Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wisconsin TA Rejects Diversity Training Requirement

"I regret that this leaves us in an awkward situation. After having been accused of virulent racism and, now, assured that I will next learn how to parse the taxonomy of “Genderqueers”, I am afraid that I will disappoint those who expect me to attend any further diversity sessions. When a Virginia-based research firm came to campus a couple of years ago to present findings from their study of campus diversity, then-Diversity Officer Damon Williams sent a gaggle of shouting, sign-waving undergraduates to the meeting, disrupting the proceedings so badly that the meeting was cancelled. In a final break with such so-called “diversity”, I will not be storming your office or shouting into a megaphone outside your window. Instead, I respectfully inform you hereby that I am disinclined to join in any more mandatory radicalism. I have, thank God, many more important things to do. I also request that diversity training be made optional for all TAs, effective immediately. In my humble opinion, neither the Department nor the university has any right to subject anyone to such intellectual tyranny."

(ht Althouse)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The DiploMad 2.0: The "Collapse" of Obamacare? Don't Bet On It

The DiploMad 2.0: The "Collapse" of Obamacare? Don't Bet On It: I was reading "Legal Insurrection " (best blog around) and saw this interesting piece  which referenced an also interesting piece...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Al Gore's Brookings Hate Speech Made Me Quit Email List

Dear Brookings Communication Department:

Shame on Brookings for passing on Al Gore's uncivil remarks, without condemnation.

Does Brookings want to arrest "political terrorists" now? Call in drone strikes? This rhetoric is simply beyond the pale of civilized discourse, a slippery slope of political dehumanization of the opposition. 

As you know, Vice President Al Gore and the Republic survived a shutdown in the Clinton administration very nicely. There were shutdowns in the Carter administration, as well.  It is called the congressional power of the purse.

After reading this email, I no longer have confidence in Brookings' rationality, nor its commitment to civil political discourse.

Therefore, I do not wish to receive any further materials by email from Brookings.

So, please remove me from all your email distribution lists, asap. 

And please do tell Al Gore he's tarnished your reputation with at least one recipient.

If you ever condemn him, I'll subscribe again.

Laurence A. Jarvik, Ph.D.

On Sep 27, 2013, at 3:51 PM, Brookings Center for Effective Public Management wrote:

Not rendering correctly? View this email as a web page here.
Good afternoon,

If you joined us online this morning for former Vice President Al Gore's address at the launch of the new Center for Effective Public Management, you were among the first to hear his remarks about the potential U.S. government shutdown.

"Political Terrorism" was the term Gore used to refer to threats to shut down the government and default on the U.S. debt in his keynote address at this morning's event.

John Hudak highlighted Gore's words on the Center's new blog, FixGov, writing that they emphasized the importance of the Center's work to understand political dysfunction and create real reform.

You can watch video of Gore's remarks and read John's blog post on FixGov:
Al Gore Calls Government Shutdown Threats Political Terrorism
"Why does partisanship have anything to do with such a despicable and dishonorable threat to the integrity of the United States of America?" Gore asked these questions and more, which are fully outlined in a summary of the event's major moments:

Forthcoming research from the new Center will address these vital issues as it works to identify and solve political and governance challenges in 21st century America. As Gore remarked, the Center's work will be at "the heart of what we need to do to make the United States of America what our Founders intended and what our people deserve."

Tell NY City Council to Save New York Public Library!

Dear Library Supporter,


On Monday, Sept 30, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at 250 Broadway, 16th Floor Committee Room, a very important Public Hearing about Capital Construction Needs and Potential Disposal of Libraries in NYC will take place. The Agenda can be found online here:

The City Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations is holding the hearing.

It’s very important that as many people testify as possible against the Central Library Plan and the sale of public libraries, and on behalf of the needs of library users all over the city. We need to take advantage of this unique opportunity to testify. If you don’t want to testify you can still show your support just by being there. There is strength in numbers!

Please arrive a half hour early (12:30 pm) to go through security, and bring valid photo ID with you.

For more information, see "The Truth About the Central Library Plan":

The Committee to Save the New York Public Library 
232 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10003 
facebook: Save NYPL 
on twitter @saveNYPL

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, Still Speaking...

Watch live:

YouTube channel, here:

Senate office, here:

Official Senate bio:

About Ted

In 2012, Ted Cruz was elected as the 34th U.S. Senator from Texas.  A passionate fighter for limited government, economic growth, and the Constitution, Ted won a decisive victory in both the Republican primary and the general election, despite having never before been elected to office.
Propelled by tens of thousands of grassroots activists across Texas, Ted’s election has been described by the Washington Post as “the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true grassroots victory against very long odds.”
National Review has described Ted as “a great Reaganite hope,” columnist George Will has described him as “as good as it gets,” and the National Federation of Independent Business characterized his election as “critical to the small-business owners in [Texas, and], also to protecting free enterprise across America,”
Ted’s calling to public service is inspired largely by his first-hand observation of the pursuit of freedom and opportunity in America.  Ted’s mother was born in Delaware to an Irish and Italian working-class family; she became the first in her family to go to college, graduated from Rice University with a degree in mathematics, and became a pioneering computer programmer in the 1950s.
Ted’s father was born in Cuba, fought in the revolution, and was imprisoned and tortured.  He fled to Texas in 1957, penniless and not speaking a word of English.  He washed dishes for 50 cents an hour, paid his way through the University of Texas, and started a small business in the oil and gas industry.  Today, Ted’s father is a pastor in Dallas.
In the Senate, Ted serves on the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; the Committee on Armed Services; the Committee on the Judiciary; the Special Committee on Aging; and the Committee on Rules and Administration.
Before being elected, Ted received national acclaim as the Solicitor General of Texas, the State's chief lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Serving under Attorney General Greg Abbott, Ted was the nation’s youngest Solicitor General, the longest serving Solicitor General in Texas, and the first Hispanic Solicitor General of Texas.
In private practice in Houston, Ted spent five years as a partner at one of the nation’s largest law firms, where he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national Appellate Litigation practice.
Ted has authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court.  During Ted’s service as Solicitor General, Texas achieved an unprecedented series of landmark national victories, including successfully defending:
  • U.S. sovereignty against the UN and the World Court in Medellin v. Texas;
  • The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms;
  • The constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument;
  • The constitutionality of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance;
  • The constitutionality of the Texas Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment law; and
  • The Texas congressional redistricting plan.
The National Law Journal has called Ted “a key voice” to whom “the [U.S. Supreme Court] Justices listen.”  Ted has been named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America, by the National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America, and by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century.
From 2004-09, he taught U.S. Supreme Court Litigation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law. 
Prior to becoming Solicitor General, he served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as Domestic Policy Advisor on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. 
Ted graduated with honors from Princeton University and with high honors from Harvard Law School.  He served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court.  He was the first Hispanic ever to clerk for the Chief Justice of the United States. 
Ted and his wife Heidi live in his hometown of Houston, Texas, with their two young daughters Caroline and Catherine.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The DiploMad 2.0: Religion of Peace Recap

The DiploMad 2.0: Religion of Peace Recap: The Religion of Peace has been busy helping prove that Islamophobia does not exist. Per the experts at the American Psychiatric Association...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ann Corcoran on US Government Support for Al-Shabaab Terrorists

Israel's Yom Kippur War--40 Years after 1973: A Memoir by Eliyho Matz


                                                               By:  Eliyho Matz

              “Ithaka gave you the beautiful voyage;
                        Without her you would never have started your journey.
                         She has nothing else to give you.”
                                                From “Ithaka” by CP Kavafy

         The Yom Kippur War started on October 6, 1973, and its repercussions continue until today, Yom Kippur 2013.  For me personally, the war started in 1965 when I ran away as fast as I could from my high school in Rishon LeZion.  I fled to a kibbutz in the Upper Galilee called Ayelet HaShachar to recover from a very bad high school experience.  Rishon LeZion was an old Israeli village, today a large city, which did not particularly shine its light on me.  The studies at my high school, the Gymnasia, were complicated for me; my ability to focus was limited, the teachers were obnoxious, and I had very few good friends. In short, as we used to explain it many years ago, the dancer always complained that the floor he danced on was uneven, and therefore he could not dance skillfully.  I can say that I was bored and lazy in my studies, I can say that it was difficult for me, but it was very clear to me just then, and I was only sixteen, that the teachers were incompetent and the principal and his vice-principal were out of touch and ineffective, and so I picked myself up and ran away to the Upper Galilee.  How I arrived at this decision to go to the kibbutz I cannot explain exactly.  It is possible that in my subconscious the Israeli pioneering propaganda and the achievements of the kibbutz movement, and possibly other reasons that I do not know, swept me up and brought me to the office of the kibbutz movement in Tel Aviv, and there one of its      members picked me up and drove me to Ayelet HaShachar. 
         Upon my arrival at Ayelet HaSchachar, I started working.  My immediate supervisor, a lazy kibbutznik, a short and tough individual by the name of Dan Ziv (nicknamed Zift), explained and showed me how to crawl beneath chicken coops filled with manure, and how to remove that manure and load it into a wagon, which took it to a compost pile.  The chicken coops were used to raise chickens for a few months, after which they were sold and taken to slaughter.  The old manure had to be removed before each new crop of new chicks arrived.  I adapted quickly to the work, but a serious manure-remover I was not.  Dan Ziv left me at the coops with another Israeli kid and a toothless Australian tourist/worker, whom the kibbutz promised to provide with a new set of false teeth upon completion of his work.  I learned from him a very unique dialect of toothless Australian English!  We worked together in the coops for about three or four months, but the smell of the manure is still with me today.  While working with the manure and making sure to shower each day after work, I began to get to know the kibbutz members.  I started to hear opinions and all sorts of gossip about the place and its people.  I spent most of my free time reading history and literature books, so in one way or another I began to prepare myself on my own for the high school baccalaureate exam in those subjects.  Later on, I had an opportunity to work in other areas of the kibbutz, including the dining hall, apple orchards and bee hives, and I even became a guard for a short time.  Eli Ziv, Dan’s brother and a graduate of Sayeret Matkal, one of Israel’s most courageous military units, taught me how to drive a jeep and explained to me the basic uses of the submachine gun, the Uzzi.  In the course of my stay, I met many of the kibbutz members.  I tried to make friends with them, but in as close a society as the kibbutz was, doing so was difficult to achieve.  It is true that here and there I made some friends, but I could not really develop a deep relationship with anybody, including with the kibbutz women.  And if there was one woman whom I liked, she did not give a damn about me – her name was Rina.  The upside was that my lack of social progress gave me a greater opportunity to read, study, and ride a bicycle outside the area of the kibbutz.  I had an opportunity to wander in Tel Hazor, which is an ancient archeological site adjacent to the kibbutz.  I had an opportunity to ponder various issues of life, as well as to study history and read literature.  The sad thing about reading these subjects on my own was that I really did not understand much about them.  My integration into the kibbutz was difficult; the kibbutzniks were selfish, and the moment eventually came when I turned eighteen and had to join the Israeli military.  And since I wanted to be a big gibor, or hero, I decided to join the Tzanchanim, the Israeli paratrooper brigade.  Apropos, Dan Ziv must be today seventy-five or eighty; Colonel Dan Ziv was already a decorated hero of the Paratroopers in the battle of Mitle Pass in 1956, and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War he conducted an atrocious battle, as well as an idiotic one, in the Sarafaum on the west side of the Suez Canal.  With Dan Ziv, I did not have that much opportunity to express ideas; he did not say much, and besides he was not particularly well educated.  Whenever I met him, he used to say that we have to be strong – this was a very interesting idea.
         Company B, Platoon D, Regiment 202, February 1967, and here I was in the Paratroopers.  The company commander was Nachik Alon, the son of a famous Israeli historian.  Ever since my youth, I would say my early youth, I wanted to understand and comprehend history, philosophy, and literature.  I thought that by joining the Tzanchanim I would have the opportunity to do so.  Of course, I did not have any historical or philosophical tools to understand those issues.  Suddenly, from a normal human being, I was transformed into a paratrooper.  The process was not easy.  My platoon commander was Eli Strikovski, tough and rough, not well educated, and not too smart.  He tried to transform me, Eliyho, into a courageous soldier, but apparently failed to do so.  He apparently did not see in me what he expected from a “real” soldier.  I participated in the platoon’s military activities, I did what the other soldiers did, but a serious soldier I was not; nor could I be one even if I really wanted.  I could never take “soldiering” as a serious business.  And it did not matter who taught that business.  Strikovski must have sensed this, and one day when I asked him for a special leave for my cousin’s bar mitzvah, he refused, and he also, apropos, mentioned that he could not grant leave to a lousy soldier that he considered me to be.  My attempt to request this special pass from my company commander also failed.  It took me awhile to respond to my platoon commander, but approximately a year later the opportunity presented itself (to be described below).  Later that year Strikovski was severely wounded in an ambush, but he continued his military service.  During the Yom Kippur War, by which time he had changed his name to Sorek, he won a medal for heroism at the Suez Canal, which was the same region where I was located during that time.
