Thursday, October 30, 2014

Winter is Coming

Not the good kind.

This planet has not had a nuclear holocaust.  Yet.

The scary thing is people think we're safe because we haven't had one so far.  However, though we have survived some seriously hairy bottle necks, there are even tougher times ahead.

Technology will progress to the point where a scientist in a bunker in Iran can design and manufacture a nuclear bomb that can fit into a suitcase.  Or they can just download the blueprints and 3-D printer them into existence.  Regardless of the method, the facts are this is inevitable - if we don't destroy ourselves another way first.  Which is also scary. 

Response to Sweden Recognizing Palestinian State

Open letter to the Swedish government and the people of Sweden,

I have learned today that you recently officially recognized a state of "Palestine", purportedly to promote peace, as stated below by the New York Times (bolded by me). 

"In his inaugural address on Oct. 3, Mr. Lofven told Parliament that a two-state solution was the only way to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. “Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine,” he said, because a solution “requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful coexistence.” "
-http://www.nytimes.com/?WT.z_jog=1

Besides the fact that this is a poor decision for a number of reasons, I wanted to point out one huge flaw in your argument: mainly that "Palestine" has never officially recognized "Israel" as a nation state itself.  So, while you may think you are trying to help 'resolve the conflict', you are actually aiding in extending it, because you haven't asked the Palestinians to do their own part by recognizing Israel.

On the other hand, this could be a move to subtly but purposely strengthen Palestinians and weaken Israel, because I see no way this could actually help the so-called peace process in any way.  Anyone who knows anything about the situation of Israel in the middle east, and who doesn't openly/secretly hate Jews, knows that "Palestine", whoever really is the government there, PLO, Hamas, war lords, etc, has NO PLANS OR DESIRE to make peace with Israel, NO MATTER WHAT.

That is why anything that hurts Israel in the aims of 'peace' is nothing but a wolf in sheep's clothing.  Because no one will ever convince me that the people in control of most Arab nations want peace with Israel.  And anyone with a rational mind should know this.  So any attempts to coerce Israel into peace (i.e. making themselves vulnerable to extinction) without equal pressure on the Palestinian side are disguised attacks on Israel.  Plain and simple.  And nobody but nobody will call it like it is. 


That being said, Israel has much accounting to do on its own part.  I am a stanch Zionist and supporter of Jewish ethics, values, and culture.  But I deplore Israel's actions over the last decades.  There have got to be better responses than this to Sweden's declaration:

“The Swedish government must understand that relations in the Middle East are more complex than one of Ikea’s flat-pack pieces of furniture, and would do well to act with greater sensitivity and responsibility,” he said.
-Foreign Minister of Israel, Liberman

I mean, you resort to IKEA calling when trying to dis Sweden?  That is poor, low, and non witty taste.  You can do better Israel.

But anyway, Israel is displayed in the media like the devil.  And that is how most people see it, and Israel doesn't help by trying to play the victim.  I think Israel should offer Palestinians something they can't refuse, like free higher education for their children or something, to show how serious Israel is for peace.  Then watch Palestine turn it down and then have a civil war because of it.

To be honest, I'd say something like, we need something definitive to show the world Israel is not the problem here.  But if anyone who remember the PLO's actions against Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, well, if you don't think that is the true feeling of Palestinian leadership, then, well, I have a bridge to sell you. 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Book Review: The Sixth Station - by Linda Stasi

Linda Stasi is a newspaper columnist and has written her first novel with THE SIXTH STATION, a thoroughly researched religious thriller in the vein of The Da Vinci Code

The story focuses on a feisty reporter who is tapped by an international terrorist to be his confidante, for a reason she cannot fathom.  Trying to find out why she was picked sets off a chain of events that leads the reporter all over the globe in search of answers to questions like:

Could a relic really contain the blood of Jesus Christ?

If so, can modern technology use DNA from the artifact to clone Jesus?

If so...has it been done already?! 

The book is a fun escape and I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.  Pretty good for a first time novelist and I'd like to see her follow up with another thriller. 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Book Review - Buzz by Anders de la Motte

BUZZ is the 2nd book in a trilogy that starts with The Game, a novel that centers around characters Henrik Peterson and his sister Rebecca in Sweden.  There are multiple layers of story going on from the very first pages, and they all intertwine to create a captivating story that doesn't really let you go.

