Friday, January 30, 2015

The United States Of Koch, And Why It's Wrong For America

Recently the infamous Koch Brothers held their annual " Who Wants To Be President," convention in Palm Springs, California. It's  a gathering of the  who's who of Millionaires and Billionaires in America. The primary focus of the conference is to decide who will be the Koch Brothers' " puppet on a string" for the  upcoming 2016 Presidential race. ABC's Jonathan Karl moderated the discussion between the prospective presidential hopefuls.

The overall narrative of the event is to schmooze the Koch Brothers for their money. 

This activity is not how our democracy should work. This activity is how our democracy has been corrupted.  It's well  known that the Koch's have a political infrastructure across the United States that buys politicians and uses this leverage to manipulate public policy. It was reported in the New York Times that the Koch's will be spending more money on the 2016 election than both parties  [See Article] What's sad is that many who follow politics will not be shocked by this information.


What Would Our Founding Fathers Think About The Koch Brothers?

Read Jefferson To Kercheval Here

Jefferson To Kercheval
Source: Library of Congress

  

"Those seeking profits where they are given total freedom will not be the ones to trust to keep the government pure and our rights secure." [Thomas Jefferson]
There is a long history in America of those seeking to amass vast fortunes as being the source of corruption in our governance.  One must take into account the year this correspondence was written.  In 1816 England, there was no such thing as a middle class. You had a minuscule percentage who were rich and a large group of working people that constituted the working poor. Yes, there were a few people who were doctors, lawyers, and shop owners that made up a minor middle class, but for the most part in England you had no middle-class influence whatsoever. Sounds like America today?

One of Jefferson's main points in this letter was that by keeping the people undereducated and poor, it abated them from calling their oppressive oligarchy government into account for these inequalities. We see this taking shape in America today. In the Republican Party and its Tea-Party and Libertarian factions, there is a "go fend for yourselves" attitude. Jefferson made reference to the abusive state of man against man, and we see this being played out daily in our news feed.  To the point, Jefferson and the rest of the founding fathers would be turning over in their graves. The modern-day Republicans, the ones with any intellect, are still misguided and follow the flawed philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.[See Source] In Jefferson's 
letter to Kercheval, he [Jefferson] was explicit in his disagreement with Hobbes. 
 

Thomas Jefferson To James Madison 1785 Letter Concerning Equality In America [See Letter]

Thomas Jefferson
"Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point and to tax the higher portions of the property in geometrical progression as they rise. " 





 One of Jefferson's main points even back in 1826 in a letter to William B Giles was that America was already moving towards an Aristocracy.

Jefferson, an old man at the time, pointed out that some in the John Adams wing [Federalist] looked to a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy, founded upon banking, corporations, under the guise and cloak of their favorite branches of manufacturing, commerce, and navigation. The modern-day examples would be the oil barons, defense industry, and Wall Street, riding and ruling over the plundered plowman and the everyday people of this nation. If the overgrown wealth of an individual, for example Father Koch,  who helped start the John Birch Society, is to be deemed dangerous to the state, is the best corrective measure  the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree? An inheritance tax.

The United States of Koch, And Why Is It Wrong For America?

 Everyone has heard of the Koch Brothers, even a casual observer of politics, right? Wrong! A George Washington University poll conducted in 2014 found that 52% of likely voters have never heard of the Koch Brothers. [See Source] This fact does not surprise this writer. 70% of the American people don't take part in the political process so keeping up with politics is not the order of the day for most Americans.  What is upsetting is that these people haven't a clue how these two brothers have a daily impact on their lives. The Koch Brothers have more wealth [100 Billion combined] than the bottom 40% of Americans put together. What is now Koch Industries Inc, began as Wood River Oil and Refining Co in 1940. Based in Wichita, Kansas, Koch Industries is one of the largest corporations in America. They have many subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading, and investments. The Brothers own 84% percent of Koch Industries, a massive company and conglomerate with investments in oil, fertilizer, electronics components, and even toilet paper. The firm employs over 50k people in the U.S. and 100k worldwide.[See Source]

See: How you support the Koch Brothers (even if you don’t know it)

So the next time you go to the bathroom to do your business you very well could be wiping your butt with the Koch Brothers. Many questions come to this writer's mind concerning the Koch Brothers. Why don't they just go on making their billions? Why do they feel the need to inject themselves into our government at such an overwhelming level? Is it the power? Do they feel with this wealth they have accumulated they have the right to lord it over us mere minions of society? Most people involved in politics know the importance of Television ads during an election cycle. Even though there is some debate on the topic, many Americans base their choice on a candidate by these ads. An example of this would be Jesse Ventura, ex-wrestler who won the Minnesota Governor's race based mainly on his award-winning Televisions ads. Undoubtedly, Television ads play a significant role in a political election. 

Low and Behold, Here Comes Citizen United!

