Roberts: Have your fun, but you just soiled the Constitution.

If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.

Scalia: We just destroyed democracy.

A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.

The strikingly unrepresentative character of the body voting on today’s social upheaval would be irrelevant if they were functioning as judges, answering the legal question whether the American people had ever ratified a constitutional provision that was understood to proscribe the traditional definition of marriage. But of course the Justices in today’s majority are not voting on that basis; they say they are not. And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.

Scalia: The majority think they are smarter than everyone else.

They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since. They see what lesser legal minds — minds like Thomas Cooley, John Marshall Harlan, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Learned Hand, Louis Brandeis, William Howard Taft, Benjamin Cardozo, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, and Henry Friendly — could not.

Scalia: I’m not a bigot.

These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is

contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, 21 cannot possibly be supported by

anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.

Scalia: The majority are pretentious narcissists.

The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so. Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent.

Scalia: The majority is trying to overthrow the government, similar to the Nazis in Germany.

But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003.

Thomas: Gay people already had it great!

Petitioners cannot claim, under the most plausible definition of “liberty,” that they have been imprisoned or physically restrained by the States for participating in same-sex relationships. To the contrary, they have been able to cohabitate and raise their children in peace. They have been able to hold civil marriage ceremonies in States that recognize same-sex marriages and private religious ceremonies in all States. They have been able to travel freely around the country, making their homes where they please. Far from being incarcerated or physically restrained, petitioners have been left alone to order their lives as they see fit.

Thomas: We have set up a war between religion and the government.

In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well. Today’s decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.

Thomas: The majority probably destroyed religious liberty.

Although our Constitution provides some protection against such governmental restrictions on religious practices, the People have long elected to afford broader protections than this Court’s constitutional precedents mandate. Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.

Thomas: Gay people are fine without government recognition, just like slaves.

The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity)

because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied

governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

Alito: Opponents of marriage equality will be vilified.

It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.

I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.

By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas. Recalling the harsh treatment of
gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turnabout is fair play. But if that sentiment prevails, the Nation will experience bitter and lasting wounds.




A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’ 

We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. 
The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march… It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers. 
The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous. 
Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. 
The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. 
And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’? 
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: 
Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. 
Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. 
Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts — the fanatics who threaten our way of life.


Well it never changes, the fringes always take over and scare the silent majority just like the big money, the NRA, THE RACISTS, THE BIG MONEY and other such saber rattlers in our society (nazi like police forces?) well Islam is sort of a special case for its dogmas froze in a 12th century mold not to change an iota which the same social justice and rules that applied then are true now from beheadings to stoning to cutting off hands, and other extremities for appropriate ‘crimes’ or excesses. So humans are creatures of endless cruelties, thick skins, hard of hearing, unmoving hearts, and thousands of years pass between the times that a human comes with the the guts to proclaim and remind that loving God is not what it’s all about, nor loving his messenger, son, brother, image or ideas but caring for other humans as you would for one self. That wealth is for doing good not for building edifices and soaring towers but to shelter and feed the feed homeless and hungry, and keep them productive and not at our mercy.





This is what is being written about it today:
 FRUM: We can prevent mass shootings. “There is of course no ‘one law’ that would prevent all gun massacres, any more than there is ‘one law’ that would eliminate all house fires, all fatal car crashes, or all smoking deaths. Yet American society has made amazing progress at enhancing citizen safety against fires, car crashes, and smoking. It’s true that ‘no one thing’ did it. It would have been utterly false to predict ‘nothing’ could do it. So with guns. … Even as crime rates decline, not only in the U.S. but in all developed countries, the United States continues to suffer mass casualty gun massacres with a frequency seen nowhere else in the developed world: 133 between 2000 and 2014, as compared to 3 in Canada, 2 in Australia, and 1 in the United Kingdom, according to one global survey.” The Atlantic.
RENNIE: Gun control is politically impossible in the United States. “Americans of different political beliefs live ever-more different lives. That adds an element of raw tribalism to what should be dispassionate questions of public policy. Guns are a grim example. Consider polls that show Americans are becoming more hostile to gun control, and more willing to say that guns are necessary for self-defence. The headline numbers are striking enough. But as so often with headline numbers, they conceal vast and widening gaps between different regions, races and classes. … Whites are almost twice as likely as blacks and Hispanics to say it is more important to protect gun rights than to control access to guns. Those living in rural areas and Americans living in the South and Midwest are far keener on guns than those in the north-east. Post-graduates are much keener on gun control than those with high school educations alone. … Questions over guns are becoming questions of identity.” The Economist.
The bottom line is that besides the hatred spawned by racist symbols and the bigotry and separatism harbored in parts of the USA as long as the means to express those feeling with such arms and ammunition that can wreak so much havoc are at large things will get worse not better and we must address these laws and weapons and change both the culture and sense of entitlement to be armed to the teeth to go to war with our surroundings at a drop of a hat!



