Nick Danger says it best
I really wanted to quote it all, but I have to leave some reason for
you to click the link
and visit Nick.
L'SHANA TOVAH And another year begins. For most
Americans, the past twelve months have been the most painful and difficult
of their lives. For Jews around the world, the past two years have been
equally heart-wrenching. After 9/11, there was an outpouring of support
for America and nearly unilateral condemnation of the heinous crime
that had been committed against our country. Though that support may
have waned, and though there are still those that believe the U.S. "deserved
it," the show of support that America received and continues to
receive from the rest of the world is unparalleled.
So then, because there is a country where everyday
is 9/11, it must be asked:
Where is the show of support for Israel? Where are
the righteous cries of outrage against the terror inflicted daily on
the citizens of the only democracy in the Middle East? Where are the
memorials, the telethons, the prime-time interviews with widows and
children of Israeli victims of Palestinian terror? The world has turned
its back on the Jews for the past 5,000 years. When empires and nations
were not actively seeking the destruction of the Jewish people, they
were often complicit in our wholesale slaughter. What the students at
Berkeley fail to realize, what the media and liberals in Western Europe
cannot understand, what the men, women, and children living in Jerusalem,
Tel Aviv, and Haifa know all too well is that we are living through
History has not been kind to the Jews. How easily the
police in France and England avert their eyes when Jewish cemeteries
are vandalized, how simple it is for American universities to ignore
the anti-Semitism running rampant on their campuses. From Boston, from
London, from Berkeley, from Paris, from New York, how dare we condemn
Israelis for defending themselves, for protecting the cities and communities
they worked so hard to build. The State of Israel is not the "Zionist
experiment," it is not a country built on stolen land, it is not
an apartheid regime. No, Israel is the home of the Jewish people. And
it's the only one we have. permalink
A New Year's message from Israel:
Here we are, here we remain
From today's Jerusalem Post editorial:
The year 5762 will be remembered as an exceptionally
trying one for the Jewish state. Continuously clouded by a deliberate,
open, and systematic Palestinian effort to target Israel's civilian
population, the year that ends today exacted a heavy price in blood
[...] Yet as the year progressed we proved that the
enemy's estimation of our weakness was exaggerated, and that our resources
as a society were greater than even many Israelis might have guessed.
Following the Seder-night massacre in Netanya, and the IDF's consequent
counterattack, the psychological tide was turned.
No, terror attacks were and remain far from over, but
Israeli society surprised many by enlisting en masse to defend itself
and attack its enemies. The enthusiasm and dedication with which thousands
of reservists joined the battle was similar only to the spirit that
characterized the warriors of 1973 and 1967, who also left abruptly
and resolutely their middle-class routines in order to fight enemies
who threatened to destroy the Jewish state.
Back in the big cities, as the public finally understood
the nature of the threat at stake, previous self-flagellation about
ostensibly missed diplomatic opportunities gave way to a defiance much
like Britain's during the German blitz: Blown-up restaurants were rebuilt,
security guards were posted outside numerous businesses, and customers
returned to fill previously empty malls, cafes, and stores. ...
The public's behavior reflected a consensus, highlighted
by an unexpectedly high functioning unity government, that the current
war is not Israel's fault; that it is about Israel's very existence;
and that it must be won, even if only after a protracted and costly
Lightening up just a bit
I saw something that pleased and amused me over at amcgltd:
Scott mentioned a link to me and called me openly biased regarding the
Arab/Israeli conflict. He's right, of course, and I have never pretended
to be anything other than vehemently pro-Israel. (That's why those of
you who write me letters explaining in great detail why I'm wrong to think
the way I do are, frankly, wasting your time. You can't change my mind,
and you don't want me to change yours.) But Scott got me to thinking about
whether I have any secret biases. I don't know if this is exactly secret,
as my family and close friends figured it out a long time ago, but I do
have certain biases that I don't believe I've discussed much here.
I hate handyman work. Any kind, all kinds. I loathe working with my hands.
I don't so much as like hanging a picture. I'd much rather find someone
to do it for me. The most I will do, and this is only because otherwise
I'd never be able to read after sundown, is change a lightbulb. Wait,
that's not true. I've also learned a lot about toilet tanks and how to
make sure they don't overflow.
As a result, all of my paintings and wall decorations are awaiting some
kind of angel to come by and say, "Good Lord, Meryl, none of your
walls have pictures! We'll have to fix that, immediately!" I mean,
I bought the kind of hangers for heavy pictures, but I keep forgetting
to borrow a stud finder from Heidi's husband. (He keeps reminding me that
he can't use it himself, as it goes off incessantly as soon as he gets
it from his toolbox. Have I mentioned that the man is a real card?) My
brand-new water filter is lying on a closet shelf. My Gazelle Glider remains
in pieces, waiting to be rebuilt. Charles (my antique reverse painting
of the Chinese money god) is hidden in a closet, unable to bless me with
good fortune because he's hiding behind my coats. (And probably cursing
me, so I really should bring him out.)
Used to be I could call on my brothers or male friends to do the handyman
jobs for me. I'd cook them dinner, they'd help me switch the hardtop and
softop on the Jeep, or hang a new picture, or put a floor lamp together.
But I don't have that new social network yet, except for a guy in my synagogue
who promised to help with the Jeep. (Probably after the High Holy Days
I'll take him up on it. Virginia is a softer climate; I've got months
of top-down driving ahead of me.)
I guess I'm going to have to either conquer my bias against handy work,
or find a bunch of guys who will work for food. (Anyone? Meryl-at-yourish-dot-com.
Good cook. Perfect Roast Chicken one of my best recipes. Killer latkes.)
Anyway. L'Shana Tovah, and I don't know how much I'll be posting during
the High Holy Days, so a healthy and a happy and a sweet New Year to my
Jewish readers. permalink
Words and pictures, part two
Charles Johnson supplies the picture.
Here are some words
from last September to go with it, via Daddy
Britain, led ably through the week by Tony Blair, has
responded well to the outrage in America. The Guards playing The Star
Spangled Banner at Buckingham Palace, Friday's moving and widely observed
silence, and the service in St Paul's in which the country's grief was
well expressed through the person of the Queen and the words of the
Archbishop of Canterbury, were models of dignity, compassion and support
But the response of some of the Question Time audience
reveals a darker side and shows the awful truth that these days there
is just one racism that is tolerated - anti-Americanism. Not just tolerated,
but often applauded. Like any other nation, the US makes mistakes at
home and abroad. (I wrote about some of those in Indochina.)
But the disdain with which its failures and its efforts
are greeted by some in Britain and elsewhere in Europe is shocking.
Anti-Americanism often goes much further than criticism of Washington.
