Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

Another reason to thank Poland

Poland was often called "The First Ally" by the British historian Norman Davies in his book "Rising ’44" about Warsaw Uprising in August of 1944.  The Poles stay true to this history of theirs (via Gateway Pundit):

Polish MEPs demand from EU to regard Hezbollah as terrorist organization. It will be easier to invigilate them and monitor their financial transfers in EU – says Konrad Szymański (PiS), on of campaign initiators.

Hezbollach is listed as terrorist organization in US, UK and Israel. Brussels objected such decision so far. Some other organizations, as Council of Europe is against any terrorist lists at all, because people being charged for relations with terrorism do not have possibility to defend themselves. On the other hand experts say that Hezbollah gathers money in EU member states. Last days, Bulgarian parliamentary committee revealed that Bulgarian mafia bosses financed Hezbollah.

Szymanski states, that Hezbollah’s activity destabilizes situation not only in Lebanon or Israel, but also at the whole Middle East. First step of campaign will be debate on forum of European Parliament. Such proposal, signed by 40 MEPs should be filed in coming days.

Dzenkue, pan Szymanski (thank you, Mr. Szymanski).

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April 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What’s at Stake for the West in Lebanon?

That is the title of the article from the Middle East Forum:

David Wurmser is a specialist on the Middle East and served as an advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney until recently. His prior positions included special assistant to John R. Bolton at the Department of State and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Wurmser is the author of numerous influential papers and three books, including Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein (AEI Press, 1999). In 2000, he contributed to the Middle East Forum’s Lebanon Study Group report, "Ending Syria’s Occupation of Lebanon: The U.S. Role," which condemned Syria’s occupation of Lebanon. He received a Ph.D. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Wurmser addressed the Middle East Forum on March 6, 2008 in New York City.

"Iran’s Stake in the Levant"

Mr. Wurmser calls Lebanon a "key battleground between the West as a whole and the forces that seek to drag the Middle East down." The situation in Lebanon must be viewed in the context of the larger conflict in the region, which is becoming far more dangerous. Two years after the Cedar Revolution in March 2005, which was brought on by the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese are still living through a tragedy. The inability to install a new president today is indicative of the situation. It is because of the size and success of the popular demonstrations by the Lebanese, however, that Lebanon has become the focal point of the enemies of the West, namely Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

Mr. Wurmser focused on the Iranian strategy toward Lebanon, arguing that Iran is undergoing a transformation, not in the direction of reform as the West hopes, but from a pure theocracy toward a "theofascist state on the edge of an even more aggressive foreign policy." This transformation in Iranian politics, according to Mr. Wurmser, is being played out in Lebanon and in Gaza.

Top American officials have made statements to the effect that U.S. and U.N. sanctions have hurt the Iranian regime, and that the support for former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and other figures deemed "moderate" in the December 2006 elections indicated the weakening of the Iranian regime. Mr. Wurmser asserts that this perception is false because it ignores the real indicators. Rather, a new power structure is emerging in Iran that is closely aligned with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For example, Ahmadinejad fired many government officials and replaced them with a group of hard-core members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Mr. Wurmser singled out Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejehei, whom Ahmadinejad placed in control of Intelligence, who espouses an aggressive anti-Western foreign policy and supports terrorism; and Saeed Jalili, whom Ahmadinejad appointed as head nuclear negotiator for Iran, is a veteran of the IRGC who was mutilated in the Iran-Iraq war.

Mr. Wurmser traced several of Ahmadinejad’s actions to Jalili’s 1990 book, Foreign Policy of the Prophet, arguing that Jalili’s writings, though they describe the time of Muhammad, are a blueprint for Iran today. Jalili cites an episode in which Muhammad told his followers to proselytize, not negotiate. In this spirit, Ahmedinejad has fired ambassadors and replaced them with more proselytizing ones. Jalili wrote about how Muhammad and his successors sent letters out to other tribes telling them to "convert or you will face the sword," as well as to major powers in Byzantium and Persia. Mr. Wurmser linked this to Ahmedinejad’s sending similar letters to President Bush. He pointed out how the "language is lifted straight out of Jalili’s book, and that, in fact, "Jalili is the mind behind Ahmedinejad."

