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It's Labor Day Weekend. Relax a little.

My brain is apparently in last-weekend-of-summer mode. I can't seem to write anything new and interesting. New and boring, yes, but then, I do try not to post the boring ones. Tends to make readers go away and never come back. So instead of doing that, I'll just send you to read things that other people wrote.

Woundwort proves that Bigwig hasn't got the monopoly on funny imaginary conversations at Silflay Hraka. And Bigwig is channeling Zod again.

Dale Amon has declared racism essentially dead. Well, that's okay, then! We're all done, let's break out the beer and toast the end of racism!

So, my adventures with the Richmond Racist Network are an aberration, I presume? Wow, has this guy spent any time in the United States, or is he using Belfast as the major criterion? I mean, I'm not saying that the U.S. is a nation of rabid racists—it is not—but we still have a long way to go. My former town of Montclair, NJ was known as a very tolerant town, and a great place for interracial couples. I heard this from African-Americans I knew and from the interracial couple that lived in my apartment complex. The fact that I heard this indicates that if word has to get around regarding which towns are tolerant of interracial couples, racism is far from dead. The fact that two years earlier, as I was walking to the store, a Latino couple driving by stopped their car and asked me whether Bloomfield (where I lived then) was a good place for Latinos is another example.

If you have to ask, you can't afford to take the chance on a wrong answer.

Yes, Dale, racism is becoming less and less of an issue as the years go by. But not because of your simplistic explanations. (Interfaith marriages merely because your parents lusted after members of other races? What kind of crap is that?) It's because we tolerate racism less and less. We are taught that it is wrong. My grandchildren may live in a world where race doesn't matter—and I pray that is so—but it still matters here and now.

Rick Heller has a post on where Jewish mothers come from. A scientific post? What, I should be glad he's not making fun of them? Oy. Tracking mitochondria instead of calling your mother? Such a big man now, a weblogger and all, and you can't make one little phone call?

Oceanguy has so many good posts I can't really choose between them all. The raw food diet. (Ew.) A link to the problems in Islam. Another link showing the EU's shameful contribution to the death of Israelis. Lotsa things to read.

Fred's putting up pictures of fungus, not bugs, so I'll link to him again. I had Portabello fungus with London Broil last night. Yum.

That ought to keep you busy for a while. I'm off to go swimming with an eight-year-old and a nine-year-old on a cloudy, not-so-warm afternoon. "Pack me some hot chocolate," Sorena said when Heidi told her it might be too cold to swim. Sigh.



Meet the Incredible Thulk

The players: Mac Thomason, The Thulk (not a typo), and Meryl. The scene: Meryl's (rebuilt) living room. The situation: Deflecting the Copyright Police.

Mac: Run this by me again... this is the Incredible Thulk?

Thulk: That right. Me Thulk. Not Hulk. Thulk smash! See? [THOOM!] [picture falls off wall]

Meryl: Thulk, please be careful. I only just replaced the chair you broke last time.

Mac: Uh... okay... but—how are you going to explain the fact that the Thulk looks and sounds exactly like the Hulk?

Thulk: Thulk smash puny human if man not stop making Thulk explain. Thulk's head starting to hurt.

Meryl: Hulk, I mean Thulk, Mac's one of the good guys. He's the guy I told you about, the one that writes about Captain Euro.

Thulk: Puny human like Euro-man? Thulk hate Euro-man. Euro-man snob! Euro-man talk down to Hulk. Hulk mean Thulk! Thulk! Euro-man mean to Thulk!

Mac: No, er, Thulk. I just write about Captain Euro. I think he's a presposterous invention of the Euros, and about as effective as a Palestinian pledge of non-violence. So, run this by me again...

Meryl: Okay. Here it is, Mac. We're pretty sure the reason The Onion used that Senator Gronk clown is because they were worried that the Copyright Police would get them. Which made me worry that Marvel's lawyers might pick up on the fact that the Hulk has been guest-starring on my weblog. So when I talked to the Hulk about it—

Thulk: Thulk! You talk to Thulk about it!

Meryl: It's okay, Thulk. Mac gets it. Anyway, we decided we'd, uh, change his name a little bit and see if that doesn't deflect the legal eagles.

Mac: [long silence] So, uh, let me get this straight—no, never mind, I think I'll just take your word for it. Next you'll be telling me that the Thing changed his name to the Thang.

Thulk: Thulk wanted him to change name to Thong, but orange rock man got mad at that. Not tell Thulk why. Thang hit Thulk. Then Thulk threw Thang through wall. Fight cut short, though. Orange rock man say something about Friday night minyan. What minyan?

Meryl: Don't sweat it, Thulk, it has something to do with Thang rediscovering his Jewish roots.

Thulk: Funny, he no look Jewish.

Meryl: So I've heard. Anyway, Mac, I thought I'd warn you that your Captain Euro schtick might get you in some kind of trouble, too.

Mac: Well, this has been, uh, fascinating, but I really don't think I have anything to worry about from the Euros. It's not like they even know I do a Captain Euro routine.

[knock on door]

Captain Euro: Open up, citizen. We must discuss possible violations of the International Copyright Act and adjucating the case to the International Criminal Court. Justice demands action! The eyes of the world are upon you!

Meryl: Gee, that wasn't too scripted. I suppose we can't call him Captain Urine and hope he just goes away, can we?

Hulk: Hulk take care of this.

Mac: Not the Thulk?

Hulk: Not Thulk! Hulk! Hulk smash Euro. [leaps through door, knocking down Captain Euro, who is waiting patiently outside the door. Hulk picks up Euro, throws him. Euro smashes through the top of the dumpster, lands in the garbage.

Meryl: Oh, man... that's the second door this summer. The management company is gonna kill me. Hulk, they just replaced that dumpster. Be careful you don't hurt it, willya?

Captain Euro: [weakly] I tell you, this means sanctions! I will convene the might of the European Union and bring charges against you...

Hulk: [SMASH!]

Mac: So, anyone want to head out and get something to eat?

Meryl: I'm game

Hulk: Hulk hungry. Where nearest Popeye's?



