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To all searchers for Passenger Seat lyrics

I've added this entry to save you some time. Go here. That site should come up first on Google, but sometimes, Google sucks. If you're looking for something interesting to read while you're writing, check out the rest of this page and then hit the main page for more. In the meantime, wow, there are a lot of you out there looking for this song. I'm simply going to have to listen to it one day.—Meryl


Short shorts

Ipse Dixit points me to a great site with a fabulous article that includes just about all of my pet grammar peeves, and how to stop you all from driving me crazy with ungrammatical email: Talk Good.

I may be the last one in the blogosphere to link, but Scrappleface is effing hilarious. There are almost too many to choose from, just scroll around, click on his archives, and laugh your ass off.

Michele is going through nicotine withdrawal. You really can't tell, though. Honest. (How're those burning toothpicks coming along, Michele?) (Actually, that last link has nothing to do with nic fits and everything to do with, uh, she's right. I live an hour south of where the last shooting took place; it is obvious the nutcase is heading towards Richmond, and I'm afraid to drive to NJ right now. I generally stop in a northern VA rest stop to fill up on cheap gas before going through gas-tax-heaven MD and DE. If that ain't being terrorized, what is?)

Mike Silverman's weblog has just started coming to the attention of the blogosphere. Check out this tagline: "Musings from Lawrence, Kansas on subjects of interest ranging from American politics to the Middle East to gay culture and whatever else happens to be on my mind." Hm. He said a mouthful. But then, he fisks an article in the Weekly Standard that calls for—no kidding—a Constitutional amendment to keep marriage defined only as a heterosexual union. Go get 'em, Mike.

Hm. While watching the beginning of this week's Enterprise, I suddenly got an overwhelming urge to watch Babylon 5 instead. Telling.

Wow. I got a letter from an African prince. I suppose if he had ever read my weblog, he might have learned that I think royalty is down there with pond scum in the hierarchy of things I care about. Guess I won't be giving him my bank account number. He'll have to find someone else to share his US$32.400,000.00 with. Schmuck.

Fred, if I had a digital camera, I'd have taken pictures of the mushrooms I saw over by Heidi's house this morning while I was walking the dogs. Well, two of the three of them. I can't walk Worf. Well, I could, but then he'd kill or maim another dog or maybe even a person, so Heidi runs him and I walk Willow and Sparty. (Gotta get a scanner, too, so I can put pictures of them online. Someday.


I had an extremely pleasant day yesterday. Picked up Sorena from school, shared the snacks I had brought for her (all bad, sugary things because it is my right to spoil the children in my life, and I make sure that all of their parents know and understand this of me), had a wonderful dinner with Heidi and G., a decent night's sleep (spent the night there), an amusing morning. Sparty, the miniature poodle, came into my room to say hello, which means he had to first submit to the superior being by lying down and rolling over, only he misjudged distances a bit and as he rolled over to present his belly, he clunked his head on the footboard of the bed, starting my day with a laugh. And I left this morning, gifted with two sweet and amusing cards hand-made by Sorena for my cats, complete with drawings of each—Gracie alone on top of the kitty condo (which Sorena knows is rare because Tig hogs that spot), and Tig chasing a rabbit, something that to my knowledge has never yet happened, although he came close last year (but I got him inside before he saw the baby rabbit hopping around on the lawn).

Anyway. So I sat down to start writing a bit about why I've been silent the past 24 hours, and began this post with the date: October 12th. Then my memory was triggered. That was Sharon's birthday. She was my favorite cousin. We grew up together, and were as close as sisters. She died from injuries suffered in a car crash, which happened because the man driving her car was drunk and ran a red light. And of course the truck hit her side of the car, not his, so he lives and she is gone these nine years.

When Sharon died, I realized a couple of things. I finally understood what sorrow was. And I learned the truth behind the adage that life changes quickly. Six weeks before she died, she sat across from me at a restaurant table in Newark Airport, where we passed the time until her flight. That picture is etched in my memories. There is an equally sharp picture engraved in my mind: That of her body in the coffin after her funeral, during which I gave the elegy, six weeks later. I always hated those glasses, and don't know why they buried her with them. I made sure to put a rose in the grave with her at her second funeral, which was held in the cemetery in New Jersey where she is buried alongside her parents. I knew she'd want a rose in there with her.

I never seem to be able to remember the date of her death. It was sometime in September. But I always remember that October 12th was Sharon's birthday. Always. The years have dulled the pain, but I've found that nothing dulls the wistfulness. Nothing stops you from wishing they were still here. I expect nothing will.




Fred sent me this link to Purr-fect Yoga: Instructional videos for you and your cat.

It's effing hilarious. High bandwidth download required, but these videos are so funny even a cat would laugh at them.

