Anti-Israel media bias report
brief article. Three paragraphs. Let's read them:
Hamas militants attacked by Israel, witnesses say
Gaza City -- An Israeli aircraft fired yesterday at a group of Hamas
militants preparing to attack Israeli targets in the southern Gaza Strip,
Palestinian witnesses said, further straining a fragile pause in
hostilities and escalating tensions in the region.
The witnesses said the militants escaped unharmed.
But the incident, near the city of Khan Younis, was the latest sign
of trouble in the area.
Six people were killed Tuesday in a series of clashes
in the West Bank and Gaza. AP
Look at the phrases in boldface. Apparently, Israel's attempt to stop
terrorists from attacking are no longer actions of any sort of defense.
They are actions that strain "a fragile pause in hostilities"
and escalate tensions.
Say, Kav, are you still reading this site? Because here is pure, unadulterated
proof of the anti-Israel bias of the media.
The Exception Clause
Alex Bensky, the uber-commenter, has an explanation as to why groups
like Human Rights Watch are so focused on Israeli human rights violations,
and rarely on violations against Israelis:
You asked if HRW had made any complaints about Hamas
before they started killing non-Jews. If they have, they haven't done
so very loudly. I've been thinking about this situation for some time
and through logic and reason I have figured out why they and similar
groups, not to mention governments, haven't done so.
Sherlock Holmes once said that when you eliminate the
impossible then whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be
true. I can't find any actual citations for my conclusion but it is
the only one that fits the facts.
According to my analysis, some time in the early 1920's
the League of Nations passed a resolution which is still an integral
part of international law. This resolution provided that any statement
of principle, any doctrine, any policy, or any precept by anyone, be
it individual, organization, or government, tacitly contains the proviso
"except for Jews."
I put it to you that no other explanation fits the
facts. Why would feminists support Arabs, of all people, over Israelis?
Obviously because their principles are deeply felt "except for
Jews." People who oppose capital punishment support the Palestinians,
who engage in that practice right and left--sometimes with a brief swipe
at due process, more often not--over Israel, which does not even execute
convicted mass murderers. How can they do this? Because they adamantly
hold to their principles "except for Jews." Civil libertarians
compare Israel, a functioning and raucously open democracy, to the brutal
and repressive Arab regimes and come out on the side of the Arabs. Why?
Because they are civil libertarians "except for Jews."
And so on. This has to be the case, Meryl, and if you
test it I think you'll see that it works. Look at any group's statement
of beliefs, add "except for Jews," and their attitude towards
the Arab-Israeli conflict is easily explained. As I say, I can't find
any actual record of such a resolution, but no other explanation explains
the phenomena and so I submit that my conclusion must stand until someone
else can come up with a better one.
I think, Alex, that Jews instinctively get that, after a while. I'd call
it the Bensky Theory, but it's a collective understanding. I'm doing some
research now on HRW. The results bear out the Exception Clause. Extensively.
Friday morning news roundup
Say buh-bye to Baby Assad: The Bush Administration
is opting for regime change,
up the case for it:
The United States has received "credible information"
that Syrian operatives in Lebanon plan to try to assassinate senior
Lebanese political leaders and that Syrian military intelligence forces
are returning to Lebanon to create "an environment of intimidation,"
a senior administration official said Thursday.
The official said that the information had come from
"a variety of Lebanese sources" and that "we assess it
as credible." The information, he said, was gathered after the
recent assassinations of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February,
and of Samir Kassir, a well-known journalist, a week ago.
[...] The administration official volunteered the information
about what he said was a "Syrian hit list" on the condition
that he not be identified by name or agency. A spokesman for the official,
asked why the official would not make the assertions more openly, said
it was because of the diplomatic sensitivities involved as well as the
usual reluctance to discuss intelligence matters openly.
It was clear that the official's statements, which
were offered to reporters from at least two news organizations, were
a deliberate signal of the Bush administration's continuing displeasure
with the Syrian government's role in Lebanon.
Gee, let's think why Bush would be displeased. Hm, a vassal state, climate
of fear, lack of independence, open
arms (and bank accounts) for terrorists (including those who murder
American soldiers and civilians), hm, hm, hm. Yeah, I'm thinking those
are some good reasons to be displeased.
