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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hobby Lobby: We’re Teetering on the Edge

The most stunning—and disappointing—thing about the victory won by Hobby Lobby at the Supreme Court yesterday is that the decision was a narrow 5 to 4 win. We’re one Supreme Court Justice away from the left having even more power of the law behind it to force even more of their perverted sex-obsessed lifestyle upon the American people.

After this ruling, the DOMA ruling, and a cascade of rulings by federal judges overturning the will of tens-of-millions of American voters when it comes to the definition of marriage—the institution upon which all sound cultures rest—it should be more apparent than it has ever been the important role that a U.S. President plays when it comes to the judiciary.

Back in 2008, after Mitt Romney dropped out of the race, and it became clear that John McCain was going to be the GOP nominee for President, I attempted to make “The Case for John McCain.” I pointed in particular to two specific duties of the U.S. President—Commander in Chief, and the power to nominate federal judges—and made note of the fact that America would be vastly better off with these duties in the hands of McCain instead of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Whenever the electorate will not give liberals the results they desire, as quickly as a Clinton can cash a speech check, they will turn to the judiciary. And if this doesn’t work, as long as they occupy the White House, they will use the power of the Executive Branch (with its “pen and phone”) to get what they want.

Conservative candidates for president would do well to regularly remind the often and easily distracted American voters of the judicial appointment power that rests with the U.S. President.

Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World


  1. This seems to revolve around two key issues:

    The Supreme Court has ruled that certain corporations have rights equivalent to human beings, -but apparently only what the court calls "closely held" corporations. Personally, I think that sounds much more discretionary than it does constitutional. What exactly makes a corporation "closely held"? And should the act of incorporating itself -typically to gain legal protections from personal liability -preclude the privilege of enjoying personal rights at the same time?

    Second, the legal basis for religious exemptions traditionally extended to conscientious objectors to avoid the draft during war was that no individual should be compelled into any sin for which their God may judge their soul. Thus it follows the Supreme Court has now ruled that not only are corporations people, but they have a soul that may be judged by God.

    If corporations (being compared legally with an unincorporated sole proprietorship) have no soul, then they need no exemption to spare them from God's judgement and possible damnation. The Supreme Court says Corporations do have a soul, but I have never seen any Christian religious group witness to a corporation with the express intent of saving it's soul. This puts the court and the plaintif in a rather hypocritical position. Of course, hypocrisy in nothing new for religion.

    As for the rest, only you Trevor could see this ruling as a potential threat of the left forcing "even more of their perverted sex-obsessed lifestyle upon the American people". The reality I think is just the opposite.

    Forgive me for what I'm about to do: This is only indirectly related, but it touches on the subjects of morality and the family. Linking an article I read which I thought you might find interesting.

    Portion excerpted below:
    A few years ago I got to know a mixed couple (he was Israeli, she’s American). Everybody, including myself, liked the man, who seemed to be a highly moral human being. Around dinner tables, he used to speak frequently about moral problems, just and unjust wars, politicians with and without integrity, redistributive justice for the poor. He had studied courses at university on “moral philosophy,” “justice” and “fairness,” and seemed to spend, in general, a great deal of his thinking on questions of equality and patriotic duty. He not only liked discussing moral topics, he also avoided all gossip, thus projecting a rare aura of trustworthiness. He was a moral man.

    Yet, while I respected the husband, it was his wife who became my friend. She had a sarcastic sense of self-irony and displayed, beyond her assertiveness, a likable vulnerability. With time and the bond of our friendship growing, I became aware she was unhappy: Her husband, she said, spent very little time with her and the children; he resented trips to the grocery store, never cleaned, folded laundry, changed a light bulb, or cooked. He was always busy at work, where he stayed long after everyone else had gone to their homes and children, frequently spending Fridays and holidays in an empty building, in his office.

    His wife had other reasons to feel unhappy. Her husband, she confided, rarely gave her marks of love and affection, neither in words nor deeds. Conversations with him quickly turned into a set of moral commands – what she should or should not do.

    Author: Eva Illouz -Published at Haaretz -Jul. 2, 2014

    There is more at the link below:

  2. More on this later, but I address the Hobby Lobby ruling in more detail today at American Thinker:


  3. Okeee...I'll move the relevant part of my comments to AT, leaving the article I linked on the "moral man" story here.

    I must admit I dislike the discussion layout at AT. The default layout for discussion comments should always be from newest to oldest. Listing the "popular now" comments first makes tracking difficult as the list order can change depending on votes. In fact, this practice can be used to make certain conversations nearly impossible to follow. I don't know if that's a feature or a bug, but it quickly buries dissent, which I think serves a strategic ideological agenda at the expense of legitimate discourse.

