whether the agency should focus on protecting historically oppressed minorities or enforce laws without regard to race.

October 22, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE WAR AGAINST THE JEWS, OBAMA SEEMS TO BE CHOOSING THE WRONG SIDE

For the last two years evidence has been accumulating that a basic antagonism between the state of Israel and the Obama Administration exists. This is very disturbing development in the context of growing worldwide anti-Semitism and the unprecedented influence that radical Islam is exerting in Europe. In article for The Jerusalem Post, originally delivered as a speech to the ADL, titled "The war against the Jews" Rupert Murdoch asserts that this war which began with the tactic of terrorism has now entered a new phase seeking the isolation of Israel as its main objective. He writes that “there are two things that worry me most. First is the disturbing new home that anti-Semitism has found in polite society – especially in Europe. Second is how violence and extremism are encouraged when the world sees Israel’s greatest ally distancing itself from the Jewish state.”

Clearly Obama’s decision to support the tactic of isolation hurts the interests of Israel as well as those of the United States. However, he is also doing damage to his own political party, the Democrats. The Jerusalem paper is also running a story discussing some recent poll results in the United States. They show that among Jewish voters, a lynchpin of the Democratic coalition, support for Israel remains exceedingly strong while support for the Obama Presidency and by extension the Democratic Party is swiftly eroding.

October 22, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OBAMA TRYING TO DECEIVE JEWISH VOTERS

With the midterm elections coming up shortly and his control of Congress at stake President Obama is desperate to hang on to as many Jewish voters possible. His administrations actions at the UN will make this task more difficult so Obama has decided to conceal what is going on there. In a very informative piece posted on The Weekly Standard website Anne Bayefsky reveals that the “State Department is distributing for American consumption speeches that it claims were delivered in Israel’s defense at the recent session of the U.N. Human Rights Council. But the remarks American diplomats actually delivered to the U.N. audience, which President Obama so desperately seeks to impress, were strikingly different.”

October 22, 2010

[COMMENTS]




IF YOU CARE ABOUT ISRAEL, VOTE REPUBLICAN!

It is disturbing to me personally to write that headline but it is based upon solid fact. The traditional party of liberals and American Jews, has turned its back on Israel. Often the Democrats seem to prefer Hamas to Israel. Remember that Hamas stands in opposition to every value I thought that the left wing and Democrats held dear. Yet the awful facts tell us that time and time again the Democrats including their leaders in Congress and in the White House now treat Hamas and the Israeli government as if they were equals. How terribly sad but for the first time my plan is to go into the voting both and vote for no Democrat – which will hurt—and vote only for Republicans or for candidates of a third party. Now I consider myself an Independent and a recovering Democrat. Again, how sad. When will the liberals read their own history and come to their senses. Read Daniel Pipes’ essay to get more perspective on this dramatic reversal in traditional alliances.

October 19, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WILDERS LIKELY TO BE EXONERATED

The trial of Dutch politician Geert Wilders for criticizing Islam will probably be a disappointment for radical Muslims. Daniel Pipes makes it clear to us that this is because the person assigned to prosecute the case thinks it should be dismissed. Prosecutor Birgit van Roessel asserts that “criticism [of religion] is allowed. Wilders makes his utterances as a politician. We believe the fact that he made his statements within the context of public debate removes any punishable element.” She added that “the wounding of … religious feelings” has no recognition in law.

October 18, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A VERY IMPORTANT TRIAL

The effort to impose Islamic law on the West could take a significant step forward with a conviction of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders for the offense of insulting Islam. In her recent column Diana West explains why. She asserts that it is “one thing if Islamic street thugs mount assassination attempts in Western nations against violators of Islamic law (i.e., elderly Danish cartoonists), or Muslim ambassadors to Western nations lobby them to punish such violations (the free press), or OIC representatives introduce similar Sharia resolutions at the United Nations. It would be something else again if a Western government were itself to convict a democratically elected leader for violating the Sharia ban on criticizing Islam. That's not war anymore; that's conquest.”

October 16, 2010

[COMMENTS]




AFGHANISTAN NOW AN UNJUST WAR?

A substantial amount of people have come to believe that the United States should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and their numbers seem to be growing. Now, Amitai Etzioni, professor of International Relations at George Washington University and former Israeli commando has added his convincing voice to those who think leaving is the best course. He argues that “I abhor war and believe we should fight only when there is a clear and present danger, when all other means for resolving a conflict have been truly exhausted and to protect the innocent. Those are the three criteria of a just war. The war in Afghanistan used to meet these criteria. It no longer does.”

October 13, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ALAN DERSHOWITZ AND MELANIE PHILIPS DEBATE

The question before a conference put on by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) held at Boston University was how to best defend Israel in the United States. The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz suggested the best way to deal with campus opponents of Israel is to “grab on to the very rhetoric of human rights and try to turn it not only against them but also in the direction of truth.”

The event included a very interesting and heated exchange between Dershowitz and powerful critic of radical Islam Melanie Philips. She asserted that the strident anti-Israeli expressions coming from the Universities were part of “a much wider repudiation of reason, particularly among people on the Left who consider themselves to be progressive.” Dershowitz took issue with this contending that “you’re turning Israel into an extreme, rightwing- driven agenda issue, and that’s not Israel.” Philips countered by arguing that “the suggestion that I can’t possibly influence young Jewish people to have a more sympathetic, helpful attitude towards Israel because they will be so upset by all these terrible right-wing things that I’m saying presupposes that no young person could possibly agree with me. I have to tell Professor Dershowitz, I’m sure he’ll be horrified to learn this, that a very large number of people do.”

October 13, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OBAMA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT KEEPS CONTROVERSY GOING

The scandal concerning the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case is being pro-longed by the Obama Administration’s Justice Department. A strongly worded editorial in The Washington Times asserts that the controversy could be ended by simply allowing certain Justice Department employees to testify under oath. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has sent two letters to Attorney General Holder asking for more cooperation. They are trying to obtain information pertaining to allegations charging a "broad culture of hostility to race-neutral enforcement of the civil rights laws; a pattern of harassment and intimidation against those who work on suits in which the defendants are racial minorities; and instructions from a political appointee that basic voting rights laws will not be enforced against racial minorities during this administration."

October 12, 2010

[COMMENTS]




AMERICAN PUBLIC IS PRO-ISRAEL

Much is made of the Israeli lobby, with sinister motives assigned to it, as an explanation for our government’s support of that state. However, it seems that it is not a shadowy foreign group that is driving policy but rather the American people themselves. In an article forThe Weekly Standard William Kristol uses some new poll results to argue that it is so. He informs us that “the American public is pro-Israel by more than two to one. It’s also that being anti-Israel is an actual disqualifier for a majority of American voters.”

October 12, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE DRUG WARRIOR FROM NPR

On the October 5th episode of the Colbert Report the comedian did a story on the drug war in Mexico. The piece highlighted the fact that Mexican journalists are being intimidated by the drug cartels and featured a discussion with National Public Radio correspondent John Burnett. Judging from what Burnett had to say maybe it would be a positive development if journalists stayed out of decisions about drug policy.

First Burnett made the argument that consumers of Mexican drugs were responsible for the violence instead of putting the blame where it certainly belongs on those who support drug prohibition. Unlike Mexican cocaine there is no economic violence associated with Mexican tequila, the difference being that one is illegal and the other is not. The users are not the ones who created the black market with its attendant mayhem.

It is the people who support the current policy, like Burnett, who have the blood on their hands because the bottom line is that if drugs were legal tens of thousand of people recently killed in Mexico would be alive today. Drug prohibition does not actually keep people from using drugs; in fact there is considerable evidence to suggest that it encourages greater consumption, therefore in reality the laws are merely a symbolic statement. Anyone who says drugs should remain illegal is in effect saying that my symbolic declaration of disapproval is more important than the lives of those people killed by the policy.

The NPR hack also says repealing alcohol prohibition in 1933 did not end organized crime. However he neglects to mention the ending the ban on spirits dramatically lowered the amount of violence associated with their use and criminals were able to shift their activities to narcotics only because those substances remained illegal. Burnett’s contention seems to be that the measure legalizing marijuana in California will make things much better but it will not make things perfect therefore it should not be passed.

Lastly, even though there is absolutely no evidence that using marijuana impairs cognitive ability Burnett still repeats that slander. Unfortunately in the coming weeks before Californians vote on whether or not to legalize Marijuana we can look forward to many more examples of shoddy journalism, ignorant prejudice and spurious claims. As Jacob Sullum points out some very intellectually bankrupt arguments to oppose the measure are already beginning to appear. These include among others the ludicrous idea that it will not produce any revenue, the false contention that it will change the present laws against impaired driving, and the absurd notion that employees will have the right to use marijuana on the job. Sullum concludes by reminding us that, “if the nightmare scenarios described by Proposition 19's opponents come to pass, the rest of the country will learn from California's example. And if they don't, that also will be instructive, which is why federal drug warriors are so determined to defeat the initiative.”

By Arnold Trebach and Keith Halderman

October 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




CONFERENCE CALL WITH AYAAN HIRSI ALI

One of the most provocative and thoughtful critics of radical Islam is Ayann Hirsi Ali. In fact her arguments have so enraged them that she lives under a threat of Death. On Tuesday October 5th 11:00AM Eastern timeThe Israel Projectwill be hosting a conference call with her. You can RSVP here. In her latest article Ali argues that it is time to protect free speech from the violent threats of Muslim extremists.

October 4, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OUR LAST CITIZEN PRESIDENT

Part of the historical judgment concerning our presidents involves how they behave after their term of office ends. Using this perspective Harry Truman does very well. A new book by Matthew Algeo deals with Truman’s extraordinary 2500 mile road trip across America after he left the White House.

October 4, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE SCIENTIFIC ISRAELIS AND MEDICAL CANNABIS

The number of places pursuing more enlightened policies concerning medical marijuana is steadily increasing and now includes Israel. It has always been a leader when it comes to cannabis research and The Jerusalem Post reminds us that, ”medical cannabis guru Prof. Raphael Mechoulam of Hebrew University in Jerusalem famously pioneered research in 1964 to isolate tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient in cannabis, which he was able to synthesize. In 1993, he and his research team discovered another compound called anandamide, which occurs naturally in the brain and acts in a similar way to THC. Recent research has found this to link to neonatal appetite stimulation in the womb. Now Mechoulam uses cannabis provided by the police to create different chemical compounds that may be useful in treatment.” Can they make this approach work? I would bet on them.

October 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZED IN CALIFORNIA

More than a few politicians, including the present governor of California, are beginning to realize that the persecution of cannabis users is a luxury we can no longer afford. Therefore, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed a law today which decriminalizes marijuana possession in his state. Although he is against decriminalization for personal use, Schwarzenegger still approved the bill saying that, "I am signing this measure because possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name. The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney. In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket."

October 1, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE IDF BAND IN RED SQUARE?

I have been in Red Square and saw a lot of things there but never thought I would see a video of the IDF band there. But here they are.

September 14, 2010

[COMMENTS]




IS OBAMA’S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT RACIALLY BIASED?

Ever since the Justice Department decided to drop its voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party many people have argued that the answer to the above question is yes. Now the inspector general of the department, Glenn A. Fine, will investigate the charge of a pattern of systematic racial preference there. A Washington Times editorial concludes that “Mr. Fine’s investigation and an upcoming report from the Civil Rights Commission amount to a one-two punch against racial preferences at Justice. Between the two efforts, the American public can muster hope for a forced return to equal justice under the law.”

September 14, 2010

[COMMENTS]




SHAMELESS MEDIA BIAS

Ten years ago Tuvia Grossman a Jewish student from America was beaten to within an inch of his life by a Palestinian mob until he was rescued by an Israeli soldier. A picture of his bloody face appeared all over the world as an example of Israeli police brutality towards Palestinians. In one of its first acts HonestReporting exposed this shameless example of the media’s anti-Israeli bias.

September 14, 2010

[COMMENTS]




HERE IS HOW TO DRIVE YOUR LIBERAL FRIENDS CRAZY

Glick says good words about Glenn Beck and about Israel and about Jews -- all in one emotional essay.

September 8, 2010

[COMMENTS]




FRANCE ADAPTING TO ISLAM

Muslims are now blocking off sections of Paris in order to hold large outdoor worship services. They do not have permission from the government and residents may not go into the area or leave their homes while the police do nothing. Dale Hurd discusse the situation at CBN News quoting Jean-Francois Cope, president of the Union for a Popular Movement political party, saying that “this question is not only a French question. You will all have to face this challenge."

September 6, 2010

[COMMENTS]




DEFENDING ISRAEL IS THE SAME AS DEFENDING THE WEST

Jose Maria Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, has become one of the strongest and most eloquent defenders of Israel. In his address to the World Jewish Congress, held in Jerusalem, Aznar makes the important point that when we defend Israel we are also defending ourselves. He argues that “major parts of the West are suffering a kind of crisis of identity. Europe is a good example. With a declining population, increasing numbers of Muslim immigrants, many of them exposed to radical ideas, multiculturalism has imposed itself as the politically correct way to deal with the challenges of different cultures living together even if some of them do not want to be integrated or do not respect the other. The problem becomes all the more acute when Judeo-Christian values are aggressively challenged every day and the 68-generation that dominates our current leadership does nothing to defend them. Peacenik Europe has been fighting the West for too long, and because of that has been so hypercritical of Israel”

September 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WESTERN MEDIA BIAS CONTINUES

The well known Western media bias against Israel continues unabated. The latest evidence of this comes with its coverage of the recent heinous slaughter of innocent Jewish civilians by Islamic terrorists. Special attention should be paid to The New York Times story which essentially blames the West Bank settlers for their own murder.

September 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ISLAMIC ANTI-SEMITISM ON DISPLAY

After five Jewish settlers were killed on the West Bank thousands of Palestinians celebrated the fact in Gaza. Meanwhile the nation of Israel mourned. A powerful pictorial essay posted on the Blog Atlas Shrugs shows the results of Islamic anti-Semitism.

September 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE RIGHT OF REDRESS FOR JEWISH REFUGEES

Many a tear has been shed for the Palestinian refugees but little attention is paid to the 900,000 Jewish people forcibly expelled from Arab countries because of the creation of Israel in 1948. Israeli Foreign Minster Danny Avalon’s family had to leave Algeria where a Jewish community had existed even before the advent of Islam. In an informative essay he points out some important differences in the history of both groups. Among them is the vital fact the all of the Jews left involuntarily while many of the Palestinians participated in the futile war against the fledgling state of Israel. Also the Jews tended to be more urban and professional as opposed to the more rural and less wealthy Palestinians therefore “financial economists have estimated that, in today’s figures, the total amount of assets lost by the Jewish refugees from Arab lands, including communal property such as schools, synagogues and hospitals, is almost twice that of the assets lost by the Palestinian refugees. Furthermore, one must remember that Israel returned over 90 percent of blocked bank accounts, safe deposit boxes and other items belonging to Palestinian refugees during the 1950s.” Any settlement of the refugee question must take into account the Jews that were forced to leave their homes.

September 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ANOTHER ATTACK ON FREE SPEECH BY BARAK OBAMA

One of the practices that made past presidential administrations infamous was the use of the IRS to attack political enemies. Apparently this loathsome tactic continues unabated with Barack Obama. The pro-Israel non-profit corporation Z-STREET filed for tax exempt status and “was told by an IRS official that its application for tax-exempt status has been delayed because an IRS policy requires consideration of whether a group’s views on Israel differ from those of the current Administration.”

