“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Artificial Life is Not Artificial

..."Scientists are one step closer to constructing a living, synthetic organism that has the potential for social, economic, and ecological disruption - and society is not at all prepared for that."

As Tony Soprano once warned: "Once you join this family, there is no going back." Such will be the case with so-called artificial life. A movie is artificial life. You can turn it on and then off. Once the DNA is out of the bottle, it is not going back. Mankind has not been very adept at exotic species. Rabbits in Australia, gypsy moths in America, and the European introduction of various diseases to the Americas caused tremendous havoc and suffering. They were not artificial life as much as unfamiliar life. Aids is thought to be an exotic cross species invasion.

The term artificial life is half right and half wrong. It is life, created by humans and untempered and untried by time. When that life is introduced, it may be an opening to many wonderful things, but it may be the source of some exotic red tide that can go inter-continental and change the very nature of life as we know it. Once it joins our family, there is no going back.


Artificial life being created
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor Telegraph
Last Updated: 7:01pm GMT 24/01/2008

Experiments to create the first man-made organism have started in the wake of the successful creation of the genetic code of a living thing from laboratory chemicals.

The first artificial genetic code - the software of life - and how to make it from scratch from four kinds of chemical is unveiled today by an American team, marking the completion of the second of three steps towards the dawn of synthetic life.

Sequence of images of the synthetic genome created by Craig Venter's team
Efforts to finish the final step of transplanting the synthetic DNA into a cell are under way, though it takes some weeks to work out if a transplant has been successful.

A team of 17 researchers at the J Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, describes in the journal Science how it has successfully created the largest man-made DNA structure, indeed the largest synthetic molecule, the circular genetic code of an artificial bacterium that it is now trying to breed in the lab.

The scientists led by the human genome pioneer Dr Craig Venter want to create new kinds of bacterium, living chemical factories if you like, to make new types of bugs which can be used as green fuels to replace oil and coal, digest toxic waste or absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The feat will trigger excitement and unease in equal measure along with widespread debate about the ethics of creating new species, which Dr Venter believes will be a major step in the history of our species. One critic of what some call Synthia put it more trenchantly: "God has competition."

Rumours have circulated for weeks that they have achieved the feat but, speaking from Davos, Switzerland, Dr Venter tells The Daily Telegraph: "No we have not. There are a number of serious constraints on that happening and we are working diligently to get rid of them.

If we had succeeded it would be part of this paper. As soon as we have it, I doubt that we would be able to keep it a secret. Nor would we want to."

But he believes success is only "a matter of time."

The genetic codes - genomes - of all organisms are written in the chemical language of DNA and Dr Venter's team used lab methods to make all 582,970 letters of a slightly modified version of the genome of a genital bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium JCVI-1.0.

The name underlines how Dr Venter wants to rewrite the software of life so it can still run on the hardware of an existing bacterial cell.

Standard methods can only make tiny DNA snippets. Today's technical tour de force, the fruits of an effort launched at the start of 2003, has created a huge ring of DNA that is more than 10 times bigger than earlier attempts, a milestone towards the goal of creating a fully-synthetic organism that is able to self replicate.

To achieve today's "very exciting" milestone, his team made DNA fragments in the lab into larger pieces using new methods for the assembly and reproduction of the DNA segments. After several years of work perfecting chemical assembly, the team found they could harness the process that cells use to repair damage to their chromosomes to complete the job.

The team, which now includes Dan Gibson, Clyde Hutchison and the Nobel laureate Ham Smith, has already started its attempt to create a living cell based entirely on the synthetic DNA code as part of an effort to find out which of its genes are essential for life, crucial for efforts to understand how life works.

"This extraordinary accomplishment is a technological marvel," said Dr Venter, paying tribute to his team that has "dedicated the last several years to designing and perfecting new methods and techniques that we believe will become widely used to advance the field of synthetic genomics."

The letters of DNA-- chemical building blocks called adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thiamine (T) - are not easy chemicals to artificially synthesise into chromosomes. As the strands of DNA get longer they get increasingly brittle, making them more difficult to work with.

Before today's publication, the largest synthesised piece of DNA contained only 32,000 letters of code. Ham Smith says: "We have shown that building large genomes is now feasible and scalable so that important applications such as biofuels can be developed." However, such work would use other kinds of bacteria.

Jim Thomas of the ETC group (Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration) called on Dr Venter to slow down so that society could take on board the wider implications.

"Venter is claiming bragging rights to the world's longest length of synthetic DNA, but size isn't everything. The important question is not 'how long?' but 'how wise?'" says Thomas.

"While synthetic biology is speeding ahead in the lab and in the marketplace, societal debate and regulatory oversight is stalled and there has been no meaningful or inclusive discussion on how to govern synthetic biology in a safe and just way. In the absence of democratic oversight profiteering industrialists are tinkering with the building blocks of life for their own private gain. We regard that as unacceptable."

"The Venter Institute calls this synthetic life version 1.0 and acknowledges that it doesn't quite work yet - however, society shouldn't wait for the next upgrade - the stakes are far too serious," explains Kathy Jo Wetter of ETC Group.

"This news means scientists are one step closer to constructing a living, synthetic organism that has the potential for social, economic, and ecological disruption - and society is not at all prepared for that."


  1. so, over that art,
    Which you say adds to nature, is an art
    That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
    A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
    And make conceive a bark of baser kind
    But bud of nobler race. This is an art
    Which does mend nature--change it rather--but
    The art itself is nature.

    Polixenes to Perdita-'The Winter's Tale' IV iv

  2. Intelligent design?

    That is what's under discussion.

    "God has competition."
    Interesting line

  3. Jay Cost has an observation with regards to the GOP Primaries. If Rudy does not win in Florida, Big John could inherit his "Blue State" strategy.
    Ride it to victory

    Ohh.. ho.. he's gonna be a rock star!

    So, looking ahead to Super Tuesday - what do we see? One noteworthy feature is the large chunk of Republican delegates coming from blue states. Blue states don't out-number red states on that day, but they are delegate rich: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York combine to offer up 465 bound delegates. That amounts to 36% of the total number of delegates that a candidate needs to win. The delegates in all of these states except Illinois and Massachusetts are chosen via some kind of winner-take-all procedure. By contrast, twelve red states will offer up 456 bound delegates, and five of these states have some form of proportional allocation to dole them out. A strong show in the blue states was the linchpin of Giuliani's strategy - his plan was to stay viable through Super Tuesday and perform well in the blue states. Can McCain do the same if Rudy falters? He could. And, as a feather in his cap, Arizona offers up 50 bound delegates that day, winner-take-all. All in all, this could produce an interesting dynamic on Super Tuesday. What happens if the moderate McCain wins the blue states, and the conservative Romney wins the red states?

    And California ...
    Not Mormon country, in that it differs greatly from Nevada.
    And California is proportional, as are most of the Southern States.

    McCain could be sittin' pretty come the Wendesday morning after.

    Rudy is the McCain firewall, certainly not Mitt Romney. Or Mitt'd have won in New Hampshire, where they know him best.

  4. The major question for Republicans to ask themselves, should Team44 use a Republican or a Democrat bench?

    Mr Romney has abandon Mr Reagan's 11th Commandment, from the start.
    He is a RINO that will not win the General Election, though he tugs at the heart strings of all those that love a good suit.

    McCain or Rudy could win the General Election, either could carry PA. Which will be needed for the GOP to stand any chance of victory, in November.

    Pick your poison.

    As the WSJ comments:
    On the pundit civil wars, Rush Limbaugh declared on the radio this week, "I'm here to tell you, if either of these two guys [Mr. McCain or Mike Huckabee] get the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party. It's going to change it forever, be the end of it!"

    This is absurd. George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues.

    Were there other causes? Yes, of course. But there was an immediate and essential cause.

