Shared posts

20 Jan 11:12

Joshua Drake: PostgreSQL for Oracle people

Below is the video of the webinar I did recently on PostgreSQL and Oracle. This webinar went very well. This is the first time I had ever performed a webinar that I recall. It was an interesting experience.

PostgreSQL for Oracle Developers and DBA's

If you would like more information on this topic or any other topic surrounding PostgreSQL and Open Source, don't hesitate to contact us.

19 Jan 22:10

Douglas added 'Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity'

Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity by Rebekah  Merkle Douglas gave 5 stars to Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity (Paperback) by Rebekah Merkle
bookshelves: marriage-and-family, theology
I read portions of this in manuscript, but have been working away at the final version since it came out. And it is, of course, fantastic. Now one of you will say to me that I am rating it this way because it was written by my daughter. But the fact that Bekah wrote this does not make me rate it this way. It would be fantastic (and greatly needed) regardless.

This book will be a great encouragement to women who want to think, live, and adorn biblically. I recommend it particularly to girls in high school and college -- a great time to get your thinking straight on these issues.
16 Jan 12:45

Natalie commented on Natalie's review of The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

New comment on Natalie's review of The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?
by Rick Warren

Dave wrote: "NO! I don't care about links from others. This should be YOUR review. I check out Goodreads as an alternative to "a basic Google search" in order to digest reviews from INDIVIDUALS. Even this respo..."

Im sorry that my review seems to have upset you Dave. All I can say is that maybe it was spiritual discernment. When I first read this book which was given to me as a gift, I had a completely open mind and knew nothing of Warren or his ministry. My PERSONAL concern was that as I read it I felt that it was basically a tick box exercise--teaching me how to get closer to God in twelve easy steps. The results, according to Warren are guaranteed. He writes about them as if he has found a special secret that has for many years been hidden. I knew that there were no short-cuts to sanctification and that the only way to draw closer to God was through prayer and studying the Bible so Warren's methods felt like a deception and I threw the book away. That is my personal experience--the other things I learned later through research but they just confirmed what I had already detected myself. I gave you the links because the theologians can express themselves much better than I can....
16 Jan 12:45

Felipe wants to read 'Mei Fuh: Memories from China'

16 Jan 12:43

Felipe Sabino liked a review

Esquizofrenia intelectual by R.J. Rushdoony
"Com muita competência e erudição, Rushdoony mapeia todo o problema com a educação estatal até a sua raiz numa linguagem simples, objetiva e acessível. Ele chega a dizer, a certa altura do livro, que a resistência de alguns estudantes à educação contemporânea é um indicativo de saúde mental e cultural. Se isto já era verdade na década de 60, que dirá hoje?
Apesar de este já ser um assunto até certo ponto batido entre nós — graças, em parte, ao princípio de declínio da hegemonia esquerdista nas prateleiras de nossas livrarias —, o livro continua atual e necessário, tendo em vista que ainda são poucas as publicações em português que se propõem a tratar do tema a partir de um ponto de vista cristão reformado.
No entanto, é um livro que exige maturidade da parte de quem lê, especialmente no que tange a certas soluções propostas pelo autor. É preciso situar a obra em seu contexto histórico antes de sair por aí defendendo a extinção disto e daquilo outro. O fato de Rush, por exemplo, incluir a Escola Dominical vigente em sua época na lista de escolas a serem extintas não significa que devemos juntar todas no mesmo pacote. Enfim, é preciso acautelar-se das utopias, não importa de que lado do espectro político venham — se do esquerdo, se do direito."
16 Jan 12:39


Plus, time's all weird in there, so most of it probably broke down and decomposed hundreds of years ago. Which reminds me, I've been meaning to get in touch with Yucca Mountain to see if they're interested in a partnership.
09 Jan 20:39


Hey Rob, sorry it took me a while to get back to you! Sure, I'd love to see WALL-E opening weekend! Are you still doing that, or...?
09 Jan 20:31

Emilio added 'The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams'

The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams by Heath Lambert Emilio gave 4 stars to The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams (Paperback) by Heath Lambert
Muita coisa boa e útil para se pensar no movimento de aconselhamento bíblico. Parece-me que Lambert exagera em algumas críticas a Adams e limita demais o escopo do livro aos autores do CCEF. Embora estes corretamente sejam identificados como desenvolvedores do movimento de aconselhamento bíblico, há muitos outros ramos do movimento.
09 Jan 20:31

America should speak softly and carry a big stick -- but we need a bigger stick

05 Jan 23:45

John added 'Zeal Without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable Sacrifice'

Zeal Without Burnout by Christopher Ash John gave 5 stars to Zeal Without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable Sacrifice (Hardcover) by Christopher Ash
This is an excellent/accessible book. This isn't just for pastors!
04 Jan 18:52

Simon Riggs: PostgreSQL’s Popularity Goes Up Again

Mirror mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest Database of all?

