More search requests
Apropos of the post below, apparently, this blog comes up when you put
name and the word "nude." So, you think the person was looking
for me, or the other Meryl? (I would strongly advise against clicking
on the other links, unless you enjoy thousands of popup ads on your screen.
No, I'm not saying that from experience. I read about other people's experiences
with popup ads. I swear.)
Oh, hell, while I'm at it:
Cletus! You been surfing
those naughty sites again?
too. Or lust,
one, though, sounds more like someone's fantasy than the reality in
Saudi Arabia, unless you're talking about the fifth column that escorts
bombers to their targets. But boy, searches on Arab nations and sex are
a substantial portion of my search requests. Wonder why that is? [repression]
I don't understand it. [women completely veiled] Really, I don't get it.
[no dating allowed]
Here's a stupid one: what do people do for fun in west bank &
gaza? Uh, hello, don't you read the papers? They blow up Jews.
Really. Someone found my site with this one: ARE THE MEDIA OUT OF
TOUCH? Gee, ya think?
one is just plain creepy. Even creepier, they somehow found my
site with that search. And yet, this
one is even creepier. Here's a hint: THEY DON'T NEED MAINTENANCE.
Well, unless you don't bury them, then I suppose you're talking refrigeration,
makeup, etc. Ew.
Now, I'm a big Hugh Jackman fan. Really. In love with the guy since the
first X-Men film, watch even his bad movies (thanks, HBO and Cinemax!),
but this is simply too
what nationality is derek jeter? American. Asshat.
one is gross, but it's funny, because they were looking for it on
one is more than TMI, it makes me afraid for the future of our planet.
yourish+nazis+just+die: It's actually anti-Semites of the world,
just die, but we'll take nazis, too.
And last, but not least: No, please, not him. Not
him, too! (Now that's sad. A comic book character. Really, really
I'm going to be a bit busy tomorrow, but there's always Billy
Joe Bob and Larry and
Terry and Janis
to keep you interested. Just put up a sign that says "Gone South."
I'm gonna be here.
I'd pass along some kind of "neener neener" to Michele,
but she's probably busy still reading the Olsen Twins' autobiography in
prep for her marathon Olsen Twins videofest tomorrow. Plus, she's kinda
stuck on the 80s big-hair bands, soaw, she just wouldn't appreciate
the reference. permalink
Watch what you blog, someone
may be reading it
pointed me to this
New York Times article that discusses the pitfalls of blogging about
your friends, relatives, and co-workers: They can get mad at you if you're
not nice to them.
Am I the only who thinks that's a no-brainer?
I am fully aware that the rabbi and members of my congregation, which
include the parents of the children I teach in religious school, are vaguely
aware that I have some kind of website, and that at any given time, they
may be reading what I write. It was brought home to me rather forcefully
on the night of the teacher appreciation dinner, when a post that I had
recently written was quoted to me that evening as I sat down to dinner.
And I'm aware that if you google my full name, this website comes up.
If you google "Yourish," this website comes up. If you google
"Meryl," this website comes up. So I've been writing for two
years with an eye to the fact that my name is attached to everything I
write, and it may affect my professional life.
My father is dead. I can write anything
I like about him, and he's not going to get mad at me for it. Or if
he does, he's SOL on getting me to realize he's pissed. But Lair's right:
You don't want to overcomplicate your life by getting your friends, family,
and coworkers mad at you over something you wrote on your weblog.
On the other hand, it is entirely possible that I may not get certain
jobs after people have searched for background on me and discovered this
site. Then again, when I was graduating from the Chubb Institute, one
of my classmates thought he was being helpful to me when he suggested
I not show my Star of David during a job interview, in case the interviewers
were anti-Semitic. He thought it would be better to get the job and then
deal with it. I told him that I was happy to find out ahead of time if
I was going to be working for Jew-haters, because I wouldn't want
to work there.
So basically, heyI've got two years of posts floating around on
the internet, on everything from my Fish
Heads Theory to the
Hulk's solution to the Arab-Israeli problem to my personal death-wish
for anti-Semites to cat stories. If reading
them stops people from wanting to hire me, I'm guessing I wouldn't have
been happy at that job to begin with.
I am what I am. permalink
Al Qaeda doesn't care who it
Jerusalem Post and the AP, it appears that ten of the forty killed
in Morocco were suicide bombers. So the other thirty were Jews, right?
The Moroccan Foreign Ministry has officially confirmed
that no Israelis were killed or injured in Friday night's terrorist
attacks in Casablanca. Sam Ben-Sheetrit, president of the Federation
of Moroccan Jews, confirmed that none of Casablanca's Jews were among
The Israeli Foreign Ministry is in contact with Jewish
community leaders in the city who confirmed the report.
Butbutwhy? Could it be that Al
Qaeda doesn't care how many infidels they kill so long as their targets
One of the suicide bombers attacked the 'Sapir-Farah'
hotel in the heart of the city, and which had about forty Israeli guests
staying there at the time, according to Army Radio. A suicide bomber
blew himself up in the hotel's lobby. The hotel is know to be popular
Also attacked were a Spanish restaurant and the Belgian
consulate in Casablanca.
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said that his
country does not believe it was a target and that the consulate was
"collateral damage." A Jewish restaurant in front of the Consulate
was likely the real target, he said.
Spanish National Radio reported that 18 people had
died in the attack on the Spanish restaurant, the Casa de Espana, making
it the bloodiest of the five blasts.
[...] At least 70 people were injured in the blasts,
which also targeted a hotel housing delegates to an anti-terror conference.
[...] The President of the Jewish-Moroccan immigrants
association, speaking on Israel Radio, said that the terrorists targeted
Whoops, looks like they didn't achieve their targets, then. And what
a fat target they missed.
Avi Avizemer, an Israeli writer and historian, was
on the eighth floor of the hotel at the time of the explosion. Avizemer
told Army Radio that local authorities evacuated all of the Israelis
out of the hotel and that they are now in a heavily guarded hotel in
Marrakech. Zemer added that among the Israelis staying at the hotel
was a group of about twenty people who arrived in Morocco on Wednesday
for a public celebration in memory of rabbi Amram ben-Diwan, which was
scheduled to take place in northern Morocco on Monday.
Avizemer said that at least three thousand Jews from
all over the world had arrived in Morocco to attend the celebration.
There are ten dead suicide bombers, which is a good thing. One of them
survived and is being interrogated, which is also a good thing. But don't
be thinking that if you're not Jewish or American, you have nothing to
fear from Al Qaeda. Because as
this incident shows once again, they don't care who, or how many others,
they kill while trying to achieve their objective.
Most victims apparently were Moroccans. However, six
foreigners - two Spaniards, two Italians and two French - also were
killed, according to Said Ouhalia, medical chief at Azerroes Hospital.
Would it be wrong for me to hope that Al Qaeda manages to take out a
royal Saudi motorcade next? Perhaps then the terror funds will dry up.
