The Eat an Animal for PETA day posting starts here
Someone who probably didn't like my International Eat an Animal for PETA day sent me a link to this piece of meat (and I do mean meat). I expect he thought I'd be disgusted.
I think it's friggin' hilarious. Thanks, Brad. permalink
The battle raged this morning at 0630. The woodpecker, unbowed by our last encounter, returned to the battlefield and commenced operations. I woke up swearing, and mapped out a course of action.
Reviewing the details of the last battle, sticks were eliminated as effective weapons of woodpecker destruction. Stones would be better. A quick recon out the front doorwait, there's a car coming, I'm out of uniform (red pj's, embarrassment level high). Okay. Look around. Lots of pine cones, no rocks. Damn. Quick recon out back door, ditto. Think. Yes, it's 6:30 a.m., and yes, you only fell asleep four hours prior, but think!
Weapon chosen: Ice cubes. Out the back door to secure the target area. Woody Effing W. is pounding away on the metal object on the roof. Missile launched. Wide of the mark, but effective nonetheless. Woodpecker flies off into trees. Sortie is successful, return to bed and dreamland, ditto. permalink
Roy Scheider was just interviewed on CBS prior to the massive anti-war demonstration starting in New York City. The editors were clever; they cut to shots of the NYPD arresting protesters (already!) while Scheider spoke. Here is the line that raised my hackles, typed as I heard it, so it may not be word-perfect, but it's pretty close:
He was answering a question regarding the polls that show the vast majority of Americans support the war. That's because our troops are there, he said. And then he spoke the above, which quite clearly illustrates the contempt that the anti-war protesters hold for the average American. They're too stupid to comprehend things, and they simply rally 'round the flag, because, well, they're not as smart as movie stars or anti-war protesters, I suppose. But all will be revealed if they simply listen to their betters.
This is a sentiment you see over and over again, in many areas. I experienced it as a nascent journalist-slash-legislator in college, when we members of the student organizations used to call ourselves "the Fourth Floor Elite." Student government offices were on the fourth (and top) floor of the Student Center. We believed it, too, because we were the ones running the student government, and the newspaper, and the organizations that sponsored most of the extracurricular activities. Well, and because we were children, and we were naive, and we were part of a clique.
But then I grew up, and realized that there are many, many levels of involvement in life, and it's snobbish and childish to judge people by whether or not they do what you think they should be doing.
Apparently, Scheider and his fellow protesters have yet to learn that lesson. So all of us proletariat types should listen attentively to what he and they are saying, and then we should march along with them! Workers of the world, unite! Yeah!
Overpaid schmuck. permalink
Excuse me while the shock wears off. Apparently, here in Richmond, which is not, I repeat, not in New Jersey, someone at City Hall is complaining about the display of the American flag.
Longtime readers of this weblog know I am far from in the habit of knee-jerk patriotism, but I am simply flabbergasted by this story. Here's the reasoning: A woman complained that displaying the flag was a statement in support of the war:
You know, for a minute there, I thought I was back in New Jersey, where it's fairly common to knock the flag. But this is the south. I don't get it.
Okay. I'm no lawyer, but let me think. City Hall, city government, American flagit's a no-brainer. Call me crazy, but I think displaying our nation's flag in the seat of local government is, well, completely normal.
But what do I know. I'm just a transplanted northerner. Think I'll go make up a photo page full of flags and put it up later this afternoon or tomorrow. permalink
NBC 12 Richmond: Yay you
What can I say, in the midst of all the war news, I miss my weekly Angel episode. And thanks to those of you who emailed me about the WB rerunning "Orpheus" on Sunday, but, here in this benighted, WB-less town, I wasn't supposed to get to "Orpheus" until next week. We were supposed to see "Release" Thursday morning, but it was all-war, all the time.
But a call to the NBC 12's programming department brought the cheerful news that they'll run "Release" on Thursday, then show "Orpheus" next Saturday, and we'll be back on schedulea week behind the rest of the countrya week from Thursday.
Load 'em up, boys.
The Command Post is taking up too much of my time. It's addictive. I need to post here, instead.
I also need to post something nice and normal and nonviolent. A cat post, for instance. I've got one planned for March 25th, which is an anniversary of sorts for my cats, who turned six on the 15th. I was so busy with IEAFP Day festivities, that I forgot my little carnivores have reached their mid-life crises.
Gracie had an asthma attack a few minutes ago. I'm tuned enough to it that I can hear her coughs over the television set. Whenever she has an attack, Tig runs to her from wherever he is, stands nearby, and mews. I know we tend to anthropomorphize our animals, but he sure looks concerned to me when he does that. Plus, the sounds are the same kind of chirrups he uses when he tells Gracie he wants her to go downstairs and eat with him. It's quite funny. He'll stand near her and chirrup until she finally gets up and walks (in unison, mind you) out the bedroom door, down the stairs, through the sunken living room, up the two stairs to the kitchen, and over to the food dishes. She will usually only have a bite or two at most, but Tig is content. He wanted Gracie to keep him company. The sight of the two of them walking in unison, turning in harmony, and eating side by side never fails to make me smile.
I taped Angel last night. Well, no. I taped the time and station that was supposed to carry the show. Instead, I got (sigh) more war. NBC runs the WB shows here from 1:30 to 3:30 a.m. I'm already a week behind. Now that I missed this one, I'm two weeks behind. I may have to send out a yell for help. Or get my brother to tape the WB in New Jersey and pick up the tape when I go up there for Passover.
Is it unpatriotic to wish that the morons that program my local NBC station had run their own programming at 2:35 a.m. instead of all war, all the time? Who the hell is up at 2:35 watching the news, and why did NBC 12 think that all six of them were more important than the mass of Richmond Angel fans? Bastages.
Well, at least I have the DVDs that Marduk gifted me. Think I'll start with the last two eps of Season Two of Buffy, move onto Season 3, then start the Angel Season 1 DVD. And you'll know who to blame when the posting slows.
By the way, Marduk's on a roll today. He's been having Phun with Photoshop. Check out Pat Buchanan's new nose. And then keep reading down. Don't know how he has the stomach to read that stuff. I sure don't.
Obscenity alert: I keep on stripping them out of my posts. Damn. I must be trying for that broad audience reach or something.
Oh, let's face it. Someone's going to really piss me off, and I'll throw a few choice swear words their way, and feel better for it. permalink
I found a Day By Day cartoon that nearly ruined my monitor.
Go, Chris. permalink
Rachel Corrie died of stupidity and arrogance.
It's taken a few days to sink in, but then there was this article in today's Jerusalm Post. A cohort of Corrie's was struck by rubber bullets today while watching Palestinian "youths" throw stones at Israeli soldiers.
Rachel Corrie's associates said pretty much the same about her, some going so far as to claim she had made "eye contact" with the bulldozer driver. My brother has driven heavy construction equipment since he was in his twenties, and he pointed out that it's difficult enough to see objects on the ground from the cab of a large bulldozer, but when you add the extra armor shielding that was on the IDF bulldozer that struck Corrie, eye contact is near impossible.
But that's still not the point.
Leaving aside her partiality towards murderers and drug runners, I maintain that Corrie died of hubrisa peculiarly American hubris. And her companion was wounded by it. Rachel Corrie didn't get out of the way of the bulldozer in time because she thought the driver would see her, realize she was an American, and stop.
There is an arrogance among all "peace activists" that seems to run in a similar vein: Their assumption is that Israelis will gleefullly shoot and kill Palestinians, but if a Westerner is among the groupparticularly an Americanthen nothing really bad will happenespecially not to the American. The Israelis will never deliberately shoot an American. The Israelis will never deliberately run a bulldozer over a young American woman. To assume that no harm will come to you because you are an American is childish and naive.
