This blog is a no-Israel-bashing zone (click for explanation)
If you're in the New York City area, and you want to meet me, Judith Weiss, and a few others, come to Katz's on Sunday at 2 p.m.
I have no idea how we'll find each other, what with nobody really knowing what anyone looks like. Except I'm going to be the one wearing the way cool black leather jacket.
Oh, wait. I know. I'll be the one with the digital camera case that has the Hulk keychain attached to it.
With any luck, I will have a voice by tomorrow. The cold has settled into my chest and throat, and I could barely speak last night and this morning. Well, if not, I can always bring my laptop and type at people.
No, not really. It's too heavy to carry, and, well, I'm not that into blogging. It's a hobby, not a lifestyle. permalink | |
Since Mom's still asleep, and I'm still fighting my cold (which has now entered my chest, ugh), I have more time to devote to informing my readers, who are probably out shopping anyway, but what the hey, some of these are amazing reads.
First, the bad news. After Arafat: There will be war. Al-Ahram has an interview with Zakaria Zubeidi, the leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Read it all, but be warned: It will leave you feeling there is no hope for peace at all. Zubeidi doesn't want free elections and the rule of law. But we already knew that. He's yet another thug, who thinks he's better because he works for the cause of "statehood."
Now, the good news. If I were gay, I'd marry Julie Burchill: You must read every word of this. Then you must read it again. And again. And again. I have forgiven her for her error of saying George Orwell was anti-Semitic, because this essay on why she went to Israel is the most heartwarming piece I have ever read about Israel and Jewsand it's written by a non-Jew. What are you waiting for? Go read it! Now!
More good Presbyterian news: The Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago is investing in Israela deliberate reaction to the PC(USA) church's divestment policy.
You go, guy. I'm starting to think the PC(USA) church did not speak for the entire membership, after all.
Oy, those Jewish doctors and scientists! Israeli scientists are learning to grow new cells in heart muscle tissue that was destroyed as a result of heart attack. (Hat tip: Combustible Boy.) Israelis are also creating electronic devices that restores to stroke victims the use of a partially paralyzed hand. For more Israeli innovations, go to the Israel21C home page. I'm on their mailing list, thanks to Allison Kaplan Sommer, who's an editor and writer there.
Time to go wake Mom up, I think. I'm hungry. I want to go out for brunch. permalink | |
The IDF protects American Jews, too: Israeli security forces foiled a plan by Hamas and a Canadian palestinian to attack Jews in North America, which, uh, includes the United States, last time I checked. It's a good thing we have the IDF to protect Canada, because Canada is becoming a well-known haven for Jew-haters, though there seems to be some movement in the opposite direction.
What, no talk of divestment? A Mideastern nation arrests thousands in the wake of a terrorist explosion, detains them for months without trial or charge, uses beatings and torture to get information, and even kills some of them. But the world simply yawns, because it's not Israel. It's Egypt. Hey, PC(USA), howsabout you pay attention to these human rights violations, and the ones thrust upon Coptic Christians in the same country? What's that? Huh? I can't hear you....
What part of "Death to the Zionist Entity" don't you understand? Clueless EU leader Javier Solana, fresh on the heels of his failure to get Yasser Arafat to agree to any kind of real peace, held secret meetings with Hamas to see if he couldn't get them to maybe stop blowing up Israeli children. Raise your hands, those of you who think this meeting will produce positive results. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
A keen grasp of the obvious: This Ha'aretz headline. "Israel Downplays Reported Peace Overture from Syria." We can count the number of true peace overtures from Syria on the fingers of Lemony Snicket's Hook-Handed man. (Here's a hint: Both his hands end in hooks.) But that won't stop the EU from insisting that Israel is the true "barrier to peace" in the Middle East. It seems to me before Syria offers peace, the Dorktator might want to stop financing terrorists who are killing Iraqi civilians and American soldiers. You're in W.'s sights, Baby Assad, and I'm hoping to collect points and get my readers to donate more money to MDA in your dishonor.
Here's hoping: The Independent says that Fatah may split over the upcoming candidacy for President. Barghouti is safe, though. Israel won't let him be murdered in prison. They'd be blamed for it.
On the other hand, it could instigate a Fatah factional war. We can only hope. Less work for the IDF to do.
And that's a wrap. permalink | |
(If the timing sounds odd on this, it's because I wrote it last night.)
