9/28/2002

From Not a Fish
I am prepared to be the price Gad Ezra writing to his girlfriend Galit: My dear Galit, If this letter reaches you, it means that something has happened to me. My love, on one hand there is nothing in the world that I want more than to be with you, to love you and to build a home and a family with you. But on the other hand, there is nothing I want more than to go out on this operation and hit these bastards, so they won’t think of doing another terrorist attack. So that they will know they are paying a price. I am prepared to be that price… I will always think of you, wherever I will be and I’ll make sure you meet a person who will make you happier than I have… Promise me you will carry on. That is how it should be, that is right. Gadi ______________________ March 2002. 23 year-old reserve soldier Gad Ezra, wrote this letter to his girlfriend, whom he was about to marry. About a month later, on 4th April, he was killed in the IDF operation in Jenin. “Ha’ir” local Tel-Aviv paper, 26th September, 2002.
The Following letter was written by Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah a week before the First Battle of Bull Run where he was killed. My very dear Sarah: The indications are very strong that we will move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more. Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure - or it may be one of sever conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine, O God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life to help maintain this government, and to pay that debt. But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows - when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children - is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country? I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death - and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee. I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved, and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and the principles I have often advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed. Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on, with all these chains, to the battlefield. The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard for me it is to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar - that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more. But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night - amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again. As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell our mothers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children. - Sullivan Just a little dose of reality.
Is it Candygram time yet? Posted by Wind Rider

We aren't talking in hypotheticals any longer folks, according to this report on the seizure of Uranium headed for Iraq courtesy of Charles Johnson.

As members of the discussion thread over at LGF point out, with links to many, many disturbingly technical reference documents, this is more than sufficient material to construct at least one device. Possibly up to four if you've got a really efficient design. Indications are that 'it's a plant' idealistic denials are already springing up. Many, in the deep thrall of pacifistic denial will still insist on proof that such a shipment actually got through. Since the unfortunate fact is that such proof could well be in the form of a nuclear detonation, such a demand is just plain bonkers.

The much more relevant question is - 'Can you absolutely beyond doubt prove that a shipment of this kind has not gotten through?' A follow up to this is - 'How many lives are you willing to wager against your answer?' And at the risk of becoming a boorish lout on the subject - 'Does that number include your own?'

My answers would be - absolutely not even with 'inspections'; only as many as it will take to lance this boil on civilization's backside named Saddam; and yes, as a matter of fact.

So again - is it Candygram Time yet?

9/27/2002

"PUT THE HEID ON HIM!" I'm afraid it's time for a good, old-fashioned Gorbals-style nutting for Glasgow's Lord Provost. The facts in this case are as follows. A Glasgwegian Jew, Yoni Jesner, was murdered by Palestinians in a suicide bombing. One of his organs was able to be transplanted into a Palestinian girl, saving her life. Back home in Scotland, Yoni's cousin Gideon Black called for Glasgow to terminate its sister-city relationship with Bethlehen, saying it doesn't make sense to be twinned with a bomb factory. It is at this point in proceedings that we are first treated to the truly odious spectacle of the Lord Provost, one Alex Mosson.

“Obviously he [Black] has gone through a difficult experience, but the Israeli state has been perpetrating state terrorism on the Palestinians since the state of Israel was formed. The Palestinian people are being brutalised and terrorised on a daily basis.”

The boys of the place made some comment upon it, and the Lord Provost fell back on the hoary old "out of context" defence. But now he's made it worse. The mask well and truly slips when you read this statement.

Mr Mosson said that he enjoyed “a good relationship with the Jewish community. “My great-grandmother was Jewish, so I’m not going to have all these idiots, these Zionists, saying that I’m anti-Semitic.”

Thank you for clearing that up. Now we know where we stand. Perhaps the Glasgow Jewish Community might care to give the Lord Provost some honour in recognition of his "good relationship:" with them. I suggesta formal ceremony at the synagogue where he can be formally invested with the ancient Hebrew title given to gentile leaders who prove thmselves to be such friends to us. Ben Sharmuta.
ANDREW SULLIVAN FINDS ANOTHER ONE... At what point will former leftists like myself outnumber those that are...uh...left? So far it's only anecdotal evidence like the e-mail below that Andrew Sullivan got from a former ACT-UPer, but I get the impression that the stampede for the exits continues apace. At some point the hard core left are going to look up from their copies of Das Kapital and realise they're in an empty hall.