  4. The discussion layout at AT is a bit annoying. I to prefer the newest to oldest or oldest to newest (preferably with the option to choose) layout.

    I'm going to post my AT Hobby Lobby column here tonight.

    On the piece you referenced above: Interesting. Husbands and wives definitely need to know how to speak each other's "love language." (See here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ (I should have this in my "Marriage/Family section!)

  5. You seem to have missed the point entirely. If you followed the link (did you?), you would know the relationship the author cited was a real-life metaphorical example of the failed relationship between Israel and the United States. After years of neglect, Israel has betrayed it's wife and dishonored the terms of that relationship. (Contextually, use of the term "wife" in this case is backwards. -Mike Huckabee often refers to Israel as the wife of protestant, Christian USA).

    Israel often tells the USA how it must behave regarding the situation of the mid east conflict. These instructions typically demand a US preference for the Israeli position, with unquestioning support. The instructions constitute moral commands. Israel has betrayed it's promise to seek peace and honor it's commitments from existing peace agreements like Oslo and the Road Map.

    It could be argued that the betrayed metaphorical "wife" is more properly the Christian Church.

    The part of the article that touched me most deeply was the image of Israel as the "moral man" who cannot see and cannot comprehend his own sins because he has deluded himself with an image of moral infallibility and perfect righteousness.

    Therefore, the man from the real-life metaphorical story who abandons his wife and family has no regrets, -assures them it is for the best, and that they will soon get over it. This parallels Israel's arrogant and selfish behavior towards Palestinians in occupied territory and it's sense that no matter what it does, Americans will just have to get over it.

    That's why the link was off-topic for this article, but I thought the relationship story was still something I thought you might appreciate (but only if you followed the link and read the entire piece.)

  6. Yes, I'll have to go to the link to get the full picture. (I see the metaphor now.)

  7. "Shared Values" Unite U.S. and Israel:


  8. Should I take your post of another selected article as evidence you read my link? Look Trevor, if you read the link, the appropriate thing to do is comment briefly on it in a manner that reveals your diligence. Of course, you're a big boy and a published author and I shouldn't have to tell you this.

    Still, I'm happy to receive reading material in return, and I will comment after reading. So pardon me while I read...

    First and foremost, I agree the USA and Israel share many western values. -Just not a belief in Jesus Christ. Kind of a big deal I would think.

    It sounds to me like Bibi is kissing up to the American public on our big day for PR purposes. The article quotes Netanyahu as saying "four words: shared values, common interests" form the special relationship between the United States and Israel. Sadly, Bibi only cites the usual platitudes of liberty, democracy and freedom, and does not offer any personal examples that might illuminate his perspective.

    I will therefore comment on issues where his statement seems a bit hollow: Unfortunately, Israel does not seem to share a belief in the values of truth, justice, and law, -nor in the value of it's word of honor and it's signature on a peace agreement. Allow me to cite (1) Oslo, -which Bibi is on youtube video taking personal credit for subverting and stopping.

    Yes, there's a Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl60X_jOsR0

    Here it is again with English subtitles. Relevant portion begins @ 1:35.
    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-5hUG6Os68

    The video is of Netanyahu speaking privately to a settler family in their home. If you speak Hebrew, you will notice in both videos he asks for the camera to be turned off, and only speaks of Oslo after he thinks it is off. He also speaks about how easy it is to ignore the UN and manipulate American public opinion (the word he uses is maneuver).

    Citation (2) The Road Map Agreement, -formulated and witnessed by President GW Bush, -which clearly requires Israel to stop all settlement construction in Phase I (immediately), -prior to negotiations for core issues and final status which occur subsequently in in Phase II.

    By the way, Obama intentionally violated the Road Map Agreement by requiring negotiations first without a corresponding stop to settlement construction. His oath of office requires him to uphold and enforce that agreement. He didn't.

    Israel signed both of these peace agreements, and Israel betrayed it's promises made in each of them. In fact, Israel has violated the Road Map Agreement almost daily since the day it signed it. Israel's word is worthless. For that matter, Bibi Netanyahu's word and Barack Obama's word are also worthless -see, this lack of virtue and fundamental tendency toward mendacity *is* a shared western value.

    A quote of Netanyahu from your link: "Our hearts ache, our blood boils, but we must remember that we are, first and foremost, human beings and we are citizens of a law-abiding country. We are making decisions in a responsible, cool-headed and considered manner."

