Displaying posts published in

July 2016


Alexander Hamilton is all the rage now for the musical “Hamilton” which has deservedly won so many awards. I saw it and loved it and admire the book and author that inspired it.

“Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow. 2005

Ron Chernow is an excellent writer and biographer. In 2011 Chernow wrote an inspiring biography of our magnificent first president George Washington who comes to mind as we celebrate Independence day. It is great reading in any season.
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

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General Washington’s Standard ‘To which the wise and honest can repair’ By Kevin D. Williamson

‘Does not, then, the Almighty clearly impress an awe of the persons and authority of Kings upon the minds of their subjects, hereby proving Government of Divine origin?” So asked the Reverend J. R. Walsh in a pamphlet printed in 1829. “For, otherwise, by what principle could any one mortal command subjection from so many millions of fellow creatures”?

That was a question very much upon the mind of King George IV, whose coronation provided the inspiration for the Reverend Walsh’s essay: That king’s father, George III, had been treated with a notable lack of awe by his American subjects, who gave him the shoe and set up their own republic, without any king at all. This experiment in awelessness, all the smart people of the late 18th century assured one another, was doomed to failure: Awelessness was next to lawlessness, they believed, and a people without a king to tell them how to behave or a king’s church to tell them why to behave were doomed to anarchy.

Here’s to 240 years of glorious anarchy.

Awe was very much on the minds of those early republicans. George Washington, whose name appears frequently in sentences containing the word “awe,” wrote that one of the purposes of our northern fortifications was to “awe the Indians.” Thomas Paine, who had no great awe of the state, wrote of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms: “Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.” You’ll find a man’s heart where you find his awe: Walter Bagehot, founder of (that other) National Review and later editor of The Economist, lived to learn: “A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe,” he wrote, “and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself.” Edmund Burke believed that even when addressing the defects of the state, we should treat it “with pious awe and trembling solicitude,” hence his hesitancy about the American Revolution and his detestation of the French one. The libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard would later argue the opposite, that failed revolutions are valuable to the extent that they “decrease the awe in which the constituted authority is held by the populace, and in that way will increase the chance of a later revolt against tyranny.”

When the Reverend Walsh connected awe with divinity in government, he had in mind Paul’s letter to the Romans: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” Burke had in mind a kind of holy terror, too, though one that less closely resembled the apostle’s fear of the Almighty than it did Thomas Hobbes’s fear of bellum omnium contra omnes. But in many ways those come down to the same thing: Without someone to keep them in line — to keep them in awe — what’s to keep the people from running amok?

The American Founders did not contemplate a world without awe of government, but they did intuit that a free, self-governing, democratic republic could get by with a good deal less of it. George Washington famously rejected an offer to make him king and thought that calling the president “Your Excellency” might be a bit much, too. We hear a great deal now about the “dignity of the office” and the need to have “respect for the presidency,” if not for the president himself, but nobody ever really says why. Why should we be awed at the chief bureaucrat of the federal administrative apparatus? Why should we hold in awe our employee? “Only I can fix” is Donald Trump’s illiterate shorthand for the idea that presidents are, like kings, products of divine election. George Washington never said anything like that; he didn’t need to convince anybody that he was the man for the job, and he knew that the job was governing, not ruling.

Stunning apparent conflict of interest as SecState Hillary Clinton sought information key to son-in-law’s hedge fund By Thomas Lifson

The opportunities for corruption – insider trading of the worst kind – were obvious and deeply disturbing when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and her son-in-law went into a very specific kind of investing. And the fact that ne’er-do-well husband of Chelsea and father of two grandkids Mark Mezvinsky ended up botching his hedge fund and losing his investors’ money does not prove innocence.

In a long article at Foxnews.com, Peter Byrne lays out the tangled web of influence behind the big financial stakes swirling around Hillary’s actions as secretary of state in 2012.

