Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Scale of Israeli-Palestinian Mid-East Perspective

-10: Anti-Semitic, Anti-Zionist Primary: Hate the Jews and everything to do with the Jews. Would be extremely satisfied to see the Jews disappear off the face of the Earth.
Examples: Nazis, Hamas, Iranian Mullahs, KKK, Neo-Nazis, Stormfront, al Qaida, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad..

-9: Anti-Semitic, Anti-Zionist Secondary: While not as extreme as the Primary in Action – are certainly equivalent in feeling.
Examples: David Duke, Ernst Zundel, Author of Jew Watch, Keegstra, Wendy Campbell. Louis Farrakhan, DFLP, PFLP.

-8: Anti-Semitic, Anti-Zionist Tertiary: While not necessarily supporting the extinction of Jews a such, certainly advocate the extinction of Jewish Nationalism. Tend to despise much of Jewish culture. Territory of Self Hating Jews.
Examples: Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shahak, Norman Finkelstein, Justin Raimondo, Trotskyites, Hardline Marxists, Israel Shamir, Lyndon La Rouche.

-7: Marginally Anti-Semitic, Anti-Zionist: However they don’t support the extinction of Judaism. Nevertheless the rhetoric borders on Anti-Semitism.
Examples: Many Paleo-Conservatives (Pat Buchanan etc), Fatah (reality), More main stream Communists, ISM, Neturei Karta.

-6: One-Staters in heart and head: Will not be satisfied until there is one-State that exists in Israel/Palestine with full Palestinian right of Return. Do not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Anti-Zionist.
Examples: The Nation, Counterpunch, ZMag, Edward Said, Ilan Pappe, Noam Chomsky, Michael Neumann, Bishop Tutu, George Galloway, Tony Greenstein.

-5: One State in heart. Two State in head. Ideally would like to see a One-State but as of now are content on giving support to the Two State solution Believe in Right of Return.
Examples: Fatah (in the Western Media), Hadash, George Soros, The Roses, Sid Ryan, UN faithful, The Guardian, Jesse Jackson.

-4: Support Two State: Limited Palestinian Right of Return. Jerusalem – two state capital
Examples: Meretz Left, Woody Allen, Canadian NDP, Michael Moore, EU position, BBC.

-3: 67 with security. Two state solution back to pre-67 boundaries + Shared Jerusalem.
eg. Meretz Right, Labour Left, Canadian Liberal- Left, Yossi Beillin, CBC.

-2: Labour Mainstream: Two station solution + pre-67 boundaries + few necessary settlements. No Palestinian Right of Return.
Eg. Barack, Peretz, Bill Clinton, Democratic Party Mainstream, Canadian Liberals Mainstream, George Bush, Amos Oz.,
CNN faithful, Most of ABC, CBS, NBC.

-1: Two State Unilateral – Velvet Glove. Settler withdrawal from West Bank to follow. Security Focused.
Eg. Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Alan Dershowitz, New Republic Magazine.

0: Two State Unilateral – Scaling down on Settler growth in West Bank. Possible closeres. Security Focused.
Eg. Kadima Central, Olmert, Livni

1: Two State Unilateral – Differ from 1 in being less supportive of West Bank Settlement closing. Security Focused.
Eg. Kadima Right, Sharon, Moderate Likud, National Review.

2: Two State Truncated Very strong security focus.
Likud Core, Commentary, Front Page Magazine.
Eg. Netanyahu. Mainstream Likud.

3: Likud Right. Strong security focus. No further hand backs, still support aggressive settlement growth in West Bank.
Eg. Yitzhak Shamir, Sharon c.1990

4-6: Settler Blocks.
Eg. The Block of the Faithful, Israel National Radio.

7: Anti-Arab. Kach Party. JDL.
Eg. Followers of Rabbi Kahana. Masada 2000.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Guide to Periodicals - My Classification system

Based on my reading of the many periodicals that exist on the market. I have devised a classification system. Below is the key breakdown.

FL = Far Left - Anti-Capitalist, Marxist influenced.
PC = Paleo-Conservative - Old Right, Isolationist
Lib = Liberal - Lean toward Democrat Party in US, Labour in UK.
C = Conservative - Lean Toward Republicans in US, Conservatives in UK.
LR = Regular Left - Socialist - Lean Toward Green Party in US or Democratic Left. Labour Left in UK.
LT = Libertarian

This is how I would classify the magazines.

American Spectator - C
American Conservative - PC
AntiWar.Com - PC
Atlantic Monthly - Lib
Commentary - C
Counterpunch - FL
Economist - LT
Forbes - LT
Foreign Affairs - Lib
Front Page Magazine - C
Harpers - Lib
Macleans (Canadian) - Lib
Mother Jones - LR
Ms Magazine - LR
Nation - LR
National Review - C
New Criterion - Lib
New Yorker - Lib
Newsmax - C
New Republic - Lib
New Statesman - LR
Salon - LR
Saturday Night - Lib
Slate - Lib
Townhall - C
Vanity Fair - Lib
WorldNet Daily - C/PC
ZMag - FL

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Seven Types of Anti-Semitism

I have qualified these seven types in my study of Jewish History. While they may not be independent from one another in the strict sense, they provide a useful methodology for understanding the historical hatred of the Jews.

1. Hatred of the Jews as Christ Killers - A very old form of Anti-Semitism which has existed since the early days of the Christian Church. The Jews were blamed for choosing Jesus Christ to ‘die’ on the cross. The New Testament Gospels emphasize this point in their writings and it has served as dogma for both the Catholic and many non-Catholic churches over the centuries. Argument is illogical though, for if the Jews had not selected Christ to be sacrificed on the cross then he could not have died for the sins of mankind. Where would humanity then be?

2. Hatred of the Jews as Outsiders - The rejection of Jesus as the messiah, Jewish religious belief, Jewish emphasis on marrying fellow Jews, as well as the concept of the Jews as the Chosen People all smack of exclusivity.
Why?, asks the anti-Semite do the Jews think that they are better than us ? Could it be that they eventually want to subjugate us? Hence the blood libels, pogroms and the impetus to scapegoat the Jews as the cause for all that goes wrong in society.

3. The Jew as the Evil Capitalist - The Church authority forced Jews to be money lenders as Christians were prevented from charging interest. As money lending grew into the banking profession, Jews became more influential as players driving the wheels of the largely capitalist based economy. Those individuals jealous of Jewish success as well as the later opponents of capitalism were quick to throw force this charge.

4. The Jew as the Diabolical Communist - Karl Marx’s Jewish ancestry, Jewish influence in the Social Democracy Movements in Europe (Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Luxembourg, Martov were all Jews) was enough of a linkage in the minds of many anti-Semites to associate the ‘specter of Communism haunting Europe’ as a Jewish plot for world domination. Idea is non-sensical. Granted at one stage there were many Jews involved in the movements of social-democracy but that is largely as a result of the fact that Communism preached an ‘equality of all’ that other political ideologies appeared to shun. However after the true face of the of the leftist movements were revealed in the Stalinist purges, Jews starting deserting Marxism in droves. It is also important to note

5. Hatred of Jewish thought - Jewish thought has traditionally been more liberal and open to debate than that of Christianity. Jews have been on the fore front of new ideas (Marxism, Relativity, psychoanalysis, and American liberalism) which have shaken the bedrock of traditional views. A phenomenon that breeds fear and consequently anti-Semitism. Also Jewish success in business, the arts and the sciences has in the mind of many anti-Semites created a belief that the Jews are privy to knowledge which they are not willing to share. This of course is ridiculous as are all charges of an international Jewish conspiracy.

6. Anti-Zionist/Anti-Semitism - Not all anti-Zionists are anti-Semites. Agreed. However the line is in many cases very thin. Many Arab countries make little distinction (e.g. the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is required reading in many school programs). Also for those seeking a convenient cover for their anti-Semitic views where better to hide then amongst the so-called ‘progressive’ anti-Zionists.

7. Hatred of Jews for their role in Judeo-Christian philosophy - Western Philosophy and Judeo-Christian philosophy is evil. So this reason goes. Jews are to blame for all of it as the mother religion of the tradition. Therefore Jews are bad. Simplistic but nevertheless the view of those seeking to destroy the foundations of Western civilization. Stream of thought is popular amongst anarchists and some New Age Religious believers. Nazism was such a belief.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Global Warming debate is a bit murky

4 Oversights in the Global Warming Debate

1. Myth: Only a small fringe group of scientists denies the existence of human induced global warming.
Truth: Unless you consider 17,000 + a few this is indeed not the case.

2. Myth: The Evidence for man-made global warming is so overwhelming that it is now a closed case.
Truth: Nothing in Science is a closed case. Every scientific observation and theory is open to Falsification. If it is not then it is not Science. See Karl Popper -

3. Myth: Opponents of man-made global warming are all right wingers.
Truth: Again incorrect. The scientists in the petition outlined above are certainly not all right-wingers. In addition here is an opinion piece by arch-leftist Alex Cockburn on Global Warming.
Also worth reading is Vaclav Havel’s opinion on the issue:

4. Myth: Republicans are opponents of environmentalism.
Truth: Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican and California governor is very much pro-environment. For more go to
Also – and not much known is the Republican Group – REP
The majority of Republicans are not anti-environment but believe that environmental plans must take into account the impact that it will have on job loss and the economy.

