Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Growing Worldwide Blog Fame -- Now Sexy AND Stupid! 

Remember how I recently held the 14th spot in web searches for sexy israeli men? Well, an obviously admiring reader from Croatia was kind enough to point out to me yet another AbbaGav-Blog-Triumph by reaching me with his web search: STUPID ISRAELI PEOPLE.

I'm #4!!!

I'm just so flattered, I can't begin to tell you. Of course I'm happy even to have been nominated, and to have come so close to the bronze, well, I'm touched. And finishing behind noted Stupid Israeli Person Andrew Sullivan, who was number one, is in itself a great, great honor.

Thanks to all who voted for me or linked. Who knows, maybe if some of you link to this post, I can pull myself up to number 1!!! I know, I know, hubris kills, but can't I at least dream?

Whoa Nelly! Hold the phones! Late breaking development just as we were going to the Publish button.

I need to correct something. Since my original 14th place finish in the Mr. Sexy Israeli web search contest...(drumroll please)...Yes!!! I've moved up to NUMERO UNO!!! I am now number one among sexy israeli men.

Thank you all, so much! Sing with me: I'm, Too Sexy For My Blog...

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Comprehensive Cartoon Timeline 

Now that we are a few weeks into the Islamic Cartoon Riots, I think it is safe to say that as historians, we now have enough analytical space to step back three and a half paces and try to assemble an overview of the "Big Picture" -- the historical context of the Cartoon Crisis.

Timeline Graph of Mohammed Cartoon Heads Per Year

Let's take a closer look at some of the timeline graph's key dates in Cartoon History.

c. 500 BCENobody here but us Jews. No prophetic drawings of the Muslim Prophet's head yet either.
560 CEBirth of Mohammed. First drawing appears on birth announcement. While no copies are made in this pre-Xerox era, the one image alone should have been enough to trigger riots, but who knew?
632Death of Mohammed. There is no record of his face being carved in a mountain memorial, ala Rushmore, or any such blasphemy.
633-939Now and again, careless scribblers might accidentally draw something resembling the Muslim Prophet's head in these peaceful yet turbulent years as people start dying and fancy schmancy stuff starts getting invented that we won't know about for another 1000 years.
940Two people draw an image of Mohammed's head in the same year -- a new record -- prompting the Mahdi, the 12th Imam, to throw himself down a well. The faithful forget to riot about the new precedent-setting level of desecration as they are too busy listening for splashing sounds at the well.
941 - 1884Occasional drawings keep popping up, no big whup. People continue dying. Fancy schmancy stuff continues getting invented until the Jihad runs out of Mojo somewhere in southern Europe.
1885Invention of the crayon. Sharp rise in blasphemous images -- to maybe 5 -- but it goes unnoticed as would-be rioters are too absorbed with the new technology's potential for scribbling informal fatwas and death threats.
2001Low levels of not-for-profit Prophet drawings continue to go mostly unprotested, except perhaps in textbooks in more tolerant countries. Twin Towers destroyed, not much protest about that either.
Sep. 2005Wow. 12 images of the Muslim Prophet are published in a newspaper but few seem to care, apparently momentarily still hung over from their recent Koran-in-the-Toilet binges.
Jan 2006The head count is up to 15 as Imams looking to stir the pot have increased the ante with 3 new desecrations of their own invention. Response is only now slowly building.
Jan-Feb 2006Riots. Burning embassies. Fatwas against cartoonists. Threats of a Real Holocaust..
Feb 2006Quite probably more copies of the Muslim Prophet's image are printed and republished in this month than in any period in history as a response to the riots and threats. Well done.

So we see a pattern of very little cartoon desecration for about one thousand years. Even 9/11 and the destruction of the Twin Towers just weren't quite enough to jump-start the Cartoon cottage industry.

But then the Islamist threats and riots and violence were finally enough to provoke the opening of the floodgates. Am I saying that if the extremists had merely written a few letters to the Danish editor, that the whole thing would have just melted away? That TONS of desecration could have been avoided, if that is what the Islamists had really cared about more than their own lives as they claimed? Yes.

Am I blaming the victim? Only if rampaging mobs who destroy embassies and threaten cartoonists' lives can be called victims.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

We Have Borne a Lot... 

Women take part in a rally to condemn the publication of cartoons depicting Islamic Prophet Muhammad printed by some Western newspapers, Monday, Feb 27, 2006 in Lahore, Pakistan. (AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary)
Indeed, Islam's most "observant" women have borne a lot:
Yes, they've borne a lot.

But this. This is the limit. The publication of a few cartoons has really pushed them over the edge.

One of religion's benefits to the faithful is helping keep basic priorities straight. Thank Allah for that.

Opening Iranian Borders -- Terms and Conditions 

To:Border's Books Worldwide Corporate Offices
From:Minister for Promulgation of Blind Obedience
Re:Franchisee's Request to Open Iranian Borders

We hope this letter finds you in good health, and more importantly that Pervaz, your American-born prospective franchisee, is recovering well. The slightly overzealous response he received was unfortunately the result of a few of the Ministry's bad apples, whose sense of the expedient was as yet insufficient to take seriously your proposal for a Western-style Iranian bookchain. This has been rectified, believe me. We also pray, however, that you are still interested in cooperation, despite having received no response to your "opening Iranian Borders" request for so long -- I was unaware of the problem because all memos were initially mis-routed to the Ministry of Isolationism.

Contrary to the initial impression your franchisee's beating might have conveyed, the mutual brand-building opportunities afforded by your visionary offer really are of great interest to us. However, a few niggling details remain before we can involve the lawyers and accountants to close the deal.

First is the issue of the name. As we hope Pervaz was able to explain to you, the word "Borders" in this region has nothing but negative connotations associated with colonialist interlopers and tea-drinkers, who carved up our land like a drunken mathematician's Venn Diagram. So -- with nothing but your commercial interests in mind -- we must insist you utilize a different name for any stores you open here. May we take the liberty of suggesting one of the following:
The last title was actually suggested by Pervaz during a brief moment of lucidity. We include it only to illustrate just how distasteful was his sense of humor regarding what is to us a very serious issue: the precise nature of the content we can allow to be sold within our Iranian State. Pervaz clearly overreacted when, near the end of his beating, he promised to sell nothing but copies of the Holy Koran and The Protocols of the Elder of Zion. While his subsequent dental troubles are most regretable, surely we can't be expected to ignore such slander. As a matter of public record we have a very robust book market, including many other top-sellers such as Mein Kampf, the auto-biography of Sheik Yassin, and the Michael Moore boxed-set, not to mention a brisk export of certain specialized and highly-technical how-to materials. So we are clearly open to books. We are a people of the book. It's just a question of which book and which pages.

Since I'm told Pervaz was not paying careful attention toward the end of his meeting, I'll reprint for your benefit a few section-by-section guidelines he might not have conveyed to you.

Children's section

We are well aware of the world-wide "Harry Potter" phenomena, and realize it would be to difficult ban the series entirely. We will, however, expect the series to be shortened from seven volumes down to a single book, which must be edited for our young readers' sensibilities and retitled "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stoning."

The Zionist Dr. Seuss will obviously have to go, as will Shel Silverstein, the Berenstains, and any other author with a last name ending in 'stein' or 'stain' -- too inflammatory.

Curious George is fine; although, we would prefer the yellow-hatted colonialist to get a little more of what he deserves. Perhaps rabies from a monkey bite, or a light beheading?


While we are familiar with the "Harlequin" phonomenon, the so-called "bodice ripper," we feel this genre has little to offer the Iranian woman, who has no need to dream of Fabio replacing her Iranian man. We would suggest, therefore, that this section be stocked instead with cookbooks, since a bountiful dinner table is a sure way for the romantically-inclined woman to please her man.


