Sunday, February 27, 2011

Syria/Charlie Sheen/Stephen Walt

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

There was a great piece in Friday's New York Post in which Benny Avni asks the question as to why the US is not doing more to force out Assad in Syria. His point is that the Assad family have been brutal dictators in Syria (his father killed 40,000 people in 1982 to put down a rebellion), the seeds of rebellion are alive in Syria and that Syria with its nuclear plants being rebuilt and its sponsorship of Hamas and Hezbollah makes the Assad dictatorship one of the world's most dangerous regimes. Yet, if you take a look at this month's Vogue magazine (my wife gets the magazine and showed me the article), there is a puff piece on Assad's wife. She is portrayed as a woman of the world and Syria as a country for all cultures. Mrs. Assad tells the author that "There is a very big Jewish quarter in old Damascus." The only problem, as the author points out, is that the Jewish quarter consists of sealed up houses as most Jews left Syria in 1992. When you consider Syria's brutal repression of its citizens and its sponsorship of terror, it is shocking that the Assad family can pick up positive press. Shame on Vogue.

I know that the ADL said that it was borderline anti-semitism, but it was mildly funny that Charlie Sheen insulted the executive producer of his tx show, Chuck Lorre, by calling him by his birth name, Chaim Levine. Mr. Levine may try to hide his Jewishness but ultimately the Charlie Sheens of the world will never let you forget from where you came, no matter what you change your name to.

___________________________________________________________________________Wall Street Journal exposes the idiocy of Stephen Walt, the anti-semitic/arab shill who co-wrote "The Israel Lobby". This is what Walt said in January about Libya, "Athough Libya is far from a democracy, it also doesn't feel like other police states I have visited. I caught no whiff of an omnipresent security service- which is not to say that they aren't there... Nonetheless, Libya appears to be more open than contemporary Iran or China and the overall atmosphere seemed far less oppressive than most places I visited in the old Warsaw Pact..." Good call Mr. Walt.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Our clueless President

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

President Obama came out of hiding after four days of silence to announce that he had decided how he was going to react to the incredible events occurring in Libya- he was going to send Sec. of State Clinton to Geneva to meet with other diplomats. We may go to the UN for help as well and may even ask for Libya to be kicked off the Human Rights Council. Way to go Mr. President. With one of our all-time enemies on the ropes, Obama loses his voice. The world needs American leadership now more than ever. If only we had a leader worth listening to.
At the same time, Obama has decided that the Justice Department will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA defines marriage as an act between heterosexuals and frees one state from being required to honor the same-sex marriage conducted in another state. 39 states have laws based on DOMA. There are few issues which are bigger political losers than gay marriage. A clear majority in this country are against it and anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives always are passed, no matter the state (even California). If the President wants to make gay marriage an issue in 2012, all the better for the Republicans.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Susan Rice/Jeff Bingaman/Scott Walker/Pirates

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

It was nice to see David Gregory rip Susan Rice (the US Ambassador to the UN) on Meet the Press on Sunday. Considering some of the great pro-Israel UN Ambassadors that our country has had over the years (Moynihan, Kirkpatrick, Bolton), it is shocking that our current ambassador is the anti-Israel Rice. Gregory exposed Rice for the Administration's lack of a coherent policy with respect to the revolts occurring in the Arab world. When it came to Israel, Rice was clear that Israeli settlements are "illegitimate". I am not sure I follow how settlements are legal but not legitimate but thats not the point. Rice should be blasting the Palestinians for not being prepared to negotiate, not blasting the Israelis for building apartment buildings on their land.

Jeff Bingaman became the fourth Democratic Senator to announce that he will not be running in 2012. Its going to be a big year for Republicans in 2012. It will be important to get a first rate Republican to run against Obama.

