The International Court of [sarcasm on] Justice [sarcasm off] has ruled that not only may the Arab League testify against Israel, but so can the Organization of the Islamic Conference. So, does this amount to being able to vote twice? Will their testimony be weighted double? How many members of the Arab League are also members of the OIC?
Here's what I don't understand. Why is it that the fence, which is an internal matter that touches only Israelis and palestinians, may be testified against by Afghanis, Somalians, Sudanese, and Iranians? How can Ugandans and Ivorans presume to have a legal say on the fence? The Maldives? The effing Maldives are able to testify against Israel on this? Mali? Mauritania? (Oh. Wait. Mauritania has been voting with Israel consistently. That makes it only 55 states against.)
I used to be a multiculturalist. I used to think the United Nations would lead the way to a united world, and someday, the Star Trek universe would be a reality, minus the miniskirts and the lame skintight uniforms, but with the communicators.
I no longer believe the United Nations can be impartial in any way. The ICJ at the Hague is just an offshoot of the UN, and therefore as biased and malleable and corrupt as its parent.
"Palestine" is a member of the OIC. Astonishing, as it's not even in existence yet. Here's the OIC entry for it:
Now, now. Be truthful. I'd write the description this way:
I should get a job writing PR for an Arab state. True, it would only last a day, but damn, it would be fun sending out that first press release. permalink
I'm just exhausted, is all. I've been short on sleep all week. Stressing out on finances tends to make me lose sleep in the worst of ways: It takes hours to fall asleep, and then I wake up early. I get maybe five hours' sleep and then I can't sleep anymore no matter how tired I am. Plus there was a lot to be done this week, what with the synagogue newsletter being due and various other obligations. Well, one obligation wasn't exactly an obligation; I spent time with Sarah and the twins again. I fully intend to put up cute toddler pictures, knowing that some of you hate them and some of you love them. So I piss you off and make you smile all at the same time. That's known as weblog success.
The weekend will be a busy one, but I may get a break on Sunday. A storm is bearing down on Richmond, and if it snows and sleets on Saturday night the way they say it will, I'll probably get to sleep in on Sunday instead of teaching religious school. Of course, that will put me behind, which will add to the stress level, but then, I purchased a boatload of stress balls yesterday.
And the suckiest thing about stress: No matter how hard you try to relax, it's still there, bearing down on you, especially in your sleep. On the other hand, I seem to have gotten the hang of lucid dreaming. When I have one of those nightmares where you can't move or scream, the narrator manages to sneak in and remind me that I'm dreaming, and off I go. The narrator also seems to sneak in during flight dreams (way cool), extending them far beyond their normal duration. Or would that be the editor, since the dream is changed when I remind myself that I'm dreaming? Hm. Totally confusing, but probably because of that exhaustion thing.
I have enough energy to do a cat blog. No, wait. Not even that. I'm off to bed. It's nearly 11 p.m., and the apartment is finally warm enough. I could not get warm today, no matter how many layers I put on, until recently. Probably part of the whole being tired thing.
I owe a bunch of people emails. If I don't get to them tomorrow, I'll get to them during the snow break. permalink
Last night I found out that my old apartment in Montclair (NJI'm in Richmond now) burned down earlier this week. Nobody was home, and nobody was hurt, but a fire evidently started in what used to be my spare room and was the new tenants' baby room, burned by itself for an hour, and finally blew out the windows and drew attention to itself. My old apartment, the one above it, and part of the second floor next door are totalled. My neighbor Brenda's apartment is fine, as is the neighbor on the other side. The firewall between apartments held out. The reason Brenda's upstairs neighbor lost his bedroom is because the fire ate through the roof and came at it that way.
The big news: Not one of the three tenants had renter's insurance. The bigger news: Not one of the smoke alarms went off. Not even the ones hard-wired in the hallways. Looks like my old slumlord is going to have some major fines on his hand, as well as three lawsuits for damages, I expect.
It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
I'd show you a before picture, but I have very few. No digicam at the time, and I hated the horrible green carpeting, so I didn't take many pictures of the orange cats clashing with the ugly green carpet.
Poor Brenda's traumatized. She found out about the fire when it exploded out the windows of the room next to the one she was in at the time. She felt the explosion, went out on the balcony, and saw flames shooting out the windows next door. Talk about your rude awakenings.
Makes me glad I tested my smoke alarm here last week. Scared the hell out of the cats and me, but it works. permalink
Yes, Kate has finally reached "Y" as the letter of the day. As the only blogger that I know of whose name begins with a Y, my question is: Y wasn't I first? I mean, you'd think that the only Y blogger (though not a blogger with a Y chromosome) would be first among equals. Y'know? Even Chuck Simmins is listed before me, and his name begins with an S, f'r cyrin' out loud.
