Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Bit of Very Cool Housekeeping

Saturday afternoon, and it’s beautiful outside, but I wanted to make sure that I posted a couple of quick items on my blog for those of you who might be home reading.

First off, I want to point out my new roommate.  Tracy of WingedEmotion (the link is that thumbnail just to your right) has such a fun blog, you’ll absolutely love it. You know, some people, you read their stuff, and it’s just so obvious they have a song in their heart at all times, and Tracy is one of those people. So if you’re looking for a pick-me-up, go check out WingedEmotion, and let Tracy lift you up!

Next, I had my first radio show last night with BigDawgRadio, and what a treat it was!  The show went off without a hitch and with no technical difficulties, people say the sound quality was dead on the whole way, listeners had easy access to request, and the listeners were energetic, fun, and participatory. I had a blast, and I think that everyone had a good time.  

Along those lines, I again raffled off 1000 BE credits last week, and we had a winner: LunaStone, who created this site. No, the raffle was not rigged at all; I just searched for a random number generator and then got a random number and picked that comment number.  But, I will keep doing these doing these raffles every week, so feel free to comment here and enter a raffle for 1000 BE credits to be held during next week’s show.

Would people like me to raffle off BlogMad credits as well?  I have a ton, and would be happy to do it, so let me know if that would be of interest to anyone.

Finally, I will be posting my second guest-post shortly, but I am actively looking for other people to do guest posts.  If you are posting on something with multiple points of view, perhaps we could do a point/counterpoint, like I did with Davenelli, debating a broad view of the Hezbollah/Israel crisis today. Or maybe your views will stand alone.  But if you would like to guest-post on the Nomad, please let me know here.

Anyway, that’s it for this update.  The guest post will go up shortly, and Haveil Havelim will be posted tomorrow.  Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the weather.


Posted by Scottage at 4:00 PM / | |  

Follow-Up to Point/Counterpoint

Davenelli wrote a short follow-up to his post on Israel v. Lebanon, and I am happy to reproduce it here.  It should be noted that his follow-up represents the reason that something like point/counterpoint is so beneficial.  Thank you Davenelli for doing the first point/counterpoint, you have really earned my respect as well.

Davenelli’s Take on Israel V. The Lebanon 2006
The Follow Up

I’d just like to thank everyone who took part in this experiment for their time and input. As I stated in my original post I am no expert in Middle Eastern affairs. From the constructive dialogue that my article has provoked it appears that no-one has all the answers, sadly.

So what have I learned from this? Well I suppose the main thing is that respect is very much a two way street. I attempted to make the piece as balanced and inclusive as possible and as each person who took the time to comment on the piece did so in a positive way it would appear that I managed that to some degree.

I was aware when I penned the article that in electing to discuss such an emotive topic I was leaving myself open to hostility. I am delighted that this has not been the case even when the responses posted obviously disagreed with my assessment of the situation.

I was pleased to receive feedback from each and every one of you and to Rafi G. in particular I am grateful. Rafi has provided me with an insight into how the situation is affecting life for ordinary Israelis. The view he expressed is one I did not consider when I wrote the piece. Perhaps this was down to how the incident has been portrayed in the media or perhaps it was simply down to my own myopia.

Ezzie I have been unable to locate the video (Obsession) you mentioned in your feedback, each link I found to it was no longer operational. I am very interested in viewing the film. If you have a working link would it be possible to post it in the comments section of my blog?

You have each provided me with a unique viewpoint and expressed your understanding of the events in a courteous way. By doing so you have now increased my interest in the topic and provided me with an incentive to investigate the political situation of the area further. I have certainly learned a few things from each of you and I sincerely hope that you have taken something positive from me. Despite the differences which currently exist in our views I hope that we may now consider each other as friends.

A final word of thanks to my brave/foolish* (*delete as appropriate) and generous host Scott. I am delighted to have been invited to participate in this and your kind words and encouragement have been greatly appreciated. For electing to publish the article as it was submitted you will always have my complete respect. Should you ever wish to post on my blog I will be delighted to accommodate you. Thank you once again.


Posted by Scottage at 11:34 AM / | |  

Friday, August 04, 2006

Live Big Dawg Radio Tonight at 9pm est – with the 1000 Credit Raffle

Yes, folks, the Roamin’ Nomad is back on the air tonight from 9pm – 1am eastern time tonight on a new station: BigDawgRadio!  No more technical difficulties, outages, or troubles loading up the player, BigDawg uses the best technology to deliver rocking music all night long to your computer.

Once again, your friendly neighborhood Nomad will be hanging out in BlogExplosion’s Shoutbox Chat Room to take your requests and feel the pulse of the listeners. It will be a big party, and we hope you’re going to join us for it!

Plus, sometime during the show, I will raffle off 1,000 BE credits.  Feel like getting 1,000 hits to your blog, or just entering a ton of Battle of the Blogs? Well, post a comment or a request here, and you’ll be entered into our 1,000 credit raffle, the largest raffle on BlogExplosion.

The new station will allow easier requests, dedications, and listening, while BlogExplosion will provide a party and community feeling rarely felt on the internet.  So this and every Friday night, get ready for some great listening on BigDawgRadio!  Can you say WOOOF?


Posted by Scottage at 4:05 PM / | |  

Point/Counterpoint: Israel v. Lebanon 2006

Today I posted the first in a series of point/counterpoint posts that would allow the exploration of a particular topic from multiple perspectives.  Each topic will begin with a guest post, and then will be followed, some hours later, by a counterpoint article from your friendly neighborhood Nomad.

The hope is that, in the time between the guest post and the counterpoint post, people will have the ability to respond free from influence from my post.  This was absolutely the case today, as I received a number of terrific comments to the original post by Davenelli. Hopefully the counterpoint post will evoke many good comments as well.

I hope the end result will be a fruitful dialog on some of the key issues facing the world today. I would also offer to publish any other posts on this topic here, and encourage people with strong opinions to provide them here.  Hopefully we’ll see a dialogue that show’s a number of different views on these issues.  

Meanwhile, without further ado, here is the counterpoint post to Davenelli’s guest post from earlier today.

Nomad’s Take on Israel V. Lebanon 2006

There is a common perception that the US is either complicit, or maybe even morally negligent, in not reigning in Israel in its war against Hezbollah. The fact is, though, that this view stems from a common misperception that this conflict started as a result of the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

In reality, the kidnapping of the soldiers was little more than an excuse for Israel to protect Israel from a mortal threat, a threat to their existence, namely the consistent attacks on Northern Israel by Hezbollah. And the United States and the international community know that leaving this threat unchecked means the end of any hope for peaceful life in the state of Israel.

Who Is Hezbollah?

Hezbollah was founded by Syria and Iran during the tail end of the Lebanese civil war, ostensibly to challenge Israel’s occupation of South Lebanon, but in reality providing Syria and Iran a way to attack Israel without jeopardizing their own safety.   The Lebanese government was splintered, leaving power in the war-torn country up for grabs.  Syria took a number of seats in the Lebanese parliament in the name of Hezbollah, providing a safe launching pad for attacks on arch-enemy Israel.

Many Lebanese people did not want Hezbollah in their country. The group is certainly not representative of the majority of the Lebanese people.  But the Lebanese army was too weak to evict Hezbollah. The Lebanese government formed the South Lebanese Army to battle Hezbollah, but the SLA was far too weak to evict Hezbollah from Lebanon, even with Israel’s help.

Hostility between Israel and Hezbollah

It should be noted that Israel’s stated intention was not to grab land, but rather to create a buffer zone to prevent Lebanese rockets from hitting the northern Israeli cities.  Israel believed that their existence, their entire way of life, was at stake, and that it was essential to the freedom of the Israeli people to have some presence in Lebanon.

When I first arrived in Israel in 1995, I was on a kibbutz in Northern Israel called Kiryat Shemona for a week while waiting for my ulpan (courses) to begin in central Israel, and it was a hair-raising time. We worked in the fields until the air-raid sirens went off, indicating an inbound Kityusha rocket, which had no explosives but would kill you if it hit you.  You watched the rocket reach it’s zenith, saw where it would fall, and if you were close to that you ran.  The sirens went off 25-50 times a day.

