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May 31, 2006

Parkland over people

The so-called "Intercounty Connector" is about to be built. In Maryland, and especially in Montgomery County, where the goo-goos are dominant, nothing ever happens right away -- by which I mean "in your lifetime." According to the article in today's Washington Post, the ICC has been 56 years in the making.

In another example of what I call the "double-inverted pyramid" style of journalistic writing, you have to read to the end of the article to see the most important information. A protester was angry that her house was going to be taken when the road was built, and the article clarified why:

Burton is a resident of the Cashell Estates community, where about a dozen homes will be destroyed to make way for the highway. Original plans for the connector did not call for running it through the community, but the current route was proposed in 2003 to avoid parkland, state officials said.
You see? They had to avoid damaging parkland, so they decided to destroy this woman's home and a bunch of others instead. Nice.

The article concludes:
The federal government "basically said damage of Rock Creek Park could not be mitigated," [State Transportation Secretary] Flanagan said of the original plans. "The road might not have been buildable if we had taken that route."
There's a lot to be said for the road, but is this the price of progress?

Click here to read more . . .

Another MLB blog

Like Harriet Miers, the Mets' backup infielder-outfielder, José Valentin, has a blog. And don't say, It's a fake. I mean, how could it be a fake? Ya gotta believe!

Check out the name of the URL:, and check out the first post.


Click here to read more . . .

Not the end of classical music?

Allan Kozinn argues in this past Sunday's New York Times that, contrary to conventional wisdom and the opinions of some serious people -- and me, classical music is not dying. The article is called "Check the Numbers: Rumors of Classical Music's Demise Are Dead Wrong."

Read it all, but here's a summary: Kozinn says, first, that while classical production on the big recording labels is down, "the real action has moved to dozens of adventurous smaller companies, ranging from musician-run labels like Bridge, Oxingale and Cantaloupe to ambitious mass marketers like the midprice, repertory-spanning Naxos." Second, while big stores don't sell much classical music, "Internet deep-catalog shops like offer virtually any CD in print, something no physical store can do today. The Internet has become a primary resource for classical music: the music itself as well as information about it." Orchestras are offering downloads on their own web sites. Third, "corners of the field generally ignored in discussions of classical music's mortality — most notably, early music and new music — are true growth industries" in the concert hall. Last, new concert halls are "sprouting like mushrooms."

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Brookline votes to impeach

The Town of Brookline, outside Boston, has voted to impeach the President, and when I say the President, I don't mean the President of Harvard, who has resigned, in any event. I mean President Bush.

Jonathan Margolis, who sponsored the article, repeated the embittered claims of the left that Bush lied to the nation and picked and chose which laws his administration would obey.

Margolis was forced to defend his proposal against detractors who suggested he was pushing beyond the bounds of Town Meeting authority.

"While I understand your sincerity and patriotism," Margolis told one opponent, "I respectfully suggest you go back and read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States."
OK, I've read them, and you're right. The Constitution says, and I quote, "a Majority of the Persons attending any town Meeting, even in a Town where only limousine Liberals may live, shall have the Power to Impeach the President or any Head of an Executive Department."

Oh, yeah: Paging Tony Snow! Best line in the article: "Reached last night, a White House spokeswoman declined to comment." (via Fark)

UPDATE: This guy was there at the meeting and sponsored an alternative censure resolution.

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May 29, 2006

How to observe Memorial Day

Pay your respects to the dead, but don't forget to thank the living.

And charities. Don't forget the charities: USO, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Spirit of America, Operation Gratitude, and a bunch of others listed in this article.

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Splitting the tab

How groups divide the tab at lunch says a lot about human nature, and even more about them personally.

A couple of months ago, as is our tradition, the members of my fantasy baseball league took the previous year's winner out to lunch. It turned out that several people couldn't be there, but we had two new members who hadn't played last year.

So how did we divide the tab? First, no one had ordered a huge amount more than anyone else, so we split things evenly. Next, we divided the total by the number of people, in this case six. Then, we divided the one-sixth representing the honoree's share by three, representing the number of people at lunch who were in the league last year, and we added a third of the one-sixth to each of those three people's one-sixth share. The two who weren't in the league last year contributed just their one-sixth. It's actually a lot easier than it sounds.

This is the way guys do things.

If you'd like to see the contrast with how a bunch of librarians (almost all women) split the tab, read Miriam's hilarious account here.

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May 28, 2006

Soccer Dad: Haveil Havalim

Posted by Soccer Dad.

Attila said he didn't mind if I advertise Haveil Havalim. Haveil Havalim is a weekly roundup of the Jewish / Israel blogosphere. This week's edition #71 is hosted at West Bank Mama. Not surprisingly, up top there's a number of posts related to Yom Yerushalayim, the liberation of Jerusalem by the IDF 39 years ago.
Next week's host is Jack's Shack. If you're a blogger with Israel or Jewish related content why don't you submit an entry using Conservative Cat's submission form or BlogCarnival's submission form?

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Click here to read more . . .

Bush consults the Chief of Control

Hello, Chief? I need your advice.

OK, sir.

Have you been reading the newspapers?

Not exactly, sir. I've been dead for about 30 years.

Sorry about that, Chief. Well, here's what's going down. You know Denny Hastert?

Speaker of the House?

Right. Kinda guy, when ya need him, he's nuthin' but a limp-wristed pantywaist.

I thought he used to be a high-school wrestling coach.

High school wrestlin'? S---, Chief, it's just some nut-groping by kids who don't know if they're AC or DC.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Though it still can get your ass in the slammer in Texas.

So here's my point. Hastert's got his tighty whiteys in a bunch protectin' some crooked congressman who was caught with $90,000 in cash wrapped in foil in his freezer.

His freezer?

Man was such a dim bulb, it's amazing he didn't try to microwave it, foil and all. So the FBI got a search warrant and raided his congressional office, and now Hastert's demanding that we give back the seized evidence. And if you think it couldn't get any worse, my Attorney General is threatening to quit if I do what Hastert wants. The Deputy Attorney General and the FBI Director are talkin' about resigning, too.

Sir, if you want my advice, when I was at Control, whenever we had a big crisis, we'd bring back the former chief of Control, Admiral Hargrade. He was about 93 years old and he couldn't sit down unless you gave him a little push, but he exuded confidence. So what I'd recommend is that you bring back the former Attorney General.

I've already talked to John Ashcroft, and he won't do it.

