Saturday, January 18, 2003


Why are these chicks naked? What does nudity have to do with the issue? Hey ladies! This isn't the one thinks the gratuitous display of your unshaven, feminist body is beautiful....and in 2003, they're certainly not shocking enough to make people join the anti-war movement. Why don't you do yourselves a favor and put some clothes on and go have a cup of fair trade coffee with soymilk before you catch a cold!

[via LGF]

Friday, January 17, 2003

OK...I found my reading for next summer...COMING OUT JUNE 10th:
(Thanks to Dawson Speaks for the tip). What is this world coming to...Liberal Treachery? No way! Who would have thought?

Conspiracy theorists, Unite!
Ok this seems to be far fetched, I know. But I think that this conspiracy theory may have some merit.
Saudi Arabia has the largest oil reserves in the world (or close to it). The Saudi regime is completely corrupt and is definitely the main terrorist state globally in terms of how much of its money it funnels to terrorist groups in the world and in terms of how many terrorists it produces (second biggest export for that country it seems). Right? And it seems a little far fetched as well to assume that Bush and his gang don't know all of this, right? Well, why isn't it possible that the whole thing about Iraq actually is about securing an alternative source of oil so as to remove any leverage that the Saudis have to blackmail the US? Think about it. The US secures Iraq by installing, if not a democracy, at least a pro-western regime. After about 12 months, the oil taps are ready to be opened full tilt. Now, Bush makes his move and starts putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to a) reform, b) stop exporting terrorists and terror dollars. If he succeeds, he has gotten rid of Saddam and has turned the bankrollers of the entire Arab and Palestinian worlds around, without creating an energy crisis. If he fails to turn Saudi Arabia around, he still has seriously curbed their geo-political leverage. I think that it works. Thoughts?
A new beginning

Today marks the first day of my new life as a truly elite member of the upper crust of society.....I'm learning to play squash. What a snob.

Can someone enlighten me on this? Definitely not PC...
This morning on the radio in Toronto, people were calling in to talk about the outgoing mayor, Mel Lastman. For those who don't know Mel, imagine a really old fashion guy, family man, Jewish, with obvious hair implants, who made lots of money selling appliances and then went on to be mayor for 34 years. Now imagine this guy walking at the Annual Gay Pride Parade. This was the main topic of the debate. One of the reasons he started participating in these parades was that a mayor from another neighboring town was sued for NOT marching, and actually lost because it was deemed that he was the mayor of ALL citizens and therefore had discriminated against gays when he refused to march. A little dubious but what the heck.
Someone brought up the point that the Annual Gay Pride Parade always ends up having gays walking completely naked (thank God it is in July and not today when the temperature is -18C or 0F) and that the police never arrest these people even though they are in clear violation of the bylaws. By the way, the parade usually attracts more than 1 million spectators, most of them families with young children. Why? Don't ask. The guy who called maintains that in an other parade, people in the nude would be picked up and booked on the spot. Which is true given that topless bathers on Toronto beach used to be routinely arrested.
So my questions are this: 1) why do gays feel this compelling urge to have a parade? 2) why do some insist on disrobing? 3) why do they define themselves solely as one-dimensional individuals with a particular sexual orientation while ignoring the fact that they also are Canadian, professionals, fathers, mothers, etc... and finally 4) why do they believe that anyone cares about their sexual orientation more than they care about mine?
Isn't it comforting that 25% of all UN aid for refugees worldwide goes to these people?
Yeah, you guessed it. Our peace-loving Palestinian friends are demonstrating in support of Iraq, this beacon of freedom, Human Rights and Morality.
Something to think about...

This story wouldn't have been nearly as funny if I hadn't been eating a banana while I read it...

Bananas' Days May Be Numbered, Scientist Says

LONDON (Reuters) - It is one of the world's favorite fruits, but the banana hasn't had sex in years and its days may be are numbered.

Banana sex? No comment.
Hans "Blitz" and his usual disappointing self...

It looks like my little predictions weren't too far off.

PARIS - Chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix said he was "not worried" that the inspectors' discovery of 12 warheads designed to carry chemical weapons in southern Iraq on Thursday could trigger a U.S. attack.

The warheads, he said, were empty. "There are no chemical weapons inside them. However, clearly they were designed to carry chemical weapons. I think we should destroy them, that's the rules," Blix told a press conference with Chirac and ElBaradei.

'ata girl!

Rice Helped Shape Bush Decision on Admissions

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice took a rare central role in a domestic debate within the White House and helped persuade President Bush to publicly condemn race-conscious admissions policies at the University of Michigan, administration officials said yesterday.

The officials said Rice, in a series of lengthy one-on-one meetings with Bush, drew on her experience as provost at Stanford University to help convince him that favoring minorities was not an effective way of improving diversity on college campuses.

Rice, the first female national security adviser, told Bush that she worked to increase the number of African American faculty members at Stanford but that she was "absolutely opposed to quotas," a senior administration official said.

Score another point for Condi in my books! How on earth are intelligent and deserving African Americans ever supposed to gain the respect they deserve if the government keeps structuring the framework for ill-spirited people to say "token"? Am I wrong? Isn't that what people are going to say? Of course it is. How could they not? That's what it is, isn't it? The application process through which I was accepted to various universities was based solely on my grade 13 (aka. Ontario Academic Credits) results, as it should have been. This type of race-blind acceptance process prevents discrimination and favoritism. Quotas encourage discrimination against those not fortunate enough to be born the right race.....the one whose quota hasn't yet been maxed out.

"Oh, you're hispanic? Sorry Miguel, but despite your incredibly high academic standing, we're all stocked up on your kind today. We were hoping for some more blacks". Puh..leeze! Is that not the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard?

As for those who would say "The quotas aren't meant to protect from discrimination, they're meant to encourage the actual numbers of blacks in universities to increase". To that, I say....fooey! There are enough well-educated, deserving black students in university today who would take serious offense to a policy that undermined their ability to get there on academic merit. If you want to talk about bettering the quality of education in low-income, black neighbourhoods and subsequently providing academic scholarships to allow poor black students to actually cover the cost of University, fine. I'm game. But that's an entirely different issue altogether.

Also, d'you think Condi's involvement has anything to do with the fact that she was admitted to the University of Denver at the age of 15? Just a thought.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Idiocracy is, in fact, a global phenomenon

Just like Conundrum, I don't speak much German, but even I can figure out what the German's are getting at in this magazine.

Wow. The depth (or lack of depth) at which these people are willing to analyze an issue never ceases to amaze me.

I actually remember the first time my father introduced me to the internet. I was about nine or ten years old, and we surfed together for awhile, equally amazed by the amount of information one could find in this new information medium. Since my father was playing Pavarotti in the background, I challenged him to find some sort of Pavarotti fan club on the internet, secretly hoping that failure to produce such a site would prove that he wasn't as internationally adored as my parents had always made him out to be. As one would expect, there were numerous fansites already online, and so, much to my dismay, the music played on. We really didn't understand the potential for the internet to become so universally accessible, and so as we continued searching for sites dedicated to celebrities, politicians and singers, my father said "Wow. You really know you've made it in life when your name is actually on the internet". Never has that statement been proven more false than by this website.
Yeah, and the dog ate my homework...

Inspectors Find 12 Empty Chemical Warheads in Iraq

...A senior Iraqi official played down the discovery's importance, (now there's a shocker) saying his government forgot to mention the warheads in the declaration to the Security Council last December that was supposed to provide a final and complete accounting of Iraq's arms stockpile. The official, Gen. Hussam Mohammed Amin, head of Iraq's weapons-monitoring directorate and the chief liaison to U.N. inspectors, said the chemical shells were overlooked because they were stored in boxes similar to those for conventional 122mm rocket warheads.

"Nobody opened this box," Amin said at a news conference convened less than an hour after the inspectors announced their discovery. "There was no intention to keep them."

Amin said the warheads, which he said were imported in 1986, were too old to be used. "It doesn't represent anything," he said. "It's not dangerous."

I wouldn't be surprised if the UN was behind the whole thing. Why? Here's my theory: With this new (and not terribly earth-shattering) discovery, the UN is able to say "You see?? We actually found things. We did our job and we were succesful now we can stop looking". As for the Iraqis, they're able to say "You see? the UN found nothing but empty chemical warheads...really, nothing of consequence. And the Americans? Well, now they'll have a rougher time gaining international support for the inevitable strike against Iraq. Far fetched? What do you think?
Bad taste

Campaigning for the upcoming elections in Israel were recently kicked off and as such, several new commercials are running on various channels throughout the country. There is, however, one commercial in particular that has raised a bit of controversy in Israel...and it's not from any of the campaigning parties.

This is an advertisement that looks remarkably like an authentic election plug, with a jingle that says, "The people want peace, the people want security... but more than that, the people want pastrami!" As remarked upon by local comedian and talk-show host Jacky Levy, the election campaign for pastrami is the hands-down best. Why? "It only says what is good about pastrami, without bashing the salami, the gyros, the sausages...."

The rest of the article discusses the campaigning process in Israel and the ways in which sabotage, scandal and childish behavior are avoided. A must-read for any poli. sci buff like myself.
This site won the Right Wing News "Site of the day" award today. Thank you so much for the great recognition! If the award is given as the result of a nomination from someone, then we sincerely appreciate the nomination as well. Thanks again.
Sorry Elana for saying that but...the Republicans are disappointing me more and more.
Now, a new anti-hate bill is being drafted in the US by Orrin Hatch, which makes it explicitly criminal to incite hate against Blacks but says nothing about gays. I think Andrew Sullivan really nails it on the head:
"The average thug doesn't walk down the street, see a lonely homo and think, "I need to reassert the importance of procreation as essential to an ordered society." He thinks: "Fucking faggot. Let's kick some pansy-ass." Hatch wants to say that someone motivated in this fashion is somehow less reprehensible than someone who wants to attack someone because he's Jewish or black or white. I want to say: is Hatch kidding? How low does he think gay people are in the social order that it's okay to send a signal that demonizing and loathing them is somehow less problematic than demonizing and loathing other groups?"
Bigotry is one of these right/wrong issues that has no middle ground. Either you reject bigotry in all forms or you effectively condone it. Whether the Republican/Christian Right approves/disapproves of a certain lifestyle is irrelevant. Discriminating against someone because of who they are is wrong. Always. And if Bush thinks otherwise, then he is dead wrong.
Jackie Mason on Lieberman

Jackie Mason really captures the conversation that all Jews seemed to have had upon hearing of Lieberman's candidacy for vice-president. Too funny.

Every time a group of Jews got together you would hear somebody ask, "Did you ever think that this would happen in our own lifetime, that we might live to see a Jewish vice president? This is fantastic." But then the person next to him would say, "Don't get so excited, I think we were probably better off before."

This argument would continue in this vein. "At least thank God he has blond hair so he doesn't look too Jewish," one would say. And someone else would say, "But I hope he doesn't sound too Jewish in the debate; I hope he doesn't talk loudly. All we need is for the gentiles to start saying, 'Look! here come those pushy Jews again.'"

Then someone would say, "Now it's not so bad because he is still behind, but what do you think will happen if he actually looks like he might start winning? Who knows? It might revive anti-Semitism all over again. Who knows? Some gentiles might even get violent." Some Jews even became panicky: "What bad luck for this to happen just when I moved to a new house."

tee hee

An X-ray shows a front view of a clamp left inside the belly of a 59-year old male patient after surgery in this undated handout photo. The clamp was removed without incident. Surgical teams accidentally leave clamps, sponges and other tools inside about 1,500 patients nationwide each year, according to a study done by researchers at Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, both in Boston, Mass.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

I liked him "Frum" the beginning

In his latest diary entry on National Review Online,David Frum has answered the numerous claims that the US is hypocritical in their treatment of Iraq and North Korea.

One question I’m often asked on this book tour is to explain the seeming “double standard” in the Bush Administration’s treatment of Iraq and North Korea. Bush is threatening force against Iraq, but wants a diplomatic solution to the North Korean standoff. How come? And behind that question, you often pick up a paranoid hint – might the difference originate in the fact that Iraq possesses oil and North Korea does not?

You probably have heard the same questions. Here’s how I usually answer:

The United States has as many different standards as it has problems. North Korea, Iraq, and Iran are not America’s children, who must all get the same treat or the same punishment. They are America’s enemies and must be handled with all the cunning Americans possess. If that means using different tactics against one enemy, so be it.

[...]One reason we treat North Korea and Iraq differently is that North Korea has already acquired nuclear weapons while Iraq can still be prevented. It’s hard to imagine a better justification for differential treatment than that.

Bang on. One point that continues to strike me is that the Bush critics on campus here at McGill can never actually find fault in what Bush does, but rather continue to criticize him on the way he does things (of course, there are also the people who just make no sense whatsoever, but they're not really worth mentioning anyway). For instance, I hear the "America is hypocritical in their treatment of Iraq and North Korea" argument all the time. My first question to the people who say such things is: "So what you're saying is that you wouldn't have a problem with the war against Iraq, so long as the US threatened war against North Korea as well?" This of course produces the usual huff, puff and rolling of eyes, followed by the thoughtful "oh forget it".
I don't know if ANYONE can actually answer this difficult question: What went wrong during the anti-terrorism raid in Manchester?
Can anyone spot the tactical errors here:
MANCHESTER, England -- An inquiry has been ordered into an anti-terror raid which left a police detective dead, as questions were being raised about what went wrong.
Stephen Oake, 40, a detective constable with Special Branch, was killed when a suspect broke free, grabbed a kitchen knife and began stabbing officers.
Oake was not wearing body armour, none of the police involved in the raid were armed, and the suspect was not handcuffed at any time during the hour-long raid on the Manchester flat, police said[emphasis added].
"Police didn't perceive the situation to be a threat," said CNN's Matthew Chance in Manchester.

I hope that the brilliant strategist who planned this raid gets personally sued and taken to the cleaners by the widow and kids of the slain officer.
You know your voice is powerful when.....

This site, and all other blogs from blogspot, have been permanently banned in China. I couldn't be any prouder.
Can you blame them for wanting to leave?

Embassies said to help Jews get to Israel

SANAA, Yemen, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Foreign embassies in Sanaa have been aiding members of Yemen's tiny Jewish population to emigrate to Israel by way of European countries, a Yemeni opposition weekly said Wednesday. Yemeni law bans Jews from emigrating.

According to a 1997 U.S. State Department report, Jews in Yemen are allowed to practice their religion. However, they are treated as second-class citizens and cannot serve in the army or be elected to political office. Jews are traditionally restricted to living in one section of a city or village and are often confined to a limited choice of employment, usually farming or handicrafts. Jews may own property.

According to what were described as Israeli reports, seven Yemeni Jewish families who immigrated to Israel 18 months ago asked Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to allow them to return to their homeland because of economic difficulties in Israel and their inability to integrate into Israeli society.

Now that's just weird....why on earth would Yemen make it illegal for Jews to leave the country? I am not, however, surprised that Yemeni immigrants to Israel asked for permission to go back to Yemen. This past summer, while travelling through Israel, I spent some of my free time exploring Raanana, a lovely suburb. I happened to stumble across an absorption center for new Israeli immigrants and was fortunate enough to be allowed in to see what "life on the inside" was really like. The people with whom I was travelling and I were really shocked to see how rough the conditions are in these centers. Life is, by no means, a picnic. People from all around the world, with absolutely no common language and almost no money, are thrown together in extremely tight living quarters and expected to integrate themselves into mainstream Israeli society (find a job and home) within about 18 months of their arrival (notice how this is the point at which the Yemenis decided not to stay in Israel). The people I met were frustrated, tired and many expressed a half-hearted gratitude for their new homeland. This, of course, is not to say that anyone in particular or the Israeli government is at fault for the less than luxurious conditions, but I just thought I'd relay the experience anyway. Israel, the land of milk and honey, was not, for these families, what they had expected. It was truly the first time I could almost comprehend how difficult it must be to uproot yourself and your family and move to a completely foreign place.
Well that's not good

UPDATE:The vials of bubonic plague have been located. Is it just me, or is that the scariest name ever for a plague?
Go home little girl, go home

So-called "peace-activists" travalled (on Saddam's blood money) to Iraq to make fools of themselves. Case in point:

Bianca Jagger is also peace activist, or, as she prefers it, a human rights advocate. She is in Baghdad, too. She told CNN that she believes the Iraqi government will disarm because she cares about children. "All we can expect is that the Iraqi government will understand that they have to comply with the U.N. [sic] Council resolution, and that they will do it because I am concerned about those people who have been suffering for all of those years because of the embargo that has affected children and women and we can't deny that."

And if they don't, whatcha gonna do about it? Call your ex?

