Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Am Yisrael Chai!

Am Yisrael chai: the people of Israel live! Od avinu chai: Our forefather still lives!

An hour away from the horror of Auschwitz, Jews in Poland are rediscovering their heritage:

Slowly but energetically, the circle of worshipers made its way around the interior of Krakow's Kupa synagogue, their voices rising ever more forcefully in song and prayer.

Stirred on by the inspiring melodies of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, they briskly joined hands and thrust their feet forward in unison, filling the large and airy space with a dynamic, yet gentle, fervor.

"Merciful Father, draw Your servant closer to Your will," they sang, as the words of the 16th-century Yedid Nefesh hymn cascaded throughout the room. "Illuminate the world with Your glory, that we may rejoice," they chanted.

Just as Jews have been doing for centuries, the celebrants welcomed the figurative Sabbath bride with a mixture of pomp and elation.

But this was no ordinary Friday night service.

Over 65 years ago, this very same house of God had been stormed by the Nazis. They ransacked the interior, destroying the synagogue's furnishings with the aim of erasing the name of Israel from under the heavens.

There is something within the Jewish neshama that cannot rest until it is acknowledged. After years of denying my own, there was an uneasiness in my life. At Mount Sinai, each Jewish neshama was given a spark and it will not and cannot be denied. Even today, with Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, with resurgent anti-Semitism across the globe, and threats by assimilation: Am Yisrael Chai.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Join the Navy/Coast Guard!

As of this post, the Navy/Coast Guard Team is a tad behind. Heck, even the Air Force team is beating us!

You can do your part to help Project VALOUR-IT. On June 3, 2007, at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital the 1,000th laptop was given:

Valour-IT stands for Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops. It was inspired by a soldier, Captain (now Major) Chuck Ziegenfuss, who two years ago was exactly where you are today and who remains in the Army--he was a tank company commander whose hands were severely damaged by an IED. He had been writing a blog during his deployment and used his two functional fingers to ask for help getting voice-to-text software after he was wounded. The response was huge and we realized there was both a need and a desire to fill that need. We've now given out nearly 1,000 laptops in the last 20 months.

This program did not develop because a big donor dropped a lot of money that made all this possible. Rather, it came from individual donations of thousands and thousands of people--from literally five dollars to 5,000, adding up to over a million dollars in twenty months... all because they love and appreciate you and want to help you during this difficult time. They want to make sure that if you have injuries that prevent you from using a keyboard, you can still stay connected to your deployed buddies and the family members who couldn't come here to be with you, so you can use the computer just like anyone else does. And if you will be transitioning out, we want to be sure you have the opportunity to take classes and develop the skills that you will need to be successful in your new career.

So each laptop is more than just a computer. It's a physical representation of the incredible amounts of love, support and gratitude people have for all you have done. Please remember that whenever you see it. Thank you for everything.

Join a team, the NAVY/COAST GUARD TEAM and post about it. Donate by using the blue donation button on the sidebar.

At the post Little Green Footballs did on Project VALOUR-IT, a couple of com mentors shared very easy and doable ways to help out:

A very practical way to help out:
Every Halloween I put out a coin toss bucket and Project Valor poster on my porch. Then I donate the proceeds the next day. Last year I raised a little over $200.00 from my neighbors. Y'all should try it!

A way for kids to get involved:

This is a great program! Last year my daughter organized a fund raiser at her middle school and the 7th and 8th graders raised enough for two laptops. I would encourage others to do the same.

Join now!

One Day

Sometimes, a day can make all the difference in the world. October 31, 1917 was such a day and it occurred in Beersheba. The heroic efforts of the Australian Lighthorse broke through the Turkish lines. And this action led to the loosening of the Ottoman Empire strangle-hold.

