The Great Loyalty Oath Campaign

I oppose BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – of and against Israel). It is conducted on behalf of lawless, racist tyrants against the Middle East’s only democratic government. Nonetheless, this strikes me as unconstitutional.

A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job

It’s certainly repugnant.

I think the headline would be more accurate if it said “Refused to Abandon Her 1st Amendment Rights.”

A children’s speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told that she can no longer work with the public school district, after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that foreign nation…

[The oath] would bar Amawi not only from refraining from buying goods from companies located within Israel, but also from any Israeli companies operating in the occupied West Bank (“an Israeli-controlled territory”). The oath given to Amawi would also likely prohibit her even from advocating such a boycott given that such speech could be seen as “intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel.”…

The bill’s language is so sweeping that some victims of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Southwest Texas in late 2017, were told that they could only receive state disaster relief if they first signed a pledge never to boycott Israel…

This required certification about Israel was the only one in the contract sent to Amawi that pertained to political opinions and activism. There were no similar clauses relating to children (such as a vow not to advocate for pedophiles or child abusers)…

How is this different from legally compelling teachers to use made-up pronouns?

In order to obtain contracts in Texas, then, a citizen is free to denounce and work against the United States, to advocate for causes that directly harm American children, and even to support a boycott of particular U.S. states, such as was done in 2017 to North Carolina in protest of its anti-LGBT law. In order to continue to work, Amawi would be perfectly free to engage in any political activism against her own country, participate in an economic boycott of any state or city within the U.S., or work against the policies of any other government in the world — except Israel.

I’m reminded of Chapter 11 of Heller’s Catch-22. Captain Black conducts the Great Loyalty Oath campaign:

““The important thing is to keep them pledging,’ he explained to his cohorts. ‘It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what “pledge” and “allegiance” mean.’ To Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a glorious pain in the ass, since it complicated their task of organizing the crews for each combat mission. Men were tied up all over the squadron signing, pledging and singing, and the missions took hours longer to get under way. Effective emergency action became impossible, but Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren were both too timid to raise any outcry against Captain Black, who scrupulously enforced each day the doctrine of ‘Continual Reaffirmation’ that he had originated, a doctrine designed to trap all those men who had become disloyal since the last time they had signed a loyalty oath the day before. It was Captain Black who came with advice to Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren as they pitched about in their bewildering predicament. He came with a delegation and advised them bluntly to make each man sign a loyalty oath before allowing him to fly on a combat mission.””

The First Amendment especially applies to speech you don’t like. I would agree that a speech pathologist’s duties should exclude political advocacy; but that is an HR matter, and not in evidence here.  It is not something to be applied to her personal shopping decisions or off-duty speech by state law.

Danger Close

The debate about this Administration’s incompetence has included speculation about its ignorance vs. intentionality, but it is moot whether the President has adopted the motto “Never Remember” consciously or otherwise. President Obama has done a very dangerous thing.

Ignorance of history is a necessary condition for his betrayal of Israel, but it is not sufficient. This ignorance must be coupled with a visceral disdain for Israel and for the United States.

The links below illustrate the ignorance and the danger. The first reminds us of the facts of the 1967 War the President either does not know or wants to erase. The second is an astute analysis of what the President means by “fundamentally changing America.” Neither is short. Both are worth your time.

Contemporary coverage of the Six Day War

Obama’s abandonment of America

Whether the President’s ignorance is real or feigned, the only difference is whether his ideology requires lying or the lying enables his ideology.

Al-taqiyya

Brutally stabbed to death in their home by Islamic fanatics: Udi and Ruth Fogel, 36 and 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4 and baby Hadas, 3 months.

In the land of Hamas this atrocity was celebrated by dancing in the street and the passing out of candy. One can understand a twisted mind. This is a twisted people.

In defense, Hamas invoked Al-taqiyya, Islamist’s standard operating procedure: Hamas Speaks

Leave Helen alone

Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas is a graduate of Wayne State University. Her recent revelation that she is a virulent anti-semite has caused the University to reconsider an award it has been handing out in her name in order “to recognize her role in promoting diversity in the media and issues of race in America.”

Wayne State may retire name of Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Awards after controversy

Leonard Pitts, Jr. and Lynette Clemetson are the most recent recipients of this …um… honor. There is no word on whether these luminaries have returned their awards. Similarly, there is no word from Ben Burns, a WSU journalism professor who serves as chairman of the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Awards committee.

I think removing Ms Thomas’ name from this award would be an overreaction. Why can’t they just rename it the “Helen Thomas Spirit of Perversity” award and give the first one posthumously to some German leader who also liked sending Jews to Poland and rural Germany.

Another approach would be to insist that true devotion to diversity would, perforce, include a person who hates Jews. That is a minority position (outside academia and ignoring media bias) and it certainly invokes “issues of race” in America.

