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Fluffy kitty pictures

As promised:

Tig and Gracie, together at lastAnd it's a twofer, that rarest of cat pics. They usually don't stay very near each other when they're outdoors. They have two very different personalities. Tig is content to sleep outdoors, where Gracie philosophy is "Hunt or be hunted." She doesn't close her eyes. Too many potential monsters that can eat cats. And too much prey. Last week, she kindly brought me a five-lined skink. She chased it underneath my computer backpack. Then she got upset when I made it leave the apartment. So upset that she brought another lizard in the next day, which pretended it was the cord to my floor lamp. As I was passing the lamp, I glanced down and thought, "Huh. The cord is broken." Then I realized that the cord had four legs. I had to catch it and let it outside, as the living room is sunken and I don't think lizards do steps very well.

Of course, Tig could not be outdone, so on the same day I got the skink, he brought home a baby starling that had fallen from its nest. Alive, of course, though I'm sure it died soon after I put it out where Tig couldn't get it. I looked for the nest. I couldn't find it. Oh, well. It's not Tig's fault the thing fell out of its nest. I felt bad, but what can you do? Yeah, I know you can nurse them, but, well, so not interested in that. Nature is harsh, and starlings aren't kittens. Or puppies. Now if I found one of those that had gotten taken from its mother, that would be a different story.

In fact, when I was thirteen, my cat got distemper while she had a littler of two-week-old kittens. I bottle-fed them for a week while she was at the vet's, and for another week until her milk came back. Boy, was I glad when that happened. My brothers helped the first day, and after that brought their friends around to see the amazing task of Meryl feeding three kittens at once. I held one in each hand, and the third one I fed by holding a bottle with my feet. I couldn't stand hearing them cry while they waited to be fed, and there were three of them and only one of me. So I improvised. I sat on the floor with my legs stretched out and balanced the kitten near my ankles. I got pretty damned good at it, probably because the kittens didn't move once they found the source of the milk.

I wonder if my brothers were smart enough to charge for the sight. Y'know, I used to yell at them when they brought their friends to see, and they'd say, "Why should we help? You've got it covered."

I think I'm still mad at them for it. Hang your heads in shame, brothers.

Wow, that was some digression. Fluffy kitty pictures and a kitten story. There, you got your money's worth today. Oh, wait. This blog is free. Damn.

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You are getting sleepy.... Y'know, I don't want to write grumpy news briefs. I want to do nothing but post fluffy kitty pictures, I think. Except that would be, like, work. Maybe later. I am quite tired. I drove through a monsoon last night, trying both not to drive off the road and not fall asleep, which also would have resulted in driving off the road. I passed several cars and one truck that had driven off the road, which made me even more eager not to do what they had done. I am glad to report that I made it home without falling asleep or driving off the road, and went to bed directly after getting home without falling asleep or driving off the road. And then I fell asleep, but did not drive off the road.

Squirrels: The new woodpeckers? So Monday morning, I am awakened at 7:30 in the morning by a scratching noise. I get out of bed and listen, and discover that it is coming from inside the wall. It is a new squirrel, chewing a nest. Apparently, the new squirrel is wholly unconcerned by the rotting corpse of its, oh, I dunno, sister, brother, child, aunt, or uncle. Let us say uncle. So it's ignoring Uncle Seymour, turning to wormfood before its little squirrely eyes, and digging around him to make my walls more homelike. So I call maintenance, and they send out Roof Maintenance Guy, who turns out to be an Asian with a very thick accent. Mind you, I'm quite good with accents, and even I had trouble understanding Roof Maintenance Guy, though I was getting the hang of his accent by the end of our conversation. He looked inside the attic, found no holes large enough for a squirrel to get in (and how much did the phrase "no holes large enough for squirrel" bother me? Yeah, a lot), could find nothing up by the gutters, and informed me that he had already checked around the back. The only ingress was the hole where the cable goes into the second floor, which Roof Maintenance Guy declared to be too small for squirrels, but offered to cover up. All I could think of was that the squirrel was still in my walls, and that covering the hole would cause him to die, which would cause that stink again, and, horrified, I said, "No, no, if it's too small for a squirrel to get in, don't cover it up."