It all starts when Henrik finds a flashy new cell phone that asks him if he wants to play a game.  Being the iconoclast/rebel that Henrik is (been in jail, no steady job, hates authority), Henrik chooses YES to play.

He is given some small tasks at first, and is told when he completes the first one that he has earned points, which also equal a cash prize.  The more tasks he completes, and the harder they are, the more points and money he'll receive after each completed mission.

Meanwhile, sister Rebecca is a police officer who has problems of her own.  A former abusive relationship has left her psychologically scarred, and other problems begin to pop up left and right, testing her sanity. 

In BUZZ, the second book in the trilogy, things really start to heat up.  Henrik is caught in a trap of his own making after seemingly escaping The Game, and Rebecca begins to face down her own demons that threaten her career - and possibly even her life.

The action never really stops from page one of BUZZ.  Henrik gets caught in situation after situation that he somehow escapes by the tips of his fingers, and there is no lack of drugs, sex, chases and other plot devices.  His sister Rebecca is in the throes of tracking down a mystery Internet troll that keeps referencing her in an online forum, while also fighting an inquiry that may remove her status as a cop for good.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot.  It was fun to get back into the story, hard to put down, and now I'm eagerly awaiting the final installment.

Recommendation - READ THIS SERIES!! 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Why Star Trek's Vision of The Future Is Out Of Date - A Response

This is a response to the article on Io9, found here:

http://io9.com/5906586/why-star-treks-vision-of-the-future-is-out-of-date?tag=crap-futurism.

I have one major issue with this article.  The writer talks about the "Eugenic Wars" fought in Star Trek's canon/history, where 30 million people died due to wars about genetically enhanced human beings, which led to Eugenics being outlawed in the Star Trek Universe.  (For the end result that Star Trek does not have genetically enhanced human beings, which he says is implausible if we want to colonize the galaxy.)

The author scoffs at this idea, and says, "The idea that the presence of smarter, fitter, and happier people will result in a war that causes the death of 30 million people is a bit of a stretch."

The author is discussing how the future of humanity is different than Star Trek, but he draws the line at imagining how genetic enhancement could create resentment leading to war.

I find THAT implausible.

Eugenics and genetic enhancing is HERE....NOW.  The rich and powerful will soon have access to things people have always dreamed of...superior levels of intelligence, strength, health, longevity, and more, over their fellow human beings.

I can easily see how entrenched masses living in squalor would revolt against their overloads who live like District 1 in The Hunger Games.

I'm not quite sure why this author can't see that either, but it seems clear to me that creating a race of super humans could lead to disastrous war.

Anyway, the commenting on that article was closed, since it was written in May of 2012, so I just had to get out my response.  Thanks for checking it out.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Earth Unaware - By Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

EARTH UNAWARE is the latest novel in the Ender's Game universe from Orson Scott Card. 

A refresher: OSC wrote Ender's Game around 20 or so years ago.  In it, aliens have attacked the Earth, and the planet's leaders have begun to train little children as battle commanders in an orbiting space station to defeat "The Buggers", since the aliens look like insects.  The main character is Ender Wiggin, a very intelligent but awfully young child who shows the most promise of becoming the supreme commander of Earth's space military forces.

I won't write any spoilers here.  Though OSC did write TWO separate sequel-storylines for Ender's Game.  (Speaker For The Dead and Xenophobia were the direct sequels...they were terrible.  So OSC revisited the series and wrote Bean's Shadow, which is Ender's Game from another point of view.)  EARTH UNAWARE is the Prequel to Ender's Game.  

In EARTH UNAWARE, we have a family mining space ship that first detects the alien craft that first attacks the Earth.  In addition, a corporate mining ship is going for the same asteroid as the family owned mining ship, and the corporates blow them off the asteroid...not killing them, but destroying their communications, so they can't report the alien ship back to earth.

It becomes a race against time, as the mining ships join forces to do what they can to stop the aliens.

