Friday, December 29, 2006

Another reason why Olmert actually is treasonous and NOT suicidally incompetent

On Saturday night, Olmert flew a Palestinian flag side by side with an Israeli flag at his official residence. This is yet more evidence that Olmert does not have Israel's interests at heart. The list of things he has done are so long and wide, words fail me. He also recently expanded settlements in the West Bank. (30 families, it's basically nothing, but enough to cause the mouth breathing Israel haters to be up in arms) Let's recap... I don't see the tiny expansion of Israel's settlements to be much of an issue beyond the effect it has on anti-Israel propoganda. Why would Olmert stupidly and treasonly give up military checkpoints, give Fatah $100 million, let Egypt arm Fatah, and announce he will free Palestinian prisoners, while also expanding settlements??? [source] Olmert is arming the Palestinians and giving them money, taking away important protections for Israelis, and yet also making the Palestinians mad by expanding settlements. It is a recipe for total disaster. Why is Olmert doing what he is doing? I suspect he thinks the piddling settlement of 30 families (tiny number!) in the West Bank will somehow appease the more right wing elements in Israel who are outraged at Olmert's dismal suicidal incompetence. He is completely mistaken if he thinks this will make up for his other various actions. All this does is make the left, right, and center oppose him with a vengeance. At this point, he is persona non grata in Israel. Suicidal incomptence. And yet, by flying the Palestinian flag, I am really starting to believe he is actually treasonous, not suicidally incompetent. All I can say about Olmert is...*spits* I predict he will go down in flames as the worst PM in Israel's history - bar none.

Clarification time!

Yesterday, I wrote a post, saying there is a war right now of civilization v. barbarism. I want to clarify my position on people in the Middle East. This is copied and pasted off a reply I wrote on DKos. Read the Qu'ran. That's all I can say. The problem is religion itself. While Christianity has its problems, bibical literalism is generally a minority in the world, and we are long since past the days of stoning for adultery and killing for blasphemy. The Islamic world is not. The sooner people realize that, the better. Where are these moderate Muslims? They are very few and far between. They certainly are irrelevant in the Islamic world - please name a single democratic Islamic nation that is ruled by these Moderate Muslims. There is not a single one in existence. A true moderate Muslim knows that his/her main threat is from fellow co-religionists (more Muslims are killed by Muslims than by anyone else), and anything we do is not going to suddenly tip said person into Jihadi camp. [Make no mistake about it - I am not saying there are not 'moderate Muslims' out there - I am simply disputing the traditional definition of them!] The truth is that the vast majority of the Islamic world is NOT moderate. For example, in Iraq, when given the chance to elect a leader, they elected a parliament that said there is no higher law than Sharia law, and made it a crime to criticize the government. There were riots in Saudi Arabia when the king tried to pass a law allowing women to drive. There are riots in Pakistan concerning the passage of a law that says women do not need four witnesses to declare rape. There were widespread celebrations on the Arab street on 9/11. This all should tell you something about the "tiny minority of extremists." There's a tiny minority who are so insane that they are literally willing to blow themselves up. There is, however, a vast majority that supports THAT tiny minority ideologically and with money. The question then goes - what do we do to prevent people from becoming suicide bombers? However, someone who ever would become a suicide bomber would not have been a true "moderate" to begin with. This is stunningly obvious and yet regularly ignored. The only real solution is to forego any dreams of democracy in the Middle East. The only solution is to install a benevolent, King Hussein of Jordan-type dictator. Give these people democracy, and they will choose an Iran-style government. It's happening in Iraq, and will happen anywhere else we attempt this. It is certainly not politically correct to say all this, and yet it is also blindingly obvious, sadly.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Life and Death, East v. West

I went to the funeral service of my best friend's mom, yesterday, and in addition to the funeral being a tragedy (my friend's mom, who I grew up with, died young, after suffering through cancer for years on end), it was a chance for me to go to a Hindu temple and see a service. I have never done that before. I had to take off my shoes before entering the temple and sat down on the floor, and the service was completely in Hindi. There was a great deal of chanting, as well as a fire within the temple, containing some significance. I really don't know the significance. I was struck by my complete ignorance of Hinduism and a religion and culture with a billion adherants. Of course, I likely am one step ahead of the game - I've been now to a Hindu temple, I grew up with an Indian best friend, I regularly eat Indian food and I am familiar with the traditions of an Indian family. (I also happen to find Indian men to be attractive, but, ahem) Granted, I am no expert in Hinduism, in fact I am as far from an expert as one can be. However, from what I do know of the religion, it is one of the most tolerant faiths on the planet - basically, it has no dogma. Hinduism consists of many beliefs, some of which are monotheistic, and some of which even embrace atheism. There's no death to unbelievers, and many people see Hinduism more as a lifestyle and philosophy than even as a religion. Moreover, this faith and way of life has brought the world contributions to which it is not accredited (such as creating Arabic numbers as well as revolutonizing mathematics in general, and making significant contributions to the world of music, shipmaking, and science) and currently exists in a nation, India, which is critical to the future of the world as a powerhouse contributor to the world of science, technology, and culture - as well as to the fight against global jihad. Sadly, Indian history is also rife with oppression - having been invaded multiple times - and yet somehow Indians have kept their culture and identity. And so one is left to wonder - is Western culture necessarily superior to Eastern culture, and ifso, why? Does this have anything to do with Western Judeo-Christian tradition, or is Western culture great despite said tradition? There is no objective answer to these questions, only opinion - as it is hard to measure greatness against each other. And yet here is my opinion nonetheless. To the extent that Western culture is based upon a bedrock of science, it is inseparable from Eastern culture. The very foundations of science itself were very clearly laid in the East. Muslims are incorrectly attributed with inventing modern mathematics and science, but in fact they generally were simply translators of the work of others, and retransmitted it to the world. That is not to say there were not unique contributions of Muslims to the world, but their contributions have absolutely been exaggerated. And yet, we see India still struggling to pick itself out of the Third World (with a booming economy, but still struggling), and the West is clearly leading the world. Why? How? Many would point to the Judeo-Christian spirit as enabling the West to succeed, and that THAT is what should be saved. But what of this Judeo-Christian spirit? The same spirit that brought about the Inquisition, where untold hundreds of thousands were burnt at the stake? The same spirit that contains verses in the bible stating:
Jesus said unto them [the Jews], If God were you Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (John 8:41-45)
Of course, that is Christian-confined New Testemant text - there is also text that is universal across Judaism and Christianity, in the Old Testemant.
If you hear that in one of the towns which Yahweh your God has given you for a home, there are men, scoundrels from your own stock, who have led their fellow-citizens astray, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods," hitherto unknown to you, it is your duty to look into the matter, examine it, and inquire most carefully. If it is proved and confirmed that such a hateful thing has taken place among you, you must put inhabitants of that town to the sword; you must lay it under the curse of destruction--the town and everything in it. You must pile up all its loot in the public square and burn the town and all its loot, offering it all to Yahweh and your God. It is to be a ruin for all time and never rebuilt. (Deuteronomy 13:12-16)
This sort of dogma is not what encourages innovation, science, and progress. This sort of dogma is what encouraged the Middle Ages, ignorance, and persecution. So why is it that the West is worth saving? Simple. The West has had a Protestant Reformation and an Enlightenment, and religion, for all its faults, is left to the background of life, rather than at the very center of life that it currently holds in the Muslim world. In short, it is secularism that has made science, progress, and the Western way of life possible. It is this tradition that is worth saving. Why was India prevented from being an economic powerhouse all these years? I would argue that in India's case, it was the fact that it was conquered by the Muslims, and then the British, and in a colonial state for centuries on end. This is not proof of India's cultural inferiority, or the inferiority of Hinduism. Actually, as mentioned, India is currently booming. So what is it about Western culture that is worth saving? There is a good argument to be made that while many of the elements are certainly found within Judeo-Christian norms, many pillars in this foundation are also found further east, in the science and tolerance of Hinduism and in India. The West that produced Handel's Messiah also produced the Inquisition. The West that produced the ceiling of the Vatican also condemned Galileo as a heretic (and did not recant this condemnation until 1992). Certainly, it cannot be denied that some of the greatest works of art and music were commissioned by the Church. And yet, how many works were burned? How many works were declared heresies? Why is that always ignored, in the glorification of Western culture? How is it that the West currently embraces democracy and freedom? Where in the bible does it speak of democracy? Answer: nowhere. Certainly, there is the famous quote "Give unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's, give unto God that which is God's," HOWEVER, that is hardly a call for democratic/republican self-rule. It also hardly says "Thou shall not have a religious government." Rather, it says that if there is a non-Christian government, Christians should respect it. (and even this is absent in Islam!) Indeed, the very calls of eternal damnation to those who disobey the letter of the bibical law practically necessitate a Christian government that can act as mommy and daddy for the population, policing the souls of its inhabitants. So why are explicitly Christian governments generally absent from the West? Simple: the years of the Inquisition and Holy Wars have taken their toll, and for the most part, the West learned its lesson, and no longer seeks to impose the 'will of God' via the sword. I am a proponent of Western culture specifically because it was able to overcome its barbarous past, and embrace the values of tolerance and secularism. Such values are what are behind the very foundation of the United States - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof - and behind the modern advances in science, medicine, technology, and civil liberties. We are more free now than we ever have been, and yet this has less to do with any principles seen in the bible, much more to do with Greek tradition that was rediscovered by the West, as well as Solomonic principles of tolerance and government that are part of Jewish tradition and culture - but in many ways contradict the faith (Solomon allowed idols within the Holy Temple, and even built temples for other faiths!). Lest we forget, the founders of the United States were deists, as were the Enlightenment thinkers who were advocating democracy/republican rule. To sum this up: we are not fighting a war of Christianity v. Islam. That war was fought during the era of the Crusades, and in many ways led to a stalemate. The war being fought in the world right now is one of civilization against barbarism. Make no mistake about it: barbarism is not limited to Islam, however, the Christian world, unlike the Muslim world, underwent a Protestant Reformation, and more importantly, no longer is advocating bibical literalism. This is not a war of Christ v. Muhammad. The Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Daoists, Confuscists, atheists, and even secular Muslims are all in this fight together with Christians. This is a war of reason v. unreason, science v. dogma, progress v. regression. Religion may be motivating many to fight, and yet unless the Christian fundies succeed in recreating a modern Inquisition and religious state in the West, that ship has sailed. This war being fought is a very old war, and the war against Islamofascism (aka barbarism) is but a new front on the age old war of reason versus unreason. Make no mistake about it: many atheists are themselves quite unreasonable. Their hatred for Christianity obscures them to the threat of Islamofascism, and often causes them to aid and abet those who actually wishes to destroy them. (see: Chomsky, Michael Moore, etc) They are the modern useful idiots. But this war against reason is being fought on many fronts. Lest we forget, Pat Buchanan believes Western culture may not be worth saving as it is not religious enough (and admires the Muslims for their religiousity), as does Jimmy Carter. These are deeply religious Christians. Then there are the "Jesus Campers," who seek to replace the Constitution with the bible. All these people are aiding and abeting the war on reason in their own way. In this war on reason, it is clear that the #1 threat are Islamists. However, we cannot confuse this as a new Crusade, even if the religious right and certainly Islamists see it as such. This is rather a fight to save civilization from un-civilivizing effects of barbarism. Period.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

