Friday, November 12, 2004
  Target rich environment
AP Photo/Peter Dejong

AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski

Thursday, November 11, 2004
  Thank you
Another Veteran's Day, another opportunity to say "thank you" to this country's true heroes. Words cannot express my appreciation for your service and sacrifice.

  Abu Ammar's legacy
Palestinians Across Arab World Mourn

BAQAA, Jordan - Palestinian refugees took to the streets of the Arab world Thursday to mourn Yasser Arafat, firing shots into the air, burning American and Israeli flags, and shedding tears for the man who was the symbol of their struggle for statehood. In a Jordanian camp, barefoot boys brandished toy machine guns.

Spontaneous rallies broke out in Lebanon and Syria, swelling the streets with thousands of mourners for the Palestinian leader, who died Thursday morning in France.

In the Rashidieh refugee camp near the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, demonstrators shouted "Death to Israel!" — a rallying cry for Palestinians who blame the Jewish state for thwarting their national aspirations.

At Ein el-Hilweh, near the southern city of Sidon, demonstrators burned tires and fired shots in the air to express frustration and sadness. Later, crowds swelled the narrow streets, waving Arafat's pictures and chanting: "Our soul and blood, we sacrifice for you."

A black-clad Palestinian woman in her late 60s, using Arafat's nom de guerre, shouted through a loudspeaker: "History, take note! Abu Ammar has become a martyr!"

About 1,000 Palestinians marched in the alleys of Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus. Women, dressed in black, ululated and cried, as men chanted the Muslim battle cry of "Allahu akbar!" or "God is great!"

In Jordan's largest refugee camp of Baqaa, 2,000 angry Palestinians poured into the dusty alleyways, waving black flags and shouting: "We will return to Palestine!"

The crowd, which later burned and trampled three Israeli flags and an American one, was led by children and women. They carried a mock coffin draped in the Palestinian flag and Arafat's pictures as they circled their camp. Young boys, some barefoot, carried toy AK-47s.

Jordan, which has the largest concentration of Palestinian refugees outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip, declared Thursday a national holiday, the first of three days of mourning. Government offices and schools were closed, a move that allowed more participation in pro-Arafat gatherings.

"It feels like I lost a father and a good friend," Mohammed Sbeiha, 55, said in a cracking voice, using his black-and-white checkered headdress to wipe away his tears.

"He was a great man, he cared for the Palestinian people and for the Palestinian cause, he tried to help refugees like me, but couldn't do much because the (Israelis) don't want us back in our homes in Palestine."

Arafat had promised refugee Palestinians they would one day be able to return to the homes they lost after the 1948 founding of Israel and subsequent wars, but the issue remained one of the most intractable in peace negotiations with Israel.

"God only knows if the Palestinians will have a good man like Arafat to lead them," added Sbeiha, a plumber who lives in Amman's Wehdat camp, where women were shrouded in black and Quranic verses blared from loudspeakers.

In Baqaa, one of Jordan's 13 U.N.-run refugee settlements housing 1.7 million Palestinians, portraits of Arafat were being hung in shop windows and in the squalid streets, and cars were draped in black flags.

"I was shocked when I heard the news. I'm very sad. I cried a lot," said Mohammed Youssef, 60, a retired trader from the West Bank town of Hebron, his eyes brimming with tears.

Young Palestinian refugees were equally distressed.

"I was very sad, although I expected Arafat would die," said shop owner Jalal al-Yasouri, 28.

But, he added, "the Palestinian cause will not die because it's not connected to one person. It's linked to a territory, a nation and to history and it will continue until we regain all our land."

The headline and the content of this article cleary don't match up for us normal folks. Consider American reaction to the assassination of JFK (or the country's reaction to MLK's murder). Just ten years ago, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated-- remember how Israelis mourned? This isn't mourning-- it's more of the same old shit from the same old shithole.

Behold as we watch this new "opportunity for peace" unfold. I doubt that Israelis are feeling any better about their neighbors today. Hamas may be the next Palestinian leadership-- and the people who think that Hamas would be much worse than Arafat clearly don't know much about Arafat.

And pardon me while I puke at the sight of the French giving him all the pomp and circumstance usually reserved for heads of state (including Jacques Chirac "bowing" to him at the hospital), and at the sound of irrelevant "leaders" (Kofi) and former leaders (Jimmah) fawn over his accomplishments (while suffering selective amnesia over the murders, violence and destruction for which he was directly and indirectly responsible). This has been a clear demonstration of the moral emptiness of the usual suspects. Tomorrow promises to be a gag-reflex-inducing parade of dictators, terrorists, and zealots pretending to be stately. Spare me the show.

Please excuse me for celebrating the death of this subhuman creature. The world has become a better place without him.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
The wretched, mass-murdering inventor of modern Islamist terrorism has finally kicked the bucket. His lifetime of convoluted lies ends in a saga of convoluted lies.

Innocent people in the region are much safer today.

May he rot in hell.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004
  Blogging Boo Hoo
I just spent waaaaay too much time deleting a bunch of comments spam. In the process I found out that Yahoo had disabled my TurningWheels2003 email account, which means I've lost all email that ever went there (each comment is emailed to that address). There were a few comments I was going to respond to via email, but that won't be happening now.

I also spent a lot of time tinkering with my comments template so I can actually see the "delete post" function without having to change the template to the default, then change it back to my preferred template. Did that make any sense at all? I didn't think so.

