UCSA Condemned After Showing True Colors

The University of California Student Association (UCSA) has come under criticism from 60 student leaders within the UC system for its anti-Semitic response to a California State Assembly Resolution (HR35). The original resolution called for UC schools to crack down on the radical and sometimes violent anti-Israel demonstrations on multiple UC campuses. This apparently lit a fire under the anti-Semitic butts of the 12-member UCSA to loudly proclaim their ignorance and bigotry. The UCSA issued a resolution (secretly) in response to HR35 calling Israel “racist and apartheid” and accused the Jewish state of “illegal occupation.” Fortunately, there are still some students within the UC system who have some sense in their heads. David Bocarsly, the Student Body President at UCLA, initiated a letter along with 59 other campus leaders condemning the anti-Israel comments.

Read more here.

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Helping Democracy Thrive: Likud Anglos Take Action

From The Times of Israel

Last week young activists gathered at the Knesset to meet with Members of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely, Ze’ev Elkin, Ofir Akunis and journalist Seth Frantzman of the Jerusalem Post, in honor of Likud inspiration Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s 72nd yahrzeit.

The meetings were part of the Jabotinsky Conference for Young Activists organized by Likud Anglos, a group of English speaking Olim who, according to their website, “have backgrounds from advanced democratic cultures, [and] have a special role to play in the Likud and the State of Israel.”

Daniel Tauber, the Executive Director of Likud Anglos, explains, “We give Anglos a path to practically influence the direction of the country by giving them a voice in the Likud, Israel’s leading party, and involving them in its internal process.”

For a full afternoon, Anglo students, writers, young professionals, and others gathered to hear perspectives on current hot button issues, learn what Ze’ev Jabotinsky means to the Likud MKs, and be more involved in the democratic process.

MK Hotovely emphasized the importance of remembering Jabotinsky for two primary reasons: for his unabashed support for a Jewish majority state, and his belief that the Jewish people must not give up territory – because as Israel learned after the Gaza disengagement (and throughout history), it brings nothing but heartache for the Jewish people. “[Jabotinsky] believed in equality, but he knew who his enemies were.” said Hotovely.

MK Akunis explained that Jabotinsky is important to him not just because of his unwavering dedication to his values, but also because of his opposition to socialism and his belief in the idea that private equity creates a better economy for the people.

Many attendees were eager to hear Hotovely’s take on the thus-far failure by the Likud-led coalition to reach an agreement on the universal service law (or modification of the current Tal law). Hotovely told us, “We need to build more structures to incorporate the Haredim…personally I thought the way Kadima handled it was a horrible way.” She also criticized the media and political left for their failure to understand the difficulty of the situation, and emphasized the importance of diversity in the IDF. “We don’t need to cooperate with the far left…we need an army of volunteers from all different groups.”

Hotovely also touched on the issue of Ariel University and its recent recognition stating that is was, “one of our [Likud’s] greatest achievements.”

Other speakers addressed the debate surrounding the democracy of Israel and the charges often leveled against Jabotinsky and his legacy.

Seth Frantzman cited numerous examples of rhetoric from well-known left-wing figures throughout Israel’s existence, accusing the Israeli right of being “fascist” and bemoaning the “end of democracy in Israel,” yet expressing quite racist and anti-Democratic ideas themselves.

Frantzman found publicly written statements that compared Begin and other right-wing figures to Nazis or fascists from 1948 through the present day, and racist statements from many of the same figures against Russians and Sephardim, and others.

While politics is a game that both sides play, it was interesting to see evidence that indicated the rhetoric from the left maligns the right as racist, anti-democratic, and fascist instead of their democratic opposition.

Upon closer examination, the evidence Frantzman provided at the conference seemed to suggest a pattern – many of the articles or quotes were from times when the right wing has been in control of the country. This begs the question, in what non-democratic country could people make such accusations and comparisons?

It reminds me of leftist flag-burners in the United States who malign America as fascist and racist while destroying a symbol of the very liberty that allows them the right to such a protest.

