Rally Against the War on Women


 

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The National Organization for Women and my chapter, San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles NOW, The Valley’s Voice for Choice, are supporting the Unite Against The War on Women march and rally set for downtown Los Angeles.  I’m happy to say that the rally has also been endorsed by our Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition ally, the California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC) and its national affiliate, the National League of Latin American Citizens (NLLAC).

I don’t have to tell you how critical it is to organize in today’s political arena if you’re alive, breathing, and have even a minimal concept of what’s going on in America.   We thought that we were under assault with women’s clinic blockades and the murders of doctors who performed abortions.  Today we’re faced with people trying to roll back the clock to well before the Roe vs Wade decision of 1973:  fanatics are contesting the basis of the Griswold vs Connecticut decision of 1965 which legalized birth control!

Now is the time to unite against the attempt by fanatics to turn back the clock on women’s rights.  We need to get out in the streets to demonstrate that we will not go back and that we will fight until full equality is won.   Complacency and worrying about what our detractors might think about demonstrating and demanding equality in this situation is synonymous with defeat, for as Susan B. Anthony taught us:

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences…

Be there or be square…..

Saturday, April 28, 2012, 10:00am until 3:00pm

This event will start at Pershing Square located in downtown Los Angeles. We will gather starting at 10:00 a.m. at the south side of Pershing Square, along 6th Street, speakers will start at 10:30 a.m., at 11:00 a.m., we will march from 6th Street, to Main Street and then head up to Temple Street to Fletcher Bowron Square, which is located at Main and Temple, right across from City Hall. Our rally program will begin at 12:00 p.m. with speakers and entertainment.

Pershing Square has historically been a venue where protest has made its home.  In 1900, King Camp Gillette (inventor of the safety razor) and Henry Gaylord Wilshire (for whom Wilshire Blvd is named) were arrested along with thousands of their fellow socialists (that year Wilshire was running for Congress in the 6th District of California on the ticket of the Social Democratic Party of America); they were arrested and jailed for reading the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States without getting a permit from the police department to speak in public!  We’ve come a long way in Los Angeles from those dark days and we dare not go back.

If you can volunteer time to work on the preparation committee for this rally, email:

info@sfvnow.org  and, check out the Facebook Page to invite your friends:

http://www.facebook.com/events/237626242997742/

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What is Mount Kellett Thinking


 

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I really can’t fathom what Mount Kellett is thinking in its effort to infiltrate the board of directors of Baja Mining (which, given their pattern and practice, is just a prelude to a hostile takeover of the company, as Baja Mining’s current management has charged).  There are some subjective reasons why this doesn’t pass the smell test with me.

First off, check out my last two posts on the subject:

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/03/20/mount-kelletts-war-on-workers/

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/03/16/romneyizing-los-angeles/

Here are some of the questions this state of affairs raises in my mind.

Michelle Bachmann, who has called President Obama a socialist and pledged during her own presidential campaign to deport an estimated 10-12 million undocumented immigrants

On October 21, 2008, Mount Kellett Chief Operating Officer Jonathan D. Fiorello made a campaign contribution to Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s re-election campaign, the very day that she publicly accused then Senator (now President) Obama of being a socialist.  Maybe it has escaped Mount Kellett, but the company is seeking to get a say in how Baja Mining is run and that Baja California is part of Mexico.  There are three major political parties in Mexico, the PAN (Partido Accion Nacional), the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), and the PRD (Partideo Revolucionario Democratica).  Of the three, the latter two, PRI and PRD, are both full member parties of the Socialist International.  Defections from PAN, the current ruling presidential party, to the PRI and PRD, reported by Reuters on March 14, make it increasingly likely that the PRI will regain the presidency and that between them, the PRI and PRD will have a leftist voting majority in the Mexican Congress.

I imagine that the PRI and the PRD will be real thrilled that Baja Mining may be taken over by a company whose Chief Operating Officer is so far to the right that he backs candidates who think that President Obama is a socialist.  That alone is bad enough, but when it gets around in Mexico that Mount Kellett C.O.O. Jonathan D. Fiorello contributed money to a candidate who wants to deport millions of Mexican citizens back to Mexico, well, that may just raise some historical hackles that rankle Mexicans in the extreme.

