A true anti-idiotarian, blogging about politics, Israel, neuroscience, and anything else that crosses my mind.


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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

'Crats': rodents harass Israeli soldiers

Israeli soldiers stationed in the tense West Bank city of Hebron have recently been battling an enemy they define as more scary then Palestinian militants: enormous rats.

The rats, lured by piles of garbage in Hebron's streets, have become so daring they have even infiltrated military barracks and bitten at least two heavily armed combat soldiers - one in the ear and the other on the lip, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported.

The rodents have grown so large that soldiers are calling them the Hebrew equivalent of "crats" due to their increasing similarity to the stray cats, Maariv reported.

I'm waiting for the Palesitinains to claim that these giant rats are mutants caused by some secret Israeli radioactive/biochem weapon. Something absurd like that.

On a more serious note, I eagerly await a post from Publius & Co. (who is a major rat blogger for those who don't know)

So un-PC....but so Funny

[via ATS]

Just in time for your belated Hannukah and Christmas present giving, the brand new, Terrorist Playing Card set. Modeled after the US Central Command deck of 52, this deck will appeal to the pro-Israel members of the Zionist Neocon Cabal™ (or any other pro-Israel person with a warped sense of humor). Play cards with celebs such as: Abdalla Shami, Basem El-Saadi, Imad Fayez Mugniyah, Ismail Abu Shneb and many more!
The cards are made in Israel, so purchasing them will benefit the Israeli economy!

And while I'm on a post dedicated to non-PC humor, there's also the set of infamous ATS Palestinian Lightbulb Jokes. Any one got any ISM lightbulb jokes?

All that "End of the Year" Stuff

I'm not big on all this "year in review"/predictions for "2004" type stuff. I think a lot of it is simply silly, and in some cases may just be used to boost a columnists' ego. Granted, there are some funny ones. I guess my real issue is that so many people make these, and they're just fodder.

That's my not so deep thought for the morning. I'm waiting to go to the gym (perhaps that'll improve my mood).

Real Good News or Strategic Disinformation?

MEMRI is apparently reporting (via translation) that: Report: Al Qaeda Big Arrested

Strategic Disinformation? or is it really good news?

Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Back to Politics

I've been behind on political blogging the past few days--you'll have to forgive me for that.

What's with Dean whining about being attacked by other Dem candidates? For goodness sakes, it's politics after all! This is par for the course. Dean is sounding more and more like a sissy.

As for the Dean-McAullife feud--I think this is more of a fight for the control of the party. McAuliffe was the Clinton's man, and he "represents" them, while Dean seems to be more of a representative of the further left-flank of the party. It's a fight for control of the party I guess. But again, Dean shouldn't be complaining that he's being attacked.

Speaking of the Clintons, Clark is the first one to use Bill in an ad. Reinforces the idea that Clark is the Clintons' candidate.

Back to Dean, what's with his whole thing now about raising the Minimum Wage? It doesn't make much economic sense.

On Economics, Donald Luskin gets a 2 for 1 -- nailing both Paul Krugman and Brandeis prof Robert Reich. Well done!

Regarding AG Ashcroft excusing himself from the CIA leak investigation...I'm dissapointed that the story returned. I thought the whole Plame-Wilson thingy was moot. Darn.

And what about that LA Times story about weapons smuggling. (*Cough* Syria *cough*)

Future Book Reviews

I've completed three more books and I promise to write a brief review about each of 'em.

The three most recent ones I've completed are:

The New Anti-Semitism by Phyllis Chesler
Left Illusions: An Intellectual Odyssey by David Horowitz
Treason by Ann Coulter

More on that Fire

Here's the article from the Plain Dealer on the magnesium alloy plant fire which started yesterday, and lit up the sky (and also made a lot of booms).

And it looks like a lot of other media outlets have picked up on the story.

It was quite a sight!

Sorry about that

Sorry about the lack of blogging today. As usual the schedule in my house is totally FUBAR (nothing new though). I've been trying to find time to work on my grad school essay, which I'm very close to completing. And that's why I've not been blogging to much today. I hope to make some posts later on.

Monday, December 29, 2003
Wow! What a spectacle!

A Magnesium (Mg2+) alloy recycling plant in a suburb of Cleveland (that is south of me) went up in flames this evening.

Now, those of you who have taken basic chemistry have likely seen how Mg can explode (didn't anyone else's teachers show the videos of it?)

Anyway, there's a huge yellowish glare on the horizon--and its a sight to be seen and occasionally you hear a giant rumbling noise like thunder, and more often you hear little "pop" noises.

It's simply an awesome sight from this far away.

Here's the story (with pix and video) from the local NBC affiliate: Fire at Garfield Heights magnesium plant

So where was I...

As I noted below, I'm back in Cleveland. It's a yucky day out today. Not that it matters.

I'm planning on returning to blogging as usual...after all, I know that my Grandfather (z"l) would not want me to stop working (or being productive) on his account. That's the kind of man he was. He was a very motivated man.
On a side note, I may wind up telling stories about his life here and there--so you'll have to excuse me for that.

I'm going to have to start crawling through the news again to find topics. I've also gotta finish my grad school apps. Yikes! Too much at one time.

Well, at least the Browns actually won yesterday. For the first time in who knows how long.

And I finished reading Horowitz's latest book "Left Illusions" and now I'm reading (for laughs) Coulter's book Treason. I've got mixed thoughts on it so far--but the jokes about MoDo are priceless.

Back in Cleveland

As per dad's request (make that demand), mom, my siblings and I all came home from Chicago last night. In other words, we're back in Cleveland. I've got some things to get done around here.

More blogging to follow

Friday, December 26, 2003
Another day...more memories

Dad, Grandma and my uncles all returned from Israel this morning...my uncles just in time for minyan, and my dad and grandma later (they were on seperate flights--it's a very, very, very long and confusing story, which I won't bother retelling). After minyan this morning, [just for our family] brunch/lunch was served, first we served the avelim (mourners) then we were told to help ourselves. There was a bit of a subdued mood, but it was the first time the whole family had been together in one place since the summer of 2002. Grandpa's presence though was missing. Nevertheless, we knew he would want us to do what we normally did--kibbitz (talk), catch up on things, tell stories (the usual Jewish family gathering). Then visitors began to pay Shiva calls throughout the afternoon. We then davened again. Then when it came to dinner, the order got mixed up, and a plate was sent, but the food was identical to what was served for brunch. So someone in the family had a kosher burger place deliver. Very good burgers...although very very filling. It's a shame, I'd been losing weight recently. I guess that streak is over. Darn...(same goes for my gym streak).

Tonight we had more visitors and talked somemore, then it was just our family, and we cleaned up and set things up for tomorrow morning. minyan is at 0700 (too early for my taste, but not my choice). I'll be up for it and in attendance though. There's no question about that.

It's been a long day and I've been doing a lot of things (hence the lack of blogging)--mostly helping out. Tomorrow will be a shorter day b/c of Shabbos (did I mention that my dad's family is very religious?)

And for those of you unfamiliar with Jewish mourning practices and/or don't understand some of the terminology I've been using, here's a good primer on it.

Thursday, December 25, 2003
It's strange

I've been able to get a WiFi internet connection here in Chicago at my grandmother's appartment, so I may blog very sporadically. Granted, it's not going to be my usual musings, rather, I'm just going to share whatever is on my mind at the given point in time. It's strange to know that my grandfather z"l is no longer with us. He lived 83 wonderful years on this planet, was married to my grandmother for 52 of those years. He's now b'ezrat hashem in heaven, where he is being reunited with his mother and sister who he last saw when he was 18. (He was in Japan with his father on a buisness trip when the Nazis invaded Romania--the Nazis proceeded to murder my great aunt and great grandmother). He moved from Japan (later during the war) to Panama, where he met grandma. The two of them eventually moved here to America, and lived the American dream. He was a very religious and pious man, always yirat hashamaim and a man full of chesed. Grandpa was a very loyal Zionist; whenever HaTikvah was played, he insisted on standing up at attention. He invested much in the land (through charity and purchasing bonds) and Israel was always in his heart and mind. He is now in Israel, as per his final requests.

My grandma, dad and uncles are currently flying back from Israel (they made a very quick trip there to bury my grandpa), and they'll be back stateside early this morning and will return to Chicago later in the AM. We have not seen them since Tuesday. It's going to be interesting to see how they are doing. I hope to keep grandma in high spirits. That will include replying to all her requests, even her insisting that I eat more food (even when my body doesn't want me too)--you've gotta love Jewish mothers and grandmothers.

