@Slate said it would of been impossible for #Beyonce to lip-synch?

January 31, 2013

I believe Slate said Biden’s reaction proved that the singing was real(Superstar singer Beyonce has admitted to lip-synching the national anthem at President Barack Obama’s inauguration – but insisted she was “very proud” of her performance.)Beyonce: Why I Lip-Synched At Inauguration

After opening a news conference on Thursday by belting out The Star-Spangled Banner – as if to leave no doubt of her capabilities – Beyonce answered questions from reporters about the inauguration show and her upcoming Super Bowl appearance.
She is scheduled to perform during the Sunday championship football game’s halftime show.
The singer called herself a “perfectionist” and said wanted her performance for President Barack Obama to be flawless.
She said various conditions – including cold weather and lack of time to practise – led to her decision to use a pre-recorded track.
“I practise until my feet bleed and I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra,” she said.
“Due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk.
“It was about the President and the inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud, so I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I’m very proud of my performance.”
It was the first time the pop icon has spoken publicly since the lip-synching allegations began to swirl just hours after her performance.
All inaugural performances are pre-recorded ahead of time as a fallback.
Beyonce has teased photos and video of herself preparing for the show, which is expected to be the biggest audience of her career.
Last year’s halftime performance by Madonna was the most-watched Super Bowl halftime performance ever, with roughly 114 million viewers – more than watched the football game itself.

this quote is funny now… ain’t it?

(Slate) For me, the most compelling evidence that Beyoncé was doing it for real is the HELL YES smile on Joe Biden’s face. Now, that is, clearly, a dude standing two feet from an electrifying lady singing like a motherfucker.


Venezuela Reportedly Spying on Jewish Community

January 31, 2013

Reports that the Venezuelan intelligence agency is targeting and spying on the Venezuelan Jewish community as well as on Venezuelan companies and organizations with ties to Israel is deeply troubling, asserted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Jew walks next to synagogue
(Jew walks next to synagogueFlash 90)

“We are deeply troubled by a recent news report alleging that the Venezuelan Intelligence Service (SEBIN) is spying on the Venezuelan Jewish community,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.
“Venezuela under the regime of Hugo Chavez has a history of harassing the Jewish community in that country,” he said. “It is chilling to read reports that the SEBIN received instructions to carry out clandestine surveillance operations against members of the Jewish community, as described in detail in documents leaked by the Argentinean web site, Analisis24.”
The Analisis24 report, which has since been republished on at least one web site in Venezuela, included several documents, mainly from 2010, with specific, private and official information about Jewish Venezuelans.  For instance, among the documents posted are the official passport information of members of an NGO related to Holocaust remembrance, including all entry and exits from the country and where the members traveled.
“In a country where the government and some of its followers have publicly accused the Jewish community of disloyalty and where the community’s institutions and houses of worship have been attacked, reports of this kind of surveillance add fuel to an already incendiary atmosphere inciting prejudice and hate,” said Foxman. “For more than a decade, elements of the Venezuelan government-run media and the so-called ‘alternative’ media operated by Chavez government supporters have regularly engaged in spreading anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes.”
“The Analisis24 article suggests there is an official government policy targeting Venezuela’s Jewish community,” Foxman added. “We strongly condemn these dangerous intimidation tactics and call on the current leadership of the Venezuelan government to immediately cease targeting the Jewish community.”
The League has monitored and issued reports on anti-Semitism in Venezuela in the past several years and criticized the government of President Hugo Chavez for promoting anti-Semitism in Venezuela for political purposes. 


Venezuela Reportedly Spying on Jewish Community

January 31, 2013
Jew walks next to synagogue

Jew walks next to synagogue
Flash 90

Reports that the Venezuelan intelligence agency is targeting and spying on the Venezuelan Jewish community as well as on Venezuelan companies and organizations with ties to Israel is deeply troubling, asserted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

“We are deeply troubled by a recent news report alleging that the Venezuelan Intelligence Service (SEBIN) is spying on the Venezuelan Jewish community,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.

“Venezuela under the regime of Hugo Chavez has a history of harassing the Jewish community in that country,” he said. “It is chilling to read reports that the SEBIN received instructions to carry out clandestine surveillance operations against members of the Jewish community, as described in detail in documents leaked by the Argentinean web site, Analisis24.”

The Analisis24 report, which has since been republished on at least one web site in Venezuela, included several documents, mainly from 2010, with specific, private and official information about Jewish Venezuelans.  For instance, among the documents posted are the official passport information of members of an NGO related to Holocaust remembrance, including all entry and exits from the country and where the members traveled.

“In a country where the government and some of its followers have publicly accused the Jewish community of disloyalty and where the community’s institutions and houses of worship have been attacked, reports of this kind of surveillance add fuel to an already incendiary atmosphere inciting prejudice and hate,” said Foxman. “For more than a decade, elements of the Venezuelan government-run media and the so-called ‘alternative’ media operated by Chavez government supporters have regularly engaged in spreading anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes.”

“The Analisis24 article suggests there is an official government policy targeting Venezuela’s Jewish community,” Foxman added. “We strongly condemn these dangerous intimidation tactics and call on the current leadership of the Venezuelan government to immediately cease targeting the Jewish community.”

The League has monitored and issued reports on anti-Semitism in Venezuela in the past several years and criticized the government of President Hugo Chavez for promoting anti-Semitism in Venezuela for political purposes. 


Brooklyn College Political Science Department Denies Equal Free Speech And Academic Freedom To Pro-Israel Students And Faculty

January 31, 2013

Source: Gatestone Institute 
By Professor Alan M. Dershowitz
Submitted by Correspondent Tom Ifrach, Middle-East Studies, Ben-Gurion University


The international campaign to delegitimize Israel by subjecting the Jewish state—and the Jewish State alone—to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has now come to the most unlikely of places: Brooklyn College. The political science department of that college has voted to co-sponsor a campaign event at which only pro-BDS speakers will advocate a policy that is so extreme that even the Palestinian Authority rejects it.

The poster for the BDS event specifically says that the event is being “endorsed by…the political science department at BC.” The BDS campaign accuses Israel of “Apartheid” and advocates the blacklisting of Jewish Israeli academics, which is probably illegal and certainly immoral. The two speakers at the event deny Israel’s right to exist, compare Israel to the Nazis and praise terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

The president of Brooklyn College claims that this co-sponsorship does not constitute an endorsement by the college and that this is an issue of freedom of speech and academic freedom. But when a department of a university officially co-sponsors and endorses an event advocating BDS against Israel, and refuses to co-sponsor and endorse an event opposing such BDS, that does constitute an official endorsement. Freedom of speech, and academic freedom require equal access to both sides of a controversy, not official sponsorship and endorsement of one side over the other. The heavy thumb of an academic department should not be placed on the scale, if the marketplace of ideas is to remain equally accessible to all sides of a controversy.

I have no problem with a BDS campaign being conducted by radical students at Brooklyn College or anywhere else. Students have a right to promote immoral causes on college campuses. Nor do I have a problem with such an event being sponsored by the usual hard left, anti-Israel and anti-American groups, such as some of those that are co-sponsoring this event. My sole objection is to the official sponsorship and endorsement of BDS by an official department of a public (or for that matter private) college.

I was once a student at Brooklyn College, majoring in political science. Back in the day, departments did not take official positions on controversial political issues. They certainly didn’t sponsor or endorse the kind of hate speech that can be expected at this event, if the history of the speakers is any guide. The president of the university says this is a matter of academic freedom. But who’s academic freedom? Do “departments”—as distinguished from individual faculty members—really have the right of academic freedom? Does the political science department at Brooklyn College represent only its hard left faculty? What about the academic freedom of faculty members who do not support the official position of the department? One Brooklyn College faculty member has correctly observed that:

[B]oycotting academics is the opposite of free speech. It symbolizes the silencing on people based on their race and religion.

Does the political science department not also represent the students who major in or take courses in that subject? I know that as a student I would not want to be associated with a department that officially supported boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. My academic freedom would be compromised by such an association. Also, I would worry that a department that was so anti-Israel would grade me down or refuse me recommendations if I were perceived to be pro-Israel, or even neutral. I would not feel comfortable expressing my academic freedom in such a department. I’m sure there are many students at Brooklyn College who feel the same. What can they do to express their academic freedom? Should they fight fire with fire by advocating boycott, divestment and sanctions against the political science department or against Brooklyn College? Would that too be an exercise of academic freedom?

If I were a Brooklyn College student today and an opponent of BDS against Israel, I would not major in political science. I would worry that my chances of getting into a good law school or graduate program would be put at risk. I would pick a department—or a school—that was less politicized and more academically unbiased.

Academic freedom does not include the power of department or faculty members to proselytize and propagandize captive students whose grades and future depend on faculty evaluations. That’s why academic departments should not take political positions that threaten the academic freedom of dissenting students or faculty.

I can understand the department of political science sponsoring a genuine debate over boycott, divestment and sanctions in which all sides were equally represented. That might be an educational experience worthy of departmental sponsorship. But the event in question is pure propaganda and one-sided political advocacy. There is nothing academic about it. Would the political science department of Brooklyn College sponsor and endorse an anti-divestment evening? Would they sponsor and endorse me, a graduate of that department, to present my perspective to their students? Would they sponsor a radical, pro-settlement, Israeli extremist to propagandize their students? Who gave the department the authority to decide, as a department, which side to support in this highly contentious debate? What are the implications of such departmental support? Could the political science department now vote to offer courses advocating BDS against Israel and grading students based on their support for the department’s position? Should other departments now be lobbied to support BDS against China, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, the Palestinian Authority or other perennial violators of human rights?

Based on my knowledge of the Brooklyn College political science department, they would never vote to sponsor and endorse an anti-BDS campaign, or a BDS campaign against left wing, Islamic, anti-Israel or anti-American countries that are genuine violators of human rights. Universities, and some departments in particular, are quickly becoming more political than academic. This trend threatens the academic freedom of dissenting students and faculty. It also threatens the academic quality of such institutions.

The Brooklyn College political science department should get out of the business of sponsoring and endorsing one-sided political propaganda and should stop trying to exercise undue influence over the free marketplace of ideas. That is the real violation of academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Shame on the Brooklyn College political science department for falsely invoking academic freedom and freedom of speech to deny equal freedoms to those who disagree with its extremist politics.


Brooklyn College Political Science Department Denies Equal Free Speech And Academic Freedom To Pro-Israel Students And Faculty

January 31, 2013

Source: Gatestone Institute 
By Professor Alan M. Dershowitz
Submitted by Correspondent Tom Ifrach, Middle-East Studies, Ben-Gurion University



The international campaign to delegitimize Israel by subjecting the Jewish state—and the Jewish State alone—to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has now come to the most unlikely of places: Brooklyn College. The political science department of that college has voted to co-sponsor a campaign event at which only pro-BDS speakers will advocate a policy that is so extreme that even the Palestinian Authority rejects it.


The poster for the BDS event specifically says that the event is being “endorsed by…the political science department at BC.” The BDS campaign accuses Israel of “Apartheid” and advocates the blacklisting of Jewish Israeli academics, which is probably illegal and certainly immoral. The two speakers at the event deny Israel’s right to exist, compare Israel to the Nazis and praise terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.


The president of Brooklyn College claims that this co-sponsorship does not constitute an endorsement by the college and that this is an issue of freedom of speech and academic freedom. But when a department of a university officially co-sponsors and endorses an event advocating BDS against Israel, and refuses to co-sponsor and endorse an event opposing such BDS, that does constitute an official endorsement. Freedom of speech, and academic freedom require equal access to both sides of a controversy, not official sponsorship and endorsement of one side over the other. The heavy thumb of an academic department should not be placed on the scale, if the marketplace of ideas is to remain equally accessible to all sides of a controversy.


I have no problem with a BDS campaign being conducted by radical students at Brooklyn College or anywhere else. Students have a right to promote immoral causes on college campuses. Nor do I have a problem with such an event being sponsored by the usual hard left, anti-Israel and anti-American groups, such as some of those that are co-sponsoring this event. My sole objection is to the official sponsorship and endorsement of BDS by an official department of a public (or for that matter private) college.


I was once a student at Brooklyn College, majoring in political science. Back in the day, departments did not take official positions on controversial political issues. They certainly didn’t sponsor or endorse the kind of hate speech that can be expected at this event, if the history of the speakers is any guide. The president of the university says this is a matter of academic freedom. But who’s academic freedom? Do “departments”—as distinguished from individual faculty members—really have the right of academic freedom? Does the political science department at Brooklyn College represent only its hard left faculty? What about the academic freedom of faculty members who do not support the official position of the department? One Brooklyn College faculty member has correctly observed that:


[B]oycotting academics is the opposite of free speech. It symbolizes the silencing on people based on their race and religion.


Does the political science department not also represent the students who major in or take courses in that subject? I know that as a student I would not want to be associated with a department that officially supported boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. My academic freedom would be compromised by such an association. Also, I would worry that a department that was so anti-Israel would grade me down or refuse me recommendations if I were perceived to be pro-Israel, or even neutral. I would not feel comfortable expressing my academic freedom in such a department. I’m sure there are many students at Brooklyn College who feel the same. What can they do to express their academic freedom? Should they fight fire with fire by advocating boycott, divestment and sanctions against the political science department or against Brooklyn College? Would that too be an exercise of academic freedom?


If I were a Brooklyn College student today and an opponent of BDS against Israel, I would not major in political science. I would worry that my chances of getting into a good law school or graduate program would be put at risk. I would pick a department—or a school—that was less politicized and more academically unbiased.


Academic freedom does not include the power of department or faculty members to proselytize and propagandize captive students whose grades and future depend on faculty evaluations. That’s why academic departments should not take political positions that threaten the academic freedom of dissenting students or faculty.


