Thursday, November 24, 2011

My annual Thanksgiving post

Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday.  So, what am I thankful for?  I am thankful for my family, for my wonderful wife and 2 beautiful girls.  I am also thankful for the generally pretty good life I have.  But who should I thank for all this?  The religious people thank G-d for all their blessings.  But I am not religious enough in order to do that.  And then it dawned on me.  I should thank this wonderful country called United States of America and its wonderful people.

So, thank you, America, for existing, for being a beacon of freedom in the world where freedom is far from being commonplace.  Thank you for making freedom your “national idea”, if you will.

Thank you, American Armed Forces, past and present, for ensuring our safety and, as my kids would put it, "fighting the bad guys".  It is you, who defends our freedom and wonderful opportunities this country provides.

Thank you, America, for accepting me as your own.  You welcomed me, my family and friends and made us all Americans, part of your great people.  You accept anybody who is willing to be accepted.  You made acceptance and tolerance part of your ideology too.

Finally, thank you, America, for defending “liberty and justice for all” all over the world.  Your young people volunteer to go and fight for what’s right and moral.  If I were 25 years younger I would have joined them (lame excuse really, but that’s the only one I have).  Winston Churchill once said: “The Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they had exhausted all other possibilities”.  He knew what he was talking about.  It is only natural to try “all other possibilities”: people always look for easy solutions.  But in the end Americans do the right thing, no matter what the cost, for doing the right thing is a part of American ideology too.

Thank you, America.

This is a modified WW2 poster.  The modern American soldiers in Iraq were added to the original by the San Diego Chapter of Protest Warrior.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Can this happen in America?

After my Hillbuz fiasco I made a new blog friend and added 2 new links to my blogroll.  So, I’d like to discuss a post on each of these blogs.  One post is this, on Fuzzy Logic:

If this doesn't scare you, nothing will.  From Politico's Bill Daley interview:

“And all President Obama has to do to achieve this [times "better" than the past three years] is make a startling end run around not just the Republicans but also the Democrats, in Congress.

All he has to do, Daley says, is operate in domestic affairs with the same speed, power and independence that he possesses in foreign and military affairs.”

Go read it all.  And follow the links there.  One in particular takes you to the Glenn Beck TV segment, where Beck demonstrates how some Democrats encourage Obama to circumvent the Constitution, and Obama is quite willing to do so.  Then go to this post on Legal Insurrection:

Sometimes the Editorial Board of The NY Times gets it right, even if for the wrong reasons, as in this editorial, The Court and the Next President:

When Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. began the new Supreme Court term by congratulating Antonin Scalia on his 25th anniversary as a justice, it was a reminder that Justice Scalia is now 75 as is Anthony Kennedy and that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 78.

Since 80 is the average retirement age of justices over the past generation, whoever is elected president could shape the court for the next generation….

That’s about as much as The Times’ editors get right, and the rest of the editorial is devoted to bashing Republican candidates and the conservatives on the Court.

Again, read this one in full.  And then think of these two in combination.  Can you imagine what will happen if Obama gets a chance to pack the Supreme Court, like FDR did?  So, for those who want a Conservative nominee, go ahead and support whoever you like in the Primaries, but once the nominee is chosen, support that nominee.  It does not even matter if whoever is nominated and hopefully wins, nominates to the Court Justices as liberal as Obama would.  Because hopefully whoever that will be, it will not be Obama.  If you wait for some “real Conservative” to come along in 2016, and let Obama win in the meantime, you may not get a chance in 2016!  The scariest part of that Glenn Beck segment is the moment when Obama says that it is tempting to change laws without Congressional approval, his audience cheers him on, chanting: “Yes, you can!”  There is enough people in this country apparently that seem to think that giving the President that much power is a good thing.  History is my hobby, and so I can think of one historical analogy in particular: the Enabling Act.  Think this can’t happen in America?  Would you like to take that chance?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Being attacked unfairly sucks, …

… especially by someone on your side.  Now I know how the Soviet soldiers escaping from Nazi POW camps felt when they were accused of treason and sent to GULAG or shot upon reaching their own lines.  Well, obviously what happened to me is not quite that bad, but unfair and unwarranted accusation still hurts, especially since it would only take about 5 minutes for the person doing the accusing to clear the matter, if he would only bother to do so.  All he had to do was to follow the link to this blog provided with that original comment.