Read it all.  It’s important.

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April 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

How many anti-Semites…

…does it take to convince American Jews to stop voting for Democrats?  The answer is not known: it hasn’t been done yet.  But here is an interesting link via Atlas Shrugs:

A Threat To Jews Who Would Abandon Obama

April 7, 2008

Hat tip Cyberella

Here’s a “gem” from a blog on the Barack Obama web site.

This person has it all backwards. It was the Jews who stuck out their necks for the blacks in the civil rights movement. Two of them got killed for it. And what do we get? We get Jesse Jackson with his Hymietown comment. We have Al Sharpton, who incited mobs to kill the Jewish owners of Freddie’s Fashion Mart in Harlem, and the “diamond dealing” Jews of Crown Heights. We have Louis Farrakhan who called Judaism a gutter religion, and who called Hitler a “great man.” And most recently, we have B. Hussein’s beloved pastor whose church published a Hamas screed.


Obamanism is the cure for Clintonitis that has devastated America and I hope Jews all over US rally around Obama and support him to win both the nomination and the Presidency because after he wins, he would help the Jews and Israel as well as settle the Middle East problems.

However, if Jews betray Obama and he loses, Africans worldwide would consider it a betrayal to the whole African people and will never forgive world Jewry.

In retaliation, (eye for eye, remember!) Africa would consider expelling all Jews from Africa who have been mining African Gold and Diamond and enriching themselves for many centuries.

It was African gold and diamond that built international finance, trade and banking that the Jews (Rothschild, Warbug, Rockefeller and others) dominate.

It was African gold and diamond that built Jewish banks and wealth worldwide.

Thousands of years ago, when Jews were starving and nearly perished in Palestine, they took refuge in Egypt, Africa.

If Egypt and Africa did not feed the Jews, perhaps there would be no Jews today.

Jews also took all Egyptian and African science, technology and religious knowledge that have helped them to develop themselves and to get to where they are today: on top of most of the industries and corporations all over the world.

Jews owe Africa and Africans everything they have today because if Africa did not shelter them when they were homeless and starving, they would not be here today.

If Africa did not give them their religion, Judaism and science and technology of the ancient astronaut Anunnaki’s gods, they probably would have not prospered.

If Jews betray Africans by betraying Obama, there would be grave consequences that would shake the foundation of Earth.

Let Jews remember who their best friend is!

Hundreds of years ago during the Inquisition in Europe, the Catholic Church slaughtered Jews in Spain and all over Europe and forced most of them to convert to Christianity to stay alive.

Moreover, during World war 2, Hitler and his Nazi regime gassed and slaughtered them too.

When they escaped to America, they met opposition and discrimination everywhere.

They had to hustle to survive.

Again, Africa helped them by allowing them to continue mining all their gold and diamond.

African gold and diamond are the foundation of the wealth of world Jewry.

Abraham Foxman, we hope you remember that!

The only people who have been nice to Jews have been Africans.

It is now payback time and Africans hope you would not bite the hands that fed you and made you rich and the envy of the world today.

I hope Jews Against Obama will forgive for posting this post in its entirety here: there is nothing to excerpt.  And I am linking to that site anyway.  As for the Jews who vote for Democrats, at least they should know who they are voting for.  Although, I suspect that they would vote for a candidate named Adolf Hitler if he had (D) next to his name.

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April 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Character matters

I think I got this from Bookworm, but I am not sure:

Back in 1996 and 1997, before John McCain was a presidential candidate or object of media fascination, Michael Lewis followed the Arizona senator around as he campaigned for Bob Dole and worked to reform campaign-finance laws. Lewis’ pieces for the New Republic and the New York Times Magazine portrayed McCain as a passionate, cantankerous, astonishingly honest political character who frequently acted in ways that brought him no political gain. In the recent back-and-forth over whether McCain is a regular politician or a true outlier, we remembered a wonderful moment from Lewis’ 1997 New York Times Magazine profile of McCain, "The Subversive." The passage below comes at the very end of Lewis’ article.

By 7:30 we were on the road, and McCain was reminiscing about his early political career. When he was elected to the House in 1982, he said, he was "a freshman right-wing Nazi." But his visceral hostility toward Democrats generally was quickly tempered by his tendency to see people as individuals and judge them that way. He was taken in hand by Morris Udall, the Arizona congressman who was the liberal conscience of the Congress and a leading voice for reform. (Most famously—and disastrously for his own career—Udall took aim at the seniority system that kept young talent in its place at the end of the dais. "The longer you’re here, the more you’ll like it," he used to joke to incoming freshmen.)

"Mo reached out to me in 50 different ways," McCain recalled. "Right from the start, he’d say: ‘I’m going to hold a press conference out in Phoenix. Why don’t you join me?’ All these journalists would show up to hear what Mo had to say. In the middle of it all, Mo would point to me and say, ‘I’d like to hear John’s views.’ Well, hell, I didn’t have any views. But I got up and learned and was introduced to the state." Four years later, when McCain ran for and won Barry Goldwater’s Senate seat, he said he felt his greatest debt of gratitude not to Goldwater—who had shunned him—but to Udall. "There’s no way Mo could have been more wonderful," he says, "and there was no reason for him to be that way."

For the past few years, Udall has lain ill with Parkinson’s disease in a veterans hospital in Northeast Washington, which is where we were heading. Every few weeks, McCain drives over to pay his respects. These days the trip is a ceremony, like going to church, only less pleasant. Udall is seldom conscious, and even then he shows no sign of recognition. McCain brings with him a stack of newspaper clips on Udall’s favorite subjects: local politics in Arizona, environmental legislation, Native American land disputes, subjects in which McCain initially had no particular interest himself. Now, when the Republican senator from Arizona takes the floor on behalf of Native Americans, or when he writes an op-ed piece arguing that the Republican Party embrace environmentalism, or when the polls show once again that he is Arizona’s most popular politician, he remains aware of his debt to Arizona’s most influential Democrat.

Read it all.  Character does matter.  This is why I respect and admire John McCain.  This is also why I voted for him in 2000 Primary.  And this is why I will vote for him in November with absolutely no hesitation, despite whatever political disagreements I might have with the man.

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April 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Engineers – into politics!

Back in the 1930s there was a slogan in the Stalin’s Soviet Union: "Komsomol members!  Man your airplanes!"  So now, similarly to that one, I decided to issue my own: "Engineers – into politics!"  Admittedly, this call is not the one I would myself heed.  Nor would many of my fellow engineers be likely to do it.  Because, although there many problems that need to be solved, and engineers are usually good at solving problems, there is much more to politics than just problem solving:

SAN FRANCISCO — Engineers elsewhere apply their talents to the political sphere, but those in the United States, unfortunately, don’t–and there are no signs the situation will change anytime soon. The overwhelming majority of American engineers choose industry and business, not government or policy, as their rightful place, even as their counterparts around the globe see no conflict between politics and their profession.


Engineers in China are acknowledged as key players in the country’s rapid economic rise. They’re overrepresented in the Chinese Politburo and among government ministers, said William Wulf, president emeritus of the National Academy of Engineering and a professor at the University of Virginia.

Their role on the political stage is a reason for the country’s success. "That’s a real part of why China is doing so well," Wulf said. Lawyers predominate in American government, and while their solutions often address the immediate problems, they don’t give much thought to future implications, he said.

The engineering mindset tends to focus on the long term. When you build a bridge that will be there for 100 years, you have to think about its impact, and its ability to absorb future traffic growth and adapt to new kinds of transport. "A lot of what we’re seeing in China’s astounding growth is that sort of long-term thinking," Wulf said.

There was a time when engineers played a greater role in U.S. public policy. NASA program directors–technocrats in the broadest sense–worked to get funding for the U.S. space program at its inception in the late 1950s. But even that effort doesn’t match the role engineers are playing in other countries, according to Wulf.

