Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Upcoming Election

With the elections coming upon us fast and furiously, both sides are bombarding us with their message. I don't answer my phone anymore. I am left with messages supporting both Granholm and DeVos in the governors race. I erase the messages.

A week or so ago I was listening to Ed Schultz on the way home from work. He was giving the typical progressive rant on "taking the government out of the hands of the corporations and giving it back to the people." That got me thinking about People's republics. According to
People's Republic

A political organization founded and controlled by a national Communist party.
Personally, that's something I'm not in favor of. Neither the People's Republic of China nor the Democratic People's Republic of Korea impress me as bastions of freedom and enlightenment. If that's what Ed and his progressive pals are leaning toward, you can count me out.

Here in Michigan there is an anti-Affirmative Action proposal on the ballot; the deadly Proposal 2. The Detroit Free Press has pulled out all stops in trying to defeat this thing. Over the past few months, they've run editorials, news stories, and local columns condemning it. Occasionally they give voice to the other side, but they make it sound like if 2 is passed, Black Americans will be returned to slavery. Women will be forced to quit their jobs and remain barefoot and pregnant for the rest of their lives as they are pushed into arranged marriages. Michigan will turn into a third world nation because no business will want to do business with a state that can't legally tell them who to hire based on race or sex. All workplaces, colleges, and universities will be white and male only. Global warming will sink Detroit under water because there will be no female scientists around with the insight to prevent it. In short, they are expending a lot of hot air and trying to scare a lot of people into voting against it. Oops, did I say "scare"? I forgot, it's only Republicans who use scare tactics. The Free Press is being "mainstream."

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

The End of the Road

Yes, the Tigers lost the World Series in only five games. Yes, I would have liked to see them win, or at least stretch the series to seven games. Yes, they played sloppy Baseball. But in the end, it was a good ride and it was fun for a while. Maybe next year . . .


Who Destroyed Lebanon?

Who was responsible for the destruction in Lebanon? Muslims, the MSM, the EU, and the UN want to blame Israel. After all, why bother having Jews in the world if you can't blame all of the world's problems on them? But this report in the Washington Times which I got by way of Little Green Footballs tells a different story.
When the recent Israeli-Hezbollah war ended, the United Nations' newly organized human rights council, pressed by its Islamic members, spent its first two sessions criticizing Israel for allegedly causing heavy civilian casualties. But details are now known of a secret Hezbollah operation, mounted long before the war and focused, in violation of international law, on putting civilians at risk, that significantly contributed to this toll once the fighting began.
By way of background, in the early 1980s, Syria, which then controlled Lebanon, reluctantly allowed a group of 500 Iranian Revolutionary Guards into the Lebanese city of Baalbek, providing the seed from which Hezbollah sprang forth. Funded by Tehran, this terrorist organization began currying favor with the local population, providing many social services. Thus, when the popular Hezbollah secretly embarked upon activities with a more sinister purpose -- putting a Lebanese citizenry at risk it purportedly sought to protect in order to gain tactical advantage against Israel in any future conflict -- the local population blindly accepted this activity without knowledge of what it involved.
The activity upon which Hezbollah had embarked was conversion of private homes into mini-military sites from where it could easily target Israel's civilian population. Cloaking itself as the protective shepherd, Hezbollah effectively prepared an unwitting Lebanese civilian flock as sacrificial lambs to be slaughtered in furtherance of its own war-fighting capabilities.
Long before hostilities erupted on July 12, Hezbollah construction teams had gone out and modified numerous Lebanese homes. Sometimes with, but most the time without, the homeowner's permission, workers began adding on a large, single-function room. These rooms were unique for, when completed, they lacked an essential element of all rooms -- a door. Each room was sealed shut -- but only, and immediately, after an object was placed inside.
Often homeowners and neighbors did not know what exactly was entombed within the room as the object's insertion and the subsequent sealing of the room normally took place at night -- with the object always kept under wraps.
The residences Hezbollah selected for these unsolicited "home improvements" were chosen for their proximity to the Israeli border. When the fighting started after Tel Aviv responded militarily to Hezbollah's July cross-border raid, resulting in the deaths of three Israeli soldiers and the capture of two more, the purpose of the covert home improvements became evident to the owners -- though many were destroyed by Israeli air strikes before they could be activated.
When war erupted in southern Lebanon, designated leaders of Hezbollah combat teams received envelopes, each containing an address of one of the modified homes. The team quickly deployed to its assigned location, immediately breaking through an exterior wall of the sealed room. Each envelope contained aiming and firing instructions for the object prepositioned inside the room before it was sealed -- a surface-to-surface missile atop a launcher. After removing part of the room's roof to allow for unobstructed flight and on command, the team was to fire the missile, raining death and destruction down upon Israel's civilian population.
There was one major flaw in Hezbollah's home-conversion-to-missile-launch-site plan: Their construction activities had not gone unnoticed by Israeli intelligence. Closely monitoring Hezbollah's activities, they knew in advance the locations of most sites. As each room was completed, it had been added to Israel's target list so, once fighting started, it could quickly be destroyed -- its civilian hosts in many cases becoming collateral damage due to Hezbollah's illegal use of such a tactic.
Israel received much negative press for failing to accurately assess the Hezbollah threat. Clearly, some failures did occur, such as assessing how deeply Hezbollah had entrenched itself into southern Lebanon and Hezbollah's ability, undoubtedly with Iranian assistance, to monitor Israeli battlefield communications.
But Israel must be applauded for its success in identifying ahead of time the threat posed by Hezbollah's tactical use of private homes for military purposes -- a threat Israeli air power was then able to effectively negate. Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman alluded two days into the conflict to these illegal Hezbollah tactics, a reference apparently lost on the media that failed to investigate further.
Hezbollah had designed a tactical plan calculated to maximize civilian casualties on both sides of battlefield -- by design on the Israeli side in targeting its major population centers and by consequence on the Lebanese side as Israel responded. While this tactic was, from the Israeli perspective, checkmated by virtue of good intelligence, from the Lebanese perspective, many civilians at these launch sites were forced to pay the ultimate price. Sadly, from Hezbollah's perspective, these civilian casualties were but dispensable pawns in its chess match with Israel.

James G. Zumwalt, a Marine veteran of the Persian Gulf and Vietnam wars, is a contributor to The Washington Times.
Yes, that was the whole article by James G. Zumwalt. I shouldn't have reprinted the whole thing, but the word needs to be spread. And you won't read this in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or either of my local Detroit papers.

I wonder what sort of missiles and other weapons Hezbollah is now stockpiling in people's homes as prepare for their next attack on Israel. I also wonder how the Lebanese will feel being used as human shields again. The Hezbollah supporters here in Dearborn Michigan will cheer on any of their efforts to destroy Israel no matter how many Lebanese are killed. After all, they still have plenty of Jews to blame.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

What is a True Muslim?

Is a true Muslim one who hates Jews? And is this Jew-hatred justified because of the "situation" of having a thriving "Zionist entity" in the midst of dozens of totalitarian Muslim theocracies? If anyone tries to convince you that this Islamic imam sanctioned Jew-hatred is because of the constant success of Israel at defending itself against the genocidal attempts of its Islamic neighbors, they're either deluded or a liar. (That's actually only icing on the anti-semitic cake). Muslims are taught Jew-hatred at a very early age as we can see in this video from MEMRI. The little girl in the video is proudly displayed as a "true Muslim", one who is learning an irrational hatred of Jews at an early age. Notice the pride in the woman interviewing her.

And here, from Palestinian Media Watch is another lovely video, this one trying to inspire children to become "martyrs". As Golda Meir once said, "peace will come to the Middle East when Muslims love their children more than they hate Jews."

And if Islam is a religion of peace that's been hijacked by a few misguided extremists, how do so many of them show up on Muslim TV stations, and leading prayers in mosques? And why aren't they immediately denounced by the peaceful Islamic leadership? Hmmmm?

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Sunday, October 15, 2006


We had to meet a photograher in Ann Arbor today in the law quad. My daughter was getting photographed. The photographer wanted to get some shots to show at my daughter's upcoming Bat Mitzvah, you know, so one or two can be framed and set on an easel for everyone to sign. It was a bright, crisp, sunny day, a perfect day for the outdoor shots she wanted. From the law quad, we walked over to "Graffiti Alley" for some more shots. The photographer (whose name I forgot) even took a family shot in the alley. Amongst the expected typically silly graffiti, there was a stenciled enjoy capitalism. That made me chuckle. I like things that make me chuckle.

After that, we did a bit of shopping. My wife and daughter found some clothes. My son and I found some CDs. I picked up, Bill Evans, the Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961. I've only listened to one disc so far, but the one disc was good stuff. This, of course, was recorded only ten days before the tragic death of bassist, Scott LaFaro. I also found a couple of books I've been meaning to pick up, A History of Christianity by Paul Johnson, and Nabokov's Invitation to a Beheading.

The plan was to then go to Zingerman's Deli for lunch. It doesn't make me chuckle, but I love Zingerman's. To my wife, it's just another deli, but to me, it's ZINGERMAN'S!! And I rarely give two exclamation points to anything.

The line was way out the door, and as much as I was looking forward to eating there, I hate waiting in line. We'll just have to make another trip.

I parked a few blocks away, by Kerrytown, and we walked around the area a bit. I suggested Cafe Verde. It looked interesting in an intensely organic way. Everyone else was intrigued by a restaurant in a purple house.

It was a former sushi bar, now closed and for sale. I forbade my wife from buying it, but I did allow her and the rest of us to eat at Aut BAR, a little place across the courtyard. Walking in, we saw a flyer for Dyketoberfest, a celebration that we missed, as it was held this past Friday. That really made me chuckle. As for the event, I'm neither fer it nor agin' it, but I love the name. I don't know if the originator(s) of Dyketoberfest meant there to be humor in the title, but it's there, and I do welcome and appreciate those small unexpected episodes of mirth in every day life.

Aut BAR caters to the gay community, but we didn't let that stop us. Even though we were obviously heterosexual, traveling with kids and all, they neither turned us away nor harassed us. Then again, we didn't flaunt our sexuality. The staff was very friendly and efficient, and the food was really good. Looking around at what others (I don't know if they were gay or straight), everything looked good. And we got a good amount of food for a reasonable price.

I would definitely eat there again. And I do want to meet the creators of Dyketoberfest.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Detroit Tigers

Michigan is one of the very few states in the U.S. not enjoying the current economic boom. The Pistons and the Redwings were both "almosts" in this year's play offs. And the Lions? Well, some things are constant and the Lions losing is one of them. Fifty years of rebuilding continue. Hope also continues. But then there are the Tigers. One more win will take them to the World Series. As for now, there is joy in economically depressed Mudville. I'm looking for futher Detroit joy at the end of the series.

When the Tigers won in '84, I did not join in the riots, but I did spend about an hour out on Woodward Ave trading high fives with passing honking motorists. Should the Tigers win again this year, I still will not riot. After all, rioting is bad.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Death of Anna Politkovska

Michelle Malkin has the skinny on murdered Russian journalist, Anna Politkovska. The larger question, outside of "who did it?" is; will journalists and "human rights" groups demand answers the way they do from the United States and Israel when a journalist is accidentally killed under their watch? Or will they not even bother since Russia is not an open society and can't be shamed the way a country with a consensual government can.

So go ahead, you self-styled "speakers of truth to power", demand answers from Putin! Don't relent until he gives them to you. Let the rest of us spectators sit back and enjoy the spectacle.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Muslims Killing Lots and Lots of Muslims

Here is a great, but lengthy article that you should read. It compares the millions of Muslims murdered by fellow Muslims in genocidal campaigns compared with the number of Muslims killed by Israel as they defend themselves from a Muslim genocidal campaign. It is reprinted in its entirity at Greetings From the French Hill. The original link was from Abbagav.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel a merciless genocide is being perpetrated against Muslims and/or Arabs. Fact no. 2: The conflict in the Middle East, between Israel and the Arabs as a whole and against the Palestinians in particular, is regarded as the central conflict in the world today. Fact no. 3: According to polls carried out in the European Union, Israel holds first place as “Danger to world peace”. In Holland, for instance, 74% of the population holds this view. Not Iran. Not North Korea. Israel. Connecting between these findings creates one of the biggest deceptions of modern times: Israel is regarded as the country responsible for every calamity, misfortune and hardship. It is a danger to world peace, not just to the Arab or Muslim world.

The finger is pointed cleverly. It’s difficult to blame Israel for the genocide in Sudan or for the civil war in Algeria. How is it done? Dozens of publications, articles, books, periodicals and websites are dedicated to one purpose only: Turning Israel into a state that ceaselessly perpetrates war crimes. In Jakarta and in Khartoum they burn the Israeli flag, and in London, in Oslo and in Zurich hate articles are published, supporting the destruction of Israel.

[ . . . ]

The tragedy is that in Arab and Muslim countries a massacre is happening. A genocide protected by the silence of the world. A genocide protected by a deception that is perhaps unparalleled in the history of mankind. A genocide that has no connection to Israel, to Zionism or to Jews. A genocide of mainly Arabs and Muslims, by Arabs and Muslims.

This is not a matter of opinion or viewpoint. This is the result of factual examination, as precise as possible, of the numbers of victims of various wars and conflicts that have taken place since the establishment of the State of Israel up till this time, in which the massacre continues. It is, indeed, death on a massive scale. A massacre. It is the wiping out of villages and cities and whole populations. And the world is silent. The Muslims are indeed abandoned. They are murdered and the world is silent. And if it bothers to open its mouth, it doesn’t complain about the murderers. It doesn’t complain about the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. It complains about Israel.

This great deception, that covers up the real facts, endures and even grows because of one reason only: The Media and Academia in the West participate in it. In endless publications, books, periodicals and websites Israel is portrayed as a state that perpetrates “war crimes”, “ethnic cleansing”, and “systematic murder”. Sometimes it is because this is fashionable, sometimes it is mistakenly, sometimes it is the result of hypocrisy and double standards. Sometimes it is new and old anti-Semitism, from the left and from the right, overt and covert. Most of the classic blood libels were refuted not long after they came into being. The blood libel of modern times, against the state of Israel, continues to grow. Many Israelis and Jews are accessories to the nurturing of the libel.

[ . . . ]

To all the above, one can add this data: The great majority of Arabs killed in the framework of the Israeli-Arab Conflict were killed as a result of wars instigated by the Arabs and as a result of their refusal to recognize the UN decision regarding the establishment of the State of Israel, or their refusal to recognize the Jews’ right of self-definition.

The number of Israelis killed by Arab aggression has been relatively far than the numbers of Arabs killed. In the War of the Independence, for example, more than 6,000 Israelis were killed out of a population that was then made up of 600,000. This means: One percent of the population. In comparison with this, Arab fatalities in the war against Israel came from seven countries, the populations of which were already tens of millions. Israel did not dream, did not think and did not want to destroy any Arab state. But the ostensible goal of the attacking armies was “to liquidate the Jewish entity”.

Obviously, in recent years, the Palestinian victims have received most of the attention of the Media and the Academia. In actual fact, these make up just a small percentage of the total sum of all victims. The total sum of Palestinians killed by Israel in the territories that were conquered is several thousand. 1,378 were killed in the first Intifada, and 3,700 since the start of the second Intifada.

This is less, for instance, than the Muslim victims massacred by former Syrian president, Hafez Assad in Hama in 1982. This is less than the Palestinians massacred by King Hussein in 1971. This is less than the number of those killed in one single massacre of Muslim Bosnians by the Serbs in 1991 in Srebrenica, a massacre that left 8,000 dead.

Every person killed is regrettable, but there is no greater libel than to call Israel’s actions ‘genocide’. And even so, the string ‘Israel’ and ‘genocide’ in Google search engine leads to 13,600,000 referrals. Try typing ‘Sudan’ and ‘genocide’ and you’ll get less than 9 million results. These numbers, if you will, are the essence of the great deception.

[ . . . ]

Another fact: Since WWII, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the national conflict with the lowest number of victims, but with the world’s highest number of publications hostile to Israel in the media and in the Academia.

At least half a million Algerians died during the French occupation. A million Afghanis died during the Soviet occupation. Millions of Muslims and Arabs were killed and slaughtered at the hands of Muslims. But all the world knows about one Mohammed a-Dura (whose death was regrettable, but there is some doubt whether he was killed by Israeli gunfire at all).

It is possible and acceptable to criticize Israel. But the excessive, obsessive, and at times anti-Semitic criticism serves also as a coverup, and in some cases also as an approval, of the genocide of millions of others.
Occupation is not enlightened and can’t be enlightened. But if we try to create a scale of ‘brutal occupation’, Israel will come last. This is a fact. This is not an opinion.

And what would have happened to the Palestinians if, instead of being under Israeli occupation they were under Iraqi occupation? Or Sudanese? Or even French or Soviet? It is highly probable that they would have been victims of genocide, at worst, and of mass killings, purges, and deportations at best.

But luckily for them they are under Israeli occupation. And even if, I repeat, there is no such thing as an enlightened occupation, and even if it is acceptable and possible, and at times necessary, to criticize Israel, there is no occupation and there has never been an occupation with so few fatalities (indeed, there are other injuries that are not manifested in the numbers of fatalities, such as the refugee problem. This will be discussed in a separate chapter).
Take your time. Read the whole thing. It's very enlightening.

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