Here is what happened.  A couple of days ago I posted a comment on one of the blogs I like, Hillbuz, expressing concern about Conservatives (and Hillbuz owner Kevin in particular) attacking Romney incessantly and refusing to support him under any circumstances.  Here is the blog post on which I commented.  Below is the text of my comment:

Romney is definitely not my first choice. I like Cane. But what are you going to do if he does get nominated? Any of the Republican candidates is much better than Obama, including even Ron Paul with his isolationist/McGovern-like foreign policy. I'd like to remind you of Reagan's "11th commandment": never speak ill of a fellow Republican. Right now all these attacks on Romney make it much easier for Obama to win, should Romney get the nomination. Ultimately we all want Obama to lose in 2012. So, he is the one we need to attack. People were saying that McCain or Hillary were Obama-light. But any "Obama-light" would be infinitely better than "Obama-full version".

I got much more than just a comment in response.  I got a full front page dressing down.  Go ahead and read it in full.  In short, Kevin accused me of being paid Romney campaign operative trolling his blog.  He then came up with very strange theories about who I am and what I do, including some devious explanation of why I misspelled Herman Cain’s last name (it was simply a stupid mistake not caught by the spell checker).  Only one commenter on that post seemed to be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt.  I thank her for that.  Kevin then proceeded to block me from commenting on his blog, leaving me no way to respond to his accusations.  So, I am going to post my response here, exactly as I would on his blog.  Maybe someone might read it here and then let Kevin know about it.  So, here goes:

Wow, front page dressing down for my little comment!  And here I just subscribed to replies in the comments section.  Sorry, it took me 2 days to reply.  But, here it is.

Who I am is easily established: the link to my blog was provided in the original comment.  But maybe that link somehow did not come through.  So, here it is again:  And, Kevin, you surely got my personal e-mail, since I did enter it when I wrote that original comment.  How many trolls do you know that give you their personal e-mails?  That one wasn't even web mail, it was the one that goes straight to the hard drive of my home computer.  The IP might have been a little funky, since, if I remember correctly, I wrote that original comment at work, during my lunch hour.  But this one is straight from home.  Go ahead, check the IP.  I don't know who is your blog space provider, but I use Wordpress.  They send all that information in the e-mail.  Incidentally, about work and that "steady paycheck".  I do get it, as an Electronics Engineer, designing electronics for a medical equipment company.  That is also easily established from my blog (the part about me being an Electronics Engineer that is).  Incidentally, if you go there, you might read what I wrote about your blog when I added it to my blogroll.  Hint: I like your blog.  You might also learn why Obama's second term, unrestrained by the necessity to run for re-election, scares the hell out of me.  But for those who for whatever reason don't want to take time to go to my blog I'll spell it out here.  You see, I was born and grew up in the former Soviet Union.  I came to this country in 1989 at the age of 25.  So, I know exactly where the Left is trying to take this country because I've been there before.  You think what Obama is doing now is bad?  You haven't seen nothing yet.  Unrestrained by the need to appeal to the mainstream Americans, even those left of center, he will really show his true colors.  And his supporters on the Left will really push for his cult of personality.  You've seen some hints of this: children singing songs about him, children's book about how great he was as a child.  That is scary.  The books like that one I've read back when I was a kid.  They were about Lenin.  If G-d forbid, Democrats regain the majority in the House, I believe they will attempt to repeal the 22nd Amendment, the one limiting the Presidency to 2 terms.

