Ohio State Assistant Professor Defends Hamas

Cross-posted from Shots on the House, originally authored by OSU student Justin Higgins:

Welcome to the world of Academia, right? A friend of mine contacted me and tipped me off that an Ohio State Assistant Professor was interviewed during an anti-Israel rally in downtown Columbus and staunchly defended Hamas, a radical Islamic terrorist organization. He also railed against what he called a “colonial occupier” in Israel. Hourglass 1941 has a pretty in-depth online report, including this video which features the OSU staff member, Pranav Jani:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/y2L5eIlNbz8" width="320" height="240" wmode="transparent" /]

The most interesting parts come when the interviewer questions Pranav Jani about the rocket attacks into Israel launched by Hamas. He calls the rocket attacks, which were not retaliatory in nature, “an act of self-defense.” He goes on to say that “any resistance to the colonial occupier is justified.” Later he calls for a secular Democratic state, which is not what Hamas is pushing for as an organization at all. Most interesting to me however, was his defense that he may not “agree with a particular tactic a group uses”, just as he calls unprovoked rocket attacks self-defense. Does he agree or disagree with the tactic of using children as human shields?

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/J08GqXMr3YE" width="320" height="240" wmode="transparent" /]

Pranav Jani, Ohio State Assistant ProfessorFor some background, Pranav Jani is an Assistant Professor in the English Department here at The Ohio State University. His website at Ohio State includes some information about him, including the websites he visits frequently. The sites include such prestigious publications as The New York Times and The International Socialist Review. The typical slanted outlets such as Al-Jazeera and al-Ahram Weekly also make an appearance alongside anti-war sites, his personal blog [on which he calls himself a Marxist], and ESPN.

It’s mildly sickening that some portion of my tuition has contributed to employing Pranav Jani, who was quoted as leading the chant “Long live the Intifada” at the rally in downtown Columbus. In his mind, Israel (which showed tremendous restraint over the past year) is the bad guy and Hamas (which uses children as human shields and wires their women with explosives to make a point) is the regional good guy. Ohio tax money, perpetrating this twisted world view.

Pin-Ups For Vets Ready for 2009

Gina Elise of Pin-Ups for VetsThe lovely Gina Elise of Pin-Ups For Vets is making ready for a banner 2009 year. If you are not familiar with Gina Elise and her Pin-Ups For Vets projects let me enlighten you. For three years now, Gina has been making some stunning calendars that are used to raise funds and boost morale for veterans of all ages.

Gina Elise is supported by American Legion Post 360 in Lake Arrowhead, CA and makes calendars that she models in; the proceeds from which go to VA programs such as eyeglasses for Veterans, the home health program, recreational therapy, spinal cord injury & amputee programs, substance abuse program, women’s Veterans’ program, homeless program, reading materials and subscriptions for the Veterans, social relief fund, televisions, wheelchairs, and outreach programs for the visually impaired.

The Pin-Ups For Vets website is full of heartwarming stories and pictures about how her calendars and appearances have changed people. At the very least please order a calendar for yourself. If your New Year’s resolution is to help support a veteran then you most certainly should order a calendar for one. You could be totally awesome and send one to a deployed soldier, sailor, Airman or Marine.

Originally posted at chrisshort.net

Barack Obama Taking Illegal Donations?

There are two articles (1, 2) up at The Jawa Report stating that people with fake names and addresses can make campaign contributions to Barack Obama with legitimate credit cards.  One writer made a $5 donation to Barack Obama (with screenshots to include his online banking site to verify the donation) under the name of James Bond in London, DC (as in Washington).

Donations from foreigners to presidential campaigns are most certainly illegal.  This is not a foreigner making the donation but it certainly allows for the possibility of it.  One person from Canada fraudulently claiming to be a U.S. citizen making a $5 donation would be illegal thus bringing in to question the fundraising policies of the Obama camp.

This isn’t just some ultra right wing bomb throwing either.  An official complaint has been filed with the FEC and Google search results of foreign donations to Obama bring up nearly 300,000 hits.  This is another reason Why Barack Obama Scares Me.