The book was not what I was hoping for.  Ender's Game, and Ender's Shadow, are amazing books that can stand on their own.  This book seemed written by almost a different person entirely.  (OSC does have a co-author on this book, so that is probably why.)  There were pages upon pages and chapters upon chapters about the interplay between family members on this mining ship - and almost NOTHING about the aliens.

Finally, when it began getting good...the book ended.  Will there be a sequel to THIS ONE?  I honestly hope not.  Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow were stand alone books - sequels followed, but were NOT necessary.  This one - the story barely even begins before it is over, leaving MUCH to be pondered about by the reader. 

FULL DISCLOSURE - I was so excited to read this book, that I did not even notice that it was co-authored.  So when I finished the book, and then finally saw it was not written solely by OSC, I understood why it was under par.

OSC has gone back and forth about whether or not to open up the Ender universe to other writers, like Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. I think he should have left it proprietary. 




Thursday, June 07, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Game of Thrones Book 1

As a major fan of science fiction and fantasy, friends and colleagues have long been pushing me to watch Game of Thrones on HBO, and even better, read the series.

Like most of my endeavors, I waited several months for the ideas to percolate, and then finally gave the show a watch.  The first episode was hard to get into, but after 2 or 3, I was completely and irrevocably hooked. 

I quickly went through the first season, and then caught up with the 2nd.  What happens in these situations is that I lose patience...I really have none to begin with...and then pick up the books so I can see what happens.

Book 1 followed the TV series pretty closely in terms of storyline, but I'll review the book moving forward.

The world created in this series is breath taking and complex.  It is basically a high fantasy soap opera, where all the characters are intertwined in dozens of ways most are not even aware of.  In fact, while reading this, it makes me interested to learn the real history of Europe's kings and aristocracy, as fact is always stranger than fiction. 

You are introduced to main characters like Ned Stark, the Lord of the North and the city of Winterfell, who is one of the most noble and honorable men in the lands.  You meet his children, wife, and bastard son John, who you are sure will have a strong role to play.  Then there are the Lannisters, the opposite end of the spectrum, who care for nothing but power and the unending Game of Thrones.  Between them are a dozen major houses who must align with one side or the other, and then there are dozens of other minor noble families who make up the brunt of the land's armies.

From the get-go, you get drawn into this story that is more than meets the eye.  Much attention is paid to the scheming and conniving of powerful families and players...but you also learn about The Wall, which was built 700 feet high, and all across the width of the North, to protect against wildlings...and the Others.

What the others are is not explained much, mostly because people simply don't remember the facts about them, or don't even believe that they exist.  It has been thousands of years since the last time the Others came across the wall.  But winter is coming, so say the Starks, and this winter is sure to be one that lasts a long time.

Because seasons don't follow one another 4 times each year in this land...instead, Summer lasts for years, as does Winter.  And there are hints that this Winter will be one of the worst ever...and the wildlings are stirring. 

Overall, it was an enjoyable read that I found difficult to put down.  I do get bogged down in some verbose descriptions, and sometimes it does seem over the top in terms of the depth it goes into for small matters that don't really pertain to the story arc, but it really is a sublime diversion.  I recommend it to all who enjoy the finer side of Fantasy. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Verizon - The Problem

My friend recently told me of his trevails while working for Verizon.

He is a maintenance worker who is full time, has been for years, and is definitely representative of the majority of Verizon workers.

He said that up until 2 years ago, he was making enough money, + overtime, that he was able to buy a house, pay the mortgage, and have a kid with his wife.  

I saw him last week.  He said, "I'm afraid I'm going to lose my house.  Verizon transferred me to another group 2 years ago, and I have not gotten overtime since then."

He is currently on kid #2.  He lives in suburban central NJ, in a reasonable area, not outside his means at all.  Given, his wife has stopped working over the last several years, since they had a baby and that kid is now around 3.

He also told me that during the last strike of Verizon workers (remember that?), they left the picket line and went back to work because they were promised negotiations in good faith.

That never happened.  Period.  

So: we have a mid 30's yr old Verizon full time employee, who is now unable to afford his house and 2 kids, because that won't be possible on his salary....without overtime.

