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Why I don't have dogs

Worf feigning innocenceI stayed at Heidi's last night. Woke up bright and early because Worf got into the compost can, which is a small garbage can of the type that you have to step on for the lid to open. Heidi used to keep a great glass bottle half-filled with pennies on top to prevent Worf from opening it. So one day Worf knocked the entire bottle off the top of the can. Then Heidi put the pennies into a metal scoop (sorta like those scales). Worf figured out how to knock that off last night. So this morning, because this dog is nothing if not bright, he knocked the scoop of pennies off again. I got up, shooed him and the other two dogs out of the kitchen, and started cleaning up the compost, as everyone else was still asleep, probably because the guest room is closest to the kitchen. I do believe they planned it that way. Sure, what does it matter if their guests get woken up by the dogs? It's not like they have guests every night.

The dogs immediately take advantage of my distraction by running into my room and seeing if I have smuggled any food. I have not, but that wouldn't stop Sparty from tearing apart my pocketbook. So I run into the guest room and shoo the dogs out of my room and this time, I close the door behind me. I finish cleaning up the compost, put the compost can in the TV room so the dogs can't get it again, and go back to my room.

The door is locked.

It locked behind me when I closed it. I am locked out of my bedroom. Inside are all of my clothes, my computer, and my glasses. I can't even read. Or watch TV. Not without sitting inches away from the screen. And anyway, I don't want to read. I'm tired. I want to go back to sleep.

Nobody else is awake. I have no idea where the little tools to unlock the doors are. So I lie down on the couch in the Great Room, because the couch in the TV Room, although more comfortable, smells like dog because, well, the dogs lie on it a lot. Heidi gets up about half an hour later, sees me on the sofa, and says, "Did the dogs wake you up?"

We will stop here.



Letters from Israelis

A couple of responses to recent posts. First, from Barry regarding Tom Delay:

Maybe we are not afraid but we are stressed out.

The cause of this is obvious but what agravates the stress is, for example, the editorial in today's WSJ. "Mideast Peace Process" ...yadda, yadda, ..Israel can help Abbas by taking down its security fence...! Printed in today's Jerusalem Post.

Hell, don't know if Delay is sincere and honest, but in light of the WSJ editorial, we just tend to dismiss the speech, like mayo on old bread. Not quite digestible.

Does the editor have any idea what rubbish is implied in those 10 words? Ms Rice also complained about the "fence" and a a very sarcastic question asked was if her intel perhaps had the names of the next lot of "bystanders"!

We had open borders so much so that people from Jenin and Afula were in each other's backyards shopping and eating. Every Saturday Israelis would flock to Jenin and during the week it would be the other way round. Let's say that October was our 9/11. The great majority of Israelis want separation for the simple reason one cannot keep turning round to see what's behind one's back and still sleep nights. We need to know that If America wants us to have faith and believe in her reps, then have some constructive criticism like say, the "fence's position in some places", for public consumption and not relativistic nonsense.

Basically with all the lies from 1993 by Arafat, the EU, UN and others the locals here don't have much faith in nice words.

What I could not get the Hon rep to answer is his opinion on UNIFIL (th) troop behaviour in Lebanon when they made their video of Hizbollah kidnapping Israeli soldiers, and in 1996 when Hizbollah "activists" used their compond in Kfar Kana as cover while firing rockets into northern Israel. Maybe that way one could get a better feel for the man.

Then there's this letter from Daniel S., 1st. Sgt, IDF, reserves, about the female IDF battalion:

Some years ago, an interesting experiment was tried in the IDF. At that time, women were permitted in all non-combat roles in the IDF; and every so often, someone would say, well, such-and-such a role isn't truly combat, shouldn't women be admitted there? Hence, over the years, you started seeing women wearing the insignia of phys-ed instructors, of paratroop jump trainers, and so on. (I still have a color newspaper photo somewhere, circa 1993, of the U.S. Marines of the Sixth Fleet going for a morning run on the beaches of Haifa... being led by a grinning buxom IDF sergeant.)

But then that question was asked about the training and leadership of male combat soldiers.

