Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sunday Mail: August 31 2008

Letters From Dry Bones
Posting a cartoon every weekday leaves no room for me to simply share news, ideas, and other stuff with you. So welcome to 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones', the new, once-a-week Dry Bones feature.

Letters From Dry Bones
Item One: Back to School Specials:
Every place I turn there seems to be a back to school special going on here in Israel. Even online, if you know where to look! Here's some neat stuff I found:

Save up to 50% on Bible & Talmud Study Tools during this sale! Click on Bible & Talmud Study Tools

Parents, Teachers & School Administrators, Prepare for School Now - During their Learn Hebrew Software Sale. Get a jump on the School Year Give your Child a "Head Start" Click Here: Head Start

Whether you are curious about Jewish History or want to learn Hebrew these guys have what you need at great End of Summer Sale Prices. Click here:End of Summer

Letters From Dry Bones

Item Two: Holiday Gift!?
A loyal reader just confided that she'd bought a number of the Official Dry Bones "Israel at 60" Commemorative Souvenir Mugs! She said that because the mugs are a limited edition and will only be available until the end of 2008, they make neat, unique (and inexpensive) gifts for the High Holidays!

If you want to get a couple for gifts, they are 19.95 each. They are large (a hefty, 15 oz.) ceramic mugs with big, comfortable easy-grip handles. They are dishwasher and microwave safe. And, apparently, they make great High Holiday Jewish New Year gifts! Click on the photo below for more info, to take a peek at the other side (which is even prettier), and to make a purchase.

Only $19.95 for this Dry Bones Commemorative Mug?

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Friday, August 29, 2008

The Next President Of The United States

The next American President : a Dry Bones cartoon.
Obama and McCain will now fight each other tooth and nail to win the presidency. And the winner will then have the job of facing the Iranian threat, the Putin's Russia, China, Oil Dependency, and the U.S. Economy.

And if the "Clinton/Bush family" years are any indication, the American public will not unite behind their newly elected leader. The guy who gets the job will be constantly attacked, delegitimized, and derided by the half of the public that didn't want or support him.

So Convention speeches aside, what do you think is the real motive behind their ambition to be President? What do you think is really driving these two guys?

Nu? So what's your opinion?

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Abie Nathan (1981)

Memorial Rally for Anwar Sadat (1981) Dry Bones cartoon - .
Today's Golden Oldie is from October 26 1981, twenty days after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

In Israel we were shocked at the lack of public response in Egypt to the murder of our "peace partner". I'm posting this cartoon today because Abie Nathan has just passed away. He was a true Israeli hero.

According to the AP report that's just come in:

Israeli peace pioneer Abie Nathan dies at 81

JERUSALEM (AP) -"Abie Nathan, the peace activist who made a dramatic solo flight to Egypt in a rattletrap single-engine plane and later founded the groundbreaking "Voice of Peace" radio station, died Wednesday. He was 81.

Nathan died at Tel Aviv's Ichilov hospital, the hospital said in a statement.

He burst onto the world of Middle East diplomacy in 1966 with his solo flight more than a decade before Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty.

Although he failed in his initial bid to talk peace with the Egyptians, his daredevil escapade won the affection of many Israelis and launched a long and often eccentric one-man crusade to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Over time, he earned a reputation as a maverick peace activist who often took diplomacy into his own hands. He was called a crackpot and a prophet. But many admired the daring of the former Israeli air force fighter pilot as he pounded on Egypt's doors, sailed his pirate radio ship into hostile Middle East waters or risked his life on hunger strikes for peace." -more

abie nathan on the Voice of Peace
Abie at the controls, broadcasting offshore from the "Voice of Peace".

Rest in Peace: Abie Nathan

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


The FBI wants Israel to Extradite Accused Israeli Crime Bosses to the United States. :  Dry Bones cartoon.
The breaking news here in Israel is that the FBI wants us to extradite accused Israeli "crime bosses" to the United States. Here's the story:
Abergil to be extradited to US for slew of crimes

"Israeli reputed underworld ringleader indicted on crimes committed on American soil; According to LA Times, State Department considers him as one of world’s top 40 drug importers to US

Abergil is being accused of an array of offenses: Murder, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion, heading a crime organization and conspiring to commit crimes.

