Is Killing Them the Only Answer? YES!

Here are a few passages from a fine and disturbing article written by Steven M. Warshawsky for The American Patriot. (It’s worth reading the whole thing, and here’s the link.)

Two recent articles on National Review Online demonstrate what I consider to be the two biggest failures to date in thinking about the War on Terror: a studied refusal by most westerners—including American conservatives who support the war—to admit that we are in a clash of civilizations with militant Islam, and a concomitant failure to recognize that America and her allies have not fought this war with anywhere near the ferocity required to win.

In discussing the second of the two articles, entitled “Hawkish Gloom” by Stanley Kurtz, Warshawsky says:

Kurtz recognizes the deadly seriousness of our present confrontation with militant Islam. He fears “we’re on a slow-motion track” to both world war abroad and nuclear terror at home. But rather than blow the trumpet and rally the troops, Kurtz sighs, shrugs his shoulders, and slumps down in the grip of powerlessness and despair. Or as he puts it, “hawkish gloom.”

…Kurtz further argues that, due to the nature of modern terrorist organizations, “decisive military victory” cannot be achieved against the forces of militant Islam. Implacable? Incapable of being defeated?

With all due respect, this is nonsense. No different than the myth of the invincible Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

The truth is, to date, we have not made any effort to destroy the forces of militant Islam. We have only engaged in limited conventional actions in Afghanistan and Iraq and (supposedly) covert ops worldwide. That’s it. We haven’t mobilized the American people for war. We haven’t destroyed Iran and Syria. We haven’t closed radical mosques or shut down the jihadist propaganda networks. We haven’t conducted targeted assassinations of jihadi leaders across the globe. We haven’t made it clear to the terrorists and their supporters that they cannot win and that they will die.

How can Kurtz be so sure the enemy cannot be defeated? We haven’t even tried.

Warshawsky concludes that, “…the answer is to fight harder, not resign ourselves to an even deadlier future”, and I agree.

We are so damn civilized that we can’t conceive of an enemy that can’t be talked to, can’t be negotiated with, and can’t be motivated by anything we have to offer or threaten. You might as well try to negotiate with cockroaches under your kitchen sink. There is only one answer, and that is to defeat them – that means kill them. That is the only situation under which they will no longer be a danger.

The impracticality of thinking that we can kill each and every Islamofascist in the world is obvious. But we can try to kill as many as possible, and weaken them as a group. We will always have to be on guard for the individual terrorist, here in America and everywhere else in the world. But the dead ones can’t attack us.

That many innocents will die in the conflict is certain. But that can’t be the primary concern. If this war is not fought in earnest, and with a clear determination to win and protect the people, land, culture and values that we hold dear, then we will all die anyway. Many civilians died during World War II. Would you rather that we had never taken up the fight? Would you like to live in a world meekly given over to the likes of Hitler and Tojo? For that is surely where we’re headed if we don’t wise up, and quickly.

Published in: on August 11, 2006 at 10:02 pm  Comments (6)  

Come Take a Look…

writing1.jpgThose of you who read this site may be interested in taking a look at my new blog Writing English – The International Language of Business (click here). Whereas Rose Petals is my fun blog, Writing English is about my business as a “writing repair” specialist. In short, I’m a writing fixer-upper for people who need a little (or a lot of) help with their writing.

I invite a dialogue with other business owners, or anybody who cares about good writing. Perhaps you’ll join in.

Hope to see you there,

Judy Rose

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Key Concepts: assisting management, basic skills, business writing, clients, communication, conflicts, consultant, customer communi- cation, customer relations, disputes, education, effective communi- cation, employee communication, employee support services, English, English writing, formulation of text, getting clients, grammar, international companies, language, lawsuits, marketing, organization of text, sales, sales pitch, small business, spelling, text, time-saving, writing, writing errors, writing mistakes, writing repair, writing skills.

Published in: on August 10, 2006 at 11:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Think Twice About Ordering This!

 

I happened on an article today that brightened my day, not because it contained good news — on the contrary. It was about a serious subject, I suppose; the dangers of eating too much fast food. But the way the writer (Dan Neill, writing on LATimes.com) described some of the offerings of restaurants like KFC, really made me laugh. You have to register with LATimes.com to see the whole article, so I will save you the trouble and just share the best parts.

