April 10, 2008, - 11:59 am

Ripped Off By the L. A. Times: Peter Wallsten’s Cribbed Piece on Palestinian Support for Obama

By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE #2: Politico calls L.A. Times’ Wallsten to the mat for rip off of Schlussel. ****
**** UPDATE: E-mail Peter Wallsten’s L.A. Times Editor, Scott Kraft, and ask him why his reporter cannot practice proper attribution. ****
Recently, I received this e-mail from Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten, who covers the Obama campaign for the paper, regarding a column I wrote about Barack Hussein Obama:

From: Wallsten, Peter Peter.Wallsten@latimes.com
Date: Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 3:25 PM
Subject: from Peter Wallsten, reporter for the LA Times
To: writedebbie@gmail.com
Debbie –
I’m looking into Obama’s ties to the Nation of Islam and I’m interested in what you’ve reported already. Is there any chance you’d be willing to take a few minutes to chat on the phone with me?
Peter Wallsten
Los Angeles Times
Washington bureau
[DS: Phone numbers redacted]


Because I am interested in my January column, on which I spent a lot of time and worked very hard, getting wider play–regarding Obama’s Nation of Islam staff, his friendship with Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah and Abunimah’s assertions that Obama is really, secrety pro-Palestinian, Obama’s attendance at an Edward Said dinner, and Obama’s blind Jewish supporters–I called Mr. Wallsten, per his request.
I spent a lot of time with him on the phone and told him he could use anything in my column, so long as my name and/or website was mentioned somewhere in the story. He agreed to do so, and told me he appreciated my help, despite the fact that he read on this site that his colleague, L.A. Times terrorism writer Josh Meyer, tried to trick me and rip me off when he came to Detroit and called me (as I mentioned on this site earlier).
Sadly, Mr. Wallsten did not keep his word and ripped me off. Today, he has an extensive article, “Allies of Palestinians See a Friend in Obama,” that–while not identical–clearly is an expansion of all of the information he gleaned from my column (and some other writers). Again, I’m not saying his “report” is a word-for-word plagiarism of what I wrote. It is not, and using my work as his basis, he did some further interviews. But, plagiarism is not necessarily a word-for-word rip off. It is the theft of ideas. And in this case, he clearly and admittedly read my column, and took what I wrote, expanding upon it. And a few portions of it contain virtually identical information with words and phrases mildly altered, such as this one:

The Senator has since “changed” his proclaimed views from those he expressed privately, in order to get Jewish donors and votes.
And he has succeeded in spades. Lee Rosenberg a top Illinois official of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby is a big Obama donor. Ditto for former national AIPAC official Bob Asher. And Penny Pritzker of the pro-Israel family that owns Hyatt hotels.

Peter Wallsten, L.A. Times:

Even as he won support in Chicago’s Palestinian community, Obama tried to forge ties with advocates for Israel. . . . As a presidential candidate, Obama has won support from such prominent Chicago Jewish leaders as Penny Pritzker, a member of the family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain, and who is now his campaign finance chair, and from Lee Rosenberg, a board member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

While Mr. Wallsten’s article is well-written, raises important points about Barack Obama, and should be read, he’s clearly not a man of his word who can be trusted. And he’s also clearly not a “reporter” or the original writer of a single thing in “his” story. He’s a rip-off artist who takes and expands upon others’ original work and research without an iota of credit.
So much for the conventional wisdom that bloggers write specious claims that cannot be trusted, whereas the mainstream media is the penultimate in accuracy and original reporting. In this case, the blogger–me–was the source material for the untrustworthy thief, the Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten.
Hey, Peter, still waiting for that mention you promised for using my work. But glad I didn’t hold my breath.
That–and repeated, unchecked theft of my work, like yours–would be the death of me.
Oh, and by the way, this is only the second time, in two weeks that a mainstream media “reporter,” er . . . regurgitating rip-off artist, has done this to me. Two weeks ago, Wall Street Journal reporter Chris Cooper admitted in an e-mail to me that he took my material for his story on former Hillary fundraiser Mehmet Celebi, but that he did not want to give my site “publicity,” so he didn’t mention it. Love those mainstream “journalistic ethics.” More on Mr. Cooper and what he did, in a future post. Stay tuned.
If you rip me off, it won’t go unnoticed.
Next time you see any article with Peter Wallsten in the byline, ask yourself who wrote it first. Because clearly, it wasn’t him. Same goes for Christopher Cooper of the Journal. And, unfortunately, so many others like them.

