Monday, November 26, 2012

More Politics

More from my friend who wishes to remain anonymous:

OK, OK, OK. I’m still getting an endless flood of “What do you think about this?” notes. So here is one more worth thinking about. Please pay special attention to how clueless the Republican Party is. They should embrace any who might oppose Obama, including the TEA Party, Libertarians, Catholics, Jews, Evangelicals, etc. They should cultivate the groups who are strongly pro-Obama, especially single women and Hispanics. They should start by firing Carl Rove and getting someone like Allen West to set policy. And they should go all in for appointing an Independent Investigator over Benghazi, the cover-up, and the hocus pocus about Obama’s failed foreign policy, getting the facts and pursuing this all the way to an impeachment if necessary, and, yes, even if they fail to prevail against a Progressive Senate. They have the power to do this if they so choose.

The Republicans seem to be a bunch of freaking brain-dead idiots. They will not confront Obama. Romney ran a single issue campaign, on jobs. It was a good issue, but it wasn’t enough. He refused to attack Obama, saying that he didn’t care if people liked Obama or not, so long as they didn’t vote for him. He refused to call Obama on Benghazi, on voter fraud, on Constitutional violations, on taking foreign donations, on corruption, and on and on. In the second debate, Romney even passed up a swing at that hanging curve ball, the Benghazi cover-up, to talk nice and agree with Obama’s foreign policy.

The best strategy? If the TEA Party had more power to shape Republican policy, that would help. More radically, perhaps the Rs should just disband or re-brand themselves. They are not getting the job done, even against the President with the worst record in modern history, if not in all of our history. They seem about as relevant to resisting Saul Alinsky communism as would be the Whigs or Federalists of yore.

This is just my opinion, FWIW. Even the Russians (in Pravda) now say flat-out that America has been taken over by communists, and they know Communists better than anyone. We lost the election, but we might be able to fix or replace the Republicans in time to mount useful resistance and even an impeachment. The old Exceptional America would not give up without a try. Our Constitution, by and for the People, gives us this sacred responsibility.

That’s what I think, FWIW. What am I going to do? What I’ve been saying. I’m going to write my novels and do a blog. The bible says the Watchman must sound the alarm or the blood will be on his hands. I did that. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Surprised, Bobbled, Flabbergasted


After four years of Obama in constant campaign mode (with divisiveness, Saul Alinsky demagoguery, and the world getting ever stranger) I thought that nothing could surprise me. For example, Thanksgiving 2012 was the fourth year in a row where President Obama did not mention God, an American tradition that goes back to Washington and Lincoln. Instead, he campaigned, junketed overseas, and avoided the major issues of his failed Presidency. No surprise there: It’s the new Normal.

But the Benghazi debacle did surprise me, and it’s getting WORSE. Under oath in the classified Congressional hearings, most everyone from Team Obama is still lying, dodging, and weaving, apparently using Saul Alinsky Rule # 2 – “Talk about what should be, not was is.” Even those whom we presumed to have honor and integrity.

Intel Committee Member on Petraeus: 'Essentially, He's Using a Technicality to Say: Well, I Didn't Lie to You Guys'
By Terence P. Jeffrey 

Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.), a member of the House intelligence committee, says former CIA Director David Petraeus is “using a technicality” to say to the committee “I didn’t lie to you guys” about what happened in Benghazi.
BOGGLED (Massive, long time, Republican Stupidity!!!!) – Democrats can report voter fraud, but not Republicans.
Voting machines suspiciously defaulting to Barack Obama? Buses loaded with strangers appearing at polling stations? Even ballots turning out 100 percent for one candidate in precinct reports?
In short, suspicions of vote fraud?
That’s too bad, because a race-based consent decree negotiated by Democrats against the Republican National Committee a generation ago (1975!!!) still has tied the RNC’s hands, and GOP officials could be cited for contempt – or worse – if they try to make sure American elections are clean.
No. Fact.
The case is the Democratic National Committee vs. the Republican National Committee, originally from 1982. Democrats alleged Republicans were trying intimidate minority voters in New Jersey and brought the legal action. The RNC, inexplicably, decided to agree to a consent decree before a Democrat-appointed judge rather than fight the claims.
The judge, Dickinson Debevoise, appointed by Jimmy Carter, later retired but decided he would continue to control the case. The decision requires the RNC – but not the DNC – to “refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting; and the conduct of such activities disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose.”
The rest of the agreement essentially requires the RNC to follow applicable state and federal election laws.
But the section cited above has been used for decades to warn off Republicans from any challenge to evidence of voter fraud in districts with “racial or ethnic populations.”