It's part of the reason they're there: They don't really believe, deep down, that they're risking their lives. I can't read their thoughts, no. But if they didn't believe that being an American gives them an invisible shield, why do they keep repeating that they were clearly visible? That they "could not be mistaken." For what? For the native riff-raff? Their assertion of visibility sounds, well, racist.
These are not the words of someone who thinks he is risking life and limb. These are the words of a child expecting his substitute parentAmerican citizenryto keep him safe, even in a war zone.
Of course, he's partly right. Israelis do not deliberately harm innocents, and the last thing they want is a PR nightmare of the kind that came with Corrie's death. But here's the thing that the "activists" don't understand: Being an American does not guarantee you that misfortune will not strike. Being an American does not guarantee you that a bullet meant for someone else might not hit you. Being an American does not guarantee your safety.
And most of all, being an American doesn't mean that you are automatically noticed. Being "clearly visible" doesn't mean that you are seen. Being an American does not mean that you are immune from harm.
Perhaps someone should have informed the bullets of that fact. The ones that were bought at the "Guaranteed to never accidentally hit Americans!" store. Let me rewrite Howanietz's sentence with its real meaning:
That last is the reason I call it hubris. These children go into war zones, expose themselves to danger, and then can't understand why harm comes to them. They were clearly visible. They were clearly marked. They could not be mistaken for natives. (Of course the subtext in that line by Howanietz is that the IDF was gunning for him, but its patent arroganceand racismshould not be overlooked.)
There has been a firestorm of debate over Rachel Corrie's deathand life. I think she was young and foolish. There's a photo of her going around that was taken while she was at The Burning Man. It's one of the last remnants of the sixties counterculture. It speaks volumes, in my opinion, of her mindset. This diary of another member of the same organization illustrates clearly how much growing up they need to do. And Corrie's defense of terrorists was abhorrent to me.
Still, her death was tragic and pointless and stupid. But there's one more thing that I haven't read about anywhere. Does anyone truly believe that the bulldozer driver isn't horrified over what he did? Is there anyone who truly believes this man is sleeping peacefully right now? Put yourself in his place. His job was to knock down a building. He killed a woman. Not a terrorist, not someone who was shooting at hima young girl who was trying to stop him, that he didn't see, and accidentally crushed beneath his bulldozer. Those of you that think he deliberately drove over Rachel Corrie are simply twisted, and we have nothing to say to one another.
I'm sorry Rachel Corrie is dead. But if her companions don't figure out that being American doesn't give you an invisible, impenetrable shield in war zones, more deaths will follow. And judging from what Howanietz said after taking three rubber bullets, they're not about to change their way of thinking. Get the body bags ready. permalink
Michele started a group blog, The Command Post. It's fashioned after National Review's The Corner, except we don't need to be taught how to do it. I've joined, but Blogger's a bit overloaded today, so my post has yet to show. Check it out. permalink
Received this letter today from someone in Switzerland:
I'd fisk it, but, well, it's already fisked itself. If this is the best intellectual argument they can offer, we're better off heading over to Mac's place for the latest adventures of Captain Euro. At least Mac is deliberately funny. (This is one of the best Captain Euro adventures ever. Don't miss it.) permalink
Captain Steve sent another email from Saudi Arabia.
Tell your crew that last night, at a Bingo hall in Richmond, a woman brought a tiny Watchman so she could know if the war began while she was out. I chatted with an elderly woman who said she'd be praying for a swift end to the war and the safety of our soldiers. So am I, Steve. permalink
In the Esther Forbes novel, Johnny Tremain, the phrase was "School's done. War's begun."
I haven't much to say, other than I hope and pray that it ends quickly, and with as few deaths as possible. Because people will die. Iraqis will die. Americans, Brits, and Australians mayno, probably willdie. Lt. Smash could be a casualty. We don't know.
The uncertainty haunts me day and night, and I have no immediate family serving. I can only imagine what it's like for those who do, and for those in the Armed Forces who are here, but whose friends are over there.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. Come home safe. permalink
Robert M. sent me a letter about Woody Effing Woodpecker:
Hm. That's a vote against shooting him, plus, well, if it's illegal, I think I won't try to track down a BB gun after all. And Robert sent me to a page of woodpecker control information, including tips on scaring Woody away. Hm. It doesn't say I can't whale rocks at him, so I'm reserving the option of scaring him that way. Then again, I might break a window in my apartment. Hm. permalink
One of the things I miss the most about living in New Jersey was the NY Metro area's constant availability of news. There were three all-news stations and plenty more that had news blurbs regularly enough that at just about any minute of the hour, I could get the latest news on my car radio. Here in Richmond, their idea of breaking news is pulling over to let an emergency vehicle pass. "Look at that. Must be somethin' goin' on." "Yeah."
Tonight I was working Bingo for my synagogue (smell like smokesigh), and when I got out, I switched on the AM radio to one of the talk radio stations, figuring if it had switched over to the network, something was happening. I tried tuning up the dial and went across 1010, and got 1010 WINS, New York. Clearly. At 8:59, so I know it's 35 degrees in New York, and you want to stay on the lower level of the GWB, and Tel Aviv Limo is still hiring drivers. Plus I heard the news.
Big heavy sigh of contentment. My brother says it has something to do with the earth's position, and that I can expect to get WINS regularly. That'd be nice. Now if only my kosher butcher shop opened a branch here in Richmond, I'd be content. permalink
Damelon sent an email that brightened my afternoon:
Walter Lantz must have gotten his inspiration from the same kind of events that I've had lately.
There's a woodpecker in my neighborhood. It's been around for weeks; I saw it digging for bugs in the dirt behind my building. Oh, how cute, I remember thinking. Well, Woody Effing Woodpecker ceased being cute last week, when he decided to search for insects on the roof of my building. Early in the morning. Every morning.
It gets worse.
The noise, which sounds rather like someone is operating a jackhammer above my bed, insinuates itself into my dreams, waking me up only enough to realize that there's a woodpecker on my building somewhere. This morning, it went on for an hour. It made me wonder if it was a woodpecker, or some strange, noisy toy the neighbor's toddler was playing with. After listening in various spots around the apartment, I went outside and saw W. Effing W. on the roof. Not pecking the shingling, no, that would be too easy. He was pecking the metal hood that covers the chimney for the heating unit. The effing metal hood. The effing metal hood!
He saw me, and vacated the roof just as the stick I threw at him landed. (Missed by a mile; it wasn't heavy enough.) He went to peck on another apartment's metal hood. I would have gone for a BB gun if only I had one. I'm thinking of buying one and taking Woody out myself, but maybe I can just wing him with a rock and let my cats take care of the rest. I expect if I called maintenance and asked them to shoot the woodpecker that wakes me up every morning, they might not want to renew my lease. Then again, this is Virginia. Maybe they get complaints like that all the time. permalink
Read Wind Rider's post on the upcoming battle. Here's a teaser:
While I'm at it, let's go linking around.
Mac Thomason put up his menu from Saturday (IEAPD).
Chas Rich found the Belgians even more obnoxious than I did, and is quoting them directly, too.
Janis Gore has a cautionary tale for vegetarians.
Angie Schulz: I promised I'd link her more often if she gave me a different color scheme, and so she did. (Click on the "Are you afraid of the dark?" link on the left menu.)
Keep an eye on Rantburg for some excellent information.
I lost the letter, but remembered the new site: Canadian skeptics. Go, Canada! John Edward is a fraud. (I know some people can't reconcile the fact that I agree with skeptics about "psychic phenomena" and yet still believe in God, buy hey, belief requires faith, not proof. There's a huge difference.)
Diane appears to be a bit down. Send her jokes in email to cheer her up.
