Important: Read this before sending email




Indexed Archives


Contact me

Who am I?


The diary of
Iseema bin Laden

Secret Arafat
Phone Transcripts

Greatest Hits




The Quickest link

I've read Bill Quick's weblog before from time to time, but for some reason it kept getting pushed to the back of the pack. Not any more. The fact that several of my favorite bloggers participate in Quick's weblog speaks volumes for it, as does, well, everything I read on it yesterday.

Bill linked to an article about the possibility of a huge backlash against Arab Americans if there is another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The point of the article, and that Bill agrees with, is that non-Arab Americans may very well force the politicians to round up and detain Arabs much like we did the Japanese during WWII. I can see it happening as well. Which is not the same as saying that I advocate such a thing; save the hate mail. But—there's a little quote in the article that made me sit up and take notice of how deeply ingrained the culture of victimization truly is (emphasis mine).

At one point during the hearing, Roland Hwang, a Lansing attorney, recalled how Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II and said this country needs to prevent that from happening again.

It was at this point that Kirsanow broached the possibility of a rising public sentiment for internment camps if the U.S. were attacked again.

Braceras, another Bush appointee, said: "There's no constitutional right not to be inconvenienced or even embarrassed."

Kirsanow, a Cleveland labor attorney, is the former head of the conservative Center for New Black Leadership.

After the meeting, Hamad said he felt insulted by some of the commission's remarks.

Braceras said she didn't intend to upset the Arab-American community of metro Detroit, the largest concentration in the United States. "I was trying to be a devil's advocate," she said.

Peter Kirsanow and Jennifer Braceras are Bush-appointed members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Hamad is Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Nice to know that his reaction to all of this is to feel insulted, rather than, say, wanting to work with various agencies to make sure that Arab and Muslim Americans don't suffer for the sins of the Arab and Muslim terrorists. To pretend that profiling Middle Eastern males is prejudice instead of common sense is beyond the pale. 19 of the 19 were Middle Eastern males. Zaccharias Moussaoui isn't Polish.

And while I'm on the subject, the fact that there are not mass incidences of violence against Arabs and Muslims in this country—unlike, say, the high incidences of anti-Semitism in Europe and anti-Americanism (and the ubiquitous anti-Semitism) in the Middle East—speaks volumes for the character of the average American, and the American way of life and rule of law.

Controversy? Moi?

Update: I added a few links to this. I was too tired to do so last night, but Oceanguy and Bigwig put up some funny parodies of my parody. And as I said, I believe in spreading the wealth around, not keeping links to myself like they're precious gems.

Apparently, yesterday's Lament caused a bit of controversy. But what the hey, controversy is good for the soul. Or at least, the weblog.

However, after reading various blogs and more than a few emails, I have no time to write much tonight, so I'll send you on your way instead and be back with a new blog after I get home from synagogue tomorrow. Er, today. (That time warp thing again.)

Combustible Boy is doing exactly what a good blogger should be doing. He sent me a very funny email that made me want to read his weblog. I did. It's good. Seems he's been reading and commenting on mine for a while without being mean to me. (Megapoints in his favor.) Another D.C. blogger—good Lord, how many of you are there?—who misses the Waffle House. Yes, dude, I have been to the Waffle House, and it is great. In fact, I think I may have stopped at that Dumfries location on my way to VA one time. I think it'd be a fine place to meet a few D.C. bloggers. Give me a few weeks to get settled.

I particularly like C.B.'s analysis of the recent change in tone of many center-left bloggers. He's got a good handle on what I've been thinking that caused me to take the recent sharp leftward turn.

Get ready for daily Blogathon bursts. It's a week away, and I need you folks to start revving up your engines now. In fact, since I'm nowhere near as young as I used to be, and I'll be facing an all-nighter next week, I think I need some real help in figuring out how to stay awake. I'm seriously considering giving out my cell phone number to Blogathon contributors so you can call me in the wee hours and keep me going. It's still on my NJ number, and I need to change it to a VA number, but hey—if it gets me contributions and keeps me awake, I'll do it.



The Weblogger's Link Lament

This is what happens when I have too much free time and a wicked idea enters my head. It goes to the tune of "Frère Jacques."

Instapundit, Instapundit
Link to me! Link to me!
I wrote something that's great
Link to me and I'll rate
Big like you
Big like you.

Andrew Sullivan, Andrew Sullivan
Link to me! Link to me!
I'm not gay or right-wing
We don't have a damn thing
In common
In common.

Vodkapundit, Vodkapundit
Link to me! Link to me!
I know you're not A-List
But you still get more hits
Than I do
Than I do.

Steve Den Beste, Steve Den Beste
Link to me! Link to me!
My weblog has deep thoughts
Politics and dreadnaughts
Just like you
Just like you.

Hey Dave Winer, hey Dave Winer
Link to me! Link to me!
You can send hits my way
People hear what you say
Me they don't
Me they don't.

