EVERY SIGNATURE MATTERS - THIS BILL MUST PASS!

EVERY SIGNATURE MATTERS - THIS BILL MUST PASS!
CLICK - GOAL - 100,000 NEW SIGNATURES! 75,000 SIGNATURES HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUBMITTED TO GOVERNOR CUOMO!

CLICK!

Friday, February 29, 2008

THE BAN AND THE BANNERS! CONCERTS ARE FORBIDDEN EVEN WITH SEPARATE SEATING!



I encourage everyone to purchase tickets to this event! Demonstrate to these fraud rabbonim that we're not going to take it any longer! Make certain to tell everyone you know to come and bring their families. I want a packed house! Send them the UOJ message....

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE:


(Steve, thanks for sending this in!)



Loosely Translated......

DIRE WARNING!

We heard the news and our souls are TREMBLING!!!!!

There will be a concert taking place in the city of Manhattan in Madison Square Garden...there will be singers from a fringe element of Judaism to sing and perform in front of men and women...the outcome of this is laughter and light-headedness...

We hereby inform you that in our opinion of daas Torah it is forbidden......

THAT IT IS A SERIOUS INFRACTION (of Jewish law) to participate in this event......

There is no halachic approval under any circumstances for men or women, children big and small, and more so, this sin is more onerous on the organizers and singers...who cause others to sin.........

The newspapers are forbidden to publicize these events......

I'm sick of these insane guys...I can't read anymore of this diseased proclamation. I can't take it... Included in the rabbinical signatures are Lipa Margulies and Yisroel Belsky.

To receive tickets for The Big Event while helping the orphans of Simchat Tzion, visit the tickets page.

www.nyBIGevent.com or call 718.873.0888

About Simchat Tzion:

We all want to help Jews in Israel during these troubling times. Bringing joy to Israeli orphans is one way to meet that goal.

Formed in November 2001 by a group of volunteers, Simchat Tzion completely covers the catering costs of a wedding for destitute Israeli orphans, enabling them to respectably and joyously celebrate their special day. Simchat Tzion sponsored weddings are catered by one of Jerusalem's premier caterers at a reduced cost.

To date Simchat Tzion has sponsored close to 1,800 weddings for Israeli orphans. To continue giving orphans this vital assistance, Simchat Tzion is developing a national base of donors. This is your unique opportunity to help the most vulnerable of our nation at one of the most critical junctures of their lives. Please consider becoming a regular patron or one-time donor.

For additional information, please visit the Simchat Tzion website at www.simchattzion.com

To receive tickets for The Big Event while helping the orphans of Simchat Tzion, visit the tickets page.

Contact Us:

Simchat Tzion Weddings For Orphans
American Office: 1836 East 15th Street Brooklyn, NY 11229
Phone: (718) 677-8630
www.SimchatTzion.com

Concert Hotline
718-873-0888


Mailing Address:
1318-60 Street
Brooklyn NY 11219


Tickets are also available at the following stores:

Eichler's - Flatbush
1401 Coney Island Ave
718-258-7643

Hi Tech 2000 - Boro Park
4624 13th Ave
(718) 851-7300

Tuvia's - Monsey
421 Route 59
(845) 426-0824

Thursday, February 28, 2008

IT TOOK SERIOUS ARM-TWISTING - THESE GEDOLIM FINALLY APPROVED THIS CONCERT!

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE:















Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Hoodlums At The Agudath Israel And Their Friends In The Catholic Church!

Shockingly, Only 2% of Catholic Clergy Sexual Abusers Were Ever Jailed:

A Demonstration that the Self-Policing of Criminal Behavior Will Never Work!

By MARCI HAMILTON
hamilton02@aol.com
----
Thursday, Mar. 11, 2004

There were some disturbing statistics in the John Jay College Report on sexual abuse by the Catholic Church's clergy over the last 50 years. (The report was released February 27, 2004.)

But the shocking and most telling of all was the statistic as to the percentage of abusers who were ever incarcerated -- only 2% (3% were prosecuted and convicted but apparently, of those, a third either will not serve time, or have yet to serve time).

What does this statistic tell us? It tells us the Church dramatically failed in its obligations to the public good. And it also tells us that one current "remedy" for abuse that the Church is still putting forward -- more self-policing -- will never work.

As Predicted, There Are Thousands of Victims and Abusers

The number of victims was 10,667. The number of abusers? A minimum of 4,392.

And these statistics, sadly, were not the shocking ones. Those familiar with these issues knew there were many more abusers than had yet been revealed. And there are very probably many more -- even ten times more -- victims and abusers than the Report indicated, as the Report itself acknowledges.

The sociologist and Catholic priest Andrew Greeley predicted long ago that the number of victims was probably on the order of 100,000. Decades ago, psychologist Richard Sipe, an expert on the issue predicted that as much as 6-8 % of priests sexually abused minors. And psychologists estimate that only a fraction of childhood sexual abuse victims ever come forward, anywhere from 5-35%.

Among So Many Abusers, Only a Tiny Percentage Were Ever Incarcerated

The shocking statistic in the Report, then, is not the number of victims, or the numbers of abusers. It is the statistic reflecting that while Dioceses and bishops knew about these criminals within their midst -- as the Lay Review Board's Report, issued the same day, made clear -- only a measly 2% were brought to justice.


That means that thousands -- probably tens of thousands -- of victims never got justice. It also means that 98% of offenders were left at large -- able to come into contact with more child victims, and unable to be added to any sex offender list.

By taking upon itself to operate in a private sphere untouched by concerns with the public good, the Church by its own actions increased the number of crimes, pushed the numbers of victims to stratospheric heights (no other organization in the United States has ever come remotely close in terms of numbers of victims), and destroyed its own credibility on social and faith issues.

Remember when alleged abuse at a small daycare center was a huge scandal? Now multiply that abuse by literally thousands -- or tens of thousands.

