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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Couch Surfing, Could It Be A Way To Peace?

"Peace begins with me", so I say yes, because peace must be found at the macro level to become reality, but it MUST exist and begin at the micro level, where human beings reach out to each other.

Have couch, will travel

By Adrianne Jeffries, Technology / Internet
There is a new way to hop around the world for travelers whose budgets can't keep up with their wanderlust, and the perks may be more than financial. For adventurous travelers only, is a Web site that connects travelers to people who are willing to host strangers in their homes for free.

You might expect that to be a small group, but you'd be wrong. The site has more than 670,000 members in 231 countries, with 5,000 new members signing up every six weeks.

When sisters Martina, 23, and Brittany Fields, 22, of Norfolk, went backpacking last year, they stayed with strangers in Germany, France and the Netherlands over the course of two months.

"I didn't want to stay in a hostel because I wanted that experience of meeting the locals and going to the local places," Martina said. "If you go to the hostels you're just going to meet other Americans."

Couchsurfing Project co-founder Casey Fenton felt the same way. After scoring a cheap ticket to Iceland, Fenton sent e-mails to more than 1,500 university students in Reykjavik asking if anyone wanted to put a friendly American up for the night. The result was amazing.

Not only did students offer Fenton a place to stay, many wanted to show him "their" Reykjavik. Fenton had such a great time that he decided never to go back to that traditional tourist trap, the hotel. He recruited three friends with various skills and The Couchsurfing Project was born.

"Couch surfing is a global hospitality network and the premise is that a traveler can stay anywhere in the world, for free, in someone's home, as long as they are willing to sleep on the couch."

That's how Dan Hoffer, another one of the four original founders, explains the site to someone who has never heard of it before.

There are other similar hospitality networks aiming to link travelers with free accommodations, but Couchsurfing is the largest by "almost any metric," Hoffer said. Other sites include, founded by Australians, and, founded by a German.

The Couchsurfing Project also seems to have inspired participation at levels far beyond any other site. The Web site is maintained by volunteers, drawn from the most active members. The nonprofit only has six paid employees, and only one of the original founders is paid for his involvement. The others have day jobs, Hoffer says.

It's evident that the site's members, or "couch surfers," derive benefits much greater than a sleeping surface.

"You have the opportunity to make friends you will keep years and years later," Martina said. She and her sister still keep in touch with most of the people they met while couch surfing.

They were able to return the hospitality they were given when a friend who hosted them in Berlin came to Norfolk and stayed at the Fields' house.

Martina has also made friends at home through The Couchsurfing Project. She coordinates meet-ups for the group "757 CSers" which has 87 members in the Hampton Roads area. The 757 CSers get together once a month to talk about places they've gone, places they want to go, and people they've met while couch surfing.

"It's an awesome opportunity to meet people who are doing the same thing you are doing," she said.

The average age of the site's members is 27, but couch surfers range from 18 to 89. Rick and Cherri Feineis of Virginia Beach are a married couple in their 40s in the "757 CSers" group. They joined the site together after Rick read about it in a magazine for business entrepreneurs. The article suggested that traveling businessmen could use the site to save money, which is why Rick got involved.

But since Rick and Cherri do a lot of world travel, they decided they might as well let the world come to them. They were also already involved in Lost Boys of Hampton Roads, a program to place Sudanese refugees in temporary homes.

"We'll open our home up and see who comes," Rick said at the time.

Their first couch surfer was a Saudi Arabian backpacker named Yasser, who proposed to cook for them in exchange for sleeping in their home. They agreed to the arrangement, but there was tension in the house. Cherri was apprehensive about hosting someone from the Middle East because of the war in Iraq. And the young Sudanese boy staying with them was afraid that the backpacker might have bad intentions.

"Here was a Sudanese refugee whose family was slaughtered by Muslims, and here was this Islamic person, and the Sudanese was terrified. He thought he was going to kill us in our sleep. That was what he experienced as a child in Sudan," Rick said.

Yasser arrived and Rick describes the experience as a "genuine cultural exchange." The Saudi Arabian cooked Philly cheese steaks (using kosher Muslim beef) and all said grace at the table. The group smoked flavored tobacco from the hookah pipe Yasser brought from home and the family took him to a reggae bar. The Sudanese and the Saudi Arabian got along, and Yasser and Cherri write each other every month.

Fear of being murdered by a couch surfer is actually a common reaction from the uninitiated. Martina's parents were understandably leery of the idea of their two daughters sleeping on strange couches in faraway countries, even though they have faith in their girls' good judgment.

"They said, 'How do you know these people aren't going to kill you?'" Martina said.

But Brittany and Martina persuaded their parents after showing them the diligent planning that was their groundwork for spontaneity.

"They planned it out, they just didn't jump right in it, so I felt more comfortable as things went along," Martina and Brittany's father, Martin, said. "But in the beginning I was like, I really don't want them to do this ... but I trust them."

Martina and Brittany's mother, Bridget, sympathized with her daughters' taste for adventure. When Bridget was 18, she crashed on couches in the Florida Keys for a few months, without doing the kind of planning that Brittany and Martina did.

"So at first I was hesitant but then I had to put myself back when I was younger and my adventures," Bridget said. "I enjoyed myself and they should too."

The parents were also comforted by the idea that the sisters would be traveling together.

The planning that Martina and Brittany did was to sift through member profiles to find people they thought they would be comfortable staying with. They communicated with their first host in the Netherlands for a month and a half before they met him.

After they got to Europe, they would search for hosts in their next destination, communicating with them for a few days before meeting.

The web site has a mechanism for collecting information about a member's trustworthiness. The first level of security is the reference system. Members can write a testimonial about their experience with another member, and rate that experience as negative, neutral or positive. This information is prominently displayed on a member's page.

There is also verification system, where members make a donation to The Couchsurfing Project so the site can verify that the billing address on the credit card is the same as the address listed on the site.

If you are really concerned about safety, you can stay with a member who is "vouched for."