Too often the misfortunes of America are met with glee, a schadenfreude
that is quite horrifying. permalink
The Munich Massacre: My thoughts
It took me most of the day to write this. It's partly due to my recovering
from a virus; the fever seems to have finally left me and the fatigue
it brought with it is fading, thankfully. But I think the larger reason
is because there is only so much my mind can take when dealing with people
who hate me so much that they would kill me simply because I was born
to Jewish parents. My thoughts veer away as a matter of preserving my
sanity. (You can natter on about root causes and who was where first,
but the fact of the matter is that now, I am a target because I am Jewish.)
I first realized that in the early 1970s. I was barely into my teens
when the Olympic Massacre happened. My mother had recently gotten a job
with Eastern Airlines, which meant that we could now fly across the country
and visit my favorite cousins, who had moved with their family to San
Diego in 1971. All through my high school and college years, I availed
myself of those cheap flights as often as possible. But there was a thought
process I made as the seventies wore on and more and more Jews were killed
by terrorists: What would I do if they hijacked my plane? Entebbe
taught me that the hijackers would let the non-Jewish passengers go and
kill the remaining Jews if their demands were not met.
From the time I was a teenager, I have always worn a Star of David necklace.
And so I used to think to myself while the plane was at the gate, waiting
to finish boarding: Should I take off my Star? If I put it in my pocket
and the plane gets hijacked, would they find it? Should I hide it in my
carry-on? Do I want to take it off at all and pretend I'm not Jewish,
or stand by what I am and let whatever happens, happens?
You can laugh at the above as the thoughts of a paranoid child with an
overactive imagination, as no American plane was hijacked by Palestinian
terrorists. But that's what the Munich Massacre did to me. It made me
fear for my life when what I should have been doing was enjoying the excitement
of a plane ride to visit my cousins. And when I read about the anti-Semitic
filth coming out of Arab mosques every Friday, it makes me think that
not very much has changed.
I don't take plane rides much anymore, and I don't worry about having
to hide my Star of David. But I used to. permalink
Those fightin' fems
A couple of losers made the mistake of thinking that it's okay to pick
on gi-irls. But Emily Jones
and Rachel Lucas quite kindly
and sweetly pointed out their detractors' mistakes:
not about to stop. NO SURRENDER you stupid bitch. -G.G.
for walking into my snare, G.G. Now I have your IP address. (Emily)
Yesterday, some dillhole named Mike wrote in my comment
section, "You sound like a snotty little spoiled bigot."
Well I'm in a real punchy mood this morning, and I'd
like to respond to Mike and everyone else who's had something crappy
to say to me:
Ram it. Shove it and stuff it. And then get the hell
off my web site.
I know you just cannot STAND to see a girl have an
opinion. I know it just drives you up a wall that I write better than
you. I know it makes you mad that I'm not just Nice, Nice, Nice.
Well, screw Nice.
My kinda girls. Me, I normally just block the address of the hate mail
I get so that it gets deleted on the server. But I do so appreciate a
good rant. Both via Mr. Misha, who also is pretty good with a rant now
Excerpts from the Munich Massacre
Blog Burst, Part Two
Katzman: The Munich Massacre in 1972
remains one of terrorism's most durable images from the 1970s. But it
was not the first. Or the most extensive (terrorism in Turkey had already
pushed that country into full martial law by 1971). Or the most significant.
Indeed, the most significant development for terrorism
in the 1970s may be the most unremarked: despite their leftist origins,
the terrorist groups that survived and prospered often did so because
they became self-sustaining businesses. In this, as in so many other
aspects of terrorism's development, the leader and exemplar was the
Palestine Liberation Organization.
Darwinism is such a bitch.
E.: The mind plays tricks. The Munich Olympics were the Olympics
of the massacre of the Israeli athletes. They were also the Olympics
of the most remarkable accomplishment of any athlete in Olympic historyMark
Spitzs seven gold medals. Everyone has their favorite this-will-never-be-broken
sports record. Mine is Spitzs performance. I doubt that any swimmer
will ever dominate as he did. As I said, the mind plays tricksmine
seems to have separated the two Olympics. I remember bothor parts
of both--with crystal clarity. Those looming, menacing black shapes,
faces obscured by ski masks. Spitzs burst of energy in the last
strokes of the butterfly. But I dont connect the two. Tricky thing,
At the time, I was only vaguely aware that Spitz was
Jewish. Well, no. I was aware of it, alright, but I repressed it, just
as I repressed how enraged the massacre made me. The fact is, Spitz's
being Jewish made me self-conscious, for the same reasons the massacre
made me self-conscious. I didnt want to be singled out. But I
also remember being defensive about the fact that Spitz caught flack
for cashing inat the time, Olympic athletes were supposed to be
pure and unsullied by commercebut didnt they always end
up on Wheaties boxes? What a double standard. But I had my own problems
and it was too much to handle. It was easier to forget about it. Another
During a visit to Munich in 1983, I took a ride on a bus that passed
the Olympic Stadium. Before we came upon the stadium I was presented
with a haunting view of a group of Apartment buildings which I immediately
recognized as the one time Olympic Village. I was surprised by the depth
of emotion that the sudden memory of the murders and the events from
11 years earlier. One of the emotions that grabbed me was fear. I felt
fear at being reminded of the evil people involvedin the horrendous
act. This tiem it was on a sight seeing tour instead of watching TV,
but once again innocent joy was replaced by fear and anger. That flash
from the past brought me starkly into the present. My short visit to
Munich was just a short diversion on journey way to Beirut.
And I recall, the innocence of youth is strong. It took two blows. Even
once I'd accepted that Evil had seized the upper hand, I knew it wasn't
over. I remember thinking, in the naivety of youth, that this was actually
a chance at some kind of ... redemption ... for the Germans, and that
surely they would do whatever it took to keep from failing the Jews
Silly naive boy. As we know now, the authorities in
charge botched it in every conceivable way, and the hostages all died
an ugly death. I was devastated, certain I'd witnessed the last of the
Olympics. Evil had won.
The massacre at the Olympics in Munich punched its way into our psyches
in a way not known before; it was basically the first massacre played
out on TV around the world simultaneously. The swiftness of this spreading
of the news is no longer a recent phenomenon, but in no way does it
lessen the dreadfullness of more and more acts of bestiality.
B.: The Libyan Connection. Colonel Muammar Qaddafi had more than
a hand in the plot. Boaz Ganor of ICT reports that "Qaddafi awarded
Arafat $5 million in recognition of the massacre of Israel athletes
carried out by Arafats men at the Munich Olympics. And Daniel
Pipes has noted that Qaddafi supplied the both means and the ends, so
The main discussion point of the documentary was: Did the Germans receive
information about a planned terrorist attack in advance? How about the
Israelis, what did they know? Kimor claims that the Germans received
information that the terrorist attack was going to happen. He brings
as evidence excerpts from the German investigation report on the massacre.
According to this report, on the 21st Aug 1972, the Bavarian secret
police passed on to Munich Police a warning that a Palestinian commando
unit had left Beirut on its way to Munich for a terrorist operation.
Manfred Schreiber, Munich Police Chief, was notified but did nothing.