Society has a fundamental right to justice for crimes committed.

The Church did not just let its own down, it let society down.

The Incarceration Statistic's Message: Self-Policing Cannot Work

This era in the Catholic Church -- if it is just an era, and not the Church's demise

-- will doubtless be the subject of study for psychologists, political scientists, lawmakers, sociologists, and children's advocates for centuries to come.

What this law scholar finds most interesting, however, in light of the Report is the clarity of the lesson of the Church's mistakes:

self-policing criminal conduct simply does not work.

And why would anyone in this country ever think it could?

The Constitution is built on the core belief that humans are always tempted to abuse power, so checks must be built into the system to deter those abuses of power.

Many are advocating more lay involvement in the Church to increase accountability. That move makes tremendous sense. But lay involvement will never be enough.

Instead, there will have to be a wholesale rejection, within the Church, of the Church's apparent belief that it operates above and beyond the sphere of the criminal and civil laws that prohibit harming fellow citizens. And that, I'm afraid, will take far more than reports controlled by the bishops, as these were, or sincere self-reflection, in which the bishops claimed they have engaged. It will take a soul-baring that has yet to be seen in the Church.

To redress the public harm done by the Church, it would be nice if there were a sea change in the Church's view of its relationship to the law. But, even more important in the face of this public crisis, the press and prosecutors must finally and completely forego being co-dependents of the Church's addiction to its own power. It will take no less than the most dedicated and combined efforts of prosecutors, judges, and reporters to right this wrong.

The 2% incarceration rate did not come solely from the failures of the Church, but also law enforcement and the media. They permitted the Church to operate undercover. Now that the enormity of the harm is dawning on the public, giving the Church a pass to handle its own criminal affairs is simply impossible.

The Case of Bishop Dupre Underlines the Failures of Self-Policing

The colossal failure of self-policing is illustrated by the notorious example in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the story is unfolding on a day-to-day basis.

Last month, two men publicly charged Bishop Thomas Dupre with abusing them for years. He abruptly resigned, and left for a clinic known to treat sexual abusers. Dupre is now under investigation for the abuse, and for his administration's cover-up of the crimes of other abusers.

When even the Bishop is alleged to be an abuser, it is plain that internal self-policing by the clergy itself will be utterly ineffective. But what about lay review? In that case, that too has failed.

In 1992, Springfield initiated a lay review board -- but it was controlled by the bishop. The catalyst was a guilty plea by Richard Lavigne, a notorious pedophile in the archdiocese, as well as the diocese's payment of $1.4 million in settlements to 17 men.

Despite the lay review board, it took years to defrock Lavigne; it also took many, many years before prosecutors returned to a "cold case" involving an altar boy who died. Lavigne is now under investigation in that case.

Those who suggest that lay review is the answer should consider that Springfield's lay review board operated for twelve years before it was learned that its own bishop was a serial abuser of boys.

In Springfield, in the wake of the Dupre scandal, local prosecutors have been forced to investigate and seriously consider charges from childhood sexual abuse to obstruction of justice. Even the federal prosecutor has offered assistance.

Prosecutorial actions like these pave the way for other prosecutors to take what they would have viewed in the past as a political risk, and turn it into a righteous cause. Virtually no one believes the Church ought to be left alone this much.

Why Lay Review Boards Alone Won't Work

Perhaps lay review boards could be more effective if they were completely independent of the Church, and if their monetary support came from other sources. But in the end, no lay review board will ever be capable by itself of serving as prosecutor and judge. Why?

Because lay review boards simply do not have the built-in accountability to the public good inherent in a democratic government.

When board members are among the devoted, there will always be hesitation to accuse the very clergy who are supposed to be the servants of God. One could describe this as divided sympathies; in the law, however, it's a conflict of interest, and a classic reason for poor decisionmaking, and thus for disqualification of a decisionmaker.

Instead of being exclusively subject to lay review, allegations of abuse need to be vetted by law enforcement professionals who have no conflict of interest. But that will not be done until the bishops realize that they can no longer serve as the gatekeeper between victims and law enforcement.

Despite their advertised "no-tolerance" policy, which includes removal and reporting of abuse to authorities, bishops are only reporting claims to authorities that they believe are "credible." (And, as Dupre's example shows, they are hardly wont to find accusations against themselves credible!) So long as the bishops are a bottleneck through which only certain claims pass, they will hold singular responsibility for every victim.

The Church's Current Policies Are Rightly Making It Uninsurable

In a number of dioceses, the Church is now finding it increasingly difficult to get insurance coverage for the misdeeds of its clergy. If coverage is procured, it is extremely expensive. And insurers are rightly reluctant to cover instances of abuse that are also the fault of the Church itself, not only the fault of the abuser.

Churches cannot operate without some coverage. They are rightly subject to the same general criminal and tort laws we all must obey. So they are going to have to dance to the insurance companies' tune in order to obtain the coverage.

The Church may not be able to bring itself to report every allegation of abuse to authorities. But there is little reason for insurance adjustors to give the church coverage if it is going to continue to take the same risks that led to the enormity of the problem in the first place.

In contrast, if the Church were to report all abuse allegations to authorities, it would ameliorate the harm it is still doing; reduce its policing role to one of a team of investigators, not that of a sole overseer; and in the process, make itself far more attractive to insurers. Only full cooperation with law enforcement will allow the Church to be fully and affordably insurable.

And that is only right. Insurance companies are supposed to cover accidents and unknown, unpreventable, and unforeseeable situations -- not, as here, an intentional pattern of conduct of which the institution that is insured is well aware.

It's Time For the Church to Stop Fighting, and Start Cooperating

To win confidence from the devoted, from society, and from insurance companies, the Church has no choice but to fully cooperate with police and prosecutors, reporting to them every allegation of clergy abuse.