Fast and Furious has been running for over three years, with Holder found in contempt of Congress, but, as yet, no one punished. Now we have Benghazi Gate, which is worse, with dead Americans, Flag Officers fired for sending help, the entire Obama Foreign Policy in shambles, several Congressional Investigations running  behind closed doors, and amazing things leaking out. So what haven’t we heard?

We’ve not heard much about Obama’s buddy in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood guy, the radical Islamist that Czar Clapper said was not Islamic but “almost non-sectarian.” Some are calling this “Treason.” Here’s one source, and do watch the video of the Morsi speech (English is in the crawl), which reminds one of Hitler speeches in the time of Munich.
“We witnessed another one of Barack Obama’s oddities with the Muslim Brotherhood. The first anomaly was when Obama was almost giddy when the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, ascended to power. The Muslim Brotherhood had openly called for the destruction of the United States “from within”, most recently apparent in Muslim Brotherhood front groups like CAIR calling for the purging of any training materials within the FBI and CIA that “offended” Muslims. Barack Obama of course dutifully complied.
The most recent oddity, however, is Obama calling on Morsi to “broker a truce” between Hamas and Israel. Hamas has fired on average one thousand rockets per year at Israel from the Gaza strip; and for eight days, Israel did something that they should have done a decade ago: fight back.
Keep in mind that the Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of Hamas. Keep in mind that, like Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood has called for the annihilation of Israel. So for Obama to call on Morsi to “broker a truce” is ridiculous.
The so-called “truce” amounts to Israel ceasing to defend herself and the opening up of the Gaza strip blockade that has kept Iran and other extremists countries (now Egypt) from shipping more powerful weapons to Hamas.
Furthermore, Obama colluding with someone who is part of an organization that has openly called for the destruction of the United States amounts to treason in my book.”


Do pass this along, but strip the contact information. (The links are pubic.) I’m thinking the Republicans are NOT up to winning elections or standing up to Saul Alinsky tactics.


