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Checking it twice

So there's this guy who posts some pretty interesting and sometimes funny comments over at Little Green Footballs, and his handle is file13, and I never noticed that he had a website (probably because, uh, I never put my mouse over file13 to see the http:blahblah). Turns out he does. (Mac sent me.) And it's funny and interesting, and he even talks about his cats, which Dvorak hates--which puts him on my good side immediately. Another former Blogspotter, too.

I haven't glanced at much yet, but I do have one small nit to pick: Dude--green type on a dark blue background? Are you trying to make me go blind? Gawd. When is it going to get through the skulls of the Internet crowd that the reason the printed page is white paper with black type isn't because it looks cool.

Then again, anyone with a page titled "Cat farts" just may get me to read green type on a blue background. At least for a little while.

Making the list

Mac Thomason joins the growing list of people who have leaped off Blogspot and gotten their own domain. It's Think you can remember that? I'm sure gonna try. It'll be to I think I can do it. Yes, I'm almost certain! But just in case we don't, Mac has a smartass link to his new site on his old site.

Hey Mac, regarding that PTC list: Are they watching the same Malcolm in the Middle that I'm watching? The one that, in the last episode, showed parents gambling illegally (poker game), talking about how often they had sex with their wives, had Reese lie about Stevie dying in a month in order to get a girl to like him (and it worked), and had a teenaged girl bring a gun in her pocketbook, which Malcolm then stole, hid, and tried to break, thus causing it go off?

Not that there's anything wrong with that. But it seems strange to have Malcolm on a list with Seventh Heaven. It's a live-action Simpsons, don't they get that?



Bits and pieces

Mark Steyn, who's on my "marry-me" list, comments on the Le Pen affair.

You gotta love anyone who calls them Eurosnots and Eurinals.

A century and a half ago, Tsar Nicholas I described Turkey as "the sick man of Europe." Today, the sick man of Europe is the European -- the urbane Continental princelings like Chirac and Michel, gliding from capital to capital building their Eutopia, oblivious to the popular will except on those rare occasions, such as Sunday, when the people do something so impertinent they finally catch the eye of their haughty maître d'. I've said before that September 11th will prove to be like the Archduke's assassination in Sarajevo -- one of those events that shatters the known world. To the list of polities destined to slip down the Eurinal of history, we must add the European Union and France's Fifth Republic. The only question is how messy their disintegration will be.

Much classier than plain Euroweenies.

Diane E. over on Letter from Gotham has been making sense for months. Her retirement was thankfully brief, and she's back with plenty from the New York state of mind. Howdy, neighbor! Not sure how I missed you on my blogroll, but you're there now.

Via Diane, an article in the Jerusalem Post on the Israeli attitude towards Palestinian deaths:

The mention of "war crimes" made me even more defensive, of course. Only after hanging up did I realize that the defensiveness - our need to protest the reaction of our critics - is a distraction from our own feelings about Jenin. The truth is that we're not indifferent to the photos either, not because we felt guilty for rooting out terrorists there or that we doubted the behavior of our forces in the small section of the city they entered. Even while mourning our own dead, we wince at the scenes of death and homelessness. We are taught never to rejoice over the death of our enemies, be they ancient or modern.
We didn't want this war. Israelis know war too intimately to seek or glorify it. Hence, for 18 months - most of that time under the premiership of Ariel Sharon - a reluctant Israeli nation held back from fullscale attacks on Palestinian cities despite the goading terror, seeking every other alternative.

Find me an Arab-media source that says the same of Israeli deaths. One. Just one. In the Arab press, not in a democratic nation like mine. You won't be able to. The UN is demonizing the wrong nation in this struggle.

A little history, a little truth

That's the interesting thing about Google--when you're looking for something that takes a while to find, you pick up a whole lot of information you didn't expect. Like this article from the March 4, 2001 Jerusalem Post--more than a year old, but oh-so-relevant today. The title: PA minister: Intifada planned since July.

JERUSALEM (March 4) - Palestinian Authority Communications Minister Imad Faluji told a PLO rally in the Ein Hilwe refugee camp in South Lebanon on Friday that the five-month-old intifada was not a spontaneous reaction to the September visit of Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount, but was planned after peace talks failed in July.

"It [the uprising] had been planned since [PA] Chairman [Yasser] Arafat's return from Camp David, when he turned the tables on the former US president and rejected the American conditions," Falouji said.

