Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's the End of the World as We Know It (or not)

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A California pastor's prediction that the world would meet its demise (or that the Rapture would come) on Saturday failed to materialize. The uneventful passage of May 21 no doubt came as a surprise to followers of 89-year-old Harold Camping, the pastor and owner of the Oakland-based Family Radio Network. Some of Camping's followers and listeners to Family Radio around the world quit their jobs, cashed in retirement savings, and spent thousands of dollars to warn others of the impending doom.

While Mr. Camping was reading his Bible, he should have paid attention to Matthew 24:36, "However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows."

So, nope, no end of the world yesterday. Although there were still floods along the Mississippi and this volcano thingy over in Iceland.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Obama throws Israel under the bus

Obama throws Israel under the bus, but Netanyahu responds brilliantly. From here:
Netanyahu: History Will Not Give the Jewish People Another Chance
Katie Pavlich

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have wrapped up their meeting about the future of the Middle East. Obama tried to reassure the American and Israeli people that the close relationship between the U.S. and Israel is sound.

Yesterday, President Obama called on Israel to go back to its borders of 1967, which put the Jewish State at just 9 miles wide. Netanyahu immediately rejected that call yesterday and rejected it again in front of the world today.

“Israel cannot go back to 1967 lines,” Netanyahu said. “We can’t go back to the indefensible lines.”

Throughout his remarks, Obama claimed the goal of his administration is for Israel to be a secure state living in peace next to a contiguous Palestine. In order for Palestine to be contiguous, Israel would have to be divided into two.

Netanyahu said in order to have real peace based on undeniable facts, the Palestinians would have to recognize Israel’s right to exist and that negotiating with Hamas would be to negotiate with the Palestinian equivalent of Al Qaeda. Hamas is a terrorist organization and has fired thousands of rockets into Israel with a goal of killing innocent men, women and children.

“Israel cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government that's backed by Hamas,” Netanyahu said. “Hamas has just attacked you, Mr. President, and the United States for ridding the world of bin Laden. “

Netanyahu gave Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a choice: stand with Hamas or make amends and peace with Israel. He also called for Abbas to resolve the Palestinian refugee problem in the context of a Palestinian state, not within the borders of Israel.

“The Arab attack in 1948 on Israel resulted in two refuge problems: Palestinian refugee problem and a Jewish refugee, roughly the same number who were expelled from Arab lands. Now tiny Israel absorbed the Jewish refuges but the vast Arab world refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees. Now, 62 years later, the Palestinians come to us and they say to Israel, ‘Accept the grandchildren and the great grandchildren of these refugees,’ thereby wiping out Israel’s future as a Jewish state. It’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly, it’s not going to happen,” Netanyahu said. “It’s not going to be resolved within the Jewish state.”

During their conversation, Obama and Netanyahu also talked about the situation in Syria, the Arab Spring and the efforts of Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, but it is clear the focus of their conversation was centered on the relationship between Israel and Palestine.

“We share your hope and your vision for democracy in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said. “Israel wants peace, I want peace. What we all want is a peace that will be genuine, that will hold, that will endure.”

Obama reiterated his belief in the meeting that it is inappropriate for Iran to have nuclear weapons and said the U.S. and Israel continue to share deep concerns about Iran.

“We don’t have a lot of margin for error,” Netanyahu said. “History will not give the Jewish people another chance.”

A peace based on anything else but reality will not last. Oliver North put it perfectly in his reaction to the meeting by saying this isn’t about an election for Netanyahu; this is about the survival of the Jewish people and the Jewish State.

Although the meeting was tense, Netanyahu said there is an overall direction he wishes to take to work with the United States in order to pursue a real, genuine peace, showing faith in the American people to do the right thing.

“You are a leader of a great people, the American people, and I’m the leader of a much smaller people. It’s a great people too. We’ve been around for almost 4,000 years. We’ve experienced struggle and suffering like no other people. They’ve gone through expulsions and massacres and the murder of millions, but I can say that even at the nadir of the Valley of Death, we never lost hope and we never lost our dream of reestablishing a sovereign state and an ancient homeland of Israel. Now it falls on my shoulders, as the Prime Minister of Israel, at a time of extraordinary instability and uncertainty in the Middle East, to work with you, to fashion a peace that will ensure Israel’s security and will not jeopardize it’s survival. I take this responsibility with pride, but with great humility,” Netanyahu said.


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Alerts to Threats in 2011 Europe, by John Cleese

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to “Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

John Cleese
British writer, actor and tall person

This came in my e-mail and is apparently all over the internet. But it is so good I just had to reproduce it here. If you hold the copyright, and your security level has been raised from "Miffed" to "Peeved" or even higher by seeing it here, drop me a line and, after verification, I'll pull it.