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
What follows is the commentary by Peter Wood, President of the National Association of Scholars and a wonderfully articulate and courageous critic of the pernicious idiocies of political correctness in the academy, on what transpired at a dinner hosted by the Iranian delegation to the United Nations in New York this past September, at which some 150 students and faculty from six colleges and universities, including my own, were present as honored guests of the Islamic Republic of Iran. When I wrote the original op-ed about the dinner Peter refers to, I did not know that when the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, appeared at the dinner, the students and faculty, to their eternal disgrace, greeted him with a standing ovation.
November 28, 2012
Ahmadine-jabbing American Students
Posted by Peter Wood
Central Connecticut State University is doing its part for international diplomacy. The campus newspaper, The Central Reporter, tells us that in late September CCSU professor of political science Ghassan El-Eid brought a dozen CCSC students “to attend a dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran,” who was in New York for a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.
President Ahmadinejad, of course, has had some practice talking to American college students. Back in 2007, Columbia University occasioned some controversy by inviting him to speak at its World Leaders Forum. Stinging from criticism of the decision, Columbia’s president Lee Bollinger announced he would use the occasion to annoy his guest. As the Chronicle of Higher Education put it:
“Mr. Bollinger said he would introduce the president by issuing “sharp challenges” to his denial of the Holocaust, stated goal of wiping Israel off the map, support for terrorism, defiance of sanctions stemming from Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and suppression of human rights and civil liberties.”
Bollinger has long been a champion of vigorous free speech (The Tolerant Society, 1986; Images of a Free Press, 1991; Eternally Vigilant, 2002; Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open, 2010)–at least in principle. His record in practice is a bit uneven. In 2006, for example, after a group of Columbia students violently interrupted and ended a scheduled talk by members of the Minuteman Project, he had trouble finding anything to say, but after a few months issued an anemic letter saying that Columbia had investigated and taken appropriate steps to discipline the students who had jumped the stage and assaulted the speaker. He didn’t disclose the punishments, but eventually it came out that those found guilty were merely given “warnings” which were put on their transcripts temporarily, to be removed at the end of 2008. One of the students, Monique Dols, gloated, “It’s a light punishment; it’s a slap on the wrist. It’s a victory for free speech and anti-racism.”
When it came to Ahmadinejad’s visit to the World Leaders Forum, however, Bollinger delivered what the Chronicle described as “a blistering critique.” The event remains an odd milestone for the contemporary campus. By inviting Ahmadinejad, Columbia University bestowed a signal honor on one of the worst actors in contemporary world politics, and then tried to reverse the meaning of the occasion by turning the guest into the object of contumely. Bollinger earned both praise for being tough and criticism for being rude and undermining “his own ideals of free speech and academic freedom.”
Ahmadinejad turned Bollinger’s assault to his own rhetorical advantage. He began his speech by reproving Bollinger. The Washington Post’s transcript noted the applause:
At the outset I want to complain a bit from the person who read this political statement against me. In Iran tradition requires that when we demand a person to invite to be a speaker we actually respect our students and the professors by allowing them to make their own judgment and we don’t think it’s necessary before this 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.
I think the text read by the dear gentleman here, more than addressing me, was an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here, present here. In a university environment we must allow people to speak their mind, to allow everyone to talk so that the truth is eventually revealed by all.
Certainly he took more than all the time I was allocated to speak, and that’s fine with me. We’ll just leave that to add up with the claims of respect for freedom and the freedom of speech that’s given to us in this country.
Ahmadinejad, having presided over judicial murder of his political opponents and bloody suppression of public protest of his regime, is no one’s idea of a friend of free speech or academic freedom, but he is a clever tactician. Bollinger played to his own audience of academics eager to hear a blustery put-down of a tyrant. But Ahmadinejad played to a world stage as a man witnessing against the hypocrisy of the West.
Which brings us back to the outing for Central Connecticut State University students. By this point, the Iranian president has perfected his pitch. He knows American college students have a tenuous grasp of history and world politics and that their deepest longing is to be “inclusive.” And he serves up exactly that. The student newspaper reports that the students described him as kind to everyone who asked a question,” “not as radical as the western media portray him,” and–of course–”inclusive.”