Preposterous, argued the high brass. How can fighting men be trained by women who, by definition, have never seen the front lines?

But they agreed to try... and so, in 1987, as a pilot project, three groups of basic-training grunts were commanded, throughout their training, ENTIRELY by women. Their corporals and sergeants were women; their lieutenants and captains were women; they quite literally never dealt with ANYONE in a position of authority who wasn't a woman.

To the utter surprise of the high brass, and the satisfaction of the women busting their butts to make the idea work, the idea succeeded beyond its wildest expectations. The women pushed their recruits harder than the male officers had... AND GOT RESULTS, because, like all IDF officers, they led by example. Believe me, NO male recruit wanted to drop out of a forced march, no matter how exhausted he was, when a five-foot female corporal was marching ahead of him!

(I found out about this when I bucked for sergeant in the IDF in 1987. The base where I trained was also a basic-training facility, and happened to be one of the three test cases.)

I'm delighted to hear that this trend has continued... through female fighter-pilots in the IAF, and to the article you cite.

I wish I knew the Hebrew for "Oo-rah!"

Israel Indymedia says hello

Someone reprinted in its entirety (a very tiresome Indymedia breach of copyright; but since when do they let the law get in the way of anything they want to say?) my piece from the other week. Instead of the usual calls of "zionazi!", there is actually a rational discussion of whether or not the ISM tactics are nonviolent. (See, clusterfsker, real Jews don't call other Jews Nazis.)

While the discussion is ongoing, here's what the ISM peace creeps (as Charles likes to call them) did today:

IDF disperses violent protest at security fence near Tulkarm
Facing a violent crowd of over 100 demonstrators, the IDF used tear gas this afternoon to disperse protesters who were vandalizing the security fence and throwing rocks at security forces, a military source told The Jerusalem Post.

The protest took place at around 1:30 pm near the West Bank town of Tulkarem. The pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement said soldiers fired rubber bullets at about 300 Palestinians and 60 foreign supporters who dismantled a barbed-wire barrier in front of a section of the security fence near Tulkarem in the northern West Bank. The group said three Palestinians and eight foreigners were injured.

Wow, 60 "foreign supporters." I guess Adam Shapiro's call for a thousand "activists" to head to Israel—sorry, "Palestine"—for the summer to "tear down that wall!" is a big hit on the loony left circuit.

So, let's see. Gilad says that the ISMers are conducting nonviolent protest, because they're only hurting a fence. Sorry. Throwing rocks at security forces counts as violence in my book, as well as any other book grounded in reality. Oh, and Gil says they were chanting "From the river to the sea/Palestine will be free" while cutting the fence.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong—really, I'm not 100% sure of this—but isn't that calling for the destruction of the state of Israel? And wouldn't that discount completely any false claim to nonviolence?

Yeah. Gilad, you're an idiot. Open your eyes. The ISM is a palestinian-led, palestinian-supported movement of people who don't want Israel to be.

People who believe in Israel's right to exist don't chant the chants of terrorist organizations that have been working for decades to destroy the Jewish state. The ISM "internationals" are nothing but fools and liars, and the Jewish members should be deeply ashamed of themselves. So should their Jewish supporters.

Israeli ERA watch

The IDF is forming a mostly-female Infantry battalion.

To enter service next spring, the army is forming a female infantry battalion, Israel Radio reported Friday.

It will be the world's first fighting battalion to be comprised of at least 70% women fighters.

Saudi Arabian women, if you remember, have only just been given permission (if they get it from their husbands or fathers) to have their own IDs, rather than be on their husband's or father's ID as a dependent. Women in Kuwait can't vote. Egypt just appointed female judges last year. Protests in Iraq occurred a day or two ago over women judges.

And yet, the left holds Israel in contempt. The ISM website talks about conforming to "conservative" attitudes among Palestinians (including hiding your homosexuality).

(Interestingly, I tried to link to the ISM's web page on that topic. They've pulled it. What are they trying to hide?)

By the way, I've met Israeli women. You don't want to mess with them.

I got nothin'

I suppose I could link to Kate's latest exercise in Juvenile Scorn (I think she thinks she's sitting her Masters exams; sorry, sweetie, it's far too soon for that). But it's a nice try.

