Dave Sims of Clubbeaux seems to think that we are overreacting when we call the Ku Klux Klan a blood-soaked, racist, hateful organization. He bases this on the fact that he met several Klan members here in Virginia some years ago, and, why, they could have been the nice young men next door. They said they didn't want no part of that racist stuff, or the cross-burning. All they wanted was what was right: No more of that affirmative action, anti-white stuff. They want "for whites to enjoy the same rights blacks did." (Because as everyone knows, white people have to work really hard for their rights here in, uh, white-majority America.)
I saw it. I had decided to stay out of it. But then Susanna Cornett wrote a post, and I saw Sims' response in her comments, where he said:
Then there's something seriously wrong with your world view, Dave. I will condemn that person. And so do a hell of a lot of other people, including the United States government. When you join an organization knowing full well that part of the organization is responsible for murdering babies in their beds, you have made a choice to ignore the evil that your organization does. But you have not absolved yourself of the responsibility for choosing to be a part of it.
Would you, Dave, work for a company if you knew the boss was a Mafia don, and that the guy who signs your paycheck also sells drugs, orders hits, and shakes down local business owners? Even if you had absolutely nothing to do with that part of the company? You want to tell me yes, you would, fine. But don't try to tell me that you are not complicit with the evil that is done by the company. You have closed your eyes to it, that's all. What's that saying? All that it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing? Choose to do nothing, Dave, and you have still made a choice, and it's not on the side of the angels.
As for your insistence on the Klan's having put aside its old, evil ways: Bullshit. You are hiding from the truth. The reason you don't read about as many cross-burnings is because a wonderful man named Morris Dees founded the Southern Poverty Law Center and managed to bankrupt the Klan as part of his strategy to end its evil. The reason you don't read about lynchings any more is because the law enforcement agencies no longer stand aside as blacks are dragged out of their homes and strung up on the nearest tree. (Strange Fruit, anyone?) Murderers go to jail. Cross-burners get arrested and convicted. There was a lot more of that when they weren't arrested for it. Funny, that. But just for you, here's a case from last year where a Klan chief in North Carolina was arrested in a bomb plot. Of course, another reason for the Klan's decline is the fact that every time a racist group tries to march, a larger crowd marches against the racists. Happened here in Chester, VA a few months ago.
Here's some information on the Klantoday's Klanfrom Tolerance.org:
But wait, there's more.
Just go to the link above and click on the image for this information and more. Like this:
This is in direct contrast to the good ol' boys that Sims is describing in Susanna's comments:
Nobody joins the Klan without knowing of its history. Nobody is that naive or stupid. You didn't spend years getting to be friends with those men. They told you what they wanted you to hear: that the "modern" Klan just isn't into all that racist stuff. Why, all they want to do is fight affirmative action, and stand up for the poor, embattled white man, who can't get a break with all this "reverse discrimination."
I've got news for you, Dave: They could have done that by joining the Republican party. They chose to join the Klan instead. That tells me that they are interested in getting what they want through intimidation and force. In point of fact, you were lied to and you bought it, hook, line and sinker. There are 110 known chapters of the Klan. Why are these "rational, pleasant people" joining the organization? What are they getting out of it?
What they've gotten out of it since the Civil War: An organization where they can freely express the hatred in their minds. Only an extremely naive person would join the Klan to protest affirmative action. And if you buy that argument, I'm afraid you're either far more naive than they, disingenuous, or just plain stupid. Which is it, Dave?
The Klan is unchanged. It is not an organization that a good person joins. You were hoodwinked then, and you're being obtuse now. But that's to be expected if you think that it's okay to work for Hizbollah's "non-violent" arm.
That's the thing, Dave. You can't get rid of the trappings. If your guys were truly only against affirmative action, they didn't need to put on the white robes. The robes are symbols. Symbols have meaning. And they don't mean "Oh, look, it's a group of pleasant, rational men working against affirmative action and racial quotas."
Let's not pretend they do.
One last thing for Susannashame on you for this quote:
The very fact that you are having this argument with Dave Sims, who is by no means a lefty, shows how wrong you are to tag a side with being unable to see the evil a group does. I'm a liberal. My best friend is a liberal. Lynn B. leans left. So does Judith Weiss. Mac Thomason has liberal in his blog name. None of us ever excuses the acts of terrorist groups, nor would we ever excuse members of the Klanwhich Sims, a conservative, is doing.