I think I'm feeling a bit yurtI mean, hurt.
Noah Schachtman says that Jane's reports America may send Special Forces into Lebanon to attack Hizbullah terrorist bases.
It seems to me that this would be evidence enough to take out Hizbullah.
I say go get 'em. It's two decades overdue. permalink
First there's Tim Blair, who's having a contest in his comments where readers write their own YEEEAAARGH! speeches.
Then there's Jim Treacher, who has two funny, funny, funny MP3s. You simply must click on the second one. I can't stop laughing every time I hear it.
It's been a bad week for Deans. Two meltdowns in one week. permalink
Ma'ariv has an English site available! Now we can read one of Israel's major newspapers and see something besides Ha'aretz and the Jerusalem Post, both of which are minority papers. Hell, I'd even pay a subscription price for it.
Dean, I believe the expression you're looking for is lashon hara, the evil tongue. You certainly know a lot about that.
By the way, ouch. Climbed rocks with an experienced climber last night, who made me climb routes that are for people who climb far better than I. Did you know you can knock your elbow while climbing and not even feel the bruise until you're driving home, and suddenly wonder why your elbow is killing you? Ah, the adrenaline rush of being dozens of feet in the air on a rock wall.
Okay, enough procrastination. Gotta finish my synagogue newsletter by (sigh) tomorrow. permalink
The Geneva accord, the agreement that was made by unelected citizens with no power to pass the accord through the Israeli Knesset or Arafat's approval, the accord that is so incredibly important that it had to be conducted in secret, was to have a mass rally of support in Tel Aviv this coming Saturday. But it was postponed. Due to predicted rain.
Yes, it's true. Yes, I have a source.
So the accord is so important that a rally in support of it can be canceled due to prospective rainfall? Or would this, perhaps, be yet another fake show of support for an agreement that the majority of Israelis and palestinians want nothing to do with?
From Russell G.:
A woman's freedom, yes. But when a woman is not free to choose whether or not she wears a veil, there is no freedom. Your comparison only works if you will be beaten or jailed by your co-religionists for not keeping kosher. This isn't about France outlawing the wearing of the veil in schools. This is about Muslim women's ability to choose to wear the veil.
From Eric R.:
Eric's letter sparked an email conversation with Lynn B, who first sent me the Pipes URL. Here's what she wrote:
Jeremy S. sent me the link to the fashion editor's quote, so I could read the source in its entirety. (Emphasis mine)
Really? Putting on the veil today might get you arrested or beaten?
Oh, so it won't get you arrested or beaten, then. But wearing it is a statement about Islam and womanhood. Then it's not a fashion statement?
Oh, so it is a fashion statement? But you have to be covered up? I'm confused. Very confused. So is Daniel Pipes, it seems. When he writes
does he know that he's quoting the cover of "a fashion bible for veiled women"? Anyone want to lay bets on who the major advertisers in this magazine might be?
Yes, these are the women to whom Daniel Pipes referred as the arbiters of veil fashion in Egypt today: Women who can't form a coherent sentence. Women who think they need something else to tell them that they are a woman. This is a source to quote on the evolution of feminist thinking in the Muslim world?
I think not.
However, while Pipes is probably not an advocate of the hijab, as Solomon says here (read the comments), he passed along uncritically these opinions from a puff fashion piece. One of the charges we make regularly about biased journalists is that they pass alonguncriticallystatements that are patently untrue, or easily challenged. I think better of Pipes, and am disappointed in his including this mockery of feminist thought in his article.
Oh, and Eric: While I probably should have written "most conservatives don't get feminism," instead of tarring all with a broad brush (as Moira R. wrote me), there will be no apology forthcoming. Pipes erred here. Bigtime. permalink
Via LGF, the EU is sending their fraud office over to the West Bank to try to find out where the palestinians are hiding all their money. (Just check with EU member Switzerland and those secret bank accounts, folks, you'll find what you're looking for.) But get this: The name of the fraud squad is OLAF. (Update: Julie S. and Monica L. [no, not that one] both pointed out that Switzerland is not part of the EU. Whoops.)
Those of us who are readers of A Series of Unfortunate Events know full well the evil of Count Olaf, and know full well that any organization from Europe that bears the name of Count Olaf can be nothing but evil. I'm willing to bet that OLAF already knows where the money is, and has been well-paid by Arafat and his goons. And if you're not convinced by me, then listen to this song about Count Olaf, and tremble. permalink
Daniel Pipes doesn't get feminism at all. He says Muslim women wearing the veil are expressing their feminism.
