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The worst of all palestinian lies: The "Judaization" of Israel

Apologies, folks, I misunderstood the deadline. This post will be up soon.

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The Jerk-O-Meter

Wow, talk about your world's worst inventions:

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing software for cell phones that would analyze speech patterns and voice tones to rate people - on a scale of 0 to 100 percent - on how engaged they are in a conversation.

Anmol Madan, who led the project while he pursued a master's degree at MIT, sees the Jerk-O-Meter as a tool for improving relationships, not ending them. Or it might assist telephone sales and marketing efforts.

"Think of a situation where you could actually prevent an argument," he said. "Just having this device can make people more attentive because they know they're being monitored."

The program, which Madan said is nearing completion, uses mathematical algorithms to measure levels of stress and empathy in a person's voice. It also keeps track of how often someone is speaking.

Right. No matter how good a friend you are, eventually, you are going to be bored stiff with a subject that your friend has raised. It might be something you have no interest in, but they're really keen on, so you say "yes" and "uh-huh" at the proper places. It might be the umpteenth time your friend is bitching about her boyfriend, so you do the sisterhood thing and say "Yeah!" and "I know" at the right times.

So now this schmuck is going to have a device that pops messages up reminding you to pay more attention, or rats you out to the person on the other end of the line?

For now, the Jerk-O-Meter is set up to monitor the user's end of the conversation. If his attention is straying, a message pops up on the phone that warns, "Don't be a jerk!" or "Be a little nicer now." A score closer to 100 percent would prompt, "Wow, you're a smooth talker."

However, the Jerk-O-Meter also could be set up to test the voice on the other end of the line. Then it could send the tester such reports as: "This person is acting like a jerk. Do you want to hang up?"

Wow, is that going to break up relationships. A big thumbs-down to this invention.

Hey, don't take my time-honored "Uh-huhs" away from me.

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All Al-Arian, all the time: The St. Petersburg Times has been following the Sami Al-Arian terrorism trial, and even includes a week-in-review article each Monday. The defense has not yet begun, but it's looking awfully bad for our villain. The Tampa Tribune is following the case as well, and presents this damning summary of one event:

The initial reports of Shallah's new position cited information from Emerson.

``You know me. I'm a skeptic,'' Harper told Al-Arian. ``I don't believe all the stuff that gets put out by Steven Emerson.''

Al-Arian said the news was ``a shock.'' He said he knew Shallah only by the name Ramadan Abdullah. ``I've never heard that name, `Shallah,' ''

In a later conversation, after the first reports were confirmed, Al-Arian told Harper, ``I never brought him [Shallah] to USF or America.''

Assistant U.S. Attorney Walter E. Furr showed jurors Shallah's petition for nonimmigrant worker status filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service on Sept. 8, 1993. The petition, which gave Shallah's whole name, listed WISE as his sponsor and was signed by Al-Arian.

Whoopsie. Caught in a big lie, signature included: whatever will our villain do next? Stay tuned.

Israeli technology wins again: The Ashkelon desalinization plant started operating last week, a plant that will ease the water worries of Israel.

The plant will initially supply 50 million cubic meters, which will channeled into ground water until the systems is stabilized. The water will be directed into the National Water Carrier one month from now, which will send it to southern Israel.

The second stage of the plant’s operation will begin in December 2005, until supply reaches 100 million cubic meters per year. The price of the water will be NIS 2.60 per cubic meter the world’s lowest price for desalinated water.

Those rascally Jews. Outwitting the palestinians again, and trying to take away the water weapon the pals are seeking (which is part of the reason why Israel is so hesitant to give up all the territories).

Everyone [with a brain] wants Jewish technology: Israeli exports to the U.S. are up.

Industrial exports to the US, excluding diamonds, grew 8% to $3.48 billion in the first half of 2005. High-tech exports, which account for 45% of all exports to the US, were up 11.2% to $1.5 billion. The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute predicts that exports to the US will grow by only 4% in 2005.

Exports to the US rose 16% to $6.9 billion in 2004.

Of course, the exports would rise by a hell of a lot more if the State Department weren't so intent on crushing Israel underfoot over the China Harpy deal.

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The palestinians co-opt another term

Just when you thought they couldn't sink any lower, they do.

Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for the PA, also dismissed Sharon's statements as unacceptable. "The Palestinian Authority is not bound by Sharon's three no's," he said. "They are in violation of the road map."

What were the original "three no's"? From the Arab Summit in Khartoum: No peace, no recognition, and no negotiation with Israel. What is Sharon saying?

In an interview with Channel 1 on Wednesday night, Sharon said, "I will not negotiate on the subject of Jerusalem. The blocs will remain territorially linked to the State of Israel. At the same time, there will be no return of Palestinian refugees to Israel."

What is the major difference here? Oh, that's right: Israel was offering all of the territories back in exchange for peace. Here, the palestinians are offering nothing in exchange for—nothing.

On the eve of the meeting, Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad Hindi said his group would continue to launch attacks even after the "escape" from the Gaza Strip.

"The Zionist retreat from the Gaza Strip won't end the resistance," he said. "The resistance will continue until the expulsion of the occupation from all our lands, including the West Bank, Jerusalem and all of Palestine."

He said that Islamic Jihad views the disengagement as a direct result of the "resistance" and rocket attacks over the past few years. "The pressure of the resistance, as well as the steadfastness of our people and the rockets of our fighters all led the enemy to take the decision to run away from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank," he said.

My bad. It's in exchange for more war.

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Bloggers rock

Chris Muir says the Clik4Cathy project was completed in two days flat.

Day by Day Clik4Cathy campaign results

If you're in Houston, watch the show and let us know how it was. I'll be leaving the C4C button up for a while.

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Tell me again how Syria is not a terrorist state: Turkey captured two Syrian members of an Al Qaeda cell that is planning to blow up Israeli cruise ships in Turkey.

Meanwhile, a suspected Syrian Al-Qaida militant who appeared before a Turkish court Thursday to face charges shouted to journalists from a courthouse window that he had been planning to attack Israeli ships.

"I have no regrets. I was going to attack Israeli ships. If they come, my friends will attack them," the man shouted.