I would never pretend to label conservatives as, say, racists, based on, say, David Dukewho is a conservative. Please do me the favor of not slamming people who think differently from you with that same tar brush. It is offensive and frankly, I expect better from you. permalink
Per Dean's request:
A very big thanks to Louis. permalink
I did some housecleaning today. One of the things I discovered was an unidentifiable bunch of little black stuff along the molding beneath the living room picture window. Was it spider droppings? I have a lot of tiny spiders whose lives until now have been mostly undisturbed, as I am fond of the arachnid proclivity to eat bugs. However, I grew less than fond of it today while vacuuming up dead spiders, the dead spiders' nests, and the dead bugs that were in the dead spiders' nests. I mean, geez, there was even an effing grasshopper in one of the spiderwebs.
But that line of little black dotswere they ant corpses? Tiny bug corpses? Spider poop? (I know I asked that, but really, I have no idea what the stuff was. Of course you realize I'm going to get half a dozen letters over the weekend from readers who do know what that stuff was, and that scares me even more than the possibility that I vacuumed up spider poop.)
There will be kitty pictures sometime this weekend. Sorena is going to spend time with me Saturday afternoon (I'm writing this during that magical Friday night time, though it's technically Saturday since it's after midnight), so I don't think it's going to happen then. Poor thing was a bit bummed today, as she had her last day at private school. She's going to the neighborhood public school next year, and it's something she wants to do, but it's finally struck her that she'll never see her classmates again, really, and she's been with them for four years now. When she and Heidi stopped by around one, Sorena was Sad Little Girl. By the time I got to the house around four, she was her normal self again, playing with her neighborhood pal. The one whose school she'll be attending. Life is so tough when you're nine.
We had beef kabobs tonight, at my suggestion. Heidi bought the veggies and the mushrooms and a thick piece of steak, and I was five minutes from her house when my cell phone rang. Heidi didn't have any skewers. Neither did the two stores I stopped in. So I get there, pick up Heidi, head off to the store for skewers. We get home, start the charcoal grill, and discover we have enough coal for the vegetable kabobs, maybe, but not enough if we add the beef. Our kabobs turned into steak in the oven and vegetable kabobs on the grill, but then put in the oven for five more minutes to cook thoroughly. Okay, so our methodology wasn't exactly what we'd hoped. Dinner was delicious, and so was the 2002 Australian shiraz I bought last week. And Heidi swears we'll try again next week, only we'll have far more preparation. And charcoal. And skewers.
By the way, I don't know if I've mentioned this recently, or even at all, but balsamic vinegar is the best thing to happen to cooked vegetables since the discovery of salt. Damn, it's good.
Bigwig has another joke for the second day. It's cute, but it won't wake up the cats like the other one. I told that one to some of the confirmation class at the oneg last night (it was their Confirmation night). Actually, I told it to Mara, one of my extraordinary madrichot (the other one, Amanda, was out of earshot), and her friend. They loved it. I thought about following that up with Lileks' expose of the filthiest joke ever on American television, but then I realized, uh, they're teenagers, there are parents are in this room, and maybe you'd better not risk it. Besides, I can just tell them to read my weblog.
I stayed until nearly closing time. I really enjoy talking to kids of all ages. I like the little ones because they're cute and fun. I like the older ones because they're enthusiastic and cheerful and have a refreshing outlook on things. I like the in-between ones because they surprise you with their adult insights one minute, and make you smile the next because they have to sleep with a nightlight.
I really don't understand people who don't like children. I've never been one of those people. I never will be. I like kids. Even the bratty ones. (I just don't like them as much.)
So I may be busy today. But there's Bigwig. And Lynn has been on fire the last few days. Go check out In Context, especially her latest post. And there's my newest pal, Kate. She's trying to get me drunk. I'll let you know how that works out. permalink
How could I have missed this one?
There can be no diplomacy with these people. All they understand is death. Okay. So give it to them. permalink
There was another article somewhere where a pal was quoted as saying Israel wants Abbas to handle the terrorists in a way that would provoke civil war, whereas he wants to negotiate.