Hey there Doc Searls, Hey there Doc Searls
Link to me! Link to me!
I just wrote a program
To track down where I am

Anybody, Anybody
Link to me! Link to me!
Please send readers my way
Listen to what I say
I'm good too
I'm good too.

The secret to Miamisburg, Ohio

No less than three readers sent me letters regarding yesterday's shout-out and question. Steve M., Frank H., and Robert C. all wrote me that the Miamisburg, Ohio, is named after the Miami Indian tribe. Robert says:

We have the Little and Great Miami rivers, the Maumee river, a town named Maumee, and Miami University, too. All were named after the Indian tribe, who lived in the state around the time the colonists came in.

Frank says he owes his knowledge of Miami, Ohio to many hours watching college football. And now I remember—Miami of Ohio was always a big part of Slate's TMQ columns.

Steve tells me that Miami U. is in Oxford, further confusing the issue. Back in Montclair, there were a slew of streets named after universities. I went out with a guy who lived on Oxford Street. Or was it Cambridge Street? I never could keep them straight.

Steve also points out that Miami U's football team was known as the Redskins, but are now the Redhawks. Montclair's team was known as the Indians, but are now the Redhawks. I sense a trend.

And by the way—my readers are the best. You guys rock.

Just a few more links

Gary Farber has a kick-ass post on another Tony Judt essay.

Josh Trevino has many excellent posts on his website, but he's spending some time debating fandom and who would win, the Empire or the Federation, in this post. (Fanboy.)



Short stuff

I haven't done a shout-out in a really long time, but I simply must say hello to Miamisburg, Ohio. That's why I love this country. Ohio named a town after Miami. Was it after the city, or was it due to someone whose name was Miami? Inquiring Meryls want to know.

Wow, I lost as many as 200 visitors a day during the depths of my move. You folks really got tired of reading about the travels and travails of Meryl's Trip to Virginia, didn't you? Hmph. After all I give you, you just up and walk away from me, find some new blog to read while I'm busy packing, driving, and unpacking. But that's okay. I don't mind, really. I won't think any less of you. (Sluts.) However, I see you have returned. She wasn't as interesting, was she? Oh, ye of little faith. (Don't think I won't remember this. You owe me, big-time.)

The apartment complex sent someone over to wash my floors today. That's because they weren't washed before I moved in, and were filthy, and also have far more square footage than I can wash myself with my little mop (1100 square feet to the apartment, most of that in wooden floor space). And also because this complex owes me $150 for making the movers wait an extra hour because they wouldn't wait five more minutes for me to pick up the key last week. So I figure I'll ask for $150 worth of maintenance in things like that, and touching up the wall paint, and anything else I can think of until I feel I've earned the money back.

But the wood floors are affecting a behavioral change in Tig and Gracie. Gracie never sleeps in my bed anymore; at least, not when I'm in it. I woke up the first morning here to find both cats in bed, now a common sight. And they're sleeping on my living room set. They're allowed on the ottoman and chair, but not the sofa, but I'm fighting a losing battle there. And when they're not sleeping on the leather furniture, they're on the kitty condo. The bare floors are apparently unacceptable sleeping quarters. Of course, the bare floors make for a much better field for Tig Hockey, which is a game he plays with a rolled up piece of paper or napkin. I throw it, he runs after it, slides across the floor, bats it around, I say, "Bring it here," and he does. I throw it again, etc.

I think I need to buy that digital camera, after all. I can document Tig Hockey, and orange cats look absolutely superb against a black leather sofa background.

I was going to write a blog about the TIPS program, but then I thought, why bother? I can sum it up as follows: The government is going to be relying on Postal Service employees? Yeah, that's going to work. Because everyone knows that Postal Service employees are the level-headed, intelligent people we need to keep their eyes on any suspicious characters. That's why the phrase "going Postal" has entered American English.

And they often pack their own weapons, too, which saves us the trouble of arresting, trying, and convicting potential terrorists. Go, Postal Service! Er—not.

Those pesky Nigerian scammers

Wired magazine has an interview with a man who says he was a former Nigerian email scammer.

A Nigerian student who asked to be identified only as "Taiwo" (the twin), detailed the workings of the business, which he said his family has been involved in for over 15 years. Taiwo is a very large man, with a voice and mannerisms to match. He claims that his recent interest in the traditional religion of the Yoruba people has led him to publicly speak out about his past.

"One cannot speak to the gods with a mouth that is already full of lies," Taiwo proclaimed loudly, after devoting an hour to explaining his need for anonymity.

He fears that his student visa would be revoked if his past participation in the scam were publicly revealed. But his request for anonymity was also delivered in close to deafening tones, much to the amusement of some patrons in the Manhattan coffee shop where this interview was conducted.

This is the part I like best:

Taiwo said he began composing letters for his family's 419 operations eight years ago when he was 11, after discovering he enjoyed "playing with words." He's now attending school in New York City and plans to become a journalist.