"If you want to put your trust behind another member, you can do so openly in the community by saying, 'I vouch for this person.' You need three vouches in order to be able to vouch for anybody else," said Rachel diCerbo, who heads up the Member Disputes and Safety Team at The Couchsurfing Project.

The most basic safety precaution is to read a member's profile thoroughly and look at their photos, diCerbo says. The site gives members the tools to make safe decisions, but it relies on couch surfers to do their own research.

The site recommends that couch surfers always have a back-up plan and money for a hostel or hotel.

Problems are rare. Only .02 percent of experiences are recorded as negative. DiCerbo can recall only two times that she had to remove two profiles because of reports that couch surfers were stealing from their hosts. The overwhelming majority of member disputes she handles are due to miscommunication and personality conflicts.

Ernie DeGraw, 35, of Norfolk, recently hosted a girl from Montreal for a month with no kinks. But he remembers a previous couch surfer who showed up unexpectedly, days after she said she would - and then overstayed her welcome.

"If you don't really match up well it's not going to be a good experience," DeGraw said. "If you have a good kind of connection with somebody it doesn't really matter if they stay for one day or three weeks. It's almost like they're not here, or they're actually like your friend and you don't mind helping them out."

Unconvinced? Maybe you just have to see it to believe it. Even if you are skeptical at first, it only takes a few comfortable experiences before couch surfing feels natural, says Ashley Sawyer, 24, was the founder of the "757 CSers" group.

"I am to the point where I cannot travel and get introduced to a big city any other way than couch surfing," Sawyer said. "Hostels and hotels are so boring even if you can afford them."

"It's so much cooler to see the different sides of the city, to see the life of it itself and from the viewpoint of someone who actually lives there and has a home there."

Video: Oletha McGillivray and Couch Mistress Selin Murat explain the thrills of couch surfing in Turkey. This is a handy way of sinking your teeth into a true cultural exchange.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CAIR Asks FEC to Probe Anti-Muslim DVDs Sent to Swing States

CAIR Asks FEC to Probe Anti-Muslim DVDs Sent to Swing States

Israel-Based Group Behind 'Obsession' Distribution to 28 Million U.S. Homes

Last update: 12:55 p.m. EDT Sept. 23, 2008
WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 23, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today announced that it has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over the distribution of an anti-Muslim film to 28 million homes in presidential election swing states.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is urging the FEC to investigate whether the Clarion Fund, a non-profit organization that distributed DVDs containing "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," is really a front for an Israel-based group seeking to help Sen. John McCain win the U.S. presidential election. (No information about a board of directors, staff or even a physical address is offered on the fund's website.)
In its complaint to the FEC, CAIR wrote in part:
"The Clarion Fund recently financed the distribution of some 28 million DVDs containing the film 'Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West' in what many political analysts describe as 'swing' states in the upcoming presidential elections. Those same analysts say the distribution of the 'Obsession' DVD was designed to benefit a particular presidential candidate, namely Sen. John McCain...
"According to the website for the Secretary of State for New York, Clarion Fund Inc. is incorporated in New York as a Delaware-based foreign not-for-profit corporation. According to the Delaware Department of Corporations, Robert (Rabbi Raphael) Shore, Rabbi Henry Harris and Rebecca Kabat incorporated Clarion Fund. All three of whom are reported to serve as employees of Aish HaTorah International, an organization apparently based in Israel. Also according to the Delaware Department of Corporations, the incorporators of the Clarion Fund used Aish HaTorah's New York City address (150 West 46th Street, New York) to incorporate Clarion Fund in Delaware... [SEE:]
"It appears that the funding for the production, marketing and distribution of 'Obsession' may have originated from Israel-based Aish HaTorah International."
To read the entire FEC complaint, click here.
There is at least one report of a person who received the DVD also getting an automated phone call asking that person to watch the film and then "keep it in mind when you go to the voting booth."
"American voters deserve to know whether they are the targets of a multi-million-dollar campaign funded and directed by a foreign group seeking to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria as a way to influence the outcome of our presidential election," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad said CAIR has received numerous complaints from those who were sent the DVD in newspapers delivered to their homes and has recorded at least one report of an anti-Muslim bias incident directly resulting from the DVD distribution.
SEE: Ohio Muslims Fearful After DVD Released in Newspapers
Some newspapers, including the News & Record in North Carolina and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, have refused to distribute the DVDs.
Interfaith leaders such as Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, have spoken out against the distribution of "Obsession" in swing states. In a statement, Gaddy also called for an FEC investigation: "...when a cynical attempt is made to influence our nation's presidential election by stoking fear of one religious group we believe the media along with public officials, such as the Federal Election Commission, must establish who is trying to influence our politics through religious bigotry."
SEE: Statement of Rev. Welton Gaddy On the Distribution of the Anti-Muslim Film "Obsession" in Newspapers
An editorial in the Palm Beach Post outlined the apparent political motivation behind the Clarion Fund campaign:
"Distribution of the DVD... was timed with the post-Labor Day start of presidential election season. About 95 percent of the papers that contained the DVD are in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire.
"Notice a pattern? Right, those are the swing states that most analysts believe will determine the election. The issue on which polls consistently show John McCain ahead of Barack Obama is national security. One way to make voters worry less about the economy and more about national security would be to send out a DVD that opens with clips of 9/11 and includes scenes of Muslims chanting 'Death to America!'"
SEE ALSO: Anti-Islam Film Targets "Swing State" (IPS)
Editorial and letter writers nationwide have called the film "propaganda" and even compared it to Leni Riefenstahl's 1935 pro-Nazi film "Triumph of the Will." One writer called it "misleading and dangerous." (Broward-Palm Beach New Times, 9/20/08)
SEE: Putting Lipstick on Propaganda Doesn't Change It (NWF Daily News)
Jeff VanDenBerg, director of Middle East Studies at Drury University, called the film "a blatant piece of anti-Muslim propaganda." (News-Leader, 9/17/08)
Those interviewed in "Obsession" constitute a veritable who's who of individuals CAIR calls "Muslim-bashers." Speakers include Walid Shoebat, who once told a Missouri newspaper that he sees "many parallels between the Antichrist and Islam" and "Islam is not the religion of God -- Islam is the devil." (Springfield News-Leader, 9/24/07)
Others interviewed in the film include Nonie Darwish, a self-styled "former Moslem" who wrote that "Islam is cruel, anti-women, anti-religious freedom and anti-personal freedom in general," and Daniel Pipes, who warned a Jewish convention of the "true dangers" posed by "the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims." (American Jewish Congress, 10/21/2001)
Another "Obsession" interviewee, Brigitte Gabriel, told the Australian Jewish News: "Every practising Muslim is a radical Muslim." She also claimed that "Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word... it's the vehicle for Islam... Islam is the problem."
SEE: The World According to Brigitte Gabriel (Australian Jewish News)
When asked whether Americans should "resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation," Gabriel said:
"Absolutely. If a Muslim who has -- who is -- a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."
SEE: 'Obsession' Stars Have Lectured at U.S. Military Colleges
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Chuck Hagel Speaks