Iranian Intellectual And Dissident: 

The Iranian Regime Is As Bad As ISIS, Yet Western Leaders Ignore Its Crimes

On October 30, 2014, Iranian intellectual Mohammad Maleki, a former president of Tehran University and a critic of the Iranian regime, published an open letter to the people of Iran in the online daily In the letter, he wondered why U.S. and European leaders are shocked by ISIS’ beheadings yet ignore the brutal crimes that the Iranian regime has been committing ever since its establishment against its own people and the people of the region. Maleki argued that the Iranian regime, under its founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his successor Ali Khamenei – who are the Iranian equivalents of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi – is the same as ISIS because it too executes people systematically and brutally violates the human rights of many prisoners. Maleki pointed to the mass killing of Iranian prisoners, especially of militants from the oppositionist Mojahedeen-e Khalq organization who were sentenced during the 1980s in disregard for their rights and subjected to physical and psychological torture. He claimed that the West even helped the Iranian regime by giving it a free hand in Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s ouster and letting it act against Iranian oppositionists there, in collaboration with then-Iraqi president Nouri Al-Maliki, who is an Iranian lackey.
The 81-year-old Maleki, who lives in Iran, is a member of the anti-regime National-Religious Coalition of Iran and a columnist for the reformist daily Rooz. He served as Tehran University’s first president following the Islamic Revolution and spent five years in prison for opposing the purge of the universities conducted by Khomeini as part of his cultural revolution. In 2001, he was detained for half a year on a charge of anti-regime subversion, and in 2009 he was arrested after protesting electoral fraud in the presidential elections and was charged with insulting Khomeini and Khamenei. In January 2012 he was again arrested briefly for conducting anti-regime propaganda.
In November 2012, Maleki published a letter accusing Khamenei of suppressing society and systematically murdering his critics and opponents, and held him responsible for the regime’s massacre of thousands of its citizens. He called on him to step down before a popular uprising broke out against him, and thus to spare Iran the kind of bloodshed that Syria and Libya have experienced.

Below are the main points of his letter from October 2014:

 Mohammad Maleki (image:
“The whole world is currently talking about ISIS (the Islamic Caliphate) and its crimes. The talk and the articles about the acts of slaughter and other attacks perpetrated by these murderers against Muslims take me back 30-something years and remind me of events that happened in Evin [prison], Ghazal Hasar [prison] and other prisons in Iran under Khomeini’s and Khamenei’s rule.”



Your Taxes Subsidize Dirty Oil Corporations by $5.3 TRILLION  
While many are attempting to make this world a greener place by focusing on clean energy, fossil fuel subsidies are continuing to receive large sums of money to grow. We need more political supporters of clean energy, like Senator Bernie Sanders, who are ready to help fight alongside activists.
Published: June 14, 2015 | Authors: Sophie McAdam | True Activist | News Report

News like this makes you wonder whether the people running this planet actually want it (or us) to survive at all.
A recent paper released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should shock all of us who believe in a green future based on renewable energy. Despite stark warnings from scientists, fossil fuel subsidies continue to grow: this year alone, it is estimated that dirty coal and energy corporations will receive a staggering $5.3 trillion from governments worldwide.
To put this into perspective, the sum is more than the healthcare budget of all the countries in the world combined. It works out at $600 million per hour, $10 million per minute, and $200,000 per second. Just imagine what we could do with that kind of money. We could eradicate poverty, invest in clean energy, boost health and education systems, start a food revolution, and create more jobs in these industries as a result. Instead of the logical option, our governments choose to spend our tax dollars on propping up the same corporations that are poisoning us and the planet (while making ridiculously huge profits at the same time).
If you’re a US taxpayer, you should be doubly pissed about this news. Whether you know it or not, you are helping the likes of ExxonMobil, Shell, and Marathon Petroleum- and not just when you fill up at the pump. In 2014 alone, US taxpayers subsidized fossil fuel exploration and production by $21 billion. Think that’s bad? This year the sum will be an estimated $700 billion.
In addition to all this lunacy, a separate investigation by the Guardian newspaper in London has highlighted the trail of dirty money connecting these enormous subsidies and political sponsorship. They report:
Shell made an annual profit of $26.8bn in 2012, and yet that very same year it won a deal to receive $1.6bn more in taxpayer’s money for its Pennsylvania refinery over the next few years.

ExxonMobil is set to receive $119m for its Baton Rouge plant according to a deal signed in 2011, even though the corporation made a staggering $41bn profit that year.

In 2011, Marathon Petroleum made $2.4bn, but still needed more to keep ticking along, so a jobs subsidy scheme in Ohio subsidized the corp by $78m.

“Big oil, gas, and coal have huge influence on politicians and governments and they get that influence the old fashioned way: they buy it,” Stephen Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International, told the Guardian last month.
“Through campaign finance, lobbying, advertising and super PAC spending, the industry has many ways to influence candidates and government officials seeking re-election,” Kretzmann added: “Every single well, pipeline, refinery, coal and gas plant in the country is heavily subsidized. Big Fossil’s lobbyists have done their jobs well for the last century.”
The IMF don’t say much about that, but the paper explains this blatant hijacking of public funds with some irrelevant technicalities: ‘The projected gains for 2015 are about $2.9 trillion (3.6 percent of global GDP). The revenue gain is quite a lot lower than the post-tax energy subsidy, as it accounts for the price-induced reduction in energy use and implicitly assumes tax rebates are used to promote adoption of emission control technologies for coal, which lowers net revenue.’
Clearly, fossil fuel energy prices are well below levels that reflect their true costs. Nicholas Stern, a climate economist at the London School of Economics, told the Guardian in May: “There is no justification for these enormous subsidies for fossil fuels, which distort markets and damages economies, particularly in poorer countries.” Stern also voiced concerns that the IMF estimate was actually much lower than the real figures, saying that it hadn’t accounted for “implicit”, or hidden, subsidies.
The $5.3 trillion figure given accounts for 6.5% of the global GDP; just over half the figure is the money governments are forced to spend treating the victims of air pollution and the income lost because of ill health and premature deaths caused by dirty energy. Coal is the dirtiest fuel in terms of both local air pollution and climate-warming carbon emissions and therefore gets the most subsidies, with just over half the total amount. Oil, heavily used in transport, gets about a third of the subsidy, and gas the rest. Subsidies are also used to fund exploration for more oil- a great example of humanity’s madness, greed, and disconnection with nature.
In April, the president of the World Bank called for the subsidies to be scrapped immediately as poorer nations were feeling “the boot of climate change on their neck”. Even the IMF itself appeared to be shocked over the latest estimates for 2015. They called the number “shocking”, acknowledging the estimate was accurate and “extremely robust”. The IMF has previously stated that ending subsidies for fossil fuels would cut global carbon emissions by 20%, so why haven’t world leaders committed to this yet?
“Climate science is clear that the vast majority of existing reserves will have to stay in the ground,” Kretzmann said. “Yet our government spends many tens of billions of our tax dollars – every year – making it more profitable for the fossil fuel industry to produce more.”
The authors of the paper claim that ending dirty energy subsidies, we would prevent 1.6 million (50%) of deaths by air pollution, reduce poverty and increase economic growth by investing in health and education and cutting taxes.However, the reforms they recommend involve increased energy taxation for regular people (and they also suggest that if these changes are pushed through now, we are less likely to make any noise about it):
‘Low international energy prices provide a window of opportunity for countries to eliminate pre-tax subsidies and raise energy taxes as the public opposition to reform is likely to be somewhat more muted.’
Maybe instead of hiking the prices at the pump, we could hike corporate taxes instead? Maybe we could choose to keep the oil in the ground (see the Guardian campaign), and divert energy subsidies from fossil fuels to wind, solar and tidal power. Sadly, global investment in green energy has been falling since 2011; in 2013, the figure for renewable energy was a relatively small $214 billion.
Senator Bernie Sanders announced in April he will be running in the next US presidential elections, and has proposed an End Polluter Welfare Act, which he says would cut $135bn of US subsidies for fossil fuel companies over the next decade.
Sanders spoke out against the corruption: “At a time when scientists tell us we need to reduce carbon pollution to prevent catastrophic climate change, it is absurd to provide massive taxpayer subsidies that pad fossil-fuel companies’ already enormous profits.”



The Reason the World is Boycotting Israel: Has Nothing to Do With GazaPosted: 06/12/2015 3:50 pm EDT Updated: 06/12/2015 3:59 pm EDT

  Jesse Bogner and Aaron Chester, Israel

This is a written exchange with my (Jesse) friend Aaron Chester. We are both Americans living in Israel. Our goal was to dissect the recent boycotts of Israel and the general lack of support for Israel internationally and come to meaningful solutions.

Jesse: Israel has gone from a nation that was almost universally seen as a bastion of peace and a story of triumph to the sole nation being blamed in the train wreck that is the Middle East. The recent boycotts and threats of boycotts of Israel products are part of a string of anti-Israel propaganda that has been developing for about a decade. The BDS movement has consistently been trying to marginalize Israel’s right to exist under the guise of protesting Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. They do this by forcibly using their wide support net of both Muslims and liberals of all faiths, colors and creeds to pressure companies to boycott Israel for its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

This wide net of people as of late has included many Jews who would never openly call for the destruction of Israel, but feel a moral ambivalence towards the nation. Public opinion has made it not only fashionable to support boycotts of Israel, but liberal, normally right-minded people feel a moral obligation to put the disclaimer, “I don’t support the occupation of the West Bank,” to any positive musing about Israel. As someone living in Israel, I have to ask myself what is Israel doing wrong? This is because in my understanding of the situation I never thought Israel was wrong to defend itself.

Some have argued Israel merely has a marketing problem and in all fairness Israelis in the media do not do themselves any favors. Unlike BDS and Hamas for that matter, Israel does not have a unified message that the public can cling onto. It certainly doesn’t help when one of Israel’s most respected journalists is saying in Haaretz that the boycotts are a light punishment for occupation and that the Hadash party is signing off on the boycott. However, I have mixed feelings about taking these people to task, because the fact that free speech, however deplorable is tolerated is one of the unique features of Israel in the region.