On the 24th Aug 1972, Interpol Brussels sent a message to the Bavarian
secret police stating the names of two of the terrorists Badran
and Darwis, who were to take part in the operation.
Simon: I've decided to repost my thoughts on how the Olympic Committee
had rewarded the masters of the terrorists. You see, did a little wandering
around the Olympic Movement Site and came across this gem.
Notice the address:
P.O. Box 469
Al Qadisiya Street
There is no Palestine. There's a strip of land that Egypt didn't want
to bother with anymore and abandoned, much to their collective relief
and long-range strategic benefit. There's a hunk of rocks and Bilbical
sites the Jordanians grabbed, tore the motherloving Allah out of, and
then got kicked out of as well and had to take back so many of the stirred-up
nutballs they'd placed there that their own country was at risk of ripping
Sharkansky : Moving on to the shootout at the airport, the authorities
reject the criticism that they acted amateurishly.
Nevertheless, many open questions remain. The police
weren't prepared for such an operation, said Guenter Krause from the
Interior Ministry. Hohensinn said that some of the equipment dated
back to the Second World War. Then there was a series of mishaps:
The sharpshooters didn't have radios, the officers who were in the
airplane dressed as flight crew left the plane of their own accord.
The Palestinians were able to watch the first rescue attempt in the
dormitory on television. Shortly after the massacre the government
learned from the consequences and formed the elite GSG-9 unit for
So many facts. So many viewpoints. So sad and hateful an occasion. permalink
Excerpts from the Munich Massacre
Blog Burst, Part One
Yet, like these athletes, we cannot worry about terrorism and we must
continue on with our lives. I'm reminded of when I was visiting the
Marais district of Paris (the Jewish and gay district), eating falalfel
with my friend about a year ago, not long after the Dolphinarium bombing
in Tel Aviv. The woman next to me, obviously recognizing that my friend
and I were speaking English, asked me where I was from. I told her that
I was from Boston, and she said to me, "You come all the way here
for falafel? They'll kill you here." I replied, "I'm not afraid,"
and she smiled and said "good." Indeed, we must not be afraid.
State: Mossad agents staked out his apartment and noted Hamshari's
routines, such as the times that he came and went, when he was alone
in the apartment, and when his French wife took his daughter to school.
An Israeli engineer posing as a plumber worked on the telephone cables
beneath Hamshari's apartment building. Hamshari soon began having trouble
with his telephone and called the company to effect repairs. The engineer
had been situated close by and was cutting in and out of Hamshari's
calls until the one for the repairs came through. The engineer, in full
sight of the unsuspecting Hamshari, then placed a command-detonated
explosive device in the base of the telephone while pretending to fix
it. While this was going on, another Mossad agent posing as an Italian
journalist made contact with Hamshari with the intention of interviewing
him. The Mossad agent waited patiently outside Hamshari's residence
for his wife and daughter to leave and then placed a call to the apartment.
Hamshari answered the phone. A voice on the other end said, "This
is the Italian journalist who has a rendezvous with you today. Is that
really you, Mr. Hamshari?" The Palestinian replied that it was.
When he said that, the phone blew up in his face.
Black September Organization is Formed. Thoroughly beaten Fatah establishes
a terrorist group to be its instrument of revenge. It is to be called
Black September in memory of its loss to the Jordanians. On November
28th, 1971, they complete their first operation, the assassination of
Wasfi al-Tal. The Prime Minister's last words are "They've killed
me. Murderers, they believe only in fire and destruction". So begins
the career of Black September. On September 5th, they would bring their
murderous skills to the Olympics.
of Israel: A few days ago I listened to a story on National Public
Radio (NPR) that covered the murder of the Israelis by the Palestinian
Although the hosts did briefly disapprove of the murders,
the story quickly turned to a tacit endorsement of the action for "putting
the Palestinian cause on the map". The host Brooke Gladstone spends
a large part of the segment interviewing Brigitte Nacos, a Columbia
University professor and author of "Mass-Mediated Terrorism",
who is clearly proud of these Palestinians for bringing attention to
I felt sick.
Quick: But it doesn't change, does it? Arab savages murder Israeli
innocents. Europeans collapse in the face of terror. And the savages
blame somebody - anybody - else. Thirty years ago. But it might as well
be today. permalink
Burst: Remembering a tragedy at Munich
At 5:00 AM, exactly 30 years ago, a seminal event in the development
of modern terrorism took place. Eight Palestinian terrorists invaded the
athletes' housing at the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. They killed
and took hostage eleven Israeli athletes competing in the Games, demanding
the release of 234 imprisoned Arabs and German terrorists. Over the next
few tension-filled days, all the hostages and some of the terrorists were
killed, mostly due to incompetence and perfidy of the German government.
The Olympic Committee made a controversial decision to continue the Games,
and has never participated in any memorial for the slain athletes. Eventually
almost all the remaining terrorists were hunted down and killed by Israeli
agents, directed by then Prime Minister Golda Meir.
is here. Let me get to read them, and synopses will be up soon. permalink
The Munich Massacre: Thirty years
Judith Weiss of Kesher Talk is heading up a Blog Burst about the massacre
of the Israeli Athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
I'll have an updated URL tomorrow, but meanwhile you can find it on the
main Kesher Talk page.
A Blog Burst, for those of you hearing the term for the first time, is
a coordinated effort by a group of webloggers to write about a single
topic and link to each other's sites during the day. The Blog Burst was
invented by Joe
Katzman, who coordinated it for the SFSU
anti-Semitic riot. They're not all about life and death issues, however.
I'm planning a Buffy
Blog Burst for September 24th, where Buffy fans will get together
and dish Buffy and Angel. And there's a group
effort for bloggers to post their views of September 11th.
I posted some
early thoughts about the massacre after watching an ABC documentary
on Sunday. I'll have more to say tomorrow. permalink
Words and pictures
Charles Johnson has the pictures.
I'll supply the words. From Christopher Hitchens in the Guardian,
last September 26:
The death squads commandeered four planes, which were
full of fuel but not quite full of passengers. They could well have
assumed that the aircraft would have been fully booked. They knew that
the optimum population of the WTC on a working day was 50,000 civilians.
They were limited only by the takeoff time appointed by air traffic
control, and could well have anticipated a delay of, say, half an hour.
Furthermore, they were not to know that the curtain walls of the twin
structures would hold for long enough to allow an implosion, or internal
collapse. They could have at least hoped for the structures to measure
their lengths (they each stood a quarter of a mile high) across downtown
Manhattan in the morning rush hour. The maximum harvest of random yet
intended dead could have been perhaps 100,000 people: a Dresden for
the Taliban. I repeat, those who want to be ventriloquist's dummies
for such a "hidden agenda" are being far too modest. They
owe us a much more complete and convincing explanation than they have
so far produced.
Ask me, and I'd say that the "motive" for
such an action was to kill as many innocent people as seemed feasible,
while spending some quality time in the company of the other innocent
people who were being kidnapped for the purpose of murder. Press me
further, and I'd say that the political or theological agenda was the
vindication of a primeval fundamentalism. (Ask me for my evidence, and
I would point out that perhaps 700 Muslims were burned alive in New
York on September 11 last. My comrades at the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination
Committee tell me that New York's Yemeni community alone is mourning
200 missing.) Since the death squads had some knowledge of the area,
and of American society, they can hardly have imagined that they were
hitting only unbelievers. But the believers were the wrong kind of Muslim,
or were otherwise expendable. That, by the way, is what fundamentalism
Andrew Sullivan steps up to the
The last thing I expected was for Andrew Sullivan to answer
my post below. But answer he did, and in such a charming
way that I am ready to reclaim him as one of my blogparents. (And I take
back all the mean things I said about him, too. Even the ones I deleted
I was merely expressing my own opinion that blogging
is more suited to individualism than collectivism. Which is not to say
that collective blogs like this one don't have merit. Or this one. But
my deeper point is that I'm not a big fan of bloggers who are chippy,
who seem not a little snarky about bigger blogs. The point is: A blog
works if it addresses its audience, whether that audience is five or
five hundred or five thousand. In fact, many blogs, by their precise
nature, are never going to get that big. So, why worry about the bigger
fish? Enjoy yourselves.
We're both in agreement there. I don't see the point in whaling on someone
because they have more readers than I. (I completely reserve the right
to whale on anyone I disagree with, of course.) And you're right that
blogging is mostly an individual sport, but I think I probably should
have explained "community" a bit more. Your site is part of
what's often called the "warblogger" community. You can find
a list of many warbloggers on any site in that community, and they often
cross-post, link to one another, reference the same topic. Most of the
blogs are written by individuals, yet each individual belongs to a circle
of weblogs that s/he reads frequently. That's often what's meant by community.
A blogging community is not unlike a virtual town, and it rarely shuts
down. When I can't sleep, I get to converse with the West
Coast contingent, or chat with an Australian.
(And I can't believe I forgot the
Corner in my list of examples of community-run weblogs.)
But I can't help wishing you'd been less snarky about Rebecca's
book and the concept of communities. Then again, I was pretty snarky
back, so perhaps we'll just call the snarkfest over and move on. (I do
so love that word. Snark. Snark. Snark!)
But at a more profound level, I think the real power
will be unleashed by unknown writers finding a way to get their work
in front of readers more easily than ever before. The whole process
of interning, or begging for work at local papers, sucking up to agents
and editors, and so on can now be supplemented by real self-publishing.
You can make your own clips! This can only helphowever marginallydiscover
new talent. The discipline of writing for a real paper or magazine is
still very, very useful. Blogging well is not as easy as it sometimes
looks. But all in all, the new form and new medium can only advance
a writerly meritocracy.
Now you're talking, Andrew. That, I think, is one of the biggest advantages
of the blogosphere. I've gotten published in "dead-tree" magazines
via my blog. It's become a portfolio of my work to show prospective employers.
It has also become an asset to me since I've moved to a new town ("Oh,
just check my blog for the information you wanted"). It has honed
my writing skills and forced me into a daily routine. And it lives or
dies on the quality of my work, which suits me just fine.
I don't have a crystal ball. I have a plan for what I want to achieve
with my weblog, and that plan is being realized bit by bit. In the meantime,
I'll just keep blogging away as an individual blogger in my community.
And reflect on the self-correcting nature of the Blogosphere. permalink
Has Reuters had a crisis of bias?
Yeah, yeah, I know, I need to get my rest. But as I was checking the
news, I found two Reuters articles and saw that they are continuing a
trend I noticed a few days agoshortly after, in fact, the critical
piece I wrote about the Reuters anti-Israel bias. (Which is not to
say that I think my piece influenced them. Perhaps I was not alone in
my annoyance, and they received complaints.) From one
Palestinian leaders have accused Sharon of trying to
ruin any basis for Palestinian statehood with overwhelming military
measures in reaction to suicide bombings and ambush shootings that have
killed scores of Israelis in a 23-month-old uprising.
What? Only an uprising, not "a Palestinian uprising against Israeli
occupation began in September 2000 after peace talks froze"? Surely
this can't be right, I thought. So I checked another
The expulsions, Israel's first use of the internationally condemned
tactic during a 23-month-old Palestinian uprising, coincided with signs
of movement on the political front.
Why, that's only a half-hearted slam, using the words "the internationally
condemned tactic." And look:
At least 1,533 Palestinians and 589 Israelis have been
killed since the uprising erupted in September 2000.
It's still just an uprising. Not a "revolt." Not a "movement
for independence." Has Reuters seen the light? Are they tired of
being known as the Rotters News Service? Have they finally decided to
simply report the news without taking sides?
You decide. The final paragraph of the above article:
Israel used expulsion tactics in the first Palestinian uprising, from
1987 to 1993, and banished 415 suspected Islamic militants to Lebanon,
a move that did little to quell anti-Israeli violence. Most returned
to the Gaza Strip and West Bank within a year of their 1992 expulsion.
Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. And perhaps some is an editorial slant.
Blogging will be lightheaded
I really like that title, and I really do have a fever, so my judgment
is entirely questionable. I'm trying to decide whether or not to go to
the doctor (leaning towards "not," I'm thinking after an hour
in the waiting room they'll tell me get some rest, drink plenty of fluids,
and take some aspirin, which I can figure out for free), and also wondering
whether I've been bitten by a mosquito lately. Mac
Thomason has finally succeeded in his mission and made
me paranoid. So I did a quick Google search and came up with this
page from the CDC, which contains this information:
Most people who are infected with the West Nile virus
will not have any type of illness. It is estimated that 20% of the people
who become infected will develop West Nile fever: mild symptoms, including
fever, headache, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the
trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.
Fever: Check. Headache: Check. Body ache: I'm at the age when my body
always aches. Check. Skin rash: Nope. Swollen lymph glands: Check. Add
mild sore throat to the mix.
Hm. If I don't post anything for a few days, you'll know why. Of course
the thing that makes me even more paranoid is knowing that you can get
bitten by a mosquito and not have an itchy bump as a result. Because,
you see, I have not had any itchy mosquito bites lately, so therefore,
I may have been exposed to West Nile. Ut-oh... permalink
They don't get blog
There's a discussion
going on this week at Slate between Andrew Sullivan and Kurt Andersen
about weblogs, and how Rebecca Blood's The
Weblog Handbook and the multi-authored We've
Got Blog are worthless, dead-tree pieces of hippie-dippie-do.
