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7/17/04

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The [Syrian-occupied] Lebanese army and Syrian army held joint maneuvers recently.

Lebanese and Syrian troops have held naval and air force maneuvers, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported Friday.

The agency said the maneuvers, in which live ammunition was used, took place Thursday between the Lebanese coastal town of El-Aabde, some 12 kilometers (7 miles) south of the Syrian border and the Syrian coastal town of Latakia.

"Naval and air force units and frogmen from the brotherly Syrian army and helicopters, gun boats and naval commandos from the Lebanese army took part," the agency said. "The maneuvers included landing as well as destroying naval targets."

After an exhaustive search, they found the rubber duck. | |


The pals are revolting

And not just to us.

Of course I had to use that line. I'm an old Marx fan. Groucho, of course.

Okay. So let me see if I get this straight. First, the Jenin Martyrs' Brigade kidnap the PA police chief in Gaza. Then they let him go. Then they kidnap French civilians from a coffee shop. Then the head of security in Gaza (try not to laugh at that title) "resigns," perhaps because he recognizes the futility of his title, or perhaps because he realizes that his idiot brethren have just kidnapped citizens from one of the PA's staunchest allies and enablers. Somehow, the French citizens are also released unharmed. (Cue Three Stooges music.)

By the way, of course Reuters has found a way to blame Israel for all of this.

The abductions reflected a growing challenge to Arafat's rule by militants trying to strengthen their position before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon carries out a planned withdrawal of troops and settlers from Gaza by the end of 2005.

Palestinians would welcome a pullout, but reject Israel's stated intention to keep chunks of the West Bank in return.

So now we have a police chief, four Frogs, and that apparently wasn't enough: They kidnapped yet another "security official" (in other words, a terrorist with a uniform) and then let him go, probably because they knew that the Arathugs would be out for their blood if they didn't. Or possibly because all they were doing is making a very loud point: End corruption or we will.

So, in response to this, Arafat fires the police chief and replaces him with—get this—his nephew. Way to inspire confidence in those reform actions, Fishhead.

But wait, we're not quite finished yet. The palestinian Prime Mouthpiece, er, Minister, resigns. Arafish refuses to accept Quirei's resignation (big surprise). He also announces that he will merge security services, and Reuters publishes a rare criticism of Arafat.

Arafat, in apparent response to the gunmen's demands, fired the police commander, Ghazi al-Jabali, appointed a cousin, Major General Mussa Arafat, as overall security chief for Gaza, and announced its 12 security services would be combined into three.

Facing growing criticism at home and abroad over his failure to overhaul security forces and other institutions after nearly four years of Israeli-Palestinian violence, Arafat has made similar unification pledges before but taken no action.

But note the reflexive anti-Israel line. Arafat is called upon to reform his corrupt institutions, and Reuters manages to find a way to knock Israel for Arafat's greed. And they'll knock Israel again, but check out the final quote in this article:

The shadowy Jenin Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for kidnapping police chief Jabali in a road ambush, saying it was a response to years of inaction by the Palestinian Authority over what it called his misdeeds. Palestinian officials have said constant Israeli raids and military clampdowns have hindered his ability to make reforms.

Armed supporters of Mussa Arafat, who will retain his current position as head of military intelligence in the Gaza Strip, fired in the air in Gaza City in celebration at his appointment as head of the national security forces in the area.

But a spokesman for the militants who kidnapped Jabali condemned the president's move.

"With all due respect to President Arafat, the Palestinian Authority cannot remain to be monopolized by (Arafat) and his relatives," Abu Iyad said. "We have our own ways to show our rejection."

If I'm not mistaken, that last line threatens civil war. And this news bodes ill for stopping that civil war:

Egypt will not send military advisers to help train Palestinian forces in the Gaza strip if Israeli attacks against the Palestinians there continue, a senior Egyptian official said Wednesday.

"The agreement was to help the Palestinians to achieve security," Maged Abdel Fattah, the presidential spokesman told reporters Wednesday. "If Israel continues its policy of having Israeli airplanes hitting two or three Palestinians a day then we will not send Egyptian trainers."

"We need guarantees from the Israelis," he said, concerning the safety of Egyptian advisers and Palestinians in Gaza, which borders Egypt.

[...] Ten radical Palestinian factions, meanwhile, have said they won't let up their own campaign against Israel. They declared any Israeli withdrawal "should be unconditional and without any commitments or guarantees for the enemy's security. Therefore, the resistance shall continue until the occupation ends."

Israel is not going to stop clamping down on terrorism as long as the pals are trying to launch terror attacks against her citizens. So it looks like there will be war in the Gaza after the Israelis are gone. The world, of course, will blame Israel. So what else is new? | |


These posts need a name

I really have to think of a name for my posts filled with multiple thoughts. "Walk and Chew Gum" comes to mind, but it doesn't really explain it well.