Obama needs to be defeated at all cost.  He just has to be out of the White House, thrown back to Chicago (sorry, Kevin, that you have to share the same city with him).  Part of what scares me about possible Romney's nomination (and it is a possibility) is that enough Conservatives will not vote for him and give Obama the 2nd term.  That's how McCain was defeated.  That, and also enough people believed media lies about Sarah Palin.  For the record, she would make a great President.  But she was right not to run because all the lies about her simply could not be undone.  And I never called McCain or Hillary "Obama-lite".  I have just said that other Conservatives did.  But you see, people like you and I, McCain and Hillary, Herman Cain and Romney, all agree on goals: to keep our country free, prosperous and secure.  We might just disagree on the best way of achieving these goals.  Although, in the case of you and I, even those disagreements virtually non-existent.  You would know that if you ever take time to look at my blog.  But Obama is different.  His goal is to turn this country into that other one that I left 22 years ago.  That is why I will support anybody who runs against him.  And that brings us to that disagreement between us that started this whole conversation.  You are willing to vote for 3rd party, thereby giving Obama the 2nd term.  You prefer to wait until 2016, when hopefully a real Conservative comes along.  Let me spell it out for you and all the other Conservatives that share your view on this: YOU MAY NOT GET A CHANCE IN 2016!  Go ahead, call me a paranoid right-winger.  Tell me that it can't happen in this country.  Right now there are just baby steps in that direction: Obama's appointment of various "czars", some Democrats suggesting to suspend elections or rule by decree.  And that is while he still has to run for re-election.  What do you think will happen when he does not have to run?  Do you think that in 1933 Germany there were no people waiting for the next elections?  In fact, that was probably the majority: Hitler's party won only plurality of the votes.  Yes, I am comparing Obama to Hitler.  Not because his policies are genocidal, but because Obama's economic policies closely resemble German version of socialism at that time.  As for the other areas of resemblance, that may still come.  His "Occupy whatever" buddies are already ranting about Jewish bankers.  In case you are wondering, yes, I am Jewish.  But then, you would know it from my blog, wouldn't you?

So, you don't like Romney? Fine! Mount a primary challenge in 2016. Or get a decent Democrat to run against him. Perhaps Hillary might decide to try again. Just get Obama out! He is very dangerous to this country.

Well, I hope you will admit that you were wrong in accusing me of being a troll.  Jumping to conclusions like that, accusing someone of some insidious conspiracy?  That is something I would expect from the Left, not from you.  Perhaps, after a little research you will discover that the comment on Romney was not the first one I made on your blog.  Perhaps also you might decide to reciprocate the link I have to your blog.  But if not, that's OK.  I'll still keep the link to your blog on mine.  You probably wouldn't care: I don't get nearly as many hits as you do.  But, like I said, I like your blog, and that link is a convenient bookmark.

Best regards,


So, what do you think?  Will Kevin admit that he was wrong?

Monday, September 5, 2011

20th Anniversary

20 years ago the old Soviet Union effectively disintegrated.  Yes, it did last as a country till the end of 1991, but by the early September this disintegration was a done deal.  Jewish Russian Telegraph is linking to an article on the subject and asking whether it was worth it:

As Muammar Gaddafi's rule crumbles in Libya, the anniversary of another revolution is passing by almost unnoticed. In August 1991, a cabal of Kremlin hardliners moved against Mikhail Gorbachev, whose reforms they saw as weakening state power and giving too much autonomy to the Soviet Union's constituent republics. Gorbachev was detained on a Crimean vacation and officially declared to be taking a health-related leave of absence, with an eight-man State of Emergency Committee taking the reins of power. After three tense days that saw tanks in Moscow's streets and a deadly clash between Soviet troops and pro-democracy protesters, the coup failed, and the fallout helped hasten the end of the communist regime and the Soviet empire.