Mezvinsky, who in earlier years had abandoned work and his wife to go be a ski bum for a number of months, returned to Wall Street and set up a hedge fund that was a kind of satellite operation for Goldman Sachs, the key player on Wall Street; supplier of many top executives to the Treasury Department; and, of course, mega-donor and speech honorarium payer to the Clintons.

In 2012, Mezvinski, the husband of Chelsea Clinton, created a $325 million basket of offshore funds under the Eaglevale Partners banner through a special arrangement with investment bank Goldman Sachs. The funds have lost tens of millions of dollars predicting that bailouts of the Greek banking system would pump up the value of the country’s distressed bonds. One fund, exclusively dedicated to Greek debt, suffered near-total losses.

Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in 2013 to run for president. But newly released emails from 2012 show that she and Clinton Foundation consultant, Sidney Blumenthal, shared classified information about how German leadership viewed the prospects for a Greek bailout. Clinton also shared “protected” State Department information about Greek bonds with her husband at the same time that her son-in-law aimed his hedge fund at Greece.

That America’s top diplomat kept a sharp eye on intelligence assessing the chances of a bailout of the Greek central bank is not a problem. However, sharing such sensitive information with friends and family would have been highly improper. Federal regulations prohibit the use of nonpublic information to further private interests or the interests of others. The mere perception of a conflict of interest is unacceptable.

Israeli Settlements: A Policy Worth Pursuing By Jacob Bernstein

Israel has recently decided to allocate millions of dollars to the construction of settlements in Judea and Samaria. Of course, this has produced anger among those who believe in the “two-state fantasy” of an Arab state and a Jewish state peacefully and cooperatively living side by side. As the fantasists see it, those darned Israelis are always such a nuisance — building homes in their ancestral land, shattering the dreams of a people who are not a people, and throwing the Middle East into chaos once again. If the Israeli right wing that governs the country was not so closeminded and would just give peace a chance and the Jews and the Palestinians could be the best of friends.

However, in the real world, people know, or should know, that none of these things are true. The Palestinians have been offered their own state at least three times, in 2000, 2001, and 2008, and each time it was the Palestinians who refused to take the offer of most of the land they claimed they wanted, and live in peace with Israel. Further, it is not Israel that has thrown the Middle East into chaos, but Islamist extremism in the region, especially from the Shia Islamists in Iran. Also, the much-vilified Israeli settlements are not an impediment to peace in the region, but are a necessity for Israel to provide security and protect its Jewish heritage and identity.

The idea that building homes is the cause of this conflict is ridiculous, because there was conflict even before there was any Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria. When the Arabs refer to “occupation,” most often they mean Jewish “occupation” of the entire land of Israel. The evidence lies in not just their words and chants of “from the river to the sea,” but also in their actions, especially pre-1967, before Israel took Judea and Samaria from the invading Jordanians. History has demonstrated that the Palestinian Arab population has never been willing to agree to peace as long as there would be a Jewish state next to the Arab state. When Israel was first created and allotted a sliver of land, it was attacked by five Arab armies vowing to drive its residents into the Mediterranean. And since then, whenever Israel offered generous peace proposals, meeting almost all of the Palestinian Arab demands, the offers were still rejected because they required recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Settlements in Judea and Samaria actually are vital to Israeli national security. If “Palestine” were created in Judea and Samaria, it would likely become another hotbed for terrorists, like in Gaza. This is incredibly dangerous, as there would be parts of Israel only nine miles wide but still containing the vast majority of the Israeli population which would be trapped between Arab terrorists and the sea. The settlements in Judea and Samaria were established to widen Israel’s narrowest width, which ensures Israel will have a route to the Jordan Valley if Israel is forced to fight a war to the east. Further, Judea and Samaria are positioned on a formidable mountain range, towering over central Israel. Without Israeli control or presence there the IDF would not be able to prevent Arab Katyusha rocket fire that has in range over 70% of Israel’s population and 80% of her industrial base.

Oxford men jailed for sexually abusing a teenage girl

Three men have been jailed for a string of sexual offences against a teenage girl in Oxford.

