A few weeks ago, as I mentioned, I saw my apartment complex on the local newscast described as suffering from a crime wave. I attended the meeting to set up a neighborhood watch, and volunteered to be a block captain. My section has had two meetings so far, the last one culminating in the approval of a flier with ten tips on lowering neighborhood crime. One of them is to keep your porch lights on, buttressed by the research I did on the internet, where I found that it costs only about $7 a year to light a 60-watt bulb for 24 hours a day. Other members of my watch group promised to pass out the fliers this week.
Tonight, on the way home from work, I drove down my block and saw that every last porch light, except for the vacant apartments, is on. Every single one of them.
Damn. I mean, damn. That was really nice to see.
Tomorrow's a travel day. I'll be blogging from NJ tomorrow night, and for some of the rest of the week. permalink | |
While on Spathic's site this morning, I saw a link to Dustbury, to whom I think I've never tipped the hat. Well, I'm tipping it now. He reminds me of Mac. His post titles are witty, the content interesting and often funny, and he's willing to share the wealth: He offered a helpful guide to posting like Dustbury. And it seems Frank J. considers him a rival to be crushed, which is always a compliment.
This was deeply disappointing. I received an email titled "i've had eonough of your blulshit," leading me to hope that I've finally received another piece of hatemail (it's really been awhile), and that I could publish it here and make fun of it. So I opened it. Another stupid viagra pitch. Dammit.
Scott of AMCGLTD isn't always erudite and scholarly. In fact, he is usually fond of putting up posts like this one, which discuss execution by elephant. Yes, really. Ellen, on the other hand, posts things like... ew. Ew. EW. See, this is why I only have cats. Lizards. Ew. permalink | |
Let's take a quick look around.
Yes, that's right. It's the Temple Mount, not the Al-Aqsa mosque. In keeping with the Islamic tradition of co-opting other religions' holy sites, most articles refuse to acknowledge that the Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site. On the other hand, this AP article in USA Today did a fairly good job of staying evenhanded, starting with the headline. By the way, to the continued hypocrisy of Muslims crying about Israel "violating" their holy sites, may I point out that the 1973 Mideast War started on Yom Kippur (the Arabs call it the Ramadan war), that terrorists occupied the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and that the Passover Massacre took place on one of our holiest days of the year. A Passover Seder is a religious dinner. So blow it our your ears, Muslim hypocrites. And get off our Temple Mount.
Good for you, Tony.
Two stories on the same subject: Arafat may be the subject of an IDF assassination attempt. (Or at least, they're having a lot of fun playing head games with him.) First, the Ma'ariv interview with Ariel Sharon:
"Does not have an insurance policy." Hehehehe. Good one, Arik. Good one. Next, the JPost article:
And it gets better. Wait for the teary, indignant editorials and op-eds about how Sharon shouldn't be threatening a sitting head of state (gak! choking on that phrase describing Arafat! gak! help!). I might even make the rounds of the lefty bloggers, though I did that a couple of days ago and found almost more bile than I could handle. Why is it they can't see the bile they heap on Israel, but they complain of the hatefulness of the LGF comments threads? Never mind, rhetorical question. To the article:
I think it's time to restart the Arafat Dead Pool. The rules are simple: Pick a date. If you win, we all win. And then, we all get to contribute money to Magen David Adom. Dead terrorists=MDA contribution. Have you sent in yours?
And last, but not least, can we please reconvene the Sanhedrin and take away this guy's title?
Traitor. Bastard. As if I needed a reason to loathe this nutbar sect any more than I already do. They were at the rally in Washington two years ago. Protesting it. Bombs were killing Jews every day, day after day, for weeks that spring, and these assholes were protesting the rally in support of Israel. All right. You've put yourself on my "die, already" list, Hirsch. permalink | |
Some of you had some problems early this morning, EST. I have to say that it's your penalty for being up early (except for Rahel, who is tuning in from Israel). I didn't call my hosting service, but whatever problems there were seem to have been fixed. No, I'm not asking for a password in order for you to read this blog. And the March 16th page showing up as the main page sounds to me like there were some server problems that have been fixed.
Lucky for me I have all my files on my computer. My hosts could lose everything they have on my weblog, and it'd be back up as soon as I could upload it.
If there are any more problems today, though, let me know.
This is what happens the day I spend a little time with friends and decide not to bother blogging. permalink | |
Ilyka's back, finally. I'd like to think my nudge last week had nothing to do with it. I get the feeling that Ilyka will nudge me right back, then it will get into a shoving match, and then where would we be? Especially if drinks were involved. Well, actually, no. I'm a very happy drunk. It's nearly impossible to get me angry if I've had a few.
Anyway. This is what I've missed about her. She sure does manage to flog the idiots on both sides. Oh, and this, too. I like reading these posts. (Note to self: No tequila for Ilyka. Tequila sucks, anyway. And Ilyka, I have a BA in English. We're everywhere.)
Really funny Cox & Forkum today, via Silent Running. Also a pretty funny Murray post there, although maybe not so much to him, perhaps. Okay, we can laugh. He wasn't hurt that much. And Tom is in Tonga again, being insufferable. For that, he merits no link.
Just for laughs, I'm linking to a two-month-old JPost article on the aftermath of a suicide bombing, and the world reaction to it. Compare and contrast to the uproar over the killing of Yassin. (And the reason I do not give him the title of "sheik" is because that is an honorific, and he had no honor.)
And in honor of my adopted baby brother's wedding anniversary, I present you with this Peeps page, where some poor fellow made the mistake of telling his coworkers (who are obviously slightly insane) that he hated Peeps. The result: The Peeps office. Pay attention to the lamps, things hanging from the ceilings, etc. A work of art in sugar and marshmallow.
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Here's a pleasant headline from the Jerusalem Post:
Here's hoping it's not premature. But then, no matter what kind of attack manages to get through, they're going to say it's for Yassin's death. permalink | |
Mel Gibson's Passion is a huge hit in Muslim nations, which are bending their rules about not showing films that depict their prophets just this once:
Don't worry, Kuwait will find a reason to bend that rule once enough people realize how great the anti-Jewish propaganda value will be.
Or you could say that the cultural tradiation of Modern Egypt is anti-Semitism, and this film reflects that view in Egyptian eyes. Say, once more: Can I build a new church in downtown Cairo? What's that? I have to get the permission of all the neighbors within a certain radius, have a certain number of Christians for the church, and can't build it within a certain amount of feet from a mosque? Do tell how free religion is in Egypt.
Look at that. An honest opinion. Be still, my heart.
Just as I predicted. The Arabs will be using this to foment the Jew-hatred in their nations.
Bull. Effing. Shit. When you won't allow the portrayal of crosses around an actor's neck, and you suddenly allow a movie about the death of Jesus, in which Jews play a strong and negative part, you are absolutely looking at it from both a religious and a political point of view. Don't these people ever get tired of lying? Do they really think we're as stupid as they presume? But wait. There's a truth-teller in the article.
Thanks, Mel. We appreciate all the help you're giving those who already hate us. Wait for it: You're going to have mobs of Muslims screaming to kill the "Christ-killers" at their next Hamas rally.
Translation: "We do not accept the screening of prophets, except where we can blame the Jews for the death of one of them. Other than that, keep your Christian infidel propaganda out of our movie theaters." Once again, go try to build a church in Cairo. Or Riyadh. Or Kuwait City. Try to build one even now in Baghdad. Go ahead. Send in missionaries to the Muslim world and see how long it takes them to not "confiscate others' beliefs." Effing liars.
There you go. Another honest opinion. Although the article wraps up with the biggest lie of all:
They quote an old lady who seems quite reasonable and sympathetic. But you know she's the exception. Here's what the Arabs really think about the Passion.
That's right. It all boils down to blaming the Jews. Again, thanks, Mel. We really appreciate your throwing fuel on the fire.
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Oh, you can't count the below picture as a zen moment. Zen moments must be peaceful and nonaggressive. In that light, as promised, I present "A Study in Tig: Sleeping positions." The pictures are a little smaller than the last Graciefest, so they should load a bit more quickly. permalink | |
Omri is really, really looking for trouble. First he publishes an essay that is clearly anti-feline propaganda. Then he takes my beautiful Gracie and disfigures her picture. Not just once. He does it twice. (Of course, the Wrath of Cat has already kicked in, forcing Omri to make an error and then publicly admit his mistake. You don't mess with cats, Omri. Really. They have mysterious mind powers against which no one can defend.)
Anyway. Gracie was busy this afternoon, but I let her know what was going on, and she told me I should publish this picture. I believe it's her "This is what I'm going to look like after I've killed and eaten Omri" face.
By the way, Omri, I regularly use ALT tags on my photographs. Put your mouse over the picture to see what Gracie is really thinking. permalink | |
Stop and let these numbers sink in for a moment:
53 percent of palestiniansmore than half the populationsupport terror attacks against civilians.
Sure. As Charles says, let's give these people a state.