Tragically, however, the Church continues, instead, to fight tooth and nail in the state legislatures to prevent laws that would mandate the Church and its clergy to reporting clergy sexual abuse to the proper authorities and to prevent extension of statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse.

In court, Church lawyers are arguing, among other theories, that imposing a theory of "negligent hiring" on the Church violates the First Amendment. But that is a ridiculous argument. Surely, the government cannot vet the theological credentials of clergy candidates. But just as surely, the law can insist that the Church does not hire known abusers.

Courts need not determine whether the Church is acting as a reasonable Church, but rather as a reasonable citizen. Theology is sacrosanct; prior criminal behavior certainly is not. Merely telling a church not to hire criminals is a far cry from telling it who to hire, or what to preach.

In any event, the Church will find itself uninsurable--in addition to untrustworthy--if it keeps hiring and harboring known abusers. Background checks on all seminarians surely will be required by the insurance companies even if they are not required by law.

The era of self-policing is over!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

"More than a quarter of adult Americans have left the faith of their childhood to join another religion or no religion!"

LVF DRESSED UP AS SHOLOM RUBASHKIN AND GOT IN TO BELSKY'S HOUSE AS PESACH CLEANING IS UNDER WAY!




WILL THE ORTHODOX JEWS HAVE A CATHOLIC PROBLEM? (My words)....The unaffiliated are the country’s fourth largest “religious group.” for the full article go to The New York Times Site. I believe we are headed in the same direction as the Catholics; a religion full of meaningless rituals, a barbaric - heartless clergy, and destruction of the essence of religion - a meaningful relationship with our Creator. The disenfranchisement in our camps, is not from the "fringe element". It is from the mainstream; Judaism lovers, and adherents to our Mesorah and halacha.

We are now facing troubled waters and a "perfect storm". The (economic) real estate collapse has come home to roost in the hood. People, that only a short year ago were able to meet monstrous financial obligations, are now painfully screaming for help. Mortgage brokers, real estate agents, and housing and Wall St. related incomes, have all gone away with a thump. Yeshivas are seeking new and desperate ways to meet their obligations. Ask the thief from Spinka, and the other pious frauds that call themselves rabbis.

A glut of homes in Lakewood are sitting empty and the people that built and financed them are wondering what went wrong. And there's the "bitachon" crowd that are certain that by some miracle, the more people that sit in kollel, the same people who never learned prior to their wedding, God will certainly intervene and provide them with all their needs. After all, they received a bracha or two from the Kupat Ha'ir gedolim.

So history repeats itself. The rabbis are leading their flock to slaughter, while they run off to safety in the havens of their real estate empires that they built off your broken backs. And this is just the beginning, the storm has just begun!


Americans Change Faiths at Rising Rate, Report Finds

By NEELA BANERJEE

Published: February 25, 2008

WASHINGTON — More than a quarter of adult Americans have left the faith of their childhood to join another religion or no religion, according to a new survey of religious affiliation by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The report, titled “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey,” depicts a highly fluid and diverse national religious life. If shifts among Protestant denominations are included, then it appears that 44 percent of Americans have switched religious affiliations.

For at least a generation, scholars have noted that more Americans are moving among faiths, as denominational loyalty erodes. But the survey, based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans, offers one of the clearest views yet of that trend, scholars said. The United States Census does not track religious affiliation.

The report shows, for example, that every religion is losing and gaining members, but that the Roman Catholic Church “has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes.”

The survey also indicates that the group that had the greatest net gain was the unaffiliated. More than 16 percent of American adults say they are not part of any organized faith, which makes the unaffiliated the country’s fourth largest “religious group.”

Detailing the nature of religious affiliation — who has the numbers, the education, the money — signals who could hold sway over the country’s political and cultural life, said John Green, an author of the report who is a senior fellow on religion and American politics at Pew.

Michael Lindsay, assistant director of the Center on Race, Religion and Urban Life at Rice University, echoed that view. “Religion is the single most important factor that drives American belief attitudes and behaviors,” said Mr. Lindsay, who had read the Pew report. “It is a powerful indicator of where America will end up on politics, culture, family life. If you want to understand America, you have to understand religion in America.”

In the 1980s, the General Social Survey by the National Opinion Research Center indicated that from 5 percent to 8 percent of the population described itself as unaffiliated with a particular religion.

In the Pew survey 7.3 percent of the adult population said they were unaffiliated with a faith as children. That segment increases to 16.1 percent of the population in adulthood, the survey found. The unaffiliated are largely under 50 and male. “Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation, compared with roughly 13 percent of women,” the survey said.

The rise of the unaffiliated does not mean that Americans are becoming less religious, however. Contrary to assumptions that most of the unaffiliated are atheists or agnostics, most described their religion “as nothing in particular.” Pew researchers said that later projects would delve more deeply into the beliefs and practices of the unaffiliated and would try to determine if they remain so as they age.


To Prof. Stephen Prothero, large numbers of Americans leaving organized religion....

“Those losing out are offering impersonal religion .............

The percentage of Catholics in the American population has held steady for decades at about 25 percent. But that masks a precipitous decline in native-born Catholics. The proportion has been bolstered by the large influx of Catholic immigrants, mostly from Latin America, the survey found.............

The Catholic Church has lost more adherents than any other group: about one-third of respondents raised Catholic said they no longer identified as such. Based on the data, the survey showed, “this means that roughly 10 percent of all Americans are former Catholics.”**********************

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"THE LIMITS OF FANATACISM" - DON'T KID YOURSELVES - THIS IS US!



By SABRINA TAVERNISE - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: March 4, 2008


BAGHDAD — After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.

(The complete article is available at The New York Times site)

In two months of interviews with 40 young people in five Iraqi cities, a pattern of disenchantment emerged, in which young Iraqis, both poor and middle class, blamed clerics for the violence and the restrictions that have narrowed their lives.

