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Urgent Warning: The American Academic Anti-Israel Contingent is Off Its Rocker

We, American academics and intellectuals, applaud our courageous Israeli colleagues for their recent letter warning of the possibility of ethnic cleansing in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The 187 Israeli signatories express concern that the "fog of war" [against Iraq] "could be exploited by the Israeli government to commit further crimes against the Palestinian people, up to full- fledged ethnic cleansing."

We would also like to applaud them for their rendition of Chicken Little's "The Sky is Falling," a warning that the sun is due to burn out in several billion years, and the fact that it's more and more likely that "Friends" is going to be canceled.

The Israeli professors point out that: "The Israeli ruling coalition includes parties that promote 'transfer' of the Palestinian population as a solution to what they call 'the demographic problem'. Politicians are regularly quoted in the media as suggesting forcible expulsion, most recently MKs [members of the Israeli parliament] Michael Kleiner and Benny Elon, as reported on Yediot Ahronot website on September 19, 2002. In a recent interview in Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon described the Palestinians as a 'cancerous manifestation' and equated the military actions in the Occupied Territories with 'chemotherapy', suggesting that more radical 'treatment' may be necessary. Prime Minister Sharon has backed this 'assessment of reality'. Escalating racist demagoguery concerning the Palestinian citizens of Israel may indicate the scope of the crimes that are possibly being contemplated."

Let's take a look at the escalating racist demagoguery from the Arab side, shall we? Okay, back again? Wait, check out this sermon by a Palestinian cleric. Somehow, I've never read a letter from academics against anything like this. (By the way, funny how they call it "The Israeli ruling coalition." that makes it sounds like a bunch of unelected thugs ruling over a nation. Oh, wait. That's the rest of the Middle East. Israel's politicians were actually voted in. Never mind.)

Benjamin Netanyahu, the newly appointed Israeli foreign minister, previously advocated expelling Palestinians while the world was distracted with events at Tiananmen Square.

Tiananmen Square happened over than 13 years ago, and still no Palestinians have been expelled from the territories. What is wrong with you, Israel? Get it together! What? You were just talking? Oh. Let's take a gander at what the other side's been saying:

Arafat went on to explain "the Palestinian people has been rooted to this land since before the time of Abraham, the prophet," and to proclaim the way to victory is through continued suicide bombings by calling out "shahid, shahid, shahid!" before hanging up his cellphone – which the IDF has allowed him to recharge.

Alas, not just talk. I'd have to look it up, but I do believe that various "shahids" have killed dozens, if not hundreds, of Israeli civilians in the nearly nine months since Arafat called for "one million martyrs" to the Palestinian cause. Again, still waiting on the letters from Israeli and American academics calling for the end to shahid attacks.

We join with our Israeli colleagues in calling for vigilance as events unfold in Israel and the Occupied Territories. With an average of more than $10 million dollars per day of American tax dollars going to Israel, we believe Americans cannot remain silent while crimes as abhorrent as ethnic cleansing are being openly advocated.

You are absolutely correct. Where are your letters against the call for the deaths of Jews from the Islamofascists?

We urge our government to communicate clearly to the government of Israel that the expulsion of people according to race, religion or nationality would constitute crimes against humanity and will not be tolerated.

So glad you mentioned that. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from Kuwait after the Gulf War. You do, of course, have a letter on record protesting that, and are offering legal expertise and funds to bring charges against Kuwait at the Hague, do you not?


Oh. I guess it only counts when Israelis talk about expelling Palestinians, not when other nations actually do so.

By the way, the original letter from Israelis was posted on Indymedia. I suspect that tells you all you need to know about the validity of that bunch of tinfoil-hatted creatures. And no link. Indymedia falls into the category of "I'll link to them the day I shake hands with Arafat."

Translation for the slow-of-uptake: That would be never.

Cat codes

Finally, a code I actually care about. (Thanks, Lair.)

Tig: MC Rdt Y 5.9 Y L++ W++ C+++ I+ T++ A E++ H++ S+ V++ F++ Q+ P- B+ PA+ PL+++

Gracie: AS R+Wt Y 5.9 X L W+ C+++ I+ T A+ E H+ S V+ F- Q+++ P- B PA PL-

Random links

I haven't sent you over to my fiancé's weblog in a while. Bill Herbert has some witty and intelligent things to say about a variety of subjects, including a-picture's-worth-1,000-words exposure of the lies of the captain of the North Korean scud ship, a hilarious rebuttal of John Pilger's latest lies in The Pakistan Times (Oh, how the mighty are falling), and, as always, really cool military pictures. (I'm afraid to ask—what does B.M.F. mean? Other than the obvious swear, that is.)

