Sunday, April 30, 2006
- outlaw any amputation of thieves' hands in public places at least until after ten in the morning, if not eleven thirty -- it's so hard to sleep late with all the screaming.
- publicly revoke the Fatwa on Salman Rushdie, announcing that it was all a mistake and that peaceful Islam has no problem with the free expression of his ideas. And I'd invite him to Teheran to collect a big prize -- seriously! It would work. You've never heard of taqiya?
- clarify that laws allegedly penned by a previous ayatollah -- laws that, among other things, forbid one from consuming a goat after having had sex with it -- are obviously the forged products of a conspiracy to make Iranian Islamic leaders look insane and are therefore from now on null and void. Hey, shepherds have to eat too, and Islam is nothing if not merciful.
- declare it a religious duty for all religious Muslims to collect any and all radioactive materials they can get their hands on -- dental x-rays, airport security scanners, freshman physics lab samples, Kevin Federline rap CDs, whatever -- and undertake a new pilgrimmage to the holy city of Teheran, carrying these sacred materials concealed in hollow fake Korans -- and remember to howl if intolerant American security personnel try to search them just because their little boxes start clicking.
- send thank you notes, flowers, and a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne to ElBaradei and assorted international diplomats.
- advise Ahmadinejad to stop trying to straddle the fence with occasional near-sane remarks -- we want actual foam on his lips at all future press conferences.
- put in place an edict forbidding the use of any technology more recent than the 8th century, unless it is to be used for destroying post-8th century or non-Islamic pre-8th century cultures.
- issue a global fatwa against blogs -- those things are such a pain in the holy tuchus, and Khomeini never had to deal with such things.
- gather all of the military inventors and engineers responsible for our recent spate of superweapons -- weapons beyond even the capabilities of the Super-Sized Satan, like super speedy torpedoes, stupendously stealthy missiles and even a radar evading super-modern flying boat -- and send them abroad for further intensive and advanced study at the Wile E. Coyote School of Military Hardware and Foolproof Deadly Devices.
- in view of the drastic restructuring the world's military-industrial food chain is likely to undergo in the wake of massive Wile E. Coyote training of Iranian personnel, I would also liquidate all national assets and have our brokers move us fully into Acme Corporation stocks.
And keep your eyes peeled over at IMAO, as rumors persist that the latest Carnival of Comedy is still scheduled to appear there at some point. Then re-peel your eyes later this week right here at AbbaGav for the following edition of the Carnival of Comedy -- that's right, they're actually going to trust me with the keys for a week! Ha ha ha. Now that's comedy. Stay tuned.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Saudi women are beating up their husbands and pouring boiling oil on them. I can't imagine why. Hmmmm. Let's see, maybe the article can explain this shocking phenomenon, this inversion of the natural order:
The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has sounded an alarm bell about the increasing instances of domestic violence against men being reported in the Kingdom.
An increasing number of men have been complaining about their wives beating them up or pouring boiling oil on them, Al-Watan newspaper reported yesterday.
Working women exploiting their husbands' poverty? That sounds bad.
Al-Angari attributed the tendency among women to be cruel against their men to such factors as a forceful personality, the age difference, marriages in which men seek financial dependence on women and the couple being a total mismatch. [...]
Saeed Al-Amri, a scholar, told the paper that women who abuse their husbands take advantage of the men’s weaknesses.
"Some women do not know the basic principles of a married life, particularly the working women who exploit their husbands' poverty or weak personality," said Al-Amri. [...]
This decay of moral fibre must not be allowed to continue. But what can be done?
Presumably. I hope they do not have to hide out from their wives in these hotels all alone. It would be cruel for a man, separated from his family by fear of spousal violence not to have the comfort of companionship.
"Some of my friends are afraid to go home," said Hassan Al-Asiri, a government employee. "Instead they prefer to stay in some hotels unknown to their wives, presumably to escape violence."
But is there nothing that can be done, other than for a man to hole up like a frightened little mouse?
No, do not be rough and brutal. Pick one or the other, but not both.
Abdullah Al-Humaid, director of endowments, call and guidance in the Asir region, said, "Islam calls upon all believers to build their families on a strong foundation. It designates man as the family's supporter. Man is responsible for the family expenses and holding the unit together. Therefore he should possess a strong personality with commonsense and he should never create a situation in which a woman is allowed to dominate him. It does not mean that he should be rough and brutal in treating his wife. The relationship should always be seasoned with wisdom, patience and rationality."
In all fairness, I must say I'm slightly puzzled to see this craziness published this way in Arab News -- straight up. While I disagree with much of its editorial line regarding the essentials of my existence, nevertheless, I have found quite a few past articles in Arab News casting a spotlight on some of the darker corners of the Kingdom's treatment of it's veiled citizens.
Hopefully there is some subtlety here that is simply lost on me.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
- When your little brother isn't required like you are to clear his dishes from the table before getting a scoop of flaming neon green ice cream, just because he's two.
- When you really, really need a slice of that good cheese imported from America, and your parents stubbornly refuse to go there and get some for you, now.
- When people you wish to kill refuse to give you money that really should be yours by right, and now you can't afford all the ammunition and explosives you need to do the job right.
- When your parents go upstairs and find your socks for you, only to hand them to you IN THE WRONG ORDER.
- When final tallies on election night don't match Democratic exit polls.
- When a REALLY good television show that you NEVER get to see is on, and your parents refuse to believe that those fifteen circled pages of math homework are OPTIONAL.
- When transfer payments as a percentage of GDP aren't rising as quickly as you'd like, and they never rise as quickly as you'd like.
- When your parents won't make your sister let you have the GOOD spoon, and you're stuck with that spoon's evil twin instead.
