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RBSS2The CPJ 2015 International Press Freedom Awards included Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) a collective of citizen journalists reporting on IS and Syrian government activities in Raqqa, the Islamic State capital in Syria.

On a day that saw a Russian aircraft shot down over Syria, for allegedly passing through Turkish airspace, followed by President Obama saying that “every country has a right to defend its territory and airspace,” one can only wonder why Syria should be denied the same right—with only two countries supporting them (Russia & Iran), according to Obama.

In his remarks, one of the RBSS members said that “the evil which began in Syria will not stop there.” Actually the evil that is slaughtering Syria today began in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US—and contrary to RBSS dreams, won’t be producing “a free, democratic and united country”—just look at those countries.

It should be remembered that the early days of the Syrian uprising were fueled by “Gay Girl in Damascus,” the deceit of a male American grad-student. Healthy change can’t be built on lies.

NYU-France2015Washington Square Park in NYC — November 14, 2015

The problem for the French and American people is their leaders, on the left and right, who support malevolent interventions (“Assad must go”) — that predictably produce spoils for some and humanitarian disaster for all.

DaughtersOfMotherIndiaDaughtersOfModernIndia3Asia Society and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women presented a discussion, 11/10, on women’s empowerment followed by a documentary on violence against women and girls in India.

Filmaker Vibha Bakshi was on hand, along with Rachel Vogelstein, senior fellow and director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, DC; Noa Meyer, global head of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program; and Leigh Gallagher, Assistant Managing Editor at Fortune magazine.

Ms. Bakshi’s film was made in the aftermath of the rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi in December 2012, and the nationwide demonstrations that followed. She hopes to raise consciousness about gender violence, and affect change, especially among law enforcement in India.

At the heart of the matter is the collision of pre-modern and post-modern Indian culture — lacking a shared view (old or new) for how to be healthy persons in society. American feminist interventions will likely make the situation worse, because their mindsets and programs tend to divide women from men.

The men are not the only ones committing violence against women and girls in India. Ms. Bakshi said Indian mothers typically abort their pregnancies when they learn that the fetus is a girl.

MaybellineNYCIn recent years feminists, like Hillary Clinton, have advocated for empowering women (with preferential treatment—scholarships, loans, etc.) for the sake of lifting/bettering society.

However, when said women are not rooted in truth and goodness the opposite happens, as we see today in American society and foreign policy. It was the U.S. State Department, under Secretary of State Clinton in 2011 (with help from Susan Rice and Samantha Power) that incited the uprising and criminal rebel action against the Assad government—leading to the hell that exists there today.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

SakeSaltTsukinoiSakeTsukinoiHandCreamThe recent Japanese Food and Beverage Expo in NYC featured plenty of excellent Sakes, but also products made with Sake, including salt and hand cream.

Tsukinoi hand cream is a new hand treatment — in the same league as Estee Lauder’s La Mer, perhaps even better.

Poland-PresidentDuda1The new president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, arriving at the Polish Consulate in NYC on Tuesday.

SteubenParade2015eSteubenParade2015nSteubenParade2015Oktoberfest2015The 58th iteration of the German-American Steuben Parade, normally a fun-filled occasion of friendship, showed signs of strain — with no major corporate sponsors and fewer groups from Germany — perhaps a response to American foreign policy, particularly in Syria (“Assad must go”), and the Justice Department’s actions towards Volkswagen.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

BrasilDay2015BrasilDay2015aWith significant economic challenges facing their country, these Brazilians find reasons to smile on Brazil’s Independence Day in NYC.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Ireland-LinenIreland-Pots3The Irish are back to making stuff these days, really excellent hand-made stuff. From fine linens and crystal, to soap and pottery, here are some of our favorites from this year’s NY NOW: Irish Linen House, 31 Chapel Lane, Foxford, Arran Street East, J. Hills Standard LTD, and The Handmade Soap Company.

US-TheStrainThe machinations around the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran offer a glimpse into the toxic U.S. efforts to control the World, made worse by the extent to which Israel has bought control of the U.S. Congress and the presidential candidates.

A commonly heard refrain today, directed at American Jews by Isaeli officials, is: “Give us your money and your Congress…” But to what end? The hysteria and fanaticism of the Zionist movement continues to plague the world, the U.S., and Jews themselves. Even after delivering money and Congress, American Jews are often told by Israelis that they aren’t really Jews. Writing in Forward (July 24, 2015), Gal Beckerman characterized the state of being an American Jew today as: “gut-churning, fraught, panicked and uncomfortable.” This is not because of anti-Semitism, but rather, he says: “the fear of losing Jewish identity… and the struggle to construct Jewish identity.”

History has shown the best hope for finding peace (of mind) and being fulfilled, authentic Jews, is through assimilation — not with Xanax or Zionism, but with the New Covenant.


Stephen B. Wise


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