Hagel Says U.S. Arabs Face 'Transformational Time'

Americans must work with Middle Eastern countries instead of against them, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) implored of a crowded Riggs Library during a speech yesterday afternoon.

“Now is one of those defining moments,” he said. “We can either drift toward danger or build a global community.”

In his lecture entitled “America: Our Next Chapter,” sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Hagel described the powerful impact that events in the Middle East have on America as a whole, saying that conflicts in the region are not isolated but have strong affect on the heart of America.

Hagel, a Vietnam veteran with two purple hearts, said that the best way to deal with the Middle East is to promote the “common interests” which we share with Arab countries and to encourage greater diplomacy, something that America’s next president will have to make a top priority.

“We can’t squander the next four years. We must welcome and help build a global community,” Hagel said. “The next president will have to make Congress, the Senate and the world a partner.”

“The Middle East is a tribal land, it has a history, it is complicated,” Hagel said, arguing that the region cannot be dealt with using traditional methods of force. “Military strength is not the solution in the Middle East,” he stated, adding that it often leads to the suffering of innocent civilians.

Rather, the United States should look for mutually beneficial policies to promote the interests of Americans and citizens in the Middle East, he said.

Under current conditions, Hagel stated that neither Americans nor Iraqis will tolerate American presence in the region for much longer. He illustrated the danger of areas such as the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, where terrorists are reforming and growing in number.

He also mentioned that this is the generation that will determine the new world order, having to deal with the drastic financial gap between different parts of the world.

Hagel compared the situation that America now faces to the one it faced after World War II, pointing to the 10 years directly after World War II as an example of progress in the realm of foreign policy.

In light of the upcoming elections, Hagel said that the next president will inherit the greatest number of challenges any president has confronted since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Hagel stated that given the current financial crisis and problems in America, the next president will be very limited in foreign policy options.

At the same time, however, Hagel said he was hopeful for the new president, saying that “this is one of the most transformational times in the history of man.” (source)

Youtube: Former serviceman, businessman, and long-serving politician, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) contributes a wealth of personal experience on America's most pressing issues from the domestic economy to political divisions to the Iraq war. The self-proclaimed patriot is not afraid to question the nation's current status, recent policy debacles and future prospects. America: Our Next Chapter is a tough but optimistic letter from one concerned citizen to the rest of America.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Offering #62: What if they staged an occupation and nobody came?

Nuremberg Principle:

Principle IV

The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.

2008 Shministim Letter: Israeli High School Students Refuse Military Service Enlistment
A group of Israeli high school students who signed the "Shministim" letter in 2006, refusing to enlist in the Israeli military.

We, Israeli youth who have just graduated from high school, declare that we will work against the policy of occupation and oppression of the Israeli government in the occupied territories and in the area of the state of Israel, and will therefore refuse to take part in these actions, which are conducted in our name as part of the Israeli military.

Our refusal to serve in the military comes first and foremost in protest of Israel’s state policy of separation, control, oppression and killing in the occupied territories, from an understanding that oppression, killing and the sowing of hatred cannot bring peace to the world, and which stand in contrast to the fundamental values of a society that purports to be democratic.

All members of our group are involved and believe in the importance of social work. We do not refuse to serve the society in which we live, but protest the policies of occupation and methods of action of the military apparatus as it exists today—violating rights, discriminating on the basis of race and acting in contravention to international laws.

We object to the means of “defense” of the Israeli society (checkpoints, the extrajudicial killings, apartheid roads for Jews only, the closures, etc.) which serve the policy of holding onto territory, annexing even more occupied lands to the state of Israel and violating the rights of the Palestinian population in an aggressive manner. These actions, both as band-aids on a bleeding wound and as providers of a temporary, limited solution which over time, result in a worsening of the conflict.

We protest the theft and vandalizing of Palestinian lands for an expansion of the settlements, all done in the name of defending Israel. Additionally, we object to the transformation of Palestinian villages and towns into closed ghettos due to the Separation Wall and the checkpoints, in which no conditions for making a basic living exist.

We further protest the humiliating and contemptuous attitude taken by the military toward Palestinian residents of the West Bank. This attitude is expressed in severe violence against demonstrators, humiliations, detentions, the destruction of private property, etc., in an unnecessary manner that further violates international law.

The Wall and the checkpoints encircle the territories and constrict like a noose around the neck of the Palestinians, and the soldiers who commit crimes under the protection of their commanders are seen as the face of Israeli society, a society that tramples and oppresses and which does not succeed in seeing the other people living beside it as a partner and not enemy.

In order to conduct a true dialogue between the two societies, it is incumbent upon us, the more established society, to strengthen the other side. It is only together with a more stable society—socially and economically—that we can hold an informed discussion, instead of committing unilateral actions. Instead of strengthening the hands of citizens who still have a hope of peace in their heart, the military imposes terrible sanctions and drags more and more people in the direction of impermeable and violent radicalism.