- When infidel peoples refuse to adopt your religious positions and dogma as a starting point for a rational discussion of the terms of their surrender.
- When the Jews are somehow handed their own country, and in defending it are allowed to exact a price from their attackers, thus making it that much harder to repeatedly attempt their destruction until you get it right.
Technorati Tags: top ten, whining, universal solvent
(** Being a bit of a techie, I will qualify this by noting that these thoughts will actually only be pseudo-random -- most people overlook this finer point when posting their so-called random thoughts.)
- We decided to do dinner and a movie. But since our mid-week babysitter can't stay late, and the nearest theatre is a 30-40 minute drive from our house, we had to hurry. In an effort not to miss the first half of the movie, I managed to choke down a romantic burger and fries in approximately 18 minutes while Sharon inhaled the more healthy "omellete and assorted slimy fried vegetables sandwich" in approximately the same amount of time.
- Although we were in a hurry to get to the theater, we were confident that we could be a few minutes late without penalty since there are always at least 10-15 minutes of advertisements before the actual paid entertainment begins. So we stopped off to buy a purse in the middle of our run from the food court to the theatre -- how long could that take? Seriously. It didn't take long. One thing I love about my wife is her ability to spend money quickly and decisively. I mean that in a good way.
- Ok, so maybe we're not the savviest of movie-goers as we had thought. We arrived four minutes late and the film was ALREADY STARTED! I thought about complaining to the management about the outrageous practice of starting their movies on time, and demanding they restart the projection because I had missed the first part of the opening credits, but some of the other patrons looked like they might turn on me if I made them watch the credits again. Suffice it to say, I'll be scouring the web for an illicit copy of the opening credits to Spike Lee's "Inside Man" -- and it won't be pirating! I paid for those credits!
- It wouldn't be a Jack-style post without a quick word about urinals. So I should mention that we would have only been two minutes late if we hadn't stopped for a quick bathroom break on the way into Hall #2. I mention it only because of the gross violation of male bathroom etiquette by one of my fellow patrons. I, having entered the empty bathroom first, naturally picked a centrally located urinal, leaving plenty of empty distant urinals available to either side. You might think that is a bad strategy, and that I should have picked either the far left or far right urinal, but the acoustics in the corner are no good. Anyway, there I am, and suddenly another movie-goer strolls in and picks, out of all the urinals in the world, the one IMMEDIATELY to my right! Could he possibly have chosen one a few yards of porcelain away from me? No, apparently he could not. I suppose I could have tolerated this with a little Zen meditation and a little leftward focus -- if it weren't for all of his extra-curricular activity, which made me long for the corner spot with the bad accoustics, and a gas mask. At least it was incentive for me to hurry, lest he manage to leave first and any subsequent urinal patrons assume that I was responsible for his misdeeds.
- Is it acceptable to ignore desparate phone calls from your children when you're watching a movie? I'm really tempted. But then again, there's always the chance that the house is burning down, which is why we pay for babysitters in the first place. I think next time we go out, when we write on the whiteboard the number at which we can be reached, I'm going to put up the number for the fire department instead. After the first angry exchange with the firemen, I think my kids will get the point. Yeah, that's definitely what I should do. Oh, and when I download those opening credits I missed, I'm also going to download the part where they explain who all the characters are, and the climactic scene where they make sense of everything.
- Bullet point movie review of "Inside Man": eh. Stylish and moody, taut and well-paced, the film nonetheless seems hollow at the core. A perfect caper movie needs a perfect caper explication, like the Sting. This did a half-decent job -- not good enough. Spike Lee should avoid caper flicks and stick to whatever kind of films he usually makes. The acting wasn't bad; although, Jodie Foster's acclaimed turn as a carnivourous corporate problem-solver seemed to be done with more gusto than finesse, but who am I to tell Jodie Foster how to act?
- And do rhetorical questions still need a question mark? I think we need a new piece of punctuation: the rhetorical question mark. Maybe I'll copyright it, or patent it or something so I can get a cut of the profits from every rhetorical question from now on.
- When we got home, the kids were in bed and the house was clean -- our cleaner comes on Wednesdays -- so all was well with the world. Except for the usual post-cleaner provocations. Why is it that cleaners never put things back where they find them, and they never notice that every week those things keep moving back to precisely the same other spot they seem to find so offensive? This constant tug of war, week after week, cleaner after cleaner, is driving me nuts. Every Wednesday evening I have to rearrange the order of the burners on the stove top, pull all the tissues back out of the closet and toss them around the house -- I have allergies which is why I'm writing this at 5 in the morning -- and pull all the trashcans back out from their hidden recesses to a spot where trash could actually enter them. After all that, I'm almost tempted to clean the house myself from now on. Almost. Well, not really. But I might super glue the trashcans where I like them.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Here a few sample questions from the satirical Political Beliefs Assessment Test:
The test is open book and no time limit, which is good because there are a lot of beliefs to assess in there.
1: Government's practice of stealing from the rich to give to the poor is...
CONS: a crime.
LIBL: a brave, generous and heroic deed.
LBRT: a foolish, misguided attempt at social engineering.
COMM: an inspiration to us all.
7: The Center for Public-Health Dietary Self Control releases a study that says eating just one jelly donut is as harmful to human health as smoking 10,000,000 cartons of cigarettes. Do you...
CONS: keep eating jelly donuts.
LIBL: demand that jelly donuts be removed from vending machines, and public school cafeterias.
LBRT: hoard jelly donuts before they are regulated off grocer's shelves.
COMM: hoard jelly donuts so you can sell them on the black market.
10: What techniques are best for maintaining discipline in the classroom?
