Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Upsurge In Violence

President Bush held a news conference to announce that there 'may be an upsurge in violence' in Iraq in the coming weeks heading in to the Iraqi elections.

I am nearly shocked by this announcement, as there seems that it is already going on. The violence of the last 10 days or so should be some indication of the type of upsurge we should be expecting. I find it interesting that the President felt the need to make this kind of announcement. Perhaps his popularity numbers and the falling poll number for approval are finally sinking in to members of this administration.

CNN Article

On a 'related' note:

It was announed today by IDF Intellegence Chief that there are signs of Al-Qa'eda setting up operations with in Gaza following the withdrawl. This is happening despite the fact that both the Egyptian and Palestinian authorities assured that the border would be guarded against just such an intrusion.

Arutz Sheva

Breaking News on Tom DeLay

The House Majority Leader, the ever moral and just, Tom DeLay has been indicted by the Texas grand jury. The indictment surrounds the 'alledgely illegal campaign financial' scheme that he and two of his political 'associates' were involved in.

The initial response from Rep. Delay (R) Texas, is that the Travis County DA has persued this issue out of political malice because he is a Democrat. I don't know, nor am I going to pretend that I know, much about this case. I do believe that if the DA has any interest in a continued political career, he wouldn't be persuing this situation with out some belief that it is true. Now, as we all remember from our high school civics classes, not to mention just about every crime drama at one time or another, the grand jury only hears the evidence that the DA puts on to get an indictment, it doesn't mean that DeLay is guilty of any crime.

Hopefully, this will be enough of an embaressment for the district from which he is from to consider a change.

(My fear is that his constituents are going to be as goofy as the people in Mahoning County Ohio, where I grew up, and the votes that James Traficant recieved for his Congressional seat AFTER having been found guilty of tax evasion and accepting bribes and being sentenced to jail.)

Fox Story
CNN Story This story, at least at the initial stage, is much more extensive.

A Change In Theory?

NASA is releasing today the discovery of what is being called the 'big baby galaxy.' The light from this galaxy has been traveling for an estimated 13 Billion years, and is causing problems with the current theories of cosmology that believe that bigger galaxies develope from smaller 'clumps' of stars and slowly form.

As with the giant squid story, I am always amazed by the ability of humanity to find a bit of information that changes our concept of the creation/formation of the universe and figure out how the new information relates to what we have already learned.

A Monster From The Deep

Jules Verne will be smiling somewhere today as a group of Japanese scientists have gotten the first pictures of a living Giant Squid.

I wish I would be able to post a picture of the squid as it is truly an amazing picture. These wonderful creatures have been know to exist for a period of time as they occasionally wash up dead on a shore, and whales have been found with scars from fights with these creatures. The only negative is that during the retrieval of the equipment from the filming of the squid, on of it's tentacles was torn off. The squid will survive, but it will not re-grow the tentacle.

You have to love the reseach of the planet that results in these kinds of finds.

Giant Squid

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Does Judaism Oppose Liberalism

Our friend Heshy posted the following statement:

The greatest threat to Judaism is liberalism. This is why observant JEWS vote conservative in elections.

Let us examine these two statements.
1. The greatest threat to Judaism is liberalism. This can be taken in a purely politcal or a purely religious way. The combining of to produces an incompatable outcome. That really is the problem with the whole of the statement, combining incompatable concepts to produce a logical determination.
Dictionary. com defines liberal as:

a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian
attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

So lets look at this: Is there some political reason that Jews would be opposed to progess, tolerance, open mindedness. How about political reason to belive that they should be free from bigotry, dogmatic responses to the rest of the world, or even limited to traditional or orthodox political answers. I can't think of one. Does this mean that Jews should be liberal religiously? No, and yes. Existing dogma exists from nearly 3300 years of religious experience, but the fact is that every single day something new happens that would make existing dogma a problem simply because it doesn't cover the situation. And open-mindedness and an understanding of the dogma helps resolve these issues.

2. This is why observant JEWS vote conservative in elections. This statement really, as we've been discussing is not really the logical determination that follows the first statement. It is a statement of political preference for ideology. I would also from a personal stand point say that I am not sure that it is necessarily true. I believe there are political ideological problems with both parties in terms of what Jews are generally supposed to believe. So the key is to find the political party that is the most in line with how Jews are supposed to behave and how we are to treat other people. To me the 'liberal' party in this country tends to meet those needs, in it's more mainstream version, than the 'conservative' party does.

Now a separate note. I would go so far as to argue that Jews are come from a liberal religious tradition. We were founded by Avraham who could only be considered a liberal from the above definition. He certainly believed differently than the dogma of the world around him.

I would also argue that our first political leader, Moses, was a political liberal as well. For one thing he went against the established religion and political system of the land in which he was raised, and if the Torah is to be accepted as accurate, then he was also raised in as a member of the political/religious elite prior to incidents that lead to his rebellion and leading our ancestors out of the land of Egypt.

Anonymous Notes

Generally I write on here for a variety of reasons. There may be posts that make more sense than others. Yesterday I had a post about something that was bothering me on a personal level. Someone felt the need to not only comment on it, but to do so anonymously. The particular post was a designed to help me get out something that was bothering me. I appreciated that someone else felt they had enough time to try and read it, but to leave an insulting message is really un-necessary and un-appreciated.

I post many things that simply interest me. If the things don't interest anyone else, guess what, don't read it, you won't be hurting my feelings. This blog is for me, and for anyone who finds the things that show up here interesting. I also will post to help me clear something out of my head if something is bothering me. Generally those posts are not aimed to really be out there for anyone else, and really may not make sense to anyone who hasn't been through the situation. This same anonymous person didn't like a discussion of several different topics in a single post where I discussed several TV shows I have been watching and didn't really care if there was comments. I know several of my friends were going to be seeing it and it might lead to another discussion. Great, if not, I have expressed myself. Isn't that what a blog is for, to express yourself, not to make the random reader, who obviously for whatever reason was unable to even come up with an identifying name, happy.

Well I have gotten than off my mind. (Check that off the list of things to clear out and move on.)

Damn to Jews and Their Plots

Why is it that every move that Israel makes is seen as a plot to 'take over' something else. Granted the withdrawl from Gaza was designed to have political concequences. And granted the announcement to continue to expand Ma'aleh Adumim and other 'East Jerusalem settlements' were announced at about the same time, mostly to take advantage of the situation and to mitigate some of the internal political issues, but I really don't think the 'plot' of withdrawl is really designed to allow the 'de-palestinization' of East Jerusalem. (Is De-Palestinization a word?) Additionally, why does the UN continue to complain about the fence, it has been shown to cut the number of terrorist attacks inside 'Israel proper' and save. . . lives . . . Oh yeah, those are Jewish lives, so nobody cares about them. Now if we were saving Palestinian lives, other than those of the suicide bombers, well that would be a completely different issue.

The UN and the UN Human Rights Commission continues to hammer at Israel, when is it the Palestinians turn for how they treat their own people, or the Jews. When does someone tell the UN that there agency for the singular purpose of maintaining Arabs in ghettos disguised as refugee camps is far more inhumane, than a security fence designed to save lives on both sides.

What, logic, even handedness, oh goodness I have obviously slipped off the deep end.

Ha'aretz Article

Religion in Under Two Hours

A British publisher is printing a condensed version of the Christian Bible and instead of 780,000 words and 1,200 chapters, there are just 20,000 words in fewer than 60 pages. I do have a problem with this, but it is different than any discussed in the article. The article discusses the issues surrounding removing, for all intents and purposes, the beauty of the writing.

My concern in this situation is simple, I dislike the way this will minimize the origins of the 'Old Testament' by only convering the things that this publisher feels applies to Jesus and Christian Theology. This removes the real 'intent' of the older books as they will eliminate much to much of the material.

Oh, well. I guess I can't expect respect out of a anyone who would also publish a version of the bible all done in 700 limericks.

Abu Ghaib

Lynndie England’s trial for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison concluded yesterday with the truly surprising decision of her being found guilty of all 6 counts. The evidence was pretty damning being that the photos clearly showed here involved in the activities in question.

If the outcome is not surprising, is this even news and what is being accomplished here? Well first off I was a little bit disturbed when her plea agreement was set aside, at the point that it had been negotiated she new she was wrong in what she had done, her life was going to be very difficult for an extended period, and she was pregnant. It seems to me the best for ALL involved would have been to get the situation with her resolved over with.

The other thing that has been bothering me is the appearances of people being made scapegoats. I do not understand how one can truly believe that a small group of ‘rouge’ military personnel were at fault for all of this and that a General was the highest authority that was at fault. The General was demoted to Colonel for the screwing up of the oversight. I am still not sure that they are the only one’s that are involved. I just don’t know who to blame or how high to blame. I figure it will all come out eventually.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Would You Believe...?

I would like to express my sympathy to the family and friends of Don Adams who passed away on Sunday September 25, 2005, at the age of 82.

I still remember watching Get Smart, and have tried to catch it occasionally on cable. Mr. Adams, I thank you thank you for hours of entertainment over the years.

