Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Good New Years Resolution.

Many people make different resolutions on New Years Eve.  Some vow to quit smoking, or drinking.  Some vow to lose weight or work out more.  Some vow to be a nicer person or stop doing a nasty habit.

Here is my New Years Resolution:

Crystal Ball

The Tribe brings out the Crystal Ball and reviews the last year.

They are surprisingly accurate.  Too accurate in fact.  It's scary.  Very scary!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Massive Ejaculation!


SOLAR FLARE: Emerging over the sun's southeastern limb, sunspot AR1389 unleashed an M2-class solar flare at 1350 UT on Dec. 29th. The blast shows that the newly-visible sunspot is capable of significant eruptions. AR1389 is not yet facing Earth, but it is turning in our direction.

CHANCE OF MAGNETIC STORMS: NOAA forecasters have downgraded the chances of a geomagnetic storm on Dec. 29th to 20%. A CME is still expected to arrrive later today, but the longer it takes to get here, the weaker its impact is likely to be.

Expect your cell phone, cable tv, even internet to crash.  A solar flare this size can knock out transformers.  (Both Autobots and Decepticons.)  Expect spectacular Auroras from this event.

EARTH-ASTEROID ENCOUNTER:  On January 4th, Asteroid 2011YL28 will be passing within 3.7 LD of Earth.  2011YL28 is 41 m.  LD means "Lunar Distance." 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU. MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.
You have been warned.

Iranians Decide To Keep Christian Pastor In Prison For Another Year Hoping To Force His Conversion To Islam

Hat tip to Holger Awakens

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was arrested in his home city of Rasht, Iran on October 13, 2009.  He was charged with ‘apostasy’ (renunciation of a religion) and ‘evangelim’. Yousef was tried on Sept. 21–22, 2010 by the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal and sentenced to death on Nov. 13 for apostasy.

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has been under the death threat since 2009.  The Iranian government has imprisoned and torture Pastor Nadarkhani for the last 3 years.
An Iranian court is likely to delay its verdict in a case concerning Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who is facing death penalty for converting to Christianity, to allow authorities to further coerce him to convert to Islam as he remains in jail.

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani
The evangelical pastor’s lawyer has learned that the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, has asked the presiding judge over the trial, Ghazi Kashani, to delay the pending judgment and keep him in prison for another year, Present Truth Ministries said in a statement Thursday.

Nadarkhani, a 32-year-old house church leader from the Church of Iran denomination, was convicted of apostasy last year and was sentenced to death by hanging. However, the Supreme Court of Iran asked for the retrial of his case by a lower court in the city of Rasht in northern Gilan Province.

The deliberate delay is meant to let the case “slip away from international attention” even as the authorities continue to “use whatever means necessary to cause him to convert to Islam,” said Jason DeMars, the founder of the ministry that was first to report on the pastor’s arrest two years ago.

It was earlier learnt that the court in Rasht had asked Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, the highest ranking political and religious authority in Shi’a-majority Iran, to rule on whether the pastor should be put to death.

The pastor was arrested in October 2009 from Rasht for allegedly protesting Islamic instruction in schools for his children, Daniel, 9, and Yoel, 7, and after he sought to register his church. Authorities, however, later changed the charges to apostasy. He has been lodged in a prison in Lakan, about seven miles south of Rasht, since then.

In June 2010, authorities also arrested pastor’s wife Fatemah Pasindedih to pressure him to convert. During this time their boys went to live with a relative. Yousef and his wife were also threatened that their children would be taken away and given to a Muslim family, but they remained firm. Pasindedih was later released.

The Rasht court convicted the pastor of leaving Islam and sentenced him to death in November 2010.

The pastor appealed against the Rasht court’s ruling at the Supreme Court in December 2010, as apostasy is not a crime as per Iran’s penal code. The court, however, held in June 2011 that apostasy was still punishable under Sharia or Islamic law but asked the lower court to reexamine whether Nadarkhani was a believer in Islam when he adopted Christianity at the age of 19.

During the hearings held in September 2011, Pastor Nadarkhani was told by authorities that he would be given three opportunities to embrace Islam and renounce his faith in Christianity to have the charges removed. But he refused to do so.

On Sept. 26, the court determined that Youcef was a Muslim when he adopted Christianity because he was born in a Muslim family. All witnesses stated that he did not practice Islam, yet the court inexplicably determined he was a national apostate.

While the court is likely to wait for another year before reaching a decision, “there are no assurances that he will not be executed,” warned the ministry. “It could happen at any time. This is the way that the Iranian government operates with executions. They do not give advance notice and it is done in secret.”

Finish reading here.
The Iranians are giving themselves another year of imprisonment and torture to force this good man to renounce the faith he loves and embrace the horror of Islam.  This is how Islam has converted millions over the years.  Not by logical arguments, but by torture and the sword.

As long as Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani refuses to convert, he will stay alive.  The minute he converts, they will kill him for blasphemy.

Pray for the safety of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani.  He is in the lion's den.  May G-d send one of his angels to stand besides him.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Memorial To What?

This comes from our dear friends at PETA.  You know those idiots who believe that a cockroach has more rights than you do.  The idiots who promote being a Vegan, even though medical science has discovered that Veganism is unhealthy.  But this outrage isn't about Veganism, but about a Memorial they want to cows.
PETA has asked the Department of Transportation in Illinois to commemorate the spot where 16 cows lost their life on May 22 in a traffic accident says a report in the Chicago Tribune.

The cows plunged from the back of a tractor trailer when it jackknifed on a bridge on an I-80 highway overpass.

I’m wondering if we could just have a memorial BBQ. I’ll bring the grill.

Now, before you start laughing remember: This is Illinois.

Yes, that state.

You know how people warn you about avoiding stupid mistakes by saying, “You don’t want to be that guy.”

Well, ladies and gentleman I present you your Daley-Obama-Rahm Emmanuel-led State of Illinois. That state.

It’s a state where graft makes everything “work,” and where 3 out 4 governors go to prison, because someone has to take the rap for all that graft. You have to keep up appearances that you are interested in good government. And there is nothing like sending both Republican and Democrat governors to jail to make the message clear.

You don’t want to be that guy? Then, don’t become governor of Illinois.

In other states the position of governor is one of honor. In Illinois governors are elected patsies so the graft machine can keep going.