August 27, 2010

[COMMENTS]




EXPLANATION FOR POLL RESULTS

A recent poll revealed the utterly irrational result that 24 percent of Americans believe that President Barack Obama is a Muslim. In a piece for The Washington Times Jeffrey T. Kuhner provides a possible explanation for this outcome by arguing that Obama “is the most Muslim-friendly president in the nation's history. He wants the detention center at Guantanamo Bay closed. He demands that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, be tried in civilian court - with the full legal and constitutional protections given to U.S. citizens - several blocks from the World Trade Center site. He has ordered that the words ‘Muslim extremist,’ ‘Islamic terrorist’ and ‘jihad’ be cleansed from national security documents. He is openly anti-Israel. And he is prematurely withdrawing combat troops from Iraq, threatening to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”

August 22, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WORDS OF WISDOM FROM GEORGE WILL

It is impossible to understand the conflict in the Middle East without knowing the history which attends it. In one of his latest essays George Will takes this fact into consideration. He concludes by saying that “in the 62 years since this homeland was founded on one-sixth of 1 percent of the land of what is carelessly and inaccurately called ‘the Arab world,’ Israelis have never known an hour of real peace. Patronizing American lectures on the reality of risks and the desirableness of peace, which once were merely fatuous, are now obscene.”

August 19, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WHEN TYRRELL SEEMS CORRECT...

Then you know that Mr. Obama and the Democrats and the professional elites are in serious trouble. Does this actually redeem Jimmy Carter?

August 19, 2010

[COMMENTS]




POLITICAL CHANGE THROUGH MUSIC

Throughout history music has often served as a catalyst for social and political change. A modern day example of this in the Muslim world is the opposition to the Algerian government of dissident and Kabyle musician Ferhat Mehenni. In a profile of Mehenni for The Middle East Quarterly Denis MacEoin points out that the protester believes in the legitimacy of Israel and quotes Mehenni as saying that “the idea is to democratize all Middle Eastern states in order to eradicate the sources of terrorism and preempt a future ‘clash of civilizations.’ Given time, this should lead to much greater respect between people, on the basis of democracy and liberty. It may be naïve of me to say so, but the Americans can, at least, be thanked for laying out their goal forthrightly, so surely it's worth our giving it a shot.”

August 19, 2010

[COMMENTS]




BENEFITS OF LEGALIZING DRUGS

There is no question that legalizing drugs would change societal conditions for the better in a number of ways. It would reduce crime, improve health, and free up increasingly scarce resources for more productive use. This approach would have minimal negative consequences. Now, yet another authoritative voice has been added to those making the above argument. The Daily Mail is reporting that “Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Physicians, suggested that relaxing the law on possessing substances such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis would not increase the number of addicts.”

August 17, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE NECESSITY OF ISRAEL

The story of the Jewish people is one of astounding achievement in many fields, yet they still play the roll of the world’s scapegoats. In his address to the British House of Commons historian Andrew Roberts points out that the state of Israel is necessary for the protection of these people. He also discusses who the true enemies of the Palestinians are. Roberts argues that “it suits Arab states very well to have the Palestinians endure permanent refugee status; whenever Israel puts forward workable solutions they are stymied by those whose interests put the destruction of Israel before the genuine well-being of the Palestinians. Both King Abdullah I of Jordan and Anwar Sadat of Egypt were assassinated when they attempted to come to some kind of accommodation with a country that most sane people now accept is not going away.”

August 5, 2010

[COMMENTS]




SERIOUS FLAW IN CANADIAN AIRPORT SECURITY

Any ordinary American who has traveled by air in the last decade knows that the idea of being able to board a plane without revealing your identity is ridiculous. However, as Daniel Pipes tells us if you are a Muslim women, or maybe not, traveling in Canada showing who you actually are is not necessary.

August 4, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE BIZARRE NATURE OF THE US-ISRAEL RELATIONSHIP

And the seeming futility of any hopes for real peace. How discouraging!

August 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




APOLOGISTS FOR GROUND ZERO MOSQUE

The proposal to build a giant mosque near ground zero in New York City is becoming more and more controversial with each passing day. Apologists for this offensive project claim, with no evidence to back them up, that opposition to the mosque is engendering a wave of anti-Muslim feelings and actions. Stephen Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism takes issue with this notion and states three reasons to be against this building. They include insensitivity towards non-Muslims, lack of regard for the safety of American Muslims, and the questionable background as well as associates of the scheme’s originators.

August 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




PRESIDENT OBAMA HARMS ISRAEL YET AGAIN

And in the process harms not only Israeli interests but also those of the United States and of the entire democratic world.

August 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]




HARSH REALITIES ABOUT THE PALESTINIAN CONDITION

The Al Arabiya television network conducted a poll and found that 71% of the Arab respondents had no Interest in the Arab-Israeli peace talks. In an excellent article for The New York Times Efraim Karsh, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, explains this result pointing out that “the Arab states have never hesitated to sacrifice Palestinians on a grand scale whenever it suited their needs” and that “the sooner the Palestinians recognize that their cause is theirs alone, the sooner they are likely to make peace with the existence of the State of Israel and to understand the need for a negotiated settlement.”

August 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]




LEGAL MARIJUANA MEANS NEW OPPORTNITIES

There is no question that legalizing marijuana will free up increasingly scarce governmental resources for more productive, less destructive pursuits. However, an often overlooked aspect of such a policy change is the creation of opportunities that do not now exist under the present legal regime. Here is a video demonstrating that officially authorized cannabis does create jobs. It also counters the pernicious myth that marijuana is a drug which makes one incapable of being a valuable employee.

July 31, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WILL AN ANTI-ISRAELI VIEWPOINT BE PUT IN THE FRONT ROW?

Helen Thomas was a bigot and in my view so is NPR. Only left wing stuff. It makes sense then – the bigot’s nut case seat goes to a natural successor.

July 30, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE TRAGEDY OF BRITISH SURRENDER TO ISLAMISTS CONTINUES

And also the tragedy of western anti-Semitism and the vicious attacks on Israel are continued by the new British prime minister.

July 29, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE DESTRUCTIVE INFLUENCE OF SHARIA CREEP

There is far more danger to our way of life in the growing acceptance of the idea that Sharia law trumps American law than in a thousand Islamic car bombs. Andy McCarthy provides two examples of where this problem is leading us. Apparently, in New Jersey it is alright to rape a woman if the rapist believes he has the right to under Sharia law, while in Michigan Christian missionaries can be arrested even though they are not breaking any local ordinances, while pursuing their constitutionally protected free speech rights, simply because they are violating a Muslim edict.

July 27, 2010

[COMMENTS]




SOME SELDOM HEARD THOUGHTS ON RACE

Senator James Webb (D) Virginia is turning out to be one of the most thoughtful and courageous politicians presently on the America scene. Earlier, he made headlines by calling for a critical review of the criminal justice system and the policy of drug prohibition. Now, he is in the news again for writing a Wall Street Journal article titled ”Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege”. In today’s climate of hyper racial sensitivity few office holders would have the stones to write that “forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.”

July 27, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MY WRITTEN STATEMENT TO THE COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS

As I previously stated, the entire situation regarding the New Black Panther Party makes me very sad. I have submitted a written statement to the Commission for inclusion in the record of the hearing which was held on July 6. It was accepted and as far as I know the statement will appear in that record when it is published. To read my statement, click here.

There is a section of my statement which may be confusing to some people. It deals with my work in Mississippi to help a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Commission of that state. This is how I remember the matter. Reverend Thomas Johnson was a white member of that local citizens committee. He was a missionary to rural black people. During the tense times of 1962, a group of his bigoted neighbors started to harass him. This harassment included throwing garbage on his lawn. He went to a local magistrate asking for an injunction or peace bond to force his neighbors to stop their harassment. He swore under oath that they were committing the acts he alleged, which acts were rather silly but at the same time disturbing. He was then arrested for perjury in that he allegedly lied about the actions of his neighbors and was confined in the Hines County Jail.

That is where I came into the picture. At the time, I was the Chief of the Administration of Justice Section of the Commission. I happened to be in the state on other Commission business. The general counsel of the Commission, Clarence Clyde Ferguson , asked me to go to Jackson to help Reverend Johnson and I did, as explained in my statement. I confronted the local officials who were involved in getting Reverend Johnson arrested and told them it appeared to me that he was discriminated against because he was associated with the Commission and with the cause of racial equality. However, a good part of my work there involved getting witnesses to prove that he had not lied about his allegations of garbage throwing on his yard. It does seem kind of silly in retrospect but that was the core of the case. Did our Committee member commit perjury when he swore under oath that his neighbors were throwing garbage on his property?

My main point was that in the course of handling this case, I encountered many local white citizens who were very helpful to me and to Reverend Johnson’s cause. They did not deserve to be treated as the enemy and thus not deserving of fair consideration in all matters.

July 24, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE HYPOCRISY OF ISLAMIST TURKEY

Turkey, who once had a close relationship with Israel, now under Islamist control has been very bellicose in its condemnation of Israeli policy in Gaza. As usual Daniel Pipes provides some important and generally overlooked insight into those hypocritical pronouncements by comparing Israeli actions in Gaza with Turkish actions in Cyprus.

July 20, 2010

[COMMENTS]




HOW DIRE CAN THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN GAZA BE?

The whole world knows that the economic situation and the suffering of the people in Gaza is severe. However, here is an article by Maayana Miskin showing that the whole world is wrong. The author reports that “a luxury mall in Gaza City held its grand opening over the weekend. Among the goods on sale are Israeli men's clothing, and items from Turkey, France, and the United States.”

July 20, 2010

[COMMENTS]




FINALLY, THE WASHINGTON POST WAKES UP TO A MAJOR RACIAL SCANDAL

The Obama Administration’s decision to drop the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party is the most blatant example of racial discrimination by government in years. Yet, until last Thursday The Washington Post chose to cover up this travesty of justice. If it had been up to the editors of that seriously flawed newspaper the silence would have continued, however, the readers demanded exposure of Obama’s scandalous behavior. The paper reports that “for months, readers have contacted the ombudsman wondering why The Post hasn't been covering the case.”

July 19, 2010

[COMMENTS]




AN IDEA WHOSE TIME MAY HAVE FINALLY COME

Not since the mid-1970s has optimism about the possibility of legalizing marijuana been so strong. It is hard not to be encouraged after reading an article published by the conservative Washington Times in which the author discusses the possible dangers of a new synthetic marijuana like drug K2 saying that “I have a better idea, one that more and more people—especially the voters of California—seem to be agreeing with: legalize the real thing.” Another reason to hope for a more rational policy lies in the comments of the paper’s largely traditionalist readers.

July 14, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE SCANDAL OF THE NEW BLACK PANTHER CASE

The more I hear of this matter the sadder I get. I have followed it for some time and went to this hearing, as you can see. I am the old guy in sunglasses sitting right behind the main and only witness, Christian Adams. I needed the sunglasses because the TV lights were shining directly at me. I believe that Mr. Adams was near tears at times. This is a national scandal -- clear racial discrimination on the part of blacks aided and abetted by the multi-racial Department of Justice. A big question is how much the Obama White House was directly involved. It is sad that this occurred under the first African-American attorney general and the first African-American president.

I have submitted a draft statement to the Commission and am considering working on this entire matter in greater depth in part perhaps through a book or articles.

It still shocks me that the NAACP and other so-called civil rights organizations lobbied the Department of Justice to drop the case. What a perversion of justice! I did not work so hard and even risk my life at times in the real civil rights movement to find these organizations coming out for racial discrimination on the part of blacks. I agree with Mr. Coates who was quoted by Mr. Adams to shout -- This is bullshit! This is bullshit!

July 12, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WORDS OF WISDOM FROM 1968

In 1968 ex-longshoreman and non-Jewish social philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote an essay titled Israel’s Peculiar Position for the LA Times. The piece is as timely now as it has ever been and it is well worth revisiting.

July 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




TYPICAL PALESTINIAN WEAPON

Only a leadership dedicated to the most underhanded type of warfare is going to come up with an idea like this one.

July 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THIS IS SCARY. I WAS SITTING RIGHT BEHIND ADAMS AT THE HEARING

It is truly hard to believe. We all should be deeply concerned. Read some of the comments.

July 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE AWFUL TRUTH: LITTLE HOPE FOR PEACE BECAUSE THE PALESTINIANS LEADERS LIE CONSTANTLY

I report this with no glee, once again a leader of the Palestinian Authority, this time Mahmoud Abbas, is telling the West and Israelis one thing while his organization is telling Arabs a quite different story. In his article for The Jerusalem Post Daniel Pipes explains the way this con works, informing us that “Abbas and Fayyad spoke in English to Americans and Israelis, Erekat spoke in Arabic to Palestinians. Both statements cannot be true; one must be a lie. Which one, I wonder? Palestinians play this transparent and simple-minded double game because it works. Israelis, Americans and others too often accept the dulcet tones they hear directly and dismiss reports of harsh words they only learn about second-hand. The PA will blithely continue to spew its lies until the world heeds and rejects, for rewarding bad behavior invariably brings on more bad behavior.”

July 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MOURNING AN OLD FRIEND

Below is a letter to the editor of mine published in The Washington Post concerning my old friend from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who recently passed away, William L. Taylor.

Kudos to Colbert I. King ["From a worthy alliance, a civil rights champion," op-ed, July 3] for recognizing the leadership of William L. Taylor in the civil rights movement and the vital role of the black-Jewish alliance in the success of that movement. Along with Mr. King, I mourn the passing of my old friend, Bill, with whom I worked at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in the '60s. I also mourn the passing of that wonderful alliance of which, like Bill, I was a proud member.

Black-Jewish relations have been poisoned by the ravings of such bigots as Louis Farrakhan. Those relations and that old alliance might be revitalized if President Obama used his unique position to openly denounce the Rev. Farrakhan and his allies, such as Mr. Obama's former preacher, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Arnold S. Trebach, Chevy Chase

July 6, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THIS MUST BE A JOKE: NASA'S MAIN FUNCTION IS TO MAKE THE MUSLIM WORLD FEEL GOOD ABOUT ITSELF

Yet, it appears that it is not a joke. You cannot make these things up about Mr. Obama and his strange programs and beliefs. I voted for this guy! Read the comments. By now, we must accept the sad fact that our leader is strange and harming the safety of the country and all of us.

July 6, 2010

[COMMENTS]




TO THE UK METHODISTS: WHY NOT BOYCOTT SAUDI ARABIA?

The Methodist Church of England has joined the worldwide campaign against Israel by enacting a boycott of all goods and services coming from Gaza or the occupied West Bank. Writing for The Jerusalem Post Robin Shepherd, director of international affairs at the Henry Jackson Society in London, asserts that the “fact that an institution professing allegiance to values of love, truth and justice should have succumbed to an agenda of hatred, hypocrisy and barbarism is sadly emblematic of the degraded spirit of our times, and of the moral inversions which blow through them.”

July 5, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A BETRAYAL OF ALL WE IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT FOUGHT FOR

During the last days of the Bush Administration three members of the New Black Panther Party were charged with voter intimidation including the threat of violence. Now, Eric Holder’s Justice Department is dismissing the case and former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams is asserting that the action is a case of reverse racial discrimination. Adams contends that “this is one of the examples of Congress not being told the truth, the American people not being told the truth about this case. It's one of the other examples in this case where the truth simply is becoming another victim of the process."

July 1, 2010

[COMMENTS]




BILL TAYLOR: AN OLD FRIEND, A TRULY DECENT HUMAN BEING, AND A CHAMPION OF CIVIL RIGHTS

I worked with Bill at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and at other interesting places during the Sixties. We have kept in touch only infrequently, which is my loss. The story of his career and passions tells us a good deal about the wonderful people who have dedicated their lives to racial justice and equality for everyone. He passed away a few days ago due to complications from a fall.

July 1, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE: SOME GOOD NEWS ON ARAB-ISRAELI RELATIONS

Any Arab actor, journalist or other intellectual who works with a Jew or even acknowledges the fact that such an association can produce works of value faces the very strong possibility of punishment. Nevertheless, as documented by The Israel Project such cooperation is taking place and this represents a real hope that things could change for the better.

June 30, 2010

[COMMENTS]




HOW ISLAMISTS PROMOTE THEIR AGENDA IN THE WEST

Radical Islamists are using a three pronged plan to advance their agenda in the West; provoking confrontation with authorities, intimidating the non-Muslim general public, and harrying their co-religionists not deemed radical enough. In a piece for IslamistWatch David J. Rusin explains how this strategy played out in Europe during the month of June.

