Monday, May 24, 2004

Anti-Semitism at Berkeley

Eugene Volokh points an article in the East Bay Express about the rampant anti-Semitism at the supposedly "enlightened" and "tolerant" U.C. Berkeley.

See also David Bernstein's follow-up post on the meaning of the word Zionism.

Arrogance Personified

President Bush had an accident on Saturday, in which he fell off his bike. According to Drudge: "Kerry told reporters in front of cameras, 'Did the training wheels fall off?' " It is worth noting that Mr. Kerry had his own similar accident earlier this month. However, he is counting on the press not to remember that. What an arrogant twit!
Even more egregious is the fact that the only places where you will find mention of this latest manifestation of Kerry's superciliousness is in Drudge or in the Washington Times. Drudge noted that "debate among reporters over the on-camera 'training wheels' remark has been 'whether to treat it as on or off the record.' " Yeah, right!! If the President had exhibited such hauteur, there would be no "debate among reporters." It would be all over the damned media.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Senator Hollings' idiotic anti-Semitic ravings...

I meant to blog on this the other day, but, well, I didn't.

David Bernstein over at Volokh points out some pretty old-style anti-Semitic ravings on the part of Senator Fritz Hollings.

The story has received at least some play in the press, though not a lot (I wonder whether it would have gotten more attention if Hollings were a Republican...)

Anyway, the response from other Democrats?

<...crickets chirping...>

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The REAL Candidate for the Rich...

Tossed in to a NYT article about a website that tracks campaign contributions:
"The site also presents several indexes that use census data to rank candidates by the characteristics of their contributors. A GrassRoots Index shows who has received small contributions from all over America (President Bush is first); a Devotion Index shows who inspires repeat giving and financial sacrifice, (Mr. Bush is first again); and a FatCats Index ranks who gets large contributions from the wealthiest Americans (Senator John Kerry is tops)."


Wait, John Kerry? I thought it was Bush who was supposed to be beholden to the moneyed interests...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Hecklers, Mayor Giuliani and the 9/11 Commission

I am 60 years old, but I am still capable of being appalled at the venality that can suddenly reveal itself. I am far from a skeptic, but even I can sometimes recognize corrupt motives beneath a veneer.
This morning, I watched Mayor Giuliani’s gripping narrative of his experiences on 9/11. I was surprised to hear frequent heckling and bursts of outrage from the audience. There was a group of “victims’ families” who kept interrupting to scream about the “radios,” and “Motorola,” and “scandalous contracts,” etc. I couldn’t understand it, until it suddenly came to me: these people have no one other than Motorola to look to for money! If they can manufacture a claim that somehow Motorola’s radios were substandard (even if they were not, and met the needs of pre-9/11 reality) and that, as a result, that might have contributed to the loss of life, then they have a basis for extorting money from Motorola. This is not fanciful. Johns Manville was driven into bankruptcy as a result of essentially baseless claims.
I am sure that not all of these people have such base motives, but I have no doubt that many of them do.
At 60 I am finally becoming disillusioned. The political nature of the hearings themselves, the hectoring of some witnesses and the idolization of others, and the use of 9/11 for the furtherance of hidden agendas is peeling the scales from my eyes…
I want the scales back!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Choosing What to Report (Updated)

Today, as you may or may not have heard, the army reported that a roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent had recently exploded near a U.S. military convoy in Iraq. Apparently, soldiers transporting the shell for inspection suffered symptoms consistent with low-level chemical exposure, which is what led to the discovery. In conjunction, the administration said that it also had discovered mustard gas.

Now, given all the hoopla about WMD in (or not in) Iraq, one would expect that such news would in fact be very big news. Maybe it would be isolated cases that wouldn't go anywhere, but one would imagine that people would find this meaningful and be curious as to where this story leads. And in fact, at mid-day, the major news services ran stories on it. By late this afternoon, the headlines were largely gone. And as of now, other than Fox News (whose website headline reads: "Sarin, Mustard Gas Found in Iraq"), you almost can't find it at all. Actually, on CNN, that is literally true; the story is not just gone from the headlines, but I simply can't find it anywhere, even after using the CNN search-engine (although you will find that 8 Palestinians were killed; just for fun I searched to see reference to the Israeli family that was massacred last week ... couldn't find any mention of it).

The Times is only slightly better. You won't find the story as the lead headline, nor under any of the sub-headlines on the International section. And even when you click on the International tab, you still won't see it under any the major headlines....you have to scroll down to "More International News" and then the second story there is headlined "Illicit Weapons: Army Discovers Old Iraqi Shell Holding Sarin" I like the way that was written...the use of the words "illicit weapons" and "old iraqi shell" and the word "sarin"; all technically accurate, but clearly avoided the words like WMD or Chemical. Someone casually reading might just miss the whole article, and not really catch the implication.

However, if Seymour Hersh has anything else to say, I have no doubt we will see lots of headlines quoting the 'Pulitzer Prize' winner.

UPDATE: I stand somewhat corrected. You can find the article on CNN. Although, the article in not under any headline refering to the chemical weapons. Rather, the article is titled: "Iraqi council replaces slain leader". Only when you click on the article does it yield a sub-headline: "U.S. probes discovery of shell believed to contain sarin gas". About 12 paragaphs down, the issue is discussed. Well, I guess the Times and CNN can say they've covered the story.....

Friday, May 14, 2004

1994 NBC Research Report: Friends will be a flop.

The guys at The Smoking Gun have posted a confidential market research report prepared by the NBC market gurus about the Friends pilot. Apparently it scored a 41 out of 100 (ER scored a 91) and was destined for failure.

The people who prepared the report are clearly now pollsters for the Kerry campaign.

What used to happen at Abu Ghraib

As bad as what happened to the prisoners at Abu Ghraib is, Daniel Henniger writes a fascinating story about people whose hands were amputated during the Saddam regime at Abu Ghraib as punishment for a trumped up charge and the Americans who are helping them now.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Out-of-focus media...

As usual, Cox & Forkum get it right.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Anything you want, Diane...

As people who know me are aware, I have had a serious thing for Diane Lane since I was 8 and saw her in A Little Romance, my favorite movie of all time.

The Smoking Gun has obtained a copy of a memo to file written by her lawyers outlining her requirements when working on a film.

And as far as I'm concerned, Diane absolutely deserves to have:

A StairMaster in her trailer.
A daily personal fitness/yoga instructor throughout prodution.
Fresh squeezed juice 2 times daily.
The right to keep her wardrobe.

And any other damn thing she wants. And if they try not to give anything to you, Diane, just come to me, I'll fix 'em, the bastards.

Although I would like to see her nudity rider.

Nick Berg was Jewish

I didn't know that. Did you? I certainly haven't seen it reported anywhere. Not at least until I read Jeff Jarvis latest post.
Berg's father said his son was Jewish and had a fringed religious cloth [tzit-tzit] with him, but he did not think Berg wore the clothing in public. Still, "there's a better chance than not that they knew he was Jewish,' Michael Berg said. "If there was any doubt that they were going to kill him that probably clinched it, I'm guessing.'

Jeff concludes by saying:
"Listenening to NPR and the BBC on the way to work this morning, I heard no mention at all that Berg was Jewish. Is that just bad reporting? It could not be more relevant: Al Qaeda selects American Jews for execution. Let's call Nazis Nazis."

Good for Jeff. And thank you for letting us know this and calling these executioners what they are. Will it get widely reported?

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Blame

I will bet that Ted Kennedy and the others will lay the blame for this
on the President and Rumsfeld. They will say that if we had not mistreated the Iraqi prisoners, this would not have happened. That is an obvious lie, but that has never stopped the Kennedy crowd before (notice that it is AL Qaeda that claims "credit" for this. The Kennedy folks deny that Al Qaeda is in Iraq). It is not the President who is responsible for this, it is Al Qaeda. To a lesser extent, it is Don Hewitt and "60 Minutes II" that is responsible for this. May they rot.
Also, a newsflash: I just learned that a relative of one of the people who were guards at the prison had e-mailed 17 members of Congress (16 Democrats, 1 Republican) a long time ago, because he was afraid that his nephew would be made a scapegoat. He wanted to enlist their aid in investigating the charges of abuse at Abu Ghraib. He was blown off by each and every one of them. Among those who received these letters: Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, Hillary Clinton, Jay Rockefeller..... I doubt that "60 Minutes II" or Ted Koppell will bother exposing and investigating this interesting tidbit.

Letter to Senator Kennedy

I sent the following letter to the distinguished senior senator from Massachusetts. It is no more than venting, since nothing will ever shame him!

Senator Kennedy:
You have spent your life as a liar, coward (remember Mary Jo Kopechne) and scapegrace. You have never demonstrated an iota of decency in your public or private life. Now, you are doing all that you can to undermine the proper mission of the US in Iraq. Read the following letter, and be ashamed of yourself (if that is remotely possible for you).
Stuart Kaufman
Management Recruiters of Great Neck
stuartk@mrgreatneck.com

A gentleman from Virginia, proud parent of a decorated Army officer serving in Iraq, writes to us [newsmax.com], "I am so fed up with the anti-American propaganda coming from some Americans that I wrote the open letter below. I will appreciate it very much if you include it": [text of letter follows]
An open letter to some political partisans, especially certain politicians and people in the media: I have a son who is an American soldier in Iraq.
I care very much about what affects him and his comrades in arms.
I am not fooled, when you partisans spew propaganda that helps our enemies and harms our soldiers, then tell us you support our troops.
I am not fooled, when you focus on, highlight, and exaggerate the negative things that happen in Iraq, while ignoring our positive accomplishments, then tell us you support our troops.
I am not fooled, when you focus attention on American soldiers killed and wounded in Iraq, to use these brave patriots as an anti-Iraq-war political football, then tell us you support our troops.
I am not fooled, when you keep criticizing why and how we invaded Iraq - that is done; our troops are there - then tell us you support our troops.
I am not fooled, when you engage in constant, carping criticism of what the U.S. has done and is doing in Iraq, then tell us you support our troops.
I am not fooled, when you search for and trumpet to the world anything that will diminish respect for our soldiers and their leaders - even when it endangers greatly their lives, then tell us you support our troops.
I am not fooled, when you tell our soldiers and the rest of us that they are stuck in a "quagmire" and will suffer a Vietnam-type defeat, then tell us you support our troops.
I am not fooled, when you spout propaganda that undermines the morale of our soldiers and the American public and boosts the morale of our enemies, then tell us you support our troops.
You are giving aid and comfort to our nation's deadly enemies! They know they cannot defeat us militarily in Iraq. However, you cause them to think they can win here politically by breaking our will, if they kill and wound enough of our soldiers.
You despicable partisans! You are stimulating our enemies to attack our soldiers and the people working with them. The blood of many Americans and Iraqis is already on your hands. And your hands collect more blood every day!
You are determined to regain the political power you have lost, and you believe your presidential candidate and congressional candidates will win, if the U.S. fails in Iraq.
If your anti-American propaganda contributes to the deaths of many Americans and Iraqis, that is a price you are willing to make them pay. You are pathetic and dangerous!
I am not fooled, when you contemptible politicians and other political partisans, including many in the media, tell us you support our troops. I know that is a lie!
I am not fooled, when you claim spreading your pernicious, divisive, anti-American venom makes you patriotic. I know it does not - and I know you are not!

Monday, May 10, 2004

State interference in the right to contract.

In a staggering overreach of arrogated authority, the Virginia General Assembly "passed with veto-proof majorities a jaw-dropping bill that bans not only civil unions but any 'partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage.'"

Assuming the Washington Post's description of the bill is accurate, this is just plain wrong. Whether or not you believe the state should solemnize marriages between same-sex couples, under absolutely no circumstances should the state be prohibiting these types of private contracts.

How far do "privileges or obligations of marriages" go?

Will they now abolish wills that provide for an estate to be given to a same-sex friend? Will a same-sex friend to whom you have given a health care proxy be forced to prove that he's not a lover before the proxy is given effect? What about a power of attorney?

This is super-wrong. I'm not passing judgment on its Constitutionality. I've given up on that. But as a matter of policy, just wrong.

Hoffman v. Streisand...

Hee. I have no idea how true this is, but according to a blogger who seems to have at least some inside info, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are fighting on the set of the aptly-named Meet The Fockers.

My favorite part:

Populist Streisand even insisted everyone on the set call her Barbra and not "Miss Streisand." When AD Josh King made the mistake of calling her "Barb," however, the creature awakened. "Don't call me that!" Streisand snarled.

Hoffman then made a point to refer to Streisand as "Barb" continuously thereafter. Is Barb in this shot? Should I stand next to Barb? What's my line after Barb's?

Later, after a lunch break, Streisand recoiled in horror when she saw the camera crew all sporting "Bush 2004" buttons. Withering under the diva's stare, DP John Schwartzman admitted sheepishly that Hoffman had put them up to the stunt and passed out the buttons.

At that point, Streisand wheeled around to Hoffman and bellowed, "Dustin, you putz!" and stormed off the set.