In my opinion, it was definitely worth it, especially for the Russians and other residents of the former Soviet Union.  Although, I believe that it would have been easier for our government here in America to deal with a single entity, if a democratic Soviet Union was ever possible, the disintegrated Soviet Union is better than a totalitarian regime that existed before fall of 1991.  And despite the authoritarian tendencies existing in Russia today, modern Russia is much more free than the old Soviet Union ever was.  Russian nationalism is dangerous, but perhaps the good life made possible by the market economy will keep the dangerous tendencies in check.

Mob boss or Union boss?

Is there any difference?  Especially, in light of Jimmy Hoffa Jr’s rhetoric:

Cranking up the anti-Tea Party rhetoric, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa called on workers to "take these son-of-a-bitches out" as he warmed up a crowd Monday in Detroit ahead of President Obama's Labor Day speech.

But then, historically the mafia connection was always there.  And, with rhetoric like this, Jimmy Hoffa Jr. was practically asking for this connection to be brought up.

Engineers and technically illiterate politicians

As an engineer, I often get frustrated when politicians make pronouncements on some technical issues.  I often know for a fact that what they might be saying is idiotic, and they have no idea what they are talking about.  Technical progress does not happen because politicians just wish for it.  And physics cannot conform to political sound bytes.  Turns out, I am not the only engineer frustrated with technical illiteracy of the politicians.  Here is an article in EE Times:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard reach 54.5 miles/gallon by 2025 (so many significant figures in that goal—the precision is truly admirable!). Before you say "huh?", note that this goal has many loopholes, subclauses, and qualifiers, befitting a number set by bureaucrats, see here.

Read it all.  While you are at it, check out this comic relief.  Whatever this comedian says about marketing and management, applies to politicians ten-fold.

Links updated

After long period of neglect it was finally time to update my links.  Some links that no longer worked got deleted.  Some new links got added.  All the new links are worth checking out.  The ones I’d like to mention separately are:

Citizen’s Magazine, maintained by a guy from Odessa, like myself;

HillBuzz, by former Democrats who after 2008 elections realized that the Democratic Party they used to support was very different from the leftist monstrosity it has become lately.

One interesting thing about HillBuzz authors is that the core authors is a Gay couple who used to support Hillary Clinton.  They seem to have no problems with religious Christians who might not approve of their lifestyle, but agree with them on all the other issues.  Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that this Gay couple realizes that the religious Christians, while might voice their disapproval, will never do anything beyond that.  On the other hand, we are facing the enemies that will kill them for their lifestyle.  Add to this the fact that Socialism creates misery equally for everybody, Gay or straight, and you have a couple of Gays who are just as Right-Wing as I am: real liberals.

In light of the HillBuzz story, it is worth mentioning one of the deleted links, Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs.  Immediately after 9/11 Charles was instrumental in starting anti-jihadi blogosphere.  However, toward the end of Bush’s term he started vicious arguments on his blog with whoever he perceived not polite enough to our enemies.  He also found himself arguing with religious Christians over issues that were ultimately irrelevant to our struggle against those who want to kill us.  And he was willing to twist the facts and words of those who he disagreed with in order to advance his arguments.  For example, in one of his attacks on Glenn Beck he twisted Beck’s argument to make him into an idiot, even though Beck was arguing the same point Charles was.  All right, I’ll mention what it was about.  Back then some video appeared on Youtube about some FEMA camps.  The argument was made that Obama was preparing concentration camps.  Glenn Beck showed the video on his program and then proceeded to talk about ridiculousness of this conspiracy theory, even bringing in experts to explain how ridiculous this theory about Obama preparing concentration camps was.  For the record, I have no love for Obama administration and I do believe that comparisons between this administration economic policies and National-Socialist economic policies have merit.  And there is no conspiracy in it.  But that particular conspiracy theory was indeed ridiculous.  Charles Johnson and Glenn Beck both pointed that out.  But Beck also showed that Youtube video on his program in order to illustrate what he was talking about.  Charles posted about it on his blog, portraying Beck as a supporter of the conspiracy theory he was arguing against.  Well, anybody can make a mistake.  But I saw that particular Beck’s program.  So, I made a comment on Charles’s blog, pointing out his mistake.  It did not matter: Charles continued piling on Beck.  Lately Charles’s blog degenerated into vicious attacks against anybody who disagrees with him personally.  So, I am not going to link to his blog any longer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My comments on women in combat