“I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their instruction became heavy over us,” said Sara, a high school student in Basra. “Most of the girls in my high school hate that Islamic people control the authority because they don’t deserve to be rulers.”

Atheer, a 19-year-old from a poor, heavily Shiite neighborhood in southern Baghdad, said: “The religion men are liars. Young people don’t believe them. Guys my age are not interested in religion anymore.”

The shift in Iraq runs counter to trends of rising religious practice among young people across much of the Middle East, where religion has replaced nationalism as a unifying ideology.

While religious extremists are admired by a number of young people in other parts of the Arab world, Iraq offers a test case of what could happen when extremist theories are applied. Fingers caught in the act of smoking were broken. Long hair was cut and force-fed to its wearer. In that laboratory, disillusionment with Islamic leaders took hold.

It is far from clear whether the shift means a wholesale turn away from religion. A tremendous piety still predominates in the private lives of young Iraqis, and religious leaders, despite the increased skepticism, still wield tremendous power. Measuring religious adherence, furthermore, is a tricky business in Iraq, where access to cities and towns far from Baghdad is limited.

But a shift seems to be registering, at least anecdotally, in the choices some young Iraqis are making.

Professors reported difficulty in recruiting graduate students for religion classes. Attendance at weekly prayers appears to be down, even in areas where the violence has largely subsided, according to worshipers and imams in Baghdad and Falluja. In two visits to the weekly prayer session in Baghdad of the followers of the militant Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr this fall, vastly smaller crowds attended than had in 2004 or 2005.

Such patterns, if lasting, could lead to a weakening of the political power of religious leaders in Iraq. In a nod to those changing tastes, political parties are dropping overt references to religion.

‘You Cost Us This’

“In the beginning, they gave their eyes and minds to the clerics; they trusted them,” said Abu Mahmoud, a moderate Sunni cleric in Baghdad, who now works deprogramming religious extremists in American detention. “It’s painful to admit, but it’s changed. People have lost too much. They say to the clerics and the parties: You cost us this.”

“When they behead someone, they say ‘Allahu akbar,’ they read Koranic verse,” said a moderate Shiite sheik from Baghdad, using the phrase for “God is great.”

“The young people, they think that is Islam,” he said. “So Islam is a failure, not only in the students’ minds, but also in the community.”

A professor at Baghdad University’s School of Law, who identified herself only as Bushra, said of her students: “They have changed their views about religion. They started to hate religious men. They make jokes about them because they feel disgusted by them.”

That was not always the case. Saddam Hussein encouraged religion in Iraqi society in his later years, building Sunni mosques and injecting more religion into the public school curriculum, but always made sure it served his authoritarian needs.

Shiites, considered to be an opposing political force and a threat to Mr. Hussein’s power, were kept under close watch. Young Shiites who worshiped were seen as political subversives and risked attracting the attention of the police.

For that reason, the American liberation tasted sweetest to the Shiites, who for the first time were able to worship freely. They soon became a potent political force, as religious political leaders appealed to their shared and painful past and their respect for the Shiite religious hierarchy.

“After 2003, you couldn’t put your foot into the husseiniya, it was so crowded with worshipers,” said Sayeed Sabah, a Shiite religious leader from Baghdad, referring to a Shiite place of prayer.

Religion had moved abruptly into the Shiite public space, but often in ways that made educated, religious Iraqis uncomfortable. Militias were offering Koran courses. Titles came cheaply. In Mr. Mahmoud’s neighborhood, a butcher with no knowledge of Islam became the leader of a mosque.

A moderate Shiite cleric, Sheik Qasim, recalled watching in amazement as a former student, who never earned more than mediocre marks, whizzed by stalled traffic in a long convoy of sport utility vehicles in central Baghdad. He had become a religious leader.

“I thought I would get out of the car, grab him and slap him!” said the sheik. “These people don’t deserve their positions.”

An official for the Ministry of Education in Baghdad, a secular Shiite, described the newfound faith like this: “It was like they wanted to put on a new, stylish outfit.”

Religious Sunnis, for their part, also experienced a heady swell in mosque attendance, but soon became the hosts for groups of religious extremists, foreign and Iraqi, who were preparing to fight the United States.

Zane Mohammed, a gangly 19-year-old with an earnest face, watched with curiosity as the first Islamists in his Baghdad neighborhood came to barbershops, tea parlors and carpentry stores before taking over the mosques. They were neither uneducated nor poor, he said, though they focused on those who were.

Then, one morning while waiting for a bus to school, he watched a man walk up to a neighbor, a college professor whose sect Mr. Mohammed did not know, shoot the neighbor at point blank range three times, and walk back to his car as calmly “as if he was leaving a grocery store.”

“Nobody is thinking,” Mr. Mohammed said in an interview in October. “We use our minds just to know what to eat. This is something I am very sad about. We hear things and just believe them.”...............................

Saturday, February 23, 2008

PURCHASING ANY PRODUCT FROM CHINA IS PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH YOUR LIFE! I URGE YOU TO BOYCOTT ALL CHINESE PRODUCTS!


A worker cleaned pig intestines in Xinwangzhuang, a Chinese village. Lining from the intestines is processed into crude heparin.

THE NEW YORK TIMES - By DAVID BARBOZA and WALT BOGDANICH

Published: February 28, 2008

RUGAO, China — With reports of more than 400 patients in the United States suffering serious complications after receiving the blood-thinner heparin, American investigators are trying to determine whether the raw material for the drug, made from pig intestines, became contaminated on the journey that begins in the slaughterhouses of China.

The investigators are examining the records of a factory an hour from here that supplies much of the active ingredient in heparin for Baxter International, which earlier this month halted sales of multidose vials of heparin after reports of injuries and four deaths.