The victim was plied with drink and drugs between the ages of 13 and 15 and passed around “like a piece of meat”.

The offences included rape and indecent assault. On one occasion the girl was taken to woodland and told she would have her neck snapped.

She was in the care system when the abuse started and it continued between 1999 and 2007.

The defendants, charges, and sentences:

Assad Hussain, 35, was found guilty of five counts of rape, two counts of indecent assault, and one count of making a threat to kill – 12 years
Anjum Dogar, 33, was convicted of one count of rape and one count of indecent assault – 10 years
Akhtar Dogar, 35, was convicted of one count of indecent assault, two counts of rape, and one count of making a threat to kill – 10 years

Prosecutors said the crimes took place in wooded areas around Oxford and private addresses.

In sentencing, Judge Ian Pringle said: “This victim was perfect prey for those who wanted to sexually exploit her. There was clearly never any consent given.”

He said Akhtar Dogar had been the “principal player” in the “shocking” threats to kill, saying that he “used friendly companionship and turned it into an opportunity to serve his sexual desires”.



The Religion of Peace recently distinguished itself by hacking
a Buddhist leader to death, shooting a Christian priest in the
head, murdering a Hindu temple worker, and slaughtering
a 13-year-old Jewish girl… all in less than 24 hours!
Still think all religions are the same?

At Least 70 Killed in Blast at Busy Baghdad Shopping District Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the car bombing, which also injured at least 150 people By Ghassan Adnan in Baghdad and Karen Leigh in Dubai

Islamic State claimed responsibility for a massive car bomb that exploded overnight in the heart of one of Baghdad’s busiest commercial areas, killing 72 people and wounding at least 150 others, Iraq’s interior ministry said.

The explosion in the upscale central neighborhood of Karrada went off around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, setting nearby buildings ablaze as young people and families packed the streets, reveling after sundown and the breaking of the Ramadan fast. It was the terror group’s first major attack on the heavily patrolled area since May 2015.

Islamic State, a Sunni militant group, said in a statement distributed online that it had targeted a gathering of Shiites. It and other Sunni extremists reject Shiism, calling it polytheism.

Civil defense teams worked through the night pulling bodies from the debris. Families of those missing gathered in the street, looking for their relatives and shouting and cursing at security forces they said had failed to keep the area safe.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi toured the site hours after the explosion, promising to punish those responsible, according to a statement from his office. Angry crowds there jeered him, calling him a thief.

“Leave, leave, don’t let him stay here,” they said.

Mr. Abadi has faced months of political uncertainty partly caused by frequent attacks on Baghdad and other cities that have exposed gaps in Iraq’s security infrastructure. A protest movement this year questioned his leadership and called for immediate government reform.

Minutes after the Karrada bombing, an improvised explosive device detonated in the crowded east Baghdad neighborhood Al Shaab, killing four people and wounding 16 others, the interior ministry said. It targeted young Iraqis who were out shopping for the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr, which begins this week.

No group has claimed responsibility for the second attack.

Islamic State in May claimed a series of bombings that left 88 people dead across Baghdad, one of the deadliest days of insurgent violence in the country’s history and a stark reminder that the government had failed to uproot the extremist group despite dealing it a number of recent setbacks on the battlefield.

The Iraqi army reclaimed full control of Fallujah from Islamic State on June 26. The Anbar province city some 40 miles west from Baghdad had served as a command center for the terror group, and was one of its last major strongholds in Iraq following losses in Ramadi and the northern city of Sinjar. CONTINUE AT SITE

Biafra: Where is the International Community? by Judith Bergman

A new generation of Biafrans is now peacefully advocating for an independent Biafra. Muhammadu Buhari, the Muslim president of Nigeria, is fighting the nascent independence movement with military force.

“I saw one boy trying to answer a question. He immediately raised his hands, but the soldiers opened fire …” — Witness to the shootings, to Amnesty International.