The Supreme Court decision in 2010 to allow unfettered amounts of dark money into our political process has enabled the Koch Brothers to be like a " kid in a candy store." It has allowed the Koch's and other Billionaires like them to set up they're own political mechanism separate from the political parties. They [Koch Brothers] started providing massive sums of money directly to a candidate of their choice and creating their media campaigns  to sway public opinion toward their views. In the 2014 election cycle, " Americans For Prosperity," a Koch Brothers political front group, aired more than 17,000 broadcast TV ads, compared with only 2,100 aired by Republican Party groups. What this reveals to us is the overall influence these brothers had in the 2014 Mid-Term Election. Under Citizens United, the Koch Brothers, Super-Pacs, and Corporations can lie because they are not held to any standard. They can bold-faced lie on a Television Ad without any recompense.

Scott Walker Gov.(R-WI)

Even though most Americans disapprove of the Citizens United decision, our elected politicians refuse to overturn it with legislation. If we are going to have this unlimited amount of money allowed into the political process it's the position of the House of Public Discourse, we must have full disclosure. We[The House] suggest this should be the responsibility of the person running for public office. We The People need to know just whose hip-pocket these candidates are in. In jest, we need these candidates walking around in NASCAR suits wearing the logos of just who is sponsoring their campaigns. 




However, the way the system of things is set up now the Koch Brothers can spend millions to billions on a political election. They don't  have to be honest or accurate; they can just simply spatter the right-wing media echo chamber with untruthful propaganda. We have the " Roberts Court" to thank for this most unhealthy addition to our political process.





Sunday, January 25, 2015

To The Christian Right, Nelson Mandela Was A Terrorist

Nelson Mandela's life was an example for all of us to follow. The entire world  mourned  his death, we rejoice in his spirit and may it give us all renewed strength never to give up. These were my feelings back in Dec 6, 2013 during the time of his passing and are the feelings I share to this very day. America, we have a far-reaching problem Religious Extremism in any form is self-destructive, unproductive, and dangerous.


To many in America, Nelson Mandela was a terrorist. As we have learned, the Radical Right, Christian Zealots and Dominionist are on a political/theocracy witch hunt to this very day as they were throughout Nelson Mandela life.

American Right Wingers and Christian Zealots labeled Mandela, a terrorist.

The History

The African National Conference [ANC] relationship with the U.S. has been a complicated one. The U.S. has not always supported the efforts of the ANC to gain their freedom from oppression. There were many conservative groups and Christian right groups that had strong lobbies in Washington, D.C. while in the 1980’s who urged Congress, not to give any aid to the anti-apartheid cause.

The George W. Bush administration removed  Mandela from the terrorist watch list imposed by Reagan just prior to Mandela receiving the Nobel Peace Prize on his 90th birthday in 2008. Even so, some Republicans supported the Mandela movement — 21 Republican senators voted to sustain the Reagan veto.[See Article



Despite a growing international movement to topple apartheid in the 1980’s, President Ronald Reagan maintained a close alliance with South African government that was showing no signs of serious reform. And the Reagan administration demonized opponents of apartheid, most notably the African National Congress, as dangerous and pro-communist. Reagan’s bill to impose sanctions on South Africa was overruled by Congress.[See Source] One could argue that this issue along with abortion [social problems] was the genesis of the modern-day influence of the “Christian Right ‘ in the political mix. However,  the man we know as Nelson Mandela confounds the passage of time, and his legacy will endure in the hearts of all the people of the world. Where there is such a parallel is the close resemblance of the tactics used by the South African apartheid government and that of the “Jim Crow” southern states. What raises this writer’s eyebrows is the trend in those same southern states to regress back to the “Jim Crow” era.

Rev. Jerry Falwell
Republican VP Dick Cheney labeled the ANC as a “terrorist organization.”  The Christian right front  has been vocal in opposition to Nelson Mandela and his ANC group directing the flock to write their congressman and senators to oppose sanctions against the apartheid South African government. Notably, Christian right patriarch Jerry Falwell commented:

"South Africa is torn by civil unrest, instigated primarily by Communist-sponsored people who are capitalizing on the many legitimate grievances created by apartheid, unemployment and policy confrontations."
Pat Robertson
In 1986, the 700 Club did a series of reports on South Africa and the white government’s struggle against the African National Congress. While many socially liberal religious leaders decried the apartheid regime, Robertson openly supported it because he felt that it was a bastion against communism. For Robertson, everything else was secondary to defeating what he saw as the enemies of God. Robertson sent a copy of The 700 Club program to Freedom Council’s Dick Thompson to have it forwarded to Pat Buchanan, who in turn promised to show it to the president. Reagan’s attitude toward South Africa was one of his most controversial foreign policy stands, and Robertson was one of Reagan’s few allies on the policy.

