Monday, November 21, 2005

Notes from all over

Lileks fisks Kurt Vonnegut.

As usual, old guys are going 30 mph in the left lane.

Males and farts, perfect together.

Mother Sheehan returns to the obscurity she so richly deserves.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shakespeare, Jesus, or Annie Oakley

I like the Deluxe librarian best.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Revenge of the robots

According to shamus, robots are going to replace the dolts in the retail business by 2016:

There are a few jobs I will be extremely elated to see an efficient, well-mannered robot preforming:

Bagel Guy at Price Chopper - ... after over 2 years of going in there he still has no clue what I will be ordering. Do I expect him to know my name or pop an Everything bagel into the toaster the moment he sees me? No. But just a glimmer of recognition.... It's sad to think the Bakery Robot is going to showup a human in the whole customer service angle, but it will.

The Home Depot Crew - I don't mean to single out HD, because Lowes is equally bad at customer service. There are 5 employees in the whole 20 acre store, and only 1 of the five knows what a hammer is. I go to the store only because I work right across the street, but in the end, I have to take the Saturday morning trip to the local hardware store to find someone who knows anything aboutn what they are selling. So staffing these places with robots will be a huge improvement. The robots are much less prone to pilfering of the merchandise and goofing off as well, unlike the sales kids in Lowes who are whacking each other with collapsable rakes while I'm trying to find someone to help me find a wax toilet seal. Anybody?

The DMV ....I suppose dealing with this clientele takes it's toll on even the nicest person, but attitude you get from the workers at the DMV is way off the bitterness scale. In the future, a robot will greet people entering the DMV and immediately turn away people who are carrying livestock, screaming babies or anyone in need of soapy bath. From there, the process will be a walk in the park, as the robots assist in the completion of the bizarre and
confusing forms, so that even the illiterate folks can get their vanity license plates in 10 minutes or less.

I can't wait to get my drivers license renewed in 2016.

Can't save a bunch of money on car insurance in France

Friday, November 18, 2005

Croatians honor Serb!

Txt msg mks blgr mad

password meshugas

I have too many f***ing passwords. And usernames. When I entered Password Hell, I made up my mind I would only have one password and one username. This has proved impossible, because all passwords are not created equal. Some demand upper and lower case letters, some want figures, some want letters and figures. Some insist on more than 6 characters.

The first dozen or so were easy. My e-mail name and my bank PIN. I could remember those, and various combinations thereof. Then comes the New York Times. I forgot my username and password but had endless trouble retrieving them. So I signed up anew. I thought Miriam would be a catchy username, but somebody already had it. I was offered miriam27, which totally f***ed up my system.

This thing has gone too far. In order to see whether Staples has cartridges for my printer, I have to sign in. Is this because I need to keep my information classified, in case Hamas finds out I have ordered cartridges? Has Staples joined forces with Homeland Security? None of the above. It's so Staples can send you e-mail messages. They can keep track of what you buy. This helps their business. But I don't give a damn about their business.
And I thought voicemail was a pain in the neck.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Stepping in it

Carnival of Comedy #29

is up at radioactiveliberty.

Evil right-wing force to take over world

Wyatt Earp wants to take over the world:

Support Your Local Gunfighter is just Phase One of my master plan to rule the world. My unsuspecting minions have fallen under the spell of this blog's subliminal advertising (Submit!), and my job as a police officer is the perfect breeding ground for a future dictator. Once I topple the existing government in a bloody coup, there will be a few changes around here. For instance:
Political correctness will be outlawed, and offenders who violate this new policy will be brutally beaten by "offensive" Native American college mascots.

Ebonics will be summarily dismissed from the culture, and will be replaced with "McBonics" – an Irish slang where the last word of every sentence will have a "Mc" in front of it. For example, this blog will be known as Support Your Local McGunfighter.


Oh, dear! But the worst is yet to come:

Finally, the following people will be deported to forced labor camps: Chris Berman, Stuart Scott, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Philly mayor John Street, PA governor Ed Rendell, Matthew Lesko, rappers, and every girl who rejected my advances in high school (it's a big list).


Is that all? I can propose a few more; in fact, I have a little list, they'll none of them be missed:

Ted Kennedy
Joe Biden
Harry Reid
Richard Durbin
Nancy Pelosi
All New Jersey politicians;
All former New Jersey politicians.

I have more, but that will get us started. How about you? Any suggestions?

Doctor's offices, the joys of

I once had to wait in a doctor's office for 45 minutes. The television was on, and Oprah's program was playing. The only other amusement was a knitting magazine.

I read the knitting magazine. Twice. And I don't even knit.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Why don't the children of politicians have real jobs?