CONS: If just one student misbehaves, severely punish the entire class.
LIBL: Force boys who refuse to settle down to take psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin and Prozac.
LBRT: Anyone who doesn't want to be in class can leave.
COMM: Anyone who doesn't want to be in class can be made an example of.
20: What's the best way to stop people from illegally crossing our borders?
CONS: Seal the borders so no one can get in.
LIBL: Do nothing to beef up security at the borders, and offer illegal aliens a wide array of free services.
LBRT: Allow unrestricted passage across the borders.
COMM: Seal the borders so no one can get out.
21: How would you define the word "profit"?
CONS: What business owners earn by selling a quality product at a competitive price.
LIBL: What business owners RIP-OFF from their customers.
LBRT: What business owners are rewarded with for risking the loss of their own money.
COMM: What business owners RIP-OFF from their employees.
A few more amusing posts that are worthy of attention:
Meryl Yourish has the story of how the Palestinian Foreign Minister from the "anti-Corruption Party" (Hamas) just happened to have $450,000 stolen from his Kuwait hotel room. Oops. I'm sure that used to happen to Arafat all the time. No big deal.
Soccer Dad notices that Palestinian PM Haniyeh is rolling out quite a nice spread for cabinet meeting refreshment breaks, considering how broke the Hamas-led PA is telling the world they are. Soccer Dad also notes the telling photographic juxtaposition of Haniyeh's jovial catering next to Israeli funerals.
Pillage Idiot has the fake-but-accurate version of a Dan Rather interview with CIA leaker Mary McCarthy.
Chainik Hocker has a giant scoop of Anarchy Ice Cream.
Just when you thought the Seder was over, Daled Amos has the story of how he found Bin Laden's horseradish tree.
The Elder of Ziyon exposes Palestinian Camouflauge training. I suppose it works great against color blind enemies.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Here is a more detailed look at the squabbling they don't want you to know about, since the Jews are only peripherally to blame. When the angry mobs of Fatah march on the indignant leadership of Hamas, things can get real ugly real quick:
The Mob: O festering, swollen pustules of Hamas, we the men of Fatah will never stand by while you and your pretty-boy spokesworm besmirch our honor with your baseless intimations of Fatah collaboration with the Jews! We hereby challenge you to a duel! Sundown! Mobs at forty paces!
Al-Zahar (left): Wait a minute, YOUR honor?!! Why, how dare you impugn the good name of Hamas, and its exemplary record of terrorizing Zionists until every last one of them is off our land! How DARE you sir!! Why I'm of a mind to come down there and...
Meshaal (center): No, no, calm down my friend, they are just joking with us, surely. Eveyone knows we Palestinian militants are a humorous bunch. This is really quite funny actually.
Ancient Hamas Codger: Ho, Ho. I think it's funny too. I'm laughing so forcefully I fear I've hurt my schpilkus. Either that or my colostomy bag has sprung a leak.
Fatah Kefiyeh (center): Ohhhh, so you think it's funny do you? Surely you understand we've got two or three Shaheeds primed and ready to go, just waiting for any Israeli defensive action to avenge. You do realize these walking bombs aren't exactly selected for their brain power, and how easy it might be to just accidentally drop one of them off at the wrong target? Say, oh, I don't know... your house?
Blindly Masked Fatah: Hey! Who is that I hear? Don't tell me it's that clown Khaled Meshaal! Oh do I want a piece of that guy. Which way is he? Somebody point me at him -- just guide my hand to my detonator switch and nudge me in the right direction. Actually, I think I can smell all that colgne from here, so I should be able to find him myself.
Meshaal: Easy there big fella. Heh. Go easy on me -- I'm a lover not a fighter. If you've got a bone to pick with us, let me give you the address of one of our trained Hamas combat cells, and you can go fight with them instead of with me. Besides, I'm too busy planning and financing Zionist deaths to waste time fighting with my impaired Arab brothers. And, by the way, THAT is exactly why your aging nincompoop, Abbas, should stand back and let US lead. Only WE have the courage to stand without flinching against any and all Israeli aggression, real or imagined.
Al-Zahar: Uh. (gulp) Those guns aren't, like, loaded are they?
Fatah Activist: What's the matter little man?! You talk so tough to all the little cry-baby Israeli politicians, but you're not so tough when the men of Fatah get up in your face now are you? And yeah, this thing's loaded, I think! But I don't need bullets for the likes of you. You want I should come up there and pistol whip you across the forehead instead, like I'm doing to this guy right here?
Fatah Forehead: Owwwww, that hurts!!!
Capped Fatah Official: Why don't you just pop off a few rounds into the air? That always looks intimidating on camera. Make sure the photographer catches your seething side.
Al-Zahar: Do you see!!? Do you see, Khaled, he is pointing a gun at us!
Meshaal: Whoa, whoa, whoa, my friend. Now that's just rude. Simmer down pal. It's really not polite to point a gun at people like that. At least not at us. Have you no humanity? Why aren't you saving your ammunition for the Zionists?
The Mob: Don't lecture us, you pompous George Clooney wannabe! We've been out here doing the dirty work for years, killing Jews and blowing ourselves up, and all the while you fools just sit around running your kindergartens, hot lunch programs and ambulance service. Now you have the chutzpah to lecture US about saving ammunition for the Jews!
Meshaal: I can't believe you would say such a thing. Frankly, I'm hurt. Never did I intend to imply you haven't been killing Jews. No, I just think you've been going about it the WRONG WAY. Eery time one of your people blows up, there's scarcely time for the chunks to land before that bootlicker Abbas is on his knees at the nearest microphone, trying to balance on the old "sorry you're upset about the bombing" non-apology apology tightrope. Men of Fatah, get off of your knees! Stand and blow yourselves up with dignity and pride, under the relentless leadership of Hamas of course.