In the true spirit of giving...

...Aussie Dave showed exactly how Israel is partaking in the holiday spirit. At this point, I honestly find it hard to even read the news going on in Israel - Olmert is so suicidally incompetent that I have decided he is actively doing all he can to aid and abet Palestinian terrorists. But he'll get his. A poll in August showed that only 14% of Israelis would vote for Olmert if polls were held that day. That poll said 63% wanted Olmert to quit. Given recent news, I would suspect support for Olmert has dropped to an even lower number. In short, he is rather universally despised in Israel as a persona non grata. Meanwhile, in the UK, there was the 'alternative Christmas message.' This was a message of a converted British woman in a niqab, arguing somehow the niaqb empowered her. How does it do that, exactly? By making her disappear into the woodwork, she is empowered. By showing she does not deserve to show her face, she is empowered. The non-thinking insanity of the 'niqab-feminists' is that the niqab somehow takes sex out of the equation. To them I say: tell that to the women in Cairo who were raped en masse. And by that logic, men should be castrated and everyone should simply be lobotomized, as that takes sex out of the equation as well! Of course, there is the female circumcision in much of the Muslim world - that certainly takes sex out of the equation. TRUE feminism recognizes and celebrates female and male sexuality as part of humanity. TRUE feminism does not say that women are pieces of meat who must be covered up, otherwise the men-as-cats will devour them. TRUE feminism advocates personal responsibility. TRUE feminism does not hide behind religious barbarism and say "Oh, that's cool, because it's religious barbarism, it gets a free pass!" This hideous excuse for a human being you will see in the video below somehow is the descendant of a suffragette. Her great-grandma is spinning in her grave. What a total and complete joke. It takes a perverse sort of non-logic to actually say that this woman is advocating for woman's rights. Appalling, that some people buy that. UPDATE: Seems there were scenes of Muslims praying on the air while the Queen delivered her annual Christmas message. I have less problems with this than the appalling 'niqab feminist,' but I do find it amusing that there would NEVER be a shot of Christians (or non-existent God forbid, Jews!) praying during any Eid broadcast in the Muslim world.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Highlights of 2006 and resolutions for 2007

This is a post inspired by the lovely Raccoon. It is the official Red Tulips highlights/resolution post. That said, first I want to say... Anyway, back to the post...

Highlights of 2006...

- I started off 2006 in law school, and by now I have graduated law school and passed the bar exam. Surely this is a highlight!

- My entire political outlook changed. At the start of 2006, I was a regular Kos Kid, who thought Bush was the biggest threat to world peace. I have since had a total political awakening, probably most attributable to my ex-friend qrswave's paranoid antisemitic rantings, combined with the Danish cartoons. This inspired a few things...

- I started this blog, and have since met some wonderful new friends, some in person, such as Thomas, Irina, Sandmonkey, and Zeyad. I also have met many wonderful people online, including Steven, Shlemazl, Raccoon, BEAJ, GCL, Render, and many more.

- I became active in the American Jewish Committee.

- I have been reading books nonstop, to inform myself as much as possible about Islamofascism and general Middle Eastern history.

- I have taken Hebrew classes.

- I have a trip booked to go to Israel!

- I have actually been working out, as shocking as that is to imagine. I have toned down a bit, and I am getting more toned!

- I traveled to Europe, including to Stockholm for ONE DAY! I also traveled to Las Vegas, Michigan, and Florida. (last two were not exciting in the slightest, I assure you)

- I started a job - which I cannot go into detail about, as this is a public site!

Resolutions for 2007...

- I am going to continue exercising and get toned and fit.

- I am going to apply for a new job and GET ONE.

- I am going to learn more Hebrew.

- I hope to become more active in the community at large, with organizations such as AJC.

- I will maintain this website a bit better, and turn this into a more thriving community for like minded social liberals who are hit by the reality of Islamofascism.

- I obviously have a trip planned to go to Israel, but I hope also to go to Toronto again, and see the friends I saw in August, as well as possibly Shlemazl.

- I will continue my reading, and I hope to eventually have a vast and detailed knowledge of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian history. I think this is all so important and relevant to the current world.

- I need to get back into art - I have a wasted talent!

Those are my highlights of 2006 and resolution for 2007. Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cute Chanukah videos

I was looking for some videos for Chanukah to add before the festival is over. Enjoy: And this reminds me to get some Chinese food if possible on Monday.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Harry Potter related note

The Title for book 7 has been released: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Mugglenet JK Rowling's site I will get around to writing my piece on why Lord Voldemort can be compared to modern terrorist's in the new year. Before Tullips hits me with a copy of the half blood prince anyway.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A special tribute to yours truly on Daily Kos

Curmudgiana wrote a special tribute to yours truly (and somehow dragged in Atheist Jew and Ibrahamav, as well as Daniel Pipes and Camera), designed to troll rate me off the site. Go read it yourself! This idiot said I spouted 'hate speech' when I used the term "Islamofascist,' and that I was a hater for using the term 'JOOOOZ,' even though I used it to specifically show how insane one poster was who claimed Israel was in control of the US foreign policy. (or at least the UN veto) This is what I wrote in response to the idiot who wrote this post:
None of what you posted here actually shows hate speech. Rather, you have shown yourself to be an anti-free speech, pro-censorship hypocrite. I commend you for writing this post. Really, it warms the cockles of my heart. Please go on! This makes me warm and fuzzy inside!

I feel this is the greatest honor, to have a hater like curmudgiana devote a diary entry to me. It means I am getting to them. To have a diary on DKos devoted to hating yours truly is the most wonderful honor one can hope for on the internet. So thank you, Curmudgiana, from the bottom of my heart, thank you! You really are too kind! This is a greater honor than an Academy Award! EDIT: The tribute against Ibrahamav, BEAJ, Pipes, and CAMERA is right here, in a seperate post! HAPPY READING!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Baker baker men, cook me a deal

I need to find a good googlebombing nasty nickname for James Baker. Just in case you feel you can't dislike Baker any more, you learn he may be an enemy of his own country. Arutz Sheeva has an interesting article on this double dealing oil hungry WASP. If there is any justice, George W Bush's approval rating will drop to single digits for using the services of this bottom feeder.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Is this color layout better?

I got rid of the gray fonts - do you feel this is more readable? Comments would be great! All the best, Red Tulips UPDATE: Damn, it did not take! I shall have to edit again! That is so odd. UPDATE: Fixed! I think this is much more readable - how about you?

A brief history of Israel

I just found a great brief history of Israel and thought I would share it with you all. Enjoy! Sadly, the facts are too often lost in polemics.

Why I support Israel's 'settlements'

Firstly, 'settlement' implies that the land is recently 'settled.' That is a mistake to assume - in fact many of the settlements - such as Hebron, East Jerusalem, and Gush Etzion, are in land that was traditionally Jewish - until the Palestinians (1929 Hebron massacre) and/or Jordan (in 1948) took the land away. I do not believe in 'land for peace.' I believe the land CAN be given up...But only if there is REAL EVIDENCE of a REAL PEACE that is coming. This requires a change in the textbooks, media, and Palestinian attitudes. Anything short is suicide. I did not always think this way. But the Second Intifada convinced me of this. See: Raccoon's personal reaction to the Intifada. Lest we forget, the land is of strategic importance. (see: Pentagon memo stating as such) That should be reason enough to not give up the settlements unless there is evidence that the Palestinians (and Arab world) are SERIOUS about a REAL PEACE. A summary of why I support the settlements in the territories:
  1. Most of the settlements are on land that was not even occupied by Palestinians.
  2. Many of the OTHER settlements are on land where Jews lived since recorded history - until they were kicked out by Palestinians (1929, Hebron massacre), or Jordan in 1948.
  3. The West Bank is of strategic importance, and Israel otherwise does not have defensible borders.
  4. Absolutely the West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and PARTICULARLY Jerusalem are places where Jews have long historical land ties and a deep emotional connection. You cannot compare this to anywhere else, save possibly Mecca/Medina.
  5. In any case, any argument that the settlements are a block to peace is lost - since Israel is willing to give up the settlements.
DO NOT believe the lie that '40% of the settlements are on Palestinian-owned land.' THIS WAS A LIE PERPETUATED BY PEACE NOW, A GROUP OUT TO DISCREDIT ISRAELI ACTIONS! Camera debunked this nonsense right here. There are very real, non-insano religious reasons to support the settlements in Judea/Samaria.

The irony of Jordanian ironies

Irony of the day: Jordanian King Abdullah II asks Israel to state position on Palestinian statehood. Remember that the vast majority of Jordan is Palestinian, and in fact killed more Palestinians than Israel did in its entire history. (1970 - Black September) Jordan is a far bigger country than Israel and could offer to cede territory to Palestinians within its borders, but does not. It is grandly amusing that the king of Jordan asks ISRAEL about its plans for Palestinian statehood, while in fact the king of Jordan is himself responsible for denying the Palestinians statehood. Pot, kettle -> black UPDATE: Sandmonkey explains Jordanian dynamics right here!

My Week, In Brief

Sorry I have not been posting. I have been busy, busy, busy.

Last week, I attended an American Jewish Committee event at the Polish Embassy in NYC. The event was a candle lighting ceremony, and I was able to meet diplomats from around the world. The diplomat from Finland was particularly sweet. She gave me her card and told me to keep in touch. At this event, I also met Rabbi Mark Wilde, of the "Manhattan Jewish Experience." He is a young and 'cool' rabbi. Actually, he resembled a Backstreet Boy. He spoke of the story of Chanukah at the Embassy (a BEAUTIFUL building, by the way!), and I was struck by how the story has been buried. In case you all forgot, I am an atheist, but I strongly identify with my Jewish background, and Jewish history, philosophy, and culture. I was struck by this story of a struggle against Hellenism (so appropriate today, as Jews face assimilation), and a battle against greatly superior forces. I think the story of the Maccabees is a truly inspiring tale that gets hidden behind the story of oil lasting for eight days.

At this event, I bumped into someone I knew from college, but had not seen since college. It's funny how small a world it is in the NYC Jewish scene, huh? I also met a representative from AIPAC, and I told him I was interested in joining AIPAC because I wanted to be part of the vast Zionist conspiracy that rules the world. I also asked him if he receives his weekly Zionist conspiracy checks. He said that the checks are late arriving in the mail. DAMN, huh??

The Polish Ambassador spoke at the Chanukah party, and said moving and encouraging words of support for world Jewry, and noted Poland's long (and rocky) history with the Jews. Rabbi Wilde also spoke words of ecumenicism with other faiths - words of cooperation and inclusion. I marvelled at the fact that this event was occurring while Iran was holding a Holocaust denial conference across the world. Surreal, isn't it?

On Saturday, I got together with friends and saw a wonderful movie I highly recommend - The Queen. This movie stars Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, after Diana's death. She was simply phenomenal in the role - every facial muscle so perfectly evoking her inner thoughts. I also was struck by the way the movie portrayed Tony Blair. It was a complex portrait that one could take in two ways. One can look at the movie and say he simply basks in the glow of tradition and power, and aims to preserve both. On the other hand, one could say that he is an independent thinker who realizes the value of certain institutions, and is able to see through the politicking of the press and the glorified portrait that they showed of Diana. I would like to see him as the latter. The movie also has a complex picture of Prince Charles. I despise this man, who kisses up to Islamists around the world. (source) One can say that he bravely attempted to stand up to his mother, the Queen. Or, one could say, as I do, that he simply attempted to throw his mother to the coals so that HE could look good. Finally, there is the portrait of the Queen. One could say she is emotionally stunted and cold, or one could say that she values tradition and had to deal with a British public who valued the cult of the celebrity.

I will admit that I was sobbing in 1997 when Diana died. I know that is funny to say now, because in retrospect, she was a silly but deeply troubled woman who I never met. Yet somehow I did sob - probably because I too did worship the cult of the celebrity. But in some ways she did bring on her troubles herself. She knew about Camilla when she married Charles, and anyone with half a brain would expect a royal to keep a mistress - this is just standard history. Moreover, she had her own affairs - yet Charles came off looking like the bad guy. (let me say that I despise him for other reasons) Then there is the courting of the press she did - Diana absolutely had a love/hate relationship with the press and did not live a discreet life. Finally, there was her affair with Dodi Al-Fayed. He was an Egyptian billionaire whose family was into arms dealings. Imagine if she married him, and the step-grandfather (Mohammed Al-Fayed) of the future king of England was the man involved in the 'cash for questions' scandal?? This somehow is never discussed and/or brushed under the rug. Yet the Queen knew all about ALL OF THIS, and I am sure this affected the way she saw Diana.

That all said, I will not give a one-sided attack of the dead - Diana was also a humanitarian who worked for MANY children's charities, was a big advocate for AIDS research, and also tirelessly worked against land mines. She also appeared to have been a good mother who deeply loved her boys. Diana was complex - you take the good with the bad.

On Sunday night, I attended a really fun Chanukah party at a friend of mine's residence. I sang karaoke, which is not a Chanukah tradition, BUT IT SHOULD BE! Of course, I sang my signature song - "I will survive." I need to work on breath support, because my voice is not where it should be, in terms of the power behind it.

Last night, I attended a "Manhattan Jewish Experience" Chanukah party that was overwhelming. Why did I go? Rabbi Wilde talked me into it, hehehehe. Hundreds of people attended, and it was hard to breathe. I nearly had a panic attack, just from the claustrophobia. There was someone there who asked the women "Who wants to get married tomorrow?" I was HORRIFIED by that question. MARRIED TOMORROW??? I don't even know if I BELIEVE in marriage, let alone tomorrow! (remember that I am Jason's fag hag and an evil atheist, out to destroy families and terrorize little children, hardy har har) In fact, I think this is part of the problem with the modern social scene. There is too much pressure on getting married. Stereotypical Jewish mom: "When are you getting married?" This RUINS relationships by putting way too much pressure too soon upon them. I mean, I have a friend whose girlfriend started talking marriage two weeks into the relationship - this quickly broke them up. What is wrong with simply enjoying the company of the other person? Is everyone else taking crazy pills? Why this pressure to get married ASAP? Why not enjoy a relationship like a fine wine, taking long, slow sips and savouring every second of it?

Thoughts/questions/concerns about any of what I just wrote about?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Not commercial enough?

Now, I don't celebrate Chimas (Chi is the Greek letter that looks like an "X") or as I love it to call it, Humbug, but I do enjoy the annual articles in Capitalism Magazine on Humbug and how it should be more commercial. Granted, I'm going to do my gift giving on June 3, World Capitalism Day, but I do enjoy this article, especially for some reactions I can get :) It is also a good bit of American history explaining the American Santa Claus and how a Dutch saint who left chocolate in wooden shoes evolved into the icon we know of. I also know that the 25th of December only became a federal holiday in 1870, though Santa Claus was made up in 1822, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in America, and a symbol of the abundance to come. Also, while I do not celebrate or recognize Humbug, these Christian fanatics almost make me want to give out Humbug gifts just to spite them :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy Chanukah

Today is the 25th of Kislev, and the first night of Chanukah, the eight day festival of lights, as well as rededication. It is also great for latkes and sufganiyot as well as chocolate coins which go with the dreidel. When I first learned about Judaism at age 10, it was because I bought a fun little book about Chanukah, and learned about Judah Maccabee as well as Antiochus IV, a nasty little tyrant. The story started when Alexander the Great conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judea, and the Judeans were allowed to live and worship in peace as long as they paid taxes to the Seleucids, until 175 BCE when Antiochus IV ascended the throne, and he decided to be a schmuck and started a series of progroms against the Jewish people. In 167, he ordered a temple of Zeus in Jerusalem. As a response Matthias, a priest, and his five sons John, Simon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah started a revolt against the Syrians. The next year, Matthias died and Judah took the lead, as well as earning the name Maccabee (the Hammer), making Judah Maccabee the original Hebrew Hammer :) A year later, the Maccabees won and the Syrians were driven out of Jerusalem. Now, the miracle has nothing to do with the military victory. Instead it is about the olive oil used to light the menorah in the Temple. There was only enough oil for one day, but it lasted eight days, until more olive oil was attained. Another aspect of Chanukah is the dreidel. The dreidel is a top with four sides and a letter on each side, The letters nun, gimmel, hey, and shin stand for Nes Gadol Haya Sham (a great miracle happened there), while in Israel the Sham is repalced with Po, because in Israel, it is more accurate to say the a "great miracle happened here." The purpose of the dreidel was a cover, since the Syrians outlawed Judaism, so when Jewish students were learning, a lookout was posted, so that when Syrain thugs were nearby the students could pull out a dreidel and some money, so they'd appear to be gambling instead of learning the Torah. Nowadays, the dreidel is used as a fun game and the gelt (chocolate or real coins) represent the money that was used for the cover. In some ways history repeats itself as Israel is still menaced by Syria (also Ahmenidinnerjacket could be regarded as a modern day Haman, but let's save that for Purim), though Syria does not rule Israel, as it did during Greek and Roman rule (the Governor was in Damascus while a praetorian praefect ruled over Jerusalem), and while it took two years to kick the Syrians out of Judea. A modern day Maccabee could smash Syria within two weeks, or maybe even during the eight days of Chanukah, which would make for great dramatic effect. This evening, 19 years later, I went to my first Chanukah party, which was very nice and filled with knowledge, fun songs, and great food. While I knew some things about Chanukah and can learn the rest through wikipedia, it is even better to experience it. I hope everyone who reads this post is having a Happy Chanukah, whether you're Jewish or goyim, or somewhere in between :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Snerk!! Jesus doesn't love everyone

I wonder what Christian pacifists have to say when Jesus attacks. Now, the irony is that the school had expelled two students for defacing a Bible earlier, and I do hope Samir Mohandis recovers and suffers no permanent injury, but this is still funny in a rather grim way. Well at least Aussie Dave and Aaron find it funny. At least if some silly street preacher tells Mr. Mohandis that Jesus loves him, he can point to his scars and say, "Well explain this, mate!!"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Iran launches a 'Holocaust conferece;' bans dissenting voices; PM of the Palestinian Authority in Iran; Israeli MKs show rare sign of unity

Today is a historic day. In the face of a Holocaust conference in Iran, the likes of which the world has never seen, Israeli MKs, including the Arab Israeli MKs, are showing a rare sign of unity, to condemn this conference. It is sad that it takes such extreme circumstances to show unity, but it is welcome to see all sides of the Israeli political spectrum agree on something: that the Iranian 'conference' is a threat. It is also notable that Ishmail Haniyeh (PM of the Palestinian Authority) is now in Iran, preaching a jihad against Israel (saying there will never be recognition of it), while Arab Israeli MKs are decrying this 'conference.' It shows where Hamas really stands - with Iran and its Holocaust denying regime. (not that that is a shocka!) (as a side note, Iran repaid Haniyeh with a pledge of $250 million) First of all, I want to backtrack and note that this is NOT a true 'conference.' Only Holocaust deniers need attend, as well as vile anti-semitic Jews such as the Neturei Karta. A Palestinian who runs a Holocaust memorial museum in Nazareth was barred entry into Iran. Do not buy into the lie that this is about free speech. IT IS NOT. It is about hate speech and attempting to prove that all Jews are liars and that Israel should be wiped from the sea. In essence, Ahmedinajad is saying Israel exists due to the Holocaust, which is itself a lie, so as such, Israel needs to be wiped out. Secondly, and this is most important...the conference represents an attack upon civilization itself. This sounds rather extreme, but hear me out. The Holocaust is a proven fact. Survivors are alive today, and a trip to Auschwitz easily proves the existence of gas chambers. This 'conference' is, more than anything else, an attack on history. It is an attack on the facts, and an attempt to delegitimize them. This 'conference' says: "Hey world! We make up our own history!" And the scary, the truly frightening thing about it is, that this 'conference' is occurring while survivors are dying out. In twenty years, there will be almost no survivors left - but there will be the records of this 'conference.' And you will suddenly see it become acceptable to question the existence of the Holocaust. It will be en vogue, and not just in the lunatic fringe. I would not be surprised if, in sixty years, there is a conference that says 9/11 did not happen - it was invented to make people sympathetic for Americans. Already there are 9/11 'truthers' who say Bush/Israel/Mossad/the boogeyman was behind 9/11. Already there are people who say the moon landing was fake. This 'conference' is an attack on knowledge and an attack on the written, oral, and video record. It says there is no truth, it is all opinion, all shades of gray. And if it is all opinion, then all opinions are legitimate. If I want to say that Saddam Hussein does not exist and never did, I am free to, because you see, all opinions are of equal weight. That is the true danger of this 'conference' and the Ahmedinjad regime. I fear for the future, and the concept of any objective truth. If everything is up for debate, then nothing exists, and the foundation of society itself starts to crumble.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Getting to know you: Doings and Dreams of Red Tulips

I read over a long meme on Irina's blog, and I thought I would give it a try. Here goes nothing! 1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink: Sadly, I am too poor for that. Never did it, but it would be great, huh? 02. Swam with wild dolphins: Never did it, but I would love to! I know that many in my family did that in Florida. 03. Climbed a mountain: Hmm...well I guess I climbed up a cliff in Pennsylvania. Not sure if that counts! 04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive - Alas no. Pretty cars, though! 05. Been inside the Great Pyramid - Nope, never been to Egypt - but I would love to go! 06. Held a tarantula - No, but I have seen tarantulas. Does that count? 07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone - Oh how romantic that would be. Alas, I guess I have not done that. *pouts* 08. Said "I love you" and meant it - Yes, and I have said it to non-romantic and romantic people. Mostly non-romantic people, though, heh. 09. Hugged a tree - Sure! I have hugged many things! 10. Bungee jumped - No, and I have no desire! It is dangerous but the benefit does not outweigh the cost! 11. Visited Paris - Nope, though I visited Stockholm for a day, so HA! 12. Watched a lightning storm at sea - Hmm...I have seen a lightening storm. At sea? I guess not. 13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise - Many a time! I have suffered from insomnia, but also stayed out all night partying, heh. 14. Seen the Northern Lights - No, but I would love to, especially after reading His Dark Materials. 15. Gone to a huge sports game - Yes, many times, though sports ain't my thing. 16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa - No, but it would be fun to! I would love to go to Italy. Parlo italiano, ma non molto bene. 17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables - Sort of. I mean, my stepmom grew them, and I ate them! 18. Touched an iceberg - No, but hopefully there will be icebergs when I go to Alaska, assuming I go! (and global warming wouldn't have melted them) 19. Slept under the stars - Yes, I have gone camping before. 20. Changed a baby's diaper - Alas yes. My sister is nine+ years younger than me, and so I changed her diaper when I was a kid, many times! Actually, I have some funny stories about that best not shared here! 21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon - No, but I always wanted to! 22. Watched a meteor shower - No, though I doubt I would see it with NYC's ligt pollution. 23. Gotten drunk on champagne - I have gotten drunk on many things, and champagne is included! 24. Given more than you can afford to charity - More than I can afford? No. But I have given to charity many times. 25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope - I think I did ages ago. 26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment - This is Red Tulips here! I am the QUEEN of laughter at bad moments. Actually, I am the queen of hiccups at bad moments. I have had monster hiccups that caused an entire lecture in college (of 500+ people) to stop and stare at me, hehehehe. 27. Had a food fight- Yeah, and I also had a sandwhich thrown at my head in second grade by an evil little child. 28. Bet on a winning horse - I actually did bet on a horse before - but the horse lost, hehehe. 29. Asked out a stranger - Yes, I once messaged someone online as "Hey there sexy beast, without even knowing what he looked like. 30. Had a snowball fight - Yes, and it is fun! It is a staple of growing up in the North. :-) 31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can - Yes, I had my Sally Bowles moment. I remember I once went out for a drive and screamed in the car at the top of my lungs just to get out aggression. It really worked! 32. Held a lamb - Yes, I went to a game farm. 33. Seen a total eclipse of the moon. - I believe I did see it. 34. Ridden a roller coaster - Many of them, including what was the tallest roller coaster on earth at the time, Cedar Point. 35. Hit a home run - LMAO. I am not capable, hahaha. 36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking - This is what I am known for. In many ways, I am like Elaine Benis, from Seinfeld. 37. Adopted an accent for an entire day - LOL, yes, an English accent is fun! 38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment - Many times - the happiest I was recently was in Toronto. :-) 39. Had two hard drives for your computer - Alas, no. 40. Visited all 50 states - No, though I did visit about 30 states. 41. Taken care of someone who was drunk - Yes, and it is amusing. I also had people take care of ME when drunk! 42. Had amazing friends - I love my friends! 43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country - Yup! Most recently, I danced with two tuxedoed brothers in Stockholm, at a disco club. Fun times. I don't remember their names, but they were blonde and Swedish. I also danced with strangers in Galway, Ireland. 44. Watched wild whales - Only on TV! 45. Stolen a sign - No, and I cannot say I have had the desire to do so! 46. Backpacked in Europe - No, but it would be fun! 47. Taken a road-trip - Yes, the most amusing of which was to Canada this summer! 48. Gone rock climbing - Yes, and it is fun! 49. Midnight walk on the beach - Midnight? No. Nighttime - yes. It is beautiful at night. 50. Gone sky diving - No, and I have no desire to! (see: bungee jumping) 51. Visited Ireland - Yes, and it is gorgeous. I left my heart in Ireland. 52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love - LOL, actually yes, sadly! 53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them - Yes, what can I say, I am outgoing and gregarious! 54. Visited Japan - No, but I would *love to*. 55. Milked a cow - Yes, but it was a long time ago, as a kid! 56. Alphabetized your CDs - sound like a great idea, but I'm too lazy to do that right now. (same as Irina) 57. Pretended to be a superhero - LOL! when I was a kid, I used to play Inspector Gadget with my brother. I was always Penny, and he was Brain, the dog! 58. Sung karaoke - Many times. I like to make a fool of myself. 59. Lounged around in bed all day - Hahaha, alas, yes! 60. Played touch football - Yes, I believe so! 61. Gone scuba diving - No, though I would love to! 62. Kissed in the rain - Yes, how romantic! 63. Played in the mud - Yes, I have gone down and dirty. 64. Played in the rain - yes, I have, and caught a cold. (see: Irina) 65. Gone to a drive-in theater - No, but I don't even know where one is! 66. Visited the Great Wall of China - No, again, I would love to! 67. Started a business - The only thing I've ever started was a blog, as Irina - but I hope to start a business! 68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken - Yes, hehe, after my first love, that happened. 69. Toured ancient sites - Yes, the oldest being the Viking edifices at the Aran Islands, Ireland. 70. Taken a martial arts class - Nope! 71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight - I've never played it, not even once, but I have friends who are or have been obsessed. 72. Gotten married - Never married, and I am not even sure I believe in it! 73. Been in a movie - Yes, not telling which one! 74. Crashed a party - Hehe, yes, I have! 75. Gotten divorced - First you have to get married, I would think? 76. Gone without food for 5 days - Thankfully no! 77. Made cookies from scratch - Yes, and they were delicious! 78. Won first prize in a costume contest - No. That doesn't mean I haven't worn some cool costumes! 79. Ridden a gondola in Venice - No, but I did go to the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas! 80. Gotten a tattoo - Nope. I am unmarked! 81. Rafted the Snake River - Again, no! 82. Been on television news programs as an "expert" - YES! Well, as someone who was on the scene of a crime scene, anyway! 83. Got flowers for no reason - Yes, and it was lovely to receive. Tulips are my fav! 84. Performed on stage - Yes, and I loved it. I am a ham and love acting. 85. Been to Las Vegas - Yes, and I lost money, goshdarnit! Damn Las Vegas! *shakes fist in the air* 86. Recorded music - Recording my voice singing a bit off key probably does not count! 87. Eaten shark - I believe yes - in Florida. 88. Kissed on the first date - Hehehehehe...maybe. Not telling! 89. Gone to Thailand - No, but I would love to! (there are many places I would love to go to) 90. Bought a house - Alas no, but one ay! 91. Been in a combat zone - No, but I was in Jamaica during a semi-violent protest. 92. Buried one/both of your parents - Thankfully no. 93. Been on a cruise ship - No and I have no desire to. I am not into pre-packaged trips, and do not want to be trapped on a boat! 94. Spoken more than one language fluently - I wish! 95. Performed in Rocky Horror - I wish, I love drama/theater! 96. Raised children - Does my sister count? 97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour - No, I am not a band groupie. 99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country - I wonder if Toronto Island counts as exotic? 100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over - I meant to move to L.A. and do that, but never did. Maybe one day I will move elsewhere. 101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge - No, but I did walk the Brooklyn Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and London Bridge!! 102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking - Yes, I love singing, and don't care who looks! 103. Had plastic surgery - No, but family members have! 104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived - No, never been in an accident of that sort! 105. Wrote articles for a large publication - Does blogspot count? 106. Lost over 100 pounds - Thankfully I have not had to lose *this much* weight! 107. Held someone while they were having a flashback - HUH? No. 108. Piloted an airplane - No, but it would be nice to get a pilot's license! 109. Touched a stingray - No - I don't think I saw one outside an aquarium. 110. Broken someone's heart - Perhaps! 111. Helped an animal give birth - Alas no! 112. Won money on a T.V. game show - No, though my brother did win big. 113. Broken a bone - Yes, I broke my wrist in eighth grade when I was racing a bike with my brother...pathetically, in the driveway! 114. Gone on an African photo safari - How cool would that be? 115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears - Nope! I have no desire to. 116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol - Yes, I have gone to two shooting ranges. I am a better shot than you would think! Just call me shotgun Jane! 117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild - Yes, but I have not eaten 'shrooms, if ya know what I mean! 118. Ridden a horse - Yes, and my ass hurt me for days afterwards. 119. Had major surgery - Well, I had wisdom teeth pulled. 120. Had a snake as a pet - No, and I have no desire for one! 121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon - No, but I flew over the Grand Canyon. 122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours - Probably! 123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states - Not by a long shot! 124. Visited all 7 continents - No, but I did visit three, and I am on my way to visiting four! 125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days - I think I was on a canoe once, and certainly not for a long time. 126. Eaten kangaroo meat - No, but when I was in Australia, I kept searching for it, and did not find it! I was very disappointed. 127. Eaten sushi - Yes, sushi rocks! 128. Had your picture in the newspaper - Yup, a few times! 129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about - I think I have. I sobbed to my dad to vote for Kerry in 2004, and he did. But now that I think back on it, whatever! 30. Gone back to school - Yup, law school 131. Parasailed - I would love to! 132. Touched a cockroach - Yes and they are nasty. 133. Eaten fried green tomatoes - Yes, and in fact I went to the Whistle Stop Cafe in Juliette, Georgia, where the movie by that name was filmed! 134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey - Nope! 135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read - Nah, but I do lots of reading. 136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - I did go clamming and ate the clams afterwards. 137. Skipped all your school reunions - Not had one so far! 138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language - Hmm...I would say no. 139. Been elected to public office - No, though maybe one day. 140. Written your own computer language - LMAO, yeah right. 141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream - Sometimes. But not recently. 142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care - Yes, my grandfather was in hospice care. 143. Built your own PC from parts - No, but I know people who have. 144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you - Yes, but mostly when I was a kid. I should get back into art. 145. Had a booth at a street fair - Nope. 146. Dyed your hair - Yes, but only highligts, alas. 147. Been a DJ - No, but I cannot imagine I would be good! 148. Shaved your head (not bald, but close enough)- HAHAHA, why would I do that? 149. Caused a car accident - Yes, in Canada. But then no other car was involved. It is an amusing story that ended in my getting a chemical burn from the airbag. 150. Saved someone's life - Not that I'm aware of! WOW that was long. I wonder if anyone else wants to do this! It was kinda fun! I hope you all enjoyed reading that! *EDIT*** I realize now that I was published in Jewish newspaper, when I was in high school. I was also published in my high school paper. I also walked the Tower Bridge in London, not the London Bridge! I just figured I owed the full and accurate truth to my readers!

End of the year awards

Little Green Footballs is having its own Idiotarian of the Year awards this year - and nominations are open. In the spirit of the holiday season, Culture for All will hold its informal awards - but I would not want to copy LGF, so these awards are for most breathtaking acts of dhimmitude and anti-dhimmitude. The awards here are not for people, but rather for events and/or actions. I will get this started. My nomination for the most breathtaking act of dhimmitude of 2006 is for the way the West has cowardly given into the Danish cartoon protests after the Cartoon Jihad, refusing to publish the images of the cartoons. Second nomination: The Iraq Study Group's recent recommendations to start talks with Iran/Syria, and sell Israel down the river. Third nomination: Ehud Olmert and his acts of suicidal incompetence (here and here). My nomination for the most breathtaking act of anti-dhimmitude of 2006 is for the publishers of the Danish cartoons to in fact publish the Danish cartoons. Second nomination: Wafa Sultan's amazing speech on Al Jazeera, whereby she called the Islamists attacking civilization itself. Third nomination: The Lebanese of the March 14 coalition, who rallied to support democracy. (here and here) STAY STRONG!

Hizballah: coming soon to your hometown

Glenn Beck and Alan Dershowitz discuss Carter's abomination book

Must read! I already posited why Carter wrote this abomination book on my law school Democrats list serv. I stated: "I am left with three horrifying options. 1) Carter simply does not know the facts (in which case he never should have been president!). 2) Carter knew the facts at one point, but since has gone senile. (possible, though unlikely given the fact that he has been touring the world for countless years, preaching against Israel) 3) Carter knows the truth, and is purposely spouting lies against the one Jewish nation in the world, in the attempt to spread an anti-Israel attitude amongst Democrats. This would make him an antisemite."

I believe option three is the most likely.

Carter exemplifies what Jeane Kirkpatrick (RIP, she died recently) characterized as the "blame America first crowd."

UPDATE: Dersh wrote a great column on HuffPo, noting that Carter actually claimed Israel's actions are worse than the Hutus in Rwanda! He explains how this sets back human rights in this excerpt:

There are real world consequences to Carter's - and the far left's - obsessive focus on Israel. What happens is that, when those entrusted with identifying and combating human rights violations around the world choose to focus largely or exclusively in on Israel, the real human rights violators, war criminals, and despots get away with murder. Indeed, the Rwandan genocide is a perfect example of what happens when the United Nations refuses to condemn any country but Israel, and the so-called international human rights organizations put so much of their energy and resources into a country with one tenth of one percent of the world's population (6 million Israelis out of the world's current population of 6 billion people) while ignoring the real and devastating atrocities happening elsewhere.

Carter's comparison can be explained in only two ways: extraordinary ignorance or a bigotry so deep-seated that it blinds one to reality. The burden is on him to explain.

Indeed it is.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pinochet dies aged 91

General Pinochet who ruled chile from 1973-1990 has died aged 91. He has cheated justice over the 3,000 people who went missing during his stint in power. Despite that, most people in Chile liked Pinochet for defeating Marxism in Chile. However he apprently stole $27 million and put the money into offshore bank accounts, which cooled peoples like for him (aside from those whose family members had gone missing due to Pinochet). It's always sad when a dictator dies without having to face upto the charges that they are charged with. Sources: BBC News Article CNN Article


I just now have radically transformed the look of Culture for All. What do you all think? The new logo design is courtesy of Steven. Right now, I am trying to figure out, with little success, how to center the logo. Does anyone know? Do you think this is easier to read? This is step one in the redesign of the site - questions/comments/concerns? All the best, Red Tulips

Saturday, December 9, 2006

He's a crook, but he's our crook

Even though the elections occurred last month, and the run off is between two Democrats, so no party change potential, my old Congressman "Dollar Bill" Jefferson has been re-elected. To recap, he is a New Orleans politician, so not what you'd call honest. During Katrina, he borrowed National Guard troops to secure his belongings, which is not crooked, but an abuse of power. More recently, he has been caught with $90,000.00 in his freezer, and was the only Congressman in Louisiana not elected with a majority last month. Today was the run off, and he was just declared the winner. The funny thing is that his opponent Karen Carter was more liberal, and he is essentially a moderate that Michael Moore lambasted, which is always a plus, but he's a crook who got caught with 90 grand in marked bills, and he's been stripped of seniority by Pelosi and the Democratic Caucus. Well, I guess voters in New Orleans decided to repeat the 1991 Gubernatorial election and voted for the crook. I guess the crooked politician you know is better than the one you don't know.

Friday, December 8, 2006

A message from the Sandmonkey!

Are you plagued by a world of uncertainity? Do you read the news everyday and you are horrofied by what you read? Do you want to do your part in the good fight, but don't know how or why, and feel helpless for it? Do you sometimes feel that evil is winning the world over, and you can't do anything about it? Well, now you can, by voting for Rantings of a Sandmonkey in the weblog awards Linkie linkie! It's the only way to be sure! I want you to do it everyday. I want you to dream about it! I want u to wake up in the morning and ask urself, did I do my part to ensure a better world for my kids? did I vote for the monkey today? Is it true that his opponents said bad things about my Mama? Am I just gonna let this slide? Or am I gonna do something about it? Stand up for your mama, and the world, and vote for Rantings of a Sandmonkey! You know she would want you to do that! See you at the polls, The Sandmonkey

Thursday, December 7, 2006

A Day Which Will Live in Infamy

Today is December 7. Now, many events have occurred today, but as an American, one event sticks out, or at least it should. Sadly, the overwhelming majority of Americans forget what happened 65 years ago. For today is the day, American learned the price of peace, for on January 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan (more precisely Shogun Hideki Tojo) carried out a battle on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, without a declaration of war. Of course, the warning signs were evident, as Japan had sought to conquer China and the US placed embargos on Japan as well as closing the Panama Canal to their ships in response for establishing the puppet state of Manchuko. We should have prepared for retaliation. The day after the attack, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered his Infamy Speech which highlighted Japan's aggressive acts not only in Hawaii, but against British Malaya (to include the beautiful Singapore), Hong Kong, Guam, and the Philippines, the latter two being American territory. Congress responded by declaring war, and this was the last time war was officially declared. Now, the battle was carried out without any formal declaration of war, which was Japan's tactic and should have been noted. This tactic also tremendously backfired, as Japan just managed to severely piss off the United States, and Churchill's response to Pearl Harbor was that he could now win World War II (Sir Winston actually did his homework on America), and he was right, for after the US declared war on Japan, Italy and Germany (and I could include the Vichy poodle, but why bother) declared war on America and sealed their fate. As Americans grew angry and wanted revenge, Japan was infected with victory disease and felt they could conquer the world, but didn't bet on the force of a united America. Now, while I consider the Pearl Harbor attack dishonorable, I thoroughly condemn any individual attacks on Americans of Japanese descent (along with Aleutians and others who "looked Japanese", to include Koreans who really hated the Japanese), along with the internment camps. These actions too are a dark spot on America's history and indefensible. I also want to point out that the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was composed of Americans of Japanese descent who were mostly Hawaiian and chose to respond to such injustice with honor. Now, the main issue is that sadly so many Americans forget what happened today and I imagine even many soldiers forget why flags were at half staff today. Today is a solemn day that is not remembered, but should. If you go to Hawaii, I recommend you see the memorial to the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

My predictions for the future of the world

Raccoon complimented me and called me a prophetess, but with that compliment, I decided to predict where I see the world heading. My bottom line prediction is one of optimism. Israel always faces annhilation, but so have the Jewish people - for 5,000 years. And yet for 5,000 years, the Jewish people have somehow managed to survive. Actually, we have not only survived, we have thrived. I believe that eventually, the pathetic Olmert will be replaced by someone who really does have Israel's interests at heart. Somehow Israel will make it through. I do not know how, but it will happen. I also believe that the West has the capability and will to win against Islamofascism. It just has to get to a point where the threat is THAT OBVIOUS, that the world will back a unified action. Think WWII - things had to get VERY BAD before any nation decided to fight Nazi Germany. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it - we have not learned from history, and perhaps we never will. But I am a student of history, and I see certain patterns that have emerged. Eventually, the world will find a way to balance itself out. Evil triumphs over good, but never forever. Things will get much worse before it gets better. The question bad will it have to get before the West gets off its tuchus and decides to act? That I do not have the answer to. You would think 9/11 would have been the wake up call, but it was not. To quote Team America, the West may need a "9/11 times a thousand" before it has the unity and drive to fight. Part of that '9/11 times a thousand' may include the nuking of Israel. But at the same time, I do believe Israel will survive, despite the genocidal hopes and dreams of the far too many in the world. There will be no end of the world, contrary to what many religious fundies believe!

Why are the Democrats shooting themselves in the foot?

I am a Democrat in part because, historically, the Democrats have been pro-Israel - even moreso than the Republicans. A Pentagon memo states that the land Israel acquired in the 1967 war is of strategic importance. (reference) Namely, that the Israeli borders are not defensible without this land. It would be suicidal of Israel to just give up this land without any assurance of peace. As a perfect example, we all know what happened after Israel gave up Gaza. It is my belief that if Israel were to give the West Bank to Hamas as of today with nothing in exchange except a smile, Israel would be well on its way towards annhilation. Hamas already has stated it hopes to wipe Israel off the map - it is in their very charter. They still have yet to recognize Israel's existence. Giving them land means giving them a launchpad with which to to send missiles and rockets into Israel. (see: Gaza, as a perfect example) Tel Aviv is less than 20 miles from the tip of the West Bank. It would face a daily barrage of rockets, as Sderot does, if this land is given up unequivocably to Hamas. According to Jimmy Carter and far too many Dems (though recently also the Repubs under Baker/Gates), the ability for Israel to defend itself is basically irrelevant. Instead, the entire burden is on Israel, who must somehow unequivocably give up the West Bank to Hamas and Golan Heights to Hizballah. If the Jews give up the West Bank, they will not have access to their holy sites within them, even as they grant full access to the holy sites for Muslims within Israel in present day. Furthermore, should Israel give up all this land, it would be Judenrein - free of Jews. Yet there is this absurd expectation that Jews should flee the West Bank (and grant it to Hamas), while allowing Arab Israelis full citizenship in Israel. (oh yeah, and the Palestinians also want a right of return, on top of that!) Finally, Israel also must not fire back when shot at. Doing anything less than all of this somehow equals apartheid. The standards that Jimmy Carter and those who agree with him give for Israel are so over the top extreme, that they are more fit for Arafat, NOT an upstanding member of the Democratic party. If Jimmy Carter's desires are granted by Israel, then in fact it would be a monumental injustice, for the reasons I cited. It would lead Israel down the path of its annhilation. The only thing Carter forwards is the notion that Democrats are anti-Israel. This is why I am so horrified by him and anyone who agrees with him, as Israel is one of the most important topics in the world to me, and I grew up thinking that Democrats supported Israel, while Republicans, such as Reagan and Bush Sr, did not. I guess times are changing, though thankfully, mainstream Dems such as Pelosi and Dean and even leftist Dems such as John Conyers have come out against Carter's book and have expressed condemnation for what he is advocating. -Red Tulips P.S.: One last thing I remembered, which you would not know by reading Carter's book...Jordan illegally annexed the West bank after the 1948 war, and the Palestinians who lived within that land had no real civil rights to speak of between 1948-1967. (in fact, Jordan has killed more Palestinians than Israel has in its entire history - see the 1970 war - "Black September") My point is that the UN resolution 242 makes no note of Jordan's illegal annexation of the land, and Carter does not mention this, either. In 1967, there was a real question as to who the land should be returned to, the Palestinians or Jordan. There remains that question to this day as the Palestinians are fighting an internal struggle between Hamas and Fatah to determine its future, and more Palestinians are killed by Palestinians than by Israel. I am trying to save the Democratic party from itself. The existence of Baker and Gates is really not a shock, as I assumed that this represented the true beliefs of the Republicans all along. The widespread support for Carter, on the other hand, deeply troubles me.

Bangladeshi journalist's life is in jeopardy for the crime of praising Jews and Christians

David Harris of AJC wrote a very important OpEd. Please take a moment to read about this issue, and think about signing a petitition on AJC's website. A man's life is in jeopardy, and the future of any free press in Bangladesh is on the line. Regards, Red Tulips The OpEd:
We are taught in the Talmud that "whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world." Today a life is at risk in a Bangladeshi court. The man's name is Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. He is a journalist and editor of Blitz, an English-language weekly newspaper. He is on trial for sedition, punishable by death in Bangladesh. His alleged "crime"? In the words of the presiding judge: "By praising the Jews and Christians, by attempting to travel to Israel, and by predicting the so-called rise of Islamist militancy in the country and expressing such through writings inside the country and abroad, you have tried to damage the image and relations of Bangladesh with the outside world." In other words, Mr. Choudhury believes in interfaith dialogue and respect, normalized ties between Bangladesh and Israel, and opposition to Islamic radicalism. Those views could cost him his life. His difficulties began in 2003 when he became interested in Israel and initiated correspondence with a Jerusalem Post editor. That led to an article he wrote for the paper advocating the establishment of peaceful relations between his country and Israel. The piece caught the attention of an Israeli scholar, who invited him to give a lecture in Israel at the International Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace. He accepted, but never made it. As Mr. Choudhury was about to board a plane in Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital, for the long, circuitous journey, he was arrested and his passport was confiscated. He was accused of espionage and charged with sedition. He spent the next 17 months in hellish prison conditions, including torture, denial of medical attention and isolation. He was released in April 2005, largely because of the determined efforts of two individuals—Dr. Richard Benkin, a Jewish community activist from Chicago, and Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk. But that release was followed by more harassment, threats on his life, attacks on his newspaper's offices, and the looming trial. When the American Jewish Committee sought to present Mr. Choudhury with its Moral Courage Award in May 2006, Bangladeshi authorities once again prevented him from leaving the country. Instead, he spoke movingly via video hook-up, while Dr. Benkin came to Washington to accept the AJC tribute on behalf of a man he refers to as his brother. The trial has now begun. The judge in the case is widely known for his link to Islamic radicals. The chances of Mr. Choudhury receiving a fair hearing are slim. Remarkably, throughout this three-year ordeal, Mr. Choudhury has stood unbowed and unbent. He has faced his accusers with remarkable courage, stoicism and equanimity. As outside lifelines, Dr. Benkin and Rep. Kirk have remained tenacious, constantly reminding the Bangladeshi government that this case is being monitored carefully and urging others to join with them in defense of Mr. Choudhury. The State Department, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, PEN USA, some individual Members of Congress and a few newspapers have spoken out. Most recently, Rep. Kirk, a Republican, and Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, introduced a resolution calling on the Bangladeshi government to drop all pending charges against Mr. Choudhury, return his confiscated possessions, stop "harassment and intimidation," and hold "accountable those responsible for attacks against" him. (To urge Members of Congress to support this initiative, visit In a world where radical Islam is on the march, threatening moderate Muslims and non-Muslims alike, outspoken and fearless individuals like Mr. Choudhury deserve our full support. It is they, after all, who are on the front lines. The goal should be to send an unmistakable signal to the Bangladeshi government, a recipient of U.S. aid, that the case is being watched and its outcome could affect bilateral ties. Other countries committed to freedom of speech, human dignity and mutual respect should also be heard from—and their diplomats seen in the Bangladeshi courtroom to demonstrate tangible concern. To date, regrettably, too few have been either heard or seen. At the risk of stating the obvious, this is by no means an exclusively American or Jewish issue; rather, it is a matter of fundamental human rights. The history of the human rights struggle, whether behind the Iron Curtain or in South Africa during the apartheid era, underscores the need to focus the spotlight on offending nations, depict the plight of individuals, and urge democratic countries to include human rights concerns high on their agenda when dealing with the offending nations. For those concerned about the outcome of the titanic clash in the Muslim world between radicals and moderates, and who wish the latter to know they do not stand alone in their valiant struggle, Mr. Choudhury's case demands our attention—and now. David A. Harris is executive director of the American Jewish Committee. Special To The Jewish Week

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

A sad time for Venezuela, a sad time for the US and Israel

I am sorry about all this pessimism. I hope to find good news, distracting news, and/or funny news and post that. In the meantime, I want to convey my sadness at Hugo Chavez's win in Venezuela. Lest we forget, C4A already cited some of the reasons (there are so many!) why Chavez is bad for Venezuela, irrespective of his Bush hatred and Pat Robertson's call for assassination. (go read it!) Sadly, too many people buy into the Chavez-as-hero myth, simply because Chavez called Bush the devil. Sandmonkey wrote about Daniel in Venezuela's post concerning Chavez's recent win, and I largely agree with him. Go read it! Daniel in Venezuela feels his country is irreversibly gone, and he is a stranger in his own land. I would feel that way as well, if Chavez were president of the US. The man backs world terrorism, is a rabid anti-semite, and of course is incredibly corrupt and backs the most insanely inefficient government in Venezuela. (documentation to support these assertions are in my August post I wrote) Yet he is a hero of the world left. What a joke. (it should be noted that something new has come to light - Chavez said he will fire all civil service workers who disagree with him - what a great guy!) Then, there's the American joke, Robert Gates. He is a man C4A has already chronicled on several occasions, here and here. When Gates was questioned during the confirmation hearing, he said that he is against the US doing anything against Iran, unless it's in American interests, and only then, at the last minute. However, he also admit that he believes Iran would not hesitate to use the nukes on Israel! (reference) This is the new American secretary of defense, ladies and This is not a new philosophy, as the US did not enter WWII until American interests were threatened - it did not undertake to save Jews during the Holocaust. In fact, not only did the US literally do nothing to save the Jews of the Holocaust, neither did the UK. No one really cares about the Jews...but then neither does the Israeli leadership! After all, Israel is headed by the corrupt and incompetent Ehud Olmert, who believes that Israel should be giving up more territory during its time of peril! (reference) He also calls for no more IDF arrests of Palestinians in the West Bank, unless there is explict approval from either the GOC Central Command or the commander of IDF forces in the territories. (reference) Then there is the insane 'hudna' nonsense Olmert decided on - whereby Israel does not fire back when the Palestinians fire missiles, thereby abdicating its responsibility as a state to defend its citizenry. (reference) This led the Raccoon to believe that we should all be preparing for a nuclear holocaust, as Israeli leaders are not doing anything to prevent Iranian nukes, and neither are American leaders. He believes, perhaps rightly, that nothing will be done until an actual nuke is used against Israel, and then Israel, with its second strike capabilities, responds by wiping out Iran. (go read his analysis) He may very well be right. It is with all these thoughts in mind that I am planning my trip to Israel in January. Unless something is done to reverse this course, I may be going on a trip to Israel not unlike my trip to the oberservation deck of the WTC that I took several times in my youth. UPDATE: LGF goes through the Iraq Study Group's recommendations (that came out today), and shows it advocates selling Israel down the river in exchange for fluffy promises and puppies. (ie, nothing) It is not a good time for Israel right now, what with the combination of global antisemitism and incompetent, corrupt, and inept Israeli leaders.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

NYC to remove trans fat from restaurants

Yes, it is true. What bull caca. If I want to eat fatty food, that is my right, no? Shouldn't the market take care of this? Simply report how much trans fat is in the food, and let consumers make an informed decision based on taste and health. Instead, nooooo, NYC has to be a nanny state, and cannot let its citizens decide things for themselves. What total bollocks.

More than 1,000 feared dead in the Philippines

A tragedy occurred yesterday, and the media basically skipped over it. Over 1,000 people are feared dead in the Philippines after a deadly typhoon wrecked the island nation. You can read about this tragedy right here. Here are just two photos of the devastation:


If you have extra money, please do not donate to the Red Cross. Remember to cross off the Red Cross. (see the reasons here and here)

However, there are worthy organizations to donate money to. Please consider donating to Oxfam or Doctors Without Borders. The poor Filippinos have suffered so much through the years, with a long war and economic devastation. (see the history of the Phillipines) They are one of the few dependable allies in the war against Islamofascism, and these people are suffering. If you have a few extra dollars, think of donating to the above two organizations.

Dhimmi Carter's abomination book

Two great posts were written about Jimmah Carter's new abomination book: Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid. David Harris from the AJC in the Jerusalem Post: Excerpt:
The extent that Carter goes in propping up an extreme version of the Palestinian narrative, and in burying and devaluing any trace of the Israeli and American versions of events, is deeply disappointing. In accepting the Palestinian narrative, Carter has conveniently revised history, excused the Palestinians for their tragic failure to come to terms with Israel each time the chance presented itself, and blithely ignored Israel's very legitimate security concerns. Many Israelis, including those that once greatly admired his role in fostering peace with Egypt, may never again trust Carter's diplomacy, including his vaunted role as an election monitor. He can no longer claim to be an honest broker. This book will not help the cause of peace, and with its publication, the world has lost a statesman at a time when one is most needed.
Alan Dershowitz at HuffPost: Excerpt:
His bias against Israel shows by his selection of the book's title: "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid." The suggestion that without peace Israel is an apartheid state analogous to South Africa is simply wrong. The basic evil of South African apartheid, against which I and so many other Jews fought, was the absolute control over a majority of blacks by a small minority of whites. It was the opposite of democracy. In Israel majority rules; it is a vibrant secular democracy, which just today recognized gay marriages performed abroad. Arabs serve in the Knesset, on the Supreme Court and get to vote for their representatives, many of whom strongly oppose Israeli policies. Israel has repeatedly offered to end its occupation of areas it captured in a defensive war in exchange for peace and full recognition. The reality is that other Arab and Muslim nations do in fact practice apartheid. In Jordan, no Jew can be a citizen or own land. The same is true in Saudi Arabia, which has separate roads for Muslims and non-Muslims. Even in the Palestinian authority, the increasing influence of Hamas threatens to create Islamic hegemony over non-Muslims. Arab Christians are leaving in droves. Why then would Jimmy Carter invoke the concept of apartheid in his attack on Israel? Even he acknowledges--though he buries this toward the end of his book--that what is going on in Israel today "is unlike that in South Africa--not racism, but the acquisition of land." But Israel's motive for holding on to this land is the prevention of terrorism. It has repeatedly offered to exchange land for peace and did so in Gaza and southern Lebanon only to have the returned land used for terrorism, kidnappings and rocket launchings.
Read the whole thing of both! Must reads! It is sad and inexcusable that an ex-president would stoop so low. He is an abomination, as is his book. He should be ashamed of himself, except I have come to believe that he has no shame. UPDATE! I sent out this post, full text, to my law school Democrats list serv. One of the responses I got back was particularly disgusting. It is so bad as to be comical, and a must read for C4A readers:

I usually don't respond to e-mails like this, but I was saddened at thedisgraceful propaganda send by a democrat (this is usually a republicantactic). Don't you think that a jewish student, a jewish lawyer, and the Jerusalempost might have its own bias?

You wanna put out an excerpt you should put one in from the book itself,not from some bias filter. Although I'm willing to bet that the senderof this e-mail didn't even read Carter's book.

This is saying that I couldn't possibly be informed and clear headed about Israel, because I am Jewish. It is the old canard - saying Jews cannot be trusted in public office, because they care about Israel first above all else, against American interests. What a load of bull caca. And guess what? I read the intro to this book - and that was enough. It had so many glaring lies and distortions, I started to feel like I was ready to vomit, and had to stop reading, for my own health! Jimmah should be ashamed of himself, as should that Dem lawyer, who evidently cannot clearly look at facts, and rather, must engage in character assassination instead.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Twin outrages of the day

Outrage #1: Israel is considering releasing convicted quintupal murderer Marwan Barghouti for...promises of peace and fluffy puppies from the Palestinian Authority. (aka nothing!) You know, I really do believe that it has gotten so bad in Israel, it may be beyond suicidal incompetance. Outrage #2: John Bolton, incapable of being confirmed to the UN, has resigned. Oh well! This one actually will probably have little to no effect. After all, the UN is a hapless, corrupt, terror supporting organization. It legitimizes terrorists. They aid and abet Hizballah. I believe the UN is so bad, that it is beyond saving, unless they get rid of nations such as Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Libya that populate it. The UN should be immediately disbanded, and/or sent to France, and have all of the diplomats' cars towed and impounded. A girl can dream!