News and Opinion Based on Facts

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Avoid Arabia

A BRITISH couple who had sex on the beach in Dubai will stand trial next month,
it emerged last night.
Publishing executive Michelle Palmer, 36, and IT firm
boss Vince Acors, 34, were arrested during a romp on a sun lounger.
Authorities in the Muslim state said the pair will go on trial on August 21
for having sex in public and outside marriage and drunkenness.
Acors, of
Bromley, Kent and Palmer, of Oakham, Rutland, could be punished by up to six
years in jail.
The lovers – who met hours earlier – claimed they were too
drunk to recall their actions on Jumeirah Beach.But a legal source in the United
Arab Emirates said:
“DNA tests proved they had sex that day and now they
must face the consequences.
“There is every chance they will be made an
example of.”

Dubai wants tourists.
Dubai counts on tourism.
They are staking their future on it.
Don't go to Dubai as a tourist.
Don't invest in a country that despises G-d and non-hypocritical religion.
If this woman goes to prison she will be forced to practice the Islamic cult, with its misogynist trappings, and will probably be raped repeatedly by "holy" Arab jailers.
The Muslims persecute women daily.
In the hottest part of the year they make females dress like walking tents, they teach young girls to hate themselves, they practice female "circumcision", and in most Arab countries they deprive women of any rights whatsoever, condemning them as worse than property.
The fact is that Muslims are not capable of running their countries in a civilized way.
Michelle Palmer is known by associates to be kind and charitable, a friend said ,"She is the kindest person I know."
One hopes that the British Government intervenes and extricates these two hapless individuals who are guilty of nothing more than poor judgement.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Responsibilty, Honesty

Will the American electorate hold the Republican Party responsible for lying?
McBush has put out an add saying that Obama is responsible for high gas prices.
Their surrogates say, "Obama is for an immediate unconditional pullout from Iraq. "
He has stated that he would pull the troops out as soon as conditions allow it, based on conditions in Iraq.
We support keeping troops in Iraq, our presence is a moderating influence on the region, and it is beneficial for the average Arab and others to see that we are a civilized, decent people.
Our presence may be needed militarily if the Iranian Government decides to practice extermination on the Jewish People, as their President has promised to do.
But make no mistake, the American people are being lied to.
President Bush lied about why we went into Iraq in the first place..or perhaps he was bamboozled by Cheney.
But we were lied to.
5000 Americans have died, poor Americans, Americans who joined the service because it offered a career opportunity.
We respect the courage of the troops, their is no questioning that.Young Americans have shown amazing courage and decency.
But the Bush administration screwed up horribly by disbanding the Iraqi military.We are only now beginning to recover from this disaster.
This mistake cost lives.
It is time for a change,part of the appeal of Obama seems to be that he speaks eloquently and fluently, and the reason he does so, and this is worth noting, is that he believes what he says.
The Republicans keep trying to hustle the electorate by scaring them, they say that Obama is a radical leftist.
He is a moderate, a liberal.
There is no question in my mind that this country does need change.
The Obama candidacy has exposed a side of America that I hadn't expected to see, a resurgence, in whispers, of racism.
Someone actually said to me, "America does not want a nigger for president."
I hadn't heard that word for some time except from black people, I was somewhat shocked, and yet, I have had the same reaction from others, without the use of the word "nigger", including a former Judge, a self proclaimed liberal.
The Klan used to say that if one had a drop of African blood, he was a "nigger".
It is frightening and even disgusting to see otherwise decent people seeming to embrace this racist ideology.
I have very little respect for McCain since his campaign is based on willful distortion of Obama's positions.
We do not need another liar as president.
What we need is frankness and honesty, and education.
We do not need more divisiveness.America is changing into some type of distortion of itself, where compassion is called leftism and outright lying passes for political discourse.
Obama's passion is for people, all people, not black, not white, people.We desperately need morality back in the white house, and the candidate picked by the Republicans has not shown any of this quality.
We need change.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Will Obama Pull a McBush?

Verb: To commit a faux pas or fault or silly error
Noun: A stupid incompetent fool, A person who amuses other by ridiculous behavior; a goofball

The world watches as Senator Obama conducts his fact finding mission in Iraq. Although he's known as an intelligent and knowledgeable Senator, mistakes and misstatements can happen.

Observers wonder if he could, for example, get into a discussion about a country that hasn't even existed for almost twenty years, or confuse the Sunni and Shiite brands of Islam, or believe that Al Qada is being trained in Iran, or one of his advisers might believe the American recession is in the minds of the American people, or that the Americans are a bunch of Whiners.

In short, will he pull a McBush?

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You're Beautiful........

Listening to the tune by James Blunt, rather an emotional tune, isn't it?
Anyone have an idea about its meaning?
I'm thinking from the video that when he says "I've got to face the truth, I will never be with you...", and jumps off of the cliff, he's committing suicide.

I've become convinced that although I believe Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time, as long as we are there, and it's so close to Israel, we probably should remain.
The Arabs and the Iranians are making noises like they want to attack Israel, so we can either dissuade them in advance or head them off and defeat them if they are stupid enough to try.

A shout out to an incredible woman, she is helping to raise my babies, Maryanne Blackburn, thank you.
She has also helped me in lots of other ways, but that's a story for another post.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Trade or No Trade

This blog is essentially my "personal" blog, it consists chiefly of items that are of general interest rather than news or news related items, however, sometimes, often in fact, when reading the articles by Professor Rubin, I am so moved by them that I am almost compelled to print them here, as well as on IsraelAmerica
This is such an article, I hope readers overcome whatever "news aversion" we all share to some degree and ponder this significant article.

Barry Rubin
July 9, 2008

The Israeli prisoner exchange with Hizballah is a psychological victory for both sides. Nevertheless, I don't like the decision, I understand both ends of the debate over it, and my job is to analyze them. So rather than make some simple conclusion, I want to think out loud with you about all the factors involved.
For Israelis, the prime consideration--something a world which so often demonizes them fails to understand--is to feel that they have acted in a proper humane manner. Everyone can put themselves in the place of the two families who want their son's bodies to come home rather than to be in the hands of their murderers.
Of course, Hizballah draws confidence from this deal, yet so do most Israelis who feel confident enough to throw back some captured terrorists. There's some pride of trading more for fewer, as if the other side admits its low concern for its own people, a concept central to its general indifference to their lives and well-being.
At the same time, the other side's behavior shows what kind of people they are and want to be. Samir Kuntar is in no way a hero. He murdered a father and killed his four-year-old daughter, and the mother accidentally smothered her baby trying to hide from him, as well as two policemen.
Yet this is the criminal made a hero in Lebanon and among Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders. Even the anti-Hizballah Druze party in Lebanon (Kuntar is a Druze) welcomed him home as a great man.
No one in the Arabic-speaking world will say a single negative word about Kuntar's deed or his being made a hero, despite a small liberal minority's disgust.
Suddenly, memory transports me to a balcony in Beirut. The year is 1974 and I am looking out over the city next to my professor, the late Hisham Sharabi. With his sad face and sadder voice, Sharabi--a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause --told me that the terrorism used against Israel was shameful and some day Arabs should and would speak out against it.
He himself never did so in the 30 years remaining to him. I don't doubt his sincerity, only his priorities and the system imprisoning his spirit though he lived physically outside of it.
But what about those who are free, both inside and outside? Will Western media and intellectuals understand not just that "terrorism is bad" as such but comprehend a massive cultural-political system that dare not break from it in a meaningful way, and draw appropriate conclusions?
On the contrary, they--many don't but too many do--often extol, sympathize, or apologize for it. I'm reading the great Shai Agnon's novel Shira, set in the 1930s. A Hebrew University professor who fled Germany has an article accepted by a European journal. Despite intense anti-Semitism, often supported by European scholars, Agnon concludes, "Scholarship has its own dominion, which villainous hands fail to rock." Alas, how hollowly that rings today, Even if the prisoner exchange is understandable it is at best a terrible dilemma. Yet the New York Times sees it as a role model for diplomacy. Its June 30 editorial explains:
"Few countries can afford the luxury of limiting their diplomacy to friendly countries and peace-loving parties. National security often requires negotiating with dangerous enemies. Fortunately, Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, is now displaying a clearer grasp of such realities than President Bush has mustered."
In other words, if terrorists attack you it's a good thing to release murderers in a deal, not just to soothe the pain of families but as a centerpiece of national strategy. It is such a superb notion it proves the United States and other countries should negotiate with Iran, Syria, Hizballah, and Hamas over their political demands. Presumably, this entails big concessions and letting radical forces escape sanctions and isolation.
This is bizarre logic. It does spring from Israel violating its own guidelines, not for the first time, on negotiating with terrorists, but is an extraordinary, dangerous extrapolation from what is somewhere between a necessary tragedy and a mistake.
What is unforgivable in the deal itself was to include Palestinian prisoners. This was certainly unnecessary--would Hizballah reject getting its own men back?--and signals Palestinians that Hizballah (and hence Iran and Syria) are their true guardians.
As a Hizballah statement put it, "Our prisoners are freed not by words and not by diplomacy or tears and kisses...." In other words, support Hamas, not the PA; back terrorist groups, not Arab relative moderates; follow Iran, not Egypt.
A PA official told Ynet: "Everyone today knows that Israel only understands force. Prisoners, we see again, can only be freed by pressuring Israel and not through negotiations." Typically, the official ignores the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who have been freed due to past talks, only to be replaced by new ones as terrorism continued. One more example of how concessions bring neither sympathy nor moderation.
Hizballah, of course, will now move to the next item on its list, a small area of Syria which it claims is Lebanese occupied territory. Hizballah, and Hamas, probably even Fatah) will try to take more Israeli hostages and continue the cycle. Yet while it seems obvious to say that such an exchange encourages them to do so, the truth is that they would act this way any way.
So was the prisoner exchange the wrong thing to do? On one hand, there is an element of pride knowing government is responsive to individual citizens' demands, but on the other hand there is a strategic cost to be paid for such a policy.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal.

His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This morning, while shopping for a bit of food, I was delayed somewhat in the check out line.
I sighed, "So what else is new?"
Time seemed suspended as an elderly lady debated something with the cashier.
She had what looked like a coupon of some sort in her hand.
The fellow in front of me held two loaves of bread, some milk, cereal, lunch meat and some snacks in a blue plastic hand-carrier.
" I bet you thought you were going to get right in and out, eh?" I smiled.
There were three of us in the store and time was passing as the cashier called for assistance over the intercom.
The man had brown hair, graying at the temples, horn- rimmed glasses and a peaceful expression.
He shifted the carrier to his other hand, “Are you Jewish?”, he asked.
The question sort of surprised me, “Why do you ask?” I queried.
He said, “You look Jewish.”
I didn't know exactly what he meant, but I said “I am.”
He stuck his hand out to shake.
We shook hands. “Are you Jewish?” I asked in turn.
“I am.” he replied.
“Cool.” I responded.
He smiled, “So how are we doing?” He asked.
“oh, I guess we're doing okay, there's still a lot of Antisemitism, but it's not as bad as it could be.
The Arabs are still terrorizing Israel...but Jews have made gains, again, it's not as bad as it might be.”
He looked into my eyes ”How are you doing?”
“I'm doing okay, I'm keeping my head below water, keeping the wolf at the door. You know, as long as you have your health, your family...”
He smiled again, “Are you going to lend me some money?”
He seemed like a gentle man asking what seemed an odd question.
“No,” I said, “ I don't really have it. I'm in sort of a trough.”
He looked at me again, “What's a trough?”
“A low spot, financially. A slight depression.”
He ran a slender hand through his graying hair, “Are you a lawyer?”
“No. I'm not as lawyer.”
He sighed, “I am. I'm a lawyer.”
He said, just as the cashier indicated the elderly lady had finally done her business.
The cashier said, “How are you today?” and proceeded to ring up his items.
He gave her a couple of dollars for herself and gestured to the items, “This is my mitzvah for today. My neighbors are having some money problems. I thought this might help a little.” He looked at me with a warm smile, “Could you use a few bucks?”
“No, thanks, I'm ok. It's kind of you to offer though.”
We exchanged pleasantries and went our separate ways.
But he got me thinking of mitzvahs.

