Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Daily YouTube: Ahmadinejad and his firm grip on the truth

This is old news, but is a good illustration of how reality and those pesky "facts" just don't seem to enter into the equation in Iran. Giggle or cry - you'll react in some way...

Ahmadinejad is still a jerk

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made his reply to recent, somewhat warmer overtures made by the Obama administration.

Not content to say something like, "We look forward to hearing what President Obama has to say" or anything else that would be, you know, constructive, Ahmadinejad instead insists on a US apology for past transgressions against Iran.

Nutty Mahmoud is up for reelection later this year. It would appear he is staking out his position as The Guy Who Will Stand Up To The Great Satan, regardless of what's on the table. Does that sell well enough in Iran to overcome Ahmadinejad's failed policies at home? Is the average Iranian more inclined to wish "Death to America" than look for actual compromise and improved relations?

I guess we'll find out in June. In the meanwhile, Ahmadinejad is doing nothing to change his image as the world's biggest a-hole.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another day, another Middle East diatribe...

I don't know about you, but I am beginning to suffer from tired-head at the mere mention of Gaza.

What's left to discuss, rant about, or debate? It seems very clear to me that Hamas played it's usual cards - hiding weapons in apartment buildings and schools, using civilians as human shields, trumpeting Israeli "atrocities" from the rooftops, whilst doing everything in their power to make more of those "atrocities" occur. The depravity and cynicism displayed by Hamas and their fellow-travelers is staggering, vomitous, and pretty much expected by now.

Truly, there is no workable compromise possible with these lying murderers.

So, I'm reading They Must Be Stopped by Brigette Gabriel. If you have not read this, I think you probably should. Not because every word in it is true, or that it contains any real enlightenment. But because it makes an argument that I have wondered about for a long time: Islam, according to Gabriel, is basically about conquest and subjugation of every other religion on the planet.

First things first: I have some basic suspicions whenever someone indicts an entire (major) religion as intolerant and bent on destruction of all competing religions. Jews have long experience with this sort of accusation (Protocols of the Elders of Zion, anyone?) and we, in particular, should be very hesitant to believe blanket, negative generalizations.

With that disclaimer in place, I have been waiting since at least 2001 (at least!) for a Muslim scholar to tell me, in specific terms, how AQ, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc differ from mainstream Islamic thought. If such a discussion or dissertation has been put forth, I have not seen it. Seems like a well-written piece of this nature would get a lot of play, wouldn't it?

If such a document, in fact, does NOT exist, why not? Is it because AQ et al really don't differ significantly from mainstream Islamic thought?

Hell, I don't know. I really don't.

However, I can't help but think our stifling political correctness prevents us from asking tough questions along these lines. Serious questions about religion (except for Christianity, I've noticed) are verboten in public discourse - ask a serious question about Islam's true inclination to participate in the peaceful co-existence dance party, and you get shouted down by all sorts of well-meaning pinheads.

I guess my point with all this stream-of-consciousness is this: Is the typical Ahmed-on-the-street willing to accept Israel's existence in exchange for some guarantee that the IDF isn't going to drive a Merkava or ten thru his front door every once in a while?

If the answer is yes, then this will someday pass, and it's just a matter of time. If the answer is no, then what? If we're going to have an Israel (and we ARE going to have an Israel, we have to), then is this the price? Does the IDF have to go flatten civilian areas every couple of years? Do we have to endure CNN telling us how evil Israel is? The Euros turning red in the face over another "atrocity" visited upon the poor, defenseless, innocent Palestinians?

It's this simple. If the Palestinians want peace, the situation can be resolved. If they will be satisfied with nothing short of the destruction of Israel, well, we can recycle the headlines from the last 30 days for the next 30 years.

Duelling noise

I am catching up on the news today whilst waiting for the children at Sunday school.

So here I am at good old Temple Shalom, in the Adult Lounge (which I've always wondered about - should houses of worship really have an area referred to as an "Adult Lounge"?). On the left, the Israeli Dance class has the latest Top 40 from Tel Aviv turned up to 11 on the boom box. Across the way, Rabbi Paley has the next crop of Bar and Bat Mitzvah kids on the bima and is checking them out on the process of speaking thru the sanctuary's PA, and over to the right the Brotherhood has some speaker from the Trinity River Project giving a presentation over the PA in the Social Hall.

To combat all this, I'm doing the logical thing - turning Aerosmith's first album up on Super-Phone and rocking out! "Make It", baby!

My head may yet explode this morning!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Daily YouTube: What happens when you don't get enough sleep

Eight hours, boys and girls. Every night. Or this is what happens:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Giant Robots -- Come On, You Love Them

My son and I were talking the other day about the cartoons we use to watch together when he was much younger.
This one is/was/will always be

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Daily YouTube: Cosby's Fiesta Bowl-winning TD

Here is the first play in Texas' march to the 2009 National Championship:

BCS National Champeenship

It's 7-7 at halftime, which means I have to stick with it. I have not got anywhere near enough sleep this week - I was hoping for a blowout!

My two grumpy, sleep-deprived observations:

1. I'm sorry, but marching bands are gay. The OU band's "Pinball Wizard" had me torn between laughter and vomit.

2. U of F's "When did you become a Gator" ad campaign is extremely silly.

And, just to complete my curmudgeonly misery, Crabtree's last-minute TD against Texas is the Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Year. Dang it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Texas 24 - Ohio State 21

I'm naming my next child Colt Quan Elkin.

Daily YouTube: I can't get this song out of my head

Coldplay - Viva La Vida.

This thing has been on a loop in my melon for like three days now.

This one too.

John Cash - Ring of Fire.

India has some hot sports opinions

Buried on about page 9 of today's DMN is one heck of a shocking story. Apparently, India has solid proof that "state actors" on the Pakistani side were involved in planning and execution of the recent Mumbai fireworks. Further, the Indian Home Minister will be bringing said proof over with him when he visits the US next week.

India and Pakistan make me more nervous than anyone this side of Iran. Two nuclear-armed countries, one with a barely-in-control central government and a HUGE fundamentalist problem, the other allegedly the "world's largest democracy" with a huge chip on its shoulder; it's surprising they haven't gone to the mat yet.

My initial reaction to this one was along the lines of "No way the Pakis are this crazy." I mean, they couldn't have been involved in that mess, could they? Then I think back to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the continued support of the Taliban by the ISI, and the inability of the new government to get a grip on the western provinces, and suddenly its not so hard to believe.

I wonder what this "proof" is, and if we'll get to see it.