Just for starters, Mexicans who learn history in their schools receive a far more objective picture of the history of United States/Mexican relations than do most Americans.  They are likely to view the land-grab that the United States pulled off in the “Mexican-American War” as a great historical tragedy and insult.  In that war, the United States of America took half of Mexico’s territory in a manner that included “atrocities” as described by then Army Captain Ullyses S. Grant.  It was a war that saw the only mass desertion of American soldiers in history, when mostly Irish immigrant soldiers who were appalled at the atrocities being committed by other Americans defected to the Mexican side forming the now famous San Patricio Corps (still celebrated as heroes in Mexico).

Decade of Betrayal documents the horrendous ethnic cleansing of Mexicans and Chicanos by U.S. authorities

In spite of the guarantees of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and Protocols of Quaretaro which ended the Mexican-American War guaranteeing full and equal rights and protections to Mexicans and their descendants living in the United States, American authorities from President Hoover on down to municipal and county officials throughout the country ethnically cleansed approximately 2,000,000 people, forcing them (frequently at gun point) to leave their homes and go to Mexico during the Great Depression.  None of the 2 million were here illegally, and 1.2 million of those forced out of the country were citizens of the United States of America.

So, how thrilled do you think that Mexico will be to realize that the Chief Operating Officer of Mount Kellett contributed campaign cash to a member of Congress who wants to throw more millions of people out of the United States and into Mexico?  Mexico is not incorrect to feel itself wronged in this matter.  Given that 1.2 million American citizens were illegally deported in the 1930s, how can US authorities even figure out whether somebody is actually here illegally:  what if their parents or grandparents were American citizens unconstitutionally thrown out of the United States?  That makes them citizens of the United States.

I don’t think that people in Mexico are going to be very happy at Mount Kellett having a say in how Mexico’s national resources are developed.

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Mount Kellett’s War on Workers


 

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Mark Edward McGoldrick of Mount Kellett

One characteristic of the so-called 1% that are the new economic royalists of the world is that they can afford to kick in serious amounts of money to politicians who they believe will support their economic interests and social agendas.  Mark Edward McGoldrick of Mount Kellett Capital Management is one of this new class of nobility who can afford to do just that.  For background, see my last post on the issues surrounding Mount Kellett’s foray into the economic morass of Los Angeles, at:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/03/16/romneyizing-los-angeles/

When I wrote my last blog on Mount Kellett, I hadn’t yet checked out the records on their top peoples’ campaign contributions to see if they had a political agenda to supplement their strictly economic endeavors.   Politics and business go hand in hand at that level.  Indeed, one of the eminent Political Scientists of the 20th Century, Harold D. Laswell, wrote his seminal book (1935) on this subject:  Politics: Who Gets What, When, How.

So, what is the political bent of Mount Kellett’s top tier?  On July 11, 2008, McGoldrick, then residing in the United Kingdom, contributed $50,000 to John McCain’s presidential campaign.  Also in 2008, Mount Kellett Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Fiorello made a campaign contribution to Representative (and later Presidential candidate) Michelle Bachmann in her re-election campaign for Congress.  Fiorello’s contribution was made on October 21, 2008, four (4) days after Bachmann said of then-Presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama “I am very concerned that he [Barack Obama] may have anti-American views” and on the very day that she tacitly accused Obama of being a socialist:  “I’m very concerned about Barack Obama’s views. I don’t believe that socialism is a good thing for America.”

Also of interest in this discussion is the acquisition by Mount Kellett of over six (6) million shares of stock in Huntsman Corporation — yes, that Huntsman Corporation — whose employees and their family members and political action committee (PAC) contributed over $200,000 to Jon M. Huntsman Jr.’s (son of the founder/owner) Presidential campaign and over $1.8 million to the Our Destiny super-PAC which (supposedly) “independently” campaigned for Jon Jr.

So, in light of my prior blog on Mount Kellett’s assault on the jobs and livelihoods of Los Angeles workers and potentially workers in Canada and Baja California  I’ve entitled this blog posting Mount Kellett’s War on Workers.  That’s of course in the context of the national Republican attack on the rights of workers and unions in general.

