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Today's moment of kitty zen

Saturday is becoming cat picture day, what with the huge drop in traffic and, well, many other things that happen on weekends.

So here's today's moment of kitty zen: Gracie at the kitchen door.

Gracie at the door

Who loves ya, baby?

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Is this a great country or what?

The last time I left my taxes 'til the 15th, I had to drive to the library, pick up numerous forms and instruction booklets, drive home, do my taxes, drive back to the library, make copies, drop off taxes at the Post Office.

This time, I downloaded forms and instruction booklets, (would have done all that last night, but Comcast sucks, as I said below), did my taxes, got totally confused and decided to go to H&R Block after all, then called Lynn before I stepped into the shower. She called back, walked me through the tough part, and I did my taxes on my computer.

Yes, I know there is tax software that does it for me, but I didn't think I needed it, because I didn't realize I'd have to file a Schedule D. I was really hoping for the EZ this year, but alas.

In any case, the PDF files are interactive, so I printed them out once I was finished and checked for errors, and oh yeah, I have to include a check—I was about to close up the envelope. Phew. Good thing I decided to post about doing my taxes at the last minute. (Oh, yeah, like millions of Americans aren't doing exactly the same thing I am, so don't even think about giving me a hard time. I never file early when I owe money.)

On the other hand, I did make little enough that I don't believe I should have paid a dime (it has not been a good year for me financially), but what the hey. I don't have a PAC finding me all kinds of loopholes and paying Congressmen big bucks to make them into laws.

Cynical? Moi?

Of course.

Now I'm off to watch the second and third graders lead services, and try not to sneeze too much during it. The Cold That Would Not Die is back. (Secret message to my brother: Stop sending me the email over and over again about cold prevention, I got it the first time.)

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What cease-fire?

Yeah, it's a great thing that Abbas is getting terrorists to pledge they'll stop trying to kill Israelis in return for a job.

Aqra'a, who is now paid about $350 per month as a member of the security forces, said he would never arrest let alone shoot a member of his militant group.

"If I were asked to, I would have to resign," he said.

Mahmoud Halabi, 26, another former militant who signed the nonviolence pledge, disagreed.

"To maintain law and order, I would arrest anyone, even if it is my own father," said Halabi, who is wanted by Israel for planning a suicide bombing and attacks on Jewish settlers.

Halabi and Aqra'a might never be put to that test. Since signing the pledge, the two former militants say they have not been asked to perform any duties. Both suspect that because of their militant pasts, they will be paid to stay out of trouble.

"The Palestinian Authority doesn't want us to do anything," Aqra'a said.

Yeah, we knew that.

Oh, that cease-fire: How many incidents can we find? This is the most egregious:

NABLUS - An al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member shot and killed by soldiers Thursday near the West Bank town of Nablus was planning to stage an attack in Jerusalem, the IDF says.

In other words, he was a "ticking bomb." Then there's the actual bomb:

An explosive device was detonated Friday afternoon near the Kisufim crossing in the Gaza Strip as IDF soldiers were passing through the area on routine patrol.

No one was wounded in the attack and no damage was caused, Israel Radio reported

Then there is the smuggling:

Since the beginning of 2005, there have been approximately 30 incidents of smuggling from the Sinai region, some to the Gaza Strip and some to the Negev . Since the beginning of the year, approximately 1000 rifles 2, dozens of RPG launchers, about 150 handguns and tens of thousands of bullets have been smuggled from Sinai to the Gaza Strip 3. It appears that during the month of March, about 5 anti-aircraft shoulder missiles were smuggled into the Gaza Strip using one of the tunnels. Figures in the Palestinian military intelligence and members of Hamas took part in that activity.

Then there's the ordinary, everyday smuggling:

Soldiers of the Duhifat Batallion searching a Palestinian vehicle at a checkpoint at Ein Sinaya north of Ramallah on Thursday afternoon, discovered bags containing 5000 six milimeter bullets.

According to security officials, the bullets were purchased in Jericho and were slated for the Gaza Strip.

So glad there's a cease-fire so the terrorists can re-arm and regroup.