Oh, and the Syrian intelligence agents that were withdrawn a few weeks
ago? They're ba-aack.
After a brief lull in Syrian interference in Lebanon,
senior Syrian intelligence personnel have been seen back in Lebanon,
particularly over the past week, the official added.
Is anyone else tired of the word "lull" in news articles about
the Middle East?
What cease-fire? The IDF caught some more
to murder civilians, and the rats are still shelling
bombs. And shelling
more civilians. But when the IDF goes into a town to capture a terrorist
planning a bombing attack on Israelis, Israel is the one who is "threatening
the fragile truce."
Check the sky for pigs: Human Rights Watch
must stop shelling civilians.
(Jerusalem, June 9, 2005) -- Hamas must cease immediately
Qassam rocket and mortar attacks against civilian areas,
Human Rights Watch said today.
Hamas mortar shells and Qassam rockets killed three
civilian workers (two Palestinian and one Chinese) and injured an Israeli
woman and her two children in an attack that struck a packing plant
in the Israeli settlement of Ganei Tal in Gaza and the Israeli town
of Sderot yesterday. Both Israeli and Palestinian analysts suspect that
Hamass continued use of mortar and Qassam attacks against civilians
is an expression of the groups displeasure at the cancellation
of local election results in localities that favored Hamas and the recent
postponement of the Palestinian Legislative Council elections.
Hamas has repeatedly failed to respect a fundamental
rule of international humanitarian law by attacking civilians and civilian
objects, said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle
East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. It is unacceptable
for Hamas to express its unhappiness with the political situation by
firing on civilians.
Except I have a question: Did they issue any statements before
non-Israelis were killed? I've got to get to work; if you have an answer,
please link it in the comments.
Bug me not
It is not bad enough that I suffered through the Ant
Wars last year.
It is not bad enough that I capture and release (on a regular basis)
crickets that look like spiders and crickets that look like cockroaches.
It is not bad enough that moths flock at both doors and try to come into
my apartment with me nightly.
I just found a queen ant and some of her subjectson my kitchen
floor, next to the patio door. I'm pretty sure she came in via the door
and was, I dunno, recuperating or something on the doorstep. She was surrounded
by a bunch of ants so tiny that you could barely see them.
She and her servants are now dead. Kekt. Gone. Her throne room has been
moved into the dumpster.
She was the biggest effing ant I have ever seen. Two inches long, winged,
and she was still moving when I thought she was dead.
Ew. Ew. Ew. Ewewewewewewewew.
I hate bugs.
I really hate bugs.
Well, except for dragonflys and butterflies. I like them. Just not up
close. because up close, they're fugly.
Imagine me using a Yosemite Sam voice for this one: Oooooh, I hates insects!
Thursday morning shorts
Yeah, but we have the jets: The IAF sent
jets buzzing over Hezbollah rocket lines in Lebanon the other day.
The day after an electoral success for Hizbullah in
southern Lebanon elections, six Israeli Air Force jets flew over the
south and east of Lebanon Tuesday in what some observers said was a
message to Hizbullah and Lebanon's citizens.
According to both an Associated Press report and a
statement from the Lebanese Army reported by Lebanon's National News
Agency (NNA), the planes flew over southern and eastern parts of Lebanon
from 10:05 until 11:45 a.m., drawing anti-aircraft fire from the Lebanese
Needless to say, they missed.
Gerald Steinberg, a conflicts analyst at the Begin-Sadat
Center for Strategic Studies, said that such a long flyover was "unusual"
for the Israeli air force.
[...] The NNA reported that in certain areas the jets
flew at a low altitude "conducting mock raids."
[...] According to a Western Beirut-based analyst,
the number and the altitude are also unusual. "Six jets is a big
number. It's an unusual number," he said. "And usually they
don't fly low in order not to make themselves vulnerable to an attack."
The Beirut-based analyst said that Tuesday's flyovers
were most likely a political statement. "Most of the times one
gets the idea that these [flyovers] are political messages," he
said. "They are trying to say: We are here. Don't think of anything.
Don't start something."
I'm thinking yeah, it was a message, but see, my analysis is a bit more
pithy. I think it was a two word message to the terrorists, and the last
word is "you."