What’s to come?  Yesterday, Mount Kellett filed its 13G with the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) announcing its acquisition of over eight (8) million shares in Mueller Water, a national company headquartered in Atlanta, GA.  Should Mueller’s investors, employees and other stakeholders be worried, given the corporate culture Mount Kellett’s principals learned in their tenure at Goldman Sachs?  I sure would if I were in their shoes.

Mount Kellett also invested $100,000,000 in Masan Resources Group of Vietnam which was announced in January 2011.  The attitude of foreign investors towards the rights of workers in Vietnam was expressed point blank at a symposium on Vietnam business opportunities, in which it was noted by the report on the Vietnam Business Forum Annual Consultative Group Meeting of 2008 (Sponsored by the World Bank and the Ministry of Planning & Investment):

(a) Labor strikes have increased through the years, and most if not all of these labor strikes are unlawful – i.e., it did not go through the labor union and give appropriate notice to the employer for discussion.

(b) If this is not addressed properly, this will cause the mind set of the workers to change – i.e., the workers believe that the fastest and easiest way to get what they want is to strike and force the employer to give-in. This will create difficulties and man-hour losses to manufacturers.

Labor relations in Vietnam

Horrors!  Working people might get the idea that engaging in what most Americans believe is a human right, the right to strike for better wages and working conditions, is an idea in Vietnam whose time has come.  After all, over 58,000 Americans and countless Vietnamese died for something, even though it now appears to have come down to the right of Mount Kellett to profit from Tungsten mining in Vietnam.

This is precisely what we’re afraid of and why the California League of Latin American Citizens is organizing to prevent Mount Kellett from putting small business owners out of business and their employees out of work.

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Is Modern Technology Racist?


 

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Tech is Racist
Created by: Online IT Degree

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Romneyizing Los Angeles


 

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Along with a team of my colleagues I’ve shifted to high gear for the last couple of weeks in an effort to prevent the Romneyization of Los Angeles by a company founded by ex-Goldman-Sachs operatives known as “Mount Kellett.”  They’ve been emulating Bain Capital’s approach of making money, i.e., stripping companies of their assets and trashing small businesses, putting their employees out of work, effectively forcing families to lose their livelihoods and their homes; all while they laugh all the way to the bank.

In virtually every instance, everybody who’s on the losing end of this equation in the City of Los Angeles is minority and/or an immigrant (primarily Mexicans, Central Americans, Koreans, and Iranians).  Mount Kellett is also beginning a potential takeover of Baja Mining (whose 2,500 employees mine copper, cobalt, zinc, manganese in Baja California, Mexico).   I’m doing everything I can to not let that happen.

                                                       The Writing on the Wall

The proverbial “writing on the wall” was literally “Mene, mene, tekel, u-pharsin,”  which means in essence, ‘it has been counted and counted and found wanting.”  When the Jewish Prophet Daniel demanded that King Belshazzar of Babylon let the Jews go back to their homeland in Israel from which King Nebuchadnezzar had taken them captive, the writing mysteriously appeared on the wall of the palace as Belshazzar scoffed at Daniel’s demand.  The next day, King Cyrus the Great of Persia (modern Iran) was at the gates of Babylon to conquer the city and King Belshazzar was dead.

Mount Kellett should take that prophecy to heart.  Here are just some of the “hole cards” that we’re holding in our battle to organize the various businesses, their workers, their customers, and the communities that depend on them to fight the Romneyization of their lives:

  • Their lawyers didn’t bother to read the fine print in the pre-existing contracts they’re litigating before filing unlawful detainer suits (or alternatively, they did read the fine print and gambled that we wouldn’t catch them in a serious legal problem);
  • Somebody kept the proverbial “two sets of books” and probably didn’t bother to tell their lawyers
  • While serving a notice demanding that a business get out of its property, a company representative committed a vehicular hit and run felony, hitting an employee who wasn’t even authorized to accept the notice they were trying to serve;
  •  Section 1940.2 of the California Civil Code was repeatedly violated by using threats and intimidation to interfere with certain business tenants.