This was too much for one of my board members, Jay Bergman, who teaches history at Central Connecticut, and to whom I’m indebted for this glimpse into the vacancy of the soul of American higher education. Bergman recounted the affair in the Litchfield County Times, complete with a Bartlett’s full of Ahmadinejad’s venomous declarations.
Professor Ghassan El-Eid, who arranged the event, is something of a campus celebrity. According to the university he is a political consultant for MSNBC, has “granted numerous national TV and newspaper interviews,” and “has also been heard on NPR and the Pacific Radio Network.” Which I suppose is a way of saying that the honor granted the undergraduate Central Connecticut students to dine with the dictator was no accident.
Republican-American (Waterbury CT)
Honors for a vicious anti-Semite
By Jay Bergman
On Oct. 24, The Central Recorder, the student newspaper at Central Connecticut State University, reported that when the U.N. General Assembly convened in New York in late September, Professor Ghassan El-Eid of the CCSU Political Science Department brought 12 CCSU students to attend a dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran. In the article, students described Ahmadinejad as “very smart,” “not as radical as the Western media portray him,” “inclusive,” “kind to everyone who asked a question,” and someone who “really wants everyone to get along, be respected, and learn.” El Eid is quoted as characterizing Ahmadinejad as “a pretty rational leader,” whose views may be “controversial” but who is “very careful to support his arguments with facts.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an anti-Semitic bigot who has denied the Holocaust while repeatedly making clear his intention to carry out a second one:
“Israel must be wiped off the map.” (Oct. 26, 2005)
“Today, they (Europeans) have created a myth in the name of Holocaust.” (Dec. 14, 2005)
“The Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan.” (Feb. 28, 2007)
“I warn you to abandon the filthy Zionist entity, which has reached the end of the line. It has lost its reason to be and will sooner or later fall. The ones who still support the criminal Zionists should know that the occupiers’ days are numbered. … Accept that the life of Zionists will sooner or later come to an end.” (Jan. 30, 2008)
“They (the Western powers) launched the myth of the Holocaust. They lied, they put on a show and then they support the Jews.” (Sept. 18, 2009)
No “Zionists” were killed in the World Trade Center, because “one day earlier they were told not to go to their workplace.” (Aug. 7, 2010)
“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor.” (Aug. 17, 2012)
On Feb. 4 of this year, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed “jurisprudential justification to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel. In that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”
The government of Iran savagely persecutes Bahai’s and Christians. It tortures and executes homosexuals. It has killed Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has harassed, arrested, tried and barred from travel Iranian women’s rights activists. In 1983, it approved and funded the bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon, killing 241 Marines. And in 2009, it ruthlessly suppressed the Green Revolution, in which millions of Iranians demanded the freedoms Americans enjoy.
It is appalling that CCSU students were used as props in a public-relations campaign to legitimize one of the most murderous regimes in the world today. I seriously doubt any professor at CCSU, or at any other college or university in America, would arrange a dinner for students with a Ku Klux Klan kleagle. And yet dining with a genocidal anti-Semite who wants to kill six million Jews is perfectly acceptable.
Jay Bergman is a professor of history at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.
It’s already several weeks after the demoralizing general election losses but we hear many voices of hope in the midst of chaos. New Yorkers overwhelmingly voted Barack Obama another four-year term as president and many fine local Republican candidates suffered stunning defeats in “down ticket” state and federal races. But in the midst of this nightmare scenario, even as America is turning into a socialist welfare state we no longer recognize, patriots are “recharged and ready to take back (their) country,” as stated in a text message from Lauren Whalen, founder of the Northeast Queens Tea Party Patriots.