    Doesn't this sound a lot like the "moral man" story I linked previously? There's a reason Israel claims to have "the most moral army in the world". That's just like Obama saying "change has come to America". Neither are true, but both want the public to believe it.

    Looks like you owe me some diligence. Get to it.

  9. I did go to th link and read the piece. I'm at the beach this week (with limited wfi to my dismay), so my "due diligence" will be somewhat limited. I will say that much of what drives U.S. policy towards Israel is the Christian church--though with the current admn, I'm not sure that is the case. Also: it is interesting to note the position the PCUSA took with Israel recently and the blowback they received as a result.

  10. At the beach? Well gee, you shoulda said that in the first place. I hope you enjoy things down there before the sea level rises and washes everything away... /satire

    -Oh, and remember to use lotsa sunscreen... /not satire.

    Now that I've covered the social niceties, If you've read the piece I linked, you already know what was said beyond the excerpt I posted and probably could have proven it in as many words as you just used in the last reply.

    Enjoy your time with the family. Those special moments are one thing you can't get back if you miss the opportunity.

  11. So when you get back, there's that unfinished business, and this too.

    -- The undisputed truth about Israeli occupation --

    All too often the 'honest brokers' mediating negotiations agree with our occupiers that the destructive spread of settlements is not on occupied land...

    This piece and the "moral man" article I linked previously are just a few examples of articles by noted authors which were written, scheduled, and published to herald opening of the Israel Conference On Peace, which began today July 7, 2014. You can read about this real world event at the link below. The event includes articles, speeches, and interviews with people like UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, George H Bush, Former SOS James Baker, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and many others.

    Henry Kissinger once said "Israel's negotiating tactic is to move from the intolerable to the impossible and call it a concession." With that in mind, now is not the time for recriminations against either side. We need to find and build on the things both sides have in common. Respect for international law must be a part of that. Respect for human rights as stipulated by the Geneva Conventions is another. Lastly, we should honor and respect existing peace agreements and UN resolutions.

    There is much to do, and time is short. I hope you will lend your own voice to the growing cause of peace.

  12. And nothing but the sound of crickets chirping...

  13. Yeah, I'm back. I'm certainly pro-"peace," especially when it comes to Israel. However, when a great many of the Arab nations, including those very close to Israel, don't even recognize the right of Israel to exist and constantly threaten to destroy Israel, and sometimes act on these threats, "peace" is not an option.

  14. Of course peace is an option. Your comment suggests you are completely unfamiliar with the Arab Peace Initiative. Personally I don't think this is the case, which leads me to conclude you are feigning ignorance again because it serves your agenda.

    In short, the offer was the Arab League and every member state would recognize Israel and implement NORMALIZED diplomatic relations immediately upon Israel's withdrawal to the Green Line, -which is the boundary UN resolution 242 was intended to return the opposing sides to. It is also the boundary the Oslo Agreement was intended to return the opposing sides to. As I demonstrated in a previous link, Bibi Netanyahu takes great pride in his personal responsibility in subverting and stopping Oslo.

    The Arab Peace Initiative would allow Israel to GREATLY increase the amount of it's territory recognized internationally, -being significantly more than 1948 borders. It would also allow Israel to enjoy international recognition of an Israeli capital in Jerusalem, which would allow all related states to move their embassies from Tel Aviv where they currently remain.

    Israel never acknowledged the Arab Peace Initiative, even though it has been reaffirmed frequently at Arab League meetings. Israel's refusal of this offer and Netanyahu's previous involvement in stopping Oslo (a signed peace agreement that Israel betrayed) suggests Israel intends to take all the land, or retain enough land to permanently prevent a viable Palestinian state.

    Allow me to quote David Ben-Gurion, speaking of using a pretext for war to ethnically cleanse the Galilee: "Regarding the Galilee, Mr. [Moshe] Sharett already told you that about 100,000 Arabs still now live in the pocket of Galilee. Let us assume that a war breaks out. Then we will be able to cleanse the entire area of Central Galilee, including all its refugees, in one stroke. In this context let me mention some mediators who offered to give us the Galilee without war. What they meant was the populated Galilee. They didn’t offer us the empty Galilee, which we could have only by means of a war. Therefore if a war is extended to cover the whole of Palestine, our greatest gain will be the Galilee."

    It's worth repeating that Ben-Gurion is clearly talking about finding a pretext for ethnic cleansing through war. This follows a rationale that the ends justify the means, -revealing Israel's desire for perpetual war and it's mendacity when repeatedly faced with legitimate offers of peace and repeated opportunities for credible negotiations to end the conflict by creating two viable states for two peoples.