June 30, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ISLAMIC FANATICISM IS THE ENEMY

Ever since his election Barak Obama’s administration has gone to great lengths to avoid acknowledging Islamic fanaticism as the enemy. Now, these efforts have been seriously undermined by the failed Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad. When asked by the judge in open court why he wanted to plead guilty, Shahzad, a self labeled Muslim soldier, replied that “I want to plead guilty and I’m going to plead guilty 100 times forward because – until the hour the US pulls it forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops killing Muslims and stops reporting the Muslims to its government – we will be attacking [the] US, and I plead guilty to that.”

June 30, 2010

[COMMENTS]




SOME FAR-OUT THOUGHTS ON A WAY FOR OBAMA TO RESCUE HIS FAILING PRESIDENCY

The Obama presidency is in great danger. The same is true of the State of Israel.

There is a tragic symmetry to these dangers. All over this country and much of the world, Mr. Obama is seen as an incompetent loser, or as Peggy Noon said he is a “snakebit president. To translate, that means he is both unlucky and unloved. In the same vein Israel is snake bit and is being subjected to an international lynch mob that includes the UN and the leaders of many Western countries, who are former allies. Prominent among those former allies is of course Turkey, whose prime minister has joined the jihadist chorus as one of its new leaders. Even worse, at times Mr. Obama appears to be sympathetic to that lynch mob.

As a result, all of modern civilization is in serious danger; that includes not just Israel but also much of Europe and of course the United States. One of the few prominent leaders to recognize the catastrophic and imminent nature of this danger is former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar who declared in the London Times recently that “if Israel goes down, we all go down.” He explained that to confront this danger he planned to promote a new international initiative that would defend Israel’s right to exist; Friends for Israel, however, would not necessarily support all of its policies.

Here we have an opening for Mr. Obama to show that he can take his own rhetoric seriously and dramatically change his approach to a major matter -- dealing with Israel and with the Arab world. That real change could have a powerfully calming effect on the winds of war now sweeping over the Middle East along with the new flotillas being launched at Gaza. To demonstrate that he is serious about that change, our president must not simply issue another bit of stirring rhetoric but he must take a series of courageous steps that will outrage much of the left in America and Europe and will bring the standard howling jihadist mobs into the streets of many nations.

For these reasons, and because he may not believe such a change is wise, I have my doubts that he will take these steps. If he does take the wimp’s way out, he will be lucky to continue at the miserly 41 percent approval rate he now enjoys.

On the other hand he has deployed a fleet of naval vessels into the Red Sea and has authorized Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chief, to openly engage in meetings with Israel’s top military leaders. He can go further and say that he agrees with the initiative of Mr. Aznar and that to demonstrate his support he would immediately take a trip to Israel. While there he would appear before the Knesset and declare in line with the words of the former Spanish prime minister: if you go down, we all go down. At the same time he would make clear that the naval fleet was meant to provide some protection to Israel. It would seek to discourage the provocative actions of so called peaceful flotillas aimed at Gaza. He would ask Israel to be more cautious in approaching the flotillas and also make good on its promises to open up the supply lines into Gaza. In addition, he would demand – demand, not politely ask – that Hamas allow the International Red Cross to visit Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who now has been a prisoner without such visits for four years.

Back home he would replace John O. Brennan as top White House anti-terrorism advisor, with John Bolton, a tough-talking conservative Republican who was our UN ambassador under George Bush. Mr. Obama would also prominently replace other members of his foreign policy team with advisors who were opposed to making nice to despots and who openly accepted that we are at war with radical Islam. This new team would stop pressuring Israel over building plans in Jerusalem and would start demanding that the Palestinians cease inciting violent attacks on Israel while talking peace. President Obama would continue to seek further sanctions against Iran and he would go beyond those imposed by the UN and other countries, including seeking measures that would cut off Iran’s access to refined gasoline.

In the current situation these suggested actions seem like impossible dreams. In the unlikely event that they ever became real, it is quite possible that they would provide some hope that the security of Israel and of the United States would be greatly improved. It is also likely that Mr. Obama’s approval ratings would drop somewhat among the left but rise dramatically among conservatives and independents. Those ratings would shoot through the roof among all groups if, as these new international measures were being implemented, some wise and lucky group of engineers stopped the oil flow in the gulf.

June 29, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MUSLIM STUDENT UNION FINALLY SUSPENDED

When Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren spoke at the University of California, Irvine in February his talk was repeatedly interrupted by members of the school’s Muslim Student Union calling him a murderer and war criminal. So far a typical story occurring at America colleges numerous times, however, this incident is different because FOXNews is reporting that the university administration is suspending the Muslim Student Union because of its member’s thuggish actions. This is a surprising development as the University of California, Irvine has been steadily building a reputation as one of the most anti-Semitic campuses in the United States. Hopefully, this is a sign that our leaders in higher education are finally realizing the insidious nature of these radical Islamic student groups.

June 24, 2010

[COMMENTS]




JON VOIGHT SPEAKS TO OBAMA

Most actors approach politics with a leftist viewpoint. An exception to that rule is Jon Voight who has written an open letter to the President. Voight begins by telling Barak Obama that he “will be the first American president that lied to the Jewish people, and the American people as well, when you said that you would defend Israel, the only Democratic state in the Middle East, against all their enemies. You have done just the opposite. You have propagandized Israel, until they look like they are everyone's enemy — and it has resonated throughout the world. You are putting Israel in harm's way, and you have promoted anti-Semitism throughout the world.”

June 24, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THAT FAMOUS ROLLINGSTONE ARTICLE

If anything, I think it demonstrates how dumb the general and his aides are. I wonder if it is wise to fire a general on a charge of stupidity.

This article also shows how unlucky our president is. As for the exact details of the policy, I am just not sure. Yet, there seems no doubt that it is not working, and the runaway general led the way in formulating it.

June 22, 2010

[COMMENTS]




HERE IS YET ANOTHER REASON FOR LEAVING THE UN

And for asking why Obama should receive any support from the American people. This is the foreign policy of Reverend Wright. At the very least we should ban the UN from American soil.

June 19, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MORE GOOD SENSE FROM SPAIN

Former Prime Minister of Spain, José María Aznar, will be supporting a new initiative to help the Israeli people in their hour of need. It is called The Friends for Israel and it seeks to call attention to Israel’s right to exist. A Haaretz article makes it clear that Aznar understands that the current struggle endangers far more people than the Israelis. He is quoted saying that "Israel is our first line of defense in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos, to abandon Israel to its fate, at this moment of all moments, would merely serve to illustrate how far we have sunk and how inexorable our decline now appears."

June 18, 2010

[COMMENTS]




NEW EVIDENCE OF THE VIOLENT INTENT OF THE FLOTILLA PEACEFUL PROTESTERS

These barbarians are a threat to all of the West including America, not just Israel. Obama and most of Europe supports their actions. At the very least all of them deny Israel the right to self defense. How sad and dangerous.

June 18, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ISRAEL IS THREATENED AS IT NEVER HAS BEEN BEFORE

That is the opening line of Glick's column and I believe it. This is not a false alarm or an exaggerated claim. This is very serious. There could be suicide attacks on Israeli and Jewish institutions all over the world. The most distressing part of this danger is that the Obama Administration seems to have joined forces with the lynch mobs around the world. It is likely that if it changed its course the danger will be greatly lessened. The big question is, what will it take to get Obama to offer some support and help to Israel at this time of enormous danger?

And remember that if Israel falls, all of civilization, including the US, is in greater danger.

June 18, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ELOQUENT DEFENSE OF ISRAEL

One of the European countries most hostile to Israel is Spain, however. Not al Spaniards share their government’s point of view. In his weekly column Ed Koch highlights the remarks of Pilar Rahola, a Spanish politician, journalist and activist who is defending Israel. She explains that "I am not Jewish. Ideologically, I am left and by profession a journalist. Why am I not as anti-Israel as my colleagues? Because as a non-Jew, I have the historical responsibility to fight against Jewish hatred and currently against the hatred for their historic homeland, Israel. To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews, it is the duty of the non-Jews. As a journalist, it is my duty to search for the truth beyond prejudice, lies and manipulations. The truth about Israel is not told. As a person from the left who loves progress, I am obligated to defend liberty, culture, civic education for children, coexistence and the laws that the Tablets of the Covenant made into universal principles. Principles that Islamic fundamentalism systematically destroys. That is to say that as a non-Jew, journalist and lefty, I have a triple moral duty with Israel, because if Israel is destroyed, liberty, modernity and culture will be destroyed too. The struggle of Israel, even if the world doesn't want to accept it, is the struggle of the world."

June 15, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE GENOCIDAL INTENTIONS OF HAMAS

The primary goal of Hamas is the destruction of the Israeli state and the murder of the people living there. In his article making the case that Hamas wants a ‘final solution” Clifford May quotes Abdallah Jarbu, Hamas's deputy minister of religion, saying that Jews "want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but, in fact, they are foreign bacteria — a microbe unparalleled in the world." Jarbu also states that "I condemn whoever believes in normalizing relations with [Israelis], whoever supports sitting down with them, and whoever believes that they are human beings. They are not human beings. They are not people."

June 15, 2010

[COMMENTS]




HAMAS GAINING GROUND IN THE WEST

Hand in hand with an increasing hostility towards Israel comes a growing acceptance of Hamas in the West. In her analysis of the situation Caroline Glick points to some disturbing implications of Western support for Hamas. She contends that the “fact is that by backing Hamas against Israel, they are backing Hamas against Fatah and they are backing Iran, Syria, Turkey, Hamas and Hezbollah against Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. They are backing the most radical actors in the region – and arguably in the world – against states and regimes they have a shared strategic interest in strengthening. There is absolutely no way this behavior advances the cause of peace.”

June 15, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WHAT IS THE TRUTH ON OBAMA'S SUPPORT OF A UN INVESTIGATION OF ISRAEL?

Earlier The Weekly Standard reported that the Obama Administration favored a biased UN investigation of the flotilla incident. Now The Jerusalem Post informs us that the first information may not be true. They quote a senior administration official asserting that Washington supports "an Israeli-led investigation into the flotilla incident that is prompt, credible, impartial, and transparent." The spokesperson continues “we are open to different ways of ensuring the credibility of this Israeli-led investigation, including international participation, and have been in intensive talks with our Israeli partners in the past few days on how to move forward."

June 12, 2010

[COMMENTS]




AMAZING, WONDERFUL, SAD, FRIGHTENING

The possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is the cause of considerable worry. This concern extends beyond the Western countries to many of Iran’s neighbors, including Saudi Arabia. Therefore they have, despite a mutual hostility, decided to cooperate with Israel in the event it acts against Iran. The TimesOnline website is reporting that “in the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.”

June 12, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MARC EMERY IN SOLITARY: MORE DRUG WAR MADNESS

Once again Marc Emery is being punished for voicing his opinion on the marijuana laws. He has been sent to solitary confinement because his wife posted recordings of their phone calls on Cannabis Culture Magazine. The prohibitionists can not win an open debate over our inhumane, expensive, unjust, ineffective drug policy therefore the drug warrior’s only option is to silence rational discourse such as that provided by Marc Emery.

June 11, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MEMO TO DEMOCRATIC FUND RAISERS

I just received a call from someone who claimed to represent the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In a polite voice I explained that I was a lifelong Democrat, as was my father and almost all of my family, and that I had happily voted for Mr. Obama for president. However, I have been so disappointed in Mr. Obama and some of the nutcases he has appointed to various offices and his policies that I am not planning for voting for any Democrat ever again. This hurts me but I see no option. Every day that this president stays in office along with his administration we are all in danger at various levels and in various ways.

He has convinced the bad people in the world that bad behavior will never be opposed by the United States, in the name of being nice. Then I got on the internet and saw this story that the US did not trust an internal Israeli investigation of the flotilla raid -- it was "too kosher" -- and that the US was going to support a UN investigation. This action is yet another step in a long chain of steps that may destroy Israel and harm the security of the West and of this country. Israel is the front line in the war against the jihadists who openly seek to destroy that tiny country and all decent nations. The UN can never be trusted when it comes to Israel and this is yet another reason why we should withdraw our support from that shameful body immediately. It also should leave the United States. We gain nothing by having it within our borders.

June 11, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WILDERS: ISRAEL IS THE CANARY IN THE MINE!

In the recent Dutch election Geert Wilders’ party did very well coming in third and capturing 24 seats in the 150 member parliament. In an interview for The Jerusalem Post the leader attributes such electorial success to the fact that “people are waking up. They see that we are losing our identity, that neighborhoods are unsafe, that women are shouted at and hassled in the streets, that schools are unsafe. If my party were extremist, we’d be at the margins and we’d be getting 1.5 or 2 percent of the vote.” Wilders also acknowledges the importance of what happens to Israel asserting that “the jihad against Israel isn’t against Israel only. It’s against the whole West. It’s not a territorial conflict but an ideological one. If Israel gave, say, the West Bank to the Palestinians, this will not bring peace. The next step would be for the Palestinians to claim that Ashkelon, Ashdod, Haifa and Jerusalem are the next ‘settlements’ to be conquered.”

June 11, 2010

[COMMENTS]




TWO THOUGHTFUL APPROACHES TO THE TURKISH SITUATION

Both Lanny Davis and Daniel Pipes lend some hopeful analysis to this awful problem.

June 10, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A HARSH CRITIQUE FROM THE WSJ

This is harsh but truthful and it hurts me to read it. I do not want this to be true but sadly it seems to be. A president who acts as an alien to America and I am not talking about where he was born but what he believes in.

June 10, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE WORLD PROMOTES TRUE HATRED OF ISRAEL AND THE US REMAINS SILENT

No lie about Israel no matter how outrageous or implausible is too much for the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). An article by Anne Bayefsky for the Weekly Standard tells us that the Syrian representative spun a hate filled yarn to that body about Israeli children singing “with my teeth I will rip your flesh. With my mouth I will suck your blood” on their way to school. Not only did the United States delegate raise no objection to this dehumanizing of Israeli offspring but the American taxpayer will pick up “22 percent of the cost for this speech to be permanently posted on the UN website, translated, and broadcast around the world.

June 8, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WORLDWIDE IRRATIONAL HATRED OF ISRAEL

A malignant hatred that seeks the destruction of Israel and the death of all Jews is strongest in the Muslim world but sadly more and more of the world’s people are accepting this extreme view and even supporting it. In a disturbing essay for The Jerusalem Post William Shawcross discusses this growing phenomenon. He observes that “Israel is held to a far higher standard than any other nation. Few people seem to care much about North Korean atrocities, at home and abroad, let alone its terrifying nuclear defiance of the world. No one marches or calls emergency meetings of the UN and the EU to protest the vicious Muslim brutality against other Muslims that takes place every day throughout the Islamic world – and beyond. No one demonstrates on behalf of Christians murdered in the Middle East, their churches burned. Such horrors are waved away. Only Israel merits such constant abuse.”

June 8, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WE CON THE WORLD

Parody of the flotilla of hate

June 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




REUTERS USES DOCTORED PHOTOS TO DISTORT TRUTH

The Reuters news agency is using a doctored photo to disguise the violent nature of the “peace activists” who ran the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This lie has been exposed by the HonestReporting website.

June 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A MOVING RESPONSE TO HELEN THOMAS

Recent remarks by Helen Thomas suggesting that the Jews should leave Palestine and go home to Germany and Poland have rightly inspired a firestorm of criticism. One of the most moving responses appeared in The Jerusalem Post in the form of an open letter to her by advisor to President Shimon Peres, Yoram Dori. The piece contains a brief history of his family which makes clear why the reporter’s statement was so contemptible. Dori writes to Thomas that he “will continue to turn over every stone and scour every corner to attain peace. Peace, which will enable us to the smallest extent to live and our neighbors, the Palestinians, to establish a country and to flourish and prosper. To achieve this, we are prepared to make great concessions, to give back all the territories gained as a result of wars which our neighbors forced on us. There is only one thing we want in return – life. A quiet life, a life without terror, a life without missiles, a life like the one you have in Washington and which I, in Israel, also deserve.”

June 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




IS OBAMA CHANGING AMERICA’S RELATIONSHIP WITH HAMAS?

There is no question that the present administration is in the process of downgrading our relationship with Israel but is Obama at the same time upgrading our relationship with Hamas? Over at Israpundit Ted Belman sees signs that the answer to the above question is yes.

June 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OBAMA’S TREATMENT OF ISRAEL NEEDS TO CHANGE

Many of the president’s critics maintain that Barak Obama’s defining characteristic is arrogance. When it comes to his dealings with Israel Anne Bayefsky calls this quality chutzpah and argues that this behavior must stop. She points out that “Israel is a fully-free democratic society with an unparalleled, independent and accessible judicial system fully governed by the rule of law. The idea that it needs to be told by the president how to conduct an investigation into military operations taken in self-defense is an extraordinary insult. How dare the president suggest that its standards are not good enough?”

June 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ERDOGAN'S CONTEMPT FOR ISRAEL IS ALSO CONTEMPT FOR AMERICA

The great problem is that our president does not see Israel as our most important outpost in this worldwide battle for survival of the West.

June 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




HUMAN RIGHTS FOR EVERYONE EXCEPT ISRAELIS

The Free Gaza website says that "we respect the human rights of everyone, regardless of race, tribe, religion, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship or language." David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), disagrees with that statement by asking a series of pointed questions. He concludes that the Free Gaza Movement is “nothing more than a Hamas booster club seeking Israel's disappearance, while posing as a ‘human rights movement.’”

June 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




TIME TO TREAT TURKEY AS A TWO-FACED ENEMY OF ISRAEL AND ALSO OF THE UNITED STATES

There are many reasons for this suggestion but one is that Turkey complains of how Israel is starving Gaza but it has never shown any real inclination to help the people of Gaza. Turkey is a very rich country.

But what is worse is that the thugs who attacked the Israeli naval commandos were Turkish and they had the blessings of the PM of Turkey. Let us start with boycotting everything Turkish. Cancel any planned trips there and buy nothing that has a Turkish label on it.

Next request UN investigations of the assaults on the Israeli commandos who landed on that flotilla ship prepared for a gentle confrontation with peaceniks but met murderers trying to kill them. Arrest warrants should be issued for those Islamist barbarians.

June 6, 2010

[COMMENTS]




IT IS TRUE: A WORLD GONE MAD

We are led by a weak appeaser in Washington and a group of dangerous nut cases like the Prime Minister of Turkey who just proclaimed that “Israel's action was Turkey's 9/11.” The Turkish leader also asserted that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. We are all in for a world of trouble. Here in the US we can all start to vote for any candidate who is not a Democrat. It hurts me to say that but Mr. Obama becomes more dangerous to our safety here at home every day that goes by with him in power. We must decimate his party and mine, as much as it hurts. If two candidates are running for dogcatcher, vote for the one who is not a Democrat!

June 5, 2010

[COMMENTS]




FROM THE QUEEN OF THE WHITEHOUSE PRESS CORPS

A large portion of American media has an insensitive bias against Israel and this has recently been put on display in a most stark and very crude manner. When asked about the situation in Israel Helen Thomas, long time senior Whitehouse correspondent, said in effect the Jews there should leave Palestine and go back to Poland and Germany where they came from. These are places where millions of them were slaughtered during the 1940s.

June 5, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE PEACEFUL PROTESTERS HAVE THE SAME GOALS AS THE NAZIS AT AUSHWICH AND THE 9/11 ATTACKERS

Kill Jews and Americans.

June 5, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE WORLD WANTS ISRAEL TO HAVE NO RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE

Those damned Jews in Israel want to survive. How dare they! Those miserable barbarians must get ready to go into the gas chambers and ovens again. That is their destiny. Krauthammer explains this horrible tale.

June 5, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE NIGHTMARE OF DISGRACING AMERICA CONTINUES

Here is a sad summary of how low our country is sinking under this president, who seemed so full of hope and promise when we voted him into office. All of us are in greater danger now. Mona Charen has written a powerful essay which has to be read.

June 4, 2010

[COMMENTS]




UNITED STATES JOINS THE PACK HOUNDING ISRAEL

Apparently the Obama Administration’s relationship with Israel has evolved from ally to neutral party to active antagonist. In her article for Forbes Ann Bayefsky informs us that the “Obama administration is pushing for an internationalized investigation of Israel's recent effort to preserve its naval blockade of Hamas-run Gaza.” She points out that this is “extraordinary interference with the sovereignty of a democratic society and its right of self-defense.”

June 4, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE PROBLEM WITH OBAMA’S FOREIGN POLICY

With escalating situations in the Middle East and the Korean peninsula threatening greater world turmoil one could argue that Obama’s approach to foreign policy has been a decided failure. In his analysis of the President’s performance in this area Larry Elder sees the problem as pursuing a policy of “strength through peace” rather than one of “peace through strength.”

June 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




DOUBLE STANDRAD GREATLY FAVORS HAMAS

Supposedly the situation in the Gaza strip was so dire that the activists in charge of the flotilla had no choice but to run the Israeli blockade. Now we find out that Hamas will not permit the people living in Gaza to receive the intended relief. Why, because the Israel wants them to have the humanitarian aid and in fact it wanted them to have it all along. However there will be no worldwide outcry or UN condemnation of Hamas and Steven Emerson points out in great detail that the double standard with regard to the actions of Hamas is once again at work. He observes that “while critics decry the Israeli blockade of Gaza as a violation of humanitarian law that deprives the Palestinian people of necessary resources, nobody blinks when Hamas runs the Gaza economy into the ground. Where Israel and Hamas destroy homes that were illegally built, Israel is taken to task by the international community while the criticism of Hamas is mild at best. When Israel is chastised for ‘targeting’ Palestinian civilians, Hamas' brutal execution of ‘collaborators’ barely receives a head shake.”

June 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE PROSPECTS FOR FUNDAMENTAL DRUG POLICY AND LAW REFORM IN THE UNITED STATES

A brief note by Arnold S. Trebach

May 24, 2010

This is a brief note on my appraisal on the prospects for fundamental drug policy and law reform in the United States at this point in history. I am writing this at the request of Marco Perduca, an important Italian parliamentary official and a leader of the Radical Party, Transnational and Nonviolent.

In my opinion there have been some encouraging signs that change is possible. As I wrote last year in a note to my European friends, the Obama Administration has shown some positive attitudes toward the movement for allowing medical marijuana. For example, the Administration has adopted prosecutorial guidelines that discourage most criminal federal law suits against medical marijuana dispensers and users in states that have laws allowing such behavior.

Making a great impact is a story from the Associated Press which explained how the war on drugs has been a costly failure. To those of us who have worked in the drug field for many years, there was nothing new in the arguments that were cited. However, for some reason the AP report had a major impact. It was sent all over the country and the world and it was quoted extensively in all types of media. The report came at a time when there were many signs that popular support for prohibition and the war on drugs was weakening quite dramatically.

As some persuasive evidence of that weakening are a set of actions in California aimed at making marijuana legally available not just for medical purposes but also for recreation in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco. First, there will be an historic ballot vote in November on a law labeled the “Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Tax of 2010,”which would make marijuana roughly as legal as alcohol and tobacco. This will be decided by a popular vote of all the citizens who go to the polls. Second, a law is pending in the state legislature that would make the drug legal through a legislative enactment, if of course it passes.

Because California often takes the lead in setting trends in this country, these actions are important and historic. If they come into being, it is very likely that other legalization actions will follow.

There are other favorable signs as well but in my view the opposition to real change in drug policy remains very strong in America. Even in liberal California – sometimes referred to as being on the left coast – the two leading candidates for governor, both Democratic and Republican, have come out against the measures that would result in the legalization of pot. The head of the federal Department of Homeland Security took the same position in a public comment.

It is distressing to me that there has been very little serious talk about loosening control on narcotics and cocaine. There is no significant move in any governmental agency that deals with these drugs in a rational fashion.

In the background to this discussion is the declining power of President Obama and the Democratic Party along with the many threats facing the country. Mr. Obama has shown some inclination to consider modest attempts to be more rational in his approach to drugs – nothing far-reaching or radical but somewhat more rational. In light of the distractions facing the president and his declining power, it is doubtful id he will be in a position to improve on any of the modest reforms he has already supported.

Thus, by way of a summary, there is some hope in America that drug policy will get more rational but there is nothing that predicts radical change in the near future.

Best wishes to all of my friends in Europe.

June 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OBAMA'S SURRENDER POLICIES PAVED THE WAY FOR THE FLOTILLA DISASTER

The timing of the recent attempt to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza should be of interest to all of us. Why did a group with such obvious ties to terrorism believe it could end a policy designed to protect Israeli citizens from deadly rocket attacks at this time? In the New York Post Michael Goodwin argues that the Obama Administration’s recent hostility towards Israel and appeasement of radical Islam is to blame. He reminds us that “Obama's repeated signals that he is weakening America's commitment to Israel are emboldening the Jewish state's enemies. From Syria to Iran to Lebanon, from Hezbollah to Hamas and the PLO, the wolves smell blood and are trying to gauge whether they can get close enough for the kill.”

June 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MELANIE GETS IT CORRECT AGAIN!

What was the real purpose of the convoy that attempted to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza? Melanie Phillips provides us with a very credible answer to this important question. She points out that “Gaza’s markets are full of produce, thousands of tons of supplies are travelling into Gaza every week through the Israeli-controlled border crossings, and there is no starvation or humanitarian crisis. It was always obvious that the flotilla was not the humanitarian exercise it was said to be.” Phillips then argues that “this flotilla was but the latest jihadi attack, deploying the Islamists’ signature strategy of violence and media manipulation.”

June 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ISRAEL ALONE AT THE UN

The anti-Israeli bias at the UN is especially strong within the Human Rights Council, so naturally since the confrontation between the IDF and activists trying to run the Gaza blockade there has been a great deal of activity there. The difference this time is that the United States has done nothing to curb the UN’s excesses. FOX news is reporting that “with virtually unprecedented speed and only hours to go before the Lebanese presidency of the UN Security Council expired at midnight on May 31st the Council unanimously agreed on a Presidential Statement – with American approval. And in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) unanimously decided to invent new procedural rules and hold its first-ever ‘urgent debate’, with no objection from the United States.”

June 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]




SUPPOSEDLY PEACEFUL ACTIVISTS USE LIVE AMMUNITION AGAINST IDF

Much of the world is now condemning Israel for an incident that occurred when the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) boarded a ship that was part of a flotilla supposedly delivering aid to Gaza. As usual, very little is being said about the fact that the “peaceful” flotilla passengers used live ammunition against the IDF soldiers, who did not employee lethal force until their very lives were at stake.

Israel had implored the flotilla leaders not to run the blockade and had said that the humanitarian aid would be delivered after it was inspected for weapons. This reasonable request was ignored and one has to suspect that the real purpose of the mission was not relief for the people of Gaza but rather the creation of an incident such as the one we have now.

June 1, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MONUMENT TO INTOLERANCE TWO BLOCKS FROM GROUND ZERO

A project to locate giant mosque and Islamic cultural center called Cordoba House two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City is gaining momentum. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the main backer of this proposal and David J. Rusin of Islamist Watch informs us that Rauf is strongly devoted to Shari’a law. The Imam “has spoken of his desire to see Shari'a incorporated more explicitly into Western law.” It must be remembered that this is a legal system that makes second class citizens of all women and non-Muslims. Hopefully the citizens of New York will wake up to this travesty of an idea before it becomes a reality.

May 28, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE REAL SITUATION IN GAZA

A group of ships carrying pro=Palestinian demonstrators and 10,000 tons of humanitarian supplies has been assembled from several European ports and is bound for Gaza. The organization sponsoring this flotilla is the IHH a Turkish foundation with ties to terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. An article posted on the Israel Project website tells us that Israel has asked the convoy to “dock in Israel’s southern port of Ashdod so its humanitarian supplies can be delivered by Israel through the Gaza border crossing after they are checked for dangerous materials. However, the flotilla’s organizers have refused to abide by Israel’s request, constituting a violation of international maritime law.”

Even if these supplies reach the people of Gaza they are dwarfed by the massive amount of aid, documented in the piece, that has already been provided to Gaza by the state of Israel.

May 28, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE IMPORTANCE OFCORRECTING THE HISTORICAL RECORD

Today the popular story surrounding the creation of Israel portrays the evil Zionists callously expelling hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians from their homes against their will. However, this narrative has little to do with the actual history of the period. A new meticulously researched book, Palestine Betrayed, by Efraim Karsh sets this record straight. In his outstanding review of the work Daniel Pipes quotes the author arguing that "far from being the hapless victims of a predatory Zionist assault, it was Palestinian Arab leaders who, from the early 1920s onward, and very much against the wishes of their own constituents, launched a relentless campaign to obliterate the Jewish national revival which culminated in the violent attempt to abort the U.N. partition resolution." Moreover, Karsh contends that "there was nothing inevitable about the Palestinian-Jewish confrontation, let alone the Arab-Israeli conflict." Pipes declares that Palestine Betrayed reframes today's Arab-Israeli debate by putting it into its proper historical context.”

May 28, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THIS SHOULD BE FRONT PAGE NEWS EVERYWHERE

On Sunday armed men wearing black masks burned a United Nation’s summer camp located in the Gaza strip as tensions between Islamic extremists and the UN continue to escalate. The perpetrators also left behind death threats aimed at UN officials. The UN summer camps serve 250, 000 Gaza children with sports crafts and other activities. Hamas has set up their own camps which emphasize Islamic teachings and has repeatedly “railed against the U.N. as being a bridgehead for the West and for corrupting Gaza's youth by teaching ‘un-Islamic’ subjects in schools and summer camps.”

May 24, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE ECONOMICS OF DRUG PROHIBITION IN THE NETHERLANDS

American prohibitionists like to portray the Netherlands as a society in chaos because of that government’s lenient attitude towards drug use. The reality is quite different, drug prohibition and its attendant costs are still well entrenched in Holland. In an article discussing the economics of Dutch drug policy, Frits Bolkestein points out that “recent data from the Dutch justice department show that 27 to 33 percent of all years spent in incarceration are the result of violations of the law banning recreational drugs. In 2006, three quarters of the more than 300 investigations of organized crime focused on the production of, or trade in, drugs.”

However, the same fiscal conditions producing polling data in California showing 56% of the electorate in favor of legalizing marijuana are at work in the Netherlands. The idea of regulating instead of prohibiting drugs is beginning to take hold there because Dutch research has found that “the total cost of crime added up to 31.5 billion euros in 2006 alone. Crimes that are a result of drug prohibition cost society at least half that amount, or 15.75 billion euros. That comes down to 924 euros per Dutch citizen annually.” All over the world people are starting to discover that ineffective and destructive drug prohibition is a luxury they can no longer afford.

May 20, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FINALLY SEEMS TO UNDERSTAND

Throughout its history drug prohibition has been an immoral, violent, and costly failure. It simply does not accomplish its stated purpose of preventing people from using illicit drugs while at same time it vastly increases the harm caused by the use of those drugs. Now the Associated Press is finally acknowledging these already well known facts in a scathing indictment of the war on people who use certain kinds of drugs.

Naturally this AP report has caused a great deal of reaction most of which is positive. However, former drug czar John P. Walters laments the article arguing that “to say that all the things that have been done in the war on drugs haven't made any difference is ridiculous.. It destroys everything we've done. It's saying all the people involved in law enforcement, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time. It's saying all these people's work is misguided."

Moreover, this is precisely the point made in the preface to Fatal Distraction: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror four years ago. One of the main story lines of the book “deals the many reasons why drug prohibition and the war on drugs fail because of their own internal contradictions and the immense harm they cause.” The book goes on to contend that “the war on drugs is based on many cherished myths. Such cherished myths die hard. Destructive cherished myths die even harder. Yet, in this book I argue that thinking people everywhere should work, as an urgent matter, to seek to accomplish that very objective – the killing of a cherished destructive myth. That myth is so destructive because it is so seductive – and also because it has been allowed to grow to gigantic proportions by the enthusiastic worldwide support of millions of well meaning and sincere people.” (page 14)

We must hope for all of our sakes that this AP analysis is a significant step forward in the dismantling of the ignoble canard that drug prohibition is both necessary and good.