I dreamed about Michele and LT Smash a couple of nights ago. I've already met Smash, does dreaming about Michele more than once count as a real meeting?


Stopped by Blockbuster today and joined their Rewards program. Time to catch up on movies I've been meaning to see, and recent releases. Time for a mini-review:

Cold Mountain is one of the most depressing movies I've seen in years. Okay, guys, I get it. War sucks, people die, and really bad stuff happens. Good Lord, did you have to keep hammering in the point?

The movie sucks you in, too. The acting is superb, and the story starts out slowly but then grabs you by the throat and you want to see how it ends, even though you're yelling at the screen every time someone else you like gets killed.

Do not watch this film if you're looking for something to take your mind off your problems. Or if you're looking for three-dimensional characters.

On the other hand, the film has cemented my good opinion of Renee Zellweger. Damn, that woman can act.


I'm going to take a leap into the current "crisis" in the PA. Expect a very snide post later today. | |

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7/16/04

The Hulk Wars

Michelle Malkin, who is going to drive me crazy now that I have to spell Michelle with two l's again (something that Michele Catalano drove out of me years ago), is going on my links page for having the taste to recognize that the Blogspot Hulk is (as I said before) a poseur.

As for the upcoming Hulk war, Hulk says:

Hulk smash fake Hulk. Fake Hulk make Hulk look stupid. Hulk not stupid. Fake Hulk stupid. Fake Hulk ugly, too. Not good-looking like real Hulk.

Stay tuned, true believers. | |


Jews in the news

Go over to Silent Running for the skinny on the New Zealand passport incident, and the resultant anti-Semitic attacks when Prime Minister Helen Clark went overboard.

An Israeli company has offered Greece the use of armored buses to transport Olympic athletes from the Village to the stadiums, but Greece has refused the offer. Seems to me that the Greeks are making a big mistake.

The Arafat-Terje Roed-Larsen Comedy Show continues, with Arafat telling his minions that Larsen has been banned, and his minions telling news services that Arafat said no such thing.

At the urging of Yasser Arafat's top advisers, the Fatah al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades has banned the chief UN Mideast envoy from entering the Palestinian territories or meeting Palestinian officials, al-Aksa leaders said Friday.

Arafat's office has already made it clear that Terje Roed-Larsen - long considered close to Arafat and sympathetic to the Palestinian cause - was no longer welcome in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A spokesman for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group with ties to Arafat's ruling Fatah movement, said on condition of anonymity that Arafat aides asked the group to release a statement barring Roed-Larsen from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But another Aqsa official, in a phone call to the Associated Press, denied his group was ordered by Arafat to release the statement.

"The statement reflects our views," said Abu Amin, an Aqsa leader in the West Bank town of Jenin. "It has nothing to do with Yasser Arafat." Thursday's statement said Roed-Larsen is also forbidden to meet with Palestinian officials, including Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei. Roed-Larsen could not immediately be reached for comment.

Palestinian officials were infuriated earlier this week when Roed-Larsen said at a UN Security Council briefing that Arafat was blocking vital reforms within the Palestinian Authority and accused him of hindering peace moves.

"People in Arafat's office called us and told us that Larsen's statements are just another part of the conspiracy to delegitimize Arafat," said the Al Aksa official who could not be quoted by name.

"They told us Larsen is now with Israel and America. ... They asked us to intervene to stop him in his tracks," he said.

The statement meant the Norwegian diplomat could be at risk of being attacked if he defied the ban.

I think it's great. I hope they do ask Kofi Annan to dump Roed-Larsen. It'll put them all in a really bad position, and show the world again what the true face of the PA is: Deceit, treachery, lies, and using any fool as long as that fool remains useful. Looks like Roed-Larsen's outgrown his usefulness.

By the way, that "lull" everyone said was broken last week? It doesn't exist. IDF security forces just thwarted another sucide attack.

Details of the arrest of a would-be suicide bomber and other members of the Fatah Tanzim infrastructure in Nablus who planned to perpetrate a suicide-bomb attack in the Sharon district on Wednesday were released for publication on Thursday by the Shin Bet. It is the fifth suicide bomb attack successfully thwarted by security forces since the beginning of July and the 87th since the beginning of the year.

Security officials said the Tanzim operatives who planned the attack received instructions and financial support from Hizbullah.

Yet another act of war by Iran, ignored by the world, because it is against Israel. | |


Funny things

My pal Dolly sent me this link, which describes a guy who scams Nigerian scammers. It's quite funny, and includes The Church of the Painted Breast (there are pictures).

Have you seen the latest bunny flick? It's Alien in 30 seconds, with bunnies. (My favorite was the Exorcist.)

There's also Troy in 15 minutes, which I found extremely funny (via Mac Thomason).

That's enough for now. But I do like getting links like this, so keep 'em coming. | |

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7/15/04

Kitty Zen returns

Today's moment of Kitty Zen: Tig, posing for a portrait. Fresh off the memory stick.