A frequently asked question, certainly.

DB-Engines recently announced it’s DBMS of the Year. Maybe the cool thing is that PostgreSQL is in 3rd Place. Yee-ha, an open source project is up there!

Let’s look closely about what this means.’s agreed response was this…

“It’s great to see the continued success of PostgreSQL being reflected in DB-Engines rankings. It’s clear that the strength of the following for the World’s Most Advanced Open Source Database is enough to outweigh the largest software companies as people continue to choose to move away from commercial databases.”

though because of commercial sensitivity this was changed down to this

“It’s great to see the continued success of PostgreSQL being reflected in DB-Engines rankings. It’s clear that the strength of the following for the World’s Most Advanced Open Source Database is enough to draw people away from commercial databases.”

What were the commercial sensitivities? (What about “open source sensitivies”? Well, blame me, cos I agreed the change.)

Well, the title of the post is that a Microsoft product is actually DBMS of the Year, even though it’s not ranked #1 on the main list, that’s still Oracle. And Postgres is #3 on DBMS of the Year, even though we moved through to #5 again, competing with MongoDB for position 4 (although mostly level).

My guess is that Microsoft would like to highlight how it gets more press than PostgreSQL, a point I would concede in an instant. Whether that means it is more popular or has better features is a different thing entirely. People are simply leaving commercial databases in droves to come to PostgreSQL, which is clearly reflected in the very public decline of Oracle licencing revenues over the last 10 quarters and I’m sure its just the same for Microsoft revenue.

The purpose of the announcement from was to highlight that “the strength of the following for the World’s Most Advanced Open Source Database is enough to outweigh the largest software companies”, though my conclusion is that we are not YET in a position to do that. Larger marketing budget does still give a larger audience. Real world usage does still show PostgreSQL usage increasing at an amazing rate. And our technology continues to set the pace of feature development that other databases would like to achieve.

Number 3 means we’re on the list. We can discuss exactly place we’re at, but its enough to put us on the short list for every major technology decision, worldwide. And when people see the feature list, price and responsive support, the effect is compelling.

Anyway, ain’t no such thing as bad publicity, so we’re all happy.

Thanks very much to DBEngines for mentioning PostgreSQL in this post…

Anyway, I do thank Microsoft for continuing to support PostgreSQL in its framework and driver.


04 Jan 18:40

David Rader: Thank you PostgreSQL for Secure Defaults

One of the most common questions from new PostgreSQL users is “how do I connect to the database server?” The nuances of pg_hba.conf and how to correctly enable your Python web app to connect to your db server without opening up connections to all users and all servers is not simple for someone new to Postgres. And architecting a secure multi-tenant SaaS system requires knowledge of how roles, schemas, databases, and search paths interact. That’s one reason we wrote a Security Whitepaper a while back.

But, after seeing thousands of MongoDB instances taken hostage by ransomware the “no authorization required” default for MongoDB is looking like a very dumb idea. Just imagine what executives whose developers picked MongoDB are saying today:

“You mean we store our client list in a database without security?

“Anyone can just delete our NoSQL database from the internet?”

“Were we hacked last year when you said we lost data in MongoDB?”

So, a quick “Thank You” to PostgreSQL for making sure that your data is Secure By Default.

04 Jan 00:42

If liberals don’t oppose Palestinian colonialism, they can’t be liberals

by Melanie

One of the most mind-twisting aspects of “liberal” opinion is the way it has been harnessed to support tyranny and Jew-hatred. Listen here to find out exactly whom I think people of good conscience should and should not support in the Arab-Israel impasse.