We call on every citizen who wonders whether the military policy in the occupied territories promotes the peace process, to check for herself the situation on the ground, to look for the humane side in it and in the society next to us, to break through the myths which are rooted in us, concerning the necessity of the military being in the territories and to protest every action found to be illogical and illegal.

In a place in which there are human beings, there is someone with whom to talk and therefore, we request to create a dialogue that rises above the power struggles, the unilateral acts of payback and attrition, to break the myth that “no partner exists,” which leads to a dead end of ongoing frustration, and to turn to more humane paths.

It is contradictory to aggress in the name of defense or to imprison in the name of freedom, and thus it is impossible to be moral and to serve the occupation.

The email address to contact the Shministim is shministim@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

To see the Shministim blog and the Hebrew petition online, click here.


"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" Matthew 5:9

Monday, September 15, 2008

Israeli Zionists Attempt to Tilt US Elections With the Mass Distribution of "Obsession"

Americans across the country woke up yesterday to a added bonus in their Sunday newspapers, a free DVD (26 million of them distributed), "Obsession" which purports to be a truthful documentary on "radical Islam".

From the website, read:


America is at War!

However, the war is an ideological war and is being waged by propagating misinformation, derived from misleading references and conditions. Make no mistake, evil people do exist and they are ruthless in their actions. The attacks of 9/11 will forever be a reminder that villains and criminals are capable of horrific acts that can cripple our nation. This is not Islam!


We as Americans have been deceived.

Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the WestNumerous organizations have formed and have been working together under the banner of "Education" to spread the "warning" that you need to "Wake Up" and to fear "Radical Islam", and it's war against the west.

No one tool has been used more often than the film "Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the West". This video has been shown in government buildings during business hours while employees were earning our tax dollars. Many Universities have held public viewings for students. Exposing our youth to half truths and verified lies. Many religious centers have adopted the film as an instructional material on Islam!

So what's the problem? People from all walks of life have been subjected to this film which is nothing more than a concentrated dose of fear designed to strike fear deep into the hearts of Americans, and to provoke the question "Does Islam really teach this"?.

The Facts are simple, this video contains within it numerous verified false claims and obvious errors. Some easy examples are the incorrect translations of Arabic documents to English, mislabeling Arabic television with Iranian or Persian television, events and scenarios placed out of context, as well as testimony given by self proclaimed reformed terrorist's. My question is, how did they get into America to do the interview? I thought we had a terrorist watch list! If indeed these men have committed acts of terror, and are currently living or residing in the United States they need to be brought in on charges for crimes against humanity. If all it takes is to say "sorry, I wont kill anyone else anymore", then we should all get a pass on the crimes we commit. However, this is reality, and the truth is, these men are deceiving you.

The film "Obsession" was produced/directed by (according the the movie's website) Raphael Shore and Wayne Kopping.

Just who is Raphael Shore besides being the producer of "Obsession"?

1. He is the founder of the Clarion Fund. Read, "Pro-McCain Group Dumping 28 million scare dvd's in swing states" (a Daily Kos commenter also states the film came in the latest edition of the Journal of Higher Learning)

2. He is the brother to Ephraim Shore, both men are Canadian/Israeli citizens, both are rabbis.

3. Both men are "bigshots in Aish HaTorah yeshiva," and are opening a center in Tel Avivaccording to their brother, David Shore who gave an interview to Haartz July 18, 2008titled "House Calls" (note that David is also into film making, being a former producer/screen writer for "NYPD Blue" and "Law and Order", creator of "Dr. House")

What is Aish Ha Torah yeshiva? According to this Wikipedia link (which at the top says it was written as an advertisement) Note:
The government of Israel awarded it 40 percent of the land facing the Western Wall.

A key Aish HaTorah program is the Discovery Seminar, which uses scientific methods, such as the Bible Code, to explore the authenticity of Judaism and its relevance to modern times. The four-hour seminar presents an overview of the entire gamut of Jewish history, philosophy, and attempts to answers questions such as, "Why Be Jewish?" "Does God Exist?" and "Is Torah True?"

From the link to "Discovery Seminar"

The backbone of the seminar is a series of classes called "Failsafe". They include classes on the unique signs of Kosher mammals and fish that apparently couldn't have been known thousands of years ago. Another presentation is on the historical claim of a national revelation that the Jewish people experienced at Mount Sinai. And perhaps most controversially, a presentation on scientific documented evidence for hidden codes in the Bible.

Hidden codes in the Bible? Now we're getting somewhere.

What other religious entity, in the US in particular, looks for codes in the Bible, for a translation of (in particular) Revelations as a guide to the future?

Christian Zionist Fundamentalists.

Although the outcomes for the two religious beliefs are certainly at odds with each other! Christian Zionists firmly believe that a certain number of Jews must convert to Christianity in time for the "rapture", something I am quite sure Aish Ha Torah believers might have a problem with. But it's ALL about the undivided support for Israel that Christian Zionists give which is at the core of any Israelis/Jews overlooking this sticking point.

This leads to a connection in another mass mailing of the film "Obsession" which took place in February. That month I attended the Sabeel conference in Pasadena and sat at dinner with a friend of mine, Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, co-founder of Jews on First and contributor to
the website/organization, Challenging Christian Zionism. That evening Rabbi Beliak was absolutely livid because he had just received a package in the mail which contained a copy of "Obsession"and the book, "Standing With Israel" by David Brog, director of Christians United for Israel. Included in the package was a letter from the former Israeli ambassador to the US asking the rabbis and other Jews the mailing went to to welcome the support of Christian Zionists. The mailing was sent out by the Republican Jewish Coalition using a postal permit by CUFI (Read the full article HERE.

Didn't John McCain just recently have to distance himself from CUFI out of utter embarrassment? Yet the Republican Jewish Coalition is mailing freebies written by CUFI's director.

