AUT/Sue Blackwell - Rejoicing too soon?

On April 22, 2005 the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) voted to their shame 96-92 to boycott two Israeli universities, Haifa University and Bar-Ilan University. The proposal to boycott Hebrew University was struck down. The motion was brought by Sue Blackwell. She and others in favor of the boycott said it was in response to Israel's bulldozing of Palestinian houses to make room for buildings at Hebrew University. The motion also claimed that Israeli universities had apartheid that was worse than the South Africans. According to the Jerusalem Post Ms. Blackwell had this at her web-site after the vote: Sue Blackwell, the Birmingham University lecturer who tabled boycott motions, has posted a triumphant message on her Web site, entitled: "Victory to the academic intifada!"

Underneath a photograph of herself wearing a dress made from the Palestinian flag, and flashing a victory sign, the lecturer told readers: "Yes folks, we won."

However, her victory may be short lived. There is growing opposition by many members of the AUT to this boycott. Many are threatening to resign and petitions are being signed to dump the boycott. In a London Times article from April 25, 2005 entitled "Blinkered and ill-timed" the following was pointed out: Their actions are an echo of the Nazi ban on Jewish academics, and the general discrimination so common three generations ago.

The issue of discrimination is more overtly political in the broader context of the Middle East. How much academic freedom exists in Syria? Or Saudi Arabia?

Personally, I think Ms. Blackwell is a bigot. Her motions were ill-conceived and the evidence that was presented was one-sided. No one was allowed to present evidence in defense of the universities. Her motion against Hebrew University must have really been ludicrous for it was not boycotted.

The two Israeli Universities, Haifa University and Bar-Ilan University, that are the targets of the boycott have long had the reputation of academic freedom for both Jewish and Palestinian students. Ideas are freely exchanged. Palestinians and Israelis talk to one another. Far from boycotting these universities, they should be held up as an example of how the exchange of ideas can lead to better understanding between two peoples that have been living in war for decades. Israel's universities are a beacon for the exchange of ideas in the Middle East.

I read this post at Common Sense & Wonder. It states how the boycott will actually undermine the peace process. Well worth the read.

Osama dead?

Two Israeli newspapers are stating that an Al Qeada web-site is reporting Osama Bin Laden dead. These reports are unconfirmed and The Jerusalem Post states that a London based radical Islamic group denies the reports and says that a new Bin Laden tape will be issued sometime later.

Links to both articles are below.

The Jerusalem Post

Ha-aretz Daily


Blair in trouble

From the BBC News America, Prime Minister Tony Blair seems to be in trouble over allegations that his proposal to join the U. S. in the Operation Iraqi Freedom was illegal. The allegation are based on the recommendations of the British attorney general dated March 7, 2003. One of the main points is that the attorney general recommended getting a UN resolution (fat chance with our good friend France). It also stated that going to war was only legal if Iraq failed to comply with UN resolutions. How many times did Iraq fail to comply with UN resolutions?

Based on the resolution that Congress passed on October 7, 2002 in order for the U. S. to go to war against, Saddam Hussein violated twelve different resolutions.

I hope Prime Minister Blair can overcome this. I first discussed the possibility of losing England in the fight against terror in a post on April 16.

The resolution that the U. S. Congress not only discussed weapons of mass destruction but also the brutality that Hussein showed to his own people.

Key witness at Pantano hearing needs lawyer

The hearing for Lt. Pantano was abruptly halted Monday after a key witness left the stand and asked for a lawyer after being questioned extensively about giving interviews to the press. All concerned in the case had been told not talk to the media. For further detals about the hearing go to Defend the Defenders.


John Bolton - The man we need for the UN

I like John Bolton. I like the comments he has made about the UN. For years the UN has been ineffectual in what it is supposed to do. Tyrants and dictators thumb their noses at resolution proposed by the UN. Hell, the UN cannot even call what is going in Darfur by its true name, genocide. They cannot even state that suicide bombers that blow up innocent people in cars, buses, and pizza parlors are terrorists.

Some of the UN peacekeeping troops have been charged with rape and even after those reports came out, the rapes continued. Leading UN officials have been charged with sexual harassment. And of course there is the Oil for Food scandal. I wonder who those two top UN officials could be?

We need someone to shake things up at the UN and John Bolton seems to be the no-nonsense type of person needed. I urge the Senate to confirm him. I think the Democrats are being spiteful. As Jonah Goldberg stated in his column at the Jewish World Review: If John Bolton had been the nicest, sweetest, let-me-help-you-with-your-groceries, you-can-sleep-on-my-couch, I'll-get-the-thorn-out-of-your-paw teddy bear to everybody he ever worked with or met, not a single Democratic senator on the Foreign Relations Committee would change his vote from "no" to "yes."

Come on let's send someone to the UN that will represent "gasp", the priorities of the United States.

Pictures from Deep impact

The space craft Deep Impact has sent back pictures of the Tempel 1 comet.


