Thank-yous are in order to my old friend and co-worker, Harry H., and my new friend Shaul H. (no relation). Three items from my wishlist arrived in the last two days. Sarah McLachlan, Patricia McKillip, and Hugh Jackman. Something tells me I'm going to be up late tonight, either reading, listening to music, or watching X2.
Thanks, guys! permalink | |
The Iraqi government closed the Baghdad offices of Al-Jazeera. Let us all say: Amen.
What kind of sick asshat creates a hoax beheading video? A San Franciscan, for one.
Speaking of San Francisco, the city that brought us the SFSU anti-Semitic riot has defaced the posters of a Jewish candidate for office with swastikas. David Heller is the son of a Holocaust survivor whose entire family was slaughtered by the Nazis. But he must be called a Nazi, because he is Jewish and his campaign posters use the colors of the Israeli flag. Anti-Semites of the world: Just die, already.
AP is working harder to jump on the al-Reuters bandwagon. The apparently cannot publish a negative article about palestinians without throwing in something negative about Israel. First, they report that the palestinian justice minister resigned because someone whom he won't name, but whose name rhymes with Arafat, took away his powers and refuses to relinquish them. Then the article veers off and talks about the dangers to the Temple Mount mosques by Jewish extremists. And, of course, the reporter's name is not John Smith.
The Navy is looking into charges that a sailor sent valuable information about fleet movements and vulnerabilities to the Al Qaeda suspect the Brits arrested this week. He has not been identified, but an email back to him
I'm gonna take a wild stab that the enlistee was not Jewish.
And on yesterday's news roundup, an email from Alex Bensky:
No doubt. permalink | |
Bobby Fischer wants to renounce his U.S. citizenship. That's fine by me. He's a nutcase who is now as anti-American and anti-Semitic as they come, and a living example of a self-hating Jew. He doesn't need to be put in jail. He needs anti-psychotic drugs.
Israel reopened the Rafah border crossing, apparently due to U.S. pressure. Funny, they offered to open another border crossing to ease the crisis, and Egypt and the pals both said no. Because that would violate existing agreements. Oh, and because that would end the propaganda opportunity for the pals, too.
Interestingly, this article in the Ha'aretz business section says that Israeli exports to Arab nations are up 68%. But I thought the Arabs were boycotting Israeli products!
The IDF killed two more terrorists, one in Gaza, trying to blow up Gush Katif, another in the West Bank.
Al-Sadr is offering a truce in the current battle with his "militia." The real reason? Because Coalition forces have killed over 300 of his men in the last two days. You know, this guy always offers a truce when he's losing. Don't stop until you've got him this time.
One of the terror suspects the Brits caught this week had plans of a U.S. Navy battle group. Complete with suggestions on how to blow it up. Tell us again how you can negotiate with these asshats, Jimmah Carter.
You know, the terrorists haven't won. But the bastards have really impacted on our way of life. First, we close the Statue of Liberty for three effing years, and when we reopen it, you still can't go inside. Now, Independence Square is being fitted for a security fence.
May they all roast in hell, starting with bin Laden.
Time for the yourish.com mantra: Anti-Semites of the world, just die already. permalink | |
Sometimes you don't. permalink | |
So let's take a look at a few of the headlines over on Google News, shall we?
Nope. No need for a terror alert. It's all politics. permalink | |
I said Rock the vote, man: MoveOn is sponsoring a rock tour in the hopes of pushing Bush out of office. I'm sure this will be endlessly discussed (in outraged tones on the right, cheerful tones on the left), but let me take a guess at the average result of our youth going to see this tour:
November 3rd, 80-90% of the crowd:
Hey, they're Americans. They have the right to their opinion, and they have the right to try to change America. And I have the right to laugh at them. They're going to sponsor a concert from October 1st through the 8th in swing states, trying to affect change, by getting people who scarcely vote to come to a concert where people their parents' age and older are going to tell them to vote.
Yeah, that'll work.
