Your Brain is Green
Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance. You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver. You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns. You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Seth Mandel writes about Obama's "Doctrine of Revenge" in Commentary.  I was immediately struck by this quote by Obama from the last debate:

Imagine if we had pulled out at that point. You know, Moammar Gadhafi had more American blood on his hands than any individual other than Osama bin Laden. And so we were going to make sure that we finished the job.
Uh, come again --"we"?  The American ground forces who were noticeable by their absence in Libya while the British, French and NATO troops assisted the Libyan rebels?  So sorry, but Obama did everything possible to avoid taking charge ["leading from behind" really just means "following"] while his European allies, fed up with him, took action.

At least he's now admitting that he didn't personally kill bin Laden, by saying "we...finished that job". Immediately after the SEALs went in, it was all "I" did this and "I" did that...

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Rode a Bus Today

I had a delightful experience today.

I'm joking.

My car decided to misbehave and went on strike on my way to run a few errands. My ever-helpful son-in-law Shlomi, who works for his father's auto parts store,  arrived with a technician who managed to get it to a neighboring garage.  The immobilizer had gone berserk, apparently, and was shutting down the motor every time I put it in gear.

Nothing daunted, I decided to take the bus into the town center, where I needed to go. I was raised, after all,  to be a big fan of public transport and to regard the selfish car owner as lacking in civic duty.   Initially this seemed like a good idea, as parking is always a problem, and I wasn't going to be shlepping any large or heavy packages anywhere.  I haven't been on any form of public transportation since we bought our second-hand Hyundai Getz from Avis three years ago.  When downtown Jerusalem was dug up, rather in the manner of the trenches of Ypres or Verdun, for the light railway, what had been a 20 minute bus trip from my house to my place of work, across from the open air Machaneh Yehuda market, on bus line 18 became a 2 hour nightmare.  Buses were diverted to a narrow street that runs parallel to Jaffa Road, one of Jerusalem's major thoroughfares, and with 800 buses a day scraping by each other on Agrippas Street, which ought really to be one way, it literally WAS faster to walk. [Recently it became known that the bus company, hand in glove with the light railway management, was bribed to continue the detour after the completion of the railway so the public would take the trains more often]

I only had to wait a few minutes for the bus heading into town.  It rapidly filled up to the point where sardines would have complained but I am now completely unashamed to take a place reserved for the handicapped and will show my hip replacement card to anyone who challenges me [I suppose it's some kind of a compliment that I don't look old enough to get a senior citizen seat -- I'll be 66 tomorrow].  It was interesting to watch the scenery rather than the road.  Anyone who has ever driven in Israel will understand that it is dangerous to even blink when behind the wheel unless one wants to collide with a cellphone user in the wrong lane or a pedestrian who thinks crosswalks are for sissies.  I also stared out the window to avoid catching the eye of some octogenarian who'd give me an "accidental" whack with his cane to encourage me to give him or her my seat.

It only took about 45 minutes to get to my destination.  Can't complain; the bus had functioning airconditioning and whenever someone asked him to turn it off, the driver mimed that he was deaf.

Did the various things I had to do, and went back to the bus stop for the return journey.  It was 3:15 p.m.  After over 10 buses of other lines went by, my bus arrived at 4 p.m. [This is one of the most heavily traveled routes in the city, btw, not some line going to distant suburbs].  It was dirty, no functioning airconditioning, packed to the gills already -- in fact, the bus was so decrepit that its fare machine didn't work either, so we all traveled for free.  I got to the garage in the southern neighborhood of Talpiot at five minutes to five, having traveled less than 5 km.  You can go from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in half the time.

Thank heaven tomorrow I'll have the use of my car again [immobilizer disabled].  And should anyone from the Egged Bus Cooperative be reading this [extremely unlikely], I want to thank you all for reminding me why I have chosen to clog up the roads and pollute the air with my little Getz, your service is so abominable.  Please God, it will be at least another three years before I ride on one of your buses again.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter: Israeli-Palestinian peace is 'vanishing'-

See here and here.

Dear Jimmy,
Read my lips.  There has never been peace between the Palestinians and Israel because the only peace the Palestinians will accept is the peace of the grave for us. 

It's not up to us.  What part of "we refuse to recognize the existence of the State of Israel" do you have trouble understanding?

That you think that Israel's very existence is the obstacle to peace in the region just shows [1] how completely delusional you are, and [2] just how vicious an anti-Semite you are, as well.

Retire to your peanut farm, where the crops have the same IQ you do.

Thank you.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Quickest Way to Further a Political Career?

It is deeply unsavory that two convicted felons are staging political "comebacks" without any real objection from the Israeli public: Aryeh Deri of Shas, and Ehud Olmert [who knows where he'll wind up, at present].  They aren't the first in Israeli political life, either.

In many countries -- for example, the US, in Federal elections -- convicted felons are denied the right to vote, having forfeited the privilege by their criminal and/or antisocial behavior.  Not so Israel.  Deri has never made any secret that he feels he was victimized, AFAIK he never admitted guilt or remorse.  Olmert had a reputation for cronyism, if not outright corruption, long before he even became Jerusalem's mayor.  Yet both these men don't see this as a bar to political life; indeed, it almost is regarded as being worthy of being in one's CV. [Katsav, our former President, convicted of rape, and the conviction upheld on appeal,  actually has the chutzpah to request a pardon, the newspapers reported only a few days ago]

Shas has always been a party out for what it could grab for its constituents, not a party which wanted to benefit Israel as a whole .  Maybe that's why it doesn't see the immorality of letting Deri behave as if his conviction for fraud and bribery doesn't matter.  But it should matter, deeply.  The Mizrachim in today's Israel are not the destitute, uneducated people they were in the ma'abarot back in the Fifties.  One could hope that today's generation has the sense and the education to see that, in the long run, they are only hurting themselves.

Olmert is a bit different, but no less deeply flawed.  If Israel had a Tammany Hall, he'd be leading it.  Tammany Hall, incidentally, did many good things for New Yorkers; but it was, on the whole, a kind of local Mafia [the Mafia also helped people who were politically powerless, it needs to be remembered.  They just did it in criminal, and often brutal, ways].  Olmert, who is a lawyer, knows exactly what he is doing; it can be argued that, at least at the beginning, Deri was more naive.  He was, after all, the gofer for the Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Ovadia Yosef, and power intoxicated him, most likely.  Olmert has always had the smarts to be more calculating.

Israel doesn't need either of them, and the electorate should reject both of them.  But, the way things work in Israel, that won't happen, because the public doesn't control internal party politics here.  No party is really accountable to its constituents -- and that's Israel's tragedy.