Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Stunning Charge Made Against Boston Imam Suhail Webb

Suhail Webb is the imam at the Islamic Cultural Society Mosque in Boston (Roxbury), a mosque connected with several figures associated with Islamic terrorism including the Tsarnaev brothers who attended its sister mosque in Cambridge.

After the Boston Marathon bombing, Webb was scheduled to participate in a memorial service for the victims, but his appearance was cancelled at the last moment. Many proclaim him as a moderate. Others disagree.

Tonight, Fox News' Megyn Kelly had an anonymous guest whose face was obscured. This man stated that he was a former attendee at the Oklahoma City mosque that had been attended by the Oklahoma beheading suspect, Alton Nolen. Suhail Webb, who is a Muslim convert and native of Oklahoma, previously served as imam at the same mosque before moving to Boston.

Among the charges made by this anonymous guest, he stated that it was Webb who counselled him not to speak to the media about Palestinian suicide bombers. In addition, Webb also allegedly explained to him the three choices that Muslims give non-Muslims; convert to Islam, pay the Jizya tax and live under Islamic submission, or be killed.  Here is tonight's interview.

It must be stated that this person who appeared tonight did not give his name and his face was not shown. Therefore, take his words with a grain of salt if you wish. But this mosque in Oklahoma City has now produced Alton Nolen. In addition, the mosque where Webb now presides is connected with a host of people linked to terrorism.

So what say you, Suhail Webb?

Steven Salaita Suing UI and Going on Welfare Tour

Hat tip Teri

"Poor Ralphie, Stevie."

Hell hath no fury like a liberal professor scorned. So the latest is that Steven Salaita is suing the University of Illinois for not hiring him. In addition, Students for Justice in Palestine, that bully organization founded by UC Berkeley professor, Hatem Bazian, is putting Salaita on the lecture tour-at least in the Chicago area. They are asking universities to pay Salaita an honorarium and pass the collection plate at events.

Note: I am posting the entire texts as sent to me by Teri. The yellow highlights are hers. (If you go to the link you have to register, get a password, and all that nonsense to read the article.

Salaita and his lawyers appear closer to taking legal action against the UI. "We're getting our ducks in a row," Salaita's lawyer, Anand Swaminathan of Loevy & Loevy in Chicago
Steven Salaita: University of Illinois promotes 'false narrative ... to appease a few wealthy donors.'

The latest in the Steven Salaita saga
Wed, 10/01/2014 - 7:00am | Christine Des Garennes
Salaita 10012014
Photo by: Rick Danzl/The News-Gazette

Professor Steven Salaita answers questions at Latzer Hall at the University YMCA in Champaign on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.

Nearly three weeks after the University of Illinois Board of Trustees rejected his appointment to the faculty, Salaita and his lawyers appear closer to taking legal action against the UI. "We're getting our ducks in a row," Salaita's lawyer, Anand Swaminathan of Loevy & Loevy in Chicago, said Tuesday.

Swaminathan has said they'll be seeking injunctive relief to request a court to order the university to "do what it failed to do" earlier this month — that is, complete the employment process and hire Salaita. It's likely the lawsuit will be filed in federal court.
once-prolific tweeter, Salaita turned quiet in late July and remained silent through August after his tweets critical of Israel's invasion of Gaza received scrutiny and Chancellor Phyllis Wise notified him that she would not forward his appointment to the board for approval.

But since his public appearance in Champaign on Sept. 9, he's been slowly returning to social media, thanking supporters and organizing a speaking tour.In advance of next week's tour in Chicago, Salaita wrote an essay for the Chicago Tribune in which he says his academic career was "destroyed over gross mischaracterizations of a few 140-character posts." He went on to explain some of his more controversial tweets. (SEE BELOW)

The tour "is more than about Steven Salaita and his job. This is about what kind of democracy we want in this country," Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network in Chicago, said Tuesday. What happened to Salaita is indicative of the shutting down of debates across the country about Middle East politics and the U.S. government's military involvement there, he said.

Thayer has been working with Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at several Chicagoland universities to bring Salaita in for talks. Salaita will be at Northwestern on Monday, then visit UIC, the University of Chicago, Loyola, Columbia College and DePaul. His talks will vary by campus.

Organizers are asking groups and departments to pay him an honorarium and will be asking for donations at events.

Steven Salaita: U. of I. destroyed my career
Professor Steven Salaita
Professor Steven Salaita, whose job offer was rescinded by the University of Illinois, gave a public response Sept. 9 at the university YMCA in Urbana, Ill. (Armando L. Sanchez, Chicago Tribune)

By Steven Salaita

Steven Salaita: University of Illinois promotes 'false narrative ... to appease a few wealthy donors.'