Enter the massive distribution of the scare tactic film, "Obsession", produced by an ISRAELI citizen, distributed through the shadowy organization the Clarion Fund (founded by the same person) and BINGO, you've just HOPEFULLY scared the bejeebers out of 28 million voters who have heard McCain state, "The absolute gravest threat is the struggle that we're in against radical Islamic extremism which can affect - if they prevail - our very existence."

News outlets as well as bloggers are trying to get at the bottom of just who financed this 26 million mass distribution of "Obsession". The Clarion Fund's Ross stated that the money came from one contributor, but isn't giving up any secrets. Richard Silverstein posits that the entity behind the funding could be Sheldon Adelson, multi-billionaire Vegas mogul. Possible, very possible since he is on the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition who sent out the February mailing. (Read another posting on Adelson by Richard Silverstein HERE)

But at least Sheldon Adelson is a US citizen, whereas according to all research I have done so far, Raphael Shore is not. This means that a Canadian/ISRAELI Zionist is raising the funds to attempt to scare the American electorate into voting for McCain, who is running almost ENTIRELY a post 911 terror scare campaign.

While Ephraim and Raphael Shore have chosen to live their lives as purveyors of hate, their other brother David, has chosen a different path. In the Haartz interview he gave in July he wrote of the character he created, "Dr. House"

“”I personally think that the American networks underestimated the capacity of the audience to embrace a character like this. And it was sort of to my benefit. Because now they’re all scrambling to get that type of character on. But I think American audiences, the networks, all want the likable character and they mistake that for nice. And I think we like to watch Dr. House. He’s not likable in the traditional sense, but we like to watch him, and obviously that’s what really matters.”

One of the key phrases used in the show is “everybody lies.” House says it a lot. That’s a very pessimistic view for network TV in America.

“Again, I didn’t expect it to be this popular. I wrote that line in the pilot; it was just another line in the script. And then as we were doing the pilot, actually filming it, it suddenly became, obviously, … the defining thing about the show. And it’s not as pessimistic as it sounds. It’s more that everybody has secrets, and everybody sees the world their own way. It’s really a line that speaks to this character’s pursuit of truth. And that truth doesn’t come from just asking a person a question and getting an answer. Truth comes from digging deeper and finding out what’s behind that answer and what that answer really means. And even when a person’s not consciously lying, they are seeing a version of the world that may not be exactly the real version of the world. This character wants to find out the ultimate truth.”

Considering the shadowiness of the Clarion Fund, it’s statement that “Meir” and “Halperin” are aliases (Obsession's executive producer is listed as Peter Mier, while the production manager is listed as Brett Halperin, per Ephraim Shore) it’s refusal to state where the donations, in particular the sugar daddy donation for the mass mailing come from, I find David’s statement about “everybody lies”, truth as a matter of perception shrouded in personal secrets very illuminating. We don’t like to watch him, but we do, don’t just ask questions, dig deeper, get at the answer and what the answer really means.

Indeed, so true in the case of the mass distribution of “Obsession”, who ALL is behind it, and what is their goal.

Are they even Americans? No. Ephraim and Raphael Shore are Israeli/Canadian citizens

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On Palin's Foreign Policy Qualifications

Mike Peters cartoon

Source: Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News.

Favorite quote about Palin, came from Mike Knopf, the youngest delegate to the RNC at age 17,
" She's a hardworking housewife." Yep, and that's why McCain picked her, to appeal to the right wing housewives who have come out in droves to support someone they can relate to, living vicariously through Sarah Palin, she's one of them. (PUMA women who are supporting this UNQUALIFIED vp candidate should be ashamed of themselves!)

From Melissa McEwan at Shakesville:

You may recall that yesterday's Quote of the Day went to Sarah Palin for her contention that, because "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska," it gives her insight into "Russian actions."

Today's Quote of the Day goes to Alaskan blogger AKMuckraker, who explains just what seeing Russia from Alaska really means:

Ready for a lesson in Alaska geography/International Affairs? Off the coast of Nome, 532 miles northwest of Anchorage (the closest city) is an island called Little Diomede. Little Diomede is 2.4 miles east of the island called Big Diomede, which is in Russia.

Little Diomede, Alaska has a population of 146. It is 2.5 square miles in area. There are 42 children in the school. Nobody drives to work. Big Diomede is a whopping 26 square miles. On a clear day you can see the Island of Big Diomede from the western shore of Little Diomede. Therefore Sarah Palin is capable of negotiating with Putin and Sakashvili to peacefully settle the violent conflict that has been burgeoning in the separatist enclave of South Ossetia.
This is what one of the two major political parties of the United States of America is trying to seriously pass off as relevant foreign policy experience for one of two people on their national ticket.

I just had to write that down (so to speak). To make myself believe it.

From Cathleen Decker at the LA Times:

On Saturday, the McCain team was on the defensive after the Boston Globe reported that Palin's 2007 trip to Iraq, which the campaign had forwarded as evidence of foreign policy experience, was actually a trip to a Kuwait-Iraq border crossing. The campaign earlier had said the trip -- her only one outside North America -- included a visit to Ireland, but later acknowledged that was a refueling stop.

And last but not least, don't forget her mission is one DIRECTLY from God!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Christian" Sponsored Conference Sells Racist Obama Waffles

So, lets see these waffles were sold at conference sponsored by the Family Research Council, along with Focus on the Family Action. They were on sale for the THIRD day before they were pulled


Obama Waffles: Racial Stereotypes as Propaganda

obama waffles

You know Republicans are shaking in their cowboy boots when they resort to racial stereotyping as a way to undermine Barack Obama.

