Archive for August 24th, 2007

Little League World Series

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Update at Bottom

Little League World Series 2007

As a Little League and youth umpire, it has been my dream to call a game at the Little League World Series. It may not ever happen, but at least it gives me a goal to work for.

The players have played so hard and done remarkable things this year. They all deserve to win, but there can only be one winner. At this point, it is Southeast (Warner Robins, Georgia) versus Southwest (Lubbock, Texas) for the United States Championship and Japan (Tokyo, Japan) versus the Caribbean (Willemstad, Curacao) for the International Championship. The World Series Championship Game will be played out between the winners of these two games on Sunday at 3:30 PM ET on ABC. Tune in tomorrow (Saturday) on ABC to see the U.S. and International Championship games as well as a consolation game between the runner-ups and then tune in on Sunday for the final game.

I would like to take a moment to thank the Little League volunteers all over the world as well as all people who volunteer for any youth sports events. Please continue to support these worthy organizations.

Link to Little League World Series Schedule.

Update 8/26/07 20:08 CDT:
Georgia wins over Japan, 3 to 2 in the bottom of the eighth inning with a walk-off solo home run.

Jesse Jackson Says Britain Should Apologize for Slavery

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Uh-hmm, Mr. Jackson, slavery was abolished in Britain in 1807. It is time to move on like everyone else has.

Charging that ethnic minorities are still underrepresented in the British government and economy, U.S. civil rights activist Jesse Jackson has called on the country to atone for its role in the slave trade.

The Rev. Jackson is currently touring Britain to launch a social initiative aimed at tackling economic inequalities in minority and other deprived areas.

The slave trade officially was abolished in the British Empire in 1807, but Jackson said Britain today rests on the profits generated by the trade, and the government should apologize for it.

“We must not speak of the slave trade and slavery in past tense terms,” he said at a memorial service here Thursday.

Jackson is taking part in events marking the 200th anniversary of the end of the slave trade. His remarks echoed those of many social activists who want the British government to apologize formally and to establish an official “slavery memorial day.”

The British slave trade first began in the 16th century, although most historians say it didn’t get underway fully until the next century, when hundreds of thousands of Africans were shipped to the West Indies to work on plantations.

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Iran Closes ‘Western’ Barber Shops

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Iran hates us so much they won’t even allow their people to cut their hair like ours. They prohibit the plucking of eyebrows (gasp) and they do not like our makeup (well, I never…..). And all this time I thought we ‘Westerners’ were pretty good looking people.

The authorities say the barbers were encouraging un-Islamic behaviour by offering Western hairstyles, tattooing and also eyebrow-plucking for men.

Police say they have inspected more than 700 shops during a two-week crackdown in the city.

The move is part of an annual campaign against what is known locally as bad hijab, or un-Islamic clothing, that this year is also targeting men.

Hundreds of women and men have already been cautioned.

Police say that as well as avoiding Western hairstyles and make up, barbers should not pluck customers’ eyebrows.

The closure of the shops comes several months after barbers were warned that they could lose their licences if they did not comply.

However, police have denied a report that they have ordered barbers not to serve customers wearing ties.

Some young boys in Iran sport very wild hair styles, using gel to make their long hair stand on end in a fashion not seen in other countries, correspondents say.

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A Rape Witnessed, A Rape Ignored

Friday, August 24th, 2007

This is what we get from a judicial system of lame judges, “criminal rights” superseding “victims rights” and a sue happy society where criminals can sue their victims. This is what we get from a society that rewards criminals and prosecutes “John Does”, the civilian heroes who choose to take a stand instead of sitting back and being victims. This is what we get from a system of laws that slaps the wrist of criminals and then lets them loose so that they can then go and extract “revenge” from the people who were brave enough confront them.
It is a shame there were no “John Does”, no heroes present this day.

As many as 10 people witnessed a man raping and beating a woman early Tuesday in the hallway of a St. Paul apartment building, police said Wednesday.

No one stopped it.

At one point, the 26-year-old victim knocked on a door, yelling for the occupants to call police. A man inside told police he didn’t open the door or look out, though he said he called police. Police found no record of the call, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Ramsey County District Court.

St. Paul police arrested Rage Ibrahim, 25, on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct Tuesday. He hasn’t been charged.

“It was horrifying. I can’t describe how it sent chills up my back, watching this woman getting assaulted and people turning their backs and doing nothing,” said St. Paul police Cmdr. Shari Gray, who oversees the department’s sex crimes unit.

She saw surveillance video that recorded the attack in the Highwood neighborhood.

