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Happy birthday, Jim Treacher

I don't link a whole lot to Jim, and I probably should, because like Michele says, he's a pretty funny guy. And he's had a rough week.

So go make him happy. Click the link and visit Jim, and raise his stats a bit so he can sell some real ads.

Jim—dude—don't sweat being made the go-between. And think of how much worse your life could be. You could have been bitten by a radioactive spider and developed a really bad sense of humor and the ability to walk up walls. Or you could have been exposed to gamma rays and turn into a rampaging monster every time you get angry.

Or you could have been Boy George. I mean, really. Aren't you glad you're not him?

Which puzzle piece is missing here?

Found an interesting site via a commenter in one of Tacitus' message threads. It has what appears to be the complete list of UN resolutions concerning Israel. (Had I but known, I could have saved myself some effort and just copied from them.) The site itself is a hard-line Islamist "news" site, which I won't bother linking. But there's a pretty important United Nations resolution missing from that list: UN Resolution 242, which states in part :

1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

2. Affirms further the necessity

For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;
For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;
For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

So, which part you think the Islamist aren't happy with? The part that calls for the end of the state of belligerency, the call to recognize each state's sovereignty and territorial integrity, or the right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries?

I say all three. Plus all the rest of part two.

Overall, that is simply a fascinating omission. It's been a long time since I read Resolution 242. Funny how you hear the anti-Israel side touting 242's mention of the disputed territories and the palestinian refugees, but you never here them discussing the parts that insist on Israel's recognition by all the states in the area.

Looks like every state but Egypt is in noncompliance with 242, and Egypt only barely gets a bye.



You're never too old for fart jokes

Well, really. You'd think we'd outgrow them, and yet, I couldn't stop laughing at this post of Bigwig's. It's another in a series of emails that he's sending to the Saudi Arabia religious police, via their online rat-'em-out form.

I can't excerpt it. You'll simply have to click on the link if you want a cheap laugh.

A summer day

Today was Heidi's designated birthday celebration, as there were things going on this week during her actual birthday. Sorena insisted on baking her a cake, all by herself. Well, in reality, with the assistance of her two friends, one of which is the same age, the other two years older. When I arrived, the cake had been baked, Heidi was banished from the kitchen, and apparently the girls were in the midst of a waterfight (starring supersoaker guns, of course) with three of the neighborhood boys. They saw me arrive, came tearing over, screaming, "Meryl!" And when they reached me, "Where's Andy?" (Andy is my friend and the former fifth grade teacher at my religious school who has been over for dinner with me a couple of times. I think the girls all have a crush on him.) Alas, he is out of town.

I passed on the cake. It's a confetti cake, which means it has those sugary candies inside. Plus, the girls decorated it with white icing, Hershey's kisses, candy letters, cinnamon candies, and Skittles. Not only am I on a diet, but I do believe I'd have gotten a sugar overload if I ate a piece of that cake. That is why I wouldn't allow Sorena to make my birthday cake. I requested an angel food cake, knowing that she couldn't put that junk on it.

I've got pictures, but I'm here at Heidi's on her AOL connection, so I think they'll have to wait until I get home. Cello lessons will be over soon, and we'll take the dogs for a walk.

I checked my stats before I wrote this. Interesting website fact: Gracie's page is outdrawing Tig's by about ten percent. Well, she is the sweeter of the two. I'd best not tell her. She might start getting an ego problem.

The nightmare scenario revisited

Reader Daniel S. doesn't think that Israel would ever authorize the "Samson" option.

This is a nation that acquired the technology to build nuclear weapons, 'way back in the sixties... and then, when Israel was fighting for her life in 1973, she sat on them.

This is the nation that saw some of her holy places dynamited to the ground in 1967... and retaliated by opening up all of the holy places to all faiths. The Temple Mount, where the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque stand now and Solomon's temple once stood, is in the control of Muslim authorities (who are not answerable to any Israeli authorities whatsoever), and it's been that way since 1967. Since before Ariel Sharon was elected the first time, Jews have been FORBIDDEN on the Temple Mount, as a "confidence-building gesture" to the Palestinians... and Israeli policemen are there to enforce it.

This is the nation that had to negotiate secretly in the seventies, with a country technically at war with Israel, for the sole purpose of refurbishing the Dome of the Rock. (Jordan's under-the-table answer was surprisingly civilized: you fix it and we'll pay for it.) Was Israel morally obligated to do such a thing? Of course not, any more than she was obligated to build universities (Bir Zeit et al) for the Palestinians. But it needed to be done, and it was done.

This is the nation that, recently in the West Bank (and in the 1980s, in Lebanon), found massive ammo dumps next door to mosques... and became expert at destroying the dumps without touching the mosques.

This is the nation that invaded a terrorist viper's nest of a training camp called Jenin, found herself fighting booby-trapped children... and took excessive pains, and massive casualties of her own soldiers, to protect innocent lives.

Is it technically possible for Israel to launch an attack on Mecca or Medina? Or even on Damascus or Riyadh? Of course. But to assume that Israel *would* do such a thing is to deny fifty-five years of history, in which Israel's fighting forces have maintained the highest levels of moral behavior, under the most trying circumstances imaginable.