"Maybe they were program directors in NASA, but they weren’t in Congress, and you wouldn’t have heard them opining about the economy," he said. If not politically inclined, then what are engineers? In their own words, they’re logical, detail oriented and methodical. The profession attracts those who don’t mind working on their own and who are confident–maybe overconfident–about their own abilities, said Vivek Wadhwa, a Harvard University fellow and professor at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering.

"Common traits of engineers are that they tend to be introverts, they tend to be arrogant, they tend to be proud. That’s the stereotypical engineer," said Wadhwa, a former tech entrepreneur who started his career as a programmer.

Their primary characteristics are a love of detail and the ability to work independently, he said. "You start your career writing code or doing other types of design work. For the first few years, you’re really on your own. It’s not a social profession," Wadhwa said.


In Islamic and developing countries, engineering and medicine are the proven paths to success. Subjects such as social science, psychology or business are considered luxuries, Sahimi said. Drastically different social conditions mean the equation isn’t the same here. The United States has a large middle class, a democratic society and a developed economy.

"In the U.S., people who study engineering have the same characteristics [as engineers in the developing world], but they may not go into politics precisely because of the conditions the U.S. has," Sahimi said.

The view of the profession as a respected path toward success is shared by U.S. immigrants, according to Natalie Forood, a software manager at Ruckus Wireless in Silicon Valley. Forood, who emigrated from Ukraine at age seven, is the daughter and niece of engineers.

Having seen successful women engineers in Ukraine, and with encouragement to do well in math from her EE father, Forood felt confident she could grasp technical concepts. It wasn’t easy, though. Engineers need perseverance, she said. "An important trait in order to succeed in this field is to be persistent, and to work really hard at understanding concepts," she said.

A logical mind and the ability to think ahead are critical. It’s like a chess game, where you have to figure out what you’re going to do based on what your opponent is going to do, Forood said. The abilities to cope with pressure, to focus and to work hard are common personality traits in the profession, she added.

Forood disputed a common criticism made of engineers–that they think in black-and-white and narrowly focus on one solution. On the contrary, engineers collaborate, she said. "What I’ve observed is that people discuss several approaches and come up with the best one," she said.

The stereotype of engineers as more conservative than other professionals is based in reality, though, according to Forood. "By nature, I think most engineers are more reserved and cautious than people in other professions," she said. You don’t see many engineers doing extreme sports, for example, Forood said. They’re aware of the risks and aren’t willing to take them.

Nevertheless, being cautious or introverted shouldn’t stop engineers from playing a role on the larger stage of government, according to NEA president emeritus Wulf. The United States would be better off if they did, he said.

Only been two U.S. presidents, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter, were engineers, Wulf pointed out. The typical engineering attitude to a public-policy issue is, "Oh, that’s not a technical problem, so I have nothing to contribute," he said.

But in Wulf’s view, engineers have expertise in other matters, whether they acknowledge it or not. In one nontechnical area in particular–immigration and visas–engineers have plenty to contribute, he said.

"They have been essentially mute," Wulf said. "The contribution of foreign-born engineers has been profound. Somehow, legal and illegal immigration have been conflated in some people’s minds, and I think it’s just shooting ourselves in the foot."

Other countries benefit from engineers’ brainpower at the public-policy level and the United States could, too, he said. "In reality, they often have a lot to contribute. And in places like China, France and much of Latin America, they do contribute," Wulf said.

Now, at least one of the examples of US Presidents who were engineers suggests that perhaps it would be best if engineers stayed out of politics.  And no, I am not talking about Hoover.  But then, my grandpa often quoted one of his teachers who would always tell those students who failed a test: "You will never become a good engineer.  You might become a Chief Engineer."  So, maybe Jimmy Carter falls into that category of engineers.  Or maybe he simply did not understand that there are things beyond his control, and there are people who are not rational.  Anyway, do read the article.

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April 13, 2008 Posted by | Engineering | Leave a comment