Iraqi history: It wasn't all
Glenn Reynolds links to this
Guardian op-ed by an Iraqi expatriate, who bemoans the Saddam years
Many questions came to mind: Why did the world allow
him to cause so much devastation and suffering in Iraq? Why was the
Arab world happy to support a mass murderer? What would have Iraq looked
like if we had a government like the one in Kuwait, or even Jordan?
Would it not have been a sought-after destination for historians, archaeologists,
believers of all world religions, as well as ordinary holidaymakers?
Wouldn't Iraqis have become the most educated and sophisticated
people in the whole region? Would they not have been a force for democracy,
human rights and moderation in the Middle East?
How many lives would have been saved? What would the
Iraqi population have been if Iraq had not had the Saddam government?
40 million? 50 million? How many Iraqis have been deprived of their
lives just because Saddam Hussein and his family wanted to enjoy absolute
Would it not have been a sought-after destination for believers of all
world religions, he asks? Well, let's take
a look at that bastion of fledgling democracy in the 1930s and 40s,
Iraq became an independent state in 1932. The 2,700-year-old
Iraqi Jewish community has suffered horrible persecution since that
time, particularly as the Zionist drive for a state intensified. In
June 1941, the Mufti-inspired, pro-Nazi coup of Rashid Ali sparked rioting
and a pogrom in Baghdad. Armed Iraqi mobs, with the complicity of the
police and the army, murdered 180 Jews and wounded almost 1,000. Additional
outbreaks of anti-Jewish rioting occurred between 1946-49. After the
establishment of Israel in 1948, Zionism became a capital crime.
In 1950, Iraqi Jews were permitted to leave the country
within a year provided they forfeited their citizenship. A year later,
however, the property of Jews who emigrated was frozen and economic
restrictions were placed on Jews who chose to remain in the country.
From 1949 to 1951, 104,000 Jews were evacuated from Iraq in Operations
Ezra & Nechemia; another 20,000 were smuggled out through Iran.2
In 1952, Iraq's government barred Jews from emigrating
and publicly hanged two Jews after falsely charging them with hurling
a bomb at the Baghdad office of the U.S. Information Agency.
Well, okay, that's not fair, maybe. Let's take a look a little later
in Iraq's history, say, when the Ba'ath party was rising.
With the rise of competing Ba'ath factions in 1963,
additional restrictions were placed on the remaining Iraqi Jews. The
sale of property was forbidden and all Jews were forced to carry yellow
identity cards. After the Six-Day War, more repressive measures were
imposed: Jewish property was expropriated; Jewish bank accounts were
frozen; Jews were dismissed from public posts; businesses were shut;
trading permits were cancelled; telephones were disconnected. Jews were
placed under house arrest for long periods of time or restricted to
Oh, come on, surely I'm still being unfair. How about 1968, the year
that Saddam Hussein helped the Ba'ath party come into power?
Persecution was at its worst at the end of 1968. Scores
were jailed upon the discovery of a local "spy ring" composed
of Jewish businessmen. Fourteen men - eleven of them Jews - were sentenced
to death in staged trials and hanged in the public squares of Baghdad;
others died of torture.
Surely that had to be the worst of it. Right? Right?
On January 27, 1969, Baghdad Radio called upon Iraqis
to "come and enjoy the feast." Some 500,000 men, women and
children paraded and danced past the scaffolds where the bodies of the
hanged Jews swung; the mob rhythmically chanted "Death to Israel"
and "Death to all traitors." This display brought a world-wide
public outcry that Radio Baghdad dismissed by declaring: "We hanged
spies, but the Jews crucified Christ."3 Jews remained under constant
surveillance by the Iraqi government.
And all of this happened before Saddam Hussein took power. (And
there's even more, but you get the drift by now.)
Take the blinders off, Hamid, and tell the truth about your country:
It sucked as bad as all the other Arab dictatorships even before the Ba'athists
and Saddam Hussein took over. And when they did take over, you didn't
fight for your country then, and you're not fighting for it now. Iraq
was never a democratic bud, waiting for just the right politician to make
her flower. She was ruled by ruthless murderers then, too.
Perhaps if people like you had stayed and fought for your country, there
would be a network of democratically-inclined Iraqis ready to take the
reins of power now, instead of the influx of terrorists and Islamists
waiting in the wings. But you fled, and your compatriots fled, and all
I keep hearing is why didn't someone else stop the horror that
was Saddam Hussein.
I have a different question: Why didn't you?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. I'm a fat, soft American who never had to experience
what life was like under a brutal dictatorship. That would be because
we do have a history of democracy here, and a history of fighting
for it. In fact, we even send our young men (and now women) to fight and
die for it in other lands.
So stop whining. And tell the truth. Believers of other religionsor
at least, believers of my religionknow better than to think
that Iraq would have been kind to us in the past three decades. She was
thoroughly nazified, like the rest of the Arab world, and sent troops
to attack Israel in 1948, and again in 1967, missiles in 1991, and funding
for terror for God only knows how long.
What would Iraq have looked like? Well, to begin with, it still wouldn't
have any Jews.
At one time, Baghdad was one-fifth Jewish; other communities
were first established 2,500 years ago. Today, approximately 38 Jews
live in Baghdad, and a handful more in the Kurdish-controlled northern
parts of Iraq.
Always leave 'em smiling
James Lileks is so
on today he's a supernova. Which is why I'm linking him.
The latest from Captain Steve:
Farewell to Iraq
Splitting headache. Tired like never before. Still
I'm not willing to acknowledge that I'm sick. I go to the chow hall
and while I know I should be hungry, absolutely nothing there looks
edible. I down a couple grapes and drink some iced tea. I head for the
room and it's about 110 degrees out. I'm walking in the direct midday
sun and I have chill bumps. I'm shivering. OK, now I'll admit it. I'm
not quite feeling my best.
I've got some kind of flu. I get taken off flying status
and confined to quarters for 24 hours. I take medicine and sleep, surfacing
only to kick off covers when I'm drenched with sweat and pull them back
on when I'm shivering. Even when I'm asleep I'm aware that I am profoundly
miserable. If I'd seen a single mosquito in this place I'd suspect malaria.
Yesterday at 0500 the siren goes off and I hear an
announcement going out over Giant Voice - the base public address system.
I know it's got to be important but I can't hear. I have earplugs in
to help me sleep, and for some reason I don't believe I can reach far
enough to remove them. I burrow deeper under the blanket. Hours later
I wake feeling a little more human. I'm not near 100% yet, but I don't
have the urge to beg the first person I see for a merciful death, so
I must be on the mend. The siren and the announcement are dismissed
along with all the other feverish dreams.
I dress and decide to try the chow hall again. Still
not hungry, but I know I have to drink something. There's a sign on
the door saying we've gone to an advanced force protection condition.
I head for the day room, turn on the news and see the bombings in Riyadh.
As things wound down and we pulled up stakes we began to make a serious
error in judgment. We'd all begun to think we'd won the war. Al Qaeda
has just reminded us we've got one campaign behind us, but the war is
far from over. It's a lesson we'll bear in mind.