As for IPOB’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, director of London-based Radio Biafra, he was arrested in October 2015 and has been held since, illegally, despite meeting bail conditions.

It is noteworthy that a peaceful situation, such as that of the pro-Biafra movement, apparently requires a “military option”, whereas a lethal terrorist group, such as the Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who murder innocent civilians, does not. This tactic furthermore brings into question whether Buhari’s efforts at curbing Boko Haram in the country are genuine or merely a play he puts on half-heartedly for the benefit of the international community.

On paper, the plight of Biafrans — whose state in what is today southeastern Nigeria, lasted for only three years, 1967-70, before the Nigerian authorities ended it with a genocide against them — should, for the international community, be an open-and-shut case.

Journalists, human rights activists, social justice warriors on campuses throughout the West, and organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union, all ostensibly claim to care deeply about human rights, especially for people whom the Europeans once colonized.

Biafra constitutes a textbook example of British colonization. The country’s brief existence was cut short by the Nigerian government’s genocide, which crushed all hopes for independence and self-determination. Biafrans, today, are denied their fundamental rights of assembly and free expression — rights that are guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution. The Nigerian government continues murderously to oppress them and their movement for sovereign freedom.

The international community, headed by the UN, which preaches the gospel of human rights and self-determination, persistently ignores their national aspirations.

The territories that constitute present-day Nigeria came under colonial occupation as British protectorates around 1903. Nigeria is essentially an artificial construct, created as a colony by Great Britain in 1914, when it merged the protectorates. The country is made up of a number of different indigenous African peoples, among them the Biafrans, who are ethnically predominantly Igbo.

After Nigeria’s independence from Great Britain in 1960, Biafra seceded from Nigeria, and in 1967 declared its own state. The Nigerian government refused to accept the secession and responded by launching a war on Biafra. The assault included a blockade of the nascent state, and resulted in the murder of more than two million Biafrans, many of whom were children who starved to death because of the blockade.

The Biafrans, watching the dissolution of their young state, surrendered to Nigeria in January 1970. They realized, perhaps, that the world’s abandonment of them did not warrant any future for their cause.

Unlike others at that time, such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Biafrans did not engage in hijacking and bombing airplanes, taking hostages and other forms of terrorist attacks against innocent civilians to further their cause. The international community responds obediently to terrorism. Whereas the PLO has now become the Palestinian Authority (PA) and is among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid, with a plethora of “human rights activists” championing its cause (as well as a UN body, UNRWA, exclusively for Palestinians), it would be hard to find a diplomat at the UN who even knows how to pronounce “Biafra”.

The question inevitably comes to mind, why the ostensibly anti-racist, pro-self-determination international community of opinion makers and human rights advocates has neither the political goodwill, nor the treasure to spare for the Biafrans.

Although the genocide effectively ended Biafran independence, a new generation of Biafrans is now peacefully pressing for an independent Biafra again. In an example of extreme hypocrisy, Muhammadu Buhari, the Muslim president of Nigeria, has declared himself fully committed to a Palestinian state, while his military fights the Biafran movement for self-determination with brutal force.

On May 30, Biafrans commemorated Biafra Heroes Remembrance Day. According to Amnesty International, the only major human rights organization that has interested itself in Biafra,



Nanomedicine targets stomach cancer. (TY Dan) Researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a nanomedicine technology for the targeted treatment of gastric tumors. The platform combines anti-cancer and anti-resistance compounds, packaged orally in beta-casein – a constituent of mother’s milk.

Artificial Intelligence to aid patient care. Israeli startup MedyMatch is developing an artificial intelligence (AI) platform using proprietary algorithms to process CT image data in the Cloud. Fast analysis of data will help physicians make accurate critical clinical decisions – e.g. with stroke diagnosis.

An app to beat acne. Israeli startup MDAlgorithms has built MDacne – the world’s first app to provide mobile acne analysis with customized treatment plans. Users complete a questionnaire and take a selfie. An algorithm then processes the data and offers food and hygiene tips and recommended medications.