I'd love to see the cite for that fashion editor, but having worked in magazine publishing, I can tell you with complete confidence that "fashion editor" does not necessarily equate with "intelligent." I'm rather astonished that Pipes uses a fashion editor as a source for the statement wearing a hijab makes. The hijab is anything but a fashion statement, and it is certainly not representative of feminism.
Feminism is the movement that fought, and fights for, the equal rights of women. Muslim nations are among the worst in that regard. Feminism most certainly is not about wearing a headscarf because your religion requires it.
Pipes clearly has no inkling of what feminism is all about, and frankly, I'm not surprised. Conservatives don't get feminism.
It's become such a curse-word, "feminist." Rosemary Esmay declared that although she was a feminist, she was nothing like "those feminazi c***s" in a long-ago post on her husband's weblog. That's one of the things that ended my association with the Esmays. Call them radical feminists, call them feminist extremists, call them assholes, and I'm with you. Repeat a horribly misused Nazi terminology that Rush Limbaugh made popular, and then throw in the c-word, and you have demeaned yourself along with those women, and we are done. There is clearly no discussing the subject rationally any longer.
Kim du Toit, in a widely-linked and discussed post, effectively blamed women for the "pussification" of the American man. The subtext is clear: All those damned feminists ruined us real men.
And now Daniel Pipes is claiming that wearing the veil is a feminist statement. That it tells people you are independent. I will cede Pipes the point of Koran interpretation that he makes in his article. But when your religion requires you to cover yourself, putting on a headscarf is not a choice. Hiding oneself from the eyes of men for fear of "tempting" them is in no way representative of feminism. Feminism is not about the oppression of women. The veil is about oppression. It is not a sign of freedom. And it is not, contrary to the belief of Muslim women marching in France and other nations, their "choice."
This widely-circulated AP article has two intensely revealing quotes:
Fatiha sees no cognitive dissonance in shouting "The veil is my choice" in one breath, and calling it an obligation in the next. But I do. And Pipes should. It is not a choice if you are required to wear the hijab. It is not a choice if its removal has negative consequences. The veil is not a choice in Saudi Arabia, where women are beaten for showing an ankle. It is not a choice in a nation where women are beaten for wearing lipstick or nail polish. It is not a choice in the slums of France, where Muslim women are rapedby Muslim menif they leave their homes in Western dress.
It's not a choice, ladies. It's an obligation. You said it yourself.
When does wearing the veil become a choice? When a woman has the opportunity to remove the veil without punishment or the fear of punishment. When a woman has the chance to decide for herself whether or not she will wear that headscarf, then it becomes a choice. When Muslim women can go out in public bareheaded, and not suffer any negative consequences, then the hijab will be a choice.
But it will never be a feminist statement. It is a statement of faith. It is not a statement of equality.
Daniel Pipes is dead wrong on this one. The veil is an anti-feminist statement. A feminist statement of freedom would be a crowd of Muslim women, both bare-headed and wearing the hijab, mixing freely with Muslim and non-Muslim men.
Why is that so difficult to understand? permalink
If you're just getting back to work, you missed a bunch of stuff. Scroll down. Or check out the few weekend posts. I still post on the weekend, but much less than I used. I'm a bit busy these days. (Oooh, a life, what a concept.)
And that button on the left that says "Make a Donation" is a Paypal button. I added Paypal and Amazon Honor System for my tipjar. (FYI, Paypal takes 2%, and Amazon takes 5%, so if you can use either, I suggest the Paypal.)
I really have nothing to say in this paragraph, but I wanted to write another parenthetical statement. (Oooh, three times in a row, this is cool.) permalink
I think I'll let that last comment stand as is. But it's obvious that the Kilroy-Silk firing set a precedent in the U.K. Keep your eyes on this and see if it becomes a movement. In the meantime, the Finsbury Mosque is still operating, and Cap'n Hook Hamza has yet to be deported.
On the other hand, Naz Malik's AWEMA (what a great acronym, dude!) is under investigation. Seems some government folks think that the salaries are going nowhere except to make sure that AWEMA continues. Whoopsie.
This could get ugly, folks.
Whoops, it just did. But I really don't think, overall, that this jerk will have any effect on Rhys-Davies. You just don't think Wales when you think film industry, and LOTR cast members are hot, hot, hot right now. permalink
So this guy emails me last week and tells me he also wrote a fisking of Sean Penn's report of his Bagdhad trip, and I read it and thought, yeah, he's right, mine's funnier. Oh, be quiet, you know I'm always honest here and rarely modest. When I rock, I rock.