They're going to be sitting shiva here at the apartment for the week. I'm not sure how long I'll be here in Chicago to help out. I"ll have to see. Today we prepped the house, took phone calls, made arrangements for things (food people are sending over, finding out what time minyan is at, the usual...)

It's wierd to think about it that my grandfather is no longer alive. I last saw him in April for Pesach. He took ill 4 months ago, and that was the beginning of the end per-say. (I'll explain in another post).

I'm going to try to get some sleep now. After I take care of my little brother.

Thank you all for the notes you've left me in the comments. I really appreciate them all. I seriously, seriously do. Thank you!

P.S. An aside, I may be using more Hebrew/Judaic terminology in the comming posts regarding what's going on. my appologies for not providing a definition (sorry, I'm a bit lazy right now). I'll try to link to a page tomorrow with more info.

Merry Christmas

To all my christian friends and readers (as well as guests), my best wishes to you (and your families) for a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

For those of you who are Jewish--again, Happy Hannukah!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003
In memory

My grandfather passed away tuesday in the early hours of the morning. A memorial service was held yesterday for him here in Chicago (where I currently am). We escorted his casket to the airport, and he is currently being internned (most likely literally now) in Bet Shemesh (Israel) as per his request.

I'm here at my grandmother's apartment in chicago right now, setting things up for the shiva house. Blogging will be light and very sporadic in the interim

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Possible Blogging Hiatus

As I mentioned previously, I'm supposed to be heading to Chicago this Wed to go visit my very-ill grandfather who is sadly passing away. We got a call tonight that things wern't looking very good, so there's a chance that I'll be out of here as early as tomorrow. Long story short, my grandfather has been sick for a long time, and right now I guess my grandmother is simply looking for a sense of closure. I'll put a more through eulogy up at an appropriate time.

In that case, I just wanted to take this oppertunity to wish everyone (to whom it applies) a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (and to the Jews out there--Happy Hannukah and Happy night of Chinese food and movies!!)

Take care...

Monday, December 22, 2003
Clark: Off his rocker again

First Clark basically says that he'll give up our soverignity
And I would say to the Europeans, I pledge to you as the American president that we'll consult with you first. You get the right of first refusal on the security concerns that we have. We'll bring you in.

And now, he credits Clinton for the for Ghadafy Breakthrough (!?!?!). He apparently said:

"It's a program of squeezing Libya that's gone on for more than a decade," Clark told a Derry, N.H., audience, according to the Concord Monitor. "The Clinton administration was very much involved with this."

In a slap at Bush, Clark said, it "shows that you don't need to use force to get your way in world affairs," adding that Prime Minister Tony Blair deserved credit for the Ghahafi breakthrough as well.

Now didn't Reagan (or was it Bush Sr.) put the sanctions on Lybia? I know that Reagan showed the crazy Col. Ghadafi a bit of the the military muscle of the United States....Clinton did jack squat that with regards to Lybia. Did we hear anything really about Lybia in the 90s? (Note: I'm not including any of the crazy things Gadafi said).
Anybody? Anything?

This really shows through the theory that Clark is the Clinton's choice for the nomination. He's sucking up to them.

Oh, and by the way General--the CIA and MI6 were able to infiltrate and discover the program, as well as the fact that they intercepted a shipment of items bound for Libya.

And don't forget what Gadafi said to Italian PM Berlusconi about not wanting to go out like Saddam...
(anyone remember the exact quote?)

Nice try Clark...but you're...wrong...

Did the Mossad and the Zionist Infidelsâ„¢ help capture Saddam?

According to this article in the Sunday Mail (Australia) the Mossad was tracking/bugging Saddam's wife and their son Ali.

I'm very skeptical of this report, mainly because I don't think the Mossad would normally publicize such information. That's very unlike the Mossad--which is traditionally a very, very, very secret organization. Unless this is a new face of the Mossad?

This story seems a bit too wierd for me...

Armed and shopping

An interesting event took place Saturday in the Ohio city of Vermillion (it's on the coast of Lake Erie). Currently there's a debate going on in Ohio over Concealed Carry (CCW), with the Gov not being too supportive of the idea and making demands, while the State Legislature has approved a CCW bill. Gov Taft (R) is threatening a veto of the bill unless a compromise can be reached, and there are rumors that such a compromise may occur, or the State Senate may have enough votes to override a veto.

This past Saturday a group called "Ohioans for Concealed Carry" held an event in Vermillion. About 75 people went to the town, armed, with their personal firearms clearly visible (which is legal BTW). Some stores asked that people with guns not enter, while other buisnesses welcomed them. Ironically, the buisnesses who welcomed guns did more buisness as they got the gun carriers plus the protesters who were in the area.

Here are some write ups on the event:

Armed shoppers don't conceal feelings -- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Armed and shopping in Vermilion
--Lorain Mourning Journal
Concealed guns openly supported--Akron Beacon Journal

I'm not sure how I really feel about the CCW issue. As I've said many times before, I'm not a gun person myself, but I know of many people who are. I mean just look around the Blogsphere, there's Emperor Misha, Kim DuToit, Frank J, Rachel Lucas, CD, Dok Russia just to name a few.... (leave a note in the comments if I accidentally ommitted you)
These people seem to be very responsible gun owners, and I think that they may have a better idea about these things than someone like me would.

One thing in the CCW bill that is appealing is that in order to get a CCW license, among other things, you need to be certified in using the firearm. I think if you're going to carry, you need to be trained. The one concern I have is that some people will take advantage of this, and cause problems.

I'm still undecided on this issue...and I just thought I'd share this story, and see what people in the blogsphere think.

My Congresswoman Sucks!

Fortunately, I don't live in Dennis Kucinich's district, as he's a total space cadet (and that's an understatement). Instead, I'm stuck with an anti-war, tax-and spend, race baiting democrat. (Yes, Kucinich is still worse then her). But I was happy to see the following letter in yesterday's Plain Dealer

have been watching the news reports to see if the Democratic Party leadership would chide Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones after her statement in the Dec. 7 Plain Dealer, in which she advocated voting for a candidate on the basis of a candidate's race. If Democratic Party officials don't have the intestinal fortitude to tell Rep. Tubbs Jones she is wrong to bring race into the matter at all, they could, at least, disguise their fear of Tubbs Jones by telling her not to publicly campaign against the candidate endorsed by her party.

If Tubbs Jones sees fit to run for office as a party-endorsed candidate, why does she actively campaign for candidates that run against candidates endorsed by her party? She says it is on the basis of the candidate's race, and this an "acceptable" form of racism. Doesn't she understand that every bigot feels that his own brand of racism should be acceptable?

The Democratic Party should tell Tubbs Jones that if she does not want to support the candidate endorsed by her own party, she should join another party.

Bah....another bad thing about living in Northeast Ohio

The President is Right!

Bush declares: "We must get rid of Arafat"

I want to find the original piece in Hebrew...

Way to Go Mr. President!


Time Magazine's Person of the Year:

time cover

Hooray! Three Cheers for the Soldiers! Woooohooo! More Cheering!

They sure as hell deserve it!

The Mudville Gazette shares his thoughts with Time

Speaking of the troops, apparently one of 'em had the privledge to smack Saddam Hussein! Way to go! The army better not even think of trying to court martial this soldier (like they tried with LTC West). Hell--that soldier deserves a medal! And a beer!

Terror Warnings and past oppertunities

So the threat level is back up to Orange ("Elevated")--as if you hadn't heard already. That means we're supposed to be "extra vigilant"...but does that mean that we still have to bend over backwards to be politically correct?

Interesting piece out in the Weekly Standard:

MAG: Clinton administration warned of al Qaeda links to Saddam's Iraq...

One problem, I heard that the tests for EMTPA in the soil all turned up negative in Sudan. Besides that...it's an interesting read...thought provoking too

Fun Political and Pundit Stories

Looks like Al Gore's son was arrested for possession of weed. Do I really care? No. He's a Harvard student by the way.

It looks like the French looking Senator from MA, John F. Kerry, who by the way served in Vietnam has started a trend of Democrat presidential nominees who like to curse in public. Today on C-Span Wesley Clark joined the club stating: "GENERAL CLARK ON C-SPAN: 'I'll beat the s--- out of them'..."

Speaking of the Democrat 9; wasn't it funny last week when Sharpton was ahead of both Kerry and Edwards in the polls?