Last I checked, for this quarter in April 2011 Verizon saw revenues increase 4.6 percent to $28.2 billion, up from $26.9 billion, with net income of $3.9 billion, an almost 20 percent jump from last year.

WAY more than enough to negotiate with the workers that make the company possible and profitable in good faith.  So what the fucking problem here?

That, my friends, is my question to you. 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Arizona Pregnancy And Abortion Laws - Time For Male Sections

Quick post, because I have to go to work.

Arizona is discussing a new law that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy - but the wording makes it so that women are considered pregnant 2 weeks before conception, in the 20 week period.

My position: If we are going to govern a woman's body and her pregnancy and all that - it is about time that men are governed by the same laws. A woman doesn't get pregnant by herself - why should she have all the responsibility and laws for her behavior?

If a woman gets pregnant, and is not allowed an abortion, or anything like that, then the man who got her pregnant should have some responsibility by law as well. It's that simple. Like, you know, don't abandon your sex partner to her fate that is your fault.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Larry Adler - You Are An IDIOT. And So Much Worse

Dear Larry Adler,

How could you do such a stupid, dangerous, harmful, selfish thing? As a prominent Jewish leader in America, you have a responsibility to the people who have raised you up. To pen an Op-Ed where you openly call for the assassination of a U.S. President is simply insane. You have lost your mandate to lead, and you should resign your position in media. Nothing within reason could ever be an excuse for your behavior.

This is an open letter to you Larry, so that you know what harm you have done to the Jewish community all over the world. People don't need a reason to hate, distrust, and want to kill Jewish people. We work our entire lives to avoid the persecution that your one letter will be certain to bring upon us. Now you have given ammunition to anyone who needed a reason to cover up the real causes of their hate for us.

Nothing you do from this point on will ever erase the repercussions of your actions. You might as well renounce your Judaism, for at this point, I don't want to associate you with my religion.

Shame on you Mr. Adler for behavior so irresponsible, it borders on homicidal.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Music As God

So, I'm listening/watching a youtube video of Paul Simon singing "You Can Call Me Al" in Zimbabwe, and I'm suddenly struck with a couple of thoughts.

1. Why are there thousands of people congregating in a single place, together, to listen and dance to this music? A recording does just as good a job at playing the music, but for some reason all these people have come here to listen and share in the music at the same time. So, assuming that the reason they are all here is because the music is live...what does live music have that draws people together like this?

2. They are all here because the bandleader is leading them in dance and song. It is all but a religious experience for them; what are the differences between this event and a religious celebration?

3. People are social animals. We congregate in groups with people we consider "us" rather than "them." So we have an intense innate desire to join with people, and we also are hard wired to pray to a higher power. We as humans give our power up to a single leader, a President, dictator, etc, so that we can be a part of a community.

4. Pop music is a medium for spirituality, as shown by these trends. People join together in extremely large groups, of people they certainly don't know and thus can be considered strangers, and they are led by a single person or very few people, to achieve a certain kind of ectasy, the concert experience.

5. People are hardwired to look to a single person or small group for leadership, knowledge, religion, you name it. Bob Dylan said, "We all serve somebody", and what I think that means is that we have a need to look to somebody for answers. No matter if you are supreme dictator of the world, persay, you will always feel like there is/should be somebody above you, looking down at you.

6. And that is why people congregate for musical concerts. We allow a small group of individuals to lead us in song and dance in a way that is very reminiscent of religious ceremonies. It gives us something for our unconscious, subconscious, and conscious levels of our minds. Something that was once probably a survival mechanism.

All of the above needs more pondering

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Friday, September 09, 2011

Snuffleupagus - The Villain?

Snuffleupagus was always my favorite character on Sesame Street. I loved mammoths, and he was just a big furry friendly one. I can't remember if I realized or not back then that, for the most part, Snuffy was just Big Bird's imaginary friend.

