Archive for June 4th, 2008

“Dumb or Ill-Informed” By Walter E. Williams

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

What assumptions do congressmen make about the American people? Do they assume that we’re dumb or ill-informed about the energy problems we are experiencing? Every time there has been a huge spike in gasoline prices, Congress hauls oil company executives before their committees to accuse them of greed, obscene profits and price-fixing. One federal investigation after another of supposed oil company misconduct turns up nothing to substantiate congressional allegations. Unfortunately, the congressional hearings make front page news and lead the evening television news, but the results of federal investigations that follow are only casually mentioned deep in the body of newspapers and get little or no time on the evening television news. If news media people had an ounce of integrity, they would highlight the federal investigation findings that undermine congressional charges of oil company misconduct and they would question the congressmen who made those charges.

Americans might prefer heroes-and-villains explanations to problems to reality-based explanations. A politically satisfying explanation for today’s $4 a gallon price, when it was less than $2 a gallon a couple of years ago, is because oil company executives have all of a sudden become greedy in their pursuit of “obscene” profits. As such, congressmen, as our heroes, should call these greedy men on the carpet and take sanctions against them in the forms of windfall profits tax, price controls and other measures to take away their ill-gotten gains — never mind the effects of the 1980 windfall profits tax. According to the Congressional Research Service, the 1980 windfall profits tax had the effect of decreasing domestic production by 3 percent to 6 percent, thereby increasing American dependence on foreign oil sources by 8 percent to 16 percent.

Controlling the price of anything is very difficult and it can only be accomplished through the force of government, mostly by restricting supply. The U.S. Congress is a major player in oil supply restriction, and OPEC nations must be laughing all the way to the bank. Congress has banned energy exploration in 85 percent of our coastal waters. Ironically, China, in conjunction with Cuba, is drilling for oil nearer to our coastline than U.S. oil companies are permitted. According to “We don’t have to take $4 gas prices — we can drill,” written by Sterling Burnett in the Houston Chronicle (5/21/08), “It is estimated that beneath America’s coast lies enough oil to fuel 60 million cars in the United States for 60 years and enough natural gas to heat 60 million homes for 160 years. … If allowed access to American oil reserves in Alaska and off our coastline, American oil companies could increase our country’s reserves an estimated fivefold, taking the United States from 11th place to fourth among the countries with proven oil reserves.”

You say, “What about the environmental impact?” Contrary to the hysterical claims made by environmental extremists, caribou and other wildlife have expanded and flourished in and around Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, unaffected by the oil and gas development. What’s more, Burnett points out that the “two leading environmental groups, the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy, have allowed oil and gas production on several of their most important and unique nature preserves.”

Environmentalists come to their senses when non-drilling philosophy costs them something. It’s two-faced hypocrisy. At times I’ve suggested that the best way to get oil exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve is to give the land to environmentalists. You can bet they wouldn’t sit on billions of dollars of oil and gas.

The true villain in our having to cough up $60, $70 or $80 to fill our gas tanks is the U.S. Congress caught in the grip of environmental extremists. But if reality is too difficult to swallow, we can continue to blame and support the congressional attack on oil executives, turn food into oil and think of other crackpot “solutions.”

Original Link.

Clinton Out – Obama In

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Obama has now officially cinched enough votes to be the Democratic candidate for the presidential election.
The Hilldabeast is gone and we are left with The Obamination. Then there’s McCain. A liberal Democrat versus a liberal Republican.
At least maybe MCCain will pretend to support values, which is something we won’t get from Obama.
Slim pickings this time around, folks.

Let the general election campaign begin.

Barack Obama, having secured the Democratic nomination Tuesday night, must now pivot to wage a full-time battle against John McCain after spending five months in a protracted and bruising battle against Hillary Clinton.

Obama and McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, both previewed the tone and message of the race to come during their respective rallies Tuesday, sketching unflattering caricatures of each other that will surely develop in the months ahead.

Original Link.

Anti-Christian ‘Cleansing’ Campaign Picks Up Pace in Gaza

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Continue to pray for Christians everywhere who undergo persecution.

(IsraelNN.com) Attacks on Christian targets and those identified with Western culture have grown more frequent in Gaza in the past two years, and especially since the Hamas takeover in June 2007, experts say. The targets have included churches, Christian and United Nations schools, the American International School, libraries and Internet cafes.

The most recent incident occurred this past Saturday, May 31, when gunmen attacked the guards at the Al Manara school, stole a vehicle belonging to the Baptist Holy Book Society which operates the school and threatened the society’s director. The Hamas leadership is not acting to stop the attacks and no one has been brought to justice.

An Israeli intelligence report determined that there has been an increase in the number of attacks on Christian figures and institutions, as well as those associated with Western values. The attacks are being perpetrated by elements identified with the global jihad and radical Islam. In the past two years, groups associated with Al-Qaeda took responsibility for attacks upon Christians and Christian institutions with the expressly-stated goal of driving Christians out of Gaza.

Original Link.

“ISRAEL AT 60 – Parade and Concert Highlight Birthday Bash” by Fern Sidman

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

New York City’s fashionable Fifth Avenue was transformed in to a sea of blue and white as crystal clear blue skies, a searing sun, Israeli music and thousands of marchers and spectators were the order of the day on Sunday, June 1st at the 44th annual Salute to Israel parade. As Israel celebrated the 60th anniversary since its creation as a modern state, Jews and non-Jews spanning the globe made sure this party was held in grand style. As thousands of marchers representing a vast array of Yeshivos, Jewish Day Schools, synagogues, temples, service organizations, community centers, Jewish businesses and Israeli government agencies gathered on side streets awaiting their turn to join the parade, tens of thousands of spectators, holding Israeli flags lined both sides of Fifth Avenue all the way up to 86th Street to pay homage to the Jewish State.

“Today we asked G-d not to rain on our parade, and thankfully we had the most optimal conditions,” said Mark Moskowitz of Belle Harbor, NY, a spectator who brought his entire family.

To highlight the theme of this year’s parade, “The Story of Sixty Years”, the parade opened with sixty shofar blowers and closed with sixty motorcycle riders bearing flags of Israel.

Yonatan Ben Yair Mefaked Betar 2008

Among the groups marching were such schools as the Magen David Yeshiva of Brooklyn, Ramaz Day School of Manhattan, Shulamith High School for Girls from Brooklyn, HAFTR (Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway), Jewish Foundation School of Staten Island, Yeshiva University and Stern College of Manhattan, Yeshiva of Crown Heights, Yeshiva Chovavei Torah Rabbinical School of the Bronx, among hundreds of others. Wearing T-shirts bearing their school names and logos, the marchers, for the most part, were bedecked in the colors of the Israeli flag and both Israeli and American flags were proudly hoisted under the glaring sun.

Betarim Parade 2008.jpg

The parade also included appearances by politicians such as Brooklyn Congressman Anthony Weiner who represents one of the largest Jewish constituencies in the country, US Senator from New York Charles Schumer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Magen David Yeshiva Parade 2008

No parade would be complete without floats and entertainers and this parade was no exception. Festively decorated blue and white floats representing such internationally renowned Israeli companies such as El Al Airlines, Bank Leumi, Bank HaPoalim and the Israeli Defense Ministry played popular Hebrew tunes and Israeli songs through their sound systems as their personnel waved to well wishers. Over twenty marching bands selected from various high schools and colleges around the country also participated, offering their own unique musical style. Russian Ballet, Bukharin and Georgian dancers in costumes along with Israeli folk dancers and ballroom dancers added their distinct style and dimension while other entertainers such as strolling violinists and Klezmer bands drew their own following. The youngsters enjoyed a bevy of street performers, clowns, jugglers, and face painters.