For more on global warming hysteria go to

Worthwhile Reads

As a consistent surfer of the internet (except when I am away on Vacation - I have just returned after two and a half days on Manatoulin Island) it is always a treat to stumble on articles that resonate with logic. Here are a few:

An interview with Classic Liberal Bernard Goldberg
I have read Arrogance and '100 People..' . Goldberg's book will follow soon when it comes out in paperback.

Terrorists Bill of Rights
Amil Imani has emerged as one of the most thoughtful voices on Islam as of late.

Heavyweight galaxies - Source of Dark Matter

Journalist donations to campaigns
So there is no overall bias in the Media......mmmmm

Americans not a source of Evil
Kurdish endorsement for democracy.

Journey to the Center of the Earth
Don't give up on NASA. The organization has a lot to offer.

On the need for alternatives to string theory
On oldie but very striking nonetheless.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Reading for Boys

Was surfacing the Net and came across this reading list for boys. So many of these are sweet nostalgia from my childhood.
Here are the first twenty. For the remaining 140 go to:

1. The Top 10 of Everything 2007 by Russell Ash, Hamlyn (2008 edition available in the autumn)
2. Strange Powers of the Human Mind (Forbidden Truths) by Herbie Brennan, Faber
3. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, Black Swan,
4. I Know You Got Soul by Jeremy Clarkson, Penguin
5. Guinness Book of Records 2007, Guinness (2008 edition available in the autumn)
6. 101 Things You Need To Know (And Some You Don’t) by Richard Horne, Bloomsbury
7. 101 Things To Do Before You’re Old and Boring by Richard Horne, Bloomsbury
8. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! by Robert LeRoy Ripley, Century
9. The Boys’ Book; How to be the Best at Everything by Guy McDonald, Buster Books
10. Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food by Eric Schlosser, Puffin
11. How to Spot a Hadrosaur in a Bus Queue by Andy Seed, Hodder
12. How to Avoid a Wombat’s Bum by Mitchell Symons, Doubleday
13. Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? by Mick O'Hare, Profile Books
14. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Macmillan
15. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Puffin
16. King Solomon’s Mines by H Rider Haggard, Penguin
17. Northern Lights (His Dark Materials) by Philip Pullman, Scholastic
18. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Bloomsbury
19. Kidnapped (adapted by) Alan Grant, Barrington Stoke
20. Treasure Island by R L Stevenson, Bloomsbury

Unholy alliances

World history is filled with the story of unholy alliances that have been formed based on convenience and a common goal (or at times hatred).

Here are a few:

1. Soviets/Nazis: The two agreed to divide Poland between each other prior to WWII. The Pact created was supposed to be that of Non-Aggression - a situation that vaporized rapidly when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June of 1941 (Operation Barbarossa).

2. Communists/Islamists in Iran: Both joined forces to overthrow the Shah. Once this was achieved in 1979 - the Islamists said 'thank you very much' and systematically began persecuting the Communists - We hate to say I told you so?

3. Ukrainian Nationalists/Nazis: Another WWII alliance of convenience that would see the latter shaft the former - after all the Ukrainian Nationalists were still Slavic Undermenschen in the eyes of the Nazis - regardless of their hatred for the Soviets.

4. RadicalLeftists/Islamists - A very disturbing contemporary phenomenon where both forces are bought together under a common loathing of the US and Western Style Liberalism (not to mention the Jews of course).

5. Radical Leftists/Paleoconservatives - The former detest Liberalism and American Interventionist Politics and the latter American Interventionist Politics and Liberalism (oops is that the same thing). For more on this see the cross-referencing of columnists of each type between the Paleo Antiwar blog and the Leftist Counterpunch. Any American good deed is evil for these guys and like #4 they both hate the Joooos.

6. Syria/Iran: Both have a vested interested in supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon. Each are both served by a divided and weakened Iraq. Choosing between Syria and Iran is liking picking sides these days between typhoid and cholera. No thank you.

7. Holocaust Deniers/Jihadists:
For more on the Nazi Jihadist relationship go to:

Saturday, June 16, 2007

On 2008

Its a difficult task picking the Democratic Candidate that is most inspiring. In an earlier post I mentioned Bill Richardson - but lets face it he has no chance of winning the nomination. Hilary seems like the safe choice but the thought of another Clinton on office and all the hoopla that accompanies this stimulates my gag reflex. Neverthless Lady C. seems to be the toughest on terror, a concept that has slipped by the opportunism of how-left-can-I-position-myself John Edwards. As for Obama, his inexperience is a major negative. He also seems to have the political conviction of a dandelion and what is most problematic is that he is starting to position himself as the spokesperson for the Move.On crowd. Having George Soros, a man with a limited understanding of the defence of western liberalism, acting as the puppet master behind Obama is an awful prospect.

However the American electrorate seems tired of any Bushite agenda - so it looks as though the Dems have a real shot in 2008.

The only saving grace is that a better candidate than either Clinton, Obama and Edwards will rise to head the donkey party (or is it the ass party? - the latter seems more appropriate somehow). I am partial to Al Gore - in his old incarnation as a politician - not the Happy Feet caricature that he has become as of late. Again the jury is out....Surely a nation of 300 million can expect more?

Football Concerns

Liverpool appear to be dithering on the transfer market - it looks as though the Eto chase is off (which is ok - I hate the idea of blowing the budget on one player - who was injury prone last year). As for the Benayoun linkage, I am not 100% sold on the Israeli midfielder. He has oodles of talent but tends to disappear from games and is pushed around to easy.

Charlton's asking price for Darren Bent is insane (17 million pounds) but it appears as though Spurs will land him now that West Ham have lost out on the chase (not sure why Spurs need him considering the fact that they still have Berbatov, Keane, Defoe and Mido as strikers but I guess that there is logic around somewhere). I would have loved to have seen the 23 year old Bent in a Reds shirt but this seems to be another case of an opportunity gone begging.

However Liverpool need a striker badly. While Kuyt and Crouch make a useful pairing, Bellamy needs to go elsewhere. David Villa of Valencia may be the solution (not Diego Forlan - perish the thought) but I am a bit weary on the idea of picking up another Spaniard. Other than Reina, Luis Garcia when fit and Alonso in patches Liverpool's Spanish-speaking cohort has largely been disappointing. Other contenders are: Defoe, Gudjohnsen (although United will probably gain his signature), Yakubi (Premiership proven), Henry (now wouldn't that be fantastic) and Anelka (wishful thinking - I can't believe we gave him up for Diouf several years ago).

Also on the cards is a left sided winger - Kewell in unreliable and a walking doctor's note, Zendin is past his peak and Gonzalez is not premiership quality.In addition cover is required in defence. While Sami H. may stay another season another defender is needed should Carra and the emerging Daniel Agger sustain injuries. I haven't seen much talk along these lines which is a bit worrisome.

So as a Reds fan I will wait and see....Will Hicks and Gillette put their money where their mouth is and will Rafa choose wisely?

Time will tell. All that we know is that United at the moment are on course to repeat.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Latest Harris Poll" Republican Candidates

Here are the latest figures from a June Harris Poll on Republican Candidates.
Although not officially a candidate former actor Fred Thompson is in second place overall and gaining momentum.

Rudy Giuliani - 30% (down from 39% in April)
Fred Thompson 22% (up from 13% in April)
John McCain 18% (the same as April and May)
Mitt Romney 11% (down from 14% in April)
Newt Gingrich 8% (not an official candidate either)
Tom Tancredo 3%
Sam Brownback 2%
Mike Huckabee 2%
Ron Paul 2%
Duncan Hunter 1%
Jim Gilmore 1%
Tommy Thompson 1%
Chuck Hagel 1% (not an official candidate)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Being an Autodidact

This is something that I have always felt about myself, I am an Autodidact.

Taken from the Wikipedia Definition:

Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-education or self-directed learning. An autodidact, — typically someone who has an enthusiasm for self-education and a high degree of self-motivation. Self-teaching and self-directed learning are not necessarily lonely processes. Some autodidacts spend a great deal of time in libraries or on educative websites.

Nonsense from Christison

I really am enjoying ripping apart these counterpunch articles...there is something cathartic about it. Here is the next in the series.

Original Source:

My criticism of Bill Christison is in Red. His rant is in black.