Yet another reason to love the Internet.

The legal brief against the hatefest at UMich

Moe Freedman has excerpted some of the more salient parts of the legal brief that will probably not stop the hatefest from occurring, but that makes for very interesting reading. It's practically a who's who in the American Arab community of virulent anti-Semites and supporters of terrorism.

11.Kiblawi, is the author of an article in a University of Michigan student publication, in which he writes of his desire “to strap a bomb to one’s chest and kill . . . . The enemy is not just overseas, the enemy is also amongst us.” (Kiblawi, Fadi, “A Perspective on Palestine while High on Vicodin” (sic), Al-Risalah, University of Michigan (sic), Spring Edition II, June 24, 2001.)

24. On December 22, 2000, Bray organized and spoke at a rally outside the White House, at which the emcee and crowd chanted responsively in Arabic, “oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad is coming for you!” The Nazi swastika was openly displayed.

There's more. Go over to Moe's site and see. Or if you like, you can download a copy of it here or read it online (MS Word format).

Defining the terms

A correspondent told me that he thinks that I may be indulging in the frustrating habit of arguing past my opponents (for lack of a better word; I mean those I disagree with on this issue) regarding the issue of when criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism, and when it is only criticism of Israel's policies. This is possible, but I think the problem stems from defining our terms.

And the big problem there is this: As Lynn does, I believe that the divestment campaign itself is anti-Semitic. Why have there been no other divestment campaigns to force any other nation to change its policies since South Africa? Tianamen Square is not so old that I've forgotten that China rolled over its own students with tanks; Tibet is an ongoing problem. Where are the petitions on China's human rights abuses? Where are the attempts to get universities to divest from China? Where is the movement to stop China from getting its cherished most-favored-nation trading status each year? It's as Alan Dershowitz (and others) have said: There are many, many countries with far worse human rights abuses than Israel. Why single out Israel for divestment?

The only conclusion I can reach is that of a continuing campaign of anti-Semitism. Fifteen percentfifteen percent of the UN Security Council resolutions since 1946 have concerned Israel and the Middle East. I think that both Occam's Razor and the Duck Theory tell us the reasoning behind that.

If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck—yeah, I think the divestment campaign is anti-Semitic, and the Jews that are on board with it are blind and stupid. Harsh? Yep. My feelings? Yep. Don't like it? Well, I can't help you there.



Larry Miller and the Standard: A class act

It's been quite a day for corrections. I've had about half a dozen on my weblog, Mike Hendrix and Toren got snookered by a hoax email (as did I, leading to one of my corrections), and Larry Miller, the comedian/actor who writes for the Weekly Standard corrected his current article, where a friend of his mistook one band for another (the Buzzschmocks for Blink 182). Larry's article about it flew around the blogosphere at the speed of blog. So when he found out the article was wrong, he did what most journalists do: He ducked the issue and blamed it on—well, no, he didn't. He issued corrections.

Not one correction. Two. Not a tiny entry buried on page E-17. Two new articles, right there in the Table of Contents. (Well, at least until they scroll off, but that will take a while.)

So kudos to Miller and to the editors of the Standard (that Jonathan Last guy had to have something to do with it, what with being the Online Editor, although, come to think of it, if you're the Online Editor, does that mean when you turn off the computer your job ceases to exist? Whoa. Deep. Flashbacks, man. Gotta watch out for those. Damn. I'm in that parenthetical statement phase again, aren't I? Okay, I'll stop now.)

*If I put their real name on my weblog, I will get disgusting search requests. Hey, you don't have to read them in your referrer logs, but I do.

Can't do it in the comments

So I'll do it here. Happy birthday Lair, you sick, twisted pup. (I wanted to say "Happy birthday, you sick, twisted fuck," but I thought that would offend some people who are just visiting this site for the first time.)


Look who's back

I thought I keep seeing his blog in my referrers, but I figured people were just checking to see if he was back. Nope. Mike Sanders has two new posts, proof of life. The latest one is about Madonna and the Kabbalah. In answer to some of your questions: I take Madonna seriously only as a marketer, as she is one of the world's greatest ever. (And I kinda like her singing, especially "La Isla Bonita.") I don't think it follows that belief in God automatically makes everything that you receive in life a gift from God. I think the vast majority of it comes from your own efforts. He put us here and gave us free will, the rest is up to us. Okay, Mike? (You asked too many questions that require about half a day to answer, so there's the Reader's Digest condensed version. And welcome back. Here to stay, or only blogging once a week?)

On other blogs...

Bigwig's third weekly Carnival of the Vanities, a directory to what's happening on other weblogs, is up. (And I finally remembered to link to it.)

Over at Fred's place, there's a very amusing story about cutting wood, and what with my visit last week, I've got all the mental pictures I need to go with the exact locations of Fred and Buster. And I'm laughing over the pants leg sticking out of the door, too. (Actually, in his lingo, that first sentence should read, "Over t'Fred's place,")

Charles Kuffner's talking about a Democrat that he thinks can take Phil Gramm's Senate seat, with a little help. What the hey, I'm all for a Democratic Senate while the Prez is a Republican. Well, plus I'm a liberal at heart, or at least, left of center.

Michele has a great idea for people's mood swings. I could use a "Contents Under Pressure" label myself, particularly these days. (Do you think I'm more on edge than I used to be? No, really be honest.) And she's a Yankee fan. Kewl. Michele, two words: Bucky's butt. (And yeah, that home run... it's tied with Reggie's three homers for number one on my list.)

When I went over to Mac Thomason's site, IE told me that it was "Done, but with errors on page." It never does explain any further, and I figured that if I were to ask Mac, he'd say, "Huh?" So I didn't bother.

See, AMCGLTD is not only an acronym, but it's a very eclectic site (the slogan "Where cats, science fiction, and anger come together" was my first clue). So Ellen is riffing on the male ability to break wind and painting the new kitchen, and Scott is telling us why predictions of the fall of America are moronic crap (I love a guy that speaks his mind, it's so—spunky). Oh, there's science there, and probably SF, but you'll have to look around for yourselves now. I only do part of the tour.

Mike at Cold Fury links to a post by Toren that lists ways a woman can protect herself from stranger-rape. (I've deleted it. from here.) Susanna Cornett emails us that it's full of baloney, alas, and links to a Snopes debunking, which also has some good advice:

As always, the best defence to an attempted rape is not to be there when it happens -- either avoid potentially dangerous situations (none of this "Oh, it's only a few blocks; I'll just walk" at 3 a.m.) or run like hell if you find yourself in one. Escaping your attacker is a far wiser course of action to strive for than attempting to do battle with him. Forget about his needing a good beating followed by a lengthy jail term; your first priority has to be your own safety. Leave the Wonder Woman stuff for Linda Carter and make like a track star vying for a gold medal in the 100m.

The e-mail did contain one bit of valuable advice: Stay aware of your surroundings. Not only is it important to see trouble coming before it gets to you and avoid it, but an alert stance can help discourage a would-be attacker. Those looking to prey upon others -- whether their aim is robbery, rape, or mayhem -- generally choose as victims those who appear preoccupied or tentative over those who exude a sense of purpose. Or, as I was told long ago, "Always look like you know exactly where you're going and move like you're expected to be there at exactly a certain time." Mooning about aimlessly can make you a statistic.

Just goes to show you... ya gotta watch what you quote. The Larry Miller piece from the Daily Standard about the punk concert kids booing when the group riffed on W. attacking Iraq is false, too.

But this part of my post is still true, and happened while I lived in Bloomfield:

A friend of mine was jogging at around six a.m. A man driving on the road saw her, stopped his car behind her as she ran past a golf course, ran up behind her as if he was a jogger as well, grabbed her, and pulled her into the bushes that lined the golf course. She screamed and fought, he gave up and ran away. This was only a couple of blocks from where we lived, and there were plenty of houses around—but it was six in the morning, and there was no foot traffic and few cars. By the way, it's a very bad idea for a woman to walk past any kind of park or tree-lined area alone during off-hours, and especially at night.

Thanks, Susanna.

No Israelis need apply

Over in Ireland, Israeli tourists have been told to stay home.

Ma'ariv correspondent Arik Bender tried make a reservation with Killarney Lakeland Cottages in Muckross, Ireland, but the cottage's owner, Brian O'Shea, told Bender that his request was denied. "We are sorry, but we are not accepting bookings from Israeli citizens due to the treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli government," the e-mail stated. "We realize and abhor the suicide bombings also but feel that Mr Sharon's policy is unwise, unhelpful, and counterproductive."

I suppose that in the land of the IRA, the terrorist is king. Oh, no, right up there he says he abhors the bombings. But he's against Israel's policies, so this isn't anti-Semitism, right? It's making a political statement. No Israelis allowed. Or, you might change it to: Jews stay home.

However, Mr. O'Shea may be happy to know that another suicide bomber has killed and wounded Israelis, and only the bomber's clumsiness kept the death rate down. Surely, O'Shea's policy of refusing to allow Israelis to stay at his tourist spot will help stop violence like this in the future, as will the Harvard divestment campaign. Because they tell us it will, you see.

I think I would change Stalin's quote that everyone seems to be throwing around these days to "useless idiots," as that is what I find these people to be.

Oh, happy frabjous day!