He swears he will never be involved in the family business again. But he guiltily admits to taking pride in the letters he created, and said he worked very hard to "suit the form."

The letters are intended to resemble soap operas that are popular in Nigeria, Taiwo said, but with language that evokes someone who is "educated, upper-class, out of touch with the common people."

"I was told to write like a classic novelist would," Taiwo explained. "Very old world, very thick sentences, you know?"

Let's take a gander at the latest Nigerian email I received, shall we?

I am Dr,Richard Kwami, the director in charge of auditing and account section of Union Togolaise Du Banque Lome-Togo with due respect and regard.

I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction .

During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died on november 1997 in a plane crash and the fund has been dormant in his account with this Bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to this development.

Although personally, I kept this information secret within myself and my partners to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution. The said amount was us$25M (twenty five million united states dollars).

As it may interest you to know, I got your impressive information through my good friends who works with chamber of commerce on foreign business relations here in Lome-Togo. It is him who recommended your person to me to be viable and capable to champion a business of such magnitude without any problem.

Why, it's practically Dickensian in scope. No, wait, it strives for Hugo or, dare I say it? I dare, I dare: Tolstoy. Of course, that would be Jimmy Dickens, the mechanic, Horace Hugo, the waiter, and Bernie Tolstoy, the butcher. Look at that last quoted sentence. "It is him who"—ah, no. The correct form is "It is he". And that's one tiny grammatical error in a letter chock-full of howlers. Some classical style. Thick sentences, yes. I would even call them nearly incomprehensible.

But of course, there's more to the story.

Taiwo's uncle claimed that about one-third of the clients do pay to have the money laundered. Others balk, at which point they will be charged for other "services."

"We make sure the wad came into the country illegal (without proper documentation), so they have to pay big to leave with no trouble."

According to State Department figures (PDF), 25 murders or disappearances of Americans abroad have been directly linked to 419 fraud.

Other people have been held against their will, beaten and blackmailed, according to information provided by the U.S. Embassy in Lagos.

Once again proving the old adage: You get what you pay for. And again, if it seems too good to be true—it is. Or what my father always told me: You don't get nothin' for nothin'.

Just send those Nigerian free money emails into the trash bin, folks. This has been a public service announcement.



Payback time

Every so often I remember to link to the authors of the weblogs that show up in my referrer list to whom I've forgotten to link. (I was going to end that sentence with a preposition, but then I thought of the Winston Churchill quote "Madam, that is something up with which I will not put!" and decided to do it correctly anyway.)

It's a way of assuaging my guilt, you see. I generally try to find something individual to send you off to read, but I'm using a borrowed AOL account and/or my own NJ ISP (judiciously; seven cents a minute is still nearly five bucks an hour and I can stay online for six hours at a pop without thinking) until my cable modem is installed next week. Which, actually, is why my posting hasn't gone back up to its usual schizophrenia and volume. But don't worry, I'm thinking, I'm thinking. Wow, I just realized—that cable modem better get here before the Blogathon or I'm in deep doo-doo. Nah, I'll just get a quickie ISP for the month.

Anyway, these blogs should also go on my links page next time I update it, but here are the ones that I've been meaning to mention for a while:

Dodgeblog (Andrew Ian Dodge. MommaBear. Need I say more? Okay. He links to Why Wiccans Suck. I skimmed. More later.)

Left of center (The title is a good place to start.)

Starhawk (Okay, it's an aqua background. But reciprocity requires that I ignore that fact.)

Occam's Toothbrush (waiting on his email to tell me if Occam also has dental floss to go with that razor and toothbrush)

Alex Frantz (the banana slug guy)

Uncommon Sense (found something to link to, check it out)

Planet Swank (ooh, those racy pictures!) (ooh, that's gonna get him hits)

Indepundit (funny, funny guy)

The Norwegian Blogger (he's always funny, this one is a post on irrational fears. And may I remind you that it's tough enough to be funny in your native language, Vegard is doing it in his second.)

I was thinking. I really am a one-man kinda woman, so I'm going to have to go with Bill Herbert as my new fiancé. He's in the same hemisphere, Bruce. Sorry. He's even in the same time zone. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, he's in D.C., which is about two hours north of me. There's something to be said for being within driving distance of your fiancé, especially as your fear of heights gets worse each year and you would rather be stuck on an elevator with Ann Coulter during a blackout than get on an airplane and fly.

Of course, both of you are in serious jeopardy of losing me to Mac Thomason. Between the Space Ghost and walking fish posts, he's starting to win me over, big-time. (A sense of humor goes a long way, fellas. And I just melt over a deep South accent, so consider yourselves lucky I've never heard Mac speak.)

A few people (Kevin G., Bill Allison, Richard A., M. R.) have disagreed with my views on Ann Coulter; specifically, they've mentioned that she's right about Frank Rich and that Scoobie Davis is incorrect in his fact-checking on that particular issue. Okay. If they're right, they're right. But that's really not my point in taking Ann Coulter to task, and frankly, Coulter's accuracy level barely reaches my radar screen.