Why, these two experts on the blogosphere wonder out loud, would anyone
need a book on how to make a weblog, when all you have to do is
go to Blogger and sign up? Here's an excerpt of Sullivan's that's particularly
boorish and clueless:
Then there's the supercilious tone of some of the early
bloggers (early means 1999). Like year-rounders in a seaside resort,
they both need and mock the tourists. Rebecca Blood, who wrote one book
and introduces the other, oozes alternative-weekly, grass-roots-loving
piety. Her ground-breaking definition of a blog is: "a coffeehouse
conversation in text, with references as required." Why does the
word "coffeehouse" send me running for the exits? Worse, she
can write earnestly about a Weblog "community." Aaagghh. The
one wonderful thing about blogging from your laptop is that you don't
have to deal with other people. You can broadcast alienated, disembodied,
disassociated murmurings into a people-free void. You don't have to
run something past an editor, or frame your argument to an established
group of subscribers. You just say what the hell you want. No wonder
ornery libertarian types enjoy it so much and there are so few communitarian-style
bloggers. It's a format designed for Unabombers or people, like the
estimable Mickey Kaus, who don't quite fit into pre-existing ideologies
or political blocs.
Rebecca can write earnestly about weblogging communities because so
many of them exist. A quick look around the Internet will show that.
Sullivan is a perfect example of the kind of blogger that permeates the
blogosphere these days: Ignorant, unknowledgeable about anything save
his narrow little slice of blogdom (and that not much), yet thinking that
he has been informed from on high as to exactly what constitutes
blogging. It is exactly the thing that drives me crazy whenever I read
something like it on any blogger's site. Here's a clue, people:
There are thousands of blogs out there, and just as there is no one way
to write a book, no single person has the claim to the "right"
way to write a blog. And here's something else you may find interesting:
There are whole communities of webloggers out there that you've never
heard of, and who have never heard of you. Rebecca's book is a guideline,
and if Sullivan and Andersen are too dense to figure that outit's
obviously much easier to make fun of her "alternative-weekly, grass-roots-loving
piety"they should at least have the courtesy not to show off
their ignorance quite so blithely in public.
The critical language of bloggingthe hypertext
links to other Web pages, for examplecannot even be translated
into book form
Speaking of linking: You don't get blogs, gentlemen. You refer only to
the professional journalists or celebrity bloggers; you link only to the
professional journalists or celebrity bloggers (hands up, anyone out there
who can find a link to Rebecca's
website or either book in that Slate piece); you talk with respect
only of professional journalists, celebrity bloggers, and Glenn
Reynolds; and you denigrate the rest of the bloggers who do
get blogging, and who've been getting it for longer than you. Because
blogging is self-publishing without editorial input doesn't mean that
its sole purpose is this:
The one wonderful thing about blogging from your laptop
is that you don't have to deal with other people. You can broadcast
alienated, disembodied, disassociated murmurings into a people-free
void. You don't have to run something past an editor, or frame your
argument to an established group of subscribers. You just say what the
hell you want.
The disembodied, disassociated murmuring blogs tend to die out quickly
or have few readers. Just an FYI. And if it's on the Internet, it isn't
a people-free void. Nobody is blogging because they don't want their words
to be read. There's a difference between not having to run your words
by an editor and writing for no one. Weblogs.com
is a great place to find the people on both sides of that concept.
No wonder ornery libertarian types enjoy it so much
and there are so few communitarian-style bloggers. It's a format designed
for Unabombers or people, like the estimable Mickey Kaus, who don't
quite fit into pre-existing ideologies or political blocs.
Here's a concept for you: LiveJournal.
Here are more concepts for you: The Blogathon.
BlogCritics. Webrings. The
Libertarian Samizdata. Radio Weblogs.
Moveable Type, which is looking
more and more likely to blow Blogger
out of the water. But the blogging format was hardly designed for Unabombers.
was making web pages for groups of people to find links to similar websites.
Did you even read Rebecca's book in its entirety, or did you stop
reading once you had enough ammunition for insults?
It's also cheap. Your last major Internet venture,
Inside.com, lost gazillions, didn't it? And then it went under. But
my little blog, entirely supported by readers, is actually in the black
and reaches up to 230,000 individual people a month.
That's the cult of personality, Andrew. If you were Joe Blow from Idaho,
unless you could come up with a better Instapundit, you'd be one of the
thousands of small or midlist bloggers, chugging away with 200-700 visitors
per day, crossing your fingers for a link from Glenn. Who is, may I point
out, by far the most generous blogger of all the A-Listers in your circle.
Glenn links to one and all, as he discovers them, whether or not he agrees
with them. You won't even link to Rebecca Blood in an article dissing
her work. (Update: Chris Suellentrop emailed me this morning that
Slate will add a link to Rebecca's site in the article. Thanks, Chris.)
Another reason for the pointlessness of these books
is that, to anyone with an Internet connection, Weblogs are pretty self-explanatory.
They are based on one simple thing: Technology now enables anyone to
publish herself. One-size-fits-all blogging sites, like blogger.com,
make it technically easy. The format is also largely determined by the
techno-chrono-logy: It's a real-time diary/log/journal, a genre poised
between the written word and the live broadcast.
Funny. I think Quicken is an incredibly simple program. I use it for
my checking account. Amazingly simple; I just booted it up, started a
new file, and went off from there. And yet there are many books
about the program, even though I thought it was self-explanatory. Imagine
Simple or not, when a person has never used a blogging tool or created
a website or written a journal or an opinion piece, it's quite helpful
to have a guidebook. And learning a little about a topic never hurt anyone.
But then, you wouldn't have been able to make fun of the left-leaning
Rebecca Blood, and her lefty ideas about coffeehouses if you decided that
her book had merit. Silly girl. Where does she get off, thinking she knows
more about weblogs than a couple of known writers?
Although Sullivan started the insults, Andersen works very hard to keep
Year-rounders in a seaside resort who both need and
mock the tourists and ooze alternative-weekly, grass-roots-loving piety.
Well, yes; exactly. And that is a function of geography: The three capitals
of Coffeehouse America are San Francisco and Seattle, not coincidentally
the epicenters of the digital revolution, and Cambridge, where The Weblog
Handbook and We've Got Blog were published. So, agreed: We don't need
to say much more about either of these books, which seem pretty deeply
unnecessary, as you suggest. And so much less interesting than the phenomenon
they aim to explain and exploit.
[...] As much as I enjoy and even depend on several
blogs (including yours), that incestuous, smug-but-needy, seaside-resort-full-timer
sensibility is a besetting sin of the genreas it always has been,
indeed, of Internet pioneers as a species. Too many bloggers remind
me of Dennis Millers manqué or the comic-book store owner on
The Simpsons ... combined, in the Rebecca Bloods of the world, with
Mr. Van Driessen, Beavis and Butt-head's hippie teacher. In other words,
passionate and smart but also irritating and smug and faintly, inescapably
Let's see. San Francisco and Seattle, those damned lefty cities,
two "deeply unnecessary" books, and then the old canard: Bloggers
are all living in their parents' basements, pulling their pants up to
hide their ass-crack as they raise their overweight bodies from the computer
chair and head upstairs for another six-pack of soda and bag of chips.