The owner of the factory, which is known as Changzhou SPL, says its supply chain is safe. It buys raw material from only two reputable wholesalers, it says, and audits their 10 to 12 suppliers.

“We have a collection chain in place, and we stick with that,” said David Strunce, the president of Scientific Protein Laboratories, an American company that owns a majority of Changzhou SPL. He declined repeated requests from The New York Times to identify those smaller suppliers, saying it was proprietary information.

But interviews with dozens of heparin producers and traders in several Chinese provinces, as well as a visit to a village near here dominated by tiny family workshops that process crude heparin from pig intestines, show the difficulties confronting investigators as they seek to trace the supply chain. The picture that emerges is of a chain more complex, and less orderly, than the one Mr. Strunce laid out.

The Chinese heparin market has become increasingly unsettled over the last year, as pig disease has swept through the country, depleting stocks, leading some farmers to sell sick pigs into the market and forcing heparin producers to scramble for new sources of raw material. Traders and industry experts say even big companies have been turning more often to the small village workshops, which are unregulated and often unsanitary.

One of the wholesalers named by Scientific Protein Laboratories, Ruihua Biochemical in Hangzhou, said it provided a mix of crude heparin that it manufactured and some that it bought “from small factories nearby in several villages.” The owner, Hua Ruihua, said he never inspected the small factories. “We are not the government,” he said in a telephone interview. “We have no right to inspect their pigs or intestines or facilities.”

The owner of one of those workshops, Fan Yinan, said, “I sold to Ruihua several times before, but since last September I have had no intestines.” He confirmed that “no one from Ruihua inspected my pigs or intestines.”

Asked about Ruihua Biochemical, the S.P.L. chief, Mr. Strunce, said, “We have no information to suggest that your information is true.”

This week, a spokeswoman for Baxter said the number of reports of adverse reactions to heparin had surpassed 400. A spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration in the United States said the agency was reviewing the new reports and did not yet have a revised count.

The authorities have not determined that problems with the heparin supply chain led to the deaths and adverse reactions, first reported last month in Missouri. Nor have investigators determined that heparin from China was the culprit. Baxter also gets some of its ingredients from a plant in Wisconsin. Neither S.P.L. nor Baxter has been accused of doing anything wrong.

Even so, the problems involving heparin have again focused attention on the quality of products from China and the gaps in regulation by both the Chinese and United States governments. S.P.L.’s plant in Changzhou was certified by American officials to export to the United States even though neither government had inspected it. The plant has been exporting heparin to Baxter since 2004.

Like many chemical companies in China that make pharmaceutical ingredients for export, S.P.L. fell into a regulatory void. A spokesman for China’s State Food and Drug Administration, Shen Chen, said his agency had not inspected the S.P.L. factory because “as far as we know, it is not a drug manufacturer; it is a producer of chemical ingredients.” Mr. Shen said his agency was helping American investigators as part of a recent agreement with American regulators.

The process of making heparin begins with the intestines of slaughtered pigs, from which mucous membrane is collected and cooked, eventually producing a dry substance known as crude heparin. Major heparin producers like S.P.L. take that substance, refine it and sell it to companies like Baxter that make the final product, which is widely used in cardiovascular surgery and dialysis.

China Didn’t Check Drug Supplier, Files Show (February 16, 2008) Some experts say as much as 70 percent of China’s crude heparin — for domestic use and for export — comes from small factories in poor villages. One of the biggest areas for these workshops is here in coastal Jiangsu Province, north of Shanghai, where entire villages have become heparin production centers.

In a village called Xinwangzhuang, nearly every house along a narrow street doubles as a tiny heparin operation, where teams of four to eight women wearing aprons and white boots wash, splice, separate and process pig intestines into sausage casings and crude heparin.

The floors had large puddles and drainage channels; the workshops were dilapidated and unheated; and steam from the production process fogged up the windows and soaked the walls. There were large ovens to cook ingredients and halls lined with barrels to store enzymes, resins, intestines and wastewater.

“This is our family-style workshop,” said Zhu Jinlan, the owner of one heparin operation, who stopped sorting pig intestines and invited visitors to a back room, where she lives with her husband and child. “We’ve been doing this about 10 years.”

Experts say the small, unregulated factories could pose dangers because they do not have the same controls and rules as large slaughterhouses, which also produce crude heparin.

“If you don’t control the incoming source, it’s very hard to get rid of the contaminants,” says Liu Jian, a heparin expert at the University of North Carolina.

Mr. Strunce of S.P.L. says his company never buys directly from the crude-heparin producers, only through its wholesalers, which he called “consolidators” — Changzhou Techpool, its Chinese joint venture partner, and Ruihua. His company, he said, has records documenting all the transactions.

But here in Rugao, producers of crude heparin tell a somewhat different story. A sales manager for a major supplier, Nantong Koulong, said he sells directly to S.P.L. without going through either of the two wholesalers. “We provided crude heparin to Changzhou SPL,” said the sales manager, Chen Jianjun. Some of Koulong’s stock comes from the unregulated workshops, he said.

The owner of one such workshop, Ms. Zhu in Xinwangzhuang, said she sold to S.P.L. two years ago. She also sells to Koulong. “We are really a traditional family-style plant,” she said. “We have no certificate.”

S.P.L. said it never bought directly or indirectly from Koulong.

To the south, in Zhejiang Province, two officials of Zhejiang Willing Animal Byproducts Processing said they, too, sold to S.P.L. “We supply heparin to Changzhou SPL,” said Fang Weicai, the general manager, although he said later that he sold it privately and not under the auspices of his company.

After an outbreak of blue ear pig disease swept through 25 of China’s 31 provinces and regions last year, prices soared, and many drug suppliers had to look to the small workshops. The epidemic, said Cui Huifei, a heparin expert at the Shandong University School of Medicine, “made those biotech companies inevitably purchase from the family-style plants, for cheaper prices.”

