25 September 2007

Biting the Worm in the Big Apple

Ambush flattens Ahmadinejad

David Nason, New York correspondent | September 26, 2007

A WEEK ago, Lee Bollinger was dismissed as a terrorist-coddling liberal egghead whose invitation for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia University was a monument to everything wrong in American academia.

Today, after his brutal and unexpected denunciation of Ahmadinejad as a cruel and ridiculous tyrant, the Columbia president has suddenly gone from a leftie pariah to a rolled-gold American hero.

Carried live on cable TV around the world, Bollinger's Charles Spencer moment was not just a surprise, it was also one of the great political ambushes of modern times.

Sitting alone under a spotlight on the darkened stage, Ahmadinejad looked silly, vulnerable and under arrest as Bollinger coldly and methodically demanded the Iranian leader explain his Holocaust denial, his support for terrorism, his crackdown on academic dissent and his threats against Israel, the country he wants "wiped off the map".

As much accusation as inquiry, the questions seemed to go on forever, before ending with a putdown that was the verbal equivalent of being beaten with a baseball bat.

"Frankly, and in all candour, Mr President, I doubt that you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions," Bollinger said.

"But your avoiding them will itself be meaningful to us. I do expect you to exhibit the fanatical mindset that characterises so much of what you say and do.

"I feel all the weight of the modern civilised world yearning to express the revulsion at what you stand for. I only wish I could do better."

Bollinger had promised to open Ahmadinejad's appearance with "a series of sharp challenges" and had been adamant that a critical premise of free speech was that the dishonourable could not be made honourable simply by allowing it to be heard.

But nobody had expected Bollinger to pre-empt Ahmadinejad with such venomous language and in universities across the US, questions are being asked: Did the attack go too far? Was it so personal that it became culturally insensitive? Did it compromise the academic search for greater knowledge and understanding?

The concerns resonated within Columbia's own academic staff, with Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian studies, describing Bollinger's comments as "very harsh".

"Inviting him (Ahmadinejad) and then turning around and alienating and insulting an entire nation whose representative this man happens to be is simply inappropriate," he was reported as saying.

Not surprisingly, this was also the view of Ahmadinejad himself.

"In Iran, tradition requires that when we invite a speaker, we actually respect our students and the professors by allowing them to make their own judgment," he said. "We don't think it's necessary before the speech is even given to come in with a series of claims and to attempt in a so-called manner to provide vaccination of some sort to our students and our faculty."

The debate lit up the blogosphere, where opinion was divided between those applauding Bollinger for his courage in confronting Ahmadinejad, and those scornful of strong-arm tactics that have no place in academe.

"Was it rude? Can the truth be rude?" one asked. "He IS a petty dictator. He DOES deny the Holocaust, ridiculously. He DOES imprison dissidents, journalists and scientists. Bollinger's speech proved to me that the freedom of speech is alive and well in America's universities."

Others were not so kind. "Afraid of losing contributions and of being denounced from all sides as 'soft on terrorism', he (Bollinger) blinked as soon as the first shot was fired," one wrote.

"Even if he believed what he was saying, his ad hominem displayed a gross indifference to the principle of academic freedom. Bollinger has disgraced Columbia."

Another accused Bollinger of a disgraceful "bait and switch" exercise aimed at appeasing US Islamophobes.

"Ahmadinejad reminded me of the Saddam execution, when he was the only one to keep his dignity, while surrounded by a pack of rabid dogs," he said.

But dignity is an elusive concept and any claim Ahmadinejad had was probably lost amid the laughter that accompanied his claim that Iran did not have any homosexuals. "I don't know who's told you that we have this," he said.

Today, the madman of Iran heads to the UN to register his world view adding his name to the long list of tyrants who stood at the raised podium in the General Assembly in the building that will someday (with G-d's help) make a great real estate development in midtown. Undoubtedly, he has prepared a sermon to absolve the Persian Islamic movement while vilifying the west and Israel.

Yesterday, Imanutjob did not leave Columbia unscathed. According to the reports in the media, Columbia, former home to Edward Said, (y'mach shmo) an early author of the palestinian myth, did not receive a warm and fuzzy welcome. The Jimmy Carter-like bashing American hegemony, pro-enemy soap box that was expected was not to be found.

Then again, if I were Mahmoud, I would have expected such a verbal assault from "heathens". His comments seem to imply that he wasn't surprised:

"...when we invite a speaker, we actually respect our students and the professors by allowing them to make their own judgment"
"We don't think it's necessary before the speech is even given to come in with a series of claims and to attempt in a so-called manner to provide vaccination of some sort to our students and our faculty."

