So the TV repairman came here and fixed my television set, and I have to just shake my head at the idiotic notion I had of perhaps getting the part and fixing it myself. I really have to get my head out of the 1970s. Vaccuum tubes and transistors aren't exactly the guts of television sets anymore. It looked more like the inside of a computer than the inside of a television.
Anyway, turns out the repairman is a Jew from Azerbaijan, and we talked a little bit about that, and the war in Iraq, and technology. Interesting to see that he thinks we are utterly wasting our time in Iraq. He thinks we wasted our time in Bosnia, too.
And he thinks that Tig is too fat.
But I have my TV back. And it didn't cost too much. Big sigh of relief here. permalink
Wizbang's Weblog awards
I haven't yet gotten to writing down why I don't hold much by most awards. So should I feel guilty that I'm neck-and-neck with Megan McArdle in the early voting for Best Female Authored Blog?
There's also quite a contest for best overall, with LGF currently leading Instapundit, but Glenn coming on strong (like we couldn't have predicted that). Kottke's showing a firm third. But I'm still going to call this one for Instapundit.
Allah is running away with the Best New Blog category. Well, sorry, he's just not that good. Go vote for someone else, please. Electric Venom, Ilyka, Outside the Beltway, Allison, Blackfiveall are far superior to a parody blog that stopped being funny months ago. I'm voting Healing Iraq for best Foreign blog. Give someone else a chance to win the new blogs category.
My money is on Scrappleface beating Allah for the Best Humor Blog. Scott Ott is one of the top three funniest guys in the blogosphere (the other two being Lair Simon and Frank J). Nobody else really stands a chance in this category.
There's a real horse race at Best Liberal Blog. But I think Atrios will pull out of the pack and win. It's all in the numbers, folks. The blogs with the most readers and/or name recognition are going to win. Sullivan will take Best Conservative Blog. I can't make any predictions for the Ecosystem categories, because most aren't up yet.
Well. I don't hold by them, no. But I'm fascinated to see how the awards will play out. permalink
My television chose this afternoon to go on the fritz. I discovered this fact at five minutes past six, which is five minutes later than all the repair shops are open. Found one that will come to my house and fix it, for about $125-$145. I can pick up a brand new RCA 13" model for $75 at Best Buy, and believe me, it's tempting. The tube didn't blow. Something called the vertical framistat control broke, the guy said. When I turn off the TV, there's a bright horizontal line flash, then it's off. It makes me want to buy the part and open the TV myself, because I'll bet I could fix it if I knew where it was.
Any TV repairmen out there who read my blog? What should I do?
The only thing I can say is that withdrawal is going to kick in soon. I have unwatched soap operas on tape. I wanted to watch The Two Towers extended edition tonight. Razzafrazzarazzafrazza.
A bit more than a year ago, I ran a Tolkien Blogburst in honor of J.R.R. Tolkien's eleventy-first birthday. This time around, Mac Thomason suggested that I have one in honor of the release of the last of the LOTR trilogy. And so, I'm issuing a call for Tolkien posts.
Last time around, anyone who sent me a post could get in on it. This time around, I'm screening the posts. You can thank Sean Kirby for that, whose post was not exactly the sort I would normally link to. That's right, Sean, if you want in this year, you're going to have to clean up your act.
So here are the ground rules:
1.) Write your post. Deadline is Sunday, December 14th, 7 p.m. EST. The film opens December 17th, but as I expect to be extremely busy on Trilogy Tuesday (yes, all three films in a row, starting at 2 p.m.), the Blogburst will go up on Monday. I will be reading all of the posts and summarizing them, so if you send me your post in advance, it will be helpful. The earlier you send them, the more likely the description will be more than a line or two. Clickthrough habits of my readers tend to be that they click on something I describe in detail.
2.) Email me. Make sure the header reads "Tolkien Blogburst", as I've created a folder and filter rule for it. URLs are due no later than Sunday, December 14th, 7 p.m. EST. I'll send out an email to all participants with the URL for the post, or you can pick it up now (that's the beauty of hand-coding your own HTML):The URL for the Tolkien Blogburst post will be
3.) Spread the word. After The Return of the King is released, there will likely be no more Tolkien films. Ever. It's a once in a lifetime experience for Tolkien fans. The Blogburst will let us make it last just a little bit longer. permalink
Checking out Anna at Primal Purge got me to check out Mr. Green, who sent me over to Blackfive, which made me realize it was time to send you folks over to some bloggers that are extremely funny, or insightful, or just plain good to read.
Mr. Green has a hilarious post on p.e.n.i.s e.n.l.a.r.g.e.m.e.n.t, which then sent me over to Angelweave, and in answer to this question, I have to say, "Damn glad I quit five years, seven months, and two days ago."
So everyone's been linking to this guy Blackfive, and I can see why. He gets emails from soldiers who were at the surprise Thanksgiving Day presidential visit. All I got was a rock. (Say, Blackfive, did you know your page isn't working right in IE 5.x? Perfect in Mozilla 1.5, but the leading in the titles is off (they're overprinting), and the left and right columns overprint the top and obscure the quote.) Plus, it's a pretty good blog, overall.
Jay found a Miss Ugly contest. Yes, really. Sad.
Yeah, I'm getting a very slow start to the day. Can't decide if I'm coming down with something, or just stressed out. permalink
First, the oddest headline I've read in some time:
And the story:
If it's true, good for you! And from another article:
Good for him, too. If only this kind of sentiment caught on, there would be peace in the Middle East. permalink
Too many nasty, horrible things going on in the world. It's time to write about other things, like, oh, cats, and kids, and hairdressers.
So I got my hair done while I was in NJ, because since I was there, and Rocco was available, and he's been my hairdresser for like, I dunno, a decade or so, and I am unwilling to find someone new here in Richmond, since I make frequent trips back north. Yeah, I know, someday I should, and someday I will. Anyway. He added a few different layers this time, and while I like what he's done, I am astonished in the morning at what my hair has done while I sleep. It migrates down (I generally sleep on my back), so that when I first see myself in the morning, it's like someone stuck my head in a wind tunnel. Throughout the day, my bangs have stray locks that like to stand straight up, just because they can. I may not let Rocco give me layers next time around.
There was evidence of extreme catfighting when I got home. What gave it away was the long slash on Tig's right ear. I found more evidence in the bathroom. There were some huge clumps of white fur. Tig has no white fur patches, but Gracie has tons of white fur. Looks like she gave as good as she got. Better, because I didn't see any scratches on her. She was sitting in the living room window when I pulled up, and did a cartoon-like BOING!! when she realized that it was me. If only I'd had my camera ready. Come to think of it, Tig was sulking in the window as I was leaving. Nice little bookends, there.
Last night, watching Heidi check Sorena's homework, I think I realized something about cognitive functions. My students in religious school drive me crazy when we read, because they'll read a word perfectly correctly, then the next word on the line will begin with the same letter, and they jump to an assumption of what the word might be, rather than reading what it is. Sorena did the same thing with her math problems, jumping to the wrong conclusion half the time. So then I thought, hey, that's probably what everybody does. It's sort of like a computer trying to match up problems and solutionsit searches through possible answers until it finds a match. So my kids aren't deliberately trying to drive me crazy. I've simply forgotten that I do it, too, because the older you get, the more choices you have for the right answer, through the sheer virtue of knowing more now than you did at age ten. I think I read something recently that says we don't really read all of the words in a sentence, and that we don't even read all of the letters. Our brains get the meaning with only partial information.
However, that didn't stop me from telling Sorena that she needed to stop jumping to what she thought was the answer, and work out the mathematics and get the right answer.
Okay, so I have a nephew, and he's 13 years old. I'm a Tolkien fan. He's a Tolkien fan. I like Linkin Park and P.O.D. He likes Linkin Park and P.O.D. We like the X-Men, and the Simpsons, and various other comic book movies, heroes, etc. So here's my question: Should I be worried that I like many of the things that my nephew likes? I mean, I'm not about to stop liking new music or comic books or great fantasy novels, but should I be the least bit worried that I have a lot more in common with a 13-year-old boy than I do with many people my own age?