Tonight, I learned that Jeeps are really not good dog cars, unless the dogs are well-behaved and not trying to get into the front seat. It was an unexpected lesson. Heidi called me this afternoon and asked if I could pick Worf up from the vet's, since she had to be somewhere with Sorena about the time the anasthesia wore off enough to take him home, and we both worried that G.'s back would get injured more if he picked up Worf, because Worf's first impulse is to fly as fast as he can for the car, regardless of the puny human trying vainly to hang onto his leash. (Oh, my, that was a very long sentence, wasn't it? Don't try this at home, kids.) I don't care what the vet says; Worf weighs 100 pounds. The vet tried to tell me he's only 75 pounds. G. says the vet obviously didn't have Worf sitting still on the scale, because their Airedale was 75 pounds, and Worf's a whole lot bigger and heavier. But I digress.
So this morning, Heidi's telling me that things are looking black, and that the vet said that all oral cavity tumors are malignant, and, well, Worf's tumor is in his jaw, which, when last I checked, was part of the oral cavity. And so a cloud hung over our homes today, and it wasn't just the rain in Richmond. "What if it's curable?" I asked. Heidi said she wouldn't subject Worf to chemo or radiation therapy. A person, she pointed out, at least understands why they feel crappy. A dog just knows it doesn't feel well, and to her, that would be cruelty. I figured I'd wait and see what the vet had to say before I started trying to persuade her otherwise. It's her dog, not mine, and her decision, after all.
Then I got the call from her this afternoon to get Worf, and got up from my twice-interrupted nap (they were fever dreams, anyway, and the kind that you don't want to recall), showered, and was suddenly overcome by hunger. So I stopped to have my chicken soup, headed out the door about fifteen minutes later than I'd intended to start, and got to the vet's a minute after G. called and told them not to let anyone take Worf until he got there. I could hear Worf crying in the back room, and the vet's and his secretary's wry remarks made me realize he'd been crying for some time. But now they couldn't give him to me until G. arrived. So I chatted while Worf whined in the background, and asked the vet, "So, how is Worf, anyway?"
"He's fine," he said cheerfully.
"Really? He's not going to die of cancer?"
I found out more details from Heidi a little while ago. Apparently, it's a benign tumor that attacks the jaw, and is the most invasive tumor of its kind the vet has ever seen. It's called a cumulus or epaulet or something like that. Epilus? Howsabout we just call it the Tumor-breath tumor (see below). It's likely that Heidi's going to have to take Worf to the vet's once or twice a year to get it cut out, since it seems intent on growing back and growing back and growing back, but it's also likely that Worf will die of old age.
But back to the story: when G. got to the vet's, they came out with Worf, who couldn't wait to get in my car, but G. decided to see if Worf would pee first. I knew he wouldn't, but figured I'd humor him. Of course, Worf only wanted to leave, and managed to pull me along the wet sidewalk for a few feet. When I got him under control, I took him back to my Jeep, got him into the backseat, where he was quiet until I started the car. That's when he decided to tell the people in the other car in the parking lot, who were there picking up their cats, "I'm not feeling so well, but I can still bark, and by the way, I'm going to kill you and your cats!"
The people were unimpressed, as Worf's barking was rather weak and, well, drugged-sounding. Not at all like his real "I'm gonna kill you!" bark.
I drove with an elbow between the front seats the whole way back, because Worf kept trying to get into the empty front passenger seat. Well, there was one time when he tried to get into my lap, but there was that elbow in his way again. It's a good thing he was still woozy, or I'd have lost those battles.
And let me give you a fact you probably never knew (or may never have wanted to know) about Rhodesian Ridgebacks: When they're nervous, they exude a stench. A very doggy stench. They smell like they haven't bathed in weeks. Add that to what we've affectionately been calling "tumor-breath," and the first thing I did when Worf got into my car was roll down the windows and turn on the fan. And may I point out to you that when I told this to Heidi, she simply laughed. That's right. Laughed. No sympathetic phrases, no apologies. Just laughter. Oh, wait, I remember now. She said, "Better your car than mine." And laughed some more.
There will be repercussions. I will have to point out to her, yet again, that her boy lost the election. Mine won.
Then again, Worf's okay. A bit woozy, and sore, but he doesn't have a malignant tumor, and we're pretty happy about that. It's going to be a good Thanksgiving for him.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm traveling early tomorrow. And bringing boxes of Mallomars to my relatives. Of course, at least one box is going to get opened on the way up. Maybe I can blame it on Worf.