Anyway, this guy doesn't have his name on his blog, so I can't tell you who he is. But I have to say after reading a few more posts, I like the blog more and more. I really like this one on the 25 greatest athletes of the last 25 years, if only for bringing up Babe Didriksen (I'm so not qualified to judge his picks anymore, having lost most of my enthusiasm for sports). I also like this analysis of companies that refuse to understand that pop-up and pop-under ads are Satan's spawn. (My words, not his.) And the headline to this post is one of the worst. puns. ever. Dude, I have a suggestion for you: Give us a name we can call you by. And I like the tagline.
Over in this corner, we have Cardinal Cyn, a woman whose post on the female suicide bomber (written before we knew that Hamas seems to have blackmailed/forced her into it) is a must-read. I do believe we've found our newest member of the Bellicose Broad Brigade, eh, Kathy? I laughed out loud at the end of this post (just scroll down from the one above, it's easier). I'm looking forward to more. permalink
Have you ever stopped reading a book at the end of each chapter or two because you don't want the experience to end and you want to savor it as long as you can?
Most Patricia McKillip books can be read in one sitting. That's part of what I love about her writing. It is elegant and heart-wrenching and captivating and thought-provoking. It sparks wonder and awe and laughter and shock. And you can finish a McKillip novel in one rainy-day sitting, or better still, on a cold winter night. Her books are best read at night, when you can put it down for a moment because you're pretty certain that one of the myriad magical beings from her novels just stepped in and out of the periphery of your vision. They do that, you know.
But I don't want to finish her newest novel, In the Forests of Serre, because then it will be over, and I'll have to wait until next month to read the next one. I don't want to finish the novel, because then I'll find out if my guesses are right, or if McKillip managed to snooker me yet again.
Patricia McKillip has always been my second-favorite fantasy author, right after Tolkien on my list. Her best work was the Riddle-Master trilogy and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. I liked The Sorceress and the Cygnet, but didn't think any of her later work came up to the standard of my two favorites. Until now. And I see that I've missed one of her novels, and put it on my wishlist, hoping that the current book is the second in a trend.
If you're unfamiliar with her work, nearly all of her novels revolve around the theme of self-discovery. She writes what is called "high fantasy," the kind that involves dragons and magical creatures and enchantments. Her novels are independent of each other, but there is a common thread: It is McKillip's fantasy and writing styles. Her mind fascinates me. Every time I read a new book of hers, I wonder where and how the ideas come to her. She is truly a fantasist, one of the best, and most underrated, of our time.
And you can read her novels in one sitting. If that's what you want to do. permalink
Omri fisks Friedman, so we don't have to.
They even use the word terrorist, and tell Israel that killing terrorists is counterproductive to achieving peace. No, it's counterproductive to achieving the death of Jews, asshat.
Next step by the EU: Worldwide sanctions on Israel, like the ones imposed on South Africa. The reason? They'll use the fence. That's what's going on at the ICJ behind the scenes right now. No way will Israel "win" this case. They've already allowed the Arab League to testify against it.
But will they let these people testify at the hearings?
Don't hold your breath waiting. permalink
Another exhausting weekend, though it was mostly today that exhausted me. Nevertheless, I'm still having fun at my new job. I got paid today for, among other things, blowing up helium balloons.
I got all your letters with links, and will tackle them when my mind can actually concentrate on what I'm reading. In the meantime, for the Monday crowd, while you were gone, I added Paypal and Amazon Honor System buttons. So you can finally tip the author of all these posts.
Yes, I meant me. Geez. Everybody's a comedian.
Update: Looks like this should read "Tuesday readers" this week. I forgot today was a holiday. permalink
Imshin wrote about it first: Rumors that the 22-year-old female suicide bomber had been forced into becoming one because she had been caught cheating on her husband.
How despicable can this be? The man seduces a woman, forces her into a Hobson's choice, she straps on a bomb belt, and becomes Hamas' first female suicide bomber. As for the husband knowing he would have to raise their children alone: Big deal. He can get another wife, and quickly. Or his female relatives will raise them. And he knows it.
The palestinian society is sick. The rot is deep. I don't see how you can rid it of this kind of rot.
Surely that can't be right. All suicide bombers are oppressed and desperate. The EU and the left all tell us so, loudly and often.
Of course, it could be right if there were a concerted effort to force a young woman to kill herself, or be killed by her husband, for adultery.
By the way, they're reopening the Erez crossing, but pals will no longer be allowed to bring bags with them. Which means they can't bring food with them to work, but must buy it in Israel.
Which will engender more anger against the Israelis, of course. Job well done, Hamas. 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.