Mubarek may not run again

Ha'aretz, the Israel online newspaper is reporting that Egyptian President Mubarek says he is unsure if he will seek 5th term.


Organic materials in Titan's atmosphere

Exciting news, organic chemistry has been discovered in the upper atmosphere of Titan. Life on Earth started from similar carbon building blocks.

This is just in from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Scientists believe that Titan's atmosphere may be a laboratory for studying the organic chemistry that preceded life and provided the building blocks for life on Earth. The role of the upper atmosphere in this organic "factory" of hydrocarbons is very intriguing to scientists, especially given the large number of different hydrocarbons detected by Cassini during the flyby.

The article gives more detail and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory website, there are pictures available from Cassini.


Nazi organization National alliance disintegrating?

This was posted April 20, 2005: The United States’ largest neo-Nazi group, the National Alliance (NA), has begun a rapid collapse due to widespread anger and disaffection among its white supremacist membership regarding the group’s leaders, Erich Gliebe and Shaun Walker. at the ADL (Anti-defamation League) web-site.

I hope the disintegration continues with the national group and all the local groups. These Neo-nazis groups are evil.

Columnist relays the truth about MSM & the Vietnam War

In an opinion piece entitled Perhaps we are entering 'post-journalism age' by George Will, he states that newspaper journalism is losing ground as well as the major news networks. Many reasons are given for this decline. Among them is that the age demographics show that people 60 and older are the largest percentage that read a newspaper regularly. The column goes on to state that there many other reasons why people are turning away from MSM, such as that now there are many alternative sources available.

This is the reason I believe many are turning away: When, after the misreported Tet offensive of 1968(a U.S. military victory described as a crushing defeat), Cronkite declared Vietnam a 'stalemate'. In another paragraph of the column, George Will writes: "If that had been the broadcast marketplace in 2004, John Kerry would be president...the three networks reported on the Swift boat veterans attacks on Kerry only after coverage by cable news and talk radio forced Kerry to respond".

People are turning away from MSM because they do not report the truth or skew it to meet some political agenda. I have not watched the MSM for awhile. Instead of just reporting the news, the anchors and reporters try to tell me how to think. The majority of Americans seem to have deserted MSM also. I no longer rely on one source. With satellite TV, I can watch BBC news, CBC(Canandian), the German Journal, Japan news, and many others. On the internet, I can access the Washington Post, The Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, AFP, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and many, many others.

Most of the alternative news sources report the news without too much commentary. In other words, I am not having editorials thrown at me when I access the news. And to quote Cronkite, "That's the way it is".


Operation Seabees Can Do

As a member of the South Mississippi Chapter of Protest Warriors, I was privileged to participate in Operation SeaBees Can Do. It was held at the main gate of the Naval Construction Battalion Base located in Gulfport, Mississippi on April 23. We wanted to show our support to those who serve our country. Our efforts were greatly appreciated by the service men and women who passed by. After reading our signs of thank you, we received numerous thumbs up, car honks and smiles. Some people who lived in the area came up and thanked us for what we were doing. Below are some pictures.

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This was our second operation. Our first was held March 19, 2005 at Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. The response of those who serve our country was overwhelming. Our chapter plans to hold more of these operations in the future.


Spirit of America

At the Indepundit site, I found out about a group that is doing tremendous work in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. It is called the The Spirit of America. It was started by a group in the US Armed Forces to help the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan. From the Spirit of America's web-site, it started out very small. A soldier deployed in Afghanistan wrote his wife and asked her to send some baseball equipment. She was able to get donations and send the equipment over. The Afghanistan villagers loved it. Later on, the soldiers were attacked by rockets. The people in the village organized themselves and started walking around the perimeter of the soldiers camp and the rocket attacks decreased.

From there it spread to Iraq. It is now branching into Lebanon. Spirit of America supplied the pro-democracy supporters in Lebanon with computer equipment in order for them to have a web-site. The web-site is called The Pulse of Freedom.

They have many projects that are ongoing. Check out their web-site.


Who was Maria Ruzicka?

I didn't even know her name until today when I went to one of my favorite web-sites(the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler) and there was a post about her. The post was very negative about her and seemed to glory in her death. I am the type who has to know all the facts and before I form an opinion so I did some research to see if she was a looney left as portrayed in two of the posts I saw.

While the portrait painted of her was true to a certain extent, this site failed to go beyond the year 2002, when she did outrageous stunts. However, after going to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003, she seems to have matured.

As this Washington Post article states, she seemed to be genuinely committed to helping the civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In today's opinion page at the Wall Street Journal, they even changed the opinion they had of her.

She even sought the military's help in getting aid to those hurt because she felt that they were the ones who could get it done the quickest.

Far from branding her as a moonbat, she needs to be upheld as someone who did what she could to help those affected by the war. Her efforts will go long in the effort to win over the hearts and minds of those in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Recovering from a migraine

Today was so beautiful. The sun was shining bright and the temperature was in the low 70's. So how did I spend this great day? Was it outside gardening, going to the beach, or just plain taking it easy?