Tigger's Night Out: Got a phone call this morning several hours earlier than I'm used to getting up, and noticed that Tig was not in bed, which is rare. Even rarer is that he doesn't jump into bed when I wake up early, looking for his morning belly-rub. So I tried to remember if I let him in last night, and realized that I hadn't, and he was still outside, having spent the night. I race downstairs, open the blinds, look on the patio, and he's not there. Now I'm really scared, I start calling Tigand he walks up behind me from the living room.
Then he wanted to go out. No. I went back to bed. So did he.
Help me now, I'm falling: I have a request to James Reilly: I would like it if no character on Days of Our Lives ever falls down a hole, a canyon, a ravine, a cliff, a well, a mine shaft, or even, frankly, a curb. I've been watching lately when I'm home at one, and let's see if I have the right tally here: First, Patrick falls off a plane (but survives). Then, Jennifer's plane crashes. Mean old pilot dies, but she survives. Then, Jennifer falls down a hole. Then Jack falls (or jumps, I didn't see that one) down the hole. Then they get out. Then Hope and Patrick's plane is shot down. But they survive (of course). Then Jennifer falls down a cliff. Then Jack falls down a cliff. But he climbs back up. Then Hope falls down a cliff. But she climbs back up. Then Patrick falls down a cliff. But he climbs back up. Right now, Patrick and Jennifer are on a ledge on the cliff, and she's in labor. Oh, that's right, I forgot to tell you: All the time Jennifer has been falling down holes and cliffs, she's been about eight or nine months pregnant, and the baby's been just fine every single timein spite of the fact that back home, she nearly lost the baby six or seven times without falling down once.
I guess the only reason Jennifer doesn't climb back up is because she's worried about the baby, because, like, something might happen to it if she climbs or something.
Yeah, I know. It's a soap opera. But I just delineated above that it is my Constitutional right as an American to mock, and mock I shall.
Rain, rain, go away: I should like to state once more for the record that we in Virginia have had enough rain for the summer. We can wait a few weeks before the skies open up again. We won't mind. Really. Not at all.
I have not had my Jeep top down since Fourth of July weekend. Although there's a strange yellow light in the sky today, and I just may take the top down while I can.
Don't sit in the holly: Harrison has a very funny account of a day in the garden with a bunch of Yorkies. Y'know, Harrison, cats are a lot smarter than that. On the other hand, Tig has brought (sigh) slugs inside with him. He can't tell what gets on his fur when he lies on the patio, and it's been a wet summer.
What do we want? Waffles! When do we want them? Now! I wish Waffle House delivered. I want one of their waffles for breakfast. And I don't want to go out. I'm a member of the Instant Gratification Generation.
Tea in the Sahara with you: Does anyone, anywhere, understand what that means? permalink | |
It's enough to make your head explode. Raghad Hussein (and yes, the first name is an insult waiting to be spoken, hold your tongues, please) told an Israeli reporter she wants to hire new lawyers for her father. She'll hire an American, but not if he's Jewish.
So, here you have her giving what amounts to an exclusive to an Israeli reporter, but she "cannot cooperate with Jews."
I can't tell the players with a scorecard.
By the way, another Maariv article claims that "a leading member of one of the Arab worlds most prominent royal houses" is conducting secret negotiations that will supposedly bring an end to the Ba'athist attacks. It's a very long, seemingly detailed story, but it sources DEBKA, so I'm taking it with three or four boxes of salt. Perhaps Wretchard can comb his news sources and see if anything comes up.
And in yet another Maariv article, we see the kind of name-calling we could only wish for in American politics:
That kind of talk would certainly have raised the ratings for the DNC last week. permalink | |
Here are four news service articles on the latest palestinian deaths in Gaza. The bias is laid on thicker than ever. The first two are by Reuters, whose bias I am used to seeing. I think these four articles speak volumes on why the world opinion is so much against Israel. Unless you are a discerning reader with the ability to find the news from the other side, you have to deal with things like this:
For some reason, Reuters no longer thinks the Israeli army is made up of people. Notice how there are no longer IDF spokesmen telling Israel's sidejust "the Israeli army." Notice also that there is no denial by "the Israeli army," just that they're checking the reportimplying that it's true and they need to confirm.
No context here. It's as if the Israelis and pals simply fight along the border with Egypt for no apparent reason. In fact, if the pals weren't smuggling weapons in tunnels along the Egyptian border, there would be no fighting.
That last line is the only line that even hints that it may not be an Israeli missile that killed the, ah, innocent civilians who just happened to be hanging around the Israeli army. (See next story.)
Notice how the headline still does not identify the pals as terrorists, excuse me, "militants." In fact, you don't get that they were "militants" until the third graf. The headline makes the reader think Israel killed more innocent civilians.
Actually, all three of them were claimed by terrorist groups (see below). Palestinian "policemen" are frequently part of the bombing attempts. But you have to salute al-Reuters for keeping to the program: Poor innocent off-duty cop, who owned a shop, was killed by his own people's bombinadvertently, of course.
Also notice that the pals have "witnesses," but the Israeli
side has "Israel's army." It is a way to completely dehumanize
That's the third-to-last paragraph before you get the context for the IDF's presence. The average newspaper reader reads three paragraphs, top. Most read just the headline and the first paragraph.
Once more, "Israel's army said." I would say, WTF is up with that? But I know. Dehumanize, dehumanize, dehumanize. And use palestinian spokesliars for stringers and reporters.
The last graf. One more blast at "the Israeli army" and one more chance at bias. When you're reporting two sides of an issue, the side that goes first is given the greater weight of truth by the reader. The side that is credited with a denial is the one that is considered to be lying. There is always palestinian accusation followed by Israelisorry, the Israeli Armydenying the accusation. Al-Reuters is very good at what it does.
Now let's look at another example:
Right away, the blame is placed on IDF activity, which is "an extensive operation" on the border. Not, "an extensive operation to find weapons-smuggling tunnels." No context, again. And the fact that the army did not immediately comment is another journalist's trick to make it look like they're covering something up. The IDF generally will not comment on an action until it investigates it.
However, in the next graf, there's context: The evil Israeli army fired on innocent palestinian civilians.
Look at that statement. It's a non-accusation accusation. The witness didn't see what caused the explosion, but he did note that there were tanks and helicopters all over the place. The implication is clear: The IDF did it.
Once again, no context whatsoever. The buildings destroyed were used to hide smuggling tunnels.
That's the last paragraph. Translation: Look, the Israelis are firing missiles into fields! They must have done it!
A few hours later, the same news service ran this article:
Notice how there's still no explanation in the headline, other than "explosion," while in the first paragraph, the fault is clear. Once again, you can infer from the headline that the IDF killed them.
Notice the use of "inadvertently." You inadvertently leave your keys in the car. You inadvertently take a pen home from work. It's such a soft word. Has the IDF ever "inadvertently" killed palestinian civilians?
Also notice the phrase "three palestinian men." They are still not identified as "militants." And also note how the bulldozer was "piling up dirt in a crowded residential area." And the phrase "No Israelis were injured." Subtle, subtle ways of making the reader hate Israel.
There we go. Five grafs in, Hamas and Al Aqsa claim the pals. Try not to get too agitated over the use of "vigilante" for the murderers who killed three suspected collaborators. After all, it's due to the progressive breakdown of law and order in Gaza, which, of course, is all Israel's fault. Funny how the suspects are suddenly convicted, too. This article is the only one to call them that. But then, it's the only one to also call them spies.
This is despicable. It shows how civilians are clearly aiding and abetting the terrorists, and it was filmed. Journalists were already there, filming it.
The Israeli article says at least ten bombs were exploded in the area of the troops. Once again, though, we see the context for the Israeli "operation" buried deep within the articlewhere the average person will not read it.
Now let's look at the authors of the articles: Al-Reuters: Ahmed Jadallah. AP, which seems to be gunning for Al-AP: Ibrahim Barzak. Think it doesn't matter when palestinians write articles about the Israeli-palestinian conflict? Think that journalists are objective no matter what their origin?
Think again. permalink | |
Some lowlife kidnapped an old man's Yorkshire Terrier and then demandedand gota $10,000 ransom for it. Harrison has the story, as well as whether or not his Alpha Human Female would ransom him if he got dognapped.
Rahel has a blog. She still doesn't have a cat (too bad, allergies), but she has a blog. Feel free to steal any and all Tig and Gracie pictures, Rahel.
The Banterist, the guy who wrote about the 17 photos of a cat's butt, is a very, very funny guy. This one about the ways his wife could kill him is a hoot. And his Grammar Cop posts are wonderful. (Brian, your permalinks are supposed to go to the entry, not the comments. You might want to check your MT settings.) My favorite post so far, however, is this one, which offers advice to Igor of Igor's Unisex Hair Salon. A must-read, and yes, put down your drinks.
You know whose blog (and writing) is really starting to grow on me? Cathy Seipp's. I've read her from time to time before, but the more I read, the more I like.
I owe a lot more people links, but that's all I have room for now.
So yesterday I had dinner with G. again, as the poor guy is all alone in the house (except for the three dogs). Worf is sad. Worf's AHF (see Harrison entry, above) has been away for more than a week, and won't be coming back until Friday. His sun, moon, and stars have gone out. His mood lifted some as he smelled the London broil I was bringing in, and stayed up while we cooked and then when the dogs got some scraps, but then he was Sad Worf all over again.
Poor Worf. Even beef can't cheer him up. Nothing but Heidi will do.
I had the creepiest, lousiest dream last night. I had an extremely restless night to begin with, and I kept going in and out of this dream. I was on an alien planet where humans were basically slaves, and I was one of the people involved in leading the uprising against the alien overlords. Thing is, the alien overlords could cough up fireballs. Not pleasant. And yet, they looked so human.... Anyway, that dream is still bothering me, and it's been some fourteen hours. Brrrr. (And what was Joanna Kerns doing in it, anyway?)
I'm starting to think Michele's catching.
[Insert snarky comment about something that only three or four people will understand here.] [[Because I can.]]
First there was the Milky Way bar, and it was good. Then there was the Milky Way Junior, and it was better, because you didn't always want an entire bar. Then there were Milky Way Miniatures, and they were evil, because you think you're not eating the equivalent of a whole bar as you eat them one by one by one by one.
Now, there is the devil's own tool, Milky Way Popables. I tried and tried and tried to avoid them. But there they were, at Kroger's tonight, and I'd just gotten a big tip at work, and they're on the points-to-collect-free-groceries list, and, well, now they're six inches away from me. The ones that are left, that is. [pop!] Yum.
Y'know, if they keep on miniaturizing food this way, we're going to be eating Milky Way Nanos.
By the way, whoever ordered the rain for Richmond this summer: You ordered too much. Please stop.
Further to the above: If you have to keep the rain, can you lose the thunder? I really don't need thunder that shakes the walls. And shakes the walls. And shakes the walls. Jeez. It wasn't just Tig that jumped on that one. permalink | |
One subject that comes up over and over again on certain blogs and in the comments of many others is the contention that our terror alerts are either exaggerated or politically motivated. Every time Bush is in trouble, this segment says, he raises the terror alerts. Howard Dean only yesterday implied that they're bogus.
The Washington Post has the information on why the terror alerts were raised in New York and New Jersey.
The article also goes into details of how the surveillance is being done.
They've been watching us all along, completely unobserved. It appears that some bloggers' complacency over how well our security services are handling the Al Qaeda threat are misplaced. Spoons and Michele Malkin are right: We're still behind the curve.
I haven't written anything at all about the already infamous "Terror in the Skies" article about Northwest Flight 327, where a group of Syrian band members' behavior frightened passengers and crew. I think I would have reacted similarly to Annie Jacobsen, though, and it bothers me no end that not a single member of the flight crew made the band members obey the airlines rules and national laws. Every single time I've been a moment too slow sitting down when the captain tells everyone to get back to their seats, I've been told by a flight attendant to sit my ass down, and this was all pre-9/11, when I used to fly frequently.
No, we can't guard everything at every moment. But I think we are still deeply unprepared for more terror attacks. My mother takes Amtrak to visit me. I've already told her she can't visit me from the end of August until after the elections. Because I don't think there's any way we can prevent another Madrid.
When I saw that the terror alert included the Prudential building in New Jersey, my first instinct was to write a humor post about how New Jersey simply doesn't have any landmark building to be blown up. Then I read the WaPo article.