I hate Terje Roed-Larsen. I really do.

Palestinian unemployment is so bad, that he's willing to risk Israeli lives to ease it.

The UN envoy to the Middle East on Thursday revealed statistics that show the economic fallout from Israeli restrictions in Palestinian territories is "deeper and broader" than imagined.

Unemployment has reached 50 percent and poverty in the Gaza Strip has hit 70 percent, Terje Roed-Larsen said.

Larsen urged Israel to ease its restrictions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and called on both parties to resume peace talks as the only viable solution to the current Mideast impasse.

[...] The UN envoy acknowledged that easing restrictions could pose new security risks to Israel, but he said failing to do so will fuel the very extremism Israel is trying to quell.

[...] Roed-Larsen said he appreciated Israel's "very legitimate" security concerns. "But these moves have devastated Palestinian society." The effects of Israeli restrictions are "deeper and broader than many people had thought," he added.

The envoy said in the next few days he will meet with Israeli officials and urge them "to re-examine the application of their security measures." He said the curfews and closures have pushed up unemployment in the West Bank in the second quarter of 2002 from 36 percent to 50 percent. Unemployment in Gaza, he said, has remained steady at 50 percent.

So, in Roed-Larsen's twisted little mind, the Pals' unemployment problem comes before the Israeli's problem with, oh, being blown up while getting your grandchild an ice cream.

What effing planet is this man living on? Has he not even noticed that there hasn't been a successful suicide bomb in weeks due to Israel's response to its "security concerns"? Or is that the problem? Not enough dead Jews for him?

But wait. There's more:

"Life under the occupation is like an agonizing tooth.

Dying is like taking it out," Roed-Larsen said, referring to the anxiety that he said fuels extremism and the phenomenon of suicide bombers.

Uh-huh. What, no quote about the "cycle of violence"? Here's a hint, Terje, old boy: If you want to solve Palestinian unemployment, get them to stop blowing up their employers. Moron.

A coupla quick ones

Absolutely hysterical, top-notch Laurence Simon post on the Reuters bias. Do not miss this one. Do not be drinking your coffee while reading it, either.

Susanna Cornett has a good one, too: Commentary and suggestions for the Real Beverly Hillbillies. (I'm liking The Upper East Side Kentuckians best, myself.)

Combustible Boy has given up blogging. Not really. He's joined Max Power. Our two peerless superhero bloggers will be fighting—er, fighting—uh... well, they'll be blogging together, anyway. Although I think they should start a new blog, and call it, like, Blogger Guys. (I was thinking Blogger Boys, but that might have different connotations, and, well, it's not polite to ask.) Oh, but wait—there are two more people blogging there. Never mind.

I forgot to wish Glenn Reynolds a happy birthday. Probably because, well, I forgot. Belated happy birthday, Professor!

Fair warning: Lots of group blogging efforts coming down the pike

Well, the Buffy Blog Burst is going to be the third (or fourth) of the group efforts that I'll be a part of, and doubtlessly the most frivolous and fun. But there are some things I need to tell you about now.

PontifexExMachina has set up a website for essays about September 11th.

Ever since the first hours of that day, there have been people who have decided to try and shield themselves and others from the worst of it, to forget about the horror.

I feel that if we allow ourselves to forget, then we will lull ourselves into a false sense of security, thus inviting future attacks such as that one to happen.

This blog will be our little effort to see that never come to pass.

I think he's right. I know that people who don't live in the New York Metropolitan area, or the DC Metropolitan area, seem to be shoving those memories to the rear. We're all Americans, after all. We were all attacked.

The site will be called "A Perfect Morning." Read Pontifex's post for the explanation. It will be open to any blogger that wants to tell his or her story, and I imagine that any reader who has a story to tell can submit one as well. The design is being worked on, and the site should be up in a day or three. But we're letting people know now, as 9/11 is less than two weeks away.

Also, Judith Weiss on Kesher Talk is coordinating a Blog Burst commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Munich Massacre, where the Israeli Olympic athletes were taken hostage and ultimately killed by Black September, a group of Palestinian terrorists. That's why we have such strict security today, kiddies—it's not just because of 9/11. The German police blew the rescue, big-time. But you can read all about it on September 5th.

There's also an effort to send out a Blog Burst about the looming danger of the Temple Mount, which you can read about in several places, or you can just go to Ribbity Frog's new blog. So, Frog, if the Marwan Prayer Hall = Solomon's Stables, does that mean that the third-holiest Islamic shrine was built over piles of horsehockeys? (Hey, I was just askin'.)

More information as I get it, as, of course, I live to serve. (And if you buy that one, there's a pile of horsehockeys over there that I bought from Colonel Potter that I'd like to sell you...)



Letters, we get letters

Well, the letter carrier is going to take tomorrow off due to having been overloaded with mail the past few days. What with you all cc:ing me on your letters to President Corrigan (nice ones!), and the answer to a puzzle and, well, the Onion apparently trying to horn in my schtick, as well as other bloggers getting me to agree to about three different Blog Bursts in the next three weeks, it's been a busy reading day or three.

To begin: I now know that TANSTAAFL means "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch," and this seems to be attributed to Robert Heinlein. I'll grant you the acronym, but that saying was around for a long time before he put it into his novels. Hey, I learned it from my father, who also taught me this one, to be used when someone is being annoyingly filled with celebrity worship: "Who gives a damn? S/he never bought me a drink." Of course, Dad used harsher swear words, but I don't feel like swearing tonight. At least, not right now I don't. Thanks to the many people who not only emailed me, but who also wrote, "I doubt I'm the only one emailing you about this, but..." (My readers. Comedians, every one of 'em.)

As to the Onion and Senator Gronk: I know why they did it, and the reasons will be made clear in a post tomorrow. (Hint: They're afraid of lawsuits, and besides, the Hulk would never work for the Onion. He's my pal, not theirs.) Once again, thanks to the many of you who said, "Just in case no one else has mentioned this..." (No, I want you to send me email; please don't take this as the ravings of a tired, bitter woman who just went blind reading what amounts to only a tiny, tiny fraction of Lileks' unread emails (so I shouldn't complain, and oh, no, I'm in double parentheses again), and, uh, I forgot what else I was going to say. End parentheses?)

Never mind, it must be the rain. It hasn't really rained heavily in Richmond since July 9th, which happens also to be the day I moved, and was I bitter about that? Noooooooooooooo. Anyway, no, not bitter about the rain. Happy. The trees are looking much, much better, and I don't care if the cats are cranky because they don't like going out in the rain, or that I have a double armload of books in my car because I wanted the rain to lessen before bringing them inside, and, ya know, I really had better stop now. Drought bad. Rain good. Even second of three days of rain. Yup. Not bitter.

Hanan Ashrawi apologia

Joshua Sharf is outraged that the ubiquitous Palestinian spokeswoman, Hanan Ashrawi, has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the Colorado College symposium on 9/11.

At the Durban Conference to Promote Anti-Semitism, Mrs. Ashrawi spoke like an ambitious governor at a national political convention. She repeatedly accused Israel of practicing Apartheid, in a country that has known actual Apartheid. Never mind that 20% of Israel's population is Arab, and that it is the Palestinians who are demanding a Judenfrei West Bank.

Mrs. Ashrawi has long been a favorite of the American media, and has longstanding personal friendships with both Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings. She appeared twice on the Ashrawi Broadcasting Corporation within a span of 14 hours, once on the September 12 Nightline, and the next day on a mid-afternoon media roundtable. On both occasions, even as bodies and the few survivors were being pulled from the rubble, she took the opportunity to lecture the US on how it was responsible for the attacks.

Sounding like what passes for a newspaper in the Arab world, she accused the United States of keeping the Muslim world divided through subterfuge and support of Islamic extremism. I can only guess where we find the time to do this in-between supporting repressive secular regimes. The only time we've supported Islamic jihadists was to help them defeat Communism, one of the West's less-bright ideas.

She excused the Palestinian street celebrations of the murder of our fellow citizens as the work of a few, uninformed individuals. She did not respond when it was pointed out that the official newspaper of the Palestinian Authority had called the killers heroes, martyrs, and the rightful heirs to the suicide bombers who killed our Marines in Beirut. There it is: the bodies aren't even cold yet, and she comes on American television to explain why it's really our fault, after all. What on earth can she have to say about September 11 that possibly bears hearing?

Joshua is organizing a protest to be held elsewhere on campus, whose purpose is to expose Ashrawi's falsehoods. Check out the rest of his post; I'll update the link when he adds permalinks. But for now, it's at the top of the page.

Scientology apologia

Declan McCullagh reprints (with permission) a letter from Scientology representatives explaining their beef with the Internet and copyright violations.

Particularly interesting is this bit:

An individual was convicted for threatening and intimidating Scientologists through the Internet. He then fled the country to avoid sentencing.

Let's compare that to this:

On 26 Apr 2001, Keith Henson was convicted of "interfering with a religion", a misdemeanor under California law, for picketing outside Scientology's heavily-armed, razor-wire enclosed base outside Hemet, CA.

At trial, the judge threw out all Henson's witnesses, disallowed any testimony about his reasons for picketing the cult, and allowed the prosecution to present excerpts from Henson's Internet postings out of context; the Scientology witnesses also committed perjury which Henson was unable to rebut.

Henson is seeking political refugee status in Canada in order to force the US government to look into the criminal conspiracy between the Hemet District Attorney's office and the Scientology cult to deprive him of his civil rights.

Oh, those wacky Scientology kids! First they copyright their "religious" writings (is the Bible copyrighted? The Koran? Uh-huh.), then they load up our courts with lawsuits against grandfathers who protest the fact that their "church" kills people (like Lisa McPherson). Scientology: Take away its tax-free status. If it's a religion, I'm a Muslim.

Absolutely hilarious

He: A cautionary tale for men thinking of getting a vasectomy.

She: A hilarious story about a man getting a vasectomy.

Carey Gage is from NJ. He's funny. And interesting. Hey Carey, what exit?

Bigwig has yet another installment in the continuing exposition from the 1916 book, "The New Perfect Manhood." This one deals with—wait for it—menstruation. Not for the easily offended. (And now I can't get that damned Schoolhouse Rock tune he parodied out of my head.) Bigwig is a sick, sick man.

Another reason to dislike Delaware

Even before Jonathan Chait got on Delaware's case the other week, I hated having to drive through the state and pay through the nose (18 cents per mile, vs. 5 cents per mile in NJ) for the privilege. This week's revelation that Delaware is keeping a database of "possible" criminals was strike two. And here's strike three: Delaware holds elections on Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath), and their September primary falls on Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year for Jews.

They've basically told their 13,000 Jews to go piss off. Yadda yadda, contracts, yadda yadda, lower turnouts, yadda yadda. So. Howcome they don't have elections on Sunday, then, hm?


Sure, religious Jews can file absentee ballots. But why should they have to? This is the most vital part of the American electoral process, and it is incumbent upon Delaware to make it easier, not harder, for all citizens to vote. Nice one, Constitution State.

Lest you think this blog is All Jews, All the Time, I figured I'd better write a new Cattales.



A new Israeli frogger—er, blogger

Ribbity Frog joins the ranks of bloggers from Israel, and the Frog reads Arabic. So we're getting translations from Al Jazeera and Palestinian newspapers. But Ribbity reads English, as well. My favorite entry to date:

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Ahmad Sa'adat, the former head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has gone on hunger strike. I personally feel very threatened by that. Does anyone out there remember Bobby Sands?

My kinda blogger. Wish the Frog would tell us gender. Even Da Bear told us he was a he.

Speaking of Israel, Diane E. is posting about the emergency developing over at the Temple Mount.

The southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is in imminent danger of collapse due to continued, illegal Waqf (Muslim religious council) excavations, and the Arabs are denying it.

