"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fucking Piece Of Shit!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Banana Phone...For LadyBanana



Disclaimer of this post...I really do not understand this at all...but it's kind of funny in that it keeps singing banana phone and I love Ladybanana. :)

Update: Ladybanana left this on the comments. Perhaps the above video is in response to making people listen to this?



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Camille Paglia On The Fairness Doctrine to shreds

http://en.sevenload.com/videos/VXZTSBd-Fairness-Doctrine

(I tried embedding this audio, but it's not happening. Sorry folks. Please click through and listen to Camille.)

BTW she voted for Obama. So to Camille, with all due respect I am asking you WHY? I've heard your positions since I was a babe in college. The women's studies program I was forced to take classes from ripped you to shreds, while I thought what a fantastic outspoken and independent-minded woman you were and how YOU were the living example of the women's movement, doing and speaking and thinking as you wanted and not how someone else dictated that a woman should be...which I often find from women themselves...and yet you voted for Obama.

I listened to you live on the radio when you said these comments and I re-listened and hear a certain value system and I ask you today, how could you not see that Obama and the current democratic party did not/does not share your values and would not keep his promises?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

York College In Canada

Home of the liberally-minded nation...York College is in the Toronto area of Canada.

Just read this article to see what is happening with our neighbors to the north.

Ah yes...let the healing begin...MY ASS!

And then there's this boycott from the union that makes up educators in Canada: CUPE union votes for academic boycott of Israel. CUPE stands for Canadian Union of Public Employees.

There is speculation in Canada that the CUPE Union leader is from the south of Ireland and has been funded by the IRA.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Paula Abdul..No Fucking Way! ...WAY!



OK Paula I really had no idea you were Jewish...I mean seriously ABDUL? ABDUL? But now that the cat's outta da bag...please lay off the sauce. We've got enough PR problems without your weird alcoholic-like behavior on national television, ok?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Carroll Street, Brooklyn



I happened to be near the street and building where my mother grew up. 1730 Carroll Street.

Mom has great memories of growing up there. She said it was great to be so close to Lincoln Terrace Park and she never felt poor, although she realized later on as an adult that she was poor.

She always talks about how everyone knew everyone and what a great community it was.

So I thought since I already had my camera with me I'd drive by and take some photos for her. I didn't realize just how funny this one was until I got home and put it on the computer. If you haven't spotted it yet, just look at the one way sign.

Sadly I think that does describe the neighborhood today.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Raymond Ibrahim testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives

(I wrote a little about this topic in an earlier post this month. Now read about it from the inside of the Islamic community.)

-- also known as "radical Islam." What follows is the text of my formal witness statement to the House Armed Service Committee: "Strategies For Countering Radical Islamist Ideologies: Overcoming Conceptual Difficulties, by Raymond Ibrahim." The PDF can be found here. To listen to the actual hearing, click here.

The greatest hurdle Americans need to get over in order to properly respond to the growing threat of radical Islam is purely intellectual in nature; specifically, it is epistemological, and revolves around the abstract realm of “knowledge.” Before attempting to formulate a long-term strategy to counter radical Islam, Americans must first and foremost understand Islam, particularly its laws and doctrines, the same way Muslims understand it—without giving it undue Western (liberal) interpretations. This is apparently not as simple as expected: all peoples of whatever civilizations and religions tend to assume that other peoples more or less share in their worldview, which they assume is objective, including notions of right and wrong, good and bad.

The mainstream interpretation, particularly in academia, of radical Islam is that it is a byproduct of various sorts of discontent (economic, political, social) and has little to do with the religion itself. To trace “jihadist” violence to Islam itself is discouraged; in academia, it may be treated as anathema.

Americans think this way because the secular, Western experience has been such that people respond with violence primarily when they feel they are politically, economically, or socially oppressed. While true that many non-Western peoples may fit into this paradigm, the fact is, the ideologies of radical Islam have the intrinsic capacity to prompt Muslims to violence and intolerance vis-à-vis the “other,” irrespective of grievances. Obviously, when radical Islam is coupled with a sense of grievance—real or imagined—the result is even more dramatic.

Conceptually, then, it must be first understood that many of the problematic ideologies associated with radical Islam trace directly back to Islamic law, or sharia. Jihad as offensive warfare to subjugate “infidels” (non-Muslims); mandated social discrimination against non-Muslim minorities living in Muslim nations (the regulations governing ahl al-dhimma); general animosity and lack of sincere cooperation vis-à-vis non-Muslims (as articulated in the doctrine of al-wala’ we al-bara’)—all of these are clearly defined aspects that have historically been part of Islam’s worldview and not “open to interpretation.”

For example, the obligation to wage expansionist jihad is as “open to interpretation” as the obligation to perform the Five Pillars of Islam, such as praying and fasting. The same textual sources and methods of jurisprudence that have made it clear that prayer and fasting are obligatory, have also made it clear that jihad is also obligatory; the only difference is that, whereas prayer and fasting is an “individual” duty, jihad is understood to be a “communal” duty (a fard kifaya).

The prophet of Islam, Muhammad himself said: “He who wages jihad in the path of Allah — and Allah knows who it is who wages jihad in his path — is as commendable as one who continuously fasts and prays [emphasis added]. Allah guarantees if he who fights for his cause dies, he [Allah] will usher him into paradise; otherwise, he will return him to his home safely, with rewards or war booty.” 1

By and large, then, to assert that radical Islamic groups, such as al-Qaeda, have “hijacked” or “distorted” Islam is unsatisfactory.1 They and others have spent much time and effort justifying their actions via Islamic law, and have been by and large successful.2 The unique role radical groups have been playing since the early 20th century is not so much distorting Islam, but rather bringing sharia back to the forefront of Islamic society, giving it a renewed sense of urgency, insisting to fellow Muslims that the root cause of all their troubles is that they have abandoned the laws of Allah and so must begin to tenaciously adhere to them.

That said, radical Muslims have further managed to exploit what the law maintains by making clever arguments. For instance, al-Qaeda’s number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, argues that, if offensive jihad is an obligation on the Muslim world—and it is—how much more is to be expected from Muslims when they are defending their territories from aggressors, the usual culprits being Israel or the U.S? He goes on to quote from prominent Islamic scholars, such as the medieval jurist, Ibn Taymiyya, who decreed centuries ago that, whenever “infidels” invade the Islamic world, the greatest obligation Muslims have, after faith itself, is to wage a defensive jihad. According to this popular definition, even women and children are required to participate—as evidenced among the Palestinians and in Iraq.

Being able to understand all this, being able to appreciate it without any conceptual or intellectual constraints is paramount for Americans to truly understand the nature of the enemy and his ultimate goals. Any attempts at formulating a proper strategic response without this necessary data is doomed to failure, especially in the long-term. Unfortunately, recent developments are indicative that the opposite is happening.

For example, far from closely examining Muslim doctrines and ideologies, a recent government memo, arguing that “words matter,” has all but banned several Arabic words that connote Muslim ideology and doctrine from formal discourse—such as mujahid, jihadi, umma, sharia, caliphate, and so on—asking analysts to rely primarily on generic terms, such as “terrorists.” However, without knowing the ideology that fuels any particular terrorist group one will be severely handicapped in trying to formulate a counter-strategy.

Censorship3 hardly seems to be a strategic response at this juncture.
Finally, while Americans appear to be suffering from the ability to appreciate the idiosyncrasies of Islam’s worldview, many radicals have proven themselves expert at understanding—and thus exploiting—the worldview of the liberal West. For example, al-Qaeda and many other radicals make it a point to intentionally use the language of political grievance when addressing Americans, only to abandon such language when talking to fellow Muslims, instead stressing only what Islamic law demands, such as jihad.

Before addressing the two, interconnected failures hampering the formulation of an effective strategy vis-à-vis radical Islam—education and epistemology—it is imperative that the reader better understand what sharia law is and how it is articulated, as this is pivotal to understanding how “knowledge” and hence “truth” is established within a purely Islamic paradigm.


The rest, including footnotes, can be read here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday



OK almost wordless Wednesday...

If you ever wanted to know what your dog does when you leave him in the car...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Freecycle Is Awesome

Five Bottles Of Beer On The Wall...

A while back I joined this really cool online community called Freecycle. If you've never heard of them here's how it works:

You go to freecycle.com and follow the instructions to type in your zip code. It will take you to your local group which usually uses a yahoo group format. Voila! You're in.

Freecycle is a community built on the idea of giving your stuff away. You have a nice chair you no longer need or want? Just list it and someone who does need it will say they want it. You arrange to be there for them to pick it up and it's taken off your hands.

I got my leather computer desk chair I am sitting on at this very moment, through Freecycle.

I read the daily digest of offers and wants each day because I often get a giggle out of the things people will list.

Today I saw this one:
offer: 5 bottles of beer
Posted by:
Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:41 pm (PST)
2 bottles Long Trail Blackberry Wheat3 bottles Blue Point Blueberry Ale


Seriously folks! Beer. 5 bottles.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How To Make A Profit

Mom and I were talking about her work situation, the economy and the squeeze that management is making on the hard-working employees. Apparently they are no longer allowed to even talk to each other...as there is a snitch in the office and talking about your family to your coworkers is unproductive.


Well if you've been reading my blog for even a short time I think you know what kind of answer fell out of my mouth. It's similar to the script that Dani would be heard saying...and starts with FUCK THAT SHIT!


It's just a crock of crapola on a stick. It goes against every known psychological factual study to squeeze your employees like that. Just do some simple google searches and you'll find many books to back me up here.

Thank goodness for my mother that she is now working part-time of her own doing, semi-retired.

I doubt the owner of her company will ever wake up enough to realize he is ruining the morale of his company. He's too busy shtuping a woman younger than I, that he met at a bar and insisted be given a desk job in his company....snitch snitch snitch. (The man is in his 70's--- can you say ICK!?)





If you still need proof that putting your employees first, and not cutting salaries and laying off people actually grows your company's profits even in a bad economy, just check out these companies:





Nugget Market


Devon Energy


Aflac


QuikTrip


The Container Store


NuStar Energy


Stew Leonard's


Scottrade


Publix Super Markets





Yahoo did a write up on them here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Caption This Contest Winners...FINALLY

OK I must be the lamest blogger contest giver ever. I ran this Caption This Contest last month and then forgot all about it. What a dork! Sorry.

So without further delay...as if that could be possible I've chosen winners and will be giving you entrecard points as promised. In fact you should have already received them before this has posted.

First place goes to :
Chat Blanc said...
Trippin' the light fantastic kitteh sytle!

Second place goes to:
One Crazy Chick! said...
"Dude, It's Your turn."

and Third place goes to:
Susie said...
Olympic Doubles Feline Light Dancing:-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

NO FUCKING STIMULUS BILL!



Hat Tip Matt-Speak...although he would never use the "F" word like I did!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Little In Your Face Truth

I've posted and will continue to post the truth about Islam and terrorism but today I want to outline a truism about this situation that I think is not being spoken about clearly.

On Yahoo this week there was a news story about another murder of, this time, a Polish citizen who was killed by terrorists. They name themselves a lot of different things, Al Quaida, Hamas, Hezbollah...and many of them fraction themselves by their own religious branches of Islam. But they're all the same...a rose by any other name.

Here in the West there is a culture of willful ignorance. But I don't think it totally stems from a desire to be ignorant so much as it is from the need to feel in control. To allow elected officials to make claims that it is somehow due to our policies helps us feel in control of the situation.

However the reality is that is it only a delay of the inevitable and a bury our head in the sands approach to the truth. And this most recent murder of a Polish citizen is just more (sad) proof of what I am speaking about today.

The truth is that we do not have any control over this other evil culture that has millions and millions of followers. If there was a peaceful Islam at one point in time, it does not exist today. While there are peaceful Muslims on this earth, there is not peaceful Islam.

Islam does not care if you engage them in conversation or not. They don't care if you change your policies or not. They want one thing and one thing only; Sharia and they will do this through our weakened Western openness of other cultures, through shaming you into believing you are not tolerant of them all the while they refuse to be tolerant of your own culture and values. They will do this by force, beheadings, kidnappings, bombings, planes hijacked and crashing into buildings in your cities. They will do this with children's television shows in their own countries.

This is the reality. And the reality is that we do not have control over them, that changing our engagement with them will not control the situation or make us safer.

The only control we have is over what we choose to do as a nation for ourselves. What the hell does Lauren mean by this???????????????

I mean that we have to think about our own values. What do we stand for and are we willing to say our culture is superior to others? My answer is that we stand for freedom, openness, tolerance and that we should be willing to believe that those values do make us superior.

It is those very values that allow women to choose whatever kind of life they want to live, working out of the home, staying at home, doing both, dressing as we wish, running companies, going to college, choosing our own husbands/lovers and being equal in the eyes of the law.

It is those very values that kept an entire country, our country from rioting in the street against Muslims living here, right after 9/11. Unlike what is happening here in Sweden at a peaceful pro-Israel rally




There is no country and no culture that is perfect. NONE. ZERO. Doesn't happen. But it is time to start judging ourselves properly as well as other cultures properly.

How do we handle ourselves when a crisis happens? How do other countries and cultures handle themselves? Compare honestly. It will be in those comparrisons that we will begin to realize just how superior we are, just how gentle a nation and culture we truly are and who is truly the evil in this world.

Ironically, (the very brilliant) Phyllis Chesler has written and posted about this very issue today on her blog.

Some current events you might want to read about supporting this topic:
Indian Editor and Publisher Arrested for Criticism of Islam
Amnesty International: Hamas harmed Palestinians

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chock Full Of Nuts

OK knowing my readers...who think they know me, I just have to say "GET YOUR MIND OUTTA THE GUTTER!" It's not that kind of post....today. :)


I've been on a quest for the brand of coffee I want to make for myself each morning with my new coffee maker Mom and Dad bought me for Chanukah.


I was never a big coffee drinker until a few years back when I dated "J" and he really loved to drink the stuff. It was about the only redeeming quality that man had...and I'm being nice when I say that. Achem...back to the post.


So I realized this year that I am wasting way too much cash on a cup of Joe each morning and it was time to make my own. How hard can that be really? Could I really burn water?


So I bought this really cool little coffee maker on Mom and Dad's dime for a gift. It's perfect for a small NYC apartment. It doesn't even have a pot. You brew the coffee and put your cup underneath against a button and the coffee comes out into your cup. Viola!


So I ran to Dunkin' Donuts and bought two bags of coffee grounds initially and I wasn't lovin' it as I thought I would. But money is money and I used every last drop.


Well, yesterday I had the opportunity to be out of the city, on Long Island at a real grocery store. (Those of you who've lived in NYC will understand that comment.) I had a nice variety of brands to choose from and even a variety of sizes to choose from as well.


And as I'm trying to decide what I should try next, there it was, Chock Full Of Nuts. And in a reasonable size can. Heck if I hate it I'm not stuck with so much. I'm not shelling out a ton of money either on the giganda size cans!


I remember my mother telling me stories about her mornings before she went to work. Her ritual of stopping at Chock Full Of Nuts for her coffee. I think it cost $.50 or even less at the time and was the bargain of her time and she loved it.


Today you couldn't find a Chock Full Of Nuts in NYC if your life depended upon it.


But there it was on the shelf. I took it as a sign that I should get that coffee.


If I like it I can have a bonding moment with Mom. If I hate it I can tell her it's her fault. WIN WIN!


It cost me $6 for the can and I am drinking my first cup as I write this post.


As I opened the can for the first time, it smelled so incredible. The way coffee is supposed to smell. And it tastes just as good as it smells. I've found my coffee.


Now how to lobby to get these back in NYC??

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Having Litters

With all the talk about that crazy woman who had 8 MORE kids...at one time...I can't help but think of her when I see this video...only with the puppies it's NORMAL and proper!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happily Single...Monday's Mailbag

Though initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room on sleeping car train,
they were both very tired and fell asleep quickly, he in the upper berth and she in the lower.

At 1:00 AM, the man leaned down and gently woke the woman saying,.......... 'Ma'am,

I'm sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet to get me a second blanket?

I'm awfully cold.'

'I have a better idea,' she replied 'Just for tonight,...... let's pretend that we're married.'

'Wow!...................... That's a great idea!', he exclaimed.

'Good,' she replied. .............'Get your own fucking blanket.'


After a moment of silence, ......................he farted.

The End

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Perfectly Human's Subterrainian Circus

Please visit this site today for some interesting facts.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Black Folks You Didn't Know Existed!

Well blow YOU down! If the media had it's way you'd think all black people were Democrats, voted for the Messiah and drink the kool-aid.

But at least you have THIS blogger to show you how bamboozled you have been.

Bush that bad bad man, boy did he ignore black folks, right? Bungled Katrina, right? But who's really being ignored and why?

Check out Kevin Jackson of The Black Sphere.
(Hat Tip To James T. of The National Conversation)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Outta Da Woodwork


Can someone PLEEEEAAAASSSSEEE explain to me why so many men from my past are coming back and looking to connect with me over the past few months?


It started with Ex-boyfriends...as if that weren't bad enough. Now through Linked-In I got a request from a former employee of mine from 10 years ago whom I had to fire, that caused a lot of trouble for me and my department, to "connect".


Of course I ignored the request. But there was the email from Linked-In sitting in my email box with that turd's name staring me in the face.


It's like a virtual graveyard of Ex-men.


I think they are all lacking the same important part of the brain that would otherwise tell a normal person that what they are doing is not proper or wished for by the other person.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Let's Change The Conversation

The following is an article from Infidels Are Cool
For far too long the conversation has been hijacked...it's time to Change The Conversation!
So here's some more real information that you're not getting from your media.

Total cost of violence in the Middle East? 12,000 BILLION DOLLARS

WOW. That is a lot of dough. I recall someone commenting here on IAC a while back that the folks in the middle east never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. I think he was right, 12,000,000,000,000,000 times over…

MID-EAST: COST OF CONFLICTS, 12,000 BLN DOLLARS IN 20 YEARS
(ANSAmed) - GENEVA, JANUARY 23 - Middle Eastern countries hit by conflicts have ‘burned’ 12,000 billion dollars in the last two decades in terms of economic losses and missed opportunities. According to research by the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) presented in Geneva by the Security Policy Centre (SPC), the region has paid an extremely elevated price due to wars and the absence of peace over the last two decades. The price was calculated taking into consideration all of the countries in the region, including Iraq. It is a detailed evaluation of the costs in economic, military, environmental, social, but also in psychological terms since 1991, following hundreds of parameters. The study carried out by the Strategic Foresight Group, an Indian based think-tank, includes the valuation of missed opportunities. Researchers - quoted by the Swiss agency ATS - calculated for example that if Iraq had not suffered from sanctions or the war, the GDP of the country could have reached 2,262 billion dollars compared to the current 58.6 billion. Israel has lost about 15 billion dollars in earnings in the tourism sector from 2000 to 2006. According to the authors of the study, Israeli and Palestinian income are equal to half of what they would be today if a peace agreement had been reached in the Madrid Conference in 1991. (ANSAmed).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Change

It's time to CHANGE the conversation about Israel and the Middle East. For far too long the leftwingers have taken over this subject with their propaganda. It's time to talk truth.

The full article by Phyllis Chesler is here. But when confronted with the lies in articles all over the world in well-respected papers, here are the talking points to use when you write in to the editors of those papers:

Israel, Hamas and the Nazis: A More Accurate Historical Comparison
Notes by Dr. Barry Rubin

(When you hear the lie of comparrison of Israel as the modern-day Nazi's this is what you write to the editor)
mber of Jews in Continental Europe, 1939: 7 million
Number of Palestinians in Gaza 2009: 1.2 million
Number of Jews still alive in Continental Europe at end of the
Holocaust: 1 million
Number of Palestinians left alive in Gaza after the 2009 war: 1,199,000
Percentage of Jews Killed by Germans and their allies: 86 percent
Percentage of Gazan Palestinians Killed by Israelis: .01 percent
Number of Jewish Civilians deliberately killed by Nazis and their
Allies: 6,000,000
Number of Palestinian Civilians deliberately killed by Israel: 0

Number of Jews armed during most of the Holocaust: 0
Number of Hamas soldiers in Gaza: About 20,000
Number of rockets fired at Israel by Hamas: 4000
Number of rockets fired by Jews at Germany: 0
Number of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians by Hamas:
Thousands

Number of terrorist attacks on Jewish civilians by the Nazis: thousands
Number of armed attacks of any kind by Jews on German civilians: 0
Nazi “humanitarian supplies” for Jews: starvation diet coupled with
slave labor
Israeli humanitarian supplies for Gaza: regular shipments even while
Hamas is attacking Israel, no one actually in Gaza even claims to be
hungry; treatment of Palestinians in Israeli hospitals

Nazi treatment of Jews: According to a Gestapo official in Warsaw: “It
is permissible to take from a Jew everything….Whoever wishes may kill a
Jew, and our law will not punish him for it.” (Jan Karski report, 1942)
Hamas treatment of Jews: It is permissible to take from a Jew
everything. Whoever wishes may kill a Jew, and our law will not punish
him for it.

Israeli treatment of Palestinians: Soldiers subject to strict
discipline and code of behavior for whose violation soldiers are
court-martialed and sent to prison.
Nazi soldiers hide among German civilians to incur civilian
casualties?: No
Hamas soldiers hide among Palestinian civilians to incur civilian
casualties?: Yes
Ideology of Nazis Toward Jews: All Jews in the World Should be
Exterminated
Ideology of Israel toward Palestinians: Have your own state and just
leave us alone
Ideology of Hamas toward Israelis and Jews: Starting with all Jews in
Israel should be exterminated, Hamas is increasingly extending that to
all Jews in the world.

Nazi goal: World Conquest
Israel’s goal: A small democratic state
Hamas and Islamist goal: World conquest
A common Western attitude toward Nazi Germany prior to 1939: The
Germans have suffered a lot and have legitimate grievances. If we
appease them they will leave us alone. They are only after the Jews and
what do we care about them?
A common Western attitude toward Hamas in 2009: The Palestinians have suffered a lot and have legitimate grievances. If we appease them they will leave us alone. Hamas, Iran, and other radical Islamists are only
after the Jews and what do we care about them?
Syrian, Iranian, and Hamas view of the Holocaust: It didn’t happen.
Syrian, Iranian, and Hamas view of the Gaza war: It was another
Holocaust.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Third Jihad- A MUST WATCH

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-864522917532871834

Please watch this video produced by a Muslim-American doctor. I can't figure out how to embed this properly. This is a truely righteous.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Letter to Gaza Citizen

Letter to Gaza Citizen: I Am the Soldier Who Slept in Your Home

by IsraelNN Staff


Hello,

While the world watches the ruins in Gaza, you return to your home which remains standing. However, I am sure that it is clear to you that someone was in your home while you were away.

I am that someone.

I spent long hours imagining how you would react when you walked into your home. How you would feel when you understood that IDF soldiers had slept on your mattresses and used your blankets to keep warm.

I knew that it would make you angry and sad and that you would feel this violation of the most intimate areas of your life by those defined as your enemies, with stinging humiliation. I am convinced that you hate me with unbridled hatred, and you do not have even the tiniest desire to hear what I have to say. At the same time, it is important for me to say the following in the hope that there is even the minutest chance that you will hear me.

I spent many days in your home. You and your family's presence was felt in every corner. I saw your family portraits on the wall, and I thought of my family. I saw your wife's perfume bottles on the bureau, and I thought of my wife. I saw your children's toys and their English language schoolbooks. I saw your personal computer and how you set up the modem and wireless phone next to the screen, just as I do.

I wanted you to know that despite the immense disorder you found in your house that was created during a search for explosives and tunnels (which were indeed found in other homes), we did our best to treat your possessions with respect. When I moved the computer table, I disconnected the cables and lay them down neatly on the floor, as I would do with my own computer. I even covered the computer from dust with a piece of cloth. I tried to put back the clothes that fell when we moved the closet although not the same as
you would have done, but at least in such a way that nothing would get lost.

I know that the devastation, the bullet holes in your walls and the destruction of those homes near you place my descriptions in a ridiculous light. Still, I need you to understand me, us, and hope that you will channel your anger and criticism to the right places.

I decided to write you this letter specifically because I stayed in your home.

I can surmise that you are intelligent and educated and there are those in your household that are university students. Your children learn English, and you are connected to the Internet. You are not ignorant; you know what is going on around you.

Therefore, I am sure you know that Kassam rockets were launched from your neighborhood into Israeli towns and cities.

How could you see these weekly launches and not think that one day we would say "enough"?! Did you ever consider that it is perhaps wrong to launch rockets at innocent civilians trying to lead a normal life, much like you? How long did you think we would sit back without reacting?

I can hear you saying "it's not me, it's Hamas". My intuition tells me you are not their most avid supporter. If you look closely at the sad reality in which your people live, and you do not try to deceive yourself or make excuses about "occupation", you must certainly reach the conclusion that the Hamas is your real enemy.

The reality is so simple, even a seven-year-old can understand: Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, removing military bases and its citizens from Gush Katif. Nonetheless, we continued to provide you with electricity, water, and goods (and this I know very well as during my reserve duty I guarded the border crossings more than once, and witnessed hundreds of trucks full of goods entering a blockade-free Gaza every day).

Despite all this, for reasons that cannot be understood and with a lack of any rational logic, Hamas launched missiles on Israeli towns. For three years we clenched our teeth and restrained ourselves. In the end, we could not take it anymore and entered the Gaza Strip, into your neighborhood, in order to remove those who want to kill us. A reality that is painful but very easy to explain.

As soon as you agree with me that Hamas is your enemy and because of them, your people are miserable, you will also understand that the change must come from within. I am acutely aware of the fact that what I say is easier to write than to do, but I do not see any other way. You, who are connected to the world and concerned about your children's education, must lead, together with your friends, a civil uprising against Hamas.

I swear to you, that if the citizens of Gaza were busy paving roads, building schools, opening factories and cultural institutions instead of dwelling in self-pity, arms smuggling and nurturing a hatred to your Israeli neighbors, your homes would not be in ruins right now. If your leaders were not corrupt and motivated by hatred, your home would not have been harmed. If someone would have stood up and shouted that there is no point in launching missiles on innocent civilians, I would not have to stand in your kitchen as a soldier.

You don't have money, you tell me? You have more than you can imagine.

Even before Hamas took control of Gaza, during the time of Yasser Arafat, millions if not billions of dollars donated by the world community to the Palestinians was used for purchasing arms or taken directly to your leaders' bank accounts. Gulf States, the Emirates - your brothers, your flesh and blood, are some of the richest nations in the world. If there was even a small feeling of solidarity between Arab nations, if these nations had but the smallest interest in reconstructing the Palestinian people – your situation would be very different.

You must be familiar with Singapore. The land mass there is not much larger than the Gaza Strip and it is considered to be the second most populated country in the world. Yet, Singapore is a successful, prospering, and well-managed country. Why not the same for you?

My friend, I would like to call you by name, but I will not do so publicly. I want you to know that I am 100% at peace with what my country did, what my army did, and what I did. However, I feel your pain. I am sorry for the destruction you are finding in your neighborhood at this moment. On a personal level, I did what I could to minimize the damage to your home as much as possible.

In my opinion, we have a lot more in common than you might imagine. I am a civilian, not a soldier, and in my private life I have nothing to do with the military. However, I have an obligation to leave my home, put on a uniform, and protect my family every time we are attacked. I have no desire to be in your home wearing a uniform again and I would be more than happy to sit with you as a guest on your beautiful balcony, drinking sweet tea seasoned with the sage growing in your garden.

The only person who could make that dream a reality is you. Take responsibility for yourself, your family, your people, and start to take control of your destiny. How? I do not know. Maybe there is something to be learned from the Jewish people who rose up from the most destructive human tragedy of the 20th century, and instead of sinking into self-pity, built a flourishing and prospering country. It is possible, and it is in your hands. I am ready to be there to provide a shoulder of support and help to you.

But only you can move the wheels of history.

Regards,
Yishai, (Reserve Soldier)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wii Tried This For The First Time



As you can see I had no idea what I was doing. I never played any game on the Wii before. Mom is holding the video camera and "instructing" me how to play the game where you have to get the marbles in the holes. OY VEY!

And you'll get a teeenie idea of what it's like dealing with Mom sometimes. Just listen.

Now here's my Mom. I ran out of video memory so it's just a snippet but it's fun too.