The reason our airlines seem to have cut back, not just on in-flight food but on drinks as well, offering us a few paltry ounces of soda in a plastic cup, may well have to do with the cost of the food and drinks.
On the other hand, I've heard it may have to do with security, considering that a canned item in a sock can cause some serious damage. I would guess that security is not the real reason, given the fact that a half-full soda can would at the very worst get someone wet.
But actually it turns out that cutting back on in-flight drinks might have to do with the cost of maintaining the rest rooms on board.
That is, if you can believe this story about a Chinese airline that "has calculated that it takes a liter of fuel to flush the toilet at 30,000 feet and is urging passengers to go to the bathroom before they board." You can just imagine the pre-flight safety instructions that the crew will announce over the P.A.: "In case of bladder emergency, a catheter will come down from the luggage rack above you. If you're traveling with a child, fasten your own before attempting to fasten it on the child." And to avoid subliminal suggestion, they'd have to eliminate (har!) the line about "the unlikely event of a water landing."
The article about the Chinese airline also says: "The company has asked logistics staff to fill the water tank only 60 percent full." Which I assume means water for the loo.
But I have absolutely no intention of finding out.
November 30, 2006
The reason our airlines seem to have cut back, not just on in-flight food but on drinks as well, offering us a few paltry ounces of soda in a plastic cup, may well have to do with the cost of the food and drinks.
Posted by Attila at 9:24 PM
November 29, 2006
In The Female Mind, Dr Luan Brizendine says women devote more brain cells to talking than men.If you assume each sex should speak half the words that men and women, combined, speak -- that would be half of 27,000, or 13,500 -- then women speak 48% too much and men speak 52% too little. Try out those figures on your wife the next time she wants to discuss something important with you.
And, if that wasn't enough, the simple act of talking triggers a flood of brain chemicals which give women a rush similar to that felt by heroin addicts when they get a high.
According to the article, boys and men talk less than women and "struggle to express their emotions to the same extent." To use a transportation analogy:
"Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road," said Dr Brizendine, who runs a female "mood and hormone" clinic in San Francisco.But Dr. Brizendine suggests that men compensate with a larger brain region devoted to thinking about sex. Who'd have thunk it? But if you do the numbers, you see that the two are connected. Remember that men think about sex every 52 seconds, while women think about it once a day, on average? This translates to 1,662 times a day that men think about sex. Doesn't leave much time for talking, does it?
Dr. Brizendine uses another transportation analogy here:
[T]o put it another way, men have an international airport for dealing with thoughts about sex, "where women have an airfield nearby that lands small and private planes".In other words, this is what men see when thinking about sex:
And this is what women see:
This is a huge difference in size perception, and it applies to many other areas as well.
Hey, come on, stop snickering! I'm not talking about that. What I mean is that there will always be conversations that go something like this:
Wife: "Do these pants make my butt look like a 747?"And then, the man will resume his regular thoughts for the next 52 seconds, and the woman will go off to chat on the phone about this with her female friends. After all, she's still got 19,990 words left.
Husband: "No, it's the same Cessna I've always known and loved."
Posted by Attila at 7:37 PM
Here's some evidence that criminal stupidity, long the province of Montgomery County, has crossed the Potomac into Northern Virginia.
You know how you used to do something that actually helped real people -- making tuna-noodle casseroles for the homeless? As we would say in New York, fuhgeddaboudit!
Fairfax County is now barring people from making dinners for the homeless, unless their kitchens are up to code, meaning "a commercial-grade refrigerator, a three-compartment sink to wash, rinse and sanitize dishes and a separate hand-washing sink, among other requirements."
One man involved with a religious charity group hit the nail on the head:
"We're very aware that a number of homeless people eat out of dumpsters, and mom's pot roast has got to be healthier than that," said Jim Brigl, chief executive of Fairfax Area Christian Emergency & Transitional Services. "But that doesn't meet the code."The reaction of Fairfax County is typical for the folks who think that only the government should help people in need, and that private charity is bad because it can't be overseen by the government "experts." Thus:
"We're dealing with a medically fragile population . . . so they're more susceptible to food-borne illnesses than the general population," said Tom Crow, the county Health Department's director of environmental health. "We're trying to protect those people."I'd offer a slight correction: They're "trying to protect those people" by imposing such steep regulatory costs on donors that virtually every donor will stop donating. Mission accomplished.