Being recruited for a tenured faculty position at a major university is no small feat, nor should it be; tenure represents the pinnacle of an academic career. In my case, it involved numerous interviews with faculty in the American Indian studies program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an intensive review of my scholarship, pedagogy and professional service.
I survived this rigorous review and, having accepted an employment offer from the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, resigned my tenured position at another university and prepared my family to move. A few weeks before classes were to start, and without any warning, I received a letter from the chancellor, Phyllis Wise, informing me of my termination.
How did this happen?
In the weeks before my move, I watched in anguish as Israel killed more than 2,100 people during its recent bombing of Gaza, 70 percent of them civilians, according to the United Nations. Like so many others, I took to my Twitter account. I posted tweets critical of Israel's actions, mourning in particular the death of more than 500 of Gaza's children.
A partisan political blog cherry-picked a few of those tweets from hundreds to create the false impression that I am anti-Semitic. Publicly disclosed documents reveal that, within days, University of Illinois donors who disagreed with my criticism of Israeli policy threatened to withhold money if I wasn't fired. My academic career was destroyed over gross mischaracterizations of a few 140-character posts.
In response to the overwhelming criticism, the university and its supporters argue that, constitutional and contractual obligations aside, my challenges to Israeli government action were anti-Semitic, and my discourse on Twitter — a medium that is designed to be quick and sometimes cutting — was "uncivil."
Such tactics are increasingly being used to silence faculty and students on campuses across the country for speaking in support of Palestinian human rights. Too often universities acquiesce to external pressure, as in this case, where in their rush to accommodate donor demands, the trustees disregarded the judgment of the faculty hiring committee and failed to review my teaching and scholarly record, or even my other tweets.
In fact, as my Twitter followers know, I vocally condemn anti-Semitism, as when I tweeted, "My stand is fundamentally one of acknowledging and countering the horror of anti-Semitism," or when I criticized the rapper Macklemore for wearing a costume that evoked age-old Jewish stereotypes. As I noted during the Gaza bombing, "I believe that Jewish and Arab children are equal in the eyes of God."
The point that Jewish people and the behavior of the Israeli state should not be conflated is one I have made consistently both in my academic writing and on my personal Twitter account, I have tweeted, "I refuse to implicate all Jewish people in the practices of the Israeli state." I have also tweeted, "I refuse to conceptualize #Israel/#Palestine as Jewish-Arab acrimony. I am in solidarity with many Jews and in disagreement with many Arabs."
And so when I wrote in one of the controversial tweets, "Israel: transforming 'antisemitism' from something horrible to something honorable since 1948," my point was not that there is any honor in anti-Semitism, but that calling legitimate criticism of Israeli government policies an act of anti-Semitism drains the word of meaning and undermines the very real experiences of those who suffer its horrors. Likewise, the intent of my tweet that settlers should "go missing" was a call for an end to the settlements, which the international community largely agrees are counterproductive to peace, not a call to violence.
As for the vague and subjective charge of "incivility," it has nothing to do with my classroom performance. My former students have spoken overwhelmingly about my strength in accommodating conflicting viewpoints and in their evaluations I have never been criticized for being unfair or intolerant of contrasting opinions.
Narratives never encompass the totality of the stories they attempt to tell. They emerge from a long editing process. Think reality TV: Thousands of hours of raw footage are condensed to 40 minutes, selected to convey calculated storylines. Any time we tell a story, we omit what we consider unimportant, and in worse moments, we ignore information that contradicts a predetermined conclusion.
If we consider the parts of my record left on the cutting-room floor, my story looks quite different. In taking the extraordinary step of terminating me from a tenured position, University of Illinois leadership adopted a false narrative in order to appease a few wealthy donors rather than uphold critical principles of free speech and academic freedom. This is the reality-TV version of my story, which has disturbing implications for the future of American universities that reach far beyond my job prospects.
Steven Salaita is a scholar of indigenous studies. He tweets at @stevesalaita.

Join in the discussion on the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s Facebook page or on Twitter by following @Trib_Ed_Board.


Here is what Salaita wrote in the tweet about people going missing in the wake of the kidnapping of those three Israeli teenagers who were murdered.

And there was this one from June 20, after three Israeli teenagers went missing: "You may be too refined to say it, but I'm not:  I wish all the [expletive] West Bank settlers would go missing."