He was born Donald James Yarmy in New York City on April 13, 1923, Tufeld said, although some sources say 1926 or '27. The actor's father was a Hungarian Jew who ran a few small restaurants in the Bronx.

In 1941, he dropped out of school to join the Marines. In Guadalcanal he survived the deadly blackwater fever and was returned to the States to become a drill instructor, acquiring the clipped delivery that served him well as a comedian.

After the war he worked in New York as a commercial artist by day, doing standup comedy in clubs at night, taking the surname of his first wife, Adelaide Adams. His following grew, and soon he was appearing on the Ed Sullivan and late-night TV shows. Bill Dana, who had helped him develop comedy routines, cast him as his sidekick on Dana's show. That led to the NBC contract and "Get Smart."

Adams, who married and divorced three times and had seven children, served as the voice for the popular cartoon series, "Inspector Gadget," as well as cartoon character Tennessee Tuxedo. In 1980, he appeared as Maxwell Smart in a feature movie, "The Nude Bomb," about a madman whose bomb destroyed people's clothing.

Adams, who had been under contract to NBC, was lukewarm about doing a spy spoof. When he learned that Mel Brooks and Buck Henry had written the pilot script, he accepted immediately.

CNN Obit.

Get Smart Theme
This is hopefully to be a feature as we also did with Bob Denver's memorial and the Gilligan's Island theme.

As The Holy Days Approach

As the High Holy Days approach I made my annual pilgrimage this weekend to 'visit' my father. For some reason this year I have been taken the mild stones of the year harder. It has been 34 years so it is not a special year anniversary, or birthday for me.

I posted on his Yahrzeit this year and it was, for some reason, a very sad feeling that I approached that anniversary this year. Now, with the High Holy Days right around the corner I found the visit to the cemetary to be rather mornful this year. My mother, for what ever reason, made a point of making sure I remembered his birthday this year. I have looked at that damn headstone for most of my life, with my mother next to me, and for the first time she pressed me to learn his birthday. It somehow seemed to be important to her, and for some reason, to me this year when it has never really mattered in the past.

Part of my problem this year is that I am feeling like I missed something on the 'front end' of my life. My father died when I was fairly young and I didn't have any of those 'educational' experiences that most boys have a a fathers side growing up. My wife and I were discussing it on the way home from the cemetary, her home life was not always the most stellar in life. (Something you may have picked up on if you've been following the madness of the posts on her family, of which there is more coming.)

I think another of the things that is bothering is that I am not, and unless I make a relationship change, will not be a father myself. this has bothered me for a long time as I am the last of my family. I have no full siblings and no cousins with the same last name. My grandfather had 2 brothers and a sister. Both of the brothers had no children, and the sister had one child, but the child, obviously, had a different last name. My grandfather and grandmother only had 2 children my father and my aunt. My aunt had children, but again, different last name. And I am my fathers only child.

I also think a lot of my emotionalness this year has to do with the situation with my wife. She has been out of work for the better part of this year for medical reasons. The lack of her working has put added pressure on me, additionally her medical issues have also put pressure on me to provide a certain measure of care and support that can be very draining. This has put me in a situation where I don't always feel that I can 'feel' what I am feeling. (I think I am babbling)

To get back to the point of this whole babble. My general feeling is that for the reasons above, and others I seem to be a little mentally out-of-sorts the last couple of weeks. I think it all began when we put my baby(one of our cats) to sleep do to an extended illness. It just seems to have invaded a lot of other areas of my thinking.

Sorry for this babble, I know most readers probably are board, but it has put a couple of things in perspective.

A Little Bit of This

Some quick hits on a variety of things.

1. I have been watching the new Battlestar Galactica. I have always been a big fan of the original series, and was a little leary of the new series and some of the changes. With the completion of the first half of season 2 I will say that I am glad that I gave the show a chance. It has become an outstanding Sci-Fi drama, and has become more consistantly written in the second year.

2. Wife and I were watching Head Cases. It may not have been the best show on television, and I didn't expect it to last as it was very strange, but I am sorry to see it cancelled in such a short time. The show had, as some one who deals with panic attacks from the outside regularly, a realistic portrayal of what they at least look like. Additionally it was good to see Adam Goldberg doing something useful on television. Wife and I may be the only one's but I will miss this show.

3. I am glad that the new season has started. I can always watch reruns of Law & Order, but new episodes are always better.

4. Missed the Simpsons last night, but number 3 applies to Simpsons as well.

5. I am teaching a Tax Class for a major national tax preparer. I enjoy teaching and my students always seem to like my classes. It almost makes me wish to change my life's work.

6. During the summer, Wife and I watched the Closer, Wanted and 4400. I enjoyed all three series. Closure will return, a big positive, Wanted was a bit strange but I enjoyed it and hope it will return despite some negative press I have seen, and I love 4400, but haven't as yet seen anything about it's return.

7. Wife had an interview today. She said it went very well. If you could all cross your fingers and help me think positive thoughts on this one I would appreciate it.

8. Baseball season is almost over. (Sigh, I love baseball.) But the positive, the Indians have a magic number of 7 as of this morning, so I only have one thing to say.GO TRIBE!

Well that was the 'small items.' Looking forward to more soon.

Does G-D Hate New Orleans Torahs?

The Torahs that were recovered just over a week ago from the flooded synagogue in New Orleans after Katrina, were endangered again when Rita struck and damaged the synagogue to which they had been moved for safe keeping.

The roof of the synagogue was damaged and several inches of water were on the floor of the sanctuary, downed ceiling tiles, and dangling electrical wiring. The Torahs themselves were not in danger, and no damage was done to the synagogues library.

JTA Breaking News

A B'nei Menashe Update

I have seen the number of B'nei Menashe who converted last week to be as high as 700. I am not sure that the number really matters all that much. The fact is that they are returning home.

The reason I even bring this up is the attached article. I find the attempt to explain the process to non-Jews to be rather humorous.

The Calcutta Telegraph

Kidnapped and Murdered

An Israeli was kidnapped and murdered last Wednesday by Hamas terrorists in the Samaria/Yahudah region. Sasson Nuriel, was the owner of a candy business in Mishor Adumim, east of Jerusalem on the road to Jericho. I am thinking that this was an intentionally target rather than one of opportunity. (This has been said with all due sarcasism.) The reason I say that is that as a candy businessman it is well known in all of the Palestinian territories that he has been attempting to poison the young Palestinians for years. It is good to know how just Allah truly can be.

Arutz Sheva.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Beginning of a Season

With fall coming in to full color in the next few weeks, and the holiday of the carved orange squash just around the corner, I saw a grouping of articles that led me to do this post.

The time of Samhein (or All Hallow's Eve, or even the modern Halloween) has long been a celebration of the macbre. With this in mind we will look at a list of the 10 ten costume lists as posted on

10 most frightening.
1. Werewolf
2. Ghostly Gal
3. Leatherface
4. Crypt Master
5. Ghastly Ghoul
6. Emporer of Darkness
7. Phantom of Venice
8. Grim Reaper
9. Scarecrow (Batman Begins)
10. Cap'n Scruvy

10 for pets ( As a pet owner I really needed to do this.)
1. Dogula
2. Princess Leia
3. Cat Jester
4. Lil' Bandito
5. Dog Superman Costume (Or Krypto for those who read comics)
6. Batman
7. Robin the Dog Wonder
8. Wonder Woman
9. Spider-Man(Dog, whatever.)
10. Royal Dog.

A history of Samhein.

MSN Top Ten lists

An Apology

I am sorry for the need to add the word verification, but as I have gotten my first spam comment post, I decided it was time. I have waited this long because I had been 'spam' free.

Ah, the innocence of the new blogger. But as with all, as I develope more knowledge, I loose that innocence.

The Stupidity Just Seems to Continue

Hamas has stated that it will cease all offensive operations against Israelis from Gaza. I have to say, I will believe this when it actually results in several months of no attacks. And then I will not be sure I believe that they will never attack again. The launched a number of Qassam Rockets in to Israel, injuring several people, following the parade accident we discussed the other day.

I have one thing I do think is a little 'encouraging', Israel did eliminate 2 Islamic Jihad 'militants.'

CNN Article

Friday, September 23, 2005

Shabbat Ki Tavo 5765

I am, obviously since there is no picture here, still have issues with posting pictures.

That having been said, I wish all a restive and reflective Shabbat, and we will see you all on the other side of the restful day.

Shabbat Shalom

We Are Stupid, It's Your Fault

During a 'parade' put on by our trusted neighbors in Gaza, Hamas, they were parading a pick-up truck through the street full of home-made weapons. The obvious thing happen, as it seems to in these cases. One of the 'militants' from Hamas, who more than likely had bravely covered his face to avoid being identified by anyone around him, 'mis-handled' one of the weapons and cause the truck load of weapons to detonate. In what is the tragedy of the situation is that apparently a number of innocent children have been killed by the explosion. Despite the fact that the Israeli's are no longer in Gaza, Hamas immediately blamed Israel for the explosion.