Vodkapundit and Bill Quick are getting into it over Iraq. Boys, boys, boys—the end is near, please don't resort to fisticuffs! (I'm with Stacy on who's going to win, though.)

Everything Tim Blair says is great. Well, okay, I'm just going to assume that all of his inside Australia jokes are great, because I don't get them, but other than that, when he writes about non-inside Australia issues, he's great.

Susanna Cornett wrote a couple more parodies of other bloggers. She's also a bit worried about a drop in her traffic. So head on over there and give her an early Christmas present. She's going to her old Kentucky home for the holidays. I hear the sun shines bright on it. And it's far away. (You're welcome, Susanna.) However, I wouldn't worry too much about your stats. Mine are down this week, too. It's the holidays. Things will be back to normal after the first of the year. And if they're not, I'm going to publish XXX pictures of my cats.

That's right. I'm going to shave them bald, photograph them, and put the pictures on my web site. That oughta bring my readers right back. (And by adding that triple-x up there, I'm going to get so many disgusting search requests I may have to collect them all for the over-18 crowd. Oh, wait. That's all of you.) ((You see, you really do have to read my posts entirely through, because I tend to get strange thoughts towards the end of a relatively lame set of paragraphs, and if you just skim or stop reading before I'm done, you miss stuff like this.)) (((And the fact that I have three parenthetical statements only means that, in spite of my B.A. in English and years as a copy editor and proofreader, I really don't get that grammar thing after all. Hm. It's a conundrum.)))

Random thoughts

I forgot to bring my digital camera with me last night to Heidi's. So of course, since it was a gorgeous day in Richmond—sunny, warm, high sixties—the dogs were feeling frisky enough to get into a major faux battle after dinner, complete with lips drawn back, fangs showing, and resulting in blood (that was an accident, and we think Worf's gum was accidentally pierced as he and Willow faced off, literally). But no pictures. Sigh. Perhaps I'll get them next week. I'll be spending a couple of days with them over the holiday.

I bought One-a-Day vitamins lately, to try to stave off The Cold That Will Not Die. They used to be little round things. When did they turn into horse pills that would be tough even for Linda Lovelace to swallow?

Why is it that your body can't coordinate with what you're doing? Is it too much to ask that you get the urge to go to the bathroom before your shower instead of after? Washing your just-washed hands again is a duplication of effort and dries out the skin. (Of course I do, and if you don't, all I can say is, please don't invite me to your house for dinner.)

Quick blogging tip: I've gotten so many searches for a currently popular song that I will not mention on one more page, that I finally put up a post on the page that comes up in their search, giving people exactly what they were looking for. I find the stats on this one most interesting: 642 hits on that page this month, as of yesterday evening, and 372 referrals back to from that same page. I don't know how many will turn into regular readers, but I sure do appreciate the look-around, folks.

That's how you build your reader base. Keep your eye on what's happening. Then give the people what they want.

Okay, it also helps a lot if you actually have talent to begin with. But let's not pick nits here.

I bought two Hulk graphic novels today, collections of the current run of the comic. Be worried. There may be a rash of Hulk posts coming on.

I wonder why I love that Green Goliath so? I mean, really, in the state I write him, he's not much of a conversationalist, prone to breaking the furniture and walls, and harder to housebreak than an elephant.

Awwww. But he's so misunderstood.



The new Nigerian scams

Wired Magazine has an article detailing the newest Nigerian scams, this time not begging for money via email. Now, they're sending fake cashier's checks and getting victims—people selling their cars over the internet—to wire some of the money back.

The buyer explains that a business associate in the United States will mail the seller a cashier's check for the amount of the item plus the cost to transport it overseas. The seller is asked to wire the transportation fees to the buyer once the check has cleared so the buyer can arrange for shipment.

But a week or so after the check clears and the money has been wired, victims are notified by their banks that the check was counterfeited.

People, people, people. Use your common sense. Why do they want you to send them money if they're the ones arranging for shipping?

This has been a public service announcement, brought to you by the "I hate Nigerian scammers in all of their forms" League of Annoyed Americans.

War is coming

I don't consider myself in any way a pundit. I rarely talk about politics, because that subject either bores or enrages me. Then too, I prefer to speak with knowledge on a subject if I'm going to speak at all, because, unlike some, I have this little thing about not making an ass of myself in public. So I listen, and I read, and I read, and I read some more, and then the wheels inside my brain start to turn and process the information.

In bits and pieces, and in different places, the signs are there. People in one of Michele's comment threads mention how they or their loved ones have been called up for service—quietly, recently, from all over the country. Retired career military men have gotten the call back to active duty. The .mil domain numbers are changing in bloggers' web stats. (My Saudi Arabia stats are up. My overall .mil calls are up.) And the charges against Iraq grow daily, coming from more varied sources, even the ones who said they saw no need for war.

When even France admits that Iraq has serious gaps in its declaration to the UN, the time draws closer. When Colin Powell starts to sound like Donald Rumsfeld, it's almost here. When the United States releases to the press a policy that we reserve the right to use nuclear weapons on anyone who uses WMD on us, it's a clear warning to Saddam Hussein that he'd better keep his nerve gas in check when our soldiers march to Baghdad.

George W. Bush has made a career out of being underestimated by his opponents. I'm starting to believe that he's been on the same track all along that he said he was on in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

Late January, the dark of the moon, is when I think it will happen. The pieces are nearly in place. The opening moves are upon us.

Stay safe, my readers in the military. I'll be thinking and worrying about you the whole time.



Hoax me, baby, I'm a gully bull

I've seen this stupid letter on countless sites all over the web, and today must have been the magic number of times that both set off my bullshit detector and my idiot lecturer. Oh, and removed my entire quota of patience for the rest of the year.

So whoever wants to take this rant personally, feel insulted, and send me nasty email, feel free, but goddammit, I'm so tired of seeing stupidity passed around as the God's honest truth, so I'm going to let the idiots have it with both barrels.

Have you seen the so-called letter that is supposed to be from "USMC LtCol Sally Jane Smith?" Funny, that name. Sally Smith. So easy to trace, isn't it? Anyway, here's how it starts:

A funny thing happened to me yesterday at Camp Bondsteel (Bosnia): A French army officer walked up to me in the PX, and told me he thought we (Americans) were a bunch of cowboys and were going to provoke a war.

It goes on to have the American soldier—a woman—tell off the French officer and offer to meet him outside for a fight. Yeah, because, well, that is so like the way a woman would solve that kind of problem. Even a Lt. Col. in the USMC.Why, women in the Marines get into so many fights it's practically a legend. Sgt. Stryker and his crew write about it every day on their weblog. Not.

Has your bullshit detector absorbed this fact yet, or shall I go on?

Have you also noticed that nearly every one of these hoax letters seems to have the same basic elements and similar writing styles? There is the common theme—insulting the United States. There is the common enemy—the citizen from another country. There is the common solution—talking about how we're going to kick the crap out of the citizen from the other country and the terrorists, and we'll go it alone if need be. And there is the final element: American superiority. Screw the rest of the world, we don't need 'em, we can do it ourselves. That's what made this country great, dammit!

I don't have a problem with patriotism. I'm a patriot. But I have a problem with stupidity and intolerance and jingoism, and that's what all these hoax letters have in common. It simply boggles my mind that so many people can't tell immediately a bogus letter when they read one. My bullshit detector went off on the first paragraph.

So please—stop publishing this falsehood on web sites and comment threads. It's a fake. Find a real letter from a real soldier and spread that around, instead.

And if you're still not convinced, just go visit Snopes and look around the site for a while. I'd advise you not to do so at work. Many of the pages have a musical theme. You might get in some trouble with the boss if a Disney song starts playing while you look up whether or not Walt really is in cryonic storage in Sleeping Beauty's castle.

Corrections and Errata

Inspired by the New York Times belated correction of Glenn Reynolds's name, I thought it was about time I brought out a few corrections and apologies. (The use of "errata," like the Times' use of it, is to look hoity-toity and smarter than you. Doc Weevil's probably the only guy I can think of who would actually use "errata" in conversation, and not really mean "erotic.")

