I Should Be Sleeping

I had trouble falling asleep. Too many things on my mind. Too many concerns about the coming days. Most of the time I can push them aside long enough to grab a little shut eye. This time it was tougher. I rolled around for a while, got up, did a few sets of push ups and then lay down long enough to pass out.

That was a little after 1 am. Around 4 am I woke up. Daughter was crying. Went to her bedroom and discovered that the monsters had encircled her bed. Dad is the dragon killer. Beat up all of the monsters and found out that no matter how many times I punched them in the nose they kept coming back.

Took daughter in my arms and walked for a bit. With her head on my shoulder I wandered through the dark house and wondered when she stopped being the baby. It was a while ago. She is a little girl now. A little girl with long dark curls and serious eyes that explore the world. Gentle snoring told me that I must have finally beaten back the hordes so I carried her back to her bedroom.

For a moment I held her and listened to her breathing. It was peaceful, relaxing. It reminds me of who I am and what purpose I serve. Not the only purpose, but one that transcends myself.

There in the dark I whispered I love you and placed her in back in her bed. Standing above her bed I looked around to be certain that the monsters really were gone. Fathers are always on alert. If need be I'd become a one man wrecking crew.

Tried to go back to sleep and just couldn't find my way home. It is going to hurt later on. I can't live off so little sleep. Not anymore. Too many weeks of haunting the midnight hours is going to catch up with me. The vampires of the neighborhood recognize me. They have seen me go traipsing by too many times not to. They leave me alone, recognize that I am not in the mood for conversation.

So here I sit in the darkened room, the computer monitor serving as the sole illumination within the room. Alone in the dark with my thoughts. Here I sit pondering the next steps and best ways to go about my business. I feel alive, but wish that I was asleep. I am babbling, rambling away at the keyboard.

It is hot inside this house. I am sweaty. I am grumpy and I am still wondering whether I should go sit out in the cool night air and await the sun. A cup of coffee, an iPod and some moonlight beckon. Flashes of memory remind me of things that have been and hint at possibilities of what could be.

It is Elul. The new year approaches. Who will live and who will die. What waits for me on the other side. I feel its presence. It leaves me....wondering.

Vocabulary Time Part 3

It is vocabulary time again. Here is part one and part two.
Jack·pud·ding
n.A merry-andrew; a buffoon.

Job·ber·nowl

n.[OE. jobbernoule, fr. jobarde a stupid fellow; cf. E. noll.]
A blockhead.

nikhedonia

[fr. Nike, the Greek goddess of victory + hedoné, pleasure] the pleasure derived from anticipating success

quidnunckery

[fr. L. quid nunc, what now] nonce-word curiosity, love of news or gossip (also quid-nunc-ism)

Time To Play Tetris

What a Waste Of Time and Money

In an earlier post I mentioned that thanks to my close personal relationship with the good old almighty I am receiving instructions from the big man. He told me that I am to share the story of the foolish high school girl with you.
As she stepped to the microphone to give her commencement speech last spring, Erica Corder knew that what she was about to say might ruffle some feathers.

But the 2006 Lewis Palmer High School graduate ? one of 15 valedictorians who addressed the crowd ? didn't believe she had a choice.

"I really felt God calling me to do this," Corder said Thursday. "My top priority is obeying God."

G-d told me to tell you that you're making this up as you go along. You knew full well that you would get in trouble. He is quite angry that you're wasting time and money to try and prosecute a losing case.

So Erica Corder thanked all the teachers, parents and peers in the crowd for their encouragement over the years.

Then, deviating from the 30-second speech that had been approved by the principal, she began speaking about "someone who loves you more than you could ever imagine."

"His name is Jesus Christ," Corder said. "If you don't already know Him personally I encourage you to find out more about the sacrifice He made for you ..."

The approximately 30-second speech sparked an immediate controversy.

Parents and students including some of her fellow valedictorians complained that Corder had been proselytizing, and that her comments were inappropriate for the occasion. She also took heat from school officials for deviating from the pre-approved script.

Now that the moment has passed and I am back to being me I'll insert my own commentary. This is not a typical free speech case. We could spend time talking about why public schools are not subject to the same rules as other places or why free speech is not absolute.

But the thing is that we really don't have to go there. She knew in advance that she was going to create a problem. She knew that what she wanted to do was out of line. Call it civil disobedience, call it ignorant. The bottom line is that she knew it wasn't approved and she did it anyway.
Now Corder is fighting back.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court this week, Corder says the Monument high school violated her rights to free speech and equal protection.

Corder's father, Steve, said Thursday the Corders are not seeking money other than attorney fees.

This irritates me on multiple levels. As a father you should teach your children to take responsibility for their actions. This doesn't do so. It was clear in advance that she knew that there might be consequences to her actions.

The district has a written policy titled "Student Expression Rights," according to the lawsuit. It prohibits expression that, among other things, is disruptive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous or threatens violence. It does not specifically prohibit religious speech, the lawsuit states.

The 15 valedictorians agreed before commencement that each person would speak for 30 seconds. Two people did the introduction, while others spoke about each year of high school. Corder and another student were tabbed to conclude the speeches.

Corder said the valedictorians had only a few days to prepare their speeches before they practiced them for the principal, Mark Brewer.

She knew she wanted to honor God in her remarks, but she didn't do so in her practice speech because she knew there was a chance Brewer would prohibit the comments, and because she didn't think there would be enough time to work through the issue with him, she said (Emphasis mine)
You knew that there would be consequences. You knew that there would be trouble but you did it anyway. And all that happened was a little slap on the hand. You had to issue a written apology for your actions. Big deal.

Reference: Prayer in School

One More Reason Not To Take Reuters Seriously

r- A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of having posted a video of himself on YouTube driving at speeds of more than 140 mph, police said Thursday.

The car, a Ford Escort, was filmed on the A76 single-carriageway road in southwest Scotland.
A Ford Escort going 140 MPH? I don't think so.

The Almighty Speaks To Jack

If you are of a certain age you may remember that when John Denver wasn't singing Rocky Mountain High or asking country roads to take him home he was engaged in a dialogue with the almighty, George Burns. Ok, it was a movie, or a couple of movies. I can't be bothered to remember everything. It is bad enough that I am asked to remind everyone that the Shmata Queen turns 50 tomorrow. (Hee hee, she is going to kill me.)

Let's get back the post at hand, or at keyboard as the case may be. Today was an ordinary day. Much like the rest of the week. I did my 10 mile run in less than 90 minutes, pumped iron for a couple of hours and managed dunk twice over three 20 year-old boys who still can't believe that an old man has crazy hops like me.

Inside the steam room I received direct communication from above. The Big Kahuna, Top Dog, The Man, the creator of the universe and master of time and space reached out and touched me. Understand that being touched in the steam room is disconcerting. When you are naked and walking amongst the people you aren't real interested in being groped, nor do you expect that you'll have an experience like Big Jake in which the almighty lays a hand upon your thigh.

