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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Yoni Sez: Get a Gun
After reviewing recent domestic terror attacks on Jewish targets (did you know there was a terror attack in San Francisco yesterday?), Yoni advises taking advantage of the 2nd Amendment:

"I know that for many of you owning a gun ranks up there with the idea of eating pork.

But if you were on island and the only source of food were wild swine the Torah demands of you to hold your nose and survive by eating.

The same holds true today with owning a firearm.

Hold your nose and go buy a gun and then go to a gun range and learn to use it.

If not for you, then for your children."

I don't own one myself, and even if I did I don't see how I'd have it ready in public. It's hard here in CA to get a concealed weapons permit, and I can't see myself just wearing it in shoulder holster or something... Nevertheless, an interesting analogy.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Workplace security
So I'm using the facilities at work the other day and I notice something. All the screws - from the ones holding the doors on the stalls to the ones holding the hooks on the doors - are one-way security screws. Has there been a rash of lavatory furnishing robberies I was not aware of? Are our water closet fixtures really so at risk?

Note to Building Management: if you really want to focus on fighting crime in the workplace, how about getting people to stop stealing my pudding? And here's a helpful hint: if the perpetrators weren't deterred by the existing anti-theft rules detailed in our civic code and in the, um, Bible, I don't think the yellow sign taped to the fridge, asking us to respect our co-worker's food and/or foodstuffs, is gonna cut it.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Peace the Old-Fashioned Way
Saw a peace sign decal on a car today. At least, that's what I thought it was, until I got closer:

The image is small, so in case you can't make it out, it says "Peace the Old-Fashioned Way" and the peace sign is actually a bomber in a circle.


For sale here.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Kudos where they're due
We stick it the New York Times here in the Coffeehouse. But you gotta give props today. Check out today's story titled On the Web, Pedophiles Extend Their Reach. It's an investigation into the online world of pedophiles - not online kiddie porn, but rather things such as newsgroups where these sickos share both their rationalizations and their methodologies. Major yikes.

Adding to the creepiness factor: as of this posting, the "printer-friendly" version of this story is sponsored by a movie called "Little Miss Sunshine," which is about a beauty pageant for little girls. Priceless.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to lock my three girls in a cave with no Internet access or other exposure to the outside world.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Snakes on a Plane
In case you're thinking that you should see this movie because it will be so bad, it's good... don't.

It's just bad.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Netanyahu speaks
By now you've received an email or seen a blog post about Netanyahu's BBC interview. The one where he says, "You don't want to ask that question." I wanted to hear it for myself, so I searched the BBC site and found this.

It's not exactly like the emails and posts (that may be a different interview or just an error), but it is fascinating. All I wanted to hear was the money quote, so I was annoyed when I had to install Real Audio and even moreso when I saw that the interview is 23 minutes long.

But once I started I couldn't turn it off. Bibi is masterful. The British host is utterly idiotic, but Netanyahu doesn't scowl at him and call him an idiot like, well, I would.

The craziest part to me is that the host keeps dismissing the analogy to German civilians killed by the Royal Air Force in WWII on the basis that it was "50 years ago" (60 but who's counting?). Were the German civilians less civilian because it was so long ago?

The sad part about the interview, which took place before the pathetic ceasefire, is that Bibi keeps hitting home the objectives that must be met, whether militarily or diplomatically - the return of the kidnapped soldiers and the disarming and destruction of Hizbullah. We know now, of course, that none of that was to be.

Take 20 minutes and give it a look-see.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Young Useful Idiots
Here's what the youth leadership of the Reform movement is saying:

"We applaud the Union for condemning Hezbollah's and Hamas' violent and terrifying rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, who have been put in grave danger by the ongoing conflict," said the letter delivered Tuesday to leaders of the Union for Reform Judaism. But it adds: "We urge the Union to likewise condemn the Israeli Defense Force's killing of unarmed Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, as well as its premeditated targeting of civilian infrastructure, which has put additional lives at risk and hampered relief efforts."

Oh, well, no one ever said college and high school students were smart.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Red State Jews
No doubt you've already seen this mea culpa by a former Tikkun editor in the Wall Street Journal. He is waking up to the reality that maybe the Arabs don't want peace after all.

A number of these pieces have cropped up recently in, of all places, the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Here are a few:

Painful lessons emerge from war in Lebanon by Michael Berenbaum

Europe displaying disproportionate pacifism
by Jeffry V. Mallow

Left-leaning Jewish groups out-of-touch now by Gary Wexler

...and of course you have some pieces defending the Jewish liberal status quo, such as this response to Wexler's article:

Don't discard liberal Jewish groups by David Pine

and plenty more in the Letters section.

While I'm on the subject, this week's edition also had a very nice open letter to President Bush by a local rabbi who claims to be apolitical in his public life:

Mr. President, Thank You for Standing by Israel by Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

(Be sure to check the letters section again next week for the foaming-at-the-mouth responses to this open letter)
Greetings from 2008
Talk about a Kerckhoff Coffeehouse exclusive! I have just returned from Summer 2008 and have exciting news to report!

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously passed Resolution 1938. This resolution states that Israel must immediately cease its offensive military operations in Gaza and the West Bank, and grants the right to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah, to continue its defensive actions of firing missiles into civilian centers in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as needed for the security of the Palestinian People. As you recall, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and the West Bank in the summers of 2005 and 2007, respectively. The Resolution also calls for funds from the U.S. and the E.U. to rebuild all nursery school/missle depots.

In the North, the resolution calls for Hizbullah to pull back to Haifa where from there to all points north it will set up charitable community centers and baby milk factories for Hizbullistan (formerly Lebanon and northern Israel) citizens. Since Iran became a nuclear power in 2007, Israel's ability to fight back against Hizbullah was even weaker than its laughable attempt in 2006. Additionally, the resolution calls for the implementation of resolution 1701 which in turn calls for the implementation of resolution 1559. The only difference is that instead of calling for UNIFIL & the Lebanese army to disarm Hizbullah, it now calls for the Hizbullistan army to disarm Hizbullah.

This might sound somewhat bleak to those of you stuck in 2006, but the fighting has stopped! That means there's peace!
Sunday, August 13, 2006
"...the world will see who the aggressor is and will understand us"
This is so sad. According to the Jerusalem Post, Olmert believes that Hezbullah will not honor the cease-fire. Or at least a "source close to Olmert" believes this, to be fair. Here's what the source says:

"When Hizbullah violates the cease-fire, the world will see who the aggressor is and will understand us."

This is sheer delusion. Wasn't the world supposed to see who the aggressor is after Israel retreated from all of Lebanon? Shouldn't the world have seen who the aggressor is when, unprovoked, a terrorist militia crosses an internationally recognized border and kills and kidnaps soldiers? How about when they indiscriminately lob rockets into civilian centers?

Dear Source: The world will never, never, ever, "see who the aggressor is." They already know in their hearts that Israel is the aggressor, and no amount of cold, hard, reality will change that. Any chance you can conduct this war accordingly?
Friday, August 11, 2006
Yoni the Blogger
More astute analysis from :Yoni, whom you may or may not know from the Hugh Hewitt show: "Olmert has made every mistake one could make in this war. When he should have gone into Lebanon a month ago with 40,000 troops, he had the blessing of the USA, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordon.

Instead he has let Israel be hit with over 3,000 rockets, which has cost over a hundred dead ruined the economy of the north, and most important destroyed the mystic [sic] of the IDF.

Now when the diplomacy of the world has caught up with the events on the ground he gives the orders to march, putting Israel at odds with the USA and the UN."
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Tree Huggers for Terrorists
I often try to think of ways to get the Terrorati - that is, Leftist apologists for terrorists - to see the errors of their ways. First I tried to speak their language. For example, calling the Iranian Mad Mullahs mean. Because, as you know, Mean People Suck. I also tried to point out that they and others like them such as Saddam and the Saudis are oil-rich fatcats. Doesn't the fact that these people have made billions on oil make them evil by default?

You'd think it would be enough for these people to know that with every act of terror, another Republican is created. For that reason alone the Left should be unequivocally against all terrorists and their supporters.

But now there is a new reason. Something even Al Gore can get behind: They're killing the trees!
British Authorities Say Plot to Blow Up Airliners Was Foiled
You don't need to come to the Coffeehouse for breaking news, that's for sure. By now you know all about the foiled terror plot and new round of airline security measures (no liquids allowed! buy your sunscreen when you get to your destination!). Imagine what would be happening if, God forbid, these animals had succeeded.

Being a partisan cynic, the first thing that came to my mind was the uproar over the government reviewing records of incoming and outgoing phone calls to and from known Al Qaeda members (not the actual calls, mind you). Let's keep pressing that campaign! Wouldn't wanna catch any more terrorists! And if, God forbid, something like this plan does occur because we can't do little things like that, believe you me that the public pressure for even greater pressures on privacy will skyrocket.

Or don't believe me. Now, if you don't mind, I have to fedex some suntan oil, hairspray, and claritin syrup to the Bahamas so they'll be there when I arrive.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
For the record, I despise Cynthia KcKinney. She is the worst kind of victocrat Trotskyite. This however, is funny. What can you do when your constituents are too dumb to vote for you?

"At 8:14 AM, McKinney’s election blog stated:

'Less than one hour into the voting day, multiple problems with the electronic voting machines have arisen. McKinney precinct watchers are reporting machines down already, insecure machines, and at least one 4th Congressional District precinct without McKinney's name on the ballot, but with her opponent's name on it.'
People working closely with challenger Hank Johnson's campaign haven't reported similar problems. Nor have they confirmed or denied any of McKinney's claims.

"I haven't received any reports of any problems," said spokeswoman Deb McGhee-Speights.

Earlier, another member of his election committee reported receiving a call that "neither of the candidates names was on a ballot."

Seeking to resolve these and similar issues, Sinkule said that it appears that most of the controversies involve people who couldn’t find Rep. McKinney on their ballots because they mistakenly believed they were in her district, or because they had registered to vote as Republicans. This does not seem to address the specific claim that fourth district ballots listed Johnson, but not McKinney."
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Production of Armaments in Israel at Fever Pitch
Israeli weapons manufacturers are working around the clock to meet the tremendous demands placed on them since Mideast hostilities broke out over three weeks ago.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
What else can you do but shake your head?
"Israel's offensives in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip will help it carry out planned withdrawals in the West Bank, Ehud Olmert said."
More here.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
*** Hole of the Week...
... is of course, Mel Gibson for his naked anti-semitism during his DUI arrest earlier this week, and presumably in his private thoughts when the world's not watching.

I didn't see "The Passion". Didn't really care to, not being religious, or into gore; I know the story, and didn't see the real benefit in playing it out on-screen graphically.

At the time, I thought some of the cries about Gibson's motives were probably over-the-top, and reflexive. Sadly, it turns out they were pretty much spot on.

Gibson's a hateful, petty *** hole. I throw a tomato at him as he makes his graceless exit from center stage.
Fidel Castro in Failing Health
I have often supposed that the U.S. would normalize relations with Cuba during my lifetime. That outcome may be closer at hand now that Fidel Castro (almost 80) has fallen ill and ceded power to his brother, Raul (75).

Fidel has vowed that the socialist state in Cuba would long outlast him. After the severe recession of the 1990s caused by the loss of Soviet subsidies, Cuba would be wise to consider all its options. It has a measly $3,500 per capita GDP. One possibility is that Cuba may adopt a Chinese system of socialism - fairly free markets, some limited ownership of the means of production, but no real political freedoms. Then again, with a prosperous superpower so close at hand, might the Cubans make a play for total freedom?

It seems unlikely that Cuba will remain estranged from the U.S. forever. With Fidel out of the way, the U.S. may make some diplomatic inroads. Raul is a dyed-in-the-wool communist, but he too is an old man, and Cubans are frustrated with their relative poverty.

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