Governor Scott Walker and the Republicans are fighting the good fight in Wisconsin. Their victory over the unions will pave the way for further victories in other states over public employee unions. What Walker is doing is exactly what he promised to do if elected. Now that he is carrying it out the unions are going crazy. Defeating the unions is good policy and good politics.
The murder of 4 Americans by Somali pirates this morning underscores the problem that pirates are posing to the shipping world. Obama needs to develop a plan to defeat them. The first step is to bring the 13 captured pirates to New York for American justice.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wendy Runge

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

This week's Five Towns Jewish Times has an article by Rabbi Chaim Goldberger and an accompanying ad from Rabbi Michel Twerski about the case of an Orthodox Jewish film maker Wendy Runge. Mrs. Runge was indicted in Iowa for fraud in connection with tax credits that she received from the state. According to Rabbi Goldberger, he attends the trial of Runge so that he can ensure that she receives a fair trial. After all he is certain of Runge's "absolute innocence". He is hopeful that the state of Iowa "run this trial fairly and properly, without prejudice or injustice." The not so subtle insinuation is that the state is anti-semitic and out to get local Jews. The accompanying ad from Rabbi Twerski is not as subtle. Calling this a case of Pidyon Shevuyim, the ad says that the state was looking for a scapegoat. The ad continues " the wake of the sensational Rubashkin scandal, they settled on the conspicuously Jewish Mrs. Runge and charged her with 15 felony counts that could place her in prison for 25 years!!" He goes on to add that its clear that Iowa is anti-semitic and on a mission to discredit Jews in the state.  The ad concludes with an address where checks in support of Mrs. Runge can be sent.

Those of us who are somewhat familiar with the law realize that anti-semitic conspiracies are generally rare and are quite uncommon in the offices of the state attorney general's office. Not to mention the equation with the Rubashkin case doesn't make much sense as Rubashkin was convicted in federal court, not in Iowa state court. The article or ad do not explain what Runge was charged with and why they are convinced that she is innocent. Suffice to say, the ad was preposterous and embarrassing.

Now comes word that Runge has pleaded guilty to one count of felony fraud.


"The first film tax credit trial ended in a win for the state. Wendy Weiner Runge pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. By doing that, the state dismissed the other four charges against her. The only time we heard from the Minnesota movie maker during the trial was when she admitted her guilt. "They contained false statements your honor," Weiner Runge told the Judge. "Statements that were false that you knew were false?" asked Polk Count District Court Judge Douglas Staskal. "Correct," she answered. "Did you do this for the purpose of obtaining economic assistance from the state of Iowa?" "Yes sir," replied Weiner Runge says. In her statement to the court, Weiner Runge said she acted with Tom Wheeler, the former head of the Iowa Film Office when she changed the documents. Her guilty plea isn't connected to the movie, The Scientist, even though her production company collected $1.85 million dollars in tax incentives for making the movie. Her plea applies to one of the projects she had in the works. Weiner Runge filed 13 applications with the state just before the state placed a cap on the program. Today, she admitted that she committed fraud when she swapped one project for another. Deputy Attorney General Thomas Henry Miller says the state isn't done getting to the bottom of what went wrong with the tax incentive program. "We wish to continue to investigate and unravel and solve what happened here to hold accountable those who did in fact commit crimes and thefts and abuses against the Iowa Film Office and against the people of the state of Iowa," he says. Fraudulent practice in the first degree carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. After accepting her guilty plea, the judge made it clear that there is no guarantee for sentencing. She also agreed to testify if asked by the state in any upcoming film tax credit trial."

So Runge, who took the fifth during the trial, now admits that she is guilty of fraud. Thus, the cries of anti-semitism now appear to be like the child who cried wolf. It is a black eye for our community when respected Rabbis vouch for the innocence of our people, claim that the state is anti-semitic and then turn out to be wrong. Such finger pointing should not be the role of our Rabbinate as it makes our community look like we do not take this type of criminal activity seriously.

