The same Democrats who praised New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, whose closeted gay tendencies caused him to engage in sexual harassment and hand over the top security position in the state to an unqualified foreign citizen he was busy trying to seduce are now flocking all around Senator Larry Craig.
What specifically was Senator Larry Craig's crime? Broken down based on the policeman's statement, he tapped his foot while sitting in the stall and he reached down with his finger turned up. Now maybe this is all part of the covert gay signaling system. I have no idea.
Senator Craig's real mistake was to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, something an ordinary person would do when confronted with a ridiculous charge that carried no actual prison time or real consequences. At no point in the recorded interview did he admit that he had attempted to solicit the officer, despite being threatened and intimidated, bullied and coaxed to admit it. I have no idea if Senator Craig is really gay or not. I don't think however he should lose his position over something so absurdly flimsy at the behest of the same people who thought a President who exposed himself to women and had an affair with a White House intern was entitled to his "personal life".
Similarly Israel replaced as its President a man who was merely accused of sexual assaults with one responsible for the deaths of thousands, who has just arranged to free Arabs responsible for their own rapes. The irony is murderous.
And even while the bickering goes on, Russia is arming Iran which is arming Syria which is arming Hizbullah for the next war.
Called the SSN-X-26 Yakhont, the supersonic cruise missile can be launched from the coast and hit sea-borne targets up to 300 kilometers away. The missile carries a 200-kilogram warhead and flies a meter-and-a-half above sea level, making it extremely difficult to intercept. Its closest Western counterpart is the US-made Tomahawk and Harpoon.
The recent delivery of an advanced Russian-made anti-ship missile to Iran has defense officials concerned it will be transferred to Syria and Hizbullah and used against the Israel Navy in a future conflict.
In the blog roundup, IsraPundit is chock full of great posts this week but best of all is The Case for a Larger Israel which is a true must-read
"Israel has a great deal to benefit from standing up to its enemies and making larger demands. The settlement between Israel and its neighbors, if there is to be one, will be between two competing views that vie for international support—one put forth by the Palestinians/Muslims/Arab and one put forth by Israel. The not-so-secret is this: the world powers don’t really care about a just and proper settlement. They just want to avoid a situation that could spill over into neighboring countries and interfere with global economic prosperity.
Nat, remember when Prime Minister Sharon refused to meet with Arafat? The world eventually came around to Sharon’s thinking. It wasn’t a matter of agreeing with Sharon. It was a matter of the “peacemakers” understanding that Sharon wasn’t going anywhere, and dealing with Arafat was a deal-breaker for Sharon.
If Israel doesn’t advance a competing vision to the one that demands that Israel leave the territories, the world powers will simply follow the path of least resistance and push Israel out. That is what is occurring now bit by bit."
The Kinneret Lives documentary is also well worth seeing.
Daled Amos has a good post on Human Rights Watch
It's good to know that a year after Israel's war with Hezbollah, HRW has finally gotten around to condemning Hezbollah for targeting civilians--but it is telling that their report is less of a revelation than the fact that they finally came out with the report at all.
Lemon Lime Moon has a good post on Poverty in America
This is John (we should all sacrifice for the poor) Edwards' house. It is huge. The *barn* is larger than some apartment buildings. How many poor could live here? Well, what does it mean to be in poverty in America?
Elder of Ziyon continues his groundbreaking study of the Psychology of Palestinian Arabs with Part 13
The Palestinian Arabs themselves were fragmenting into four major groups:
The Gazans were in many ways in the worst shape of all Palestinian Arabs. Completely dependent on UNRWA handouts and completely immersed in Egyptian Nasserite propaganda, they tended to support Nasser wholeheartedly even as he would use them purely for political points.
The fatalists were the ones who stayed in refugee camps, even more than a decade past their leaving Palestine and with little intention of leaving. They were happy to be living on the UNRWA dole, getting free education, medical care and food. They tended to support Nasser as well, and his vision of a pan-Arab nation in which they would become equal citizens again with their Arab brethren took strong hold of their imagination.
The pragmatists were the ones who left the camps and settled their families in Jordan, taking jobs and living in honor. They tended to be more supportive of the King and they didn't agitate nearly as much for a return to Palestine.
Finally, there were the ambitious Palestinian Arabs. This group tended to move further away from old Palestine and make their own way in life. In many ways, these were the spiritual and sometimes literal descendants of the hundreds of thousands who moved to Palestine in the first half of the century for purely economic reasons. Most of them moved to the Gulf states that were beginning to reap the benefits of the oil boom, although a significant number moved to Central and South America.
Steven Plaut has a good article at the Jewish Press on Richard Dawkins
Dawkins pushes his atheist arguments by setting up the weakest straw men he can find and then toppling them over. He briefly argues with Thomas Aquinas, but chooses most of his other sparring partners from among the dullest, most evil, and least sophisticated he can find. This is all a bit like claiming that if some foolish or unscrupulous people happen to believe the world is round, that in itself proves it is flat.
As it turns out, when Dawkins writes about "religion," he, like many similar writers, really means Western Christianity. He has at most a shallow passing familiarity with Islam and Judaism, and knows virtually nothing at all about other religions. His ideas about "Bible believers" are really all about fundamentalist Christians; he seems to have never met a Jewish biblical authority or scholar.
(Hitchens is little better; he spends a significant amount of time attacking the biblical pronouncement of an eye for an eye, apparently unaware that Judaism has always interpreted that as meaning the monetary value of losing an eye.)
Finally this is a surprisingly good article over at Haaretz, Warren Buffett, dire threat to Israel
The most shocking element of the story is that the common recipe for success, Buffett's as well as Wertheimer's, has nothing to do with the modern American and Israeli obsession with shortcuts, hidden-ball tricks, securities and exchange shananigans, gutting companies for cheesy profits, "downsizing" [Read: summarily destroying the lives of workers and their entire families], or "outsourcing [Read: summarily destroying the lives of entire companies and communities].
Both Buffett and Stef Wertheimer, to an extent inconceivable by contemporary standards of high finance, actually made their money the old fashioned way. They earned it.
Perhaps most threatening of all is the circumstance that the Wertheimers were offered much more money by other potential buyers, but nonetheless went with Buffett.
In these parts, there is nothing quite like the fear of being taken for a ride. Of being taken for a freier, gullible, a sucker. This is closely associated with the fear of not having gotten the best possible price either as a seller or as a buyer. The Wertheimers, in short, did not take the highest offer. They took the best one. They took the one that assured them that he would not fire any of their employees.
"I can guarantee that that will not happen." Buffett said in remarks carried on Israel Radio Sunday. "You can broadcast that, you can have me sign it in blood. It doesn't happen. It doesn't happen in any of our other companies. We've bought dozens and dozens of companies since 1965, 41 years now, and it's a clear record."
To the glitterati of Miami-on-the-Mediterranean, there was something threatening in the way Wertheimer spoke of the billions the family stood to gain. "Everyone is equal before God," he said. "This money is not for buying Swatches. This is money is either to further develop industry, or to do good things for the state. "You can't eat more than one sandwich. I have one bed I can sleep on. I have one chair I can sit in."
A closing note. I am not in favor of moderating comments, I do not like censorship but I don't like war zones either. I have a sick relative and two major projects to complete. I don't have the time or the energy left over to maintain the blog and address issues like this.
I would personally appreciate people not insulting each other or making inflammatory statements. I am not asking people not to have opinions. I regularly make inflammatory statements myself but people respect the other people in the comments and do not make derogatory statements about all Jews or Non-Jews.
Thank you and Shabbat Shalom