Senator Biden's son, Beau Biden, is running for Statewide office in Delaware. Bob Taft, a member of an illustrious Ohio family, is the first Ohio governor ever indicted (or perhaps ever caught). Then there's Patrick Kennedy, son of Ted, and never considered the sharpest knife in the drawer, his loathsome cousin Robert Jr, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, whose political career was terminated by the voters. Jeb Bush and the Georges, 41 and 43. The Governors Brown, pere et fils, of California. And countless others.

I dread the day when we have to decide between Chelsea Clinton or Jenna (or Barbara) Bush for President.

Why can't any of these people go manage Halliburton?

Fascinated by ancient Rome? Click here

Nya nya nya--the Internet is ours

Ripclawe says the Internet stays where it belongs:

America stays in charge of the Internet.

Anyone who has a problem with that, go make your own.


Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Monday, November 14, 2005

It's officially okay to bash Christians and Jews

[W]hen did the left abandon it's traditional position on organised religion? .... it was in 1988. What happened in that year was the publication of a book called the Satanic Verses by a British subject who goes by the name of Salman Rushdie. On the publication of this book, a foreign government called upon British subjects who were of the same confessional division as this autocratic revolutionary regime to murder this writer, should they have the opportunity. In Britain, public gatherings were held where people burned a copy of this book they had never read and reiterated the call for the author to have his life terminated.

I remember being absolutely amazed by what I then saw and heard from some of the valiant defenders of free-speech in Britain's liberal media: Mr. Rushdie had brought much of this on himself, they said - he should have been more sensitive to the feeling for the sacred amongst those who now wish to murder him. That he, and not they, had been brought up with the religious traditions that they affected so much solicitude for didn't appear to have occurred to them.

That this represented an abrupt break from the previous attitude, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever. The reason for my confidence is this: earlier in the year, a film had been released - Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ. Christians did not call for Mr. Scorsese's murder but they did want the film to be banned because of it's controversial idea that Jesus was tormented by fantasies of a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene - played by the gloriously sensual Barbara Hershey.

In various bastions of cultural sensitivity like the Guardian and the BBC, articles were written and debates held. Oh, how those right-on liberals sneered - and how pleased with themselves they felt, these heroes of the Enlightenment. Imagine wanting to ban a film that they'd never seen, they said - how this obscurantism so pained and amused them simultaneously. This was before they had learned to be oh so terribly sensitive and understanding to the religious disposition so it never occurred to them that the juxtaposition of Hollywood eroticism with what millions of people consider to be sacred might be reasonably considered offensive.

....
So things have changed quite a lot in my lifetime. Pre-Satanic Verses, the biggest form of religious oppression your average right-on liberal could imagine was a religious person actually having the audacity to say what they believed to be true. This became the case at some mid-point in the 1980s - I don't quite remember when - but I distinctly remember 'imposing your values on someone else' becoming on a par with child-abuse in its heinousness. Yet if expressing one's views on abortion, for example, constituted the imposition of values on unwilling parties, the right-on liberals were doing fair bit of this themselves. Take the issue of women priests, for example. Lots of pontificating, and I use the word advisedly, was heard on this subject. Whether the Anglican or the Roman Catholic church, right-on liberals were all agreed: of course they should allow women priests. After all, shouldn't the clergy be more representative of the 'people' in all it's diversity? In fact, the Sex Discrimination Act should be slapped on the churches in order to drag them into the modern age.
...

[T]his new heart-warming solicitude with the religious feelings of minorities isn't exactly evenly distributed. If there's somewhere in the world where there are Americans killing Muslims, Jews killing Muslims, Muslims killing Americans and Jews, even Muslims killing Muslims - you'll get various forms of outrage, column inches and maybe a few marches demanding more time and an end to the outrage that is Starbucks or something like that.

But if you're indigenous Christians being persecuted and murdered in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan? I'm afraid it seems no one gives a damn: not our present Archbishop of Canterbury, who seems more concerned with how the overthrow of a blood-soaked tyrant will play with an ecumenical audience; not much of the prowar left, who abroad ignore you for the most part and at home find you handy whenever they feel stung by accusations of 'Islamophobia'; and certainly not the newly religiously-sensitive hard left. With the last, their subtle and nuanced understanding of religion doesn't apply to you. Y'see, it's all about power. You may be personally impoverished and persecuted but it's not about that for the heroic class-warriors; it's what you symbolise.


Long Island politician's desire for sex is "insatiable"

I love the New York Post, I really do. Where else can you find news like this?

November 14, 2005 -- The Long Island harbormaster at the center of a scintillating sex scandal is speaking for the first time since a court found he was sexually harassed by his former boss — calling the woman "insatiable."

During their 18-month affair, Huntington ex-Councilwoman Susan Scarpati-Reilly lusted for kinky sex in public places and "was a sexual-predator politician," said former Huntington harbormaster Bill Perks, breaking his silence in an exclusive interview with The Post.