Activists at a conservative political summit held in Washington, D.C., Sept. 13 were buying up box loads of Obama Waffles, a waffle mix showing Obama on the front with bulging eyes and big lips as he smiles at a plate of waffles. On its top flap, Obama sports what appears to be a white turban next to the words: "Point box toward Mecca for tastier waffles."

obama waffles 2

Mark Whitlock and Bob DeMoss, who created Obama Waffles, insist they meant no harm, saying their drawings were merely political satire. The two writers from Franklin, Tenn., sold Obama Waffles for $10 a box from a rented booth at the Values Voter Summit (Values? HAH!) sponsored by the lobbying arm of the Family Research Council. The vendors were later booted from the forum after protesters found the waffle box offensive.

obama waffles 3

Republicans Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney spoke at the forum, which reportedly drew 2,100 participants from 44 states. Obama Waffles invokes the demeaning stereotype of the iconic pancake-mix caricature, Aunt Jemima, which has been widely criticized as offensive to African-Americans. Placing Obama in a turban plays into the false rumor that he is Muslim, when in fact he's Christian.

On the back of the box, Obama is shown wearing a sombrero and Mexican clothing above a recipe for Open-Border Fiesta Waffles that says it can serve "4 or more illegal aliens." Included with the recipe are the words: "While waiting for these zesty treats to invade your home, why not learn a foreign language?"

The conservative public policy groups American Values and Focus on the Family Action co-sponsored the event. Organizers halted sales of Obama Waffles on Sept. 13, saying they had not realized the boxes had displayed "offensive material." The waffle boxes had been on sale since Sept. 11. (source)

THIS article has more.

Monday, September 8, 2008

John McCain's suicide attempt and his resulting PTSD

The following article was just forwarded to me by my dear friend John McCarthy whose own story "An American P.O.W. in America" can be read on his blog HERE! (be sure to peruse John's entire blog)

Thanks John and God's speed to you in your indefatigable fight to uncover the lies and corruptions of our own government.