Why Barack Obama Scares Me

I’ve been on this planet nearly thirty years and I’ve followed every presidential election since I can remember. I supported George H. W. Bush as a child because he was what the country needed to close out the Cold War. I supported and actually campaigned for Bill Clinton in the sixth grade on the premise that George H. W. Bush raised taxes when he campaigned on the premise he wouldn’t. I stood in an auditorium of my peers and spoke out for Bob Dole based on the fact that Bill Clinton was not what was morally right for the country (myself and a friend were booed out of that auditorium). I supported George W. Bush because Al Gore was not what the country needed in a time of great economic uncertainty that was apparent at the end of the Clinton administration. I then supported George W. Bush again for a myriad of issues to include John Kerry’s flip-flopping on the issues. I have now voted (absentee in the great state of Florida) for John McCain because, let’s face it folks, Barack Obama scares the life out of me.

Continue reading at The Jawa Report

Gingrich says GOP can gain if Obama wins

Jeff Quinton over at Inside Charm City would like to point out this astute observation by Newt Gingrich (by way of WBAL.com):

He hasn’t given up on John McCain winning this year’s presidential election, but former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Republicans could gain future election victories, if Barack Obama wins next month, and Congressional Democrats expand their majority in the U.S. House and Senate.Speaking on WBAL’s “Kendel and Bob Show” Saturday, Gingrich said he sees potential parallels between this year’s election and the 1964 presidential election.

[…]

Gingrich pointed out that in 1966, Republicans gained a number of Congressional seats, and then won back the White House in 1968.

Gingrich said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid represent the “most liberal leadership Congress has ever had.”

Gingrich adds that if Obama as president enacts an agenda similar to those of the Congressional leaders, he suspects, ” an enormous Republican comeback in 2010, and probably a new Republican president in 2012.”

Gingrich said that if Obama, as president works with Republicans and conservative Democrats, he risks alienating the labor unions and activist groups that have supported his campaign.

Gingrich said the race is much closer than polls indicate, and he says McCain can still win, if he stresses differences with Obama over how to improve the economy.

[…]

“I think that if he drives very hard, at the idea that you don’t want politicians taking your taxes to give away to their friends…I think the country would in fact repudiate the idea that Senator Obama would want to ‘spread the wealth,’ ” Gingrich said.

Gingrich led the Republicans to their takeover of Congress after the 1994 election.

Among the freshmen Republicans elected that year, Robert Ehrlich, who was later elected governor, and who now co-hosts the WBAL talk show with his wife.

[…]

Audio clips of the show are available.

Mountain Multimedia

This past weekend my good friend and great photographer, Jonathan Jackson, came to visit.  It’s always nice when someone you’ve known for so long comes to see you not only to just shoot the breeze but also to do something productive.

Jonathan Jackson is a professional photographer.  I consider my apartment his unofficial art gallery.  His budding photography business, Mountain Multimedia Inc., has been without a web site for quite sometime.  We built a web site for him many years ago by hand, something that even then was becoming a thing of the past.  Updating it was difficult due to my insanely busy schedule and for lack of a better term, his handiness with HTML and PHP.  However, mountainmultimedia.net is built with his and I’s ease of use and design in mind.

The site is a WordPress managed and NextGen Gallery enhanced design.  Let’s face it, blogging and CMS software has come a long, long way.  WordPress was up and running in minutes and not too much later the gallery software was serving up crisp images integrated into the site seamlessly.  The ease of use of WordPress gives Jonathan the ability to update content and photos any time he wants and not when I’m able to do it.

Is this style of web design (one in which the designer manages the back end and the owner plugs away at the front end) the way of the future in web design?  It could possibly be.  It provides the best of both words for all those involved.  Low cost for the owner and the ability to update their site for virtually nothing, also, ease of administration and design for the web guru thus creating the ability for him or her to consistently crank out more web sites than ever before.

I invite you to head on over to the Mountain Multimedia Inc. web site to see what essentially ten to twelve hours of work under this model looks like.  I’m impressed with it but I’m quite the old school web designer.  I would very much like to hear what you have to say.

Pin Ups for Vets Video Blogging

If you’ve had your head underground for the last couple of weeks (it’s the holiday season, we all tend to do that) you probably hadn’t noticed that Gina Elise of Pin Ups for Vets has set up a YouTube page (at http://www.youtube.com/PinUpsForVets) and is video blogging on a semi-regular basis.

Chances are you haven’t seen this little gem yet either. You have to wait until the end to see why I’m pretty darn excited about it.

Pin Ups for Vets is a project designed to raise funds for and boost the morale of veterans and deployed service members. For more information visit the Pin Ups for Vets web site or take a gander at my Gina Elise interview.

Blog Security

I wasn’t aware blogging software could be so insecure. I guess that’s just the nature of the beast these days though. How am I aware of it now, you ask? Simple. A great site called BlogSecurity pointed out two vulnerabilities at chrisshort.net that I immediately corrected.

I’m very impressed with the BlogSecurity site and how it seems to stay on top of those of us that prefer not to have our blogs wrecked. Thanks, BlogSecurity.

Additionally, I just found a great contact form plugin for WordPress called, Secure Form Mailer Plugin For WordPress. If you have a contact form on your WordPress blog you should check this out.

Building a Better Mousetrap (RSS Reader)

So I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for quite some time now.  The best I’ve been able to manage are a few philanthropic posts over the past several months.  However, I’m anxiously wanting to get back into blogging my personal life, technology, and politics.

The problem is aggregating news to gleen the best information in the fastest way and then provide commentary on it.  No RSS reader or feed reader designed today can do that and it vexes me something fierce.

However, there is always Yahoo! Pipes which shows some potential in getting me what I want which can be simply broken down into this list:

  1. Read and parse multiple feeds.
  2. Combine multiple feeds and provide most popular stories above all and then rank them as well as providing link to most comprehensive story.
  3. Constantly update tag cloud to show popularity of keywords and stories throughout the day.
  4. Trend analysis on said tag cloud.

Anyone have any experiences they’d like to share in their ventures in aggregating news?  I’d love to hear them.

Project Valour-IT 2007

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled and adaptive laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the ‘Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field. The experience of MAJ Charles “Chuck” Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered serious hand wounds while serving in Iraq, illustrates how important these laptops can be to a wounded service member’s recovery.

Every penny helps those who need it. Give what you can to this noble cause.

[tags]Project Valour-IT[/tags]

Baltimore TV Station Lifts Story From Blog Without Giving Credit

A reporter at WMAR, the local ABC affiliate in Baltimore, lifted a news story from Inside Charm City without giving any credit to anywhere else she might have seen it. The story about the Stop Snitching DVD in the UMBC library was covered on WCBM AM and the publisher* of Inside Charm City was interviewed on WBAL AM about it. The initial blog post as well as the radio mentions of the story (which did credit Inside Charm City) were all made well in advance of the news story by Linda So of WMAR.

Full details of WMAR‘s lift of the story can be found Inside Charm City.

* Jeff Quinton is the publisher of Inside Charm City, for the record.

[tags]WMAR, Stop Snitching, Inside Charm City, Linda So[/tags]

2008 Pin Ups for Vets Calendar Now Available

Remember the beautiful and lovely Gina Elise of Pin Ups for Vets? If you don’t you need to find the nearest rock and crawl out from under it. I got an e-mail from Gina last night saying that she is now taking orders for her 2008 benefit calendar. Gina says, “I am launching the 2008 calendar fundraiser now and accepting pre-sale orders because I completely sold out of calendars last year, so be sure to order early!” According to Gina’s Web site, the Pin Ups for Vets calendar is produced for three reasons:

  1. The calendars would be sold to raise funds for our hospitalized veterans.
  2. The calendars would be delivered as gifts to our ill and injured veterans with messages of appreciation from the donors.
  3. The calendars would be sent to our deployed troops to help boost morale and to let them know that Americans back home are thinking of them.

I know my morale is boosted every time I sit at my desk at home and see Miss Elise hanging on my wall. According to her e-mail this year, you can “buy a personalized autographed poster as well!” Great! I’m moving into a new apartment and could use something to hang on the wall.

Please Digg this story.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

[tags]Gina Elise, Pin Ups for Vets[/tags]