I could talk about the air conditioner repairman, but aside from telling you that he moved to Chicago from Puerto Rico and has a totally Chicago accent and looks like that tall, skinny guy I've seen on so many cop shows but can't remember the name, there's not much to tell. Well, except for one question: Who would move my air conditioning unit, and why? I mean, it's heavy. Someone actually came around the back of my apartment and moved it.

That wasn't what broke it. A bug got inside and died on the contacts. Bug guts interfered with the electricity going through them.

But still—someone moved my AC unit, and recently. There's a huge patch of non-moldy cement beneath it. What, was there treasure buried under it or something? Or are my white trash stalkers thinking of new things to do?

It's very strange.



Kudos to two bloggers

Dean's got an excellent interview with Cox & Forkum, the editorial cartoonists. Well worth reading, and yes, Dean, you should be proud of it. I normally don't care for the interview format. It's not that hard to do a fair job, but it's extremely difficult to do a great job.

Great job, Dean.

Kate's been a blog buddy of mine for weeks. We've been exchanging tons of email, and in it, I've begun calling her my young Padawan learner, as she seems to think sucking up to me—er, asking me lots of blogging questions—will help her improve her own (already excellent) blog.

Well, something has caught on, because as the official Master of Juvenile Scorn™ of the blogosphere (I think because of this post), I must say this is one of the best efforts in that area I've seen in quite some time. Well done, young Padawan. The farce is strong in you. (Okay, even I thought that one stunk. Sorry. I can't always be great.)

It's one of those weeks

So I'm sitting here beginning to sweat, and I figure it's because I'm wearing long pants, yet have the AC configured to my wearing shorts. And as I'm leaving in a few more minutes, I figure I just won't bother with it. So then I'm trying to reconfigure my resume from publishing/web development to teaching (and let me tell you, that is one incredibly difficult thing to do), and slowly but surely I start realizing that it's getting hotter and hotter and hotter in here. Finally, I go look at the thermostat, because it also dawns on me that the central air conditioning has been on for the greater part of an hour, which is extremely unusual. The temperature is over 80. Then I get on a chair and check the vents. Air's not cold. Go upstairs. Ditto. Finally, it hits me: The AC is out.

You know, I did figure it out eventually, but really, you'd think a glance at the neato clock with the time, date, moon phase and temperature (that my brother gave me) would have given me a hint. Eighty degrees is a bit higher than the usual temperature inside this apartment.

Well, at least I have my tire fixed and the spare replaced. (I'm going to need new tires in about 5,000 miles, they told me. Sigh.)

By the way, if there are any teachers out there who want to throw in some advice to someone who's trying to get an emergency cert and a position as a high school English teacher, feel free. I have the B.A. in English, and even some teaching experience from last year's religious school stint. I understand I'm right in time for the August wave of hires that go on just before school starts.

Fight! Fight!

Ilyka Damen has captured one aspect of the current round of hissing and spitting going on in certain portions of the blogosphere by posting what it would be like if Lileks and Vodkapundit acted like a couple of pissy women. But besides the silliness, she gets to some very good, serious points:

(1) Criticism on the merits (that is, criticism of what is written) will always attract more readers than criticism of the author inferred from what is written--unless it's Tim Blair writing about Robert Fisk, in which case this observation does not apply.

(2) Armchair psychoanalysis and professional-quality writing do not mix. You can do one or the other, but not both.

(3) Complaining isn't zero-sum. If I say I am hungry because I haven't eaten in ten hours, my saying that does not diminish the hunger you have from not having eaten in two days--nor does it diminish my own hunger for you to point out to me that you've gone longer without food than I have. It's true that objectively, you are more in need of food than I am, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't eat something myself. In short--there is always plenty of bitching to go around. No one needs to have a Will the Real Martyr Please Stand Up? contest; there is no winner

Right on all three, Ilyka. When I see posts like the one you're talking about, I roll my eyes and wonder if the authors missed out on their "Act Like a Grownup" pill that morning.