And finally, we present the brave soldiers of Lebanon, capturing Israeli infiltrators:

Lebanese authorities captured two dogs that crossed the border from Israel and were checking whether they were booby-trapped or carried electronic implants that could be used for spying, Lebanese security officials said Friday.

The two dogs "infiltrated" Lebanon on Thursday through an opening in the barbed wire fence that separates the Kfar Kila village in southern Lebanon from the northern Israeli town of Metulla.

The dogs wore collars with Hebrew writing on them, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. They were being kept at a local police station while authorities figure out what to do with them.

This being an AP news story, we have to end the article with a keen grasp of the obvious:

The incident underlines the deep mistrust between the two countries.

Ya think? Mistrust, just because there are ten thousand Hizbullah rockets aimed at Israel from Lebanon? Gee, I'm not getting why there's mistrust.

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PETA: The laughs just keep on coming

I received an email from a Kate LaPointe, who discovered IEAPD and was outraged. It's the usual educated and erudite response:

I just visited your website for the first time...I find it sad and pathetic that you are trying to belittle an organization that is only trying to help animals. If you have never been to their website, please go. Take a look at how animals are treated and the methods used for killing them for fur, using them for tests for beauty products, the conditions in which they are kept before they are slaughtered so we can eat them, (yes, I'm guilty of that one too) and how they're treated when their used for our entertainment. All I'm asking is for you to please go to the site and watch the videos and look at the pictures. They are only trying to help. It's too bad that the world has more people that see things your way and less people that see things from the animals point of view.

I'm guessing teenager, and giving her an F in reading comprehension. But wait, where's the scatological insult? A letter from a PETA fan is not complete without a swear in it.

You must be a total douche bag!

Ah, there we go. And the PETA proponents keep their perfect record intact.

And from reader Deb, we have this story of PETA protesters in Brownsville, Texas:

The members of the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals got a soaking when the K-F-C manager turned on the restaurant's lawn-sprinkler system -- full blast.

K-F-C manager John Olivo tells The Brownsville Herald that the protesters had already picketed his restaurant in nearby McAllen -- so he was ready for them in Brownsville.

The PETA protesters, including one in a chicken suit, are part of a campaign to get K-F-C to pressure slaughter houses to use more humane methods to kill chickens.

A Rio Grande Valley man who eats beef followed the protesters around with his stepchildren and a microphone. David Ingersoll of Los Fresnos shouted at them -- "You're not going to win -- not in Brownsville."

Heh. Now that's humor. I love that there was an anti-PETA protest at the KFC. Protest Warrior's spirit is catching on.

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Time out for a soap opera moment

Those of you who don't watch ABC soaps can skip this post.

I knew it! That creepy agent is back on camera. He's the killer. I knew it!

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Childish humor

Only a couple of guys would think of this hypothetical question. It's rather, er, sick: How many five-year-olds do you think you could take at once? And while I admit to laughing out loud at many of the responses, I have to say, I'm agreeing with the person who said that it's pretty easy to make a five-year-old cry. On the other hand, there are two demon children at my religious school that I'd put up against any grown man. Via one of the Aces (can we make a rule against any new blogger using "Ace" in his name in any way? I can't keep them straight.)

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I hate monopolies

When my cable provider was AT&T, I had zero outages. Yes, that's right, zero. Since Comcast took it over, I've had so many internet cable outages I can't count them. It's been down half the week, but of course, Comcast won't reduce its bill unless the cable is out a full 24 hours. It's been out since last night sometime. I couldn't say exactly when, and all Comcast does is post little bits like this:

Comcast sucks

That was from Wednesday. Tons of information, right? And when you call them, you get "Due to overwhelming call volume, blahblahblah, call back later."

I hate monopolies. Comcast sucks, and I have no other option in my area. No DSL available, no rival cable provider.

Thanks so much, Congress, for filling your pockets at my expense.

Bitter? Me? Because I'm borrowing my mother's AOL account to post this?


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Inspiration delayed

Every once in a while, I simply get too disgusted with the news to post. Go ahead and talk among yourselves while I catch up on yesterday's soap and get myself in the mood to deal with the hypocrisy and anti-Semitism rampant in the daily news about Israel.

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Caterpillar shareholders give protesters a big fat goose-egg

The score is still zero on the divestment front.

CHICAGO - Caterpillar Inc. shareholders on Wednesday soundly rejected a resolution that would have directed the heavy equipment manufacturer to investigate the use of its bulldozers by the Israeli army to demolish Palestinian homes.

The resolution, which the company said at its annual meeting was defeated 97 percent to 3 percent, stated that Israel has used Caterpillar equipment to destroy more than 3,000 homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 2000.

Wow, 97 to 3 percent. Look out, they're gaining!


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Carnival of the effing hilarious

Some idiot didn't think this was worthy of being included in the CoTV. It's one of Lair Simon's funniest posts ever. Run, do not walk, to see this, and put down your drinks. It's a photo essay on the Bush/Sharon meeting at Crawford. So, this is what Lair was doing while I was burying Worf. I think he had a lot more fun.

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Feeding the fires of anti-Semitism, part 1

Over on The Jawa Report, Rusty Shackleford is taking issue with Jay Tea's taking issue with the Mormons' practice of posthumous baptism, which we've covered a few times here. Now it's my turn to take issue with something Rusty said:

When the families of Holocaust survivors lodge a protest over the 'baptism for the dead' practice of Mormons, they are feeding the fires of anti-semitism. Protesting what is essentially a harmless practice, and one done out of good will, is the kind of thing that anti-semites love to point out.

The fact that Jews are expressing their opinion—that Mormons posthumously baptizing Jews is offensive—is handing anti-Semites a weapon? I think I need this explained to me, possibly in words of one or two syllables, because I'm missing the point where Jews are bringing anti-Semitism on themselves. In fact, very little raises my ire faster and farther than someone telling me that Jews are the cause of anti-Semitism.

But lest you think Rusty is done with us, he also tells us when it is and isn't okay to bring up the Holocaust. We may want to call this Rusty's Rule, and make it a corollary to Godwin's Law.

It's one thing to bring up the Holocaust when defending Israel's right to exist, it's another thing altogether to bring it up when complaining about a doctrine that you oppose.

Or not.

To recap: The Mormons are baptizing deceased Holocaust survivors. So instead of mentioning the Holocaust, what with the dead people being survivors of the Holocaust and all that, we'll have to do something else so as not to violate Rusty's dictum. I suggest we protest the Mormons' practice of baptizing Blooglefleeg survivors. In the interest of not offending, er, giving ammunition to, anti-Semites. We could even wink every time we say the word "Blooglefleeg."

But we're not quite finished yet. Evidently, someone pointed out the offensiveness to Jews of the above statements, because Rusty posted this:

UPDATE: Holocaust.

Jews have a perfectly legitimate reason for being sensitive, as Aaron points out in the comments.

Gee, ya think?

However, I sense a "but" statement coming.

But by invoking the Holocaust into this debate (as the delegation did when they took special umbrage at Holocaust victims being baptized by proxy) we cheapen the enormity and uniquely evil nature of that event.

Ah. So Rusty thinks that Jews have a legitimate reason to be, uh, sensitive over things involving the Holocaust. But we can't overuse it, y'know? And we cheapen the debate by mentioning that, well, many of those people the Mormons are baptizing were killed because they were Jewish. Or did you think, because they were all that Rusty mentioned at first, that only dead Holocaust survivors were being baptized? Uh, no. The Mormons are baptizing the victims of the Holocaust, too.

That is the point that Shackleford, and everyone else who think that Jews are being too "sensitive" about this, are missing. Jewish victims of the Holocaust were killed because they were Jews. What part of that is difficult to understand? And even though I said the Mormon practice is ineffective and frankly laughable, it is still incredibly offensive, and it is not just to the families of Holocaust survivors that this is offensive. The Mormons are saying that they don't care if these people died for being Jews, they're going to do their damnedest, er, darnedest, to give them a chance to become Mormon.

What the Mormons are doing is effectively spitting in the faces of Jews, both living and dead. It doesn't matter that these aren't forced conversions, and it doesn't matter that they are a ridiculous concept. This practice of posthumous baptism is insulting and offensive to Jews.

