Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nir Rosen hired by LSE, still wishes harm on Anderson Cooper

Nir Rosen, the free-lance journalist who gained infamy and lost an NYU fellowship after celebrating via Twitter the sexual assault on Lara Logan and wishing the same on Anderson Cooper, is back on Twitter. He's recently used it to announce that he's been hired by the London School of Economics. (Read here.)

He's also used it to imply that he still wishes harm on Anderson Cooper. (Read here: Twitter / @nir rosen: its hard to bite my tongue ...)

Rosen, who, in addition to posting hateful tweets wishing harm on Anderson Cooper and Lara Logan, has posted on Facebook photos of himself shooting an assault rifle and his toddler son dressed as a Hezbollah terrorist (read here), seems to love to court controversy by publicizing his violent fantasies.

Image from Nir Rosen's Facebook page

UPDATE (3/28/11): According to the Jewish Chronicle (read here), only two days after announcing his fellowship at LSE, Rosen has resigned from it.  The announcement came from a spokesman for the university.  Although it did not explain either his appointment or resignation, the announcement stated cryptically that, prior to his appointment, "LSE had already made clear it condemned the offensive comments he made about Lara Logan and others."  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Two planeloads of Basij militia reportedly arrive in Syria. Protesters opposing Iran and Hezbollah as well as Assad regime.

Elder of Ziyon relays reports that Iran is sending their brutal secret police force to put down Syrian anti-government protests. He also reports that YouTube has video of mourners at a funeral for a slain Daraa protester chanting "Neither Iran nor Hezbollah ... only to be a Muslim who is afraid of God."

read here: Elder of Ziyon: Report: Two planeloads of Basij militia arrived in Syria on Saturday

A commenter has complained that the sources for this report are weak, or as he puts it "the story is complete crap".  Although it has been reported by the Beirut Observer and by Kol Israel's Arabic edition, with details including the airlines and airport used, flight numbers and the times of arrival, both articles rely on anonymous sources.  I'll keep an open mind with respect to information contradicting these articles, but feel that they're worth reporting here with a grain-of-salt alert based on the anonymous sources and lack of corroborating reports from other media outlets.

(Thanks to the commenter.)

UPDATE (3/25/2011 7PM):  According to a report on Ynet (read here):

Deraa's Mukhtar (village chief) Muhammad al-Mehamid claimed that protestors in the city captured an Iranian sniper brought into the area to fire at protestors. "What's happening in Deraa is a great embarrassment to President Assad," he said in a TV interview. "Images of weapons which Syrian TV said came from Deraa are baseless. The Syrian intelligence cooked it up. The fire came from one source only – the Syrian's regime."

According to al-Mehamid "we have captured a man and we're waiting for the media to publish the truth. See that the man caught is a bearded Iranian who can't speak Arabic and has come to shoot us. We ask the international media – come see the truth."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Turkey interdicts Iranian weapons plane en route to Syria

TURKISH AUTHORITIES have seized rifles on a Syria-bound Iranian cargo plane after grounding the aircraft on Saturday, March 19th at the request of the United Nations which suspected that the aircraft had illicit cargo including nuclear materials on board.

Further inspections by Turkish authorities in Diyarbakir lead to the discovery of rocket launchers, mortars, rifles and explosive materials in one of the plane’s cabinets, along with a box containing automatic weapons, Turkish media reports.

Members of the seven-man crew have been taken in for questioning, as judicial officials are assessing whether or not the presence of these weapons were in adherence to international laws. Charges have not been pressed against any crew members.

Suspicions which led to the grounding of this cargo plane, along with the grounding of another Syria-bound Iranian aircraft on March 16th could also be a result of accusations made by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency in 2008 that Syria may be building an undeclared reactor at covert site, Dair Alzour.

source: Iran180

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Arizona anti-immigrant bills defeated

A series of bills intended to limit the rights of children of immigrants has been withdrawn by their sponsors, an implicit acknowledgment that they lacked the votes to pass. (Read here: Trouble in Teabagger Land? - Blog For Arizona.)

Senator Ron Gould (R-Lake Havasu City) was the author of SB-1308 and SB-1309. SB-1308 would have established two new forms of birth certificates: one for children with at least one parent a legal resident and another for children of undocumented immigrants. SB-1309 required children to have at least one parent to be a citizen or documented immigrant in order to be considered a citizen of Arizona. If passed, both of these bills would inevitably face constitutional challenges in that they contradict the plain language of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." There's also the matter of 150 years of subsequent case law.