It never ceases to amaze me that people see fit to attack other bloggers on personal issues. There's a whole subculture out there that lives on such things, I know. But to me, all it does is show up the moral and intellectual vacuity of the person doing the attacking.

Especially in the over-thirty crowd. I mean, really. Get a life.

Tom Delay and Israel

You may have noticed the silence on these pages regarding Tom Delay's trip to Israel, and his "Be Not Afraid," speech. There are a few good reasons for that.

I loathe Tom Delay with a passion. As far as I can tell, his stand on Israel is the only issue on which the two of us agree. And the reasons for his support of Israel are suspect.

If he supports the nation of Israel because she is a democratic, freedom-loving state that only seeks to exist in peace, then I wholeheartedly approve of his support.

But if he supports the nation of Israel because his Scriptures tell him that the state of Israel must exist for his messiah to return, then I'm not interested. I can't throw my hat in a ring with the same people who are effectively saying that the Jewish state can only exist long enough for us to finish the whole Christian thing, and then the Jews are extraneous.

Mind you, I have not thoroughly researched his stance on these issues. I may have the wrong idea about the man. So perhaps instead of sending me horrified or angry emails, you can send me URLs to articles or websites that will clarify the situation for me either way. If I'm wrong, I will happily say so.

And by the way, the Israelis aren't afraid, Tom. Just go take a read of Imshin or Gil if you want a better title for your speech. Something on the order of, "We're not going anywhere."

"Be not afraid." Feh.

We interrupt these entries

Life intrudes once again. But I'm working on a post that will more than likely place me at the center of two or three different blogwars at once.

Ain't life grand?




Bill Herbert shoves bamboo sticks up Jim Henley's fingernails. Would you like some lemon juice to go with that? (No, I don't think you were harsh at all, why do you ask?)

Frankly, I would have been fine if we were really kidnapping the guy's family and holding him prisoner, but that's just my attitude towards fascistic, murdering thugs these days.

The Carnival of the Vanities is up. I've been out all day, which is why I'm late with this.

Frank D. asked me to forward this link to Kate and John Hawkins. I think I'll just put it here, instead. It's the Library of Congress link to resources about women's history. Thanks, Frank!

I'm still trying to make up my mind about this terrorism futures market. So I'll go read Noah Schactman's take on it.

This is mine. It's an oldie but goodie. I was rereading it tonight after I found the link for a friend, and thought I'd point it out to new users. It's called Sober, and it's one of my best essays from last year.

That's all I have time for tonight. Been out all day. The good news: My flat tire is fixed, and I don't need to buy a new one. Sixteen bucks, and they're going to put the spare back where it belongs, and the fixed tire where it belongs. Liking the prices here in Richmond, boy.

Proof of male

Do not disturb the Tig

I came out of the shower to this view, which proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Tig is a guy. Notice the shorts thrown on the bed behind him, the unmade bed, the unkempt fur, sleeping on a pillow with no pillowcase—all guy stuff.

And the posture... could he be any more guy-like? (No, not that. That's just his tail. Pervs.)



Au naturel

The best part about summer—the very best part—is barefootin' it.

I hate wearing shoes. The way I see it, if God meant us to wear shoes, we'd be born with them and women would hate childbirth even more than they already do.

Tig likes me best barefoot, too. He's under the impression that scritching the side of his face with toenails is much nicer than having it done with fingernails. Hey, don't look at me, he's the one who rubs his face against my bare feet.

My old Tig used to rub against my legs the second I got out of the shower. That rather sucked, as he was a long-haired cat, too. All of my cats have learned the phrase, "Don't rub against my legs!" for that, and for their uncanny ability to decide to do that the second after I've just put on pantyhose. It is especially certain on the days I wear a dark suit and matching hosiery.

On the other hand, the downside of summertime (and wearing skirts and dresses) is that leg-shaving thing. I tore off a good strip of skin yesterday morning. I blame the Blogathon. I didn't have a Band-Aid large enough to cover the wound. And it was the first leg I shaved, so I had to spend the rest of my shower going "Ow! Ow! Ow!" as soap washed into the bleeding wound from time to time.

