Friday, April 12, 2002

Buh, Bye

The PLO has been evicted from their office in Washington, D.C. Good riddance.


I'm about to dash off to the airport for a weekend in Atlanta, where I'll be taking in my first-ever horse race, the Atlanta SteepleChase.

Look for my report of this classic Southern event on Sunday.


Two surfer dudes, having discovered a wave-rider dude surfing on their turf, beat up and attempted to drown the wave-rider dude.

Unfortunately for the surfer dudes, their "turf" happened to be in a federal maritime jurisdiction. They are now charged with assault causing serious bodily injury.

I've been to Fort Point, where the alleged assault occurred. Wind-propelled waves come through the Golden Gate and crash against the sharpest rocks I've every seen. One must be mentally unbalanced to risk a gnarly death by surfing in such a dangerous place, so I'm not surprised to read about people beating each other up for the privilege.

Thursday, April 11, 2002


Last night I had the pleasure of sharing some beers and snacks with some coworkers from around the United States, Australia, and Denmark. Our conversation drifted from philosophy and religion to science, politics, and (of course) the Middle East.

During this enjoyable colloquy, while I sipped from my foamy pint of Guinness, the coworker from Denmark made what was for me an infuriating comment. He expressed his belief that the recent Israeli defensive actions in Janin, Ramallah, etc., were fundamentally immoral. Another coworker, who happens to be a very good friend of mine (as well as my boss), immediately jumped in to agree with this assessment, stating that he thought Prime Minister Sharon was �crazy.� Not one word was said about the conduct of the Palestinians, or Yasser Arafat, their terrorist leader.

My blood instantly boiled when I heard these ridiculous statements. Fortunately, I was able to check my anger and thus spared myself from what could have been a career-ending outburst.

Now that I�ve had time to reflect on the events of the evening, I�ve found myself asking the question: �How can intelligent people come to such incoherent, incorrect conclusions about a situation which is easy to evaluate and, yes, judge?� Both of the individuals I've mentioned are highly intelligent, and yet I know that neither one of them would be able to factually support their respective opinions.

I think that a large part of this phenomenon is explained by the abusive use of language. For example, when the major news outlets assaults our ears the simple refrain �violence in the Middle East,� they are in essence equating murders committed by Palestinian terrorists with the justified reprisals delivered by a democratically elected government defending its citizens. Such obfuscation of the truth is intellectual fatuous, and deserving of our condemnation.

Caudia Rosett at has written today about the use of language to obscure the truth. I encourage all of you to read Claudia�s excellent analysis of wartime doubletalk.

There�s only one way we�ll see an end to terrorist assaults on Israeli sovereignty: We must continue to call Palestinian suicide-bombers what they are � terrorists and murderers; and we must not fall prey to the vacuous appeasers in Europe who are, even as I write this, snickering with pleasure at the rapid decline of American prestige. President Bush needs to lead this charge, and he needs the help of all those who believe that they truth will set Israel, and innocent Palestinians, free.


Stanley Kurtz has created a stunning proposal which may very well result in the androgynous equlity that we all yearn for in America.


Reuters has just reported that Ohio Rep. James Traficant, known for his habit of concluding his House speeches with the statement "beam me up!", will be beamed directly to a federal penitentiary for up to 63 years.

The articulate Traficant, who has been down a similar legal road before, acted as his own council. He was found guilty of bribery, corruption, and racketeering. I've heard that prison officials have graciously agreed to give Rep. Traficant a complimentary haircut upon his arrival.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002


Benjamin Netanyahu's website contains all kinds of interesting facts about the man and his policies, as well as a link to his most recent speech (a must-read) to the United States Senate. Now this is a man with moral clarity.


Rich Lowry at the National Review Online has written a very good synopsis of the collapse of President Bush's foreign policy in the Middle East. At every crossroads, the position of the United States has weakened further -- to the point where our Secretary of State agrees to meet terrorist leader Yasser Arafat without any conditions.

I suspect that the President has quietly given Sharon implicit approval of his actions to eliminate the terrorists in Israel's back yard. However, in the long term our lack of moral clarity -- which was so refreshing when President Bush took office -- will ultimately prolong the terrorist incursions of Yasser Arafat. The terrorists will have learned, as Mr. Lowry point poignantly states, "that a few street protests and howls from Arab governments can serve to stifle American power, to make its leaders reverse themselves and generally seem confused and weak."

Tuesday, April 09, 2002


Earlier today, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the indictment of four individuals, including the infamous "blind sheik" Abdel Rahman and his American lawyer Lynne Stewart, for providing material support to a terrorist organization known as The Islamic Group. If you want to see how this incendiary felon and his aides-de-camp are alleged to have conspired against your country, you can read the indictment here.

According to the Associated Press:
Stewart is a 62-year-old civil rights attorney and political firebrand whose clients have ranged from Weather Underground radicals to cop killers and recently, mob killer and turncoat Sammy "Bull" Gravano.
What a fantastic person.

It should be obvious that the Patriots Act, which includes provisions allowing the government to listen in to the conversations of federal inmates and their attorneys, is vital to our national security.


Clownish behavior has long been a tradition an UC Berkeley, but today's clownish behavior turned criminal when a group of "pro-Palestinian" (read: pro-terrorist) protestors stormed Wheeler Hall.

Even more disgusting was the attempt by protestors to subvert the Yom HaShoah observance at Berkeley by equating the current situation in the Middle East with the Holocaust. Thank goodness for free speech: We now know who the anti-Semites are. Several of them were photographed by the Associated Press.

Monday, April 08, 2002


I start this entry with a big "thank you" to Dan at Dan ran across What Next? while surfing around and was kind enough to give me, and the "What Next? Good Writing Contest," a plug at his website.

Dan's blog has a nifty feature that allows his readers to make shared comments on each of his postings. While visiting his website today, I noticed several comments on Professor Butler's award-winning bad writing entry. The comments are somewhat amusing, to wit:
Okay. Professor of Rhetoric, I can understand. But professor of Comparative LITERATURE? Please. I may shoot myself. The only thing I can pray is that this is some sort of cross-disciplinary excursion....that Dr. Butler is perhaps comparing her writing to....dadaist art. Or something. Because to think that this woman is helping form the minds of others--others who will be reading and critiquing MY writing--

--I shudder. Up against this, no wonder I'm working at a library. Does that sentence even have a PREDICATE? Jeezus.

Dan? Please shoot me. I beg of you.


-Apr 07 2002, 08:55 pm


I think it's a secretly coded interpretation of "Hey Diddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle".


-Apr 07 2002, 11:39 am


Pour another cold one, this one may take a while...


-Apr 06 2002, 09:29 pm


All I know for sure is that it gave me a whopping headache.


-Apr 06 2002, 09:20 pm

By the way, Dan is a DJ for a great public radio jazz station in the Newark/New York City metro area, WBGO 88.3 FM (you can listen to the streaming broadcast here).


Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online has just written the definitive article crushing the arguments of so-called "peace activists" who are incapable of distinguishing Palestinian misery -- caused by Palestinian leaders -- from the murder of innocent Jews in Israel by bloodthirsty, brainwashed, cultist fanatics.

Kudos to Prime Minister Sharon for his bold, principled stand on behalf of Israeli security interests. His actions are perfectly justified and consistent with the philosophy of our own government. This, too, is a war against evil, and the President and his worrywarts at State must support Israel. Our interests are Israel�s, and Israel�s interests are our own. That�s not to say the Palestinian Authority doesn�t have its own set of interests. It does. It�s mission is the complete destruction of Israel and its citizens.


Dude, here's, like, a majorly cool review of "The Bachelor". Very cool.

Sunday, April 07, 2002


This great article by Gregory Baruch of the Washington Post asks the fundamental question: If we can sue for all manner of misrepresentation in business and personal affairs, why is the publishing industry somehow exempt when it comes to the use of ghostwriters?