Friday, February 29, 2008

Prozac Problem?

Dry Bones cartoon: British Scientific Study says that Prozac does not Work!!?
A British Scientific Study says that that Prozac does not work better than sugar pills!!? Yup. The story, according to the Guardian:

"In the 20 years since its launch, 40m people worldwide have taken the so-called wonder drug - but research revealed this week shows that Prozac, and similar antidepressants, are no more effective than a sugar pill." -more

For years scientists have had to deal with the "placebo effect", the fact that a healthy proportion of patients who receive sugar pills but believe they are receiving an effective medicine get cured. There is also some evidence that 50 per cent of the pain-killing effect of pain medication is not because of the effectiveness of the medicine, but because of the placebo effect!

Questions that arise from this include:

1. Is there a reverse placebo effect? Sort of a "nocebo effect"? i.e. If you take a drug but think that it's only a sugar pill, will the medicine not work?

2. Could it be that sugar pills are actually a new wonder drug?

3. If a would-be drug dealer sells his customers what they think is ecstasy, but only gives them sugar pills, will they still get high? And is such a "pusher" breaking the law?

4. To test a new medicine, scientists give half of the subjects the "real" drug and half the "placebo". So if someone wanted to do a study of the effectiveness of placebos you'd have to give half of the subjects the "real" placebo and the other half you'd give... uh?..

So what's your answer to these "four questions"?

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

PLO Refugee Boat (1988)

1988 Dry Bones cartoon - Arafat's Ship of 'Refugees'.
The portrayal of Palestinians as refugees and victims so crucial to the drumming up of rage against the State of Israel reached a new high point with the attempt this month to orchestrate a break into Israel by Gazan civilians suffering a "Humanitarian Crisis". Or was it just a rerun of a similar attempt to stage an event that was tried 20 years ago in February of 1988?

A loyal reader sent me a link to Lenny Ben-David's blog which recalls that:

"Israel was faced with a similar threat exactly 20 years ago when the PLO started to outfit a ship, Sol Phryne, and renamed it the al Awda (the Return). Some 200 Palestinian refugees and international "dignitaries" were slated to board the ship and provocatively sail into Haifa…" -more

Just as the PLO had appropriated the term Palestinian (which used to refer only to Jews in the region), Arafat was now planning a bizarro version of Israel's 1947 "refugee ship", the Exodus. If you don't know the story of the Exodus ship click here. And to learn more about the sending of the Jews back to internment camps by the British, click here.

If you'd like, next week, I'll post more of the cartoons that I did as the phony humanitarian crisis "refugee ship" ploy developed and played itself out back then, twenty years ago this very month.

What do you think?

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Doomsday Seed Vault

Dry Bones cartoon: Norway has set up a
Yup. Norway has set up a "Doomsday Seed Vault".

According to CBC News:

Norway's ark: underground vault to house world's seeds
"An underground vault buried deep in a mountain on a barren Arctic island halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole may seem like an unlikely place to store samples of the world's plant life.

But for scientists trying to shield the world's seeds from climate change, earthquakes, war and other disasters, the "doomsday vault" on the island of Svalbard is an ideal location." -more

According to National Geographic:

"The Norwegian island of Spitsbergen was chosen as the location for the seed vault because it is a remote region with low tectonic activity and a cold Arctic environment that is ideal for preservation.

Although there will be no staff members on site, the facility will be monitored around the clock.

In addition, 'the presence of polar bears, which prowl the area, may be seen by some as providing an added layer of security,' the Global Crop Diversity Trust writes on its Web site." -more

Polar Bears?!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

U.S. Presidential Campaign (1976)

1976 Dry Bones cartoon - Pre-Election Pro-Israel promises fade after a U.S. President gets Elected.
This cartoon from back in 1976 is based on what was accepted practice at that time. Candidates for the American Presidency sought votes by showing how Pro-Israel they were. Then, after being elected, the promises and positions just seemed to fade away.

These days things are very different. No candidate in the current race shows any indication of thinking that support of Israel is a big vote-getter.

And the latest news is that one reason that Ralph Nader is entering the race is because, he says, Obama has "sold out to Israeli interests"!


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Monday, February 25, 2008

Battle Cry!

Dry Bones cartoon: Hamas Plans Human Wave Assaults From Gaza.
The constant bombing and terrorizing of Israeli civilians in Sderot and other towns in the Negev has not brought any media attention, and the pin-point retaliation by Israel has not resulted in enough innocent civilian deaths, so Hamas is apparently going to move from surrounding themselves with human shields to the more aggressive tactic of forcing their own civilians to draw Israeli fire.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Mail: February 24, 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 a Dry Bones feature called: 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones'.