I have always described myself as a liberal or progressive. I am a gay man living in Manhattan, I am pro-choice, a registered Democrat and have been active in gay organizations from ACT UP to HRCF. However since 9/11 I find myself growing more and more estranged from the left. They just seem clueless and adrift, bitter and angry. The immediate reaction of some on the left to 9/11 was appalling. The creeping anti-Semitism of the left is especially shocking and hypocritical. This one question of the Middle East has led me to examine all my left leaning beliefs. And I am not alone particularly here in New York. People who would normally be described as left are taking tentative steps in the same direction-rightward. We feel guilty about it and are afraid to discuss our new found politics with our friends.

The stumbling block I faced after September 11th ripped away all illusions for good was that I had completely internalised the notion that "Right-Wing" was a synonymn for "Evil". The right simply didn't care about anyone who wasn't rich and powerful. The right were just looking out for their own selfish class interests, and wanted to send children down mines and up chimneys, while black people went back to the cotton fields. It wasn't until I began seriously reading conservative websites, especially the National Review, that it began to dawn on me how wrong my ideas were. Conservatives actually do care very much. I haven't met a single conservative who wishes to hold people back because of their race or religion. None of them are opposed to poor people become wealthier. In fact they would applaud such a thing. The difference is that conservatives try to change the real world, and that's a tough job, often requiring a long time and plenty of hard work Liberals change the words they use to describe the real world, and imagine it's genuine change. Take the example of a guy in a wheelchair. A conservative might say "Tough break, you're crippled. Is they anything you CAN do?" "Yeah, I can write a bit, and I did well at English in school." "I know a guy needs a proof-reader. Interested? "Sure. Is his place accessible to wheelchairs?" "Don't think so. How much does a ramp cost?" "If he gives me a job, we could work something out about sharing the cost perhaps." "Yeah, if he's getting a useful employee and you're geting a job, that might work. Here's the number, good luck". Wheras a liberal might say "You're NOT a cripple. That's a harsh and uncaring thing to say! You're 'differently abled'. There, feel better?" "Not really". "Well there's gratitude for you..."
TALIBANIZATION OF JUDAISM A REAL DANGER Know-nothing ultra-Orthodox extremists continue their campaign to delegitimise anything they don't approve of (which is just about everything). Using tactics straight out of the Islamofascist playbook, they've now decided they can accuse anyone they like of heresy. Target du jour - the Chief Rabbi of Britain, Dr Jonathan Sacks.

CHIEF RABBI Dr Jonathan Sacks this week agreed to rewrite passages in his latest book after a Manchester rabbi publicly questioned whether its views on other religions might amount to “heresy.” Rabbi Sacks flew to Manchester, with the head of the London Beth Din, Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, on Wednesday for a closed-door meeting with local rabbis, following the pulpit remarks by Rabbi Yossi Chazan, minister of one of the city’s largest Orthodox congregations — Holy Law South Broughton.

I guess if you can force someone of his standing to grovel in the dirt before you, you've pretty much made your point - that absolutely no one is safe from medieval fanatics who want to drag us all back behind ghetto walls where they can rule us like tin gods. If we condemn this phenomenon in Islam, it should be condemned in Judaism as well. And what was the horrendous theological crime the Chief Rabbi committed which warrants such a serious charge? This...

Rabbi Sacks wrote that “God has spoken to mankind in many languages: through Judaism to Jews, Christianity to Christians, Islam to Muslims.” The book also stated that “no one creed has a monopoly on spiritual truth; no one civilisation encompasses all the spiritual, ethical and artistic expressions of mankind… “In heaven there is truth; on earth there are truths… God is greater than religion; He is only partially comprehended by any faith.”

Blasphemy! Stone him! Stone him! Erect the stakes in Smithfeild again and start collecting wood for the pious bonfires, it's time for Bloody Mary to regn in terror once more! I wonder if, like Bishop Cranmer, Sacks will thrust the hand that signed his recantation into the fire in order to punish it? I actually interviewed the Chief Rabbi once in New Zealand, and found him to be witty, erudite, accessible and genuinely spiritual. He and I would of course disagree vehemently on a lot of things, but he struck me as being someone who genuinely listens to the other side in a debate, and tries to reach as much common ground as possible. If such a thing is possible, he is a cultural Anglican in the "more tea vicar?" mould. Politeness, moderation and avoidance of conflict are his hallmarks. Maybe he is simply TOO police. Why such a great Jewish leader should feel the need to humble himself before a pinhead like Ehrentreu who thinks the world went to hell in a handbasket when Jews were granted civil rights after the French Revolution is beyond me. If he can force Sacks to submit, no one is beyond his reach. Oh well, more refugees will be clambering aboard the Progressive and Masorti movements as the good ship Modern Orthodoxy slips beneath the waves. Ehrentreu thinks we can breath water, but anyone who stays with the ship out of loyalty will only serve to prove him wrong
DO YOU EXPECT ME TO TALK? NO MR BOND, I EXPECT YOU TO DIE! At some stage in the proceedings we really will have to put Ann Coulter back in her box and nail the lid shut. For the moment, she has a small talent to amuse. Check this out.

