A Basic Compare and Contrast

The letter of the day is I

by baldilocks

It turns out that you can compare apples to oranges.

On Monday, Iran’s Ministry of Health released new data concerning the coronavirus. It said that 66 people have died from the virus while 1501 have been infected. But given the Health Ministry’s propensity for lying, the figure for those dead and infected is likely much greater.

The rampant spread of coronavirus in Iran was a problem largely the result of the Islamic Republic’s own making. In early February, Iranian officials were aware of a potential problem in the city of Qom, where a shrine holy to Shia Muslims served as a breeding ground for the transmission of the virus. Yet authorities took no action to quarantine the city or even warn residents to take safety precautions. The shrine still remains open to visitors and video has recently emerged showing people licking the shrine.

By the time health officials began taking action, it was a case of too little too late. Iran’s Deputy Health Minister, Iraj Harirchi, downplayed claims made a city lawmaker that deaths from COVID-19 had reached 50 and said that he would resign from his post if that assertion was accurate. A day later, Harirchi became a victim of COVID-19 and was under quarantine but not before he was observed coughing on those adjacent to him during the previous day’s press briefing. Several other Iranian diplomats and parliamentarians have since been infected, and at least two have died including a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran’s bumbling and incompetence in dealing with the health crisis can be attributed to the Islamic Republic’s unwillingness to acknowledge weakness and vulnerability.

(…)

Iran’s handling of the crisis stands in marked contrast to how its arch nemesis Israel is addressing the issue. While Iranian officials are spewing little else but propaganda, the Israelis are at the forefront of inventing cures and treatments for the coronavirus.

The Migal Research Institute, an Israeli company based in Galilee has announced that they are on the cusp of developing a coronavirus vaccine. The company had been developing a vaccine for coronavirus in chickens and recognized that they could tweak their vaccine to combat coronavirus in humans. According to Migal’s CEO, David Zigdon, a vaccine for humans could be ready in a few months.

In addition to vaccinations, the ability to rapidly test for the presence of coronavirus is critical. To that end, researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have developed technologies that drastically reduce the time needed to analyze saliva samples for the presence of COVID-19. This technology reduces the time to analyze a sample from an hour to approximately 15 minutes.

There are more interesting details, but back to the fruit …

Both are good; similar but different. Neither is better than the other.

However, when the apple releases its seeds to fall to the ground, it preserves its progeny and bears more apples. And when the orange withholds its seed, it and all its seed rot away.

Choices matter.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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President Trump Sets life and Prosperity before the Palestinians

Here, then, I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom… I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live,

Deuteronomy 30:15,19

Yesterday the President put out his long awaited peace plan for the middle east.

You might expect me to comment on the details but said details are actually not important because if you are looking at this as a peace plan you are completely wrong.

This is not a peace plan, it’s an ultimatum.

The president is smart enough and worldly enough to understand that any deal with the Palestinians that does’t explicitly give them to right to continue to kill Jews until not one is left alive and the state of Israel is gone is a tough sell at best and a non-starter. Mostly because the leadership knows that agreeing to any such deal, particularly one that involves cracking down on terrorism is likely going to cost them their lives. Then again as Don Surber points out the equation is slightly different than it was a few days ago:

Killing ( Soleimani) jeopardized Iran’s terrorism program which he headed. Today, President Trump followed through with a Middle East proposal that creates a Palestinian state, opens Temple Mount to all three Abrahamic religions, and invests $50 billion to create a million jobs for Palestinians

It’s true that if they grabbed the Trump plan and gave up their vendetta the Palestinians would actually grow in wealth, power and influence to the point where they might actually be able to rival Israel economically and perhaps even militarily in a few generations,

If you were dealing with a western culture this would be a no-brainer but this is a face culture. To publicly concede the permanent existence of Israel is a humiliation beyond them. Much easier & safer to grift off the UN, Iran and anyone else’s aid and live without fear of assassination.

But that’s the other half of the coin.

If Potus can nail Iran’s #1 terror coordinator you had better believe that Israel can nail Hamas’ boss men if they wish so that suggests that they might be able to protect a Palestinian leader who comes to the table, furthermore if they turn to terror as a response you don’t know if Trump might decide that like the late Iranian General they are expendable.