Naaaah. Come to think of it, kids have more fun.
Speaking of cats, this is the sight I was greeted by one morning about two weeks ago. He really doesn't fit into the sink. Gracie does. But Tig's a big fat copycat.
Via Charles, this quote from the King of Lies:
Any military activities from your side, King of Lies? From today's Jerusalem Post:
And then there's this, from Arafat's current home town:
Okay, once more: How can you tell when Arafat is lying? His lips are moving. permalink
Every so often, the Lebanon Daily Star surprises me and publishes an article deeply critical of the Arab world. They've just done another of those:
Yes, you read that right: A Lebanese newspaper is virtually calling Lebanon "Syria-occupied Lebanon," as I've been calling it for years. And there's still more:
So who wrote this? An Arab scholar? Journalist? Politician?
The IDF caught some terrorists hiding out in a mosque today. Yep, that's against the Geneva Convention, something that the pro-fascist peace creeps would be screamingif it weren't palestinian terrorists hiding in the mosque, that is. Check out this ridiculous paragraph from the AP story:
Who else wears explosive belts? Effing UNRWA workers, perhaps? (Give them time.) From the more sensible Jerusalem Post:
Tell us again, Jimmy Carter, how settlements are the obstacle to peace.
And tells us again, you effing Jew-haters, how the fence won't stop suicide bombers. They're deliberately attempting all their entries from the areas that don't have the fence. Why else would Arafat be so upset about the fence? You take away his suicide bombs, and he has no power whatsoever.
Another story that slipped by the main media outlets (of course): Attempted terrorist attacks are up dramatically these past few weeks:
There's something really twisted about comparing 42 terror incidents to 93 and pointing out that it's fifty percent less terror than the next ten days. And yet, that's what it is. But it gets worse. Charles Johnson pointed this out a few days ago, but it bears repeating:
Also against both the Geneva Convention and all the rules of common decency, but then, terrorists have none of that. And still, Israel is the nation that is demonized by the pro-fascists. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate that? Oh, yes, I have. permalink
Fresh on the heels of Julie Burchill flipping them the bird on the way out the door, in which she told everyone that she's leaving the Guardian because of its anti-Semitism, and specifically states that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, the Guardian trots out a pet Jewwith a distinguished pedigreeto say no, it isn't, really, it isn't. And by the way, look, they found a Jew who says that anti-Zionism isn't anti-Semitism! There, that proves it!
Methinks the paper doth protest too much. Here's the subhead:
Funny, isn't it, how no one discusses the disappearance of any other nation in the world, not even the ones that were former parts of the British empire, have continuing ethnic and religious wars, and were created around the same time of the twentieth century? (India, Pakistan, ring any bells?) But it's not anti-Jewish to say that the Jews don't deserve a nation of their own, not even the one that was the Jewish state of both Bibles.
It's not anti-Semitic to question the reality of a Jewish state? Yes, it is. They can trot out as many Jews as they like to buttress their point. They're still wrong, and they're still anti-Semitic. Anyone who doubts, take a look at the Guardian's Flash presentation on their version of the Arab-Israeli conflict. My favorite description:
That's on the Guardian's website. Nothing about the Arab states declaring war the second Ben-Gurion declared Israel's independence. Go read the rest to see how biased it is. Then go here to read a true history of the matter. permalink
And not in the way you think. Judith Weiss sent me the link to this blog, in which a Marxist takes the pro-fascists' (formerly known as "the loony left," "the angry left," and sometimes just "the left") support of Iraq completely apart:
There's much more. permalink
Since everyone and his brother have been sending me the link to the Julie Burchill column, dammit, I'm gonna link to it! It's the one where she points out that the Guardian is anti-Semitic, which is why she's leaving it, and on her way out, points out that the Jews are cooler than the anti-Semites. Then she mentions people like Vanessa Redgrave and makes it a no-brainer. Okay, let's compare: Natalie Portman. Vanessa Redgrave. Oh, okay, let's compare old Jews: Lauren Bacall. (I didn't know she was Jewish!)
Jim's launching his own version of COTV. Jim, you have no idea what you're getting into, but sure, I'll publicize it. I may join in, even. It's called The Bestofme Symphony, and it's for bloggers who have older posts that might not have been as appreciated as they could have been.
Joe Katzman is flat out scaring me on a regular basis now. Go read his site and see if you get as worried about the world situation as I do.
Wind Rider's been mostly AWOL on Silent Running, but I hear he's really busy these days. (Your posts are really missed, WR.) But Murray and Tom and co. are trying to pick up the slack. Here that, Tom? It's your effing blog and you're having to pick up the slack for your co-blogger's absence. Yeah, you better be writing more.
Kevin is setting up a new weblog award. I expect to have a very long post soon on why my reaction to it will be yet another shrug. Which is not to say I don't think you all should have fun with the awards. Go, nominate, vote, have fun!
The League of Liberals is messing with my buddy Da Bear's ecosystem. Let me tell you folks something: NZ Bear is a calm, even-tempered, mild-mannered guy. Unless you continue to screw with him. Trust me on this one, if you piss him off enough, he will pull the entire Ecosystem and tell you all to do it yourself, if you miss it that much. And I'll be the first one to advise him to do it. Bear, you know me. If they're bothering you too much, just send 'em over here. I'll take care of them. And remember, Bear, you know you've really made it once they start pounding you. (Truthlaidbare.blogspot.com? Oooh, that is so breathtakingly original. And funny, too. No, really. I thought about laughing for almost a second.)
If anyone is interested in a synopsis of what went down, Kynn posted one. (I like this guy. He's honest.)
Bill was quoted in the New York Times. Of course, the funniest thing about it is he didn't know it until someone pointed out that he was on page two of the article. Bill, you're a hoot, and Alice has my sympathies.
Israpundit found a pro-Israel Muslim cleric, and interviews him. Nice going, Joseph.
Lair is pushing his Dead Pool for 2004. I have two picks so far: Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein. Anyone know any actors who are dying of variou cancers or brain tumors that I can choose? I need 13 more picks. (He is such a bad influence on me.) permalink
Roger Simon has found a word to describe the people who can no longer simply be called "leftists," because they no longer represent what that word meant. When you see the "peace" rallies in which these people call for the destruction of the Jewish state in the same terms used by the Nazis 70 years ago; when you hear them demonize democratic nations and their leaders and excuse the worst, most repressive dictatorships the world has to offer; when you read the filth they spew, parroting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, you realize that "left," "loony left," and even "angry left" simply does not describe these hateful, bigoted people who scream against oppression of only some people, while turning their eyes from the repression going on anywhere that does not directly concern America or Israel.
So Roger has the new term: They are now pro-fascists. How else to describe those who insist that Yasser Arafat is "the sole legitimate representative of the palestinian people" yet refuse to admit that he was elected in a sham election against a prop candidate, while all the true candidates were terrorized into not running? How else to explain those who want Ariel Sharon remanded to an international court for "war crimes" while insisting that Saddam Hussein must be removed by his own people because that is an "internal" matter? How else to describe those who protest George Bush's visit to Britain while completely ignoring the destruction of a British embassy and bank by Islamic terrorists, because that is not the message they're trying to get out that day?
These people are, at the very least, in bed with fascists. Roger is right. International ANSWER's hand has been documented in many of these protests; their tainted funding has also been documented more than once (thanks, Gregory). Now, these pro-fascists are joining with terrorist and Islamist groups (see: Rachel Corrie and the ISM, Hamas representatives working with "peace" protesters). Certainly, not all of them can be described as pro-fascist. Some are simply ignorant young men and women who think it's cool to protest globalization, America, and Israel. But many of them thinkand saythat the world would be better off without America and Israel. To me, that is fascism.
So I'm with Roger. Now we have a label for the terrorist sympathizers: Pro-fascists. permalink
Here's one that'll piss off Aziz big-time: A Jewish theologian said in 1920 that we're at war with Islam, and will be until the war is won by east or west.
Another grand Zionist conspiracy? No.
But the man was certainly prescient. And here's the part that will send the Islamists into a frenzy:
The same columnist has another fascinating column that says that Mahathir is right: Jews do rule the world.
My former boss at AGT died of AIDs. He was only in his thirties. permalink
More anti-Semitic incidents. First the ho-hum variety, yet another student beaten up by yet more Muslims, with yet another insistence by the French that this was not an anti-Semitic attack:
The French answer to such attacks?
This follows on the heels of France's chief rabbi urging religious Jews to stop wearing kippot and wear baseball caps instead.
Via Merde in France, this FrontPage article says that Muslims are committing ritual murders of Jews. This one frightens me so much that I am loath to believe that it is true. Better to read Barbara Amiel's column in this French website about European anti-Semitism. Or here's the translated article.
I'm not sure what to make of it, but I know this: It's time for the Jews of France to band together and form civilian patrols in their neighborhoods. Curtis Sliwa, here's a project for you.
Here also is the EU's suppressed report on anti-Semitism. Here's an excerpt from its report on France:
No wonder it was suppressed. permalink
It is so good to be home. It is so good to be surfing at cable modem speeds, not 56k. It is so good not to have to be using my mother's AOL connection. And it's nice to be around cats again. I mean, dogs are okay, but they're not cats.
I almost took 95 through the Beltway today, but found a station that reported the traffic and changed my mind. Accidents near the Wilson Bridge. Nuh-uh. Off at Route 5 and down the back way again, past Fort A.P. Hill. Not a bad drive, but I really do get tired of being on the road after a while. And just for fun, the last idiot I had to deal with was from New Jersey. Yeah, the acceleration lane means you do 25 effing miles an hour until traffic all catches up with you. Idiot. I sat on the horn until he speeded up, as I was behind him trying to get into traffic without getting killed.
Yep. Still feeling that Inner Bitch striking out. And there are a lot of issues I haven't yet begun to write about. Dinner first, then some catching up, I think.
Didja miss me? permalink
Read the entire column. It's not, of course, by a Guardian regular. It's by Emanuele Ottolenghi, the Leone Ginzburg Fellow in Israel Studies at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the Middle East Centre at St Antony's College, Oxford.
Today I spent more time with my family, and managed to remember why I moved away from New Jersey: I went to Rockaway Mall this afternoon and after about an hour, wanted to kill the next person who tried to walk into instead of around me. They don't do that in Richmond. I'd almost forgotten my NJ manners (that is to say, forget that you have any), but they came back after the last schmuck nearly knocked me into a wall. Suffice to say that nobody else managed to make me yield an inch of territory.
My, I do seem to be on the warpath these days. (Those of you who missed Jewish Double Standard Time can catch up with the rest of us.)
But I had a much more relaxing afternoon, mostly spent bonding with my nephew. That's a subject that has troubled me for some time. I've never quite been sure if he actually liked me or just put up with me because we were related. Then last visit, I discovered that he's been a Tolkien fan since the first movie came out, and when he discovered that I'm a Tolkien geek, we went off on a long discussion on the movies, the books, was the Balrog cool or what? And I realized, phew, we do have things in common, and yeah, he does actually like me, too.
This time around, the poor kid was bored out of his skull. I remembered all those painful Sunday afternoons, when your homework is done, and there's no one around to play with, and nothing on TV, and nothing you really want to doand told Alex that I had a tape of X2 in the car. Did he want to see it?
So we started watching it, and he had a million questions, most of which I could answer (hello, comics fan, too). Then he asked me why everybody hated mutants. "It's really senseless hatred, for the most part. They're afraid of them because they're different. Because some of them have special powers...."
None of my explanations was really getting through. Finally, I said, "Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were Jewish, and mutants are the Jews of comic books."
"Oh," he said. "Gotcha."
He's thirteen years old, and already he knows the score. permalink
Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.