And then I read this section of a wikipedia article about him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Snuffleupagus

"In an interview on a Canadian telethon that was hosted by Bob McGrath, Snuffy's performer, Martin P. Robinson, revealed that Snuffy was finally introduced to the main human cast mainly due to a string of high profile and sometimes graphic stories of pedophilia[citation needed] and sexual abuse of children that had been aired on shows such as 60 Minutes and 20/20. The writers felt that by having the adults refuse to believe Big Bird despite the fact that he was telling the truth, they were scaring children into thinking that their parents would not believe them if they had been sexually abused and that they would just be better off remaining silent. On the same telethon, during Robinson's explanation, Loretta Long uttered the words "Bronx daycare," a reference to a news event on New York TV station WNBC-TV in which there were reports of alleged sexual abuse at a Bronx daycare center[citation needed]. This was seen in the documentary Sesame Street Unpaved."

I mean, really?

That goes pretty far afield in terms of mass media's effect on psychology, but someone had enough clout to eventually yell loud enough to make it a reality.

Kinda makes me sad though.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big Pharma Poised To Take Over Marijuana Industry

So, a report came out that says,

""While there may be medical value for some of the individual components of the cannabis plant, the fact remains that smoking marijuana is an inefficient and harmful method for delivering the constituent elements that have or may have medicinal value," the report says""

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/07/11/white-house-admits-marijuana-has-some-medical-value/

Then there's this:

"Sativex is the brand name for a drug derived from cannabis sativa. It's an extract from the whole plant cannabis, not a synthetic compound. Even GW defines the drug (.pdf) as marijuana.

Yet as the FDA is poised to approve the drug for Big Pharma, state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries that provide relief for thousands of Americans are under attack by other federal agencies.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has warned just as much, claiming that federal authorities may be looking to shift policy slightly, if only to legalize marijuana-based medicines for Big Pharma only, which could step in and potentially eradicate the medical marijuana market."

Thus the solution to the war on drugs was found. Just empower Big Pharma to do as they please regarding illegal drugs, and they will PERSONALLY stamp out any one trying to elbow in on their markets. They will SINGLE HANDEDLY destroy local marijuana growers and take over the industry overnight.

So yea, its okay to let corporate interests control our lives, but not farmers trying to make a buck. Love America. No, scratch that. I love human nature.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Bin Laden Blackout

I'm having trouble understanding what is going on, maybe you, my loyal readers, can spell it out for me.

America was attacked on its home soil, thousands were killed.

America then entered into not one, but TWO wars, to retaliate and make us "safer".

10 years later - 1 0 Y E A R S L A T E R - we finally get the 'mastermind' behind the 9/11 attacks.

And the government is keeping us in the dark on the details.

Bin Laden is the ONE REASON we have lost our civil liberties, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, funneled trillions of lost dollars into war and murder that we desperately need for infrastructure, health care, and education...and they won't tell us what the f is going on?

I know this country became less of a republic and more of a dictatorship since Bush, but this is one of the most obvious examples. If Mr. Change Obama himself can't tell us the truth, there is no chance for the future of this country.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

FAIL: Financial Regulators

New York Times led with an interesting story today, about why there have been no high level prosecutions for the financial crisis of 2008.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/business/14prosecute.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

In essence, they say there were no prosecutions, because the regulators did not work to provide enough evidence of wrongdoing (or pretty much anything) leading up to, or during the investigations after the bubble burst.

So, does this mean that the regulators were in on it? That bribery is the reason they were so lax? Or perhaps it was institutional, and the people in charge had more to benefit from financial fraud than stopping it, so they created a task force that couldn't task anything?

I don't know. My gut says a combination of both. I do know that I, and everyone else in this country, and the world, should be disgusted by the apathy shown here. Regulators who didn't do their job were one of the major factors of the whole mess. Basically, its their fault, since it was their responsibility to stop something like this.

Heckuva job, Regulators!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Obama's Give And Take

Well, the fix is in.

Obama's lame duck presidency, where he sits over two wars without actually commanding either, has seen one of it's most major trade-offs yet.

It is also indicative of where Republicans (and their supporters) really stand on some issues.

Here's how I see it. Obama caved in and re-established tax cuts, which the Republicans had basically stalled the government to see pass. (Obama's two cents, give tax cuts for ALL!)

In turn, Republicans have caved on "Don't Ask Don't Tell", the 9/11 healthcare bill, and the Nuke treaty.