And you're calling bloggers smug? Wow. But that's all right, you
made a clever remark that can be quoted ad nauseum by the smug, inescapably
sad bloggers who only wish they could be you. Once they get out
of their parents' basements, of course.
Perhaps the next time Slate wants to have a discussion on blogs, they'll
use two people who have an understanding of the medium. Regardless of
the fact that Sullivan runs a popular weblog, he just doesn't get it.
And neither, apparently, does Andersen. Pity. And the saddest thing of
all: Sullivan was one of the reasons I started my blog in the first place.
(Update: Andrew strikes
What the Israelis think
A quick tour around the Israeli bloggers for their points of view. First,
At this moment, the country feels the calmest that
it's been for at least 6 months. That's not saying much, and it could
change any second - especially with the trouble on the Lebanese border
and the Iraq situation. But the IDF has been successful in rooting out
much of the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas. A few
weeks ago Defence Minister Ben-Eliezer said there were something like
50 suicide bombers ready to go; we're not hearing much of that sort
of thing now. Nor are we hearing about foiled attacks on a daily basis
the way we used to. The PFLP has been practically speaking neutralized
In the Oslo era, there were periods in which there
were surges of Islamikaze bombings (often these were immediately after
one of the "phased withdrawals" that turned over territory
to the PA). After a period of calm, Israelis would then go back to their
daily routine - as well as their routine political dogmas. Cynics thought
that we had very short memories. The past two years of chaos will not
be so easily forgotten, but if the current relative absence of attacks
were to continue various things could happen: downtown would come back
to life; tourists, businessmen, and investors would return.
Then it's striking to hear stuff on the radio like:
"The curfew in Nablus will be lifted from noon until dusk. Jenin
remains under curfew while in Kalkilya the curfew has been lifted",
or about the 4 members of a family killed by tank fire in Gaza. The
quiet and stability that we are experiencing comes at the expense of
the Palestinians (as well as at the expense of the pressures on the
IDF and reservists).
But it's foolish (and I would say immoral) to argue
that Israel should sacrifice its own citizens (and civil stability)
in order to spare Palestinians from hardships necessitated by the failure
of their own government (and to a large extent the failure of their
In several different incidents during the last days
Palestinian civilians, some of them were children, were killed from
IDF fire. Its something that Israel should try to minimize, as
we are not killers. We seek to catch or kill those who murder us. The
IDF is not targeting civilians but accidents do happen, war is a dirty
business and the Palestinians should have thought about it when they
launched their terror campaign. There are people that say that in relatively
calm periods, as we are in now, Israel should halt its target killings
and other provoking military actions. I dont agree
with them. Israel should keep the pressure until well see more
than randomly quiet, meaning there will be someone new and serious in
the Palestinian side that we can talk with that will actually do something
to stop terrorists. The IDF is slowly grinding down Palestinian resistance.
Thats the only way they will consider to stop their terror campaign
against us. Sadly I do think that Arab/Palestinians aspirations to drive
us out to the sea are not likely to disappear in the next few decades.
My feeling that something had to change intensified
during the first Intifada. When the opportunity arose for Palestinian
self-rule which was to gradually become (as I saw it) Palestinian sovereignty
in the territories, I was all for it.
The feeling was euphoric. No more shame. We were finally
doing the right thing. At last we would be able to be on equal footing
with the people we share this country with. It felt like the Messiah
[...] This time around I have no feelings of shame
or embarrassment. I have compassion for the Palestinians suffering.
Im sorry about innocent Palestinians being killed. I feel for
their families. I wish it could be different, but I feel no guilt.
They had their chance and messed up big-time. The blame
is theirs, not ours.
And don't miss Imshin's translation
of an interview in Yediot Aharonot with the brother of a suicide bomber
. It illustrates the tragedy that Arafat causes his own people, and is
available in English nowhere else in the world. That's right, a
Blogger exclusive, courtesy of Imshin. permalink
Scott at amcgltd is a genius. He invented
a way to defrost frozen foods that doesn't include microwaving or heat
of any kind. Plus, he hates
car alarms as much as I do.
Vegard Valberg has an essay
on transnationalism. He thinks the trend will be dead fairly quickly.
An interesting read from someone who lives in a nation that may be the
canary in the coal mine.
Loriloo has left
the country. What, no more An
American Woman's Adventures in Korea? Sad news. Somehow, Loriloo in
San Francisco just won't have the same flair.
And she's got a great idea: Rosh HaShana honey
and chocolates for the IDF soldiers and their families.
Via Occam's Toothbrush: The
World Tribune says the Iraqi
invasion will happen before the end of November. Mind you, they also
have an article (for subscribers only, which is not me) that says Turkey
warns the U.S. that they will annex parts of Northern Iraq (the parts
with the oil). So take it for what it's worth. I'm thinking Turkey isn't
going to be annexing a damned thing, but hey, I'm an optimist. permalink
More silly searches:
"the sex chanels:" Perfumes for whenyou know.
(That's right, spelling does matter.)
"links sofa leather guys:" I think you're looking for
"lyric passenger seat stephen speaks:" This one has
so many different variations, it's rendered me speechless. So it's a good
thing I'm typing this. Lyric passenger seats? Passengers seats named "Stephen?"
Speaking passenger seats named Stephen, spouting lyrics?
"quotes 'you're not paranoid'-'just because' -'not paranoid enough':"
Well. This person is more paranoid than any single human deserves to be.
(Quick! Look behind you!) Hope I didn't scare the poor thing. Ahem. Just
because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't really out to get you.
There, did that help?
Here's my favorite: "oorali oorali oorali oorali." Not
one, not two, not three, but four "ooralis." I don't
even know what one is, let alone four of them, but it amuses me no end
that this actually brought someone to my site. So much so that I found
the entry that actually has all four "ooralis" and permalinked
it so you can see for yourself. (I could have sworn I had links going
as of January 1. Guess not.) Wow, what a trip down memory lane. It's been
a long eight months.
"'one god" and shirl:" Shirl,
is there something you want to tell me? permalink
I'm feeling snarky today
Blame Fred. I think he's a bad
influence on me.
child beggars are Saudis, study shows
RIYADH, 1 September A majority of children who
sell trinkets or beg in the streets are Saudis, a new study revealed.
The study on the social and economic conditions of
child beggars has sparked a debate in the Arabic press as the revelation
contradicted the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs claim that only
25 percent of the children are Saudis.
But there's so much oil money! Where's it all going? Could it have something
to do with the corruption of the six thousand royals and their cronies?
Most of these child beggars are from large Saudi
families and their parents are illiterate, said the study, adding
that most of the families have been living in rented houses. In many
cases, their parents have been accused of pushing their children into
begging though they themselves are healthy enough to work. But in some
cases, the parents earn some money but it is too insufficient to make
ends meet in these days of soaring living costs in Saudi cities.
Those soaring costs of living are a bitch. But then, so is illiteracy.
From the CIA
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and
total population: 62.8%
female: 50.2% (1995 est.)
