Rea Carey ‘wholeheartedly’ condemns anti-Semitism at conference

Anti-Zionist is just another term for antisemite.  These assholes acted like junior grade Nazis.

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/01/25/rea-carey-wholeheartedly-condemns-anti-semitism-at-conference/

by Michael K. Lavers

January 25, 2016
National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey on Monday issued a lengthy statement in which she “wholeheartedly” condemned anti-Semitism.“I want to make this crystal clear: The National LGBTQ Task Force wholeheartedly condemns anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic statements made at any Task Force event, including our Creating Change Conference,” she said. “It is unacceptable.”

Carey issued her statement three days after hundreds of protesters forced the cancellation of a reception at the Creating Change Conference in Chicago that was to have featured two LGBT rights advocates from Israel.

A Wider Bridge, an organization seeking to bolster “LGBTQ connections with Israel,” organized the reception.

Sarah Kala-Meir and Tom Canning of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance were scheduled to speak. They left the room in which the reception was taking place through a back door as protesters began shouting.

Those who protested the reception held signs with slogans that expressed their opposition to “pinkwashing,” which they describe as the promotion of Israel’s LGBT rights record in an attempt to deflect attention away from its controversial policies towards the Palestinians. A video that the Windy City Times shot shows some of protesters chanting “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea” as they marched towards the room in which the reception was taking place.

Those who describe themselves as pro-Israel note the slogan has been used by those who support the destruction of the Jewish state. The Guardian reported that Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, a militant group the State Department has designed as a terrorist organization, used a variation of this chant during a 2012 rally that marked his return to the Gaza Strip.

Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Carey: Police called ‘without consulting us’

A second video of the Creating Change Conference protest the Windy City Times captured shows someone placing a Palestinian flag over the head of a man who was trying to enter the reception. The protesters began chanting “shame on you!” after he ripped it down and began yelling into the crowd.

Carey in her statement noted the National LGBTQ Task Force “acted to defuse the situation to the best of our ability.” She said security personnel at the Chicago Hilton where the Creating Change Conference took place called the police “without consulting us.”

“We are deeply concerned about how the events of the evening unfolded,” said Carey.

Tony Varona, a professor at American University Washington College of Law in D.C. who is a former member of the Human Rights Campaign board of directors, attended the reception.

He told the Blade on Monday that he heard “verbal attacks” from some of the protesters “about how the organizers and the attendees had blood on our hands, how we were celebrating over dead bodies, didn’t care about people of color, etc., etc., and that Israel had to be destroyed.” Varona said he did not personally hear any protesters use anti-Semitic slurs, but “heard that others did.”

Continue reading at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/01/25/rea-carey-wholeheartedly-condemns-anti-semitism-at-conference/

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Bill Nye’s Change of Heart on GMOs Is in the Best Scientific Tradition

What changed my opinion?  Awareness of the 2-3 billion people currently on the planet who would starve to death without GMOs and how genetically modifying plants is necessary due to climate change.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-robert-t-fraley/bill-nyes-change-of-heart_b_9055296.html

“The first principle [of science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize for physics, 1965.

When Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) publicly changed his mind recently about genetically modified organisms − he now says they “are an important, and perhaps, essential component of modern farming” − many were quick to pounce.

Besides attacking his reasoning and his credentials, some of his critics even alleged – with absolutely no evidence or justification – that Bill’s change of position must have involved a payoff by my company, Monsanto.

The simple, innocent truth, however, is laid out plainly in the recently published revised edition of Bill’s book “Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation.” In a new chapter, Bill explains that after publishing the first edition of the book, in 2014, he “has spent a great deal of additional time investigating the issues surrounding GMFs (genetically modified foods).” His investigation, he explains, included a deeper exploration of the scientific literature, as well as a visit to our company.

“I was not there to be charmed,” he comments on that visit. “I was there to see if Monsanto scientists had hard data to address the issues about GMFs and the ecosystems in which they grow. I now believe they do.”

In other words, Bill dug deeper into the issue and then recognized he’d been mistaken. And then he had the courage to admit it.

Who else has trod this path? Well, lots of people. After all, to err is human, and scientists and those who, like Bill, study and write about science, are human. For science to move ahead, therefore, it’s critical that the people who pursue it be willing to recognize and correct their mistakes. Otherwise science – and humanity – get stuck.

I know I’ve made mistakes as a scientist – for example, in being slow to recognize the seriousness of climate change. When the data documenting this trend became overwhelming, however, I studied it – and shifted my position – because I knew that for a scientist, the real sin is not in making a mistake, but in refusing to acknowledge it. That’s all Bill has done in this case.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-robert-t-fraley/bill-nyes-change-of-heart_b_9055296.html

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Give Women the Right to Defend Themselves

From The Gatestone Institute:  http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7219/geert-wilders-taharrush-sexual-assault

by Geert Wilders and Machiel de Graaf
January 13, 2016

“Cultural enrichment” has brought us a new word: Taharrush. Remember it well, because we are going to have to deal with it a lot. Taharrush is the Arabic word for the phenomenon whereby women are encircled by groups of men and sexually harassed, assaulted, groped, raped. After the Cologne taharrush on New Year’s Eve, many German women bought pepper spray. Who can blame them?

A culture that has a specific word for sexual assaults of women by groups of men is a danger to all women. The existence of the word indicates that the phenomenon is widespread. Frau Merkel, Prime Minister Rutte and all the other open-door politicians could and should have known this.

The Islamic world is steeped in misogyny. The Koran explicitly states that a woman is worth only half a man (Suras 2: 228, 2: 282, 4:11), that women are unclean (5:6), and that a man can have sex with his wife whenever he wants (24:31). The Koran even says that men are allowed to have sex slaves (4:24), and that they have the right to rape women whom they have captured (24:31).

The hadiths, the descriptions of the life of Muhammad, the ideal human being whose example all the Islamic faithful must follow, confirm that women are sex objects, that they are inferior beings like dogs and donkeys, and that there is nothing wrong with sexual slavery and raping female prisoners.

Taharrush is quite common in Islamic countries. Women are frequently surrounded by men and subsequently abused. The Egyptian website Jadaliyya points out that it also happens to veiled women. Women are victims simply because they are women and not because they have provoked the men by their conduct or “provocative” clothing. It can happen in the streets, public transport, supermarkets, or during protest demonstrations.

In 2011, the American television journalist Lara Logan had her clothes ripped off and “was raped with the hands” by a group of 200 men on Tahrir Square in Cairo. Two years later, a young Dutch woman became a taharrush victim at the same square. Now, along with the flow of migrants from the Islamic world, the phenomenon also reached Europe. The elite tried to keep it hidden from the people, but they cannot do so anymore.

Continue reading at:  http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7219/geert-wilders-taharrush-sexual-assault

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Bloomberg candidacy would give America a wider selection of billionaires to choose from

Fuck Bloomberg.  The Presidency isn’t for sale to billionaires. Democracy is too valuable to be owned by the super rich.

From The Los Angeles Times:  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-bloomberg-independent-campaign-20160126-story.html

Editorial
Jan. 26, 2016

Just when it seemed as if the presidential race couldn’t get any stranger, billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed that he may run for the White House as an independent if the two major parties nominate their least mainstream candidates. Having more choices on the ballot is usually a good thing, and if the Republicans nominate Donald Trump, a Bloomberg candidacy would at least give voters a wider selection of billionaires from whom to choose. Yet at the same time, it’s unnerving to think that the major parties could conceivably choose nominees so far outside the mainstream that the public might actually welcome the idea of an extraordinarily wealthy man trying to buy his way into the White House, instead of shuddering at it.

At this point in the race, it’s far too late for a new candidate to enter the party primaries — the filing deadlines for nominating petitions have already passed in about half the states. The deadlines for an independent candidate are still months away, but the obstacles facing a third-party candidate are enormous. It would take a nearly bottomless bank account — like Bloomberg’s — to pay for the requisite army of signature gatherers in all 50 states, as well as the army of lawyers to fend off the inevitable legal challenges.

Another issue is the potential for the major parties to obstruct a third-party bid. For example, the person interpreting and applying ballot-access rules in most states is an elected official, typically a Republican or a Democrat. And the process of judging signatures is subjective to a degree; that’s why there are so many lawsuits over the issue.

The difficulties in mounting a run for the White House may help weed out candidates who are well-known but not serious. But the process should be fair and insulated from the major parties, which have a parochial interest in limiting third-party challengers. Although Bloomberg has the resources to fight such obstructions in court, candidates shouldn’t have to face such obstacles in the first place.

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Spin Shift on Bernie: The Escalating Media Assault

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/27/spin-shift-bernie-escalating-media-assault

by Norman Solomon

Published on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

For a long time, as he campaigned for president, a wide spectrum of establishment media insisted that Bernie Sanders couldn’t win. Now they’re sounding the alarm that he might.

And, just in case you haven’t gotten the media message yet — Sanders is “angry,” kind of like Donald Trump.

Elite media often blur distinctions between right-wing populism and progressive populism—as though there’s not all that much difference between appealing to xenophobia and racism on the one hand and appealing for social justice and humanistic solidarity on the other.

Many journalists can’t resist lumping Trump and Sanders together as rabble-rousing outliers. But in the real world, the differences are vast.

Donald Trump is to Bernie Sanders as Archie Bunker is to Jon Stewart.

Among regular New York Times columnists, aversion to Bernie Sanders has become more pronounced in recent days at both ends of the newspaper’s ideological spectrum, such as it is. Republican Party aficionado David Brooks (whose idea of a good political time is Marco Rubio) has been freaking out in print, most recently with a Tuesday column headlined “Stay Sane America, Please!”

Brooks warned that his current nightmare for the nation is in triplicate—President Trump, President Cruz or President Sanders. For Brooks, all three contenders appear to be about equally awful; Trump is “one of the most loathed men in American public life,” while “America has never elected a candidate maximally extreme from the political center, the way Sanders and Cruz are.”

That “political center” of power sustains huge income inequality, perpetual war, scant action on climate change and reflexive support for the latest unhinged escalation of the nuclear arms race. In other words, what C. Wright Mills called “crackpot realism.”

Meanwhile, liberal Times columnist Paul Krugman (whose idea of a good political time is Hillary Clinton) keeps propounding a stand-on-head formula for social change—a kind of trickle-down theory of political power, in which “happy dreams” must yield to “hard thinking,” a euphemism for crackpot realism.

An excellent rejoinder has come from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. “Krugman doesn’t get it,” Reich wrote. “I’ve been in and around Washington for almost fifty years, including a stint in the cabinet, and I’ve learned that real change happens only when a substantial share of the American public is mobilized, organized, energized, and determined to make it happen.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/27/spin-shift-bernie-escalating-media-assault

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A Confederacy of Dunces: The Democratic Establishment’s Assault on Sanders Begins

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/26/confederacy-dunces-democratic-establishments-assault-sanders-begins

“When a true genius appears in your world, you may know him by this sign; that all the dunces are against him in a confederacy.”
—Jonathon Swift

Well, it’s started.  You knew it would.  The Democratic establishment is going into attack mode as their anointed one  – Hillary Clinton – is in danger of losing.

Take a look at some of the assaults that have been launched within the last five days:

  • Sandy Goodman, a former producer at NBC Nightly News published a piece on the Huffington Post, entitled, Voting for Sanders is Voting Republican. The fact that Bernie does better than Hillary against Republicans is an inconvenient fact Goodman ignores in this ludicrous hit piece;
  • Paul Krugman’s column last Friday suggested that progressives voting for Sanders weren’t being “adults,” and had no idea how change occurred – in Krugman’s world, change doesn’t come from the people, apparently. It comes from party apparatchiks working with the plutocracy;
  • Thomas Friedman, another New York Times columnist, essentially called Sanders a communist – something he knows isn’t true, but it’s a great scare tactic;
  • President Obama said Bernie Sanders’ ideas haven’t been tested yet and went on to heap praise on Hillary.  It wasn’t an endorsement, but it came mighty close.