See, the real reason I tore off all that skin is because it's a new razor. I hate new razors. I prefer old ones, because although it takes a lot longer to scrape off the hair, the skin doesn't come with it. I think razor companies ought to shave, oh, I dunno, peaches or dogs or something, do that a bunch of times with their new razors, then sterilize them and send them out as pre-shaved razors. I'd buy 'em.

Oh, it was the ankle area. It usually is. That, and the very front of the calf. I have scars on both calves of over an inch each. I expect most women have similar scars.

Shaving sucks. Depilating sucks. We have to genetically engineer our children so that women don't have to shave their legs anymore. C'mon, people, get that genome mapped! Screw curing diseases, this is important!

My correspondence with Cat

For the doubters out there, here are some of the things Cat told me, published with her permission:

Believe me, I hunted down Inhaled and checked everything out. I took that pledge off twice until I could get in touch with the sponsor. It's his well-off cousin, and I'm pretty confident it's legit.

I think the work you and the other MDA people do is utterly fantastic. I was pointing at the screen and telling my husband in delight that you had earned enough to dedicate a freezer to the Blogathon. ... This is pretty upsetting.

I want you to know personally that I admire what you've done. It's amazing. And next year, I hope you can get that ambulance.

By the way, she also made it clear to me that she was going to post about MDA on the front page. You know, I did have some doubts myself, and I exchanged some emails with Lair and Michele, but once again, we've been shown how quickly a flamewar can begin, and how fast it could rage out of control, in the blogosphere. While loyalty is an appreciable quality, blind loyalty tends to harm more than it helps. Need I remind you that a woman lost her job just last month due to a couple of assholes who thought they'd support their blogger by beating up on the other? (Remember the Moxie war? Jim Treacher does. And that other Moxie will get a link from me the day after I've died and someone else takes over my blog.)

I take some responsibility for this, too. I saw Lair's post and didn't comment. I thought I'd wait and see what happened. I didn't think that it would take off in a nasty direction, though, and I'm sorry for that. But it stops here, please.

Call off the flamewar

A bunch of bloggers who supported Magen David Adom, including Lair and Michele, are wondering why Cat hasn't mentioned the top money-getter, which was me, on the Blogathon front page.

You know, it's okay to wonder, but it might have been better to send a discreet email asking why, rather than accusing Cat of foul play.

I frankly don't remember anything much about last year's top moneymaker, except that he and I exchanged polite emails. I couldn't tell you if he was mentioned often by Cat or not.

But I can tell you that going off on the woman who organized a charity event that raised over $100,000 is not a very nice thing to do. Note that neither Lair nor Michele got nasty. They raised their suspicions in public. And I admit I was also curious that our efforts didn't get plugged on the front page, but I thought I'd just wait and see what happened. Or ask Cat about it privately, in email. Without the accusations.

There is no malicious, lefty, anti-Israel plot here.

Folks, you need to calm down and call off the flames. The object of the Blogathon across our three blogs was to raise money for Magen David Adom. We raised over $15,000. I'm going to be far more happy about the letter from MDA with the total amount donated in the name of the Blogathon than I am with any mention on the Blogathon front page. That ought to be enough for you all, too.

A few quick links

Catching up on my reading: Now I know why people link to William Sjostrom. Just added to my portal page. Long overdue. Sorry, William.

Robert Prather (yeah, someday I'll get to that breast implant question you asked; for some reason, it's not high up on my list of things to do) sent me to this City Journal article, which says we don't need to worry quite so much about the Feds wanting to know everything about us via the Patriot Act.

Then Noah Schachtman sent me a letter on his latest article regarding the Pentagon's DARPA plans. God help us all if they come to fruition. Somehow, I am not comforted by the Journal article after having read Noah's.

Also via Robert, this Washington Post article that is far more heartening than any of the news from Iraq lately (with the exception, of course, of the death of the Hussein Monster Spawn). It appears that our boys have learned to adapt to guerrilla tactics.

Iraqi fighters have adjusted their tactics in other ways. Upon learning that their homes were being targeted for raids, Baath Party operatives often moved their weapons, cash and documents into the homes of neighbors, military officials said.