I am Tig. Worship me.

| |


The Saudi mouthpiece whines

The Arab News has something to say on the New Zealand case where two Israelis have been charged with trying to buy forged passports. Note that they're not charged with spying, though the NZ PM keeps accusing them of such.

Here's part of the editorial in the Arab News, the official English mouthpiece of the Saudi family:

THE conviction yesterday in Auckland of two Israeli Mossad spies for trying illegally to obtain New Zealand passports demonstrates yet again the ruthless duplicity of Israel toward countries to whom it regularly appeals for support and sympathy outside the Middle East.

New Zealand doesn't give support and sympathy to Israel, but does give plenty of money to the UN NGOs that filter it to the pals, where it gets turned into bombs by the PA.

The snub makes it all the more regrettable that the Auckland court chose to jail the Mossad agents for only six months when they could have faced a maximum of five years. The judge took into account the fact that while the two men denied working for the Israeli secret service, they did admit being part of a criminal conspiracy and promised to donate $32,700 to a local charity. Israel can well afford to have its spies buy their way to early freedom for that amount that is trifling compared with the hundreds of millions of dollars that flow from US Zionist supporters, to say nothing of the direct financial support the Israeli state receives from Washington. Indeed for years the Americans have been busy writing fat checks and passing on military technology and intelligence to Israel while successive Israeli governments have been content to authorize the theft of anything they have been refused and the murder of US citizens who get in their way.

Excuse me? "The murder of US citizens"? Name one, you lying, anti-American, Jew-hating bastards. I can name 3,000 killed by Saudis.

The rest of the editorial is "blahblahblah, Pollard, blahblahblah, U.S.S. Liberty, blahblahblah, Mossad."

I have one thing, and only one thing to say to you, Saudi Arabia: Fifteen of the nineteen, you mothereffers. Fifteen of the nineteen.

Look in the mirror. Creeps. | |


Arafat death watch

Inspired by Lair Simon's post, as well as by reports of how the IDF is preparing for Arafat's death, I think we should plan a weblog celebration as well. For instance, should I rename the title page something like, "Ding-Dong, the Dick is Dead" or words to that effect?

I will certainly also be raising a glass of something, and perhaps I will go out and buy champagne for the occasion. But I think a virtual party is in order, involving chat rooms and alcohol.

Put your ideas in the comments.

(And speaking of Lair Simon, this is a hilarious photo essay on The Dreaded Red Binder.) | |


Meet the Beatles

Sarah G. is getting a new Dachshund puppy. This is John.

John the Dachsund

His brothers are Paul, George, and Ringo. Ringo's really cute.

Ringo the Dachsund

I want Ringo. I don't care what my cats say. I want this puppy. Oh, and Glenn? Don't even think about blending these pups. You can't have 'em.

Heh. | |


ISM hypocrites: Throw them out

Israel is cracking down on ISM "activists" trying to get into Israel. Judith Weiss sent me this link to a story that contains several outrageous quotes.

In an interview from the detention center, Spector denied any involvement or support for Palestinian terrorism or any other activity that could threaten Israeli security.

She had planned to join the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) -- a pro-Palestinian activist group -- to protest Israeli occupation policies and the construction of Israel's controversial West Bank security barrier. She also brought materials for a joint Israeli-Palestinian art project for children.

"As a Jewish person, I strongly believe that the only way to achieve peace and security for everyone is to dismantle the wall and the occupation," Spector said. "I have been appalled for a long time by the human rights violations carried out by the Israeli government, often in my name."

The ISM does support terrorism. Terrorists are using them for cover and being sheltered by them. But even if that weren't the case, just look at her quote. "The only way to achieve peace and security for everyone is to dismantle the wall." She intends to protest the fence. That would be an activity that threatens Israeli security, as the ISM schmucks bring fence-cutters, riot, and try to tear down the fence themselves.

And then there's that statement that begins, "As a Jewish person." WTF does that have to do with believing in "peace and security"? As a Jew, I think you're an asshat. I also would think you were an asshat if I weren't a Jew. This is blatant posturing—see, not all Jews are pro-Israel. Jerk. And yet, the references to Jews get even worse. We'll get to it.

Paul Larudee, 58, of El Cerrito, an ISM volunteer who has known Spector for about two years, said, "It seems clear that there's a more concerted effort to stop us now."

Ya think? Perhaps this is the reason:

Larudee said the government may be trying to clamp down on the organization because of its Freedom Summer Palestine 2004, a 56-day campaign that began June 25 to protest the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. A mass "freedom walk" along the security barrier is planned on July 30.

Here's where the Chronicle indulges in some subtleties they would never use in referring to a black person. I'm sorry, person of color.

He said the crackdown became evident in the past four to six weeks. Another Bay Area ISM volunteer, Brooke Atherton, was detained and deported to Italy about two weeks ago, he said. Atherton is a Stanford graduate but, unlike Spector, she is not Jewish.

