Monthly Archives: June 2016

Please Read

 

Please read the following poem by Tosha Michelle at her website, Laliterati.com:

Hands of Gold

It really reminds me of Israel, and Jerusalem.

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Beyond the Wall

 

Beyond the Wall (Randyjw; June 30, 2016)

 

The most beautiful song of all

Is here in the city, beyond your wall

 

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Street Level

Street Level (Randyjw; June 27, 2016)

 

Can we kick them any lower than where they dwell, at street-level?

 

– Randyjw, June 27, 2016

 

To the caring people, who have become homeless, and to the sharing people, who offer hope and help.

 

Special thanks to Dennis Cardiff for making the effort his, and for sharing the experience in making it real.

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And With My Hand

 

And With My Hand (Randyjw; June 27, 2016)

 

Your little nails just cannot clasp

the width around my finger

If you would know, then you would grasp

How time can never linger

 

With fingered paints in egg-shell crates

Your tiny hands so small

impressions held in plaster plates

that hang still on the wall

 

Your shoelace long and dragged through dirt

Because they’ve come undone

The little bunny bows to learn

were still not yet begun

 

We’ll stop right here upon the lane

And stoop to get them tied

And swinging hands we’ll once again

Regain our faltered stride

 

I walked with you those first few times

and dropped you to the door

We crossed inside the wide white lines

The crossing guard was sure

 

The teacher folded each young rook

within her broad, wide care

Amongst the group I searched and looked

But you were not aware

 

I felt the loss so vividly

My baby growing up

Remembering, Oh, so tenderly

How precious was our love

 

And now your hand is calloused

caused by chores you do at home

Amongst the lost sweet ballads

Children now gone on their own

 

I feel each indentation

made by each sweet little hand

My life gave them formation

So that they would understand

 

To hold each hand with love that’s sown

And with it to make known

My hand that’s clasped inside their own

They now must let it go

 

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Chatter

 

Chatter (Randyjw; June 26, 2016)

 

Chitter-Chatter

Blither and blather

Does what you say

even seem to matter?

 

Your words go out

to sacred space

From there they form

a second place

 

The world they make

could be your home

when back they come

to find their own

 

So, when you’re fast

and think you know

what someone’s last

intent could show

 

You may have been

too fast in haste

and thought that someone’s

words were waste

 

When what they rather

held above

Was judged as blather

but sent with love

 

 

 

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Be That Help-Meet

 

Be That Help-Meet (Randyjw; June 26, 2016)

 

 

1#: “Is being helpful the most important thing in the world?”

 

2#: “No, but it certainly helps!”

 

– Randyjw; June 26, 2016

 

 

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Randy’s Recipes: Lychee Iced Tea: Easy And Fresh Versions

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Randy’s Recipes: Lychee Iced Tea: Easy and Fresh Versions (Randyjw; June 25, 2016)

 

Easy: Approx. 12 oz. (approx. one-half of 23 oz., tall, $0.99¢ can) AriZona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey (adjust to taste)

Pour approximately one-half of liquid from tall can into a large container or pitcher.

Fresh: Fresh green tea leaves, packed into tea steeper, or placed into container (powdered green tea may be substituted); Approx. 2 small slices ginseng, thinly sliced; Approx. 1 or 2 tablespoons honey (fragrant kind, such as orange clover, etc., best) (All amounts adjusted to taste)

Heat water to before boiling, cool slightly, and pour over green tea leaves to steep (or, if using steeper, place tea leaves into steeper and place steeper into heated water and steep; green tea powder, adjusted to taste, may be substituted). Add two small, thin slices ginseng; Once steeped, add approx. 1 or 2 tablespoons honey, adjusting all amounts to taste.

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Easy: Approx. 1/4 – to – 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or to taste)

Stir in cardamom to cold AriZona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey, and whisk well to distribute.

Fresh: Approx. 3/4 tablespoon fresh cardamom (or to taste)

Rub cardamom slightly between hands and drop into tea mixture. Stir well.

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Easy: Approx. 2 dashes cinammon (to taste)

Sprinkle a bit of cinammon into mixture and whisk well to dissolve.

Fresh: 1 cinammon stick

Put cinammon stick into mixture and allow to steep well.

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Easy: Approx. 1/2 teaspoon dried chamomile (to taste)

Rub slightly between hands the dried chamomile and sprinkle onto tea mixture, allowing to infuse for several minutes.

Fresh: Approx. 1 teaspoon chamomile (to taste)

Rub slighly between hands the chamomile and sprinkle onto tea mixture, allowing to infuse for several minutes.

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Easy: Pour into separate container, straining separated spices and removing large pieces.

Fresh: Pour into separate container, straining separated spices and removing large pieces.

 

Easy: Reserved liquid from 1 can lychees in syrup

Stir lychee syrup into tea mixture. Chill and serve (it’s nice over ice).

Fresh: Reserved liquid from 1 can lychees in syrup

Stir lychee syrup into tea mixture. Chill and serve (it’s nice over ice).

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8.9 Yums Up

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Congratulations, England

 

Europe and the United States represent two entirely different free, Western cultures, running under their own ideological ideas regarding the way best to run their countries and the continents upon which they sit.

 

While each are comprised of a number of semi-autonomous entities under a larger unifying umbrella, whether via states and territories of the United States, or via individual countries within Europe, the continent — or, in more recent times, under the aegis of the European Union — both have operated with a capitalistic market economy and a free and open society.

 

Europe has transitioned from previous feudal rule under monarchy to tyranny, under dictatorship, and fascism/socialism/communistic idealogies of communally-shared societies; all of these have mostly failed. The only successful ruling model has been the democratic/republic ideal, whether more in the European Parliamentary style, or in the great vision developed by the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, who left the European model behind to form their own. And it has been the greatest success story in history.

 

Both Europe and America in the modern era have tolerant, open societies, representing a diverse population of ethnic cultures living together. In these open societies, they have been welcoming (comparative to other nations) and open to all, with growth from earlier days when they were somewhat prejudiced in attitude toward others; but, then again, certainly not any more so than other nations, and definitely, now being some of the most open societies in the world.

 

Both the U.S. and Europe are absorptive to people from many lands and cultures. Both celebrate their diverse populations in different ways. As a melting pot, the U.S. has one of the most celebrated and diverse ethnicities in the populace of all nations. While we’ve had our shameful periods of slavery, and oppression of women and minorities in the system, we have learned and grown from the experience and our mistakes.

 

Europe celebrates its diversity among its countries, but also, more so, by diversity of its various countries. This is what has made it interesting, unique, and varied across the continent. Each region has had its own flavor via its national outlooks, people, manner of rule, cultures and ethnicities. It is these distinct separations which have, improbably, kept Europe diverse, through celebrating its own regional character. By becoming homogenous through the European Union, it tears away these flavors of diversity and turns them into a bland, voiceless entity.

 

What happens when a nation, such as Turkey, for instance, takes over as head of such an entity? Turkey is, at present, slipping into an Islamic extremist position — not something conducive to the freedom and ideals we try to uphold. As head of the European Union for any length of time, it would undermine the democratic ideals we hold dear, if it were to pursue this current trajectory of hewing to these extreme manners.

 

I’m not giving this opinion as ulterior motive. Europe can, and has, united for economic and military reasons in the past, and can still do so in the future. I think their leverage is weakened as a watered-down single entity, rather than being bolstered by a unified force. The allegory can be compared to what happened in the Arab world. They went from a singular entity to being a loose confederation of some 57 or so countries/nations, each counted as one vote apiece in the world bodies, such as in the halls of the United Nations. More countries, more votes, makes more power of majority. Let’s keep it that way.

 

Congratulations, England, for leaving the European Union. Your citizenry have stood up to the media pundits trying to shape public opinion, and therefore, policy — and you prove that the talking heads of the media don’t dictate our choices; we do.

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Proof In The (Yorkshire) Pudding: Ribald discourse is the grease which oils the sticky cogs of the gears of political debate and drives its subsequent activism. No greater are the principles of free speech exercised than in the halls of British Parliament nor within the pages of the daily press. This tenet of freedom of political expression of opinion extends to encompass individual human rights, when paired with oversight abilities enshrined in governmental institutions, created to uphold the laws of its people. Watch one episode of a session of Parliament in action, and you’re liable to hear a cacophany of intermingled jibes, ripostes and repasts.

 

It’s the same in the United States, except that our own sessions seem more orderly; indeed, they are highly-regulated affairs with strict rules regarding reading of bills, presentation, commentary, and the like. There are time limitations, sequential ordering and other organizational edicts funneling preparatory discussions toward the culmination of passage or rejection of an Act or Bill through its final vote.

 

It’s ironic that America seems to present the more-orderly facade of process relative to the nation parent who gave birth to its formation, when such wayward children as found in its overseas colonies rejected taxation by Great Britain sans representation regarding its wellbeing and separate needs. Thus sprung forth the Boston Tea Party, called such when Massachusetts activists, fed-up with successive taxation, dumped massive quantities of tea into the Atlantic ocean in a show of rebellion against payment of taxes benefitting a distant land, rather than directly applied closer to home. Thus, the wars, fought in its harbors and across its colonies, resulted in a win for American independence and our concurrent freedom.

 

The Founding Fathers, drawing up the Constitution for the United States of America, (and with the addition of its further Amendments), recognized and granted several basic rights to its citizens under her jurisdiction. These were individual rights, chief among them being freedom of speech, the right to assembly, and that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion…”.

 

Voting is a way to reach agreed-upon consensus as its method, giving either individuals, or those acting as their representatives, the power to express their opinions on issues affecting a larger society — whether at the local, regional, or national levels. This is what happened with the recent decision, put to referendum in a public vote sweeping Britain to its exit from the greater European Union, comprised of the signatory member countries which were sovereign entities spread over the European landscape.