There inside that steam room I was given a vision, testimony that I was commanded to present to the world. I was warned that my word would not be taken seriously and that some people would accuse me of being crazy. But in the presence of the steam that was not consumed I knew that I had received my calling and a duty that I couldn't forsake.

I am more than just the Bishop of Bullfrog. I am more than just Jack. That roar you hear isn't an airplane, it is not a big truck, it is the heavenly host telling you that you better damn well take notice of me. In the very near future I will be presenting you with the most important information you'll ever encounter.

For now I have been directed to visit the missionaries so that I can correct their behavior. Those who witness are being instructed to stop the trash talking. You got the message wrong. You blew it and now is your sole chance to redeem yourselves. Listen well, listen long and remember the words that I will present you.

I am the eggman, I am the eggman, I am the walrus.

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can't use it anymore.
It's gettin' dark, too dark for me to see
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door.
Knockin' on Heaven's Door-Bob Dylan
Nine years ago we buried one of my best friends. His yarzheit was August 25th. For those of you who are concerned, I don't remember what the Hebrew date is. I just know that it is close to Elul and that this has always affected me.

His death was a life changing experience. He wasn't the first friend that we lost. There were others that came before and after him. I don't mean to demean or marginalize the loss of the others. Should their loved ones ever read this I don't want them to feel badly. But they were different.

Car accidents, a bike accident, a couple of suicides took the others. Cancer took my pal away. It didn't happen over night. It was a process that took a while. In some ways it seemed like it took forever and in others it felt like forever. Each week there was a gradual deterioration of his abilities. The cancer didn't discriminate between cognitive or motor skills. It took huge bites out of all until there was nothing left to take. The giving tree was no more.

The first few years after his death were hard, far harder than now. It is not that I do not miss him, but I have grown accustomed to his absence. For a long time that bothered me. I felt like I was betraying his memory. If I didn't feel that searing sense of loss I'd wonder what was wrong with me. It took a while to realize that I was healing and to accept that it was ok not to miss him every day.

After a while it was normal not to think about him, to not wonder what sort of advice he might have offered, to not feel badly that he would never know the pleasure of being a father etc. Still I made a point of not missing his yarzheit.

Each year I would take a few minutes to think about him and appreciate all that I had learned and gained from our friendship.

This year was different. This year was different because I forgot about his yarzheit. It didn't even occur to me until today that I had. So I suppose that this is more proof that time heals all wounds. Yet I'd like to clarify that.

I may not feel that searing pain. The sense of loss may not be there, but the scars remain. There are moments when it is tough. There are times when I do very much wish that he was still here. When I get together with the crew there are moments that I look out at 35 or so kids and wish that his were playing with the rest.

There are those moments when the memories pop up. A dinner in Beverly Hills, a hike in the Sierras, flying over Catalina or walking down the street in Jerusalem. They're bittersweet memories. They're part of deep spiritual questions and tied into growth.

His loss changed me. It aged me. It made me question and wonder about things that I might not ever have. I don't want to belabor the point or make this post any longer than it is. All I know is that I wish the old bastard was here to argue with me because I miss my friend.

I miss my friend. How many times have I said that recently and how many more times will I have to say it. Every now and then I am amazed to hear someone say that they have never been to a funeral. I have been to more than twenty.

It is Elul and I feel unsettled.

Prayer In School

Prayer in school is a hot topic. It is a hot button issue that is regularly covered within and without the blogosphere. I have a number of posts that touch upon or discuss it. I'll provide links to some of those posts at the end of this one.

On a side note I have noticed that virtually every time I have run something about this subject my blog has been dropped from blog rolls. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I don't need everyone to either. I find it somewhat telling and sad that some people find my position to be so offensive that they no longer want to visit. Mostly it is because they claim to be quite tolerant, but such is life.

The following are just some thoughts from the top of my head. This is not an attempt to prove the intent of the framers as being for or against, although if you want my opinion I think that they were at best neutral about it, if not downright against it. If they wanted the government to sanction prayer in school they would have specifically included it within the Constitution.

I am against organized prayer within public schools. Note that I said organized prayer. In concept, I am not against a moment of silence but I tend to be skeptical about whether people will truly be silent.

My concern about prayer in school is that it can be divisive, exclusionary and that some students may be ostracized because of their beliefs. Our schools should be havens of learning in which no one is targeted because their beliefs do not adhere to those of others. Organized prayer that is sanctioned by the school places these havens in jeopardy and infringes upon parental rights to instill values within our children.

In a Utopian society different views and philosophies are celebrated. However we know from painful experience that this is not the world that we live in. School children are subjected to tremendous social pressure to fit in and while it is noble and worthwhile to teach them to stand up for their beliefs this is not the situation in which to try and do so.

A belief in a particular religion is always rooted in faith that its tenets are true. Faith is the key word in that sentence. You cannot rely upon logic and reason to take you to the place in which an a consensus is reached about faith. This is a big hurdle.

If you note how many denominations of particular religions exist you can see how this exacerbates the situation. I know of Orthodox Jews who see the non Orthodox as apostates, evangelicals who consider Catholics to be idol worshippers etc. If you cannot find consensus among the believers of the same faith you are walking on thin ice.

Earlier I mentioned how organized prayer interferes with parental rights. It is something that I feel strongly about. My biggest job in life is to teach my children how to be menschen. It is a parent's obligation to instill values within our children. It is not the school or societies responsibility to teach them how to become good people. It is mine. This is a large part of why I make time for my kids.

I love my children and want them to be happy. So I provide them with structure, with guidance and with a framework that they can apply to life. The primary set of values is what they receive at home. It is nice for that to be supplemented by the school, but a public school shouldn't touch upon religion for all the reasons I mentioned above. There is strength in plurality.

Posts regarding Prayer in School and similar issues

You Live In A Christian Country- Deal With It
Stop The ACLU Coalition Nonsense
Religion In Schools
Prayer In School- Kentucky High School Shenanigan
Interfaith Relationships- Jews and Christians Misunderstood Again
Southern Baptist Bunk
Air Force Sued Over Religious Intolerance
Appeals court broadens prayer ban in Arkansas school district

On Deck: Prayer in School/ Children & Values

Hi Folks,

I have a couple of topics that I want to tackle. If I can find a few quiet minutes I plan on producing posts on Prayer In School and instilling values in children.

Stay tuned.

Don Corleone Meets Slash

What Is The Worst Job You Ever Had?

Friends, Readers, Lurkers and Bloggers, lend me your stories. I come to beg a boon of you. Please share with us the sad tale about the worst job you ever had.

The floor is now open.

10 Legendary Trips You Can Still Take

Forbes Travel has a list of adventures that I plan to take on.