In yesterday's entry, "A few good links," I said Jim Treacher didn't get why the Beast's 50 Most Loathsome People list is climbing up the charts. He explained to me he gets it, all right, but that Rittenhouse creep is taking credit for Jim's work in finding the full URL after having seen some of the entries in various places on the internet. This must not stand. Everyone out there linking to the Beast 50, link to Jim's introduction of such.

Every day this week I've promised to bring you Pledge Week. Well, I must rescind that promise. I was going to bust on Andrew Sullivan's Pledge Week, pointing out that it's not a Pledge Week until you sell representations of the medium, and was going to offer things like, oh, toenail clippings for a $20 pledge, and get grosser and more shocking until the highest pledges would be for used undergarments, laundered or unlaundered, and then I realized: The guy made 80 grand. Any takeoff I choose to do on his Pledge Week will make me look like a bitter, jealous harpy who hasn't even had a bite on her Amazon Wish list save for a contribution from a fellow blogger. So I apologize for not looking like a bitter, jealous harpy. Well, okay, so maybe I do, a little. Fine, okay—a lot, are you happy now? Geez.

For any anti-Semites out there who are offended by my repeated insistence that I wish they would just die already, I apologize. I'm really trying to offend all of you, not just any, and will be continuing my efforts to think really bad thoughts about you in the hopes that may affect you negatively. I would like to take the credit for David Duke's recent imprisonment, but, well, I'm smarter than that. Of course, if Chief Anti-Semite Yasser Arafat would up and die today, that would be a happy, happy day for Jews and Israel. Of natural causes, of course. An aneurism would be nice.



A few good links

Jim Treacher doesn't understand why this months-old list is heading up Blogdex, or at least he says he doesn't. Jim, dude, it's effing hilarious. Look at what it says about Ann Coulter:

Misdeeds: Goebbels with tits. The phenomenon we all should have seen coming; the merger of bimbo sex appeal and neo-fascist vituperation.

Ann Coulter makes the top of the list. The most loathsome person in America in 2002. I'm agreeing with that. The list is from a magazine called The Beast, and it's from an article titled The 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2002. Go. Read. Laugh. Well worth it. They've also got a guide to ruining Christmas for everyone. My kinda magazine.

Carnival of the Vanities #13 is up, in a new, unique form. Check it out. The descriptions alone are worth it.

The Lord of the Rings: The [revised] Fellowship of the Rings

Editor's note: This is the first in an unknown number of parts that revisits Peter Jackson's movie versions of The Lord of the Rings, beginning with the scene at Elrond's house where the Fellowship is formed. Frodo has just said, "I will take the Ring!", followed by the various members joining him.

Elrond: The nine of you shall be known as the Fellowship of the Ring. [A large whooshing sound is heard, followed by a loud "THOOM!", and in lands:

The Incredible Hulk: What come after nine?

Elrond [gaping]: Ten. Who the Morgoth are you?

Hulk: Me Hulk. Me help little people. Me ten member of Fellowship. Why you call it Fellowship when there no ship? We go on ocean? Hulk like ocean. Sometimes it turn people green like me.

Elrond: You weren't invited, and you're not needed. Go back from whence you came, troll.

Hulk [walks forward slowly to tower over the Elf]: Not troll. Me going. [pokes Elrond in the shoulder with forefinger. Elrond flies backward several feet, lands on the ground. Boromir and Gimli run up, weapons out. Hulk crosses his arms, shrugs. Their weapons bounce off him. Hulk knocks Boromir to the ground with one flick of his finger, picks Gimli up by the beard.]

Gimli: Ow! Not the beard! Ow!

Boromir: Aragorn, a little help, please!

Aragorn: Sorry, Boromir, but I think I'm coming down with a cramp. [Limps a step] Ooh! Ouch! Yes, definitely a leg cramp. I'll just watch from here. Maybe one of these dozen or so Elves will help.

Elves: Not me! Sorry! Busy! I've got an appointment! Was that the lunch bell I just heard? [They rush off, leaving only Elrond, the Fellowship, and the Hulk.]

Gandalf: Elrond, I think we'd better make it ten. Perhaps we could use the extra strength this—what did you say your name was?

Hulk: Me Hulk!

Gandalf: Indeed you am. Er, are. This Hulk, then. Er, would you please let go of our Dwarf? [Hulk drops Gimli]

Gimli: [muttering curses in Dwarvish] Ow.