The exact details of his actions in the US only began being revealed on Tuesday. The process of his extradition to the authorities there will begin soon.

According to the indictment, Itzik Abergil was involved in the murder of Israeli drug dealer Sammy Atias in Los Angeles after the latter allegedly stole money from him during a narcotics transaction. -more

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Russian Capitalism (1998)

 The New Russian Capitalism : Dry Bones cartoon (1998):.
Back in 1998, ten years ago this month, we were watching the new poverty in Russia. It was seven years after the fall of Communism.

Now, in 2008, we are back in a world in which Russia has, once again, become a world power. Is it because of Russian oil? Where is Putin leading Russia (and the world)? Russia and NATO are in a face to face conflict over Georgia's break-away provinces and the stationing of American missiles in Poland. And in the background we've got the rise of China and her new "capitalism".

Welcome to the end of the "America, the One World Power" era and the start of ...what?

Your ideas?

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Monday, August 25, 2008

The New Russia and the Media

American/Russian Tensions: a Dry Bones cartoon.

A personal note. I'm a TV junkie and I'll watch any kind of crap (and I don't need to see CNN or the BBC's biased coverage of the Middle East "conflict"). So a while ago I cancelled my cable TV connection, content with watching the news from local Israeli TV stations.

Recently I decided to get a satellite dish which would bring in the Israeli stations with perfect reception. And so, courtesy of the dish which now sits on our roof and is aimed at Israel's Amos Satellite, we get Channel One (Israel Gov't TV), Channel Two (Israel's first Commercial TV Station), Channel Ten (our second Commercial Station), and Channel 33 (which shows Israeli Arabic language broadcasts, educational TV, documentaries etc.).

When we connected the dish we were surprised to see that we also got Russia Today, a 24/7 English language Russian TV station. And so it was that we saw, on Russia Today, the first reports of the Georgian attacks on civilians in South Ossetia. The Israeli news channels seemed to be ignoring the story of the Georgian attack. We watched RT for days, as the story of civilian casualties and the Georgian attack on South Ossetia grew larger (on the Russian TV news).

When, finally, the Russian Army moved in to stop the Georgians, the story broke on Israel and other Western TV stations, and pushed its way onto the front pages of Western newspapers.

What I'm watching these days on Russia Today are complaints about the "bias" of the Western Media. Anger about CNN's "distortions" and the BBC's "lies".

So if I hadn't cancelled my cable TV, I'd have relied on what would have been presented by the Western Media as unprovoked actions by the cruel and vicious Russians. The way most folks in the West are treated to stories about unprovoked actions by the cruel and vicious Israelis.

I find the whole situation quite unsettling!

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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Guns of August

Cold War? Or Something Else?: Dry Bones cartoon.
Latest developments:

America is going to station missiles in Poland:

"The U.S. claims that the missile defense system, made up of 10 interceptor rockets in Poland, and a radar installation in the neighboring Czech Republic, will be used to defend against attacks against the so-called rogue states, such as Iran. However, the missile interceptors are effective only against short-range ballistic missiles, and there are no rogue states within short range of Poland.

The Russian border, on the other hand, is just 180 kilometers from the planned site of the installation." -more

Russia is going to station missiles in Syria:

"Russia is prepared to supply Syria with defensive weapons, the Russian foreign minister said on Thursday following a meeting between the two countries' leaders in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi." -more

So it's clear that the world is getting ready for something big, and I'm afraid that it might not be "just" a Cold War.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Poland and Russia (1980)

Poland and Russia (1980) Dry Bones cartoon
Today's Golden Oldie is from August 1980 and is about the struggle for freedom in Communist Poland. I'm showing the cartoon because of the current growing tension between Russia and Poland because of the Polish government's leaning to the West.

Today's readers might not understand the punchline advising the Polish leader against taking any "trips to to Moscow". Back then it was obvious. It was a reference to something that was still fresh in people's minds.

In 1968, 12 years earlier, the Czechoslovakian government attempted to liberalize Communist rule. The reforms were called "Prague Spring". But the Russians took a no-nonsense approach and on August 20, 1968, invaded Czechoslovakia. They took control of Prague, grabbed the Czechoslovakian leader Alexander Dubček and other reformers and...