Salaita says he was merely calling for an end to the settlements. Right. Unfortunately the context in which he said it was the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens who resided in a settlement. Those three teens didn't simply pack up, leave the house, and move to Tel Aviv. That's pretty lame in my view.

If I as a teacher (part-time) at UC Irvine were to in any way call for say, members of the Muslim Student Union or anyone else I had issues with, to "go missing", how long do you think UCI would keep me around?

And who do you think those few wealthy donors are that Salaita is referring to?

So now this guy sues the University of Illinois and will go around crying "victim" on various university campuses hat in hand asking for $$$$.

Julia Pierson Resigns as Head of Secret Service

Julia Pierson

"Gee, I wish I were like Eric Holder."

Last night, I watched parts of Julia Pierson's testimony before Congress in the wake of several security lapses concerning the protection of President Obama and the White House. To be honest, I was not impressed. She was robotic and was not giving satisfactory answers. Noteworthy was the fact that she was taking fire not just from the Republicans but from the Democrats as well. This was a bi-partisan controversy involving the security of the President, and the string of lapses and delayed reporting of those lapses to the President was enough to trouble anyone. Even Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was implying that Pierson should resign. He stated that he had trouble sleeping last night he was so worried over the issue. (Of course, Cummings has no such trouble sleeping over Eric Holder, the leadership at DHS, or the leadership at IRS. Those are partisan issues and Cummings is determined to protect the President, no pun intended.)

Today, 24 hours after the White House issued a statement of support for Pierson, she "offered" her resignation, which was accepted by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and President Obama with the requisite statements saluting her 30-year-record with the Secret Service, her dedication, etc.-blah blah blah, woof woof woof, quack quack quack.

Today White House press spokesman Josh Earnest acknowledged (It had to be drawn out of him) in an indirect way that Johnson and Obama saw the need to change directors. Then, when asked what had changed in the 24 hours since the White House and DHS had expressed support for Pierson, Earnest said that first of all, what had happened is that Pierson had offered her resignation.

Right. Like you "offer" your wallet to the mugger with a gun.

What happened was that Democratic members of Congress were no doubt letting the White House know that they had no confidence in Pierson. Unfortunately for Pierson, she is no Eric Holder. Pierson was no doubt told to "offer" her resignation. Had she refused, she would have been fired, no way to end a 30-year career.

While I have nothing against Pierson, it must be said that the critics are probably on to something when they criticize the "culture" in the Secret Service in recent years. I say in recent years because when I was a DEA agent, I had occasion to work with the agency from time to time. When I was stationed in Milan in the 1980s, we also had a Secret Service office in the US Consulate. (The Secret Service, aside from protecting the President and other high-ranking officials, also investigates counterfeiting.) The point is that I had high regard for this agency. Their professionalism was impressive. I saw no problem with their "culture" so to speak. It may well be that the agency's culture has deteriorated in recent years given the scandals regarding overseas conduct while off-duty, coupled with the recent security lapses. In addition to the Secret Service, it seems pretty clear that the culture and morale of the ATF has gone downhill in recent years. This does point to a failure at the leadership level. Bad leadership can destroy an agency's culture and morale. As to Pierson, I cannot say that her leadership has been good, bad or indifferent. I just don't have the information about her.

The Secret Service now needs a strong director who can restore the luster to what has for so long been one of our premier federal law enforcement agencies. The culture should consist of professionalism, dedication, lack of politics, fairness, and high morale. During my DEA career I saw several administrators (as they are called in DEA) come and go. Without mentioning any names, morale tended to go up or down depending on who was the administrator and their top underlings. Today, we see the same problem with ATF, DHS and a few other agencies. Everywhere I go, my contacts tell me that agents can't wait to retire. That includes the Secret Service.

Unlike Elijah Cummings, I will still sleep like a dead man tonight as I generally do. I will say a prayer for the Secret Service, however.

Look Who Is Speaking at Yale: Sheikh Rachid al-Ghannouchi

Hat tip Washington Free Beacon

Another controversial speaker was scheduled to speak yesterday at Yale. This is a man who has called for the killing of US troops in the Middle East. He is a Tunisian by the name of Sheikh Rachid al-Ghannouchi

OK. It's free speech. Yet this once again points out the kind of voices that academia prefers to listen to. You can't bring in, say an Israeli ambassador to speak without the event being disrupted as UC Irvine learned in 2010. One also has to ask why the US gives a visa to one who has made the statements attributed to al-Ghannouchi.

As of this writing, I don't see any after-the fact reporting from the Yale Daily News or other sources, but here is the announcement from the Yale Law School:

Note there is not one mention of the controversial statements reportedly made by al-Ghannouchi. Instead they tell the students that this guy is one of the world's most influential Muslim thinkers.

