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I got nuffin'

Look, folks, it's the Fourth of July weekend. If you're lucky, I'll put up something maybe later. But I'm thinking of, like, enjoying the weekend. You should, too.

I posted over at The Jewish View. I may post again later. But y'know, it's a holiday weekend. Hot. Tired. Lazy. Oh, and fireworks. I stopped to buy some on the way home from NJ earlier this week. All sparkly stuff, nothing that explodes. I'll be sharing them with Sarah and Larry and the kids today, and with Heidi and G. and the kids tomorrow. Because I am The Cool Aunt, the one who brings things like fireworks and Hulk Hands and lightsabers—oh, shoot, gotta go find a couple of lightsabers for Jake's birthday present.

So you see, I'll be much too busy having fun to post. And I know you're not going to be inside reading blogs all day. And if you are, well, uh—can't help you there.

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Harrison the Wonder Dog

Okay, work slowed down today to the point where I had nothing to do. So I started surfing the net. And this was after I moved back into the main office (I've been at a desk in the shipping area, which is right next to the main office, but not part of my department, except for the fact that my department (and the entire company) goes through that particular room many times a day, because that's where the fridge, microwave, and soda and snack machines are). So I made the mistake of going to The Terriorist, a site which I have mentioned more than once. Well, Harrison has many of his best posts on the sidebar under the title "Crunchy Bits." I've read a few of them, so I clicked on one that I hadn't read. And then another. And then another.

I think I cracked a rib from trying so hard not to laugh out loud. I mean, I was laughing, but trying to do it quietly, when my body wanted desperately to shriek with laughter and roll on the floor.

I highly recommend this method for reading Harrison's posts. Read the post. Then read the links referring to other posts. Repeat. Do not be drinking or eating while reading any of the Crunchy Bits or the posts linked therein.

Damn, that dog can write. I wonder if AHM is heading out to the same place I'm going for the Fourth? I'd love to finally meet her. And Harrison, of course.

I promise not to bring Tig, so no Dandylion flashbacks. Not that Tig cares for fireworks, anyway. Most cats don't like loud, sudden bangs. Go figure.

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The UN response to attacks on Israel's sovereignty: Bad Israel! Bad!

Israelis die; the UN slaps Israel: Get a load of this statement from the UN.

30 June 2005 – The Security Council and the United Nations envoy for southern Lebanon today deplored the Hezbollah militia's attacks from Lebanon against Israel and Israel's forceful response, calling on the Lebanese Government to end all attacks from its territory and on Israel to refrain from violating Lebanon's air space.

The Council and the Secretary-General's Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon, Geir Pedersen, urged both sides to respect fully the Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon.

So, gee, Hezbullah attacks, and Israel's supposed to just lie back and enjoy it?

Mr. Pedersen noted that the confrontation apparently had left one Israeli soldier and one Hezbollah fighter dead and three Israeli soldiers injured.

Gee, they noticed. By the way, that Hezbollah "fighter"? He was a terrorist, on his way to perform an act of terror.

Suspicions are growing in the IDF that the armed cell, three members of which are injured, were on their way to commit a "qualitative" terror attack.

It remains unclear whether the cell was intending on carrying out the attack itself, or to aid in its execution.

The IDF is not ruling out the possibility that the Hizbullah cell was intending to kidnap soldiers.

But never fear, the UN is on the job, doing what it does best: monitoring the situation. But notice what was dropped from the statement.

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) monitoring the situation reported that Israeli positions in the Shab'a Farms area came under Hezbollah mortar fire from Lebanon yesterday. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) responded with artillery and tank rounds and dropped aerial bombs on southern Lebanon. Today's reports said Israeli helicopters further violated Lebanese airspace by dropping leaflets on the cities of Tyre, Sidon and Beirut.

UNIFIL at least got the story right and blamed Hezbullah for the attack. They also pointed out that Hezbullah terrorists crossed the border. Somehow, the fact that the terrorists crossed the border slipped out of the UN statement of concern above. Funny, that. Below is from the daily briefing:

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon says the Hezbollah fighters infiltrated yesterday afternoon, after which Israeli positions in the Shebaa farms came under Hezbollah mortar fire. Subsequently, the Israeli Defence Force fired artillery and tank rounds in the Shebaa farms area and also dropped aerial bombs in southern Lebanon. Reports today indicate that Israeli helicopters have violated Lebanese airspace, flying over the cities of Tyre, Sidon and Beirut.