There is a real danger that foot-long stone blocks could come crashing down on Islamic worshippers. And whom do you think they'll blame for that? If the Arab propaganda machine can blame the intefadah on Ariel Sharon's visiting Joseph's Tomb, imagine what it would do if the wall collapses.

Update: Judith Weiss posted about the Temple Mount a few days ago:

Just imagine the outrage if Israel conquered Mecca and proceeded to raze the Kaaba to build an office tower.

Having a look around

Stephen Gordon added me to his blogroll. As a matter of courtesy, I always check to see what kind of blog I've been permalinked to. Well, Pundit Tree is brand-spanking new, and I really like his latest post. Stephen took Vice President Cheney's speech to the VFW and reworked it as an interview, making it eminently more readable than a plain transcript. He cuts straight to the meat of the matter: The reasons to invade Iraq. Highly recommended. Best of luck to you and your new blog, Stephen.

Fred Pruitt found an article that purports to have found the evil Jewish conspiracy to take over the world—starting with Balochistan. Really. (Extra points to anyone who can tell me where Balochistan is without looking it up in Google. I said without looking it up in Google! What, you think I was born yesterday?) The article is funny enough without Fred's comments, but then, when he adds things like:

Yes, I often dream of occupying lovely Gwadar, followed soon by the whole of Balochistan. It occupies most of my waking thoughts, too...

it simply adds to the atmosphere. (I always dreamed of having the Upper Volga, myself.)

The Armed Liberal put in his two cents on the SFSU events, and since I haven't linked to him in ages, I'm doing that now. Plus, he wrote about it back in the day when we needed to get the word out. (Dude, I haven't gotten to the shooting range yet, but there's one not five minutes from my new apartment, so someday...)

Paul Wright of TANSTAAFL (I think I used to know what that means, but I've forgotten) wrote about why we should be proud of Western Civilization, rather than think of ourselves as greedy, evil, corporate elitist bigots trying to keep the downtrodden of the world trodden down (I'm assuming he isn't talking about CEOs of Enron and the like). Can I make up a cheer to go with the post? "Yay, Western Civ!" just won't cut it.

Lynn B. takes more offense at Catholics who insist it's their duty to evangelize Jews (and others). Something tells me that Josh isn't going to like Lynn's comparing evangelical Christians to fundamentalist Muslims. But she's got a point:

Now a moderate voice along those same lines has tentatively emerged in the Catholic Church. This voice suggests that perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the policy of denigrating every other faith and belief system on earth, that perhaps it’s time to take a new look at the word of God in light of what humanity has hopefully learned in the past 2,000 years. And this voice is met with ridicule and derision. "Apostasy," says Dr. Zmirak. "Can the US bishops do anything else wrong this year?" asks Josh Trevino. "They don't mean it," says Mark Shea. Why is it that the people who counsel moderation to the Muslims can’t begin to apply their counsel to themselves, their co-religionists and their colleagues?

If you ask me, Lynn's managed to get to the heart of the matter of proselytizing without a tenth of the outrage that I'd put in. Perhaps I'd best not join in this time.

Justin Weitz has the story of Central Connecticut State University's so-called workshop on the Middle East, which taught, among other things, that Yiddish is Israel's official language (it is not; it's Hebrew), and the map of the Middle East that was distributed to the high school teachers who came thinking they would be learning true facts, did not have Israel on it. And the president of the college, of course, is calling it an issue of academic freedom. Sure. The freedom to lie. Works for me. Not.

The Buffy Blog Burst*

The story so far: What I'm attempting to do here is get the BuffyBloggers (and you all know who you are, but I only know who some of you are) to put up a post about Buffy or Angel on September 24th, the date of the first new Buffy episode of the seventh (and possibly final) season. Gary Farber, Dave Tepper, Charles Kuffner, Bruce Hill, Mac Thomason, Sekimori, NZ Bear, Jim Treacher, Croooow, Alex Frantz, DPM, Token Straight Chick, Terry McGarry, Nick Danger, my pal Dolly and her pal Cherie, and if there are more, you're all going to have to let me know who (and all you bastages owe me links, because it's a pain in the ass to link you all in one paragraph). I'm sure I've missed a few, and I'm betting there's an email or three in my inbox that says, "Don't forget me when you start the BBB!" but folks, unless I were to keep a database of Buffy Bloggers (I do not, I will not, don't even think about asking me), you have to send me mail again if you're not on this list.

Think of a topic. Write about it. Post it late in the evening of the 23rd, or early in the morning on the 24th. Email me the name of the topic and the URL. I will maintain a list of Buffy Blog Burst posts, and as I read them, I'll put a word or three of commentary or excerpt.

I do believe that my post is going to be about why Buffy the Vampire Slayer is not a kids' show. Its appeal is ageless. You can write about anything at all—your favorite character, Cordelia's Wardrobe v. Buffy's Fashions, Why Did They Get Rid Of Lorn--I Love Green Demon Lounge Singers!, Bring Back Darla!, Angel's Hair Is Too Pouffy, Season Six Sucked, Wesley Is Anorexic (But So Is Fred), or, well, anything you want. Of course, if your post sucks, I'm just going to link to it and not say anything nice. Of course, if 50 people wind up joining the BBB, I'm just going to link to their posts and not say anything at all because there will be too many BuffyBloggers and not enough Meryls, but hey, ya gotta take risks in this life.

Spread the word, my fellow BuffyBloggers. Sunnydale is coming to the Blogosphere on September 24th.


*Special thanks to Joe Katzman, who first came up with the idea of a Blog Burst.

It's the image, not the morality

This one got plenty of play over at LGF, but it deserves to be mentioned more widely.

The Palestinian journalists union on Monday banned journalists from photographing Palestinian children carrying weapons or taking part in activities by militant groups, saying that the pictures harm the Palestinian cause.

[...]Tawfik Abu Khousa, deputy chairman of the syndicate, said such pictures harmed the image of the Palestinian people and the credibility of Palestinian journalists.

"We have decided to forbid taking any footage of armed children, because we consider that as a clear violation of the rights of children and for negative effects these pictures have on the Palestinian people," he said.

