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When an Organization Stands for Nothing and is Opposed to Everything

For those who have a fascination or interest in the Holocaust and have great interest in reading about it, it is quite clear that there were a number of US companies who were complicit. The reason that the records are quite clear and it is well known who and how many went to the gas chambers is because of equipment provided by the American company, IBM.

That is not to imply that IBM shares in the guilt.  Surely no one at IBM had any idea what would happen over the years of Hitler’s rule.  They saw a business opportunity and took it.  Any company would have done the same.  No recent employees had anything to do with it and probably do not even know to what extent IBM was involved during the 1930s.  Suffice it to say, it was not a proud moment in IBM history.

203d443d5854dc04b5c320a2bdc6eaaaToday there is a remarkable parallel between the NAZI party of the 1930s and the Republican party of today.  On Friday, in a blog written on the Microsoft site, they announced that, as usual they will be providing equipment and technical assistance to the Republican and the Democratic conventions.  In previous years, Microsoft has provided cash contributions to make sure that there are plenty of Microsoft banners all over the convention hall so that we Americans and, indeed, the entire world will know what Microsoft is doing.  This year Microsoft has announced that they will not be providing any funding for advertising at the Republican convention.

Surely the decision went all the way up to Satya Nadella the Microsoft CEO.  He saw the writing on the wall and did not want to be a part of this hatefest.

I would suggest to my Republican friends and family to STOP IT!  Surely you see that the Republican party has degenerated into a hate group like the KKK and the American NAZI party.  When a political organization stands for nothing and is opposed to everything, isn’t it time to look elsewhere?  There are organizations that are dedicated to improving our country and the well being of our citizens – instead of tearing ours country down and embarrassing us in the eyes of the world.  Why not join one of them?

As an aside, let me suggest, “OK Apple it is your turn”.  Please make sure that there are no Apple banners shown on TV during the Republican convention.  You would make me, an Apple user quite embarrassed and upset.

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Hillary’s Passover Editorial

In the Quran, Passover is one of the most recounted stories.  It is the story of the bondage of the Children of Israel and their deliverance from Egypt’s Pharaoh. In the New Testament, the “last supper” is Jesus’ celebrating Passover.  There seems to be only one imgresproblem.  The archeologists and historians of today cannot find any proof that the Jews ever wandered in the desert for 40 years.  Indeed, had a person wandered in a desert for 40 hours, that would have been impressive.  Further, there is no proof that they were ever slaves in Egypt.

Anyway, in this article, it is not my intent to discredit the Bible or Quran.  Those books don’t need my assistance.

I am concerned about the recent pandering of Hillary Clinton.  If Bernie Sanders doesn’t make it, I will vote for her but she is beginning to act too much like a run-of-the-mill politician for my liking.  I am really offended when she feels that she has to pander for the “Jewish” vote.

She wrote an article that appeared in the Times of Israel this past Sunday night in which she criticized the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”  I think that BDS does go too far, but her criticism needs to be looked at.  She wrote an article entitled, “Fighting oppression, inequality and injustice on Passover.”  Ms. Clinton appears to have taken pandering and distortion to new levels by invoking the Jewish holiday to call for escalated attacks on BDS and the further denial of Palestinian human rights.

In the third paragraph of her article, she leaps into the brazen claim that the “Pharaoh,” who “denied the Israelites the right to worship as they chose,” can be compared to the BDS movement. “International efforts to malign and isolate the Jewish people—like the alarming ‘BDS’ movement—are gaining steam,” she writes, offering a sweeping explanation of contested religious interpretations and histories in an apparent bid to bolster her campaign ahead of the New York primary.

There is no question when people like David Duke supports the movement, and BDS does nothing to disavow his support that there might be some anti-Semitism in the movement but, “It feels more than a little galling to be given such a politically cynical Torah lesson by a candidate running for the highest office of the world’s largest superpower,” Brant Rosen, co-chair of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Rabbinical Council and rabbi of the congregation Tzedek Chicago. “I’d say she’s got her ‘Pharaoh’ all wrong: America and Israel are the overwhelmingly more powerful and oppressive parties in this equation.”