The children aside, I have to admit that I always have a get a certain amount of pleasure when these paragons of human virtue and morality seem to be able to kill themselves with out taking any Jews with them. I will have to do Te'shuvah for the fellings as always, but I always, despite my attempts to improve, seem to have the same problem with over and over again. (Maybe part of the problem is that they always blame Israel automatically.)

Israel Insider

Intelligent Design and the Schools

I really am not sure about the concept of intelligent design. What I mean by this really is I am not sure that it should be 'taught' in public school. I have always been of the opinion that religious education should be done at religious institutions.

I sort of started to 'bend' on this subject to some extent last week. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart had 'Evolution' week and on one show they had a panel discussion. The points made by the intelligent design panelist were very interesting. The fact is that much of what this panelist discussed was very close to what I believe as a 'religious' matter. And this is where I run in to that problem again.

The legal case based on a disagreement between a group of parents and the Dover Pa School Board on this subject is moving in the direction of going to the Supreme Court. This is going to be one of those 'fundamental societal' decisions possible for generations to come. Just as the Scopes trial was in it's time. One would think that the Court as it is possibly going to be composed by the time this case is heard could 'overturn' Scopes. The problem still comes down to the Establishment clause of the Constitution. If one looks at the constitution strickly, and that is how I think it should be interpreted, the Establishment Clause argument could really be taken two ways, that ONLY the Federal government, and Congress in particular, is prohibited in the establishment of any type of state religion, or that by prohibiting the Federal government from establishing a state religion, all levels of government are there by prohibited.

I generally go with the first explination, but I still don't like the idea of a public school system teaching a religious concept.

My concern on this particular case is statement from groups involved such as "It's a disturbing prospect that the outcome of this lawsuit could be that the court will try to tell scientists what is legitimate scientific inquiry and what is not," West said. "That is a flagrant assault on free speech." This type of concept bothers me. First of all to argue the first idea, that not teaching this will prevent legitimate scientific inquiry, this is a blantantly ridiculous comment. I don't recall ever being taught how to do anytime of medical research or stem cell/DNA extraction studying in school, yet these areas of science seem to be having a large amount of scientific inquiry. Second, no one is saying that these subjects are illegal to discuss, only that they should not be taught, at this time, in school.

The school board says there are "gaps" in evolution, which it emphasizes is a theory rather than established fact, and that students have a right to consider other views on the origins of life. In their camp is President George W. Bush, who has said schools should teach evolution and intelligent design. I am not sure exactly why this is even the argument, unless you are saying you are teaching religious creationism. The general statements on intellegent design that I have heard, do not ignore the evidence that at least some evolution has occured, but that the 'gaps' as the article calls them are filled by some type of intellegence contribution to the continuence of the cycle/system of development. These statements are further moved along the realm of a religious argument when you take into account that The board is being represented by "The Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit which says it uses litigation to promote "the religious freedom of Christians and time-honored family values."

The local trial begins on Monday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is expected to last about five weeks. I will attempt to try to keep up on the issues in this trial as it goes on and see if we can discuss these issues further.

CNN Article

An O'Reilly Debate

The attached web-page is a transcript of the discussion/debate between Bill O'Reilly. As seems to be his normalicy he makes statements in this discussion, but when pressed he dodges with a lame response.

I won't necessarily agree with everything that is said by Phil Donahue in the discussion. I really think one of the more interesting things in this discussion is O'Reilly saying he basically disagreed with the war and that he was in favor of peoples right to decent but is still arguing for the policy he states he feels is wrong. I really would like to hear him justify this silliness.

O'Reilly - Donahue

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Ahhh! Isn't peace and quite a wonderful . . . oops that isn't the type of serenity I was thinking of.

With the September 30 release of Joss Whedon's Serenity just around the corner the publicity machine is starting to gear up. I have been looking forward to this movie for several months as more and more information comes out. The attached article is one of those fluff pieces that seem to pop-up when ever a reporter seems to not really know what to make of the subject matter or doesn't really seem to know the subject matter. The reason I am posting it is it had some very interesting comments from Joss.

Serenity on MSN

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Here We Go Again Part 2

In a news update CNN is reporting that Rita has just reached Cat 5 status, and is still on course for coastal Texas.

I find it interest and had posted Here we go again when this was first beginning to break.

My comments on this is as follows: I am not one who has been getting on the divine retribution bandwagon with the hurricanes, but I do find it vaguely interesting that Rita seems to be on course to take out the only portion of the Gulf Coast that hasn't been damaged in the last 18 months. If G-D is attacking us with natural disasters ( and I stress the if), then he surely has some major bone to pick with the Gulf Coast states. (I can't blame Bush, I don't think he is controlling the storms after all.)

The reporting of a good idea. CNN is reporting that 2 nuclear energy plants along the Texas Gulf Coast are going to be shutting down for the period of the hurricane. (They do believe both are built to withstand a Cat 5.) (This did cause a thought though, if we could for see this when building a energy plant, why not when initially designing the retaining walls and levees in New Orleans.)

Another story on CNN is titled Rita could equal $5 gas, did we really need to announce it this far in advance of the storm actually doing anything. After all, while I am sure the Oil Execs were already thinking this and salivating, now they are really going to be thinking they can get away with it.

Attempted Hi-Jacker Update.

2 years ago the 'gentleman' in this article tried to hi-jack an El-Al flight by taking a stewardess hostage at knife point. I have two questions: 1. Aside from mental illness what do you suppose is wrong with this moron; 2. For an airline with the security of El-Al how did he get a knife.

The final observation: His last name is Fukra, I am not sure how to pronounce this but it kind of looks like F***Raw to me. At least reading through it this is how it kept coming out in my mind.


200 More Return

I have an interest in things like the returning of the Ethiopian Jewery to Israel. As I reported yesterday a number of them (a total of 20,000) are waiting for the chance to return home from exile. But that is not what I wanted to report on today.

200 members of the B'nei Menashe have formerly returned to Judaism by completing the conversion process, and all 200 plan on making aliyah in the near future. If we continue to accept the Rabbinic decision that the Ethiopian Jews are Dan, and that B'nei Menashe are who they say they are, then we have to consider, as the article points out, that the 'Lost' tribes are beginning to return home, and perhaps we need to look at what that means not just to Israel, but to us and our 'family' as a whole.


A View From the Other Side

I found the attached article as posted on I found the article to be an interesting perspective on the 'final' peace settlement with the Palestinians. One thing that I find humorous, but sad, is the continual reference in the article where no quoting is going on, to the 'settlements,' which is a term I don't like to begin with, as Colonies, which is perhaps even less appropriate.

I seem to be finding alternate view information today. And feeling the need to read it. The other thing I would like to point out is the quotation that is on the same page. It deals with statements of Sultan Abdul Hameed and his statements on a proposed meeting with Theodore Herzl.


A Different Response

I have not seen much on this organization before and if you have information about them that isn't in this article I would ask that you give me some clues.

Ta’ayush, an Arabic word that means “life in common” according to the attached article, has established what they call non-violent methods of 'combating the occupation.' They have been establishing relationships with Palestinian villages and working to help these villages to get items that they need. This organization came into existence after the beginning of the second Intifada in September 2000. From reading the article I have several problems, but I like the idea of 'non-violent' methods of resistence.

The first thing about this article that concerns me is when it discuss the members of the organization the first thing I notice is that all of the members of the organization are Israeli, either being Jews or Arabs. This concerns me because despite the establishment of various ties with Palestinian villages, they are not listing any non-Israeli Arabs amoung the membership.

Another thing that bothers me is the mention of a number of incidents that I question. To make this clear, I am not saying they didn't happen, but as I do not know anything, at this time, about this organization and its veracity I question whether the incidents may not be exaggerated at best or made up entirely at worst. Examples is the idea of Palestinians living in caves south of Hebron. One of the reasons I question this is that this sounds like Palestinian propagada that is constantly accusing the Israeli's of any and all crimes they can think of. (I keep thinking back to the accusations of a massacure in Jenin several years ago, as far as I know they still do not official acknowledge that it never happened and have helped finance movies such as Jenin, Jenin to support the claim.) Another is the accusation that 'Settlers' are going around randomly kill Palestinians in order to 'continue' to control and take the land. This again bothers me, because again it sound more like Palestinian propaganda than reality.

I would not be terribly surprised to find out that the poisoning of the sheep is true. Not because I necessarily think it is, but because I find the idea less unrealistic. The other thing that struck me as true, and I am fairly sure is, is that security fence (wall in the language of the organization and others) in causing hardship on the Palestinians. My only response to this is that we can see what the Palestinian response is to 'freedom,' running back and forth across the border with Egypt and importing weapons.

This is the type of article that cause problems in the long run. Why? Well there is quite a lot of potentially inflamatory information in it that I have not seen substantiated else where, and it is the type of information that can lead people who only have one source of information to believe it.