My problem with Coulter is that the woman uses hyperbole on steroids to defame in the broadest of terms those she disagrees with. When she calls liberals more dangerous to America than terrorists, she deserves nothing but scorn. When she calls liberals a disease, she should be excoriated. When she says liberals are not real Americans, she has moved out of the realm of mere name-calling and into the realm of demagoguery. And it bothers me no end that so many in the conservative camp just shrug their shoulders and giggle and say, "Well, that's our Annie."

Yes, even her wretched speech is protected in this country. But that doesn't mean we should ignore it, or coddle it. It is the tool of separation, which manages to work against our country's best interests in the war on terror—gee, that's something she's very quick to point out regarding liberal opinion, but seemingly completely ignorant of in her own words. But then, when you consider liberals to be less than human, it's to be expected that you wouldn't think of your own actions causing any harm to them.


Stuff the ballot box, piss off the Islamists

Another meaningless web poll is attempting to have meaning thrust on it by Arabists and Islamists.

Should international monitors be sent to Israel and the Palestinian territories?

The tone of the letter that I received is rather urgent, but I say: Dude. Chill. It's just another meaningless web poll. So what if the pro-Palestinians managed to turn the stats around from 76% against, 24% for to 66% for, 34% against? We can do one of two things: Stuff the ballot box ourselves, or just ignore yet another meaningless and statistically worthless web poll.

I should clue in Charles Johnson about this. He's all in favor of stuffing ballot boxes on meaningless web polls.

Did you remember to vote?

Blogathon total hits $2000; how high will it go?

Actually, the total hit $2020 sometime last night, but I was really tired and forgot to change the tally. (Thanks, Bigwig!) Even after I got email from Ben Henick with a javascript that creates the HTML for me. I'll have to go post to the Blogathon groups board about that. When I'm not tired. Which I am, as I'm writing this late last night, during one of those time-warp postings that I so frequently find myself writing.

As of today, I have zero pre-written posts for the Blogathon. Hoo-boy, July 27th is going to be one interesting day. Sometimes it takes me several hours to write a post, although those are generally the essays that need several hours to rewrite. It's the editing that takes the time; I generally get an essay out in half an hour to an hour. An average post like, say, this one takes, oh, ten minutes. The Coulter-bashing post below took about an hour. It's a rare, rare day when I put up an essay that hasn't been edited. I don't believe in deleting posts once they're up, for the most part.

Da Bear and Lair and I have been trying to think of ways to get our readers involved in the Blogathon (besides pledging and visiting several times that day to laugh at me for attempting to write 48 posts in 24 hours). We were trying to think of contests and the like. I explained that the majority of my readers—make that the vast majority—don't want to get involved. They just want to read. I am hoping that the vast majority of my readers are waiting until the 27th to pledge me for the Blogathon, as so far only about ten percent of you have done so. (And remember, the money isn't for me, or any kind of middleman—it's straight to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, who want to build a new trauma unit to save more victims of terrorists. I don't even have a tip jar here. Everything you get, you get for free. )

Oh, right. Ways to get you folks involved. We were thinking of having you email us subjects for posts. Maybe a contest for the dumbest post idea. I generously gave that one to Lair. But I'm thinking that reading a zillion emails while trying to write two posts an hour is more of a handicap than a help, so if you want to email me a subject you'd like me to write about during the blogathon, do it between now and July 26th. Oh, and you have to have pledged in order for me to choose your subject. If you pledge anonymously, we're going to have trust issues. Unless you can perhaps tell me the exact time and day you pledged, as we'll both have emails with the same time-stamp on them.

Mind you, I don't expect anyone except other bloggers to email me subjects. I know you folks now (the quiet ones), and what you want out of this weblog. I'm still trying to get used to it, though. It's tough to mind-read a few hundred people at a time. (Oh, that's disgusting! Stop thinking that right now! Eww. With parakeets, no less.)



Change of pace

Seems that my many links to Mac Thomason and the Dreaded Chinese Snakehead Walking Fish stories are paying off in Google searches. 78 searches for variants of the above label, the new Search Engine Champeens. Folks, Mac's got all the cool links. Go there. But first read a little of my blog. No, first read a lot of my blog. You found me first, finder's keepers!

The Dreaded Walking Orange Cat Tandem Food Dance

Now I know my cats have adapted to the new apartment. Gracie woke up, yowled to Tig, who yowled back. She leaped off the kitchen chair, he leaped off the Kitty Condo, they met in the middle of the living room, rubbed heads briefly, turned, and walked in unison to their food dishes, climbing the two steps up from the living room in perfect harmony. Yup. I have cats who perform Synchronized Walking, followed by Synchronized Eating. It's quite funny to see.

