Friday, May 30, 2008
Any other day of the week, it gladdens my heart when my site meter registers a visit from another place. My fondest hope now is that I am joined with my readership by Shabbos. When my children are in distant places, I look at the clock and do mental arithmetic so I can visualise the colour of the sky wherever they might be. On Shabbos, I like to imagine where in this day my readers may find themselves.
Sometimes during Shabbos, I am flooded with ideas that I would write down any other day of the week. On this day, I visualise an apple tree from which the fruit falls unpicked feeding the tree from which it has fallen.
This is a day that connects me like family to other Jews around the world. For no particular reason , I am thinking now of the Abuyudaya in Uganda, who now must surely be sleeping. It pains me to think of the Holy Land, from which I endure a painful separation. But the Shabbos consoles me, joining me to Jews in Russia, Argentina Syria and the U.K . The sense of family that I feel with those to whom I am joined by Shabbos evokes thoughts of the family of nations. It is through experiencing my connection to my own family that I feel connection to the family of man.
Most importantly, I spend a week chasing my dreams. The illusion that all comes from strength of will, from my own effort is a tempting illusion. As a Jew, as a human being, I need the reminder that there is a force beyond me, a Guiding Hand. I need a tangible reminder that the grass will grow without me, that the grapes ripen on the vine and the wine ages in the cask beyond our direct control.
Yet again, until Shabbos departs , wherever you are, I hope that we are joined by it and not by this web site. Shabbat Shalom
Copyright 2008 by thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Hillary took a big hit in the court of public opinion for an embroidered recollection of being under fire while visiting Bosnia in 1992. Now, it turns out that Barack HusseinObama claims that his great uncle was with troops that liberated Auschwitz in 1945. Since his mother was an only child, this seems highly unlikely that he even had a great uncle. It is even less likely that Obama had family members in the Red Army, which liberated Auschwitz in 1945.
The list of Obama's memory malfunctions grows by the day. He is getting very soft treatment by the media. You Tube and Google have a wealth of information for those who want to look up "Obama Scandal." It seems highly likely that his much touted superiority to Hillary in the scandal department is likely to evaporate under the spotlight of media scrutiny.
It is advisable to examine the public service record of someone who aspires to higher office. The Chicago news media has covered Obama's local career with a far more critical eye than the powder puff national coverage he has received.
I am not an ideological ally of Hillary Clinton. But it is only fair that both she and Obama should endure the same rigourous scrutiny. There is a biblical commandment not to even own faulty weights for use on a scale. The Democrats judge the Republicans according to a different standard than they use to judge themselves. Now they have dusted off that extra set of weights and thrown them on the scale to judge Hillary.
Any idea that the Democratic candidate for president was chosen in a transparent manner has gone out the window. It is fair to the American people that every vote in every state should be counted. The Democrats once said that. I believe that. Do the Democrats believe that? Sphere: Related Content
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
There is a perception of right and wrong among the public that exists independently of civil and criminal law. There is a healthy and natural indignation when the elderly or children fall prey to violent crime. When law enforcement fails to share the public' s natural feelings of indignation, this creates despair or private expressions of outrage. Street justice and private patrols may have shortcomings. But these shortcomings should be compared to existing law enforcement in the community. I was once informed by a responding police officer that a brick through my children's bedroom window was only harassment, with the clear implication that a report would waste everyone's time. The black market has historically provided goods that are in short supply or unavailable. During prohibition, smugglers and underground producers provided alcohol that had been banned under Prohibition laws. It is sad to say, but in many ways, justice has become a bootleg commodity.
The other perception is that justice has become politicised, that one must lobby for basic law enforcement on a case by case basis. Those who demonstrated in Crown Heights on May 16 were fully convinced that nothing would be done if they did not apply political pressure to the city to solve this brutal crime.
Everyone in Crown Heights shares a fear of violent criminals. A perception of governmental apathy heightens the fear exponentially. African Americans and Jews have a long history of institutionalised discrimination against them. All of the gains in achieving statutory equality can not erase the historic fears that resonate in their present day perceptions. The pursuit of a bias investigation by the District Attorney in the case of the beating of a police officer's son are of far more benefit to the District Attorney than they are to people of Brooklyn or indeed even the beating victim himself. The investigation plays on fears that are of debatable relevance to this incident.It is far more common for ethnicity to be a backdrop or component of a crime than a dominant or exclusive motive. It is a pity that the District Attorney's office has put its political interests ahead of the interests of appropriate law enforcement. The Crown Heights community is a unique work in progress. It is composed of people who have a vested interest in making integration work.
There are a lot of problems in Crown Heights that concern us. There is the problems of youth at risk in the neighborhood. Rising rents and living costs subtract from the time parents can spend with their families. Some of these problems fall within the domain of government. Most do not.
The steady stream of crime that is the bane of urban existence continues today. The demonstration on May 16 has not changed that. The apathy and bureaucratic indifference to those reporting crime continues. A crime victim usually spends more time in the police station than a perpetrator. I have heard from a recent theft victim that naked apathy and open rudeness are still the order of the day when reporting a crime. In light of the distrust in our community of law enforcement, it would be a good idea to send in decoys to report a crime so they could monitor how the public is treated when reporting a crime. This way, the quality of treatment by civilian employees of the public at the precinct could be monitored. Additionally, there should be a system of reporting and recording crimes that is at least as efficient as the system for recording parking violations.
Politically motivated and bureaucratically motivated apathy in law enforcement remains a pervasive feature of live in Crown Heights. As long as this is so , bootleg justice will continue to appeal to a weary citizenry. There are obvious solutions to these problems. What are we waiting for? Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
This year, Tom Lehrer is eighty years old. Back in the sixties, he was a political satirist of some renown. In the United States, his music was considered to be cutting edge. He had a hard time even getting his recordings distributed in the early years of his career. When I was about eight years old, I was over at my friend's house. His parent's records got mixed up with his children's songs. His mother blanched in horror when she caught us listening to "National Brotherhood Week", (presented above). The next time I would note such seismic activity was about four years later when my mother caught me reading Lenny Bruce.
"National Brotherhood Week" seems even more relevant today when one surveys the patchwork quilt of ethnic hostilities that continues to cover the globe from Bosnia to the Congo, from Rwanda to Tibet. Today, new hypocrisies seem to stem from a basic human nature that has remain unchanged since the sixties, which were the peak of Tom Lehrer's career. The manner in which Lehrer utilised shock back then deserves comparison with today's entertainers who often seem to push the limits in an almost nihilistic manner.
The images in the video evoke strong memories of the events that served as the backdrop of Lehrer's performance. I would welcome the return of this type of social commentary to the entertainment scene today. The interesting times we live in certainly would provide Tom Lehrer or anyone like him with ample subject material.
Comments Only Copyright 2008 by thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Monday, May 26, 2008
Barack Obama was a rising star in the State Senate of Illinois. There are a lot of unanswered questions about those who aided him in his rise to power. So far, the Democratic Party machine has found him useful. The unanswered questions about his now indicted sponsors have not registered with the major networks.
Ehud Olmert is facing indictment. The tenacity with which he clings to political life evokes thoughts of his predecessor on life support. Desperately he attempts to make deals with Israel's enemies, hoping that powerful allies abroad will revive his political fortune. Sadly, Hamas gloats as he dictates a policy of retreat and concessions. They mistake his policies dictated by self interest for the fear and faint heartedness of the people of Israel. They are in for a rude awakening that I fear will be at the cost of more civilian casualties.
What connection does this have to America's upcoming elections? The information coming out of Chicago points to unanswered questions about who has paid for Obama's local (not presidential) campaign and what they got for it. Obama was involved in legal work for a slumlord who secured government loans to renovate buildings that are today uninhabitable.(see videos) The information is out there. A Google or You Tube search with the term "Obama Scandal" brings up useless muck along with some sordid and some very well presented allegations. We as individuals are being given by technology the chance to sort through information that the mainstream media will not touch. We no longer have to follow the dictates of the big networks. We as readers and publishers in the blogosphere can make a difference.
Ehud Olmert is now making concessions to Israel's enemies that pose grave threats to Israel's security. He is doing it to avoid paying the price for his alleged corruption as Jerusalem mayor. Spiro T. Agnew was forced to resign for misconduct as governor of Maryland well into his tenure as America's Vice President. America under George W. Bush's successor will face daunting challenges on the international scene from ruthless enemies pressing at our borders and living among us. America should learn from Israel's mistakes . We should not put ourselves in danger of being led by a man whose private political misfortunes blind him to the suffering of the land that he leads. Barack Hussein Obama has a past that will come to light whether he is a private citizen or a sitting President. We have a choice to sort through the information, misinformation and propaganda that is being spiked by the large networks. Instead of choosing the offerings of major newspapers you can do Google and You Tube searches for "Obama Scandal". Voters must decide whether the nation can endure the possibility of an Obama presidency that resembles Ehud Olmert shamelessly clinging to political life. For the good of the country, we should choose a President whose personal political fortunes do not eclipse the national interest. There is still time. We should do the right thing.
Copyright 2008 on commentary by thewinterriders.com
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Sunday, May 25, 2008
Additionally, religious denominations that oppose homosexuality might come under fire for "discrimination" for insisting upon adherence to their religious tenets.