Gore also complained that Bush has made the "rest of the world" angry at us. Boo hoo hoo. He said foreigners are not worried about "what the terrorist networks are going to do, but about what we're going to do." Good. They should be worried. They hate us? We hate them. Americans don't want to make Islamic fanatics love us. We want to make them die. There's nothing like horrendous physical pain to quell angry fanatics. So sorry they're angry – wait until they see American anger. Japanese kamikaze pilots hated us once too. A couple of well-aimed nuclear weapons, and now they are gentle little lambs. That got their attention.

Er...quite. Perhaps she's channelling Robert DeNiro as Al Capone in "The Untouchables". I want this guy dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground! I want to go there in the middle of the night and piss on his ashes! Of course he goes on to say something else worth remembering. You can get further with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word. And of course there's that memorable excgange in which Sean Connery introduces Kevin Costner to Chicago Rules. Malone:You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I'm saying is, what are you prepared to do? Eliot Ness: Anything and everything in my power. Malone: And THEN what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way because they're not gonna give up the fight until one of you is dead. Eliot Ness: How do you do it then? Malone: You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? Eliot Ness: I have sworn to capture this man with all legal powers at my disposal and I will do so. Malone: Well the Lord hates a coward. Do you know what a blood oath is Mr. Ness? Eliot Ness: Yes. Malone: Good, cause you just took one. Which ultimately leads to this..... Eliot Ness: I'm going to see you burn because you killed my friend. Frank Nitti: He died like a pig. Eliot Ness: What did you say? Frank Nitti: I said your friend died screaming like a stuck Irish pig. Now you think about that when I beat the rap. [Ness, enraged, grabs Nitti and throws him off the building ledge. Nitti wails as he falls] Eliot Ness: "Did it sound anything like THAT?
Go to American RealPolitik and read this.

9/26/2002

Sadam Has up to Three Doubles!
A German television network says it had made a scientific study of 450 photographs of Saddam Hussein, and concluded there are at least three doubles posing as the Iraqi president.
Well damn, there's three more bullets we're going to have to use then.
Impartial Reporting? Drop over to the Weekly James and have a read on the subject of the latest effort of the lions of islam. Some days you're just too pissed off to write.
Ok POP QUIZ! I was having some fun messing with Wind Rider last night because… well basically I’m a prick that way. But I like to challenge peoples perceptions and get them to defend their ideas because frequently they are wrong and if we take everything we are told as gospel we may as well all get frontal lobotomies. So: We are are sticking to modern history here, please do not use whiteout on the monitor. You have untill Saturday to complete the quiz, you may use whatever resources you want to find your answers or you may go with what you know already. There is no pass or fail mark. The answers will be added in the comments section. You may begin. 1. In what country was powered flight first achieved? 2. What country were women first given voting rights? 3. In what country was modern trench warfare born? 4. What country first split the atom? 5. What country captured the first land taken from Germany during the First World War? 6. What was the nationality of the first person to reach the top of Mt Everest? 7. What nation had the first racially integrated military units? 8. What is the smallest nation in the world to ever produce a battleship? 9. What is the nationality of the top scoring commonwealth fighter pilot in the Pacific during World War Two? 10. What is the nationality of the first soldiers to reach the top of the Sari Bair range and view the Dardanelle’s during the Gallipoli campaign? Bonus question: What allied nation had the highest rate of volunteers during both world wars?
Ahm, er,...yeah, way cool, dude! (Stolen from Kesher Talk).
A GATHERING OF OLD MEN Front page of the Melbourne Age this morning showed Malcolm Fraser, Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke, all looking grave and stroking their chins in what they no doubt fondly believe is an "Experienced Elder Statesman Giving Due Consideration to Matters of National Importance" pose, but which appeared to me more like "Three Old Dudes Sitting on the Crapper Trying to Have a Really Good Shit". It was the usual nonense of course, warning the PM not to fart in Saddam Hussein's general direction without written permission from Kofi Annan.

An alliance of former prime ministers, opposition leaders and defence chiefs has made a united stand against Australia joining a military attack on Iraq without United Nations backing. The group, including five former Liberal and Labor leaders, declared it would be a failure of duty for the Howard Government to involve Australia in such an attack. In a letter published in The Age today, the former political leaders and military chiefs say they share a "deeply held conviction" about the prospect of war against Iraq.