After his bills were withdrawn, Gould gave an angry floor speech in the Senate, saying:

You have to wonder sometimes why are conservatives still members of the Republican Party.

Feb 7: Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake <span class=
Sen. Ron Gould

In another example of anti-Hispanic racism in Arizona's senate, Senator Lori Klein (R-Anthem) gave a speech which depicted Hispanic public school students as "gang members" who "don't want to be educated".  These conclusions were those of a substitute teacher who wrote a letter complaining about a single disobedient class he had to teach. Here is video of that speech, along with a Democratic response:

And now it turns out that the letter she read may have been a hoax.  (Read here.)  There's no record of a substitute teacher with the name of the person who sent that letter. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ralph Mooney, genius of the steel guitar

The great Ralph Mooney has died. Unless you're a country music fan, you probably don't know him, but you should. He played a major role in developing the Bakersfield and outlaw styles of country music. He started out in the mid '50s playing in Wynn Stewart's band in Bakersfield. His playing was key to Buck Owens' early hits, and many of the best records made by Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. He was the master of incredibly brief, yet completely perfect, intense and unforgettable introductions and solos, and had a rare gift as an accompanist. He was one of those artists who brought traditional and new ideas together in a way that stretched and transformed the genres in which he worked. If you don't think the term "genius" is merited, you're wrong. (Watch video here.  Solo starts at 0:55.)  Here's some more proof:

Obituary: Ralph Mooney dies at 82; influential steel guitarist played with Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard -

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gloating over the plight of a hostage

Yvonne Ridley is gloating via Twitter over the plight of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in a 2006 cross-border raid.

For Ridley, a journalist who was held hostage by the Taliban and subsequently came to advocate Islamism, to celebrate the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit by Hamas is a new low for her. It's not only ironic; it's hypocritical, pathetic and disgusting. I can see why some say that she suffers from Stockholm Syndrome*. Now she not only appears to suffer from that illness, she actually advocates it.

(*Stockholm Syndrome is the paradoxical development of reciprocal positive feelings between hostages and their captors, which is said to enhance the hostages' ability to cope with their captivity.)


Monday, March 14, 2011

Will David Irving violate the Civil Rights Act on his upcoming U.S. speaking tour?

Buried within the mass of documents disclosed via Wikileaks are a series of Holocaust denier David Irving's emails concerning his 2009 speaking tour of the U.S. (Read here.) Along with embarrassing details of Irving's unsuccessful passes at his assistant, an Indianapolis-based far-right activist and former official of the Indiana Libertarian Party named Jaenelle Antas who is 50 years younger than Irving (read here and here and here), the leaked emails included details of Irving selling tickets for his speeches.  These emails appear to show that, when a prospective audience member contacted Irving's website for tickets to one of his speeches, they were vetted by Irving himself, and those who were suspected of being Jewish were flagged with the word "ACHTUNG" (in all capital letters). Here are some examples (with the names, phone numbers and email addresses of the applicants redacted):

Xxxx Wilson Xxxx
298 Gates Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11216
United States
555 555 5555

1 Not known to us

ACHTUNG, Jewish?

PayPal paid $15.00

November 4, 2009 @ 10:33 PM
I registered for the November 14th speaking engagement in New York City via
PayPal and received a confirmation e-mail and receipt, but nothing more. Please
confirm that Mr. Irving is scheduled to appear on Thanks,
Will Xxxx
336 East 13th Street Apartment Xx
New York, New York 10003
(555) 555-5555
On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 10:54 AM, wrote:
We issue the actual location much closer to the event, for security reasons. I
can be reached by cell phone at 305 923 6779 in the event of difficulties.
Understood. In advance, thanks.

Xxxxxxxx Patty Xxxxxxxx
235 Naples Terrace
Apt. Xx
Bronx, NY 10463
555-555-55555 Not known to us

ACHTUNG is quarter-Jewish

October 31, 2009 @ 1:49 PM

I would be honored to hear and be in the presence of Mr. Irving. He is a lion of
She phoned 1.11.09 also pleading for details, says has no c.c., Paypal etc; I
explain problem.

