Friday, June 10, 2011

The Death of NATO?

In his bluntest warning in nearly five years as Pentagon head under two US presidents, Gates announced that Washington's fading commitment to European security could spell the death of the 60-year-old alliance.
                       Excerpt from the Guardian - June 10, 2011

Has the life of this alliance run its course? Where will America stand without Nato? What will our European allies do without a military tie to the United States? Will only going "cold turkey" force Europe to understand that only together we can make the world safe for Democracy? Are we returning to our isolationist past? Are we going back to being the sleeping giant that needs to be reawakened? This article presents many questions to me. As I reflect, I will find even more.

Most of us worry only about what we directly affect and what directly affects us. We do not worry about what is happening in the next state or certainly a state that is a thousand miles away. We are generally even less concerned about happenings in nations thousands of miles away. Unfortunately, we need to be aware and concerned because events both far and near affect us. 

The statements of Secretary Gates are not new. Most likely, his remarks will flow into the dust bin. America and Europe will continue to drift apart. A dream is that his remarks will spur action. Hopefully, politicians on both sides of the Atlantic understand the importance of our joint military strength as a force for good. Together we need to discuss Nato's continuing purpose and its function.

To read the entire article go to the following url:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Self Promotion

Is it ok that I get to show off my 5 seconds of fame? Barry Mannis, an AIPAC National Board Member, honored me before 10,000 AIPAC attendees in his speech introducing Senator John Thune of South Dakota. You have to get through nearly 2 minutes of advertising for next year's AIPAC Policy Conference to get to the beginning of the introduction. Needless to say my head swelled for the credit given to me. Do I deserve this credit? I would love to think so but there have been many people who deserve credit for helping Senator Thune understand the unique US - Israel relationship.

Monday, May 16, 2011


The White House announced today that President Obama will address the AIPAC Policy Conference this Sunday. The President has  rocky relations with the Pro-Israel community. As he looks to his Jewish supporters from the 2008 election, I believe that he will hold out an olive branch to the 1000's that will be at the speech. Many members of Congress from both parties are pushing the President to free Jonathan Pollard. My prediction is that he will announce during his speech that he will commute Pollard's sentence.

Obviously, I do not have any inside knowledge about this. The odds are certainly against me but I believe that President Obama has to do something special to excite this audience. I do not believe that he is coming if not to do something extraordinary. The AIPAC Pro-Israel activists will not be satisfied with words. Actions are important. This is one action that will sway the crowd and Pro-Israel activists everywhere.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Double Standard

Am I missing something? Where are the human rights group that want to deligitimize Israel for her treatment of the Palestinians? Where are the Western governments that demonize Israeli actions against people who bomb and shell them but only call upon the Syrians to be nice to her protesters?

Today we see the following headline by Reuters,
Ban Ki-moon urges Syria to halt arrests, let in UN

GENEVA May 11 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Syria on Wednesday to halt mass arrests of anti-government protesters and to heed calls for reform.

In March 2010 we saw the following headline and quote from the International Middle East Media Center,

Ban Ki-moon Condemns Israeli New Settlers' Houses In Jerusalem
Wednesday March 10, 2010 16:10 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News

The United Nation secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, condemned the latest Israeli decision to build 1,600 new settlers homes in East Jerusalem.

You could say that I took these out of context and from limited sources. Fair argument until you Google "condemns israel" or "concerned syria."

To me, you must conclude that building houses is worse than imprisoning protestors or murdering people in cold blood. Israel gets global condemnation for building houses while the Syrians roll tanks into their cities, machine gun innocent civilians and arrest and imprison non-violent protesters. Israel is obviously held to a different standard.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is Anybody There?

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make any noise? Syria and Iran seem to know that it does not. They have expelled all outside news reporters. Since there is no one there to report on the massacres of innocent civilians, the outside world does not notice or seem to care..

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Israeli Star Wars Operational

If you can remember ancient history, President Reagan in the 1980's proposed an American anti-missile missile system. The system took on the name Star Wars after the popular movies of that name. For many reasons both good and bad the idea has been mostly abandoned.

Because of the Lebanon War in 2006 and Operation Cast Lead against Gaza in 2008 with the thousands of rockets being fired indiscriminately into Israel by her antagonists, Israel decided to invest in its own anti-missile missile systems. Thanks to financial assistance from the United States and Israeli technological prowess, Iron Dome became operational today. The system shot down a Katyusha rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Star Wars worked!!

For the article in the Jerusalem Post, please go to the following url:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mechanical Engineer Explains the Secrets of the Wiffle Ball

I know that I have not blogged in quite awhile. Maybe this article will get me going again. To think that the mechanics of a wiffle ball are important with all that is happening today in the world seems trivial. It is but we always need something to liven us up. Jenn Rossmann obviously takes the dynamics of this seriously. I just remember how that ball moves crazily. I never thought of why and probably never will again.

Enjoy the article, if you care to.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1984 Revisited


This article from Wired Magazine turns the conventional wisdom of the internet advancing freedom on its head. I do not know who is ahead in spying on their people but it seems all governments read our social inputs and listen to our phone conversations. If you read my blog you are already in trouble.

Why the Internet Is a Great Tool for Totalitarians

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Murphy's Law

Amazing what little tidbits of trivia you find when reading about brewing beer. This piece is included in John Palmer's book, How to Brew. I never knew where Murphy's Law came from so I thought this was interesting. I hope you do as well.

Did you ever wonder where Murphy's Law came from? Well back at work there was a photocopy of a short article from one of the aerospace trade journals on the wall of my friend's cubicle. It went something like this:

Captain Murphy was part of an engineering team out at Edward's Air Force Base in California. Their team was investigating the effects of high gravity de-accelerations on jet pilots back in the 1950's. One of their tests involved strapping a test pilot into a rocket chair equipped with strain gages and other sensors to help them quantify the effects of high G stopping. The responsibility for the placement of the various sensors was Capt. Murphy's. Well, the test was run (subjecting the pilot to something like 100 G's of deceleration) and he got pretty banged up.

Only after it was over did the team realize that of all the possible combinations of placing those sensors, Murphy had done it in the one configuration that resulted in useless data. They would have to run the test again. Upon realizing this, Murphy stated, "If there are two or more ways of doing something, and one of them can result in catastrophe, someone will do it that way." Upon hearing this the team leader said, "That's Murphy's Law." The next day at the test de-briefing the team leader shortened it to the now famous, "If anything can go wrong, it will." Murphy still likes his version better.