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Thinking out loud

So I've been temping via Kelly at Large Financial Company in Richmond, with the explicit aim of going from Kelly temp to Large Financial Company employee, and I've been interviewing for a position that fits me like a glove. I did well in the first interview, and I think I did well in the second, even though I was rather surprised to get an email yesterday morning that scheduled it for, well, yesterday afternoon. Maybe that was part of the plan, to see if they could throw me. All I can say is, when I was getting dressed yesterday morning, I was trying to decide between suitable-but-not-so-great, and a pantsuit. No way they're gonna throw a surprise interview at me, I decided. But I wore the pantsuit anyway. Because it just looked better than pants and a shirt.

At least next week, I get to dress for work knowing I've got an interview on Tuesday. I expect that I'll have one more after that one, if I make it to the next cut.

My current manager knows I'm interviewing, and y'know, I'm just a temp, helping get a job done that isn't particularly challenging, but requires great attention to detail (can you say, "Perfect for Meryl and her OCD?" I knew you could). But this guy is a great manager. He let me know he's pulling for me, is extremely positive, and rather generous with praising my work for him.

I've only had strong feelings twice about places to work. Once, years ago, I walked into the main lobby at Lucent on my way to interview for a web position. The second I walked into that lobby, the atmosphere just hit me like a wave. I thought it was going to be a great place to work, and I wanted that job more than I'd wanted any other job in my life. I sold myself 150% to get that job, and I did get it. I'm still on good terms today with the people I worked with then. They read this blog fairly regularly. (Hi, all!) We email each other, and they've even sent me presents from my wishlist. (Thanks, Harry!)

Well, I got that same feeling when I first walked into Large Financial Company in Richmond. The atmosphere was just so—nice. I've worked in Fortune 200 companies before (Fortune 50, actually). I didn't get the same feeling at all in those other companies. But here? I like this company. I like these people. There are people whose only interaction with me is that I am sitting near them, and the fact they're still really nice to a temp is a good indicator that this is a great place to work. The fact that the person is a manager is even more of an indicator. When managers are that good, it's a great work environment. I've had the opposite environment—recently, at The Job From Hell, in fact—and it's not an experience I'd like to repeat.

I'm selling myself very hard to get this job. It's web-related and publishing-related, and it's only a 15-minute commute. You simply can't get any closer to my ideal job than that.

It'd be nice to have a regular job again. Especially one that utilizes most of the skills I've spent my career developing. I told my interviewer this week that if I had to make up a job for myself, this one would come very close to what I'd create. Of course, I did leave off the "Cheers of thousands" requirement. I get that from the blog.

Okay, no, I'm not writing that with a straight face.

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PA civil war watch: Fatah—Fatahkidnapped a PA official. It's great. They're eating their own.

Fatah gunmen in the Gaza Strip on Thursday kidnapped a senior Palestinian Authority security official and his wife and three children in yet another sign of continued lawlessness in PA-controlled areas.

Sources in the Gaza Strip said a group of masked gunmen belonging to Fatah's armed wing, Aksa Martyrs Brigades, intercepted the car of Jihad Abed, a top official in the PA's Military Intelligence in Gaza City and took him and his family to the al-Bureij refugee camp.

The kidnappers later released the wife and children, but were still holding Abed by late Thursday.

Until recently Abed served until recently as director of the office of Gen. Musa Arafat, the former commander of the PA Military Intelligence. Gen. Arafat is a cousin of Yasser Arafat.

And let us all say: Encore! Encore! Bravo! More!

(Gee, am I being too harsh on the poor little victims here?)

Don't hold your breath waiting for the world condemnation: The PA executed a convicted murderer (I'd have to check, but I'm betting their trial was nothing like, say, a real trial). So let me see if I get this straight. Most European nations refuse to extradite murderers to the U.S. because we have capital punishment, but they're fine with weak condemnations of the PA and giving them billions of dollars. Can you say, "hypocrites"? I knew you could.