On KFC’s new Famous Bowls (tub of mashed potatoes or rice, topped with yellow corn, fried chicken nuggets, gravy and three varieties of grated cheese), Neill says:

And now, in the interests of participatory journalism, I take a bite. Hmmm. Uh-huh. OK. It’s like throwing up in reverse…

A couple of questions immediately present themselves: Why not go all the way and top the Famous Bowls with an apple pie and pour Coca-Cola over them? To save customers the struggle to pocket their change at the drive-thru, why not throw it on top as well? If the product developers thought Famous Bowls were a good idea, I have two words for them: chicken smoothie.

On some of the competitors’ menu items, he says:

To keep pace with McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s pumped up their dollar-priced menu offerings. Wendy’s, deciding its Biggie drink wasn’t biggie enough, recently began offering sodas in 42-ounce cups. Great, a beverage I can swim in…

The Southern California restaurant chain The Hat serves French fries in a paper grocery bag and a Pastrami Burger the size of a moose’s head. It’s the only place I know where meat is a condiment.

He’s funny, no? The article makes the point that most of this stuff is just awful for you.
I remember when MacDonald’s original chicken nuggets came out. They were so terrible (kind of slimy inside), I suspected they were made from beaks and toes, rather than any of the more edible parts of a chicken. I’ve heard they’re better now. One of the executives must have tried them. On the other hand, I do like the taste of KFC’s popcorn chicken. The coating is nice and crispy, and there’s even a little bit of chicken in each one, although on some of the smaller pieces, you have to search for it. They could save a lot of overhead by just serving the crisped coating all by itself. Oh my, I think I just invented the next craze. I’d better head for the patent office right away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on August 2, 2006 at 6:46 pm  Comments (1)  

Monster of the 21st Century

I haven’t written anything about the war in the Middle East, principally because other blogs, like bookwormroom, for example, are handling the issues so well. But I would like to share a Letter to the Editor I read in Saturday’s Orange County Register. It was written by Kevin Diamant, of Irvine, CA.

I am sick of all the ignorant letter-writers who blame Israel for the violence in the Middle East. Israel was created as a Jewish homeland after World War II so that the Jews would never again be without someone to fight for them. The Jews took a worthless strip of desert and made it bloom and introduced democracy to the region.

In her first 25 years Israel was attacked three times by the enemies that surround her and forced to fight for her life. When they found that they could not defeat her in a conventional war, her enemies turned to terrorism and began deliberately targeting unarmed, unsuspecting civilians. This tactic is a direct challenge to civilized society and cannot be supported by sane reasoning. What sort of world would we have if anyone with a grievance strapped on a bomb and headed for the nearest public gathering place? Yes, civilians die when Israel defends herself, but, unlike the terrorists, civilian death is not what Israel seeks.

Israel frequently eschews bombs and missiles and puts her soldiers at great risk in close-quarters fighting so that civilian lives may be spared. When civilians are killed, it is often because the terrorists hide among them. Those who see Israel’s actions as morally equivalent to the terrorists’ actions put us all on a slippery slope toward a world in which no one will be safe.

I fear for a world in which so many people cannot tell the difference between good and evil, or who lack the courage to name evil for what it is. Right now Israel is standing toe to toe with the monster of the 21st century, and she deserves our unflagging support.

I especially like the last paragraph, in which Mr. Diamant calls terrorists the “monster of the 21st century.” He got it right. To me, a monster is something that can’t be reasoned with, so must be killed. Despite the cease fire and international monitoring that may eventually come out of the diplomatic efforts underway, I cannot see how there will ever be a meeting of the minds without a complete turnabout in the thinking of Israel’s (and our) enemies. I am very pessimistic about that happening. Personally, I’d rather just see Israel finish the job.

Published in: on July 31, 2006 at 6:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Alzheimer’s Delay Device

I discovered this game on the computer called Super Bounce Out. You are presented with a screen filled with all different colored balls. You line them up into rows of at least three of the same color by clicking on two balls, which exchange places. When you’ve formed a line of three, those three will bounce out of the screen and send the neighboring balls ricocheting against each other to form new patterns. There’s a time limit, and if you don’t clear enough balls during the limit for that level, the whole screen explodes and gives you this little “nyah nyah” sound, just to make sure you know you stink at this game. (Michael thinks the sound is more “beep boop” but whatever it is, it still means you stink.) If you clear the required number of balls, then you advance to succeeding levels, where rows of three (or four or five, if you’re good enough to make them) are worth more points. Of course, higher levels require you to clear more balls, so the excitement builds. Got it? Oh, and there’s this guy saying “boing, boing, boing” while all the balls are bouncing around.

You may think this is a colossal waste of time, but I can think of three good things about it:

1) I enjoy it, and the better I play, the more I enjoy it.

2) Playing seems to release a part of my brain that does its best work when I’m not watching. So I come up with good ideas while I’m playing.

3) The other part of my brain (the part that’s playing the game) has to be alert, and has to look for patterns, and anticipate patterns that will form as balls bounce out of the screen. There’s also hand-eye coordination from using the mouse. This is good exercise, i.e., an Alzheimer’s Delay Device.

If all that sounds like too much justification, then stop after No. 1.

When I first started playing Super Bounce Out, I couldn’t find the patterns fast enough. I got “nyah nyah-ed” very quickly. I was lucky to score 3,000 points (baby stuff). Naturally, the more I played, the better I got. I learned to recognize set-ups for aligning four or five balls and my scores started to reflect it. On the day I first reached 100,000 points, I felt like a teenager. Now, 100,000 points is routine. I am writing this post to announce to the world that I have scored 369,938!

But I have no objective idea whether that’s fantastic, really good, average, or still baby stuff (compared to an actual teenager). So you people out there who play Super Bounce Out, please tell me how I’m doing? I really need to know.

Published in: on July 17, 2006 at 9:27 pm  Comments (1)  

No Need to Learn English

Yet another reason why immigrants needn’t bother to learn English…

Today’s Orange County Register tells of a Spanish Language school where Korean business owners are learning Spanish (click here for complete article).

…mostly middle-age Korean students…are taking language lessons at the Martin Spanish College. Many are small-business owners who do not speak English.

How can you fault them for choosing to put their effort into learning Spanish instead of English? It’s a very practical decision for them, and just another sad indicator of where we’re headed.

The school’s founder, Martin Paik, taught Spanish to Koreans in Buenos Aires, Asuncion, Paraguay and Los Angeles. In 1997, he established a language school in Southern California and now teaches 120 students in Los Angeles and Orange County.

“It’s imperative to know Spanish nowadays,” Paik said in Korean. “Here in California, lots of Koreans work with Hispanic customers and employees. If you can’t speak Spanish, you can’t do business well.”

Paik never learned English. He said he’s been too busy teaching Spanish.

Posted by judyrose July 11, 2006

Published in: on July 12, 2006 at 2:50 am  Comments (5)  

Phonetic Spelling Plan: Education for Idiots, by Idiots!

According to Associated Press writer Darlene Superville, the American Literacy Council wants to change English so that all words are spelled phonetically (click here for complete article).

Notwithstanding the errors of fact by ALC spokesman Alan Mole, who argues in favor of phonetic spelling (did you know German is a phonetically spelled language? Try Kreuz or Sie), if this is the best answer the education elite can come up with to improve our kids’ reading and writing skills, we’re in a heap o’ trouble.

Generation after generation, the native-born and the immigrant – when sufficiently motivated – have managed to master basic English. What we really need is a reaffirmation of high standards and personal discipline, maintained by parents and teachers who value real achievement over unearned “self-esteem.”

This is no small thing the Council is talking about. Words get much of their meaning from their prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Superville quotes Professor Donald Bear, director of the E.L. Cord Foundation Center for Learning and Literacy at the University of Nevada, Reno, who objects to the plan. He says:

Students come to understand how meaning is preserved in the way words are spelled.

Simply put, the entire purpose of language is the communication of meaning. The ALC plan obliterates key components of the way meaning is communicated.

Education by idiots, and for idiots, will create legions of idiots. People can learn how to spell and read our common language – if they can be protected from crackpot theorists like the American Literacy Council.