The post If liberals don’t oppose Palestinian colonialism, they can’t be liberals appeared first on

04 Jan 00:41

Understanding the Relational Data Model: A New Series of Papers

by (Fabian Pascal)
"Nowadays, anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have:
  1. The keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed;
  2. The courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed;
  3. The skill to manipulate it as a weapon;
  4. The judgement to select in whose hands it will be effective, and
  5. The cunning to spread the truth among such persons."
--Berthold Brecht
A rather accurate explanation of why it has been so difficult to dispel the misuse and abuse of the Relational Data Model since inception. To the point that most of its core practical benefits have failed to materialize, with the IT industry regressing all the way back to its pre-relational and even pre-database state:
  • Graph DBMSs;
  • XML;
  • JSON;
  • NoSQL;
  • Application-specific databases and DBMSs;
  • "Unstructured data";
  • No integrity enforcement;
  • A cacophony of imperative programming languages rather than declarative data sublanguages (suffixed with QL, just like old non-relational DBMSs were with /R). 

Read more »
02 Jan 19:23

Australia lines up against the axis of infamy

by Melanie

Plaudits to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for condemning the UN Security Council’s vicious anti-Israel resolution 2334 which, in falsely delegitimising Israel’s settlements, struck at the very heart of Judaism and Jewish history.

On New Year’s Eve Turnbull called the resolution “one-sided” and “deeply unsettling”, while Bishop said it was “unlikely” that Australia would have voted for it had it still been on the Security Council.

This lines up Australia with the incoming US Trump administration against the axis of infamy consisting of Obama, the British government, France and assorted Islamists and other tyrants.

In addition Tony Abbott, the man Turnbull ousted as Australia’s PM, recently reasserted his own place on the side of the angels in the Spectator where he called for Australia to suspend aid to the Palestinian Authority because “it keeps paying pensions to terrorists and their families”. He also said Australia could demonstrate “unswerving support for Israel” by joining any move by the incoming Trump administration to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Well done, Oz.

Whenever I have visited Australia, I have been struck by the absence there of any fundamental cultural hostility towards or suspicion of the Jewish people, of the kind one finds in Britain or mainland Europe.

I assume that at least part of the reason for this very welcome difference is that, unlike Britain and Europe whose particular histories are based significantly on Christianity with all its problematic attitudes towards Judaism, Australia is an overwhelmingly migrant nation with a culturally level playing-field.

I was very struck, though, by another explanation I was given on a visit down-under a few years back. At that time, I was told, Australian forces were deployed in numerous conflict spots in the region. I was unaware of many of these because globally they were of minor significance.

They were very alarming, though, to Australia. The reason I was given was something that had never previously occurred to me. Australia is an extremely large continent. Only a tiny fraction of it, however, is populated. That means most of it is potentially open to attack, for the simple reason that there is no-one there to defend the territory. Australia therefore feels itself to be vulnerable.

This makes it innately sympathetic to tiny Israel which is so terribly vulnerable to the attacks under which it has been bombarded for the past century. And it must also mean that Australia understands a point that is dismissed out of hand by those who demonise the Israelis living in the disputed territories: that in populating otherwise hostile land in such close proximity, these “settlements” are essential to help defend Israel itself against even worse attack.

Inside Australia, Malcolm Turnbull has his political difficulties. But he deserves praise for making a stand for justice and common decency over UNSC 2334 – and for pivoting Australia onto the same axis as the US as Trump turns global politics upside down.

The post Australia lines up against the axis of infamy appeared first on

02 Jan 18:25

E-M1II tested at TheVerge: “Olympus has pushed the MFT format to insane limits”

by Andreapazzo
The E-M1II will be finally be back in Stock on January 5th at Amazon US TheVerge posted their full E-M1II review and writes: The E-M1 Mark II is a breath of fresh air in an industry that values iteration over…
02 Jan 18:24

Furry added 'Discourse Features of New Testament Greek: A Coursebook on the Information Structure of New Testament Greek, 2nd Edition'

02 Jan 18:24

Furry added 'Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis'

02 Jan 18:13

Douglas added 'Great Good Thing'

Great Good Thing by Andrew Klavan Douglas gave 5 stars to Great Good Thing (Hardcover) by Andrew Klavan
bookshelves: biography, theology
Hope to write more about this soon, but for now, let us just say it is superb.

