Izzy and Friends

Yes, this is going to be another “Dang Sheila gets to meet cool people and hear interesting speakers!” kind of column. Because I do.

I recently attended a Friends of the IDF event, with the IDF being Israeli Defense Forces if you hadn’t guessed that.

The evening started out with a lovely welcome from the organizer and the master of ceremonies. I believe I heard this was the first event like this that the organizer had set up, and she did an amazing job, so I’m hoping it won’t be the last. We then sang The Star Spangled Banner and HaTikvah, the national anthems for both America and Israel, of course!

Then it was movie time. As we just commemorated the 50 years of the reunification of Jerusalem they had a wonderful video to show us, and the three soldiers in the iconic photo have been touring the U.S. and talking to audiences.

The Kotel, Jerusalem 1967

Sadly, we did not get to hear their talk, but we did get to hear two other real life heroes that night.

We next saw a video on Friends of the IDF and it talked about all the different programs they offer. They are certainly a lot more involved than I would have realized. The little movie did a segment on each program. Wikipedia has info on the programs as well as the FIDF website. I admit to only knowing about a couple of the programs, the Lone Soldier of course, and the wounded veterans. They do a lot more than that, and impact lives of the soldiers and their families in a multitude of ways. For each segment they showed there would be an IDF soldier to tell how that program had affected their life. It certainly did a good job of putting a face and a human to the programs.

We then heard our first hero of the night, First Sergeant Keren Shlomi. Keren said she did not have a typical childhood, and I would imagine she’s right. She was born in Israel as I recall, but her family fractured and she ended up living in Canada with her her Mom. She said that she missed Israel, and felt like there was a hole in her heart. She got to go back to Israel on a trip and then she knew what was making the hole in her heart and what would fill it. Keren went back as often as she could, and when she was of age she decided to move back and serve in the IDF. Up on the projection screen flashed a picture of Keren wearing sunglasses and holding an Israeli flag. Her smile said it all, in Hebrew and in English, she was home and whole. She served in the first co-ed combat unit which was on the Egyptian -Israeli border at the time. She became a sharpshooter and eventually moved into Intelligence. Over time she became completely disconnected from her family, but she says she never felt alone. She had her IDF family, and the Friends of the IDF also were supportive. After her army career she worked three jobs, baby sitter, and courthouse security were among them. To be honest, if it were me? I could actually only do one of those, and it wouldn’t be babysitting. I’ve done it, I know. Keren wanted to go to college, she had a dream and if she had to work three jobs, she was willing to do it. She figured within a few years she’d have saved up enough money to go to college. But then someone told her about the FIDF impact scholarship and she applied. She won one of the scholarships. She gives 130 hours of community service during every year of schooling so not only does the scholarship impact her life, she impacts the lives of others, 130 hours a year worth! It seems like a great program and Keren certainly is a good ambassador for it.

Our next speaker was First Sergeant Izzy Ezagui, and his dog. Nope, not kidding. Though Izzy did all the talking. Why you ask did First Sergeant Izzy need a dog on the platform with him? Well, I’m so glad you asked, let me tell you!

American born Izzy began his talk in moderately thickly accented English. As I sat there listening I kind of marveled to myself that I had never noticed how much an Israeli accent sounds like a French accent, and how had I never noticed it before when I talked to people? Sorry Izzy. After a few lines he asked us how he did with his fake Israeli accent, that he had practiced it for a long time for us. He got applause for that. Then he told us about his friend on the stage with him, his service dog. He says people ask him why he has a service dog. He says he tells them that women are heavy, the dog helps him pick them up. I can believe it, the dog was adorable, and better behaved than many children. So why does First Sergeant Izzy need a service dog?

First Sergeant Izzy Ezagui

Izzy said he had originally planned to make Aliyah to Israel as a Lone Soldier, but his family messed that up for him by making Aliyah as well. So once in Israel, his family lived in Jerusalem and Izzy began his IDF service.