 

Some people had been happy when the countries of Europe undertook this endeavor to collaborate; I, myself, thought it a bad idea. So, there were many who were dismayed at its implementation and sensed the feeling of despair. The pendulum has swung back, and now the former exult, while the unification idealists now get to experience these similar reactions.

 

The reports from the results of the referendum vote were awaited with bated breath. A website I perused, using graphics from the Financial Times, showed regional results on this subject, listing the votes of North Ireland, Scotland, and London as “Remain”; the remainder, voting “Leave” (from the European Union) are listed thus: West Midlands; East Midlands; York and Humber; Northwest England; Southeast England; Southwest England; and Wales. All contain a common element: the majority composition of the group voting to exit the E.U. come from the United Kingdom country of England. They are the ones responsible for tipping the vote by over one million people toward the end vote of exiting.

 

It’s true that the coupling and uncoupling, the war victors and its losers, the collaborations and severed partnerships of the varied people, countries, tribes and affiliations throughout the history of Europe and its lands has been both consumptive and contrarily confusing. New words and terms, such as “European Union”, need to be coined to describe the new realities created during these ventures. In doing so, there can be a battle of the mind, a war of words, in steering its dialogue (more to be said on this, as is my intent, under separate cover, at a later date). Anthropologists help to frame these so-called arguments.

 

My post above was not an argument, of sorts, on the merits of participation in the European Union, although I touch on a few aspects of its consideration within the larger body of my posting. It, rather, is an expression of my opinion, coinciding with the vote of those in the United Kingdom, sharing similar views. I congratulated them for, what I thought, was a good choice. Sending my affirmation to “England”, mentioned singularly and repeated in its title, does go out to the whole of its confederate parties, although there might be many people who feel not quite-so amenably enclined, just at present, to readily accept and let sink-in this newest reality.

 

That’s okay. That’s what makes for engaging democracy. That is why commentary has also been posted, expressing incredulity at my right to hold such matters as my personal freedom of opinion, now questioned. I think opinion, no matter how-formed, is an incontestible matter beholden to each individual. “England”, as I termed it, was actually the correct word choice, in my humble opinion, for it was the eligible voters in the noted regions in England (confirmed) who voted the majority result. To have wished congratulations to the United Kingdom, overarching, would, in some manners, have been factually incorrect, when other of its participants voted against this measure. And it might’ve driven the bee under the bonnet at a time when those who feel its losses most need no further encouragement. I forthwith apologize personally for the confusion of classification regarding this entity– past, present, and now, future.

 

Consolation? Yes. As I put forth, I can understand your feelings. Understandably they are strong right now, due to the magnitude of the decision. I still feel it’s the right one which has been made. And, as it worked out, so, in the end, was mine.

 

Salmon, Felix. “With A Single Vote, England Just Screwed Us All”; Fusion Media Network, LLC, June 24, 2016 (secondary source to which, see below):

http://fusion.net/story/318538/england-brexit-screwed-us-all/

 

As derived from its primary source, which see: “Which Regions Swung the Vote?: How Different Areas Affected the Outcome” (Graphic): THE FINANCIAL TIMES LTD 2016; Financial Times, June 25, 2016 (updated); accessed June 25, 2016):

https://ig.ft.com/sites/elections/2016/uk/eu-referendum/

 

Update: Here’s an article in better words, with better explanations:

 

Sheyin-Stevens, Dr. Aviel. “Reaffirming Democracy: The U.K. as a Model”. Israel National News.com; July 5, 2016:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/19149

 

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Bento Box

 

Bento Box (Randyjw; June 24, 2016)

 

I like classy

I like kitschy

I like ones that

look like kitties

 

I like shiny

Do you, too?

Which one is the

One for you?

 

How to rate?

Selection varies

Is this date?

Or:

One You’ll Marry!?


 

Bento boxes are becoming all the rage beyond their origin in Japan. Long a staple in Japanese tradition, they’re also way more interesting conversation-starters than plain, ‘ole see-through plastic containers. They can be single- or multi-tiered, and make great take-along packing totes for your picnic or worklunch. Additionally, they make nice gifts to present to that esteemed colleague, mentor, friend, or co-worker, and are a proverbial gift for the person who has everything, or the hard to select for. They make an artistic statement, and are both thoughtful and usually appropriate as a gift for that special someone.

 

Do you know of someone special you’d like to send or give a token of appreciation to? Thinking of ideas for a graduation gift, birthday gift, or holiday gift? Then, consider a bento box; it’s a practical and considerate item to present to someone appreciated in your life.

 

I found a few cool ones at these two sites on the web: japancentre.com, and bentoandco.com (Bento&Co.). I put together a little collage from each company to give you an idea of the variety and pricing of these unique gift ideas. Hope it inspires!

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Above: A Selection of Bento Boxes from: bentoandco.com

 

Above: A Selection of Bento Boxes from: japancentre.com

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Daisy Chains

 

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Daisy Chains (Randyjw; June 23, 2016)

 

Daisy chains don’t end

they just start right back up again

When gifts come from the heart

they circle back and just restart

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Here’s to Happiness

 

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Here’s to Happiness (Randyjw; June 23, 2016)

 

Here’s to happiness,

blue skies and rain

Here’s to more rainbows

with gold at both ends

 

Here’s to the sea foam

that tickles my toes

Here’s to the gardens

of eight kinds of rose

 

Here’s to the mountains

which only go down

Here’s to the smiles

which grew from a frown

 

Here’s to the butterflies

Here’s to the bees

Here’s to the friendship

between you and me

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Happiest Meals

Happiest Meals

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    To Anisa

Love ❤ Randy

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Destiny

KIMG0140

~ Author Unknown

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Spam I Am?

Spam I Am? (Randyjw; June 22, 2016)

Akismet caught me —
doing what?
I do not know;
I’m not a nut!

Some gentle soul
thought I should know
that all my words
just had to go

So off they went
a digital folder
and there they spent
their time to molder

Til someone yanked them —
They were free!
My words could now
belong to me!

So, off they flew
where they belonged
to speak of poets
and of song

Plucked one by one
out of the trash
entitled “Spam”
(not corned-beef hash)

There is no corned-beef,
Not One Can!!!
Why do you say that
Spam I Am?

————————————————————-

4U ❤

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World Refugee Day

You may not know this, because it was a long time ago and its happenstances were thrust upon a minority people representing probably less than 1/2 of 1% of the population, at the time.

The days were the austere periods of war enveloping the efforts of the United States, and, indeed, those of the rest of the world, in the battle for the nations’ places upon the world stage. In each nation, there were those who contributed actively to their battles, and citizenry who still tried to go about some semblance of normality, attempting to live their daily lives as if there were no war on.

The wars’ effects were felt, though, in all strata of society, regardless of participation level. Resources were rationed, manufacturing facilities were retrofitted toward war industry production, and patriotic men signed up to pledge their skills and determination to aid their country in this war effort.

Women civilians were tasked in voluntary roles to assist in previously male-dominated employment, now that the men had left the workforce to join the fighting forces. Suddenly, the stenography skills of the secretary were utilized in the war rooms, and the homemaker found yet further work as airplane riveters and Red Cross nurses, tending to the men and non-combat duties which propel the effort forward, nevertheless. There was no glory, not much pay, no war medals for these roles.

Yet, without these individuals, the war would have been lost.

I’m not sure, today, whether we know what the mindset was among the fighters in this war. We could ask, but most don’t like to tell. It was only seven, eight decades back, and there are still a few citizens left from that time who we could approach…

Thankfully, now, some are beginning to open up. We learn that war is not really glory, but a messy battle where friends are killed, families are torn apart, lives are forever altered. Yet, I think in those times that the people realized that it was a necessary sacrifice to fight for the ideals of what the country represents, so that others cannot impose their tyrannies over us. As much as it would be nice to ignore battles occuring elsewhere, it’s important to step-in to preempt, or at least, to meet, the enemy when they come a-calling.

At first, the United States held back in joining the battles raging in Europe during World War II. It was most unfortunate for the Jews, who were targetted by Germany for extermination. The roads of escape were narrowed, and those that could flee tried to do so through as many modes they could find: smuggled through borders, rail-lines, passenger ships.

The United States, as well as various other countries, maintained quotas of the numbers of people they would admit from each nation into the country, and also had a total maximum amount which were pre-determined to be allowed to enter. These amounts could be waived, essentially, if desired — and often, countries would do so for humanitarian purposes, etc.

But, for the Jewish people, the rules were enforced; worse yet, they were often changed, and not in a manner biased toward their favor. Administrations, like the British one, entrusted to administer the Mandate for Palestine when the Turkish Ottoman Empire lost the war, and, therefore, their territories (which included “Palestine”, at that time), illegally ceded land from the Jews to the Arabs. This included trans-Jordan, some small areas of land along the eastern side of the Jordan river, as well as the rest of what is, today, now called Jordan.

This land was recognized as belonging to the Jews based on factual historicity, and not based on suffrance (meaning just based on the events of the Holocaust, and other such notions). Its rule was recognized as Jewish in the decree issued by the overseeing adminstrator of the territories by the English; again, the Turks had lost this war.

The 1917 Balfour Declaration recognizes these rights of the Jewish people over the land — including on both the eastern and western sides of the Jordan river. It also reminds of the humanitarian aspect of rulership in not prejudicing rights of other people present in the area.

The Jewish people are well aware of this — in fact, are rather instrumental in bringing judicial matters and notions into the world, from the tablets of the Ten Commandments, to the Torah and its 613 mitzvot, both positive and negative, as well as other ideas regarding humanitarian principles. Even the etymology of the English word pertaining to matters of law, such as “judge”, and “judicial” are derived from the land, tribe and religion of “Judah” and “Judaism” (I can hear the grinding of Israel-haters gnashing their teeth now).

Yet, despite what the government position recognized and upheld to be Jewish property, many of the foot soldiers in the English operation were anti-Semitic, and constantly undermined the facilitation of Jewish immigration to Israel (Palestine). There were still some Arab “fellaheen” living on the land of Israel/Palestine, peasants who would tend small plots for absentee Turkish “effendis”. The situation under this arrangement worked out worse and worse for the poor Arab farmer, who became basically an indentured serf beholden to their overlords via crushing taxation and tributary-like payments in this sortof sub-letting arrangement.

The effendis were so far away to even bother with the oversight of any plot of land in Israel/Palestine, and it became, under Turkish rule, such a wasteland of neglect, that many Arabs just abandoned the land altogether. That is the reason for so many reports of outside travellers visiting this supposed “Garden of Eden” and “land of milk and honey” and finding it to instead be a malarial, overgrown area devoid of many people and pretext toward any civilization. The words of Mark Twain, and many others, attest to its reality.

The Jews always lived there, since their settling in the land called Canaan, for many thousands of years, even in dwindling amounts. Its populations rose and fell. Those that had been driven away always thought of return, although it was a much more difficult endeavor in the days preceding freedom of movement, mechanical transport, vast fortunes, and even the ideology to consider travel a non-event, as we do today. There was disease without vaccination, piracy during sea voyage, robbery via land-passage (especially in Mid-East areas of the world).

But, come, we did — or at least tried to. Away from our oppressive abodes of exile and back to our lands. Some of us still have the “Galut” (“Exile”) mentality — more a matter of realizing that we have reached a point of being able to physically possess the means — the money, the ease of travel, etc. — that would allow us to pick ourselves up and transport our families’ lives back to the “Promised Land”, where we belong.

It isn’t so easy. We were still discriminated against in society, barred from beaches, universities, clubs, schools and other places where citizens dwell. A few Jewish people began to become successful, developing their own contributions outside of the society from which they had been barred. The film industry is a notable example, with Jewish people pioneering an entire industry.

Jewish people developed their own businesses and slowly worked their way toward achieving more commercial and personal success. Eventually, there were quite a number of established people of Jewish origin; but, that certainly didn’t encompass all. In time, it became almost like competitive sport — a “keeping up with the Joneses” phenomenon, where appearance was more important than reality, in the community. It is unfortunate that this development briefly occurred, but there are some still afflicted by the lingering mindset.

I recently thought that more Jewish people who could possibly make “Aliyah” by moving to Israel were stubbornly stuck in the comfort of the “fleshpots of Egypt”, alluding to the ease of life to which the Jews had attained in Egypt, under the reign of second-to-the-Pharoah, our own Israeli Joseph, prior to the successive Pharaonic dynasties which eventually grew to forget the contributions of Joseph toward saving their society, to the final disdain amongst the citizenry for the now-perceived successful “others” in their midst as non-native foreigners competing for jobs and resources.

I realized, after that initial thought, that I was wrong for thinking that Jews were all willfully ignoring the call to return to Israel. Somebody else came up with the same thought, and even wrote an article about it, declaring that Jewish people living in the Diaspora are actively boycotting Israel by not living there, in a surely worse-conceived notion than the actual Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) discrimination being carried out by the world against the Jews right now actually is. I realized that, while there might be some truth in it, for those who truly have the resources to do so, but won’t; there are still many of us who are actually quite poor and can’t. We don’t fit the stereotypical profile of being independently wealthy, as so many are apt to think. So, please — return your pointing finger back to its holster.

I was glad to volunteer the practical equivalent of a basic-training regimen, on my own dime (and, unfortunately, extended into my families’, due to unexpected costs) with the duties of a non-combat Jewish “soldier” (not technically; just a civilian volunteer) linked, by volunteer work, to a Jewish Army somewhere on Jewish land in Israel, so that my brethren could take a much-needed break and come to the relative safety of the U.S. instead of having to always save our collective heinies against constant murderous assault from middle-east Arab maniacs bent on our destruction. I agree — my almost nine-months’ does not a lifetime make — but, it is enough time to create life. Never mind all the pocket money collectively spent by the volunteers purchasing much needed things they were always short of supply in. If you think Israel receives top-drawer funds and supplies, you’d be surprised. Loan guarantees are still loans, which must be paid back. The stuff ain’t all free, like you think. Korean war-era castoffs, etc. don’t necessarily advance the Israeli Army to number one. Our determination, brain power, inventiveness and G-d, do.

Jews were fired upon and turned back from most of the lands their boats approached during flight from the Nazi horrors preceding, during, and following World War II. My Jewish families’ efforts as active military meant nothing in the lack of extending refugee asylum to the Jews leaving persecution in Europe during that era. The same attitude was served to the Jews as they reached Palestine; the English administrators did not facilitate entry into the land recognized as ours: we were turned away, imprisoned in barracks or sent to internment camps on the island of Cyprus; or turned away completely — contrary to their own British government’s Mandate. The remaining Arabs, or those recently taking up residence in the land, had caused enough chaos with constant killings and attacks to cow the English to submissive subserviance, kowtowing to their demands and limiting Jewish immigration, against the directive to do otherwise.

The Jews were betrayed — and it wouldn’t be our first time to know such treatment. Indeed, we know the precious price of freedom and how it feels to be persecuted for being born a Jew. We could never be more grateful to G-d for being born, as such. We are cognizant of everything that entails what it means to know nationhood, peoplehood and freedom. We champion it, everyday. For those who would accuse us otherwise, you have yet much to learn.

On World Refugee Day, today, you may view, on-demand, the ceremony of induction and the Oath of Allegiance of refugees and asylum-seekers and new citizens to the United States via the streaming site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at 2:00 E.D.T. (sorry my article surpassed that time frame; guess I had alot to say). I feel honored that Emma Lazarus received the privilege to pen the words upon the sentry statue of welcome to the harbors of the United States at Ellis Island, where many Jewish people came to shore and reached safety.

USHMM: https://www.ushmm.org/watch

 

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Indian Sorrow

Indian Sorrow (Randyjw; June 17, 2016)

The birch-peeled bark in soft white curls

The midden-mound

In sacred space an old place found

Attempts the sluice through stern-driven oar

The rapids edge, the foamy churl

The boat pulled onto shore

An acorn grown to mighty oak

the whispering of the kindled brook

Danced on leaf and skipped on trail

the ember died

And light grew stale

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Mateen Story Contradictions

There are arising contradictions in the Orlando terrorism case, which are mostly coming from statements on the Mateen side of things, from the killer’s family, itself. This is sadly a commanality amongst such cases in the aftermath of a terror investigation, such as that which the Omar Mir Seddique Mateen case brings to bear.

 

It is not my feeling that Omar Mateen was himself gay, and no evidence has been found that would positively identify him as such. While it has been reported that he may have been previously seen inside the Pulse nightclub where he killed 49 and injured 53 other patrons of the facility, and that he had supposedly been texting with someone via an app geared toward same-sex conversation, nobody has come forward to claim any relationship, gay, or otherwise, outside that of his heterosexual marriage. In fact, many articles have claimed that prior classmates and others have found him to be a socially awkward individual with few, if any, friends.

 

It is my contention that he was scoping out his targets and using what he learned as he embedded himself into the community he wished to harm. In most homegrown terrorist incidents on U.S. soil, it always seems to come as a shock to the terrorists’ neighbors of those living next door to them: they always are said to have been “the kindest”, “sweetest” people you could ever have wanted to meet. The 9/11 terrorists, it will be remembered, lived amongst us for awhile before committing their acts, and had established regular relations which did not draw attention toward any abnormal, dysfunctional interactions within the larger societies into which they planted themselves. It is entirely the modus operandi of the act — to fit in, so that they are not caught before being able to commit it. It is the second step, following the first: ideology.

 

Ideology is the driving factor which propels some members of its belief systems to commit terrorist acts. The ideology can be widespread, existing without the expectation for its follow-through with further action, but cognizant that it could represent a directive to many of its members, who will act on the called-for instruction. In Islam, this means that many will pursue the Muslim ideology to create a Sharia-compliant world, which would then be “pure” for them to live in. This can only occur under a Muslim ruler, so the land must be conquered first, and its people converted. A Western society is tolerant toward most people within it; a Muslim society is less-so.

 

What this means is that the ideology exists across all spectrums of the various sects; to what extent an individual chooses to exert the fulfillment to create such an ideal world is another matter. Most in the Islamic community would recognize its fulfillment as its imperative, and that is why it becomes a difficult problem to denounce terrorism, when it is actually attempting to accomplish the goals set out for it. Sectarian differences matter only in regional wars of power, and not in the overarching ideology, which is the same, whether the group is al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, the Taliban, Fatah, Hamas, or the P.L.O.

 

It is our mistake, in the tolerant West, to accept that another culture will be as equally tolerant as ourselves. To project that tolerance upon them, and to believe that the other feels the same, is only a wishful delusion. It is also a mistake to try to peg a terrorist into one group or another, as if it matters, when they commit a terrorist act against us. They have adhered to the grander dictates of the overall call of Islam to purify the world for Islam and Sharia-compliancy. The sects which broke off from the main theology of Islam did so for smaller differences of power: determining which clan, or line, would succeed to leadership? But, they are branches of one tree of Islam, and they can all put aside their differences for the grander vision of their whole. Right now, though, they are too wrapped up in struggles to fill the positions of power to rule their respective countries.

 

Lone wolves subscribe to the larger ideology, and wait their turn. Committing the terror act is the third step, after ideology. Many acknowledge the first and second steps without crossing beyond into the third step: the follow-through and action bearing-out expression of the ideological ideals. But, Mateen crossed over to the third step. We must also realize that belief in the ideology provides many levels of participation in aiding and abetting others to commit terrorist acts. All of the terrorists had help, to some extent, whether in just ideological support, by itself, which would support a person of the same community, from those of similar culture in the community; or, whether in tangent, physical support — such as assistance in their living arrrangements, such as family might provide, or in help obtaining items needed or material support. This would make Mr. Mateen an accomplice, of sorts. You can see why he is distancing himself as far from his son as possible. It’s practically like he doesn’t even know him. He did pay all his expenses, though.He says the son did everything himself. He says the son didn’t show emotion and if so, he would have caught him (but you said he expressed his anger which set him off on this mission, yourself… So, which is it, Mr. Mateen?)

 

The younger Mateen expressed to his father his anger over two men displaying public affection in Miami, approximately two months’ prior to committing his acts of terror on the gay community of mostly Hispanic/Latino clubgoers that evening in Orlando. As I pointed out in another post previously, for the young Mateen to have expressed such a sentiment to his father must truly have confirmed the extent of outrage he felt, if it was sonething he had felt the need to so vehemently relay to his father. And the resultant mass murder was definitely its full expression.

 

The father, Seddique Mateen, first mentioned his son, Omar’s, anger at the two men in Miami as the probable instigation/main reason, and not religion, as the basis for the younger’s attack. Older Mateen contradicts himself now in stating that he could have stopped his son, had he known anything about how angry he had been, etc., and that he didn’t know (but he already told us that Mateen had been very angry, so he did, in fact, know that).

 

There were also original reports stating that Omar’s wife, Noor Salman, had admitted to driving him to that club, previously. Now reports are trying to cover up that fact by stating that investigations are now looking into whether she MAY have driven him there, after it has already been reported that she had. Will this turn into another escape for the family members, as in letting them go free, like they did for Hayat Boumedienne, the girlfriend of one of the Paris terrorists? Or like the bin Laden family members “jetting the heck out of ‘Dodge?'” They always do that; Why?

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Fooey, Gooey!

 

Fooey, Gooey! (Randyjw; June 14, 2016)

 

Falafel is not awful

and beets are neat

Okra is mediocre

and treats are sweet

 

Limes are divine

and roast beef is rare

Gum is so fun

and pears are so dear

 

Peaches are plucky

and ice cream is sticky

Pancakes are yummy

And frosting is licky

 

Taffy is snappy

Molasses is chewy

And marshmallow sneakers

Are sure fooey-gooey!

 

 

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v.2

 

v.2 (Randyjw; June 14, 2016)

 

Tofu,

of two.

 

Bowl

For you!

 

IMG_20160614_025214

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Je Suis Re-Pulse-d

 

Muslims are earning top honors…amongst terrorists. In what is being termed the worst mass shooting in U.S. history (not including wars of this country on its continent), 50 people, at present count, (correction: 49/the terrorist makes 50) were killed by gunfire shot by a murdering terrorist in the midst of an Orlando, Florida nightclub early this morning. At least 53 others are additionally reported injured from this shooting.

 

The perpetrator took hostages from those present at the nightclub in a three-hour melee of absolute horror, seeking out patrons in areas throughout the club, at least according to a message from an individual who had texted a relative from his hiding location with others inside the club’s bathroom. The messages indicate a disturbing sequence of events, relaying, in real-time, an attempt by those trapped inside to find a hiding place, and then to report that the terrorist was on his way to reach them, and that he had, actually, reached them. It was the last message received by, what I’m sure, were distraught individuals on both ends.

 

In the same report, pieced together from those of others, as this one is, a 29-year-old Muslim male named Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, of Port St. Lucie (correction: Fort Pierce?), Florida, is being attributed with this crime. His father, mentioned as being from Afghanistan, was noted as saying that he didn’t think his son’s actions were caused by religion. He added that his son had been angered over seeing two men kissing in Miami approximately two months ago, prior to this morning’s shooting.

 

Indeed, he must have been extremely angered, if he had further need to vent such an emotional reaction over the incident to his father, and, even more disturbingly, had to pre-meditatively act upon his anger by channeling his destructive rage into massive murder of a targetted group. The victims he sought in order to appease his inclination to kill came from those most-fitting the hated demographic — the gay community.

 

This he found at Pulse nightclub, where this heinous abomination took place. What pains did he take to discover this venue location, between 123 to 132 miles (per Google) and 1-3/4 to 2-hours’ driving distance north from his hometown? How did he discover it? Where was he, and what was he doing in Miami, also about 113 to 130 miles distant and between roughly 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 hours’ drive south from his hometown, when he allegedly witnessed the public display of affection between two men, supposedly triggering the murderous plot, which would enfold two months later? Did he already have the guns, and where did he buy those?

 

It is the holiday known as Ramadan in the Muslim religious calendar, marking an approximately month-long period, from June 5th to July 5th this year, when observant Islamic believers engage in a period of austerity on their physical selves, fasting each day until sunset, and reflecting inwardly toward adherence to tenets of faith and ideals promulgated by the religion and in what is deemed by it as beneficial to the individual as befitting the larger community.

 

This, in turn, is one of its problems. Because the outlook of Islam is to see outward manifestations of other non-Islamic cultures as a direct affront to the ideals held in esteem by the proponents of Islam, an inevitable culture clash comes into effect when the two parties meet. It’s not that the ideals of Islam can be said to be necessarily bad; it’s just that the measurements for its enforcement can be so severe. Run a little wayward, contrary to proscribed behavior, and the Vice police will turn you in for summary execution, whippings, limb amputation, public stoning…for even the smallest infractions toward which we’d be aghast at its extent of punishment.

 

Worse yet, it’s not a “live and let live” society, whereby others are free to live their separate ideals, elsewhere. These ideals need to be extended across the entire world in the minds of the strictest religious adherents to the religion of Islam, resulting in the most-hoped for wish for a worldwide Caliphate. Attacking the “Infidel” — that is, the unpure non-believer — anywhere they can be found, is considered a heavenly chit-point in the scorecard of Divinely-ordained (by them) obligation. Such exhortations emanating from imams (Muslim religious leaders) and other hardline followers are being heeded worldwide, in so-called “lone wolf” and other sleeper cell attacks worldwide, lying in wait until the moment is opportune to strike.

 

The attack has all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack based on Islamic motivation. The timing is ideal, being Ramadan, marking an auspicious time in the calendar for a perceived “martyr’s reward” in the heavenly realm, in their particular viewpoint. Secondly, it fights the non-pure non-Muslim, another imperative. Thirdly, it does so on the “Infidel’s” own, “impure” soil, which is even “better”. Fourth, it adds another targetted “impure” community of homosexual individuals, a behavior considered abominable in the religious teachings of several faiths, including Islam. Fifth, the Islamic community is impelled to act to compel others to obeisance, by force, or to eliminate those who do not comply, by death. Sixth, compliance means a complete acceptance of the faith and its beliefs, as well as its often fundamental literally-interpreted doctrines in declaring oneself aligned to the religion. Seventh, denial of the “invitation” to accept the religion (convert) often means death. Eighth, there is still the Arabic-superiority complex in acceptance of non-Arab Islamic subjects, though that is scoffed during interregnum periods in subserviance to the immediate purpose of focus toward world domination, for now. Ninth, it is the second day of the Jewish celebration, outside of Israel, of Shavuot — in fact, the day of reflection and of paying homage to the souls of Jewish people who have passed away with prayers in their honor and memory. It is well-known that Arabs love to attack Jews on Jewish religious observance/holidays, although, for some strange reason, I don’t suspect this man even knew it was a Jewish holiday.

 

For the father of the terrorist to say that his son was not acting in accord with the Islamic religion is an obvious attempt to deceive a less-gullible public about the tenets of religion than they grant our knowledgeable U.S. citizenry. In fact, we also know that the Hudabiyya treaty, which Mohammed used to parlay defeat of the Muslim advance into a so-called “peace treaty” from which to build up arms during quiet to be used for war another day, is part of the Islamic practice of using deceit (i.e., lying) to fool the enemy, in order to gain advantage later (i.e., operate as an attacking fifth-column, the “Trojan Horse”, when all are set and ready, to attack the enemy from a position of strength from within their midsts). He might believe that we’ll believe that, but his son’s actions teach us differently.

 

Mooney, Paula. “Omar Mateen Photos: Orlando Shooter, 29, is Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, of Port St. Lucie, Florida”; Inquisitr.com, June 12, 2016:http://www.inquisitr.com/3194956/omar-mateen-photos-orlando-shooter-29-is-omar-mir-seddique-mateen-of-port-st-lucie-florida/

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Randy’s Recipes: Lemon-Guava Creamery Treat

Randy's Recipes: Creamery Treat (clockwise from left): Coconut-Lime, Lemon-Chamomile, Lemon-Guava

Randy’s Recipes: Creamery Treat
(clockwise from left): Coconut-Lime, Lemon-Chamomile, Lemon-Guava

 

Randy’s Recipes: Lemon-Guava Creamery Treat (Randyjw; June 11, 2016)

 

Ingredients (Makes three 16 oz. containers):

 

2 tablespoons lemon-sugar slurry (cold lemon-peel sugar infusion)

2 or 3 overflowing REAL tablespoons cream cheese

1 – to 2 – cups whole milk

14 oz. can sweetened, condensed milk

1/4 – to 1/2 – cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

Pinch baking powder or baking soda

1-1/2″ – to 2″ – wide strip cut width-wise from 14 oz. block of guava paste, melted on low heat and thinned with water and milk

3 oz. – to 6 oz. lemon yogurt

Water, to thin, if needed

Optional add-ins: mashed banana, coconut flakes, other spices, other fruits, other yogurts, etc.


1/2 – to 1 – day prior, prepare a cold lemon-sugar infusion. Cut the peel from a soft, ripe, lemon with edible peel (a Meyer is good, but use your preference) into small pieces, and stir with copious amounts of sugar, several times, into a jar or container. Cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight.