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Fifth Column: An Israeli Arab truck driver was arrested trying to smuggle bullets into Gaza.
The all-volunteer draft? 92% of all Israeli conscripts are asking for combat service. Yes, there's a war on, and they know it.
The palestinian civil war: Newsday has an article that says Gaza is in chaos, near eruption. Actually, I don't think so. I think within two months, as soon as the new bogus elections are held, Fatah thugs will rule the roost, as they've been doing for decades. Watch for them to start putting down the competition immediately.
Running against an Arab dictator: I say it's hazardous to your health, but we'll see what happens. Hosni Mubarak might have a (*cough*) challenger next year. He's run unopposed since 1981. (Tell me again, why do they call dictator creeps like this "president"? It demeans the meaning of the word.)
Liarliarpantsonfire: Toad Larsen, excuse me, Terje Roed-Larsen, he of the Jenin "massacre" claims (which he has yet to officially retract, I believe) says that Baby Assad says he's ready to talk peace with Israel. Sure, Toad. We believe you. Just like we believe the Dorktator when he says he can't control the influx of terrorists into Iraq, or that he has no Iraqi money financing the terrorists against U.S. soldiers. If these two guys told me it was raining outside, I'd break out the shades.
Speaking of liars: Arafat quoted as saying he signed the Oslo Accords hoping it would cause Israelis to leave Israel. Not only was he evil, he was stupid, besides.
And that's all for now. My sinuses are trying to escape my nose, I think. permalink | |
Bad news: I hab a code id by head, which will stop me from driving up to NJ today.
Good news: I don't have to drive up to NJ on the worst traffic day of the year.
Bad news: I have to drive up to NJ tomorrow early. I drove on Thanksgiving Day two years ago, and there wasn't any difference in traffic that I could seeit sucked on Thanksgiving, too.
Good news: The rain is supposed to stop tonight, and I'll have a clear, beautiful drive tomorrow.
Bad news: I have the kind of cold that makes everything taste crummy.
Good news: I have one more container of chicken soup left. It's currently defrosting for lunch. I also have plenty of orange juice. Plus, I get to laze around the house today and not feel guilty about it.
Bad news: Oh, never mind. This format is getting tiresome.
Good news: I'll be posting fairly normally today, except for when I take a nap this afternoon, which I fully intend to do. permalink | |
Sucks to be a formerly-cowering terrorist when your protector is dead: Omri mentioned it yesterday, but exactly what I thought would happen has begun: The terrorists that Arafat protected in the Muqata are being killed by Israeli security forces. If this keeps up, I'm going to bring back Tuna for Terrorists, and Tig and Gracie will get even fatter. Someone go send the IDF a pizza and save them the calories.
Must-Read: Yossi Klein Halevi, who used to be a far left peacenik, on Arafat's legacy: A scorched earth.
Someone to watch over us: Swarms of locusts stop swarming when they hit Israel. This article in Ha'aretz says it's the weather. These are the locusts, by the way, that just devasted Egypt and several other nations' crops. Uh-huh. The weather. Secular paper, aren't they?
New face, same old stuff: Muhammad Abbas, the Fatah nominee for president, has vowed to stay true to his murderous sponsor's legacy. There will be no peace in my lifetime, I think.
Funny, I'm not seeing the word "East" in front of Jerusalem in either of those quotes.
Christian palestinian is not an oxymoron: But their rights are constantly violated by those peaceful Muslims that outnumber them.
Funny how this keeps getting ignored by, like, the Pope, and the Presbyterian (USA) church, and the Episcopals (who are also going to look into divesting in companies that do business with Israel).
Imagine if Israel started expropriating Christian homes. Lead story on the every major news station, I'm sure.
Okay. Now I'm really going offline and getting some rest. I have a long drive ahead of me tomorrow. permalink | |
And that's it until tomorrow. Damned kids are walking petri dishes of bacteria, and they gave me another sore throat. Tomorrow's a travel day for me, too.
Anyway, here's Tig, looking regal, as usual.
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Thing 1: I have a new kitty zen picture of Tig looking extremely regal, but can't get to it until much later today. Today, I have to choose the best parts of my presentation from last week, get the tape and comments back to my videographer, clean the apartment, go to Heidi's and switch the Jeep tops (yes, it's hardtop time, alas), make a list for my Thanksgiving trip, and then go to bed by ten p.m., as I'm working tomorrow instead of Wednesday at the Job From Hell. So you may not get that cool new Tig pic today, but you'll get it soon.