Palestinian Authority officials were angered by Faluji's statements. One said Faluji was giving his own interpretation of events. Another PA source said the minister is closer to Hamas than the PLO, and does not represent the PA's view of events.

Falouji also said the PLO is reviving its "military action" groups to escalate the fighting against Israel. Faluji told a cheering crowd of nearly 2,500, among them local Palestinian leaders, that "the PLO is going back to the '60s, '70s, and '80s. The Fatah Hawks, the Kassam Brigades, the Red Eagle, and all the military action groups are returning to work."

And return to work they did, slaughtering hundreds of civilians in the past 13 months. And still, the UN trashes Israel and holds these maniacs up as partners for peace. And is the article true, seeing as the source is an Israeli newspaper? Read the quotes. They got pretty mad at Faluji. Which means it's true.



There will always be an Israel

John McCain's remarks to AIPAC, via William Safire's (registration required) latest column. (Safire also gives us reason to take heart on the actions of the Bush Administration.) And a surprisingly harsh editorial from the New York Times regarding what the Saudis should be talking about with President Bush. But for your reading pleasure, the Senator from Arizona:

There will always be an Israel. The terrorist onslaught against her people represents not progress towards a refoundation of historic Palestine but a plunge into an abyss of moral decay perpetrated in the name of the Palestinian people by their own leaders. There will always be an Israel, because the Israeli people will defend their homeland against murderers who pose as martyrs, and will never accept justice imposed on them by leaders who send children to kill their children.

There will always be an Israel, strong and free, because Israel, and her supporters in this country, will never allow the depravity of her enemies to obscure the moral clarity that inspired her founding, 54 years ago last week, as the homeland of a people who understood evil long before Americans saw its more recent expression on September 11th.
It is the unenlightened rule of Arab dictators, not the plight of the Palestinians, that condemns the Arab world to the civilizational crisis in which it finds itself. Which Middle Eastern nation grants its Arab citizens the most political freedom? Israel. Which countries' leaders have the blood of innocents on their hands but hear nothing about it from the Arab League? Iraq, Syria, and Sudan, for starters. Which country has the most egregious record of occupying another today? Syria, in Lebanon. In which countries do Palestinian refugees suffer without rights and the most basic freedoms? Other than Israel, only Jordan has treated these people with any dignity. Which nation in the region has matched its payments to the families of Palestinian murderers with money for health care, education, and other development in the territories? Not one.

How Arab leaders can abide their own hypocrisy is one question. Why they expect us to do so is a better one.

There is much more than that. Well done, Senator McCain.

Dining on syllables

Scroll down just a few screenfuls, and you'll see me say that I have more important things to talk about these days than my adventures with children.

The Big Guy Up There loves to make me eat my words.

I spent this afternoon and evening with my brother, who is now coaching his son's baseball team. The boys on the team are in fourth and fifth grade. I fell head-over-heels for the youngest member of the team, whose name is the same as my nephew's--Alex. He was the sweetest, cutest, politest, most intelligent child I've met in a while, and I got a big kick out of talking with him, and will more than likely go to Saturday's game, if only to inform his parents of my intent to kidnap and adopt their son.

What I was most struck by, though, was how my nephew seems to have transformed overnight from being a kid to being a young adult. Not in certain ways, but I can have a conversation with him now that doesn't begin with, "So what did you do in school today?" or "You actually like Scooby-Doo?"

In fact, the three of us burst into the chorus of the latest P.O.D. song ("Youth of a Nation") on the way to the batting cages, after discussing what kind of music they liked to listen to, which turns out to be most of what I'm listening to these days. System of a Down is pretty popular with fifth-grade music fans, as well. Alex (the one not related to me) finally told me the name of the song I've been so attracted to--Toxicity. He also told me he plays the guitar, was taught by his father, and his friends say he's pretty good. I don't doubt it. He also has an earring in his left ear. At the age of ten.

It is such a different world than it was when I was ten.

A blogger medley

All right, it was a long ride home, and the radio stations were playing garbage again, and all you have to do is look below to see what happens when my mind is free to wander.