Historic journeys from the Silk Road to the
Orient Express

With high-speed trains, fast cars and jumbo jets that can whisk us across time zones in a matter of hours, getting from point A to point B has never been easier (though we all know it’s not hassle-free). But with so much time saved comes the loss of something else—the idea that sometimes the journey is the destination itself. And there’s no better way to partake in what’s called “slow travel” than by doing it on a historic route.

With several notable treks, two-lane historic highways, and slow train lines from which to choose, where does one begin?

The granddaddy of all historic routes is, of course, the Silk Road, the famed network of old trading routes that connected China to the Mediterranean. Most 21st-century travelers don’t take the entire route, but do it in portions. That’s what longtime travel editor and writer Don George did. He trekked it through Pakistan and said it was one of the grandest trips of his life. “What could be more stirring than walking in the footsteps of Marco Polo and viewing ways of life that have changed little since his time?” says George, who runs the literary travel websites Don's Place and Recce.

Another highly recommended route comes from writer Tony Perrottet: the Athens-to-Olympia pagan pilgrimage path. “I’d advise driving it,” says Perrottet, who made the journey for his book about the origins of the Olympic Games, The Naked Olympics. Ancient Greeks would make the pilgrimage to Mt. Olympus just before the Olympics. “You end up in the mountains of Arcadia,” says Perrottet, “which are filled with shepherds and medieval monasteries—it’s a very magical place.”

For thousands of years, travelers have also been lured to the magic of the Nile River. The slow moving waterway makes the perfect venue for viewing ancient Egyptian wonders. According to Perrottet, the Romans were fascinated with cruising down the Nile, as were the 19th-century Victorian-era British who’d stop to gawk at the pyramids and mummies. Today, travelers can still cruise down the Nile, just like their British and Roman predecessors did.

For the full tale please click here.

CNN Buffoons Interview "Brave" Terrorist

You'll forgive me for calling journalists infantile and moronic but it is hard to read the sort of preening and fawning praise of a murderer that they presented here.

He then explained he was more than willing to discuss anything we wished, ranging from a captive Israeli soldier to the peace process to U.S. foreign policy.

The still abducted Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, was a key part of the interview, and Meshaal was more than willing to talk about him.

"We did not blackmail Israel, and we gave free information to Gilad Shalit's father and his family that Gilad Shalit is still alive. When he asked us to bring him a medical glasses for his sight, we did so as humanitarian duty. We treat Gilad Shalit in a humanitarian way that is in line with the Palestinians' morals," he said.

Why didn't CNN ask him to clarify what he considers blackmail to be. Would it involve threatening to murder a captive if your demands are not met. This is so much claptrap and nonsense. But it is not as ridiculous as what follows.
Robertson began to ask about Hamas' view of the United States and the Bush administration's foreign policy. Suddenly, Meshaal hinted at a potential shift in Hamas' policy toward Israel. The slightest chance of change, of course, depends on events, according to the Hamas leader.

"Hamas changed a lot and great efforts have been made to conform with the realistic positions of Palestinians and Arabs. When Hamas says with other Palestinians forces that we demand for a Palestinian country as the border was back in 1967. Isn't this a development change?" he said.
You'd think that at this point CNN would be smart enough to ask if this means that Hamas has amended its charter. You know that little document that states:
"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."
Unfortunately it appears that they did not do so. All they did was nod and smile and provide a platform for a terrorist leader to spout off doctrine. Apparently they were too impressed to think.
Shortly after the interview began, the room filled up with his guards and those that work with Meshaal. They wanted to hear what he had to say as much as we did. In the middle of the interview, one of his guards handed him a cell phone. He had a brief conversation and apologized to us for the interruption.

"Who was that?" I asked one of my contacts.

The answer: "A very powerful Arab leader."

That sounds like a version of an old sales trick. Gee Mrs. Jones I'd sure like to sell you this house, but as you just heard me say, there are at least three offers for this house. I call bullshit. Don't tell me that it is a powerful Arab leader unless you can prove it. CNN made a mistake by not holding his feet to the fire about this.

And it just gets worse.
I must say it's difficult to truly enjoy your coffee when you know you're about to go to a place run by Hamas to meet a man who at any moment could be killed by Israel.
Did they not see what happened in Gaza. Did they not hear about the war between Hamas and Fatah. All they can do is worry that Israel might try to execute the murderer of innocents.

Watch him use the journalists to spread his propaganda.

The interview with Meshaal lasted around 90 minutes, but it seemed to fly by far faster.

He discussed the role of Saudi Arabia and how Hamas' relationship plays into wider regional politics, as well as his wish to speak to the West, to have peace talks and be invited to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice next month. He spoke of mistakes he believes the Americans have made -- especially not backing the Hamas government in Gaza, which was democratically elected -- and much, much more.

They never bother to question. They just accept his propaganda and feed it to the world. Somewhere Meshaal is smiling like the cat who ate the canary.

This just disgusts me. They should be embarrassed to have been so easily duped. It is just shameful.

Do You Force Yourself To Blog?

*Sticky Post*

Ok friends. It is time for a new question.


Do you have to force yourself to blog? Is blogging a chore, a responsibility or something that you do for fun?

For a list of posts that ask similar/related questions/comments about blogging try the drop down menu entitled BLOGGING on the right side of the page.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Haveil Havalim- The Corner Kick Edition

If you haven't dribbled over you don't know what you are missing.

Jewish boy served as Nazi 'mascot'

Ynet has an interesting story called Jewish boy served as Nazi 'mascot'.

Over 50-years after the Second World War came to an end, Alex Kurzem of Australia revealed to his family that he was a Jew who survived the war by being adopted by the SS at the age of five and becoming a Nazi mascot.

Kurzem, 70, revealed his story to his wife and two children in 1997, and now, 10 years later, a book entitled The Mascot and written by Kurzem's son Mark, has been published in London.

"Who would have believed such a story?" Kurzem told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper over the phone Thursday night.

"Only after my son decided to dedicate himself to research did we realize that I was documented in Nazi propaganda ads and Nazi press and Nazi newsreels where the photographs appearing in the book were taken from. In newsreels I was nicknamed 'The Reich's youngest Nazi'."


Dressed in a little SS uniform and armed with toy gun, Kurzem looked like a real Nazi."Only one Nazi knew I was Jewish, and he made me swear not to tell," Kurzem said, "This was a daily struggle, because I was troubled by it every day. Luckily, I did not look Jewish, but more German than the Germans, and so, despite my fears, no one ever doubted my identity."

Kurzem's story begins in 1941, when his Belarusian village was invaded by Germany. The then five-year-old boy managed to escape the massacre, but witnessed the death of his mother and two siblings, along with the rest of the villagers.