By the way, watch for the UN condemnation of the flyovers. There will
be no such condemnation of the continuing rocket
Islamic Jihad is threatening
all-out war. Again.
The period of calm is over and the Palestinians should
be prepared to resume their attacks on Israel, a senior Islamic Jihad
leader in the Gaza Strip declared on Tuesday.
"We maintain the right to respond to the crimes
of (Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon," said Khaled al-Batsh, responding
to Israel's killing of a top Islamic Jihad activist near Jenin.
Terrorist. He's an effing terrorist. Activists are morons who
do things like put themselves at risk of suffocation in giant
make-believe meat packages. A JPost editor is not on the ball
on this one.
anti-Semitism, the update: (There is no such thing as a sequel
when something has never ended.)
A plurality of Europeans believes Jews are not loyal
to their country and that they have too much power in business and finance,
new poll released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Tuesday showed.
According to the poll, 43 percent believe Jews are
more loyal to Israel than to their own country, with a majority of respondents
in Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain saying they believe that this statement
is probably true.
Alarmingly high levels of those surveyed across Europe
still believe in the traditional anti-Jewish canard that Jews
have too much power in the business world. Overall, nearly 30
percent of all respondents believe this stereotype to be true.
Similarly, European respondents still adhere to the
notion that Jews have too much power in international financial
markets. Overall, 32 percent of those surveyed cling to the traditional
But it's just our overactive imagination. It's not anti-Semitism, it's
anti-Zionism. Right? Right?
Wrong. I've been calling it anti-Semitism for four years. I think this
poll is more proof that Europe hates Israel because it is a nation of
Jews. It's not even guilt over the Holocaust. Most of them don't give
a rat's ass about the six million dead.
Every time I read something like this, I thank God my grandparents and
great-grandparents moved to America. I think my ancestors, too. (Thanks,
zaydas and bubbes. )
A major turnaround: Show me the equivalent
of a palestinian scholar who will do and say things like this. A leading
Sephardic rabbi and opponent of the Gaza pullout is telling
his followers to stop protesting, stop resisting, and go along with
it. And to study the Torah.
Showing a rarely seen moderate side, the former Sephardic
chief rabbi repeated his opinion that the disengagement program is illegitimate,
but also said that while his followers should voice their objections
to the program, they should not break the law or fight other Jews in
"Several residents have asked me what they should
do if this decree actually comes to pass, God forbid. I told them they
mustn't raise a hand against anyone, not to fight with police,"
"(I told them to) sit at home, pour out your hearts
to God and pray that He has mercy on his children and ask him to reverse
this evil decree. Don't help soldiers who come to take you away, but
don't fight them, either. We must prevent verbal or physical attacks
on all Jews, whoever they may be," he said.
[...] Eliyahu added a message for young people who
reject the mitzvah of Torah study in favor of fighting with police or
sitting in jail.
"I say to these young people, 'fight (the disengagement)
with the best weapon the Jewish people has ever had: Torah, Torah, and
more Torah,'" he said.
And that is why we survive.
I forgot to put Jonathan
Last's weblog on my links page. He is now in the Long Overdue Additions
section, because he managed to guilt me right back after I sent him a
Jewish mother guilt email. Wow. Not a bad guilt-getter for a goy, Jonathan.
By the way, Jonathan recommends Fox's new series, The Inside, written
and produced by some of the greats who worked on Buffy and Angel. It's
on at 9 p.m. tonight. I'm there. (Sorry, Jonathan, I always thought the
Castle ads were stupid, but I'm a bit older than you. Just a touch,
mind you. A year or two at most. Okay, maybe three, but that's it. Tops.)
((By the way, the reason NZ Bear
has two links is because a) I've known him since he was a teenager and
b) He has a blackmail photo of me at a party with a person who is now
a CIA agent, and although the activity involved was fairly innocent, the
photo doesn't make it look that way. Come to think of it, maybe I don't
have to worry so much, what with the guy being CIA and all, but hey, the
guy was a geek in college, and he went for a CIA geek job, not the kind
where they send you over to Iraq, so maybe I do have to worry.
In any case, that photo cannot be released.)) Ahem. Where was I?
Oh, the hell with it.