At the time, few people died from Kityushas.  As the years went on, the rockets grew deadlier; they increased in range, accuracy, and they included explosives.  Kiryat Shemona was in the northern-most tip of Israel.  But earlier this year, the range of these missiles had increased to such an extent as to jeopardize residents all over northern Israel, including cities with denser populations like Haifa, Tiberius, and Nazareth.  

In 1996, Israel made a huge push to evict Hezbollah from Lebanon, in an offensive named “Grapes of Wrath”. Israel was making serious headway in the initiative, but failed after a tragic incident: Hezbollah fired rockets from behind a UN aid station, and as Israel retaliated, they hit the aid station, killing many innocent civilians.  International pressure stopped the fighting, and Hezbollah learned that they could invoke international sympathy by using Lebanese citizens as human shields.

Israeli Withdrawal from Lebanon

In 2000, Israel decided to unilaterally withdraw from Lebanon, with the hope that Hezbollah would then disband.  But Israel’s occupation of Lebanon only provided an excuse for Hezbollah’s actions against Israel, and as such Hezbollah actions against Israel would continue up until the present day.  

Hezbollah created more excuses for their actions, claiming that farms in Northern Israel were Lebanese property. But in 2001 even the UN clearly stated that Israel had withdrawn and Hezbollah should disarm. Hezbollah had lost all international legitimacy, and instead reinforced its role as an international terrorist group, perpetrating terrorist attacks on US and Israeli interests around the globe.

Reasons for the Present Conflict

When Hezbollah saw Israel’s reaction to the kidnapping of a soldier in Gaza, they saw an opportunity.  By kidnapping Israeli soldiers, they could corner Israel; if Israel failed to react, they would be seen as hypocritical or bullies of the Palestinians, whereas if they did react they would have to reengage in Lebanon, which would invariably mean victimizing the Lebanese citizens.

The thought was that by causing Israel to cause such death and destruction in Lebanon would incite the wrath of the entire Muslim world, and ultimately fulfill Iran’s prophecy of the destruction of Israel.  As of yet, the Islamic world has realized that this is Hezbollah’s goal and refrained from entering the conflict.  But that still remains the largest threat in this conflict.

The Lebanese Citizens

Hezbollah knew that the citizens of South Lebanon would be in the line of fire, and in fact increased the risk to these citizens by firing missiles from populated areas, including behind schools, hospitals, and the actual homes of South Lebanese residents.  Why did the South Lebanese allow this?  Some people allowed this because they agree with Hezbollah’s attack of Israel. But many allowed this because they had no ability to resist Hezbollah’s efforts.

One also needs to consider that, in reality, the Lebanese citizens are victims of Iran and Syria.  The governments of both countries want to attack Israel, but neither wants to jeopardize their own homeland.  So they attack from Lebanon, which cannot prevent the attacks, and allow the recently rebuilt country to be destroyed as Israel goes after the terrorist groups while allowing their benefactors to go unchecked.


Israel had no choice but to address the threat from Hezbollah; the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers only pushed the issue. Israel’s existence, its very survival was in question, and still is today if Israel cannot eliminate the threat from Hezbollah.  This is the true reason that the United States does not push Israel to stop the offensive – because allowing Hezbollah to exist in its present state, continuing to attack Israel daily, will prevent Israel from ever providing a normal existence to its citizens.

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Posted by Scottage at 2:06 AM / | |  

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My First Guest Blogger: Davenelli on Israel v. Lebanon

I am proud to introduce my first guest Blogger, Davenelli!  Davenelli, of The World According to Davenelli, chose to write on the current conflict between Israel and Lebanon, as well as the United State’s present hands-off approach to the conflict.

While it should be noted that the views of the author are not necessarily the views of the site, and in this case they certainly aren’t the views of the site, the post is brilliant, thought provoking, and well worth a read. I have strong views on the conflict, and wound up having them challenged by this post.