Yeah, well I've known people with a deeply held conviction that the way to solve poverty is to give more money to government bureaucracies, that doesn't make them right. May I point out that these are the same moral luminaries who were so eager to fellate Suharto, who who all eagerly participated in the "please may I lick the blood off your tank treads" school of foriegn policy which did so much to alleviate the sufferings of the East Timorese people. Oh sorry, that's right, it didn't. While the TNI was murdring people and chucking them into mass graves, this trio was either a) Allowing the Indonesians to invade in the first place b) Wandering around a Memphis hotel room looking for their trousers or c) Weeping on national television. Excuse me while I point out how much I don't care what they think.
TIME FOR A FULL RE-SERVICE, LUBE AND OIL CHANGE How long is it going to be before the Democratic Party realises it's time to have their Gore-bot taken back to Disney World to be re-tuned by the animatronics workshop? There were practically sparks and wisps of smoke coming out the back on the thing the other day, and the motions were recogniseably out of sync with the words. If it hadn't been hustled out the back immediately after the speech, there was a very real danger the chip it its head might have malfunctioned, leading to the spectacle of a former Vice-Prsident flailing his arms wildly, shouting "Warning Will Robinson, danger approaching!"
Spice Girls Reunion! Oh great, another tempting opportunity for suicide beckons! How many signs of the apocalypse left to go anyone?

9/25/2002

BIRTHDAY BOY! Ken we missed it yesterday, Happy Birthday guy! Everyone swing by the Parish Pump and spike his numbers as a present. It was Gareths Birthday too, so go and give him a hard time for daring to be 20 in public palce while the rest of us are making "that" noise when we stand up. You know who you are!
We’ve Been Hacked! Hackmistered that is, I gave in to his pleas and now… in the Irish Catholic corner, wearing the green and orange trunks and a belligerent expression. Weighing in at 98 lbs (less facial sand) Its Mike Hackmister! Mike is joining the ever-growing staff here at Silent Running, thus ensuring our dysfunctionality embraces all possible minorities. Mike, our readers from War Now! will remember as a shy, retiring type who once expressed an opinion that wasn’t entirely in line with my own. And in what is now become known as “The Incident” words were exchanged and testosterone was oozing from our very hard drives and totally unbackable offers of violence were mutually exchanged. Happily our common Celtic heritage kicked in and a certain amount of alcohol was consumed, ending with the world being put to rights due to forgetting the original question. Do you think that no drinking thing might be one of the key issues in our current unpleastness? Anyway… lets all give a big blogging welcome to Mike!… …cool I’ve never seen a real tumbleweed before.
Is Hell Endothermic or Exothermic? This just in from Dave Rhodes:
Dr. Schlambaugh, a senior lecturer at the Chemical Engineering Department,University of Oklahoma, is known for posing questions on final exams like: "Why do airplanes fly?" In May a few years ago, the "Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer " exam paper contained the question: "Is Hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with proof." Most students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or similar. One student, however, wrote the following: First, we must postulate that if souls exist, they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls also must have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it does not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some religions say that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions, and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell. With the birth and death rates what they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change in the volume of Hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of the souls and volume needs to stay constant. [Answer 1] So, if Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose. [Answer 2] Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase in souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it? If we accept the postulate (given to me by Teresa Banyan during freshman year) that "it'll be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you", and taking into account that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then [Answer 2] cannot be correct; ...... thus, Hell is exothermic. The student got the only A.
Silent Running, keeping you up to date with all the heady questions facing modern man...
The Buffy Blogburst Here we have Toms: Darth Rosenburg (People please, just Tom, not "Tom". His habit of chatting to himself and chuckling for no apparent reason is making his co-workers nervous. Off the Kuff has: Buffy: Fuggeddaboutit! Nick Danger with: DEFENDING YOUR SHOW N.Z. Bear: The paths of heroes Alas, a blog: Drawing Willow More will go up when I've actually done some real work or you could cut to the chase and go to the idex.
Welcome Back Psychotic Dictator, We Love You! Words fail me. My father spent 37 years in the Navy, I was a navy brat and went to school with other navy brats, I spent 10 years in the Army, I’ve worked on construction sites and I’ve driven a school bus. If anyone knows how to swear its me! But folks, I’m dry, apart from the occasionally random “fuck” I’m speechless. And you thought it could never happen. I don’t like the person my nation elected as our prime minister, I never have. she’s arrogant, rude, dictatorial, deceptive and dishonest. She observed the first day of bombing in the Afghan operation by scraping our air force strike wing. When someone makes a legitimate complaint to the police about her committing forgery she bullies the police into revealing who made the complaint so she can sic her lawyer on them. Good thing I’m entitled to speak my mind and this is all well documented history or Silent Running would be off the air faster than you could say War Now! Now she’s lost it completely, the Tony Blair “Look this guy is dangerous” document is out and the reactions are coming in. “Oh yes there is nothing new here”. Excuse me? You said he was unarmed. “Well look, yes he has this stuff but there is nothing to say he’ll use it” Nothing but his history of doing just that! We’re getting the same old Sept 10 rhetoric from the media that is manned by people that never left school and still think it’s cool to storm the dean’s office and fight the “establishment”. They missed that a hell of a lot of you are not buying that line any more. It’s our own “leader” that has me suffering from verbal constipation though, try this on for size. She feels that everything is fine because the weapons inspectors are going back in and if they find anything it will be destroyed and then we will be able to “welcome Iraq back into the family of nations”. Not my family you wont lady!