Heh.

"Kabbalah" claims another victim...

Well, now that Kabbalah has gone diluted new age, I guess we've got to expect this. Apparently (according to the San Francisco Examiner gossip page), Britney Spears got a Hebrew tattoo on the back of her neck. That's all fine, but evidently she went to a gentile tattooist.

Now, Britney thought her new ink said "new era," to symbolize her spiritual rebirth, but, apparently, the tattoo artist accidentally reversed the characters and the tattoo ended up making no sense at all. Not only that, the Kabbalah says that permanently marking the body in any way is a no-no.


Of course, this wasn't Britney's first foray into spiritual, yet foreign language tattooing:

This is Britney's second botched tattoo. Two years ago, Britney thought she was getting the Japanese symbol for "mysterious" on her hip but found out later that it actually says "strange."


Britney appears to be enrolled not only in Kabbalah classes, but also in the "Michael Jackson School for Pop Stars Who Want to Lose Popularity and Get Creepy."

Michael Moore. Lying publicity hound.

As Steven Den Beste notes: "Why does anyone believe anything that Michael Moore says, anyway?

According to The Independent:

Less than 24 hours after accusing the Walt Disney Company of pulling the plug on his latest documentary in a blatant attempt at political censorship, the rabble-rousing film-maker Michael Moore has admitted he knew a year ago that Disney had no intention of distributing it.

The admission, during an interview with CNN, undermined Moore's claim that Disney was trying to sabotage the US release of Fahrenheit 911 just days before its world premiere at the Cannes film festival.

Instead, it lent credence to a growing suspicion that Moore was manufacturing a controversy to help publicise the film, a full-bore attack on the Bush administration and its handling of national security since the attacks of 11 September 2001.

In an indignant letter to his supporters, Moore said he had learnt only on Monday that Disney had put the kibosh on distributing the film, which has been financed by the semi-independent Disney subsidiary Miramax.

But in the CNN interview he said: "Almost a year ago, after we'd started making the film, the chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner, told my agent he was upset Miramax had made the film and he will not distribute it."


What an ass.

Comments have been enabled...

OK, guys, with the new Blogger interface (which I'm not quite sure yet whether I like), we are now able to have comments on new posts.

So, comment away.

Or don't.

Whatever you like.

We're pretty libertarian here.

Except when we're not.

UN to upgrade security at New York Headquarters

Look at this. I guess that it's okay for the UN to build a fence to protect all those precious diplomats from possible damage from cappucino drinking extremists on the east side of Manhattan, but it isn't okay for Israel to build a fence to protect it's children from the proven murderers who call themselves "Palestinians!"

Friday, May 07, 2004

The skeletons in Classical Music's closet...

The pretentious air their dirty laundry and admit that "Mozart really does all sound the same" and "Liszt is trash."

Don't get me wrong. I love classical music. I can't stand classical music people. Not the musicians. Classical music fans. Chardonnay-sipping, NPR-listening, elitist annoyances who act like it is only they who are keeping us from sliding into a cultural wasteland.

So they need government subsidies. Blech.

That said, I'm a member of an even more pretentious group. I'm on the Junior Council of The Kitchen, a major avant garde arts institution which presents some extremely odd stuff. Quite good, incidentally, if you like that sort of thing. Artists who have started at The Kitchen include Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Meredith Monk, Brian Eno and my personal favorites, David Byrne and the Talking Heads. Anyway, The Kitchen presents very cutting edge stuff.

And I understand roughly 50% of it. I probably shouldn't admit this in public, being on the Junior Council of the place and all, but while I think a lot of it is esthetically pleasing, I have no bloody idea what most of it is supposed to mean.

I have the same problem with a lot of visual art. OK, take, for example, Piet Mondrian's Composition No. 8. Looks cool, right? Lines and stuff. Well, according to this, here's what Mondrian was going for:
"Mondrian wanted the infinite, and shape is finite. A straight line is infinitely extendable, and the open-ended space between two parallel straight lines is infinitely extendable. A Mondrian abstract is the most compact imaginable pictorial harmony, the most self-sufficient of painted surfaces (besides being as intimate as a Dutch interior). At the same time it stretches far beyond its borders so that it seems a fragment of a larger cosmos or so that, getting a kind of feedback from the space which it rules beyond its boundaries, it acquires a second, illusory, scale by which the distances between points on the canvas seem measurable in miles.