The man also shouted "Allah Akbar," Arabic for "God is great," before officials pulled him back and closed the window. He spoke Turkish with an Arabic accent.

Another Syrian, identified as Hamed Obysi, whom Turkish reports said was an Al-Qaida courier, was charged Wednesday with membership in the terrorist organization.

Israel has not lifted the terror warning. They say that most of the cell remains free, and Israelis are in danger.

Snarky headline response: PA, Hamas agree to set up monitoring committee during disengagement. I don't think that word means what you think it mean.

Gee, there's a surprise: Islamic Jihad says they're going to keep attacking Israel.

Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah announced that his organization would continue launching terrorist attacks against Israel even after the upcoming withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

When asked whether Gaza operatives would continue firing Kassam rockets and mortar shells at Israeli communities, Shalah replied that this depends on a number of factors, including Palestinian efforts to maintain national unity.

He stressed that there would not be a civil war in the Palestinian Authority, Israel Radio reported.

They keep saying that. I keep hoping they're wrong. Because if the murderers start murdering each other, perhaps a true peace could someday be reached. Well, after you convince the 80% of palestinians to stop hating Israel and wanting an end to her existence. But what the hey, I'm an optimist. We can probably get that figure down to 60% someday.

Sometimes, I hate being right: There's a security analysis in the JPost that supports my post of yesterday, where I said that withdrawal will not be bloodless. It predicts violence from Gazan settlers as well. I don't think that's going to happen. However, I expect to be saying the words, "I was wrong about that." Perhaps it really is my optimism kicking in.

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Moshe Katsav to Israeli Gazans: "We're sorry."

The president of Israel (a largely ceremonial post with no real power) made a speech to Israelis yesterday, in which he apologized for having to make Gaza Judenrein.

"On behalf of the State of Israel, I ask you, the settlers, for forgiveness, over the demand that you leave after dozens of years of construction and victims," he said.

[..] "My brothers, the residents of Gaza and northern Samaria, we are facing one of the most fateful decisions since the Declaration of Independence," he said. "In several days you will be asked, in accordance with government and Knesset decisions, to evacuate the Gaza and northern Samaria region."

"I sympathize with your pain," Katsav said. "Many within the nation, regardless of political affiliation, certainly sympathize with your pain."

He said, “We know your settling in the territories was an act of conscience that was also carried out in accordance with Israeli governments’ decisions. You have established thriving settlements and raised generations of children and youths who glorify Israel.”

“We are in awe of how you have heroically faced the dangers – the thousands of bombs, Qassam rockets and terror attacks. You have risked your families’ and your own lives for the ideal and faith, and you have known pain and bereavement.

“After a year of hard-fought battles and intense deliberations – the time has come. You must respect the authorities’ decisions.”

But then we get to the real meat of the matter, and the reason for the speech, I think:

Katsav went on to say that any act of violence by those attempting to thwart the disengagement is illegitimate.

“The right to protest and cry out, the plea to replace the government - they do not justify the use of unacceptable means,” he said.

As Daniel Pipes pointed out: no other democracy has forcibly uprooted thousands of its own citizens of one religion from their lawful homes. Not, that is, without being called on it by at least a UN resolution.

Of course, in this case, the Exception Clause applies.

Cross-posted to the Jewish View.

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Along came a spider: The return of Shelob

The spider and the lightSo two nights ago, as I was getting ready for bed, I opened the door to look for signs of Shelob Jr., whom we met on Sunday. I glanced up and saw a strand of cobweb across the frame of wood above my door, near the outside light. But I thought it was probably just a leftover from the web I had destroyed.

Then, on the way to work the next morning, I looked up and scanned for signs of spider. Oh, yeah, she was there. All curled up and sleeping, but Shelob was hanging in a web near the light. So last night, I stood on my front doorstep, camera in hand.

She's ba-aack. I didn't kill her when I swept her and her web off my door Sunday night.

Shelob and her new webThis is one smart spider. She figured out that no, I do not want her webbing my door shut. She figured out that I'm a soft touch for spiders, in spite of my post, because I like bugs that eat other bugs (yeah, yeah, I know, she's an arachnid, be quiet). And she has also positioned her web in the best possible place: Right near the front porch light. She is protected from the rain (somewhat, there's not really much of an overhang), and she's high enough that I won't bother her if she doesn't bother me.

You should see the amount of insects in her web tonight. Pretty soon there are going to be more insects than web. And Shelob is going to be one fat spider.

I wonder if she's really a she. I wonder if she's going to lay eggs and have a zillion other spiders living above my door. I wonder what she's going to do for the winter. No, she is not welcome indoors. Anyway, Tig and Gracie would find her and play with her until they killed her. I find enough cricket parts around the house to know what would happen.

Looks like I have a new neighbor. I think I'll pass on inviting her in for a little snack, though. And I will be monitoring her web. The first sign of encroachment, and she's gone.

But I think she's too smart for that. A spider with a learning curve. Who knew?

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Setting up the bloodshed: The PA puts out lies about the IDF

Mark my words, there will be Jewish blood shed during the pullout, and it won't be Jew-on-Jew violence. Exhibit A:

The Palestinian Interior Ministry has issued a statement Wednesday warning that the PA security establishment has obtained intelligence information regarding possible attempts by IDF troops to attack Palestinian targets.

Several far right soldiers have already purchased traditional Arab clothes and obtained old cars used by many Palestinians to this end, the statement, which was posted in a Palestinian newspaper, said.

They are using last week's murderous rampage by Eden Natan Zada for maximum PR flair, complete with lies, lies, and oh yeah, more lies.

Can anyone see the setup? These are the people that use Red Cross ambulances to ferry terrorists and weapons, UN schools and other buildings to store weapons and manufacture bombs, and who hide behind international "peace" activists until rousted by the IDF (can you say, ISM terror enablers? I knew you could). What makes you think they won't use their own people to stage a shooting they can then "respond" to? Or even just say they saw it, using the ever-present, and ever-lying, palestinian "witnesses."

Exhibit B:

The Islamic resistance group Hamas slammed on Wednesday Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over his criticism of Palestinian militants rocket attacks on Israel.