In the statement issued by the syndicate it said footage of armed served "the interests of Israel and its propaganda against the Palestinian people."

The union threatened to boycott militant groups who use children and masked men in their activities.

The ban extended to Palestinian journalists who worked for local and foreign new agencies. Colleagues who work with foreign news agencies must commit any photographers who come to the region to the decision of the syndicate.

The syndicate said journalists who failed to adhere to the ban would be investigated and subjected to disciplinary procedures. Free-lancers were also expected to abide by the ban.

The statement said that there was "clear evidence that some photographers ware trying ... to mark the Palestinian struggle with terrorism." Reporters were also banned from photographing masked men.

So, if the Pals act according to type, they'll be threatening the lives of any journalists who disobey their new rule. And of course, they have no clue that the world is far more affected by the immorality of the use of children in their Terror Universities and play-acting at Terror Camp. It's not that they think it's wrong. It harms the Palestinian cause, the statement said.

Damn right it does. It shows the depths to which the Pals will sink: Using children as a means to an end. Or executing widowed mothers of seven as a supposed "collaborator." These people are beneath contempt.

SFSU persecutes the Jew

Tatiana Menaker, the token Jew against whom charges were brought in the SFSU riot, has wrapped up her kangaroo court trial at SFSU and headed off to Mexico for vacation.

There, was that enough hyperbole for you?

Let's take a look at the case. The two pro-Palestinian students settled, and PR director Ligeia Polidora refuses to disclose any information regarding the terms of the settlement. Because after all, it's a public university, paid for by taxpayer funds, so why should the public have the right to know?

Let's take a look at the list of witnesses:

During the Aug. 12 hearing, Menaker said seven witnesses -- including campus police, the leader of the General Union of Palestinian Students and the leader of the Muslim Student Association -- testified against her.

While she agrees with two accusations leveled at her -- that she called a pro-Palestinian student a sharmoota (the Arabic word for "bitch") and told another, "Go f--- your camels" in response to other defamatory words -- she continues to deny a third -- that she used the derogatory phrase, "sand nigger."

"I never even heard that word" before being accused of using it, she said. "I feel like someone's inventing that thing to frame me up."

Fascinating, isn't it, that the leader of GUPS and the Muslim Student Association both claim to have heard Menaker utter the pejorative? What are the odds, hm? They couldn't possibly be—making it up to make a point, could they?

But wait. There's more.

A mother of three who immigrated to the United States in 1985, Menaker has shown little remorse for her words at the May rally.

Following her arrest later that month, Menaker received a groundswell of support from the Bay Area's Russian-speaking Jewish community. Many emigres felt an unsympathetic American-Jewish community and the university had scapegoated her in order to look even-handed in the aftermath of the rally.

Ya think?

Menaker's attorney, Alexander Anolik, who is also an instructor at SFSU, has continued to criticize the university for pursuing charges against his client. He called her behavior at the rally "minor" considering the hardships she endured in the former Soviet Union. A former refusenik and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, she has been "inundated with anti-Israel rhetoric in a hotbed of anti-Zionism, anti-Jewish, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism at SFSU," he said.

This is my favorite quote:

"They're not going to ruin my vacation," said the Russian émigré before her departure. "There are too many people standing by me -- I received approximately 3,000 letters of support from the Russian community. If this university tries to suspend me I will fight it.

"If I can fight KGB back in Russia, I can fight this."

Yeah, but we can help. Drop an email to President Corrigan. He hates it when this case gets publicity. Life's tough sometimes.


I had a deep, thoughtful post that I was writing in my head. Then I saw the jar of popcorn (the non-microwave kind) in the pantry and, well, that was the end of that deep, thoughtful post. Now I have a bowl of freshly popped Orville Redenbacher close to hand, salted but not buttered because, well, I can pretend that I'm on my diet in spite of having eaten fried foods three nights in a row and having a Klondike bar two of the last three. It's my mother's fault; she bought them when she couldn't find any frozen yogurt and refused to even consider having one of my Fudgesicles (60 calories, 2 grams of fat). And I think there's at least one Klondike bar left. Oh, well.

So Mom is back home and safe in New Jersey, having experienced an Amtrak ride in the Northeast Corridor that was only a few minutes late and did not crash into anything between here and there. She left, I suspect, feeling a bit unfulfilled, because within the first five minutes of her visit, I realized when I said, "Come on down and visit and maybe you can help me fix up the apartment a little," she interpreted that a bit differently than I. I know this because after I brought my bags and her things upstairs and came back down, she said, "We have to do something about the kitchen, and I absolutely can't stand the living room. It needs to be completely rearranged." I declined, courteously but firmly. "No. I like it the way it is." "But wouldn't the couch go better against the window—" "Mom—it's my living room. I like it this way." That was that for a while. But she got to exercise some of her tics. She bought me some things for the house that I needed, and when sometime the first day I said to her, "Mom, I need to clean the downstairs bathroom sink for you," she replied, "No, I already did."

Next time I'm not going to bother cleaning the sink. Not if she's going to do it anyway. And my kitchen sink hasn't been cleaner since she's been here. I should have brought out the mop and let her really have fun. Have I mentioned that her visit wasn't planned, just a spur-of-the-moment "Why not come down with me in the car and go back via train" thing? I left my apartment reasonably clean, but not Mother-proofed. I wasn't expecting visitors.

Sunday night was corned beef and latkes at Heidi's, which we hadn't had since June, and which was as good a setting as any for them to finally meet after hearing about each other all these years. The dogs behaved, Mom behaved, and the meal and the wine were excellent. That last was really surprising; we had a Merlot and I generally loathe red wines. Alas, we have no idea what the real brand was. G. bought it at Trader Joe's, a store that buys closeouts and puts its own label on them. All we know for sure is that it was a 1999 Australian Merlot and may have cost $15-20 originally. That probably narrows it down to what, dozens?

