Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Blog Entry without a Title

I finished the first draft of my newest novel. Whenever I complete a first draft on anything, I allow myself a week’s vacation to rejuvenate. This time I am giving myself two weeks. Originally when I conceived this story, it was to be something simple and nothing complicated. But now I have gone and fallen in love with it and it is becoming epic to me. The topic is not commonly covered, at least not in the Christian market. Oh, it has been touched on, but not they way I am doing it. I fear that the heroine might be considered too feministic, but I can’t have her any other way. My heroine must remain strong, independent and intelligent. I can’t dumb her down and make her weak to mold her into one of those cookie-cutter heroines. I can only hope that once I’m finished with the novel that someone might see how true to life it is.

While I’m on this little break, I am trying something new. Throughout all of my endeavors to be published, family and friends alike have advised me to write some smaller pieces for Guidepost or Reader’s Digest. I’m actually going to try that. I wrote what amounts to a little more than a page about my paternal grandmother.

So my fingers are crossed. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mission of Mercy?

Original Article Here.

By Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

A little over a year ago, a fleet of six ships sailed toward the Gaza Strip. The so-called "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" included members of the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) — self described "peaceful activists" — who were challenging Israel's blockade of the region that guards against the infiltration of terrorists and weapons into Gaza.

When Israeli authorities, in full accordance with international law, requested to inspect the ships and deliver any humanitarian items on board through established checkpoints, the crew on the largest ship, the Mavi Marmara, attacked the soldiers with metal pipes, knives, bats, and a gun. Seven IDF soldiers were injured as well. The "peaceful activists" were not so peaceful after all. In the process of defending themselves, IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers killed nine IHH members.

Flotilla organizers immediately dubbed the event the "Mavi Marmara massacre." International media covered the incident extensively, often portraying the activists as compassionate heroes and martyrs, and Israel as the cruel oppressor despite the fact that the IHH has known ties to terrorist groups like Hamas.

Not surprisingly, it's happening again. Members of the IHH are planning a fifteen-ship flotilla with 1,500 activists from 120 countries to set sail later this month. Though the organization is again claiming peaceful intentions, recent statements from IHH officials are ominous: "We have many surprises in store," one promised. Another, speaking more clearly, declared, ""Even if we sacrifice shahids (martyrs) for this cause, we will be on the side of justice."

Since the flotilla organizers claim only to be offering much-needed humanitarian aid, we might well ask: What is the scale of humanitarian need in Gaza? Last April, one Red Cross official in the region stated emphatically, "There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. If you go to the supermarket, there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach." In the wake of the flotilla last year, Israel which has consistently allowed food, medicine, and other essentials into Gaza — even eased up on its blockade. In the past month, Egypt opened up the Rafah crossing, allowing people and products to flow more easily into Gaza.

The flotilla organizers' contention that Gaza's population is starving, held captive to "Israel's illegal stranglehold" on the region is, plainly and simply, a lie. The flotilla is nothing more than a provocation meant to challenge Israel's sovereignty, a cynical public relations ploy meant to sway world opinion against Israel. Indeed, the flotilla organizers have shrewdly calculated that any attempt by Israel to defend herself and protect her borders will be judged harshly in the media and world governing bodies like the U.N., and that the publicity generated by events such as Israel's wholly legitimate boarding of the Mavi Marmara will have negative effects that will resonate for months, even years to come.

Still, we must hope for the best as Israel faces yet another challenge to its security. The Bible says, "Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment" (Proverbs 12:19). Let us pray that the true intentions of the flotilla organizers, and indeed of all those who actively attempt to delegitimize and compromise the security of the Jewish state, will be revealed. Let us pray for the safety of the IDF soldiers who put themselves in harm's way protecting the country they love. And let us pray for the day when God will bless the entire world with his most precious gift of shalom, peace.

With prayers for shalom, peace.

Monday, June 6, 2011

“Foreskin Man” brings anti-Semitic imagery into circumcision fight

Original Article Here /

Posted by Jonah Lowenfeld
The backers of a ballot initiative in San Francisco aiming to ban circumcision in that city have consistently maintained that their efforts are not anti-Semitic.
But the “Foreskin Man” comic book, which was written and edited in 2010 by the founder of a San Diego group supporting efforts to ban circumcision in San Francisco and Santa Monica, gives further credence to the accusation that so-called intactivists are in fact motivated by anti-Semitism.
“The imagery in ‘Foreskin Man’ is functionally Anti-Semitic,” Abby Michelson Porth, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), said. “The motives of the proponents of this ban are questionable given their direct connection with “Foreskin Man.”
The story told in the second issue of “Foreskin Man,” which is available on its website, centers on the story of Sarah and Jethro Glick and their newborn son. Sarah thought that she and her husband had agreed not to circumcise their son, but Jethro had other plans. He secretly invited the villain, “Monster Mohel,” to circumcise “little Glick.”
On the website, Monster Mohel, a bearded man with a black hat on his head and a tallis around his neck, is described this way: “Nothing excites Monster Mohel more than cutting into the penile flesh of an eight-day-old infant boy.”
Last month, San Francisco city officials announced that the backers of an initiative to prohibit circumcision in the city had collected enough signatures to put the measure to voters in November 2011.
Lloyd Schofield is the official backer of the San Francisco initiative, which uses text from the, a San Diego-based group established by Matthew Hess. Hess is credited alongside the comic book’s illustrator and colorist on the comic’s website.
In response to a question about his motivations, Hess said that he and his supporters are, first and foremost, human rights activists.
“We do what we do because we strongly believe that no one has the right to cut off part of another person’s body without their consent,” Hess wrote in an email. “We believe that amputating part of a boy’s penis is no different in principle than amputating part of a girl’s vulva. If you ask any activist in Africa why she is trying to stop the practice of female genital mutilation, I suspect that her answers would be very similar to ours.”
Writing on May 31, before the San Francisco Chronicle reported on the comic book existence, Hess addressed those who accuse him of being motivated by anti-Semitism.
“As far as the anti-Semitism charge, I might understand such an accusation if our proposed legislation applied to everyone except Jews. That would be like saying we care about all boys except the Jewish ones,” Hess wrote.
The JCRC is leading the fight against the initiative in San Francisco and has assembled a coalition of HIV researchers, medical authorities, civic leaders, and clergy from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities to support their efforts.
The second issue of “Foreskin Man” depicts Monster Mohel as a dark-haired, wild-eyed man toting glistening scissors. Foreskin Man is a blond-haired muscle-bound superhero, complete with a cape.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ban on Male Circumcision Proposed in California City

Ban on Male Circumcision

Santa Monica – Residents in Santa Monica, CA may be voting on a new ballot initiative in 2012. The group, MGM Bill has a proposal that would make it a a misdemeanor to circumcise a male before age 18. Female circumcision, or also called female genital mutilation, is already outlawed in California and the U.S.

Jena Troutman, a spokeswoman for the group MGM Bill and founder of the website, says males should get the same protection from genital mutilation as females. She notes that the bill they are proposing is identical to one that already prohibits female genital mutilation.

The proposal contains no religious exemptions and has raised questions regarding a possible First Amendment violation.

Peter Eliasberg, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said the measure might pass a First Amendment challenge. "If there is some support [among medical doctors or psychologists] for the idea that circumcision hurts children, the government could do this," he said.

However, David David Lahrer, a Jewish leader, told the Los Angeles Times in an article published Tuesday that the proposal “takes the notion of the mommy state to a ridiculous extreme.” He even stated that “it probably touches on being anti-Semitic.”

But Troutman takes the constitutional argument in a different direction stating that it’s an issue of equal protection as stated in the 14th Amendment.
“This bill is identical to a female genital mutilation bill that has already passed,” Troutman told

But Lahrer says that it is "idiotic" to compare circumcision to female genital mutilation.
Whether Santa Monica voters get their say on the measure or not, the campaign has already sparked heated debate.

“We just need 6,000 signatures. We are very optimistic," Troutman said confidently. "The whole baby revolution is sweeping the nation, and I’m trying to educate parents.”

Personal Opinion:

I find it ironic that these are the same people who are okay with abortion. They want to protect a baby, just as long as its not in the womb.

First They Came for the Jews

by Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.