So I was thinking about Medley, whose website is sending me many people via her portal page, and I was trying to figure out exactly why. I did finally take a peep and noticed that Medley put me in a box featured prominently with several Medley Medal award winners, which made me hopeful that I am in the running for the '02 awards, as I respect Medley's website and have liked it since I first found it. She is liberal, intelligent, funny, and her comments threads are excellent examples of how to discuss issues without resorting to name-calling and lies. (Er, and those are sincere compliments, not fishing for the award.)

Where was I? Oh, yes. The traffic she's sending my way. Well, here's the thing: It's not like she has a blurb explaining the sites in the box, or says "Go here" or even what my site might be--just the name, linked: Yourish. So it's even more amusing to me that I'm getting so many referrals from Medley's portal. Because here is a conversation I was imagining on the drive home. (It's a 45-minute drive; I get bored.)

"Hey Irma, Medley's got some new websites up on her portal page!"
"What? I'm doing the dishes, talk louder!"
"Medley's got some new sites on her portal page. Here's one--Yourish!"
"My what?"
"Yourish! Yourish!"
"You want my what? I can't hear you?"
"No, I don't have an itch, whaddya want, Frank?"

Yeah, well, you should hear the conversations I have in my head that I don't write about.



Not while I'm eating breakfast

Glenn Reynolds nearly ruined my screen this morning. Laughing with a mouth full of cereal is a bad thing.

SAUDI TROOPS -- that is, troops presently loyal to the House of Saud, which currently controls much of Arabia -- are massing on the border with Jordan. This is seen as an anti-Israel move, but is it really? It's 8 mechanized brigades of Saudi troops. That would probably be enough to take on the Israeli girl scouts.

Maybe it's an effort to block the pending Hashemite Restoration?

You racist warblogger, you. How dare you defame the Girl Scouts that way? They need at least 10 brigades to get the girls' cookies.

Justice in Jenin

While the UN fact-finders are in Jenin, do you think they will look into this?

Camp residents spotted me running towards the shots with my camera, and tried to pull me away screaming out, "No pictures! No pictures!" Struggling free of the crowd, I continued up the alley.

There I saw the victim of the shots. He was in his mid-20s being carried head first down by half a dozen men surrounded by a screaming throng. As the wounded man and the crowd passed within meters of me, I began to take pictures, all the while being pulled and yelled at by a crowd demanding I stop.

As the victim himself passed me, he was conscious but mute. Like a hunted animal, he looked toward me with a wide-eyed stare and reached his arms toward me.

After he was carried away, a tall gunman dangling a black revolver in his hand slowly approached me. As I raised my camera to photograph him, several men grabbed my arms and yelled in broken English that he would shoot me.
At the outset, my Palestinian guides claimed the man had been shot in a private dispute. Later, they claimed the IDF had shot him. When I objected, saying there weren't any troops in the camp, my driver said he would only tell me the truth about what had happened after we left the camp.

But, an hour later, still inside the camp, he relented and told me the wounded man I had photographed was shot because he was suspected of having collaborated with Israel. In his words, "He help the jaish [army]. That's what the men said. He help the jaish."

I asked him why he had lied to me, and he said, "It looks very bad for my people."

Indeed. It looks very bad. Not to worry, though. People will blame the Israelis for it.

Victor Davis Hanson, on Ariel Sharon:

Yet the reality was that his soldiers were far more humane than Russians who blew up entire neighborhoods in Chechnya. His men probably killed fewer civilians than did our outnumbered and trapped heroes in Mogadishu. Unlike the Kuwaitis, Sharon did not ethnically cleanse Palestinians; unlike the Jordanians he did not murder them in the thousands; unlike the Syrians he did not wipe out an entire town and pave it over; and, of course, unlike the Arab heroes, Nasser and Saddam Hussein, he did not gas civilians.

No, he sent combatants house-to-house, to pry out killers from boobytrapped parlors, in narrow streets where gunmen shot and then ducked into living rooms. No matter — he was Mr. Sharon and his soldiers were Israelis, and so the world dammed this new Sherman come alive. A corrupt international community that ignored thousands who were beheaded, incinerated, and blown apart in the Congo, Bosnia, India, and Rwanda has demonized him for a "massacre" in which less than a 100 Palestinians were killed in efforts to apprehend the murderers among them.
Yet the truth we dare not speak is that had not Mr. Sharon acted, we would have seen another dozen or so suicide bombings by now, hundreds of more blown-up Jews, the increasingly frightening reality that Israel would not or could not act — and a corrupt international community's sigh about butchered Israelis that "perhaps it had to come to this." Due to Mr. Sharon's resolve, his absolute disdain for the amoral posturing of European statesmen (who really do have the blood of Bosnians and Kosovars on their hands), his unconcern with the venom of the Arab world, and the irritation of the United States, Israel is more, not less safe — and peace for all concerned is more, not less, likely.