Tooree tooray, or whatever the rest of that is. (Update: Callooh! Callay! Dave sent me the correct wording, and I must admit that I finally got really tired of Lewis Carroll and stopped rereading Alice in Wonderland. It, um, bores me now. Update 2: Now the title is correct, thanks to another helpful reader, who also sent these links (the second includes beautiful pictures taken in Israel.) Maybe I should reread it after all, considering I used to have a BBS titled "Through the Looking Glass." How embarrassing.)

Dave Tepper gets his second daily link as I sit down to watch the rest of the Angel premiere, having set my VCR correctly, and taped it at (yeesh) 2:30 this a.m. I actually could have watched it last night, as I was tossing and turning until that time, but managed to fall asleep and have uncomfortable dreams instead. Well, they were better than two nights ago, when I was dreaming—I swear to God—about spam. The email, not the meat dish.

You know, I've never twigged to what it is that is so attractive about Spam. I have never had so much as a whiff of Spam. Actually, the entire prospect of canned meat frightens me. Corned beef hash? Why on earth would you ruin such a great sandwich meat? Cans are for produce and fish, and, well, canned anything kinda sucks. Frozen or fresh, that's it for me. Canned vegetables bring back memories of overcooked, soggy, tasteless green beans. Well, the meals they went with weren't so hot, either. My mother was always an indifferent cook. My brothers and I took over the cooking from her as we got older for a number of reasons, but uppermost was because we all became better cooks than she. (What is it about roast chicken that makes so many people overcook it, anyway? It's so easy not to overcook it if you're paying attention.) Anyway. Time to go watch Angel. Loved that Thanksgiving-like teaser. Trying to remember all my "bottom of the ocean" songs. Thanks again, Dave.



Serious, serious, funny

A few links. First, Armed Liberal joins in on the continuing discussion of anti-Semitism. Then Light of Reason has a disturbing post about the history of Bertelsmann's Nazi past. Bertelsmann, for those who don't know, is one of the publishing giants that own most of the New York publishing houses. There are, I believe, only three companies that own the entire publishing industry in America, not counting the tiny independents. I used to be able to name them. Hm. Patrick? Teresa? A little help here? I've forgotten, and am too lazy to Google it right now.

But here's the funny one. (Link may not work; it's Blogspot. Try his main page.) (Warning: It's kinda gross, too. It talks about [lowering voice] [looking around] colon cancer and [lowering voice even further] poop.) Tony calls it "Worst Spam Ever," but I was on the floor over the descriptions of what your stools are supposed to look (and smell!) like. Talk about your bathroom humor. (Okay, so I like low humor from time to time. Sue me.) Man, Tony, you must get some great searches with that last name of yours. And some creepy ones, too.

Lies that Harvard told us

Amptoons has his thoughts up on the anti-Semitism of the Israeli divestment petition movement. They led me to this Harvard Crimson Op-ed that purports to defend the petitioners' point of view, and my response. I've only quoted the second part. The first half you'll have to read for yourselves. I can only take so much before the top of my head puts yet another hole in my kitchen ceiling.

Why do we call for an end to military aid and investments in Israel but not the Palestinian territories? First, we believe that a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, coupled with a commitment to respect international conventions on human rights, are the most important steps that could be taken to bring peace to the region.

Because we've seen first-hand in the years since Oslo, when the Palestinian Authority ruled over the majority of the West Bank, how well the Palestinians respect the human rights of both their own people and Israel's. (See: Using PA to import weapons, create bomb factories, and distribute bomb-making materials throughout the terroritories. Also see: Karinne A.)

Although violence has come from both sides of this conflict, the positions of Israelis and Palestinians are not symmetrical. Millions of Palestinians are living under Israeli occupation, not the reverse.

Right. Asymmetrical. (That is such a neat catchphrase these days. Warfare, occupation—we are so with it.) The Israelis aren't going into Palestinian restaurants and discos and blowing themselves up, and the Palestinians are. Oh, and, um—question? Where was the divestment petition when the Palestinians were living under Jordanian occupation of the West Bank, and why was that all right? (No UN Resolutions over that, in case you were wondering. Quel surprise.)

The Israeli government destroys Palestinian homes, schools, hospitals and civic institutions.

Yes, when they are used to shelter terrorists (no individual links, scroll down through the information), transport terrorists, and build bombs. The Palestinians train their children to be terror tots. Where is your outrage over that? (Oh, sorry. Root causes, occupation, desperation, yadda yadda. Should have known better.)

It imposes curfews and checkpoints on Palestinians, and it has explicitly endorsed torture, assassination and deportation as acceptable actions against those it suspects have engaged in acts of violence.

1) Curfews and checkpoints would not be necessary if the Palestinians didn't keep on shooting, stabbing, and bombing Israelis.