Those same forces that have been at work since the influx of the “George Wallace Democrats” over civil rights legislation and now the evangelicals spurred on by the Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson 700 Club, and others all who deemed this very much-loved “soldier of love” man a communist terrorist are the same identities of today who have done nothing but obstruct and demonize President Obama. The same ones that called Martin Luther King, Jr. a Communist, home-grown terrorist, and urged Hoover to put him under FBI surveillance.

The George Wallace Crowd Are " Alive  & Well"






Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Religious Right Dreams Of Turning America Into A Christian Nation.

Claire Conner
This does NOT mean keeping “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” in our money. Turning America into a Christian nation is a sinister, dangerous effort to make America into a theocracy governed by strict biblical law.
The religious right has been building a base of support for this concept of theocracy since the 1970s when Francis Schaeffer activated the evangelical right to take up the cause of Christianizing the United States. Day after day, some right-wing politician claims direct, personal communication with God. Today it's Mike Huckabee. .
Huckabee is part of, or at least sympathetic to, the Dominionist movement-a subset of evangelical theology that envisions an America ruled by Christians and governed by biblical law.
Dominionism was founded by and promulgated by Rousas John Rushdoony. This stern, rigid theocrat, who lead the Christian Reconstructionist
Movement, had a close personal friendship with Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society.
Rushdoony said that he admired the John Birch Society but never became a member.
“Welch always saw things in terms of conspiracy,” Rushdoony explained, “and I always see things in terms of sin. ”
In my book, Wrapped in the Flag, I write about Rushdoony. Here’s a snippet from Chapter 16, “Carrying the Cross.”
Rousas John Rushdoony
In his magnum opus, Institutes of Biblical Law,’ published in 1973, Rushdoony described the Old Testament laws that would be the backbone of the new justice system in a Christian America, along with the punishments he envisioned for those who broke them. Criminals would be burned at the stake, hanged and stoned, depending on their sins. The folks facing such punishment included gays, blasphemers, unchaste women, and incorrigible juvenile delinquents. Of course, doctors providing abortions and their patients would also be executed.
John Rushdoony understood that it would take time and hard work to bring his vision for America to fruition. He saw HOME SCHOOLING as the way to “train up a generation of people who know that this is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government.

"It was Rushdoony who first urged Christians to take “dominion over the land as the Bible commanded them to do.”

Ron Paul
Ron Paul, the former Congressman from Texas and a John Birch Society favorite, ripped a page from Rushdoony’s playbook and published his own home school curriculum. To get things rolling, he hired Gary North to write and market the program.
Gary North, the son-in-law of Rushdoony, sounds just like his father-in-law when he talks about schooling. “So let us be blunt about it,” says Gary North. “We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government.
Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”
When you read about Ron Paul’s home school curriculum and trace its ideas back to Rushdoony, you’ll understand why Ron Paul is such a dangerous man.
When you hear the term “Dominionists,” know that these are NOT just Christians; these people intend to turn the US into a replay of the Spanish Inquisition, this time run by radical evangelicals.
This fusion of radical right wing politics and radical right wing religion has been fueled by Robert Welch, John Rushdoony, Gary North, and Ron Paul along with a cadre of radical right-wing evangelicals.
I’m terrified by these zealots. They are the most dangerous kind. They believe they are chosen by God to bring America under the boot of the Old Testament.



Claire Conner Spells It Out With A Front Row Seat  in her book ''Wrapped In The Flag.''








Monday, January 12, 2015

Whatever Happened To Liberty And Justice For All?

FDR
While recently listening to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's [FDR] " Four Freedoms" speech, a glaring question popped out at this writer. Whatever happened to liberty and justice for all and was it ever a reality in America? One thing is a certainty.... justice for all is nothing but a catch phrase in America today. It does not exist. We have seen an ever increasing cornucopia of  institutional and social injustices manifested over the last decade in America. We have seen Barry Bonds inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame while on trial for illegal steroid usage.  The out of control banking industry has levied egregious banking fees on helpless consumers. The American Healthcare industry has raked the American people over the coals with. " five times the inflation rate pricing while practicing fraudulent  business methods like billing dead patients just to name one. Wall Street has become a den of thieves betting against their customers.  In 2001, the Patriot Act was enacted and has been turning citizens into suspects ever since. There have been proven cases of U.S. Bishops protecting pedophile priests. And of course we can't fail to mention  the day in, day out civil injustice in the American Criminal Justice System, which has recently been highlighted in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.

The Speech


 

The Never Ending Fight For FDR's Four Freedoms!

It was 74 years ago that FDR made this famous speech and America today is still fighting for its narrative, a free and equal society for all. In this speech, FDR proposed four freedoms. Not only did FDR command these freedoms for all Americans but also every person in the world. FDR's speech was made just prior to the U.S. entering  World War II. The four freedoms were the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to worship or not to worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear.  The speech was hugely popular with the American people with many of the speeches' key components being a guidepost for many post-World War II countries redevelopment.[See Article]

With the help from what many call America's " greatest generation,"  this statement caused a reshaping of the fundamentals of American society. During this period, America became equal and more democratic. What has happened since the time of FDR in America is unconscionable. With the onslaught of Reaganomics in 1980's to our present time, these basic tenets of freedom for the everyday Joe and Mary in America have all but been wiped out. The equality in America is in shambles and the rising gap between the haves and have-nots is staggering.

How Do We Invigorate The Quest For FDR's, " Four-Freedoms?"



The paramount motivation for FDR delivering this speech in his State of the Union address was that Europe at the time was being overrun by the Germans and East Asia was being terrorized by imperial Japan. FDR knew it was inevitable that America was heading for conflict.  It was FDR's view that it was essential for America to begin to prepare for war. However, it was his[FDR] viewpoint that the most important thing for America to do was become an ''arsenal of democracy.''  England, France, and the Eastern Hemisphere who were under siege from what history has shown as one of the most evil empires ever in the world,  Nazi Germany.  President Roosevelt knew well if you were going to prepare for a national defense , you needed security forces for the nation, but, moreover, you needed economic security for the nation as well. FDR had been fighting for years on the economic  front with labor and others in the New Deal. This address was needed to rally these associations once again. FDR had to hone the American people in on his vision that he had been striving for, for eight years, and that was the " Four Freedoms." Our research into this matter revealed that one of the FDR major beliefs was that all Americans aspired for these freedoms and knew they were a galvanizing force to bring the country to a sense of oneness and purpose.

Freedom From Want

In addressing what FDR was touching on in his ' freedom from want' segment within the speech, one might need an understanding of the term " General Welfare.Clause."

General Welfare Clause Explained



As we know, FDR succumbed from his Polio disease before seeing these aspirations fulfilled, and the reason was well documented.  The Republican Congress and the  newly elected President Harry S Truman, who proved to be ineffective, were left to deal with them. The freedom from want aspect from this speech struck fear into the hearts of conservative Republicans. They [Republicans] imagined that FDR goals would be to take Social Security that he enacted in 1935 and build upon  it to the point that the program would include National Health Care. Moreover, in 1944 when FDR came back to Congress in another State of the Union address, he intended to put real practical meaning  to the program by laying out rights for Americans that would have included guarantees like  a job, healthcare, housing, food and shelter, and clothing. Behind the scenes, we learned that FDR was not hopeful these guarantees [wants], would be enacted.  He felt the Conservative Coalition of the day,  North Republicans and the Southern Dixiecrats would block it. But Roosevelt knew the American people wanted  a Social Democratic America.

The writer of the " Pledge of Allegiance" was a Socialist

Francis Bellamy
  1. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth's Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.[See Source]
  2. FDR was a very thorough person, and he had surveys conducted by various agencies. These investigations found 85% of Americans wanted National Healthcare and the other aforementioned desires which in practice functioned as an Economic Bill of Rights for the American citizens. 
  3. FDR was a visionary and a man of his time and in addition to the socialist GI Bill [Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944] FDR advocated, as now President Obama has,  that all American citizens should have the right to a free college education. 
  4. The Voice of America President Obama on Free Community College for all.


What we have in our present time is a post-educational system that has caused nothing but over-the-top debt for America's college students. There is no question that if FDR's vision could have come to pass it would have transformed America,  and leaves its supporters asking the question: what if, and why not? Just like in FDR's time and today as well,  a super-majority of Americans wanted socialized medicine and education and did not get it.   So why is this not a reality in America? Sweden provides its citizens with free health care and a college education. Denmark does this. Norway does this. Germany does this. France does this. Free health care and college were an American idea from arguably one of the greatest presidents this nation has ever seen and yet we do not offer these fundamental freedoms to our citizenry. In this writer's mind it's an outrage and should be something for which every American citizen should be fighting and advocating. 
Ronald Reagan

Unfortunately, what we have seen since Reagan has been an all out attack on Democratic and Social Rights in this country.  All the work and aspirations of the post-World War II generations' quest to bring about the vision of FDR's " Four Freedoms," done in the 40's, 50's, and 60's,   such as reforms in immigration, Medicare, and Medicaid, civil rights and right to vote laws, and environmental protection;  all being dismantled by the 1% stuffed shirts of the GOP.  It has reached a point in this writer's view that the true " Patriotic Duty," of every American should be to protect these rights from the radical-right, Tea Party, and Libertarian factions operating within today's Republican Party.



Is Liberty And Justice For All An American Pipe-Dream? 

