A Top of the Range Cadillac

A man and his wife were driving through the country on his way from New York to California.  

Looking at his fuel gauge, he decided to stop at the next gasoline station and fill it up. About 15 minutes later, he spots a Mobil station and pulls over to the high octane pump. 

“What can I do for y’all?” asks the attendant. “Fill ‘er up with high test,” replies the driver. While the attendant is filling up the tank, he’s looking the car up and down. 

“What kinda car is this?” he asks. “I never seen one like it before.” 

“Well,” responds the driver, his chest swelling up with pride, “This, my boy is a 1999 Cadillac DeVille.” 

“What features does it have?” asks the attendant. 

“Well,” says the driver, “It has everything. It’s loaded with power steering, power seats, power sun roof, power mirrors, AM/FM radio with a 10 deck CD player in the trunk with 100 watts per channel, 8 speaker stereo, rack and pinion steering, disk brakes all around, leather interior, digital instrument package, and best of all, an 8.8 liter V12 engine.”

“Wow,” says the attendant, “That’s really something!” 

“How much do I owe you for the gasoline?” asks the driver. 

“That’ll be $30.17,” says the attendant. 

The driver pulls out his money clip and peels off a $20 and a $10. He goes into his other pocket and pulls out a handful of change. Mixed up with the change are a few golf tees. 

“What are those little wooden things?” asks the attendant. 

“That’s what I put my balls on when I drive,” says the driver. 

“Wow,” says the attendant, “Those Cadillac people think of everything!” 

The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Why No Peace?

The critical question of why the Middle East seems unable to achieve peace has just been rigorously considered again, this time by Michael Calvo, an international lawyer, in an important new book, The Middle East and World War III: Why No Peace? It is worth being read by all political leaders, academics, journalists, students and anyone who wants to understand why there is no peace and what may happen.

The book analyzes why the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab/Muslim conflict has not been resolved, in spite of the Oslo Accords and many years of active involvement by the European Union, individual European states, the U.S., Russia and the United Nations.

The long-term Palestinian use of terror, for instance, looked at chronologically:

“to achieve Palestinian political goals, to influence Israeli politics, to favor a given Israeli candidate for the post of Prime Minister, to compel the Israeli government to conceal more land, to prevent a final peace settlement by maintaining a state of conflict that could eventually lead to total war, to erode Israeli and American resolve and to demonstrate to Arab population that peace is not an option and that the existence of the Jews on their land cannot be recognized”.

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Europe Has a Big Silent Secret

Beyond the Cusp

Europe still keeps statistics on crime, even violent crimes, and they show that violent crimes are continuing to trend downwards. Murders are decreasing. Robberies are decreasing. Sexual assaults are decreasing. Well, that is amongst the normative communities. Many European police departments have started keeping two sets of books. One set of books is about normative crime committed by normal, multigenerational Europeans. That book is the one that is reported to the people in Europe and is being used as a tranquilizing agent. The statistics generated by this set of books a calming, soothing and oh so very optimistic. These statistics and crime reports are for those who desire to continue on believing that Europe is on the verge of a wonderful and bright future. These optimists are dependent upon good news reports on statistical improvement of Europe and the advancement of European society and governance and all that goes with…

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The Iranian drone

Did Iran yesterday openly launch its war of extermination against Israel?

The sequence of events, according to former IDF spokesman Lt Cl Peter Lerner, was this. Yesterday morning an Iranian drone, an advanced model with stealth capabilities, penetrated into Israel through the border from Jordan. It was intercepted after about a minute and a half in Israeli territory by an IDF attack helicopter.

In the immediate aftermath, the Israel Air Force conducted a targeted strike and destroyed the mobile command vehicle that guided the drone. On its way home, an Israeli F16 fighter jet was downed by massive Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Following this, the IAF conducted a widespread strike against 12 targets in Syria, including three aerial defence batteries and four Iranian positions.

Widespread media misreporting of these events constituted the usual combination of lazy incompetence and malice. Outlets including the New York Times, CNN, the Guardian and BBC News falsely implied that Israel was the aggressor; only by carefully reading these stories could the true sequence of events be discerned.

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Beyond the Iran Nuclear Deal

President Trump seemingly served notice Friday that the days are dwindling for Barack Obama’s Iran agreement. Although deal proponents also gained time to pursue “fixes,” this is a forlorn option. No fix will remedy the diplomatic Waterloo Mr. Obama negotiated. Democrats will reject anything that endangers his prized international contrivance, and the Europeans are more interested in trade with Tehran than a stronger agreement.

There is an even more fundamental obstacle: Iran. Negotiating with Congress and Europe will not modify the actual deal’s terms, which Iran (buttressed by Russia and China) has no interest in changing. Increased inspections, for example, is a nonstarter for Tehran. Mr. Obama gave the ayatollahs what they wanted; they will not give it back.

Most important, there is no evidence Iran’s intention to obtain deliverable nuclear weapons has wavered. None of the proposed “fixes” change this basic, unanswerable reality.

Spending the next 120 days negotiating with ourselves will leave the West mired in stasis. Mr. Trump correctly sees Mr. Obama’s deal as a massive strategic blunder, but his advisers have inexplicably persuaded him not to withdraw. Last fall, deciding whether to reimpose sanctions and decertify the deal under the Corker-Cardin legislation, the administration also opted to keep the door open to “fixes” — a punt on third down. Let’s hope Friday’s decision is not another punt.

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