         To anyone familiar with modern Israeli history, it is well known that in June 1967, Israel went to war against its neighbors because they all threatened her existence.  This war was named the Six Day War.  The Israeli Paratroopers were in full intensive exercises before the war; I know this because my unit was also involved in this training.  Mentally, it was a very difficult time because we were surrounded by many enemies.  My unit of new paratroopers had just been recruited in February 1967, so we did not have that much time to go through all the paratrooper exercises.  We did a quick and short parachuting exercise.  Our parachute instructor was Amiram Ziet, a cool person and a very social one, at least one light in the darkness.  The war process was coming to a crescendo, and Eliyho got on Strikovski’s nerves, and for one reason or another he inflicted a punishment on a small group of us: “You are not going to war, you are staying on the base, I do not take lousy soldiers to war.”  Immediately I became depressed even though I was not exactly the hero that the “General” (actually “Lieutenant”) Strikovski was.  For in any case, a soldier is tested by his ability to shoot, which I could do as well as anybody else; I also learned how to run, jump and parachute along with the others.  It is true that I had never participated in any battles, but don’t soldiers need to participate in order to be tested?  But Strikovski decided that my small group was not going anywhere, that we were going to stay on the base.  The evening before the war broke out, we were in a gloomy mood, wandering aimlessly and desperately.  Go and tell the wide world that we were left behind at the base because the lieutenant considered us to be lousy soldiers – not a pleasant thought.  But then, in the midst of our gloominess, no sooner had our unit left, a young officer whom we had never met arrived, gathered us politely around him, and explained to us that the reason we had been left on base was because we were needed to participate in a secret mission, for which we had to leave immediately, with all our equipment.  We were quickly driven to some location in the northern Negev (Israel’s southern region).  To our surprise, there were some helicopters waiting on the spot, already engaged in an exercise/mission, in which a special force was prepared to enter swiftly into Egyptian territory to do something that was not clear to us.  Our group was supposed to carry out the simple task of blocking the road that led to the location of the attack.  A very interesting mission, one requiring much courage, and in retrospect one from which probably none of us would have returned.  Suddenly, I was back to being a paratrooper.  We stayed at that place that evening, and in the middle of the night the commander of the mission announced that because of the swift advance of the Israeli forces into the Sinai, there was no more need for our mission.  We immediately were taken away by military trucks to an air force base, and in the early hours of midday we were regrouped with a paratrooper force near the tarmac for a different mission, to jump into battle at Sharm el Sheik at the southern tip of the Sinai Desert.  So our small group became part of a larger force led by Sergeant Shlomo Stein, a moshavnik from Kfar Achim.  We, those lousy soldiers whom Strikovski left at the training camp, were suddenly joining forces to parachute into battle, and as a result, if we were to survive this battle, we would receive “Red Wings” to indicate our successful jump into enemy territory in wartime.  We walked to the air planes, which were a type not familiar to us, a Boeing military plane used during WWII for cargo and parachuting.  We were around 250-people strong.  The group consisted of representatives from different paratrooper groups.  Some were older, and we were the youngest ones.  I don’t remember recognizing anyone outside our small group.  It was a very tense flight, and it took awhile.  We were protected by some air force planes in the air, and finally we arrived at Sharm el Sheik.  As the moment came close to jump from the airplanes, the commander suddenly announced that we were not going to do so.  The reason was not yet clear.  But as soon as we landed on the dusty tarmac of Sharm el Sheik, what had happened did become clear.  A small naval force of Israeli commandos had arrived an hour before we did and found that the entire Egyptian brigade had fled and disappeared.  All that was left were rows and rows of canned beans and tomato sauce!  The naval commando force we met there included among its group a fellow from Kibbutz Ayalet HaShachar named Oded Landsman, and another kibbutznik from Kibbutz Ma’agan by the name of Ami Ayalon.  Ayalon later became the Chief of Israeli Naval Operations as well as the Chief of Israeli Interior Security, and a member of the Israeli Knesset.  He also won a medal for bravery in a military operation in which he was severely wounded.  I had met Ami two years earlier while I was in National Service at his kibbutz.  He suggested to me not to swim or dive here in the Red Sea because the sea was filled with too many sharks.  I accepted his advice.  Since we had nothing to do at the place, we were subsequently sent back to Strikovski and our base in the north.
         During the Six Day War, our military unit 202 fought mostly in the Gaza region.  We suffered casualties, with some dead and a larger number wounded; I do not have the actual numbers.  Immediately after the unit returned to base from Gaza, we were redeployed to Gaza City.  There, some of our unit became entangled in activities and atrocities that until today it is hard to figure out.  Eventually, I did not see the unit anymore.  Fortunately for me, I guess Strikovski had enough of me.  Imagine how it would have looked in the history of the Israeli Paratroopers: a small group of Strikovski’s rejects parachuting into Sharm el Sheik, and Strikovski missing that military action altogether.  Within a few days, a young officer arrived with a pick-up truck, spoke to our company commander Nachik Alon, and, without saying much or even introducing himself, he instructed me to get into the back of the truck.  I was taken to the newly conquered West Bank.  The officer’s name was Amnon Lipkin, later changed to Shachaq, and he was one of the most arrogant and antipathetic people I have ever met.  He was the commander of a small paratrooper unit called “Duchifat,” nominated to the command after the previous commander, Ehud Shani, died in battle north of Jerusalem. Amnon later on in his career became Israeli Chief of Staff.  