Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

Riots in the streets and pigs on the wing   Leave a comment

17 March 2016 — Bellingham, WA.

So, Donald Trump is threatening riots if he doesn’t get the Republican nomination.

It will happen. I’m sure. I’ve been saying it all along. People in Jerusalem last month asked me what I think is going to happen as a result of the primaries, and invariably I would say, “Riots.” Well, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes I’d say, “Chaos.” But that was the general theme of it.

I firmly believe the powers that be — the conservative hard-core insiders, the ones who refuse to hold hearings for Supreme Court Justice — will also refuse to award Donald Trump the nomination of the Grand Old Party. Just picture a Trump-Kardashian ticket next to the (R) on your ballot. Even Reince Priebus is tweeting  #NeverTrump in fake Twitter profiles. This year (R) might stand for Reality TV, and there’s going to be plenty of it on CNN.

This morning another major development happened, and it seems that indeed pigs can fly, as Lindsey Graham announced he’s throwing an AIPAC fundraiser for Ted Cruz, someone he’s admitted on CNN and elsewhere he doesn’t really like. Calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor doesn’t get you many points. Graham was careful to say that he’s not endorsing Cruz, but that Cruz was the only mainline Republican who has the chance to keep Trump off the ballot.

Ohio Governor John Kasich, the hometown boy, the convention and riots being in Cleveland, is a very dark horse to sneak in under the wire, and only if he wins Pennsylvania or Wisconsin and gets a healthy injection of charisma. If you ask me, Kasich, who’s known to fly off the handle, couldn’t attract the media with free sandwiches and an open bar. He began going negative against Trump today. Watch out – the mud’s flying.

It’s funny. The last time there were real riots at a convention, it was 1968, in Chicago, at the Democratic convention. Now, all the action’s going to be in Cleveland, with the Trump supporters. They have the capacity to go full zoohouse. I don’t want to be within a hundred miles of Cleveland during the Republican Convention. The best seat’s going to be in front of a TV anyway.

But what about Philadelphia?

On the Philadelphia side, the prune-faced screaming banshee has an insurmountable lead over Bernie Sanders, who authored most of her ideas, especially in her last month’s speeches. Saying this is sure to get me branded a blatant sexist, and so be it.

I’ve met Hillary Clinton, in 1991, 1992, and 1996, when I worked for her husband’s campaign in Colorado. She was cordial in the way upper class types condescend to normal everyday people, except when I had to use the bathroom after she just hopped out of the shower (visual: Hillary in a bathrobe and towel) at a Clinton friend’s house during motorcade downtime.

Excuse me if I’m biased, but I’m a child of the sixties: Bernie Sanders holds the emotional torch for the Democrats. His followers haven’t been as loud as the Trump people who want to revolt against the Republican elite. And it remains to be seen if Sanders’ supporters are driven enough to get tough. I can’t imagine a Texas death match between Trump’s people and Sanders’.

But the Sanders people are adamant in their support. My social media feed is full of Bernie stuff from Bernie people, non-stop Bernie stuff, always upbeat. You would think the superdelegates, the Party faithful — I know a lot of them — will turn and feel the Bern like their contemporaries. Will the hard-line Bernie people be as hard-line during and after the Convention?

I’ve come across a lot of older and younger “hippies” who would never think of holding a physical revolution. But I’m sure they’re out there. You wonder if there would actually be an Independent or Third Party Revolution. I’m sure that would cause riots in the leadership offices of both parties.

But that’s what it may come down to for both parties come this summer, so it may be time to start thinking about what might happen in a four-way race between Clinton, Sanders, Trump, and whomever the Republican establishment anoints. Or at least tumbling the idea around in our minds.

For too long, the American public have been complaining about too little choice in Presidential candidates. Maybe this year, we’ll have four to pick from.









The Trip of a Lifetime   Leave a comment

So, my wife and I just returned from our first-ever trip to Israel to attend our older son’s wedding. I’ve shaken off the jet lag, I’m just getting over the airplane flu, but I’m still getting up at two or three in the morning, which is OK because it facilitates texting with overseas friends.

I had a really wonderful time, went through a transcendental kind of change, and had what you might call a couple of personal epiphanies. I’m keeping my experiences separate from my politics, hence the Israel Trip page on the nav bar up top, whereupon you’ll find short paragraphs, vignettes, and observations, with a lighthearted tint.

Please check back on that page from time to time and read an apolitical kind of view of a place that after only a very short time felt like home, and may one day become home, depending on how things go in the next few years.

I’d like to give a special thanks to all the people who enabled this trip of a lifetime on the GoFundMe page we put up, without whom we would never have been able to attend our own son’s wedding. G-D bless all of them, and there were many.



Marie Colvin’s last call to CNN should be a call to action for the Arab world   Leave a comment

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more disturbing series of events packed as closely together as the little child who died from a shrapnel wound, and the death of Marie Colvin, who took the ultimate risk by being there in the first place, and reported it to the world.

The video and the transcript are on this page:

At this point, since Assad is committing mass murder of his own people by targeting civilians and residential neighborhoods, and he hasn’t taken the entire world’s suggestion to get the fuck out of Dodge, or Damascus in his case, he should be eradicated.

Are there any countries in the Middle East with a conscience? When Haiti was in ruins, the Israeli Defense Forces were in there before anyone else — before the United States! — and with mobile surgery centers, something the U.S. took over a week to do, and we’re only a short distance away.

So, if tiny Israel, a country that is always on alert, has the resources and the troops to help Haiti, why on earth do Saudi Arabia and the other oil giants in the area refuse to help their fellow Arabs?