From The List of Things I Don't Understand

Okay, I have never really understood the appeal of getting a tattoo. Not only do I think they look a little strange, but I have a fear of needles that I think sort of eliminates the 'tattoo thing.' I will only be stuck with needles so many times, and they seem to like to do that to me to monitor several of the meds that I am on.

Why, you may ask, am I even bringing this up?

Katrina tattoosSept. 20: Deborah and Joe Pfalzgraf, who evacuated to Memphis, Tenn., after Hurricane Katrina hit, decided to get a permanent souvenir of the storm -- matching tattoos, featuring an exact radar image of the storm as it passed over New Orleans.

The link will take you to a video from MSNBC. I am still having issues with picture posting from my work computer.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Will They Tell The Flies

Beijing has released an order to sanitation workers that it is now no longer legal for a public toilet to have more than 2 flies or two pieces in trash at any one time. Do you suppose they will let the flies know that they are not allowed to congregate in groups of more than 2? And if a civic official finds 2 or more flies together in a public bathroom what will the penalties be for the flies themselves for violating this order?

News of the Weird

Pow, Right To The Moon Alice, Right To The Moon

The item that we are looking at here is the newly proposed moon missions. NASA is stating that we should be able to reach the moon by 2018. (13 years from now) I find this very exciting.

I vaguely remember the first moon landings. I was only 4 at the time, but I remember watching the news coverage. I was allowed to stay up late that night to watch the coverage, unfortunately I was a small child and fell asleep only a short time before the actual moon landing occurred. My father was a big space program fan, and for some odd reason it has rubbed off on me. I remember having the 3 foot tall Apollo stage rocket model. It opened up to reveal the lunar lander and it would separate in to the various segments of the vehicle. (I also remember how upset I was when it got broken several years after my father had passed away.

I have followed the current space program with interest, but have been very disappointed with NASA's ability to sustain the program at a high level over the last 20 years. I remember when the shuttle program started, we were to have a fleet of shuttles, and on would be launching every month, they were already talking about the development of the second generation of shuttles long before the first launch. They even had some design concepts. That idea has long since gone away. The two shuttle disasters have lead the space program in to a sort of slow retrograde. I have to say I was skeptical that Bushes announcement about the future of the space program with first returning to the moon, then the mission to Mars. I have found that as we move further into this new program I am getting excited.

My concern is still there though. To many people, and a lot of Republican and Democratic law makers, have missed the point of the space program. To many people no longer see the future advantage of the money spent (invested) today. The other concern is the concept of a space shuttle/apollo on steriods hybrid technology to accomplish this return. Why does this concern me, well for one thing I think that it takes away the developement of new technologies for the future. We are relying on 'old' technology to resolve the future issue. Lack of innovation. These are the types of things that may eventually doom the space program.

The big thing that is exciting me. New experiments and tests and other things that will be conducted when the first new lunar mission is launched. One thing they are talking about is developing the ability for the astronauts to develope the ability to 'live of the land.' They intend to do this with new equipment that will help the astronauts develope fuel, water and other resources while on the moons surface. The reason for this, a Mars mission is estimated to take a minimum of 550 days, and if this is the case the astronauts will be required to be able to do much more with much less on this type of mission.


A New Face

I have two reasons for posting this article, the first is the great potential for this project. The second is because I know one of the Doctor's involved in the program.

So what am I talking about? I am talking about the up-coming first 'face transplant.' This is, as the Doctor I know described it, as a 'giant skin-graft.' The project is to help people who have been severly disfigured in some way, such as being badly burned or from having surgery. The real positive here is to help people who are not comfortable with being able to 'move around' in public to become connected again.

They are evaluating a number of people at this time to find the person who will be 'best suited' for the program. The Doctor that I know was saying that things like coping skills and a low level of mental illness (for lack of a better off the cuff term) are very important. Naturally most of the people that they will be evaluating will be have some mental illness as they will likely be suffering from depression.

This exciting procedure, as I have been trying to get across, has great prospective benefits for many people. I ask, on a purely independent level, that you keep the people who are potentially to benefit from this procedure in your thoughts and prayers, and hope that the procedure is both successful on the first try and becomes a way to help the people who are suffering because of their disfigurement.


Moving Jews

This is something I am not sure I understand. We were able to expel somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000 Jews from Gaza when they were unwilling to leave, but we can't remove something up to 20,000 Jews from Ethiopia who want to be moved. I am not sure what to think. Is it time for the Israeli military to perform another Operation similar to Operations Moses and Solomon. How hard can it be to at least evacuate the 3,000 Jews living in Addis Ababa? Why are Jews who want to be in Israel not being taken there when our great PM has been calling for an increase in aliyah for several years.

Ethiopian Jews

Now for a separate question: Does anyone think it is truly proper for the Mail & Guardian to all the Ethiopian Jews Falashas while in the same sentence saying they dislike being called that and they preferred being called Bete Israel?

"A Sign of the Endtimes?"

In a possible move that could be a beginning of changes in the Arab stance on Israel in the post-Gaza era, Bahrain has been making moves to remove the 'Primary' boycott of Israel that would allow Bahraini companies to enter the Israeli market and Israeli companies to enter the Bahraini market.

Palestinian Chronicle

Simon Wiesenthal: Dead at 96

As the title says it was announced today that Simon Wiesenthal has died at age 96. I have not as yet found a cause of death but I will try to find more information as the day goes on.

CNN Article

Monday, September 19, 2005

You Got To Love Them or Are They Ever Happy?

I am not sure what to call this post. The Palestinian 'ability' to turn anything in to an attack on themselves constantly amazes me. This is especially true if the 'attack' has nothing to do with the them directly.

The government of Israel has stated that it plans to build a buffer zone on the Israeli side of the Gaza/Israel border. The Palestinian response:

One Islamic Jihad leader said that his group sees the Israeli plan as a "renewed attack on Palestinian lands that have just been liberated from the Israeli conquest."

The Iz A-Din Al-Kassam terrorist forces of Hamas have threatened "all-out war" against Israeli soldiers who attempt to reconquer land in Gaza,

Gaza residents are quoted in the PA's Al-Ayam newspaper as saying they would even be willing to kill themselves in order not to allow Israel to "take over the lands once again".

Okay folks, how is Israel trying to take over Gaza again by establishing a buffer zone that doesn't cross the long established Gazan border?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

An Update of a Different Kind

I recently posted about a small portion of the insanity of Wife's family. Well just a little more information and a little update. Grandfather has been slowly developing dementia for a number of years but has begun rapidly going down hill on that front. When Grandmother (yes this is the Grandmother that slapped her adult son) was out of there retirement community apartment recently (last several weeks) he became very confused and went looking for her. On his way back to the apartment with out her, he 'had an accident' and pooped in the elevator, then left a trail of 'remains' from the elevator to their apartment.

Father-in-law, Father-in-law's Sister (Hence forth known as Aunt Zee) had decided it was time for Grandfather to go in to the nursing home portion, but was okay, for the time being, for Grandmother to stay in the apartment.

Since all of this was decided, with out Grandmother or Grandfather being involved, Grandmother made a guess that Father-in-law and Aunt Zee were going to try to make both of them move to assisted living and has begun a campaign to prevent this. She has enlisted there clergy at both the religious facility they attend regularly now, as well as the on-site clergy member, and a retired Doctor who lives at the facility and is a 'friend' of the family. Doctor has recommended that Grandmother get a lawyer to prevent what ever fantasy she has cooked up to tell them about.

Grandmother has also been attempting, and it appears at the moment successfully, to maniputate Aunt Zee to backing off. (As bad as this is going to sound, I really feel the simplest solution would be to bump-off Grandmother)

Well it is getting late and I am beginning to consider that solution as far more reasonable that It should be.

Here We Go Again

Tropical Storm Rita is expected to pass over the Florida Keys some time tomorrow (After reaching hurricane strength) and traveling in to the Gulf. The current track estimate has it hitting southern Texas (Houston area) as a Category 3 some time mid to late week. (Not to mention that Hurricane Phillipe is following along some place behind.)

Hopefully Rita will do something funky and not blow up in to a huge killer storm and kill everyone in it's path.

A New Democracy

Uncle Ariel has made statements about Israel not helping to facilitate the PA elections in January if Hamas is going to be participating in the elections.

Mahmoud Abbas has basically told Uncle Ariel to mind his own business.

The fact that I find most interesting about all of this. Well several months ago, I was in a discussion in the comment section of a blog (Don't remember which on though I think it was on Jewschool, and I don't remember with whom now.) about the 'factors' of the situation with Israel and the PA and the Disengagement. In this discussion I threw out the fact that the situation was completely stupid being that theoretically the Oslo Accords were still in effect and that the PA had refused to ever live up to there side of the Accords.

Why do I bring all of this up now? These two paragraphs from the attached article:
Not true, states Alex Safian, associate director of Camera, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. He writes that Sharon's demand is nothing more than a long-standing Oslo Accord clause obligating the Palestinian Authority. Annex 2 of the Interim Agreement, for example, clearly requires the PA to bar terror groups such as Hamas from the electoral process. It states, "The nomination of any candidates, parties or coalitions will be refused [and] canceled, if such candidates, parties or coalitions: (1) commit or advocate racism; or (2) pursue the implementation of their aims by unlawful or nondemocratic means."