One could argue that to imagine an America where all citizens are equal with the same protections and benefits a cohesive society should demand, is a dream long gone. We here at the House of Public Discourse believe it's paramount to remind ourselves of the founding principles of this nation. One of the common themes for this nation should be that this is our land, this is your land, and this is my land from the sea to shining sea. We The People are in this together should be the everyday focus of every single individual in this country no matter their race or any other mitigating factors. Moreover, the reason we have Democratic institutions and the reason we have a government, is to provide for the health and happiness of We The People.  The " General Welfare Clause" was based on these principles. According to the Declaration of Independence, when the government fails to provide for the " General Welfare" of its citizens it's that said government's duty and obligation to correct it or be overthrown by We The People. The founding documents of America are crystal clear. They reveal to us that the purpose of government is to do something good for everyone in our country and not just a privileged few. Our government was not founded on a principle for us but not them mentality. It is to represent We The People not We The Few. In addition, our government was designed to be  a help to us not a hindrance. 

The Declaration Of The Ages




74 years ago, FDR came out and said in his " Four Freedoms," State of the Union address:

"As men do not live by bread alone they do not fight by armaments alone. Those, who man our defenses and build our defenses, have the stamina and courage which come from the unshakable belief in the manner of life they are defending."  
What FDR is saying here is we are not just fighting Hitler, we are not just fighting against an evil empire, we are fighting for something. What does our nation stand for? Once again, this questions leads us right back to our nation's founding first principles of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Happiness? The United States of America's Declaration of Independence was the first time any governmental document in the history of the world had a provision for its citizens to be happy. FDR continued:

" The mighty action that we are calling for is not based on a disregard for all the things worth fighting for, the nation takes great satisfaction and much strength from the things that have been done to make its people conscious of their individual stake in their observation of Democratic life in America. Those things have toughened the fiber of our population, renewed our faith and strength to their devotion to our institutions we make ready to protect." 
It's important to understand that when FDR made this speech we were in the middle of World War II. Certainly this was not the time for any American to stop thinking about the social and economic problems that were the cause of  the Social Revolution which was a supreme factor of the world at that time as it is in our present time.  Our research has found that FDR wanted to drive home the message that the fundamental things expected by the American people were. " Life, Liberty, Justice, and Happiness for All." This narrative is what President Obama should be covering with the American people in his upcoming State of the Union address. When you wade through all the political rhetoric of today,  what the American people want is very straightforward: Life, Liberty, Justice, and a fair shot at having happiness. What the American people are screaming for is an equal opportunity no matter the circumstance you were born into. Jobs for those who can work that pay a wage that correlates with the cost of living in an area would be a great place to start.  Why have the Republicans blocked the Obama administration on creating government jobs to rebuild our nation's crumbling infrastructure? We have seen since Reagan and his government is the evil mantra;  cut our children's education, lack of funding to maintain our roads and bridges, power grids, sewer systems, environmental protections, and the deregulation of the banking industry and Wall Street.  Like the Rolling Stones song proclaimed , it's enough to " make a grown man cry."

One can only imagine what our country would be like today if FDR's aspirations could have become a reality. But after 35 years of Reaganomics, all one can imagine is that it's too late to believe in an America that works for all. If Capitalism cannot provide enough jobs for We The People, when their sole motivation is a maximization of profits, then having government sponsored jobs for any myriad of General Welfare concerns and needs is not only practical and smart it, makes good common sense.  Since Reagan, we have learned new terms like downsizing, outsourcing; trickle-down economics just to name a few and all WE, The People have gotten in return, is the largest  wealth inequality ever recorded in the annals of history!  It is time for our President to be a leader like FDR and step up to the podium in his upcoming State of the Union Address and demand a passage of a jobs bill that will put Americans to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure and  strengthening our public schools and making two-year college free for all Americans.  Whatever happened to liberty and justice for all?  It was sabotaged by greedy Capitalists and the corrupt politicians who do their bidding.  Citizen United ring a bell?  We as a people can do two things. [1] Do nothing but grin and bear it, or [2] Do something and stand up and fight and demand as our founding fathers did in the Declaration of Independence...demand  our government  change its ways or else be overthrown. So let it be written, so let it be done.




Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict- A Family Affair?

The history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a convenient paradox; it changes esp deviously depending on who's telling it and where they start the story. For this reason, it's important to have a grasp of the history of this ongoing conflict. Part of this paradox is from what perspective you present your case for lack of term. Inevitably there is an Israeli perspective and a Palestinian one. Our position is an American one that proclaims we have had enough of funding this never-ending Middle Eastern family feud.

The Introduction

1880-1914

The Zionist movement was founded in response to the worsening persecution of European Jews
and out of a desire to join the community of modern nation-states that defined Europe.
Thousands of Jews began emigrating to Palestine, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire.[See Source]

What would happen if you created a place of refuge for a persecuted people in a location where another group of people already lived?[See Article] This question is the root of the ongoing struggles, tensions, and death in the area known as " The Holy Land," or Middle East. What an intermediate goal for all humans should be is to work for a just peace in this region that has remained so elusive.[See Article] First, there are a couple of things helpful to understand: [1] many Jews fled persecution in anti-Semitic Europe due to the Nazi holocaust. [2] The Zionists were encouraged to emigrate to historic Palestine that at the time was under the control of the British.  [3]There has always been an age-old connection with this region for the Jewish people.    

