Thursday, January 21, 2021

From Ian:

Douglas J. Feith: Why I’m a Zionist
There are negative reasons to be a Zionist - that the Jews need a state because they need a refuge. That argument launched the Zionist movement in the 19th century and it remains valid to this day.

There are also affirmative reasons that relate to Jewish civilization. They boil down to the conviction that Jewish culture is an invaluable inheritance that only in the Land of Israel, in a state with a Jewish majority, can be developed fully and perpetuated reliably. As an adult, I came to appreciate the positive reasons to be a Zionist.

To be a Zionist is to revel in the ways Israel has integrated Jewish principles and traditions into the daily life of a large, modern, democratic society. Israel is where Jewish collective interests prevail, so they enjoy the dignity of self-reliance and self-defense. Hebrew is the main language. Jewish history inspires the geographical names. Jewish subjects have a special place in the schools. The Jewish religious calendar influences the rhythm of life.

In general, the American political tradition is averse to official privileges for particular ethnicities or faiths. But the way Americans practice democracy is not the only way. Most liberal, democratic countries were founded on an ethnic basis. Most give special consideration to the majority population's cultural interests.


CAMERA Op-Ed A Historian Who Forgets History
More than 100 years ago, George Santayana famously intoned that “those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” The Spanish philosopher’s warning has often been repeated. Regrettably, it is often ignored, including by many historians.

Avi Shlaim provides the latest example. In a Dec. 22 op-ed in Foreign Policy magazine titled, “If Biden Wants Israeli-Palestinian Peace, He Must Break with the Past,” Shlaim seeks to provide the incoming U.S. administration with advice on how to “achieve in the Middle East.” The Oxford University professor emeritus has even found the culprit for the lack of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“The basic flaw in the U.S. approach to Middle East peacemaking since 1967,” he claims, is “the unconditional nature of its economic, military and diplomatic support for Israel.” He elaborates, saying “the United States has posed as an honest broker, but in practice, it has acted more as Israel’s lawyer. This has made its policy for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict incoherent, contradictory and self-defeating.” The United States, asserts Shlaim, has held a “monopoly” over peacemaking efforts and has failed “because it was unable or unwilling to use its massive leverage to push Israel into a final-status agreement.”

The implication is clear: Israel at fault for the lack of a permanent peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. And America shares the blame for its supposedly uncritical support of the Jewish state.

The solution, Shlaim tells Foreign Policy readers, is for the United States to “impose penalties for Israeli intransigence.” The United States should encourage Israel to adopt the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, and should it refuse, the Jewish state should be deprived of aid. That proposal, writes Shlaim, would have provided the Palestinians with an independent state on the Gaza Strip and a capital city in eastern Jerusalem.

But Shlaim’s recommended strategy is based on a selective reading of history.

Indeed, his commentary is replete with omissions and misrepresentations.

In fact, Palestinian leaders have been presented with numerous opportunities for statehood, and they alone are responsible for refusing them. In 1937 and 1947, Palestinian Arabs rejected British and U.N. proposals for statehood—proposals that were accepted by the Zionists.
WaPo, ABC, CBS Run with AP Piece Denouncing Israel’s Defense Against ‘Apartheid’ Smear
Major news organizations, including The Washington Post, ABC News and CBS News reprinted an Associated Press (AP) article that incorrectly portrayed as undemocratic a move by Israel’s education minister to bar members of B’Tselem from giving presentations or conducting other activities in publicly-funded schools. The decision was made after the controversial group, which supports the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, published a report in which it accused the Jewish state of being an “apartheid regime.”

Lost in the mix, however, is that the Israeli government has not banned B’Tselem from assuming any position; rather, Jerusalem has determined, in accordance with the law, that state-funded schools are not appropriate vehicles through which to slander Israel.

Apartheid: Not Part of the Israeli School Curriculum
When announcing the decision, Education Minister Yoav Gallant said that organizations like B’Tselem “contradict the goals of the education system, including calling Israel false disparaging names, opposing Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state, discouraging meaningful service in the IDF, or acting to harm or degrade IDF soldiers during or after their service.”