By afternoon I've slept several more hours and am feeling
still better, although I look like death on a cracker. I wheedle myself
back onto flying status, trying to be chipper with the flight surgeon.
She confirms that I can equalize pressure in my ears, so that if the
jet undergoes rapid decompression my noggin won't explode. I can equalize
with the best of them so she clears me for flying duties again. That's
important because tonight's our last sortie. Our Finis Flight. My head
feels like it's loosely tethered to my body and my skin hurts as if
my flight suit were made of sandpaper. I swear my hair hurts, but there's
no way I I'm missing this sortie.
The Security Forces folks provide our crew bus an armed
escort as we transit the host-nation-controlled part of the base. We're
on a 4-lane road with a wide palm-lined median, and the escort trucks
keep traffic away from us. They try to stay just behind and beside us
so no one will pass us from behind, but the local drivers are no respecters
of such subtleties. One little pickup nips around the escort and draws
even with us and I get a kick out of the expression on the driver's
face when the Security Forces truck roars up to within a millimeter
of his bumper and shoves him down the road, away from us. I don't think
he had any idea what was going on.
I wouldn't provoke our SF troops. I have a feeling
they're a little anxious these days. Add that to the fact that they
probably feel cheated having missed out on all the ground action to
the north. Again I draw the observer's seat for takeoff. It's an oven
in the cockpit. I sit on a box of bottled water in the galley until
the flight engineer illuminates the seatbelt sign, then I assume the
position. I'm waiting until the last possible minute to put on my gloves
because the sweat is trickling down my forearms. I open the gasper,
the little vent, on my left, and it sends a furnace blast across my
face. Despite all the discomfort, I'm once again enjoying the rhythm
and the synergy of the flight crew as they run their checklists, start
the engines, call for permission to taxi. And call again. And again.
No answer from the tower. I check my watch. Evening prayer. We wait
a few minutes until the tower is once again focused on earthly matters.
We taxi. We launch. I strain my eyes at the ground for the fanatic with
the shoulder-launched SAM, but he does not show. We spend the next 11.3
hours keeping watch over Iraq.
When we land the last of the French jets is gone. In
fact this whole ramp, which used to be crammed with aircraft, is practically
deserted. It's getting to be a ghost-town around here. We head for the
debriefing shack, and all the chairs are gone. It's a little uncomfortable,
but it's taken as further indication that we're on our way home, so
no one really minds. After we debrief and get the latest words on our
redeployment we head home and I catch several hours of uninterrupted
sleep. I'm now recognizably human-feeling, and even have a bite to eat.
After the chow hall I go to the BX to have a look.
None of the Third Country Nationals who've been working here are allowed
on base now, so the gold shops and souvenir places are all closed. The
BX is having an honest-to-goodness "Everything Must Go" sale.
I don't need anything more to carry home, but I go for entertainment.
As I approach a bunch of Frenchmen are coming out. They hold the door
for me but I use the other one. I just can't bring myself to smile and
exchange pleasantries with people who a few weeks ago were actively
making it easier for Iraqis to kill my brothers and sisters.
The BX is loaded with them. I've never seen so many.
Where do they come from? I wonder if it's a package shopping tour from
a nearby base or something. They have their arms full of Levis and Nike
hats and what-not. For people that feel superior to Americans they sure
do like to dress like us.
But I wanted to end this on a positive note, because
I believe this'll be my last communiqué (Ha, had to use a French
word for irony) from our little oasis. My wife emailed me a picture
from the news the other day. A buddy of mine who just got home is being
greeted by his family. His little boy is completely overcome with emotion
at the sight of him. I get soggy just thinking about it.
So this is it. I'm countable hours away from my own
family. How to sum up the last 120-some days? 30 Sorties and 300-plus
hours in less-than-friendly skies doesn't begin to capture all I've
learned, all I've missed, and all I'm hoping. My son played a whole
season of soccer. My daughter learned to walk. My wife ran our home
and cared for our children doing all her own back-breaking chores and
mine as well.
We mounted the greatest display of armed force the
world has ever seen, and tempered it with restraint and compassion for
noncombatants. We wrested a nation from the grip of a merciless tyrant
and are bestowing liberty where there was none. I was privileged to
be part of the most effective team of professionals I've ever seen.
We flew and fought and cried together. We were supported by letters
and emails and prayers of millions of Americans.
And now we're going home together.
Thank you. I'll see you at home.
the site of the mass graves in Iraq we've all been reading about.
He says the NGOs
are so far off on their demands for the gravesites as to be in the
The place smelled of death, of rot. The ground you
walked on -- you could feel, in the pit of your stomach, that you were
walking on somebody's grave. The faces, the wails...
Maybe it's superstition, or maybe old bones still can
hold power over the earth, but I tell you, if evil has a texture, a
feel to it, you could feel it there. And you could see everybody else
around you feeling it, too.
Human rights activists will tell you that it's a crime,
the way the site is being handled -- forensic evidence going all to
shit, and so on, and so forth. The kind of folks that wear shirts that
say "Making the world unsafe for dictators since 19xx" as
they walk all over these graves.
Read the rest, as they say. permalink
I've been neglecting the rabbits
and the kitties
It's been weeks since I mentioned Bigwig
& Co. That's because it's been a while since I got over there
(sorry!). He's still talking about Beer of the Night, knowing full well
that the only way he gets me to read those stories is to make sure they're
about 10% beer, 90% other
stuff (usually Ngnat
Via Scott, a real cat
burglar. Also on AMCGLTD, 33
things pregnancy has taught Scott and Ellen. I can tell you something
my brother and sister-in-law learned the first week my nephew was born:
Never, ever change a boy's diaper without first putting something over
his penis, unless you really like getting peed on. (Oh, the searches we'll
get for this post.) permalink
The Incredible Hulk: Accept no
See, I told you. Somehow, Hulk got word that there's someone out there
pretending to be him and writing a weblog. He dropped in on me again,
and this time, he actually tried to come through the patio door, which
is almost wide enough for him to get in without breaking. Well, except
he walked through the glass door because, well, he's the Hulk. The conversation
went something like this:
Oh, Hulk, dammit, that's another door I have
to pay for!
Sorry. Why you put window in door, anyway? Window
go in wall. Hulk thought window was open. It not. Hulk make new window
Hulk, no! Wait! That's the neighbor's laundryroom.
I am so billing Doc Samson for this.
Samson here? He fight Hulk? Good! Hulk not smash anyone
in days and days!
No, Doc Samson isn't here. Listen, Hulk, someone's
pretending to be you on a weblog
What weblog? Spider-Man in tree?
No, not Spider-Man. This guy on a computer is
It's a machine people use for a lot of things.
Well, like talking to one another, sort of.
Hulk use mouth to talk. Why people not use mouth to
talk? Why machine? Stupid machine. Hulk not like machines. Soldiers
use machines to try to hurt Hulk. Why man on machine? He want to hurt
Hulk? Hulk hurt man if he try to hurt Hulk.
No, he's just pretending to be you
Man is not Hulk. Hulk is Hulk. Man is stupid. Hulk
Well, yeah, but this guy is posting like he's you,
and he's doing a really bad job of it.