So is Yusuf al Qaradawi. There doesn't seem to be much difference between them.

University of Illinois Controversy: Where is the Governor?

Mowing his lawn, no doubt

Hat tip Washington Free Beacon and Campus Watch

As previously reported here, the University of Illinois is involved in a controversy over its withdrawal of a teacher position to professor Steven Salaita after it was disclosed that he had written several anti-Israel pieces that many claim crossed the line into anti-Semitism and support for violent Palestinian acts against civilians. In the midst of all this, Illinois' Democratic governor is in a re-election campaign against Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. Now some people are asking where the governor stands on this issue. It seems they are not getting answers.

Last I saw of Quinn he was mowing his lawn in his campaign ads bragging about all the "cuts" he has brought about in government. (Apparently, he has overlooked those Chicago and Cook County taxes.)

"What the President Said Was............"


Marie Harf- Future national security adviser to President Obama 

State Department Deputy Spokeshole Marie Harf raised more than eyebrows a few days ago when she completely misrepresented what President Obama said about ISIS.

Harf: "What the president said was that for a long time we have known about the serious threat of ISIL."

Here is what he really said.

"Our head of the intelligence community Jim Clapper has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria." 

So let us now go back to yesteryear and see what past presidents really said according to their spokesholes and aides.

Abraham Lincoln: "Four minutes and  seven seconds ago, they told me I had to give a speech, so I'll make this brief."

Calvin Coolidge: .....................................................................

Franklin Roosevelt: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was struck by a man-made disaster. I therefore request that Congress declare that as of yesterday, a state of war exists between the United States and man-made disasters." 

John F Kennedy in Philander, Germany: "Ich bin ein Philanderer."

Lyndon Johnson: "Therefore, I will not f****n' seek, nor will I f****n' accept the f****n' nomination to be your f****n' president."

Richard Nixon: "I am a crook."

George HW Bush: "Read my lips. No new taxis."

Bill Clinton: "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
(In reality, he was directly speaking to Monica Lewinsky assuring her he did not have sex with  Paula Jones.)

It's all in Marie Harf's briefing book.

Another Stunning Op-ed by Erwin Chemerinsky in Orange County Register (Eric Holder)

Erwin Chemerinsky- UC Irvine Law School Dean

Erwin Chemerinsky clearly should be given more space for his op-eds by the Orange County Register. There was so much missing from this piece that I was wondering if there must be some other Eric Holder who had been AG that Chemerinsky was describing. Below is his piece in today's Orange County Register.

Holder's Record Deserves Scorn and Praise

"How has Eric Holder done as attorney general? Holder announced on Sept. 25 that he will resign as soon as a successor is confirmed. In the aftermath of his announcement, I heard both harsh criticism and lavish praise for his performance in nearly six years as U.S. attorney general. Interestingly, I think both the criticism and the praise are justified.
Holder and the Obama administration have been very disappointing in how they have dealt with issues concerning the “war on terrorism.” As a candidate, Barack Obama was outspoken in criticizing the Bush administration’s violations of basic human rights, including its detaining individuals in Guantanamo. Yet, the Obama and Holder record in this area also has been deeply disturbing.
One of Holder’s first decisions – and this likely came from the White House – was not to prosecute Americans who engaged in torture and other criminal abuses during the Bush administration. Politically, it may have been easier to avoid such prosecutions, but it was the wrong decision in terms of accountability and upholding the rule of law.
It is quite troubling that, when victims of torture have sued in federal court for money damages, the Holder Justice Department successfully had the cases dismissed on the grounds that the litigation might reveal state secrets.
The Holder Justice Department has brought more prosecutions under the Espionage Act, against those who allegedly leaked classified information, than all other presidencies combined in the century since the law was adopted. Federal prosecutors have targeted journalists and seized their phone and email records.
At the same time, the Obama administration, certainly with the approval of the Justice Department, authorized the National Security Agency to obtain information from service providers, such as Verizon, including what phone numbers and email addresses people called or wrote. This extensive gathering of “metadata” is now being challenged in federal courts.
Another area where Holder deserves strong criticism is in the briefs his Justice Department filed in the Supreme Court concerning the separation of church and state. A few years ago, the Holder Justice Department filed a brief in favor of an Arizona law that give tax credits to those who spend money on private schools and parochial schools, even though virtually all of the funds went to Catholic or Evangelical Christian schools.
Last year, Justice filed a brief in the Supreme Court arguing that it did not violate the Constitution for a town to invite Christian clergy members almost every month for 10 years to deliver a prayer, typically explicitly Christian, before its legislative sessions. The Obama administration’s position on these issues was indistinguishable from that of its Republican predecessors.
In other ways, Holder has brought about much-needed change. He has been especially aggressive in challenging over-incarceration, especially for minor drug offenses. In 2010, at the urging of Holder and the Obama administration, Congress passed legislation to lessen the disparity between crack and cocaine sentencing. The difference in punishments has no scientific or legal basis and works to the great disadvantage of African Americans and Latinos. Crack cocaine is more prevalent in those communities, while powder cocaine is used more often by whites.
A year ago, Holder ordered federal prosecutors to be more lenient in charging low-level drug offenders. He also has ordered prosecutors to identify prisoners who have been convicted of relatively minor drug crimes and to seek their early release. Holder was right in announcing that the federal government would not challenge voter-passed initiatives in Colorado and Washington that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
In other areas of civil rights, too, Holder has been aggressive in bringing enforcement actions. Under his leadership, the Justice Department has challenged laws that require photo identification for voting, which have a disproportionate effect on limiting voting by minority voters. His department also has challenged efforts by states like Texas and North Carolina to impose other restrictions on voting that will disproportionately adversely affect minority voters.
Holder’s record is thus unusual in that, in some areas, such as in taking away rights as part of the “war on terrorism,” he has been awful. But in other areas, especially criminal justice reform and civil rights, he has been excellent.
Of course, it never will be possible to know which of Holder’s actions were the result of presidential decisions and which were his to make. But if he is held accountable for the actions of his department, the best that can be said about Eric Holder is that he had a very mixed record."
Erwin Chemerinsky is dean of the UCI School of Law.

