Archive for September, 2009

To the Huffington Post

September 30, 2009
To whom it may concern:
 
I subscribe to several RSS feeds on the Huffington Post.  I appreciate the idea of a forum in which enlightened people can publish their views so that they can be debated and forwarded around the Internet.  I also run a blog that aspires to this ideal, although my blog is nowhere near as popular as the Huffington Post.
 
I do not agree with all of the commentators on the Huffington Post, but I am tolerant of almost all of them, and in some cases, their blog entries challenge my own beliefs.  However, I cannot respect the Huffington Post’s recent acceptance of Dana Ullman as a contributer.  Mr. Ullman is a homeopath, meaning he has a career in marketing homeopathy and homeopathic remedies for ailments.  Homeopathy is a pseudo-scientific mode of quackery that has absolutely no medicinal value.  Time and time again homeopathic remedies have been proven to work no better than placebo. 
 
I am also disturbed by the Huffington Post’s continued publication of blog entries that lobby against flu vaccination.  As every scientifically literate knows, the flu vaccine is more important this season due to the H1N1 flu.  There is no reason to worry that the vaccine is unsafe.  On a related note, hysterical blog entries against the MMR vaccine for children are unwelcome and dangerous.  The claims that the MMR vaccine causes autism in young children have been debunked for years.  A steady stream of studies published since these claims became popular Internet and talk show fodder confirm this reality.
 
I encourage the Huffington Post to publish all political, social, and medical opinions, but I must protest the publication of outright quackery.  To me, and to many of your readers, publishing blogs of homeopaths and anti-vaccination ideologues are akin to publishing blogs of Holocaust deniers and flat earth theorists.  In order for the Huffington Post to stay relevant, it must resist publishing the complete nonsense.
 
Sincerely,
G.H.
Los Angeles, CA

To Michael Drake on Alleged Fundraising for Hamas

September 26, 2009
Dear Chancellor Drake:
 
I am sure you are flooded with correspondences about the anti-Semitic event organized on the campus of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) by the Muslim Student Union (MSU) titled “Israel: The Politics of Genocide” last May.  My primary purpose in writing to you is that a letter written by the Zionist Organization of America has come to my attention.  The letter alleges that the MSU may have raised funds for Hamas despite “specifically [affirming] in writing that [the event] was not going to be a fundraiser.” As you are probably aware, Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States government.  Raising funds for the group is a federal offense.  It is vital that a full investigation be conducted to see if funds raised at UCI reached the terrorist organization.  The toleration of anti-Semitism is a large enough blot on UCI’s reputation.  I hope that not one dollar raised at UCI helped to launch rockets targeted at civilian areas in Israel. 
 
Sincerely,
G.H.
Los Angeles, CA

To the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations

September 24, 2009
To whom it may concern:
 
I would like to thank the Canadian representation at the United Nations Genral Assembly for choosing to remove itself as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the world.  Canada ought to be praised for not giving respect Holocaust denial and other anti-Semitic lies.  Furthermore, Ahmadinejad’s legitimacy as president of Iran is on shaky ground given the ferocity of the protests in recent months, the allegations of election fraud, and Iran’s disgraceful policy of silencing dissent, often through murder.
 
Sincerely,
G.H.
Los Angeles, California, USA
[Similar e-mails were sent to the UN missions of the U.S., Israel, the U.K., Austria, New Zealand, Sweden, and Germany.  I tried to contact the French and Italian missions as well, but to no avail.] 

Goldstone’s report

September 18, 2009

[The following was sent to the United Nations Human Rights Council which can be contacted here and an edited version was sent to President Barack Obama asking him to condemn the report when he speaks at the UN General Assembly next week.]

To whom it may concern:

I was deeply disturbed by the recent report headed by Richard Goldstone on the conflict between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the State of Israel. The report is full of distortions, half-truths, and one-sided demonization of the State of Israel.  This was expected since the United Nations investigators decided to rely only on “evidence” Hamas allowed them to see and only interview “witnesses” Hamas allowed them to hear.  This is the methodology of a magician who tricks the audience into believing that he is conjuring a rabbit from out of a hat where no rabbit existed.  Like a magician’s act, the Goldstone report uses slight of hand to present an illusory view of reality for its audience while concealing relevant, vital facts  that shatter the illusion.  Just as diligence in evidence gathering undermines a magician’s act, slight of hand with the evidence undermines fact finding missions.

It is surprising to me that Goldstone and the others responsible for this report could make this elementary error in methodology.  If United Nations investigators were naive and uneducated in the Middle East conflict, I would have assumed that they were duped by Hamas propaganda.  I fear, however, that Goldstone and the others are not so simple minded and it pains me to believe that they may have published the report knowing full well of its one-sidedness.  Unsurprisingly, Israel has rejected the report and, as of this writing, the United States has expressed “serious concerns” about the report.  No good will come of it, but hopefully, the malice displayed in the report will not create ripples.

Regretfully,

G.H.

[For more on the report, read Alan Dershowitz’s blog]