Here is what I wrote on my blog:

Testimonies are powerful. The apostle Paul gives his testimony in the book of Acts more than once, and he did so to great effect. The center of New Testament-style evangelism is found in the two-fold ministry of preaching and testimony. How will they hear without a preacher (Rom. 10:14)? And the one who believes has the witness (marturia) in himself (1 John 5:10).

Witnesses in the first century gave testimony to what the incarnate Christ said and did (1 John 1:2). But that does not render witness superfluous in the ages after—because the Holy Spirit was given to take the place of Christ, and He has been active down to the present day. This is why testimonies have the capacity to be singularly powerful. They can be done poorly, and can be over-run by hackneyed clichés. But sermons can be done poorly also, and yet no one doubts that preaching is an instrument appointed by God.

This testimony is delivered with exceptional grace and force. The Great Good Thing is the testimony of how Andrew Klavan, a secular and very messed up Jew, was found by Christ.

Klavan is an award-winning writer, and it shows. He brings exceptional talents to the description of an exceptional story, one I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The genre of his other books is “crime novel,” a part of Lit Town where I do not usually go, and so until this book I was unfamiliar with his writing. But in the world of mystery and crime writing, he is a well-known name. His novel True Crime was made into a movie, as was Don’t Say a Word. He has won the Edgar Award twice, and can safely be called a competent wordsmith.

I was familiar with him because of his online video commentary on politics and culture, which are very funny and almost always leave bruises. I found out about this book because of his political presence online, ordered it willingly, and read it even more willingly. This is a testimony that has the power to put both hands on your shoulders, and make you sit down with the book.

Here is his description of how he began praying, before He even knew who he was praying to.

“After a while, though, it began to seem to me that I was thinking too much about perfect truth-telling. It was a waste of prayer time. The human heart is so steeped in self-deception that it can easily outrun its own lies. It can use even meticulous honesty as a form of dishonesty, a way of saying to God, ‘Look how honest I am.’ So I let it go. I let it all go. I just flung wide the gates to the sorry junkyard of my soul and let God have a good look at the whole rubble-strewn wreck of it. Then I went ahead and told him my thoughts as plainly as I knew how” (p. 239).

His was a conversion that had cultural, historical, intellectual, and emotion reasons. He deals with them all, honestly, seriously, and without any sanctimony. You will never read a less sanctimonious testimony.

We live in a time when stories like this need to be told, over and again. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
02 Jan 18:11

Natalie added 'God Planted Five Seeds'

God Planted Five Seeds by Jean Dye Johnson Natalie gave 5 stars to God Planted Five Seeds (Paperback) by Jean Dye Johnson
bookshelves: missions
I loved this book and was really quite amazed not to have heard of it before.

In the early 1940's, five men traveled deep into the Bolivian jungle, the first group of missionaries sent out by New Tribes Mission to share the Gospel with the Ayore people.....They didn't return to their anxious wives and children and what had happened to them remained a mystery for many years to come.....

This is probably all sounding a bit familiar....but this is NOT the story of Jim Elliot and companions martyrdom at the hands of the Auca tribe in Ecuador. This very similar story actually occurred years beforehand. Why, you might wonder, did one group of men become famous worldwide and the other fade into comparative obscurity?

I can't answer that but maybe if enough people read this book as a result of this review, it will go a little way to rectifying the injustice.

The story is relayed by one of the wives of the men. The incredible decision to remain on the field attempting to reach the suspected murderers for Christ, despite the years of uncertainty--hope then disappointment as rumours surrounding the fate of their husbands abounded. Until one day they would learn the terrible truth....

I don't want to spoil the story, but this was a definite highlight. Ecarai (one of the converted tribesmen) insists on being taken to a small town meeting:

"Here I am," he began in understandable Spanish, "a barbaro that has come from the jungles to tell you people who are civilised about Jesus Christ. God's Word is written in your language so that you can clearly understand it. And yet you do not receive it. We haven't known the Gospel very long, yet what I do know I want to share with you of this wonderful truth." Then in a few sentences Ecarai urged them to believe that Christ died to save them from their sins.

You could have heard a pin drop in that audience. A Bolivian woman sat there that afternoon and cried. In the evening she brought others out to the meeting that had been scheduled and asked if Ecarai would 'tell it again.' "I want these people to hear the most amazing story I have ever heard." she explained.