Yet, the AP story casts doubt on the legitimacy of the move by Israel’s democratically-elected government by quoting a representative of Adalah, another pro-BDS organization that is innocuously described as an “Arab legal rights group:”
Adalah said it had appealed to the country’s attorney general to cancel Galant’s directive, saying it was made without the proper authority and that it was intended to “silence legitimate voices.”

In reality, the Israeli parliament in 2018 passed legislation authorizing the education minister to prevent members of groups that “act against the goals of education and against the IDF from entering schools.” The law was intended to curb organizations from fanning flames of hatred against Israel through the promotion of the BDS movement’s annihilationist agenda.

This critical fact is, by happenstance, mentioned in the AP article — buried in the ninth paragraph below the Adalah quote — but thereafter includes this modifier: “It was not clear if Galant’s decree was rooted in the 2018 law.”

Yes, it was.


Coronavirus: Reproduction rate falls below 1, over 3m. Israelis vaccinated
The coronavirus reproduction rate in Israel – which reflects the ability of the disease to spread – has fallen below 1 for the first time in at least a month and a half, a Thursday morning update by the Health Ministry showed. This means that each person infected with the disease is on average passing it on to less than one person (0.99): a key figure to reverse the high morbidity, as the country also crosses the threshold of over three million people vaccinated.

On Wednesday, 8,174 new coronavirus cases were registered, according to the ministry’s report.

Some 93,283 tests were administered and around 9% of them returned a positive result. As of Thursday morning, some 1,169 patients were in serious condition, with 317 intubated. The death toll stood 4,179, with an increase of 37 people since the previous day.

Also on Wednesday, the ministry announced the launch of a campaign to sensitize the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) sector on the risk of the pandemic and the necessity to abide by the rules. The numbers of infected and deaths among the ultra-Orthodox have been especially dramatic, as have been the violations of the health guidelines reported in the haredi towns and neighborhoods.

While the situation in Israel remains serious, with the number of patients in critical conditions putting an unprecedented strain on the health system and the number of new daily cases per capita among the highest in the world, the country also continues to vaccinate at a record pace.
Israeli immunity hinges on Palestinians getting COVID shots too, doctors say
While Israel has sprinted ahead in immunizing its population against the coronavirus — 21% of Israelis have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine — Palestinians have yet to receive any doses and likely won’t for several months, sparking a blistering debate over whether Israel should work to ensure Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are included in its vaccination drive.

Critics say Israel has a moral and legal obligation to ensure Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are afforded vaccinations along with Israeli citizens, while Israeli officials maintain that vaccinations for Palestinians are not its primary responsibility and will only be considered once all Israelis are inoculated.

Israeli epidemiologists told The Times of Israel that it is in Israel’s overall interest to ensure Palestinians are vaccinated as quickly as possible, as the populations are too intertwined to have one gain herd immunity without the other, despite some claims to the contrary by Israeli leaders.

“The message is very simple: We are one epidemiological unit. As much as we can, we have to help them address this matter,” recently departed Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov told The Times of Israel.

With the vaccine unsuitable for children until testing is carried out and only 95% effective, most experts see herd immunity, the idea that the virus will fade away without enough hosts to latch onto, as the only real way to return to normal life.
Israel clears way for COVID vaccines to Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza
Israel has allowed 5,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik vaccine against coronavirus to be delivered to the Palestinian Authority for use by medical staff in the West Bank and Gaza.

The government stated on Thursday morning that the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said the Russian vaccines were meant for Gaza as well as the West Bank, and it is still unknown when they will arrive. Palestinian officials have said they expect the doses by the weekend.

“The doses of the Sputnik 5 coronavirus vaccine are from a donation from the Russian government [and] are expected to arrive to the PA through the Allenby Crossing,” between Israel and Jordan, the statement reads. “The PA committed…not to provide the vaccines to anyone other than Palestinian health workers in the Judea and Samaria region and in Gaza.”