Seething Fatah Headband: How dare you question dear Abu Mazen's manhood! Just because you chuckleheads are too stupid to know how to blow yourselves up AND get paid at the same time, do not belittle your betters who have mastered this art. Prepare to die!
Meshaal: Look, I don't know if I can make this any simpler. Read my lips: Hamas leads, but Fatah follows, nobly killing and terrorizing all the way. I can't believe you have a problem with this. All right, so let's put it this way. We of Hamas will lead, but if you are so worried about the shriveling dignity of your old man Abbas, then you can say that he leads too. Ok? We just lead more.
Big Fatah Goon: Feh! We were killing the Zionists just fine by ourselves, long before you'd even grown enough beard for the fleas to infest. Enough of your tricks! Unless you're telling us you will lead and we must follow while still pretending we lead, then you're in for a world of hurt fool.
Meshaal: Please! I swear on Arafat's rotting, maggot-ridden corpse -- may Hanan Ashrawi and Madeleine Albright lead my harem of eternal virgins if I'm lying -- that is EXACTLY what I am saying.
Cooler Fatah Head: Ok, hold your fire! I said hold your fire! Did you hear him? Hamas has caved to the rightful demands of Fatah! We have won!
Meshaal: But remember, never let it be said that Hamas is incapable of compromise. We can be reasonable. I really am just sick and tired of this incessant media bias making us out to be some organization that can never compromise. What vile calumny! We've compromised with Islamic Jihad. We've compromised with Iran. Now we've compromised with you Fatah boys. You see, we can be quite reasonable and moderate. And of course violence is never the way to solve problems when someone has a complaint against us.
Linked with thanks to: Common Folk Using Common Sense, Adam's Blog, Blue Star Chronicles and Third World County
Technorati Tags: hamas, fatah, meshaal, infighting, satire
But what's with the coded finger gesture? Do they think AFP is totally naive? Ha!
Monday, April 24, 2006
Oh, he is the clever one that Ahmadinejad. Haaretz did not report whether Ahmadinejad's star pupil, Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh, was taking notes as his Iranian mentor demonstrated how Hamas can extricate itself from its rhetorical recognition bind, but Haniyeh should have been. The trick is to recognize that there presently is an Israeli state, even if it is only artificial, while simultaneously denying only the Jewish State's FUTURE right to CONTINUE existing. So most diplomats really shouldn't have any problem with that.
In wide-ranging remarks, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that Israel was an artificial state that could not continue to exist.
This could almost be a coy hint that a Jewish state may have been justified in the aftermath of the Holocaust. But it's really just an exasperated statement that enough is enough -- and isn't the statute of limitations on genocide 60 years anyway? So can we please just move on -- and also move the Jews on -- already?
"Some 60 years has passed since the end of World War II, why should the people of Germany and Palestine pay now for a war in which the current generation was not involved," Ahmadinejad told a press conference.
Clearly Ahmadinejad cannot believe that sending Jews to Europe is any sort of final solution if keeping them off of Palestinian land is his priority, for as the growing riots, internal unrest and domestic appeasement there indicate, the flag changing ceremonies over Eurabia's capital cities may not be far off.
The Iranian president has long campaigned against Israel, saying last October that Israel should be "wiped off the map." He has said Europe should find a home for Israelis, who should not live on Palestinian land.
"Open the doors [of Europe] and let the Jews go back to their own countries," the president said Monday.
He added that Europeans should jettison their "anti-semitism" to enable Israelis to "return" to their continent, and "allow Palestinians to decide their own fate and live freely."
The unintended irony in Ahmnadinejad's remarks is so thick you could chop it with a scimitar. The idea of Jews being kicked out of Israel so they won't bother any Palestinian Arabs is rich: who does he think lives in Europe? Sixty years after the Holocaust it's not so much neo-Nazi skinheads who need to heed Mr. A's call to drop the anti-Semitism, as the numerous Muslim and Arab immigrants who've immigrated to Europe en masse, conventiently creating oases of Sharia law and preparing welcoming committees for Ahmadinejad's proposed influx of fleeing Jews.
No benefit, that is, other than working nuclear warheads and the missiles required to deliver them. Otherwise, why bother?
Ahmadinejad also hinted that Iran would consider withdrawing from the United Nations nuclear agency if membership produced no benefit.
That is the question isn't it? What precisely has it gotten them, and where are they keeping it?
"What has more than 30 years of membership in the agency given us?" he asked rhetorically at a press conference.
Of course once you're there you won't be able to resist sampling some of the fine JBlogging selections he's cherry-picked for your entertainment and enrichment.
And I was struck by the fact that these guys may not be fully aware of the scope and severity of the Surgeon General's warnings about tobacco products. Of course in America and much of the West even the Marlboro Man knows better these days:
But wait! It suddenly dawned on me. How much could billboard space in Gaza and the West Bank cost? They're probably giving it away.
So here is my revolutionary proposal.
We pursue a low-intensity, long-term strategy of ultimate victory in which every Palestinian militant will slowly but surely be killed. The trick is to couple low-tariff tobacco imports with a perpetual advertising campaign in all major Palestinian terror centers for the next 20 to 30 years:
If the IDF doesn't get them, the lung cancer will.
Now we just have to convince the Europeans that tobacco ads aren't war crimes -- even when paid for by Israelis. But I think they still smoke in Europe, don't they?
By the way, please do not misconstrue the presence of any images of cigarettes in this blog as any form of encouragement to smoke -- unless of course you are a Hamas, Fatah, or Islamic Jihad terrorist, or militant, or activist, in which case puff away my friend.
