Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More on cluster bombs

Well, I hadn't planned it this way, but apparently this is a day to talk about Israel. Shimon Peres talked with Al Jazeera while he was in Qatar. According to him, dropping the cluster bombs was a mistake. You can read the full interview here.

Not quite from Israel

Israeli Deputy Premier Shimon Peres is visiting with the Emir of Qatar - in Qatar. I, for one, am all for Arab-Israeli relations. Hopefully things will turn out well.

Info on Israel

Two stories out of Israel:

1) Israel may have broken their arms deal with the US by cluster bombing civilians in Lebanon. Gee, what genius figured this one out.

2) The Holocaust memorial center Yad Vashem is checking out an Arab man from WWII who may have sheltered Jews under Nazi occupation in Tunisia. If I understood things correctly, he could be the first Arab to receive the Righteous Gentile award. Hmmm...I guess not all Arabs hate Jews.

UN Women

The UN just sent some new peacekeepers to Liberia. The neat thing is . . . they're all women! It's an all-female unit from India. Personally, I think that is fantastic. Check out the article from BBC News.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

USA Attacks Iran!

Okay, not really. At least not yet. Apparently I'm not the only one thinking that the rhetoric flying around is eerily similar to what was said just before the US invaded Iraq. I mean, Iran is trying to become nuclear (WMDs anyone?) and now they are providing weapons to Iraqis who are anti-American and killing our troops. And we have proof and are going to show it to Congress! So I'm thinking, when does the invasion start? And how the hell are we going to accomplish that, when all of our troops are in Iraq and getting burnt out? Iran is not some poor little country run by our former buddy dictator that is having problems and has poor moral. While there are many Iranians who would like to see a change in government, they're not going to turn around and support the US invading their homeland. Think of it this way: many far-left liberals really hate the current Bush government, but not even they would support an invasion by another country. Iran has a large military, which is actually trained, and they even have a navy. That should be interesting, seeing naval battles in the Persian Gulf. The Gulf isn't that big, so I bet our buddies over there will love that. Okay, I guess that is enough ranting for now.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SOTU con't II

Okay, one more thing. Now Bush says they stopped Al-Qaida from flying a plane into the tallest building on the West Coast. As well as several other things, like the Brits stopping Al-Qaida from blowing up airplanes. I like the way he says "America is at war" while there are terrorists. I guess we'll never be at peace ever again. And I hadn't realized that Osama and his group were totalitarian either.

Bush is also talking about Hizbollah. He says they're only 2nd to Al-Qaida in the American lives they have taken. Which is probably true. However, the number of American lives they have claimed is a hell of a lot smaller than Al-Qaida, and is mainly made up of the US Marines killed in Lebanon in the attack on the marine barracks in the early 1980s. Hizbollah is not a regular terrorist organization - they were started as a liberation/resistance organization in Lebanon, against Israel. Don't take that to mean that I'm defending them. I just want you to understand how Bush is twisting some of the facts. For the most part Hizbollah has not been a threat to America, only a threat to Israel (and innocent bystanders). We've ignored them for years. I guess we need more terrorist threats so we can live in fear again.

Apparently everyone in Iraq is evil. If a civil war starts, the Shiites will be aided by Iran, and the Sunnis by Al-Qaida. More likely the Sunnis would be aided by our buddy Saudi Arabia, that bastion of Sunnism and guardian of the 2 holy cities of Islam.

Bush wants to increase the army and marines by 92,000 over the next 5 years. He also wants a new civilian reserve corps for people with critical skills.

If I hear freaking "nukular" one more time I will have to start drinking. Okay, Bush is now going into his little talking points about stopping Aids, no nukes, etc. so I will sign off for now.

SOTU con't

Hmm...Now he wants to change the tax code to help people get medical insurance. Or so he says. It sounds kind of fishy. I'll have to check this out. I don't see how a tax break would help the poor buy insurance.

I should be playing the SOTU drinking game. This is the longest I've made it through a SOTU since Bush took office. Usually I'm too disgusted by now to watch any more of it.

It's fun to watch this and see when Pelosi is not clapping. I wonder if someone is keeping track of standing ovations started by Pelosi. I've seen at least 2 so far. And, of course, the expression on Cheney's face is his general grumpy look. Why does he always look like he's sucking on a persimmon? Oh wait - now he's smirking! This is like freaking musical chairs with all the sitting and standing of the audience. It's especially fun to watch only about a third of the audience stand up for an ovation :)

Well, I'm out. I've got too much stuff to do to watch anymore right now.