I was going to link to Mark's new blog, but he just sent me an email
telling me to wait a day or two, so instead, I think I'll link to Dave
Celestial Blue needs you: To buy
more Am Yisrael Chai bracelets. Send emails out to your synagogue
mailing lists, folks! It's for a worthy cause: She's going to Israel for
five months. Wow. Five months. Lucky girl.
Lynn has a lot of posts I should have linked to lately: On setting
the Torah apart. On the palestinians lying
about Koran desecration. (I'm shocked, shocked I say.) On Yom
Yerushalayem. Oh, go read it all.
By the way, if you have a link of interest on your own (or another) blog,
put it in the comments or trackback to this post.
Wednesday morning boxers
I get so tired of using the same title. "Briefs" is getting
Baby Assad is in deep doo-doo: The WaPo
has a damning article on how Syria
is behind the worst of the "insurgency" in Iraq. (If it's
a truckload of foreign fighters fighting against Americans to establish
the caliphate and killing Iraqis, someone explain to me how the word "terrorist"
does not fit.)
The stream of fighters -- most of them Syrians, but
lately many of them Saudis, favored for the cash they bring -- has sustained
and replenished the hardest core of the Iraq insurgency, and supplied
many of its suicide bombers. Drawn from a number of Arab countries and
nurtured by a militant interpretation of Islam, they insist they are
fighting for their vision of their faith. This may put them beyond the
reach of political efforts to make Iraq's Sunni Arabs stakeholders in
the country's nascent government.
Abu Ibrahim recalled: "Our brothers in Iraq worked
in small groups. In each area, men would come together, organized by
religious leaders or tribal sheiks, and would attack the Americans.
It was often us who brought them all together, when we met them in Syria
or Iraq. We would tell them, 'But there is another brother who is doing
the same thing. Why don't you coordinate together?' Syria became the
Syria's role in sustaining and organizing the insurgency
has shifted over time. In the first days of the war, fighters swarmed
into Iraq aboard buses that Syrian border guards waved through open
gates, witnesses recalled. But late in 2004, after intense pressure
on Damascus from the Bush administration, Syrian domestic intelligence
services swept up scores of insurgent facilitators. Many, including
Abu Ibrahim, were quietly released a few days later.
There is much, much more. Read it all.
Oh, that'll happen: Jack Straw says they
may be talking to the Hamas members who were elected mayors of various
palestinian towns, but they won't
deal with the leadership until they give up terror.
"We are not dealing with Hamas leadership and
won't deal with them until they have done two fundamental things, which
is dropped their charter committing themselves to the destruction of
Israel and given up violence as a legitimate tool," he said. Both
Britain and the European Union have declared Hamas a terrorist group
and rejected contacts with its leadership -- but have admitted having
contacts with Hamas members who were elected in recent Palestinian municipal
"We see Hamas as part of the problem not as part
of the solution," a foreign ministry spokesman said. "We hope
that the international effort will be to strengthen the moderates and
to isolate the extremists".
"Hamas will never abandon its arms at any time
and its legetimate resistance in defending the Palestinian people will
never stop as long as occupation exists on the land of Palestine,"
said spokesman Mushir al-Masri.
Take a look at the Hamas charter. Israel is "on the land of palestine."
Yeah, they'll give up terrorism. When they're all dead.
Another day, another anti-Israel media bias:
Check out this headline:
Deadly Israeli raid, Gaza violence hit truce
It is a "deadly" raid by Israelis, yet only "violence"
in Gaza. Let's see what happened.
GANEI TAL, Gaza Strip (Reuters) - Israel's killing
of a Palestinian militant commander drew a deadly rocket barrage on
a Jewish settlement in Gaza on Tuesday, the latest in a string of flare-ups
since a ceasefire was declared in February.
Here's what everyone but Reuters is saying about what the terrorists
are claiming is their
warped reasoning behind the attack (like they need a reason at all):
Hamas claimed responsibility for firing six mortar
shells at the settlements in southern Gaza on Tuesday afternoon, although
it was unclear if those included the attack on Ganei Tal.