2) Another Big Lie by the petitioners: The Israeli Supreme Court has explicitly forbidden torture since 1999. The Palestinian Authority uses it to extract false confessions and then murder so-called "collaborators," including this mother of seven. (Where's the outrage from the signatories about that? Whoops, what was I thinking? My bad.)

3) Assassination of wanted terrorists? Cry me a river. Deportation? Ditto. Strangely, those "suspects" always seem to be responsible for the deaths of many, and are noted proudly for such acts at their funerals.

Most important, American government and businesses have not played symmetrical roles in the conflict. Israel receives enormous U.S. military aid and investment, whereas Palestinians receive very little.

More sophistry. The European Union contributes billions to the Palestinians, and nothing to Israel. Yasser Arafat has a bank account worth about one of those billions. The amount the Palestinians receive varies due to the amount he feels like stealing from them. The IDF has the proof; the EU refuses to acknowledge it. And the Harvard petitioners pretend it does not exist.

Were we providing the arms for both sides of this conflict, then it might be reasonable to demand a halt to all our funding of both sides.

We don't have to supply arms to the Pals. Other Arab (and Persian) nations are doing just fine with that. (See: Iraq, Iran, Egypt, tunnels, shipping, Saudi Arabia funding of.)

Do signers of the divestment petition fail to consider Israel’s security needs? On the contrary, we believe that the two-state outcome sought by this petition offers the best hope of securing Israel’s long-term future. Many Israelis agree, for history has shown again and again that no people will be secure in this region until all people are. Suicide attacks are likely to continue until Palestinians have a stake in peace. The divestment petition aims to create a secure Israel beside a secure Palestine.

Because the last two years have proven how secure the Palestinians intend to make Israel feel when she gives up control of the territories. Many Israelis also agree the divestment petitioners are morons. (That would be the informal poll I took: Imshin? Tal? Gil?)

Why does the petition single out Israel and ignore violations of human rights committed by other countries? This is a strange criticism, because all social, political and human rights problems must be tackled one by one, as they arise.

This is not a "strange" criticism. This is a valid criticism. Where is your outrage on Tibet? Chechnya? Where was your outrage re: women's treatment in Afghanistan? Why do you not ask for divestment in Saudi Arabia, where women have almost no rights, Christianity and Judaism is forbidden, and non-Saudis are treated like serfs? Where was the outrage when Kuwait expelled half a million Palestinian workers after the Gulf War? All of these problems arose years ago and are still ongoing. Stop dancing around the issue and answer the question: Why does the petition single out Israel?

Bill McKinney could probably give us the right answer: J-E-W-S.

Protests are initiated when some threshold of concern is reached. The increase of settlement activity, suicide bombings and massive invasion of the West Bank propelled us to take action.

Liars. Suicide bombing is not "propelling" you to take action, because in a two-week period this spring, as many as two suicide bombs per day were killing and maiming Israelis. Where was your organization then? Don't even pretend you give a shit about the suicide bombings. It is this clause of the above sentence that impelled your cause: "massive invasion of the West Bank."

The bombings have decreased dramatically only because the IDF has gone in and taken control of the territories. Your petition came out weeks ago, long after the suicide bombs had been (mostly) contained—but the Palestinians now look more like victims again, so could that be the reason? It sure couldn't have been the safety of Israelis, because I don't recall seeing any petitions circulated in March and April demanding the cessation of suicide bombings in Israel by the Palestinians. Funny, that.

We close with the issue of anti-Semitism, raised by President Summers.

No, you open with the issue of anti-Semitism, by singling out Israel for divestment.

Accusations of anti-Semitism have been used effectively for decades to stifle criticism of Israeli policy.

That would be because most criticisms of Israel are direct or indirect anti-Semitism, just as most criticisms of Jews are anti-Semitism. Duh.

The world has been astonishingly silent during decades of Israeli occupation,

So silent that 15% of the UN Security Council Resolutions since its inception have been regarding Israel and the Middle East. So silent that Israel dominates the front pages of most of the world's newspapers. So silent that nary a day goes by when I can't hear about Israel on the evening news, and most of what I hear deals with the West Bank and Gaza. Yeah, that is one silent world.

However, I would point out that the world was astonishingly silent during the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank (1948-1967), when they destroyed Jewish holy sites and desecrated Jewish cemeteries, as well as forbade Jews to worship at the Western Wall.

and many Americans still dare not criticize this policy.

Ah, here we go with the Silence of the Left again. If you folks are so silent, why are you all over the Op-Ed and news sections of every goddamned major newspaper in America and Britain? Or is this another sly reference to that overweening Israel lobby (it's those J-E-W-S again)?

When criticisms of Israel are expressed, the charge of anti-Semitism serves to deflect attention from the Israeli governmental actions that prompted the criticisms onto a debate about the morals and motives of the critics.

