Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pope Palpatine I

Please take a look at the included picture of the Pope.

Does anyone else see a resemblence to Chancellor Palpatine when he is manipulating Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. It strikes me that the Pope looks like he could unleash the Darkside lightening at any moment.

A Hero

I have always admired the safety service workers in this country. They put their lives on the line every day, and much like the members of our military, aren't very well compensated for the danger they are in. (I have a couple of police officers that are clients and I can tell you, for what they get paid they really have to love what they are doing.)

CNN has the story of a police officer in New York City who was killed when a bullet 'slipped' through the protection of a bullet proof vest, through the arm pit/opening, and struck his heart. The officer, Dillion Stewart, was in pursuit of the person who shot him at the time. Officer Stewart continued the pursuit until the suspect was cornered. When he emerged from his car to approach continue the pursuit, he discovered he had been shot.

Officer Stewart, a 35 yr old father of 2, was rushed to the hospital and did not loose consciousness until he went in to surgery. He appears, from the article, to have survived the surgery; but died a short time later.

We here at the World offer our sympathy to his wife, children, and other members of his family. We also extend our condolences to all who knew this brave man. May he always be remembered as the hero he is.

Monday, November 28, 2005

And I Thought I Had Heard It All

While surfing the net this afternoon I came across a very, I not even sure what to put, uncomfortable, I guess, thing.

I am a big sci fi fan. I am also a big Doctor Who fan, and I am waiting for someone to show the new BBC episodes over here. The attached link as a picture that may be offensive to some, and you'll understand what I mean by that in just a moment.

Odd Link (possibly NSFW)

It seems that someone in the adult entertainment industry in Britian has both a sense of humor, and possibly a link to the BBC props department. They made an adult movie that involves several young women being 'groped' (if that is even the correct word) by Daleks. The producers tried to hide the fact by call the movie (on the cover of the DVD box) Abducted by the Daliods. The first big mistake, they put a picture of a Dalek on the cover.

I am curious how they thought that the BBC ( and apparently Terry Nations, the creator of the Daleks, estate) would just let this kind of thing just slide on by.

My favorite quote in the link is the following "The reason the Daleks are still the most sinister thing in the universe is because they do not make things like porn. They weren't ever intended to be sexual creatures. It's simple, Daleks do not do porn," this quote is by the director of Mr. Nations estate. (I have a feeling that he doesn't have much of a sense of humor, but of course it is hard to tell.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I wanted to put down some thoughts on Thanksgiving.

1. Some things that I am thankful for at this time:

2. I have heard a number of people making comments about what Thanksgiving 'celebrates.' The comments have been a long the lines of 'celebrating the destruction of the Native Americans.' I am really bothered by this, I really don't believe this holiday has anything to do with the decimation of the Native Americans. The beginnings of the holiday were to celebrate the harvest and the survival of a hard year in 'The New World.'

I have a deep sympathy for the Native Americans. In many ways what they have suffered at the hands of the European invaders of the Americas is very similar to what we have suffered at the hands of many others over the course of our history, and in particular is very similar to what we suffered in the Shoah.

I find that saying the holiday is part of celebrating the destruction of the Native Americans is really doing a disservice to all of the wonderful things that a national day of giving thanks for what we have is capable of achieving.

Bush In Space

I was very happy with Jr. when he announced his plan for the exploration of space. The return to the moon and the then going to Mars.

Now comes the news that the shuttle program is as much as $6 Billion in debt and that this endangers the shuttle program and it also the future of US man exploration as envisioned by Jr.

I guess I should have know that the vision of this myopic President would result in some kind of disappointment. NASA and the White House are negotiating the increasing of the NASA budget, but the White House, in a move of little surprise or vision, continues to hold firm on the current budget.

I really am not surprised, this same administration is trying (and may succeed) in cutting social programs that aid the lower class while at the same time cutting the taxes of the upper class.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I have a strong sense of what I think a sentence should be when a crime has been committed. This is besides the idea of what the law says. It is a sort of Torah-based 'eye for an eye' concept. (Not to say that every murder should be killed, etc.) But this article from my home area just sort of seems to be a very good example of the idea that I have.

A woman in one of the local suburban cities has found guilty of the abuse of animals. In this particular case she 'abandoned' 35 kittens in 2 Metroparks facilities without food, water, or shelter. Luckly the kittens were recovered after a couple of days, and though several of these kittens had upper respiratory infections when saved, all but 9 recovered from the situation.

The woman involved has admitted her guilty, which frankly is a good start for her moving past this situation, and has been sentenced to spend 1 night in a Metropark without food or shelter. She will be provided with water and a cell phone to contact park rangers if an emergency occurs, and then she will be sent to the County pokey for an additional 14 nights.

I really think that this 1 night in the park is, while not a 'normal' punishment, is certainly a very good way to get the point across to this person. (And maybe someone else will profit from this punishment as well.)


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

One Of These Things

Debra Lafave
Jose Padilla
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali

These three people all appeared on the top of Fox News' website. For the record, Debra Lafave was accused of intimate relations with a 14 yr old boy, Jose Padilla is the 'Dirty Bomber,' and Ahmed Omar Abu Ali has been convicted of attempted murder of the President. Can you guess which one was featured the most?