Lynn Gottlieb, who also serves on the Jewish Voice for Peace rabbinical council and was the first woman rabbi in the Jewish Renewal Movement said, “BDS is a series of non-violent tactics that target state policies and corporations that are profiting from harming other human beings through massive land theft, denial of freedom of movement, and many other violations of human rights that Clinton knows very well,” she said.

Ms. Clinton, it is becoming harder and harder to take you seriously.  You are lucky that the Republicans are only offering Trump and Cruz, the joy boys of sleaze.

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It takes a Jew

I recently saw a repost of an article about Bernie Sanders on a Facebook page. The article was about Bernie’s expression of sympathy for the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank.There have been other presidential candidates in the past who have expressed sympathy for the Palestinians but in this presidential season there has actually been two who suggested that there would be a change.Interestingly, the first was Donald Trump who suggested that he would be more evenhanded, and now Bernie.Both statements are most welcome to me.Most of the world’s holocaust survivors have now passed on and their kids are looking at the issue of Israel in a new light.

israeli high tech

Israel exists.They are one of the major high-tech engines of the 21st century.To suggest that the world should stop everything and go back to 1948 is a ridiculous statement and doesn’t even warrant a response. The vast majority of the Israel Defense Force – from Generals on down to the lowest enlisted rank were born in Israel.Six of the last seven prime ministers were born in Israel.Should they change their place of birth?How would that work? The people who are trying to destroy Israel have never set foot in it.Neither have their parents.They have been given plenty of opportunities by the world to build a thriving state in Gaza but, seemingly all they were interested in was destroying Israel.There is no Israeli occupation of Gaza.Initially, when the Israeli troops left, Gaza had their own international airport and a thriving port.The freely elected Gaza leadership was not interested in the people of Gaza.They only wanted to destroy Israel.Hence, the blockade as it exists today.

tried to be fair. Currently, we have Palestinians being allowed to shoot rockets into Israel as well as send in commandos.They claim that they are justified in attempting to kill any and all Israelis, and are not committing any crimes, because all Israelis even small children are potential soldiers.

Israel has tried to negotiate with the government of Gaza, but they refused.One must Rocketsassume that if Palestinians have the right to strike anywhere in Israel then Israel has the right to strike anywhere in Gaza.Seems fair.

Israel has allowed shipments of building materials and food into Gaza until it became clear to the international community that the Gaza leadership — which the voters of Gaza support — have been diverting the materials to build tunnels into Israel for the purpose of kidnapping and killing.

Israel has, therefore, closed off the supplies and, each time a military incursion from Hamas happens, Israel retaliates.

Apparently, any country on earth can retaliate when their borders are attacked, but Israel, according to the UN cannot.Israel has and should continue to ignore the UN resolutions until a certain amount of evenhandedness is displayed.

Israeli Settlement

The West Bank, however, is a different story.The Palestinians must be given the opportunity to set up their own country.The settlements that Israel keeps building are, to a great extent, funded by private, tax-exempt United States Non-governmental organizations.Fifteen percent of the settlers are Americans.This is contrary to US policy and needs to be stopped. The United Nations has repeatedly upheld that this is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.The International Court of Justice has also called these settlements illegal.These settlements should be an embarrassment any supporter of Israel, anywhere!

According to a public opinion survey published by the Brookings Institute, 37 percent of Americans think that the United States should respond to ongoing Israeli settlement construction with economic sanctions, or harsher measurements.It needs to be much higher than that.

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America’s Shame

The Republican Party is a disgrace to anyone who would call himself “an American”.  It is a stain on the entire nation which will not be easily removed.  Two men, running for our nation’s highest, most prestigious position had their minions posting pictures of the candidate’s wives in sexy positions or trying to make the opponents wife look as ugly as possible.