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April 10, 2008, - 11:23 am

Flying Nun is High on Somethin’: Dumb “Gender-Neutral” Quote of the Day

By Debbie Schlussel
Former Flying Nun Sally Field hasn’t gotten over the overwhelming attention she garnered at last year’s Emmy Awards, when she said, “If mothers ruled the world, there would be no G-d-damned wars,” as part of her anti-war rant.
Now, she’s told Ladies Home Journal (May 2008 issue) that “mothers” are also men:

I don’t think mothers are only female. I think mothering is a quality, a character trait. Mothering is about responsibility. There are plenty of men who are great, great mothers. Nelson Mandela is a great mother.


Flying Numbskull Sally Field, Badly in Need of a Dictionary

HUH? Must get my new age double-speak decoding ring to decipher.
As far as I know, this is the only “male” mother, and according to his DNA/chromosomes, he’s not really male . . . .

Remember Sally Field’s exhortation at another awards show, “You Like Me, You Really Like Me!”? Um, no, we really don’t.
Exit Question: How does Sally Field get featured in a magazine, whose title includes the word “Ladies”?

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April 10, 2008, - 10:42 am

Minister of Global Warming Ted Turner Gets It Slightly Wrong

By Debbie Schlussel
If you’re going to push a fantastic horror story a/k/a phony theory of science, at least get your stories straight.
That’s advice best given to one of the wealthiest, most hypocritical pimps of the “Global Warming” fantasy–billionaire Christian-hater Ted Turner.
Last week, not coincidentally on April Fool’s Day, in an interview with PBS’ Charlie Rose, the CNN founder not only made the absurd comparison of fighting “Global Warming” with fighting the Nazis in World War II, but he presented a horror story to which even the most dyed-in-the-wool “Global Warming” scientists don’t subscribe:


Total Bunk:

Ted Turner’s Claim of Hannibal Lecters Roaming the Streets

TURNER: We have to mobilize the same way we did when we entered World War II in 1941. We have to fully mobilize everything we have and put it into changing the energy system over, and not just here in the United States, but all over the world. . . . not doing it will be catastrophic. We’ll . . . be eight degrees hotter in 10 – not 10, but in 30 or 40 years. And basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died, and the rest of us will be cannibals.
Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state like Somalia or Sudan, and living conditions will be intolerable.
The droughts will be so bad, there will be no more corn growing. . . . we’ve got to stabilize the population.
ROSE: So what is wrong with the population? . . .
TURNER: We’re too many people. That’s why we have global warming. We have global warming because too many people are using too much stuff. If there were less people, they’d be using less stuff. . . . we’ve got to stabilize population. On a voluntary basis, everybody in the world has got to pledge to themselves that one or two children is it.

Reality check: Scientists pushing the “Global Warming” theory and agenda claim that temperatures will rise by a minute percentage each century. National Academy of Sciences proponents of Global Warming claim that the the last century was the warmest in 400 years because of

the globally averaged warming of about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degrees Celsius) that instruments have recorded during the last century.

Those scientists claim that alleged “warming” will continue at this rate, NOT Ted Turner’s sky-is-falling horror rate.
Global Warming scientists say temperatures have risen by a tenth of a degree every year since 1977 in such places as the Arctic Circle. In other locations–such as in the U.S. Midwest, we’ve actually had the coldest winter in decades–so the average temperature has slightly fallen.
While Ted Turner might be looking forward to the days of “Braised Thigh of Homosapien” on his dinner plate at the Sudanese Supper Club (or is that the Somalian one?) while the entire U.S. is a ghost town, it’s not coming anytime soon. . . if ever.
So much money, so few brain cells. Having sex with Hanoi Jane clearly atrophies what’s inside your noggin.

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April 9, 2008, - 4:39 pm

If You Had Six Months to Live: “The Last Lecture”

By Debbie Schlussel
For the last several months, my friend, Detroit-based Wall Street Journal reporter and columnist Jeffrey Zaslow has been working on a book with Professor Randy Pausch, who learned he was dying of pancreatic cancer, the same fatal disease that took my father, last year.
The book, “The Last Lecture,” grew out of a college lecture that Pausch gave at Carnegie Mellon University. Traditionally, many profs there deliver what they’d say if it was their “last lecture.” For them, it’s pretend, but for him, it was as if it was real, since he’d been given six months to live. You might have read about this “Lecture of a Lifetime” in Jeff’s moving Wall Street Journal, which started it all.