Yes. But that's because we have never reached a place like that nightmare. Israel's nuclear capability is and was deterrence against the enemies that surround her. But will it deter the Islamokazis that call for her destruction? Are they willing to sacrifice Al-Quds if it gives them the end of the "Zionist occupation of Arab Holy Lands"?

I think you ennoble us too much. I think you also make the mistake that the rest of the world does, expecting Israel to cleave to a higher moral standard because, dammit, she's Jewish. Whereas I think that there is a point at which even a Jew will say, "Enough." That point comes only in my nightmares, at the end of Israel's existence as a Jewish state.

Oh, the one thing I forgot to put in my nightmare scenario: Of course, the world is going to blame the Jews.

Lies, damned lies, and bullshit

The wretched pieces of excrement that are known as "spokesmen" for Hamas had this to say yesterday:

As the campaign against Hamas heats up, with three recent fatal gunship strikes in Gaza, a spokesperson of the Islamic organization, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, told Israelis, "Your children and your women, everyone is a target now."

You mean as opposed to before, when everyone was a target? Effing liars. You send a boy packed with explosives, metal shrapnel, screws, and nails into a public bus during rush hour, and you expect us to believe that you weren't targeting women and children?

Just look at a list of the dead: Bat-El Ohana, 21, Eugenia Berman, 50, Elsa Cohen, 70, Anna Orgal, 55. They don't list the names and ages of those who were "only" wounded. But we've seen the pictures of burned and bloody strollers, and read the stories of children murdered while hiding under their covers as their mothers were gunned down by terrorists. And there's a website that keeps track of all the Israeli victims of terror.

Hamas has never said they would stop the atrocities. In fact, it's quite the opposite, and the reason Ariel Sharon is coming down on them now is because they stated explicitly last week that they would not stop trying to murder Israelis. Anywhere in Israel. Read this post from December, and you'll see that nothing has changed. The world still blames Israel for causing "the cycle of violence" when, in fact, the recent Hamas attack was simply business as usual—not "retaliation" for the attempt on Rantissi.

They've always targeted women and children. They thrive on killing innocents. They've attacked two more today.

Two Israeli women were seriously injured at around 12pm on Friday, according to Israel Radio. Their car was shot at near Beitilo Junction west of Binyamin, near the Nechaliel settlements nortwest of Ramallah.

But these are the attacks that the world pretends do not happen, or the attacks that the world insists are the fault of the Jews—for daring to live in Arab towns. Funny how the Israelis are told they must coexist with the palestinians, but the pals get a bye on accepting Jews in the West Bank towns—which were historically Jewish. Hebron is the town that angers me the most. The Jews of Hebron were massacred in 1929—long before the establishment of the state of Israel—but the world sees fit to pretend it was always without Jews, ignoring its very name. The Jews living in Hebron today are trying to reclaim that heritage.

And Hamas says they're legitimate targets because of that.

Take 'em out, Arik. All of the murdering filth.



Rock 'em, Sock 'em!

This fight has given me an idea. I'm going to get mad at my name-twin (I'll show her for sending me one of those chain letter emails), have a fight, and declare myself to be the one, true Meryl. Because I am older and wiser than she. And her domain has only been around since October of 2002. I've had my domain since 1998.

Yup. Y'all better get ready to fight, name-twin. I hear it's the fashionable thing to do these days. And don't even start to tell me you've got a newborn baby, and you're taking care of the other kids, besides your weblog and your freelance articles and everything else. You have to fight me, that's all. We can't both be named Meryl.

This web isn't big enough for the two of us. And besides, I hear it's great for your traffic.

Scott stands for Israel

A small-town kid from Arkansas tells us why we should support Israel, and why the rest of the world is wrong.

I say these things to Americans in the hope they will understand. Understand that even today when Israelis say they're fighting for their existence they aren't kidding. Understand that the Palestinians are not the helpless victims they so often claim to be. Understand that it's not radical Jewish terrorists who blow themselves up in the name of Jaweh. Understand that someone saying they're not against Jews, they're against Zionists is like someone saying they're not against Americans, they're against the United States.

I say these things to Israelis in the hope they, too, will understand. Understand that we realize one culture in the Middle East helped found ours, while the other wants to destroy it. Understand that we know we only got a taste of what it's like to live in your shoes. Understand that because of this the most powerful country the world has ever seen is working with all its might to ensure your nightmares, now ours, remain nothing more than dark wisps left behind on children's pillows.

Send Scott's URL to every Israeli you know online. They can use a bit of cheering up.

And one to grow on

Bryan S. of Arguing with Signposts has a clear and concise post on the Klan issue. The comment are equally clear and concise (no sign of a raving Sims yet). A snippet:

It's somewhat a matter of branding (in a marketing sense). No amount of scrubbing is going to wash the bad blood out of K3 White Sheets. If these people have legitimate concerns, the K3 brand is the wrong brand to walk under.

You got that right.

Other people on the Klan issue

An excerpt that best portrays the issue, from Lynn S.:

So... I'm just a stupid white person. I don't even pretend to know anything about race anymore. There's still a part of me that wants to cling to that innocent, childish notion that everything would be better if race didn't matter. When someone says, (as reported by David Sims) We don't agree with Blacks being deprived of their rights, but we don't think whites should be deprived of their rights, and right now the Klan's the only organization saying that, I see someone who is dividing people into separate races. I see us vs. them. And that by itself is enough to make me think the person is racist.

The full post is superb.

Then there's another excellent post by Paul Jané of Agitprop:

You’re correct that I defend nothing about the KKK itself. I wish it would dry up and blow away.

That being the case, why would you make the claim that some of its members aren't racists? Don't you realise that, in the process of doing so, you're whitewashing (no pun intended) a large chunk of the organisation?

That's what I said, Paul, but he can't hear those words. And as an extra special bonus, Clubbeaux in the comments, insulting people that are not me!

The issue was also covered by Andrea Harris, Steve H., and Dean Esmay. Imagine, pissing off Dave Sims in the pages of at least half a dozen blogs. Sometimes I didn't even post in that blog's comments, and he was still frothing with rage about me.

Do you think maybe he doesn't like me?

The second Holocaust

Merde in France got me to take a second look at this article by Ron Rosenbaum. It details something that I—and many Jews—have been thinking about in the backs of our minds. Israel's concentration of Jews is particularly vulnerable to a nuclear device set off by the insane, Jew-hating terrorists backed by Islamic fundamentalists like Iran's Rafsajani, who declared that the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam. And if the worst were to happen, most people expect to see what's called the "Samson" option: Israel's retaliatory attacks presumably will devastate the Islamic nations. It is one of the primary reasons Israel has a navy, and that navy is presumed to have nuclear weapons. This is the stuff of nightmares for all rational people. But are the Islamofascists rational? Do they really think they should set off a nuclear bomb in Tel Aviv?

Ron thinks they may be. He outlines a result, but I don't think Ron went far enough in his nightmare scenario. Here's mine:

If the worst ever happens, and the remaining Israeli nuclear capability strikes Mecca and Medina and Tehran and Cairo, or whatever Arab/Islamic cities are on their list, the world will rise up en masse immediately afterward and take out their wrath on the remaining Jews. European Jewish populations will be massacred again.

The violence will happen here in the U.S., too. There are large populations of Arab and Muslim immigrants in major cities that also have large Jewish populations. You'll see Crown Heights on fire, and the suburbs of Chicago, where Jewish and Arab communities live side by side. Paterson, NJ's Arab population will riot in Teaneck and Fairlawn and other towns with high Jewish populations in Bergen County. Northern Virginia's mosques are funded by Wahhabi money; count on violence near or in our nation's capital. Synagogues will be torched; Orthodox Jews will be mobbed and beaten on sight (any man in a dark hat and long coat will be at risk of being beaten); Jewish schools will be attacked and destroyed, Jewish-owned businesses smashed, burned, and looted.

That's my nightmare scenario. That will be the day that I take off my Star of David necklace and go down to my nearest gun shop to get myself some protection. I'll be one of the lucky ones. I have neither a Jewish-sounding name, nor do I "look" Jewish. And I live in a state where it's relatively easy to buy a gun. My cousin and his family, on the other hand, live a few blocks away from a mosque, in a heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Chicago. It will be a battle zone. Rioters don't generally stop to ask if you're a member of the object of their wrath; non-Jews will be victims, too. The death toll could be in the thousands by the time the police and National Guard quell the riots here. The death tolls will be in the thousands in Europe, especially in France, which has the highest Jewish and Arab population on the Continent.

This is why the Europeans need to stop coddling palestinian terrorists. Because decades of hatred are leading down a road that could end in a scenario like the above. When Yasser Arafat tells palestinian children that their highest honor in life is to die as "shahids" while killing Jews, it sets up the possibility that the palestinian state is considered expendable if the Islamofascists can also take out Israel. Come to think of it, that must be exactly what the rest of the Islamofascists already believe, because most of them have refused to allow pals to become citizens or settle in their lands, and many have kicked them out (see: Kuwait, after the war, half a million palestinian laborers thrown out).

And after all, the Dome of the Rock is only the third holiest shrine in Islam. They may decide they can live quite well with just Mecca and Medina. Their imams set the precedents every day, in every nation.

The current road map is leading directly towards my nightmare scenario, because nobody is demanding anything from the pals at all. They are only making excuses, and blaming Israel—as always—for the woes of the palestinians. And still the level of hatred rises. A terrorist declares "We will maintain our jihad (holy war) and resistance until we kick out every single criminal Zionist from our land," but the world ignores his words and excoriates Israel for having tried to kill him.

Merde in France had an excellent title for Ron Rosenbaum's piece: Subcontracting hatred. I'd amend it a bit to "Subcontracting death."


It is entirely possible that I have finally achieved the mental and emotional balance to be able to rant about the horrors of daily life in Israel and shortly thereafter discuss my aversion to dragonflies on my patio.

Or it could be the calming effects of vodka and Coke. (Blame Kate. She's a bad influence.)

Daniel S. sent me a suggestion on how to handle future creepy-crawly issues.

Next time you have a dragonfly to deal with, or other creepy-crawly, perhaps you should try channeling your alter ego. Meryl SMASH! Meryl end problem.

Well, that certainly sounds like a reasonable suggestion, except for the fact that I generally refuse to smash any insect that is not a mosquito. I'll kill any ants I find in my house because I do not want them running back to the nest with the coordinates of my pantry or the cats' food dishes. But I don't even squash bees. I tend to catch and release them. I really, really, really don't like killing bugs.

Computer problem update

It seems I may have spent an hour and a half cleaning my keyboard all for naught. It's pretty clear to me my system is starting to break down bit by bit, which rather sucks, as it's only four years old, and I don't have a grand to spend on a new computer. But the most annoying thing—the absolutely most effing annoying thing that could possibly have happened this month out of all months—is the loss of my number six key. Go ahead. You try typing the date for June without a six key. I dare you. I triple-dog dare you. Can't do it, can you?

Yeah, neither can I. Goddammit.

Waiting at the car dealership

So I get to the dealer, and tell them I'm there to get my door handle fixed. This will entail having them get the screw that they special-ordered, and having someone put it in the slot on my door handle that is missing one. Two minutes, tops. I said when I got there, "You're not really going to make me wait for this, are you?" The gentleman who was taking my information got on the phone with the garage, and subsequently informed me that yes, I have to wait, and it would take 45 minutes for me to get that screw put in the door handle.

I took the screw home with me and will now be searching for some kind of funky screwdriver to put it in with. I'm pretty sure G., Heidi's husband, has one. He loves doing stuff like this; I'll be there for dinner on Friday, I won't have to take the screw to Loews or Home Depot and try to find a screwdriver to fit it, and everyone will be happy.

Oh, I used the 45 minutes in a much better fashion. I went to IHOP and had waffles, which did not take 45 minutes, but which was infinitely more enjoyable than waiting at a car dealership. Which had the 700 Club on. Uh, I'll pass, thanks.



I really, really, really hate bugs

There's a dragonfly on my patio. It is near death. I expect Tig caught it earlier today and deposited it at the door, and that's why I kept hearing (and ignoring) frantic scratching on the door. Because he wanted to bring his prize inside. It's a big one, too. Really big.

Ew. Dead dragonfly. Ew. Ew. Ew. EW!Well, it's near death, and the ants have found it, and it's right at my doorstep, and it needs to be moved far, far, away, and I do not want to touch it, not even with a newspaper or dustpan.

It is times like these that I wish I had a husband. It is also times like these that make Heidi laugh the loudest at me. She spent her formative years in Africa. Not only doesn't she have a problem with insects, but she doesn't have a problem with much of anything. When I told her I'd found mealworms in my Rice Krispies once, she just shrugged and said, "Oh, we used to sift them out of the flour and things when we needed to use them." (Use the flour, not mealworms.) There's not a whole lot that gets to her.

I wish she were here right now. I'd get her to move the dragonfly. Let the friggin' ants take their food out and eat it, please. My patio is not a restaurant.

Update: I forgot I have a digital camera. Now, with pictures! Uh, plus, it's dead, Jim.

I'm number one!

For the correct use of the word "albeit."

Ha! Who says those years of English classes were a waste of time?

The cycle of hypocrisy continues

Yesterday, President Bush said he was "deeply troubled" at the attempted assassination of Abdel Rantisi, a.k.a. The Pediatrician of Death. Today, he said this:

It is clear there are people in the Middle East who hate peace; people who want to kill in order to make sure that the desires of Israel to live in secure and peace don't happen; who kill to make sure the desires of the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority and others of a peaceful state, living side-by-side with Israel, do not happen.

To the people in the world who want to see peace in the Middle East, I strongly urge all of you to fight off terror, to cut off money to organizations such as Hamas, to isolate those who hate so much that they're willing to kill to stop peace from going forward. I strongly condemn the killings, and I urge and call upon all of the free world, nations which love peace, to not only condemn the killings, but to use every ounce of their power to prevent them from happening in the future.

From Abu Mazen yesterday:

"Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas condemned the criminal and terrorist Israeli attack today," Abbas's office said in a statement issued in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "Such attacks obstruct and sabotage the political process."

From Abu Mazen today:

''... all parties should comply with a ceasefire and end violence''

From Kofi Annan yesterday:

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned Israel for the attack, saying it complicates efforts by Abbas to halt violence as called for in the road map.

Annan called on Israel to "desist from the disproportionate use of force, especially in densely populated areas," said Eckhard.

From Kofi Annan today:

Annan issued a statement urging "the leaders of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples not to be deterred from the path to peace" and to react with restraint to Wednesday's violence.

I am stunned by the level of world outrage regarding the murder of innocent Israeli citizens. Why, it's almost as if they didn't care about them. Or as if the brunt of blame only falls on Israel's shoulders when violence occurs. But that can't be, can it?

There's one more thing you need to read.

Why Sharon did it:

Security forces have arrested 10 Palestinians suspected of plotting suicide bombings since the three-way Aqaba Summit a week ago, media reports said Wednesday.

Unfortunately, they missed one. It wasn't a revenge attack for Dr. Death. It was—hold on to your stomachs—a "fortuitous coincidence."

God save us from any more such coincidences.


I am up early enough to write a new post before getting my car fixed.

My mind is not. (On the other hand, by posting this it puts my blog in the NEW! categories on most blogrolls.)

Read the one below instead.

Blog neighbors

Okay, first I was over at Silent Running, which blog, of course, I read and link to frequently (although someone isn't posting nearly enough anymore, cough*Bruce*cough). And Wind Rider was talking about Bill Cimino, whom you may remember from the Eat An Animal For PETA day back in March (and who promised to throw a pool party in May, but who was defeated by the weather and now it's June so what's your effing excuse, Cimino?). And on Bill's blog, I found a link to Sanity's Edge, a great new blog that I simply had to tell you all about. This one's funny, especially the title. This one's funnier. And this one is not only funny, it pissed off a humorless moron at another blog, which gets Paul on my honor roll. Plus, I have every intention of stealing his Newhart idea, since he's too lazy to do it himself.

Last, but not least, his analysis of the recent events in Israel is insightful, succinct, and, well, just about perfect. Nicely done, Paul.

This isn't Da Bear's contest, but I can throw you some hang time on my main page, which ought to get you a few new readers. And the reason it will have hang time is because I'm off to the car dealership this morning for what should be a two minute job—the screw on my door handle came off and they had to actually order a new one to replace it. So, since it should only take two minutes, I'm laying odds I'll be there an hour and a half.

Hang time. Count on it.



I fear for the species

Found this search referrer tonight: Why can't men produce a fetus?

Leaving aside the biological answers to that question, the thing that strikes the biggest fear into me is that by the time we're all about four or five years old, we have learned that women have babies and men do not. If you're old enough to be able to type the above question into a search engine, it stands to reason that you have learned by now exactly why men cannot produce a fetus.

Of course, the flip side of the coin: I received a search for this earlier in the evening. Perhaps my two searchers could get together and teach each other something.

Oh, no, wait. I think this explains the other two queries.

Saving you the click

It occurs to me that I created too much work for those of you who wanted to see a couple of pages worth of cat pictures. (The low bandwidth folks are still going to have to go to Cattales, though.)

Here you go: Tig or Gracie.

(You know, I just glanced at that headline quickly, and the word "click" sure looked like something else at a fast glance, and, um, yeah, I'll just stop typing now.)

Bigwig is my hero

Some people think he's a bit of a wise guy. I say he's brilliant. He's got a link to the mutaween (who of course, must now be known as mutaweenies) web site. Who are the mutaweenies? The Saudi religious police, who make sure that dangerous things like Barbie dolls are confiscated from little Saudi girls.

You can rat out your fellow Saudis on the mutaweenie web site. Bigwig thinks we should add our own little creative additions to the form, and explains how in this post. My suggestion: Go get some royal family names and use your imagination.

Damn. They missed.

Apparently, while I was sleeping, Israeli fired a few missiles at Abdel Aziz Rantisi, whom Charles Johnson calls "The Pediatrician of Death." Alas, he escaped with non-life-threatening wounds.

The President is denouncing the assassination attempt. He says he's "deeply troubled."

The president is concerned that this strike will undermine efforts by Palestinian authorities to bring an end to terrorist attacks, and it does not contribute to the security of Israel."

Certainly. Here's a graph on how secure Israel has been in the last three weeks, during which time the "road map" was supposedly implemented. (Thanks, Charles.)

For those who don't want to click on the link (and by the way, if you're using Windows, shift/left click will open the link in a new window), it details the kinds and number of terrorist attacks on Israelis. There were 278 attacks, and they include the following categories:

Shots fired at military installations
Shots fired at towns and villages
Mortar bombs
Hit and run attacks by vehicles
Bombs found
Anti-tank missiles
Terror attacks inside Israel
Drive-by shootings

So, what's happened since the road map was implemented? Well, let's see.

Israel started evacuating illegal settlements in the West Bank. Israel freed Palestinian prisoners, including a man who murdered 13 Israelis in the 1970s. Two Israeli citizens were murdered in Jerusalem. Five Israeli soldiers were killed. Many attempted suicide bombings were prevented. Oh, and Rantisis said this just a few days ago:

Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader, said the attack was intended to send a message to the Palestinian leadership that Palestinians will continue to fight Israel and will not "surrender to the pressure exerted by Israel and the United States of America," said.

"We are unified in the trenches of resistance," he said.

The President should be deeply troubled that this bastard is still alive, not that Israel tried to kill him.

And once again, the double standard for Israel rears its head. She must stand still and take whatever the Arabs dish out. It isn't terrorism if the end result is dead Jews, apparently, and not even dead American Jews. Shame on the President, and shame on all who hold this double standard. Terrorism is terrorism.

L.T. Smash!

Looks like someone else has a bit of a Hulk fixation.

I'm working on a post that may rile up an awful lot of bloggers, but hey, what's life without a little controversy?



The Klan argument revisited

If you haven't read this post yet, you need it for background.

Dave Sims answered my comments over at Susanna Cornett's. He can't seem to get past the ad hominem attacks, but he has synopsized—sort of—his beef with me. Besides the fact that he doesn't seem to like having his opinion questioned, that is.

Meryl doesn't answer a single point I make, she fails to even correctly restate a single point I actually make, it would appear from all evidence that she's intellectually incapable of grasping a single point I make, since from what she's posted here and elsewhere her "thought" processes are too controlled by her favorite shopworn prejudices to actually allow her brain to do any honest thinking at all.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you are, but what am I? Get to the point. (Oooh, scare quotes around "thought" processes. I think I'm really "insulted" now.)

- Susanna, on the other hand, clearly grasps what I say and reacts intelligently in disagreeing with me. Why do non-racist people join the Klan? That's the question I'm asking, Susanna. Here's what I know:

The Klan's a racist organization.

Non-racist people join the Klan.

That's pretty breathtaking logic. Got any facts to back it up?

Why? That's pretty interesting, I think. What I've found so far -- it bears much more study -- is that poor and lower-middle class whites feel ignored at all levels of government, they're accused of being racist when they question things like busing and affirmative action and what they see as preferential treatment of blacks and reverse discrimination, and they ask themselves questions like "Why are my kids being bused to go to school in a part of town the city council members are afraid to drive their cars while the city council members' kids aren't being bused there?" and "Is it racist to think that a more qualified white should be hired over a less qualified black, or is the racist position that a less qualified black be hired over a more qualified white?"

So that would be a no?

Indeed, I agree. The argument bears much more study. Let's start with what Sims has written. This was his methodology:

We had no idea where the marchers would assemble or where they’d march. “How are we ever going to find them?” I asked Mike. No problem, he said: “Just sit on the road leading into town, and wait until we see some really stupid-looking f*ckers in pickup trucks and follow ‘em.” We did, and found the assembly no problem.

Mike set up a few shots of the guys getting into their robes – nobody wore hoods – and I tried to talk to a few of the guys. At first they wouldn’t have anything to do with me. “We don’t get fair treatment in the press,” the organizer told me.

[...] “Hey, all right,” I said. I thought what everyone else thought of the KKK – buncha racist rednecks who like beating up “niggers.” But I really needed some sort of interview, I wasn’t doing well at the paper and would leave a couple months later, but I still wanted to do well – the job was about five hours from Louisville, where my then-fiancée lived. The engagement lasted a little while longer than my tenure in Smyth County did.

“All right,” I told them. “You say what you want to say and I’ll write it down. No editorializing. I promise.”

Hoo-boy, that is some in-depth study of the attitudes of the members of the Ku Klux Klan—just follow some stupid-looking fuckers in pickup trucks, and talk to them. How many did he talk to? We still don't know. He quotes a total of three in his post. When questioned on any statistics to back up his facts, he said (Susanna's comments again)

One wonders how "statistics" have anything to do with anything I was saying, since all I was saying was that there are people in the KKK who join out of frustration, not to burn crosses or lynch blacks.

Once again, he is "quoting" (oh, sorry, I caught the scare quotes thing from him again) the three or so men that he spoke to sixteen years ago. Quite a scientific representation of the attitudes of both Klan members and poor or lower-middle class white men—who, according to his logic, are all in the Klan, or want to be, because no one else is paying attention to their needs.

Here's the reason I won't answer his argument point by point: His argument is crap. The basic underpinning of his argument is that "poor and lower-middle class whites feel ignored at all levels of government," and as a result, are joining the Klan, where their arguments, miraculously, are being heard and addressed. (But not in a racist manner. Oh, no.)

This is pure, unadulterated bullshit. A quick Google search brought back 297,000 returns on "reverse discrimination." More than 50,000 returns on "no more racial quotas." You can even get a large response on "stop busing for racial integration." Clearly, these issues are being addressed.

Further, if no one is addressing these issues, perhaps Sims could tell me how a racist bastard like David Duke got elected senator in the Louisiana state legislature. And how he was nearly elected governor as well.

Sims' argument is false. He is making up information, putting it forth as fact, and getting insulting and defensive when being asked to supply sources. His post is being trotted out in certain portions of the blogosphere as "bold" and "brave" and "gutsy" for this. And I say the argument, and Sims, are none of those. The post is crap. His points are crap. Sims is full of crap. And my regular readers know that I have never, ever resorted to refuting an argument this way before, which I think tells you two things: How furious this man's assertions have made me, and how little I think of his point. I think this is an excellent example of the worst of blogging: Putting forth an opinion because you think it's so, not because you can prove it to be so.

On the other hand, it's a perfect example of why editors and fact-checkers are a part of mainstream media, and why the better bloggers do their best to put forward fact-based arguments. Because if they don't, they look like idiots, and their arguments get torn to shreds.

You know the saying—Why let something like the facts get in the way of a good argument?

This is why.

Cleaning house

I was going to fisk Dominique de Villepin's open letter to Israel, but this comment thread at LGF does it so well that I'll simply send you there.

I found this search today, and I'm simply in awe of the misuse of language it represents: How to get big muslims in less than ten weeks. Maybe like this: Hey, big boy, wanna see my burqa?

I found this one today, too, and it's rather scary. I hope he never finds out how. It's bad enough there's one of them in the world.

Yes, this describes my weblog perfectly.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what's more frightening—that my blog is number 9 on this search, or that someone is actually looking for it. There are a lot of sick people out there.

Speaking of questions—were we speaking of questions? Whatever. I've got two that have been hanging around in the Temp file for a while now.

In the rush to change the names of all things French, do we now have to call it a Freedom kiss?

When your eye itches, is it the eyelid that itches, or the eyeball? I mean, really, how can you tell which one it is?

These are the things I think about when my mind is in it's wandering mode.

There, I've cleaned out some of the things I've been meaning to post. Maybe I'll actually finish revising my greatest hits pages (if only I could remember where I left off).

By the way, have I mentioned that I'm pretty sure I've got the Hulk committed to reviewing the Hulk movie? That oughta be a blast. Well, I hope not literally. He wants me to come with him to the screening, but I'm afraid it would be hazardous to my health. As well as to anyone else in the theater, or in a three-mile radius, for that matter. (Ooh. Now I want to play the game that Scott found for me.)

Cursing Susanna Cornett

No, not that cursing. Michele hexes Roger Clemens, and apparently, I cursed Susanna Cornett. I had no idea I held such power. (Okay, I did, but Dean didn't, and now he knows.)

In any case, Susanna answered my post wherein I called her on what I thought was a slam at all liberals-slash-leftists (it's at the very end of the Klan post). Apparently it's a misunderstanding of nomenclature. (I am so into big words today.) Susanna meant to tar what I call the loony left, and what many conservative bloggers and writers call "the left," which is why I thought she meant me and my like-thinking pals. But she didn't.

So I take back all the mean things I said. And I thank you, Susanna, for not slamming us all like far too many other conservabloggers do.

Oh, wait. I didn't say mean things. But I will say this: We simply have to find a single term for the lunatics and stick with it to prevent misunderstandings like this in the future.

And Susanna, some of my best friends are liberals. But their husbands are conservative. Well, one of them is, anyway.

Hulk Smash!

Scott is evil. He sent me this link. Now I want to buy a Hulk game.

I made it to the second level on my first try, which is actually quite an accomplishment for me. I was waiting for more vehicles to attack when I finally said to myself, "I wonder if Hulk can smash those buildings?"

Of course he can. That's what Hulks do the bestest. Thanks, Scott.

While you're at AMCGLTD, look around. There's another baby post by Ellen. My favorite part:

The room is almost done. I have 2 shelves I am in the middle of painting for her room, just needing to finish all up tomorrow. More sticky gooey girlie stuff. Scott says it's amazing his shoes stay attached to his feet when he walks into the room. He also could not get past the fact that I managed to find curtain rods that have these glass spheres on the ends of them. He says they're like something from a D&D game. I thought it was cute until he started whirling them around and making "whummm... whumm... whummm..." noises at the cats. Let's all hope Olivia is cute, because socially she has no chance at all.

I swear, Scott and Bigwig were separated at birth.

No, he didn't.

The Washington Post headline: Palestinian Condemns Attacks by Militant Groups. Shimon B. finds it amusing to note the singular noun in the headline, conjuring up images of a lone palestinian condemning the attacks while the rest of the population applauds. Except that Abbas didn't condemn them.

The article excerpt:

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas denounced new attacks by militant groups that threaten a U.S.-led peace plan and vowed Monday to press on with efforts to coax them back into cease-fire talks.

[...] "We must exert all our efforts to stop this bloodbath and pursue a peaceful settlement," Abbas said after attacks Sunday in which five Israeli soldiers were killed and troops shot dead five Palestinian gunmen.

That's not condemnation. But it's to be expected.

In his first news conference since taking office, Abbas said he would keep trying to engage militant groups in dialogue, and would not resort to force to bring them to halt their attacks on Israelis.

Abbas said he opposed all violence, including a Palestinian shooting attack Sunday in which four Israeli soldiers were killed.

How sweet. He opposes all violence. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside; how about you?

Of course, the first phase of the road map calls on the pals to end all terror attacks. I'm guessing they're not going to get to the first phase. Also, I noticed that their spin on the summit meetings didn't fully take. Over and over again, you read the phrase "The Israelis gave us nothing!" This came straight from the rat-bastard in Ramallah's mouth, and also from Rantisi after he called off "negotiations" with Abbas. But the phrase has melted away.

If anyone out there still doesn't believe that Arafat is pulling all the strings, I've got a bridge to sell you. But wait, you may not have to buy it. There's always this:

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas refuses to meet with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi because he refuses to meet with PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, Palestinian information Minister Nabil Amr said Sunday. Berlusconi is the first European official who has followed the American and Israeli line of isolating Arafat.

A PA source close to Abbas explained that because Abbas came under internal attack for his conciliatory speech at Aqaba, he feels he cannot afford to meet with Berlusconi unless the Italian PM meets Arafat too. Italy will take over the rotating presidency of the EU on July 1st.

Someone told me that they thought AIPAC's positive messages that I heard the other week were merely the frantic spin that AIPAC was putting on the situation. Well, now I agree with her. It's Oslo all over again, and Jews are going to die because of it. It's terrorism everywhere but in Israel. Even the Roman Muslims agree.

In a report by Magdi Allam, the Italian columnist of Egyptian origin who writes regularly about the Arab and Muslim world for the national daily La Repubblica, 32-year-old Imam Abdel-Samie Mahmoud Ibrahim Moussa is quoted as having told the correspondent that suicide attacks in Israel are religiously legitimate, whereas they are not in Saudi Arabia, Morocco or Italy.

"From an Islamic viewpoint there is no doubt that the operations of the mujahidin against the Jews in Palestine are legitimate. They are missions of martyrdom and those who commit them are martyrs of Islam because all Palestine is a Dar al-harb, a territory of war. This is because all of the Jewish society illegally occupies an Islamic land."

On the other hand, in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, "Islam condemns attacks against foreigners who are hosted by the Muslim people. We have an Aqd al-wafa'a, a Covenant of loyalty with them. We welcomed them and we are responsible for their physical safety."

By the same token, Muslims living in Italy may not commit terrorist acts against Italians because an Aqd al-aman, covenant of security, binds them to loyalty to the State that provides for the physical safety of the resident Muslims.

Thus endeth the depressing Monday Morning Jew-hatred report. We'll be back later with more, as Jew-hating and Jew-killing are two of the world's most popular sports.

Wow, I'm depressing myself with that one. Time to go watch a Buffy DVD.



The 2003 Tony Awards

Hugh Jackman hosting: I don't care if his hair's too long. The man sings, too. Ladies, back off. He's mine. You can have Billy Joel. He got ugly. I don't want him. (If only Hugh were a baritone, he'd be perfect. No, a baritone, and Jewish. Now that would be perfection.)

There was a large amount of gayness at the Tony Awards tonight. Or is that just being redundant?

I sang "The Impossible Dream" in chorus in sixth grade, and it's astonishing how the lyrics to that song have never left me. Okay, so maybe the fact that I also spent a week in college attending all of the rehearsals leading up to the opening of the show had something to do with it, too. I was researching for a feature article about the student theater group. But I also know the lyrics to "The Girl From Ipanema." (She looks straight ahead, not at me.)

Sarah Jessica Parker really should let someone else dress her. She has awful taste in formal wear.

Mary Stuart Masterson is no longer a blonde. She looks a lot smarter. And that hairdo—very sophisticated. You've come a long way from Fried Green Tomatoes, dear.

Jane Krakowski, a Jersey girl, won the Tony tonight. May I say: HA-ha. John Spencer's from New Jersey, too. (Leo, from the West Wing.) Good for him. (This moment of granfalloonism is now officially over.)

Bebe Neuwirth an Ann Reinking standing next to each other, displaying two pairs of the most amazing legs on Broadway. All they needed to do was add Chita Rivera and Twyla Tharp would have had heart failure trying to think of how she could get the three of them together in one play.

That speech by Twyla Tharp: I'm glad she explained to us that she was happy to win the award, because judging by her expression, she'd have been happier undergoing root canal. Wow, not even a grin, let alone a smile.

By the way, I listened to almost none of the speeches. Yawn, yawn, yawn. Thank heaven for the mute button. Whoops, Hugh's back on, sound please!

I did not vote for the CBS online poll of "Best Tony-Award-winning play ever," because I find those polls to be, well, stupid. It's impossible to choose one play and call it the best play ever. Okay, Death of a Salesman is definitely in the top ten, but did they even mention musicals? Try to narrow down even just the musicals (no, Andrew Lloyd Weber plays do not count in this category; they go into the Composers That Really Suck category), and you find yourself having to choose between Comden & Green and Rodgers & Hammerstein and Lerner & Loew and Sondheim and Bernstein and those French dudes that wrote Les Miz (do not even begin to think that anything ever written by Elton John or taken from a Disney cartoon belongs on any such list, or I shall have to kill you tomorrow), and gawd, I can't even begin to narrow them down. And what about the Gershwins?

Okay, so Hairspray cleaned up. But you have to really adore the speech by Marissa Jaret Winokur. It was sweet and wonderful. She's right: If a short, chubby girl from New York can win the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical, anything can happen. Like seeing Harvey Fierstein win Best Actor in a musical for playing a woman. (She called Harvey her Hairspray mom. I don't doubt he is; he seems like a wonderful person.)

It's so strange that I can feel happy for Lynn Redgrave for being happy her sister won the Tony while still loathing Vanessa Redgrave for being the dried-up old Jew-hating bitch that she is. Well, at least she kept her politics out of her acceptance speech.

Brian Dennehy is becoming the Stevie Wonder of the Tony Awards. They better hope he's not in a play next year.

Hugh Jackman ended the show by leading the audience in a rendition of "Oh, What a Beatiful Morning" from Oklahoma!

Ohmigod, I'm in love. Marry me, Hugh.

New Cattales


The terrorists' message:

Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad claim Gaza attack
Three Islamic militant groups claimed responsibility for the attack on an IDF outpost in the Gaza Strip Sunday in which four Israelis were killed and four were injured.

The Hamas, Fatah and the Islamic Jihad issued a joint statement Sunday morning claiming responsibility for the deadly attack.

[...] "This joint operation was committed to confirm our people's united choice of holy war and resistance until the end of occupation over our land and holy places," the leaflet said.

Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader, said the attack was intended to send a message to the Palestinian leadership that Palestinians will continue to fight Israel and will not "surrender to the pressure exerted by Israel and the United States of America," said.

"We are unified in the trenches of resistance," he said.

Translation: "Fuck you, America. We have no intention of stopping the killing of Jews, so go sell your goods somewhere else."

The Road Map is a stillborn, in spite of Condoleeza Rice's wishes to the contrary. Don't forget that Fatah is controlled by Yasser Arafat.

What you missed

If you didn't read the blog over the weekend, you missed this post about the Klan, and why it is not an organization filled with "pleasant, rational men." Please read it.

There's also a post about spider poop, which is not nearly as important as the post above, but hey, I write about a lot of different things.


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.