The PETA proposal memorializing the Cow-Victims-of-5/22 asks Illinois to glorify the animals that died while performing their function “in the meat trade.”

The “meat trade” is what you and I call groceries.

"These proposed signs would also remind tractor-trailer drivers of their responsibility to the thousands of animals they haul to their deaths every day," said Tracy Patton, 26, a campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals according to UPI. "It's a big enough tragedy that these animals end up in slaughterhouses, where they are kicked, shocked with electric prods and finally dragged off the trucks to their deaths. Sparing them from being tossed from a speeding truck and deprived of care afterward, sometimes for several hours, seems the least that we can do."

So they want drivers to act more responsibly while driving animals to their deaths? Maybe keeping truck drivers’ eyes on the road and not on some signs would be a good start.

Because, that’s all we need: truck drivers squinting at memorials to cows while speeding across bridges in downtown Chicago. What’s next? Cow-sensitivity training?

PETA submitted their application under a 2007 provision in Illinois law, where family members of those who die as victims of DUI accidents may request memorials to the victims. The law was passed, according to a DOT spokesman, in order to regulate unofficial roadside memorials says the Trib.

That’s been a terribly pressing problem for the US. If we could only get federal control of those roadside monuments, this economy would really boom. And certainly replacing spontaneous, personalized, ad-hoc memorials by friends and relatives who knew the victim with a sanitized government memorial will probably better aid the grieving process for those who are left behind.

Thank God for good government in Illinois.

The problem for PETA isn’t that their proposal is outrageous, stupid, ridiculous, insulting and loony; no the problem for PETA is the same problem that the rest of us have with government. The only reason why Illinois politicians aren’t rushing to support PETA in raising a memorial is because PETA doesn’t have the cash to get the graft machine to use the misguided law regulating personal acts of grief to help PETA with their outrageous, stupid, ridiculous, insulting and loony proposal.

Because earlier this year the Illinois legislature, in an outrageous, stupid, ridiculous, insulting and loony move, raised personal income taxes by 67 percent and corporate income taxes by 47 percent…and then started exempting the very biggest corporations from the tax.

And if you don’t think that those exemptions weren’t driven by cash and graft, then congratulations!

You qualify for either the Republican or the Democrat nominations for governor in Illinois.
What you are witnessing is the Illinois machine at its graftest.  In fact, this should pass in Springfield without a problem.  And the taxes of honest people will be used to build this piece of pork (Cook like a steak.).  In fact I have the best Memorial to place roadside:

This should help serve everyone.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chanukah! Day 8

Tonight for the last time we will light the Menorah.  Tonight all 8 candles will be lit and the glow will be the most dramatic.

Over the last week we ate latkes, and sufganiot.  Played with dreidels.  We understood what a Protestant B was and learned about Judith, Chanah and the Maccabees.  (And listened to the Maccabeats.)

The Holiday is about to end, so I'll leave you with a few Chanukah videos.  A little joy to end it all with.

Eight Days of Victory - Gods of Fire Hanukkah Record

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles performs 'Chanukah in Santa Monica'


Monday, December 26, 2011

Chanukah! Day 7

Day 7 and I've gained a ton, my arteries are clogging and the sound of a dreidel spinning is getting on my nerves.  I can't wait for this holiday to end, then I remember Yehudit and how she saved the city of Bethulia and its people.
The town of Bethulia, in the land of Judea, came under siege by Holofernes, a mighty Syrian-Greek general, at the head of a huge army.

Holofernes was notorious for his cruelty in suppressing rebellions. When he captured a rebel stronghold, he showed no mercy to the men, women, and children sheltered there.

Now he was determined to crush the rebellion of the town of Bethulia, whose inhabitants refused to recognize the oppressive rule of the Syrians.

The men of the beleaguered town fought bravely and desperately to repulse the repeated assaults by the superior enemy forces. Seeing that he couldn't take the fortified town by force, Holofernes decided to starve the inhabitants into submission. He cut off the food and water supply, and before long the town was indeed brought to the verge of surrender.

Hungry and thirsty and in utter despair, the townspeople gathered in the marketplace and demanded that, rather than die of hunger and thirst, they should surrender to the enemy.

Uzzia, the commander of the defense forces, and the elders of the town, tried to calm the populace without success. Finally they pleaded, "Give us five more days. If no salvation comes by the end of five days, we will surrender. Just five more days..."

Reluctantly the people agreed, and slowly they dispersed. Only one person, a woman, remained in her place, as if riveted to it, and she addressed Uzzia and the elders, who had also turned to go. Her voice was clear and firm.

"Why do you test G-d, giving Him only five days in which to send us His help? If you truly have faith in G-d, you must never give up your trust in Him. Besides, don't you know that surrender to Holofernes is worse than death?!"

So spoke Yehudit, the noble daughter of Yochanan the High Priest. She was a young widow. It was several years since she had lost her beloved husband Menashe, and had devoted all her time to prayer and acts of charity ever since.

Yehudit was blessed with extraordinary charm, grace, and beauty, but she was particularly respected and admired for her devoutness, modesty, and loving kindness.

Yehudit's words made a deep impression on Uzzia and the Elders.

"You are quite right, daughter," they admitted, "but what can we do? Only a downpour of rain that would fill our empty cisterns could save our people, but it is not the rainy season. We are all suffering the pangs of hunger and thirst. Pray for us, Yehudit, and maybe G-d will accept your prayers..."

"We must all continue to pray, and never despair of G-d's help," Yehudit said. "But I have also thought of a plan. I ask your permission to leave town together with my maid. I want to go to Holofernes..."

Uzzia and the Elders were shocked and dismayed. "Do you know what you are saying, Yehudit? Would you sacrifice your life and honor on the slim chance that you might soften Holofernes's heart? We cannot allow you to make such a sacrifice for us."

But Yehudit persisted. "It had happened before that G-d sent His salvation through a woman. Yael, the wife of Heber, was her name, as you well know. It was in her hands that G-d delivered the cruel Sissera..."

Uzzia and the Elders attempted to discourage Yehudit from such a dangerous mission, but she insisted that she be allowed to try. Finally, they agreed.

Yehudit passed through the gates of Bethulia, dressed in her best clothes, which she had not worn since her husband passed away. A delicate veil all but hid her beautiful face. She was accompanied by her faithful maid, who carried on her head a basket filled with rolls, cheese, and several bottles of old wine.

