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Day By Day by Chris Muir

This blog is a no-Israel-bashing zone (click for explanation)

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A belated birthday present for Lynn

This is what Tig looked like during our conversation on Thursday. Except his eyes were closed. But then I had to go outside to get the camera, which I'd left in my car, so of course he woke up. But not enough to ruin the picture. Just imagine his head down and his eyes closed, and that was how he looked. The leg was hanging off just as you see it.

Tig just hanging off the chair

He's currently being extremely annoying. It's rainy and wet outside, so he goes out then he comes back in then he goes out then he comes back in then he goes out then he comes back in and yeah, I could stop myself, but I'm just trying to give you an idea of what it's like when Tig wants the world to stop raining and me to entertain him. In between going in and out, he tries to beat up Gracie, who is in a very playful mood and is racing around the apartment, yowling for me to come upstairs so she can stop racing around, leap onto the bathroom vanity, and have me pet her.

In the meantime, I'm planning on having breakfast and doing a lot of printing of pictures and cards and such before heading for my shift at the climbing gym.

It has occurred to me recently that it really sucks having three jobs.

Ooh. The sun's coming out. Thank goodness.

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Fourth light

Fourth light of Hanukkah

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Just another manic Friday

Y'know, that simply doesn't have the same panache as the Bangles song.

I am so tired. Job from Hell was, well, hellish today. And I wouldn't be going to synagogue tonight, because I am so tired, except for the fact that Pat P., who helped me out greatly for my seminar video, asked us to bump up the numbers because of some guests. And so, dinner in a few, then (sigh) driving to synagogue. And I know I'll stay too long at the Oneg, because I always do.

By the way, I hate to have to say this, but please don't order anything from my Wishlist for now. For some reason, it's not updating when you order me anything, so I've got four duplicate items—no, five—that I have to send back. On the other hand, what with the gift certificate my friend Kim sent, and all these returns, I can choose either a season of Buffy or B5, or be practical and get the Gazelle Glider and actually start exercising again.

There you go. Never mind, everyone keep sending me the same Amazon gifts over and over again. I'll just return them for store credit and get neat new things.

In other news, Harvey very sweetly endorsed me again today, so I'm linking his blog again. However, I'm now four percent back, and Totten and Patterico are in a dead heat. Barring a miracle, I get the bronze medal. Voting ends Sunday. Oh, well.

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Israel news briefs

That's right, idiots, boycott Israeli scholars: Israel is one of the world's top producers of research.

Israel is one of the world’s great producers of basic research. A Neaman Institute study by Gideon Czapski and Yael Ilan (International Status of Israeli Research: Neaman Institute, Technion, 2004) examines research “productivity” (scientific publications per capita) and “quality” (the frequency with which other scholars cite publications in their own articles) for over 25 countries. In computer science, Israel ranks second in the world in “productivity” and third in the world in “quality”. In chemistry (the field in which two Technion scholars just won the Nobel Prize), Israel ranks 4th and 5th, respectively; in molecular biology, 3rd and 4th; in biology and biochemistry, 5th and 10th; and in physics, 2nd and 9th. In addition, Israel ranks first in research “productivity” in economics and business, mathematics, psychology, and psychiatry!

These outstanding achievements reflect Israel’s investment in basic research and in its top universities in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Arafat's stolen millions—returned? Well, some of them, anyway. Yediot Ahranot (it's a Hebrew link) says that a Lebanese paper reported that some $600 million was returned by Muhammad Rashid, Arafat's financial adviser, and that he's supposed to transfer more of the stolen funds. So does this mean the world doesn't "owe" them another $4 billion?

Israel protecting American lives: Besides teaching our military how to conduct house-to-house combat, and besides teaching the American military how to deal with terrorists, Israel is deferring her order of 450 armored Humvees so they can go to Iraq, instead. (It's the very last line in the article.) But hey, it's more fun to accuse Israel of being behind 9/11, isn't it? Because to say they're actually supporting America goes against the Grand Zionist Conspiracy Theory.