Are all the other oil states using Syria’s mass murders to justify $5.00 per gallon gas? Sure as hell seems like it, doesn’t it? Do their sheikhs and pashas not have enough wealth?

I’m just wondering from my position here, at a computer in the U.S., how all the other Arab nations allow this kind of shit to happen in their own back yard. Is there not one country in the area with a collective conscience?

Garbage In, Gingrich Out   Leave a comment

The 2012 Republican Upper-Class Twit of the Year competition isn’t nearly as hilarious as the original, and it’s going to be a while before the shouting is over, nor do I believe it’s going to end in Minneapolis. We’re in for eleven more months of mental winter. No matter who survives Iowa and New Hampshire, they’re all going to continue throwing shit; the shit is still going to boil down to shit; and, well, if you’ve been around for awhile, eventually you know we’ll get to some pretty heavy shit. Garbage in, Garbage out, as they say.

Or is it Garbage in, Gingrich out? No matter.

None of this troupe of Anyone Buts has shown any spark of intelligence, and even on the odd occasion one emerges (usually from Jon Huntsman, who is the notable exception to this rant, but still a bit out of touch), it quickly suffocates in the vacuum of the sheeple whom they’ve cultivated. It doesn’t need to be true or make sense to them.

Just strap yourself in and ride right on through The Republican House of Horrors. I mean, look at them:

Rick Perry, the re-reborn closet queen of The Republic of Texas;

Michele Bachmann, the revisionist historian of the American Revolution who’s married to a closet queen in his own right;

Ron Paul, a protectionist, an anti-Semite, and a racist, all in one convenient package;

Willard Romsey, the multi-millionaire Mormon Bishop who goes about making ten-thousand-dollar bets on national TV;

Newt Gingrich, recycled shit we thought we threw in the trash over a decade ago, now with more and better shit. And a half-million-dollar line of credit at Tiffany’s (and probably a few whorehouses along the way);

Rick Sanitorium, whose name says it all, and whose Google result is quite on the money; and finally

Jon Huntsman, the one with the brain and clearly the only one with the ability to direct the country’s foreign relations, but is still more than a little out of touch with the American on the street. Overall, he’s the only one who seems to even understand the context of what he’s doing, but that’s probably also why he’s never been above the margin of error in any of the polls.

Enough to make you want to watch high-school basketball replays on local-access cable, ain’t it?

I’d rather be talking to the Western Wall   Leave a comment

I’m having a flashback to my teenage years now…. seeing tables fly by my window, the way Dorothy saw witches on broomsticks or bitches on bicycles, or both, in The Wizard of Oz: round tables, rectangular tables, horseshoe-shaped tables, parallel tables — oh, man, I’m getting dizzy. Tea leaves swirl around in the thick soot and unidentifiable debris that spins around with the house.

I wake up in a sweat and shake my head. I’m not in Paris! (Good. I hate France.) I look at my iPhone on the night-table. It’s not a Timex. It’s obviously not 1973 anymore either! We’re not trying to organize the end of the Vietnam War. Then what the hell is going on here?

Oh, shit. I’m at the United Nations General Assembly. Prozac for breakfast again today.

Back to reality

The speech today by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in which he said, “I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people ….” but remarkably never acknowledged Judaism or Jews, was well-played in Ramallah, where things were surprisingly peaceful, but what kind of a childish snub is that by Abbas? Is he a diplomat, or just a dip?

But still, at a time when virtually no one in Israel was listening (it was after sundown Friday night in Israel, and the last Sabbath of the lunar year), Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stood up in front of the U.N. General Assembly in New York and again offered to meet with Abbas in New York, in the very building in which they were both standing, immediately, and with no preconditions.

Netanyahu, longtime far to the right in Israeli politics, has reached deep inside his support base and pulled concessions out, at his own personal and political risk, and offered them to the Palestinians. And each time he’s thrown some more human chips into the pot – in the form of uprooted Israeli settlers and in some cases entire communities – he’s been paid back in Katyushas, Grads, Qassams, and al-Quds – rockets and grenades, but no peace. None.

If the economy in Gaza is so bad, where are they getting money for rockets and other munitions, and why are they spending it on that and not food or rebuilding schools or developing commerce? Where in the developed, civilized world do citizens just walk around with AK47s, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, and shoulder-launched missiles? Do they have any police in Gaza, or are they preparing for the end of days? (Caution: Do NOT get me started on that.)

The meeting, no surprise, has not taken place. Netanyahu refuses to dismantle another Israeli home, school, synagogue, what have you, on the West Bank as a pre-condition for just sitting down at the table with Abbas.

Abbas, for his part, doesn’t seem to have the ability to rule nor the authority to represent. Even al-Jazeera reported that Netanyahu was unlikely to get any real response from Abbas because the Palestinian leadership has said it will not meet before establishing clear terms of reference and a timetable. So, Abbas simply split town.

For whatever today’s speeches were worth, this is the grand total of all the energy spent by all parties today, according to a Reuters report in Ha’aretz:

The “Quartet” of Middle East mediators (EU, Russia, US, and the UN) proposed on Friday that Israel and the Palestinians should meet within one month to agree (on) an agenda for new peace talks with a goal of a deal by the end of 2012.

They’re now committed to talking about two points: How they refer to each other; and when to have a meeting to agree on when to meet.

It’s like the Paris Peace Talks all over again.

*** Update: In an article by Tovah Lazaroff, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Herb Kein, The Jerusalem Post reports: “Israel responded positively Saturday, and the Palestinians negatively, to a formula for restarting negotiations issued by the Quartet that would place a December 2012 deadline on reaching an agreement.” Read JPost Article

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