Perhaps He Didn't Get The Slogan

This article appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning and it struck me as strange. No I didn't find it odd that a man was groping a woman on an airplane. (Really I sure this type of thing happens more often that we would know.)

What struck me as strange was that Raviram Malla apparently misunderstood that the Slogan of "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" didn't apply to flights to and from Vegas.

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Point of the Personal

I just need to express the silliness I sometimes get myself into. I was cooking dinner yesterday, and lifted the lid on a major portion of what was being cooked. For some reason it had a much higher liquid ratio compared to normal.

As I lifted the lid I did what all good wolves do I wanted to make sure the smell was right, so I leaned toward the cooking container. I was, obviously, not thinking everything through and ended up mildly burning my knows on the steam that came rolling out of the pan. (Standing there trying to ice down my nostrils was one of the more bizarre things I've tried to do, and I have been know to stick suction-cup basketball hoops on my forehead because it seemed like a good idea at the time. (Looked like a giant hicky on my forehead.))

Sharon's Big Move

While I was suprised at the timing of the move, I wasn't surprised at the move. Ariel has been threatening this move for the better part of a year and the fact that it has finally occured really shouldn't be a surprise.

Several news agencies are referring to this as a political earthquake. But I am not sure I agree. Basically in the long run the 'centrist' National Responsibility Party will probably merger with Shinui and just become a bigger 'centrist' party.

What this will do is push Labor further to the left and Likud further to the right, but I am not sure that Sharon will really benefit in the next election by his move.

Arutz Sheva


I Just Need A Quick Smoke

A French woman on a flight to Australia tried to open one of the exit doors on the plane in order to smoke a cigarette.

French Woman

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Another Quiz That May Be Fun.

While searching for something this evening I came across this little quiz. What Sci Fi Charater are you?

After taking the quiz and submitting it I found out I am like Yoda. (I only can hope I live as long as Master Yoda did.)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Shabbat Shalom Vayera 5766

Have a howling good Shabbat. Well see you back here on Sunday.

A Different Type of Quiz

I ran across this and had to try the test.

I got 16 out of 20, and that was with the test not picking up a correct answer.

If you are either a Superhero or a Cleaning Chemical fan this quiz is for you.

You get to pick whether each of the items is a superhero name or a cleaning chemical.

A Good Question

I was watching the Colbert Report last night.

The interview guest was Tim Robbins, and obviously most of the questions dealt with politics. (Actually it was 50/50 but you kind of have to see the interview to understand what I mean.)

Steven Colbert asked Mr. Robbins the following question and it really was quite an interesting question to me. If you could only get rid of one of the following which would it be, the Iraq War or the Patriot Act?

Mr. Robbins answered why not both and kind of skirted the issues. I really haven't got an answer yet myself but I was hoping someone might have a clue for themselves.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Boy It's Chilly, Is That Brimstone I Smell?

Yes, the implication is that Hell has frozen over. Why?

Fatah Gunmen in Gaza Demand PA Reforms

That headline-for-a-link is currently residing on the front page of Arutz Sheva. I was checking it for additional information on the moving the Israel elections up about 8 months when that lovely headline in the scrolling headline section jump in to site.

The various 'protestors' are demanding to be included in the choosing of candidates for the upcoming elections for the Palestinian Authority and are demanding that genuine reforms be implemented. (They really don't say in the article what the protestors mean by that.) But they do say if there is not true democracy, they will get democracy by use of the guns.

Again I may not be able to say what they mean exactly, but I will say 'democracy by use of the guns' seems to be an oxymorons.

Odd Punishments for Children

The two news stories that are linked to this post have odd approaches to punishing children for perceived bad behavior.

In one story, a principal led an 8-year-old girl from class to class call out to other students that the girl was a liar and a thief. She is no longer the principal of the school. She has resigned the position. It turns out that the 8 yr old was not guilty of stealing $5.00 from another student, but the principal never check in to the story and the girl was never formally punished. (Unless of course you consider the action the principal did take.) The accusing student has since recanted the accusation. This is the reason for the 'perceived bad behavior' phrasing.

Link 1

In the second story herein linked, a 14-year-old girl was given a different sort of punishment by her mother. The girl was being constantly late to classes, talking back to her mother and her teachers and getting bad grades as a freshman in High School.

After attempting to get the girls attention for her behavior by telling her she could no longer play basketball or compete in track for the school. The mother took her to a busy intersection in the downtown of the city in which they live and made the girl stand on the corner with a sign that read " Don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food." As I am sure you can guess, there was a negative reaction to this situation. On person driving by called the police to report that psychological abuse was taking place. After giving a report the police asked the mother and daughter to leave the corner which they did. The police, follow what I am sure is a department policy, refered the case to the state for handling as a 'child abuse' type case, as there was no criminal act involved.

Link 2

I really don't feel the need to even discuss the first story any further. I mean after all it seems pretty obvious what is wrong there.

The second story I have to spill my thought on. For one thing I am not sure that 1 hour of humiliating a child is going to damage them for life. The girl herself has acknowledged that the punishment got her attention and her behavior has turned around completely. She has even stated that she is hoping to get her grades up to the level where she can return to playing basketball and track next year.