[via Damian Penny.....who continues to spell my name with two "E"s]
Police death

Policeman Killed, 4 Hurt in UK Anti-Terror Raid

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - A British policeman was stabbed to death and four others were injured in an anti-terror raid which police said was linked to last week's discovery of a chemical weapons agent in London

Yesterday, in my class on military strategy and state security, the professor asked the class if and how they believed this war against terror was different than previous wars. None of the students, in my opinion, got the answer exactly right because they all seemed to miss such a central point (which of course was my point, but he never picked on me to talk....grrrr). The war against terror is different from all other wars in that half of it is being fought directly on American and allied soil. That means that non-military personnel (like the dead and wounded police officers in Britain) are often left to deal with things like "anti-terror" operations.

Five years ago today, America became aware of, what might be, the juiciest sex-scandal to ever hit the White House. The interesting thing about the whole circus is that the Drudge Report apparently played a much larger role in the whole thing than I could have ever imagined. It seems that President Clinton discovered the public nature of his indescretions while reading Drudge. Wow. Imagine having that kind of a story before anyone's the kind of scoop any blogger would kill for.

I like to try and find a personal connection to things I post, so here's my attempt at Monicagate: While I have no actual connection to Monica or Bill or their late-night escapades, this story affects me because between Lewinsky and Chandra Levy, my parents decided that "dark-haired Jewish girls" don't fare terribly well in Washington and, as such, I should forget any dreams of oval office internships.

Fine! I was only interested in working with Condi anyway!

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Yes folks, it's the moment you've all been waiting for: The Onion is back in business and they're funnier than ever.

Bush on North Korea: 'We must invade Iraq'

WASHINGTON, DC—With concern over North Korea's nuclear capabilities growing, President Bush reassured the American people Monday that "extreme force" will be used to remove Saddam Hussein from power if the Iraqi president fails to give up suspected weapons of mass destruction.

Above: President Bush speaks to reporters about the growing crisis with North Korea, vowing to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
"For years, Kim Jong Il has acted in blatant disregard of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Of Nuclear Weapons, and last week, he rejected it outright," Bush told reporters after a National Security Council meeting on North Korea. "We cannot allow weapons of mass destruction to remain in the hands of volatile, unpredictable leaders. Which is exactly why we must act quickly and decisively against Saddam Hussein."

HAHAHAHAHAHA. It does sometimes seem like that, doesn't it?
They've got blogs too!

Another Prager treat.

In case you needed to feel sick tonight, Dennis Prager chronicles the kvetching of Democrats who are concerned that the liberal message is simply not being heard enough.....what are they, deaf?
*NOTE: To access this article, scroll to the bottom of the page I linked to and click on the article called "Conservatives have talk radio; liberals have everything else"

As Denis mentions, it is true that conservatives do, in fact, have a healthy presence in the news/talk radio world. He does, however, fail to mention that they're also alive and well in the blog world. Blogs started out as forums in which average people like, you and I, would post their ideas, beliefs, rants, truths, etc., but it has morphed into so much more. Today, there are celebrity bloggers, journalist bloggers, professional bloggers, and the list goes on. I really think (and I know I'm not alone on this) that we bloggers may be on the brink of something really cool here. Charles Johnson and Damian Penny, both average citizens, are frequently quoted in newspapers (and I believe on television as well). Suddenly, people who never used to have any way to speak out are posting ideas, stories, jokes, sarcastic remarks....and everyone's listening! Grassroots at its best, baby!
Another gem

Dennis Prager, as I have said before, is another one of my favorite columnists. He's fantastic. His latest three columns have been, as usual, thought-provoking, timely and incredibly well written. Here is a link to the main Denis Prager site, in which links to all of his columns can be found. Unfortunately, I am unable to post links directly to each article, but all you have to do is scroll to the bottom of the page and they're all there waiting for you! Now go read!

Why is America hated in the Arab world?

According to leftists and to Arab and Islamic spokesmen, the reasons are: American support for non-democratic regimes in the Arab world -- such as in Egypt and Saudi Arabia -- and because America supports Israel.

Before positing what I believe to be the reasons, let's answer these two arguments. The argument that America is hated by Arabs because it supports non-democratic regimes in the Arab world would be regarded as hilarious were it not believed by so many gullible people in the West.

The argument presupposes that what the Arabs (and Muslims elsewhere) who hate America want are open and free societies. But there is not a shred of evidence to support this.

Here are other titles from his latest columns:

If you believe that people are basically good . . .

Morally neutral reporting is dishonest reporting

Of course, the great majority of Muslims are peaceful -- so what?

Understand Nigeria and you understand the Islamic threat


Mader from Maderblog posted a link to a totally cool website that displays the front pages of 174 newspapers worldwide. Cool eh? The best part is, without that post I never would've known about this....

MAYOR MEL (of Toronto) IS STEPPING DOWN......WooHoo!

Finally! Maybe we'll get a mayor with some vision. Look, I've met Mel and he's a sweet guy. Really. But a first-class mayor he is not. Toronto should and could be a world class city, and yet because of this man's leadership (or lack thereof), we've gotten nowhere since he came to power (can Toronto mayors "come to power?). Not to mention the numerous faux-pas he's made in the past, such as the Olympic bid fiasco where he made comments about being afraid that Africans would boil him in a big pot if he travelled to the region. Good one Mel, good one.
Innocence (totally) lost

Sexual assault on 4-year-old boy alleged on bus

BOSTON (AP) Police are investigating a report from a mother who said her 4-year-old son was forced to perform oral sex on two boys, ages 6 and 12, as they rode home on a school bus last month, school officials said.

The 4-year-old boy, a special education student, told his mother that the 12-year-old threatened to ''beat and stab him'' if he didn't perform the sex act, the 4-year-old's mother told The Boston Globe.

Now, I don't want to accuse this child of lying at all, but I will say that having been a schoolbus rider for many years, I find it difficult to imagine that...

a) no other children saw this going on
b) those that did see it failed to alert the bus driver, or at least squeal in disgust loudly enough to catch the driver's attention.

When I was young, kids were always flipping over seats, running back and forth through the aisles, singing, screaming, and generally getting into eachother's business while riding to and from school on the bus. There's no way anyone could've given (or received) oral sex without everyone on the bus knowing about it. If this story does, in fact, turn out to be true, then both of the agressors need to be dealt with swiftly and do their parents.
"Doctor! Doctor! My eyes are blurry!"....."So are mine"

NEWARK -- A local eye doctor known for his performances of and widespread advertisements for laser eye surgery has had his license suspended for at least nine months because of (on the job) alcohol abuse.

Wow. Maybe it's the whole laser thing, but drinking in this particular line of work seems especially bad. The guy should have his license removed for good.

Judge Oks US Lawsuit against Kazza

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge has given record companies and movie studios the go-ahead to sue the parent company of Kazaa, a popular online file-swapping service.

In a 46-page ruling issued Friday, the judge said Sharman is subject to U.S. copyright laws because it has substantial business dealings in California and its actions are alleged to contribute to commercial piracy within the United States.

Piracy shmiracy! What the heck am I supposed to listen to if they take my kazaa away? Now, I must admit that I know very little about the whole "stealing music" argument, but I do feel like it'd be fair to ask people to pay some sort of membership fee, albeit a small one, like $20/year, to be part of the "music stealing" community. But to go ahead and do away with the whole thing? That's just crazy. Especially when you can still turn on the radio and hear that Britney Spears has, yet again, gone quadruple platinum. Clearly, people are still buying CDs! Ok OK, I admit it - I do feel as if I'm getting something for nothing at someone else's expense, but the fact that these cases even make it to court (and stay there for months on end) tell me that there are some arguments in favor of my music-stealing habit that I'm just not aware of. I may keep an eye out for more news on the matter.

Monday, January 13, 2003


Lieberman doesn't do much for me. Really. He's, like, the least sexy politician in terms of new ideas he supposedly has to bring to the Democrats. Also, he sounds kinda slow when he talks. I do, however, like his wife Hadassah, whom I met and spoke with at a lecture in Toronto right before the last election. Nice lady.

Oh....the point of this post? As we all know, Lieberman joined the 2004 race for the Presidency today, and now, more than ever, I feel that having a Jew in the White House could only lead to serious foreign policy problems. Yes, before everyone bites my head off, I'll admit that I dislike the fact that religion is even entering the picture here, but I'm being realistic. Liberman's Judaism would be used as a tool by Arab states to discount what the US wants.....actually, come to think of it, they're already doing that. Hmm...interesting. Maybe my theory needs some tweaking. More to come....
And the best outfit of the night goes to...

Christina Aguilera was definitely sporting my favorite outfit from tonight's Music Awards (sorry Britney). Loved it all....loved the dress, loved the shoes, loved the nails, loved the makeup, hated the hair. What on earth was she thinking? Millions upon millions of women spend billions upon billions of dollars trying to cover their grey hair - and Christina went ahead and dyed her entire head white! I'm not sure if it's better or worse than the bleached braids from the 'Dirty' video, which I also hated (the hair, not the video), but I still hope she goes back to something a little more normal. In any case, I'll end on a positive note by noting that all in all the whole "get up" was a much better choice than her usual crotchless leather pants....or no pants at all. Good heavens!
Lego, Hindus, Roller-coasters and Kuwait.....all in a day's work for Larry

Larry Miller, who is by far one of the most entertaining writers of our time, has a phenomenal column out about his recent trip to Lego Land with his family. The guy writes about Kuwait, Iraq, the military and Jews and keeps me in stitches. Definitely worth a read....but here's a teaser:

By the way, most Jews think Christmas is the best day to go to places like Lego Land or Disneyland (or WallyWorld, for that matter) but, of course, this is dumber than Hans Blix. Since everyone gets the same idea at the same time, the crowds are no better at all, and probably worse. And it's not just Jews. Every Buddhist or Hindu family in America gets the same brainstorm, and as a result, the ethnic breakdown of the crowd looks like a freshman mixer at M.I.T., or the unpopular sofa from the beginning of "Animal House." ("Ira? I believe you know Ramesh, and Googoo, and Wong?")

...and in other top news....

Kournikova Says She Doesn't Have a Tattoo

Anna says that it's only a heat patch. Phew! Luckily she cleared that up for us.
"Why won't you die already?" - Austin Powers

The head of Hamas on Monday rejected a call by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to halt attacks on Israeli civilians in the run-up to Israel's January 28 election, and suggested his Islamic militant group might kidnap Israelis as ransom for Palestinian prisoners.

During the first Palestinian uprising, between 1987-1993, Hamas kidnapped several Israeli soldiers to press for the release of Palestinian prisoners. No Palestinian prisoners were released in these cases, and Hamas killed its captives.

*Note*: You require a free membership to JPost to view this article. Annoying, but worth it.
Give credit where credit is due....

Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic, has written a great column about the Palestinian's great contribution to the world....bloodshed. And here's the kicker: They're proud of that gift, and in fact fight over who is truly the most violent and murderous group amongst Palestinian people.

The Palestinians aren't skittish about claiming this peculiar gift to the world as their own. Take the double suicide bombing near the old bus station in south Tel Aviv this past Sunday evening. Before all the shattered bodies had been dispatched to hospitals, Islamic Jihad had taken credit for the deed. And, not long after, came word from Hamas that it, too, should share in the kudos. Then, this competition became snarled. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an armed gang of Yasir Arafat's own Fatah, announced that, no, it had committed the act. And, then, Arafat's Palestinian Authority (P.A.), itself dominated by Fatah, condemned it. The P.A. boldly promised to act against those responsible. But by now this is an old trick, which only the European Union still seems to believe. The purveyors of murder and the denouncers of murder are the same people. (To make the P.A.'s horror even less credible, authoritative Israeli observers now believe that it was Tanzim, another of Fatah's militias that actually shed the blood.)
"The party of unbelievers"

THE RELIGION GAP--the tendency of religious conservatives to vote Republican and of atheists, agnostics, and non-churchgoers to vote Democratic--is large, relatively new, and systematically underreported in the media. For while half the story, the GOP activism of religious traditionalists, is boringly familiar, the other half, the secularists' preference for the Democrats, passes nearly unnoticed in the prestige press.

[...]Another striking finding is the intensity of many secularists' dislike of conservative Christians--vastly greater than any dislike of Jews or Catholics...

Exactly how does one measure hate? The article says that this information was gathered from survey information. Now, this semester is the first time I'm studying reserach methods in data collection (fun fun fun), but even I, a mere beginner, can guess that survey questions phrased somewhat like "Do you hate Jews more that conservative Christians?" may produce unreliable data.

This article is kinda cool and worth a read anyway.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

How well they know me

Last night, 15 of my closest friends helped me celebrate my 20th birthday (which was on December 28th, while everyone was away on vacation) by taking me to one of Montreal's most fancy shmancy and hip restaurants - Sophia's. They treated me to dinner, drinks, some sort of death by chocolate dessert and a subsequent "once in a lifetime" and humiliating trip to Montreal's most famous male strip club called "281". They claim they took me there because "no 20 year old girl should go without a trip to a strip club". I, however, am convinced they dragged me there (kicking and screaming, I might add) because they know how conservative I am (in public, at least) and how out of place I'd look in such a club. Oy were they right! I'm not going to describe what I saw or what went on (After all I do share the page with my father!), but I'll say that it was like perusing a stack of Harlequin romance novels. There were guys to please every middle-age, desperate housewife in the joint....there were cowboys, construction workers, naval officers, cops...and every other village person you could imagine. Despite my initial concerns, I did survive the trip and lived to tell about it. But this morning, as the phone calls began coming in to ask me how I felt about the whole experience, I began to develop some new ever will I deal with the whole new set of friends who now have the leverage required to sabotage any political aspirations I may have for the future? I suppose I'll deal with that when the time comes. In the mean time, I'll thank everyone for an unforgettable birthday and a memorable evening.

As for my friends who actually bought me birthday presents, I must compliment all of you on knowing me so well. Dave got me a book about immigrating to the US and how to be an American (he did, unfortunately, refuse to give me his own citizenship), while Dan presented me with country music CDs (because he knows I'm a fan). In keeping with the typical "gag gift" spirit of a 20th birthday, Meighan bought me a book called "Neurotica" which is a humorous look at Jews and sex. What a great name eh? What did my posse of girlfriends get me? I'm being presented with the gift tonight and from what I understand I should be as apprehensive about the gift as I was about the strip club. I don't know how much more excitement I can handle. Wish me luck!
Can Jews vote Republican? Is the Pope Catholic?

AKIBA J. COVITZ, a professor of civil rights at U of Richmond, Virginia, ponders the fate of so many Jews who are sitting on the political fence after years of (somewhat) blind support for Dems.

Many liberal Israeli friends describe similar crises of conscience about supporting someone like Ariel Sharon. They could not have imagined standing behind Likud and Sharon 10 years ago.

We are experiencing something similar here in the US with former strongly self-identifying Democrats now straddling the political fence.

This has happened for a variety of reasons, but it has to do primarily with support for Israel. The Democrats need to shore up their base, which is now seen as being composed of African-Americans and members of the lower working class. Jews don't fit into that picture.

[...]Democratic leaders like former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle will on occasion stand up in support of Israel. But this is presented in such a way as to place as much blame for the "cycle of violence" on Israel as on Palestinian terrorists.

[...]Many of my liberal, NPR-listening, Democratic colleagues in academia (which is to say nearly all of America's professors) believe that anti-Judaism worldwide is a justified reaction to Israeli oppression of Palestinians. (this is what I live with folks!)

[...]REPUBLICAN leaders and followers, on the other hand, mince no words. They recognize that the Islamic terrorists who attacked the US in September 2001 and who pose a significant threat to Americans at home and abroad are the same people who plot to kill Israelis and Jews in Israel and around the world. Islamic terrorists are simply described by Republican leaders, such as House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, as evil.

Clearly there has been a shift in support of American Jews from Dems to Republicans but I disagree with the idea that Jews now support the Republican party because they are doing such wonders for Israel. Are they? Maybe in relation to Dems, but that's not saying much either. American Jews feel pain when they watch reports of the latest suicide bombing in Israel. Feelings of anger and revenge surface along with sadness and despair. When the towers fell on 9/11 Americans experienced a sense of deep shock, horror, anger, fear, despair, etc. But this was nothing new Jews (or at least to the Jews who actually follow what's going on in Israel). When Bush stepped forward and made his speeches about "getting 'em" and bringing those evil people to justice, Jews were finally getting the response that they always wished to Israel and in the US. Do Jews support Republicans for their social and economic policies? With a war pending, none of that seems relevant right now. But I do hope that this transition in Jewish political support will at least make Jews consider the Republicans as an option for long term support once the war is over, as opposed to simply slipping back into their usual blind support for Democrats.