One Shabbat Izzy’s Orthodox Commander called, so Izzy knew it wasn’t going to be good. They were being called up, and Operation Cast Lead began in response to about 80 rockets a day being fired into cities in Israel, with kindergartens and civilian areas being targeted. This time as far south as Beer Sheva, this was before the Iron Dome was in place. As far as I’m concerned, that could have prompted a massive bomb in the middle of Gaza, but then I adore Beer Sheva, and do not claim to be impartial. In two weeks Hamass had fired 500 rockets into Israel. Just part of our tax dollars at work. So the IDF ground forces entered Gaza during stage II of the operation. During that excursion a Captain in his brigade was killed. He had sustained a neck wound, but held it shut and continued to give orders to his men in an effort to save their lives, and he succeed in that, losing is own life in the process. Izzy’s company was going to be sent in to retrieve the Captain’s body. Izzy said he now face one of the most terrifying times to date of his IDF service. He didn’t know what to do. It seems Izzy had told his Mother that he was being sent to the Lebanon border (which was quiet at the time). When he talked to her he told her they had him in the kitchen doing dishes since they were rookies. So, now does he tell her where he really is before they go in? What if something happens and she had no warning? Should he tell her? Should he not? As he was sitting there pondering his dilemma, a mortar shell landed and ripped his arm off. The medics responded quickly and gave him some morphine for his pain. Then they loaded him up in the ambulance. The ambulance crew looked down sympathetically and asked if he had been given morphine for his pain. He earnestly replied no, he hadn’t. They have him some. They took him to the helicopter that was going to fly him to Saroka in Beer Sheva. He was loaded up into the helicopter for his flight to Beer Sheva, the air ambulance crew being a sympathetic lot gently inquired if he’d been given any morphine. No, no he hadn’t. They gave him some. He said he landed in Beer Sheva half loopy. Honestly, I’m surprised he even had a fourth to loop. But he had enough presence of mind to realize he stood a very real chance of dying. Because when they landed he realized there was a news crew there. A news crew with a camera, and his mother thought he was on the Lebanon border doing the dishes. A slow painful death awaited him, no doubt. Izzy then did what any combat wise veteran of the IDF would do who hoped to survive. Despite having massive quantities of morphine in his system, he more or less thought on his feet and threw a blanket over his head so when they took him into Saroka it would buy him enough time to talk to his mom before she saw him being wheeled into a hospital in Beer Sheva, no where near Lebanon.

Izzy says recovery was slow, and not at all simple. Recovery involved learning to ties shoes and open bottles, and dealing with phantom pain.

But as Comrade X commented on another column I did recently, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Izzy is a Tibetan Mastiff.

Tibetan Mastiff

Izzy was determined to remain in the IDF. So his recovery also involved learning to jump 7 foot walls, load an unjam a rifle, all with one arm, Izzy remains a sharpshooter still. His last training exercise involved hiking from one live fire exercise to the next. For 30 hours. The training is a week and a half long. One year when they trained on Hanukkah, on the fourth night Izzy borrowed rifles. He removed their slings and stuck them in the ground, upright. He then placed a candle in the barrel and lit them creating a makeshift Hanukkah menorah. Then he had a friend take his picture with it,which went viral. He said he couldn’t really lie his way out of it, there aren’t any other one armed soldiers in the IDF. He said the higher ups were not happy, not happy at all, but he was not worried about being arrested. He said in fact, he doesn’t ever worry about being arrested. Because it’s impossible for anyone to handcuff him, so he is pretty much golden.

Izzy’s Hanukkiyah

His final assignment was leading a squad of 13 men. Amazing, just amazing. It’s like Comrade X says, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight…

Izzy is now a motivational speaker and has a book coming out next March. If he is as riveting to read as he is to listen to, this is going to be a wonderful book!

We all face battles in our lives, some health related, some personal, some financial, some spiritual, but face them we will. It’s harder when we face more than one kind at once, but perhaps when you think about people like Gal Hirsch and Izzy you can look and up ask for what you need be it courage, strength, stamina, or whatever, and with G-d’s help, continue to fight another day.

I’m sure this is what Izzy would tell us, Live Like A Warrior

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GOP Baseball Shooting: “More Laws!”

If one were to take early reporting seriously (which I haven’t done for decades), some angry white guy — probably a right-wing white supremacist — shot a bunch of congressmen with a full-auto M4 assault rifle. The asshole took advantage of Virginia’s “lax” gun laws to get and carry his assault rifle.