Has not yet registered

Xxxxxx David M Xxxxxx
73-12 35th Ave. #x
Jackson Heights, New York 11372

1 ACHTUNG: Jewish, notify of location at last moment only

While there is no indication in the leaked emails that Jews were denied entry to his speeches (they may have been, but these emails don't say), those thought by Irving to be Jewish were certainly treated differently from others attempting to purchase tickets.  At the least, for so-called "security reasons", the locations of the speeches were withheld from those he thought to be Jewish.  Non-Jews were not subjected to this.  (*See note below.)  That different treatment on the basis of religion has a name.  Discrimination.   Here's what the Civil Rights Act says about such discrimination:

SEC. 201. (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
United States law does not permit those holding events in public accommodations to treat people differently based upon their religion or ethnic group.  Not only must everyone be allowed access to speeches given in public places, they must be treated equally as well.  Federal law does not allow those selling tickets to public events to have different procedures for getting tickets or finding out where the event is taking place based on the audience member's race, religion or nationality.

David Irving's 2009 speaking tour of the U.S. featured events at public accommodations such as churches, restaurants, American Legion halls and motels, as well as at private homes.  I would be interested to know whether those events held at public accommodations violated the Civil Rights Act by discriminating against Jews.  I would also like to know if Irving's upcoming U.S. tour, which is scheduled to begin in a scant two weeks, will similarly discriminate.  Shouldn't either the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department or the Attorneys General of the states in which he spoke or intends to speak investigate past religious discrimination by Irving and act to prevent it from happening again?  Although the webpage for ordering tickets to Irving's upcoming speeches currently indicates that they all take place at "private locations", this claim can't be verified because event locations are kept secret until the applicant is approved to attend.  Moreover, if a private home were to be used for a publicly advertised, for-profit event, would that be defined as a public accommodation under the Civil Rights Act?    If  the Justice Department or state AG's offices are interested in attempting to purchase tickets to Irving's speeches under Jewish and non-Jewish names, they can do so at the following link:

The following tour schedule has been posted on an anti-fascist website:

February 28: Miami, FL
March 1: Orlando, FL
March 2: Savannah, GA
March 3: Columbia, SC
March 4: Raleigh, NC
March 5: Richmond, VA
March 6: Washington DC
April 9: Indianapolis, IN
April 10: St. Louis, MO
April 12: Dallas, TX
April 13: Houston, TX
April 15: San Antonio, TX
April 16: El Paso, TX
April 17: Albuquerque, NM
April 20: Las Vegas, NV
April 21: Phoenix, AZ
April 22: Sherman Oaks, CA
April 23: Orange County, CA
April 28: San Francisco, CA
April 29: Sacramento, CA
May 1: Portland, OR
May 2: Seattle, WA
May 3: Spokane, WA
May 4: Kalispell, MT
May 6: Billings, MT
May 8: Bismarck, ND
May 9: Fargo, ND
May 10: Minneapolis, MN
May 11: Madison, WI
May 12: Chicago, IL
May 13: Detroit, MI

Law enforcement officials can very easily verify whether Irving is continuing his apparent practice of discriminating against Jewish applicants for tickets to his speeches, and they should do so.

[NOTE:  With respect to Irving's treatment of non-Jews, the 2009 emails leaked to Wikileaks indicate that an applicant for tickets whose name was Turkish was tagged by Irving with the notation "Probably OK; BUT Not known to us".  No "ACHTUNG" for him.

Other applicants wrote brief statements indicating their credentials as pro-Nazi, a simpering fan of David Irving or at least non-Jewish. At least one person purchasing tickets was all three:

I attended your Miami talk in May 2005. My great-grandfather was a member of theGerman [sic] Intelligence Services overseas during WWII, and my grandfather was a member of the Waffen-SS. Currently I'm a college student, and my goal is to obtain a PhD in History, and another PhD in Philosophy. Needless to say, I GREATLY admire your work.

Other applicants got Irving's terse notation "Is OK" next to their names.  Among those was Jacques Pluss, a former professor at New Jersey's Farleigh Dickinson University who has proclaimed himself to be a Nazi, as if you couldn't already tell.  (Read here.)

Former professor Jacques Pluss: "OK" in David Irving's eyes.

Perhaps the most shocking revelation in the leaked David Irving emails is an email apparently sent to Irving by Col. Thomas W. McGuire Jr. of the U.S. Air Force.  This email asks

If I could arrange it, would you be interested in speaking at the US Air Force top professional military officers school the Air War College located here in Montgomery at Maxwell AFB on some future visits? The college has about 300 colonels/ lieutenant colonels in attendance. I was a senior faculty member at the College when I retired.

That email goes on to ask Irving's opinion of Pat Buchanan's loathsome work of historical revisionism "Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War", Buchanan's latest mainstreaming of pro-fascist propaganda.  McGuire, whose resume states that he "(f)lew 100 missions over North Vietnam in McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantoms, leading 31 missions over Hanoi area known as Route Pack Six", is retired from active service, and is currently active in Military Officers for 9/11 Truth and Pilots for 9/11 Truth (read here).]

Below is a photo of David Irving's assistant and former official of the Indiana Libertarian Party, Jaenelle Antas, who posts on the racist website Stormfront under the screen name "Tristania".  In an interview with a neo-fascist website (read here), she describes herself as working full time running Irving's online bookstore.  Antas was key to organizing Irving's 2009 tour, and she appears to be working with Irving on his upcoming U.S. tour.  She also says that she is working to secure funding for republishing Irving's out-of-print books, and recently assisted Irving in conducting a tour of World War II sites in Poland  "for a group of about a dozen select guests".


Antas is working on Stormfront to sell tickets to Irving's core audience.  (Read here and here.)  She writes there that

This year's talk should be pretty good. He's written about 12 chapters of the Himmler biography so far and these talks will be a foretaste of what is to come in that book. He's got a lot of interesting documents and anecdotes to share.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cynthia McKinney and the Society of Supporters of the Green Book

The billions stolen by dictatorships such as that of Libya's Qaddafi can buy many things. Not least among them is the support of professional activists who sell themselves as advocates of peace and universal principles of human rights. I use the phrase "sell themselves" advisedly. As has been widely reported, a number of universities, NGOs and public intellectuals have come under metaphorical fire for accepting money to provide cover for a dictatorship which has literally been killing many of those unfortunate enough to live under its sway for the past 41 years. That record of duplicitous support by alleged idealists for the most cynical form of tyranny has recently been made unavoidable by the tyrant's decision to unleash the sort of murderous abuse he formerly imposed on an individual, private basis in a more public and widespread manner.  The entire country has become his torture chamber.

With that in mind, let's have a listen to Cynthia McKinney, 2008 Green Party presidential candidate and  2009 honoree of the Qaddafi's Society of the Supporters of the Green Book, a pseudo-NGO the dictatorship set up to honor itself using money it stole from the people of Libya.

Video Part 1:

Video Part 2:

At 0:44 of Part 2 of the video of McKinney's speech, she can be heard heaping praise upon the dictator for helping to spread democracy around the world. To thunderous applause she says:

Colonel Qaddafi should be highly commended for honoring our ancestors, the framers of true democracy, by reaching out from Africa to the entire world.  We would like to thank him for this opportunity to discuss his thoughts as presented in the Green Book.  We are hear to listen and observe, then to support and carry forth the ideas of equality and democracy, universal principles embodied in the Green Book -- the goal of our effort being to empower black and indigenous and depressed peoples worldwide for the betterment of the Earth and all its inhabitants.

We are acutely aware that the planet awaits a total ethical and structural change in governance.  It is therefor necessary to be truly governed of, by and for the people.  To these principles we have pledged out honor and fidelity.  This is what we know, and to put our lives on the line for in our everyday work (sic).  Far too often, we are alone in the battlefield in our respective struggles, so we are pleased to enter into a solidarity that shatters the limits of our separation. We must now all own that we are a community without walls.  Like Che Guevara, we hold that an injury to one is an injury to all, everywhere.   The univeral principles of the Green Book, although widely associated with the challenges facing developing nations, are equally applicable to the needs of people of the United States at this period of profound crisis for finance capital.

At 3:45 she says

We endorse the Green Book principles and offer to contribute to the success of their implementation.  In economics, we hold that the wage system is bondage and should be replaced by shared responsibilities and rewards, true partnership and equal distribution.  

McKinney's speech goes on to elaborate at length the idea that Qaddafi's Green Book represents the highest ideals of socialism and should be universally supported.  She also calls (at 4:40 of the video) for "dismantling" the world's six largest media corporations, a view with which Qaddafi and his supporters would certainly agree.