So Roof Maintenance Guy left, and I was left wondering what the hell I was going to do about the squirrel eating away my walls.

He woke me up at 7:30 sharp on Tuesday, too. Oh, and this morning. I can see I may not be needing an alarm clock much longer.

Cats are not always cute: Tig has a new trick. He lies down and drinks water, and decides that the water bowl is not close enough to him. So he pulls it with his paw. Which causes it to spill over, because I use a couple of old Tupperware bowls that are nice and deep and hold a lot of water. He's done it three times this week. I think it's time to get one of those level bowls that most cats and dogs drink water from.

Fluffy kitty pictures: Later. I have some pretty good shots of Tig in his new nest, and I may even have managed a decent twofer (they're so rarely together, or even close enough to get them in one shot outside). News later, too. I'm quite tired this morning. But at least I didn't drive off the road.

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Light posting today

Changed the Jeep top this morning, and I'm going up to DC this afternoon and evening. Back later.

Conversational topic: Israeli officials say that Moonbat Mahathir deliberately showed up in Israel unannounced with the intention of making Israel look bad. Hat tip: Rahel.

Sources in Jerusalem, however, said that Israel's Foreign Ministry had no idea about the planned visit, and that it seemed that by arriving on the country's doorstep in this manner – without any prior warning or announcement – Mahathir was engaging in "showmanship," and was interested in creating a diplomatic incident.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said he "failed to understand how someone could show up unannounced and then complain that we didn't do anything to facilitate the visit."

Gee, that's so not a stretch to believe of this man who said:

"The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy; they get others to fight and die for them." Regev said that despite Mahathir's diatribe, had Israel known of Mahathir's desire to visit, it would have accommodated him.

So, the upshot?

"He is the former prime minister of Malaysia," Regev said of Mahathir. "Had we known he wanted to arrive, we would have given him the proper VIP treatment. Israel wants to improve its relationships with the Arab and Muslim world, and will do what it can in this regard." Israel and Malaysia have no diplomatic ties.

I say keep him the hell out, but then, I tend to hold a grudge.

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What cease-fire?

A bunch of Hamas terrorists were setting up mortars to fire at Gush Katif. They got four off. And then the IAF tossed a Hellfire their way.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - An Israeli aircraft Wednesday fired at a group of Hamas militants who were about to shoot mortar shells at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip, the army and witnesses said. The new violence threatened a fragile cease-fire declared in February.

The airstrike came minutes after militants fired four mortar shells at the Gush Katif settlement bloc. The army said it spotted two Palestinians preparing to fire more mortars when it attacked.

Hamas said one of its members was critically wounded while conducting a "holy mission." After the airstrike, militants fired a fifth mortar shell, the army said.

Once again, the Jewish Double Standard applies. Firing at civilians is "retaliation" for killing terrorists.

The mortar fire was in apparent retaliation for Israel's killing earlier Wednesday of a militant near the edge of the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza. Military officials said the Palestinians fired rifles and aimed anti-tank grenades at Israeli soldiers, who shot back.

Residents identified the dead man as a Hamas member.

It's good to know that the AP bias remains unchanged. Let's look at the Jerusalem Post's explanation of what happened:

The mortar barrage was apparently a response to the death of a Islamic Jihad operative overnight near Rafah. The IDF said that Ahmed Barhoum was apparently killed when a bomb he was carrying exploded prematurely; the army denied claims he had been killed by IDF gunfire.

According to Southern Command officers, PA security officials informed them that Barhoum's body was full of shrapnel apparently caused by the bomb he was carrying.

Back to the AP:

There has been a sharp drop in fighting since the truce was declared by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, although there have been sporadic flare-ups in violence. Israel has repeatedly said it reserves the right to respond to attacks that Palestinian security forces fail to prevent.

"What do you expect us to do if they are attacking us?" said Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Sharon.

Those "sporadic flare-ups" include a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that murdered five. And do a search on "what truce" or "what cease-fire" on my site, and you'll find out how "sporadic" the violence has been. That is to say, terrorist attacks are happening every day now.

Back to the Post:

Meanwhile, the army said that during the night, two anti-tank rockets and shots were fired a number of times at IDF posts and patrols near Rafah. IDF soldiers returned fire with light weapons but did not identify hitting anyone.

It was only later that the Palestinians reported that Barhoum had been shot and killed by the IDF, but an initial probe carried out by the PA revealed that this was false. Southern command officials said they could not rule out the possibility that Barhoum was planning to detonate a bomb near IDF troops.

Back to the AP:

Such violent incidents have been rare since the cease-fire took effect Feb. 8, and the two sides have stepped up cooperation on security matters. However, Israel has resisted calls to resume peace talks until the Palestinians take tougher action against militants.

What violent incidents have been rare? Oh, that's right. There hasn't been a missile fired at a terrorist since the truce was declared.

Before Wednesday, Israel had not responded to a barrage of mortar and rocket attacks aimed at the settlements in recent weeks, prompting strong criticism from the residents, who said the government was leaving them defenseless.

Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said the airstrike was the latest in a "series of Israeli escalations," and the group reserved the right to retaliate. However, he did not call off the cease-fire.

"The calm declared is a conditional one, and we have the right to respond to any violation," he said. "It has nothing to do with the continuation of the calm, which still exists."

But a suicide bombing isn't considered a violation of the calm. Nor are mortar attacks on civilians. I'm just sorry the IDF didn't get all of the mortar boys.

By the way, more mortars have been fired since this incident. Perhaps the IAF should simply patrol the area for a while and fire off a few more hellfires.

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The champ

Let's see now. Time. Newsweek. The Washington Post. That's three big media outlets for Lair Simon's Huffington Is Full of Crap.


Exactly who is toast again?

Advantage: Simon.

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Stay the hell out of our holy city: Moonbat ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir, the creep who spewed anti-Semitism at the 2003 OAS conference, has been denied entrance to Jerusalem. (Hat tip: Joel G.) Glad to hear it. Guess if you want to pray at a Muslim holy site, you should probably not piss off the Jews that control access to it by advocating their destruction.

But wait, there's more!

Mahathir, who arrived from Jordan Sunday for meetings with senior Palestinian officials, said guards at the Allenby Bridge humiliated him and his associates and performed humiliating searches through their belongings.

Well, this is the man who said "We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains also. "Hey, ya never know. He might have been trying to smuggle something in. It's been known to happen, Jew-haters on diplomatic passports bringing in weapons to kill Jews.

Sources close to Mahathir said the delay caused by guards interfered with the visit’s schedule. Mahathir was slated to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and other officials, and also visit the Jenin refugee camp, the sources said

Aw. I feel bad. Okay, no, not really.

Mahathir and his entourage were finally allowed entry after a five-hour delay. The former prime minister then hurried to a short meeting with Qureia, and later continued to the Jenin refugee camp.

Think about it: You're the prime minister of the world's largest a Muslim nation, and some Jewish border guards not only refuse to let you pass, but they search your belongings and those of your entourage. He was humiliated, definitely—this is not something he's ever been subjected to, probably. But damn, did he deserve it! Schadenfreude, people. Schadenfreude. I think the cats are getting tuna today.

But the palestinians only want peace! A new poll shows that 50% of palestinians are still just fine with suicide bombs murdering Israeli civilians.

Q.4 How do you feel towards suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians? do you support them, or oppose them?

Strongly support 17.9
Somewhat support 31.8
Somewhat oppose 32.3
Strongly oppose 15.7
No answer 2.3

West Bank
Strongly support 15.7
Somewhat support 30.2
Somewhat oppose 33.1
Strongly oppose 18.1
No answer 2.9

Strongly support 21.8
Somewhat support 34.7
Somewhat oppose 31.1
Strongly oppose 11.6
No answer 0.8

Charming. I'd love to see the results of a similar poll asking Israeli citizens if they think it's okay to target palestinian civilians. What a difference a culture makes.

Speaking of Jew-hatred: The supposedly changed palestinian TV broadcast this message of Jew-hatred:

"The Jews are the cancer spreading all over the world...the Jews are responsible for all wars and conflicts," Sheikh Ibrahim Mudairis said Friday during a sermon from his Gaza Mosque in the presence of uniformed Palestinian police.

"Do not ask what Germany did to the Jews, but what the Jews did to Germany," he went on to say. "True the Germans killed and burnt Jews, but the Jews exaggerate the numbers to gain propaganda advantages and sympathy."

Someone needs to explain to me how the palestinians are only upset about Israel's policies, and don't hate Jews, because I'm just not seeing it.

Terrorists and politics: Barry Rubin says Hamas' victory in the palestinian elections is a disaster for peace.

Hamas did not win the election because of moderation, but via terrorist attacks, demands for total victory and opposition to a negotiated peace agreement. While the movement's social services and reputation for less corruption also helped, no Hamas leader is concluding that the victory requires abandoning extremism. On the contrary, the vote is a mandate for intransigence.

The essential issue is that if Abu Mazen was too afraid to crack down on terrorists, moderate Palestinian ideology or negotiate a compromise peace with Israel when he had all the power, he will now be even more timid.

Two pre-election examples: Palestinian terror attacks rose 54 percent between March and April due to Abu Mazen's passivity. When his forces arrested one Hamas member for firing a rocket at Israel, Hamas simply closed down Gaza with demonstrations for a few hours and threatened government officials' lives until they released him. Is anyone going to be constrained now from attacking Israel or defying the Palestinian regime?


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WordPress advice needed

I screwed up my index.php file. I keep trying to replace it with the original files, but don't seem to be succeeding. If there's anyone out there who's pretty good at WP, could you email me and help me out here? My usual adviser is stuck at work, doing, like, real work that he gets paid for.

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British media bias watch: Found one that Kav can't pick apart, in an article in the Times Online on the current rise in Israeli tourism. The headline of the artice is "The tourists are back, the restaurants are open. How long can this last?" (Oh, that's a positive headline.) (Hat tip: my brother Eric)

The historic mistrust between the two sides remains. Israel complains that its security forces continue to intercept would-be suicide bombers, Palestinians that Israeli troops continue to make provocative raids into the West Bank and Gaza.

The paragraph equates Israel capturing suicide bombers with IDF forces going into palestinian towns to, well, capture suicide bombers. And the latter is presented as a reason for mistrusting Israel's motives. Uh-huh.

The school of bombs: Four palestinians were captured in Iraq.

BAGHDAD — Iraqi security forces have captured four Palestinians and an Iraqi believed to have been responsible for a Baghdad market bombing that killed at least 17 people, a police commander said Friday.

Brig. Gen. Mohammed Mohsen, the commander of an Interior Ministry security force, told state-run Al Iraqiya television that the men were captured hours after the attack Thursday in the Jadida neighborhood of east Baghdad.

Because when it comes to killing innocents, you just gotta go with the experts.

What truce, part infinity: An anti-tank rocket was fired at a really dangerous group of construction workers. A paletinian was shot to death after pulling a knife on IDF soldiers at a checkpoint. And oh, yeah, the PA is broadcasting tons of anti-Semitic programming. More on that later.

The difference between reporters: Tires are apparently roadblock tools (and really smelly ones, ew, they're burning them) for the anti-Gaza pullout protesters. A JPost reporter discovered a cache near their offices. And notified the police, as opposed to, say, AP reporters who go along with terrorists and win pulitzers for catching photgraphs of terrorists murdering innocents. But hey, everything's equivalent, right?

Disarming the murderers: In this Telegraph article on how Abbas is failing at his attempt to disarm terrorists, proof that irony is not dead:

Mohammed abu Araj, who belongs to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade and is at the top of Israel's wanted list, later came on horseback to Jenin cemetery to speak to The Telegraph, his gun slung across his back, flanked by bodyguards. Abu Araj, a dishevelled figure, did not rule out joining the security forces but attacked the Palestinian Authority for treating him and his men like "pirates".


He insisted that Israel must halt its raids on Palestinians before he would join the security forces. "With all the other factions, we agreed to stop violence and we are OK to give up our weapons," he said. "Killing is not our hobby. We keep our weapons to stop the Israelis in case this ceasefire does not work out. There is no need for the Palestinian Authority to come and collect these. If Israel stops its action, we will give them away."


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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.