Over medium-low heat on the stovetop, blend together the cream cheese, milk, condensed milk, sugar, flour and baking powder/soda until smoothed and heated through. In a separate saucepot, melt the guava strip with a little water, and then with some milk.

Into a 16 oz. container, place between 3 oz. – to 6 oz. lemon yogurt, lemon-sugar slurry, melted guava and any add-ins. Stir through. In small batches, add about 1/3 of the stovetop mixture to the yogurt mixture, reserving the remainder for two more batches of flavors of your choice. Cool!

IMG_20160630_084003   IMG_20160630_192943

In this expanded batch, I added extra pieces throughout, keeping larger pieces of guava paste intact, and sprinkling two tablespoons of lemon-sugar slurry into the middle top of this cool “confection”, for added flavor bursts, throughout.

7.5 Yums Up

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Randy’s Recipes: Lemon-Chamomile Creamery Treat

Randy's Recipes: Creamery Treat (clockwise from left): Coconut-Lime, Lemon-Chamomile, Lemon-Guava

Randy’s Recipes: Creamery Treat
(clockwise from left): Coconut-Lime, Lemon-Chamomile, Lemon-Guava

 

Randy’s Recipes: Lemon-Chamomile Creamery Treat (Randyjw; June 11, 2016)

 

Ingredients (Makes three 16 oz. containers):

 

2 tablespoons lemon-sugar slurry (Cold lemon-peel sugar infusion)

2 or 3 overflowing REAL tablespoons cream cheese

14 oz. can sweetened, condensed milk

1 or 2 cups whole milk

1/4 – to – 1/2 – cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

Pinch baking powder or baking soda

1 tablespoon crushed chamomile

3 oz. – to 6 oz. lemon yogurt

Water, to thin, if needed

Optional add-ins: mashed banana, coconut flakes, cinammon or other spices, other fruits, other yogurts, etc.


1/2 – to 1-day prior, prepare a cold lemon-sugar infusion. Cut the peel from a soft, ripe, lemon with edible peel (a Meyer is good, but use your preference) into small pieces, and stir with copious amounts of sugar, several times, into a jar or container. Cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight.

Over medium-low heat on the stovetop, blend together the cream cheese, milk, condensed milk, sugar, flour, and baking powder/soda until smoothed and heated through.

Into a 16 oz. container, place between 3 oz. – to 6 oz. lemon yogurt, lemon-sugar slurry, chamomile and any add-ins. Stir through. In small batches, add about 1/3 of the stovetop mixture to the yogurt mixture, reserving the remainder for two more batches of flavors of your choice. Cool!

6.5 Yums Up

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Randy’s Recipes: Coconut-Lime Creamery Treat

Randy's Recipes: Creamery Treat (clockwise from left): Coconut-Lime, Lemon-Chamomile, Lemon-Guava

Randy’s Recipes: Creamery Treat
(clockwise from left): Coconut-Lime, Lemon-Chamomile, Lemon-Guava

 

Randy’s Recipes: Coconut-Lime Creamery Treat (Randyjw; June 11, 2016)

 

Ingredients (Makes three 16 oz. containers):

 

2 tablespoons lime-sugar slurry (cold lime-peel sugar infusion)

2 or 3 overflowing REAL tablespoons cream cheese

1- to 2 – cups whole milk

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 – to 1/2 – cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

Pinch baking powder or baking soda

1 tablespoon coconut cream

3 oz. – to 6 oz. lime yogurt

Water, to thin, if needed

Optional add-ins: mashed banana, coconut flakes, other spices, other fruits, other yogurts, etc.


1/2 – to 1 – day prior, prepare a cold lime-sugar infusion. Cut the peel from soft, ripe, preferably edible-peel limes into small pieces, and stir with copious amounts of sugar, several times, into a jar or container. Cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight.

Over  medium-low heat on the stovetop, blend together the cream cheese, milk, condensed milk, sugar, flour, and baking powder/soda until smoothed and heated through.

Into a 16 oz. container, place between 3 oz. – to 6 oz. lime yogurt, lime-sugar slurry, coconut cream, and any add-ins. Stir through. In small batches, add about 1/3 of the stovetop mixture to the yogurt mixture, reserving the remainder for two more batches of flavors of your choice. Cool!

6.5 Yums Up

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Peace Out and Peach Out

 

 

This evening after sunset (because the day has officially ended, and the holiday starts “tomorrow”) marks Shavuot, when G-d gave us the Torah to Moshe on Mount Sinai. This is the revelation of His words and teachings. It’s a time of joy and happiness. We celebrate often with a meal of dairy.

KIMG0138

It also commemorated harvest times and festivals in days of old. In honor of my father and my brother, in their memories, for relatives who are no longer here with us, and in order that there be food still growing on earth for whoever might be here to enjoy it, perhaps for the poor, or those of us who can’t afford to spend eight dollars for a peach, in all of your honor, and in honor of the L-rd’s blessings and in gratitude, I planted a peach pit. Peace Out and Peach Out!

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And the peaches were delicious in my Green Zeitim recipe (see “Green Zeitim” post, below).

 

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Chag Shavuot Sameach

 

Bar’chu et Adonai ha’m’vorach

Baruch Adonai ha’m’vorach le’olam va-ed

Baruch Atah Adonai

Elokeinu Melech Ha’olam

Asher bachar banu mi-kol ha’amim

V’natan lanu et Torah-to

Baruch Atah Adonai

Notein ha-Torah

(V’chayei Olam Nata b’tocheinu

Baruch Atah Adonai, Notein ha-Torah)

 

Thank you for your Torah, L-rd. Thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for your love and for finding and placing me with good Jewish parents to raise me in my faith. Thank you for allowing me to say these words to you on the bimah and for allowing me to reach this day. Thank you for the beautiful world you have created and all that’s in it. Happy Shavuot back to you.

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How Telling

I’ve been in several lockdown situations in Israel due to terrorist incidents and scares, where it wasn’t known whether the present situation was safe to resume regular activities and one needed to shelter in place, by order of authorities, until such time as deemed clear. One of these occurred at the Jerusalem main bus terminal, when an unattended package had been left (I think it was near the Be’er Sheva bus area), and all the commuting passengers remained mostly immobilized for what seemed like a rather long period of time, trapped like little anchovies in a tin. Tick-tock, tick-tock — the day wore on, long and drawn. Tick-tock-tick-tock — inside the interminable terminal.

 

It was greyish and dreary standing there, like a mannequin sandwiched next to others of the same, our safety and fate one with each other in that moment, not knowing whether we were going to be blown to smithereens by an Arab terrorist’s bomb, or whether some schmo had just forgotten their newspaper and lunchbag or some such daily toteables on their way to and fro. Luckily, this time, it was not terminal for any of us waiting there that day.

 

Last night was a bad night for Jewish diners getting together with friends and families at Max Brenner in Tel Aviv. They were killed and severely wounded by the bullets of two Arab terrorists (reported by Hamas as brothers, but noted as cousins by Israeli media) who had illegally infiltrated Israel to carry out these attacks.

 

I learned about these attacks through my local CBS affiliate, part of a larger television market which aired a very well-sourced panoply of footage from the scene and elsewhere. Kudos to you, CBS, for making this known and for doing a very good job of it. Such incidences are so often over-looked, as if the killing of Jews by Arabs has become so commonplace, that it no longer warrants coverage. The fact of the matter is, sadly, that Arab terrorism against Jews is mostly suppressed from being shown in the mainstream media. Perhaps our nationality as Jews is the reason for this pattern, as Arab terrorism against others is usually always reported. I guess the leftist media need to self-perpetuate their myths of the Jewish “bad guys”.

 

In any case, that’s not the point. Families in Israel and Jews worldwide are mourning the losses of these lives, who mattered very much to us. One woman, whose name was Mila, was both caretaker to her siblings and to her parents, at the same time. Who will there be to care for her family, after the initial well-wishers have come and gone and none remain to care for her family?

 

The evolving story had many of the initial “facts” changing, from one news outlet to the next. I saw one interview on YouTube with an individual who speaks so authoritatively when asked what the terrorists wore, although there is no indication that he was present at the scene, but only that he said that people that he knew had said to him that they had been there. Did those people describe what the terrorists wore to him? Is he the unconfirmed “eye witness” later reported by a Jewish media source to have described the terrorists disguised as Orthodox Jews?

 

It is clear from the security footage of the incident caught on tape that neither of the terrorists are wearing any clothing meant to disguise themselves as Jewish. Unless they removed such clothing prior to their murder spree, they are simply dressed in casual business garb. They have no headcoverings, no tassels, and they certainly didn’t trade the ubiquitous Adidas track suit, so popular among Arab terrorists these days, for any Armanis by the looks of these particular outfits in which they were garbed to commit their deeds.

 

Certainly, they tried to appear inconspicuous, so as not to alert the local populace as to what their forthcoming intentions would be. They did a good job. There were no belly bombs visible, no suicide vests with wires, no scimitar between clenched teeth. Just your regular, commonplace Arabs hanging out amidst the Jews, wherever they might dwell. Nobody paying any mind to some Arabs sitting amongst them, dressed as perhaps any Arab businessman, or Jewish one, for that matter, might be dressed.

 

It’s been said by the Arab bartender at the restaurant that the two men were there for about 15 minutes before their rampage. In one report attributed to the bartender, he says they ordered dessert. He described them as looking like “lawyers”. Another report supposedly taken from the one which reported “dessert” suddenly has this as “milky brownies”. I guess we missed the additional information, somewhere, as we did when we hear that this bartender describes their dress as “warriors”, in black (suited, nevertheless) and being immediately recognizable as “West Bank”.