Umm… Not so much. One, maybe two congressmen. One, maybe two cops. One, maybe two staffers. Maybe a lobbyist. Reports on that still vary.

CNN would have us believe the — oops, rabid left-wing Bernie supporter — used a Chinese knock-off of the AK-47.

Oops redux. Again, not so much. Now it was an SKS.


Note the subtle differences between this and the AK-47 and M4.

So he had an IL FOID (background check), possibly a CCW (background check), and bought his 3 guns from an Illinois FFL (background check & waiting period, background check & waiting period, background check & waiting period). He used a knock-off of a WW2-era semi-auto rifle (apparently with a 10-round fixed magazine, since it was Illinois legal. Heck, it might even still be California legal. Not an “assault weapon,” much less an assault rifle.

I can hardly bear waiting for the calls for laws that wouldn’t have stopped this. Oh. Wait.

I didn’t have to wait.

But I apparently will have to wait on national reciprocal carry while Congress addresses DC reciprocal carry only for our betters masters congresscreeps

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We Really Really Need a Better Plan

We’ve been told now for eons, that fewer guns will make us safer. We need to limit guns to be safe, to keep them out of the hands of “bad people”. England has done this. They did it a long time ago, then they installed spy cameras everywhere. Those are to keep you safer because no one can commit a crime without being seen. Yep. They still commit the crime, and who knows, perhaps the security camera provides great evidence. But for sure what it does provide, is a total lack of dang near anyplace without “Big Brother”. As most of us know, if something bad happens, the police will do their best to show up and protect you, to save a life. If that doesn’t pan out, they’ll do a dandy chalk outline and do their best to find out who did something bad to you, before you were a corpse, or maybe even after.

June 3rd there was another terrorist attack in London. A white van went crazy and began to mow people down reminiscent of the, but not to be confused with the terrorist attack on London Bridge of 22 March, 2017. What is it with those crazy vehicles in London? Driving on the wrong side of the road drove them mad? Oh! You mean there was a person involved? Laugh if you want, cnn (fake news) didn’t realize this. You probably won’t confuse it with the Manchester bombing attack on the 22nd of May, 2017. That was at an Ariana Grand concert. To be honest, I don’t care if I spell her name correctly or not. I wished she’d have stayed in Manchester, or better yet, goes to Syria or Gaza to serenade the poor people. Either way, after the attack she came out with the “don’t let hate win” blah blah blah blah blah”.

We will never be able to understand why events like this take place because it is not in our nature, which is why we shouldn’t recoil.

We will not quit or operate in fear.

We won’t let this divide us.

We won’t let hate win.

Ok, now you just sound stupid, because we do know.

The ever delightful Milo reminds us of Muslim Mayor of London’s comments after President Trump was elected.

“Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both of our countries less safe,” he stated according to The Telegraph. “It risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of extremists.”

“Donald Trump and those around him think that Western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam – London has proved him wrong.”

And I suppose I’ll be a witch and remind everyone that Mayor is an elected position. The Daily Mail did raise questions about his suitability for the job of Mayor, what with his close ties to ISIS and all. Well, and he was a lawyer for a 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. And yet, he was elected. It doesn’t seem to be working out well.

So here’s how it does work out, in the real world of London. Not the world of daisy stew and freely frolicking unicorns. But the world of London.

Mayor Sadiq’s comments include “Terrorism is just part and parcel of living in a big city”. So, ok, it’s no big deal to Mayor Sadiq. How about it was printed in the ISIS newspaper there was going to be an attack? Wonder what they give for clip out coupons? But yes they have one, and what this means is Mayor Sadiq was warned. He knew there was going to be another attack. And he bravely, immediately did….nothing. UK Counter-Terrorism taped a call, and they did…nothing.

And so the religion of pieces attacked Londoners again.

Anti-self-defense Piers Morgan had moved back to the safety of the gun-free U.K. and he interviewed Mayor Sadiq. The whole video. Yeah, I’d been real curious about that myself.

Piers Morgan: “Where are the 400 jihadis still in London?… You’re the mayor! WHERE ARE THEY?”