    Not only will George W Bush have fractured and destroyed the GOP, he'll end up doing the same to Israel.
    The last trip he took to the Middle East, it's beginning to bear fruit. He is expert at backstabbing the base, while staying the course.

    Peace by 20JAN09, come hell or high water.
    No matter the collateral damage.
    To the Party, the US military or our allies of forty years.

    There will be Peace, no matter the costs
    Peace defined, as has been success in Iraq.
    Majority Rules!
    Sharia Law in Basra!

  5. As wi"o" tells us often and loudly

    Israel is such a small fraction of the terrain and population in the Region, as to be insignifigent, lost but for the emotional ties to US.

    This from its' supporter and advocate

    As rufus tells US, the driver of policy, its' all about the oil. Israel has none.

    If its' about the evangelical base, it's armegeddon that is the driver, the thought of stimulating el Christos return.
    Arm in arm with the 12th Imam

    That entire storyline of cause for effect, mat rejects, out of hand. Couldn't be a motivating force for the actions of US or Europeans, over the past sixty years.

    All the while man creates new angels & demons
    Takes on the mantel of God, creating life from clay, or a rib.

  6. ...This is absurd. George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues."

    Roger that.

  7. Mature Human Embryos Created From Adult Skin Cells

    Scientists at Stemagen Corp. say they have cloned human embryos using adult skin cells and donated human eggs, shown above. (Stemagen Via Bloomberg News)

    By Rick Weiss
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, January 18, 2008;

    Scientists at a California company reported yesterday that they had created the first mature cloned human embryos from single skin cells taken from adults, a significant advance toward the goal of growing personalized stem cells for patients suffering from various diseases.

  8. John McCain, Multiculturalist
    Krikorian, National Review:

    Multiculturalism is more than language, of course. McCain has also supported racial preferences and racial-identity politics.

    As Ward Connerly wrote in NR:

    [In 1996], when a number of Republicans and others in Arizona sought to pass a bill in that state’s legislature outlawing race preferences, we were told by several Republican legislators that they had received calls from Sen. John McCain urging them not to support such a measure because — again, as always — it might “send the wrong message.”

  9. Dr. Frankenstein Plods On

    The solely scientific case for or against continuing to experiment with human embryos is complicated in a way the ethical question isn't. The temptation to create human life artificially goes back to Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein."

    To say the least. Man's first temptation in the Garden comes when the serpent assures Adam and Eve that they need only eat the forbidden fruit, and "ye shall be as gods." In this case, by creating and destroying human life in a laboratory - for a good purpose, of course. There's always a good purpose. For there is no evil man cannot justify, especially if we were set on it all along.

  10. The story of Chritianty, doug.
    A Man can be a God.

    Same as Alexander or Ceasar.
    God, born of woman.

  11. Just the opposite actually. The only relationship between Jesus and Caesar/Alexander is an anti-relationship, though the birth myths may seen the same. Anybody worth a shit should have a god for a father, or a mother.

  12. ha! Tony Rezko gets around. Tony, everybodys friend.

  13. AP--In Florida, a new poll shows McCain and Romney neck-and-neck for the lead, with 25 percent and 23 percent, while Giuliani and Mike Huckabee trail at 15 percent. More than one-fourth of the likely voters surveyed between Sunday and Tuesday—27 percent—said they still may change their minds. The poll was sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times, The Miami Herald and Bay News 9.

    Undeterred, Giuliani said, "We are going to accomplish it against the odds."

    Giuliani may have rolled the dice at the wrong table.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Only table he even had a chance at.

    Big John will roll on to the nomination, if Rudys' firewall does not hold.

    Then the Limbaughs of the world will finish off the Republican Party, to save it.

    Maybe the pre-election ballots will make a difference. Polling in Primaries has been more of a miss than a hit.
    Looks like a form of push polling being fed to US, manipulation by herd instinct.

    The birth myth, exactly right, bob.
    That Gods are men and men are Gods.

    The rest is minutiae, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    The genocides of Mexico and Peru, the Inquisition, the Crusades. All in the name of the Christian God.
    Men self chosen to represent God on earth, each with their own interpretation of the word.

    Not in accordance with my interpretation of the message, but who's to say which interpretation is correct? But another man.

    One that creates life, from a rib or clay.

  16. Israel is such a small fraction of the terrain and population in the Region, as to be insignifigent, lost but for the emotional ties to US.

    This from its' supporter and advocate

    As rufus tells US, the driver of policy, its' all about the oil. Israel has none.

    If its' about the evangelical base, it's armegeddon that is the driver, the thought of stimulating el Christos return.
    Arm in arm with the 12th Imam

    - Rat

    This is rather specious, Rat. For decades, Israel itself has maintained special missions at countless of its non-US posts, the singular purpose of which is to cultivate evangelical Christians who consider the return of the Hebrews to Jerusalem to be the first sign of the Second Coming. IOW, Israel has found those very evangelicals, whether in the US or Uruguay, to be a critical asset in its public relations and diplomacy efforts.

  17. further to my economic blather of yesterday:

    "Here is why this move (as well as the next two rate cuts) will fail - the problem with world markets today is not liquidity, but capital. The difference goes beyond nomenclature - while liquidity is long form for money flows, capital is the ability of banks to sustain the losses from such lending. For example, if you make a billion dollars of loans to individuals and expect to lose about 1%, you would set aside double that, say $20 million, as "capital", and then calculate your return on those $1 billion in loans as a proportion to the capital deployed.

    The problem that arose last year is that most banks seriously underestimated the risk of losses on a very larger part of their portfolio, and hence found themselves seriously short of capital required (additionally, absorbing the losses reduced their capital further). When banks don't know how risky their assets really are, it stands to reason they view their own capital adequacy suspect, and by the same measure do not trust the capital adequacy of other banks either.

    For capital to flow, markets need to have appropriate risk-adjusted returns. In turn, this means everyone needs to understand benchmark pricing once again, as in the cost of transacting interbank. This problem, which increased in the middle of last year and seemed to subside this year, has returned with the Societe Generale announcement, as banks once again do not trust each other. Until all banks are convinced that their counterparts do not have nasty surprises in store, lending will remain lumpy. And as long as banks don't trust each other, they won't trust anyone else either: which is why they are unlikely to lend money to companies and individuals unless they meet previously agreed deal terms."

  18. Indeed the Israelis have, because the Israeli do not believe the Armeggedon myth.

    They'll sow and harvest the support, regardless of the cause, not believing that there will be an effect.

    The evangelicals supporting the cause because they believe it will bring about an effect.

    The "born again" US President, well, who knows what he really believes, or why.

    His stated purpose, to bring Peace to the region, by 20JAN09.
    His past actions proving he will stay the course, regardless of cost.
    Whether his real puropose is Peace or Armeggedan, God only knows.

  19. The Israeli base their claims to Israel on the Old Testament

    The Christians base their support of Israel on the New Testament

    The Muslims base their opposition to Israel based upon the Koran.

    All said to be Abrahamic Religions.
    Abraham being "tri-polar"?

    Three versions of Abrahamic monotheistism.
    Three different messages, based upon the era of the revelation.

    Or three different Gods?

    Without even bringing the Mormon, Bahá'í or Druze faiths into the mix.

    The Christian monotheism transformed into a Trinity.
    Three for the price of one.

  20. Indeed the Israelis have, because the Israeli do not believe the Armeggedon myth.

    - Rat

    Nor do Christian evangelicals actively seek Armageddon - a damnable offense of the first order in any event. The Israelis just aren't that dumb.

    "Peace through Armageddon."

    I have to wonder each day whether I'm dealing with the sane you or the Jerry Fletcher you.

  21. You don't perchance keep your oatmeal in a locked canister, do you?

  22. Google has 2,700 references to "christian armageddonists"

    "armageddonists" has 4,600 references.