Elrond: Fine. [struggles to his feet] The—ten of you [eyes Hulk nastily] shall be known as The Fellowship of the Ring. Now get your supplies and get this green Hulk off my property and out of my sight.

Pippin: Dibs on a piggy-back ride!

Merry: No, me!

Rest of The Fellowship: Shut up!

[Later, as the Fellowship is attempting to climb Caradhras. The party walks in single file up the cliff path in a blizzard, when they hear above the wind a rushing noise and a THOOM! Hulk lands at the head of the party on the path.]

Boromir: Hulk! We told you to be quiet! This is avalanche terr—

[Gandalf sighs as the avalanche nearly buries the party. They struggle out from under the snow.]

Hulk: Sorry. You want me to beat up mountain? Bad mountain for throwing rocks and snow! [strikes the mountain with one fist. A second avalanche follows, burying the party again.] Oops. [Hulk pulls the hobbits out of the snow.]

Gandalf: Hulk, do me a favor.

Hulk: Yes?

Gandalf: Would you go visit Saruman for a little while? I think we can handle it from here. Here. I've got a map in my bag. No, wait, never mind. [mutters something, waves his staff, and a flaming arrow appears, pointing towards Orthanc] Just follow the arrow, Hulk. Saruman is a former friend of mine. I think he could definitely use a visit from someone like you.

Hulk: Okay, old man. Thanks! See you all on other side of mountain! [He kicks off and leaps through the air, causing yet another avalanche. The party, cursing, struggles out of the snow a third time.]

Sam: Third time pays for all, my Gaffer always says.

Frodo: How long do you think that will keep him out of our hair, Gandalf?

Gandalf: Who knows? With any luck, he won't be able to find his way back to us.

Sam: Yet he may, Mr. Frodo. Yet he may.

Rest of The Fellowship: Shut up!

Yes, Virginia, there is a God

This is beautiful. Neo-nazi and "former" KKK member David Duke is going to jail for mail and tax fraud.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of mail fraud and making a false statement on a federal income tax return.

Duke, 52, returned from overseas to face the charges in a plea agreement that requires him to serve a 15-month sentence, according to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. Sentencing is scheduled March 19.

Duke understated his gross income on his 1998 federal income tax return, stating his income was $18,831 when in fact it was $65,034. He later engaged in a scheme to solicit money from his followers, claiming he was in poor financial shape.

"Misrepresentations included the threatened loss of Duke's home, the loss of his savings, and his claim of financial ruin which would be caused by a pending lawsuit against him," the federal charge stated. "In truth and in fact, the defendant voluntarily sold his home for a profit. Further, the defendant held numerous investment accounts which at times contained substantial sums of money despite his representations to the contrary."

My father is roaring with laughter in his grave. He always said the only reason Duke ran for office was to get the Federal matching funds. Now the crook is going to serve 15 months. And gee, I don't think the Louisiana prison population is as white as Duke would like it to be. Tough break, huh?

I love it when a piece of garbage gets what he deserves.

The Two Towers

I think I went to the special college-kid showing, because that's about all there were at noon. The kids in front of me were pretty noisy and funny until the credits started rolling for the film, and then they were quieter than I for the movie. I got a little annoyed at a couple of scenes of, shall we say, dramatic license? Peter Jackson played a little fast and loose with the story a bit, but overall—wow. Phenomenal. You'd swear Gollum was real, not just a CGI character.

The film inspired me. A little later today, there'll be a pre-Blogburst Tolkien post that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie. In fact, I'll be playing a little fast and loose with the novel, myself.



A few words from the author

I know, I know, I said Pledge Week. But I may be mentioned in Wired, so maybe I should tone down the bathroom humor.


So let's see—Dave Winer, Wired—that's two-thirds of the Geek Triple Crown. All I need is Slashdot and I can retire happy. Funny, considering that although I was a programmer, I'm really not much more than an infant geek. But I can speak geek fluently.

Anyway, regarding that Tolkien Blogburst for his eleventy-first birthday: Anyone who wants in, start thinking about your post now. I'm lifting the rules straight from the Buffy Blogburst of last September.