Graphic Novel Sheds Light on Crypto-Jews

The Santa Fe area is the setting for “El Iluminado, A Graphic Novel,” a mystery about murder among New Mexico’s Crypto-Jews by Ilan Stavans.
Our sense of self shifts with the unveiling of family secrets.
Sometimes, the shift can crack families apart, creating unbridgeable divisions between those who embrace and reject the unforeseen.
For Crypto-Jews, the mystery may surface in habits and unspoken traditions confirmed by a hexagram-shaped star carved into a headstone.
Literary critic and author Ilan Stavans will sign and discuss his graphic novel “El Iluminado,” a mystery set amid the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico, on Sunday at the New Mexico History Museum. The book reflects Stavans’ personal and professional interest in the subject, as well as his desire to marry history with imagination. Illustrator Steve Sheinkin depicts Stavans’ fictional namesake on a journey into taco joints, desert ranches, soaring cathedrals and Santa Fe’s deep past.
The book opens as the young Rolando PĂ©rez falls to his death from a New Mexico cliff. Did he jump or was he pushed? What documents was he willing to sacrifice himself for to protect his family, the police and the church? The fictional Professor Stavans arrives in Santa Fe to give a lecture about the area’s long-buried Jewish history. His presentation attracts unexpected attention, drawing him into a desperate race to find long-lost documents that might hold the key to Rolando’s death.
The real Stavans has researched and lectured about the history of Crypto-Jews for many years. A humanities professor at Amherst College, he teaches both Hispanic and Jewish literature. He’s drawn to the conundrum of Crypto-Jews throughout history — many of whom were forced to flee Spain under a 1492 edict from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella during the Inquisition.
Those who converted to Catholicism were deemed “new Christians” or “conversos.” Some decided to outwardly live Christian lives, while maintaining their Judaism at home. Many traveled to Mexico and into the American Southwest, where they remain today. Luis de Carvajal the Younger, also known as El Iluminado, was a Crypto-Jew who lived in Mexico in the 16th century and was ultimately killed for not relinquishing his Jewish roots.
Stavan’s book combines history, spirituality and a murder mystery sprinkled with a touch of Spanglish. Born and raised in Mexico, Stavans is of Eastern European descent; Yiddish was his first language. He came from a family of poor peddlers and rabbis whose ethnicity was open.
“In my childhood, I came across many people who thought they had a Crypto-Jewish past,” he said in a telephone interview from Amherst, Mass. “I became very close to one of them. Her mother would clean the room by sweeping all the dust and the garbage and pushing it out a window. It was key to her family history; it was the custom not to mix profane dirt with other parts of the family home.
“They isolated themselves from Friday night through Saturday night; they wouldn’t go out,” he added. “In some of these families, there was a key that had passed from generation to generation that would open a door in Spain when the family was in Spain. It was one of those elements of folklore tradition.”
He started researching Crypto-Jews in the Santa Fe area 20 years ago. “I wanted to see some of the tombstones and visit the Basilica,” Cathedral of St. Francis, he said. “I found an incredible mix, juxtaposition of Catholicism and Judaism.
In the cemeteries, “sometimes there’s a cross inside the Star of David.” Other headstones featured a hand with the four fingers divided into two pairs. “That is a mystical symbol meant to protect the tombstones,” he explained.
Stavans turned to the novel form because it allowed him to teach a little history, while letting his imagination fly.
“The novel gives you a kind of freedom I don’t have as a scholar,” he said.
The graphic novel matches his words with cartoon-like imagery, just like the old comic books he read as a child, he added.
The story started to germinate when Stavans gave a talk on Crypto-Jews at the Museum of New Mexico in 2009.
“It was very crowded, and I found myself in a very strange position,’ he said. “Probably the people in the audience knew more about Crypto-Jews than I did. I wanted them to talk to me.”
A young woman told him the discovery of her family’s Crypto-Jewish past had produced inconsolable divisions she feared carried violent undertones.
Stavans based the Perez characters on a young Santa Fe man who spoke to him about his own divided Crypto-Jewish past –– his family disowned him when he embraced his Judaism.
“We’re all Crypto-Jews in one way or another,” Stavans said. “All families have secrets. I wanted to build a mystery, and the idea is that the past is up for grabs. We all shift it to fit our needs.”

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Lessons from Our Pets

I received this note from a buddy who is a retired, senior, Army officer and Master Aviator. Ben is an avid hunter, a total Patriot, and, I am proud to say, we flew together on many missions in the Arizona Army National Guard.


I’m sure any of you that are pet owners and especially Dog owners, have been taught many things about life and its values by those pets. Well yesterday another lesson was taught by our Lab BO to this old “insensitive Bastard”.

Bo was 13 yrs old(at least since we could only estimate his age 12 yrs ago when he “leaned against me at Pepco during a Lab Rescue Adoption event and wouldn’t leave my side )so “He Picked Me”. I was looking for a Big Bad Black Male to counteract the effects of our 1+ yr old “Bitch-Pushy-Arrogant-Libber-Demanding-Hardheaded etc etc” yellow Lab female I got conned by Sherri & Kylee in to buying.

Well appearances deceive and Bo grew to 103 lbs of the most “cuddly-Woosey-friendly-sensitive-loyal” dog you could imagine a buddy to EVERY dog that came over, leaping on the bed when thunder rolled 50 miles away, and easily dominated by the bitch from hell.

Thus went the last 12 years until yesterday when Sherri and I held him and watched that great friend slowly die.

A couple of days before, Bo started to be very lethargic and then Thursday Chad noticed blood in his nose. Sherri & Chad took him to the vet for test and medicine. There was the thought it was cancer but nothing could be found.

Yesterday Sherri & I took him back for retest and found his lack of clotting ability was off the charts and immeasurable. Basically he was bleeding out right before us.

A lesson he taught me was there are Drs who care enough to set down on the floor beside your dog and you to comfort him.

The last lesson that Bo taught me was he didn’t fear his fate and just wanted to be held as he looked at us head held high like I think there’s thunder coming but “all is ok” and then just put his head down, relaxed and left us.

The worst lesson that he taught me was just how weak I am that I could look at my friend of all these years dying and the women who I love more than life itself crying her heart out AND I COULD DO NOTHING TO STOP IT. I COULDN’T FIX IT! Even the dark humor we use for protection didn’t help as I blubbered out “It’s a F---ng Dog”


Monday, March 19, 2012

State Department Issues New Travel Warning For Israel, West Bank, and Gaza

CA, Travel Info
8:29 AM (2 hours ago)

March 19, 2012

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and about threats to themselves and to U.S. interests in those locations. The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to remain mindful of security factors when planning travel to Israel and the West Bank and to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip. This replaces the Travel Warning issued June 22, 2011, to update information on the general security environment.