In turn, U.S. forces expanded the scope of their raids. "The past six weeks, our patrols have gotten more aggressive, much more frequent," said Healey, the infantry company commander. "Instead of doing one house, for example, we'll do a whole street."

Likewise, Iraqi fighters learned the U.S. military is most comfortable operating at night, when it stands to gain the most from its technical advantages, such as night-vision goggles. Some fighters started going back to their homes during the day, and even holding meetings then, U.S. military officials said.

But in military operations, for every action there is a reaction. Hogg, the 2nd Brigade commander, noted this as he sat in a Humvee on Wednesday afternoon, clenching the butt of a Dominican cigar in his teeth. "The knuckleheads kind of figured out that we like to operate at night, so they started operating during the day, so we starting hitting them during the day," he said as he waited for one of his battalions to launch a daylight raid. "It's harder, because of the crowds, but it's also effective."

The best news in this article: American soldiers have killed 300 Iraqi fighters in the past six week. We've lost 39. We seem to be winning the guerrilla war, which I'm sure comes as a surprise to anyone who reads, well, any of the regular press.

The Blogathon pledge link is closed

Final pledge tally is $6,213. A letter should be arriving shortly with instructions on how to turn those pledges into cash or credit.

And by the way, we're number one in Blogathon pledges. I'll tally up the three sites later today, as there may be some pledges to Lair and Michele that didn't get counted yet. But it's over $15,000. You should all be proud. We done good.

Now, if you still want to donate to Magen David Adom, then just click right here for simple instructions. Or go directly to the MDA donation page, choose your method, and do not forget to write "BLOGATHON" in the comments field of the online credit form, or the memo field of your check. And slip me an email if you'd like me to add you to the list of donors on the Blogathon page (which will remain in my archives for as long as my weblog exists). I'll update that page with the final list of donors once I'm sure the database has been updated.

The A-List is up, kiddies, and I'm on it

Of course, it's not the A-List you think it is.

But it's extremely funny.

You didn't know I've been associated with Antonio Sabato Jr., did you? That's because we tried to keep it secret. And who knew that all these other bloggers had such secrets, too? Michele, we hardly knew ye. Here's a sampling:

Blair, Tim - B_______. Has had four Viagra-induced heart attacks. Linked with Jack Wagner, Alan Titchmarsh, Winona Ryder, Susan Anton, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Patti LaBelle.

Blood, Rebecca - L_______. Truly a special person. Lovely and giving to all she meets. Especially in bed. "Great" with gourds. Linked with Ione Skye, Ashanti, Sue Bird, and Elisabeth Dole.

Catalano, Michele - B______. Conceited. More plastic surgery than Joan and Melissa Rivers combined. Makes Melanie Griffith look like a newborn. Penchant for exposing herself in subways and delis. Enjoys corned beef sandwiches. Satanist. Linked with Dennis Kucinich, Geraldo Rivera, and the University of Santa Cruz water polo team (JV).

Curry, Adam - Cold and heartless. Into three-ways. Likes to have his hair combed while being fellated. Linked with Martha Quinn, JJ Jackson, and The San Diego Chicken.

Dash, Anil - Cross-dresser. Tyrannical martinet. Raises orphans and then sells them off to the carnival when they're of age. Linked with Paris Hilton, Nancy McKeon, Dyan Cannon, Winona Ryder, Bridgit Fonda, Susan Lucci, Mary Hart, Janet Reno, Vanna White, Loreta Swit, Oleta Adams, Joyce Kulhawick, and Pink.

Oh, and here's mine:

Yourish, Meryl - Former kept woman to an international criminal financier. Never flosses. Linked with Antonio Sabato Jr., Robert Reich, Chuck Woolery, and Ghostface Killah.

I don't care if it is a naked play for hits. It's hilarious. Go read.



ISM: Lies, damn lies, and more lies

Via Sha!, a letter from two ISM "peace" activists, attempting to explain what they're doing. It's nothing but lies from the opening to the close. It's fisked over there, but Sha missed a few spots.