Bigwig is annoying the wife again.
Gil is going to shave his beard. The gas mask won't fit as snugly with it. (Stay safe, Gil, Imshin, Tal. Stay safe, Salam. Stay safe, Lt. Smash, Capt. Steve, the blogger whom I can't name who is blogging from Kuwait. Stay safe all of you.)
I'd almost forgotten about Ribbity. (Sorry!) Then I came across a comment by him, which led me to his site, which brought me this bon mot:
Oh, Anil. You took another swing at me, and it's just as fun and fact-filled as the last time the two of us crossed words. Really. One would think you'd learn to tell the truth when talking at me, but then, one also thinks that you would learn to distinguish a right-winger from, oh, me.
One more time: Centrist, leaning left on some issues (progressive taxation, affirmative action, women's rights you effing moron, pro-choice), and right on others (the war on terror, Iraq, Israel and the Middle East, the death penalty in many cases).
I think the real reason Anil got into such a snit is because I didn't respond to or publish his email. Let's do something about that now, and maybe the hissy fit will cease. The letter says:
[weary sigh] Why would we do that, Anil?
This is wrong in so many different ways I can barely begin. First of all, you get no argument from me about Rush's use of the term "feminazi." I hate it. I call people on it on any comments thread where it is used. In point of fact, I said as much last year when Amptoons brought up the subject. Why I have no intention of making it my next campaign: Let me count the ways. I have no use for Rush Limbaugh. I happen to agree with Al Franken about him. I don't listen to his show, nor discuss him on my weblog. In nearly two years of blogging, I mentioned him in only three separate blogs: Week 16, Week 25, and the one above. Go look 'em up yourself, it's pre-permalinks and I don't care to make new ones.
As for why it in no way comes near the offensiveness of PETA, well, gee, let's see. PETA compares the suffering of Jews in concentration camps to the raising of chickens and cows on factory farms. PETA lies to the U.S. Holocaust Museum to get permission to use their photographs in an anti-meat campaign. No relatives of Holocaust survivors have yet written to me about Rush Limbaugh. A letter from a survivor's child started my anti-PETA campaign. Are you getting it yet, Anil, or need I go on?
No, you're just putting your fingers in your ears and sticking your tongue out at me. If you were truly brainstorming, there would be some firing of neurons involved. And those neurons would have set off a mental process that might even have gotten you to remember that I'm not a "right-wing political blogger." Nor am I a "lying fucking hypocrite." Understand, Anil, that I stand by everything I write. Everything. And I rarely write anything as hyperbolic and childish as this (from his website, not the letter):
If anyone can figure out this part:
please let me know, because I'm still scratching my head at that one. He continues:
Umbecause you make no sense?
And of course, Anil uses this as a throwaway line, thus assuring us that he thinks PETA's campaign really wasn't all that bad, if only you look at it from their point of view. The wonders of moral equivalence raise their ugly head yet again.
Ah. The Nazi Holocaust and chicken farms. That's a "fair comparison," but our indifference to the agonies of Rush's female victims who were called a nasty name exposes us as "a bunch of lying fucking hypocrites." You've got us there, Anil. We might as well all hang up our keyboards and go home.
At the risk of offending many of my newfound readers, who may already be offended that I loathe Rush Limbaugh, let me be brutally honest here: Yes, I know that many of the bloggers who hopped on the anti-PETA bandwagon hold views that I don't like or agree with. I don't care. I happen to believe that people have the right to their opinions, even when they diverge from mine. Emperor Misha and I have widely different opinions on most subjects. But I'll link to him when something he says strikes me as interesting or funny. It's called being open-minded. Something that the left seems not to have, along with that missing sense of humor, hey, Anil?
Although I received a lot of support from the right side of the aisle, I also had support from the left, who agreed that the PETA campaign went too far and deserved to be ridiculed and excoriated. In fact, even vegetarians joined the International Eat an Animal for PETA day. They ate dairy products. Astonishing, isn't it? Even vegetarians were offended by PETA's campaign.