    This book Jerusalem Countdown
    By: John Hagee
    Recounts For the past few years, headlines have revealed Iran's growing nuclear development. Pastor Hagee asks, "Could this be the beginning of the end?" Here he offers Bible-based consideration of a possible nuclear confrontation between Iran and Israel, how it would affect America, why Islam commands violence, the rise of anti-Semitism and more.

    The Related products at tell the same story.

    The Rapture is near!

    Now these folk may not qualify under your definition of Christian, but they'd argue that point, for sure.

    There is no truly sane explanation for what is happening, as Pakistan just test fired a new nuclear capable cruise missile. 460 mile effective range.

    The US announcing it is ready, willing and able to assist in joint combat operations, according to Mr Gates, as reported on FOX News, as I type.

    Supporting the "Black Rockers" with lawyers, guns & money.

  23. Screw top containers

    Not much of it, either.

    Mr Bush heads to the Middle East, meets with the major players in long discussions.
    The Gaza wall goes down within a two weeks of his return.
    No military action is taken to stem the consequences of that action.

    Cause & effect?
    Or just another in a long litney of coincidences.

  24. ... offers Bible-based consideration of a possible nuclear confrontation between Iran and Israel ...

    While the unacceptable is continually accepted.

    More smoke and mirrors while the world stays the course, or just another coincidence of mismanagement?

  25. That Gaza wall going down is interesting. Particularly in that they didn't rush out and wage global jihad, but rather, they went shopping.

  26. This one is even more apocalyptic, at the store

    Is the Antichrist Alive Today?
    By: Mark Hitchcock
    Multnomah / 2003 / Paperback

    Find out what Mark Hitchcock means when he says there is an Antichrist alive today, right now, in this generation! Easy to read and biblically solid, Hitchcock's fascinating resource illuminates what the Bible say about the Antichrist and explains how the prophecies about him strikingly foreshadow today's events: 1) the rise of the European Union; 2) the peace process in Israel; 3) the rush toward globalization; 4) the technology and desire for a worldwide identification system; 5) the movement to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem.

    Christian to the core, or so he believes.
    As Christian as Rodrigo Borgia, the powerful Renaissance Valencian who later became Pope Alexander VI.

  27. "While the unacceptable is continually accepted."

    Until you stop and consider that Israel is an ally precisely *because* it contains Iran.

    All I can say, ash, is Good On the Gazans.

  28. Reports vary, but between 350,000 and 700,000 people ventured out of Gaza. The population of which is 1.4 million.
    So between 25% to 50% of the people went to the mall.

    If the returning Gaza residents bring bombs and rockets with them, whose fault is that? But the folks that put 1.4 million in a prison camp, then turned off the electricity and food supplies? Thinking that they could modify the Gaza behaviour with "soft" power.

    Instead the Hamas forces took the obvious step to the blockade.
    They broke it. Justifable reaction to an escalation of the "War".

    The tit and tat of rocket attacks not enough for the Israeli, they escalated, upping the ante.
    The Palistinians attacking static fences, and breaking out.

    Changing the status que.
    Coincidence or planned?
    About the only question.
    If one gives any credit to Team43, it was part of the Plan. Release the short term pressure, hope for the best, long term.

    Many posters here believe that there is no long term solution but major conflict, on the plains of Armeggedan.
    The French, Italians and Spanish are already in the Levant.
    Gaul, Iberia and Rome.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Mostly those that advocate for greater escalation of conflict, they claim to support Israel.

    While the escalation could destroy or change Israel beyond recongnition.
    It is, as wi"o" reminds US, so, so small. Geographicly and in population.

    The Pakistani have the Islamic nuclear capacity. The future of Pakistan, and the Command and Control of that capacity, in flux.

    If there is a world wide Islamic conspiracy, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are part of it.
    Or there is no conspiracy.

  31. "Many posters here believe that there is no long term solution but major conflict..."

    You were once in this camp yourself, and it required no religious fervor on your part whatsoever.

  32. And then there's Trish and dArt trolling.

  33. "Many posters here believe that there is no long term solution but major conflict..."

    That's a lie. The problem and the solution was outlined many a times. Interesting that Trish hasn't called you on that. Tells us much about Trish.

  34. Government welfare, that's her job.

  35. You, my little dingleberry Canadian in passport only, suggested not long ago forgoing the Constitution for the sake of the War on Terror, granting the state a certain welfare trish has never contemplated, nor would support.

  36. No point in posing as an anti-statist now, mat.

  37. Slimy sound bites devoid of substance. In other words, typical Trish-ism. You'll have to do better than that, oh fat welfare tart.

  38. Ann Coulter has some nice things to say about John McCain in her weekly column. Not.

  39. It was your suggestion to deep-six the first amendment, mat.

  40. Explicitly.

    Rat has no problem with ignoring the second; you have no problem with the ignoring the first.

    And the two of you are enamored with government conspiracies.

    A seeming paradox, but quite logical really.

  41. I just looked up "first amendment" on wiki to even know what you're talking about. Now, if you're not going to be more specific, and provide some substance, than fsck off.

  42. Of course, mat. It was the first time Rat ever said in response to you that you do not understand US.

  43. Conflicted as he is, Rat remembers.

  44. So far, all you've managed to produce is slime. Anything else?

  45. A fat slimy welfare tart. There isn't even a need to provide a reference to substantiate this. The truth in the words speaks for itself.

  46. A knave that is converted to Christianity or a knave that is converted to Islam, or anything else you want to name, is still a knave. Baptism and communion, properly understood,are throwing off fools from our company and taking wise men into our company, continually.

    That ain't exact, but it's close, from W. Blake.

  47. offers Bible-based consideration of a possible nuclear confrontation between Iran and Israel ..


  48. Taken all in all, there are more knaves in the government of Iran and Syria, etc. than there are in Israel. Other tings being equal, always support the country with the fewer knaves, is a principled leg of bob's foreign policy.

  49. I thought Swedes pronounced it "tings?"

  50. Israel's government knaves are all imports. Bought and paid for with Saudi imperial dollars.

  51. All is well, the Monte Carlo fire is contained.

  52. "A fat slimy welfare tart."

    It's a thankless job, to be sure. But someone has to take possession of the 400 sf marble tile bathroom in the barrio.

    I think I should be writing notes of gratitude.

  53. Must have hit a nerve, aye?

    Why just yesterday mat, you said in regards expanding the conflict
    ... If it was up to me, there would be none of them alive while they continue with such ambitions.

    Thu Jan 24, 02:38:00 PM EST

    An escalation of the conflict, to be sure. Amigo mio.

    When I favored escalation, trish, I beleived it to be in interest of the US, in defense of the Constitutional Government. I've come to see that was an error in perception. Back when I thought there an Islamic conspiracy, a clash of civilizations, an existential threat to the US.
    One that warranted going to action stations.

    It has been shown, beyond any doubt, that there is not one. There is no "War on Islam" nor does there need to be. That storyline a strawman created for to further the economic and power empire of the world ruling elites.

    The greater conspiracy, if there is one, is not Governmental, but spread culturally amongst individuals. Amongst the ruling elites, the managers of media, those people whose perceptions have been base on a lifetime of warped perspectives. Then pass those perceptions on to the general population.

    The "Liberal and Conservative" dichotomy, a social fiction for the entertainment of the civilly concerned. The track of governmental and cultural behaviour is on course, within degrees, regardless of the figureheads in charge.

    The inertia of commonality of purpose over comes any individuals' ability to cause much change.

    Along for the ride, we all are.
    The US not threatened by the people of Gaza.
    Nor the people of Iran.
    Nor are we threaten by Israelis

    Like many Supreme Court Justices, perhaps it's growth. Or not.

  54. We should execute Chris Matthews and end this Long National Nightmare.

  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. Heaven is abuilding.


    All imaginative and creative acts, being eternal, go to build up a permanent structure, which Blake calls Golgonooza, above time, and, when this structure is finished, nature, its scaffolding, will be knocked away and man will live in it. Gogonooza will then be the city of God, the New Jerusalem which is the total form of all human culture and civilization. Nothing that the heroes, martyrs, prophets and poets of the past have done for it has been wasted; no anonymouns and unrecognized contribution to it has been overlooked. In it is conserved all the good man has done, and in it is completed all that he hoped and intended to do.

    Northrop Frye 'Fearful Symmetry'

    'all the good' and even 'the intended to do'--all evil acts, being negative, vanish.

    'no anonymous and unrecognized contribution to it has been overlooked'--get out there and help that old lady cross the street!

    Christianity is civilized life, according to Blake, and nothing else.

  57. All is well, the Monte Carlo fire is contained.

    And, Thank Goodness for that.

  58. One would assume then that the Israeli expatriots are the true patriots of an independent Israel?

    Those that have left their homeland, behind, know what is best for those that remain?

    An interesting idea, to be sure.

    The expats always know what is best for those that stand in their stead.
    Seen it before, been there, done that.

  59. Don't taunt me. Space and time will cease to have meaning, when I get angry. An escalation of the conflict, to be sure.

  60. Twas a hot old time in Vegas, while it lasted.

    One thing we know for sure about time, its passage is taxed.

    Space is taxed too, come to think of it, real property taxes


  61. Like the tiger, or the people Gaza.

    Taunted into action.

  62. The Palestinian Zoo:
    Feed, send money and weapons, stand back and watch the fun.

  63. "Why just yesterday mat, you said in regards expanding the conflict.."

    That's not expanding the conflict. That's ending the conflict.

  64. There you go, can't keep 'em in the cage, can't defeat Hezzbollah, but kill 1.4 million civilians because they may have ambition.

    Doubt if they'd just walk meekly to the trains.

    The attempt would be an escalation of the conflict, not an end.
    Just another fantasy, promoted by a fallacy of limited thinking.

  65. This comment has been removed by the author.

  66. You forgot to mention the lawyers, doug

    We'll send them to.
    Not taking Bill Shakespeare's advice, not at all.

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. Put them in the ghetto, then advocate genocide. A patriotic Israeli expat speaks.

    Based on the Palis desire to go the mall.

    Can't be havin' that.

    The average Palistinian as much a threat to Israel as the average Jew in Warsaw was a threat to Germany. Not much of one at all.
    Except in the warped reality of the fascists.

  70. It is kinda funny watching mat try to express himself. Ironically his views as published could run him afoul of his beloved Canadian hate laws.

  71. You want them? They're all yours.

  72. Sure a lot of average Palestinians dancing and having a grand old time over 9-11.
    That was endearing.

  73. Sending your kid to Kindergarten to learn military drills and Allah Death Chants is charming also.

  74. You expressed on a number of occasions views which could place you on the wrong side of the Canadian hate laws. Your expressed desire to see all Palestinians killed, the Iranians, ect. You've clearly expressed hate towards identifiable groups; groups that are based on race and nationality.

  75. Maybe the topper is the Baby Suicide Bomber?

  76. It's a mutual admiration society, Ash, but you seem interested only in Mat's side!

  77. No Palio Hate Speech Laws, I'd gather?

  78. I think the Canadian hate laws are misguided, Mat doesn't; at least with respect to hate expressed toward jews.

  79. Ash,

    This is what I said:

    "If it was up to me, there would be none of them alive while they continue with such ambitions." Such ambitions being defined as the elimination of the state of Israel. That was made clear when you read the full quote.

    Basic self defense.

  80. not all of them have the same ambitions, heck some of their political leaders have even signed documents to that effect.

  81. Ash,

    Again you misrepresent my views and what I said. Go back, and reread my statement again. Read them for what they say, not what you want them to say.

  82. "It was your suggestion to deep-six the first amendment, mat."

    So how long do you plan to keep me in suspense, Trish?

  83. Big loans could get cheaper

    Supporters say the proposal would help borrowers and stabilize the housing market

    The economic stimulus plan worked out Thursday in Washington would provide nearly a year of cheaper loans for Californians buying or refinancing higher-cost homes, and the news elicited jubilation in the beleaguered housing and mortgage industries.

    Leaders of the House of Representatives and the White House agreed that the size of loans that can be purchased by government-sponsored mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be increased sharply for a year from the current cutoff of $417,000.

    Related Stories
    - BLOG: About those 'Junior Jumbo' loans
    - Deal on economic stimulus reached

    The plan also would nearly double the size of loans insurable by the Federal Housing Administration, from $367,000 to $729,750.

    The FHA was set up to provide mortgages to first-time buyers, including many with less-than-perfect credit, and insures loans to borrowers with down payments or home equity of as little as 3%.

    Currently, any loans above $417,000 are considered "jumbo" mortgages. In recent months, they have become harder to obtain because skittish private investors have become reluctant to buy them.

    Interest rates on jumbo loans were running about 6.5% this week -- 1 percentage point higher than rates on the so-called conforming loans that Fannie and Freddie could buy. Someone who wanted to borrow $500,000 would save about $330 a month, or $3,960 a year, if such a loan were considered conforming and thus had a lower rate.

    "It's the single most effective step they could take to stabilize the housing and mortgage market," said Rick Simon, a spokesman for Calabasas-based Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation's largest home lender, which had led the lobbying to raise the loan limits.

    LA Times

  84. This comment has been removed by the author.

  85. No, mat, you wish to kill folks because of their ambition, their desires, not their actions.

    You're a tad hateful towards innocent civilians, advocating killing 1.4 million of them because of what they think,

    Such ambitions being defined as the elimination of the state of Israel.

    not what they have done. As Israel has not been eliminated. Nor have they blockaded Israel, from Gaza.

    Killing them because of where they live, when they are not permitted to leave. Locked into Gaza, behind twenty foot walls.

    Tit for tat, the Israeli use that against identified terrorists, with nary a word of complaint from anyone here at the Bar.

    Freedom of movement has been denied to Palistinians. As the US Sec of State has publicly made clear is the US position.

    The Two State Solution, not the Final Solution is the course we and Israel are on.

    Ambition not cause enough for preemptive genocide.

  86. We must not only have a free flow of goods and services, but also start working for a free flow of people .”
    Last month, I received an e-mail from a concerned reader.
    She wrote:
    “Hispanic Republicans here in Nevada had a chance to speak by conference to Sen. John McCain and many of us were appalled to learn that his National Director of Hispanic Outreach is none other that Dr. Juan Hernandez, notorious for his open borders stance. How can McCain reconcile the fact that he says he “learnt his lesson w/the American people” with choosing as his Hispanic Ntl. Dir. someone whose views and interests are so clearly anti-security and not in the interest of the American people or for that matter us legal Hispanic immigrants.

  87. Via Discover the Networks, you’ll see that
    Soros’s OSI is a key open borders funder–
    providing support to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund;
    the Immigrant Legal Resource Center;
    the National Immigration Law Center;
    the National Immigration Forum;
    the National Council of La Raza; and t
    he American Immigration Law Foundation.
    Remind me again which party’s presidential nomination John McCain is running for?
    Fellow shamnesty peddler Mel Martinez officially joins la familia McCain.

  88. dRat,

    Freedom of movement of non Israelis into Israel is for Israel and Israelis to decide. As for your innocent civilians, they are not civilians and are not innocent. In war, I'd take no prisoners.

  89. Good to see the old amnesty gang togather again!McCain,Grahm,Martinez.Also open borders advocate and frequent talking head on all things illegal immigration Juan Hernandez is working for team McCain.The New York Times also praises and endorses MCain as does Geraldo Riverra.
    - PTN

  90. One way to solve the Palestinian problem would be to move them to Arizona, where they wouldn't be tormented by the Jews. People there are multicultural already, and express a lot of sympathy to them. Since
    The Israelis don't want them
    The Jordanians don't want them
    The Egyptians don't want them
    The Saudis don't want them
    Not even the Syrians want them
    Send them to Arizona. Even the climate works. Here in Idaho it's just too cold for 'em.