Occupied peoples have the right to resist, By Tom Wallace and Radhika Sainath
'We have all committed ourselves to the practice of nonviolence and do not assist anyone in committing acts of violence'

Except when they are hiding terrorists in their offices and being used by British Muslims as a cover while on a mission to blow up Israeli civilians.

As volunteers with The International Solidarity Movement and as individuals devoted to human rights and justice, we must address recent statements maligning us, our movement and those that have given their lives standing up for the principles we espouse.

We are unwavering in our commitment to nonviolence.

And yet, the ISM "about" page says this:

The International Solidarity Movement is a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian and International activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. We utilize nonviolent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies.

As enshrined in international law and UN resolutions, we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle. However, we believe that nonviolence can be a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and we are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance.

"Legitimate armed struggle" has become a code-phrase for terrorism. But more important, here's what the ISM nutjobs did today for their "principles of nonviolent resistance:"

ISM nonviolent fence destructionActivists try to tear down portion of fence

Israelis, Palestinians and foreign volunteers affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement were confronted with tear gas and rubber bullets on Monday when they tore down portions of the security fence and forced open a locked gate to allow villagers of Anin, north west of Jenin, to tend to their fields.

IDF forces deployed at the site watched the demonstrators over 200 in number as they marched towards the fence, then intervened and dispersed the activists when they began tearing the fence down. Five people, all foreign ISM volunteers, were wounded.



That's some nonviolent resistance. Yup. Can't imagine why the IDF sent tear gas and rubber bullets their way.

I thought nonviolent resistance included, well, nonviolence. Tearing down a fence—no matter the reason—is a violent action. You cannot have a nonviolent fence destruction; it simply defies the definition.

But the stupidity of the ISM defies definition, so I suppose I shouldn't be shocked.

Deport those asshats already. The IDF has enough to do with the so-called hudna going on (they found three more bombs today). They shouldn't have to deal with 200 "peace" activists. Jenin villagers want to tend their fields? Perhaps if they stopped sending their children to kill Israelis, there wouldn't need to be a security fence.

Mad cats and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

Tig on comic boxesImagine that you are fully clothed in long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Now add to that a jacket that would keep you warm in most normal weather. Now imagine going outside in that winter outfit when it is humid and 91 degrees Fahrenheit, with a heat index of 102.

That's what Tig has been doing all afternoon. I keep letting him out, expecting him to be as smart as his sister, who takes one quick look around and decides the air-conditioned apartment is a much better place to nap. But Tig keeps going out, and then I forget he's there until I hear a yowl, when I grab him and take him back inside. Take a look at all the fur he's got. I'm trying to decide which of us is more crazy, him or me. Him, for repeatedly going outside, or me, for letting him.

Stupid cat.

Oh, that's him on top of my comic boxes. It's the highest point in the closet. He felt like being higher than me the other day. Yep, that's the ceiling of the closet above him. No, I only have about 5,000 comics, why do you ask?

He's meowing to go out as I'm writing this. It's clouding over. I think he's going to stay inside until the thunderstorms hit and it cools down.

No nation but Israel

Damian Penny pointed me to this outstanding essay in the City Journal by Sol Stern, a former Berkeley leftist.

Moshe Dayan expressed this national consensus: “Better Sharm al-Sheikh without peace, than peace without Sharm al-Sheikh.” But it took only one visit to Jerusalem by Egyptian president Anwar Sadat for all of Israel to swoon and forget Sharm al-Sheikh. Thus, in 1978, the allegedly “right-wing,” allegedly “rejectionist” government of Menachem Begin evacuated every square meter of the Sinai Peninsula in return for a cold peace with Egypt. It was Ariel Sharon, Begin’s defense minister at the time, who ordered the forcible removal of all Jewish settlers from the Sinai. In the 1980s and 1990s, two separate Israeli governments offered a similar “land for peace” deal to Syria. Given what I had seen on the Golan Heights in 1973, I found this gesture astonishingly optimistic—and I secretly sighed with relief when Hafez al-Assad rejected the offer.