May 18, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OUTRAGEOUS BBC STATEMENT

Many people detect a strong anti-Israeli bias in the way the BBC covers world events. Now a contemptible statement by BBC Mideast editor Jeremy Bowen makes it clear that the above observation is correct. He said “it has been an unusual and enjoyable new experience for Palestinians to be able to look on as Israel argued with its most important ally. The fact that the dispute is over Jewish settlements has been even better for them.”

May 15, 2010

[COMMENTS]




UNPRECEDENTED OILSPILL POINTS TO NEED FOR CHANGE

There is no question that a drastic change in off shore drilling policy because of the mammoth spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a terrorist attack on the Saudi oilfields, or Iranian interference with shipping in the Persian Gulf are unsettling possibilities. Any one of these events would wreck havoc with the American economy. That is why Frank Gaffney sees a silver lining in the massive amount of sludge that is approaching our coastline. He believes this looming disaster will finally wake up the population to the dangers of continuing to use oil as our primary energy source.

If a major disruption in the petroleum supply were to occur, Gaffney asks if under “those circumstances, would we hesitate to make the fullest possible use of available technologies, particularly highly cost-effective ones, to tap our nation's vast potential for alcohol-based fuels and, thereby, to enable 'fuel choice' to the consumer? Not bloody likely.” Certainly a switch to bio-fuel seems like an idea whose time has come but there are important choices involved with such a change and they must be made intelligently because we will have to live with them for a long time.

Currently the primary alternative fuel choice being pursued is ethanol made from corn. The government subsidizes its production and the auto makers have committed to making cars that use it. However, this is happening despite the fact making fuel from corn is a very poor choice from both an economic and an energy standpoint. It takes more energy to produce a liter of ethanol from corn than you get out of that liter. Also, using corn to make fuel has unnecessary negative consequences for the food supply.

The suitability of other plants to produce energy needs to be explored and that includes the use of cannabis hemp. Activists trying to legalize the use of industrial hemp have long contended that the plant has characteristics that make it ideal as an energy source. They point out that “it is the cellulose in low moisture herbaceous and woody plants that provides the hydrocarbons necessary for fuel production. ... Hemp is both a low moisture herbaceous and a woody plant.” Combine that fact with the ability to grow on marginal land and relatively high yields per acre and it seems more than sensible to study this possibility.

Congressman Ron Paul, sponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (HR 1866), made a statement for the Congressional Record in which he asserted that “reintroducing industrial hemp farming in the United States would bring jobs to communities struggling in today's economy, provide American farmers with another crop alternative, and encourage the development of hemp processing factories near American hemp farming.” If the use of this plant were to also allow us to quit using so much oil then the benefits would be enormous. Should we not find out if its advocates are correct?

May 12, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION GENDER GAP

The most important election in the history of drug policy will take place this fall in California where voters shall decide whether or not to legalize marijuana. A recent SurveyUSA News Poll reveals that 56% of the electorate supports the measure while only 42% opposes it. An interesting aspect of the data shows a gender gap with 65% of males in favor but only 46% of females approving. Clearly those who wish a change in policy must develop arguments designed to appeal to women. Perhaps this line of reasoning would have results: if you want to protect your children from marijuana use then legalize it for adults. Under a legal regime you know where cannabis is being sold, you know who is selling it, and there are very strong incentives not to sell it to young people. The way it is now you do not know where marijuana is being sold, you do not know who is selling it, and the dealers, sometimes children themselves, do not care how old the buyers are.

May 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




AN ENDURING LEGACY OF HATRED

During the World War II era persecution and the attempted extermination of the Jewish people there were those who acted heroically as well as those who were villains. Recently, this space pointed to the righteous nature of actions taken by then Congressman Lyndon Baines Johnson at the time. Another example of honorable behavior towards the Jews can be found in the Japanese-American soldiers who helped liberate some of the holocaust victims still alive in the Nazi concentration camps, even while their own relatives were being held in American installations.

In contrast though there were individuals in the allied countries who pursued courses which contributed to the suffering. In 1939 the British government issued a white paper calling for an end to Jewish immigration to Palestine despite the promise of the 1917 Balfour Declaration. In the United States during 1944 Senators Robert Taft (R-Ohio) and Robert Wagner (D-New York) responded with a congressional resolution maintaining the need for “free and unlimited entry of Jews into Palestine for the creation of a Jewish commonwealth.” Both Winston Churchill and Harry S Truman also had condemned the British change in policy.

However, President Franklin Roosevelt did not. In his informative article on these events David Stokes tells us that “the White House, State Department and other powerful entities in the government pulled out all the stops to make sure that the idea of proposing a homeland in Palestine for Jews went away. They did this even though they knew very well about the ongoing mass extermination of European Jews at the hands of the Nazis.”

Stokes goes on to argue that the real explanation for this inhumane policy can be found in the power and content of Nazi propaganda. Moreover, he contends that “the distortion factory that shaped attitudes in Germany throughout the duration of the infamous Third Reich had its most lasting impact far away from the boroughs and beer halls of Deutschland” and that this legacy of hatred can now be found in the minds of Hamas, the PLO, and modern day Islamic extremism.

April 26, 2010

[COMMENTS]




BREAK THE SILENCE RALLY

A strong argument can be made that President Obama is going about the business of fundamentally changing our relationship with Israel. Furthermore, this alteration serves to delegitimize the Israeli state, one of our oldest, most consistent and most valuable allies. What concerns the ex-mayor of New York City, Edward Koch, is the deafening silence which seems to surround this very serious situation. Therefore he is helping to promote a Break the Silence Rally, designed to stand against the anti-Israeli policies of the Obama Administration, to be held in New York City on Sunday April 25th at 1:00PM. It will take place on 2nd Ave. between 42nd and 43rd streets, rain or shine.

April 23, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE CURRENT AMERICAN CONFLICT WITH ISRAEL HURTS BOTH PARTIES

There is widespread agreement about two things; American/Israeli relations are currently at a historic low point and that this situation constitutes a real danger to Israel. However, there seems to be relatively little concern about how this conflict will negatively affect the United States position in the world. In an interesting essay Dennis Prager cites a variety of reasons why this worsening relationship is bad for both countries. He even uses the Book of Genesis in the Bible to bolter his contentions quoting God referring to the Jewish people and saying to Abraham that "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” Prager then goes on to argue that one “need not be a Jew or Christian or even believe in God to appreciate that this verse is as accurate a prediction of the future as humanity has ever been given by the ancient world. The Jewish people have suffered longer and more horribly than any other living people. But they are still around. Their historic enemies are all gone. Those who cursed the Jews were indeed cursed.”

April 21, 2010

[COMMENTS]




LBJ WAS A “RIGHTEOUS GENTILE”

Many people are aware that during the presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson the United States became Israel’s primary diplomatic ally and most important arms supplier. However, far fewer people know about LBJ’s long standing historical commitment to the welfare of the Jewish people. In his fascinating article on this little known subject Lenny Ben David reveals, among a number of other things, that ”Johnson, while serving as a young congressman in 1938 and 1939, arranged for visas to be supplied to Jews in Warsaw, and oversaw the apparently illegal immigration of hundreds of Jews through the port of Galveston, Texas.”

April 17, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WHO IS IN CHARGE OF PREVENTING NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION?

According to political cartoonist Gary Varvel the answer to this question is not comforting.

April 14, 2010

[COMMENTS]




LANDMARK EXTRADITION CASE

On May 10th Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is supposed to decide whether or not to extradite marijuana legalization advocate Marc Emery to the United States. Emery, whose importance is discussed in Fatal Distraction: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror, faces charges and a likely harsh sentence for selling Cannabis seeds over the internet. However, DEA administrator Karen Tandy inadvertently made it clear that the “Prince of Pot’s” troubles have their origin in his political activities rather than his commercial ones when upon Emery’s arrest she stated that the event was "a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the US and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement."

Although the issue of extradition will be decided by political means it is Canadian politics not American ones that count. In this respect Emery can rely on a tremendous amount of support. In March, members of the Liberal, Conservative, and New Democratic parties presented petitions to Parliament containing 12,000 signatures asking that Emery remain in Canada. Later the French speaking Bloc Quebecois also called for the extradition to be blocked. Emery believes that the “government does want to extradite me, but the public pressure not to do it is substantial. There is nothing to be gained by extraditing me, and it will piss off a couple of million voters in the next election."

If Emery were to be sent to the United States for incarceration it would be not only unjust but also highly ironic as the evidence of a rapidly changing attitude towards marijuana use in America is abundant. In just the most recent issue of the Drug War Chronicle we learn that people caught in the city of Philadelphia with less that 30 grams of cannabis will now face a summary offense instead of a criminal misdemeanor. Meanwhile the legislature in Maine approved a law allowing for medical marijuana dispensaries. Also, a new medical marijuana bill has passed through the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in Maryland. The town of Nederland in Colorado passed a measure with 54% of the vote that legalizes adult possession of cannabis. Lastly, in Alabama a house legislative committee vote favored medical marijuana legislation. What a terrible twist of fate it would be if Marc Emery was imprisoned for conducting a political battle that he now beginning to win.

April 14, 2010

[COMMENTS]




FATAH VIEWS NORMAL RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL AS A CRIME

One would presume that peace would be the normal and desirable state of affairs between two peoples; however, Fatah and Hamas appear to believe pursuing such a goal is a crime that must be punished. Last week when five Palestinian Journalists visited Tel Aviv to meet with Israeli colleagues on a trip sponsored by The Israel Project they became the target of intense criticism. The Jerusalem Post reports that they “now face expulsion from the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Journalists Syndicate on charges of promoting normalization with Israel.” Apparently the Palestinian hierarchy of journalists feels it is bad practice to consider the possibility that there may two sides to a story.

April 9, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ISRAEL STILL HAS FRIENDS IN AMERICA

Many Americans do not care for the way Barak Obama seems to playing around with the survival of perhaps our closest ally. The President’s recent activities only give aid and comfort to people who believe that the only acceptable course of action is the destruction of Israel through violent means. This behavior has caused some Americans to respond, including Florida-based radio host Janet Porter who urged people to send yellow roses, symbolizing friendship, to the Israeli government. The Jerusalem Post reports that an advisor to Prime Minster Netanyahu has indicated that “the Prime Minister’s Office could not get involved, because Netanyahu must be very careful to avoid anything that smacks of disrespect for the president at such a sensitive time.” Maybe it is President Obama who should be worried about his disrespect towards people who view Israel’s right to exist as paramount.

April 3, 2010

[COMMENTS]




HEALTH CARE REFORM RAISING OLD ISSUES

One of the consequences of Obama’s health care reform has been to bring attention, not seen since the days of school segregation, to the question of federal versus state power. A growing number of states are filing lawsuits to prevent the legislation from coming into effect in their jurisdictions. Brion McClanahan of the Tenth Amendment Center provides his thorough analysis of the issues involved arguing that the state attorney generals should succeed.

March 31, 2010

[COMMENTS]




FUNDAMENTAL VALUE AT STAKE

Perhaps more important than the actual violence coming from radical Islam is its increasingly successful undermining of the fundamental value of free speech. The intimidation that accompanies any attempt to say something that radical Muslims disagree with combined with a political correctness all too accepting of the charge of Islamophobia threatens our very way of life. In his recent essay on the subject Herb London concludes that “the biggest obstacle in pursuit of the truth, is the systematic interference of free speech, an interference that becomes particularly lamentable when it is done voluntarily, when the invocation of fear is sufficient to drown out expression.”

March 30, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WHAT THOSE WHO OPPOSE ENDING MARIJUANA PROHIBITION ARE VOTING FOR

During the next election the voters in California will have a chance to improve the quality of life in their state by casting ballots to end marijuana prohibition. The office of the Secretary of State has certified that proponents of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 have gathered enough signatures to make it part of the poll in November. According to an article posted on the Drug War Chronicle the measure would “legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults and allow for personal grows of up to 25 square feet. It also provides for the taxed and regulated sale of marijuana by local option.”

That this much needed reform has come into the hands of California voters is merely a first step, as there will be strenuous opposition from parties with a strong self interest in its defeat. By now we are all too familiar with the litany of exaggerations, half truths and outright lies which will comprise the rationale for voting no on this legislation. However, if past elections like this are any guide precious little will ever be said about what those who oppose this act are voting for.

First and foremost people voting against the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 will be voting for increased alcohol use with its attendant domestic violence, highway fatalities, liver disease, and broken families. From the very beginning of marijuana proscription in the 1930s those most affected by the change, jazz musicians, told us about this consequence. The 1936 song All the Jive is Gone contained the lyric “All the jive is gone, so come on in and drink some gin” while in The “G” Man Got the “T” Man Cee Pee Johnson lamented “They have to drink their lush and stagger, even though they know its wrong.”

Secondly those voting no will be voting for extending financial benefits to lawyers and state prison guards at the expense of teachers, students, librarians, health care professionals, firefighters, park rangers and a whole host of other people also performing more useful work. In addition, they will be voting in favor of cutting off economic opportunity for entrepreneurs, agricultural and otherwise, as well as their potential employees wanting to get involved in a growing cannabis culture.

A vote against legalizing marijuana is also a ballot for continuing the high levels of violence in Mexico. The profits from illegal marijuana sold in California are a most important source of income for the brutal Mexican drug cartels. Stop these funds from flowing in and you greatly reduce their ability to create mayhem. Also, it is a vote for reducing the resources available to apprehend and jail murders, rapists, and thieves here in the United States.

Lastly, a no vote sends the message to our children that sustaining the lies of the past, promoting ignorance and hatred of those different, as well as the welfare of a very small special interest are more important than reality and good public policy.

This was prepared with the assistance of Keith Halderman

March 28, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE UNBELIEVABLE HUMILIATION OF THE ONLY FREE COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

And our only true ally in the world. This has to be read to be appreciated. Be sure to read all the comments. How sad. How dangerous. Not just for Israel but also for America and the entire West.

March 26, 2010

[COMMENTS]




CONSEQUENCES OF HEALTH CARE BILL

Whether or not the passage of the health care legislation actually results in a better medical system for the United States still remains a very open question. However, one thing is clear decisions once made by individuals and medical care providers will now be made by the government.

March 23, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A CALL FOR CIVILITY ON CAMPUS

Speakers trying to defend Israeli actions and even its right to exist are often denied the right to express themselves at American and European institutions of higher learning, not by the schools themselves but by people who oppose their viewpoint. Sadly, disruption of pro-Israeli academic discourse has a long history but lately has become so ubiquitous, strident, hateful, and sometimes even violent that Samuel M. Edelman executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East argues that this kind of behavior amounts to a new tactic. He contends that what “makes these recent attacks on civil discourse significant is that each and every one of them has been held in a public forum on a university campus.”

His organization is responding to these attacks on the principle of free speech by promoting The Civility Project. Its goal is to have university officials, faculty, and students worldwide adopt a civility pledge which includes three simple statements :
I will be civil in my public discourse and behavior.
I will be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them.
I will stand against incivility when I see it.

Let us fervently hope that Scholars for Peace in the Middle East succeeds in this endeavor.

March 23, 2010

[COMMENTS]




UNPRECEDENTED DECLINE IN STATE PRISON POPULATION

There is little question that the financial situation in the United States is at its worst since the 1930s. Yet, there is a silver lining to this economic cloud in that the number of people imprisoned by the various states has declined for the first time in decades. Since 1972 those incarcerated in state facilities has increased by a factor of seven, with inmates there on charges related to drug prohibition accounting for 20 to 25 percent of the total. However, a new survey, Prison Count 2010, shows the state prison population actually decreased last year by over 5000 persons.

However, the federal system presents a different story where the number of those imprisoned increased enough last year to produce an overall total more than 1000 people higher. Perhaps the difference lies in the fact that many states must balance their budgets while the federal government seems to have a credit card with no limits allowing harsh and counterproductive drug policies.