One step closer to Iranian nukes: The Doomsday Clock continues to count down. Iran achieved solid fuel capability, which means they can aim their rockets directly at Tel Aviv. And arm them with the nukes the world refuses to stop them from getting. My worst nightmare is closer to coming true. Okay, my second-worst nightmare. My worst is a nuke falling on me. Of course, if the world keeps it up, Iran will have ICBMs pointed at the U.S., and a nutjob Ayatollah in charge. All that's missing now is the ICBM.

Hamas goes Moonie: Hamas conducts a mass wedding and gives the couples a few hundred bucks apiece. At first glance, it looks like the Madison Square Garden Moonie weddings (oh, Google it, do I have to link everything for you?), but it's actually a great PR stunt, and a way to get people to vote for Hamas. The PA can't compete with stunts like this. Hat tip: Rahel.

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The Vatican's pitiful excuse

Get a load of this garbage the Vatican is using as an excuse for not condemning palestinian terrorism.

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Responding to Israeli criticism, the Vatican said Thursday it hasn't condemned every strike by Palestinian militants against the Jewish state because Israel's military response to the attacks has sometimes violated international law.

Largely good relations between the Vatican and Israel in recent years were strained this week by Israeli outrage that Pope Benedict XVI failed to condemn terror against Israelis in recent remarks.

Israel's Foreign Ministry complained Monday that Benedict, in a public appearance at his Alpine vacation retreat on Sunday, "deliberately" didn't mention a July 12 suicide bombing in the coastal city of Netanya while the pontiff did refer to recent terror strikes in Egypt, Britain, Turkey and Iraq.

"It's not always possible to immediately follow every attack against Israel with a public statement of condemnation, and for various reasons, among them the fact that the attacks against Israel sometimes were followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the rules of international law," a statement from the Vatican press office said Thursday night.

"It would thus be impossible to condemn the first (the terror strikes) and let the second (Israeli retaliation) pass in silence," said the Vatican statement, which had an unusually strong tone for the Holy See.

So let's see. The Vatican thinks it's not right to condemn this:

In the West Bank on Thursday, Israeli forces killed an Islamic Jihad activist in an arrest raid, the military said. Soldiers surrounded a house in the village of Shufa and ordered everyone out. The activist's father emerged and said no one else was inside, but a dog sent in by soldiers found the suspect, and soldiers killed him.

Because it happened in response to this:

Army Radio reported he was involved in the July 12 suicide bombing in the nearby city of Netanya that killed five Israelis.

So the Vatican says that this:

On March 28, 2002 after a series of terrorist attacks within Israeli cities that cost many over 125 civilian lives, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield (called "Homat Magen" in Hebrew). The goal was to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure developed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), or allowed to operate in territory the PA controls. The operation consisted of moving Israeli forces into Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza for the purpose of arresting terrorists, finding and confiscating weapons and destroying facilities for the manufacture of explosives.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, speaking to the Knesset on April 8, 2002 gave this summary of the operational goals:

* IDF soldiers and officers have been given clear orders: to enter cities and villages which have become havens for terrorists; to catch and arrest terrorists and, primarily, their dispatchers and those who finance and support them; to confiscate weapons intended to be used against Israeli citizens; to expose and destroy terrorist facilities and explosives, laboratories, weapons production factories and secret installations. The orders are clear: target and paralyze anyone who takes up weapons and tries to oppose our troops, resists them or endanger them - and to avoid harming the civilian population.

Was not a reasonable response to this:

The number of people killed in Wednesday night's suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya rose to 22 on Friday morning, with the death of two of the people critically injured in the blast.

All of the 22 victims of Wednesday night's suicide bombing in Netanya have been identified, 19 by the Abu Kabir forensic institute. Sixty-three people were still hospitalized Thursday evening, 17 of them in serious condition.

I was giving this new Pope time to prove himself before I made up my mind about him.

It is now made up. And I'm not happy.

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Thursday morning news

I guess this must be their audio wing: I know this is from Worldnet Daily, but it seems entirely plausible. Hamas, that "militant" organization that the EU and US are holding secret talks with, instructs terrorists firing rockets via their FM radio station—the better to aim their rockets. Perhaps Israel should be blocking unwanted radio stations.

Just when you think they can't do anything to make me hate them any more, they do. I hate Hamas. I pray that an Israeli rocket hits their radio station.

What's missing from this statement? The palestinian prime minister blathers on, but says something significant.

GAZA - With just 19 days left to disengagement, the Palestinians have already set their sites on a new goal: Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia said Wednesday that the prize is a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as is its capital.

"We are telling the entire world, today Gaza and tomorrow Jerusalem. Today Gaza and tomorrow and independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," he said while reviewing Palestinian forces in Gaza.

Qureia said that the Palestinians would not establish a state without Jerusalem: "We won't establish a country with the racist separation fence; there won't be a (Palestinian) state with aggressive settlements and a state will not arise without our achieving all the rights of our Palestinian nation and the right of return."

Okay. Hands up. Yes? You in the back? Exactly! The word "East" is missing from Jerusalem. Because the pals have never really hidden their true intent: To drive the Jews into the sea. Now for your homework assignment: How long do you think it will be before the pals accuse Israelis of having booby-trapped the buildings left behind in Gaza? Five bucks says the first "work accident" death gets blamed on the Jews.

The jury is out: The new ambassador to Israel says he'll be tough on palestinian terror. Not that it matters if he's tough if his boss isn't, but hey. We'll give him a chance.

How Arafat destroyed "Palestine": Okay, there is no state of Palestine, but the article is worth reading.

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The British bomber caught: Tabloid style

You have to love the British Sun. Check out their account of the capture of one of the four failed bombers:

A JUBILANT cop last night described the dramatic moment suicide bomb suspect Yasin Hassan Omar was seized — after being zapped with a 50,000-volt Taser gun.

Somalian Omar, 24, was disabled with the stun gun as police burst into his Birmingham hideout.

He was seen trying to grab a backpack similar to those used by bombers — and was immediately shot with the Taser.

Minutes later he was led away “shuffling like a caged animal” in manacles — and a suspect package was later blown up in a controlled explosion.

An officer who took part in the dawn arrest said: “I’ve never seen anyone look so scared.”

Every muscle in Omar’s body would have been temporarily paralyzed as barbed darts attached to electrical wires fired from the Taser gave an agonising shock.

[...] Omar was in his blue pyjamas in the bathroom when a dozen officers wielding a battering ram smashed their way into an apartment at 63 Heybarnes Road, Small Heath, at 4.30am.

The police source said: “He looked s**t scared. He had obviously been sleeping but must have jumped up the moment he heard the door go.

“He looked utterly astonished to see us. His face was a picture. He must have thought he was completely safe.

“When we first burst in he offered little resistance, although he looked like he was going to make a run for it at one point.

“He was then hit with the Taser as he was picking up a backpack because we did not know what was in it. It looked very much like other backpacks that have been used by bombers.”

You have to go to the web page just to see the illustration. It's a hoot.

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More AP bias

Let's have another lesson in the AP anti-Israel bias, shall we?

Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Youth

Remember last week's lesson? Well, this one is pretty similar. Once again, Israelis kill, but palestinians do not. Their rockets kill. Their guns kill. But they do not kill Israelis.

JENIN, West Bank (AP) - Israeli troops on Wednesday killed a Palestinian stone-thrower during an arrest raid that caught a wanted Islamic Jihad militant in this West Bank town, Palestinian officials said.

The troops, backed by tanks and bulldozers, entered Jenin around midday and surrounded the home of a wanted Islamic Jihad militant, witnesses said.

There's that word "raid" again, in the first paragraph. It's a "raid" when Israel arrests terrorists who have tried, or are trying to kill Israelis.

And permit me to present Exhibit Stone-Thrower again:

palestinians throwing chunks of cement

Look at the size of those stones. I believe they would properly be called "chunks of cement." But the service where this originally appeared called these would-be murderers "stone-throwers."

Back to the article.

When a group of youths began throwing stones at the soldiers from a nearby building, troops opened fire, hitting an 18-year-old stone-thrower in the head. Palestinian medical officials said the teen, identified as Yussef Tzadek, died later at a nearby hospital. The officials said five other Palestinians were wounded.

We don't have pictures of the stones the "youths" were throwing. Notice how i they're "youths" when they get shot, but they're "activists" when they kill Israelis. I'm betting they weren't throwing your average pebbles at the IDF, and, oh yeah, the IDF was out trying to catch a terrorist.

The Israeli army said it fired at Palestinian gunmen after troops were attacked by gunfire and explosives that left two soldiers wounded. The army had no information on the dead teen.

Once more, the impersonal "Israeli army said." And the only reason we don't know the kid's name is because the reporter couldn't get it. Again, palestinian victims are humanized. Israeli victims are labeled "targets" and worse.

An Islamic Jihad spokesman said one of the group's members was arrested by troops. The army declined to comment, saying the operation was continuing.

Notice how the Islamic Jihad has a spokesman, and the army does not. The best example yet of impersonalization of Israel while personalizing the palestinians. Of course, they're terrorists, but the AP won't call them that.

Jenin is considered a stronghold of Islamic Jihad, a militant group that has carried out numerous attacks despite a fragile truce between Israel and the Palestinians.

Notice that Islamic Jihad carries out attacks, but the AP doesn't consider them in violation of the truce. Israeli actions, of course, would violate the truce. They're getting sloppy, they should have used that in the first paragraph.

And there you have it, ladies and gents, yet another example of the anti-Israel media bias. It is no wonder that Israel has PR problems. She can't help it, with the world press skewed against her.

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Wednesday morning briefs

Say hello to the terrorist pipeline: The IDF will leave the Philadelphi route in October. Should we start a pool now on when the first terrorist to make it from the border to Israel will explode himself? What's that you say? The Egyptians will stop him?


Puncturing the myth again: The London bombers were not poor and oppressed. On the contrary, they were the sons of privilege. Lest you forget, Osama bin Laden was a multi-millionaire when he turned to terrorism.

No more empty photo ops: Ariel Sharon says there will be no summit with the palestinians until after the first stages of the Road Map are implemented. For those who have forgotten, the pals have to end terror, and the Israelis have to freeze settlement activity. I could see the latter happening, but the world would not agree, because they consider Jerusalem suburbs to be "settlements." And, oh yeah, Sharon is in France. Meeting Chirac. The man who went off the deep end a few years ago because Sharon called France a nest of anti-Semitism. And then who later publicly said, oh, yeah, there are a few Jew-haters in my country, aren't there?

Sharon and Chirac are expected to discuss international cooperation on fighting terrorism and the possibility of establishing an international treaty on the issue. Sharon is set to attend the UN General Assembly on September 15, which is expected to adopt an anti-terror treaty.

The UN treaty has thus far been limited to nuclear terrorism, but the United States has pushed for drafting a more comprehensive treaty ahead of the assembly that could be the equivalent of the Interpol's international effort against crime. An official close to Sharon said the French have come around to supporting the idea and have gotten past differences on the definition of terrorism that had held up the treaty.

IDF intelligence chief Aharon Ze'evi Farkash told Maariv last week that if Israel would be allowed to take a leading role in the fight against international terrorism and Al-Qaida, seventy percent of international terrorist attacks could be prevented.

Other issues expected to be raised in the Sharon-Chirac meeting include France's effort to stop the Iranian nuclear program, the disarming of Hizbullah, and Israel's hope that France will pressure Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to fight terror.

"Europe can contribute greatly to dismantling the terrorist infrastructure by preventing the flow of money and by pressuring Abbas to work on terror, violence, incitement," an official on Sharon's plane said. "It's clear France can pave the way toward the increased role in the Middle East that they desire by pressuring Abbas."

Sharon was greeted Tuesday afternoon at Orly airport by an official French military welcoming ceremony and a military band that played the Israeli and French national anthems. A French soldier stationed on the red carpet welcoming Sharon fainted during the ceremony.

The band played Hatikva. Ouch, that's gotta bug the 600,000 Muslims of France. Wait, what am I saying? That's not fair. Change that number to 590,000. Or 594,000. Yeah, that works. Only 99% of them were annoyed.

What a class act: Muslim representatives to the UN disrupted a speech calling for the UN to name terrorism terrorism and stop pretending there is any justificaiton for it.


IHEU today attempted to call on the United Nations to condemn
killing in the name of religion, but were prevented from doing so by the heavy-handed intervention of Islamic representatives. The IHEU call, at today's meeting of the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, follows moves by Islamic clerics to legitimise the current wave of terror attacks.

At this afternoon's meeting, IHEU representative David Littman attempted to deliver a prepared text in the joint names of three international NGOs: the Association for World Education, the Association of World Citizens, and IHEU, but was prevented from doing so by the intervention of Islamic members of the Sub-Commission. After repeated interruptions he was unable to complete his speech.

Y'know, they keep telling us how life under Islam is just as free as life under, say, American democracy. But I keep missing the part where it's free if you disagree with them.

There are new posts over at The Jewish View. Go read 'em. And there are a bunch of co-bloggers over there who aren't co-ing. Just sayin'.

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Too darn hot

101 degrees Fahrenheit in Richmond today. 103 degrees tomorrow. Heat indices of 110-115. Or is it 120? Any way you look at it, it's hot, hot, hot. I told my mother she is not allowed to go outside until the heat breaks. She's in New Jersey, where the weather is almost exactly the same.

I tried to get to work early enough to park in the shaded sections of the parking garage today, and failed, but I moved my car at lunchtime and took someone's spot on the second level. So my car was only about ninety-ish instead some fifty or so degrees hotter; believe me, it makes a difference.

Walking out of the air conditioned office building into triple-digit heat feels like you've opened the door and stepped into your oven. Yesterday was the first time I remember saying, "Holy shit!" when I stepped outside in a very, very long time.

This is the time of year I cook in my toaster oven, which I pay for, instead of my gas oven, which my landlord pays for, to keep it cooler in my apartment. Today I tried to figure out which would put more heat into my apartment, boiling a couple of pieces of corn or running the oven for thirty minutes for oven-fried potatoes. The point became moot when I found incredibly fresh corn at Ukrops; wow, dinner was great tonight. Perhaps tomorrow night I'll eat out, but y'know, my cooking is so much better than any but the expensive restaurants. I really can't stand wasting money on eating crappy food out. It isn't that I'm such a great cook. I'm a good cook. It's that so much restaurant food is so mediocre. I hate mediocre food. And the ones that make the good food are too expensive for me right now. Low budget and all that, at least, until I get that job. Then I can see a trip to the Ruth Chris Steakhouse coming up.

It's so hot out the cicadas are going all day long. It makes you wish you could see them, because frankly, there's nothing I'd like better than to get, oh, a slingshot and a clear view at one of those annoying insects. Or give it to Gracie to play with. She found a clicker beetle in the house last week and played with it for half an hour, until I finally got rid of it because, well, I don't really like having beetles in the house, even if they're hopping six inches in the air and greatly amusing my cat. On the other hand, I kinda wish I could summon one at will, because she really did enjoy playing with that thing.

It's so hot out that Tig, who loves sleeping in the sun, refuses to stay outside. His magical Maine Coon cat coat, which insulates him in most weathers, doesn't seem to work when it's this hot. Just saw on the news that the heat index puts us in the nineties, still. No wonder he keeps coming inside.

I just let him out again, and he turned right around and came back inside. I can't say I blame him. I have no desire to be anywhere it is not air conditioned.

I found myself wondering how birds stay cool in this weather. I realized this morning that there were far fewer of them flying around. Ah. That's how they stay cool. They don't move.

Tig's trying it one more time. He's moved into his nest in between the plants, which may be cooler as it's lined with grass. It's been a couple of minutes so far. The test will be when I'm ready to go to bed. If he comes without a fuss, it's too darn hot.

Fifteen minutes later: He's inside, collapsed on the kitchen floor.

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Condi Rice: A chip off the old Powell

You might recall people thinking that when Condoleeza Rice replaced Colin Powell as Secretary of State, we might actually see State toughen up on the palestinians.

It's become more and more clear that Rice is absolutely made in the Powell mode, and that when the president says "You're either with us, or with the terrorists," the Exception Clause remains in effect. Here's what she did on her latest trip to Israel:

In public, Condi was all smiles. But in private, she showed herself to be one tough cookie, full of demands on Israel. "She ticked us all off," said an insider. "The chutzpah of that woman. The way she totally ignored Sharon's critical problems at home. The way she twisted our arm and said we had to make all kinds of concessions and gestures to strengthen Abu Mazen."

This time, Rice's demands did not go through the Weissglas filtering system. There was no sugar to sweeten the pill or make it easier to swallow. There was no beating around the bush. Israel, she said, must supply the Palestinian Authority with weapons and ammunition. It must speed up the lines at checkpoints. It must be nice to Abu Mazen's buddies and allow them to operate. As if the missiles and the Qassam rockets fired at Israeli towns every day were our doing. As if the chairman of the PA deserves some kind of compensation.

One participant said Rice spoke like a teacher scolding her students. She demanded that Israel exercise restraint in responding to terror and let Abu Mazen fight Hamas, lest all of Gaza fall into its clutches. As if Israel were standing in his way. When she visited the Palestinians, she praised Abu Mazen's leadership abilities and his "war on terror." In Israel, she went on about how weak and frail he is, and urged us to strengthen him. As if Israel were Leader Remodeling Inc.

The New York Times has this to say about Abu Mazen:

JERUSALEM, July 25 - The security forces of the Palestinian Authority are divided, weak, overstaffed, badly motivated and underarmed, and more attention must be paid to building up institutions rather than personalities, says the first independent survey of the complicated Palestinian security environment since the death of Yasir Arafat.

The survey, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times by the authors a day before publication, was prepared in close coordination with Lt. Gen. William E. Ward, the American-appointed coordinator of the effort to overhaul the chaotic Palestinian security apparatus, and the Palestinian Authority. It has been reviewed by senior American and Palestinian officials, including those in the office of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

It is an internationally supported effort to analyze the current deficiencies of the Palestinian security forces while suggesting a long-term program of improvement to help guide foreign donors and the Palestinians themselves.

One would have to assume that Dr. Rice and her staff have received this report. One would have to wonder if she had already been briefed on it when she was scolding the Israelis like children for having the nerve to object to arming their own murderers and expecting the PA to do something to stop their people from murdering Jews. One would have to hope that she didn't read the report, because then she would have been lying utterly when she spoke those words of praise (quoted below).

Then one would only have to read about the daily mortar, rocket, and bombing attacks/attempts, and realize, yes, the Exception Clause is in full effect in the Bush Administration.

Rockets in Israel—Israel. Not Gaza. Not the West Bank. Not a "settlement." Israel.

SDEROT - The “Red Dawn” alert system was activated once again Tuesday, as a Qassam rocket struck the southern town of Sderot.

No injuries were reported in the incident, but light damage was done to a number of homes and vehicles.

On Monday IDF Southern Command Chief Dan Harel said the daily average of terror attack attempts in Gaza stands at 10, adding that in the past two months security forces have thwarted eight attempts by terrorists to infiltrate settlements in the area.

Bombs in Gaza. Bombs in the West Bank.

Soldiers and Border Police sappers blew up a 50-kilogram bomb placed by Palestinians next to the Gush Katif security fence near Atzmona on Monday afternoon.

Earlier, sappers blew up a 25-kg. bomb placed near the north Gaza security fence, and a bomb was detonated near an IDF patrol close to Rafah. No one was wounded and no damage reported in all of the incidents.

And here, in case you've forgotten, are Condi Rice's words:

"I want to take this opportunity to commend President Abbas and his leadership as well as that of his government for their ongoing efforts to enforce the rule of law in the West Bank and in Gaza," Rice said, speaking at a news conference after her meeting with Abbas in Ramallah.

All of which makes me extremely skeptical of the new ambassador to Israel.

WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Monday picked Richard Jones, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's senior adviser on Iraq, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Before Jones joined Rice at the State Department, Jones was second-in-command at the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S. civilian entity that ran Iraq after the American-led invasion in 2003. Jones, a career diplomat with long experience in the region, has also been the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait, Kazakhstan and Lebanon.

Watch and see. We are in the exact same place today as we were when Clinton was president, with the exception that Bush isn't hosting a mass-murderer at the White House every other week. Once again, Israel is the state that has no right to respond to terror attacks, and no right to defend herself. Israel must give and give and give, but the palestinians must give nothing but words. In English, because in Arabic, they're still praising the murderers of innocents—with PA money, meaning the backing of Europe and the US.

Facts like these leave me no other conclusion: The Bush Administration does not include palestinian terrorists in the war on terror.

So. How is this president any different from his predecessor in that regard?

The Republicans are losing people like me, who voted for Bush because of his stance on terror. When that stance excludes the years-long terror war in Israel, he loses me. Utterly.

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Brief briefs

Forgot to set the alarm last night and as a result, got an extra half-hour's sleep. Ah, I feel so good. Well, until I read the news.

Utterly appalling: Boker Tov, Boulder found an AP picture and photo caption that calls the murdered Israelis from the shooting attack "an Israeli target" and shows two grinning "activists" ready to murder.

"This picture released by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement on Sunday, July 24, 2005, shows Islamic Jihad activist Yahea Abu Taha, 22, right, and Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades activist Tareq Yassin, 23, getting ready prior to attacking an Israeli target at the Kissufim crossing..."

Their email address is [email protected]. Write them what you think after seeing the picture and reading the caption in its entirety.

In the meantime, here is a picture of the "Israeli target": Dov and Rachel Kol.

The army closed the Gush Katif junction to Palestinian traffic hours after the Kols were murdered and five Israelis wounded by two Palestinian gunmen who opened fire at Israeli cars traveling on the Kissufim road, the main access to Gush Katif.

Dov, 58, and Rahel, 53, had spent Shabbat with her sister in Ganei Tal, and were returning to Jerusalem.

Thousands attended their funeral at Jerusalem's Har Menuhot cemetery on Sunday night. The couple are survived by their three children, Yehonathan, 15, Tamar, 17 and Hila, 24.

Eff you, AP. Eff you and everyone else who writes garbage like that.

And quickly: Sharon says he's waiting for an apology from Red Ken Livingstone. Arik, don't hold your breath. Another bomb in Gaza. What a surprise. Not. More terrorists arrests. Good. Wah, wah, wah. Israel won't coordinate the pullout with the pals. Here's a tip: You want coordination, stop murdering Israelis.

And it's time to get to work. Barely.

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Free at last, free at last, oh, you know the rest

It is the weekend, and I have decided that I shall catblog on weekends, irrespective of what the cat-haters say. And in any case, I owe the kitty pics to all of those who ransomed Gracie and Tig from a fate worse than death: Being held hostage by me.

Gracie reads Harry Potter

Okay, so she won't let me out. At least she left me the Harry Potter book so I have something to do besides run away from Tig.

Tig in a super-cute pose

So not true that I chase Gracie all the time. It's only most of the time.

Tig and Gracie, together again

We're free! We're free! She's letting us go!

Tig and Gracie, still together

I'd almost forgotten what the outdoors looked like.

Gracie goes for the grass

And I'd almost forgotten what fun it is to eat grass.

Tig and Gracie, lazing around on the patio

Yeah, and to throw it up when we come inside.

Tig and Gracie on the patio

Don't harsh my mellow, dude, I'm enjoying myself. It's good to be the Queen.

Gracie and Tig will be sending you to make donations to Lair Simon's charity for the Blogathon (24 hours of torture and post-writing), who is blogging in Edloe's memory for The Cat Welfare Society of Israel.

He's already got $1,275 in pledges and is leading all the other Blogathon charities. Go. Donate. Save a cat.

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Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary is also a good bet if you've never been here before.