Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Financial Reform Bill isn't Reform.

By Senator Russ Feingold.

Wall Street and its allies have been calling the shots in Congress for decades, so they must be glad to see how things are shaping up on financial regulatory reform. Congress is about to vote on a final bill that fails to fix the key flaws in the bills passed by both the House and Senate. At the start of this process I made clear that I had a simple test for financial reform -- will it stop another financial meltdown? This bill fails that test, and I won't support legislation that fails to protect the people of Wisconsin from the pain of another economic disaster. And I don't need to be lectured about this issue by people who supported the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which paved the way for this terrible recession.

TPJ: This bill is window-dressing but the window is still broken and cold air is still pouring through and freezing our economy to death. Not only does this financial bill not reform banks but thanks to Senator Scott, "Stop Spending Money" Brown the bill will be payed for by the remaining stimulus/TARP funds. So the banks get away with little real structural reform AND they don't have to pay for it!! YOU DO!!!! I didn't mind the stimulus/TARP/recovery funds initially because we had to break the fall, which we did. We might not be out of it yet but we at least prevented a further decline by the mass influx of spending with the stimulus funds.

However, now that we have some breathing room and need to repair the system, the Republicans and Tea Party folks (and a handful of corrupt Democrats) want YOU to pay for it!! It's so backwards!! You spend tax payer dollars in emergencies like the initial financial crash that Bush left for Obama but when it comes to reforming the very industry that caused the crash you make THEM pay for that end of the process. This Tea Party movement is going to lead the Republican Party off a cliff, which is fine by me but I just hope it doesn't take the rest of us in the process. They have three competing ideologies--1). End, "too big to fail" banks, but 2) support business interests at all times, and 3) end government spending.

So, they agree we need to reform the big banks. O.k., the Democrats go about working on a bill, which kept getting whittled down (mostly by Republicans) who don't believe we should "punish" business. So, instead we get a weak ass bill but since we can't "punish" business they shift the burden to pay for it back onto themselves (the tax payer) who are the very ones claiming they are "taxed enough already!!!!" If they are tired of being taxed to help recover from the shady banking practices then they should go after the banks--not themselves!! It's a circular logic of insanity. They don't know what they want, and since they are so "black and white" with their thinking it backs them into a corner where they make decisions that contradict their other ideologies.

You can't simply make statements (like the GOP/Tea Party are) that the government shouldn't use tax dollars to prop up a vital industry, (even if it's to stop the slide of the stock market and even if it's one that's at the heart of our economy as the financial industry is) then say, but we do need to fix the system. However we're going to ask tax payers (which includes them) to pay for the reform bill, which incidentally does basically nothing to fix the system or ensure that the very same industry they are bitching about (the financial industry) doesn't need propping up again!! Thanks also in part to the whittling down of the bill I mentioned because Reagan said we can't interfere with business!!

I'm telling ya, it makes NO SENSE. They are one big party of contradictions. Aliens help us if these Tea Party folks and certain Republicans get into office (or in some cases, stay in office). Hang on tight for November because these Tea Party extremists are working hard to get their hands on our country to strip it down until we're nothing but a loose confederation of states with no real need to listen to or care about the concerns of those in other states. That's their world of "limited government."

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Arizona Doubles Down on Craziness with Republican Pamela Gorman.

TPJ: Is she running for Congress or membership in the John Dillinger gang?!! I'm all for the second amendment but Tommy guns??? I get that she's for guns; incidentally I figured she probably had a 100% rating from the NRA given the ad showed her shooting nearly every gun known to man since 1600. So, she's for guns, lower taxes (for the rich no doubt) and Christianity. Unfortunately, however, for a person with a 13th century mindset like her, the country and world is much more complex with myriad issues involving gray areas and black and white thinking just isn't going to fly in today's world. Again, I'm not against having guns unless you want Tommy guns, tanks or a nuke. That said, this whole celebration of gun culture, gun violence and using gun ownership as political intimidation is getting dangerous, and scarily out of hand.

And I'm really getting annoyed with this idea that Christianity is a litness test for holding office in this country. Or any religious belief or none for that matter. Religion should be one of the LAST things we base choosing our candidates upon. I'm not saying this lady is has a 13th century mindset because she's Christian--no, I'm saying that because she seems to view the world in a simplistic manner. The Christian thing is just bad politics.