I wasn't thinking of Ashcroft.

You don't mean . . .?

I'm afraid so, sir.

But that could be a disaster.

What could possibly go wrong?

For more photo comics, check the "Photo Comics" section of the sidebar.

Click here to read more . . .

Soccer Dad: From the newspaper that brought you 'A headless body in a topless bar'

They're still creative PLAYMATE: COPS BUNGLED MY BUST

UPDATE: Just an e-mail from Attila, "Soccer Dad what the ?/*###% are you doing to my blog. It used to be respectable, then I asked an Orthodox Jew to post and it's been all downhill."

Click here to read more . . .

Parallel play

At daily minyan, things tend to be quiet and "businesslike." People come to daven, and there's very little chatter going on. Christians brought up in a church environment would be shocked at how much chatter takes place at Jewish services on shabbat (Sabbath), and it's true with the orthodox more than the conservative, the conservative more than the reform. Now that I've been going to daily minyan to say kaddish over the past five months, I've become a lot more unhappy with the chatter on shabbat, especially during the kaddish. (I was always annoyed with chatter during the kaddish even before I became a mourner -- it seems so disrespectful -- and I made it a point not to talk during kaddish.)

Another thing is that when I say the kaddish, I try to say it together with the other mourners as much as possible. I grew up playing an instrument in band and orchestra, and I'm used to trying to blend in with others. A lot of mourners just say the kaddish at their own speed, and it can get seriously out of whack.

When you combine these two things -- chatter and individualism -- you can get real chaos. In fact, recently, one mourner came over to me after just such a kaddish and said, "That was chaotic!" To which I responded, "Saying kaddish is a lot like parallel play."

Those of you who have kids, or who have worked with kids, know what I mean by parallel play. Kids at a certain developmental stage will often play with the same toys, in the same room, at the same time -- but not together. Hence parallel play. Here is a clinical explanation.

Come to think of it, most davening is like parallel play, especially at daily minyan. The shaliach tzibbur, the guy leading the prayers, says the first few words of the psalm or other prayer out loud; then, everyone finishes it silently or muttering the words just audibly at his own speed, or, really, at his own degree of fast; and finally, the leader says the final line out loud. And on you go to the next prayer.

At the beginning of Oscar Wilde's play Salome, the Jews are portrayed as constantly arguing noisily:

Noise in the banqueting-hall

First Soldier What an uproar! Who are those wild beasts howling?

Second Soldier The Jews. They are always like that. They are disputing about their religion.
Which isn't too far from the actual truth. The Jewish version of this, of course, is "three Jews, four opinions." But the way to appreciate this properly is to listen to Richard Strauss's opera by the same name, which uses the Wilde play in German translation as its libretto. When you hear the "noise in the banqueting hall," it sounds a lot like davening.

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May 25, 2006

No voice bubbles needed

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May 24, 2006

Competitive blood donation

Whew! I was afraid I was the only one who tried to finish donating my pint of blood the fastest.

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Soccer Dad: Anna Benson's Husband and WHIP

Posted by Soccer Dad.

Attila is a Mets fan. I'm an Orioles fan. So in 1969 his team broke my 9 year old heart.

But right now I get the last laugh. Over the winter the Orioles traded John Maine and Jorge Julio to the Mets for Kris Benson. At the time the folks on the Orioles mailing list derided the move. Kris Benson is no great shakes. It's only an incremental improvement. At this rate by the time has improved enough to be good will be 2050. (And the comments about his wife started too. Can you believe I hadn't ever heard of Anna Benson?)

However he's been the Orioles top starting pitcher this year so far. (Though that's a really low bar to surpass.) How do we know? Let's do what Attila would do and look at WHIP.

Kris Benson this year has a fine 1.23 WHIP so far this year. Though his K/BB ratio is a less than stellar 28/20. You want that ratio to be 2:1 or better.

John Maine's WHIP so far this year at the big league level has been 1.50. Nothing too great. Jorge Julio's is also a rather high 1.45. (Though he has a stellar 33/10 K/BB ratio, so far.) Just looking at whips, I mean WHIP, the O's have come out ahead.

OTOH, Attila's adopted team, the Nationals made a much derided deal this past winter trading Brad Wilkerson and two others to Texas for Alfonso Soriano. Soriano is thriving in DC and the players Texas received in return have not exactly distinguished themselves. No talks of whips or chains in this part of the post. But it looks like Jim Bowden has been vindicated on that count.

Did I say "last laugh?" Well despite getting Kris Benson and Melvin Mora from the Mets the Orioles are poised for another poor, uninsteresting season. So what's left but to play up small moral victories? There won't be many on the field.

Speaking of fantasies and baseball, I'd always wanted to be a baseball player. I never did. But then I read this:

Also, Hillenbrand fits best as a DH, a position the Angels might need to leave open for left fielder Garret Anderson, who is battling plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
I had plantar fasciitis. (So did Jay Buhner.) And I wonder. I can't get paid as much as a baseball player because I don't have the necessary skills. But I did get a baseball player's injury. Shouldn't that qualify for a Major League salary.

BTW, this post has the following words in it: Anna Benson, whips, fantasies. I'd be very interested in knowing what sort of traffic it generates. :-)

Click here to read more . . .

May 23, 2006

Soccer Dad: This is a kick

Posted by Soccer Dad.

Attila gives me too much credit. As my wife says, I'm a repository for useless information. Sandra O'Connor's (that's Baltimore County's outgoing state's attorney) prosecution strategy is useless information. Unless you're posting about "bias" in the application of Maryland's death penalty. (I haven't heard about the bias against Jews in the application of the death penalty, even though a Jew was executed in Maryland, making Jews 50% of those executed by the state since Robert Ehrlich became governor. I assume that's way out of proportion to the Jewish population in Maryland.) But I digress. When's my anniversary.

Since Attila founded the Maryland Bloggers Alliance the ranks of the alliance have grown by a whopping 300%, a testament to his superlative organizational skills. And it is in tribute to the alliance that I'm posting some news about the gubernatorial race for Maryland this year.

The leader of Attila's jurisdiction, County executive Doug Duncan, is facing off against the leader of my jurisdiction, Mayor Martin O'Malley, in the Democratic primary.