The young boy wandered through the woods for nine months, surviving on wild berries and handouts, until he was handed over to the Latvian police brigades, which later became incorporated into the Nazi SS.

The Latvians were convinced Kurzem was a Russian orphan of German descent. "They were sure I was a German orphan, and that's why I deserved to become their mascot," he said.

Guaranteed To Add Three Inches

There are less painful ways to try to gain a few more inches. For example, you could put some lifts in your shoes or marry a shorter wife.

Jimmy Cox- First try

I have been to my share of AA meetings. Spent more than a couple of hours in smoke filled rooms listening to the tales of those in recovery and those who are still trying to recover. I have seen a man receive a chip for 50 years of sobriety and another for 5 years.

Some of those stories are just as sad as you can imagine. Tragedy and heartbreak bought and sold for two bits. Misery is a shared currency that can be traded and bartered for or so Jimmy Cox tried to tell me. Jimmy had all sorts of sayings. We used to laugh about it. One day we planned on using them to fill a book we planned on writing. It didn't have to make us rich or famous. It just had to serve as proof of a life that actually meant something.

Jimmy didn't have any illusions of grandeur. He was a simple man who had a simple disease. The biggest problem was that euphemism, simple disease didn't quite illustrate just how badly it could fuck it up your life. Jimmy had learned the hard way that he wasn't cut out to only have a couple of beers. He wasn't someone who could walk away from the table. Some people can. Some people can ignore the piece of cheesecake lying in front of them.

Jimmy couldn't. He used to say that it was part of his nature. There wasn't any challenge too big for him to take on. He couldn't find the man that was tougher than he was. And for twenty years he proved it. For twenty years he drank and fought his way through bars, restaurants, employers, wives and more than a couple of girlfriends.

In a different life Jimmy might have been an engineer or a teacher. In a different life he would have come home from work and not needed to take a shower. He had dark thoughtful eyes, a weathered, yet friendly face and a great smile. A fine sense of humor tempered by a fierce anger helped to round him out.

Greatest Hits Albums Are Just For Cash

At last I have found an article that says essentially what I have been saying for years now. Most of the greatest hits albums are nothing more than a cheap attempt to make a buck. I don't think that it was always this way.

Let me clarify that. I think that there was always a desire to make money off of the greatest hits, but it used to be that a band was around for a while. They had to stand the test of time before they could put out an album of so called greatest hits. That is not really the case anymore.

I thought that the following excerpt from the article was worth sharing as it sums much of this up.

Some greatest-hits records take on a life of their own -- like the Eagles' "Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)," which is the best-selling album ever in the U.S. Similarly, Bob Marley's "Legend" was (and still is) a sensation. At one point, it spent 106 straight weeks atop the Nielsen SoundScan catalog chart.

Other bands like U2 and Aerosmith have been criticized for their seemingly unceasing parade of greatest-hits albums. U2 followed 1998's "The Best of 1980-1990" and 2002's "The Best of 1990-2000" with 2006's "U218 Singles." Last year's "Devil's Got a New Disguise: The Very Best of Aerosmith" was the band's eighth compilation over the course of their 27-year career.

Back To School Time Makes Me Sad

Some people love this time of year. They enjoy all of the hustle and bustle surrounding back to school. If you ask them they'll give you all sorts of reasons why they do. They like the feeling of a new year, the appreciate the excitement of new challenges in school etc.

Not me.

I love summer. It has been my favorite time of year for as long as I can remember. The long summer days and cool summer nights always feel like they have so much potential. I love going to the beach and walking barefoot in the sand. I love the feel of the sun on my back. It makes me feel alive.

Back to school marks the beginning of the end of this time. The carefree attitude of summer is replaced by a more serious demeanor that I find ill fitting. Give me a choice between a suit and tie versus shorts and tank top and I'll go casual every time.

Sometimes I think that my life was meant to be spent living on a boat and just sailing around the world. But then reality hits me square in the nose and I know otherwise.

I'll hold onto my summer for as long as I can.

Vick admits dog killing, conspiracy

Michael Vick's saga is slowly coming to an end, at least the first part of it is. He is getting off relatively easy. By striking a deal he will avoid more serious charges. I am not convinced that he feels any remorse or understands why what he did was wrong.
(CNN) -- NFL star Michael Vick has admitted that he and his co-defendants killed dogs that did not fight well in papers filed on Friday with a federal court in Virginia.

In a plea agreement, Vick said he would plead guilty to one count of "Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture."

The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Federal prosecutors agreed to ask for the low end of the sentencing guidelines.

In an additional statement of facts, signed by Vick and filed with the agreement, Vick admitted buying the property that was used for dogfighting but said he did not bet on the fights or receive any of the money won.

"Most of the 'Bad Newz Kennels'' operations and gambling monies were provided by Vick," the official summary of facts stated. Gambling wins were generally split between co-conspirators Tony Taylor, Quanis Phillips and sometimes Purnell Peace, it continued.

"Vick did not gamble by placing side bets on any of the fights. Vick did not receive any of the proceeds from the purses that were won by 'Bad Newz Kennels.'"

Vick also agreed that "collective efforts" by him and two others caused the deaths of at least six dogs.

In about April of this year, Vick, Peace and Phillips tested some dogs in fighting sessions at Vick's property in Virginia, the statement said. "Peace, Phillips and Vick agreed to the killing of approximately 6-8 dogs that did not perform well in 'testing' sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road and all of those dogs were killed by various methods, including hanging and drowning.

"Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of Peace, Phillips and Vick," the summary said.

Vocabulary Time Part II

It is Vocabulary Time Part II. The First edition can be found here.
de·fal·cate (dĭ-făl'kāt', -fôl'-, dĕf'əl-)
intr.v., -cat·ed, -cat·ing, -cates.

To misuse funds; embezzle.

Dac·tyl·on·o·my
n.[Gr. da`ktylos finger + no`mos law, distribution.]
The art of numbering or counting by the fingers.

re·cru·desce ('krū-dĕs')
intr.v., -desced, -desc·ing, -desc·es.

To break out anew or come into renewed activity, as after a period of quiescence.

vi·del·i·cet (vĭ-dĕl'ĭ-sĕt', vī-, wĭ-dā'lĭ-kĕt') pronunciation
adv. (Abbr. viz.)

That is; namely. Used to introduce examples, lists, or items.

Keywords- How You found Me

It is time for another roundup of keywords that led folks to the blog. Here is a partial list.
random thoughts
christian domestic discipline
birthday attack'
I wish I was a rabbi
song lyrics you're the prize in my cracker jack box
christian discipline
boys peeing standing up
most important Jewish holiday
if i am not for myself
funny actors in the 80's
how to teach a boy to pee standing
afraid my grandparent dying
is it ok to have sex with old lady
darren date china grill
shluchim
why is cleveland laughed
explaining death to children
elul; break sexual urge
do guys have emotions

Ofra Haza- Yerushalaym Shel Zahav & One Surprise

One of my favorite songs.