The rules: Send me an email titled "Tolkien Blogburst." I'll collect everyone's email and send out a reminder a few days beforehand. And I'll be blind carbon copying everyone involved, so if you've got your filters set to oust anything with a bcc: you'd best send me a letter yourself the day before the Blogburst. I don't like my email address going on other people's cc: lists, and I don't care to give out yours. I'll also be reminding you ever few days between now and January 3rd that you have to finish your essay. I've gotten a few letters so far. Feel free to spread the word.

Posts should go up around midnight January 3rd, or late evening January 2nd. If you want to send me a copy beforehand, feel free, as I'll be trying to read all the posts and summarize them for the Blogburst Index. Mine will be the first post dated January 3rd, and as I design my own permalinks, I'll give it to you as soon as I figure out what the week's archives are going to be called.

In the meantime, I'm going to catch my tape of Buffy. I gave up watching the new episode in real time to talk to Noah Schachtman. Didn't let my dinner burn, though. I'm not that dedicated to publicity.

More from them

Solly Ezekiel wrote a program that calls out its own Friday sermons from Islamofascists. It's quite funny, and somebody ought to tell Charles. I think I will.

I've been spending some time at Plum Crazy's archives. Lesley points out this hilarious letter by Groucho Marx responding to Warner Bros. threat to sue the Marx Brothers if they titled their film "A Night in Casablanca." Lesley is also the founder of the Vast Center Wing Conspiracy, a place where moderates can hang their hats. Or blogs. Also via Lesley, I took the city test. Omigod, I'm Boston. Well, then again, I do believe the American Revolution was the single greatest event to happen to mankind. But Boston's so damned cold. Brrr.

Diane E.'s Letter From Gotham is moved. The Blogger database blew up on her. Check out Gotham2003 for her latest blogs.

Outrage of the day

Syrian "President" Bashar Assad (there are no presidents of dictatorships, only dictators) told the media today, after meeting with England's Prime Minister that Syria has no terrorist headquarters in Damascus, only "press centers."

Speaking to journalists, Assad brushed aside suggestions that Damascus is hosting organizations that support suicide bombers, insisting that they are not terrorist centers but "press offices." The confusion, he said, was the result of misunderstandings in "terminology and idiom."

"In our region they are called press offices. They are not called terrorist organizations," he said. "These press offices represent Palestinians who live in Syria and Palestinians who live in Palestine. Palestinians have a right to have someone to express their opinion."

[...] Assad said that Syria is "known for its fight against terrorism for decades, not just the last few years. As a country that has experience and rejects terrorism, we put our experience at the disposal of any country that seriously wants to fight terrorism."

Word is that the members of the media all burst into peals of laughter and then said, "Sorry—sorry. We were thinking of a really funny joke at last night's press club dinner."

Tony Blair proved that he, too, can pretend to be tough on terror while hosting the head of one of the world's leading state sponsors of terrorism. His nose did not grow when he proclaimed the following, but we're pretty sure he's going to get coal in his stocking this Christmas because of it:

Blair responded with an unequivocal denunciation of terrorism: "We condemn totally anyone who is engaged in terrorist activity of any sort at all, wherever in the world."

However, he added, "it is important to engage with Syria because Syria is going to be an important part of building a peaceful and stable future in the Middle East. No matter what the level of our disagreement, it is still important that we continue that dialogue."

Blair said he and Assad had "interesting discussions," but he conceded there had been "differences in view and emphasis." The differences were "obvious and clear," he said, although he refused to elaborate and said only that "a process of engagement with Syria is the right way forward."

Yes, the differences are obvious and clear. Terrorism against Jews in Israel and out of it doesn't rate on the "With Us Or Against Us" terrorism scale. Astonishingly, Blair blamed Israel for the current lack of peace negotiations.

Earlier in the day, Blair announced that he is planning to invite Palestinian leaders to London in January in an effort to support Palestinian reforms and revive the peace process. He told parliament that the Palestinian leaders, whom he did not name, would meet representatives of the Quartet the US, the EU, UN, and Russia as well as "other countries from the region closely involved in supporting the reform efforts." He said the talks will "discuss progress on reform and look at how the international community can help."

Blair added that "in the short term, progress on the Israeli side will be limited by the general election campaign."

Mind you, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Foreign Minister, requested a meeting with Blair this week and was handed off to Jack Straw. I guess Blair didn't want to offend his new pal.

More filler. Less typing.

