Perhaps nobody can write of the despicable legacy of Hugo Chavez better than DP friend and Human Rights Foundation President Thor Halvorssen. As a member of the Venezuela diaspora, Halvorssen has been battling Chavez’ thugs since he came to power, and his mother was even shot by them. In this excellent article in Reason Magazine, Halvorssen states that the battle for Chavez’ legacy rests on the political point of view of the individual doing the reviewing. As Winston Churchill famously stated, “History is written by the victors.” Truth is with the intellectual victory of Marxism in the West, particularly in South America, Chavez’ legacy will definitely be a hard fought battle and one that likely depends on the future course of history in the Western hemisphere.
I sent the following letter to Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, Brooklyn College officials, and local Councilmembers calling for Brooklyn College President Karen Gould, and Political Science Dept. Chairperson Paisley Currah to be fired. It was also published as an open letter on FrontPageMag. As one reader astutely pointed out “Larry Summers was fired as President of Harvard several years ago for dropping an innocent comment about gender and math ability.” But another commented that the real reason was his support of Israel. Friends, we have a real war on our hands in academia. Please keep the pressure on the CUNY Chancellor to investigate and fire these inept anti-Semitic ideologues.
Open Letter to CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein
Chancellor Matthew Goldstein
Office of the Chancellor
535 East 80th Street
New York, NY 10075
I write this letter calling for the resignation of Brooklyn College President Karen L. Gould and Paisley Currah, chair of the political science department for their unscrupulous actions in violation of students’ First Amendments rights, sanctioning blatant viewpoint discrimination, and promoting biased political propaganda under the auspices of the City University of New York. As a former adjunct instructor in the CUNY system and a New Yorker concerned with how my tax dollars are spent in our publicly-funded City University system, I add my voice to the growing concern incurred by the college president and political science department chair over the irresponsible manner in which they handled the virulent anti-Semitic event on February 7 co-sponsored by Brooklyn College’s political science department, entitled “BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement Against Israel,” which serves to promote a global boycott of Israeli businesses, academics and institutions, and deny the legitimacy of the State of Israel. Read more.
The day I met Ambassador Mark Palmer was a whirlwind — he stopped by Hudson Institute in 2003 with an idea — to put the ideas set forth in his brilliant book, Breaking the Real Axis of Evil into law. Mark was that way, a bit like the Tasmanian Devil with a bow-tie — he always had someone interesting with him — whether a member of the Falung Gong, or the brilliant human rights activist James Mawdsley, who wrote the heart-wrenching book, The Heart Must Break, about his time battling the brutal regime in Burma.
The result of Mark’s idea became the ADVANCE Democracy Act — a bill that was written by Mark, Mike Horowitz, Eric Kadel, and myself, to make it the mission of the State Department to promote democracy. While the bill was passed into law as part of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 — many of its best elements were gutted. However prior to its enactment, the State Department didn’t have to answer for being on the wrong side when they supported dictatorships across the globe. Through the ADVANCE Democracy Act, it’s now the State Department’s and America’s mission to end dictatorship — a radical and symbolic departure that has changed the way the department does business.
To say Mark changed my life is an understatement. Truthfully, this organization and blog would never have existed but for his inspiration and ideas, and he served as an official Advisory Board Member to Democracy Project until his death. Mark lent his brain and credibility to so many democracy promotion efforts that never would have existed but for the spark of inspiration that came from the brilliance of his mind: the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the Community of Democracies, and the sustained vibrancy of Freedom House as it stands today.
During the past three or four years, Mark battled cancer valiantly and like any soldier in the fight for his life he had his ups and downs — his good days and bad ones. I remember his frustration with me in his final years because I failed in my pursuit for freedom for the world’s least fortunate. Holding my tongue in exasperation I remember thinking we can’t all be Mark Palmer — tearing down the Berlin Wall with Ronald Reagan.