Linked with thanks to: Point Five, Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns and Stuck on Stupid
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Let's deal with these well-trained and highly disciplined "special" forces one at a time.
- First up, in front, we have a cross-eyed, narcoleptic sharp shooter who cut his eye holes too far apart.
- The masked compatriot marching right behind him must be navigating with his heightened sense of smell to be able to follow in line because his eye hole is so far out of whack all he can see is fabric.
- Next in line is the macho-mustachioed Village People wannabe who, sadly, was so dumb he picked a helmet three or four sizes too big for his head. If his expression weren't so impotently fierce, he might almost come across as a cute little kid playing with Daddy's stormtrooper costume.
- Behind him is the guy who looks like Schneider the janitor from the old TV show One Day At A Time. I guess they make the unit's combat field-plumber go through full training just like everybody else -- attrition, you know.
- Next is a guy marching a bit out of line who has thus deprived us of a clear enough view to mock and ridicule his shortcomings.
- Behind him is another guy so short that we can only comment on his right eye which is barely visible peeking over "Out of Line's" shoulder, and which appears to be staring off into the distance rather than focusing on good, solid, synchronized marching. But what do you want in a sixth man? He's just not starter material.
- The last guy I can see well enough to critique is the dude near the back, right behind the short guy with the wandering eye, whose helmet appears to have completely fallen over his eyes, and perhaps his nose as well, thus limiting even his ability to smell his way behind the next in line. I feel certain that the next photos in this series would have showed him wandering out of line in a Gomer Pylian mismarch of epic proportions.
Gina herself points out that the difference really does matter, because you can't solve a problem until you've clearly identified its components. Until you can tell the difference between good and evil, you don't know whom to help and whom to hinder.
I would add one more reason it matters.
The "cycle of violence" crowd may dismiss Israel's pique at Palestinian terrorism as a feeble plea for an internationally sanctioned "Victory of Victimhood" -- as if what is happening here is little more than an Israeli quest to beat the Palestinians in a game of Pity Points. Indeed, neither side should be granted assistance in this conflict just because it can create a marketing campaign establishing that its opponent is 7% meaner than itself. But the ongoing Palestinian terror really is directly relevant to the issues in dispute, namely, whether and when the Palestinians should receive a state of their own, and how that state will behave toward its neighbors and the larger world community.
So long as terrorism continues even after the negotatiated creation of the Palestinians' dream state has appeared on the horizon of the achievable, it should do nothing but undermine any confidence Israel or the world can muster that the dreamed of state will be peaceful and viable. So long as the advocates of a Palestinian state proclaim in word and deed their intention of using that negotiated state as nothing but another sovereign terrorist training camp, their dream must be deferred.
I eagerly look forward to a time when those intentions change and a more peaceful dream can come true.
The intrigue now is over the precise meaning of 'Suri', whether it is Jewish or Yiddish, and why a Scientologist would force his baby to drag around the ball-and-chain of a Kabbalah name for the rest of her life. These issues aside though, it also adds one more entry onto the growing list of exotic celebrity baby names in recent years.
Other recent infant innovations: Penn Jillette's daughter Moxie Crimefighter and Nicolas Cage's super son Kal-el Coppola. A few more examples include Sir Bob Geldof's 4 daughters (Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa, Fifi Trixiebelle, Pixie, and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily), Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple, and Jason Lee's child Inspektor Pilot.
There have even been some moderately serious attempts at explaining what this baby-naming phenomenon means:
Naturally, I read parents treating their children like appendages and the first thing that pops into my mind is, as always, Hamas. How could it be otherwise with me? You could give me a Rorschach test and I'd see Hamas in every ink blot, including the all-black card.
Some therapists said the celebrity impulse to foist odd names on their children amounts to simple narcissism by the parents, and the resulting status comes at the child's expense. The children, after all, are the ones who will have to raise their hands every time a teacher calls out "Coco" or "Eulala."
"It's like having a mini me," said Robert R. Butterworth, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, who has had actors on his patient roster. "The child is a part of them, not an individual. It's an appendage."
But I really do see some Hamas potential here in the idea that these parents view their new babies as appendages of their own goals and dreams and ambitions, and use exotic naming as a way of expressing that. Sure, terrorists can already name their kids Jihad (holy war, struggle) or Shaheed (martyr, suicide bomber). But is that really enough?
I think Western celebrities, in their own crazy way, may be pointing the way forward for their Jihad-loving brethren. It's clear to me that celebrity terrorists, and even those with just a little bloody ambition, should be considering a new naming regimen:
- Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal could take time out from his global fundraising tour to name a baby Cash For Dead Jews.
- If Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh -- who justified the recent Tel Aviv suicide bombing as a legitimate act of self-defense -- had triplets, he could name them Nails, Ball Bearings and Rat Poison.
- Osama Bin Laden could probably use a kid named Genuine American So Don't Check Me.
- Even old-school Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas could take on a younger extra wife in order to score strong political points with a new baby named Poor Powerless Me.
- Lebanese Sheik Hassan Nasrallah would probably love it if the whole world knew he had Ten Thousand Missiles.
- Zacarias Moussaoui -- the so-called Twentieth 9/11 Hijacker who was caught in flight school while still training for his mission -- could demand a conjugal visit before his execution, and request any offspring be named Oy Remember Landing Lessons.
- Yusuf Islam, the famous American former-folk singer, could be well-advised to name a baby My Dad Is Cat Stevens So Chill.
- Jordanian born Iraqi Insurgent Abu Musab Zarqawi might name a son Flaming Fuse Fighter, or a girl War Womb.
- If Al Qaeda's number two, Zawahiri, named a child Botulinum Toxin, would anyone blame him?
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's next child could very well be Uranium 235.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
What the heck happened to this once-great franchise?
I remember decades ago when the jokes seemed timely, topical, and -- most importantly -- moderately funny. Now I don't even recognize anything that would actually qualify as a joke, and the graphics which are designed to get most of the laughs just look like really bad Photoshops.
Perhaps it's just that I've changed. Perhaps I'm spoiled after several years exposure to always-available and always-funny content from The Onion, ScrappleFace, The Nose on Your Face, Point Five, Potfry, Caption This and so many more that I just don't recognize that SNL's Weekend Update is exactly as funny as it's always been: not very.
But just in case things really have been going downhill, I'd like to offer a suggestion to the SNL staff in charge of Weekend Update: troll the blog-comedy-sphere and steal the best stuff. Or better yet, ask permission and give a "link" somewhere in the show to the sites you feature. It would be a win-win. Publicity for very funny people who should have a bigger audience, and your show would start to be funny once more.
And in case I don't see you again for awhile, best of luck.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Linked with thanks to: Right Wing Nation, Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Basil's Blog, Wizbang!, Uncooperative Blogger and Point Five
Thursday, April 20, 2006
In the meantime, I'll leave you tonight with two carnival links that are quite entertaining:
Edition 30 of The Carnival of Satire, and the 50-somethingth version of the Carnival of Comedy.
But the most puzzling thing about the review was the graphic attached to the article, a map of the state of Israel and the region in general:
Anyone notice a few countries missing, gobbled up presumably by some over-sized, usurping, imperialistic land-grabbing country? And the point is?
Yeah, I know. Gripe, gripe, gripe. That's me.
I'm sure they can easily explain this as just another editorial oversight of this-or-that variety that coincidentally paints Israel yet again in a fairly demonic and aggressive light. It happens all the time, nothing to get excited about. As if AbbaGav would be happier with a map making the opposite mistake, like at the UN, with Israel missing instead of greedily bloated. You just can't please AbbaGav either way.
Of course simple accuracy could be an option, but that would be limiting the expression of essential, if not objective, truth.
For reference, here is another map of the region in which Israel is perhaps 10% the size of Saudi Arabia rather than 3 times as large. I'd say maybe it's that distorting map-view, the Mearsheimer Projection, except I don't know of any map projection that transfers Iraq's Persian Gulf- and Kuwait-bordering territory to Israel.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I'll be back with some real posts as soon as I finish switching out the Passover stuff. Ughhhh. Shouldn't be more than another week or so. (end-sarcasm)
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
My girls, up to this point in their lives, have been pretty loyal Barbie girls. But this year, the Afikomen's "price" was not the usual Barbie or Barbie-accessory. Rather, it was something new, called Bratz.
These are the Bratz my kids are referring to:
Do you think the girls will notice if I give them Badatz instead of Bratz?
Houston, we may have a problem. I think we're about to blow a parental gasket in the starboard engine.
UPDATE: The very wise Soccer Dad points out that I'm a bit behind the times. Somehow, I had not heard of the Gali Girls, who are already a near perfect match for my Badatz dolls:
Technorati Tags: afikomen, bratz, badatz, dolls, seder, parenting, pimp sold seperately, kids will never notice
Monday, April 17, 2006
It seems divorced Saudi husbands -- even those established as abusive -- are granted the absolute right to snatch custody of their children from their ex-wives, and to do whatever they wish to those children even over the objections of the mother and other family. I would quote some of the specifics, but it is so awful I can't bring myself to do it. Go ahead and read it yourself, but be prepared to be angry. I'll settle for passing on a little of what the murdered girl's mother had to say about how the Saudi safety net failed her and her little girl:
Saudi society puts so much absolute power in the hands of fathers -- even after they've been proven abusive, and even after complaints have been lodged and ignored -- that this sort of thing seems almost inevitable. That is why it is so tragic that the kind of organizations one would expect to be clamoring for change are instead the ones the victim's kin accuse of complacency and consent.
The mother and her family blame the police, the social service department and the National Society for Human Rights for not acting quickly during the past year despite efforts to get them involved.
So, a little girl was slowly murdered by her father and step-mother, day by day, all while the mother's desperate pleas for help fell on deaf ears. Meanwhile, what exactly is it that does rouse the Saudi National Society for Human Rights to vigorous action? Ironically, the same issue of Arab News answers that one as well. The Society is quite busy trying to free an allegedly captive Saudi from Israel's cruel clutches:
Well, maybe that is a more important goal than saving a nine year old girl from unspeakable abuse, horror and death. And it also involves blaming Israel so that's a real win-win, wouldn't you say?
The National Society for Human Rights has urged Amnesty International to take up the case of a Saudi citizen imprisoned without trial in Israel, a spokesman said yesterday. [...]
The Saudi prisoner, Abdul Rahman Al-Atwi, "should be either put on trial or released," [NSHR’s deputy president] Qahtani said.
He said his group had sent the message to Amnesty a couple of days ago and was awaiting a reply. "According to the information we have compiled, he (Al-Atwi) is on hunger strike and has not been treated well for a long time," Qahtani added. [...]
Al-Qahtani ruled out contacts with Israeli civil society organizations to secure Al-Atwi's release, indicating that NSHR will seek the help of only international human rights organizations in this regard.
One loose end though. There is scarcely a word of why Israel even bothers holding this man. If you read the whole article, you will learn he has been held for illegally crossing the border, but that doesn't answer the bigger question of why he is still in an Israeli jail. One would ordinarily expect Israel simply to have put him on the first boat or caravan back to Saudi Arabia and been done with it.
For that kind of restricted information, we bloggers have learned to tap into some of the most secretive and clandestine sources of research into Israel's "Capture and Hold the Innocent Saudis Program," namely, MSNBC:
So let me get this straight: the captive Saudi is actually an asylum seeker who DOESN'T EVEN WANT TO GO BACK TO SAUDI ARABIA. But that isn't stopping the Saudi National Society for Human Rights from trying to force him back there anyway. Sure beats saving nine year old girls from brutal, painful death.
A Saudi man being held in an Israeli jail after illegally entering the Jewish state is seeking asylum in a third country, a United Nations official said on Wednesday.
The man, who is not suspected of any militant activity, has been held at a prison in central Israel for the past 11 months. A Saudi security source named him as Abdulrahman al-Eiteiwi but provided no other details.
Still, despite how this must look to the untrained eye, the Society must realize how important it is to prevent this deserter's dastardly flight from tarnishing Saudi Arabia's national honor by making it look like anyone wouldn't want to live there. Surely that is a more noble goal than struggling in vain to save an otherwise anonymous nine year old girl from abuse and death and what-have-you. The Saudi National Society for Human Rights seems to think so.
Obviously, I don't. I don't think you do either. I hope there are a lot of Saudis who feel the same way, but so long as they continue pretending Israel is their primary tormentor, I don't feel optimistic about that.
Addition: I should be clear that I haven't done additional research into this group, and it may turn out they've been very helpful in getting permits for street vendors to sell cotton candy in the public square and other good deeds I just don't know about. But if it looks like a screwdriver, if it screws like a screwdriver, then there's a pretty good chance it's a tool.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
The formula is pretty simple: identify the need, show how the donation will meet that need.
So how do Iran and Hamas advertise the value of Iran's recent $50 million donation to the Palestinians' Hamas-led government?
Worth every penny, I'm sure.
You quickly realize you can't just say "Iranian wackos wrote a big check to fund Hamas terrorism." That will never sell. You need to find motivation. Context. Some way for your reader to understand why it is so important -- and GOOD, and NECESSARY -- that Hamas be given AT LEAST this much. But how?
Crying children will usually do the trick. A bawling little kid deserves all the money you can scrape up. Unless of course it's your own kid, in which case she should just stop crying and eat her brocolli. But that's a different story because if you get the right crying child -- with unwashed hands and a little barbed wire and broken glass in the foreground -- it will be clear there is no brocolli to eat.
But what if the Israelis didn't make any children cry today? No problem. Just go out and find a crying kid, any crying kid. Kids cry all the time (trust me on this one).
A job well done.
A stray electronic missive has been blamed for a spate of arrests and a national scandal in Iran after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took umbrage at an unwelcome text received on his mobile phone.Actually, I thought there were several points about this story that were a little "funny":
According to whispered accounts in Tehran, his ire was stirred when someone sent him a joke suggesting he didn't wash regularly enough.
Although officials claim he possesses a lively sense of humor on this occasion it suffered a serious failure. Realizing the joke was doing the rounds of Iranian mobile phones, the president lodged an official complaint with Iran's judiciary department.
That in turn has acted as a pretext for an official purge of the SMS system in the country. Ahmadinejad has since told his staff to pay close attention to all jokes circulating about him by text.
An anti-regime Web site called Rooz Online claims that under the crackdown the head of the country's mobile phone company has been sacked and four people arrested and accused of colluding with the Israeli foreign intelligence service, Mossad.
But poking fun at the president has becoming a national pastime in Iran. In a fusillade of seditious traffic, the regime's senior figures and its most sacred policies are all fair game -- with Ahmadinejad a particular target.
One joke tells of a man who dies and goes to hell, where he sees the famously strait-laced Ahmadinejad dancing with the Hollywood star Jennifer Lopez. "Is this Ahmadinejad's punishment?" he asks.
"No," goes the reply. "It is Jennifer Lopez's punishment."
"While the outcome of the recent arrests in connection with SMS messaging is not clear yet, what is certain is that SMS jokes have put some people into serious trouble," Rooz Online wrote.
- the idea that officials would claim Ahmadinejad "possesses a lively sense of humor"
- the thought that anyone in the Iranian police state would send an "Ahmadinejad doesn't bathe" joke to the very man who controls the secret police and knows where everyone lives.
- the idea that there are hordes more Ahmadinejad jokes circulating via SMS in the country's phone network -- or at least there WERE hordes of them until somebody snitched. There goes a ready made opportunity to destabilize the Iranian government on the cheap! Where was the CIA while all this was happening?
- how flattering it is that when the Iranians think of farcical political humor, they immediately turn to the Mossad for blame. Well poisoning, zionist death-rays, blood libels AND political attack humor. The Mossad truly is a full service intelligence agency.
- Hey baby what's your clan?
- You want to come over to my apartment and see my weapons cache?
- That burlap sack would look a whole lot better crumpled up in a heap on my bedroom floor.
- Wow, from what I can see, your eyes are prettier than my other wives. Can you cook?
- Hey babe, I saw you from across the room and I just had to ask: what do you look like?
- Meeting you here makes me want to quit HDate.
- One look at you makes me wanna run home and ululate. Care to join me?
- Are you a virgin? Because when I saw you I was sure I'd had a work accident and gone straight to paradise.
- I think I hear Israeli helicopters. Why don't we get out of here and hide out together at my place for the night?
- If I told you that was a detonator in my pocket, would you blow me?
Friday, April 14, 2006
I'm trying to make sense of why men (I'm assuming it's men) so devoted to the service of Hashem would behave in such a horrible manner, and all in defense of an accused baby-killer. This is outrageous! The mind grasps for some excuse to try to make sense of the senseless. Perhaps they believe the man is innocent, only a suspect caught up in some so-called Nazi plot (Nazi = Israeli police in this case). But no, the suspect has confessed:
Dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem residents demonstrated in the capital Friday, for the second day in a row, to protest the arrest of an ultra-Orthodox man suspected of killing his baby son, Israel Radio reported.
Protesters on Friday set trash cans ablaze on Thursday and Friday, blocking roads in the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Meah Shearim neighborhood. They also threw garbage and rocks at passing cars and screamed "Nazis" at police officers.
Unless they are incensed because they want their own Beit Din to impose the death penalty they'd better have a damned good explanation for this, and they'd better get it out there quickly, because they are tarnishing their image -- and sadly, by extension, the image of all religious Jews in the eyes of many -- with every garbage can they burn and stone they throw in defense of this scum.
Yisrael Vales, 19, has admitted to slamming his 3-month-old son Rephael against a wall and attacking him numerous times, saying the baby wouldn't let him sleep. Rephael died Monday.
And in fact it doesn't look like they are rioting for the right to impose their own justice:
There have been rabbinic calls for calm:
Members of the ultra-Orthodox community have demanded Vales' release and threatened riots if he is kept in custody, despite the fact that he admitted beating the child.
The ultra-Orthodox Kol Hai radio station quoted sources as saying that "Jerusalem would burn" if Vales was not released, and members of the ultra-Orthodox community have been disseminating flyers threatening riots.
The flyers call on the community to "unite and protest against this blood libel" and declares the arrest to be an "evil conspiracy" devised by the "evil regime" against the "dear gentle young man." (against the "dear gentle young man" WHO CONFESSED to murdering his own infant)
But it has been too little, too late. The damage is done, and more is threatened.
Rabbinical sages issued a statement calling on the protesters to refrain from violence and from burning trash on the street, Israel Radio said.
Again, if there is some misunderstanding here -- maybe the confession is by the wrong man, another man with the same name or some ridiculously unbelievable and unexpected travesty -- they'd best make that clear. But even if it is claimed that the rioters don't know of the confession, it means their leaders (not all rabbis, but those who stir up the crowds) are manipulating them while keeping the information from them -- which is also horrible.
In the meantime, I would ask the fine folks at Jewschool, who are also properly right on top of this, not to overreach in their conclusions, implying Orthodox JBloggers somehow condone baby-killing and sweep Haredi misdeeds under the rug, simply because they haven't posted about this yet. Please consider that many have been cleaning and doing seder, involved in holiday preparation and observance, and in fact, those in the US will even be unable to post anything on any subject at all until after Shabbat. This was the first I saw of it, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I know of absolutely no one -- NO ONE -- who would condone this, or wish to allow it to continue. While I appreciate and share your outrage, I don't think that charge was in any way warranted or productive, and I hope you'll reconsider on further reflection. I'd love to edit out this entire paragraph if it can be rendered irrelevant.
I think IsraellyCool has written about this much more clearly than I have, so I urge you to check out his post.
I hope this is a sign that some sense of order and justice will be restored here.
Ultra-Orthodox protesters on Sunday called off a mass rally over the continued incarceration of a man accused of murdering his infant son, Israel Radio reported.
The rally had been cancelled after rabbinical sages vetoed the protest, citing the heavy damage caused to major streets in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in the city.
ElBaradei Appeals For More Time
In the wake of last week's apparent nuclear annihilation of two major cities, Mohammed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has appealed to the United States and its allies for more time to determine the cause of the massive explosions which killed millions. Iran, meanwhile, amplified its initial claims of responsibility, showing previously unreleased videos of the two explosions on state-run television and promising more attacks within days if key demands were not met.
Speaking from his Geneva bunker, Nobel Laureate ElBaradei repeated his recent position that he could not yet confirm that Iran had enriched Uranium to sufficient levels as it had claimed. ElBaradei further reiterated that the exact situation regarding Iran's nuclear program is "not very clear" and called for patience from the rapidly assembling US-led coalition.
"If we could prove conclusively, through some sort of 'smoking gun' that the Iranians had indeed crossed the nuclear threshhold perhaps a credible threat of force could be voted on in the UN Security Council's meetings next month," said ElBaradei. As it is the exact cause of the "apparently simultaneous nuclear tragedies" remains in dispute, according to the nuclear watchdog. For instance, he explained, "without inspections, it will be nearly impossible to determine whether Iran has achieved enrichment on its own, or whether it is being supplied with pre-made warheads from an unknown third party." ElBaradei was clear that making the distinction "will require additional time, funding and goodwill from all parties."
ElBaradei implored the Iranians to return to the negotiating table to discuss the release of all IAEA employees currently being held hostage. He also called on Iran to "suspend any further Uranium enrichment, if there indeed has been any," and restrict itself to "supplies on hand as a good faith gesture." The most important thing, according to ElBaradei, is that all parties "make their best effort to resolve this through peaceful means."
European diplomats speaking with ElBaradei also revealed new intelligence indicating that Iran was still 10 years away from attaining a nuclear bomb, so "the obliterated cities must have been destroyed by something or someone else." The diplomats were "confident that despite Iran's bravado and posturing, their statements claiming responsibility for the 'nuclear attacks' cannot be taken at face value."
Spokesmen in all major European capitals, with the obvious exception, echoed ElBaradei's calls for more time to let "diplomacy take its course."
Linked with thanks to Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Stop the ACLU, Third World County and Point Five.
Technorati Tags: iran, iaea, nuclear, negotiations, nukes, elbaradei, diplomacy, why worry, always more time, deterrence, satire