That behavior by Mount Kellett and its contractors in Los Angeles has been bad enough:  it has been counted and counted and found wanting, Mene, mene, tekel, u-pharsin.

                                                     International Business Pirates

Monty Python’s the Crimson Permanent Assurance in the movie The Meaning of Life is a great literary satire which represents the kind of business that Mount Kellett is taking to a global scale.  As Wikipedia describes the satire:

The Crimson Permanent Assurance, an introductory film directed by Terry Gilliam. In a satire on cold corporate culture, elderly office clerks rebel against their emotionlessly efficient, yuppie corporate masters at ‘The Permanent Assurance Company’, commandeer their building, and turn it into a pirate ship, raiding financial districts in numerous big cities, before falling off the edge of the world.

Baja Mining Employees

Mount Kellett has started a corporate raid on Baja Mining.  Baja Mining’s corporate responsibility statement may very well have ticked off Mount Kellett, given its utter lack of transparency.  Baja sets out its corporate commitment very openly on its website:

We are committed to the sustainable development of the Boleo Property, and the sustainable economic and social growth of the region. We continue to work closely with local, state and federal authorities. We take our responsibilities to the people of Santa Rosalia with the utmost importance.

Throughout the development and operation of the mine, we will continue to support, and cooperate with, municipal authorities, in order to align our interests and activities with those of the town and local governments.

In accordance with the guidelines in the Equator Principles and the related International Finance Corporation Performance Standards, we completed our Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP). This major document outlines four strategic programs relating to:

  • biodiversity preservation and pollution control
  • community and social development
  • employee and community health and safety
  • disclosure and communication

The ESAP reflects the activities that will be undertaken to comply with Mexican regulations, and to the related permits and authorizations. It describes the mitigation and control measures that are proposed in the Environmental Impact Manifest (EIM) for the project.

Here is what Baja Mining has to say about Mount Kellett’s corporate ethics:  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/baja-mining-alerts-shareholders-mount-140000283.html

By contrast, Dun & Bradstreet gives its “NQ” rating to Mount Kellett Capital LLC, DUNS: 96-334-1826 (for a multi-million dollar investment firm its non-transparency doesn’t even enable it to have a D&B Paydex rating) in large part because, as D&B asserts in it’s standard Business Information Report about Mount Kellett:

                                    Human Consequences of Pirates’ Plunder

What Mount Kellett views as standard operating procedure is seen as socially irresponsible corporate behavior by others.  Mount Kellett’s pattern, as demonstrated by its takeover of Meruelo Maddux Properties and its current attempt to gain a foothold on the board of Baja Mining (presumably, to launch an eventual hostile takeover), is to accuse existing management of mis-management, either to a bankruptcy court or to stockholders, present a seemingly reasonable management plan, takeover, and then ruthlessly decimate the stakeholders in a company regardless of past promises made to them by the former owners.  In some cases, those promises and corporate relationships span decades.  The understandings and promises of Meruelo Maddux (now renamed by its Mount Kellett controllers as “EVOQ;”  see http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2012/mar/06/meruelo-maddux-changes-name-evoq-properties/) to small companies it did business with led to hundreds of jobs being created, taxes paid to support government services, and families being able to build a foundation for a better life for their children.

In downtown Los Angeles alone, at least three (3) small businesses are on the chopping block at the hands of EVOQ/Mount Kellett:

  • Aztlan Cold Storage (http://aztlancoldstorage.com/), one of the very few cold storage companies that is not part of a huge corporate conglomerate (and whose facilities are coveted by multi-national giants like Castle & Cooke and Great Wall Seafood).  The loss of Aztlan Cold Storage will not only destroy existing jobs, it will accelerate the oligopolization of the cold storage industry in California.  As Aztlan Cold Storage explains on its website:

Aztlan Cold Storage, Inc. was established to fulfill a growing need of refrigerated warehousing services to small and medium size import, export, retail seafood suppliers, brokers and companies. A service that was in demand but was being out right ignored by Los Angeles major and established 3PL cold storage corporations, for the mere reason that they were too small or of no significant inventory volume that would be of interest or meet profit quotas.