"I don't want to talk about whether firing these rockets is important or not, but I wanted to talk about the destructive consequences. No one of us could forget last week's tragedy when a father and his son were killed by a rocket," Abbas said in a speech at the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in Gaza City Tuesday.

Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said that Abbas hurt the Palestinian armed resistance, adding he forgot to say that these rockets were the main reason for ending the occupation of the gaza Strip.

"Abbas didn't refer at all to the fact that the armed resistance is a major reason for ending the occupation, and had just given an example of one mistake, but didn't mention how painful these rockets were to the occupation," said Abu Zuhri.

He added that it is the first time ever in Palestinian history that armed resistance managed to force the occupier to withdraw from occupied territories, repeating the success of the Hezbollah guerrilla group in evicting Israeli troops from southern Lebanon in 2000.

"Occupation is ended only by resistance and not by negotiations. This is what the experience had proved. The occupation forces had unilaterally said that it wanted to withdraw instead of negotiations," said Abu Zuhri.

Exhibit C:

Hamas has threatened to respond to the terror attack in Shfaram, stating the "massacre" would not pass without punishment.

“Whatever harms our brothers in the territories that have been occupied since 1948 harms us, because what is painful to them is painful to us, “ the terror group said in a statement.

[...] The statement went on to say that “Hamas fears the cooperation between extremist settlers and the Israeli government may open the door for even worse crimes.”

Exhibit D:

IDF and Border Police troops detonated a 15-kilogram explosive without incident along the Gaza security fence Wednesday morning.

The explosive was of a type that usually targets IDF vehicles patrolling the fence, and was placed along an area of fence encircling a northern Gaza settlement.

I'm sure I'll be able to find more exhibits as the withdrawal gets nearer.

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The double-digit days of August

Summer is nearly over. The groans of millions of children rise heavenward, while those of us who are sick of paying enormous electric bills breathe a sigh of relief. Shelob Jr. is back (I'll write about her tonight)

Not much time today. Quick comments.

Got the bastards before they murdered: Turkey broke an Al Qaeda cell before they killed Israelis on vacation in their country. Let us all say: Amen. UPDATE: Well, that didn't last long. Ynet says the above is untrue.

Turkish police denied on Wednesday that they had captured 10 al-Qaeda terrorists who had allegedly planned attacks against Israelis, as reported by Turkish press earlier in the day, while official in Counter-Terrorism Bureau said Israelis should still avoid traveling to southern Turkey.

Shyeah, right: The new commissioner of UNRWA is as clueless as the old one. He says he doesn't think many palestinians really want to return to Israel. Oh, that's all better than. We'll just give them the option.

The withdrawal: IDF intelligence says it's going to be "quiet:" in other words, the pals aren't going to attack. Meryl says: Wrong. Just watch. Rockets will fly through the air.

Disgusting: An Israeli was convicted of trying to sell Hizbullah night-vision goggles. Way to cause your own people's murders, asshat. I hope he stays in prison for life.

Time to go. Behave yourselves while I'm gone. And click the button for Chris' sister, or grab the gif and link for your own site.

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Click the button for Chris Muir's sister

See that image on my home page? Click it to help Chris Muir, whose sister could use a little help right now. Or go to Day By Day's home page and click it there. Either works.

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Tuesday morning news briefs

Investigating the lynching: In spite of Israeli Arab threats about civil unrest, Israeli police will launch an investigation into the death of Eden Natan Zada, the Israeli who murdered four Israeli Arabs last week. I imagine part of the reason would be the release of this picture, which shows him handcuffed and being beaten to death by the mob. A killer is a killer, and the crowd had no right to take the law into their own hands. Israel has no death penalty. That's why she continues to release palestinian terrorists under duress.

Snarky headline response: Infighting threatens Palestinian democracy. What democracy?

Calling a terrorist a terrorist: Is the press beginning to finally change their terminology? The Minneapolis Star-Tribune discusses the issue.

The Star Tribune stylebook's entry on "terrorism" and "terrorists" says those terms can be used to describe any deliberate attack on civilians and lists no exceptions. But because the wire services regularly use "militant" in stories about terrorism against Israelis and tend to use "insurgents" in many stories about Iraq, that's how the language often ends up by default in the Star Tribune.

Reinforcing the tendency to treat Israel differently is another entry in the Star Tribune stylebook, which says Hamas is to be referred to in shorthand as "a militant Islamic group" and if it is a major part of a story it should be added that it "has been designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization." The wires treat Islamic Jihad the same way. The stylebook and wires use no such qualifier with Al-Qaida, simply labeling it a "terrorist network" with no reference to the U.S. government's designation.

I am less than hopeful, but at least they're talking about it in their own papers.

Snarky headline response 2: International Red Cross suspends activity in Gaza over security situation. You want security? Just call your buddy Abbas. The one who refuses to disarm the terrorists that are shooting at you.

Snarky headline response 3: Abbas urges Palestinians to ensure calm during Gaza pullout. And they're listening, too. See above.

Israel recovers her senses: Gaza will not become a smuggler's haven.

To thwart weapons smuggling into Gaza from Egypt after disengagement, Mofaz said that Israel has proposed moving the border crossing to a three-way meeting point between Israel, Egypt and Gaza at Kerem Shalom.

The new border crossing, according to Mofaz's proposal, would be manned by Israeli border inspectors as well as Palestinian and Egyptian security forces.

The Palestinians, however, have said they would not agree to such a move. International mediators have proposed leaving the crossing in place, and allowing foreign inspectors to take the place of Israeli security officials.

You mean like the UN officials that stood by idly while Hezbullah kidnapped Israeli soldiers? I'm guessing that's a no.

Hate-TV is no more: At least, not to Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Hizbullah's satellite broadcasting has been stopped. And may we all say: Amen.

What war on terror? You know that war that doesn't exist? The terror war? Well, multiple bomb attacks have gone off in Turkey, terror warnings have been issued in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, London is warning about women and child bombers, Iran is supplying Iraqi terrorists with bombs, and the Saudis are still Number One on the Terrorist Support Parade.

But there is no reason for the war on terror, right?


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Messianics and Jews, take 2

Trollslayer takes offense at my post delineating the deceptive tactics of the various so-called "messianic Jewish" organizations. As his misreading and misconceptions are pretty typical of more than one response, I'm pulling his out from the comments to answer:

Let's start at the start: Christianity started out as a subset of Judaism. If you accept the tradition of the New Testament, just about every Christian up until Cornelius was a *gasp* "Messianic Jew." The Romans recognized Christianity as a sect of Judaism so that originally, Christians were exempt from the pagan religion requirements of Roman law, just like the Jews were.

So that was then, this is now, and we all recognize them as separate religions. That doesn't change the fact that Christianity has a legitimate Jewish heritage which only the worst of bigots would try to keep them from celebrating.

You are deliberately obfuscating the terminology. "Messianic Judaism," as we're discussing it, isn't about a sect of Jews 2,000 years ago. It is about the Christian evangelical churches that are currently sponsoring the three forms of "outreach" that are lying to bring Jews into them: "Messianic Jews," Jews for Jesus, and "Hebrew Christians." Oh, and I don't deny the Jewish heritage of Jesus. That would be, well, stupid.

Meryl contends that the "Messianic Jews" are intentionally using Jewish customs to lie to and deceive Jews into converting to Christianity... Shrill paranoia at best, blatant bigotry at worst. My own experience with the Messianic Jews: they are ALWAYS open about being another denomination of Christinianity. The only Jew who would join their group thinking they have nothing to do with a belief in Jesus of Nazareth is a painfully dumb one.

It is neither paranoia nor bigotry. The concept behind all of these movements is to make Jews feel more "comfortable;" they have removed as many signs of Christianity as they can get away with. There generally are no crosses or crucifixes. They have faux Shabbat services on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, use Yiddish phrases, hold Israeli dance classes, sell Judaica in their shops, wear kippot and tallit, call their ministers rabbis, and in general, use all the major trappings of Judaism to ensnare uninformed Jews to join them.

As to your own experience: I assume you are not a Jew. I imagine they wouldn't work too hard to fool you on your visits to their churches, you're already on their side. But let's not mistake anecdotal evidence for empirical proof.

Speaking of empirical proof, here is a quote from the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues website to take note of:

We recognize that Jewish people (physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, whether through the mother's or the father's blood-line) who place their faith in Israel's Messiah, Yeshua, continue to be Jewish according to the Scriptures (Rom. 2:28-29). Gentiles who place their faith in Yeshua, are "grafted into" the Jewish olive tree of faith (Rom. 11:17-25) becoming spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham (Gal. 3:28-29).

That isn't being open about their Christianity. They're saying that Jews can believe in Jesus and still be Jews.

Then there is this entry on the Jews for Jesus website:

But back to the reason for Jewish evangelism. Most of us Jews grow up with the belief that Jesus is not an option for us. The missiological term for that is "gospel resistant." In other words, it takes a whole lot to bring my people to a place where they allow themselves to consider the gospel. Whereas you may imagine that Jewish people have the same opportunities to hear about Jesus as everyone else, there is a whole mindset that tells our people such opportunities are not for them. Jews for Jesus is committed to presenting opportunities that Jewish people cannot dismiss as being "for Gentiles only."

If you can understand the need for missionaries to go overseas and tell the gospel to people who otherwise would not hear, we hope you will understand that most Jewish people will not hear the gospel unless it is delivered in a way that takes into account a lifetime of conditioning or indoctrination. Some may call our outreach "targeting." Those of us who present the opportunity call it reaching out to people in love where they are…and we know where they are because most of us have been there!

They are delineating their tactics in plain sight. Plus, there's that little deception of telling Jews that you can accept Jesus as the messiah and still remain Jewish religiously. Once again, for the hearing impaired: I am not talking about ethnicity here. This is about the Jewish religion. And according to the Jewish religion, if you believe in the divinity of Jesus, you are a Christian.

Oh, I found this on JforJ, too:

Regardless of what anyone says, we are Jews in that we are physically descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. At the same time we are also Christians—those who believe in and follow Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. One classification does not cancel out the other, even though rabbis like to teach that Judaism and Christianity are mutually exclusive categories and hence are antithetical to one another.

Yeah, rabbis like to teach that. Because it's true. It's an either/or situation. You're either Jewish or Christian. Not both.

As for the accusation that we "fraudulently use Jewish symbols and Jewish holidays," we have a right to use Jewish symbols by virtue of our ancestry, and we have a right to celebrate Passover and other Jewish holidays and interpret them according to the teachings of Scripture. The accusation would only be valid if the New Testament were false. When we bring our Christ in the Passover presentation to the churches we do not pervert the meaning of the Paschal lamb or any of the other Passover symbols. We merely tell what Jesus Himself taught his disciples at the Last Supper, which was a Passover celebration (See Matthew 26:18-30).

Whoopsie, did they just get upset because Jews are accusing them of co-opting Jewish symbolism in their Christian worship services? I guess it wasn't just my bigoted imagination after all.

But this part was my favorite; thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to use it:

[...] The friendship banquets are not occasions for "dining out," nor are they merely fund-raisers. We use them as an effective means for building relationships.

This is an area where the Jewish culture differs from the common church culture of our day. When a major event takes place in the Jewish community, such as the installation of a new rabbi at the temple, or an important speech by a visiting Israeli or other foreign dignitary, it is usually surrounded by a banquet. Jewish people feel quite comfortable at such functions. Because of this cultural orientation, our friendship banquets can be superb opportunities for Christians to invite unbelieving Jewish friends to investigate us and our message.

Our feeling is that if it works, it's worth the expense. We want to be careful with the Lord's money, but our first consideration must always be: what is the best kind of evangelism for a given situation? Then we must act accordingly.

Right there, in black and white, on the JforJ website, you have exactly what I wrote about. "Hey, let's use their own ceremonies and customs to make them feel more Jewish so we can turn them into Christians." But not, of course, in plain English. Oh, wait. Mostly in plain English. Not much reading between the lines necessary there.