"Dubček and the others were taken to Moscow on a Soviet military transport aircraft (reportedly one of the aircraft used in the Soviet invasion).

Despite the inspired nonviolent resistance of the Czech and Slovak population, the reformers had little hope of holding out against Soviet pressure and ultimately were forced to accede to Soviet demands, signing the Moscow protocols. (Only František Kriegel refused to sign.)

Dubček and most of the reformers were returned to Prague on August 27 " -more

* * *
Topic For Discussion:

The Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia took place in August, during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Russian problems with the struggle in Poland took place in August during the 1980 Democratic National Convention.

And now the Russians seem to be getting hot under the collar about Poland, and it is August, and the Democratic National Convention is next week.

Your thoughts please.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Iranian Fanatics

No One Seems Ready to Stop The Iranian Menace: a Dry Bones cartoon.
No one on the on the international scene is ready or willing to stop the growing menace of Iranian fanaticism, missiles, and nukes ...and the current bumbling and inept Israeli government can't be relied upon.

The world is in the grip of a planet-wide religious war. A conflict in which the "End Times" prophecies of the Bible and the Koran seem to be playing out. Prophecies in which the fate of the Jews and the tiny Jewish State are pivotal to the future of humanity.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Israel Releases Convicts (1987)

Israel Releases Murderers From Prison (1987) Dry Bones cartoon - .
Today's Golden Oldie is from 1987. I was angry back then about the Israeli government bashing our legal system, endangering our population, and whetting the blood lust of our genocidal enemies by releasing convicts from prison.

Twenty-one years have now passed and the latest news is the latest release:

TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- "Israeli officials confirm a list has been finalized of 200 Palestinian prisoners to be released, including two with "blood on their hands."

The controversial move was approved at a Cabinet level and is seen as a goodwill gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in advance of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's visit this month, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

Included in the proposed prisoner release are Muhammad Abu Ali, who was convicted of killing an Israeli reservist, a Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel and Said Uteba, who planted three bombs in central Israeli cities.

Their proposed release was particularly controversial with defense and security leaders who argue it will not aid moderate Palestinian leaders and only encourage radicals, the Post reported." -more

I was angry back in 1987, but I'm beyond "angry" now.

How about you?

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Israeli Defense Policy

Israel's Defense Minister Proposes Appeasing the Terrorists Rather than Defending the Country Dry Bones cartoon.
Okay, so we'll have to pay "a difficult price".

But the "difficult price" that Ehud Barak wants us to pay is the undermining of Israel's legal system by releasing convicts as a political act.

It's a price that nobody talks about, but it eats away at our rule of law, our morale, and the social contract that binds us together as a nation.

What we need is a return to the Israel of the Six-Day War and Entebbe. We need leadership that offers creative, brave, intelligent answers and strategies.

Israel needs leadership that is smarter than what we've got.
Do you think we'll get it?

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Russia, Georgia, America, and the Beijing Olympics

Russian Georgian Conflict Distracts from the Olympic Games Dry Bones cartoon.
It's becoming clear that this Russian/Georgian "conflict" is rapidly becoming bigger than just an annoying distraction from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China. As of this writing not only Russian but now American troops are in Georgia.

According to latest reports:

WASHINGTON — President Bush sent American troops to Georgia on Wednesday to oversee a "vigorous and ongoing" humanitarian mission, in a direct challenge to Russia's display of military dominance over the region. His action came after Russian soldiers moved into two strategic Georgian cities in what he and Georgian officials called a violation of the cease-fire Russia signed the day before.

Bush demanded that Russia abide by the cease-fire and withdraw its forces or risk its place in "the diplomatic, political, economic and security structures of the 21st century." It was his strongest warning yet of potential retaliation against Russia over the conflict.

The decision to send the American military, even on a humanitarian mission, deepened the United States' commitment to Georgia and America's allies in the former Soviet sphere, just as Russia has been determined to reassert its control in the area. -more

So how does this affect McCain and Obama, and how important will its impact be in the U.S. elections in November?!

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Russia's Borders (1978)

Russia's Borders (1978) Dry Bones cartoon - .
Today's Golden Oldie is from 1978. Thirty years ago! Back then the West was worried about Russian domination of the countries on its borders. Back then we didn't call it Russia. It was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Because U.S.S.R. in Russian is C.C.C.P, I stuck it on the Russian (oops) Soviet guy's hat. The Soviet guy is, by the way, Leonid Brezhnev, then the leader of the Soviet Union.