The militant group said the attacks were in retaliation
for a scuffle at a Jerusalem holy site on Monday and the separate killings
of the Islamic Jihad militant and a person who jumped the border fence
between Egypt and Gaza on Tuesday.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot dead an Islamic
Jihad commander, Maraweh Ikmil, who the army said had planned to send
suicide bombers into the Jewish state.
Islamic Jihad then fired rockets at the Ganei Tal settlement
in Gaza, killing a Palestinian farmer and a Chinese worker.
Now let's look at the JPost:
In the most violent 24 hours since the cease-fire was
declared in February, three agricultural workers two Palestinians
and a foreign worker from China were killed, and five Palestinian
workers wounded, when a Kassam rocket hit a storeroom located in the
hothouse area in Ganei Tal in Gush Katif.
In Sderot, a mother and her two daughters were treated
for shock after their home suffered a direct hit when three Kassam rockets
were fired at the western Negev town. In the afternoon, four Kassam
rockets were fired into the western Negev, all landing in open areas
near Kibbutz Or-Haner and Kibbutz Kissufim.
Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the Al-Quds Battalions,
claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was carried out to
avenge the killing earlier in the day of a senior member of the organization
near Jenin, Marouah Kmeil, 27.
n the raid near Jenin, security forces killed Kmeil,
a senior Islamic Jihad commander and Nasser Zakarneh, 23, also a member
of the group who, they said, were planning suicide bomb attacks in Israel.
Visiting Sderot in the evening, Halutz warned that
Israel's patience would not last forever.
It shouldn't have lasted this long. There are pictures of the damage
done by the kassam rockets with the above article. Way to go, palis. You
killed two of your own and a Chinese national in your attempt to murder
Hm. This post wanders off the point, but I don't have time to fix it.
I have to get to work. Well, I was trying to point out that in most of
the articles, Israelis always kill "militants," but when
Israelis die, the palestinians are never named as the killers. It's always
"a mortar attack" or something else passive. Who's launching
the effing mortars? The rocket fairies?
No, it's the murdering, terrorist, sonofabitch palestinians. Who are
getting their own state, next to Israel. Lovely.
Don't believe the wire services: The stories
that the Bush Administration will be dealing with Hamas are just that:
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration, rebuffing the
suggestions of some European officials, will continue to refuse to have
contact with the militant group Hamas and its leaders even if some of
those leaders win elections in Palestinian areas, a senior administration
official said Monday.
The official said that a ban on contacts with Hamas
was required because the group was listed by the United States as a
terrorist organization, and that the United States would not follow
a practice of some European countries of engaging with the group's political
wing even if it also had an armed wing carrying out attacks on civilians.
"The president has said that Hamas is on the terrorism
list, and it's there for a reason," said the official, speaking
on condition of anonymity. "We don't recognize that you have changed
your behavior just because a group is running candidates as well as
And let us all say: Amen.
The Brits, however, have no
problems dealing with murderers. (Must be their practice with those
nice guys at the IRA who still kill whomever gets in their way.) Jack
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that there had
been 'low-level' contact with elected mayors and councillors not implicated
He said: "We are faced with the dilemma following
the decision by Hamas's non-military wing to participate in the elections
in the Palestinian Authority. The result is that Hamas or people associated
with Hamas have been elected in a number of areas.
"We have a diplomatic job to do and our diplomats
in the occupied territories see part of their job as being to have contact
with elected representatives.
"In all occupied territories it is de rigueur,
it is required, that if a diplomat of whatever level goes into a town
they go and talk to the mayor. What happened on two occasions, just
two occasions, was that such discussions have taken place.
"But on each of those occasions our staff have
spelt out to the elected officials our position in respect of no dealings
with Hamas as an organisation as long as it continues to support violence
and the destruction of Israel."
What does Israel think?
A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said today:
"Hamas is part of the problem, not part of the solution. They are
committed to Jihad, they do not believe Israel should exist.
"When we have a period of relative quiet we know
that Hamas is stockpiling weapons, training suicide bombers and is getting
ready for a third wave where they will launch suicide bombers against
What cease-fire? Hamas
shelled Sderot. Again. Yeah, that Hamas. The ones the Brits
say they have to negotiate with.
SDEROT - Hamas claimed responsibility for a Qassam
rocket attack on the southern town of Sderot Tuesday, calling it a response
to confrontations between Israeli police and Palestinians at the al
Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount during yesterday's Jerusalem Day celebrations.
"Any harm that befalls al Aqsa mosque will mean
an open, fierce war in all of our land of Palestine, and by all means,"
Hamas' military wing said in a statement.
At least two Qassam rockets landed in the southern
town, causing damage to a residential apartment building. A woman and
her two children were taken to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon and treated
Looks like it's an all-Hamas news brief post. Gee, and all they really
want to do is get elected to office and be nice guys, right?
Better than you, cont'd: I was going to
write about this, but now I don't have to. "We
thank you for your persecution, stupid." Via Lair.
By the way, scroll around Joel's blog. It's good. It's really good.
Speaking of Lair: he did just
what I thought he'd do about the new "apolitical" line of
A vasectomy tale: Well, partly. Gerard Van
Der Leun and the tale of Carl
the hapless romantic. Were I you, I would put down my drink while
Someone doesn't want him to talk: The Los
Alamos whistleblower was assaulted
and badly hurt over the weekend. DefenseTech has the details.
I can't help it, it's funny: I know some
people are going to be offended, but I found this
Darth Vader: The Exclusive Interview
We caught up with the Dark Lord of the Sith, who took a few minutes
out from his busy publicity schedule to talk with yourish.com.
MY: Well, the story is now complete, and your legion
of fans knows how and why you stepped into the black suit.
DV: Ha. Ha. Ha. Very funny. I'll bet you make bunny ears on blind people
MY: Lord Vader, we're curious to know what you think of the movies,
and how your story has been told.
DV: You know the saying "History is written by the winners?"
DV: Hello, I didn't win, y'know? That Lucas got almost nothing right,
not even my name. I mean, Anakin? Annie? Annie? What kind of man calls
himself Annie? First they get two of the worst actors in the universe
to play my younger self, then they ruin my name and call me Annie! It's
enough to make you want to use your Sith powers to make sure that Lucas
will never write another decent script so long as he lives.
MY: So what is your real name?
DV: It's Leonard. Lennie! A nice manly name. None of this Annie crap.
MY: So what else did Lucas get wrong?
DV: I have never in my entire life-until now-ever uttered the word,
"Yippee." When Qui-Gon bought me out of slavery, I believe
my words to Watto were more on the order of "[bleep] you, you stinking
sack of [bleep] [bleep] [bleep]!"
MY: Whoa, family blog here!
DV: Edit it out, you [bleep].
MY: Lord Vader, how did you come to the dark side of the Force? What
was it that really turned you bad? Was it truly your inability to find
a good anger management class?
DV: Oh, don't be ridiculous. The Sith Lords are no darker than your
average Republicans. The Emperor wasn't an Emperor, the Rebellion wasn't
a Rebellion. It was all politics. Palpatine won a closely contested
election, and the Jedi got ticked. The Sith may have controlled the
Chancellorship and the Senate, but the Jedi had the damned media behind
them. And the academics, and they're the ones who write the history
books. The truth is, I started out with the Jedi, and Palpatine ultimately
converted me to the Sith. The Sith political party, not some scary cult
that went around lopping off people's hands.
Plus, the Jedi were starting to talk about raising
taxes and getting all touchy-feely on me. And then there was that insufferable
Yoda. The creature never learned how to speak Galactic properly; always
mangling his sentences. You have no idea how boring it was to sit in
a Jedi council meeting and listen to him drone on and on. And Mace Windu?
Listen, the man had fourteen mirrors in his home. Conceited? Hey, one
of his padawans once pronounced his name Windoo instead of Windu, and
Windu had him exiled to Tatooine to go undercover in Jabba the Hutt's
MY: Wait a minute, wait a minuteare you saying that the Sith and
Jedi are only political parties? That there's no Force behind either
DV: Sorry to burst your bubble, bubelah, but I did tell you that Lucas
got nearly everything wrong. And, ah, Palpatine and I didn't kill the
Jedi. The party died out of its own volition. There we are at war, and
the Jedi are advocating diplomacy over force. Idiots. If someone's shooting
at you, saying, "Please stop shooting at me" has a proven
one hundred percent failure rate. Come to think of it, the Sith and
Jedi disagreements are not unlike the current battling going on between
Republicans and Democrats, only our Jedi weren't stupid enough to put
a Howard Dean in charge. That snot-nosed son of mine
MY: You mean Luke Skywalker really was your son? And he really defeated
you in battle?
DV: I lost the election to him. You try and try to bring your kids up
in your traditions, and the damned tree-huggers in the Jedi school system
totally ruin them for you. He broke with me and ran on the Jedi ticket.
MY: You were elected?
DV: Of course. I was Palpatine's Vice-Chancellor. We beat the Jedi twice,
a fact that Lucaswho, I might point out, is a Democratseems
to have overlooked in his films. But we didn't win big, so Windu kept
crying about a recount, then the lack of a mandate, and then the Jedi
party used their influence in the media to beat up on us and make us
look like the bad guys. They even tried to say we started the tariff
war with the Trade Federation. So not our fault. We were all for free
trade! It's the Jedi that wanted to impose tariffs on everyone. So of
course the Federation started taxing our goods. Everything started costing
more, then my kids teamed up against me, and, well, you try to win an
election when the cost of living is rising and your own kids are calling
you Dark Father. After a while, people only heard "Darth Vader,"
and that was that.
MY: I'm still trying to process this election stuff.
DV: Yeah, so are the Democrats. Get over it already.
MY: Okay, current Earth stuff: Bush or Kerry?
DV: Please. Bush.
MY: Favorite TV show?
DV: Lost. Oh, and Desperate Housewives. I'm a sucker for a nighttime
MY: Who do you think will run for president in '08?
DV: Hillary. Definitely Hillary. Though she may find some surprises
waiting for her.
DV: Let's just say that Luke and Leia weren't my only kids. Padme may
have dumped me, but she's not the only fish in the sea. My second wife
and I retired here after I lost the election, and, well, that's all
I'm saying for now. Except that he was born in the USA. And he's a Republican.
MY: Thank you, Lord Vader, and, uh, may the
DV: Oh, shut up.
The Tony Awards in more than
I have loved Broadway and movie musicals ever since I can remember. I
watch the Tony Awards every year. This year was The. Worst. Ever. Bar
Mind you, I adore Hugh Jackman, and he was wonderful last year, but this
year I was looking for the proverbial hook. He was a lousy MC. It probably
wasn't his fault. The show was about as bad as a middle school production
of, well, anything. When Aretha Franklin and Hugh Jackman's duet of Sondheim
and Bernstein's exquisite song, Somewhere, was bettered by a
commercial for TIAA CREF shown just a minute before their duet, you
know there's something really, really wrong.
But rather than bitch about how incredibly boring, insipid, unfunny and
yawn-inducing the awards are, I'll present my ideas to make the awards
Cut the awards even more. Most viewers only care about the actors and
the plays. Sorry, John and Susan Public don't give a damn who directed
or produced what. Drop the boring "This is the people who bring you
the awards" segment. Cut the witless banter by the hosts, and cut
the stupid jokes by the presenters. Instead, use the time to show us excerpts
not only from the nominated programs, but from current Broadway shows
that were not nominated. The idea of the Tony Awards at one point
may have been to reward excellence in the American theatre; today, it's
supposed to be the show that brings bodies to the seats of Broadway.
Every year, the Tony Awards show gives a boost to the nominated plays
(assuming they haven't already closed). People don't necessarily care
that a show has won an award. They want to see something they'll enjoy,
and what better way to advertise Broadway than by actually having a showcase
for, gee, I don't knowthe plays on Broadway?
Maybe then they could bring the ticket prices down and get even more
bodies in the seats. At over $100 a seat for the top shows, Broadway has
become a pastime of the wealthy. It used to be affordable. The last thing
the American Theater Wing needs to do is turn off even more people from
the Tony Awards. And yet, they've managed to do just that over the past
The Tony Awards in one word
The V-word on soaps
I'm currently watching All My Children (so disappointed Eden Riegel
left, but watch out for her; she's a rising superstar, I think). One of
the characters, who comes from an abusive background, has come to the
conclusion that his genes are tainted. He is newly married. Without discussing
this with, or even informing, his wife, he had a vasectomy.
Forget about the plot twist and all that, here's the thing that is both
amusing and puzzling me: The word "vasectomy" was said exactly
once, if I'm not mistaken, when Ryan called the doctor to inquire about
it. After that, it was called "the procedure," "surgery,"
or "the appointment," and is now being referred to as having
made sure that he will never have children, or having made sure that Greenlee
(hey, I don't name 'em, I just report 'em) will never be able to have
Ryan's baby, or even "stolen my future."
The overwhelming majority of soap opera fans are women. "Vasectomy"
is not a word that strikes fear into our nether regions. It is, in fact,
a word we like, because it means we don't have to fool around with
various birth control methods that are inconvenient, annoying, slightly
gross, or even dangerous. So what is up with the writers on All My Children
being unable to allow their actors to utter the word "vasectomy"?
Hey, they're perfectly comfortable with using "skank," "slut,"
and "whore" when referring to female characters they don't like
(that is a subject for another day, don't even get me started on
that one), and yet, they can't refer to a vasectomy as a vasectomy?
Hey, Ryan: You had a vasectomy. Say it loud, say it proud: Little Ryan
is only shooting blanks from now on.
It's the Temple Mount. Deal with it. A fascinating
(and fairly unbiased) interview in Al-Jazeera (yes, Al-Jazeera), with
the chairman of the organization fighting to regain Jewish control of
the Temple Mount.
Same story, different headlines: Check out
the way these different media outlets spin this story.
plans to seek UNSC seat
Daily Times, Pakistan - 6 hours ago
claims right to sit on UN Security Council
IranMania News, Iran - Jun 4, 2005
calls for right to UN Security Council seat
Globe and Mail, Canada - Jun 4, 2005
requests Security Council spot
Ynetnews, Israel - Jun 4, 2005
broaches possibility of Israeli seat on UN Sec. Council
Ha'aretz, Israel - Jun 3, 2005
Annan discuss Israeli Sec. Council status
Jerusalem Post, Israel - Jun 3, 2005
plans to seek UN Security Council seat
Deepika, India - Jun 3, 2005
Damn those Jews, anyway, asking for the right to sit on the UN Security
Council. Israel, by the way, is the only nation in the world that
is not allowed to take her turn at the rotating, non-voting position.
Why? Gee, let's think. The UN is Israel's best friend, right? Can't imagine
why Israel alone cannot sit in that seat.
Update: In the comments, Andrew wonders why Israel never got the
chance. Here's why:
Regional groups decide who fills the 10 rotating seats
on the UN's most powerful body and other key UN committee assignments.
Until recently, Israel was the only UN member that was not part of a
regional group, because Arab nations have repeatedly blocked its admission
to the Asian Group where it belongs geographically.
In 2000, after intense pressure from the United States,
the UN regional group of European, North American and other countries
invited Israel to become a temporary member, giving the country its
first chance to be represented on key UN bodies in New York.
In the last five years, the group that Israel is innot her region,
of coursehas not offered Israel up for the Security Council seat.
Once again, gee, I wonder why.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem:
June 6th is Jerusalem
Day, the day Israel celebrates the reunification of her once and future
capital. Some facts: Jerusalem is the
fastest-growing Israeli city (mazel tov!), more
than 10% of Israel's population lives in Jerusalem,
David ben-Gurion said
in 1949: "For the State of Israel there has always been and always
will be one capital only - Jerusalem the Eternal. Thus it was 3,000 years
ago - and thus it will be, we believe, until the end of time."
And let me point out that under Jordanian rule, Jews were
not allowed to worship at the Western Wall, and descrated
Jewish holy places. No such thing has been done under Israeli rule,
not that the world seems to care or notice.
Go here to read accounts
of the first Israeli soldiers to reach the Wall.
Rahel adds this link
to the "The
Paratroopers Cry," a poem written about the liberation of the
Last, but not least, Ariel Sharon's speech
to AIPAC began with these sentences:
I came here from Jerusalem, the eternal, united and
undivided capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish people forever
and ever. And I would like to use the term "netzach netzachim"
- more than forever and ever.
And let us all say: Amen.
Last week's blogs are archived.
Looking for the Buffy
Blogburst Index? Here's Israel
vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon.
Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try
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.