There can be no negotiations with these people. If Abbas doesn't start arresting the terrrorists, there will be no advance on the "road map." It's already dead before it's begun.
Oh. Except for the fact that every single effing article about it that is not in the Israeli press or from a conservative site harps on how Israel has to withdraw from the territories first, and then the terrorists will cease murdering Jews.
Yeah, this is gonna work. Not. permalink
Starting today, I've moved Capt. Steve's letters to the left menu and put Chris Muir's excellent cartoon on the top of the page. He is so incredibly funny, and I should have done this long ago. Why he isn't syndicated and lesser talents are, I'll never know. But go. Visit. And hit his Paypal button or order a book while you're there. permalink
Ribbity Frog was kind enough to translate the following article for me from Al-Ayyam, a PA newspaper published in Ramallah (see below for more colorful description). I didn't bother to include the repetitive quotes you've seen all over the other media, but some are included for the PA spin.
You will have to excuse me while I interrupt here for an excerpt on the PA's "war against terror."
But wait. That's not what he said a few days before.
What the road map says for the first phase:
That would be unconditional, the word the pals keep using for Israel's acceptance of the road map. But back to the Ramallah P.O.V.:
Okay, so here's where we're going to hear about both sides' responsibilities, right? Israel and the PA? Let's see:
Waiting for the pals' part in all of this. (See above: "What the road map says for the first phase.")
(Ibid.) Look, that's twice they printed that phrase about calling home. Where's the prhase that says they renounce terror and armed struggle?
That's an important phrase, "terrorist groups." Neither the pals nor the Arab leaders consider Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa, Fatah, or the PFLP terrorist groups.
Because it's not like the PA was caught trying to ship tons of weapons to the West Bank or Gaza or anything like that.
Except Israel, it seems. But that speech plays so well on the U.S. evening news. What are you saying in Arabic, Hosni? What are you saying to Al-Jazeera, hm?
The PA mouthpiece again does not mention that the flip side of this is that Israel gets secure borders and an end to terror attacks on its citizens. See above: What the road map says for the first phase.
Still waiting to hear about the end of terror attacks on Israeli citizens. See above, etc., etc.
Ah. Now we get to the meat of it, in the third-to-last paragraph of the article. Translation: We don't give a flying fuck what you say or do, we're not going to normalize relations with the Zionist Entity because we've got W. totally fooled.
Those differences of opinions can be summed up this way: We don't give a flying fuck what you say or do, we're not going to normalize relations with the Zionist Entity because we've got W. totally fooled.
The ungrateful bastards. Can't they see that we're already discussing the concept of a cease-fire inside the Green Line? Oh, that's right. Hamas came out with their own statement immediately afterward:
I'm thinking I may not need to come out with that Road Map post I've promised you. You sort of can get the gist of it from this one.
But I will. Give me a little more time. permalink
The title isn't original. I got it from somewhere else. But Bill Herbert, a.k.a. my fiancé, (a.k.a. no, not really, we're just engaged online), slaps him around a lot for it today.
I get the feeling from this post that Virginia Postrel and I agree: Martha Stewart is being railroaded. I'm still waiting to hear the Enron indictments. Ken Lay? Ken Lay? Call your office.
Ribbity Frog translated an article from the PA's Al-Ayyam, which he calls Arafat's Ramallah rag, about the Aqaba summit, per my request. I'll be getting to it a bit later today, as Blogspot fritzed on him and he couldn't publish it on his site. Thanks, Frogman. permalink
36 years ago today, the Israeli Air Force (made up entirely of French aircraftthe U.S. refused to sell to Israel in the sixties) destroyed most of the Egyptian Air Force (made up entirely of Russian MiGs, Ilyushins, and Tupolevs)on the groundand that was the beginning of the Six-Day War.
Six days later, in spite of inferior numbers in personnel and equipment, Israel had soundly defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, supplied with arms and troops from Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria. The Arab armies combined came to a total of 900 combat aircraft, over 5,000 tanks, and 500,000 men. The Israeli forces consisted of 275,000 men, 1,100 tanks, and about 200 planes. (All numbers taken from Michael Oren's Six Days of War.)