Well, the popcorn's down to the kernels and half-popped pieces and burnt ones, so it's done, and I wish there were more. Why is it that no matter how much popcorn you pop, it's never enough? The only time I ever have more than enough popcorn is at the movies, when you get one of those giant buckets with your companions, though I suspect that the substance formerly known as butter is to blame for the feeling of having had enough. Well, that, and the fact that movie popcorn smells great but tastes pretty bad, mostly. Anyway. Time to wrap this up and get some sleep. Tig got me up an hour before the alarm, and I'm writing this last night, and I was up for 18 hours then, so I think I'll call it a night.



Reuters: The yellow journalists of the 21st century or,
Reading between the lines

The changing face of the Reuters boilerplate anti-Israel bias:

First there was this:

Gunmen have often attacked Jewish settlers in a Palestinian uprising for independence in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip which erupted in September 2000 after peace talks stalled.

The paragraph below is from the same article. It's worth including. Look at the editorializing in the last two sentences. Some objective news source, that Reuters.

At least 1,467 Palestinians and 564 Israelis have died in almost 23 months of violence. The international community regards the settlements as illegal under international law. Israel disputes this.

And then there's this:

At least 1,479 Palestinians and 583 Israelis have been killed since a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation began in September 2000 after peace talks froze.

And now this:

At least 1,510 Palestinians and 589 Israelis have been killed since the start of the revolt in September 2000 after talks on establishing a Palestinian state hit an impasse.

Let's take a look at this entire article, shall we, and count the biased statements? Let's start with the byline:

By Wael al-Ahmad

Sure looks like an objective source to me. But then, the bylines of the articles quoted above aren't Arab, and they're just as bad.

JENIN (Reuters) - Israeli troops arrested a senior Hamas militant in a West Bank raid Monday as Israel's defense minister insisted a security deal with Palestinians to ease violence remained in force.

Note the use of the word "insisted." In the first paragraph, it places Israel's defense minister in, well, a defensive position, already making a negative connotation about the current Israeli-Palestinian agreement. And the deal is to ease "violence." Not terrorism or murder of civilians, "violence."

The so-called "Gaza-Bethlehem First" arrangement, in which Israeli forces left Bethlehem last week, is viewed as a test for a wider withdrawal and eventual truce in the Palestinian uprising. But it has bogged down in discord over the next steps.

Look at the insertion of "so-called." It's a pejorative deliberately placed there to denigrate the plan. Its subtext is that Israel is not sincere in its actions. The writer also places the phrase "Palestinian uprising" in the lead, in the second paragraph. The implications are clear: The poor, downtrodden, and innocent Palestinians are rising up in revolt against their cruel Israeli (dare I use quotes?) "masters," who refuse to deal faithfully in peace agreements.

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer denied that the plan had been shelved but said Palestinian security services had not done enough to live up to their end of the deal.

By using the word "denied" above, the implication is that the Defense Minister is lying. Think of the headline, "Politician denies accepting bribes." It implies that the politician did accept bribes, but is denying it. By using the word "denied." the author is implying the opposite of what Ben-Eliezer says.

"It is not dead. It lives. How can you expect a complete change in the situation in two days after a conflict running (almost) two years? I expect efforts from them," he said.

Israeli soldiers in armored vehicles swept into the Jenin refugee camp, scene in April of the bloodiest fighting in the 23-month-old Palestinian revolt, in a fresh hunt for militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, local witnesses said.

The "23-month-old Palestinian revolt." That's what they call it. The "impasse" over the peace accords turns into a spate of terrorist attacks, but Reuters considers those to be part of a revolution. And that refugee camp thing... another lie. It's made of stone and concrete, not canvas tents and campfires.

In a house-by-house search, Israeli troops seized Jamal Abdel Salam Abu el-Heijah, leader of Hamas in the Jenin region and atop Israel's list of most-wanted militants in the northern West Bank, local witnesses told Reuters.

Israeli military sources said al-Heijah was suspected of involvement in three suicide bombings and other attacks that had killed 39 people in Israel.

El-Heijah told Reuters earlier that he lost his left arm in a clash between Hamas militants and the Israeli army in Jenin early this year, before Israel's spring West Bank offensive against Palestinians waging an uprising for independence.

Israel's "spring West Bank offensive" makes it sound as if they were the initiators of a war, which fits nicely into the Reuters theory of "revolution." And "Palestinians waging an uprising for independence" sounds a lot better than "one or more suicide bombing attacks per day over a period of more than a week, killing dozens and wounding hundreds," does it not?

He had been in hiding in Jenin or outlying villages since the onset of the offensive, which lasted five weeks before the army pulled back to the fringes of West Bank cities, only to reoccupy them in June after another spate of suicide bombings.

There's that offensive "offensive" again. Why, the IDF went into Jenin last spring because that's what they do when they're bored—take and retake Palestinian towns. It's not like the IDF is made up of mostly reservists who have other jobs or something, or that they were trying to stop terrorist attacks.


Islam Jarrah, an aide to el-Heijah, was also arrested, along with a large number of other alleged militants, Palestinian sources in the inner-city refugee quarter said.

Not only are they not terrorists, but they may not even be militants: "alleged militants." And while we're at it, let's throw in a sympathy phrase: "inner-city refugee quarter." Uh, hello, Jenin is an all-Palestinian city. There are nothing but Palestinian "quarters."

Witnesses said Palestinian gunmen shot at troops as they rolled into the camp and drew return fire, but resistance had dissipated by the time soldiers began going house-to-house in the teeming, concrete warren of alleyways.

Alleged militants turn into gunmen who shot at IDF troops, but now we're getting descriptive. Funny, the IDF went house-to-house through the "teeming, concrete warren of alleyways," arrested their men, and yet—a massacre did not occur. Was the reporter sleeping on the job? This is Jenin, dammit! (Sorry. Got carried away.)

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed the Jenin raid and said a soldier had been lightly wounded by gunfire just outside the refugee quarter. He gave no other information.

The army has reentered Jenin camp, a haven of Islamic militants, several times since the April battle in which it suffered its worst casualties -- including 13 soldiers killed in a booby-trapped house -- in the West Bank offensive.

