Abu Mazen's new propaganda line

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'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen met with 30 American Jewish leaders in Washington on Wednesday night, and started pushing a new propaganda line: That he would never deny Jews their right to the land of Israel.
Abbas also acknowledged Israeli security concerns, saying he would allow foreign troops into a future Palestine to help maintain the peace. He vowed to remove incitement from Palestinian airwaves and textbooks.
why would Abbas not want the UN troops is Palestine? The UN is controlled by the Islamic states anyway.
The event took place at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, and the audience included leading personalities that spanned the spectrum of Jewish opinion.
Among them were Elliot Abrams, a veteran of the Reagan and second Bush White Houses; Sandy Berger, the National Security Adviser to Bill Clinton; publisher Mortimer Zuckerman; and leaders from major Jewish groups like the powerful AIPAC lobby, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Anti-Defamation League
if there ever was Taqiyya... the ADL and AIPAC got it
JERUSALEM — The Palestinians have long feared the Jewish lobby in Washington. Now, they are embracing it.
...and why not.  The Jewish Organizations sound like Palestinians.  So ready to be conquered in the name of popular funding.
"I want to tell everyone that these people suffered, and we are suffering. Now we want peace between each other," Abbas was quoted as saying. He rejected Holocaust denial, a common sentiment in Palestinian society.
but Abbas was the one who wrote the book on Arab Holocaust denial. Why not change the Fatah charter if he doesn't think the Holocaust never happened and is religiously determined to kill Jews?
When asked what he could offer Israelis to show that he was serious about peace initiatives, Abbas reminded the participants that he had addressed the Israeli public in an interview on Channel 10. "Why wouldn't Bibi go to Palestinian TV and do the same?" said the Palestinian president.
"I would never deny [the] Jewish right to the land of Israel," Abbas then declared.
Later on Wednesday, Abbas told Charlie Rose in an interview on PBS that Israel must agree to ceding East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital as a necessary precondition for any peace settlement.
"East Jerusalem is occupied territory. The entire world recognizes that including the United States of America," Abbas told Rose. "We cannot accept any solution that excludes East Jerusalem."
I have three comments. First, if Abu Bluff recognizes the Jewish right to the land of Israel why does he deny the Jewish right to 'east' Jerusalem by calling it 'occupied territory'? Oh, that's right, Abu Bluff denies that the two Jewish Temples ever existed, doesn't he?
Second, if Abu Bluff would never deny the Jewish right to the land of Israel, does that mean we won't be seeing any more pictures like the ones in this post (which show Abu Bluff in front of maps that show the entire land of Israel - from the River to the Sea - as 'Palestine')?
And third, when will Abu Bluff be going on 'Palestinian' television to tell the 'Palestinian people' in Arabic that he cannot deny the Jewish right to the land of Israel? What's that? He won't be? At least not while he's alive? I didn't think so.
So did the 'American Jewish leaders' fall for this line? At least one apparently did.
"I am sure some people don't agree with him but the fact that everybody showed up was pretty encouraging," one of the participants told Haaretz..
if there ever was Taqiyya... the ADL and AIPAC got it

Chicken Soup

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Chicken Soup



Chicken Soup on Facebook

Palestine and Norway says Juice are stealing Oxygen. Seriously

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The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry claim Israel has seized seven oxygen machines intended for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and paid for by the Norwegian government. It said that a protest was being made to Norway. The story was picked up by several European newspapers. No evidence or specifics—what Israeli agency held them up? What dates? What hospitals were these for?--was provided.

Mazel Tov To Marriage and Respecting Difference: Carrie Prejean To Marry NFL Quarterback

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Prejean, 23, and Boller, 29, got engaged this February. The footballer plays for the Oakland Raiders and hails from Burbank, California.
Dethroned Miss California USA winner Carrie Prejean on holiday with her quarterback husband-to-be Kyle Boller
Getting wed: Dethroned Miss California USA winner Carrie Prejean on holiday with her quarterback husband-to-be Kyle Boller
the real Apartheid was in the Gay Community this year: (1) The largest Gay Pride parade in the world disinvited the Israeli contingent because of pressure from increasingly violent anti-Israel demonstrators in Spain (2) A bisexual softball team has decided that they were discriminated against by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) because they had too many heteros on their team. The lawsuit, filed in a federal district court, alleges that the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) violates the Washington State law against sexual orientation discrimination in public accommodations. It says the group did so by imposing a rule that teams participating in the 2008 Gay Softball World Series could have no more than two heterosexuals per team. (3) Perez Hilton. the first part of respecting difference is respecting difference. acknowledging others comes with acknowledging different needs. Has sex without marriage for heterosexuals become any safer today then it was thousands of years ago? Do you support the bigotry of those against marriage that protects the identity and purpose of women and men and the dignity that comes from difference? Should those that labor for children not be recognized by the state?

Also I have pictures of some of the comments from Perez Hiltons blog... and he allows a lot of Antisemitism in his forums

LOL Obama and Saudis Talk Shit Kick The Can After Israel Landing on Arabian Soil

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Do you think because the Saudis are cooperating with Jews that they still won't kill them?
The Saudi monarch, who met Tuesday Barack Obama in the White House, did not mince his words the recent trip by the French Minister of Defense Hervé Morin to Jeddah.  "There are two countries in the world who do not deserve to exist: Iran and Israel,"  said King Abdullah, on June 5. 

This diatribe against the two designated enemies of Arabia has been confirmed by two French sources, diplomatic and military, in Paris. It is unclear what the reaction of the Minister of Defence was, - he was surrounded by a handful of diplomats and high-ranking officers in the audience with the king, culminating a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia.

NIF marriage to Mondoweiss

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inversion. first the Octopus of Jews from Nazi Germany and then the same language from Arabists about Jews. Second time around the original creator of the imagery of hatred is merged with the victim. Gives me recursion of thought just thinking about it. and the twist is that NIF who is supposed to be supporting Israel is flipping with the conceptual flipper. If it were a synchronized swim routine it would be gorgeous... but sadly it is hate.
New Israel Fund (NIF) – a powerful “progressive” foundation which purports to “work to strengthen Israel's democracy and to promote freedom, justice and equality for all Israel's citizens” – recently posted a link to an essay on Mondoweiss which praised NIF and their President, Daniel Sokatch. The Mondoweiss link appeared prominently on their home page, under their “NIF in the News” section.[xxix] While NIF can’t be held responsible for what others write about them, it is curious that the foundation would at least appear to tacitly endorse such an openly and viciously anti-Zionist blog such as Mondoweiss. It also raises some serious questions about frequent claims by NIF and its progressive Israeli supporters that they are “vehemently opposed to BDS and the broader delegitimization campaign against Israel” – positions which, NIF must be aware, are passionately championed by the bloggers of Mondoweiss
Nazi cartoon, circa 1938--An octopus with a Star of David over its head has its tentacles encompass the world.[i]
 
Nazi, Soviet, and, more recently, Arab anti-Semitic caricatures often portray Jews as spiders, cockroaches, and Octopuses – dehumanizing Jews by turning them into animals that are destructive, inhuman and evil. The cartoon below, by the notorious anti-Zionist cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, was posted on the “progressive” Jewish anti-Zionist blog, Mondoweiss recently[ii] – by a frequent Mondoweiss blogger named Seham[iii] – in reference to the Gaza flotilla incident.