The slimy, National Enquirer, whose editor is a close friend of Mr Trump suggested that Mr. Cruz has had five extra-marital affairs.  Trump has encouraged violence by offering to pay the legal costs of supporters who beat protesters.  By the way, I wouldn’t take that offer to the bank.  Trump has a record of making offers to pay for things and then just ignoring any claims.  Trump has called his opponent a “world class liar”, a “fraud”, and a “maniac”.  Mr Cruz could say the same thing about Trump, and it would be equally true.

DisgraceTrump, in his campaign, has made reference to the super adequacy of his sexual organ, has claimed that a journalist’s questions were a consequence of her menstrual problems, and has mockingly acted out another journalist’s physical disability on live television.  Dirty tricks are not new in US election campaigns (mostly by Republicans), but the new lows that the joy boys of politics, Trump and Cruz, have reached is unprecedented.

It is not only Trump and Cruz that we need worry about.  They are the product of a hate group formerly known as a political party — but now more akin to the KKK.  The Republicans have been pursuing fiscal, economic and social policies that served only the rich.  Starting with the Reagan tax cuts, millions of Americans slid into a very precarious existence.  Cultural declines are often the consequences of real economic declines.  We are witnessing the cultural declines now as the candidates go to new lows in their campaign conduct.  When followers are asked about their candidate’s conduct, they simply answer that he is telling it like it is!

The Republicans have built up a contempt for things done for the greater good – whether itimages is health care or aid to the poor.  They argue for educational policies that exclude the non-privileged.  They allow billionaires like the Koch brothers to direct the party’s policy and appoint its key can-didates. One Republican leader has said on national television that if the NRA doesn’t approve of a Supreme Court nominee, they won’t vote for him. The Republicans have even embraced the super-destructive Tea Party movement.

So what is the outcome to all this? If Trump can get 1237 delegates he will be the Republican candidate for president.  He will lose in the general election and could take the Republican party with him.  He loses because most of his strength comes from white, mid-dle class males. The poor won’t vote for him, and probably won’t vote at all.  Women, all across the economic spectrum will not vote for him.  In 2012 women made up 54% of the electorate.  It is greater than that now.  Women alone can elect or reject a candidate if they are united.  There is no question that Trump unites them!

images-1Can he even get those 1237 delegates in the primaries?  Many are skeptical.  If he has a plurality but not the magic number of delegates, and he doesn’t get enough on the first vote at the convention, I am sure he won’t stand a chance.  So, if he doesn’t get the 1237 delegates but does have a plurality (this will happen) his march of a million moron males would feel justifiably betrayed.  THAT should be interesting.  Trump has the money.  He could start a third party movement.

Well, “Oracle of the Future” is something that no one would ever think of calling me. The Republicans created this mess.  Lets hope they don’t bring down the country with them.

Let’s always remember that we get bad leaders when good people don’t vote.

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Syrian Immigration

It is a disgrace to the world to see the Syrian refugees wandering around with no clear path to ultimate safety.  They need to be helped and we have a moral requirement to help them!  We do this because we are fellow human beings and we hope that, should the roles ever be reversed, others would do the same for us.  As the saying goes, “There but for the grace of God go I”.

SyriansIt appears that a lot of the Syrians will be settled in Germany.  Does anyone really think that at some future day, when the fighting is ended, those Syrians will willingly go home? Just where would that be?  For the Syrian children who will be born in Germany, German culture will be their culture. Germany will be the only home that they ever knew.  Their language will be German and their culture will be German.  Should they be forced to go to Syria, a country that they never knew?  I would say, “No”.  I am sure that Ms. Merkel, the German prime minister, knows very well that those people she is inviting will be the new Germans.  All we have to do is look at the Turkish Gastarbeiters or “guest workers” of the 1960s and 1970s.  Today they are black-haired, brown-eyed Germans.  When there was no more work, the guest workers didn’t go home.  They stayed in Germany because, after all, that IS home.