Bookworm linked to an interesting article analyzing the possible performance of female members of  American military in combat.  While it is obvious to any sane individual that lowering standards in order to allow women to participate in combat will be deadly, it is useful to look at historical examples of women in combat and analyze possible advantages that women might have over men.  These historical examples do not need to be from some ancient history.  World War 2 examples are very relevant for this purpose.

1st, let’s mention something that, while extremely dangerous, does not necessarily involve direct combat: intelligence and sabotage work.  Here is one example, but really, to list them all a book is required.  The advantages are obvious: women often attract less suspicion than men.  And, while such operations often do not involve direct combat, they come very close to what often Special Forces do.

2nd example is snipers.  Female snipers were quite numerous in the Soviet Army during World War 2.  The most famous one was Lyudmila Pavlichenko.  During defense of Odessa and Sevastopol she was credited with 309 kills.  There were others: Marie Ljalkova, Ziba Ganiyeva, Nina Lobkovskaya and Tanya Baramzina.  These are just the ones I found in Wikipedia.  There were much more, it’s just too hard to find info on them.  However, according to the Wikipedia articles I found, the Soviets had Central Women’s Sniper Training School, so obviously there were more than I listed.  Do women make better snipers than men?  Well, it is quite possible: they tend to be more patient in stalking their prey.  Indeed, in the animal kingdom it is often female species who are hunters (lions, for example).  The modern example is the story about female snipers hired by the Chechen fighters in North Caucasus.  While it is hard to say whether the story is true, this certainly seems plausible.

3rd example is perhaps the most famous one.  The Soviets had 3 female Air Force regiments: 586th Fighter, 587 Bomber and 588 Night Bomber.  The 586th Fighter Regiment was assigned to air defense duties for covering rear areas from German attacks.  As such, it saw less combat than a front line unit would, although it participated with distinction in the Battle of Stalingrad.  However, a couple of girls were transferred to the regular (male) front line units, and there they showed what they were capable of.  Lilya Litvyak scored 11 personal kills, plus 3 shared, while Katya Budanova seems to be credited with 11 kills total.  These results were achieved in less than a year: unfortunately both girls were killed in combat.  In addition, Lilya Litvyak had another unusual kill to her credit, which showed some out-of-the-box thinking.  As described in Anne Noggle’s “A Dance with Death”, at one point the Germans were using an observation balloon for artillery fire correction.  Nobody could take it out, as it was heavily protected by anti-aircraft fire.  Previous attempts to bring it down by the fighter aircraft were unsuccessful and resulted in losses for the Soviets.  Lilya volunteered to shoot it down.  Rather than attempting to fly toward the balloon directly, she crossed the front line some distance away from the balloon, where there were no anti-aircraft defenses.  Then she approached the balloon from the German side.  By the time the Germans realized what was happening and opened fire on her, the balloon was down, and Lilya was flying back to base.  I want to indulge a bit: here is the picture of the Yak-1 fighter Lilya was flying.


As a side note, Lilya Litvyak had a very good reason to fight the Nazis: ethnically she was at least half-Jewish.

But getting back to the subject at hand: do women make better fighter pilots?  Again, it’s quite possible.  First of all, they can be just as aggressive and competitive as men.  Second, there are evidence that women can sustain higher G-forces than men.  The reasons seem to be the facts that center of gravity of female body is proportionally lower than that of male (butt is wider than the upper body) and that women are usually shorter than men.  The fact that women are shorter means that the blood has less distance to travel toward the brain, making women less prone to blackouts.  That’s important because ability to make tighter turns at higher speeds gives tremendous advantage in air combat.