  91. In Context
    The trouble in Jordan worsened and on 17 September 1970 the Jordanian army launched a full scale attack against the headquarters of the Palestinian guerrillas in Amman using tanks and artillery.
    It followed a declaration of martial law by King Hussein, who said he would not tolerate any further attempts to undermine his regime.

    Worse was to follow in what became known as Black September, when Yasser Arafat ordered the overthrow of King Hussein's "Fascist government". Syria, Iraq and Israel quickly became involved.

    The US 6th Fleet moved into the Mediterranean, the Soviet Union began leaning heavily on its ally Syria to pull out and the PLO guerrillas were gradually driven out of the suburbs of Amman.

    Yasser Arafat agreed to a ceasefire on 25 September. Under the terms of the agreement his troops were to withdraw from Jordanian towns and cities and recognise the king's authority.

    The fighting continued into 1971, however, when King Hussein finally struck a decisive blow against the Palestinians, driving them out of their remaining bases and expelling them from the country. The Palestinian extremist group Black September was named after the month in which the Palestinians were driven out of Jordan.

  92. That is true, bob, the Palistinians tried to over throw King Hussein.
    Another mussulman ruler, a direct descendent of Mohammed, that does not allow free and fair elections.
    The CIA tells US:
    Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950.

    The CIA goes on to tell US

    Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shi'a Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.)

    6,053,193 (July 2007 est.)

    refugees (country of origin): 1,835,704 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)), 700,000 - 1,000,000 (Iraq)
    IDPs: 160,000 (1967 Arab-Israeli War) (2006)

    So, a third of Jordans' population is Palistinian, admitted by the US
    Intelligence agency.

    The JPost in 2002 stated that:
    Jordan is Palestinian - the PA is a Fiefdom
    By Esam Sohail - July 15, 2002
    Early in October 2001, George W. Bush became the first president of the United States to explicitly endorse the creation of a Palestinian state in the Middle East.
    With the subsequent floating of the bi-state plan of Saudi Prince Abdullah, the Bush initiative was given substance for a blueprint of a new state. For two generations now, after all, a separate Palestinian state has been considered the panacea of all problems in the Holy Land. Is a state of Palestine the elixir we are falling for?

    The reality is that there already is a Palestinian state. It is a country where 54% of the population, including the queen, is Palestinian. Fully half of this nation's parliament is made up of Palestinian lawmakers and its chambers of commerce report even a higher Palestinian membership. Of course I am talking about the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan whose capital, Amman, has more Palestinians than any other city in the world (with the exception of Detroit, maybe).

    The Palestinians in Jordan live and prosper there as full citizens of that Arab kingdom. Anybody with regular contact with migr s from Jordan can hardly tell the difference between a "Palestinian" Jordanian and a "Jordanian" Jordanian. And, when King Abdullah II's half-Palestinian son ascends the Hashemite throne, the Palestinians will have their own king, too.

    Now, personally I think the above is correct, that the West Bank and Gaza, if consolidated should be part of Jordan. Or Gaza be Egypt and the West Bank be ae part of Jordan. The "Palistinians" given full citizenship rights as Jordanians, as was the Plan, in 1946.

    That view is not the one the US supports, it has been debated and rejected. The Israeli government does not hold to that view, either.

    It seems to be coming to the view that in regards Gaza Israel cannot maintain an economic dominance by blockade, Hamas breaking the Israeli hold on that city.
    I personally do not believe in the viability of modern City-States. Singapore, perhaps, being the exception.

    But in the Levant, creating an independent Palistine, independent of Jordan and Egypt, not likely to succeed. That position is not US Policy. It was debated and decided.

    One can accept and support current US policies, or side with Harry Reid and Ms Pelosi in addition to Michael Moore. Advocating against and undermining foreign policies that have been decided, by the Constitutional Government. To act in a manner that is harmful to US interests.

    Be a patriot or not.
    To advocate a War on Islam, genocide of mussulmen, destruction of Saudi Arabia, disbanding the 650,000 Iraqi we suppport, all positions contrary to stated US interests.

    One can advocate and campaign for a change of Policy, but none of the politicos, of either Party, denounce the Two State solution.
    None advocate for a Final Solution, either.

    Trans-Jordan was to have been the Palistinian State, instead we have propped up a descendent of Mohammed, a lineage chosen by the British Crown, to rule a people not his own.
    A policy the US supports, 110%.

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  94. That there are 6 million Palistinians, on the West Bank and Gaza, would make them the dominant force in a free and unified Jordan.

    Which is why the US, Israel and Mohammeds' descendent King ABDALLAH II, do not want to take that route.

    Instead they will attempt to keep the Palistinians fractured, much like the Kurds. The Palistians the only tribe in the Region that mat does not want to see unified, with their own ethnic country. But kept seperate in ghettos or Bantu like statelets, little "independent nations", like the US indian reservations.

  95. The next time you all want to bitch and moan about DC, stop and give a moment of thanks for that lousy motherfucking war it gladly gave you.

    Motherfucking ingrates.

  96. This comment has been removed by the author.

  97. It's a practically insoluble situation. Some guy that fled or got pushed out in the beginning, he's got kids and grandkids by now, all uneducated for the most part, except in militantism,, the whole larger group fractured into parties, other countries toying with their position. And they make it harder on themselves with the rhetoric, and actions. Hell if I know. 6 million, I wouldn't have thought it was that many. The fact is though, as of right now, the Egyptians and the Jordanians don't seem to want to take the Gaza and the west bank into their spheres, respectively. Can't say I blame them. Arafat passed up that earlier deal, that wasn't that bad a deal.

  98. You also forgot to mention the 250 Syrian tanks that rolled into Jordan, in support of Arabfat, how they were taken apart by the Jordanian Airforce, flying Hawker Hunters.

    Today the Jordanian Air Force is supplied with French Mirages and US F-5s

  99. Romney closing very strong. RCP Polls Shows Romney strong in all the polls.

  100. Exactly, bob. It's hard.
    Especially when some Israelis advocate genocide. Declaring that those that do not support mass murder are traitors, paid off stooges and knaves.

    But the knaves continue to rule, despite all complaints from the expats and never weres.

    Israel is not my country, their problems not mine, not the US. Except for emotional ties.

    For the Palistinians there are three possible courses.
    Living in a unified Israel, which would destroy it as a sectarian State.
    Unifying with Jordan, which no one wants.
    Setting up Palistine as an independent State, which is the course the US, Israel and the Saudis have settled upon.

    No matter the reason.
    That is the US position, Two States one land. Makes little sense to me, but there you have it.

    The Israeli have agreed in principle, now the Palistine is being formed, de facto.

    mat is at war with Islam, so a mussulman nuclear strike against Israel would be justified, if he were in charge. No civilians on either side, everyone is a combatant. The rockets and mortors falling in Israel, fully justified by mat's position.
    It's war, never ending.

    Islam has the bomb, fact of the matter, whether Iran does or not.
    mats' option is MAD, Israel could not survive it.

  101. Here is the result of the "closed" border, they keep on coming.

    We in Arizona already deal with the Mexicans, bob, guess we could handle the Palistinians, too.

    5-Year-Old Migrant Girl Found Cold but Safe in Ariz. After Smuggler Abandoned Her
    01-25-2008 8:00 PM
    By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN, Associated Press Writer

    TUCSON, Ariz. (Associated Press) -- A shivering, scared 5-year-old girl from Mexico spent a terrifying night in dark, mountainous terrain, first with a smuggler and then alone, before authorities found her safe Friday morning.

    Candy Gabriela Barranco Gonzalez had crossed into Arizona with her stepfather, but they were separated and she was later abandoned by their smuggler. Candy will be reunited with her mother in Mexico, authorities said.

    A Border Patrol ground search team that worked through the night found the girl in a tree-covered area known as "The Orchard" at an elevation of 7,000 feet in Miller Canyon south of Sierra Vista _ about 8 miles north of the Mexican border.

    "They heard her crying and managed to locate her," Cochise County sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas said.

  102. Meanwhile, in the other America

    Chavez Accuses Colombia of Plotting 'Military Aggression' Against Venezuela
    01-25-2008 7:27 PM
    By JORGE RUEDA, Associated Press Writer

    CARACAS, Venezuela (Associated Press) -- President Hugo Chavez on Friday accused neighboring Colombia and the United States of plotting a military "aggression" against Venezuela.

    "I accuse the government of Colombia of devising a conspiracy, acting as a pawn of the U.S. empire, of devising a military provocation against Venezuela," Chavez said.

    "A military aggression is being prepared," Chavez added, saying that Washington aims to "oblige us to respond, and later a war could be set off."

    He cited intelligence reports but did not offer evidence to support his claim.

    Pre-emption is always a Venezuelan option, one assumes.

  103. Going back to artificial life, I think the Congress should start studying--yes, expert committees with outsiders--the intellectural property rights in the situation. Some control and sanity should be created, which, though admittedly not knowing much about it, I fear probably is lacking, in the intellectual property laws.

    That's to say, if some mad scientist gets ahold of something he obviously ought not have, he ought to be controlled, the state should have that ability. I'm betting the situation is really murky as it stands now.

    Was just jokin' about the palistinians in Arizona, but you know that:)

  104. In fact I think there ought to be some societal oversight in what's being cooked up in these labs, what can be tried to be cooked up in these labs. Nobody knows what is brewing, out there in lab land.

  105. Gets really very, very cold at 7,000 feet, here in Arizona.

    Well below freezing.
    Good thing that little girl didn't die up there. Or not.

    Invasion equals war, we should nuke Mexico City, that'd stop them for a while.

    No civilians, no surrender, take no prisoners!

  106. A lot of the work, it does not happen in the US, bob.

    Korea, China, England.

    Squeeze the balloon, the genie is not going back in the bottle.

    Of course I knew.
    But we already do deal with the Mexican migrants, the Mexican Mafia, MS-13. What ever mussulmen stray in, too.

    Still waiting upon that ever famous security fence, to stop the flow and save lives.

  107. Like, somebody splicing some chimps genes into a humane genome to improve Memory, where the chimp wins in certain tasks.

    The heart goes out to the girl, Rat, but what the heck do you do? Your state becomes part of Mexico, eventually. De facto or de jure. An effective border would stop that kind of bad situation.

  108. Talk about cold. We've had a tough winter here, seems to me. Ready and waiting for spring.

  109. Bob,

    It's not an intractable problem, not by a long shot. These Jihadis migrated to Israel as economic migrants and they'll migrate out of Israel as economic migrants. Of course, US and European welfare checks to these Jihadis doesn't speed up this process.

  110. "The rockets and mortors falling in Israel, fully justified by mat's position."

    Does anybody care whether it's justified or not? It happens anyway. EVERYDAY. Have any Israeli prisoners been returned except in parts? The selective morality when it comes to Israel has a name and definition. And only Israeli fools and bought for knaves would play by these rules.

  111. My second grade teacher taught me to share. Lightning Bolt Leads To Concert From one of the periodic updates and interesting items I get from my subscription to IANDS. A skeptic will say he got his egg unscrambled, or some such:)

  112. Which borders are you using, in your discussion of "immigrants". Is Gaza part of your Israel, the West Bank, Hebron?
    Are the illegal settlements part of your definition of Israel?

    Ms Rice spoke for the US when she compared Israel to the Jim Crow South of the US.

    Funny, the Israeli Army agreed and the Jpost confirms Ms Rice's observations on Jan 3, 2008

    After a group of IDF soldiers near Hebron commandeered a Palestinian taxi last July, shot a passerby for no reason except malice, left him to bleed and tried unsuccessfully to cover up the whole thing, the army brass decided to ask its soldiers what exactly was going on in the West Bank.

    As reported in Yediot Aharonot on Dec. 16, the IDF surveyed 1,000 soldiers doing West Bank duty, and about 250 of them said they had "been involved in acts of abuse either as participants or as onlookers, or had heard from their fellow soldiers about incidents involving physical or verbal abuse, the taking of bribes at checkpoints, acts of humiliation, unnecessary delays [of Palestinians] and more."

    A senior officer present at an IDF discussion of the survey said, "We knew there was a problem, but we didn't figure it was this severe."

    A soldier serving at the checkpoints said that when a Palestinian is caught trying to get around inspection so as not to miss a day's work, "You punish him. You can let him roast in the sun for eight hours, or kick him one and send him to the end of the line. These sorts of things are always going to happen. Once a truck driver lied to me about having a permit to go through, so I made him get on his knees for four hours." There's nothing new at all in these findings; the commonness of such abuses has been testified to for decades not only by Palestinians, human rights groups and journalists, but by many, many Israeli soldiers.

    Yet along comes Condoleezza Rice to compare what Palestinians go through at the West Bank checkpoints to what blacks went through in the Jim Crow South, and Israelis are shocked, offended, outraged, etc.
    When Israeli Jews bully Arabs, they don't appear to be acting out of desperation, to be avenging Arab terror or war, to be striking back at their oppressors - they appear, instead, to be luxuriating in the power of the strong over the weak, of the bosses over the bossed. The kind of Israeli behavior documented most recently by the IDF's own survey may not be the rule around here, but neither is it by any means the exception, and it can only go on because Israeli society, tacitly or overtly, condones it.

    This is the way in which Israel's treatment of Palestinians - and, to a much lesser extent, its own Arab citizens - is reminiscent of the treatment of southern blacks in the days of Jim Crow. It's not the whole story of the Israeli-Arab conflict, but it's a very important part of the story. Israelis can scream bloody murder at Condoleezza Rice, but they're only trying to shoot the messenger.

  113. With rockets incoming daily, sounds like there is a 'circle' of violence going on, not a Sheep Circle

  114. This comment has been removed by the author.

  115. "When Israeli Jews bully Arabs, they don't appear to be acting out of desperation, to be avenging Arab terror or war, to be striking back at their oppressors - they appear, instead, to be luxuriating in the power of the strong over the weak, of the bosses over the bossed. The kind of Israeli behavior documented most recently by the IDF's own survey may not be the rule around here, but neither is it by any means the exception, and it can only go on because Israeli society, tacitly or overtly, condones it."

    So to put an end to all this Luxuriating and all the complaints, the Israeli should kill the Arab with every opportunity that provides itself. Anything more?

  116. dArt,

    Did the survey ask why the Israeli was being such a meanie to the Arab?

  117. "Is Gaza part of your Israel, the West Bank, Hebron?"

    Everything that is today Arabia. :)

    So now, your selective morality you can preach to the Arabs.

  118. wow...

    I didnt read this post figuring it was gaza free...

    Drat... your take on the middle east reads like a playbook from alice in wonderland.

    a few points to straighten out your warped looking glass

    not that you'll be able to actually understand my points but I will waste a few moments to try, again.

    you state:" As wi"o" tells us often and loudly
    Israel is such a small fraction of the terrain and population in the Region, as to be insignifigent, lost but for the emotional ties to US."

    I state that the Jews have been expelled by the arabs from 649.9/650th, driving 900,000 of them and their offspring INTO israel, I state that the surrounding 21 1/2 arab countries surrounding israel are after it's genocide.

    as for your line "as to be insignificent, lost but for the emotional ties to US" total bullshit.