Jeff writes:

Randy recently passed the six-month mark since his terminal diagnosis. Given the severity of his pancreatic cancer, he isn‚Äôt sure about the road ahead. But he’s hanging in there. I’ve loved working with him on the book. It’s been an honor.
The attention for the book has been exciting, though bittersweet, given Randy’s condition. The media interest – there’s a lot in the week ahead – has been a fun diversion for him.

Now that the book is out, it has already hit #1 on Amazon.com, where it currently stands. Jeff has sent me a copy, and I will review it on this site (I have other books in the hopper for review, too–so other authors who’ve sent me their books, I’m getting to yours soon, too). I know it will be a good one, as I’ve excerpted many of Jeff’s WSJ columns on this site, and he was very kind and comforting to me, when my father was sick and dying. He is a mensch (and was a nationally syndicated advice column in the past–Dear Abby had nothing on him).
Jeff alerts that tonight on ABC at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Diane Sawyer is doing an hour-long special on the book and Dr. Pausch. He’s seen it, and says it is very inspirational. Watch the video promo. I plan to watch.
If you miss tonight’s special, there will be plenty more media coverage of this unique book by very special people. And there is the official Last Lecture website featuring Pausch’s full “last lecture,” updates on his health condition, and media appearances.
Because my father went through the same thing as Pausch and had several months of mini-“last lectures” to me, Jeff also wrote me:

If you do write about it, you should relink to that tribute about your dad, which was so beautiful.

So, I am re-linking to my tribute to my beloved father, H.L. Schlussel, MD. Dad, I miss you so much.
Stay tuned for my review of “The Last Lecture.”

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April 9, 2008, - 3:25 pm

Thanks, to My Friends & Readers . . .

By Debbie Schlussel
. . . for all of your kind birthday wishes. I was trying to keep this “just another regular day” for me, low key (I went to the “bikini/booty boot camp” class at the gym and persisted through the gruel as on many other days). But the internet makes all private information “open secrets.” And quite a few readers have e-mailed very nice, much appreciated best wishes. Thank you.
Below is one of the two cards my late father and other family members gave me for my last birthday, which he knew would be the last card he gave me. It’s true to his sense of humor, but little did he know when he was still alive–nor did the American Greetings card makers–that the only thing scarier is not President Hillary Rodham Cankles Clinton, but President Barack Hussein Obama Al-Amriki.


While on this day, the Civil War ended with the surrender of Confederate troops in 1865, it’s also the day that, in 1942, American and Filippino troops were overwhelmed by the Japanese in Bataan during World War II, the prelude to the Bataan Death March. Check out some other historic events from this day.
Since I’m not a believer in astrology or other such new age BS, I believe that the day on which you are born is a coincidence/accident of birth, nothing else (and today, it’s a result of deliberate inducement in many births, too). After all, there are only 365 days in a year. Divide that by 300 million Americans, and about 822,000, on average, were born per day of the year. Although I definitely do have most Aries characteristics, what I find the weirdest about my birthday is the odd coincidence (though meaningless) of with whom I share it.
Today is also the birthday of one of my favorite movie stars/actors–the very hot (even at age 54) Dennis Quaid, America’s most immature and toddler-esque senior citizen–Hugh Hefner, the least attractive actress from “Sex & the City”–unwed mother and newly-lesbian Cynthia Nixon, porn star Jenna Jameson, the late Communist actor/singer Paul Robeson, former supermodel Paulina Porizkova, and assorted other celebs of legit or questionable notoriety.

Sharing My B-Day w/ Dennis Quaid & Hugh Hefner

So again, thanks for the best wishes. Another year G-d has allowed me to live and enjoy life and compose this site, for which I’m always thankful. And another thing to be thankful for: Another year, which you have read it. Thanks, again.

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April 9, 2008, - 1:46 pm

CYA Reading of the Day: Congress Excoriates DHS’ ICE Princess, “Serpenthead” Over Racist Behavior/Cover-Up; What is DHS/ICE Hiding in Secret Internal Report?

By Debbie Schlussel
Most of this report from the House Homeland Security Committee is not new to readers of this site. In fact, it’s mostly old hat. But it’s a scathing attack (too little, too late), which makes some VERY important points about the immature, incompetent “leadership” of our nation’s top immigration and national security agencies.
And it’s very entertaining reading from a bunch of CYA (Cover Your [Rear]) Congressional Democrats who knew better, but did nothing, about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chieftess Julie L. Myers a/k/a “The ICE Princess.” It details Myers’ deliberate cover-up and obstruction of justice, regarding an award she gave to a racist costume at a Halloween Party.