The Blogger's Digest

Bill Allison of Ideofact reads the books that most bloggers wish they had the time (and inclination) to read. He's currently reporting on Sayyid Qutb's work, Social Justice in Islam. He discusses whether or not Islam is the pillar of equality and justice that Qutb claims it is (here's a hint: Women are equal under Islam, except when they're not). Bill's posts are fascinating reads. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and start here. (Then you have to scroll up. They're all worth reading.)

And then there's Bill's post about the anti-Semite in the Mississippi Congressional race that's been noticed (of course) by the Arab News. Er, the anti-Semite has been noticed, not Bill's website. Bill quotes from a couple of Jim Giles' press releases. They make David Duke seem almost civilized. Okay, not really, but they really reek to high heaven of racism and anti-Semitism. Is this what passes for Mississippi politics these days?

Can't anyone shut this woman up?

Ann Coulter gets to double-dip this article: It was in the Jewish World Review and Yahoo. We'll just look at it once, if you don't mind. But the fact that it's in several places on the net reinforces my contention that this woman is a dangerous, but listened-to, idiotarian. (Yeah, you can be on the right side of the War on Terror and still be an idiotarian.) Actually, if you're Ms. Clueless (as she shall be designated henceforth), you can be a lot of things in my mind, none of which will ever be uttered on the 700 Club, and only one of which can rhyme with bitch. I mean, witch.

Op/Ed - Ann Coulter


Thu Jul 4, 9:01 PM ET
By Ann Coulter

Check out the title. A liberal is merely a terrorist in a different state, apparently. How—cute. Not. And notice the date. On Independence Day, Ms. Clueless let forth a volley of noise that is indistinguishable from the usual explosions. Perhaps she just had a bad case of gas?

The New York Times editorial page was in a snit with the Supreme Court this week for its first ruling on the Bush administration's wartime security procedures. Despite the hysteria at the Times for the assault on "constitutional rights" by Attorney General John Ashcroft ( news - web sites), the Supreme Court ruled for Ashcroft.

For now, at least, deportation hearings of suspected terrorists will not be open to the public. This, the Times said, was "troubling." Sadly, the Constitution does not require that national security be compromised.

But happily, the Constitution has that pesky l'il First Amendment—you know, the one that assures the freedom of the Times to be in a snit about Supreme Court rulings, whether or not you agree with them?

Like everything liberals oppose but don't have a good argument for, all reasonable national security measures are called "unconstitutional." Whenever liberals are losing on substance, they pretend to be upset about process.

We are now moving from vague accusations to generalizations. Please duck your heads; the doorframes were built by mental midgets.

Ashcroft has been incessantly attacked on the op-ed page of The New York Times by the same columnists who are now angrily demanding to know why the Bush administration didn't imprison all Arabs before Sept. 11. He has been compared to the Taliban. (And you're not a patriot in this war until a liberal has compared you to the Taliban.)

Have no fear, Annie, I won't compare you with the Taliban. I wouldn't mind giving you to them, but I won't compare you with them. (The thought of her in a burqa is giving me a great amount of evil glee; must—stop—self!)

Bill Goodman of the Center for Constitutional Rights called Attorney General John Ashcroft the Constitution's "main enemy." (As Andrew Ferguson said, evidently Osama Bin Laden ( news - web sites) comes in a close second.)

Constitutionally speaking, Ashcroft is most definitely an unfriend. He has spearheaded the curtailment of individual rights in the name of the war on terror. He has arrested and held without charge hundreds of people, both non-citizens and citizens. The Constitution is pretty clear about due process for citizens, and doesn't say, "except during wartime" anywhere in that clause. I'm personally troubled about this (whoops, I used a New York Times editorial word, did I just graduate into the terrorism stage or am I still just an early liberal?) as well.

Sen. Patrick Do-Nothing Leahy has complained about Ashcroft's "disappointing" failure to run all internal guideline changes past the Senate Judiciary Committee ( news - web sites). Instead, Sen. Do-Nothing said, "we're presented with a fait accompli reflecting no congressional input whatsoever."

Ashcroft was probably worried Leahy would take as long with procedures for investigating terrorism as he is with Bush's judicial nominees. If Speedy Gonzalez Leahy were required to review Justice Department ( news - web sites) guidelines, America would be an Islamic regime before Leahy got around to it.

So, would the Dems be taking as long, longer, or less time to approve Bush's judicial nominees than the Republicans took to approve—or not approve, to be honest—President Clinton's judicial nominees?

No matter what defeatist tack liberals take, real Americans are behind our troops 100 percent, behind John Ashcroft 100 percent, behind locking up suspected terrorists 100 percent, behind surveillance of Arabs 100 percent. Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.

Not only are liberals terrorists, but look! They're not even real Americans. Faux Americans! It's the 21st century fad: Be a Faux American, laugh at a Real American. But I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the concept of becoming indignant while working overtime at laughing, a series of actions which might very well cause internal bleeding. Here's a clue for you, Ms. Clueless: I'm a liberal, I love my country, I don't laugh at other Americans for loving their country, and I hate the enemy. Now go fuck off.