While we prefer to steer away from mainstream science fiction, on the grounds that such futuristic speculation might lead readers to question whether the body of all possible knowledge was perfected and freeze-dried early in the 8th century, we might be able to whittle a few of the classics down to acceptable pamphlets, as well as offering a few good Fantasy selections:
Self Help

The Holy Koran. Hey, we let you have the rest of the bookstore, so give us a break here. Well, it's just that we haven't really seen much else we like. Perhaps we could get a few of our own enlightened writers busy, if you could promise publication:
Science and Technology

We'd prefer to focus on the technology here, and leave the science to the prophet. A few volumes we believe would be brisk sellers are:
Chick Lit

Obviously there has to be something for the grrrrls and chicks, to "empower" them. It shouldn't be too hard to take a classic and suck out all the sex and sinfulness until you can offer "Bridget Jones' Head Covering." We also expect "The Girls Guide to Shooting and Demonstrating" should sell well, with proper editorial guidance of course.

In Closing

If you feel you can construct a bookstore along these editorial guidelines, we believe there is a real chance that you could eek out a meager profit between riots and firebombings -- we recommend all construction and furnishings consist only of non-flammable materials -- all the while contributing to the overall impression that Iran is an open society. However, there are a few last little teeny-weeny itty-bitty points to deal with first.

We have a very minor requirement of your world-wide operations. While you might take the Islamophobic position of refusing our suggestion on the grounds that Sharia is not yet globally enforced, we believe that forward looking businesses like yours should consider the longer view. Do not forget, the world is filled with 1.2 billion potential readers, or potential rioters -- the choice is in your hands. In that vein, we strongly recommend your existing stores modify their policy of stocking the shelves with books with those inflammatory covers, which include images of women, often scantily clad, images of the human form, and that of animals, not to mention various and sundry prophets. Wouldn't it be much wiser to simply stock books in plain brown covers?

Eagerly awaiting your response, and etc.

POSTSCRIPT: In reality, there are already bookstores in Iran; although, there are indeed issues of censorship:

On the other hand, it is the very rare book written by an émigré author that can get published in Iran; it is hard enough for writers living inside to get their books accepted by the government censors.
The censorship even extends to Tintin:

It wasn't until a few years ago, nearly a quarter century after the revolution, that Tintin found its way back into Iran. This time, however, the publishers are unauthorized, and since there is no copyright in Iran no one can stop them.

This means they have "censored" a lot of stuff out of the Tintin stories. They have "islamified" Tintin, and had they failed to do so they probably would never have gotten permission to publish the books.

A lot of people, certainly those like me who have read the original editions, hate these new ones though. Imagine Captain Haddock drinking "lemonade" all the time instead of whiskey, or imagine Castafiore wearing stockings and long-sleeves, and then you will know why we hate them.

While it looks bad, there is room for hope that Iranians may someday enjoy the liberty they deserve too. But it won't happen by itself.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Haveil Havalim #59 is Really Fine 

Daled Amos has done a great job bringing together the best of the week in the 59th edition of Haveil Havalim #59. A couple of my favorite posts:

Mensa Barbie has an important video showing how Pallywood creates fake news video that ends up airing on major news networks, perpetrating lies of Israeli atrocities that many end up believing. It's a link worth passing on.

Treppenwitz wants the world to stop infantilizing the Palestinians by excusing their continuing misdeeds as if they were two year olds, incapable of civil behavior.

I hope you'll find a few of your own favorites.

Poodle and Prophet in Pink? I Think Not 

Third World County has an image that is definitely NOT the Muslim Prophet in a pink dress:

How do I know this is not a protestable, detestable image of said Prophet?

First of all, I'm utterly certain that the Prophet, good Muslim that he was, would never have allowed himself to be photographed drinking a Danish beer.

But I'm also pretty sure the Prophet never had legs like that. Plus, the Prophet never needed a lap-poodle. And I'm not aware of any literature suggesting any revered affinity for pink, or sequins for that matter.

Most importantly, it is a matter of the historical record that ballroom dancing did not exist as a competitive sport in the 7th century. It wasn't invented for another seven centuries, until an Islamic general documented the steps now commonly associated with ballroom dancing, but in an Islamic treatise on battlefield tactics and maneuvers. It was, I believe, the Jews who stole the idea and turned the whole thing into the foo-foo tux-and-sequins dance craze we know and revile today.

Pretty convincing? I hope so, after all, I'm not looking to get myself killed, or Google's servers burned in effigy for hosting the image. Can you believe huge mobs are threatening violence over cartoons showing the prophet, or showing them protesting the image of the prophet, or showing others being afraid of them protesting the image of the prophet? I, like most serious journalists, would quail at the thought of what would happen were such a realistic image of the Prophet and his poodle to be published.

And there is yet one more reason I'm pretty sure it's not real -- there is scarcely any likeness at all:

No fuse. No turban. The beard is just all wrong, not the way the Prophet's is imagined to be at all.

Seriously folks, let's get a grip now -- and by folks, I mean Rampagers of Peace who can't handle a carefully arranged sequence of pixels on the internet, and no, that is not all Muslims. This has gone on long enough. I, like most who have republished one or more of these images, do so not as a mockery of your Prophet, but as a statement of defiance. You demand, on threat of violence, that Western civilization submit its freedoms to 8th century censors. I refuse. Denmark has refused. I hope we will all refuse.

Once you understand that we refuse, maybe we can get busy solving the problem.

Time to grow up folks and either a) live peaceably in the world amongst others who are not like you, b) return to a life of isolation in your own private century, or c) live with the consequences of a Dark Ages army declaring war on the 21st century. You're on the clock.

Disclaimer (again): I'm sure many Moderate-Western-Muslims do not approve of the violence carried out by those who rampage in their name. But, moderate Muslims, you are on the clock too, just a different clock, and with a different choice. Great respect goes to those who stand up to their misguided kin, and show them a different path. That means, at the very least, counter-demonstrations that are peaceful and large. Speak up! Your freedom of speech has been bought and paid for. Use it.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pakistani Twister 

"Right Hand...Red!"

It just warms my heart to see the Pakistanis having such fun and games...

Pakistani protesters stand on the Danish flags and chant slogans during a rally to condemn the publication of cartoons depicting Islamic Prophet Muhammad, Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 in Lahore, Pakistan. Thousands of Islamists defied a ban on rallies across the country in condemning the Prophet Muhammad cartoons printed by some Western newspapers. (AP Photo/K M Chaudhry)
Oh. Still protesting the cartoons? This has been going on longer than a lot of Broadway shows. Which gives me an idea...

Cartoon Protests -- The Musical!

How could it not get financed? It'll be a smash hit, what with all the free publicity. Eh. With my luck, come opening night, they'd probably stop protesting, just to spite me.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

When Zionists Attack -- A Quick Roundup 

Meryl Yourish has reports of the very latest Zionist outrage:

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the United States and Israel on Thursday for the destruction of a Shiite shrine’s golden dome in Iraq, saying it was the work of “defeated Zionists and occupiers.”

Speaking to a crowd of thousands on a tour of southwestern Iran, the president referred to the destruction of the Askariya mosque dome in Samarra on Wednesday, which the Iraqi government has blamed on insurgents.

“They invade the shrine and bomb there because they oppose God and justice,” Ahmadinejad said, alluding to the U.S.-led multinational forces in Iraq.

“These passive activities are the acts of a group of defeated Zionists and occupiers who intended to hit our emotions,” he said in a speech that was broadcast on state television. Addressing the United States, he added: “You have to know that such an act will not save you from the anger of Muslim nations.”
She adds some interesting comments on that particular incident, but this phenomenon is by no means limited to Iraq, and appears to be spreading globally. So, for the benefit of analysts and my readers, I thought I would just gather up in one place a roundup of the most recent attacks:
As of press time there has been neither denial nor apology from the Zionist governmental entity.