You really do need to go home and grow a little, Anil. Or at the very least, take some deep breaths and count to ten next time you read my website. It seems to affect you soviolently. permalink
Nick Denton is on the case of America's grand Jewish neocon conspiracy. He thinks Buchanan was mostly right. I think a lot of things about Denton, but hey, Gary's on him. Judith's on him for the second time. Jonah's on him.
Funny, he insults all the bloggers but Maxthat couldn't be because only Max holds similar political beliefs, could it? But then, he's not insulting the other professional journalist on the list, either. You don't think it's a class thing, do you? No, no, I can't believe that. Nick is far bigger than that. And so am I, Dick. I mean, Nick.
I read Denton's posts, Buchanan's article, and Goldberg's response to it. The neocon argument? It's obvious to me that it's a canard wrapped in an insinuation wrapped in an accusation, but what the heyI'll put in my two cents on it once more. But I see no reason to come up with a fact-filled essay. Denton is ignoring the facts being brought up and simply flinging a little more bullshit at the fan to see what sticks.
Here's my entry in the latest fling-fest. You can find the lyrics and music here (a very tacky version, alas for the end of Napster). My favorite was sung by Sammy Davis Jr., a man we could call one of our own (he converted). A Jewish African-American, yuppers. And a world-class entertainer. The song: "What Kind of Fool Am I?" from the Broadway play, "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off."
NZ Bear sent me an email about this, and I just took it in stride and sent back, "Yeah, I know, I saw." Except it hadn't really registered. His ecosystem is back, new and improved (now including all the major lefty blogs!). Of course I track the popularity of my weblog; anyone who says he doesn't is lying. If ego were uninvolved, bloggers would be writing in private journals that no one else would read.
But all this babbling is leading up to this: I have evolved into a Mortal Human. I'm in the twentieth spot, just below Tim Blair, who really isn't a mortal human, if you ask me. He's far too funny for that. I have no idea who I displaced but, well, dem's da breaks. I expect my newfound evolutionary state is far more precarious than it would appear, and may well fall back to a mere Playful Primate by the next scan. But in the meantime, I have bragging rights.
One of my readers sent me a link to this website, which reprints the Reuters news piece about the upcoming Mel Gibson film on the last hours of Christ.
The Jew-bashing I spoke of has already begun.
Nope, that film isn't going to stir up any anti-Jewish action. Not at all. Why, we should wait for it to come out before judging what might come out of the film. Clearly, that sentence that I emphasized above points out that Catholics have ceased to blame the Jews for Christ's death and, indeed, have learned to respect the Jews as such and no longer blame those of us now alive for the events of two millennia ago. Nope. No calls of "Christ-killer" here. Move along. Nothing to see.
All sarcasm aside: Susanna, this is exactly what I was talking about. That one sentence alone clearly puts the Jews completely outside of Christ's forgiveness in this priest's interpretation of that line, and puts the entire responsibility for the crucifixion on them. Granted, it's from 1954, butit's being quoted today. The author of these comments call Jews "the perpetrators of this crime."
There's more than enough Jew-hatred to go around. Mel Gibson's film is merely going to add to it. All in the name of "telling the truth." Their version of it, anyway. permalink
Seven Iraqis have filed suit against former President George H.W. Bush. Where? In Belgium, of course, the little nation that thinks it could.
What the article does not say is that this is yet another propaganda shot from Saddam Hussein. I have many questions about this, not least of which is: Who died and left Belgium king of the world?
Looks like it's not only Ariel Sharon who can't travel to Brussels anymore. permalink
Apparently, even the LA Times has an idea of how stupid celebrity anti-war activism can be. Next to a commentary piece by Martin Sheen. Let us compare and contrast. First, Sheen:
Next, an Iraqi refugee:
Via Dumb Celebs, a website that raises your blood pressure or makes you laugh.