    Israel & the Jewish capital are the Center of the world, hardly insignificant, regardless of israel's size. Size is not important to jews, survival is.

    you continue::

    The Israeli base their claims to Israel on the Old Testament

    The Christians base their support of Israel on the New Testament

    The Muslims base their opposition to Israel based upon the Koran.

    Well dRat, where do I start?

    your ignorance is showing like a Nkor Bad Hair Do

    1. Jews dont base SHIT on the "old Testament"

    Jews base the Attachment on Israel on several things

    They base it on Torah, not a reader's digest version of our "Instruction" book

    They base it on 3000 continuous years of living in the land, they have lived in the land so long BEFORE arabs came to the land even the mountain's names are from our Torah.

    They base it on the League of Nations agreement to re-establish, not establish our historic homeland in our lands that had put us in a minority position

    They currently base their rights as a nation on the UN.

    now you stated:

    The Muslims base their opposition to Israel based upon the Koran.

    Well there you go showing your pink slip again.. any number of islamic scholars would correct you quickly that the q'uran actually supports the idea that israel is and always will be for the jews.

    Frontpage Interview's guest today is Prof. Khaleel Mohammed, Assistant Professor at the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University.

    FP: Prof. Mohammed welcome to Frontpage Interview.

    Mohammed: You do me a great honor. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to introduce my views to your readers. As you know, I am interested in a moderate Islam, one that is inclusive and is concerned about all human rights. My mission is to help reclaim the beauty that once was practiced in Islam, a message not currently in fashion amongst more traditional or fundamentalist Muslims.

    FP: You are yourself a Muslim and yet, quite unconventionally amongst Islamic clerics and scholars, you teach that the Koran says Israel belongs to the Jews. Can you educate us on this Islamic teaching?

    Mohammed: The Qur'an adumbrates several principles that hover around a common theme: God does not love injustice and will assist those who are wrongly treated. And it focuses so much on this that the person most mentioned in the Qur'an is Moses -- who is presented as God's revolutionary, and who leads a people despised and tormented for no other reason than that they worshipped God, out of the land of bondage to the Promised Holy Land.

    The Qur'an in Chapter 5: 20-21 states quite clearly: Moses said to his people: O my people! Remember the bounty of God upon you when He bestowed prophets upon you , and made you kings and gave you that which had not been given to anyone before you amongst the nations. O my people! Enter the Holy Land which God has written for you, and do not turn tail, otherwise you will be losers."

    The Quran goes on to say why the Israelites were not allowed to enter the land for forty years...but the thrust of my analysis is where Moses says that the Holy Land is that which God has "written" for the Israelites. In both Jewish and Islamic understandings of the term "written", there is the meaning of finality, decisiveness and immutability. And so we have the Written Torah (unchangeable) and the Oral Torah (which represents change to suit times). And in the Qur'an we have "Written upon you is the fast"--to show that this is something that is decreed, and which none can change. So the simple fact is then, from a faith-based point of view: If God has "written" Israel for the people of Moses, who can change this?
    The Qur'an refers to the exiles, but leaves it open for return...saying to the Jews that if they keep their promise to God, then God will keep the divine promise to them. WE may argue that the present state of Israel was not created in the most peaceful means, and that many were displaced--for me, this is not the issue. The issue is that when the Muslims entered that land in the seventh century, they were well aware of its rightful owners, and when they failed to act according to divine mandate (at least as perceived by followers of all Abrahamic faiths), they aided and abetted in a crime. And the present situation shows the fruits of that action--wherein innocent Palestinians and Israelis are being killed on a daily basis.

    I also draw your attention to the fact that the medieval exegetes of Qur'an--without any exception known to me--recognized Israel as belonging to the Jews, their birthright given to them. Indeed, two of Islam's most famous exegetes explained "written" from Quran 5:21 thus:

    Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373) said: “That which God has written for you” i.e. That which God has promised to you by the words of your father Israel that it is the inheritance of those among you who believe” . Muhammad al-Shawkani (d. 1250/1834) interprets Kataba to mean “that which God has allotted and predestined for you in His primordial knowledge, deeming it as a place of residence for you” (1992, 2:41).

    The idea that Israel does not belong to the Jews is a modern one, probably based on the Mideast rejection of European colonialism etc, but certainly not having anything to do with the Qur'an. The unfortunate fact is that most Muslims do NOT read the Qur’an and interpret it on the basis of its own words; rather they let imams and preachers do that for them.{134C7CDA-8B3A-44A2-AC6C-792B0B25F0EE}

    but let's continue on your little, and i do mean little opinions

    dr: If the returning Gaza residents bring bombs and rockets with them, whose fault is that? But the folks that put 1.4 million in a prison camp, then turned off the electricity and food supplies?

    Now let's look at this... the arabs PUT the fake nationally named people in camps and keep them there for 60 years, not israel

    As for your comments about food supplies, there never was any shortage it was all typical propaganda for which you fell hook line and sinker

    as for the electricity, does it surprise you to know that 70% of the gaza strip's electricity never was cut off and that israel supplies it? does it surprise you to know that the palestinians staged "candlelite" sessions of parliment, candlelite with the shades drawn in DAYLIGHT?

    To make the comment that :that put 1.4 million in a prison camp, then turned off the electricity and food supplies? : sounds like it's a warsaw ghetto with people starving to death stacked like cordwood

    nope, the people of gaza broke out of gaza to BUY tv's, telephones, viagra, and as many stated to go to the MALL, not quite a prison break for freedom or food....

    compare that image to the liberated prisoners of dachau, how many starving palestinians died from eating bread? I remember stories of american GI's feeding starving prisoners not knowing that simple bread could KILL them after truly being locked in a prison and starved

    your arguments are hollow

    you state: Instead the Hamas forces took the obvious step to the blockade.
    They broke it. Justifable reaction to an escalation of the "War".

    except that this was not spontaneous, for a couple of MONTHS hamas has been CUTTING with torches the fence, and when they were having their opening meeting in damascus, led by syria and iran, they used 17 explosive devices to topple the fence.

    dr: The tit and tat of rocket attacks not enough for the Israeli, they escalated, upping the ante.
    The Palistinians attacking static fences, and breaking out.

    yawn, nice try, but you seem to think that the 5000 rockets, mortars that have been shot INTo israel in the last 24 months are self defense? do you not remember israel LEFT gaza, LEFT greenhouses, LEFT border passages that worked up til the til HAMAS over ran the border points and destroyed them?

    do you not remember the invasion of israel from gaza that left 3 israelis dead and one kidnapped BY HAMAS?

    do you not remember the sniper (by hamas) that shot into israel last week and murdered that young man, shot in the back?

    do you not remember after israel did infact start to cut back access to ISRAEL, israel still took hundreds of gazas into israeli hospitals?

    do you not remember that after israel allowed fuel and food supplies (not that they were critical, fore they were not) hamas shot 19 rockets into israel that very next day?

    now you return to more of your compare the jews to the palios warsaw ghetto crap:::

    The average Palistinian as much a threat to Israel as the average Jew in Warsaw was a threat to Germany. Not much of one at all.
    Except in the warped reality of the fascists.

    interesting, last time i check germany was INVADING POLAND and exterminating jews by the millions, whereas the actual population of gazan arabs has tripled in 20 years....

    last time i checked the average jew in the warsaw ghetto weighted about 81 pounds and hadnt eatten a real meal in 15 months

    last time i checked the warsaw jews were never given food aid, medicine, power, fuel, schools, a seat at the UN, 21 other nations of jews numbering 300.000.000 that controlled 1/2 the world's oil supply...

    nope the average palestinian is far better fed, far better funded, far better warlike that the average starving to death, dying, sick waif like jews of the real ghetto called warsaw

    i do love your sick attempt at humor:
    Doubt if they'd just walk meekly to the trains.

