America should NOT share interests with Israel


…not as long as Israel’s racist zionism is the cornerstone of its relationships with other countries in the world, and especially America.  Here’s why.  Suppose you are a faithful and conscientious employee for your boss and a client walks into the establishment where you work and upon knowing that your name is John Doe asks your boss not to have you deal with them because of your name and your ethnicity.  You have done nothing wrong; your boss has no problems with your work record; you are fully observant of the rules and regulations of your job in every way down to attire and grooming, but it’s just that sticky issue of your name and the color of your skin that irks your boss’ client, and your boss agrees with his rather racist customer that you shouldn’t deal with him and removes you from that task.  When you demand to know why it is you were not able to help the rather bigoted client you are further punished by having your salary reduced by 60% and learn that everyone else with your Anglo-saxon like name and complexion has been similarly treated.

That’s what happened to one Mohammed Arafi, pictured below,  who worked for the  Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC when an Israeli delegation came into town and stained the Nation’s capital with their discriminatory notions of doing business.  In their case, however, they didn’t want to be served by Muslims such as Mr. Arafi and told his employers as much. Of course, Mr. Arafi complained and as a result was even more disciplined by his employer. Surely it must have occurred to the Mandarin that it was breaking the law by acceding to the Israelis’ demands; however, they compounded an already bad situation by citing a national security directive from the State Department that seem to question Mr. Arafi’s security clearance and barred him from being around the Israelis.  Evidently the Israeli concern was not that Arafi was a physical danger to them, it was simply that he was Muslim……Arafi had been cleared to work around no less than a former President of the United States, George W. Bush  weeks prior to the Israelis coming to town.

As an American citizen, Arafi has a right to legal redress, which he pursued and thankfully it landed in the lap of US District Court judge Barbara J. Rothstein, who didn’t buy the line that Israel and America can discriminate against American citizens because of Israeli racism, nor did she accept the lame excuse that discrimination against Arafi was because of some made up national security issue, saying

the court determines that the national security exemption does not immunize Defendant (Mandarin Hotel)  from liability as to Plaintiff’s (Arafi) retaliation claim…….. Drawing all inferences in favor of Plaintiff, the court determines that Plaintiff has successfully alleged that he engaged in protected activity when he complained of discrimination…… the court determines that Plaintiff’s complaint advances sufficient facts to support his racial discrimination claim.

 

What’s troubling is that a foreign country’s delegation can insist that an American institution break American law to serve the interests of that foreign power, and what’s frightening is that many are all to willing to do so.  However this has become a pattern in US/Israel relations, where the US, a pluralistic society is asked to give up a lot more than a racialist society like Israel in order to maintain  relationships across a broad spectrum of activity.  Israel has a history of a blatant disregard for the human rights of Arabs and Muslims within its ever expanding borders and has brought that legacy to the shores of America where the likes of Mohamed Arafi are its victims. Luckily for him and us, there are still some in American institutions, like Judge Rothstein pictured above, who believe in the ideals of racial equality that are the antithesis of the Israeli model.  Whether Arafi will be successful in his law suit against his employer is not final yet and the ruling by judge Rothstein admittedly is both for and against the plaintiff but it’s a powerful statement to make that racism will not be imposed in the American workplace even by such a strident “ally” as Israel.

 

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Uncle Toming with bigots


Every group of people has them.  You know the ones who are effusive with praise for people who conceivably mean them harm, therby hoping to be accepted by these sheep in wolves’  clothing.  Jews call such people, self hating jews, and African Americans call them Uncle Toms. Meet today’s new Uncle Tom. Allen West, the newly elected US congressman from Florida went on The Shalom Show, that alone should tell you where this is going, and when asked a very leading and bigoted question about  Keith Ellison, another US congressman from Minnesota, and Islam had this to say:

Well I think it’s most important that I stand upon the principles that people elected me to go to Washington, DC and represent them on Capitol Hill. So that when you run into someone that is counter, or someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established, you’ve got to be able to defeat them intellectually in debate and discourse, and you to just have to be able to challenge each and every one of their assertions very wisely and very forthright (sic).