Yeah, where was the UN fact-finding trip to Chechnya? Guess they weren't in session for that one. Oh, wait--that was an "internal" matter. I forgot.



Reading roundup

Sgt. Stryker gives us the real history of the Middle East. Hey--and he's funny, too.

I've been telling my cousin about this site for months, but can he read it even once? No. Not until his wife finds me mentioned by Rob Walker on Slate. (I've been corresponding with Rob for months.) Reciprocal link, but, uh, I think I'll be getting more hits than they will from this little round. (Slate readers, you might be interested in the links to the left, particularly Iseema's diary and Arafat's phone transcripts.)

Lileks on the rally for the PLO and Hamas--Hamas--at the Washington Monument:

They preach an end to war, but include in their number people who wish to destroy, violently, a democratic nation. They agitate against racism, but include in their number people who wish to exterminate the Jews of Israel. They rage against globalism, but support the work of terrorists who operate in every hemisphere. They are the useful fools who end up on the wrong side of concertina wire a year after the revolution; besotted by their communal self-regard, enchanted by the allure of the flame, they have thrown in their lot with the enemies of civilization. And this will be the death of their cause.

Via LGF: Berlin police suggest that Jews hide any outward representation of their Jewishness--like wearing yarmulkes--to avoid getting attacked by Muslim thugs. That's the spirit, Europe! Blame it on the Jews. They have since apologized for their original remarks, probably while muttering under their breaths "verdammt juden!" (sorry, don't really know German and Google refused to translate "damned" for me). Interesting end to the article:

Before the Nazis took power in 1933 and went on to carry out the Holocaust, there were 172,000 Jews living in Berlin. Only about 10,000 Jews remain in the city.

Just as an FYI, Berlin has about three and a half million residents. Damn those Jews! They're taking over the city again!

How did I ever miss this blog? Mike Sanders pointed me toward The Blogs of War, and Dr. Frank absolutely deserves the highest praise. Phenomenal writing, impeccable logic, and whattya know--I agree with a lot of what he says:

The weird thing is, writers for publications like the New Statesman don't seem to have any clue that positing Jewish conspiracies isn't the most convincing way of establishing your bona fides where anti-Semitism is concerned. It sounds, at minimum, a bit "off" to us; it sounds just fine to them. "Come, come, my dear fellow! I say! I was merely stating the simple fact that the Jew lurks in the highest echelons of power and has a stranglehold on the American media, crushing dissent with merciless claws. What's all the fuss about?"

A case in point is New Statesman writer Andrew Stephen. In this piece (cited by Gary Farber as one reason he could never live in Britain) Stephen attempts to answer a fairly silly question: "why doesn't the US take immediate action against Israel?" Real answer: we rarely launch military attacks upon our allies, even if doing so would please the Swedes and Fleet Street. New Statesman Answer: the US has no choice, because Jews control the government through the all-powerful "Jewish lobby" and "Jewish money." (Stephen even manages to turn Clinton's pardon of "Jewish fugitive" Marc Rich into a sinister Jewish conspiracy-- I don't approve of the pardon, but casting it as part of a Jewish plot is spectacularly twisted.)

There's a lot more. Give it a look.

Thinking out loud

Some of these thoughts occurred to me while driving to the supermarket this afternoon. You know, driving with the radio off is almost as thought-provoking as washing dishes or taking a shower or doing housework. It's amazing--or in my case, frightening--what the untrammeled mind comes up with.

Instead of protesting globalization, why can't somebody protest the latest Friday the 13th film, or at least, sic the terrorists on the writers and producers of Jason In Space? [cue Mel Brooks "Jews in Space!" echo effect]

Watching that ridiculous show about talking to the dead tonight, I listened to the "reporter" insist breathlessly that they kept the guests isolated from George Anderson (the John Edward of ABC) so that he didn't know who he was going to read until he met them! Yeah, because McKenzie Phillips and Vanna White are such unknowns, he'd have absolutely no prior information on their past histories. (I couldn't stomach more than the first five minutes, so there will be no wry remarks on the readings themselves. Go back and read my previous John Edward entries and substitute those instead.)

