Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Mizel Arts and Culture Center's 16th Annual Jewish Film Festival

Tonight is the opening for The Mizel Arts and Culture Center's 16th annual Jewish Film Festival. Hosting movies in English, Hebrew, and German; the 22 films range from documentaries, shorts, slasher flicks, and historical figure. Pre movie parties are being held at the Phillips Social Hall at the Jewish Community Center and the movies are being shown at the Denver Film Center.

The opening festivities, starting at 5:15 tonight, include a presentation of a MACC Cultural Achievement Award to former MACC art director and the current festival chairwoman, Sharon Habor. A buffet and bar will be available, and live jazz by the Keith Oxman Trio will provide atmosphere for the pre party. The screening of Restoration will begin at 7:30 and 7:45 at the DFC.

For more information on the movies and their times be sure to visit the center's website. Six of the movies are already sold out. And last year all eighteen did, so be sure to get your tickets whilst they are available.

Clinton on Somalia

United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton spoke on Intervention at the London Conference on Somalia today.
"Now we must keep the pressure on al-Shabaab so that its grip on Somalia continues to weaken. The UN Security Council’s vote on Wednesday to increase AMISOM’s troop ceiling by nearly half and expand its mandate significantly is an excellent step.
More and more Somalis are seeing the threat that al-Shabaab poses to Somalia’s peace and security, as well as to the peace and security of Somalia’s neighbors. Especially in south-central Somalia, it has turned an already bad situation into a nightmare. It has dragged fathers and sons from their homes, forced them to fight in a hopeless, bloody conflict. It has forced young girls to marry foreign fighters. And when extreme food shortages struck last summer, al-Shabbab mercilessly helped turn those food shortages into a famine by blocking humanitarian assistance and letting children starve. With its recent announcement that it has joined the al-Qaida terror network, al-Shabaab has proven, yet again, it is not on the side of Somalis but on the side of chaos, destruction, and suffering. It has also proven something else as well. It is weakening. Al-Shabaab and al-Qaida have turned to each other because both are embattled and isolated, especially now as the democratic revolutions, underway in many countries, are showing young people who might once have been attracted to extremist groups that a more constructive path is open to them. That is the future; Al-Shabaab and al-Qaida are the past."
Wait! Aren't al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations part of the destabilization that has led to, or taken over the "democratic revolutions"? Yes, the regimes are brutal and need to be done away with, but we have evidence of al-Qaida and their friends in Syria and other countries. The Muslim Brotherhood, that now controls the majority of Egypt, has stated it will not recognize the peace treaty with Israel. There is even evidence of al-Qaida and Hezbollah being in Mexico, and crossing the border, with the full and complete backing of peaceful Iran. But they're "the past" so it's okay to help them in some countries, despite their terrorist past against us. And it's not like al-Qaida could be using those countries as new recruiting grounds or anything.

Secretary Clinton went on to say that, 
"the U.S. will look for ways to increase our involvement in Somalia."
Hold up again! According to your boss Obama, we're doing everything we can to pull our military back, and let countries deal with their own problems. Bush was evil for invading Iraq and Afghanistan. Those poor countries weren't run by dictators or terrorists or any such.

Where as Obama is the greatest guy ever for not involving the US military in Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. O wait... During the Obama administration we've had boots on the ground in all four of those countries, plus others. Yet Obama is the Nobel Peace Prize winning humanitarian, that only puts sanctions against regimes, like Iran and Syria, that massacre their people by the thousands.

Now I'm not necessarily calling for US troops to be going into Iran and Syria, nor necessarily praising Bush. I'm just trying to point out the ridiculousness of the arrogance and two faced talk of the Obama administration. If you're going to invade more countries than Bush, you can't say he was a bad guy for invading any.

 But to get back to Somalia, Clinton also announced that, 
"the United States is providing an additional $64 million in humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa countries, bringing our emergency assistance since 2011 up to more than 934 million, including more than 211 million for lifesaving programs in Somalia." 
Not to knock Somalia's problems, but did I miss the US recovering from it's own financial crisis. Current national debt is fast approaching $15.4 trillion. Granted compared to that a billion to that part of Africa isn't much, but how is the US to ever get out of debt if it keeps throwing money to the rest of the world? Liberals complain that we spend money on our defense, instead of our own infrastructure, yet then go spend it elsewhere.

I'd like to thank you, Secretary of State Clinton, for making it obvious that all the US's issues are not important anymore. Our security, defense, debt, and lives mean nothing to you or the Obama administration.

Remembering: Iwo Jima

On February 23, 1945 United States Marines of the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division, took the top of Mount Suribachi, on Iwo Jima, and placed an American flag.

Later in the day, other Marines went up with a larger flag. The picture of the second raising has become one of the most memorable of American history, and is the most reproduced picture in all of history.

The island was a crucial air base, only seven hundred miles from Japan, and both sides new the value of it. The Japanese, under General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, had spent months making the island into one big underground fortress.

On February 19, 1945 Marines followed three days of air and naval bombardment of the island with invasion. On the island were twenty-two thousand Japanese who no intent of surrender what so ever. On March 26, the last Japanese were wiped out. Only two hundred of the defenders were taken alive. Over six thousand Americans died taking the island, with more than seventeen thousand wounded.

Iran Desperate to Sell Oil

Iran has now reversed it's announcement from Sunday that it would cut off oil sales to England and France, and instead is now offering them long term supply deals. Clearly the sanctions, put into effect by the United States, European Union, and specifically England and France are starting to bite.

Not much more is needed to show how much the sanctions have hurt Iran. With no one else around to purchase the oil, the incoming money is just not being replaced, and Iran is being strangled by it.

Yet to be seen, is whether or not the sanctions will have the desired effect of forcing Iran to stop it's nuclear program. One which it says is purely for purposes of creating energy, but yet is bragged by Tehran to be refining uranium well beyond the percentage that is needed for energy. Israel and the US have led a growing group of the world in declaring that the program is clearly for weapons purposes.

Marine Helicopters Collide

It's been another deadly day for United States troops, with death tolls totaling nine for the day. In Afghanistan two service members were killed by an Afghan soldier, during protests against a Quran burning that happened on Bagram Air Field earlier this week. President Obama has expressed his extreme apologies for the incident, to the Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Somewhere west of the Chocolate Mountains in California, seven Marines were killed when their helicopters collided during night training exercises. The Marines and their aircraft, an AH-1W "Cobra" and UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, were based out of Camp Pendleton.

Over the last year there have been four previous training accidents involving Marines. And a decade ago, almost to the day, a Huey went down in the same area as the collision occurred. The frequency of USMC accidents over the past year, has brought much scrutiny upon the adequacy of their safety measures.

We are definitely being reminded that the military life is not a safe one. The men and women who choose to put their life's on the line for us, do so daily, whether in combat or not. All the more reason we should be grateful to them for doing so.