This ugly caricature of the Jewish state manages to both employ Nazi-like anti-Semitic imagery of a beastly and monstrous Jewish collective while simultaneously asserting that the Jewish state has become the new Nazi Germany. (Note the Jewish Magen David on the Israeli flag is morphed into a swastika) Such insidious depictions of Israel and Israelis are mostly seen on extremist websites, and is a phenomenon known as Holocaust inversion[iv].

FACEBOOK HAS DELETED BOYCOTT BP, LEAVING ALMOST 800,000 FANS HANGING

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not sure how true this story is... as it is CNN and not to be believed, but if it is true then it would open a can of worms as to why facebook is allowing Holocaust denial and other hate forums in the name of free speech, but caters to censorship if a large companies reputation in at stake

As recently as 30 minutes ago, Facebook has removed the main "Boycott BP" from it's page.  With it, it leave almost 800,000 fans hanging.

This group was created with the intent of sending a clear and strong message to BP and to Washington that what has happened in the Gulf has to stop everywhere.

People from all over the world shared video clips, pictures, and frustration over what has been seen incredibly slow process to an ever growing economic and environmental disaster.

Boycott BP and it's creator, Lee Perkins, have been focused in several interviews recently, one of which was done with Diane Sawyer.  To say he has made a large impact in a short amount of time is an understatement.

The question is:  Why did Facebook suddenly take down the site?  Some will call it a media black out of what is really happening down here in the Gulf.  Some might say he was doing more harm than good given the fact that the Boycotting of BP was actually beginning to take hold if you judge by some of the photos and videos being posted of station owners either changing to a new brand, or closing altogether.

Whichever way you look at it, the voices of the people were being heard in a most unique and powerful way.  We felt we were making a difference.

If we were not, then why the sudden removal of the page?

UPDATE:  Lee Perkins has put a new Facebook Page here:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-bpARCO/138332356184294?ref=mf#!/pages/Boycott-bpARCO/138332356184294?v=wall&ref=mf

His Quote:

"

Boycott bp/ARCO I can't believe they shut us down with no explanation. I could not even say goodbye to my friends. We must have been doing something right. Calling the media now. bayoulee.com is up and running. ty Bayou Lee"



Kagan’s “Low Value” Speech Could Be Expensive | THE CUBAN REVOLUTION

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While Kagan appears to be focusing more on conduct based regulation when it comes to hate speech, one has to be concerned when we start talking about  a categorical balancing of the costs and “value” inherent in certain speech.  This takes us into a legal form of “social engineering” that has no place on the court.
If speech leads to imminent lawless action or fits a few other very narrow categories  we already can regulate it and we do. Even these types of laws, however, have been subject to subjective moral flexibility. The use of child pornography laws to prosecute sexting is an example.  What about hate speech? Who sets the bar?   Are we going to criminalize Holocaust Denial?  That’s low value speech to me.  Why not?  If she gets hers, I want mine.  It’s ad hoc right?   What about inflammatory political speech?   We tried that once. It was called Sedition. Didn’t work out well.
I am not contending that Kagan is going to go off the “free speech deep end” but to even consider any type of “value balancing” approach to hate speech even with the best intentions could take us down a free speech rabbit hole that will be hard to climb out of, setting the 1st Amendment back decades.
Is there low value speech?  I agree with Kagan that there is.  That does not mean the court should start adding ad hoc categories designed to tell me what it is. I can decide for myself and make my personal decision if I want to view it, engage in it or debate it.  There is already enough subjectivity to go around without opening up a Pandora’s Box of  moral interpretation.

Read Brian's entire post at briancuban.com
The key quotes from Kagan are there.

Any idea in pure form is dangerous. Obviously there are limits to how far speech can go before it threatens the individual. The key to this issue is more complex then just weighing the values, variables and attributes of cause and effect. Of course there is no math to this. What scares me is not that Kagan sees limitations to what can be said... what scares me is that she (and this is an assumption based on her other loyalties) will assume that violent speech can be policed in a centralized manner by the Federal government or worse... the U.N.

Zionists corner the market on illegal drugs as well

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A senior Iranian commander took the US and the Zionist regime of Israel responsible for the spread of drug addiction in the world, stressing that they use drugs as a biological weapon against the freedom-seeking nations.
"The US and the Zionist regime are pioneers of drug distribution in the world and the world arrogant powers use drugs as a biological weapon against the freedom-seeking nations," Commander of Iran's Basij Forces Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said on Monday.
The arrogant powers want to pocket the money earned through the production and trafficking of the drugs, which is the second profitable source of capital after weapons smuggling, and spread addiction among target populations, he added, reminding that most of the American addicts are from the Blacks.
The drug problem will not be uprooted in the world until arrogant powers are annihilated, the commander underlined.
He described Afghanistan as the main source of drug production in the world, and underlined that NATO forces in Afghanistan are currently in control of 8,000 tons of drugs which they aim to smuggle into other countries to captivate their nations through addiction.
I guess the American finds in the Afghan of Lithium used for laptop batteries (according to the NYTimes) and other minerals shows that the Yankees are trying to corner the Opium market? Those evil zionists. Always trying to confuse me with their technology that allow the Jihad to spread viral hate messages on facebook and youtube. Makes me so angry! oooh you see... you made me hit my camel.

Hugo Chavez, Oliver Stone Give Socialism a Bad Name

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( By Cliff Kincaid June 28, 2010 ) Unfortunately for acolytes of Chavez, the Stone film has proven to be too slanted even for the New York Times to accept as a “documentary.” As Hollywood director Oliver Stone releases his pro-Hugo Chavez film, “South of the Border,” the Socialist International (SI) reports that the oil-rich Venezuelan ruler is suppressing dissent, interfering with freedom of the press, mismanaging the economy, and threatening peace in the region.