Hulk not bad. People think Hulk bad, but Hulk only
fights when soldiers try to hurt him. Or boy. Or girl. Soldiers not
try to hurt you? This man a soldier?
No, he's just saying stupid things. Listen. [Read excerpt
Hulk? Hulk? Are you all right?
What do big words mean?
You mean like "scientific"? Um, well
Why man say Hulk fall off building? Hulk never fall.
And Hulk can fly. Done it many times. Hulk leap miles at a time,
just like flying. No need to flap arms. That stupid. Hulk leap to top
of many tall buildings. Hulk leave footprints in stone on top of buildings.
People yell at Hulk when that happens. Why they yell? They should make
stone stronger. Not Hulk's fault.
Yes, that's what I was trying to
What other big words mean?
Like "vigorously" and "physics"?
Hulk not remember. Big words make Hulk's head hurt.
Never mind. Hulk hungry. Hulk go get some food. [Tries to squeeze into
kitchen, smashes doorway, opens refrigerator door, door comes off in
Sigh. Hulk, just once, just once, I'd like to
see you come around here as Bruce Banner.
Banner here? Where? Hulk smash Banner!
And there goes my kitchen counter. Samson!
Be warned: Hulk poseurs abound
What with the upcoming Hulk movie, and just plain really bad humor out
there, it's time for a Hulk poseur alert. There's one on Blogspot (I will
not link to it) that's been around for a while, but it's so lame I'm ashamed
that it's even got Hulk in its name. Shanti
found it recently. I found it months ago.
Be aware that the real Hulk shows up on my blog, with the occasional
side trips to Mac Thomason,
and probably lurks on Peter
David's weblog as well.
That blogspot poseur really does suck. Not funny, not-Hulk. (You so don't
want me to publish excerpts. Really, you don't. I'm telling you. Fine.
Hulk discovered something scientific.
Hulk discovered that if Hulk falls off Empire State
Building while waving arms vigorously and shouting "SEE, SPIDER-MAN,
HULK CAN TOO FLY!!," Hulk's tush hurts for about a week. Hulk can't
violate laws of psychics or something.
Wow, that is wrong in so many ways, it's almost too difficult to count.
"Tush"? "Tush"? Yeah, like Hulk would ever say that.
Or discuss the laws of physics.
Google News and nazimedia, part
Yes, Google News spiders are crawling Indymedia sites as news sources.
A search at 11:45 a.m. brought 545 results, all but one of them on the
first page SF Indymedia pages.
Time to start another email campaign. Keep it polite. Point out stories
like this one (I won't link to it, cut and paste http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/05/1610702.php),
or this one, which has the entire text of the known anti-Semitic forgery
the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=182773),
which they refuse to remove (http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/public/www-newswire/2002-May/001440.html).
Here's a contact page
for the Google public relations department that LGF commenters didn't
post about. (Here's the LGF
contact list.) A PR manager's job is to put out fires like the one
going on right now.
Light it up. Nazimedia must go.
Update: They're gone. Hold the letters; the good guys won.
Update 2: Since Babylonian is too dense to figure this out, I'll
give the Reader's Digest Condensed Version of why I included the link
above, which brings you to this
mailing list thread. (I'm guessing his SAT reading comprehension scores
were in the shallow end of the pool.)
The Regional Director of B'nai B'rith Canada sent an email to the contact
on an Indymedia page requesting that Indymedia remove the full text
of the infamous forgery known as "The Protocols of the Elders of
Zion." This was created
in Czarist Russia to defame Jews, and has been used ever since by
Jew-haters. Indymedia's refusal to remove this text is absolutely evidence
of their anti-Semitism. The Protocols have no other use than to spread
lies about Jews and foment Jew hatred. Apparently, Babylonian doesn't
have a problem with that. No surprise, having glanced at his website.
Update 3: Wow, Babylonian is even dumber than I thought. Check
Herbert's catch of a quote directly
from one of the Indymedia idiots-in-charge, about how it would take
someone the equivalent of a full-time job per week to remove anti-Semitic
references from nazimedia. That's why I linked the mailing list thread.
Were you just being disingenuous, Babylonian, or are you really that stupid?
What's the punishment for beating
up a couple of Jews?
In California, it's probation
and "tolerance counseling."
Way to send a message about being tough on anti-Semitism.
Somehow, I can't see two white guys beating up two black guys, screaming
"Kill the n-----s!" while kicking them, and getting away with
Is it or isn't it? Google News
and nazimedia, part 2
and Only in Israel say
that Google News is still crawling nazimedia sites. The comments thread
is a dizzying array of "They are!" "They aren't!"
"Yes, they are!" "No, they aren't!"
So I will mention the issue, but not recommend sending an email blitzyet.
I want to know for sure if the news crawlers are counting nazimedia as
a news source or not. permalink
Hoping too soon
On the one hand, it would have been wonderful if Iranian President Khatami
actually was in Syria and Lebanon trying to clamp down on Hizbullah. On
the other hand, reader Brian S. sent me a letter with a quote from a wire
service that he basically told us to take a flying leap about stepping
on his client terrorist network. So I went looking on the web, and found
this on IRNA, the Iranian national news service:
Iran and Lebanon issued a joint statement Wednesday
condemning any threat to them and Syria by big powers. In the communique,
the two states referred to the US pressure for the three countries and
vowed that they would defend the interests of the Muslim World.
[...] The communique came at the end of a three-day
visit by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, who then traveled on to
Syria. The statement said the two parties condemn threats made against
Iran, Lebanon and Syria, and the exploitation by Israel of regional
and international developments to occupy Arab territories, notably the
[...] The statement also said the two countries support
continued resistance until the end of the occupation of the Shebaa Farms.
While expressing opposition to all forms of terrorism,
notably state terrorism, an apparent allusion to Israel, the two countries
insisted in their statement that there is a necessary distinction between
terrorism and resistance.
Hezbollah, which was founded in 1982, led the resistance
against Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon, which ended three years
ago. The group, which is under pressure by Washington, continues freedom
struggles against the Israeli regime whose troops are occupying the
The joint statement also expressed Lebanese and Iranian
support for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people in their
resistance against Israeli occupation, their right to self-determination,
a return of refugees to their homeland and the building of an independent
Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
And there's also this:
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has vowed Iran's
continued support for Hizballah, despite U.S. calls for a crackdown
on the militant group. In the midst of official visits to Lebanon and
Syria today, Khatami also is urging the U.S. to quickly withdraw its
troops from Iraq. And he is warning against the imposition of a government
in Baghdad that has been handpicked by the administration in Washington.
Meanwhile, Khatami reiterated today his country will
continue its support for Hizballah guerrilla fighters. When asked about
increased U.S. pressure on Iran and Syria to end support for the group,
Khatami responded by asking rhetorically how Washington can deprive
Hizballah of its right to exist. He said the group is a legal political
entity in Lebanon that has "a natural right, even a sacred national
duty" to oppose the expansion of Jewish settlements on Palestinian
lands occupied by Israel since the Six Day War of 1967.
Still, Khatami said Tehran has no desire to escalate
tensions or create instability in the region.
In a public sign of Iran's ongoing support for Hizballah,
Khatami met directly with Hizballah leader Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah in
Nasrallah told journalists after the meeting that he
and Khatami spoke about regional issues -- including U.S. pressure against
Hizballah and its supporters. "As you know, Iran is also facing
threats through other means, so our position is one of solidarity between
Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the resistance movement and the Palestinian people,
as well as the people of these nations," Nasrallah said. "We
must stand united in the face of these threats, and we must stand up
to these threats with responsibility and presence and not abandon our
Well. I guess Khatami and Baby Assad have chosen their sides. Pity. Lair,
can I get in on the Amish Tech Support Dead Pool now? I choose them. permalink
The view from elsewhere
Ted Belman agrees
with me about the Road Map, and has some convincing evidence that
There's a nationwide protest
about NPR's biased view on the Middle East going on today.
Via someone who doesn't like my stance
on anti-Semitism very much, I found a
wonderful new weblog that deserves a look, and then another look,
and then another one. Miranda is the
very voice of reason where I would bewell, kinda mad on the
same subjects. If Blogger's archives are hosed, scroll down to the "flame
war" entry. (Miranda, I was only claiming
credit for getting nazimedia booted because I wanted to get the search
request from the midiots and piss them off when they found my site. I
hope you don't think I was really looking for kudos for that.)
Look at these
charming pictures Joshua Sharf took at a protest in Denver last week.
Plenty of nazi swastikas around. What was the protest about? Well, the
ADL and AIPAC were meeting with the local Jewish community members at
a synagogue. So it was Jew-hating time all around. (More on the protesters
Just who is Salam Pax?
Via LGF, David
Warren thinks he's a Ba'athist partisan who has been playing us all
I am quite certain he exists. That isn't the scandal.
He has a family and a history and even a real-life name. But without
compromising sources, and thus endangering lives, including Salam's
own, one may discover a great deal about him from carefully reading
his blog, and following obvious leads from there.
Salam is the scion of a senior figure from Iraq's Baathist
nomenclature. He was brought up at least partly in Vienna, which is
the OPEC headquarters; his father was therefore an oilman, and possibly
a former head of Iraq's OPEC mission. Another clue is a hint that his
grandfather was an Iraqi tribal chief, from which I infer that his father
was one of the Iraqi tribal chiefs that Saddam Hussein rewarded for
loyalty, outside the Tikrit clan.
Salam has an easy familiarity not only with the upscale
Baghdad in which he has been living, and which he selectively describes
through the jaded eyes of a true insider, but also with most Western
fashions and things. This is what gives him his plausibility to Western
readers. He drops many hints that he is a homosexual, suggesting reckless
candour. (I'm inclined to doubt these.) His English is superb and colloquial.
He has those Tariq Aziz qualities. There are nightmares in his background,
but the foreground is smooth, charming, self-confident, man of the world
-- tending involuntarily to smugness. He can tell you anything, and
seems to enjoy putting on the show.
He refers casually to pseudonymous friends, who are
also children of the deposed Baathist elect. They all know their way
around but, unlike their parents, have never carried the weight of responsibility.
They were of a class, but not yet fully in it -- products of a very
luxurious bubble. Or perhaps Salam himself or any one of them was directly
employed by Mr. Saddam's very extensive, and in places quite sophisticated,
network of Soviet-modelled spy and disinformation networks -- we cannot
I have no such knowledge of Iraq and its inner workings, but I've always
found something a bit off about Salam. But that's just my opinion. Oh,
Al Bawaba: Is Iran pressuring
Hizbullah to a cease-fire?
Analysts speaking to Al Bawaba assessed that the main
reason behind the recent Lebanese visit of Iranian president, Mohammad
Khatami, was to pressure and curb the Lebanese Hizbullah in its struggle
with Israel. The visit was also believed to have come following a deal
Iran has struck with the US under which the latter will rein in the
Iranian rebel group, Mujahideen Khalq, which useed Iraq as a base for
its attacks against Iran.
According to analysts, Khatami was in Lebanon to deliver
a message to Hizbullah using diplomacy, effectively communicating to
them that the era of armed struggle has now passed, and
that they should be prepared for the anticipated and drastic changes
the region will undergo.
The timing of the visit has come at a sensitive and
critical stage during which Iran and its ally Syria, which has unparalleled
influence in Lebanon, are facing strong US pressure to stop their backing
of Hizbullah. This has come in view of the prevailing conditions in
the region following the ouster of Saddam Hussein and his regime, US
military occupation of Iraq and the US declaration of the roadmap.
Lebanese journalist and analyst Jubran Twaini said
it was very likely that Khatami has asked Hizbullah to restrict their
activities on the border with Israel, in accordance with a possible
deal that might have been reached between Tehran and Washington.
I believe Khatami has asked Hizbullah to
freeze their activities on the border [with Israel] and wait till things
become clearer, especially between the US, Syria and the region as a
whole in the wake of the war on Iraq, Twaini told Al Bawaba.
Love the phrase "Syria, which has unparalleled influence in Lebanon."
Translation to my shorter, clearer phrase: Syria-occupied Lebanon. But
I digress. When this article is taken with DEBKAfile's
analysis that the Road Map is simply a cover story to dismantle the
terrorist states of the Middle East, it becomes even more fascinating.
DEBKAfiles sources in Beirut report that Hizballah
leader Hassan Nasrallah is also running around between Lebanese politicians
in search of help to escape the US dictated evacuation of his armed
positions along the Israeli border and his groups total disarmament.
Tehrans crucial role
The two targeted leaders are casting about for a lifeline.
They are looking for salvation to Iranian president Muhammed Khatami,
whose visits to Damascus and Beirut Monday, May 12, were suddenly announced
just before Powell arrived in the Middle East. Assad needs to hear whether
Tehran will support him if he stands up to the Americans or opt for
a repetition of the pattern followed in Iraq - first calling on Iraqi
Shiites to fight the American invaders and then caving in on the pivotal
issue of who calls the shots for the countrys Shiite majority.
By conceding to the Americans on this vital issue, the ayatollahs made
possible the return to Iraq from 23 years in Iranian exile of Ayatollah
Bakir al-Hakim, head of SCIRI, the largest Iraqi Shiite group, who reached
Basra Saturday, May 10.
[...] As for Nasrallah, while the Hizballah is
Tehrans old and tried terrorist surrogate, the ayatollahs
concerns have broadened considerably since the Iraq war ended. DEBKAfiles
military sources were not surprised to hear that Iran has just suspended
its arms and ammunitions shipments to the Hizballah.
mentioned that I don't believe President Bush thinks the Road Map
will work. I think he threw U.S. support behind it because he had to,
and because he can use it to show that the pals have no intention whatsoever
of ceasing terror. But to have confirmation in an Arab newspaper that
Hizbullah is being pressured to stop terrorist activitiesnow that
is huge news. I'm starting to hear a ticking clock on the terrorist organizations,
and it's not counting down to the next explosion. permalink
A really bad search engine
This site is the number one return on "the
area of the skin of an elephant" on the Alltheweb
search engine, by virtue of the number of the word "an" in one
of my posts. Can you say, "Learn to write new algorithms, lousy programmers?"
I knew you could. permalink
It's Military Day
Pontifex has been pontificatingno,
not really, he's just been postingsome interesting things about
Iraq, the Army, and the tackiness of Saddam Hussein.
And he sent me a picture with his last email. I may have to throw over
Bill Herbert for Pontifex.
You know, there really is something about a man in uniform.
Ahem. This one's my favorite current quote from his site:
I'd add something about Abu Mazen and the roadmap and
Palestinian/Isreali relations, but... look, you don't solve a rodent
problem by holding negotiations with a midlevel rat who shows promise.
Groups like Hamas are a cancer on Palestinian society; you don't solve
them, you remove them.
Don't miss his post on women
in combat, either. Or take a quick scroll through April's
archives to see what you've been missing. Lots of posts from Kuwait
mixed in with Pontifex's politics and humor.
Just when I was starting to feel unloved by the gods
of misery, they obliged me with a fun little sandstorm yesterday. Visibility
was never attrocious -- at least 10 feet out, for the most part -- and
the yellow haze is really sort of charming, like mood lighting.
Sure, you get a little sand in your ears, but that's
where ingenuity comes in. It turns out that Q-Tips are for more than
just cleaning your weapon.
That one you'll have to find for yourself. permalink
The latest from Captain Steve
Junk food and Critters
Another day sortie. It must have been 105 degrees as
we boarded the bus this morning. It's so hot that our technicians wait
until we're in the air before bringing up the computers on the back
of the jet. They usually have this done before we board so we step onto
a mission-ready aircraft, but today we enjoy a leisurely beginning to
our sortie. There's nothing much to do until the techs have everything
up and running.
Leisure is not as welcome as you might expect. In fact,
we do everything we can these days to find ways to be busy. Time weights
heavily otherwise. I'm always happy for a day or two between missions
- I read or write to you or paint contentedly - but I am a minority
of about one. Between flights, people experience a bit of cabin fever.
It's so hot during the day that no one wants to go outside and do much
of anything. Time slows to a crawl.
There's no shortage of snack food here though. When
we first arrived it was impossible to find potato or tortilla chips
at the exchange, so everyone wrote home asking for them. Now the packages
are arriving. They may have taken a couple months to get here, but they
make up in volume what they lack in punctuality. We are awash in junk
food. Our dayroom tables are covered with it. During sorties every horizontal
surface in the galley is covered with candy, chips, and cookies.
Last night I saw my first camel spider. I'd just climbed
off the crew bus and was headed for bed when one scurried across the
sidewalk in front of me. It was a windy, sand-stormy night, and I thought
at first that I was just seeing a little dust cloud blowing along the
ground. It gave me quite a start though, when it stopped in front of
me and waved its long front legs threateningly. It seemed completely
unafraid of me. I've spent enough time in West Texas to be used to tarantulas,
but this spindly, sinister creature gave me the creeps. It was about
6 inches across, and heavy enough that, when I got the toe of my boot
under it and flicked it off the sidewalk, I could hear it hit the ground
and scramble off. I'm not a fan of camel spiders.
More to my liking are the lizards here. If you look
closely enough, you see them everywhere. In between our dorm buildings
are shaded pavilions where we sit on cool evenings. They're wooden decks
with canvas covers . Wire-mesh fly traps are bolted to the decks, and
most are occupied by the fattest little lizards I've ever seen. Like
the flies, they found their way into the trap and can't get out. They
are pale pinkish yellow - the color of the sand, and they appear perfectly
happy to have given up their freedom for a never-ending supply of food.
I think they must be democrats.
I saw a different type of lizard the other day. He
was the same color but bigger; about 5 inches long. He was clinging
upside down to the armory, just above the ground. I would never have
noticed him had he not snatched a large black beetle off the ground
just as I looked his way. It must've been a bad beetle, because with
a quick shake of his head the lizard flung him about a foot. The beetle
bounced once and landed on its back. It righted itself and carried on
like nothing had happened. The lizard clung to the wall opening and
closing its mouth as if trying to rid himself of a bad taste. I took
advantage of his distraction and sneaked up and grabbed him, whereupon
he grabbed me right back. I must've tasted better than the beetle because
he bit down with all his strength and showed no sign of letting go.
I let him go and still he clung to my finger. He goggled at me with
bulging yellow eyes as he hung by his mouth. His vertical brown pupils
narrowed at me as I raised him for a better look. He had broad flat
round toes that looked like suction cups and his head seemed too big
for his body. I gently pried his mouth open, freed my finger, and turned
And there are the big ones. The locals call these "Dub
dub" and I've heard that they eat them. These guys are 2 to 3 feet
long. I was walking a path where I had seen a couple before, hoping
to get some photographs, when I spotted one on top of a small parched-looking
shrub. He let me get quite close and I got some good pictures before
he started to climb down and waddle away. Then, because he was so close
and moving so slowly, I couldn't resist giving chase. We sprinted across
the sand, the dub dub throwing his legs way out to the sides with every
stride, and me in hot pursuit. He wasn't that quick, and I was in a
good position to grab him, but I kept thinking of how the little lizard
I'd caught had clamped down on my finger. I couldn't help wondering
how much harder this one would bite, and noticing his long sharp claws.
I didn't want to be the first to be removed from flying status due to
a lizard bite. I eased off and he ran through a barrier of concertina
wire to safety.
We have two cats that wander our compound freely. There
are more around, but only these two, a black and white, and a tabby
and white, show themselves around people. The others you only catch
a glimpse of from a distance at night, but these two will follow you
around and beg for food. If you sit at a pavilion one might lie next
to you on a table or chair, hoping for a pat on the head. They are dirty
and scabby from fights and we're not supposed to touch them but I pet
them anyway. They purr loudly and will stay put as long as you're willing
to give them attention. I scrounged a couple of resealable foil pouches
of tuna fish from one of the care packages in our dayroom, and when
I'm going to be walking around the compound I carry one with me. The
cats are skinny, and they can use the protein. I hate to think about
what will happen to them when we leave.
And leave we will. Our redeployment order has been
published. We have to work out the details of which jets will leave
on what days, but we finally have official word that our mission here
is coming to an end. On one hand I'll be sad. Our crew will be permanently
disbanded and I doubt I'll ever work as closely with such a great group
of people as these. There won't be much time anymore for painting and
writing. On the other hand, I'll be home again. I can almost hear my
kids calling me and feel my arms around my wife. I can hardly wait.
I'll write again before I leave.
How effing stupid is Comcast?
Let me count the ways
Okay, so besides the fact that my cable modem goes on and off at will
and nobody at Comcast can figure out what the problem is, and besides
the fact that the effing morons at Comcast had an
infinite loop set up on the tech support number so that if you were
having trouble with your cable modem service you wouldn't be able to get
help unless you tried another menu option (like I did), and besides the
fact that their service just plain sucks, you would think that I wouldn't
be able to gripe much more without getting tiresome. But there's something
so wrong that I said nothing. I thought for sure Comcast would fix it.
It's simply too stupid for words, and yetand yetthey have
not fixed it.
Comcast of Richmond is playing the five minutes of local newsthat
incredibly boring portion of the broadcast which, in New Jersey, made
me suffer through interviews with the mayors of towns that I didn't want
to drive through, let alone stop long enough to get to know the mayor's
nameat the top of the hour on CNN Headline News. Not at the bottom
of the hour, like every other station with at least the glimmering of
an understanding of TV watcher's habits, but at the top of the hour. Instead
of the headlines. You know, the reason you watch CNN Headline Newsfor
I first noticed it last week and thought that it was probably just a
screwup from Comcast's taking over AT&T Broadband. And yet, fifteen
minutes ago, at 10 p.m., when I wanted to find out what's going on with
the bombing in Saudi Arabia, I got instead a woman interviewing a man
abouthold onto your seats, kiddies, this one's a killergardening.
How effing stupid is Comcast? I think we have not yet reached the depths
of their stupidity. Now that's a scary thought. permalink
Search engine convergence
Sometimes, people frighten me.
In the last few days, I've gotten searches for a line I made up. People
are actually typing, "Science
dudes, watch out! He wants to use your brains for evil!" into
Google's search engine, and coming up with my
page. (And it's a Googlewhack, too,
which makes it even funnier and more strange.)
I wonder if it's Aziz trying to find out if anyone's talking about him
again. He is rather a sensitive sort. permalink
Sorry about the whiplash
This is hilarious.
Via Silent Running (where the boys
soap operas. Yes, really.).
Don't miss number
four. Number four is the one that should have the spit-monitor warning.
I foolishly took a sip of soda before reading number two, and let me
warn you that two is even funnier than four. If it weren't for my amazing
ability not to splatter a mouthful of soda on the monitor (I choked for
five minutes instead), I'd be unable to post right now. It's a good thing
you can't easily choke to death on liquid. permalink
The haters: Too stupid to see
reports on a conference on intolerance taking place in France.
An international conference on intolerance opened yesterday
with a stern warning that acts of hatred against Jews, particularly
in Europe, have reached their highest level since World War II.
"A new generation of haters has been brought up
and are ready to act," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, head of the Simon
Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based Jewish rights group.
Outside the conference, protests were held. Were they protesting intolerance?
No. It was a mini-Durban.
But dozens of protesters outside UNESCO's Paris headquarters
accused the Wiesenthal center of mislabeling criticism of Israel's treatment
of the Palestinians as anti-Semitism. They also criticized the list
of conference speakers and a report on Internet hate sites.
Conference participants include Minister Natan Sharansky,
U.S. Rep. Robert Beauprez and France's Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.
Durban, for those of you who don't know, was the site of a UN-sponsored
conference on racism that turned into a virulently anti-Semitic forum
United States and Israel walked out in disgust as the Arab
states tried once again to get UN sanction for their state-sponsored
and nurtured anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism.
The protesters, of course, saw nothing ironic in their Jew-hatred disguised
as "anti-Zionism" being carried out at a conference on intolerance.
But then, irony only works for people with the intellect to understand
the concept. And the following statistics don't seem to impress the protesters
in the least.
The Wiesenthal center said it recorded 1,300 anti-Semitic
acts in France since 2001 - the highest level since World War II. British
government figures show that in 1998 there were 385 anti-Semitic attacks
and incidents, but in 1999 that increased to 402. In 2001 there were
Attacks in France and Britain on Jewish schools, synagogues
and cemeteries have coincided with heightened tensions in the Middle
East. Many attacks in France have been blamed on young Muslims.
But Hier dismissed the notion that Israeli-Palestinian
violence was to blame, instead attributing the resurgence of anti-Semitism
to a fundamental, age-old hatred of Jews.
Here's where the supreme irony comes in. First, part of the report:
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal
center, presented a report detailing 4,000 international Web sites that
he said promote terrorism, hatred or Holocaust denial. "We are
seeing now a very sophisticated manipulation of the Internet by terrorists
and their supporters," he said. "They are ahead of the curve
in understanding the possibilities of the Internet."
The Weisenthal center reports on sites that promote hatred and terrorism.
What do the protesters have to say about that?
But protesters outside, including many Jews and members
of the Americans Against the War coalition, said Cooper had deliberately
excluded radical Zionist groups from the list.
In a letter to the conference host, UNESCO Director-General
Koichiro Matsuura, the protesters said the Wiesenthal center, "under
the deceitful cover of the struggle against anti-Semitism, is on the
contrary encouraging intolerance and racism in our societies."
That's right. The Wiesenthal Center, which tracks hate sites, Jew-hatred,
and Holocaust deniers, is causing the hate. In the Bizarro
World of the Jew-haters, that is. I expect to see reports like this from
Jew-hating sites like Mikey Rivero's and Justin Raimondo's. It's a standard
David Duke/neonazi line. But claims like these are now commonplace in
the protests from the left and frankly, any Jew associated with a protest
like this should be deeply ashamed.
Let's look at the paragraph above one more time:
But protesters outside, including many Jews
and members of the Americans Against the War coalition, said Cooper
had deliberately excluded radical Zionist groups from the list.
Alas, the Adam Shapiros of the world are many. Shame on him, shame on
his parents, and shame on the Jews who took part in this protest.
But they're right in one respect: The hatred is growing. I have been
taught to hate those who hate me. My tolerance level for ignorance falls
every time I read that because I am a Zionist, that makes me some kind
of racist. Zionism is, quite simply, the belief that the Jews deserve
a state of their own in Israel. And in the Middle East, where Christians
cannot practice their faith in Saudi Arabia, Jews are not allowed at all,
where Coptic Christians are discriminated against and murdered in Egypt
in spite of the fact that they have been there for centuries, where
the Muslims in the Sudan are murdering and enslaving Christians, where
tribal warfare is even now threatening to bring on another Rwanda in Africa,
where the Palestinians are prevented by law from becoming citizens of
Jordan, it seems to me that the protesters should just shut the fuck up
about Israel and find a better cause of racism to protest.
But they won't. Because it isn't about racism. It's about anti-Semitism.
It's about Jew-hatred. It's about tolerance for all, except for the world's
favorite scapegoats: the Jews.
Except this time, not only do we see right through it, but we won't stand
for it anymore. It's a different world. In fact, to steal a commercial
slogan: We're not your parents' Jews. Learn to live with that fact. permalink
Things that aren't political
There are doves in my neighborhood. Doves, as everyone should know, are
known as pigeons in New York and New Jersey (where I am from). Right now,
I'm listening to an incredibly annoying dove hoo-hooing away rhythmically,
refusing to stop, and frankly annoying me even more than the asshat next
door who was out in his parked SUV Sunday at 3:30 a.m., listening to horrendous
To think, I used to like birds. Now, all I want is for an eagle
to move into the neighborhood and take them all out for me.