Uh, since when does Islamic fascism permit a person to "..make their own judgment"? Vaccination? You mean like killing and torturing people who speak words or espouse ideas which might represent a threat to the regime? See the links at the bottom of this article at Gatewaypundit and wonder why Imanutjob thinks the world is vaccinated from events in Iran. It is not so startling that a ruthless dictator would lie, but that he would do so when everyone with a computer has the evidence to disprove the lie a mere click away!

This event gives the US a glimpse into the psychiatric condition of the madman or the nature of his state. It is further proof that he and Iran must be dealt with as soon as possible. Who can believe any threats to destroy Israel or the west are rhetorical when the villain so easily dismisses reality, dispite the revisionist interpretations?

And, even though Bollinger did his best to save face, lets look at the invitation and the very idea of freedom of speech.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Columbia University can ask whomever it wishes to speak to any assortment of it's constituents. The general argument for no restrictions is based upon the belief that through intelligent free debate, the decent will surface and the bad will be scorned. It is a nice idea. Unfortunately, it is not reality.

It is proven by history that bad ideas and visions can be infectious, impervious to the vaccines mentioned by Imanutjob. Without too much of a stretch, the best evidence of this danger is the Torah's call for judges to distance themselves from bribery, not to recognize one over another, etc.

Ex 23:8 Do not accept bribery. Bribery blinds the clear-sighted and twists the words of the just.

Deut. 16:19 Do not bend justice and do not give special consideration [to anyone]. Do not take bribes, since bribery makes the wise blind and perverts the words of the righteous.

But why bribery? Columbia was bribed to recognize the face of a tyrant for publicity. To uninvite the President of Iran would look shameful, weak and bring charges of kowtowing to the shouters. Columbia, you should know, doesn't have to answer to anyone. Those who choose to blind themselves and take at face value the words of a maniac are bribed by their yetzer hara.

Now please recognize, I am in no way what so ever being critical of free speech. However, free speech does indeed require a playing field which sorts the chicken salad from the, well you know what. The problem with bringing disingenuous ideas or those so laced with sympathetic sophistry into a legitimate debate is that the genuine discussion which is intended is stymied, and the exchange of ideas in the laboratory of collegial give and take is suppressed.

In short, have you ever tried to debate with a conspiracy nut. You know the type. Everything that happens has more to it than YOU really know but the "true believer" has access to information that no one else has or has dismissed as phony. The theory can be simple or convoluted but is un-debatable because it takes an exceptional person to argue against a myth.

Iranian Islamo Fascism is itself no myth - a very real danger, but is held together by a myth. Only those who want to see the "truth" Imanutjob espouses will listen and believe, all others will toss it in the trash where it belongs. Ahmadinejad is the kind of guy who speaks to the "true believers".

Columbia and Bollinger did not score points for the free speech argument, 220 years of the Constitution speaks for itself.

When you need a victim to hang your failure upon, find a conspiracy. When you need a victim to express your outrage, find a Jew. Ahmadinejad can rationalize both "victims".

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23 September 2007

The Legacy of Slick and Peanut

Israelis seized nuclear material in Syrian raid

September 23, 2007

Uzi Mahnaimi and Sarah Baxter

Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem.

The attack was launched with American approval on September 6 after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related, the well-placed sources say.

They confirmed that samples taken from Syria for testing had been identified as North Korean. This raised fears that Syria might have joined North Korea and Iran in seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Israeli special forces had been gathering intelligence for several months in Syria, according to Israeli sources. They located the nuclear material at a compound near Dayr az-Zwar in the north.

Evidence that North Korean personnel were at the site is said to have been shared with President George W Bush over the summer. A senior American source said the administration sought proof of nuclear-related activities before giving the attack its blessing.

Diplomats in North Korea and China believe a number of North Koreans were killed in the strike, based on reports reaching Asian governments about conversations between Chinese and North Korean officials.

Syrian officials flew to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, last week, reinforcing the view that the two nations were coordinating their response.

One of the proudest achievements of the Clinton administration was the Agreed Framework with North Korea. Clinton assured us that it froze the North Korean nuclear program. North Korea gave us a piece of paper promising to freeze; we gave North Korea 500,000 tons of free oil every year and set about building -- also for free -- two huge $2 billion nuclear power plants that supposedly could be used only to produce electricity. Japan and South Korea were induced to give tons of foreign aid as well, Clinton being the committed multilateralist, even in extortion.