I wonder who wrote Sheen's op-ed. permalink
I was going to put up some pictures from tonight's Purim service, but I'm still tired from Saturday. In fact, if I haven't answered your email, it's because I'm still tired from Saturday. If I said I'd do something for you and I didn't, it's because I'm still tired from Saturday. And if I said I'd link to you and didn't, I forgot because I'm still tired from Saturday.
I think I'm going to have to plan these things for Friday nights while I'm teaching. 7:15 comes all too soon when you don't get to sleep before two.
But I really enjoyed the service. Half the kids from my class were there, and a lot of the kids from the other grades, of course. I think I got the biggest kick out of hearing how incredulous one of the seventh grader's was that I liked her younger brother. He's not in my grade, but I interact with most of the kids during music and t'filah, as well as whenever their appearance coincides with mine at services. Joseph G. is one of my favorites, to his sister's chagrin. Well, okay, I didn't care that much for my younger brother when I was a teenager, but I got over it. She will, too.
The place was packed. It got so loud a lot of the younger kids left the sanctuary because it was too noisy for them. But it was a lot of fun.
And yup, we booed Haman loud and long, groggers (noisemakers) wielded cheerfully. Here's hoping the modern-day Haman, Saddam Hussein, falls quickly and easily. permalink
Bigwig had veal. Dodd had antelope. It was his birthday. (Today is Mac's birthday. No menu posted.) Lynn B. had lots of critters. (She's promised me a nice steak dinner when I finally make it to her town for a visit.)
I also received some letters from vegetarians and other people unhappy with my anti-PETA campaign. More on those later, perhaps. One of them is too long to do more than excerpt. Here's some:
No, but people who send me letters without reading my website are going to Hell. God told me so, just last night. Especially when I have "The Eat an Animal for PETA day posting starts here" plastered on my main page and the last two weeks of archives. I suppose it's too much trouble to actually read the reasoning behind the campaign. Much more fun to write long, whiny letters that include things like
I imagine that "John Smith" will also understand why I think he's an idiot, but you never can tell with idiots. Write on, John, my readers could use more amusement in their lives.
Uh-huh. [Backing away slowly]
[Backing away faster]
Well, there's the fact that cows and pigs are food animals and dogs are pets and working animals, eaten only in Asian countries, but hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good analogy?
Let's read some more. With commentary by me, of course.
But wait. There's more. (I told you it was long.)
Ah, logic and intelligent discourse. Gotta love it. permalink
Also at Imshin's, something that doesn't seem to register on those peace protesters:
What other nation in the world requires a built-in sealed room in the building codes for new structures? What other nation needs them?
I think that I will, after all, go celebrate Purim at my synagogue tonight, and roll a noisemaker and boo every time Haman's name is mentioned, and be thankful for the destruction of another hateful man who would have destroyed Jews for being Jews. Imshin, here's hoping you don't have to use the sealed room. Ever. permalink
Federal Express delivered a package this morning. It turned out to be nearly the entire contents of my wishlist. This is on top of receiving the Follies CD last week. And the generous person behind it all?
Marduk of Babylonian Musings.
This is a mensch. Not only is he lambasting anti-Semites like Mikey Rivero and his buddies (check out the "Protocolos de los Sabios de Sion" post, it's a howler), but he finds time to shower me with presents. Bill, you might have a rival here for your affections. (Am I saying I can be bought? Absolutely.)
Time to put up a new wishlist. Marduk, thank you so much for your generosity. If my posting goes down over the next week, people can just head over to your site and read it instead. I'll be busy watching the Buffy Season Three DVDs, or reading Bernard Lewis' "What Went Wrong?" permalink
I'm still exhausted today, and days behind in posting on certain subjects, like Kevin Drum's naive and ridiculous questions on how to criticize Israel and "neocons" (and may I repeat: DUH). Judith Weiss had something to say about that as well as Gary, Amptoons, Dr. Frank, and others. Although it's late, I think I will, after all, tell Kevin that he doesn't get a bye from me because he pleads ignorance.
