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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Archive for January, 2008

Giuliani Exits Race, Endorses McCain

Posted by Atilla89 on January 31, 2008

I can’t believe this has happened, the most qualified candidate (in my opinion) for President of America has dropped out. To say I’m shocked is an understatement, however after reading the reasons, I really should have seen this coming. He’s reportedly endorsed McCain, who I don’t know much about, however, I do know that he is better then Mike Huckabee’s comment.

Now you can read some of the reasons why Guiliani quit here.

“John McCain is the most qualified candidate to be the next commander in chief of the United States,” Giuliani said. “He’s an American hero.”

Once the front-runner himself, Giuliani decided to abandon the race after a dismal performance in Tuesday’s Florida primary, a contest on which he had bet his political fortune. Instead, McCain won and Giuliani came in a distant third. Giuliani recalled he had said in an earlier debate that McCain would be his choice for president if he were not running himself. “If I’d endorsed anyone else, you would say I was flip-flopping,” he said, mentioning an oft-repeated criticism of McCain’s chief rival, Mitt Romney.

McCain, standing at Giuliani’s side, acknowledged his former rival as “my strong right arm and my partner.”

“This man is a national hero and I’m honored by his friendship,” he said.

The endorsement joined two Republicans who had campaigned on similar themes that highlighted their national security credentials β€” McCain’s status as a Vietnam POW, war hero and a Senate voice on defense matters, and Giuliani as a stalwart New York mayor during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Giuliani announced his exit from the race and backing of McCain at the Ronald Reagan Library, site of Wednesday night’s debate involving the remaining GOP candidates. Tuesday’s result was a remarkable collapse for Giuliani. Last year, he occupied the top of national polls and seemed destined to turn conventional wisdom on end by running as a moderate Republican who supported abortion rights, gay rights and gun control. The results seriously decimated Giuliani’s unconventional strategy, which relied heavily on Florida to launch him into the coast-to-coast Feb. 5 nominating contests.

But Florida proved to be less than hospitable. His poll numbers dropped and key endorsements went to McCain.

Surveys of voters leaving polling places Tuesday showed that Giuliani was getting backing from some Hispanics, abortion rights supporters and people worried about terrorism, but was not dominating in any area.

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Dream Theater Concert: Sydney, Australia 2008

Posted by Atilla89 on January 30, 2008

So today I went to a Dream Theater concert. Let me just start by saying that it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to in my life. It went for something like 3 hours with song after song coming on with only a 15 minute break between sessions! The management were unorganised so people either sat wherever or moved around the main floor. I took photos and videos while in the seating and then for the 2nd half just went head banging in the front row (which was amazing by the way!). The audience were good, even if they were a bit docile by my standards (no pits or wall of deaths, just jumping and head banging). I also got a really awesome Dream Theater T-Shirt which I will wear often as it looks great. As always I don’t really remember the play list so any help in filling that in would be appreciated.

Edit: I am but my video’s are actually to big and YouTube is refusing to upload them. This means I won’t be able to put them on this blog, however I will try put 1 or more good photos on the site in the mean time. Thank you very much everyone for contributing to the set list, it is appreciated πŸ˜€

Set List:

Constant Motion
Panic Attack
Endless Sacrifice
The Dark Eternal Night
JR solo into…
LitS
Forsaken
Take the Time
β€”β€”β€”β€”
Intermission – 15 minutes
β€”β€”β€”β€”
Overture 1928
Strange Deja Vu
Through my words
Fatal Tragedy
Erotomania
Voices
TSCO
ITPOE Parts 1 and 2
————–
Encore:
As I am
Pull me Under/Metropolis Pt 1

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Dream Theater Concert

Posted by Atilla89 on January 30, 2008

Just to give you all the heads up, I will be seeing the progressive heavy metal band , Dream Theater soon. I will be bringing my camera (this one will have sound). I might be able take some photos but the reality is, its a concert so it is going to be hard. Anyway, possibly in the next few posts you will see some videos from said concert.

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And Now For Something Completely Different…

Posted by Atilla89 on January 28, 2008

Star Wars has always played a big part in my life. From when I first saw the films, to reading the books a few years later, I’ve always enjoyed story of action, adventure and love. To clarify, Star Wars is by no means a religion to me, nor do I consider myself the true number 1 fan, however these guys here, are definitely a contender for that. Hat tip to The Jawa Report.