Within the past 100 years, this isn’t the first time that a readily identifiable group of Syrians-1people had to leave a country for fear for their lives.  Maybe you remember that little thing about the Jews of Germany in the 1930s?  Some had enough faith in humanity that they opted to stay where they were.  After all, anti-Semitism was nothing new to the Jews of Europe.  Where are those people today?  They are the fertilizer of German, Polish, Ukrainian farms.

Between 1919 and 1941,  a span of 22 years, Jewish immigration to Palestine was about 380,000.  As the population balance from Arab to Jew changed, there were conflicts and some riots, but, mostly, the people actually got along.

Now, in Germany we see that 800,000 Muslim migrants arrived THIS YEAR ALONE.  The total Arab population in Germany is now 6 million and is growing by 1.6% (77,000) per year.  This is causing a rape epidemic, a public health crisis, and German citizens purchasing weapons at an unheard-of rate.

A January 8 survey published by the Bertelsmann Foundation found that 57% of Germans believe that Islam is a threat to German society; 61% believe that Islam does not fit in to western society, and 40% feel like foreigners in their own country.

German leaders, such as Ms. Merkel probably feel that they have a special moral obligation to help the refugees.  Truly, in view of their history, I think they do, too. The Germans are a very thorough people.  If they set out to do something, they will do it.  In this case, I am afraid that if the rest of the world doesn’t provide more help, Germany will cease to exist as a typical European nations.

A lot of my Facebook friends who support the Syrians refugees tell me that everything that the Jews of the 1930s did is wrong.  The German-Jews, just like the Syrians of today, were a desperate people trying to save their lives.  The Arabs in the middle east had nothing to do with the holocaust, the Germans had nothing to do with the revolt against Bashar al-Assad.  All that is rather irrelevant.  Desperate people do desperate things in order to save their lives.  It has traditionally been up to the rest of the world to deal with the mess afterwards.

Using 20/20 hindsight was there a solution?  Of course, the world should have stopped Hitler.  The world should have stopped Mr. al-Assad.  Easy!

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Misspeaking and Liars

Misspoke!  Did you ever wonder exactly what that word meant but were too lazy to look it up?  It means “to express oneself insufficiently clearly or accurately”.  So, when Hillary Clinton gave a story about being under fire when she visited the Balkans, she DIDN’T lie, even though none of it was remotely true.  She “misspoke” according to her campaign.  She just wasn’t clear that she MEANT to be telling a lie. Yes, that’s it.  She meant to be telling a lie.

Most politicians exaggerate and, if caught, can simply say that they misspoke.  Technically they are often right, they “misspoke”.  So, where is the boundary?  Let’s look at Donald Trump:

imagesDonald is a world class liar.  Now it is true that Ted Cruz comes close, but no one beats The Donald.  Some of the better newspapers in the US, such as the Washington Post which I am most familiar with have fact checkers that could spend 50 hours in a day checking out his statements.  Let’s take a look.

On March 21 Mr. Trump gave an interview with Charlotte Sykes, a reporter for the Washington Post.  He talked a lot about NATO.  NATO was established right after World War II with 12 members, the US, Canada, and the Western Europe nations.  There are now 28 members.  How much a country pays is dependent on its Gross Domestic Product.  We pay 22% of the NATO costs, the UK pays 8%, etc.  That money includes such things as headquarters upkeep, fuel for AWACS planes, etc.  Trump claimed that we spend “billions and billions” of dollars on NATO.  Actually we spent $500 million last year.  That is 1/2 billion. No one really disputes (except Donald) that the allotment seems to be fair.  No one is complaining – except Donald.