John McCain's suicide attempt and his resulting PTSD

By Ted Sampley
U.S. Veteran Dispatch
December 23, 2007
Presidential candidate John McCain's recently released Christmas ad depicting him as a tortured POW survivor underscores a reoccurring theme McCain's handlers have, for decades, carefully intertwined deep into his public persona and political campaigns.
McCain says because he survived 5½ years of brutal torture, while a prisoner of the communist Vietnamese, he is better qualified to be president of the United States than any other candidate. McCain claims his POW sufferings included three years in solitary confinement where he was tortured so badly that he "broke," causing him to attempt suicide.
What McCain's promoters have carefully edited out of their McCain-for-president equation is his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Department of Defense psychiatrists have evaluated McCain for PTSD several times, the results of which remain locked by privacy laws.
PTSD can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which physical harm occurred or was threatened. U.S. government studies have concluded that former POWs "may remain embroiled in a harsh psychological battle with themselves for decades after returning home."
An outcome of PTSD is a subtle web of personal problems including difficulty in controlling intense emotions such as anger and an inability to function well under stress.
Psychologist Patricia B. Sutker of the New Orleans Veterans Administration Medical Center and her colleagues reported in a 1991 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry that as many as nine of 10 surviving U.S. servicemen taken captive during the Korean War may suffer from PTSD and other mental disorders more than 35 years after their release.
In a follow-up study, VA experts concluded that POWs suffer "a much greater risk of developing PTSD than combat veterans."
Robert Timberg, in his book, The Nightingale's Song, wrote that POW McCain "suffered terribly in North Vietnamese camps."
Timberg wrote that in July 1968, McCain was taken to a room in which the North Vietnamese POW camp commander, whom the prisoners had nicknamed "Slopehead," was waiting with 10 guards and an interrogator nicked named "The Prick."
The guards, according to Timberg, charged into McCain, beating and kicking him until he "lay on the floor, bloody, arms and legs throbbing, ribs cracked, several teeth broken off at the gumline." The Vietnamese wanted McCain to confess to being a war criminal.
It was then and there that McCain, Timberg noted, was introduced for the first time to the "torture ropes." He wrote that McCain was tortured for several days before he broke and signed a confession that he was a war criminal. After signing the confession, McCain was so distraught that he attempted suicide but was stopped when a guard burst into the room.
Over the years, countless numbers of columnist/pundits have nearly drowned in their own drool suggesting McCain's POW experience greatly qualifies him to be president.
Washington Post columnist George Will once wrote that because McCain was such an "obstinate" POW hero resister, he was kept "in solitary confinement most of that time ... Every day for two years, one of his guards ordered him to bow, and then knocked him down."
Another columnist/pundit wrote, "McCain is a war hero ... He was tossed into the infamous 'Hanoi Hilton' prison camp, where he was hung by his fractured arms for hours at a time."
In the last two weeks before Christmas 2007, McCain is riding high on a new round of high-profile endorsements.
The New Hampshire Union Leader endorsed McCain on Dec. 16. Then former Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), gave his blessings followed by "back-to-back-to-back endorsements from three other major newspapers, The Des Moines Register, The Boston Globe and The Portsmouth Herald."
The New Hampshire Union Leader wrote, "Sen. McCain is much more than just a war hero who chose to endure years of abuse at the hands of a sadistic enemy rather than abandon his comrades."
The Des Moines Register wrote. "In an era of instant celebrity, we sometimes forget the real heroes in our midst. The defining chapter of McCain's life came 40 years ago as a naval aviator, when he was shot down over Vietnam. The crash broke both arms and a leg. When first seeing him, a fellow prisoner recalls thinking he wouldn't live the night. He was beaten and kept in solitary confinement, held five years. Sen. McCain is much more than just a war hero who chose to endure years of abuse at the hands of a sadistic enemy rather than abandon his comrades."
The Portsmouth Herald wrote, "As a former prisoner of war who was denied medical care and beaten by the North Vietnamese, McCain understands at the deepest level that torturing helpless prisoners who may or may not have some information ..."
Unfortunately for McCain, the baggage that accompanies understanding "the deepest level" of torture and especially "attempted suicide" is the psychological trauma known as PTSD.
During McCain's 1999 presidential campaign, he carefully controlled the release of some "redacted medical records" in what appeared to be an effort to counter discussions of whether McCain's legendary "short fuse" temperament makes him unfit to serve as president and commander in chief of the military. His campaign did not allow any pages to be photocopied and selectively picked news organizations to examine the records.
The 1999 campaign released a statement by Dr. Michael M. Ambrose, director of the Robert E. Mitchell Center for Prisoner of War Studies, that said: ''Senator McCain has never been diagnosed with or treated at the center for a psychological or psychiatric disorder. He has been subject to an extensive battery of psychological tests and following his last examination in 1993, we judged him to be in good physical and mental health.''
The doctors said McCain explained that while in solitary confinement he created for himself a fantasy world in which he lived. The doctors said McCain always heard the guards coming with his food, but "was often so much in his private world, that he strongly resented their coming around and bringing him back to reality by intruding. He was enjoying his fantasies so much."
Members of the two major POW/MIA family organizations know the "real" John McCain and they despise him. They have experienced firsthand his cruel, angry temperament.
In 1996, McCain encountered a group of POW/MIA family members outside a Senate hearing room. The family members were some of the same who worked tirelessly during the Vietnam War to make sure Hanoi released all U.S. POWs - including POW McCain.
McCain immediately began quarreling with the POW/MIA family members, who were eager to question him on the issue of what happened to their loved ones.
Instead showing courtesy and appropriate compassion by answering their questions, the Arizona senator pushed through the group, shoving them out of his way, nearly toppling the wheelchair of POW/MIA mother Jane Duke Gaylor. Her son, Charles Duke, a civilian worker in Vietnam, is among 2,300 American POWs and MIAs still unaccounted for by the communists.
The POW/MIA families, shocked at McCain's overly aggressive behavior toward Mrs. Gaylor, registered complaints with senate officials.
In an earlier incident involving families of servicemen still MIA, McCain got so angry that he went ballistic.
McCain was advised (Nov. 11, 1992) that Dolores Apodaca Alfond, chairwoman of the National Alliance of POW/MIA Families (her pilot brother Capt. Victor J. Apodaca is missing in action in North Vietnam), was offering testimony critical of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. He rushed into the hearing room to confront her.
Award winning journalist Sydney Schanberg described the scene. "His face [McCain] angry and his voice very loud, he accused her of making 'allegations ... that are patently and totally false and deceptive.'
"Making a fist, he shook his index finger at her and said she had insulted an emissary to Vietnam sent by President Bush. He said she had insulted other MIA families with her remarks. And then he said, through clenched teeth: 'And I am sick and tired of you insulting mine and other people's [patriotism] who happen to have different views than yours.'
"By this time, tears were running down Alfond's cheeks. She reached into her handbag for a handkerchief. She tried to speak: 'The family members have been waiting for years -- years! And now you're shutting down.' He kept interrupting her. She tried to say, through tears, that she had issued no insults. He kept talking over her words. He said she was accusing him and others of 'some conspiracy without proof, and some cover-up.' She said she was merely seeking 'some answers. That is what I am asking.' He ripped into her for using the word 'fiasco.' She replied: 'The fiasco was the people that stepped out and said we have written the end, the final chapter to Vietnam.' 'No one said that,' he shouted. 'No one said what you are saying they said, Ms. Alfond.' And then, his face flaming pink, he stalked out of the room, to shouts of disfavor from members of the audience."
POW families were even more angered when they saw McCain actually bonding with his former torturers during and after the 1992 Senate Select Committee hearings on POW/MIA Affairs. Psychologist have identified behavior in which a prisoner emotionally bonds with an abuser as the Stockholm Syndrome.
The first display of bonding occurred when Col. Bui Tin, a former senior colonel in the North Vietnamese Army who had actually interrogated McCain and other U.S. prisoners, testified before the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.
During a break in the hearing, McCain moved to where Col. Bui Tin was seated. Instead of grabbing Bui Tin by the neck and demanding his arrest for war crimes against U.S. POWs, McCain reached out and warmly hugged his former interrogator as if he were a long lost brother. Never mind that at least 55 American POW were murdered by interrogators and guards while in North Vietnamese prisoner of war camps.
In a 1992 visit to Hanoi, McCain warmly greeted Vietnam Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet, who had been a ranking Communist Party member of the secret Viet Cong National Liberation Front Central Committee during the Vietnam War.
As a senior Central Committee member, Kiet was responsible for helping formulate Viet Cong policy, which included ordering American POWs to be punished by execution.
On orders issued by Kiet's Viet Cong Central Committee, three U.S POWs, Special Forces Capt. "Rocky" Versace, Special Forces Sgt. Kenneth Mills Roraback and Army Sgt. Harold Bennett were publicly executed by the Viet Cong on Sunday, Sept. 26, 1965
On a Nov. 13, 1996 trip to Hanoi, McCain posed for a picture embracing Mai Van On, one of the Vietnamese who pulled McCain from Hanoi's Truc Bach Lake, where McCain parachuted in 1967 after his bomber was shot down. McCain has said many times that after being pulled from the lake, his Vietnamese rescuers brutally beat him and stabbed him with a bayonet.
Early in 2007, columnist Sidney Blumenthal, who once served as a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, questioned if McCain's "volatile temper" might derail his bid to be President.
Blumenthal wrote that the senator's temper sometimes surfaces in the form of obscenities: "McCain's political colleagues, however, know another side of the action hero -- a volatile man with a hair-trigger temper, who shouted at Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Senate floor to 'shut up,' called his fellow Republican senators 'shithead,' 'f******* jerk,' 'a**hole,' and joked in 1998 at a Republican fundraiser about the teenage daughter of President Clinton, 'Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father.'"
Regardless of all the obvious signs pointing to McCain's PTSD, the one outstanding fact is that McCain, by his own admission, broke under the stress of captivity and tried to kill himself.
National columnists and pundits have, so far, given McCain a "free pass" on the attempted suicide. Would the other presidential candidates be treated with the same indifference if they had an attempted suicide in their biographies?
Click here to comment on this report
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Added: (Less info)
The group Vietnam Veterans Against McCain attacks Senator John McCain's heroism as a POW in the Vietnam conflict; this is making some waves in the news due to McCain's presidential candidacy. The documentary "Missing, Presumed Dead the Search for America's POWs" however focuses more on Senator John McCain successfully blocking the release of classified POW/MIA documents. Here is an excerpt from that documentary. DVD of documentary may be purchased at

Friday, September 5, 2008


If you are a regular reader, please have patience. My father passed away midnight Wednesday after a long struggle with prostate cancer.