  • Jay Restaurant where about 60 employees have already lost their jobs at its downtown Los Angeles hot spot
  • S.C. Prestige Parking, which has been repeatedly targeted by the large downtown and national parking chains and certain politicians that regularly receive lots of campaign cash from their competitors

Mount Kellett, through its subsidiaries and contractors have launched vigorous drives to throw all of these and probably other businesses out of their facilities.  As far as they are concerned, any previous promises to them by Meruelo Maddux’s former owners are of no consequence and were extinguished in bankruptcy court as easily as a fire hose can put out a barbecue.  Long term business relationships are not an asset that EVOQ and Mount Kellett even seem to understand.

                                                              What You Can DO

The California League of Latin American Citizens has kicked off a Sindicato de Comercios y Empleados de Los Angeles to combat Mount Kellett.  Stay tuned to this blog to find out what you can do to help save jobs and lives in Los Angeles.  In the meantime, write to Mount Kellett and let its owners know that you don’t appreciate their behavior:

Mount Kellett 623 Fifth Avenue, 18th Floor New York, NY 10022

Anybody up for an “Occupy” action?

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Pitiful Practice In Pasadena USD


 

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As my regular readers know, I take a keen interest in Chester the Molester types who prey on school children and have exposed the way that various institutions, including schools, respond to complaints and deal with allegations of misconduct.  For instance, check out my recent blog on the Chino Unified School District:

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/03/02/mr-rogers-elementary-school/

Now let me turn the page of my Detective’s Diary to my ongoing participation in assisting parents and children at the Pasadena USD.  Fairly recently, I had filed a complaint against PUSD and its Human Resources Department for illegally hiring–at taxpayer expense–retired Principal Antonio Sandoval to conduct an investigation into parent allegations of child abuse and potential molestation in the district.  The HR department denied that it had conducted an “investigation” and refused to comply with my California Public Records Act (CPRA) request on the grounds that since there was supposedly no investigation as defined by Section 7521 of the Business & Professions Code, there were no documents meeting my demand.  While they still have not bothered to comply with my request, I understand that both unlicensed investigator Sandoval and the PUSD were both put on notice and put in their place following an investigation by the California Bureau of Security & Investigative Services (BSIS) that concluded that indeed Sandoval was in violation of the Private Investigator Act.

Now we have a concrete example of why you don’t hire unlicensed (and incompetent) investigators to conduct an inquiry.  Parents who were interviewed told Sandoval of their concerns (and fears for the safety of their children) in connection with a custodian at the school who had displayed something on his cell phone to a kindergarten girl which the parents described as utterly “inappropriate.”  Parents also reported to Sandoval that the custodian in question had displayed obviously inappropriate behavior indicative of poor impulse control, such as pointing a leaf blower at children to blow trash at them and throwing a trash can towards parents.

Maria Ortega, a parent advocate with UFE (United For Education Coalition) and long time school volunteer had  convinced the school administration to allow 5th graders to eat inside the cafeteria on cold days, reportedly prompting the same custodian to yell at the children and force them to clear out of the area before they finished their meals.

So, what did PUSD do about this state of affairs: they’ve recently instituted a demand that parent volunteers like Maria at the school must provide the school with their social security numbers, photo identifications, and that they submit to being fingerprinted.  In fairness, maybe the school district is being reactive to media reports of teachers throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area being arrested for child molestation.  But, UFE wants to know, are other parents who come to the campuses like PTA (Parent Teacher Association) members and ELAC (English Learner Advisory Committee) members being fingerprinted and background checked?  If not, why not?  What’s the rationale for checking some and not others, or is it just because some parents like Maria are a pain in the ass for the administration?