The SI report includes a description of the Chavez regime as a “democradura”—a democratic dictatorship.
The SI is an international alliance of 170 left-of-center political parties and organizations that might be expected to defend the Chavez regime. But its report (PDF) confirms all of the charges that critics have been making about the would-be dictator. What’s more, it says that Chavez’s policies are hurting the very people he claims to represent—the poor—through schemes that are undermining economic growth and costing jobs.
In other words, Chavez is demonstrating, once again, that socialism doesn’t work.
Following the release of the report, the Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean issued a statement expressing “concern with regard to the respect for human rights and democratic freedoms” in Venezuela and calling for the release of political prisoners there.
Chavez is a hero of “progressives” who support Obama and staff his administration. For example, Mark Lloyd, the Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has publicly praised Hugo Chavez and the Marxist revolution in Venezuela.
Other supporters of the regime include Mark Weisbrot of the George Soros-supported Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and Tariq Ali, a British Pakistani associated with the Institute for Policy Studies, also based in Washington, D.C.
Weisbrot and Ali wrote the screenplay for the Oliver Stone film about Chavez.
In a previous report, I had identified Weisbrot as a leading member of a Chavista Terror Support Network in the U.S. that operates with funding and direction from the Chavez regime.
Robert McChesney, the Marxist co-founder of the Free Press, another George Soros-funded group that has supplied personnel to the Obama Administration, praised the film, saying, “I enjoyed it a great deal.” McChesney’s Free Press has argued for transforming the media in the U.S. in much the same way that Chavez has done so in Venezuela.
Unfortunately for acolytes of Chavez, the Stone film has proven to be too slanted even for the New York Times to accept as a “documentary.” Larry Rohter’s Times article, “Oliver Stone’s Latin America,” points out several factual inaccuracies and other “discrepancies” in the film, as well as Stone’s inability to correctly pronounce Chavez’s last name.
One of Stone’s sources, the article points out, is the husband of a Chavez government employee who misrepresents the facts about a coup attempt against Chavez in 2002 and helps run an “information” service paid for by the Chavez government.
The report of the SI mission, which has just been released, is based on a trip to the country in January and finds that Chavez produced an inflation rate of 30 percent in 2009, “the highest on the continent.” The result of Chavez’s policies, the SI report adds, is “an arbitrary and often incompetent centralized management [that] has had disastrous results on an economic level, with serious social repercussions, in particular for the poorest individuals.”
Since the end of 2008, the country is in a “deepening recession” and the industrial sector has lost 36 percent of its companies, “with a corresponding reduction in jobs,” the report says.
But the regime has been more competent in suppressing dissent. “Violence, threats, intimidation, insecurity, uncertainty and instability of laws and procedures constitute the framework of society” under Chavez, it asserts.
The Socialist International report was based on the findings of Chilean Luis Ayala, Secretary General of the Socialist International; Peggy Cabral of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, Dominican Republic; Renée Fregosi of the Socialist Party of France; Paulina Lampsa of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Greece; Emilio Menéndez del Valle of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party and Jesús Rodríguez of the Radical Civic Union of Argentina.
In Caracas, Venezuela, members of the mission met over a three-day period with representatives of political parties; trade unions; student organizations; university, industry and Church institutions; media and communications; human rights organizations; and other civil society institutions.
But Chavez’s ruling party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, refused to meet with the SI delegation.
The SI mission found “a climate of insecurity and fear” in the country that is specifically focused on the college and university campuses, where “a spirit of critical thought amongst younger generations” is being actively discouraged and suppressed by the regime.
Students have been helping lead the domestic opposition to the Chavez government.
The SI is publicly committed to “democratic socialism” and clearly finds the Chavez style of socialism to be at variance with democratic processes of free and fair elections, freedom of expression, and even “social justice.”
All of this directly contradicts the theme of the Oliver Stone movie about Chavez and his Latin American supporters.
The SI was particularly concerned that an “official trade union” manual for “workers’ education” in Venezuela openly endorses violence by quoting Marx as saying that “violence is the means for the implementation of modern societies.”
Although the SI is a global socialist movement, it finds that the Chavez regime has moved too far and too fast in the socialist direction, subverting democratic procedures while seizing a “whole series of strategic products and services, such as oil, electricity, steel, construction, agro-industry, telecommunications and the banking sector.”
The results have also been terrible for human rights and freedom.
Members of the SI mission to Venezuela report that the Chavez regime is regarded domestically as “an authoritarian mechanism of a new type,” a government with a “democratic origin” which has become “in reality authoritarian.”  Another word for it is “democradura,” democratic dictatorship.
Venezuelans told the SI commission that the regime uses the elements of governmental power to impose its will on the populace and intimidate and silence those who resist. They used terms like “criminalization of dissent,” “revolutionary constitutionalism,” and “terror and corruption.”
Chavez is is accomplishing this through the use of government power to stage new takeovers of private businesses, new governmental entities answerable to Chavez, and manipulation of election laws to disadvantage opposition political parties and groups.
Nevertheless, the SI expressed the hope that there is a “possibility” that legislative elections scheduled for September 2010 might be held under fair and honest circumstances.
While the Venezuelan authorities tolerate “certain areas of freedom,” the report says, these are “reduced in number and reach” and “limited to sectors that do not affect the public at large, the popular masses, or the poorest sectors of society.” The areas of freedom are limited to intellectuals “and a limited section of the middle class,” but even here the major newspapers are “closely monitored and threatened with disruption of its paper supply” if they criticize the regime too much, the report discloses.
In foreign policy, the SI report accuses Chavez of “a policy of confrontation” with neighboring Colombia, under assault by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and “the importation of the Middle East conflict,” an obvious reference to his dealings with Iran and willingness to act on behalf of the interests of the fanatical anti-Israeli and anti-American regime. All of this presents “serious risks to regional stability and a threat to peace” in Latin America, the report says.
(Hosting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Associated Press reports that Chavez has denounced Israel as a genocidal government, saying, “We have common enemies,” describing them as “the Yankee empire, the genocidal state of Israel.” He went on, “Someday the genocidal state of Israel will be put in its place, in the proper place and hopefully a real democratic state will be born. But it has become the murderous arm of the Yankee empire—who can doubt it?—which threatens all of us.”)
It is a known fact that the Chavez regime has also been active collaborating with the communist narco-terrorists known as FARC. The U.S. Treasury Department on September 12, 2008, designated two senior Venezuelan officials, Rangel Silva and Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios, and one former official, Ramon Rodriguez Chacin, as materially assisting the narcotics trafficking activities of the FARC.
But Oliver Stone’s collaborator, Mark Weisbrot, who co-wrote the screenplay for “South of the Border” with Tariq Ali, appeared on Robert McChesney’s public radio show to insist that all of these charges against Chavez are nonsense.
McChesney interviewed Weisbrot on his “Media Matters” radio show on WILL AM 580 in Urbana, Illinois, and they agreed that the U.S. media have given Chavez a “horrible press” by unfairly depicting him as a dictator, oligarch and friend of terrorists. Chavez’s policies “have benefitted the vast majority of the country,” Weisbrot claimed.
The other “South of the Border” screenwriter, Tariq Ali, is the British Pakistani author of Bush in Babylon: The Recolonization of Iraq, whose cover depicts a boy in Iraq urinating on the head of an American soldier. An earlier book was titled, Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope, about Evo Morales of Bolivia, Fidel Castro of Cuba and Chavez.
During a recent protest of the Israeli military action that was taken against the Gaza flotilla, Ali urged economic sanctions on the “killer state” of Israel and the prosecution of Israeli leaders for “war crimes.”
Blogger and researcher Trevor Loudon notes that, in addition to having  a long-time affiliation with the Institute for Policy Studies,  Ali was elected in 2007 to the board of the U.S. based Movement for a Democratic Society with former Weather Underground terrorists Bernardine Dohrn, Mark Rudd and Jeff Jones.
Dohrn and her husband, Obama associate and former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers, have direct connections to Chavez through their son, Chesa Boudin, who actually worked in the presidential palace in Venezuela. Ayers and Dohrn traveled to Venezuela in 2005 and Ayers, now a University of Illinois education professor, went in 2006 to speak at a government-sanctioned “World Educational Forum.”
Asked by the New York Times to explain the factual problems in the film and the failure to acknowledge honest criticism of the Chavez regime’s human rights record, Ali told the Times that “It’s hardly a secret that we support the other side. It’s an opinionated documentary.”
But it’s opinion with no basis in fact.

Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report and can be reached at cliff.kincaid@aim.org
via aim.org

360 View of the Kotel.

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Click on the Kotel below (or go to this site), and you can rotate these photos, 360 degrees in all directions.
Kotel 3d

Iran:If Russia permits will send boat to Gaza from Caspian Sea

A senior Iranian lawmaker announced that Tehran plans to
change the route for sending humanitarian aids to Gaza after it was obliged
to postpone the dispatch of its first aid ship due to Israel's tighter
restrictions and increased threats against Iranian aid convoys.

Member of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission
Mahmoud Ahmadi Biqash told FNA on Sunday that Tehran plans to send its aid
cargo through the Caspian sea in northern Iran, adding that the ship called
"Khazar" would leave Iran's northern port city of Bandar Anzali in the near
future.

"The ship will carry aids from Iran's Red Crescent Society and Imam Khomeini
Relief Foundation, including foods and medicine" for the besieged
Palestinians in Gaza, Biqash added.

ship called Khazar? They really are obsessed the Khazar conspiracy. oh... and the photo is a picture of the Volga Don canal between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Those Russians don't really sound sincere about any sanctions against Iran. How could there be any threat to Iran from Russia when they are being given the water route to make another terrorist attack on Israel?

Quoted by email using noahdavidsimon's posterous

Jeremiah Wright teaching at Univ. of Chicago

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by Ed Lasky
The institution which found Barack Obama capable of teaching constitutional law, also finds Rev. Jeremiah Wright classroom-worthy. Maureen Callahan of the New York Post reports on some of what the Rev is teaching at the Chicago Theological Seminary, on the U of C campus:
Wright's anti-Israel, anti-American, and ant-white views were well broadcast in 2008. He later made outright anti-Semitic statements when he accused the "Jews" surrounding Obama from keeping him away from President Obama. 

Where was the media then and where is the media now?
read the rest via americanthinker.com
oy!

Paul Krugman Laughingstock: Wrong on Israel. Wrong on Finance

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Drink yourself  sober.
Wolfgang Franz, who heads the German government’s economic advisory panel known as the Wise Men, tore into Krugman — and the US — in an op-ed in the German business daily Wednesday, titled “How about some facts, Mr. Krugman?”
“Where did the financial crisis begin? Which central bank conducted monetary policy that was too loose? Which country went down the wrong path of social policy by encouraging low income households to take on mortgage loans that they can never pay back? Who in the year 2000 weakened regulations limiting investment bank leverage ratios, let Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008 and thereby tipped world financial markets into chaos?” he wrote.
During the Israeli war in Lebanon Krugman made the argument that though Israel was in the moral right to defend itself that it was in fact making it's position worse.
bombing Lebanon isn’t making Israel more secure.
Since 2006 the Northern front of Israel has been relatively quiet.
Apparently Krugman thinks Obama isn't spending enough money?
That has got to be a strong brew he is drinking.

Doc's Talk: Inside documents of the Free Gaza movement seized in the recent flotilla expose considerable discrepancies between its strategy and tactics and i


Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

The documents prove, among other things, the attempts to conceal the aid to the Hamas administration since Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization in the US.

some of the quotes about the VIP had me giggling.  They were strategizing about how to best sacrifice their celebrities for the maximum effect on the media.

If we are putting VIPs on board the cargo ship, then they and the crew must be willing to go along with this strategy. If the VIPs are not, then we have to decide if we want to not put VIPs on the cargo ship and thereby have this defensive option open to us.
4. Opening fire (by IDF) or using explosives to neutralize the ship. Free Gaza’s “defensive option” for that scenario was putting VIPs on the cargo ship's deck (hoping their presence would deter the IDF soldiers).
Resistance?

On this next mission, we will be traveling with VIPs. Is there a likelihood that they will be willing to take action to resist interference from Israel? Not likely, though we can ask. At this point, we can assume no, and move forward in planning. Once we invite, we can check again.

If the minimum goal for the mission is media attention, etc. then is there a point of having any kind of resistance, including pre-emptive measures to prevent them from taking the ships?

We need a concrete decision here in order to make plans, and in order to work with our partners to develop clear understandings of what we are doing. We also would need to have time to make ships ready for such action.

We have decided that for passengers, there would a prioritization of:

1. Celebrities, VIPs

2. MPs (from national parliaments and ideally not those on fringe)

3. Union Leaders

Given the capacity of the IHH passenger ship, we can now accommodate many more passengers, so we do not have pressure to limit spots, but we should still maintain a kind of minimum number of passengers that we want to get per the three categories above.