    Even in peace time there has been no real intention of living peacefully with Palestinians or Bedouin in the same territory. This has been the foundation of the Zionist agenda for over 100 years. Pre-state Zionist leader Theodore Herzl was quoted in 1895 saying we will “spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment. -We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation (of land) and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly.” In practice, this has been accomplished by denying many local Palestinian communities opportunities for work and refusing them building permits and access to electricity and water in occupied territory.

    So the unspoken agenda is and always has been to drive out the Palestinians. Only then can the much ballyhooed Zionist narrative about a “land without people for a people without land.” be meaningful (also quoted as “a country without people for a people without a country” and “a country without a nation for a nation without a country” -originally attributed to Israel Zangwill, 1901).

    Continued next post.

  15. It's not unusual that a study of history reveals critically important words of many recent political leaders as proven lies. Examples: Bill Clinton “I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski”. GW Bush “they hate us for our freedoms”, Dick Cheney “the issue is that Saddam has chemical weapons” and “simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction”. Ari Fleischer “We know for a fact that there are weapons there.”

    And finally: “For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.“ -Paul Wolfowitz May 28, 2003. Wolfowitz’ statement reveals the decision to invade Iraq had already been made, and the only thing standing in the way was a believable pretext to “justify the act” to the public. When we stroll down memory lane of American politics, hindsight is 20/20 and the revelations are often horrifying and immoral.

    In this case, we don’t have to wait for history. The tragedy of the kidnapping and deaths of the three Israeli teens (which directly propagated the current situation) was a politically convenient pretext for an Israeli war against the newly formed Palestinian coalition government. The bodies of those teens were found buried under a large cairn of stones. This follows Jewish halachic traditions requiring a speedy burial. Would a Hamas terrorist spend time to respectfully cover the bodies of his hated victims when that would increase his chances of being caught? The chances of that are slim. Trevor, may the scales fall from your eyes so you might see the truth.

  16. It seems that you need to do a bit more reading on the Arab Peace Initiative:


  17. Read your linked article saying the Arab League rejected Israel's demand that Palestinians recognize it as the "Jewish state". I noticed you did not say the same, -nor have you proven that you read my linked articles.

    Observation: Stonewalling and giving the opposition as little as possible is a proven debate tactic, but it is corrosive to the procession of discussion. Discussion is a learning process where both parties seek a deeper understanding of truth. OTOH, in a debate one side seeks to shut down the other side regardless of truth. Are we having a debate or a discussion?

    Back to the subject: Trevor, acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state is something to be won in the negotiations process. It also should not be a "precondition" demanded by Netanyahu, who has always refused to stop settlement construction because he calls that a precondition and he says negotiations must proceed "without preconditions". The fact is a stop of all settlement construction was an OBLIGATION of the Road Map Agreement, and was required in Phase 1, -prior to negotiations for core issues and final status in Phase 2. Israel agreed to do that as a confidence building measure when it signed the Road Map Agreement.

    Further, the proper place for Israel to gain recognition as a Jewish state is by officially changing it's name and seeking recognition at the UN.

    What the Arab Peace Initiative offered was normalized diplomatic relations with Israel in return for a withdrawal to the Green Line. This would still apply if Israel went to the UN and changed it's name to "the Jewish Homeland of Israel". Israel's agenda of seeking recognition as a Jewish state FIRST (before negotiations) is designed to preclude Palestinian Right Of Return as a negotiations issue. ROR is defined in the Road Map as a core issue to be negotiated. By the way it has been generally agreed that ROR can be justly resolved through financial compensation with all refugees returning to the Palestinian state.

    Your article also says: "though Israel cautiously welcomed the Arab Peace Initiative, it did not consider it a serious proposal, partly because it meant giving up Jerusalem". This is a BLATANT LIE. Most of Jerusalem is WEST of the Green Line. Israel would keep all of that. Apparently Israel and the author of this Breitbart article regard Jerusalem as "indivisible" and keeping 75 percent of Jerusalem would be tantamount to "giving up Jerusalem". That's bullshit Trevor. You can do better. You're a smart guy, try using your head, your logic, and your sense of reason.

    You ought to know by now that I back my statements with accurate references. I have stated that Israel is implementing a policy to drive out the Palestinians by denial of water among other tactics. The article linked below details real-world examples of this policy. I’m going to post the relevant excerpt in my follow-up comment since you seem completely incapable of reading a link and commenting, so I’ll put it right under your nose.


    Now, I have commented on your article. What have you to say about the material I have furnished? Do you want to have a real discussion, or will you continue to treat this as a debate?