A sales manager for another large slaughterhouse in Shandong Province, north of Jiangsu, said he was approached late last year by a buyer for S.P.L. offering what he described as rock-bottom prices for crude heparin.

“It was impossible,” said the sales manager, Wang Shengfu, who works for Shandong Jinluo Group, a major producer of crude heparin. “Only small factory-style farms could accept that low price.”

The deal was never consummated.

Mr. Strunce said S.P.L. responded to the disease outbreak by buying less raw material in China. “We were not out looking for additional heparin because we made do with what we already have,” he said, adding that the company “pays more than many people for heparin over there because we require a higher standard of heparin.”

Friday, February 15, 2008

Origins of the "ban"!

"Islamic Guidelines" (for individual and social reform) By Muhammad bin Jamil Zino.

Islamic Rulings on Music and Songs

1. Allah the Exalted says: (translation)

" And of mankind is he who purchases idle discourse (like music, singing, etc) to mislead (men) from the path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it by the way of mockery." [31.6]

Many interpreters of the Qur'an said that the idle discourse in this verse means songs. Ibn Mas'ud(r) also said that it is songs. Al-hasan Al-Basri also said it means songs and music playing.

2.Allah the Exalted said addressing the Satan:

"And befool them whom you can with your voice(songs,and music and any other call for disobedience)...[18;64]

3. The Prophet (PBUH) Said:

" There shall be a portion of my nation who will consider adultery, silk(for men), wine and music permissible."(Buhkari and Abu Dawud).

This means that some people would no consider adultery, wine, silk wearing and Music unlawdul though none of them has been ever made lawful. An instrument of music is an instrument which gives a tune of dancing-Flute, violin, drums, and bells etc. The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Bells are musical instruments of the Satan." (Muslim).

The bells are abominable instruments which the Arabs used to play and hang on to the camel necks. This type of bell looked like that of the Christians. Bell sound can be replaced by the sound of the nightingale in the door-bells etc.

4. Imam Ash-Safi'i (r) in his Book Of Rulings said: "Singing is an abominable amusement and whoever gives much importance is a food and his testimony should be rejected."

Harms of Song and Music

In Islam whatever is prohibited does not have any beneficial use. Music and songs may appear harmless, but they harm too much. Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Yaiamiyah (r) said:

1. Music is the wine of the souls and if affects them more than does the wine. When the soul becomes like the drunk, polytheism creeps into it and people turn to sex and crime. Shirk, murder and adultery are common among the musicians and the music lovers as well as the listeners of clapping and whistling.

2. The Sufis who love music also love their Sheikh(spiritual guide) the same way true Muslims love Allah. And eventually they associate him with Allah.

3. As for singing, it is the prelude to adultry. Innocent men, women and boys start listening to music and songs, and their soulds get corrupt. Consequently, they practice adultery as mucis and song act on them just like alchol.

4. The communities of music and songs often commit homicide because the Satan plays a role in it. One whose Satan is stronger kills the other.

5. There is no benefit in listening to music and songs, but at the same time they always lead to drugs and alcohol. Actually music the alcohol of the soul. So it acts on it just as alcohol acts on the body. Those who enjoy msuic do it much more than the alcoholics enjoy alcohol.

6. Satans mix up with these people and incarnate in them so that some of them may make miraculous acts like piercing a hot iron bar into chest or tongue. Such things can never happen when they perform the prayers or reicte the Qur'an because these are acts of worship relevant to Faith and Muhammad's tradition wherein Satan can have no role. On the other hand, the above works are Satanic, heretical, and philosophical.

Music Today

Today music and songs at weddings and concerts, and on radio and T.V. mostly promote sex relations by describing cheeks, physique and other provocative elements of carnal beauty that sends the youth astray and lead them to adultery. These types of songs destroy moralz and do not have any benefit.

Some singers, besides corrupting the people by their songs collect money from the poor nations and buy villas and cars in Europe. Some actors and actresses also do the same by selling their obscence films. They have really ruined the youth. The jews were, in their 1967 war against the Arabs, thanking Allah for vicotry whereas a news-reader in an Arab radio was supporting the Arabs by singers and songs. What a Deterioration!

Even the so-called religious songs are not free from adominable thigns. a song goes thus:' Every prophet has a grade. As for you O Muhammaed, the Throne is yours; so possess it.' The throne is not Muhammad's is belongs to ALLAH.

Songs of other Sex

Al-Bara bin Malik(r) was known for his splendid voice. When the Prophet(PBUH) was traveling, Al-bara use to sing for him(without an instrument) innocent songs. if there were women to hear Al-Bara., The Prophet(PBUH) would ask him to stop singing; men should not sing for women and vice versa. "The Prophet(PBUH) did not like women to listen to Al-bara."( Al-Hakim and Adh-Dhahabi).

The Prophet's(PBUH) dislike for listening to the songs of other sex is very important. What about hte songs and music today if they could have been listened to by the Prophet(PBUH)!

Clapping and Whistling

Handclapping and whistling are abodimable acts which one should abandon. Whistling here means all types including instrumental and oral whistling. Allah the Exalted disliked handclapping and Whistling. He the Exatled said " Their prayer at the house(the Ka'bah) was nothing but whistling and clapping of hands..."[8:35]

Whistling and handclapping do not suit a Muslim. What one should do when he admires or hears something he likes is to say :' It is what Allah wills!' Or ' Glory be to Allah'.

Singing increases Hypocrisy

1. Ibn Mas'ud (r) said: "Singing grows hypocrisy in the heart as water grows seeds; remembrance of Allah grows faith as water grows a Plant."