It's such a tribal, sectarian division that we don't need in politics. There's a reason why we have a separation of church and state--it's protect BOTH. There's also a reason why if a religious group advocates politics from the pulpit that they get their tax exempt status yanked. I'm not anti-Christian or religion. I just am tried of seeing it merge too much with government. I hope Arizona rejects this lady but then again Arizona is going completely off a cliff right now politically.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

General McChrystal Apologizes for Comments of Insubordination.

The man leading the war effort in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, apologized Tuesday for granting an interview with Rolling Stone, which published an article portraying the general as a lone wolf who feels betrayed by many White House officials. The article said that McChrystal’s “real enemy” was “the wimps in the White House.” READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE -- CLICK HERE.

TPJ: That's just one of a slew of comments coming from either McChrystal himself of his top aides. The article is nothing short of exposing insubordination from America's top general in Afghanistan. Gen. McChrystal has to go for these comments. The military chain of command must be maintained. President Obama nearly has no choice but to fire McChrystal because these scathing comments directly challenge Obama's authority. If he backs down to the general then I think confidence in Obama's control of the entire Afghanistan war is in question, and nor he, or our troops can allow that.

Imagine the outcry from the right if McChrystal was saying these things about Bush or another Republican? Remember the valid outrage when some on the left called General Petraeus, General "Betray-us?" I don't care who is the president---liberal or conservative because you don't behave like this as a top general. We have a civilian led military and that means the top generals defer to the president. That's why he's called the, "Commander-in-Chief." One of the reasons that America hasn't suffered a military coup is due to the civilian led military.

The McChrystal
comments also set a bad example for the rank and file soldiers who are told to follow their superiors. Not only would I fire him but I'd bust him down a star in rank as a general to make an example of him because the average soldiers need to know that even generals can't disobey authority. The president needs to reassert his authority to maintain control over an increasingly unraveling mission in Afghanistan. McChrystal did apologize but that doesn't mean that he still shouldn't be fired because frankly an apology is mandatory either way. It's not just a personal think in showing respect to Obama as a person but an apology to how America makes decisions. It's an apology that the American people deserve.

This is pissing off even conservative "hawks" like Senators McCain, Graham and Lieberman:

"We have the highest respect for General McChrystal and honor his brave service and sacrifice to our nation," they said. "General McChrystal's comments, as reported in Rolling Stone, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between Commander-in-Chief and the military."

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Stewart: GOP called BP Fund a "Shakedown" Before They Didn't.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yet Another Republican Defends BP. GOP=Grand Oil Party.


TPJ: How is it a "shake down" when BP wanted to come to the table and work something out. They wanted to work with the government to help establish a fund so that immediate claims could be fulfilled. So that people don't have to wait years being strung along by the court system while hundreds (if not more) lose their business, livelihood and way of life? How is it a "shake down" if the party that is supposedly being "shaken down" wanted to be "shaken down?" In that BP wanted to set up this escrow fund--It was the reason they met to hammer out the exact figures. You can't extort the willing.

Even Newt in this clip stated that BP was looking to set something like this up anyway!! Newt asks what gives the president the right to work something like this out? Well, if the company wants to work something out, and it's going to immediately help out fellow, average, blue-collar Americans (that the Republicans otherwise "claim" they represent) to save their fishing business, because it was put in danger to no fault of their own by the very company Newt, Sean Hannity, Joe Barton and many other Republicans are defending, then Obama has every right to do so!!

Gecko, er, I mean Newt then goes on to say that this will send a message to people not to invest in American markets or else you'll be "extorted" by the American government? Bullshit. You'll only be asked to pay for damages if you do something like, oh, I don't know---DESTROY OUR GULF OF MEXICO!!!! Newt is acting like a little incident called, "the BP oil leak" isn't happening and that BP was just innocently going about their business and was jumped in a dark alley for their wallet by the Obama administration!!

And finally, one of the key pieces of information to understanding this story of the settlement and establishment of this escrow fund is that it won't be administered by BP or the government, but by the third party. That pesky piece of information that the Republicans are leaving out makes their conspiracy theory that the government is trying to take over the company, laughable.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

GOP and Joe Barton Have Oil on Their Hands.