Three questions:
1. Will the Rabbis involved in the ad and article admit next week that they were wrong and that Mrs. Runge is a felon and a fraud and deserves a jail sentence?
2. Will all involved apologize to the Iowa public servants whose reputations were soiled by these accusations?
3. Will all the money that was collected by the "Rabbi's Tzedakah Fund" on behalf of Runge be returned to the donors?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Arab hypocrisy/Len Lesser

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

Lets get this straight: The Arab street is enraged as the people are demanding freedom. Each Arab country is a more brutal dictatorship. Just today Bahrain opened fire on protesters. 300 are dead in Eygpt. And who is the Security Council focusing its attention on? Israel and its settlements. With the US offering a compromise resolution which would slam Israel, the Arabs seek to divert attention from the brutality in which it treats its own citizens. And the US is falling for it. Republicans need to hold the President accountable for any anti-Israel resolutions which pass the Security Council.

Len Lesser, the actor who played Uncle Leo on Seinfeld, died yesterday. As he was one of my favorite actors I am posting this clip in his memory.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eygpt/Tuition Crisis

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

The events which have unfolded in the past few days in the Middle East have truly been extraordinary. As has been mentioned by numerous commentators, it is truly the Arab World's 1989. With protests in countries like Iran, and Yemen, the winds of freedom are blowing. There is a great piece in today's WSJ by L. Gordon Crovitz which describes the Eygptian authorities shock that the revolt was not backed by foreign authorities. "The authorities learned there was something even worse than foreign involvement: no foreign involvement. Spurred by decades of authoritarian rule, Eygptian netizens had organized themselves." And so it has been in these other countries- citizens organizing themselves with the use of Facebook and Twitter. Now is the time for American leadership on this issue. While Obama spoke up way too late on behalf of the Eygptian protesters, he can redeem himself with strong words for the citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Jordan who wish to live in freedom.

There is no greater crisis on the domestic Jewish front than the tuition crisis. No problem affects more Jewish families than the insane amounts that yeshivas are charging parents for a Jewish education. For better or worse, some families take into account the cost of tuition when deciding how many children to have. This is a crisis which must be dealt with immediately. While some Jewish organizations have had conferences on the subject, many of the ideas don't address the real problem. The idea which is commonly put forward by some in the community is tax credits or vouchers from the government. Yet these would only be eligible to those making under a set income threshold which most in our community aleady hit. Do I have the answers? No. But I do know that part of the problem is the failure of schools to make sure that they are collecting tuition from all parents. From what I have been told schools on all levels allow parents to not pay tuition if they claim to be unablle to afford it. This puts an unfair burden on those parents who are willing to pay full tuition. Better screening would allow only the extreme cases to not pay tuition- these non-paying parents would then volunteer at the school as an exchange for a portion of the tuition being excused. But these cases should be rare. The financial books of the schools should be placed on-line so that parents could ensure that waste is being cut at their schools. Time is of the essence to solve this crisis.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Egypt/Global Warming/Webb

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

It has been inspiring to watch the protesters demonstrate in the Cairo streets against the brutal dictator, Hosni Mubarak. Nobody knows how the situation will play out, but all people deserve the opportunity to live in freedom with the rights that we enjoy here in America. It was a positive step hearing the White House strongly criticize Mubarak's decision to stay on in power. We need to keep the pressure on until Mubarak is removed from power and continually pressure Arab countries to liberalize their countries and allow for greater freedoms.

As the most brutal of winters continues in the northeast continues, it is an opportune time to ask if the liberals are willing to drop their insistence that the earth is warming at a dangerous pace? The left has taken up the argument that all weather events (snow, ice, brutal cold) are a result of global warming.
The announcement of Jim Webb that he would not seek re-election in 2012 is a major blow to the Senate Democrats and a sign that 2012 will be difficult for the Democratic Party. With two Democrats in red states already announcing that they will not seek re-election in 2012 and with the re-election map stacked against the Democrats, the odds of the Democrats retaining control of the Senate in 2012 are long (and becoming longer).