Letters From Dry Bones
Item One: FREE CD - Word by Word - Psalms. A while ago I found and wrote about an incredible freebie offer. It was for a free CD of Bereshit (the Biblical book of Genesis) with word by word translation. I sent off for the CD, and I LOVE it. So the news is that I just discovered that the same folks are offering another amazing freebie! This time it's a Word by Word CD of the Biblical Book of Psalms, which you can get for FREE.

Word by Word teaches the meaning and pronunciation of every single Hebrew word in the book of Psalms. It teaches one word at a time, in Bible sentence context and as a standalone word. It can read the text aloud in auto mode, and you can set the pace of study to your personal preference. To further clarify the audio pronunciation of the Hebrew, each word is also transliterated into English letters. And, of course, every word is also translated into English! I've already sent in for mine. If you want a free CD sent to you just click on Free Bible Psalms CD Offer.

Letters From Dry Bones
Item Two: the Annual Dry Bones Shmendrik Awards.
Send your nominations to me! These annual awards (like the "worst dressed" or "worst movie" awards) “honor” those boobs (or shmendriks) who have most distinguished themselves by their seemingly unwitting support of anti-Semitism. It's now time to select the biggest Shmendrik of the past year. You can check out last year's award here. But what we need to do now is to select this year's winner(s). So PLEASE send me your suggestion(s) either by leaving a comment ...or email your suggestion(s) to me in an email.

The email address for Shmendrik suggestions is Purim(at) Just replace the (at) in the address with a @.

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Friday, February 22, 2008


Dry Bones cartoon:Kosovo/West Bank parallels
1.Kosovo is as much the heartland and homeland of the Serbs as Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem are the heartland and homeland of the Jews.

2.The Serbs, like the Israelis, have been painted by the media and the U.S. State Department as the bad guys ...and are now viewed as the villains by most Western governments.

3.The independent state of Kosovo will be replaced by an Islamic Republic, as would a proposed independent state of Palestine.

* * *
So please help me understand. Why is the U.S. State Department under Condoleeza Rice, and every one of her predecessors, so firmly and unreasonably on the "wrong side"?

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hamas Plays Victim for the Media (1993)

1993 Dry Bones cartoon - Hamas plays the 'We're the Victims' card.
Today's Golden Oldie Dry Bones cartoon is from fifteen years ago. It was published on February 12, 1993. An unshaven Mr. Shuldig is planning to go to a Purim party as a Hamas "activist" posing as a victim for the media.

The Palestinian terrorists have terrorized and bullied their own people, persecuted the local Christians, and waged a merciless war to destroy the Jews and the Jewish State. And STILL the media reports on their "victimization" and their "suffering".

Below: Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza (2008)
Newsphoto of Hamas legislators in Gaza City "forced" to use candles because of the "lack of electricity". The meeting was held in the middle of the day, so they had to close the curtains to prevent the sunlight from streaming in through the windows and ruining the effect.

Hamas candle hoax
For more info on the Gaza "outage" Hoax click here.

So why is the media STILL being taken in by the "poor Palestinian victims" story?

Your thoughts?

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

His Place Setting

Dry Bones cartoon: Olmert Gov't in Secret Negotiations On Jerusalem.
There's a wonderful anecdote about Abba Eban. Eban was Israel's Foreign Minister in 1967. He was a noted linguist and so, the story goes, when Judea and Samaria were liberated from Jordanian occupation in '67, Eban was invited to speak to a group of West Bank "notables". Eban spoke in classical Arabic. When he concluded, one of the attending Arab leaders and clan heads asked if Eban would now "speak to them in Arabic". The locals, who only spoke the Palestinian dialect of Arabic assumed that Eban had spoken in Hebrew!

I thought of this story yesterday when, at the Jerusalem Conference I heard Israel's current Foreign Minister deliver a speech. It would have been a wonderful speech if only she had been the Palestinian Foreign Minister. She explained that the goal of the negotiations was to establish a viable Palestinian State and that time was not on Israel's side. She spoke of the rights of the Palestinian Arab refugees. She explained that Arabs living in Israel would be satisfied with their national aspirations being fulfilled in the new state of Palestine "next door". As I said, a wonderful speech if only she had been the Palestinian Foreign Minister.

