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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mary Landrieu's Bogus Ad is Met With Media Distain

Mary Landrieu is already suffering from a credibility deficit with Louisiana voters because of her vote for ObamaCare, and her new TV spot isn’t helping. Instead of running a straightforward ad, Landrieu decided to put on an act, reenacting a committee hearing complete with fake staffers, a fake hearing room, and even a fake news organization. The reality is Landrieu’s record of opposition to President Obama – whose agenda she supports 97 percent of the time – is as phony as her new ad.


CNN: Landrieu Ad With Fake Footage Is “Blowing Up In Her Face”


  • ABC News Headline: “Mary Landrieu Criticized for Re-Enacting Congressional Hearing in New Ad”
  • The Washington Examiner: “Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, in a neck-and-neck race for re-election, is taking a lot of criticism over a new ad … What Landrieu did to invite the ridicule was to re-create for her ad producers her own performance in a Senate hearing — complete with set, supporting cast, fake nameplate, and even phony news chyrons — to show her standing up for her state.”
  • BuzzFeed Headline: “Senator Hilariously Recreates Senate Hearing For Campaign Ad”
  • The Wire Headline: “Mary Landrieu’s Campaign Ad Has a Fake-Looking Reenactment of a Hearing”

Sorry Mayor Bloomberg, I Wouldn't Start Decorating That Room In Heaven Just Yet

In a NY Times article published Wednesday, former NYC Mayor Bloomberg spoke about spending $50 million to go after the NRA. That wasn't the shocking part of the piece, in the last paragraph the former Mayor bragged that he was guaranteed to go into heaven providing, of course that there was a God.

But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.” 
It is not my place to say what will happen when Bloomberg (who was born Jewish) meets his maker, however in Jewish tradition it is not his place either. Additionally if Bloomberg remembers anything from his heritage, belief in God as opposed to the agnosticism he displayed is a central tenet of the religion.

Beyond his statements many of the Bloomberg policies he brags about seem to conflict with Jewish tradition. Programs such as the smoking cessation, the big soda ban, the trans fat, salt and hiding the baby formula edicts set by the Mayor were attempts to take away NYC resident's free will, and to substitute government for God in their lives.

The creation narrative in Genesis explains that man is created in God’s image. But we also taught that our maker has no bodily form, so how can that be? The Bible is not teaching us that we are all dead ringers for ”big guy upstairs,” if that was the case the pictures on everyone’s drivers licenses would look alike and no one would be able to get a check cashed and CSI would be a very boring TV show.

“Created in God’s image” is supposed to teach us that just as God acts as a free being, without prior restraint to do right and wrong, so does man. God does good deeds as a matter of his own free choice, and because we are created in his image so can man. Only through free choice, can man truly be, in the image of God. Bloomberg tried to take that away.

It is further understood that for Man to have true free choice, he must not only have inner free will, but an environment in which a choice between obedience and disobedience exists. God thus created the world such that both good and evil can operate freely; this is what the Rabbis mean when they said, “All is in the hands of Heaven except the fear of Heaven” (Talmud, Berachot 33b). God controls all the options we have, but it is up to man to pick between the correct or incorrect option.

As explained by the Rabbis, free will is the divine version of limited government. God picks the winning direction, but does not force people to go in that direction. But when they do follow the correct direction man is able to become closer to their maker.

According to the faith he grew up in, God is a creator who instilled in us a personal responsibility to do the right thing, but he also provided us with the choice to accept that responsibility or not. There is no room in Jewish law for a government that forces us to do (their interpretation) of the right thing.  During his 12 years as Mayor, Mike Bloomberg tried to force his interpretation of right and wrong on New Yorkers. He just might have to explain that,  before he heads straight in because he is so sure he earned his place in heaven.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hey Harry Reid: Obama, Biden, Schumer, Hillary Clinton and Others Took Koch Brothers Money


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to turn the Koch Brothers into the modern face of political evil, having mentioned them in the senate at least 134 times on the senate floor during the past few weeks. What he hasn't explained is if they are so evil why do so many Democratic Party members of congress take their money?

During the past five congressional campaigns (2006-14) Koch money went to President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Mark Pryor, Chuck Schumer and other members of Congress.