It turns out the North Koreans took the loot and lied. Surprise! All the while they were enriching uranium. They now brazenly admit to having a nuclear weapons program and other weapons of mass destruction. Krauthammer article below

One has to wonder when Jimmah Carter will stop bringing disgrace and disaster to American interests. I would bet that in Carter's mind, the nuclear program of North Korea was a step in the direction toward bringing equality between the poor commie nations and the selfish rich West. In fact, a good "truth test" for Carter would be if he believes that a Syria with nuclear power is a proper step in the process of equality, a matter of balance of power or morally evil. Carter, cannot even now understand that power is not divided equally for a good reason. Power is fate wasted or nurtured not a policy matter or a matter of freedom between nations to be legislated by some international commission.

Power is a necessity in which the freedom loving world must maintain dominance in order to overcome the corrupt destructive instincts of authoritarianism always seeking to grab more and oppress with ruthlessness.

In Carter's insane world view, the Syrians and Palis are oppressed because Israel retains a strategic advantage. In the case of Syria, over the Golan and in the case of the Palis, over the "west bank" a.k.a. Samaria and Judea. No where in Carter's corrupted morality, does real morality ever take hold.

Carter might tell you that imposed equality of incomes, potentials, land, weaponry is moral. In truth, this is "nuts". Intentionally inverting the weak and the strong or maybe better, selectively choosing who is weak and who is strong without consideration of the power of the "weaker" and the relative vulnerability of the "strong" and even the benefits and costs of either one's ultimate preponderance over the other reflects not an educated and erudite wisdom but a silly and formulaic prophesizing.

In Carter's mind, Israel is the behemoth and the Arabians the weak, North Korea, the diminutive little state versus the South Korean colossus client of the US, evil America against almost anyone. Carter selectively chooses his fights by taking the above approach and applying liberation theology, seeking to always make the smaller the oppressed and the bigger the oppressor. When the smaller is not the weaker, one wonders how Carter's mind processes such a phenomena? Carter's and his willing accomplice Slick Willy has set loose upon the world yet another very dangerous set of circumstances. Charles Krauthammer in the 2002 article below summarizes the situation nicely.

Jewish World Review Oct. 25, 2002/ 19 Mar-Cheshvan 5763

Charles Krauthammer

The Clinton Paper Chase (http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com) |

During the Clinton administration, which of these deserving nations became the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid in the Asia-Pacific region?

(a) The Philippines, longtime friend and ally.

(b) Indonesia, moderate, Muslim and developing.

(c) Cambodia, impoverished and rebuilding.

(d) North Korea, a deranged Stalinist dictatorship that feeds its million-man army while starving its people, that sells ballistic missiles to America's worst enemies and that is building nuclear weapons.

Did I tip my hand?

The great divide in American foreign policy thinking is between those who believe in paper and those who believe in power. The paper school was in charge of the 1990s.

In the 1990s the main objective of Clinton foreign policy was to get as many signatures as possible on as many pieces of paper as possible promising peace and brotherhood. There was a mania for treaties -- on chemical and biological weapons, nuclear proliferation and testing, land mines, antiballistic missiles, climate control. And, of course, treaties with mortal enemies.

One of the proudest achievements of the Clinton administration was the Agreed Framework with North Korea. Clinton assured us that it froze the North Korean nuclear program. North Korea gave us a piece of paper promising to freeze; we gave North Korea 500,000 tons of free oil every year and set about building -- also for free -- two huge $2 billion nuclear power plants that supposedly could be used only to produce electricity. Japan and South Korea were induced to give tons of foreign aid as well, Clinton being the committed multilateralist, even in extortion.

It turns out the North Koreans took the loot and lied. Surprise! All the while they were enriching uranium. They now brazenly admit to having a nuclear weapons program and other weapons of mass destruction.

Jimmy Carter just won a Nobel Peace Prize for, among other things, his 1994 intervention with the North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung that led to this agreement. Carter had returned from his talks in Pyongyang declaring, "The crisis is over." He was missing only the umbrella. (Carter also enthused that "there is an incredible reverence and exaltation of President Kim Il Sung," author of one of the most grotesque police states in all of history.)