Finally, note that I will write a counter-point to this, but not for at least 12 hours, so people can write their own opinions without being influenced by mine. Readers, enjoy this; Davenelli’s writing is truly a treat, and I’m extremely happy to host it.  Without further ado, Davenelli:

Davenelli’s Take on Israel V. The Lebanon 2006

I would like to start this piece by saying thank you to Scott for trusting me with the task in hand. I would also like to make it clear from the outset that I write this article without an “agenda”. I am merely providing comment on a current event which causes me concern. I believe that each and every human is equal and deserves the right to live in peace.

The politics of the middle-east are complex to say the least. In putting this article together I have discovered myriad facts that I was previously unaware of. I have attempted to lay these out as simply as possible to assist understanding. It was important to review the history of the area in order to clarify the situation; I hope I have achieved this.

Whilst I have endeavoured to ensure the accuracy of this article I am no expert in middle-eastern affairs so one or two errors may remain. If this turns out to be the case then I offer my unreserved apologies. As for a solution, I’m not sure that I have one. Suffice to say that I don’t believe that things can continue as they are.

We, the west, are currently standing by whilst Israel attempts to bomb the recently reconstructed Lebanon back to the Stone Age. For me this hands-off approach is wholly wrong and morally reprehensible. Bold words I’m sure you will agree but let me explain my reasons for these feelings.

The current dispute was triggered by the kidnap of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah guerrillas. In response to this incident the Israeli government partook in some sabre rattling before launching ferocious air strikes against The Lebanon. Whilst this has been going on Hezbollah has predictably reacted in kind by launching counter strikes into Israel. Confirmed casualties as of today (2 August 2006) Israel 36 soldiers plus 19 civilians = 55. Lebanon 750 dead, the majority civilians, of which The UN estimate that at least one third are children. In addition The UN estimates that 900,000 (25%) Lebanese citizens have been displaced by this conflict. To put that figure in perspective 900,000 is approximately the population of Miami & Seattle combined (source US census 2000). At which point does the west decide that enough is enough?

Whilst I sympathise with the captured Israeli soldiers and their families I feel that the innocent people of The Lebanon deserve the majority of my sympathy. Two soldiers on border patrol were aware of the risks involved in their duties. The Lebanese people however do not deserve the wrath that continues to rain down on it. Especially as it is freely acknowledged in the corridors of power that Hezbollah is sponsored by not The Lebanon but actually Syria & Iran.

As I am sure you are all aware until recently Ireland (my neighbour) was involved in a bloody civil war and continues to exist under partition to this day. For me the ongoing Israeli offensive would be the equivalent of Great Britain deciding to bomb Dublin because of the existence of The Provisional Irish Republican Army. This is clearly wrong.

As a decent human being I was appalled by the outrage that took place at The World Trade Centre 11th September. I was therefore not surprised by George W’s decision to wage a “War on Terror” in the immediate aftermath. I have however always had reservations about the manner in which it was to be executed (oops bad choice of word).

To understand the lack of action so far we should examine the perceived status of Hezbollah. Israel and George W. routinely state that they are a terrorist organisation. Both seem to have lost sight of the fact that sixty years ago the founding fathers of Israel were also considered to be terrorists. Likewise a mere twenty years ago Nelson Mandela was viewed as being nothing but an incarcerated kaffer terrorist. Now he is one of the most respected statesmen in the world, and rightly so.

For those who are not aware Israel came into being when Britain handed control of Palestine over to the UN in 1947. The UN then decided to partition Palestine creating separate Jewish & Arab states. The conflict between the sides began almost at once and continues to this day fuelled by fear and paranoia on both sides. Each believes that the other will not rest until they have been driven to extinction.

Now this may well be the case but after sixty years of bitter and often bloody conflict you’d think one or two lessons would have been learned. My point is simply that things change. Whilst the west may not currently accept the aims of Hezbollah, and to be honest I’m not even too sure what they are, I am not bold enough to denounce them out of hand.

From the outside looking in on this one my own opinion is that the USA & Great Britain have consciously decided to look the other way and allow Israel to act with impunity. Perhaps the Israeli goal suits their aims for the Middle East.