Julie Myers Smiles/Poses With Blackface Costumed ICE Agent

However, all of it–how Myers ordered the destruction of photos of Myers and the Blackface costumed ICE employee, and then, in violation of the Freedom of Information Act, delayed the photos’ release until after her nomination was confirmed–was detailed repeatedly on this site. I noted all of this before Myers’ confirmation, and even posted a photo. It was all common knowledge amongst ICE employees. Yet, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (who is Black) looked the other way and allowed this extremely incompetent woman to be confirmed.
The only thing new here is about how the Department of Homeland Security has a secret report on Myers’ behavior, and it refuses to release it . . . even to Congress. Why? What’s the “national security” reason behind hiding info on Julie Myers’ racist behavior and unlawful cover-up thereafter? Was an Al-Qaeda informant involved in applying the Blackface or making the dreadlock wig or the paper bag labelled, “Bag Nasty” (see pic in Attachment B of the report)?
So, now, finaly, Congress is whining about it–now, that it is too late:

Assistant Secretary Myers confirmed each of the above allegations and apologized for her “bad judgment”. However, she failed to be forthcoming concerning the existence of photographs memorializing the party or the role she played in ordering the destruction of photographic records.
This examination indicates that Assistant Secretary Myers directed the destruction of photographs of the Halloween party, enlisted other DHS employees to destroy photographs and ordered the sanctioning and relocation of an employee in a coordinated effort to conceal the circumstances surrounding the party.
These activities were undertaken prior to the Assistant Secretary’s Senate Confirmation hearing and may have been carried out to preclude or delay the public release of photographs that could have adversely impacted her confirmation hearings.

Ya think?!

When the costume contest began, entrants approached the judge’s table where Assistant Secretary Myers, Deputy Assistant Secretary Bertucci and Chief of Staff Smith were seated. The entrants were instructed to state their name, describe their costume and allow the judges to see their costume up close. When the employee in the prison garb, dreadlock wig and skin-darkening makeup arrived at the judge’s table, he stated, “I’m a Jamaican detainee from Krome [DS: A detention facility housing many Black deportees], obviously, I’ve escaped.” The response from the judges [DS: that means Myers, her chief of staff and her deputy] was laughter.
According to interviews with employees who attended the party, several employees were shocked and offended by the costume and some even left immediately after seeing their fellow employee in the costume. The combined effect of the prison outfit, dreadlock wig and skin-darkening makeup appeared to have caused grave concern and distress, especially for some African Americans present. In fact, some employees did not associate the costume with a “detainee” but instead thought it was intended to represent an African American in a prison outfit.
As the winner of the “most original costume” costume award, the
employee in prison garb, dreadlocks and skin-darkening makeup and
Assistant Secretary Myers were photographed together as promised.

The Cover-Up:

According to the November 13, 2007 internal DHS report, within hours of judging the costumes at the party, Assistant Secretary Myers became concerned about her “bad judgment call.” Assistant Secretary Myers immediately ordered Chief of Staff Nick Smith to have all of the photographs of the “most original costume” prize winner destroyed. Regarding this decision, Assistant Secretary Myers stated that “although I did not know that this individual had disguised his race, I determined that I had made an error in judgment in recognizing an escaped prisoner at this party, and I did not think that recognizing an escaped prisoner was in any way beneficial to the agency’s goal of treating everyone in our custody with dignity and respect. Accordingly, I instructed my Chief of Staff to direct ICE’s official event photographer to delete all photos of the employee in the inappropriate costume so they would not be placed into the agency’s photo archive and inadvertently used in future publications.”
Following this directive, Chief of Staff Smith personally ordered the ICE contract photographer to delete all of the photographs containing images of the employee. The oral instruction to the photographer was reiterated in an email from the Director of ICE Public Affairs, which stated: “Please make sure that the photos of the most creative (single male entry) are destroyed. They may not be used in any publication, Web site, compilation disk, you name it. Not just not used (sic). Please erase all.” The photographer then deleted the relevant photographs from his digitalcamera.

On Michael “Serpenthead” Chertoff’s BS–Congress finally sees beyond the fertilizer:

The internal investigation found that the employee wore his costume from the time he arrived at work at 8:00 a.m. and was seen by co-workers, managers, and senior level ICE officials while he went about his duties.
Upon learning of the incident, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff expressed strong dissatisfaction with the incident. He stated:

I get very perturbed when there is anything that suggests that with respect to the enforcement of the law, we are anything other than evenhanded. I have zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in the area of law enforcement. We have to be tough but we have to be fair. The idea that you are going to come and impersonate someone of another ethnic group, I think, is completely unacceptable.

