[With apologies to Scott Johnson, of My Extra Life fame, for his coinage of phrase.]
Dear President Obama, what the crap?
Obama Considers Zany Climate Engineering Gadgets to Fight ‘The Warming’.
Obama is apparently considering using a machine that would suck up smog and shoot it into the upper atmosphereâ€”reflecting the sun’s raysâ€”as a way to fight global warming. I’m not joking.
Dear IRS, what the crap?
Tax deductions you’ve never heard of, including allowances for kidnapped children:
Back in 2000, the Internal Revenue Service issued a ruling that members of Congress called “cruel, heartless and anti-family.” It said that parents of a child that had been kidnapped could only claim the child as a dependent for the year in which the child had been kidnapped, not for later years. Congress threatened to write a law to remedy the situation, but the IRS quickly revised its ruling. Now parents whose child has been kidnapped can continue to take all credits and exclusions for which they would be eligible if the child still lived with them, until the child would be 18 years old or is found dead. The one caveat: the child must have been abducted by a stranger and not a family member.
We have a really screwed up tax system…
Continue reading “Your Daily Dose Of “…What The Crap?””
Jules Crittenden of the Boston Herald really took it to the French in re: their hypocricy in Lebanon in recent days. To wit:
In recent weeks, France stepped forward to act as a broker of peace in Lebanon. â€œActâ€ is the key verb in that last sentence, as it now would seem that the only other verifiable part of the sentence is â€œin recent weeks.â€
To correctly parse that sentence, one must understand that when France suggested it wanted to broker peace in Lebanon, it did not necessarily mean â€œbrokerâ€ or â€œpeaceâ€ or â€œLebanonâ€ in the way we might understand those words. The same is true when France further suggested it wanted to â€œleadâ€ a â€œstrongâ€ â€œmultinationalâ€ â€œforceâ€ there.
Heh. Go and read the whole thing – it’s a biting take on the folly of “international” “action” in the Middle East.
Critics of Israel’s tactics in South Lebanon have been railing against their “inability” to destroy Hizb’allah’s military might. While this might be true, al Bawaba points out that the military “destruction” of the Hizbies might not actually be the end goal of Israel. Instead, they are simultaneously striking at The Party of Allah’s social services infrastructure, virtually ensuring that they will be unable to participate in the eventual rebuilding of Lebanon to any meaningful extent. Israel is seeking to cut the Shiia support base that Hizb’allah has bought with medicine, television, food and other social services right out from under the Islamist nutjobs.
By Jove, that’s a great tactic! It’ll be interesting to see whether it works or whether Iran is willing to pony up the billions of dollars that would be required to return Hizb’allah’s previous social capabilities to working order.
I cannot see the logic that would motivate Israel to concede to allowing U.N. blue hats on the Lebanese border as a sufficient resolution to the current crisis, and so I can only view Anan and Blair’s “plan” as global political pandering of the highest order.
The presence of U.N. troops would serve only a single purpose: to handcuff Israeli actions in the area and provide an internationalized “tripwire” force to call down criticism on Israel from all corners should they be forced to once again defend themselves against the actions of Hizb’allah. Unless Blair and Anan are recommending forcibly de-populating a buffer in Lebanon that roughly corresponds to the range of Katyusha rockets, they cannot conceivably offer Israel the security promises that would be necessary to mollify the Israeli people. The Islamist crazies that comprise Hizb’allah do not store their rockets and arms in conventional arms dumps or on regularized military bases – they purposefully store their arms on civilian property and use the population of southern Lebanon as human shields in order to try to ward off effective Israeli retaliation against their illegal rocket strikes. Up until the IDF left southern Lebanon in 2000, Israel maintained such a buffer zone themselves through an extensive intelligence network designed to assist the IDF in interdicting potential missile lobbers. Unless the U.N. could construct such an apparatus, short-order, there remains no good reason for Israel to not continue their current course: the effective military dismemberment of Hizb’allah forces proper.
U.N. “Smurfs” wouldn’t have the stomach to step in and truly disarm Hizb’allah; instead, they would be another convenient shield for the Hizb’allah terrorists to hide behind, from whence they could effectively lob rockets into northern Israel at will – Hizb’allah’s ability to hit Haifa all but proves that unless the U.N. buffer comprised a very, very sizable portion of Lebanon, Israel would remain within range of the Katyushas. We’ve already seen the way in which international watchers respond to this situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank: they counsel “patience” and “tolerance” on Israel’s part and issue vague, half-hearted denunciations of the “cycle of violence”, conspicuously declining to condemn the people actually behind the violence: the genocidal crazies that comprise Israel’s neigbors and wish for nothing more than a Judenfrei Middle East. If the opinion of this American WASP Zionist blogger counts for anything, I would counsel Israel against accepting any such “offer” from the U.N. Heaven knows they don’t have the Israeli people’s best interests at heart when they talk of “stability”.
May you live in interesting times.
–Supposed ancient Chinese curse
“Watching” the events in Lebanon unfold on the newswires, I ran through an extremely odd combination of feelings at work today. I felt detached, almost entirely removed from the world as I watched Israel escalate their offensive against Hizb’allah in the south of Lebanon; I felt anger at the psychopaths responsible for the kidnappings of Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldvasser and Eldad Regev; I felt hope that Israel might finally strike mortal blows against not only the Islamists in south Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, but also against their exiled leaders operating openly in the streets of Damascus; I dearly wished that Bashaar Assad be next on the list for his part in this affair.
Most of all, though, I felt anger, not with the parties currently involved in the conflict, but with the U.S. government. I felt anger most specifically towards the Office of the President and those who have held it over the past 30 years – most especially the detestable Jimmy Carter, but also Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton and W. Bush. Each and every one of them failed to take action[s] that could have prevented the current conflict. I fumed at Carter’s ineptitude, his waffling, his undermining of the Shah, his latent and unhidden anti-Semitism and his handling of the Embassy hostage crisis. I raged against Reagan’s refusal to take definitive action against Hizb’allah for the slaughter of 241 brave U.S. Marines in Beirut in ’83. I nearly retched over H.W.’s disgusting near-obeisance to the House of Saud, his craven refusal to push to Baghdad and his abandonment of the Kurds and Shia that his administration encouraged to rise up against Hussein. Clinton’s cut-n-run from Somalia, his pressuring of Israel for concessions to the detestable Arafat-lead P.L.O. and his flubbing of the USS Cole attack elicited more than anger. W.’s continuation of his father’s Saudi butt-kissing and his willingness to listen to the careerists-gone-native in the State Department cautioning against “destabilizing action” infuriated me.
Each and every Israeli soldier that dies in this current conflict can be traced back to the US kicking the can of Middle Eastern terrorism down the road. The blame for the attacks themselves are obviously the fault of the perpetrators – Iran, Syria and their Hizb’allah attack dogs in this case – but we have allowed for this sort of thing to creep in for fear of being labeled, well, I don’t know what. I can tell you what all of our avoidance and dissembling has labeled us in the eyes of the Arab Islamic world: the weak horse.
I hope that the U.S. government bites its collective tongue this time around and lets Israel finally do some much-needed terrorist house cleaning. Heck, it appears as if even the other Arab governments think Hizb’allah has gone too far this time, so the gloves might actually come off this time. Maybe the IDF will finally have the guts and the wherewithal to finish at least some of the jobs that we should have finished long ago.
Our prayers should be with the people of Israel today, as their Palestinian neighbors saw fit yesterday to elect a Hamas majority into the Palestinian parliament.