Thing 2: Tig found the season's last grasshopper. And played with it until he killed it. The circle of life. Sucks to be a bug, huh?
Thing 3: Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold. That was my night last night, and the night before. I have a top sheet, a light blanket, and a quilt, for just those occasions, and yet, I can't seem to get a regulated temperature at night. I think I'm going to zap the heat down way cold so there will just be one temperature, and I can deal with it. I can pretend I'm at Heidi's house! (That's a dig, but she doesn't always read my blog, so I doubt she'll get it. She keeps the house too cold in the wintertime, and I hate it.)
Thing 4: Worf's surgery is this Wednesday, folks, not last week. Heidi said last night she thinks he's not doing well at all, but then pointed out that she hasn't had the fire going the last few days due to the seventy-degree weather we've had down here. We'll know better on Wednesday afternoon. I'll post as soon as I can after getting the news.
Thing 5: My students begged for recess yesterday, and started trying to give me logical explanations as to why they needed it. I am always amused by children's explanations, so I let them go for it. It boils down to this: They have too much excess energy, and if they don't have recess, they're bad, and the reason they were so bad the last few weeks is because I didn't give them recess. I did not laugh at them, but I did give them recess. It wasn't their powers of persuasion. It was a beautiful day out, and I thought they deserved it. But I didn't tell them that. I let them think they won.
Thing 6: Can't procrastinate on the tape any longer. Bummer. I hate watching myself on videotape. Well, start sending out all those positive thoughts, folks. I need this new job. permalink | |
Lest anyone think I have a problem with Presbyterians, that is my best friend's denomination. And she agrees with the decision PC(USA) made. We have agreed not to discuss the issue (much), though we did have a bit of a knock-down drag-out a week or two ago. I'm sure we'll have more. I'm not one of those people who thinks that your friends have to agree with everything you believe in. permalink | |
Two of the members of the delegation that met with Hezbullah are no longer working for the Presbyterian Church. The Church won't say if the've been fired, but at least it's a step in the right direciton.
On the other hand, the moral equivalency plateau in this issue has been reached, I think.
"Israeli terrorist groups"? Name one. So, let's take a look at the PC(USA) news release, shall we?
"A tense and not always polite meeting" is obviously a nice way of saying there were lots of angry voices. But look at the way they describe the reaction of Jewish groups to the decision to divest from Israel:
This is the one that makes it all better in the minds of those who rebut accusations that divestment in companies that do business with Israel is ignoring the violence of the palestinian terror war:
As I said above, regarding Israeli groups: Name one. Israelis are arrested and imprisoned when they're found to be plotting against civilians. It's against the law. Palestinians have summer camps named after them. As for the multinational corporations that supply financial backing to palestinian terror groups, does the EU qualify? How about the UN? That $25 billion Oil-For-Food program that Saddam skimmed from helped pay for suicide bombers. But no, there will be nothing said about that, I'm sure.
Oh, so that makes it all better. You condemn suicide attacks. It's not like, say, this action will encourage the terrorists to think that they're winning the publicity war or anything like that.
You know, the other big decision the Presbyterian (USA) church made last year while it was deciding to divest in Israel was to attempt to convert more Jews this year.
This is a great way to go about making us think we want to be a part of your church, guys. You've got a bunch of Einsteins working for you.
Whoops, no you don't. He was Jewish. permalink | |
Strengthen the Good: Call for old books
Our latest STG charity is books for teenagers in Bratislava, Slovakia, who are trying to learn English without having the funds to buy much.
Here's where synchronicity comes in: My niece's school project this year is on Slovakia. So here's my idea: I'll see if I can coordinate with her, but in the meantime, if you want to donate directly, pick a book from the list, go to Amazon.com, and send the book to:
Or, you can make a tax-deductible contribution via Paypal at STG. I went through the list and found my favorites, as well as books I've liked or meant to read. (I've read most of the books on this list.) Knowing full well the effect Soviet Communism had on its people, I'd recommend sending them all the books on this list that will give them an insight into anti-Semitism and racism. The books with an asterisk are those that need about twenty copies. If you like, just grab the title you want and post in the comments that you're sending it, so we can send these kids as many books off the list as possible. If you want to pull books out of storage and send them, Alan says shipping should cost about $5.
There are more, but they also could use any English Language Dictionary.
It's a mitzvah, people, meaning a good thing. Let's send those kids the books they need. 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.