I had a choice between a Rock and a ballpark Saturday afternoon at the movies. I chose "The Rookie". Good picture for the most part, but I wanted to strangle the editor and the director by the end of the first half hour. I get that it was a Disney picture--did you have to focus on the abominably cute little boy every fourth shot? (And had I known it was Disney, I'd have gone for the Rock instead. A little hack-and-slash never hurt no one.)

Evidently, I need to translate the title of the entry below for you. When I called it "Semi-happy anniversary," what I really meant was, "If you can't send money, the least you can do is send me congratulatory email, and as of this evening only Karl Martino had done so, so what's wrong with the rest of you, huh!?" (And that goes for you too, Glenn. Humph.) Time in webland is considered to be equivalent to dog years--which means I've been blogging for seven years. That's a higher number than many Indymedia message board denizens' IQs.

Oh, did I type that out loud?

During the hot weather of the past week, I noticed a few sure signs of spring. Trees and flowers were in bloom, the bugs came out of hibernation, and the old folks from the nursing home behind my building came out for their afternoon sun on the side lawn. Next up: Rows of wheelchairs being power-washed in the parking lot. (With any luck, they won't dump that poor old woman off her wheelchair into the bushes, like they did last year. Talk about your crummy nurses!)

How you can tell that nobody really watches Fox News Channel: Half the commercials are infomercial commercials. That's right, for only $19.99 you can have perfect pancakes every time! Sorry. When Fox News Channel has Audi commercials as often as CNN, I'll believe they're winning in the ratings race.

Tell the truth, media folks: You guys are thrilled that Robert Blake was arrested for murder. People were getting tired of all bombs, all the time! Middle East coverage. There's more money in blood if it belongs to or is caused by a celebrity.

Regarding the election in France, and the sudden thrusting of Jean-Marie Le Pen into the limelight, I have several thoughts on the matter. The first: Why do they call men "Marie" in France? Bad enough he's named "Jean", which ain't John in American--they have to add "Marie" to it?

Also, are they sure the reason he got such a high percentage of the vote wasn't because there was a write-in vote for "Where is my uncle's pen?" (Hey, they made us learn that one in high school, why would we learn it if the French weren't saying it?)

And lastly, may I just say: BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I'm sorry, I find this absolutely hilarious. Upon suddenly being faced with a racist, anti-Semitic politician in the running to head their nation, the French immediately declare they are neither racist nor anti-Semitic. If you say so, Jean Q. Publique.

The best compliment I have ever received about this weblog is to be told I am "unpredictable". Thank you, Shirl, and may I fulfill that description for many more years to come. Unpredictable. I like that. A writer, a weblog, and her unpredictable opinions. (I'm thinking of writing the theme song to the tune of Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable".)

Ya think?



Fair and balanced--from a British newspaper--about Jenin

For a minute there I thought I was dreaming, but Glenn Reynolds pointed out this article in the U.K. Guardian:

For even as the hunt for the bodies goes on, it is increasingly clear from evidence collected by this paper and other journalists, that the majority of those so far recovered have been Palestinian fighters from Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the al-Aqsa Brigades.

Certainly, civilians died. But so far they are in the minority of those who perished.
And the tales of civilian slaughter are simply less credible in their accounts. Mr G, as he asks me to call him, tells me that a handicapped boy was 'buried alive by the Israelis'. He translates this in Arabic to the men surrounding him, and they 'correct' him. He tells me then that, in fact, five handicapped residents of the camp were buried by Israel's bulldozers.

I hear many accounts like this. Numbers of the missing and the dead that will not bear scrutiny, horror stories that are impossible to check, and in some cases, in all likelihood, concocted.

Shall we stop and wait until the facts are in before we declare massacres? Yes, let's do that.

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming

The rule of law in the West Bank: Three suspected Palestinian collaborators were shot by members of the Al-Aqsa Murderers Brigade. You can find the video here. The double standard will rule: No one will lift a voice, much less a finger, to protest the latest Arab-on-Arab murder. Here's the chilling way AP chose to end its story:

Ambulances were kept back from the two others, whom hospital officials identified as Maysarah Nijem, 33, and Talat Qadada, 26, both of the Gaza Strip. One was in critical condition with stomach wounds, doctors said.

Dozens of accused collaborators have been executed in recent months. In early April, 10 Palestinians were killed for allegedly providing Israel information. One victim's body was hung* from a monument in the center of Ramallah.

During the first anti-Israel uprising in the Palestinian territories in 1987-93, about 800 Palestinians accused of collaboration were killed.

So. Where's the international outrage here? Ambulances were prevented from getting to the wounded, civilians were deliberately targeted and killed. Oh, that's right--alleged collaborators murdered by their fellow Palestinians don't count. It's not like they were shot by the Israelis. It's not like the terrorists needed proof of collaboration or anything, or maybe even a trial. (And that's the Israelis' fault, too, because out of the 50,000 members of Arafat's PNA, they killed a hundred or so, thereby rendering the entire rest of the force--all 49,000-plus of them--unable to keep the rule of law--such as it was--in the West Bank.)

I suppose that's the Israelis' fault as well. I can almost hear the Palestinian thoughts: Damned occupiers! Look at how they make us kill one another without charges, arrests, judge or jury!

Let's check out those statistics, shall we? 800 Palestinians accused of collaboration were killed over a period of six years. Simple mathematics: Every three days, a Palestinian was killed for "collaborating" with the Israelis. Do they count those deaths in the grand totals for Palestinians killed during the Intifada, do you think? (My guess on that is yes.) The count is higher in this intifada, though. Seems the terrorists have upped it to an everyday occurrence.

''Every time Israel attacks us, the crazy militants look for scapegoats and they are usually fellow Palestinians,'' said Osama Barakat, 41, a Palestinian shop owner in Bethlehem. ''It doesn't make a difference if these people are guilty or not. This killing is out of control.''

The crowd cheered. People in cars blew their horns in support, sort of a "Honk if you like dead Jew-helpers!" rally. Only of course, there was no proof that these men did anything wrong except be accused of "collaborating" with the Israelis.

Life is cheap in Yasser Arafat's Palestine. Children, young women, accused collaborators, Jews--what's the diff, eh? As long as none of them are his daughter. Or his wife--who live in safety and opulence in Paris.

*Scroll to the bottom of the column for the photo.

Semi-happy anniversary

Today marks exactly one year since I started this weblog. Part of the reason I started was an attempt to make myself write something every day. It worked. I write every day now, unless I'm ill or traveling, and even then I try pretty hard to get something in the blog. The last time I counted words, it was only the end of June and I'd written an estimated 42,000 words. By now the word count is in the hundreds of thousands, the equivalent of several novels in one short year. But easier, by far, than writing several novels, at least for me.

When I look back on my earlier work, it almost seems like someone else was writing. Even the worst of writers will improve by the simple fact of writing every day; I'm confident enough in my talent to know that it was pretty good, and it has gotten even better. But it isn't the change in quality that strikes me. It is the change in attitude, the change in content--the change in the level of emotion in this weblog. I took a trip down memory lane before writing this. I found quite a lot.

There's an essay that seems so simplistic to me now--simplistic and foolish--that I wrote early on upon meeting an Egyptian Muslim in a local park. I don't believe the meeting would have been the same at all if it happened last week instead of last year--I doubt she'd have so much as spoken to me, nor would I have wanted to speak to her.

There's my deconstruction of John Edward and Miss Cleo, and my busts on Andrew Lloyd Webber. There's my discussion of the Great Fly Infestation of last summer, followed the next week by tales of dogsitting during the dog days in Virginia. There are mentions of Timothy McVeigh and the kid who lied about his age in the NY Little League, and the power outage that hit my apartment complex on September 10th, and then, well--we all know what happened on the next day. You can see the beginning of my rightward tilt from that day forward. But I still had plenty of time and energy to have some fun or relate babysitting anecdotes--only to be brought back to reality merely by walking out of a restaurant twelve miles west of Ground Zero, or by an email sent from a bigot spewing that tired old "Jews run the world" garbage.

