Archive for November 14th, 2007

Rice: Israelis are Prepared to Give up West Bank for Peace

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Saints of God, hear what I am going to tell you.
Our country is more danger now than it has ever been. I don’t mean Israel, but the United States of America.
Our government is hell bent on forcing Israel to give up their land, land that God gave them eternally.
I honestly believe that God is in the process of and will completely remove His hand of protection from our nation. I believe He will punish us like never before for doing these things to the Apple of His Eye, Israel.
Pray to God that He will stay his hand against us. Maybe by praying we can still save our nation from His wrath. If not, then hold on, because we are in for quite a ride.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday she believes that the majority of Israelis are prepared to give up the West Bank in exchange for peace.

Rice made the comments at the final panel of the yearly General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities (GA), in Nashville Tennessee, which ended Tuesday.

Rice added that Israelis must be prepared for difficult and painful sacrifices to some of their longest-held aspirations during upcoming talks with Palestinian leaders.

Rice did not specify what sacrifices might be needed but added that the Palestinians must also be prepared for sacrifices. “The threat from violent extremists means that failure of the talks is not an option,” she said.

“What is at stake is nothing less than the future of the Middle East,” she added.

Rice expressed optimism ahead of the upcoming U.S.-hosted Annapolis summit planned for the end of November, and said that the situation in the past years had improved greatly. She maintained that Israelis believe today that the establishment of a Palestinian state could benefit Israel, and that most Arab states are not questioning whether Israel will exist, but rather what the conditions for peace are.

“In our view, the security of the democratic Jewish state required the creation of a responsible Palestinian state,” she said. She suggested that the Palestinian state also could serve as a bulwark against the threat from violent extremists.

She praised President George W. Bush for realizing a Palestinian democracy was a necessary precondition for meaningful negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

“Some think that this focus on democracy backfired with the election of Hamas,” she said. “I disagree with that conclusion. Hamas always had power. What it never had was responsibility for power.”

“Hamas has chosen violence rather than responsible government,” she said, “and for that reason it is isolated by the international community.”

Rice said a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians was more urgent than ever because of the threat from violent extremists in the Middle East, referring specifically to Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and Iran.

“Iran is choosing to destabilize the Middle East, pursue nuclear capabilities and threaten our allies, especially Israel,” she said.

She also warned that the mere thought of a nuclear Iran is unacceptable for the U.S., and should be unacceptable for the international community as well. She praised the Iranian people, maintaining that their leadership does not properly represent them – investing million in financing terror and developing nuclear weapons while the citizens of Iran are struggling to find jobs.

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Sex-Obsessed Culture Can Damage Young Brains, Says Doctor

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

(CNSNews.com) – Critics have long debated the effect on society of overtly sexualized images from television, movies and music. But one medical educator and physician has reached a conclusion: He thinks that because of what we have learned scientifically about the brain and the biochemistry behind sexuality, our sex-obsessed culture may be “warping” the minds of young people.

In an exclusive interview with Cybercast News Service, Gary Rose, M.D., president of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health in Austin, Tex., talked about his forthcoming book on the neurochemistry of sex. (The Medical Institute for Sexual Health describes itself as a non-profit group founded to confront the global epidemics of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.)

CNSNews.com: Your new book, in part, looks at what science shows concerning the development of the brain over time. What have you found?

Dr. Rose: For instance, we now know, through MRI studies — magnetic resonance imaging studies that are not harmful to do — that the pre-frontal cortex, the front part of the brain, is the last part of the brain to mature. That is the part of the brain that deals with long-term judgment and delayed gratification. By scanning multiple brains, we have shown it really is not mature until about age 25.

Guess what? As a culture, we’ve known that for a long time. My daughter has her master’s degree but could not rent a car until she was 25. My son’s car insurance rate dropped substantially at age 25. Their brains finally matured so that they could make good decisions, and it took that long for them to no longer be considered risky to car rental companies and insurance companies. We can actually demonstrate that with regard to MRI studies.
CNSNews.com: What about when people have sex?