David at Treppenwitz posts about the importance of this and why it made it possible for Israel to become a state. It was a hard fought battle:

"The key to the battle were the Gaza-Beersheba fortifications. Beersheba, meaning "well of the oath", so named by Abraham in the book of Genesis... Any army approaching its life-giving wells has to march for days through the waterless desert. All the Turks had to do was hold off an attack for one day and the merciless desert sun would do the rest. Despite constant assaults by the combined forces of the British and Australian armies, the place could not be taken. Then came the fateful day of October 31 1917. The generals were desperate, 50,000 British infantry with tank support had been driven back into the desert. With the sun about to set and with no water for many miles, disaster stared them squarely in the face. The Australian Light Horse Commander [General] Chauvel's orders were to storm Beersheba, it had to be won before nightfall at all costs. The situation was becoming grave as they were in urgent need of 400,000 gallons of water for men and horses.

Every anniversary is marked with gratitude. And those who died that day, like Sidney William Watts are remembered.

Technical Difficulties

There is a problem with the donation buttons. It is being resolved. In the meantime, use this link. Scroll down and choose your team. The NAVY/COAST GUARD TEAM is blue.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where's MEGEN?

MEGEN certainly gets around. Last year, The NAVY TEAM reached it's goal well ahead of the other teams. Our team captain, Curt at Chaotic Synaptic Activity received MEGEN after our win.

MEGEN, “Most Exhaulted Golden NotEbook,” has been busy this past year. Curt has not been resting on his laurels after the NAVY TEAM'S win last year. The other teams are up against the full might of a glorious sea power.

Like the US Navy and Coast Guard, MEGEN has been travelling. Here MEGEN is held by Ben Garrison. He was a Radioman 3/c abroad the USS Mason. The USS Mason is a destroyer escort and during World War II had an all African-American crew.

MEGEN has also been here as well as here. Where's MEGEN now? Your guess is as good as mine but I have my suspicions.

The other teams are going to try their best to knock us out of the water. As always, the true winners will be our men and women who will benefit from Project VALOUR-IT.

You can help the NAVY/COAST GUARD TEAM by joining our team. You can click to join the NAVY/COAST GUARD TEAM or one of the others. Just a blog post to let others know about Project VALOUR-IT will do. In the next few days, there will be links to print out fliers and there is a handy donation widget on the sidebar. Let's make this year one of the best so that our wounded will be the winners.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Over ten years ago, soon after my grandfather's death, I decided to explore my family's roots. Through the Internet, I have been able to trace my Mom's maternal line back to the early 1700's in Virgina.

Also through the Internet by using JewishGen, I was able to trace my Dad's line to the 1700's to Tulchin. My great-grandfather emigrated from Nemirov Ukraine to the United States in 1914. I'm still working on my Mom's paternal line and on my Dad's maternal line. These are the two I thought would be easiest to do but it hasn't turned out that way. Genealogy is a fascinating subject. I not only discover my family's history but certain things I've found led me to read more about American and Jewish history.

I've been trying to find out more about Nemirov. My grandfather was 10 when they emigrated and I didn't think to ask him questions about what it was like living in Nemirov. I've done searches but there is very little written. But in my searches, I came across Reb Noson who was born in Nemirov in the late 1700's.

I found he was a follower of Rabbi Nachman . Rabbi Nachman founded the Breslov hasidim. Looking around their web-site , I discovered some wonderful music.

I found this wonderful version of Kol Ha’Olam Kulo on Youtube. Every week, I try to find a video and post it before Shabbat. This week at Youtube, I did a search for Breslov. And something unique came up. I discovered Na Na Nach. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with the joy these dancers exhibit.

Bridges: from Tulchin to Nemirov, to Chicago, to Mississippi, and one day, to Israel.

A Jump Start

The fundraiser doesn't start until tomorrow but I wanted to pass on information about Soldier's Angels Project VALOUR-IT. Laptop computers provide severely wounded soldiers with a means of communicating with loved ones. Soldier's Angels provides the laptops and the Department of Defense provides the voice-activated software. This opens up a whole new world for wounded soldiers.