And this is relevant because? Amazing, isn't it, how Jewishness plays into this story, but the Muslim portion of an identity is deleted from many news articles when they get arrested for terror-related activities?

Here's my favorite quote:

Eric Romann of Jews for a Free Palestine criticized the detention of Spector, a friend with whom he has worked on several projects, including a Liberation Seder held for about 150 people at a San Francisco soup kitchen last spring.

"Israel claims to be a refuge for Jews, but if you're a Jew like Jamie who has a specific objection to what the state of Israel is doing, you don't even get in,'' Romann said.

Israel is a refuge for Jews. But Spector isn't fleeing persecution. She hasn't been thrown out of her country because she is Jewish. She's not being arrested because she is Jewish. She is going to Israel to work specifically against Jews by disrupting the fence-building, covering for terrorists, and other activities that make her unwelcome in Israel. Nice little bit of sophistry there, Eric, but I'm not buying it. House Jews, all of you.

More lies.

ISM was founded by Israeli and Palestinian peace campaigners and leading members of the Palestinian Communist Party. It is run by Communist Party activist George Rishmawi and party politburo member Mustafa Barghouti.

Rishmawi said the ISM's main purpose is to increase international awareness of Palestinian suffering through the involvement of foreign activists, who pay their own way to the West Bank, where they are trained in various methods of nonviolent direct action.

Just do a little research and you'll see its main purpose is to work against Israel. It's funded by the pals.

Then there's this final quote, by one of the ISM's founders:

"When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore," Rishmawi said. "But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice."

Sure. There are never any headlines at all about palestinians getting shot by the IDF. None.

Fifty bucks to anyone who can find a Reuters headline that says "Palestinian activistss shoot dead two-year-old Israeli child."

Now go look for one that says the IDF killed a palestinian child.

Lies, lies, and more lies. The reason they brought in the foreign tools was to get better cover for their terrorists, and more bad press for Israel. And it was working fine, until Israel finally decided to crack down on the saboteurs. Throw 'em all out, and don't let them back. | |

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7/14/04

It's the little things

I'm in the midst of a little thoughts day. It's not that I think my thoughts are little. It's just that they tend to be on less deep subjects, and that I want to write them in smaller bursts. With smaller rules in between.


Further on the tornado subject, I told Heidi that if she winds up in Oz, to come and get me, and we'd join with the Wicked Witch of the West, get rid of Glinda (too smug, too good, and that voice—ugh!) and the Wizard, and take over the place. If the Witch gives us a hard time, we could dump a bucket of water over her and boom, she's gone.


I think that the reason I woke up with Slovanic Dances playing in my head is because I haven't heard it in a long time. Or perhaps I flashed past a classical music station and it was playing but didn't register until now. The thing is, it's the same goddamned verse, over and over again, and it won't stop playing in my head. On the other hand, now that I'm no longer working one of my part-time jobs, I don't have Lite-FM music in my head. Their slogan: "Soft and contemporary!"

In what universe is Journey contemporary? In what universe is decades-old music "contemporary"? In what universe is Bryan Adams's music necessary, let alone contemporary? I'm gunning for you, Adams. And your pal Perry, too.


I've decided to continue teaching at my synagogue. I'll be dropping off the contract tomorrow. It's nice to know that the anti-Semites have me to thank for helping give the world more educated Jews. Perhaps this year, they'll send me gifts. My wishlist is on the left menu, feel free, and sorry, I don't accept unlabeled packages. But I'll take the new Patricia McKillip novel.


Two of my readers sent me links to this Hulk piece in the Onion. Eh. Meryl write Hulk much better than Onion writer. Onion writer use big words that Hulk not know. Hulk not know anything about way movies are made. Hulk make girl write about Hulk movie. It okay. Hulk not like Onion. It not funny anymore. Used to be funny. Now just dumb.


It's a need-to-read day. I need to read. I read some this afternoon. I will be reading more. (Patricia McKillip. I'm back on a McKillip kick.) I also need to get new glasses. Sigh. Well, I can read without my glasses. I find it easier, actually. Yeah, yeah, I know. Time to get the prescription renewed. I will, as soon as I can.


If you're going to write down all of your important passwords on a piece of paper, and decide to no longer keep that piece of paper in your wallet so you don't lose it, and hide it somewhere where you can find it but where it isn't in plain sight and probably won't be found by a thief trying to bust into your system, you should probably try to remember where you hid it.

Oh, and Amazon.com really ought to tell you that when you create an Honor System account, the password overrides your wishlist password. Took me ten minutes to figure that one out today.

I think I'll make a backup password list and hide it with my other important hidden papers. Just in case.