Nevertheless, Regardless of one’s political opinions on the Tal law, Ariel University, Jabotinsky himself, or any of the of the other issues facing Israel today, to see this kind of involvement from young Likud activists (as well as from the large number of activists of other political persuasions) indicates a growing and thriving democracy, not a doomed one.

For full disclosure: I am involved with Likud Anglos.


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The Real Life of Julia

The Obama campaign recently released the interactive story of “Julia” on their campaign website. The description reads, “Take a look at how President Obama’s policies help one woman over her lifetime—and how Mitt Romney would change her story.” The story takes us through the life of “Julia” from ages 3 to 67,  and demonstrates how big government makes her life more enjoyable and overall better. It also exposes the mean things Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are trying to do – like giving “tax breaks to millionaires,” repealing Obamacare, preventing women from having equal pay, forcing women to pay for their own birth control, and of course and cutting funding for public schools. The horrors!

Yes, that evil conniving Mitt Romney, the mormon, out for nothing but money. Nevermind the fact that mormons are probably the nicest, hardest working, most respectful, best looking, and most freakishly genuine people on the face of the planet, despite whatever weird religious quirks they have. But we are merely peasants and aren’t capable of understanding what the state knows. After all, Uncle Joe knows best.

This campaign propaganda is so over the top and filled with errors that I have chosen to volunteer my time  to write an alternative version of Julia’s life with things the Obama campaign left out.

Alternative version of Julia’s life:

Age 3 under President Obama: Julia goes to a terrible public school because taxes  and regulations are so high that her parents can’t afford to live in a nicer area or send Julia to a private school. Julia’s mother has been struggling to support the family since her father was laid off due to over-the-top regulations at the private sector energy company he worked at. What’s more, Julia’s parents are concerned because the private sector company Julia’s mother works for may not be able to guarantee health coverage and there’s a good chance Julia’s mother will be laid off in the near future as well.

Age 17 under President Obama: Despite all the odds, Julia succeeds due to her stable home environment and her parents efforts to instill an appreciation for hard work. Julia works her way through a crappy public school system and spent most of her high school career volunteering for those less fortunate than her through her church group. Julia’s hard work pays off when she is accepted to Yale.

Age 18 under President Obama: Because Julia’s parent’s aren’t in a position for pay $200,000 for a degree, Julia is forced to take out enormous loans, like millions of other students her age. Due to poorly thought out programs like the Pell Grants, tuition has continued to skyrocket at prestigious universities. Unfortunately, President Obama’s failure to incentivize universities to drop their tuition prices has ended up costing Julia and her family money, not the “millionaires” he claimed were paying their “fair share.” Julia is forced to depend on the nanny state – just as President Obama wanted.

Age 22 under President Obama: During college, Julia is breaks her collar bone in an intramural soccer match. As it is a very severe break, she will need surgery and fortunately is covered by her parents insurance. However, the wait is so long to see a qualified surgeon that her collarbone heals the wrong way, leaving her in chronic pain for the rest of her life.

Age 23 under President Obama: Julia survives her injuries despite her chronic pain and graduates with honors from Yale. She then starts a job search but after 8 months is still unsuccessful because no companies can afford to hire a journalist, despite her skills and internships. Julia is forced to return to her parents home and live in their basement.

Age 25 under President Obama: Julia has finally found a job while living in her parents basement. She now bartends at the local pub. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to make payments on her loans. Julia’s credit is completely destroyed as she continually misses payments. She and thousands of others are in the same boat.

Age 27 under President Obama: Julia is still working at the bar and occasionally writes for her online blog. Although she is receiving welfare checks, she has become increasingly depressed due to her terrible financial situation and her psychiatrist, paid for by Obamacare, loads her up with anti-depressants. Julia reacts to her misfortunes by drinking heavily and sleeping around. Fortunately for Julia, she doesn’t have to worry about getting pregnant because birth control is free.