Quoted by email using noahdavidsimon's posterous

Here, queer and in denial

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the real Apartheid was in the Gay Community this year:
(1) The largest Gay Pride parade in the world disinvited the Israeli contingent because of pressure from increasingly violent anti-Israel demonstrators in Spain
(2) A bisexual softball team has decided that they were discriminated against by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) because they had too many heteros on their team.
    The lawsuit, filed in a federal district court, alleges that the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) violates the Washington State law against sexual orientation discrimination in public accommodations. It says the group did so by imposing a rule that teams participating in the 2008 Gay Softball World Series could have no more than two heterosexuals per team.
(3) Perez Hilton.
the first part of respecting difference is respecting difference.  acknowledging others comes with acknowledging different needs.  Has sex without marriage for heterosexuals become any safer today then it was thousands of years ago?  Do you support the bigotry of those against marriage that protects the identity and purpose of women and men and the dignity that comes from difference?  Should those that labor for children not be recognized by the state? 
I can't understand these people either.
Not only does this group try to equate Israel with apartheid, which is odious in and of itself, but they are either grossly intellectually dishonest or they are in abject denial. They are embracing a culture that goes against our very core principles as human beings. They are embracing a culture that considers women as chattel and non-human. They want to be “inclusive,” and defend a country that kills people—for being gay. They are marching to show pride so that gay people in the West don’t have to stay in the closet longer than desired. Yet, they are supporting Palestine, where they would need to stay in a steel-encased panic room, forever.
They are vilifying the one country in the Middle East that truly embraces diversity by believing in freedom: Israel. The Judeo-Christian ethic has done the most good in the World. Always has and always will. The Judeo-Christian ideals of freedom and respect for the individual rights of men—and women, gay or straight, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist—all are welcome in Israel.
In Palestine? Not so much.
Do these people hate themselves?
Read the whole thing.

Rome: Brawl breaks out between Jews, pro-Palestinians after #GiladShalit rally

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A young woman was lightly injured in a brawl that broke out between Jews and Israelis and pro-Palestinian members of the Free Gaza movement after a rally at the Coliseum in Rome for the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The Jewish-Israeli group was making its way back from the rally when it encountered the pro-Palestinian group that had held a counter-protest at the Shalit event. An argument broke out between the two groups and deteriorated into physical violence. The injured woman was evacuated to the hospital. It is unclear which group she belongs to. (AFP)

The Italian ‘Il Messagero’ has more:

Jordan is Palestine

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Immediately after World War One, Palestine consisted of what is now Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The great powers dividing up the region decided that Britain should be given a mandate to administer Palestine and restore within it the historic Jewish national home. Within a couple of years, however, Winston Churchill, for reasons of realpolitik, gave away three quarters of Palestine to the Hashemite dynasty to found (Trans)Jordan (leaving all the rest to be settled by the Jews; but that’s another story).
So Jordan is indeed Palestine. As Camie Davis points out, the Arabs themselves repeatedly said so:
Jordanians, for decades, were avid proponents of the ‘Jordan is Palestine’ position.  They used that position as justification for the annexation of the West Bank, arguing that Palestine was one single, indivisible unit, and that Jordan was the legitimate governing body of Palestine...
‘We are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine and the refugees of Palestine.’ Prime Minister of Jordan, Hazza' al-Majali, 23 August 1959
 ‘Palestine and Transjordan are one.’ King Abdullah, Arab League meeting in Cairo, 12 April 1948
‘Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine; there is one people and one land, with one history and one and the same fate.’  Prince Hassan, brother of King Hussein, addressing the Jordanian National Assembly, 2 February 1970
‘Jordan is not just another Arab state with regard to Palestine, but rather, Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan in terms of territory, national identity, sufferings, hopes and aspirations.’  Jordanian Minister of Agriculture, 24 September 1980
'The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.' King Hussein 1981

Iran lawmakers to join Lebanon Gaza-bound aid ship

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Ships with Iranian aid for Gaza left this month but it was not clear if they would unload in Egypt.
By Reuters
Iranian lawmakers protesting Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip plan to travel on an aid ship destined to leave from Lebanon, an Iranian official said on Saturday. Lebanon said last week it would allow a Gaza-bound ship called the Julia to sail, via Cyprus, despite warnings from Israel that it reserved the right to use all necessary means to stop ships that tried to sail from Lebanon to Gaza.
Mahmoud Ahmadi-Beighash, a member of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, said Iranian parliament delegates could sail on the ship rather than attempt to enter Gaza via Egypt.
"A ship is going from Lebanon to Gaza in the course of the current week and the lawmakers are following up to go to Gaza via this ship," he said in comments carried by semi-official news agency ISNA.
Ahmadi-Beighash said the decision to use the ship in Lebanon rather than Egypt's land border with Gaza was taken in a meeting with parliament speaker Ali Larijani.
Ships with Iranian aid for Gaza left this month but it was not clear if they would unload in Egypt.
Earlier this year, Egypt refused permission to an Iranian aid boat to unload after an Israeli warship told the aid boat to leave as it approached the coastal enclave of Gaza.
Israel has announced steps to ease a land blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, after an international outcry over an Israeli commando raid in May on an aid flotilla that killed nine pro-Palestinian activists.
The Israeli blockade was conceived more than three years ago as a way suffocating popular support for Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel and which seized control of Gaza in 2007.
Israel suspects Iran of supplying Hamas with weapons. Iran is under UN sanctions for its nuclear energy program which the West suspects is a cover for developing nuclear weapons.
kill one Jihadi get to kill another Jihadi free.