Mayor Sadiq Khan: I can’t cover 400 people…

So, political correctness doesn’t seem to be doing well does it.

How about the wonderful gun-free zones? GFZs?

Dave Kopel tweeted that the un-armed police were running away from the attackers.

Witnesses said they saw two men stabbing people outside the well-known Roast restaurant in Borough market. A chef from the nearby Fish restaurant said: “I saw two guys with big knives downstairs outside Roast. They were stabbing people. The police were running away, they were community police. They were normal officers, they were running away.

There are also quotes by Todd Starnes. It seems that the defenseless citizens were hurling chairs and beer bottles at the attackers. And so how did that work out?

These three guys ran up and started stabbing this one girl. I was defenseless mate, I couldn’t do nothing.

And what was the reaction of the muslim community in London? Some of them?

Breitbart Jerusalem alleges to have obtained specific messages posted by ISIS following yesterday’s attack.

The outlet quotes ISIS member Abi Abdullah Alamasri as saying, “thanks to Allah, thank you, thanks to Allah, Allah is great, thanks to Allah from faith that he will make his promise reality and give victory (the the faithful).”

“Allah will bless the lions,” his message reportedly continues, mimicking language used by ISIS at the start of Ramadan calling for “lions” to attack innocents in celebration of the holy month.

“Allah will reward you as long as you run over and stab these infidels in the depths of their countries,” Almasri’s message reportedly continues.

“Put fear into their eyes, increase your hits, increase your attacks, don’t let them feel secure in their countries.”

You realize we’re in Ramadan, right?

So the GFZ thing not working so good, the political correctness? Towards the end of this video, shot in a pub where police are telling the patrons to cower on the floor you can hear a man say some pretty outspoken things about muslims. He is chastised by another patron for saying them telling him he’s an idiot, it’s not muslims as they are hiding on the floor from muslim terrorists. IF you can’t make out the sentences, on Milo’s web site they have subtitles, and it’s easy to hear.

How, oh how have they gotten so stupid?

Well, their Mayor tells them crap, and then there’s cnn (fake news) that got caught faking the news, again. It seems cnn staged Anti-ISIS Muslim Protesters. I don’t know if they’ve found out if the people were paid or not yet.

I guess the three muslim girls that attacked at stabbed a nursery school worker didn’t get the memo.

Katie, the victim of the brutal attack, was heading to work walking down a street in northeast London when she was approached by people brandishing a knife. They attacked her from behind, stabbed her in the arm and chanted “Allah”, but the police are not calling this a terrorist incident.

Ahh, I see

The cost of not knowing who is coming in and why is becoming very expensive. In terms of justice and economics.

Muslim attackers of 5-year-old in Idaho unpunished

Immigrant Welfare Usage Rates

There is a problem, a big problem and here’s how the left will react. Shamelessly swiped from a buddy on FB.

7 Phases of Leftist Social Media Reactions Post-Islamic Terror Attacks:

1) Express shock: “Oh wow. Cannot believe this is happening.”

The same thing happened last week, but, you know, details.

2) Send good “thoughts” & “vibes:” “Sending so many loving thoughts & happy vibes to London right now. ♥”

No one knows what that actually means, but, yeah, sounds good, so go for it.

3) Start hashtag: “#prayforlondon, y’all. seriously.”

Mind you, you don’t have to actually pray. Hashtag still super effective.

4) Get mad at anyone who dare mention Islam: “TERROR KNOWS NO RELIGION.”

Sure, radical Islamic terror has been responsible for 120 terroristic murders just since Ramadan started, but no one needs to be reminded of that. (It’s higher now)

5) Remind everyone of how evil Christians are. “White patriarchy has killed more people than ISIS, let’s not forget.”

Don’t mention that this isn’t true. Just roll with it.

6) Do absolutely nothing.

7) Repeat in 1 week.

But don’t worry, there’s no problem here in the good ol’ USA.

And I can’t believe this could be an essential thing to know in this day and age, but it might be.

10 Tips for Surviving a Terrorist Vehicle Attack

Field Medicine for Terrorist Attacks

Now, are all Muslims like this? No, of course not.