Posted by Attila at 7:31 PM
November 28, 2006
Just in case there's a bill calling for a D.C. quarter to accompany the ones for the 50 states, I want to get in on the design. This is a little old, but it captures the local color very well.
UPDATE: I guess quarters are blind-friendly because of their unique size, but to be safe, I'm going to recommend that Marion Barry and his crack pipe be in bas relief.
UPDATE: A reader at Crablaw thinks this design makes me a racist, and we have a relatively polite exchange, despite his attempt to write me out of respectable society.
Posted by Attila at 9:27 PM
November 27, 2006
As one of the most important 10 or 11 million people in the United States, at least from the perspective of President Bush, I have received the official White House season's greeting card, formerly known as the Christmas card.
Now, before some people start complaining that folks like me are engaged in a war on Christmas -- that's one of the few wars we neo-cons have no interest in -- please note that above the text of the card is a quotation from Psalm 119, verse 105: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
Here are the front and inside of the card:
Posted by Attila at 9:10 PM
November 26, 2006
You'll have to take my word for it when I tell you I really don't follow the movies and wouldn't recognize famous actors if I saw them in photos.
But this story (via Fark) piqued my interest: "Winslet's body inspired new Jaguar model." The article begins:
LONDON, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Actress Kate Winslet says her body was the inspiration for Scottish engineer Ian Callum's design for the newest Jaguar model.The key part of the article is not the actress's complete narcissism (Winslet said "the designer saw her as 'the perfect woman'") but rather her amusing complaint about the design: "The headlights are too small."
The "Titanic" star said during a recent TV appearance that Callum had used her body as a guide when creating the image for the new Jaguar XK coupe, the Times of London reported.
I think her complaint is valid.
Here's the design:
I don't know whether this solution will work -- for the car. But it's always worth a try.
UPDATE: Thanks, Ace, for the link, and welcome to AOSHQ readers.
Posted by Attila at 10:26 PM
Gosh, I wonder why we didn't hear about this before the election:
1. "Success of Drug Plan Challenges Democrats / Medicare Benefit's Cost Beat Estimates" (Washington Post, front page)
2. "As Power Shifts in New Congress, Pork May Linger" (NY Times, front page)
Posted by Attila at 10:07 PM
November 24, 2006
For all you American Jews who continue to be in denial about the increasing anti-semitism on the left -- you frogs in that boiling pot -- today's evidence comes not so much from Jimmy Carter's new book "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid" but from the response to Alan Dershowitz's critique of the book on The Huffington Post. Read the comments. I'm sure you'll continue to be in denial after doing so, but you'll have even less reason for it.
And that goes for you, too, Dersh.
Posted by Attila at 9:59 AM
November 23, 2006
If you'll allow me to be serious today for a change, my father, in the last few years of his life, would read a psalm at the Thanksgiving table. None of us can remember exactly which one it was, unfortunately, but Psalm 100 (some Christian sources list it as Psalm 99) would be a pretty good guess. We're reading it today, because it seems so appropriate.
For those who are interested, this is a slightly revised and updated version of the old Jewish Publication Society translation.
1 A Psalm of thanksgiving. Shout to the Lord, all the earth.Happy Thanksgiving to all.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord He is God; it is He who made us, and we are His, His people and the flock of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courtyards with praise; give thanks to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good; His mercy endures for ever and His faithfulness to all generations.
Posted by Attila at 7:39 AM
November 22, 2006
Do you realize how dangerous it is out there?
First, we have the Loudly Davening Imams, who claim they were just engaged in "normal evening prayers" when they were booted from a US Air flight -- assuming that normal evening prayer includes cursing "U.S. involvement with Saddam." I don't know about yours, but my normal evening prayers are limited to American energy policy, with an occasional nod to farm issues and the Fed's monetary policy.
Now, we have the so-called "terrorist turkeys" who tried to get on a commuter train at Ramsey, New Jersey, until they were unsanctimoniously kicked off, humiliating them in front of the other passengers. If you don't believe me, check out this security camera photo.