But upon reflection — we all should try to be like Mark. He was a true patriot, who traveled the world for his country, but never forgot that he was still a Yankee from Vermont. I encourage you to read The Washington Post’s thoughtful obituary of my friend and mentor, as well as The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board’s piece on his Cold War heroics as inspiration for a life well-lived.
There is no better summary of President Obama’s view of American foreign policy and the use of our nation’s power in this century than the nomination of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Like John Kerry, Hagel is a decorated Vietnam veteran who can no longer stomach the sight of war. He’d rather see its elimination, than realize its reality. Wikipedia summarizes Hagel’s view on many important policy positions relevant to the post for which he seeks:
* Supported the Iraq War before he turned his back on it opposing the surge calling it “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it’s carried out.” Hagel was wrong about the surge, refuses to admit it even in his confirmation hearings just a few days ago.
* Opposed the 2006 Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah stating that: “The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop.” He also said “Our relationship with Israel is special and historic… But it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice.”
* Despite authorizing the use of force as a United States Senator immediately after 9/11, has stated more recently in a 2009 Washington Post op-ed after being nominated as Chairman of President Obama’s Intelligence advisory board, that “We cannot view U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan through a lens that sees only ‘winning’ or ‘losing,’ Iraq and Afghanistan are not America’s to win or lose.” And that “We can help them buy time or develop, but we cannot control their fates.” In 2011, after he left office, Hagel stated that President Obama needs to start “looking for the exit in Afghanistan”, and that “We need to start winding this down.”
No wonder so many of Hagel’s former colleagues have serious reservations about his confirmation — including his formerly close friend Senator John McCain. It’s sad that President Obama’s foreign policy apparatus — if had his way — would be led by two Baby Boomer peaceniks like former Senators Kerry and Hagel whose beliefs are as wobbly as the old vinyl records they used to play.
Many conservatives and libertarians don’t like the United States Postal Service (USPS), but my response to them has always been, “at least it’s in the Constitution.” “Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, empowers Congress ‘To establish Post Offices and post Roads.’” So much of what our Federal Government participates in is not mandated in the Constitution — whether national healthcare (Obamacare), Social Security, or government promoted research such as the National Institutes of Health, but yet the Postal Service is.
And for good reason. The United States Postal Service binds this large republic together. With the unilateral announcement today that the USPS will be ending Saturday service — an announcement made by Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO of the Postal Service — many are questioning whether such a decision can be made without Congress’ approval. As noted above, the USPS is a congressionally mandated organization. When the computers freeze-up and you can’t get your email or Twitter, or Fed-Ex and UPS go-under or change names because they merge or are bought out, who is always there for you, but the United States Postal Service? This Postal Service was established by Benjamin Franklin to help this great nation grow and expand from Boston to Seattle from New York to Miami and to Honolulu and Anchorage. Where else can you send a letter for $.46 every day of the week except the Lord’s Day half way across the Globe to Guam or the Virgin Islands?
To stop six day a week service is to say we’re throwing in the towel on this experiment of America. That our Republic is no longer number one — we’ve gone the way of Rome — and the Barbarians are at the gate and they are us. Pax Americana can go to hell — our goods and letters and correspondence just ain’t worth it. Rather, what’s more important are the bread and circuses that keep the masses in the great empire happy — Obamaphones, Obamacare, and Obama’s lies that keep us placated and anesthetized to John Lennon’s truth that “we’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see.” What’s the solution? I can tell you what’s not the solution. Paying more in postage and taxes to receive less in service. Cutting 193,000 jobs? How’s this plan supposed to stimulate the economy?
The following excellent letter, written by Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, City University of New York Trustee, was originally slated to be published as an op-ed in the New York Post, but was cancelled when all available space went to memorialize Ed Koch. The letter was written to the administration at Brooklyn College in response to the upcoming February 7 event sponsored by the Political Science Department entitled “BDS Movement Against Israel.” BDS is an anti-Israel hate movement calling for divestment, boycotts and sanctions against Israel. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), whose mission is “helping end Israeli apartheid and the illegal occupation of Palestine” is co-hosting the event. Please spread the following letter far and wide to protest the bald-faced intellectual corruption and anti-Semitism of a once fine academic institution.