The "Intifada" is over—again: Arieh O'Sullivan has been calling this for a while. I'm still not entirely convinced. (Hat tip: Nick S.) I'd like to believe it. I wish it were true. But I'm still going to wait and see what happens with the returned stolen billions, the peace overtures from Syria, and the withdrawal from Gaza. Because the Iranians are still trying to destroy Israel any which way they can, and Syria is still sponsoring terrorists. The war is far from over, IMHO.

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Because I haven't pissed off Richard Bennett in several months

This song occurred to me while washing dishes yesterday. Or was it while peeling potatoes? You know, it was one of those woman's-work things. And y'know, sometimes I simply can't control what comes out of my head.

It's a sexist blogosphere
It's a sexist blogosphere
It's a sexist blogosphere
It's a boy's world after all

It's a world of guys, it's a world of men
It's a boy-link-boy, not a boy linking hen
If you act like a slut they will link you then but—
It's a boy's world after all

It's a sexist blogosphere
It's a sexist blogosphere
It's a sexist blogosphere
It's a boy's world after all

Anyway. I haven't pissed off the guys in a long time. It was overdue.

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Third Light

Third light

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Columbia University and anti-Israelism

Remember the charges of the overwhelmingly anti-Israel bias of many professors at Columbia University? The Jerusalem Post has an update on the situation. Columbia's president is calling for an investigation. Supporters of the professors charged with intimidating Jewish and Israeli students are calling their critics McCarthyites.

Get ready for an irony overload:

On Tuesday, about 50 students, faculty members and community activists held a news conference at Columbia to defend the accused professors there and denounce the backers of "Columbia Unbecoming," which was produced by the David Project, a Boston-based group that seeks to combat anti-Israel bias on college campuses. Some held aloft signs reading, "Down with the Zionist witch hunt on campus!"

Right. At a news conference defending professors who are accused of being biased against Israel, people were holding up signs decrying Zionists. But no, there's no anti-Israel bias at Columbia.

Then there's this gem:

Another professor named in the film, George Saliba, who teaches Arabic and Islamic science, is accused of telling a Jewish student in a private discussion that she has no claim to the land of Israel or a right to express her opinion about Israeli-Palestinian issues because she has green eyes.

"You have green eyes; you're not a Semite," Saliba said, according to the account by the student, Lindsay Shrier. "I have brown eyes; I'm a Semite."

Saliba has denied ever making such a statement. And though he has admitted to a charge that he took his class to a pro-Palestinian demonstration on campus, he described it as a "field trip" aimed at showing his students an example of the debate surrounding Israel and the Middle East.

Oh. A field trip. To see what debate looks like, because, after all, there's so much of that at a pro-palestinian demonstration.

And if you'd like to know if this is an aberration, well, no, it's not. There was a forum at Columbia recently, featuring Yossi Beilin.

Columbia hosted a November 20 forum titled "Impasse? Alternative Voices in the Middle East." The most prominent speaker was Yossi Beilin, architect of the Oslo Accords, a prime mover behind the Geneva peace initiative and chair of Yahad, the left-wing social-democratic party formerly known as Meretz. What was noteworthy was that he represented perhaps the most "right-wing," and certainly the most pro-Israel, perspective at the conference.

When Yossi Beilin is considered a right-winger, you are treading on the ground of Jew-haters. It doesn't matter that some speakers were Jewish or Israeli. Lynn is writing a series on self-hating Jews like Noam Chomsky that proves you don't have to be a non-Jew to hate Israel.

The attack on Israel from academia continues. And it is financed by Saudi money. More on that in the future.

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Thursday things

Happy birthday, Mom! Of course, she doesn't read my blog, but that's not the point. I called her this morning. I'll talk to her again tonight.

The tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth: Thankfully, there was no nerve damage. My tooth's been patched up, and my new dentist reminds me very much of my first dentist, who was my great-uncle Sam. Uncle Sam used to hum opera and classical music while he worked. This guy hums Lite-FM. However, damn, I hate novocaine. It's been nearly three hours, and there's still some numbness. They out to make anti-novocaine pills or something you can take once they're done, to make it wear off faster.