"West Bank offensive." That's obviously the official phrase of the Reuters Yellow Journalism League. Can we now stop making fun of people who call the current campaign "The Oslo War," please? But at least the reporter admits that Jenin is a haven of terrorists, not a "haven" of terrorists. Or "so-called haven" of terrorists.

In Nablus, another of the six West Bank cities under army occupation and frequent curfew, Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen traded fire near the city's volatile casbah quarter.

Come wiz me to ze Casbah. (Sorry again. I couldn't resist.) But look, we're back to "gunmen."

Citing what it called persistent intelligence warnings of suicide attacks, Israeli forces resumed raids for militants in the West Bank at the weekend amid an apparent stalemate over how to broaden the "Bethlehem-Gaza First" plan.

More weasel words: "what it called" implies that the intelligence warnings of suicide attacks are an excuse—and a flimsy one at that—to search for terrorists. Excuse me, "militants." "Raids"—another word with negative connotations. And we conclude with a reiteration over the quote-Bethlehem-Gaza First-endquote plan. Adding quotes also removes credibility from the agreement. All on the Israeli shoulders, of course.

The plan envisages phased army withdrawals from areas of the West Bank and Gaza granted self-rule under 1994-95 interim peace deals in return for Palestinian police taking forthright action to curb militant violence.

However, a pledge to relax restrictions on Palestinian travel in the Gaza Strip has yet to be carried out and Israeli officials dismissed the prospect of a new withdrawal from the divided city of Hebron in the near future.

Do you think that could be because the Palestinian pledge to curb "violence" has never been carried out? Look at the previous paragraph. He ignores the very words that he wrote mere seconds before. So will the average reader.

Palestinian sources said Palestinian and Israeli officials resumed security talks Monday at the fortified Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza.

What? They resumed security talks, not "security talks?"


But Palestinian officials said Israel had effectively frozen the Gaza-Bethlehem deal after talks on a Hebron pullout foundered at the weekend. Some 400 Israeli settlers live in the divided West Bank city amid about 150,000 Palestinians.

(Psst—you missed another opportunity to write quote-unquote Gaza/Bethlehem First. But you mentioned the "settlers," so it evens out.) Let's see if we can find anything in the Israeli media today about why the pullout might have been frozen.

22:36 Bomb explodes near Border Police jeep in West Bank city of Nablus, no injuries
22:23 Palestinian youth armed with knife arrives at IDF roadblock near Hebron, says his uncle sent him to carry out an attack
21:04 Pipe bomb explodes near village of Tzur Baher south of J`lem, no injuries; police believe motive nationalist
21:00 Police expect more arrests in continuing investigation of seven Israeli Arabs allegedly involved in Meron bombing
18:35 Poll: Palestinian support for Arafat's Fatah movement drops to 26%, while support for Islamic groups increases to 27%
18:28 Syrian President Bashar Assad arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks with senior Saudi officials
18:02 Police: Ibrahim Bakri, the main suspect among 7 Israeli Arabs who aided Meron bomber, has given full confession
15:50 Two of seven Israeli Arabs arrested on suspicion of aiding Meron suicide bomber suspected of planning the attack
15:32 Syrian President Bashar Assad to make quick visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday
14:34 Border policeman lightly to moderately wounded by Palestinian gunman in the West Bank town of Nablus
14:27 Galilee district police chief: Detainees from Bana had three days to thwart Meron junction bombing and did nothing
12:58 IDF officer moderately wounded by sniper fire in the West Bank town of Jenin
12:39 Mahmoud Uda, suspected of placing bomb at Hebrew University says he does not regret his actions

Nah. Nothing that I can see would cause Israel to hesitate on pulling its army out of the disputed terrortories [sic]. But back to our Reuters article:

Ben-Eliezer told army radio that one serious problem was that the Palestinian Authority had so far failed to persuade Hamas and Islamic Jihad to honor the arrangement.

Militants reject fresh dialogue with Israel, calling it a figleaf for continued occupation, and vow to keep up attacks despite plea by Palestinian Interior Minister Abdel Razzak al-Yahya to representatives of national and Islamic factions.

Look! The brave Palestinian Interior Minister is trying to make peace, but those darned "militants" simply won't go along with his pleas. Because they're a figleaf, you see, for continued occupation. Way to write those metaphors, dude. Not.

"I made clear to all that this agreement is merely the first step toward ending the Israeli occupation and siege imposed on our cities" to pave the way for Palestinian general elections, democratic reforms and renewed peacemaking with Israel, he said.

At least 1,510 Palestinians and 589 Israelis have been killed since the start of the revolt in September 2000 after talks on establishing a Palestinian state hit an impasse.

This is our new Reuters boilerplate. Do you like it? We submitted it to "General" Arafat for approval. He says the numbers of dead Israelis need to be higher, and he's working on that. But while we're at it, just to make certain you feel sorry for the poor, downtrodden Arabs, who are revolting (not, of course, meaning it in any funny sense of the word, although you can take it that way), we'll also mention this before we end our story:

Israel's Arab minority is under greater police scrutiny over Palestinian suicide militants infiltrating the Jewish state.

Security sources said Monday seven Israeli Arabs had been detained on suspicion of helping a Palestinian suicide bomber blow up an inter-city bus in northern Israel three weeks ago.

Now they're "Palestinian suicide militants." Not suicide bombers. Suicide militants.

Judging from this article and others, we can conclude that Reuters is a so-called news service with "reporters" who deliver "objective" and "truthful" articles on world events. Or that it's a biased, anti-Israeli organization that shouldn't be given one iota of respect. They report. You decide.

I can keep this up all day

And probably will. Mom's on the train home, I'm burnt out, and I may not make it out the door again today. It's wet and humid and I have plenty of food in the fridge. Even Klondike bars for dessert!

Nope, I ain't movin'.

The New York Times has an article that is actually positive about an attack on Iraq:

Gen. Barry McCaffrey of the Army, who led the 24th Mechanized Division against Iraqi forces in the gulf war before his retirement, was more sanguine about the course of a American military campaign against Iraq.