Letter to the anti-Semites at Brooklyn College
In my 13 years as a trustee of CUNY, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to observe the intellectual corruption and anti-Semitism of many in America’s academic elite. I hear about it from trustees in colleges and universities across America and it’s become more common at CUNY, with Brooklyn College as an unexpected hotbed. The current plans for an anti-Israel BDS conference with the school’s co-sponsorship by the political science department raise new questions.
If an individual professor engages in selective hatred of Israel and the resulting intimidation of Jewish students, that is bad enough. If branches of the MSA (Muslin Students Association, all chapters of which are affiliated with ISNA – the Islamic Society of North America, which is the Muslim Brotherhood on our soil), that is bad enough. I’ll be damned however, if I were to be silent on the official co-sponsorship of an entire academic department of a Nuremberg-like conference on a CUNY campus. This is a misuse of tax-levy funds. This is NOT an academic conference in any sense. Furthermore, other than the intimidation of liberal arts professors who might support Israel, how do we know that EVERY professor in that department supports this drivel?
We must also look at the hypocrisy and intellectual corruption of these accusatory, one-sided conferences The Islamic world, having evicted nearly all of its Jews following the reconstitution of the Jewish State in 1948, murdering many and plundering all of their property, is now exterminating its remaining Christians, Bahais and Zaroastrians – in fact, anyone non-Muslims – whose adherents may have resided in these lands for millennia. Brave columnists like Fouad Adjami, Amir Taheri and other brave Muslims chronicle this dysfunctionality – and far worse – at great risk. Inter-Muslim murder rivals their states’ crimes against other groups as well.
From 1920 to the present, approximately 100,000 Jews and Arabs have died in all the conflicts involving them – most Jews and Israelis as victims of terror and in defensive wars and most Arabs as a result of Israel’s defense or their brethren having cowardly used them as “human shields.” 100,000 Syrians alone have been brutally murdered by the forces of Bashar Assad in the last 2 years. Do these BDS hypocrites care?
These BDS advocates single out Israel as a cover for rank anti-Semitism. It is not about saving Palestinians (who mostly need to be saved from themselves and their leaders); its purpose is to delegitimize and destroy Israel. They do NOT want a two-state solution. To them Tel Aviv and Haifa are “occupied territories” as much as Gaza, long vacated by Israel and now one of the world’s most prominent terrorist launching points. They want a one-state solution – to have yet another of the many Arab states. They deny – as anti-Semites do – the eternal connection, since recordable history, of the Jewish people to their land. They reject all peace offers by Israel. They subjugate their own people to a vile existence in the false belief that they can “wait out the Jews.”
I call upon taxpayers to draw a line here and make it known: taxpayer dollars should not fund illegitimate, racist and anti-Semitic activities by any academic department. Those of us who care about Israel would do no less if others were similarly treated. Additionally, academic administrators should be reminded that Jewish students are no less entitled – under applicable federal law – than other students to an educational environment free of intimidation and prejudice.
Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, Trustee
The City University of New York
535 East 80th Street
New York, NY 10075
Today’s Wall Street Journal carries a story, “Backyard Farming Gets Fancy,” on yet another politically acceptable form of conspicuous consumption: backyard farming, suburban style. Do you suffer from a nagging fear that friends find you passe’, predictable, or even (gasp) inauthentic? Are you bored by the ease with which you can procure all the products you need to survive, from home and heat to (getting real here) Abbaye de Belloc and Brugse Straffe Hendrik Blonde? Searching for something ennui-free to set you apart from your circle?