The sun had already begun to hide behind the green mountains when Yehudit and her maid wound their way toward the enemy's camp, their lips whispering a prayer to G-d. Presently they were stopped by sentries, who demanded to know who they were and who sent them.

"We have an important message for your commander, the brave Holofernes," Yehudit said. "Take us to him at once."

"Who are you, and why are you here?" Holofernes asked, his eyes feasting on his unexpected, charming visitor.

"I am but a plain widow from Bethulia. Yehudit is my name. I came to tell you how to capture the town, in the hope that you will deal mercifully with its inhabitants..."

Yehudit then told Holofernes that life in the beleaguered town had become unbearable for her, and she bribed the watchmen to let her and her maid out. She went on to say that she had heard of Holofernes's bravery and mighty deeds in battle, and wished to make his acquaintance. Finally she told Holofernes, what he already knew, that the situation in the besieged town was desperate, that the inhabitants have very little food and water left. Yet, she said, their faith in G-d remained strong, and so long as they had faith, they would not surrender. On the other hand, she added, before long, every scrap of kosher food would be gone, and in desperation they will begin to eat the flesh of unclean animals, and then G-d's anger will be turned against them, and the town will fall....

"But how will I know when the defenders of the citadel will begin to eat unkosher food, as you say, so that I can then storm the walls and capture the city?" the commander of the besieging army asked.

"I had thought of that," Yehudit answered confidently. "I have arranged with the watchmen at the city's gates that I would come to the gate every evening to exchange information: I will tell them what's doing here, and they will tell me what's doing there."

Holofernes was completely captivated by the charming young Jewish widow who had so unexpectedly entered his life and was now offering him the key to the city. "If you are telling me the truth, and will indeed help me capture the city, you will be my wife!" Holofernes promised. Then he gave orders that Yehudit and her maid were to have complete freedom to walk through the camp, and anyone attempting to molest them in any way would be put to death immediately. A comfortable tent was prepared for the two women, next to his.

The two women, veiled and wrapped in their shawls, could now be seen walking leisurely through the armed camp at any time during the day and evening. Fearful of the commander's strict orders, everyone gave them a wide berth. Soon they attracted little, if any, attention. Yehudit could now walk up to the city's gates after dark, where she was met by a watchman.

"Tell Uzzia that, thank G-d, everything is shaping up according to plan. With G-d's help we shall prevail over our enemy. Keep your trust strong in G-d; do not lose hope for a moment!"

Having delivered this message for the commander of the defense force of the city, Yehudit departed as quietly as she had appeared.

The following evening she came again to the city's gate and repeated the same message, adding that she had won Holofernes' complete confidence.

In the meantime, Holofernes, having nothing special to do, spent most of his time drinking, with and without his aides. When he was not completely drunk, he would send for Yehudit. She always came to his tent in the company of her maid. On the third day he was already getting impatient.

"Well, gracious Yehudit, what intelligence do you bring me today? My men are getting impatient and demoralized doing nothing; they cannot wait to capture the city and have their fun..."

"I have very good news, general. There is not a scrap of kosher food left in the city now. In a day or two, famine will drive them to eat their cats and dogs and mules. Then G-d will deliver them into your hands!"

"Wonderful, wonderful! This surely calls for a celebration. Tonight we'll have a party, just you and I. I shall expect you as my honored guest."

"Thank you, sir," Yehudit said.

That evening, when Yehudit entered Holofernes' tent, the table was laden with various delicacies. The general was delighted to welcome her and bade her partake of the feast. But Yehudit told him she brought her own food and wine that she had prepared especially for that occasion.

"My goat cheese is famous in all of Bethulia," Yehudit said. "I'm sure you'll like it, General."

He did. And he also liked the strong, undiluted wine she had brought. She fed him the cheese, chunk after chunk, and he washed it down with wine. Before long he was sprawled on the ground, dead drunk.

Yehudit propped a pillow under his head and rolled him over on his face. Then she uttered a silent prayer.

"Answer me, O L-rd, as You answered Yael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, when you delivered the wicked general Sissera into her hands. Strengthen me this once that I may bring Your deliverance to my people whom this cruel man vowed to destroy, and let the nations know that You have not forsaken us..."

Now Yehudit unsheathed Holofernes' heavy sword, and taking aim at his neck, she brought the sword down on it with all her might.

For a moment she sat down to compose herself. Then she wrapped up the general's head in rags, concealed it under her shawl, and calmly walked out and into her own tent.

"Come quickly," she said to her maid, "but let's not arouse suspicion."

The two veiled women walked leisurely, as usual, until they reached the gates of the city. "Take me to Uzzia at once," she said to the sentry.

Uzzia could not believe his eyes as he stared at the gruesome prize Yehudit had brought him.

"There is no time to lose," she told the commander. "Prepare your men for a surprise attack at dawn. The enemy's camp is not prepared for it. When they run to their commander's tent, they will find his headless body, and they will flee for their lives..."

This is precisely what happened.

The enemy fled in confusion and terror, leaving much booty behind. It was a wonderful victory, and it was the G-d-fearing and brave daughter of Yochanan the High Priest, the father of the Hasmonean family, that saved the city of Bethulia and all its inhabitants.
One woman with the courage to defend her home and with G-d guiding her can do wonders.  An idea that should be remembered by those who would destroy the daughters of Yehudit.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Chanukah! Day 6

Today is the lightening of the 6th candle.  Another day of joyous festivities.  Another day of a broken diet.  Another day of fun.  Today let us remember those who are far from home.  Men and women serving in the US Military.  Men and women who are told to hide their faith in order to appease their Muslim hosts.  As Doron Kornbluth relates to us Mike Neulander's Chanukah experience in the American army.:
The Dog Tag Dilemma

Dog tags. When you get right down to it, the military’s dog tag classification forced me to reclaim my Judaism.

In the fall of 1990, things were heating up in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. I had been an Army captain and a helicopter maintenance test pilot for a decade, and received notice that I would be transferred to the First Cavalry Division, which was on alert for the Persian Gulf War. Consequently, I also got wind of the Department of Defense “dog tag dilemma” vis-à-vis Jewish personnel. Then as now, Jews were forbidden by Saudi law to enter the country. But our Secretary of Defense flat-out told the king of Saudi Arabia, “We have Jews in our military. They’ve trained with their units and they’re going. Blink and look the other way.”

With Kuwait occupied and the Iraqis at his border, King Fahd did the practical thing. We shipped out, but there was still the issue of classification. Normally the dog tags of Jewish servicemen are imprinted with the word “Jewish.” But Defense, fearing that this would put Jewish soldiers at further risk should they be captured on Iraqi soil, substituted the classification “Protestant B” on the tags. I didn’t like the whole idea of classifying Jews as Protestant-anything, and so I decided to leave my dog tag alone. I figured if I were captured, it was in G‑d’s hands. Changing my tags was tantamount to denying my religion, and I couldn’t swallow that.

In September 1990 I went off to defend a country that I was prohibited from entering. The “Jewish” on my dog tag remained as clear and unmistakable as the American star on the hood of every Army truck.

A few days after my arrival, the Baptist chaplain approached me. “I just got a secret message through channels,” he said. “There’s going to be a Jewish gathering. A holiday? Simkatoro or something like that. You want to go? It’s at 1800 hours at Dhahran Airbase.”

Simkatoro turned out to be Simchat Torah, a holiday that hadn’t registered on my religious radar in eons. Services were held in absolute secrecy in a windowless room in a cinder block building. The chaplain led a swift and simple service. We couldn’t risk singing or dancing, but Rabbi Ben Romer had managed to smuggle in a bottle of Manischewitz. Normally I can’t stand the stuff, but that night, the wine tasted of Shabbat and family and Seders of long ago. My soul was warmed by the forbidden alcohol and by the memories swirling around me and my fellow soldiers. We were strangers to one another in a land stranger than any of us had ever experienced, but for that brief hour, we were home.

Only Americans would have had the chutzpah to celebrate Simchat Torah under the noses of the Saudis. Irony and pride twisted together inside me like barbed wire. Celebrating my Judaism that evening made me even prouder to be an American, thankful once more for the freedoms we have. I had only been in Saudi Arabia a week, but I already had a keen understanding of how restrictive its society was.

Soon after, things began coming to a head. The next time I was able to do anything remotely Jewish was Chanukah. Maybe it was coincidence, or maybe it was G‑d’s hand that placed a Jewish colonel in charge of our unit. Colonel Lawrence Schneider relayed messages of Jewish gatherings to us immediately. Had a non-Jew been in that position, the information would likely have taken a back seat to a more pressing issue. Like war. But it didn’t.

When notice of the Chanukah party was decoded, we knew about it at once. The first thing we saw when we entered the tent was food, tons of it. Care packages from the States—cookies, latkes, sour cream and applesauce, and cans and cans of gefilte fish. The wind was blowing dry across the tent, but inside there was an incredible feeling of celebration. As Rabbi Romer talked about the theme of Chanukah and the ragtag bunch of Maccabee soldiers fighting Jewry’s oppressors thousands of years ago, it wasn’t hard to make the connection to what lay ahead of us. There, in the middle of the desert, inside an olive green tent, we felt like we were the Maccabees. If we had to go down, we were going to go down fighting, as they did.

We blessed the candles, acknowledging the King of the Universe who commanded us to kindle the Chanukah lights. We said the second prayer, praising G‑d for the miracles He performed, in those days and now. And we sang the third blessing, the Shehecheyanu, thanking G‑d for keeping us in life and for enabling us to reach this season.

We knew war was imminent. All week we had received reports of mass destruction, projections of the chemical weapons that were likely to be unleashed. Intelligence estimates put the first rounds of casualties at 12,500 soldiers. I heard those numbers and thought, “That’s my whole division!” I sat back in my chair, my gefilte fish cans at my feet. They were in the desert, about to go to war, singing songs of praise to G‑d who had saved our ancestors in battle once before.

The feeling of unity was as pervasive as our apprehension, as real as the sand that found its way into everything from our socks to our toothbrushes. I felt more Jewish there on that lonely Saudi plain, our tanks and guns at the ready, than I had ever felt back home in synagogue.

That Chanukah in the desert solidified for me the urge to reconnect with my Judaism. I felt religion welling up inside me. Any soldier will tell you that there are no atheists in foxholes, and I know that part of my feelings were tied to the looming war and my desire to get with G‑d before the unknown descended in the clouds of battle. It sounds corny, but as we downed the latkes and cookies and wiped the last of the applesauce from our plates, everyone grew quiet, keenly aware of the link with history, thinking of what we were about to do and what had been done by soldiers like us so long ago.

The trooper beside me stared ahead at nothing in particular, absentmindedly fingering his dog tag. “How’d you classify?” I asked, nodding to my tag. Silently, he withdrew the metal rectangle and its beaded chain from beneath his shirt and held it out for me to read. Like mine, his read, “Jewish.”

Somewhere in a military depot someplace, I am sure that there must be boxes and boxes of dog tags, still in their wrappers, all marked “Protestant B.”
The US Government had no right to ask anyone of any faith to cover-up their faith for any reason or to appease any nation's prejudice.  No Jew should have to be "classified" as a "Protestant B", Just like no Christian should be forced to surrender his bible.  Military men and women serve under the US Constitution, take an oath upon the US Constitution.  The US Constitution is very specific on this issue:
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Very specific indeed.

U.S. Army Band Hebrew Song


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chanukah! Day 5

5th night, 5th candle more fattening foods, fried to perfection.  And I'm not going to let you go back on your diet.  This time a perfect recipe for:

Sufganiyot (Doughnuts) 

From Chabad

A well-known bakery in Jerusalem produces over 200,000 of these each day during the month leading up to Chanukah.
2 packages yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 or 5 cups. flour
3 egg yolks

Jelly of your choice for filling
Powdered Sugar

Mix water, sugar, juice, and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes. Melt margarine and add to yeast mixture. Beat in eggs and salt. Add flour, mixing and kneading by hand to form a soft dough. Let rise 1-1/2 hours. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick and cut circles (approximately 2 inches). Let circles rise 1/2 hour.

Deep fry at 400° F about 3 minutes, turning once. Pipe in jelly and roll in powdered sugar.
Don't they look wonderful! You can almost smell them.  Such an aroma, such a flavor.  Isn't your mouth watering?  Ain't I a stinker?  Go out and get a few.

The Maccabeats - Miracle - Matisyahu - Hanukkah

Happy Chanukah!

In The Beginning...

I originally published this post in 2008 on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission.  I feel that tonight is a good time to repost it.  I do hope you enjoy it.
Three words read by William Anders aboard the Apollo 8 mission on Christmas Eve 1968.

1968 was our Annus horribilis. It was a year of unrest at the Democratic National Convention. It was the year that saw the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. It was a year in which riots and protests were the daily fare on the nightly newscasts. It was a year in which America felt at its lowest point. And America needed a boost.

When the Apollo 8 mission was originally planned the mission was not suppose to go to the moon. It was suppose to be in a low Earth orbit checking out the systems on the Command module and possibly the lunar module if one had been ready by then. Instead the mission was changed and Apollo 8 would be the first manned mission to go to the moon. In itself it would be a very dangerous mission, the first of anything is alway a dangerous mission to accomplish. Because of the nature of the mission and the decision to change it, the true mission was kept a secret from the public until the official announcement on 12 November 1968, less than 40 days before the scheduled launch.

Apollo 8 launched at 7:51:00 a.m. on December 21, 1968. During the flight, three fellow astronauts served on the ground as capsule communicators (usually referred to as "CAPCOMs") on a rotating schedule. The CAPCOMs were the only people who regularly communicated with the crew. Michael Collins was the first CAPCOM on duty and at 2 hours, 27 minutes and 22 seconds after launch radioed, "Apollo 8. You are Go for TLI". This communication signified that Mission Control had given official permission for Apollo 8 to go to the moon. Over the next twelve minutes before the TLI burn, the Apollo 8 crew continued to monitor the spacecraft and the rocket. The S-IVB third stage rocket ignited on time and burned perfectly for 5 minutes and 17 seconds. The burn increased the velocity of Apollo 8 to 35,505 feet per second (10,822 m/s) and the spacecraft's altitude at the end of the burn was 215.4 miles (346.7 km). At this time, the crew also set the record for the highest speed humans had ever traveled.

Five hours after launch, Mission Control sent a command to the S-IVB booster to vent its remaining fuel through its engine bell to change the booster's trajectory. This S-IVB would then pass the Moon and enter into a solar orbit, posing no further hazard to Apollo 8. The S-IVB subsequently went into a 0.99 by 0.92 AU solar orbit with an inclination of 23.47° and a period of 340.80 days.

The Apollo 8 crew were the first humans to pass through the Van Allen radiation belts, which extend up to 15,000 miles (25,000 km) from Earth. Scientists predicted that passing through the belts quickly at the spacecraft's high speed would cause a radiation dosage of no more than a chest X-ray, or 1 milligray (during the course of a year, the average human receives a dose of 2 to 3 mGy). To record the actual radiation dosages, each crew member wore a Personal Radiation Dosimeter that transmitted data to Earth as well as three passive film dosimeters that showed the cumulative radiation experienced by the crew. By the end of the mission, the crew experienced an average radiation dose of 1.6 mGy.

At about 55 hours and 40 minutes into the flight, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first humans to enter the gravitational sphere of influence of another celestial body. At 64 hours into the flight, the crew began to prepare for Lunar Orbit Insertion-1 (LOI-1). This maneuver had to be performed perfectly, and due to orbital mechanics had to be on the far side of the Moon, out of contact with the Earth. After Mission Control was polled for a Go/No Go decision, the crew was told at 68 hours, they were Go and "riding the best bird we can find". At 68 hours and 58 minutes, the spacecraft went behind the Moon and out of radio contact with the Earth.

When the spacecraft came out from behind the Moon for its fourth pass across the front, the crew witnessed an event no one had ever seen — Earthrise. Borman saw the Earth emerging from behind the lunar horizon and called in excitement to the others, taking a black-and-white photo as he did so: Earthrise, seen for the first time by human eyes. In the ensuing scramble Anders took the more famous color photo, later picked by Life magazine as one of its hundred photos of the century.

As they rounded the Moon for the ninth time, the second television transmission began. Borman introduced the crew, followed by each man giving his impression of the lunar surface and what it was like to be orbiting the Moon. Borman described it as being "a vast, lonely, forbidding expanse of nothing." Then, after talking about what they were flying over, Anders said that the crew had a message for all those on Earth. Each man on board read the story of creation from Book of Genesis. Borman finished the broadcast by wishing a Merry Christmas to everyone on Earth. His message appeared to sum up the feelings that all three crewmen had from their vantage point in lunar orbit. Borman said, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, and a Merry Christmas to all of you, all of you on the good Earth"

After 10 lunar orbit, Apollo 8 returned to Earth on 27 December 1968. A successful and historic mission.

So on this Christmas Eve, we should remember a historic moment in Human history that took place 40 years ago.

William Anders

"We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Jim Lovell
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Frank Borman
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."

View at YouTube
On this Christmas Eve I wish to again recall the words of Apollo 8 in wishing you a Merry Christmas.

And God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.

A Little Fun!

Here are a bunch of kids fooling around.

Kids will be kids.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chanukah! Day 4

Today is the 4th day of Chanukah.  We are at the half way mark.  While many traditions deal with the Maccabees and the oil in the Temple.  There are stories of sacrifice and heroism too.  One such is Chanah and her sons.
From Chabad
Antiochus was determined to enforce his vicious edicts upon the Jews, effectively destroying their attachment to the Torah. He forbade the observance of all religious laws; anyone found with a Torah would be executed; circumcision, kosher food, Shabbat, all vestiges of Judaism were outlawed. Phillip was appointed governor of Judea, and he set out to ruthlessly enforce the king's edicts. He decided to begin his campaign with the arrest of the notable sage and High Priest, Elazar. Elazar thwarted Phillip's design by choosing martyrdom over submission. Soon after, Chanah and her seven sons were arrested.

When the king, who was returning to Antioch, heard about the events which were taking place in Jerusalem, he decided to take an active role in enforcing his decrees. The mother and her sons were bound and brought before the king.

Antiochus tried to convince the eldest boy to abandon the Torah. The youth responded with great confidence, "Why do you bother with this long speech, trying to inflict your abominable religion upon us? We are ready to welcome death for the sake of our holy Torah!"