Another thing that really pisses me off about this situation "Abbas has promised to rein in terrorism, but actually signed a deal with Hamas recently that did not require the group's disarming." So this bring me to a final point. How can we deal with a group of people, any group of people, if we can't trust that they will do the basic things that they agree they will do?

13.5 Months

With just over a year to go until the 'Midterm Elections' I have some initial thoughts I would like to put down.

To start with I want to do a 'review' of factors since the last election.
After the election Jr. was going on and on about how he had a 'mandate' and 'political capital' that he was planning on spending to promote the adgenda that had gotten him re-elected.
The 'mandate' that he had was greatly overstated at the time, he had very little real support outside of his 'political base.' Yes he won the election, but I believe his re-election was due more to a bad campaign and candidate on the Democratic side rather than a great love of Jr. himself.

He blew his political capital on the his 'Social Security Reform' plan and the Terry Shivo situation.

His lack of a realistic outlook for how to resolve several issues in and around the Iraq Conflict also is continuing to erode his little remaining political capital.

He has further hurt himself with his inability to fully grasp the situation along the Gulf Coast until long after he should have. ( I will also point out the obvious, he rushed back to Washington over Terry Shivo and was doing fundraising appearances for the first two days after Katrina.)

Now looking forward. I believe the above has begun the process of waking up a large portion of this country to what the reality of our current situation. This President has ballooned the Deficit completely out of proportion. We have severly damaged our standing in the world and has appointed inappropriate people to important posts. (Does Michael Brown and John Bolton sound familiar to anyone?)

The fact is that All of these things have made things difficult for the Republicans in the next year. The likelihood is that the stresses on the economy will quickly force us in to another recession. The economy, despite continuing signs of improvement has been weak since the recovery began, and has been more due to natural cyclical factors than anything that the current administration has done. The aftermath of Katrina has, as we all know, raised the price of gas, but will also have an affect on the price of many of the other items, such as plastics, that are made from petroleum. Additionally the rise in the price of gas will also cause a rise in most, if not all, other consumer products by making the transportation of those products even higher.

The view from Little Wolf's World on this point is that this will spill us over in to a recession and this will make for a rough election for the Republicans next year.

The Democrats need to do several things in the next year to capitalize on this situation.
1. I think they should allow the nomination of John Roberts to go through with out incident, but to fight tooth and nail if the get an extremist candidate to replace O'Conner. (It is our belief if the President wishes to avoid a huge fight on the next nominee he should choose someone along the lines of Alberto Gonzalez, who has shown at least moderating, if not moderate, tendencies on the bench in Texas.)

2. I think the Democrats need to put together a unified national campaign strategy. This is the strategy that the Republicans used with the 'Contract with America.'

3. I think that the Democrats need to reframe what some of the words mean, and not to shy away from attacking the 'Religious Right' head-on. For example the idea that social programs that help support the poor is a bad thing is the Religious Right's stance, they apparently missed the religious moral imperative that they should be helping the poor, and the best way to assure this is done properly is with some government involvement, we are not suggesting it should ONLY be the government, but many of the people involved in the Religious Right need to step up and fund the other organizations with the same vigor that they oppose things of limited long term political value such as abortion and other 'Culture of Life' issues they create. (I also notice as an asside that many will are against abortion but in favor of capital punishment. How is Capital Punishment a positive 'Culture of Life' issue)

4. The Democrats need to pick social issue fights in Congress, and at this point find ways to raise revenue for pay down portions of the debt rather than necessarily 'raise taxes.' Also they need to watch what the President/Republican leadership proposes to cut to pay for the Conflict in Iraq and the Hurricane relief.

5. They need to find appealing candidates that have the ability to speak to their constituents. (Barak Obama comes to mind as an example. Yes he essentially ran un-opposed, but he is a very charismatic speaker who can communicate with his audience.)

6. I also find the fact that Republicans like to use the term Tax and Spend Democrats, and they through around the world liberal like it should be a word on the FCC's dirty word list. The Democrats need to begin to paint the Republicans as Spend and Spenders without worrying where the revenue is coming from begin to through around the terms Conservative and NeoCon the same way they through around the term liberal.

7. As a follow-up to point 6, I think Democrats need to begin to reframe the term liberal. How you ask? By reminding the American people of one very important thing that seems to be getting lost in the current re-write of American History to reflect the NeoCon ideal, and that is that the founders of this country were as liberal as could be at the time. They overthrough a sitting government, created a country (This Country) out of whole cloth with a government that was different than anything that came before it, and they did it because they saw a better way to approach human governance that didn't involve the status quo. Remind people that being a patriot is not going along blindly with someone, just because they were elected. It is time to reframe the way this country looks at what it could be, and not what it is. This all being said, this needs to be done with the idea of asking "Not what the country can do for me, but what I can do for the country." Unfortunately this concept has been lost since the death of JFK, and it need to be refound to be improve this country no matter who is in control.

One final note that I have to get off my chest that is partially related to the issue. I have heard the statement from Rush Limbaugh when I listen to him for short periods. He is saying that the deficit isn't a bad thing. Seems to me that if it was a Democrat in office he would be singing a different tune.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Governator II: The Re-election

Dispite very low poll numbers in California, Ah-nold appears to be prepared to announce an attempt to return to his current roll as the Governator of California.

I am wonder if he even has a snowball's chance in hell of surviving a re-election.

CNN Article

The Final Throughs

A month or so ago VP Chaney said he believed that the 'insurgency' in Iraq was in it's final throughs. About the same time Def.Sec. Rumsfeld said that he believed that the insurgency could last up to 12 years but was slowly being defeated. While I was skeptical at the time of either of these statements I am not, with the insurgent actions the last 3 day in Iraq that VP Chaney was obviously correct. This series of attackes in Iraq are obviously the actions of a desperate and demoralized enemy.

Also dispite a 'few' mistakes by FEMA under Michael Brown, I really do feel much safer in this country right now.

All this thanks to the Compassionate Conservative in the White House.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sharon Advances Jews Connection to the Land

In what some may consider a turn around, PM Ariel Sharon stated at the UN today that Jews have a historic connection to the land and that Jerusalem is the unified and eternal capital of Israel.

He also said while speaking that we did not wish to rule over the Palestinians, that they deserved to live in a free society, that the PA leaders need to step-up now and that the PA was entirely in control of Gaza.

All of this having been said, I would like to believe him, but this is the same man who over the better part of the last 38 years encouraged people to move to the Yesha communities, and then removed the Gaza and Northern Samaria communities, so I am not sure whether he can be believed. I do believe what he is saying, that we do have a historic connection to the land, and that Jerusalem should be our unified and eternal capital. No other existing people have the historic and religious connection to the city.

Arutz Sheva

Upadate on Reporting the Truth

The other day in a post called Why Not Report the Truth we discussed various media outlets statements on the burning of synagogues in the Gush. Since we discussed the topic the other day we felt it necessary, since this story came to our attention, to report that Knight-Rider has issued a retraction to the story they put out with a quote from a Palestinian who allegedly was burning down the synagogues in Gaza because the Israeli's destroyed the Al-Aqsa complex. Knight-Rider has stated that the Al-Aqsa was NEVER damaged by the Israeli. (Yes, I know I was shocked by the fact that we had destroyed the complex and it was never reported internationally, also.)

Arutz Sheva's updated

Proof of G-D Thinking ahead?

Astronomers recently annouced that the astroid Ceres was actually a mini planet and may, in fact, have water on it. Is this proof that G-D, knowing what humanity would do to the planet, planned ahead with a temporary alternate water source?

I don't know, but it was an interesting story about Ceres none-the-less.

Ceres: The New Water Planet

Why are they responsible?

Okay, Woman buys watch. (Rolex) Woman wears watch. Woman gets rash from sticker on the bottom of watch she was supposed to remove BEFORE she bagan wearing the watch. Result, it is apparently Rolex's fault for not letting her know that the sticker should have been removed.


The inability of people to take responsiblilty for their own stupidity is just maddening at times.

Have the Body Snatchers Finally Arrived?

For the second time in just a couple of weeks, the Israeli Supreme Court has come to a decision that seems to be the opposite of what they would 'normally' have decided.

I have only offer 2 speculations as to what could possibly be causing this change in the courts perceived world view:
1. That, as my title implies, they have been replace by pod people of some type.
2. That the actual removal of Israeli citizens from Gaza, has convinced them to support the govermental stances on things, or even to go so far as to agree with right-wing elements of the political spectrum because they believe it will help alleviate the stresses on the country.

As they like to say on Fox News: We report, you decide. (Although I think for Fox it really should be We Distort, you deride.)

Israeli Supreme Court

A Light Unto The Nations?

How is it that a people who are commanded to do Mitzvot and Tzadakah can, in the face of dire circumstances, object the the use of their facilities to help people survive?