This free speech does create a problem with public perception. If Israelis are symbolically in favor of Israel making itself vulnerable above securing itself from the wrath of terrorism and its enemies on all sides, what are American liberals supposed to think? If Israel is in the wrong it certainly makes sense for Orange to get out of its contract with Israel when it feels a clear financial benefit. Even the FIFA fiasco makes sense if Israel if public perception is that Israel is a racist Imperial power that unnecessarily kills Palestinian children. The argument is extremely skewed when people forget that a decade ago suicide bombers were killing Israelis an average of 2-3 times a week. I don’t understand how this is lost in the argument. Just as I don’t understand how people ignore that Israel was founded because most of the European Jews had been murdered in the Holocaust and the recent rise of anti-Semitism there clearly shows how unwanted the Jews are even today.

Aaron: And that’s the whole point. The current boycotts and the anti-Israel movement in general is really not a rational one at all. On the normal political and socio-economic spectrum it makes no sense at all that so much of the world feels negatively towards us. The boycotts and threats of FIFA, or Orange, or any other business, only show an escalation of a growing consensus that Israel is harming the world. And this escalation is a small one if we really think hard as to what could come next. The issue in fact is not political, or reasonable in any way, and that’s why we need to go much deeper to get to the root of it. You mentioned the Holocaust and its direct relationship with the existence of the state of Israel and how the world as a whole has as if forgotten this terrible atrocity. Its a real wonder, but then again it’s a real wonder as to how this unimaginable horror happened to begin with and it is also quite unreal that the Jewish people, who had no interest in returning to what was at the time a desolate swampland, somehow ended up back in this tiny country smack dab in the Middle East. You would think we would be the good guys and underdogs in the eyes of the world, and that they would be praising the amazing progress we have made as a people after damn near complete annihilation, but we see this is not the case at all. Maybe there was a brief time when we returned to this land that the world saw us differently, but in general, we as Jews have never been viewed under the positive lens of the world that we are wishing for.
The nations of the world may think they are angry with us because of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but this is not the case. As problems increase within every country’s own borders be it the U.S., or France, or anywhere else in the world, for some odd reason the focus on this tiny Jewish land in a sea of Arab Nations only becomes greater and greater. Today it is threats of cutting off business or sports ties, and tomorrow, who knows what. Today the reason is Palestinian occupation, and tomorrow who knows. The nations themselves are not to blame for their attitude to Israel, and they do not know why they are so preoccupied with this tiny dot on the map. Israelis also do not know why, and our boasting of our achievements and the Arabs’ lack thereof do nothing for us but cause more damage. But there are those who understand the whole picture very well, and they happen to be the very people that formed and maintained the nation of Israel for thousands of years. We survived many hardships far more difficult than boycotts, but we have forgotten how and for what reason they came to us.

The answer is quite simple. The nation of Israel is responsible for the happiness and well being of the entire world. We hold in our hands the means to connect all of humanity, every nation and people, as a single harmonious family. Simply put, we are responsible for teaching the whole world how to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” We as Jews and Israelis have forgotten it, and the entire world is actually not aware of it, but they so subconsciously feel that we are thorn that keeps digging deeper and deeper into this world.

Jesse: I feel like I might be boring the people who read all my articles, but there is a single solution to correct all these problems. Not only anti-Semitism, but hatred generally. Unfortunately most people don’t care to listen, but I feel compelled to shout it from the rooftops. I don’t desire to blame anyone. All I want is for the world to understand that the force that prevents Israel and Palestine from connecting is the same ego that prevents neighbors and families for living peaceful happy lives. We need to invert our own desire into a desire to love others, feel their needs and care for them as we would ourselves. Whether you agree with this or not, you may feel incapable of achieving such a state. This is because our nature is to receive, to feel good. However we find especially in Israel that self-seeking only creates misery. This is because Israel has a specific role it is not fulfilling.

Israel is not really a nation (we don’t share geographical or racial commonality), but an ideological state that our ancestors agreed to. We only reveal God and the Torah by choosing to live as one man and one heart. If all the people of Israel demanded this state of our ancestors, these boycotts wouldn’t be happening. These boycotts, rockets, and the rise of anti-Semitism are inevitable when Israel doesn’t make the conscious choice to work above our nature to fulfill ourselves as individuals. Only with a force of love and unification will the irrational hatred of Israel disappear. All we need to do is connect with each other one person at a time until this reality will reveal itself. If we do not, eventually we will see we don’t have any other choice.

Follow Jesse Bogner on Twitter:

MORE: Boycott Israel Boycott Palestinian Territories Anti Semitism Judaism WorldPost Middle East


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Inquiry and Analysis Series Report | 1167 | June 11, 2015

The Middle East Media Research Institute

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Nuclear Negotiations At An Impasse: Leader Khamenei Rejects Agreement Reached On Token Inspection Of Military Sites And Questioning Of Scientists; U.S. Willing To Close IAEA Dossier On Iranian PMD, To Settle For Inspecting Declared Nuclear Sites Only, And To Rely On Intelligence; EU Objects

By: A. Savyon and Y. Carmon*



This past week, members of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team revealed details about the Iran-U.S. nuclear negotiations. The negotiations were dealt a blow when Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rejected an agreement reached by the two sides concerning a token inspection of military facilities and questioning of several nuclear scientists and “military personnel”; these were to be the response to the IAEA’s open dossier on possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program to which Iran has so far refused to respond.

Iranian reports on these developments show that in order to arrive at a comprehensive agreement, the U.S. is willing to forgo actual inspection of Iranian military facilities and to settle for inspection of declared nuclear facilities only, as set forth under the Additional Protocol, while the ongoing monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program will be left to intelligence elements.

Thus, at this stage, there is a deadlock: Iran is refusing both to respond to the IAEA dossier on its PMD, and to allow actual inspection of facilities that are not declared nuclear facilities.

Furthermore, the EU has announced its objections to a comprehensive agreement with Iran in the absence of satisfactory answers from it regarding the IAEA dossier on its PMD. It said that the IAEA investigation of the PMD “will be essential” to a nuclear deal. IAEA Director-General Yukio Amano has also linked the investigation of Iranian PMD to the attainment of such an agreement.

The Issue: Inspection Of Iranian Military Sites, Questioning Of Iranian Scientists

On May 25, 2015, in an Iranian television interview, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and head negotiator Abbas Araghchi disclosed that this issue had been agreed upon, but that when the Iranian team returned to Tehran for Khamenei’s approval, Khamenei had rejected this agreed solution out of hand (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 4928, Top Iranian Nuclear Negotiator Abbas Aragchi: We Reached Solution with P5+1 on Site Inspection, But Khamenei Rejected It, May 25, 2015 and Appendix I).

It was evident also from Aragchi’s statements that after Khamenei rejected the agreed solution, Iran even reneged on what had been agreed as part of the Additional Protocol, and is now insisting that limitations and restrictions that are part of the Protocol be implemented in a way that will make future inspections difficult. As part of Iran’s backpedaling, Araghchi repeatedly emphasized that “so far, nothing has been concluded” regarding the issue of the inspections.

U.S. Willingness To Disregard IAEA PMD Dossier

Statements by negotiating team member Hamid Baidinejad show that in return for willingness on Iran’s part to sign a comprehensive agreement, the U.S. was willing to forgo actual investigation of the IAEA’s open PMD dossier on Iran and instead to conduct a token inspection of military sites and questioning of Iranian nuclear scientists and military personnel. The U.S. asked Iran to carry out a number of specific steps, thereby paving the way to a comprehensive solution for this issue. These steps included inspections at several points in Iran, including two military facilities, and questioning several senior military officials and scientists (see Appendix II).

Iranian Negotiators’ Two Versions Of Events

An analysis of these statements by the Iranian negotiators shows that there are two different versions of what took place in the negotiations. According to Araghchi, the Iranian team agreed to the U.S.’s demand for a token inspection, but when the team returned to Tehran, Khamenei completely rejected this token inspection. Aragchi’s disclosure that the Iranian negotiators had arrived at an agreement with the Americans that was subsequently rejected by Khamenei caused an uproar in the Iranian political system, triggering harsh criticism against both the negotiators and the leaders of the pragmatic camp, and even leading to a public confrontation between Khamenei and pragmatic camp leader Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The second version of events emerged after the uproar sparked by Aragchi’s revelations. Another negotiator, Baidinejad, in an attempt to correct Araghchi’s claim, stated that the Iranian negotiators had rejected the U.S. demands, even the demand for token inspection, but that the Americans had pressed them to present the demand to Khamenei anyway; when they did so, at the Americans’ urging, Khamenei rejected it outright.

Read The Full Report



The hipster is dead, and you might not like who comes nextWHAT’S THIS?





What do we call me? I’m a 26-year-old writer who lives in a gentrifying neighborhood in Brooklyn. I’m a straight white man with a single-speed bike and a mustache. I studied liberal arts in college, and I have ideas about stuff, you guys.
Millennial? Hipster? Yuppie? All of these, or none? We don’t have a term that quite encapsulates this corner of the despicable millenn-intelligensia. And like any other privileged member of a so-called “creative class,” being called a hipster offends me for its inaccuracy. I demand to be snarked in precise terms.
SEE ALSO: Quiz: Are you a yuccie?
Let’s consider something new: Yuccies. Young Urban Creatives. In a nutshell, a slice of Generation Y, borne of suburban comfort, indoctrinated with the transcendent power of education, and infected by the conviction that not only do we deserve to pursue our dreams; we should profit from them.
I am the yuccie. And it sounds sort of, well, yucky.
More money is good, but more creative money is better.
Yuccies are hardly mythical creatures. If you live in a metropolitan area like New York or San Francisco, you probably know plenty. They’re social consultants coordinating #sponsored Instagram campaigns for lifestyle brands; they’re brogrammers hawking Uber for weed and Tinder for dogs; they’re boutique entrepreneurs shilling sustainably harvested bamboo sunglasses.

Getting rich quick would be great. But

getting rich quick and preserving creative autonomy? That’s the yuccie dream.

getting rich quick and preserving creative autonomy? That’s the yuccie dream.
When they graduated college — unless they completed XYZ Start Up Bootcamp instead — many didn’t bother attempting a traditional career path. They jumped headlong into a hectic, win-lose-pivot entrepreneurial stew, even if it meant a pay cut. According to this 2014 Deloitte survey, 6 out of 10 millennials cited their company’s sense of purpose as part of the reason they chose their job. In the same study, just 12% identified “own personal gain” as a primary leadership priority.
That sounds like me. I moved to NYC half a decade ago, and promptly passed on a salaried job in pharmaceutical marketing in favor of an unpaid editing internship. I’ve been hacking my way through the city’s editorial underbrush ever since. The money ranges from “very bad” to “sometimes OK,” but the sense of personal validation is fucking great. I am the yuccie.
From board room to drawing board: Unrequited yuccies
Not all yuccies follow such a direct path. There are plenty of 20-somethings who take a few steps down the road of traditional employment despite the growing suspicion that their unique intellect deserves more professional fulfillment. I call this group the “unrequited” yuccies. Let’s talk about them.
That same Deloitte study found that as many as 28% of millennials believe their talents aren’t being tapped at their current jobs. A this 2014 Bentley University study found 66% would like to start their own businesses. Reliable data doesn’t exist on how many of them actually do leave the bank/law firm/whatever for the promise of “more fulfilling” work.
Anecdotally, I know a former financial employee who runs a music festival startup, an MBA grad who switched to super-niche menswear e-commerce, and a one-time lawyer who now owns a craft beer brewery.
Win-lose-pivot. Traditional to creative. Oh hey, yuccie.

 And those are just yuccies I’ve met. Strangers (or their PR people) have pitched me a yuccie storyline 200 times. This former accountant left his corporate job to pursue his true passion: making colorful socks! Letterpress stationery! Video gaming social networks! Organic vodka!
There’s nothing wrong with any of these people, nor their letterpress stationery. But those choices aren’t just instances of entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy. Yuccies, by my definition, are determined to define themselves not by wealth (or the rejection of it), but by the relationship between wealth and their own creativity. In other words,

they want to get paid for their own ideas, rather than executing on someone else’s.

they want to get paid for their own ideas, rather than executing on someone else’s.
Unrequited yuccies exist right on that threshold. They can (and do) move from a 9-to-5 job to a yuccie enterprise without massive cultural adjustments. That’s a relatively new freedom.
A yuccie checklist
If you’re checking any of these boxes, you may be a yuccie. Be honest…
Owns multiple copies of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Doesn’t like gentrification in theory; loves artisanal donuts in practice
Really wants to go to Austin soon because hears it’s incredible
Takes boozy painting classes
Used to be “in banking” and occasionally still pronounces finance “fuh-nontz”
Avoids visible tattoos (not a prudent career move)
Loves Seinfeld even though it went off the air when they were 16
Gets the NYT Weekend Edition but doesn’t read the news
Has thousands of Instagram followers, but almost no Twitter followers
The Internet: A yuccie playground
The vast potential of the Internet inspired yuccies with opportunity even as it discouraged them from traditional professional growth. The dotcom boom; the rise of Napster and, later, social media magnates; the well-worn bootstrap myth of a blogger who becomes more famous than the subject; the enormous sum raised by yet another potential-long/revenue-short startup. This is the yuccie siren song.
You deserve to make a living being yourself. Your ideas are valuable. Follow your dreams.

You deserve to make a living being yourself. Your ideas are valuable. Follow your dreams.
Leaving the rat race for a more fulfilling alternative is a well-worn fantasy in American culture, but the opportunities yuccies are chasing now are more abstract than ever. When you grow up watching the Internet king-make an entirely new type of elite, it’s impossible not to take a moonshot yourself.
So, a yuppie and a hipster walk into a bar…
Ten years ago, “yuccies” might have been “hipsters.” Remember hipsters? Trust fund motorcycle mechanics, rustic barnwood reclaimers, drug-addled graphic designers slinking over the Williamsburg Bridge in the wee hours of the morning. In hipsterism, you can see the development of yuccie hallmarks: DIY entrepreneurship, niche marketing, ability to leverage new technology, etc.
But these days, the hipster — the real hipster, not the bullshit marketing facsimile that still dominates advertising today — is dead. He’s traded warehouse parties for yoga retreats; she’s become a tool of corporate marketing shilling compact cars and fast food. The conspicuous consumption that once set hipsters apart — American Spirits instead of Marlboros, iPhones instead of flip phones, pork belly instead of bacon — has gone mainstream. Hipster is generic.

By that definition, the hipster has to be dead, killed by a contradicted identity. When everyone is rejecting the mainstream, no one is. When everyone is a hipster, no one is a hipster. Hell, saying “the hipster is dead” is, itself, pretty much dead, a late-aughts victim of thinkpiecery and primetime cable namechecks.
And anyway, “hipster” doesn’t line up culturally with who yuccies are. To use myself as an example again: I have no tattoos. My credit is good. Hell, I’ve got dental insurance. My basic, unwaxed mustache, like the rest of me, wouldn’t have rated in the heady days of hipsterism. Hipsters themselves might have scorned me as a yuppie. But that isn’t right, either. “Yuppie” conjures Sharper Image catalogs, clean condos and piles of new money pulled from the pre-recession stock market. It doesn’t capture the sense of creative entitlement that defines the yuccie.

Yuccies are the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters.

Yuccies are the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters. We’re intent on being successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters. We define ourselves by our purchases, just like both cohorts, sure. But not by price or taste level; we identify by price and taste level: $80 sweatpants, $16 six-packs of craft beer, trips to Charleston, Austin and Portland. How much it costs (high or low) is immaterial if the material bought validates our intellect.
We’re a big part of the reason that 43% of every millennial food dollar is spent in restaurants, instead of at home. After all, what product is more fraught with the politics of money and creativity than dinner? It’s gotta be Instagrammed.
You cross the yuppie’s new money thirst for yachts and recognition with the hipster’s anti-ambition, smoke-laced individualism, sprinkle on a dose of millennial entitlement, and the yuccie is what you get.
We are what we hate
The Young Urban Creative. The yuccie. As far as trend-naming goes, this is on the punnier edge of the spectrum. Yuccies are yucky. Why?
Let’s use me as an example again. Almost by definition, yuccies possess enormous privilege. My professional drift towards a creative field (writing) is an implicit statement of privilege. Being a yuccie is synonymous with the sort of self-centered cynicism that can only exist in the absence of hardship. It’s the convenience of being unburdened by conviction; it’s the luxury of getting to pick your battles. In this context, cynicism is maybe the yuccie’s most defining trait.
To wit, of all the reasons I enjoy being a writer, the single driving force behind my career trajectory has been validation. I write for validation: of my peers, of my parents, of the followers who retweet me, even of the commenters who say cruel things in my general direction beneath every piece I’ve ever published.
Don’t get me wrong — I need the money, too, as much as any of my peers. But if I hadn’t insisted on majoring in English, writing professionally and “expressing myself,” I probably could have chosen a more lucrative path. But

I need to be told, repeatedly and at length, that I have valuable ideas. That my talent is singular.

I need to be told, repeatedly and at length, that I have valuable ideas. That my talent is singular. That I’m making a dent, the size and location of which is less important than the fact that it’s shaped like me.
That’s the cynicism of privilege. That’s what yuccieism is. I’m not ashamed of it, and you shouldn’t be either if this sounds like you. But I’m not proud of it either. Like I said — it’s a bit yucky



Long-Awaited EPA Study Says Fracking Pollutes Drinking Watercontaminated water

The study, nearly 1,000 pages long, presents some of the copious research being done on the impacts of fracking and identifies the ways in which fracking operations could affect drinking water supplies.
Published: June 4, 2015 | Authors: Anastasia Pantsios | EcoWatch | News Report

In 2010, Congress commissioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the impact of fracking on drinking water. The U.S. EPA released its long-awaited final draft of its report today, assessing how fracking for oil and gas can impact access to safe drinking water. The report refuted the conclusion arrived at by the U.S. EPA’s 2004 study that fracking poses no threat to drinking water, a conclusion used to exempt the fracking process from the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Fracking can impact water use and quality at five stages of the operation. Image credit: US EPA

The stages of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle. Shown here is a generalized landscape depicting the activities of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle and their relationship to each other, as well as their relationship to drinking water resources. Image credit: US EPA

The report found that fracking for shale oil and gas has not led to “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” but said fracking could contaminate drinking water under certain conditions, such as when fluids used in the process leaked into the water table, and found isolated cases of water contamination.
The report looked at water use at five stages of the water-intensive process: use of the available water supply for fracking; the mixing of chemicals with water to create fracking fluid; the flowback of the fluid after it has been injected underground to fracture shale deposits to release oil or gas; treatment of the wastewater byproduct of fracking; and the injection wells frequently used to dispose of fracking wastewater when the process is complete.
“Hydraulic fracturing in combination with advanced directional drilling techniques has made it possible to economically extract oil and gas from unconventional resources, such as shale, tight formations and coalbeds,” the report says. “The growth in domestic oil and gas exploration and production made possible by the expanded use of hydraulic fracturing, has raised concerns about its potential for impacts to human health and the environment. Specific concerns have been raised by the public about the effects of hydraulic fracturing on the quality and quantity of drinking water resources.”
It noted the reason for that concern: “Millions of people live in areas where their drinking water resources are located near hydraulically fractured wells. While most hydraulic fracturing activity from 2000 to 2013 did not occur in close proximity to public water supplies, a sizeable number of hydraulically fractured wells (21,900) were located within 1 mile of at least one PWS source (e.g., infiltration galleries, intakes, reservoirs, springs and ground water wells). Approximately 6,800 sources of drinking water for public water systems, serving more than 8.6 million people year-round, were located within 1 mile of at least one hydraulically fractured well. An additional 3.6 million people obtain drinking water from private water systems.”
The report also pointed out the declining amount of water that could be available for drinking purposes due to extended drought, saying, “The future availability of drinking water sources that are considered fresh in the U.S. will be affected by changes in climate and water use. Declines in surface water resources have already led to increased withdrawals and cumulative net depletions of groundwater in some areas.”