Lastly, there is this is from my current fave faux Jew site, Zion's Sake:

Messianic Jews are Jews who believe in Yeshua and a transcendent G-d that spoke to the Patriarchs and relate to the Messiah (Yeshua in Hebrew, Jesus in English) as the King of the Jews! Messianic Jews are called to reach there[sic] Jewish brothers and sisters. The belief in Yeshua as the Messiah for a Jewish person does not compromise or stop our being Jewish. A person born Jewish remains Jewish, there is no conversion! No man, Pastor, or Rabbi can remove a covenant promise made by G-d to a people or person! Yeshua was Jewish as well as all the Talmidim (Disciples). A Jew who accepts the Biblical truth of Yeshua as the Mashiach becomes completed and fulfilled, not converted.

You see? They say you don't have to convert to become a Jewish Christian, you can be both! And then you're fulfilled! (Funny, but I don't feel unfulfilled as a Jew.) Doesn't sound to me like they're being straightforward about their Christianity here. These are patent falsehoods. I repeat: By accepting the divinity of Jesus Christ, a Jew is no longer Jewish—religiously.

Meryl also contends that a large portion of their congregations aren't "Jewish," which I guess means aren't ethnically Jewish. Sounds an awful lot like the Jewish Reform Synagogue in Salt Lake City, which comes complete with a lesbian Rabbi (last time I visited). Most of those "Jews" looked about as Jewish as I do. I suppose Meryl would contend that these "reform" Jews are at least Jewish in religion, but hells; if a lesbian can call herself a Jewish Rabbi, why on earth can't an evangelical just call himself Jewish? (Hmm, I wonder which one bears a closer resemblance to ancient Judaism... The world may never know. :P)

Regarding ethnicity: See above. Regarding the makeup of a congregation: When my buddies at Zion's Sake put the numbers on their website themselves—I didn't make them up—I figure I'm allowed to quote them. Go read the link. As for your Reform Synagogue, different sects of Judaism are not the issue. We are discussing Christians pretending that they are Jews, and using deceptive tactics to ensnare Jewish converts. Stick to the subject.

Oh, and let's not forget: the term "messianic Jew" doesn't just refer to Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah; it refers to any Jew who believes the Messiah of the Torah has come, historically and present day. Several people on this thread insisted that once a person believes a Messiah has come, s/he isn't Jewish. Interesting. So I guess that means you're all going to stop being Jewish once the Messiah finally shows up, eh? I guess it also means the followers of all of the following people weren't/aren't Jewish: Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Jacob Frank, Sabbatai Zevi, Moses of Crete, Bar Khokhba, and Menahem ben Judah--just to name a few. Oh, and I eagerly await Meryl's fisking of the Jewishness of these groups.

Actually, in my post, "messianic Jew" is the phrase that these Christians have chosen to call themselves, and Jesus is the messiah to which they refer. You are being disingenuous by bringing up any other meaning of the term. That is not what we were discussing, and it is not the subject my commenters were discussing. And if you insist on using that reference, then go and Google "messianic Jew." I went to page 19 without finding a single mention of anyone but Jesus.

I think your basic problem with my terminology is a problem that many have. There are two discrete parts to being a Jew: Our Jewishness, and our Judaism. This distinction has puzzled the world as long as we have existed, it seems. I can be a Jew (ethnically) without being Jewish (religiously). While I can't ever lose my ethnicity, I can lose my religion. (And I can get it back at a later date if I want to, too.) I think that's the crux of your misreading/misinterpretation of my post as bigoted.

But here's my real problem with Meryl's post: She is calling ALL Messianic Jews who claim Christ as the Messiah liars and deceivers who are hellbent on tricking Jews into their religion. That's right, a couple hundred thousand people and their kids; not one honest Christian among them who just wants to celebrate his or her legitimate Jewish heritage and has no interest in tricking Meryl's honest-to-God Jews into the movement. If you don't believe me, read the post again; it's sadly lacking in qualifiers.

Actually, I think you may have something there. There are probably many Christians who are members of those groups and wholly unaware that the tactics their church uses are deceptive. I'm sure they believe you can be a Jewish Christian. Remember, I said in my post that many of them would probably be stunned to find out that you can't be Jewish and Christian at the same time. However, I do believe that all of the leadership and all of the missionaries are deliberately lying to Jews they try to convert. We see evidence of that in the quotes and links in this post, and in my post below.

In fact, her whole rant sounded like an evangelical screeching about Mormons not being Christians. Just change "Jews" to "Christians" and "Christians" to "Mormons" and you have an evangelical anti-Mormon tract. Meryl should consider writing for evangelical countercult ministries with that level of bigotry.

So, when is a rabbi not a rabbi? Well, I would say when he's a lesbian. Maybe Meryl should worry more about those "Jews."

Maybe Trollslayer should do a little more research about the subject before slinging around the b-word. I don't have a problem with a lesbian Reform rabbi. Nice little attempted mudslinging there, though, trying to make me out to be a homophobe.

In sum: Nope, you're way off-base on nearly all of your points. You need to do more research. I suggest following some of the links I've offered in these two posts.

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The Weekly Weekly

Whoops, we forgot this last week. But here you go, the latest news from the Weekly World News website. Oh, and don't say I didn't warn you about clicking on the first link. You'll be sorry if you do.

Donald Rumsfeld in a Speedo!
... Sec. of Defense armed & dangerous!


SECRETARY of Defense Donald Rumsfeld got caught with his pants down during his recent surprise trip to Iraq -- when a chambermaid snapped a photo of him cavorting in his hotel room in a skimpy Speedo-type swimsuit!

Remarkably, Rumsfeld makes no attempt to shield his 72-year old body from the camera -- on the contrary, he grins good-naturedly into the lens.

"Mr. Rumsfeld's chest hair is shockingly ape-like and his 'package' is garishly displayed," remarks Haad Al-Aaakhir, bureau chief of the Qatar-based wire service that's distributing the photo.

Yes, there's a picture. Yes, I'm warning you not to look. Yes, the article is hilarious. It's the WWN. They're all funny. And it must be Repubiclan leadership week, 'cause here's one on the Prez:

'He got it in the pot-smoking '60s'


PRESIDENT George Bush is hiding a shameful secret that he believes would have lost him the election if his family-values followers found out about it.