Chemerinsky supports lesser sentences for crack cocaine offenders because they tend to be more black or Hispanic. We are talking about crack dealers who are victimizing blacks and Hispanics disproportionately. But then again, Chemerinsky believes erroneously that crack is no more harmful than powder cocaine.

When it comes to legalized marijuana in Washington and Colorado, Chemerinsky applauds Holder for turning a blind eye to a violation of federal law by those states. DEA never prosecuted marijuana users, but selling commercial quantities of marijuana is a federal crime.

What Chemerinsky completely ignored was Holder's politicization and corruption of of the Justice Department, a department I served with pride for over 20 years. The classic example was Operation Fast and Furious, where the ATF stood by and allowed thousands of weapons to cross into Mexico, a scheme that could only have been concocted at the highest levels of government in Washington in order to provide the public with concrete evidence that US guns were being used in Mexico's drug and gang wars-an excuse to tighten restrictions on gun ownership.  Hundreds have been killed by those weapons including two American  agents. Yet Holder perjured himself repeatedly before Congress as DOJ laid it off on "rogue agents in Arizona". He withheld thousands of internal documents subpoenaed by Congress, documents that remain hidden under Executive Privilege to this day. Not a word about this from Chemerinsky.

In addition, Holder has used DOJ to further his activist racial agenda. One of his first acts was to have DOJ drop the case against the New Black Panther Party thugs who intimidated whites with billy clubs at a Philadelphia polling place during an election. The case was all but settled (with a slap on the wrist ) and all DOJ had to do was sign off. Instead, it was dropped. Yet Holder challenges states' attempts to have voter ID laws to stop voter fraud and Chemerinsky gives him a salute for that as if it is a violation of someone's rights to be asked to produce ID to vote. Hell, I have to show my picture ID at the movies to get my senior discount. Am I complaining?

It is also interesting that Chemerinsky criticizes Holder for not prosecuting American personnel who used enhanced interrogation techniques (waterboarding) in the aftermath of 9-11 trying to head off planned attacks.

I could go on and on about Holder, but let's just say that it takes a real liberal activist to find so much positive to write about this utterly corrupt attorney general. Chemerinsky should be embarrassed by this op-ed.

"You're killing me, Erwin."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shame on Goddard College

We can add Goddard College in Vermont to the list of American universities who have arranged to have convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal as a commencement speaker. I first heard about this this evening on Megyn Kelly's Fox News show. One of her guests was the widow of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, who was gunned down by Abu Jamal, who is now serving a life sentence for murder.

Let me be clear. This is an indictment of our academic community. After so much brainwashing at Goddard by leftist professors, the graduate class at Goddard decided that they wanted Abu Jamal, a murderer, as their commencement speaker. This is testimony to the moral rot that passes for higher education in America today.