First it seems that Duncan pulled an excellent stunt. The Hedgehog Report tells us

Of course to most people, Ehrlich is just railing against ads. Some people will think he is whining and others, like me, will agree with Ehrlich that the ads are misleading. But Governor Ehrlich’s attack on the ad has managed to turn this 15-second Duncan advertisement into a four-day news story about the battle between Duncan and Ehrlich. By making it a four-day news story, that means Duncan is prominently displayed in the news on an issue that probably helps him in Maryland, especially in a Democratic primary. And every day Duncan is a bigger news story than O’Malley gives Duncan a much-needed boost if he hopes to overtake O’Malley in the primary.
So by throwing a spitball at Ehrlich, Duncan manages to get in news stories several days running raising his profile - for free. An excellent maneuver for the relatively underfunded Duncan campaign. Positively Rovian.

Apparently there's been a consequence O'Malley has shaken up his campaign staff. (again the Hedgehog Report.)

So there you have it, his guy is scaring my guy. Frankly both of them scare me. I'd rather keep Maryland a red state.

Oh and in the Senate primary race, Kweisi Mfume's playing the race card. Yawn.

Thanks for the opportunity to post here, Attila. Hope your readers enjoyed it.

Technorati tags: .

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May 22, 2006

End of the period?

Usually a period ends a sentence. But now, we're talking about something that could end the sentence of a period.

An AP article (via Drudge) posits that "Menstruation Is Fast Becoming Optional."

TRENTON, N.J. - For young women with a world of choices, even that monthly curse, the menstrual period, is optional.

Thanks to birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives, a growing number of women are taking the path chosen by 22-year-old Stephanie Sardinha.

She hasn't had a period since she was 17.

"It's really one of the best things I've ever done," she says.

A college student and retail worker in Lisbon Falls, Maine, Sardinha uses Nuvaring, a vaginal contraceptive ring. After the hormones run out in three weeks, she replaces the ring right away instead of following instructions to leave the ring out for a week to allow bleeding. She says it has been great for her marriage, preventing monthly crankiness and improving her sex life.

"I would never go back," said Sardinha, who got the idea from her aunt, a nurse practitioner.
But aren't there risks in pursuing this approach?
Most doctors say they don't think suppressing menstruation is riskier than regular long-term birth control use, and one survey found a majority have prescribed contraception to prevent periods. Women have been using the pill for nearly half a century without significant problems, but some doctors want more research on long-term use.
Apparently, you have to leave it to a wackjob academic to offer some appropriate caution as an antidote to this utopia.
The period is "way over-romanticized," says Linda Gordon, a New York University professor specializing in women's history and the history of sexuality.

"It doesn't take long for women to go from being excited about having a period to feeling it's a pain in the neck," said Gordon, author of "The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America."

She says caution is needed because there's not enough data on long-term consequences of using hormones continuously. Gordon notes menopausal women for years were told that hormone drugs would keep them young — until research uncovered unexpected risks.

"People should proceed very cautiously," she says.
I will be cautious, too -- but not so cautious as to avoid raising some important issues here. First, the article unfortunately neglects the important halachic issues this raises, like: If women stop having periods, what's the mikva lady going to do with her spare time?

Second, what are all the marriage counselors going to do for a living if women don't get irritable on a regular basis, and if men have nothing to blame their wife's irritation on, other than what's really causing it, namely the men themselves?

Last, if women stop having periods, one thing you can be sure of is that no one will mock the guy who created the Museum of Menstruation, because it will then deserve a museum.

Related: Ace wrote about something similar in March. Allah says women are turning into men (and men into women -- check that photo). As for the blogs I'm not familiar with: Jessica at notes that this news story gives her an excuse to post a picture of a stuffed tampon. (More things I didn't know existed.) Carl at Simply Left Behind ends his post on the subject by saying, "Oh yeah. I forgot. Our President doesn't give a shit." I kid you not.

Click here to read more . . .

May 21, 2006

Guest-blogging update

I've been completely overwhelmed by the response to my guest-blogging contest. I've received numerous notifications that I've won a lottery and many offers for various kinds of male enhancement. I'm going to extend the contest until Wednesday, May 24.

Meanwhile, Soccer Dad, a fellow member of the Maryland Blogger Alliance, has offered to make a few guest posts. If you haven't read Soccer Dad already, you should have. Start right now!

True story: A year ago, I wrote a long piece critical of an academic's attempt to find bias in the Maryland capital punishment system. The basic flaw was that the disparity was simply the result of the fact that different jurisdictions prosecuted murder cases differently. Soccer Dad emailed me with a 3-year-old article from the Washington Post that was relevant to the charging policies of the Baltimore prosecutor's office. I have no idea how he came up with it.

Anyway, I would like to thank him in advance for his guest-blogging offer. I don't know how he finds the time.

Click here to read more . . .

Naked News - May edition

It's time for another installment of "Naked News," not to be confused with the real naked news. Naked News is an occasional feature of Pillage Idiot, in which we examine news stories involving naked people in strange places, all in a cheap effort to increase site traffic. (By the way, you guys from Egypt, UAE, and Malaysia who got here through searches for "naked news," I have your IP addresses, and I've reported you to your imams.)

Our first news story involves a bank robber, and not just your ordinary run-of-the-mill bank robber. This is a guy who tried to use a creative means of getaway. OK, here's a quiz: You've just robbed a bank. You're outside the bank and trying to figure out how not to be apprehended, because you don't have your own getaway vehicle. Do you: (a) act nonchalant and whistle innocently, (b) put on a disguise you've brought with you for the occasion, or (c) take off all your clothes and hail a cab. If you picked (c) . . . you must have read the name of this post.

As he fled the scene on foot, police say the man shed his clothes before attempting to flag down a passing cab.

When the taxi driver refused to stop for the naked man, police say the suspect streaked on foot toward the Gilmore SkyTrain station.
In case you think this guy's a moron, consider this: There are many potential eyewitnesses out there. If the guy takes off all his clothes, what are people going to be looking at? His face? I don't think so. So unless he's got some identifying feature in a special place, this could easily be a good diversionary tactic. Nevertheless, crime (sometimes) doesn't pay: "Pursing officers tackled him before he reached the station."

Our second news item has some local color, here in Maryland, where the motto of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police is "I'm not gay." Three male strippers are suing the MdTA police for wrongful arrest and for . . .

The police stopped the three men on March 4 for a speeding violation. The men said the officers ordered them out of their sport utility vehicle, forced them to strip and confiscated $10,000 in cash that the dancers said they earned in tips.