I'm sorry, folks. I know I owe you more essays, but The Dreaded Sinus Ailment was threatening to make a comeback today, so I took a nap this afternoon and did mostly nothing the rest of the day. So here are some more links to look at while I try to shake off The Cold That Refuses To Die.

Bigwig has his best Christmas song parody yet, filled with references to other bloggers, so of course we must oblige him and try to get it on Daypop.

Captain Euro visits Nigeria, looking for a widow who needs help moving some money out of the country, and runs into a riot. Mac, wonderful combination of the two themes. Plus, a guest appearance by Wonder Woman! (Sorry, no pictures.) This one's a hoot.

Judith Weiss adds her children's book ideas to the mix.

Letter from Gotham is having technical difficulties, which is why I'm not linking to it. Diane's Blogger database is corrupt, and they don't help you unless you buy Blogger Pro. Diane, buy Blogger Pro if you don't want us all to change URLs.



Plum Crazy

I don't know why it's taken me so long to find this blog, but it's growing on me every day. Lesley of Plum Crazy is funny and informative, and has some phenomenal links (Figwit? Who the hell is Figwit?) and she apparently hates the Mets, which puts her as okay in my book. (Okay, I don't really hate the Mets. I just don't like them.) Go check her out.

An update on one of the things that pissed me off

Late last night I wrote the post below, excoriating the lack of Canadian reaction to a First Nations leader's extremely anti-Semitic remarks. Jane Finch posted her disgust with Ahenakew's speech, and sent me email pointing out this editorial in the Leader-Post.

I apologize, Jane. I forgot that the Canadian media are not Canada, just as the U.S. media are not America. And sometimes it takes a moment or three for a story to ramp up—as in the current Trent Lott problem.

Now if only you folks could dump Chretien for someone who would recognize a terrorist if he sat next to one....

Two from the Post, and one from me

First, via Larry G., an article on Richmond's own Eric Cantor, second-term Republican Congressman and the only Jewish Republican in the House, being tapped for Chief Deputy Whip—quite an honor for a Representative with only two years experience, but the Repubs are looking to take the Jewish vote away from the Dems. (And with the current Dem record on Israel, the Middle East, and terrorism, they've got a damned good shot.)

Next (via Instapundit), an article on how political appointees with no experience outside their non-governmental field of expertise manage to screw up potentially excellent U.S. influence: The schmuck who runs the the Middle East Committee of the Broadcasting Board of Governors took away a daily roundtable discussion—live—between student protestors and journalists in Iran. He replaced it with pop music broadcasts.

What you missed

If you didn't tune in this weekend, you missed dog stories with pictures!, and the best children's gift book ideas, which has spread to several blogs now and will probably keep going for a while.

I'm also supposed to write about Pledge Week, but I dunno—I met some people at a late Chanukah celebration last night that may be checking out the website, and if you don't know my sense of humor, you may take some offense at the gifts your pledges will be able to purchase. Pledge Week might have to wait until tomorrow to start. First impressions and all that.

One thing currently cracking me up:

Susanna Cornett has parodied some bloggers, including yours truly. It's very, very funny, so much so that I'm not going to give you an excerpt. You need to go there. The Doc Weevil stuff is priceless. Platon's haiku and Tactile leading his troop of Etruscans—Susanna, you da woman.



Three things currently pissing me off:

A Jewish lawyer defending a Muslim who firebombed a synagogue, insisting it had nothing at all to do with Jews—only with Israel.

More Canadian anti-Semitism, this time from an Indian (no, not the ones from India), while speaking about bigotry in Canada. He takes a lot of time out in his speech to talk about how the effing Jews own the effing world and how much he admires Hitler, yet no Canadian will allow that his speech was so much as offensive. He should get cancer and die. (Thanks for the phrase, Diane.) No, he should have a heart attack and die. Cancer's too slow.

The fact that these sick bastards have only been sentenced to life in prison instead of execution. I think it's time for Israel to rewrite its death penalty laws. There are precious few Eichmanns left in the world, that is, in the literal sense. There are thousands more like these assholes, willing to become "martyrs" for their cause if they can only take out some Jews along with them.

Coming up next

I've got to get some rest (it's nearly 12:30 a.m.) and finish my lesson plans, in reverse order. But coming up later: A response to Chris Newman's Tolkien geek post, and the pledge week begins. Oh, don't be fooled by the name. You simply can't miss pledge week. You may go home with a little piece of me. Honest.


Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. 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.