And nobody—nobody—is going to tell us when we can and cannot take offense, and when we can and cannot mention the Holocaust—especially not for fear of handing ammunition to anti-Semites.

We have a mantra about that here on Anti-Semites of the world, just die already. Perhaps Rusty might want to consider taking on our mantra the next time he finds himself so concerned about Jews handing anti-Semites any more ammunition for anti-Semitism.

Here's a tip for you, Rusty: Jew-haters are going to hate Jews whether or not we give them a reason. Read up on your history. Anti-Semites thrive even where there are negligible Jewish populations.

It isn't the Jews causing the problem in this issue. We are simply reacting to it.

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Now the news

I like IEAPD better: Tomorrow is "Stop Caterpillar Day" at campuses across the nation. (How cool is it that Caterpillar has "" for their domain?) Oh. My. Gawd! They've release a motorcyle with the unfortunate (to cat lovers) name "Cat Chopper." Ahem. (Sorry, that is one butt-ugly color for a bike. My Jeep is the right kind of yellow.)

Also on Caterpillar: A column in the Chicago Sun (Cat is based in Chicago) against divestment; apparently, anti-divestment petitions gain signatures in vastly greater number than divestment petitions (ooh, that's gotta hurt PCUSA):

Boycotts and divestment campaigns usually fail, and often lead to more effective counter-campaigns. Sponsors of recent divestment initiatives at American universities have experienced only embarrassment at the pummeling their initiatives have taken: At Harvard and MIT, anti-divestment supporters outnumbered divestment supporters by 10 to 1; Columbia's divestment resolution attracted about 1,000 signatories, but the anti-divestment resolution attracted more than 33,000. Church divestment proposals are certain to lead to counter-investment, as Israel's many friends -- Jewish and Christian, private and public, individual and institutional -- will invest in Caterpillar and other divestment targets. Wall Street has issued "buy" recommendations for all these companies, providing added incentive for counter-investment.

Calling Jewish college students: By the way, if you are, are the parent of, friend of, aunt or uncle of, brother or sister of, a Jewish college student, get them in touch with Steven Weiss of CampusJ. If I'm not mistaken, there are several thousand American colleges, and right now, only eleven are represented at CampusJ. We can do better.

British anti-Semitism alert: Hard on the heels of British academics trying to laungh another boycott of Israeli academics, a Jewish Member of Parliament was pelted with eggs—while commemorating an anniversary of the death of British Jews by Nazi missiles. George Galloway, Saddam's biggest cheerleader, is currently running against Oona King:

Later Miss King, the daughter of the black American civil rights activist, Preston King, who was brought up in north London, and Mr Galloway, a factory worker's son from Dundee, traded insults at a constituency event organised by BBC London 94.9FM at a local arts centre.

Both candidates, who were vocally supported by large sections of the audience, took every opportunity to attack their opponents.

Miss King, who said she would not trust her opponent to "deliver a pizza" far less effective policies, attacked him for his close association to Saddam Hussein and in particular when he flew out to visit the dictator.

"When I come across someone who is guilty of genocide I do not get on a plane and grovel at his feet," she said to whoops of delight from her supporters.

He hit back when asked how he felt about challenging one of just two black women MPs in government.

"Oona King voted to kill a lot of women in the last few years," he replied. "Many of them had much darker skins than her."

Nice. He's accusing a black woman of being a racist to people who are blacker than she. So Galloway is not just an anti-Semite, he's a racist as well.

In the Guardian? Ehud Barak defends Ma'ale Adumim in the Guardian. In the Guardian? In the Guardian? Really? Isn't someone going to get fired over this?

The guidelines in terms of territory have always been clear for both sides. This framework entails a two-state solution, two nations living side by side rather than within each other. This requires Israel to remove settlements from the midst of the Palestinian population and allow the Palestinian state its territorial contiguity. The Palestinians, for their part, are expected to acknowledge that Israel will remain predominantly Jewish and that the major blocs of settlements will not be removed.

[...] At Camp David, this insistence brought me to fear that the dispute was actually not about 1967, namely "occupation", but 1947, the very right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. It should be clear that our "demographic continuity" is no less important than the Palestinian desire for "territorial contiguity".