There are no peace negotiations because the Israelis have no partners in their desire for peace.
The first soap opera I ever got hooked on was Days of Our Lives. My cousin got me hooked on it during the few months I spent in Steilacoom, WA (a suburb of Tacoma), when I was trying to see if I liked the Seattle area well enough to transfer to U of Wash. The constant rain depressed me enough that I fled to southern California and Florida before returning home to NJ and back to Montclair State.
So I got hooked on Days back when it was superb. Pre-General Hospital, Days was the soap to watch. Marlena Evans and Don Craig, the Hortons, Doug and Julie (played by a nightclub act so popular that one day as my father passed the TV set he said, "Hey! That's Bill and Susan Hayes, what are they doing on a soap?"), the real Roman Brady, Chris Kositchek and Mary Anderson, Mickey and Maggie Hortonthese were all the characters I used to watch back then. The day that the Salem Strangler killed Marlena, fans in New York and Los Angeles protested outside NBC studios. This was before the soap magazines and entertainment shows and columns so prevalent today. We didn't know she wasn't really dead. I remember being incredibly shocked and disappointed that Friday, and then being thrilled to death on Monday when we discovered that it was Marlena's twin sister, Samantha, who'd been murdered. (Go ahead, laugh. Number one, I was in college at the time, and number two, that routine wasn't old hat back when it was first used.)
But the linchpin of Days has always been the Horton family. Tom and Alice Horton, played by MacDonald Carey (a film star moving to soaps, unheard of at the time) and Frances Reid, a soap star who said in an interview once that she was intimidated by Carey's film creds, were the patriarch and matriarch of Days. Not a single major holiday went by without the family showing up at the Hortons' home. Christmas shows always featured all the Hortons placing their own ornament on the tree, each bearing their first name. Now, the names on those ornaments bring us back to the old Days, back when Jed Allen wasn't suddenly the partiarch on General Hospital (what? What? WHAT?) and Matt Ashford didn't show up as a serial killer on One Life To Live after being killed off by a serial killer on Days, who, it seems, turns out to be Marlena Evans (what? What? WHAT?).
You see, there's this writer. His name is James Reilly. He took over on Days several years ago and turned it into sheer camp. Marlena was possessed by the devil. People tuned back in to watch. I was one. I tuned back in and laughed and laughed and laughed. It was stupid. It was ridiculous. But it got people to watch. Then he left to start a new soap, which ultimately got Another World (my next-favorite soap) cancelled. Well. Reilly came back last year. And soap operas are all suffering budget cuts, due to falling advertising revenues. So studios are asking some actors to take salary cuts, and firing those they consider superfluous. Some take the cuts. Some leave and go to other soaps. The writers take care of the exits in various fashions, only occasionally killing them off. Except for Reilly. Reilly is becoming known as the Butcher of Daytime.
Reilly is killing off actors that have been on the show for literally decades. One by one, our beloved Salem residents are dying, and in some pretty awful ways: Maggie Horton. Doug Williams. Roman Brady. (Well, okay, I still haven't been able to accept the actor that played Chris Kositchek as Roman Brady, so I kind of don't really care about that death.) Jack Deveraux. Abe Carver. And now, this week, they killed Alice Horton.
Sometimes, I really enjoy watching the twisting of a favorite character. Deirdre Hall, who plays Marlena Evans, obviously had a blast playing a woman possessed by the devil. And it was rather fun seeing Saint Marlena have an evil side without being an evil twin. They even had her floating above the bed, and went through the whole exorcism thing. Fun stuff, if you don't believe in Satan, and, well, I don't. But this week, it wasn't fun at all. I watched one of my favorite characters stalking a helpless old woman, and acting like she enjoyed it, and all I could think of was how twisted and sick it was. All I could wonder was how hard it must have been for Deirdre, who has known Frances for nearly three decades, and whose character was going to be responsible for the death of a soap opera matriarch. All I could think was, "Geez, she's like everyone's grandmother. This is sick."
Killing off a matriarch in this way is unheard of in soaps, as far as I know. Oh, the old guard dieseveryone dies. MacDonald Carey passed away years ago. On All My Children, the actress who played Erica Kane's mother died, and is still referred to and talked to by Susan Lucci and a few others. And on Another World, Douglass Watson died suddenly, leaving AW without a patriarch. But none has ever been murdered in cold blood by one of the most-loved characters on the show.