" 'The positive and the negative are the causes of all action ... The positive and the negative break up oneness, they are the cause of all unhappiness. The union of the positive and the negative is happiness.' The palpable oneness of the solitary flower or tower, being subject to time and change, had to give way to the subliminal oneness of a vivid equilibrium."


Oh. Yeah, didn't get that. Just thought it was kind of cool looking.

Now, after a lot of performances at The Kitchen, we have these little cocktail things afterward and everybody stands around and talks about the work we just saw. And if I was being honest, I'd say something like "I really thought it was cool looking when that girl ran around with the Saran Wrap."

But I can't do that. So I've come up with the following pseudo-intellectual description of works I don't understand:

"I think it expressed the basic dissatisfaction that the artist has for the plight of the urban proletariat in today's post-industrialist society."

You know, pithy, vaguely Marxist-sounding, and utterly meaningless.

And usually everyone nods sagely, and thinks I have a clue.

Hat tip, by the way, to James Lileks who noted the classical music thing which spawned this little rant and about which you've probably already forgotten.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Larry Miller article - "Details" magazine

The following is a terrific article by the superb Larry Miller. It is from the Spring, 2004 issue of details magazine, which is published by the Jewish Policy Center. This is a wonderful think tank. They don't yet have a website, but the can be reached at (202) 638-2411. I strongly urge that you subscribe.


Olé!
The Spanish people hope to see
peace in their time.
By Larry Miller


Quick, what’s the first thing you think of when it comes to Spain?

Flamenco dancers in elaborate costumes stomping a lightning fast tattoo? (How’d you like to have the apartment under that family?)

A bullfighter in a suit of lights gracefully walking across the sand to face his own death? (They’ve got the same outfits as the dancers, come to think of it, just lower heels for the bullfighters: Easier to run.)

Hot, dusty men in a hot, dusty land instantly ready to duel with other rabid machos, because one of them bowed a quarter inch too low or used the wrong tense?

Almost-beautiful women with that one, annoying curl plastered down on the forehead?

People so afraid of annoying their king they all start to lisp because he does?

Implacable conquistadors and Armada builders?

The bad guys in every Errol Flynn movie?


First of all, you’ll please note that every one of those images is from another century. Too bloodthirsty for you? I agree, especially having to wear those triple-A-width flamenco boots.

But after having spent a millennium, give or take, being some of the most casually violent people in history, I’m afraid our erstwhile coalitionists on the Iberian Peninsula have gone far, far the other way, and decided that never, ever fighting to defend yourself is the best way to go.

There’s a great, old Winston Churchill quote that’s been circulating on the airwaves and in the papers. Chamberlain had just come back from giving Hitler, oh, everything, in his now-famous “Appeasement ‘39!” tour. Churchill buttonholed him on his return and said, “You had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.”

Yes, sir.


Put aside the hoary aphorisms about those who don’t study history; let’s change the first question to, “What’s the first thing you think of when it comes to Spain . . . today ?”

Answer: France, if you take away all the sexually gifted women and the sophisticated plan to dominate the European Union.


What a nice little bargain the Spaniards have made. Their clever politicians initially decided to try to blame the Basque separatist group ETA, which didn’t do their electoral chances any good, but even al Jazeera did a spit-take on that one. Plus, Catalon Yard, or whatever they call their police over there, found a few tiny hints, like, oh, some other unexploded suitcases from the same attack, and then the actual guy and his pals. The cherry-bomb on top was a letter to a newspaper claiming responsibility from the bin Laden Players. Anyway, the whole thing wasn’t the Basques’ style, if that’s the right word, and they quickly busied themselves whistling “Lady Of Spain” and playing that goofy game everyone reads about in eighth grade, pelote .

So what happened? Why did Spain leave the building?

Hell, folks, we probably should have been astonished they were there in the first place. After all, a poll taken in Madrid on George Bush anytime in the last 12 months would have yielded the same results as one taken at a cocktail party at Hans Blix’s house. (Can you imagine one of those? “Top that off for you, Larry? Can’t fly on one wing. After dinner we’re all going to do a pantomime of Paul Wolfowitz being served tea by Donald Rumsfeld. Oh, look, doesn’t Kofi do a wonderful Ariel Sharon? If you close your eyes, it’s him .”)

No, the only reason Spain stood by us as far as they did was because of ex-Prime Minister Aznar. And that was some “ex” job the Spaniards did on him, wasn’t it? They tossed him out faster than bad milk. If you bent down to pick up a fork, he was gone when you sat up again.