2. Ibn Al-Qaiyim(r) said: "whoever practices singing cannot help growing hypocrisy n his heart though he not know it. If he knew the reality of hypocrisy, he would have seen it himself. One cannot love songs and the Qur'an at a time; one of them expels the other. We have seen that the Qu'ran is heavy for the singers and the lovers of songs. They can hardly benefit by listening to the Qur'an. But to a song their hearts move and immediately respond; they stay up singing and listeing to music. They definitely prefer singing to listening to the Qur'an. People who love music and songs scarely take care of prayers. If they ever happy to perform them in the mosque, they can be seen the most careless and laziest.

3. Ibn Aqeel(r), one of the Hanbali scholares, said: " if a singer is an alien women, one can marry her; but listening to her songs is not permissable(before marriage)."

4. Ibn Hazm(r) said:" It is not permissable for men to enjoy a single note of an alien women."

Remedy for Music and Songs

1. Keep away from listening to songs on TV, Radio or other mdica, especially a song with sharp music and obscene tone.

2. The strongest anti-song remedy is recitation of the Qu'ran and remembrance of Allah. In particular you can read Surah Al-Baqarah. The Prophet(PBUH) said " The Satan runs away form the house where the Surah Al-Barqarah is read."(Muslim)

Allah the Exlated described the Qur'an as the best remedy for hearts diseases:

"O Mankind! there has come to you a good advice from your Lord(i.e., the Qur'an) and a healing for what is in your breasts-- a guidance and a mercy for the believers."[10:57]

3. Read the life stories of Muhammad(PBUH) and his companions.

Allowed Songs

1. Singing of innocent songs of decent meaning is allowed on occasions like Eid festivals. The Prophet(PBUH) went to Aishah(R) while two small gils were singing by beating the tambourines. Abu Bakr(father of Aishah) shouted at the maids to stop singing. The Prophet(PBUH) asked ABu Bakr To leave them singing and Added:"Let them sing because every nation has a festival and ours is today."(Bukhari).

2. You can sing using tambourines on the occasion of marriage to encourage and declare a legal marriage. The Prophet(PBUH) saod: "the difference between the legal(marriage) and the illegal(adultery) is beating the tambourince and singing(of wonemn only)."(Ahmad).

3. While at work you can sing the songs of encouragement (like those of harvesting) because this will activate the workers, especially if they contain supplications. The Prophet(PBUH) used to encourage his Companions which they were digging a tunnel for war by saying following rhythmically: "O Allah! There is no real leaving except the Hereafter. O' Allah! Forgive the Emigrants and the Helpers.' Then the Companions would answer in chorus: ' We are the ones who gaave Muhammed a pldge to perform Jihad as long as we live.'(agreed upon)

4. You can sing the songs of Oneness of Allah or the love of the Prophet(PBUH) of course without any music . Songs of decent meaning on Jihad and fighting the enemy can also be exemepted from the impermissible songs. LIkewise the song of love, cooperationg, morals, and brotherhood can also be exempted. Singing the merits of Islam for propagation is also Permitted.

5. Tambourine is the only instrument allowed in Islam in wedding and Eid Festivals. But it should not be used for chanting the Names of ALlah because neither the Prophet nor his Companiions did so. But sufis have made it necessity for remembrance; it is an innocation of their own. the Prophet(PBUH) said:

" Beware of innovated things in your religion as every invention in religion is a heresy and every heresy is a deviations."(Tirmidhi).

Restrictions Placed on Women by the Taliban

compiled by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), a political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women's rights.

Some of the restrictions the Taliban have placed upon Women:

Complete ban on women working outside their homes, including teachers, doctors and engineers.

Complete restriction on women's movement outside of their houses without a mahram (father, brother or husband).

Ban on dealing with male shopkeepers.

Ban on being treated by a male doctor.

Ban on studying at school, university or any other educational institution.

Compulsory wearing of a long veil (Burqa) which covers women from head to toe.

Whipping, beating and verbal abuse of women whose Burqa is not worn in accordance to Taliban rules. The same applies to women found in public without a mahram.

Whipping of women in public for having non-covered ankles.

Public stoning of women for having sex outside marriage (a number of lovers are stoned to death under this rule.)

Ban on all use of make-up (a number of women's fingers have been amputated for having painted nails).

A ban on women from talking or shaking hands with non-mahram males.

A ban on women for laughing loudly (no stranger should hear the voice of a women).

A ban on wearing high heeled shoes which would produce sound while walking as hearing the sound of a women's step is forbidden.

A ban on women using a taxi without a mahram.

Banning women's presence in radio, television and gatherings of any kind.

Banning women from playing any sport or entering a sports centre or club.

A ban on women riding a bicycle or a motorcycle even with their mahrams.

A ban on women wearing brightly coloured clothing (in their terms "sexually attracting colours").

Banning women's gatherings on festive occasions such as the Eids or for a recreational purpose.

Banning women from washing clothes next to rivers or at public places.

All place names with the word 'women' in it have been changed. For example "women's garden" has been renamed "spring garden".

Banning women from appearing on the balcony of their apartments or houses.

Compulsory painting of all windows so women can not be seen from the outside.

Banning male tailors from taking measurements or sewing women's clothes.

Banned from using female public baths.

Public buses have been separated into male and female buses.

A Ban on being photographed or filmed.

A Ban on women's pictures being printed on newspapers and books or even hung their own houses.

Ban on listening to music not for women but for men as well.

Total ban on watching movies, television and video for everyone.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

WE DON'T TRUST CHINA!


WASHINGTON (AFP) - US grocery chain Trader Joe's said Monday it would stop selling food imported from China due to customers' concerns about the products' safety.

"Our customers have voiced concerns about products from this region and we have listened," Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said in a statement.

"All single ingredient food items sourced from mainland China are scheduled to be out of our stores by April 1," she said.

"We will continue to source products from other regions until our customers feel as confident as we do about the quality and safety of Chinese products."

A series of consumer scares last year involving harmful products from major exporter China, including seafood, cat food, medicines and toys, led to mass product recalls and the tightening of US safety regulations.