Oh, the PLO fought in the war, too. Yasser Arafat led a guerrilla group to the Golan front, only to find that the Syrian soldiers had fled. Let's not forget that the territories weren't occupied at the time, Arafat and his troop of murderers were killing innocents along the Jordanian border, which was part of the reason the 1967 war began. The PLO was formed in 1964. Its purpose was the extinction of Israel, stated quite clearly in its charter.
On the 36th anniversary of the Six-Day War, I hold out small hope for real peace with the Arabs, road map or no. Not when 80 percent of Palestinians think that Israel needs to disappear.
Here's a hint, pals: Not gonna happen. You couldn't make it happen 36 years ago. Or 55 years ago. Or 30 years ago. And today, Israel is stronger than she's ever been.
You'd best find a way to learn to live with her. permalink
He has thoughts about Salam, too. And thoughts about what the Iraqi regime did to its people before Pontifex and his fellow soldiers landed in the country. You're right to be creeped out. They found a gravesite with 200 children in it, including babies. It's beyond words. Thinking about the soldiers who took those babies and killed them and threw them into a giant open ditchor maybe just tossed them init's unthinkable.
I can, however, imagine watching the murderers swing for it. permalink
I can't use"Otherwheres," I used that yesterday.
Why you should be reading Mac Thomason: Read the title of this post. No, not that title, the header.
Laurence Simon went to an anti-Israel protest in Houston, and left. Because the protest was lamer than the reasons for it. Gotta love it.
The Timekeeper is back, and he sent me to this graphic, which puts meget thisto the right of Andrew Sullivan. Can you say, "The mapmaker hasn't got an effing brain in his effing body?" I knew you could. So he wrote a post with my response to his letter.
I sent him a letter. No, not Ron. The guy who made the stupid map. It went like this:
I eagerly await his answer. In the meantime, I think I'll have to explain that the only way you're going to find me to the right of Andrew Sullivan is if you sit the two of us down at the same table. I mean, come on. I like the guy, but anyone who reads us both knows damned well which of us is to the right of the other, and here's a hint: It's not me. permalink
First there was this.
Then there was this.
Meryl is about to come back to her senses and tell you what she really thinks of the road map. permalink
The American media has yet to mention the 200 children found in the mass grave in Iraq. I've found only three small stories on it via Google News. But there's a line in the KurdishMedia article that has not gotten any play anywhere. It may well be hyperbolebut it may not be. It's the last paragraph. Look at the last paragraph.
"It is believed that the babies were buried alive."
I have nothing to add. permalink
Oh, hell. Yes I am. Go read this post by Marduk, and laugh at him, too. (It's the boyfriend remark that's the real howler.)
Sorry, Marduk. But it's really funny. Well, except for the ticket. Sorry about that one.permalink
I haven't been anywhere else today that hasn't been depressing. I don't really want to send you all over to depressing places, so that's about it for today's links, I think.
The hell with the rest of the world. Gracie has her junior mints box, and all is well.
This one woke up the cats:
So glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that.
(Update: A further hint. Change "Sneed's" to "Chuck's". Now follow the rhyme and rhythm of the current name of the place, using the first letters of Feed and Seed. Wait for itgive it a secondthere you go. A chorus of "Ooooooooooohs!") permalink
So I get this letter from Dean Esmay, a guy I really thought had a lot more on the ball:
Listen, Dean, you just don't get it. My blog rankings have been falling steadily for weeks! I haven't been on the Blogstreet Top 100 Blogs for months! My ranking on both NZ Bear's and Myelin's ecosystems have plunged. Effing Agonist is still ahead of me in the rankings (and still only by a little bit, hehehehehehe. He's such a putz.). And to top it all off, Venomous Kate is licking at my heels! Literally! With a snake's tongue. (And may I say: Ew. Kut it out, Kate, it tickles.)
And another thing, Dean. Don't be explaining to me what the BIQ means, when I was pretty sure it was simply a disposable lighter brand misspelled. (And really, the BIQ is just as arbitrary as any other ranking format; you gotta be kidding me if you take it seriously. Er, not you, Dean, that's a plural "you." I should probably use "youse," but there are copy editors from my past who will hunt me down and beat me for that.)