Now, in other military spending it is true that we spend more.  We do that because research and development is very expensive.  We hope to have the best aircraft carriers, the fastest fighters, the most accurate missiles, etc.  Germany, for example, might decide that they need the fastest fighter but they certainly don’t need, for example, aircraft carriers.  We have made a lot of military commitments that are not a part of our NATO commitment.  We want it all and seem willing to spend what it takes.

Now, above, I mentioned “Gross Domestic Product” as a determiner for NATO spending.  The guideline is 2% of our Gross Domestic Product.  We as well as four other NATO nations are actually exceeding that.  Let’s not forget that the only time in its history that the NATO nations went to war because of treaty commitments was when the US was attacked on 9/11.  The NATO nations sent whatever was asked from the US – and it was quite a bit!  There Germans, Italians, French, etc., showed themselves to be very good in combat, and showed that they were well trained, and their weapons worked well.

Trump was simply wrong on NATO funding.  To say that other nations are paying “Virtually Nothing”, is absolutely false.  He shouldn’t be making such claims if his campaign is not prepared to explain or back them up.  If he wins the election, he will have offended a lot of nations that he will have to work with.

So, what else? Politifacts has claimed that 90% of Donald Trump’s statements have been considered dishonest.  Cal Thomas, a conservative writer for the conservative Washington Times discussed Mr. Trump’s claim that he will negotiate the price of drugs with the pharmaceutical companies and save us Americans $300 billion.  He, of course, doesn’t say how he will pull that off and his conservative followers don’t seem to care.  If Trump says it, it must be true.  Let’s be clear, he is claiming that he will save Americans 4-times the entire cost of the entire Medicare prescription drug system.  Is that remotely plausible?

What about his border wall.  Needless to say, unless we are really willing to go to war with Mexico, the Mexicans are surely not going to pay for the wall.  We export a lot of stuff to Mexico and that wall will hurt us, maybe, even more than it will hurt Mexico.  As former Mexican President Calderon once said, “We love American products”.   In 2013 Mexico bought $226 billion of our products.  Are we willing to simply stop selling those products?

As Cal Thomas said, if Mr. Trump wins the presidency, it will show that American politics has transformed from serious business to the biggest reality show of them all.  Well, that is probably the only thing that Trump does well.

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Israel-Palestine – Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored

This article was written by my friend Iqbal Latif.  I cannot possibly say this better than he has done.  I recommend his blog

 http://iqballatif.newsvine.com/

as well as anything else he writes!

(There were a couple of slight changes suggested by my spell/grammar checker.)

Article Photo

This article shaped itself in response to the accusation hurled at me for being a “Pro-Zionist,” only because I believe that peace with Jews, instead of hate and unwinnable wars, is a far better option. Most regrettably, I think the obsessive preoccupation we have with Israel is our disaster.

I am a realist. I have seen Leila Khalid hijacking and Black September Munich, and relentless suicide bombings in Jerusalem – these people have taught the world the art of hijacking, mass killings and suicide bombing. They should have had no war and made peace in 1948. Live with Israel. Every time they had war, they lost.

These hijackings and killings plus suicide bombings (perfected by the PLO) and the last 2012-2014 self-destructive Hamas tunnels were hailed as great jihad. Now in a quick turn the Al Qaeda and TTP are unleashing the ugly practices of their own people – these very activities have destroyed the fabric of the Palestinian society.

I have read the Palestinian issue closely since the exodus. It is difficult to argue with people about this when they are bent on making Israel the root cause of the problem and overlook the facts as described in Col Khan’s book too ‘that they were selling their lands to the Jews and smoking not only in 1926 but 1941.’

They overlook the fact that the Ottoman empire made the absolutely asinine decision to side with the Axis – lost the First World War and was dismembered and disfigured.

They overlook the fact that Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, by waging a war on the Ottomans over promises that he would be given peninsular Arabia, destroyed the geography of the area. The secret Sykes-Picot agreement between the French and the British divided the spoils in a way that left provision for Palestine to be divided.