ReWalk inventor can now stand up. Israel’s Amit Goffer invented the ReWalk for paraplegics, but as a quadriplegic he couldn’t use it. So he invented UPnRIDE (see Aug 2014) which allows wheelchair-bound quadriplegics to get vertical. Watch Amit use the latest version of UPnRIDE.

Device to treat overactive bladder. (TY Dan) Israeli startup BlueWind Medical has won a CE mark for its miniature neuro-stimulation device to treat overactive bladder. The OAB-1000 system is wireless, has no battery, is 90% smaller than existing devices and is minimally invasive, being implanted in the leg.

Robotic surgery in New York. (TY Dan) Dr. Ronald Lehman is first in NYC to perform PROlat(TM) spinal surgery using technology from Israel’s Mazor Robotics. He praised the time saved (one hour), the absence of having to flip over the patient and the reduced radiation that the patient and operating staff were exposed to. In addition, Mazor’s platform has now been approved by the medical authorities in (South) Korea.
http://www.orthospinenews.com/dr-ronald-lehman-is-first-in-nyc-to-perform-prolattm-procedure-with-mazor-robotics-technology/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=650Yoyiw-6Y

Find an Israeli doctor. The Israel Medical Association has launched a database (in Hebrew) of Israeli public and private doctors. Currently containing 1500 doctors (and growing) one can search by name, specialty and subspecialty, location, gender, professional status, languages they speak and age group that they treat.
http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Find-a-doctor-easily-and-quickly-with-IMAs-new-app-and-website-457920 www.ima.org.il/doctorsindex

Israeli soldiers revive Palestinian Arab baby. A Palestinian Arab baby without a pulse was brought to where IDF soldiers were stationed and they immediately began emergency treatment. They were able to restore the baby’s breathing before the Red Crescent arrived to take him to hospital. The baby is now in stable condition.

Musician Carlos Santana Maintains Upcoming Israel Concert With ‘Open Heart’ Despite Pressure From BDS Activists (VIDEO)by Shiryn Ghermezian

After supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement failed to pressure rock superstar Carlos Santana into cancelling his upcoming concert in Tel Aivv, the guitarist said in a video message on Thursday that he is excited to return to Israel and promote a “musical message of peace, love and an end to conflict.”

“The band and I will bring our open hearts and musical energy that will resonate with your soul long after the last song has been played,” Santana, 68, said in the clip, which was re-posted onFacebook by Israel advocacy group StandWithUs. “We look forward to seeing you at Park HaYarkon. Shalom and salam alaykum. Peace.”

Santana’s concert in Tel Aviv, scheduled to take place on July 30, was first announced in March. Since then, BDS activists have attempted to bully the Grammy Award winner into cancelling the show. Anti-Israel campaigners took to social media and demanded the Mexico-born musician stop “supporting the oppressor” and “endorsing occupation.” Open letters were also published, such as one by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) which called on Santana “to respect our picket line.”

Garik Ruiz, the North America Advocacy Advisor for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) National Committee, said earlier in June that his organization is “working very hard to be in communication with [Santana] about the international picket line and telling him not to cross it. We have had many campaigns targeting artists but Santana is the most high profile.”

On Tuesday, BDS supporters attempted to deliver a petition with 25,000 signatures to the headquarters of The Milagro Foundation, established by Santana and his family to help underprivileged children around the world. The petition delivery was live streamed by the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace, but workers at the foundation “refused to open the door … and closed the blinds,” according to the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA).

Santana’s upcoming concert in Israel is part of the musician’s world Luminosity Tour and will mark 29 years since he last performed in the Jewish state. The guitarist was set to perform in 2010 in Jaffa but pulled out due to reported scheduling difficulties.

The musician promised that portions of the proceeds from the upcoming Israel concert will be donated to the Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel, an organization that unites Jews and Arabs in schools across Israel. The Milagro Foundation has provided funding to Hand in Hand since 2003.

Watch Carlos Santana’s message in the video below: