Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New Site

FINALLY my website is up and running.
The address is
I'll be updating that website from now on.



Friday, March 7, 2008

site news

Some of you may remember that last year I talked about switching sites. Well after negotiations with my web server it looks like i'll hopefully be changing to my own domain name within the next week or so. Looks out for a less confusing domain name :)

More info to come.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hand Over Your Toothpaste!

A brilliant counter-point from the Jerusalem Post today:


I was standing in the security line at the airport in Atlanta. I removed my shoes and my belt, emptied the change from my pockets, discarded my water bottle and placed my tote bag on the belt that would carry it through the X-ray machine.

Suddenly, I was pulled aside. "Sir, do you know that you are not allowed to carry on board more than a 3.2 ounce tube of toothpaste?"

Asked to explain my blatant breach of security, I sheepishly responded that I had brushed my teeth a number of times with the toothpaste, and surely there must now be less than 3.2 ounces. At that very moment, the assistant head of security for the airport walked by and inquired what the problem was.

I protested that my toothpaste was being confiscated. He explained that the Transportation Security Administration bans passengers from taking aboard such a potentially deadly quantity of toothpaste. I muttered under my breath that we do not put people through such nonsense in Israel. Overhearing me, he became curious about how Israel's airports were secured; and ushered me into a private room for a discussion on airport security, as if I were an expert on such matters.

I asked him if anyone checks cars as they enter the airport. He was surprised that this was routine procedure in Israel and remarked what a brilliant idea it was. I then asked if there were plainclothesmen watching every door that leads into the terminals. I asked if the desk clerk thoroughly checks a traveler's passport to see the countries visited.

I asked my interrogator how many people he estimated were waiting in the security line. He ventured about 250. I pointed to a nervous-looking character who was about to place a heavy-looking bag on the security belt. I asked the TSA executive if it were possible the man could be concealing 20 pounds of explosives in the bag; he replied that it was entirely possible. When I asked him to approximate how many people might be killed if the man set off those explosives, he said virtually everyone standing in line; to which I exclaimed: "Aha - but, you have my Colgate!"

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS recently ran an article that airport security in America had not even marginally improved since 9/11. Given my experience, it is obvious why. But there is a deeper and more serious concern - the belief in the US intelligence community's ability to assess real threats around the world, which leads me to the US National Intelligence Estimate report which said that Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Who could possibly believe the NIE after the total fiasco of its intelligence analysis about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction? Or, more to the point, after the same NIE authoritatively stated in 2005 that Iran was an imminent nuclear threat? Under obvious political pressure from the Bush administration, US National Intelligence director Michael McConnell is now equivocating on the NIE findings on Iran, which further undermines its credibility.

If one really wants to know what some Arab nations are plotting, don't rely on American intelligence agencies, but on those Arab and Muslim leaders who boldly state what weapons their countries possess, do not possess or wish to possess, what they are capable of or will be capable of doing.

So - screw American intelligence. Let's listen to these Arabs nations.

After Iraq invaded Kuwait, Saddam Hussein said he would fire Scud missiles at Israel if America attacked his country. I still have my gas mask as a reminder of the days our family sat in our sealed room as Saddam fulfilled his pledge.

He later insisted he had no weapons of mass destruction. America refused to believe him, and the result is the disastrous war in Iraq that has not turned up the slightest trace of WMDs. One need not be a rocket scientist to know Saddam was telling the truth.

In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, and, in the Gulf War, George Bush Sr. wiped out any possibility of Saddam jump-starting his nuclear program. If Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces he plans to destroy Israel, should he not be taken at his word? Common sense dictates that the only way Iran could turn Israel into a heap of ashes is by developing nuclear weapons.

Ahmadinejad has dropped sufficient hints that he would be willing to sacrifice millions of Iranians in a nuclear conflagration with Israel. Indeed, Iran has proven its intentions of striking Israel by arming its surrogate, Hizbullah, whose Katyusha rockets turned our lives into a living hell during the Second Lebanon War - exactly as Ahmadinejad promised.

The NIE assessment on Iran is not worth the paper it is written on. Given the US government's homeland security directives that warn the American people that flying with more than 3.2 ounces of Colgate, Crest or Aquafresh in a carry-on bag is a threat to American security, it should be abundantly clear that American military intelligence is an oxymoron. More frightening than farcical, it is completely unreliable.

On the other hand, Arab and Muslim declarations of hostile intentions, especially toward us, have proven absolutely reliable. Consequently, if we Israelis want an accurate assessment of what lies in store for us, we damn well better pay attention to Ahmadinejad's almost daily admonitions. He, not the NIE, knows best; and, he is telling us that soon Iran will have nuclear weapons.

Let's hope that our government has a plan of action before they are deployed against us

Saturday, March 1, 2008


The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee approved a resolution calling for equal treatment of Jewish refugees in any peace deal.

"For any comprehensive Middle East peace agreement to be credible and enduring, the agreement must address and resolve all outstanding issues relating to the legitimate rights of all refugees in the Middle East, including Jews, Christians, and other populations displaced from countries in the region,"

Too many times have I heard the claim that Israel forcefully removed Palestinians from their homes to make way for Jews coming in. This is where the Jews were coming from. It's estimated that around 850,000 Jews were forcefully removed from their homes during the creation of the State of Israel yet these voices are forgotten in any debate about the Middle East. The reason they are forgotten is that they were absorbed by Israel whilst the Palestinians were rejected by their Arab brethren and since 1967 have been regarded as little more than pawns for the political purposes of those that wish to demonize the Jewish state. Hopefully now the Jewish refugee problem will be given more press than those of their Palestinian counterparts.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The assassination of Imad Mughniyeh

It's been over a week since the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, one of the leading Hezbollah terrorists, and Mossad has taken the blame. I have no information if it was the Israeli government who killed this man but it seems they have already been accused by the Hezbollah leadership. In a previous post i proclaimed my support for these assassinations and i reiterate that once again.
This man was evil; his deliberate attacks on civilians led to an enormous loss of life not only within the Middle East but he is also believed to be behind the 1994 bombing of the AMIA centre which killed 85 people.
Whilst it would have been preferable to have this man face justice in an Israeli courtroom he was notorious for his paranoia; often changing his clothes, sleeping in separate houses every night and strangely having no bodyguards. He did this in order to avoid any kind of information being leaked to the various intelligence agencies that were hunting him.
However whoever did assassinate him did an astounding job (it was believed that the small explosive was placed in the headrest of his car-seat) and whilst i'm sure Israel did have a hand in it, it could not have been done without the support of their Arab neighbors. Hezbollah is a threat to the entire region with its tentacles, funded by Iran, being able to reach into Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordann and various other countries. This way why three Arab states openly aligned against Hezbollah (and by default, allying with Israel) in the beginning of the 2006 war.
Many of them are afraid of what would happen should Hezbollah and Iran get too strong (they're also deeply concerned about an Iranian nuclear weapon) and topple their regimes. Many, like the Mubarak regime in Egypt, are far from perfect. The Egyptian dictatorship has oppressed citizens and media alike and routinely imprison political opponents who wish for democratic change. However they are also funded largely by the Americans who have given this dangerous regime a modern and very deadly army. Mubarak and many other Middle Eastern governments are fearful of Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood's influence in Egypt, for they could soon gain power, and so are hoping for their downfall.
Whether or not Israel planned this assassination is irrelevant. There are plenty of Arab states who wanted Mughiniyeh dead and they could have taken care of this problem themselves.

Friday, February 15, 2008

What's wrong with gun control?

There has been another tragedy today in America. As of writing 4 students are dead, 17 are wounded and the gunman committed suicide before the police could arrive. According to reports the gunman simply walked into the classroom, raised his weapon and open-fired on the students without saying a word.
The gunman has thus far not been named but i'm quite certain that he suffers from a mental disease; whilst this is bad enough one has to wonder how he managed to get ahold of a firearm in the first place. This will be the subject of an intense investigation and will hopefully renew calls for gun control in America.
Whilst most countries have effective gun control, Australia and Britain have each outlawed firearms for the majority of civilians, the United States is the only major Western power not to do so; the reason is wrapped up in it's history and constitution. The United States was formed through rebellion against the British government who they had fled to avoid religious persecution hundreds of years ago. When the constitution of the United States was written in 1787 and the Bill of Rights written in 1789 America was battle-hardened and scars from the recent conflicts with England were still fresh. So an amendment was placed in the Bill of Rights, deemed so important that it followed freedom of speech, and it was:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

This amendment is arguably the most controversial of all the Bill of Rights; it is cherished by the NRA and worshipped by the militias who consider it their patriotic duty to raise a citizen army.
Yet it is also the clause that allows guns to remain free on the streets of America.
There are several procedures in order to obtain a weapon in the United States. First one must undergo a background check to make sure that you are not a criminal or that you suffer from a mental disorder, after that your weapon must be registered and locked up safely. You're not allowed to bring weapons into certain buildings and some states do not allow weapons to be concealed from public view. Those that follow these rules and regulations are often very happy with their purchase and often during their lives never have to brandish their weapon in self defence. However those that do not acquire their weapons legally are affected by no such stringent rules. Rather for paying only a few hundred dollars on the black market they can acquire handguns, sub-machine guns, assault rifles and the such which have their serial numbers removed to prevent any trace being made back to any other gun owners. These illegal weapons are the cause of many gang shootings in the United States and are untraceable.
Many gun supporters disagree with the outright banning of firearms, rather they say that should firearms be given to all Americans then a shooter would only be able to get a few shots off before being shot dead by a potential victim. This theory is moronic. Gun control works; in all major countries where gun control is effective there has been a noticeable drop in gun-related violence and shootings. Australia, after the Port Arthur Massacre in which more than 30 people died, banned guns outright. There has always been strong support for this position. Many don't wish to see Australia turn out like America, diseased with weaponry. If all citizens were to be given guns it would lead to more death and violence. Removing guns from the hands of potential killers is the only way to severely halt gun violence; whilst there is no way that you can successfully remove guns from a country banning them does make it harder for ordinary citizens to get their hands on them.
The Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact. The outdated amendment is often taken out of its' historical context and that ignorance is the cause of the powerful gun lobby. A greater understanding of the constitution and the outright banning of guns is the only realistic effective gun control.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Super Tuesday

It has been over a month since i last posted. I apologise but i was on a very relaxing vacation.
The US election has been defying every pollster and pundit every week. Since Obama's win in Iowa and Hillary's win in New Hampshire everyone simply said that Super Tuesday would define a candidate.
Super Tuesday is when more than 22 states hold their primaries and is traditionally a nod to the future nominee of each party. John McCain is the expected nominee with Mitt Romney pulling out and Huckabee too far behind to be a significant threat. However Huckabee's continued presence in the Republican primaries is evident that the conservative base does not trust McCain with their nomination just yet.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton however are in a very tight race. Whilst Obama won more states he did not win the large delegates. Clinton won fewer states than Obama but won the states with the larger delegates. It appears that whilst more states liked Obama the electoral college swings in favour of Clinton.
The recent primaries held today in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C had Obama taking all of the delegates. It appears now that Obama has surpassed Clinton by 107 delegates. Whilst this is not a huge number of delegates it is important as it shows that the Obama-train is full steam ahead. With this momentum he won't have much trouble unseating Clinton in the next primary. Whilst i'm hesitant to call these primaries, considering everything that has been polled, i'm quite certain that Clinton will win several more primaries in the near future. However with Obama's momentum and the fact that his campaign is receiving over a million dollars a day in support (clinton's is around half that) and the free media exposure it is obvious that Barack Obama was the (no-pun intended) dark horse of the 2008 Presidential race. No one expected him to make a dent in the race but he has surprised us all. What we are seeing today and will continue to see in the future is the audacity of hope. A people so tired of two terms of Bush (and possibly afraid of another term of Clinton) that they will latch on to the charismatic leadership of a man demanding change for the people.