Rally for Hamas and Hezbollah

Kathryn Prater’s story, Group rallies at Capitol to raise awareness of Israeli occupation, in today’s Lansing State Journal:

A small group held banners Wednesday on the steps of the state Capitol, seeking to raise awareness about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

They gathered to mark 62 years since the occupation began, after Israel became an independent state in 1948. Palestinians commemorate the day, called al-Nakbah, on May 15 each year.

“People are suffering tremendously,” said Dearborn resident Sufian Nabhan, an American Muslims for Palestine board member. “Occupation is apartheid, occupation is segregation. Massacres are going on daily.”

Nabhan said that in the last decade, both his parents died from cancer because they could not get through Israeli blockades to reach a hospital in Jerusalem.

“We’re sending a message to our leaders in this country to stop supporting the occupation with military aid to Israel. We bear responsibility for what we pay for with our tax dollars,” Michigan Peace Team member Mike McCurdy said.

“We may be few, but we stand in solidarity with thousands around the world,” he said from the Capitol steps. “As long as this occupation continues, hate will be bred toward the United States.”

The fact that the LSJ uncritically uses the word “occupation” and names the land in dispute the “Palestinian territories” is proof that the LSJ accepts the argument that Israel should be destroyed. Surely, the LSJ is aware that there is some controversy over whether there is any occupation, and they should have used quotes around the term. But, the LSJ does not take this assertion as an opinion, they accept it as fact.

Dating the “occupation” to 1948 is even more telling. This is critical in supporting the “Right of Return” – demanded by the “Detroit Declaration” of which Sufian Nabhan is a signatory. The “Right of Return” is a demand that 5.5 million Arabs must be allowed to move inside Israel’s 1948 frontiers. Israel’s Jewish population is 3.9 million.

Mr. Nabhan is President of the Islamic Center of Detroit. He also is probably a liar about his parents’ deaths due to Israeli blockades. Might as well say his parents died because of Palestinian suicide bombers and failure to form a State, despite hundreds of millions in aid.

What the Hamas and Hezbollah supporters rallying on the steps of Michigan’s Capitol building mean to say is made clear in this video. One wonders when American Jews who vote for the leftists, and that’s most of them, will wake up.

First they came for the Israelis…

H/T MF

RGN1 virus airborne?

RGN1 is Robert Gibbs’ personal mutation of H1N1.

Solely from the transcript you’d think it had infected State Department spokesman Ian Kelly as Obama administration talking points get the better him because of some persistent questioning.

You have to watch the video to get the full flavor of Mr. Kelly’s responses. He tries the talking points, but clearly does not buy them himself. He does his best, but he just can’t say such silly things with a straight face. (Go to about 14:50)

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/assets/swf/CSPANPlayer.swf

If Mr. Kelly has contracted RGN1, the virus has definitely attenuated. He has the decency to be embarrassed. If only he had not said, “…we are less than a year into this Administration, and I think we’ve accomplished more over the last year than the previous administration did in eight years.”

It would be nice to know who asked the questions that cornered Mr. Kelly. CSPAN does not provide this information, but the man should be asking questions in the White House.

H/T Commonsense & Wonder

Several worth reading

Dizzying Intellect has been added to the TOC blogroll today.

Anyone who has Diamond Age in their top 20 novels list deserves attention. TOC mentioned the novel here. I also recommend this DI post wherein the Vatican’s consistency is noted.

To fit the post title, I offer the following:

CNN goes Pallywood: Strike five
CNN’s use, and defense of, creative Palestinian videographers is thoroughly explored.

Former Clinton Appointee Implies Defamation Lawsuit Against OutsideLansing.
A lawyer, formerly UAW, is testy.

A New Circus Comes to Town
P.J O’Rourke on the failed Obama presidency. Top of his form.

Bench Seats For Illinois Political Theater

NPR. It’s funny. Intentionally.
Hold your nose and read it.

What Did Leon Panetta Know About Rendition And When Did He Know It?

Leon Panetta has some ‘splainin ahead of him regarding Egyptian renditions of “Please Release Me.”

FRAUDULENT “CREDIT CRISIS” PAVES WAY FOR ECONOMIC DISASTER

Doing the kind of investigative reporting we should expect from the major media, a financial research and consulting firm … concludes that the claims made by Treasury Department Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to justify a socialist takeover of the financial industry were demonstrably false.

Only the major media would be surprised by this.

Farrakhan. Power.

TOC noted on Feb-27 that Barack Obama had been somewhat less than ringing in his repudiation of support from “Calypso Louie” Farrakhan, the noted anti-semite. Farrakhan’s current gig is head of the Nation of Islam.

We further noted Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s close connections with, and admiration for, Minister Farrakhan. Dr. Wright was Obama’s pastor for many years at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ; an Obama mentor whose influence is probably less veiled in Michelle Obama’s unrelenting pessimism. She should just stop giving speeches. Eventually, her philosophical darkness is going to overwhelm Obama’s hopeful message.