The New York Times ran a Tom Tomorrow cartoon sneering about Americans who believe with "unwavering faith in an invisible omniscient deity who favors those born in the middle of the North American land mass." This is how liberals conceive of America: an undifferentiated land mass in the middle of North America. Like all cartoons specially featured in the Times, there was nothing remotely funny about the cartoon. Its point was simply to convey all the proper prejudices of elitist liberals against ordinary Americans.

No, this is how Tom Tomorrow conceived his cartoon, and he is hardly representative of all liberal thought. He is, however, a good representative of his own liberal thought. I hate to break it to you, but the Sunday Times generally has at least one knee-slapper in the Week in Review section, particularly if it's an Oliphant week. And let's talk about proper prejudices against elitists, shall we? I have a proper prejudice against everything you write or speak. I'm an ordinary American. You're an elitist right-wingnut who purports to speak for ordinary Americans. Believe me when I say emphatically that you do not. The thought of you having a beer at Obal's Inn or the Town Pub in Bloomfield, NJ, and talking politics with the regulars is hilarious. You wouldn't last five minutes. I think we're back to the part where I tell you to go fuck off.

While hooting with laughter at patriotic Americans, liberals prattle on and on about the right to dissent as the true mark of patriotism and claim their unrelenting kvetching is a needed corrective to jingoism. (It's not jingoism, and the only people who use that word are fifth columnists.)

Ah, here it is. When a right-wingnut has used up all the usual arguments, it's time to resort to accusations of treason. I used jingoism in a blog early in the war. You're a jingoist, Ms. Clueless, and I am no traitor. Oh, and fuck you, too.

After Sept. 11, liberals are appalled by patriotism with an edge of anger because that might lead America to defend itself. True patriotism, they believe, should consist of redoubled efforts at attacking George Bush.

No, true patriotism is redoubling the efforts at attacking terrorists. You won't find any in Congress or the newsroom at the New York Times.

Movie director Robert Altman (who won the Golden Globe for best director for "Gosford Park") said, "When I see an American flag flying, it's a joke. This present government in America I just find disgusting."

Please click on the jingoism link above. I covered Altman in that very post. Oh, and there's that pesky First Amendment thing again. Altman has the right to say whatever he wants, pretty much. You don't like it, Clueless, well, you know the drill. (See above paragraphs; reference, "Go fuck off".)

Columbia professor Eric Foner said: "I'm not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House." I think I know the answer! Thousands of our fellow countrymen dying in a fiery inferno, I'm pretty sure, is "more frightening" than the rhetoric emanating from the White House.

Okay, here, she's actually right about something. It's that stopped-clock principle. And yet, Foner still has the right to say stupid things like that. Just as Ms. Clueless has the right to say all of the insane and stupid things she says.

Liberals are angrier at John Ashcroft for questioning angry Arab immigrants applying for crop duster permits than they are about the terrorists. These people simply do not have an implacable desire to kill those who cheered the slaughter of thousands of American citizens. If you can rise above that, if you can move on from that, you weren't angry in the first place.

And once again, in Clueless' world, if you're a liberal, then you care more about the terrorists' rights than you do about your countrymen's lives. Fuck you again, Annie, and the horse you rode in on.

During World War II, George Orwell said of England's pacifists: "Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively, the pacifist is pro-Nazi."

To paraphrase Orwell, in this war, those who cannot stay focused on fighting the enemy are objectively pro-terrorist.

Here we go, it's the obligatory Orwell quote. Been reading your Andrew Sullivan, have you? Well, let's stop for a moment and apply the Orwell test to this article. Who is the enemy? According to Clueless, liberals are a bigger threat to America than are terrorists. Is that staying focused on fighting the enemy?

I think not.

Physician, heal thyself. Or better still, come, let me introduce you to my liberal way of thinking. But I don't think you'd like it. It's related to the touchy-feely thing, but in an ouchy kind of way.



Linking around

Lynn B. has her very own guest spot on Uncommon Sense, regarding whether Sari Nusseibeh is truly a moderate, or just another terrorist in moderate's clothing.

Mac Thomason has lots more on The Fish That Walks Like A—fish. Oh, and send him email telling him you want another episode of Space Ghost Talk Soup.

Laurence Simon has all of the things you expect him to have, and then some. Let me point out to you that it is extremely hazardous to your mental health to catch up on a solid week's blogging from Lair.

Susanna Cornett is taking a vacation, too, but she thinks I can't be a liberal because I'm "too funny and smart." Oh, Susanna... what you said. You know not what you did, woman. I'd already been sliding back to the left, and you done pushed me over the cliff.

Andrea Harris has a new blog name (Spleenville World Domination Headquarters) and a new motif (Formerly known as Ye Olde Blogge. "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated."). Or was that the old one and I forgot already? Andrea, your slogan is a death sentence to Jews, ya know. Please tell me you only mean it in a Borg sort of way, 'cause then it's meant for everyone, and I can stop worrying.

