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Today's moment of kitty zen

Gracie got so jealous of all the attention paid to Tig that she demanded equal time. Here she is at the patio door, deciding whether or not to go out.

Gracie at the door

Discuss. | |

Good question

Alex Bensky has a comment in the post below regarding this statement from the EU's Middle East representative:

The Palestinians are criticised for being too passive. He says they have to take more responsibility for their actions. He singled out recent attacks by Hamas on Israeli villages with self-made rockets for particular criticism.

"The Palestinians knew very well that, with these attacks - which killed two small children - they had crossed a red line".

Alex wants to know:

I'm just trying to figure out where the line is that the Sderot missiles crossed.

Bombing airliners, murdering Olympic athletes, blowing up seders, islamikaze attacks on schools and busses--this is not crossing the line. Lobbing homemade rockets onto an Israeli town is corssing the line.

Can anyone figure out what sort of Pali terrorism is considered OK by the EU?

Apparently, all of these attacks are okay. These too. Take a moment to read through those two links. Look at the dates. The terrorism goes back as far as the 1950s. Israel has never been at peace.

And Mr. EU Schmuck: Palestinian terrorists have been killing children—deliberately—for decades. Why only now the outrage?

I have no answers to your question, Alex. The hypocrisy of the EU has been ruining my appetite for years. I shouldn't be surprised at anything they say anymore. | |



Friday news and views

It didn't seem like Hamas to me, either: Israeli intelligence sources say Al Qaeda is behind the Taba bombings. Color me unsurprised. I am also unsurprised, but extremely angry, at the Egyptian reaction to Israeli rescue services' efforts to help.

Magen David Adom and Israeli firefighter units on their way to help in rescue efforts following the devastating blast at the Hilton Hotel in Taba, Sinai, have accused Egyptian authorities of preventing them from entering Egypt.

"The Egyptians brought a unit of Egyptian firefighters who did not have the proper equipment. They are working with their hands and shovels, and the Egyptian government is not allowing us to bring in our heavy equipment. It is frustrating to stand in front of the destruction, unable to help the situation," fire chief Shimon Romach said on Friday morning.

But wait, it gets worse.

In spite of contacts between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, only four fire trucks and five ambulances have been permitted to enter the area of the attack. About an hour and a half after Israeli forces were authorized to come to the scene, Egyptian authorities announced that Israeli rescue and relief workers who had not brought their passports could not cross the border.

Many firefighters then rushed home to get the necessary documents. However, not all the firefighters have passports, and those without were thus not be permitted to assist in rescue efforts.

So what did the Egyptians do?

The Egyptian tourism minister came to Taba in the early hours of Friday morning and authorized additional firefighters to enter.

Early hours of Friday morning. Nice. Your tourism from Israel just flatlined, asshat.

Oh. Those poor people: Once again, Molly Moore of the WaPo gives a tongue-bath to the poor, poor palis who are being invaded by the big, mean ol' Israelis with their—gasp!—superior weaponry. (See this post from last year for another article on the poor, downtrodden palis.)

JABALYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip, Oct. 7 -- By day, the streets of this densely populated Palestinian labyrinth are jammed with seething funeral processions and solemn mourning tents. But gradually, long before dusk, the camp is transformed into a ghost town, with civilians cowering in their apartments and masked gunmen darting through the shadows carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and homemade bombs.

"We just hug the children and cover them with clothes and blankets to protect them from the bullets," said Ama Motawaq, 59, a resident of the camp whose windows have been shattered and walls pockmarked by bullets.

On Thursday evening, the boom of Israeli Merkava tank cannons and the staccato crackle of heavy-caliber machine-gun fire ricocheted through the concrete alleyways, heralding the 10th night of Israel's most lethal incursion into the Palestinian territories in nearly 2 1/2 years.

Ninety-four Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed, according to statistics provided by each side in the conflict, since Israeli forces entered the northern Gaza Strip in an operation aimed at preventing Palestinian guerrillas from firing rockets and mortars at Jewish settlements and Israeli towns over the border. The fighting has pitted a sophisticated, high-tech military force against guerrillas using assault rifles, grenade launchers and weapons crafted from common explosives, construction site scraps and party balloons.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Let me throw a thought into the mix here: Perhaps if the pals weren't blowing up Israelis, the Israelis wouldn't be showing up in force to stop the terrorists from launching kassams and suicide attacks. Just a thought, here. Don't mind me.

To people in the line of fire, low-tech and high-tech weapons are equally terrifying.

On the streets of Sderot, residents interviewed this week said they lived in fear of the whistle that the Qassam rockets make. The missiles have killed four of the town's residents -- including three children -- in the past 3 1/2 months.

In the dusty alleyways and potholed streets of the Jabalya camp, which has more than 100,000 residents, the sound that sows fear is the omnipresent whine of the unmanned surveillance aircraft. On Thursday, no one walked the streets without keeping a wary eye on the cloudless sky in search of the brilliant white drone. Even grimy-faced toddlers playing in the dust of the grassless camp gazed skyward when the buzz grew louder.

"You're afraid when you go out, you're afraid when you're home," said Khalid Kahlot, 40, a father of six whose clothing shop on the northeastern edge of the camp was bulldozed by Israeli armored vehicles a few days ago. "Whenever you're out, you look to the sky to see if there are planes or the drone. Everyone is scared."

Once again, perhaps if you'd stop lobbing missiles at Sderot the IDF wouldn't be on your doorstep. I love this part:

When the remote-piloted aircraft fires a missile, "there's no noise, no light, just a 'sphew.' A second later, it hits," said Khaled Abu Habel, 38, who said he heard one of the missiles strike just yards from his home last Friday. He said the missile killed two of his cousins, both members of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas.

Israel kills two terrorists, and Molly Moore quotes their effing cousin. Betcha five bucks the cousin is in Hamas as well.

Now, she's spent a lot of time on showing us how terrified the twonspeople are. Then she writes this:

The eastern halves of the two communities -- the streets within tank range -- are deserted day and night. Residents say they are afraid to step outside their homes. But farther west, just out of range of the tank cannons and machine guns, the residents nervously scuttle through streets and alleys to shop in the handful of stores that open for a few hours each day. Schoolgirls with white scarves and neon-hued backpacks walk to classes, and neighbors gather at each other's homes to keep an eye on the feared drone overhead.

By midafternoon, the bustle subsides and the transformation begins. Children and young men start stretching huge cloth sheets across the narrow alleyways to provide cover from prying camera lenses above. As the afternoon shadows grow longer, even the streets on the relatively protected side of town are empty.

The entrances to some alleyways are barricaded with sandbags. Across some of the main streets, residents and militants have piled sand as high as a one-story building in an effort to block Israeli armor.

On Wednesday night, masked fighters from Hamas's armed wing held a news conference in the Jabalya camp to announce their determination to continue battling the Israeli tanks and to keep firing Qassam rockets. They also displayed samples of their arsenal: three shiny new Qassams, hand grenades and homemade bombs.

Gee. Those poor, innocent townspeople, busy sandbagging streets, covering alleyways, and making bombs. Pity them. Oh, and get this:

On Thursday, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, unveiled its latest weapon, the Aba Bel -- a fat, squat rocket about 20 inches long that contains about 20 pounds of explosives. It is launched by being flung out of a net and kept aloft with about 40 balloons of the type commonly sold for children's parties, an al-Aqsa spokesman said.

The spokesman said the first of the rockets had been lobbed at Sderot on Wednesday. No damage was reported by the Israelis.

This would be laughable if it weren't also possible these bombs could kill innocents. Balloons. Effing balloons. Yes, because they're so reliable. Y'know, if I lived in Sderot, I'd station a watchman with a gun to shoot the balloons while the was over palestinian territory. Or set up a giant wind machine.


