Friday, December 8, 2023

Ending the Two-State Solution Folly

Yesterday was the 82nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. On December 7th 1941, the Japanese Empire executed a surprise attack on our naval and military bases at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii killing 2403 Americans. This pernicious event caused the United States of America to enter into WWII in order to stop the totalitarian evil of Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. 

 Fast forward nearly 82 years and the barbaric Palestinian terrorist group Hamas conducted an unexpected attack on Israel on October 7th, 2023. Unlike Imperial Japan, Hamas’ attack of their militant terrorists targeted civilians, including women, children, and the elderly. Over 1200 people were killed in this tiny country. 240 civilian hostages were also taken back into Gaza by these thoroughly evil barbarians. This is Israel’s Pearl Harbor or 9/11 event. 

Captured video from the terrorists and tales of some of the 100 released hostages tell of brutal rapes, tortures, and killings of the Israeli civilians by these sub-human terrorists. There has been video evidence of babies decapitated or put into ovens while parents watched. Wives and daughters were raped while sons and fathers were forced to watch before being killed while Hamas terrorists reveled in their butchery and debauchery. 

These are the inhuman evil scum that many leftists in the Muslim world, throughout Europe, and in America champion with their “solidarity protests” in cities and on college campuses. Indeed, this week three presidents of once-renowned institutions of higher learning testified under oath on Capitol Hill their combined refusal to denounce calls for the genocide of Jews. These Hamas/Palestinian supporters are either useful idiots that are fully ignorant of the truth of the evil they support, or worse, they seek to justify it by claiming oppression of the Palestinians by Israel. 

The Gaza strip has been self-governed for many years after Israel pulled out of the territory. In 2007, Hamas was elected by the Palestinian people in Gaza to govern them. The result has been near-constant rocket and terrorist attacks on Israel civilians, three wars, and crushing poverty for the Palestinian people there while the Hamas leadership becomes wealthy on foreign aid. And all the while Iran bank rolls their human rights attacks against Israeli civilians. 

In all conflicts, including the current war, Israel does all it can to safe-guard erstwhile innocent human life of civilians, often at risk to their own soldiers in doing so. Indeed, they ruin strategic and tactical advantages by telegraphing where they will attack in order to allow civilians to escape the areas ahead of time. 

Hamas, on the other hand, uses its own people for shields as they build their command-and-control centers underneath schools, mosques, and hospitals. If civilians are injured or killed because of this, then that is just one more club for Hamas to use against Israel. Meanwhile, Hamas uses deadly force to ensure their human shield civilians don’t run away or head to safer areas in the south of Gaza, as the Israeli government has warned them to do. 

The American and other antisemite “protestors” throughout the world when they chant “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” are calling for the genocide of all Jews and the destruction of Israel, whether the realize this or not. Israel is a small country that lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. The so-called Palestinians claim that all of this land is theirs, despite the fact that the Jewish people have called this land home for millennia and was given to them by God in Hebrew scripture. Archeology and history only serves to confirm this. 

Leftist idiots/terrorist supporters call Israeli Jews “colonizers”. How does one colonize a land to which one is indigenous, that long preceded the birth of Islam and even the term given to the Arab people in the area by the Roman Empire of “Palestinians”? 

The fact of the matter is that the “Palestinian” people have never wanted peace with Israel. Israel has had peace with its neighbors of Jordan and Egypt for many decades, so it is possible when the will for peace truly exists. Israel has offered many times to make peace with the “Palestinians” in a so-called two state solution time and time again. 

Indeed, during one of those many attempts at peace negotiations, President Clinton back in 2000 brought PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak together at a Camp David Summit to discuss in supposed good faith an end to the strife and a creation of a peaceful two state solution for Israel and Palestine. Ehud Barak offered remarkable concessions to Arafat including 92% of the West Bank, 100% of the Gaza strip, dismantling of most of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and proclaiming East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. 

Clinton and Barak both have claimed that in every instance, Yasser Arafat’s answer was no without a single compromise or concession being offered on his behalf, despite being offered over 90% of what the PLO was demanding. Arafat walked away from the Camp David summit accordingly. Later when asked why he did not accept what was surely an amazing deal and best offer that would likely ever come from Israel so that peace could finally be achieved, Yasser Arafat responded that if he had accepted such a peace offer from the Jews he would end up “having tea with Mussolini”. In other word his own people would kill him for settling for peace with the despised Jews. 