I'm not laughing anymore. permalink | |
Woke up to a power outage, called the electric company, found it my power will be restored by 12:30 p.m. Three hours without the news or the web, and no portable phone. So I broke out Old Faithful: my old Lucent model that requires only a phone cord, no batteries or radio waves necessary. And I'll be borrowing my friends' AOL account. I'll have to use a 56k modem, but heyit's better than not having any access.
But I'm hoping they take less than three and a half hours to fix my power, because I just bought a new package of Fudgesicles, and my fridge doesn't take kindly to power outages. And I really don't want to take a shower by candlelight. And then there's that whole Virginia in August thing.
Update: And five minutes after I post this, the power's back. Obviously, somebody at Dominion Power reads my blog.
On the other hand, I did get to see the AOL-only article on the cast for the Fantastic Four movie. Now, here's a film where, unlike the Hulk, you need to spend 45 minutes on the origin of their powers. The Hulk movie could have been condensed by at least that much, and people would be talking about a sequel. Bummer. permalink | |
It appears that the struggle for power in Gaza is still going on, and it's between two major players: Mohammed Dahlan, whom Arafat fired as Security Minister, and Yasser Arafat. So it seems that the show of force at yesterday's Fatah meeting (see the previous post) was also a signal to Dahlan.
Notice that the word that Dahlan is trying to attack Arafat has been sent out via Arafat's security guards, a.k.a. thugs.
Dahlan has been trying to establish himself in Gaza for some time now. And he apparently feels the time is ripe to challenge Arafat's authority. I think there are a few things that will tell if Dahlan backs off or not. He's threatened a march of 30,000 Gazans to protest corruption. If that comes off, the struggle continues. If there's no march, or a small march, Arafat has managed yet again to stifle all opposition. In any case, guaranteed that Dahlan is keeping a very low profile right now, and letting only relatives and close friends near his person.
But even if he manages to survive this round, I think Dahlan's face is on a wanted poster at the Mukata. Strange. I find myself rooting for Dahlan. But I don't believe he's strong enough to defeat Arafat. permalink | |
Because that's all the time I have before I get ready to go to work.
Yasser Arafat is asserting his power and control over the PA again.
Let me interpret for you: They shot in the air, not at anyone. This wasn't a sign of "factional fighting." This was a show of strength by Arafat. This is his way of saying "Over my dead and buried bones" to the calls for reform. He has done this before; he did it just a week ago, causing one critic to lose his leg after being shot by Arafat's enforcers. Arafat is the Mafia don of the Arab world, with the added benefit that people are afraid to take him out because so many schmucks bought into the image he createdthat he is the only one who can lead the palestinian people. As long as the rest of the world buysinto that lie, there will be no reform in the PA.
This link may only work for a short time, but the BBC has a translating service and one of the sample articles is from an Iranian newspaper saying that they have the "God-given" right to nuclear power, and that if anyone should be sanctioned, it should be Israel.
A tiger got loose in New York City and scared the crap out of supposedly unflappable New Yorkers. Hey. I thought you guys were supposed to just yawn and get on with your activities over stuff like this.
Damn, I'd have paid money for video of six cops following a tiger through Queens.
This is great news: 90 percent of Afghans are registered to vote.
In the picture accompanying the article, there are burka-clad women registering to vote. Here's hoping that next election, they can lose the burka.
Last, but not least: Terrorists are still planning on gunning for New York. Yeah, we knew that.
Bin Laden did not understand Americans in 2001, and his followers don't understand us now. We aren't Spain, and we're not the Phillippines. An attack will not cause a bump for Kerry in the polls. An attack on America will only quiet partisan bickering and bring us together again. A suicide truck bombing like we see in Iraq would be horrendous. But it won't make us turn tail and run.
It will, however, make the doubters realize that the overwhelming issue of the 2004 election campaign is the Terror War. And John Kerry has pretty much lost me since his speech Thursday night. The line that did it for me?
It's Jimmy Carter all over again. And I don't make the same mistake twice. 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 is also a good bet if you've never been here before.