I had no clear military profession at that time; I had just jumped from airplanes a few times, and in military jargon I was “nobody.”  I joined the communications department of this new unit on the West Bank.  Each one of the soldiers had his own twisted ideas about life and the military, and our sergeant was Yossi Angel from the well known Angel Bakeries in Jerusalem.  Today Yossi Angel, aided by his father’s advice and money, has relocated to New York City where he has opened up a bakery and tried to reinvent the American muffin!  I meet him occasionally for a quick greeting, and to taste his muffins.  Anyway, the unit was in the midst of intensive training.  The original idea for this Duchifat unit was that it would be something between a tank unit and a paratrooper unit, but its end was tragic, and trying to combine these two forces was probably one of the biggest mistakes that he Israeli military made.  In a later battle which our unit participated in, we had too many casualties, and within a year the unit was dispersed.  I was one of the last ones left to take apart the communications equipment.  After that, I was sent to a new paratrooper command that had been especially established to train young paratroopers.  One of the first commanders in this unit was an older paratrooper named “Tarzan.”  He was there for a short time, and after him came Yaakov Chalabi.  Once, at the end of his service, Chalabi took me with him on a trip to Bethlehem.  It was Christmastime.  This trip to Bethlehem changed my entire life, not at the time that I was there, but a few years later (to be clarified below).  In Bethlehem I met a sergeant from the military police by the name of Yaakov Sharabani, later changed to Sharon.  Yaakov was not exactly the healthiest person, and probably needed some connection to be accepted in the military.  One of his best friends was an elderly famous paratrooper by the name of Yecheskiel Baum.  Anyway, this paratrooper unit that was organized to train young paratroopers had a few changes of commanders, and one day a new commander arrived, Colonel Amos Yaron.  Amos lived in those years in Rishon LeZion, a very short distance from my parents’ home.  I do not know how it started, but I began driving his military vehicle back-and-forth between the West Bank and Rishon.  Lo and behold, one day Strikovski arrived in our unit to fulfill a job as an instructor.  I had the opportunity to tell Amos about my past association and experiences with this “gentleman,’ and made sure, with Amos’ agreement, that when I was called upon to drive him to Tel Aviv he would be compelled to sit in the back of the truck, rather than on the front seat near me.  I did not speak to Strikovski, and he did not speak to me.  I served with Amos for about half-a-year, or perhaps a bit more, and I joined him on a few occasions at some very important military exercises in which he was a judge.  One of these involved crossing a canal, which replicated the Suez Canal.  This exercise took place toward the end of 1969; the exercise later became a reality in the 1973 war, which I will return to later.  I met at that time a young officer by the name of Eli Cohen; in 1973 Cohen was the first Israeli paratrooper to cross the Suez Canal.  He later became a member of the Israeli Knesset.  In the final year of my regular military service, I experienced one of the most exciting things that happened to me during my service, or maybe even during my entire life.  A young driver by the name of Shabtai Shevili arrived at our base donning big glasses — I guess he could not see well – and during his first day at the base he turned over in the vehicle that he was driving.  Fortunately he was not hurt, but he was definitely shaken, as was I.  We became friends, and I’ll always owe him a large debt of gratitude, for he introduced me to a relative of his who resided in Jerusalem by the name of Abram Jana Soramello.  One of the most interesting Israelis I ever met, Soramello was a joker, a smoker, a drinker and a storyteller who spoke Hebrew and Arabic. 
         Finally, my regular army service came to an end.  In the last few months of my military service I became the driver for another Israeli “hero,” Asaf Villin, who later changed his name to Chefetz and became a commander in the Paratroopers and then the commander of the Israeli National Police.  His failure in the military was due to the fact that he irritated the renowned Raful.  Asaf was known among Israeli paratroopers to be a very courageous soldier.  He was a kibbutznik from Kfar Menachem.  He met his wife Sarah at our unit; she was our clerk.  One day, Asaf asked me to join him to go to a place in the West Bank.  When we arrived, he pulled some dynamite and other equipment out of the jeep and tried to blow up an empty building.  The problem was, we did not distance ourselves far enough away from the building to avoid the fallout from the blast, but luckily we were not hurt.  I met him later at the Mitla Pass in 1971 when I was working in the Sinai Desert on fortifications, and he was the commander of Unit 890.  I felt that he looked at me disdainfully, perhaps wondering what I was doing there, and I never saw him again.  But at the end of my military service he wrote me a personal letter of recommendation in which he cited me as a responsible and dedicated soldier.  I still have his letter at home, and I look at it occasionally, and wonder.
         During the final year of my army service I began preparing myself, mostly in the evenings, for various exams that would lead me to entrance into a university.  Finally I returned to my parents’ home in Rishon LeZion. I found a few places to work, but I failed in all of them until eventually I found a job with a famous photographer, Nahum Gutman (not the painter).  With Gutman I worked for approximately six months as a photo journalist, publishing pictures in most Israeli newspapers.  One day while working in photography, I met a relative of mine, an engineer who was working on the fortifications at the Suez Canal, and he hired me for a job there.  I walked by foot and traveled by jeep all over the region of the Canal.  I also worked on the road that led from Tasa to the Suez Canal.  During the Yom Kippur War, that road, called “Akavish” (Spider) became the main road the Israelis used to invade Egypt. After half-a-year there, I decided that I wanted to begin serious studies, so I enrolled at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where I registered for courses in Israeli Literature and the History of Jews.  In October 1972, I arrived for the first time as a student at the Hebrew University and settled in at the G’vat Ram campus.  I arrived with very little money, only some small savings from the various jobs I had done, not knowing exactly how I would survive.  On my first day I took a walk around the campus to look around, and suddenly I saw my old friend Yaakov Sharabani Sharon.   He was at that time an assistant to the security chief at the university, and within a few days he hired me to work for him at the security department of the university!  Now I had a chance to study and a salary to support me.  One day while I was on security duty standing near the Biology building, a short young American woman wearing glasses asked me how to get to the National Library.  A friendship developed between us, and we are now together for forty years! 