Secretary Chertoff did not, however, make any mention of his intention to discipline the individuals responsible for awarding the employee who wore the offending costume.
Moreover, it should be noted that despite this strong statement, the internal report has been withheld from the public and has not been shared, to date, in a non-redacted format with Members of Congress responsible for overseeing the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, the Department did not make the report readily available to Committee staff. After its initial refusal to release the report to the Committee, the Department made the report available on a very
limited basis. To read the report, Committee staff was required to travel to DHS and examine it on their premises. Committee staff was prevented from making or removing copies.


ICE “Leaders” Julie Myers, Theresa Bertucci, and Nicholas J. Smith

Praised, Awarded Blackface Costume

(ICE Blackface Images by David Lunde/Lundesigns)


Undisciplined: Top ICE Official Myers, Bertucci, Smith

Gave Blackface Awards

(Julie Myers Diet Coke by David Lunde/Lundesigns)

Congress recognizes the BS (even if too late). Here are some of its conclusions about The ICE Princess and Serpenthead:

3. Assistant Secretary Julie Myers, Deputy Assistant Secretary Theresa Bertucci, and Chief of Nick Smith exercised poor judgment when they choose to reward the employee for wearing the costume.
4. The steps taken by Assistant Secretary Myers following the Halloween party appeared to be an attempt to conceal her actions from the public disclosure.
5. Assistant Secretary Myers should not have ordered the destruction of photographs taken at the event. She either knew or should have
known that the photographs may have been considered federal government property.
6. Assistant Secretary Myers was not fully forthcoming during her
meetings with Chairman Bennie Thompson regarding the photographs taken at the party.
7. Assistant Secretary Myers was preparing for her Senate confirmation
hearing at the time of the Halloween party incident and appears to
have become concerned that revelations regarding her “bad judgment”
could have adversely impacted the outcome of her confirmation
9. Despite Secretary Chertoff’s stated “zero tolerance” for discriminatory behavior in law enforcement, neither Assistant Secretary Myers, nor her subordinates Deputy Assistant Secretary Bertucci and Chief of Staff Smith have been reprimanded for their participation in this event by DHS leadership.

The question is: If Bennie Thompson and his fellow Dems are so exercised now–as they should have been back in November, but weren’t–about Myers absurd law-breaking and racist behavior, why is she still in office? Why won’t they haul her to hearings the way they do generals and members of law enforcement, who–unlike Myers–are actually doing their jobs and know what they are doing?
And why isn’t Myers impeached? And why does she still have a law license–after having engaged in an unlawful cover-up and obstruction of justice, for which you and I would be behind bars?
Issuing reports for our reading pleasure and a treasured place in the circular file is one thing. Doing something about this serial incompetentette and now, confirmed law-breaker and concealer, is entirely another.
Read the whole report. It’s in big print (so King George won’t have to put on his reading glasses) and fun–and sad and maddening–to read.

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April 9, 2008, - 12:43 pm

Islamic Minnesota Charter School is Sponsored by Al-Qaeda/HAMAS Charity

By Debbie Schlussel
For months, many readers from Minnesota have contacted me about the Muslim Minnesota charter school–the Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) funded by tax dollars, and paraded as a non-religious school. But, in fact, the school violates the separation between church and state extensively, as reported by the primary voice of vigilance against Sharia Islamic law in Minnesota, columnist Katherine Kersten. (She’s the sharp woman who’s been on top of Target kowtowing to Muslim cashiers who won’t ring up pork, Muslim cabbies refusing fares with alcohol and guide dogs for the blind at the airport, etc.)


Students at the TIZA Tax-Funded Islamic “Public” School

The problem is, the separation between church and state apparently doesn’t apply to mosque and state. Anything goes with Islam and the usual separations don’t apply, and the ACLU and federal and state governments deliberately turn a blind eye. Kersten’s description of what goes on at the “non-Muslim” Muslim charter school is no surprise to me. We have similar Muslim charter schools in Michigan and Ohio. And, as with most charter schools, the tax dollars flow in, but not the oversight. Small, obscure colleges from far away are in charge of overseeing the schools in Michigan. And they don’t do the job, while Islam dominates the “education” at these madrassahs, er . . . “schools.”
Supposedly, TIZA is a “model” for a national plan of Islamic schools. But, that’s not a “supposedly.” That is the plan and we’re already there. These schools have cropped up all over, and you’re paying for them, while you are not allowed to have your tax dollars go to Christian or Jewish academies.
And in Minneapolis, it’s even worse. Kersten says that the sponsoring organization of the “non-Muslim” Muslim charter school is Islamic Relief. Readers will remember my extensive piece on Islamic Relief a/k/a Islamic Relief-Worldwide, and how it is a HAMAS charity and has gotten over $20 million in goods from the Mormon Church–the Latter Day Saints Church. Islamic Relief was also identified by the Treasury Department as an Al-Qaeda front group. As I wrote, a 2004 Islamic Relief fundraiser I attended glorified beheadings of Americans in the Muslim world and was depicted in a nauseating “dance” skit performed by a Muslim dance troupe of young boys.

This Equals This

(Islamic Relief = Islamic Terror Artwork by David Lunde)

The fact that a Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Qaeda charity whose HAMAS employees were kicked out of Israel for funding and enabling terrorists is sponsoring a tax-funded “public” charter school in Minnesota should tell you all you need to know. That’s aside from the Islamic religious practices Ms. Kersten details in her disturbing, but not at all surprising, column.
Wake Up, America!

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April 9, 2008, - 12:09 pm

Peanut Farmer Prez to Fete HAMAS Leader re-Israeli Hostage: You’re Paying for the Secret Service Detail

By Debbie Schlussel
Last week, a Lebanese intelligence source of mine told me that former President Jimmy Carter was scheduled to meet with HAMAS leader Khaled Meshaal in Syria on Friday. My friend told me that Carter was trying to meet with Meshaal under the auspices of a group called “Elders,” but that the group refused to sanction such an outrageous meeting. Thus, Carter would have to meet with Meshaal under the auspices of the Carter Center and Carter Library. My friend told me that the trip would be so that Jimmy Carter could work out a “peace plan” to trade for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a HAMAS hostage. The deal would involve the release of thousands of HAMAS terrorists in Isreali prison for this one Israeli soldier, as usual.
And since your taxes pay for Jimmuh’s Secret Service detail, you’re subsidizing the trip.
Now, the report I received from my friend has been confirmed, except the date has changed by a week and the alleged purpose of the trip–the Shalit hostage deal–is not mentioned. On Tuesday, Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported the same thing:



Jimmy “Jimmuh” Carter Meets w/ HAMAS re-Israeli Hostage Gilad Shalit

The Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Tuesday that Carter was planning a trip to Syria for mid-April, during which he would meet with Khaled Meshal, the exiled head of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, on April 18.
Deanna Congileo, Carter’s press secretary, confirmed in an e-mail to FOXNews.com that Carter will be in the Mideast in April. Pressed for comment, Congileo did not deny that the former president is considering visiting Meshal.
“President Carter is planning a trip to the Mideast next week; however, we are still confirming details of the trip and will issue a press release by the end of this week,” wrote Congileo. “I cannot confirm any specific meetings at this point in time.”

The question is: Why are American taxpayers paying for protection of this former American leader who is meeting with one of America’s sworn enemies and the mastermind of several mass-murder homicide bombing operations?
Although President Clinton will be the last former U.S. President to get taxpayer-paid Secret Service protection after leaving office (pursuant to legislation he signed), it’s time for Congress to limit Secret Service protection to proscribe these kinds of trips.
If Jimmy Carter wants to engage in this disgusting trip to meet a mass-murderer, we shouldn’t be subsidizing the trip.
Nauseating. But given Jimmy Carter’s history of wreaking havoc in the Middle East–from Iran to Israel–no shocker.
For a refresher on Jimmuh and his previous Mid-East failures and commentary, read my flashback, Shut Up, Jimmy Carter.”

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April 8, 2008, - 2:06 pm

Michael Monsoor: Un-Hyphenated (Arab) American Hero; Americans Who Don’t Want to Be Known as Arabs: My Apology to Mayor Allan Mansoor

By Debbie Schlussel
I debated how I should write the story of American hero and patriot Michael Anthony Monsoor, the third Iraq war veteran to receive the Medal of Honor.
A couple of years ago, on this site, I praised one of my heroes, Mayor Allan Mansoor of Costa Mesa, California (and I’ve written about him several times since). A strong advocate of secure borders, Mayor Mansoor was one of the first local officeholders to take control of the illegal alien cancer that ICE has let fester. Because I know that the surname, Mansoor (also spelled in other assorted, transliterated ways), is a common Arab (and, sometimes, Sephardic Jewish) last name, I praised him as an Arab American we can all be proud of (it turns out his father was an Egyptian Coptic Christian, his mother of Scandinavian descent). But Mayor Mansoor doesn’t like being known as an Arab.