The UN must try Iran's 1988 murderers

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I never thought there would be a U.K. Guardian article that I thought was worth reposting, but it would seem the information I had that made me suspicious of the Green Revolution was true.  The leaders of the resistance are part of the same genocidal absolutist regime that now hunts them down.  When will the populists realize that they are pushing hope without reason is the formula for despair and no hope.  So why were the so called progressives trying to market this guy as a good Revolutionary?  Wasn't Arafat of Palestine bad enough? 
Geoffrey Robertson
The mass murderers of 1988 now hold power in Tehran. The world must make them face justice
Geoffrey Robertson
guardian.co.uk  
    This weekend marks the first anniversary of the death of democracy in Iran – the rigged election which the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared lost by reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. Afterwards protesters were shot dead in the street and taken for torture to Tehran's notorious Evin prison; several have been hanged as mohareb – enemies of God. This intolerance of dissent should have come as no surprise: this is the same regime that got away with the murder of thousands of political prisoners – and has never been called to account.
    It happened in the summer of 1988, after the war with Iraq ended in a bitter truce. Iran's prisons were full of students sentenced for protesting against Ayatollah Khomeini in the early 1980s – Marxists and leftists of all varieties and supporters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation – a guerrilla movement with a different version of Islam. They had been sorted by prison officials into groups of those who remained "steadfast" in their political beliefs or who were apostates. The regime decided they should be eradicated so they would not trouble the postwar government, and Khomeini issued a secret fatwa authorising their execution.
    Revolutionary guards descended on the prisons and a "death committee" (an Islamic judge, a revolutionary prosecutor and an intelligence ministry official) took a minute or so to identify each prisoner, declare them mohareb and direct them to the gallows erected in the prison auditorium, where they were hanged six at a time. Later their bodies were doused in disinfectant and transported in meat trucks to mass graves. Their belongings were returned in plastic bags to their families three months later, but the regime still refuses to reveal the location of the graves and continues to forbid relatives from gathering at one site which has been identified in a Tehran cemetery.
    Comparisons between atrocities are invidious, but this involved almost as many casualties as Srebrenica and was a cold-blooded killing by the state of prisoners after the war had ended. It bears some comparison to the death marches of allied prisoners at the end of the second world war – the Japanese generals responsible were sentenced to death at the Tokyo trials. So who was responsible for the Iranian prison slaughter?
    Ayatollah Khomeini is dead. But the three leading figures of his regime are still very much alive, and available to be put on trial in an international court. The then president, Ali Khamenei, is now Iran's Supreme Leader – the man who endorsed last year's rigged election. Ali Rafsanjani, still a powerful political player, was then the commander of the Revolutionary Guard, who were ordered to carry out the killings. Then there is the man who in 1988 was Iran's prime minister – Mir Hussein Mousavi, today's reform movement leader.
    Mousavi was challenged at election meetings last year by chants of "1988" but has declined to tell what he knows of the mass murder. In the course of an inquiry conducted for the US-based Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation I have come across an interview he gave to Austrian television in December 1988. In answer to allegations Amnesty International was making, he dishonestly said the prisoners were planning an uprising: "We had to crush the conspiracy – in that respect we have no mercy." He appealed to western intellectuals to support the right of revolutionary governments to take "decisive action" against enemies. It is an irony that the regime he defended with such hypocrisy now crushes his own supporters without mercy.
    But this is what happens when political and military leaders are vouchsafed impunity. The UN did not bother about Saddam Hussein's use of poison gas at Halabja earlier that year, and it turned a deaf ear to Amnesty reports about the prison slaughter (Iranian diplomats claimed the deaths had occurred in battle). But there is no statute of limitations on prosecuting crimes against humanity, and the mass murder of prisoners already serving sentences for political protests must count as one of the gravest of unpunished crimes. The fact that they were killed ostensibly because they did not believe in God – the God of the ayatollah's revolution – makes their slaughter a form of genocide: the destruction of a group because of its attitude to religion.
    Most of the judges and officials who implemented the fatwa are still in high office in Tehran – under a supreme leader who, when asked about killing prisoners replied: "Do you think we should have given them sweets?" There is still time for the UN security council to enforce international law by setting up a court to try the perpetrators of the prison massacres. This may be a better way to deal with a theocracy whose behaviour in 1988 provides the best reason for concern over its future behaviour with nuclear weapons.
    • Geoffrey Robertson QC's report The Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran 1988 can be downloaded here.
    • This article was amended on 8 June 2010. Due to an editing error, the
    original incorrectly described the MKO – Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation – as "a guerrilla sunni-Marxist movement". This has been corrected.
    Posted via email from noahdavidsimon's posterous

    So this was your freedom fighter?  Try supporting Israel.  They have Democracy already. 

    Those aren't Nazis, those are Jew filters. That guy's naked lunch is my ass! Do you get it yet?

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    "a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork" was how the brilliant and weird expatriate American novelist William S. Burroughs described  drug induced clarities in his 1959 novel, Naked Lunch.  Since its inception in 2008, J Street has been delivering lethal, anti-Israel initiatives and polemics and serving them up as "Pro Israel."  Jeremy Ben Ami continually tries to   convince his diners that that foul smelling thing on the end of his fork is really ambrosia.
    The latest dish  is an attempt to dissuade lawmakers from signing the Poe-Peters letter circulating in Congress. In spite of the moderate wording of the letter (to this date signed by 329 Congressmen and 87 Senators (John Kerry being a notable not signing) and its appeal to resume the proximity talks that will hopefully move along the peace process, J Street's Ben Ami is having none of it, convinced that the road to peace is paved with overt anti-Israel rhetoric cloaked in peace blandishments:
    " (the letter) fail[s] to address the impact of the present closure of Gaza on the civilian population, the deep American interest in resolving this conflict diplomatically, or the urgency of moving forward with diplomacy before it is too late."
    No mention of the letter's urging diplomacy or appeal for an end to the conflict.  No matter how often J Street is unmasked as a Palestinian surrogate, committed to its eliminationist agenda rather than Israel's survival, the vast, deluded Left must maintain the absurd fiction of J Street as "Pro Israel."
    As usual, no substantive objections were raised about the letter.
    Of the 58 congressmen endorsed by the JStreet PAC, 18 signed the letter.  Conspicuously missing were Russell Feingold of Wisconsin and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts.
     Recently J Street has been banging the drum for McGovern,  sensing vulnerability in the November elections:

     Jim McGovern - Vulnerable? We Can Only Hope
     "You and I know how rare it is to find a courageous leader in Congress willing to press for US leadership to achieve peace and security in the Middle East.  
    In 2010, far too many of our best leaders are fighting for their political lives - some specifically because of their bold leadership on our issue.

    For decades, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) has been a leading voice in Congress for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Now he faces the fight of his political career, and he's written a special note to JStreetPAC supporters asking for our support.

    We created JStreetPAC specifically to prove that pro-Israel, pro-peace politicians like Jim McGovern could count on support when they needed it from us.  With just days till the June 30 reporting deadline, I hope you'll step up for Jim the way he has for us in Congress."

    -----Isaac Luria, J Street


      Stepehn Lynch hasn't shown up on the PAC yet, but in light of his outrageous, Pro Gaza statements and his refusal to sign the Poe Peters letter, it's only a matter of time.The fact that 18 - all Democrats - signed the letter in apparent defiance of Ben Ami shows just how tenuous J Street's hold on its monopoly of opinion really is.

    Do you get it yet?