1918

As a result of World War I, Britain wins control over the area of Palestine from the Ottoman
Empire. The area becomes known as British-mandate Palestine. [A mandate is an authorization
To govern over conquered territory]. From 1918 to 1948, Britain rules over the Jews and Arabs living in this region.[See Source]

There had always been small Jewish communities in historic Palestine among the majority indigenous Palestinian people. What many Americans and others fail to realize  is that there were episodes of violence between the Jews and Palestinians before the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947.

1936

In April, in response to the killing of Sheikh Izz Aldin Al-Qassam by the British, Arab residents of
British Mandate Palestine begin the “Great Arab Revolt,” causing inter-communal violence, and the
seizure of a shipment of illegal arms destined for The Hagana,  or Jewish defense force. The “revolt”
lasts until 1939, when the British, in part to obtain Arab support for the recently erupted war with
Germany, banned most land sales to Jews.

The United Nations Partition Plan in 1947 suggested that there be a partition of the British-mandate Palestine into two separate states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs. Zionists accepted the partition plan for tactical and strategic reasons. Palestinians considered the proposal unrepresentative of the demographic distribution of Jews and Arabs living in Palestine at that time, and so rejected it.[See Source]

This U.N. plan offered the majority of the land to the newly imported Jewish immigrants, which declared itself the state of Israel, and thus the indigenous Palestinians whole system of things was turned upside down. The Palestinians rejected this plan in its entirety. Several Arab states invaded the new state of Israel. After all the fighting, Israel took control of over 78% of historic Palestine. Some 700,000 Palestinians either fled or were expelled. When many of these now refugees tried to return to their homeland, they were permanently barred by the Israeli government, effectively making the Palestinians second-class citizens in their former homeland. 
Refugee Camp
Today these people number in the millions. They have resettled in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Jordan. Palestinians have spread themselves throughout the world with many still living in refugee camps. In summary, one group of refugees found a much-needed home, however, in the process, a new group of refugees was created. 

Here Is The Second Thing To Understand.

Israel was founded as a Jewish State. But ask yourself, what does that mean? People have lots of ideas what a Jewish state should look like. Some called for equality for all citizens. But what was created in practice was institutional discrimination against non-Jews.  In other words, Israel ended up being built on the blueprint of exclusion. The newly formed Israeli government clamored for maximum land and resources for its citizens but not for the Palestinians who lived there. Inside Israel, Jews get special privileges, including rights to land and housing that is denied to Palestinians. Palestinians make up 20% of Israel's current population.  Another issue is that Israel has yet to define its borders. There was the so-called 1949 Armistice lines.

1949 Armistice Agreements




1967-Six-Day War

In what Israelis call the “Six Day War,” Israel conducts a pre-emptive attack against Egypt and gains control over territory formerly controlled by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Israel gains control over
The Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. In six days, Israel roughly triples the size of the territory under its
control. Israel begins establishing settlements in Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, and the West Bank, which right-wing Israelis refer to by the biblical names “Judea and Samaria” and consider the biblical lands of the Jewish people.[See Source]

In response to the war, the UN Security Council passes Resolution 242, which calls for the
“withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict [in official UN
languages other than English the article “the” precedes “territories,” thus implying that Israel has
to return all the conquered territory]; termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect
for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of
every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free
from threats or acts of force.” This resolution, with its formula of “land for peace,” is the basis
of for all subsequent peace negotiations between Israel, Palestinians, and the surrounding Arab
states.


Since that time, Israel has built Jewish only cities  in the occupied West Bank supplying them with infrastructures such as roads, army camps, schools, and even a college. As noted in the aforementioned U.N. Resolution, 242 military occupations are meant to be temporary. But, after 40 plus years this one looks permanent and is entirely unjust. In the West Bank Israeli and Jewish settlers live on the same land but live under two separately and unequal set of laws. The Jewish settlers control the natural resources including water and agricultural land. What is even more disheartening is this policy and behavior is backed by the Israeli army. To maintain the occupation, Israel has demolished thousands upon thousands of Palestinian homes, orchids, and confiscated Palestinian land. They have bombed civilian populations in Gaza and punished resistance with raids, arrest, and assassinations, all to gain maximum land while making life so difficult for Palestinians that they will either leave or be too weak and afraid to fight back.

The Palestinians have fought back. 

For decades they[Palestinians] tried to achieve national liberation through armed struggle. Some groups still do. However, the majority of Palestinians today support traditional protest. The profound and harmful control, repression, and violence has proven to be more detrimental to Palestinians still living under occupation.


Now that you have an understanding of the problem what are the solutions?  