You tell 'em, Ehud. And regarding Ma'ale Adumim, here's more information about this suburb of Jerusalem. (Not a "settlement." I would call it a "done deal."

What's the reverse of brain drain? Actually, it's what happens when you have the highest concentration of Jews in one place: You get an amazingly high-tech and innovative society. (Hat tip: Greg S.)

A country of just 6.8 million people best known for its conflict with the Palestinians, Israel has managed to create billions of euros of wealth through new products and services, said Douglas Davis on Monday, who with his wife Helen wrote "Israel in the World: Changing Lives Through Innovation".

Israeli researchers in recent years have developed instant messaging on the Internet, wireless computing chips for Intel, miniature video camera capsules to examine internal organs, filters and tubes for veins to prevent heart attacks and strokes, security software and new cancer treatments.

It may provide lessons to other nations looking to better cope with mass immigration and increased competition from lower wage countries -- Israel's population has grown ten-fold in less than six decades due to high birth rates and immigration.

High-tech exports from Israel amounted to $26 billion (14 billion pounds) in 2000, making up 57 percent of total exports, up from 23 percent in the early 1990s. Risk capital available to new companies is the highest in the world, with a whopping 5 percent of gross domestic product devoted to research and development.

Don't you love how they don't mention exactly why there was so much immigration? Hey, Arab world: Your loss. Israel's gain. But don't worry, they'll be happy to sell you the products. Once they take off the "Made in Israel" stamp, of course.

Shame of the Times: A new book about how the New York Times buried news of the Holocaust is out and reviewed in Ha'aretz. Too bad the Times hasn't quite learned its lesson about bending over backwards to not seem a "Jewish" newspaper. Hat tip: Joel G. And by the way, for those of you who disparage Ha'aretz: This is why I continue to read it. Agree or disagree with some of its political opinion, it's a good source of news.

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People first

Lair Simon has gone into the news business. He's trying to give Scrappleface a run for his money. I say go for it, Lair. Scott's good, but so are you, and there's always room for one more in the humor field. Well, as long as it's not Pauly Shore. This one's short but very funny. There are many more to read, as I'm pretty sure Lair has eight or nine personalities working nonstop in his head, and is a Type-A personality beside.

Mrs. Smash is home from the hospital, and won't need back surgery, thank goodness. Sorry to hear she can't ride horses anymore, but I'm so glad she's going to be all right. She and I hit it off immediately when she and Scott visited Richmond last year, and it was great seeing them both in San Diego last month.

Okay, so I know this guy's been around a long time, but, uh, how the hell have I not been reading him? Andy at the World Wide Rant is funny. Funny. And bitingly funny. You know, though, I think he has a mad on for Paul of Wizbang. Just a sneaking suspicion, is all.

There's a new kid on the block, and while I'm a bit unsure (and a little afraid) of what a neo-neocon is, she taught me something with this post about the new Iraqi president's views on Jews.

Ilyka is posting again. I would like to know one thing, though: Ilyka, if you're going to save me from a tiger about to charge, why didn't you just run and get help like I asked, instead of climbing over the fence (with your foot in a cast) and risking both our lives? Good thing for both of us I was able to hold him off with a broom until we climbed back over the fence. Which, come to think of it, he should easily have been able to leap over.

(The above will make much more sense once you realize it was a dream I had last night.)

Next, the news, and after that, there's a flame on the front-burner, and it has someone's name on it. Yet another moron telling us how Jews are causing anti-Semitism.

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On Second Thought

Are we lost? So, do you folks want me to put up another Lost episode summary this week? And, like, for the season finale as well? Because I was really tempted to write one for last night's episode of 24, which has stretched my disbelief so far that I feel like Elastigirl. Oh, yeah, right, shooting down Air Force One is that simple. And Marwan, the Super-Terrorist, Knows All, Sees All, and will Kill All if Jack doesn't stop him first. I mean, really. It's starting to feel like a 1960s DC comic. And I don't mean that in a good way.

Razzafrazzarazza: Don't even talk to me about class today. Gawd. Spring fever has hit, and I still have six weeks of classes left. They haven't been this uncontrollable since last autumn.

Must-know TV: So I'm driving to work today and a really important thought hits me: Is Jessica Alba still dating that guy from Dark Angel?

Corn, corn, corn, corn: It's good to live farther south than New Jersey. I had some decent white corn yesterday, and got some more for dinner today. So I'm trying to think of a subhead for this entry, and I'm thinking "Maize? Corn?" and suddenly it hits me: Oh. That's where Mazola gets its name. Duh moment.

The ol' in-and-out: Gracie keeps on going out, discovering that it's cold and rainy, and coming back in. She waits a few minutes, yowls to go out again, I let her, and she comes right back in. Now that's what you call optimism. And, er, suckerism. She hates the cold. I'm not very fond of it either, but at least I know enough to know that the temperature doesn't usually change drastically in three minutes. Whoops, there she goes again. Okay, that's it. Last time.

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I'm a terrorist and I'm okay

Mahmoud Abbas has a unique way of getting terrorists out of the Jew-killing business and on the PA payroll. They sign a pledge: In exchange for turning in their guns, they get a government job. And how do we best determine whom to hire? Why, with a point system, of course:

Hundreds of gunmen have filled out job applications in recent days. Hemayel said jobs would be awarded according to a point system to determine who gets the highest ranks in the security forces and the best positions in the civil service.

A high school diploma, for example, is worth eight points, while a year in an Israeli prison or on the run counts for two points each. Gunmen don't get credit for time served in Palestinian lockups, but they win extra points if they were wounded by Israeli army fire or had their homes demolished.

After filling out a questionnaire, gunmen were asked to sign a pledge to observe the law and all Palestinian Authority decisions, which implies they agree to halt violence.

Nasser Jumma, an Al Aqsa leader in Nablus, a militant stronghold, said he and the vast majority of more than 200 Al Aqsa gunmen in the city have signed the pledge. Jumma, 36, stands a good chance to win a top job: he spent eight years in an Israeli jail and four years as a fugitive.

Notice how you don't score points for serving time in a palestinian jail. You gotta love the warped mind that came up with this SAT (Stop A Terrorist) system. But it's going to be effective. Really. Honest!

Hemayel said the gunmen would be disarmed gradually. Former members of the security forces who joined Al Aqsa during the uprising and are now returning to their jobs could keep their government-issue rifles. Those who bought weapons on the black market could sell them to the government, he said.

As part of the nonviolence pledge, the gunmen are asked to list serial numbers of their weapons. Hemayel acknowledged there is no way to know if militants are hiding some of their guns.

Ala Sanakra, a gunman in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, said he'd like to get a job in the Preventive Security Service and has gone for an interview, but he won't register all his weapons.

The future is uncertain, Sanakra said, citing Monday's arrest raid in Nablus which he initially believed targeted him.

You're not paranoid, Sanakra. I'm sure the IDF really is out to get you. Give up the guns, and they won't be. Schmuck.

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Suburbs and settlements

I'm sorry, but the idea of Ariel Sharon on a ranch is not a concept I can wrap my brain around, even though his home in Israel is called a ranch, too. Anyway, it looks like he has graduated to "Friend of W.," which can only mean one thing: He has a stupid nickname.

On the serious side, it appears that W. isn't going to let the fact that Ma'ale Adunim is a neighborhood of Jerusalem, not a "settlement" in the West Bank (think Queens in NYC for a comparison, or the south side of Richmond, which is actually fifteen minutes away from downtown yet is still part of the city, and I have the tax bills to prove it), and then tell the PA to eff off. Because Ariel Sharon isn't giving it up, nor will the rest of Israel.

Jerusalem was out of Jewish control for nearly two millennia. We will never willingly give it up again, since we had the proof during Jordanian control, when they were legally obligated by treaty to let Jews worship at the Western Wall and did not, that the Arabs cannot be trusted to let Jews worship at our holy sites—even though Jews have let Muslims worship at theirs since 1967, and indeed, enacted a law protecting all holy sites.

In fact, the Jordanians destroyed much of Jewish Jerusalem while they were in control.

Here's the thing: The Arabs lost the war. Now they lose some territory. It happens. Deal with it.

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Worf Things

Thing 1: I'm so tired. I stayed up very late digging through my photo archives to make something for Heidi to have when Worf was gone, had crappy dreams and a restless night, and still woke up half an hour before the alarm went off. I think it's safe to say I did not want to say goodbye to Worf.

I stayed at Heidi's until Sorena got home from school. We brought Worf home, finished digging the grave, stopped in the middle of that to chat with her friend the beekeeper, who'd brought her another box for the bee swarm that Heidi captured in a cardboard box (I'll tell you about it later; suffice to say it was the result of a royal coup in the original hive), I finished digging the grave, then went over to stop the beekeeper from talking to Heidi until sundown, since it seemed like there was no end in sight to the chat. We kept rather busy the rest of the day, what with burying Worf, running Willow, clipping Sparty, burning photo CDs, and then my documenting Heidi's attempt to get the rogue swarm into the new box (more later; suffice to say I did this from a great distance).

It was a sad morning. But the day wasn't as bad as I'd feared.

Thing 2: I'm working on his eulogy, mostly in my head. It'll get down on virtual paper soon enough, I'm sure. Heidi and I were discussing whether or not to make a grave marker. We thought of a few epitaphs: "Worf, get down!" "Worf, no!" "Worf, drop it!" I forgot which one we decided was the funniest, but it wasn't one of those three.

Thing 3: We let Willow and Sparty out in the back yard without leashes. Sparty has always had that privilege, but never Willow. It was amazing to be in the unfenced area in Heidi's yard with a Ridgeback off-leash. Willow actually came every time we called her. Well, once she finished peeing where she wasn't supposed to.

Thing 4: Conversations at a gravesite:

"I finished digging, but I don't think you'll agree. The bottom is uneven."
"I'll just even it out a little."
"It's not like anyone's going to see if he's uneven."
"Well, I don't want him to slide down."
"It's not that uneven. Geez."

"I don't think it's big enough."
"It's big enough."
"Well, what if he doesn't fit?"
"You know, we can move his legs around. Squeeze him in if we need to."
"I think we should make it a little bigger."

"We should bury him with a sneaker."
"I'm putting one of Sorena's stuffed animals in with him."
"Yes, but we should put a sneaker in, too. I forgot to bring mine."
"I have tons of old sneakers."
"You know, we only need one sneaker, Heidi."
"Yes, but then what am I going to do with only one sneaker?"
"Oh, yeah."

"Geez! I do not think Worf lost nearly as much weight as the vet said he did."
"No, he didn't."
"Wait, wait! I'm losing his butt! Okay, I've got it."
"Can you flop his ear right-side up? It looks really stupid that way. [pause] Much better."

Thing 5: It's really difficult to capture a look with a camera, but this came close. Worf was never happier than when he was deviling someone, preferably Sorena or me. That's my denim shirt in his mouth. He took it off the chair I had left it in, of course. And walked right up to me, daring me to chase him. Worf was a one-of-a-kind dog. We're really going to miss him.

Worf stealing my shirt

He's buried right alongside the dog yard. Outside the fence, for a change.

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By the time most of you read this, I will have gone with Heidi to the vet's, and Worf will be dead. We're planning on taking him in shortly before ten a.m. on Monday. In the short time between Wednesday, when I was over there last, and this evening, Worf's tumor was noticeably bigger and his quality of life had noticeably declined. In four days.

I'll have more to write tomorrow. Tonight, I want to post pictures of the Worf that was.

Stealing my sneaker so I'll chase him

Counter-surfing for spilled food

Yes, that's a Scooby-doo blanket. Ridgebacks have very short fur, and get cold in the winter, so they get put to bed with a blanket. He is here because someone went into the kitchen and made noises like they were getting food.


This was his best begging position. That's my knee he's drooling on. If I let him, he'd keep his head on my knee until I was finished eating. Except when he'd try to steal my food. You couldn't take your eye off him for a second.

It's going to be a sad day here tomorrow. And tiring. I stayed up too late making Heidi a picture montage of her boy.

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