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Human Rights: Calling A Spade A Spade ​

Is it fair for the West to criticize China's human rights record?

Mar 14, 2019 U.S. is in a super league of its own on human rights violation

[MN note: Obsessed with cleaning everybody's house, while neglecting our own, Washington tells American citizens not to worry, America is the greatest.]

Liu Xin is a native of Jiangsu province in the south of China. While a student of English language, in 1996, in the prestigious Nanjing University, she was the first Chinese student to ever win an international English public speaking competition.

Upon graduation, she joined CGTN’s English service, when it was just a daily news program lasting 30 minutes. When the English language channel was created in 2001, she became the main anchor, she is the longest-serving presenter. Her style is defined as gently assertive, professional and personal. A refreshing image of the present day China, she drew the attention of viewers around the world to the English channel, furthering its goal of becoming a powerful voice from Asia.

In October 2010, she made a surprise move, opting to go into the field to become Chief of CGTN's Geneva Bureau. A totally different challenge bringing her into close contact with the real world outside the studio, that assignment equipped her with much needed vitality and first-hand knowledge of how news was fashioned before it reached the hand of the presenter.
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As An Israeli American, I Agree With Ilhan Omar Much More Than The US Polit


      Omar is challenging decades-long unconditional American support for Israel while many American legislators are demanding loyalty oaths that enable Israel to continue doing as it pleases – with total impunity.

      While freshman Minnesota Congresswoman Omar’s alleged antisemitism has been dominating the headlines in the US in recent weeks, in Israel, the controversies have barely been reported on in Hebrew media, and you’d be hard-pressed to find many Israelis who even know who she is. Yet much of the attacks and condemnations she is facing originate in talking points and policies created by the Israeli right, specifically under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the last decade.

      Omar has made repeated claims in recent weeks – some not too carefully crafted — that Israel (a country that holds millions of Palestinians under violent occupation) has outsized influence on American foreign policy and that its lobbyists use money to maintain that support.

      Since Sunday, she has been defending herself against a barrage of attacks from both Democrats and Republicans for one sentence – arguably one word — she said at an event last week: "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country." This has been slammed as a charge of dual loyalty (though she did not specify Jews directly in her comments), an antisemitic trope.

      As this has been going on, Omar has been facing death threats and Islamophobic attacks herself, including a poster last week at a Republican Party event which likened her to 9/11 terrorists.

      Omar is one of only two Muslim women ever elected to Congress, along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib from Michigan, and they are both the first members of Congress to openly support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. This has made them the targets of an incomparable onslaught of scrutiny and attacks.

      The Israeli government has invested millions of dollars in its campaign to combat BDS around the world, and has worked hard (and largely succeeded) to equate BDS – a non-violent tactic to secure Palestinian rights — with antisemitism, arguing that it denies Israel the right to exist. As an Israeli and a Jew, I do not challenge Israel’s right to exist, but I do challenge its right to exist as the Jewish supremacist, undemocratic, violent state that it is. That does not make me an antisemite, and neither does solidarity with the call for BDS.

      Yet this talking point has been fully adopted in Washington. When you look at the anti-BDS legislation that has already swept half of the US and further efforts on a federal level to penalize American businesses which so much as favor a boycott of Israel, it’s no wonder Omar is being attacked. It’s practically a given she would be. A Muslim congresswoman supporting a boycott of Israel is unprecedented in Washington. She is challenging decades-long unconditional American support for Israel while many American legislators are demanding loyalty oaths that enable Israel to continue doing as it pleases – with total impunity.

      As Democratic Representative Juan Vargas from California inadvertently confirmed in a tweet denouncing Omar, “questioning support for the US-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” President Donald Trump’s tweet Tuesday that Omar is “under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel” and that it is a “dark day for Israel” also appeared to be an admission that this has nothing to do with Jews or antisemitism and everything to do with criticizing Israel and US foreign policy.

      It’s important to highlight that at the core of the contemporary dual loyalty canard is Zionism’s goal that there be no daylight between Jewish religious, ethnic and national identities. Israel claims to speak for Jews globally and then when people call out Israeli policies, it can conveniently cry out antisemitism. This is the weaponization of antisemitism that we are seeing play out in American domestic politics, and that the Democratic leadership is conceding to.

      The fact is that Israel under Netanyahu has normalized right-wing antisemitism in countries like Hungary and the US, while simultaneously demonizing as antisemitic those who try and undermine Israel’s infrastructure of occupation. Without that precedent, the US government would not have the credentials to do to Ilhan Omar what it is doing.

      House Democrats have delayed a vote that was scheduled for today on a resolution condemning antisemitism that does not mention Omar by name but is clearly meant to serve as a rebuke of her comments. It does not offer anything innovative about fighting real threats of antisemitism. If it is meant to address the dual loyalty charge, then where was the resolution after President Trump told a room full of American Jews in December that Israel is “your country”?