When these turkeys were kept off the train, they naturally became enraged. They held massive protests, leading to this headline, which I am absolutely not making up: "Car Crash Blamed On Turkeys."
The article says that "officials don't know if the birds are the same ones seen waiting on a Ramsey train station platform earlier Wednesday." But officials would say that. They think all turkeys are alike, and they have no clue at all about the difference between radical turko-fascists and moderate turkeys. I'll bet Dean Esmay does.
On MSNBC tonight, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper stated: "This is just another example of anti-Muslim bigotry. They're the Rosa Parkses of New Jersey." Asked to explain, Hooper added: "Turkey is a Muslim country. Coincidence? I think not."
Posted by Attila at 9:09 PM
Whatever problems we see in our own country, they're already worse in England.
Here's a depressing tale from across the pond. It doesn't involve beheadings, or even general mayhem, but it does show how far the establishment left has gone in support of suppressing speech -- even temperate criticism of Muslims. Sir Harold Evans, writing in the New York Sun, via Melanie Phillips, via Dan Collins at protein wisdom. (By the way, I've often wondered whether Dan Collins, the most prolific of the guest-bloggers, is actually Jeff Goldstein's evil twin. Or whether, perhaps, it's the other way around.)
When I spoke at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival a couple of years back and criticized newspapers that headlined suicide bombers as martyrs, I was told by two angry leading intellectuals that I had lived too long in America.This sounds so familiar to me. Back 35 years ago, the left threw its lot in with the Black Panthers. No matter how violent they showed themselves to be, it was the rest of society that was at fault.
Something similar happened at this year's Hay-on-Wye festival, sponsored by the Guardian, where a five-person panel discussed "Are there are any limits to free speech?" One of the Muslim panelists said if anyone offended his religion, he would strike him. A lawyer, Anthony Julius, responded that Jews had lived as minorities under two powerful hegemonies, Christian and Muslim, and had been obliged to learn how to deal nonviolently with offense caused to them by the sacred scriptures of both. He started by referring to an anti-Semitic passage in the New Testament — which passed without comment. But when he began to list the passages in the Koran that denigrate Jews, describing them as monkeys and pigs, the panelists went ballistic. One of them, Madeline Bunting of the Guardian, put her hand over the microphone and said words to the effect, "I am not going to sit here and listen to any criticisms of Muslims." She was cheered, and not one of the journalists in the audience from right or left uttered a word about free speech — not hate speech, mind you, but free speech of a moderate nature.
The difference, I suppose, is that Huey Newton never tried to get nuclear weapons.
Posted by Attila at 5:37 PM
November 21, 2006
New York is a great city. To be more precise, it's 22.6% as great as it thinks it is, which is still unspeakably great. I know. I lived there for about 5 years.
One of New York's few failings is something you become painfully aware of if you're a visitor, or if you're a resident who happens to be away from your apartment and office. The public toilet situation there is grim. When I lived in New York in the 80s, I used to use department stores. It wasn't the greatest solution, because you'd have to dodge the perfume sprayers on the ground floor and hitch an elevator up to the top floor before you reached the facilities. Others -- too many of them -- favored the "self help" solution made popular by the folks attending certain unnamed ethnic parades. It was what male dogs would do along Fifth Avenue if they were poorly trained. Nowadays, of course, there's Starbucks. And Starbucks and Starbucks and Starbucks, on nearly every block.
I'm wondering now whether all of this will be a thing of the past. Charmin, the toilet paper people, as in "Please don't squeeze the Charmin," has opened a 20-stall facility in Times Square, to operate through December 31. (What happens after the ball drops on New Year's Eve is anyone's guess. My advice? Use it early that evening.)
The New York Times has the goods on this facility:
Charmin, which is part of Procter and Gamble, had broadcast the arrival of its Times Square “Potty Palooza” with a giant billboard above the entrance. The plan was widely reported last week.The Daily News adds:
A long escalator ride from the sidewalk takes people to a large waiting area furnished with flat-screen televisions, couches and a fireplace. Beyond are the bathrooms, numbered 1 through 20, each equipped with gleaming white porcelain sinks and, of course, Charmin toilet paper (six rolls per stall.)