I did not have a chance to be at the university for two months before I was called for Reserve duty, which extended from the end of 1972 into the beginning of 1973.  This time I was placed in a different military unit as a driver for the deputy commander of the unit, and unfortunately I could not escape my duty.  In the meantime at the university, I was taking complicated courses with Professor Stern, Professor Shaked, Professor Yosef Dan and others – I was moving forward.  Little by little I began meeting people at the university and really progressing.  What I forgot to talk about and mention earlier was that my military exercise at the beginning of 1973 in reality was a general rehearsal for the Yom Kippur War.  In 1969, I had gone out with Amos Yaron to check a possible crossing of the Suez Canal; in 1973, we did a simulated exercise on a model of the Canal, but this time we employed a specially made bridge on wheels.  Our job was to protect the bridge as it was rolled into the Suez Canal.  The next time I met that bridge was not as an exercise, but in battle in October 1973.  As for myself thinking about all these military exercises we carried out over the years, I never thought seriously that we would come to a point where we would actually need to cross the Suez Canal; it seemed like too much of a fantasy to me – I guess I was wrong. 
Meanwhile, finally back at the university in the early months of 1973, I continued studying and working to complete the semester, and Barbara Fichman, my girlfriend, returned to America.  I planned to travel to America for my first time at the end of August to meet her parents and discuss plans for our marriage.  By then my exams to end my first year at the university would be completed.  Since I was a typical Israeli, I arrived in America without any proper clothing -- no jacket and no tie -- and soon the Fichman family was going to synagogue for Yom Kippur services.  Without the proper clothing, I did not attend services that morning, but fell asleep, only to be awakened by Barbara at noontime and told that there was a terrible war waging in the Middle East, later to be known as the Yom Kippur War.  I called up the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, and was instructed to go directly to JFK Airport in New York for a flight back to Israel.  I arrived in Israel within twenty-four hours and travelled immediately to the Sinai Desert, where I joined my unit stationed in Tasa around the parameters of the headquarters of General Erik Sharon, the “King of Israel.”  This was a place I knew very well from my work on the fortifications.  In the beginning, there was total chaos there, but little-by-little the Israeli military managed to rearrange and organize its forces.  And since we were very close to the Sharon headquarters, lo and behold I met all the characters I missed so much: Dan Ziv and Amnon Shachaq, commanders of paratrooper units, Strikovski, with a special jeep unit, and Eli Cohen, who was about to become the first Israeli paratrooper to cross the Suez Canal.  I was the driver of the deputy commander of the unit, Dubi Ravid, and occasionally I also drove another officer by the name of Amos Schoken.  (Years later he became the proprietor of the newspaper Ha’aretz.  Amos S. is a very intelligent and courageous person.  I have read his family’s newspaper since my youth, and I always appreciated the intellectual streak it carried.  For the first thirty years of my residence in America, I received the weekly edition of this newspaper mailed to my home.  However, in the last ten years I have discovered that its level of intellectualism has eroded.)  We were sitting in Tasa and waiting for an order to move.  In the meantime around us the Egyptians sent some commando forces into our area, and we caught them.  Egyptian attack airplanes were attacking us, and our unit shot one of them down.  The most disturbing incident while we were waiting to do something was the arrival of some young Israeli soldiers, the remnants of some units that were involved in defending the Suez Canal at the first attack on Yom Kippur. On the 14th or 15th of October, we began our move toward the Suez Canal.  Our unit surrounded the famous bridge-on-wheels.  On the second day of our movement, Egyptian airplanes discovered us and attacked us.  By sheer miracle I was not killed in that attack.  We also heard reports about the chaos that happened at the “Chinese Farm,” where one of the most terrible battles of this war occurred.  About fifty paratroopers were killed there, and I have no idea how many tank people lost their lives there.  While all this was happening, we were moving closer and closer to the Suez Canal.  Eventually, one of the paratrooper forces that entered into the west side of the Canal, led by Dan Ziv, at the Sarafaum, got into real trouble there.  Many many articles and stories have come out to relate the details of that battle.  The main conclusion was that Dan Ziv as a commander performed poorly, and it is not that he was not a courageous person, but that his judgment in battle did not fit the reality of this complicated event.  One of the victims of this battle, a very courageous Israeli soldier, was Asa Cadmoni.  We left the Suez Canal five months later.
When I returned to the University, I lacked the desire to study.  Classes had started in November, and now it was the end of March of the following year.  My roommate was dead, and I lost all interest in studying.  I decided to travel to America, and so I did.  About my adventures in America I will write a different story.  In the meantime, the Yom Kippur War of 1973 still provides mountains of speculation, and there remains a total misunderstanding among Israelis about the causes and conclusions of that war.  It is possible that these conversations about the war will not end, even at the end of days, unless maybe a little bit before that.  I hope we will one day find some way to figure out the key to all the unanswered questions.