In addition to Dr. Wright, it turns out there’s another name you should know. That of:

Obama’s Mentor’s Mentor

The influence of the black liberation theology of James H. Cone appears in the political philosophy of Barack Obama as well as in the recent controversial statement about national pride made by Michelle Obama.

The spiritual role that Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ (UCC) and its just-retired pastor Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright have played in the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama is well-established, as is the Africentric theology that is the cornerstone of the church’s self-proclaimed identity.

One largely unexamined element of that Africentric theology, though, is the pivotal role that black liberation theologian Dr. James H. Cone, Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary (NYC), and his 1969 book Black Theology & Black Power, have played in the life of that faith community. Examining Cone’s theology may enlighten us on Barack’s political philosophy and Michelle’s recently controversial statement about not having been proud of her country until the favorable reception to her husband’s candidacy.

…Cone’s myopic theological worldview looks solely through the prism of his understanding of the experience of Blacks in America as victims of white oppression.

Ironically, while the media has occasionally focused on the religious beliefs of Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, a much more substantive faith element has been at work in Obama’s campaign, and the media mostly hasn’t noticed, or if it has, hasn’t commented.

None of this, [RTWT] if accurate, makes Barack Obama a man necessarily unsuitable for the Presidency of the United States, nor his wife for the role of First Lady. But, it may give us cause to further explore their worldviews, and the perspectives of those who, like Dr. Cone, have influenced the formation of those views.

Speaking of “world” views, let’s not ignore Obama’s top foreign policy advisor, Samantha Power.

Speaking truth to Power

Samantha Power is the author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on genocide, and she has a professorship at Harvard (in something called “Global Leadership and Public Policy”). She is also a senior foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama. This isn’t an honorific: she has worked for Obama in Washington, she has campaigned for him around the country, and she doesn’t hesitate to speak for him. This morning, the Washington Post has a piece on Obama’s foreign policy team, identifying her (and retired Maj. Gen. Scott Garion) as “closest to Obama, part of a group-within-the-group that he regularly turns to for advice.” Power and Garion “retain unlimited access to Obama.” This morning’s New York Times announces that Power has an “irresistable profile” and “she could very well end up in [Obama’s] cabinet.”

She also has a problem: a corpus of critical statements about Israel. These have been parsed by Noah Pollak at Commentary’s blog Contentions, by Ed Lasky and Richard Baehr at American Thinker, and by Paul Mirengoff at Power Line.

Power made her most problematic statement in 2002, in an interview she gave at Berkeley. The interviewer asked her this question:

Let me give you a thought experiment here, and it is the following: without addressing the Palestine-Israel problem, let’s say you were an advisor to the President of the United States, how would you respond to current events there? Would you advise him to put a structure in place to monitor that situation, at least if one party or another [starts] looking like they might be moving toward genocide?

Power gave an astonishing answer:

What we don’t need is some kind of early warning mechanism there, what we need is a willingness to put something on the line in helping the situation. Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import; it may more crucially mean sacrificing—or investing, I think, more than sacrificing—billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence. Because it seems to me at this stage (and this is true of actual genocides as well, and not just major human rights abuses, which were seen there), you have to go in as if you’re serious, you have to put something on the line.

Unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. It’s a terrible thing to do, it’s fundamentally undemocratic. But, sadly, we don’t just have a democracy here either, we have a liberal democracy. There are certain sets of principles that guide our policy, or that are meant to, anyway. It’s essential that some set of principles becomes the benchmark, rather than a deference to [leaders] who are fundamentally politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people. And by that I mean what Tom Friedman has called “Sharafat” [Sharon-Arafat]. I do think in that sense, both political leaders have been dreadfully irresponsible. And, unfortunately, it does require external intervention…. Any intervention is going to come under fierce criticism. But we have to think about lesser evils, especially when the human stakes are becoming ever more pronounced.

It isn’t too difficult to see all the red flags in this answer. Having placed Israel’s leader on par with Yasser Arafat, she called for massive military intervention on behalf of the Palestinians, to impose a solution in defiance of Israel and its American supporters. Billions of dollars would be shifted from Israel’s security to the upkeep of a “mammoth protection force” and a Palestinian state—all in the name of our “principles.”

Whatever those principles are. It’s hard to tell.

A thorough discussion of Sam Power is unfolding at the Powerline links below. This is the person who could very well be SecState for a President Obama.

January 29, 2008
Obama tries his hand at damage control — and pandering

February 2, 2008
Soft Power

February 11, 2008
Soft Power, Part Two

February 19, 2008
Soft Power, Part Three

February 25, 2008
Soft Power, Part Four

February 28, 2008
Soft Power, Part Five

February 29, 2008
Soft Power — Max Boot responds

March 3, 2008
Soft Power, behind the music

March 4, 2008
Bad news for al Qaeda. . .and for liberal talking points

March 5, 2008
The arrogance of impotence, Obama style

March 6, 2008
The book tour from hell