"She had an appetite that could not be believed. She had an insatiable desire for sex."....
Over 18 months, Perks said they had consensual sex more than 200 times — in Town Hall, on his houseboat, "in the weeds" at a nude beach on Fire Island, in cars and in motels....

In their first after-hours erotic encounter, Perks said he was "extremely nervous" when Scarpati-Reilly led him to a Town of Huntington attorney's office, closed the door and told him: "I need to be hugged."

"The next thing you know," Perks said, "the groping began and the clothes were coming off." He said they had sex "on the floor and on the desk. Having sex in Town Hall is more complicated than it sounds."


I sympathize. Hard on the back and the knees.

In other news, under Weird but True:
Angelina Dryburgh went to a doctor to find out why every diet she tried failed to take off some of her 252 pounds....
Turns out Angelina, 39, had a 20-inch-wide, 28-pound cyst in her tummy....

A chat with Dish network

I called to cancel my service with Dish Network in August, ending September 30. Through neglect and stupidity, I paid the October charges billed to my credit card. But when they billed for November, I called them.

After the usual voicemail boilerplate, I got hold of a humanoid.

Me: I called in August to terminate my Dish service.
H: We have a record that you called concerning your bill.
Me: No, I called to terminate.
H: You may think you called to terminate, but our records show that you didn't.
Me: Maybe I should have recorded the call for quality control purposes, but I did call to terminate.
H: But our records--
Me: I moved! I MOVED FROM NEW JERSEY! Why would I want Dish service in New Jersey when I moved out of the State?
H: Well, but our records--
Me: Terminate it now!
H: (a little huffy) We are terminating the service as of today.
Me: Good!
H: Would you be like to have the service transferred to your new address?
Me: Do I sound like I want that?

A compliment?

I was in the Korean nail salon, getting my eyebrows waxed, when one Korean lady said something to the other. The firsr Korean lady then explained, "She says you must have been pretty when you were young."

I'm not often speechless.

French auto burnings back to normal

So, last night the number of cars burned in France was down to about 208, plus a couple of schools ... although the rioters, in a flash of ingenuity, rammed a car into a school, then set it on fire. Perhaps they were running a little low on petrol.

And, Parisian officials are breathing a sigh of relief, since conditions seem to be returning to normal --- normal being only 100 cars torched on any given night when there's not riots going on...


Let's look at the bright side. Car sales must be up, n'est ce pas? What a boost for the economy!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Food for thought

An interesting meal.

Another, courtesy of the New York Times.

Well done.

Blood lab hell

We had to get new doctors since moving to Delaware, where there is apparently a trend: doctors don't take your blood and send it out to the lab, they send your blood to the lab while it's still inside your veins. You go to the lab.

You don't get an appointment to go to the lab. You go and take your chances. This way, you get a real good dose of the place. That'll teach you to use our medical system!

The blood laboratories in Delaware combine the ambiance of a bureacratic office in a Soviet satellite with the charm of a Greyhound bus station. Dingy low rent rooms filled with old ladies in wheelchairs, screaming infants, and ambulant children running around. One or two people coughing or sneezing heartily, not covering their mouths or noses, so that if you were not sick when you got here, there's a good chance you'll catch something after you go home. All that is lacking to complete the picture is a live chicken or perhaps a small pig or two.

You sit there reading back issues of the Quarter Horse Monthly or Twenty-first Century Plumbing and heating. A huge television hangs over your head, blasting Jerry Springer or somebody at ear-splitting volume.

Eventually, your turn comes. You are then informed that you should have fasted for 24 hours before taking the blood. Go home and come back tomorrow....

Rinse and repeat.

This post is also available at Blogger News Network.

Solving the problems of unruly youth

In his review of the new book by the admirable - if unfortunately-named - Ms Lynne Truss, (Talk to the Hand: the utter bloody rudeness of everyday life) the Labour MP for Birkenhead, Mr Frank Field, makes an interesting observation. Writing in the New Statesman, the former Minister for Thinking The Unthinkable states that crime levels in Edwardian Britain were so low, and yobbish behaviour so exceptional, that the penal system was able to cope with matters which go unpunished today.
"A quarter of those serving time before the First World War were inside for such misdemeanours as riding a bicycle without lights, playing games in the street, gambling or making lewd comments. If Edwardian criteria for imprisonment were applied in today's Britain, there would be no young people on out streets."
The scheme may have had its disadvantages but, for the moment, I find myself unable to locate them.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Some legal questions answered by an expert

Backlash

Germany's anti-immigrant NPD, which last year made headlines by winning seats in an eastern state assembly, said the riots showed attempts to found a multicultural Europe had failed.

"The NPD wishes foreigners a good trip home," it said on its website, reiterating its calls for forced repatriations.


From a long article in the New Zealand Herald, quoted by ripclawe.