 

“Lawyers?” “Warriors”? I can understand the mistake, if it was given as an oral report and the rest of the report was heard/read elsewhere additional to the information given. The statistics, also, have seemed unclear, as well, with internet url headlines not matched to written headlines — hence, my hesitancy to list what, for me, still remains unclear.

 

What is clear, though, is that nobody thought anything about there being Arabs dining as regular patrons amongst them. Why? Because it is a usual occurence, contrary to what the apartheid-promoters would have you believe. Yep, just regular people, like you and me, out for a bite on the town. Unusual? Not a bit, in this democratic, free country.

 

What is usual, though, is the same color-blindness that Israel takes, to its detriment, in NOT having discriminatory attitudes and actions towards the Arabs. If even Israeli restaurant patrons take no mind of Arabs amongst them, then how can it be that Israelis are tarred with a feathered brush saying that we don’t allow Arabs among us; we separate them; we’re apartheid; discriminatory? If such things keep happening, doesn’t it prove otherwise? Shouldn’t we be more discerning and discriminate more, when, what is too sadly usual and common occurs again: Arab terrorism targetting Jews?

 

Here is some of the horrible footage:

https://youtu.be/vAa6PEXapXk

 

Update: In an amazing afterstory, there lies a miracle. An Israeli policeman and his wife had been out at the cinema, and rushed homeward upon hearing about this attack. As they got home, a confused-seeming man asked them for some water. He went into the home and had some water, being left behind with the wife and other of the policeman’s relatives as the policeman headed back out to the attack scene. When the policeman got there, he saw one of the terrorists, who was dressed similarly to the man back at his home. The policeman raced back home, and there he pinned the second terrorist down, until backup could arrive to apprehend the terrorist. The policeman’s family was unharmed.

 

I think the same angels who had come and pronounced the blessing to arrive in the form of the birth of Yitzhak (Isaac) to Sarah and Abraham, while they dwelled in the tent, were the same ones protecting this family. The same principles were in play. The idea to be hospitable to one another, especially to the stranger, is a major Jewish tenet. The story, or more particularly, its outcomes, that G-d abundantly blessed those who, in return, had blessed others, has become an essential, and guiding principle among the Jewish, and essentially, all, Middle-Eastern people. Perhaps G-d, or the angels, suddenly revealed the darkness to this terrorist over what he’d done, and shown him the kindness in showing the same to others, as this Jewish family had done. Only G-d, and he, will know.

Staff: United With Israel. “Miracle: Policeman Mistakenly Invites Tel Aviv Terrorist Into His Home; No One Was Hurt”; United With Israel.org, June 9, 2016: http://unitedwithisrael.org/miracle-policeman-mistakenly-brings-terrorist-into-his-home-no-one-was-hurt/

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Randy’s Recipes: Vanilla-Chamomile Ice Pie

IMG_20160606_174431

Randy’s Recipes: Vanilla-Chamomile Ice Pie (Randyjw; June 6, 2016)

 

Ingredients:

1 box Nilla wafers, crushed

1 plus 3/4 sticks salted butter, melted

4 REAL tablespoons lemon-sugar slurry

2 REAL tablespoons water, if needed

1/4-cup coconut milk

1 REAL tablespoon coconut cream

7 oz. can sweetened, condensed milk (approx. 3/4- cup)

1 banana, mashed

1 REAL tablespoon dry, crushed chamomile

3 REAL overflowing tablespoons cream cheese

6 oz. vanilla yogurt, or your favorite flavor


At least 1/2-day to 1-day prior, prepare a lemon-sugar slurry infusion by cutting the peel from a ripe lemon with an edible peel (a Meyer works well, but you can choose your own) that is soft and can be eaten. Stir into a jar or container, with copious amounts of sugar, repeating several times to form a thick slurry paste. Set in the refrigerator to infuse overnight, if possible.

 

When ready for preparation, begin with the crust. First, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the butter in a small saucepot at low heat on the stovetop to melt. Transfer the Nilla wafers into a large plastic bag and crush fairly fine (small pieces are okay). Mix in the melted butter, in small batches, to coat the crumbs. Add in 4 tablespoons of lemon-sugar slurry, including the peels (make sure they’re edible, first; if not, just use the slurry). If needed, add a tablespoon or two of water, to hold the crust together. Coat your pie/baking dish with a light dusting of flour and baking powder/soda (if you want to grease it first, you may). Press crumb mixture into the baking dish or pie plate using a 1/2-cup measuring cup to press the crumbs evenly around and up the sides of the dish, and to smooth. Bake crust for approximately 11 minutes at 350°F, then remove, and turn oven down to 325°F. Run a knife down along the dish edge to loosen the crust to make it easier to slice, later.

 

While crust is baking, prepare the filling. Mix coconut milk, coconut cream, condensed milk and chamomile together. Mash banana into mixture. Stir in cream cheese, then yogurt. Pour into pie crust and bake for about 6 minutes at 325°F, then raise heat to 350°F again, and bake for another 4 minutes, or so. Remove from oven and let cool. Freeze to set.

 

Garnish with fruits, whipped cream or meringue, nuts, coconut or chocolate shavings, or interesting spices. Hope you enjoy!

9 Yums Up

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Randy’s Recipes: Guava Cheese Snacks

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Randy’s Recipes: Guava Cheese Snacks (Randyjw; June 6, 2016)

 

Ingredients:

Guava (I used paste, cut into small squares)

Cheese (I used mild cheddar, but you can use mozzarella, or your preference, cut into small squares)


Place one square guava atop one square cheese. Sweet and tangy make a nice blend. Try a citrus topper, like orange, or add a nice citrus splash with the juice from a lime, a lemon, an orange, or a grapefruit, etc. Blend into a salad with some coconut flakes, too! Enjoy!

4-1/2 Yums Up

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Jerusalem Day! Today! Yay!!!

 

Today marks the anniversary of our soldiers liberating our land from the illegal Arab attack upon us and subsequent 19-year illegal occupation of our land. These areas were Gaza (liberated from Egyptian occupation), the Golan Heights (taken back from the Syrians), and the Old City of Jerusalem (kicking out the illegal Jordanians and their Legion). Let me do a dance on my screwed-up knee, and I’ll be right back…..

 

I just sang “Haveinu Shalom Aleichem”, and I clapped and walked around in a circle or two. Kitty celebrated with me with a small piece of cheddar cheese; she likes Jerusalem Day, too!

 

Here’s a nice article describing some of the Jewish history which fully backs our rightful ownership claims to the land (there are so many, that they can hardly ever be fully compiled, since they include, not only our own claims [which, see: The Tanach/Bible], but those of most other Middle Eastern, and other foreign, countries):

(http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18991)

 

Here’s a nice article on the Temple Mount, the substructures and the olden pathways used by the Jews in transversing the pathways between the gates of the walled city and the interior crossways to the Temple and other areas inside and nearby to the compound, etc., now lying below the Islamic structures atop the plaza and courtyard areas:

Ben David, Lenny. “Secrets Under the Al Aqsa Mosque”; June 4, 2016, Arutz Sheva/Israel National News.com: (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/213261)

 

And, here is Ofra Haza in a video singing “Jerusalem of Gold” (which demonstrates our cultural connection, longing, love, and heritage to Jerusalem and Israel): (https://youtu.be/YBNV8L7qjGE)

 

Here is a nice, rhyming transliteration of the lyrics to “Jerusalem of Gold” (so you can read what it means to us, for yourself, and see how much we revere her): (http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-yerushalayimshelzahav.htm)

 

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Recommended Stories

 

Here’s a recommended story, which is just so beautiful. It looks to have been a reposted item sent by @_ouafae_, who seems to be ouafae el moudden, but I’m not sure and can’t find it.

 

I came to it through discovery of the blog of Nikita Ch, who had liked a comment I had written at Shekhar’s Digest. Nikita’s blog is called: Bliss Flow Soul, and the story is called: Love and Time: A Story.

 

Thank you to you both for sharing it. And here is the link, so you can read it, too:https://blissflowsoul.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/love-and-time-a-story/

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Pols, Polls and Other Trolls

 

We often hear the term, “pol”, bandied about, as if it has a pejorative meaning we can all ascribe to a singular characteristic, described as… What, exactly? Nobody seems to really know. The best I can come up with is that it refers to someone, or something, classified as being “politically incorrect”, whose own meaning, itself, refers to activities and terminology considered unpopular among the perceived consenting majority opinion of people worldwide. But, this in itself, becomes morally relative (or, “moral relativism”), another term created, in itself, to deem that all viewpoints should hold equal merit and which solely differ based on perceived viewpoints from individual perspective. It’s true to a minorly superficial degree, but in the final analysis, it is a fallacy.

 

Such is the situation in the Arab-Israeli conflict, with those on the left, who support the Arab cause, decrying an Israeli attack to destroy a rocket-launcher used by Arabs to lob missiles at Israeli Jews inside Israel, despite when prior Israeli warnings to evacuate the area (etc.) go unheeded and civilians placed in harms way, by the Arabs who have hidden the war machine inside Arab civilian populations, are unintentionally harmed by these Arab actions.

 

Are these Canaanites of old who held the land before the Israelites? No. Are they Jebusites, or Amorites or Hittites? No. They claim to be “Palestinian”, based on the name given to Judah/Israel by the Roman occupation of Israel in the first century of the Common Era (A.D.), which reflected Israel’s old arch-enemies, the Falastin, who were first mentioned being THEN in the land during the time of King David (Jewish history does not start with King David — it begins many centuries earlier, with Abraham and family leaving Ur and settling in Canaan, which becomes renamed and is known for the land and people-hood based on Jacob’s struggle with G-d, the Hebrew translation of this struggle being “Yisra-” (struggle with) “El” (a name for G-d)  — “Israel”.).