If you love the men in your life, PLEASE have them start getting tested annually for this horrendous disease. It's a simple blood test that could save his life.

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Willow Palin, "My Mom Will Help Alaska Be Independent From All This Mess"

Concerning the McCain campaign's claim that Sarah Palin was never a member of the Alaska Independent Party, with even the chairwoman of the AIP first claiming Sarah had been a member, and now saying she isn't/wasn't

This child (Willow Palin age 13) sure is growing up with some ODD ideas! Don't most people agree that children this age get their political ideas from their parents?

Tell me where you think a 13 year old gets the idea that her mother will "will help aslaska for the better so we can be independent from all this mess"


I wish NO harm to the Palin children, but by God Sarah Palin has been the responsible party in raising them and then thrusting them in to the public eye with her acceptance of the vp nomination. This is NOT about Willow who is a 13 year old CHILD, this is about her MOTHER and the ideas she has bred in her children.

Willow Palin got this idea from SOMEWHERE and I suggest strongly it was from the immediate surroundings of her home.

What about McCain's campaign slogan, "Country First"?

Is it not abundantly clear that Sarah Palin has ALASKA as her first priority by now? (along with her religious agenda) Our nation does NOT need a vp one heartbeat away from a president with a history of health problems who has EVER had this agenda!

Out of the mouths of babes.....................

(BTW-I just heard David Gergen say it's now day five since Palin was nominated and she has yet to give a press she being deprogrammed?)

dear perez hilton and diddy

September 2, 2008 mylifeaswillowpalin

ok I was reading perez hilton where he called my sister a whore and have these fake pictures

saying my sister was underage drinking and while pregnant! That is not my sister and she would never harm her baby!

dear diddy! u say no black people are in alaska? Well you are wrong, I even let one sit next to me on the bus once so go get info, thanks!

p.s.: I feel better now, I don’t wanna go home, I want my mom to be president one day like she knows she will be and


  • 2. lmae | September 3, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Willow - hang in there. Those foul mouthed morons fear your mother and the great things she will accomplish so they are going to say anything and everything about her and your family to discourage the country from voting for her and Senator McCain in November. They don’t care if it is true or false. You might want to censor yourself though. Anything you post or say will come back to haunt you. Please take caution, whatever you post is permanent.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Conception Out Of Wedlock Is A Palin Family Tradition

(For the record-I just deleted a similar post at Daily Kos because many over there thought this was a non issue. I disagree because this woman, Sarah Palin is anti-abortion, anti-sex education, pro-abstinence)

Here are the facts.

Track Palin, the oldest child of Sarah and Todd Palin is now 19 years old. His birth date is April 20, 1989.

Sarah and Todd Palin were married August 29, 1988

Using the backtrack option on the pregnancy calculator HERE, given todays date, September 2, if your baby was due next April 20th, you would currently be 7 1/2 weeks pregnant, almost SEVEN weeks before an August 29th (elopement) date.

Do I think this is significant that there is a HIGH likelihood that Sarah was pregnant when they eloped. You BETCHA! Because this woman (while she married her high school sweetheart at age 24) is now embracing her own SEVENTEEN year old daughter's pregnancy and saying Bristol is going to marry her "f-ing redneck" (his own self-descriptive words) EIGHTEEN year old boyfriend Levi. This is surely a odds heavy divorce in the making marriage coming from a "SUPER" mother who has a four month old special needs child herself who someone other than herself is obviously having to tend to while she is on the campaign trail. (this not to mention the danger she put that high risk pregnancy in!)


Do I think this is the MOST important detracting detail of Sarah Palin. No, but I sure do think it is one of them and saying that her personal life is off limits (comments on DK) when SHE is the one who has been carrying on her anti-abortion crusade since her MAYORAL days IS an issue.

Just because SHE did what she thought was the right thing (more than likely eloped when she was approximately six weeks pregnant) to do for herself does NOT give her the right to tell others what to do! She is on the record as pro-ABSTINENCE, anti sex education and yesterday trotted out her own pregnant teenager. Like mother like daughter!

For the record, I DO NOT CARE that she was more than likely pregnant when she and Todd eloped! I care that this woman does not PRACTICE what she preaches when it comes to "abstinence". She was 24 for God's sake, at that age she SHOULD have known about birth control. That she didn't, got pregnant and eloped is NOT the issue. The issue is that if Sarah Palin had it her way MORE people would be in the same position she would be in and then NOT have any other option than to marry or adopt out their child, marriage obviously being HER preference for even her seventeen year old daughter! I'm sorry folks, but GIVE ME A BREAK!

For the record also, I am pro-CHOICE not pro-ABORTION because I do not feel it is MY place to tell a complete stranger what they can do and send abortion clinics back to the back alley where women can DIE who choose this option.

So to all of those who think we should lay off this issue it is BECAUSE of this issue that other IMPORTANT issues won't be addressed such as her lack of ANY experience for this job because Sarah's TAWDRY family life will be detracting from her lack of experience. This woman is indeed McCain's WMD because she will gain SYMPATHY with the right wing Evangelical anti-abortion crowd who wants to tell YOU what you can and cannot do in the bedroom (and thereafter!)

Ralph Land of the Southern Baptist Conference described her as "straight out of central casting".

Yes she is! And to think if McCain is elected and croaks in office this INEXPERIENCED woman could become our president is FRIGHTENING because after all, presidents DO have other things to do rather than try to overturn Roe vs. Wade such as have SOME experience in foreign policy!

I could go on and on, but that's my rant for the day on this super "Christian" woman!


America Blog has this same subject if you want to read it over there.