First off, it’s embarrassing for a Jew in America, with all the history that means to ask anyone to comment on the religious preference of any other American in a defamatory manner.  I wish someone would call the ADL on the announcer, host Richard Peritz for asking a question he knew would solicit the kind of hatred he and other Jews in America once feared and fought against.  But then to have West, an African American member of Congress respond to  that fear mongering and bigotry in kind, well that’s just mighty white of him.

Hatred and racism have come full circle in America.  A black man and  a Jew team up together to denigrate the choice of a fellow American and imply that such an American has no right to that choice and should be discriminated against because of it.  That’s where America is today, in the 21st century, in the year of our lord, 2011.  This is who we’ve become and it is as ugly today as it was in during the days of the Jim Crow south and as worthy of the attention of the masses of people to protest and demonstrate against.  Racism must be alleviated in America; it is detestable no matter who spews it, even if they were once its victims, they cannot, must not victimize others with it!

Can I get a hell yeah!


2 Reps. Say They’ll Now Carry Guns In Their Home Districts

In the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others in Arizona this weekend, Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Heath Shuler (D-NC) say that they will carry firearms when in their home districts.

“You never think something like this will happen, but then it does,” Shuler told Politico “After the elections, I let my guard down. Now I know I need to have [my gun] on me. We’re going to need to do a much better job of with security at these events.”

According to Politico, each lawmakers holds a conceal and carry permit, and Shuler is encouraging his staffers to get their own.

Chaffetz also suggested U.S. Marshalls should guard members during events.

“Perhaps they could better assess threats in the home district,” he said. “It certainly ought to be on the table.”

Chaffetz added that he may ask local police to attend his town halls more often. Neither lawmaker plans to carry a weapon while in Washington DC.

I like the idea of self-reliance coming from two civil servants.  I hope they are as adamant about the rights of their constituents to personal safety as they are for themselves.  Moreover, I hope they don’t see this as an us vs. them dilemma where they have to protect themselves from the voters, only from the criminals among them.  I take note of the bipartisanship in this initiative and hope it’s catching in more ways than one.  I like this senator’s approach to the issue of personal safety and wish more thought like him.

GREAT STUFF


Below are two of my favorite signs from this past weekend’s event in Washington, DC.  the rally for fear or something like that.  The meaning of the rally’s name escapes me right now; I think it was in reaction to Beck’s rally earlier of tea party supporters, and no, I’m not gonna’ get into the numbers game either.  Of the two rallies, I would hang out with the people at this latest one and the signs below point out why.  For a full look at all the signs head over to HuffPost.

 

A Disturbing Trend


New York Has the Most Millionaires
Robert Frank

According to the new Metro Wealth Index, created by consulting firm Capgemini, the New York Metropolitan area had 650,000 high-net worth individuals, or people with $1 million or more in investible assets in 2009. That is 18.7% higher than in 2008.

Once again, the New York area topped the list of metro-area wealth centers. Its total was greater than the combined total of the next three runners up–Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington.

Of the top 10, Houston posted the the fastest growth, at 28.9%. But all enjoyed strong growth.

Here are the tallies of millionaires for the top 10, along with the percentage growth:

New York – 667,200, +18.7%

Los Angeles – 235,800, +13.3%

Chicago – 198,100, +15.1%

Washington, D.C. – 152,400 +19.3%

San Francisco – 138,300 +14.5%

Philadelphia – 104,100, +20.1%

Boston – 102,300, + 14.4%

Detroit – 89,100, +12.1%

Houston –- 88,200, +28.9%

San Jose — 86,500, +24.5%

What are the takeaways?

First, that the U.S. taxpayers’ bank bailouts certainly helped those on Wall Street (though why New York still has huge budget problems given the wealth surge in 2009 and much-publicized tax burden of the wealthy remains a mystery).

Second, that finance, technology and oil remain the main sources of wealth in the U.S.

Third, while New York, D.C., Houston and San Jose are now above 2007 levels, the rest are still below the 2007 heights.