As the woman screamed, five to 10 people – men and women – peeked out their apartment doors to see what was happening or started walking down the hallway and retreated after witnessing the assault, Gray said.

When someone did call police to 371 S. Winthrop Ave., the caller reported drunken people in a hallway, not a violent assault, so the 911 dispatcher classified it as a “disturbance,” Gray said.

The first 911 call came at 2:43 a.m. Tuesday, and police arrived at 3:25 a.m., she said.

“That was a significant time lapse, but it would have been cut down significantly” had the caller described the attack differently, Gray said.

The case is reminiscent of one seared in the American memory – the 1964 Kitty Genovese murder in New York.

Genovese was stabbed to death outside a Queens apartment building while many people looked on from their windows but didn’t step in to help. When one person called police, Genovese reportedly was already dead.

The “Genovese syndrome” – or bystander effect – describes the mind-set that might have been at work in the St. Paul case. The larger the number of people who witness a crime, the less likely any one person is to jump in and assist, said Steve Prentice-Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of Alabama.

“It’s mainly because when a number of people are looking, they don’t feel as individually responsible for what’s going on,” he said. “That’s the reason why there is not safety in numbers, in terms of the bystander effect.”

Another factor could be that people faced with emergencies don’t think as carefully and logically as they normally would, Prentice-Dunn said.

People also tend to question themselves about whether they are “reading the situation correctly,” he said.

“You don’t want to be embarrassed by jumping in and doing something unnecessary,” Prentice-Dunn said. “When onlookers are interviewed after something like this happens, it’s amazing how often people say: ‘I wasn’t sure what was happening. I wasn’t sure if this was a quarrel I shouldn’t get involved with.’ ”

And the element of fear – for the bystanders’ own safety – can’t be forgotten, he said.

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Congressman Advocates U.S. Boycott of Beijing Olympics

Friday, August 24th, 2007

May not be a bad idea.

A Michigan congressman says by participating in the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, the U.S. will be “turning a blind eye for the sake of profit” to widespread human rights abuses in the communist country — in effect, turning its back on America’s “legacy of liberty.”

Citing China’s atrocious human rights record, eight House Republicans have introduced a resolution calling for a U.S. boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The resolution compares the Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Games in Nazi-era Germany. One of the resolution’s cosponsors, Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-Michigan), says human rights should be a precondition for the United States to have a trading relationship, or any other relationship, with a dictatorial regime.

“Our concern — given their pitiful track record on human rights, including their support for [the regime] in Darfur, the Iranian tyrannical regime, and others — is that if we go in there as if they’re a normal country, as if they’re abiding [by] honor, traditions, democracy, and human rights, it’s going to be a reprise of the 1936 Games in Berlin,” cautions the third-term congressman.

McCotter says he and his seven GOP colleagues are much like Winston Churchill in the lead-up to World War II. He points out that at that time, major economic interests in England, the United States, and elsewhere in the democratic world felt Nazi Germany would be a bulwark against Soviet Bolshevism as well as a source for lucrative trade.

“And there were people who went to church [and] who were out in the wilderness who were decried by their colleagues for being warmongers and everything else [and for saying] ‘there is a danger here and you will rue the day that you tried to ride the back of the alligator and hope he ate you last,'” the Michigan lawmaker shares. “We do not want to repeat the same mistake with Communist China,” McCotter warns.

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73 Yr Old Woman Present at Trial of Illegal Who Raped Her

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Those who wish to live here need to go through the proper checks and channels to do so. Let’s be honest- we have enough violence and immorality in America without allowing illegals to come and stay here without any knowledge of their backgrounds and prior convictions.

Resolute in her desire for justice, the 73-year-old woman steered her motorized wheelchair into the Hartford courtroom Wednesday to confront the man who broke into her East Hartford apartment while she was sleeping and raped her.

Fidgeting with the plastic tube from her portable oxygen tank, the woman, identified only as JD, took a breath and stared at Alejandro Cuy Xum as he was brought into Superior Court in Hartford for his sentencing.

The last time JD saw Cuy Xum, now a 23-year-old, was after midnight July 17, 2005, when he broke into the Willow Arms Apartments for the elderly on Main Street.

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Wreckage of World War II Submarine USS Grunion Located

Friday, August 24th, 2007

With my interest in the military, especially World War II, this story caught my eye this morning. The wreckage of the World War II submarine, USS Grunion, has been located. This will, at last, grant some closure to the families of these lost crewmen who sailed into their “last patrol”.