Unborn Animals in the Womb

Hat tip Young and Eagle Rising


I am cross-posting this fascinating piece from Eagle Rising, a conservative blog for which I have just begun writing. It originates with Young and shows animals in their womb. It also ends with a human baby in its womb.

I wonder if these photos give pause to any of you pro-choice readers.

AMCHA Initiative Letter to UCLA

Below is the text of a letter sent to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block about the questionable activities of UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies.

Dear Chancellor Block,

As you know, our non-profit organization, AMCHA Initiative, recently released a study which tracked antisemitic discourse and anti-Israel bias in all of the audio- or video-recorded, Israel-related public events sponsored by CNES, 2010 - 2013. The study was designed and supervised by one of us, Leila Beckwith, who is Professor Emeritus at UCLA and a well-respected faculty member with more than 30 years of research experience.

During the period under investigation, CNES received nearly $1.5 million from the Department of Education under Title VI of the Higher Education Act, a statute which stipulates that its recipients must demonstrate that all Title VI-funded programming reflect “diverse perspectives and a wide range of views.”  The results of our study indicate that CNES’ programming has a troubling anti-Israel bias, which distorts its scholarly and educational mission and is a violation of its federal funding requirements.

In particular, our study found:
  • CNES Israel-related events had an overwhelmingly anti-Israel bias: Of the 28 Israel-related events analyzed, 93% were anti-Israel, as identified using a systematic and objective definition of bias;
  • Most CNES Israel-related events contained antisemitic content: Of the 28 events, 75% contained antisemitic content, as identified using a systematic definition of antisemitic activity based directly on the definition of antisemitism used by the U.S. State Department;
  • CNES had a disproportionate focus on Israel: Of all the public events pertaining to significant Middle East political conflicts, 61% focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict, significantly more than on any other conflict, including the "Arab Spring” uprisings and the Iranian nuclear threat.  In addition, events were held about 14 Middle East countries.  Of those countries, 27% of the events were about Israel, four times more than any other country except Iran;
  • CNES favors speakers who engaged in antisemitic activity: Of the 31 speakers at the CNES Israel-related events, 84% have engaged in antisemitic activity, including the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, denying Jews the right to self-determination, comparing Israelis to Nazis and condoning terrorism;
  • Each CNES director had engaged in anti-Israel and antisemitic activity: All three CNES directors from 2010-2013 publicly opposed the UC Israel Abroad Program, despite touting that program as part of the center’s fulfillment of its Title VI funding requirement.  In addition, each of the directors has endorsed boycotts of Israeli universities and scholars, and one is the founder of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel.  Besides revealing their personal anti-Israel biases, these three directors’ actions to subvert UCLA students’ educational opportunities in Israel and to boycott Israeli academic institutions and scholars are in direct violation of their charge as directors of a Title VI Center, which includes “maintain[ing] linkages with overseas institutions of higher education and other organizations that may contribute to the teaching and research of the Center.”

We are aware that in response to the release of our study, the UCLA media relations office issued a statement claiming that the university "remains dedicated to complying with all federal laws and respecting the free and open exchange of ideas representing diverse viewpoints.”  However, UCLA's statement nowhere addressed the extensive data we had collected showing that the egregiously anti-Israel public outreach events of CNES clearly violated the Title VI stipulation that the center’s programing reflect “diverse perspectives and a wide range of views."

We believe that our study warrants careful review by your office, and we urge you to forthrightly address the serious problems we have raised regarding CNES.


Leila Beckwith
Co-founder AMCHA Initiative
Professor Emeritus, UCLA

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Co-founder AMCHA Initiative
Lecturer, UC Santa Cruz

Cc: UC President Janet Napolitano  
UC Regents
California State Senator Holly Mitchell (District 26)
California Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (District 54)

Comment: Virtually all the Middle East studies departments in universities across the country are manned by partisan, anti-Israel, anti-Western ideologues who engage in propaganda as opposed to serious scholarship and balanced education. Many are funded by Saudi Arabia. The CNES is just another example.

Another Benefit Dinner With Siraj Wahhaj Coming to Southern California

Hat tip Investigative Project on Terrorism

Siraj Wahhaj: "You know what this country is? It's a garbage can. It's filthy."

Here we go again. On October 31, the Islamic Society of Orange County  is having yet another benefit dinner. In addition, they are featuring as  speaker, good old Siraj Wahhaj from Brooklyn.