Then, under the 1993 Oslo agreements, the Israeli government allowed the terrorist organizations to return to the West Bank and Gaza to begin creating the infrastructure of a future Palestinian state. Before there was even a peace treaty or ironclad security arrangements, Israel handed over tens of thousands of weapons to Yasser Arafat’s militias, supposedly for “peacekeeping.” All the while, the Palestine National Covenant stated explicitly that the goal of the liberation struggle was not a state next to Israel but rather the replacement of Israel with a Palestinian state from the Mediterranean coast to the Jordan River.

No nation in the world has taken so many mortal risks for a putative peace with its most implacable enemies. Even after the first Oslo agreement blew up in Israel’s face in the form of exploding commuter buses and pizza parlors, Ehud Barak’s government went back to Camp David and offered the Palestinians yet another agreement—same terms, no problem. Once again, the Palestinian leadership rejected the best deal they are ever likely to get short of Israel’s elimination (a far better deal, incidentally, than Jordan and Egypt offered the Palestinians when those Arab regimes controlled the West Bank and Gaza). Instead, Yasser Arafat went home to launch yet another savage war of extermination against Israel’s civilian population, with the guns that Israel had given him.

The essay is phenomenal. Read the whole thing.


I am ashamed to admit it, but I am so tired as to be unable to muster any outrage, or humor, or much of anything in the way of effort today. (Wait, I can muster a bit. Damn, rubber bullets? Shoulda used real ones. Ooh, maybe they got Adam Shapiro! One can hope.)

I have to get my tire looked at, and fixed if it can be fixed. But that would mean getting up and out.

I have to pick up my Zip drive from the synagogue office. But that would mean getting up and out.

I have to pay some bills. But that would mean exercising the math portion of my brain, and I just did that two hours ago while totaling donations and figuring out how much we earned per hour. (The donations still keep coming in, thank you, thank you, thank you, and I know I have to add the last few to the left column on the archives page; I will do that in a bit.)

I need another nap, but then I probably wouldn't be able to sleep tonight. Guess I'll just drag my way through the day, go to bed early, and wake up and take care of everything tomorrow.

LT Smash is pretending he doesn't know what a mensch is. (With Jewish in-laws, we know he's kidding.) But he's also got a great story about the Kuwaiti attitude toward the death of the Hussein monster spawn. By the way, I am eagerly awaiting the results of the Purple Shamrock fundraiser.

You can see the Blogathon totals for yourself right here. I strongly suspect the number two site has all bogus pledges. And it'd be neat if Michele could get a few hundred more and leapfrog back into third (second when they get rid of that bogus site). Be neat if Lair could get a few hundred more, too. Pledge, folks.

I just found this page at the Magen David Adom site. We may not have raised enough for an ambulance, but maybe we can dedicate a freezer at the blood center to the Blogathoners. No matter what, we've done a great mitzvah. (That's good deed, LT.)

Is anybody else tired?

Well, that was a tiring weekend, but I am freshly showered and breakfast (a very boring bowl of cereal) is at my side, and I've just seen that Marduk pledged the money he promised for our hourly French insults. Yes, that's a very real $1,800 donation—$600 each for Lair, Michele, and me.

Current total: $11,771 in pledges, $3,600 in donations (I took Marduk's insult pledge out since he went through the Blogathon for us), for a grand total of $15,371. You know, when you divide that by 24 by 3, it comes out to each of us bringing in about $213 an hour for staying awake and blogging. Not too shabby. Nobody's ever paid me that much to do anything before. Hell, they didn't even bill me out that high when I was building web pages for Lucent.

And the phone lines are still open! Pledge or donate, we don't care. Pledging will close sometime Tuesday morning, probably 9 a.m. Donations will be accepted around the clock, for as long as MDA exists. Don't forget to put "BLOGATHON" in the comments field of your oneline credit donations, and in the memo field of your checks.

If you haven't done so yet, pledge. Or donate now. There are a bunch more of you out there who can spare a few bucks. Every little bit helps.

Did you know that Magen David Adom gets no funds from the United Jewish Appeal or Bonds for Israel. MDA depends on the support of contributions from its own local fundraising and from friends of MAGEN DAVID ADOM throughout the world. (Even France, Marduk.)

If you're looking for the Blogathon posts, they're here.


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.