Trader Joe's, which focuses partly on selling organic food, was founded in California in the 1960s.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

THE ISRAELI COURT - "AVROHOM MONDROWITZ TO BE EXTRADITED TO THE U. S. TO STAND TRIAL FOR HIS CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN!"

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Court rules alleged U.S. pedophile Mondrowitz must stay in custody

By Haaretz Service - Monday Feb. 11, 2008

The Jerusalem District Court ruled on Monday that Avrohom Mondrowitz, an ultra-Orthodox man who fled the United States for Israel two decades ago to avoid sexual abuse charges, must remain in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him.

The United States seeks the extradition of Mondrowitz, 60, a member of the Gur Hasidic sect, and the court ruling stemmed from the suspicion he may attempt to escape Israel before his extradition.

Last update - 21:58 11/02/2008

Poll: 100,000 children in Israel have been sexually assaulted

By Haaretz Service

Tags: Sexual abuse, children

A national poll reveals that some 100,000 children in Israel have been sexually assaulted, but only 2.5 percent of the incidents are reported to the proper authorities.

The poll, presented at a National Council for the Child conference in Be'er Sheva on Monday, encompassed 500 polled parents.

The poll shows that 5 percent of the parents reported that their children had been sexually harassed, and a quarter of the parents never told their children to avoid contact with strangers.........................

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Court rules to extradite alleged U.S. serial molester Mondrowitz

By Ofra Edelman, Haaretz Correspondent

Tags: Israel, Avrahom Mondrowitz

Alleged child molester Avrohom Mondrowitz can be extradited to the United States, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Sunday.

Mondrowitz, a member of the Ger Hassidic sect in Brooklyn who posed as a rabbi and psychologist specializing in treating troubled children, fled to Israel in 1984 as New York law enforcement authorities were preparing to arrest him.

In 1985 he was charged with sodomy and other sex crimes against five minors, aged 9 to 15, from the ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn. The case first came to light after a report in Haaretz Magazine (November 17, 2007).
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The U.S. Justice Department twice applied for his extradition, but legal hurdles prevented this until now. The first extradition request was denied because at the time, 22 years ago, sodomy was not an extraditable offense under the IsraeliAmerican extradition treaty.

The treaty was amended in January 2007, making it possible to extradite anyone who has been charged with a crime that carries more than a one-year prison sentence.

The U.S. submitted a second extradition request in September 2007, and two months later Mondrowitz was arrested in Jerusalem.

In Sunday's court decision, Judge Nava Ben Or ruled that since legal reasons prevented bringing Mondrowitz to justice, the statute of limitations on the crime with which he was charged stopped running the moment Mondrowitz arrived in Israel.

With the statute of limitations still valid, she ruled, he can be extradited to the U.S.

Related articles:

Court rules alleged U.S. pedophile Mondrowitz must stay in custody

'I planned to murder Mondrowitz'

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The current Ha'aretz article describing the Jerusalem District Court's ruling that Mondrowitz is to be extradited to the U.S.... There are a couple of errors in it that have crept into popular accounts of this outrageous story, and which I think need to be corrected.

First, it is not true that the law prevented Mondrowitz's extradition until the U.S.-Israel extradition treaty was amended in January 2007. It is particularly untrue that the change in the treaty enacted at that time spurred Hynes' decision to renew the extradition request. According to every legal expert quoted in press accounts (and, as I have repeatedly pointed out, this was also the explicit written view of the U.S. embassy staff 20 years ago) Mondrowitz's extradition could have been sought at any time since Israeli law equated homosexual rape with heterosexual rape in 1988. What's more, Hynes's office claimed as late as the spring of 2007 (AFTER the treaty language changed) that extradition was STILL impossible because neither the 1988 law nor the amended treaty could be applied to Mondrowitz "retroactively." The fact is, what changed Hynes' policy was not the change in the treaty but public pressure that forced him to take the case seriously.

I am proud to have played a role in raising public awareness about this case, and everyone who helped shout from the rooftops our desire to see Mondrowitz prosecuted deserves a share of the credit. Victims who came forward deserve our particular gratitude. But this is not about self-congratulation. It's about the realities of political strategy; thus, about the future as well as the past. We must resist the factoids being planted belatedly in the press and be careful to take the REAL lesson to heart. Which is just this: the D.A. does the right thing when he knows the community wants him to do it; during the years when the only voices he heard told him the community wanted the case covered up, covered up it was.

That brings me to the second error in the new Ha'aretz piece. The five complainants named in the Mondrowitz indictment were NOT "members of the ultra-Orthodox community" in Brooklyn, as stated there. They were all non-Jews. By the time the indictment was drawn up in early 1985, there were at least dozens, probably hundreds, of Jewish victims -- but not one made it into the indictment. (Though a few were known to police by that time.) This is a painful and highly significant fact. So let us repeat: Italian-American families whose children were victimized were prepared to come forward and make the necessary statements to bring Mondrowitz to justice; not one Orthodox Jewish family was prepared to bring its violated child or children before a grand jury. Not one. Had it not been for those non-Jewish families, we would not be now be looking forward to a trial of this alleged criminal, whose reported violations of young children proceeded on a jaw-dropping scale among Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn for years on end.

I don't offer these corrections to be captious; they are important, because they help to place the story in critical perspective. There is much to be said about the Mondrowitz case. But we will not be saying the right things until we acknowledge how little our community cared about crimes being committed, on a massive scale, against its children -- and how complacently the community, our community, allowed or even encouraged law enforcement to look the other way for 20 years even after other people tried to do something to put an end to those crimes.

Don't let anyone make you forget.

Michael Lesher, Esq.


Michael Lesher, Esq.
22 Leitch Place
Passaic NJ 07055
(973) 470-0212
MichaelLesher@optonline.net
www.MichaelLesher.com