March 21, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE BIZARRE ATTACKS ON ISRAEL

It is as if Israel was one of our enemies and Iran was one of our friends. And all this is taking place in the midst of the full court press to get healthcare passed. It is good to see that Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post and Caroline Glick in The Jerusalem Post have written powerful essays explaining just how bad our president’s policies are. One wonders, however, just how long Israel can withstand these attacks. The open hostility by Obama has encouraged the Arabs to mount their own attacks in Jerusalem and Haifa and other cities, not to mention the rockets coming from Gaza. It is difficult to see how any sensible American can vote for the Democrats in the fall elections or in the presidential election in 2012. It is also difficult for a lifelong Democrat to say such a thing.

March 19, 2010

[COMMENTS]




HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE CONDUCT BY DEFENSE ATTORNEY

An Amnesty International pamphlet best described as anti-American propaganda came into the possession of Guantanamo detainee Majeed Abdullah Al Joudi. The brochure was smuggled to him by his attorney in the legal mail. In their very informative article on this incident and the issues involved Thomas Joscelyn and Debra Burlingame of The Wall Street Journal quote Major General Jay W. Hood, commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, arguing that the “very nature of this document gives tremendous moral support to those who would strike out against our country," he stated. "It is not a factual report. Instead it is filled with second and third hand accounts, photos of protests that were staged, inflammatory photos from Iraq and provocative story captions."

March 16, 2010

[COMMENTS]




DO ENEMY COMBATANTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO A LAWYER?

In the controversy over how and where the al-Qaeda detainees should be tried one side claims that their right to counsel is part of the American legal tradition. However, Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, argues quite the opposite. He cites the 1950 Eisenberg case which involved Nazi enemy combatants where the justices said it “would be difficult to devise more effective fettering of a field commander than to allow the very enemies he is ordered to reduce to submission to call him to account in his own civil courts and divert his efforts and attention from the military offensive abroad to the legal defensive at home."

March 16, 2010

[COMMENTS]




SMALL STEP FORWARD IN STRUGGLE TO END AN INJUSTICE

The federal sentencing disparity between those caught with crack cocaine and those arrested in possession of powdered cocaine is currently one hundred to one. Since most of those involved with crack are black while powdered cocaine tends to be the province of Caucasians the policy must be considered an example of modern day racial injustice. This inequity, born during the 1980s in the hysteria following the death of Len Bias, has been a prime target for drug law reformers for decades.

Lately those trying to end the sentencing disparity have been having some success. Last July the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation completely ending the difference between crack and powder prison time. Now the Senate Judiciary Committee has passed on a bill that reduces the disparity ratio to a lesser number, twenty to one. While this change in law is not what reformers had wanted it is still a small step forward. One of the activists most concerned with accomplishing reform Julie Stewart head of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), stated that "we hoped the committee would go further in making crack penalties the same as powder. There was no scientific basis for the 100:1 disparity between crack and powder cocaine created 24 years ago, and there is no scientific basis for today’s vote of 20:1. However, if this imperfect bill becomes law, it will provide some long-overdue relief to thousands of defendants sentenced each year."

March 14, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ANNUAL ANTI-SEMITIC EVENT

As the amount of anti-Semitism in the world increases it tends to become institutionalized and even celebrated. One example of this is the sixth international Israeli Apartheid Week which began on Monday in over 40 cities across the world. However, columnist Richard Cohen argues in the pages of The Washington Post that the link which has been generated between Israel and the policy of apartheid is both false and insulting. He points out that “Israeli Arabs, about one-fifth of the country, have the same civil and political rights as do Israeli Jews. Arabs sit in the Knesset and serve in the military, although most are exempt from the draft. Whatever this is -- and it looks suspiciously like a liberal democracy -- it cannot be apartheid.”

March 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MY NEW BLOG

I now have a new Blog and you can check it out and comment here.

February 28, 2010

[COMMENTS]




AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SHARES THE STAGE WITH A TERRORIST

Last month at a protest in front of Number 10 Downing Street speakers from Amnesty International shared the stage with Moazzam Begg who runs a group called Cageprisoners. This caused problems within Amnesty International’s ranks and even led to the suspension of Gita Sahgal who heads the organization’s gender division. Christopher Hitchens went so far as to argue that the group’s two million subscribers cut off funding until ties with Begg were severed and Sahgal reinstated. In her article on this controversy Mona Charen informs us that former Guantanamo detainee Begg “by his own admission, was trained in at least three al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan, was ‘armed and prepared to fight alongside the Taliban and al-Qaida against the United States and others,’ and served as a ‘communications link’ between radical Muslims living in Great Britain and those abroad.”

February 23, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

When president Obama nominated hard-line and possibly corrupt drug warrior Michele Leonhart to be the permanent DEA chief reformers feared a return to more tyrannical policies and those worries are now coming true. Despite a Justice Department memorandum promising that the federal government would take hands off approach to medical marijuana in states where it was legal, the DEA has begun to raid cannabis dispensaries, as well as labs that test for THC level and purity, in Colorado. An unapologetic Denver DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jeffrey Sweetin told the Denver Post that "technically, every dispensary in the state is in blatant violation of federal law. The time is coming when we go into a dispensary, we find out what their profit is, we seize the building and we arrest everybody. They're violating federal law; they're at risk of arrest and imprisonment." We are left with only two conclusions either President Obama is not in control of the people who work for him or he is blatantly lying to the public about his real policy towards medical marijuana.

February 22, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE CORRUPTION OF FATAH AND THE INCOMPETEMNCE OF THE ISRAELIS

This is a must-read article. Truly shocking revelations on all counts.  Abbas leads a kleptocracy and the world does not seem to give a damn.  The Israelis do not look that great in dealing with it, either.

February 20, 2010

[COMMENTS]




RELIGION TRUMPING SCIENCE

For four hundred years the Muslim world enjoyed a golden age of scientific and intellectual achievement then Islam and science parted company. This state of affairs has continued for over seven centuries and it shows little sign of changing. In an extraordinary interview for The Middle East Quarterly Physicist Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy, considered by many to be Pakistan’s leading intellectual, explains why this situation exists. He points to a prohibition of debate and an authoritarian educational system arguing that ”the biggest problem is Islamism, a radical and often militant interpretation of Islam that spills over from the theological domain into national and international politics. Whenever and wherever religious fundamentalism dominates, blind faith clouds objective and rational thinking. If such forces take hold in a society, they create a mindset unfavorable for critical inquiry, including scientific inquiry, with its need to question received wisdom.”

February 18, 2010

[COMMENTS]




A CONFUSED AND CONTRADICTORY POLICY

The question of whether to try terrorists such as Khalid Sheik Mohammad in civilian courts or before military tribunals is causing a great deal of controversy. One side sees an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the American legal system, while the other voices concerns about safety and cost as well as fear of diluting the war against jihad. Which ever side you favor it is worth paying attention to Mona Charen’s thought provoking essay addressing the underlying principles involved in the dispute, which paints a picture of an Obama Administration pursuing a confused and contradictory set of policies. She concludes that “there are no principles at work here, just the vain and misguided pursuit of international respectability. Obama may well receive applause from Norwegian committees and Sorbonne students -- but not from wiser observers -- and not from those he is responsible for protecting.”

February 17, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MUSLIM OPPOSITION TO INTIMIDATION AND VIOLENCE

For Islamists any opposition to their beliefs and policies is considered a justification for violence, even that coming from those who share their religion. Now, however, a growing number of Muslims are refusing to be intimidated by Islamist threats. Writing for IslamistWatch David J. Rusin provides a number of examples of this growing and hopeful trend. He asserts that ”as the above examples suggest, at the core of the resurgent jihad is a conflict between an authoritarian interpretation of Islam and a more spiritual, secular interpretation. The fate of two worlds — the Western and the Islamic — will be shaped profoundly by the outcome.”

February 15, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WHO IS REALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUFFERING IN GAZA?

The recent effort by Israel to help the people of Haiti has quickly been contrasted by it critics with the narrative of an Israeli government determined to harm the people of Gaza as much as possible. However what these detractors fail to take into account is that while the authorities on the stricken island welcomed aid, those in charge in Gaza, Hamas, have been doing everything they can to prevent Israeli help from improving the conditions of the people they rule. In an article for Harretz Yom Tov Samia documents the many obstructions put in place by Hamas.

February 13, 2010

[COMMENTS]




NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR AN OLD LIBEL

Any country in the world that quickly responded to a devastating earthquake with teams to do the dangerous work of searching the rubble for survivors and a first class medical facility would be universally lauded for its efforts, except Israel. Instead, there are those who assign cynical public relations motives to these actions discounting simple humanitarianism as the reason. Haaretz points out that “the work of the Israeli medical team has become a kind of Rorschach for how people view Israel and Israelis. Most of the comment, it must be said, is supportive. Even on the part of those who cast the humanitarian misery in Gaza in contrast. But for a shocking number of others, the bottom line is simple: Israel, and Israelis, can do no right.” Most disturbing of all is that some depraved individuals have used the Haitian tragedy as an opportunity to repeat the disgusting blood libel that Israel is only interested in the chance to harvest human organs.

February 11, 2010

[COMMENTS]




LONG TERM MARIJUANA USE FOUND TO REDUCE SPECIFIC CANCER RISK

For some time it has been acknowledged that the cannabiniods in marijuana smoke have potential antitumor properties. Now an epidemiological study conducted at Brown University has found that the practice of long term marijuana smoking reduces the risk of developing head and neck cancer (HNSCC). The researches discovered that “20 years of marijuana use was associated with a significantly reduced risk of HNSCC (OR10-<20 yrs vs never users=0.38, 95% CI=0.22–0.67). Among marijuana users moderate weekly use was associated with reduced risk (OR0.5-<1.5 times vs. <0.5 time =0.52, 95% CI=0.32–0.85). The magnitude of reduced risk was more pronounced for those who started use at an older age (OR15-<20 yrs old versus never users =0.53, 95% CI=0.30–0.95; OR>=20 yrs old versus never users =0.39, 95% CI=0.17–0.90, ptrend <0.001). These inverse associations did not depend on HPV 16 antibody status.” They concluded that “our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced risk of HNSCC.” However, it should be noted that when cannabis was combined with tobacco use and alcohol consumption the risk increased.

February 6, 2010

[COMMENTS]




AN UNREALISTIC VIEW OF ISLAMIC EXTREMISM

It can be argued that a great deal of the present administration’s viewpoint regarding the threat of Islamic terrorism is grounded in myth. In a recent interview President Obama stated that “we have to work with the overwhelming majority of Muslims who reject senseless violence of this sort.” However, as The Jerusalem Post is reporting the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project found that 68% of Palestinian Muslims, 43% of Nigerian Muslims, 38% of Lebanese Muslims, 15% of Egyptian Muslims, and 13% of Indonesian Muslims believe violence against civilians such as suicide bombings is often or sometimes justified. This adds up to millions of people and the idea that the ideology behind jihadist actions is the province of a small number of extremists clearly can not be sustained. Also, work done at the University of Maryland discovered that although the majority of Muslims deplore the methods of al-Qaida they also support its goals.

The above article concludes by asserting that ”the longer Obama and others continue to underestimate the scope of the problem, the more difficult it will be to vanquish it. It is therefore time to sweep aside self-delusion and recognize reality.”

February 4, 2010

[COMMENTS]




VERY DISAPPOINTING CHOICE BY OBAMA

When it comes to reforming drug policy the Obama administration seems to have adopted a pattern of one step forward and two steps back. This continues with his nomination for DEA head of a hardliner who has consistently opposed a more just, effective, and humane regime. The President has selected acting DEA administrator Michele Leonhart to be permanently in charge and the Drug War Chronicle provides us with a disturbing profile of her. It includes wasting $123,000 of taxpayer money traveling on a private airplane, blocking the University of Massachusetts from conducting research on possible beneficial aspects of cannabis, enthusiastic persecution of medical marijuana patients, and a personal relationship with a DEA informant who earned $2.2 million from 1984 to 2000 largely by committing perjury. Among many other reformers with negative comments is leader of California NORML Dale Gieringer who asserts that "we've been waiting for change ever since Obama got elected, we're still sitting here with the same Bush-appointed US Attorneys, we were hoping at least he would appoint a new DEA administrator, but no. That really shows political cowardice at the top level, I think."

February 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]




APPEASING ISLAMISTS BYCURTAILING FREE SPEECH

There are many ways to suppress free speech, you can criminalize it, you can shout it down, you can deny it a venue, or you can impose a financial burden on those who sponsor it. Recently, the highest profile target of those who want to deny people their right to speak is Dutch legislator Geert Wilders. His government has decided to silence him by criminalizing his speech and he is now on trial there for interposing scenes of Islamic violence with the passages from the Qur’an which justify them in his film Fitna. That this is politically motivated prosecution designed to appease a certain group is clear from the Dutch Ministry of Justice’s statement to the effect that “it is irrelevant whether Wilder’s witnesses might prove Wilders’ observations to be correct; what’s relevant is that his observations are illegal.”

Meanwhile, the Temple University administration has chosen the method of imposing a financial burden to stifle discourse it does not like. The non-conservative student group Temple University Purpose invited Geert Wilders to speak there last October 20th and the University has now sent this group a bill for the event’s extra security. Mike Adams reports that “as a consequence, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has written to the president of Temple. In that letter, FIRE cited the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (1992), which says, ‘Speech cannot be financially burdened, any more than it can be punished or banned, simply because it might offend a hostile mob.’"

The first step in solving the problem of Islamic terrorism and violence is to acknowledge it exists; however, it appears that there are still too many people and organizations unwilling to do that.

February 1, 2010

[COMMENTS]




FORT HOOD MASSACRE WHITEWASH

In the days following the massacre of army personnel at Fort Hood Texas the press reported numerous signs which should have alerted the pentagon that perpetrator Major Nidal Malik Hasan represented a significant threat. Now the Army has issued a report on the incident titled Protecting the Force: Lessons learned from Fort Hood. The document discusses among other things alcoholism, drug abuse, mistreatment of the elderly, sexual violence, child molestation and suicide, yet despite all the evidence of previous jihadist activity and the fact that Hasan yelled “Allah Akhbar” just before he opened fire there is virtually no mention of Islamic extremist violence in the Army’s findings.

In his article on the military’s conclusions for The Weekly StandardThomas Joscelyn tells us that the report contained the following sentence: ”Religious fundamentalism alone is not a risk factor; most fundamentalist groups are not violent, and religious-based violence is not confined to members of fundamentalist groups.’ He then comments that this ”is a true statement; it is also completely meaningless in respect to the Fort Hood massacre. The brand of religious fundamentalism practiced by Hasan is specifically devoted to violence.” In his commentary Mark Steyn declares that we ”are making Islam the de facto established church of the Western world. And, lest you think this near parodic prostration before Islamic supremacism is a purely European phenomenon, read the official whitewash of Fort Hood, which is one of the most disgusting and contemptible documents ever produced by the U.S. military. The families of the dead should be furious at its craven evasions.”

January 31, 2010

[COMMENTS]




DID THE SWINE FLU ACTUALLY SAVE LIVES?

Except for those who get sick the advent of an epidemic of a new serious scary disease can be a good thing. The makers and distributors of vaccines who make lots of money, officials of such organizations as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control who get to take center stage, politicians who get to show how necessary government is to mankind’s survival, and the members of the mainstream media who get to increase ratings and newspaper sales by covering something interesting and frightening all clearly benefit, even if the epidemic is mostly hype.

However, with regards to swine flu, these group’s good times are over as Michael Fumento’s article convincingly argues the epidemic has passed. He points out that “in New Zealand and Australia the flu season will continue to be quite mild. In both of those Southern Hemisphere countries, where winter has ended, there have been far fewer flu deaths than was normal during their past seasonal flu epidemics. Yet swine flu accounted for virtually all their cases, and no vaccine was available. In addition, these countries saw the season peak only once, without the ‘next wave’ we’ve been warned of.”