Fourth, that 2010 may not be as rosy as 2009 when it comes to minting new millionaires or re-minting the old ones.
What patterns do you see in the numbers?

The seat of government, Washington, DC,  placed in the top five American cities with millionaires and that should say something about what government has done to its citizens.  In a city where the only business is government which then goes and has a steadily increasing number of millionaires from one year to the next but was virtually deadlocked and or engaged in acrimonious debate on increasing unemployment benefits for the country’s unemployed says something about what many people in government think is their role.  The war on terror has led to the enrichment of many private citizens whose wealth depends on a fearful government willing to empty out its coffers to fight or demonize people who either don’t exist, mean them no harm or are incapable of inflicting harm, at the expense of the majority of the American people.  In this case, the expression ‘follow the money’ has meaning!

The Excesses of Big Government


I’ve tweeted and blogged about the racist anger and angst of Obama’s opposition which has formed around the tea bagger movement.  They’ve talked about how they are opposed to government spending and other excesses, as well they should be but it seems their anger is selective as well as counter productive and inconsistent.  Many among the progressive movement can correctly point to the fact that progressives have far more integrity about their opposition to government than the newly arrived carpet….er…make that tea baggers and two stories in this week’s news bear that out.

The first story is about the very meaning of government, and the belief that the smaller it is the more efficient it is at meeting the needs of the people; that big, burdensome bureaucracy in and of itself  only serves to enrich the pockets of those who are employed by it, offering them a comfortable lifestyle, longevity working within it while demanding very little in return for their employment is a truth embraced by progressives during the last decade but only recently by the opponents of the present administration.  Government by its very nature, becomes an instrument of regulation that limits the productivity of citizens in minutiae at their, the population’s  expense.  One would think that during times of an economic downturn the fortunes of government would also be in decline, but government never stops taxation nor does it retreat from its growth. Federal government is a very lucrative business and nowhere is that more evident than in the areas surrounding the seat of the federal government, Washington, DC where lies 6 out of the 25 wealthiest counties in all of America!  An area brimming with lobbyists who lobby government for companies looking for an edge over their competition through government favoritism and regulation, bureaucrats, employees of think tanks, who also lobby government, various and sundry cottage industry security types who’ve convinced others that  their existence is essential to the existence of this country, and media types who cover all of the machinations that go around the seat of power, the greater Washington, DC area has become a bonanza for economic growth in the country, without producing anything more than voluminous reams of paper and regulation.  This is not a recent phenomenon, but rather a steady, growing one that has taken years and many stories of fear and intimidation to produce.  During the interim we have willingly coughed up the required sums of tax dollars through cajoling or  acquiescence to officials who told us it was necessary for our survival.  These six counties have become the praetorian guard for a bloated government that has increasingly become isolated from its electorate because of  its own existence and by those who encircle government’s throne.

The second story that resembles a not too distant era is the bill proposed by John McCain and Joe Lieberman, “The Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010,” which lays bare government’s attempt to strip the US Constitution of habeas corpus and allow the U.S. military to detain U.S. citizens without trial indefinitely in the U.S. based on suspected activity. In essence anyone who threatens the cocoon that government has built around itself, and including the six counties previously mentioned, can expect to be imprisoned without access to the judicial system of the United States, and thus, unable to prove or defend themselves against any suspicion or charge levied against them by the government.  But wait, such draconian measures have been in place since the Military Commissions Act passed in 2006 which in vague enough language to assuage the conscience of today’s tea baggers then, called for the removal of US citizens from civilian courts and placed them, if at all, at the mercy of military tribunals.  At the moment this bill has not been passed.  Let’s hope it never sees the light of day.  That John McCain has co-sponsored it means it’s in response to the opposition he faces in the Arizona senate primary from an opponent further to the right than he is, and so he wants to establish his credentials on the back of the US Constitution.  The tea baggers are not new to this political landscape and their faux pas opposition to this Administration is clearly transparently racist, but the direction it drives the Nation in is something for all to be concerned.