    Now come on, if israel wished to be nazis gaza would be dead in a flash, to make your train comment is just baiting...

    you continue and man your like a 4 year old and a bottle of soda, you can piss all day long

    dr No, mat, you wish to kill folks because of their ambition, their desires, not their actions.

    You're a tad hateful towards innocent civilians, advocating killing 1.4 million of them because of what they think

    this innocent civilians voted for hamas that has a platform to destroy israel, they have declared war, they shelter in civilian areas, rockets,bomb factories and such they are not "innocent", as per the geneva convention, israel could just bomb these civilians under the laws of that convention and all blame should go to hamas...

    as for advocating killing ALL of them? if the USA had 5000 rocket attacks on any town in america, or any other country for that matter, the source of those rockets would be leveled like...




    or anyone of 100's of other examples...

    israel is in a war, and your shading of this as a pissing contest between two peoples (gazans/palios verses the israelis ) is just, as i have said before, like a horse with blinders on

    the fight is simple, that collective arab world uses the palios as a pit bull on israelis doorstep

    israel wishes to live

    the arab world wishes it dead, BY ITS ACTIONS

  119. Two Palestinian gunmen who attacked Gush Etzion Yeshiva Thursday were released from Israel jail last week
    January 25, 2008, 8:12 PM (GMT+02:00)

    In the first of two Palestinian attacks Thursday, Israeli border guard Rami Zouari, 20, from Beersheba was murdered by Fatah gunmen in Jerusalem
    His female partner was left in serious condition with chest wounds from an attack by Fatah gunmen on their checkpoint outside Shuafat on the old road to Pisgat Zeev, Jerusalem, Thursday night Jan. 24. The two terrorists escaped. Large Israeli forces arrived on the scene and started a manhunt.

  120. since the blockade is over

    Palestinians fired a Kassam rocket into the western Negev early Saturday morning, Israel Radio reported.



  121. not connected according to DR

    A car bomb ripped through one of Beirut's Christian neighborhoods Friday, killing at least five people including a top police official who had been investigating terrorist bombings, officials said.

    Firefighters try to extinguish burning cars at the site of the previous explosion in Beirut, 15/01/08
    Photo: AP
    The force of the blast, which struck midmorning in Hazmieh on the Lebanese capital's eastern edge, set a dozen vehicles ablaze and ripped a crater in the asphalt two meters (six feet) wide and a meter (3 feet) deep. Another dozen vehicles were wrecked in a nearby lot.

  122. oh and now from hamas

    Hamas threatened to send half a million Palestinians marching toward the Erez border crossing in northern Gaza.

    "The next time there is a crisis in the Gaza Strip, Israel will have to face half a million Palestinians who will march toward Erez," said Ahmed Youssef, a senior Hamas official. "This is not an imaginary scenario and many Palestinians would be prepared to sacrifice their lives."

  123. this just in from the arab news

    written by desert rat, almost

    Gaza Siege: Genocide in the Making
    Tariq A. Al-Maeena,

    What is happening in the region with the departure of George Bush who came in riding on a wave of self-induced enthusiasm and a can-do belief on Israeli-Palestinian politics?

    Ask any Israeli, and the probable answer would be: progress.

    But ask any Palestinian living in Gaza, and the answer would spell, in capital letters: “GENOCIDE!” That is, if one was fortunate enough to get close to Gaza and question the inhabitants considering the siege they have been squeezed in. It is a siege that continues, despite the success of a few desperate people in blowing up a section of the border wall at Rafah. The hole will be plugged.

    Most of the Western media have conveniently chosen to focus coverage on every other scene of tragedy. But in a daily game of freezing electrical power and water supplies, of blocking the delivery of much-needed medical supplies and aid to treat the old and sick, and causing untold number of deaths, Israel is playing the role of a murdering conqueror in the region since its illegal inception.

    According to Article II of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the term is defined as:

    “[A]ny of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;

    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part....”

    Take these clauses one by one, turn them up or turn them down, and what you have is a description of what the Israelis are throttling the Palestinians with. And let’s not define such activity in any diplomatic pleasantry.

    This is an ongoing holocaust while the world watches — a world held hostage by Israel’s continued acts of occupation and barbarity against the rightful inhabitants of a land that the world has turned its back on.

    Now what would give a nation like Israel the brazen idea that such activity would sit well with the world? In a greater part, it is the continued assenting posture of the United States government that is fueling this drive to eliminate a people from their own little spot on earth.

    The fact that there has been little or no censure from the US of recent Israeli activity in Gaza has simply worked to encourage the brutality of the Israelis against the Palestinians. And the pathetic figure of an impotent UN secretary-general, who has proven himself to be nothing but a doormat for the US, does not give us the confidence that there would be any action from the man to bring attention to the dire situation of a people slowly being led to their deaths or to emphasize the need to help them.

    And where are the European Union and the rest of the civilized world as such a holocaust unfolds? Do they believe that a holocaust a second time around will absolve them of their guilty complicity in the first one?

    The Arab world should take heed of this ongoing murderous trend by the Israelis and reconsider thoughts of peaceful coexistence. What Israelis want is the systematic destruction of any people they deem a threat to them, and they are successfully doing it by proxy through the generosity of the US government with its billions in arms and aid.

    All talks of a peaceful alliance, of olive branches being extended, of hope nurturing itself in the region will remain just an illusion as long as Israel continues this genocide against hapless Palestinians.

    And let not Bush or others warn us of imagined threats of death and destruction from Iran, Iraq or Timbuktu when the writing is on the wall — inscribed in the blood of innocent Palestinians.

    yep sounds like DR...

  124. Them meanie Israeli. They wont allow a holocaust of US and European financed Jihadi shoppers into Israel. Boohoo.

  125. from Israel Matzav--

    Erez (crossing point into Israel) next?

    With Egypt claiming they are going to re-close their border with Gaza by 3:00 this afternoon - about two hours from now - the 'Palestinians' are already planning the next target to which they wish to send their women and children: The Erez crossing point into Israel.
    "The next time there is a crisis in the Gaza Strip, Israel will have to face half a million Palestinians who will march toward Erez," said Ahmed Youssef, a senior Hamas official. "This is not an imaginary scenario and many Palestinians would be prepared to sacrifice their lives."
    It's definitely not an imaginary scenario. In fact, it was often suggested to Yasser Arafat that he send hundreds of thousands of 'Palestinians' on a 'peaceful' march from Ramallah to Jerusalem to see what happens, but Arafat could never get into the 'non-violence' mode. Neither can Hamas. But as we saw in the video linked above (the first video) they have no hesitations about sending their women and children to be cannon fodder. And the odds of the Olmert-Barak-Livni government biting the bullet and responding with rubber bullets and tear gas to keep the 'Palestinians' out are not good.

    In the meantime, there has been no change in the Egyptian attitude. The Egyptians plan to seal the border and leave it to Israel to supply Gaza. Unfortunately with the Olmert-Barak-Livni government in charge, we know who will blink first. Israel will continue to supply the 'Palestinians' with all of their basic needs, and will continue to be called - and looked upon by the world as - an 'occupier.'
    The Egyptians have rejected the idea of Israel waiving responsibility for the Gaza Strip that was floated by Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i.

    "The border will go back as normal," said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki, adding that Cairo had not been approached by Israel about a possible change in the status of the Gaza Strip. "The current situation is only an exception and for temporary reasons," he said.

    A Cairo-based Arab diplomat said the Egyptians were worried that Israel was trying to "export" the problem of the Gaza Strip to Egypt.

    "The Egyptian regime does not want anything to do with the Gaza Strip," he said. "As far as the Egyptians are concerned, Israel remains the only party responsible for what happens there."
    Someone please remind me again why Arik Sharon's 'disengagement' was such a good idea? Ah, of course, it kept Fat Arik and his corrupt sons out of jail.


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