Category Archives: News

Holocaust denier who attacked Elie Wiesel is now suing 80-year-old woman

Eric Hunt’s attorney in his Elie Wiesel trial called him mentally ill and not a hate monger.

“He’s recovered.” Said attorney John Runfola.  “He’s not a Holocaust denier.”

This non-hate monger, Holocaust believer now filed a lawsuit in Broward Circuit Court against 80-year-old Irene Weisberg Zisblatt claiming that her memoir ‘The Fifth Diamond: The Story of Irene Weisberg Zisblatt” is full of “vicious lies” and “fantastical tales”.

Zisblatt’s memoir recounts her ordeal while in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp during World War II.

Holocaust denier Eric Hunt

Holocaust denier Eric Hunt

Hunt’s claim is that her book turns Jews into haters and torments non-Jews.  Is his implication that Zisblatt and Wiesel have tormented him while simultaneously making Jews hate him?

In Hunt’s libel suit, he is demanding a jury trial and punitive damages of “not less than $60 million.”

Hunt is a convicted felon of a hate crime so it seems shocking if this case ever gets to trial since it obvious that his anti-Semitic views are behind this suit.  It will be up to Circuit Judge Peter Weinstein.

“Zisblatt blatantly stole other Jewish people’s experiences during World War II and passed them off as her own in order to further the Jewish political agenda and profit off of these fantastical tales,” Hunt, who is representing himself without an attorney, wrote in his lawsuit. “The defendants must not go unpunished for tormenting Gentiles and instilling hatred in Jews using such hideous lies.”

In addition to Zisblatt, the defendants include Steven Spielberg (Zisblatt appeared in his 1998 Academy Award winning documentary “The Last Days”),  Gail Ann Webb (Zisblatt’s co-author), Authors & Artists Publishers Inc. of New York and its CEO, Joan Mayor.

Hunt attacks Wiesel

On February 1, 2007, Eric Hunt attacked Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel in an Argent Hotel elevator in San Francisco.

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel

Wiesel was attending an interfaith conference at the time.

Hunt pulled Wiesel from the elevator on the sixth floor.

Hunt, who had pleaded insanity, was convicted on one of the charges – the felony hate crime charge of false imprisonment – and was sentenced to two years.  He was credited with the 18 months already served and good behavior.  He was also ordered to undergo psychological treatment.

Apparently, this didn’t work.

At sentencing, Hunt apologized and said he had suffered a “severe mental breakdown.  I had been sucked into anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on the Internet,” Hunt said in August 2008. “I don’t believe any of that garbage now that I’m taking my medication.”

Maybe he stopped taking his medication.

Hunt had been charged with a total of six felonies.  He was also convicted of two of the other charges – battery and elderly abuse which was cut to misdemeanors after the jury rejected hate crime enhancements for them.

I’m surprised that the jury would reject this as a hate crime especially since the case involved Hunt trying to coerce Wiesel to renounce the Holocaust and Hunt later boasted about the attack on Holocaust denier websites on the internet.

When police had found Hunt after the Wiesel attack, he was at a mental health treatment center in Belle Mead, NJ..  Before the attack, Hunt had also stalked Wiesel in Florida.

Stupid or proud?

Five days after Wiesel was attacked, a man identifying himself as Hunt posted a detailed account of the crime on several anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Web sites. That account matched a description of the attack police provided a few days later. In the online post, Hunt said he cornered Wiesel, the author of more than 40 books based on his Holocaust experiences, to force him into admitting that the Holocaust never occurred.

Frank Hunt, Eric’s father said, “I think he might be mentally ill.  I’m worried about his mental health.”

Mentally ill or a nasty son of a bitch bigot?  You decide.

I guess the endless hours of video and the infinite number of pictures don’t offer enough proof to those intent on hating Jews.  There are so many websites that spew this hatred and what I find amazing is the high number of liberal and well-known websites that permitted hate to be shared in their comment boards.

Here are some pictures – I guess the deniers are calling this photoshop work before there was photoshop.

Holocaust 1

Holocaust 2

Holocaust 3

Holocaust 4

holocaust 5

holocaust 6

Resources

Holocaust denier sues Pembroke Pines survivor and author, 80 – South Florida Sun-Sentinel – 19-OCT-2009

Man, 22, arrested in N.J. in Wiesel attack – San Francisco Chronicle – 17-FEB-2007

Jury convicts man in attack on Elie Wiesel: Defendant guilty of a felony hate crime, two misdemeanors – San Francisco Chronicle  – 22-JUL-2008

Wiesel’s Wispy Whacker Pleads Wacky – SF IST – 29-NOV-2007

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Toxic Chinese Drywall – When is Enough Enough?

Toxic Chinese toys have faded into memory, now used as comedic fodder for late night talk show hosts along with Dick Cheney shooting the guy in the face.

The major Chinese import issue that doesn’t get the type of publicity it should is the toxic drywall being used in construction projects.

The problem is becoming more widespread not because more homes are currently being built with imported Chinese drywall but the effects of the drywall previously installed are now coming to light.

Overview:

Most homes affected will have been built between 2003 and 2007 – during the peak hurricane years.  As such, homes in the southeast, Gulf coast, Texas and southwest will have the heaviest concentration though the drywall has been found in most states in the US and in Canada.

The initial symptom usually is a sulfur type of smell (rotten egg).  Other things homeowners discovered is the failure of the air conditioning system (A/C coils) and corrosion of the electrical wiring.

Residents also reported respiratory problems, headaches and nose bleeds.  Pets have inexplicably died, jewelry tarnished and appliances would stop working – failed coils and elements.

What is pathetic is that no one is willing to help the owners of these toxic homes.

Insurance companies are cancelling the policies of these homeowners.

The builders who used the imported drywall both deny knowledge and are ignoring the homeowners’ calls.

Lenders are rejecting homeowner’s requests of walking away from these homes.

The media refuses to properly cover or investigate this matter.

History of Imported Chinese products

Back in 2007, I was extremely frustrated that the MSM seemed to ignore the imports coming in from China.  On the internet, I had found reports of tainted pet food, chicken and fish feed, toothpaste, imported fish, honey and tires.  I reported about it on my now defunct website under a heading called – Is China Purposely Poisoning Us?

The story finally hit the headlines when it was reported that our imported children’s toys proved to be tainted with lead-based paint.  This was followed in July, 2007 with the execution of the Chinese head of food safety.

As time progressed, I found only comedians like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart would address the matter.

Now, we’re about a year or so into this latest revelation of imported Chinese drywall.

Still, we deal with the Chinese with kid gloves evidently because our economies are now fused together to put it mildly.

Before I purchase any product, I check the label to make certain that the product was not made in China.  I am afraid to wear something (like socks) that was imported from China.  I will not eat any food prepared in something made in China (rice cooker) nor will I purchase a coffee mug from there.

I’m not certain that it will harm me but the history has proven that I can not take any chances.  It takes too long to get wind of these problems and the media is being irresponsible by essentially ignoring this very important issue.

What can we do?

First, go to Chinese Drywall Complaint Center.

This site provides many more details including an overview, indications, what to do and so much more.  It is an important website if you know or even suspect that your home contains drywall imported from China.

The website recommends that you contact your doctor, the State health department, Homeowners Consumer Center / America’s Watchdog and your government representatives.

The more noise made about this the better.  I’d also contact the local television news stations to see if anyone would be willing to broadcast.

Don’t forget to check with your neighbors because if your homes were constructed about the same time and your house is suffering the effects of toxic drywall, the likelihood that some of your neighbors have the problem is quite high.

I was driving over the weekend in Broward County, Florida and saw an extremely large sign posted on a house that said ‘Toxic House Sold by Stonebrook’.

CBS 4 in Miami covered this story and it is worth the read and there is a video.  [Click here]

When I drove by the house on Monday (I wanted to take a picture for this story) but the sign was removed.  I wonder who demanded that the sign come down.

We really need to focus more on this issue as it is clear that our government and media will not properly give this story the attention it needs and deserves.

Additional reading:

Is Drywall the Next Chinese Import Scandal – Time – 23-MAR-2009.

Chinese Drywall Problem – another great resource

Homeowners with toxic Chinese drywall have gotten no help, and in many cases, have no resources left to keep their families safe – The Times-Picayune (NOLA.com) – 07-JUN-2009

My 2 Cents old Website from 2007.  If you want to check out some of my old links – click on Is China Purposely Poisoning Us?

coils

Toxic house

The War on Texting While Driving

More cities are banning texting while driving citing the recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute that showed that drivers who text while driving are 23 times as likely to have an accident other drivers.

This law does make sense but why are they only going after the people who text?  The Obama Administration said that the problem was ‘distracted drivers.’  I agree with that.

I absolutely get annoyed at drivers who are looking at their phones texting while driving – especially with the ones with both hands on their phone while both the phone and their hands rest on the top of the steering wheel.

The problem is much more widespread than that.

First of all, how will they identify the texters who have mastered the skill of one-handed texting without looking at the phone?  Their hand can be at their side and they can compose an entire text without taking their eyes off of the road.  A quick look down and they can make sure they fire it to the correct person.

Then you have the people who receive a text.  Is reading an incoming text also going to be illegal?

What about dialing the phone to call someone or looking at the caller id and answering the incoming call?

What about handling the GPS while driving?  Can we no longer change the radio channel or adjust the volume?

Or reading a newspaper?  This one drives me nuts. 

What about the people who are too lazy or late to finish grooming at home?  Ever see those people who shave or put on makeup in the car?  I wonder if an eyeliner pencil ever went in someone’s eye after an accident.

How about the people who eat while driving?  If a tomato falls out of that sloppy burger and onto your shirt or dress, you’re bound to be distracted.  Not to mention the hand that is holding the burger should actually be on the wheel.

Ever see anyone changing their clothes in the car? 

If you’re a parent, you know that you’re easily distracted by a crying child, one who gets sick or just a kid that is carrying on.  “Are we there yet?”  How many times have we heard from our parents or said to our kids – “if you don’t stop this instant, I’m turning the car around.’

Driving is a series of distractions – some controllable and others obviously not.  Why pick on just texting?  And why start now?

This problem has been around since at least I was a child.

I’m guessing that the problem is also the people pushing this law are mostly older Americans who can’t understand that new-fangled message system on the phone.  After all the Jitterbug doesn’t have texting, does it?

makeup driving

 

eating_driving

 

At least she's not texting!

At least she's not texting!

Burress the Dumbass Goes To Jail

Imagine accidentally shooting yourself in the leg and then going to jail for your trouble.

That is what has happened to former Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

Burress was sentenced to 2 years in prison for shooting himself in the leg while at a nightclub.  He reached a plea agreement on weapons charges.

Of course the real charges that landed him behind bars were the 2 counts of weapon possession and 1 count of reckless endangerment.  Reckless endangerment?  You think?

Burress carried an unlicensed gun into a nightclub.  The gun slipped from his waistband and fired in his pant leg.  Stupid or just unlucky?

Burress faced a minimum sentence of 3½ years if he had been found guilty during a trial however he opted to plea to a lesser charge and was given a 2 year term which could see him released after serving 20 months with good behavior.

Burress hopes to pull a Michael Vick and return to the NFL when he is released.

Click for full story

burress2

burress1

Lottery sees 2 consecutive identical draws – Coincidence?

And the winning numbers are 4 – 15 – 23 – 24 – 35 – 42.

That was the Bulgarian national lottery results on September 6th.  And in case you missed it that was also the results on September 10th.

After the investigation, it was determined that there was no wrongdoing.

The lottery organizers believe their system is tamper-proof.  It is broadcast on live national television in the presence of a special committee.

Didn’t anyone else see that episode on Monk?  Put a little metallic paint on the balls and a magnet above the machine and wham-o you have a repeat performance.

How many books have I read, movies or television programs I watched where they said the lottery is simple to fix?  But not in Bulgaria.

There were no winners on for the first drawing but the second drawing saw 18 people holding winning tickets of $7,700 each.

Click for full story

lottery monnk

Scenes from Mr Monk Gets Lotto Fever

Scenes from Mr Monk Gets Lotto Fever

Max Baucus’s Healthcare Reform Bill – Is it better than nothing?

It’s nearly unanimous.  The Healthcare Reform Bill presented by Max Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee is not a good bill. 

No matter what the bill said, you knew the Republicans would rally against it.  That is what obstructionists do.  Republicans don’t even pretend to be bi-partisan.  This bill is fantastic for the insurance companies which, doesn’t fully eliminate pre-existing conditions and even introduces co-operatives.  All Republican backed these ideas though they are still coming out against it because just the mere fact that a bill passes into law with the words ‘Healthcare Reform” attached to it and it will be perceived as a Democratic Party victory.  Forget that this bill would be a victory for their corporate love interests.

Meanwhile, liberals and most progressives like the idea of a single-payer Medicare for All plan.  Anything short of that is failure.  They will bash whatever plan is out there (as I did with Baucus’s plan).  Their argument is that the Democrats control Congress and the White House so let’s just come up with the real liberal bill.