The defense claims the officers required the men to strip and pose for full-body pictures. The officers charged the men with misdemeanor drug possession offenses. Baltimore prosecutors confirmed for WBAL-TV that judges later dropped those charges.
Before you start making fun of the strippers for suing over being ordered to remove their clothes, remember it was the police who ordered them to do this. I'm a lawyer, but if I were stopped by the police, it would be embarrassing and intimidating if they forced me to say things like "the aforementioned alleged perpetrator" while they took video and laughed at me.

In the case of the male strippers, it was even worse:

"I feel very violated. Not only did he make us take our clothes off, but before asking me to take my clothes off, he said, 'I'm not gay.' That's very uncomfortable," said Edward Cloyd, one of the three dancers.
What the police officer should have said is, "I am gay." That would have made the strippers much more comfortable.

[UPDATE: The Baltimore Sun reports that police insist this is a publicity stunt, because the notice of claim uses the strippers' stage names: "The men identify themselves as Edward 'Total Package' Cloyd, David 'Pain' Lawrence and Derrick 'Sexecutioner' Williams."]

The final installment of Naked News is not technically a story about naked person, but I think you'll understand why I've included it. It's a pretty gross story, so if you're not ready for it, please click here to go to the next post. (Don't say I didn't warn you.) This story actually reminds me a little bit of my photo comic about the game of "Nut Wrestling," only in this story one person had nuts and the other was nuts. If you're still here, bear with me while I let the others go to the next post.
OK, let's go to it. This is from an "exclusive television interview" with WPVI-TV Action News, at the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia.

A Philadelphia man is recovering from an attack, allegedly at the hands of his wife. The assault on his private parts has become public knowledge. In an interview with Action News after his release from, the 52-year-old victim spoke of his terrifying ordeal.

The 52-year-old Tioga-Nicetown man, who we are identifying only by his first name of Howard, arrived home late Wednesday, hours after his wife allegedly tore off two parts of his genitalia with her bare hands. Surgeons at Einstein successfully managed to repair the damage.
Now, before we go on, let's analyze this news story, all right? We learn that there was an "assault on his private parts" and that his wife "allegedly tore off two parts of his genitalia with her bare hands." Now, just what are they talking about? Well, I think you can figure this one out through the process of elimination. Do I have to spell it out? "Two parts of his genitalia" -- well, how many parts do you think he had in the first place, and which two do you think she tore off?

OK, enough of the Socratic method. Here's "Howard" himself explaining what happened:
Howard says his 40-year-old wife Monica, who he says is bi-polar, somehow conceived the notion that he was cheating on her. So while he was asleep last night, she attacked him.

Howard: "I mean she just grabbed me all down there and yanking and yanking and tearing me up with those fingernails."
This may be a little sick, but it reminds me of those skits on Saturday Night Live about 1984 or 1985, with Christopher Guest and Billy Crystal as Willie and Frankie, the messengers who compare the pain they inflict on themselves. Only "Howard" had a little help.

(First two stories via Fark, third via Drudge.)

Click here to read more . . .

May 17, 2006

Guest-blogging contest

UPDATE -- Rules Change: Don't post your entry in the comments; email it to me at pillageidiot -at- hotmail -dot- com. On further reflection, it occurred to me that people might be self-conscious about posting their entries in public, so I'm making all entries private. Unless, of course, you're not posting because you think this whole contest is asinine, in which case, well, never mind.

* * * * *

I've been in a little funk about Pillage Idiot lately.

I've been tired and busy, and somehow, the stuff I've been writing doesn't seem interesting; the humor doesn't seem funny; the oddities don't seem so odd. I did a long photo comic last week involving General Hayden's nomination to head the CIA, and it was at best mildly amusing. I get the strong feeling that my readers were also underwhelmed by it. No one took the time to say something nice, and no one even took the time to point out that it sucked major eggs. A few friends, however, did tell me they got a chuckle out of it. (That's why they're friends.)

So I had an idea. While I'm getting back my mojo, maybe some of my readers who don't have their own blogs might be interested in becoming a guest-blogger. (Those of you who do have a blog and want to be a guest-blogger, send me a message by email.)

We'll do this as a contest. Here's how it'll work. Put your blogpost entry in the comments to this post. You can and should link to other sources. It can be funny or serious, long or short. You can be a blogger or just a reader. The rules of copyright and the ban on plagiarism apply in full force.

I'll bump this up to the top, and the contest will last until Monday, May 22, or such later time as I, in my arbitrary discretion, should choose. The winner or winners will get to post at least once at Pillage Idiot and maybe more, if I feel like it. You probably won't get access to the blog, but you can send me the code, and I'll post it with your chosen name in the title and at the top or bottom of the post.

Let's see how this works. I reserve the right to change these terms if things don't seem to be working out, but I'll try to hold fast, at least till Monday. Good luck!

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The 9/11 Pentagon video

Allah, with the help of Kevin at Wizbang, has posted some screencaps of the video of Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon released yesterday. Read his analysis and follow the links.

Also, check out this well known article from Popular Mechanics debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories. The Pentagon section starts here.

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May 16, 2006

My response to the Harvard presidential search committee

A select group of bloggers -- those who have written favorably about Harvard . . . and I -- have received a letter from James R. Houghton, chairman of Harvard's presidential search committee. The letter begins: "On behalf of Harvard's governing boards, I write to invite your advice on the search for a new president of Harvard, in light of Larry Summers' decision to conclude his tenure as our 27th president at the end of the 2005-06 academic year." (Ah, so maybe it was this photo comic that got me the invitation.)

I'm considering whether to give Harvard the following advice. If anyone from Harvard's presidential search committee happens to read this, please use it in good health.

I think that I shall never see
At Harvard University
An intellectual inquiry
Pursuing logic faithfully,

Oblivious to jerking knee
And voice of angry faculty --
An argument that's totally

No president, though scholar he,
Can fight the pettifoggery
That, sadly, does accompany
The bearer of a Ph.D.

Still, why this question's posed to me
Is something of a mystery:
My thoughts are not, apparently,
The stuff of left-wing lunacy.

And so I say, respectfully,
If Harvey Mansfield would agree,
That Harvard choose him finally
And show some masculinity.

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Visitor of the day - 5/16

What I'm thinking is that some guy at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts got the assignment of finding a good photo of Justice Scalia, a really good photo, so good that he went down to the 23rd listing at Google, and found my photo comic, "Justice Scalia rates his colleague."