At the time, the New York Times enthusiastically applauded this achievement of peace in our time ("Nuclear Breakthrough in Korea") and praised "U.S. negotiator Robert Gallucci and his North Korean interlocutors" for having "defied impatient hawks and other skeptics who accused the Clinton administration of gullibility and urged swifter, stronger action."

At the time, in this space, I called the agreement "worse than dangerous, it is shameful" and suggested that it should have been signed on the battleship Missouri, as it amounted to unconditional surrender.

Eight years and a few North Korean nukes later, the Times has seen the light. It concludes a deeply disappointed editorial with this priceless discovery: "Keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of dictators who want them requires more than signed agreements."

The North Korean fiasco was not the only Clintonian attempt at paper diplomacy. The bloodiest farce was the Oslo "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. President Clinton insisted that it be signed on the White House lawn under his upraised arms. He then spent the next seven years brokering one new agreement after another while declaring the peace irreversible. He knew it was so because Yasser Arafat had promised -- in writing -- an end to violence and terrorism. Then Arafat decided to start up the violence and terrorism in September 2000, bringing on the worst Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed in this hundred-year war and leaving the Clinton paper-pushers surprised.

This is not that hard to figure out. Living by paper -- contracts and laws and courts and binding agreements -- is lovely. It's what makes domestic society civilized and decent. The problem is that the international arena is not domestic society. It is a jungle. It is a state of nature. At home, autoworkers make peace with GM with a signed agreement. That doesn't work with Kim Il Sung, or with his deranged son Kim Jong Il.

Agreements with them or Arafat or Saddam Hussein are not worth the paper they are written on. Laboring over every jot and tittle -- the life work of our paper-pushing peace processors -- is quite mad. The beginning of wisdom is giving up this supremely naive belief in paper.

It is not the end of wisdom, to be sure. It does not answer all questions. But it will keep us from repeating the disasters of the delusional '90s, disasters that haunt our sleep now and will haunt us for decades to come.

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21 September 2007

Failure as President, Failure as Diplomat, Failure as American

Highly Recommended

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07 September 2007

Dan's 'Bank' Sale - or How Not to Win Business

Chase Accuses You Of Check Fraud, Threatens To Report You
from the Consumerist.com website

Hey guys--

Dan got a new job (Congratulations, Dan!) and moved from Chicago to Indianapolis. The move meant he had to close his Citibank account and open a new one. He chose Chase because they have lots of branches nearby.

It's too bad they've accused him of check fraud and even Citibank (who issued the check) can't convince them otherwise. Now he's wondering what he should do.

Dan writes:

This is Dan who gave you the stunning Buffalo Wild Wings chicken fingers fiasco from a few months with a new major ass-frakking I'm getting from Chase Bank.

I recently moved from Chicago to Indianapolis for a new job, and while in Chicago I had a Citibank account. Well those don't exist in Indianapolis, however there is a Chase Bank every 11 feet and were offering a $100 promotion if you open a new checking account with direct deposit. So on August 20th I went to a local branch, did all that, got the hard sell for every other banking product under the sun, declined but the fella was still nice and set me up with everything. I opened the account with my last Citibank paper check for $200.

So a few days later, using my online bill payment on Citibank, close out the account by mailing myself a check for $1000. I receive that on a Saturday, so Sunday morning I deposit my check into my Chase account. A few days later I received my security deposit on my old apartment back in Chicago for $750 and go to the Chase branch on South Keystone and Hanna in Indianapolis to deposit it. I tried to do it in an ATM machine and it refused my card, so I walked into the bank and spoke with one of the bankers (not the tellers) and said my ATM card was funky. She looks up my account and says my account is frozen because of check fraud. Keep in mind, we're not in an office, but a desk in the middle of the bank. I told her that's impossible and she reports that because I had a check for $1000 on a new account that was deposited in an ATM, those are all red flags for check fraud. I was aghast at this idiocy. She then told me that the check number of the deposited check had been flagged as previously used, and thus was fraudulent, so as a result my entire account was frozen INCLUDING the $200 check I had previously deposited and had been cleared with no problems. I told her this was insane, the check was electronically generated BY CITIBANK, it wasn't ripped out of a checkbook. She called the manager over who looked me straight in the eye, again in the middle of the bank and said loudly "All the evidence points to check fraud, and we need to protect ourselves so I refuse to release any of your money". I told her I was a brand new customer for all of a week, my first check cleared fine and quite frankly I make decent money and am stunned she is treating me as though I'm some thief. I asked her to just call Citibank to verify that was a good check and she refused.