Only when they're anti-Semitic, like choosing Israel for a divestment campaign when there are nations with far more pressing problems on which you could focus your energies. (China. North Korea. Kashmir. Iran.)

We hope the petition will spark discussion of these issues in the Harvard community, and we invite supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s policies to join us in an open debate.

Like at Concordia? Okay, low blow. That wasn't Harvard. But they favor divestment, too. And this doesn't seem to me to be the opening of an article that is looking for an open discussion:

[...] this petition has elicited a surprising amount of controversy and ill will. Most recently, University President Lawrence H. Summers has condemned the initiative as fostering anti-Semitism.

"Controversy and ill will"—hm. Those are terms that I always identify with a welcome to discuss the issues at hand.

An open exchange of ideas offers the best hope of progress toward a resolution of the conflict that respects the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Right. An open exchange of ideas. So why are you choosing to push for divestment in Israel as a resolution of the conflict instead of an open exchange of ideas? You hypocritical, lying anti-Semites and self-hating Jews. (Oops. Did I type that out loud?)

Oh, and about this open exchange of ideas—so this means you're going to urge the House Master to debate Alan Dershowitz? (I won't hold my breath on that.)

Well, that's about all I can handle of my daily dose of anti-Semitism. Thanks so much for your concern about Israel, but I expect she'll figure out a way to handle her problems without the help of your divestment petition. Glad to know you didn't mean it in any anti-Semitic kind of way. I know the drill. Some of your best friends are Jewish. You only have Israel's best interests in mind. We're all agreed on that.


Why the Internet rules

While checking a site (TRYTRY) from my referrer logs, I found this wonderful article by Michael Naimark on how to use laser pointers to counter being monitored by intrusively-placed, but legal surveillance cameras. The paranoid privacy freak part of me is grinning from ear to ear, and I simply love the essay. Thanks, Dave. By the way, Dave's site is definitely worth a second look; his comments are pretty funny (check out this one about Google Fights).

The site with the information on fouling camers with laser pointers has a wealth of information, including how to use it with a rifle scope (not the rifle, just the scope). It's informative and (to me) inherently amusing. I think my brothers will love it as well. (We have a slightly warped family. One of my brothers is keeping a list of how many taxes NJ residents pay. It's well over 100 to date. The other one sends me tons of email on how to stay safe on the Internet, and was the one who pointed me to Tiny products for my firewall. Yep, we're all a bit paranoid, too.)

Perhaps that should be the new slogan here. I'm paranoid, so you don't have to be.



Dave Tepper to the rescue

I haven't missed the Angel premiere. Apparently, the NBC affiliate in Richmond carries WB programming during the wee hours of the morning. Angel will be on at 2:30 tomorrow night (early Thursday). The Gilmore Girls are on late Monday nights.

And Dave Tepper will be getting, oh, a link a day until I feel I'm out of his debt for letting me know this. And let us all say: Yay. (I forget, Dave, are you single? For something as wonderful as finding me the Angel premiere, I should dump my fiancé and marry you instead. (Sorry, Bill. I'm fickle. Ask Bruce.)

Just one look

If you want a good laugh, check out Laurence Simon's weblog today, and look on the left-hand side of the page. The animated gif is his best yet. (Although the last one was his most daring. Whoof. Surprised you weren't crucified yourself for that one, Lair.)

And Diane E. is hoppin' today. Dissing Philip Roth, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, and Tom Daschle. Busy, busy girl.

By the way, the state of Virginia and areas around can thank me for the change in weather. I finally take the hard top off the Jeep and put on the soft top, and the weather cools down and the rain heads in.

You're welcome. Dammit.

Fair and balanced

A quick check on Google News this morning brings me over 700 articles regarding the IDF raid on Gaza yesterday, nearly all of them using language condemning the attack and insisting that the IDF deliberately killed 14 innocent civilians (the Pals actually insisted most of the deaths occurred as people were heading to the mosques for prayer, but that story died as quickly as it rose, for some reason).

Here's an article from the Jerusalem Post about attacks on civilians that no one picked up on, though.

Four Israelis were wounded Tuesday in a shooting attack on a vehicle at an intersection south of the West Bank city of Hebron, medics and military officials said.

Gunmen fired on the car with four passengers, two males and two females, as it passed the Zeif Junction outside Hebron, shortly before noon local time, officials said.

[...]Dvorah Aviad, a medic at the scene, said she was in an ambulance that drove the vehicle's driver to Hadassah Hospital. "He said he was just driving when suddenly they were fired upon," she said.

The site of Tuesday's attack is the same intersection where St.-Sgt. Elazar Leibovitch, and civilians Rabbi Yosef Ya'acov Dickstein, his wife Hannah and their nine-year-old son Shuv-El were gunned down in an ambush in July.