I have a possible solution for this seemingly intractable dilemma. Since rights are being apportioned based on sexual preference, we have to adapt to the "new order" of our evolving libidocratic form of government. Those who adhere to scriptural law in areas of intimate behavior should declare themselves to be "biblosexual" or "biblo" for short. They should speak of the rampant ridicule of biblosexual behavior in the media and the numerous instances of biblosexuals being socially marginalised. (the way she drsses, She's GOT to be a biblosexual.)In New York, you have the Harvey Milk High School in Greenwich Village establishing a legal precedent for libidocratic school classification. Now Christian and Jewish schools can reclassify themselves as biblosexual schools. There is no doubt that both Christian and Jewish students suffer in mainstream schools if they adhere to biblosexual modes of behavior.If government funds are denied, parents can sue on grounds of sexual preference discrimination. This could also sidestep issues of church state separation until a more conservative supreme court has the opportunity to reinterpret this legal doctrine in a more flexible way.
There could even be biblosexual pride parades and hotlines for people from secular backgrounds who are afraid to "come out" about their newly discovered preference. Under our evolving libidocratic form of government, rights are apportioned according to sexual preference . The state of California can not deny the existence of "biblo" culture. They created the legal precedent. So biblosexuals unite!!! Claim your rights according to the New Order dictated by the California Supreme Court!!! Sphere: Related Content
Friday, May 23, 2008
A recurring topic of discussion since 9/11 has been the existence of detention camps that are not officially listed. FEMA has been reportedly supervising facilities that could house large numbers of detainees, exceeding even the large number already in America's correctional facilities. It might be possible to explain away some of the facilities as actually being constructed for more mundane purposes. It is also possible that enforcement of existing immigration laws might overwhelm existing detention resources. Other types of disturbances might also require additional space to imprison suspects. Many sites on the internet can be dismissed as a bunch of conspiracy crackpots. There are more than a few who are simply concerned citizens with a healthy distrust of government. I am studiously avoiding the use of the term "concentration camp" in describing the allegations of secret prison facilities in our country. It is possible that some of the laws made for terrorists can be put to more sinister uses. A Democratic or Republican administration will in the future inherit this allegedly massive incarceration infrastructure. Each party might have its own wish list as to who might reside in such accommodations. It is unlikely that the Democrats would expose and dismantle this alleged network of incarceration facilities.
I have looked for resources to post on this site that seem credible. I weeded out as many dead links as I could, as well as rants about the Illuminati and the Freemasons. I believe we have a right as citizens to know more about these prisons and how they might be used. It is not only the facilities we should question but recent laws and executive orders as well. Although there are extraordinary circumstances where legal protections might need to be abridged, there should be citizen oversight and not blind trust. I am presenting a video and a link above. You should check them out with a critical but not a dismissive point of view. It is a difficult question in our times how one defends democracy in a manner that does not destroy it. We should never stop asking questions.
Copyright 2008 on commentary only, not on video from You Tube or accompanying link.
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"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."
- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943
Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.
According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."
Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of "new programs" require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?
Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."
The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.
Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.
U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic "war on terror." Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it.
According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.
A clue as to where Harman's commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who "engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights" as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters ... the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 "terror suspects" with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.
What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?
The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law.
Lewis Seiler is the president of Voice of the Environment, Inc. Dan Hamburg, a former congressman, is executive director.
This article appeared on page B - 7 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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Thursday, May 22, 2008
Citizens of Crown Heights and New Yoek City welcomed the news that two youths, 14 and 16 years old were apprehended in the brutal beating of Alon Sherman, age 16. It is likely that the 14 year old will be tried as an adult.
I have viewed with increasing frustration the debate over whether or not Sherman's attackers should be charged with a bias crime. As long as such laws exist, I feel that such charges should be considered against Sherman's attackers.
I feel that bias laws take the focus away from the brutality in crimes of violence. The classification of attacks as bias related has become highly politicised. Are whites who are disproportionately chosen in black areas as robbery victims targets of racial profiling? This question has not even been asked, let alone answered.
To be very blunt and even politically incorrect, blacks and Jews enjoy the most attention from the declaration of bias in crime classification. White people come in distant third place, although there is undoubtedly anti-white racism in American society.
It is very frightening to have a gun pointed in one' face or have the lives of one's children threatened. Like many of my African American neighbours, I have had this experience. Statistics prove them to be more likely to be victims of violent crimes. I feel that the focus in punishment should be on a combination of factors such as brutality, depravity, premeditation helplessness of the victim and motive, be it bias or otherwise. Bias should increase the severity of punishment, as should other factors. But bias is a state of mind and should not be subject to punishment as a separate statute. Bias laws do whites an injustice in their infrequent enforcement on their behalf. And they take needed attention away from the endemic brutality suffered by African Americans at the hands of other African Americans.
It is praiseworthy that racism and bigotry are condemned by the overwhelming majority of Americans. We should continue to protect the right of all citizens to be free from fear. But we need to re examine a set of well intentioned laws that have had unforseen results. A state of mind should not be a crime. There are enough laws on the books today to protect us. It is time to protect all Americans with laws that punish actions and not thoughts. Sphere: Related Content
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
We should love and respect every person as a beloved child of our progenitor Noah. This love should not however be divorced from basic self respect. We should not be assisting missionaries in fishing for Jewish souls in exchange for their political support. That is simply spitting in G-d's face. Christians in Arab countries are facing pressure to convert to Islam or leave. A dignified trade off would be Jewish support for the civil rights of oppressed Christian minorities in exchange for their political support of a Jewish right to the Holy Land.