Today's news is that once again the West is worried about Soviet (oops) Russian domination of the countries on its borders.

I'm not good at doing caricatures of famous people, but Brezhnev was a snap! Here, check out his photo.

Leonid Brezhnev

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Russian Georgian War

The Russian Georgian War ...They're BOTH Telling the Truth  Dry Bones cartoon.
I titled this cartoon "He Said, She Said" because what we are witnessing is an example of "domestic violence". The long history of the Georgian/Russian relationship is what's at work here, and as every police department knows, it's the "domestic violence" and "spousal abuse" disputes that are most likely to suddenly turn viciously violent and to explode into murderous rage and deadly attack ...seemingly without warning.

That's what makes this war so potentially dangerous to us all.

Your thoughts and predictions?

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Terrorists (1980)

Terrorists (1980) Dry Bones cartoon.
Today's Golden Oldie is from August 1980. I thought of this cartoon when I watched, with the rest of the world, as a PLO Olympic team proudly marched into the arena as part of the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Palestinian Olympians: Then
Palestinian Olympians: Then

Palestinian Olympians: Now
Palestinian Olympians: Now

A succession of Israeli governments has championed the politically correct lie that the PLO is no longer a terrorist organization. We have gone from self delusion to deluding the rest of the world.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Weak Dollar

Weak Dollar Dry Bones cartoon.
Friends visiting from the States are complaining that their U.S. Dollars don't go as far as they used to. Both here in Israel and in Europe.
* * *

As I write these words the world is turning from the Olympics to take a peek at what seems to be a war between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway territory of South Ossetia, which is legally in Georgia, a West-leaning country on Russia's southern border that hopes to become part of NATO.

Europe's ethnic and nationalist struggles seem to be moving back to pre-Soviet times ...of course back then The U.S.A. was a manufacturing powerhouse and the American Dollar was as solid as the rock of Gibraltar.

* * *
And how is this going to impact the American Presidential elections?

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympic Opening

8 is a lucky number in China : Dry Bones cartoon.
The question of luck and numbers and the calendar in different cultures is very interesting. I didn't know whether to do today's cartoon about the "lucky eights" 08/08/08 at 08:08 opening of the Beijing Olympics or to deal with the fact that tomorrow night is the eve of the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, "Tisha Be'Av", traditionally the unluckiest day in the Hebrew calendar.

I chose to go with the "8 is lucky in China" cartoon ...but that got me to wondering about whether it's also lucky in Tibet.

So do you have a "lucky number" ?

Or are you above such nonsense?

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Jordan Drops the West Bank (1988)

King Hussein Drops the West Bank (1988) Dry Bones cartoon
To understand today's Golden Oldie requires a brief lesson in history. Back in 1948, the UN called for a Jewish and an Arab state in what was left of Palestine. All of Palestine east of the Jordan River had been set up as an Arab state called Trans-Jordan.

But that was not to be.

1. A Jewish State was declared but no new Arab State was set up beside it.

2. The Arab State of Trans-Jordan crossed the Jordan River and occupied the territories West of the River, i.e. the West Bank.

3. In 1967, twenty years later, the Jordanians (they had changed the name of their country from Trans-Jordan to reflect their occupation of the West Bank) attacked Israel and in the ensuing "6-Day War" the Jordanian Army was driven out of the West Bank and back across the Jordan River.

4. In the twenty years following 1967, the Jordanians maintained their claim to ownership of the West Bank. (now occupied by Israel)

5. One theoretically possible deal on control of the "Occupied Territories" and the "Palestinian Problem" involved Israeli recognition of Jordanian interests ...a Jordanian Option... but in 1988 King Hussein of Jordan relinquished all claims to the now troubled area in which PLO violence was on the rise.

