Archive for February 1, 2009

Michael Yon is a man who has spent most of the last few years in the middle east in general and in Iraq in particular. No other single reporter has seen what is going on closer. He called in when the strategy in Iraq was failing and he called it when the strategy was working. His reporting has proved to be the most accurate out there and it isn’t even close.

Today he tackles Israel and Iran and wonders why people don’t see what is there:

It is amazing to me, as an American who travels the world on a near-constant basis, that there is so much confusion over who the terrorists are. Hamas is a terrorist organization that condones and facilitates suicide bombings and will kill every Jew on the planet if they have the chance. Meanwhile, Israel is an energetic democracy with a vibrant press. I could sit right here in Jerusalem and write bad things about Israel and Jews, and nothing would happen. Maybe I wouldn’t get invited somewhere or would be called an anti-Semite, but that would be it. Neither the Jews nor the Israelis would harm me, though they likely would write bad things about me. I came to Israel with no press accreditation and at the airport they knew that I was a writer. Yet they let me in and have allowed me to freely roam the country. Today I was in very close proximity to Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Netanyahu talked about how, in this very hotel, Rehavam Ze’evi had been murdered just a few floors above our heads. The security seemed incredibly lax by American standards. Bernard Lewis and other extremely smart people were there.

Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law. By contrast, if a writer were to go to Gaza or Iran, for instance, and start writing bad words, he might wind up on the news, dead. Israel allows Christians and Arab Muslims to worship freely, while Hamas wants to see us all at the bottom of the sea. Hamas, supported by Iran, is clear about their goals: they want to wipe out Israel completely, utterly, with finality. But it’s not just Israel that Hamas wants to kill; they want to kill all Jews everywhere. Complete genocide.

Read the whole thing. Via Glenn who answers the title of the piece with “because they don’t care what happens to Israel.” Given what I’ve seen over the last several weeks I am forced to agree.

Updates continue at Israellycool.

UPDATE: The Captain comments:

Yes, Europe has come a long way since the Holocaust, but unfortunately, it’s in a circle

How busy is unemployment?

Posted: February 1, 2009 by datechguy in employment, local stuff
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….so busy that in Massachusetts they have extended the hours for telefile.

busy day

Posted: February 1, 2009 by datechguy in personal
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Between a doctor who marathon on BBC America, the Superbowl and customers I’m going to be a bit tied up.

Blogging might be a tad slow.

An honorable opinion

Posted: February 1, 2009 by datechguy in opinion/news
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I’m pretty hard on the left at this blog so when kudos need to be given they shouldn’t be neglected:

I’ve never cared for Tom Daschle, on substance or politics, but I know so little about health care that I have hesitated to discuss whether Daschle is a good choice for HHS. But in light of this news, why in heaven’s name should President Obama lift a finger for a guy who basically did not tell him the truth:

Kudos for talk left for not letting Daschle off the hook on his taxes. This is a huge mistake on Obama’s part. Believe me when people are in the process of paying their taxes (I’ll be doing mine today or tomorrow) its bad enough that you have a treasure secretary that didn’t pay his taxes how many more are we going to see?

The Sock Puppet deserves credit on this one too.

Scrappleface via Glenn Nails it:

In the month of January alone, Mr. Obama has forced Timothy Geithner, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to cough up $43,000 he owed the IRS, and former Sen. Tom Daschle to pay off his $128,000 tax obligation. Mr. Geithner will put his tax-paying experience to good use, overseeing the IRS as Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Daschle hopes his recently-good behavior will garner Senate confirmation as the next Secretary of the Health and Human Services.

“With the IRS underfunded as it is,” said Mr. Gibbs, “this collection method is much more efficient than dispatching field agents. Arresting these men, or compelling them to pay penalties would take years, and make them feel bad about themselves. The president’s method not only gets more money to the government to help our economy, but provides a self-esteem boost by giving these wealthy men important-sounding titles.”

I think I’ll add a category called “honorable left” to give a thumbs up for situations like this.