Originally Valour-IT provided the voice-controlled software, but now works closely with the Department of Defense Computer/electronic Accommodations Program (CAP): CAP supplies the adaptive software and Valour-IT provides the laptop. In addition, DoD caseworkers serve as Valour-IT’s “eyes and ears” at several medical centers, identifying possible laptop recipients. Wounded military personnel can also directly request a laptop through the sign-up form or through the Valour-IT/Soldiers' Angels representatives at the following medical centers:
* Balboa Naval Hospital

* Brooke Army Medical Center

* Madigan Regional Medical Center

* National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda Naval Hospital)

* Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton

* Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital (29 Palms)

* Walter Reed Army Medical Center

The annual fundraiser is a friendly(at times, snarky) and fun competition amongst the military branches. You can join one of the teams by clicking here.

The Navy Team Leader has created a forum which is a good clearinghouse for all the teams.

This is the third year I've participated in the fundraiser and it is a lot of fun. I hope you join one of the teams(NAVY/COAST GUARD). The one I've been part of is the best of the best and is of course the NAVY/COAST GUARD TEAM.

The goal is $240,000 this year. I expect this goal will be surpassed as in the two previous years.

It Is Here

Soccerdad has once again done an outstanding job. Haveil Havalim 138 looks to be a very good one.

Stay posted. A yearly occurence will commence this evening. All I can say is,


Friday, October 26, 2007

Shabbat Shalom! 10/26/07

Hinei Ma Tov

Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in harmony.

They "Chat" With One Another?

Researchers at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School have discovered how bacteria "chat" with one another. And they also discovered a 'suicide module" bacterial cells. This discovery could lead to new drugs to combat bacteria that has become resistant to anti-biotics.

The communication factor, called extracellular death factor (EDF), enables the activation of a built-in "suicide module" that is located on the bacterial chromosome and is responsible for bacterial cell death under stressful conditions.

While suicidal cell death is counterproductive for the individual bacterial cell, it becomes effective for the bacterial community as a whole by the simultaneous action of a group of cells that are signaled by EDF. Under stressful conditions in which the EDF is activated, a major subpopulation within the bacterial culture dies, allowing the survival of the population as a whole.

Understanding how the EDF functions may provide a lead for a new and more efficient class of antibiotics that specifically trigger bacterial cell death in the intestine bacteria E. coli and probably in many other bacteria, including those pathogens that also carry the "suicide module." Given the growing resistance of bacteria to existing antibiotics, this would be a blessing.

This is great news, especially with the spread staph infections outside of hospital environments.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Particularly Provocative"

Those absurd words came from the mouth of Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on hearing of plans by Israel to cut of electricity to Gaza each time a Kassam rocket is launched by terrorists into Israel. Who is being provocative? Israel for seeking a solution that will not harm civilians in Gaza? Or the Palestinians who lob Kassams with the intent of murdering Israelis?

I think Israel's plans are extremely reasonable given the circumstances.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak's approval earlier Thursday of an IDF plan to impose sanctions on the Gaza Strip in wake of the escalation in Kassam rocket attacks was the first step, defense officials told The Jerusalem Post, towards a "complete disengagement" including the gradual reduction in Palestinian dependency on Israel for gas and electricity.

It makes sense that Israel would want to disengage completely from Gaza. And before anyone decries the "cruel" nature of these measures, take a look at the plans:

According to the plan, one of the power lines connecting Israel and Gaza will be shut down at first for 15 minutes after a rocket attack, gradually increasing the cutoff length if the barrages continue, up to a two-hour limit. In addition, Israel will begin reducing the amount of gasoline it allows into the Gaza Strip.

Defense officials stressed that the fairly-limited sanctions were not capable of creating a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and were being imposed with the eventual goal - of the defense establishment - to completely cut off Palestinian dependency on Israel. The cuts to electricity will not affect Gaza-based hospitals, defense officials said.

Thousands of Kassams have been fired into the Israeli town of Sderot. The approach of cutting off power seems to be the least likely to impose hardships on the Palestinians. The Palestinians have myriads of terrorists groups. So while Fatah is off pretending to negotiate for peace, Islamic Jihad, al Aqsa, and so many others can continue their acts of terror and Fatah leaders can say, "It wasn't us!!! I have no control over those people!"

It is a shell game that has been played for decades.


During Hurricane Katrina, rumors were rampant about what was going on in the Superdome and the Convention Center. I must admit, I was too busy dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in my hometown of Gulfport Mississippi and it wasn't until months later I was able to learn what occurred there.

But the inaccurate news reports of rapes, murders, and gunfire aimed at rescue helicopters exacerbated the problems. Unfounded rumors may have led to help being delayed. Who was spreading the unconfirmed rumors? The news media were broadcasting these unconfirmed reports and those reports may have slowed down much needed help.

Contrasts are now being made between the emergency response to the wildfires in California and the emergency response in New Orleans. Confederate Yankee, in his post, Pink and Gray lists some of them. He also links to Bill Whittle's Tribes which was written immediately after Hurricane Katrina. Below is an excerpt:

That has nothing to do with me being white. If the blacks and Hispanics and Jews and gays that I work with and associate with were there with me, it would have been that much better. That’s because the people I associate with – my Tribe – consists not of blacks and whites and gays and Hispanics and Asians, but of individuals who do not rape, murder, or steal. My Tribe consists of people who know that sometimes bad things happen, and that these instances are opportunities to show ourselves what we are made of. My people go into burning buildings. My Tribe consists of organizers and self-starters, proud and self-reliant people who do not need to be told what to do in a crisis. My Tribe is not fearless; they are something better. They are courageous. My Tribe is honorable, and decent, and kind, and inventive. My Tribe knows how to give orders, and how to follow them. My Tribe knows enough about how the world works to figure out ways to boil water, ration food, repair structures, build and maintain makeshift latrines, and care for the wounded and the dead with respect and compassion.

There are some things my Tribe is not good at at all. My Tribe doesn't make excuses. My Tribe will analyze failure and assign blame, but that is to make sure that we do better next time, and we never, ever waste valuable energy and time doing so while people are still in danger. My Tribe says, and in their heart completely believes that it's the other guy that's the hero. My Tribe does not believe that a single Man can cause, prevent or steer Hurricanes, and my Tribe does not and has never made someone else responsible for their own safety, and that of their loved ones.

The thing is, Bill Whittle wrote that in September 2005. This is after digesting all the horribly inaccurate news reports being broadcast about New Orleans. If the news media had just gone and talked to Major Bush of the Louisiana National Guard, they would have found out the truth. Far from the Superdome being a jungle of violence, there was control and even in the Superdome, neighbors were helping neighbors.

We would hear stuff from the Convention Center, too, and we were like, "Ah jeez, it must be really really bad down there, because it's not like that here. I mean it sucks here, but there's certainly not babies being raped...."

I mean, can I unequivocally say that no woman got felt up by some other man in the Superdome? No. I think it's reasonable to think that if you cram that many people off the street together, someone's going to push the envelope, someone's going to cross the line. And I'm sure that there were rapists and child molesters in that group of people.... Anytime you're going to bring in everybody off the street you're going to bring some pretty unseasonable characters. But in all the screening we did of everybody coming through, I think they only confiscated like forty-some weapons. Which is I don't think anywhere near what you'd expect....

But for the most part this was 19,900 people who were just devastated, and desperate, and tired, and scared, because they probably had lost family or didn't know where some family was, and faced with the unknown of not knowing what tomorrow's going to bring. All they knew was that the New Orleans Superdome was a horrible place to live. But they also kind of knew it was the best place around, at least right now. And they knew that they just kind of had to suck it up and endure it with us. I told them every day, you know, "We're still here folks. You saw us here on Sunday, and we're not leaving until y'all are out of here." And they kind of believed it, they hung on.

But New Orleans, I guess my last point is, I kind of feel upset. Because I have some pictures of a Dad reading stories to his kid. I have a picture of a lady who—I don't know what the hell she was thinking when she brought it—but she brought her clown suit, and make-up, and she's in full clown garb, and she's got a wig on, and a nose and everything, and she sat there for days and painted kids' faces all day long. I have 20 amazing stories of people taking care of each other for every one incident of someone stealing, or someone taking somebody's stuff, or someone trying to get into somebody else's business, or someone laying their hands on somebody.

The people in New Orleans were not the lawless thugs the news media tried to portray. Like in Mississippi, ordinary people rescued their neighbors and tried to help one another. The biggest problem in New Orleans was Mayor Ray Nagin. While mayors along the Mississippi Gulf Coast were speaking words of encouragement, Nagin was afraid to go into the Superdome and talk to people. While government officials in Mississippi and California followed their emergency plans, the city of New Orleans did not.

And the problems of leadership are still occurring in New Orleans.

If there's any good news to come out of the recovery effort it's that people in the hurricane zone have learned to become less reliant on political saviors and more reliant on themselves. In May 2007, the highly-regarded University of New Orleans Survey Research Center released their annual survey on quality of life in Orleans Parish. For "the first time in twenty years," the survey reported, "something rivaled crime as the ‘biggest' problem facing New Orleans." That problem was dissatisfaction with the local political leadership-just one-third of New Orleanians approved of Mayor Nagin's performance in office.

The people of New Orleans are resilient and are working together to rebuild. It is the rumors reported as news that lead to the perception of those in New Orleans not being resilient.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Damn Uppity Jews!

Last week, I read over at Gail's post Coulter Reverberations. In her post, was a link to a reprehensible article by Vox Day at World Net Daily. Below is an excerpt:

In addition to the ineptness of his analogy, this would appear to be an extraordinarily silly demand, except for the fact that Vanity Fair has recently announced that a remarkable 51 percent of the Vanity Fair 100 Power List are Jewish in a country in which Jews make up approximately 2 percent of the population. Jews also make up 7 percent of the current House of Representatives, 13 percent of the Senate, and, according to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of "The Israel Lobby," roughly 100 percent of George W. Bush's foreign policy advisers. One hopes that Mr. Forman's co-religionists have the wisdom to ignore his demand for the shunning of Miss Coulter as the Israel lobby's petulant demand for a third Middle East war, this time in explicit defense of Israel rather than U.S. national security, already has the potential to severely divide America's Jews from the rest of the country, Christians and non-Christians alike.

America is still quite friendly towards Jews, but the incessant attacks on Christianity by the likes of Deutsch, Forman and Abe Foxman have grown increasingly tiresome. Given this irritating behavior, and the historical fact that Jews have worn out their welcome in literally dozens of countries over the centuries, it is the height of foolishness for a small number of misguided individuals to demand that 80 percent of the American population remain silent about the tenets of its religious faith. Christians are dying for their faith in the Sudan, in North Korea, in China, Vietnam and Myanmar; they are not about to shut their mouths simply because a few Jews in the media disapprove of their beliefs. And I have more bad news. Miss Coulter only expressed a desire that Jews would recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but the truth is that Christians believe that one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The only choice for you, me, Richard Deutsch and everyone else is whether to do it now, or do it later.

But, until that day arrives, there is no reason why American Jews and American Christians should not get along in perfect amity. Neither Judaism nor Christianity is going to disappear, and it is as absurd for Jews to hold modern Christians responsible for the Jews persecuted in medieval times as it was for those medieval Christians to have held those medieval Jews responsible for persecuting them in ancient times. As for Israel's survival, not only are the Israeli Defense Forces perfectly capable of defending the nation against a fourth-rate military power like Iran, but it has the Lord God of Israel on its side. Israel simply doesn't need the U.S. military to fight its battles for it.

Even after a week's time, I'm still angry at this. In other words, if Jews find something offensive, we're to shut up and quit being so uppity about it! He states Jews have worn out their welcome throughout history and it would be a shame if that were to happen here in the United States. His reasoning seems to be that Jews and Christians can live in amity as long as Jews don't get too uppity.

There is no beating around the bush on this one. Vox Day's article echoes ever anti-Semitic thought from the times of the Romans to Iran's president. I was offended by Coulter but Vox Day has me infuriated.

Here is something to consider, there are multiple reasons Jews will never believe Jesus was the messiah. I honestly believe that when the messiah comes, who be fully human, it will be after all people live in a world in which nation no longer lifts up sword against nation.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A New Way to See Things

I received an e-mail from The Jewish Policy Center. It looks to be very interesting. From their about page:

The JPC asserts that Jewish Americans can no longer afford to stubbornly hold on to outdated ideas of the past. This includes optimism over misguided Middle East peace deals, appeasement of dictators, and unrealistic hopes that dangerous realities in the Middle East might simply change without tougher U.S. policies.

As such, the JPC strongly supports the global war against Islamic extremism. We also support U.S. efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East. We believe it is critical to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. We support Washington's efforts to deter dangerous states from acquiring nuclear weapons. Finally, we lend our full support to Israel in its long war for security in the Middle East.

Domestically, the JPC also believes that Jewish Americans must break with the past. The JPC supports smaller government, lower taxes, free trade, and other issues.

I looked around their site and there are many informative articles on such issues as how UNRWA Supports Hamas. The only way to achieve lasting peace in Israel and elsewhere is to stop terrorism in its tracks. It cannot be stopped by endless wishful thinking. Concrete steps need to be taken. The first is to stop rewarding terrorists. The Palestinians have yet to met any goal specified in years of accords.

Fatah, the party of Abbas, are terrorists. Hamas is just more obvious.

Message Board

Ron Paul supporters are, hmm, what's the term I looking for? Help me out.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Shabbat Tisch

Yesterday, after Torah study, our congregation had it's first Shabbat Tisch. It was an idea that grew from my longing to learn how to sing the beautiful zemirot of Shabbat. Before the zemirot, we shared a meal and talked about everything from kashrut to Ann Coulter. One of the dishes I prepared was a tuna salad. It was one I improvised because I had run out of some the ingredients from the original recipe. I think this improvised version is better:

3 6 oz cans of tuna, drained
2 stalks celery, sliced(I like the thicker slices, provides more crunch)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Sweet pickle relish(to taste)
1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise(I used 1/3 cup)

Flake the tuna and mix in the celery, almonds, and cranberries. Then fold in the relish and mayonnaise. Chill in refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving. It works well to leave it in the fridge overnight. It can be used in sandwiches(pita bread works well) or as it is.

The original recipe called for apples instead of cranberries and for green onions instead of celery.

After the meal and Birkat Hamazon, we started zemirot. Hinei Ma Tov, Lo Yisa Goy, Yism'chu Hashamayim, and Oseh Shalom were just a few. But my favorite was Psalm 150.

It is the simple things of sharing Torah, a meal, and songs that can bind communties and families togehter. Here's hoping our congregation has many more.

Plans of the Day

Esser Garoth is hosting Haveil Havalim 137.

I haven't read through the great posts yet but will do so after doing some hiking at the Tuxachanie Trail. It is a beautiful day and the temperature is fantastic good for hiking.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Shabbat Shalom! 10/19/07

Itzhak Perlman plays Klezmer:

Don't Let the Fluffy Tail Fool You

Squirrels look harmless enough.

I have a few that nest in some of the oak trees in my yard. I suppose I should count myself fortunate that the only bad incident I've had with any of them is when one of my cats had injured one. The squirrel bit me as I was picking it up to take it to the wildlife rehabilitation center. Like I said, I feel fortunate, especially after a squirrel in New Jersey managed to set a car on fire.

But that pales in comparison to a motorcyclist and his encounter a demonic squirrel

I hate to run over animals…and I really hate it on a motorcycle, but a squirrel should pose no danger to me. I barely had time to brace for the impact.

Animal lovers, never fear. Squirrels can take care of themselves!

Inches before impact, the squirrel flipped to his feet. He was standing on his hind legs and facing the oncoming Valkyrie with steadfast resolve in his little beady eyes. His mouth opened, and at the last possible second, he screamed and leapt! I am pretty sure the scream was squirrel for, “Banzai!” or maybe, “Die you gravy-sucking, heathen scum!” as the leap was spectacular and he flew over the windshield and impacted me squarely in the chest.

And that was just the beginning in this epic tale.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An Effective Welfare State

I've often wondered why some Palestinians that live in Gaza and the West Bank choose to stay in refugee camps. To me, the logical first thing for the Palestinian Authority to have done with all the foreign aid that pours in would be to build homes for those in the camps. And why, when given the opportunity to move, why would those in the camps choose to stay?

The Elder of Ziyon has put together an interesting post, PalArab Welfare State.

The posts lists many reasons why the camps still exist. There's little incentive for those who don't mind living on the dole to leave. There's an almost unbelievable fantasy as to what was actually lost by those in the refugee camps when their families left over 60 years ago at the urging of Arab political and military leaders. And the camps serve the cynical purpose of being symbols of victim hood.

Burning Water?


My guess is this component of alkaline batteries.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem

For 2,000 years, Jews have ended their prayers with next year in Jerusalem. The Romans destroyed our Temple and forced us to leave our ancient homeland. In 1948, Israel became a state but still had no access to the Kotel and the Temple Mount. The Jordanians controlled it. After 1967, we could once again pray at the Kotel. The Muslim mosque on the Temple Mount was respected. Now, there are news reports circulating that Olmert is thinking of ceding control of the Temple Mount and the Kotel. The Palestinians will not respect our ancient right to pray there. Even now, the Waqf is destroying artifacts from the Second Temple by digging a utility trench without regard to archaeology.

There is a petition all can sign for Israel to remain in control of all of Jerusalem. Please sign and pass it on.

I have set a goal of moving to Israel in the 10 years. I have a town picked out and I'm learning Hebrew. The ties Jews have for the land of Israel cannot be denied. There is something about it that calls. One of the things I'm most looking forward to is to be able to stand at the Kotel, touch it, and pray in front of it.

If Israel losses control, those dreams will be dashed. When the Palestinians gained control over Joseph's Tomb in Shechem, they burned it.

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Moving Forward Together"

Moving together forward is the slogan of Governor Haley Barbour. And it is effective. It is very similar to the one we on the Mississippi Gulf Coast have been using since Hurricane Katrina devastated our beautiful coast: Together, we rebuild.

Elections are coming up and Governor Barbour and faces Democrat John Eaves. Eaves is a peculiar type of Democrat. Some of his commercials I've seen on TV, show him clutching a Bible and promising to throw out the "money changers". They say nothing of his leadership abilities or what he really has to offer Mississippi.

Four years ago, for the first time I voted for a Republican for governor. I wasn't sure about Barbour but back then, he seemed the best choice for Mississippi. I have not regretted that decision.

After hurricane Katrina hit, things were unbelievable bad on the Mississippi Coast. But it wasn't just the Mississippi Coast that was effected. Eighty-five percent of the state was affected some way. Crops and timber were mowed down.

Governor Barbour has very effectively led the way to rebuilding better and stronger. And we are moving together forward. Jobs have been created. He has proven to be a very effective leader.