After two decades of U.S. backed peace talks, the situation is worst. The U.S. has helped the Israelis maintain their illegal occupation. We have seen years of talking and in the backdrop,  Israel expand its building and presence in the occupied areas. There has been a redrawing of the map. Peace talks are good if they are real but not when they are fodder to mask a land grab. So now what? The bottom line is the USA has been a terrible friend,  enabling the destructive behavior by funding the Israeli military, which is the biggest recipient of U.S. foreign aid in the world.  


Does Israel Benefit from US Foreign Aid?  




The American Jewish Media Bias.

Like most Americans, I paid very little attention to the bias that is prevalent in today's media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, I knew very little of this issue just five years ago. It's fair to say I was a casual observer of the problem and what I thought I knew was based on what I heard coming from mainstream media. Once again, like most Americans,  I skimmed the headlines on this critical issue. There was an acceptance of the confusion on my part, and I moved on. What is vital to "wrap your head around' is that until 1947, there was no such country we now know as Israel! It did not exist.  The area for many centuries had been home to the Palestinians. So, based on the introduction in this article,  we know where this modern-day conflict comes from. You don't have to go back a thousand years to identify the problem. What goes unnoticed is  that before the mass migration of Jews to the land,  the demographics of the area was 80%  Muslim, 15% Christian and 5% Jewish.

There was a movement that started in the late 1800's in Europe called Political Zionism.  

This movement coined a beautiful shiny slogan, " Land without people, for a people without land." What is so imperative to grasp is that the region was a multi-cultural area and for the most part,  people were living and practiced their religions harmoniously. In a nutshell, Political Zionism advocated that there needed to be a Jewish state somewhere in the world. [See Source]

 The countries of Uganda, Argentina, and even parts of North America were considered, but they eventually settled in Palestine because of the Biblical connection some 2000 years before. Let's take a moment to examine that slogan. On its face,  the slogan sounds beautiful, and most people would endorse its narrative. There is one major fatal flaw. The land was not without people. As previously noted, it was fully inhabited. One of the early Zionists, who ventured to the area wrote back to his family stating:

"I have seen the bride, and she is beautiful, but she is married." 


Sadly, nevertheless the migration began in earnest by Zionists to Palestine to create a Jewish state. As the history has shown throughout the "sands of time," indigenous people do not greet their colonists with open arms. "Cowboy and Indians ring a bell?"  To make matters worst, it was clear from the onset that the Zionists' goal was to dispossess the people who had been living there for thousands of years. As a result, there was the tragic but predictable violence.  Then, as now, many innocent lives were lost.[Collateral Damage] What our research has found is that the vast majority who died were Muslims and Christians.  


This violence has continued up to this very day.  In retrospect, we here at the House of Public Discourse raise the question:  What was the United Nations thinking when tasked to solve this migration and violence problem after the British passed the buck to them after creating the problem in the first place? This violence between the Palestinians and Jews was more than the British could stand, so they just simply handed the issue to the U.N. to solve. The United Nations at this point had the option of affirming a bedrock principle of democracy, which was a self-determination of peoples, or they could revert to a medieval version where an entity gives someone else's land away or divides it in half. Sadly for the world and everyone in the region, instead of affirming the right of self-determination of people in which the people choose a course of action,  the U.N. recommended the aforementioned Partition Plan of 1947. The plan suggested that half the area be made a Jewish state and the other half a Palestinian one. The Partition Plan was a coerced plan from an outside agency.[U.N] As with any problem of this magnitude,  there is a strong need for compromise.  In fact, compromise is the reality of the day and what has been lacking in this ongoing conflict.[See Source]

However, when you place this arrangement under a microscope it clearly shows an imbalance towards the Zionists.  A group of people who had been living in the land for centuries got the 'short-end of the stick.' What it boiled down to was that 95% of the population took a backseat to the new colonists. To the House of Public Discourse and to others as well,  this course of action makes no sense. No matter the mitigating factors like the Nazi holocaust or the overall anti-Semitic mindset of Europe;  even with the mass migration of Zionists to the land they still only made up 30% of the total inhabitants of the area. Our research found many factors that brought about this result. One of the most glaring were the Capitalists whose primary subliminal goal to dispossess the people of the region was to buy the land. This effort was funded and can be accurately traced back to the infamous Rothschild family with their massive banking infrastructure. [See Source] This plan was a successful one but even so, the land ownership by Zionists rose a modest 8% total. So no matter how you try to fashion a reasonable explanation for the imbalance and injustice to the Palestinians people in favor of the Zionists, there is not one to be found in the facts.

