A Weighty Proposition

A woman decided to have a facelift for her 50th birthday. She spent $5,000 and felt pretty good about the results. On her way home, she stopped at a news stand to buy a newspaper. Before leaving she said to the clerk:”I hope you don’t mind my asking, but how old do you think I am?”

“About 32,” was the reply.

“Nope! I’m exactly 50,” the woman said happily.

A little while later she went into McDonald’s and asked the counter girl the very same question.

The girl said, “I guess about 29.”

The woman replied, “Nope I’m 50.”

Now she was feeling really good about herself. She stopped in a drug store on her way down the street. She went up to the counter to get some mints and asked the clerk this burning question.

The clerk responded, “Oh, I’d say 30.”

Again she proudly responded, “I am 50, but thank you!”

While waiting for the bus to go home, she asked an old man waiting next to her the same question.

He replied, “Lady, I’m 78 and my eyesight is going…

“Although, when I was young, there was a sure way to tell how old a woman was. It sounds very forward, but it requires you to let me put my hands under your bra. Then, and only then, can I tell you EXACTLY how old you are.”

They waited in silence on the empty street until curiosity got the best of her.

She finally blurted out, “What the hell! Go ahead.”

He slipped both of his hands under her bra and began to feel around very slowly and carefully. He bounced and weighed each one of her bosoms. He gently pinched them as well. He pushed her assets together and rubbed them against each other.

After a couple of minutes of this, she said, “Okay, okay…How old am I?”

He completed one last squeeze, removed his hands, and said, “Madam, you are 50.”

Stunned and amazed, the woman said, “That was incredible! How could you tell??”

“I was behind you in the line at McDonald’s.”

Is President Trump Capable of Learning the Hard Lessons?

Beyond the Cusp

President Trump is approaching the Arab-Israeli conflict using his experience in business and real estate where neither side gets everything they desired but each side settles for the best-case scenario where they both gain some and lose some. That is not how the Middle East works. It has taken the Israelis close to sixty to seventy years to figure this out for themselves. President Trump is going to have to figure this out within the next few months if not weeks. We must confess that we thought that there had to be some special combination and sets of trade-offs which would lead to peace at long last. We took time to learn this but we needed to learn on our own without the CIA, State Department, NSA and all the other facilities that the United States government is capable of providing. Then again, one need discover that the State Department…

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German Court: Bring Back Deported Jihadist


A court in Germany has ruled that the recent deportation to Tunisia of a failed asylum seeker — an Islamist suspected of being a bodyguard for the former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden — was unlawful and that, at taxpayer expense, he must be immediately returned to Germany.

The ruling has cast yet another spotlight on the dysfunctional nature of Germany’s deportation system, as well as on Germany’s politicized judicial system, one in which activist judges are now engaged in a power struggle with elected officials who want to speed up deportations.

On August 15, the North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court (Oberverwaltungsgericht, OVG) in Münster said that immigration authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state, deliberately deceived the courts in the run-up to the deportation of Sami Aidoudi, who had been illegally living in Germany for more than a decade.

The court ordered federal authorities to issue a visa for Aidoudi — referred to in Germany as Sami A. for privacy reasons — to facilitate his return to Germany. The court also ordered Bochum, a city in NRW where Aidoudi lived until his deportation, to pay for his flight back to Germany.

It remains unclear how officials in Bochum can comply with the order, as Tunisian officials have repeatedly said that they have no intention of returning him to Germany.

via German Court: Bring Back Deported Jihadist

Mauritania: US Must Demand Immediate Release of Anti-Slavery Candidate Ahead of Elections


On August 7, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania arrested Biram Dah Abeid, the founding head of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA), a human rights organization dedicated to eradicating slavery in the west African nation. Abeid described the police waking him in his home in the capital city of Nouakchott, and taking him into custody without charges.

Abeid and those petitioning for his release have good reason to suspect that his arrest – one of many over the past few years — is related not only to his persistent anti-slavery activism and critique of Islamic texts, but to the fact that he is running for a seat in parliament in the legislative elections slated for September 1.

Abeid, a member of the Haratin, Mauritania’s largest minority group, established the IRA in 2008, the year in which Mauritania’s first democratically elected president, Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, was ousted in a coup led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who has been in power ever since. Abeid has been described as a “thorn in the side” of Aziz, particularly when he challenged Aziz in the 2014 presidential election, and came in a “distant second.”

via Mauritania: US Must Demand Immediate Release of Anti-Slavery Candidate Ahead of Elections

The Indian and Pakistani Elections


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Indian general election of 2019 will be a decisive moment for South Asia’s overall security. As India is a major power player in the region, the 2019 elections will pose challenges as well as opportunities for both India and its neighbors. Also, it remains to be seen whether India will be able to maintain its power position in the region in the wake of the recent election of Pakistani PM Imran Khan.

Over the past four years, India has increased its defense budget from $37 billion to $52.5 billion and modernized its air defense systems and maritime capacities. The commissioned INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, submarines, and battleships of the Indian Navy will change India’s security dynamics. The Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep islands are also key strategic points on India’s southern maritime boundaries that are responsible for stabilizing the security environment of the Indian Ocean.

Similarly, during the tenure of the former PM of Pakistan, the defense budget increased to 19.6%, bolstering Islamabad’s position as a regional military power. Furthermore, Pakistan’s nuclear and naval capacities, consisting of submarines with cruise missile abilities, could counterbalance India’s defense strategies in the western half of the Indian Ocean’s maritime boundaries. Also, Pakistan’s alignment with Maldives is challenging India’s defense and foreign policy engagements with its South Asian neighbors.

via The Indian and Pakistani Elections

“Smarter Bombs”: Understanding The World of Women Palestinian Bombers


There was Muneira, who planned to blow herself up at a hospital near Tel Aviv. There was Jemilla, who escorted a young boy to his suicide bombing at a market; he was excited he soon would be meeting girls in Paradise. And there was Sabiha, who prepared explosives and trained other women to do the same.

With courage and compassion, Anat Berko, a criminologist and member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of Israel’s Knesset, interviewed them all.

Their stories, and the insights they provide into the motives and lives of female suicide bombers, fill the pages of The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers, newly released in paperback. Though first published in 2012, the release of a new edition underscores the difficult, ongoing challenges suicide bombers pose, and the continued efforts to understand the relatively new phenomenon of women suicide bombers and the role of women in violent jihad.

To read more about Anat Berko’s research, click here for an interview with her recently conducted by Abigail R. Esman.

via “Smarter Bombs”: Understanding The World of Women Palestinian Bombers