Monday, February 07, 2011

Back to the cold

Tomorrow we leave back to N.J. Unfortunately I have to cut our winter short in order to undergo spinal surgery hopefully this Fri. I have not yet asked any of my kids if they have time to blog for me.I may be out for a considerable time.
UK Prime Miniister Cameron stated that "multiculteralism" has not worked in England.Neither has it workrd for most EWuropean countries in regard to their Moslem immigrants.
If Egypt falls to the Moslem Brotherhood,I predict a big negative reaction here in the States, against the left and Obama pussyfooting with Islamic fundamentalism.Every time the Justice Dept announces an arrest against these guys-we never hear the woods "Islamic fundamentalism"-real denial.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


It is amazing what comes out of the mouths and pens of the left.Some recent examples (last week).
George Soros, one of the wealthiest enemies of Jewish nationalism and the Medina,wrote in the Washington Post that the main stumbling block to progress in the ME is Israel.All this as he pushes the Brotherhood.
Thomas Friedman writes that now is the perfect timt time for Israel to make concessions to Abbas.Would you trust an Arab entity with your life and your country?
Chris Mathhews of CNBC,firstly describes the path of Obamacare through the courts,and after millions voted for Obama, it will all fall on Justice Kennedy.HOW HE ASKS,CAN WE TEACH THE DEMONSTRATORS IN CAIRO ABOUT DEMOCRACY,WHEN ONE MAN CAN OVERTURN THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE?
Huh! the fact that this bill was a one party bill,repudiated by the voters in Nov.,and working its way up the judicial system at the behest of 26 States that counts for nought.
O'Donnell on the same nework somehow connects the Tea Party with negative aspects of the crowds in Cairo.

How can Bibi promise more Paletinian Jerusalem costruction,to keep the quartet quiet,whrn he does nothing about building E-1?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Obamacare / Moslem Brotherhood /Father-Son

The strict party line vote by the Dems in the Senate to oppose repeal of Obamacare is part of the opening battle for the Senate in 2012.As I recall Gov. Manchin of W. Va while running for the seat of the late Harry Byrd,said he opposed Obamacare.He will now have to defend his vote and this unconstitutional legislation.
The two Sen Nelson's will likewise have to defend their votes in states with the people opposed to Obamacare.
I don't know why 1 side cannot approach the Supreme Court for an expedited hearing, and not wait years .

It now appears that when Obama went to Cairo, he invited the Moslem Brotherhood to attend his presentation.Now there are reports that the former US Ambassador to Egypt, sent by Obama to meet with Mubarak,met with the Brotherhood in the US embassy.Obama does not realize the fire he is playing with.

As a followup of last nites note on democracy in the area, we must make note of the obvious.Jordan, Syria and Saudia Arabia have leaders handed down from father to son.Egypt was about to do that before the demonstrations.This pattern has prevented the development of any viable democratic opposition-and we -the US wew and are a part of the problem.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Democracy / Truth in campaigning

We are so fortunate to be able to live in this great democracy.In addition we mouth the concept that "democracy" is the ideal for every nation.However, without a feeling and training such as the rule of law,free press,equal rights for women, and the right of assembly, democracy cannot survive.
Thus when Condy Rice pressured Israel to allow election by the Palestinians,we got a huge Hamas victory.
It is important for the Egyptian military to maintain a semblance of order in the transition,and prevent the Moslem Brotherhood from causing havoc.
El Baredai has no constituency,having lived in Vienna,and the Brotherhood will coapt him.After 30m years Egyptians need jobs and honest govt,.then an itroduction nto real democracy

Many years ago when George Bush was Gov, of Texas,and was running for President,I was at an AIPAC officers meeting in a Washingto hotel.Someone announced Condoleeza Rice, then a foreign policy advisor to Bush was in the lobby,and they would try to get her to come down to speak to us.
After her talk,she invited questions.I asked bluntly" if Bush were elected,what would he do regarding the US embassy in Jerusalem?,and if she said he would move it,Why should I believe you?
She answered," the first day in office, he would start the process of moving the embassy to Jerusalem,and knowing Bush as she did,he never lies".
After the meeting she walked over to me and told me she appreciated the question.
This week, I read in Wikkileaks that she told Arab governments-don't listen to Presidential candidates who make promises on US voters!