Surely an Israeli Foreign Minister would have focused on recognition of Israel as a Jewish State, spoken of the rights of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries in '48, discussed the future of Jews living in the proposed "Palestinian state" next door, and restated that Jerusalem was and would remain the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

Like those Arabs who had listened to Abba Eban back in 1967, this Jew in 2008 had no idea what the Israeli Foreign Minister was really trying to say.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Jewish Homeland (1998)

Dry Bones cartoon: Israel: National Homeland of the Jewish People, or a State Like Any Other State?
Back in February of 1998 I drew this cartoon bemoaning the fact that something was breaking down in the special relationship between the Jews of the world and the Jewish State. The cartoon is set in America and the character shown is an American Rabbi.

Ten years have now gone by and the relationship is now so unspecial that Prime Minister Olmert believes that he can negotiate Jerusalem away without the agreement and consent of World Jewry!

Which is why, if the projected snow doesn't stop me, I'll be spending the day in Jerusalem at the fifth Annual Jerusalem Conference where, it is promised, participants will include "key figures and policy makers in the political, economic, social, security/military, rabbinic and academic spheres of influence in Israel" along with "Jewish and non-Jewish political and religious leaders and opinion molders from around the world".

I'm hoping to hear some good news or at least some intelligent contingency plans.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Promises, Promises

Dry Bones cartoon: Olmert Gov't Promises Shelters For Sderot Homes ...Again.
I'm planning to go to Jerusalem tomorrow for the Fifth Annual Jerusalem Conference. I'll have to leave early in the morning to get there, but the weatherman is now promising a major snowstorm!! Which will make the trip harrowing, but I promised to attend.

So I'll have to post tomorrow's Golden Oldie cartoon early, before I leave for the trip "up the hill" to the Holy City on the mountaintop ... where a contingent of high school kids from Sderot are holding a protest rally in front of the Prime Minister's Office .

I'm going to take a camera with me, and if, as the Israel Meteorological Service promises, there's a heavy snowfall, I'll snap some pictures along the way and post them for you to see.

...and that's a promise!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Mail: February 17, 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 a Dry Bones feature called: 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones'.

Both of today's items are about the happy fun-filled Jewish Holiday of Purim ...upon us in just about a month (March 21st this year). It's a time of sending messages, to ourselves, to our friends, and to those who would destroy us.

Letters From Dry Bones
Item One:Purim Shalach Manot
When I was a kid, we pronounced it with Yiddish-accented Hebrew as Shalach Manos. Purim celebrates our having survived an earlier Persian (Iranian) attempt to "wipe us off the map"(as described in the Biblical Book of Esther). Shalach Manot is the mitzvah that every adult Jew is required to perform on the holiday. It means the sending of baskets of holiday goodies, treats, and munchies to others. In Israel, especially in Jerusalem it is a popular and lovely tradition.

So if you want to join in and send Shalach Manot (or Shalach Manos) goodies to folks in Israel, you can do it from anyplace in the world. Just click on Shalach Manos.

Letters From Dry Bones
Item Two: the Annual Purim Shmendrik Awards.
I need your help! These annual awards “honor” those who have most distinguished themselves by their seemingly unwitting support of anti-Semitism. It's now time to select the biggest Shmendrik of the past year. You can check out last year's award here. But what we need to do now is to select this year's winner(s). So PLEASE send me your suggestion(s) either by leaving a comment ...or send in your nominee in an email.

The email address for Shmendrik suggestions is Purim(at) Just replace the (at) in the address with a @.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Whodunnit in Damascus

Dry Bones cartoon: Terrorist Mastermind is Killed in Damascus.
Today's cartoon is about the killing of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus.

The answer to the threat of nuclear annihilation that we face from the Iranian Islamist crazies might not be the launching some kind of preemptive strike!

Perhaps we need to demonstrate that, in addition to our ability to come in under their radar with our planes and technology, we have the ability to reach them directly and in a more personal way.

So what do you think?

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hamas (1993)

1993 Dry Bones cartoon - 1933: the League of Nations failed to deal with the Nazi attacks on Jews, 1993: the United Nations failed to deal with the Hamas attacks on Jews.
In 1933 the League of Nations had failed to deal with the beginning of the implementation of the Nazi plan to destroy the Jews. Sixty years later, back in 1993, I commented on the U.N.'s similar failure to deal with the Hamas plan to destroy the Jews.

Fifteen years have slid by since February 1993, and, sad to say, I could run this cartoon today.

There is an interesting difference between the German Nazis and the Palestinian terrorists. In 1933 the Nazis quit the League. In our era, the Jew-hating Islamofacists (and their sympathizers, and appeasers) have taken control of the U.N.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Magic Act

Dry Bones cartoon: Irannian Threat Disappears from U.S. Presidential Primaries.
A while ago I discovered that it was easier to get a laugh out of readers if my cartoon characters were themselves smiling. I think it works sort of like a laugh track. When I first drew today's cartoon, it just didn't work ...until I remembered the "smiling face" principle and changed it by pasting smiling mouths onto Mr. Shuldig if he thought the whole affair was funny.

Unfortunately I find the ignoring of the Iranian threat to be pretty scary, and so, in the last panel I left Shuldig's original expression showing.

Did I ruin it? Or did I still get a laugh out of you?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pollard's Plight (1998)

Dry Bones cartoon: Netanyahu remains silent on Jonathan Pollard.
I was sitting around with a few friends last night and the topic of Barack Obama's run for the U.S. Presidency was being discussed. Someone said it was "only natural" for American Blacks to massively support the African American candidate. I objected to the word "natural" saying that a Jewish candidate couldn't count on automatic Jewish support. In fact many Jews would not back him ...precisely because he was a Jew. The Jewish community would fear that it might be held liable for any mistakes that he might make.

My argument was dismissed with the flip comment that Jews are just not "normal" and don't act in ways that can be described as "normal".

Back in February of 1998 Jonathan Pollard could not count on either the American Jewish community or the Israeli government to extract him from the cruel and unusual punishment he was enduring.

Ten more years have now passed. Our shame is greater than ever. And to that shame we can add the Israeli government's ongoing ignoring of seven years of Palestinian rocket attacks on Sderot. A peaceful Jewish town in the Negev desert.

I lost the argument in my living room last night because my opponent was right. "Jews are just not 'normal' and don't act in ways that can be described as 'normal'".

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Reductum Ad Absurdum

Dry Bones cartoon: The Occupation of the UN.
A technique that I often use is called "reductum ad absurdum" means showing that an idea is flawed by carrying it to its logical (and absurd) conclusion.

Today's cartoon is, however, something entirely different. Amazingly, the first three panels of the comic strip are a direct quote from a real question and answer session with the spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the UN.

Question: You read a statement about the situation in Gaza before and I know it's difficult to change terminology, but we have a new Secretary-General now, so let me try it again. A year and half after the last Israeli withdrew from Gaza, the UN system still refers to Gaza as an Occupied Palestinian Territory. The only people who are not Palestinian in Gaza currently are UN people. Do you mean that Gaza is occupied by the UN?

Spokesperson:Definitely not.

Question: So who is it occupied by?

Spokesperson: Well…

Correspondent: I think there are some Israeli soldiers on the border…

Question: Not borders, who is Gaza occupied by?

Spokesperson: Traditionally, this is the terminology we have used. Yes?

Question: But the situation on the ground changed since Israel withdrew from Gaza

Spokesperson: I will look into this.

Correspondent: Thank you.

The unbelievable briefing session was reported at a website called ZioNation and brought to my attention by a loyal reader ... but it was so improbable that I was sure it was a hoax and had to check with the Official UN text.

So how in the world am I supposed to poke fun at the UN's insane and irrational anti-Israeli bias when they're so good at doing it themselves? What happens to "reductum ad absurdum" in a world that has so totally lost its senses?!

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Mail: February 10, 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

Groundhog Day

I waste a lot of time looking for streaming TV on the Internet. And so it was that a week or so ago I saw local American coverage of Groundhog Day. That is, of course, the holiday which features an annual event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in which a groundhog called Punxsutawney Phil predicts a longer or shorter winter ahead. I don't remember what this year's prediction was, but it must have been for more winter, because I just discovered that the big Winter Clearance sale at Jewish Software, which was supposed to have ended on January 31 was extended for 2 weeks. Which means that it ends this week. I love their stuff, and they're offering up to 70% off on the Clearance Sale, which includes all kinds of neat products related to the Bible, Hebrew, Israel and Jewish History. Check it out here.

Oh, and if you're interested in watching streaming TV on your PC there's a site with TV stuff from Israel, it's called FROMIL.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Canterbury Tales

Dry Bones cartoon: The Archbishop of Canterbury Proposes Adopting Sharia Law for Moslem Communities in Great Britain.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has now proposed adopting Sharia Islamic law for Moslem communities in Great Britain. Where will the insane appeasement end?

An editorial in today's Telegraph about the breaking story:

"Coming from the senior bishop in the Church of England, it is vulnerable to interpretation as appeasement of Islamic extremism prompted by fear of social unrest.

As for timing, the lecture was given shortly after threats had been made against one of Dr Williams's fellow bishops, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester, for writing in the Sunday Telegraph that Islamic extremism had turned some communities into no-go areas for non-Muslims. Add to this the growing recognition of the failures of multiculturalism, and you have on the part of the archbishop a classic example of political ineptitude."- more

So what do you think?

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

First Intifada (1988)

1988 Dry Bones cartoon - trying to understand the outbreak of the first Intifada.
Today's Golden Oldie was published exactly twenty years ago. The organized Arab anti-Israeli violence called "The Intifada" had just been launched and this cartoon reflected Israeli surprise, confusion, and concern about what was happening.

The cartoon was drawn 20 years after the Israeli occupation of Judea and Samaria in 1967 ...which was 20 years after Jordan, then called Trans Jordan, had previously invaded and occupied the territories in 1948.

And now, in 2008, another 20 years have passed since I drew the cartoon!!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Proof Positive

Dry Bones cartoon: Olmert Remains in Control.
I've used this punchline before, but I couldn't get it out of my head when I sat down to do today's cartoon.

Many Diaspora Jews are upset that the Israeli goverment is ignoring their wishes and interests. Seems to me that that is unreasonable, given the fact that the Israeli government is ignoring Israeli wishes and interests as well.

So what happens next? Your ideas?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Russian Aliyah (1990)

1990 Dry Bones cartoon - The Russian Aliyah.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon from February 1990. Eighteen years ago this month.

Between 1967 and 1973, 100,000 Soviet "olim" came to Israel. In 1974, after the Yom Kippur War, some of these Jews began "bypassing" Israel. Many waited behind at the Vienna transit point hoping for entry visas to Western destinations instead. By 1987, 90% of those who left the USSR chose not to come home to the Jewish State.

Then, suddenly, in 1990, the picture changed. The monthly figures for Soviet Aliyah topped 10,000 and by mid-year, the wave of immigration would surge, with planeloads of Russian immigrants being airlifted in.

The joke in the cartoon from 1990 is based on their new immigrant ignorance of their new homeland, and on the suggestion (which had been made at the time) that these newcomers be sent to homes in Judea and Samaria (currently called the the West Bank, a name which was only created by Jordan after the War of Independence in 1948, when Arab armies invaded and occupied the Judea and Samaria territories).

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Monday, February 04, 2008

The Time Traveler

Dry Bones cartoon: The Time Traveler returns to 1958 with investment tips about Google and Yahoo!
The news is that Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo so as to compete with Google

The Robber Barons of a previous age created great wealth by building the railroads that became indispensable to the era of transportation. The rich and powerful "Robber Barons" of our age built the digital tools that became indispensable to the economy of our era. They are now in a war to divide the pie between them, as we watch.

The cartoon is based on the old science fiction idea. You send someone to the past with information about the future. The stock market, or Kentucky Derby winners, or whatever...

Since the two guys in the cartoon are in 1958 I drew one with a pink shirt (I had several in 1958) and the other with a really wide necktie and high waisted pants. The tie is in fact a copy of one that I owned and treasured back then.

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Sunday Mail: February 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 welcome to 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones', the new, once-a-week Dry Bones feature.

Letters From Dry Bones

After Winograd?!

The Israeli "Winograd Commission" has delivered its report on the conduct of Israel's Second Lebanon War.

Shockingly, Prime Minister Olmert remains in office and slowly but surely the fate of our three kidnapped soldiers are being moved to the government's "back burner"... to be ignored along with Ron Arad, Jonathan Pollard, and the people of Sderot.

Want to do something about the abducted soldiers?
You can sign the official "Free our Soldiers" petition here.
And you can help assist and support the families of the kidnapped soldiers in their struggle to free their sons by buying a beautiful "Free our Soldiers" T-Shirt here.

Letters From Dry Bones

Speaking of T-Shirts

While you are checking out the "Free our Soldiers" T-Shirt, be sure to take a look at the other cool stuff available, from Israeli Army T-Shirts to the famous "Coca Cola" (in Hebrew) shirt. Just rummaging through the designs at this site is fun. Enjoy the browsing.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Their Primary Concerns

Dry Bones cartoon: Picking a Leader.
The American and Israeli democracies are struggling with leadership issues. and I'd like to hear your opinion.

So if you live in America, tell me, what do YOU think?

And if you live in Israel, what's your take on the Olmert situation?

And if you don't live in either the States or the Holy Land does it look to you?


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