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The Next Cartoon Crisis 

WorldGirl Rants has the scoop on the next cartoon crisis, and it is NOT satire.


Ask Ahmadinejad -- Relationship Advice for the Desperate 

As a new service to AbbaGav readers, we are pleased to welcome a new contributor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who will be fielding your most challenging relationship questions. Not only is Mahmoud an expert at managing relationships and the art of working relentlessly to achieve your heart's greatest desire, but he also just so happens to be the President of his own country, so he should be well qualified to handle anything you're got to throw at him. Let's get started, shall we:

Dear Ahmadinejad:
I met this guy and we became friends right away. Around the fourth time of seeing and talking to him, my best friend told me that he has a girlfriend. So, months after that, I still remained his friend and was alright with the fact he had a girlfriend. Me and him became closer as time went by. He started telling me about what was going on in his life and he would tell me things that he wouldn't tell other people. We got to talking last week and things went great. Then he asked me if I could go out with anyone, who would it be. I wanted to tell him that it would be him (even though he still has a girlfriend), but I was just surprised by the question and I said I didn't know. I feel so bad inside, and so confused about things. I feel like all I am doing, is waiting for anything to happen. Should I tell him how I feel?
--Waiting in Wauwatosa

Dear Waiting:
Your question is a good one that has Ahmadinejad right between the proverbial Crushing Rock and the Stoning Place. On the one hand, this faithful servant of the Mahdi must counsel patience, the patience of a glacier willing to work for millenia if that's what it takes to slowly scrape a land off the map. Your time will come, Allah be praised, oh will it come, and then he'll be sorry -- for making you wait and frustrating you, that is. There will be no more of this "let's be friends" charade with you while he is meanwhile screwing the entire world, and they don't even realize it. No, patience, the day will come when this will all change in tens of nanoseconds, and then you will thank Ahmadinejad.

But on the other hand, Ahmadinejad is a man very much in touch with his feelings, and has always preferred to just let it all out, the rage, the anger, the righteous indignation or paranoid suspicions -- whatever it may be. You can't keep it in. If you want someone to come crawling to you on hands and knees, you have to let them know in excruciating detail exactly how you feel about them, and what your needs are. Sure, some people probably tell you it's better to "play the game" while you bide your time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. But there will never be a perfect moment until you are willing to act, ruthlessly if need be. So, well, you go girl, go make it happen, but patiently. Ahmadinejad is so happy he could help.

Dear Ahmadinejad:
I'm a newlywed and feel a little resentment over how my in-laws behaved at the wedding. Despite our wishes, his mother wore a black pantsuit. Most of his family failed to sign the guest book, no one sent a card/gift, and we have not received any kind of thank you note for the gifts we gave them. Someone from his family even drew a mustache on my husband's picture and wrote odd sentiments like "We won't embarrass you" and "You're on your own" on the beautiful picture mat, which is ruined now. His family did not contribute anything to the wedding. They even had us pay for the alcohol at the rehearsal dinner, which was not in our financial plan. I feel that some good manners are in order. I need some help in either biting my tongue or letting them have it. What can I do to solicit some good manners or even a simple thank you note? Can I wear white to a funeral to get even? Where did manners go?
-- Fuming Bride

Dear Fuming:
This is a setup right? Is Ahmadinejad being punk'd or something? Did Kofi's stoolie El-Baradei tell you to ask this? No? Well, ok, you have come to the right place. You have so many options, Ahmadinejad almost envies you. First of all, you are to be commended: wearing white to a funeral is an excellent idea -- there is something about funerals that Ahmadinejad simply adores. But you must think bigger than that, really. You must seek revenge. After all, did they not force you to have alcohol at your rehearsal dinner? The scoundrels deserve what they get! One clever way to go about this is to invite them all to a wonderful party -- you are permitted to tell them you will serve alcohol if they seem hesitant -- but then slip some U-238 into their food. This special party food, once ingested, will give off alpha and beta radiations which cause cell death and genetic mutations causing cancer in exposed individuals and genetic abnormalities in their descendents over the years, or so they say. Should you need any assistance bringing this about, please do not hesitate to contact the nearest Iranian consulate. This, by the way, is further proof that Uranium has uses other than nuclear bombs, so please have your friends write letters to their religious leaders or congressmen or whoever is in charge there and have them get that maniac Bush to just BACK OFF. Thank you.

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(credit: questions scavenged from here and here.)

Linked to: Third World County, Quietly Making Noise, Basil's Blog, Uncooperative Blogger and Bullwinkle's Blog. And Happy Blogiversary to the funny fellows at Point Five -- go have a laugh at their expense!

43rd Edition of Carnival of Comedy is Up 

The Carnival of Comedy is up at Conservathink. If you like to laugh, check it out. If you don't like to laugh, check it out anyway and focus on the posts that just aren't that funny.

That's all. This is a serious post, it's not a joke.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tag, You're It 

It appears I've been tagged by Scottage at Perspectives of a Nomad so I'll take it in the spirit intended and say neener-neener-neener right back at you, pal. But seriously...

1: Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies?

Color, the explosions and bloodshed definitely look better in color. Besides, B&W is either too pretentious or too ancient for my lowbrow tastes.

2: What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death?

Any discussion of who started it.

3: MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium
for prerecorded music?

MP3's today, but I imagine that will be outdated tomorrow as well, and I'll have to switch to neural implants.

4: You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going … Ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?

No. Unless I can take my family and friends with me without telling them where we are going.

5: Seriously, what do you consider the world’s most pressing issue now?

I think Scottage answered this for me: "The growing divide between Islam and the Western world. As tensions continue to increase, I think this will become a more all-encompassing issue than any the world has faced since the 1930s."

6: How would you rectify the world’s most pressing issue?

I would make sure the good guys win, and I don't say that as a moral relativist. I mean us (assuming you are part of 'we'). Of course this doesn't mean the West annihilates Islam, but achieves a successful integration of it.

7: You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life; what would that be?

I think I would go back to when I answered question number 6 in this post and change the quoted word 'we' to 'us' because I think it required an object pronoun, but I wasn't sure. Otherwise I'm fine.

8: You are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be?

As long as this isn't one of those tricky three wishes things where no matter what I do, it doesn't work out, I would have to say I would prevent the Holocaust, same as Scottage.

9: A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole’ Opry –Which do you choose?

Since a Metallica concert wasn't in the list, I'll take a night at the opera because my wife would like that one. Or maybe a night at the Opera browser.

10: What is the one great unsolved crime of all time you’d like to solve?

Which of my kids managed to write on the ceiling.

11: One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal?

Neal Stephenson, and the food wouldn't matter. But I'd make Chinese because I like Chinese.

12: You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky -- what’s the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?

Chocolate cheesecake, a lot of it.

Now I have to tag 4 more bloggers:
  1. World Girl Rants
  2. I Still See a Spark in You
  3. Shallow Verb
  4. Trilcat Goes Another Round
Does anyone actually read these meme things, or are they just blogfill?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Appeasement Story: Turning the Other Cheek 

8th grade, goofing off with a friend in the halls at school.

I was accidentally pushed into a bigger kid standing nearby. I suppose it's possible I mistranslated the ritually required "excuse me" since I didn't speak Goonish very well. I'm not sure how else to explain his failure to answer with the customary "no problem" -- unless shoving me and grunting "F*** you" is how they say that in Goonish.

So there we were, geek and goon facing off in a crowded hallway, and it was my move.
If you've been reading my blog at all, you can tell I didn't choose Option 1 -- would I dedicate a whole post to telling a story just to advocate appeasement of bullies? No.