I can understand the department of political science sponsoring a genuine debate over boycott, divestment and sanctions in which all sides were equally represented. That might be an educational experience worthy of departmental sponsorship. But the event in question is pure propaganda and one-sided political advocacy. There is nothing academic about it. Would the political science department of Brooklyn College sponsor and endorse an anti-divestment evening? Would they sponsor and endorse me, a graduate of that department, to present my perspective to their students? Would they sponsor a radical, pro-settlement, Israeli extremist to propagandize their students? Who gave the department the authority to decide, as a department, which side to support in this highly contentious debate? What are the implications of such departmental support? Could the political science department now vote to offer courses advocating BDS against Israel and grading students based on their support for the department’s position? Should other departments now be lobbied to support BDS against China, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, the Palestinian Authority or other perennial violators of human rights?


Based on my knowledge of the Brooklyn College political science department, they would never vote to sponsor and endorse an anti-BDS campaign, or a BDS campaign against left wing, Islamic, anti-Israel or anti-American countries that are genuine violators of human rights. Universities, and some departments in particular, are quickly becoming more political than academic. This trend threatens the academic freedom of dissenting students and faculty. It also threatens the academic quality of such institutions.


The Brooklyn College political science department should get out of the business of sponsoring and endorsing one-sided political propaganda and should stop trying to exercise undue influence over the free marketplace of ideas. That is the real violation of academic freedom and freedom of speech.


Shame on the Brooklyn College political science department for falsely invoking academic freedom and freedom of speech to deny equal freedoms to those who disagree with its extremist politics.


#Upated #Assad has transferred chemcial weapons to #Hezbullah

January 31, 2013
Reports from Israel conclude that this won’t escalate. I’m betting that this is not true and they are merely hoping that this won’t escalate. Assad needs to bring Israel into a war to survive.

(Carl) Israel Radio is reporting (9:00 am) that Kuwaiti daily al-Watan reported in Thursday’s editions that Syria has already transferred chemical weapons to Syria, including more than two tons of mustard gas. According to the report, Syria has also transferred missiles with a 300-kilometer range that are capable of delivering the chemical weapons. The use of the weapons is being supervised by high-ranking Syrian officers stationed in Lebanon.
There is no confirmation of the report from other sources.

(US officials say Israel notified them of Syrian attack, target was sophisticated SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles) Although, Israel has not confirmed it, American officials have told the New York Times that Israel notified the US that it attacked a convoy of weapons headed for Hezbullah in Lebanon. The weapons in question were sophisticated SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles (Hat Tip: Herb G).

The American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Israel had notified the United States about the attack, which the Syrian government condemned as an act of “arrogance and aggression.” Israel’s move demonstrated its determination to ensure that Hezbollah — its arch foe in the north — is unable to take advantage of the chaos in Syria to bolster its arsenal significantly.

The predawn strike was the first time in more than five years that Israel’s air force had attacked a target in Syria. While there was no expectation that the beleaguered Assad government had an interest in retaliating, the strike raised concerns that the Syrian civil war had continued to spread beyond its border.

In a statement, the Syrian military denied that a convoy had been struck. It said the attack had hit a scientific research facility in the Damascus suburbs that was used to improve Syria’s defenses, and called the attack “a flagrant breach of Syrian sovereignty and airspace.”

Israeli officials would not confirm the airstrike, a common tactic here. But it came after days of intense security consultations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the possible movement of chemical and other weapons around Syria, and warnings that Jerusalem would take action to thwart any possible transfers to Hezbollah.

Thousands of Israelis have crowded gas-mask distribution centers over the last two days. On Sunday, Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defense system in the north, near Haifa, which was heavily bombed during the 2006 war with Lebanon.

(Carl) Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy explains why the SA-17’s matter.

“Israel is able to fly reconnaissance flights over Lebanon with impunity right now,” Mr. Levitt said. “This could cut into its ability to conduct aerial intelligence. The passing along of weapons to Hezbollah by the regime is a real concern.” 

(Carl) And what’s so special about the SA-17?

The SA-17 is an advanced antiaircraft missile with a low radar signature, which makes it difficult to target it. It possesses a range of approximately 25 kilometers, and the IAF considers them a danger to its freedom of operation in the region.

(Carl) Hmmm.


#Assad has transferred chemcial weapons to #Hezbullah

January 31, 2013

Israel Radio is reporting (9:00 am) that Kuwaiti daily al-Watan reported in Thursday’s editions that Syria has already transferred chemical weapons to Syria, including more than two tons of mustard gas. According to the report, Syria has also transferred missiles with a 300-kilometer range that are capable of delivering the chemical weapons. The use of the weapons is being supervised by high-ranking Syrian officers stationed in Lebanon.

There is no confirmation of the report from other sources.