Democrats lack intelligence

According to politicaledge,:

Political satirist Scott Ott struck gold earlier with his parody of Democratic leaders and their lack of pre-war intelligence...

(2005-11-11) — Democrats in Congress today rejected President George Bush’s accusation that they’re trying to rewrite history, which shows they supported the Iraq war based on the same intelligence that drove his decision to send in the troops.

“We had no pre-war intelligence,” said Sen. John Kerry, “History will show that none of the leading Democrats had substantial intelligence. Anyone who remembers what we did then knows that the president is making a baseless allegation. I think history will bear out my contention that we Democrats lacked the intelligence to make such an important decision.”

The junior Senator from Massachussetts said he continues “to faithfully support the troops who uselessly die for a lie in Iraq.”

“Our troops deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war will remain firm in our conviction that we didn’t know what we were doing at the time,” Sen. Kerry said. “It’s important, on Veteran’s Day, to remember that our Democrat commitment to our military hasn’t changed.”

White House spokesman Scott McClellan repeated his categorical denial that the Bush administration “ever manipulated anyone’s intelligence or ignorance.”

Visit Scrappleface for more great satire.

Good news from France

I was listening to Fox news last night and someone reported that the rioting was letting up; only 400 cars were burned last night, as opposed to former scores of, oh, I don't know, 1,600. Wow! That's progess. Those Renaults were lousy cars anyway. Maybe this was a protest aimed at the automotive industry by greens who favored public transportation. Wait, they burned buses too. And day care centers.
The popular 21st century sport is to make victims of bullies and oppressors out of the cops and firemen who have to deal with the mess. The government attempts to appease these thugs instead of shooting them or locking them up. Affirmative action and huge public projects are in the works. We feel their pain.
My fear is that they will take it out on Paris. Mind you, I wouldn't care if they set fire to Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin. What I worry about is beautiful, historic Paris. It is the heritage of all of us in the West, not just the knuckleheaded French.
Wouldn't it be funny if Hitler got his wish and Paris burned to the ground?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Christiane Amanpour doesn't get it, and other matters

The always amusing Johnny Virgil finds Christiane Amanpour annoying:

Am I the only one who thinks that Christina Amanpour should NOT be "Making a Difference?" What the hell is that about? You know what, CNN? Just REPORT THE FUCKING NEWS, OK?

I just want the story. I don't want to know anything about what part you played in it, or what your opinion on it is. Worst. Tagline. Ever.


Read the whole thing. There's some stuff about a park bench, and an airline steward. And other stuff.

Multi-tasking in the 21st century

Apparently the Detroit dead got the message

The dead rose up in glorious numbers to give Kwame Kilpatrick a victory.

Some observations about Internet providers

Namely, that they are the scum of the earth.

They don't have to be nice to you, because they have no competition.

First we had cable. It took four visits to get the cable business straightened out. Then only one computer worked on our humble two-person network.

So I switched to DSL. Verizon, our local monopoly, provides a Yahoo interface which is annoying even when it works. Nasty little icoms smiling and winking at you. One of the computers did not work, but it was the other one. Verizon has voice mail down to a science--their voice mail, that is. It took me one hour and forty-five minutes to talk to a humanoid, who gave me the (unlisted) number for Internet problems.

By the time Verizon had tried to solve the problem, neither computer could access the Internet at all. They recommended that I call Linksys. The first Linksys customer service rep, a chap with a strong Indian accent and a condescending manner, walked me through a dozen steps and then broke the connection. The next rep, a woman who seemed obviously over her head, said it was our modem and severed the connection. I went to bed.

These two companies have a monopoly around here, and they act like it. Today I got my computer up again, but it is as slow as mud.

Grrr! May the luck of the cell phone companies afflict them!

Sharing French wisdom about Islam

.

The last few days or so have certainly demonstrated that the French have a superior understanding of Islamic civilization. If only we had listened to them, the Muslim world would not be so antagonistic to America.


These wise remarks courtesy of hatemonger's quarterly.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Denzel Washington gets it

air force wife appreciates Shakespeare, and a movie star with some brains for a change:

Right before the release of Manchurian Candidate, I saw an interview with the movie's stars - Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, and the director. Inevitably, Katie Couric opened the door for talk about Politics, Jesus, and tangentially the War and Meryl Streep immediately jumped in with the same sorts of tirades we have heard time and time again.

When Denzel Washington spoke, he said this, "What I want to talk about is, what are we doing right now, today, for these young kids that are coming home? Are we embracing them? I don't hear about them being lifted up. I mean, I'm not just talking about a parade but—...Are they getting the support and love they need from us? And maybe that story's being told, but I sure haven't seen it that much in the news. Yeah, they're pointing fingers about who was right and whose wrong and who started what and where the weapons of mass destruction. But these kids are coming home. You know, I have a son, 19, 19-year-olds are coming home completely different."