And then he reported this directly to the Chief Justice.

Or not.

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May 11, 2006

Push the button?

I'm usually able to tune out ads at websites. I don't even notice them, for the most part. (I guess that's a bad sign for you bloggers who use advertising.)

Some ads are annoying. Some are gross. Some are both gross and annoying. But this one at the Jerusalem Post was too much to believe (and, to make it especially annoying, the red button was switching from red to yellow and back to red).

What you're probably wondering right now is whether I clicked on the button. You need to ask? The answer is no, not at work. I did, however, click on it at home. To see what is being advertised, click on the image above.

I do not endorse this product. Seriously. Use it at your own risk.

Click here to read more . . .

May 10, 2006

General Hayden rounds up the votes

For more photo comics, check the "Photo Comics" section on the sidebar.
General Michael Hayden rounds up the votes.

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May 09, 2006

Latest octogenarian's excellent adventure

Well, it's been a while since our last octogenarian's excellent adventure (here and here), but today, we'll just have to do with a 79-year-old's excellent adventure. Round up the age a bit, and there you are.

It happened in Indiana.

Monday afternoon 79-year-old Cathryn Kasuba lost control of her car and drove all the way through a house. It happened in a subdivision off 96th Street in north east Marion County.

Officials say Kasuba left the road about a 100 yards away, drove through five or six of the yards in the Charter Pointe subdivision and ran straight into the side of a house.

It was a bizarre scene in a quiet neighborhood. Neighbors looked on, and even took pictures, as crews cleaned up the mess.

"It's pretty unbelievable to see a car go clean through a house like that," neighbor Bob Chandler said.

It happened just after 4:30 p.m. Officials say the car slammed into the side of the house, went all the way through and left through the front garage door.
You really have to check out the link, because there are photos and everything. And this earnest commentary from the division chief of the fire department:
"Probably 20 or 30 miles an hour would get you through the house. The car obviously had momentum and it wasn't necessarily the speed. It carried that momentum and continued without applying the brakes," James King, Division Chief of the Lawrence Fire Department, said.

King says the car then took a sharp left and slammed straight into a tree.
The driver was disoriented and thought her husband had been driving. (How come we always get blamed for bad driving, huh?)

And we close with this, from Chief King:
"Fortunately there were no other injuries, other than the driver of the vehicle. Running through a neighborhood such as this and running through a house without any other injuries is miraculous," King said.
That's going to be our line of the day: "running through a house without any other injuries is miraculous."

(via Fark)

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Expandable posts on Blogger

Hey, all you guys out there in Bloggerland!

Ever think about doing expandable posts, the way people with other blogging hosts can do? You know, those thingies with "Read more" at the bottom, where you click and open up a longer post? Well, don't bother with Blogger's official "hack" here. Any hack that tells you it has a bug (which it calls a "feature") and says that "[m]odifying this feature is left as an exercise for the reader" should be avoided. It reminds me of when I studied math in college. The proofs would often leave out something important, and the texts would say that proving what was left out was an exercise for the reader. Thanks a bunch!

I've researched the expandable post problem and have discovered an elegant solution at a blog called No Fancy Name. I've used this solution at Pillage Idiot, and I want to demonstrate it here. Please note that I didn't create the buttons described at NFN, so you'll have to hit the "back" button of your browser to go back to the main page.

Anyway, I have put the first few paragraphs of the solution in the expanded post.

Here they are:

If you're a Blogger user and have always wanted to use expandable posts, you've come up short. Or, if you're Scrivener, you asked me how to do it and then I didn't get around to writing a post about it for months. The Blogger Help entry, "How can I create expandable post summaries?" leaves something to be desired, especially for users unfamiliar with DOM, CSS and JavaScript—you know, most of the Blogger user base.

What I've compiled is a post that shows one method for achieving expandable posts in Blogger, so that the link to "read more" (or whatever text you use) is only shown in a post when you decide to show it. I did not come up with the JavaScript snippet—I got it from this fellow and just added a very wee bit of info and explained what the code was doing.

The information in this post may not work for everyone. I have not tested it backwards and forwards and inside out (shame on me), but I have tested it in Firefox and IE; caveat emptor. Before you get started, be sure that "post pages" are selected in your Blogger settings.
Many thanks to Julie at No Fancy Name.

Click here to read more . . .

May 08, 2006


You've heard of "moonbats." This guy's a UFO-bat.

The U.S. is seeking extradition of a Brit named Gary McKinnon, who was arrested in 2002 by the Brits' national high-tech crime unit, having been accused of hacking into NASA and American military computer networks. The BBC has an interview with the man here.

McKinnon hacked into American military computers -- if true, this is a scandal beyond words -- because, he claims, he was searching for "photographic evidence of alien spacecraft and advanced power technology." This is really what he claims.

Why UFO's? McKinnon says:

I was in search of suppressed technology, laughingly referred to as UFO technology. I think it's the biggest kept secret in the world because of its comic value, but it's a very important thing.

Old-age pensioners can't pay their fuel bills, countries are invaded to award oil contracts to the West, and meanwhile secretive parts of the secret government are sitting on suppressed technology for free energy.
McKinnon describes what he found in the military computers:
There was a group called the Disclosure Project. They published a book which had 400 expert witnesses ranging from civilian air traffic controllers, through military radar operators, right up to the chaps who were responsible for whether or not to launch nuclear missiles.

They are some very credible, relied upon people, all saying yes, there is UFO technology, there's anti-gravity, there's free energy, and it's extra-terrestrial in origin, and we've captured spacecraft and reverse-engineered it.
Whooey! Let me at that anti-gravity stuff!

And at NASA:
One of these people was a Nasa photographic expert, and she said that in building eight of Johnson Space Centre they regularly airbrushed out images of UFOs from the high-resolution satellite imaging. What she said was there was there: there were folders called "filtered" and "unfiltered", "processed" and "raw", something like that.

I got one picture out of the folder, and bearing in mind this is a 56k dial-up, so a very slow internet connection, in dial-up days, using the remote control programme I turned the colour down to 4bit colour and the screen resolution really, really low, and even then the picture was still juddering as it came onto the screen.

But what came on to the screen was amazing. It was a culmination of all my efforts. It was a picture of something that definitely wasn't man-made.

It was above the Earth's hemisphere. It kind of looked like a satellite. It was cigar-shaped and had geodesic domes above, below, to the left, the right and both ends of it, and although it was a low-resolution picture it was very close up.

This thing was hanging in space, the earth's hemisphere visible below it, and no rivets, no seams, none of the stuff associated with normal man-made manufacturing.
But McKinnon never got a screen capture.

And it's that failure that leads people to think he's a kook. Here are some comments on the story at Slashdot. This one seems typical: "What kind of moron spends 3 years breaking into government computers and doesn't know how to do a screen capture or see the importance of saving what he's doing. Sorry folks, but from reading this interview, he seems like [B.S.]."

And in related news from England: "A confidential Ministry of Defence report on Unidentified Flying Objects has concluded that there is no proof of alien life forms."

Click here to read more . . .

Dis-memberment in Saudi Arabia

James Taranto has a running series called "Not Too Brite," which mocks "Reuters" (the "news" agency that abuses "scare quotes") for putting ghoulish stories in a category called "Oddly Enough."

This Reuters story is really, truly gross, and if you can't deal with acts of dismemberment, click here to go to the next post.

Don't say I didn't warn you.
Here's how the Reuters article begins: "Surgeons have reattached the penis of a Saudi man who paid the price for trying to have sex with his Filipina maid and she attacked him with a knife, a hospital source said on Monday."

I'm not sure I'd want any operation done on me in Saudi Arabia, even if I were Saudi. And this cements that view: "'This is a sophisticated operation. You are dealing with an organ in a difficult area and you want to try to return to its efficiency,' said a spokesman at Riyadh's Takhassusi Hospital." An organ in a difficult area? As far as I'm concerned, Saudi Arabia is a very difficult area.

I'm also pretty sure I wouldn't want to be a Filipina maid in Saudi Arabia after dis-membering my boss, even though I was provoked: "Earlier this month newspapers reported that the maid removed her employer's manhood when he tried to molest her in the middle of the night as his wife was sleeping. The maid is now in police custody." I'm sure she's been read her Miranda rights, don't you think?

And this statement from the hospital spokesman is very reassuring: "The hospital has done this kind of operation before, but only after people had car accidents."

Click here to read more . . .

Today's economic news: tax division

One of the frustrating things that I notice is that good economic news is the proverbial tree falling in the big media forest. No one hears about it. (Maryland Conservatarian writes about a similar phenomenon: Any good economic news can be spun as bad.)

"TaxProf" Paul Caron notes some good economic news you probably won't hear much about: "The Congressional Budget Office reports 'robust' growth in tax revenues for the first four months of 2006." And he's got the CBO chart to demonstrate the point. (via Instapundit) To put it differently, the tax cuts have helped the economy and have resulted in increased revenue.

Bonus from TaxProf: A list of tax cuts that expire in January 2011, assuming a new bill extending the most recent ones is passed.

Click here to read more . . .

May 07, 2006

Protein wisdom fundraiser

Jeff Goldstein's holding a fundraiser over at protein wisdom. Go send him some bucks.

There's less pressure than with the UJA, but the only thing is that if you get lost on a desert island and haven't paid your pledge to him, Jeff won't be able to find you.

Click here to read more . . .

The REAL anthem scandal

All you guys out there whining about some Spanish version of the national anthem? Just shut up. Here's a real scandal. The Mets thought they could create a new team song. This has "new Coke" written all over it.

I've been to one game this year, and it wasn't played. And actually, I haven't watched too many games on TV, either. I prefer to follow the team with internet updates. So when I read this at MetsBlog, I had to follow the link to find the new song. (Click to the right of "Mets' new song: 'Our Team. Our Time.'")

Now, I was never a fan of "Meet the Mets," either the original version or the jazzed up one, but this is so bad I'd trade it for New Coke in an instant. Here are the lyrics. Glad to hear it was booed at Shea.

The song I really liked was one they played on the Mets' radio station in the mid-60s, when the Mets were losing well over 100 games a year. The part I remember went like this: "When Met fans yell, 'Go!'/What they mean we all know/They've got no place to go/But UP!"

Click here to read more . . .

One morning in Patrick Kennedy's dry cleaning establishment

Customer: "Can you get this stain out? I had an accident with --"

Patrick Kennedy: "An accident?! I'm sick of being mocked about --"

Customer: "Wait! I'm not mocking you. All I'm saying is that I spilled some mayo on my sleeve and --"

Patrick Kennedy: "Mayo?! Making fun of me because I'm checking in to the clinic at --"

Customer: "Clinic? All I . . . well, forget about my sleeve. OK? I've also got two rugs that --"

Patrick Kennedy: "Two drugs?! That is just so low!"

Customer: "I said 'two rugs.'"

Patrick Kennedy: "Well, all right, then. Let me get your name here."

Customer: "Finnegan."

Patrick Kennedy: "Phenergan?!"

Customer: "Oh, Jeez, never mind. Just call me, uh, 'Goldberg' or something."

Click here to read more . . .

May 05, 2006

Our friends, the French

"Not another attack on French hatred of all things American," I can hear you thinking. Well, maybe, but this one has an amusing part, too.

Three years ago, the Frogs and the Krauts -- er, the French and the Germans -- decided to write a textbook together about the history of the world since 1945. (Hmmmm. 1945. That wouldn't happen to be the year that the U.S. and its allies finally defeated the German Nazi regime after an extremely bloody war, an important part of which involved liberating France from Nazi domination, would it?) So far, so good.

Well, the BBC reports that there was generally little disagreement in writing the text between the Germans and the French. Except for one subject:

The 10 authors did not encounter major difficulties, according to France's Le Figaro newspaper.

Paradoxically it was not World War II which provided the main topic of debate, but the US role in the world since 1945, the newspaper said.

It quoted Guillaume Le Quintrec, co-director of the project, who said "the French found the Germans to be pro-American and the Germans found our viewpoint anti-American".

Heated discussions, in which each word was carefully considered, resulted in a text which both sides judged to be "balanced".
So the French thought the Germans were too pro-American, and the Germans thought the French were too anti-American? No good deed goes unpunished, I guess.

And actually, there was a second subject of disagreement:
Another stumbling block was the German historians' desire for a more critical approach than the French one towards the former people's democracies in Central Europe, Le Figaro reported.
My translation: The Germans, a portion of whose country suffered under Soviet domination for 45 years, didn't think that "people's democracy" was such a wonderful thing. And the fact that the French still call them "people's democracies" ("des anciennes démocraties populaires") says more about them than I possibly can.

The Le Figaro article is here in French and here in Google's English translation.

(via Ace of Spades HQ)

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Moussaoui's mom speaks

I guess she's not as sympathetic as I originally thought.

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May 04, 2006

Mehlman at the AJC

Just to tie together my previous post about Howard Dean and Jewish Democrats with my posts on Iraq and Darfur, I'd like to note the conjunction of two news items this week:

(1) "Jews out front for Darfur rally" and (2) "Republican chairman booed at AJCommittee event"

We all know about the Darfur rally, but consider this from the article about Ken Mehlman's speech at the 100th anniversary celebration of the American Jewish Committee: Mehlman (the head of the Republican National Committee is a Jew, by the way) got a polite reception for his speech, but one AJC board member, Edith Everett, just couldn't take it and told Mehlman what was wrong, in her view, with the Bush administration's Iran policy:

The room burst into applause, however, when AJCommittee board member Edith Everett asked Mehlman to “take a message” to President Bush to stop linking Israel and Iran.

“It does not help Israel and it does not help American Jews to appear to be stimulators of any action against Iran,” Everett said.

She added that “it’s easy to understand why Iran is not worried about us” because Iraq is consuming so many U.S. resources.

Mehlman replied by acknowledging that Iraq was a “challenge,” but claimed it’s “less of a challenge than when Saddam Hussein was in power.”

The room filled with boos and hisses.
So for anyone who's been wondering whether professional Jews are totally out of their minds, you no longer have to wonder. The man says that Iraq is "less of a challenge than when Saddam Hussein was in power," and he gets booed and hissed.

And, by the way, the administration isn't doing enough about Darfur.

No wonder Howard Dean isn't losing sleep over the possibility of Jewish party-switching.

Click here to read more . . .

Howard Dean judges the Jews

First off, anyone get that little wordplay? "Dean" sounds like "din," which in Hebrew means judgment. It's actually apropos, if you stay with me for a minute.

Today, Allah (the blogger and part-time deity, as opposed to the other way around) mocks Howard Dean for saying that "the essential difference" between Republicans and Democrats "is that the Democrats fundamentally believe it is important to make sure that American Jews feel comfortable being American Jews." Allah shows a photo of Dean wearing a kaffiyah (keffiyeh, if you choose) and three photos of Bill and Hillary funning it up with Yasser and Suha Arafat.

Trouble is, Dean has correctly judged the Jews. For reasons I've discussed here and here at length, Jews can't get over their attraction to the Democrats. The result is that, no matter how deep the anti-Israel sentiment on the Left, no matter how often that slides easily into anti-semitism, Jews can't -- they aren't willing -- to escape. I wrote about this precise point last year in a post entitled "Boiling the frog," which was about . . . Howard Dean. I'm sorry to report that the Jews, speaking about them as a group, continue to stay comfortable in the Democratic Party as the temperature in that water continues to rise.

Click here to read more . . .

May 03, 2006

The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner in Spanish?

My grandparents came to this country in the early 20th century. They might have been happy if there had been a version of the Star Spangled Banner in Yiddish, but they knew they needed to learn English. This was America, after all.

Via Jack Balkin, we find out that there is a Yiddish translation, after all, dating from 1943:

O'zog, kenstu sehn, wen bagin licht dervacht,
Vos mir hoben bagrist in farnachtigen glihen?
Die shtreifen un shtern, durch shreklicher nacht,
Oif festung zich hoiben galant un zich tsein?
Yeder blitz fun rocket, yeder knal fun kanon,
Hot bawizen durch nacht: az mir halten die Fohn!
O, zog, tzi der "Star Spangled Banner" flatert in roim,
Ueber land fun die freie, fun brave die heim!
And he gives a link to a photo of the translation. Click for a larger image.

Thanks, Jack!

Click here to read more . . .

Things that interest me - 5/3

1. Soccer Dad wonders how Hamas could be worried about its good name, as if it had one. But there's this: "Hamas is good, because it's no al-Qaida." Now, that's setting the bar low!

2. Paul Mirengoff at Power Line stomps on his congressman and mine, Chris van Hollen, for suggesting that we need to assure Russia and China that we won't attack Iran if we get a U.N. resolution calling for tough action against Iran. Van Hollen suggested that we're having trouble because we cited the U.N. resolutions against Iraq when we invaded Iraq. Mirengoff writes:

But Van Hollen took things to a more craven level when he asked Bolton whether the Bush administration would assure the Russians and the Red Chinese that if they backed a U.N. resolution on Iran we would not later cite the resolution as support for military action against Iran. In effect, a member of Congress almost seemed to be acting as a self-appointed intermediary between one or more hostile foreign power and the United States government.

Bolton responded that the U.S. would not give Russia and China a say in our decisions about how to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Van Hollen claimed that this is not what he wants.
All of this is enough to make me nostalgic for "Commie" Morella, our former congressperson.

3. Via Jeff Goldstein, I see that Expose the Left has a transcript of John Bolton's testimony before the House subcommittee on international relations, the subcommittee on which Chris Van Hollen sits. The transcript is of an exchange between Bolton and Dennis Kucinich, who wanted Bolton to opine on a New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh that alleges that we have U.S. Marines in Iran right now. Bolton refused to respond, both because it would be inappropriate and because, well, he didn't think much of Mr. Hersh:
KUCINICH: Have you ever heard of that report?

BOLTON: I’d never heard of the report, I never read the article, nor do I intend to.

KUCINICH: Do you have any interest as to whether or not—as the U.S. Ambassador, you don’t have any interest as to whether or not U.S. Marines are actually operating in Iran right now?

BOLTON: I said I had not heard of the report and I didn’t intend to read the article in “The New Yorker.”

KUCINICH: If I gave you this article right now, walked it over, would you look at it?

BOLTON: I don’t think so, honestly, Congressman, because I don’t have time to read much fiction.

KUCINICH: We know that U.S. Troops are in Iran. How does this affect U.N. Negotiations?

BOLTON: Congressman, you know more than I do, that’s all I can say.
I'm glad to see that Bolton is doing what we expected of him. For the record, here are the "Bolty" awards I announced upon his initial nomination.

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May 02, 2006

Yale and Harvard head toward nuclear confrontation

Harvard was founded in 1636, Yale in 1701. The competition between the two schools, therefore, can be dated to, oh, about 1701.

In 1968, at "The Game" -- the annual Harvard-Yale football game -- Yale was ahead by 29-13 with less than 11 minutes left. Harvard rallied to tie the game at 29-29. The famous headline in the Harvard Crimson was "Harvard Wins, 29-29."

But all that is ancient history, what with the new high-stakes competition between the schools.

Yale's Move: Consistent with its lawsuit challenging the Solomon Amendment for forcing the university to allow military recruiters on campus, despite the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that keeps admitted homosexuals out of the military, Yale decided to enroll as a student the former spokesman for the Taliban, the well known gay-rights group in Afghanistan, which, by the way, is very fond of statues.

Harvard's Counter-move: Harvard's alumni association scheduled a guided tour of North Korea, which included a visit to a different statue, and gave some advice to participants:

"Demonstrations of respect for the country's late leader, Kim Il Sung, and for the current leader, Kim Jong Il, are important," instructs the Harvard Alumni Association's tour memo.

"You will be expected to bow as a gesture of respect at the statue of Kim Il Sung and at his mausoleum."

Harvard even tries to pretend that bowing down to thugs is perfectly normal - explaining that it's because "North Korea, like every country, has its own unique protocols."

Yale's Move: Yale decided to invite Juan Cole, a mainstay in the anti-Israel Middle East Studies Association, to take a tenured position at the university.

Harvard's Counter-move: Harvard professor Stephen Walt co-authored a study proving that the Joooooos control American foreign policy: "Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical."

And in the near future? What's next?

Yale's Move: The Yale Alumni Association will offer a tour of the Jenin refugee camp, meetings with Hamas leadership, and a tour of the Palestinian museum commemorating the terror bombing of Sbarro's pizza in Jerusalem.

Harvard's Counter-move: Harvard will offer "Rachel Corrie" scholarships and financial aid to would-be suicide bombers to encourage them to use diplomacy, rather than violence, to exterminate Israel. Should the incentives fail, the scholarships and financial aid will go to remaining family members.

Yale's Move: Yale will invite Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to serve as Dean of Admissions, in the hope that Yale can increase its diversity and the percentage of its students who want to destroy Israel and the United States from its current paltry 43%. In return, Iran will provide Yale with nuclear technology.

Harvard's Counter-move: Harvard will offer A.Q. Khan the presidency of the university. In return, Khan will provide Harvard with nuclear technology.

Meanwhile, at the U.N.: Alarmed by this nuclear proliferation at top American universities, Kofi Annan will call for Israel to open its facilities to U.N. inspectors. (Israel will prepare a festive meal for Mohammed al-Baradei, figuring he is the last man in the world to do anything about nuclear weapons.)

Yale's Move: Yale will accuse Harvard of plagiarism in its public statements insisting that its nuclear technology is intended for peaceful uses. Yale will offer a side-by-side comparison of Yale's and Harvard's lies in this regard to demonstrate the similar language. Harvard will refuse to issue an apology.

Harvard's Counter-move: Harvard will challenge Yale to a game of nuclear football, which will end in mutually assured destruction. And no one will care.

Click here to read more . . .

Take back California

What happens when the immigration protesters win? WuzzaDem imagines the scene.

Click here to read more . . .

Only in America

In the United States, where Jews are about 2% of the population, a group headed by a Jew seeking to buy the Washington Nationals baseball team is criticized for not including enough "minorities."

Only in America.

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May 01, 2006

More on Darfur

After making my armchair observations about the Darfur protests, and the connection with Iraq, I thought I would see how those who actually attended responded to the rally.

Soccer Dad, who bills himself as a skeptic, attended and posted a lengthy writeup of his impressions at the rally. I recommend that you read it all, but here's a good reason for skepticism:

Of the speakers, the one who moved with the crowd the best was Rabbi David Saperstein with a speech called "I have a nightmare." He was brilliant and really stood out among the speakers.

But working against any of Schneier's notions about a reneweal of a grand civil right coaltion was the presence of the final speaker we were there for. In fact given that the rally was about an issue of conscience the presence of Rev. Al Sharpton a vicious demagogue with absolutely no conscience was inexcusable.

Sharpton is certainly a rock star. He got the loudest applause when introduced. (Given the Jewish makeup of the audience, I found that especially appalling.) And as we left the area it was clear that his doggerel, so skillfully delivered, was eliciting the loudest response. It galls me that a man who led a demonstration that led to a massacre remains a "civil right leader" untainted by any reference to his sordid past.
And even though Soccer Dad found the Jewish presence at the rally overwhelming, there were speakers, "many who are ambivalent, if not hostile to Israel's existence. James Zogby - one of only three speakers I heard who mentioned the Holocaust (as he listed a series of crimes; the second of which was Hiroshima) - couldn't avoid mentioning 'Palestine,' as a place of concern."

Soccer Dad has another post lamenting the Washington Post's whitewashing of some of these miscreants, particularly Al Sharpton.

Meanwhile, Judith Weiss, of Kesher Talk, says that she's probably the only shul-going Jew on the East Coast who didn't attend the rally, which she sees as something of a "feel-good exercise." In her post, she quotes David Adesnik's call for the marines:
Naturally, no one said a word about an invasion (although I attempted to provide a subtle hint.) The sign I held above my head had two messages, one on either side: "ACT NOW" and "WE DEMAND ACTION". If you look up "action" in my thesaurus, the first entry you will find is "the US Marines".
Now, I don't normally quote my own comments at other blogs, but I think I was able to summarize my views fairly well. So here's what I wrote at Kesher Talk:

The reason people have no solution is that there are only two, one correct but impossible and one possible but incorrect.

The correct but impossible solution is to get all the militarily worthless countries in the world, like Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, etc., to take action against Sudan under UN auspices. It's impossible because it won't happen. The UN has an execrable record on stopping genocide -- which is about its only conceivably useful function -- and we should do away with it.

The possible but incorrect solution is David Adesnik's: send in the Marines. It's incorrect because we have to focus our use of the military on interventions in which the U.S. has a national security interest, and not just a humanitarian interest, no matter how strong. Humanitarian needs are why we have other countries and why those countries have militaries.

Judith quoted my comment over at Winds of Change, where she had cross-posted, and where there was a very active debate going on (and still going on).

I wish I could say I've read something to change my mind about this subject, but I still think there isn't a workable solution. (And, in my petty way, I still resent the people who are attacking the Administration for failing to "save" Darfur, when they are also attacking it for saving Iraq.)

Click here to read more . . .