9/24/2002

When is a foul not a foul? When you have to face the Warriors and you don’t want them to beat you at your own game by outplaying hell out of you and taking out the final. Thanks for the new spin on the word “sportsmanship” Oz! For all non-antipodeans this is a blatant wind up to prod some reaction out of the Aussies (we know you’re there, we can see the .au suffix), its like saying “underarm”.
Safety Tip For The Day! Do NOT keep your Vicks and your Vaseline in the same drawer people!
The Week That Was: Well Silent Running has been up for a week now and in a tribute to Bruce we have been visited 3689 times since I worked out how to get the site meter installed. The two instapundit links didn’t hurt either, a big two and a half thumbs up to Glen (curse this hole in the ozone layer). I was also want to thank those of you who have helped me coax this behemoth into the air, in particular Ken, Alisa, the Porscheless Wind Rider, Dave Mike & Sid. Many of you have emailed me with lots of helpful advice, thanks. For those of you haven’t linked yet, chase me up, I know I’ve missed Sasha and Bruce will slap my ears. What a flash new site btw, and Coldfury if you’re in the template bisseness how about throwing a bone to this dog? I can’t even spell html. In the last seven days I’ve made the transition from part-time hit and run smart-arse to full time blogger and damn! Its hard work! So to help me out for those of you that want to be linked, let me know your details and what sort of description you want on the link. If I haven’t replied to anyone, sorry about that, an oversight I assure you. The team here now consists of myself, Alisa, Wind Rider, Tom and Dave is out there somewhere but we haven’t heard from him for a bit. No doubt he’ll pop up sooner or later. I’m sure between us we can keep you entertained, hey we can’t even agree with each other! Feel free to swing by the shop on the way out.
I KNOW THE FEELING Things have changed beyond all recognition, but you can't get our high-rolling newsmeisters to grasp this basic fact. Stuck firmly in September 10th with their heads facing backwards, they struggle feebly to come to terms with a world they cannot understand. In attempting to make sense of this struggle with the tools of 1990's political commentary they are in effect attempting to construct a mnemonic memory circut out of stone knives and bear skins. Listen in as one Israeli living in Washington tries to penetrate the thick skull of one such commentator. This is quoted on David Horowitz's blog (Dave, every heard of permalinks? All the cool kids have them...)

To: pweiss@observer.com Subject: New York Observer article Dear Mr. Weiss, I read your article today, and I disagree with most of it. Just to give you an idea of my perspective, I'm a Canadian-Israeli dual citizen who has worked for left-wing causes in both countries since I was 17. I have always voted NDP in Canada, and when I came to Israel in 1996, I was a Peres/Meretz supporter. In '98 I voted Meretz for the Tel-Aviv municipal elections. In 1999, I voted for Barak and Shinui. Religious fundamentalists, whether Jewish or Christian, trouble me a great deal. Last year, I voted for Sharon.

Says it all really. That's pretty much my own experience (aside from that whole not being an Israeli thing)

Many other erstwhile Barak/"peace camp" supporters did the same. Your article shows no understanding whatsoever of what has changed in the last two years, in Israel or among American Jews, and dismisses without consideration the legitimate and weighty reasons behind changes of perspective. Instead of attempting to grapple with the political trends to which you refer, this piece takes the easy way out with a very, very slanted commentary that verges on caricature. Like most propagandistic dissections of Israel, the article uses the word "Zionist" almost as a swearword, leaving readers the impression that Zionism is something unholy, when in fact it refers simply to the right of Jews to exercise national sovereignty, just as other nations do. At one point you back your claims about Jewish influence on the US administration by saying that "Jewish money may be the most important segment of Democractic fund-raising." That may be true, but last time I checked, Bush was a Republican. His strong pro-Israel stand is obviously the result of more than Jewish money, just as previous Republican presidents who backed Israel had other considerations, most importantly American strategic interests. The article fails utterly to deal with the reasons why a lot of Jewish - and Israeli - liberals have toughened their positions over the last two years, completely ignoring reality. And again we see the futile bleat about "the occupation" being the issue - Israel offered to end it, and mass Palestinian violence was the response. Many Israelis and diaspora Jews remain sympathetic to Palestinian nationalism - but we also recognize that the current PA leadership is working for a one-state, not two-state, solution, and that Israel has the right to protect itself. In discussing the McKinneys, the article completely misses out on the fact that the senior McKinney has repeatedly made anti-Semitic (not just anti-Israel) statements, and that his daughter has made morally and ethically questionable interventions in US foreign policy on issues other than Israel, and that many of her constituents were becoming embarrassed by her stands and troubled by her focus on such issues to the detriment of her responsibility to represent them on bread and butter issues. Cynthia McKinney was defeated by 16 points - AND was funded by Arab money - two points missing from the article that would help the reader recognize that her loss was clearly the product of more than Jewish money. Her constituents didn't want her, so she lost - welcome to democracy. An honest, rational, fact-based examination of Jewish lobbying is always welcome in the public sphere. You haven't provided it.

What he said....

9/23/2002

More things the media hasn't mentioned. My thanks to Anabel for bringing these to my attention. Iraqi Complicity in WTC Bombing & Saddam Trained Al-Queda Terrorists. This is the sort of information us "so called" (there's that phrase again) warmongers need to have on board. Get there read it and share with the world at large. We may well be in a quiet patch in this conflict but don't fall asleep at the switch. We know what the price of complacency is, so stay pushy. Stay informed and keep informing.
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There was just now an interview with the father of a 17 years old Israeli Arab from Um-el-Faham, just inside the "green line". Apparently the boy suspected a man in a bus stop, borrowed his cell-phone under a pretence, and called the police. When the police arrived, the bomber blew himself up. The boy and a policeman were injured. The boy is still hospitalized. The father says he now fears for his family's safety, since his son's action has been made public. What caught my attention was what the father had to add, entirely unprompted by the interviewer: "We don't need them here, you should close them all in". "By 'them' you mean?..." "Those from the territories...They only cause us trouble, they give our town a bad name, you see? Look what happens: my son is injured, a policeman is injured...And others? I go to Tel Aviv, people are going about their business, to work. What have they done wrong? It pains me." I was stunned, and touched. An Arab publicly saying that it is wrong to kill Israelis. He sounded very sincere. A regular man, not a politician or an "intelectual". Probably in construction business, or a restaurant owner, or a farmer. But isn't the fact that I was stunned and touched is by itself stunning? Isn't it the kind of thing we sholud be hearing from regular Arabs everywhere every day? Here is a quote Tom might appreciate:
20 And HaShem said: 'Verily, the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and, verily, their sin is exceeding grievous. 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know.' 22 And the men turned from thence, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham stood yet before HaShem. 23 And Abraham drew near, and said: 'Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Peradventure there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep away and not forgive the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 25 That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from Thee; shall not the judge of all the earth do justly?' 26 And HaShem said: 'If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will forgive all the place for their sake.' 27 And Abraham answered and said: 'Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the L-rd, who am but dust and ashes. 28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous; wilt Thou destroy all the city for lack of five?' And He said: 'I will not destroy it, if I find there forty and five.' 29 And he spoke unto Him yet again, and said: 'Peradventure there shall be forty found there.' And He said: 'I will not do it for the forty's sake.' 30 And he said: 'Oh, let not the L-rd be angry, and I will speak. Peradventure there shall thirty be found there.' And He said: 'I will not do it, if I find thirty there.' 31 And he said: 'Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the L-rd. Peradventure there shall be twenty found there.' And He said: 'I will not destroy it for the twenty's sake.' 32 And he said: 'Oh, let not the L-rd be angry, and I will speak yet but this once. Peradventure ten shall be found there.' And He said: 'I will not destroy it for the ten's sake.' 33 And HaShem went His way, as soon as He had left off speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned unto his place.
Unfortunately, as we all know, Sodom and Gomorrah are no longer there.
DARTH ROSENBERG ------------------------------ The following is part of a blogburst, a simultaneous, cross-linked posting of many blogs on a single theme. This blogburst concerns Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff series, Angel. For a guide to other Buffy/Angel articles, go to The Buffy BlogBurst Index. ------------------------------ Being a natural contrarian, let me start by saying how impressed I was with the last season of Buffy. Yes, it was dark. Gothic shows can be that way sometime. And considering that in the Buffyverse things tend to have consequences, Buffy sacrificing herself at the end of the previous season wasn't going to be gotten around with some feeble "with one bound, she was free" writers trick. Buffy was dead, cold, mouldering in the ground, worm-food and somehow bringing her back would not result in everyone going down to the beach for some cold brewskis and fun, fun, fun in the California sun. What was it brought her back? Oh yes - Willow. Willow Rosenberg, cute, cuddly girl next door, token (slightly) ethnic character, dabbler in spells and useful magic, unlucky in love with Scott Evil, but now hot and heavy with Tara. But a woman who was becoming increasingly stronger, dominant, and more powerful. Until this season where she took her by-now overloaded bandwagon over the high side on the first turn. I've always identified more personally with Willow than any other character on the show. I'm more like her in basic personality, nerdiness, desire to do good, always having my headstick in a book. And she's the only Jew. I know Josh Wheedon purposely doesn't make a big thing of it, it's just there in the background. But it matters to me. Which is why I've been seeing Willow's growing seduction by dark magic, and her swiftly growing power as a rather Jewish thing. In a sense, this last year has been my own Dark Season, as I suspect it has for many of us. Willows' grief-fuelled rage at Tara's killer, his friends, her friends who try to stop her and, indeed, The Entire Universe to some extent matches my own mood. I have seen Jews blown into bloody chunks while sitting down the enjoy the festival of freedom in our own country where we were supposed to be finally safe. I have seem young girls burned alive at a disco, students ripped apart at a university cafe, people trapped in burning buses, synagogues aflame, Jews in Berlin told not to wear anything that identifies them in public as Jews, Jewish academics fired, Jews attacked in the street in France...and been told to my face that it's the Jews on fault for not surrendering to our enemies who want nothing less than out deaths. I too have a spray of blood on my clothes, and now stand, black blood oozing through my veins, fingertips crackling with dark, atomic fire and a lust for apocalyptic vengance burning in my heart. To the slogans of my enemy, all I say is "Bored now". But I know that's not how it should end. That is a fantasy born of desperation. An all-out Arab-Israeli war would almost certainly involve horrific weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological. Willow wants to kill the world, because the world killed her love, the thing that gave her meaning and direction. Without Tara, what point was there to life? Her life felt as if it was over. So all life would be extinguished. That is not the Jewish way. In any conflict between national/ethnic survival and species survival, there is only one choice. That's not to say there isn't a part of me saying "Nuke them all! A world that would allow the Jewish people to die again doesn't deserve to live!" But identifying with how Willow feels and understanding her actions to some extent does not mean agreeing with her conclusion. Willow who was almost destroyed by love turned toxic revenge, is ultimately saved by love. We may have vengance in our hearts, and it may be that we are justified in feeling that way, but if that is all our hearts contain, what are we really saying about ourselves? Remember, our enemies are wrong, stupid and yes, even evil. But do they deserve to have their skin ripped off their bodies? Did Andrew? You might make out a case for it. But what about Jonathan? Our enemies may be acting out of foolishness rather than viciousness, and may perhaps be turned from their self-destructive path. Isn;t that a better outcome. The Jewish people no longer beg for our lives - we fight for it. And the world condemns us, as it previously condemned us for not resisting. That's the world's problem. But if we become nothing more than Darth Rosenberg, hunting down and killing those responsible for our pain, that will be our problem. The Golem is supposed to be our servant, not our master.

9/22/2002

Bastards!!!!!! Apparently the Bush administration has come up with a plan to screw over antiwar protesters, its called "a short war". It's seems the antiwar types are concerned there will not be either the time or support to really get things moving, Go and see what Mark at Insane Antonio has to say. Cancel my order for a oversized floral hippie shirt and the 60's to English phrase book. "Hey hey G W B how many err..." see it was never going to cut it anyway. Fighting to win, who would have thought?
A shamless advertisement: If reality is too real for you some days and you have an interest in the American Civil War go here. Or swing by my other publishing effort The Salem Defender. Everyone with no interest at all in the Civil War just bleep right over this bit and carry on. We return you to your scheduled blog.
Total Cultural Immersion, Zimbabwean Style

Spotted this insanity courtesy of Tim Blair.

Right. When one marries a person from another country or culture, it is only natural that as the result of the union, that there be some sort of assimilation/acceptance of the significant other's lifestyle. This then has to be the ultimate immersion in cultural adoption I've come across in some time. Once again, I'm leaping off a cliff of choice, evaluating something as right or wrong. I might be hesitant to make the leap, if we were considering learning to appreciate Latino Salsa music, or to prepare Japanese sushi delicacies, or going completely vegan in adoption of a Hindu partner's religious outlook, or heck, even the choice to wear a burqa when out in public.

But then again, maybe I'm missing the point here. Possibly the acclimation has not been cultural at all, but one of descent into totally unapologetic, brazen thuggery and unbridled opportunism. Either way, more proof that the inmates are firmly in control of the asylum, and are rolling out the red carpet for pshycopathic wannbees.

This story does have an enviable character - for his strength of character most certainly; the rest of his circumstance is something I'd think twice about wishing on my worst personal enemies. The sum of his public reaction?

"We are feeling very bitter about the whole thing," said Mr Schultz.
Old school style understatement, that. I myself am feeling absolutely nauseous.

Wind Rider
The "so called" Media You know, those organisations we used to relay on to tell us what was going on in the world? Well a lot of us have noted that "the media" has seems to have taken on the job of letting us know what it is we should be thinking. Normally this isn't really a huge problem, we just discover we have bought too many Girl Scout cookies or elected another complete dick head because of what we saw on the six o'clock news. But right now they have just gone too far and I'm pissed off. Sure I'm a right wing bastard, I have been my whole life and it's marked me out and marginalized me for years. I was not therefore too surprised to find that my desire to have large parts of the map forcibly recoloured didn't really fall into line with the general feeling of the masses... oh really? I spent a number of years in sales and I leaned some of the intricacies of "neurolinguistic programming" with which you can identify a persons type and what they will respond to by way of input. In short, manipulate them to my preplaned objective. So when the TV tried to do it to me, well I noticed. If I hear the phrase "so called war on terrorism" once I've heard it a thousand times... should really watch less telly I guess. And how many time's have we had another war on Iraq (actually an alteration of the state of the last one) being compared to Viet Nam. Give me a reason to think that the Republican Guard wont get turned into a greasy smudge on the sands again and I'll listen. Till then there is as much reason to think that an invasion of Iraq will be like Viet Nam as it will be like Xenophone's march to the sea i.e. none. Yet the media continues to trivialise any support and any reservations, which heaven forbid any nation should have when contemplating war, is portrayed as outright opposition. So when I found some real basic facts, actual checkable, quantifiable, wont go away or be misrepresented realities, I found the "so called" support was a lot more concrete than any media outfit in this part of the world wanted me to know. Frankly if I have to do your research for you, I'm going to stop buying your damned newspaper and just get the TV guide so I'll know when Buffy is going to be on, because right now, that’s all you're good for! This comes courtesy of Wesley over at The Colour of Thieves.
Non-US Forces In And Around Afghanistan International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) One Australian soldier; Austrian infantry unit; Belgium airlift; Bulgarian NBC unit; Czech field hospital; Danish infantry unit; Finnish civil-military co-operation unit; French medical training unit; German battalion; Italian assault, light armour, engineer, NBC and airlift units; Netherlands infantry and air transport support units; New Zealand airlift; Norwegian logistics unit; Portuguese medical unit and airlift; and UK infantry, engineer, assault, NBC, and other units. Other military operations in Afghanistan: Australian special operations forces (SOF); Canadian SOF; Danish airlift, strike aircraft and SOF; French SOF, air patrol, reconnaissance, infantry company in Mazar-e Sharif, airlift, strike aircraft; German SOF, leading and supporting the Kabul Multinational Brigade; Greek engineer unit, airlift; Netherlands air strike and airlift; New Zealand SOF; Norwegian SOF, mineclearing, airlift, air strike; Polish combat engineers; Romanian military police and airlift; Slovakian engineering unit; Swedish intelligence unit; Turkish infantry unit; and UK SOF and mineclearing. Other operations in Afghanistan: Belgium led the largest humanitarian assistance programme with Spain, the Netherlands and Norway; Canadian airlift; Czech airlift; German airlift; Jordanian mineclearing and hospital; Netherlands airlift; Romanian infantry battalion and NBC company; Russian humanitarian aid and infrastructure rebuilding; and Spanish hospital. In the region: Australian maritime interception operations (MIO) and combat air patrols (CAP); Canadian MIO; Czech personnel in Camp Doha, Kuwait; Estonian airport personnel; Bahrain frigate; French carrier group, strike and tanker aircraft in Kyrgyzstan; German naval vessels and maritime patrol; Greek frigate and minesweeper; Italian carrier group and airlift; Japanese naval supply and destroyers; Korean hospital deployed to Kyrgyzstan; Latvian airport personnel; Lithuanian airport personnel; Netherlands naval vessels and maritime patrol; Pakistani forces near the Afghan-Pakistani border; Polish SOF for MIO and leadership interdiction; Spanish maritime patrol and naval vessels; UK aerial refuelling, AEW, ISR, large naval task force Compiled from US government and other sources by David Mulholland, JDW Business Editor, London.
That looks like a lot of "so called" countries that are helping the US in the war on terror. Everybody do me a favour, leave your computers now, go to your nearest newspaper or television station, demand to see the head tree hugger, then smack him upside the head and tell him to get with the god damned program!