The chart below represents direct donations to Democratic Party candidates from Koch Industries employees since 2006 according to OpenSecrets.org (2014 donations are based on FEC numbers through March 10) Retired Democratic Party members of Congress received another $291,000 but were not included in the chart.

Many of Harry Reid's senior senators are on the chart below:

REVEALED: Cowardly Letter Written By Brandeis Faculty Asking To Rescind Ayaan Hirsi Ali Invitation


Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is a Somali-born American women's rights and atheist activist, writer and politician who is known for her views critical of female genital mutilation and Islam (based on the fact that as a child she suffered mutilation). In 2005, she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She has also received several awards, including a free speech award from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the Swedish Liberal Party's Democracy Prize, and the Moral Courage Award for commitment to conflict resolution, ethics, and world citizenship. In 2006 she published a memoir. The English translation in 2007 is titled Infidel.

Apparently her courage is not enough for Brandies University whose President first offered her an Honorary Doctorate then, rescinded the invite because of political correctness from the faculty.

Below is cowardly letter written by the  Brandeis Faculty asking that the Invite To Ayaan Hirsi Ali be rescinded.
Out of respect for those who have already signed this letter, PLEASE DO NOT ALTER THIS LETTER IN ANY WAY. IF YOU WISH TO SIGN IT, PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME  AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TEXT.
April 6, 2014
Dear President Lawrence,


We are writing to urge you to rescind immediately the invitation to Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali for an honorary doctorate, a decision about which we are shocked and dismayed, owing to her virulently anti-Muslim public statements.  


We further urge you to reinstitute the past practice of a faculty committee that vets potential honorary degree recipients. Such a committee would surely have warned you about the horrible message that this sends to the Muslim and non-Muslim communities at Brandeis and beyond.


A few of many examples will suffice. David Cohen quotes Ms. Hirsi Ali as saying: "Violence is inherent in Islam – it's a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder. The police may foil plots and freeze bank accounts in the short term, but the battle against terrorism will ultimately be lost unless we realise that it's not just with extremist elements within Islam, but the ideology of Islam itself....Islam is the new fascism" (London Evening Standard, 2-7-07). Rogier van Bakel quotes her as follows: "Jews should be proselytizing about a God that you can quarrel with. Catholics should be proselytizing about a God who is love....Those are lovely concepts of God. They can’t compare to the fire-breathing Allah who inspires jihadism and totalitarianism." Van Bakel notes religions' ability to bring about change for good: "Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?" Ms. Hirsi Ali responds, "Only if Islam is defeated." Van Bakel asks, "Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?" To that she responds, "No. Islam, period." (Reason, 11-07)


We are filled with shame at the suggestion that the above-quoted sentiments express Brandeis's values.


The University bestows honorary degrees, in part,  to “identify the University with the values expressed through the work and accomplishments of the honoree” and “draw positive attention to the University as an institution that respects and encourages such values and the manner in which those values are expressed.”  


We are saddened that Brandeis would choose to honor such a divisive individual at commencement, a moment of unity for the Brandeis community.  Her presence threatens to bring unnecessary controversy to an event that should rightly be about celebrating Brandeis’ graduates and their families.  


Please know that, like Ms. Hirsi Ali, we fully recognize the harm of forced marriages; of female genital cutting, which can cause, among other public health problems, increased maternal and infant mortality; and of honor killings. These phenomena are not, however, exclusive to Islam.
The selection of Ms. Hirsi Ali further suggests to the public that violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam or the Two-Thirds World, thereby obscuring such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus. It also obscures the hard work on the ground by committed Muslim feminist and other progressive Muslim activists and scholars, who find support for gender and other equality within the Muslim tradition and are effective at achieving it. We cannot accept Ms. Hirsi Ali's triumphalist narrative of western civilization, rooted in a core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples.


We call upon you to act immediately and to select another individual who is deserving of an honorary degree from Brandeis, someone who truly meets the standards and upholds the values of this university.  