The Baton Rouge Reform congregation B'nai Israel has shut down it's survivor shelter. From the attached article it appears that a few 'influential' members of the synagogue objected to the use of the facilities as a shelter. So they took actions that resulted in the Rabbi being placed on a paid leave for an indefinite period.

There have been charges of racism involved because the majority of the survivors taken in were black. Others have said it is because the facilities were not sufficient to support the large number of people who were at the synagogue. There were also statements that the objections were related to liability issues.

Another thing a number of the congregants seem to be upset about was that the survivors were 'allowed' or perhaps better stated invited to participate in the Friday night shabbat services. I really feel this is a very bad situation. These poor people have lost everything and the 'influential' people are more worried about everything but helping them move on with their lives. I really see no objections to having the survivors join the congregation for the services, after all these people need to be reminded that G-D is still in their lives, and being up set about this seems petty. I can understand the other issues, after all you don't want people to be uncomfortable and you don't want a lawsuit later, but right now I would be much more concerned with getting these people back on their feet, if they are callus enough to sue later then deal with in court.

We were ordered to be a 'Light Unto the Nations.' Can anyone honestly say that by turning these people, whose lives have been devastated, away that we are being a light unto the nations? Has this synagogue, by 'giving in' to the influentials, truly lived up to the ideals of our religion and the love of all humanity that seems to be the intent of it?

UPDATE: We are sorry we didn't add the link to the initial post. We have rectified this situation. Baton Rouge Congregation

Bush Passes Notes to Condi

Picture of Bush Note

In what has to be another classicly strange Presidential moment for the Bush II Administration, a note that Bush wrote to Secretary Rice while listening to the useless babbling of Kofi Anan at the UN dealt with his 'possible' need to go to the restroom.

As a frequenter of restrooms and bathrooms (If I have been in a store 3 times I know where the bathroom is.) I don't begrudge the man needing to use a restroom, just that fact that he seems unsure if he need to use the restroom. For a man who seems to be constantly looking for the Photo Ops, he seems to get caught 'with his pants down,' so to speak, quite frequently.

The issue to me is that if he has to go to the bathroom, lean over to Condi and make sure of the protocol, then get up and leave. Don't write notes, it seems so grade-school. And this being said, perhaps it fits anyway.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Will The Palestinians Ever Take The Blame?

It is being reported the the PA Minister of Foreign Affairs (How a non-country has a minister of foreign affairs I am not sure) has blamed Israel for the fact that there was chaos and rioting at the Rafiah border yesterday.

Israel is no longer in control of the territory. Israel had an agreement with the Egypt to keep the borders under control, yet somehow the the fact that Israel didn't provide security(because of the unilateral withdrawl) is the reason the Palestinians were rioting.

So let me see, they riot and kill us if we are in Gaza, they riot and kill each other if we are not in Gaza, and somehow we are responsible for both. So the question is, when will the Palestinians be to blame when this happens? They aren't happy with the 'occupation' which provided border security, they aren't happy with out us being there to provide the security that came from the 'occupation.' Can anyone tell me just what the hell (with the exception of the destruction of Israel) that these idiots want from us? I am out of ideas at this point.

Is Israel to Blame?

Katrina on the Ground

I wanted to do this for a variety of reasons.

I briefly heard Doctor Otter, whose blog is here, speaking on the Ed Schultz show yesterday (9/13/05). He was a volunteer Physician in the disaster zone of the Gulf Coast for the last week, and while I have not read everything yet, will give a completely different view point of the on-the-ground volunteer that, with few exceptions, the major outlets are not covering. He has returned home as of last night, but he will be posting additional information as he goes.

The main reasons for this reference post:
1. I haven't really posted about Katrina and I am not really sure if I will. I have, as I have said before, yet to get a real grip on the situation in my own mind. The vastness of the disaster is more than I can easily assimilate, and by the time I do I have a feeling no one else is going to want to read about it. (I may still post just to get things off my chest.)
2. I like to find things that reflect a different view on a story if I am at all able to, and I believe this will.
3. I believe Doctor Otter deserves all the credit in the world for putting life and limb on the line to help out others. But despite this he is getting a lot of grief from co-workers.

A New Symbol

The above symbol is the proposed new symbol to be accepted by the International Society of the Red Cross/Red Crescent. This would be the new symbol for Magen David Adom.

Does it really make sense to anyone else that this is the symbol? Does Magen David Adom feel that have a name like Red Star of David really goes with a Red Diamond. This is a silly situation.

As stated yesterday the ‘controversy’ of the current symbol is nothing more than an anti-semetic attack.

I still prefer the old symbol, and think that it is the way to go, or stay, or what ever.

Bush Takes Responsibility

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said. "And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong," he added.

Bush Story

I do not consider my self a Bush Basher, but neither do I consider myself a 'Bushie' either. I did not vote for Bush in the first election, I did vote for him in the second election, mostly because I did not feel comfortable with John Kerry.

Okay, I got that out of the way. This 'appology' bothers me on several levels.
1. It has all the appearance of a political move, he was under a lot of fire from both Democrats and Republicans for the preformance of FEMA.
2. It has a hollow ring to it in the wake of Michael Brown's resignation. (Which Bush claimed to have no knowledge of 48+ hours after Mr. Brown told Bush's Chief of Staff Andrew Card he was planning to do.)
3. The appology, with all the right-wing talking heads going on and on about the failures of the Governor and Mayor, seems to be more about boosting poll numbers than taking the blame for his administrations failures when they have done everything in their ability to blame everyone else.

Do I think Bush lied? NO.

I do think that he felt that this was a small sacrifice to the gods of Political Practicality, than a genuine heartfelt "I'M SORRY." The reason I believe this is that this kind of reaction to a situation is so out-of-charicter for this administration.

Breaking News: Palestinian Victory Rally Turns to Riot

Ynet is reporting that a rally being conducted by the PA and 'other Palestinian factions' ended in a riot. The riot began when a Hamas member jumped on the stage and took the microphone from a Rapper.

Our opinion: It was an accident, the Hamas member is a music critic who hasn't quite gotten the idea yet how to critique music.

News of the Weird 09/14/05

The attached article has a list of a variety of items left in Alamo Rental Car vehicles in England. It also includes some other things such as excuses for damage to cars.

My favorites:
A customer in Bristol said: “I hit a cow crossing the road.”

Black leather whip (I would have like to see the person who left this one. And how do you go back to ask for it later. "Um... Hello, I was wondering if you may have found a Black leather whip in the 2005 Ford Puddlesplash that I rented." Do you suppose they would be able to say that with a straight face? More importantly do you suppose that the customer service person could keep a straight face?)

Article Link

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Are They Going to Change The Name?

Our friend Jameel over at Muqata has a post titled MDA and the Red Magen David - An Obsolete Symbol?

The post deals with MDA possibly coming to an agreement with the International Society of the Red Cross/Red Cresent to drop the Red Magen David, as well as other possible changes in policy, in order to become a 'member agency.'

We are opposed to this concept as we do not feel it is should be necessary MDA to remove it's distinctive symbol any more than it was for the International Society of the Red Cresent was to be accepted. The International Society of the Red Cross/Red Cresent is nothing more than an anti-semetic organization with a political axe to grind.

Abbas Anounces an End to Chaos

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas vowed to end internal armed chaos but warned the Middle East conflict would not end until his people are granted independence despite Israel's departure from Gaza. We will no longer tolerate from this day the security anarchy, the armed chaos and the kidnappings, Abbas added. The principle that unites us is that we have one authority, one law and one legal weapon, he said, referring to the arms of the Palestinian security services. The Palestinian leader, who declared an end to hostilities at a summit with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in February, said the conflict between the two sides would not finally end until the Palestinians are granted their promised state.

I don't know about anyone else, but it just feels like it might be legitimate this time, after all we have only heard comments like this 1 or at most 2 dozen times in the last 15 years. At some point you'd think that they may actually mean what they are saying.

Turkish Press Article for the above quote.

There is much more to this article but the opening paragraph sort of tells the story, and at least for me left me a little depressed. Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians seem more interested in looting the abandonned 'settlements' than they do in anything else. They keep saying what we need to do for there to be peace, what about what they need to do for themselves for there to be peace. Shouldn't they at least look for ways to improve their own lives, instead of destroying something that may help.

Spread the Hate Around

An advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair said [PM Blair] decided to wage war on Iraq after coming under the influence of a "sinister" group of Jews and Freemasons. I really wish someone would let me in on a few of these plans and conspiracies, we have got to have a few that a Mid-Western Jew with a tax background could be of help with.

And the big suprise of the article is Ahmad Thomson, from the Association of Muslim Lawyers
said Mr Blair was the latest in a long line of politicians to have been influenced by the group.

Mr Thomson wrote a book in 1994 in which he said Freemasons and Jews controlled the governments of Europe and America and described the claim that six million Jews died in the Holocaust as a "big lie". In The Next World Order, Mr Thomson, a Muslim convert who was born Martin Thomson in Rhodesia, wrote: "When the majority of people in a predominantly Christian society cease to worship God, the result is fascism. When the people in a predominantly Jewish society cease to worship God, the result is either communism or capitalism. A predominantly Christian society is concerned primarily with establishing a political ideology, whilst a predominantly Jewish society is concerned primarily with establishing an economic system."

