Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Prophecy for Gaza

I hereby predict that before New Year's day, probably at the beginning of Hannukah, the Palestinians in Gaza will break the cease-fire, blame it on Israel, and start lobbing rockets again.  Anybody want to take my bet?

Why do I think so?  Well, for one thing, the Palestinians have broken every other treaty, cease-fire, agreement, etc. that they've ever had with Israel.  For another, if you Google-search a group called MEMRI, you'll find a remarkable number of videos showing various Palestinian pundits howling about how they love death the way Westerners love life, brainwashing little children to become suicide bombers, and promising each other that after they destroy Israel they'll kill all the Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Secularists, and Moslems who aren't as religiously pure as themselves, and they'll rule the world in the name of their vision of Allah.  These people love their hate, more than their children or life itself.  They're addicted to it, and won't be able to leave it alone for long.

The only reason they agreed to the cease-fire in the first place was to give them time to stock up on more ammunition to use against Israel, probably through all those smugglers' tunnels they've dug all around the Gaza border.  It doesn't help that Iran, which is supplying the weapons, is using Gaza for a stalking-horse and happily egging on the Palestinians, promising them that they can actually beat Israel.

Of course Israel is quite aware of this, and is making its own plans for what to do when the Palestinians break the cease-fire.  It would be sensible to legally declare war on Gaza -- which is, after all, supposed to be an independent Palestinian country -- then use the ground troops only to guard the border and stop anyone coming up out of those tunnels, and use their air force to carpet-bomb Gaza, moving from the east border westward, slowly enough that the population has time to run.

The Palestinian refugees will, of course, run west to Egypt, thinking they'll stir up the Egyptians to help them make war on Israel.  Now it's obvious that, despite the inflated standing of the Moslem Brotherhood there, Egypt is thoroughly mired in troubles of its own.  Egypt adamantly does not want a half-million Palestinians running around loose, howling jihad-jihad on every street-corner, demanding to be supported in the style they became accustomed to in Gaza, threatening to become a serious political faction.  Older and wiser heads in Egypt can remember the first wave of Palestinian Refugees, back in 1948, and what a pain in the butt they turned out to be.  Egypt's solution then was to cram the Palestinians into tightly walled-off refugee camps, and use them -- for generations after -- as cannon-fodder, every time Egypt decided to go to war with Israel.  Eventually, after several sharp defeats, Egypt wised up about attacking Israel -- and found ways to filter the Palestinians back into Israel, to make trouble there.  Egypt absolutely does not want the Palestinians back again;  having a bunch of them inside its borders will give it a serious headache.

As for Iran, if Israel's remarkable "Iron Dome" anti-missile system doesn't wise up Achmedinejihad's government, observing Israel turn Gaza into nothing but rubble and plowed ground should do it.  If Iran's government is crazy enough to make war on Israel, on the excuse, of course, of "avenging" the poor-poor Palestinians,  they'll get their @sses handed to them.

And if Iran actually has managed to produce -- or buy -- a working nuke, and tries to use it on Israel, they just might learn -- the hard way -- the best-kept secret in the middle-east.

Israel already has nukes.  Has had them for years, saving them for just such an occasion.

When it gets to that point, the Arab governments will divide up handily: the jihadist idiots will pull their heads in like turtles and console themselves with hopes of another chance someday.  The sensible governments -- like those of Jordan and Oman -- will actively denounce Iran, the Palestinians, and the jihadists in general.

If the US government has any sense, it will join them.  Our surest, solidest ally in the middle-east -- despite the shabby way we've treated it -- has always been Israel.

--Leslie <;)))><  )O(    


Friday, November 16, 2012

Frank Gasperik's Fable: The Magical $100 Bill

Before anything else, folks, go to to catch Ron Paul's farewell address to the House of Representatives.  Then consider the following story, told to me by the late Frank Gasperik.

Once upon a time in the old wild west, there was a rancher who had an old ranch-hand named Jack.  Jack worked hard and well, but he had a weakness for going into town afterwards and whooping it up in the local saloon.  The result was that Jack was always in debt.

One day the rancher sent Jack to deliver a large herd of steers to the stockyard and bring back the payment.  Jack faithfully delivered the steers and collected the pay in a sealed pouch, but then he just couldn't resist going to the saloon, where he added to his liquor bill and got into a poker game.  For once, luck was with Jack;  he won big -- and the loser paid him off with a new $100 bill. 

