The Lebanese acting foreign minister calls for the disarming of all militias. Since Hezbollah is the only armed militia left in Lebanon, that sounds like good news.
I really, really, really hope this administration has a good plan to take advantage of Castro’s — tragic! That’s right tragic! — demise. Undoubtedly, there are 20 kajillion old plans sitting on a shelf somewhere. But a little democracy-spreading on Castro’s grave would be a welcome change of pace considering the news these days. No, I don’t want any invasions or whatnot, but maybe some walking-around money and some threats would work nicely. It’s not my job to work out the details. It’s my job to hope that someone else has — very late on a Monday night.
I think it is safe to say there are very many who are not wishing him well.
Breaking News on Castro
Fidel is in surgery for serious intestinal bleeding. He has handed power over temporarily to his brother Raul.
I AM GUILTY OF JEWISH STEREOTYPING
I made a joke earlier about how a Jew is as likely to be a Shiite sheikh as a Malibu cop. Oops. Turns out Mel Gibson’s arresting officer is Jewish. Which actually makes Mel’s remarks even worse.
If this is how you defend someone against a charge of anti-Semitism, you really are kind of proving the point:
“Keep up your tirade and soon some discerning folks out here may come to believe that you are an anti-Christian bigot.”
Because I said I hate anti-Semites because they hate me: “Is that what the Old Testament says? No wonder everybody hates you guys! Repent!”
Thanks to Jonah for flagging this. There is much more here and here and here . Many suspicious details about Qana point to possible Hezbollah staging of entire thing. Banner is suspicious, ditto the time lag between building being hit and collapsing, pictures of dead children were clearly exploited and also do not look — there’s no pleasant way to say this — newly dead. If this were staged by Hezbollah it would not be the first time the Palestinians have faked footage. Just a few weeks ago they circulated a clearly doctored tape throughout the Arab world that purported to show Israeli gunboats firing at a beach in Gaza. The Qana backstory is something all serious journalists should be on.
The foreign minister of France salutes Iran for its “stabilizing role in the region.” Here’s wishing that wishing makes it so.
Listen, I understand that you found The Passion of the Christ stirring and meaningful. But there’s really no way around this one. The guy got drunk and began abusing a Malibu cop — a job category that vies with Shiite sheikh for perhaps the least likely to be held by a Jew — for potential Membership in the Tribe, then starts ranting about how Jews are the source of all the world’s problems. You just have to give in and accept this one. He’s an anti-Semite, and with that knowledge, you may have to revisit the controversy over his treatment of Jewish authorities in The Passion and, no matter how moved you were by its depiction of Christ’s agony, understand that the criticisms weren’t pulled out of thin air. The guy has a serious problem with Jews. And to answer Jonah’s questioner from below, the world will do just fine without a Mel Gibson Holocaust miniseries, thank you very much.
Men Who Won’t Work
Equal time for Richard in Texas:
Dear Sir; My experience (both personal and observational), which is very broad indeed, is exactly the opposite of Byran’s. After reinventing myself professionally three times (no fault of my own), I have again been modestly successful and now have ten employees. I hire only Americans, and (by choice) make a little more than twice my lowest-paid employee. My oldest employee (who is also one of my best, most dependable and hardest working) is nearly crippled by diabetes, but we make a few adjustments, and he is always back the next day. My oldest daughter is the manager. I see ‘superior’ hotshots like Byran every day. Naively young; they think they are 8 feet tall, covered in hair, and destined to live forever; outlasting (as Joseph Conrad might say) even the sea and the stars. They usually make it about a week. Someday they will have a kidney stone, a dead parent, and more sympathy for others.
Are Liberals More Empircal?
Stuart Buck has some great stuff here. I hope someone forwards this to Jon Chait.
Now That’s Going To Be Awkward
Jake Tapper has a grim profile of Gibson’s crackpot dad which includes this tidbit:
“Gibson has a production deal with ABC Entertainment to make a miniseries about the Holocaust…”
Update: Good point from a reader:
Doing penance is always a little awkward, but that’s
insufficient reason to avoid doing it. However, one assumes that ABC
will LEAP at this excuse to scuttle the whole project, which means that
Holocaust Deniers will have one less video to worry about. Could anyone
explain to me why this will be a GOOD thing?
Was Qana Staged? Cont’d
A giant banner denouncing Rice and the “Qana massacre” might have been made a bit too quickly.
I don’t want to get too far out ahead on this, but I know we’ve got a zillion printer-type folks among our readers. Do you guys think such a banner could be made in 2-4 hours (particularly in a supposedly war-ravaged area)?
Update: From a reader:
“Do you guys think such a banner could be made in 2-4 hours (particularly in a supposedly war-ravaged area)?”
Heck no. A designer could throw it together in probably 15 minutes or so, but the longest part would be the printing. Notice how deep the reds and blacks are – this means they didn’t just bust it out. I wouldnt be surprised if that job itself (requiring special equipment, as it looks to be printed on canvas or nylon, not merely paper) took 6 hours simply to print.
Also, that puppy would be expensive.
Update II: From a reader:
Nope. Not possible in 2 hours to design, typeset, print, assemble and transport to the site. 24 hours if you’re really good to do all the above. I say that as an career commercial artist of 18 years now.
Update III: From another reader:
called a close friend who has a very large printing company in NY with the question. he called out to one of his technicians as to how long a color 30 foot banner would take to produce. the response was that it would have to be done by a special machine and that machine would take “5 to 6 hours.” by the way, their rather enormous, state of the art (less than 6 months old) facility doesn’t even have the equipment necessary to do it. so make a guess as to what’s available in a war-ravaged area…
KOS AND THE CAMPAIGN
Look for more of this. Today the National Republican Senatorial Committee released this statement about the left-wing blogosphere’s second-favorite Senate race:
Tester’s Buddies At “Daily Kos”: “Screw You Israel!”
WASHINGTON–Today, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) issued the following statement regarding Montana Democrat Senate candidate Jon Tester’s ongoing friendship with extreme, ultra-liberal blog “Daily Kos”:
“An anti-Israel diary posted today on radical web site ‘Daily Kos’ includes the expression ‘screw you Israel’” said NRSC spokesman Brian Walton. “By continuing to accept Kos’ support, using his blog to raise money, and even linking to it from his own site, Jon Tester has assumed responsibility for comments like this. Jon Tester should remove the link to ‘Daily Kos’ from his site and repudiate Kos’ hate-filled politics.”Jon Tester’s campaign website links to ‘Daily Kos,’ a radical left-wing web site. The editor of ‘Daily Kos’ has consistently praised Tester and even contributed to his campaign. The hateful rhetoric on ‘Daily Kos’ isn’t fit for a campaign for U.S. Senate, but sadly, Jon Tester has refrained from condemning it.
to with the NRSC refers, by a poster named “white is black,” reads as follows:
I have news for you and the rest of the world. Sorry, but you are not the chosen-ones as much as you want to believe your own bullsh**t. Everyone in this world are the chosen-ones. Every man, woman and child in this world are the chosen-ones. No matter race or religion!!! I am getting very close to saying “SCREW YOU, ISRAEL”!!!!!!! What goes around comes around. You are creating your own HELL on earth. You are creating more and more hatred towards yourself!! “An eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind” GANDHI
After the YearlyKos convention, I wrote
that Kossack support might become an issue in several races:
One theme of coverage of the YearlyKos convention is that Moulitsas and his followers are playing an active role in the 2006 and 2008 campaigns. Left unsaid is whether they will be an asset or a liability for the candidates they support. It seems reasonable to expect that any Democratic candidate who allies himself with Moulitsas, or accepts DailyKos support, will be asked, by Republican opponents, whether he or she endorses some of the things Moulitsas has written and said.
At the time, I thought Democratic candidates might be challenged about statements from DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas, but the NRSC press release suggests candidates might be asked about statements from anyone on the Kos website. And that’s a lot of material.
I Promise you,
John, you can spend the rest of the year quite clearly condemning Mel Gibson’s arrest remarks and you will still get hate mail. And whatever you say you will be called a chickenhawk.
Clearly his next movie should be “Braveheart and/or Mad Max.”
From a Conservative Friend in the Show Business
Re Mel: “Allow me to be slightly more generous towards Mel: he’s OUT OF HIS
GOURD! He hates women, he hates cops, he hates gays, he thinks he
owns Malibu, yes, he hates Jews. The man clearly has some paranoid
schizophrenia. Call it Ezra Poundism.”
Calling for a Ceasefire, Greenlights etc.
I’d like to offer one objection to the press and punitocracy’s relentless use of such phrases as “Bush gave Israel a green light…” or “Bush has refrained from calling for a ceasefire…” etc etc. No one disputes that America has real influence over Israel. But it doesn’t have control over it. So many of these formulations imply that all Bush needs to do is tell Israel to stop (or to “end the madness”) and Israel automatically will stop on a dime. They are often incorporated in quickie analysis about how the US is in a proxy war with Iran and Syria and that Israel is to America as Hezbollah is to Iran and/or Syria. This is dangerous and sloppy. There is no moral equivalence, and there is no political equivalence.