Ok, raise your hand if you were surprised to hear her sing this next song:

CNN's and Amanpour's biases

Elder of Ziyon has done a good job fisking Amanpour. Check it out here.

Bulletproof Baby

I stumbled onto Bulletproof Baby earlier today. At first I wasn't sure if it was a parody or not and then I realized that it was not. After reviewing it I have a few thoughts to share with you.

If you live in a place in which you need baby armor you probably should be trying to get out of there. A Riot Shield for the baby seems a bit over the top.

Overview:

The BPB Riot shield is an ultra light fully interlinking riot shield that allows an individual or formation to survive extreme attack from rocks, petrol bombs and shotguns. The line of interlinked shields gives a safe barricade behind which all the members of the family can hide in safety. In opposed house entry situations the linked shields give total overhead protection.
These shields out-survive older types many times over as they are exceptionally durable. Even after repeated axe and stone attack, the shield survives. We regularly test with huge axes against these shields. No other competitive design survives.
I must admit that it is easier for me to see the utility of the bulletproof stroller below.

Overview:

A must for mobile baby protection, the Heavy weight bulllet proof stroller provides 100% protection against all modern ballistics including Armor Piercing rounds. It’s heavy enough to maintain stability even under a heavy barrage, and yet has light steering enabling the stroller to turn on a dime if required. For the smart urban baby.. this stroller is the ultimate in style, comfort and extreme combat protection.


Maybe I am being a bit unfair, but it just seems like these items are a little bit out there.

Ozzy Osbourne- Disco King

How many people have heard Ozzy perform Staying Alive. Personally I think that this was better than some of Pat Boone's covers.

NAACP Official: Vick Persecuted Worse Than if he Killed a Human

Some people abuse language in terrible ways, but something tells me that RL White is not kidding when he says that Michael Vick is being persecuted.
R.L. White, president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said his organization does not condone dogfighting or any other illegal activity, but he told reporters that Vick should be given a chance to redeem himself.
“In some instances, I believe Michael Vick has received more negative press than if he would’ve killed a human being,” White said. “The way he is being persecuted, he wouldn’t have been persecuted that much had he killed somebody.”
I find it offensive to suggest that Michael Vick is being persecuted. He engaged in illegal activities of his own volition. But I must admit that I do agree that there probably more press about this than if he had killed or raped someone. It is kind of a sad thing. You never know what can happen, Ray Lewis is still playing.

Arabs Surf Israeli Porn Sites

Ynet is reporting a story that you probably will not find on Al-Jazeera.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict apparently does not disturb and even encourages Arab internet users from consuming kosher Hebrew porn. Operators of a number of porn sites report that between two and 10% of their users arrive from Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority. Some websites even go as far as offering services in Arabic.

Nir Shahar, who manages the Israeli porn website, 'Ratuv' (wet), said that his company produced porn movies that have typical Israeli themes featuring female soldiers, female Mossad agents and policewomen.

It turns out there is a high demand for such content even in countries that are defined as "enemy states." The most popular video clip among Arabs, "Code name: Deep investigation," is described as "a parody dealing with the Vanunu affair with agents investigating the affair using erotic means."

In the past several months we see an increase in traffic from countries that have no diplomatic ties with Iran , Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt," Shahar said.

Due to the demand, Shahar added an Arabic version of the site. "We received many thank you messages from Arab surfers. Many of whom asked if the female soldiers really serve in the IDF," he said.
For the full story please click here.

Jack And The Missionary Again

If you have spent any time around The Shack you know that I have had more than a few encounters with missionaries of all types. For those who are new here are some of links that you can use to catch up.

Jack And The Missionary
I am going to Hell or so you claim

She Wants to Save My Soul


Just to be balanced I should find the links about dealing with The Shluchim that have visited me here, not to mention Shmuley from the Kabbalah Center. Good old Shmuley who tried to strong arm me into giving him some kesef so that I could be granted deeper enlightenment. I don't take too kindly to that kind of behavior so you sometimes receive a strong response from me.

This afternoon I received a visit from a man who told me that he felt compelled to walk the neighborhood and visit his brothers, The Jews. If you show up at my door and say that you need to speak to me about The Jews you can guarantee that my bullshit meter has just gone to Defcon 1.

I don't know what it is about this time of the year, but I always seem to get a few right around now and September. Anyways, the fellow shows up at my door and asks if he can speak to me about giving money to an organization that helps people. That is a reasonable request and if that was all he had said things would have been fine. But it didn't stay there.

In a matter of moments he launched into this grand explanation about his real reason and need to visit his brothers, The Jews. As he proceeded to explain how he could help my family find a deeper purpose in life I cut him off. I was curt, but polite. He was undeterred and tried to explain to me that the world is full of signs of end times and that I am risking the souls of my children.

Missionary Man: Sir you realize that by not accepting the lord you are risking eternity.
Jack: I haven't any concerns.

Missionary Man: Don't tell me that you aren't worried about this.
Jack: I don't worry about fairy tales and nursery rhymes. When little Miss Muffet gets off of her tuffet and tries to kick my ass I might take it seriously.

Missionary Man: I find what you are saying to be quite troubling.
Jack: Do you think that my people killed your lord?

Missionary Man: Yes, but I don't hold you responsible for that.
Jack: How very kind of you. Now if you really believed that we killed G-d you'd better get moving before I turn you into some kind of serpent or send you someplace less comfortable, like cleveland.

Missionary Man: This is not right.
Jack: What's not right? That you come to my door and pretend that you are the only one who has a path to spiritual enlightenment or that I threatened to send you to some horrid location in the midwest.

Missionary Man: You're being rude and offensive.
Jack: Hello pot, this is the kettle, you're black. I can see from the look on your face that went right over your head.

Missionary Man: It did.
Jack: Has it ever occurred to you that the reason your job is so hard is because you are wrong or do they brainwash you into believing otherwise.

Missionary Man: I am not brainwashed. I know what I am saying.
Jack: Do you understand Hebrew or do you read a translation?

Missionary Man: I don't need to understand it. I read translations that were provided by scholars of great repute.
Jack: See, the reality is that you really don't know if what has been taught to you is accurate.

Missionary Man: I trust their scholarship.
Jack: Fine. I don't. I already know about the mistranslations and misinterpretations. I already know the responses that you'll give me and how to counter those. But why would I want to waste any more time.

Missionary Man: Your soul is not a waste of time.
Jack: These conversations are a waste of my time. You aren't going to convince me. I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe. Truth is that I feel a bit badly for trying to antagonize you.

Missionary Man: Make it up to me by listening to what I have to say.
Jack: Nice try. I don't feel that badly. Besides, I am still mulling over whether to turn you into a newt. See, I can't even pretend to be nice. Do you know what a blog is? I am asking because I am going to blog about this entire conversation.

Missionary Man: That is a violation of my privacy. I forbid you from doing so without my written permission and I deny you that.


Damn, the man denied me. Whatever will I do.

You Can Call Me Soccer Dad or Coach

This coming Fall the big boy is going to play another season of soccer. So once again you will be able to call me Soccer Dad. No, I am not this Soccer Dad. Those would be mighty big shoes to fill.

No, this year I am just an ordinary suburban father who is tasked with taking a group of seven year old boys and turning them into lean, mean, fighting machines. I rather expect that this experience should make good blog fodder.

And how sad am I that I look at everything I do and wonder if it is worth blogging about. Ok, that is an exaggeration, I don't get that obsessive about this, but it is not hyperbole to say that I think about blogging a lot. But this a topic for a different post.

For now we'll focus on the coaching. More on this later.

Big Brother In The Office

I find this sort of thing to be very troubling. I understand why companies try to protect themselves and I cannot say that I disagree with it....in concept. But there is a line that can be crossed and that bothers me.

"What I'm looking for is not so much someone sending out something intentional or volumes of info" inappropriately leaving the hospital, she says. "I'm looking at, is this a legitimate recipient?" Maybe an e-mail address was mistyped, for example, or one too many people was copied in on a spreadsheet with patient account numbers.

Such careful oversight is becoming more common. Many organizations, fearful that inside information can slip out through innumerable digital avenues, now govern precisely what employees can or cannot put into e-mails, instant messages, Web postings and even offline documents. But employers can't hold their workers' hands all the time -- so they're increasingly turning to software that tries to do it for them.

Offices have had strong computer controls for years, from inbound protections like antivirus programs to filtering technologies that block porn or Web e-mail sites. This new generation of software sticks its nose into even more of what people do all day.

For example, one communications-control vendor, Orchestria Corp., says its software could have prevented the CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc. from posting the rival-denigrating comments on Internet message boards that he later came to regret.

How so? Because Orchestria's software can be set to notice when certain keywords -- a competitor's name, for example -- are entered in documents or Web forms. The software can be set to block such actions or simply warn users that they're breaking company policy.

This fine-grained, automated monitoring is moving beyond highly regulated industries like health care and financial services thanks to a spate of new rules from government and the credit-card industry. Organizations also fear customer-account data breaches, insider thefts and other public-relations nightmares.

"The driver is ethics and reputation," says Joe Fantuzzi, CEO of Workshare Inc., whose software analyzes data-leakage risks. "Whether I'm regulated or not, I need to be seen as an ethical corporation. That affects my stock price, that affects whether customers are retained -- whether there's a leak or not."

These messaging-compliance technologies are still young. The Radicati Group, a technology research firm, estimates the market will ring up $670 million worldwide this year and more than triple in size by 2011.

Radicati analyst Masha Khmartseva says the technologies have some problems, including a tendency to mistakenly block or hold up too many items even if nothing in them flouts corporate policies. If an innocuous message is erroneously deemed sensitive and routed through an encryption server, the recipient has to spend extra time logging in to that server to retrieve the message.

Also, systems that warn employees if it appears they are about to send something possibly untoward -- say, the name of a product under development to a recipient outside the company -- can produce an annoying stream of pop-up messages, Khmartseva notes.

But get used to it.

"Very soon, everything is going to be controlled," Khmartseva said. "At least that's the idea. We'll see how it's going to happen."

Many of you are reading this blog from your office. It is quite likely that in many of those offices someone is receiving a report about your internet usage. They know where you went, when and for how long you were there.

As I mentioned above, I understand why companies want to protect themselves. I recognize their need to control information output and their desire to try and prevent employees from wasting time. Yet, there needs to be some understanding on behalf of the employee. Not everyone is trying to rob from the company. Not everyone is stealing time.

Don't Screw With An Elephant

PostSecret

Remember when I said that I was part of a team of bloggers writing secrets for PostSecret? Three of my cards are up this week. The person who correctly guesses which ones they are qualifies for a free waffle breakfast at The Muqata.

How To Fight A Polar Bear

SVALBARD, Norway, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Students in Svalbard, Norway, are taught how to use a shotgun and ammunition to fend off polar bears at the beginning of every school year.

Since polar bears can outrun a human in a matter of seconds, every student at the University Center undergoes weapons and arctic survival training, Aftenposten reported Monday.

“It's absolutely necessary,” said UNIS director Gunnar Sand.

The school loans weapons, ammunition, tents, sleeping bags, survival suits, snow scooters and other equipment out as well.

Polar bears are not the only thing that student have to worry about either.

"Polar bears are one thing," Sand noted. "Even more dangerous is the extreme cold, and the winds. There also are dangerous glaciers, steep cliffs, and it's a long way between settlements."
Is it just me, or does this school sound a bit dangerous.

If You Had One Day Left To Live

It is almost a cliche to ask people what they would do if they knew they only had one day left. I can think of more than one time in school in which one of my instructors used this as an exercise.

Pretend you only have one day left to live. Write a story about what you do etc.

I used to hate that kind of stuff. Ok, maybe hate is too strong a word, but it rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it is because when I was younger I believed in the invincibility of youth. Maybe that is why I couldn't or didn't take it seriously.

The thing is that I do take it seriously now. I have buried more than one friend. I have seen death come in various forms, cancer, airplane, car accidents, terrorism and war. It is a bitter education that I would have liked to avoid, but such is life.

So now I ask myself the question, if I knew that I only had one day left to live, what would I do? The answer is hard. I am not sure. I am torn. It is an internal struggle. The obvious answer is that I'd like to spend time with the people I love.

But that is not all. I think that I'd need to be outside. I'd want to go sit on a beach and listen to the roar of the ocean. I'd want to scale a mountain and look out on the valley below. I'd need to travel to the desert and look out on a vast expanse of sand. The end of Point Break comes to mind. ignore the bad acting and look at those waves.

One day left to live- what have I learned? What do I leave behind? What kind of legacy do I leave for my children. I ask myself all of these questions and so many more.

The more than I consider this, the more that I realize that I haven't nearly enough time. My life is going to be way too short to do everything that I need to do. I'll do my best to get it done. I'll try so very hard and I'll keep fighting, but sooner or later that guy with the scythe and I will have to meet in person.

The Final Goodbye

The last chunk of time has been rough. It has been hard for a whole host of reasons, but this evening the toughest was because I had to say goodbye to my pal.

Tomorrow morning he has an appointment with the vet. The family has agonized over this. We have spent a ton of time trying to make sure that we make the right decision. Every discussion with the vet has made it implicitly clear that there are no heroic measures to be taken.

That is not to say that there are not things that could be done, there are. At best they might extend his life by a few months, but they wouldn't add to the quality of his life and that is the crux of this matter. He is more than 14 years old and the body won't give of itself anymore.

So for the past few days I have spent as much time with him as I could. He can't chase me anymore. He used to love to fetch a ball. I could throw it a country mile and he'd go get it and bring it back to me. He has trouble doing the basic stuff now. I look at that majestic head and I can see the young puppy staring back at me. Dark soulful eyes look at you and you just know that he is waiting for a treat.

I feel guilty that I know what is going to happen. I feel like part of me is betraying him, but at the same time I don't feel right watching him struggle to get through the day. His breathing is labored and there are times where I swear it looks like he is already gone.

Yet there are moments where he fools me. There are moments in which he moves freely and issues that deep bark that always served notice of his presence. It is almost like he is hoping that this will be enough to gain clemency from the governor and gain a reprieve. If it made sense I would grant it. If I could turn back time I'd make him young again and we'd get more time together.

Fourteen years ago I was a single man and he was the one I'd share all my stories with. We'd take long walks at the park and wander the beach together. He has witnessed some of the biggest moments of my life. And all he has ever asked of me is a little food and companionship. It has been a good deal for both of us.

Tonight the children gave him an extra big hug goodbye and so did I. I bent down and rubbed his belly. I leaned over and made a point to smell him so that I would remember his scent.

I am going to miss my friend.

Michael Vick- Is Justice Being Served

(CNN) -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has accepted a plea deal that could send him to prison, ending a federal dogfighting prosecution that jeopardizes his pro football career, his lawyers said.

Vick will plead guilty to felony conspiracy next Monday, his defense attorneys said.

A status conference on the case is set for 3 p.m. Monday in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia. The court's docket shows that Vick will appear again next Monday morning before Judge Henry E. Hudson for a plea agreement hearing.

The U.S. Attorney's office said it is not commenting. All news of the plea agreement came from the defense.

"After consulting with his family over the weekend, Michael Vick asks that I announce today that he has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him," lead defense attorney Billy Martin said in a statement.

"Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his action and the mistakes he has made. Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter," Martin's statement said.

Vick's attorneys have been negotiating with federal prosecutors over terms of the deal, which must be approved by the judge. While prosecutors can recommend a sentence, the decision ultimately rests with the judge.

The plea would help Vick avoid additional federal charges."
I'll update this in more detail in a little bit. Vick should be happy that he is not getting worse than this. On a side note, it is kind of sad to see such an outcry about dogfighting and athletes but domestic violence doesn't receive the same.

Israel and the double standard

Meryl caught my attention with her post Israel and the double standard. It refers to the recent story about Israel turning away some refugees from Darfur. Here is an excerpt:

It’s funny when you compare the response to stories like this, where a Hamas children’s program demonstrates cruelty to animals while ostensibly teaching children not to be cruel to animals, with the response to stories about Israel refusing to accept any more African refugees. The Hamas children’s show story got limited play, of course, while the Israel/Darfur story is already developing very long legs. The AP had constantly updating stories out on it over the weekend, and more today. The New York Times and the Washington Post have picked up the story and run with it.

I am decidedly torn about Israel’s response to these people. Some of them are refugees from Darfur. Others are simply people trying to find work and a better life for themselves. Still others are leaving Egypt because Egypt’s treatment of African refugees is despicable. They have beat and murdered refugees without compunction, and why wouldn’t they? The world stands by and ignores it, even when the AP puts a boilerplate into every one of its articles pointing out that the Egyptian police murdered 30 Sudanese when “clearing a refugee encampment.” Where is the UN Refugee Agency on this issue? Why no statements from the Secretary General demanding that Egypt follow international law and stop treating the refugees so cruelly? Where is the UN’s response to the Egyptian border police’s murder of Sudanese refugees trying to escape into Israel? How is it that those incidents pass relatively unnoticed by the world, yet Israel’s policy on refugees crossing the border from Israel merits over 400 articles now, double what it was yesterday, and five times the number of stories that went out about Hamas’ animal cruelty-slash-brainwashing video.

Once again, we see the world’s double standard for Israel—and Jews—in full swing. Because Jews suffered, they are obliged to never let other people suffer on their watch. Because modern Israel was created partly due to the world’s guilt over the Holocaust, Israel must rescue all the refugees from all violence all over the world—or so goes the current thinking. And it is right there in the lede of all the AP articles speeding ’round the world.

Go read the full post.

I am in agreement about how uncomfortable the situation is. In light of our experience it feels shameful to turn anyone away. I'd like to try and come up with a better situation. But as Meryl wrote, there is a double standard at work here. It is quite disgusting to see that there are people in the world who will let others die to try and make a point.

Humped To Death

There are many ways to die, but I never considered death by horny camel to be one of them. BTW, how do you become a camel expert.
(AP) An Australian woman was killed by a pet camel given to her as a 60th birthday present after the animal apparently tried to have sex, police said Sunday.

The woman, whose name was not released, was killed Saturday at her family's sheep and cattle ranch near Mitchell, 350 miles west of the Queensland state capital Brisbane, state police Detective Senior Constable Craig Gregory said.

The 10-month-old male camel — weighing about 330 pounds — knocked the woman to the ground, lay on top of her, then exhibited what police suspect was mating behavior, Gregory said.

"I'd say it's probably been playing, or it may be even a sexual sort of thing," Gregory said, adding the camel almost suffocated the family's pet goat by straddling it on several occasions.

Camel expert Chris Hill said he had no doubt the camel's behavior was sexual.

Some Assembly Required Part II

Last December I wrote a post about the joys of assembling toys. It easily could have included a bit about Ikea and their ilk. You haven't lived until you have tried to follow Olaf's instructions on how to build something that resembles the piece in the showroom.

I can remember more than one time in which I made plans to fly to Sweden to kick Olaf's Scandinavian ass. On a side note to the dear troll who is currently hiding here, that was an exaggeration. Or maybe it wasn't, maybe I believe that the Three Billy Goat's Gruff is a true story. Still, I digress.

The impetus for this post is a birthday gift my daughter received for her birthday. A Dora the Explorer bicycle. It is not the first time that I have had to put a bike together. I know my way around them and I know how to work with tools. I won't claim to be a master craftsman. A Jack of All Trades is an appropriate description.

So you would think that assembling a small bicycle should be relatively easy. No, no, no. Not this time. This time some jackass had the bright idea of taking the directions and playing with them. The illustrations were so blurry they were useless and the text made as much sense as the following sentence: I truck you backwards ass monkey in love with short man.

I take that back, that last sentence is easier to understand than the instructions. It took a while to get through it, but after a while I figured out that 97w69578905y30 means that they are discussing part x and that it was supposed to go into 9875896t7402 or part y. It really shouldn't be this hard to build it.

That is 45 minutes of my life I am not going to get back. Not quite as bad as being at a Barry Manilow concert and certainly less painful than setting foot in cleveland or detroit. But, good G-d man. What the hell is wrong with these people. Go take out your perverse pleasures with someone else who appreciates it.

In the meantime the daughter still considers dear old dad to be a hero, which is pretty damn cool. Now if I can wipe her memory clean of all the colorful language I used today just might be close to perfect.

Leningrad Cowboys & Russian Red Army Choir - SWEET HOME ALABAMA

This video is too rich to pass up. Hat Tip to Right Truth and Pink Flamingo Bar.

Does your life need a coach?

CNN is running an article about life coaches.
(CNN) -- "Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?"

It's one of those questions many job-seekers dread during an interview, but it can be daunting to answer on a personal level as well. Amid all your responsibilities, activities and projects, it's sometimes hard to see the big picture and easy to become overwhelmed or feel like you're lacking direction.

That's where a life coach can come in.

"If you are frustrated with an aspect of your life, not sure how to stop making the same choices you keep making or just want to have more happiness, peace of mind and passion -- life coaching can do that for you," says Rhonda Britten, founder of the Fearless Living Institute.

Life coaches can specialize in areas like relationships, careers or personal growth. They promise to motivate, offer support when clients need a boost in confidence and help them decide which direction to take.

"In a perfect world, everyone could figure this out for him or herself, but we live in such a complicated time ... that most of us need all the help we can get," says life coach Libby Gill.
I often joke about becoming a life coach or motivational speaker. It is not that I have complete disdain for these people, but I sometimes find it hard to take them seriously. And it is not that I feel like I am the perfect example of someone who hasn't any challenges. Anyone who reads the blog for any length of time knows that.

But, I sometimes wonder if some people choose the path of least resistance, if they abdicate responsibility by hiring one a coach. Maybe that is too simplistic. Perhaps I am not digging deep enough. There is merit in finding someone to help you as a mentor. Maybe what I am poking fun at it is the idea of hiring someone to kick your ass into gear.

Because it seems to me that if you cannot find the motivation within yourself it doesn't matter what you do or whom you hire. Change comes from internal forces.

Personally my life coach is this blog. I tend to lay out my thoughts here and then determine how to proceed. You know what I want to do. I want to clone myself so that I can find time to do more, to learn more, to experience more. Maybe I can find a life coach who knows how to make that happen.

Haveil Havalim #130

Soccer Dad is hosting Haveil Havalim #130.

Backlash Over Book on Policy for Israel

Walt and Mearsheimer's book is rightfully being criticized. A New York Times article discusses some of the issues surrounding this. I could fisk the entire article and show why their position is false, but Walt does a better job of discrediting himself than anyone else could.

Look at this excerpt from the article:

Some of the planned sites, like the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, a cultural center in Washington, would have been host of an event if Mr. Mearsheimer and Mr. Walt appeared with opponents, said Esther Foer, the executive director.

Mr. Walt said, “Part of the game is to portray us as so extreme that we have to be balanced by someone from the ‘other side.’ ” Besides, he added, when you’re promoting a book, you want to present your ideas without appearing with someone who is trying to discredit you. [Emphasis mine]

If the two men had produced a legitimate work of scholarship they wouldn't have any problem defending their work. If there was substance, they could allow it to stand on its own merit. Instead they're trying to use smoke and subterfuge to hide the failings of their work.

Their fear of discourse is quite telling.

A Short Round Up of Recent Posts

Explaining Death to Children

What Is Your Favorite Type of Blog?

Christian Domestic Discipline

Rejecting radical Islam -- one man's journey

Bonus: Blast from the Past Posts:

Shaving
The Phone Sex Surprise

Cheap Sunglasses

Rejecting radical Islam -- one man's journey

CNN has the story of a man who was born Jewish, converted to Islam and then converted to Christianity.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The path to faith often takes unexpected twists. In the case of Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, the road went through three of the world's major religions -- Judaism, Islam and Christianity -- and ultimately brought him to the FBI.

Born to Jewish parents who call themselves mystics, he grew up in what he calls the "liberal hippie Mecca" of Ashland, Oregon, a town of about 20,000 near the California border. It was in this ultraliberal intellectual environment that a young Gartenstein-Ross experimented with a radical form of Islam that eventually led him to shun music, reject women's rights and even refuse to touch dogs because he believed this was "according to God's will."

"I began to pray for the mujahedeen, for these stateless warriors who were trying to topple secular governments," he said.

His journey began in 1997, when as a junior at Wake Forest University, he began to examine his own spiritual identity after experiencing a couple of brushes with death caused by illness. "That kind of thing can cause spiritual discomfort and make you reevaluate what it is that you're living for," he told CNN in an upcoming documentary called "God's Warriors."
It is an interesting story and I really have touched upon just a brief element of it. If you read more you'll see his encounter with radical Islam and how he has become a counter terrorism consultant.

I am not really focusing on any of those things. What I am curious to learn is what made him feel the need to go through three religions. What was he searching for. What was missing in his life. What drove him on this search. He sounds like a lost soul who was just buffeted around a bit.

How many lost souls are there floating through life. Quite a few I'd imagine.

Christian Domestic Discipline

I really shouldn't make fun of the religious practices of others. There are plenty of things that people can say about my own, but this topic is just begging for commentary. So let's use their definition and go from there.

What is Christian Domestic Discipline?

A domestic discipline marriage is one in which one partner in the marriage is given authority over the other and has the means to back the authority, usually by spanking.

A Christian Domestic Discipline marriage is one that is set up according to Biblical standards; that is, the husband is the authority in the household. The wife is submissive to her husband as is fit in the Lord and her husband loves her as himself. He has the ultimate authority in his household, but it is tempered with the knowledge that he must answer to God for his actions and decisions. He has the authority to spank his wife for punishment, but in real CDD marriages this is taken very seriously and usually happens only rarely. CDD is so much more than just spanking. It is the husband loving the wife enough to guide and teach her, and the wife loving the husband enough to follow his leadership. A Christian marriage embodies true romance and a Christian man a true hero.

Though this seems unusual in today's United States, this kind of marriage has been practiced throughout history and is still practiced in many parts of the world today.

I can guarantee that some of you are going to laugh at this and some of you are going to be infuriated by this. The world is an interesting place. If there is one thing that I have learned over the years it is that you never really know what is going on behind closed doors.

The point is that the dynamics of marriage are not uniform. Each couple is going to have their way of doing things. Some people might very well get off on living this way. It does have sexual overtones to it. I'd rather not go down that path because it gives me this nightmarish image of Pat Robertson and I just cannot and will not think of him in this manner. Ok, on to the next topic, Jewish Domestic Discipline.

Words On A Page

 Added a few words on a page, some well written, some less so but all with purpose in mind. Can't win the Pulitzer every time, for certa...