From all the Eaves commercials I've seen and heard, the throwing out the "money changers" is recurrent. In the TV ads I've seen with "money changers", Eaves clutches his Bible. To me, this is an image from the 1900's. It says he'll move Mississippi backwards. He also seems to be concerned with the casinos. Apparently these are "sinful".

I want Mississippi to move forward, not backwards. That is way there will be no hesitation or doubt when I cast my vote for Barbour. Moving together forward and together, we rebuild are the messages Barbour has consistently stated.


I just received the annual renewal notice for my homeowners policy. This probably doesn't seem like a big thing to most people, but living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast can really, really make you appreciate something so mundane.

For starters, insurance companies have been heading for the hills and dropping policies like crazy since Hurricane Katrina. So it is a major relief to just get the renewal notice.

Secondly, wind coverage was not dropped!! I've been worrying about that for the past two years. If it had been dropped, I would have had to go into Mississippi's wind insurance pool. That would have tripled my homeowner insurance.

I finally have something positive to say about my insurance coverage.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

An Inconvenient Noble Prize

Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were chosen to share the Nobel Peace Prize this year. Protecting our environment is important and each one of us, including Al Gore can make small changes in our lifestyles to cut down on waste.

The Noble Peace Prize used to be awarded to those who strove for justice and peace. In 2006, Muhammed Yunus and Grameen Bank won for an innovative program for micro-credits in impoverished areas.

For the past ten years, there has been a largely political thrust to the Noble Peace Prize. But in all honesty, I stopped having any respect for it when it was awarded to Yassar Arafat in 1994 and Jimmy Carter in 2002.

Arafat never stopped embracing terror as was shown by the 2nd intifada. Jimmy Carter action's and books have led to unfair accusations against Israel while ignoring the terror tactics of Fatah and Hamas.

There were so many more appropriate candidates for this years Nobel Peace Prize. The Burma Monks come to mind. Their peaceful demonstrations were crushed by the Burmese junta. The Wall Street Journal has an impressive list of those who skipped over this year. Below are just a few:

The prize was also not awarded to Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara and other Zimbabwe opposition leaders who were arrested and in some cases beaten by police earlier this year while protesting peacefully against dictator Robert Mugabe.

Or to Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest in Vietnam arrested this year and sentenced to eight years in prison for helping the pro-democracy group Block 8406.

Or to Wajeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia al-Uyyouni, co-founders of the League of Demanders of Women's Right to Drive Cars in Saudi Arabia, who are waging a modest struggle with grand ambitions to secure basic rights for women in that Muslim country.

Or to Colombian President Àlvaro Uribe, who has fought tirelessly to end the violence wrought by left-wing terrorists and drug lords in his country.

These are people who face death on a daily basis because they refuse to remain silent about injustices. The women in Saudi Arabia face extreme violations of their civil rights. How much good could the Nobel Peace Prize have done by highlighting the work of Wajeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia al-Uyyouni?

But no, this year, it went inconveniently to those who don't need any more attention. Gore is inconveniently in the news almost daily. Far too many, myself included, have never heard of Reverend Phillip Buck; Pastor Chun Ki Won and his organization, Durihana; Tim Peters and his Helping Hands Korea; and Liberty in North Korea, who help North Korean refugees escape to safety in free nations.

A truly inconvenient Noble Peace Prize.

I saw this at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy


Every week, I look forward to Haveil Havalim. This week is no exception. Soccer Dad is hosting this week.

Below are a few that caught my eye:

Question-Answer With Believing Gentile

More Bad Genetic Scholarship From Nadia

Oxford Union Stacks Both Ends Against Israel

In With the New

I've been posting a couple of years as Seawitch. Many changes have occured in my life the past few years. Hurricane Katrina changed a lot of things for me but the biggest change is what occured back in June when after years of study on my own and the last two under the guidance of a rabbi, I became Shira bat Sarah. This is who I am now.