Some are theme bathrooms, with wallpaper depicting Times Square, Wall Street and Grand Central Terminal. There are changing tables for children, and toilets equipped for people with disabilities.
The restroom complex, which is in a space formerly occupied by a bar, will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., except on Christmas Day, when it will close at 6 p.m.
Escalators brought people upstairs to more greeters and a waiting room with flat-screen TVs - they played only Charmin commercials - a fireplace, a kids' minidance floor and plush white couches. More workers escorted those with the urge to the numbered bathrooms, complete with white porcelain sinks, toilets and a light overhead that tells visitors when a stall is open.And here's something that makes you wonder: "There will be about 30 workers hired to clean the stalls after each use, officials said." Just how sloppy can New Yorkers be if it takes 30 workers to clean up after each one?
So now it's time to vote: Gimmick or not gimmick? My guess is gimmick. Anything that impresses even Mayor Bloomberg has got to be a gimmick. ("'The mind boggles,' Mr. Bloomberg said when asked about the Times Square event during a news conference in the Bronx. 'The person that sold that is somebody I’d love to have come to work for my company.'")
I'll leave the last word to Brett Schumer, whose relationship (or not) to the senior senator from the state is not noted: "This is just another overhyped Times Square gimmick. I like the idea of a clean public rest room, but you don't need five people talking to you before and after you do your business." And that doesn't even count the drunks and psychotics.
Posted by Attila at 9:01 PM
November 20, 2006
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of, er, happiness.
A Brazilian town figures, hey, let's give out free Viagra to the older guys in town. What could possibly go wrong?
"Since we started the free distribution of sexual stimulants, our elderly population changed. They're much happier," said Joao de Souza Luz, the mayor of Novo Santo Antonio, a small town in the central state of Mato Grosso.For those of you keeping a scorecard at home, the program, approved by the town's legislature, is called "Pinto Alegre" or "Happy Penis." (No theme park yet.)
But wait, here's what could possibly go wrong:
But the program has also had the unforeseen consequence of encouraging some extra-marital affairs, Souza Luz said.Problem solved: They just gave the pills to the guys' wives. "That way, when the women are in the mood, they can give the pills to their husbands."
"Some of the old men aren't seeking out their wives. They've got romances on the side," he said.
Right. And what happens if the women decide that maybe they want to use them with someone else's husband? I know, I know! Call on me!! You hand them out at the government office, and both spouses have to go there together.
Posted by Attila at 7:48 PM
Overheard from a 9th grader in the back seat during carpool:
"The Cold War ended, if I remember my history books, . . ."
Posted by Attila at 6:27 PM
November 19, 2006
I linked to this two years ago, but it's worth revisiting.
Click here to check out a terrific movie prepared by Underwriters Laboratories on the dangers of deep-frying turkeys. I definitely want my turkey to be cooked by a guy wearing a heavy-duty fire-protective suit.
The print information can be found here.
Posted by Attila at 3:00 PM
I've spent a few minutes thinking seriously about this issue, and I've concluded that the most absurd subject matter possible for a theme park would have to be genitalia. Certainly, it's in the top five. And especially if it's in a town where there are no public sewers and people relieve themselves outdoors.
But the good news is that it will surely become a major tourist attraction -- and there won't be long lines for the bathrooms.
Here's the photo that accompanied the article:
The caption reads: "A woman plays with her son at the Central plaza in Huayre, Peru on Monday, Nov. 6, 2006. Now the occasional visitor is surprised to find in the central plaza a 65-foot (20-meter)-high purple-colored replica of the maca root, a tuber traditionally consumed as an aphrodisiac, and, nearby, a sculptured phallus rising from a vagina-shaped wading pool." (via Fark)
You might think this display of male and female genitalia could be educational for a young boy like the one in the photo, but consider the fact that the phallus appears to be emerging out of the inside of the vagina. This could lead the boy to flunk middle-school health class and become the butt of many jokes.
A possibly related story: Some years ago, my parents had a tenant who was injured in an accident near the house. She was taken to the emergency room, where my mother soon arrived to try to help out. The tenant asked my mother to call her employer (the tenant's employer, that is) to let them know she wouldn't be in the next day. My mother asked who her employer was, and the tenant told her it was an outfit called "The Erotic Baker." As you might imagine, this outfit sold baked goods that strongly resembled certain body parts. My mother reported to us that the doctors and nurses who were standing around were all trying hard not to laugh.
Posted by Attila at 11:41 AM
November 15, 2006
Gentlemen, I've asked you to participate in this meeting, because I'm stunned -- I'm stunned at the depth and the breadth of our victory. So stunned, in fact, that I can't get my eyebrows back to their normal position.
Which also may have something to do with that quack who gave me my last Botox injection.
For starters, I just got my ass kicked by Steny Hoyer. Big frickin' deal. Most of the problem was Jack's baggage, and I don't mean the baggage he wears out in front, which makes him look like the Pillsbury doughboy right after he and Hinckley were released from St. Elizabeth's. Screw that! Let's get on to business.
We gonna talk about impeachment?
Hold on, John, 'cause we've gotta deal with committees first.
Yeah, but we gotta take it up right away, 'cause we ain't gettin' re-elected if we don't up an' impeach that mutha.
Wait a goddamned minute, John. No one's going to impeach Murtha, not while this Marine's heart is still beating. I won't --
Shut up, Jack, you moron! He said "mutha" -- if you can get that through your fat honky ol' head.
Wouldn't mind impeachin' that fat ol' Murtha eitha. Damn ethics s--- gonna put us in the red before we even get to the new session.
No, John, you told this old Marine you were gonna support him for majority leader. You changed your mind, and people just don't change their minds while this Marine's heart is still beating, and --
S---, Jack, you gotta stop that "Marine's heart beatin'" s---. And Nancy, I agree with John about impeachment.
And you know a little something about impeachment, right, Alcee?
Shut your face, little Jew boy, 'fore I come over and shut it for you.
Guys, cut it out! We have to get our act together, because the voters won't give us much time. They'll get tired of us before I can even lower my eyebrows.
Alcee talks a big game, but he doesn't know Jack s--- about putting together a well run majority operation.
You better take that back, Henry. As long as this Marine's heart is still beating, no one's going to call me "Jack s---!"
Jack! S---, that's not what he meant. Can we get down to business, please? It's time to name committee chairs.
Nancy, don't we need to wait for Steny?
If we must. Where is he, anyway?
Sorry I'm late, Nancy. Just checking out your office.
UPDATE: Heh. Tony Coelho: "If Nancy does poorly, that hurts Hillary. That's really unfair, but that's what everyone thinks. That's reality. To help Hillary, Nancy has to be perceived as an effective leader and she's had a terrible start. It was just an awful first week."
UPDATE: WuzzaDem: Hoyer and Pelosi exchange "greetings."
Posted by Attila at 7:50 PM
Yesterday, I took the train to New York for the funeral of my good friend's mother. On the way home last night, I was sitting in a car of the train that was probably only half full, and the people were relatively well behaved. A conversation behind me was a little louder than I would have liked, but otherwise quiet reigned.
Then I noticed a scrolling message on the message board about being considerate in the use of cell phones on the train. By coincidence, the phone of the guy sitting right in front of me rang at that very moment, and he began a conversation that sounded loud, but I guess it really was only at normal conversational volume in an otherwise quiet train car. My irritation meter rose quickly, but then I began to listen to his end of the conversation, which turned out to be quite interesting.
He told the caller he had gone to New York to talk to Shep Smith on Studio B. Based on the ensuing conversation, I looked up Studio B, which I've never seen, when I got home, and I think I must have been seated behind Alireza Jafarzadeh, identified as a FOX News foreign affairs analyst in the clip called "Nuclear Showdown."
If you're going to conduct an interesting conversation on your cell phone about what to do with Iran, and you speak at normal conversational volume on a quiet train, I guess that nothing you say can be considered very private. On this theory, I wrote down a few things he said, not in any organized way, but the way I heard them. These are only excerpts. I'm leaving out a bunch of stuff about his conversations with congressmen, because I suspect the person on the other end was a staffer and I guess I feel they're just too personal. And besides, I'm not some major media outlet. Here goes:
In the conversation, he said he thinks Ahmadinejad is serious about his statement that there will be a new advancement announced in February. We should be concerned. What needs to be done is to "slay the dragon." This is the time to do it. The "one opportune moment" to do it is now.
The real trouble in Iraq is Iran's meddling, not that Bush didn't do the job. The strategy shouldn't be cut and run but more focus on the source of the problems -- Iran. The "pressure's off" with the departure of Secretary Rumsfeld.
We need to improve participation of the Sunnis, who are in danger of being shut out by the dominant Shiites. We need to disarm the militias, including the Mahdi Army. The President has said this, but it hasn't happened. Iran is preventing it. The real fight in Iraq is between the U.S. and Iran.
"No way" Ahmadinejad will back down unless faced with "decisiveness and firmness." Unfortunately, he hasn't gotten that in the past year and a half. Iran has to feel serious pressure. One way is to increase support for the Iranian opposition to show "we now mean business." Then they'll take us seriously and get scared. No real teeth in sanctions. The Achilles Heel of the ayatollahs is their domestic problems. Many (I think I heard the figure 4,000) anti-government demonstrations in the past year; that's where we need to focus. If we invite the opposition leader to this country, "they'll go crazy."
He also criticized the State Department extensively, which amused me no end.
I think the guy's book might be really interesting.
Posted by Attila at 7:46 PM
November 13, 2006
Via Fark, we learn this: "A Spanish town council has vowed to banish sexism from street signage by demanding half of all road signs and traffic lights show female figures with skirts and ponytails."
Inspired by Fark's comment on this ("Boobies / Don't Boobies crosswalk signs expected to be a huge hit"), I thought I'd try to help the town council by doing a rough mock-up of a new walk / don't walk sign. If you look closely, you can imagine the skirts. Forget the ponytails. They're so passé.
Possibly related: The actual title of an article given on the cover of Sunday's Washington Post magazine was "How an F-cup created a woman of substance." (The title at the link is different and decidedly inferior.)
I urge you to be mature, and please do not do a search to see if a previous article in the Washington Post by the same author in July 2005 has a photo of her. That would be ridiculously juvenile. And you and I, in any event, only read the Post for the articles.
Posted by Attila at 10:28 PM
November 12, 2006
Posted by Attila at 10:17 PM
Barely noticed in the results of the elections last week was the fact that the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative passed by 58% to 42%.
So this means the end of racial preferences at the University of Michigan, which lost its case on undergraduate preferences in the Supreme Court a few years back (while simultaneously winning its law-school preference case), right?
Wrong. As in California, where a similar referendum passed in the 1990s, George Wallace-style civil disobedience reigns. Xrlq brings you the details.
Posted by Attila at 9:58 AM
November 09, 2006
The folks at the Republican Jewish Coalition are very well meaning, but this latest press release on the exit polls is so heavy with spin it makes my head spin: "Jewish GOP Vote Hits 26.4%."
For those of you who (a) are not Jewish, or (b) pay no attention to the Jewish vote, that headline may cause you to do a double take. "Jewish GOP Vote Hits 26.4%." That sounds far worse than anything else that happened to the Republicans on Tuesday. But it's not. The point of the press release from the RJC is that this is good. It's good. Let me repeat that. It's good.
In 2004, the RJC was having multi-celled organisms over Frank Luntz's exit polls showing a 25% Jewish vote for Bush. I argued at the time that the Jewish vote was probably higher than that (some was "hidden") and suggested that the correct "benchmark" for the Jewish Republican vote was 25%, which corresponds to the percentage of the Jewish population living in red states. But not even I placed the Jewish vote above 30%.
So if the 25% in 2004 was good, how can we be ecstatic about 26.4%? Is such an increase even meaningful?
No doubt, the RJC poll results show a few mildly promising signs, with an emphasis on the mildly. For example, Orthodox Jews, a small but growing part of the Jewish population, voted 42% for Republicans. (Why only 42%, you might ask, when it should be about 80%?) "Younger" Jews -- meaning those of us under 55, which isn't that young -- voted 30.7% for Republicans. And people who were exposed to the RJC's ad campaign in local newspapers voted 35.4% for Republicans.
The RJC ad campaign was quite good, by the way, even though its effectiveness was somewhat limited. Here are three of the newspaper ads (click for large image):
Try as I might, I can't find much hope in the RJC's vote figures. This election was not the time to expect a sea change in Jewish voting patterns -- at least, not away from the Democrats. But I really have to wonder what it's going to take to make Jews have a second look.
You can try to justify the Jewish vote this year by focusing on concerns about Bush's handling of Iraq. But just between us, you know that's not why Jews continue to vote for Democrats. Jews have what I've called a "shtetl mentality" and vote for Democrats because they're afraid of those Christians who actually believe in their religion, a group of people who often find their home in the Republican Party. No matter that these believing Christians tend to be overwhelmingly pro-Israel. No matter that, with rare exceptions, the people who are anti-Israel (and often anti-semitic) find their home in the Democratic Party. A ridiculous number of Jews think that if you scratch the surface (and perhaps you don't even have to) pretty much every believing Christian wants to convert us or force us to live under Church doctrine. (And the worry about Muslims who actually do want to convert us and force us to live under shari'a law -- to live, if we're lucky -- not so much, it seems.)
A lot of the Democratic leadership talks a good game about Israel, but there are two problems with relying on the leadership. First, there is a very strong grassroots anti-Israel part of the Democratic coalition. Jews are completely unable to come to terms with this fact, and they live in a terrible state of denial. I wrote about this a year and a half ago. Second, the Democratic leadership's skeptical view of American power is as harmful to Israel's security as overt hostility. For a longer treatment of these points, see Ed Lasky's piece in the American Thinker.
And don't tell me that Israel is only one issue for Jews or that you disagree with the policies of the Israeli government. Fine, but if you're an American Jew, your life and well being depend on a strong America and a strong Israel. You can't separate yourself and expect to flourish. As Jews on continental Europe, and even in England, can tell you, your life as a Jew in this world is precarious. We have to recognize who our friends are -- and who they are not.
We obviously haven't been able to do so yet.
UPDATE: I may be a pessimist myself, but this 87% figure (Jews voting for Dems) strikes me as completely bogus. I think I personally know more than the 13% of Jews who supposedly voted Republican.
UPDATE: An excellent analysis of the two conflicting polls figures by Richard Baehr in The American Thinker.
Posted by Attila at 8:59 PM
November 08, 2006
Today, you will be shocked to learn, I've been getting an increase in hits from searches for "Nancy Pelosi idiot" and others like that. (The searchers land at my post "Nancy Pelosi's to-do list.")
But this is one searcher was looking for more, and I won't even go there.
Posted by Attila at 7:46 PM
November 06, 2006
The weather forecast for Election Day is: Cloudy with a 90% chance of lawsuits.
Especially in Maryland.
Posted by Attila at 7:53 AM
November 05, 2006
(click for larger image)
Posted by Attila at 2:42 PM
Public Service Announcement:
In case you were thinking of trying something completely new by going to the Waffle House and having a public fight with a person of the opposite sex, totally in the nude....
It's been done.
(via Fark -- who else?)
Posted by Attila at 2:00 PM
"Jews to step down as CareFirst CEO"
Headline, Baltimore Sun, Nov. 3, 2006
Posted by Attila at 1:55 PM
November 02, 2006
This is very definitely not what you want to read going into the election: "Maryland is on track to repeat the chaos of the 2000 election in Florida."
The Washington Times article for which this is the lead gives a summary of the problems Maryland may well encounter next week. And to think all we used to have to worry about was voting fraud.
Posted by Attila at 8:54 PM
November 01, 2006
The scarves didn't actually win. Technically, a 92-year-old retired archaeologist was acquitted on charges she had insulted the Turkish Republic, its officials, or "Turkishness" by writing in a book "that Islamic-style head scarves date back more than 5,000 years -- several millennia before the birth of Islam -- and were worn by priestesses who initiated young men into sex."
I suppose this is good news, but isn't Turkey supposed to be the most Western, open, free country in the Muslim world?
Posted by Attila at 8:51 PM