This missionary biography, despite being relatively unknown, is comparable to Peace Child and Lords of the Earth I highly recommend it.
02 Jan 18:10

Felipe added 'Faith & Wellness: Resisting the State Control of Healthcare by Restoring the Priestly Calling of Doctors'

Faith & Wellness by R. J. Rushdoony Felipe gave 5 stars to Faith & Wellness: Resisting the State Control of Healthcare by Restoring the Priestly Calling of Doctors (Kindle Edition) by R. J. Rushdoony
Como Van Til escreveu numa carta de 1969, impressiona a quantidade de livros que Rushdoony escrevia (e escreveria dezenas de outros). Parecia trabalhar neles dia e noite.

Neste livro em particular fica claro o que sempre menciono: a extensão da erudição de Rushdoony. Ele não apenas escreveu muito, mas sobre praticamente tudo debaixo do sol.

Rush fala sobre a importância da profissão médica, a necessidade desta ser pautada na ética cristã e os perigos e males causados a esse santo chamado por um Estado controlador e sua filosofia humanista.

Eu não poderia ter começado 2017 com uma leitura melhor!
30 Dec 19:58

Natalie Vellacott liked a review

They're Rugby Boys, Don't You Know? by Natalie Vellacott
"I've read a few books by missionaries or about missionary work. But most of them were too esoteric, failing to give a sense of day-t0-day life. But Natalie Vellacott does a fine job of charting her experiences in the Philippines.

They're Rugby Boys, Don't You know? opened my eyes to what it's like engaging young boys (the "rugby" boys) who live in extreme poverty.

"Rugby" is a slang reference to the solvents they inhale as a means of coping.

Natalie takes you through the ups and downs of seeking to establish relationships with boys who are living invisibly along the edge as societal cast-offs.

Their story is remarkable and Natalie's writing will make a lasting impression.

30 Dec 17:24

Mrs May’s screeching U-turn

by Melanie

You can virtually see the skid marks.

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has issued what’s been called an unprecedented rebuke to the Obama administration over the Israel-bashing speech by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman criticised him for not only attacking the composition of Israel’s government but disproportionately focusing on the issue of Israeli settlements “when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is so deeply complex.”

The US State Department said it was surprised since Kerry’s remarks “were in line with the UK’s own long-standing policy and its vote at the United Nations last week.”

It amazement was understandable. For reports suggest that Britain not only voted for the UNSC resolution 2334 but was instrumental in its drafting and in persuading New Zealand to propose it.

As I wrote here and here, resolution 2334 demanded an end to all Israeli settlement construction, cemented permanent Palestinian aggression and rejectionism towards Israel and worse still dictated that Judaism’s most holy places in Jerusalem, the ancient capital city of the Jewish people and the focus of its deepest religious yearnings, constituted “occupied Palestinian territory”.

Yet Mrs May’s spokesman further condemned Kerry’s speech by saying: “The Government believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties, supported by the international community.”

But resolution 2334 sought to dictate Israel’s borders and the geographical area of a Palestine state, the very thing that was supposed to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.

So why the screeching U-turn? Almost certainly it was because of the ferocious pushback from both Israel and US President-elect DonaldTrump which presumably made Mrs May realise she had created a diplomatic crisis between the UK and its two ostensible allies.

Nevertheless, her spokesman doubled down on the UK government’s belief that the settlements were illegal. In the Jewish Chronicle, an unnamed government source was reported as saying that Mrs May believes the settlements are the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

Anyone with any knowledge of Middle East history will know that this is ludicrous. The main obstacle to a settlement of the Arab -Israeli impasse is that the Palestinians’ goal continues to be the extermination of Israel, and that Britain, the EU and America have excused, funded and incentivised that infernal aim.

Now the Palestinians believe UNSC resolution 2334 has given them the green light for deeper intransigence and more terrorist attacks on Jews.

Mrs May can hardly be blamed for having the deluded belief that the settlements are the main problem when so many British Jews agree with this.

On BBC Radio’s Today programme (0750) Tony Blair’s former Middle East envoy Lord Levy was wheeled on to say that he actually agreed with Kerry’s attack.