Because swine flu is less lethal and more contagious than the regular seasonal flu and because those who contact the swine variety develop immunity to the seasonal kind the net effect may well have been fewer deaths than would have ordinarily occurred.

January 28, 2010

[COMMENTS]




CONTRASTING IDEAS OF GENEROSITY

If ever a situation called for compassion and generosity it is the plight of the poverty stricken people of Haiti in the aftermath of their horrific earthquake. The oil rich Muslim countries of the Middle East certainly have the means and supposedly have a religious obligation to help, however, when you break down the amount of assistance given the category of other, which includes these Islamic countries, accounts for only 0.01 percent of the total aid. In her analysis of the worldwide response to the disaster in Haiti Claudia Rosett asks “where are the oil-rich Islamic countries of the Middle East, for whom charity is supposed to be such a vital part of life?”

Contrast this with the actions of Israel which had a first class field hospital up and running and teams searching the rubble for survivors before other countries had even finished organizing their relief efforts or the United States whose government has pledged 44 percent of the total funding, not to mention the millions given by private citizens, and you can see which system of belief is the more humane and generous.

January 27, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WORLDWIDE ISLAMIST AGGRESSION CONTINUES UNMENTIONED

From Nigeria where two dozen Christians died when Muslim youths set fire to their church, to Egypt where a drive by shooting killed seven Coptic Christians, to Pakistan experiencing a rash of churches being destroyed by bombs, to Malaysia are where Christian churches are being attacked, to Turkey where officials are closing Christian houses of worship the Islamist practice of persecuting and committing violence against non-believers continues unabated. However, if you depend on the mainstream media for information your knowledge of these events will be severely curtailed. Clifford May discusses this situation for Scripps Howard News Service pointing out that in “response to all this, Western journalists, academics, diplomats, and politicians mainly avert their eyes and hold their tongues. They pretend there are no stories to be written, no social pathologies to be documented, no actions to be taken. They focus instead on Switzerland's vote against minarets and anything Israel might be doing to prevent terrorists from claiming additional victims.”

January 27, 2010

[COMMENTS]




SOME UNPLEASANT TRUTHS ABOUT SAUDI ARABIA

It is widely acknowledged that when it comes to human rights Saudi Arabia has an atrocious record. However, it also has a reputation as an economic powerhouse with a regime that enjoys a high level of security. At a recent ceremony held by the Ministry of the Interior honoring civilian and military retirees Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior stated that “Saudi Arabia is one of the best countries in the world in terms of security and economy.”

Dr. Ali Alyami Director of The Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia strongly disagrees with the above statement. His commentary is as follows :

”In a recent speech to thank some of his Ministry retirees for their sacrifices to defend Saudi Arabia , Interior Minister Prince Naif is reported to have ‘…stressed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (his family’s domain-Ali) is one of the best countries in the world in terms of security and economy.’ Prince Naif made three points worthy of rebuttal: First, Saudi Arabia is not the best country in the region financially or in terms of security. Many of the living standards, income and social services in its neighboring Gulf countries are superior to those of Saudi Arabia . In addition, many of the highly publicized projects such as King Abdullah’s economic cities exist on paper only. Not only that, but most of the Saudi infrastructure is dilapidated. Major cities have no sewage or drainage systems, like Jeddah, the center of Saudi trade and culture. Even streets and homes are not numbered.

Second, Saudi Arabia is threatened from within and without. Domestically, Prince Naif’s Ministry keeps announcing foiling plots by ‘deviant’ people who conspire with the state’s enemies to ‘destabilize the country’ (overthrow his family). More dangerous, millions of restlessness young Saudi men and women (70% are under 30 years of age) are demanding better social and political life as well as rewarding jobs. Externally, Saudi Arabia is quagmired in a vicious boarder conflict with fierce Yemeni tribesmen who have been fighting their oppressive central government in Sanaa for more than four years. According to Saudi media, a group of Yemeni warriors crossed Saudi Arabia ’s southern border late last year, killed some Saudi border patrolmen and occupied Saudi villages. In response, Saudi Arabia , with the help of the Pakistani Army, began intense air bombardment of Yemen ’s Northern region, Saadah, where the rebels reside. In addition, Iraqi democracy, which the Saudi and other Gulf rulers consider a threat to their autocratic systems, is steadily evolving and gaining strength. Iran and its formidable proxies (Hezbollah and Hamas) are gaining power among Arabs and Muslims, further undermining Saudi influence in the region and globally.

Third, is what Prince Naif did not spell out but implied, according to the attached blurb. He was only reported to have said, Saudi Arabia ‘…is one of the best countries in the world in terms of security and economy.’ Known for his opposition to democratic reforms, Prince Naif is finally agreeing with what the world already knows and what many native Saudis have been fighting to change, the nature of the Saudi system which is considered one of the most oppressive regimes in the world.”

January 26, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ISRAEL HELPING THE HATIAN PEOPLE

One of the greatest tragedies of this new century has been the recent earthquake which devastated the island nation of Haiti. The estimates of the dead are topping 150,000 and the already poverty stricken country has had its entire infrastructure destroyed. In the wake of this horrific event the Israeli government and people have demonstrated a spirit of generosity and compassion second to none.

The Jerusalem Post reports on two missions designed to save lives that have been carried out by one of the most unfairly vilified organizations in the entire world, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). First young soldiers took on dangerous task of searching for survivors in the mounds of rubble that were once buildings and secondly a first class field hospital was set up. These labors have earned the IDF rare commendation even from consistent critics like CNN whose ”senior medical correspondent heaped praise on the IDF's work” and CBS has declared the field hospital the "Rolls-Royce of medicine in Haiti.”

You can see photos here and video here documenting Israel’s laudable humanitarian efforts.

January 26, 2010

[COMMENTS]




DEATHS IN EUROPE

One of the consequences of drug prohibition is that the illegal drugs people use are more dangerous than they would otherwise be. Because these substances are traded on the black market there is no quality control and they are often adulterated with harmful some times deadly ingredients. Such is the case in Europe where at least eight people have died from using heroin tainted with anthrax. Most of the deaths occurred in Scotland where the government’s answer to the situation has been, in many people’s opinion, cruel and wholly inadequate. The Drug War Chronicle reports that it has “responded by urging heroin users to stop using and to seek drug treatment. That advice has not gone over well with drug users and public health and harm reduction advocates, who are demanding an emergency public health response.”

January 25, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WHAT DOES SCOTT BROWN’S VICTORY MEAN?

The highly improbable victory of Republican Scott Brown over Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat is and will continue to be a subject of intense analysis. Left leaning commentators want to believe that it was the result of an extremely poor campaign by Coakley and a generalized anger that according to Barak Obama is "not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years." However, Charles Krauthammer is not buying that explanation. Instead, he argues that Brown won because he ”ran on a very specific, very clear agenda. Stop health care. Don't Mirandize terrorists. Don't raise taxes; cut them. And no more secret backroom deals with special interests.” Krauthammer also contends that the Democrats should have been able to see the signs that this would be a winning platform but they are asleep and he hopes they remain that way. Although, that would probably not be the best thing for the country.

January 22, 2010

[COMMENTS]




TARIQ RAMADAN TO BE ALLOWED INTO THE US

While Professor Tariq Ramadan likes to present himself as a moderate, many believe his scholarship and actions lend support to terrorist activity. That includes the Department of Homeland Security which denied him a visa to enter the United States in 2004 when Notre Dame offered him a teaching position. Now, lending credence to those who argue the Obama Administration is not serious about ending Islamic terrorism, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will allow Ramadan and another professor with extremist leanings, Adam Habib, to come here. The saga of Ramadan’s efforts to spread his doctrine in America and the reasons that should have been prevented are well documented by Daniel Pipes here and here.

January 21, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OUR PRESIDENT STILL DOING FAVORS FOR THE SAUDI KING

Clearly the Bush family had a special connection with the Saudi royal family when they held the executive office. Now one of the most important voices discussing the relationship between Islam and the West, Nonie Darwish, is arguing that since the election of Barak Obama the situation has not changed, our president is still doing favors for the Saudi king. She points out that just when there is a new spirit of criticism and defiance is gaining strength within the Muslim world Obama’s bow to King Abdulla “was no small matter, but of great significance in Muslim culture. It is a Muslim symbol of subjugation and inferiority.” Darwish also asserts that the decision to hold terrorism trials in New York City “intentionally or unintentionally, will be contributing to reforming Islam’s image, supporting its old ways of doing business and suppressing the brave reformation movements across the Muslim world, a true New Year’s gift to King Abdullah.”

January 20, 2010

[COMMENTS]




MARTHA COAKLEY REWRITES BASEBALL HISTORY

The comprehensive overhaul of our medical care system may very well hinge on the vote of a single Senator. This makes the coming election in Massachusetts to replace Senator Edward Kennedy especially significant. If Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley wins healthcare reform will pass, however, if Republican Scott Brown wins the Democrats will no longer have a super majority making the legislation much less likely to succeed. An editorial by the Townhall.com staff maintains that Massachusetts law stipulates once the election is held the now sitting interim Senator will not be eligible to vote for the bill so any delaying tactics won’t work.

Those who believe the reform bill to be bad legislation can take solace in the exceptionally inept campaign being run by Coakley. Her latest gaffes include a self serving tone deaf speech at a Martin Luther King Day dinner clumsily attempting to tie his legacy to her political fortune and her assertion that Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s support for her opponent means nothing because Schilling of the bloody sock is a Yankees fan.

January 19, 2010

[COMMENTS]




PROBLEMS WITH HEALTH CARE REFORM

At best the proposed reform of our healthcare system seems very convoluted, at worst it appears to be blatantly unfair to certain groups such as people with good insurance plans who are not members of a union and those who live in states other than Nebraska. Two other aspects are also very troubling, the fact that despite numerous campaign promises by Barak Obama to televise proceedings surrounding the bill on CSPAN negotiations are in fact happening in secret and also because of a rushed atmosphere the legislators who have to vote on it will not have time to read the extremely lengthy law much lees discuss in a meaningful way its implications. This prompts GOPAC chair Frank Donatelli to ask a very simple question: “if the bill is so good, why does everyone need an exemption to vote for it?” Perhaps members of Congress should take a cue from the physicians they seem so keen to control and seek to first do no harm.

January 16, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE ELITIST VIEW OF ISLAMIC THREAT IS DANGEROUS

Protecting Americans from the threat of terrorist violence is more than a matter of physical security measures; it also involves perceptions and attitudes. In his response to critics who argue that Islamic terrorism is a product of western bigotry Tony Blankley asserts that “there is a widening gap between public common sense and governing class idiocy when it comes to spotting Islamist danger in our midst -- and doing something about it.” He also warns that the “slaughtered American troops at Fort Hood are just among the early few in what will surely become whole legions of the dead victims of political correctness -- if the public does not soon succeed at overruling the Western governing elite's unconscionable moral blindness to the malign danger in our midst.”

One person who has been working tirelessly and effectively for years to help solve the problem described by Blankley above is Steven Emerson. In 1995 he founded The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) to monitor and expose Jihadist activity. An outstanding profile of Emerson published in The Middle East Quarterly informs us that ”IPT has established itself as the most effective nongovernmental organization (NGO) monitoring Islamic radicalism. It is the only private entity in the United States that conducts undercover research into the activities of Islamist groups. To preserve its independence, IPT accepts no funds from the U.S. government or donors outside the United States.” It also reveals that his organization “maintains the world's largest collection of nongovernmental data on radical Islamic groups, including more than four million documents, thousands of hours of clandestine video and audio recordings made at radical Islamic conferences, training sessions, fundraising activities, and assorted gatherings; and tens of thousands of original terrorist manuals and periodicals.” Hopefully Emerson is destined to play a successful role in changing the attitudes of our leaders before it is too late.

January 13, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ONE VERSION OF THE CONSTITUTION BEING UPHELD IN NEW JERSEY

Medical marijuana has achieved another success, this time in New Jersey. The legislature has passed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act and Governor John Corzine has already pledged to sign it. Marijuana law reformers can count another state, fourteen in all, in their victory column but another group of political activists, those concerned with the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution also have reason to celebrate.

When the law makers in New Jersey decided to change their policy concerning Cannabis use they did so with the full knowledge that the Supreme Court has ruled that federal law supersedes state policy when it comes medical marijuana. In effect these legislators were asserting their rights spelled out in the Tenth Amendment. In an article for the Tenth Amendment Center: the tenther grapevine author Michael Boldin points out that an “honest reading of the Constitution with an original understanding of the Founders and Ratifiers makes it quite clear that the federal government has no constitutional authority to override state laws on marijuana.” In his dissent of Gonzales v. Raich, the decision asserting federal supremacy on this issue, Justice Clarence Thomas countered the majority’s argument that the commerce clause applied by saying that the respondents “use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.” Boldin calls this effort to justify an unconstitutional federal intrusion into the affairs of the various states at best dubious and “at worst an intentional attack on the Constitution and your liberty.”

The Democratic Party has long history favoring the constitutional right of the states to resist federal interference, unfortunately most of this support has been associated with unconstitutional slavery and racial discrimination. Would it not be a good thing for both us and them if they reaffirmed that tradition in a much better cause, a more humane and effective drug policy?

Plainly, the issue of whether the politicians in New Jersey have the right to legitimize the use of medical marijuana has implications far beyond the limited subject of cannabis. For example, even before it has passed numerous state attorney generals are talking about challenging the federal health care reform bill with it thousands of unread, by those voting for it, pages and unfunded mandates. No matter what medical reform law President Obama signs there will surely be attempts to nullify it on Tenth Amendment grounds.

January 12, 2010

[COMMENTS]




SYSTEMIC FAILURE TO PROVIDE SECURITY

Since the attempt to destroy an airliner bound for Detroit by a Muslim from Nigeria on Christmas day there has been a renewed interest and commentary on the subject of terrorism. President Obama’s admission of “systemic failure” and the fact that it was the passengers themselves that prevented loss of life has given rise to a school of thought which argues that the system that failed is notion that government can and will make us secure.

Writing for The Independent Institute Ivan Eland argues that the terrorist mission failed not because of any government action but rather because of a change in attitude. He asserts that “even if the government had done nothing in the realm of anti-terrorism after 9/11, the skies would have been much safer. The reason is that aircrews and passengers changed their response to attempted aircraft hijackings. Prior to 9/11, pilots, flight attendants, and the flying public were of the mindset to cooperate with any hijackers. The image in their minds was of being flown to Cuba and eventually being released once the hijackers had publicized their cause. After 9/11, a vision of being slaughtered en masse and used to massacre even more non-passengers has been seared into the minds of the traveling public.”

Two articles appearing on Townhall.com also take up this same theme. Star Parker asks us to compare the record of government bureaucracy with of the private sector pointing out again that the actions of private citizens saved those lives on December 25th. Meanwhile, Allen Hunt offers six suggestions for restoring “security sanity” including the firing of Janet Napolitano and other Obama Administration officials. He also maintains that abolishing the TSA and returning responsibility for the safety of air travel to the airlines themselves would help.

January 11, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THE UNITED KINGDOM’S UNIVERSITIES AND RADICAL ISLAM

Ever since the attempted destruction of an airliner bound for Detroit by terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallah, who was affiliated with University College London, there has been an increased focus on the situation in Yemen as an important front in the war on terror. However, a Wall Street Journal editorial suggests that some of this attention should be directed at the universities in Great Britain. The piece argues that the incident is “reviving concerns in Britain that its universities and colleges—even the elite—can breed Islamic radicalism. In several of the terrorist plots linked to London since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., the suspects have been university students or graduates. In many cases, the schools involved are among Britain's most prestigious, including UCL, King's College London and the London School of Economics, all of which receive taxpayer funding.”

January 9, 2010

[COMMENTS]




THIS ONE LEAVES ME SPEECHLESS

On December 30th suicide bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi killed eight CIA agents in Afghanistan. Now Andrew Breitbart’s website is reporting that his wife, Defne Bayrack, has said “I am proud of my husband. He carried out a great operation in this war. I hope Allah will accept his martyrdom, if he has become a martyr.”