This clash with the missionaries is a wakeup call. We are losing even religious youth who due to abuse, domestic problems or learning disabilities are going to the secular world. We should listen to them and make a place for them. Every Jewish man woman and child should be offered a Right of Return that is spiritual as well as physical. Nothing less will suffice.
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I am dedicating the above video by Tom Petty to Deputy Mayor Uzi Ahron for standing his ground with the missionaries
Copyright 2008 on comments only by Rudi Stettner of rudistettner.com and thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Obama is far too ambivalent about America's role as a world power. Both he and his outspoken wife could present the success of themselves and their families as the moral evolution of a nation. He could not have achieved his current national prominence without the support of white voters.Despite this, he and his wife present a gloomy picture of America as it is.
Proper social criticism requires not only a list of ones shortcomings but also an inventory of one's strengths. Obama is sorely lacking in the balance required to render fitting criticism. As middle class citizens of colour, both Obama's have a distinct perspective that deserves a voice. Despite this, they present their lives as far more a struggle against a racist society than was actually the case. As well paid and prominent professionals, their high profile in society is really the fruit of generations of hard work and good choices.
John Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic president of the United States. Anti Irish sentiment was rampant in the time of his parents and grandparents. He was however a child of privilege. He showed remarkable independence from a father with a well known record of virulent anti-semitism. His success was applauded by millions of Irish Americans as well as a matter of pride in a native son. Kennedy was not a poseur. He did not pretend to be from the Irish tenements. At peace with himself, he was a president of all Americans . It was a critical time in our history, when Americans of good will were struggling for civil rights for all citizens. He was president when Martin Luther King gave his "I have a dream " speech.
Barack Obama stands in notable contrast to Kennedy. His resentment never seems far from the surface. He and his wife share a distorted and two dimensional self image . It is impossible for me to believe that his minister for twenty years, Reverend Wright does not influence or reflect his thinking.
America shares Obama's desire to go beyond issues of colour. We have made major progress in doing this. We have a long way to go. I do not believe Barack Obama is the one who can lead us.
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I found this satirical video about Barack Hussein Obama on You Tube, done in a Dylanesque style. It captures the Dylan style and packs a nice message. I wonder how many Bob Dylan fans like me are not on the Obama bandwagon?
Please click on above link to view video
Comments only copyright 2008 by Magdeburger Joe of magdeburgerjoe.com and
thewinterriders.com Video compliments of You Tube. (link provided)
Sphere: Related Content
Monday, May 19, 2008
I have been reading about the events unfolding in Iowa concerning the massive immigration raid at the kosher meat packing plant. It will take a long time to sort out the facts of the case. Because of its high profile in the media, there will be much needed discussion about the lessons to be learned from it. My opinion remains unchanged that immigration should be legal, that visas and citizenship are a gift from the American people. This gift should be given on behalf of the American people through an orderly administration of our country's laws.
The detainees are in Iowa with families that were dependent upon their earnings. Now the families are without a breadwinner as their cases wind their way through the justice system. The families are suffering. I have made a donation of $25.00 to an organisation called Postville Relief. I wanted to confine my donation to a fund that offers physical assistance to the detainees. I feel a sense of personal responsibility to the workers who were until their arrest preparing meat for my table. We as a nation have tolerated a massive influx of illegal immigration. When these laws are enforced, we should step forward in shouldering the humanitarian burden. Orthodox Judaism concerns relations between G-d and Man as well as familial and societal relationships It is in this spirit that I am printing information and links to those who wish to aid the Iowa detainees. The town of Postville struggles with the humanitarian burden that exists in the wake of the immigration raid. I hope my readers will join me in rendering them assistance. I called the bank and El Centro Latinoamericano and was told as follows:
Make checks payable to Postville Relief acct # 5830490.
Send your check to Veridian Credit Union
P.O. Box 6000
Waterloo, IA 50701
I have included information and links in this posting so your decision to give can be an informed one.
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Support for Postville Raids Requested!/Apologies for Cross Postings
By Amalia Anderson and Kathy Hiltsley, Main Street Project
Hi Friends and Family:
As many of you know from the recent media reports the raids in Postville, Iowa are awful for this small community. Due to recent events, there is quite a need for money to purchase basic supplies for the families and other personnel working and assisting in the effort.
Any help that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
The list of needed supplies is below.
Any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Subject: PLEASE SHARE--Support for Postville Raids Requested!/Apologies for Cross Postings
Dear Friends and Allies-
The Postville Raid--the largest at a single site in history, has left many victims in its wake. Approximately 390 people were arrested on Monday as ICE descended on Agriprocessors-- the nation's largest kosher packing plant. There are many needs! Below please find a variety of options for donating cash or supplies to the various organizations/institutions that are directly working with the detainees and their families.
This list was created based on conversations with staff working with the community in Waterloo and Postville.
***For those of you in MN-- the Main Street Project is more that willing to serve as a 'drop-off' location.
For directions to our office, please contact: Kathy Hiltsley at 612-879-7578 or [email protected].
reams of white paper for copying/printing
diapers (for infants-toddlers)
infant formula (Simulac and Enfamil)
gas cards (Recommended for IA: Kum & Go, Hy-Vee, Casey's General Store)
Hygiene products for men and women (shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush)
food (non perishable)
phone cards (long distance to Latin America)
Cash Donations for Immigrant Families:
For sending checks and cash, the address is:
Veridian Credit Union
P.O. Box 6000
Waterloo, IA 50701
If making a donation via credit card, please call
*** Please include Account Number for the Postville fund when sending either form of payment. The account number-- 5830490
Cash Donations for El Centro Latinoamericano (general operating):
El Centro Latinoamericano
500 E. 4th Street Ste. 321
Waterloo, Iowa 50703
Cash Donations for St. Bridget's Catholic Church:
Saint Bridget's Hispanic Ministry
Att'n. Paul Real
PO BOX 369
Postville, IA. 52162
Main Street Project
This is a printer friendly version of an article from www.gazetteonline.com
To print this article open the file menu and choose Print.
Article published: May 15, 2008
State senator credits help of churches after raid
POSTVILLE — State Sen. Mark Zieman said the Monday raid of the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant is bringing out both the worst and the best in people in his hometown of Postville.
Zieman, who represents Iowa Senate District 8, is also a longtime rural Postville businessman.
On Tuesday, he visited both St. Bridget's Catholic Church, where Latinos have sought refuge, and the Presbyterian Church less than a block away, which sought to provide aid.
"It's a humanitarian issue at this point. It doesn't matter whether they're illegal aliens or not," he said.
Speaking from Des Moines on Wednesday night, where he was on business, Zieman said the public outcry doesn't solve any of the problems that have been ignored for years.
"Congress has to address these issues. Although I'm not supporting illegal immigration, the system has broken in Washington. This is just the tip of a huge, huge iceberg," he said.
Zieman said although Immigration and Customs Enforcement claims most of the illegal immigrants arrested Monday could have completed the paperwork necessary to live and work in the United States legally, "that couldn't be further from the truth."
The senator said he spoke to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Wednesday requesting legislation that would provide work permits for immigrants like those arrested Monday.
He said although Grassley favors a guest worker program, including official identification, it's unlikely any such program would gain the needed support from Congress.
"It was pretty heavy-handed the way ICE came in and handled things," Zieman said.
"At the state level, there's nothing I can do," he added.
However, he asked Gov. Chet Culver to provide the community with some form of humanitarian aid, such as bedding and/or food for those taking refuge in the church.
"If it hadn't been for the churches, (the resulting situation) really would have been out of control," he said of those left behind in the wake of nearly 400 arrests. Sphere: Related Content
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The ideas represented by the Democratic Party of JFK have similarities to a "labour conservative" outlook. These ideas are not dead. But neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party of today really seems to represent these ideas. My support for the Republican Party is reluctant. They do not have policies that are keeping jobs in the country at viable wages. I am only reluctantly voting Republican because of the dangerous road now being traveled by the Democrats. I believe that they want to abdicate America's role as a world power. The last time that was tried under President Carter, the Iranian people paid a terrible price for his naivete . I do not want to find out which unfortunate nation would pay for Barack Hussein Obama's political naivete.
I would like there to be a Democratic Party that I could consider supporting. I did not leave them. They left me.
Sphere: Related Content
Friday, May 16, 2008
When a Black young man was allegedly beaten by Jews, it is automatically assumed first that his Jewish assailants were motivated by racial hatred. A Jewish boy is beaten, reportedly by African Americans and suffers so severe a concussion that he has no memory of the attack. It is immediately assumed that it was not a hate crime, and the level of public interest drops accordingly. It is quite likely that the violence of the attack was fueled by an anti-Jewish animus. Unfortunately, this is of no interest to the Brooklyn District attorney. The trickle down effect on police in Brooklyn comes at the cost of the Jewish community, that attempts to defend itself with guardians of political correctness policing its every move. It is ironic that this racial pandering is diverting valuable police resources from bringing murderers of African Americans to justice. Police often will work harder to solve a crime when there is a public outcry. There were eleven murders in the 71st precinct in 2007. There were children who went missing. They need to be spoken for in a forceful manner. Not only is the pain of Jewish residents of Crown Heights ignored, but also the fear and pain of our neighbours. Posturing as a crusader against bigotry before all the facts are in is a cheap way to manipulate and pander to African American voters. It is painfully clear that prioritisation in law enforcement is highly political.
As divided as our Jewish community is, there is an underlying feeling that we are all family, that we are all responsible for one another. In the current political climate, this solidarity is an absolute necessity, when number crunchers downtown decide that we cast too few votes to matter.
I believe that we should have an organisation like Amnesty International to lobby for crime victims. Amnesty International has thousands of individual chapters all around the world, each of which adopts a political detainee. They write their adoptive prisoner, and petition his government for his freedom. This often results in the prisoner being treated better, because of fear of bad publicity and other repercussions. Many such prisoners have credited their eventual release to Amnesty International.
We should use the same tactics to lobby for victims of unsolved murders and other serious crimes. This group should attend the trials of suspects if and when they are apprehended Efraim Klein was one of eleven murder victims in the 71st precinct in 2007. His was not the only unsolved murder that year. There should be a multiracial group divided into chapters that will lobby for Mr. Klein and others like him whose murderers remain among us. I call upon the communal leadership in Crown Heights of all ethnicities to assist us in this endeavour.
There is much anger among my neighbours in Crown Heights about rising crime . It is magnified by a perception of governmental complacency and indifference. I want to conclude this article by mentioning four individuals, the memory of whose violent deaths stokes the fires of collective indignation.
Bela Meyerfeld Murdered 1983 Crime Unsolved
Shlome Fishman Murdered 1986 Crime Unsolved
Israel Rosen Murdered 1986 Crime Unsolved
Yankel Rosenbaum Murdered 1991 Crime "Unsolved"
Efraim Klein Murdered 2007 Crime Unsolved
Pessa Leah LaPine Murdered 1992 Perpetrator Apprehended
I call upon my African American neighbours to join us in speaking and praying for their silenced loved ones together with us . Do not let them be nameless. Do not forget them . May their memory be a blessing . May G-d avenge their blood.
Copyright 2008 by Rudi Stettner of rudistettner.com and thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Thursday, May 15, 2008
A footnote to the story of the Titanic is the story of Jack Johnson. In the early part of the century, Jack Johnson was a professional boxer. He became one of the best paid African American entertainers in the country. He enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. It was well within his means to book passage on the Titanic, a luxury ship deemed unsinkable. He purchased a ticket to travel in style on its maiden voyage. At the dock, he was barred from the ship. In the days of Jim Crow, 47 years after the abolition of slavery, even money could not talk for a Black man. The slight to Jack Johnson saved his life. Had he been allowed on board, he might well have been numbered among the fatalities.
While waiting in an office for an appointment, I once heard a similar story . The difference was that the "victim" who I spoke to was Jewish. Years after she told me her story, I read a story in Reader's Digest that corroborated crucial details of her story.
Rachel had just graduated from high school. She and her family needed the money that a job could bring. Summer was half over. She was spending money she could not afford to part with on subway fares. Day after day she kept coming home with no job.
One day, she read about a secretarial job that paid thirty five dollars a week. In 1945 that was a generous starting wage. The position was well within Rachel's capabilities. It was for a nationally known religious organisation. Rachel packed a lunch and set out yet again for Manhattan. The interview went very well. Rachel handled an interview, a typing test and questions about the switchboard with grace and competence. She was hired on the spot, given paperwork to complete for the payroll department and informed of her benefits as an employee. It almost seemed like an afterthought when the personnel manager asked Rachel, "By the way, what should we put down for your religion?" Rachel felt herself blush as she paused for a second. Her light skin and blonde hair made a lot of people think she was German or Scandinavian. She was accustomed to hearing jokes and cutting remarks about Jews that made her angry. Despite feeling uneasy about the question, Rachel answered calmly, "I'm Jewish".
The woman's face fell and she shook her head."I'm so sorry." she said, We do not hire anyone of the Jewish faith in this office. Catholic or Protestant , is no problem But we don't hire Jews.
Rachel started to cry. She begged and pleaded.She asked to speak to a manager, and explained how badly she needed the job. All was to no avail. She left the office in tears, and buried her face in a newspaper on the subway so other passengers would not see her crying.
The job she ended up getting was factory work in a dreary building with windows opaque from years of accumulated dirt. It was harder work for more hours and less money than the Manhattan secretarial job that she had been denied. When she arrived home in the evening from her shift the smell of solder in her clothing seemed like a tangible reminder of what could have been.
One Saturday late in July, she was coming home from synagogue after mid day. Neighbours were talking in hushed tones about some terrible news. Rachel stopped to ask what had happened . With World War Two still raging in the Pacific , she was anxious when people gathered in the street to discuss news.
"Can you believe that?" an old man said "Straight into the Empire State Building!"
That morning, July 28, a B25 bomber crashed into the Empire State Building It was lost in fog . Fourteen people were killed. The office she had left in tears a few weeks before had sustained a direct hit and the brunt of the casualties. In stunned silence and speechless gratitude, Rachel walked home from synagogue, thinking of what could have been. http://www.cosmik.com/aa-april02/dj82.html
Copyright 2008 by Rudi Stettner of rudistettner.com and thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Presidential front runner Barack Hussein Obama has declared Israel to be a "constant wound" and a "constant sore" infecting U.S. foreign policy during an interview with the Atlantic Monthly. He expressed the belief that America's support of Israel was a source of constant irritation for those looking to attack the U.S.
Although Obama says nice things about the influence Israel has had on him, the shift from viewing Israel as a well placed and reliable ally to the status of world irritant would signal a disturbing shift in American policy if Obama were elected. If this is the way Obama talks before the November elections, I don't even want to think about what he would advocate if he were elected. With cabinet members from Jimmy Carter's cabinet, Jane Fonda and Hamas expressing their open support for Obama, it is clear what Jews and Israel could expect under an Obama administration. I am deeply offended that in a world that has seen famine in North Korea , millions of deaths in the Congo, genocide in Rwanda and Sudan, Barack Hussein Obama can find no greater "irritant" than the state of Israel. Mr. Obama seems to be determined to appease America's enemies with concessions that will never please them. His ill considered choice of words has a disturbing similarity to "Die Juden sindd unseren Ungluck". (The Jews are our misfortune")His attitudes towards foreign policy remind me of Neville Chamberlain and his infamous capitulation to Hitler in 1938. I am very interested in "peace in our time". That is why I believe that Barack Hussein Obama is bad for America.
Copyright 2008 by Rudi Stettner of rudistettner.com and thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Albert Einstein Quotations (Compiled by Ken Harris
* "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
* "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
* "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."
* "I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
* "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."
* "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
* "The only real valuable thing is intuition."
* "A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."
* "I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."
* "God is subtle but he is not malicious."
* "Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."
* "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."
* "The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."
* "Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."
* "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
* "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
* "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
* "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
* "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
* "Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it."
* "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
* "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
* "God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically."
* "The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."
* "Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."
* "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."
* "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."
* "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
* "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."
* "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."
* "Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."
* "Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity."
* "If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
* "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
* "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
* "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
* "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
* "In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep."
* "The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."
* "Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves."
* "Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!"
* "No, this trick won't work...How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?"
* "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
* "Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever."
* "The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."
* "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
* "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
* "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
* "The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."
* "Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
* "You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."
* "One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year."
* "...one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought."
* "He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."
* "A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
* "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." (Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton)
Copyright: Kevin Harris 1995 (may be freely distributed with this acknowledgement) Sphere: Related Content
Albert Einstein has long been quoted to support various viewpoints in the realm of religious belief. Until the Nazis came to power, neither he nor his family had registered as official members of the Jewish community. Throughout the last century as well as now, many European countries had a system of collecting tithes on behalf of whatever religious community one has registered as one's own. In Germany before Hitler and now, those who register no religious affiliation have the same amount taken out for the religious tax as those who register a religious preference. The money is simply given to a general charity. It is generally agreed that the Nazi rise to power provided a rude awakening to the Einsteins of their Jewish roots.
There are many quotes in which Einstein puts to rest any doubts about his belief in G-d, most notable of which is his famous statement " I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."
His attitudes towards the Jewish scriptures and chosenness of the Jewish people has been proven to be very similar to that prevailing among assimilated German Jews of his time. A recent letter written by Einstein was put up at auction in London was written to the philosopher Eric Gutkind in which he says as follows: "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.".
In the same letter, he rejects the chosenness of the Jewish people in the following paragraph. "For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."
Because this letter is dated in 1954, not long before Einstein's death, it is being presented as the "last word" from him concerning his religious beliefs. I believe the truth to be more complex than that. Einstein spent his entire life questioning assumptions about the physical world, broadening as he did so his knowledge and that of humanity as well. Believers in G-d are fond of quoting Einstein's musings about G-d such as "I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details." The new letter seems to decisively rebut any assertion that Einstein was a believer.
Study of the physical world tends to be cumulative. One builds upon a basic foundation, which influences future study. A theory can be arrived at to describe the physical world. Experimentation will either verify or disprove existing beliefs. New variables are discovered, theories discarded and revised . In the case of atomic theory for instance, new kinds of sub-particles are being discovered that are sending prompting revisions in existing theory. Planets are being discovered that explain a wobble in the orbit of other planets.
Years ago, my rabbi in Morristown New Jersey (Now of Seagate) , Avraham Lipskier told us "G-d knows how to hide much better than you know how to look for him".
Einstein was a searcher who saw a greater intelligence at work in the world.
"The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility." said Einstein, seemingly alluding to a guiding intelligence.
Many people fluctuate between faith and disbelief. The hiddenness of G-d and freedom of choice assumed terrifying implications in Germany and the former U.S.S.R. that formed the looming backdrop of Einstein's world. A man who is accustomed to forming a complete picture in designing a theory might well become a religious skeptic after looking at the events of the Einstein century. Even people of faith have moments and hours of doubt. Though a giant in his knowledge of science, Einstein was not well versed in Jewish tradition. Though his scientific theory was on the cutting edge, the contents of his 1954 letter fit in well with prevailing opinions among secular German Jews.
To believe and later question one's belief is a human condition not confined to Einstein. Though he died in 1955, Einstein was constantly questioning the world as he knew it. Life is a work in progress. Death is seldom a finely scripted closing paragraph. It is often more like a candid picture that captures the spirit of a moment or the mood of an hour. Einstein's letter gives a more complete picture of his range of feeling and opinion. It is an important still frame in a moving picture.
Copyright 2008 by Rudi Stettner of rudistettner.com and thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Monday, May 12, 2008
(Obama visits 57 States)
A secret of Barack Obama's success has finally been uncovered!!! He has visited 57 U.S. states and only has two more to go!! I am sure that if Hillary Clinton discovers the states missing from the her itinerary, she will catch up with Barack Hussein Obama. Obama got a lot of flack for video coverage of him refusing to stand at attention during the national anthem(as portrayed below) We now know that he simply wanted to salute a flag with the correct number of stars. As can be seen in the lower right hand video, disagreement about the proper design of the flag is even more basic at a headquarters for Obama volunteers in Texas, where a Cuban flag with a picture of Che Guevara on it is on the wall .
There is a joke that is told about vice presidential candidate Dan Quayle speaking to an African American audience . According to the joke, he said, "I want you all to know that I am a great admirer of Malcolm the tenth."
I am grateful to Obama for providing some much needed mirth in this campaign. I am sure that he will salute the flag, as soon as he finds one with the correct number of stars.
Comments only Copyright 2008 by Rudi Stettner of rudistettner.com (a division of thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Because of the precedent established by the Clintons, we must now ask of Michelle Obama, would she ever run for president? What are her core beliefs? Her infamous statement that she is proud to be an American for the first time in her life, after her stump speeches in South Carolina in which she decried America as "downright mean" do not inspire my confidence in her ability to unite the country. Her opinions make me wonder what sort of talk prevails in Barack Obama's inner circle. She seems like a strong minded woman, unafraid to speak her mind. But she and Barack both went to Reverend Wright's church. Why did she not object to venom from the pulpit? Since a First Lady running for president is no longer unthinkable, we have a right to scrutinise her record as well. Michelle Obama expresses a lot of resentment against America. Reverend Wright was the minister who officiated over their marriage. It seems that there are not only questions about Barack Obama's Reverend Wright but his Mrs Right as well.
Copyright 2008 By Rudi Stettner of rudistettner.com and thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Friday, May 9, 2008
Tundra Tabloids has praised a German court for ruling against parents of a Muslim girl who asked that she be excused from mixed swimming classes for reasons of modesty. I disagree. Orthodox Jews have the same restrictions on mixed swimming. There are also some strict Christian denominations who frown on men and women swimming together as well. Some might be embarassed to swim in mixed company for reasons that have nothing to do with religion at all. If someone objects to swimming with someone not of their racial or religious group, the government should in no way accomodate it, but there should be room in society for differing types of religious observance.
There are issues where I could easily make common cause in America with religious Muslims, such as legalising government support for religious schools. A growing number of Muslims, like Orthodox Jews, want their own schools. I would welcome their support on this and possibly other issues. The quality of Muslim and Jewish life in Europe and America could be much improved if we could work together on issues of common concern. There have been times of harmonious Judaeo Islamic relations in the past. There is no reason that these times can not return.
Copyright 2008 By Magdeburger Joe of rudistettner.com and thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content
Today is May 9. Although I am American, I observe this anniversary of Germany's surrender to the Soviet Union as a holiday. The people of the former USSR lost twenty million civilians and soldiers in the war. Their casualties and suffering were magnified by Stalin's paranoia, which drove his purges of Soviet military leadership and his blind trust of Nazi Germany, with whom he had concluded a treaty of friendship that lasted from 1939 to 1941. My respect for the fight of the Soviet peoples who fought Hitler does not extend to Stalin, who was a Nazi collaborator until forced to fight Germany after their invasion in 1941. I honour Jewish partisans without reservation, but recount with bitterness the cruelty of some Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and other partisans who not infrequently made common cause with the Nazis in killing Jews.
The war against the Jews begun by Hitler in 1933 and World War Two intersect but are not identical. Although it is clear that saving Jewish lives was not a high priority to the Allied powers, their victory was of course critical to survival of the surviving remnants of the Jews in Europe. In this week, Israeli Memorial Day, Israeli Independence Day and May 9 all are celebrated one after another. It is for me a time of gratitude to G-d for the survival of the Jewish nation and Torah against all natural odds.
As I observe this week of deliverance from our enemies, I pray for the final messianic redemption for the sake not only of the Jewish people but for the sake of a suffering world.
Copyright on comments only by Magdeburger Joe of rudistettner.com and thewinterriders.com Sphere: Related Content