Proud Americans, NOT Arabs:

Mayor Allan Mansoor & Hero Michael Anthony Monsoor

On the contrary, like many of my Christian friends of Arabic descent, he doesn’t identify with it, because he, rightfully, sees himself as an unhyphenated, patriotic American who does not want to be lumped in with Muslims, as some local media have tried to do to him, comparing him with two extremist Muslims from Syria and Lebanon:

One’s geographic origin should not be used to describe someone when you are discussing their actions. If you do that, then you need to do it equally for everyone or you are being divisive. Describing me as an “Arab-American” has no bearing on what views I hold or why I am running for re-election. If you make these distinctions for one, then make them for all. Please don’t lump me into some group out of laziness or political correctness.
My father, though born in Egypt and with an Arabic name, was greatly influenced by European culture. Many business contacts were European and he attended a French Catholic school where he was taught in French. He was also raised as a Christian in a Coptic Church as opposed to a Muslim. My mother is from Finland and when I was raised my mother took me and my brothers to a Lutheran church. Actually my mother is from the Aland Islands which are in the Gulf of Bothnia. Swedish is the culture but the islands are a province of Finland. I was born in California and one could also argue that since my mother was a stay at home mom, Swedish culture was more prevalent in our home than Middle Eastern culture. . . .
I am proud of my parents and my heritage, but I am an American . . . without a hyphen.

Read the whole thing.
It’s something that conflicts me, too. On the one hand, I want people to know that there are plenty of Arabs in America, whom I like (it’s the Muslims I have a problem with, not the ethnicity that includes many Christians who love America). (My first boss as an attorney, Larry Mansour Hansen, was the nicest, greatest boss I ever had. But, while he was proud of his Syrian/Lebanese heritage, he was prouder to be a Christian and an American.)
On the other hand, I decry places like the deceptively-named Arab American National Museum in Dearbornistan, which is the project of extremist Muslims who usurp the identity of prominent Christian Arabs, like former NFLer Doug Flutie and the late (pro-Israel) lawyer Edward Masry (of “Erin Brockovich” fame), to trick us into believing that they–Arab Muslims–are just like these proud Americans (they aren’t).
So, I apologize to Mayor Allan Mansoor, of whom we should all be proud regardless of his ancestry, for bringing up an aspect of his heritage with which he does not identify and which is used by others to discredit him.
But in the same vein, I think it’s important to use Mayor Mansoor’s courage and the bravery of another non-hyphenated American, Michael Anthony Monsoor, to point out that this is what we want for America–those who absorb into American culture and love America, rather than imposing Middle Eastern mores on America, as Muslims and Muslim Arabs are trying to do, today.
Michael Anthony Monsoor, a Christian of Arabic descent who also really didn’t identify as an Arab, made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq to save his fellow Americans. He yelled, “Grenade!” and threw himself on the explosive device during a firefight in Ramadi, Iraq, on September 29, 2006. He gave his life so that his fellow soldiers would live. And that’s why, today, this courageous Navy SEAL’s family was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Bush.
Mayor Allan Mansoor writes about Michael Monsoor:

Interestingly, I did not see Michael Monsoor of Garden Grove, the recently killed Navy Seal, referred to as an Arab-American. I would add that it was good that he was not referred to in this manner because he was fighting as an American soldier.

More about Michael Anthony Monsoor:

When a grenade hit his body and landed near his feet on a rooftop in Ramadi, Iraq, Navy SEAL Michael Anthony Monsoor could have escaped in time.
Monsoor, a Coronado-based sailor, stood close to an exit. He could have ducked out quickly, unlike the three American snipers and several Iraqi soldiers on the roof with him. He was scheduled to return to the United States in a week or two.
But in a move that doesn’t surprise people who knew him, Monsoor yelled “Grenade!” and jumped on the explosive. He died within a half-hour of suffering extensive injuries. His sacrifice saved the other service members that day – Sept. 29, 2006.
For his heroism, Monsoor today will become the third Iraq war recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest distinction for combat valor. He also will be the first member of the Navy to receive the honor during the Iraq war. . . .
Monsoor joined the Navy in 2001, continuing a family tradition of military service. His father and brother James were Marines, and his grandfather George was in the Navy.
He decided to strive for a spot with the SEALs – elite fighters known for their physical prowess, endurance and versatility. He withdrew during his first tryout after breaking a heel.
When he tried again in 2004, he graduated near the top of his class. He was a petty officer second class when he died at age 25.
“I truly thought he was the toughest member of my platoon,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Seth Stone, his platoon commander in Iraq.
As a machine gunner and radio operator in Ramadi, Monsoor had to haul gear weighing more than 100 pounds in the searing desert heat of Anbar province. . . .
Monsoor distinguished himself almost immediately upon arriving in Iraq as part of SEAL Team Three in April 2006.
On May 9 of that year, he dragged a wounded SEAL to safety while being exposed to enemy fire. Monsoor earned a Silver Star, the third highest honor for combat bravery, for that rescue.
He also received a Bronze Star for helping to safeguard fellow troops on 11 occasions by risking death from enemy fire to unleash his own suppressive fire, according to a Navy citation. . . .
Monsoor’s ultimate sacrifice occurred shortly after a firefight in Ramadi, then considered the hotbed of Iraq’s Sunni insurgency. His SEAL unit had engaged in fierce battles over the past six months, killing dozens of insurgents and capturing many others.
Acting as a machine gunner, Monsoor went up to the rooftop of a building to provide cover for troops erecting barricades on the street below. His goal was to help restrict the movement of insurgents in the area.
Monsoor positioned himself between two SEAL snipers. From an unseen location, an insurgent tossed a grenade onto the roof. It struck Monsoor in the chest and bounced onto the deck.
“Without hesitation and showing no regard for his own life, he threw himself onto the grenade, smothering it to protect his teammates who were lying in close proximity,” the Navy said in a citation. “The grenade detonated as he came down on top of it, mortally wounding him.”

While the Muslim Arabs who run the Arab American National Museum are nothing like the assimilated, proud American families of Mayor Mansoor and American Hero Michael Anthony Monsoor, I’m sure we will see plenty of usurping of Michael Monsoor’s irrelevant heritage to tell us that they–Muslim Arabs–are just like us. That’s despite the fact that, were they in the “old country” today, they’d be imposing Shariah upon and persecuting Christians like Monsoor (and Mayor Mansoor).
But Michael Anthony Monsoor bears no similarity–in his limitless patriotism–to the people on Michigan Avenue and Schaeffer and Warren in Dearbornistan.
Michael Anthony Monsoor, Rest in Peace. This non-hyphenated American did his country proud.
Read the U.S. Navy Tribute and Biography of Michael Anthony Monsoor.
**** UPDATE: My 2005 entry on Edward Masry makes a similar point to Mayor Allan Mansoor’s:

“My father was a Christian from Syria who came to the United States in 1912 because of repression in his native country,” Masry once told a Jewish newspaper. “He was one of the first to give money to Israel in 1948. His sympathies were pro-Zionist, not pro-Arab.”

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April 8, 2008, - 1:44 pm

Telltale Heart: Life Imitates “Art” in Strange Dual Suicides

By Debbie Schlussel
As a movie critic, whenever I see stories like this on the big screen, I laugh at them. They’re simply not likely or believable. But, in this case, life imitates art . . . bad “art”.
A man who gets a heart transplant marries the wife of his donor. Years later, he commits suicide in the same manner that his heart donor did.
Like I said, it’s out of a bad horror movie. Only in the case of Sonny Graham and Terry Cottle, it was, sadly, very real:

A man who received a heart transplant 12 years ago and later married the donor’s widow died the same way the donor did, authorities said: of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


No foul play was suspected in 69-year-old Sonny Graham’s death at his Vidalia, Ga., home, investigators said. He was found Tuesday in a utility building in his backyard with a single shotgun wound to the throat, said Greg Harvey, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Graham, who was director of the Heritage golf tournament at Sea Pines from 1979 to 1983, was on the verge of congestive heart failure in 1995 when he got a call that a heart was available in Charleston.
That heart was from Terry Cottle, 33, who had shot himself, Berkeley County Coroner Glenn Rhoad said.
Grateful for his new heart, Graham began writing letters to the donor’s family to thank them. In January 1997, Graham met his donor’s widow, Cheryl Cottle, then 28, in Charleston.
“I felt like I had known her for years,” Graham told The (Hilton Head) Island Packet for a story in 2006. “I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. I just stared.”
In 2001, Graham bought a home for Cottle and her four children in Vidalia. Three years later, they were married after Graham retired from his job as a plant manager for Hargray Communications in Hilton Head.

Like I said, it sounds like it’s out of the movies. There have been several movies in which transplant patients live out the same life as their deceased donors. It’s also been a plot of “Tales From the Crypt,” “The Outer Limits,” and “The Twilight Zone.” And it reminds me of “Blood Work,” the Clint Eastwood thriller, in which a retired FBI agent receives the heart of a woman who was murdered by his nemesis. He ends up having a romance with her sister.
Trite but True: Truth is stranger than fiction.

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