Certainly the fact that Israel is the number one customer for American arms sales must assist in this respect. However it is worth noting that Israel has a habit of “reverse engineering” the technology it purchases. These weapons have subsequently been sold on to, amongst others, Cambodia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, China, Burma, Zambia and ironically enough the South Lebanon Army. (Source Jonathan Reingold from Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute)

As the US has provided Israel with $64billion in aid since the formation of the nation I’m sure they could apply some pressure to the Israeli government. Perhaps suggest that all future aid payments are dependent on them learning to play nice with the other kids. In the current financial year Israel has enjoyed a “hand-out” from the US which is the equivalent of $11,000 for each man, woman & child in their country.

I hope that you have learned something from this article. I also hope that you take the time to consider the content before replying rather than just providing knee jerk responses like f*** the terrorists.

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Posted by Scottage at 11:14 AM / | |  

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Battle of the Blogs and the Allure of Sex

When I wrote my post yesterday asking for guest bloggers, I included a photo of  a half-dressed woman that came up in Google’s Image Search under the search term “Guest Book”. An amazing blogger named CyberCelt noted that I would have been winning BotB’s if I had put that picture near the top of my post, instead of the bottom.

So I did an experiment.  I lost 9 of 11 Battle of the Blogs with the post of the anonymous woman in negligee at the bottom.  This morning, I moved the picture to the top, and low and behold, 6 wins and 4 losses, despite the post being a day old!  

It’s actually been months since I posted pictures of scantily clad girls.  It’s not that I lost my taste for the fairer sex, at all, but I began questioning the whole idea of exploiting women for the sake of building up my site.  True, the site was never as beautiful as when Jessica Alba graced my top post, but I wanted people to relate with the content, not the women.

Still, it’s quite obvious that, even in the wonderful world of blogging, sex sells!

I don’t vote that way.  I do prefer a blog that is sexy, but that doesn’t mean sexy women, but rather a sexy attitude, or a sexy spirit. I prefer a blog with a hot cartoon woman than the hottest model butt naked, because the cartoon reflects the spirit of the author as opposed to the body of some woman.  I may be in the minority there, but that’s the way I see it.

For example, ShallowMike’s blog continually is graced with beautiful women, and as a red-blooded man I enjoy looking at these women.  But in a Battle of the Blogs, I rarely vote for Mike, despite him being a nice guy.  I would much prefer to vote for CatEyes, of Living with Multiple Personalities, whose sexy and spirited attitude, along with her obvious intelligence, comes out both in her cartoon image and in every word she writes.  

The Plumbutt Chronicles consistently provides sexy pictures, including some of the world’s hottest women sucking lollipops and popsicles.  But any day of the week I would choose TheWriteJerry, who challenges me to rethink my views on issues on a daily basis.  And when voting in BotB’s, my vote reflects that, reflects the thought provoking nature of Jerry’s writing, and his dedication to the truth even though it often differs from my truth.

So what about the blogs with the beautiful women strewn about, scantily clad or less, in an effort to gain the approval of the voting blogger community?  Well, based on my recent losses, and more recent wins, I would guess that they are succeeding. But if you want my vote, stimulate my mind rather than my loins. Plus you get the added advantage of getting a person who will keep coming back to read your blog.


Posted by Scottage at 4:27 PM / | |  

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Call for Guest Bloggers!

Calling all bloggers, calling all bloggers!  I am looking for guest bloggers to post on Perspectives of a Nomad!  Perhaps you have a story about your travels, your views on world events, or just about anything really!  Well, I would love to have you write a post for the Nomad.

We have options, too!  You can write a solitary post, we can do a point-counterpoint, where I’ll write a follow up to your post, or we can try something more creative than that.  End of the day, I’m open to suggestions, and I’m all ears.  

And a couple added bonuses. First, any blogger who chooses to write a guest post on the Nomad will receive credits, either from BlogMad or BlogExplosion.  The number of credits will be based upon the post (so yes, a 2 line post like “Ants: Adam Had ‘em” will get less than a serious post on world peace).  