Blue Dog Democrats (or as I like to call them Moderate Republican) are in favor of many of the items in the Baucus bill.  That said, I still haven’t read one story of someone coming out in favor of the bill other than Max Baucus.

What surprises me is that Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is against this bill.  I figured that since it had co-opts in there, she would have approved.  Looks like she too is putting party before country. 

Don’t get me wrong.  Baucus’s bill doesn’t put country first.  It puts corporate interests first which is just as bad. 

Paul Krugman published an op-ed Thursday that further analyzed the reaction of this bill. 

“You see, it has been clear for months that whatever health-care bill finally emerges will fall far short of reformers’ hopes. Yet even a bad bill could be much better than nothing. The question is where to draw the line. How bad does a bill have to be to make it too bad to vote for?”

I disagree that a ‘bad bill’ is better than nothing.  This bill is good for the insurance industry and really doesn’t help people.  It doesn’t lower cost as it actually will cost more and it doesn’t offer better access.  It penalizes those who do not purchase coverage.  If pre-existing conditions are permitted for even one day, Americans would still suffer the risk of financial ruin.  Besides, who determines what exactly is a pre-existing condition?

“Now, the moment of truth isn’t here quite yet: There’s enough wrong with the Baucus proposal as it stands to make it unworkable and unacceptable. But that said, Senator Baucus’s mark is better than many of us expected. If it serves as a basis for negotiation, and the result of those negotiations is a plan that’s stronger, not weaker, reformers are going to have to make some hard choices about the degree of disappointment they’re willing to live with.”

Mr. Krugman said that this bill was better than he expected.  What kind of garbage was he expecting?  J

Krugman’s op-ed also provided examples of countries with universal coverage that utilize the private insurance system to achieve their goal.  He also cited the Massachusetts health reform that – though flawed – is far better than what currently exists in the U.S.

Krugman outlines the 3 major areas of inadequacy of the Baucus bill:

“First, it bungles the so-called “employer mandate.” Most reform plans include a provision requiring that large employers either provide their workers with health coverage or pay into a fund that would help workers who don’t get insurance through their job buy coverage on their own. Mr. Baucus, however, gets too clever, trying to tie each employer’s fees to the subsidies its own employees end up getting.”

“That’s a terrible idea. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, it would make companies reluctant to hire workers from lower-income families — and it would also create a bureaucratic nightmare. This provision has to go and be replaced with a simple pay-or-play rule.”

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, if my company offers me a less than adequate plan, I should be able to opt into the public option.  Without it, there is no incentive for my company to offer me any quality coverage. 

Additionally, if I were to opt out into the so called public option, I would expect my company to have to supply my employer contribution into the plan.  If they are permitted to keep the money, it would mean huge savings for my company. 

In my case, my employer contributes roughly $7,000 for my health coverage.  If they are not required to contribute it to the public option, they will save $7,000.  I work at a large corporation with more than 10,000 employees.  Let’s say 10,000 employees opt out, my company will save approximately $7,000 for ten thousand employees.  You do the math.

“Second, the plan is too stingy when it comes to financial aid. Lower-middle-class families, in particular, would end up paying much more in premiums than they do under the Massachusetts plan, suggesting that for many people insurance would not, in fact, be affordable. Fixing this means spending more than Mr. Baucus proposes.”

This plan is stingy when it comes to assisting the Americans who need it the most yet it calls for $349 billion in cash raised through taxes and fees. 

Look at Krugman’s last line in this paragraph – ‘fixing this means spending more than Mr. Baucus proposes.’  In my post from September 16th, I pointed out that this estimate is inaccurate predicting an estimate closer to $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion.  If Mr. Krugman is correct in his thoughts, the concern I have is that the final number may push past the $1.5 trillion mark. 

Third, the plan doesn’t create real competition in the insurance market. The right way to create competition is to offer a public option, a government-run insurance plan individuals can buy into as an alternative to private insurance. The Baucus plan instead proposes a fake alternative, nonprofit insurance cooperatives — and it places so many restrictions on these cooperatives that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, they “seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country.”

Mr. Krugman is correct here.  From 1986-1991 I worked for the federal government.  Each year, for open enrollment, I entered the cafeteria to a plethora of insurance companies each seeking my business.  I spoke to representatives of the companies and brought home documentation to read describing each plan.  I selected the plan that best suited my needs at the time – a single man in my mid-20’s with no children.  I rarely needed the plan, just as I expected but when I did, it performed exactly as I needed it to. 