She still has the animated gif of the knight chopping something with a sword. As soon as the page stops loading, I stop the animation. But don't be offended, Andrea; I do that to every blog I read that contains animated gifs. Hate the things, myself.

Andre and Elana S. at Middle East Realities have the human side of the Toronto Jew murdered by skinheads. What you don't generally read in the papers is how the death affects the family. Andre and Elana are distantly related to the murder victim.

And yes, I maintain that the man was murdered in part due to the heightened levels of anti-Semitism in the world today. Toronto and other parts of Canada have suffered from virulent anti-Semitic attacks and behavior, even from members of Parliament, which encourages shitheads like the murdering scumbag to think they can get away with killing Jews with impunity. No, scumbag, you're going to rot in jail.


Only six bucks shy of $1900. Only $106 shy of $2000. Can we do it? Hey, I think we can. Thanks so much, the two folks who contributed last week. I like updating the numbers, even if it's all done by hand and is a royal pain in the ass. There you go, a new reason to pledge: It's a pain in the ass because I have to change the names and ALT attributes of the number graphics each time. (I called the graphics such unusual names as "one" for the number one, "two" for the number two, and, well—you get the drift. I thought about different names, but then I realized I'd never remember if Gertrude was four or was that Bonnie?)

Oooh, there went one of those digression things again. I'd best get to bed. Another day of moving-to-a-new-town activities scheduled. But may I say that this evening, as the washer, dryer, and dishwasher were all going at once, I had an incredibly huge grin on my face. It's the first time in two and a half years I didn't have to leave the building to do laundry, and I've never had a dishwasher in my apartment before.

Say, anyone know how to get rid of those pesky spots on the good china?



I'm back

By the way, spread the word. I'm back, I'm blogging, and I'm pretty annoyed at much of what's been passing for conservative thought in the blogosphere these past few weeks.

On the menu for the upcoming week: Ann Coulter, feminism, patriotism and suppression of speech, treason and sedition, and why I'm still a liberal, and damned proud of it.

Oh, and I think I'm tired of being so nice all of the time, too. The gloves are coming off. Yeah. I feel a long, nasty streak coming on. Get those poison pens ready.

Anti-Semites of the world: Die

So while I've been moving myself across three state lines, the world has been killing more Jews, and firing Jews from jobs because they're Israelis, and, oh yeah—calling for the death of more Jews. So I think I'll just return the sentiment and wish that all anti-Semites would just die. Yeah, you read that right.

My, do I have some anger issues here to work out? Well, first things first. The firing, via LGF:

Ken Baker is sitting, head in hands, behind his desk at St Jerome Publishing, a small office tacked on to the side of his detached house in a leafy suburb in Manchester.

"It's not fair, we are just ordinary people," he says, the strain showing. "Neither of us has any real political allegiances, we have no religion, no creed, nothing at all. We just wanted to do something to highlight the atrocities in Palestine. Instead, my wife will probably lose her job and the media is vilifying us."

Poor baby. All your wife did was fire two people because they were Israeli, why should she be punished for that? It wasn't so long ago that you could do anything you wanted to Jews with impunity. Damned ungrateful bastards, what did you fight WWII for, anyway? Oh, yeah, that's right—you fought Hitler because he came after you; the Jews had nothing to do with your cause of action.

While Prof Baker is still reeling from the response to her actions - she has received more than 15,000 e-mails and letters, and faces an internal inquiry at UMIST - she nonetheless remains resolute: "I just hope that the publicity eventually draws attention to the cause," she told me flatly. She refuses to be drawn further, claiming that UMIST has gagged her during its inquiry.

And attention was drawn to the cause: To the absolutely appalling anti-Semitism of the British intellectuals, and the silence in the academic community these actions brought. And we thought we had it bad here with Said and Chomsky. You Brits win the Asshole Intellectual Award hands down.

UMIST has issued a statement saying that the inquiry will be "wide-ranging". They are believed, however, to have privately issued her with an ultimatum: reinstate the academics or leave the university.

Wow. Now I have to change the tone of this post. No, wait a minute—uh, excuse me, UMIST? Where the fuck were you when the firings first went down? That long silence was not helpful. Only when there is worldwide outrage do you say something? Riiight.

What is striking about the Bakers is their genuine - if embarrassingly naive - surprise that their actions, executed with cold logic, could stir up so much emotion and hatred.

What is striking about the Bakers is how incredibly stupid they are for academics. "You mean it's not okay to fire someone on the grounds of their nationality?" Duh!

"But it wasn't just Steven Rose's petition that sparked us off," says Mr Baker. "We joined a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London in March and started to gather information about the conflict. we had been dimly aware of the situation and although we felt sad about the fate of the Palestinians, we hadn't actually done anything."

You're still only dimly aware of the situation. Here's a hint: Terrorism has consequences.