Israel has long withstood egregious condemnation from the impotent and corrupt United Nations and much of the Muslim world for simply defending itself against virulent and pernicious evil and antisemitism. Israel has never sought to initiate war with any of its surrounding Muslim neighbors. And now that the ghoulish terrorists that the Palestinian people elected to govern them have perpetrated this horrific attack against civilian men, women and children, I think the time for forbearance and hopes of peace with the Palestinians has come to and end. 

Current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is correct and thoroughly justified in destroying every last Hamas militant still alive. Further, taking full military control of Gaza and the West Bank should be the goal to make sure such horrific actions are never done against the Israeli people again by the “Palestinians”. The “Palestinian” people have never wanted a two-state solution so believing in the fantasy that this is an achievable goal one day is pure folly. 

Those Palestinian people that want to live in peace that are not members of Hamas should be allowed to live under Israeli control in a fenced off Gaza, never to have their own country. Either that or they can emigrate to any other Muslim country or any country that will accept them. There are serious ramifications and repercussions for voting for an Iranian-backed and funded terrorist organization to govern you. As for Hamas, EVERY LAST ONE OF THE EVIL TERRORISTS SHOULD BE KILLED. Not captured. Not imprisoned. They care nothing for life and goodness. They value only death, evil and depravity. 

Those of you that support Hamas and the “Palestinian” people in this regard are similarly evil and need to look within your own dark soul. I want nothing to do with any of you. 

The journalist Bob Lonsberry stated it well when he said, “across the Muslim world there is cheering in the streets. Because, though the furnaces of Auschwitz have gone cold, the hatred of Jews in the hearts of evil people burns white hot, as malicious and insatiable as it has ever been.” Sadly, that hatred exists in America today too, and it enrages and sickens me.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The Beauty and Majesty of Ancient Jordan

My wife and I took a bucket-list trip of mine back in December to Egypt and to Jordan.  While Egypt was always a fascination of mine, I was afraid the trip would not live up to my expectations.  It ended up surpassing them and you can see some of the highlights from Egypt here.  

The second half of our trip was to continue our adventure in the country of Jordan.  It was an amazing contrast.  Egypt was mired in poverty which afflicted the warm and welcoming people there.  The socialistic governing of the nation contributed to their plight.  Arriving in Jordan, it was apparent that things were definitely better here.  The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is more of a market economy and right away one could see that on average the Jordanian people lived at a higher standard of life.  The ramshackle multi-story tenement buildings that were ubiquitous in Cairo were seldom seen in Amman and the cleanliness of Jordan was orders of magnitude better than Egypt. 

Our driver and guide was a very knowledgeable and enterprising Jordanian man of middle age who started his own business as a private contractor tour guide for Jordan.  The first place he took us was south of Amman to Mt. Nebo. 

The picture above is looking down from Mt. Nebo to an area called Moses Springs.  This is the location in scripture where the Jews following Moses after escaping the slavery of Pharaoh and wandering the desert finally cried out in thirst.  The Old Testament says that this is where Moses, guided by God, struck a rock with his staff and a spring burst forth from it for the people - thus Moses Springs.


The above video is looking down from Mt. Nebo to the north towards the valley of Moses Springs.  The sound you hear is the rather cold wind whipping past.
This is a picture looking west from the top of Mt. Nebo where a Christian Church that memorializes Moses now sits.  This is what Moses saw before he died as he peered out to the promised land that God had told would be the home of the Jewish people.  You can see the north end of the Dead Sea to the center left of the picture.
This is a video of the landscape that Moses would have surveyed as he looked out towards the Promised Land for the Jewish people.  There was a large group of Nigerian pilgrims here when we visited and their excitement was contagious.

In the town of Madaba, east of Mt. Nebo, is the church of St. George that still shelters the remnants of an ancient Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land in the floor of the church.  It was fascinating despite  the labeling being all "Greek" to me.  


The church was also adorned with many beautiful mosaic picture depicting New Testament events.  The artistry of placing these thousands of small colored tiles to create such vibrant scenes was truly amazing.  Indeed the city of Madaba, Jordan is rightfully known as "the city of mosaics".

This mosaic portrays the transfiguration of Christ.

After leaving Mt. Nebo, we proceeded down the mountain and headed south along the Dead Sea for several hours as we then turned east and up over a jagged and desolate red rock mountain range towards the "lost" city of Petra.  Most people think of Petra only as the iconic Treasury carved into the sandstone walls of the valley.  Petra, however, was an ancient city that was occupied and created by the Nabatean people in the 4th century B.C.  It was a wealthy trading post ideally situated between Damascus, Syria and the Red Sea. It was taken over by the Romans in 106 A.D.  It was finally abandoned in the 8th century A.D. after earthquakes and a decline in political and trade route importance.  The "lost" city was then rediscovered in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johan Burckhardt.  
One of the few ways to enter Petra was through a two kilometer long path through a slot canyon.  You can see the opening of the entrance to the canyon center in the picture above.
The above is typical of what the slot canyon or siq looked like as one traveled gradually down a slope towards "The Rose City" of Petra itself.