Why, you need chickens! In a $1,300 coop. In the backyard–your backyard. You can feed them $40 bags of “soy-free chicken feed,” turn the earth with an Austrian hand-made $258 bronze-and-lime-wood spade, and water your tomatoes (organic, of course–please) from your $70 Williams Sonoma “vintage” watering can (part of their new Agrarian line). All so that you can eat some fresh eggs or, if you’re in the mood and have the stomach for slaughter, fresh chicken. Your neighbors may hate you come July, but you don’t really socialize with them anyway, do you? And besides, what’s a little neighborhood tiff compared to the envy and awe you’ll inspire in your set when they learn that you’ve just trumped them in the quest for bona fide, genuine, absolute authenticity? Their envy will turn them green as your Wellies parked on the back porch.
The Journal quotes Rob Ludlow, owner of BackYardChickens.com, an “online community of about 170,000 chicken enthusiasts.” (I would count myself among them if the fowl they favored were dead and cooked.) Mr. Ludlow provides the obvious pull-quote of the piece:
People wanting to be self-sufficient and eating locally grown food is synonymous with people who are affluent.
Put differently, people wanting to appear self-sufficient by augmenting their refined diet with a small percentage of conspicuously-home-grown products are synonymous with people who take Al Gore seriously and voted for Obama.
And what would a real farmer think of a $1,300 Williams Sonoma Agrarian-line chicken coop? I suspect he’d call it a load of chicken shit.
Good news on the environmental front — according to a a report from Science Daily global warming is less extreme than feared:
After Earth’s mean surface temperature climbed sharply through the 1990s, the increase has leveled off nearly completely at its 2000 level. Ocean warming also appears to have stabilised somewhat, despite the fact that CO2 emissions and other anthropogenic factors thought to contribute to global warming are still on the rise.
Democracy Project has reported on climate scientist’s attempts to manipulate data for some time. From the British Climate Research Unit’s literal making up of data (which Al Gore republished to the world in his Nobel-prize winning An Inconvenient Truth) to show the Earth was warming to that same unit’s “revising” its data to show that the Earth is now “cooling,”, all scientific data that uses modeling must be looked at with a grain of salt. To predict the actions of the Earth is to play God, and if there is anything that we can gather from the new report from Science Daily is that there is still much to learn about the climate of our Earth, and what’s most important is to be good and proper stewards of the bounty that God provided for us.
There is nothing more annoying than a bunch of sanctimonious Hollywood liberals who want to take your guns away after a disaster like the Sandy Hook school massacre, but they so often forget that they make their money as shoot-them-up cops or robbers in the movies. Well, one movie maker on Youtube doesn’t let them forget it and shows each of the actors who appeared in the “Demand a Plan,” video advocating gun control some of these hypocrites more violent gun-toting moments:
From The Queens Village Eagle, January 2013.
America’s most admired president, Abraham Lincoln has been in vogue lately with the release of Steven Spielberg’s widely acclaimed film, Lincoln, a biographical portrait of Lincoln’s anti-slavery crusade. Just as the liberal establishment has repeatedly compared president Obama to Lincoln, they have once again abused and sugar-coated American history in a fictitious and over-rated film.
You may recall that Obama originally announced his candidacy for president from the steps of the old State Courthouse in Springfield, Illinois where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous “House Divided” speech. Everyone, from car manufacturers and banks, to the United States Mint, seeks to capitalize on the Lincoln brand, the most trusted American icon, for promotional purposes. Now the liberal Hollywood elites have hijacked Lincoln again to advance their own nefarious big government agenda.
The Queens Village Republican Club aims to set the record straight with our annual 2013 Lincoln Dinner on February 10, in celebration of our first Republican president, and to restore the GOP, which has long abandoned its idealistic founding principles, to our roots as the “Party of Lincoln.” Our keynote speaker, Rabbi Aryeh Spero, also known as “America’s Rabbi,” is sure to provide the spiritual nourishment to revive the GOP and for all patriotic Americans to be “strengthened and inspired to do the job of reclaiming America,” as he maintains in his new book, “Push Back: Reclaiming the American Judeo-Christian Spirit.” Read more