Fracking sites, such as this one in Troy, Pennsylvania, are often close to drinking water sources. Photo credit: U.S. EPA

The study, nearly 1,000 pages long, presents some of the copious research being done on the impacts of fracking and identifies the ways in which fracking operations could affect drinking water supplies. And while the EPA did warn that lack of complete information on these operations as well as changes in the industry limited a complete assessment of these impacts, it identified “potential mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing could affect drinking water resources.”
The EPA notes in its executive summary that data used in its assessment of wells came fromFracFocus, a publicly accessible website managed by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission where oil and gas production well operators may disclose information voluntarily or pursuant to state requirements about the ingredients used in hydraulic fracturing fluids at individual wells.
As a result of this limited and voluntary information provided by oil and gas companies,Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, pointed out, “The study released today falls far short of the level of scrutiny and government oversight needed to protect and health and safety of the millions of American people affected by drilling and fracking for oil and gas. It is outrageous that the oil and gas industry refused to cooperate with the EPA on a single ‘prospective case study.’ This reveals the undue influence the industry has over the government and shows that the industry is afraid to allow careful monitoring of their operations.”
Lauren Pagel, policy director at Earthworks, agrees. “Industry data and independent studies tell us that 1 – 6 percent of unconventional fracked wells fail immediately, meaning tens of thousands of failed wells litter our country,” she said. “Despite industry’s obstruction, EPA found that fracking pollutes water in a number of ways. That’s why industry didn’t cooperate. They know fracking is an inherently risky, dirty process that doesn’t bear close, independent examination.”
Though the draft report didn’t find evidence of “widespread” impacts on drinking water to date, the U.S. EPA report did conclude, “The colocation of hydraulic fracturing activities with drinking water resources increases the potential for these activities to affect the quality and quantity of current and future drinking water resources. While close proximity of hydraulically fractured wells to drinking water resources does not necessarily indicate that an impact has or will occur, information about the relative location of wells and water supplies is an initial step in understanding where impacts might occur.”
In response to these findings, Mark Ruffalo, actor and advisory board member of Americans Against Fracking, said, “Today’s EPA fracking water contamination study confirms what both the oil and gas industry and the Obama Administration have long denied—that fracking poisons American’s drinking water supplies. The EPA study reviewed hundreds of confirmed water contamination cases from drilling and fracking. It’s time to stop poisoning the American people and shift rapidly to renewable energy.”
John Armstrong of Frack Action agrees. “Like hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, this shows that New York was right to ban fracking. Despite serious shortcomings, including the fact that the oil and gas industry refused access to collect the data needed, the EPA study clearly shows that fracking has been impacting and contaminating drinking water. All water is connected. Any sign of drinking water contamination signals a public health crisis and is a call for a ban.”



Israel’s new deputy foreign minister: ‘This land is ours. All of it is ours’Tzipi Hotovely gives speech to Israeli diplomats in which she says she will try to achieve global recognition for ISRAELI JUDEA AND SAMERIA TOWNS AND VILLAGES.

My comments ie ‘editions  of political correctness’ are in italics bold.

Israel’s new deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, delivers her inaugral speech to Israeli diplomats

Associated Press

Friday 22 May 2015 00.19 EDT Last modified on Friday 22 May 2015 05.35 EDT

Israel’s new deputy foreign minister on Thursday delivered a defiant message to the international community, saying that Israel owes no apologies for its policies in the Holy Land and citing religious texts to back her belief that it belongs to the Jewish people.

The speech by Tzipi Hotovely illustrated the influence of hardliners in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s new government, and the challenges he will face as he tries to persuade the world that he is serious about pursuing peace with the (arabs living in areas formerly occupied by Trans Jordan and Egypt).
Hotovely, 36, is among a generation of young hardliners in Netanyahu’s Likud party who support ISRAELI JUDEA AND SAMERIA construction and oppose ceding land formerly occupied by Trans Jordan and Egypt to arabs. Since Netanyahu has a slim one-seat majority in parliament, these lawmakers could complicate any attempt to revive peace talks.

With Netanyahu also serving as the acting foreign minister, Hotovely is currently the country’s top full-time diplomat.

In an inaugural address to Israeli diplomats, Hotovely said Israel has tried too hard to appease the world and must stand up for itself.
“We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country,” she said. “This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that.”
Hotovely, an Orthodox Jew, laced her speech with biblical commentaries in which God promised the land of Israel to the Jews. Speaking later in English, she signalled that she would try to rally global recognition for ISRAELI JUDEA AND SAMERIA TOWNS AND VILLAGES, which are widely opposed. “We expect as a matter of principle of the international community to recognise Israel’s right to build homes for Jews in their homeland, everywhere,” she said. Hotovely will manage the ministry’s day-to-day functions, but Netanyahu will remain in charge of foreign policy.

During the recent election campaign, Netanyahu angered his western allies by saying he would not permit the establishment of a Palestinian state on his watch. On Wednesday he told the visiting EU foreign policy chief that he remains committed to a two-state solution.
Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, declined comment on Hotovely’s speech, but said Netanyahu’s statements Wednesday reflected his policy.


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