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TPJ: The apology from Barton was such an obvious attempt at trying to put the tooth paste back in the tube. His apology wasn't really an apolgoy because he coached it with the assumption that his remarks were "misconstrued" which means that we all apparently interpreted his comments the wrong way. So, it really wasn't his fault--it was ours for somehow thinking that he was ashamed of the way government was trying to compensate victims of this BP oil disaster. How silly of us!! How could we have misconstrued his comments when he took his time to spell out exactly his displeasure with how Obama has been handling the compensation of victims down on the Gulf? He was speaking in a public hearing, on the record and spoke in a measured way, clearly choosing his words deliberately for effect. How do you misconstrue someone stating shame of their government and labeling a victims compensation fund as a "slush fund"--TWICE?!!

Of course, the party leadership in the GOP forced him to "apologize" for apologizing to BP and for using the words "slush fund." Oh, so, we didn't miscontrue it after all!! Of course we didn't, asshole. He was getting in trouble not for what he actually said because we all know the Republicans are the party of unfettered oil drilling. No, he was in trouble with his leadership because he actually let the truth (as they see it) slip!! As Rachel showed in this video clip, Barton's comments aren't the only ones. I don't see why the media is letting the Republican Party hide in the corner while the natural outcome of their laissez-faire policy on oil is spewing day and night. They have asked a few questions of them but not the grilling that a party so proud of their "Drill, Baby, Drill" approach should receive.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sharron Angle: Solve Congressional Problems Through "Second Amendment" Remedies.

"In a radio interview last January, she floated the idea that the public would bring down an out-of-control Congress by resorting to “Second Amendment remedies.” Yet, since the clip surfaced, there has been no comment from the Angle campaign. Instead, Ms. [Sharron] Angle floated, once again, “Second Amendment remedies” to deal not just with what she termed an ever-growing “tyrannical” U.S. government. This time she focused the action on her opponent: Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Angle: I feel that the Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry. This not for someone who’s in the military. This not for law enforcement. This is for us. And in fact when you read that Constitution and the founding fathers, they intended this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes tyrannical…

Manders: If we needed it at any time in history, it might be right now.

Angle: Well it’s to defend ourselves. And you know, I’m hoping that we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.

TPJ: That's two threats: One toward government in general and two a specific sitting Senator who also happens to be the Senate Majority Leader. Um, could someone please text the FBI? Do the people of Nevada REALLY want to elect a person whose solution to the problems with government is an armed insurrection/revolution??? Say what you want at Senator Harry Reid, at least he is trying to solve problems within the framework of his Constitutional powers and not through mob rule via the barrel of a gun. Harry Reid is looking like a saint compared to this lady.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Bush Daughter: "Health Care Should be a Right for Everyone."

It seems some members of the Bush family are no adherents of Republican political orthodoxy. Barbara Bush, the 28-year-old daughter of President George W. Bush, told Fox News on Sunday that she was "glad" the Democrats' health care reform package passed, and declared that "health care should be a right for everyone." It's a position that suggests she would be willing to go much farther in reforming health care than the law passed earlier this year. "What do you think of Obama health care reform?" Fox News' Chris Wallace asked. "That is a good question. Obviously, the health care reform bill was highly debated by a lot of people and I guess, I'm glad that, you know, a bill was passed," replied Bush.

TPJ: I was always hoping that one of the Bush daughters would "leave the fold" so to speak politically like Ron Reagan has done. I think the younger generations are turning out to be much less conservative than their parents. That was the case for me, and I'm a 30 something Generation X product. I would say that the majority of my generation is more liberal, and I think the generation after me is shaping up to be the same for the most part. We're are some of the first generations to grow up with less opportunities than our parents since World War II and that tends to create more socially responsible adults. We have to pick up, and rebuild after the baby boomers decades long binge after all!! You boomers have done a lot for us too though, and I thank-you for it. However, you should be even more for health care reform than us because we have to take care of you as you age, and since there are so many of you there needs to be a better health care system in place.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shallow Carly Fiorina Slams Boxer's Hairstyle and Takes a Dig at Sean Hannity.

Carly Fiorina, doing what she can to set back the cause of women in politics: The California Republican nominee for the Senate refused to apologize to Senator Barbara Boxer after she was caught on camera mocking her hair. Speaking of a person who stayed out of view, Fiorina said, “Laura saw Barbara Boxer on TV recently and said what everyone says, what is God’s.” Fiorina laughed and added, “Sooo yesterday.” Fiorina said, “I was quoting a friend of mine. My goodness, my hair's been talked about by a million people, you know? It sort of goes with the territory.” She then brought up her battle with cancer, saying, “Especially when you don't have any. As you remember, I started out with none.”

TPJ: Oh, so it's the friends fault? So that's how you treat friends? Throw them under the bus? Nice try but the exact quote included you saying, "...said what everyone says." So, clearly if you're going to say everyone makes fun of her hairstyle--the term, "everyone" includes you!! She tries to blow it off by saying I had my hair laughed at when I had cancer. As if that's a good thing??? She seems to be saying by bringing up the cancer point that it doesn't matter if people make fun of the hairstyles of cancer patients!!

Can you imagine what the reaction would be if a man made a derogatory comment about another woman's hair or other body feature? I thought women wanted to be looked at for their talents and not how they look? I don't care what Barbara Boxer's hair looks like--nor yours Carly (though it looks like a helmet since you're bringing up hair styles). I want to know what you'd do for the country. Fiorina is a disaster--she ruined HP where many in our town worked. She won't get the former and present HP worker vote and there are a lot of them in California!!

She also slammed Sean Hannity, which was hilarious but how is she going to explain that to her rabid base? Check out the video, it's even worse than just reading the words because of the tone of the laugh and the look of glee on her face. The beginning of the video is her slamming Sean Hannity and then the Boxer comments are at the 4:00 mark. Once you hear the Hannity remarks I recommend fast forwarding to the 4:00 mark because in between it's just small talk:

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Biggest Environmental Disaster in American History? Who Cares? Keep Drilling Baby Drilling!!

NEW ORLEANS -- Despite the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu is reiterating her call to end the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling, saying it will cause economic hardship in the region.

TPJ: She's worried about oil workers having to be out of work but what about all the other industries that are currently out of work because of this oil gusher? Why is one industry more important than the others? What about the shimpers, the oyster fishermen and the regular fisherman? What about the couple that runs the beach front Bed and Breakfast hotel? What about the deepsea fishing tourism industry? What about the scuba diving company? What about bird watching and marshland guides?

No, she seems to only care about the industry that butters her bread the most (gives her the most donations for her campaign). If she wanted to, we could retrain those workers in a heart beat to build, install and maintain a windfarm all over out in the gulf. Some might say it's ugly to look at but I say it's nicer to look at than miles of oil and dead birds!! Besides, I think wind turbines look artistic.
She mentioned that of course we need to make sure that the rigs are safe but it was almost an afterthought.

What she seems to be forgetting is that it isn't just about checking all the boxes on a safety chart. The technology itself of drilling that deep isn't reliable or well understood. Even if these rigs are keeping up with maintenance and safety checks we still don't know how to plug one of these gushing leaks that far down in the ocean. So, all it takes is one accident and we're back in oil up to our eye balls!! And the scary thought is that there are hundreds of these rigs out there. So, what happens if two or three go off at the same time? It just seems too risky to maintain. I know it's hard on those without jobs right now on the rigs.

However, if we spent as much money retraining oil workers to build wind turbines to place out in the water as we do subsidizing these kinds of risky drilling operations, those workers would be in a better situation long-term. And so would all the other industries that rely upon the gulf. Enough of this taking what seems, in the short term, to be the "easy way out" of just reinstating deep water offshore drilling out there.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

White House Turns on Unions.

TPJ: My comments follow the news quotes:

The loss of Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in the Arkansas Senate Democratic primary runoff election resulted in a rare outburst of intense, sometimes nasty, griping between the White House and the organized labor community on Tuesday night. Shortly after Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) emerged victorious, an anonymous White House aide began spreading word that the President Obama's political team thought that the money unions had spent on Halter's candidacy was a massive waste and damaging to the party. "Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toilet on a pointless exercise," the unnamed official said to Politico's Ben Smith. "If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November."

TPJ: First of all, it's not like the campaign between Halter and Lincoln was a long shot for the union candidate (Halter). It was extremely close, and many thought Halter was going to pull away and win last night. The White House is talking like the unions spent all this money on a campaign that was clearly out of reach for their candidate.

Another senior Democrat (who also would not be quoted by name) echoed the point in an exchange with the Huffington Post. "Labor is humiliated," the source said. "They look like absolute idiots." It was a remarkably blunt dumping on the unions. And, in the process, it provided one of the most telling revelations as to how frayed the relationship between Obama and the modern labor movement truly is. Up until now the two parties have generally aired their disagreements over policy and politics in private, with scant public acknowledgment that friction was building below the surface. But it clearly is there, in part because of legislative disappointments, but mainly because of labor's decision to go after moderate and conservative Democrats.

"We are not an arm of the White House or the DNC or a political party," said AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale. "We work on issues. And if we feel like someone is standing up for working families, we support them, and if they don't, we won't support it. In the past, people would have assumed that was talk, but now we have backed that up with action." Driving home the point that the White House was cravenly hiding behind the cloak of anonymity in their attacks, the AFL-CIO spokesman signed off the conversation with the following: "My name is Eddie Vale of the AFL-CIO and I'm proud to fight for working families and I don't hide behind anonymous quotes."

TPJ: The White House can't expect full loyalty to their agenda if they keep kicking union and blue collar working families in the teeth. The biggest example being how they watered down the health care bill, which was in part thanks to Senator Blanche Lincoln whom the White House backed in this primary!! They seem too often in favor of siding with corporations over the middle-class to protect big banks from having to reform itself. Just look at the watered down, tooth-less "banking reform" bill. They bend over backwards to protect the big banks and allow for them to keep doing what caused this crash in the first place but getting true health reform for average Americans is asking too much??

They'll rue the day that they turned on the labor unions and by extension, blue collar families. Obama has really surprised me in his over-played centrist compromising. Compromising is good but not with every issue because then it makes him look like a leader unwilling to take a tough stand for a greater cause regardless of how it looks to business or the media. Just once I'd like a president who stands for the people over the corporations. "Yes we can" has turned into, "Maybe, maybe not." I don't know how the White House expects a Democrat to win a national election without the support of the unions. By the way, I'd bet money that one of the "anonymous sources" from the White House was Rahm Emanuel who I find completely toxic and arrogant. He seems to be manipulating Obama and given Obama's timidity I don't see that changing much.

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Brain Injuries, Mental Illness and Suicides in Military Veterans on the Rise, and Under-Reported.

More U.S. troops were hospitalized for mental health disorders than any other reason in 2009. Mental health hospitalizations throughout the military topped injuries, battle wounds and even pregnancy and childbirth for the first time in 15 years of tracking by the Pentagon's Medical Surveillance Monthly report. Mental health care accounted for almost 40% of all days spent in hospitals by service members last year, the report said. Of those hospitalizations, 5% lasted longer than 33 days. For most other conditions, fewer than 5% of hospitalizations exceeded 12 days, the report said. “For anyone, including soldiers, it could be embarrassing,” said Col. Cordts. “It could be viewed as a sign of weakness to seek help but we’ve always said that it’s a sign of strength and courage to come forward and ask for help.”

TPJ: And yet, have you seen much if any coverage of this in the mainstream media lately? No, because mental health issues are still stigmatized and especially in the military where you're supposed to "tough it out" as a macho man. So, not surprisingly suicides are up:

Marines are trying to kill themselves at a record pace this year despite a 2009 program aimed at stemming the problem, according to Marine Corps data. Eighty-nine Marines tried to commit suicide through May, most commonly by overdose or lacerations, according to statistics and the Marine Corps suicide prevention program officer, Navy Cmdr. Aaron Werbel. At that rate, there could be more than 210 attempted suicides this year. There were a record 164 attempted suicides in 2009.
TPJ: Yet there is some hope the military is finally seeing the critical danger and importance of addressing mental health problems:
The Marines introduced a training program for sergeants and corporals last year aimed at suicide education and urging them to become more knowledgeable about the lives of their younger Marines.

"We continue to maintain that this is an issue of leadership and getting our Marines who need help to the care they deserve," says Marine Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer, deputy commandant of Manpower and Reserve Affairs. "In every case, there is a unique life to understand behind the statistics." Werbel says there is some hint of progress — the proportion of suicides committed by Marines who are sergeants or lower ranking has declined from a high of 93% to 79% this year. But the suicide rate in the Marine Corps eclipsed the Army's 22-per-100,000 rate last year. There are fewer Army suicides this year than at this time last year, Army statistics show.

TPJ: If we can not even get a sustained effort to highlight mental illness and brain traumas with our heroes of war then what chance do we average citizens have of getting the countries attention to increase awareness and funding for mental health? Sometimes I think the cancer cure awareness programs suck the oxygen out of the room for other diseases. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against a cure for cancer. I hope that we find cures for cancer soon but we need to bring awareness to other diseases in the meant time. All disabling diseases deserve attention, awareness and funding. We can ignore mental illness but it won't ignore us because the less we pay attention the greater increase we see in work place shootings, suicides and crime. It's time to stop the stigma and work together to find cures and better treatment programs for the mentally disabled. In related news, there is a lot of debate of whether soldiers who develop mental trauma from war should get purple hearts for sustaining a battlefield injury. I say absolutely yes. Doing otherwise only adds to the stigma that mental illness isn't a real injury or illness.

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Senator Orrin Hatch Assumes Gays are Irreligious.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) says that Republicans need to get the money flowing the way the gay community does for Democrats -- though it helps, he said, that gay people aren't distracted by things like religion. "Gays and lesbians don't pay tithing, their religion is politics," Hatch told 300 or so constituents at Dixie State University Tuesday night, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

TPJ: How does he know that gays don't pay tithing at some church? There are plenty of churches and other religious groups who collect tithing/donations, and who allow gays to worship with them. I don't think his head is screwed on right in regards to this issue. Just because someone is gay doesn't mean that they aren't religious!! Just because Mormonism rejects gays doesn't mean that ALL religions react the same way toward our homosexual and lesbian brothers and sisters.

How are we supposed to work with each other for a better America if we don't even bother to try and understand one another. You'd think a Mormon, (a member of a religion that knows all about being misunderstood and judged) would be more attuned and sensitive to such matters. Come on, Orrin. I don't agree with much of any of your politics or what I perceive to be your condescending attitude toward the left but I will readily admit that you're a very smart person and should know better than to speak this way about a group of Americans.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Israel Isolated from the World After Firing Upon Aid Ship and Killing Nearly a Dozen People.

In what could be a serious blow to Israel's narrative on the killing of at least nine humanitarian activists making their way to Gaza through international waters, raw video by an Al Jazeera producer, who was filming during the raid, appears to provide evidence that the IDF opened fire on the flotilla even before boarding it.

TPJ
: Israel keeps saying that they took heavy action against the aid boat because it was headed for Gaza, which is home to Hamas. Yet, what does Hamas have to do with an aid ship? What's wrong with bringing aid to a part of the world that is living in poverty and squallier? Will they fire on U.N. ships too? How does Israel know that this flotilla was seeking to bring arms or whatever the Israel's claimed was upon the ship?

And, yes, the ship passengers defended themselves but who wouldn't if a commando force raided your ship in the middle of the night? It's only human to seek to defend yourself when you being fired upon by bullets and tear gas canisters? Canisters, which have blinded some and caused burns upon others. And the fact that they were using sticks of wood and metal to defend themselves only adds to the argument that they weren't carrying assault weapons headed for Hamas, as some in the Israeli government claim.

Why won't they let reporters talk to the people on the ship who aren't being charged with any crimes but are being detained anyway? They claim their military used paint balls at first but what military carries paint balls? And why are there consistent reports that they fired upon the ship before boarding? I support Israel in many ways but this looks very bad on their part. I think they overstepped their authority this time. The reality that many countries are showing outrage (including non-Muslim, non-Arabic states) is also telling. Countries like France, Spain and others in Europe aren't radial, Islamic states by any stretch.

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