Andrew C. McCarthy: US Support for Syrian Terrorists Illegal

Under the pertinent provision of the act, the prohibitions against military aid to a country are not limited by its government’s history of promoting particular terrorist groups. That is to say, even if it were correct that Hezbollah alone was responsible for the AECA’s application to Syria, this would not narrow transactions prohibited under the statute to those by which the Assad regime could benefit Hezbollah. (As it happens, Hezbollah is far from the only terrorist entity abetted by Syria; the Assad regime’s patron is Iran, the world’s numero uno terrorism promoter; Syria, furthermore, has a history of supporting and providing safe harbor for Hamas — the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian terrorist branch, which happens to be allied with the “rebels” in the Syrian civil war.)In point of fact, AECA prohibitions apply to countries, not regimes that govern countries — i.e., they apply here to Syria, not just Assad. There is good reason for this. If a government with a history of supporting terrorism is on the brink of collapse or overthrow, there is even more risk than usual that any weaponry and other military aid we provide will fall into the hands of terrorists. This is not just abstract logic; we know it from our own very recent experience: Since the regime fell in Qaddafi’s Libya — thanks to Obama’s unauthorized war — weapons distributed to and purloined by jihadists have fueled al-Qaeda’s operations in North Africa and may well have contributed to the Benghazi massacre, in which four American officials were murdered and several others seriously wounded.In any event, once the AECA applies to a country, the provision of military and other aid outlined in the statute is prohibited. The president’s power to waive this prohibition is very limited. It is not good enough for the president to say the aid is in U.S. interests. A waiver is valid only if the aid in question is “essential” to U.S. “national security” interests. The interests of Syrians are irrelevant under the law’s plain terms.It is inconceivable that supplying materiel to Syrians, including equipment that protects people from chemical weapons, could be essential to American national security. Obviously, if American national security were actually at risk, we would be invading Syria with our own forces, not arming the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda.In fact, in the case of Syria, it is more likely true that withholding protective equipment and arms is essential to American national security. There are, after all, reports — from Turkey, Iraq, and Syria — detailing chemical-weapons manufacturing, procurement, and use by al-Qaeda-affiliated groups that are systematically incorporated into the operations of the Syrian opposition. The Obama administration and Republican leaders are in high dudgeon over Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons, but they seem to have a frog in their throats when it comes to the “rebels.” 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Parent arrested at forum after protesting use of common core

Parent arrested at forum after protesting use of common core

When Small started speaking, Dance told him that he believed his question would be answered, but Small continued to talk. After a couple of minutes, a security guard confronted Small, saying, "Let's go. Let's go."

Small, 46, asked him if he was an officer and the security guard, an off-duty Baltimore County police officer, showed him a badge. The officer grabbed Small's arm and pulled him toward the aisle. The audience gasped and some people sitting nearby got out of their seats.
As he was being taken out, Small said, "Don't stand for this. You are sitting here like cattle." Then he said, "Is this America?"
The officer pushed Small and then escorted him into the hall, handcuffed him and had him sit on the curb in front of the school. He was taken to the Towson precinct and detained. Small was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison, and disturbing a school operation, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to six months.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Charles Krauthammer: Lock Up Paranoid Schizophrenics

Save the New York Public Library from Criminal Anthony Marx & His Gang!

Dear Library Supporter,

THE COMMITTEE TO SAVE THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY urges you to come to a meeting of the NYPL Trustees!


104 West 136th Street near Malcolm X Blvd. (Lenox Ave.) 
135th St. stop on the 2 or 3 train 
135th St. stop on the B or C train

WHEN: Wednesday, September 25 
Meeting at 4pm - open to the public 
Rally at 5pm

Stop the destruction of a great research library 
Stop the sell-off of public libraries 
Let NYPL know libraries should grow - not shrink

Take action to stop the Central Library Plan and save the 42nd Street Library!

Come to the NYPL trustees meeting and let them know you are watching as they plan to spend taxpayer money on their wasteful, destructive plan. Then, come to the rally afterwards in front of the Countee Cullen Library 104 West 136th Street in Central Harlem. The meeting starts at 4pmand rally starts at 5pm, so please be on time! We want to have a strong presence at the meeting. If you can't make it at 4:00, join the rally after work at 5pm and greet the Trustees on their way out.

The Central Library Plan (CLP), at enormous cost to New York City and its taxpayers, would gut the 42nd Street Research Library – one of the world’s great reference libraries and a historic landmark. The CLP would demolish the library’s historic book stacks, install a circulating library in their place, and send 1.5 million books to central New Jersey. The new circulating library would be a reduced-size replacement for the Mid-Manhattan Library (at 40th and 5th Avenue) and SIBL (Science, Industry, and Business Library, at 34th and Madison), which will both be closed and sold off. 

For more information about the Central Library Plan and its potential negative impacts on both the 42nd Street Library and the circulating libraries it would replace, go to 

CLP is part of a larger effort by New York City’s public library systems to shrink their capacity and sell off valuable real estate, which started with the controversial sale in 2008 of the beloved Donnell Library to real estate developers. The rally is cosponsored by our friends at Citizens Defending Libraries.

The Committee to Save the New York Public Library 
232 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10003 
facebook: Save NYPL 
on twitter @saveNYPL

Ann Coulter - September 18, 2013 - CRAZIER THAN LIBERALS

Ann Coulter - September 18, 2013 - CRAZIER THAN LIBERALS

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My bottom line on Washington Navy Yard Massacre...

Mental health is a national security issue;involuntary institutionalization is a national  security issue;state mental hospitals closed since 1960s need to be re-opened asap on a large scale for long-term residents who are a danger to themselves and society; funding could be provided from the Homeland Security budget (DHS HQ already conveniently relocated to St. Elizabeth's Hospital grounds in DC, a mental hospital...IMHO).

Rand Paul at the Library of Congress 9/18/2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Washington Post: Chief of Naval Operations Fled Navy Yard
Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the chief of Naval Operations, was evacuated from his residence at the Navy Yard complex shortly after the first report of shots fired, Navy officials said. Greenert, a four-star admiral and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was safely evacuated to the Pentagon along with his wife, Darleen, said Cmdr. Ryan Perry, a Navy spokesman.
Whatever happened to "a Captain goes down with the ship?"