The Prez is hiding a tattoo on his upper right buttock that praises pot smoking, reveals a source who was pals with young George in the wild hippie days of the 1960s and early 1970s.

"It's a small tattoo of a marijuana leaf with the words, 'I love Mary Jane,' " reveals the source. 'Mary Jane' was a popular slang term for pot in the '60s."

There's an article on Dick Cheney, too, but I'd rather check out the new sport in California: Mudslide surfing! Cowabunga, dudes!

"Mudslide surfing is the greatest sport ever!" gushed mudslide surfing enthusiast Matthew 'Wild Dog' Davar, who lives on a hill above Malibu. "On rainy days I used to have to stay inside. Not anymore. Now, I can't wait till it rains. I just set foot out my front door and I'm good to go!"

Ain't American grand? The Land of Opportunity. And last, but not least, yet another tip sheet from the folks at the WWN: How to land babes! One piece of advice:

While brute strength may work for Fueler, Latino lover Francisco Suerte has a completely different approach to getting the girls. As a self-proclaimed South Beach, Fla., clubite, he says being metrosexual is the key.

"You have to be just gay enough to get the babes," Suerte says.

He does admit, however, there is a fine line a metrosexual male has to walk to make sure he doesn't appear too girly.

"They want someone to go shopping at the mall with and talk to about hair products," he says. "But not someone who spends more time primping than they do.

"The chicas want a guy they can relate to, not one prettier than them."

Have I mentioned how much I love this magazine? Until next time, folks, that's the Weekly Weekly. Much more interesting than surfing blogs, don't you think?

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Shelob's Door

This being a typical Sunday night, Tig was annoying me, and one of my typical responses to my cat annoying me is to throw him outside. Sometimes I surprise him and open the front door, which has about a 99% success rate of getting him outdoors. So I opened the front door tonight, he leaped out, and I gasped in shock as I saw, well, this:

Spiderweb in doorway, ew! Ew!This picture does not remotely do justice to the enormous web that took up the top half of my front door, nor does it do justice to the enormous spider that was sitting in the enormous web—staring at me. She was tapping two of her legs in frustration, waiting for me to close the door so she could get on with her bug-catching. And a great business bug-catching she would do, because I had finally harrassed Maintenance into replacing the front porch lightbulb, so the moths and various insects were fluttering around my front door—which, of course, is why Shelob Jr. chose my front doorway in which to spin her web.

I stood there, trying to regulate my heartrate. It's not that I'm particularly afraid of spiders, even the giant, economy-sized spider that spun its giant, economy-sized web across my front door. It's just that usually, when I open my front door, I rather don't expect to be trapped inside by a giant spiderweb. No, I'd have to say that's definitely not one of the things I think of when I open the front door. "Do you have your keys?" is something I think about. "Did you turn out the lights?" and "Did you remember to feed the cats?" and "Do I really have to go to work today?" are all legitimate, front-door-type things that I—and many people, I'm sure—think about on a regular basis. "Is there going to be a giant spiderweb across the top half of the doorway?" is not even remotely in my imagination; no more than it was for Frodo and Sam as they ascended the steps of Cirith Ungol. And I didn't even have Gollum to guide me into danger.

Giant spider, the close-upThen I did what any normal, red-blooded, single American woman would do: I shut the door and wondered which guy I could call to get rid of the spider. Unfortunately, I was in a bit of a bind. I'm not seeing anyone at the moment, my next-door-neighbors are nice guys, but it's, uh, elevenish on a Sunday night. I don't think calling the maintenance department would have done much good, and, well, leaving by the back door and walking around the building to get to my car until I could find somebody who could get rid of it for me didn't seem very practical. Besides, I was afraid that if I didn't act quickly, the spider would eat anyone I sent to get rid of it. The prospect of using the back door until I moved to another apartment did not appeal to me.

And so, left to my own devices, I stepped into my sneakers, grabbed my broom (scaring Gracie, who thinks any large device that sweeps the floor is a cat torture implement), went out the patio door and marched purposefully around the building to my front porch. I tried to protect my digital camera from the rain, and was hoping against hope that one of the [male] neighbors would be out chatting, so I could say, "Hey, check out this spider!" and let him get rid of it for me. Again, it isn't that I'm afraid of spiders, per se. I just dislike having to dismantle their entire ecosystem from my front door, er, while they watch. And perhaps take revenge. But alas, no neighbors were to be seen. Damn.

Of course I had to document the spider hunt, so the arachnid geeks out there could tell me exactly what kind of eight-legged freak was staking out my door. The photos above and to the left are actual-sized, with the extraneous parts cut so it wouldn't overload your poor 56k modems (broadband, kiddies, broadband). So not liking those two white spots on the body, which makes it look like she was staring at me. I'm going to be extremely careful leaving for work tomorrow morning; I just know that damned spider is going to be lying in wait for me. In fact, if Tig doesn't come scratching or yowling at the door soon, I'm going to check around the corner for more webs and see if my cat is trapped in them. Brrrr. Memories of "The Fly" will be ringing in my head tonight. The original 1950s film, not those disgusting remakes.

Well. After I took my pictures (and look left, here's another one where you can see Shelob Jr. in all of her glory, and she really is glaring at me. I just know she's thinking, "Beeyatch, I've got your number and I know where you live, and you just think you got rid of me, honey, you just wait until I catch you nodding."

I'm telling you, my dreams are going to be full of Shelob-like scenes tonight, and flies with little old men's heads on them screaming "Help me! Help me!" in high-pitched, quavering tones.

Anyway. When I finished taking the pictures, I swept her and the web off my door, and for good measure, got rid of the web that's been encroaching upon my mailbox, which no doubt will be a great relief for the postman, 'cause let me tell you, he's got that nice, plump, juicy figure that the spiders loved so much in The Hobbit. And he's bigger than a hobbit by far.

In any case. I'm off to bed, and to my probable nightmares, and I leave you with a word of advice: Let your porch light burn out and stay out. The spiders won't want to web your door shut if there aren't any bugs around it. I'm going back out there tomorrow morning and smashing the light with my broom.

Yeah, that's what I get for watching Spider-Man 2 on HBO last night.

Update: As of Monday morning, there is no sign of Shelob Jr., and my door is unwebbed, except for the remaining fragment. Which, uh, worries me.

Update 2: Scott has a funny spider story, too. At least he didn't scream like a girl. Come to think of it, I didn't scream like a girl, either. I didn't scream. I did, however, leap back when I realized there was a giant spider above my head.

Update 3: She's ba-ack!

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When is a rabbi not a rabbi?

When he's an evangelical Christian.

Jews for Jesus. "Hebrew Christians." "Messianic Judaism". Look at all these Christian organizations calling themselves Jewish. Not that there's anything wrong with that, right?

Well, yes. There is something wrong with that. Because all of these groups are, in reality, evangelical Christian attempts to convert Jews by lies, distortions, and deception. They falsely represent themselves as Jews, and state—as if it could be true—the impossibility that a Jew can believe in the divinity of Jesus and yet remain a Jew—all for the unstated purpose of converting Jews to Christianity.

Well, everyone knows that, right? And isn't this America, and don't people have the right to believe what they want, even if you don't like it?

No, everyone doesn't know that "messianic Jews" want to convert all Jews to Christianity. As for believing whatever they want to believe, of course they can. But isn't this America, and don't we have laws against false advertising, bait-and-switch tactics, and deceiving the public? Shouldn't those laws apply to religions as well as to corporations? When an organization calls itself Jewish, shouldn't it actually be, you know, Jewish?

Yes, but, it's not like they're doing it for an evil purpose. They mean well. And anyway, most Jews already know they're fakes, right?


Contrary to popular perception, it is not only emotionally unstable Jews who fall prey to the missionaries' efforts; in fact, all Jews are susceptible. Missionaries often target college campuses, hospitals, drug rehabilitation programs, seniors' residences, and shopping malls in Jewish neighborhoods, as well as the Israeli community, Soviet immigrants and intermarried couples. They deliberately misquote, mistranslate and misinterpret Jewish scriptures and rabbinical texts in an attempt to "prove" that Jesus was both the Jewish Messiah and G-d. Their delegitimization of Judaism, in concert with their misleading exploitation of Jewish symbols, religious artifacts and even traditional music, serve to confuse the potential convert, making him or her more vulnerable.

These missionary groups -- over 900 in North America alone -- are active worldwide, and can be found in almost every Jewish population center. Several governing bodies in this movement have considerable political clout; one has even been granted "observer" status at the United Nations. Several groups have founded "messianic Jewish" day schools for children and "yeshivot" where they produce ordained "messianic rabbis." There are over 100 "messianic congregations" in Israel, and over 38 in the former Soviet Union. These groups prey almost exclusively upon uneducated, unaffiliated and alienated Jews.

Okay, sure, some of these groups use shady tactics, but all of them? How many can there be?

Yes, all of them are using lies to present themselves. Jewish synagogues do not support "messianic Jews." Jews do not recognize these people as anything other than Christian. Israel's Supreme Court has ruled that Jews for Jesus are Christians, not Jews, and are thus not eligible for citizenship under the Law of Return. Is this bigotry? No. It is recognition that these are not Jews. That they are Christians masquerading as Jews.

Christian churches in America spend $250 million per year to convert Jews. There are over 400 "messianic synagogues." An estimated 275,000 Jews worldwide have converted and joined "messianic Jewish" groups. The good news is that the recovery rate is over 80% when a Jew is exposed to the facts that are being misrepresented by these faux Jews. The bad news is that doesn't dishearten the evangelicals in the least.

Jews who are informed are impervious to the deceptions. "Messianic Jews" fear religious Jews, whose knowledge of the Torah and Talmud is a potent response to the disinformation tactics used by their missionaries. One Virginia "rabbi" recently held a rally against neo-Nazis on Shabbat and then blamed local Orthodox Jews for not showing up, going so far as to also blame Orthodox Jews for the Holocaust in his account on his church's website:

It's unfortunate that the Orthodox Rabbi's[sic] once again as in the days preceding the Holocaust chose apathy. This attitude cost us millions of lives.

Note the personal pronoun, "us." He calls himself a Jew, though he was born and raised a Christian. He calls himself a rabbi, though he was ordained a Christian minister. He calls himself a rabbi, usurping a Jewish title, which was given him by Christian organizations. He calls himself a rabbi, though he is not a Jew.

Yes, but why should it matter that he calls himself a rabbi? It's just a title, it means teacher, he's a teacher, right?

No. It's not just a word that means "teacher." "Rabbi" means "master." But most important, the very name holds connotations of Jewishness. It is the title we have given to our religious leaders. It is a specifically Jewish title, and it casts an aura of Jewishness on those who claim it, even fakes like "messianic Jewish" rabbis. A man who has been ordained by the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues is a minister. Not a rabbi. In this country, a rabbi needs to be ordained by one of the accredited American Rabbinical Colleges. Or he can be ordained by a Beit Din. Being ordained by Christian churches does not a rabbi make.

Okay, fine, he's not a rabbi, but isn't that beside the point? What are you getting so upset about?

The mainstream press regularly quotes ordained Christian ministers as rabbis and Jews when they present themselves as such. The AP and Richmond Times-Dispatch did so, as did Silent Running in its post about the rally. For example:

"The counter-rally across the battlefield was organized by Rabbi Eric Carlson of Synagogue Zion's Sake in Newport News and attended by members of nearly a dozen other synagogues and churches from Moyock, N.C., to Richmond.

[snip] "two counter-rallies led by the messianic Jewish synagogue Congregation Zion's Sake and the Center for Education Rights"

[snip] "A few of the counter-demonstrators shouted slogans opposing the Nazi message, but most of them were with a Messianic Jewish congregation who prayed, sang and danced."

[snip] "We said after the Holocaust, 'never again,"' said Rabbi Eric Carlson of congregation Zion's Sake in Newport News, which organized that rally."

[snip] "Here, a kosher mini-Woodstock broke out to canned bubbly Hebrew music proclaiming "Shabbat Shalom." People clapped. They danced horas, shoulder to shoulder. They pulled in black onlookers, a woman in Navajo dress and the two ARA girls with garlands in their hair. When a rabbi blew the shofar, whoops rang out. A sign proclaimed, "How good it is for brothers to live in unity."

[snip] "In contrast, members of Congregation Zion's Sake, a messianic synagogue in Newport News, consider a face-to-face confrontation with the Nazis vital.

“History teaches us that we can't just stand by and let it go,” Rabbi Eric Carlson said of the decision to protest within 250 yards of the Nazis. “Apathy doesn't make it go away.”

Where, in any of those quotes, can the average person tell that these were not Jews? Where, in any of those quotes, can the average person tell that this is not a real rabbi? Where, in any of those quotes, can the average person tell that a fraud is being perpetrated on the public?

Where, in any of those quotes, is a mention that Zion's Sake is one of the ministries of the World Outreach Worship Center, an evangelical Christian church?

You can't get much more Christian than being part of a church—and yet this fraud of "Jewishness" is the label taken for this fake "synagogue" used by this "spokesman" for Jews at an anti-Nazi rally in Yorktown. Zion's Sake even holds its services in the World Outreach church twice-weekly: On Fridays, the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, and on Wednesdays, because—because—well, I'm sorry, there are no worship services on Wednesdays (except for the thrice-daily services that religious Jews attend) in the Jewish religion, so I'm at a loss for the reason behind the midweek service. Perhaps it's their weekly Bible discussion. The part that isn't in the Torah.

Okay, now you're really being mean. And hard on us. How do you expect the average non-Jew to understand the intricacies of religion that you know because you're educated about it?

Well, there's a pretty easy test. Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Christians do. It's as simple as that, even if the Christians are calling themselves "messianic Jews" or "Jews for Jesus" or "Hebrew Christians."

Fine, but that's just your opinion. Most of these are people are Jews, too. You don't have the right to say Jews can't worship as they please!

Actually, most of these people are not Jews. Zion's Sake brags about how its 120-member congregation is 34% Jewish; which makes 66% of the "messianic Jews" Christian. Forty out of 120 worshippers is not something to be proud of. And I would not be at all surprised to discover the percentage of Jews in Christian churches is even lower than their ministers claim once you go by matrilineal descent, which is the rule of Jewish law. I can't find the cite, but I read that the percentage of Jews in the average "messianic congregation" is in the low twenty percent mark.

I would also point out that an organization that is 66% Christian, with 34% of its membership having once been Jewish but now worshipping in a Christian church (in spite of its name) would have to be called, well, Christian. And that's not just my opinion. The Supreme Court of Israel has ruled that a Jew who accepts Jesus as the Messiah is not a Jew, but belongs to another faith.

Okay, so maybe these guys aren't Jews after all.

Gee, ya think?

So what is it that gets you so upset about them? Why do you get so bent out of shape over "messianic Jews"?

They're not Jews. They lie about their membership. They lie about their methods. They lie about their connection to Christian churches. They lie about their purpose. They lie about their worship. They lie about their Jewishness. They lie about their relationship to Judaism. They lie to their own membership, most of whom (the Christian members) would be stunned to learn that you cannot be a Christian Jew. And they lie to draw Jews into their churches.

"Messianic" congregations are based on lies, their leaders utter lies every day, and these lies are picked up by the ignorant and passed along as truth.

The ultimate goal of "messianic" Jewish organizations is the conversion of all Jews to Christianity. That is why they were created. That is why they exist. Their goal is the destruction of my religion, and of my people.

How can I not get upset about that? How can I not insist, even though it causes the end of a friendship, on telling the truth about these frauds who seek the eradication of Judaism?

For those out there who say that the "messianic" organizations are doing it out of love, let me ask a question: If you kill something out of hatred and anger, or you kill it out of love, is it any less dead?

These people want to terminate my identity. Yeah, I have a problem with that. I have a big problem with that.

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Two quick links

Havel Havalim # 32, which could effectively be called the Carnival of the Jooos, is at Bloghead this week.

Lair Simon made it through the Blogathon alive. You can still contribute. He's raised $2,875 so far, let's see if we can't nudge that up to three grand by tomorrow. Lair raised the second-highest total of the Blogathon. Way to go, Lair! And thank you, kittycats.

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Yes, that's an evocative word, probably going to piss off a few of my Presbyterian readers. It isn't meant for the congregants and ministers who voted against the measure. It isn't meant for the congregants and ministers who didn't want the measure passed, but had no chance to vote for it. It isn't meant for the congregants who didn't even know their church was trying to destroy Israel's ability to defend herself. They are threatening to divest from companies that supply defense capability to Israel.

It is meant for the Presbyterian leaders that are moving ahead with their plan to militarily isolate Israel in spite of the strides being made. It is meant for the Presbyterians that are ignoring any context behind why the separation barrier exists, and demanding only that it come down, and if it does not come down, then they will work to ensure the destruction of the Israel's ability to defend herself. It is meant for the leaders whom Doug L. mentions in this letter:

It won't be good for your blood pressure but read today's NYT, page 1: the Presbyterian Church announces it is going forward with its crush Israel/divestment campaign.

My next door neighbor belongs to the local Presbyterian Church and he is aghast (he's a strong supporter of Israel). He says this has happened because the national office of the Presbyterian Church has been captured by pacifists. That's plausible. Pacifists don't make moral distinctions (like - terrorists killing civilians, bad, killing terrorists, good) but just say all killing is bad regardless of the reason. Personally, I've always thought that was President Carter's problem, that he is a pacifist at heart, which is why he always, without fail, finds some reason to condemn the use of military force by the US or anyone else for any reason. Anyway, sound the alarm. Whether the goo-goos at the Presbyterian Church are pacifists or followers of Himmler, they are serving an evil cause.

What's a poor Jewish boy to do? The mainstream Protestant Churches want to see Israel driven into the sea. And the evangelical Protestant churches want to teach their interpretation of Genesis in public school science classes. I guess between the two, I worry more about the folks who are trying to kill me than the ones trying to convert me.

Funny you should mention the ones who want to convert us, Doug, because that subject is next on my list of posts for the day. Stay tuned.

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Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary is also a good bet if you've never been here before.