 Along the siq walls, the ancient Nabateans carved shrines to their gods into the sandstone cliffs.  Above is one such carving.

Parts of the siq still have the ancient Roman stone paved road as seen above.  The raised trench on the right was an aqueduct to bring water to the town of Petra.  These aqueducts were on both sides of the siq as the ancient Nabateans were masters of constructing dams, cisterns, and aqueducts to provide for water in their desert city.

If you look carefully you can still discern the feet and lower half of a man leading his camel in a caravan down the siq to Petra.  A faint outline of the camel and its feet are all that remain of the dromedary here.

Many of the Bedouin people of Jordan still dwell in the desert here in their well ordered tent camps.  My guide explained that the dark tents, orderliness, and lack of garbage was how one could tell if it was a Bedouin camp or a gypsy camp.  The gypsy camps usually were haphazard things with brightly colored tents and lots of clutter and garbage strewn about their encampment.  Our guide pointed out several examples of each on our route, lending some credence to his assertion.  Evidently our guide was not particularly fond of the gypsies.  The picture above is of a couple of Bedouin men taking a break in an old carved out cave in the siq.

As we finally exited the end of the siq it opened up into a small valley where the iconic Treasury is carved into the sandstone cliff.  I started videoing my approach from about this point when my tour guide decided to provide a soundtrack for my adventure courtesy of his iPhone - the theme song from Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I chuckled in spite of my mild annoyance at this.
Finally we exited the siq to behold this amazing structure that had survived for thousands of years.  The rose city was amazing to behold!

Despite the beautiful detail still readily apparent in the gables and column capstones, you can tell that the figures carved into the upper part were damaged.  Bullet holes pockmarked some of these carvings as bandits thought that the "Treasury" must hold gold or other treasure in the treasury.  In actuality the Treasury was not a treasury at all.
One of the highlights of Petra was seeing Petra at night.  We purchased a special permit and followed a candle-lit path through the siq to the small valley in front of the treasury.  A spot light illuminated the treasury and hundreds of candles lit the ground in front of it.  People sat and listened to local Bedouin artists playing traditional music.  It was enchanting to say the least.

Most people think of the Treasury when they think of Petra, but the city of Petra is huge and contains many dwellings and such carved into the sandstone cliffs for miles.

Here are a few of the Bedouin shops and eatery's that exist inside Petra beneath the ancient buildings in the cliffs beyond them. 

The previous two photos show the large amphitheater that was built within the city of Petra. 


The less ornate homes were usually the domiciles of the working class or less rich members of the city.

Petra's version of Wall Street.

This cobblestone road was created by the Romans when they came to Petra in 106 A.D.
Towards the other end of Petra, there are a series of over 800 steps carved into the side of the mountain to ascend to a high plateau where the Monastery is located.  Although I am more than fit enough to have tackled such an easy trek (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!), my wife was not feeling very well that day so we opted to ride donkeys up this arduous trail.  They were pretty sure footed but at points I had doubts and was seriously considering dismounting and doing it on my own.  (Heights and kryptonite are my only known weaknesses.)
Some of the hardier women Bedouins had little kiosks or shops along wider sections of the trail where they plied their beautiful rugs, scarfs, and statuary.  One Bedouin artist had a $50 American bill and asked us if we could exchange it for her with Jordanian dinar (their currency).  Unfortunately we did not have more than $15 worth of dinar and I was not going to take advantage of her.  She said that living up in the cliffs with no easy access to the town outside of Petra to exchange the American bills made it very difficult for her.  She typically wouldn't accept foreign currency, but needed to do so when sales were slow.  I wished that I had been able to help her.
The lady said she lived far off at the bottom of the canyon in the picture above.  It is hard to see from this picture but the two semi-circles in the center of the picture at the valley bottom with a hint of green were citrus trees that her village was cultivating.  

Finally we made it to the top of the long path which opened up to the Monastery.  It is not quite as ornate as the Treasury at the other end of Petra, but was majestic in its own right.  We were glad that we made the trek up the mountain and even more glad that we did it in December instead of the during the scorching heat of the summer!  The Nabateans of the past and the Bedouins of today are tough hardy people!

After leaving Petra we traveled north towards Amman again on a route that bordered the east side of the Dead Sea.  Israel was visible on its opposite shore.  No boats are allowed on the Dead Sea except police and security vessels. One of the remarkable things to me was the fact that on the highway along the Dead Sea were numerous fields and farms with beautiful roadside produce stands.  Above you can see a date palm orchard.  Evidently there are many natural springs here today to irrigate the land next to the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea is so salty that nothing can live in it. It is about ten times saltier than the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  Indeed we got to float in it.  Due to its amazing buoyancy caused by this saltiness it kept one high up in the water; however, they strictly warned us to NOT get the water in our mouths, noses, or eyes, as it could be seriously painful and even dangerous.  You can see the salt encrusting the rocks along the shore line from the waves' action in the pictures above.  

At one point along the Dead Sea, our guide pulled off in a viewing area and told us that the Dead Sea occupies the space that used to be where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were located.  If you recall from scripture, Lot and his wife fled God's destruction of these cities due to the wickedness of their inhabitants.  Lot and his spouse were warned not to look back as they escaped, but when Lot's wife did look back over her shoulder, she was turned into a pillar of salt for her disobedience.  The pillar in the picture above is supposedly Lot's wife.  My thought was that Lot's wife was really tall.

The banks of the Dead Sea are the lowest land masses on our earth.  They reside below sea level by as much as 436 meters or more than 1430 feet.  The Dead Sea continues to evaporate and lowering in its depth as each year passes.

Overall, our Jordanian trip was fascinating, the people were warm and friendly, and the sites were amazing in their beauty and history.  This was an unexpected bonus to the tag end of our Middle Eastern trip.  My only wish is that I had more time to explore Petra.  Perhaps something for a return visit some day!

Monday, February 6, 2023

YouGov Poll on American Demographics

A copy of this particular YouGov poll was sent to me by a friend and I found the results rather interesting.  Granted, the poll is just slightly dated as the data was collected last year from January 14th to the 20th of 2022.  That said, I don't think the results would skew much from this time last year.  Indeed, on some issues such as transgenderism, I suspect the public would overestimate the population even more so today.  

Let's do a quick test and see how you do on some issues.

       1. What percentage of the country is black? 

       2. What percentage is Hispanic?

      3. What percentage of the country is gay?

      4. What percentage of the country is transgender?

The answers will likely surprise you.  They surprised me on some of the questions, although I think I was generally a lot closer than the average American's estimate.  Ready for the answers for the above?

 1.  12% of Americans are black, while those polled thought it was 41%.

 2.  17% of Americans are Hispanic, while those polled thought it was 39% 

 3.  3% of the population is gay or lesbian while people estimated it to be 30%.

 4.  1% of the population is transgender, while people estimated it to be 21%.

Of course these skewed viewpoints are often exacerbated by our media, entertainment, news sources, and even our sports and politics.  I won't bother going into an in-depth dialogue regarding the polling estimated numbers versus the actual numbers.  There are a few things that did stick out for me though. 

1. Most people polled think 20% (1 out of 5 Americans) have a household income of $1 million or more.  The actual number is a fraction of 1%.

2. People thought only 49% owned a house while 65% is that actual number.

3. People said only 66% of Americans own a car, while actually 88% do.

4. People said 33% (1 in 3 Americans) is atheist.  In reality only 3% identified as such.

5. People thought 40% of Americans are veterans.  The truth is only 6% actually served in the military.

I think most of this poll speaks for itself, but I did find the average American's perception of the truth versus the reality to be quite fascinating.  What do you think?

H/T: Carrie

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Week's Stories of Democrat Incompetence, Ignorance, Malfeasance, and Unfitness

There are several stories going on lately that have caught my attention and I wanted to share with my dear readers.  Enjoy looking down the rabbit hole with me!

Federal Debt Ceiling

Most Americans oppose raising the federal debt ceiling without accompanying cuts to federal spending, or even with spending cuts according to a new RMG Research poll.

Of the 1000 registered voters surveyed, 45% said congress should raise the debt ceiling only with corresponding spending cuts.  16% said congress should refuse to raise the ceiling at all.  24% said that the debt ceiling should be raised without spending cuts, and 15% were “not sure”. 

The U.S. national debt stands at $31.5 trillion which is approximately 120% of the nation’s GDP.  Profligate spending by both parties cannot continue or economic collapse will ensue.

Informed Patriotism

Only 16% of Gen Zers are “proud” to live in the United States.

That finding comes from a recent Morning Consult poll, which assessed generational attitudes about the United States. The poll shows that there has been roughly a 20-percentage-point drop of pride in country every generation since the Baby Boomers, 73% of whom express pride in the country.

The net shares of each generation who say they are proud to live in the United States:

Baby Boomers: 73
Gen X: 54
Millennials: 36
Gen Z: 16

Many on social media noted with exasperation that those who say they have no pride in country are in no hurry to move somewhere else.  What do we expect when we teach ONLY revisionist history about how the United States is founded on slavery, oppression, and still embraces racism and other “-isms” today? We are reaping what our "education system" has sown as parents have negligently stood by and let it happen.

Further Biden Incompetence in the Judiciary

Biden’s nomination of Charnelle Bjelkengren for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington sat before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week. 

Having served in multiple high-level judicial roles, including as an administrative law judge, a superior court judge, and as an assistant attorney general for Washington State, one would assume that Bjelkengren would have a solid grasp of the U.S. Constitution.

In the hearing, Senator John Kennedy R-LA asked Biden’s nominee a few softball questions that a person of her background should have easily been able to answer.  Starting off, Sen. Kennedy called on Bjelkengren to describe what Article V of the U.S. Constitution does.

“Article V is not coming to mind at the moment,” Bjelkengren replied.

As virtually anyone who took middle or high school civics class would know, Article V describes the procedures to make amendments to the Constitution. How someone of Bjelkengren’s legal background could not answer such a shockingly easy question is concerning, to say the least.

Kennedy continued. “How about Article II?” Kennedy asked.

With a blank stare and awkward smile, Bjelkengren responded, “Neither is Article II.”

The confirmation hearing probably should have been stopped at this point, as an experienced judge who doesn’t know that Article II of the Constitution describes the Executive Branch of government should not be allowed to sit in a powerful federal judgeship that could have massive implications on future policies concerning Executive Branch decisions. 

I think her incompetence is typical of many of Biden’s appointees and staff.

Unfit Democrats Removed from House Committees

New House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made clear on Wednesday, that Democrat congressmen Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell were removed from the intelligence committee because their presence in a sensitive position posed a particular hazard to the American people.  Schiff lied repeatedly in the run-up to the first impeachment of Donald Trump that he had incontrovertible evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia.  He did not.  Swalwell was found to have been sleeping with Chinese spy Fang Fang while sitting on the intelligence committee, and even had a Chinese intern working for him that was recommended by her. 

Ilhan Omar was also removed from the House Foreign Affairs committee for her numerous anti-Semitic remarks over the years.  Of course the anti-Muslim and race cards were played in her defense. 

Schiff went on the Chinese spy-ware platform of Tik-Tok to denounce his removal from the intelligence committee.  It reads like a bad SNL skit actually.

Many House Democrats Refuse to Denounce Socialism

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning socialism on Thursday, with nearly all Republicans and half of the Democrats supporting it.  However, only somewhat amazingly, 86 Democrats voted against it.

H. Con. Res. 9, a resolution “Denouncing the horrors of socialism,” passed 328 to 86, with 14 Democrats voting present, and six members (three Republicans and three Democrats) not voting.

Rep Maria Elvira Salazar, R-FL, who is the daughter of Cuban exiles, was the sponsor of the resolution. “As the representative of the city of Miami, and daughter of Cuban exiles, I say that this resolution hits close to home for us all,” she added. “We know that socialism only brings misery, oppression, and exile, wherever it is tried.”

The resolution states “That Congress denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.”

The resolution also attributes the deaths of “over 100,000,000 people worldwide” to socialism, including 10 million people sent to the gulags in the Soviet Union; between 15 million and 55 million starving in the wake of the famine caused by the Great Leap Forward in China; 1 million people dead in the killing fields of Cambodia; and up to 3.5 million people starving to death in North Korea. It also notes that socialism devastated the once-thriving economies of Cuba and Venezuela.

Many prominent Democrats voted against the resolution, including Reps. Julian Castro and Al Green of Texas, Jerry Connolly of Virginia, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Summer Lee of Pennsylvania, Jerry Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.  

 I guess my only surprise is that only 86 of the House Democrats voted against it.  I guess most of the others still wanted to maintain plausible deniability.

Chinese Surveillance Balloon

Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said Thursday, according to Reuters, “The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now. The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”

Joe Biden agreed with supposed advice from military leaders not to shoot down the balloon. The leaders had cautioned that the debris could be a safety threat. China says they are looking into it but respect the United States' air space.

In a letter sent Thursday to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana wrote, “The fact that this balloon was occupying Montana airspace creates significant concern that Malmstrom Air Force Base and the United States’ intercontinental ballistic missile fields are the target of this intelligence gathering mission.”  

I wonder if we do decide to shoot it down if the “Big Guy” will still get his 10% from China with Hunter’s business deals?

Sleep well, and keep voting Democrat if you like what you read here.