Dr. Rose: Well, with regard to sex, we now have studies that show that when women breast-feed their babies, they secrete the hormone oxytocin, which binds them to their baby — so that a mother is willing to do anything for that baby, even die for that baby, not because the baby is cute, but because they’re bonded. We can measure that. The same thing happens when women have sex. They also secret oxytocin then, and it binds them to their partner. It chemically binds them.

Men secrete a particular hormone, vasopressin. Both men and women, when they are doing something pleasurable, secrete dopamine, which is a rewards signal — it means, “I like this. I want to do this again.” So, our drive to have sex again with this person is neurochemically driven. Our emotion has a reason. It’s a neurochemical reason.

We can also show by MRI studies that intent is in different parts of the brain. So that if I give my wife a goodbye kiss and a peck on the cheek, that lights up one part of the brain, and if I give my wife a good-bye kiss, and a suggestive wink and say, “I’ll be home early,” another part of my brain lights up.

CNSNews.com: That’s interesting, but what’s the importance of that? Can you connect the dots?

Dr. Rose: This is so important because in young people their brains are still being molded. If they are getting the wrong flood of chemicals — if their neural pathways are being developed in an abnormal way, those parts of the brain will be superhighways that can’t be changed when they come into adult life.

People who have multiple sexual partners at a young age are likely going to continue to have multiple partners all their lives. Certain synapses of the brain will be pruned off — and risk-avoidance and delayed gratification may be affected.

Here’s an analogy: For people who are of Asian descent who don’t already know English, if they learn it after a certain age, it’s difficult for them to put the letter “L” into their words. If they learn English as children, it’s no problem. It’s because there’s a pruning of certain synapses in the brain — and once there is a pruning, it cannot be reconnected.

So if we expose kids to pornography, if we expose kids to overt sexuality — and keep in mind that 70 percent of all of their music, movies, television mush has overt sexual overtones — we are building those pathways. If we are building hypersexual pathways, and others get pruned out — like those for sexual responsibility and modesty — we are not going to have healthy adults.

The emotional consequences of that have not yet been looked at from a scientific perspective. But they are huge.

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Government Report: More Military Deaths in Some Years of Peace Than War

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Here’s something the peaceniks aren’t going to want you to know.

More active members of the military died during two years of peacetime in the early 1980s than died during a two-year period of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a government report.

The Congressional Research Service, which compiled war casualty statistics from the Revolutionary War to present day conflicts, reported that 4,699 members of the U.S. military died in 1981 and ’82 — a period when the U.S. had only limited troop deployments to conflicts in the Mideast. That number of deaths is nearly 700 fewer than the 3,800 deaths during 2005 and ’06, when the U.S. was fully committed to large-scale military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The CRS, which is the public policy research arm of Congress, issued its findings in the June report “American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics.”

FOXNews.com, in re-examining the findings, found that — surprising as it may be — there were more active duty deaths in some years of peacetime than there were in some years of wartime.

Military analysts say the current decrease in military casualties, even during a time of war, is due to a campaign by the Armed Forces to reduce accidents and improve medical care on the battlefield.

“It’s safer to be in the military because your accidental death rate has gone down; it’s safer to be in the military because if you get wounded, you’ll probably survive,” said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org.

“Getting killed on the battlefield is one way that people in the military wind up dying, but it’s not the main way.”

According to the raw figures, of the 2,380 members of the military who died during active duty in 1981, 1,524 were killed in accidents, 145 by homicide, 457 by illness and 241 from self-inflicted wounds. That compares with the 1,942 killed in 2005; of that number, 632 died from accidents, 739 from hostile action, 49 from homicide, 281 from illness, 150 from self-inflicted wounds and 72 whose causes of death were still pending. Eleven deaths in ’81 and 19 deaths in ’05 were classified as “undetermined.”