I haven't sent out a random act of greetness or a shout-out in months, and I feel bad about that. I added permalinks in January. We discussed adding comments to this blog in February. And then came the true turning point, the event that brought this blog out of the world of fun and games and into the world of current events: The murder of Danny Pearl by Islamic fundamentalists related to Osama bin Laden's terror groups. Go to the bottom of the page and read your way up to the top, and you can see the progression. A week later, I wrote "Yes, I am a Jew"--an essay deliberately titled with the words Danny's murderers made him utter before they slit his throat. Pearl's murder was a wake-up call to Jews around the world. It was certainly a wake-up call for me. I started keeping my eyes open for more anti-Semitic events, and didn't have a difficult time finding them. I watched with horror as bomb after bomb exploded in Israel, killing more and more of my people, until finally, after a daily and sometimes twice-daily attack of suicide terrorists for six straight days, the Passover Massacre occurred, and I lost all patience with moral relativists and fence-sitters. Not that I'd had much patience with it before.

The Netanya Massacre was the defining moment of this weblog. It was the moment that made me realize that my very existence is at stake here, because I am a Jew, and the world is gearing up once again to attempt to eliminate the Jews--and that I cannot keep quiet about it. You can say that I'm exaggerating. You can say that I am worrying needlessly. That's what the Jews in Europe said in the 1930s. Read the history books. Watch the documentaries. Research it online.

But don't try to convince me that I am wrong, because there are on average a dozen reported anti-Semitic attacks per day in France; synagogues have been burned and Jews attacked throughout Europe and the Middle East; anti-Semitic slogans and signs appear at rallies in seemingly every country in the world; and the Arab press is riddled with hatred and lies and horrible anti-Semitic attacks every single day. Millions of Muslims around the world are going after Jews whenever and wherever they can. The governments of those nations are doing what they did seventy years ago--they are aiding and abetting, or downplaying the attacks, or standing aside and letting them happen--or simply not using the fullest extent of the law to protect the Jews. Why should they? When the French ambassador to Britain complains about all the problems that "shitty little country" (Israel) causes, and so many Arabs and Europeans repeat the tired canards about Jewish global domination (as do American citizens right here in Washington, D.C., during the "Rally against racism and war"). [And may I stop right now to address this issue: You fucking morons! If Jews were truly in control of the world, do you think there would be such a thing as anti-Semitism? Do you think we would allow it to exist if we could stop it? Idiots. Imbeciles. Assholes.]

But I digress.

Look at the history of my weblog, and you will see that for eleven of the past twelve months, I was content to tackle topical issues from time to time, but spent most of my time trying to perfect my humor writing skills. I like humor, it's fun to write, and it has long been my writing's strength. As my readership grew, I struggled to make my writing better and better, hoping to keep you all interested and laughing, if I could. I started out with no audience at all, and am getting thousands of visitors per week now. It's very satisfying. I never wanted to write in a vaccuum, and I'm glad that so many of you like what I'm writing enough to keep on coming back on a regular basis. And I wish I could go back to writing mostly humor, with a bit of current affairs thrown in. But I can't. There is a war on. Some say there are two wars, the war against terror and the war in Israel. For me, they are one and the same. Whether Osama bin Laden wants me dead because I'm an American or because I'm a Jew, or whether Yasser Arafat wants me dead because I'm a Jew that supports Israel, it doesn't make a difference. Either way, the end result is the same. One less Jew for them to worry about.

And so I keep my eyes open, and read the warblogs and dozens of news sources, and take the pulse of the world on a daily basis--because it is of tremendous importance to me to do so. And then I write about it here, because my weblog gives me a voice that no other outlet can give me, and it enables me to get my message out to people who would otherwise have never heard it.

I would very much like to be able to stop writing posts like the ones below. I have about half a dozen half-finished humor pieces that I wrote in the last month. The problem is, the war keeps getting in the way of finishing them.

Perhaps when the world stops making me feel that the existence of my people is once more under threat, I can turn back to writing ordinary things on a regular basis. But in the meantime, you'll have to forgive me. Alas, I have more important things to write about than my weekly dinners with James.



In his own words: a Saudi cleric from the "religion of peace"

From a Jerusalem Post article:

On Friday, the chief cleric of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Sheik Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, called on the Arabs to abandon peace efforts with Israel because they were "impossible."

Al-Sudais said Arabs should bid farewell to peace with the Jews, whom he described as "the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the killers of prophets and the grandsons of monkeys and pigs."

He called on Muslims to stand with the Palestinians financially and in kind, saying that peace with Israel was futile because it only "accepts liquidating its opponent, taking over his land, making his people homeless and canceling his dignity. They want the state of Greater Israel. They want to eliminate the nation of one God and the Quran."