So here is mine.
Its about hope.
Its about hope that people will rise above pettiness, and ignorance, and prejudice, and do as these Arabs have done.

There is a web site called Arabs for Israel
which I discovered by typing the words “Arabs” for Israel into the Google search box, just wishing to know if there were any Arabs for Israel.
The site touched my heart.
Now I am speaking to Arabs who wind up on this site, which lately, a few have, listen to these wise gentle words.
The middle-east is so morally bankrupt, yet it has the ability to turn around completely, not only to take its rightful place in the community of nations, but to be a leader of the world community.
The Jews are ready, nay, eager, to work with the Arabs to lift everyone up, to have peace and love and prosperity.
Here is an excerpt from the Arabs for Israel web site:

Who We Are

We are Arabs and Moslems who believe:
We can support Israel and still support the Palestinian people. Supporting one does not cancel support for the other.
We can support the State of Israel and the Jewish religion and still treasure our Arab and Islamic culture.
There are many Jews and Israelis who freely express compassion and support for the Palestinians. We Arabs also express reciprocal compassion and support.
The existence of the State of Israel is a fact that we accept.
Israel is a legitimate state that is not a threat but an asset in the Middle East.
Every major World religion has a center of gravity. Islam has Mecca, and Judaism certainly deserves its presence in Israel and Jerusalem.
Diversity is a virtue not only in the USA, but would be beneficial around the world. We support a diverse Middle East with protection for human rights, respect and equality under the law to all minorities, including Jews and Christians.
Palestinians have several options but are deprived from exercising them because of their leadership, the Arab League and surrounding Arab and Moslem countries who have other goals besides seeing Palestinians live in harmony with Israel.
If Palestinians want democracy they can start practicing it now.
It will benefit Arabs to end the boycott of Israel.
We can resolve our conflicts using non-violent means. Sending our young people on suicide/homicide missions as a form of Jihad is a distortion of Islam. We can do better.
We are appalled by the horrific act of terror against the USA on 9/11/2001.
It will be better for Arabs when the Arab media ends the incitement and misinformation that result in Arab street rage and violence. We support the Arab media providing coverage of ways that people of all religions are and can live together in harmony.
We are eager to see major reformation in how Islam is taught and channeled to bring out the best in Moslems and contribute to the uplifting of the human spirit and advancement of civilization.
We believe in freedom to choose or change one’s Religion.
We cherish and acknowledge the beauty and contributions of the Middle East culture, but recognize that the Arab/Moslem world is in desperate need of constructive self-criticism and reform.
We seek dialogue with Israel. We invite you to join us on a path of love.
We are NOT:
Anti-Islam, Anti-Arab, confrontational or hateful.
We remember with deep sadness and respect the brave Arabs, known and unknown, who were killed or severely punished for promoting peace with Israel; a special thanks to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt who was killed at the hands of Militant and Radical Islamists after he signed the peace treaty with Israel.
We salute and commend Arab and Moslem writers, scholars and speakers, who found the strength, commitment and honesty in their hearts to speak out in support of Israel. We thank you for being the pioneers that you are and for holding such sophisticated and advanced views in the realm of Arab and Moslem thinking. You are inspiring us all.
Quran:28:4 Behold, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and divided its people into castes. Asad(28,3) [3] One group of them he deemed utterly low (The Children of Israel); he would slaughter their sons and spare (only) their women: Asad(28,4) [4] for, behold, he was one of those who spread corruption [on earth].
Quran: 28:5 And We (G-d) wished to be Gracious to those (The Children of Israel) who were being depressed in the land, to make them guiding lights for others and make them heirs.
A message from T.Hamid: If G-d himself wants to be gracious to the Children of Israel should not I also be Gracious to them! May G-d bless them all and keep them for the world to make it better and better.
Israel in the Quran
2:47 Children of Israel! call to mind the favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other nations. 2:122 O Children of Israel! call to mind the favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other nations.
7:137 And We made the children of Israel, who were considered weak (and of no account), inheritors of lands in both east and west, - lands whereon We sent down Our blessings. The fair promise of thy Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy, and We leveled to the ground the great works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected (with such pride). 17:104 And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land of promise": 10:93 We settled the Children of Israel in a beautiful dwelling-place, and provided for them sustenance of the best: it was after knowledge had been granted to them.
20:80 O ye Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and We made a Covenant with you to give you the right side (the blessed side) of Mount Sinai, and We sent down to you Manna (special food) and quails.
26:59 Thus it was, but We made the Children of Israel inheritors of such things (the promised land)
45:16 We did aforetime grant to the Children of Israel the Book the Power of Command, and Prophet hood; We gave them, for Sustenance, things good and pure; and We favored them above all other nations.
44: 32 And We have chosen them (the Children of Israel) above the 'Alamîn (mankind, and jinns) and our choice was based on a deep knowledge.
32.23] And certainly We gave the Book to Moses, so be not in doubt concerning the receiving of it, and We made it a guide for the children of Israel.[32.24] And We made of them Guiding Lights and leaders to guide by Our command as they were patient, and they were certain of Our communications.
[17:104] And we said to the Children of Israel afterwards, “ scatter and live all over the world…and when the end of the world is near we will gather you again into the Promised Land”.
(Comment : This last verse proves that the Quran is declaring that it is the will of G-d himself to gather the children of Israel again in their promised land before the end days. Accordingly, No Muslim has the right to interfere with gathering the Jews in Israel again as this is the will of G-d himself. In addition, Honest analysis of the Quranic verses above leads to the conclusion that the West Bank and Gaza are better called the “occupied” Israeli land.

Tarek Hamid

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Evelyn Marie Blackburn, Pt. 2

Evelyn sat in her immaculately decorated office, stirring a cup of heavily sugared black coffee, daydreaming about the young man she had met yesterday, it was really all she could think of.
She had reports to type up, and she labored diligently, but her mind was in Oklahoma, 200 miles away.
Suddenly the intercom lit up and Sally, the receptionist chirped, “Evey, your Mama's here. She wants to know if you have a minute.”
Evelyn sighed, “Sure, Sally, send her in.”
Evelyn's mother, whom everyone called “Honey”, made her entrance.
Honey was as strikingly beautiful as her daughter, although she was nearing forty, and working on her fifth husband.
She wore ermine and pearls, everything matching and radiating substance and money.
She glided over to the desk and planted a lip-sticked kiss on Evelyn's cheek.
“Sweetheart, I was having drinks at the club just down the street with the nicest man, and I thought I should stop by and see how my little girl is getting along.”
Evelyn arched an eyebrow,”Someone new Honey? Aren't you a married woman?”
Honey leaned over the desk and looked into Evelyn's eyes “Aren't you?”
Evelyn flushed “What do you mean, Mama?”
Honey reached into her alligator bag for a cigarette, “This is a small town, Sweetheart. People talk, and talk gets around.”
“If you have something to say, Honey, just say it. I hate it when you get cryptic with me.”
Honey lit the cigarette and exhaled a stream of smoke which curled slowly to the ceiling.
“People say you were out with a man yesterday, around lunch time. A very handsome man, and that he was all over you, too.”
Evelyn composed herself.
She'd never been much of a liar.
She had never really had a reason to be.
“It was a client from that modeling agency, we discussed a job, that's all, and he was not all over me.”
Honey appraised Evelyn coolly.
“O.K. Kid. Whatever you say. But I guess I should warn you, a friend of mine recognized him, and he does have something of a reputation.”
Evelyn started, “A reputation? A reputation for what, Honey?”
Suddenly Honey was uncomfortable, she realized that her child had been interested in this man, that at least some of the gossip she'd heard had a basis in fact.
“ He has a reputation for seducing pretty women, Evelyn, that's his reputation.
He has a nickname, too, they call him the “influence”, some of the girls say he has a 'power”.”
Evelyn could feel a cool bead of sweat on her forehead.
She was meeting Dick in half an hour for drinks at the Palomino Bar.
She looked up at Honey, her blues eyes glistening, she said softly, “Mama, I can take care of myself.
I appreciate that you worry about me, but I have my husband, and my home. I'll be fine, don't worry.”
Her mother fingered the strand of pearls around her neck self-consciously, and smiled, “O.K., Sweetheart. I just don't want...I know men, Sweetheart, and you are right. You have a fine husband, he has a great future in this town. I just don't want you to be taken advantage of by some out of control sexual adventurer, that's all.”
Evelyn looked at the clock on the wall, twenty minutes until she met Dick.
“I know, Mama, I do appreciate it.” A warmth of affection for her Mother ran through her at that moment.
They exchanged pleasantries and Honey left.
Evelyn lit a cigarette, put the pack pack in her bag and went to meet “The Influence” for lunch.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Evelyn Marie Blackburn

Evelyn Marie Blackburn was my mother's name.
She was born in Harris County, Texas in the period before the second world war.
She was an incredible, blue-eyed, dark haired beauty.
She did some modeling in her teens.
I remember seeing a calendar she appeared in for a tool company.
She met and married a young accountant named Jack Brashier.
She married him to get away from home, marriage was typically the way attractive women made the break from the nest in those days.
She was intelligent and philosophical.
She tried to be a good wife to Jack, but her heart was not in it.
She wanted a man who would sweep her off her feet, and finally she met him.
She had gotten a call from the modeling agency about another calendar job, a local tool and die executive wanted to meet her over lunch.
Her contact at the agency told her, "I spoke to the guy.
He came by here.
Nice fella, all business.
I think you'll like him."
Her boss set up the date for lunch, and she met Richard Blackburn at a local dinette.
They ordered beer and sandwiches and Richard did most of the talking.
"I saw your calendar for Acme tool and Die.
You know, Ma'am, you are even prettier in person.
I have big plans, Evelyn, and I feel like you should be part of them."
He gazed into her eyes with an intensity that made her tingle.
She had never felt this way before, but she knew this was the way it should feel between a man and a woman.
She looked shyly at her slender fingers, her cheeks hot, her long, dark lashes caressing them.
"Richard..I.." she whispered.
"Dick." He said softly. "Everyone calls me Dick."
Her deep blue eyes met his dark brown ones for a moment and she went on hesitantly, "Dick. I'm married."
Dick reached out and with both of his hands covered hers.
"You are not happy, though, Evelyn. You made a mistake. I know this. I can feel it."
Evelyn's mind raced, she thought of Jack, his kindness, his gentleness, and a tear trickled down her cheek.
She looked up at him.
He was incredibly good-looking, she thought.
Sandy brown hair, deep, intelligent brown eyes, a broad forehead.
Muscular and graceful in motion.
And, she thought, he has some kind of force, something that emanates from within.
She felt lost and found simultaneously.
"Dick, I can't do this. I can't become my mother."
He looked into her eyes and smiled, "You are yourself, Evelyn. There is no one else like you. I know. Evelyn, if I've ever known anything, I know this; you and I were created to be together."
He reached across the table and wiped a tear from her cheek.
"I will make your life worth living. And you will do that for me. Together we will be complete. Forever."
Evelyn felt a strange trembling, fear maybe.
But she knew that she would never be able to go on as she had before.

To Be Continued