The king was furious and ordered the boy's tongue, hands and feet severed and placed in a fire. The soldiers proceeded to torture the boy, forcing his mother and six brothers to watch his excruciating pain. Antiochus was sure that this sight would intimidate his prisoners into unquestioning submission.

Instead, the martyrdom spurred the family to a deep resolve to accept their fate and to sanctify G-d's name. When the second brother was brought to the king, even the members of the king's retinue begged the boy to obey the king. The boy, however, replied, "Do what you will with me. I am no less than my brother in devotion to G-d." The second son's torture was as bitter as his brother's had been. As he died he told the king, "Woe to you, pitiless tyrant! Our souls go to G-d. And when G-d will awaken the dead and His martyred servants, we will live. But you--your soul will dwell in a place of eternal abhorrence!"

To the amazement of all, the third brother unflinchingly suffered the same fate. The fourth brother echoed his brothers' exhortations, and faced his brutal death with firm resolve. Before he was killed, the fifth brother turned to Antiochus and said: "Don't suppose that G-d has handed us over to you to exalt you or because He hates us. It is because He loves us and has granted us this honor. G-d will take His vengeance upon you and your progeny."

The blood-lust of the king was not assuaged, and the sixth brother was brought to the same end as his brothers who preceded him. His words bespoke his deep faith that G-d would ultimately requite the suffering of His servants.

Throughout this horrible sequence Chanah stood by her sons, giving them strength and encouragement. Now, only the youngest child remained to face the king. When they brought the boy, the king offered him gold and silver if he would do his will. The seven-year-old boy displayed the same courage as his brothers and taunted the king to carry out his threats.

The king couldn't believe such words coming from a mere child, and he called out to Chanah. Chanah stood before the murderer of her children and listened to his words. "Woman, have compassion upon this child. Persuade him to do my will so that you will have at least one surviving child and you too will live." She pretended to agree and asked to speak with her son.

When they stood together, Chanah kissed the boy, then said, "My son, I carried you in my body for nine months, I nursed you for two years and I have fed you until today. I have taught you to fear G-d and uphold His Torah. See the heaven and the earth, the sea and the land, fire, water, wind and every other creation. Know that they were all created by G-d's word. He created man to serve Him and He will reward man for his deeds. The king knows he is condemned before G-d. He thinks that if he convinces you, G-d will have mercy on him. G-d controls your life's breath and can take your soul whenever He desires. If only I could see the greatness of your glorious place where we would be illuminated with G-d's light and rejoice and exult together."

Chanah returned to the king, saying, "I was unable to prevail upon him."

The exasperated king again addressed the child who answered him, "Whom are you seeking to overpower with your words and enticements? I laugh at your foolishness. I believe in the Torah and in G-d Whom you blaspheme. You will remain an abomination upon all mankind, loathsome and far from G-d."

The king was enraged. According to the Talmud, Antiochus gave the boy a chance to save himself by ostensibly bowing down to retrieve his signet ring, but the boy refused. As they removed him, Chanah begged to kiss him one last time. As if speaking to all seven children, Chanah said, "My children, tell your ancestor Abraham, 'You bound only one son upon an altar, but I bound seven." Then Antiochus ordered that the child be tortured even more than his brothers.

Chanah was left surrounded by the bodies of her sons, a prayer exalting G-d on her lips. Then the distraught woman threw herself from a roof and rested beside her martyred sons.
In Memory of Chanah and her sons:

Light One Candle


Christmas Greetings From Israel

First the humorous Satire from Latma TV

Now on a more serious note.

Greetings from Prime Minister Netanyahu

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Feed The Birds....Go To Prison

In Lynn, Mass if you feed the birds you will go to jail.  That is what the cold-hearten officials of Lynn, Mass. told Claire Butcher.  Ms. Butcher has been feeding the birds since 1966.  But the new people who have relocated to the town dislike Ms. Butcher and her feathered friends.  The want total control of the little pond where Ms. Butcher has feed her birds.
“They love me,” says Claire Butcher as she approaches the edge of Flax Pond in Lynn, Mass. “Can’t you see that they know me?”

Indeed, before Butcher has taken out her bag of bread crumbs, the ducks move toward land as Butcher slowly makes her way to the shoreline.

“This is my life,” she says with a laugh, as she throws the first crumbs to the gathering ducks, “and they’re trying to take it away from me.”

"They" are the town officials in Lynn who have been recently trying to enforce a “no feeding” wildlife ordinance within city limits.

In fact, Lynn has already charged the 80-year-old grandmother and is now threatening her with 30 days in jail if she doesn’t stop feeding the ducks.

“She’s making a mess out there,” says city attorney Vincent Phelan. “The neighbors have been complaining for years.”

Phelan says duck poop is “making it impossible for people to enjoy” the park.

“She is bringing a lot of food out there,” he says.

Butcher says she’s been feeding the ducks in Lynn for more than 45 years.

“When I first moved here in 1966,” she recalled, “no one would complain. Now we have these new people moving onto the pond who don’t like it. They want to control the pond. I can’t understand it.”

Butcher says she migrated to Lynn after her mother's suicide.

“I turned to the animals to console me,” she says. “And they do.”

“They are the reason I get up in the morning,” she continued as the ducks surround her. “ They get me out of bed. I know they are waiting for me.”

Phelan points out this is not Butcher’s first brush with the law concerning the city ordinance that was passed in 2006.

He says they have warned her many times and even brought her before a judge last year.

“It’s a public health issue,” he says. “We want the park clean so everyone can use it.”

Butcher admits it will be hard for her to stop.

“Of course I am afraid,” she says. "I don’t think I would do too well in jail.”

Still, she says she's more afraid of life without her birds.

“Their love is unconditional,” she says. “They fill that emptiness in life.”

“Maybe,” she says, “if we had more love in the world, it would be a better world to live in.”

Butcher’s next court date is January 13, when a judge will decide whether to send her to jail for feeding the birds.


I guess this harden criminal would have been given the death penalty.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chanukah! Day 3

Tonight we light the 3rd Chanukah candle.  So let us play the Dreidel!
Most of the laws of Hanukkah are related to the lighting of the menorah or hanukkiyah;however, in this article we shall describe some of the customs of Hanukkah. The main difference between laws and customs is that laws stem from rabbinic interpretations of the Torah and Talmud which then filter down to the Jewish people, while customs usually start with the people and filter up to the rabbis. Through customs, the Jewish people have shown their love for God and tradition and immeasurably enriched all aspects of Jewish observance.

The dreidel or sevivon is perhaps the most famous custom associated with Hanukkah. Indeed, various rabbis have tried to find an integral connection between the dreidel and the Hanukkah story; the standard explanation is that the letters nun, gimmel, hey, shin, which appear on the dreidel in the Diaspora, stand for nes gadol haya sham--"a great miracle happened there,"while in Israel the dreidel says nun, gimmel, hey, pey, which means "a great miracle happened here."

The dreidel game originally had nothing to do with Hanukkah; it has been played by various people in various languages for many centuries.

In England and Ireland there is a game called totum or teetotum that is especially popular at Christmastime. In English, this game is first mentioned as "totum" ca. 1500-1520. The name comes from the Latin "totum," which means "all." By 1720, the game was called T- totum or teetotum, and by 1801 the four letters already represented four words in English: T = Take all; H = Half; P = Put down; and N = Nothing.

Our Eastern European game of dreidel (including the letters nun, gimmel, hey, shin) is directly based on the German equivalent of the totum game: N = Nichts = nothing; G = Ganz = all; H = Halb = half; and S = Stell ein = put in. In German, the spinning top was called a "torrel" or "trundl," and in Yiddish it was called a "dreidel," a "fargl," a "varfl" [= something thrown], "shtel ein" [= put in], and "gor, gorin" [= all].

When Hebrew was revived as a spoken language, the dreidel was called, among other names, a sevivon, which is the one that caught on.

Thus the dreidel game represents an irony of Jewish history. In order to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah, which celebrates our victory over cultural assimilation, we play the dreidel game, which is an excellent example of cultural assimilation! Of course, there is a world of difference between imitating non-Jewish games and worshiping idols, but the irony remains nonetheless.
Spin the Dreidel, eat Latkes, light the Menorah. Chanukah at its best.

Happy Chanukah!

Grandpa Carter Is At It Again!

Former President Jimmy Carter doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut, when to speak and what to say.  This latest utterance by Carter is beyond comprehension.
Former President Jimmy Carter has sent North Korea a message of condolence over the death of Kim Jong-il and wished "every success" to the man expected to take over as dictator, according to the communist country's state-run news agency.

A dispatch from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Mr. Carter sent the message to Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent.

"In the message Jimmy Carter extended condolences to Kim Jong Un and the Korean people over the demise of leader Kim Jong Il. He wished Kim Jong Un every success as he assumes his new responsibility of leadership, looking forward to another visit to [North Korea] in the future," the KCNA dispatch read.

When contacted by The Washington Times for comment, the Carter Center provided an email contact to a spokeswoman who is out of the office until the New Year.

North Korea is routinely labeled as one of the world's most oppressive governments under an eccentric personality cult surrounding the Kim family. Harrowing reports from defectors describe North Korea as a dirt-poor nation filled with concentration camps and Communist propaganda. Kim Jong-il ran the reclusive country according to a "military first" policy since the mid-1990s, after a famine that may have killed as many as 2 million people.

Mr. Carter has visited North Korea twice — including a 1994 visit for talks on nuclear issues that led to a deal in which North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear-weapons program in exchange for oil deliveries and the construction of two nuclear reactors. That deal collapsed in 2002.

The former U.S. president also downplayed a 2010 North Korean attack on a South Korean island and disclosure of a uranium enrichment facility, saying the acts were merely "designed to remind the world that they deserve respect in negotiations that will shape their future."
Can we find a nice nursing home for dear Grandpa Carter.  One in which he can live out his life in the fantasy that his presidency and foreign policy were great successes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chanukah! Day 2

Tonight we light the 2nd candle of Chanukah.  During Chanukah one cannot be on a diet.  It is impossible to stay on one.  There are Latkes, there are Sufganiyot, there are just too many fried foods.  So why bother dieting.  Just give into temptation and try making some delicious treats.
Crispy Potato Latkes

Latkes are a real staple part of Chanukah fare. If you plan to serve latkes, make lots of them, as they are sure to disappear quickly.


6 potatoes
1 small onion
4 eggs
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)


Grate potatoes in food processor on your favorite blade, I favor the shredder as pieces are a bit bigger and latkes come out crispier. Squeeze out the liquid through a colander. Add the rest of ingredients. Mix well.

In a deep pot or deep frying pan, heat oil very thoroughly. Drop batter by spoonful and fry until golden on both sides. Pat with paper towel to absorb the oil.

Serve warm with applesauce or sour cream, if desired. Just plain is great too.

Preparation time: 12 minutes Cooking time: 18 to 24 minutes

Serves: 8
You can variations on this theme here.

Now for a bit of Chanukah joy:


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wednesday's Hero: Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas

I want to wish all our men and women of the United States Armed Forces a very Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas. You sacrifice so much for us and there's no way we can ever properly repay it or give you enough thanks. You are all loved and respected and I hope you have a great holiday.

Photo Courtesy United States Marine Corps Taken By Keith Hayes

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Chanukah! Day 1

Tonight begins the 8 day celebration known as Chanukah , חנוכה, the Festival of Lights. The word Chanukah means Dedication and refers to the re-dedication of the 2nd Temple after the desecration by the Greeks.

The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a special candelabrum, the Menorah or Hanukiah, one light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. An extra light called a shamash (Hebrew: "guard" or "servant") is also lit each night, and is given a distinct location, usually higher or lower than the others. The purpose of the extra light is to adhere to the prohibition, specified in the Talmud (Tracate Shabbat 21b–23a), against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah story. (The shamash is used to light the other lights.) As such, if one were to read from the lights – something prohibited – then it's not clear whether the light one's reading from was from the Hanukkah lights of the shamash light. So the shamash acts as a safeguard from accidental transgression.

Now you could be asking why is this holiday celebrated? This is the story.
Around 200 BCE Jews lived as an autonomous people in the Land of Israel, also referred to as Judea, which at that time was controlled by the Seleucid king of Syria. The Jewish people paid taxes to Syria and accepted its legal authority, and they were free to follow their own faith, maintain their own jobs, and engage in trade.

