http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/the-nelson-mandela-legacy?f=must_reads In life, Nelson Mandela was admired; in death, he is venerated. As time passes, his life story is evolving from hagiography to beatification. There is something to admire in a man who stood by his convictions and altered the course of history by destroying the hateful apartheid institution. But the Mandela story has been […]



Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making headlines, but not because the prosecution in his corruption trial filed its closing arguments last week.

No, the reason Olmert is currently in the spotlight has nothing to do with his alleged part in what many legal analysts consider one of the worst fraud and bribery cases in Israel’s history. It is, rather, due to statements he made on Monday during a conference called “Transforming Media Coverage of Violent Conflicts: The New Face of War,” at the Truman Center of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Though Olmert’s talk was titled “Media Challenges of Prime Ministers in Times of War and Terror,” he took the opportunity of the figurative and literal podium to accuse Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of not wanting peace with the Palestinians.

“Only a dumbbell wouldn’t make peace,” he said, eliciting chuckles from the Hebrew-speaking audience for his slangy and puerile choice of epithet (the Hebrew word he used, “tembel,” can also be translated as “dunce,” “moron” or “blockhead”).

“Even a dumbbell of a prime minister would receive positive media coverage,” he continued. “But a dumbbell of a prime minister wouldn’t make peace, and a prime minister who makes peace wouldn’t be a dumbbell.”



When Medicare was enacted, wise observers called it “welfare for the rich” because the benefits were never means tested- a millionaire and a pauper were entitled to the same benefits. And that started the ineluctable march to government control of healthcare…..rsk

Expanding Medicaid coverage to an estimated nine million more Americans—as mandated by the Affordable Care Act—reinforces the idea that Medicaid only serves the poor. That perception is not accurate. And it distracts from a looming budgetary threat to the program: long-term care.

More than two-thirds of annual spending on long-term care for the elderly is paid by state and federal governments, $60 billion of which flows from Medicaid. With 10,000 baby boomers reaching retirement age every day for the next 19 years, the Congressional Budget Office projects that spending on long-term care will more than double by 2050—to 3% of GDP from 1.3%.

We might accept these rising costs if benefits flowed only to the elderly poor, as originally intended. But that is not the case. Significant long-term care benefits flow to individuals in the top 20% of retirement earnings, enabled by Medicaid’s generous asset-exclusion limits.

In many states, an elderly person may own a home valued at $802,000, plus home furnishings, jewelry and an automobile of uncapped value while receiving long-term Medicaid support. In addition, they are allowed to have various life-insurance policies, retirement accounts with unlimited assets, $115,920 in assets for a spouse, income from Social Security, and a defined-benefit pension plan. By most standards, such a household would be considered wealthy.

Despite these generous rules, some individuals even game the system further by arranging complex asset transfers or insurance transactions that sidestep congressional efforts to curb fraud.


http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303933104579304321624105870?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop The secretary of state hasn’t outlawed war, as Frank Kellogg did in 1928, but his Mideast initiatives are a good imitation. An American secretary of state was once awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for outlawing war. In describing how 62 countries came to sign (and 85 U.S. senators to ratify) the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, […]


Nidra Poller is a journalist, commentator/novelist who lives in France. In a previous column Jonathan Tobin wrote


“ Since in many European countries, and France in particular, hate speech is banned, the furor over the quenelle’s breakout into mainstream culture has led to a discussion about whether the gesture should become illegal as well as if Dieudonné’s shows, which feature soi-disant humorous rants about Jewish “slave drivers” manipulating ordinary people and complaints about claims of Jewish victimhood, should also be prohibited.This is a mistake, since although France has a strong tradition of government intervention in affairs in which authorities should stay out of, banning either the gesture or the performer will raise justified complaints about rights of free speech as well as making Dieudonné into a victim rather than a perpetrator….”

Nidra’s reponse:

Amiga, I don’t know how all this misinformation about la quenelle (the real one, not the nazi/jihad salute) got into the news stream.And now, amiga, you say it’s boiled fish balls. Mais non mais non. La quenelle is actually quite delicious. It is a specialty of Lyon, it is definitely not boiled. You bake it, it puffs up almost like a soufflé, and you serve it with une sauce armoricaine, par exemple. Further, in reaction to the article by Jonathan Tobin: I know that French law often stifles free speech (witness the al Dura lawsuits) but it is unfair and incorrect to act as if there’s no free speech here, and no debate here on the wisdom of banning Dieudonné’s “shows” and/or his quenelle. We are all—government and citizens– thinking seriously about it. But you can’t give us advice while totally disregarding our legal system! Laws against hate speech, denial of the Shoah, apology for genocide, incitement to religious or ethnic violence do indeed exist in France. People are prosecuted and punished under these laws. Why shouldn’t Dieudonné be expected to respect French law? Our laws can’t be abrogated by a disparaging remark and a click of the mouse. Today, when de facto shari’a law trumps the 1st amendment of the United States Constitution, we welcome a serious, mutually respectful debate on free speech in the free world.

GIULIO MEOTTI: Dieudonné: Anti-Semitism That Makes People Laugh


“I am an Islamic-Christian”, says the comedianThe problem of Dieudonné is that his anti-Semitism has people laughing. Jews should take it seriously..

When Dieudonné presented his “anti-Zionist” political list at the French elections four years ago, he chose a manifest in which 20 people are laughing, staring into the lens, while he does a pseudo-Fascist salute.

Now, that gesture, the “quenelle”, has become iconic in the Islamicized areas of France, as well as in the football arenas.

But it would be a mistake to pin the lable of “Nazism” on Monsieur Dieudonné. This Parisian comic is actually a champion of “islamo-progressivism” of France, a category coined by Catherine Kintzler.

His monologues are oversubscribed and the star Dieudonné is always welcomed by crowds shouting “viva viva Dieudonne, freedom of expression”. There are those who call him the “French Malcolm X”.

The key to his success is firstly in his mixed ethnic identity: ethnic, since his mother is Breton and Dieudonné’s father from Cameroon; but especially his religious ethnicity: “I am an Islamic-Christian”, says the comedian.

So the comedian is “the native speaker de la République”. Then, even physically, Dieudonné makes contempt for Jews popular, with his cherubic and bearded face, expanded by a continuous and crass laugh that fascinates the Parisian aristocracy.


http://spectator.org/articles/57340/so-many-intolerable-lies Two events last week — one an announcement by the Marine Corps, the other speeches at the inauguration of New York City’s new mayor — illustrated vividly how President Obama and his media cohort have so narrowed  the boundaries of political speech that we no longer believe we can challenge outright lies. Among the […]

Provost Delegation From US Universities To Explore Academic Partnerships in Israel: Lidar Gravi Lazi see note

Why am I skeptical? Gender, sustainability, globalization, diversity, women’s leadership and a little trip to Ramallah…rsk

The delegation includes experts in the fields of women and gender, research and treatment for cancer and other diseases.

A delegation of provosts from leading US universities arrived in Israel on Sunday as part of the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange, in an effort to explore academic partnerships and collaboration opportunities with Israeli universities.

The week-long trip will include visits to higher education institutions, including Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where the delegation will learn about innovative research initiatives and ground-breaking ventures, as well as academia-to-industry technology transfer. The participants will also meet with Israeli government officials and experts and will travel to Ramallah for high level discussions with Palestinian leaders.

Chaired by Marilyn R. Schuster, provost and dean of faculty at Smith College, the delegation is comprised of deans and provosts from Catholic University, Sarah Lawrence, Bard College, Smith College, Rice University, Brown University, Dominican University of California, University of South Florida and University of Louisville.

The delegation includes experts in the fields of women and gender, research and treatment for cancer and other diseases, K-12 general education, cognitive science, linguistics, cultural studies and globalization, and communications.

The university provosts will also hold bilateral academic meetings in fields relevant to each university, among them: science, environmental sustainability, biotech, diversity and women’s leadership.


  http://www.investigativeproject.org/4256/guest-column-the-final-death-of-lawrence-of-arabia Peter O’Toole, who was marvelous in “Lawrence of Arabia,” died recently. Many commentators and critics feel that Lawrence’s story and the movie about him influenced the actions of many European statesmen, politicians, and members of Western foreign ministries and security services. However, there is considerable argument as to whether and what, as a […]

Judge: ‘Let’s Burn the Jew’ not Racism, Even if You Burn a Jew : Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Grabbing a Jewish girl, flicking a lighter next to her hair and saying “let’s burn the Jew” is apparently not a racially motivated act in Winnipeg. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/judge-lets-burn-the-jew-not-racism-even-if-you-burn-a-jew/2014/01/06/ Canadian judge ruled flicking a lighter in Jewish girl’s hair while saying “let’s burn the Jew” not racially motivated Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus A high school student […]