EUating crow: The first of the EU representatives are starting to admit that the Israeli separation fence is working. You know, the one that they said wouldn't work even if the Israelis tried it.

The EU's representative in the Middle East has conceded that the controversial wall being built by Israel in the West Bank has stopped Palestinian extremists from carrying out suicide attacks in Israel.

His comments, made in an interview with Financial Times Deutschland, make him the first high-level EU diplomat to publicly say that the barrier has fulfilled its aim.

"The barrier has drastically sunk the number of attacks", said the Belgian diplomat.

So, does this mean that the EU is going to get off Israel's case about the fence?

However, although he admitted that the number of attacks has fallen, he told FT Deutschland that it does not mean that he finds the wall good.

Of course not. Not enough Jews are dying. (Oh, do I sound bitter? It's because I am.) But wait, there's more.

The Belgian also criticises the Israelis for unlawful killing of suspected terrorists and for the disproportionate use of violence and revenge acts, such as destroying houses, which he describes as "collective punishment".

Oh. So are you criticizing the pals?

The Palestinians are criticised for being too passive. He says they have to take more responsibility for their actions. He singled out recent attacks by Hamas on Israeli villages with self-made rockets for particular criticism.

Ouch! That's so harsh!

"The Palestinians knew very well that, with these attacks - which killed two small children - they had crossed a red line".

Mr Otte said that the Palestinian leadership has for a long time not reacted at all to these regular rocket attacks.

Wow, that's even more harsh! You Belgian meanie! Best be careful, they might decide to do something, like, I dunno, bring up a nonbinding resolution in the EU or something.


Yeah, I know I already used that one. It bears repeating. Okay. I'm done for now. I need something to get rid of the bile. Soap operas. Yes, that'll do it. Or playing with the cats. | |



5,000 shots

This is the five thousandth picture I've taken with the digital camera I bought in November of 2002. I took it a little before noon. It's Gracie getting ready to take a nap after her tuna treat.

Gracie in the Kitty Condo

There, Lair, it's a cat pic. Oh, a Tig pic? All right, all right.

Tigger, too!

It's an action shot, even. That's right, Tig can actually move his bulk. Quite quickly, actually.

There. Happy now?

| |

Thursday morning news and views from Jews

I really like that rhyme scheme. Good morning, this is Meryl, here now, the news from Jews. Heh.

More evidence that Israel has won the Oslo War: Yet another article on how Israel has sharply reduced civilian and military casualties. (Of course, the major media refer to the war as the "intifada." But we know better. Just ask Lynn.)

JERUSALEM -- After four years of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, Israel has established dominance on the battlefield, sharply reduced loss of life among its soldiers and civilians, and advanced its own agenda for the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the absence of negotiations to bring peace, according to officials and analysts from both sides.

In a pivotal shift in the conflict, Israel has crippled the effectiveness of the Palestinian militants' primary strategic weapon -- the suicide bomber -- with frequent military operations in the Palestinian territories, assassinations of dozens of militant leaders, improved intelligence, and construction of a massive barrier through and around the West Bank. At the same time, however, Israel's reliance on military options also has killed Palestinian civilians and inflicted hardships on Palestinian communities.

Since the uprising erupted in September 2000, approximately 2,800 Palestinians and about 1,000 Israelis have been killed, according to records compiled by The Post. About 27,200 Palestinians and 5,700 Israelis have been wounded.

Moreover, the Palestinian death toll has increased more dramatically than the Israeli toll. When Palestinian suicide attacks were at their peak two years ago, an average of two Palestinians were killed for each Israeli. So far this year, five Palestinians have been killed for each Israeli.

That last graf is key. The pals have been trumpeting the change in the ratio of deaths as their measure of success against the Israelis. One of the things that pisses off the international community the most is exactly that ratio. Their view is that "innocent" palestinians are killed indiscriminately. Of course, some civilians are killed in the crossfire. But name me one other army in the world that sends humanitarian officers into batttle with their soldiers.

And let's be realistic: In a war, you want the enemy casualty rate to be higher than yours. If it isn't, you lose. Look at Iraq: We've lost about 1,000 soldiers in the past year (not all of them in battle). But in many battles, the U.S. loses a handful of soldiers, and kill hundreds of "insurgents."

That said, the palestinian death toll would be much lower if they stopped hiding themselves among the civilian population. Of if palestinian teenagers stopped hanging around the battle scenes.

Hamas in the UN: Israel has arrested 13 members of Hamas that are working for the UN. And Canada has launched an investigation into whether their workers are members of Hamas. Here's what Peter Hansen (who swore there was a "massacre" at Jenin and has yet to apologize for that) thinks about having Hamas on the UN payroll:

Hansen said he believes there are Hamas members on UNRWA's payroll, but they have to follow UN rules on remaining neutral.

"Oh I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime. Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another," Hanson told CBC TV.

"We demand of our staff, whatever their political persuasion is, that they behave in accordance with UN standards and norms for neutrality," he said.

Sure. No problem. Neutrality, from the members of a group sworn to the destruction of Israel. Works for me.


The agony of defeat: For the pals, not for Israel. Looks like there is an agreement in the works to stop firing kassam rockets. (By the way, you may have noticed that I no longer capitalize the word "kassam." That's because capitalizing letters is an honorific, and I refuse to honor another palestinian murderer, after whom the rockets are named.) From Maariv:

Last night, PA officials handed over a letter to senior IDF officer by which they had finalized with heads of the Hamas to stop the firing of Kassam rockets in return for the IDF’s withdrawal from northern Gaza. According to the formulating agreement, Palestinian policemen would enter the area in order to prevent further launchings.

Meanwhile, fighting in the Gaza Strip continued yesterday as IDF forces killed at least 11 Palestinians. According to the Palestinians, since the start of the operation, 75 Palestinians were killed, of them 31 civilians.

Saddam for president: Yes, really. His lawyer has apparently told a Danish newspaper that he wants to run for president in the upcoming Iraqi elections. I say they should let him run. And lose.

It's a war, stupid: An analysis that points out Israel is in yet another war for her existence:

The reality is that what Israel is waging in Gaza today is a defensive war against paramilitary organizations whose goals go beyond those of a war of national liberation.

Critics of the tactics that the Israel Defense Forces are employing against the terrorists of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa, which have also caused casualties among Palestinian civilians, ignore the fundamental change that has taken place in the nature of the war. One can continue to define the IDF as an army of occupation and the Palestinians as "fighters," or even "freedom fighters," as certain Israelis and foreigners do. But the reality is that what Israel is waging in Gaza today is a defensive war against paramilitary organizations whose goals go beyond those of a war of national liberation.

[...] So why do the Palestinian organizations continue their campaign of murder against civilians and soldiers in Gaza, with even greater intensity than before?

The accepted explanation is that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa - each organization individually and all of them together - want to prove that they, and only they, succeeded in expelling the Israelis from Gaza via "the resistance." But this is not the whole truth. The organizations - and certainly Hamas and Islamic Jihad - view the continued fighting against Israel in the Strip as an additional stage in their effort to expel it not only from all of the territories, but also from the 1948 borders. As Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaida's number two, said last week: "The liberation of Palestine is an obligation incumbent upon all Muslims."

This one gets a RIF rating.

Good news for the holiday: It's Shmini Atzeret, and tonight, I'm going to celebrate with my fellow congregants. We're going to unroll the Torah scroll and wrap it twice around the sanctuary (I think it goes that far around), then we'll eat ice cream at the Oneg. And I'm also celebrating my first day off in a week and a half. So Lair, sorry, but the Tig pictures will have to wait. I'll give you one, but not the series I was going to do. However, you're also going to get Adventures in Tuna Treats when I get some time.

Oh, the good news: Two Israelis share the Nobel prize for chemistry with an American. The three won for advances in cancer treatment.

And on that note, it's time for breakfast. | |



On Second Thought

Ain't modern technology grand? At this very moment, I'm on a three-way call with my mother and HP online shopping, ordering a new notebook computer for each of us. Mom came into a little extra money lately, and promised me a new computer with some of it. So I went shopping online after I saw the HP commercial for their new Image Zone software, mostly because if you qualify for their online credit, you can make zero payments for six months. (We missed out on the one-year program by a few days.) WiFi, of course, and a lot of other bells and whistles—good screen, much bigger hard drive, DVD/CD-RW, and, oh yeah, moving into the current portion of the Information Age, like, with a current version of Windows (though that is a double-edged sword).

The new computer could not have come at a better time, either. I need to work with Powerpoint and overhead projectors as well as various other parts of Microsoft Office Professional to get this new job, and I'm rusty in Powerpoint and Access. Oh, and Excel. But I won't be for long.

(Still on phone with HP. Mom just got approved for HP credit.) So in five to seven business days, I'm going to have a brand-new computer. With WiFi. Did I mention WiFi? (Actually, I already have that, but because I'm using Win98, it's all screwed up and I can't seem to get it to work with anything new.) Oh, and with WiFi.

I seem to have suddenly developed the urge to do the happy dance. Excuse me.

Ah. That's better. New computer. New prospects. When I have something to report about the new job, I will, but for right now, it's all in the preliminary stages. I anticipate being able to announce something in about six to eight weeks.

That's not cricket, or, Bugs, Part Gazillion: Yes, even more bugs to add to the Bug Report from yesterday. I went to the pantry to get a plastic bowl and found a cricket in the top bowl. The cricket was dead. I declined to use that bowl. Then, when I was cooking the potato chips, I opened the kitchen door and found a great big spider on the outside of the door. The spider was bound and determined to get into my kitchen, and I was unwilling to kill it. It had a yucky, round, brown body with some kind of designs on it. Mottled, I think. Dunno if it was poisonous. I don't generally let spiders get close enough to bite me. So I closed the door and let the spider be.

Now there's a cricket in the house somewhere. I'm sure the cats have been playing with it. It's missing a leg.


Talk Suthuhn to me: The place where I work has a confluence of blue-collar workers, the result of which is a confluence of southern dialects. This morning, someone asked me how many Co-Colas I'd had thus far today. I'd never heard Coke called that outside of To Kill A Mockingbird. And when he says "order," it sounds like "odduh." Fascinating. He's a native Richmonder, nearly 80.

It's also fascinating to see retirees come into the shop and see people they'd worked with for decades, whom they hadn't seen in some time. These people probably worked side-by-side for thirty years. Not many people do that anymore. I certainly never have, nor never wanted to. My father worked for Pabst for 35 years, and gave me a profound distaste for staying in one place. Although I'd have stayed at Lucent forever, if Lucent hadn't undergone its financial problems and laid so many people off. It was a great place to work.

They were about to bring me from contractor to full-time status when the freeze started.


Lair wants Tig pics: I know, I know, I know. I will, Lair. But they've been way down on my list of things to do. First on my list for tomorrow: Make up the greeting cards I promised Janet. It's my first day off since last, um, Monday. Wow, that sucks.

Anyway, I picked out a series of pictures. They'll be up tomorrow sometime. This ought to whet your appetite: It's Tiggercise!

And with that image, I leave you. | |

Wednesday news and views

Closer and closer to Israel they come: Iran is getting closer to the bomb, and it's now got rockets that will reach her easily. This, mind you, from the nation that paraded these rockets with a banner that said "Israel must be wiped out." No, there's nothing to fear from Iran. Good to know that Israel has purchased bunker-buster bombs from the U.S.

By the way, I now believe that Israel is going to take the heat for the U.S. on stopping the Iranian bomb. IAF planes, probably also USAF planes painted to look like they're Israels, carrying bunker-buster bombs, and bombing the many Iranian sites, while fighting off Iranian fighter jets and ground batteries. Whether I'm correct in my opinions remains to be seen. Best guess as to time: Right after the election, if Iran doesn't either overthrow the Mullahcracy or stop trying to attain nuclear weapons.

Palestinian ERA Watch: The pals have found a new role for their women, besides bearing babies and getting killed in "honor" killings, that is. The IDF has caught 11 female palestinian wanna-be suicide bombers. For those of you who don't follow the Jewish calendar, that's eleven since September 15th. The last two were 16 and 17 years old. Where is the international outrage at using child "soldiers"? Oh, that's right. They're not American or Israeli, so it doesn't matter.

More dead terrorists: The IAF and IDF are combining to get rid of a whole lot of human trash. The latest trash is Bashir Dabash (I could make a limerick with this guy's name and "trash"). The count is in the dozens, with the international media, of course, making Jenin noises, thanks to the ever-present palestinian "witnesses" claiming that nearly every death is a civilian one. Uh-huh. Oh, and the UN made yet another anti-Israel resolution. Yeah, what-EVER.

Fewer dead civilians: The Jerusalem Post with a RIF article (you all know that means Read In Full, right?) about the IDF operation in Gaza. Fascinating, informative article about what's really going on there.

"The main threats troops have to contend with are... bombs, anti-tank rockets and sniper fire," he said. Another problem, he said, is the camp's narrow alleys, where terrorists attack troops while they are passing by.

With these hazards in mind, Itamar said, the soldiers are thoroughly briefed and are extremely cautious, doing their utmost to avoid causing injury to the civilian population. But sometimes things do go awry, he said.

"You have to realize that the terrorists choose to operate from within the civilian population and, therefore, unfortunately, civilian casualties are unavoidable – despite our efforts," he said.

"There have been a number of occasions when we allowed cells firing anti-tank rockets at us to flee because they chose to launch the attacks from the backyards of people's homes, and we refused to shoot at them, fearing civilians would be harmed," St.-Sgt. Ori said.

Gee, somehow, I don't ever imagine hearing the pals say this about, well, anyone. Hell, they even murder their own and call them "collaborators." On the other hand, read this Guardian piece to see what the pals are really saying. Is it anti-Israel? That was a rhetorical question, I presume.

Flying pig moment: Hold onto your hats. Representatives from the EU visited Sderot, the town that's getting slammed by Kassam rockets on a daily basis. The town where the two toddlers were killed.

Will anything come o fit? That was a rhetorical question, I presume.

(And, like, JPost copy editors: Dudes, you need to close an italic tag.)

Last, but not least: Not all the nuts grow on trees: Some, uh, religious "activists" (yes, they're called that in the article) are trying to get rid of Ariel Sharon and re-establish a Jewish monarchy. Nice try, guys. But I'm not too worried that your ritual will succeed. You don't even know how to really pronounce yud-hey-vav-hey, so there. | |



Happy thoughts

Happy happy joy joy: There will be no depressing news items in this post. Instead, I will write about wasps and birthdays and potato chips and children, and maybe even kittens.

Bugs bug me: A wasp came inside the kitchen yesterday, and I ignored it. Kept an eye on it, but ignored it. I figured I'd just hope it died. Well, it fell into some water, and I thought that was that. Found it on the floor this morning. Made me think of the old joke: What does the Pink Panther say when he steps on an ant? "Dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant." So here's a new joke: What does Meryl say when she steps on a wasp? "Oh, good, it's dead."

Hey, I didn't say it was going to be funny.

Speaking of bugs: Heidi has an infestation of gnats in her drains. I had that happen to me some years ago. Pour bleach down the drain, I told her, since we were waving gnats away from our dinner, the birthday cake, and, well, drinking them in our wine, if I'm not mistaken. (It's okay, I spat it out.) And if I had a little more time before having to run to teach religious school (I do not), I'd tell you about Heidi & Meryl's Adventures With Power Tools. Maybe later.

Potato chip season: It's cool enough for long-term frying, so I made potato chips a few days ago with dinner. Then I decided to finally cut up the two giant russet potatoes I'd bought specifically for that purpose. But I made them super-thin because I wanted to see how super-thin chips would fry. (Too thin, by the way. Really affects the frying process negatively.) Then I set them in water in the fridge, intending to eat them last night with dinner. But Sorena called and invited me over for her birthday dinner instead. So when I came home from work last night, I fried some up quickly for a present for Sorena, and left the rest in the fridge. Just finished them with my brinner (no breakfast, late lunch, early dinner, I figure). Actually, there are a few left. Snack later.

Sorena took my chips to school for her snack. I can just imagine the looks she's going to get when she tells her friends that Aunt Meryl made them for her. Yeah, well, wait 'til she gets home and finds ten thank-you cards containing a picture of all the girls at the party displaying their newly-decorated backpacks. All Sorena has to do is write "Thanks for the X" and she's done. It was Heidi's idea, since she was watching me make Sorena a birthday card.

Y'know, there's nothing I like more than making children happy. There just is no better thing. And it's usually so easy to do, too. The cards took me five minutes to create and about half an hour to print. And since I have Thursday off, everyone who ordered/orders cards from me will have them sent out Thursday afternoon.

No, I said I want to visit Petra: Wind Rider got a kitten. I called him up and said, "When can I see the kitten?" After twenty more minutes of conversation, I asked, "So when can I stop by?" He said, "Oh, sure, pretend you want to visit me when all you really want is to see the kitten." I said "No, I told you straight out that I wanted to come by to visit your new kitten." You see, his presence is incidental and hardly necessary, except to get me in the door to see the new kitten. But he doesn't seem to get what I mean, so I'm putting it in black and white (well, and red and blue) so he can get it. That, and the fact that I do believe we're having another cross-blog zing competition. Just remember, WR, which of us received the official title of Master of Juvenile Scorn™.

Opportunity knocks: There is going to be good, good, good news ahead on the job front. I found something with enormous potential. We'll see what happens. If I get it, it will entail frequent travel. Looks like I may be doing the Blog City Tour. | |



All roads lead to Star Trek

My friend Drew W. sent me the following email (and yes, he made it up himself):

Man, something was really bothering me while I was watching last night's Presidential debate.

I kept getting this nagging feeling of déjà vu. I was certain I'd seen this somewhere before, but I couldn't remember where.

Oh, now I remember . . .

Note for the humor-impaired: Drew is not a Bush-hater.

| |



Per request: My thoughts on the debate

Yes, I know it's several days later. But one of my regular readers wanted me to discuss the debate.

I thought that Bush looked extremely nervous at some points, and extremely angry at others. Not that I blame him—Kerry was calling him a liar to his face, in front of millions of Americans. On the other hand, Kerry looked like a total dork while Bush was speaking, but came across fairly well during his own speech time (appearance, not concepts).

Overall, I think that nobody "won" or "lost" the debate. I think that Kerry came off looking good, and that W. did not look very good. I think he wasted a lot of opportunities to call Kerry on "misleading" the American public. And if I heard the "wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time" remark, I wanted to through something at my television. Bush overdid the repetition.

I thought that Jim Lehrer was an excellent moderator, and I liked his questions. I also liked the way he let the debate be more fluid, allowing the president to respond to some of Kerry's more egregious accusations. And I was frankly just as livid as Bush at Kerry calling him a liar.

I hated the split-screen presentation. I suspect, however, that during the next debate, the candidates are going to be respectfully attentive during their time off-screen. Because they're not off-screen anymore.

However, I don't think that anyone went into the debate expecting their minds to be changed for them. Kerry voters are still Kerry voters, and Bush voters are still Bush voters. My feeling is that people who haven't yet decided are going to wait until all three debates are under their belt. Then they're going to be swayed by the last two weeks' negative advertising.

Come Tuesday, I'll put up a more in-depth post on how I think the election will go. | |


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.