Published in: on July 6, 2006 at 11:02 pm  Comments (2)  

Writing Errors Do Damage

I saw two things in the Business section of today’s Orange County Register that lifted my spirits. Both support points I try to make in my business as a provider of writing assistance services. In his column (click here), Stephen Wilbers talks about the impact of writing errors. He says:

Big errors are damaging. Small errors are distracting. Big errors undermine your credibility. They’re the kind that nearly every reader notices and some readers never forget. If you make a big error when writing to certain readers, they will put you in a box, tape it shut and place it on a shelf labeled, “Never to be paid attention to again.” Believe me, it’s not a comfortable place to be.

I always tell clients that even small mistakes draw the reader’s attention away from the subject matter and focus it on the errors themselves. Even if they are not severe enough to cause a misunderstanding about what is being said (and all too often, they are), errors still obscure the message and detract from the company’s image. This is especially unfortunate when a company is promoting the superior quality of its products and/or services. The incongruity is obvious.

The second item appears in the “Five Tips” column. Today’s tips on e-mail come from Anthony Sanchez of Waterford Technologies in Irvine, CA. He makes the points that e-mails are valuable business communications, and sometimes, the only record of an approval or an agreement.

I have always maintained that in business, it is just as important to write carefully in e-mails as it is in more formal correspondence. Yet e-mails are often written in informal shorthand and are rarely edited before they go out. When employees have substandard writing skills to begin with, and believe that mistakes don’t count in e-mails, these communications pose a risk to the company if they are not checked first.

Good writing can prevent misunderstandings and inspire customer confidence. It is too important an issue to neglect. Especially here in Southern California, the workforce contains large numbers of people educated in other countries who use English as a second language. Even when they speak and read quite well, writing can still pose a challenge for them. In U.S. education, the basics aren’t stressed as much as they once were, and good writing skills can no longer be taken for granted, even among college graduates. This is the need I try to address in my business, although, sad to say, many executives do not believe that good writing is an ideal worth spending money on. I even had one potential client send me the following:

WE HAVE NO NECCESITY AT THIS MONMENT,PLEASE CONTACT OTHERS.

So I felt good coming across these two items in the paper today. It’s always nice to get validation, even when you already know you’re right.

Published in: on July 3, 2006 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Illegal Immigration: Answer to the Social Security Crisis?

Can someone in Washington be thinking that allowing illegal immigrants to participate in the Social Security system will shore up the worker-to-retiree ratio and save the system? I’m just waiting for some politician to tell us that this is one of the great benefits of granting amnesty to illegals.

If I remember correctly from my days as a Social Security employee back in the 1970s, for people who work in the lowest paying jobs, the ratio between what they pay into the system vs. what they will be entitled to receive makes them a net drain on the fund.

Published in: on July 1, 2006 at 6:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Recipe for Kreplach

When I got married and moved from Brooklyn to Ann Arbor, it was the first time I had lived away from home. It seemed important to me to show my parents that I was an adult. My method of demonstrating this was to make Kreplach, a time-honored tradition in our family. I made them, and reported my success in a phone call, but that still left something to be desired. I had made the entire recipe as it appears here, but since there were only two of us, instead of my Brooklyn family of 6, Michael and I were eating them for several days. As much as I love kreplach, after a few days, it’s enough already. (I didn’t know then that you can freeze them.) So I took one from the fridge, wrapped it tightly in aluminum foil, marked an envelope PLEASE HAND CANCEL, and sent it off as proof.

The package arrived intact, and my mother said the little krepple looked very nicely formed, although a bit too old to taste. My sister told me it was the funniest thing I had ever done. She went into hysterics when they opened the envelope. Only I would have thought of sending cooked pasta through the U.S. mail. It was just recently that she told me that when the thing arrived, it was several shades of green and had hair growing on it. My mother was much too kind to mention that.

So here’s the recipe. But please don’t mail them anywhere. I think they’ve now passed a law about that.

 

Jewish Ravioli

Or I would call ravioli Italian Kreplach.

It depends on who raised you.