Second, I will be starting my new radio show on Friday night, which will get listeners from around the blogosphere, without being limited to people in one of the two major sites mentioned above. I will mention your post on the show and urge people to take a look at it, giving you some promotion.

So, feel like doing a guest post?  We would love to have you!  Come do a post at the Nomad, and find out what being a guest here is all about. And while you’re at it, maybe you can tell me how the picture above (top of the post) comes up in the Google image search under “Guest Book”.  Best response gets 100 BE or BM credits.


Posted by Scottage at 11:24 AM / | |  


You must check out, which does parodies of the inspirational posters which seem to be cropping up in workplaces these days. The poster above is only one of 85 "demotivational" posters provided by the company, and they're all very funny. So find your own personal poster at, and let it darken the days of all who come into contact with you!


Posted by Scottage at 2:08 AM / | |  

Monday, July 31, 2006

Mel Gibson Cover-Up Being Investigated

In a short update to a post from Saturday, the Los Angeles police department is now investigating whether there was a cover-up in the circumstances following the arrest of actor Mel Gibson on Friday night. The police department’s contention is that, while he did make a variety of statements that were in the original police report and omitted from the final police report, the omissions were reasonable and would have occurred in any arrest.

"There is no cover-up," Sheriff Lee Baca told the Los Angeles Times. "Our job is not to (focus) on what he said. It's to establish his blood-alcohol level when he was driving and proceed with the case. Trying someone on rumor and innuendo is no way to run an investigation, at least one with integrity."

There are also reports now being released by, the news organization that first obtained the original arrest report, indicating that twice before Gibson has been stopped twice before for reckless driving, each time driving well over the speed limit and both times suspected of being under the influence. However, neither time was Gibson issued a ticket. These stops occurred 1 and 3 years ago.

I also want to note that one of the real dangers in a cover-up of this nature can be seen in the comments section of my own blog.  Kim, who writes a pretty decent blog called In The News – Commentary by Kim walks away from an incident like this thoroughly believing that Gibson is not anti-Semetic, when his statements, as well as his pet-project “Passions of the Christ” tell the true tale. Sorry Kim, I like Mel Gibson’s movies too, but there is no question that Gibson does not like Jews. The true report tells the tale.

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Posted by Scottage at 9:58 AM / | |  

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mel Gibson Arrested for DUI, Blames It All on F***ing Jews; Police Cover It Up

Friday night, Mel Gibson was arrested for Driving Under the Influence.  Originally, the Malibu police reported that he had been arrested without incident, but later got hold of the original police report and a corroborating tape of the arrest, including a thorough berating of the arresting officer, his female partner, and the Jewish race.  

Once inside the car, a source directly connected with the case says Gibson began banging himself against the seat. The report says Gibson told the deputy, "You mother f****r. I'm going to f*** you." The report also says "Gibson almost continually [sic] threatened me saying he 'owns Malibu' and will spend all of his money to 'get even' with me."

The report says Gibson then launched into a barrage of anti-Semitic statements: "F*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Gibson then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"  A law enforcement source says Gibson then noticed another female sergeant and yelled, "What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?"

Saturday, Gibson came back with an apology, to the police, and to his community. He does not, however, specifically apologize to the Jewish community.

In his statement, Gibson acknowledges that he had been drinking Thursday night and that "I did a number of things that were very wrong and for which I am ashamed. I drove a car when I should not have. ... I feel fortunate that I was apprehended before I caused injury to any other person."

"I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable," the statement said. "I am deeply ashamed of everything I said."

He added: "Also, I take this opportunity to apologize to the deputies involved for my belligerent behavior. They have always been there for me in my community and indeed probably saved me from myself. I disgraced myself and my family with my behavior and for that I am truly sorry."

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, as Gibson has shown his anti-Semitism before, including his portrayal of the Jews’ role in the death of Jesus with the direction of the move “The Passion of the Christ” in 2004. Still, it’s hard to hear such ignorant statements from Gibson, who I have really enjoyed in such movies as “The Patriot”, “Braveheart”, and “Lethal Weapon”. I guess it just goes to show how little intelligence has to do with talent.

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Posted by Scottage at 12:46 AM / | |