Such people in Britain’s Jewish community, with their naive and blinkered tendency to scapegoat the settlers along with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have been unwittingly reinforcing Whitehall’s deep prejudice against Israel for years.

Mrs May may have been startled by the strength of some of the pushback from the normally meek British Jews. Among these protesters, however, even those who are themselves hostile to the settlers have been dismayed beyond measure by the way resolution 2334 went far beyond this issue to strike at the very heart of Jewish religion and history. What they fail to see is that hostility to the settlers is inescapably connected to hostility towards the Jews.

In America, even Democrats have expressed dismay that the Obama administration failed to veto resolution 2334.

If reports are to be believed, however, this vicious resolution was Obama’s own personal creation, facilitated by an eager British government keen to assist in weaponising its obsession with settlements – an issue which serves as such a convenient distraction from Britain’s century-old betrayal of the Jewish people in its own homeland, which continues to this day.

In both Britain and America, this is now crunch time for these diaspora Jews.

The post Mrs May’s screeching U-turn appeared first on

30 Dec 00:26

Felipe added 'The Problem of the Gifted Speaker'

The Problem of the Gifted Speaker by Stephen C. Perks Felipe gave 5 stars to The Problem of the Gifted Speaker (Paperback) by Stephen C. Perks
Perks tem um poder de concisão impressionante. Neste livreto ele mostra, em poucas palavras, o perigo da idolatria da retórica e do culto à personalidade do pregador
30 Dec 00:26

Felipe started reading 'Did Adam Exist?'

Did Adam Exist? by Vern Sheridan Poythress Felipe started reading Did Adam Exist? by Vern Sheridan Poythress
28 Dec 17:48

An open letter to Theresa May

by Melanie

Dear Prime Minister,

It was sickening to see that your government last week voted for the declaration of diplomatic war against Israel embodied in resolution 2334 passed by the UN Security Council.

Bad enough that Britain didn’t use its position as a permanent SC member to vote against this vicious resolution and thereby stop it in its tracks. Worse, far worse was that your government voted for it. In doing so, Britain signed up to propositions that repudiate law, justice and truth.

Now reports have surfaced that, yet more appallingly, Britain was actually instrumental in getting 2334 passed by helping draft the resolution and then stiffening New Zealand’s resolve in proposing it.

I don’t know whether that is correct. I suspect it may well be. I think, nevertheless, that you spoke from the heart the other week when you told the Conservative Friends of Israel of your admiration for Israel as a “remarkable country” and a “beacon of tolerance” and your warm feelings towards the Jewish people.

I also think, however, that you know little about the history of the Jews in the Middle East, the part played in that history by previous British governments or the infernal strategic aims of the people known as the “Palestinians”. I believe, therefore, you might not fully grasp the implications of supporting UNSC resolution 2334.

So let me spell out exactly what your government has done by voting in this way.

It has put itself firmly behind the attempt to exterminate the State of Israel under the cowardly cover of vacuous pieties about supporting two democratic states and opposing terrorism and incitement. It has done this by endorsing the inflammatory falsehoods and legal and historic fictions deployed by those whose purpose is to destroy the State of Israel.

It has shredded the concept of diplomatic integrity by delegitimising Israel’s legal actions in defence of its survival while legitimising the manifestly false claim to the land by those who want Israel gone.

It has put rocket fuel behind the discriminatory and bigoted BDS movement whose aim is to delegitimise Israel and bring about its destruction.

By declaring that Israel’s borders should be established on terms demanded by its mortal enemies, the British government has backed coerced surrender to aggressors bent on Israel’s extermination.

Through this vote, your government has shown its contempt for international law. It has helped tear up the treaty obligation under the Oslo Accords to decide through negotiation the borders of Israel and the status of Jerusalem.

Prime Minister, your officials will not be informing you of crucial facts about the legal validity of Israel’s actions. So I will.

Despite the wilful misreading by the Foreign Office of the Geneva Conventions through flagrantly twisting and distorting the meaning of the word “transfer” in that context, Israel’s settlements are legal several times over.

Under the 1922 Mandate for Palestine, the British administration was instructed to “facilitate… close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public purposes”.

The land on which the international community thus gave the Jews the right to settle included what is now Israel, the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, and Gaza. That legal right has never been abrogated.