That is what we need.  If we cannot run with full Medicare for all, then the only other alternative is the Public Option for all.   Plans offered by insurance companies but managed and regulated by the government.  Insurance companies will still make nice profits, all Americans will receive coverage, all Americans will have choice through competition thus driving down price. 

“The insurance industry, of course, loves the Baucus plan. Need we say more?”

Of course they do.  The industry loves it – Republicans are afraid to support it – liberal Democrats hate it. 

Where Mr. Krugman thinks this should be a starting point, I believe we should start by shredding all 1000+ pages.

“It would be disastrous if health care goes the way of the economic stimulus plan, earlier this year. As you may recall, that plan — which was clearly too weak even as originally proposed — was made even weaker to win the support of three Republican senators. If the same thing happens to health reform, progressives should and will walk away.”

Mr. Krugman is spot on here.  Democrats are working very hard to appease Blue Dog Republicans Democrats and win over the love of Olympia Snowe.    That is a bad idea and I agree – progressives need to run away.

“But maybe things will go the other way, and Mr. Baucus (and the White House) will, for once, actually listen to progressive concerns, making the bill stronger.”

“Even if the Baucus plan gets better, rather than worse, what emerges won’t be legislation reformers can love. Will it nonetheless be legislation that passes the threshold of acceptability, legislation they can vote for? We’ll see.”

Read:  Baucus and the Threshold

Mark Sanford – Just Another Hypocrite

When you’re out of town, very often you miss some very big news stories.  This past week was no exception as I was traveling around the state taking my son on a college tour.   Even on the road, I still managed to hear that we lost Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays.  (It’s weird putting Mays in with the other 3.  Sort of like saying that I’m fans of the following baseball players:  Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Willie Mays and David Wright.)

Iran’s citizens are protesting the results of their ‘election’ which may encourage me to re-post something I wrote in 2004 comparing the Bush – Kerry election and the Ukrainian election.  Here the results will not change but a clear message has been sent to the world that the people of Iran voted for change and the leaders of their country opted for more of the same.

Sanford and his family
Sanford and his family

The story that I most enjoyed was the story of a man from South Carolina – Mark Sanford – who is currently the governor.  The Republican – who stands of course for family values – decided to disappear for a few days without telling anyone.  He claimed to go hiking finally admitting to having an affair in Argentina. 

He’s the second Republican in the last month to be marked by a scandalous affair.  Nevada Senator John Ensign is the first.

Both Sanford and Ensign were up-and-coming Republicans who looked like they were headed for a White House run.  At the moment, both seem to have been derailed.  Sanford resigned as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association but said he would not resign as governor.  This while more information is coming out about additional Sanford trysts.  

Of course, since both are Republicans, this will simply delay their political aspirations.  Don’t believe me:  John McCain cheated on his first wife with second wife, Cindy and he was the 2008 Republican nominee.  Rudy 9/11-iani Giuliani also cheated on his wives and ran for the presidency. 

Newt Gingrich, of course, chastised President Bill Clinton for his affair while Gingrich himself was having an affair. 

Republican David Vitter admits to sex with a prostitute and remains in office while Democrat Eliot Spitzer does the same thing and is threatened with impeachment by the Republicans – but then resigns.

John Edwards admits to having an affair and disappears from public life.  And you right wingnuts – don’t say that his wife was dying.  Gingrich asked for a divorce while his wife lay in a hospital bed recovering from uterine surgery and McCain cheated on his wife who had been seriously injured in an accident.

And to think we’re about to get hit with more of the John Edwards story thanks to a tell-all book by a former aide.  I’m sure he’ll sell 10 copies.  Yawn.

An affair is an affair.  It just seems hypocritical to me that the so-called party of values is quick to look away when one of their own is involved in an immoral act but they’re the first to accuse Democrats and the average person involved in the same offense.

What is even more galling is the apologetic pleas from the right as they explain why the Republicans immoral behavior is okay compared to the Democrats. 

 “Reprehensible” was the word used by Sanford when describing Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.  

He has no credibility left,” said Ensign as he called on Clinton to resign.

Judge not lest ye be judged.”  I wonder who said that?    

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Again, the party claiming to be the religious ones are the first to judge and throw stones – not to mention make excuses for why the 2 Jesus quotes do not apply to them.

My 2 Buck$