But I suppose this will be blamed on a mistranslation. Or that damned Jewish media bias--hey, how can we possibly trust this source, the Post would have to be lying to advance its own cause!

And so much of the world wonders why Israel mistrusts the Arab nations, and thinks so little of the Saudi peace proposal? Tell me, are you all truly that stupid, or are you just being disingenuous?

Arab lies

A reader sends mail: Fox News has an article about the propaganda efforts of the Arab dictatorships. (Let's stop calling them governments, as if their people ever had a say in deciding how they are governed.)

It’s stunning, and depressing, to realize that meetings of the Arab League are the only international meetings — since the Soviets assembled the Warsaw Pact nations — without one single elected government. No other world forum — none meeting in Asia, Latin America, Europe, or elsewhere — lacks at least one government which respects human rights and allows freedom of speech, press, and the other values civilized people hold dear. This sorry state of affairs enables Arab dictatorships to create "truth" which is picked up by the regime-controlled press of Arab nations, and — all too often — the Western press.
On April 3, Chairman Arafat told Al Jazeera, the television network watched across the Arab world, that Israel had "burned the mosque" opposite Santa Maria Church in Bethlehem and "destroyed many churches and mosques." He called upon the Christian and Muslim world to take action. None of it happened. All of this was creating truth.

Actually, there are so many lies that I could probably fill the next ten days with nothing but false quotes from what passes from the Arab media--but then I'd have to change the name of this website to "Arab Media Lies," and then CAIR would get after me for telling the truth about their liars. Hm. Maybe I should.

Rightward, Jewish liberals

Marching as to war. Josh Trevino thinks that the rightward turn of many Jewish liberals is, as he says, only skin-deep. I can speak for no one but myself as to how I would vote in upcoming elections. But I can tell you that the MSNBC article that Christopher Johnson mentioned is dead on. The sentiment expressed in the article captures the sentiment that resonates deeply within the Jewish community. So deeply that although I find myself puzzled at the discordance of it all, my blog was recently put into the blogroll of the Midwest Conservative Journal. (My puzzlement rises from the fact that I am neither Midwestern nor conservative, yet my writing in the past month or two has been deemed rightward enough to merit inclusion on his--and many other conservative bloggers'--links.)

Here's the long and the short of it: If the election were held tomorrow, I would vote for George W. Bush without turning a hair, no matter who his opponent was. I would more than likely, however, vote for a Democratic Congress. I am pro-abortion, pro gay rights, for progressive taxation (but not overtaxation), completely against corporate welfare (but the Dems don't really do much about that, either), and generally against almost everything that Tom Delay and John Ashcroft are for. I'm not a single-issue voter--normally.

But here's what both the right and the left should realize: American Jews are frightened as never before. I have spoken to the children of Holocaust survivors who tell me that their parents are seeing much of the same hatred today as they did during the Nazi era. There is a palpable fear throughout the American Jewish community, and I think that we will vote for the politicians whom we believe are most likely to protect us from the bigots and the terrorists who would destroy us. Any politician who is perceived as being tolerant of terrorism--either in Afghanistan or the Middle East--won't be getting my vote.

As far as how permanent the rightward tilt will be, that depends entirely on how much of the left the far-left wackos have truly captured. We watch abominations like the "rally against racism and war" that have those odious signs turning a Star of David into a swastika, and we remember them. We hear speakers accuse Jews of having bought and paid for the members of Congress who spoke at the pro-Israel rally, and we remember the anti-Semitism in those remarks. If the Democratic party finds room for people who carry swastikas, Jews will desert the Democrats in record numbers and not return.

But I don't think the march yesterday was representative of the mainstream left at all, no more than Pat Robertson is representative of the mainstream right. Not a single Congressional representative spoke at yesterday's rally--not even Cynthia McKinney, the current poster child for the wacko left. That's heartening.

Will I vote for W. in '04? I don't know. Too far away to tell. Right now, I would vote for him. In two years? Ask me again as the date gets closer. I'm thinking, though, the odds are increasing that I'll cast my first-ever Republican vote in November of 2004.

Last week's blogs are archived. If you're looking for the Human Rights commission documents, or the Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts, click on the links. Iseema bin Laden's diary is also a good bet if you've never been here before.