Okay, we have a Rhodesian born Brit who converted to Islam who sees both Jewish and Freemason (You've got to love those secret societies that control the world) as the evil in the world. I also like how Christians become Fascist but Jews are either communists or, heaven forbid, capitalists. The problem is that this brain-fried boob has apparently forgotten that the majority of the Muslim countries in the World are essentially Fascist controlled dictatorships that will allow NO disagreement with the government and are some of the most brutal regimes on the planet, but I wouldn't to confuse a good conspiracy rant with the facts or anything.

News Telegraph Article

And the Winner is

In less than 3 weeks we have the first person to be arrested for filing a false Katrina related FEMA claim. Emma Hill, a resident of Memphis, TN, went in to the Red Cross shelter in Memphis and stated that she was a displaced resident of Gulfport, MS. She was told she would receive $1565.00. She returned the next day to pick up the check, and gave a different address than the day before. (Lesson #1: When running a scam keep your facts consistent.) The people who were going handing out the checks call over a police officer who was stationed at the center.
The police officer took over, found that she had a Tennessee Drivers license that gave a Memphis address, she had a receipt for a Western Union transaction in Memphis on her, she had paid utility bills from the address in Memphis, and (wait for it... ... ...) she had an outstanding warrent for writing bad checks. (Lesson #2: If you have an outstanding arrest warrent for another crime, trying to scam the Red Cross and FEMA may not be the best way to advance your criminal career.)

There have been 56 other crimes reported in Memphis of people taking cars, valuables, and/or cash from survivors. It appears the criminals are targeting people with Louisiana license plates.

Southern Standard Article


Why not Report the Truth?

The following quotes are taken from this Arutz Sheva article.

1. Knight-Ridder News agency, a major news source for American dailies, reported, " 'I want to destroy everything here as they did the Al Aqsa mosque,' said Mahmoud Malahi. Why didn't the article that this apeared in, at least point out that Israel has NEVER damaged the Al Aqsa complex.

2.'I want to destroy everything here. It's a symbol of occupation. Destroying it is a symbol of Islam.' So did Mr. Malahi slip here. Is destroying somethinga symbol of the 'Religion of Peace.'

3. Reporters for British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), reporting on the Arab mobs that overwhelmed the Gush Katif ruins, told viewers that Israel "stole" the Gaza region. "Palestinians came streaming to the settlements that caused them so much pain, to sightsee and to loot. Israel stole thirty-eight years from them. Today, many were ready to take back anything they could," BBC reported. Perhaps someone should teach the BBC reporters a little bit of history. The Gaza Region 'stolen?' Does this also make Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Gibralter, The Faulken Islands, etc also stolen property. They have been controlled far longer than 38 years, do the residents of those regions also have the right to 'take back anything they could.' Some how I have a slight feeling that if someone suggested this to those 'holier-than-thou' reporters they would find some reason that it wasn't the same, but I think the basic reason is that the Brits aren't Jews.

4. The Scotsman news agency reported that the Cabinet decision not to destroy the synagogues "dampened any hopes for a more peaceful era." Did I miss something. How does leaving nice building standing that could have been used for a number of things 'dampen' anything. And the 'hopes for a more peaceful era' seem to be more on the Israeli side than the Palestinian side, where Hamas and other groups are still threatening violence.

5. The New York Times implied that Israel was at fault for the destruction and told its readers, "Israel had leveled all the other buildings in the settlements in an agreement with the Palestinians but chose, at the last minute, not to destroy the synagogues because a number of Israeli conservatives argued that it was wrong for Jews to destroy synagogues. As a result, settlement synagogues were standing and vulnerable to vandalism." Okay, Israel asked to get the PA to protect the synagoges, but Israel is at fault for the destruction. Isn't this at least slightly like blaming the survivors of Katrina in New Orleans for being the victims of the storm. There was, additionally, no agreement with the Palestinians to anything. It was a UNILATERAL withdrawl, and on the off chance that the NYT doesn't understand the meaning of unilateral, the Isreali Government decided WITHOUT negotiations to leave Gaza, therefore there could not be an agreement to do anything. There had been some small negotiations about issues surrounding the withdrawl for security, but this type of thing would not have been covered.

The article has several other examples, but I am tired of this kind of crap constantly being published. Shouldn't a journalistic endeavor be responsible enough to report the truth, or at least not distort reality.

Why in Britian?

A left-wing Israeli, Yesh Gvul, group filed a lawsuit in Britain against Israel’s military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, and his predecessor, Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya’alon. The lawsuit is over 'their involvement in the July 2002 assassination of Hamas terror mastermind Salah Shehada.' Apparently, at least I hope, the case is being filed because ' a one-ton bomb was dropped on [Shehada's] Gaza house, killing him and 15 civilians and wounding more than 100 people.'

I could almost understanding filing a lawsuit because of the other deaths. I have to admit I don't remember the assasination, but I would say two things about it.
1. If Shehada was a terrorist, see Arutz Sheva article for confirmation of this, then the PA was required to take action to arrest him. The fact that they didn't meant that Israel had to take some type of action.
2. If the innocents that were hurt or killed by this assasination knew that Shehada was living there and was a terrorist, something I have no idea of, then they really should have stayed away from him as Israel had a stated policy of targeted assasination. (This is not to say they had a desire to be killed in the strike on Shehada.)
Having gotten both of those out of the way, I have only one thing to ask: Why is an Israeli group filing a lawsuit against Israeli citizens in Great Britain? If this action is against the law, shouldn't be against the law in Israel as well, or is this just an attempt to get publicity over a rediculus situation?

JTA Article from which quotes are taken.

Arutz Sheva Gives background on Shehada's terrorist activity.

The Return of GOOD Parenting?

There are times I read/hear/see stories that make me wonder about what people were thinking. This story just makes me wonder not only what were the people thinking, but were the government agencies involved wondering and how did this get missed for a period of time.

About 50 miles west of where I live, a family was found to be locking up 8, yes 8, children in 3 foot by 3 foot cages. The children were all special needs children, and the 'parents' felt that this was the best way to protect the children from being hurt at night. The children were a combination of adopted and foster children and the home had a total of 11 children living there. (The hospital mentioned in the article is one that is in the city that my In-Laws lived in until about 2 1/2 months ago)

At this point all 11 children are in the care of the county, but as of this time no charges have been filed against the parents because they apparently felt that they were actually do the best they could for the children.

How in the world did this couple get custody of foster children or pass the type of testing that is supposed to be done in order to adopt children? And how was this couple able to adopt additional children, didn't they check out the circumstances of the previous children before the additional adoptions? Are they supposed to? I don't know. Where was the county fostering agencies personnel who were supposed to be keeping up on the welfare of the children? Should this person possibly lose their job?

http://CNN Story

Another Interesting Email

The United States has avoided any mention of Israeli participation in the international aid effort for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
In a briefing on Sept. 6, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack focused on Arab offers of assistance to the United States.

"We also have received several large, very large, donations from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates," McCormack said. "We have also seen donations made to the Red Cross from Australia, China, India, Ireland, Japan, Maldives, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Yemen."

Officials said more than 90 countries and organizations have offered nearly $1 billion in assistance to Katrina victims. They cited helicopters from Canada, Russia and Singapore as well as ready-to-eat meals from Britain, Germany, Italy and Mexico. Bahrain has offered $5 million, a decision that sparked a storm in parliament.
Earlier, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also thanked donors for the Katrina relief effort. Ms. Rice cited offers of assistance from numerous countries, including China and France. She did not mention Israel.

Officials acknowledged that Israel was one of the first countries to offer to send military and civilian teams to New Orleans. But they said the administration, which has highlighted offers of aid from Islamic governments as well as American Arab and Muslim groups, asked Israel to postpone sending aid until a later stage.
The new Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes has been tasked with the presenting an image of a benign America sensitive to the Arab and Muslim world, U.S. officials said.

"She's been an active participant in policy discussions here at the department," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Sept. 1. "The secretary has made very clear that she wants Karen to be deeply involved in policy matters in order to provide an integration with communications and public diplomacy."

In three briefings over the last four days, senior State Department officials made no mention of Israel's offer to help Katrina victims. The last briefing was on Wednesday by State Department executive secretary Harry Thomas, who reported offers from Britain, Germany and Russia.

But on late Wednesday, the State Department issued a report that cited Israeli aid to Katrina victims. The report said Israel has sent tents, first aid kits and baby formula to the United States.

"Russia, China, Spain and Israel sent planes loaded with MREs [meals-ready-to-eat], relief supplies, tents, water purification units, kitchen units and medical supplies," the report said.

The administration's response was said to have alarmed Israeli diplomats, concerned that their country was being marginalized in U.S. foreign policy. Officials said the Bush administration, preoccupied by Katrina, has delayed meetings to discuss Israel's request for $2.2 billion in military and civilian assistance in connection with the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. The administration has asked Congress for another $51.8 billion for recovery efforts.

"The Secretary [of State Condoleezza Rice] has instructed ambassadors and chiefs of mission to speak to the foreign governments at the highest level," Thomas said, "to go back in to them, thank them for their offers, tell them yes, we want your offer today or [b] we're still evaluating your offer and [c] yes, we may take your offer later as these needs become greater but we want other things."

An Israeli military delegation has postponed its departure to the United States until Thursday. A military statement said the delegation, carrying humanitarian and medical aid from Israel to New Orleans, would also include Foreign Ministry and Health Ministry.

"The delegation will transport aid equipment including 80 tons of food, disposable diapers, beds, blankets, generators and additional equipment which were donated from different governmental institutions, civilian institutions and the IDF," the statement said. "The contents of the shipment were chosen in accordance with the U.S. government."

Officials said the Bush administration delayed accepting Israel's immediate offer to help the hurricane victims. They said the administration was concerned that such a move would deter Arab and Islamic countries from offering assistance.
"At one point, the administration signaled that it would accept Israeli help, but preferred that it be as part of a mission organized by the American Jewish community," an official said. "There appeared to a problem with having the Israeli flag in a foreign rescue mission in the United States."

Worldwide Muslim Conspiracy. Part 2

I received this as an email today. The other day I posted about a world wide Muslim Conspiracy. I AM one who believes that one of the central goals of Islam is to take over the world and to subvert other religions. I am not saying that ALL Muslims feel this way, but that there is a sizable portion of the Muslim world that does feel this way. I feel that this article below is fairly concise, despite it’s length, at discussing how this subversion of other religions and national identities may/could occur.

From Janet Lehr
Read the following 20 points of Dr Anis Shorrosh – Do you see them appearing in your community, your state, your nation. If you answer YES, you have been targeted by Islam for marginalization, dhiminization, eradication – choose your own word. It is the sincere belief by Muslims that no other peoples live in their sphere of influence that may share equal rights. Jews in Palestine and increasingly Christians in Palestine are not permitted to exist at all.

Dr. Anis Shorrosh, D.Min, D.Phil, a member of Oxford Society of Scholars, has traveled in 76 countries, is a Palestinian Arab Christian American who is an author, lecturer and producer of TV documentaries. Islam Revealed is a best seller which has been printed eight times already. His forthcoming tenth book will be available spring 2003 entitled Islam: A Threat or a Challenge. He is in great demand as a talk show guest on radio and television throughout the U.S.A. He has been on CNN, TBN as well as other networks. You can contact him at PO Box 949, Fairhope, AL 36533, FAX 1-251-621-0507 or phone 1-251-680-7770. Also, you may order his materials from his new website: The True Furqan, our monumental new Quran, is also available for viewing on

Twenty-Year and Twenty-Step Plan for USA - Islam Targets America

Author: Dr. Anis Shorrosh Publication: Koenig's International News Date: URL:

When we immigrated from Jerusalem, Jordan in January, 1967, little did I imagine that Islam would become center-stage in world news. As my sincere interest in the growth of Islam in America intensified, I began to discuss, dialogue, and then debate Muslim leaders throughout the world from an Arab Christian’s view of Islam. So far, I have had the privilege of participating in over 20 debates and discussions on every continent plus T.V. and radio. Islam Revealed was released in 1988 and is now in its 8th printing. The True Furqan is now in its third printing in the three years it has been published. It is the only book which challenges the Quran in substance, style, language and contents. The True Furqan can be located on or

The following is my analysis of Islamic invasion of America, the agenda of Islamists and visible methods to take over America by the year 2020! Will Americans continue to sleep through this invasion as they did when we were attacked on 9/11?

1. Terminate America’s freedom of speech by replacing it with hate crime bills state-wide and nation-wide. [ Only here do I feel the author overstates. A democracy must be free to defend itself. Freedom of Speech is not an absolute. It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who wrote that ‘you cannot shout fire in a crowded theater.]

2. Wage a war of words using black leaders like Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jesse Jackson and other visible religious personalities to promote Islam as the original African-American’s religion while Christianity is for the whites! Strange enough, no one tells the African-Americans that it was the Arab Muslims who captured them and sold them as slaves, neither the fact that in Arabic the word for black and slave is the same, “Abed.”

3. Engage the American public in dialogues, discussions, debates in colleges, universities, public libraries, radio, TV, churches and mosques on the virtues of Islam. Proclaim how it is historically another religion like Judaism and Christianity with the same monotheistic faith.

4. Nominate Muslim sympathizers to political office for favorable legislation to Islam and support potential sympathizers by block voting.

5. Take control of as much of Hollywood, the press, TV, radio and the internet by buying the corporations or a controlling stock.

6. Yield to the fear of imminent shut-off of the lifeblood of America – the black gold. America’s economy depends on oil, (1000 products are derived from oil), so does its personal and industrial transportation and manufacturing -41% comes from the Middle East.

7. Yell, “foul, out-of-context, personal interpretation, hate crime, Zionist, un- American, inaccurate interpretation of the Quran” anytime Islam is criticized or the Quran is analyzed in the public arena.

8. Encourage Muslims to penetrate the White House, specifically with Islamists who can articulate a marvelous and peaceful picture of Islam. Acquire government positions, get membership in local school boards. Train Muslims as medical doctors to dominate the medical field, research and pharmaceutical companies. Take over the computer industry. Establish Middle Eastern restaurants throughout the U.S. to connect planners of Islamization in a discreet way. Ever notice how numerous Muslim doctors in America are, when their countries need them more desperately than America?

9. Accelerate Islamic demographic growth via: a. Massive immigration (100,000 annually since 1961) b. No birth control whatsoever – every baby of Muslim parents is automatically a Muslim and cannot choose another religion later. c. Muslim men must marry American women and Islamize them (10,000 annually). Then divorce them and remarry every five years – since one cannot have the Muslim legal permission to marry four at one time. This is a legal solution in America. d. Convert angry, alienated black inmates and turn them into militants (so far 2000 released inmates have joined Al Qaida world-wide). Only a few have been captured in Afghanistan and on American soil. So far – sleeping cells!

10. Reading, writing, arithmetic and research through the American educational system, mosques and student centers (now 1500) should be sprinkled with dislike of Jews, evangelical Christians and democracy. There are 300 exclusively Muslim schools with loyalty to the Quran, not the U.S. Constitution.

11. Provide very sizeable monetary Muslim grants to colleges and universities in America to establish “Centers for Islamic studies” with Muslim directors to promote Islam in higher education institutions. [See Israel Lives articles recounting incitement and pro-palestinian events on college campuses including Columbia University, U/C Berkeley, San Francisco State College, Ohio State College, Concordia, Duke University, CUNY Buffalo etcetc ]

12. Let the entire world know through propaganda, speeches, seminars, local and national media that terrorists have hijacked Islam, not the truth, which is Islam hijacked the terrorists. Furthermore in January of 2002, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Washington mailed 4500 packets of the Quran, videos, promoting Islam to America’s high schools--free. They would never allow us to reciprocate.

13. Appeal to the historically compassionate and sensitive Americans for sympathy and tolerance towards the Muslims in America who are portrayed as mainly immigrants from oppressed countries.

14. Nullify America’s sense of security by manipulating the intelligence community with misinformation. Periodically terrorize Americans of impending attacks on bridges, tunnels, water supplies, airports, apartment buildings and malls. (We have experienced this too often since 9-11.)

15. Form riots and demonstrations in the prison system demanding Islamic Sharia as the way of life, not American’s justice system.

16. Open numerous charities throughout the U.S. but use the funds to support Islamic terrorism with American dollars.

17. Raise interest in Islam on America’s campuses by insisting that freshman take at least one course on Islam. Be sure that the writer is a bonafide American, Christian, scholarly and able to cover up the violence in the Quran and express the peaceful, spiritual and religious aspect only.

18. Unify the numerous Muslim lobbies in Washington, mosques, Islamic student centers, educational organizations, magazines and papers by internet and an annual convention to coordinate plans, propagate the faith and engender news in the media of their visibility. [ Editors note: CAIR is the leading Islamic public relations organization in the USA. It operates like Hamas, doing some good and a lot bad. All the while it represents itself as the public relations arm of Muslims and has access to the President of the United States, Governors, Mayors etc nation wide.]

19. Send intimidating messages and messengers to the outspoken individuals who are critical of Islam and seek to eliminate them by hook or crook. [Editors note: The recent demotion of radio talk show host Michael Graham occurred because CAIR pressured Disney Corp.]

20. Applaud Muslims as loyal citizens of the US [or the UK or Australia etc] by spotlighting their voting record as the highest percentage of all minority and ethic groups in America, thereby making their vote indispensable for the unfortunate politician looking for any and all votes.

If I am not for myself, WHO WILL BE?

If I am only for myself, WHAT AM I?

If not now, WHEN?

Rabbi Hillel

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