Imagine. Half the women in Saudi Arabia can read and write now!
Why, next thing you'll hear they'll be able to drive!
[...] The study quoted the International Labor Organization
(ILO) as saying that there are thousands of child beggars in the Kingdom.
Beggary is indeed becoming an alarming social problem.
Was that "beggary" or "buggery?"
According to the study, the average age of these child
beggars is seven years. With every passing day a number of minor girls
and their mothers take up beggary as a full-time vocation.
Looks like the Saudis have finally found an acceptable career for their
As the tribe multiplies, beggars have become an unwelcome
but common sight.
Running out of oil money, are we? I feel your pain, brother.
Well. Let's see what else we can find in the Arab News today.
estate show set as market heads for big boom
JEDDAH, 2 September Jeddah will witness a major
real estate exhibition in January, according to Ahmad Mohammed Al-Mohandis,
member of the real estate committee at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and
Yeah, that desert sand is some prime real estate. Sign me up for three
or four lots. What's that? Jews aren't allowed to own property in Saudi
Arabia, you say? Women either? Bummer.
About 70 national companies are expected to take part
in the show. Organized by Al-Mustaqbil Company and Al-Aqariah magazine
in association with the real estate committee, The Jeddah Real
Estate, Financing & Housing Exhibition will open on Jan. 5.
[...] The exhibition comes at a time when real estate
market in the Kingdom is likely to witness a big boom over the coming
months as a result of repatriation of funds from the United States.
"Repatriation of funds." Interesting. I thought the Saudis
denied that they were removing investments from the United States. They
wouldn't belyingwould they?
Khaled Sultan, head of a real estate company in Jeddah,
said the situation in the market was extremely satisfactory
as a result of growing demand.
Reports on the return of billions of dollars
in Saudi and other Gulf investments abroad would definitely give a boost
to the market, he said.
Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sanie, an economist, said the real
estate sector would be one of the major beneficiaries of repatriated
funds. Sanie expected a major boom in the sector if the government encourages
foreigners to purchase real estate in the country.
Yes, I can see the world's investors rushing to be the first to own a
hectare of sand in Jedda. Why, they'll be killing each other over who
gets the choicest dune! (I want the one with the view of the desert.)
There are about six million expatriates in the
Kingdom. Some of them have considerable incomes which allow them to
purchase property in the country, he said.
Six million expatriates in the kingdom. I see. Foreigners. Who wants
to bet that they're counting the millions of foreign workers as expats?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Then there's this gem:
lessons from Islam, MWL urges Earth Summit
MAKKAH, 1 September The Muslim World League
(MWL) has urged the Earth Summit committee studying problems of women
and family to draw benefit from the rules of ethics and morality as
enshrined in Islam.
So you want the Earth Summit to crash planes into the buildings of countries
whose way of life they disapprove of?
Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Zeid, MWL assistant secretary-general
for mosques affairs and head of the Leagues delegation to the
conference being held in Johannesburg, presented a paper on ways to
tackle problems faced by women and family from an Islamic perspective.
He pointed out the important role that could be played by women in national
development and environmental protection.
The problems faced by women and family from an Islamic perspective would
be radical Islam, you schmuck.
He also stressed the need to protect women from all
forms of suppression, violence and sexual harassment so that they can
perform their role satisfactorily in bringing up future generations.
You mean the suppression and violence that women in fundamentalist Islamic
societies experience every day? Like honor killings and being forced to
wear the burqa and being beaten for showing any skin or being stoned to
death for "adultery" while the man goes free for lack of evidence
and being forced back into a burning building because your head is uncovered?
Oh, that's not considered suppression, I forgotit's religious freedom.
Divine religions have advocated that people live
an honorable life and have made it amply clear that family constitutes
the pillar of a healthy society, he said.
Yeah, I know. Judaism is one such religion. Christianity is another.
Dr. Al-Zeid called for studying Islam in an objective
manner, and slammed biased campaigns being launched against it. He noted
that Islam rejects all forms of evils such as adultery, homosexuality,
alcohol and drug abuse. It would be better for the contemporary
world to benefit from the rules pertaining to affairs of women and family
as advocated by Islam 14 centuries ago, he added. (SPA)
Sure. Let's turn the clock back 14 centuries and see how that benefits
starving Africans today. WTF does this have to do with sustainable development
again? Oh, was I expecting too much for you to stay on topic? Sorry.
And last, but not least:
STC slashes international
call charges by up to 63%: Now the terrorists can save money while
planning their next attack! permalink
To search, perchance to laugh
Yesterday was one of the best days for search requests I've ever had.
"lonely houston texas expat:" Sorry, I'm not running
a dating service, although I feel for you, dude, I feel for you. It's
tough to move to a new town. Maybe Lair
can help you feel more at home.
"free muslim burqa pics:" Yes, we have them, but they'll
cost you $49.95 for shipping and handling. Please indicate whether you
want Afghan burqas, Pakistani burqas, or Malaysian burqas. Money-back
guarantee (less shipping and handling costs). Not responsible for clients
being followed by religious fanatics with rods. Use at your own risk.
"how to make a pines enlarger:" There is nothing I like
better than helping some poor ignorant child make his garden grow. How
large do you want your pines to be? Are they average-sized pines, or are
they perhaps smaller than usual, of the sapling variety? Do you want them
to grow up to be great big woody pines? How much elasticity would you
like? Of course, the bigger pines are less flexible than the smaller ones,
and let's face itsometimes a little is just enough. (And the reverse
is true: If your pines are too big, she'll run away screaming in
fear.) Oh, did I say "she"? I meant "tree." Honest.
"inside women's heads:" Oh, yeah, like we're gonna give
away that information. And stop driving men crazy? Never.
"jewish speed dating nj:" Hm. Speed dating. Is that
where you pretend you're on your third date on your first one, or is it
the first date where you talk really fast and eat at Starbuck's instead
of having a nice dinner? (Either way, I don't think it will catch on.)
"free new jersey roommate service:" Sounds to me like
the Pines Enlarger is looking for someone to test his new stick on. (I'm
just loving the substitute words in this post.)
"david's spanking:" Wow, that Pines Enlarger dude is
getting around fast.
"gracie patches:" What do you call the Band-Aids I apply
after playing with my cat?
"portal de osama bin laden:" I believe it's known as
"The gates of hell."
"shark cheer leder:" Sigh. Spelling, people, spelling.
Spelling counts! Or perhaps the shark ate the "a." Hm. That's
probably an excuse a teacher never heard. "The shark ate my homework."
"john edward fraud:" That's my boy! Keep 'em coming,
I hook some of my best readers with this one.
And my favorite of the young month:
"what does the name 'meryl'stand for?" Well, it's either
"Really wiseass weblogger" or "Throws right, bats left."
Why Arabs lose wars
piece in American Diplomacy by a military strategist who served for
years training Arabs in fighting techniques.