    #GiladShalit Is Not A Prisoner Of War - He Is A Hostage

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    Noam Shalit with a picture of his son Gilad....
    To claim that Gilad Shalit is a prisoner of war is to surrender to the language used by the Hamas terrorist group that holds him and violates international law.
    French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Levi notes:

    there are, first of all, international conventions governing the status of prisoners of war, and the sole fact that this one has been sequestered for four years, the fact that the Red Cross, which regularly visits Palestinians in Israeli prisons, has never been granted access to him is a flagrant violation of the laws of war. But moreover and most of all, we must never tire of repeating this: Shalit was not captured in the fury of a battle but during a raid in Israel, when Israel, having evacuated Gaza, was at peace with its neighbor.
    Hamas knows exactly what it is doing in kidnapping and holding Gilad Shalit--following in the footsteps of other terrorist groups such as FARC and its terrorist sponsor Iran:
    Shalit is not a prisoner of war but a hostage. His fate is comparable to that of, not a Palestinian prisoner, but a kidnap victim being held for ransom. And he must then be defended as we defend the hostages of the FARC or the Libyans or the Iranians -- we must stand up for him with the same energy devoted to the defense of, say, Clotilde Reiss [a French student accused by Iran of being an agent of the French Secret Service] or Ingrid Betancourt [French-Colombian politician, former senator and anti-corruption activist kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and rescued 6 years later].
    It is time to stop playing the game being played by the Hamas terrorists and their apologists--not to mention the flotillas, whose deceptions are revealed by their refusal to bring aid to or visit Gilad Shalit in Gaza.

    America to Stop Criticism of Islam wth Whitehouse cooperation with the #GoldStone Report originator: Organization for Islamic Conference

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    Obama's Islamic Envoy: U.S. Will Work with Organization for Islamic Conference to Stop Criticism of Islam

    (Weekly Standard) Rashad Hussain, America’s special envoy to the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Saudi-based body formed in 1969 to “protect” Jerusalem from the Israelis, announced a new title this week for President Barack Obama. According to Hussain, Obama is America’s “Educator-in-Chief on Islam.”
    Obama has called for references to “Islamic terrorism” and “jihadism” to be expunged from the official vocabulary employed by his administration, and has pronounced last year’s Fort Hood massacre to be unrelated to Islam. As the president has assured the world, terrorism is anti-Islamic and the term “jihad” has been misused. Thus Obama presumes not only to act as “educator” on Islam to non-Muslim Americans, but to define the religion for its own adherents.
    click for story via thejidf.org

    State Department Sabotaging the US-Indian Alliance?

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    After India gained its independence from Britain in 1947, many Americans expected it would be a generally friendly power. After all, the US had constantly pressured London to give up its colonial empire; and was also a nation that had gained its independence from Britain, so it seemed so it seemed natural that the great new sub-continental democracy would look to America as a potential friend and partner.
    India is no longer, as V.S. Naipaul put it, "A Wounded Civilization." It is now, in spite of continuing problems with poverty, unmistakably a great power. Thanks to the combination of a liberated entrepreneurial spirit and an abundance of scientific and technological talent, its economy is growing at a solid rate, and managing to do so while India remains a vibrant and thriving non-Western democracy.
    For the US, this means that India will become a formidable economic competitor, but more importantly, it will become a valuable partner. Already the US has taken a few small steps towards this goal, but a variety of obstacles still exists -- most notably, the US International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which cover a huge swath of 'Dual Use" items, and which have crippled US technology exports for decades.
    Making matters worse is an apparent US policy of denying visas to men and women associated with India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Since there is, naturally, considerable overlap between that organization and the Indian government's civil science and technology institutions, this policy tends to cripple US efforts to work with India both on civil and military projects. It looks like a textbook case of one part of the US government sabotaging the programs of their colleagues -- and this problem all seems to be happening inside the State Department.
    Misunderstandings go back to World War II. George Orwell described how, in London in 1942, "a well known Indian nationalist" addressed "a number of American newspaper correspondents who, if handled tactfully, might cable back to America a sympathetic account of the Congress Party's case. They had come there with fairly open minds. Within about ten minutes the Indian had converted all of them into ardent supporters of the British government, because instead of sticking to his subject he launched into an anti-British tirade quite obviously founded on spite and an inferiority complex." For decades after independence, the emotional aftereffects of British rule remained a powerful driving force in Indian politics. What is only now just being understood by Indian historians, most notably Narendra Singh Sarila in his 2005 book, "The Shadow of the Great Game," was how skillfully a few British, Russian and Indian individuals were able to turn these anti-British feelings into anti-American ones.
    The talent was carefully nurtured throughout India's socialist period; but without many local opportunities, these highly trained scientists and engineers simply emigrated to places where they were more appreciated. Now, thanks to the reforms that began in the early 1990s, these elite individuals are staying at home. If things continue as they are, in the near future India will make steady progress towards becoming one of the world's major centers of science and technology.
    A year ago, Secretary if State Hillary Clinton and the Indian Foreign Minister ,S.M. Krishna, stated that ".. it was agreed that the agenda and the initiatives in the bilateral High Technology Cooperation Dialogue should continue with the objective of facilitating smoother trade in high technology between the two economies, reflecting the present strategic nature of the India- US relationship." -- a partnership nowhere better symbolized, in spite of problems, than by the cooperation between the US's NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
    The ISRO launched the Chandrayaan Moon Probe in October 2008, using India's Polar Space Launch Vehicle; and included among its suite of instruments a US Synthetic Aperture Radar, called the Mini SAR, a critical tool that helped the spacecraft to make its historic discovery of a large amount of water on the Moon. From a political standpoint , the mission showed that in spite of the legal and bureaucratic obstacles, the two nations could work effectively together on a technologically difficult project.
    The Indian military, which had traditionally looked to Russia and Europe for its major weaponry, has recently been buying more and more from Israel, and, most significantly, from the US. By the end of this year, they will receive their first C-130J transports; and they are in negotiations to buy the larger and more capable C-17 to supplement or replace their Russian made IL-76s. India has also purchased an old US Navy amphibious warfare ship, which gives their Navy a useful bit of experience with US naval hardware.
    The Indian Air Force is also holding a competition to buy a new fighter, The US F-16 and F-18 are in the running, as are French, Swedish and Russian aircraft. No decision is expected until sometime next year, if then: Indian military procurement procedures are at least as frustrating and complex as US ones. The visa situation just adds to the difficulties.
    In early 2009, the US State Department blundered badly when it temporarily denied India an export permit for a GE-made gas turbine engine for one of its warships. These turbines have been widely exported all over the world; in 1979, the Carter administration even agreed to sell the turbines to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. For the US to refuse to sell something to a democracy like India -- that it had been willing to sell to the Iraqi Dictator -- was a foolish gesture, based either on spite or ignorance. The decision was quickly reversed, but the incident left a sour taste in the mouths of many influential Indians.
    In spite of these ups and downs, and in spite of the legitimate fears of New Delhi's leadership that the Obama administration does not see India as a major partner -- the way the Clinton and Bush administrations did -- the long term relationship is solid. Geopolitical and economic contexts are driving the two sides closer together; and as neither India nor the US can change the facts of geography, the two large, democratic nations on opposite sides of the world need one another.
    India needs America to militate against the threats that surround it, and it needs access to the US market for its products. Although America needs India for similar reasons, no formal alliance is needed: Indian politicians opposed to the relationship would be able to stir up trouble, and both sides could find themselves locked for years in painful and petty negotiations.
    Today both nations largely understand that ending the long estrangement has been a blessing for all concerned. As the partnership deepens, there is one valuable lesson that America could probably learn from India: strategic patience with friends.