However, the Israeli statement added that the PA has yet to ask the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to transfer doses of the vaccine to Gaza. If such a request is made, COGAT and the Health Ministry plan to ask the higher political levels – meaning the Prime Minister’s Office – to give instructions on the matter.

An official with knowledge of the matter said the Prime Minister’s Office allowed the Palestinians to import the vaccines, without getting into the specifics of where they will be administered.


Describing Jews as ‘Privileged,’ Ethnic Studies Curriculum Sparks Backlash
The latest draft of a state-mandated public school curriculum is generating concerns among Jewish groups, who say California's proposed ethnic studies agenda raises troubling questions about the treatment of Jews compared with other minorities.

The draft curriculum is intended to serve as the foundation for schools to fulfill California's required high school ethnic studies class. It includes a sample lesson on Jews, recommending students discuss how Jews "sometimes have experienced conditional whiteness and privilege." Though the proposed curriculum touches on the experiences of several other ethnic groups, the word privilege is applied to only Jews.

The draft also highlights the contributions to the Arab-American experience of several prominent anti-Semites, from the late journalist Helen Thomas to the Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.).

Prominent Jewish leaders and activists slammed the proposed curriculum, which is open for public comment until Jan. 21. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the curriculum a "tragedy," describing it as "woke gone wild with skin color and specific groups installed in a new pecking order."

Others, including Lawfare Project executive director Brooke Goldstein, called it an "embarrassment."

"The Jewish people are the oldest and most persecuted ethnic group in history," Goldstein told the Free Beacon, but "according to this so-called ‘ethnic studies’ curriculum, we are ‘privileged’ while antisemitism and antisemitic themes are celebrated."

The California Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment. State law requires that all California high school students enroll in an ethnic studies course starting next year, and the guide is intended to "help districts and schools as they begin to develop their own ethnic studies curriculum reflecting their student demographics and community," the website says.
StandWithUs: Supporting Jewish Students
StandWithUs works tirelessly to support Jewish students in high schools and college campuses in every way that we can. The challenges Jewish students face on both campuses are real and we are there to help combat anti-Zionism, antisemitism and lies spread by haters. This is their story:


PSC Admits IHRA Doesn’t Shutdown Debate; Attacks it Anyway
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has released a Student Legal Support Guide. It claims that the guide has been produced by “with legal support from Bindmans LLP”.

It has a section on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism which includes this:
“it is important to remember that there is no known case of any university directly citing the IHRA definition to close down an event that is legitimately critical of Israel and is therefore not anti-Semitic in the proper sense of manifesting hatred, discrimination or prejudice, towards Jewish people as Jews.”

Not only does this prove the point that Pro Palestine events aren’t being shut down on campus it also shows that events that have been shut down on campus have been antisemitic thereby supporting the argument made by the Jewish community that it is both necessary and respectful of free speech.

The guide was released on the 7th of January and includes a “case study” from Warwick university where they appear to praise them for not adopting the IHRA definition. Embarrassingly for the PSC the definition was adopted by Warwick University in October of last year:
The legal guide has the following disclaimer in it:
“While we have endeavoured to ensure everything in this guide is up-to-date, the law does change regularly. When in doubt, please be in touch before relying on this content in any engagement with others.”

While the law may change history doesn’t. Seeing as how Warwick University adopted the IHRA definition two months before PSC even released their legal guide one hopes they will edit the guide to reflect reality and do so by removing IHRA from it entirely.


Defining 'Metrics' to Measure Radical Islam is Vital to Defeating It
Al-Azhar, the most respected Islamic university and organization in the Sunni world, is not – by their own definition – a terrorist organization. Yet the question remains. Is al-Azhar truly moderate, or could it be radical? If we fail to establish clear definitions, we can create chaotic situations that result in our asking radical institutions to help us counter radicalism.

It is notable in this context to mention that French President Emmanuel Macron met with the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and called for all French imams to be trained at the Al-Azhar religious institution. The President of France probably has asked for this form of training without determining if Al-Azhar itself was a radical organization or a moderate one.

Other metrics of Islamic radicalism such as accepting child marriage, considering the lives of Muslims to be more precious than the lives of non-Muslims, and accepting force or violence to impose Islamic religious values upon others can be also included.

Based on these metrics, if any person or Islamic organization fails to reject such abhorrent ideological values, they should not be called moderates. Instead, they should be called what they are: Islamic radicals. We urgently need to detect and expose ideological radicalism before it turns – as it inevitably will – into acts of terrorism.
New Austrian national antisemitism strategy presented to ministers, EU officials
A new national strategy for combating antisemitism in Austria to bolster the security and safety of the country’s Jewish community was presented to Austrian ministers and officials on Thursday morning.

The new initiative will see the creation of a coordinating staff unit in the federal chancellery to tackle antisemitism and its consequences, a tripling of investments in the protection of Jewish institutions, and possible legislative amendments.

The national strategy was presented to the Federal Minister of European Affairs and national coordinator on combating antisemitism Karoline Edtstadler, as well as the European Commission’s coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, Katharina von Schnurbein.

“Even though it is impossible to undo the atrocities of the past, the Austrian government is trying to fulfill its historical responsibility and will do anything it takes in order to protect Jewish life and culture,” reads the new strategy document. “For that reason, it is of utmost priority for the Austrian government to take further measures in order to guarantee security and safety for Jewish citizens and classify combating all forms of antisemitism an important pillar of its work.”

Oskar Deutsch, president of the Jewish Communities of Austria, said that the new strategy “makes explicit that the fight against antisemitism is not primarily the task of the Jewish community, but of the entire nation,” and that the Austrian government is serious in its efforts to combat the problem.

Deutsch noted that in 2019 there were 550 antisemitic attacks in the country, including a rabbi who was threatened with a knife, Jewish children verbally assaulted on a bus, and the daubing of swastikas on synagogues.
World’s largest Holocaust memorial planned for Ukraine’s Babyn Yar ravine
Reversing plans to build one central museum at the site of the Holocaust’s largest open-air massacre, the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC) announced plans on January 21 to construct 12 buildings across 370-acres of the filled-in Kyiv ravine where over 100,000 people were slaughtered during World War II.

On September 29 and 30, 1941, German Nazis and Ukrainian collaborators murdered 33,771 Jews at “Grandmother’s Ravine” on the edge of Ukraine’s capital. An additional 70,000 people were murdered at Babyn Yar during the next three years, including Jews, Ukrainian resisters, Roma, and disabled people.

“Currently, there are far too many people unaware of the nature of the place,” BYHMC artistic director Ilya Khrzhanovsky told The Times of Israel. “If you visit Babyn Yar today, you will see families relaxing and playing as if it were a regular park.”

Referring to Babyn Yar as “Europe’s largest mass grave,” the memorial center said “the new museum complex will transform the area from a place of terror and killing, into a place of peace and tranquility.”

By way of comparison, Israel’s Yad Vashem campus is about one-eighth the size of the complex planned for Kyiv.
Nazi collaborators included in Ukrainian memorial project
A project of the Ukrainian Institute for National Memory memorializing Ukrainian national figures includes senior officials in Ukrainian auxiliary police units that collaborated with the Nazis and carried out atrocities against local populations, including Jews, during the Holocaust.

The project also memorializes controversial Ukrainian nationalists also accused of responsibility for the murder of Jews during the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1923, and during the Holocaust.

Amongst those memorialized on the site are a deputy commander of the 118th Schutzmanshaft Battalion, a commander of the 109th Schutzmanshaft Battalion, Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera and Symon Petliura, a politician in the Ukrainian People's Republic which existed from 1917 to 1920.

The Ukrainian Institute for National Memory has insisted however that the individuals in question were not convicted of war crimes or recorded in state archives as having done so.

The Ukrainian Institute of National Memory is a government institution directed by Anton Drabovich and is dedicated to the preservation of Ukrainian national memory and history.

The institute comes under the authority of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and its current minister Oleksandr Tkachenko.
Swastika-wearing goats and Nazi monkey at Russian circus spark public backlash
The performance, watched by young children and their families, was commissioned by the Russian Orthodox Church in Udmurtia, a region in western Russia. Social media footage showed the animals being controlled by circus performers and trainers around the ring dressed in Soviet uniforms. The audience can be heard applauding and cheering throughout the show, which occurred on the day after Orthodox Christmas.