USS Grunion

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The mangled remains of a vessel found in the Bering Sea are likely those of a World War II submarine that disappeared with a crew of 70 off the Aleutian Island of Kiska.

The discovery of the USS Grunion on Wednesday night culminates a five-year search led by the sons of its commander, Mannert Abele, and may finally shine a light on the mysterious last moments of the doomed vessel.

The submarine lies 1,000 feet below the surface and had been crushed by water pressure, said Abele. He is director and co-founder of the medical equipment company Boston Scientific Corp. and the youngest of the three brothers.

“The most surprising thing was the damage,” he said. “It was much more than we or anyone else imagined. Initially it was very hard to recognize as a ship.”

The hull had imploded so severely that the interior, including bunks and a dive wheel, were clearly visible, Abele said. No human remains were found.

The search team hired by the Abeles, Deep Sea Systems International, said no identifying markings or lettering could be seen, however, the location and appearance of the vessel indicate it is the missing sub.

“There’s a 95 percent chance that this is the Grunion and a less than five percent chance that it’s not,” said Christopher J. Nicholson, general manager of the Cataumet, Mass.-based company. “The fact that they actually found this in an expanse of ocean is really pretty spectacular.”

The Grunion had a propeller guard, which was rare in subs of the day, Abele said. The vessel discovered yesterday also had the fence, which prevented docking lines from getting caught in the propeller.

The Grunion patrolled Alaska’s Aleutian Islands during the early months of World War II. Her last official radio message to the submarine base at Dutch Harbor came on July 30, 1942 and described heavy enemy activity at the Japanese seaplane base at Kiska Harbor.

Earlier that month, the Grunion had sunk two Japanese submarine chasers and heavily damaged a third near Kiska, one of two islands in the far west Aleutians captured by the Japanese. Until a few years ago, the clues to the Grunion’s disappearance were too fragmented to justify a search.

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Clinton Lied, People Died

Friday, August 24th, 2007

The step-son to the Father of Lies and husband of Hillary, aka Bill Clinton, apparently never ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden, despite the fact that he got all red-faced with indignation when questioned about it in the now infamous interview with Chris Wallace.

Michael Isikoff, the reporter who broke the Monica Lewinsky story only to have his editors at Newsweek spike the story, has caught Bill Clinton in another lie: He never authorized the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Citing a recent CIA inspector general report, Isikoff and Mark Hosenball reported:

    The report also criticized intelligence problems when Bill Clinton was president, detailing political and legal “constraints” agency officials felt in the late 1990s. In September 2006, during a famous encounter with Fox News anchor Wallace, Clinton erupted in anger and waived his finger when asked about whether his administration had done enough to get bin Laden. “What did I do? What did I do?” Clinton said at one point. “I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since.”

    Clinton appeared to have been referring to a December 1999 Memorandum of Notification (MON) he signed that authorized the CIA to use lethal force to capture, not kill, bin Laden. But the inspector general’s report made it clear that the agency never viewed the order as a license to “kill” bin Laden—one reason it never mounted more effective operations against him. “The restrictions in the authorities given the CIA with respect to bin Laden, while arguably, although ambiguously, relaxed for a period of time in late 1998 and early 1999, limited the range of permissible operations,” the report stated. (Scheuer agreed with the inspector general’s findings on this issue, but said if anything the report was overly diplomatic. “There was never any ambiguity,” he said. “None of those authorities ever allowed us to kill anyone. At least that’s what the CIA lawyers told us.” A spokesman for the former president had no immediate comment.)

I am not blaming Clinton for 9/11. The blame for that rests solely with the multi-millionaire, pampered son of a Saudi construction magnate — Osama bin Laden — and the minions he hired.

As one commentator has noted, “If we vote Hillary in we’re all dead”.

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“The Intifada Off-Broadway” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Friday, August 24th, 2007

I once lived in the East Village–’twas back in the early 1960s, long before it became as fashionable as it now is. I moved away long ago but over the years, I would return to visit friends, sometimes to attend meetings, but mainly to enjoy feminist-experimental theatre. Last night, I returned to East 4th St. in the hope that a well reviewed play about four Arab women would establish a point of connectivity for me, a road through the nightmarish impasse of Big Lies.

I arrived early. Right next door stood a small and unpretentious cafe. I ordered espresso and looked around. Ellen Stewart’s fabled theatre Cafe La Mama stood right across the street. I looked up and saw two quotes from Emma Goldman mounted on the wall: one about freedom of speech and one against war. Once, long ago, I taught Emma Goldman’s work and I quoted her in my own earliest works. I called the proprietess over and she told me that although did not know Goldman’s work, she had “liked” what Goldman had said.