And on that topic, it looks like Dean is a sore-front runner (yes, I just made that term up). Dean: Stop the Attacks. You pansy. Politics is a full contact game...with some foul language thrown in for that matter. Stop whining.

Now going onto pundits and punditry. As usual, Eric Alterman succeeds in demonstrating why he is one of the biggest Asshats out there. You open up the dictionary under Asshat...Alterman's photo is there. What am I talking about? Poor and Stupid has the whole thing covered.

Speaking of which, Donald Luskin, and some other Clueâ„¢ economists have found that Krugman has lied about economic stats in an article in the upcoming edition of The Nation. This isn't Krugman's first time falsifying data--apparently he did so in 1992 with the NYT

No wonder Krugman served as a Financial Advisor to Enron! I'm starting to see the connection!


Damn it! So close! Let's hope that we start to get close on several more occasions--and take care of what needs done (if you know what I mean). Speaking of which, how do these reporters get interviews with these jihadis anyway? Shouldn't the CIA be tracking these punks down? I mean that makes sense, no?

About the lack of posts

Sorry for the lack of blogging today. I was woken up and told that I had 30 minutes to get myself together, because we were going to visit my grandparents. All in all, it was a good visit and it was very good to see 'em.

Just a note, due to a family medical issue I'm going to be unexpectedly out of town from Wed-Sun, so posting will be sporadic if it occurs at all. Just a note

Sunday, December 21, 2003
Lybia is coming around? The NYT Compliments the Bush Administration

Wow! I open the newspaper this afternoon, and what do I read: U.S.: Al-Qaddafi Eager to End Weapons Programs

I was shocked!

The UK Telegraph is now reporting: Revealed: the real reason for Gaddafi's WMD surrender. This comes from a country who in 2002 denied having WMD .

I'm very suprised by this apparently sudden turn of events. I think that Gaddafi may have seen what happened to Saddam and taken the lesson that he should change course, or he could be next.

I am still somewhat skeptical about Gaddafi's sincerity over this whole thing. Only time can tell how truthfully sincere he is. If he is telling the truth for a change, this is a blow to both Iran and North Korea's programs---as well as some of the other Arab states who had smaller investments in it.

Probably the wierdest thing (thus far) to come out of this is the NY Times saying that Bush was right in his policy towards Libya. The NY Times commending President Bush? What's going on here? Is Maureen Dowd sitll on vacation (please, please, please)? What a weird turn of events!

Books I've been reading

Well, as I've said before, I'm a self confessed book worm. Since being home last friday, I've read five books so far. And here's some thoughts on each of 'em.

Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden by Peter Bergen. Interesting book, well researched, and his personal story about meeting Bin Laden was probably the most interesting part of the book. It's a short read.

Dangerous Diplomacy by Joel Mowbray--The State Dept. is messed up and is in definite need of reform. Mowbray's expose of State's view of things paints a quite worrysome picture. He also gives State and the former INS a hard slap on the wrist. The book could've been better written though.

Why America Slept by Gerald Posner--Again, another disturbing book. This book is a good starting point for anyone interested in understanding Islamic terror in the US and how it
long failed to deal with terrorism. It also has some interesting details about the efforts undertaken since 9/11 and the intel we've gained from it. It's an easy read, and covers a lot of things. I'd liken a lot of it to a "review" article in a science journal (except this was much more detailed than a journal article).

Derilection of Duty by Robert Patterson--I read this since I had heard Peterson on a local radio show once. He seemed like a genuninely good guy, and that's the impression I had from reading his book. He's very critical of the Clintons (not in the same way as Dick Morris seems to be), but from the standpoint of a military officer. He confirms some of the things other books mention, and reaffirms some other things. It's not a "hit piece" on the Clintons like one you'd expect from the Right-Wing pundits, rather its a man sharing his thoughts.

The Janson Directive by Robert Ludlum---Back to Fiction I go. I'd seen this book displayed in a lot of airport shops recently, and I'd read the cover flap, and it sounded interesting. And boy, was it a good intrigue novel! If you're into spy/military/action/espionage intrigue stories--this novel is for you. It's a page turner! It's very well writtena nd detailed as well (not to the level of a Tom Clancy novel, but you get the idea). I won't make any comments about what happens in the book, as I don't want to ruin the story for anyone.

Right now, I'm currently reading The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What we must do about it by Phyllis Chesler. I'll post more on it when I'm done.

Saturday, December 20, 2003
The Damn ISM is at it again

The so called "International Solidarity Movement" (ISM), which is more of a pro-palestinian anti-Israel group (yes, it's the one Rachel "St. Pancake" Corrie was apart of), is exploiting a pro-Israel program.

According to the Jerusalem Post: Birthright Israel concerned ISM activists are exploiting trips

Now Birthright Israel is a fantastic program. It enables Jewish young adults, ages 18-26 who've never been to Israel with an organized youth trip to have a free 10 day trip (click the link for more info). It's a great oppertunity, and it helps Israel a lot!

It's ashame that the ISM bastards are taking advantage of this, taking spots that other people could have and are also exploiting the generous philanthropists sponsoring this program. This just goes to show how morally-devoid the ISM can be (it probably won't suprise many).

Friday, December 19, 2003
Happy Hannukah

Damn it, blogspot deleted my last post and I've gotta jump in the shower.

to all the Jews out there, HAPPY HANNUKAH

Chocolate can make you sick

Being up till 4am, and having to taste test chocolate (some of which was bad mind you) is not a good combination. I officially attest to it. I spent most of the day in bed...sick...sigh...

At least the gift bags are out and done with.

And be sure any chocolate you eat is fresh--and not bad. Groan

Murphy's Law

Again, sorry for the lack of blogging. There was so much stuff I could've blogged on--from Al Sharpton being in 4th place in the Dem. primary polls, Oreilly and Drudge, the snow squals that hit here (and made it a pain in the ass to drive)...so many things. Instead--I was running errands or out doing other things most of the day.

So I just spent the past 6 hours with my mom making gift bags for my little brothers school teachers,aides, etc. We were making "gourmet" chocolate covered popcorn. But of course, murphy's law reared its ugly head. Our popcorn popper was failing on us, so it took extra long to make the popcorn. Then we ran into problems with the chocolate. The worst part was, since mom doesn't eat chocolate, I had to be the "Taste tester" (and some of the chocolate was bad...I think I'm gonna be sick). In short--it was not fun, especially at the end when the air popper suddenly began to work like normal. Argh.

I'm off to bed...

I really do hope to blog tomorrow, but in case I don't--HAPPY HANNUKAH to all the Jews out there!

Thursday, December 18, 2003
Major Legal Ruling: Cows Aren't Cars

Page A1 of Wednesday's Plain Dealer: Court concurs: Cow-llision not covered

Ravenna- A cow is not a car. Just ask a judge.

A Medina County couple raised the question after hitting and killing a cow on Interstate 76.

They had sought payment under their uninsured-motorist insurance.

The 11th Ohio District Court of Appeals said no.

"A cow is self-propelled, does not run on rails and could be used as a conveyance," the court ruled recently. "However, there is no indication in the records that this particular cow had wheels."

William and Wendy Mayor hit the cow in Portage County the night of Sept. 5, 2001. Wendy Mayor was injured. The couple sued Halcyon Insurance Co. to pay for her treatment because the cow's owner rented the nearby farm and had no liability insurance.

Timothy Ita, the Mayors' lawyer, said the case is not as silly as it might look. "Most people do not realize how bad their insurance is until they have to use it for something," he said. Uninsured-motorist coverage has been reduced in recent years, he said.

The Mayors' policy defined an uninsured motor vehicle as a "land motor vehicle." The appeals court insisted that "while a cow is designed for operation on land" it is not a motor vehicle.
D. Michael Johanson, the lawyer who represented Halcyon, said uninsured-motorist insurance cannot cover animals.

"If you can't get the cow behind the wheel of a car, it's not going to work," he said.

Ladies and Gentlemen--this is a legal ruling of landmark significance! Lawyers--take note!

I mean really people--a cow is not a vehicle. (Nor are Deer for that matter) What ever happened to good old common sense? One can only wonder.

Another crazy day

Geez...I don't know why they call it vacation, if I'm working all the time. So today was crazy. Spent the morning at an appointment then driving cross suburbs. Spent an hour bringing up Hannukah stuff from the basement. Then the afternoon after a delay, finally got to the gym. Then mom decided we needed to hit a store. That, came home, had to "hide" so little brother could do work. Had dinner, fed guniea pig. Then had to work with brother. Then wash the dishes. Sat down to read. Did things on computer for mom and dad. Then set up one computer to defrag itself, then waited to for mom to be done on this machine (2 hrs)--while I read more...and finally here now.

It's ashame. Today would've been a great blogging day (in terms of content).

There was Derrick Z. Jackson's assine (make that more assinine than usual) column in the Globe. [for more jabs at Jackson and the Boston Globe as a whole, be sure to visit SillyGlobe). The man is an asshated idiotarian.

Howard Dean's campaign is acting all wimpy--complaining about that private Dem group who are running an attack ad. Speaking of Dean, calling for a cut in the "Bush Tax"---that's just dumb.

Speaking of which, that reminds me--there's a big story going on here in Cleveland with a lack of finances. A judge is supposed to rule tomorrow about whether or not the mayor can lay off ~400 fire and policemen to save money. And oh, it's a controversy.

Rumsfeld Ponders Ways of Making Saddam Talk. I've got an idea! Make him listen to music from Barney and other annoying kids TV shows! Or make him watch endless amounts of infomercials!

Okay, I guess its time for bed now

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable

That's what Drudge is reporting (via CBS): 9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable.

I don't totally disagree. For all the books and stuff I've read, there are a lot of things that could have been done against terrorists domestically way before 9/11 that could've possibly prevented the plan.

Does this mean that "Bush knew 9/11 was going to occur"? Sorry moonbats, but I don't think so. Rather, I think (like the article) that some departments and figures are in for a shuffling.

Let's start with Foggy Bottom--who knows where to start? Second, George Tenett deserved a pink slip long ago...do it already. As for people at the NSA, DIA, NRO, and other TLAs--the people are probably secrets, so, they may not even exist.

This story is definitely going to develop

Day of Errands

I didn't do very much exciting stuff today. Here's a recap of what I did:
7am--woken up by little brother
7-7:40 get brother ready for school
7:40--take brother to school
8am--back home--eat breakfast, get self together
9am-ish start cleaning up kitchen
11ish--start cleaning up other areas of the house

1:30ish--go out for errands w/ mom.
Visit new strip-mall, and wander around Barnes and Noble for a good 30-40 minutes (I was curious to see whats popular)
Then go to Trader Joe's
It was my first time in Trader Joe's and wow was I impressed. I have to start by admitting that I'm big on fruits, esp. dried fruits--and there was a whole aisle at the store of dried fruit. Then the other aisles were full of other good stuff--it was amazing.
After that, had to gas up the car, put air in the tires (did I mention that it was on/off rain snow today?)
Go to the post office, to mail an envelope. When I enter, there's a line and there are 4 clerks--then 2 somehow dissapear. I hate the post office.
Then had to kill time before picking up mom from JCC. Did that.
Went home, had to take brother to a lesson, then drive across the suburb to the library to get a book, drive back for my brother.
Then I came home and had to "dissapear" as not to distract my brother from his work. (6:45ish-8:45ish)
Fun times, no?

And this evening I've been reading or online occasionally. Fun day, no?

Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Please let it be true

Halevy: Saddam's capture likely to spur Arafat's fall

"When your enemy falls, do not be joyous and seek not revenge," former National Security Adviser Ephraim Halevy quoted the Bible in an interview Channel One, but he did offer various insights on the capture of a disheveled Saddam Hussein.

"I think Saddam's downfall shortens Arafat's leadership of the Palestinian people," he said. "Palestinians will internalize what has happened to Saddam and learn its lessons."

The sooner the better

Saddam's Defense Fund

So apparently there are actually lawyers who want to defend Saddam, according to a round up found at JBCorrigan's blog

As predicted, Ramsey Clark is willing to defend the Butcher of Baghdad. Doesn't he know that Saddam didn't tolerate communists? I guess being a dictator is good enough for Clark.

Anyone know if Stanley Cohen is going to also represent Saddam?

Idiotarianism of the Day

Well, hands down, so far the Idiotarian of the Day™ award goes to Rep. Jim McDermott (-Ba'ath--Baghdad D-Wash) for saying that Saddam's capture was timed to help Bush...

Second place goes to this knock-knock joke I got in my email:

Q: Knock Knock.
A: Who's there?
Q: Trapped like a rat.
A: Trapped like a rat who?
Q: Hey! That's just like Saddam Hussein AND the Democratic Party.

Q: Knock Knock.
A: Who's there?
Q: Evil and running free?
A: Evil and running free who?
Q: Hey! That's just like Osama Bin Laden AND the Republican Party.

Let's hear it for tolerance /sarcasm

Update Hillary Clinton is now also in the running for the day, as she today Praises Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton praised the former Soviet Union yesterday for its 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, saying that the attack helped bring women's rights to the fundamentalist Muslim country.

"The Soviets tried to provide more opportunities for women," Clinton told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, in a speech billed by her office as "her first major foreign policy address as a U.S. senator."

Contrasting the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan with that of the Evil Empire, Clinton complained, "Too soon the eyes of the administration moved from Kabul to Baghdad."

She then suggested that a Soviet-style occupation of Afghanistan, which included the wholesale slaughter of the Afghan people in a bid to install a puppet government, had its merits, since Moscow "tried to provide more opportunities for women."

Wow! Was there a mass serving of "punch" today?

Strike II

So Dean apparently gave this "Foreign policy" address thingy today. Whoop-dee-do. Yawn.

He brought up his plans for dealing with Israel, and he apparently said:

We... must bring skill and determination to a task at which the current administration has utterly failed; we can and we must work for a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians," Dean said in a speech in Los Angeles. "Our alliance with Israel is and must remain unshakeable, and so will be my commitment every day of our administration to work with the parties for a solution that ends decades of blood and tears."

Dean has said he would ask former president Bill Clinton to be his Middle East envoy if elected.

Israelis aren't stupid--they remember what happened in the 90s with the post-Oslo negiotiations. Clinton is no longer too "hot" in their books--rather his status has plummeted along with that of the Israeli Labor party (who got destroyed in last years elections).

Dean has no clue what he's talking about here (nu?) and I think this is strike II or III against him when it comes to an Israel policy

Update: Apparently I blogged too soon. Looks like Dean recycled the old "unilateral" meme during his talk today (according to LGF). Or as LGF put it: Angriest Dwarf bows to UN

Monday, December 15, 2003
What does the anti-war crowd have to say

Here's what I got in my email from some of the "progressives" I attend school with. I've mostly refrained from making detailed comments--but I'll leave it to you to form your own opinion. [As usual, names and addresses have been removed]

Hey everyone. The democrats just lost the presidential election. We just
captured Saddam Hussein. Here's to four more miserable years.

Note: I don't recall any republicans formally stating that this was a slam-dunk for the election. Rather the White House is a "Gloat Free Zone"

wrong analysis, kedar, just wait to see how the capture is gonna invigorate the resistance movement. did the capture of al quaeda teachers and leaders stop the movement? no, it simply made more people angry and new leaders emerged with al quaeda now being probably bigger than before bush's attack on afghanistan. also, remember that the ordinary iraqis do not think of saddam as a tyrant, as bush is portraying him in the us (dictator, though, he be), but think of him as an elected leader, who managed to stay in power with the help of the military. mind elected here, coz its very, very important. the invasion of iraq cannot but bring about counter-resistance, and the movement up to now has grown without saddam. now, religious zealots are simply gonna use him as a sacrifice example to gather more converts to fundamentalism. did u see how quickly al quaeda and other muslim groups forgot that saddam was fighting against muslim religious influence by trying to create a totaly civil state? they forgot past hurts and used him, when he fell, to inspire hatred. saddam is a nobody in iraq now. his capture cannot change the situation, coz iraqis are not fighting for the recreation of his state, but for their release from us occupation. if anything, the situation worsens from now on with things becoming very very troublesome for the current administration

Think of Saddam as an elected leader? What are you smoking? And the Iraqi military didn't keep him in power...he killed all deserters. How long have you had your head under the sand? BTW, the rest of your analysis isn't on target--you aren't well versed in the ways of the ME I assume.

How can we care about electoral politics at a time like this? This is an incredible day. A man responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, rapes, and tortures was caught and is going to stand trial. A man whose evil is orders of magnitudes greater than anything we've ever faced is no more. This is a day to celebrate the triumph of everything good in the world - human rights, the rule of law. Let's take today to celebrate with the Iraqis! If we can't be happy at this, haven't we lost our sense of perspective? Whether or not you supported this war, today is nothing but unmitigatedly positive.

Common sense?

visit this site [previous poster], to see how the 1983 prez reagan 's envoy to iraq,
donald rumsfeld (sounds familiar?) embraces saddam. also read the
declassified information on us dealings with saddam. if saddam does go to an
international court, then what will happen with involved us politicians?

First off, I don't think Saddam is going to the ICC. Second, we supported Iraq for a time during the Iran-Iraq war because of the greater picture within the Cold War. The USSR backed Iran (and we were still very angry at Iran over 1979)...don't forget the historical context. Oh, and the US isn't a signatory to the ICC anyway.

wow, every time i watch the mainstream media it blows my mind. its like a cartoon. this war gets more and more like GI JOE every day. i think i actually heard someone on msnbc slip up and say "we got snake eyes! now his footsoldiers will be helpless mwahahahaha!"

sure, its great that he was caught and will be 'brought to justice' and whatnot, but the analysis from the corporate media scares me to death. i mean it doesnt even make any sense. there are all these people on tv saying "well i guess this proves all the antiwar people wrong!" as if this has any relevance to an antiwar argument. nobody argued that the US didnt have the military might to "win" and nobody said we shouldnt go to war because we are too inept to capture saddam.

i just think its really important to watch out for the standard propaganda we get from the mass media. the capture of saddam is no doubt symbolically important. its wonderful news. but the way it seems to be being received here is entirely distorted. every time there is a war, the mass media chooses one singular figure to absolutely demonize. this one figure is who we are fighting, not the country. this one figure embodies the worst evil this planet has ever seen. saddam saddam saddam. showdown with saddam, the free world versus saddam. blahblahblah. i mean if thats repeated enough (and supplemented with flashy graphics), everyone starts to believe it. people think the only reason we fought this war was saddam - getting rid of this ONE person - and nothing else.

because people have bought in to that, now that we have caught him its like the entire war has found its purpose, and carried itself into fruition. that kind of mindset is really simplistic and really dangerous.

i think the only practical significance of this is a (hopefully temporary) boost in bush's approval rating

p.s. im not saying anyone on this list has that mindset! my comments werent directed at anyone in particular. im saying that thats the atmosphere the corporate media is building/has built.

Note: I think this person really smoked up too much. Perhaps a Kucinich supporter? This person is a bit too radical or of the deep end I think. The mass corporate media? Huh? And yes, there were those in the anti-war crowd who did hope (and who continue to hope) that we lose.

Finally: GI Joe is a real American hero

Then a link to an article in "The Nation" was sent out. But I try to hold some standards here--and I refuse to link to that rag.

Update Rush Limbaugh has also visited the lefty sites and found some stuff. And it looks like he found the enterance to DU

What a day

So I spent the whole afternoon cleaning house and then trying to get my little brother to the table to do his homework. That's not an easy task. Then he forgot a book at school, so I had to race him back up there, to get the book then bring him home, give him dinner, and then mom took over. Crazy times.

So as promised, I've got a compilation of sayings from Brandeis' own "progressives"...and I'll report and you decide.

Around the house

Can't really blog much right now...I'm supposed to be doing laundry, vaccuming and cleaning through piles of old crap that've been placed in my room since I went to school (fun, no?)

But here's a "Teaser" of what's to come....craziness from Brandeis' leftists (or to use their terminology "progressives") over the Hussein arrest. The post will have a major drink alert appended to it. Take my word on that one.

Sunday, December 14, 2003
One more thing on Saddam

I've read a multitude of blogs today, and there've been various statements made about what people think the Saddam captured picture looks like.

I've heard: "SF Street Bum", "Karl Marx", "Ted Kazinsky" (a.k.a. The Unibomber). Anyone else got any ideas?

More on Nabbing Saddam

Unless you've been living in a cave (or a pit) you know that Saddam Hussein is now in American custody.

I thought the President gave a good address this afternoon...he timed it very well. He did it at an hour when many people are returning from church and before football started. It was a short and succint address.

LGF has a pretty good round-up of the emotions in the arab world over Saddam's demise.

Now, I'm very suprised that Saddam went without even firing a shot; or even committing suicide. For all the preaching he's done about not being taken alive, and/or being the great arab warrior---his being taken alive without a fight is a huge insult/slap in the face--to say the least.

Saddam also represented one of the few remnants of the Ba'athist/Pan-arabist ideal--similar to the one espoused by Nasser. His going down in defeat was a major insult as well--especially at the hands of the infidels

And I could really care less that the Palestinians are "mourning" the loss of their hero Saddam. They were dancing in the streets on 9/11--so I don't have much sympathy for 'em. It's no secret that Saddam was one of the biggest financial and emotional backers of their cause (to wipe Israel off the map)...so this only serves 'em right.

Case in point: Arafat Saddened by Saddam's capture. Arafat deserves to be in jail right now (and that's only being nice)

We got him!!!

Yes, I know I'm a little late to join in on this game (but I haven't been able to get to the computer yet this morning)

We got Saddam Hussein! Woooooohoooooo! Take that you terrorists!

More to come....
(I've got chores to do)

Update: So my little brother ran into my room this morning, rather early, to wake me up (groan) and he said "they caught Saddam". Now this being my little brother, I didn't believe him, and told him that he was lying and to let me go back to sleep (I like my sleep). He said, "no really, they did". So I flaled my arms about and hit the on button to the clock radio located near my bed. It was already set to the news/sports AM station and there was a special report by ABC (Radio) News reporting that the Butcher Of Baghdad was in US Custody. Hoooray!!!!

I think that the troops of the 4th ID (and any SF troops with them) deserve a beer for this mission. We should start a 4th ID beer fund! Bartender--got any ideas?

Granted, it's not as good as the steaks Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX) is offering:

"And if the infantrymen and special forces who collared that monster are ever in Sugar Land, the steaks are on me!" DeLay said.

The blogsphere is abuzz over this...and it's obvious why. A giant HOOAH for the troops! Keep up the good work!!! Woooohoooo!

I'll give my personal analysis on this whole thing later, but for the time being, check out...oh just about any other blog for more reaction.

Saturday, December 13, 2003
Back home

I'm blogging from my room back in Cleveland now. It's very cold here (20 degree range). I'm bored out of my mind right now as well (and no, there's no cable tv at home). Let's see, I woke up not feeling well today, had a late lunch with the family, then this afternoon I went with my dad and brother on a walk to the library.

I like the local library, as it gives me a chance to catch up on reading for pleasure, which is something I don't really get to do at school. Why? Because of the lack of time, and lack of access to good titles. So already today I skimmed through "Terror Inc." (not too interesting if you're familiar with the subject material). I think I'm going to start Robert Ludlum's "The Janson Directive" next. It's supposed to be a good read. I'll periodically mention the books I've read/am reading here.

Otherwise, I'm stuck doing chores/errands around the house here (sigh). I've gotta go find something that I can fix myself for dinner too. D'oh! (well, it is better than Sherman though)

Friday, December 12, 2003
Back home I go

I'm leaving tomorrow (or I should say later today--look at the time!) to head back home to Cleveland for about a month (it's "winter break"). My schedule of fun filled vacation activities includes...uh...finishing up my grad school apps, and um...uh...I'll have to get back to you on the rest. Blogging will resume from Cleveland starting Saturday night/Sunday

Typos in Advertising

Remember the Justice Incident of late October? (look back at the archives of this blog if you don't know what I"m talking about).

Well apparently in Dallas, TX: An ad for Holiday Ad Has Hidden Hate Message--Hanukkah Flier Contains Anti-Semitic Line

Now what happened in this ad was very, very pronounced and obvious (more so than the Justice line). Yet somehow this slipped through the cracks. I can't even imagine what happened to let this occur?

Stupid Things I've said

During the course of the past week while I've either been studying for finals or helping a friend (from another school) out with her neuroscience class, I've apparently said some stupid things...and I've been "profiled" as a result.

These words of genius include:

"there's no good fruit fly porn" [when I was studying Drosophila Courtship]
"all these great diagrams... it's like neuroscience porn!" (Don't ask)

Thursday, December 11, 2003
What to say

A very slow day today...I honestly didn't do very much today. I spent about 2 hours on the phone with one friend of mine helping her out with her neuroscience course.

I've still got writers block plaguing me over my grad school admissions essays. D'oh! Oh well.

My mom also scanned in my senior pix to the computer back home and sent them over to me. No, I'm not going to post 'em. I don't like 'em much (I really don't like photos or videos of myself much). It's one of those sub-concious things I guess. I'm not really sure why.

I'm heading home to Cleveland tomorrow for winter break. So I'll be blogging from home then. I don't know how much time I'll be able to get on the computer (my house is a crazy place) but I do plan on continuing to blog.

I don't really know what else to blog about right now. Perhaps an idea will "hit" me very, very soon. We'll just have to see...

Didn't we learn this already

Palestinian prime minister warned Israel against unilateral moves...."The fire will burn, the terror will grow," he said.

The last time that Israel undertook unilateral peace moves...was the Oslo accords, and we know how well those turned out.

I see.....grass?

I woke up this morning....look out the window, and for the first time in a week I see....grass?!?!
It's raining like crazy outside right now, and the snow is melting. How soon till the floods start?

Good Punditry of the Day

There are some good columns by the Pundits today.....among the better ones:

Larry Elder: Hillary Clinton accuses Bush of 'undoing the New Deal'

If an column can be a fisking--Elder has come pretty close to doing it.

George Will: A few questions for the Democratic candidates

Now those are real questions. I wonder if we'll ever see questions like those asked at a debate any time soon. If they were asked, perhaps I'd tune in and watch?

Thomas Sowell: Economic 'Power'
Sowell addresses the "Wal-Mart boogy man". And for the record, yes, I have shopped at Wal-Mart before...many a time (if anyone cared).

Robert Novak: Dean's Urban Legend

If you're gonna read one, this is probably the one to read. Novak even makes a mention to blogs. He mentions the urban legend Dean spread that "Bush ignored Saudi Arabian warnings of the 9/11 terrorist attacks". Then goes on to examine the source of this rumor. Perhaps Pravda? The World Socialist newspaper? Not really very reliable sources, no?

Finally, Cal Thomas has a good quote in his article, over the SCOTUS upholding CFR:

Last year at a gathering of journalists in Boston, Nat Hentoff (an authority on the First Amendment) and I heard Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., respond to a question about limits to political ads one to two months before either a primary or general election. Meehan explained the limits were necessary "because that's when people are paying attention." So, when people are most interested in politics is when they should receive less information about the candidates? What kind of twisted reasoning is this?

Bad Idea Watch

In the past 24-hours, two bad ideas have floated accross the radar screens of the news:

Social Security checks could go south of border

Homeland security chief endorses legalizing undocumented immigrants


Writers Block

Damn it! I hate when this happens! I hate it when I get a bad case of writers block (like I have right now). It is...so....so....so....frustrating. I'm just struggling on writing my grad school application essays. Argh. That is all.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003
This is where my tuition dollars are going?

Long time readers may remember how I was previously griping about the extremely trimmed down amount of courses being offered. So I come across this email about a new class being offered today.

PAX [Peace, Conflict and Coexistance Studies] 120b, Inner Peace and Outer Peace

Tues and Fri, 1:30-3
ICC Lounge

3 reasons to take this class:
-They only have the funding to teach it once, so this is your only shot.
-It is being co-taught by Reya Stevens, a 20-year meditator, and Robin Moulds, who has resolved ethno-political conflicts internationally in countries including Bosnia and Cuba.
-A major part of the course will be PRACTICING MINDFULNESS MEDITATION and applying it to your daily life and the course material.

Here is a longer description:

Inner Peace and Outer Peace is a course on a leading edge of peace, conflict, and coexistence studies. It examines the relationship between peace within oneself and the creation of peace in interpersonal relationships as well as in community, national, and global arenas. It is the first time a course linking personal awareness to social and political aspects of peace and reconciliation has ever been offered at Brandeis.

Our primary approach to looking at inner peace will be the experiential practice of mindfulness meditation. Students will be guided through a progressive development of mindfulness skills and
required to meditate regularly both inside and outside of class. The meditation is designed to develop self awareness, compassion, and other qualities related to inner peace. In looking at peacebuilding and coexistence in the world, we will use readings and participatory exercises to explore the key elements and ethical challenges of coexistence and reconciliation processes and to practice inter-communal dialogue and facilitation of bi-communal conflict resolution. Throughout the course, we will examine the applicability of meditative or contemplative practices to peace and conflict resolution.

This course will be co-taught by Reya Stevens and Robin Moulds. Reya has been practicing meditation intensively for almost 20 years and has taught meditation in a wide variety of settings. Robin is a family therapist who has mediated ethno-political conflicts internationally in countries including Bosnia and Cuba. Most eager to offer this course, they will encourage students to participate actively and to think critically in a supportive and humane classroom environment.
The course is open enrollment

And this is where my tuition dollars go?

All Done

Blogger is finally back up and running.

I had my oral exam this afternoon, and boy was it rough. But it's over, that's all that matters. All over.

All that's left to do is work on my grad school essay(s). Sigh.

Off to work I go

Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Is hell really freezing over

From the AP Wire: Democrats Criticize Bush, but Sometimes Leave Out the Facts

Not so deep thoughts: Gov't Jobs

One of my suitemates is in the process of applying for jobs, and he's looking at applying for a goverment position. He then mentioned the pay range he'd receive.

Then the thought dawned on me:

If you're working for the gov't--your salary comes from Gov't revenue (better known as taxes). Then you also have to pay taxes, in essence, giving back the gov't what it gave you.

That's very messed up.

And therefore its a not so deep thought

Gravity is Out

So the campus humor/satire magazine has finally made its semester appearance on campus today. (A bit late I may add).

Now, having read it, I feel qualified to give it a review. It wasn't very good at all--even by Gravity standards.

There was only one Robert Reich joke, and it wasn't even that funny! "Jewish Eye for the Queer Guy" was significantly lacking. The "cut out your own peyos was just...stupid. The professor quotes were--eh.

It looks like the quality of humor has slipped on this campus over the course of the past couple years...sigh....
(and yes, for the record, I've seen 5+ years worth of Gravity issues--I've had to spend a few hours too many in the Media Coalition office)

My take on "Israel trains US assassination squads in Iraq"

Drudge is linking to this article in the Guardian: Israel trains US assassination squads in Iraq

Now as this is al-guardian I'm instantly somewhat skeptical of the story and or at least the way its going to be reported.

I'm going to thus break this article down:

counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, including the use of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders, US intelligence and military sources said yesterday.
The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has sent urban warfare specialists to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the home of US special forces

Now I think it's common knowledge that allied armies often train together and/or conduct joint operations. Supposively this is also very common in the Special Forces community, where they trade techniques, tactics and other tools of the trade. The IDF also has a lot of experience in Urban Warfare, so they're a great source for training and knowledge.

and according to two sources, Israeli military "consultants" have also visited Iraq

Now this is where I'd raise the first red-flag. I'm interested in knowing who these "sources" are. Are they military sources? Intel sources? Gov't sources? This is very sketchy--especially the claim that "consultants" have visited. I wouldn't be suprised if there have been some Israeli officials who have visited the country secretly; nor was I suprised to hear rumors that Israeli SF troops may have been part of the original invading force in Western Iraq (to prevent possible missle launches). Nor would it suprise me to hear that the Mossad has agents in the country. But I wouldn't expect any valid "source" to confirm this.

US forces in Iraq's Sunni triangle have already begun to use tactics that echo Israeli operations in the occupied territories, sealing off centres of resistance with razor wire and razing buildings from where attacks have been launched against US troops.

And as we noted yesterday, the number of attacks have decreased.

But the secret war in Iraq is about to get much tougher, in the hope of suppressing the Ba'athist-led insurgency ahead of next November's presidential elections

Why? Because the terrorists want a Dem in office? Or because the terrorists know that they're losing their grasp and are trying to go for one last hoorah.

US special forces teams are already behind the lines inside Syria attempting to kill foreign jihadists before they cross the border, and a group focused on the "neutralisation" of guerrilla leaders is being set up, according to sources familiar with the operations.

Another strong claim (US SF troops in Syria) from "sources"--again sketchy. But if they're attempting to neutralize the Jihadis before they cross the border, more power too 'em. As for the liquidation of guerrilla leaders...I guess the CIA is too rusty in that area to teach.

"This is basically an assassination programme. That is what is being conceptualised here. This is a hunter-killer team," said a former senior US intelligence official, who added that he feared the new tactics and enhanced cooperation with Israel would only inflame a volatile situation in the Middle East.

Emphasis on the "former" part. This individual could have a political axe to grive. It's an open secret that the US works with Israel...but to do so in such a "public" nature is not very normal--and could backfire. As for the new tactics...I'm not sure that I share that individuals view. I don't think that the locals would mind if the neighborhood thugs were no more.

"It is bonkers, insane. Here we are - we're already being compared to Sharon in the Arab world, and we've just confirmed it by bringing in the Israelis and setting up assassination teams."

This quote doesn't have a source, so I'm assuming it's the same as the former. He seems quite off his rocker.

"They are being trained by Israelis in Fort Bragg," a well-informed intelligence source in Washington said.

"Some Israelis went to Iraq as well, not to do training, but for providing consultations."

The consultants' visit to Iraq was confirmed by another US source who was in contact with American officials there.

Now, this should've been back at the top part of the article. It's sort of redundant now, but I'm not here to critique journalistic merit. I've also heard rumors that some Israeli buisness consultants may have ventured to Iraq as well.

The Pentagon did not return calls seeking comment, but a military planner, Brigadier General Michael Vane, mentioned the cooperation with Israel in a letter to Army magazine in July about the Iraq counter-insurgency campaign.

"We recently travelled to Israel to glean lessons learned from their counterterrorist operations in urban areas," wrote General Vane, deputy chief of staff at the army's training and doctrine command.

Which is harmless--simply harmless. Good armies learn from the experiences of others--both past and present.

An Israeli official said the IDF regularly shared its experience in the West Bank and Gaza with the US armed forces, but said he could not comment about cooperation in Iraq.

"When we do activities, the US military attaches in Tel Aviv are interested. I assume it's the same as the British. That's the way allies work. The special forces come to our people and say, do debrief on an operation we have done," the official said.

"Does it affect Iraq? It's not in our interest or the American interest or in anyone's interest to go into that. It would just fit in with jihadist prejudices."

eh, nu This is one smart Israeli official. He hits the hammer on the head with his comments.

Colonel Ralph Peters, a former army intelligence officer and a critic of Pentagon policy in Iraq, said yesterday there was nothing wrong with learning lessons wherever possible.

"When we turn to anyone for insights, it doesn't mean we blindly accept it," Col Peters said

That's right again! You learn from others but then you figure out what is best for your plans and make the appropriate decisions.

But I think what you're seeing is a new realism. The American tendency is to try to win all the hearts and minds. In Iraq, there are just some hearts and minds you can't win. Within the bounds of human rights, if you do make an example of certain villages it gets the attention of the others, and attacks have gone down in the area."

I don't get this "whithin the bounds of human rights" part of the quote. But the latter part of his quote rings very true, especially within the Arab world. Most then won't fight an enemy they know they can't beat. I say most as one must not forget the really wacked out fighters.

The new counter-insurgency unit made up of elite troops being put together in the Pentagon is called Task Force 121, New Yorker magazine reported in yesterday's edition.

Talk about being behind in the news. The NYT reported this factoid a few weeks ago.

One of the planners behind the offensive is a highly controversial figure, whose role is likely to inflame Muslim opinion: Lieutenant General William "Jerry" Boykin.

In October, there were calls for his resignation after he told a church congregation in Oregon that the US was at war with Satan, who "wants to destroy us as a Christian army".

And here comes the al-guardian spin. But wait, it gets better:

"He's been promoted a rank above his abilities," he said. "Some generals are pretty good on battlefield but are disastrous nearer the source of power."

Who is this "he"? That's bad writing and the editors should know better....

For more on Israel's Special Forces check out: http://www.isayeret.com

Must Read News

First off, B.C. The Imperial Torturer has a MUST READ post up over at the Rott about the failure of France's 35-hour work week system. I can only read it and laugh at all the professors here on this campus who champion such a system as being a "model".

Second, in the more amusing news section, Indymedia Israel is currently being investigated.

It's about time the Israeli gov't go after a media outlet that isn't right of center (as the Israeli goverment has frequently raided Arutz-7 and gone after right-of center figures while ignoring lefties). (Note: Israel does not have a guarenteed right to free speech like we have here in America)

Looks like much championed Brandeis alumnus Thomas Friedman lost his cool at an event the other night in NY

Monday, December 08, 2003
How much would the 12 days of Christmas Cost

According to calculations, if you were to purchase all the items in the "First Night of Christmas song"...would be $65,264.28


I've got a dilema on my hands. First off, it's finals season (yuck). Second, I've got a bad head cold (as I've mentioned before) and it's throwing me for a loop and then some.

Third, tonight (monday) the Browns are playing on Monday Night Football! (I'm blogging during a commercial). I'm torn--do I keep prepping for my exam or do I study, or should I try to balance both? (all while dealing with my cold).

Speaking of MNF, wh't's with Butch Davis' jacket? Since when is that dog the Browns logo? That doesn't look like any of the good Dawgs...

Back to work/football I go

Update: Yeah...the Browns offense (which is weak in the first place) really killed itself in the last 2 minutes or so of the first half.....sigh.....


Brandeis and the Simpsons--Part II

So yeah, the whole simpsons quote thing...that was so last nights news around here. No word yet from the Simpsons Club (yes, we have one) or the administration. And yes, there's at least one Rachel Cohen enrolled at the University.

But via Steve comes this other great quote about the city in which Brandeis is located (Waltham, MA):

"Ok tonight we're here, it's very exciting, we're here in Waltham, Massachusetts, otherwise known as 'America's Poop Hole."--Come Poop With Me - Triumph The Insult Comic Dog

News From the Middle-East

Perhaps this will get the backwards folk in Foggy Bottom to put a sock in it: US forces in Iraq adopt IDF strategy

Since adopting the new strategy US officials have noticed a sharp decrease in the number of attacks against US forces deployed in Iraq. The report quoted Lt.-Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top military commander in Iraq, who recently said that attacks on allied forces or gunfights with adversaries across Iraq had dropped to under 20 a day compared to 40 two weeks earlier.

Perhaps those Israelis do indeed know how to fight terror. Next time, don't be so hard on 'em.

Speaking of Foggy Bottom, why do they insist that we continue to fund the Palestinian Authority, especially in light of events like this: Ramallah eateries stop sale of 'American food'

The American restaurants in Ramallah include the Kentucky-style Broasted Chicken, Checkers, a local equivalent to McDonald's, Mickey Mouse Submarine, which offers an array of roast beef, cheese, grilled chicken, turkey, and burgers between buns, and Subway, the American sandwich chain.

I guess they can't say "Hamburger" 'cause it has the word "ham" in it? And I assume that "Broasted" is a typo for "roasted".

Random thought

A friend's away message today

there are two kinds of people in the world: those who like 14 degree weather and snow, and those that don't. I am one of those who doesnt. GET OVER IT EVERYONE!

I'm one of the former, those who tolerate 14-degree (and colder) weather. I'm used to it from Cleveland where cold weather and snow are very, very common.

But my question is...if you don't like cold weather, why did you choose to come to college in New England? I mean you've gotta expect these things, no?

I hate finals

Yeah, I spent the day studying for finals. Granted, in the past 24-hours, I've also come down with a bad head cold, so I didn't sleep much (stuffy nose and sinus headache) and have subsequently become a bit cranky as a result. Fortunately a friend had some pseudophedrine, and that worked okay...at time it didn't work too well...and I"m not taking any of it before bed. Too bad no one around here has any NyQuil. Perhaps I'll actually be able to make it to a drug store tomorrow (when the roads are better plowed).

So I spent today studying/prepping for finals. Today was full of hours after hours of neurogenetics. Fun...I know.

My thought of the evening: why do people research fruit fly courtship?

Sunday, December 07, 2003
Brandeis on the Simpsons

From tonight's episode of the Simpsons:

Lisa: I have an imaginary Jewish friend named rachel cohen and she just got into Brandeis!

Now naturally, there's a lot of excitement on campus that our school was mentioned on the Simpsons.

However, don't you people realize that they were making fun of our school? If you understand it, then it's really funny...

It's Back--The "Right Wing Apparatus"

From the lady who created the term "the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" comes a new term: the "right wing apparatus"

And read the rest of the article

December 7th 1941--"a date which will live in infamy"

Sixty-two years ago, our nation was attacked at Parl Harbor. The Japanese launched a suprise raid against our Naval Base in Pearl Harbor. 2,390 American lives (Navy, Army, Army Airfoce, Marines and Civilians) were lost in this unpresidented attack.