And so I did the cartoon above. Back then we didn't have cable TV so the only non-Israeli TV station (We only had one channel) was Jordan TV. (thus the reference to the Jordanian TV weather forecasts which continued to give forecasts for West Bank towns.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Capital Punishment

Capital punishment for capital crimes :Dry Bones cartoon.
I decided to do today's cartoon after a "loyal reader" sent me a copy of "Capital punishment for capital crimes" by Caroline Glick. After discussing the horrifying crimes being perpetrated against us she notes that:
"ALL OF this raises the issue that polite Israeli society insists on sweeping under the rug: Israel's repeated willingness to release terrorists for live and dead hostages makes clear the need to implement the death penalty against terrorist murderers.

The criminal code permits the death penalty to be used in cases of treason, murder, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes against the Jewish people. The problem is not the laws on the books; the problem is the state prosecution's refusal to use them. Regardless of the nature of their crimes, the State Attorney's Office refuses to request that judges sentence terrorists to death." -more

So are we too politically correct to protect ourselves? Is a twisted sense of morality keeping us from doing the right thing?

Your thoughts?

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Olympic Crackdown (1988)

The Seoul Olympics 1988 Dry Bones cartoon - .
Yup. Twenty years ago this month the story was the police crackdown on violent anti-government dissident street protests that threatened the peaceful pageantry and image-building opportunity of the Olympic games.

But back then the club-swinging cops were South Korean, not Communist Chinese ...and because back then we didn't feel that the world was on the brink of rising South Korean dominance of the international scene, I was content with doing a cartoon based on a silly, groan-producing pun!

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Too Young to Say I Do

It is permitted to marry a one year-old, but sex has to wait until she is nine years old??!  Dry Bones cartoon.
MEMRI (The Middle East Media Research Institute) is an incredibly important resource. They translate Middle East media, bridging the language gap between the Middle East and the West.

I was rummaging around at MEMRI this morning, when I came across a recent Lebanon TV interview with a Saudi marriage official, Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu'bi. According to Dr. Al-Mu'bi:

"There is no minimal age for entering marriage. You can have a marriage contract even with a one-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of nine, seven, or eight. This is merely a contract [indicating] consent. The guardian in such a case must be the father, because the father's opinion is obligatory. Thus, the girl becomes a wife...

But is the girl ready for sex or not? What is the appropriate age for having sex for the first time? This varies according to environment and traditions. In Yemen, girls are married off at nine, ten, 11, eight, or 13, while in other countries, they are married off at 16. Some countries have legislated laws forbidding having sex before the girl is 18.


The Prophet Muhammad is the model we follow. He took 'Aisha to be his wife when she was six, but he had sex with her only when she was nine."

You can see the TV interview yourself by clicking on MEMRI TV clip.

Your thoughts?

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sunday Mail: August 3 2008

Letters From Dry Bones Posting a cartoon every weekday leaves no room for me to simply share news, ideas, and other stuff with you, so here's: 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones'.
Letters From Dry Bones
When the Roman General Vespasian and his son Titus smashed the city of Jerusalem and burned King Herod's (the Jewish) Temple, the Israelites (the Jews) ceased to be a nation. Those that survived were dispersed into the far reaches of the Roman Empire, a typical fate of any population that rebelled or defied the Roman government. The thinking was that a dispersed people would never again organize to rebel, and that they would cease to be identified as an ethnic group. Time alone would absorb them into the existing culture and forever erase their unique identity. But is was not to be. So what happened? Is Israel's survival a miracle? Here's a nine-hour, six CD set, documentary that you want to see, own, study, and enjoy. And the price has just been slashed to $59.95 for the entire set. Just click on Against All Odds.
Letters From Dry Bones
Item Two: Free Free Free
Some people have real difficulties learning Hebrew because they haven't been to "Hebrew school" ...and so they start off not knowing how to read words in the Hebrew alphabet. Well, here's a FREE CD that guarantees to teach you to read Hebrew in 120 minutes!! ...Yes, It's FREEBIE. But only one to a household. Get yours by clicking on FREE CD.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Mobile Phone Health Warnings

Mobile Phone Health Warnings Dry Bones cartoon.
Prior to Olmert's promise to step down two months from now (news that has gripped the country and taken over the media) ...we Israelis were treated this week to front page and prime-time hysteria about a new report outlining the dangers of mobile phone use.

Everyone in Israel has a mobile phone and these days that seems to include little children!

I first started commenting on the dangers of mobile phone use back in 1998. To see that cartoon and others I've done about this health hazard and popular convenience, click here.

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