 

If the so-called “Palestinians” could show actual proof of their assertions, rather than just to start claiming themselves, sometime in the latter half of the twentieth century or so, to be the people of an enemy tribe found in our book, then I’d consider the merit of the claim. Even if that were the case, and somehow the vanquished/assimilated Falastin suddenly popped back to life after a noted absence of several thousand years, they would still lose the right to hold Israel, at all. They only were located in the small areas around Gaza, anyways. They did not have the land, even then, where Israel has been situated for thousands of years. And Israel then ruled that land for thousands of years. It is only by Israeli kindness that they are even being allowed to try to have their own autonomy there. Anyways, G-d gave Israel the land.

 

Despite what some might say, it is not guaranteed a final determination, nor should it be. They lost that war, as they did the ones during the twentieth centuries, when they chose to support the losing side and sided with Communism and Fascism, as well as with Hitler — subsequently losing the Turkish/Ottoman hold over Israel, which had seen a couple-hundred of years periods given over to various loosely-Arab-based or confederate others of non-Jewish origin.

 

The victors, who were not the Arabs, won. But, the Arabs don’t see it like that. This is what I mean by moral relativity. They think that every square inch of land once ruled over by Arabs then always belongs to Arabs. I guess it’s the same with Israel, but we have only the one, small, greatly truncated space — the Arabs have like 22 countries; the Muslims, overall, have like 57. They have room to spare. They could even find room, somewhere, amidst all that land, for the so-called “Palestinian” “refugees”, if they were really the purported humanitarians they pretend themselves to be.

 

But, this is the meaning, at least one of them, which is given to so-called internet “trolls”; those who purposely agitate others for their own personal gains or who pretend to beneficence with malevolent purposes as their true bearing, luring people with pretense by advocating beliefs they really wish to change, etc.

 

But, the Jews have been there all along, documenting our history, even since our so-termed “exile” began, with its dispersions among the nations. We have all our history, and how it has related to others, written down. While we might have specific problems in recent times documenting individual lineage, due to devastation and wholesale murder of our population, our Jewish people can trace the millenia from the Patriarchs on forward, and its various routes and detours placed along its various paths.

 

There aren’t so many written sources from the Arab worlds. Those that do exist attest to the House of David. Others contain discrepancies in their own timelines, calling into question the overall veracity of the history of the peoples they purport to represent. But, for most, like the “Palestinians”, they only exist by mention in a Jewish source.

 

And with the last rhyming term in the title, we come to “polls”. Polls are a measurement taken of public opinion. They are supposed to be conducted in a fashion to eliminate bias of the polling conductors, in the same way that statistical or medical data is compiled to represent results of a population surveyed. Generally, the population is supposed to be representative of the general population-at-large. Therefore, a wide enough sampling of varied individuals, or a control group, against which to base results, needs to be set. Sometimes, this can be manipulated to reflect a closer ideal, if one with an agenda is directing the results. This is not supposed to happen, but it does.

 

The same can be said for statistics. Nowadays, the same set of results can be shown to bias both sides and favor each, at the same time. Information can be extracted and applied out-of-context to represent something other than that to which the documentation actually refers. And, here, is where I must insist that I have seen polls with leading questions unfavorable to Israel being presented as gospel fact, when they clearly, in my opinion, represent wishful perpetration of a narrative presented by its pollster, John Zogby, of Zogby Analytics (other polling Zogby business models are: Zogby International, Zogby Research Services, etc.).

 

John Zogby will be appearing at the Yalla 2016 Conference as a key speaker, presenting such topics as: “The Foreign Policy Issues We Must Elevate”. Being that the itinerary is listed on the website of the Arab American Institute, whose denial of Israeli sovereignty over its own land of Israel is implicit in its web pages calling the Israeli sovereignty an “occupation” and demanding the creation of an Arab state from its midsts, seems to indicate, most specifically, what the political goals of this non-profit organization are. The fact that John Zogby wants to promote such political viewpoints runs counter to the supposed non-bias he is supposed to maintain in his polls and sampling methodology, given that his polls are used extensively by the agency.

 

The additional Arab demand that a separate “Palestinian” state be created directly from Jewish Israeli land, like the creation of woman from the side of man, rather than being formulated instead from one of the Arab countries, where similar language, and culture, and people reside, indicates the clear-cut political agenda that the Zogby’s follow.

Screenshot: June 3, 2016

Screenshot:
June 3, 2016

 

Screenshot: June 3, 2016

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June 3, 2016

 

Screenshot: June 3, 2016

Screenshot:
June 3, 2016

 

Yet still, his polls indicate his obvious bias. You are not supposed to cull out the response you wish to attain with selection of specific individuals who would give such viewpoints in a poll. Some winnowing is, of course, essential, say — when determining buying habits of 18-34 year olds. Zogby’s views, as a pollster, are not supposed to express any viewpoints. Yet they do, because he makes polls about Muslims, and Arabs, and Israel, and Arabs in the U.S. I have discerned leading questions unfavorable to Israel in the makeup of such of his polls in previous years. Did I save them? No. I just noted them in my head.

Screenshot: June 3, 2016

Screenshot:
June 3, 2016

 

Screenshot: June 3, 2016

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June 3, 2016

Does the fact that his polls are mostly selected of Arab, Muslim, and its actions on the Arab community affected by Israeli or American policy to Arabs, relevant? Indeed. Should there be such close affiliation to a non-profit organization, such as the Arab American Institute, when Zogby is a commercial enterprise? Should the non-profit money of the Arab American Institute go toward all these polls, when, in reality, the money is only passing through the agency, headed by his brother, from one Zogby to another?

Screenshot: June 3, 2016

Screenshot:
June 3, 2016

Additional topics on the itinerary show that he will also speak on: “‘A Plan That Will Work’ and ‘a Look at the 2016 Political Landscape'” — not exactly broad-based subjects, given that it is SPECIFICALLY political, and more-specifically one-sided to promote Arab interests. The entire itinerary is listed on the Arab American Institute website, founded by James Zogby, his brother, and its President.

Screenshot: June 3, 2016

Screenshot:
June 3, 2016

Do you see the inter-relatedness between the promotion of political Arab interests to wrest land from Israel, to pass money from a non-profit agency toward the services of your brother in utilizing all those Arab/Muslim-specific and/or related polls, via the nepotism of your brother, and in trying to influence political opinion by this non-profit agency in skirting tax laws granted to non-profits solely on the basis of their being apolitical in nature, and in selecting a biased poll-operator, both in Arab favoritism and familial closeness (a brother)?

 

So, one Zogby can claim something, and the other one will back him up — you know, statistics and all. And then, there’s always enforcement. Could it be that police sargeant, Carl Zogby, a detective and spokesman with the Hialeah Police Department, is related? That, I don’t know. I have a kindof popular name, but I’m not necessarily related to others with my last name.

 

Meanwhile, a multitude of terrorists have lived in South Florida, not far from Hialeah, which is a Hispano-centric suburb outside Miami and closer toward Broward County. Jose Padilla, one of the first terrorists, a Hispanic convert to Islam in Broward County jail, lived in Plantation, a western suburb between Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Some of the 9/11 terrorists lived in Hollywood, whose city is presently run by an Arab man, and Delray Beach, both in southern Florida. A gun used in the Paris, France terror attacks was traced back to the Century Arms gun store (recently advertising for a clerical person to handle administrative details) located across the street from a sheriff’s substation in Delray Beach. And the recent terrorist plot to blow up a Jewish synagogue with people in attendance at prayer involved an Aventura, south Florida location. There were the Florida associations with professor Sami Al-Arian as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation accusations. Terror beneath the palms.

 

James Zogby, the founder and President of the Arab American Institute, and an Arab-American, is today being reported by the Jewish Press as having been instrumental in the support of Ziad Abu Eain, who was charged and jailed with placing a bomb nearby to an Israeli restaurant, which killed a couple of Israeli children, as well as maiming and injuring other Jewish Israelis. This is something which happened awhile ago, but it is a reminder to us of where James Zogby, and his Arab American Institute stand.

 

Why do we need to know this? Because, just recently, James Zogby has been chosen by the Jewish Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, to help write the platform for the Democratic party to follow. Yes, issues pertaining to national security and the well-being and security of Jews in Israel, will now be formulated by an Arab sympathizer to terrorists. Does this not totally represent what is wrong with the leftist viewpoint, self-hating Jews, and the no-longer-Democratic party?

 

I’d noticed the polling results a long time ago. I didn’t know how to write about just that. With the importance of the elections, and the importance of Zogby’s views in support of terror, I think now is the perfect opportunity to welcome you to Middle East conflict.

 

Flatow, Stephen. ” The Terrorist Defender and the Democrats’ Platform”; The Jewish Press.com, June 3, 2016:http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-terrorist-defender-and-the-democrats-platform/2016/06/03/

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Man Bands

 

Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles — these were the “boy bands” of my day. In fact, there was really not such a thing until the term defined it, in the 1990’s, with the likes of Boyz II Men, ‘N Sync, and The Backstreet Boys. Wikipedia places it earlier, and there are some evolutions referred to, but I still give it to the ’90’s, with nods to Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson of the 1970’s and 1980’s spurring the young boy popstar phenomenon, further opening the music market to teen male pop poster-boys, along with their bands, during the later 70’s, popularizing maledom everywhere.

 

My era saw macho “man bands” slicing and dicing their way through rousing rock tunes with no intimation, whatsoever, regarding gender. Such things didn’t matter. Neither did race. Perhaps it would have continued to develop more naturally and organically, had we not indulged in exaggerated scrutiny to the matter, peering and prying into every aspect of its being, making sure to attach a label to it so that it would become a sure phenomenon.

 

Such is the nature of competition in the marketplace, the requisite publication of the theorem, welcoming admittance to the doctoral student into their professed occupations. No wonder the plethora of grant-driven studies in minutaie.

 

Nevertheless, good marketing and better formulas die a slow, ignominious death. So, here we have continuing boy bands, worse for the wear and the tear, with regard to the golden standards to which they now must attain. This is the same trajectory, by the way, as taken by the “girl bands”, pretty much, except the path preceeded the boy bands by about a decade or so (popularly considered — say, by The Bangles, or the Go-go’s, etc. — Yep, I spun double turntables, back in the day, but nothing fancy).

 

Girl and Boy Bands, as a concept, are almost on the verge of becoming passé. Until you come to this one: Celtic Thunder. This group is really wonderful. They comprise almost the right quantity of individuals to be considered a choir, but fall ideally just short.

 

Last night, I happened to leave my television tuned to the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in America when I left off from watching the Stephen Hawking series, Genius. Turning it on for a little noise beyond the whirrings of my mind this following evening, a PBS special, with its accompanying fund drive, was broadcasting Celtic Thunder: Legacy. It was already past the halfway point, and I already missed quite a bit. Sad to say, as I enjoyed it very much.

 

Through the packing tape holding the lens to the frame of my spectacles (for that is what it surely is) from where it broke in two places, and on the small screen with few channels, perhaps first-gen cable-ready, I made out what appeared to be a Brad Pitt or Val Kilmer look-alike, with this beautiful voice and charming persona. I’m sure both Brad and Val can sing wonderfully, but this gentleman had a fine singing voice.

 

The rest of the ensemble were equally wonderful, as well. Hailing from Ireland, they sing an eclectic mix of heritage-style songs and those geared to their audience. Since the audience was American, they did some doo-wop tunes and classic tunes familiar to all. For that is what it is: a group geared for good, old-fashioned family fun and entertainment.

 

This is a show for young and old alike, and just about all would be able to appreciate it. If you can see it, whether on t.v., or live in-concert, or hear their shows via CD, I recommend them as a great, enjoyable group you can feel happy about listening to.

 

 

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Wonderings Beyond Our World

 

I cried at the conclusion of tonights’ second episode of GENIUS, Stephen Hawking’s television series demonstrating that we, too, are capable of figuring out the conceptual ideas driving philosophers, physicists, astronomers and others for the last few thousand years regarding the earth and the place of humanity within the larger universe. The sense of wonder at the greatness of the universe just left me in tears of awe, and looking forward to being shown all that the L-rd has created in His goodness.

 

The premise of the show is based on putting actual volunteers, young adults without much experience yet in length of life on this planet, to work on various simple, physical experiences which demonstrate the conceptual ideas perplexing to our ancestors: such puzzles as the size of the earth, its shape, its distances to other planets, the rotation of planets around the sun, etc. Stephen Hawking’s narration throughout is perfect — never an extraneous word, easy to understand without condescending or patronizing language, and leading seamlessly from one experiment to the next, building ideas upon the ones just demonstrated.

 

For instance, the volunteers are brought to a lake and are given various measurement tools to determine whether the lake is level. They need to find the tools, figure out what needs to be done based on what they find, and set out to complete the experiment. It’s kindof like a reality show for science nerds. But, it’s done in such a normal, laid-back way, that it presents science in a non-threatening way that the layman can understand, and even can find fascinating.

 

Well, we all know that water likes to level itself, due to gravity and its liquidity, right? And that the bodies of water on the earth — its lakebeds, and rivers, and oceans, etc. — are generally just water which has filled-in crevices and craters in the earths crust, right? Looking at a lake, you can see it’s flat, right? Well, you’d be surprised.

 

First, the volunteers measure the lake with a telescope and tripod. They find about a 6″ difference in height, further away. Next, they take a special, powerful laser and beam it across shore and two separate locations, and find it about 6′ feet in difference. Finally, a helicopter whisks the two girls off, while the guy monitors their flight some miles away. The helicopter suddenly disappears over the horizon beyond what appears to be the top of the lake — But, it hasn’t landed, yet. Speaking by radio, the pilot tells them, at the point of “disappearance”, that they are still 24′ feet off the ground, indicating the curvature of the earth. Combined with its distance, the calculations can be extended to figure out the diameter of the earth. Cool!

 

Other such physical testings are done, and its all alot of fun. There are plenty of things to wonder about. For instance, how can I generally sense the presence of Kitty, in her stealth and silent feline stead, outside the door or hiding somewhere outside, site, and sight, unseen? I feel like she has such insights and senses on such a more highly developed plane than we have, practically seeming to read my mind by telepathic empathy. It’s really amazing.

 

If you get a chance, please watch the show. It’s presently being broadcast on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS – Channel 2, generally) in America, as well as being available as a DVD at their online “gift” (or donation) shop, as well as on itunes. It’s good for you, without feeling like it.

 

Update: An informed reader of this post has supplied the conceptual parameters to conduct a scientifically-sound investigation of the phenomenon which is being explored in this t.v. segment, indicating curvature of the earth. The “scientists”, themselves, were actually students of, perhaps, middle-school, or high-school age, figuring out for themselves, with supplied tools and instruments, scientific/mathematical processes to reach their conclusions. With what they were given, the students were able to figure out the steps mostly needed to demonstrate the principle in effect. However, it appears that the experiment  the students conducted may have been scientifically-flawed, based on the lack of using all of the needed steps or equipment necessary to reach an accurate conclusion, as spelled out in additional commentary to this article provided by Nick, whose explanation can be read in the comments section. It is ponderous to wonder just why these students may not have been given the appropriately necessary equipment to more-accurately assess, quite literally, their surrounding environment. My posit was that it was to pare down the essentials to cater to the “lowest common denominator” of the television audience, while still serving to present the main gist of the idea in laymen’s terms which most people could grasp. Is this the real motivation for this action, or could there be other reasons? What are your thoughts about this? Meanwhile, I have recently learned that Stephen Hawking supports the bigoted actions of the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) movement against the homeland of the Jewish nation, Israel. I guess this means that even those to whom we might credit incredible GENIUS are capable of complete ignorance in the most simplest of matters.

 

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Randy’s Recipes: Lychee-Lemon Freezer Pie

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Randy’s Recipes: Lychee-Lemon Freezer Pie

(Randyjw; June 1, 2016)

 

Ingredients:

1 plus 3/4 sticks salted butter, melted

1 box Nilla wafer cookies, crushed

Candied lemon peel and cold-sugar slurry of 1 lemon (made 1/2 – to 1-day previous)

Dry flour for dusting

Pinch baking soda or baking powder, for dusting

1 banana, mashed

3 REAL overflowing tablespoons cream cheese

1 can (20 oz.) lychee nuts (fruit) in syrup; (reserve approx. 1/4-cup liquid for filling; set aside 6 lychee nuts for garnish, cut  horizontally in half; chop remainder of lychee nuts for filling [optional])

Approx. 2 oz. coconut cream

1/4-cup coconut milk

6 oz. lemon-flavored yogurt (standard single-serve yogurt size) (or your flavor preference)

6 oz. mandarin orange-flavored yogurt (standard single-serve yogurt size) or your flavor preference)


 

At least 1/2- to 1-full day ahead of time, prepare the lemon peel/sugar infusion. Make sure to use a very ripe, soft, thinner peel (a Meyer lemon is generally good, but use your preference) and cut it from the lemon into very small pieces. Sprinkle copiously with sugar and stir, repeating several times, to develop a thick slurry paste. Let set overnight in the refrigerator, if possible, to infuse the sugar with lemon aroma/flavor.

 

When ready to prepare your pie, preheat the oven to 350°F. Begin by melting the butter in a small saucepot at low heat on the stovetop. Lightly dust a baking dish or pie plate with the flour and the baking powder (or soda); remove most of excess — a light coating is fine. Transfer Nilla wafers to a large, heavyweight plastic bag and crush cookies fairly finely (small pieces are okay), then pour into a bowl (or leave in bag). Stir melted butter into cookie crumbs to form a crust. Add one-half to-entire contents of lemon peel (if edible — if not, strain out) and sugar (more for stronger flavor; less for weaker essence) to crust mixture, blending well. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish as evenly as possible. Using a 1/2-cup measuring cup, press the crumbs into the dish and up the sides, smoothing and evenly filling the dish. Bake at 350°F for approximately 11-12 minutes.

 

Into a medium-large bowl, mash one banana. Then cream together the banana with the cream cheese and coconut cream. Add the lychee juice and the chopped lychee nuts/fruit (if a creamy texture throughout is preferred, omit this ingredient here, or substitute another for a different flavor/texture). Stir in the coconut milk. Add the yogurts (use less than the whole if adjusting for too much liquid). Pour filling into pie crust and smooth evenly. Place back into oven (you may need to adjust temperature to 325°F and/or time during this phase) and bake for another 8-14 minutes, or so, finishing the last few minutes on 350°F. Remove from oven and let stand on counter to cool and to thicken slightly.

 

Insert a thin, flexible knife, such as a steak knife, between the crust and the dish, and pull the rim of the dish toward you, holding it with a potholder, to loosen the pie edge from the plate. Use the same pulling technique with a moist paper towel or napkin, to clean the rim and outer edges of the dish. If you want to pre-cut the pie to make it easier to cut in its more semi-frozen state, you may do so. As well, you may garnish now, or after it has frozen, with cut lychee fruits (or toppings of your choice: mandarin orange segments, sliced banana, whipped cream, meringue, coconut flakes, etc.). Freeze to set-up and firm the pie (or refrigerate).

 

If you prefer a creamier texture, add more sweetened, condensed milk or additional banana. To boost the lemon flavor, spoon a couple of tablespoonfuls of lemon-sugar slurry into the filling. Similarly, if you are not a “frond” (hah-hah!) of coconut, then omit it. For smaller pie plates or a less-full effect, reduce yogurt content. Enjoy!

KIMG0135

9.1 Yums Up

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