They overlook the fact that the Mufti of Palestine, instead of taking the side of the victors, created Bosnian SS crack troops to side with the Nazis. He met with Hitler and requested expedited the final solution.

They overlook in their compulsive myopic obsessive view of the fact that this foolish mentality – to support losers, and waiting for Imam Mahdi’s return who will get them back their sold land – destroyed them. And for them, the essence of the disease is nothing. They keep weaving global conspiracies.

They forget that their leadership is the most regressive and repulsive.  It is secular, but was hijacked in the 1990s by Hamas. They gave the world, through Laila Khalid and through suicide bombers and use of hijacked planes as missiles in 911, the ugly legacy of today’s 10 billion hours of wasted travel time at the airports. They forgot that Munich Olympiad dastardly acts changed the nature of how Olympic villages were designed – fortresses now instead of the old global coming together of spirit.

In 1948, 1967 and 1973 wars, they lost each time.  Instead of sitting down and finding a mutually existential attachment, they have never surprised me by snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Each war, Hamas has fought has been a disaster. Fighting the war with poop Fajr missiles, by putting them in the basements of schools and mosques amidst civilians and making tunnels for sudden suicide attacks, has wrecked West Bank. With the number of Muslims living around 100 m radius with a full Mediterranean frontage, it could have become the modern day Dubai, but instead the three wars invited by their Mishal/ Hanniyah Qatar based leadership has destroyed the populace. Not that they have not fired enough missiles aimlessly, 15000 of them, but none did the damage, rather they invited the wrath of a nation who took out these evil poop missiles stored in the basements using human populations as shields.

The deal they accepted after 45 days of foolish self-annihilation was the same as that negotiated by Egypt on day three of the last devastating war. You simply don’t put your children in harm’s way. Gaddafi did not have to do a Lockerbie. Saddam could have been less aggressive with the Shiites and the Iranian state to declare a war. Assad could be more pragmatic and inclusive towards Homs.  These are the realities, but people always keep pinning the blame on nations who have been pragmatic and saved themselves from being drawn into evil false led struggles. There is a reason why Hijaz is safe and not the eye of instability. Egypt was on the verge of collapse towards Qutb-led forces’ revolution. What have these extremists given to the world? Have they produced a single vial of vaccine for polio and given it to the world like Jonas Salk did ?

I hold their ‘evil leadership’ responsible for this state of affairs. This hateful obsession with Israel is misplaced. I condemn these terrorists because a nuke possessing area is actually dangerous grounds for provocation. Hafez, Saeed, Azhar, Masood provocations is evil. By closing minds you don’t progress. There is a reason why some nation progress and some fall into a hell hole. Those whose leadership leads them not into perpetual wars, but mutual coexistence and acceptance of realities on the ground, are the ones who survive and prosper.

Regrettably, since the turn of the century, the Palestinian leadership has never failed an opportunity to miss the boat.

One day I was listening to Hanan Daud Ashrawi, (an Anglican) and probably the most intelligent leader, speak in Hyde Park. Someone, a Pakistani, raised the slogan of “Allah u Akbar” and she said to him, ‘Look, our struggle is secular not religious, we have the likes of George Habash too.’

The Palestinian freedom struggle has become a tool for terrorists. What was Black September in Amman? An attempt to overthrow King Hussain. What did their leadership do in 1990? By siding with Saddam’s invasion of a country where 790,000 were gainfully employed (Queen Rania of Jordan was one of them), they were not allowed to return after the freedom of Kuwait because of Arafat’s massive betrayal. Why were they thrown out of Lebanon to Tunisia?  The Hamas killing, and the fight to take over the West Bank and starting an incessant struggle and the worst ‘the refusal to accept the Ehud Barrack ‘ agreement which would have created the two nation states – the pattern of the leaders is clear.

In life, leaderships should not fail their people. I condemn them as failures who have led the Palestinian nation into a disastrous cul de sac facing this hellhole. Pragmatism is and should be the art of living.

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