The crunch, he says, was footage they watched about the April invasion of the Jenin refugee camp, considered a haven for suicide bombers by the Israelis: "We saw this film in Cairo. It showed horrific pictures of dead children." His wife was so disturbed by the footage that she fled to the bathroom and vomited.

Now there's an objective source for you. An Egyptian propaganda film. Anyone want to bet me that the footage was faked?

Later, Prof Baker decided that merely adding her name to 700 others was simply not enough: to carry the spirit of the campaign to its logical conclusion, she felt that she should act practically. She wrote an e-mail to Prof Toury on June 8, saying: "Dear Gideon, I have been agonising for weeks over an important decision: to ask you and Miriam to resign from the boards of The Translator and Translation Studies Abstracts. I have already asked Miriam and she refused. I have 'unappointed' her, as she puts it, and if you decide to do the same I will have to officially unappoint you, too. I do not expect you to feel happy about this and I very much regret hurting your feelings and Miriam's. My decision is political, not personal. . . I do not wish to continue an official association with any Israeli under the present circumstances."

Well, actually, I'm guessing that no Israeli wants to continue any sort of assocation, official or unofficial, with you. Just a hunch, mind you. And sweetie—your decision was very personal. Try not to lie so blithely.

Bewildered that he was being excluded because of his nationality, Prof Toury wrote back: "I would appreciate it if the announcement made it clear that 'he' (that is, I) was appointed as a scholar and unappointed as an Israeli."

Good point. Exactly the case. Excuse me, but is this not a blatant example of racism, as the definition of the word keeps getting leveled these days? Muslim, Israeli—discrimination against either is racist, is it not?

Dr Shlesinger, whose husband is a Holocaust survivor, has openly opposed certain Israeli government policies. She recently signed a petition protesting against the enforced closure of the Palestinian universities. That same Israeli policy enraged the Bakers - so much so that it contributed to their decision to sack Dr Shlesinger. More poignantly, Dr Shlesinger, who was born in America, has suffered first-hand in the conflict: her son-in-law died after being shot in the face by a Hamas gunman. Prof Baker, who knew of her friend's loss, has stuck to her original refrain: "It is not Israelis per se but the Israeli state that I deplore."

This woman is a total shit. Dr. Schlesinger is on the same political side as the Bakers in this, yet she was fired because she was born in Israel. Just goes to show you, having a degree doesn't necessarily mean you have any brains.

Mr Baker sips his tea and echoes his wife's argument: "It's not an attack on individuals, but because they are attached to the institutions. We don't see how you can separate an individual from an institution. If we could get that whole situation sorted out with the Israelis, we would put them back in their jobs." Asked how he would feel if he were in the shoes of Dr Shlesinger and Prof Toury, Mr Baker says: "You can look at it in a number of different ways and Miriam has taken it in a bad way."

I have two words to say to this: Bull-fucking-shit. You separated those individuals from the institutions quite easily: They were fired. To pretend that those two academics are wholly responsible for the actions of their government is pathetically naive at best, disingenuous at worst, and all-around stupid.

Dr Shlesinger refuses to criticise the Bakers outright, instead condemning their actions as, "counter-productive, discriminatory, and based on misinformation".

"They were wonderful, warm and tolerant. I liked them a lot," she says from her flat near Tel Aviv. "They were very hospitable. We didn't discuss Israeli politics that much, it wasn't a good subject. I cherished our friendship. I didn't want to drag Israeli politics into it.

"Mona is a very fine person, whom I like and admire very much, but she made a wrong move here. I don't think they ever meant it to snowball this monumentally."

Look at that. She gets fired for what she is, and she still won't say anything bad about her ex-boss.

The Bakers are distraught at receiving thousands of vitriolic missives by e-mail. Holding one up Mr Baker said: "It's unbelievable what they are saying about her." The offending correspondence reads: "Arab dog, Palestinian whore."

When I tell Dr Shlesinger, she is dismayed, describing the letters as "filth". She adds cautiously: "Without belittling my condemnation of this kind of hate mail, by drawing attention to it, Mona puts herself in the position of being a victim. However, she isn't only a victim of this terrible campaign, she is one of the protagonists. It is about how this started in the first place."

Now you're talking! You go, girl. I'd post Baker's email address, but she's already gotten 15,000 emails. The point's been made.

And for all of you out there readying your Grand Jewish Conspiracy emails, spare me. Can you imagine the outrage if an Arab academic had been fired because his director didn't like the policies of the Arab's nation? Hell, the Saudi Ambassador to Britain publishes odes to suicide bombers—and keeps his job, without so much as a slap on the wrist.

I am so tired of anti-Semites. One of the best phrases I learned in college was "Eat shit and bark at the moon!" I use it from time to time, because it tends to make people laugh when you say it. But the above isn't funny. I'm tired of waiting for things to change. I'm out of patience with people who hate me for what I am. To all of the Jew-haters I say, "Eat shit and die."

Quickly, please.

Last week's blogs are archived. 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.