Still, notice that the Hezbullah terrorists going into Israeli territory are "infiltrating" the border, but Israel is "violating" Lebanese airspace. And the UN Security Council couldn't bring itself to point out that fact. And of course, the press release ends in its usual moral-equivalent fashion:

Mr. Pedersen urged the Lebanese Government to extend its control over all of its territory, exert its monopoly there on the use of force and end all attacks emanating from its territory. He also urged the Israeli authorities to refrain from air violations of the Blue Line and reminded both parties that one violation could not justify another.

So apparently the answer to whether or not Israel should respond to those who attack and murder her people is: No.

Cross-posted to The Jewish View.

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Work Thing 1: So I'm coming to the end of my current temp job, which is at Large Financial Company in Richmond (I feel perfectly safe in calling it that; Richmond has an enormous number of Large Financial Companies for such a mid-sized city) ((You didn't actually think I'd tell you where I work, did you? People have been fired by being stupid enough to mention their employers on their blogs and not counting on the viciousness of the anonymous, cowardly enemy)) ((Help! I'm caught in a parenthetical statement and can't break free!)))

Where was I? Oh, right. So I work at LFC (not its real name) ((duh)), and there's a puzzle in the women's rest room that I have been unable to solve. There are three sinks. Three. You have to figure, at some point, all the sinks are going to come into use. Only two of them have soap dispensers. And they're the plastic jar dispensers, not the ones on the wall. There's really no reason only to have two, except perhaps cheapness thriftiness. It's a mystery. Of course, I have no idea whom to ask about this puzzle, but then, my job's probably up next week.

Work Thing 2: Speaking of my job, one of the things I got to experience is the dubious pleasure of cafeteria dining. LFC uses the same food service that Lucent used to use (except I think they merged with another food service company; the name is vaguely what it used to be but there are other letters in it now). It's nice to know that some things don't change. The food tastes almost exactly the same as it did five years ago. Which is either very comforting, or very frightening, depending on what day it is and what food you chose. (Yesterday's fried chicken was actually pretty good, and the corn patties almost edible.)

Cat Thing: Gracie has a new thing that she does. My alarm goes off at 7 a.m. She comes into bed at 6 and yowls for me to pet her. It wakes me up. When I wake up enough to realize what's happening, I shove her off the bed and she goes away until the alarm goes off.

Sorry, but my sleep is a little more important than her bellyrubs.

Icky Thing: Apparently, there is a silverfish nest/egg collection/whateverthehellitis thing down in my kitchen drain. Every morning, I find little tiny silverfish, smaller than gnats, crawling around in my sink. Every evening, I come home from work to find little tiny silverfish crawling around in my sink, after I've already killed their brethren. If I leave dishes in the sink, and there is water in them, some of them are drowned. I poured bleach down the sink several times, to no avail. Sarah suggested the grand old baking soda/vinegar combination, so I did that tonight. We shall see what happens tomorrow.

I hesitate to pour poison down the sink. I have cats, y'know. But if this doesn't work, well, what kills silverfish nests/eggs/whatevers?

Stupid thing: Okay, so day after day, I take a shower in the morning. Day after day, I do the various post-shower things. Day after day, I apply deodorant where applicable, and hand lotion where applicable. And day after day, I say to myself, "Goddammit! When am I going to remember to take the deodorant cap off before putting on the hand lotion?"

You would think that one of these days, I'd be able to reverse the routine.

Yeah, you would think that.

I swear. I almost always forget.

Stupid deodorant manufacturers and their stupid plastic caps that don't come off if you have lotion on your hands.

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Brief morning briefs

Where is the international condemnation? Hizbullah violated the borders and killed an Israeli soldier yesterday. I don't expect to see Kofi Annan get his knickers in a twist, though. For kicks and giggles, read the Ynet piece, then go read the AP piece. And notice the author of the AP article. Quite a difference in tone, details, and facts. What a surprise. Not.

