Four days of simple chores, too much good food & wine, and letting the world go to hell without my input
Paul Yowell wrote in with that quote I couldn’t identify. It was from Wordsworth, and even more fitting than I’d thought.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. – Great God! I’d rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn,
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreath
Yesterday was quite a ride, kids.
Boris Kupershmidt, who sends me tons of stuff every day, links to the perfect antidote for those West Bank Blues.
Here’s a tale of real heroism.
Whenever I read stuff like this from WWII, I’m reminded of when I saw Saving Private Ryan the first time. Saw it on the big screen with the girl I was dating then, and we were both moved beyond words.
So we crossed the street to an Appleby’s or some other family chain restaurant, where we could sit and pretend to eat dinner while we got quietly drunk.
A couple tables away, I recognized the woman who’d been sitting next to me in the theater. I took notice of her because she kept covering her face during the worst bits of movie carnage. Watching her after, gaily eating her meal, I just wanted to grab her by the shoulders and tell her, “If our grandfathers could do that, the very least we can do is watch it.”
I was just in total unbeleiving awe of how blithe a person can be, of how unaware we can stay of our surroundings if we only cover our faces. I really should have told her off when I had the chance.
On a day like today, I don’t think I’d hold back again. We’ll be eating dinner at home tonight.
At least 16 are dead in another suicide bombing attack, this time at a hotel Passover Seder.
I’m sick of telling Israel to negotiate.
I’m sick of tit-for-tat “cycle of violence” body count news stories.
I’m sick of war without end.
I’m sick of women and children being killed for being women and children.
I’m sick of seeing newly-made orphans.
I’m sick of the vicious-child mindset of every Palestinian leader.
I’m sick of young men ending their lives in an unholy struggle.
I’m sick of Arab pretensions.
I’m sick of cowardice called martyrdom.
I’m sick of knowing I can’t visit half my family’s ancestral home without fear.
I’m sick of those who teach murderous hatred to children.
I’m sick of failures who want to take us down with them.
I’m sick of lies and duplicity used in the name of justice.
I’m sick of beautiful young girls slaughtered for their religion.
I’m sick of bounties for dead civilians.
I’m sick of our diplomats being jerked around.
I’m sick of the Israeli people having to hold back their fury and their tears.
I’m sick of the lying Palestinian media.
I’m sick of the biased American media.
I’m sick of loser barbarians who try to dictate peace terms.
I’m sick of accommodating our destroyers.
I’m sick of being made to look like fools, by fools.
I’m sick of hating to read the news.
I’m sick of arguing with irrational beasts.
I’m sick of crying.
Mostly, I’m just sick to death of the senseless, bloody idiocy.
But there is no end in sight. There is no persuading men who don’t hold to reason. There is no coexistence. There will be no peace.
The time has come for Israel to expel every single last Palestinian from the West Bank. If they so much as squawk, then those in Gaza should be expelled, too. They can flee to Jordan, or Syria, or Egypt, or to Lebanon. I don’t care where they go.
Frankly, they can go to hell.
NOTE: I’m sorry the comments section isn’t working today. If you want to damn or praise me, just send email. I probably won’t post much more for a while. I just don’t feel like being witty and flippant right now.
ANOTHER NOTE: OK, the comments are working again. Click on the Drinks and let’s see what happens. But I can tell you two things: 1) I’ve never received so much email, and 2) Not one has been in disagreement.
Be very afraid of the American street.
Can’t We Send Him Back To Canada?
Because I enjoy a cruel laugh (out of a sense of sadism or out of masochism — probably the former), I subscribed yesterday to Peter Jennings‘ daily email note.
Here’s the lede from this afternoon’s update:
Peter Jennings will report from the Arab League summit in Beirut, Lebanon, where there is a growing sense that, despite all the wrangling, almost every Arab country is prepared to have normal relations someday with Israel. While the Arab League was meeting, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in an Israeli beach town, killing more than a dozen people on the first night of Passover.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who noticed the disconnect between the first and second sentence. There’s not even an implied sense of detached irony. Let’s re-write that story in family terms everyone can understand:
“Tonight during the Green Household Chores Meeting, a long discussion led to the virtually unanimous agreement that Steve should take out the trash. In an unrelated story, Steve threw garbage all over the kitchen and took a dump on the dining room table during dinner.”
Might I suggest the Vietnam solution to saving network news? You know, that “we saved the village by destroying it” technique.
Today’s Required Reading
I was going to get on my CFR high horse again, but Robert Samuelson beat me to it.
After his column, nothing more needs to be said — outside of court challenges, that is.
Tom Clancy Drool Fest
StrategyPage announces that the JSOW is tanned, rested, and ready to bomb.
You might not have heard about the AGM-154A, but trust me when I say it’s very, very cool. Better yet, trust these guys. They’ll give you the whole scoop.
But I’ll sum up the -B variant for you right here. Imagine a single bomb able to take out an entire company of camouflaged enemy armor, near simultaneously — yet the pilot never has to get any closer than 15 miles.
Told you it was cool.
Also, It Smells Like a Wet Dog
The new NRO design may be sloppy and confusing, but at least it’s ugly as hell.
What hath Jonah wrought?
You Only Hurt the Ones You Love. Did I Say “Love?” I Meant “Hate”
Reuters (Motto: “One Man’s Wire Service Is Another Man’s Impacted Toenail”) reports chaos at the Arab League summit in Beirut.
PA Barbarian-in-Chief Yasser Arafat is miffed and all snippy because a satellite speech of his wasn’t inflicted on, er, broadcast to the entire Arab world.
“This is an Arab summit, not a Lebanon summit,” Kaddoumi added. “The summit is for all the Arabs and for the (Palestinian) Intifada and he (Lahoud) has no right not to listen to the Palestinian speech.”
All Pain All the Time
I didn’t realize just how hooked I’d gotten on the Comments until YACCS took them away. Stacy, my Web Administratrix, was right when she said they’re as additcting as crack.
I’m curled up in the fetal position, shaking violently, somehow managing to type. Giving up cigarettes was easier.
Best. Screed. Ever.
You know what to do.
Real Old Testement Justice
Two Palestinian barbarians accidentally blew themselves up at a roadblock yesterday, before they could get near civilians.
There’s an old saw that wars aren’t won by the most competent army; they’re won by the least incompetent army.
Obviously, we have nothing to fear from the outcome in this fight. All we need to win is the political will.
Have Some Coffee Before Reading This Post
Arlen Specter wants you to adopt a frozen embryo. I know the anti-abortion crowd can get a little creepy, but that one really made my skin crawl. Ronald Bailey has the whole story over at Reason.
My immediate thoughts about adopting a frozen embryo are:
1) I’m going to need a faster ice-maker.
2) I’ll gain practical experience for my cryogenic freezing in 2050.
3) Are people against this called anti-freeze?
4) You can make jokes about frozen embryo adoption, but it’s still really creepy.
5) Arlen Specter needs to be hit upside the head with a brick with the words “There’s a war on” etched into it.
Pete du Pont — who I cast my very first vote for in the 1988 Presidential Primaries — is just now discovering lying and deceit in the US Forest Service.
It’s a well-written, well-argued piece, really. It just seems so dated. The blogosphere trapped, skinned, butchered, grilled, ate, digested, and shat out that issue just about ever ago.
Still, du Pont puts a lot of good data together in a nicely-sized package. It’s still worth a read if you’re looking for more intellectual ammunition.
NOTE: I’m wasn’t kidding about the ’88 primary. I was 19, a fierce little Randian, and willing to do anything for a candidate in favor both privatizing Social Security and a flat tax. I’m no longer such the Objectivist, but I could still sure go for a President like that.
Talk About Burying the Lede
Kudos to the Times for daring to put the truth in a headline!
I’d been ignoring the story of the slaughter in Paris yesterday. Hell, I almost never read about the ones in Israel anymore. The details are depressing in their unimportance, and just plain depressing. Some nut with a gun and an agenda and a deathwish.
But cruising through the Times, I actually stopped to read the story.
CNN buried the one essential fact in the eighth graf.
Canada.com was better, putting it in the third paragraph.
Ha’aretz saved it for the fourth.
The New York Times didn’t see fit to mention it at all.
What am I talking about, you ask? The shooter was an activist in the local Green Party.
The Cats Voted to Bell the Mouse
No surprises here — the Arab League put out a formal statement condemning Israel, praising the barbarian Intifada, and giving Praise Unto Allah for being such a nasty fucker lately.
So I made up that last part. Sue me.
What does come as a surprise is reading this line in the Washington Times:
The absence of both [Mubarak and Arafat] came as a blow to summit efforts to address Israeli-Palestinian fighting.
What blows here is the writer taking seriously Arab League efforts to address the “fighting” at all. If the League had the Palestinian’s best interests at heart, they would tell them to lay down their arms and come to a workable peace agreement, pronto. But from Iraq to Morocco, the Palestinians are seen as useful idiots. Good for killing Jews and keeping a tiny semblance of cohesion in the Arab world.
The whole meeting was a sham designed for no purpose other than to hide those facts.
We Already Know Drugs and Smoking and Sex and Anything Fun Are All Bad For Us
Apparently, Bush picked a new Surgeon General.
Um. . .why do we still have one of those?
Don’t Let Him Be Right. You Wouldn’t Like Him When He’s Right
More evidence that the VodkaPundit is a financial genius. Or at least a good guesser.
USA Today reports consumer confidence took its biggest jump in 11 years in February.
Over three weeks ago, I predicted 3.5-4.0% growth in the economy this year. That’s starting to sound less bold with each new piece of data we get. Barring an severe oil shock or nuclear, biologicial, or effective chemical terrorist attack, I don’t think anything can stop the economy from the top end.
We’ll talk again in ten months when the 2002 figures are final
The Sullivan Crusade
The Ongoing Adventures of a Straight Man Trying to Get Noticed By a Powerful Gay Man
Instead of the usual jokes about sucking up for a mention, I’d instead like to ask a different favor.
Andrew, now that you’ve noticed and mentioned two of our best bloggers — Pejman and Asparagirl — you need to blogroll them on your Links page. It’s true that Pejman is as rabid a first-generation American as I ever hope to buy a drink for. And, yes, Asparagirl writes as well as any of the pros. I’m glad you’ve told the world what so many in the blogosphere already knew.
Pejman writes just as fast and much more furiously than even the Instantman. Asp can get words under the skin even better than you can — and that’s saying something.
So give them their due. Put them on your links page.
For Music I Still Prefer George Clinton
You don’t see much Clinton-bashing in this space. He was certainly the most corrupt president of the 20th Century, but we were lucky enough to have elected him at a time when we could afford the distraction, more or less.
Yet I still found today’s Michael Kelly column compelling. It is, in part, a write-up of the new Joe “Anonymous” Klein book on Clinton, called “The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton.”
But there is a common theme, which has to do with the quality that, in the end, made Clinton a most unusual president. It is not, Klein’s valiant efforts notwithstanding, a positive quality. What comes across as the most important source of Clinton’s uniqueness as president is the nearly unbelievable degree of his essential unfitness to be president — his profound immaturity, his pathological selfishness, his cynicism, above all his relentless corruption.
In Klein’s defense, Clinton emerges almost casually as “the apotheosis of his generation’s alleged sins: the moral relativism, the tendency to pay more attention to marketing than to substance, the solipsistic callowness,” possessed of an “angry, adolescent side,” given to “almost hilarious self-involvement” and “childishness,” “a man who would actually poll whether or not he should tell the truth” and who suffered from “moral turpitude,” “a compendium of all that his accusers found most embarrassing, troubling and loathsome about themselves.” Klein finds it plausible that Clinton ordered up lethal bombings in Sudan and Afghanistan “to turn the nation’s attention away from the Lewinsky scandal.” This, mind you, in defense.
Interesting stuff about — love him or hate him — an interesting man. Check it out.
Now Go Away Or I Shall Be Forced To Taunt You a Second Taaaaaahm
David Broder has a new column today, but I couldn’t get much past the header. “Europe’s Fury.”
You see, even good guy Europeans, like the Germans, are mad at President Bush over the whole Iraq thing, so maybe we should listen to the Lilliputian Limp Wrists this time.
Anyway, I’d have some biting criticism for you, but that headline just undoes me. When I think of “Europe’s fury,” all I can picture is little skinny men throwing cheese from behind some rocks at the entire 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and shouting, “No fair, we haven’t built an army yet!”
All this, of course, in a French accent of the Cleese region.
NOTE: I also claim dibs on the phrase “Lilliputian Limp Wrists.” Not as succinct as “EUnuchs,” but it flows better and is less likely to be confused with an operating system.
Only In The Guardian
Remember this name: Suzanne Goldenberg. This is only my third full installment of OITG, but it’s her second mention. She’s a reporter based in Israel, and pretty out there even for a eurolefty. She is, I think, one of those disturbing self-loathing Jews whose first reaction to anti-Semitism is “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”
Read this lede from her report on the Arab League summit in Beirut:
A defiant Yasser Arafat declared that he would not attend today’s Arab League summit in Beirut, virtually guaranteeing that the Palestinian cause will dominate the gathering of regional leaders.
My, how virile she makes Yasser seem. He’s “defiant” and “will dominate.” Pretty loaded language — and this is a “straight” news story, not an opinion piece.
Aides for Mr Arafat announced the decision in Ramallah last night, saying that the Palestinian leader would not bow to the ever-toughening conditions of Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, for his attendance at the event.
That’s tough old nut will “not bow” to “ever-toughening conditions.” He’s a martyr, you see, willing to suffer for the cause.
Unmentioned is that “the cause” is killing as many women and children as he can, until the few surviving Jews flee the Middle East.
Only in The Guardian, kids.
I don’t usually bother with Will Kristol and his “National Greatness” cohorts, but anyone who publishes Miller is OK in my book. Or in Kristol’s case, OK until the next time he opens his mouth.
So go read Miller already.
David Warren has posted another Essay.
He takes a harder look at last week’s column on what to do about Arafat. The key graf is way down towards the end:
The problem for the Bush administration, is that while it makes contingency plans for an unavoidable regime change in Iraq, it becomes increasingly aware that Saddam Hussein is no longer isolated; that there is a real risk the Americans could find themselves fighting, alongside Israel and Turkey, against all of their common enemies in the region, simultaneously. But given the constant development of weapons of mass destruction in each of these enemy states, and the constant stoking of Islamist fires, such a war might better be fought sooner than later.
I thought calling the Current Mess “World War IV” was a bit of cute hyperbole, designed to remind us that this Mess is no joke. Now I’m starting to think WWIV is no joke.
At what point in the fighting did they start calling it World War II? When the Germans invaded Russia? I really don’t know. If anyone does or finds out, please get back to me via email or the Drinks section.
I do know, however, that you need to read Warren right the hell now.
Too Damn Many Davids
The header is a long story — don’t ask. But do ask me why the hell I kept forgetting to link to David’s Rave & Rant & Whimsy. Apparently, he and I are the only two people on earth still Watching Ellie
And sadly, not for much longer.
Anyway, you’ll find David in the After Work Cocktails. It’s about time to have one here at the VodkaCondo.
UPDATE: That’ll be the last new link for a bit, while I get things a bit re-organized. Like spelling, organization is not my fort
I’d Like To Smack the Academy
I didn’t watch the Oscars, don’t care about the Oscars, wasn’t going to write squat about the Oscars.
But then John Podhoretz slams the ceremony and boosts Sidney Poitier, both beautifully:
In a magnificent speech that was the highlight of the otherwise-unspeakable ceremony, Poitier himself paid a powerful and modest tribute to the directors, producers and studio heads who made history by casting him in the films that made him a star. They were all white.
So is Poitier’s wife Joanna. Poitier had two daughters with Joanna, who are therefore both black and white. He is an integrationist not only professionally, but personally. For him to be seen as an inspiration only to black people is to ghettoize an extraordinary man who simply refused to accept the limits of race.
There you have it. Hell, by July I’ll be darker than Halle Berry — and yet Hollywood finally rewards her. . .for her role as a death row inmate’s wife. That’s not triumph, that’s tragedy.
And those multiculturalists on the Left Coast should know better.