Once again, I am at the blogger's dilemma: Should I ignore my rankings, or should I start a begathon? Or, failing that, is it time for boob pictures?
Sorry, I don't know what Aziz looks like, can't help you there.
Damn. I think my juvenile scorn impulse kicked in again. I'm so sorry. (I think it's sort of related to the Hulk's anger thing. You don't want to make me scornful. You won't like me when I'm scornful.) Okay, no, I'm not sorry. I really do like being juvenile and scornful all at the same time. Must be why I get along so well with kids.
All right, I do believe I've done about as much damage to as many people as possible today. Nope. There are nearly two full hours left of the day. I can do more. permalink
This article is rather funny:
I'm going to take a wild guess: The ambulance was transporting explosives, or someone in Lebanon thought it was an Israeli vehicle and got trigger-happy. I mean, really. Hizbullah ambulance exploding? Who'da thunk it? permalink
Tired of being unable to use the dash and six keys, particularly since her email password used to contain a six, our intrepid heroine attempts to lift the key a bit and see if she can squirt some compressed air underneath in an attempt to clean the contact. To her surprise, the key pops off, revealing a large amount of cat hair beneath. Swish, swish, clean contact, key back on, ditto for the delete and six keys, problem solved. And yet, the keys continue to work, then not work, then work, then not work. Last night, in supreme frustration, she pops off those keys and a few more, starts cleaning the keyboard, and then realizes perhaps she should turn the computer off before attempting to clean the entire keyboard. But it's late. She's tired. And so she puts the keycaps back on and goes to bed.
This morning, armed with the steely will and determination of someone who knows something about tech stuff, off come the keys, pop, pop, pop. Sometimes the little plastic things that apparently create some kind of contact between the key and the computer (plastic? I thought contacts had to be metal) came off. Our heroine thoughtfully placed them inside the keycaps from which they burst.
The scene: A messy table. Rows of upside down keycaps, half on the table, half on the pile of papers to the left. A naked keyboard, with four years of (sigh) cat hair and dust inside it. A can of compressed air, which does almost nothing but stir the matted hair in its wake. A box of Q-Tips, which are used to get most of the cat hair up, and shut up about leaving bits of cotton there instead. What was I supposed to use, the tip of a jeweler's screwdriver? Yeah, that would have been great for the computer.
One hour later, the discovery that the keys pop back on rather easily once you get them started, and, uh, I forgotdoes X go first on the bottom row, or is it Z? (I probably shouldn't have put them on the newsletter, where they, uh, fell and got mixed up.) And is the key with the letter worn out the N key or the M key? Well, we can switch them back once we test them. Machine boots, open a Word document, go down the keyboard, and discover the Z key doesn't work. Press down hard until you hear a click, and there's your answer: Didn't hear the second click into place.
Who says this tech stuff is hard, anyway? Look: --66!!! They're back! (You'll have to take my word for the delete key.) permalink
I had to click on this link before dinner, didn't I? I think I lost my appetite.
Warning: In spite of the fact that these are pictures of a chubby man made up to look like Spider-man, he is not wearing any clothes underneath that bodypaint. I got it from Blogdex's "One year ago" list.
And having reread Watership Down, what is up with choosing "Woundwort" as a name? I mean, really. A fascist, murdering dictator who tries to control the lives of everyone he sees. Tell me that's not really Woundwort's character. Please.
Happy Father's Day, a bit early: Damelon has an excellent story on how to overcome a rotten past. Good for you, Damelon. And living on another continent is a great way to make sure your father has no effect whatsoever on your son.
This is a fascinating site dedicated to fighting PETA at every turn. Warning: It's on Tripods and has tons of popup ads. Your bile level will probably rise in direct proportion to how much of this site you read.There's even a link to an old AP article (from 2000) that said PETA euthanize the animals from its shelters that it can't place. Interesting. Wonder if they still do that today? permalink
David Bernstein sent me the link to his grandmother's story of life in Poland. A few excerpts:
It's in first-person testimony form, and not so easy to follow. But just imagine that it's your own bubbe telling the story, and it'll be easy enough to read. permalink
(And again, I thank Terry McGarry for bringing that word to my attention. It's a great word.)
Brian Carnell has a hilarious fisking of Dave Winer's definition of a weblog. Brian, Brian, Brian... are you questioning the guy who's teaching Harvard students how to blog? You are? That's my kind of guy.
Here's a free HTML hint for you: Go into your main page, and where it says <title> Home </title>, change the word "Home" to something that define your page better like, oh, "Brian.Carnell.Com Homepage." You should always have a title that tells people where they are. If they look back in the browser history file, they won't know what page "Home" is, but they certainly know, say, where Instapundit.com will take them.
You know, Brian is probably more than a bit to the right of me, but you have to tip your hat to someone who can write something like this:
Marduk is going to ruin his reputation as the nastiest blogger in the Canadian blogosphere if he keeps on writing posts like this one, where he talks about spending time bonding with his 14-year-old son.
I have a weakness for chocolate milk. I've had it all my life. I never cared for plain milk, but when my mother dropped a spoonful or two of Bosco or Hershey's syrup in my milk, she could get me to drink sixteen ounces a day. And chocolate milk is my preferred breakfast drink, usually washing down some kind of bread, challah or Italian bread or white bread toast. For some reason, I like to make toast out of the cheapest breads I can find at the supermarket. They make better toast than the expensive breads. Heidi says that white bread has no taste, and forces me to eat wheat bread for breakfast over there, but she has forever earned herself a bye over that for introducing me to Shenville Farms milk products.
They don't homogenize their milk. There are no growth hormones in it, which is why Heidi buys it. So I tried the whole milk there, which has a thick cap of cream at the top of each unopened bottle that has to be shaken into the milk. It was the best milk I ever drank in my life. The two percent doesn't seem to be much different, but I've always hated low-fat milk and prefer to drink the whole stuff. It costs about a dollar more than any other milk, but ohmigod is it worth it. I loved it from the get-go, but bought it only rarely, as I don't shop at Kroger's as often as I shop at Ukrop's, and only Kroger's carries it.
And then I tried Shenville Farms chocolate milk. It tastes like liquid chocolate ice cream. The really good kind, or the best chocolate shake you've ever had. It is, in fact, the Hulk of chocolate milk. Shenville Farms chocolate milk smash other puny chocolate milks!
If you live in Virginia, and you've never tried Shenville Farms milk, you are missing out.
I'm going to have breakfast now: Cheap white bread toast with a large glass of liquid chocolate. permalink
The news about the Road Map was bleak over the weekend, and I was beginning to smell the stench of Oslo again over news like this:
But then I read this today:
My faith is restored, for another little while. I'm still trusting Ariel Sharon to protect his people. I really don't believe that he will preside over an Oslo-like accord, or anything detrimental to the future of the Jewish state.
So he and W. both get the benefit of the doubt. For now. permalink
So I was planning on attending the grand opening of the new fitness center at the JCC, which was celebrating its opening by offering ice cream (probably so you can eat too much and need to work it off at the fitness center). And then the stomach bug that I came down with this morning said, "Well, okay, but you're going to have to be near a bathroom for the rest of the day, and don't even think about eating." I thought about eating anyway, though. I'm sorry, but I don't let virii tell me what to do. Much.
Anyway, it's a beautiful, beautiful day, and after driving my rent check to the office, I realized that the most I can do is sit out with the cats (which I probably will, with a book). I haven't the energy for a drive downtown. But there is an upside: White-trash neighbor across the way has her white-trash boyfriends putting her belongings in a pickup truck, her car, and a rental van. No more 3 a.m. wake-up fights. Looks like when my management corp. representative said to me that they'd be gone within a week, she wasn't exaggerating. Buh-bye!
Well, it's nearly 2:30 p.m. I should try to eat something. I'd like to blame my stomach problems on having watched some of Noam Chomsky's interview on C-Span, but I was sick before I came downstairs to see what he had to say. Couldn't stand either him or the callers' questions, so off it went in about fifteen minutes. permalink
He fixed the gif. Now it looks like this:
I expect the Blogstreet copyright lawyers might be a tad miffed with Scott, too, but then again, satire is a protected form of expression. Well done, Scott! permalink
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.