      During the event at which Omar made the statement for which she is under attack, Omar also said, after acknowledging the emotional connection some American Jews have to Israel and likening it to her children’s connection to Somalia: “But we never really allow space for the stories of Palestinians seeking safety and sanctuary to be uplifted. And to me… the dehumanization and the silencing of a particular pain and suffering of people should not be OK and normal. And you can’t be in the practice of humanizing and uplifting the suffering of one if you’re not willing to do that for everyone.”

      As a Jew, an American and an Israeli, these sentiments represent my values much more than those claiming to be combatting antisemitism under the guise of the preservation of the US-Israel special relationship.

      Mairav Zonszein is an Israeli American freelance journalist


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      Female Superheroes - Yes, Indeed!


          Cheap night with my hubby at the movies this past year has been a delight. Black Panther, Wonder Woman and this past Tuesday night - Captain Marvel.

          Women as superheroes can more than hold their own. Brie Larson in Captain Marvel - a delight. Worth someone doling out full ticket price, Ms. Larson - with a bucket of buttered popcorn to boot! Worth going back to see this movie again.

          Carry on, women!


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          New York Mafioso Whacked Outside His Staten Island Home


          Cali, thought to have headed the family since 2015, suffered "multiple gunshot wounds to the torso" in front of his home on Staten Island on Wednesday evening, police said.

          The New York Daily News reported Cali, also known as "Franky Boy," was shot six times then hit by a blue truck in which the suspects fled.

          Police added he was taken to Staten Island University North hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

          "There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing," police said.

          Cali had served 16 months in prison following a 2008 extortion conviction.

          US media reported the 53-year-old´s death marked the first murder of a New York mob boss in 34 years, since the death of Paul Castellano -- another Gambino family boss -- by order of John Gotti.

          Following Castellano´s murder, Gotti headed the Gambino family until his incarceration for conspiracy and murder in 1992. Gotti died in prison in 2002.

          The Gambino family is one of the New York´s five historic Italian mafia families -- along with the Genovese, Lucchese, Colombo and Bonanno families.

          According to local media in New York, Cali took the helm of the family in 2015, replacing Domenico Cefalu.

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          Opinion | The Court And The Cross


              Secularism, church-state, and religious liberty are often in the news, often in major news stories and Supreme Court cases--and will soon be again. The Bladensburg Cross case has already made news but is about to make much more.

              Any who're interested (and nearly everyone should be) ought to read the attached (especially some of the comments) and should come to the American Atheists convention next month in Cincinnati. What's the connection? 1. The Friday night banquet will feature a talk from attorney Edward Tabash, an expert on secularism and the Supreme Court, and (thanks to a very generous donor) is free for the first 500 convention registrants.(I think there are still some slots, but I'm no longer involved with operations.) 2. American Atheists board member Steven Lowe is a lead plaintiff in this case. 3. American Atheists attorney Alison Gill is also extraordinarily knowledgeable about secularism, as is President Nick Fish.


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              Beto O'Rourke: Experienced Enough? Obama 2.0?


                  We have a person in the Oval Office who came to the WH with NO, NONE, ZERO, ZILCH governing experience. But he had a vision and the temperament to draw and hold crowds. He has failed, profoundly, to lead the nation.

                  O'Rourke has announced that he thinks he has had enough experience, and that he has the vision and temperament to lead the nation.

                  Does he? He is certainly appealing on a personal level and sufficiently charismatic/electrifying to gather and hold a crowd. But experience....

                  Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke is an American businessman and politician who represented Texas's 16th congressional district for three terms in the United States House of Representatives. A native of El Paso, Texas, O'Rourke served on the El Paso City Council from 2005 to 2011. He co-founded Stanton Street Technology Group, an Internet services and software company and was involved with a significant number of civic organizations.

                  As the 2018 Democratic U.S. Senate nominee, O'Rourke was narrowly defeated by Republican incumbent Senator Ted Cruz.

                  On March 13, 2019, he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020.

                  Compared with......(and that IS who many are comparing him to...)

                  Barack Hussein Obama in 2008

                  United States Senator
                  from Illinois Member of the Illinois Senate
                  from the 13th district
                  In office
                  January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008
                  In office
                  January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004

                  47 years of age when he ran for the Presidency....having announced that as announced that he thinks he had enough experience, and that he had the vision and temperament to lead the nation.

                  He was certainly appealing on a personal level and sufficiently charismatic/electrifying to gather and hold a crowd.

                  SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?

                  Is O'Rourke Obama 2.0?

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                  Pundit Post

                  NO LITTLE RED CORVETTE

                  These are just some of the reasons that the mid-engined Corvette's reveal has been postponed.
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                      Offices and tiny apartments could be transformed by the work of Boston University researchers, who recently unveiled an “acoustic metamaterial” that blocks all sound.
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