9 thoughts on “Chanukah, Christmas, Iraq, the environment

  1. Posted by: “frankofbos” FrankOfBos@yahoo.com

    Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:59 pm (PST)

    Bush History – A Grim Christmas Milestone, and Ben Franklin OK’s “Poor George’s Almanac” – 12/25

    A grim Christmas milestone on this date (2006) as the number of
    American deaths in Bush’s wars exceed the lives lost in the 9/11
    attacks. Also Ben Franklin gives thumbs up to “Poor George’s Almanac”
    (2007), and a holiday Bushism. Merry Holiday everyone! (just to annoy
    Bill O’Reilly).

    More details, from the 2009 Bush Blunder Calendar …

    Today’s category: Bushisms, Grim Milestones, Iraq


  2. Dec 24, 6:38 PM EST

    US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,217

    As of Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008, at leat 4,217 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

    The figure includes eight military civilians killed in action. At least 3,398 military personnel died as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

    The AP count is three more than the Defense Department’s tally, last updated Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST.

    The British military has reported 176 deaths; Italy, 33; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 21; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Denmark, seven; El Salvador, five; Slovakia, four; Latvia and Georgia, three each; Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand and Romania, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan and South Korea, one death each.

    The latest deaths reported by the military:

    – Three soldiers were killed Wednesday in a vehicle accident in southern Iraq.

    The latest identifications reported by the military:

    – Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas Reilly Jr., 19, London, Ky.; died Sunday while supporting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq; assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.


  3. Where’s al-Zaidi’s Pulitzer?
    Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s shoes told this story. He deserves nothing less than the Pulitzer Prize.

    Sgt 1st class, Brian Urlich, right, of Las Vegas, Nevada, with C company, 1-68 Armor, 2 BCT, 4th Infantry Division talks to an Iraqi family during a weapons search patrol in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, on a Christmas day, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. From AP Photo by Dusan Vranic.

    What “Hand-Over”?
    “On Jan. 1, our mission doesn’t change. How we execute that mission is going to have adjustments.”

    What “Withdrawal”?
    “As you draw down in Iraq, you’re going to need more sustainment and aviation.”


  4. Maccabees still making news

    By Gil Shefler · December 10, 2009

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Some 2,200 years after the Maccabees’ revolt, historians and archaeologists are uncovering new information about their era.

    This year’s biggest discovery is a correspondence between Seleukes IV, whose brother and heir was Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Chanukah story, and one of Seleukes’ chiefs in Judea found on parts of an ancient stele.

    Professor Dov Gera of Ben-Gurion University, who studied the stone’s inscription, said it confirms the account by the Jewish historian Josephus regarding the tightening grip of the Greek-Syrian empire over its subjects’ religious practices.

    “[The text reveals] Seleukes appointed one of the members of his court as an official to oversee worship in the area and equate religious services throughout the empire,” Gera said. “Such an appointment might have been considered by the Jews to be offensive.”

    In the book of Maccabees II, Josephus tells the story of a Greek-Syrian official in a similar position who tries to rob the Temple of its gold. The stele is believed to date from 178 BCE, just over a decade before Judah Maccabee rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem.

    Assembling the stele and determining its origin required some detective work.

    Gera received three fragments of unknown origin that surfaced on the antiquities market. Upon inspection he saw that they seemed to match the fragment of another stone that was missing text.

    “When I got the three broken tablets, I saw it was part of another fragment that was already published,” he said.

    Gera connected the fragments and saw that they matched. He concluded that the fragments must have been broken off the original stele, which was found in a cave in Israel’s Beit Guvrin area by grave robbers.

    “I hope that the rest of the stele will be found because we are still missing the first part,” he said.



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