It’s not like PUSD has ever really been concerned about the shortcomings of the PUSD HR department and the administration’s ability to actually investigate the background of people it hires.  In the same response to the same CPRA request in which PUSD denied conducting an illegal investigation, the district also claimed that they couldn’t find any record of ever having employed Edward Saucerman.  For background on Ed Saucerman, check out my last (of many postings) on him:

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/02/26/opening-the-skeletons-closet/

You will note that Saucerman, prior to having been hired as a school cop in PUSD, had been a school cop in the Fontana Unified School District.  The lawsuit he got the district into (PDF file embedded in the above blog) and a Press Enterprise newspaper article (detailing how he’d been ordered off the campus of Fontana High School due to staff complaints) were already public record and easily obtained before he ever got hired by PUSD.  As an “oh by the way,” for my PI colleagues who want to know what my disagreement was about with President Chris Reynolds of CALI, his objection to my blogging about (exposing?) Saucerman’s sordid history was what prompted my resignation from the board of CALI.  Chris didn’t seem to grasp the concept that his objection created conflicts of interest for me, such as my duty to other organizations (like UFE) to investigate and publicize issues like this one.  I am after all a publicist as well as a private investigator, having served as First Vice President of Newspaper Guild Local 69 and having been called a “P.R. Guru” by the Los Angeles Times in July 1996.

That said, what does PUSD say in response to my CPRA request regarding Ed Saucerman?  They denied being able to determine that he had worked for the district!  This is nothing short of astounding.  I mean, I’m shocked, shocked to learn that the PUSD HR department couldn’t figure out that Ed Saucerman worked for PUSD:

http://www.jdsupra.com/documents/208ad0b6-ade6-4e95-93b3-da8cce3cfe90.pdf

After all, he wound up bringing an action before the Workers Compensation Appeals Board against the district due to his getting injured while trying to handcuff a suspect and another incident where he contended he was injured during a training session.

But the District didn’t seem to be able to figure out he existed in response to my CPRA request.  Go figure…..

 

 

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Afghanistan Murders–Up close & personal


 

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Noorzai Children

The murders of 16 Afghan civilians including at least nine (9) children, allegedly by  U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales from Fort Lewis, Washington became up close and personal for me when I realized that the area in which the murder took place includes one of the few areas of the Earth where my very, very rare Y-Chromosome DNA Haplogroup/Subclade, “G2b,” is concentrated.  The Noorzai Tribe of the Pathan or Pashtun people is located right in the area of the Panjwai region of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan where the murders took place.

The science behind DNA groups evolves every day as more and more people around the world get tested.  The best theories about where G2b people come from is that we are descended from a group of Judeans from Southern Syria who were for the most part, deported by the Romans around 70 C.E., at the end of the Jewish rebellion against Roman rule.  Most of us were probably deported to Sicily, which came under Spanish rule in the 12th Century.  In 1492, my ancestors in Sicily were expelled, forced to convert, or burned at the stake by the Spanish Inquisition.  Those lucky enough to leave had to pay an exit tax (if they could afford it) and not take gold, silver or jewels out of Spain.

Ahmad Shah Durrani aka Ahmad Shah Abdali

The royal line of Afghanistan, founded by Ahmad Shah Durrani (c. 1722–1773), has tested as G2b, as have certain of the tribes of the Pathan/Pashtun people.  These tribes and the descendants of Shah Durrani, say that their ancestor was a son of King Saul of Israel, Afghani and their oral tradition is that they are of the ancient Jewish tribe of Benjamin.  Many of the traditions and laws of these tribes are closer to Jewish Torah than they are to standard Islamic traditions.

My friend Bruce Boguslav in Massachusetts, who looks more like me than my own biological brother, has a family history which says that his ancestors came from the Ukrainian town of Boguslav and that a number of people in his family had the name Wolinsky.  Small world:  There is a John Wolins (former family name Wolinsky) whose earliest known ancestor by conventional geneaology is Yoina Wolinsky, born circa 1760 c.e. in Boguslav, Ukraine.  John Wolins and I are 61 out of 67 point matches on our Y-Chromosome for genetic mutation markers (pretty damn close).

Now here’s the real clincher.  Just as the Afghan royalty and various Pathan/Pashtun tribes say that they are descended from the Jewish tribe of Benjamin, so does the oral tradition of Bruce Boguslav’s family!  Who’d a thunk it???

So, as I ponder the insanity of these killings it’s not some sort of abstraction that happened to faceless people in a faraway part of the world.  Some of the people who were killed may very well have been my relatives.

