Friday, February 27, 2009

Shabbat Shalom!


I'm almost convinced that all the criticism and charges that Israel has become Nazi-like with it's actions to defend it's people from terrorists attacks have to do with a fear of retribution. For 2,000 years, Jews have been crucified by Romans, murdered by Christians and Muslims in pogroms across Europe and the Middle East. Since 1948 and the founding of Israel, Jews have guns and we are able to defend ourselves!

The Volokh Conspiracy writes about a 'play' called Seven Jewish Children:

""Seven Jewish Children": This, new short play opened in London recently, and it's hard to articulate how depraved it is without suggesting you first read the full dialogue. The essential "plot," if you can call it that, is to show how Israeli Jews, deranged by their suffering in the Holocaust, gradually turn into alter-egos of the Nazis.

Perhaps the writer of the 'play'(more like an anti-Semitic screed) took inspiration from those German bishops who compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to the ghettos German Nazis created. Or perhaps it was from all those anti-Israel protesters who proudly hold up signs equating Israel with Nazi Germany. Or perhaps it was from Jimmy Carter calling Israel an apartheid state.

The thing is, Israel does everything in it's power to avoid Palestinian civilian deaths when military action has to be taken against terrorists. Israel puts its soldiers in danger in order to avoid civilian casualties. Contrast that with the actions of Palestinian terrorists whose rockets are aimed at kindergartens, malls, and hospitals.

The first blood-libel against Jews was made in 1144 in England. The play, if you can it that, is just the latest blood-libel.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gollott's Seafood Market is Open!

It's been 3 1/2 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Another sign of recovery and rebuilding has emerged!

For the first time since Hurricane Katrina destroyed Gollott's seafood plant and retail market, Gollott has opened it's seafood market.

There are only 7 shrimp sizes available for retail sell and a building for the market has not yet been been built. People have been coming in a steady stream and all are looking for the Gulf shrimp Gollott's Seafood is famous for.

Gollott customers are just as excited as the owners and employees.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shabbat Shalom!

Yedid Nefesh.


Y'did nefesh av harachaman, mshoch avdecha el rtzonecha,
yarutz avdecha kmo ayal, yish-tachaveh el mul hadarecha,
ye-erav lo ydidosecha, minofes tzuf vchol ta-am.

Hodur na-eh ziv ha-olam, nafshi cholas ahavasecha, ana El na rfa na lah, bhar-os lah noam zivecha, az tis-chazeik vsisrapei, vhaysah lah simchas olam.

Vasik yehemu na rachamecha, vchusah na al bein ahuvecha, ki zeh kamah nichsof nichsafti, lir-os bsif-eres uzechcha, eileh chamdah libi, vchusah na val tis-alam.

Higaleh na ufros chavivi alai,
es sukas shlomecha, ta-ir eretz mikvodecha, nagilah vnism'chah bach, maheir ahuv ki va mo-eid, vchoneinu kimei olam.


Beloved of the soul, Compassionate Father, draw Your servant to Your will. Then Your servant will hurry like a hart to bow before Your majesty. To him Your friendship will be sweeter than the dripping of the honeycomb and all taste.

Majestic, beautiful, radiance of the universe my soul is sick for your love. Please O G-d, heal her now by showing her the pleasantness of Your radiance. Then she will be strengthened and healed and eternal gladness will be hers.

All worthy One -- may Your mercy be aroused and please take pity on the son of Your beloved, because it is so very long that I have yearned intensely to see the splendor of Your strength, only these my heart desired, so please take pity and do not conceal Yourself.

Please be revealed and spread upon me, my Beloved, the shelter of Your peace that we may rejoice and be glad with You. Hasten, be loved, for the time has come, and show us grace as in days of old.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I was going to write about the stupidity of my governor, Haley Barbour, and other Republican governors who are considering not accepting the money from the stimulus package just passed. Never mind the fact that Mississippi received billions in federal aid after Katrina and those monies helped stimulate recovery and benefitted our state's economy. Republicans are quickly becoming the modern-day do nothing Hoovers.

The picture below is of one Marc Chagall's paintings. To me, it reflects the chaos going on in the world. And yet, to me, there is an aura of hope in it.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Questions of Power

In less than four months, it will be the start of another hurricane season. Being without power is not fun. There's a local store that has some items that I think would be great. However, I haven't had any experience with them and am asking for your input.

One is a jump-start/air compressor/power supply that can provide up to 50 hours of power to 12v DC appliances. It also has 400 crank amps/900 peak amps. Can this run a full-size refrigerator? Even if it can't run a full-size refrigerator, I'm still considering getting one just in case of flat tires. After Katrina, it was 9 days before I could have a tire replaced. The only car repair store open before than was only repairing emergency vehicles.

Another is LED solar powered security lights. They have a motion range detection of 120 degrees at 16 feet. Has anyone had any experience with them? These seem like they would be a great thing to have after any natural disaster in providing security.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's In the Numbers

An interesting chart posted at Crooks and Liars:

I'm disappointed in the newest stimulus bill. Too much was cut from the proposed spending in two areas vital to our country's future: Education and renewable energy.

More Good Reads

Haveil Havalim: Lots to Read Edition

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Crime of Being Poor

It is unfortunate that the social welfare programs the United States has in place are called entitlements. This tends to give the perception that those who benefit from such programs are lazy folks who just want to receive money without putting forth any effort to themselves.

There have been and always will be those that will take advantage of these programs without making the effort to get off them. The vast majority who have used these programs, including Joe the Plumber, have used them during some tough periods in their lives. I used them and was able to go to college. If someone like myself receives a Pell Grant to go to college, that is a very small investment made by the American people in which significant gains were made.

I'm just one of millions who were able to go college because of Pell Grants. I'm just one who needed the low rent of Section 8 housing. I'm just one who needed food stamps after being laid off at one time and because of Hurricane Katrina.

America's investment in me has paid-off. I make a good salary. I pay taxes on my home, car, income, etc. In short, those entitlement programs have given me the opportunity to become a productive citizen. There are millions like me across the country.

Like many others, I know I'm just a paycheck or two away from financial disaster if I should lose my job, become ill, or suffer from a car accident. I know that because of the current economy, I could end up homeless, just like Henrietta Hughes.

"I have an urgent need, unemployment and homelessness, a very small vehicle for my family and I to live in," Hughes told Obama Tuesday at a town hall rally in Fort Myers, Florida, as he pushed for passage of his stimulus plan in the Senate.

Henrietta Hughes spoke to President Obama. She is living in a car with her children because she lost her job. Many right-wing bloggers attacked her.

Blogger Michelle Malkin, in a story on the conservative Web site on Wednesday, said that if Hughes "had more time, she probably would have remembered to ask Obama to fill up her gas tank, too."

Each day, the news reports that more and more jobs are being lost. How many will end up like Henrietta Hughes and be forced to live in a car with her children. Her story is becoming too common. Michelle Malkin's comment is heartless.

Bruce Bornsby & the Range
The way It Is

Standing in line marking time
waiting for the welfare dime

'Cause they can't buy a job.
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old ladies' eyes

Just for fun he says: Get a job.
That's just the way it is
some things will never change

That's just the way it is
but don't you believe them.

They say: Hey
little boy
you can't go where the others go

'Cause you don't look like they do.
Said: Hey
old man

how can you stand to think that way?
Did you really think
about it before you made
the rules?
He said: Son -
That's just the way it is
some things will never change

That's just the way it is
but don't you believe them.

they passed a law in '64
To give those who ain't got a little more

But it only goes so far.
Because the law don't
change another's mind
When all it sees at the
hiring time is the line on
the color bar.
That's just the way it is
some things will never change

That's just the way it is
that's just the way it is

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cupid's Arrows

Another gem by Marshal Ramsey of the Clarion-Ledger:

I read in the Sunherald yesterday that the Senate's version of the stimulus package slashed through education funding and for research, development, and promotion of renewable energy. They're not exactly looking toward the future.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow Ball Fight Anyone?

The last thing you think of when you hear snow ball fight is killer whales.

Yesterday we saw a pod that was in less of a hurry. One of the whales, probably an adult female, was lolling in front of us. I wanted her to know we were there, so I tossed a snowball out to her. My throw was off: it tapped her on the side, and the dry snow vaporized with a muffled “pat.” In response, she hesitated, and then, to my surprise, she started pushing around a piece of ice that was a couple of feet across. At one point she flicked it with the end of her snout, and it broke in two. She disappeared for a minute and brought back a replacement chunk of ice — about the size of a volleyball. This time, when she arched her head back and snapped it forward, the ice flew out of the water and several feet ahead. For five minutes she motored around the small pond in front of us, repeatedly launching her ball of ice, before she lost interest and went on her way. I had to wonder: Did I just show a killer whale how to throw snowballs?

Well the Real Darth Vadar Please Stand Up

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm Calling It Green

Haveil Havalim-The Real 203rd Edition.

I'll post pictures tomorrow of the fig tree I'm planting today for Tu B'Shvat. It's the new year for trees!

Fair Play

When of the things I've always loved about the United States was it's sense of fair play on issues of justice. But some things that have happened in the past 20-30 years have made me wonder about the direction our country is going. With the advent of the War on Drugs, some of our precious freedoms were lost and there was hardly an out cry. When someones money and property can be confiscated by the government on the mere suspicion of drug use or trafficking, something is terribly wrong. In far too many cases, these people are not even charged with any crimes.

California voted in the 3 strikes you're out law in which those criminals with prior convictions had to serve mandatory sentences if they had two prior convictions. This was not justice and I believe it has since been rescinded.

I'm currently reading John Adams by David McCullough. John Adams was the lawyer for the British soldiers arrested for their part in the Boston Massacre. When asked why, he stated "The reason is because it's of more importance to the community, that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilt should be punished".

The Supreme Court recently ruled on a case which may and can lead to the erosion of more precious rights. We are a country that seeks fair play even for those charged with crimes. We provide money for lawyers to those who cannot afford them. Defendants do not have to testify against themselves. Those charged are considered innocent until proven guilty.

There have been trends to erode these time honored traits of American justice. I do not like it when someone is freed on a technicality. However, like Adams, I believe that innocence should be protected than guilt be punished. When a case is thrown out because of a technicality, it protects all of us from a court system that could all to soon become grossly unfair if those safeguards are loosened the least bit.

I want the safeguards in place. I want our court system to be a place of justice and one that adheres to fair play.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Time for a Change

UNRWA Lords of Misery

The NYT Delivers

Richard Benkin Has Even More

Poor Palestinians

It is long past time for UNRWA to be disbanded.

Art Break

There is something about Monet's Garden at Sainte-Adresse that keeps drawing me. I have an inexpensive print of it in my room. It reminds me of the pier at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor with all the people, the boats, and the flags.

I still don't get Picasso. I did find Courtesan With Hat. I can add this the ones I like.

I hope to do these more frequently. It has been over a year since my last art break.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Never Again?

Every time Israel does something to defend itself, people around the world screech and protest against the 'Nazi Zionists'. Iran now has the capability to launch into space. Iran has made repeated threats to wipe Israel off the face of the map and has been busily trying to build a nuclear arsenal.

There are around 6 million Jews living in Israel. That is the same number murdered by Hitler's Nazis. After World War II and when the death camps were finally opened and the atrocities, the ash piles, the mountains of clothes, the skeletal frames on those who survived were exposed, the world said "Never again". And yet, we are almost in the same situation as in 1939. Hitler made his threats to exterminate the Jews and nothing was done.

Country after country closed their doors to those Jews who desperately tried to escape from Hitler's menace in Europe. World leaders and most everyone could not conceive that Hitler would implement his 'Final Solution'.

Iran is gathering their final components for their 'Final Solution'. Iran would have no compunction using nuclear weapons against Israel even if it meant millions of Palestinians would be killed as well. Iran could care less if Jerusalem was destroyed. Iran's leadership has threatened all those living in Israel. Iran has held 'conferences' denying the Holocaust. They scream kill the Jews.

Never again?


Sometimes, we tend to forget just how wonderful is our Earth. From Life image archives of the 1960's: