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Showing posts from August, 2006

A Secret For My Children

I have a game that I play each day with my children. It is a game, but it is one that I take quite seriously. Each day I ask my children if they want to know a secret. And each time I ask they come running over to me and sit in my lap. You just never know what little nugget of wisdom dad might share this time. In a very soft voice I whisper "The Secret is" and then I pause. Almost invariably their tiny faces look at me attentively and I finish the sentence with these words: "I Love You." Oftentimes my son will issue a sigh of exasperation and say "I already know that secret." That is part of the game in which he pretends to be irritated. So you ask, what is the point of the game. The point is this. I want to do everything I can to ensure that my children never ever doubt my deep and abiding love for them. Life can be quite cruel. Life can be hard and it can be tough. There will come moments of self doubt in which they question themselves. There

A Eulogy for Myself

The day of the funeral was quite hot. I gave in to the local minhagim (customs) and wore a black suit. In a different time and place they would have asked me if I was dressed up in a poor imitation of Belushi and Akroyd , but not here. Standing graveside in the California sunshine it was quite clear that I had a different role and a different purpose. Here I was part of the communal support that we offer the mourners. My job was to help my friend and his family say goodbye to a beloved father. I listened to his children speak about him and smiled at the stories they told. I heard about a good man, a kind man, a family man, a mensch who went out of his way to improve the world around him. I witnessed the tears of the mourners and looked to my left and right. At the age of 37 I have been to more funerals than I can count. I have helped to bury more than one friend and the parent(s) of more than one friend. The morbid checklist reads something like four fathers and three mothers a

Porsche 911 beats 'Vette and Viper

NEW YORK ( -- In testing the most expensive group of cars the magazine has ever purchased, Consumer Reports rated the Porsche 911 as the top high-performance sports car. The 911 was tested against the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the Dodge Viper and 11 other performance vehicles in a competitive test of luxury sports cars. The prices of the cars ranged from $45,545 for a Lotus Elise to $105,855 for a Mercedes-Benz SL550. Consumer Reports, published by the non-profit Consumer's Union, purchases all the vehicles it tests for the magazine. The vehicles are bought anonymously from retail auto dealers. Cars are tested on public roads as well as at the magazine's test track facility in Connecticut. Cars are put through a variety of tests, including high-speed maneuvering, braking and cornering. The scoring system used for these cars was different from that generally used by the magazine for minivans and sedans, said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports

In The End

" In The End " (It starts with) One thing / I don’t know why It doesn’t even matter how hard you try Keep that in mind / I designed this rhyme To explain in due time All I know time is a valuable thing Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings Watch it count down to the end of the day The clock ticks life away It’s so unreal Didn’t look out below Watch the time go right out the window Trying to hold on / but didn’t even know Wasted it all just to Watch you go I kept everything inside and even though I tried / it all fell apart What it meant to me / will eventually / be a memory / of a time when I tried so hard And got so far But in the end It doesn't even matter I had to fall To lose it all But in the end It doesn't even matter One thing / I don’t know why It doesn’t even matter how hard you try Keep that in mind / I designed this rhyme To remind myself how I tried so hard In spite of the way you were mocking me Acting like I was part of y

12 Year Old Jewish Girl Beaten Unconcious; Bystanders Ignore Pleas For Help

There is something very seriously wrong with people who are willing to just sit back and watch something like this. The driver should be fired. A 12-year-old Jewish girl who was beaten unconscious and robbed by anti-Semitic yobs on a bus has spoken out at her disgust that no-one came to her aid. The girl, who does not want to be identified, was stamped on several times in a racist attack lasting around five minutes while on board a 303 Metroline bus in Mill Hill, north London. At 6.30pm on August 11, she and a friend were sitting at the back of the bus when a group of around four girls got on at the Concourse, Grahame Park estate, and asked them if they were English or Jewish. They both replied they were "fully English". One girl in the group asked the victim for money, but she said she did not have any. She and her friend tried to leave the bus at Mill Hill Broadway but were blocked by the gang who searched their pockets and stole a bracelet. Driver didn't open doors

How To Make a Baby- A Kids Book

Boing Boing has a link to one of the most interesting kids books I have seen in a while. These pictures are among the tamest in the book. I am certainly not prude, but this book is a little out there. Or maybe not. You make the call.

A Quick Roundup of Posts

Here is a snapshot of what I blogged about: If You Died, Who Would Take Care Of Your Children Frum & Gay CNN Reporter- You Left Your Microphone On Not All Values Are Equal- Moral Superiority Another Day, Another Funeral- It is Elul You might also enjoy reading these older posts: The Supermarket I Yelled At G-d The Search For Answers About Our Ourselves

If You Died, Who Would Take Care Of Your Children

If you ever want to kill a conversation. If you ever want to change the tone into something more somber and muted ask a parent if they have made plans for where the children would live if something happened to them. It is a frightening topic. It is a hard topic. It is uncomfortable to consider what would happen to your children if they were to lose their parents. It is painful to think about a future in which you do not participate. It is a discussion that you have to have. As a parent you have to take the time to consider all of the angles. If the worst happens, who gets the kids. Who do you trust to raise them. If the worst happens is there someone who can provide for them. Is there is friend or family member who you can rely upon to take care of your children. Will they respect your wishes and impart the same values upon them that you would. And assuming that you have someone in mind that you would like to act as a surrogate parent, will they be capable of taking this responsi

Frum & Gay

**Welcome to the ten minute post. Yes, that is right. This post was composed in ten minutes. Let's see if it actually makes sense.** The impetus for this particular post is a result of the discussion taking place over at A Whispering Soul . I'd like to pick out a couple of sections and briefly comment on them. "The Orthodox community has been notoriously slow in dealing with issues they are uncomfortable with, or which they would like to pretend do not exist (domestic abuse, childhood sexual abuse, etc.). With regard to the issue of homosexuality, I am certain there is a great deal of homophobia that comes into play in the Orthodox world. The advice normally given by Rebbeim in the past to "just get married and it will go away" clearly indicates a lack of understanding of the issues involved on the part of the Rebbeim, not to mention being horribly unfair to the individual concerned and their unsuspecting spouse. With the recent coming out of the principal o

Not All Values Are Equal- Moral Superiority

Dennis Prager has another good opinion piece here . "Last year at UCLA, I debated a professor who argued that Israel and the Palestinians were moral equivalents. He is not alone (especially on college campuses) in his lack of understanding of the immoral nature of the Islamic enemies of America and Israel. Thus it is important to remind people once again about the moral world inhabited by the people we are fighting, whom President George W. Bush calls the Islamic Fascists. Societal examples: – The Islamic Republic of Sudan, in its attempt to force Arab/Muslim rule on the largely non-Arab and non-Muslim population of southern Sudan, has led to the killing of well above 1 million Christians and animists and black (i.e., non-Arab) Muslims, in addition to the widespread enslavement, rape and torture of those people. – No major international Arab or Muslim organization has condemned the Sudanese government’s mass murders that border on genocide. – The leader of the Islamic Republic

Another Day, Another Funeral- It is Elul

Another day, another funeral. I don't remember where I first heard that line or even who said it. Heck, maybe no one said it. Maybe I just made it up and don't realize that I can take credit for it. It doesn't matter all that much. In a couple of hours I will be heading off to another funeral. A dear friend's father has passed away and so I will join the community and do what I can to try and help his family ease the pain. I got the news not long after I completed the post about my parents purchasing their plots . You could call it odd coincidence because the reality is that people do pass away each day. I don't mean to make light of this or to sound callous. You can attribute some of this to the poor mood I am in. It is Elul and it has its own impact upon me. I remember being quite little and learning about the so called book of life, judgement being rendered upon who would live and who would die. It has stuck with me, or should I say that I have always wonde

Sorry, I Thought He Was a Jew

This story is so very sad in so many ways. But at the same time it makes me quite angry. Daniel Pipes writes : An Italian named Angelo Frammartino , 25, espoused the typical anti-Israel views of a far-leftist, as he expressed in a letter to a newspaper in 2006: We must face the fact that a situation of no violence is a luxury in many parts of the world, but we do not seek to avoid legitimate acts of defense. … I never dreamed of condemning resistance, the blood of the Vietnamese, the blood of the people who were under colonialist occupation or the blood of the young Palestinians from the first intifada. Actively to forward his beliefs, Frammartino went to Israel in early August 2006 to serve as a volunteer with ARCI , a far-leftist NGO, working with Palestinian children at the Burj al-Luqluq community center in eastern Jerusalem.But on August 10, he was stabbed in a terrorist assault at Sultan Suleiman Street, near Herod's Gate in Jerusalem, twice in the back and once in the nec

Let others pay for add-ons while you ride free

I snagged this from Book of Joe . Drop by and tell him I sent you over. He has some good material. Damon Darlin's July 22, 2006 New York Times story about letting other people do your heavy lifting got my undivided attention. Here's his piece. What the Naïve Consumers Don't Know, Can Help You "When Xavier Gabaix and David Laibson open a hotel room minibar, they see among the tiny liquor bottles and European chocolates a perpetual battle between companies charging hidden fees and the sophisticated consumer trying to avoid them. The two economics professors -- Mr. Laibson at Harvard and Mr. Gabaix at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton -- have looked at how companies hide fees and costs. They found that sophisticated consumers have somehow learned how to game the system by having enough naïve consumers around to subsidize them. The smartest strategy, they say, is for the sophisticated consumer to choose the service with the most hidden charges

The Ginsu Knife

Ladies and gentlemen old Jack is a very happy man today. And if you are of a certain age you might even understand why. The simple reason behind my joy is because I finally picked up my own Ginsu Knife. It took more than 30 years, but I finally got "the kitchen cutting tool that can "cut through a nail, a tin can and a radiator hose and still slice a tomato paper thin." The story of the Ginsu Knife is one that I enjoy because it reminds me of my childhood. There is so much campy kitschy stuff tied up in this and the Ginsu Knife is right at the center of it. Thanks to the magic of the Internet I even discovered some relevant material. This website provides a decent background on the people who developed the Ginsu Knife. I love this part: "In fact, many of their colorful, "catch phrases" ("But wait, there's more", "Isn't that amazing", "Now how much would you pay?" Don't answer!", &q

My Parents Purchased Cemetery Plots

(Playing in the background Drown In My Own Tears- Ray Charles The Best Of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years) Take a look at the pictures. They are from the cemetery that my parents plan on using. It looks relatively nice. The rolling hills, palm trees and a sea of green grass give off a pleasant aura. From my monitor it doesn't give off the cemetery vibe. How do I describe that vibe, that feeling that you get at the cemetery. I don't recall ever discussing it with anyone, so I am not sure that I have a frame of reference that is not related to pop culture. I can't say that this is like Scooby Doo, Thriller, the Three Stooges, Freddie, Jason or any one of the assorted sitcoms, flicks and plays that use a cemetery as a scary setting. (Playing in the background Somebody's Crying by Chris Issak) Maybe it is because I have been to so many funerals, but cemeteries don't frighten me at all. At worst they sometimes make me sad, but that is usually when I am there to help

Hezbollah Didn't Win

Amir Taheri's opinion piece states that Hezbollah Didn't Win . In it he outlines the case for why they didn't win and how some people are under the misguided impression that they did. Let's take a look at one selection: "...Let us start with Lebanon. Immediately after the U.N.-ordained ceasefire started, Hezbollah organized a series of firework shows, accompanied by the distribution of fruits and sweets, to celebrate its victory. Most Lebanese, however, finding the exercise indecent, stayed away. The largest "victory march" in south Beirut, Hezbollah's stronghold, attracted just a few hundred people. Initially Hezbollah had hesitated between declaring victory and going into mourning for its "martyrs." The latter course would have been more in harmony with Shiite traditions centered on the cult of Imam Hussain's martyrdom in 680 A.D. Some members of Hezbollah wished to play the martyrdom card so that they could accuse Israel, and thr

Math Can Be Useful

Really, it can help you understand how to create a 3D fractal. Here is some basic information: Menger’s Sponge - named for its inventor Karl Menger and sometimes wrongly called Sierpinski’s Sponge – was the first three dimensional fractal that mathematicians became aware of. In 1995 Dr Jeannine Mosely, a software engineer, set out to build a level 3 Menger Sponge from business cards. After 9 years of effort, involving hundreds of folders all over America, the Business Card Menger Sponge was completed. The resulting object is comprised of 66,048 cards folded into 8000 interlinked sub-cubes, with the entire surface paneled to reveal the Level 2 and Level 3 fractal iterations. OTOH, if you have some time and patience and no math ability you just might be able to do this yourself.

Is Islam Compatible With the West

Newsweek has an interview with Anjem Choudary . Here is some background: "Anjem Choudary, 39, has been associated with two such organizations that have been outlawed. A lawyer from Ilford, East London, and a longtime Muslim activist, he was a leader of Al Muhajiroun, a U.K.-based group committed to the creation of a global Islamic state. Al Muhajiroun was dissolved in 2004 and its founder, Omar Bakri Mohammed, deemed “not conducive to the public good” by the British government shortly after he fled to Lebanon in the wake of the July 7, 2005, London bombings." Some people may consider this to be unfair, but I am going to cite one section of the interview. The line in bold is Newsweek's question. Is there an inherent conflict between being British and being Muslim? If British means adopting British values, then I don’t think we can adopt the British values. I’m a Muslim living in Britain. I have a British passport, but that’s a travel document to me. This very troubli

Chavez rips U.S., Israel during China visit

I don't trust this man at all. He is not playing a game. We need to be careful and vigilant. He is looking to make himself into a real player in world affairs. "BEIJING, China (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez slammed Washington on Friday for opposing his bid for a U.N. Security Council seat and condemned Israel's strikes in Lebanon as comparable to the acts of Adolf Hitler. "The left-leaning Chavez also said Venezuela wants to expand ties with China, giving Beijing a bigger role in its oil industry and drawing on the communist government's experience in modernizing its economy. President Hu Jintao on Thursday endorsed Venezuela's campaign for a Security Council seat. The bid has unsettled Washington because of Chavez's efforts to foster relations with North Korea and Iran. U.S. officials are backing Guatemala for the seat instead. "The U.S. government has employed every means to block my country from joining the Security Council," Chave

The Hebron Massacre

Jameel has an interesting post about The Hebron Massacre of 1929 . "Since today, August 24th, marks 77 years since the Brutal Massacre and rape of the Jewish Community of Hebron, I thought it would be important to provide the following recently found letter from a survivor who recounts the horrors of the pogrom. The letter's author requests that his surviving children read the account every year to recall the survival and the massacre: "Just one thing, my dear children, may you live and be well, I ask of you that you put away this letter for the generations. Each year, at an agreed‑upon day, you should all meet and give thanks and praise to God, blessed be He, who saved your parents from this great catastrophe, and each one of you should make a generous contribution to charity. The miracle took place on Shabbes, Torah portion Ekev, the 18th day of the month of Av, 5689 [August 24, 1929], in Hebron." Following is an introduction, and then the letter itself." Cl

Mumbai's "Hitler" eatery Update

Here is an update to this story . " A restaurant named after Adolf Hitler that enraged Bombay's Jewish community will soon have a new moniker, its owner promised Thursday. Puneet Sablok said he would remove Hitler's name and the Nazi swastika from billboards and the eatery's menu after it had angered so many people. He had previously said the name and symbols were only meant to attract attention. "Yes, I have decided to change the name. I never wanted to hurt people's feelings," said Sablok, who made the decision after meeting with members from Bombay's small Jewish community. "Once they told me how upset they were with the name, I decided to change it. I never wanted to create this controversy or hurt people with this name," said Sablok. "I don't want to do business by hurting people." Hitler's Cross opened five days ago and serves pizza, salad and pastries in Navi Mumbai, a suburb of Bombay, also known as Mumbai. B

Spammers Can't Spell Or Can They

Here is a little question that has been bothering me lately. If you have an email address and or spend any time online at all you have received all sorts of spam. Apparently there are a ton of pills that I can take that will endow me with the privilege of being called tripod. Not only that, but these will make me the most incredible lover of all time. Of course there are other messages that offer me pills that will give me more hair than Cousin It, thicker and fuller too. And there are the proverbial mystery shopper notes that offer opportunity to be paid to shop. Here is my question. I understand that English is not the native tongue for many of the authors of these notes so it makes sense that there would be grammatical errors. But what I don't understand is why so many include complete gibberish. For example: Give her an opportunity to spread rumors about your enormous size. Expect an explosion in your intimate life very soon - guaranteed! Find what you need gjg-9tkjg=89978

What Israeli security could teach us

Jeff Jacoby has a good piece about how the US can learn from Israel. Emphasis in bold is mine. "THE SAFEST airline in the world, it is widely agreed, is El Al, Israel's national carrier. The safest airport is Ben Gurion International, in Tel Aviv. No El Al plane has been attacked by terrorists in more than three decades, and no flight leaving Ben Gurion has ever been hijacked. So when US aviation intensified its focus on security after 9/11, it seemed a good bet that the experience of travelers in American airports would increasingly come to resemble that of travelers flying out of Tel Aviv. But in telling ways, the two experiences remain notably different. For example, passengers in the United States are required to take off their shoes for X-ray screening, while passengers at Ben Gurion are spared that indignity. On the other hand, major American airports generally offer the convenience of curbside check-in, while in Israel baggage and traveler stay together until the secu

Lone Soldier: Combat

I found this to be quite interesting. Thanks to Seraphic Secret for the tip. "After finally being called to emergency reserve duty two weeks ago and much indecision on the part of the officers of how we would be utilized in the raging conflict, my unit was assigned a complicated mission. We were to penetrate some ten kilometers into Lebanon and root out and engage Hezbollah guerrillas that were concentrated in bunkers on a mountain slope facing northern Israel. Intelligence and aerial photographs described a site that was heavily fortified and defended by several cells of well-trained and equipped jihadists. Despite a sustained aerial bombardment by the air force, Katyusha rockets continued to be launched from the area into Haifa, Nahariya, Tzfat. The decision was made that the launchers could only be destroyed and the guerrillas eliminated by ground troops." Click here for the full story .

Japanese Game Show- Silent Torture

Some of the game shows in Japan are so far out there. This video is of one called edition of Silent Library - a Japanese game show in which the contestants endure hilarious torture but are not allowed to utter a sound. I don't quite understand how people decide to participate in some of these things, but... Tip: Boing Boing

Teaching Children Not To Quit

One of the things that I love about my blog is that it is indeed an online journal. It is a place that provides me with a snapshot of moments of my life. I especially enjoy reading about my children and the experiences that we have shared together. I have had the chance to document my son's love for Scooby-Doo as well as his blasphemous belief that Scrappy Doo is cool . I recounted some of my daughter's antics , my son's religious questions and discussed some things that I want to teach my children . I love my children. Each day I look forward to seeing them. I love the look they give me when I give them their blessing . I get so much out of that. There is nothing like feeling those little arms wrapped around my neck and hearing "I love you daddy." I get choked up just thinking about it. And it is because of this burning unconditional love for them that I am able to deal with some of the harder things in life with a smile. With beautiful kids like this,

Zionist Jedi Tricks

Palestinian military forces were befuddled this morning when they were confronted by the world famous but seldom scence "Zionist Jedi Tricks." In the picture above a man finds that the Zionist control of the force is indeed strong. Ok, time for a confession I wanted to make some sort of Foghorn Leghorn joke but I just couldn't come up with one. Oh well.

An Inspriational Father

Ezzie tipped me off to this story. Here is a clip of the story and a video to go with it. Wow. Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son , Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day. Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right? And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Is Dangerous

There is no question in my mind that this man is a very dangerous individual. Memri has a transcript of a speech he gave last week. I am going to cite the end of it: "If you want to have good relations with the Iranian people in the future, you should acknowledge the right and the might of the Iranian people, and you should bow and surrender to the might of the Iranian people. If you do not accept this, the Iranian people will force you to bow and surrender." This may be a lot of rhetoric and bluster, but with leaders like this I like to play it safe. He is a dangerous man. Iran isn't playing games and if the world doesn't wake up it will be to our detriment.

Iranian Cartoon Exhibition Opens

Solomonia has the story about the opening of the Iranian Cartoon Exhibition. For those of you who are too lazy (and you know who you are) here is a link to the Memri story from Solomonia and an excerpt from the transcript. "Following are excerpts from a news report on an exhibition of Holocaust cartoons in Tehran, which aired on the Iranian News Channel (IRINN) on August 17, 2006. Reporter : As the war in South Lebanon comes to an end, the Holocaust cartoon exhibition is held. It is attended by artists from 61 countries all over the world. The exhibition, held at the Museum of Palestine Contemporary Art, presents 204 works of art. The Holocaust issue, the international circles' ignoring of the truth, and the injustice inflicted upon the Palestinian people are the main topics dealt with by the artists. [...] Mas'oud Shoja'I, exhibition curator : We have received 1,193 works from 61 countries. This proves that people throughout the world, and cartoonists in par

The Liberal Brain

This is just for fun .

Some Reasons Why T-Mobile Irritates Me

The inability to change a rate plan without being subjected to a contract extension. There is something unfair and rotten about this. It is a bit like taking money from a loan shark. You can pay him back but you are forever tainted. Reception, Reception, Reception. I still drop calls in far too many places. Customer Disservice- Sorry, too many uninformed CSRs and too many minutes spent on hold and or navigating your voice jail system. And this is just a partial list.

A Real Case of Penis Envy

As all my long time readers know old Jack has a thing for bizarre stories. My pal Chaim tipped me off to this one. If you haven't visited his blog go check it out and tell him that I said hello. And now for stay tuned for the double feature you have been waiting for. " Aug 19, 2006 — NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian businessman born with two penises wants one of them removed surgically as he wants to marry and lead a normal sexual life, a newspaper report said Saturday. The 24-year-old man from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh admitted himself to a New Delhi hospital this week with an extremely rare medical condition called penile duplication or diphallus, the Times of India said. "Two fully functional penes is unheard of even in medical literature. In the more common form of diphallus, one organ is rudimentary," the newspaper quoted a surgeon as saying. The surgery was expected to be challenging as both organs were well-formed and full blood su

How Stuff Works

I love this site . It has some pretty cool articles. Here are links to some that I enjoy: How Moonshine Works . Breaking Out: A Dozen Great Escapes How Kissing Works How MapQuest Works

Mumbai's "Hitler" eatery angers Indian Jews

Some people lack common sense. MUMBAI (Reuters) - A new restaurant in India's financial hub, named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader and Nazi swastikas, has infuriated the country's small Jewish community. 'Hitler's Cross', which opened last week, serves up a wide range of continental fare and a big helping of controversy, thanks to a name the owners say they chose to stand out among hundreds of Mumbai eateries. "We wanted to be different. This is one name that will stay in people's minds," owner Punit Shablok told Reuters. "We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different." Paint me slow and stupid give me an example of how he was different, aside from the megalomaniac "I am a mass murderer intent on taking over the world" different." A huge portrait of a stern-looking Fuehrer greets visitors at the door. The cross in the restaurant&#

A Recent Roundup

Here is what has transpired on this blog recently: Blogstration and Blogfusion When a Mannequin Kicks Your Ass Negotiating for Prisoners Call Me Ishmael- In Search Of the Perfect Post A List Of Things About Me

When a Mannequin Kicks Your Ass

Ok, I am laughing pretty hard at this. " Attack of the Mannequins " might sound like a horror film title, but, for some shoppers, it could also be a documentary. Diana Newton, 51, of Westminster sued the J.C. Penney Co. last month after she was allegedly thwacked on the head by a department store dummy.Newton said she was ambushed by a legless female mannequin at the company's Westminster Mall store, a skirmish that left her with a bloodied scalp, a cracked tooth, recurring shoulder pain and numbness in her fingers. The alleged attack was the latest in a string of mannequin mayhem incidents nationwide. "There are a slew of lawsuits like this," said mannequin manufacturer Barry Rosenberg, who joked that stores should run background checks on dummies before letting them mingle with shoppers. Most of the cases involved mannequins toppling over onto customers, but an Indiana woman claimed she caught herpes from the lips of a CPR training dummy. She dropped her

Negotiating for Prisoners

You may recall that when Hizbollah first kidnapped the soldiers Nasrallah said that the only way to get them back would be a prisoner exchange. Well we all know where this led and now we find ourselves in a poor position. There is a questionable ceasefire in place and the soldiers still haven't been returned. There are rumors that they spent the war locked in the Iranian embassy in Beirut or that they were spirited off to Syria and or Iran. It is not clear, at least not to the best of my knowledge. Not unlike so many others I very much want them to be safely returned to their homes and families, but I am quite concerned about what message would be sent by this. In fact I am not sure that there is any real way to support this. Israel went to war and did not come back with them. Their kidnapping is not the only reason for the war, but it is part of it. What I am most concerned about is whether negotiating their return serves as an incentive to the terrorists to continue conduc

Call Me Ishmael- In Search Of the Perfect Post

"Call Me Ishmael." Thanks to Herman Melville I cannot take credit for the opening line of this post, but I can thank him for helping me to set the tone. I am on a journey, a quest to find the perfect post. That is my own white whale. I rarely am ever satisfied with my writing. It is always lacking. The rhythm, the rhyme, the tone, the words are not quite what I want. I feel like Tantalus. The eloquence I seek is always just beyond my reach. As I surf the blogosphere I come across others who do such a good job turning a phrase. I stumble onto writers whose command of the language is superior to my own and in turn I am reminded of just how hard I need to work to improve. If memory serves Robert has said on more than one occasion that writing is rewriting. I understand and appreciate that. Writing can almost always be improved upon. It is a practice that I should take on. I should spend more time rewriting and revising my work but... I don't do it because I don