Following public outcry, the church released a statement in which it assured that the performance was used to celebrate the “victory over fascism” in Moscow in 1942, and to reflect a “worldwide condemnation” of the ideals of Nazi Germany.

In 2014, the country introduced a ban on Nazi symbols, however the law was later amended after politicians highlighted that it applied to documentaries and films about the Nazi regime and the Second World War. The Chairman of the public chamber of Udmurtia stated that the use of Nazi symbols, akin to those incorporated in the circus, are permitted for educational purposes.

Prosectors have not issued a comment on their current investigation.
Israeli cybersecurity firms raised record $2.9 billion in 2020 amid pandemic
Israel’s cybersecurity industry posted a 70 percent growth in funding in 2020, raising a record $2.9 billion in 100 transactions as the coronavirus pandemic triggered a global transition to online activities, the Israel National Cyber Directorate said on Thursday.

Israel’s cybersecurity industry accounted for 31% of global investments in the sector in 2020, putting the nation in second place after the US, the directorate said. Exports of cybersecurity products in 2020 totaled $6.85 billion, up from $6.5 billion in 2019.

Last year saw more than 20 acquisitions of Israeli cybersecurity firms for a total of an estimated $ 4.7 billion, the directorate said in a statement.

Five Israeli cybersecurity firms reached unicorn status in 2020, the directorate said. Unicorns are privately held companies that have reached valuations of over $1 billion. These were Snyk, SentinelOne, Cato Networks, Forter and BigID. According to this data, Israel now accounts for 33% of global unicorns in the cybersecurity sector, the directorate said.

“The coronavirus has caused an unprecedented shift in the volume and pace of physical activity into the online space,” which has set the scene for increased cybersecurity threats requiring all parts of the economy to gear up for protection, said Roi Yarom, director for economy and growth at the cyber directorate.

“The growing threats have created additional opportunities for the Israeli cyber industry, which has proven once again this year that it is a national growth engine and an essential component of national resilience.”
AI-based software scours literature to help physicians get to a diagnosis faster
Avid followers of the TV medical series “Grey’s Anatomy” will be familiar with the idea of interns scouring piles of medical literature in an attempt to be the first to find a solution to the mysterious problems afflicting their patients.

If only they had a smart system that could do all of that reading for them and point them in the right direction, one can imagine them thinking. That is exactly what Israeli startup Kahun hopes to do with its AI-based software, which is meant to ease doctors’ paths from facing huge amounts of text to making the right diagnostic call.

“Ever since the first medical article was ever published on a papyrus in 2,000 BCE,” medical knowledge has been documented, but until 2020 this knowledge has always been in written form, said Eitan Ron, a co-founder of Kahun, in a phone interview. “We are now trying to turn all that text around” into something physicians can use more efficiently.

The startup, by the way, is named for the Egyptian village of Kahun where that first medical paper, an OB/GYN-related article, was discovered, he explained.

After physicians submit their patients’ symptoms to Kahun’s website, the software scours the wealth of information available in medical texts and creates a “knowledge graph” that can map out 5 million relations between symptoms and diseases, findings, labs, complications and risk factors, said co-founder Dr. Michal Tzuchman-Katz, a pediatrician and a software engineer.
Israel’s Vertical Field inks deal to deploy its farming system in UAE
Vertical Field, a startup that has developed a vertical farming system, has signed an accord with an Emirati company to deploy its products to the United Arab Emirates.

The Israeli ag-tech firm signed the agreement with Emirates Smart Solutions & Technologies, Vertical Field said in a statement on Wednesday.

Vertical Field will set up pilot vertical farms in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain ahead of a wider roll-out in the UAE, the company said. The pilot will aim to determine which crops are best for the local market and will be supported and overseen by Vertical Field’s Israeli agronomists.

The firm expects the project to expand into a multimillion-dollar venture that will include distributing Vertical Field’s products to additional Gulf states, the company said.