Actually, Goldman, who was also a nurse, had run a birth control clinic for women about eight blocks from the cafe. I told the proprietess that Goldman had had the courage to denounce Soviet Russia when she visited there but that such honesty had not endeared her to the FBI who deported her anyway. Goldman lived out her days banished from her country, partly for telling the truth but also for associating with anarchist-terrorists.

I came, hoping to like the play whose exact title is “The Black Eyed.” The playwright, Betty Shamieh, first began this work in October of 2001, right after 9/11, and since then has either given readings, was supported by, or worked in residence at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum (2002); the Hanger Theatre Lab in Ithaca (2002); the Lark Play Development Center (2005); the Sundance Theatre Residency program, (2005); the Magic Theatre (2005); the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard (2006); Darmouth (2006); Brandeis University (2006); and now at the New York Theatre Workshop, Along the way, the playwight worked with and had the support of many people including the play’s current director Sam Gold, Jessica Heidt, Chris Smith, and the legendary Lee Breur.

Thus, the play has been supported every step of the way. But why?

Shamieh’s premise is a interesting one: Four women, all Arabs or all “Palestinians,” meet in heaven. One, Aisha is a contemporary suicide killer; another, Tamam, was raped by Crusaders before her captive brother’s eyes; a third is a thirty-five year old Palestinian Christian who died a virgin when when her Palestinian “brothers” hijacked her plane and killed all the passengers; a fourth is none other than Samson’s Delilah, and a very sultry and seductive Delilah she is.

One would imagine that these women might have so much to discuss, including the ways in which each of them had been limited by their gender. True, Delilah is clear that she was used by her tribe in order to vanquish Samson (whom she betrayed but still loves). The virgin-Architect is bitter about not being able to get ahead in her profession because she is/was a woman. But there is no consistent or dramatically compelling feminist analysis. There is no character or plot development, the women do not change, they are not changed by each other in this heavenly discussion, nor do they really debate the “morality of terrorism” as the critics have claimed.

There are more than a few good laughs and a series of star acting turns, but the play is trite, superficial, non-credible–an embarassing piece of propaganda. And, Aisha, the suicide killer is not like any Arab woman I have ever known. She plays the part as if she is an angry butch-lesbian, American style, or a male-style angry African-American rapper. Her tactics of intimidation, insults, vulgarity, sexual put-downs do not ring true. (Listen, what do I know? But I doubt that many such Palestinian women, even among the shahidas, fit this particular profile).

I did not mean to write about this play but once I heard the lines, I began jotting them down. Here are some, perhaps paraphrased a bit: The Crusades were nothing compared to the Palestinain-Israeli struggle; So what if terror had to be used to bring down apartheid in South Africa; Without the Black Panthers and the murders they committed, there would be no civil rights;” “the Americans are worse than Palestinian terrorists; why is violence only wrong when we use it?”etc.

Where can one start? Mandela favored a non-violent struggle in South Africa. The Black Panthers ruined Martin Luther King’s dream of a non-violent struggle. But why quibble?

There is not a stereotype that isn’t used. Palestinian women all work as maids for Israelis. They all live in dirty, crowded refugee camps, face checkpoints, curfews, carry keys around their necks to homes that no longer exist except in the memories of their grandparents.

The fact that some Palestinians also live in grand villas and some live inside Israel proper as Israeli citizens and have more rights than their counterparts do under any Arab regime in the region are facts banished from this play.

Nevertheless, the audience was rapt. They applauded respectfully, gratefully, cleansed, freed from liberal guilt, if at least for the moment. It was as if they were attending Church, so to speak. Or felt they stood on holy, familiar ground.

Thus, even if a play is not artistically coherent and is based on Big Lies or at best, on very small half-truths, in these times, it may garner serious support and find an appreciative audience–as long as it rings the right Pavlovian bells to which we have all been conditioned. If bits and pieces of propaganda are trotted out, even if unrelated to the story-line, they are emotionally experienced as symbols of something larger, they command our (brainwashed) respect even when embedded in a slight work.

My friends: We are in trouble when such a minor play, fraught with such superficial proganda makes it onto off-Broadway where we are entitled to expect more challenging fare than what’s on-Broadway. A play based on the work of Rajah Shaheeda who writes about living in “Palestine,” would melt one’s heart with particularity, specificity. Bassam Eid, who founded the first Palestinian Human Rights Organization to document Palestinian-on-Palestinian human rights violations might make for a complex and compelling play.

These four black-eyed women deserve more.


Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a new contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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