Age 31 under President Obama: Oops. Even with birth control accidents sometimes happen. Julia winds up pregnant. Julia opts to have an abortion even though she can’t afford it herself. Fortunately, the government has given so much aid to Planned Parenthood they can help her out so she can focus on her “career.”

Age 37 under President Obama: Oops again! Mistakes from poorly trained doctors result in terrible complications from the abortion. Julia is hospitalized for months as she fights an infection that could have been avoided with better quality medical care.

Age 42 under President Obama: Julia is still dependent on welfare, living in her parents basement, and has lost any motivation she had to establish a successful career for herself. After all, why should she when everything she needs is taken care of by the state? By this age, Julia has defaulted on her student loans and files for bankruptcy. Julia is still unable to get a job because most companies in her area can’t fire anyone because they no longer pay based on merit thanks to the unions. Non-union jobs also aren’t available because of the outrageous minimum wage, even the bar can’t afford to hire her. Small businesses can’t hire Julia because of the taxes and regulations imposed on anyone who wants to start a business in the state.

Age 65 under President Obama: Julia’s parents pass away and she receives a small inheritance from their efforts to scrimp and save. She also receives the home they already have two mortgages on. Unfortunately, the death tax (estate tax) is so high she really doesn’t prosper that much and cannot make the mortgage payments. Julia faces foreclosure on her parents home. But don’t worry! Julia is impoverished and qualifies for government subsidized housing now! She also gets to start using Medicare!

Age 67 under President Obama: Julia cashes in her little social security from when she was a bartender. Unfortunately, the social security program is bankrupt by the time Julia is 67 and she gets nothing but a pink slip. Not long after that, Julia suffers from a form of skin cancer that could have been avoided earlier but incompetent doctors failed to notice it. Julia dies.

Poor Julia. When Patrick Henry stated, “Give me liberty or give me death,” I doubt he ever imagined Obamacare.

…Okay, so it’s a bit dramatic, but you get the point. The Obama campaign’s efforts in this ridiculous interactive web page imply that Obama’s policies = good, while Mitt Romney’s (and shoot throw Paul Ryan in there too) = evil. They completely ignore the realistic implications (especially financial) of healthcare overhaul and a cradle to grave government. This effort by the campaign is just another indication that Barack Obama lacks fundamental understanding of what makes America great. Individual liberty.

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Interview with Emily Schrader on Arutz Sheva Radio

From the Israel National Radio website: “What happened at the AIPAC conference and will relations with Israel and the USA Improve?  Emily Schrader is a researcher for ‘pro-Israel education organization’ and a blogger at www.DanaReport.com.  She joins Tamar and gives a re-cap on the AIPAC speeches and also talks about her latest article on TheCommentator.com...”

Listen here: Emily Schrader: Israel National Radio Interview

 

 

 

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On the “Irvine 11″ and Civil Debate on Campus

The “Irvine 11,” a group of UC Irvine students, members of the Muslim Student Union, convicted of two misdemeanor charges in Orange County last Friday for conspiracy to disrupt a speech by Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren and for the disruption of said speech in February of 2010, got what they deserved.

Their systematic disruption of the 2010 speech is part of a widespread trend among college students, usually on the left and commonly on the Islamist left, to shout down speakers with whom they disagree. The chilling effect  caused by such aggressive protests on campuses across the country has prompted prominent non-leftist, non-Islamist speakers to bring private security to speaking events, and campuses to require that student organizers arrange for campus security personnel to be present.

Efforts by student groups to silence the opinions of campus political minorities are an open assault  on the civil society colleges and universities should be fostering on their campuses.

I was surprised yesterday when I read an article by John Hrabe opposing last Friday’s conviction. Hrabe compares the case of the Irvine 11 to a scene from “Dead Poets Society”:

“The school’s headmaster Mr. Nolan warns, ‘One more outburst from you or anybody else, and you’re out of this school.” Ten students are undeterred. They defiantly stand on their desks and call out, ‘O Captain! My Captain!’

“Prep school pièce de résistance. I was moved.

“Movie critic Roger Ebert, on the other hand, was moved ‘to throw up.’

“’Dead Poets Society is a collection of pious platitudes masquerading as a courageous stand in favor of something: doing your own thing, I think,’ [Ebert] wrote in the opening line of his scathing review.

“Which makes me wonder what the fastidious movie critic would think of an alternate ending, one in which the students are punished by the school and then brought up on misdemeanor charges by the local district attorney for conspiracy and disrupting a meeting?

“Oh wait, that isn’t fiction, but the real life story of the ‘Irvine 11.’”

But it’s not the story of the Irvine 11. The students in question weren’t protesting the firing of a favorite professor in their class room. They were systematically shutting down a speech they weren’t required to attend – a speech other students wanted to hear. “The Heckler’s-veto,” writes Hrabe “wasn’t the only First Amendment issue in this case.” The Irvine 11 were singled out for prosecution because they were Muslims, criticizing a Jewish Israeli.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the District Attorney selectively prosecuted,” said Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — Greater Los Angeles Area, “because the students were Muslim, the speaker was an Israeli diplomat, and the verbal protests centered on Israel’s long history of war crimes.”

So the Executive Director of CAIR thinks the students were singled out because they are Muslims who were attempting to fight the Israeli/Palestinian conflict  in the auditorium of an Orange County campus? I doubt that these students were “selectively prosecuted.”

The Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine groups on Irvine’s campus have long led the most vitriolic “Israel Apartheid Week,” also known as “Anti-Israel Week,” in the country featuring  speakers such as Imam Abdul Malik Ali. Malik Ali is known for using Holocaust references, 9/11 trutherism, and his viceral hatred of all things Jewish and American to rile up campus Islamist groups across the country. His speeches have never been systematically disrupted or shut down by students. The MSU and its views are not singled out for punishment on campus, in fact they’re quite popular and wide-spread.

The question in this case was quite clearly the “heckler’s veto,” and the attempt to shut out of campus opinions that some students don’t like.

I’m not saying that debate on campuses should be “nice”—some things you just can’t be “nice” about—it should, however, be ordered and civil.

When controversial speakers are prosecuted under ridiculous “disturbing the peace” statutes, it sets up a forced choice for freedom. Every speaker must live in fear of prosecution, or worse, only the dissenting speakers get quashed. Either scenario is unacceptable because both outcomes lead to less speech.

In this case we have an example of the opposite of the scenario Hrabe illustrates. By taking a firm stand in support of civil discourse and in opposition to the “heckler’s veto” the Irvine 11′s prosecution could finally lead to an opening for civil debate and a hearing of all sides on our campuses.

If we expect young Americans to be educated and prepared to participate in civil society, colleges and universities should foster environments where all opinions can be heard and discussed; and enforce strict rules against the disruption of civil debate.

“Civil” disobedience has replaced civil society on our campuses. This case could be the first step towards restoration of free and open speech for students.

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Seven Questions Solyndra Execs Won’t be Answering

Over at NRO, Andrew Stiles asks some questions Solyndra executives won’t be answering about how they squandered tax-payers $535 million:

Top Solyndra executives are scheduled to appear today before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. But that’s all they’ll be doing.

Here: National Review Online: Seven Solyndra Questions.

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“Racially heated” Facebook Posting Sparks Outrage at UC Berkeley

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

A Facebook post announcing plans by a UC Berkeley Republican group to sell baked goods priced according to race, gender and ethnicity – “White/Caucasian” pastries for $2 and “Black/African American” pastries for 75 cents, for example – has drawn outrage on campus.

You may be surprised by this but, UC Berkeley College Republicans do exist. And, they’re usually great. This time they’re getting attention over an event posting on Facebook for their planned “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” on Tuesday;  bringing attention to SB 185 a bill on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk to allow the CSU system to pick new students by race.

Once known as Affirmative Action Bake-sales, these events have been a hit with lefties and righties on campuses for quite some time. They enrage the left, on campus and in the media, because they’re so clear—and so true.

This from a campus lefty:

“I’m ashamed to know that I go to the same school with people who would say stuff like this,” responded student Skyler Hogan-Van Sickle on Facebook. “I’m really trying to figure out how someone can be this hateful.”

Wahh, waah, waaah. I’d be ashamed to go to a school where administrators care more about my “ethnic background” than my academic ability.

Read the story here: Racially heated posting sparks UC Berkeley Outrage.

Berkeley students call “Emergency” town hall meeting on “racist bake-sale. Cal student senate will meet tonight to discuss SB 185 and the bake-sale.

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CA Republican Leader Warns State Convention About “Cancers” in the Party

Orange County California GOP Chairman emeritus Tom Fuentes made a powerful appearance at last weekend’s California Republican Party convention in Los Angeles. After years of plunging registration numbers, a turn-coat Governor, and a billionaire-minded candidate recruitment program, Fuentes gave delegates a stern warning:

Full text: Be Not Afraid.

(h/t FlashReport)

The California GOP had a close encounter with cannibalism as the leftist wing of the party attempted to gut the party’s platform Sunday. Fuentes’ warning should guide republicans into the final platform vote next Spring and into the Presidential election next Fall.

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Obama, Restoring America’s Dignity

President Obama joined a meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) while hobnobbing with the International Community in New York yesterday. The OGP seeks to “promote transparency, fight corruption, empower citizens, and harness the power of new technologies to make the government more effective and accountable.” They also take group photos:

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The guy with Obama’s hand in his face is supposedly the Mongolian President, an American ally. We know how the President likes to treat our close ally’s.

Photo Credit: Allan Tanenbaum-Pool / Getty Images

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Solyndra: Employees Shed Light on Mismanagement, Reckless Spending

Solyndra, the taxpayer funded solar firm that went under a couple of weeks ago, has proven to be a much more than just a bad stimulus bet. Andrew McCarthy presents a strong case for criminal fraud over at NRO. This week the Washington Post interviewed Solyndra employees who claim the company was recklessly “spending money left and right.”

A new factory built with public money boasted a gleaming conference room with glass walls that, with the flip of a switch, turned a smoky gray to conceal the room’s occupants. Hastily purchased state-of-the-art equipment ended up being sold for pennies on the dollar, still in its plastic wrap, employees said.

As the $344 million factory went up just down the road from the company’s leased plant in Fremont, Calif., workers watched as pallets of unsold solar panels stacked up in storage. Many wondered: Was the factory needed?

The WaPo story explains how Solyndra attempted to exploit the administration’s apparent thirst for gambling on its “Green Jobs” scheme after receiving the $535 billion loan.

Solyndra’s ability to secure federal backing also made the company eager for more assistance, interviews and records show. Company executives ramped up their Washington lobbying efforts, hiring a former Senate aide to work with the White House and the Energy Department. Within a week of getting a loan guarantee commitment from the Energy Department, Solyndra applied for another, worth $400 million. It never won final approval.

The leading investors in Solyndra were two investment funds with ties to George B. Kaiser, a major campaign fundraising “bundler” for Obama.

The White House had scheduled a press event around the time of Solyndra’s factory groundbreaking on Sept. 4, 2009. Federal reviewers gave their final nod to the deal on Sept. 2.

With the loan guarantee in hand, Solyndra built a second, seven-acre factory with 19 loading docks. As part of the expansion, Gronet and fellow managers hoped to cut costs by speeding up the automated assembly. To do so, they bought a custom-made assembly tool from VDL, a Dutch company. The company had never built that kind of equipment, but it promised the assembly tool would arrive in the summer of 2010. By that time, Gronet had been pushed out as chief executive. Workers told The Post in interviews that they were shocked that summer when Harrison, newly installed as CEO, told them that sales projections used to justify the new factory to federal agencies had been far too optimistic.

Read the whole story here.

In an interview with NR’s Andrew Stiles, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) discusses how risky Obama’s bet really was.

 

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