Sunday, August 26, 2007

God's Warriors

Go Christiane Amanpour and CNN!

I've always enjoyed her shows, but she really outdid herself with this one.

She's a true investigative journalist and her latest show, God's Warriors is a good example of this. It should be shown to all Journalism students as an example of the best in investigative reporting.

In my opinion, doing this particular show, produced in three parts, God's Warriors Jewish, Muslim and Christian, showed courage, and a passion for the truth.

A quick browse of news groups, and you'll find intense and heated debate on the first of her series, God's Warriors: Jewish terrorists and extremists!

Not a real surprise since this particular group of terrorists and extremists has been flying under the radar and has not received much media attention up until now. In fact, anyone who has brought up this issue in the past has been victimized by malicious smear campaigns, rumors, and false charges of antisemitism.

So, of course, it stands to reason that Ms. Amanpour is now being accused of the same thing.

Newsgroup postings, articles, blogs, etc. are accusing her of hating Israel, being antisemitic, misrepresentating Jews, etc. etc.

The main "complaints" seem to be:

1. She has placed Jewish terrorists and extremists on the same plain as Arab and Christian terrorists and extremists.

Why should they be on a different plain? A terrorist is a terrorist, Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. They differ in ideology only.

2. There are very few Jewish terrorists as compared to Arab and Christian ones.

Since there are fewer Jews, that stands to reason, so what?

3. Well, at least they admit that Jewish terrorists and extremists exist, barely, but the claim is made that it's just a few individuals and there is no organized structure.

Not according to Israel which lists Kahane Chai, previously known as Jewish Defense League, as a terrorist organization. The US, Canada and European Union have now (after 9/11) added Kahane Chai to their list of Terrorist organizations as well.

So, according to these individuals, Ms Amanpour, a credible, well-respected, experienced journalist, recognized internationally, is a liar, and their attempts to do damage control by putting their "spin" on the story is God-given truth. The actual facts are incidental.

Well, frankly, given the option, I will chose to believe an independent and respected journalist like Ms Amanpour before getting sucked in to the inflammatory and sometimes libelous "opinions" of these individuals who are supposedly not organized or representing any special interest, just "ordinary Jews" expressing their "love for Israel".

I saw the show, there was no bias, no hatred of Israel, no antisemitism, no misrepresentation of Jews or exaggeration of the facts. It was objective, investigative journalism at it's best.

Now, if these people really loved Israel, then why don't they respect Israeli law and policy, never mind International Law.

After all, it was Israel that declared Kahane Chai a terrorist and extremist organization shortly after the assassination of Yitzak Rabin in the 1990s. Rabin negotiated a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians, one which was supported by the Israeli government, but one which Kahane Chai disagreed with. This settlement included withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza.

So, their solution to disagreement on policy with Israel is to commit murder and break the law. Sounds like terrorism to me!

So much for their "love of Israel". I guess their "love of Israel" doesn't include any respect for Israeli Law or Israeli Government Policy.

In fact, their "love for Israel" always seems to surface when it suits their particular extremist agenda, and they can use it to terrorize, smear, slander and abuse anyone who disagrees with that agenda by accusing their opposition of ... guess what ... hating Israel, being antisemitic, misrepresenting Jews, etc. etc.

This has been a pretty consistent strategy applied by those elements for years and has been pretty effective.

Ms Amanpour's documentary exposed that particular terrorist strategy for what it is, an attempt to bully and manipulate people, governments, media, etc. into silence, towing their extremist line, or turning a blind eye to existing policy that doesn't suit their extremist agenda. If that doesn't work, terrorism in the form of murder, mayhem, and lies are considered acceptable options.

Ouch! That's got to hurt. Once people know what the strategy is, that it is a strategy, and that the aim of that strategy is to further a terrorist and extremist agenda, they're less likely to be manipulated so easily.

One of the most striking differences I've noticed between how the different communities handle the problem of terrorists and extremists in their midst is that in the Christian, Sikh and Muslim communities, terrorist and extremist elements are recognized for what and who they are. The moderates in those communities come forward to provide leadership to their communities and to organize against and oppose the extremist and terrorist elements.

I know for a fact that there are large numbers of Jews who oppose this minority of terrorist and extremist elements in their midst, want a geniune peace in the Middle East, are not pushing an extremist agenda based on some questionable biblical prophecy, and do not hate Muslims. I know this because I have contact with the Jewish community, amongst my friends and family.

Why aren't these moderates in the Jewish community coming forward, providing leadership to their community, and openly condemning the terrorist and extremist elements in their midst.

Other communities have done this.

Israel has done this.

Why hasn't the Jewish community in the Western World done this?

Perhaps now they will ... We can only hope.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rock and Roll Heaven

"If You Believe In Forever, And Life Is Just A One Night Stand, If There's A Rock And Roll Heaven, Well You Know They've Got A Hell Of A Band."
--Righteous Brothers

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Elvis Presley - 30th Anniversary Of His Death

August 16, 1977 was a sad day for those of us who loved Elvis.

On August 17, 1977, I was pregnant with my first child. I came home from work, put my feet up and watched the news of his death. Crying, because a golden era in Rock and Roll had ended and a legend. the King of Rock and Roll had died.

I was a big fan of his from the time I was 8 and my older brother started listening to Rock and Roll and dancing on Club 6 (BC's version of American Bandstand).

Elvis was my first teenybopper crush :).

Aside from the fact that Elvis was the most gorgeous man on the planet, he produced songs and music, and had an energy, that rocked your soul.

My fan loyalty was for more than just his music, which was great. I also loved him for his down to earth, grass roots personality.

He was real, not perfect, not just an icon, and wasn't afraid to share that with his fans.

His 68 Comeback Special was the best example of that. You could see that he loved that closeness with his fans, they were people to him, not just a "market share" and a source of income.

Elvis had a passion for what he did, a vision, and a desire to share that love, that passion, that vision with the world.

It was the combination of an amazing natural talent and that passion that won him the hearts of millions of people around the world yesterday and today.

In his personal life, he was a kind and generous man. He felt a responsibility to give back to a world that had been generous to him.

He was one of the greats of our time and he lives! In our hearts.

Official Elvis website

Elvis Presley - A Life Too Short, But A Life Well Lived.

Elvis's 68 Comeback Special. IMHO, one of his best performances. This is the first of 12 videos available on YouTube. Click here to go to YouTube and watch Videos 2 to 12.

Elvis Presley-Rare Interview 1970. Includes Unchained Melody 1977, one of my favorite love songs. Sung during one of his last performances, 6 weeks before he died.

In The Ghetto. Not the most well known of his songs, but one of my favorites.

My Way. The Studio Version. A Life Well Lived.