Stop. I know you're all going to give me tons of advice about passwords and lists. Just stop. Because these passwords are to pay bills online. I don't care if someone breaks into my phone carrier account. They can pay the bill. That'd be fine by me. | |


Things and zings

I don't know what to make of this. I think it's authentic, but I don't speak Arabic or Spanish, so I can't tell. It's a video of an Iraqi trying to fire off a rocket but getting shot before he can do so. It's not very graphic, but it does depict a man's death. Hat tip: Greg S.


I'm glad the gay marriage amendment vote failed. Leave the Constitution alone. And while we're at it, yeah, I support gay marriage (and other) rights. We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal. Not just straight ones. (And by "men," I mean the broad sense of the word: People.)


If the French really wanted to celebrate Bastille Day in style, they'd bring back the guillotine and hack off some heads. Otherwise, it just doesn't ring quite true. Anyway, let's count: How many republics are the French on again?

We're still on our first. Speaks volumes, if you ask me.


A Jeopardy! millionaire. You go, guy. (Ladies, I think he's single.)


The effing ICJ has been unable to finish trying Slobodan Milosevic for the mass murder and attempted genocide of thousands of Bosnian Muslims, but they fast-tracked the case of the Israeli security fence—which has killed no one. They started the trial in February of 2002. Two and a half years. Two and a half years, and they're not even close to finished yet. There is much documentation for the massacres he caused. (And this, palestinian spokesliars, is what can legitimately be called a massacre.) And yet, they have been unable to convict this excrescence of a man, or even get his second-in-commands into custody.

On the other hand, they managed to convict Israel in record time.

Eff the effing ICJ.

Update: Reader Jacob S. informs me that the Milosevic trial is not taking place under the ICJ, but under the ICT, which the UN set up for war crimes trials. yourish.com regrets the error, and would like to change the above sentence to read: Eff the effing ICT. (And eff the UN, while we're at it.)

And thank you, Jacob S., for the correction.


Let me see if I've got this straight. Terje Roed-(the Toad)Larsen, the UN envoy who screamed about the "massacre" in Jenin without so much as any real evidence to back it up, gave a carefully worded, meticulously "balanced" criticism of Yasser Arafat. The UN has stood behind his criticism.

So of course, Arafat has banned Larsen from ever entering palestinian lands again. And called him names. (You see what happens when you support fair-weather terrorists? They'll always turn on you.)

Somehow, I'm not sensing a whole lot of outrage on the part of the UN about this sort of behavior. I don't think we'll be reading world-wide editorials and op-ed pages columns rebuking Arafat for ignoring the will of the UN and the world. Nope. They're going to let Arafat have his hissy fit (oh, please, please, please, have an aneurysm and die over it). Say. You can't have an aneurysm without "EU." Hm. Double hm.

Israel ought to invite Larsen to Jerusalem. Just to piss off Arafat.

I love it when false friends have falling-outs. Schadenfreude. Yup. Here we go again. Ice cream for dessert tonight!


I discovered this morning that the last thing you want to do when your upper arms are still sore from the activities of the last few days is have a blood pressure cuff put on one of them. I think I scared the nurse when I said "Ow!"


There is a tornado watch in effect for, like, most of Virginia. I saw the crawl across my screen and called Heidi, who does not watch television in the middle of the day. "Meryl," she said, "a tornado watch means that conditions are right for a tornado. As far as I'm concerned, you can have a tornado watch the entire summer and you'd be correct."

"Oh," I said.

"But I'm in the basement now if that helps any."

That's my best friend. Always tries to make me feel better after she zings one at me. Somehow, it doesn't help. Then again, I do tell her on a regular basis that I think she's insane, so I suppose it all works out in the end. | |


But first, a message from our subconscious

Okay. So what does it mean that I woke up this morning with "Slovanic Dances" playing in my head?

Back in a bit. Errands to run, people to see, things to do. | |

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7/13/04

Oh, the pain!

Gracie at home, still madThis morning I did something that I haven't done in years. I took both cats to the vet at the same time. Gracie's asthma problems led to a parting of the ways when I lived in NJ, and it continued here in VA. But I kept on putting off and putting off and putting off Tig's shots, so when I finally decided to suck it up and bring him to the vet's, I asked if it was close enough that we could get Gracie done, too. Yup.

So let me give you some advice about taking two cats to the vet: Don't do it two days after you climbed really hard, exhausting muscles which haven't been used much because you haven't been climbing much at all. Don't do it the day after being called in to work at the gym even though when you got home on Sunday, you literally could not raise your arms. And especially don't do it when your cats are large to begin with, and overweight on top of that.

I shouldn't even be typing. My arms are dead. Dead, I tell you. And yesterday, I belayed three grownup-sized people, after belaying only children for weeks at a time.

Ow. I just took a drink of soda, and it hurt to lift the glass. I'm going to change to a plastic cup.