I plan to demonstrate publicly but without violence this coming Sunday (June 17, 2007) against the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Rome for condoning the actions of one of its subordinate units De Paul University in Chicago, Illinois, USA (Yes – because the Catholic Church has such a great record in siding with Israel over the years – they must clearly be controlled by the Jewish Inteligensia???? So you worked for the CIA, Bill? – What is the criteria for hiring at the Agency? I am starting to see how the WMD screw-up arose) in denying tenure for Dr. Norman Finkelstein because of the latter's criticism of the policies of the government of Israel and the government of the United States in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Even if he Finkelsatein uses lies, omissions and errors to make his points …but who cares?…the important idea for Christison is that Finkelstein is anti-Israel. Professor Omer Bartov (Brown University historian) likened Finkelstein's book on the Holocaust as a "novel variation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,". For more on the Fink go to:

My strong belief is that Dr. Finkelstein is an honest and highly competent scholar (Never mind that this ‘competent’ scholar has no publications at all in academic journals – a requirement for tenure) who seeks justice for and an end to oppression of the Palestinian people, who live in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip, in Israel itself, and in many other parts of the world in refugee camps and as exiles. (While selectively ignoring the Arab betrayal of the Palestinian people – a critical factor that is best overlooked in Finkelstein’s never-never land analysis) My belief also is that he was denied tenure because of these views and because a massive campaign was launched against him by the Israel lobby in the United States (and your proof is?…..) a campaign that those Catholic officials who presently dominate the management of De Paul University were unwilling to stand up against. (despite the fact that they sacked a lecturer Thomas Klocek for merely defending Israel – Where was the Pro-Israel bias there? Read:

This demonstration in Santa Fe, New Mexico will begin at 9:00 a.m., June 17, across the street from the main entrance of St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, on one of the corners of Cathedral Place and San Francisco St. I will be there alone if necessary but hope others will join in, as long as they are willing to accept that the demonstration must be peaceful, and that they not cross the street and go onto the grounds of the Cathedral or block anyone from entering the Cathedral or say anything critical of those entering. I am personally not a Catholic, but my sign will urge people planning to go to the 10:00 a.m. Mass to boycott that Mass instead, and join us in the demonstration. (because its more important to side with an anti-semite than pray to god, right Bill?) I do not intend to say anything derogatory to anyone while I am demonstrating (just half truths, lies and damned lies with a spin – Mark Twain would have a field day with him) although I will give anyone who expresses interest in me a brochure explaining the Finkelstein tenure issue (from my warped perspective only _. I will stay until 10:00 a.m. and then leave. (Why you have a Stormfront meeting to run to later?).

I not only hope that others will join me in this demonstration. I hope that yet others, reading this message, will organize similar demonstrations near other Catholic churches. I further hope that we can carry on similar demonstrations on future Sundays, all around this country and abroad (time well spent???? mmmm), until the hierarchy of the Catholic church in Rome takes note of us and until that hierarchy compels its subordinates at De Paul University to reverse the unjust decision on Dr. Finkelstein (while you are at it wasting your time take note of the barbaric infighting between Hamas and Fatah – then ask yourself the question which of these two groups that ultimately seek the destruction of Israel – should Israel negotiate with?)

If anyone reading this thinks I am overreacting, that is unfortunate. (its ok – misguided sentiment and stupidity is still protected by the first amendment) The Israel lobby simply should not be allowed to win this round (Don't worry I am sure that you and your buddies at the CIA can found some way to further screw up Western security and even the odds in favour of Islamo-Fascism). There is little doubt that some will argue that the Catholic hierarchy in Rome had nothing to do with the decision against Finkelstein. (Yes most sane people) But there is also little doubt that the hierarchy can overrule that decision if it wishes. (Maybe – the Church once did endorse the Inquisition so there is still hope yet Bill) And it says something that, to me, is utterly despicable if the hierarchy of the church refuses to overrule its own underlings at De Paul (It would truly be despicable if they did – but not surprising – I wouldn’t feel too sorry for the Fink though he can always try and obtain tenure at the University of Tehran…he then won’t have too far to travel for future Holocaust Denial Conventions).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Frisking Fisk

See my response in Red
Fisk’s original drivel is in black
. Original source:

Frisking Fisk

When …………..yada yada yada…………. in the United States.
The problem, of course, is that these are all extraordinary facts which will not offend anyone. There are no suicide bombers in Ripley, no Israeli air strikes ("Believe It or Not, 17,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon") – yes but the vast majority were killed by Lebanese infighting, Palestinian infighting and the Syrian invasion forces – Also what about the many Israelis killed by indiscriminate PLO and Hezbollah shelling? Not important hey Rob , no major casualty tolls ("Believe It or Not, up to 650,000 Iraqis died in the four years following the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq") – a highly disputed figure from Lancet that is believed to be a gross exaggeration. See . See what I mean? Just a bit too close to the bone (or bones). Actually Rob – I don’t believe that Ripley’s is in the business of publishing errors which is not the case of the leftist holier-than-thou media.

But I was reminded of dear old Ripley when I was prowling through the articles marking the anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Memoirs there have been aplenty, but I think only the French press - in the shape of Le Monde Diplomatique - was prepared to confront a bit of "Believe It or Not". Yes the same French Press that at one time tried to convict Dreyfus in the late 19th century.

It recalled vividly - and shamefully- how the world's newspapers covered the story of Egypt's "aggression" against Israel.. - Believe It or Not it was Israel which attacked Egypt after Nasser closed the straits of Tiran and ordered UN troops out of Sinai and Gaza following his vituperative threats to destroy Israel. "The Egyptians attack Israel," France-Soir told its readers on 5 June 1967, a whopper so big that it later amended its headline to "It's Middle East War!". Egypt had closed the Straits of Tiran on May 22nd 1967 – cutting off Israel’s only supply route for oil. This Egyptian action was an act of war….international law was on Israel’s side as a pre-emptive strike once war has been declared is legitimate Also lets not forget that the Syrians were waging a terror war against Israel from the Golan Heights by their incessant shelling of civilian targets. Opps I forgot the shelling of Jews doesn’t count in your view…Believe it or Not!! ……

Quite so. Next day, the socialist Le Populaire headlined its story "Attacked on all sides, Israel resists victoriously". True On the same day, Le Figaro carried an article announcing that "the victory of the army of David is one of the greatest of all time". Believe It or Not, the Second World War - which might be counted one of the greatest of all time, had ended only 22 years earlier. (one of not the one … Come on Rob follow your own logic here. Anyway whats your point here? The Second World War didn’t end in Six Days

Johnny Hallyday, France's undie-able pop star, sang for 50,000 French supporters of Israel - for whom solidarity was expressed in the French press by Serge Gainsbourg, Juliette GrÈco, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, ValÈry Giscard d'Estaing and FranÁois Mitterand. For once France was on the right track. The country has deteriorated since then as has your native UK. Although under Sarkozy better days in France may be back again (there is a tune for you)

Believe It or Not - and you can believe it - Mitterand once received the coveted Francisque medal from PÈtain's Vichy collaborationists…..Mitterand was also part of the French Resistance and was not exactly pro-Israel during his Presidency (although he was far better than that Scheister Chirac).

Only the president of France, General de Gaulle, moved into political isolation by telling a press conference several months later that Israel "is organising, on the territories which it has taken, an occupation which cannot work without oppression, repression and expulsions - and if there appears resistance to this, it will in turn be called 'terrorism'". Which it is very often - terrorism - with without the quotes.

De Gaulle – the same man who attempted to sow nationalistic dissident in Quebec, sold out his people in Algeria, and stabbed the Americans and the Brits in the back after they had liberated his country from the Nazis – A clear voice of reason and arguably one of the greatest post war weasels.

This accurate prophecy earned reproof from the Nouvel Observateur - to the effect that "Gaullist France has no friends; it has only interests". Yes it is hard to believe considering France’s history of Pan Arabism and Anti-Semitism? Must really show you how strong Israel’s case was. generally And Believe It or Not, with the exception of one small Christian paper, there was in the entire French press one missing word: Palestinians.

That’s because much of the Palestinian issue was churned up after 1967 as a way of the Arab world deflecting attention for their own shortcomings – Why was there very little demand for a Palestinian State prior to 1967 when Jordan occupied the West Bank? Where were you then?

I owe it to the academic Anicet MobÈ Fansiama to remind me this week that - Believe It or Not - Congolese troops from Belgium's immensely wealthy African colony scored enormous victories over Italian troops in Africa during the Second World War, capturing 15,000 prisoners, including nine generals. Called "the Public Force" - a name which happily excluded the fact that these heroes were black Congolese - the army mobilised 13,000 soldiers and civilians to fight Vichy French colonies in Africa and deployed in the Middle East - where they were positioned to defend Palestine - as well as in Somalia, Madagascar, India and Burma. Of course at the about the same time the Palestinian leader the Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini was asking Hitler to speed up the execution of Jews? Lets not forget as well the work by Moshe Dayan in fighting off the Vichy French in Syria as well.

Vast numbers of British and American troops passed through the Congo as its wealth was transferred to the war chests of the United States and Britain.
A US base was built at Kinshasa to move oil to Allied troops fighting in the Middle East.
But - Believe It or Not - when Congolese trade unions, whose members were requisitioned to perform hard labour inside Belgium's colony by carrying agricultural and industrial goods and military equipment, often on their backs, demanded higher salaries, the Belgian authorities confronted their demonstrations with rifle fire, shooting down 50 of their men. And of course its this same country of Belgium that was extremely oppressive of the local Cingolese population that is now one of the most ardent critics of Israel – Believe it or Not!!