Along with these videos, I found on YouTube the following videos of McKinney's "delegation" to this pro-Qaddafi conference.

I noticed among the U.S. delegates someone who looks a great deal like the  conspiracy theorist Wayne Madsen.  (See 3:40 of the below-embedded video. The heavy-set man with beard and sunglasses appears to be Madsen.  Under a blaring soundtrack of oud mood music, Madsen can be heard weaving a yarn concerning a conspiracy to have him killed.)  Madsen is currently promoting on his website a conspiracy theory that Israel is secretly backing Qaddafi.  His condemnation of Israel's imagined support for Qaddafi seems odd considering  that Madsen actually participated in a conference supporting the dictator.   This is made all the stranger by his website's report that People's Hall, the regime's main public assembly and the hall in which the 2009 Society of Supporters of the Green Book conference occurred, had been set ablaze by opposition forces.  Madsen illustrates the story with an amateurish photo captioned "Inside People's Hall in Tripoli during WMR editor's visit to Libya in October 2009".

That Madsen was a delegate to this conference is further supported by a column written by another delegate, Bob Fitrakis, a professor at  Ohio's Columbus State Community College, 2006 Green Party candidate for Governor of Ohio, and editor of a website called The Free Press.  Fitrakis' peculiar column describing the conference claims that he initially thought that he was participating in the conference as a journalist, but was named without his knowledge as the chief of the U.S. delegation after McKinney was designated the chief of the North American delegation.  Fitrakis indicates that, while he did not actually volunteer for this role, he more than made up for that by reading a speech to the conference which, he was told, had actually been drafted by Qaddafi himself.  Consider his column's concluding assessment of Qaddafi, which he wrote in November 2009, as you watch reports of the horror currently unfolding in Libya.

(I)t is intriguing that a robed, revolutionary Bedouin living in a tent in Tripoli seems to have a more realistic assessment of the U.S. economy and the state of our democracy than many of our own elected officials.

Fitrakis' column is available in a cached version here and on his website here.

For understandable reasons, Fitrakis and McKinney have been silent on the amazing events unfolding in Libya.  While they were more than happy to offer their support for Libya's dictatorship in the days when the killings were done behind closed doors, they have had nothing to say since the killing has gone public.  McKinney and Fitrakis enthusiastically promoted the lie that Qaddafi was a beneficent, democratic and progressive leader.  Now that the people of Libya have risen up to rid themselves of his brutal yoke, McKinney and Fitrakis have grown uncharacteristically silent.

Also for understandable albeit more blatantly absurd reasons, Wayne Madsen now portrays his former friend Qaddafi as a Zionist stooge.  If you have any doubt that Madsen's anti-Jewish conspiracy theories represent the world in a fun house mirror, let this serve as the last straw.

U.S. delegation to the 2009 Society of Supporters of the Green Book conference.  McKinney is at the center, Fitrakis is on the left of the second row, Madsen is second from the left in the front row.  (From The Free Press)

Cynthia McKinney at the 2009 conference at People's Hall in Tripoli.  (From The Free Press)

The burned-out People's Hall as it appeared on February 21, 2011.

(source for Tripoli videos: YouTube - kampress's Channel)

"Shoah" to be seen in Iran via satellite

Filmmaker Claude Lanzmann's renowned nine-plus-hour film "Shoah" includes testimony from concentration-camp survivors and employees about the slaughter of millions of Jews in Europe during World War II.

The Aladdin Project, a Paris-based group, said the film would be shown starting Monday over the next several days on the large Los Angeles-based satellite channel Pars. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned historical accounts of the Holocaust, and called for Israel's destruction.

The Aladdin Project tried twice to get a green light from Iranian authorities to hold a press conference in Tehran about the killing of Jews during World War II, but received no response, Abe Radkin, the group's executive director, told The Associated Press.

"If the Iranian government agrees to broadcast [the film] on a public channel, we would welcome it," he said.

TV satellite dishes are outlawed in Iran, but enforcement of the ban is spotty. Many people no longer worry about concealing the dishes. In recent months, authorities have targeted some sections of Tehran to remove dishes, but the sweeps appear to be isolated.

The Aladdin Project has also dubbed the film into Arabic and Turkish. It will be shown in Turkey at the Istanbul film festival next month, then a week later on the TRT channel, Radkin said.


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