Local Queens Republicans took a beating at the polls. The supposed winnable congressional race of Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) ended up losing by a 31% to 67% margin to Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing). The Meng campaign had a well-funded and organized ground game but there were many voting irregularities at the polling places and reports of disenfranchised voters. Halloran who retains his position as City Councilman intends to hold hearings with the Board of Elections to answer many questions involving his race as well as other Queens races. Read more
Former Congressman, Anthony Weiner, who resigned more than one year ago over a sexting scandal, has re-entered the political world exposing himself as the shameless opportunist he has always been. It was widely reported that he tweeted a moving You Tube video about the extensive damage in the Rockaways caused by Hurricane Sandy. It was also reported that Weiner has been “volunteering in the Rockaways with Chelsea Clinton and his wife Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”
However, according to my coworker, Sheryl, Weiner has been using the devastation for photo-ops and has not lifted a shovel to help the victims . She has been trekking down to the Rockaways with a truck full of food, coats, clothing items, toiletries, cleaning supplies, strollers, baby supplies and many more items that the unfortunate residents desperately need. This angel, as well as hundreds of good people, have been pouring in from outside communities to help with the relief effort out of the goodness of their hearts as our elected officials are nowhere to be found. But wasn’t Anthony Weiner and his entourage there to help out? Read on.
Saint Francis de Sales Church and School at 129th Street in Far Rockaway, without power and heat themselves, has been in the forefront of the efforts to rebuild the community. They have allowed volunteers and relief organizations to use their school as a disaster relief center. While Sheryl was delivering disaster supplies, she observed a long line of residents waiting patiently for hours for much needed supplies. They watched as a black limousine pulled up to the Church and much to everyone’s surprise, Anthony Weiner and Chelsea Clinton jumped out. They popped open the trunk and grabbed some mops, brooms and shovels and then posed for a picture with the priest. Then they hopped back into their limo and drove off to new location for another photo-op. The astonished victims were outraged by this crass display of political opportunism, while Rockaway residents are still suffering with total devastation and chaos. There is no power, no heat, homes destroyed, lives lost, and nowhere to go for help. There is no one in charge directing the relief operations, like Mayor Giuliani who took the lead in the devastation of 9/11 and set up a command center to direct the flow of disaster aid and recovery. Anthony Weiner is a fraud who should be banned from political office for the rest of his life.
America was not the only loser last night. So were the virtues parents try to instill in their children — honesty, courage, personal responsibility, modesty, courtesy, compassion, and a respect for truth.
Last night two good and decent men were defeated by two vile and indecent men: one a megalomaniacal, arrogant, discourteous, publicly foul-mouthed, condescending, graceless, prevaricating adolescent with a lot of growing up to do; the other a stupid buffoon.
The Long Night of Obama is barely half over. The President of the United States is guilty of criminal negligence in the murders of four patriotic Americans in Libya. May God have mercy on our country.
As we gear up for election day tomorrow, I draw your attention to a fine article written by Miami Herald reporter, Marjie Lambert, about my home away from home, the town where I was married in the beautiful St. Agnes Episcopal Church, and a town I was privileged enough to call home for a year — Sebring, Florida, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. When I first moved to Florida, my family didn’t have the funds to buy a new home, so my wife and newborn son lived in Sebring in a house owned by my mother-in-law while I worked in the hussle and bussle of Miami three hours away. I would commute back home every weekend to see the family while working in a rented apartment near the office and I cannot tell you what a delight the people and environs of central Florida were.
While Sebring is most famous for its 12-hour raceway where racing’s most famous drivers from Mario Andretti to Carol Shelby to even Steve McQueen have raced — it really is so much more as Lambert so eloquently describes:
Most of the buildings on Sebring Circle were built in the early 1900s, and the area is a designated 1920s Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. The Sebring Central Fire Station, built in 1927 in the Art Deco style, is still used as a firehouse. The Kenilworth Lodge, the hotel where I’m staying, about a half-mile from Sebring Circle, will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016. The Sebring Historical Society sells collectible models of those and other buildings.
The Cultural Center is here, a complex that includes an art museum, library, theater for stage plays, and classrooms for art classes. In December, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian will stop here: Journey Stories, which examines the intersection between modes of travel and Americans’ desire to feel free to move.
Along one of the spokes, just behind the Cultural Center, is Lake Jackson, with a small park on its shores and a municipal fishing pier.