Israel has no borders, only ceasefire lines which marked the cessation of hostilities in 1949 after it defeated the Arab attempt to destroy it at its rebirth. It continues to have no borders because the war of extermination mounted against it by the Arabs has never ended.

A country is entitled under international law to occupy land it seizes from a belligerent enemy and retain it as long as the belligerency continues. That was why Israel was entitled to retain land beyond the ceasefire lines seized in the 1967 Six-Day War.

UN resolution 242 called for Israel’s withdrawal merely from “territories” seized at that time. It deliberately eschewed the definite article, which would have required withdrawal from all “the” territories, on the understanding that they would only be yielded up if the Arabs ended their aggression. That has never happened. To this day, these territories are used as a launching pad for the mass murder of Israelis.

Worse even than ignoring these legal realities, your government has now struck at the very heart of Jewish identity.

The essence of the strategy to delegitimise and destroy Israel is the attempt to airbrush the Jewish people out of their own history in the land – a history which gives them and them alone the right to live there. In voting for this resolution, your government has now endorsed that pernicious endeavour.

The resolution refers to “occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem.” There is no such thing as “Palestinian territory” and never was.

First of all, the term “Palestinian” is itself bogus. Palestinian identity was an artificial creation invented solely to destroy the Jewish entitlement to their own homeland.

“Palestine” was invented by the Romans to rename Judea, in order to eradicate Jewish entitlement to land the Romans had conquered and to expunge all trace of its Jewish identity.

Arabs who lived in pre-Israel Palestine were either nomadic or considered themselves Syria or pan-Arab. As many Arabs have acknowledged over the years, there is no such thing as a “Palestinian”.

Second, the land in dispute never belonged to the “Palestinians” nor indeed to any Arab state. Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria, which it renamed the West Bank, between 1949 and 1967. That territory is in effect no-man’s land. And given the terms of the British mandate which have never been overturned, it is only Israel which has any legal, moral or historical right to settle its people there.

Prime Minister, the picture accompanying this letter is of a young girl who was one of the victims of the 1929 Hebron massacre. Hebron, one of the holiest places in Judaism, had a substantial Jewish community until in 1929 the Arabs carried out a three-day pogrom, slaughtering 67 Jews. The rest of the Jewish community was driven out, rendering Hebron empty of Jews for the first time in hundreds of years.

During the war to destroy Israel in 1948, the Jewish residents of Gush Etzion were expelled and murdered. The Arabs similarly depopulated the Jewish villages of Kalya and Atarot, drove out the Jews living in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and blew up all of their synagogues.

Obscenely, resolution 2334 deems all these places and more that were ethnically cleansed of their ancient Jewish populations to be “Palestinian territory” and that it is against international law for any Israeli to live there. Prime Minister, in supporting this resolution the British government has made itself party to the proposed racist ethnic cleansing once again of the Jews from their own ancient land.

Worse yet, it has also struck at the very heart of Jewish religious identity.

By stating that everything beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines is “occupied Palestinian territory” the resolution denies the Jewish claim to the Old City of Jerusalem and thus to Temple Mount, the holiest place in Judaism.

Nor is this the only way the British government has now struck not just at Israel but at the Jewish people. Recently, and with great fanfare, it officially adopted the definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Providing examples of where this definition might apply, the IHRA states that it may do so in respect of the State of Israel by “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

That double standard is precisely what the British government has applied in voting for resolution 2334. For other countries have disputed borders and displaced populations: Cyprus, for example, or western Sahara. Yet it is only Israel that is singled out for condemnation in this way. By the standard the British government has itself adopted, it therefore now stands condemned for an antisemitic act in voting for resolution 2334.

Prime Minister, the Israeli settlements are not the impediment to a solution of the Arab-Israel impasse. The war against the Jewish homeland started decades before Israel took over these disputed territories. A state of Palestine cannot possibly be the solution because the “Palestinians” have been repeatedly offered it; their only answer has always been to launch yet more wars or terrorist campaigns against Israel.

As the Arabs have repeatedly made clear, the sole purpose of a state of Palestine is to bring about the extermination of the Jewish homeland. The Arab-Israel impasse continues principally because Britain, Europe and America have consistently sanitised, rewarded and incentivised Arab aggression against Israel while punishing it for trying to defend its right to the land.