Then again, I hadn't seen Karate Kid yet at this point in my life, so I didn't really have a Crane Kick, go-to move for taking down a charging HINO -- Human in Name Only. Or as my musically inclined wife might put it, I hadn't had enough vocal training to hit the HINO. I'll stop now, before I make you guys angry too.

So with Option 2 ruled out, my only remaining option was a valiant attempt at using humor to soothe the savage beast. I immediately realized my first job was to defuse that F-bomb the goon had so carelessly left lying around, so I furiously searched my brain for just the right calming formulation.

"Don't tell me you're the kind of guy who would want to, NTTAWWT."

I wish I could describe to you the look on his face when I said that, but his fist had me on the ground before I had a chance to check. I guess that was Appeasement Lesson One in this sordid affair: if you are going to appease at all, go all the way, because if you try to straddle the fence, the bully will eventually have to knock you off.

As I got back to my feet, all I can remember is his demanding in disbelief, "What did you just say to me?" Ok, at this point, I have to confess that Lesson 1 is really only so obvious to me now, in hindsight. Faced with a second chance at exactly the same options, I figured if my joke hadn't calmed him down the first time, it was probably because he hadn't understood it. So I tried again, slower this time.

"Well," I started, "you said to me 'F*** you', and then I responded by asking if that meant you were the kind of ---" Yeah, I was on the ground again, and technically this post is mistitled because unfortunately he hit me on the same cheek.

Before I had a chance to give it a third try, this time with added sign language, a bunch of teachers intervened -- totally unnecessarily, I felt, since I was really close to handling it myself. They dragged him away, threw him out of school, and I became known as the guy who got the goon tossed. And nobody gave me any trouble after that; although, I if it were me, I would have harassed me at least a little bit just for the entertainment value.

So now I've finished the story, and you're probably thinking I'll be forced to conclude that a little mealy-mouthed half-appeasement actually can work, and that the cartoon crisis -- nay, the entire Clash of Civilizations -- is therefore well on the way to being solved already. Perish the thought. Appeasement Lesson Two is that a little appeasement can work, as long as you have a bunch of big teachers ready to step in and toss the bully out of school for you when he doesn't reciprocate your humor and generous non-violence.

Turning the other cheek doesn't always work, especially when it's just a universal prescription for absolute-pacifism, for ceding control of the world and its innocent citizens to the winner of the Most Ruthless Would-Be Overlord Contest. On today's world stage, there are those who would bully us, and we have no strong authority backing up our well-meaning concessions to their demands. The UN is more like the crowd of kids standing around waiting to take bets on the winner when the fight goes all the way.

There are times where the goon has the geek alone in an alley on the way home from school, and that's a whole different ballgame. And If that were the situation I'd faced, I'm sure I would have popped that guy in the teeth so hard he'd have been able to chew his own tonsils.

Really. No, I mean it. What's that? Why don't you come over here and say that!?

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Respect the Prophet World Tour 

ArabNews has the story of a team from the Middle East's MBC satellite channel producing a program with the noble goal of reducing tensions around the caliphate's cartoon crisis -- I'm tired of calling it the Danish cartoon crisis, by the way, as if the violence is Denmark's problem.

But this is great. We've been waiting for stories of these "moderate Muslim" efforts to counter the damage done by the violence-prone among their co-religionists.

So how does this team of moderates go about calming the Islamic violence raging across the globe? It would obviously be a good idea to adress their rampaging brethren, to give them some sensitivity training about Westerners' most precious principles like Freedom of Expression, central to the West's much-resented success in recent centuries.

Wouldn't it be great if the Islamic street could be taught that Western freedom and prosperity are positives to be emulated, rather than a Zionist plot to be bloodily resisted? If angry Muslims could learn to interact with the West and its freedom-based lifestyle without rampaging in protest at every perceived insult, perhaps peaceful coexistence would indeed be possible, and that's what we all want isn't it?

But that's not how these moderates are going about it. Wrong message. Wrong audience. Wrong problem.

The team of Yallah Shabab, a popular program on the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) satellite channel, is visiting Denmark to present the true character of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which was distorted by the recent cartoons.

Twelve cartoons first published by Denmark’s largest newspaper, the Jyllands-Posten, last September and then reprinted in several Western newspapers triggered sometimes violent protests by Muslims worldwide.
Apparently in their view, Islamic violence isn't the problem, the exercise of Western freedom that triggers it is. When the problem is framed that way, obviously the solution is to intensify the West's sensitivity training at once. Educating marauding mobs to appreciate another point of view would only delay the West's acceptance that some of their violence-provoking freedoms just might have to go, at least eventually -- but let's not get hung up on that point yet while there's still tolerance and reverence of the Muslim Prophet to be discussed.

At the same time, the team wants to convince the Muslim population that their protests should be through methods that the Prophet would approve and be proud of.

"There should be no more burning of embassies, stamping on flags and violence. We should use more sophisticated, legal and modern methods such as the European court system, educating the West about the Prophet and his message and launching a dialogue with them," said Khoja.
Here is where I am supposed to congratulate them for having the moral fiber to resist the temptation to join their fellow Islamists in the righteous bloodshed. We're required to laud these mere baby-steps, on the grounds that anything more just isn't realisitc. But as an Israeli who has listened to the moderates among Palestinian leaders condemn one suicide bombing after another on the grounds they weren't timed conveniently, I have lost my tolerance for this form of morality.

So they will address their rioting co-religionists, showing them how better to subvert the West's institutions against itself in the quest to globally enshrine Islamic belief as an objective standard by which to measure non-Muslim behavior. If the rioters are to cease burning embassies, threatening cartoonists and killing others, it is only because this is not the most effective way to go about this task. That is not a moral argument, it's tactics.

So what exactly is it that we in the West are supposed to further sensitize ourselves to this time? We've already got the part about not drawing the Prophet, and we've learned it's essential not to let terrorists flush their own copies of the Koran down the toilet so that violence inducing rumors get started. There's more?

"We want to ensure that they understand that the Prophet remains a role model for an ideal son, husband, father, diplomat, politician, general, imam and leader regardless of time and place," said Hani Khoja, one of the team members.
Wow, that's a big one. It's actually more than the rampaging mobs demand. They are just seething and slaughtering so that we don't draw bearded heads with turbans that can't clearly be identified as non-Prophet. Now we are supposed to actually internalize the Muslim religious belief that their prophet was basically perfect in every way, and not just perfect for a 7th century life of nomadic warfare and polygamy, but for a 21st century high tech world. Perfect across all time and space. Sounds kind of like God, but I'm sure I'm missing something here, since there is no God but Allah -- and they thought I wasn't paying attention!

So, assuming this part sinks in, what exactly is expected of us, short of immediate conversion or acceptance of legal dhimmi status and tax obligations?

Another purpose of the visit is to ensure that the Danes understand that the Prophet is more precious to Muslims than their own lives and that is the reason for the highly emotional protests against the cartoons denigrating him.
It's one thing to ask us to reshape our society around their belief that a centuries-dead human Prophet is more precious than their own lives. But until they stop training their mobs to believe their Prophet is also more important than OUR lives, I frankly don't care.

They are addressing the wrong audience, with the wrong message, about the wrong problem. Insensitive or offensive speech and cartoons will pop up from time to time in all but hermetically sealed totalitarian states. A society brainwashed to go berserk with each incident is going to remain a marginalized basket case. Anyone with aspirations to administer a global caliphate -- with all its complicated tax codes and requirements to account for all those body parts -- must be able to understand this obvious point.

On the bright side, I saved the best news in the whole article for last:

The entire trip will be filmed and translated into special episodes for Yallah Shabab and will be aired on MBC early next month. International satellite channels, such as CNN and BBC, as well as Danish television have expressed interest in the film.