All the news that fits: There's so much out there, but I'm feeling so not like putting up depressing news items. Perhaps instead I'll put up the photo of the black vulture I saw eating roadkill in Goochland. Terry would like that, I'll bet. He's got this disturbing habit of counting and categorizing roadkill on his long driving trips, then posting about it on his blog.

Links! That's what I'll do, links: Come to think of it, I haven't been linking much at all lately, except to news stories. Time to remember that I'm a blogger and start sending my readers over to other places.

Ilyka, for instance, who seems to be out of semi-retirement for good and is posting again. (I was getting a little worried about her.) This is the sort of stuff I've been missing. Or any of the folks on the right sidebar. Or on my links page. Then there's Treacher, who is always hilarious. I'd have endorsed him if I thought he had any chance of winning. No offense, Jim, it's just politics. Then there's Eric Akawie's post titled "Against Chrismukkah," with which I completely agree. Pick one or the other, not both, folks.

Howsabout the rest of you bloggers and regular readers feel free to promote yourselves in the comments to this post? Once again, you can create a link in Haloscan by cutting and pasting these simple instructions:


Don't worry, I'll fix any mistakes you make.

And to update the links: Go here. Put down your drink and food. I mean it. PUT IT DOWN! Now, read this post. Probably not at work. And thank Jim for it, because he sent me over there. Oh. My. God. My ribs hurt.

The voting continues: Sigh. I'm up in percentage, but behind in votes, now, since there is a greater number of votes today. I need another hundred or so votes to take over second place, and two hundred to take over first. Looks like that Totten guy is going to win, because our stats have been pretty consistent over the past few days.

Bummer. I'm not going to win a meaningless award. How will I ever live with myself?


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Real life

I'm writing my cover letter for the job I'm going for. I'm quite good at cover letters, what with being in several industries that (sigh) were high in the layoff category. But if anyone out there thinks they're really good at cover letters, feel free to make suggestions. I need to sell myself heavily in this one, for a job as a trainer/saleswoman. (No, I won't get more specific than that in public.)

If I get this job, there will be many chances to meet fellow bloggers. Travel will be involved up and down the east coast. I also intend to take some dates that will require my flying into other states too far to drive to. I'll be quite appreciative of the natives meeting up with me for dinner and things.

One of the cities high on my list of places to fly to is Houston. Another is San Diego. I plan on touring the country, actually. I mean, why not? The travel is all a business expense, and I'll be earning money during the day, and meeting people at night.

Anyway. I saw the rough cut of the videotape that I'm sending out for my audition, made some changes, and will be picking it up tomorrow. I think I won't rush the tape out. I need to think over what I want to say in the cover letter. This one needs to get me the job the way I got the job at Lucent, when I had no web development experience, no portfolio, and a six-week HTML course at NJIT to my name. I set up a website over the weekend, and got the job. Which remains one of my favorite jobs, ever, come to think of it. The people in that department were the best I ever worked with. Heck, they're even voting for me in the Wizbang Weblog Awards (I knew I'd figure out a way to work that in. Go vote again.)

I have a really boring meeting to go to tonight. If I have any energy left after that, I'll be posting some actual news posts. But I broke a tooth on Monday night (old filling, weak tooth, no nerve exposure, thankfully), and have a dentist's appointment tomorrow, and if you can believe it, that friggin' cold is trying to hit me with round three. I'm about to overdose on zinc lozenges and am eating chicken soup for dinner. So, I'll try to get something substantive up. But I can't guarantee it.

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Second light

Second light of Hannukah

The story behind the Menorah (or, as it should be called, Hanukkiyah): I lived with my mother until my freshman year in college. Then I moved in with my father, and when the first Hanukkah rolled around, I told Dad that I didn't have a Menorah of my own, and that the ones that I used at Mom's were, well, at Mom's house. Could he please get me a Menorah?

My father was a completely secular Jew. I wasn't expecting much, just a simple little one. He came home with the one above. It's made in Israel (of course), of brass and copper, and has the signs and names of the sons of Jacob. The Hebrew below the Lion is Yerushalayim, the Hebrew word for Jerusalem. I think that's the Lion of Judah. I'm not up on my Twelve Tribes. Lynn's much better at that than I.

And the digital camera belonged to Montclair State University. They let me take it home for the weekend while I was working on the VP's website. I got a few shots of the cats, come to think of it. Perhaps I'll post them later.

Time to go light my candles.

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It's benign!

In honor of hearing the news about Worf's tumor (see heading of post), I'm putting up this picture, which was taken on my birthday. Worf's favorite way of playing is to be chased. Half the time, he has my sneaker in his mouth, but that night, there was only his toy.

Worf and his rope toy

It's the most invasive epaulet, or epulous, or epwhatever tumor the vet's ever seen. Worf will have to have the tumor cut out of his jaw once or twice a year, as far as we can figure. But it isn't cancer, and that's a good thing. It's on the right side of his jaw. You can't see a thing in this picture.

I bought dog treats at the store the other day. I'll have to remember to stop by and spoil Worf and the others. But mostly Worf.

I had no idea you could get so attached to a pet that isn't yours. I had no idea I could get so attached to a dog. But I am, and there you have it.

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Don't look back, I'm gaining on you

Totten's percentage has dropped, and mine and that Patterico guy's have gone up. I'm only about fifty votes behind Pat. Go, voters!

And the endorsements keep on, er, crawling in. Say, Judith, where's yours? Where are my faithful blogfriends' endorsements? C'mon, the right-hand column has plenty of room!

Boy, I'm glad the voting is over on Sunday. I'm already tired of this, and nobody's even being asked to contribute money.

And oh, yeah: Vote for Michele. She's only about 75 votes behind her opponent, and frankly, there's simply no comparison between the two. Michele has never put the word "*giggle*" on a blog in her life. (Warning: Don't scroll down to the Menorah picture if you're on blood pressure medication.)

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First light

Happy Hanukka! And here, for the fourth year running, is my virtual menorah.

First light

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Brief Tuesday news briefs

Busy day today, so quick links and comments.

Oh, that'll get President Bush to push for a state for you: The head of Fatah says that the Iraqis must defeat the U.S. Smart, dude, smart. Way to get us to help you.

Israel lets up on the pals, soldiers die: True to form, as the IDF backs off so as not to upset the sensitive terrorists, the terrorists set off bombs and attack and murder soldiers. I swear, I don't understand why Israel keeps doing this over and over and over again. She gets no thanks for it from anyone, and she loses more people this way.

Peace in our time: Tony Blair is bound and determined to hold a peace conference regarding Israel and the pals. This is the same U.K. that held a conference about the palestinians and refused to invite Israeli representatives. Word is that it will be about palestinian reform. I won't hold my breath, what with the expected anti-Israel headlines that ought to come out of this conference.

We want more money! The palestinians will ask for $4 billion in aid over three years. Here's an idea: Ask Suha and Mahmoud Abbas for the money Arafat stole from you. That ought to cover it.

Wounded by their own petard: A palestinian worker was wounded by a palestinian mortar shell that landed in Gush Katif. By the way, the mortars are being fired almost daily. Yeah, that's some "truce."

And I'm out.

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Monday things

Thing 1: It really is amazing, the number of people still clicking that --ts link from Glenn. Are you folks that desperate for boob shots, when the internet is simply full of them?

Of course, I say this as the person who started this whole thing in the first place. If I were really cruel, I'd go back to that post, update it with a "Sorry, the real boob shot is here!" and then link to a blogger I can't stand or something. Wow, a name popped to mind without a second's hesitation. I sure can hold a grudge.

No, I won't tell. Figure it out for yourself, only please don't post about it in the comments.

Thing 2: Oh, for the good old days of sitting behind a computer all day at work. I currently have three part-time jobs, and two of them are physically demanding. On my feet nearly the entire time, constantly lifting and exercising muscles—first thing I do when I get home is kick off my shoes and either put them up on the ottoman, or down on the foot massager.

I am so looking forward to getting that new job.

On the other hand, I bought another box of Mallomars today. There are compensations.

Thing 3: Speaking of new jobs, the rough cut of my audition video is ready for viewing. I'll be heading out to Goochland tomorrow. Goochland. That's a weird name. Are there Gooches over there, do you think? Do they look like creatures from Dr. Seuss? (As an aside, I caught about two minutes of the Ron Howard Grinch remake the other day. Wow. It sucked so bad it caused a black hole in my living room. If Tig weren't so fat, he'd have gone right through it.)

So you know how they say that videotape makes you look ten pounds heavier? Does that mean when I turn off the tape, I lose ten pounds?

Thing 4: I bought a book filled with trivial information about food items. I'm thinking of making it a regular part of the blog. For instance, did you know there is absolutely no difference between brown eggs and white eggs, other than the color of their shells?

See? Vote for me, because you learn neat stuff on my blog. | |

The numbers update

FYI, as of 6:20 this evening, that Patterico guy is leading me by 77 votes. Totten is ahead of me by 151 votes. That means my readers could step up to the plate, vote for me, and blow me right past them. C'mon, people. Just click and vote. It'll take less than a minute.

And you have no idea how whiny I can get when I lose. I think I had the world's record on whining when I was a teenager.

Plus, um, yeah, I'm going to be bugging you to vote until the voting closes. That's the twelfth. If I find myself with a strong lead, I'll stop bugging you. Much. I promise. And unlike a real politician, I keep my promises.

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Vote Yourish!

Patterico thinks he's got the upper hand. He's putting out vicious lies, like saying that Michael Totten is a cross-dresser. Of course that isn't true. Michael Totten is simply a terrible dresser. But neither of them is going to win our Ecosystem category in the Wizbang Weblog aWards, because I'm about to offer even more bribes. My fellow bloggers: Endorse me to your readers, and get your blog linked in the right-hand column. Right there. Lynn gets a free link, because I know she'll endorse me as soon as I remember to send her an email. Everyone else, drop me a line or a comment in this post, and as soon as I see the endorsement, up goes your blog on my site. Main page and archives.

You can use any of these slogans, or make one up yourself. I'm not picky.

Vote for Meryl:

Because her ego is that big.

She's prettier than that Patterico guy.

Michael Totten gets to travel the world. At least give her a pity vote.

Maybe if she wins, she will show us her --ts.

She said she'd beat me up if I didn't endorse her.

Because she's the Master of Juvenile Scorn™.

Because I like her cats.

Right. And by the way, I'm endorsing A Small Victory for Best Culture Blog, IMAO for best humor blog, Silent Running for Best Toilet Blog, Okay, okay, Best Group Blog, but if you haven't clicked the link to the Toilet Blog, well, don't. Trust me on that one. It's an image you may never get out of your brain. I'm also endorsing Jim Peacock in his Ecosystem category (I have a long memory for good deeds, and Jim is a big-time good-deed-doer on my behalf), Damian Penny for Best Canadian Blog, and of course, Citizen Smash for Best Military Blog. And that's about it for now, as I've forgotten who else I'm voting for.

Right. Now go out there and remember to vote every 24 hours from now until December 12th. And tell your friends to vote for me, too. Yes, indeed: My ego is that big.

Update: Okay, I'm voting for Michele anyway, but how can you not vote for someone who can write this account of a Party From Hell and make it so funny you almost don''t really feel sorry for her? And she got Allah out of retirement to endorse her. Now that's power.

Update 2: Hey, y'know, my endorsements are for sale to the biggest spender. You want me to change my endorsement, Goldstein? Make me an offer.

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Azzam Azzam: Home after eight years in an Egyptian prison

From time to time, you may have heard the name: Azzam Azzam, arrested in Egypt supposedly for spying for Israel. The charges were ridiculous: He was accused of sending state secrets out written on women's underwear—in invisible ink. But this is Egypt, a land with no due process, and so in spite of Israel's vehement denials—which in itself were an astonishing departure from policy, which is never to deny or confirm charges of spying for Israel—Azzam was convicted, and spend the last eight years in prison. And for the last eight years, Israeli officials worked to get him freed.

Finally, Ariel Sharon has accomplished this task. In exchange for Azzam, he set free six "students" who entered Israel with the intent to commit terrorism. (They were found with 14 knives and recon equipment on them, yet their parents insist they were only going to Israel to find jobs. Yeah, what, selling Miracle Blades and binoculars in Tel Aviv?)