Oh noooo. I had to wake up with the start of a migraine. It stared innocently enough. The headache behind my eyes, the tearing of the eyes, not so bad the first minutes after waking. Then boom. The nausea kicks in, then the blurring of the eyes. My head feels like it expands and contracts with each breath I take. The light and noise of a quiet morning is too harsh.

My only refuge is a quiet, dark room. Forget about any plans for the day, just surviving the onslaught is enough.

Today's wasn't too bad. It only lasted 6 hours. I only take Tylenol for them. I get the drag myself to bed and stay there ones about four times a year.


Losing a friend in the war on terror?

On May 5, elections will be held. If Blair's party does not have the majority, it will have to form a coalition with another of the parties. As it stands now, Tony Blair's Labour Party may have to form a coalition with the Conservative party. As England is the most vigorous supporter of Operation Iraqi Freedom, what does this entail for us in Iraq?

At BBCNews.com there is very little about the implications. There has hardly been any news coverage in the US about these upcoming elections and yet, the government that the Britons choose will impact us to a degree.

It has been comforting to have Tony Blair covering our back. He has been a staunch supporter for our war on terror. The upcoming elections may change that.

As much as we would like to discount European criticism of US policies, it is still nice to have friends like the UK, Italy, Portugal and the Eastern European countries such as Poland.


Graduation joy and wonder

My son will be graduating from high next month. I am so proud of him but it is a major milestone in his life as well as mine. Have I taught everything that he needs to go out on his own? Have I taught him the morals he needs to make the right decisions in his life? Does he know that God is always there?

He is an adult now and soon he will go to college. It so hard to believe!! It seems only like yesterday that I was holding him in my arms, listening to his first words, watching him make those first tentative steps. Life is such a miracle. A baby who was 21 inches at birth is now 6 feet tall!!!

All the stages in between have come and gone: the first day of school, the first band instrument, the first girl friend, the trip to Washington DC by himself, the first time behind the wheel of a car.

I want life to be easy for him. I want him to have the best of everything, to find his true love and make a life with her. I want him to enjoy the career he chooses.

It is so hard to let go and yet I have such a feeling of joy. He is making the first tentative steps of adulthood. You remember that feeling of excitement when your child takes his first steps? It is indescribable. This is the feeling that I have.


Strike against the Braves is now over


My year long strike against the Atlanta Braves is over. The management decided to trade my favorite player, Brian Jordan. It was a very bad move. After watching a couple of games at Braves stadium, I always felt that Jordan was a team player, while Chipper Jones is a showoff. Even before the games would start, the other players would stretch together. There was only one player missing, Chipper Jones.

Well, the Braves management has seen fit to bring Jordan back and so my strike has ended. After a year of not watching, I turned the tv on Saturday. My faith in Jordan was validated when he hit a grand slam in his first at bat during the game. It is so good not to be a Yankee fan anymore.



Help save Pantano- defend the defenders

Second Lt. Pantano is being charged for killing two Iraqis. He killed them after finding a cache of weapons in their home. They had attempted to flee in an SUV. The tires where shot out and they run. They were caught and handcuffed. Fearing the SUV may have been bobby trapped, they were ordered to search. It was during this period they were killed. They had been ordered, in Arabic, to stop talking but not comply. They made a sudden joint movement toward Pantano and then were shot.

Please go to the following web-site to get more information: Defend the Defenders

Please write to your Congressman and urge him to support H Res 167 in defense of Pantano.


What is really being taught at USA colleges and universities

At the Common Sense and Wonder web-site there is an article, Confessions of an Politically Incorrect Professor(Scroll down to about the third article), which seems to indicate that our colleges and universities are no longer the bastions of free thought.

Liberalism is stifling true dialogue and exchange of ideas. The only political ideas and beliefs that seem to be allowed are those of liberalism. How can college and university students be taught to think for themselves if they are only having one view, that of liberalism, advocated?

Our colleges and universities should not be a venue for one political view. What was particularly disturbing in the article was the one professor who had to register as a Democratic even though he was a conservative in order to keep his job.

There are many college chapters of Protest Warrior who are attempting to change the climate. I wish them luck in their endeavors. There is also another group called Campus Watch that is attempting to get the word out about what is really going on around campuses in this country.

As more and more people become aware of the climate on campuses around the country, hopefully it will begin to change.


Poetry for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom

Back in February, Laura Bush was going to hold a day of poetry in support of the war. Many anti-war groups decided that they would have a day of poetry against the war at the same time. Laura Bush canceled her event. The The Wall Street Journal decided to publish some poems in support of the war. I find them to be thought provoking and some were very funny.

The second one, "In The Name of Freedom" by Elliot McGuken sent chills down my spine. He was able to invoke the thoughts and feelings I have for the brave men and women who serve our country and defend its' freedom. It also verbalized the feelings that I have for the wondrous gift of freedom we have in this country.

Follow the link to read them. You will not be disappointed.

Wall Street Journal Best of the Day