Few people are on the pier on this hot but cloudy day. An angler has just hauled in a net sparkling with dozens of tiny silver bait fish that he dumps onto the wooden pier. Two adolescent girls, there with their parents, are excitedly skipping around the jumping bait fish, distressed that Mom and Dad are going to use them as bait. “But I looove them,” one of the girls protests.
Mom reels her line in. She has caught a nice-sized bass and says jubilantly, “I told you we were going to have fish for dinner tonight.” The girls are intimidated by the fish, jumping back as it flaps and twists its body in Mom’s hands. Mom tosses it in the bucket with the bait fish.
Fishing is a big draw in and around Sebring. The area has 84 lakes, Goad said, with Jackson, Josephine and Istokpoga the favorites for anglers, especially bass fishermen. Golf is an attraction, too — there are 20 courses within 16 miles of downtown Sebring.
To me, it’s the places like Sebring we most hold dear and protect in America because they represent the best of who we are — individualistic, truly diverse and different, not cookie cutter, but historic and connected to its roots. That’s what is at stake in this election. An America where small town values are embraced versus trickle down government, where all solutions come from Washington, D.C. — rather than from the beautiful Highlands County Courthouse, where Sebring is the county seat, where like Andy Griffith, the Sheriff knows best.
Enjoy a little of Sebring’s beauty in this Youtube video:
What follows is a letter I sent today to the Central Recorder, the student newspaper at Central Connecticut State University, in New Britain CT., where I teach history.
The letter was written in response to an article in the paper describing the dinner in New York last month, hosted by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, to which twelve CCSU students, and their professor, Ghassan El-Eid, of the CCSU political science department, had been invited. The sentiments expressed in the article reminded me of the famous statement ascribed to George Orwell — and here I paraphrase — that some ideas are so ridiculous only intellectuals would think of them. In any event, I seriously doubt that any professor at CCSU, or at any other college or university in America, would arrange a dinner for students with a kleagle of the KKK. And yet dining with a genocidal bigot is unexceptionable.
To the Editors of The Recorder:
I was astonished to read in the October 24 issue of The Recorder that a CCSU professor brought twelve CCSU students to New York City last month to attend a dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran. In the article he was described by students as “very smart,” “not as radical as the western media portray him,” “inclusive,” “kind to everyone who asked a question,” “very genuine,” and someone who “really wants everyone to get along, be respected, and learn.” The professor accompanying the students is quoted as characterizing Ahmadinejad as “a pretty rational leader” whose views may be “controversial” but who is “very careful to support his arguments with facts.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an anti-semitic bigot who has denied the Holocaust while making clear his intention to carry out a second one:
“Today, they [Europeans] have created a myth in the name of Holocaust (December 14, 2005).”
“Israel must be wiped off the map (October 26, 2005).”
“The Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan (February 28, 2007).”
“I warn you to abandon the filthy Zionist entity, which has reached the end of the line. It has lost its reason to be and will sooner or later fall. The ones who still support the criminal Zionists should know that the occupiers’ days are numbered. … Accept that the life of Zionists will sooner or later come to an end (January 30, 2008).”
“They (the Western powers) launched the myth of the Holocaust. They lied, they put on a show and then they support the Jews (September 18, 2009).”
No “Zionists” were killed in the World Trade Center, because “one day earlier they were told not to go to their workplace (August 7, 2010).”
“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor (August 17, 2012).”
On February 4, 2012 Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed “jurisprudential justification TO KILL ALL THE JEWS and annihilate Israel. In that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.” [my capitals]
The government of Iran savagely persecutes Bahai’s and Christians. It tortures and executes homosexuals. It has killed Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has harassed, arrested, tried and barred from travel Iranian women’s rights activists. And in 2009 it ruthlessly suppressed the so-called Green Revolution, in which millions of Iranians demanded the same freedoms Americans enjoy.
It is appalling that CCSU students were used as props in a public relations campaign to legitimize one of the most murderous regimes in the world today and the genocidal bigot who heads it.
Professor of History