I am not sure I completely agree with the approach the mother took in this case, but I am not sure that the punishment wasn't effective when the girl herself is saying and showing it was. I actually would say that as long as this isn't going to be a regular punishment, and I didn't get the sense from article that it was, then a one time punishment isn't that horrible. The final comments in the article deal with the 'positive' reinforcement, rather than 'negative' reinforcement. I have to say that if you only approach a child with positive reinforcement I don't think you are going to get a solid response.

WSister-In-Law and Her Husband used a time-out system for a while, and then when WNiece 1 and WNephew 1 (W indicates Wife's side of family) were old enough graduated to a ticket system and the removal of toys if they were mis-behaving. They have since modified the ticket system where instead of a 3 strikes and you are in your bedroom system it is each ticket represents a 15 minute period, and if one is taken away the child goes to early by those increments.

WNiece1 and WNephew 1 are some of the best behaved kids I have associated with in a substantial period of time. Are they perfect, of course not. (As I tell my wife, I'm perfect, everyone else is human.) The kids actually listen to not only their parents, but their grandparents and most importantly (at least from my personal situation) their Aunt and Uncle. (They also are very loving kids who are actually fun to be around and are very capable of carrying on a 'high level' of conversation.)

I guess the point of this whole post is that I don't think that any particular method of punishment/reward system is horrible ( with in reason of course. Beating the tar out of child, or continually using the humilation type of punishment is not included here.) or necessarily the only answer. The real key is two fold in my opinion. (And you can take this for what it is worth as I have exactly zero children.) 1. Continually showing and telling the child/children that you love them, and 2. that what ever method is use is used consistently. (Again there is an issue of not turning anything you do into abuse, and even 'positive' reinforcement can be taken to far.)

A Change In View?

The title is something of a deception. My view really hasn't changed on the subject at hand but I chose it to link to a discussion I had the other day in Does Knowing Someone Involved Change Your View Of Iraq? In that post I discussed how the possibility of actually have family or friends involved in the war may change your view of the situation in Iraq.

Well while doing my daily blog checks I found this story Prayer Of Thanks Hagomel Lechayavim at the Muqata. It involves a misadventure that Jameel has with some Molotov Cocktails while driving to work.

Now I have had a number of problems, and discussed some of them at various times, with Israel's stance toward the 'territories' and the Palestinians. My opinion hasn't changed, but 'knowing' somebody (and considering them a friend) may change somebody elses opinion.

I take many of the attacks in Israel personally even though I am 'safe' in Cleveland Ohio.

I take it personally because I consider all of us to be one giant family, and I take as an attack on me if they attack my family. (Naturally I get a little more agressive if they are direct biological family.) I do have a small amount of biological family in Israel, but not much. I really a problem with how a person can justify attacking an innocent person. (I highly doubt that Jameel did anything to the Palestinians who attacked him.) Hopefully, something can be done to dissuade the Palestinians from this course of action. I fear for the lives of far to many people that have no real reason to be in any danger.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

3 for 1 Brings Total to 2078

As facitious as the headline is meant to be, it really isn't humorous. Unfortunately 5 US Marines and 16 'insurgents' were killed in a battle along the Syrian border. I am not sure that 'Operation Steel Curtain' will be very successful long term.

We send the troops in, with the 'assistance' of Iraq forces, to the border province and try to clean out the insurgent cells. Unfortunately the 'insurgents' scatter like cockroaches when the light is turned on. And once the troops pull back after the operation is declared a 'success,' the insurgents will come crawling back out from under the rocks that they were hiding under. (Sadly, I am not sure that is really the metafore that it should be.)

I also do not have any hope at this point that we are creating a truly 'independent' military. Aside from the allegations of that the interim government has been involved in the torture of 160 Sunni Muslims, I just don't think we can get a stable government installed.

My thinking right at the moment is that Iraq will likely cease to exist with in a few years. I really think that Iraq is on course for a division which, depending on what exactly happens will either destablize the region greatly, with an explination to follow, or really straighten things out.

It seems likely that the Kurds and Shia's will break up the country and tell the Sunni's that they can stick their mineral deprived dessert section up a dark place at a 90 degree angle to the comfortable. I could see this further destablizing the area as the Syrian, Turkish, and Iranian Kurds to begin the push to 'join' an independent Kurdish country. One thing that might be a positive is that perhaps that a deal can be struck that allows the Shia south to join Iran, and allow the Iranian Kurdish north to join the new Kurdistan. (or whatever.)

I think that my feelings on this situation are beginning to change.

Several other things I have heard on the news while writing this post.
1. A soldier was killed in Baghdad by a road side bomb. (That top total is now 2079)
2. The Prime Minister of Iraq has order an investigation of the above mentioned prisoner abuse by security forces. (President Bush's administration on the other has been fighting a resolution that states we don't torture.)
3. The Pentagon has admitted to using white phosephorous in Iraq.

I think I will crawl back under my rock. I don't think this is going to be my day. (I am dreading the possibility of snow tonight and that is seeming so minor right now.)

From the list of irritating things in life.

I have two things that have really been irrating me and I feel the need to get them off my chest.

1. I am frankly sick and tired of people who do not follow simple and sensible traffic control driving. (My wife constantly tells me I need to be a defensive driver and not to get upset with the people who are morons on the road, but there are just so many morons that I can't possibly ignore them all.) Yesterday on the way to a medical appt. I came to a traffic light that was out on a major road. In most cases this should be a 4 way stop, most people were following this, but there were still people just driving along and not paying attention.

Another situation is that I was had stopped at the pharmacy to pick up medications. I was then going to go straight across the street, at a traffic light, to a Wal-Mart across the road to pick up something there. Light turns green, the car turning right across the my line of traffic just turned and nearly hit me.

These kinds of things just really piss me off. And to make matters worse, we are supposed to get snow tonight. For a city that gets as much snow as Cleveland does, the people here can't drive in snow.

2. The second thing is smokers. The first thing is there is a person in the building that I work in that likes to light up her cigarette about 15 feet inside the building on her way out in the evening. The result, the whole damn corridor smells like an ashtray for several hours. I also am tired of smokers 'hovering' in door ways. Those of us who don't smoke don't really care for the smell or the smoke.

Perhaps someone can explain something to me, why do smokers feel the need to drive with a window down in their cars. After all they have already chosen to smoke why do I have to put up with their smoke.

Final thing that pisses me off about smokers. Any time someone proposes a change in the places that smokers can congregate to indulge in their habit, they start talking about how people are 'infringing' on their Right to smoke. What about the non-smokers right not to be exposed to the smell and health damaging crap they have 'chosen' to inflict on their bodies.

Ah, the lovely feeling of getting rid of things that bother you.

The Other Side of the Coin?

About a week ago I had discussed a Judge from Utah who was following a fundamentalist offshoot of the Church of Christ of Latterday Saints, who had 3 wives. In that post I was discussing my lack of understanding of men (though I'm sure I mentioned people in general) who are involved in intimate relationships with more than one person.

On the heals of this, yesterday in the local paper were to stories that seem to fit this exciting subject very well.

1. First was a women, and her husband, who were arrested on Monday night for attacking the women's ex-boyfriend. Now when we are discussing ex-boyfriend, we mean she and the 'other guy' broke up over the weekend. (And she didn't get married on Monday.) When they attacked the ex-boyfriend, they broke in to his house and caught him in bed with another woman.
What really confused me hear is, and I know this kind of thing goes on, why the husband was so upset that his wife's boyfriend broke up with her. (They did say alcohol appear to have been involved. Yes, I know shocking.) May the husband was slighted that the boyfriend didn't want his wife any more.

2. A woman (married by the way) is going on trial for coaxing one of her younger boyfriends to kill the other of her younger boyfriends. Aside from the problem of having 3 'intimate' relationships, (Again, yes I know that it does happen.) if she was interested in getting rid of someone why not have her husband, who apparently was incapable of compassion, instead of one of the guys 'helping her out.'

P.S. As neither of these situations have been completely adjudicated the crimes involved are all alledged crimes. (With the exception that the murdering boyfriend in story number 2 has been tried and convicted of killing the other boyfriend.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Does Knowing Someone Involved Change Your View Of Iraq?

That question has been on my mind for about 24hrs.

I had a brief conversation with my mailman yesterday, and is usually the case when I see him (which is rare) I asked how his son was doing. His son is in the US Army and is currently deployed to Iraq in the Baghdad area.

I usually don't see my mailman because I am usually at work, but I arrived home as he was starting his work at our building yesterday because I was not feeling well. So I had the above mentioned conversation.

I have to say it got me thinking. His son will be in Iraq for about another 32 days. When he comes back he will be changing duty assignments so he will not be deployed again.

My best friend should be in Iraq now, but do to a last minute surgery he avoided an 18 month deployment to Iraq. One of my nephew's came very close to being deployed and for a reason I am not completely clear on did not get deployed to Iraq with the majority of unit. And finally one of my wife's first cousins was in the Baghdad area for an 18 month duty tour, but has been back to the states for a good period of time. (In fact the cousin was activated to duty again in response to Katrina.)

Back to the beginning point, I had this conversation with my mailman and asked how his son was doing. His response was "He's doing very well, but he had a bad week last week." This obviously raised concern on my part so I asked what had happened. "Well, one of his good friends was killed by a road side bomb while riding in an unarmored HumVee."

I have, and will continue, to support the efforts of our troops in Iraq. I have questions about the administrations actions in the prosecution of the Iraqi conflict. But that last statement by the mailman really got me thinking. If that was someone I truly knew, would my position on Iraq be different? I can't answer that, but I do thank Hashem every day that I don't have to answer that question. My family (this includes my best friend) are all safe, and they will hopefully stay that way. But it really got me thinking about the situation and raised some questions in my mind. I hope that what I have said here will possible do the same for others.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

July 20, 1263

This is the first part of the discussion I will have regarding my reading of The Disputation at Barcelona.

To begin with my first impression from the first day is to say that after around 750 years, the basic arguments of the Christian missionaries who are trying to convert the Jews haven’t really changed.  They continue to distort the Torah and Writings as well as the Talmud to meet the needs of the moment.

In the first day of the disputation Fray Pul (hence forth to be called Paul for sake of ease of discussion) brings up a point the Ramban quickly and quite easily shows how it is incorrect.  

The first thing discussed that I found to show the nervousness of the Catholic priesthood involved is that they don’t really wish for the Ramban to speak what is ‘on his mind.’  The comment that is made by Fray Ramon (head of the Dominican Order in Barcelona at the time) is the Ramban is granted permission to speak his mind ‘with the proviso that you do not say anything objectionable.’ (paragraph 3 of the Disputation.)  This statement really is an attempt to control the conversation and to put the Ramban at a great disadvantage.  The Ramban’s response is to basically say he has the understanding of good taste and would not say anything that was overtly distasteful without being able to at least provide the support to explain the statement.

Paul’s first attempt to put Ramban on the defensive is to try to say that the Talmud has proof that the Sages accepted that ‘the Nazarene’ was the Messiah.  Paul had been claiming this for a period of time in travels to Jewish communities through out Spain.
Ramban responds to this, even before Paul gives his first ‘proof’ that it is not possible to be true because the various listed Talmudist all lived after ‘the Nazarene’ and continued to live as Jews and to teach their children and disciples how to be ‘good’ Jews, therefore the statement that the Talmudists could have been believers in the Jesus as the Messiah was not possible.

The rest of the first day is spent discussing whether the Talmud and Torah proved that the Messiah had come.  The first day’s discussion of it centers on the discussion of whether the exile of our ‘family’ from our homeland was a proof that the rule of Yahudah had come to an end.  Ramban repeatedly states, in several different ways, that basically the fact that we are not under our own ‘kingship’ with a Yahudian king only showed that our time of renewed control of our own affairs hadn’t been reached.

I have thought about this a little bit since I read the first day’s transcript.  I think that it is interesting that an argument that was made was that we were actively fighting the truth of the Messiah having come because we were no longer in control of our own fate.  I find this to be a ridiculous argument if you accept the truth of the ‘old testament’ simple because when we were an independent kingdom, the Messiah never came. So arguing that he came when we weren’t a kingdom and we still weren’t in a kingdom of our own seems rather counter productive.  A better approach may have been to argue that we hadn’t been returned to our kingdom in the ‘1200 years’ (if you accept that the common calendar is the correct date) since the coming of the Messiah (assuming for just a moment that Jesus was the Messiah) that Hashem had turned his back on us.

The next thing that occurred to me from this discussion is that in order to successfully argue that we were incorrect in our position bringing in a single verse or a story from the Talmud, neither of which see to really discuss how we are rejecting the one true Messiah really seems to be even more than a bit of a stretch.

To look at the issues discussed in day one from a modern view it raised several questions for me.  1. Have we done something incorrect by re-establishing our own ‘kingdom?’ 2. Should Israel be a kingdom? Should Israel be constitutional or limited monarchy similar to several in Europe?  My response to the first question is probably not the best initial response, but it did occur to me so this is the start of it I guess.  I really don’t think we could have ‘reestablished’ our own national status with out Hashem allowing us to do so.  The second question raises a bit more of a problem for me.  I am not really sure that the government of Israel, prior to our final redemption as a ‘family,’ is of any real consequence.  Also I guess that my first argument could be an equally valid for this point as well.  Could we really have established a governmental entity that Hashem didn’t really want us to have?

My thinking on this also goes to the point of saying perhaps the Jews that are opposed to Israel’s existence have at least a way to validly argue the point.  

My beliefs on these issues haven’t change as a result of what I have read to date, I firmly believe that Israel exists at this time because Hashem wishes it to exist.  That the Messiah hasn’t come yet because the proper time hasn’t been reach, and that when that time come Israel will be a renewed Kingdom with a proper Yahudian king of the Dividian line.

Well until we discuss the next part . . . we return you to your regularly postings.

A New Monster

The top picture above shows a new species of pre-historic crocodile, it shows an image of the fossil skull and a computer enhanced version of what it may have looked like. The lower picture above is a larger picture of the skull. Officially called Dakosaurus Andiniensis, it has been nicknamed Godzilla. The croc in the picture was approximately 12 feet long. Though there were other ocean living crocodiles at the time our little friend was alive, most were closer in design to the fresh water crocs that we can see on Animal Planet and in the wild today. The teeth on the beasty above are apparently designed to tear large chunks of flesh and muscle out of other, likely larger, sea-going dinosaurs.

I don’t think any of us would want to run into this creature in a dark spot in the water or on land.

Pictures are from National Geographic's website, additionally there are two more pictures, one is a computer generated conceptual idea of what Godzilla would have looked like hunting.

The CNN article about our new friend.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Shabbat Lech Lecha 5766

May you have a very nice shabbat and we will see you on the other side.

A Look To The Future

A couple of planned things for the near future.

1. I will be reading the results of the President's Commission on Tax Reform and as I do so I will discuss my feelings on the individual issues and giving you my opinions on the chances of something being implimented. (And answering any questions that may come up in the mean time.)

2. I have asked several people, and will ask more in the near future for some reading recommendations. As the reading is completed I will be discussing the topics on the World. If, as we go forward, you have any recommendations on something you feel I would benefit from (we are discussing books and/or articles of Jewish theological/theoretical content.) I would be glad to have the suggestions.