    New York High Court Upholds Columbia University Takings

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    via neighbors.columbia.edu
    In today’s decision in Kaur v. New York State Urban Development Corp.>, The New York Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) has upheld the condemnation of property in the Manhattanville area of New York City for transfer to Columbia University. This outcome is not surprising. In fact, I predicted it back in December. In the recent Atlantic Yards case, the Court of Appeals had already held that state and local officials could declare virtually any area “blighted” and thereby make it eligible for condemnation and transfer to favored private interest groups.
    Nonetheless, there are several extremely troubling aspects of this case. As in Atlantic Yards, The court upheld an extremely dubious “blight” condemnation by applying a rule holding that any area could be declared blighted so long as it might be “underdeveloped.” Indeed, even the presence of “underdevelopment” (a phenomenon that occurs in almost every neighborhood at one time or another) need not actually be proven. Instead, the government need only show that there is “room for reasonable difference of opinion as to whether an area is blighted.” As the lower court opinion in Kaur pointed out, this kind of lax standard would allow the city to declare “[v]irtually every neighborhood in the five boroughs” blighted. And, as I pointed out in this post, the court’s position makes a mockery of the New York state constitution, which allows blight condemnations only in ““substandard and insanitary areas.”
    Even worse, the Court of Appeals in Kaur brushed aside or completely ignored extensive evidence showing that the blight study justifying the condemnations had been rigged in Columbia’s favor and that Columbia itself was likely responsible for most of the “blighted” conditions. The key “blight” study was conducted by AKRF, a consulting firm hired by Columbia. As the lower court decision pointed out:
    It is critical to recognize that [the state Economic Development Corporation’s] 2002 West Harlem Master Plan which was created prior to the scheme to balkanize Manhattanville for Columbia’s benefit found no blight, nor did it describe any blighted condition or area in Manhattanville. Instead... the Plan noted that West Harlem had great potential for development that could be jump-started with rezoning. It was only after the Plan was published in August 2002 that the rezoning of the “upland” area was essentially given over to the unbridled discretion of Columbia. In little more than a year from publication of the Plan, EDC joined with Columbia in proposing the use of eminent domain to allow Columbia to develop Manhattanville for Columbia’s sole benefit.
    This ultimately became the defining moment for the end game of blight. Having committed to allow Columbia to annex Manhattanville, the EDC and [Empire State Development Corporation] were compelled to engineer a public purpose for a quintessentially private development: eradication of blight.
    From this point forward, Columbia proceeded to acquire by lease or purchase a vast amount of property in Manhattanville. It is apparent from the record that ESDC had no intention of determining if Manhattanville was blighted prior to, or apart from Columbia’s control of the area.... Throughout this time Columbia not only purchased or gained control over most of the properties in the area, but it also forced out tenant businesses, ultimately vacating, in 17 buildings, 50% or more of the tenants. The petitioners clearly demonstrate that Columbia also let water infiltration conditions in property it acquired go unaddressed, even when minor and economically rational repairs could arrest deterioration. Columbia left Building Code violations open, and let tenants use premises in violation of local codes and ordinances by parking cars on sidewalks and obstructing fire exits, and maintaining garbage and debris in certain buildings over a period of years....
    ESDC delayed making any inquiry into the conditions in Manhattanville until long after Columbia gained control over the very properties that would form the basis for a subsequent blight study. This conduct continued when ESDC authorized AKRF to use a methodology biased in Columbia’s favor. Specifically, AKRF was to “highlight” such blight conditions as it found, and it was to prepare individual building reports “focusing on characteristics that demonstrate blight conditions.”
    This search for distinct “blight conditions” led to the preposterous summary of building and sidewalk defects compiled by AKRF, which was then accepted as a valid methodology and amplified by Earth Tech. Even a cursory examination of the study reveals the idiocy of considering things like unpainted block walls or loose awning supports as evidence of a blighted neighborhood. 
    The Court of Appeals decision completely ignored the fact that Columbia may well have created much of the “blight” that justified the condemnation transferring property to the university. On the issue of the objectivity of the AKRF study, the Court of Appeals opinion claimed that the mere fact that AKRF was employed by Columbia does not disprove the validity of its conclusions, and also notes that those conclusions were validated by a later study conducted by another firm. It does not consider the evidence cited by the lower court showing that the methdologies of both studies were deliberately biased in Columbia’s favor.
    It is perhaps worth noting that AKRF was also the firm that conducted an equally dubious blight study justifying the Atlantic Yards takings. In that case, the blight study and takings were heavily influenced by politically influential developer Bruce Ratner, the originator of the development project in question.
    The Court of Appeals also makes much of claims that the Columbia project will produce important public benefits by creating jobs and other economic payoffs. However, there is little if any proof that the condemnation of these particular properties (which are only a small part of the total area where Columbia wants to build) is actually needed to produce those benefits. Moreover, as I point out in this article, private interest groups and local governments routinely inflate such estimates because once the property is condemned, they are not legally required to actually produce the economic gains that supposedly justified the condemnation in the first place. Based on past experience, it would not be at all surprising if Columbia ultimately fails to produce more than a small fraction of the benefits it now predicts.
    The problem of over-broad definitions of blight is hardly limited to New York. It is present in numerous other states too, including many that have enacted post–Kelo eminent domain reform laws. Nonetheless, the Atlantic Yards and Kaur cases set a new low in this field. Not only has the New York Court of Appeals applied an extraordinarily broad definition of blight, it has also endorsed blight designations based on studies that are probably rigged in favor of private interests who benefit from condemning the areas in question. Moreover, it has opened the door to condemnations based on the presence of “blight” created by the very people who will get to own the property after it is taken.
    too many loop holes for anyone to take anything away

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