Trump is a deal maker, if this deal is turned down then it’s likely that Trump will not only cut the Palestinians off without a cent but might tell Israel that as far as he is concerned they are welcome to take the gloves off both with Palestinian leadership and their people.

What happens if Israel decides they’ve had enough of this and simply annexes any remaining west bank territory that they won in the 1967 war that they need, fence it off and leave the Palestinians to govern the rest of the land without them.

After all what is anyone going to do? The State is Israel is now self sufficient in terms of water and energy. They are a nuclear power and no state not in the business of suicide is going to risk a war of destruction against them. As for the UN what are they going to do other than make noise, after all they can’t be more anti-Israel than they already are.

And that’s only part of it, what happens if an energy exporting US decides to put pressure on other states to cut aid to the Palestinian state? What happens if the gulf states afraid of Iran are told that any help from the US means cutting these folks loose and Iran isn’t doing all that well these days to begin with.

All of this is feasible thanks to a United States that is energy independent, economically resurgent and rearmed beyond the ability of their enemies to challenge them.

This is the actual question that the Palestinian leadership faces: What do you fear more?

Of course without Trump there is no choice necessary. I suspect they will stall and wait to see if the propaganda they are seeing on CNN about Trump’s imminent defeat is real, but if (OK when) the President is re-elected the stark choice will be before them again. I also suspect that the longer they wait, the more likely that both Trump’s and Israel’s price will go up. There are big rewards with going with Trump and survive, but if they go against him they are basically a local street gang with little to no clout beyond their neighborhood and without that foreign capital and Israel willing to provide what they do their clout within the territories vanishes.

The Donald has set before them the choice of life and death of the Palestinian People. I suspect A Palestinian nation unshackled to war and graft will grow and prosper beyond their wildest dreams to the point where Palestinians in Israel & elsewhere will rush to be part of the growth and prosperity it will generate. That is the choice of life.

Alas I doubt they will make that choice. This plan goes nowhere but it would be nice if I was wrong.


Closing thought: Ironically the peace deal is also the best shot for the radicals to manage to conquer Israel eventually. Take the deal, let the Palestinians grow rich and powerful and Israel grow complacent for four or five generations and then strike Pearl Harbor style when it’s not expected. The problem with that plan is once the population is rich, prosperous and happy they just might decide it’s not worth losing what they have to satisfy a few radicals dreams of genocide.

The stigma of Camp David

By Christopher Harper

The Camp David Accords—once heralded by the United States, Israel, and Egypt as a solution to the Middle East crisis—continue to stymie any significant efforts to address the problems in the region.

More than 40 years ago, I arrived in the Middle East just after the peace agreement was signed. At the time, Americans saw the agreement as a major step forward. Instead, the accords resulted in the isolation of Egypt—once the leader of the Arab world.

Until now, Egypt has been relegated to a secondary role in the region. Moreover, the agreement led directly to the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the rise of Saddam Hussein, and myriad troubles in the Middle East from Syria to Libya and even Iran.

For Egypt and Israel, the agreement has resulted in what many call a “cold peace” during which the two countries don’t face the possibility of war but with little interaction beyond cursory talks about security and economic issues.

For example, my wife and I have been traveling throughout Egypt over the past two weeks. We wanted to stop in Israel for a short visit. But we found it virtually impossible to find a way to travel directly between the two countries.

The huge volume of U.S. aid has had almost no impact on improving the lot of the average Egyptian, most of whom see little benefit from the Camp David agreement.

Cultural exchanges—once seen as a way to improve relations between Egyptians and Israelis–have faltered badly. For example, Farouk Hosnoy, the former minister for culture for more than two decades, refused to visit Israel and threatened to burn any Israeli book he found in the Alexandria library. Every year, organizers of Cairo Film Festival refuse to allow Israel to participate in the event. When the Israeli Center for Research and Information translated Alaa al-Aswany’s popular novel, The Yacoubian Building, he threatened to sue the center because he opposed to cultural normalization with Israel.

At one point, Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld a ruling that ordered the revocation of citizenship from 30,000 Egyptian men married to Israeli women.