Tig, home, and with a mean expression on his faceBy the way, when you're stuck in a car with two yowling cats, it is a good idea to spend the twenty-five cents and take the highway to cut five minutes off your trip. And when you're stuck in the car with two yowling cats, it's also fun to keep on calling their names, since they're yowling anyway, and it confuses them. They changed over from the "I'm dying and you're the one that's killing me" yowl to the "Mrowr?" that they use when they think they're going to get a treat. It wasn't much of a respite, but hey, it helped a bit.

They have both gained weight since I switched over to Iams. I think I'm going to have to switch to a food they don't like as much. Gracie got her claws clipped. Tig hissed and slashed and growled, and we decided not to clip his claws. I figured we'd have to. He hasn't had his claws clipped in about four years, and that time, it took the vet, his assistant, and me, Tig was wrapped in a towel, and he still slashed two of the three of us. If anyone's up for a challenge, feel free to come over and try. I have lots of Band-Aids and Neosporin. On the other hand, if I'm feeling particularly wealthy, I may have them give him a summer shave and while he's unconscious, clip his claws. Oh, wait, that's right. That's what the last vet did. Got Tig while he was unconscious. I keep wondering if I could get his claws done if I, say, gave him tuna every time he let me clip one. But then I decide that I really don't want to try. There are only so many scars I want on my arms, and I have more than enough cat scratches.

Y'know, I think they're still mad at me. Look at the expressions on those faces. I think they're thinking they deserve tunafish after such a harrowing experience. I'm thinking not. They're both up about half a pound. No tunafish for a while, kitties.

And by the way, ow, my arms. I carried one cat in carrier in each arm, out of the vet's office. Not what the doctor ordered. I say again: Ow. | |

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7/12/04

"Accused of being Jewish"

Have you ever been accused of being Jewish? More to the point, did you know that being suspected of being Jewish was an accusation?

Well, that's what the BBC thinks.

French politicians have reacted with horror to an anti-Semitic attack on a woman and her baby on a train.

A gang of young men cut her hair, slashed her clothes and drew swastikas on her body, before overturning the pram in which her infant was lying.

Other passengers failed to intervene as the six men attacked the woman, whom they accused of being Jewish.

I didn't know being Jewish was a crime.

By the way, they're beginning to think the attack was a hoax. Does this mean they're not going to go forward with their plan to stop the anti-Semitic attacks in France? There have been more anti-Semitic attacks in the first half of 2004 than in all of 2003. And while we're at it, can we mention anti-Semitic attacks in France without mentioning anti-Muslim attacks, or is it a new rule or something?

It will be interesting to see the follow-up on this story. Any takers on Jews being blamed no matter what the truth turns out to be? | |


A UN/EU mass-mailing

I normally never do something like this. But I found this on Silent Running, and I figure, what the hell. Cut and paste, and send it to these email addresses:

[email protected] - United Nations

[email protected] - EU Parliament

[email protected] - EU Court of Justice

Be nice.

Subject: The building of the Israeli security fence

To Whom It May Concern:

When Israel builds a fence to keep out terrorists, the UN and EU are up in arms because it makes it difficult for terrorists to kill more Jews.

When terrorists shoot (point blank!) an 8-month-pregnant Jewish woman and her 4 little girls, there is absolute silence from your organizations.

The security fence is a temporary and nonviolent way to reduce terrorism. The fence is a proportional response to the ongoing Palestinian Campaign of terror. When the terrorism stops, the fence can be taken down.

The route of the fence was designed to save the lives of innocent people. Israel has the right and the duty to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks.

Since the erection of the security fence there has been a 90% decrease in the number of attacks against Israelis-from an average of 26 attacks per year before the fence to three attacks after the fence was built.

The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that areas of the fence must be adjusted in order to relieve Palestinian hardship. Unlike any othercountry in the region, Israel has an independent judiciary. Israel, a democracy committed to the rule of law, will comply with the Israeli Supreme Court's decision.

The security fence is not a wall, as the court states. The majority of the fence is constructed of barb wire-8.5 kilometers of the fence consists of concrete slabs, in order to prevent sniper fire.

There are many disputed security fences around the world-India has constructed a fence in the contested area of Kashmir, and Saudi Arabia has constructed a barrier in an undefined area along the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border-yet only Israel's security fence has prompted an International Court of Justice ruling. See this website: (www.washingtoninstitute.org/distribution/PCE465.doc)

Israel is willing to make painful sacrifices for peace. Israel has made peace with Jordan and Egypt, and gave up the entire Sinai-land larger than the current state of Israel.

If you think your indifference goes unnoticed, count the number of messages you will receive world-wide in the next 48 to 72 hours on this subject.

Respectfully,

I figure at the very least, a few thousand or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of messages will get at least one message across.

Tell all your friends. | |


Anti-Semitism and French outrage

The French are outraged over the latest anti-Semitic attack. Why? Frankly, I believe they're outraged because the woman and child weren't Jewish. I don't recall this much outrage when the Israeli embassy burned down, or when Jewish youths were attacked by Muslims—I'm sorry, men of North African origin—or when a rabbi was stabbed.

Six unidentified men said to be of North African Arab and African origin grabbed the victim, robbed her, cut her hair and clothes with knives and drew three swastikas on her body.

They also overturned the woman's pram with her baby inside. Police said the attackers' motivation appeared anti-Semitic.

The gang assumed - wrongly - that the woman was Jewish because the woman's identity card gave her old address in Paris's well-heeled 16th district.

"Only Jews live in the 16th district," one of the men was quoted as having said. The gang forcibly held her head down so she could not see their faces, according to a report in Le Monde newspaper. After tormenting her for 13 minutes, they got off at a station and fled.

By the way, there were dozens of people on the train, watching the attack and doing nothing.

Guedj made a public appeal for passengers in the train to come forward to help identify the gang.

"She told me there were some 20 people who could have seen what happened, especially a young man sitting nearby. She's counting on him to make himself known," Guedj said.

The official said that authorities would be sympathetic about the lack of response by the man, saying "we can also understand the fear he might have felt being so close to these armed men".

Yeah, we know. We don't expect the French to fight back. It's not in their nature. Appease, appease, appease.

I find the timing of this burst of outrage extremely suspect. There was no such outcry for any anti-Semitic action that was actually carried out on Jews. Teenaged boys beat up? Big deal. Rabbi stabbed? Not anti-Semitic. A butcher shot at? Not because he was Jewish. Cemeteries desecrated? Hooligans, that's all.

Last year's 193 anti-Semitic attacks in France brought no major outcry. Neither did any this year. Until now. Now, an anti-Semitic attack on a woman who wasn't Jewish—now that brings the outcry. It makes me wonder. | |


The ICJ ruling: The world has its say

Germany doesn't like Israel's response. I'm shocked, shocked I say.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is completely missed the point when, in Sunday's cabinet meeting, he condemned the International Court of Justice's ruling against the massive separation barrier as "one-sided, political, and immoral. And he missed it even more when he alleged that Sunday's deadly bombing in Tel Aviv was the result of a ruling that "sends a destructive message to encourage terrorism and denounced countries that are defending themselves against it."

But Sharon is in good company with his criticism of the court's ruling. Rejection of it can be heard across the entire Israeli political spectrum. Even opposition leader Shimon Peres -- who's now been asked to join Sharon's coalition -- has accused the International Court of Justice of disregarding the state's basic right to survival.

Such reactions show that Israel is trying to pull the wool over the world's eyes. Nobody is questioning Israel's right to security, or its right to defend itself -- not even the International Court of Justice. The court looked into the problem in great detail, and found that the construction of the 700-kilometer (425-mile) long barrier -- predominantly on Palestinian soil -- isn't an acceptable security solution.

If the wall stood on Israeli soil, it wouldn't have been an issue for the court, or the United Nations. But as it is now, the international community has to deal with it, because of the huge effect the barrier is having on the lives of Palestinian people.

Yeah, eff you too, Deutsche Welle.

This UPI editor wrote one of the more clueless opinions I've seen, but then, is that an Arab last name?

The Foreign Ministry noted that in that area, before the barrier was built, there were some 26 successful Palestinian attacks a year. Since the barrier was built, the number has dropped to three. On average, 103 people were killed every year in attacks across the northern West Bank boundary line before the barrier rose. There were 28 since then.

Despite the fact that the International Court ruled against Israel -- a judgment that Israel and its Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have rejected in any case -- Israelis should find some solace in the fact that Palestinian suits, and not suicide bombers are debating the question of the separation barrier. That the debate is being waged in a courtroom instead of the streets of Jerusalem, regardless of the court's opinion, should be seen as a small step forward by anyone favoring a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Michael Tarazi, the Palestine Liberation Organization's legal adviser, said the International Court's resolution is "a real bolstering of the Palestinian moderates who have long argued that violence is not the way to victory." Ignoring it, Tarazi said, "would only enforce the extremists who prey on the fact that most Palestinians feel abandoned."

There is little doubt that the Palestinians will now want to build on this "victory." They will take the matter before the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly, hoping to convince the world body to pass a resolution condemning Israel. No resolution is expected to make it through the Security Council, where the United States is likely to wield its veto in defense of Israel. The General Assembly is another matter, but resolutions passed by the General Assembly hold far less influence.

Understandably, Israel is not pleased and condemns the ruling from The Hague. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee -- or AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby group -- issued a statement saying the opinion is "yet another example of how Israel's detractors have misused and politicized the U.N. and its institutions to delegitimize Israel and its fundamental right to defend itself against ongoing terrorism."

Indeed, Israel has every reason to be distressed. Yet, if one had to look for the silver lining in this latest development, it would be the fact that opinion papers were traded, rather than bombs.

The difference of opinion between those advocating a peaceful approach to solving the long-standing dispute and those favoring armed struggle has long divided the Palestinians. The issue of using violence in the intifada, or uprising, in the occupied Palestinian territories, led to a clash of views between Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat and the first Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, who is also known as Abu Mazen.

[...] Abu Mazen believes the Palestinians have suffered from their use of terror against Israel, both from retaliatory raids on the West Bank and Gaza and from the loss of international support. President George W. Bush has shunned Arafat, whom he accuses of supporting terrorism. And Israel simply refuses to talk to the Palestinians, preferring to adopt unilateral measures, such as the planned pullout from Gaza.

Arafat, on the other hand, supported the use of weapons and violence, and many believe he even turned a blind eye to terror tactics undertaken by groups closely affiliated to his Fatah movement. Abu Mazen often complained that these tactics hurt the Palestinian cause, and have resulted in hundreds of deaths on both sides.

Yes, Arafat merely turns a blind eye to terrorism. Asshat. He directs it.

The Globe and the Mail publishes a pro-Israel commentary. Oh, but it's by a Jew. Never mind, that means they can ignore it as already biased.

The General Assembly has become corrupted by an anti-Zionist lobby that happily undermines the UN's ideals to pursue a political agenda. The General Assembly is supposed to be a peace-seeking organization; when it comes to Israel, however, it is a war-mongering organization, passing one politicized anti-Israel resolution after another.

Since the creation of Israel in 1948, the rejection of its very existence by Arab states and the Palestinian leadership has been the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East. In the wars and terrorist attacks against Israel, one-sided UN resolutions have been ammunition, an extension of the fighting by other means. And with each anti-Israel resolution, the prospect of peace recedes.

The cancerous growth of anti-Zionism has spread from one organ of the UN to another, and anti-Israel denunciation has become the principal item of business. That is certainly true of the UN Commission on Human Rights, which has abandoned its human-rights vocation to focus on Israel and ignore real violations by countries with abominable human-rights records.

The General Assembly request for an advisory opinion, though in form a request for a legal opinion, in reality raised the question of whether the ICJ would also be corrupted by this anti-Zionist cancer. The answer, regrettably, is yes.

Watch for nasty letters from angry Canadians (insisting the UN isn't anti-Zionist) in response to this.

And to lighten the mood just a bit, here's an article on Shrek 2 being pulled from Israeli theaters while a joke was redubbed.

The Tel Aviv District Court on Monday ruled to remove the box-office hit from screens across the country, due to an insulting reference to Da'or, Israel's representative in the last Eurovision song contest. The movie was returned to screens later in the day, after the offending remark was removed from Hebrew-dubbed versions.

The original English version of Shrek 2 contains a scene in which Shrek, the green ogre hero of the movie, and his sidekick Donkey, deliberate what to do with Puss n' Boots, the killer-cat sent to assassinate them. Donkey says: "Let's neuter him right now! Give him the Bob Barker treatment." This is a reference to Bob Barker, the long-time host of The Price is Right TV game-show, and a well-known animal activist who would call on viewers not to forget to spay or neuter their animals.

In the Hebrew version, this line was translated into "Let's David Da'or him down there" a reference to Da'or's signature falsetto singing voice.

Da'or was terribly disturbed by the translation, which he felt associated his name with castration, and so turned to the court on Sunday to issue a temporary injunction against the screening of the film until the line was changed.

Heh. | |

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7/11/04

More palestinian terrorism: But the fence is working

Arieh O'Sullivan says that the latest terrorism attack still proves that Israel is winning the war on palestinian terrorism.

The bombing in Tel Aviv Sunday showed distress among the terrorist organizations. It is further proof that Israel is winning the war on Palestinian terror and that the security barrier has a central role in this.

The bombing showed that they, in this case the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, had to abandon their favorite tactic of dispatching suicide bombers or gunmen. Instead, they reverted to a small (reportedly two-kilogram) bomb in a briefcase.

This showed the difficulty the terror groups have in infiltrating not just suicide bombers, but also larger bomb belts from the territories. The fact that it was set off in south Tel Aviv, in an area with a large Arab and foreign population, also revealed that for the planner of the attack success was [more] important, than the possibility that non-Israelis would be harmed.

The Palestinians are deterred by the fence and there have been very few attempts to try and infiltrate it. There is no longer the situation where a suicide bomber gets into a car in Tulkarm and half an hour later blows himself up in Netanya, as had happened at least three times in the past two years.

According to security establishment statistics, in the past 11 months since the fence was declared operational, just three suicide bombers succeeded in reaching targets from the West Bank, killing 26 people.

This was a 90 percent drop from the 73 suicide attacks in the 34 months before the barrier was built. Those attacks killed 293 people.

The three major suicide bombings this year – two on Jerusalem buses and one at the Ashdod port – all bypassed the security barrier.

The best response I've seen to the ICJ ruling on the fence is by Murray Hill of Silent Running, although NZ Pundit's is damned close in the voting. I like the Kiwi style of insulting someone. Why, it reminds me of—me. | |

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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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