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Iran Turns Over Nuclear Warhead Blueprints

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Wait a minute. Hasn’t the Madman of Iran been telling us this whole time that he only wants nukes to generate energy? Why then, does he need plans on how to shape uranium correctly for warhead use?
You know the answer as well as I do.

VIENNA, Austria – Iran has met a key demand of the U.N. nuclear agency by delivering blueprints that show how to mold uranium metal into the shape of warheads, diplomats said Tuesday, in an apparent concession meant to stave off the threat of new U.N. sanctions.

But the diplomats said Tehran has failed to meet other requests made by the International Atomic Energy Agency in its attempts to end nearly two decades of nuclear secrecy on the part of the Islamic Republic.

The diplomats spoke to The Associated Press as IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei put the finishing touches on his latest report to the agency’s 35-nation board of governors, for consideration during a meeting that begins on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day.

The confidential report, expected to be distributed to agency members this Wednesday or Thursday, is likely to show substantial but not full compliance by Iran with its pledges to come clean on past activities — and confirm at the same time that Tehran continues to enrich uranium in defiance of the U.N. Security Council.

Those findings will likely lead to new calls by the United States, France and Britain for a third round of U.N. sanctions. But China and Russia, the other permanent Council members, may emphasize progress made,and demand more time for Iran before fresh U.N. penalties are imposed.

The agency has been seeking possession of the blueprints since 2005, when it stumbled upon them among a batch of other documents during its examination of suspect Iranian nuclear activities. While agency inspectors had been allowed to examine them in the country, Tehran had up to now refused to let the IAEA have a copy for closer perusal.

Diplomats accredited to the agency, who demanded anonymity for divulging confidential information, said the drawings were hand-carried by Mohammad Saeedi, deputy director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and handed over last week in Vienna to Oli Heinonen, an ElBaradei deputy in charge of the Iran investigations.

Iran maintains it was given the papers without asking for them during its black market purchases of nuclear equipment decades ago that serve as the backbone of its program to enrich uranium — a process that can generate power or create the fissile core of nuclear warheads. Iran’s refusal to suspend enrichment has been the main trigger for both existing U.N. sanctions and the threat of new ones.

Iran, which says it has a right to enrich to generate power, has repeatedly said it will not mothball its program.

Both the IAEA and other experts have categorized the instructions outlined in the blueprints as having no value outside of a nuclear weapons program.

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“The French Revolution Returns to Columbia: Heads Will Roll for the Greater Glory of Palestine and Ahmadinejad” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Shades of Harvard’s Larry Summers! Columbia’s President, Lee Bollinger, has just come under faculty-fire for having mistreated Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, and in so doing, having “sullied the reputation of the University with (his) strident tone.” Bollinger has also been castigated by seventy faculty members for having “allied the University with the Bush administration’s war in Iraq” and for taking “partisan political positions concerning the politics of the Middle East.”

This is no parody. This is a seventy-gun opening salvo and the unmistakable sound of a bloody drumroll; the French Revolution has returned to Columbia’s campus.

I did not think that Columbia should have invited President Ahmadinejad to speak or that President Bollinger was honor-bound to either introduce—or insult him. I wrote about this HERE and HERE.

I am not familiar with the work of all seventy faculty signatories but seven names jumped out at me: Professors Nadia Abu El Haj (an American-born anthropologist of Christian and Palestinian origin who just received tenure after much controversy); Lila Abu-Lughod (an American-born Muslim-Jewish Palestinian anthropologist); Hamid Dabashi (a Muslim Iranian, who founded the Palestinian Film Project which is dedicated to preserving and safeguarding Palestinian Cinema); Mahmood Mamdani (a South Asian Ugandan anthropologist and political scientist); Rashid Khalidi (an American-born academic of Palestinian origin, the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, the head of Columbia’s Middle East Institute, former President of the Task Force on Palestine and current editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies); Alice Kessler-Harris (an American-born historian who specializes in gender and labor issues); and Bengali-born Gayatri Chakravarti Spivak.

Is absolutely everything about Palestine? Just asking, a merely rhetorical quibble. And yet, this is not a minor quibble. About six or seven years ago, nearly every feminist and left academic listserv group from whom I received email, began systematically dumping propaganda about Palestine and against America and Israel into the ongoing conversation about psychotherapy, the nature of trauma, contemporary struggles for women’s rights. Anyone who did not salute this particular flag was no longer welcome online or was reduced to silence.

Now, these kinds of academics are staking a more public claim to their campus. For now, let me briefly focus on the work of two of these Columbia signatories.

Bengali feminist and postcolonial academic Chakravarti Spivak writes in a way that renders whatever she is saying fairly incomprehensible. Such aggressive, postmodern obtuseness is often confused with both brilliance and courage. Spivak has nevertheless been lionized for her attack upon the (potential) western feminist critique of non-western cultures as just another kind of imperialism. Spivak has been widely acclaimed for viewing (such imaginary) western feminists as similar to white men who are saving brown women from brown men. She views doing so as both racist and sexist.

Got that? In other words, if (white) westerners dare to save a brown-skinned woman from being genitally mutilated, honor-murdered, or hacked or stoned to death—doing so is a racist, sexist act.

Lila Abu-Lughod is a bit easier to understand and presents complex arguments. She argues the case for hijab and polygamy or rather; she tries to explain the various non-western meanings that such customs may have. She reminds us that while many British colonials may indeed have saved and tried to emancipate colonized women, but they did so “as a way of weakening local culture; at the same time, these same men were opposing female suffrage back home in England.”

Got that? In other words, if western colonial intentions were one whit less than pure and if the colonizer was not himself absolutely consistent then it does not matter if he actually saved a woman from having to throw herself on her husband’s funeral pyre or won an impoverished, lower-caste girl the right to a minimal education.

Abu-Lughod also suggests that polygamy may allow women sisterly companionship and respite from the isolation that often plagues women in western-style nuclear monogamous marriages. And yet, every Memoir I have ever read about polygamy, every interview I have ever done—my own long-ago experience in Kabul, Afghanistan, all document that co-wives also suffer profoundly because of polygamy—as do their children who become rivals for both paternal attention and inheritance.

Actually, both Abu-Lughod and Chakravarti Spivak are quintessential western-style feminists. No matter one’s country of origin or religion at birth, all feminists with a perch in today’s western academy think alike. They are all multi-cultural relativists and reject universal standards of human rights. This puts women, especially “brown” women, in grave danger.

Abu-Lughod and Chakravarti Spivak view a western-style fight for women’s rights in the Muslim and Arab world as a dangerous diversion. Abu-Lughod recommends that we continue to focus mainly on “the colonial enterprise.” Why? Perhaps as a way of reminding western thinkers —heirs to the colonial enterprise—that, given their ancestors ’ past crimes, they dare not feel “superior” to the Islamic world and above all, dare not intervene to free Muslim or Arab prisoners from Muslim or Arab jailors, or African slaves and female sex slaves from their Muslim and Arab tormenters.

I strongly suggest that these signatories read a book that has just been published by Ibn Warraq. It is titled Defending the West. A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism. Ibn Warraq and I recently spoke at Columbia PRESS HERE. It is a pity that none of these signatories came to hear what we had to say. I invite them to do so. Just name the time and the place. It can be a private meeting. (For a review of Ibn Warraq’s book PRESS HERE.)

Actually, I invite President Bollinger to read my most recent book about Islamic gender and religious Apartheid (The Death of Feminism. What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom). He will need to arm himself with just such ideas in the battle that has now been thrust upon him.

NEWSFLASH: I have just been told that, as of yesterday, the anti-Bollinger petition had ninety signatures and that, (how could I have doubted it for an instant!), an alternate petition is being circulated at Columbia which boasts about ninety signatures. I have been advised that at least half the professors who are currently castigating President Bollinger also signed the petition to divest in Israel.

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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 www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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