But he was a solid ally, a standup guy. Like Tony Blair in England, Aznar always got it. On September 12th, 2001, he knew without equivocation that there were bad guys in the world, that they were at war with the West, and that it was time for the West to walk away from the punch bowl and join the dance. I don’t know what Mr. Aznar’s plans are, but if he’s looking for a new place to live, I wish he’d consider us. (Maybe he’s covered by that Bush amnesty thing. Is it anyone who speaks Spanish? Or just all the starving people Vincente Fox doesn’t want sprawled out on the road from the airport to Cancun anymore?)

And what does the newly elected Socialist Prime Minister José A-Few-Other-Middle-Names Zapatero think? Well, don’t take your eyes off their troops to pick up any more forks.

According to John Diamond in USA Today , Zapatero told El Pais , Spain’s leading daily newspaper, that “the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was a ‘great error’ that has aggravated the terrorist threat.”

Well, sure it has. And knocking down a giant wasp’s nest in your back yard aggravates the wasps, too, but eventually it has to be done. Unless you’re okay with your wife and children getting stung and screaming in pain. Again, and again, and again, and again. Or trying to reason with the wasps. Or just pretending they don’t exist. Or giving up your back yard and moving.

Of course, you know how wasps are. They’ll find you wherever you go; it’s their nature.

Larry Miller is a writer, actor, comedian, and JPC Fellow.
This article appears in the Spring 2004 issue of “Details: Promoting Jewish, Conservative Values,” published by the Jewish Policy Center (a non-profit educational think-tank, organized pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


Jewish Policy Center
50 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Feeling a little down?

Today, my sister Barbara emailed me (along with the Kaufman family and associates) feeling somewhat deflated over the recent events from Iraq and Israel. We all tried to cheer her up, but I don't think it worked. Turns out, the blogosphere may provide some necessary comfort. Roger Simon , who is also shaking the blues, links to Iraqi blogger Omar who sees the latest events as only we could hope for (i.e., with perspective) and provides a source of haven and a heartless world. The money quote:
"When I said goodbye to my friends I sensed some optimism inside me when I realized they are paying more attention to the future and were not fooled by the Arab media to act only in response to emotions."

Read and take comfort in the whole thing.

Ok...

I know you were all wondering, "Where can I get a set of fairy wings?" Well, here.

I especially like this little note from the webpage:

Fairy wings have a way of turning any occasion into a life celebration. Birthday parties, tea parties, weddings, proms, raves, renaissance faires, a trip to the grocery store or even a day at the office all become extraordinary celebrations simply by wearing fairy wings!


There would, most definitely, be an extraordinary celebration should someone show up at my office wearing fairy wings.

Government sponsored anti-Semitic "art."

As noted by Silent Running and The Herald Sun, it seems the Melbourne, Australia, City Council has funded some anti-Israel propaganda.

The "art" consists of a window, with an Israeli Flag and the following words in red across the window:

Since the creation of Israel in 1948

200,000 Palestinians have been killed
5,000,000 refugees have been created
21,000 square kilometers of land have been annexed
385 towns and villages have been destroyed
200,000 settlements have been built
300 billion military dollars have been spent
100+ WMDs have been manifactured
65 UN resolutions have been ignored



I don't want to steal his bandwidth by linking directly to the image so click on the Silent Running link above to see the "art."

As Honest Reporting points out, the "art" is rife with factual errors:


● Independent analyses by SIPRI, B'Tselem, and other agencies indicate that no more than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since 1948. Meanwhile, Israel has lost 20,297 military personnel since the War of Independence.

● The actual number of Arab refugees in 1949 was, according to Israeli sources, 538,000. (The UN puts the figure at 720,000.) Due primarily to neglect by Arab leaders, their descendents have reached over 4 million.

● The 21,000 square kilometers of land that the exhibition claims Israel 'annexed' apparently refers to the actual size of Israel itself - without considering disputed territories. This is a clear indication that the 'artist' considers Israel's very existence illegitimate.

● '200,000 settlements'?! Even if one includes the Golan and eastern Jerusalem, there are no more than 350 disputed settlements.


The Melbourne City Council should immediately take this opportunity to review the "art" it is paying for.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Create Your Own Thomas Friedman Op-Ed Column!

Via Gawker: Save time! Create your own Thomas Friedman Op-Ed Column today!