Say, where was the world condemnation for that outrage? For that matter, where was the world condemnation for any suicide attack that killed dozens of Israeli civilians? Where are the UN Security Council resolutions demanding that the PA rein in its murderers?

Oh, that's right. I keep forgetting. It doesn't count when Jews die. Only Arabs.


I don't get the WB here in Richmond. My brother swore up and down that he would tape Angel and the Gilmore Girls for me. He has done neither, and I have lost two of my favorite shows. I can live without the Gilmore Girls, though Tuesday nights are nowhere near as cheerful when I can't watch my tape of Lorelei and Rory and all the silly stuff that happens to them. But I can't bear not seeing Angel.

If anyone has a tape of the season premiere, please email me. I need a copy of that tape. Help. Addicted. Cliffhanger ending from last season. Help....

Emptying the mailbox

Bunches of letters that I'm behind on (no, not nearly as many as Lileks, thankfully), but I'm trying to catch up.

The man behind the Propaganda Critic asked me to check out his new site. It's interesting, informative, and a good site for research that even a high school child will understand easily. This selection from Newt Gingrich's handbook on what to say about your opponents explains quite a lot to me about why the level of discourse in politics has sunk so low. It wasn't all Rush's fault.

I forgot to link to Madeline Kane's response to my 100 words post, so now I am. Okay, so it's a bit old—then look around her blog from the main page and find something newer, all right? Yeesh.

Haggai Elitzur, who has sent me letters, URLs, and commented frequently elsewhere, has his own blog. Here's your good-luck link, Haggai. Don't forget to take copious notes during the hatefest at UMich later this month. (Oh, am I being judgmental about? Yup.)

Mr. Misha moved. Mr. Misha still barks and bites.

Reuters, one man's news agency is another man's case of third stage syphilis.

That's my boy. (Dare I say it? I must, I must.) Good doggie.

Lynn B. did add to her post on Esther Kaplan's piece on anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel, and frankly, I agree with just about every word Lynn wrote.

This identification between Jews and Israel is reinforced by Israeli leaders and by most of the major Jewish organizations in the United States. At the height of Israeli incursions into the West Bank this spring, Sharon called the troop actions “a battle for the survival of the Jewish people.”[fn]

Yes, and there’s a reason for this, which Ms. Kaplan seems conveniently to have either forgotten or overlooked. While Jews come from many different places that we call home, there is only one Jewish homeland, which is Eretz Israel, the Land of Israel. It has always been and always will be our homeland, whether or not Jews continue to live there (as they always have) and whether or not Jews continue to rule there (which for many centuries they did not). Today, it’s once again a sovereign nation to which we can return if we choose, in which our laws and customs are the norm, in which our calendar and our holidays govern the daily rhythm of life. There’s no other place like that on earth, nor will there ever be. And there’s no other place on earth where Jews have the right and the responsibility to defend themselves. That’s what Ariel Sharon means when he says that the defense of Israel is a battle for the survival of the Jewish people. We have no other defender or protector, other than by the whim and caprice of others. And we’ve seen all too often the consequences of relying on such whims and caprices.

I know I said I'd post on this subject, but it's kind of hard to improve on the above, or on Armed Liberal's response.

(Plus, I finally got the hard top on my Jeep replaced with the soft top, and I intend to do a lot of topless driving in the next month or two, which is going to cut down on blogging time.)

I finally got the lowest of the low in the Nigerian spam scam: An email that pretends to be from a Sierre Leone refugee hiding in the Ivory Coast (ooh, a two-hanky letter!). Lest you think that isn't enough, there is a tale of woe, including death, destruction, forcible you-know-what of both mother and sister as well as the torture and murder of the rest of the family, and if you're still dry-eyed at the end of the letter, and willing to help this poverty-stricken, desperate, flea-ridden, famine-plagued orphan, along with his little sister, who was not subject to above torments, he included his phone number in the email. No more pleas to help him get his millions out; he just wants our millions in. This one's not worth fisking. But it was worth mentioning.

I was away when Arthur Silber emailed me about his post on the Canadian customs seizing and holding material titled "In Moral Defense of Israel," but the Blogosphere covered it fairly widely. So just look around. (Arthur, you are being totally conned about Coulter's supposed grasp of the facts. Trust me on that one, or do the research for yourself. The answer comes up the same either way.)

Damn. And I was going to declare this site a Coulter-free zone and ignore her from now on. Double damn.



Different viewpoints

Fred and Susanna have put up their posts on the weekend. The answer to Fred's question: You and Ann are the only people to see me in them since I was a child, but I have worn them before. Even in NJ, it gets muddy from time to time.