And here's the incredibly annoying twist. They didn't dare show the murder scene. They knew that a lynch mob would probably go after Reilly if they dared. But he did something that's almost as bad. First, you need to know this: Alice Horton used to give donuts and advice to all and sundry. Her homemade donuts were legendary. Of course, jaded viewers would wonder exactly which brand of store-bought donuts were on the plate that day, but hey, making fun of soaps is half the fun of watching them. However.
Reilly managed to take the single most memorable bit of Alice Horton's and turn it into something that is almost darkly funny, but is really just twisted: She died because she choked on a donut. We assume that Marlena shoved one down her throat and left before she could get caught. And let me tell you, the Hitchcock premise of having the unseen be more grim than that which is shown on film definitely rings true here. I can't get the picture out of my head.
In real life, Frances Reid suffered a stroke some time ago. Her acting hasn't been up to snuff for some time, and it's obvious they film around her disabilities. She finally got tired enough that she quit this year, partly, rumor has it, because so many of her friends in the cast were being fired. So we would have seen her death in one way or another. But after nearly 40 years as Alice Horton, she deserved to die quietly, peacefully, in her sleep. Not as yet another victim of James Reilly's gimmicky search for ratings.
He's getting what he wants, at least in the short term. But he only got me to tune in this week because Lynn's a Days fan, too, and she keeps emailing me spoilers. I'm done now, and I won't be back. I suspect he's losing a lot more fans than he's winning with this storyline.
And he killed Alice with a donut. Not funny. Jerk. permalink | |
This guy is going to get a lot of hatemail over this op-ed piece from the Detroit News. But not from me.
Read the rest. And shoot him an email if you like. His address is at the end of the article. And then check out the editorial from the week before, probably also written by Nolan Finley. Here's a bit of it:
Yeah, it's in the Detroit News, in the heart of one of the most highly concentrated Arab populations in the country. I'm surprised, too. (Almost forgot: Hat tip: Geoff.) permalink | |
Who looks for this phrase? Who looks for "porch abolition rabbit"? And weirder still, how bad is Google's search logarithm that it puts my blog up for that phrase?
Kesher Talk links to this post, in which Hamas' Jew-hatred is eerily reminiscent of an earlier Jew-hatred. Methinks it isn't the Zionists who have something in common with the Third Reich. About the only thing missing is the goose-stepping.
Omri, you do realize that the Wrath of Cat will be brought down upon you for this. Oh. Didn't I ever tell you that my first BBS handle was Cat? Disfiguring gorgeous Gracie that way. Hmph.
And that's about all I have energy for tonight. It was a light posting day. I never bother to inform you when it's going to be a light day because I figure you're all smart enough to figure out for yourselves that I'm not posting. permalink | |
Stop and realize that the cartel was ready to stop cutting production and raising oil prices until the Saudis stepped in. I'm beginning to believe that the blogger who suggested that Saudi Arabia is trying to defeat Bush with the oil weapon is correct.
On the other hand, Kuwait and the UAE didn't jump on board with the Saudis. There is trouble down in Oilville. Will the mighty al-Faisal strike out? permalink | |
Mac Thomason has completed his move to Bloghosts. His comments load faster, and he made the categories in his blogroll about the best (and the snarkiest) I've ever seen.
Nick sent me this last week. Scientology's tax breaks are being challengedby a Jew. They're arguing that if scientologists get to claim a tax deduction for their training, then they can claim one for sending their children to religious school. This one is a win-win, because no way in hell do I believe the government is going to say it's okay to claim that deduction. My prediction: Scientology loses big, this time. Go, Sklars! And watch your backs. Those bastards are nasty.
Adam had a conversation with an Iraqi-American, who blamed Israel for all the world's problems. Not surprisingly, Adam disagreed.
Join the Boycott has the poll numbers on the Yassin assassination, and it looks like the media are out of touch with public opinion in this country.
Bill Herbert rips into Hesiod, which is frankly one of the easiest things to do this side of fisking Robert Fisk. But it's still fun to watch.
Jeff Goldstein was looking for a blog blurb from me a while back. My second choice to him was "Will never send you spam about penis enlargement." For some reason, I never see that one on the top of his blog when I go there. Instead, he settled for "One of the best damn writers in the blogosphere." I don't get it. One has pizzazz, the other is so boring.
Say. I wonder if that phrase is going to show up in my Google searches now? Oh, well.
Speaking of Google searches, "fish heads" is still one of my most popular search results. I promise, really, that I will rewrite the story of Fish Heads for you all. On the next slow day I have.
I forgot to send them a wedding present. Jay and Deb got married a while ago (mazal tov, folks!) and their blogs did, too. So yeah, yet another blog that's going to suffer from the occasional bit of treacle leaking through. But that's okay. I like happy endings.
I know I don't get here very often anymore, but she's still hilarious. I don't know why I don't read the funny blogs more often. I haven't been over to Terry's place lately, either. Perhaps I'll swear off news for a couple of days and just traverse the places that make me laugh out loud.
You've gotta be kidding me. All these months later, and nobody noticed that I still had Bigwig's old URL on my links page? Not even Bigwig? Well, it's fixed now.
I am waiting. Patiently. Okay. Maybe this is a little bit of impatience. But sometimes people need a kick in the ass. Er, a nudge. A nudge.
Okay, so even Treacher has put up one of those boring posts. I have decided to resist the urge. You just know the second I do it, Kevin will co-opt it for his Bonfire of the Vanities. Meantime, there's something very, very wrong with this kind of behavior. I don't care how public the figure is, his private home is his private home. I hate the loony left.
Haven't had enough of the cat photos? No problem. Sometime later this week, "A Study in Tig: Sleeping positions." I do believe I warned everyone this would happen once I got my digital camera. permalink | |
I finally found a topic that got Omri to write a long post. It's cats. In a lengthy and somewhat disturbing essay, Omri details his thoughts on my suggestion of a division of labor between our weblogs, with appendices from Stan that are somewhat more disturbing than the bulk of the post (talking animals? You mean, like "Babe"? Save us).
In that lengthy post, Omri displays a certain dislike, not to say antipathy, for my favorite felines. So I told Gracie about the post, and she didn't have anything to say, but boy, did she give him a look.
If I were you, Omri, I'd stay on the left coast for a while. More than one of my cats have been known to carry a grudge, and I don't know whether or not Gracie does. No one's ever pissed her off this much before.
I keep seeing this headline and quote about Condoleeza Rice refusing to testify before Congress' 9/11 commission:
Here's what Rice has said about it:
Let's stop for just a moment here. I think we're talking about this definition of principle:
Seems to me that if Condi sets these principles aside, she is stooping below her moral standards, not rising above them. Is this how low our politicians have sunk? It's not bad enough that they compromise their own values, they're now urging others to compromise theirs?
And lest you start getting partisan on this, let me point out that both a Republican and a Democrat are asking Rice to give in. So it's a bipartisan effort to get Condi to lower her ethical standards. Nice. permalink | |
Forbes has the skinny on the latest OPEC doings. It's always a good thing for gas prices when OPEC nations squabble, and it looks like they're losing their unanimity.
Splits in OPEC are good. How is it when the UN and the anti-globo crowd get going against the evils of capitalism, they always seem to ignore the fact that a monopolistic oil cartel sets the prices and production level of much of the world's oil supply? Oh, wait, that's right: The Arabs control the UN General Assembly voting blocks, and the anti-globos refuse to believe that brown-skinned people can do any wrong.
Oh, and by the way: Crude oil prices are falling. Of course, right now would be a good time for Bush to call his Saudi buddies and tell them to open the spigots, but I won't hold my breath on that one. permalink | |
You read this statement:
And then you look at the picture, in which Rantisi is wearing a baseball cap, and the juxtaposition of seventh-century rhetorich with twentieth century headgear makes you blink.
On the other hand, this was interesting to read:
Yeah, I think I said below that the failure of the Arab summit meeting is another nail in the coffin of the Oslo War. And now the splits between the palestinian factions are widening.
Of course, in the rest of his remarks, he's laid the foundation for a fatwa to be called on his head by former bestest buddy Arafat.
Actually, first and foremost, you have to depose Arafat. Until the pals get the stones to do that, nothing will move forward. On the other hand, once the IDF gets Rantisi and Nasrallah, there's nothing stopping them from having the head of Arafat as well. Gee, I hope his will is up to date. permalink | |
Imshin agrees with me. Read her latest post and be heartened:
There is also other news worth noting. First, Saudi Arabia pulled out of the Arab League summit. Then three other nations did. Yesterday, Tunisia cancelled the summit, leading to even more disarray than usual in the Arab world. And this only a week after Israel assassinated Ahmed Yassin, a move protested throughout the Arab League nations. The Arab League summit should have been their platform from which to keep world opinion focused on (and lambasting) Israel, and by association, America. Instead, even before the summit, OPEC said last week that they may not be cutting production again, which will lower world gas prices and give a boost to the U.S. economy.
So let's review:
Israel is winning the terror war. And the other war on terror seems to be going well at the moment, too. As does the war on dictatorships in the Middle East. permalink | |
Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary is also a good bet if you've never been here before.