A fair trade?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NYT Reports on Vitamin D - Badly

Today's health watch comes, once again, from the New York Slimes, which has published a report that attempts to debunk the Vitamin D craze sweeping the nation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/health/30vitamin.html?hp

I have heard and read several reports on the radio, online, and TV that suggest most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, which opens the field to a host of diseases and health problems.

http://www.grassrootshealth.net/

However a new report has brought into question previous findings about Vitamin D.

"The 14-member expert committee was convened by the Institute of Medicine, an independent nonprofit scientific body, at the request of the United States and Canadian governments. It was asked to examine the available data — nearly 1,000 publications — to determine how much vitamin D and calcium people were getting, how much was needed for optimal health and how much was too much."

"The very high levels of vitamin D that are often recommended by doctors and testing laboratories — and can be achieved only by taking supplements — are unnecessary and could be harmful, an expert committee says. It also concludes that calcium supplements are not needed."

"The group said most people have adequate amounts of vitamin D in their blood supplied by their diets and natural sources like sunshine, the committee says in a report that is to be released on Tuesday."

Here's my problem. They simply reviewed medical journals and reports, and did not create any new research. They also said,

"Evidence also suggests that high levels of vitamin D can increase the risks for fractures and the overall death rate and can raise the risk for other diseases. While those studies are not conclusive, any risk looms large when there is no demonstrable benefit. Those hints of risk are “challenging the concept that ‘more is better,’ ” the committee wrote."

Umm, you are reporting something you are treating as fact that in fact is INCONCLUSIVE? How is that a good recommendation?

Then there's this:

"Some labs have started reporting levels of less than 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood as a deficiency. With that as a standard, 80 percent of the population would be deemed deficient of vitamin D, Dr. Rosen said. Most people need to take supplements to reach levels above 30 nanograms per milliliter, he added.

But, the committee concluded, a level of 20 to 30 nanograms is all that is needed for bone health, and nearly everyone is in that range."

Great, awesome, thank you. I am not taking Vitamin D to promote my bone health. I am taking it to promote HEART health, which is what new studies suggest D can do, as well as preventing a number of ailments that are likely if you are Vitamin D deficient. Check out that grassroots link above for more info.

Basically, what I have read is that Vitamin D plays a larger role in our health than we have known. In addition, it is difficult to OD on Vitamin D, so taking extra won't harm you.

As a North American, I simply do not get enough sunshine and thus Vit D in my system. Not to mention, who is sunning themselves in winter?

I just don't think that 1) this report is a responsible action to take and is misinforming most people), and 2) that the NYT should have blatantly printed it without any kind of other opinion. From reading the comments on this article, I'm not the only one outraged at this kind of scientific mumbo jumbo.

I will continue taking my Vitamin D supplements, thank you very much, until a CONCLUSIVE NEW STUDY tells me different. And you should too.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman, you are a fucking asshole. How the fuck do you know what I'm thinking about Israel?

You are clearly an anti-zionist. You always have been, as long as I've been reading you. And you are always making stupid statements that are as far from the truth as I am from being an astronaut.

And then you go make a statement like, as read on jpost.com, "The New York Times columnist also lamented the fact that young American Jews are drifting away from Israel."

Really? How do you know that? Did you take a poll? Read a 'statistic' from the 'news organization' CNN? Or maybe your hubris has racketed up a notch, and now you think you speak for all American Jews?

You say things that purposely damage people's perspective on Israel, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and Israeli's in particular. Nothing, NOTHING you have ever written has offered any kind of positive impact on the situation. It is always deriding Israel for this, or that, and never, EVER, getting to the heart of the situation. That is what makes you most pathetic.

You have been writing for more than a decade, and you still don't know what fuck you are talking about.


From the Jpost.com, "Friedman derided Israel's calls for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish State in exchange for a renewed freeze on construction in the settlements that could revive peace talks."

Really? Now why would you do that? Don't you think that Israel being recognized as a legal and internationally recognized Jewish state would help...AT ALL?

Israel has been asking for this request for it's ENTIRE EXISTENCE. It is not tied to a simple building freeze. Which obviously has other implications than you know, since you've never delved into it.

So yea, you are a fucking asshole. You are akin to a self hating Jew. Using your legitimate platform to illigitimately demonize Israel. Get a fucking life, get a fucking clue, and stop writing, talking, and thinking, since that only does harm to the world. And to me personally.

Fucking. Asshole.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Response to NYT "Israel Without Cliches"

Yet another ridiculous narrow minded op-ed from the NYT about Israel.

Op-ed here

1. "Israel belies the comfortable American cliché that “democracies don’t make war."

I love the way people make statements without any evidence to back them up. First of all, the phrase is not "democracies don't make war." It is, "Democracies don't go to war AGAINST ANOTHER DEMOCRACY."

Here is a great argument both for and against this phrase.

In any case, in the latter half of the 20th century to the present, democracies do not generally fight wars with other democracies. If you like, you can even say "AMERICA belies the comfortable cliche that democracies don't make war." 'Cause, look at our war budget.

2. "Unsurprisingly, the state has acquired pathological habits. Of these, the most damaging is its habitual resort to force."

Why do you think Israel resorts so often to force? Did you offer any explanation? No. Well here is one.

Israel has fought several wars in which it was out numbered, out gunned, and their enemies wanted nothing less than total destruction of their nation. They are fighting Islamic oriented states whose social and political thinking may as well be 1,000 years in the past, in terms of modern democracies. And these nations, and people, respect NOTHING except force. Israel has NO CHOICE but to appear frightening and powerful. This image is the only thing keeping it alive. Your op-ed even says,

"Israel is not responsible for the fact that many of its near neighbors long denied its right to exist. The sense of siege should not be underestimated when we try to understand the delusional quality of many Israeli pronouncements."

I have news for you. Israel's pronouncement of it's right to exist is not "delusional." It's military/force policies exist because any apparent weakness will give it's enemies a reason to attack it. AGAIN. There are multiple examples of this throughout Israel's 62 year history.

3. "As American officials privately acknowledge, sooner or later Israel (or someone) will have to talk to Hamas."

You're wrong. Because there is no 'sooner or later, HAMAS will have to talk to ISRAEL.'

And that is the truth of the situation. HAMAS seeks the destruction of Israel, not peace with it. PERIOD. How do you talk to that? (I have yet to receive an answer to that question, from anyone.) Hamas is under no obligation to ever end it's vigilance against Israel. Therefore, Israel can't talk to Hamas if they aren't even listening.

4. About the phrase, "Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

"But since 1967 it has been Israel that has missed most opportunities: a 40-year occupation (against the advice of its own elder statesmen); three catastrophic invasions of Lebanon; an invasion and blockade of Gaza in the teeth of world opinion; and now a botched attack on civilians in international waters. Palestinians would be hard put to match such cumulative blunders."

All of the above 'missed opportunities' by Israel was Israel acting in SELF DEFENSE.

And yet, and yet...you don't mention the Palestinian's REQUIREMENTS for peace, that Israel has missed opportunities with so often.

The major one of these is, "the Right of Return." This means, any Palestinian Arab with a claim to land that they were kicked out of can return and live in Israel.

That's like offering Texas to the Mexicans. The Arabs would immigrate by the millions, disrupting the demographics of this Democracy, making it no longer Jewish.

Meanwhile, 2 things:

A. Israel asked all of its Arab citizens NOT TO LEAVE during the war of 1948. It was the ARAB COUNTRIES who told their fellow Arab's to vacate or be killed by the Israeli's. This problem was started by propaganda, and is continued by propaganda, which has no basis in reality.

B. Don't you know that hundreds of thousands of Jews were KICKED OUT OF Arab countries from Iran to Syria and will NEVER BE LET BACK IN? So why does Israel have the burden of repatriating citizens that left OF THEIR OWN VOLITION?

5. "But Palestinians face the same conundrum as every other oppressed people: all they have with which to oppose an established state with a monopoly of power is rejection and protest"

Or, they could try negotiating openly with America as the mediator to legitimize Palestinian claims and demands. Oh, except for the fact that, anyone who collaborates with Israel is demonized as worse than an Israeli/Jew. So, there is no real chance for peace, because of the abiding social/cultural phenomenon among Arabs that Israel is the devil, and anyone caught thinking differently is simply tortured and killed.

p.s. since when is 'rejection and protest' characterized as suicide bombings?