Britain bears primary responsibility for this. In the thirties, it betrayed its Mandate obligations by reneging on its treaty obligation to settle the Jews in the land and instead rewarded genocidal Arab aggression by offering the Arabs part of the Jews’ own entitlement to the land. Voting for UNSC resolution 2334 merely continues that history of British infamy.

There are now well-sourced reports that President Obama intends to take even more malicious action against Israel at the UN before he leaves office. Prime Minister, is your government intending to support those moves too? If so, it will be a dreadful irony that someone who is so obviously well-disposed towards the Jewish people should go down in history as one of its most bitter enemies.

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27 Dec 17:42

Denish Patel: Christmas Gift!

Merry Christmas!! If you are using SQL Server or Oracle databases, I’m giving away my 1 hour of time for rest of this week for free of cost to  discuss how you can save $$$$ by migrating them to PostgreSQL database by keeping same features and achieve better performance. you can shoot an email to Happy … Continue reading Christmas Gift! →
21 Dec 16:55

Natalie added 'The Testament'

The Testament by John Grisham Natalie gave 4 stars to The Testament (Hardcover) by John Grisham
bookshelves: fiction
I used to be an avid reader of the likes of Grisham, Patterson etc but found myself moving away from secular fiction after I became a Christian. I remembered that a few of Grisham's novels had moral or Christian principles--The Testament is one of these.

The story centers around the suicide of billionaire Troy Phelan. He has effectively lived a careless life of self indulgence treating those around him with contempt. He married three times and was believed to have had six grandchildren whose lives he also ruined by spoiling them with million dollar payouts at intervals. No longer able to bear the weight of living he chooses instead to plunge to his death triggering an inevitable fight over his will. But what if there was a mysterious illegitimate daughter serving as a missionary in a remote country.....?

Nate is a recovering alcoholic. He is also a lawyer and assigned to the Phelan case. His task, to track down the elusive Rachel whilst resisting the allure of the bottle that has wrecked his life to date.

I enjoyed this the second time round. The biblical principle that the love of money is a route of all kinds of evil is clearly shown through this story. The author also does a good job in highlighting how an alcoholic will always struggle with the temptation to drink.

The author claims to be a Christian and as already noted I have seen these themes in his books at times. He states in his bio that a close friend of his is a Baptist missionary. In this novel he nearly explains the way of salvation in a manner understandable to all readers. However, he also states elsewhere that he believes that faith is a private can it be private when we have been given the Great Commission by Jesus Himself and when people are perishing on a daily basis? This author has a great platform for evangelism should he choose to use it. He has spent millions of dollars on football stadiums which maybe shows where his priorities are....

There are a few swear words in the book but it is not strong language. There is no graphic violence or sexual content apart from a few innuendos. I recommend this book.
12 Dec 17:09

le_fino liked a review

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
"This novel is short, but it manages to cram in a lot of stuff about the daily life during the Cultural Revolution. Two bourgeois boys, Luo and the unnamed narrator, are sent to the countryside for their re-education. There, they toil in the fields and in the mines, and hope against hope that they would be the one of the three in a thousand to be sent back to the city despite their parents being 'enemies of the people'.

The story is not a linear one, and the narrative reads like excerpts from a bigger book. With these nuggets of life in the Chinese countryside, the reader understands the complexity of the web drawn around young people during this time. Everything was malfunctioning, the schools had become useless, and the country was already on a downward spiral. The peasants were making full use of this new power but they didn't really have the knowledge that would have equipped them to lead. But as it turned out, neither did Mao!

There are a few recurring characters in the book. The narrator and his friend Luo, the tailor and his daughter, the seamstress, Four-Eyes, and the the village head. Other characters flit in and out, but the story focuses on these people.

It was when the two boys find a suitcase full of books that their life changes. This book is as much about the love of books as about the travesties of the Cultural Revolution. Luo and his friend could hardly get enough of Balzac, JeanChristophe, Dumas, and other French authors and read and reread the same books again and again. They also discovered the gift of the narrative and told stories to win favours. When the two decide to refine the young seamstress with these books, their efforts have unforeseen consequences.

For anyone interested in this period of Chinese history, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress provides the feel of the times and takes a deep look at the customs that restricted people at every step of the way. "
12 Dec 17:09

It Was I

It me, your father.