Today we remember all those who were murdered on that day, while serviing their country.

The forward superstructure and Number Two 14" gun turret of the sunken USS Arizona afire after the attack

Here was the speech that FDR gave right after the attack.

and here is the link to the USS Arizona memorial museum

More proof that the Geneva Accords are Bad

Continuing on my many posts decrying the so called "geneva accords"

Here's two articles that prove my point.

Bill Clinton offers to market Geneva Initiative

Annan: Geneva is a breakthrough

Again, must I say more?

Public Service Announcement

Today December 7th is Noam Chompsky's, idiotarian extrordinaire, 75th birthday.
In light of this "occasion", the idiotarian morelocks will likely be going crazy (yes, crazier than usual).

As such, I think it would only be appropriate that a fatwa be issued to go after the idiotarians with more vigor than usual.

This is also a warning that the idiotarians may try stupid (make that stupider than usual) things to mark this event.

You have been forwarned. That is all.

Update: For those of you not familiar wth the SOB known as Chompsky, here's a small insight: he thinks there's only a "small" problem of anti-semetism in the west

Saturday, December 06, 2003
Looks like The Dems Drank the Punch (again)

A general rule of thumb at college parties: Don't drink the punch
(you don't know whats in it)...

However, it looks like some of the Democrats have been hitting the punch a bit too much. Let's star with the french looking John F. Kerry (who by the way served in vietnam). He's reported to have said in an interview with Rolling Stone:

"I voted for what I thought was best for the country. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, 'I'm against everything'? Sure. Did I expect George Bush to f - - - it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did,"

Dropping an "F-bomb"....not a smart move for politicians. I think this is a further sign of Kerry's big time campaign troubles. Plus he's behind ~30% in NH polls to Dean.

Now another Dem has decided to spout off at the mouth, and its Hillary. She's reported to have said:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton blasts President Bush and his "radical" administration on Saturday for attempting to dismantle the "central pillars of progress in our country during the 20th century."

Clinton makes the comments to Saturday editions of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE, sources tell DRUDGE.

The former first lady says she has become convinced the Republican administration wants "to undo the New Deal," the Roosevelt-era policies that ushered in Social Security and a host of other governmental assistance programs.

Wow...I can only wish President Bush would undo some of these programs. Lets start with Privatizing social security. Unfortunately, GWB has enlarged the size of the Gov't (doh!)

She said that Bush, who campaigned as a "compassionate conservative" in 2000, had taken a "hard-right turn to pursue an extremist agenda" after moving into the White House.

What the hell is a "compassionate conservative"... and a "hard right turn" you've gotta be kidding me. Look at the Medicare Bill...the increases in Federal Spending...

"I don't know where it came from, but the fact is that this President Bush has not only been radical and extreme in terms of Democratic presidents but in terms of Republican presidents, including his own father,"

That's just beyond absurd. I think the Punch really got to her.

She believes Bush is beatable next year because his administration is "making America less free, fair, strong, smart than it deserves to be in a dangerous world."

"We have to change direction before irreparable harm is done," she adds.

She's wrong again. If trusting the UN is making us safer, than I can't imagine the future. President Bush has made our nation a lot stronger and safer

"This administration is in danger of being the first in American history to leave our nation worse off than when they found it."

I highly doubt that. What about Carter? or your husband?

The moral of the story: Don't drink the Punch


It's snowing quite hard here in Boston. We've been told to expect 18-24 inches by the time this current NorEaster ends. It's a pretty snow as well. I'll see if I can get some photos taken of it. (from a friend w/ a digital camera).

We're basically snowed in here...sadly...

Being the bright college kids we are, we've got some alcohol left over from last night (oh, what happened here was absolutely crazy--but I won't share the story).

Otherwise, nothing else to do. It's the kind of weather that makes me want to curl up in a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate.

Friday, December 05, 2003
What the GOP needs: Babes For Bush

This post from Tom of Hootinan about some idiotic group called "Babes against Bush".

You know what I think--there needs to be a counter-group...Babes for Bush.

The JerseyGOP website has a good start with their GOP Babe-of-the-Week.

But I think there's a need for a grassroots effort! I think that it would be a big boost! Whose with me?

Pundit Time

Time for some punditry links:

Bush Derangement Syndrome by Charles Krauthammer, MD

Kerry's arguments don't carry by Jonah Goldberg

The domesticated Dean by Rich Lowry

And interestingly enough, for some reason Ann Coulter has two different columns this week. The one on her website differs from that seen at TownHall.

At Town Hall there was: Massachusetts Supreme Court abolishes capitalism!

But at FrontPage Magazine and on her website was: Judicial Tyranny?

Finally, speaking of Coulter:

The new talking Ann Coulter doll is outselling all talking presidential action figures made by toy maker Talking Presidents, the company's John Warnock tells this column. ---John McCaslin

Good News and Bad News

Good News:

* My Cellular Neuroscience presentation went well (save for technical difficulties)
* I'm done with 3 courses
* Unemployment is down to 5.9%

Bad News:

*I've still got one final to go
*I've got to work on my Grad school apps
*Lori and Maripat have closed Right We Are

Fun with Idiotarian Professors

From one of the LLL professor run email lists come these two emails:

This fellow sounds remarkably like Daniel Pipes, who was enthusiastically welcomed by many of our students a few weeks ago.

Dennis Prager: "Why we fight this war"

[Note: This prof is dissapointed that Daniel Pipes was simply welcomed, let alone the fact that he had an enthusiastic welcome from many students.]

in reply to the above letter came this one:

If you really want to be depressed, listen to how right wing radio talk show hosts broadcast propaganda from Israel.


All I have to say is cry me a river. Dennis Prager is a brilliant man and a great writer. As for the radio hosts, they're defending Israel from the likes of you loony surrender lobby leftists. Perhaps we should see if we could get Mr. Prager to speak on campus next semester...hmm...

More on "Peace Studies"

Long time readers know that I'm not a big fan of "Peace Studies" programs.

We've got a "Peace, Conflict and Coexistance" program here at Brandeis. Now the school has just announced that they're offering a Masters in "Coexistance and Conflict" (and I have no clue what its all about)

Peace studies also produces "scholars" such as professors (some of whom I really dislike and have public animocisty with) who write articles like this:
September 11 and the Field of Peace Studies [warning, it's an idiotarianesque article, so you've been forwarned].

With that intro, today Rush Limbaugh reported that:

David Lynch, creator of the TV fiction Twin Peaks, seeks to raise $1 billion to create "the University of World Peace" to pursue the fiction of a world without conflict. Lynch quipped that "$1 billion is the price of a wing and a tailfin of a single B2 bomber." --UK Observer

Small problem folks, look at the B-2 Stealth Bomber (and once your done oogling over its awesome firepower and abilities)

Notice how the B-2 doesn't have a tailfin

Rush hits the nail on the head when he says

Besides, you people don't understand that you build a B2 bomber so you never have to use it! You similarly don't understand that providing for our national security is one of the few things the federal government is actually empowered to do in our Constitution; creating universities is not. Still, I'd like to know what the faculty - at the Peace University - or "P.U." - will teach? Mediation? No. That won't create "permanent peace." It didn't with Stalin or with Hitler or with Saddam or with any of history's other despots.

The only way you can create permanent peace is by surrendering. That's what the French-acting John Kerry is talking about when he says we should just show people who hate us that we mean them no harm: surrender. That's how you get peace. You give in and obey anyone who feels like picking up a butter knife and running your life. Now, I don't know why it takes a billion dollars to teach someone, "I surrender"? Nor do I know if this university will have sports teams, but if it does, I doubt very highly that they'll try to win.

The man hits the nail on the head. And people wonder why I think the field of "Peace Studies" is a total and complete joke...

Powerpoint Presentation

At long last, if anyone is interested, you can view my powerpoint presentation on Voltage Gated Calcium Channels. [opens in new window, powerpoint or powerpoint viewer required]

Thursday, December 04, 2003
More on the Geneva Accords

More signs that the Geneva Accords are bad:

*Jimmy Carter Likes it; Bill Clinton Likes It
*Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan like it
*The NY Times is fawning over it

Doesn't anyone else remember how the NY Times oogled over the "Saudi Peace Plan" (what an oxymoron)?

Thank goodness there are op-ed writers like Jeff Jacoby and Steven Plaut (among others) who have Clue™