The Gaza Strip and Southern Israel

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. American citizens in Gaza are advised to depart immediately. The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt allows for some passenger travel, though coordination with local authorities -- which could take days or weeks to process -- is reportedly required. Travelers who enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing from Egypt must also exit through the Rafah crossing. The Israeli authorities do not permit such travelers to exit through the Erez crossing into Israel except in situations of extreme humanitarian need. Travelers entering the Gaza Strip may not be able to depart at a time of their choosing. Delays of days or weeks are common. U.S. citizens should be aware that as a consequence of a longstanding prohibition on travel by U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. Government into the Gaza Strip, the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens there is extremely limited, including the provision of routine consular services.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) strictly controls the crossing points between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The security environment within Gaza, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and volatile. U.S. citizens are advised against traveling to Gaza by any means, including via sea. Previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea have been stopped by Israeli naval vessels and resulted in the injury, death, arrest, and deportation of U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens participating in any effort to reach Gaza by sea should understand that they may face arrest, prosecution, deportation and the confiscation of their personal items by the Government of Israel. The Government of Israel has announced its intention to seek ten-year travel bans to Israel for anyone participating in an attempt to enter Gaza by sea. On May 31, 2010, nine people were killed, including one U.S. citizen, in such an attempt. The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are not able to provide consular assistance in Gaza or on the high seas or coastal waters.

Small clashes continue to occur along the boundary of the Gaza Strip. Rockets and mortars are still fired into Israel from Gaza, and Israel continues to conduct military operations inside Gaza, including airstrikes. Israel has also declared an exclusion zone inside Gaza along its boundary with Israel and has taken lethal measures against individuals who enter it.

In the past, some rockets have traveled more than 40 km (24 miles) from Gaza and landed as far north as Yavne and Gadera and as far east as Beersheva. As a result of possible military operations by the Government of Israel in Gaza and the ever-present risk of rocket and mortar attacks into Israel from Gaza, U.S. government personnel travelling in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip boundary, to include the city of Sderot, must make prior notification to the Embassy's Regional Security Office. U.S. citizens in the area should be aware of the risks and should take note of announcements by the Government of Israel's office of Homefront Command.

Israeli authorities have also maintained a heightened state of alert along Israel's border with Egypt since an August 18, 2011, terrorist attack that killed eight and injured nearly 40 along Route 12 north of Eilat. As a result of the heightened threat in the area, U.S. government personnel must notify the Regional Security Office if they plan to travel south of Be'er Sheva.

The West Bank

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank. Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces are now deployed in all major cities and other limited areas within the West Bank. As a result, violence in recent years has decreased markedly throughout the West Bank. Nonetheless, demonstrations and violent incidents can occur without warning. Vehicles have also been the target of rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire on West Bank roads. The IDF continues to carry out security operations in the West Bank. Israeli security operations, including incursions in Palestinian population centers, can occur at any time and lead to disturbances and violence. U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations. Some U.S. citizens involved in demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries in confrontations with Israeli security forces. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens, for their own safety, avoid demonstrations.

During periods of unrest, the Israeli Government sometimes closes off access to the West Bank and those areas may be placed under curfew. All persons in areas under curfew should remain indoors to avoid risking arrest or injury. U.S. citizens have been killed, seriously injured, or detained and deported as a result of encounters with Israeli operations in the West Bank. Travel restrictions may be imposed by the Government of Israel with little or no warning. Strict measures have frequently been imposed following terrorist actions, and the movement of Palestinian-Americans, both those with and without residency status in the West Bank or Gaza, has been severely impeded. Security conditions in the West Bank can hinder the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens.


The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to remain vigilant while traveling throughout Jerusalem, including in commercial and downtown areas of West Jerusalem. Spontaneous or planned protests within the Old City are possible, especially after Friday prayers. Some of these protests have led to violent clashes. Travelers should exercise caution at religious sites on holy days, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Isolated street protests and demonstrations can also occur in areas of East Jerusalem, including around Salah Ed-Din Street, Damascus Gate, Silwan, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. U.S. Government employees are prohibited from entering the Old City on Fridays during the month of Ramadan due to overall congestion and security-related access restrictions. U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General and their families are prohibited from using public transportation networks, including buses and light rail services, and their associated terminals.

Travel Restrictions for U.S. Government Personnel

Personal travel in the West Bank for U.S. government personnel and their families is allowed in the areas described below. They may travel to Bethlehem from 6:00 a.m. to 11 p.m.; to Jericho; and transit through the West Bank using only Routes 1 and 90 to reach the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge or the Dead Sea coast near Ein Gedi and Masada. They may also travel north on Route 90 from the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge to the Sea of Galilee during daylight hours. Personal travel is also permitted to Qumran off Route 90 by the Dead Sea and all areas south of Highway 1 and east of route 90 in the Dead Sea area.

U.S. Government personnel and family members are permitted both official and personal travel on Route 443 between Modi'in and Jerusalem. All other personal travel in the West Bank, unless specifically authorized for mission-approved purposes, is prohibited.

General Safety and Security

Israeli authorities remain concerned about the continuing threat of terrorist attacks. U.S. citizens are cautioned that a greater danger may exist around restaurants, businesses, and other places associated with U.S. interests and/or located near U.S. official buildings, such as the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. U.S. citizens are also urged to exercise a high degree of caution and to use common sense when patronizing restaurants, nightclubs, cafes, malls, places of worship, and theaters, especially during peak hours. Large crowds and public gatherings have been targeted by terrorists in the past and should be avoided to the extent practicable. U.S. Government personnel have been directed to avoid protests and demonstrations and urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and situational awareness at all times. U.S. citizens should take into consideration that public buses and their respective terminals are off-limits to U.S. Government personnel.

Since December 2009, two U.S. citizens have been murdered in separate incidents while walking in the woods in the Beit Shemesh area near Jerusalem. Israeli authorities characterized the murders as terrorist attacks.

A bomb blast near the Central Bus Terminal in Jerusalem on March 23, 2011, injured several U.S. citizens.

There are live land mines in many areas of the Golan Heights, so visitors should walk only on established roads or trails. Near the northern border of Israel, rocket attacks from Lebanese territory can and have occurred without warning.

A terrorist attack on two commercial buses and two private vehicles on Route 12 north of Eilat killed eight and injured nearly 40 on August 18, 2011.

Entry/Exit Difficulties

U.S. citizens planning to travel to Israel or the West Bank should read carefully the detailed information concerning entry and exit difficulties in the Country Specific Information sheet. U.S. citizens in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are strongly encouraged to enroll with the Consular Sections of theU.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv or the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem through the State Department'sSmart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Occasional warden messages issued by the Embassy and the Consulate General are e-mailed to registered U.S. citizens and are posted on State Department websites to highlight time-sensitive security concerns.

Security-related delays are not unusual for travelers carrying audio-visual or data storage/processing equipment, and some have had their laptop computers and other electronic equipment confiscated at Ben Gurion Airport. While most items are returned prior to the traveler's departure, some equipment has been retained by the authorities for lengthy periods and has reportedly been damaged, destroyed, lost or never returned. U.S. citizens who have had personal property damaged due to security procedures at Ben Gurion may contact the Commissioner for Public Complaints at the airport for redress by fax to 972-3-9752387. In such circumstances, travelers should have no expectation of privacy for any data stored on such devices.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy should be contacted for information and assistance in the following areas: Israel, the Golan Heights, and ports of entry at Ben Gurion Airport, Haifa Port, the northern (Jordan River) and southern (Arava) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt. The Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem should be contacted for information and assistance in the following areas: Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Allenby Bridge crossing connecting the West Bank and Jordan.

The Consulate General in Jerusalem may be contacted at (972) (2) 630-4000 and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7575 Monday through Friday during business hours. After hours for emergencies between 4:30 p.m. 8:00 a.m. local time Monday through Friday and on weekends, the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem may be contacted at (972) (2) 622-7250, and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7551.

Current information on travel and security in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada, or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. For additional and more in-depth information about specific aspects of travel to these areas, U.S. citizens should consult: the Country Specific Information for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza; and the Worldwide Caution. These along with other Travel Warnings, Travel Alertsand Country Specific Information are available on the Department's Internet website. Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be accessed at or Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on facebook as well. You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.