There is comfort in seeing that there are those outside the band who do understand, outside of the protestations of support for one thing and not another.


I have always loved Denzel, ever since I saw him interviewed on tv. He calls his mother every day! What a guy! And handsome, too.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The difference between it's and its gives me fits

A recovering bad grammarian expounds:

Neo-neocon posted about the use of "it's" and "its." Long ago I mastered the use of the apostrophe with regard to possession, contraction, and omission. I will admit that it's about the only aspect of our language I've mastered, though.


Read the whole thing, to coin a phrase.

One down, 100,000 to go

Pertinent comments: by Paco:
Another terrorist bomber decides to expand his horizons. Excellent! Another question for the statisticians, based on a comment thread from yesterday: is one more likely to be killed by (a) a meteorite, (b)a terrorist, or (c) falling pieces of terrorists who blow themselves up?

By stats:

My, a villa. These terrorists sure live well. Where do they get their money,hmmm, traffiking in suicide bombers, buying low and selling high? To answer the stat question raised by paco, the greatest chance is be be killed by (d) falling pieces of terrorist villas.


From Tim Blair: This week just keeps getting better, don’t it?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mary Mapes is still investigating

Mary Mapes is not responsible for fact-checking, says ripclawe:

Some interesting quotes from Mary Mapes.

Mapes says she is continuing to investigate the source of the controversial documents whose authenticity was seriously questioned by the CBS panel. She tells Ross that she had no journalistic obligation to prove the authenticity of the documents before including them in the "60 Minutes II" report. "I don't think that's the standard," she said.
....

Yet, in a statement, CBS News maintained that Mapes' actions damaged it as an organization. "Her disregard for journalistic standards — and for her colleagues — comes through loud and clear in her interviews and in the book that attempts to rewrite the history of this complex and sad affair," the statement said. It also pinpointed Mapes' notion that a news organization has no obligation "to authenticate such important source material" as only one of the "troubling and erroneous statements in her account."

This is where CBS is hoping no one goes back and research other Mary Mapes's stories if she thinks that authenticating source materials is not important and her job.


Mapes can join O J Simpson in his lonely quest for the truth.

Cardigan fashion notes

Libetiquette casts aspersions on the fashion sense of librarians:
Fall is in the air. Time to break out those cardigans!


Our library was frigid in the Summer--one of the clerks brought in an electric heater; another used to hold her hands under the hot water until feeling returned to them.

In the Winter I opened my window.

The Ac had only two settings: on or off. Same with the heat.

Miraculous resurrection of the dead in Detroit

Math is different in Louisiana

A columnist for a Shreveport, LA newspaper, Emily Metzgar, tries to make sense of math as practiced in Louisiana:

Today’s Advocate has an article including comments from lawmakers and appointees about the need to cut spending and the struggles that lie ahead as those cuts are made. A few lines toward the end caught my attention:

Renee Free, first assistant to Secretary of State Al Ater, said she's been told the statewide election proposed in current legislation.... "If we have to do an election, you will have to appropriate $3.4 million," Free told the committee, explaining that the department doesn't have the money to pay for an election.”

Think way, way back to July 2005 when the governor vetoed a bill that would have eliminated one of the state’s several scheduled elections. I wrote a column and posted comments on this blog condemning the veto. My column in the Shreveport Times that week began,

In her inaugural address, Governor Blanco spoke of her intention to provide “a new kind of government in Louisiana -- one that is open, progressive and accountable to its people.” So when the state legislature passed a bill eliminating the state’s third-Saturday-in-January election date, expectations were high that the principle of good government might prevail this time around. HB 415 would, after all, have made the state more “open, progressive and accountable to its people” by eliminating what can only be considered a superfluous election date and by actually saving the state at least $500,000.

Not surprisingly that column was met with criticism by groups arguing that eliminating an election wouldn’t save the state any money at all.

....

So now, in November, I’m confused. To justify the veto of HB 415 in July, political interests (and the governor) argued that canceling one of the state’s many statewide elections would save the state no money. The $500,000 savings mentioned by the bill were ridiculed as inaccurate. But today, a representative of the Secretary of State’s office says in the Advocate that holding a scheduled election will cost the state $3.4 million.

Only in Louisiana could canceling an election not possibly save the state $500,000 while at the same time holding an election will cost the state $3.4. Assuming, as this suggests, that the rules of mathematics are suspended once you cross the border into Louisiana, the state should have no trouble paying FEMA its $3 billion and overcoming the anticipated hurricane-related state revenue loss of $ 1 billion.

And for the record, I fear this means the state bond commission opted to spend $45 million for goat shows, lawn mower races and other "critical projects" instead of on what could have been 13.235 elections (Do the math: $45 m/$3.4m).

Monday, November 07, 2005

Think George W Bush is bad?--Oy vey ! Moses was a disaster!!

An archeological find by adam's blog:

The following scroll was found in the Sinai desert and claims to be an op-ed written by Dathan, a Hebrew opponent of Moses. What follows is “Dathan’s” opinion of the leadership of Moses.

Where does one begin in describing the failures of Moses? He led us out of the land of Egypt in an ill-prepared and ill-thought out exodus. We’ve already been faced with shortages in the necessities of life as we journey towards the “land flowing with milk and honey”.

From the beginning, Moses’ plan for the liberation of our people was ill-planned. He lacked a comprehensive exit strategy for leaving Egypt with enough food and water to sustain us through our journeys. At least in the land of Egypt, we had leeks and onions, rather than this unmitigated disaster in the desert.

First, he came to the Pharaoh in the name of the God of Abraham demanding that he let us go to hold a feast to God in the wilderness. The problem with Moses is that he can’t open his mouth without bringing up God....

Moses could have chosen to seek help from the International community, by going to the King of Edom or his Midianite in-laws, but instead Moses began to send plagues on the Egyptians. Now, many have claimed that I’ve taken an inconsistent position on the plagues, but I have not. I’ve had one clear position. These were the wrong plagues in the wrong places at the wrong time, and the result was only to harden Pharaoh’s heart.
...
We must seek allies among the nations around us....

The Hebrews need new leadership that understands we can’t go it alone in search of dreams of freedom, we must work the International Community to secure our prosperity and reputation.


Read the whole thing.

From the Best of Me #106.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Is it good or bad for...abortion rights!

Pillage idiot looks back fondly on the days when the first question on everyone's lips--Jewish lips, I mean, was, Is it good or bad for the Jews?

Well, we can all exhale now that we're starting to hear what the Jews think about Alito. ... Is it good or bad for the Jews?

Actually, that used to be the issue for Jews. Now, for some Jews at least, the question is: Is it good or bad for abortion rights? I kid you not.
.... The orthodox are not taking a position on the nomination, though a spokesman said that Alito is "clearly someone who is sensitive to religious minorities." And an orthodox former Alito clerk speaks highly of the judge:

Title VII, the applicable civil rights law, "does not permit an employer to manipulate job requirements for the purpose of putting an employee to the 'cruel choice' between religion and employment," Alito wrote.

Such insights are typical of Alito, his former law clerk, Jeffrey Wasserstein, told JTA.

"He is a Catholic, but his sensitivity to nonmajority religions was quite interesting to watch, not what one would expect from someone being tarred by the press as extraordinarily conservative," said Wasserstein, an observant Jew who served with Alito from 1997-98 and now is a health care attorney....

Reform Jews probably will take a position, and you know what that will be:

...[H]e was on the opposite side of much of the Jewish community," said Mark Pelavin, associate director of the Reform movement's Religious Action Center.

* * * * *
Pelavin suggested the Reform movement also would have a role to play ‹ probably not one particularly sympathetic to Alito.Reform Jews probably will take a position, and you know what that will be:

In the opinion in the creche cases, "he was on the opposite side of much of the Jewish community," said Mark Pelavin, associate director of the Reform movement's Religious Action Center.

* * * * *
Pelavin suggested the Reform movement also would have a role to play ‹ probably not one particularly sympathetic to Alito.

"It's not just about competence, it's about the court shifting on fundamental issues, including reproductive rights and religious liberty," he said....

The National Council of Jewish Women, which usually takes the lead in abortion-related announcements, was the first Jewish group to formally oppose Alito.

"Judge Alito has ruled to severely restrict a woman's constitutional right to abortion and against civil rights protections for both women and minorities," NCJW said in a statement Monday.

Yeah, Alito's going to bring back back-alley abortions and segregated lunch counters. Did Teddy Kennedy write their press release (or did they write his)? Don't answer that.


This reaction saddens me. The enthusiasm! Hadassah chartered a bus to take them to Washington, to demonstrate how much they loved abortion.

I am (sort of reluctantly) for abortion, but I don't consider the issue vital to my well-being. Nor do I believe Jews should be so vehemently in favor of "the right to choose" as if it were the right to choose chocolate or oatmeal cookies. People who were almost wiped out by Hitler should not consider abortion an unmitigated good.

Quotes courtesy of Washington Jewish Week.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Geezer wisdom

From the October 2005 AARP Bulletin, in the Letters to the Editor:

There is nothing worse than a "new geezer." They totter about trying to accomplish thousands of things within the first year of their geezerhood and soon run out of energy.
Smart geezers pace themselfes and take on just a few things at once. It takes years to learn how to drive with your turn signal on for 29 miles. The same can be said for driving 40 mph in the fast lane.


The letter is signed by Rita S. Krason, of Pulaksi, IL, but she's obviously referring to Delaware drivers.

I got into the wrong profession

I should have been a doctor.

Oh, sure, I was lousy at science and math, and am downright squeamish about blood and guts. But these are minor defects. The most important thing is, I love to tell people what to do! I've had this gift since childhood. Ask anyone who knows me.

On second thought, I could forget about the practice of medicine and use this gift to write editorials for the New York Times.

It's a glamour job--indoor work and no heavy lifting.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Michael Moore, hypocrite capitalist

He's not just fat, he's a liar, too, according to lapsed catholic.

'I don't own a single share of stock!' filmmaker Michael Moore proudly proclaimed....

"He's right. He doesn't own a single share. He owns tens of thousands of shares – including nearly 2,000 shares of Boeing, nearly 1,000 of Sonoco, more than 4,000 of Best Foods, more than 3,000 of Eli Lilly, more than 8,000 of Bank One and more than 2,000 of Halliburton, the company most vilified by Moore in Fahrenheit 9/11.

Nailing Joseph Wilson

This is perfect:

Maybe a Times investigation would have prompted the following hypothetical identification of Mr. Wilson, author of the guest op-ed:

Joseph C. Wilson IV, the former Ambassador to Gabon, is a Kerry adviser. Mr. Wilson is married to a CIA officer engaged in a dispute with the White House and his story has been changing over the past few months, but here is his latest version.

That would have made for honest, but possibly low-impact, journalism.


Can anyone tell me what the hell the whole thing is about? It is as baffling as the Schlesweg-Holstein question, of which The British Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, famously said that only three people had ever known the answer, and of these, the first, Prince Albert, was dead; the second, a Foreign Office official, was mad; and the third and last, he himself, had known the answer but had now forgotten it.

The most amazing thing to me is that Ms. Plame recommended sending her husband to Niger as casually as she would have sent him out for a ham on rye (no pickles, please). And the feared and dreaded CIA sent him!

Hello! Is anyone in charge?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Needed: more ethnic slurs (food related)

This quote from Michelle Malkin: sets Laurence Simon on fire with jealousy:

This is how left's political discourse has sunk: I'm a banana and a coconut and a whore and worse. Michael Steele is an Uncle Tom and a Sambo.

And don't forget terms like Oreo, Ho-Ho, Ding-Dong, Twinkie, and pretty much everything else in the Hostess line of snack foods.

But what about Jewish conservatives? I mean, there's the term "neocon" that's thrown around, but the moment it's mentioned you get ten thousand retractions and statements saying how they didn't mean "Jew" when they said "neocon," their best friend is a Jew, they married a Jew, they love Woody Allen films, and so on.

We need a food-based slur.


May I suggest blueberry bagel?

Cynthia McKinney earns her salary

Matty May observes the Georgia anti-semite in action:

....check out what Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia is doing to earn her six-figure taxpayer-subsidized salary on the Hill (info from National Review):

H.R.4210 Title: To provide for the expeditious disclosure of records relevant to the life and death of Tupac Amaru Shakur.

Sponsor: Rep McKinney, Cynthia A. [D-GA-4] (introduced 11/2/2005) Cosponsors: (none)

Committees: House Government Reform; House Rules

Latest Major Action: 11/2/2005 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

No co-sponsor? That has to be the surprise of this political season. Good luck getting that one out of committee, Cindy!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Australia threatened, human rights activists whine


Australian intelligence authorities have received specific information about a terrorist threat in Australia, according to Prime Minister John Howard.

Speaking in Canberra, Mr Howard said, “The Government has received specific intelligence and police information this week which gives cause for serious concern about a potential terrorist threat.

It’s inevitable. Equally inevitable will be the recriminations afterwards about “inadequate preparations” and accusations that the government is “asleep and the wheel”, from precisely the same people who are opposing the new anti-terror laws out of “scepticism over the imminence of a threat” and “concern over human rights implications”.

Personally I think human rights are violated a wee bit more by having your morning rail commute interrupted by being blown to bits than by ASIO raiding the homes of known exremists, but that’s just me.

an Iranian woman speaks her mind about Iran

Nothing can justify the unnecessary revolution and the ensuing mass murders of the Kurds, Political prisoners, Bahaies, etc. at the hand of the Islamic regime. The pathological liars whose deceitful and cruel belief system has condemned the Iranian nation to a life in misery and humiliation! And the growing number of people that blog under the banner of reformism gives me a toxic feel, as does the suffocating air in Tehran these days. The main difference between Khatamist charlatanism and Ahmadinejad's extremism should be sought not in ideology but in their honesty about the true nature of the regime.

Sheema Kalbasi

New life in old news

On August 2, I posted the following on Blogcritics:

The latest news on Natalee Holloway
Published on August 02, 2005
By Miriam

There isn't any.

Yes, ponds are drained, witnesses are questioned, jailed, released; the FBI come and go; everyone who ever met the girl is interviewed. Sample interview:

Interviewer: You are the dog trainer who trained Natalee's German shepherd. What do you think happened to Natalee?


Dog trainer: First off, I want to say that I feel great sympathy for Natalee's family, including her dog, Monster.

I: Does your knowledge of Natalee give you any ideas as to what occurred?

Dt: Not really, but she did love her dog.


Simple, eh? Innocuous, yes?

Well, the post will not die. So far, I have 334 comments. The commentors argue with each other, insult each other, discuss topics far removed from the Holloway case, and for all I know, have gotten married to each other and started a family, or at least exchanged recipes.

Perhaps they could have a little party.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A perfect topic for library lit

Here's a great topic for a scholarly paper for an LIS graduate student:

Two reference librarians called in sick today. Since two others work this evening, and therefore aren't on the schedule till noon or after, and our "official sub" is on the schedule for tonight, and another librarian is on vacation (like, when isn't she?), this leaves the director and me to cover this morning on Reference....


Update, 11:30 a.m.: We have an official epidemic. Another librarian--the one scheduled to work 12 to 9--just called in sounding ickier than pig-puke.


I can testify that everyone takes their vacation at the same time, as well. Obviously sinister forces, or at least meaningful ones, are at work here. What a topic for a research paper!

I personally blame it on George Bush.

Hitchens explains it all, I think

Quoted by Decision '08 Hitchens says, among other things:

...Mr. Libby stands accused of misstating his conversations with almost every journalist in Washington except for the only one–Robert Novak–who actually published the totemic name of Valerie Plame. “We have not made any allegation that Mr. Libby knowingly and intentionally outed a covert agent,” Mr. Fitzgerald contentedly confirmed.

…As to the critical question of whether Mr. Plame had any cover to blow, Mr. Fitzgerald was equally insouciant: “I am not speaking to whether or not Valerie Wilson was covert.”
In the absence of any such assertion or allegation, one must be forgiven for wondering what any of this gigantic fuss can possibly be about. I know some apparently sensible people who are prepared to believe, still, that a Machiavellian cabal in the White House wanted to punish Joseph Wilson by exposing his wife to embarrassment and even to danger. So strong is this belief that it envisages Karl Rove (say) deciding to accomplish the foul deed by tipping off Robert Novak, one of the most anti-Iraq-war and pro-CIA journalists in the capital, as if he were precisely the pliant tool one would select for the dastardly work. And then, presumably to thicken the plot, Mr. Novak calls the CIA to confirm, as it readily did, that Ms. Plame was in the agency’s employ.

Meanwhile, and just to make things more amusing, George Tenet, in his capacity as Director of Central Intelligence, tells Dick Cheney that he employs Mr. Wilson’s wife as an analyst of the weird and wonderful world of WMD. So jealously guarded is its own exclusive right to “out” her, however, that no sooner does anyone else mention her name than the CIA refers the Wilson/Plame disclosure to the Department of Justice.

…What if Mr. Wilson spoke falsely when he asserted that his wife, who was not in fact under “non-official cover,” had nothing to do with his visit to Niger? What if he was wrong in stating that Iraqi envoys had never even expressed an interest in Niger’s only export? (Most European intelligence services stand by their story that there was indeed such a Baathist initiative.) What if his main friends in Niger were the very people he was supposed to be investigating?

Well, in that event, and after he had awarded himself some space on an op-ed page, what was to inhibit an employee of the Bush administration from calling attention to these facts, and letting reporters decide for themselves? The CIA had proven itself untrustworthy or incompetent on numerous occasions before, during and after the crisis of Sept. 11, 2001. Why should it be the only agency of the government that can invoke the law, broken or (as in this case) unbroken, to protect itself from leaks while protecting its own leakers?


Hitch obviously has his facts right. So what is going on? Why was this chap Fitzgerald (and a bunch of flunkies, no doubt) on the government payroll for two years, to discover that nothing happened but Mr. Libby did whatever it was that, however, didn't happen. Talk about government waste. And let's not even think about Judith Miller.

As for me, I've never even understood Watergate. But I suspect that it is another case of overpaid government employees finding some mischief to get into when not under adult supervision.

And what's with Valerie P's recommendation being accepted so casually by the high muckety-mucks at the CIA? You'd think she was recommending her nephew for a summer job in the mailroom, so casually was her offer accepted.

The CIA are obviously a bunch of bums, and bone stupid at that.

Isn't it romantic?

According to an article in the Telegraph:

When a male mouse meets the object of his desire he sings her a love song, scientists have discovered.

It has long been known that male mice utter ultrasonic squeaks in the presence of the opposite sex, but a study using the latest computer analysis has established for the first time that these are more than mere random sounds - they are full-blooded love ballads. []

Trials with 45 different mice produced similar results, with each male singing a slightly different tune.

The team now wants to see whether the females are swayed by a good male song, which could be a measure of his fitness.