Jack studied the bill, thought a bit, and then went up to the saloonkeeper and said: "I know I've been owing you for a long time.  Take this to pay off what I owe ya, and keep the rest."  The saloonkeeper, delighted, thanked jack and took the bill, and hurried out.  Curious, Jack followed at a distance to see what happened to that bill.

The saloonkeeper went straight to the town storekeeper, handed him the bill, and said: "Here, this should catch me up for all the saloon supplies you've sold me on a promise.  If there's anything left over, keep it for the time it's taken me to pay you."  The storekeeper thanked him profusely, took the bill and hurried out, and the saloonkeeper went happily back to his place of business.  Jack now followed the storekeeper to see what he'd do.

The storekeeper promptly took the bill to the local drover, and paid off his debt for the transporting of the store's supplies -- and let him keep the change.  The drover went at once to the livery-stable owner, and gave him the bill to pay off overdue rent of his horses, and let him keep the change.  The livery-stable owner promptly saddled up and rode out to the farm that grew his horse-feed, and paid off the farmer what he owed for horse-feed -- with interest.  The farmer then saddled up and rode to the rancher -- Jack's employer -- and gave him that $100 bill to pay him for some cattle that the rancher had sold him, on credit, a few weeks before.

Jack waited, discreetly, until the farmer was out of sight, and then rode up to the ranch and gave his boss the sealed pouch with the pay and the bill of sale for the steers.  The rancher was pleased at the amount of money the steers had brought him, and he thought a bit, and then took Jack aside and said to him.  "Jack, you've worked hard and well for me for many years, and I've paid you well but never given you a bonus.  So here, take this as a token of my appreciation."  And he handed Jack that same $100 bill.  Then he added: "There've been some coyotes sneaking around the calf-pen, so if you wouldn't mind, would you take your rifle and go sit out with the calves tonight?"

"Sure thing," said Jack.  He tucked the $100 bill in his shirt pocket, took his rifle and gear, went out to the calf-pen, and set up camp on the far side of the pen to watch for coyotes.  He spotted a coyote sneaking around, out by the limits of the firelight, and shot at it.  The coyote yelped and ran away, and no other coyotes came near.

So Jack sat down by his campfire, cooked himself a pot of beans, ate supper, and then he pulled the $100 bill out of his pocket and looked at it.  He thought of all the places that bill had been that day, all the people it had made happy, all the debts it had paid off, and all the good it had done.  He considered how all the people in town could have swapped their debts directly to each other, but they hadn't known how to do it without that $100 bill.  Then Jack laughed softly, and threw the $100 bill into the fire, where it promptly burned to ashes.

...Because only Jack knew that that bill was counterfeit.


--Leslie <;)))><   )O(           

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Not Entirely Unexpected

The election's finally over, and Obama won by a respectable-enough lead that nobody but the conspiracy buffs are claiming it wasn't a valid win.  The GOP also took serious hits in the legislature and the local races, and a lot of them are stumbling around wondering what went wrong -- after all, they did outspend the competition, by a huge margin, on advertising.

Looking back, it's obvious by 20-20 hindsight that the Republicans' contempt for the intelligence of the average American voter did them in, but -- yes -- it was questionable for awhile.  None of the political pundits seemed to have any reliable data on the real attitude of the public, as viz. those numerous conflicting polls. This is remarkable given all the information available these days;  one can only assume that the "experts" didn't know where to look, or how to evaluate the data.

At least the reporters did their duty and announced all over the media every hypocrisy, every contradiction, every stupidity, every bigotry that the candidates displayed -- and the GOP's share of them outweighed the Dems', beyond denial or doubt.  There's never been a better example of the need for free and uncensored media.  The interesting part is that the viewers were quite able to absorb the broadcast facts while ignoring the surrounding flood of political ads.  Maybe decades of watching TV shows interrupted by commercial ads has immunized us against even the cleverest of propaganda.

Another interesting item -- overlooked unless you know what to look for -- was the increased percentage of independent, Libertarian and even Green party votes apparent in the federal votes: anything from 1% to 12%.  I'm currently trying to find the percentage in state and local votes, but the media are being a bit coy about that.  Hmmmm...   More later.

--Leslie <;)))>< Fish