As you read the glowing tribute to Wahhaj, what is missing is that he was an unindicted co-conspirator in the case of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted of conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center back in the nineties as well as a few other buildings in New York. That didn't stop Wahhaj from testifying as a defense witness for the Blind Sheikh. In addition, this great man has referred to America as a "filthy garbage can" and advocated for an Islamic takeover of the US.  None of the above matters to Hussam Ayloush, the Southern California director of CAIR, who told me back in November at an event in Riverside, California that Wahhaj was "one of the most-respected religious leaders in America".

If you are a radical Islamist, that is.

I note that the site is not mentioned, but I imagine it will be the Anaheim Hilton. That is where most of their Orange County events take place.

Chicago Cubs: What is Coming in 2015?

Hat tip John Speedie for audio

OK. My Cubbies finished last again the National League Central Division. Next year will be year 107 since they won the World Series and year 70 since they played in the Series. Still we loyal fans suffer along through the years, the decades, and the centuries convinced that one day it is going to happen only to be teased by the occasional contender and blown pennants spaced between the years of losing. This year, many of us put the pain aside and spent as much time following the Cubs farm system as much as the "big club".

Those of you who don't care about the Cubs probably don't know that under Theo Epstein, they have built up the farm system from what was considered poor to what is now considered arguably the best in terms of blue chip prospects. Three-possibly four - of those prospects made it to the majors this year with varying degrees of success. There are at least 4 more expected to show up in Chicago within the next two years.

This year actually produced improvement under new manager Rick Renteria. Instead of losing over 100 games again, they lost 89.

"Ah wunnerful, ah wunnerful, ah."

Next year promises more improvement. Here is how things look in 2015 position by position.

Starting pitching. Jeff Samardziya is gone, but we have two solid starters in Jake Arrieta and rookie Kyle Hendricks. The remainder of the rotation is up for grabs among Travis Wood (who was bad this year), Tsuyoshi Wada (who impressed but will be 33 years old) Jacob Turner, and Felix Doubront. They are stuck with two more years on the contract of Edwin Jackson, who has been terrible the last two years. They will give him a chance to find himself next year, but I don't figure him in the long-term planning. Along with Wood, there isn't much risk next year because they aren't expected-I say expected- to contend. But who knows? The top two starting prospects in the minors are CJ Edwards and Pierce Johnson, who figure to be in Triple A next year. In summary, the hope is that Arrieta and Hendricks continue to pitch like they did in 2014 and one or two of the others steps up and establishes himself as a solid starter. Hendricks impressed everyone who watched him, and Arrieta pitched like an ace. Free agency, which I will discuss separately, could land us someone like Jon Lester, James Shields or Max Scherzer. If that happens, watch out.


The late inning relievers were very good this year with Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop and closer Hector Rondon. Justin Grimm was good in the second half of the season. Wesley Wright,a  leftie, was pretty good and should be in there some place. Prospect Aroydis Vizcaino figures to be a solid reliever and Armando Rivero, who was in the minors last year will possibly win a spot as well. Carlos Villanueva was on and off this year in both stating and relieving roles.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo. What more can you say? At this position we should be solid for years to come if he stays healthy.

Second Base.

Right now that is Javier Baez, who may be moved to another spot due to the coming glut of talent in the infield. As for Baez, he came up and played the last third of the season. He made a splash in his debut series at Colorado with three homers, hitting nine in all, which would project to about 27 over the course of a full season. However, he struck out 95 times, a prodigious number. It doesn't take a professional hitting coach to see what the problem is. Baez has a hitch in his swing that almost matches a golfer's back swing. He has super power and when he makes solid contact, the ball shoots off his bat like a rocket due to the power as the bat comes through the strike zone. In the minors, Baez's progress has been consistent. He began each new level struggling then figured it out and crushed the opposition. At the major league level he has to cut down on that huge hitch, or those strikeouts will just continue. In short, Baez looked lost at the plate this year in the Bigs, but he has great talent. I hope the Cubs send him somewhere to play winter ball, so he can start working on cutting down that swing. If he doesn't show improvement in Spring Training, he may have to go back to Triple A to work on his swing. He has the potential to be a super star, but may also turn out to be a bust. He has a lot of adjustments to make, but he is only 21.

Javier Baez


Right now that is Starlin Castro, who made dramatic improvement at the plate, and also in the field cutting down drastically on those errors. At one point, he went 38 games without an error. There is talk of trading him, possibly to the Mets for one of their good young pitchers due to the number of infield prospects the Cubs have. I would not rush into that. Castro is still only 24 years old and should continue to improve. Let's wait and see if we really have too many infielders to keep on the team. Of course, there is Addison Russell, the A's top infield prospect, who we got in the Samardziya trade. He played well at Double A and should show up in Chicago around 2016. He is a shortstop and considered defensively the best of Castro, Baez, or any others in the Cubs organization. Look for somebody to change positions.