This is why he doesn't get a bye from me. The fact is, Drum would never write something like, "I'm wondering about the best way to clearly distinguish legitimate criticism of African-Americans from mere racism." He'd be clobbered from all sides if he did.
I also missed phrase "mere anti-semitism" the first time out. Are there levels of anti-Semitism allowed in liberal discourse, Kevin? At bottom, seemingly innocent questions about how not to be called an anti-Semite while criticizing neocons being the lowest, and a graduated phraseology like "New York bankers," "global financiers," and "Zionists" coming closer to the "Jews are controlling the world" conspiracy theorists? An unfortunate choice of words, yes. But there goes my insistence on superhuman precision of language. Of course, I call it taking responsibility for your own words, but that's just me.
Here's a clue, Kevin. We don't insist on superhuman precision of language, but we do insist that if you're going to use a phrase that has become the latest codeword for Jews, you need to understand that the use of codewords is abhorrent and generally brings on derision from those who dislike their use. Further, when you jump into a topic that has as its root cause anti-Semitism (Patrick Buchanan's criticism of "neocons" and their influence on this Administration), and wonder when it is and isn't anti-Semitic to criticize the new codeword for Jews, you're going to get people reacting with a little bit of, shall we say, aggravation?
So what kinds of criticisms of African-Americans are legitimate and which ones aren't? Can you figure them out yourself? Yeah? Then use the same instincts for your criticism of Jewish neocons. And then use the same ones for your criticism of Christian neocons. Or atheist neocons.
As for legitimate criticism of Israel, well, it really doesn't matter what we say, because the question seems to keep on getting asked over and over. No matter what the answer, and we can't give you an answer because Jews are not some kind of monolithic being with only one mindset on all subjects. There will be criticisms that cross the line, are accused of crossing the line, or stretch the line to its max, and Barry and I will probably disagree on many of the same. Funny, that. We're both Jews, yet we don't think alike. Why is that, I wonder? (Another DUH! moment.)
My anti-Semitism radar is set more finely than most of the blogosphere. I know that. A lot of people say so. I don't apologize for it. No, I don't think Kevin is anti-Semitic. But cluelessness is no excuse, and his two posts could fit into the Clueless Hall of Fame in the section on anti-Semitism. permalink
Last night I dreamed I saw a news alert on CNN: 40 Israelis were killed by gas in an Iraqi SCUD attack.
I don't believe in prescient dreams. But I do believe my subsconscious works on the things that I'm worried about and sends them out in my dreams.
It was probably prompted by this story in the Jerusalem Post about Israeli Arabs selling their gas masks to West Bank Arabs. The story does not describe the motivation, or whether the Israeli Arabs are making a profit on the sale, so I can't make any kind of judgment call on it.
If gas- or chemical-laden Scuds land in the West Bank or Gaza, the Palestinians will be the ones to suffer from it. Not that this will affect Saddam's schemes in any way. There was a quote going around the Internet a few weeks ago attributed to him. When asked if he would make sure the Scuds wouldn't hit the Wet Bank, Saddam supposedly said "I can't separate lentils."
The quote is probably false, but the sentiment is real. Scuds are notoriously unreliable to aim. And the world will blame any Palestinian deaths on Israel, for refusing to supply the Pals with gas masks. The PA, in the meantime, has done absolutely nothing to help their people prepare for gas and chemical attacks. Funny how nobody is noticing that, nor will theyunless a Scud hits Ramallah. permalink
And the URLs have been coming in while I've been busy all day. Here are the Egoist, Walter in Denver, Al Barger, Paul Drabek, Michele, and, of course, Wind Rider's account, as well as Bill Cimino's. I'd love to tell you what the stupid thing he said was, but it'd probably embarrass someone besides Bill, so I'll pass.
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.