Rahel, who sent me the link to this story, is concerned that six criminals who actually did what they were charged with were exchanged for an innocent man, in yet another lopsided deal for an Israeli national. However, I think there's a far more important part to this story: Israel, the so-called "racist" nation, the nation that is being slandered about wanting to live in an Arab-free nation, worked as hard to get Azzam, whos is a Druse, released as they ever did to get any Israeli Jews out of foreign prisons.

Wrapped in an Israeli flag, a beaming Azzam returned home to a hero's welcome and the possibility of a turning point in Israeli-Egyptian relations.

"I love you all. I'm very, very happy that I have set foot in my homeland and returned to Israel," he told reporters in Tel Aviv on his way home to his village in the Galilee.

[...] Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who spoke with Azzam shortly after his release, described their conversation as "emotional." "He thanked me a great deal, and I must say that I was no less emotional than he."

Sharon, according to his office, told Azzam, "This is a happy moment in the history of the State of Israel, a moment that we have awaited for a long time. Today, the entire country is united in its joy over your coming home. I am happy that you are returning to your loving family, to your brothers, to your wife and to your children, who have met with me many times and who spared neither time nor effort in working toward your release."

"Immediately after I was elected," Sharon told the freed prisoner, "I met with your family and I promised them that during my tenure as prime minister we would release you. Since then, I have worked tirelessly in all my meetings with Egyptians and others to do so, and, as I promised your family, I delivered."

Azzam thanked Sharon profusely and said, "I love you very much and I don't know how to express this. This has happened only thanks to you. I don't have the words to thank you for your determination. I told my brothers that if I wasn't released while Arik Sharon was prime minister, I would never be released. I am fortunate and proud to have been born in Israel."

Funny. that doesn't sound like the Sharon we keep reading about on LLL sites and signs. It sure can't be the Ariel Sharon quoted in the Gulf News (which quotes, by the way, have been debunked for years, and I'll get to that article later). And it certainly doesn't sound like the Sharon who supposedly is for the ethnic cleansing of Arabs in Israel.

Then again, that version of Sharon simply doesn't fit with the world's concept of him. (Or Jimmy Carter's, for that matter.)

By the way, for one of our compare-and-contrast pieces, read the AP portrayal of the Egyptian "students" imprisoned by Israel. Here's the Jerusalem Post's description:

The students had sneaked into Israel in August near Nitzana, and were charged with conspiring to kill Israeli soldiers.

The Beersheba District Court in September indicted them on charges of infiltrating into Israel, planning to hijack an IDF tank and kill its crew, and rob a bank to get money that could be used to fund further attacks on Israel, including kidnapping soldiers and negotiating their return in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

The six, students from Cairo ranging in age from 25 to 30, were caught armed with 14 knives and reconnaissance equipment. The Egyptian daily Al-Ahram identified the students as Imad Syed, Muhammad Yasri, Mustafa Mahmoud Yousef, Mustafa Abou Deif, Mahmoud Jamal Azza and Muhammad Maher.

Five of the six had undergone previous military training. Police said they were not affiliated with any terrorist organizations. Parents of the students have said in interviews that their sons had no political views and had gone to Israel merely to find work.

Now here's the AP's:

But it was Sunday's Israeli-Egyptian prisoner swap that provided the most striking example. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to Azzam Azzam, an Israeli Arab convicted of spying for Israel, in exchange for six Egyptian students held by Israel reversed his government's long-standing policy - and eliminated a central point of friction between the two countries over the past eight years.

Israel may also release Palestinian prisoners in the future, Sharon said.

Egyptian officials had accused Azzam of providing Israel with secrets about Egyptian factories - by giving women's undergarments soaked in invisible ink to an Egyptian accomplice, who was said to have used the ink to pass on the information.

The six freed Egyptian students had sneaked into Israel in August and were arrested on suspicion they tried to kidnap soldiers and commandeer a tank.

Notice how the AP takes it for granted that Azzam was guilty, and implies the students were innocent. Yeah, that unbiased media. For an even more sickening comparison, read this AP story, which has the Egyptian families' reactions. My third-favorite part:

"My son never slept out of the house, and now he was imprisoned, and not just anywhere, but in Israel." Yeah, mean old Israel.

Twenty-three years old and he's never been out of the house. Tsk. And to be imprisoned not just anywhere, but in—horrors!—Israel! That evil Zionist entity!

My second-favorite part:

But the parents don't believe their children were moved to act by the violence, suggesting instead that Israel "kidnapped" the kids to ensure Azzam's release.

"What happens to the Palestinians angers us all, but it is a temporary anger," said Bakheet. "They had a knife to make sandwiches, but not to kidnap soldiers with."

Once again, they were found with 14 knives and reconnaisance equipment. That would be 2 knives apiece, with two extras in case some were too dull to cut bread, I suppose. The parents don't say what the recon equipment was for. Perhaps to search for the best sandwich shop across the border.

Here's my favorite part of the AP piece:

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, on a trip in Ethiopia, welcomed the release of the students, saying it was part of the "relentless efforts of the Egyptian authorities under directions from the president."

Uh-huh. The relentless efforts of the Egyptian authorities. Yep. Sure.

In any case: Azzam Azzam is home again. Good for him.

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Vote for me: It's bribe-a-licious

As requested, a picture of Princess Gracie:

Gracie looking gorgeous

I have to find my pictures of the Tuna for Terrorists day. I think they're on my other computer.

Now go vote for me. I'm only a couple hundred back from Totten. I'm not really worried about that Patterico guy. Once I get past him, I'm golden.

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Sunday things

Thing 1: I'm still trying to knock Patterico out of second place, and he's still trying to get me to team up with him to knock Totten out of first. Vote for me again, if your 24 hours are up. And thanks. (The bribes are in the mail. Cat pictures? Sure. Dog pictures? Okay.)

Thing 2: Life isn't fair. And the three bad boys in my class are discovering exactly how unfair life is. They are feeling picked on. That would be because I have separated them from sitting each other, won't allow them to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water together, and split them up when I put the class into groups. They can't get it into their heads that five minutes of good behavior does not discount three months of bad behavior. Life is so hard when you're nine.

Thing 3: I climbed the fifty-foot wall last night. And I finished my route. A 5.7, not a party route, even though I wasn't wearing climbing shoes. I was extremely tempted to bag it near the end, what with my muscles being so out of condition from, uh, two months of not climbing. The good news: No muscle strain at all. My butt is finally healed. (If you weren't reading when I tripped over the boulder, don't ask.)

Thing 4: Just when I thought I was getting tired of kids, two of the cutest kids showed up at the gym yesterday, complete with freckles and gap-toothed grins. I love six-year-olds. They're just about my favorite age group. They're funny, they're enthusiastic, they're adventurous, and they're so darned cute. I worked several six-year-old parties this weekend. Major cuteness alerts; my blood sugar levels went through the roof. All together now: Awwwwwwww.

Thing 5: Worf is getting better. Apparently, we were expecting too much healing too soon. Latest reports are that he is now howling when Heidi leaves him inside and takes the other two dogs for their walk, which is the way Worf used to behave before he got sick. And he's playing and deviling his people and pack, I hear. Can't wait to see him and be attacked by 100 pounds of mischievous Ridgeback. Plus, I'd really like to see him inhale his dinner again. I used to time him. He could eat it in under 30 seconds. Chewing? What's that?

Thing 6: An anti-Semite hit the no-Israel-Bashing Zone link and left a nasty comment on the thread. I would like to point out that in all likelihood, he came here from the Instapundit link, expecting to see a picture of my tits. How embarrassing is that? "Like, I wanted to see boob shots, but instead, I found some stupid Zionist. Think I'll go tell her how much I hate Israel. That'll show her."

Shyeah. Moron. Bring it on. I'm still looking to take apart an anti-Semite or three. And once again, the anti-Semite mantra: Anti-Semites of the world, just die already.

Hm. I think I'm feeling a mite testy today. Must be all that work I'm doing.

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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.





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