The most famous of the 3 female regiments was the 588 Night Bomber, better known as Night Witches.  It was later re-designated as 46th Guards Night Bomber Regiment.  The Guards designation meant that the regiment distinguished itself in combat.  Stalin was not known for political correctness in the modern sense, so the Guards designation was well deserved.  It was also the only one of the three that was 100% female.  That included armorers who had to attach rather heavy bombs to the aircraft, so the women came up with mechanisms to help them lift the bombs.  The other 2 regiments had some male personnel.  The Fighter Regiment had a male commander and some male ground personnel.  But it is the history of the 587th Bomber Regiment that demonstrates the capabilities and limitations of women in combat the best.

The 587th Bomber Regiment was commanded originally by Marina Raskova, who originally suggested to Stalin the formation of all-female Air Force regiments.  Unfortunately, Raskova did not live to lead her regiment into combat: she died in a flying accident before her regiment was deployed operationally.  Her replacement was a man, major Valentin Markov.  Just like the Night Bomber Regiment, the 587th was re-designated 125th Guards Bomber Regiment in 1943, which means that it was quite successful.  So, what was so special about this unit that might enable us to see the capabilities and limitations of women in combat?  We need to examine the aircraft flown by those brave ladies in order to understand that.

587th (later 125th Guards) Bomber Regiment was armed with Petlyakov Pe-2 aircraft, the main Soviet tactical bomber during the war.


Pe-2 was originally developed as a high altitude heavy fighter and designated VI-100 (VI stands for “Vysotny Istrebitel’” – High-altitude Fighter).  However, it was later decided to re-design it into a dive bomber.  As a dive bomber it was re-designated as Pe-2.  This aircraft was used for both dive bombing and level bombing.  It retained many of the fighter-like characteristics.  Indeed, its speed of 540km/h (335mph) exceeded that of many fighters in 1941.  Pe-2 had a crew of 3: pilot, navigator and radio operator-gunner.  The 2 forward-firing machine guns were fixed and fired by the pilot.  They were aimed just like in any fighter aircraft: by aiming the plane itself.  The dorsal gun, protecting the upper rear, was installed in a turret behind the pilot’s cockpit and fired by the navigator.  The radio operator-gunner fired the 3rd gun.  Its default position was ventral, protecting the lower rear.  It was also often used for strafing enemy on the ground.  However, this 3rd gun could be moved, as shown below.



This gun was quite heavy: either ShKAS or UB.  To be able to move it quickly, aim and fire required upper body strength.  That is why the position of radio operator-gunner was for the most part filled by men.  Women simply could not operate that gun effectively.

Finally, let’s analyze the problem that is not physical, but often brought up as a one of the reasons why women should not serve in combat units.  That problem is sexual tension.  As a side note, that is also often an argument against gays in the military.  Does this problem exist?  Sure, it does.  In fact, it could be argued that it led to Lilya Litvuak’s demise.  During Lilya’s time in 73rd GvIAP (Russian for Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment) she became romantically involved with another pilot, Alexey Solomatin.  Relationship was quite serious, and they got engaged.  Unfortunately, Solomatin was killed in an accident, while he was training a new pilot.  Lilya became understandably distraught and started constantly seeking combat missions without taking any time to rest.  That took its toll, and on August 1, 1943 her luck ran out.  But a situation like this one could happen to any man in combat just as well.  This has nothing to do with sex.  A death of a family member or a close friend could be just as devastating, and with the same result.

