Wednesday, December 12

Excellent piece by Norah Vincent on the Palestinian issue:

The posture of victimhood may be exploited in the West, but consider for a moment what things might be like if the shoe were on the other foot. If Israel were a Palestinian state, complete with superior firepower and all the privileges of internationally recognized statehood, and the West Bank were a Palestinian occupied Jewish enclave, do you really suppose there would be any Jews left to protest?

What's more, do you imagine that Palestine, like the vast majority of the rest of the Arab world, would be anything other than a repressive dictatorship bent on crushing its God-given enemies? Would it be any different from, say, Egypt, where vicious anti-Semitic rants, and fabricated conspiracy theories routinely run unchallenged on the Op-Ed pages of major newspapers? Would it really be any different from Iraq, where Saddam Hussein gassed hordes of his own people, simply for the crime of being Kurds? Or would it more resemble Pakistan and Afghanistan, where vigilante mobs beat and murder neutral journalists just as remorselessly as they burn their detested white devil in effigy? And all in the name of Allah....

Finally, would Jews, and for that matter Christians and Hindus and Buddhists, if left alive, be allowed to practice their religion freely under what would more than likely be an Islamist regime? Well, of course, we know the answer already. Look at Sudan, where Muslims in the north murder and enslave Christians in the south, taking children from their families and banishing them to lives of servitude. Look at Iran, where Muslims, let alone persons of other faiths, fear to transgress strict religious provisos, or Saudi Arabia, home of the perfidious mutawain (religious police), and birthplace of Wahabism, the worst of fundamentalist Islam's factions.

The piece is in Salon.

Not so fast, Dr. Clone:Cloned monkey embryos are a "gallery of horrors"
Here's a good summary of some current anti-Christian holiday fun:

I guarantee you will feel ill after reading this report from the Washington Times.

Some samples:

Two middle school students in Rochester, Minn., were disciplined for wearing red and green scarves in a Christmas skit and for ending the skit by saying, "We hope you all have a merry Christmas."

• A teacher in Plymouth, Ill., was warned by her principal not to read a book about Christmas to her second-grade students. The book was in the school's library.

• The county school board in Covington, Ga., deleted the word "Christmas" from the school calendar after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened legal action

As far as I'm concerned, we have two basic options regarding education at this point:

Strip government schools of all responsibilities except teaching basic subject matter. No celebrations of any kind, no parties, no seasonal decorations. Or:

Shut down the government school system completely, give each parent a voucher for $5000 for each child's educational expenses with only minimal restrictions for its use, and let the market rule.

Back from the library . I really need to remember to take the stroller with me next time. Although hauling all of those books and the baby is fantastic for my biceps, I guess. As if that's the part of my body that needs working out.
Katie Couric's about to sign a 100 million dollar contract. Why? Who cares about Katie Couric? Who sees Katie Couric's name listed on a program and says, "Oh, gotta watch that. She'll expand my horizons and offer prescient analysis." The bottom line is, who sees Katie Couric at all and doesn't want to slap her?
Today, of course is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. One of the strangest tellings of this story in recent years was on the PBS children's series Wishbone. For the uninitiated, Wishbone is a dog who reads. The programs had two storylines intertwined: one concerned the adventures of Wishbone and the boy who owned him, and then the other involved Wishbone imagining works of literature with himself as a character. Yup - they did it all. Wishbone as Hamlet. Wishbone as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. And Wishbone as Juan Diego. It sounds insane, but it actually worked, a prime example of one of the basic rules of storytelling: if you can get the audience to buy your premise, the piece will work, no matter into what strange heights it soars.
You've probably already seen the list of most dangerous toys. I like James Lilek's take on it:

One of the toys to which the director objected was "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots," - the commercials of which were a staple of my childhood. The cry of "You knocked my block off" was as common in the playground as the plaintive lament "You sunk my battleship!" Yet none of us grew up to be mass murderers. John Walker no doubt played with neither the Robots or Battleship, and spent his childhood moaning "You negatively impacted my self-image!" and "You scuttled my Rainbow Warrior!"

Okay - got both columns done. After a bit of surfing and blogging, I'll head to the library. On the menu: Science fair project books, copies of Oprah's magazine (you can check out magazines at our library. Gotta start working on that article about Oprah.) and Temperament: The Idea that Solved Music's Greatest Riddle.


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