And Susanna, I'm glad your car was okay, but I think the three of you should be glad I missed the singing. Well, okay, I can carry a tune, but my voice is nothing to speak of. It would have been three-part harmony and a fourth going, "Wait for me! Wait for me! What's the next line? John Denver? Are you kidding? Don't you guys know any Tool songs?"

What you missed

It occurs to me that some of you don't actually read this weblog over the weekend. Mind you, the fact that my readership drops off by, oh, at least fifty percent on weekends was a pretty big hint that some of you might be reading this blog from work. So, in the interest of making this weblog even more convenient for your reading pleasure, and because I truly am the best, politest, and kindest weblog author in the entire blogosphere (well, anyway, one of the more original of the bunch), I'll be adding a regular Monday feature: A summary of what you may have missed by not working seven days a week. Here's a hint on how to read it: If I say, "Oh, and there was that post about free pr0n to the first five hundred readers," but there's no link in the sentence, I'm kidding. Of course, I could also put in a dummy link just to confuse you all, because, well, I have a childish sense of humor sometimes. (I'll probably use the TITLE attribute for those dummy links, which means if you have a web standards-compliant browser [hint: this does not mean any Netscape version prior to 6 or IE version prior to 5], you can read the title by sliding your mouse over it and pausing for a moment. Go ahead. Try it.)

What you missed since Friday: My trip to Goose Creek. Wow. I didn't post a whole heckuva lot this weekend, did I? Well, that's because I was at Goose Creek. Yeesh. What do you want from me, blood? Fred made me hike up a mountain and get up at the crack of dawn and then he tried to make me talk Suthuhn like the three of them (they surrounded me with their accents!). But I still sound like I'm from New Jersey. Here, let me try: "Even if I was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee, I didn't do anything wrong, and I should be able to fight for the voters of my state, but I must resign—" Oh, sorry. That wasn't me. That was some jerk who used to be in my voting district.

Anyway. We here at are working harder to make things better. Why? Because we like you. We really, really like you.

Strange search requests

Christian Zionist Support in order to End the World Bothers Some Jews: Yeah, it does. It should bother the Christians as well, because, well, ending the world is gonna suck for a lot of people.

Duncan Harkinson: Who the heck is this guy? Oh, wait. That's right. Him.

the incredible hulk the lonely man theme piano notes: Huh? Whoa, someone has too much time on his hands. There's an AltaviZta? Really? Does that mean there's a Gewgle?

new york review of books intafada: Whoa. I know that writers can get annoyed with editors, but I didn't think they'd take it this far. Can't we all just get along?

stephen speaks passenger seat lyrics: This is becoming a regular search. There's a song called "Stephen speaks passenger seat?" Really? What a weird title.

euro disney disaster: Yeah, that's what the French think.

the mad capsule markets: All right, this one is frightening me. I don't know what it means, but some capsule market is either crazy or angry. Either way, it bodes ill for those of us in its way. (It's also possible the searcher is slightly insane, which is also scary.)

funny dog songs verse puppies woof: Hm. Funny dog songs. Only the first time you hear them. After that, it's a bunch of edited dog barks to the tune of "Jingle Bells," and, well, only children and stupid people find that funny.

bad check written statue of limitations state of new jersey: Bob Toricelli, you're into kiting checks now? Wow, that's low. No wonder you're resigning.

graphs on the fall of the taliban: You need a graph? Of what? How many Taliban there were before we dropped the bombs, and how many there are now? Okay, this one's just plain weird.

democracy for the middle east: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Oh. You were serious?

israel vs palestines religion: See? Even my search requests are biased.

nusseibeh asshole: Well, some of us sure think so.

2002 email lists of churches in Saudi Arabia: That was a joke too, right? Churches, in Saudi Arabia? The place where they confiscate and destroy Bibles and crosses from people traveling to the country? I don't think so....



Out of the mouths of babes

We read a lot about the feelings of Palestinians in the media. There was even an NPR story about a third-generation Palestinian American who said he'd go to Israel to become a suicide bomber (thus putting the lie to the "poverty and desperation" excuse). We don't read overmuch about the victims of those bombings, though, and I've never yet read anything about our own children's reactions.

Today, I heard from a Jewish American child something that needs to be shared. I teach fourth grade at my synagogue's religious school. We're creating a web page as a class project, and we spent the last fifteen minutes of class today talking about what the students would like to put on it. Pictures, letters to Israelis, word puzzles, the students' names in Hebrew—all pretty innocuous things. Then one of my students said he wanted to create a maze.

"How about if we draw a maze of Jerusalem, and you have to avoid bombs and being shot at and getting killed until you get to a safe place at the end of the maze," he suggested.

My children are nine years old, and some of them are not quite nine yet. But they know what life is like in Israel.


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.