Marawi Muslim Saved 64 Christians From Beheading During ISIS Siege of City

Gee, if there were only, oh, I don’t know, some way to kind of sort them out. You know like check the backgrounds of people coming into the country. Check the backgrounds and associations of ones that are already in the country. And then decide on, oh, I don’t know, like a case by case basis. Maybe check out some of the mosques, it seems the government was certainly willing to check out Churches a while back.

We just really, really need a better plan.

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Memories

Memorial Day has passed. I didn’t exactly get to spend it the way I planned, but it’s ok. I think it’s still timely to talk about Memorial Day considering D-Day is coming up.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts about Memorial Day this year. I always do. I saw a tweet by Kay Wilson who queried “How can any American ever say Happy Memorial Day?” If you are unfamiliar with Kay, she is amazing. She is the victim of a horrific machete attack. Kay is British born, and living in Israel.

From doing a little reading, it seems the average age of soldiers from the Revolutionary War, up till now is early 20s. This is including older experienced officers which raises the age average. Although drummer boys could be as young as 12. I believe I read the average life expectancy of a solider in WWI in the trenches was six weeks. Six. Weeks.

How many died? I got an interesting email from Shmuel Sackett of Zehut, an Israeli political party I belong to. Yeah, pretty cool beans. To be honest though, I am not the only one who got the email, it was one Shmuel sent out to the group. It’s also right in line with Kay’s sentiments and is titled “What Did You Buy On Memorial Day?”

Let me ask you a question. Isn’t Memorial Day supposed to be somber? A day of remembrance, mourning and reflection? A day to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of brave men and women who lost their lives fighting for the USA? Do you have any idea how many heroes we are talking about? I did some research and found that from the American Revolutionary War until today – are you ready for this? – a total of 666,441 American soldiers have lost their lives in battle. If it’s hard for you to think about war from 1776, let me break down that number in more modern times. In WWII – 291,557 soldiers were killed and in Vietnam the number was 47,424. After 9/11, American forces went to war in Afghanistan and lost 1,954 soldiers while a whopping 3,836 have been killed in Iraq.

He is expressing his shock and sorrow outrage, let’s be honest, that in America, Memorial Day has become a day of picnics, shopping and holiday.

I’m not saying that there aren’t Americans that don’t feel the same. There are. Originally Memorial Day was called Decoration Day and it’s origins predate the Civil War. I can still remember when it changed from being observed on May 30th. That was back in 1971. My family observed it as a Memorial Day to family members that were gone and we would go decorate graves. Not that I didn’t have family that served in the military, I did. My Dad was in the Navy, one Uncle was in the Navy and wanted to be a fighter pilot. At 6’4” he was deemed too tall and instead was in communications. It was interesting when I talked to him about it a few years ago, he still couldn’t tell me much of what he did. I do know he was aboard the USS Missouri the day Japan surrendered. I have another Uncle that was in the Battle of Midway and survived. He had been gone for many years before I ever found that out. I was in first grade when he died at 33 of a heart attack and I was devastated. I have another Uncle that also served in the Navy, and at one time I considered enlisting in the Navy. My nephew is trying his very best to be accepted into a different branch of the military. Sigh, there’s always one. But, I couldn’t be prouder of “The Brat” and I love him dearly.

This is one paragraph, about one family, and I’m so blessed, all mine survived. Look at the stats quoted by Shmuel above. All those listed had families, they had lives and loves. They had hopes, dreams and aspirations.

In Israel, Yom Hazikaron יוֹם הַזִּכָּרוֹן is observed very differently.

By law, all places of entertainment are closed on the eve of Yom Hazikaron, and broadcasting and educational bodies note the solemnity of the day.

Memorial candles are lit in homes, army camps, schools, synagogues, and public places, and the flags are lowered to half staff. Throughout the day serving and retired military personnel serve as honor guards at war memorials throughout the country, and the families of the fallen participate in memorial ceremonies at military cemeteries.

National memorial services are held in the presence of Israel’s top leadership and military personnel. The day opens with a siren the preceding evening at 20:00 (8:00 pm), given that in the Hebrew calendar system, a day begins at sunset. The siren is heard all over the country and lasts for one minute, during which Israelis stop everything, including driving on highways, and stand in silence, commemorating the fallen and showing respect.