All of these are coming from credentialed liberals who have been staunch supporters of the Democratic Party.  And therein lies the problem. The Democratic Party’s interests are no longer aligned with the people’s interests and they haven’t been for a long time.

And this comes after Debbie Wassermann Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, set up the modern era’s first stealth debate program, designed to guarantee a coronation for Ms. Clinton and keep real progressives like Sanders and O’Malley under wraps.

But it’s not just the press and the Party.  Civil institutions, environmental groups, and unions that should be with the people – and therefore with Sanders – are lining up to back Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s traditional PAC candidate.

The bottom line is, the institutions that used to represent the people no longer derive their power from the people, so they are threatened by Sanders, because he does.

Make no mistake, this is about power.  

After decades, a right wing cabal of the uber-wealthy, in conjunction with corporations, has literally seized control of government.

Not only have they rolled back controls on Wall Street, turned elections into a bidding war in which politicians are purchased like livestock, and pared government funds down to the point where it can no longer function; they’ve also set up the rules so that corporations are our largest recipients of welfare and the 1% walks away with all the spoils. Incredibly, they’ve convinced people it’s good for them.

And Democrats have been co-authors of the problem. Even when poll after poll showed that the majority of American people are left of center on an issue-by-issue basis, Democrats inched to the center and then to the right of center … where, until a few months ago, is where you’d find Hillary, by the way.

Bottom line, until Sanders, the terms of the national debate were dictated by the Plutocracy, and there was no way to pierce the carefully constructed interlocking web of money, media, and myth the Oligarchs constructed.  Oh, there were voices – but they were largely consigned to the fringes of society, with little or no chance of breaking through to reach the masses of people who’ve been duped, fleeced and fooled into believing that government is inevitably inept, taxes are a curse, and an uber-free market our salvation.

Some of the players in media are a part of this process; some are merely so immersed in the system they’ve forgotten that it wasn’t always this way.  But either way …

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/26/confederacy-dunces-democratic-establishments-assault-sanders-begins

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Liberal Jews Trapped in ‘Terrifying’ New World of Uncompromising anti-Israel Views

From Haaretz:  http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-1.699452

Violent protests at a Jewish LGBTQ event in Chicago spotlight how growing emphasis on intersectionality is drowning out the nuances of debate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Jan 25, 2016

NEW YORK – The violent shut down of a Jerusalem-based LGBTQ forum by pro-Palestinian protesters in Chicago on Friday highlighted the growing influence of intersectionality in movements representing minorities and the increasing militancy of their anti-Israel views.

Gay Jews wanting to hear about the work of Jerusalem Open House were unwittingly caught in the middle of the protest at the Creating Change conference Friday night, which is the country’s largest LGBTQ gathering. They were sandwiched between anti-Israel activists and a reception intended to highlight the Israeli organization’s efforts. The protest at moments turned violent and threatened to become more so before being dispersed by police and staff at the Chicago Hilton, where the conference took place last week.

About 200 protesters crammed into a hotel hallway chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

The conference is organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force. The reception, designed to introduce JOH’s work in one of the most fraught cities anywhere for queer people, was hosted by A Wider Bridge, an American group that works to create relationships between LGBTQ people in America and Israel.

Steven Rosenberg, a psychiatric social worker in Chicago, went to Shabbat services at the conference and tried to go to the reception. He and a friend got caught in the crowd.

“It was a mob scene,” he said Sunday, still very shaken up. “I have no problem with there being a protest. I have a problem with people calling us murderers and racists. It was loud and they were chanting and hostile, and it felt like a very unsafe situation.”

“It was a mob scene,” he said Sunday, still very shaken up. “I have no problem with there being a protest. I have a problem with people calling us murderers and racists. It was loud and they were chanting and hostile, and it felt like a very unsafe situation.”

Complete article at:  http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-1.699452

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