A Jedi “church” has been born in a galaxy far far away – North Wales.

The Holyhead chapter of the self-styled Jedi Church, which claims up to 400,000 members worldwide, has sprung up thanks to brothers Barney and Daniel Jones, both Star Wars obsessives.

The “church” is only one of a handful around the planet, said hairdresser Barney, 26, the Anglesey Order Minister, also known as Master Jonba Hehol.

Jedi Church
The force: Barney Jones 26, aka Jonba Hehol, and his brother Daniel Jones, 21, aka Morda Hehol, have formed the first Jedi ‘church’ – in Holyhead

“Some people think it will be quite interesting but lots of people will ridicule us because it seems quite nerdy but we’ve had a good reaction so far,” he said. “We think of it as proper lifestyle enhancement and it should be taken seriously – it can’t be bad if it makes life better. “We live normal day-to-day lives. “We are trying to take away the humour of it all and bring more structure so people take it more seriously.” The “religion” was born as a result of a nationwide joke in the 2001 census when nearly 400,000 claimed their belief system was Jedi.

And now Barney and musician Daniel, 21 – or Master Morda Hehol, self-appointed UK “church” leader – are getting their new “religion” off the ground.

“It’s serious,” said Barney. “We will have teachings based on Yoda – the 900-year-old grand master – as well as readings, essays submitted, meditation and relaxation, visualisation and discuss healthy eating. “The Jedi religion is about life improvement, inner peace and changing your lifestyle so you have a more fulfilling existence. “It’s based on the films but we have brought things into it because the films are a bit more sci-fi.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Good And The Bad Of That Breach In Gaza

Posted by Atilla89 on January 26, 2008

Simply put there are both positives and negatives that have occurred from this breach. To be honest, I think the positives far out way the negatives in turns of a strategic advantage to Israel. The negatives: As should be obvious to anyone, Hamas is now going to be rearming and will no be able to fire more rockets, not that they haven’t been managing to get shipments of arms through the Sinai, but I will come to that later. Of course, the positive thing about this breach, for the Palestinians that is, is that 350,000 people have been able to cart away whatever they want from Egyptian markets, take that as you will. Another negative is the fact that;

‘Israeli security officials said Hamas and other militant groups had already exploited the breach in the border wall to send “numerous” armed men into Sinai with the aim of infiltrating into Israel along the long, largely undefended, border between Sinai and Israel. The Israeli road running the length of the border was yesterday shut to civilian traffic and the army deployed reinforcements in the area.’ (link below)

I will get to the positives later because of an interesting point here. In this article (The Australian),

‘Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilna’i said yesterday the breakout into Egypt was an opportunity for Israel to rid itself of its responsibility to supply Gaza with electricity and water and to serve as a channel for Gaza’s imports and exports.’

The pressure of Gaza has exploded and instead of shooting straight at Israel, its gone in the completely opposite direction and hit at Egypt. Now this is a significant event because, it was almost entirely of the Egyptians own making, it was them who allowed the shipments of weapons across the Sinai and it was them who looked on as Hamas systematically destroyed the barrier which allowed them to go into Egypt. Another artical by Noah Pollack written in Commentary Magazine says that:

‘When Israel asked Egypt to do a better job of policing the Sinai to prevent weapons smuggling, the Egyptians replied that they would like to do more, but cannot because the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt limits the number of soldiers that Egypt can station in the Sinai. In other words, Egypt simultaneously said to Israel: not only will we not help you suppress Hamas, but if you want us to even consider doing so, the price will be a renegotiation of our 30-year-old peace treaty to allow us a greater military presence on your border.’

Now the Egyptian argument to my mind is crap and it is a cop out, there are a number of solutions that they could have embraced, one such would have been working with Israel. This is also begs the questions, how come Egypt was so adept at nabbing Sudanese refugees running from genocide and yet can not stop these shipments?

Another point that I would like to raise is a comment made by a Hamas official (in the Australian article linked above):

A Hamas official warned yesterday that the next breakout from the Gaza Strip could be into Israel, with 500,000 Palestinians attempting to march towards the towns and villages from which they or their parents fled or were expelled 60 years ago.

