James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

Archive for the ‘other’ Category

AIPAC lobbies for U.S. interests

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My letter in the July 6 Ames Tribune:

AIPAC lobbies for U.S. interests

I find it ironic when someone makes it sound as if AIPAC were the lobby for a foreign government (‘Obama demands more of Israel’ June 28). I am a proud and patriotic American and a member of AIPAC. We lobby our American government as Americans who promote American interests in the world.

Often, those who oppose American greatness, our influence in the world and our efforts to promote liberal democracy, know that they cannot simply bash America. Instead, they bash Israel, a small liberal democracy surrounded by hostile and unfree states. They appeal to conspiracy theories and unexplained power (really just re-purposed arguments against other-things-Jewish).

Fortunately, the American people know better. Our Congress supports Israel because Americans, from across the political and religious spectrum, support Israel. And, we support Israel because we know that our values are at stake there.

In the past, Soviet-backed governments threatened Israel. Today, terrorists with fascist ideologies threaten Israel. Against such enemies, Americans back democracy and freedom.

James Edward Johnson
Iowa City

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Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 6:13 am

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My piece for Patrick McEwen.

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A nice Jewish man in Iowa City, Patrick McEwen, was brutally killed in his own home just over 3 years ago.  His killer was up for parole last week – during Chag Pesach no less.  Fortunately, it was denied for at least four more months.  Here is the piece I wrote for the Press-Citizen just before the hearing.

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Monday, April 25, 2011 at 12:39 am

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My recently published pieces …

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I have recently published a Writers’ Group column in the Iowa City Press-Citizen and a letter in the Des Moines Register.  Enjoy!

Asking the ‘Finkler Question’

Howard Jacobson’s “The Finkler Question” is an exploration of the relationships of three British men, two Jews and one philo-Semite, their struggles with the women in their lives, and their struggles with Jewishness and antisemitism. It recently won the Man Booker Prize, one of the top literary prizes in the world. … Read more.

Does U.S. advocate segregated housing?

The United States has an ugly history of red-lining and housing segregation. Beginning in the 1960s, we rightly began reversing this historic injustice. How odd, then, that we ask a foreign government to implement segregationist policies. … Read more.

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Monday, December 6, 2010 at 8:59 am

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Pagan Bacchanalia in Iowa City …

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The Bacchanal by Peter Paul Rubens

The Bacchanal by Peter Paul Rubens

My periodic commentary … a slightly modified version of what I could write for every Iowa v. Iowa State game weekend:

Paganism is alive and well in Iowa City. The bacchanalia began Friday night and didn’t end until Sunday. The Hawkeye and Cyclone worshipers each surrendered themselves to their respective deities with sacraments of alcohol and sex acts. A great battle took place between the objects of their worship, and the Hawkeye cult emerged with a victory. Even so, the debauchery persisted, as both cults continued their festivities, drowning their respective victory and defeat in large amounts of beer.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 11:07 pm

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Happy New Year!

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It always struck me as interesting that we Jews count the years from what is essentially a literal reading of creation. Just 5771 years ago, the whole universe was created … if you believe in a plain text meaning of the Bible.

What is interesting about it is that we Jews count years in this way, and yet almost none of us read Genesis as a literal text. We celebrate Rosh Hashanah consistent with a belief in which very few of us believe. When I meet a creationist, it means that I am more likely to know the age of the universe according to their belief than they are … seems odd to me …

L’Shanah Tovah!

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

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Who will boycott this?

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FASEBAnti-Israel boycotts would be humorous if they were not a leading indicator of rising antisemitism in certain quarters.  The reason, of course, is that no one is seriously interested in boycotting the most productive and dynamic sectors of Israel’s economy.  Dead Sea products might be a visible symbol of Israel, but they represent very few jobs and a small export.

Israel’s major commerce is high tech – ranging from medical devices to pharmaceuticals to cell phone technologies to cutting edge software to …

Here is the latest:

Tel Aviv University researchers claim to have developed an experimental drug used in a polymer delivery system that may make it possible someday to prevent cancer or turn malignant tumors into a chronic disease with which one could live for years.

via TAU: cancer drug ‘breakthrough’ at JPost.

The reason Israel boycotts are doomed to fail is that no one wants to turn away from such incredible progress.  Who, after all, would refuse a cancer treatment because it was developed in Israel?

Read the nerdy stuff on this breakthrough at The FASEB Journal, ‘Applications of the human p53 knock-in (Hupki) mouse model for human carcinogen testing’.

Written by JamesEJ

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Posted in israel, other, tech

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Serious rails to trails.

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In Iowa, we talk about converting old rail lines to multipurpose trails … Well, in NYC, they have done it with an old west side freight line. The odd part, it’s elevated. Welcome to the High Line.

Written by JamesEJ

Monday, August 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

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