SOTU: State of the Union

Well, Pelosi got a standing ovation and had to take several bows. I cannot tell you how excited I am that there is now a female Speaker of the House. Gee, maybe one day we'll actually get a black president or something! What a concept!

Bush just got an ovation for talking about balancing the budget - of course, from this angle it looked like Pelosi started it. It's funny how now that Dems are in charge, Bush all of a sudden wants to balance the budget. Where the hell was this shit for the last 6 years! Now that he doesn't have a conservative congress he's changed his mind about many things. Maybe he figures if he says it before the Democrats do it, then people will think it's his idea? And it will probably work. I don't have much faith in the ability of most Americans to discern what is going on in the government or how they're being manipulated.

I will say this: he isn't getting as much applause as usual. There have been some big applauses (like for balancing the budge) but most of the time it's only part of the crowd applauding.

Colbert vs. O'Reilly

Okay, not as good as I had hoped, but still pretty funny. Especially when Colbert held up O'Reilly's latest book and it had a 30% off sticker over his face! It was interesting to see old Bill on someone else's show where he wasn't in complete control. He actually did a decent job. Don't tell anyone I said that though ;)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Colbert Rocks!

And I don't mean about O'Reilly. I recorded that show but haven't watched it yet - will post on that this weekend. No, I'm talking about Dinesh D'Souza (Link to Colbert guest interviews). He was there to talk about his new book The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. I'm not sure D'Souza even realized that Colbert is not a conservative. It might have hit him towards the end though. I just find it hysterically funny to watch conservative guests try to outwit Colbert, because he is really fast on his feet. And D'Souza pretty much had his ass handed to him. Check out the above link to see the video. I can't wait to see what happened with O'Reilly! I hear it's pretty damn good!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

FBI in Kenya?

Okay, the United States just did a strike against Al-Qaida agents in Somalia. According to ABC News, FBI agents were sent to Kenya to catch any suspects fleeing from Somalia. I was under the impression that the FBI was a domestic agency. That it was not authorized to operate outside of America. Unless a friendly country invited some agents over as observers when it picked up a Most Wanted person. So what is a domestic agency doing in Kenya?

Monday, January 8, 2007

Book: The Truth About Muhammad

I was browsing the TV Guide Channel over the weekend, looking for something to watch (how can I have over 70 channels and not find anything?) when I came across this book. It was on the Book Channel (At least, that's what I call it. I think it's a relative of C-SPAN, and authors go on it and talk about their books). The TV Guide Channel had it listed as The Life of Muhammad, so I tuned in. The full title of the book is actually The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion. [See reviews on] Let me preface my statements by saying that I only saw about 5 minutes of the presentation, because frankly, that was all I could stomach. The author is Robert Spencer, who has brought us such gems as The Politically Incorrect (tm) Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). The few minutes I saw involved Spencer discussing how Muhammad was a very violent man and had this tribe killed and this other tribe maimed. After reading the reviews on, that does appear to be the gist of the book. Now, I am not a "Muslim Apologist" who tries to deny any violence in Islam. I freely admit that there is violence in the Qur'an. What bugs me is the implied hypocrisy. If you want to read a violent book, read the Christian Bible. Now there's a violent book! If you want to talk about religious violence, let's talk about the 2 thousand years of Christianity, and the religious wars against non-Christians (read infidels) and even against other Christians! Lets talk about persecution of Jews and other non-Christians, as well as the Christians who did not belong to the right group. Let's talk about how the Jews were kicked out of Spain and many found refuge in Muslim lands. Hell, let's talk about our pre-conceived notions of Islam and those darn Muslims. Or - we can just say that Islam is a violent and evil religion and that's where the problem is. I guess what I'm trying to say is that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Anyone looking at Christianity from the outside would notice Christian violence in the Bible and throughout history. So do other religions view Christians the way many Christians view Islam? I believe that's food for thought.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Gulf News: Saudi Buys Fighter Jets

Saudi Arabia is buying 72 fighter jets from BAE Systems. The UK was investigating a 1980s deal between those two, but dropped the investigation when Saudi Arabia allegedly threatened to cancel the current deal. See the full article here:
(Edit: added labels)

Saturday, January 6, 2007

WTF: News of the Weird

I just got back from vacation and thought I'd update the blog. You'll never guess what I saw on vacation though. I was flipping through the TV channels and came across this guy named Benny Hinn. He is literally one of those preachers who smacks you on the forehead and says "You're healed!" Now, you're probably thinking, "What does he have to do with the Middle East?" Well, the little scrolly thing across the bottom of his show said that in mid-December, he would be in Dubai, UAE (United Arab Emirates). I think that deserves a WTF!?!