Second, the complex mosaic system of peoples creates
additional problems for training, as rulers in the Middle East make
use of the sectarian and tribal loyalties to maintain power. The `Alawi
minority controls Syria, east bankers control Jordan, Sunnis control
Iraq, and Nejdis control Saudi Arabia. This has direct implications
for the military, where sectarian considerations affect assignments
and promotions. Some minorities (such the Circassians in Jordan or the
Druze in Syria) tie their well-being to the ruling elite and perform
critical protection roles; others (such as the Shi`a of Iraq) are excluded
from the officer corps. In any case, the careful assignment of officers
based on sectarian considerations works against assignments based on
merit. The same lack of trust operates at the inter-state level, where
Arab armies exhibit very little trust of each other, and with good reason.
The blatant lie Gamal Abdel Nasser told King Husayn in June 1967 to
get him into the war against Israel that the Egyptian air force
was over Tel Aviv (when the vast majority of planes had been destroyed)
was a classic example of deceit. Sadats disingenuous approach
to the Syrians to entice them to enter the war in October 1973 was another
(he told them that the Egyptians were planning total war, a deception
that included using a second set of operational plans intended only
for Syrian eyes). With this sort of history, it is no wonder that there
is very little cross or joint training among Arab armies and very few
command exercises. During the 1967 war, for example, not a single Jordanian
liaison officer was stationed in Egypt, nor were the Jordanians forthcoming
with the Egyptian command.
Corner. Jonah, Victor Davis Hanson didn't say it first. This article
is from the fall, 2000 issue. And it's by a military man, which Hanson
is not. permalink
Ribbity Blog is froggin' excellent. I can't say this enough, and I may
never run out of frog puns to use to describe this blogger. (Is the Frog
a he or a she? I don't know. Frog won't tell.) But check out this gem:
Once again I am grateful to Peter Briffa's Public Interest
Blog for drawing my attention to another piece of The Patroniser's nonsense
on world terrorism. Following the September 11th attacks, every journalist
and his brother is suddenly an expert on Islamic terror. Minor impediments
such as knowing something about Islam and the Middle East or even knowing
where to look up the basic facts about Islam and the Middle East have
not prevented journalists from espousing their ignorant views on the
causes of the attacks on the USA.
Some people expressed concern that this was going to
turn out to be another of those Arab-Israel conflict Blogs, and wanted
to see some more personal stuff. OK, we'll try. I discovered today that
my teddy has a hernia and is in immediate need of an operation. Yesterday
I dropped a bottle of frozen water on my Animal (the muppets) mug that
I've had for over twenty years and broke the handle. It has now been
repaired with Araldite. I have been listening tonight on the Frog Box
to a recording by Paul Robeson called "Songs of Free Men"
which includes a track entitled "Chassidic Chant" in which
Robeson sings part of the Aramaic Kaddish (more on Aramaic another time).
I think that will have to suffice for the personal gooey stuff. As we
say, Different Blogs for Different Frogs (or as the humans put it: one
man's meat is another man's poisson). If you don't like it, you can
just Blog Off.
And Laurence Simon has another
foot-stomper. Only he could find a relationship between West Nile,
AIDS, Jerry Falwell and right-wing Republicans. And a funny one, at that.
I know I just linked to him yesterday, but Mr. Misha has a few good things
going on over there today. I agree with him completely about IsraPundit
linking to AlleyWriter. I will not promote bigotry and hatred.
IsraPundit should screen its linked blogs more carefully. permalink
Third Watch and A&E
By the way, if you don't watch Third Watch, you're missing one of the
best dramas on television. And A&E is running four episodes in a row
tonight, two of which (the two 9/11 episodes) I've just seen.
You can catch up on the episodes at 11 p.m. on Monday nights starting
tomorrow. I'm quite pleased, as it was on opposite Angel and I missed
a few episodes. permalink
The Munich Massacre and ABC
Judith Weiss emailed me
to let me know that ABC was running a documentary
on the massacre of Israel's Olympic Athletes in 1972 by members of Black
September, a Palestinian terrorist organization. So I managed to catch
the documentary. I was pretty young in 1972. I don't remember a lot about
that day, other than anger and sadness after hearing that the athletes
had all been killed. Only one image gelled with my memories of the day:
That of the masked terrorist coming out on the balcony of the Olympic
Village building, looking around and down.
I don't really have a lot to say about the documentary overall. For the
most part, it was pretty straightforward and fairly well done. There were
the obligatory (and unsurprising) "The Palestinians are still the
miserable, downtrodden yadda yadda yadda" statements by Peter Jennings
at the end of the show. And I was astonished to find out that the children
of the murdered athletes went out of their way to meet the Palestinian
contingent during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. And that the spouses and
families of the murdered athletes told Golda Meir that they did not want
the Israeli army to take revenge for the attacks. That they wanted justice,
not revenge. And the references to 9/11 in no way diluted the subject
of the show.
But there's something I just can't quite process. If ABC thought that
the 30th anniversary of the Munich Massacre was so important that they
made a documentary out of itif ABC thought it was so important they
dug up Roone Arledge and Jim McKay and interviewed them about the eventsif
ABC thought it was so important that they included never-before-heard
audiotapes of the various ABC employees (and let me tell you, hearing
Howard Cosell's sing-song delivery reporting that the police were clearing
out the parking garage in his area was more jarring than anything I could
have imagined)why did ABC put the documentary on at 1:30 on a Sunday
afternoon, when nobody would watch it?
The massacre of the Israeli Olympic athletes wasn't a sporting event.
So why did ABC program the documentary about it as if it was?
I guess the event just doesn't rate a prime time look anymore. permalink
Still Labor Day Weekend
So it's rained for the fourth day in a row here in Richmond. Good. We're
having a drought, and we need the rain. But I'm still not writing much
new material and still sending you off to blogs where people are having
less of a life than me. Besides, I'm really annoyed that I went to Slichot
services last night and while they played "Avinu Malkeinu,"
they did not let us sing it, and it's about my favorite song of any service.
Grump, grump, grump.
The Rottweiler put me on
his permalinks. I'm a Hot Dog. Arf. Okay, "hot" is a label I
like, but I dunno about the dog part, especially with my semi-regular
Cattales feature. He also doesn't mind if
you call him an effing
son of a bitch, so what the hell, send him email telling him he's
an effing son of a bitch. Make his day. (He'll really like it if
you're an uber-lefty calling him that.) Mr. Misha's a little strident
for my tastes sometimes, but hey, that's what Rottweilers do. If he gets
too testy, I'll sic Worf the Rhodesian
Ridgeback after him. (Pay special attention to the last paragraph
in the red column; it's the AKC way of saying, "Worf likes only his
owners and Meryl and will attack anyone else who thinks they're getting
inside the house without permission." Hey, he bit the builder last
year, leading us to make a new rule: Never leave a stranger alone in a
room with Worf, even after they've been introduced. Ridgebacks
can be a testy lot.)
Last week's blogs are archived.
Here's the Blogathon.
Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try
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.