By the way, Woody E. Woodpecker is alive and singing. I hear him all
over the place. Except on my roof. No word yet on whether he found a mate.
Here's hoping not.
Friday was the day on which I would have had to give my sixty days notice
to my landlord that I was moving. I called and discovered that the management
company will not be raising my rent, so I gave them my notice to renew
my lease. I believe I have committed myself to Virginia.
Actually, I was only going to threaten to move so they wouldn't
raise my rent. They sure called my bluff.
Andy and I have been combining the fifth and fourth grade classes as
often as possible the last couple of weeks of religious school, especially
since I realized that my students simply refused to settle down to studying
because they knew there were only two weeks left of religious school.
So we put our classes together and presented them with little talks on
the various holidays and remembrances that have been going on recently
(Yom HaShoah, Israel Independence Day, etc.), and let them ask questions.
Astonishingly, it worked better than we'd imagined. Participation has
been wonderful. There's a girl in fifth grade whom I adore, but who rarely
talks, either in class or out. She raised her hand three times
in Sunday's class, and spoke twice. I call that the greatest victory
of the school year, and she's not even my student.
On the flip side, I finally found out a form of leverage over my toughest
studentthe last week of class. Damn. Well, I'll be sure to fill
in his teacher next year.
Oh, sure, Marduk, nag,
nag, nag. What, I have to post on a schedule? Wait for the Blogathon,
that's the only way you're going to get regular posting. I believe if
I don't post once every thirty minutes, Cat sends her enforcers to my
door, and they glue my hands to my keyboard. I'm not sure, but I think
one of last year's Blogathoners died of starvation because she couldn't
get loose from the ropes tying her legs to her chair. permalink
in the Guardian, better known in these circles as Al-Guardian, calls
a Jew-hater a Jew-hater. (You can pick yourself up the floor now, yes,
it's in the Guardian. Really.)
The good news is that Tam Dalyell's outburst to Vanity
Fair - in which he suggested Tony Blair was unduly influenced by a Jewish
cabal - has not been ignored. His remarks made all the papers, proof
that anti-semitism is no longer an uncontroversial part of public conversation.
That's welcome. If there is bad news it's that Dalyell
has been treated as a naughty boy - "incorrigible," said Peter
Mandelson - rather than as a man who has uttered a racist slur. Bad
news, too, that so far much of the condemnation has come from Jews rather
than Dalyell's comrades in Labour and on the left -who one might have
hoped would be queueing up to denounce such a whiskery old prejudice
in their own ranks.
[...] The 19th century German socialist August Bebel
called anti-semitism the socialism of fools, the belief that the world
can be understood by looking for the hidden hand that makes everything
happen. But the real world is not like that. It's more complex, and
no amount of conspiracy theories will make it easier to understand.
Tam Dalyell would have us believe that Bush stands
against Yasser Arafat because the Jews made him do it - when the reality
is that Bush has his own post-9/11 reasons for seeing all terrorism
as an indivisible phenomenon that the US can never again indulge.
There is a wider lesson to draw from this sorry episode.
In a way Dalyell is an easy case, because he presented his views so
baldly. He did not completely hide behind "Zionist" or "Likudnik"
euphemisms, but spoke instead about Jews. In so doing he clearly crossed
the line between anti-semitism and anti-Zionism and made himself easy
But not all such anti-Jewish feeling expresses itself
so directly. A search of the BNP's own musings shows that even they
- the fascists and racists of our age - do not call themselves anti-semites.
They too claim merely to be anti-Zionists. Now of course anti-semitism
and anti-Zionism can be neatly distinguished, and many learned minds
do so all the time.
But it's worth wondering if that distinction cuts much
ice at street level - where anti-Jewish incidents in Britain have gone
up by 75% compared with the equivalent period last year. If Zionists
are constantly accused of having dual loyalties, of wielding untold
power, of pursuing a secret agenda to reshape the world, all classic
charges long hurled at the Jews, then one has to wonder whether one
is hearing the same racist slur now voiced by Tam Dalyell - just expressed
Read the rest scale: Definitely. Via Gary,
Everybody still goes to Mike's
Allison has translated
a feature (alternate route, as always, the
main blog) from Yediot Aharanot, an Israeli newspaper, that details
the re-opening of Mike's Place, the bar that was terror-bombed by a British
Muslim last week.
After sitting shiva at the home of the clubs
owner, Gal Gunzman, the team that runs the place returned to work, minus
Dominique Hess, the waitress who was killed, without the security guard
who was injured, and without Yanai Weiss and Ran Baron, the musicians
who were killed, and without many of the places regulars who are
still hospitalized. Generally, the workers are the ones who create the
cheerful atmosphere for the crowd, applauding the musicians. Tonight
its the customers who try to offer encouragement to them.
At the entrance sits a new security guard, without
a uniform, another veteran worker at the place, and dances to the music,
just as Avi, the injured guard used to. The sweetest revenge is
for us to keep going out," he says, "to memorialize those
who were killed with our smiles. To remember and never to forget them,
but to keep the musical tradition alive.
As Gary Farber would say:
Read the rest: 10 out of 5. permalink
Indulging in a bit of childish
I helped get Indymedia knocked out of the Google News source list.
Yep, that's right. I helped get Indymedia knocked out of the Google News
Why? Because Indymedia is better known in most circles as nazimedia,
for its overwhelming assault of anti-Semitism on any piece about Israelor,
in fact, even only about sneakers. I have the links to back it up, but
I'm counting on the nazimedia morons to find my blog via a Google search
all by themselves (I hear they're actually able to cross the street without
Mommy's assistance these days, too).
But if you want links, check out Charles'
post. It's quite funny. permalink
I still hate Comcast, only I think now I hate them even more. Nine out
of ten months, AT&T Broadband customer, quick technical support to
any cable modem problems. Comcast solved its infinite loop phone problem
(which I'm betting they created purposely), but its service still bites
great big pieces of horse hockeys.
I've had no cable modem service for nearly the entire day.
I am now going to call all infinite loops a Comcast.
Go read the last few posts from last week if you haven't been here in
Thanks for the link, Tim.
(Tim smash referrers today!)
Today was a banner day in Meryl's Home Improvement Adventures. See, I
had a gas-powered hibachi in Montclair, and I gave it to my next-door
neighbor when I moved last year, and I began to really miss it here. So
I went to K-mart and bought a new one (twenty bucks, can't beat it!) and
a can of propane, and this afternoon, even though Andy was sitting right
here with me, I put it together all by myself!
Well, okay, I did need Andy to help me put the propane on the gas switch,
but that was it. Okay, so maybe he suggested two bakelight washers on
the screw that holds in the gas dispenser in the grill, but all the rest
I did. I swear. permalink
Last week's blogs are archived.
Looking for the Buffy
Blogburst Index? Here's Israel
vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon.
Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try
solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser
Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin
Laden's diary and The
Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.