6. "We should beware the excessive invocation of “anti-Semitism.” A younger generation in the United States, not to mention worldwide, is growing skeptical."

Thankfully, most of us in America have not had much experience with anti-semitism, or Jew hating (unless you are in the deep south.) However, hatred of Jews blatantly exists, as shown by Internet commenters, biased media reporting, and anti-zionist movements.

Our catch phrase is , "Never Forget." Never forget the lessons of WW2. That another Holocaust is right around the corner. That Sudan and Darfur can happen to anyone, at any time. The only way to fight against this is constant vigilince, and to project strength. Perhaps if the minorities in sudan and Darfur had their own powerful nation state, their genocide would not have happened.

I am well aware that most of the world hates Jews. And saying that over and over again is meant to remind us of that, not delegitimize its validity. Excuse us for being hated.

7. "Along with the oil sheikdoms, Israel is now America’s greatest strategic liability in the Middle East and Central Asia. Thanks to Israel, we are in serious danger of “losing” Turkey: a Muslim democracy, offended at its treatment by the European Union, that is the pivotal actor in Near-Eastern and Central Asian affairs."

I don't know if Turkey is really that big an 'ally' of the U.S. They certainly jumped at the chance to appease their Muslim citizens by severing ties with Israel. And they are certainly headed towards Sharia law, which would end any really alliance with any non-muslim country.

In any case, this op-ed was full of glaring errors and misconceptions, as ANY NYT article would be. Israel is a Democracy under siege ever since it's inception, and nothing about that has changed. No op-ed that does not take that into consideration is worth the Internet bandwidth that is used to write it on.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rebuttal To Jumanah Imad Albahri

Her blog post can be found here.

In it she defends herself against the attack of David Horowitz, who asked her, "Do you support Hamas?" She refused to answer, saying,

"I am not a member of Hamas, nor have I ever given support to Hamas, nor do I agree their actions or stances wholesale, but I refused to offer Mr. Horowitz a blanket condemnation of Hamas that night. I felt that doing so would be a blanket condemnation of the Palestinian cause."

"My opinion of Hamas is not as simple as condemn or condone, “for it” or “against it.” I firmly believe that the killing of civilians, even as “collateral damage” regardless of creed, politics, sexuality, nationality, or ethnicity is one of the highest crimes in the eyes of God and is morally reprehensible and abhorrent. But I condone Hamas in its ambition to liberate the Palestinian people."

Let's clarify this. Let's say there was a Israeli terrorist organization called Jamas. Let's say this organization had as it's mission statement, "the destruction of all Islamic Arabs in order to ensure the survival of the Israeli and Jewish people forever." Let's say, this organization Jamas put guns in the hands of infants, had a history of killing regular innocent every day people because they are Islamic, and stated repeatedly that they won't stop until every Islamic Arab is killed. EVERY ONE.

Now, lets say you asked me, "Do you support Jamas?" And I said, well, its not simple, because while I don't support killing innocent people, I do support Israel's right to exist peacefully.

And you said, "No, that is not an answer, do you or do you not unequivocally support Jamas? The organization that has sworn to kill every Islamic Arab?"

And I said, I believe killing civilians is the highest crime against God, but I do support Jamas' goal of the safety of the Israeli people.

How do I look in your eyes now? Because how can you support the ends by ignoring the means? You can't condone Hamas' goals of the 'liberation of the Palestinian people' without condoning their methods. It's that simple. And nor could I condone a murdering band of freedom fighters who want to keep Israel safe.

You could say, "I condone Jamas' ends, of the safety and lasting existence of the Israeli people, but I decry the methods of Jamas to obtain those ends."

THAT IS DIFFERENT, than saying, I don't condone the murder of innocents, but I do condone Hamas' goal of the liberation of the Palestinian people. Because you aren't condemning their methods, you are therefore implicitly condoning what they need to do to reach their goal.

This may seem like a fine line, but it is extremely important when dealing with such volatile issues, emotions, and perceptions.

So, Ms. Albhri, regardless of whether you think you were railroaded by Mr. Horowitz into making statements, the statements you HAVE made show you still don't know what you are talking about.

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