When I saw the post from Kay, I answered her and told her it is because so many in America do not even realize what Memorial Day is. Some of it is due to the massive liberal influences in the government, and some of it is due to the school system. I heard a very interesting lecture recently and facts and figures were given showing the decimation of the US military in the last 8 years, by our own government. In addition to the military being used as a “social experiment”. And don’t think that hasn’t taken a toll.

Organizational Transitions

I was still young when the soldiers came back from Viet Nam, and I remember stories of them being spit on and berated. Thank you Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda and John Kerry, and scores of liberal school teachers, and countless others. Bill Clintoon set a shining example by fleeing to Canada. I can remember being at an amusement park one time in Texas, not on Memorial Day. The two men in line ahead of me were talking about having come back. In line it was hard not to over-hear. I looked at them and said “Thank you, thank you for serving”. They were young, and looked shocked. Then they looked grateful. They didn’t determine the policies of going to war, they didn’t get a vote on being sent. They got drafted, and they suited up and showed up and tried to do the right thing.

I was recently in a conversation with a man and his wife. The man had retired out of the Marine Corp after 38 years. They were watching a John Wayne movie on TV, he was in a submarine. She had gone with him on every posting he had ever been sent. She commented “All wars are stupid”. I was quite for a moment, it happens rarely, then replied “Yes, perhaps, but some of them need to be fought, and some of them are worth fighting”. I’m working on Hebrew as a second language, not German, I get to make a choice. Some wars need to be fought.

I’m pretty old now, I’ve got to realize some of my hopes and dreams, there are some still in the bag to be worked towards. But I’m alive, and I have that chance. These men and women that showed up and answered the call? Their hopes and dreams died with them on fields, beaches, in trenches and hedgerows. I would also include law enforcement officers who answer a calling to try to protect as those that fall in service to our country now. It’s not the same, they get to go home (usually) at the end of their shift, but that “sheepdog” mentality resides in them as well. They are serving in a different arena.

I admit it, I would like to see America observe Memorial Day in a way more similar to Israel’s observance. I would like to have a nationwide siren sounded at the same time all across the US and people stop what they are doing in honor of those that gave all. I would like to see stores close and the day treated as a day to respectfully honor fallen heroes. While I can’t make that happen, I can make sure I do my best to honor the men and women who suited up and showed up.

This video is from Black Rifle Coffee company. They are veteran owned and operated. They also star in their own videos. Some of which are pretty darn funny, some outrageous, some kinda gross. But all quite original. I just got my first order, and it’s darn good coffee! No, they are not paying me to write this, they don’t even know who I am, but this video is what made me “pull the trigger” on buying the coffee. I highly recommend “Coffee or Die”.

Just some things to keep in mind with the approach of D-Day.

 

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In League with Evil

Perusing the news, I ran across this:

Urban League Calls For Lawmakers To Reject Gun Crimes Legislation
The Chicago Urban League has urged lawmakers not to pass legislation that would increase sentences for repeat gun offenders, saying it would only lead to more black people in prison and cost taxpayers millions, while not helping reduce violent crime.

They don’t want gun control laws that target the people convicted of crimes. That’s unfair. Lighter sentences for actual criminals are clearly the way to go.

Who does the Urban League see as the crime problem in Chicago? YOU; the victims and honest folks trying to stay alive — and unrobbed — while obeying the laws that make it harder to do so.

Yes, I know it’s old news to anyone who’s been paying the slightest bit of attention for the past few decades. But this juxtaposition of stories illustrates so well how socialist politicians and “urban” support groups are deliberately aligned with violent criminals against their chosen prey: you.

When they whine for more restrictive “common sense gun laws” to end “gun violence” — restrictions that lawfully cannot be imposed on real criminals — remember which brand of violence worries them: their prey fighting back.

To be fair, they don’t all want you dead. Some of these predators are fully aware that you can only shear a dead sheep once.

But the stupid and cannibalistic carnivores want lamb chops.

And victim-disarming pols and Urban League hunting clubs are working to make sure they get them.

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