At least 3,000 political prisoners were deported for hard labour to a remote district of Congo. Thus were those who gave their blood for Allied victory repaid. Or rather not repaid. The four billion Belgian francs which was owed back to the Congo - about £500m in today's money - was never handed over. Believe It or Not. Yes more European Hypocrisy.

While we are on the Believe it or not issue. Take a look at this.


When Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, officials took measures to improve the conditions that Palestinians had lived under during Jordan’s 19-year occupation of the West Bank, and Egypt’s occupation of Gaza. Universities were opened, Israeli agricultural innovations were shared, modern conveniences were introduced, and health care was significantly upgraded. More than 100,000 Palestinians were employed in Israel, and were paid the same wages as Israeli workers, which stimulated economic growth.

The rise in violence during the 1990s, and then the war instigated by Palestinian terrorists beginning in 2000, has taken a heavy toll on the Palestinian economy. To protect its citizens from suicide bombers and other terrorists, Israel was forced to take measures that had a deleterious impact on the economy in the Palestinian Authority. The most serious step was to limit the number of Palestinian workers entering Israel to reduce the risk of terrorists pretending to be workers slipping into the country. This raised the level of unemployment, which, in turn, had a negative spillover effect on the rest of the Palestinian economy.
Despite the collapse of the PA economy from the last five years of war, Palestinian Arabs are still better off than many of their neighbors. The most recent Human Development Report from the United Nations ranks the PA 102nd in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income out of the 177 countries and territories in the world, placing it in the “medium human development” category along with most of the other Middle Eastern states (only the Gulf sheikdoms are ranked “high”). The PA is ranked just 12 places below Jordan and one behind Iran; it is rated ahead of Syria (#105), Algeria (#108), Egypt (#120), and Morocco (#125).31

Few Palestinians would trade places with Arabs in neighboring countries. Well, perhaps, with one exception. They might aspire to the standard of living in the country ranked 22nd by the UN – Israel.

Monday, June 11, 2007

40 Disturbing Trends

1. The Rise of Radical Islam - the Global Jihad.
2. The decline of mainstream christianity.
3. The expansion of the Dawkins-Hitchens - god-is-the-problem meme.
4. The rise of moral relativism.
5. The growth of the celebrity-as-authority cult
6. The loss of scale in differentiating 'wrongs' from attrocities - such as those who compare Gitmo to the Holocaust - this corresponds to a loss in historical understanding
7. Growing mainstream acceptance in the west of Partial Birth Abortion.
9. The expansion of the victimhood cult.
10. The growth of the Nanny Society
11. The increased prevalence of vulgar language in Prime Time TV.
12. The loss of objectivity and balance by such so-called champions of Human Freedoms as the ACLU, the UN and Amnesty International.
13. More money being pumped into Africa with very little to show for it.
14. Teacher Unions driven by left wing foreign politics - should be neutral.
15. Growing Anti-Semitism masquerading as Anti-Zionism
16. The Corporate buyout of World Sport
17. Dumbing down in Education and its twin evil Grade Inflation
18. The Growth of Entitlement - part of the culture of victimhood
19. Popular Endorsement of drug dealers - as Cool Capitalists.
20. Bad Science posing as Real Science - One see a lot of this in the global warming and nutrition debates.
21. The growing demand for reparations of one form or another.
22. The increasing advance on advertising into our daily lives.
23. A growing accetance of violence on TV.
24. The Culture of Litigation.
25. The Rise of the Big Box Store at the expense of the family business
26. Self-Censorship of Journalists in the face of Islamist threats - eg. the Danish Cartoon Crisis.
27. Illegal Immigration to the West.
28. European Pacifism and Appeasement.
29. The Decline of the American Automobile Industry
30. The Wikipedia culture of research
31. More self-help nonsense on the horizon - a lucrative trend for some
32. A decrease in useful and critical parent-child discipline
33. Lesser appreciation for the classics
34. The further marginalization of boys by an indifferent and politically impaired school system. Includes a further loss of male role models in teaching.
35. The enhancement of the therapy and DSM culture - More diverse behaviour will be diagnosed as symptomatic of a 'specific' condition.
36. Second rate qualification research in a Ph.D obsessed University culture.
37. Growing Non-Intellectualization of University - spread of the 'soft skills' movement - more profs who teach ideology as opposed to content/critical thinking
38. Less diversity in car design
39. The relationship of people through the electronic interface - deterioation of personal contact
40. Poor but fast workmanship

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Dissecting Amira Hass

My comments are in Red.

Dissecting: Amira Hass

The Holocaust as political asset
by Amira Hass; Ha’aretz; April 29, 2007

I have read Hass before on several occasions (I generally don’t agree with her – but hey that’s no surprise). She and her colleague Gideon Levy (both Israelis) are two of the most passionate champions of the Palestinian voice in Israeli media – often bordering on excusing anti-Israel terrorism –in their enthusiasm. However the fact that both her and Levy and many others can publish freely is a further reflection of the openness of Israeli press (even Chomsky has agreed with this in the past). I doubt whether there are corresponding proponents of the Israeli voice in the Arab Media - which is a different story altogether. Nevertheless this obvious disparity has not stopped the Anti-Semitic British Union of Journalists from calling for a boycott of Israel. I will let you judge that double standard there.
This is made worse by the fact that Palestinian terrorists are currently holding a BBC journalist, Alan Johnston, hostage.

Here are some thoughts on the subject:
Craig McGinty, a freelance journalist and member of the Union of Journalists asked on his blog, "How boycotting any nation's goods, whether it's Israel, China or Umpah Lumpah Land will help improve the lot of both staff and freelance journalists."
Former Guardian reporter and Yahoo Europe news director Lloyd Shepherd quipped that he now looked "forward to similar boycotts of Saudi oil (abuse of women and human rights), Turkish desserts (limits to freedom of speech) and, of course, the immediate replacement of all stationery in the NUJ's offices which has been made or assembled in China."
Source of above two quotes :

Back to the Article.
The cynicism inherent in the attitude of the institutions of the Jewish state to Holocaust survivors is not a revelation to those born and living among them. We grew up with the yawning gap between the presentation of the State of Israel as the place of the Jewish people's rebirth and the void that exists for every Holocaust survivor and his family. The personal "rehabilitation" was dependent on the circumstances of each person: the stronger ones versus the others, who did not find support from the institutions of the state. During the 1950s and 1960s we saw the demeaning view of our parents as having gone "like sheep to the slaughter," the shame of the new Jews, the Sabras, over their misfortunate, Diaspora relatives. Maybe amongst Hass and her family I know of Holocaust survivor’s who would beg to differ. Nevertheless I can see her point here as the contrast between the evils of the holocaust (one emotional extreme) and the joy of Israel’s birth (another emotional extreme) can create a myriad of feelings.

It can be argued that during the first two decades, much of this attitude could be attributed to the lack of information and the very human lack of an ability to grasp the full meaning of the industrialized genocide perpetrated by Germany. But the awareness of the material aspects of the Holocaust started very early, with Jewish and Zionist institutions starting in the early 1940s to discuss the possibility of demanding reparations. (I have never been a supporter of reparations but thats just me). In 1952, the reparations agreement with Germany was signed, by which that country agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel to cover the absorption costs of the survivors and pay for their rehabilitation. The agreement obligated Germany to compensate survivors individually as well, but the German law differentiated between those who belonged to the "circle of German culture" and others. Those who were able to prove a connection to the superior circle received higher sums, even if they emigrated in time from Germany. Concentration camp survivors from outside the "circle" received the ridiculous sum of 5 marks per day. The Israeli representatives swallowed this distortion.

This is part of the roots of financial cynicism that the media is being exposed to today, due to several reasons: the advanced age and declining health of survivors, the intentional weakening of the welfare state, the presence of survivors from the former Soviet Union who are not included in the reparations agreement, the media activism of nongovernmental welfare organizations and the welcome enlistment of social affairs journalists. (ok. Relatively Innocuous – not much to criticize here).They are shocked by the gap between the official appropriation of the Holocaust, which is perceived in Israel as understood and justified, and the abandonment of survivors. (My main problem with Reparations – who eventually sees the money?)

Turning the Holocaust into a political asset serves Israel primarily in its fight against the Palestinians. I disagree. Israel has been under siege since 1948. Its not the Palestinians that Israel is worried about but the Syrians, Iranians, Saudis, Most of the Arab World who refuse to recognize the existence of this Jewish State. Living in a country of 6 million surrounded by hostile neighbours who number over 200 million is the real fear and it is legitimate – Hass has distorted the issue considerably. I wonder if she understands the full impact of Ahmednejad’s threats for example? The possibility of a second holocaust in a nuclear age is indeed real for the Israelis.