92nd Street Y Marching At Parade 2008

Current events and the political climate in the Middle East were showcased as well, as both anti-Israel and pro-Israel demonstrators gathered at 59th Street and 5th Avenue to give voice to their perspectives on the immutable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. About 60 demonstrators representing such organizations as “Free Palestine”, the Revolutionary Communist Party and the anti-Zionist Chareidi movement Neturei Karta, held signs calling for an “End to Israeli Occupation of Palestine” and took aim at the IDF by lambasting them with such signs as “Israeli Army = War Criminals”. Other radical Muslim extremists held signs saying “May Allah Give Victory to the Islamic Resistance in Palestine”. Some signs smacked of overt anti-Semitism, such as “The Holocaust was a Hoax” and “Death to All Juice”. Waving Palestinian flags both large and small the anti-Israel protestors excoriated Israel as “thieves” and demanded its dismantlement.

Palestinian Protestors

The members of Neturei Karta joined their Palestinian counterparts with their own signs saying “The Torah demands all Palestine to be returned to Palestinian Sovereignty” and “We Mourn 60 Years of the Existence of Israel”. They, too waved Palestinian flags and confronted marchers in the parade.

Neturei Karta More Shots Parade 2008

Across the street, a cadre of pro-Israel counter-protestors vocally responded to the diatribes being leveled against them by the anti-Israel demonstrators by calling the members of Neturei Karta. “traitorous dogs” and severely castigated the Palestinians as “purveyors of agitprop and mendacity” and “ruthless, bloodthirsty terrorists”. They held signs saying “Hamas – Stop Racist Terrorism” and “Israel is for Peace – Hamas and Hezbollah want Jewish blood”. This was a direct reference to the daily rocket attacks on the southern Israeli city of Sderot, launched by Hamas in Gaza.

NK At Israel Parade 2008

Leading the pro-Israel contingent were several young men representing the Jabotinsky based Zionist youth movement, Betar. Wearing their Betar (tilboshet) uniforms and carrying a blue Betar flag they called for an end to Arab terror in Israel. Betar mefaked Yonaton Ben Yair displayed tremendous courage by carrying a sign that said, “Arabs Out of Israel”. He said, “The State of Israel can no longer abide the burgeoning hostilities of the malignant Arab population. In order for Israel to remain a Jewish state, the Arabs must be transferred to any of their 22 countries in a population exchange.”

Later in the day, both marchers and spectators converged on Central Park to enjoy the 15th annual, Dr. Mandred R. Lehmann Memorial Israel Day Concert. The free concert at Central Park’s summer stage was dedicated in the memory of the eight young yeshiva boys murdered by a Palestinian terrorist at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem on March 6th of this year. Sponsored by a broad spectrum of organizations and businesses such as The Hebron Fund, the Zionist Organization of America, Americans for a Safe Israel, Winick Realty Group, Meridian Capital Group and Arutz Sheva, the concert featured the best in Jewish and Israeli entertainment. Groups and solo entertainers such as The Piamenta Band, Simply Tsfat, band leader Jerry Markowitz, Shloimy Bluth, Yaakov Chesed, HaMakor, Shlomo Haviv, Yechiel Lichtiger, Shlomi Aharoni and singing sensation Chaim Kiss regaled the overflowing audience with songs praising Hashem and the Land of Israel.

Special appearances were made by politicians such as Brooklyn Assembylman Dov Hikind, Brooklyn Congressman Anthony Weiner, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. Dinapoli and New York City Councilman David Weprin. Also addressing the audience were MK Dr. Arieh Eldad, founder of the Hatikvah party, Rabbi David Fendel, from the Yeshivat Hesder in Sderot, Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America and Daniel Luria of the Jerusalem Reclamation Project.

The event was recorded and televised by the Israeli news service, Arutz Sheva and local Jewish media personalities such as Zev Brenner from Talkline Communications Network were also interviewing participants for a televised broadcast.

Coretta James CUFI Parade 2008

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.