So, what can we conclude from this amateur historical analysis?  Well, it seems to me that women can in fact participate in combat and be successful at it, if they meet the requirements necessary for combat.  The key is to keep the requirements the same for men and women, rather than to try to accommodate women who cannot meet those requirements.  Thus there will be women who can be combat pilots, snipers or even covert operators.  There might even be some who can participate in infantry combat, if they meet physical requirements necessary for accomplishing the mission and survival.  But the stupid political correctness regarding this subject should be stopped.  The requirements should be based on what’s necessary for successful mission and survival, not diversity.  Thus, in those areas, where women are not at a natural disadvantage, they will succeed in higher numbers than in other areas.  And that’s OK.  Stupid social experiments for the sake of diversity should not be conducted in the military: the lives of our soldiers, both male and female, are at stake.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Trump card

Well, here is a couple of links to articles on Donald Trump’s possible Presidential run:

The Donald: Doing the Job the Media Won't Do

Trump Is for Real

No Trump

My own opinion?  It can be summarized in the title of Larry Elder’s article, the 1st one I linked to: Doing the job the Media won’t do.  Trump is blunt and unapologetic.  And that is what I like about him.  It will be hard for the leftist media to demonize him because he does not care what is said about him.  The media will still be able to ridicule him enough for people not to take him seriously, and that might bring about Obama’s re-election.  I am not sure whether he is the best candidate to beat Obama.  Perhaps Romney might be better.  He certainly might want to learn some bluntness from Trump.  For now the danger is in Republican establishment ridiculing him.  They should re-learn Reagan’s 11th Commandment:

"Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."

Ethics of self-defence

Elder of Ziyon posted an interview with IDF ethicist from Jerusalem Post:

Tel Aviv University philosophy professor Asa Kasher co-authored the first IDF Code of Ethics and continues to work on the moral doctrines that shape the parameters of our army’s actions.
He has taught at the IDF colleges since the late 1970s and for a long time was the only professor talking to officers about military ethics. When the IDF decided to try writing a Code of Ethics, he was approached and appointed head of a team of generals that wrote a draft and then the final version of the 1994 code, which was approved by chief of staff Ehud Barak and prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
In the wake of Richard Goldstone’s belated withdrawal of the accusation that Israel deliberately targeted civilians in Operation Cast Lead, and the fresh round of moral argument the judge’s climbdown has provoked, I contacted Kasher to discuss the IDF’s ethics. I wanted to understand the thinking that underpins IDF dos and don’ts, the problematics of grappling with enemies that do not follow any such rules, and the gaping discrepancy, Goldstone’s reversal notwithstanding, between most Israelis’ certainty of the IDF’s morality and the international diplomatic, media and legal community’s relentless opprobrium.

Read the whole thing.

“Never again!”, …

… says the German woman in this video (from Atlas Shrugs):

The Underground Conservative provided full English transcript:

Never again! Never again! I am ashamed that he is allowed to speak here. I feel ashamed! I am German, and I am so sorry that someone like him can stand here and speak like Hitler! I am so ashamed! Where is everybody? Why are people not standing up in this country of ours? Why are you all keeping your mouths shut? Do you want Germany to be like those countries from which they all came? Do you really want that? You have to speak out! . . . Germany, you have to rise! Rise up, Germany!

What’s interesting is that toward the end of this video people she confronted tell her: “Stop the provocation”.  So, confronting this new kind of Nazis is now called “provocation”.  Good thing she was not arrested on top of that.  That is certainly what modern dhimmy politicians might do.

Engineers and politics

Here is another interesting article on engineers and politics from EETimes:

…The 112th Congress has 541 members. The average age in the Senate is 62.2 years, in the House 56.7 years.
The top four occupations are business, public service, law and education. There are five engineers (chart below). None in the Senate. This meager representation is ridiculous for a profession that is crucial to the economy. But then we know that.

I often asked myself if I would ever consider running for office.  The answer was always “Hell, NO”.  I would imagine many other engineers would feel the same way.  Why?  Well, because politics often requires saying a lot without much substance, something engineers are not very good at.  Those who would like to stick to engineering, like me, would not want to change careers.  I don’t even want to be a manager.  High level managers, on the other hand, are not much different from regular politicians.  So, a high level manager in office would represent only marginal improvement over a career politician.  Still, an engineer in a high political office is a nice dream to have.