WARNING! Read this entire recipe before you begin.*

About three months in advance of wanting to make kreplach, serve your family roast beef about once every two weeks. Always make a roast a little bigger than the family needs, and freeze the leftover piece. Soon you will have a bunch of little silver foil packets in the freezer, and you will wonder, “What am I going to do with all these little pieces of meat?”

Then you will be ready to make Kreplach.

THE DOUGH

Ingredients: 2 cups flour

salt (slightly less than a level teaspoon)

2 eggs

water

Here’s the rule: for each cup of flour, use one egg. Let’s start with two cups of flour. If it turns out we didn’t make enough for your family, you can do it again. If it turns out we made too many – no, forget it. There are never too many.

Put the flour in a bowl. In a cup, mix the eggs with about 1/3 cup of water and the salt. Make a crater in the flour and add the egg and water mixture, stirring it gently with a fork. Now the next step is hard to do in the bowl, so you have to spill the flour/egg mixture out onto a board or the kitchen table. Only you know how expensive your kitchen table was – so we leave this decision to you. Work the dough to combine all ingredients well. You might have to add a little more water or perhaps you should have used a little less to start with. All cooking is an experiment!

Knead the dough until smooth. It should be rather soft. Separate it into two balls and knead each one. If you feel that you do need a little more water, just add it one or two drops at a time and knead it in. If you find that you had too much water, add a little flour. Adding flour to the board or table will make it easier to work the dough and prevent sticking.

When the dough is made, cover it (you can just turn the bowl upside down and place it over the dough) and leave it alone for about half an hour. It’s going to get soft under there, and will be easier to roll out.

THE FILLING

Ingredients: 1 or 2 diced onions

oil

beef

Did you leave the little frozen pieces of meat in the regular part of the refrigerator over night so they would thaw? It would have been a good idea. But since you didn’t, just leave them out on the counter while you cook the onions.

After you dice the onions, saute them in oil. Cook slowly until translucent. Don’t let them get too brown. While the onions are cooking, cut the beef into small pieces. Add them to the onions. They will thaw the rest of the way. Let them get thoroughly heated and in the meantime they will pick up lots of yummy onion flavor. Salt the mixture to taste.

Do you have a meat grinder? Put the mixture through the grinder. Now you have your filling.

The problem when I was growing up was that the filling was so delicious that while my mother was rolling out the dough, we kids used to find excuses to come into the kitchen so we could snitch little pinches of filling. Only now am I able to understand why she used to find this so aggravating, especially since she had been saving that meat for three months. So put the filling in a safe place if you have children.

Did all that take half an hour? If so, you are ready for…

THE FINAL ASSEMBLY

On your board or table, roll out one ball of dough. It should be about an eighth of an inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the whole sheet into 3″-4″ squares. Lift up one square (start with a corner, it’ll be easier to get up) and place about a teaspoon of the filling into the center. BE SURE TO PUT THE FILLING ON THE UNDERSIDE of the dough. The underside is stickier and the kreplach will hold together better. Fold the square over to form a triangle and press the edges together firmly to seal the meat in. Repeat this until you have made all the kreplach.

At this point, I can never remember how many minutes to boil them. So I’d better do what I usually do – call my mother. Excuse me for a minute.

My mother said you cook them in boiling salt water for about 10 minutes. When done, drain them like any pasta. You can eat them in chicken soup, with pasta sauce, or with butter (that’s my way) or eat them cold the next day right out of the fridge – if, that is, you have any left to refrigerate. You can even make a big batch and freeze them (spread them out on a cookie sheet – and once frozen, put them all in a plastic bag) in anticipation of the day when you won’t have time for cooking. And my mother said that Aunt Tillie had her gall bladder out and didn’t even tell anyone she was going into the hospital. Oy!

OK, so you want to make kreplach right away and don’t want to wait three months. I suppose you could make a roast and use the whole thing for the kreplach, but I can’t imagine anybody doing that.

 

 

*otherwise you may find yourself having to run out and buy a meat grinder in the middle of everything.

 

 

Note: When I originally wrote this recipe out some years ago for a friend of mine, I was able to call my mother. Oh, how I wish that were still true today.

judyrose June 28, 2006

 

Published in: on June 28, 2006 at 7:59 pm  Comments (28)