Third Base

While Luis Valbuena did admirably playing full time (16 homers and hitting about .250), his real value is as a utility player. Mike Olt  will probably have to find a future elsewhere- if he cuts down on those strikeouts.  There is a minor leaguer named Christian Villanueva who is highly regarded, but he is not their top 3rd base prospect.  If you have not heard the name Kris Bryant, you soon will. He was the Cubs first round pick a year ago and crushed minor league pitching all the way to Triple A. He hit a total of 41 homers and can handle third base defensively. He will possibly start next year in Triple A due to the rules about when the free agency clock starts ticking, but expect to see him at Wrigley Field by May. He is the real deal (famous last words).

Kris Bryant

Right Field

Jorge Soler

The Cuban outfielder also stormed his way through the minors (when he wasn't plagued by hamstring injuries) and played the last 25 games or so with the Cubs. He was impressive hitting 5 homers and just missing .300 on the last day. Those numbers are hard to gauge over 25 games, but Soler has all the tools (famous last words).

Jorge Soler

Center Field

As it stands, Arismendy Alcantara will fill that spot. Alcantara is one of those rookies, though not as highly touted as Baez, Soler or Bryant, who impressed in Triple A and was brought up in the second half of the season. Though small, he has surprising power and hit 10 homers. He also hit near .200 and often appeared over matched at the plate. He will need to work on his hitting, but there is good potential there. Actually, his natural position is second base, but he doesn't have much of a future there considering all the talent the Cubs have. He plays a pretty decent center field with good speed. If Baez falters next year, look for Alcantara to play a lot of second base. The eventual hope is that Alberto Almora, who played in Double A this year, will be the center fielder by 2016. He was a number one pick a few years back, is graceful, and has decent power.

Left Field

As things stand now, look for Chris Coughlin to get most of the playing time there or be platooned with Justin Ruggiano. Coughlin played fairly well hitting over .280 while hitting at the top of the order. If he is still with the Cubs in 2016, the hope is he would be in a utility role, where he would be valuable. Junior Lake doesn't appear to have much of a future after a terrible 2014. He did hit about 10 homers early on, but he just isn't handling major league pitching. (He is originally an infielder, so there isn't a lot of hitting potential for an outfielder.) Ryan Sweeney is now a free agent if anybody cares.


Wellington Castillo showed some progress this year hitting 13 homers, but hitting only .237 with 46 rbis. He is improving defensively and may still be the catcher of the future especially if he could get his batting average over .250 and increase his homer output a bit. Of course, this year's number one draft pick, Kyle Schwarber, is a catcher-outfielder. He tore up low minor pitching this year and looks like a solid hitter. He is one of those blue chip prospects still in the minors and could show up at Wrigley as early as 2016 either at catcher or in left field. Back up John Baker can't hit. We are going to need better depth here. If Schwarber eventually takes over at catcher, Castillo would be an excellent back up, but that won't happen next year. Russell Martin, who had a good year with the Pirates, is a free agent. He is 31 years old.

Kyle Schwarber

Possible free agent signings

There are big decisions to be made here because the Cubs are transitioning between being a team selling players to one in the buying market. When does that line get crossed? Within two years the biggest names in their farm system should be playing with the Cubs, and ideally, they should keep the pipeline filled with good prospects. Their biggest need at this point seems to be adding starting pitching and outfielders. From what I hear, the following year will be the big year for free agents. The one name you keep hearing about the Cubs going after this year is Jon Lester, who had a good year with the Red Sox and A's. He is a free agent. In addition, Max Scherzer and James Shields are out there with certain restrictions. One positive feature is that the Cubs will draft 9th in the next draft. Since they are in the top ten spots based on their record, they can sign a Lester without forfeiting their first round pick.

At some point, we (hopefully) will have to deal with that glut of infielders/prospects and trade one of them for a big bat or big arm. When to do that is the question.


It is hard to see how the Cubs will do next year. If all the pieces fall into place (Baez, Bryant, and Soler being productive and a big free agent pitcher), the Cubs could improve dramatically and take that next big step. If we concede that some developmental time is needed, 2016 could really be intriguing with the hopes of Schwarber and Almora  joining the team.

I will go out on a limb and say this: By 2017, the Cubs will be in the thick of things. Steve Bartman, wherever you are, get your glove ready.

"I'll be ready too."