The fact of the matter is that a much smaller group who now owned just 8% of the land were given what most historians agree to be  55% of the total land mass. As  history has shown,  the more inequitable and unjust the situation has become over the years, the more violent the region has become.[Why Is Israel Putting Boots On The Ground In Gaza Now?]  Rather than the U.N. solution leading to more peace, these outside agencies[USA]  have created more violence. This political settlement led to war in 1947 and after the results, some 800,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homeland by the victorious Zionists. What went unreported in the American media were the massacres levied by the Zionists on these now refugees. What went unreported in the America media were the harsh and inhumane conditions  this political arrangement brought to the Palestinian people. Our research found many of these atrocities occurred even before Israel declared its independence. So the narrative played out in the American media of five Arab countries besieging this little helpless country now known as Isreal is inaccurate, disingenuous, and is a prime example of the definition of propaganda. What went virtually unreported in the American media was the ethnic cleansing going on inside Israel before the first Arab nation attacked.[The Nakba, 65 Years of Dispossession and Apartheid]


Is It Not Ironic That The Jews Did To The Palestinians What The Nazi's Did To Them?


According to International law,  and morality, in this writer's view,  these refugees  have the right to return to their homeland. But Israel did not allow them to then, just like now. This Israeli position is the critical factor in the present day situational  affairs concerning the Middle-East conflict.

This truth is something the American media did not cover back then and very rarely to the point of never talks about today. But it is the position of the House of Public Discourse that this is significant in the overall dynamics of this conflict. There is this complete misconception that it has been Israel defending itself from Palestinian attacks. Other than in 1947, the Israelis have been the aggressors as was the case in the beforehand mentioned " Six-Day War in 1967." To this day the Israelis have failed to return the West Bank, and have blockaded the Gaza Strip.[See Article] Israel’s settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is an illegal one.[See Article]  During this 1967 period, Israeli force even attacked  a US Navy ship operating in international waters. 34 American sailors were killed. 

In 1967 Israeli Jets Attacked the USS Liberty, Survivors Want Investigation





Admiral Thomas Moore

According to then Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Thomas Moore, this was an act of war on the United States by Israel;   moreover, an act of murder against American servicemen. Admiral Moore testified in 2003 on Capitol  Hill a  highly significant testimony not reported in the America media. Other than just a few newspapers, this hearing and subsequent evidence went unreported in the mainstream media. 






Taking Land By Conquest Is No Longer Legal Under International Law

The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of it own civilian population into the territory it occupies.[See Source]

There is no doubt whatsoever that Israel is guilty of this practice. What hardens this writer is that America has been a willing enabler of this international illegal action by the Israelis  by both political parties in the past and the present  That is exactly what Israel has been doing since 1967.  In Gaza, there has been the removal of these illegal settlements. However, Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli government to the point many experts refer to it as a prison. Israel controls the borders and air space and the importing and exporting of goods and services.  The Gaza Strip is just one big prison. Gaza has no Global Independence.[See Source]  The West Bank is a different story. While the settlements in Gaza were being removed, they were on the increase in the West Bank. This occurrence has not been covered by the American media. 

There is a lot of context to know that our news media in America are not telling us  the facts regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As I began my research into this subject matter, it was quite frankly all new to me. Like many Americans, I did not know the history or the actions going on in the present. As our research staff here at the House of Public Discourse began to dig into this complex and important issue of our modern times, it occurred to us how significant this media bias towards Israel is and how this lack of under-reporting and often times no reporting has skewed the American people to the side of the Israelis.  

What is so clear and based on what we have learned, it appears our national interest and needs as a nation were the opposite of what we were being told, and our moral responsibility as human beings were the opposite of what the mainstream media would have us to believe. It seems so important that with all the misinformation being propagated in the news media we felt a duty to report this to our readers.




The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict- A Family Affair? 

In closing, what is never mentioned or alluded to in the American media  is the Israeli and Palestinian people are a family. No matter if you take a Biblical perspective or a scientific one. 

The Biblical Perspective

Abraham's life left a legacy in many different ways, but have you ever stopped to consider the legacy of his Y chromosome?




The Scientific Perspective

Jews and Arabs are 'genetic brothers.'

According to a BBC News -SCI-TECH, report Jews and Arabs may have their differences but they share a common genetic code that reaches back thousands of years.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that Jewish men shared a common set of genetic signatures with non-Jews from the Middle East, including Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese.[See Source]

Dr Mark Jobling of Leicester University, UK, 

"The kind of DNA we have used to analyze this question is the human Y chromosome. This represents only 2% of our genetic material and it is passed down from father to son."







"This makes it particularly interesting to use in the study of Jewish populations because Jewishness is passed down from the mother to children - it is maternally inherited. So using a paternally inherited piece of DNA gives us an excellent opportunity to see the signal of mixture with other populations if this has occurred."
"The fact that we don't see it suggests that after the Diaspora these populations actually have managed to maintain their Jewish heritage."

"It seems that in many of these situations where groups are in conflict with each other they are likely to be pretty much genetically indistinguishable, and this factor, to the peoples involved in these conflicts, clearly isn't the point and isn't likely to change their behaviour very much."  

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict In The Practical 

Why US and Israel wants to ban this video...