RubinReports on Appeasement, Then & Now...


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wikipedia's Definition of "American Exceptionalism"
American exceptionalism is the theory that the United States is "qualitatively different" from other nations.[2] In this view, America's exceptionalism stems from its emergence from a revolution, becoming what political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset called "the first new nation"[3] and developing a uniquely American ideology, "Americanism", based on liberty,egalitarianismindividualismrepublicanismpopulism and laissez-faire.[4] This ideology itself is often referred to as "American exceptionalism."[4]
Although the term does not necessarily imply superiority, many neoconservative and American conservative writers have promoted its use in that sense.[4][5] To them, the United States is like the biblical shining "City upon a Hill", and exempt from historical forces that have affected other countries.[6]
The theory of exceptionalism can be traced to Alexis de Tocqueville, the first writer to describe the United States as "exceptional" in 1831 and 1840.[7] The term "American exceptionalism" has been in use since at least the 1920s and saw more common use after Soviet leaderJoseph Stalin chastised members of the Jay Lovestone-led faction of the American Communist Party for their heretical belief that America was independent of the Marxist laws of history "thanks to its natural resources, industrial capacity, and absence of rigid class distinctions". American Communists started using the English term "American exceptionalism" in factional fights. It then moved into general use among intellectuals.[8][9]

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Asia Times: Sen. Lugar, Nunn-Lugar, Obama, Putin & Syria

M K Bhadrakumar writes in the Asia Times:

Now, as a young senator, Obama regarded himself as a protege ("pupil") of Lugar; he had served in the Nunn-Lugar program (which took him on his only visit to Russia before becoming president). 

In fact, the 20th anniversary of the Nunn-Lugar Program was one of the first public functions that Obama attended on December 3 last year after getting re-elected. He made a remarkable speech on that occasion in Washington where he hailed the track record of the Nunn-Lugar "far beyond the old Soviet Union". Obama said, 
Nunn-Lugar is the foundation for the vision that I laid out, once I was elected president, in travel to Prague - where nations come together to secure nuclear materials, as we're doing with our Nuclear Security Summits, where we build on New START and continue to work to reduce our arsenals; where we strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and prevent the spread of the world's most deadly weapons; where, over time, we come closer to our ultimate vision - a world without nuclear weapons. 
Suffice to say, Putin factors in that disarmament is a key policy agenda for Obama. Putin cannot be oblivious of the potential of the Russian plan on Syria going far beyond the resolution of the immediate conflict situation at hand in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

It could be Syria today that Russia is working on alongside the Obama administration. But it could as well be on Iran tomorrow. And incrementally, Obama also would need to think about addressing Russia's core concerns - missile defense, for instance. 

A paradigm shift 
Working with the Obama administration as "equal partner" has always been Putin's core Russian foreign-policy objective and any constructive cooperation over Syria can possibly change the entire alchemy of Russian-American relations. 

The pro-western Russian elites who dominate policymaking in Moscow whole-heartedly welcome Putin's working relationship with Obama. For the majority of Russian people, at the same time, Putin's brilliant handling of the Syrian crisis has enhanced the country's image and international standing. 

To be sure, an interesting paradigm shift is taking place as the Russian leadership identifies with American public opinion, with which Obama also instinctively empathizes, as his speech on Tuesday revealed.

Sen. Lugar Proposed US-Russian Syrian Solution on August 8, 2012...

As reported in the New York Times:

Mr. Lugar’s proposal comes at a delicate time, with Russia steadfastly resisting entreaties by the United States and other countries to authorize more forceful intervention in Syria, which has been locked in a conflict that is now a civil war for 17 months.
In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Lugar said his idea had been initially rebuffed by Russian officials, who noted that Syria had never joined an agreement to eliminate such arms, the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was signed by 188 countries.
“The initial response,” Mr. Lugar said, “was that Syria was not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention — which is true — and we, that is, the United States and Russia, do not own these weapons, and that’s true. But it’s also true that it’s not really clear in the course of events who is going to own them, if anybody; who will be responsible; whether any party really will be a part of the convention.”
Yet, Mr. Lugar added, most countries see the weapons in Syria “as influencing very adversely the potential for peace and stability in the Middle East.”
Mr. Lugar, the senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, is in Moscow this week to press for an extension of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, an effort that began in 1991 to safeguard and dismantle nuclear and chemical weapons in the former Soviet Union.
The effort is credited with deactivating 7,500 nuclear warheads and overseeing the end ofnuclear weapons programs in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus. It is named for Mr. Lugar and former Senator Sam Nunn, Democrat of Georgia, who helped a reluctant Congress provide financing, and it also led to the construction of a facility in Siberia that has been working to destroy two million Soviet chemical weapons containing nerve agents and other poisons.
Mr. Lugar said the suggestion was his own, not the Obama administration’s. “The threats might be to both of our countries from elsewhere,” he said. “That’s what I am suggesting as maybe a new chapter in our cooperative threat reduction — that we think about our abilities really to be helpful to each other, but also the rest of the world.”