  18. Relevant excerpt from article I linked previously. I think you will find these details accurate and revealing. So here are the facts about Israeli control policies over water resources in occupied Palestinian territory:

    * Israel doesn’t give water to the Palestinians. Rather, it sells it to them at full price.

    * The Palestinians would not have been forced to buy water from Israel if it were not an occupying power which controls their natural resource, and if it were not for the Oslo II Accords, which limit the volume of water they can produce, as well as the development and maintenance of their water infrastructure.

    * This 1995 interim agreement was supposed to lead to a permanent arrangement after five years. The Palestinian negotiators deluded themselves that they would gain sovereignty and thus control over their water resources.

    The Palestinians were the weak, desperate, easily tempted side and sloppy when it came to details. Therefore, in that agreement Israel imposed a scandalously uneven, humiliating and infuriating division of the water resources of the West Bank.

    * The division is based on the volume of water Palestinians produced and consumed on the eve of the deal. The Palestinians were allotted 118 million cubic meters (mcm) per year from three aquifers via drilling, agricultural wells, springs and precipitation. Pay attention, Rino Tzror: the same deal allotted Israel 483 mcm annually from the same resources (and it has also exceeded this limit in some years).

    In other words, some 20 percent goes to the Palestinians living in the West Bank, and about 80 percent goes to Israelis – on both sides of the Green Line – who also enjoy resources from the rest of the country.

    Why should Palestinians agree to pay for desalinated water from Israel, which constantly robs them of the water flowing under their feet?

    Continued next post.

  19. * The agreement’s second major scandal: Gaza’s water economy/management was condemned to be self-sufficient and made reliant on the aquifer within its borders. How can we illustrate the injustice? Let’s say the Negev residents were required to survive on aquifers in the Be’er Sheva-Arad region, without the National Water Carrier and without accounting for population growth. Overpumping in Gaza, which causes seawater and sewage to penetrate into the aquifer, has made 90 percent of the potable water undrinkable.

    Can you imagine? If Israelis had peace and justice in mind, the Oslo agreement would have developed a water infrastructure linking the Strip to the rest of the country.

    * According to the deal, Israel will keep selling 27.9 mcm of water per year to the Palestinians. In its colonialist generosity, Israel agreed to recognize Palestinian future needs for an additional 80 mcm per year. It’s all detailed in the agreement with the miserly punctiliousness of a capitalist tycoon. Israel will sell some, and the Palestinians will drill for the rest, but not in the western mountain aquifer. That’s forbidden.

    But today the Palestinians produce just 87 mcm in the West Bank – 21 mcm less than Oslo allotted them. The drought, Israeli limits on development and drilling new wells, and limits on movement are the main reasons. Palestinian mismanagement is secondary. So, Israel “gives” – or rather sells – about 60 mcm per year. True. That is more than the Oslo II Accords agreed for it to sell. And the devastating conclusion: Palestinian dependence on the occupier has only increased.

    * Israel retained the right of the mighty to cap infrastructure development and rehabilitation initiatives. For example, Israel has imposed on the Palestinian Authority pipes that are narrower than desired, forbids connecting communities in Area C to the water infrastructure, tarries in approving drilling, and delays replacing disintegrating pipes. Hence the 30 percent loss of water from Palestinian pipes.

    * 113,000 Palestinians are not connected to the water network. Hundreds of thousands of others are cut off from a regular supply during the summer months. In Area C, Israel forbids even the digging of cisterns for collecting rainwater. And that’s called giving?

    * Instead of spending time calculating whether the average Israeli household’s per-capita consumption of water is four times or “only” three times that of Palestinian consumption, open your eyes: The settlements bathed in green, and across the road Palestinian urban neighborhoods and villages are subject to a policy of water rotation. The thick pipes of Mekorot (Israel’s national water provider) are heading to the Jordan Valley settlements, and a Palestinian tractor next to them transports a rusty tank of water from afar. In the summer, the faucets run dry in Hebron and never stop flowing in Kiryat Arba and Beit Hadassah.

    Link: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.574554

  20. We are having a discussion, but with many other things going on (writing-wise, etc., as you will soon see) it's hard for me to keep up.

    Yes, Israel is not completely innocent in this conflict, and I have read the piece to which you link. One thing I quickly noticed, which occurs virtually every time with those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, is the mention of Israel as an "occupying force." Something that I probably should have noted a while ago: the mere idea of Palestine or a Palestinian people is, in many people's mind, a myth.

    See: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/597264/posts

    And speaking of myths, here is another one I came across:


    Again, I'm not trying to win a "debate" here, just provide more information.