By 175 BCE Antiochus IV Epiphanes ascended to the Seleucid throne. At first little changed, but under his reign, the Temple in Jerusalem was looted, Jews were massacred, and Judaism was effectively outlawed. In 167 BCE Antiochus ordered an altar to Zeus erected in the Temple. As was the normal practice of the Hellenic religion when sacrificing to the Greek gods, pigs were sacrificed on the altar to Zeus.

Needless to say, this angered many people. Especially Mattathias, a Jewish priest, and his five sons Jochanan, Simeon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah. They defied Antiochus and led a revolt against his rule. They rallied the Jewish people, took to the hills and led the rebellion against the Greeks. During these early days of revolution a leader among men appeared. Judah became known as Yehuda HaMakabi ("Judah the Hammer"). 166 BCE Mattathias had died, and Judah took his place as leader. The next year saw the success of the revolt with the elimination of Antiochus' rule of the land.

The Temple was liberated and rededicated. But during the rededication it was discovered that there was only enough sacred oil that was not defiled by the Greeks for the menorah in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night for one day for and it would take 8 days to make more. Rather than wait until there was enough oil, Judah ordered the menorah lit. And it stayed lit for the 8 days necessary to make and consecrate more oil.

Many say that this was the miracle of Chanukah, others disagree. The true miracle of Chanukah is not the oil that stayed lit for 8 days, but the determination and spirit of the men and women who would not give in to a tyrant and worship as he wanted them to. It is the fact that a small band of determined fighters, fighting for their homes and freedoms, won a great victory over an extremely larger military foe.
To put this in easier term.  Think of the revolt of the Maccabees in this term:
A group of Hassidic Yeshiva students, led by their rabbis, numbering no more than 6,000, with no weapons, no military skills, no foreign aid take on the US Military and WIN!
This is the truth behind the Maccabees and their Army.  They had very few weapons, no military skills and no foreign government or soldiers helping them.  They took on the super power of its day:  The Greeks.  It took them 2 1/2 years, but they won.

The story of Chanukah cannot be found in the Old Testament. It is found in the Talmud and the Book of Maccabees. And in the hearts of all who are determined to worship G-d as they want to no matter what any government tells them otherwise!

Have a Happy Chanukah!!!!

Las Vegas Judge-Prosecutor Had a Thing Goin' on

Gary Fouse

While I was in Las Vegas this weekend recuperating from my dangerous assignment in Tonopah  infiltrating Nancy Pelosi's brother-in-law's solar tower operation scam, I came across this little piece in the local fishwrap. (Yes, Las Vegas actually has a newspaper.)

It seems there is a family court judge in Las Vegas named Steven Jones. (Yes, Las Vegas has courts and judges, too.) It also seems there is was a family court prosecutor named Lisa Willardson. Furthermore, it seems that Steve and Lisa have a thing goin' on.

"Me and Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones,  Mr Jones...."

"Objection sustained."

Anyway, it seems that a couple of other prosecutors named Michelle Edwards and Janne Hanrahan knew what was goin' on and blew the whistle saying there was a conflict of interest goin' on and that Lisa should not be arguing cases in Stevies's courtroom. Local DA David Roger agreed and fired Willardson.  

Judge Jones didn't like that one bit. Therefore, guess who he barred from appearing in his courtroom due to "inappropriate and unprofessional behavior".

Edwards and Hanrahan.

"Inappropriate and unprofessional behavior" 

In solidarity with Judge Stevie, another family court judge named Brigid Duffy also barred Edwards from her courtroom. DA Roger is publicly defending his two prosecutors and criticizing Jones. That's why this is all in the news.

At this point, Chief Judge Jennifer Togliatti has jumped into the fray and is trying to make sense out of all of this. Stay tuned as Judge Togliatti tries to figure out who is guilty of inappropriate and unprofessional behavior.

I sure hope President Obama doesn't get another pick for the Supreme Court.

"Mr President. We think Steven Jones is the man for the job."

Monday, December 19, 2011

If They Are Not Our Enemy Who Is?

It is a wonder that this idiot has lived this long without a brain.
In an interview with Leslie Gelb in Newsweek, Vice President Joe Biden says:
Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.
.Via Ben Smith. Interestingly, in the rest of the interview on foreign policy, Biden and Gelb never discuss that just a few years ago they co-wrote a proposal to partition Iraq into three separate nations. Fortunately, their advice was ignored at the time. And Biden this time only says he would "look for" an "Iraq united."
If the Taliban is not seen as our enemy can you guess who is?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Dictator Goes...Another Arises

Sometime within the last 3 days North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il died.  The North Korean government claims that he died today, but it was reported by the state television that he died a few days ago.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is dead, North Korean state TV said Monday.

Kim, 69, died Saturday, state TV said.

South Korean news agency Yonhap -- which based its reporting on its monitoring off North Korean state television -- said that Kim had died of "physical fatigue" during a train ride. North Korean TV did not provide a more specific cause of death.

The son of Kim Il-song, the founder of the communist nation, Kim Jong-il had been in power since 1994 when his father died of a heart attack at age 82.

The enigmatic leader was a frequent thorn in the side of neighboring South Korea, as well as the United States. There have been reports in recent years about his health, as well as that power will be transitioned to his son, Kim Jong-un.

North Korean news reports earlier this fall indicated that Kim Jong Il had been traveling around the country and visiting China, a big change from 2009 when he was thought to be ill with cancer.

Two senior U.S. military officials said then that they believed the pace of North Korea's planned regime change from Kim to his 20-something son appeared to have slowed.

The son, also known as Kim, started his career as a four-star general and in recent years was given more official duties by his father.

It is becoming very clear that Kim Jung-un is a very young man with no actual experience in running anything bigger than is mouth.  Although he has been groomed for the leadership, there is no sure guarantee for Jung-un that he will be the next "Beloved Leader".  In fact, unless he has the military backing his ascent, he will be taking a large fall from power.  Kim Jung-un is the youngest of 3 sons.  He might have to fend off an assault from the oldest son (who had been groomed for the leadership for many years before Jung-un was chosen.) Kim Jung-nam.  And then there is middle son, Kim Jong-chul who might just make a play for power too.

North Korea is a nuclear power and this will be a very turbulent time.  Let us pray that none of the 3 sons of Kim Jong-il don't try to prove their power by using one of their nuclear weapon.