The first 3 to be discussed in the order of reading are Ramban's Disputation at Barcelona. I will begin reading it this weekend, and although it is short I do have a number of other things that I would like to accomplish. With this in mind I will break the book down in to the 4 separate days of the Disputation and then discuss the book as a whole. (Book was purchased from Shilo Press)
The second book to be read and discussed is also a Ramban produce work call The Book of the Redemption. (also from Shilo Press) The third book is call Creation and the Persistance of Evil by Jon D. Levenson. Books 2 and 3 will be similarly divided in to managable portions and then a final discussion at the conclusion of the reading.

Hope you'll enjoy or at least find interesting these two features as we get started.

Will Folger's Change The Slogan?

After years of the advertising 'The best part of waking up, is Folger's in your cup.' Will Folger's have to change the slogan to 'The best part of waking up, is turtles in your cup.'

If you haven't heard a woman in Iowa found a dead baby turtle in her block package of Folger's freeze dried coffee. (Boy, there's a cup of kosher coffee gone bad.)

We do wish to complement Ms. Marjorie Morris, she has stated that she doesn't wish to sue the company at this time. Hey, things do sometimes go wrong for everybody.


It Wasn't Me!

Canadian gray wolf. (CP file photo)
A story from Saskatchewan Canada details the probable death of a 22-yr-old male who was apparently killed by animals. (at least for now.) The main 'attacker' is possible wolves, and though I am a wolf, I haven't been in Saskatchewan. (I have never been in Saskatchewan.)

This is unusually as we wolves are rarely know for attacking humans. In fact this is the first time in 100 yrs that a wolf attack has been alledged to have taken place. Generally we will only kill for food. Lucky for the humans, this particular human did not become a lycanthrope. Werewolves tend to give those of us who are real wolves a bad name.

CBC Article

Is Heshy Listening?

I have to believe that if Heshy ever saw this article, and read it more specifically, his head would explode.

Ancient Egyptians used helicopters and airplanes for battles? Yes, this article discuss several occurances of a set of 4 hieroglyphs that appear to be helicopters, airplanes and submarines. One theory being put forth in the article is that Martians landed in the Nile Valley about 3000 years ago during the reign of Seti I. Under this theory, the martians stayed on Earth and 'merged' with the Egyptians that were alive at the time. (This might explain why some of the Pharonic Dynasties tended to intermarry.)

Another explination is that the Egyptian priesthood had the ability to see the future and forsaw the eventual developement of the above listed technological advances.

I will keep my insanity on this issue hidden, but at least one of these would explain somethings.

Avahi Cleesei

That's right, Avahi Cleesei. It is a newly named species of Madagascarian Lemur that has been named, by the University of Zurich scientists after Monty Python John Cleese. The honor was bestowed do to his work in promoting lemur awareness and protection.


Little Wolf Storms In To A New Medium

Just a note out of life. Our friend DovBear keeps talking out his 'extending' the brand so we decided to 'explore' a slight variation on the concept.

When I was just a cub I was on the local version of Romper Room, (Romper Stomper Bomper Boom) so we have already completed the conquest of TV. (Or at least we have appeared there.)

Our schul had put on 'Broadway' plays as a fund raiser while I was growing up. I participating in two of them. I 'starred' as a boy in the production of Fiddler on the Roof. In addition to that I 'starred' as an orphan in Oliver. (In Oliver, I was the first little orphan that came out, so if I came off my mark early we ran early, and if I left late we ran late. That was a lot of pressure for a 6 year old.)

Obviously I have been participating in the wonderful world of of on-line publishing commonly called blogging.

What does all of this have to do with anything you say? On Wednesday, as part of my job, I was participating in marketing our firm at a local county business expo. The expo was partially sponsored by a local AM radio station. Well toward the end of the expo they began interview participants for airing on the station sometime next week. As the choice for our company wer either myself or our office manager, she asked if I would mind doing the interview. So Little Wolf Radio will be on the air sometime next week. (The interview lasted about 2 minutes.)

A Bad Picture After A Beligerent Speech.

Now I don't believe that Bashir Assad is a very good dictator. Of course he was never intended to be a dictator, but really after the amount of time he has been President of Syria, you'd think he would be better at it. His father was at least good at protecting himself, keeping himself from looking like a complete goober, and keeping Syria under the radar when it did something like assassinating a Lebanese political official.

Bashir really hasn't gain the kind of control of the ruling class that his father had, but they still control the country well enough not to let a ridiculous pictures like the one above get out. If I had any talent with PhotoShop it wouldn't be hard to turn that wave in to a Nazi salute complete with arm band and flag in the background.

In the speech that this photo came at the end of, Bashir basically called the UN investigation of Hariri's assissination a game. Now, I am not a hugh fan of the way the UN tend to operate, but shouldn't the head of a country that is a member give lip service to the idea of the investigation and wanting to get justice for the murdered person. (Yes I know fantasy land time for the little wolf.)

Oh, well on of these days Bashir will get over thrown, and hopefully it will be by his citizens and not his father's cronies that are controlling Bashir.

Weird Uncle Pat?

Does it seem more and more that Pat Robertson is turning into that odd older relative that comes to family events and says weird things that are unrelated to the conversation at hand. Perhaps he is gettting (has gotten) senile.

In response to the eight members of the Dover, PA School Board who were all voted out of office because a majority of the rest of the citizenry apparently had a problem with the teaching of Intellegent Design in the biology class along side the theory of Evolutions.

Pat's statement was "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected him from your city." I really think that the religious right in this country has gone completely over the edge. Basically, at least from my reading, Pat believes that G-D gave us free will to not express it when we are given the chance.

I do believe that G-D is active in the world, but I don't believe that G-D is going to harrass a city, kill it's resident, and otherwise cause the kinds of problems that Pat is talking about. At least not for this type of thing. Pat lunacy is beginning to get the best of him, either that or has worn himself out from steering hurricanes this summer/fall and by praying for the changes in the Supreme Court. Think about it getting hurricanes are rather large storms to control, and the constant imploring for a change in the Supreme Court's make up, without seeming whiney or needy, would be alot of work.

Seattlepi.com article.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Okay I May Be Changing My View

I am willing to admit if my perception of something is off. Or if something I read or see changes my feelings on an issue.

This Fox News article discusses the Jordanian response to the bombings there yesterday. I still am not sure I'm as sympathetic as I should be about the bombings but statements like this "Death to al-Zarqawi, the villain and the traitor" at least make me feel that the people in Jordan are perhaps beginning to see things the 'same way that I do.'

It makes it easier for me to look at this as the human tragedy that it is.

With statements like "...[Amman is] backyard garden for the enemies of the religion" and "Jews and crusaders ... a filthy place for the traitors ... and a center for prostitution" al-Zarqawi is sounding crazier and crazier. (Actually he sounds a lot like some of the Right-Wing Religious Zealots in the US. Hmm, I wonder why.)

A Few Random Thought To Cover A Few Random Days

1. How can a Professional Football team be upset that it's 'Cheerleaders' are being detrimental to the image of the team? I mean if you hire 'slutty' women to represent your team, how can you be upset when they behave like sluts, have sex with each other in the bathroom stall of a local bar, and then get in a fight with other people who needed to use the bathroom? (I don't remember the football team in Minnesota firing it's players for similar behavior with slutty girls.)

2. I am very disappointed with my fellow Ohioians. Which part of the state governmental scandals don't they understand? The Governor not reporting 'all' of his gifts? The fund raising scandals of the current office holders. (including some $45000+ in 'irregular' fundraising for President Jr.) The current situation, though not in Ohio, that led to the indictment of Tom Delay on Conspiracy and Money Laudering charges. How can we not want to clean up a corrupt state government?

3. I am finding it very hard to be sympathetic for the Jordanians that were killed in the suicide bombings yesterday. (November 9, 2005) It is not that I feel any glee or happiness at the deaths in Jordan, but I really feel that the Arab/Islamic peoples have brought a large portion of this on themselves (or at least their governments did) by not opposing or actively supporting the terrorist organizations that have been doing the same thing to Israeli/Jewish peoples as well as others around the world for an extented period of time. (At the same time I feel really bad for the families of those who were killed.)

4. I haven't really said anything about the silliness in France. As with the above I find it a little bit hard to find sympathy for the French government. It has actively brought in large numbes of Muslims/Arabs from North Africa but little to nothing to integrate them into the French culture and society. As a result they are, in as second Gens in France, feeling left out of French culture in general. Also France has made a series of decisions in an attempt to maintain a secular society that is very offensive to the religious elements, and of course this also leads to the alienation of the Muslim/Arab peoples.

5. I am an animal lover. (Yes I know many of you are very shocked about this.) I have been teaching a series of classes for a large well know national tax preparation in the evenings a couple days a week, mostly to keep myself occupied. (okay there is a bit of an ego boost also.) (Your going boy that were two unrelated and random thoughts.) The relationship be these two points, as I was leaving a class last night I saw a kitten that had been hit by a car in the parking lot of the plaza the office was in. I got out of my car to see how badly the kitten was hurt, I realized there was not really anything I could do for the poor thing, it was very badly injured. (I won't describe what I saw but I am still having nightmares from this.) After I got home last night I couldn't really put it out of my mind, even though I couldn't do anything to help the kitten, and I suspect that anything I did do would have caused more pain, I really feel that I missed something.

Well that is enough for today. Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 07, 2005

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Okay this was all in the news in one day and frankly I think it is rather telling.

'We do not torture,' president says

At the same time Jr. was spouting that statement the puppet master was in the House promoting a piece of legislation that would allow a no-torture exemption for the CIA who is currently running 'Black' detainment centers around the world for terrorist suspects. This paragraph from the above linked article really tells it all "Over White House opposition, the Senate has passed legislation banning torture. With Vice President Dick Cheney as the point man, the administration is seeking an exemption for the CIA. It was recently disclosed that the spy agency maintains a network of prisons in eastern Europe and Asia, where it holds terrorist suspects. "

And then the Pentagon released this news. "Five U.S. soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment have been accused of beating detainees in Iraq."

So in summary, while our 'fantastic' President was stating that the US doesn't condone torture his administration is trying to get approval for the CIa to torture and 5 soldiers in Iraq were arresed and accused of 'torture' in a 'mild' form.

Yeah, us.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Shabbat Noach 5766

May your shabbat be one of rest and relaxation.

May you arrive at the end prepared to deal with another week.

May lights of this shabbat stay with you and sustain you for another week.


I was checking the word of the day at Merriam-Webster.com today.

The word(phrase) is Ab Ovo which is apparently from the Latin meaning from the egg.
The 'English' meaning is from the beginning.

This gave me an interesting thought about beginnings. (Or at least the beginning of the Torah if it was written in unusual English words.)

The first book of the Torah could have been called Ab Ovo or From the egg. (Would this have been the 'Avian' version of the Torah had we been related to birds instead of being primates.)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Is There a Link or FEMA in Outer Space?

New evidence of massive black hole is an article about Sgr A the suspected super-black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Michael Brown's Emails just prior to, during, and after Katrina raging across the Gulf Coast.

I am posting these two articles together so as to avoid any confusion about the two subjects. The black hole is not a story about FEMA during Katrina, and Michael Brown's leadership, if such a term even still applies to Mr. Browns term with FEMA, isn't a black hole at the center of the galaxy. (Michael's leadership wasn't a black hole, it just wasn't at the center of the galaxy.)

Ah, the wonder and amusing juxtaposition of unrelated news on a given day.

(With all of that being said, both articles are from CNN.com and that brings me to one final thing that I have to comment on with CNN. While I feel bad for Aaron Brown, as a fellow member of B'nei Yisroel, I am not really sorry to see him gone from CNN. I really didn't like him as a broadcaster very well, at least not until recently when he was teamed with Anderson Cooper. That said, I would like to say that I wish Mr. Brown good luck in the future, and that I hope he lands on his feet from this situation. My wife and I were wondering how much longer he was going to be on the air with the addition of Anderson Cooper to the show.)

A Strange Story and Lawsuit

Okay, on Oct 30, 2005 a gent recovering from heart surgery was in a Home Depot and needed to use a bathroom. One of the employees (I am guess as the article didn't specify that this was the supposition) put some type of contact adhesive, as a prank, on the toilet seat in the men's restroom. The customer sat on the toilet and then couldn't get off because of the glue.

He called for help, for about 15 minutes, but no one came to help because they all thought it was a joke. When they did respond they need an ambulance to come and remove the toilet seat to get the gent out of the store. When the seat was finally removed it left several abrasions on the customer's behind.

He has decided to file a lawsuit against Home Depot because of the lack of immediate response by the employees. He also made this comment "This is not Home Depot's fault, but I am blaming them for letting me hang in there and just ignoring me." Doesn't this statement sort of take away the whole point of filing a lawsuit against Home Depot, after all he wants to hold Home Depot responsible for something he is saying isn't their fault?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another Item From The List of Things I Don't Understand

Okay, I understand wanting to be married. I am married and I rather enjoy the concept as well as the relationship.

What I don't understand is people with multiple wives. (I include in this men who have one or more 'women on the side') I have a hell of a time keeping only one person happy. I can't imagine trying to keep 2 or 3 (or more) people happy.

Now, in the story that is linked below a judge in Utah has 3 wives. Aside from the fact that it is a violation of Utah's bigamy laws, and a tenent of the 'Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints' (and those are really both big issues) why would any man want more than one wife?

CNN Link

Now I also think it is odd that a member of the state judiciary is violating state (and Federal) law. The state law was put in to place as a condition of statehood, which makes me wonder how the Church of Latter-Day Saints hasn't raised a Constitutional outcry since statehood was granted. As a tenent of the religion from it's founding, I have a problem with the idea of it being against the law. (And also of the religion itself to reflect a non-religious governments demands. It isn't like the US had a state religion that was officially offended by that tenent of Mormonism.)

Hopefully someone can give me an idea as to why a man would want to have more than one wife/girlfriend/etc.

(And to avoid mention of my oversight, I realize my own ancestors practice palygamist marriage practices early on, but it was abandoned early on.)

The First Generation?

In searching for the astronomical beginning of the universe, the beginning of creation, a group of scientists believe they have found the residual radiation from the first generation of stars after the 'Big Bang.'

Something that they did that was really interesting to me was that they took an infrared picture of a portion of space, and began removing the 'residual' radiation from known galaxies in that part of space. The radiation that was left in the 'picture' is being identified, as the first generation residual radiation.

I do see one problem with this hypothesis and that is that they would be unable to account for any galaxies in that area of the sky that haven't been detected as yet. That having been said I think that it is an interesting theory.

As a side note to this story, I heard on the radio I believe yesterday that some scientists believe that Pluto has 3 moons not just one as was previously thought. (That moon being Charon) The significance of this is that they believe they can get a more accurate idea of the size of Pluto.

CNN Link

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Few Things On My Mind

1. The President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform reported today. Based on the little I know about the report I have a number of problems with. I will be reading the report over the next several weeks and I will give you highlights and lowlights as we go. At a first blush, I am unhappy with the fact that the changes seem to be aimed (not a big surprise actually) at hurting the lower and middle classes and helping the upper class.

2. I don't know what got in to the Democrats in the Senate, but they seem to be developing a spine. They put the Senate into a closed session in order to get the intellegence investigation they wanted.

3. I think that it is a very interesting that things seems to be going as I expected and discussed. The Republicans seem to be doing everything they can to loose power starting next years.

4. I heard of a very good term for on the radio today for the 'Kool-aid drinking' Republicans. The term is Bush Dividians (as in Koresh's group from Waco a 'few' years back).

I will possible be back later tonight, in the mean time all should be safe.

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