January 7, 2010

[COMMENTS]




OBAMA SUPPORTER CRITICAL OF RESPONSE TO ISLAMIC TERRORISM

In 2008 Barak Obama asked Edward I. Koch to help him get elected by reaching out to the Jewish community and he obliged. Now, Koch is in complete agreement with Charles Krauthammer’s column, War? What War?, which is highly critical of the president’s approach to the threat of Islamic terrorism. Koch tells Obama that he hopes “you read the Krauthammer column. It is not too late for you to recover from the setbacks you suffered in the year just ended. Your commitment to battling Islamic terrorism led by al-Qaida, which has a presence in an estimated 62 countries, must be believably reaffirmed with both words and deeds.”

January 6, 2010

[COMMENTS]




UNEXPECTED SOURCE OF SUPPORT FOR MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION

As the debate over decriminalizing marijuana advances new reasons to support the change in policy will surely continue to surface. In his story about the effort in California for the San Francisco Chronicle Joe Garofoli gives an example of this as he informs us that the “suburban ‘soccer moms’ who are likely voters have told pollsters that the measure, which would give local governments the authority to tax and regulate the sale of cannabis to adults 21 or older, would provide a safer way for their adult children to buy pot.”

January 5, 2010

[COMMENTS]




CANNABIS INITIATIVE ON EXPECTED BALLOT IN 2010

A second effort to decriminalize the use of marijuana in California is proceeding along the path of ballot initiative. In an excellent and comprehensive article Daniela Perdomo discusses the history, dynamics, and chances of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. The organization behind this effort is called Tax Cannabis and judging from Perdomo’s essay and their website it seems they have a good strategy for success.

January 4, 2010

[COMMENTS]




WHAT WILL GREATER US INVOLVEMENT IN YEMEN MEAN?

Ever since the unsuccessful attempt to blow up an airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas day, supposedly conceived of in Yemen, many commentators have been calling for increased participation in that nation’s affairs by the United States and Great Britain. In his analysis of this prospect, drawn from personal experience with that country, Eric Margolis uses the analogy of kicking over a hornet’s nest. He points to some facts that should give us pause. He writes that a “military dictator, Ali Saleh, has held power since 1978. Saleh's U.S.-backed regime is accused of extensive human rights violations and deep corruption.” Margolis also tells us that poverty stricken “Yemen has three civil wars going on and bitter fighting between Sunni and various Shia sects. Yemen's warlike tribes hate any outside authority, starting with their own government.”

January 4, 2010

[COMMENTS]




ATTEMPTED MURDER IN THE NAME OF ISLAM

We are once again reminded that some Muslims believe it ethical to promote their religion through violence. Recently a Somali man attempted to murder Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard who has been under threat of death ever since a drawing of his depicting the Prophet Muhammad was published. However, we should also be aware that a group of moderate Muslims stated that the“Danish Muslim Union strongly distances itself from the attack and any kind of extremism that leads to such acts," If we are to win the war on terror their interpretation of Islam must be supported in every way possible.

January 2, 2010

[COMMENTS]







February 20, 2007
HIRSI ALI: ONE OF THE COURAGEOUS ISLAMIC REFUSENICKS

Her courage tells all who will listen about the horror of Islamic rules and the need for reform -- for Muslims and for the rest of us. See here.




February 15, 2007
TREBACH TO TALK AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
THURS FEB 22 - 1:30 PM

The subtitle could be-- the criminal always returns to the scene of the crime.

WHERE: School of International Service Lounge, Nebraska Avenue, N.W.

Plenty of parking across the street in the Nebraska lot.

Contacts Phil Coulson, SSDP, 412-251-3109 or Elizabeth Belt, Trebach Institute, elizabeth@trebach.com 
The press release from national SSDP is attached.
 
 
All credit goes to SSDP - the American University chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy -- and to AU Professor Jeff Schaler who will moderate or MC the event.  The students and Jeff took the lead in making this appearance happen.  
 
I will talk primarily about my latest book  FATAL DISTRACTION: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror. In addition, I will talk about my 35 years or so at the forefront of drug policy research and reform and my views on the failures and the future of the entire drug policy reform movement.  
 
All three books in the Trebach Trilogy will also figure in the discussion and they will be there for autographing and purchase -- in the event there are hardy, wonderful souls who want to buy these amazing tomes.
 
My interest in drug policy started in the Ward Circle Building at AU while I was teaching basic administration of justice courses in the early Seventies.  In part, because I was encouraged by my colleagues to research and write books and in part because writing was in my soul, I kept writing at AU.  The Heroin Solution and The Great Drug War were completed while I was at AU.  In each of the years when they were released the university gave me the award as the outstanding scholar of the year. Parts of the latest book were completed when I was still at AU but it was finished within the last year, long after I retired from the university and became a professor emeritus.
 
Thus, the existence of the Trebach Trilogy -- put out by Unlimited Publishing LLC of Bloomington, Indiana -- provides evidence that scholarship at AU does happen and is carried on by many professors and students alike. It rarely gets the recognition it deserves -- even though it resides at the core of the university mission.




THE TREBACH TRILOGY IS AVAILABLE NOW!




FATAL DISTRACTION: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror

Fatal Distraction is now available from major booksellers

Amazon.com
Barns and Noble




The Heroin Solution 2nd Edition

Available Now!
Amazon.com
Barns and Noble

Debunks myths about heroin: A classic by a leading expert on drugs, their medical uses and abuse by addicts. Comparative history of narcotics control and treatment in Britain and America. Includes extensive citations, bibliography, index. "A blockbuster," says Publishers Weekly.

"Eloquent and persuasive."
- The New York Times




The Great Drug War 2nd Edition


The Great Drug War
by Arnold S. Trebach

Formerly published by Macmillan; 2005 edition from UP includes new introduction and links to extensive source materials.

"At last! A professor, attorney, and writer who offers a reasonable and realistic approach to the drug problem in America."
-- Psychology Today

"This controversial study is likely to be widely discussed."
-- Publishers Weekly

"...Trebach's proposals are worthy of serious consideration... Highly recommended."
-- Library Journal

 

Order "The Great Drug War" at Amazon.com today!
Order "The Great Drug War" at Barnes and Noble today!
Order "The Great Drug War" at BookSense today!

 




February 15, 2007
Congressional Ignorance

Former Representative Mark Foley, with his lustful eye for young male pages and his co-chairmanship of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, certainly embodies the most inappropriate committee appointment in Congressional history. A close second, though, may very well be Congressman Mark Souder as ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversees federal drug war policies.

Last week the MSNBC program hosted by Tucker Carlson wanted to talk about the refunding of the failed government sponsored program airing anti-marijuana radio and television ads. They scheduled as a guest Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance but at the last minute bumped him in favor of Congressman Souder. As a result viewers were treated to an amazing display of ignorance concerning marijuana. As Piper puts it, “I never thought I would say this, but I’m glad I got bumped. Souder made a total fool of himself.” Also, we must give credit to Carlson who helped with the process by refusing to accept at face value many of Souder’s blatant falsehoods.




February 14, 2007
MARIJUANA IS GOOD MEDICINE, BIG NEWS? NO

It is the same old story. Another impressive scientific research study documents the value of marijuana in medicine -- and ho hum, the White House says the strudy is flawed and is not persuasive and will not change policy. Science makes no difference in the making of American drug policy. This is a continuing embarrassment of the same type I have been documenting for about 35 years. How sad and what a waste of time. An important story appeared yesterday in the Washinton Post on this matter. Here.




May 1, 2006
FATAL DISTRACTION: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror

These events -- the Mexican legalization law and that awful police decapitation story -- come at a time when I have just finished work on three books covering much of my career in drug reform. The newest and most comprehensive is in the process of being released to the public. Because of these events, I have decided that the time has come to post more information on my web site about that book.

Why? Those events showed just how horrible the impact of the drug war can be and they also showed the dramatic reforms that are starting to take place. I have worked for drug legalization for decades precisely because of the harm it causes. The book lays out the rationale for full legalization and the Mexican government has just gone further down that road than any government of my knowledge. My hope is that Mexican officials use the arguments in my book to keep going even further.

The book is being published by Unlimited Publishing LLC, a relatively new and pioneering company. While the book is not available in bookstores as yet, advance pre-publication copies may be secured by the electronic and print media for review and comment purposes, as explained below.

A preliminary copy of the first press release from Unlimited Publishing follows.




UNLIMITED PUBLISHING LLC

Bloomington, Indiana 47402

www.unlimitedpublishing.com


PRESS RELEASE
May 2006

ANNOUNCING THE PUBLICATION OF:

FATAL DISTRACTION: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror
By Arnold S. Trebach

For further information or to arrange interviews with the author, contact Jack Magestro at acquisitions@unlimitedpublishing.com. Members of the press (only) may call 800-218-8877. Information may also be obtained at news@unlimitedpublishing.com.


THAT LEGENDARY OPPONENT OF DRUG PROHIBITION CONTINUES TO SHATTER MYTHS IN THIS MUST-READ BOOK

"In 1996, Arnold Trebach, a legendary opponent of drug prohibition, gave a speech noting that 'all of us would be infinitely safer if the courageous efforts of anti-drug agents in the U.S. … and other countries were focused on terrorists aimed at blowing up airlines and skyscrapers [rather] than drug traffickers seeking to sell the passengers and office dwellers cocaine and marijuana.' We will never know what would have happened had the FBI taken Mr. Trebach's advice. But we do know what happened when the FBI continued to fight the futile war on drugs." These cogent thoughts appeared in an editorial of the Ottawa Citizen several years ago.

The media spread those words around the world after 9/11, leading some observers to marvel at the fact that Trebach had predicted the assault. Of course, he had done nothing of the kind, but he had stated the obvious though ignored truth that we all need protection from bombs not from bongs, from Osama not marijuana. In this book, Trebach, who over the years has been hired to provide advice to many federal agencies -- including the White House, the Justice Department, and the CIA -- puts that advice in a must-read narrative for all who care about our common future. In the process, this seasoned Washington veteran pulls together the lessons of his extensive experience and personal travails on the front lines of drug policy reform. His convincing core argument: in this age of Islamic terrorism, the war on drugs is indeed a fatal distraction from much more serious business.

Trebach argues that the war on drugs can only be ended if drugs are finally, at long exhausting last, legalized. His advice is that this be done quickly, without any more soul-searching or navel gazing. We cannot continue to waste precious human and monetary resources when our very survival is on the line.

We ignore his advice at our peril. As Trebach states in the opening words of this book: "It is remarkable that while Islamic terrorism threatens the very existence of all free societies and while the war on drugs interferes with the war on terror, the war on drugs continues nevertheless. History may well record that this distraction was fatal and that it was part of a series of other deadly mistakes and diversions which, taken together, were instrumental in dooming modern democratic civilization to the dustbin of that history."

Almost every day the lead news stories provide heightening support for his main thesis and that alarming prediction. The forces of extreme Islamic terror seem to push the West further and further back. The United States is in a state of internal conflict over its global strategy, with some leading officials decrying any diversion of resources from the failed war on drugs. In early April, for example, the normally sensible Congressman Henry Hyde complained that the Bush administration has no plans to replace damaged coca-spraying aircraft stationed in Colombia because resources are needed for conflicts in the Middle East. Such views document the confusion of our leaders as to how to survive this time of extreme peril in the nation's history.

In this book Trebach lays out the basis for new thinking and new strategies that would show that America and it allies take seriously the need for bold and urgent action. One small but significant signal would be the immediate disbanding of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the assignment of its thousands of dedicated, armed agents to the front lines of the war on terror. Their new marching orders, in Trebach's view, would be: Ignore pot; ignore meth; inform our citizens they must show personal responsibility regarding their drug consumption; focus on corralling the jihadists hiding at home and those abroad plotting to murder our people simply because we are infidels who believe in freedom and equality for all human beings regardless of their gender or religion or sexual orientation.

We at Unlimited Publishing hope that you find Fatal Distraction enlightening and helpful. If you publish a review or make a comment about it, we would like to receive a copy of the review or a transcript of the comment.

For reviews: Those who would like a copy for review purposes should send a request by email to acquisitions@unlimitedpublishing.com or news@unlimitedpublishing.com using your company or institutional address.

To purchase advance copies: For a limited time only, advance release copies of this new book are available exclusively from lulu.com at a substantial discount. Broad public availability to order in paperback and hardback at full retail price is expected later this year from all major booksellers.




Friday, February 3, 2006, 11:25am
AMERICAN DRUG WAR HORRORS: IMPRISONING PATIENTS

In the midst of all of the other horrors taking place in the world, it is embarrassing to see that the American war on drugs continues to divert precious enforcement and enforcement resources from the war on terror. Our drug war also continues to imprison seriously ill patients who have had the gall to use illegal drugs that helped their conditions. Kris Hermes of Safe Access has just sent around circular letter asking decent people to help prevent these heartless drug-war incarcerations from becoming death sentences, which they have for several patients. He is now asking for help in getting proper care for Steve Kubby, a convicted medial marijuana patient. His appeal can be found here. Your letters and appeals may help lessen the frequency of these home-made horrors.

After several decades of working for decent treatment of American drug-war prisoners, the persistence of cases like these helped moved me to the position of complete abolition. In my view, it is not possible for Americans to run a humane drug war any more than it was possible to make slavery humane. Abolition made sense in the 1860's regarding slavery and it makes sense now regarding prohibition and the war on drugs. Legalization is the only rational, moderate, and sensible option This thesis is laid out more fully in my forthcoming book, Fatal Distraction.




"This is the Book of Genesis for the modern drug war. While the Reagans claimed to believe in personal freedom, they launched a campaign that justified perverse inrtusions into the very bodies and bodily fluids of American citizens. Many parents felt impelled to imprison their kids in destructive "treatment" programs if they had smoked an occaisional marijuana joint. Here you see the invasions of basic American freedoms that were expanded in the current era of terror - and defended on the grounds that they were nothing to fret about because they had already been accepted in the drug war. "

The Great Drug War


THE SECOND EDITION OF THE GREAT DRUG WAR IS NOW AVAILABLE.

It is good to be able to report that one of my favorite book-children has been reborn in a second edition and is now available. The second edition of The Great Drug War, published by Unlimited Publishing, LLC, contains a new introduction and in addition on this site you will find the source notes I prepared for the original edition but for some reason never published. Those notes have been updated in many places and they will be frequently updated in the future.

The book provides an up-close and personal view of the Reagan drug war of the Eighties and of the harm it caused to ordinary Americans as well as to our concepts of freedom. Until I went back recently and started reading it again, I had forgotten how traumatized and angry I had become as I roamed the various fronts in that largely forgotten war. Of course the book reflects that trauma and anger, and well it should. Even though I have, to my own surprise, become an admirer of Ronald Reagan for his accomplishments in dealing with the Soviet empire, I remain quite disturbed over the harm he and Nancy caused on the home front.

Orders by school bookstores for large numbers of books for class use may be sent to this site or to :

Baker & Taylor
2550 West Tyvola Road, Suite 300
Charlotte, NC 28217
Tel: 800-775-1800; 704-998-3100
Fax: 704-998-3316

Students should be advised to look up the expanding list of source notes for this book on this site, which as I said is frequently updated.

In addition, I am now slowly leaving my monk's cell and making myself available for public lectures at colleges and universities around this country and Canada. While I am still working very hard at bringing out other books, I will set up a schedule for such lectures as the requests come in to this site. Please contact Elizabeth Belt at elizabeth@trebach.com for more information on the lectures or any matter related to my drug policy activities. One of the main topics of my lectures will be THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CAPE COD CANAL AND THE EFFORTS TO LEGALIZE DRUGS. What in the world can that mean?

 

 

The Great Drug War
by Arnold S. Trebach

Formerly published by Macmillan; 2005 edition from UP includes new introduction and links to extensive source materials.

"At last! A professor, attorney, and writer who offers a reasonable and realistic approach to the drug problem in America."
-- Psychology Today

"This controversial study is likely to be widely discussed."
-- Publishers Weekly

"...Trebach's proposals are worthy of serious consideration... Highly recommended."
-- Library Journal

 

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