When the Holocaust is on one side of the scale, along with the guilty (and rightly so) conscience of the West, the dispossession of the Palestinian people from their homeland in 1948 Never mind that the Palestinians rejected the two state UN proposal in 1947 and sided with the rejectionist Arab nations who attacked Israel the following year to let is minimized and blurred. Not really as of late (in Europe especially) there has been a new twist to the holocaust scenario. The false logic goes as follows:

We were bad but so is Israel. Therefore we owe the Jews nothing and in fact can hide our continued anti-semitism under the guise of the more acceptable form of Anti-Zionism.

The phrase "security for the Jews" has been consecrated as an exclusive synonym for "the lessons of the Holocaust."
Actually the need for Jewish security pre-dates the holocaust by about 2000 years or so. Lets not forget the Inquisitions, blood libels, Pogroms etc. Anti-Semitism is not a 20th century phenomenon only.

It is what allows Israel to systematically discriminate against its Arab citizens. I agree that there may be some discrimination regarding army benefits – but it is not prudent to draft Arabs into the IDF where they will most likely be in combat against their fellow Arabs – Hass also conveniently fails to mention that Arab citizens of Israel can vote (have women’s rights), live anywhere and attend university where they so please – this is not for the most part the case with their brethren in the rest of the Arab world. Arab gays and lesbians also enjoy the protection of the law in Israel – I have read stories of Palestinian gays who have fled the West Bank to Israel to avoid harassment by their own people. Why does the so-called ‘pro-Gay’ leftist media hardly mention cases such as this?

For 40 years, "security" has been justifying control of the West Bank and Gaza and of subjects who have been dispossessed of their rights living alongside Jewish residents, Israeli citizens laden with privileges.

No the security issue is justified based on territorial logistics. If the entire West Bank was handed back Israel would be about 5 miles wide at its narrowest point. A United Arab Army (as has been the case in the past) could negotiate this distance fairly quickly cutting the country in two. This is the real security threat. As for some of the settlements this is an areawhich I myself have been critical of Israel. I do however believe that as the world has seen in both Sinai and Gaza many will be dismantled when the time comes. Whether this will stop Palestinian terrorism/rocket attacks is another issue – it hasn’t done so with Gaza - as Hamas and co. do not appear to want to settle for anything less than control over all of Israel.
Suggested watching: (Deadly Currents – 1991 – it was shown to widespread acclaim at the Toronto Film Festival).

Security serves the creation of a regime of separation and discrimination on an ethnic basis, No Israel wants real security that offers tangibles for tangibles – If Hamas really wanted peace they would drop their mandate that champions the extinguishing of the Israeli state. If Arafat wanted peace he would have accepted Ehud Barak’s extremely generous deal in 2001 (even the Saudis thought so and told Arafat that he would be a fool to reject it) with Israel. More half-truths from Hass Israeli style, under the auspices of "peace talks" that go on forever. See above. Its difficult to negotiate with an enemy that ultimately wants the negotiations to fail.

Turning the Holocaust into an asset allows Israel to present all the methods of the Palestinian struggle (even the unarmed ones) as another link in the anti-Semitic chain whose culmination is Auschwitz. More melodrama from Hass – who has obviously been reading the works of Norman Finkelstein – but if she goes back to the source – Hamas documents (Hamas is the real power amongst the Palestinians) she will see that parallels between Islamofascists such as Hamas and the Nazis are uncanny. As for all the methods this is not true – Israel has for the most part strongly backed Abbas and his Fatah group

I myself have been critical of this move – as Abbas himself has a history of holocaust denial – Read or

Israel provides itself with the license to come up with more kinds of fences, walls and military guard towers around Palestinian enclaves.
Never mind the fact that this has reduced suicide bombing considerably. I guess Hass doesn’t care about Jews and Arabs being killed in Cafes or buses by Palestinian suicide bombers.

Separating the genocide of the Jewish people from the historical context of Nazism and from its aims of murder and subjugation, and its separation from the series of genocides perpetrated by the white man outside of Europe, What about Arab pogroms of Jews prior to the creation of the state of Israel? – another point that is conveniently forgotten.

has created a hierarchy of victims, at whose head we stand. Holocaust and anti-Semitism researchers fumble for words when in Hebron the state carries out ethnic cleansing via its emissaries, the settlers, and ignore the enclaves and regime of separation it is setting up.
I am not a big fan of the settler movement but the presence of a small Jewish community in Hebron is hardly worthy of the term Ethnic Cleansing. This is pure hyperbole.

Whoever criticizes Israel's policies toward the Palestinians is denounced as an anti-Semite, There may be some radicals who usher this sentiment but they are in the minority. There is as much criticism of Israeli policy regarding the Palestinians in Israel as there are Israelis. As for outside criticism Bill Clinton, George Bush, Condi Rice, Madelaine Albright have all at times criticized Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians (for good or for worse) – only the most extreme would call them anti-semites if not a Holocaust denier. Although from the flip side holocaust deniers tend to be both anti-semitic and anti-Israel – case in point David Duke

Absurdly, the delegitimization of any criticism of Israel only makes it harder to refute the futile equations that are being made between the Nazi murder machine and the Israeli regime of discrimination and occupation. Too many double negatives here. Must have lost something in the Hebrew translation. Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is ridiculous any way you cut it. Not only does is it inaccurate – the two states have nothing in common – but it illustrates a complete lack of understanding of the structure of the Third Reich. Suggested Reading for Hass:

The institutional abandonment of the survivors is rightly denounced across the board. Although the Arab countries that have refused to absorb Palestinian refugees into their populations are hardly ever mentioned. Another across the board double standard. Israel absorbed the 800,000 Jewish refugees who fled the Arab lands after the War of Independence. The transformation of the Holocaust into a political asset for use in the struggle against the Palestinians feed on those same stores of official cynicism, but it is part of the consensus.
Consensus of what? Hass and her colleagues. Give me a break…

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Milestones in my Life (1968-1983)

1. My birth - Pretoria, South Africa 1968 - 1st of October. It was a tough one. I came out of the womb with a bluish-tint and required the expertise of a university professor for delivery.

2. Surviving Infancy - Thanks Mom and Dad and of course G-d. I was hospitalized for Asthma at Age three. Experience was very traumatic.

2A. Birth of my sister Lana - 1970.

3. Conversations with my Grandad - on the bible, history, the War (WWII). He passed away shortly after my eighth birthday - November 1976.

3A. Birth of my sister Debbie - 1973.

4. Senior Kindergarten - 1974 - hated it for the most part. Poor Reports indicate that I would struggle in Primary School.

5. Starting Primary School - Jan 1975 - My parents had already taught me to read, write and apply basic arithmetic. The year was a breeze. I excel in Primary School. Parents help me start a Matchbox Toy Collection. For more see:

6. Learning about the World from my Dad at a young age. Father will encourage me to read, read and read. My passion is history and geography. Early heroes are Nelson, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Duke of Marlborough, Henry V. Source of reading:
Look and Learn (see amongst others. At around the same time I become fascinated by all things British - this will change over the years.

7. The US Elections in 1976 and the Soweto Riots of the Same year - my first intro. to politics.

8. I become an instant footer fan in 1976 after Grandmother (Ruth) introduces me to Sticker Cards - Liverpool 4 Ever. Go Reds. Starting Collecting Brit Coms at about the same time: Roy of the Rovers, Tiger, Battle Action etc.

9. Grade 4 - Excellent teacher - Miss Fereirra. They don't make too many Math teachers like her anymore as far as I can tell.

10. Encephalitis - Summer 1978 - almost died - no damage - Thank G-d.

11. 1979 - Trip to the US and Canada - Visited New York, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, the Rockies, LA, San Fran, Las Vegas. Finally ended off in London before flying home to Johannesburg. Thatcher becomes British PM ending years of Labour drudgery.

12. 1980 - Won School wide General Knowledge Competition. Represented school in Jewish-Day School Match up. Finished third. Represented school in Bible Quiz Contest in the same year.
In the same year I survived another life threatening Asthma attack. Overdosed on Ventolin as well. Nevertheless I was intensley involved in swimming especially the Breaststroke.

13. British Lions Rugby team tour South Africa in 1980 - I followed the tour religiously.
Passion for Sci Fi Cultivated at about this time: 2000AD, Judge Dredd, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, Battle Star Galactica were amongst my favourites. Reagan defeats Carter. I was hoping for a Carter victory. I will never be so foolish again. Carter - the worst post-war President that the US ever had - more proof why the young shouldn't vote.

14. 1981 - Barmitzvah Year - My portion is Bereshit - the first in the Torah. My parents have a ceremony in a tent in our front Garden. It turns out to to be one of the coldest summer nights of the year - oh well.

15. 1982 - World Cup in Spain. Another event that I followed intensely. England went out of the tournament without losing a match. Italy were the eventual winners 3-1 over West Germany.
I saw the final in my Uncle's House in Toronto, Canada.

16. 1982 - Grades drop and I goof off - Teacher labels me class clown - My Dad is NOT impressed. This represents a turning point in my school studies.

17. 1982 - Second Trip to US and Canada. Visited my Uncle in Toronto, New York, Washington, New Orleans. Finished off in Switzerland before going home.