So, I left to go to the branch I opened the account. The banker, Brian Long, is a genuinely nice guy and seemed legitimately interested in helping me. After I vented, he took me into a private office and said we'll call Citibank together to fix this. We did a conference call where Citibank thinks Chase are a bunch of idiots. When a check is generated through online checking, the check number is a randomly generated 12 digit number (not the 4 digit number on paper checks) and the odds of that # being the exact number as another check that I had wrote in the past 12 months were astronomical. Brian checked with his manager who said they need some documentation. Now mind you, this is the FRIDAY BEFORE LABOR DAY. Citibank said they were confused because the check was deposited on the 26 and CLEARED on the 29th, so Chase has the money and doesn't understand why they now want proof of payment. Either way to said that proof and to run a trace on that specific check number would take 3 business days, which means a week before anything is done. So even though we have Citibank telling Chase "you cashed the check, the check is good, why are you on the phone with us?" Chase (via the branch manager) would not unfreeze my account without documentation. Now the problem here is, I no longer have a bank. I closed my Citibank account to deposit everything into Chase. So they now have $1200 plus the $750 I couldn't deposit today, and I have access to NONE of this money. So Brian felt bad and offered to give me cash to tide me over the weekend until this was resolved and I could pay him back, which is phenomenal to say the least.

So I come home from work today to be greeted with a letter from Chase informing me my account would be closed in 10 days and they would report my fraudulent activity to the credit reporting bureaus. It was after 6 when I got home from work so obviously I wasn't able to call anyone at Chase and scream at them. Does anyone have any advice what to do?


Well, Dan. It might be time to complain to Chase's regulatory agency, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. According to the FDIC, the agency should acknowledge the receipt of your complaint within two days. They also give some helpful tips about what to include in your complaint letter.

You should also contact Chase and let them know what you are doing. Perhaps this will wake them up. If the mistake does end up on your credit report, don't worry. You can dispute it. Here are some instructions for disputing inaccuracies on your credit report from the FTC. Anyone else have advice for Dan?

Dan has been jerked around by the employees of Chase at this particular branch. This is not to say that all Chase bank employees are as stupid as those with whom Dan encountered, however, the treatment accorded Dan is appalling.

First, Chase already had their money, transfered by Citi through the electronic funds network (checking account to checking account refered to as an ACH "automated clearing house" transaction). As far as the regulatory side, different laws could be in effect. One comment to the article mentioned the Fair Credit Reporting Act, (FCRA). The FCRA would become a factor here only if Chase actually did report to the three credit repositories (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) that Dan was in collection for the supposed lost funds. Chase would be in violation of:

§623 Responsibilities of furnishers of information to consumer reporting agencies where it says:

(a) Duty of Furnishers of Information to Provide Accurate Information
(1) Prohibition
(A) Reporting information with actual knowledge of errors. A person shall not furnish any information relating to a consumer to any consumer reporting agency if the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the information is inaccurate.
(B) Reporting information after notice and confirmation of errors. A person shall not furnish information relating to a consumer to any consumer reporting agency if
(i) the person has been notified by the consumer, at the address specified by the person for such notices, that specific information is inaccurate; and
(ii) the information is, in fact, inaccurate.

ACH transactions are regulated by the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) and fall under Federal Reserve Board Regulation E. In addition, the ACH world has a stand alone body industry regulatory authority known as the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA).

Without boring the reader with all the details this issue is not one of fraud or merchant to bank error but plain bank error. In general, with all electronic funds issues, if the consumer disputes a transaction which occurred without the use of an electronic device (ie. debit card) or any means to verify the authenticity of the consumer, the transaction is easily disputable and the consumer cannot legally be held liable. If the consumer's actual electronic device is used and especially if a PIN was used, the dispute is trickier. Nonetheless, with the exception of the PIN situation, the consumer is protected by the EFTA's three tier system of liability based upon the time frame in which the consumer notices the loss in funds (provided that the consumer has not authorized a third party to use the debit card or freely given away access to it. This is not true with traditional credit cards).

However, in Dan's case, none of this applies. His situation consists purely of a bank error. The bank is indeed the harming party. However, for technical purposes if the bank suspects fraud they may take up to 10 days to review the case without re-crediting Dan's money. If the investigation takes longer than 10 days, Dan must be given full access to all of his money while the bank finishes it's investigation.

In any event, Dan should still file a complaint with Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) since Chase is employing people who have not been properly trained in fraud investigation and thereby caused "confusion and delay". Chase needs to employ the services of a specialist in fraud operations (a Certified Fraud Examiner - "CFE") with bank specific knowledge who can train bank officers to understand the parameters of making fraud claims. IMHO There should be one CFE supervisor for every certain number of branches or cities whichever is feasible. Chase should never let this happen again. Enough fraud goes unreported that to victimize legitimate customers is inexcusable.

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06 September 2007

FRED'S Announcement

Click to play

Link to Fred

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05 September 2007

from: Blogs For Fred Thompson - Ad Preview

Script of Fred Thompson's Debate Ad

The Washington Post has gotten a preview of Fred Thompson's ad that will run during the New Hampshire debate tonight. Here is the script of the ad:

The script of the ad, titled "Debate"

FDT: I'm Fred Thompson and I approve this message. On the next President's watch, our country will make decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We can't allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation. Today, as before, the fate of millions across the world depends on the unity and resolve of the American people. I talk about this tomorrow on Fred08.com, I invite you to take a look and join us.

ANNCR: Fred Thompson, Republican for President.

Notice the ad will direct people to go to "www.fred08.com". Right now you still get a redirect to I'm With Fred.

Thompson Unveils Ad Ahead of Thursday Kickoff

"Security, Unity, Prosperity"

Fred Thompson's image will begin appearing on the small screen today, not as District Attorney Arthur Branch, but as an official candidate for president.

In a 30-second campaign commercial sent to networks for broadcast at midnight, Thompson warns that "On the next President's watch, our country will make decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We can't allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation."

Thompson concludes the ad with an invitation to visit his new campaign website, Fred08.com, on Thursday to watch a 15-minute video in which he officially announces his campaign for the White House. But if there is any doubt, an announcer then comes on, saying: "Fred Thompson, Republican for President."

The ad will air throughout the day today and during the New Hampshire Republican presidential debate on Fox tonight. Following the debate -- which Thompson is skipping -- he will appear on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show."

The idea, advisers say, is to create a national buzz about Thompson's official entry into the race and drive traffic to the new website on Thursday. The 15-minute video will be available on the website at 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning; advisers hope it steals the show the next morning on talk shows and cable news networks.

"The goal between now and the minute Senator Thompson is on Jay Leno is to drive as many people as we can to our website in anticipation of the launch video," said Communications Director Todd Harris.

The video, aides say, is part bio-pic, part conservative motivational film aimed at making the case that Thompson -- who was swept into office in 1994 as part of the conservative revolt that year -- has been fighting in the trenches for Republicans for decades.

The not-so-subtle dig: that former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani (who was endorsing Democratic governor Mario Cuomo that year) and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (who was trying to run to the left of Sen. Edward Kennedy) are Johnny-come-Latelys.

"Success for us will be if we are able to commuicate Senator Thompson's mainsteam, conservative message to a Republican electorate that, frankly, until now, has been hungry for a new voice," Harris said.

On the stump, Thompson will tell audiences that his philosophical awakening dates to his reading of Barry Goldwater's book, "A Conscience of a Conservative" in the 1960s. "It compelled him to found the first Young Republicans chapter ever in Laurenceburg, Tennessee," Harris said.

Thompson's rivals have already tried to attack his conservative credentials by questioning his commitment to the anti-abortion movement and his sponsorship of campaign finance reforms that are anathema to many in the party.

But many of those stories emerged during the summer, when few voters are paying attention to presidential politics. And the critiques have so far failed to overwhelm Thompson's unique Hollywood-Washington persona.

His advisers hope that they can cement the narrative about Thompson's credentials before the attacks ramp up this fall. Said Harris: "There's no question that we need to have a good announcement tour."

--Michael D. Shear

The script of the ad, titled "Debate"

FDT: I'm Fred Thompson and I approve this message. On the next President's watch, our country will make decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We can't allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation. Today, as before, the fate of millions across the world depends on the unity and resolve of the American people. I talk about this tomorrow on Fred08.com, I invite you to take a look and join us.

ANNCR: Fred Thompson, Republican for President.

Posted at 12:01 AM ET on Sep 5, 2007
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And away we go!

Fred will again steal the headlines away from another Republican candidate forum by airing a commercial pitching his announcement to run for President (on his website) during the debate, appearing on Jay Leno and will, as pointed out above, be the talk of the Thursday morning news shows and radio shows.

This strategy puts Fred in the limelight and overshadows the other candidates except for the expected round of negativity coming from them during the debate as they lament the fact that Fred chose not to join their little New Hampshire get together. Fred's approach will work because it is positive modern, and forward looking. Let's see which of the candidates at the debate is positive about Fred's entry into the race. I predict that such a strategy will be a boost to the campaign any other candidate who chooses to stay positive minded about this novel approach by the Thompson team.

Okay, some early signs to watch now that the "real" campaign may be upon us.

Fred Vs. Rudy

Here is the scoop on the two with the strengths and weaknesses.

Fred: He must maximize his dominant presence by blending his sense of strength with thoughtfulness. He must appear to be commanding to nullify the attack that he is slow and boring. His stump speech style must adapt to his message. Too much folksy and straight talk can hurt a candidate who could be vulnerable to being labeled old and tired. His message must match his pace and commanding style. I believe Fred is up to the challenge and will take advantage of Rudy's weaknesses. The lead commercial tests a campaign theme: Security, Unity, Prosperity.

Rudy: He must temper his energetic approach with poise. Rudy will be slammed by the Thompson campaign as inexperienced in national affairs and is a risky gamble for the US. Rudy, to be successful must explain why even though he is not conservative, Republicans should vote for him anyhow. His experience is indeed executive where Fred's is legislative, but Rudy was a mayor not a governor (albeit NYC is sort of like a state). Nonetheless, I believe Fred will have him cornered when the energetic not ready for prime time feel of Rudy meets Fred's poised and commanding demeanor.

It has been a surprise for many that Rudy has managed to remain as the favorite in the GOP race as long as he has. For many, Romney just is unelectable. I personally find him quite slick and trying to be too conservative to make up for his past.

My theory is that Republicans have been waiting for Fred to make the run for the nomination official before lining up behind him. This theory would mean that Rudy has been the favorite because Republicans felt that he was the only electable candidate actually running. Now, with FDT in the race, all bets are off for Rudy.

If I am correct, the polls will reflect a flip-flop of Rudy and Fred within three weeks. The Republican voters and then the rest of the American people will get to know Fred very soon and make lasting images of him very quickly. I hope he can pull it off. As I wrote on Free Republic as far back as mid-January (07) posting "draft Fred Thompson" - Who do you really want to see debating Hillary?

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03 September 2007

Follow up to Madness on Mt. Moriah

Remnants of the Second Temple Being Destroyed by Islamic Wakf

20 Elul 5767, 03 September 07 05:11by Hana Levi Julian and Alex Traiman

(IsraelNN.com) A large trench being dug on the Temple Mount is destroying a never before uncovered section of the outer wall of the Second Temple. The construction is being supervised by the Wakf—the Muslim Authority acting as custodians to the Temple Mount.

Archeologists have been calling for construction to halt on the trench, which is approximately 1,300 feet long and five feet deep. The Wakf claims the trench is being dug to replace 40-year-old electrical cables for nearby mosques.

New photos of construction debris from the Temple Mount show carved stones casually dumped in a pile that appear to be a section of the outer wall of the Second Temple, according to archaeologist Eilat Mazar.

According to Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute, the Wakf is intentionally digging in areas where "undoubtedly the Temple once stood." "For the first time since the Temple's destruction, a section of the Temple Wall itself has been exposed," Richman said. "And the Wakf under the guise of laying down electrical pipes has dug a trench, destroying the most important holy artifact ever found to date."

Richman contends that the Temple remains are being "purposely destroyed with no supervision," calling the government's tolerance of the construction "complicit cooperation."

According to a report by WorldNetDaily, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert personally gave permission for bulldozers, steam shovels and other heavy equipment to be used to dig the trench.

"This is an extraordinarily serious offense," Richman states. "A corrupt, spiritually bankrupt government is allowing Judaism's holiest site to be trashed because of political agreements to officially hand over the Temple Mount to the Palestinian Authority. Jews in Israel and abroad are asleep, and have not awakened to the importance of the Temple in Judaism or the desecration of this holy site being performed daily by the Wakf."

The Israel Antiquities Authority approved the construction despite archaeologists’ concern that precious artifacts are being destroyed. The Authority, which digs for religious artifacts across the State of Israel, has not inspected construction on Judaism's holiest site even once since the work began, despite continuous calls for the construction to be supervised and halted.

English spokesman for the Israeli Police, Mickey Rosenfeld asserts that the police stationed on the Temple Mount will not prevent the construction because the Antiquities Authority approved the dig.

The Wakf has denied that any Jewish artifacts have been discovered during the dig, but new photos of work on the Mount belie the claim, clearly showing what is likely to be an ancient piece of carved wall.

The wall in question is from the outer wall of the Temple itself, as opposed to the Western Wall, which is a remnant of the retaining wall around the larger Temple platform.

Mazar, a member of the faculty at Hebrew University and a member of the Public Committee for Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, says it is "crucial this wall is inspected." She explains that the current ground level of the Temple Mount is slightly above the original Temple Mount platform, “meaning anything found is likely from the Temple itself.”

Mazar insists that she must personally inspect the stones to confirm their status, and attempted to inspect the site last week. She was stopped by Israeli police who are protecting the construction.

"The only hope is for Jews and non-Jews from across the world to stand up and start putting pressure on the religious, political and archeological communities to immediately halt this process," Richman concludes. "The whole world is wondering what the Jews are doing, allowing their most precious site, the Holy of Holies to be destroyed right before their eyes."

What is worse than arabian callousness to antiquities? Olmert's callousness to yiddishkeit.

Whether it is in Israel or Afghanistan with the Taliban destroying Buddhist art treasures from the 14th century, the islamo-facists (really islam in general) has composed a record of historical destruction unparalleled in the world today.
Some of this record of destruction can be examined here. Olmert will not prevent this destruction since it is his policy to give over Jewish holy land to the islamo-nuts. Who will stop the Muslims? Probably no one will. No one in the world today has the moral authority or courage to stand up to this destruction except for the Jews ourselves but without unity, nothing will happen.

Maybe the suggestion that I made in the earlier post is closer to being correct than I would wish it be. Maybe the actions of the arabians in some way known only to HaShem is for our benefit. Please HaShem, reveal to your people Your will.

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01 September 2007

Yoffie 'Mosquerading' as a Rabbi

Reform Leader Compares Jewish, Muslim ‘Extremists’

(IsraelNN.com) Eric Yoffi, the head of the Reform movement, compared Jewish and Muslim ‘fanatics’ on Friday in a speech given to members of the Islamic Society of North America. Both religions have a “tiny, extremist minority” that uses violence, he said, and a moderate majority. Moderate Jews and Muslims have a “collective task” to fight fanatics, he said.

Similar arguments made recently in a CNN special caused anger among many Jewish groups, who argued that there is “no counterpart among Jews and Christians to the violent jihadist Muslim campaigns underway across the globe.” Jewish violence was limited to a handful of incidents over the course of the past three decades, members of CAMERA pointed out.

Yoffi also told the group that American Jews and Muslims should work together to pressure the US government to make peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Reform movement supports giving Judea and Samaria to the PA, he said, as does the Islamic Society. The groups should “join together and send a message of peace,” he said.

Rightfully, INN refuses to give Yoffie the title Rabbi. They could use the title apikoris and it would be an accurate statement. I am not sure there is any more to say about Yoffie than I have already said


and here

To understand Yoffie's position on Israel you need only understand his one fundamental point, "its the settler's fault".

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What Words Offend Arabs? The Truth.

Children's Poetry Booklet Recalled After Arabs Complain
(Israeli censorship kowtows to Arabs.
When Will We Tell The Truth Without Fear)

(IsraelNN.com 7 Sivan 5768/June 10, '08) Ynet's web site and Arab complaints against a ten-year-old boy's poem about terrorists has resulted in the recall of all of the Nes Ziona municipality's children's poetry booklets.

Ynet boasts that its coverage of the poem resulted in its being recalled.

The text of the poem (Ynet's translation):

Ahmed's bunker has surprises galore: Grenades, rifles are hung on the wall. Ahmed is planning another bombing!What a bunker Ahmed has, who causes daily harm.Ahmed knows how to make a bomb. Ahmed is Ahmed, that's who he is, so don't forget to be careful of him.We get blasted while they have a blast!Ahmed and his friends could be wealthy and sunny, if only they wouldn't buy rockets with all their money.

Poetry competition director Marika Berkowitz, who published the booklet, was surprised at the protests and told Ynet: "This is the boy's creation and this is what he wanted to express. Of course there should be a limit, but I think the there is no racism here. 'Ahmed' is a general term for the enemy. These are the murmurings of an innocent child."

The Education Ministry told Ynet: "The local authority that published the booklet should have guided the students in a more correct manner through the schools. The district will investigate the issue with the local authorities."
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