Sincerely,


1. Karen Hansen, SOC, WGS
2. Dian Fox, ROMS, WGS
3. Daniel Bergstresser, IBS
4. James Mandrell, ROMS
5. ChaeRan Freeze, NEJS, WGS
6. Bernadette J. Brooten, NEJS, WGS, PRS, CLAS, SQS
7. Mary Baine Campbell, ENG, COML; Assoc. Faculty WGS
8. Jytte Klausen, POL
9. Aliyyah I. Abdur-Rahman, ENG, AAAS, Affil. WGS
10. H. Michael Coiner, ECON
11. Nader Habibi, ECON, CROWN, IBS
12. Sue Lanser, COML, ENG, WGS, MACH, Affil. HOID, ROMS
13. Gary Jefferson, ECON, IBS
14. Catherine L. Mann, IBS, ECON
15. Ulka Anjaria, ENG, SAS
16. Jens Hilscher, IBS
17. David Powelstock, GRALL, COML, HOID
18. Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, CLAS, ANTH, FA, Italian Studies, WGS
19. Jane Kamensky, HIST, WGS
20. Harry Mairson, CS
21. Sarah Lamb, ANTH, WGS, HSSP, SAS, PRS
22. Mitra Shavarini, WGS, SOC
23. Ellen Schattschneider, ANTH, WGS, PRS, EAS, IGS
24. Wendy Cadge, SOC, WGS, PRS
25. Marion Smiley, PHIL, WGS
26. Richard J. Parmentier, ANTH, GS
27. Eric Chasalow, MUS, FTIM
28. Guy Antebi, NEJS
29. Laura J. Miller, SOC
30. Bulbul Chakraborty, PHYS
31. Javier Urcid, ANTH
32. Elizabeth Brainerd, ECON, WGS, IBS
33. Janet McIntosh, ANTH, AAAS
34. Caren Irr, ENG, FTIM, ENVS
35. Jordan Pollack, Computer Science
36. Sabine von Mering, GRALL, WMGS
37. Jonathan Anjaria, ANTH, SAS
38. Dawn Skorczewski, ENG
39. Adrianne Krstansky, THA
40. Chad Williams, AAAS
41. Govind Sreenivasan, HIST
42. Jane Hale, ROMS
43. Peter Conrad, SOC, HSSP
44. Rasha Azoni-Hannigan
45. Joseph Lumbard, NEJS, IMES, HOID, PRS
46. Gordon Fellman, SOC, PAX, IMES, Ethics Center
47. Leslie Zebrowitz, PSYC
48. David Cunningham, SOC, SJSP, Affil. HS
49. Paul Monsky, MATH
50. Edward K. Kaplan, ROMS, PRS, Affil. NEJS
51. Matthew Fraleigh, GRALL, COML, EAS
52. Ellen Kellman, NEJS
53. Paul Morrison, ENG
54. Jennifer Cleary, THA
55. Carl El-Tobgui, NEJS, IMES
56. George Ross, Hillquit Professor Emeritus, Soc, Pol, Global Studies
57. Debarshi Nandy, IBS
58. Robert Sekuler, PSYC, NEUR
59. Sara Shostak, SOC, HSSP
60. Harleen Singh, GRALL, WGS, SAS
61. Donald Hindley, POL, EAS, LALS
62. Kanan Makiya, NEJS, Crown Center
63. Ana Villalobos, SOC
64. Thomas King, ENG, SQS, WGS
65. Paul Jankowski, History
66. Gregory L. Freeze, History, IGS
67. Lenny Muellner, Classical Studies
68. Matthew Headrick, PHYS
69. Aparna Baskaran, PHYS
70. Albion Lawrence, PHYS
71. John Wardle, PHYS
72. Gabriella Sciolla, PHYS  
73. Raymond Knight, PSYC
74. Sophia Malamud, Linguistics, COSI
75. David H. Roberts, PHYS
76. Christine M. Thomas, CHEM
77. Allan Keiler, MUS
78. Marya Levenson, Education Studies
79.  Kelley Ready, SID
80. Nina (Cornelia) Kammerer, Heller PhD Program
81. Robert Meyer, PHYS, emeritus
82. Wellington Nyangoni, AAAS
83. Talinn Grigor, FA, SAS, GS
84. David Sherman, ENG
85. Richard Gaskins, AMST, LGLS
86. David Karjala, NEJS, IMES
87. Patricia A. Johnston, Classical Studies