"My assessment is that if you put enough pressure on them, they will come apart and won't fight," General McCaffrey said in an interview. "The notion that they will retreat into the built-up areas and turn them into a kind of Stalingrad is laughable."

"I don't think they can handle the synergy of American military power, the violence and speed," he said. "A war could entail a few thousand U.S. casualties. But my honest judgment is that if we are serious about this, it would take 90 days to build up our forces and 21 days for the campaign. I think they will unravel."

Credit where it's due, dept.

Judith Weiss is back on Kesher Talk and discussing the Arab destruction of one of Judaism's holiest sites. I can't discuss this one without blowing a vein, or maybe an artery, so I'll just send you over to her place.

Mac Thomason wrote a new Captain Euro piece. He's trying to stop the invasion of Iraq.

I think it's time for that Buffy Blog Burst I promised ages ago. All right people, who's on board? Email me that you are joining, and then pick a topic. Let's set the Blog Burst date for the first show of the new season, September 24th. So are you all clever enough to figure out your own topic, or am I going to have to put up a list of possible Buffy/Angel topics? Hm?

Linking on a rainy Monday morning

The power of the Instapundit: A sweet story on The Spoons Experience: Spoons got engaged, and its inception was an Instalink. Be prepared to say, "Awwwww" at the end of the post.

I think you'll see me on this list when they pry my weblog from my cold, dead fingers. I'm not into retiring and unretiring and retiring and then unretiring and then retiring and then unretiring. Nope. Not me. Oh, wait—there was the time a few months ago when I was blocked and couldn't figure out what to write about—does that count? [snicker]

I found this guy via someone (sorry, forgot who, but it was a high-traffic site so it's not like they need the credit, and it was probably Glenn anyway, so, like, can I end these parentheses, please?) Whew. Anyway. He's good. He's interesting. On the days when I'm feeling stupid, I think I'll read Robert Prather rather than try to mangle the news myself.

By the way, Mom's on her way back to NJ, so I have a bit more time to write again. And a little more quiet around here. Always a good combination.

Yeah, you just think you read all these. I just added the one below.

So I'm doing what every egotistical blogger does, checking my referrers. And I find one from Get Donkey, a site I am unfamiliar with. So I go read it. Here's a sample:

get donkey! presents: News of the obvious
This just in from a crack team of crack british scientists (possibly on crack):

Scientists say alcohol makes others better-looking

I'm not sure about this one. I tried to test it last night. I went out to a bar with a bottle of alcohol and a bag of cotton balls. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't rub the ugly off anyone.

And it's true that guys like bathroom humor, but so do girls, sometimes. You have to read Rob's post on his days in the cubicle next to the men's room. Funny. Very funny. Another twisted Texan. Must be something in the water down there.

I found the outrage

Here you go: In the Independent of Great Britain.

She was shot at close range once through the skull and twice in the chest, said doctors.

Lynchings and executions without legitimate trials of men accused of collaborating with Israel have become relatively commonplace during the 23-month intifada. Dozens have been killed. But this weekend's killing is believed to be the first such attack against a woman, and will have engendered profound disgust among moderate Palestinians.

Moderation is, however, in short supply on both sides. A weekend poll by the popular Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper found that two thirds of the 500 Israelis surveyed believed the Oslo peace accords hurt Israel.

Nearly the same number – 61 per cent – opposed allowing any more Palestinians to return to work in Israel if violence calmed down. The Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's strategy of blocking political negotiations until the fulfilment of a long and – in the view of many international observers – deliberately unrealistic list of demands has placed him in good standing at home.

The outrage? What the fuck do those last two paragraphs have to do with the death of an innocent woman by Palestinian terrorists? Unbelievable. Even when the Palestinians are murdering their own, the British press can only harp on Israel.

Why we must fight

This is a picture of an innocent woman, smiling and holding her young son:

She was killed yesterday by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, part of Arafat's legion of murderers. It's not enough for them that they kill innocent Israelis. Now they're killing innocent Palestinian women.

Her son "confessed" after being tortured that his mother had told the Israelis where to find a Hamas leader who was later killed by the IDF. So the brave "martyrs" took Ikhlas Khouli, a 35-year-old woman with seven children, from her home, questioned her until she confessed, and then shot her dead.

Now her son displays the marks of being beaten with electrical wires and says he made up a story about his mother to make them stop torturing him. And the terrorists have this excuse:

An Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader said his group was forced to "strike with an iron hand" to prevent collaboration with Israel.

"I know that this woman had children but we had no choice. We left her son alive to take care of the children," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Asked why his group employed torture, he said: "This is the only way you can get confessions from such people who betray their people."

Tell me why I shouldn't hate these murderers, because the picture of that innocent woman makes my soul keen in agony for her and for her children.

Where is the outrage? Where are the Europeans denouncing this barbarity? Where are the UN resolutions threatening world sanctions against the perpetrators of the act?

Who will stand up for Iklhas Khouli? Who will punish her murderers? Who will so much as regret her death, besides her family?

Where are the "peace activists" while events like this are going on? Or does it matter more that they can crow about Israeli complicity in "causing" the death of Iklhas Khouli? Where is Hanan Ashrawi to denounce this woman's death?

I look at the picture, and I see a woman younger than I, who did not deserve to die. And all I can do is echo a refrain from Charles Johnson's comments threads: Faster, please.



Proud Zionist: Lynn B.

Lynn B. put into words the reason she is a Zionist:

This is why I will never accept any ideology that preaches its own ascendancy at the expense of the demise of others. That is not what Zionism is about. That is not what Zionism has ever been about. No matter how its enemies may try to twist it, no matter how many “peace advocates” misinterpret its doctrines, Zionism is about the attempts of the members of an ancient and much maligned people to assert their right, their justification, their very existence before the court of world opinion and to be recognized, finally, without qualification, as who they are, period.

The rest of the essay is wonderful, too. Though I've never set foot on the Temple Mount, Lynn's words speak to me and for me. Those who would take Zionism and try to turn it into something bad or evil are just plain wrong. Or hateful, and lying about it.


Last week's blogs are archived. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.