“This is not an imaginary scenario and many Palestinians would be prepared to sacrifice their lives,” said Ahmed Youssef, political adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.

Now just stop and let that sink in for a minute. What Hamas is in essence declaring is war. Stop for a moment and forget about that the hundreds of rockets that have fallen in Israel, and just concentrate on this. Hamas, in its own words wants to send (by that I mean essentially kill) 500,000 of its own kind by marching on to the whole of Israel. If Israel doesn’t treat that as an act of war, well then, I would be very, very confused. As I see it, if Hamas even dares this, all Israel has to do is push these people back and just ruthlessly crush Hamas in the Gaza Strip, whatever the cost.

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The Breach In The Blockade: Gaza Strip

Posted by Atilla89 on January 25, 2008

As most of you know, there was a breach in the blockade around the Gaza Strip (The Australian) that occurred yesterday (24/1/08) around in the Gaza-Egyptian border. The Hamas government is quite clearly behind it, no doubt about that. Even eyewitnesses such as Palestinian guard, Abu Usama said that “I’ve seen this happening over the last few months. It happened in the daytime but was covered up so that nobody would see.” Furthermore, he said that “It was the Government that was doing this.” Only a government would have the technological no-how and organisation to pull something like this off.

A Hamas border guard told The Times [that] Hamas had been involved for months in slicing through the metal wall using oxy-acetylene cutting torches.

When the explosive charges were set off in 17 different locations after midnight the night before last, the 12m-high wall came tumbling down, leaving it lying down the middle of no-man’s land as an estimated 350,000 Gazans flooded into Egypt.

The motive for this is clear, the Gaza Strip under Hamas is running out of supplies, the Israel blockade is working in that sense, however, instead of trying to make peace with Israel, Hamas is just doing what it does best, pillaging and stealing from their neighbours.

Almost a quarter of the entire population of Gaza have entered Egypt in the past two days to stock up on goods made scarce by the blockade Israel imposed on the Gaza Strip following last week’s rocket bombardment of the Israeli border town of Sderot.

Thousands of people herded back cows, sheep and even camels from Egypt into the strip while Egyptian security forces looked on. Others brought back motorbikes and fuel. Many women lugged back cans of olive oil.

I really feel sorry for the Egyptians right about now… Now it should be quite clear why Hamas did this; they need to rearm now.

Israeli officials voiced fears that Egypt’s decision to allow Gazans to cross the border unhindered would allow militants to rearm.

“We are worried, as these breaches not only permit Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip, but also permit Hamas to easily infiltrate arms and terrorists from Egypt,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said.

You think…?

Incredibly, Hamas denies that their men did this and at the same time both Fatah and Hamas blame Israel! I’m sorry did I miss something here?

Β Fatah and Hamas blamed Israel for the breakout. “Israel is responsible for what has happened — this is the consequence of the blockade imposed on Gaza,” a Fatah spokesman said.

You’re right this is the consequence of the blockade, but guess what the blockade is a consequence of, terror. If you support terror and actively wage it, don’t be angry when Israel comes knocking at your door.

Oh, and the UN said something to, but whatever…

The UN Security Council was to meet overnight to finalise a statement calling for “an immediate end to all acts of violence” in the region.

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Back From Israel

Posted by Atilla89 on January 25, 2008

Hello readers, I have arrived back from Israel after 6 weeks of travel. I am very jet lagged and still tired after these gruelling weeks. To be honest, I don’t think I will be writing about the rest of my travels. But if I had to be brief, I really enjoyed Gadna, I loved going around new places like Eilat, Tel Aviv and exploring the different borders. In fact, I was only 500 metres from a Hezbollah stronghold. I also really enjoyed climbing up Massada at 5:30am and going swimming in the Dead Sea. I have a few pictures that I really liked, which I will post below. In the meantime, here’s a post from Sandmonkey that I can agree with to a degree.

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Sunset in Eilat

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Sunset near Rosh Hanikra (patrol boat in background)

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Β Sunset near Safed

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At the shooting range near my base in the Negev (of other people, its not actually me firing)

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A Hezbollah stronghold only 500 metres from me; note the flag in the middle background

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