The long-term tension between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip that borders Egypt, has created problems for the Cairo government. The Egyptians, who brokered a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, has grown increasingly tired of the actions of both sides.

Despite the long list of diplomatic ills, however, a recent gas deal between Egypt and Israel provides some hope for the future.

Partners in Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore gas fields agreed last year to sell $15 billion worth of gas to a customer in Egypt in what Israeli officials called the most significant deal to emerge since the neighbors made peace in 1979.

With this significant step in economic ties, perhaps the “cold peace” will at least result in some future cooperation between the two sides. But the Camp David accords—once hailed as the pathway to peace in the region—will remain a sore point for Egypt, Israel, and the rest of the Middle East.

Scarborough Booed, Allahpundit notes, Surber Waits, China Extracts and Jordan & the PLO Come Clean Under the Fedora

I have to give Joe Scarborough a lot of credit for taking a stance that is not popular with his new found friends on the World Series Booing Business:

Remember Joe wants Trump to lose in 2020 but’s he’s intellectually consistent here, and as a Baseball fan he knows it’s bad for the game.


Allahpundit made two good points concerning this story as well

The overlap between MAGA Nation and the sort of people who can afford a ticket to a World Series game in Washington D.C. is small… …virtually all Nats fans are lobbyists, journalists, lawyers, or politicians/staffers, he should treat their contempt as a badge of honor.

Or as Mollie Hemmingway put it:

Of course the media will spin it differently but what else is new?


Don Surber has officially announced that despite my suggestion after Sunday’s booing was rewarded by a Houston blowout he is not yet willing to put the Washington Nationals on the list. As he put it:

Until they’re destroyed, no Trumpenfreude.

That’s actually very fair. This is in fact baseball and as the last three games demonstrated the game isn’t over till that final out. Washington is a good team with an excellent pitching staff and a third baseman who is the closest thing to Brooks Robinson I’ve seen in decades. Furthermore Verlander who is pitching tonight is in my opinion a first ballot Hall of Fame quality pitcher he is vulnerable to the long ball and the Nationals certainly have the bats to exploit it.

Of course Houston is no slouch in the pitching department and has an even better offense than Washington. The Yankees would have been a better matchup for the Nats but as I said it’s not over yet. Interesting fact, if the Nats pull it off it will be the 1st seven game World Series in baseball where the home team didn’t win a single game.


It takes little bravery to boo Donald Trump and apparently too much for anyone in the NBA other than Shaq to boo China but unlike Trump there are actual great reasons to boo China, Here is another one:

Having hepatitis C may very well have saved Jennifer Zeng’s life.
In February 2000, she was arrested for being a Falun Gong practitioner and interrogated intensely about her medical history at a Labor Camp in 
China’s Da Xing County, she said. Zeng’s blood was drawn and she told them she had hepatitis C before she took up the spiritual practice.

“Twelve days later, my (cellmate) died as a result of forced feeding,” Zeng told Fox News. “Having hepatitis C might have unqualified me as an organ donor.”
It’s the stuff of nightmares. And it has been buried from public view, hard to prove, and shrouded beneath the cloak of silence for almost two decades.
But anecdotes and evidence are slowly bubbling to the surface that the organs of members of marginalized groups detained in Chinese prisons and labor camps are unwillingly harvested. Most affected is a spiritual minority, the Falun Gong, who have been persecuted for adhering to a Buddhist-centric religious philosophy grounded in meditation and compassion.

This is what people who are actually Hitler do, but to point this out would shatter too many narratives.


Finally there was something that took place last week which was narrative shattering that I meant to write about but didn’t get a chance. It concerned the narrative of Israel as an oppressive state whose neighbors only want to live in peace with the Jews. Well not really with…

The President of the Jordanian Bar Association, Mazen Irshaidat, confirmed that there is no land registered in the Land Department with the names of Jews in the areas of Baqoura and Ghamir.

These are the areas on the border with Israel that Jordan leased out to Israel for 25 years in the peace treaty. There have apparently been rumors that Jews had bought lands in those areas.

Irshaidat told the Jordan 24 site that it is unacceptable to have lands owned by the Zionists or Jews in that area, and he confirmed that he could not find any Jewish names in the list of landowners in those areas.

Remember Jordan is a state that is not only considered moderate but has made peace with Israel. yet they felt the need to assure their citizens that no Jew owns land there. Why it’s almost as if the narratives like the Palestinian desire for a two state solution…

Two states, he says, was merely a concession to the international community, but it is not a Palestinian desire. The entire land is solely theirs, and Jews have no rights there.

This is not usually said in English. Usually in English the Palestinians claim they want to live in peace with Israel. But now they are officially admitting that they never even wanted that; their real desire (as polls have shown) is to have a single Arab state from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, and the two state idea was merely a stage towards that end.

…is just a myth.

Does anyone note the irony that this statement made in English at a public forum by the PLO’s UN rep was made in the city of Berlin?

Something to Look Forward To

by baldilocks

Why is this woman smiling?

No, Minnesota! You can’t get away!

Matt Vespa:

For Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), she’s embroiled her whole party with an anti-Semitism fiasco that isn’t going away. It’s not her first time either. It’s pervasive. It’s repetitive. It brings forward legitimate allegations that she’s an anti-Semite. She said in 2012, that Israel is hypnotizing the world, then came the “all about the Benjamins” tweet concerning contributions and AIPAC, and now the gross accusation of dual loyalty concerning those who support Israel. The latter public relations flap is what forced the House to vote on a resolution that was initially one against anti-Semitism, but some Democrats found that problematic. Why should Omar be singled out? Oh, also Trump is…bad. Yeah, he was brought up. It showed that Nancy Pelosi is a weak speaker, who caved to this radical element within her party. What we got was a watered down resolution against…bad things.

As I said, this isn’t Omar’s first time. Back in Minnesota, she met with Jewish leaders who were concerned about her past remarks, especially the ‘Israel hypnotizing the world’ tweet. She hasn’t learned. And these folks are reportedly no longer treating her with kid gloves anymore. Minnesota State Sen. Ron Latz was the one who hosted the meeting prior to her election to the House last year. Now, he’s hearing chatter about local Democrats searching for people who can challenge Omar. The position is quite clear though; the local Jewish community has had it with Omar who refuses to listen[.]

And why should she listen? With her triple-threat diversity — black, female, Muslim — the Somalia-born Omar has the Democrat Party by its tender area. They won’t even address the probability that Omar violated immigration laws.

Thomas Wictor calls her the Smiling Somali. I doubt that there will be anything that happens in the 2020 House elections that will wipe the smile from her face. The battle and the shouts of racism! sexism! and Islamophobia! will be glorious, though.

For the record, I’m smiling also at the Democrat Party’s self-damage. It’s as if its leadership has a death wish — or that the leadership is getting really bad advice and is stupid enough to take it.

Neither, of course, is mutually exclusive.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Follow her on FacebookTwitterMeWe, and Gab.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar or hit Juliette’s!

The Time has come for Israel to Fight Sherman’ War

Anan 7: You realise what you have done?
Capt Kirk:Yes, I do. I’ve given you back the horrors of war. The Vendikans now assume that you’ve broken your agreement and that you’re preparing to wage real war with real weapons. They’ll want do the same. Only the next attack they launch will do a lot more than count up numbers in a computer. They’ll destroy cities, devastate your planet. You of course will want to retaliate. If I were you, I’d start making bombs. Yes, Councilman, you have a real war on your hands. You can either wage it with real weapons, or you might consider an alternative. Put an end to it. Make peace.

Star Trek A Taste of Armageddon 1967

In the final volume of Shelby Foote’s three volume series there is a very telling post war story.

aboard a Chesapeake bay steamer, not long after his surrender, the general [Joe Johnston] heard a fellow passenger insisting that the south had been “conquered but not subdued.”  Asked in what command he had served, the bellicose young man — one of those stalwarts later classified as “Invisible in wr and invincible in peace” —- replied that ,  unfortunately , circumstances ha made it impossible for him to be in the army .  ” Well sir, I was, Johnston told him.  “You may not be subdued, but I am.”

This illustrates a very important point, until the rise of Grant and Sherman an outnumbered south fought long and with some success against a better armed and supplied enemy.  It wasn’t until they faced Grant who was willing to keep going in the face of massive casualties and Sherman whose philosophy of combat was:

We can’t change the hearts of these people of the south but we can make war so terrible … [and] make them so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it.

that the south eventually fell, and even that took a full year of hard fighting.  But when it was done slavery was confined to the dustbin of American History, not because southern leaders like Alexander Stephens or Howell Cobb no longer believed in their right to hold slaves it but because the population that they persuaded to go to war to preserve it (and until you read the newspapers of the time please don’t start the “secession not slavery” argument)

And that brings us to the situation in Israel today:

For the last couple of weeks the citizen of the Jewish state have been regularly attacked by Palestinian who have deliberately targeted the population.  Israel’s ambassador to the UN put it very well:

Mr. President,
Over the course of the last month, 24 terror attacks have claimed the lives of 8 Israelis, and injured 70. 15 of them are still hospitalized. This tide of terror has washed over the entire nation and it spares no one: Young and old are being targeted every day.

Israelis do not feel safe walking down the street, they avoid taking the bus to work, and they fear for the lives of their children every time they walk out the door.

The root cause of this wave of terror is clear. It is inflammatory rhetoric and lies lit the fuse, and incitement that keeps feeding the flames.

The Israeli people have responded by arming themselves, the media  has responded with yet does of moral equivalency and in all the nonsense but within that noise is a hidden gem that Israel needs to take to heart:

But what does seem guaranteed is that most Palestinians will continue to believe that if the occupation is cost-free, there will be little incentive to end it.

While Nathan Thrall’s words have been correctly identified as BS there is a critical point that needs to be understood by Israel.

The Palestinian authority has absolutely no incentive to ease up on Israel.

They continue to receive funding, they continue to live easy and their leaders believe that thanks to western pressure they will remain untouched.

The history of the Arab wars against Israel has been a history of the west saving the arabs from destruction as Israel pounds them.  The only reason why Damascus is still in the hands of Syria and the Suez Canal is in the hands of Egypt is because outside pressure stopped it from happening.

But the dynamic today is different.

With the changing demographics and the dechristianization of the west, plus the sheer fear of the muslim populations within their borders the simple fact is that there is no action that the Palestinians can do that will draw the condemnation of the west.

Contrariwise  we have reached the point where if even shooting an active attacker by Israel is, in the eyes of any journalist not named Jake Tapper is an action to be condemned.

That changes the arithmetic for Israel much in the way Lincoln saw it.

After the disaster at Fredericksburg Lincoln commented if the battle was repeated everyday for a week with the same casualties the North would have a huge army and the southern army would be gone, as he put it:

No general yet found can face the arithmetic, but the end of the war will be at hand when he shall be discovered

Israel need to look at the arithmetic and simply say “enough” no more negotiation, no more fancy conferences, no more dinners.  Israel needs to annex the west bank, and give those living there a choice.  1.  become full citizens of Israel, 2.  sell their land to Israel and leave, or remain on a special lifetime visa which can be revoked if they aid or abet any terror activity.

The Palestinian “leadership” need to know that their meal ticket that is making them and their cronies rich is gone and the world needs to be presented with a fait accompli.

The Palestinians want war, give it to them.

The world will scream, the world will shout and there will be protests but the bottom line is the citizens of Israel will be safe in their own country.

This arithmetic has been true for a while but I suspect with this latest attack we’ve finally reached the point where Israel is finally ready to face the arithmetic.

and perhaps some day a arab student who has spent a lifetime in the west will be sitting next to Abbas on a plane and declare that the Palestinian will never be subdued and he will answer “You may not be subdued by I am.”

That should be Israel’s war aim.

Update: Case in Point via instapundit:

How does CNN report a near massacre of Israeli children? “Palestinians shot boarding kids’ bus”

While millions tune in to Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony, CNN’s ticker continues to display the outrageous headline from earlier today where they reported on the Palestinian terrorists who tried to enter a children’s school bus to carry out a horrific terror attack this morning. The Palestinians were shot before carrying out the potential massacre – somewhat of a miracle in and of itself.