Roughly 80 percent of agricultural food products in the UAE is imported from abroad, amounting to $10 billion in trade in 2018. The increasing cost of transporting food and concerns over food security played a part in the new partnership, Vertical Field said.

“Arid desert regions face many challenges surrounding the production of high-quality agricultural produce at low prices. With the help of various agricultural technologies and new developments, we believe that we can successfully align the demands of the market with competitive prices without compromising quality,” Guy Elitzur, Vertical Field’s CEO, said in a statement.
KISS Frontman Gene Simmons: Jews ‘Opened the Doors to Black Music’ in the US
KISS frontman Gene Simmons said in an interview published on Monday that “the real secret that’s not widely talked about” is the contribution of Jews to the success of “Black music” in the United States.

The Jewish rock ‘n’ roll legend, who was born Chaim Witz, made the remarks while talking to the bimonthly magazine American Songwriter. When asked about “the long history in America” of Black Americans and Jewish Americans working closely together, the 71-year-old, whose mother was a Holocaust survivor, recalled the time when “Black music was not allowed to be heard on white radio” and said “it was really the Jews — [Jerry] Leiber and [Mike] Stoller, who wrote, ‘You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog’ and ‘Give me fever in the morning,’ all that Black music.”

The two songs referenced by Simmons, “Hound Dog” and “Fever,” were originally recorded by the Black artists Big Mama Thornton and Little Willie John, before being popularized by white singers, Elvis Presley and Peggy Lee.

“The Coasters and Ben E. King and all that, written by two Jews,” he continued. “Two Jews who couldn’t stand Broadway and that kind of schmaltzy music that the other Jews were doing. They loved Black music and they were responsible for a lot of the Black music that came out there. Elvis, Big Momma Thornton and all that.”

“The truth is that if it wasn’t for [Jewish American record producer] Sam Phillips and a lot of the other guys, early rock ‘n’ roll, including Elvis, would have never happened. It was these Jews who owned the record companies that opened the doors to Black music. Sam Phillips recorded Bo Diddley and lots of other stuff while the rest of the record companies would never touch them.”

Simmons was born in Israel and immigrated to the United States at around the age of 9, not being able to speak any English. His first exposure to music was the African American singer and guitarist Chuck Berry; when Berry died in 2017, Simmons himself gave a eulogy.
‘Maybe we should bomb Damascus?’: Yom Kippur War deliberations declassified
The Israeli government and military feared during the early days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War that without a decisive victory on at least one front, the world would no longer believe the Jewish state could defend itself, according to transcripts of previously classified cabinet meetings and top-level security discussions that were released by the Defense Ministry on Thursday.

“I have been living — since the beginning of the campaign — with the feeling that we cannot leave [the war] in a situation that the world says: That’s it. What we thought about Israel and the [Israel Defense Forces]: That’s it,” then-prime minister Golda Meir said during one such meeting on the night of October 10, the fifth day of the war.

That sentiment was echoed by the IDF chief of staff at the time, Lt. Gen. David Elazar, who said Israel needed to make a major offensive push into Syria to demonstrate the country’s military strength and to force Damascus’s ally Egypt to accept an armistice along the 1967 ceasefire lines.

“We are ready to go back but the Egyptians aren’t totally ready to go back, but they’d be ready for a ceasefire for the following reason: That tomorrow we are bombing all of Syria, including the cities there, and that we are advancing into Syria, and the world will believe that we are strong. No one in the world recognizes our weakness, not in Israel, not in America, not the Arabs and not the Russians. Tomorrow they’ll believe it more, that we are preparing for this, that we are going to Damascus,” Elazar said during that meeting.

The transcripts of the discussions were cleared for publication on Thursday, though in some cases words and sentences were redacted from the text, despite nearly half a century having passed since the conflict. The release of the documents was apparently spurred by the popularity of a new television miniseries on the Yom Kippur War, titled “Valley of Tears” in English, or “Sha’at Neila” in Hebrew, referencing the prayer service said at the end of the Yom Kippur holiday.







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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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