Month: April 2008

J Street

J Street

J Street was founded to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. We support a new direction for American policy in the Middle East and a broad public and policy debate about the U.S. role in the region.

One of the last great writers at, Gary Kamiya has a great article on this movement: Taking back the debate over Israel

For years, liberal American Jews who have chafed under the taboo against criticizing Israel have dreamed of starting a political organization that would speak for them. Now, with the launch of J Street, that dream has become a reality.

Thank you Gary and J Street. I was hoping a movement would emerge that I could identify with and it seems it has with J Street.

The issue of Israel’s security and existence has been framed in binary terms: “love it or leave it” or “you’re either with us or you’re against us” but as a Jew I can tell you that I’ve never seen Israel in those terms, nor do I see the United States in those terms.

The United States and Israel are both democracies; both countries do great things and both countries do despicable things. I don’t think it weakens Israel for me to question their leveling Lebanon going after Hamas, nor do I think the statements of Jerimiah Wright on US domestic and foreign policy weaken the United States.

Of course, the folks who hang out over in the Salon community are turning this into another binary argument. Maybe everything turns into a sore if you rub on it enough.

Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats

Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats

People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!

If it’s a Christian nation what the heck are the rest of us doing here? Are we here on a guest pass?

No doubt a growing number of Christians outside the military share this belief (although I doubt Jerimiah Wright does) and during the Bush years this number has grown.

It’s pretty scary stuff for us outsiders.

[via Brad Willett]

Bill Moyers Interviews the Reverend Jeremiah Wright

Bill Moyers Interviews the Reverend Jeremiah Wright

I highly recommend watching the entire two part interview. If nothing else it will give a much clearer picture of how the media has distorted the words and intensions of this good man.

How can any reasonable person not agree with every single thing Wright said, both on your show and in his sermons?

Did the arrogance of American foreign policy cause 9/11? Absolutely.

Has American domestic policy wiped out Native Americans and systematically given black people a raw deal? Absolutely.

Couple that with the fact that Wright has done more good for both his community and his country than all of his detractors combined and you have yet another failure of American media to get it right.

I only wish Obama had not been so fast to distance himself from this man and from Samantha Power, another good person injured in a rough campaign.

Thank you Bill Moyers for having him on your show and helping him frame his story in a positive way.

You can read the Moyers blog post and comment here: The Controversy over Wright.

Tenon on Post Sans Beam

Tenon on Post Sans Beam

Bethlehem, Connecticut. A good friend of mine builds timber frame houses and thought I might want to take some pictures of the assembly of a large, Japanese-style house his crew is putting up.

Post and beam or timber frame construction is beautiful and impressive on many levels but the part that interests me the most as a wood butcher, not a woodworker, is the joinery.

This is a tenon that will fit inside a mortise or slot on the beam making a mortise and tenon joint.

Apple Reports Record Second Quarter Results

Apple Reports Record Second Quarter Results

Apple today posted revenue of $7.51 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.05 billion, or $1.16 per diluted share, for its fiscal 2008 second quarter, which ended March 29. “We’re delighted to report 43 percent revenue growth and the strongest March quarter revenue and earnings in Apple’s history,” said Steve Jobs. During the quarter, Apple shipped 2,289,000 Mac computers (representing 51 percent unit growth and 54 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter), sold 10,644,000 iPods, and reported quarterly iPhone sales of 1,703,000.

Wow, those numbers are impressive. They’re more than impressive; that’s a hell of a lot of Macs shipped in a quarter not to mention iPhones. Gad, amazing.