 

 

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Loose Talk of War


 

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu & President Obama

The reasons for President Obama’s cautioning of the parties to Mideast conflict and American politicians to refrain from “loose talk of war” ought to be intuitively obvious, but unfortunately most people have not taken university level courses in foreign policy or international relations and this isn’t the kind of subject the average person will really understand in the absence of serious study.  The average person has never subscribed to media like Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, or International Security (I used to subscribe to all three, which are respectively the left, middle, and right on international relations [I.R.], but any important opinions of any perspective in I.R. winds up making the rounds of all three of those magazines in due course anyway, so now I only read Foreign Policy which is published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace).

A national leader who wants to negotiate differences with an adversary nation cannot box the adversary into a corner where its leaders will appear to be humiliated or even bullied.  Nobody is going to risk losing face in international relations unless overwhelming destructive force is imminent.  Just look at the Japanese response to two Atomic bombings:  even then the Japanese still needed the concession from the United States that their emperor would technically retain his throne even though he’d be stripped of all real power.

Look at the issue of Iranian nuclear power development from the point of view of the hardliners who run the national political structure in that country.  They likely view themselves as surrounded by hostile American forces — just as Saddam Hussein probably felt before the invasion of Iraq.

If you really want to negotiate as opposed to go to war to achieve your foreign policy aims, most of your negotiating will be out of the public spotlight.  There is less chance of risking public loss of face by any side in negotiations which is a non-starter because of the public perception in the nation that appears to have backed down.  Publicly humiliating a reformist leader can have disastrous effects as evidenced by United States treatment of relations with the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev.  His attempts to reform the Stalinist system collapsed when he appeared weak when dealing with the United States and he was thrown out of office by far more intransigent hard liners.   The Cold War was thus exacerbated and prolonged far longer than necessary.

Just days ago, the world woke up to the announcement of a new accord resulting from secret negotiations in North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons program.  Nobody was humiliated and it has achieved American foreign policy goals without bloodshed.  Had there been “loose talk of war” with North Korea while these negotiations were going on, the negotiations would probably not have been successful, let alone that they might have been abruptly and prematurely broken off.

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Mr Roger’s Elementary School


 

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In the wake of the arrest of 53 year old 5th grade teacher Roger Wayne Talley, it is likely that the Chino Valley Unified School District board of education and administration will be patting each other on the back and telling the public that they were vigilant in keeping children safe.  But the back story of the last two years of a grandmother’s efforts to keep her granddaughter and other girls safe at Walnut Elementary School will prove to be less than complimentary to the school district from the board on down.

According to my source, she had gone all the way to the school board to complain over the past two years after her granddaughter and other girls had been discussing their fear of their teacher and describing obviously inappropriate behavior.  What did the school do:  the powers that be threatened the children with disciplinary action if they kept spreading “rumors” about teacher Roger Wayne Talley!

What did the Board of Education do?  Apparently nothing as this situation has been festering for the past two years while the administration at Walnut Elementary intimidated the children who were complaining into silence.

This is just the beginning.  In the near future we’ll be naming names, titles, and the misconduct of those who effectively covered up this “WalnutGate” scandal which has now exploded so publicly.  While I’ve got your attention, ponder this little tidbit:  with national attention to the issue of sex offenders and human traffickers, it turns out that California exempts convicted pimps and panderers from the requirement of Section 290 of the Penal Code that otherwise requires sex offenders to register with the authorities, unless they pimped out minors.  So you have to register if you victimize a 17 year old, but if you wait until she’s 18, you won’t be tracked as a matter of law.  That’s got to change.

For more information on the Roger Wayne Talley case, check out the ABC News story:

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/inland_empire&id=8564624

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I’m almost speechless.  Over the last couple of days and today, I’ve had nearly 1,000 hits on my last blog (Opening the Skeleton’s Closet).  This blog and my website has also achieved something I never imagined was possible:  #1 on Google, #1 on Yahoo, #1 on MSN.  Yesterday, I had risen steadily on MSN from #5 to #1, but I was still ranked below #30 on Yahoo and hadn’t broken through the Google ranking of “not in the top 8″ for months.  I checked this morning and this is what the cut and paste looks like for my ranking statistics…..way too cool…..groovy…..and when you’re hot, YOU’RE HOT!

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