  21. Trevor, I don't think I've ever gotten a reply from you that was anything more than a cut and paste from a conservative talking point memo. In keeping with that, the first thing you say is there is no occupation and Palestinians are an invented people.

    Quote: "The mere idea of Palestine or a Palestinian people is, in many people's mind, a myth". Please take note: I don't care what other people or even "many people" think, I want to know what you think and where *you* stand. I'm not having a conversation with "other people", I am having a conversation with you. Do you personally stand behind those remarks?

    A few analytical comments on your links (something you have yet to do in return):

    ~"PLO chief Yasir Arafat himself, self declared “leader of the Palestinian people”, has always claimed to have been born and raised in “Palestine”. In fact, Arafat was born in Cairo (Egypt) on August 24, 1929 and that’s where he grew up."

    This is true. Arafat was born in Egypt. However your logic would label him an Egyption Arab even while you believe a Jew from Brooklyn New York and another Jew from Poland can be an Israeli with a 2000 year old "birthright" to land their parents never set foot on. WHY THE DOUBLE STANDARD?

    I think that's a fair question and I EXPECT you to answer it.

    Continued next post.

  22. Regarding your second link (The Myth of the Thirsty Palestinian): the article conflates increases in developed capacity to deliver water with the actual amount made available to Palestinians. So while the article says "Within five years of the Israeli takeover in 1967, the water supply grew by 50 percent", that statement has nothing to do with the amount of this water Palestinians received.

    Further, to arrive at a claimed "per-capita" water distribution rate almost on par with amounts delivered to Jews, the article severely underestimates Palestinian population numbers. It suggests the number of Palestinians in occupied West Bank is 1,400,000 (one million four hundred thousand). The actual number is 2,700,000 (two million seven hundred thousand). The article may arrive at this miscount by subtracting the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem and possibly "Area C" along the Jordan Valley. Either way it is erroneous data used for a disingenuous purpose.

    In addition, the article says "because the PA does not properly maintain its water system, it suffers from a 33 percent rate of water loss, mostly due to leakage". This is true. There is approximately a 30 percent loss due to old and failed pipes, but the article does not say that under Oslo II agreement, Israel limits the PA's ability to do repairs on those pipes. This is akin to Israel's refusal to allow building permits for Palestinians while demanding settlement construction to accomodate "natural growth" only for Jews. Israel uses the Oslo agreement to block the PA from maintaining and repairing their old water distribution system to account for both decrepitude and demands of natural growth. The article has the chutzpah to blame Palestinians for not doing something Israel does not allow them to do.

    The article lists several principles used as criteria for Israel's distribution decisions. Among them:

    1. Preference is given to the party that has historically held the rights to the water supply in question, as well as the party most dependent on it.

    This is the traditional Zionist "birthright" argument, which might be behind the current distribution rate of 80 percent for Israel and 20 percent for Palestinians.

    I will also quote something from that article that I AGREE with: "The second myth holds that the entire water supply of the West Bank belongs to the Palestinians, making any use of this water by Israel a violation of international law. Since Israel is an occupying power, say the critics, it is illegal for it to make use of the occupied territories’ natural resources, including water."

    I agree the water supply at or near the border does not belong solely to the Palestinians, and in general the water resources of the entire region should be managed and allocated by a neutral third party. Of course Israel would never agree to this, as it knows Palestinians won't leave if they are allowed equal amounts of water. Worse, if Palestinian refugees in Syria and Jordan return to the new Palestinian state, they will need water too. Israeli leaders are on record indicating their desire to motivate Palestinians to move in the other direction, -out of occupied territory. Denial of water is one tool Israel uses to accomplish that.

    Finally, regarding an article you linked previously, I expect you can do basic math since you teach it. Can you explain how you support an article (the one from Breitbart) that claims a peace offer from the Arab League allowing Israel to keep a large amount of Jerusalem would be equivalent to quote "giving up Jerusalem"? Is over 50 percent of something actually nothing? Do you have a mathematical proof for how this works? Could it be Zionist quantum physics?

    Your source material is full of errors and makes up for that with large amounts of hyperbole.

  23. Yes, I think that the idea of "Palestine" or the Palestinian people as a myth has quite a bit of merit. As the link I posted noted, history demonstrates this, and the fact is that history (yes, again, the Bible proves accurate and true) also clearly demonstrates the Jewish people's claim to the land of Israel. The difference between Arafat and your hypothetical Jew from NY or Poland is that, somewhere in the past, the Jew had ancestors that were in Israel. Also, Arafat was lying, and that is a BIG difference.