Watcher's Council -- Coalition of the Willing 

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

Top 10 Discipline Tips for Unruly Children of the Jihad 

Since the children are the future, I offer the following child-raising wisdom, for dealing with that troublesome future Jihad Warrior when he just won't behave:
  1. Tell him that if he doesn't behave, you'll kill off Uncle Osama in tonight's bedtime story.
  2. Suspend his "Islam's Funniest Goodbye Suicide-Videos" viewing privileges for a month.
  3. Show him a picture of his attractive cousin, and a picture of his homely cousin, and explain that life is about choices.
  4. Threaten to let his younger brother kill himself first.
  5. No more riding shotgun with Daddy in the explosives truck at parades.
  6. If he doesn't behave, explain that the next time his friends come looking for him, you'll be forced to tell them he's visiting a Jewish friend.
  7. Make sure he understands how important his behavior is to the family's honor. Involve one of his sisters in the discussion if necessary.
  8. Tell him he can forget about that coveted GI Yusuf doll with Kung Fu detonator grip and detachable brain pan (some internal organs sold separately, batteries not included)
  9. Respect his understanding of the concept of consequences: if you can't count on him to behave now, how can you trust him with the important role of "corpse" in tomorrow's big funeral procession?
  10. Negotiate. And lollipops. Important life lessons must be inculcated from the very first years.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Whew! Iranaphobes, Stand Down 

Everybody take a deep breath and relax. It's all over. No more nuke worries. The Iranian Foreign Minister just cleared everything up. It was all just a big misunderstanding!

Iran's foreign minister denied on Monday that Tehran wanted to see Israel "wiped off the map," saying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been misunderstood.

"Nobody can remove a country from the map. This is a misunderstanding in Europe of what our president mentioned," Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference, speaking in English, after addressing the European Parliament.

"How is it possible to remove a country from the map? He is talking about the regime. We do not legally recognise this regime," he said.
Oh, thank God. You see? He's so right! It's not like you can simply remove a country from the map with some sort of giant eraser or something!

And this great, great news comes not a moment too soon, what with growing indications of military plans for the US or Israel to bomb the stuffing out of them -- who knows how many innocent Ayatollahs could have been needlessly injured. It's such a relief to have the Iranians officially and unambiguously step forward like this and straighten this crazy mess out. Who knows what might have happened.

Even better, they only wanted to change the regime here! Just the regime! How bad could that be when half the Israeli population probably agrees with them! Oh man, I just feel like such a load has been lifted from my shoulders.

And those rumors that the map wiping was to be done with nuclear bombs? Nope. No, no, no. No nuclear bombs.

Iran says it is for energy production only.
And I'm sure those long range missile things are only for the parades. It all makes sense.

What about the Holocaust denial?

Mottaki also acknowledged the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed by Nazi Germany, despite Ahmadinejad saying in December that it was a myth.

He told the parliament's foreign affairs committee, speaking through an interpreter: "Our friends in Europe stress that such a crime has taken place and they have stated certain figures that were actually suffered. We have no argument about that, but what we are saying here is to put right such a horrific event, why should the Muslims pay a price?"
And if they're going to be this darned reasonable about everything, then I agree, Isn't there some sort of Iranian charity for activities in Israel that we could fund? Or maybe we could think of something to withdraw from -- this really calls for an old-fashioned good-will gesture!

Ok, some of you killjoys out there are still skeptical. You're worried about the Hamas business, the new terrorist government eternally sworn to our destruction. Worried Iran is somehow supporting them, am I right?

The political leader of militant group Hamas, which won Palestinian legislative elections last month, was in Tehran on Monday for talks with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Mottaki said it was natural such talks should take place, while making clear he rejected the West's labelling of Hamas, which is committed to Israel's destruction, as a terrorist group.

"We believe that those people who make efforts to free their countries should not be regarded as terrorists," he said.
Do you hear the man? They're not terrorists! Stop this unhealthy worrying, RIGHT NOW. You'll make yourself SICK. And the poor day laborers waiting in line at the checkpoints with their heavy winter coats year-round bulging in the middle, so threadbare they're held together with red and blue wires that stick out all over the place -- it's a travesty! How can we continue to subject them to this onerous "security" when they were never a terrorist threat to begin with? They just want to be free. A little liberty maybe.

He declined to speculate on how ties between a Hamas-led Palestinian government and Tehran would develop.
So we'll have no more of that sarcasm about ties developing over mutual commitment to the annihilation of Israel, nuclear or otherwise. It's all cleared up now. Peace in our time. Yippee!

Will Reuters like us now too?

Who's Handing Out the Lollipops? 

Dr. Helen recently took a realistic psychological look at the ironic inclination to appease those who threaten:

"If you reward cruelty with kindness, with what do you reward kindness?"

You would think that governments as well as people in general would understand that appeasing and rewarding negative behavior doesn't work. It's basic psychology 101--but one that not even most psychology professors understand or put to use. And apparently, this concept is foreign to many of the politically correct persuasion outside the classroom as well--for them, their feeling of moral "superiority" trumps human nature and causes liberals to turn a blind eye to justice and acts of violence.
She illustrates her point with more than just the well-known historical examples -- I'm explicitly avoiding mention of Hitler because I don't want to run afoul of Godwin's Law before I've even gotten started. Dr. Helen points out the same dynamic is in force when Danes feel threatened by alienated immigrant Muslim populations, or even when welfare applicants bully the very staff on whom they depend.

It gets ironicker.

When I think of appeasement, I think of the weak trying to fend off the powerful. Kind of like it appears in the old Dr. Seuss cartoon that's making the rounds:

'Remember...One More Lollypop, and Then You All Go Home!'

But in reality, oddly enough, in all these situations the candy is not being handed out by a frightened little guy to toothy, overgrown monsters. It is actually the party with the upper hand distributing the lollipops, feeding and strengthening the aggressive little guy, at least in the beginning. Strange.

Does the cat appease the mouse? Does the bird appease the worm? No. But the cat does not feel guilty for being a cat, nor the bird for eating a worm.

The modern West has lost its ability to wield power with a clear conscience. Just as America has become unable to wear khaki without tripping on Vietnam flashbacks, the West seems unwilling or unable to move beyond a sense of post-colonial guilt. As if cats and birds with any conscience should choose their own starvation. Even stranger, were the West to confidently stand for its own values and its own survival, it would require the death of no worm.

By no means am I advocating the immoral or even amoral exercise of power for its own sake, just because one has it. Nor do I call for the consumption of worms. But if careful introspection fails to turn up any core values that justify the use of power to preserve them, nothing can sustain the remaining hollowed out existence but a diminishing-returns game of appeasement.

When does the appeasement stop? When the appeaser finally finds a set of values worth fighting for -- or when the lollipops run out. Finding those values sooner rather than later keeps the battles simpler, and saves a lot of lollipops.

If cats and birds ever lose faith in the legitimacy of their own existence, turning to appeasement as a morally palliative diet plan, we may find ourselves living in a world run by worms and mice. Sometimes it feels like we might already be there.

Does Michael Moore Realize What He Has Done? 

Via Salon.com's gossip and entertainment column The Fix:

Populist firebrand Michael Moore is at work on his next film, to be called 'Sicko,' about the U.S. healthcare industry. And now he's asking for your stories: 'Have you ever found yourself getting ready to file for bankruptcy because you can't pay your kid's hospital bill, and then you say to yourself, 'Boy, I sure would like to be in Michael Moore's health care movie!'?' If so, he'd like you to e-mail him at michael@michaelmoore.com, and promises, 'I will read every single one' of the e-mails sent. (MichaelMoore.com)
So let me get this straight. Michael Moore, man of his word, has promised -- PROMISED -- to read every email that is sent to him on this topic? I've long suspected he was a bit of an idiot, but I didn't realize I was being overly generous.

Let's do some math. According to Technorati, there are about 28.3 million blogs. Let's say that half of those bloggers either love Michael Moore or hate him, while the other half are just fronting for pharmaceutical spam. Still, that leaves 13.5 million blogs that might be interested in helping promote Michael Moore's desperate plea for email. That is ssuming of course that they were to find out about his published plea -- which seems likely to me given the magnitude of Mr. Moore's... fame, and how he attracts bloggers like flies.

Even if he could read emails at the rate of one per second with each eyeball, it would take him at least 82 days to clear his inbox -- and that's with both eyeballs operating independently. And assuming only blog writers respond, not blog readers. And of course no sleeping.

Or time to eat.

Hmmm. He might never get to that next movie. What is this guy thinking?

He probably publicized this because he really only wanted one or two emails. Hopefully for Michael's sake, and the sake of his next movie, nobody else will find out about his request.

Seriously, don't just gratuitously spam Michael Moore's inbox, just because he invited you to. He's clearly looking for emails only from people who have health care stories, no matter how rambling, and who are interested in interjecting themselves into his movie making endeavour.

I was just doing the math that he probably should have, especially if the health care crisis is as deep as he obviously thinks it is, with nightmare emails idling in millions of sickly people's draft folders, just waiting for his invitation.

I'm just trying to point out that this guy is an idiot for posting his email and begging to be mail-bombed, all the while promising to read each email. Do not spam him. Ok?

UPDATE: Yael made a good point in the comments, reminding me to separate my opinion of Michael Moore from the issue of Health Care reform, which it was not my point to ridicule. I don't have a particularly well-informed opinion on Health Care reform either way -- it's a pretty complicated subject in which good intentions can produce bad results -- so please interpret this post only as teasing Michael Moore for publicly handing out his email address, and being an idiot in general, not as a vehicle of policy analysis.

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Halal Hamasnikim #1 -- New Hamas Blog Carnival 

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Halal Hamasnikim, the new Hamas Blog Carnival.

Every post promoted here is guaranteed 100% Halal -- that's "Kosher" in NeoCon-speak -- relentlessly advancing the agenda of Hamasnikim -- what Zionists call the members of the Hamas kibbutz. This new carnival is my way of taking back the original blog carnival idea which the Jews stole from us and renamed Haveil Havalim in their pathetic attempts to erase historical FACTS. The first blog carnival, they would rather you didn't know, was actually invented by Muslim scholars in the 13th century -- a time when Islamic civilization was already deeply interconnected and flourishing, while the so-called Jews and Christians were still just savages in Brooklyn and Europe, limping along with only dialup access.

And now with Hamas finally leading Islam back to its rightful place at the head of the table, let the Halal feast begin:

Big news this week as IsraellyUncool opened nominations for the upcoming Blogs that Love Allah and Mohammed awards:

I am proud to open nominations for the 1st ever BLAMs in the hope that this contest will light a fuse for explosive growth in the Islamosphere and carry that energy outward with added nails and ballbearings to decimate the Jewish and Infidel blogging spheres. Let's get out there and nominate and vote so we can show the Jews how angry we are that they stole the idea of blogging awards from us for their so-called JIB awards ("Jewish" "Israeli" Blog awards). Nominations are being accepted in the following categories: Best Post by a Blogger No Longer With Us, Angriest Blog, Best Violent Resistance Advocacy Blog, [...]
Suicide Dad talks about living incognito in America's obscenely large homes, driving its neurotically clean streets and avoiding its gestapo police forces, and how much he misses the sound of gunfire at his children's birthday parties.

Gates of Al-Quds features an in depth look at how Islam will soon capture Al-Quds (known to infidels as Jerusalem, ptui) based on a detailed study of how we won every battle at the Walls and Gates of Vienna in 1683 and every other battle our brave forces have engaged in through the centuries.

Jihadlicious explores rumors about the favorite celebrities of the Jews (mbut, Meditteranean Be Upon Them). It appears Madonna and Ethel Merman never really believed all that pseudo-Judeo Kabballah crap and are presently enrolled in Introduction to Islam classes in Beverly Hills. Allahu Akbar Jihadlicious, you go!

The warriors at Free Dumb Fighters have a top ten list to make you laugh your head off -- the ten fastest ways to clear an Israeli mall. I'm still chuckling over classics like these:

7. Just set your backpack down for an innocent trip to the restroom and watch them panic like a bunch of frightened school children.
4. When no one is looking, scream "Allahu Akbar!" in the middle of a crowd. Try not to laugh too hard or they'll know it was you.
2. Sneak into the control room and announce on the loudspeaker, "For the next 5 minutes, clearance sale across the street on Matzahs made with the blood of Muslim children!" See how they run.
AbQutab seethes righteously about a racist, islamophobic, Zionist usurper, seriously unfunny Israeli blogupationist called "AbbaGav," noting that his bile is made of nothing but absolutely agonizing alliteration, idiotic irony, and satire that is nothing more than the same gimmick played over and over and over and over again -- mocking us and, by extension, our Prophet:

AbbaGav only writes things like "The Islamist idiots incessently, irrationally incinerate innocent infants. Killing kuffirs keeps Khaled calm." His posts are nothing but "Hamas blew this up for no reason, Hamas blew that up for no reason..." On and on. And by the way stupid AbbaGav, we DO have a reason. But do you care? Do you ever write anything about our charitable services? Our fleet of ambulences? Hot lunches for Junior Jihadis? No, to AbbaGav, Hamas is nothing but explosives and the uncompromising pursuit of "Israel's" destruction. But we are so much more than that.
Crossing the Jordan2 posts links to some great time wasters, including one called "Shoot the Veep's Zionist Masterminds in the Face." I played that one over and over.

Little Green Ballbearings this week notices 18 instances in which Reuters uses the term "Israel" without quotes and in response his hundreds of commenters have dashed off form letters of complaint and threats to burn down the agency's local offices.

Kalkilya's Funniest Imam has a great "Priest, Rabbi and an Imam" joke in which the Imam does all the talking and the Priest and Rabbi convert before undertaking martyr operations. Read the whole thing. He is so funny, that one.

PaleoPundit presents his weekly summary of Jewish riots and attrocities. Once again there weren't any riots, but things did get pretty nasty at the Bet Tzedek nursing home when they ran out of rice pudding for Tuesday's second dinner seating.

Instapologist answers the Jews' spurious accusations instantly, before they spook the European donors and non-aligned supporters. For instance, this week, Instapologist answers with a single word the Zionist charges that suicide bombings against Jewish civilian targets are terrorism. Heh.

Da'wa Report does another great job of da'wa, this week extending a warm invitation to all infidels to join the true faith, or else.

Jakeem Want's His Shack Back is guest-blogging at Hajira's Hijab, or is it vice-versa, but they're having a good time so it doesn't really matter.

Shattered Bones has a fantastic cartoon post illustrating the abject stupidity of Jewish bloggers' favorite phrase, "The pen is mightier than the sword," noting they have apparently never tried sawing off an infidel's head with a felt tip marker. How does he keep coming up with this stuff?

Nazis Had Feelings Too checks in this week with his farewell post. We'll miss you, big guy, and bag one for me too.

Great-Great-Great-Grandpa's House has lost his refugee house-key and wonders where's the cheapest place to buy another.

One Billion CANNOT Be Wrong wants to know why the world makes such a big fuss about a few burned out embassies and death threats, while practically ignoring the West's continuing failure to venerate our Prophet.

Finally, the Zionists will never sneak anything past the ever-sharp and abrasive Arafat's Whiskers who this week exposes the shocking details of Zionist Death Rays emanating from imported toaster ovens. I smell a recall.

Next week's festivities will be hosted by The Red Wire -- get your entries in early!

Linked to noble blogs such as: third world county, Basil's Blog, The Uncooperative Blogger, The Real Ugly Great Satan, Customer Servant, Stop the ACLU (and the ADL, FBI, CIA, NSA and YMCA), Everyman Chronicles and Point Five (a famous number we invented)

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Memo to Photographers: Only Happy Snaps 

Memo to Photographers,

Thank you for such a warm welcome to our new Hamas government. We'd like to take this opportunity to kick off our press relationship on the right boot. Toward that end, please accept some photograpy guidelines which we consider strictly voluntary on your part -- and please do not consider our knowledge of who you are and where your family lives as any sort of threat to coerce compliance with these wonderfully sensible suggestions.

Therefore, henceforth, there will be no more pictures of masked freedom fighters in menacing poses, unless it is for internal pamphlets or post-operational publicity. Instead, shots of older Brothers in suits and ties comfortable to the Western donor's eyes will be the norm -- we suggest, that is.

Further, you will make an effort to paint only the caring face of our party. For instance, we want the world to know that just as we swear eternal warfare and destruction for Zionists, we also kiss our happy future freedom fighters, just like that criminal Bush does.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh holds a baby [...] REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
You will stress our interfaith outreach with photos of brotherly love -- perhaps something like this photo, that could even be used for a "Gee, your beard smells terrific" shampoo advertisement:

The spokesman of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Atallah Hanna, left, meets the Islamic group Hamas' new parliament member Mohammed Abu Teir [...] [they] issued a statement condemning the publication of Prophet Muhammad caricatures in European media.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
You may have noticed that the Western media has done a subtle but effective job of painting incoming lawmaker Mariam Farhat as a less than compassionate mother for the exemplary job she has done dispatching three of her sons to the jihad pile. Nothing could be further from the truth. A few select photos emphasizing she still has more sons left in her quiver, photos delicately perched on that thin line between worship of motherhood and murder, could really help her achieve that coveted Ashrawi level of PR sexiness.

Mariam Farhat , 56, and her son Mouman [...] Farhat said her late son , Mohammed, 18, had cut the fence in a 2002 attack on the Jewish settlement of Atzmona in Gaza in which he killed five Israeli teenagers before being shot to death. Farhat will be among 74 Hamas lawmakers [...] (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In short, your photos from here on should help create the picture of an idyllic Palestinian society led by the solid Islamic principles we embody. There is no dissent here. Everyone is happy and eager to begin pursuit of our unwavering national goals.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, reacts during the swearing-in session of the incoming Palestinian Parliament [...] (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Ok, we're going to have to have a talk with Mr. Abbas. A long talk. Off camera.

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Haveil Havalim #58 is Ripe and Ready 

Soccer Dad has the new Haveil Havalim (#58) up and it's really worth a look. Here are a few of the great posts there that I might not have found otherwise:

Mensa Barbie contrasts two groups of four year olds separated by 60 years in time, a few miles in space, and the breadth of the universe in ideology.

Secular Blasphemy takes a hard look at some of those kids and their training too.

In case they needed any help, Meryl Yourish does a great job helping Hamas clarify what they're all about.

My Right Word shows that sometimes, the perfect retort is short and sharp.

And Treppenwitz helps us all avoid losing the hard reality behind the hypotheticals and theoreticals in our blogging.

Thanks to Soccer Dad's great synopses and organization, I'm sure you'll find some unexpected treasures if you take a look.

Next week's festivities will be hosted by Daled Amos. (Details on how you can join the party are at the bottom of Soccer Dad's post).

Iranian Peace Corps 

Iranians register as suicide bombers, to assist a Palestinian uprising, at Khageh-Nasir university in Tehran February 18, 2006. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl
Of course condemnations from the new Palestinian government, on whose behalf Iran is recruiting this suicidal force, will be issued soon. Right after the UN speaks up.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Everybody's Searching for Something 

I know, it's a cliched post, but I've been saving up interesting searches that landed on my blog for awhile, and I thought I'd dump them on you now.

First, there are a number of searches that showed me at or near the top of some unexpected categories I never really set out to dominate:

For instance, I'm #26 for young female suicide bombers in swimsuits.

But it gets better. #1 baby! I am looking for golden music of ABBA. Well you won't find it here.

Also #1 for how to moisturize flaked coconut for cooking. Do you think they bookmarked me?

Until a few weeks ago, I was the ONLY place (#1 without competition) for the phrase "night shift at costco". Unrivaled fame is one of the side benefits of blogging, but you've always got to watch your back. Now I'm #2.

A googler (or is that ogler) from Saudi Arabia checked in with women bikini fashion. This would barely merit comment -- aside from noting the irony of such a holy Islamic kingdom generating such obviously Zionist-inspired lewdness -- except I couldn't help noting the Saudi seeker actually browsed through 18 pages of results before clicking on my Israeli blog. That's a lethal combination of persistance and desperation, mixed with an unhealthy level of confidence in identity-cloaking proxy servers.

I'm also popular with Pakistani searchers, who found me in the #12 slot today for fat barest woman.com.

Here's one where I was top ranked a few months ago, and now I'm not even listed -- censorship? hmmm? emails of talented fish doctors in United Arab Emirates

Sometimes, I cannot for the life of me figure out what the searcher could have been looking for, or why they would have scrolled through 12 pages before clicking on me: pray wet owe online. Of course, I'm no longer listed on that page anymore, and I frankly don't care enough to bother checking whether I've moved up or down since then. I suppose if I was running google ads, I would have to follow that up and write some new content on the topic that is "rich in keywords" to help boost my value. I'm glad I'm not running ads.

Then there are some queries that just make me wonder:

experiment two dogs food starve to death equidistant Schrodinger I looked and Google has me at #1, but I'm sure that just by checking I ruined the experiment. (That's a physics joke, sorry).

site:blogspot.com circumcised piss dad. I pray this person found nothing here and never returns. Yuck. I'm going to have to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Finally there is the category of searches that say something about me:

My site is listed #1 for Gav was killed by and I'm not too happy about it.

And then there is sexy israeli men. Hey! I'm number 14! Not too bad for a geeky engineer dad. I suppose. I told this to my wife and she laughed. I'm pretty sure she, like me, thought it was funny I wasn't ranked higher.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Blogging for Dhimmies 

If it's not on the shelves already, I'm sure someone out there is already churning out a "Blogging for Dummies" tome. Oh well, that would have been fun to write. But on the assumption Blogging for Dummies is already taken, I'll just have to wander a little farther afield fo find other fresh forest I can strip mine for my next piece of blogging-based satire.

So, at the risk of beating a dead one trick pony, I turn yet again to that never-ending gob stopper of blogdom, the Danish Cartoon Crisis, and offer potentially life-saving advice to scared and confused bloggers in a long overdue post called:

Blogging for Dhimmies

The first and foremost rule of Blogging for Dhimmies is: If you have to ask, cover your ass. This one rule alone could someday save your life.

Let's say you're a dhimmie blogger, but you still remember the old days, before the sensitivity training and the fatwas. You decide to get tricky and merely IMPLY that a given graven character is the Prophet. Say for instance you show a picture of a man with a young girl, and you label the girl with the name Aisha, without explicitly naming the other character at all. It would be tempting to think you could get away with that. But please, for the love of God, use your head while you still have it. Remember rule one. And while it is marginally more clever to explicitly label the prophet-ish image "Definitely Not the Prophet," the conjunction with the conjugal Aisha means your sarcasm will not be overlooked.

With that said, let's look at some common questions Dhimmie Bloggers are likely to struggle with as they adjust to their new leash length.

1. Is the problem in the drawing of the Prophet, or in being offensive about it?

The answer here is BOTH. Bear in mind the main rule of dhimmie blogging: if you have to ask, cover your ass. In this case, obviously an offensive image of the Prophet would invoke the Ummah's wrath and lead to the destruction of the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet closest to your home, but even a seemingly innocuous image of the Prophet -- innocuous to your eyes -- is an affront to the Universal Principles of Religion shared by all people who wish not to be killed: do not draw, reprint, reproduce or otherwise retransmit an image of the Prophet without the express written consent of the Commissioner of Baseball, or something like that.

But the question really is a good one, because it goes beyond that. Not only must we avoid offensive images of the Prophet, we must avoid offensive expressions or images about the Prophet, or offensive images about the prohibition of publishing images of the Prophet, or saying anything about those who protest offensive images about them. (Here would be a good point to intone the main rule perhaps three or four times until it sinks in.)

2. What about images of other prophets?

Too risky, unless it's Joseph Smith or Tom Cruise, since they came after Mohammad officially declared propecy season closed. But images of Jesus and Moses and others of their ilk, you shouldn't even have to ask.

3. How do the faithful decide which images are of the Prophet and thus deserving of death?

I understand your concern, since presumably even the faithful have never met the Prophet, and it's inconceivable there would be any Muslim-made images of him lying around for comparison. So the decision can't be based on resemblence. You're right. It's based on intent, declaration, and of course convenient timing.

Drawing a picture intentionally creating the impression it is Muhammad, through context or ridicule -- especially ridicule -- is a very bad idea, unless your family really needs your life insurance money. Similarly, declaring an image to be the Prophet, no matter the resemblence, will only bring you headaches. Even if you've just drawn a frog, which you might think would be ridiculous to believe was really the Prophet. It is precisely that ridiculousness that is the problem. If it looks like the Prophet, you risk promoting worship of your image. And if it doesn't look like him, it could provoke mockery of the Prophet through your image.

But even if you've done your best to avoid the first two issues, there is the overriding factor: timing and political convenience. If "the street" hasn't been taken out for a walk in a few weeks and is growing restless, your picture of a bowl of fruit, if published at the wrong moment, could end up triggering mass riots, if they are convenient. It's all a matter of timing. If you want to draw something, or allow your children to color, it is best to do this an intermediate amount of time after the last riots. Too soon after and you risk inflaming the still angry crowd. Wait too long, and you could be the next convenient contestant on Let's Make a Big Deal.

4. What if I just add a disclaimer to every image?

Do you really think adding some fine print is going to soothe seething righteous anger? Please do not be naive. Sure, you could add a footnote: "no one in this picture is named Mohammad, and if they are, it's a different Muhammad, not THAT Muhammad." But the protest patrols are highly trained at sniffing out questionable intent, or even irrelevant irreverence. You don't want them wondering what you're hiding when theythinks thou dost protest too much.

5. What if I want to draw a teeny tiny dot -- could that accidentally be mistaken for an image of the top of the Prophet's head viewed from outer space?

Yes. So be careful.

6. How can I be careful? If even a dot could be the Prophet's distant head, every sentence I write ends with punctuational blasphemy that could get me killed!

You are overreacting. There are many solutions to your concerns; no one is being unreasonable here.

The most obvious thing you could do to avoid the risks inherent in periods is to end every sentence from now on with a comma, like this, which unfortunately will lead to a lot of runon sentences, but that shouldn't be too high a price to pay to avoid offending anyone, and if you really need to terminate a respectful but overlong string of commas you can always ask a question, can't you?

Of course, there are other ways.

A meritorious practice is to make a declaration of intent with the termination of each sentence. Say to yourself, "I hereby complete this sentence with the intention that this dot is not an image of the Prophet, and as compensation for the potential sin of this sentence, I further commit myself to make a donation to Hamas or Islamic Jihad." As long as you save your receipts for each sentence's donation, you might be able to talk your way out of trouble should the mob ever show up at your door.

(UPDATE: commenters James and Regina Clare Jane have correctly pointed out that question marks, and exclamation marks as well, carry with them the same blasphemous potential as periods. So please, use em-dashes instead -- or better yet, stick to the charitable method.)

7. Seriously, do I need to be afraid that every Muslim will react this way?

No, equally seriously, obviously not. Most Muslims, while they would prefer you not do this, and may even be annoyed a little by this very satire, are quite reasonable and will just talk to you about what bothers them, just as you or I would. But politicizing forces looking to leverage these and other complaints to organize one billion Muslims into a potent weapon for the advancement of their interests against freedom and the West are something else entirely. Those forces grow stronger the more we cower.

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Linked to: Quietly Making Noise and Third World County

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Funny Farm 

Here's a quick round up of some snort-worthy posts from the JBlog-Sphere, or related to it, or at least from blogs I read. I'll provide some excerpts; all you have to do is click the link to laugh at the rest.

We'll start with the Onion's article explaining the new Hamas solution to the Israel problem:

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK: After his militant Islamic party took the majority in Palestine's recent elections, Ismail Haniyeh called for a "giant summit with all living Israelis" Monday, rekindling international hopes for peace in the war-torn region.

Haniyeh characterized the one-day summit as "the final solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute," and invited every Jewish citizen of the world to attend. Haniyeh said he expects more than 5 million participants from Israel alone.

"It was foolish of us to think that a satisfactory resolution could be reached through small-scale aggression," Haniyeh said. "It will take more than the sporadic deaths of small groups of Israeli civilians to achieve our ends."
IMAO briefly reports on the moving celebration of the Palestinian skater at the Winter Olympics:

Mohammed el Zindimbulb of Palestine celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 666-metre speed skating event by ...
Iowahawk is back. What more need be said when there is comedy to be read:

Green Bay, WI - Like a pot of bratwurst left unattended at a Lambeau Field pregame party, simmering tensions in the strife-torn Midwest boiled over once again today as rioting mobs of green-and-gold clad youth and plump farm wives rampaged through Wisconsin Denny’s and IHOPs, burning Texas toast and demanding apologies and extra half-and-half.

Cartoon that shocked Midwest The spark igniting the latest tailgate hibachi of unrest: a Texas newsletter's publication of caricatures of legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi.
Van at Kesher Talk has found a Jewish cartton protest:

Asserting that "those imams are on to something," a radical fringe of Orthodox rabbis rampaged through Brooklyn demanding that married female cartoon characters observe "tohorat ha-mishpacha," These Jewish laws of family purity make couples refrain from sex during a woman's period and a week afterward.
And finally, an interesting point I noticed today: some people assume that conservatives and other right-leaning bloggers will only pick on the left or Islam or both. I offer the following great posts to show that when a target on the right is dumb enough to stick it's head up, it too will be shot down:

First up, raving right winger Buckley F. Williams and a sampling of his Top 9 Reasons Dick Cheney Shot His Hunting Partner:

3. He hadn't bagged his limit.
2. To bolster his sagging "street cred" ratings.
1. To show Muslim extremists that they don't have the market on crazy cornered just yet.
And then there is Potfry. This guy is dangerously funny. If you want to clear your sinuses with a carbonated beverage, check out his Dick Cheney post:

A video made of this weekend’s hunting trip in which Vice President Dick Cheney shot fellow hunter Harry Whittington shows the ever-practical Vice President felt the best course of action would be to euthanize his 78 year old fellow hunter.

The tape was shot by a VP staffer who records all of Cheney’s hunting trips. The video is edited into a compilation reel called "When Dick Strikes," which the Vice President likes to show at family Christmas gatherings.
Read the rest, it's not optional.

Feel free to send me some funny stuff. If I get enough funny stuff, I'll keep doing these. And if what you send me doesn't get included, then send more.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: