Showing posts from January, 2008


The Real Heroes are the Ones Who Don't Run for Public Office

War heroes, generals come to elections with an advantage, the aura of greatness, of accomplishment and heroism. In practice though the results are at best mixed. America began with one general as President, a reluctant George Washington, and then didn't have another General as President for quite a while. Those few Presidents after Washington who were Generals, were generally mediocrities or outright disasters, Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight Eisenhower. Today in a time of crisis America faces ever more politicians eager to trade on their military credentials. Former disgraced General Wesley Clark is constantly in the wings. John Kerry attempted to trade on his dubious military record, running as a war hero, after he had made his career blasting his fellow soldiers as war criminals. John McCain has practically hung up a 'War Hero for Sale' sign presenting his past as a key credential for the Presidency. Before them Bob Dole ran for office on little more th

The Lesson of the 2008 Republican Primaries - Non-Traditional Campaigning Doesn't Work

If there are any lessons to be learned in the wake of the Republican primaries it's that non-traditional campaigning really doesn't work. The media can't be discounted, the internet doesn't make nearly as much of a difference as the hype said and the traditional process is still dominated by party loyalists and slanted media coverage. Conventional candidates win, unconventional candidates lose. Fred Thompson tried to short circuit the traditional campaign process with the kind of small scale people first campaign that won him his Senate seat and failed to register with most voters. Despite being fairly charismatic and promoting some rather good ideas, Thompson got in the game too late and his campaign never took off. Rudy Giuliani tried to head off the traditional primary process by aiming for the states where he was polling strongly. It seemed like a bold strategy and if New York and California pay off, that might still be the case, but after Florida that seems less li

Terrorism Denial: The Bloody Handshake Between the Far Right and the Far Left

When the human waste products peddling the Loose Change documentary got caught stealing their footage from the two French brothers who had been doing a documentary on the FDNY when the planes hit, the always classy 9/11 conspiracy crowd or as they like to be called "The 9/11 Truth Movement" (much as Holocaust deniers like to be called The Holocaust Truth Movement since it sounds better than Evil Nazi Sympathizers) began accusing the brothers of being part of the conspiracy, posted personal information and photos of women from the law firm that sent the letter and began barraging them with threats. On the food chain of vile and disgusting behavior, 9/11 Conspiracists are one step above the Westboro Baptist Church. They comprise a collection of loons, who are the meeting place where the far-right and the far-left meet. As Dustin Hoffman said about the Weatherman in the aftermath of a bombing at his home "At a certain point the radical right and the radical left merged. T

Poor Obama vs Poor Hillary - The Democratic Race Devolves into the Victim Olympics

The best way to find the worst candidate in the room is to find the one who spends the most time claiming victim status. That's what makes the Obama and Hillary race so damn tough, because neither of them will stop being victims for a moment and actually make a serious case as to why we should entrust them with a keychain, let alone the White House. The sham that is the Democratic primaries has now finished the process of devolving into the Victim Olympics it was always destined to become as voters are invited to choose which candidate to feel sorry for, that nice Mr. Obama being smacked around by the Clinton machine or that nice Mrs. Clinton being smacked around by the Obama machine. Personally I feel sorry for neither and anyone who does is an idiot, so feel free to cut the following out and pass it along to them. Poor "Obama" Yes poor Obama, he's just a junior Senator who clawed his way to power by stabbing his own mentor in the back and then exploiting the marriag

Why Zionists Should Not Support Ron Paul

Ron Paul's supporters have been quite adept at repackaging their anti-semitic candidate's negatives as positives, have tried to spin Ron Paul's repeated criticisms of Israel and foreign aid to Israel as a positive. Some Zionists have fallen for that line and are considering supporting Ron Paul in order to end American intervention in Israel. The idea of ending foreign aid and intervention in Israel's domestic politics may seem appealing at first glance but a serious look at what would happen gives us a whole other picture. First of all it's highly debatable whether Ron Paul could even end foreign aid to Israel because it has too much bipartisan support and Ron Paul has no track record for winning legislative brush wars. The Presidential veto is not absolute power. Secondly, Ron Paul's own statement betray the same pattern of thinking that has driven administration after administration to pressure Israel. Ron Paul in the US House of Representa

Parshas Yitro - Yitro the Individual

Parshat Yitro begins with the arrival of Yitro, father in law of Moshe. What is Yitro's response to Moshe relating to him what has occurred? Vayihad, it says, a word which is interpreted in various ways. One interpretation relates Vayihad to Yehudi or Jew, meaning that Yitro converted to Judaism. Vayihad could also be interpreted as related to Yahid or individual, meaning that Yitro became an individual at that moment. Exodus Chapter 18 א וַיִּשְׁמַע יִתְרוֹ כֹהֵן מִדְיָן, חֹתֵן מֹשֶׁה, אֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אֱלֹהִים לְמֹשֶׁה, וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַמּוֹ: כִּי-הוֹצִיא יְהוָה אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִמִּצְרָיִם. 1 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel His people, how that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. What made Yitro's action so individual on hearing over what G-d had done to Moshe and the Jewish people? Let's consider the difference between Pharaoh and Yitro. At every turn Pharaoh might repent

Friday Afternoon Roundup -

Two more terrorist attacks occurred this week in Israel, one by Fatah and one likely by Fatah, while Hamas did its part by staging a phony siege situation and then bursting through into Egypt. The media proved all too willing to play along with Hamas' phony wails about starvation and a lack of power, even overlooking the candlelight meeting held in daylight. Meanwhile during the second terrorist attack we once again saw the virtue of letting people be armed instead of disarmed; The terrorists, armed with knives and a pistol snuck into a building used by the high school. They entered a classroom where tutors were holding a meeting, and stabbed two of them. Two of the tutors were armed and managed to overpower and kill the terrorists Bin Laden's son and his wife are getting an excessive amount of positive coverage, despite the fact that Bin Laden Jr has defended his father and his wife has questioned whether Bin Laden was even responsible for 9/11. The Daily Mail has an interest

It's All Our Land

After the battle of Gettysburg, Union General Meade could have crushed the army of General Robert E. Lee. Instead, after the battle he sent President Lincoln a message saying, " We got them off our land ." Lincoln responded, " It's all our land ." Rather than thinking like Lincoln, Israel today insists on the defeatist thinking of a General Meade. We retreat behind what we delusionally believe to be 'secure borders' and congratulate ourselves for 'getting them off our land' by retreating from our land. But it is all our land and we may no longer believe it but they do. They believe it is their land and they will take it from us. Lincoln understood that there was no alternative to winning the war. Either the Union was preserved or America would be destroyed. While many Democrats and military men pressed for compromises, he had the vision to press on. At one time Israel's leaders understood what Lincoln did, that retreat was death. Today Israel

Islamism, Hamas and Al Queda's Nazi Roots

(The following is a compressed and adapted version partly of Dr. Matthias Kuentzel's writings on the Nazi origins of Islamism and Arab Nationalist Anti-semitism. Sources for it can be located here , here , here , her e, here and here ) Dr. Kuntzel's book Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11 is well worth reading Despite common misconceptions, Islamism was born not during the 1960s but during the 1930s. Its rise was inspired not by the failure of Nasserism but by the rise of Fascism and of Nazism. It was the Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 in Egypt, that established Islamism as a mass movement. The significance of the Brotherhood to Islamism is comparable to that of the Bolshevik party to communism: It was and remains to this day the ideological reference point and organizational core for all later Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda and Hamas. The starting shot for this campaign, which established the Brotherhood as an antisemit

The Caliphate vs Multiculturalism

The cult of multiculturalism has been the biggest failure of liberal Western governments in the previous century. It might have survived its many failures however to slowly strangle its host societies had it not been for the emergence of a competing vision against which it is helpless, that of the Caliphate. In any showdown between a multicultural society against the caliphate, the caliphate will always win among Muslims, simply because a multicultural society is incapable of defending its own existence and must tolerate the proponents of the caliphate. The problem with multiculturalism and the reason why in the end Muslims and even many non-Muslims will choose a romanticized caliphate over the bleak reality of a multicultural system, is that in the end it stands for nothing. Tolerance of everything really means standing for nothing and embracing all cultures means lacking any culture of your own. We have long since passed the point of orientalism and reached the stage where people do

In Defense of Waterboarding

In Defense of Waterboarding The most common objections made to waterboarding are that 1. It compromises the safety of our personnel in enemy hands 2. It is torture 3. Torture is useless for extracting information The first and second arguments are easiest to dismiss. In 1985 former Marine and DEA agent Enrique Camarena went undercover in Mexico in pursuit of Mexican drug lords. He was identified and tortured for two days straight on the probable orders of Mexico's Secretary of Defense, General Juan Arevalo and a doctor was used to bring him back from the brink of death time and time again before he was finally killed. Among the implements used were a tire iron, red hot metal pipes and a cattle prod. By the time his body was found, most of his head had been crushed. Also in 1985 a former decorated Korean War veteran and the CIA Station Chief in Beirut William Francis Buckley was kidnapped by Hizbollah while working on a plan to rescue the hostages. His torture was videotaped and the

Parshat Besalach - Punishment and Salvation

Parshat Besalach has the Jews departing Egypt with the Egyptians armies in rapid pursuit. In that process it features two sets of baffling behaviors, one by the Jews and the other by the Egyptians. The Egyptians behave in a seemingly insane manner, heading off in pursuit of their escaped Hebrew slaves even after the devastation of the ten plagues and even proceed down into the split sea. The Jews by contrast seem to complain endlessly once they are out of the sea displaying little faith in G-d. In fact both behaviors are ultimately attributable to a lack of faith in G-d, but a different sort of lack of faith. The showdown at the sea follows a long series of punishments visited on Egypt by G-d. Why specifically punish Egypt, a bleeding heart type might ask. Why not have Moshe arrive in Egypt and spend the next decade or so urging Egyptians to repent backed by wonders and miracles, but not by punishments? The key though is that the Egyptians lacked a specific kind of faith in G-d.

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Politics, Politics and More Ticks

It's been a moderately short week yet an explosive one. The Democratic and Republican races are both tangled up in confusion with two and four front runners respectively. Some Jews are getting excited over McCain's supposed plan to make Lieberman his VP. I find that to be a foolish mindset, as foolish as those planning to vote for Obama because he's black or for Hillary because she's a woman. You vote for the person or the policy, you don't vote for the race or religion. McCain is no more appealing to me simply because Lieberman is his V.P., nor would Lieberman as a Presidential candidate be any more appealing to me. As a matter of fact he would be less appealing to me. A certain amount of pride in the success of a fellow Jew, a fellow black man or a fellow woman is understandable, but not when it comes to voting who leads the country. Meanwhile in Israel, Olmert is hanging on. Protests are going on over the Winograd Report as Israel bombs another empty building, a