    I suppose giving up any portion of Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount, constitutes "giving up Jerusalem."

  24. Well... at least I've got your hypocritical religion-based double standard on record now.

    As for Arafat lying for the purpose of propaganda and manipulation, your own rationale (which allows for Jewish refugees of a 2000 year old diaspora from Brooklyn or Poland to magically be "Israeli") -suggests Arafat (whose mother from Jerusalem and father from Gaza -were refugees in Egypt at the time of his birth) shares an equal entitlement to land as a Palestinian. Worse still, your camp claims the children of displaced Palestinian refugees DO NOT inherit the same entitlements that you hold for Jews. Double standard much?

    On the specific subject of where Arafat was born, I believe you are correct, -he lied. This is one thing you have in common with Arafat. Maybe you should put his picture on the wall of your office. At least Arafat was his own source. By comparison, you disingenuously cite outside references and articles at places like Breitbart or worse that are full of lies and dishonest manipulations. I have cited numerous examples of such lies and deceits in articles you provided, -points which you generally never rebutted.

    You participate in a well-organized parade of manipulative lies and opposition research data promoted and propagated by the neocon establishment. Jesus never did opposition research, but the Pharisees who persecuted him certainly did. That's not how Jesus won converts to Christianity and the New Covenant. It is more akin to misuse of religion by the Spanish Inquisition to justify torture and murder for purpose of imposition of religious edicts upon men. You co-opt religion to promote a partisan political agenda. That sullies Christianity, which was not given to us for political purposes, but to individually grant each of us God’s Grace and Salvation.

    By the way, congrats on the TV appearance. I suppose you'll have a Hollywood agent by next week.

  25. -- How Netanyahu turned a police matter into a war --

    Two excerpts below:

    When three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank on June 12, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a choice. He could have simply ordered Israel's security forces to find the boys and bring the perpetrators to justice.

    Instead, Netanyahu made a different choice. He immediately announced that the extremist group Hamas was responsible (though his government has to date produced no evidence). He then launched a broad crackdown on Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank under the pretext of searching for the missing boys, and arrested hundreds of Palestinian activists, including dozens who had been released as part of the deal with Hamas to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011.

    On June 30, the bodies of the three boys were found, buried in a shallow grave near Hebron. And it appears that Israeli authorities had good reason to believe that the boys were already dead, indicating that Netanyahu exploited their kidnapping to achieve a political objective against Hamas and to undermine the recently inked unity deal between the two Palestinian rival factions, Hamas and Fatah.


    At a security briefing on July 9, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said the attack on Gaza "will expand and continue until the fire on our communities is over and the quiet is back."

    But the key thing to note here is that Israel already had quiet. In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority provided years of quiet through security cooperation with Israeli security forces. Yet Netanyahu's response to this unprecedented calm -which Israel had long sought -was to undermine his ostensible partner Abbas at every conceivable opportunity through settlement construction, incursions into Palestinian cities, on top of the daily harassment and humiliations of Palestinians that are the reality of the occupation.

    In Gaza, Hamas had largely held to the terms of the cease-fire signed in 2012. …In general, things were very quiet for Israel.


  26. Welp, since you're ignoring this reply thread, here's one more article to ignore:

    -- What if Hamas dumped all their rockets in the sea tomorrow? --

    Excerpt below:
    What if Hamas dumped all their rockets in the sea tomorrow? Would Gazans enjoy the same freedoms as other nations? Would they be able to open their sea port to foreign ships and rebuild and operate their airport? Would they be able to import and export and carry on trade and develop their economy and prosper like other countries?

    Would they be allowed to exploit and develop their offshore gas field? Would their fishermen be allowed to fish in unpolluted waters? Would their young people be able to come and go and take up places at foreign universities?

    Would Israel clear out of Gazan airspace permanently? Would the Israeli navy cease its piracy and stay out of Palestinian territorial waters? Would you and I be able to visit Gaza direct?

    Fat chance. None of this would suit Israel. So Gazans would be no better off. Their tormented half-existence would continue.

    There are no rockets coming out of the West Bank. Yet the illegal Israeli occupation there continues and so does the ethnic cleansing, the land theft, the illegal settlements, the colonization, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the throttling of the economy, the abduction and "administrative detention" of civilians and the massive interference with freedom of movement. Nothing has changed for West Bank Palestinians who DO NOT fire rockets. There is no sign of an end to their misery.


    I think this post makes comment number 26. That almost makes it look like something you said had popular resonance with readers, was logical, philosophically profound, and fundamentally honest. -Sadly no.