18. 1983 - Leave Carmel and start education in Public System - Pretoria Boys High School. Most difficult year of my life. I suffered constant harrasment but managed to tread the water. Very Strong Grades in History, Accountancy and Geography. Struggled in Art, Industrial Art and Afrikaans. Still underperforming in Math and the Sciences.

.........To be Continued......Next Instalment....(1984-1987)

Friday, June 08, 2007

On Reading

Reading is definitely one of my passions. At times it drives my wife crazy. Here is a list of the last 100+ books that I have read (Not in any order of chronology).


1. Philosophical Classics - James M. Russell
2. Leftism - Erik von Kuehnelt-Ledihn
3. The Quotable Paul Johnson - Paul Johnson
4. The Conservative Tradition in America - Dunn/Woodard
5. Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder
6. Conservatism - Peter Viereck
7. The Story of Philosophy - Will Durant
8. Human Accomplishment - Charles Murray
9. Eastern Philosophy for Beginners - Osborne/Loon
10. Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom
11. Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl
12. 101 Key Ideas - Philosophy - Paul Oliver
13. When Bad Things happen to Good People - Harold Kushner
14. Critical Pedagogy - Joan Wink
15. A Brief History of the Future - O. Strathern
16. 100 Most Influential Books ever written - M. Seymour-Smith
17. A History of God - Armstrong
18. The Five People you Meet in Heaven - Albom
19. The Limits of Science - Medawar
20. Conversations about the End of Time - Eco, Gould, Carriere, Delumeau
21. The Case for a Creator - Strobel


1. Radical Son - David Horowitz
2. The Case for Israel - Alan Dershowitz
3. Arrogance - Bernard Goldberg
4. 100 People Screwing up America - Bernard Goldberg
5. House of Bush House of Saud - Craig Unger
6. Inside the CIA - Ronald Kessler
7. The New-Anti Liberals - Alan Borovoy
8. Tons of Articles. Articles are more current.
9. The Siege - Conor Cruise O'Brien
10. From Beirut to Jerusalem - Thomas Friedman


1. Dictionary of American History - 1763 to the Present
2. A Brief History of the Caribbean - Jan Rogozinski
3. World History - Duiker and Spielvogel
4. Chronicle of Canada - Chronicle Publications
5. Atlas of World History - Haywood
6. A Brief History of the Crusades - Hindley
7. Whisper of the Blades - Durschmied
8. The Hinges of Battle - Durschmied
9. How Hitler could have won World War II - Alexander
10. Timelines of War - Brownstone and Franck
11. The Timetables of History - Grun
12. A History of Zionism - Laquer
13. Fifty Key Thinkers on History - Hughes-Warrington
14. Vietnam - A History Karnow
15. Official Secrets - Breitman
16. A Brief History of British Sea Power - Howarth
17. The Saxon and Norman Kings - Brooke
18. Secret Societies - Barrett
19. The Jews in America - Hertzberg
20. Kings and Queens - Cheshire
21. The Age of Revolution - Churchill
22. A History of Modern Japan - Storrey
23. Imperium - Harris
24. A History of the Sciences - Mason
25. A Dictionary of Modern History (1789-1945) - Palmer
26. Suetonius - Lives of the Twelve Caesars
27. Practicing History - Tuchman
28. A History of Latin America - Pendle
29. A History of Modern Ireland - Norman
30. An Introduction to Contemporary History - Barraclough
31. The Birth of Britain - Churchill
32. A Shot History of Australia - Clark
33. The Holocaust Chronicle
34. The First Israelis - Segev
35. The Lost Testament - Rohl
36. Assassinations - Brady/Brady
37. Napoleon - Markham
38. The Bible as History - Keller
39. Scotland's Story - Steel
40. A History of New Zealand - Sinclair
41. Europe - DeLouche
42. Hitler and Stalin - Bullock


1. Jewish People Jewish Thought - Seltzer
2. God is a Verb - Cooper
3. Kabbalah Inspirations - Rosen
4. The Jewish Approach to God - Gillman
5. The Illustrated Atlas of Jewish Civilization - Bacon and Gilbert
6. Those that forget the Past - Rosenbaum/Ozick
7. Immortality, Resurrection and the Age of the Universe - Kaplan
8. The Way of God - Luzzatto
9. The Aryeh Kaplan - Anthology I
10. More Answers to Questions of the Spirit - Bulka
11. The Nine Questions People Ask Abnout Judaism - Prager and Telushkin
12. Why the Jews? - Prager
13. A Life on the Jewish Left - Biderman
14. Soul Prints - Gafni
15. DNA and Tradition - Kleiman
16. Wordperfect - Spiro


1. The Ideas of Physics - Hutton
2. On Chemistry - Asimov
3. The Trouble with Physics - Smolin
4. Elegant Universe - Greene
5. Physics of Immortality - Tipler
6. Encycplopedia of Science and Technology - Trefil
7. The Emergence of Everything - Morowitz
8. The Physical Universe - Shu
9. A Brief History of Time - Hawking
10. Concise Dictionary of Science - by Hutchinson Publ.
11. Faster than Light - Herbert
12. Theories of Everything - Barrow
13. Hyperspace - Kaku
14. Big Bang - Singh
15. Not by Chance - Spetner
16. The Hidden Face of God - Schroeder
17. Browsers Book of Beginnings - Panati
18. Archives of the Universe - Bartusiak


1. Conspiracy Files - Southwall and Twist
2. 50 Greatest Conspiracies of All-Time - Vankin and Whalen
3. The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places - Stableford
4. Teacher Man - McCourt
5. The Little Book of Bad Taste - Shaw
6. Psycotropedia - Kick
7. Mind-Body-Spirit-Earth - Crosse
8. The Dictionary of Misinformation - Burnam
9. Why do Clocks run Clockwise? - Feldman
10. Beautiful Team - Jenkins
11. Fever Pitch - Hornby
12. Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience - Guiley
13. Eccentrics - Weeks/James
14. Devil's Dictionary - Bierce
15. Fall of the House of Usher - Poe
16. Strange Brains and Genius - Pickover

What I like about Toronto

I have lived in Toronto since 1988. This is what I like about the city.

1. The Toronto Zoo - excellent.
2. The availibility of virtually any type of ethnic cuisine.
3. Summer minus the humidity and construction
4. Walks in High Park.
5. The Word's Biggest Book Store
6. The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum - especially the sections on China and Paleontology).
7. The Beach Area
8. Baseball Games at the Old Sky Dome - Now Rogers Centre.
9. Little Italy
10. The Theatre District
11. Fort York
12. Casa Loma
13. Yonge/Eglinton on Summer Nights
14. The Esplanade on a Saturday Night
15. The Ontario Science Centre

This is what I don't like

1. Traffic Congestion - an all too common curse of the city.
2. Rising House prices
3. A growing litter problem.
4. The overall unfriendliness of the city - rudeness seems a way of life with many
5. A very limited subway system
6. The Winters
7. Long line ups at Hospital Emergency Rooms
8. A watefront populated by Condominiums.
9. Artsy wannabees on Queen Street
10. Parking - or the lack of it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

British Boycott Lunacy

The latest round of British anti-semitism that has manifested itself in the ongoing Academic boycott is sickening and very much indicative of a country that has lost all perspective.

The following is an excellent article on the topic.

Boycotting the Jews in Britain by P. David Hornik

BBC reporter Alan Johnston has been held since March 26 by a terrorist group in Gaza, where he had been the last international journalist to keep living and working. He appeared last Thursday in a video wearing an orange sweatshirt and reading a prepared statement. Meanwhile British soldiers are under attack by Muslim and Arab terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, and fifteen British sailors were recently kidnapped and held in harsh conditions for two weeks by Iran.
Closer to home, a survey found one-quarter of British Muslims expressing sympathy for the London bombers of July 7, 2005, and British intelligence estimates that about 16,000 of them are capable of carrying out such attacks themselves. Indeed, last August 11 the left-wing Guardian reported that British Muslim “suicide bombers were within days of blowing up 12 passenger jets above five US cities in an unprecedented terrorist attack designed to commit [quoting intelligence sources] ‘mass murder on an unimaginable scale.’”
Yet Britain’s University and College Union, made up of university academics, as well as other groups have figured out who their real enemies are . . . the Jews.
For the rest go to

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

On Empathy

I was involved recently in an online discussion on empathy. One of the participants, who is a teacher like myself, argued that one need not understand another's circumstances only their emotions. It is this understanding of emotion, in his opinion, that is ultimately what defines empathy and what will eventually assist the teacher in reaching at-risk learners. While his raw words have an obvious appeal I couldn't help but wonder if the burden that this places on a teacher is too excessive.

Understanding emotions is complex at the best of times and is rarely dealt with in pedagogic literature. Yes, psychology and to some extent sociology broach on these themes but as a teacher I am not sure whether I am equipped to even enter such a realm which seems more the preserve of a social worker than anything else.

Yet in self-reflecting on this point, I started to wonder if I was not making excuses for my own shortcomings. Was I too afraid to venture into this area? Or when it comes down to it, have I limited my own sense of self?

Is this emotional aspect of empathy something we are born with or is it a learned action cultivated by internalized behaviourism? My belief is that it is somehow a mixture of both. There are some who have the potential to emotionally deliver 'more' (or at least what appears to be more) whilst others fall short of the mark. This quality of the former is certainly a valuable tool as so much of teaching is about the human element. Either way I believe that a portion of the skill can be learnt systematically. Maybe this is the route that I need to take.

I am however not sold on the idea that emotional understanding is the sole basis of empathy. I fear that a wholesale capitualtion to this philosophy will detract from the rationality of teaching so what I seek is a better understanding of what empathy truly is ie. its full conglomerate of aspects.

In practice I will continue to choose to extend my sense of self on a conscious level . I will teach with the expectation that my students need to understand. While I believe in the excitement of learning and the joy of transferred insight I will resist the temptation to drown myself in emotional based education. Based on experience this is the most reasonable pathway for me to take. It could change over time as I learn more about the 'Emotional Empathy Factor' but like any new adaptation to a philosophy is best implemented with thoughtful caution.

In the Footer News

Tommy Smith has a heart attack
I wish the Anfield Iron - one of my boyhood favourites a speedy recovery.

Estonia 0 England 3
Well done Beckham but England still have a long way to go.
Scorers were: Cole, Crouch and the forgotten man - Owen.

Croatia 0 Russia 0
Breathing room for the Three Lions.

Faroe Islands 0 Scotland 2
Nobody shows Scotland how to play Footer. Least of all the Faroe Islands.

Germany 1 Slovakia 0
Germany will almost certainly qualify. I reckon that they can win the European Championship come next summer.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Republican Debate

I just finished watching the Republican Candidates debate.
The CNN intelligensia - which somehow includes the feeble-minded Ariana Huffington - seemed to give the edge to McCain. I saw Giuliani as the winner.

Several items were clear from the debate:
1. George Bush is a liability
2. Ronald Reagan is an asset.
3. The GOP has lost its way.

Rudy Giuliani - was the best candidate at attacking the Dems. He outlined a workable logically sound health care proposal, and seemed to have the clearest vision on National Security amongst all the candidates.

John McCain - showed his age and doesn't appear to offer more than Dubya has delivered. His bipartisan initiatives are appreciated but I just can't seem him defeating the Dems. Nevertheless he appears to have the support to slug it out with Rudy G. for the nomination.

Tom Tancredo - Seems a bit too hot under the collar. I liked his English as the Official language policy but his vision of a black-white world appears a bit limited.

Tommy Thompson - Knows the healthcare scenario well but has no chance of winning the nomination. Too much of a lightweight.

Duncan Hunter - Champions the necessary Mexico-border fence but did not appear to have the depth of scope on world issues that Giuliani and McCain have.

Sam Brownback - Is looking for the Social Conservative vote which he might split with Mike Huckabee. Don't expect much beyond that.

Mike Huckabee - A well-spoken eloquant figure who did a great job of representing the moral conscious of the party. Not electable but an excellent resource for any administration.

Mitt Romney - Was disappointing and frankly not believable. Kept going on about the future like some well polished sales rep.

Ron Paul - Still can't see why he is a Republican. Other than a Libertarian angle he should have been at the debate two days ago.

Jim Gilmore - Doesn't bring anything new to the table. Dodged the question on the environment.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Democratic Nomination - 2008

So the Dems are finally falling over one another in deciding who has the best exit strategy.
Judging from the quality available for show at New Hampshire this weekend it is becoming more and more apparent that Al Gore should enter the runoff – such is the quality available on hand.

The following is a run down of each of the current contenders:

Hilary Clinton (Senator NY) - Is intelligent and well-spoken but carries more bad baggage than any of the other contenders. Although a front runner right now I am not convinced that she will have much success in convincing Red State voters to see her as a presidential candidate. This is a pity in a way as I believe that of all the Democrat candidates she has the toughest stance against Terror.

Barack Obama (Senator Ill) - : Seems like a manufactured candidate. Obama is squeaky clean to the point of not standing for anything. He may seem a great choice for the ‘diversity crowd’ of the party but as a political neophyte) who has a tendency to follow public opinion his campaign may be run over by the shadow party of George Soros et al. A very dangerous phenomenon for all supporters of a strong front against Radical Islam.

John Edwards (Senator NC) - Edwards is all about attack nothing about building. He also strikes one as the kind of ‘political scheister’ who will say anything to be elected. He more than even Obama is willing to court the anti-war vote and his rhetoric on America’s moral authority is as nauseating as it is insincere. Expect large scale opposition to his presidential campaign from the healthcare establishment in the US. Although Mike Moore may endorse him (kiss of death).

Gov. Bill Richardson (NM) – I like Richardson as he is not as caught up with the Iraqi mania as are the other candidates. His focus on US education is refreshing and he would be my choice for the nomination should Gore fail to stand. However he still is a bit of a lightweight (despite his role as ambassador to the UN) and I can’t see him defeating the party’s establishment who appear to be gathering around the Clinton-Obama-Edwards Gang of Three.

Joe Biden (Senator Del)– Is too much of a Capital Hill insider to make much of an impact. Biden failed in 1988 – offers nothing new to the table except possibly a dubious appeasement strategy with Iran or North Korea.

Dennis Kucinich (Rep. OH) – The number one choice of the pot smoking collective. Is more radical than Governor Moonbeam (Jerry Brown) and equally unelectable.

Mike Gravel (Former Senator Alaska) - Mike who? Possible answer to a trivia question in years to come.

Christopher Dodd (Senator CONN) – A lefty from New England exactly what the party doesn’t need.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

MacLeans on the condition of Britain

Macleans magazine had an excellent article (June 11th issue) on the pathos that is the UK these days.

England's Shocking Decline

The following is a list of points that add credence to the Rotting Thesis.

1. Child Poverty is on the increase.
2. Country has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe.
3. Britain has one of the highest divorce rates in Europe.
4. Ties France in terms of sexually transmitted disease.
5. Highest obesity rate in Europe (1 out of 4 people)
6. Leads Europe in Drug Abuse especially Cocaine.
7. Tied with Holland and Ireland for highest Crime Rate in Europe.
London is more violent than New York or Istanbul.
8. Studies show that that 'fully one-half of state secondary schools are failing to provide pupils
with a good standard of education.
9. 40% of 11 years leave primary school without the adequate reading, writing and math skills.
10. Grade inflation is rife - 48% earned one a C in the GCSE in 1989. Now an 18% earns one the same letter grade.
11. Schools are rife with political correctness thart stifles reform.
12. High property prices have saddled the Middle Class with Mortage payments that take up 70% of take-home pay.
13. Property tax has increased by 70% over the last ten years.
14. There have been a over 100 indirect taxes since 1997 (the year Blair came to power).
15. Unusually high death rates in hospitals - NHS in decline. 70% of these could be avoided with better medical care.
16. Waiting time for surgery is awful; 41% of patients wait over four months for surgery compared to 33% in Canada, 19% in Australia, 10% in Germany and the US.
17. 18% of the population officially rely on benefits - could be as high as one-third according to some estimates.
18. Taxation at a twenty year high. Revenue has increased from 175 million pounds (in 1997) to 370 million pounds (today) . The burden of course falling on the working class - it has risen in Britain - dropped across Europe as a whole.
19. One out of every four workers is empployed by the state - 900,000 hired since 1997.
20. Public Sector workers have contributed to a pension liabilityu of 1.5 trillion pounds - twice the national debt.
21. Tax Loopholes mainly benefit the super rich who paid 14.7 million pounds on a combined fortune of 126 billion pounds. Is Britain a glorified Cayman Islands?
22. Country has become more of a Nanny State than ever - since 1997 there are over 3000 new offenses that have been added by the home office.
23. Failed multiculturalism.
24. A minimum wage couple would be better off by 27-35% if they broke up. Incomes would rise by 12% if the father moved out.
25, Britain is Europe's leader in single-mother households.
26. Plans are underway to open State Schools for fifty ghours a week - as teachers become the next generation of surrogate parents and social workers.
27. Restrictions on Freedom of Speech have become numerous.
28. Culture of Binge Drinking

If all of this is not a confirmation of the overall failure of state bureaucracy I don't know what is.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Number of Hits on Google

I have just carried out a little experiment on Google.
The following is the number of hits for each of the searches:
(All in millions)

Paris Hilton - 42.1
Jesus Christ - 26.8
Christ - 90.7
Moses - 29.1
Mohammed - 26
George Bush - 144
Bush - 177
Bin Laden - 11.4
Britney Spears - 26.2
Oprah - 33.8
American Idol - 34.1
Hilary Clinton - 20.1
Obama - 15.4
Terrorism - 56.8
Guiliani - 12.8
McCain - 13.4
Romney - 8.9
Bill Clinton - 45.5
Al Gore - 32.1
Jolie - 56.8
God - 349
Satan - 24.5
Hitler - 36
Stalin - 12.8
Churchill - 28.5
Chomsky - 9.3
Cheney - 23.2
Lohan - 30.7

No comments for now?????

On Philosophy

100 Thinkers that have inspired me:
(not in any order)

1. Elie Wiesel - Excellent analysis if human condition
2. St. Augustine - Confessions rather than City of God.
3. Soren Kierkegaard - Leap of Faith concept
4. Fydor Dostoyevsky - especially Brothers Karamazov
5. Carl Jung - work on Archetypes
6. Erich Fromm - Art of Loving writer
7. Aryeh Kaplan - Synthesis of Science and Modern Judaism
8. Paul Johnson - Philosopher, Historian.
9. Barbara Tuchman - Excellent Historian
10. Fred Hoyle - Radical Astronomer
11. Kurt Godel - Tackled the fundamentals of Mathematics
12. Albert Einstein - needs no introduction
13. Fritz Perls - One of the fathers of Gestalt
14. Rene Descartes - More for his work on Analytical Geometry than Sceptism
15. Isaac Newton - Father of Modern Physics
16. George Berkley - Idealist Philosopher
17. Daniel K. Lewis - Champion of Many Worlds Hypothesis
19. Carl Sagan - Father of SETI. Champion of Science.
20. Moshe Chaim Luzzatto - Author of the Way of God - Jewish Thinker
21. Maimonides - Author. Jewish Philosopher. Guide to the Perplexed. Talmudic Organization.
22. David Horowitz - Author of Radical Son - excellent critique of the Left
23. Lee Smolin - One of the most creative minds in Physics today
24. Alain de Botton - Popularizer of Philosophy
25. The Author of the Psalms (David)
26. Conor Cruise O'Brian - Irish Writer. Provided an excellent analysis of the Middle East.
27. Dennis Prager - Conservative writer
28. Deborah Lipstadt - Historian of the Holocaust. Nemesis of David Irving.
29. Thomas Sowell - Modern American Philosopher/Writer.
30. La Rochefoucald- Author of Maxims
31. Friederich Nietzche - Didn't agree with his moral relativism but his aphorisms are brilliant.
32. CS Lewis - Writer and Religious Thinker
33. Franz Kafka - One of the most original thinkers of the 20th century.
34. Patrick Moore - Popularizer of Astronomy.
35. Galileo - Genius personified.
36. Socrates - For introducing his questioning method the basis of most succesful pedagogy.
37. Lev Vygotzky - Educator and Philosopher
38. Marie Curie - Physicist and Chemist
39. Theodore Herzl - Father of Modern Day Zionism
40. Martin Gilbert - Arguably the greatest Historian of the Modern Era
41. Johan Wolfgang van Goethe - For his study of Human ambition in Faust
42. Jules Verne - Father of Modern Science Fiction
43. Archimedes - Greatest Scientific Mind of his time.
44. Charles Fort - For his attack on the dogma of Science.
45. John Stuart Mills - Author of On Liberty - A true Democrat
46. Winston Churchill - Greatest PM Britain has ever had. Wondeful Historian.
47. Thomas Jefferson - For his understanding of Democracy
48. Edmund Burke - Father of Conservatism
49. Samuel Johnson - One of the Greatest wits of All-Time
50. Alfred Wallace - Underrated Champion of Evolution by Natural Selection
51. Florence Nightingale - Mother of Modern Nursing
52. Abraham Lincoln - Greatest US President of all-Time
53. Adam Smith - Father of Modern Economics
54. Charles de Montesquieu - French Democratic Thinker
55. Alan Guth - Father of the Inflationary Universe Theory
56. Mary Shelley - Author of Frankenstein. Excellent Scientific critique.
57. Robert Louis Stevenson - Fiction writer. Author of Treasure Island, Kidnapped etc.
58. George Lemaitre - Father of Big Bang Theory
59. Niels Bohr - Physicist. Leading figure in Quantum Mechanics.
60. Edgar Alan Poe - Greatest Horror Writer of All-Time
61. Ibn Khaladun - Influential Arab Philosopher.
62. Siddhartha - Buddhist thinker - For coming up with the Middle Way.
63. Aristotle - Provided the Grounding for Western Philophy
64. Gottfried Leibniz - Philosopher/Mathematician.
65. Erwin Schrodinger - Cats aside - First rate Theoretical Physicist.
66. Roger Penrose - One of the most competent minds alive today.
67. Francis Collins - Head of the Human Genome Project
68. Louis Pasteur - Father of Microbiology
69. Omar Khayyam - Persian Poet, Philosopher, Mathematician
70. Golda Meir - Israeli Prime Minister
71. George Eliot - English Writer
72. Abraham - Father of Ethical Monotheism
73. Friederich Gauss - One of the Greatest Mathematicians ever
74. Thomas Kuhn - Philosopher of Science
75. Alan Sokal - For de-bunking Post Modernism
76. Efraim Karsh - Middle Eastern Historian
77. Benoit Mandelbrot - Mathematician - Worked on Fractals.
78. Ray Kurzweil - Computer-Linguist and Technology advocate
78. Alan Bloom - Author of the Closing of the American Mind
79. William Buckley - Conservative Thinker
80. Mark Twain - American writer and wit.
81. Ambrose Bierce - American cynic and wit
82. Raoul Wallenberg - Swedish diplomat saved many lives during the Holocaust
83. Hannah Arendt - German/Jewish Philosopher - critique of Totaliterianism
84. George Will - American writer
85. Max Planck - Father of Quantum Mechanics
86. Jonas Salk - Developed Polio vaccine
87. Mother Theresa - No introduction either
88. Walter Lacquer - Jewish Historian
89. Alan Dershowitz - Legal Thinker, Political and Social Commentor
90. Oscar Wilde - Wit and Playwright
91. Isaac Asimov - Science Fiction writer, Popularizer of Science and Academics.
92. Moses - No Intro needed here.
93. Milton Friedman - Monetarist Economist
94. Menachem Begin - Israeli Prime Minister
95. Neil Simon - Playwright
96. Martin Luther King - Civil Rights Leader
97. HG Wells - Futurist
98. Baruch Spinoza - Renaissance Philosopher
99. Vladmir Jabotinsky - Revisionist Zionist
100. Hillel - Ancient Jewish Thinker - speciality: Ethics

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Best Parts of the 80's for Me

1. The End of the Cold War - Reagan telling Gorbachev to 'tear down the wall'.
2. The End of the Carter Presidency.
3. Liverpool winning six League titles, two European Cups, four League Cups, two FA Cups. No English team in Football history has had a better decade - not even manure in the 90's.
4. The Rise of Recombinant DNA technology
5. The Tennis Era of Johnny Mac.
6. Sit Coms such as: Family Ties, Growing Pains, Night Court, Silver Spoons.
7. The Birth of the Inflationary Universe Theory - Alan Guth.
8. British bands such as Madness, the Cure, the Clash, Echo and the Bunneyman, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Level 42, New Order, OMD and DePeche Mode.
9. Back to the Future
10. British Comics were still a force.
11. BMX
12. The 82 World Cup - One of the Best ever- with respect to overall quality of Football.
13. Reagan spanking Gaddafi.
14. The Great Windies Cricket teams: Richards, Holding, Croft, Greenidge, Marshall etc.
15. The Springboks-British Lions Rugby Series of 1981.
16. TV Shows such as: Rip Tide, St. Elsewhere, Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica.
17. Yasser Arafat fleeing Lebanon.
18. South African heavyweight Gerrie Coetzee winning the WBA title.
19. Graduating from High school with distinctions (A grades) in: Mathematics, Science (Physics and Chemistry) as well as History (World and South African).
20. Starting University - University of the Witwatersrand - South Africa.
21. Immigrating to Canada.
22. The Sebastian Coe-Steve Ovett rivalry in Middle Distance Athletics.
23. Daley Thompson dominating the decathalon.
24. TIME magazine it was actually worth reading in those days.
25. World Book Encyclopedia's year books.
26. The Indian Jones Series of Movies.
27. Political Correctness was a not as big an issue.
28. Pac Man
29. Myself on the General knowledge quiz circuit in South Africa.
30. Birth of Trivia Pursuit
31. Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson vs Isiah Thomas
32. Britain showing backbone in the Falklands
33. Live AID
34. The Fall of Marcos in the Philipines
35. Eddie Murphy was still funny
36. Who knew what a SUV was?
37. Laser technology gave us the CD.
38. Bo Derek in 10.
39. The US still seemed to have had some control over illegal immigration.
40. BASIC Code with line numbers
41. Breakfast Club
42. Rocky III
43. The Kasparov-Karpov Chess rivalry
44. Bruce Hornsby and the Range also the Alan Parsons Project
45. There were no reality TV shows.
46. My families 1984 Euro Trip: France, England, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands.
47. Israel knocking out the Euro built Iraqi reactor in Osirak thereby saving the world from a potential future headache.
48. Greenspan puts the brakes on inflation.
49. No mass hysteria over Global Warming.
50. Money not such a major factor in Sports.