Jew vs. Jew: The Ynet version. The JPost. Ha'aretz. The AP. And Gaza has been declared a closed military zone. Compare and contrast. There was a great feature in the JPost about the last time Jews evacuated Jews, but I can't find it.If someone has the link, I'd appreciate it if you put it in the comments.

Got another one: The IDF has arrested another of the animals responsible for that horrific lynching that gave us the pictures of the murderer, hands red with blood, displaying those hands to a cheering crowd.

What cease-fire? Let's see. More mortars, one wounded. A 40-kg bomb (that's 88 pounds of explosives) was found near the Egyptian border in Gaza, and destroyed. Oh, that cease-fire. The one that isn't.

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Obscure comment that only a few people will understand, but that is richly deserved:

See, even G-d is pissed off about that post. And about that phony.

He broke your database.

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Tribute to Edloe

Tig and Gracie got tunafish in Edloe's honor tonight.

Tig and Gracie eating tuna in Edloe's honor

They both loved it.

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Because they're such a peaceful people...

This is too much: The Organization of Islamic Conference wants a Muslim seat on the UN Security Council.

"The Islamic world, which represents one fifth of total mankind, cannot remain excluded from the activities of the Security Council which assumes a fundamental role in keeping security and peace in the world," he said Tuesday.

Strategy Page tracks about sixteen wars in the world today. Guess how many involve Muslim states?

We track sixteen as active (Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Sudan, Colombia, Kashmir, Pakistan, Ivory Coast, Congo, Somalia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Chechnya, Burundi and Thailand.), plus about a dozen that are really low level, just ended (and still liable to restart) or just dormant for the moment.

Sure. Give 'em a seat on the council. They've earned it, right?


Cross-posted to The Jewish View.


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Edloe is gone

The Simons are mourning their Grumpus. We will be, too.

Just a day or two ago, she was bitching out Nardo. My sympathies, Lair and Gina.

It wasn't very hard to get Tig in an Edloe pose. This was from just before eight this morning.

Goodby, Edloe

Goodbye, Edloe. We'll miss you.

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Baby Assad's looking for some misdirection: It works for magicians, but Baby Assad's troops firing on Israelis isn't going to make W. forget that Syria is actively encouraging the murder of Americans and Iraqis.

GOLAN HEIGHTS - IDF soldiers in the Golan Heights were fired upon from Syrian territory Monday. No injuries or damage were reported.

The soldiers were fixing a fence along near the ancient city of Qunetra when small arms fire was directed at them from the Syrian side of the border. The incident ended after a few minutes.

What truce? Let's see. Kassam rockets and mortars, check. Teenagers with weapons, check. Lame b.s. pronouncements from palestinian leaders, check. Terrorists planting a bomb near a Jewish town, check.

I repeat: What truce?

All you need is love: The ISM and the anti-Israel groups keep insisting that the pals are peace-loving people who only want their own land, and to get along with Israelis. Which is why one of the founders of the palestinian Party of Love is getting death threats. And being shot at.

Unidentified gunmen in Ramallah fired several shots at the car of Dr. Taysir Masharqah on Monday night, one of the founders of the newly established Palestinian Party of Love. No one was injured in the attack.

[...] Commenting on the shooting attack, Nurani said those who targeted Masharqah were actually targeting the call for spreading love and ending hatred.

"Masharqah is one of the prominent founders of the Party of Love," Nurani noted. "Those who attacked him are trying to thwart our call for ending hatred and death." Nurani said he and his friends would not succumb to the threats. "The Party of Love will continue its march forward," he vowed. "We will not succumb in the face of the waves of death, hatred, sabotage and moral corruption." Nurani himself has received several death threats since he announced the formation of the new party a few weeks ago.

[...] Explaining his decision to establish the Party of Love, Nurani said his goal was to fight the "culture of death and hatred in Palestinian society." He said the decision to establish the new party was taken in the wake of growing anarchy and lawlessness in the Palestinian territories. "Love is the only way to salvation," he explained. "Once love prevails amongst us, the signs of hatred, ignorance, bigotry, fear, death, corruption and anarchy will disappear." To launch the party, Nurani distributed a statement in the Gaza Strip urging Palestinians to abandon violence and support his Party of Love.

"The stupidity of death must be stopped," he wrote. "Love purifies our souls and enlightens us. Let's open our hearts and minds and declare the launching of the Party of Love."

So what does the average pal say about this?

In response, one Palestinian wrote to Nurani that his idea was nothing but an "American-Zionist plot." Another Gaza resident responded: "May God protect us against such weird and dangerous ideas. The next thing we will hear is that we need a party for gays and lesbians." A third Palestinian sent the following question: "Do you want to die soon, Dr. Nurani?"

Sure. They want peace. Uh-huh.

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The gathering storm: Terrorists are gathering their armies. Analysts are warning about "a third intifada." Howsabout we call it what it is: A war for the destruction of Israel.

Hamas is using the lull in fighting to raise an "army" of several thousand fighters in the Gaza Strip to complement its developing arsenal of Kassam rockets and mortars, an IDF source told The Jerusalem Post Sunday.

Both Hamas and Israel have clung to the fraying cease-fire, with the IDF curtailing offensives into Gaza and Hamas limiting the firing of Kassams and mortars into settlements and villages.

No, the world has forced Israel to keep to a one-side cease-fire, ignoring the murdered Jews and screaming in anger when terrorists are arrested by the IDF.

"Hamas believes it needs an army of several thousand soldiers, and it is using this calm to build this army," said the source.

Hamas is believed to have stockpiled an arsenal of hundreds of Kassam rockets and many more primitive mortars. "The Kassam factories continue to operate, and we are not doing anything to stop them," the source said.

Hamas's West Bank infrastructure is far weaker than its Gaza operations. While Hamas and the other Gaza-based rejectionist groups continued to smuggle weapons through the Rafah border with Egypt, the PA was increasingly active in blocking or destroying the tunnels, he said.

You mean like these tunnels?

GAZA - The IDF uncovered a tunnel on Monday that had been dug from a Palestinian town in Gaza and led to a nearby Jewish settlement, raising fears terrorists may have planned to send suicide bombers to an attack in the area.

The tunnel extended from the town of Khan Younis toward an industrial zone in the settlement of Neve Dekalim. It was discovered after the Palestinian Authority relayed intelligence information to Israeli authorities

The terrorists are also moving into Gaza:

Leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian radical groups in Lebanon and Syria are planning to move to the Gaza Strip after Israel evacuates the area, Palestinian sources confirmed on Sunday.

The sources said Palestinian Authority officials have been urging Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who spends most of his time in Damascus, to consider moving his office to the Gaza Strip after the completion of the Israeli withdrawal.

[...] Saudi newspaper Al-Watan reported over the weekend that PA Civil Affairs Minister Muhammad Dahlan, who is in charge of coordinating the withdrawal with Israel, has invited the Hamas leaders to move to the Gaza Strip.

According to the newspaper, Dahlan's invitation came following US pressure on Syria to close down the offices and bases of Hamas and other Palestinian radical groups.

"We want to see you among us," Dahlan reportedly told Mashaal and his top aides. Nayef Hawatmeh and Khaled Abdel Majid, the leaders of two other Syrian-based groups, are also planning to move to the Gaza Strip, the sources revealed. Hawatmeh heads the Marxist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, while Majid serves as secretary-general of the Popular Struggle Front.

So, the left hand tells the IDF about one terror tunnel, and the right hand holds the weapons that the terrorists will use once they're all gathered together in Gaza.

Let's try to stop pretending that the pals want peace. The only peace they want is the peace of the dead—preferably, Jews.

The forgotten refugees: Too bad the mainstream media finds articles like this of no importance.

It is often forgotten that half of all Israeli Jews trace their roots to such places as Baghdad, Cairo and Tripoli. Jewish communities were well established in many Middle Eastern and North African capitals hundreds of years before those capitals were conquered and occupied, beginning in the 7th century, by armies from the Arabian Peninsula, carrying the banner of the new faith of Islam.

Iraq, for example, was for millennia home to a prominent Jewish minority. As late as 1948 one of every four Baghdadis was Jewish. After the U.N. partition of Palestine, however, hundreds of Iraqi Jews were executed. Others were imprisoned. Jewish homes were confiscated. Eventually most Jews fled.

In Yemen, by contrast, Jews had long endured a kind of apartheid. They were not allowed to walk on pavements or ride horses. They were forced to clean the public toilets. By law, Jewish orphans had to be converted to Islam. Not surprisingly, once Israel was established, virtually all Yemeni Jews sought refuge there.

Egypt was among the leaders of the “jihad” declared against Israel in 1948. This was to be, in the words of Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha, “a war of extermination.”

As Egyptian soldiers invaded Israel, mobs attacked the Jewish quarter of Cairo and Egyptian authorities shipped Jews suspected of sympathizing with Israel to concentration camps in the Sinai desert.

In all, close to 900,000 Jews are estimated to have fled Arab-majority countries, leaving behind houses, schools, synagogues, cemeteries and, in many cases, ancient cultures and traditions.

Here's the sentence that sickens the most:

And yet what passes for the moderate view holds that a future Palestinian state must be Judenrein – ethnically cleansed of Jews. Indeed, even “moderate” Jordan has a constitutional provision specifically prohibiting Jews from becoming citizens

And yet, no one calls Jordan a racist state. What time is it, kids? That's right, Israeli Double Standard Time.

I have to get ready for a funeral. And I'm on the road tomorrow. Don't expect much from me. But there's always The Jewish View, where I hope my co-bloggers can pick up a little slack for me.

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Death strikes again

I am not that old. But I have buried more than my share of my peers, going all the way back to a classmate who was killed in a car crash in eighth grade. I lost my favorite cousin, my childhood sweetheart, and an ex-boyfriend while I was in my thirties. Three years ago, I lost an old college friend. Tomorrow, we bury my sister-in-law's brother.

It never gets any easier. How do you comfort a mother who is burying her child? What do you say to the siblings, knowing full well that you'd be utterly inconsolable if your brother was the one lying in that coffin? Even worse, what words are there for the children, who make their way through the day, but behind whose eyes you can see the anguish sinking in: Daddy's not coming home any more. Not ever.

So you offer your sympathy, and you offer your help, and you watch them try not to collapse, and you try to remain strong yourself. At least this time, there's no grandmother—who has outlived both her children and a grandchild—to console. But still, you watch your sister-in-law's mother—whom you've loved since the moment you met her—and try not to let your own heart crack with her grief. You see the stunned look in your sister-in-law's eyes, the realization that her only brother is gone sinking in, and words become practically useless. And you chat with the kids, keeping it as light as possible, knowing that they're going through the worst hell a child can go through, and wishing you could wave a magic wand and watch their father suddenly come into the room and say, "Phew, I feel all better now, let's go home." But you can't, so you just keep talking and hope you don't sound too stupid.

There's a tone I hear in my brother's voice only once in a very long while. It's generally only when some great tragedy has struck. It's shock, I suppose. I heard it this morning on the phone. It was gone by the time we got to the funeral home. We manage, we Yourishes. Everybody does, more or less. But it's a little harder this time, for a lot of reasons I won't go into. One I didn't realize until a few days ago: Wednesday was the fifth anniversary of my father's death.

It took me until five p.m. to get myself in the car and out of the house yesterday. Even then, I tried to think of a way I could postpone the trip until this morning. We learned about the death last Saturday. I guess it took all week for it to really work its way in and mix itself up with the anniversary of my father—who died while I was in Richmond for a job interview. I honestly don't remember anything about the trip back five years ago. I know I went to the job interview. I know I didn't get the job. And then I went back home and helped my brothers take care of Dad's estate.

We never had a funeral for Dad. He didn't want one. He wanted to be cremated and have his ashes spread on Bradley Beach. So we cremated him as he asked, then got together with the immediate family later that summer, climbed out on the jetty at his favorite part of the beach, and spread the ashes in the ocean.

Death sucks.

And let me tell you, I am getting mighty tired of seeing mothers mourn their children. I have lost five of my peers in the last ten years.

Death sucks.

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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.