  27. I will check these out, but I think this thread has about played out. I don't think you and I are going to resolve the Mideast conflict (or even come to an agreement on who is at fault).

  28. If Netanyahu declares that Gazans deserve to be attacked in this war because of rockets fired into Israel, is it not fair to ask why Palestinians in the West Bank -who have not fired rockets nor pursued any significant attacks against Israel -fair no better under Israel's military occupation? Clearly Israel's criteria for justifying and maintaining the occupation offers NO REWARD for good behavior.

    The violence happening in Gaza today is directly tied to what happened in Egypt in the recent past. Egypt controls a critical border with Gaza. The “Egyption peace proposal” (not a proposal to end the mid east conflict or the occupation, but only the latest incursion into Gaza) was offered only because Israel controls a puppet government in Egypt. This has been the case since the last military coup overthrew a legitimate, democratically elected leader named Morsi.

    Cited article: -- Jewish Al-Sisi Runs Egypt; Now an Israeli-Occupied Territory --
    This cited article is on the fringe, and you may find it particularly entertaining, but it alleges remarkable revelations that (if true) reveal the recent Egyption military coup as part of a wider Zionist agenda to subvert and control the mid east.
    Link: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/09/16/al-sisi-jew/

    On the other hand, in an article you cite and link (top of the page) Charles Krauthammer declares “everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war.” Krauthammer conveniently ignores the violent oppression, searches, the killing of 5 unarmed Palestinian protesters, and the rearrest of dozens of former Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank, many of whom the IDF had praised just a week prior to this development. Israel did all of this after the announcement of formation of a Palestinian coalition government. Israel is going back on it’s word again, this time violating the agreement it made during the prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit.

    Cited article: --IDF praised Shalit-swap prisoners week before rearrest --
    Link: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.605811

    Do you believe this war and the occupation of the Palestinian people are something Jesus would support? Answer that and for once end this thread with something logical and honest.

  29. A parting gift for the repartee:
    Aside from holding differing views on some aspects of politics, we don't have to be enemies. No politics or religion this time, -just a mind teaser out of the blue and purely for fun.

    Identify the aging musicians in this recent photo. Not exactly the Rolling Stones, but perhaps more significant in their day. You would have been about 8 years old when the song they are playing was a hit. Their live concert video from a decade later in 1988 is still one of my favorites. The ageless song still directly relevant to our life and times, -perhaps now more than ever because we haven't learned the lesson.

    If you can't guess I'm sure someone you know can help you out with it.

    Link to photo at photobucket:

    If you guess right, I'll post a link to the 1988 concert version of the song.

  30. I love a trivia challenge, and I've tried doing this completely on my own (with the aid of my laptop). I've spent way more time on this than I should have. I thought my father-in-law would get it, but he's stumped as well. I'm almost certain I've seen that photo--or a similar one--before, but I can't quite place them.

  31. (Playing along) Well okeee then, but remember you beat it out of me.

    The video below is how I remember these guys at the absolute pinnacle of their success. That moment frozen in time, young(er) and brilliant, with a perfect live performance of their song "On The Border". Written about gun-runners and profiteering during the Spanish civil war, it remains relevant today in places like Palestine, Ukraine, Syria, and Iraq. The story is the same, only the players change.

    To really do this justice, you need broadband internet, decent Flash video player capability for youtube, more screen and speaker than a smart-phone can give you, and a place where you can turn up the sound.

    In the video, relative positions of the musicians are reversed from the recent photo I provided. In other words, the musician on the left in the photo is the singer on the right in the video, and the person on the right in the photo is seated on the left playing classical spanish guitar in the video. Proper credits are shown at end of the video.

    This song was not their biggest hit (those would be Year of The Cat, Song On the Radio, Time Passages, and Midnight Rocks), but is highly requested at smaller venue concerts. Alan Parsons produced some of their most successful albums, including Year Of The Cat (1976) and Time Passages (1978). Radio hits from these albums include some very memorable saxophone solos. Their song catalog and discography is primarily folk genra performed in soft rock or pop style, -much of it based around poetic accounts of historical events. In concerts I have seen, they deliver solid proof that you're only as old as you feel. Still kickin it and still relevant after all these years.

    Link (3:49 mins)

    There are lots of vintage concert videos available online for this group, but unfortunately many have poor sound quality. I thought this one was pretty good. Let me know if you have any trouble viewing the performance. My youtube video bandwidth is acceptable, but for some reason photobucket takes about a week to load that one photo I linked earlier. File size is just 49K, so that isn't an issue. Not sure what's going on there.