Have I mentioned that I'm DONE with this template??? GRRRRRR...

I need a drink.

Thursday, November 04, 2004
  Crazy Eyes N. Jazz
From here on forward, all shall refer to me as Crazy Eyes N. Jazz.

...or Funk Master Nathalie Slick.

Become an elevated player-- pimpafy!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004
  Going forward
For the first time in my voting life, I voted for the winning Presidential candidate. While the relief is fairly significant for me personally, this is not a time to gloat. Unlike for so many of the people who voted for Kerry (or "against Bush", as it were), the enemy in my view does not reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The enemy is overseas, all around us, and needs to be defeated. I have never viewed this President as a threat to this country-- no one man could possibly have the power to destroy our great republic, I'm sure of that. This, for me, was an election that was driven mostly by one set of issues.

The past couple of mornings I've listened to a local morning radio show that I basically ditched last year because of their incredible leftist slant-- Michael Moore once got a 1/2 hour segment for a live interview, while their "Equal Time with Ben Stein" segments (he is conservative) are usually pre-recorded and edited down to a few minutes. The producer is the most vocal producer I've heard on radio, and his disgust with all things Republican is a bit annoying.

So I listened to them to get a sampling of reactions to this election. What I find appalling about very left-leaning Democrats of late is their constant rambling about a divided country, yet they carry on with their divisive behavior. Listeners called in to announce that they were leaving the country, never to return. They called in to encourage everybody to email John Kerry and demand that he hold off on his concession (one caller was horrified to find out that he had just conceded. "But the votes aren't counted yet!!!"). They believe that Kerry has a chance to win this thing, but never mind that even if he got Ohio, he would lose the popular vote by more than 3.5 million votes (that would be great for unity). Another caller tells us that the Republicans were using scare tactics to get out the vote, and declared that "our side" never sinks to that level. And I have a bridge to sell you.

The division of this country was not triggered by anything President Bush did. It was triggered by a protracted, bitter 2000 election aftermath, one that the so-called "losing" side could not seem to get past. "Selected not Elected", "Hail to the Thief" is all we've heard since December, 2000. September 11 put the hatred and vitriol on hold, but it was always there, brewing under the surface. Iraq brought it back out in full force. The polarization of this country stems in the attitude that "we are right, you are wrong, and that's final." Liberals puff up their chests and brag about being "progressive", and thumb their noses at conservatives who, for their own personal reasons, don't go into a tizzy about their pet issues. Abortion, gay marriage, and the environment have never driven my votes, and probably never will. I don't believe that Bush lied to me. You think that's wrong? So be it-- it's not up to you to decide, free country and all.

From Germany and elsewhere we've heard conciliatory words of cooperation and getting back to business on our common interests. Then other so-called enlightened Europeans put doomsday images and quips about dumb Americans on their newspaper covers. Why is it so hard for so many to even consider working with this President instead of fighting him tooth and nail? Why is it so hard to grasp that an educated person who is well versed in the issues might actually vote for Bush? Criticize his policies until the cows come home, but try to at least have a goal in mind besides just being a partisan hack. We can all disagree with the President in constructive ways. In the last four years we have witnessed Americans and non-Americans with the primary goal of destroying the President. Has that made America better? In my not-so-humble opinion, America is suffering for it.

This election should be a wake-up call to the Democratic party. The Michael Moore's of this country are now perceived as mainstream, and he is closely associated with the DNC. The Hollywood elitists thumb their noses at the average American with the belief that they know better than us. The John Kerry's of the world talk a lot about siding with and understanding the concerns of the middle class, while jetting to Nantucket in his wife's personal jet. Michael Moore, Hollywood and John Kerry are out of touch with me.

Kerry did not connect with me in any way, shape or form. The smugness and elitism from Kerry supporters has been annoying at best. To think that those who believe differently than you are somehow wrong, while you are obviously and always right, is to divide this country. There are people who simply believe that the majority of this country completely lacks intelligence, that we couldn't be bothered to get "educated" on the issues-- we are sheep, under the spell of Bushitler. They couldn't be more wrong.

My only request to all the political opposites I know: stop acting like you have it all figured out, and that anybody who disagrees is a dumb, fundamentalist nutjob. None of us truly have it figured out. We see the same facts, and draw our own truths within our little snapshot in time. The past couple of years have been eye-opening for me. The elitists on the coasts look down upon the rest of the country. Somehow, rural Americans can't possibly have anything between their ears. They don't love their families, they don't work hard and pay taxes, they don't represent what America is supposed to be about and they shouldn't count. The snobbery when comparing and contrasting the locations of the red and blue states is astounding.

Americans are Americans are Americans. We are who we are. You don't like the results of this election? You always have 2006 and 2008 to "rectify the wrong." Come up with a good message that Americans of all stripes can get behind and maybe you'll start to get some traction. Until then, you have nobody to blame for failure but your own party. I was a Democrat until, on September 11, I heard some go on about the coward President flying in circles above our land. That day changed everything for me. I saw two kinds of hatred: one towards America, and one towards the man in the Oval Office. Then I saw Bush take us through the most difficult period in my lifetime, and I felt safer with him in charge and better about being American. I kicked myself for not giving him my vote in 2000. It wasn't my lack of enlightenment or education that made me touch the Bush/Cheney square on my voting machine. It was the fabric of who I am and what I believe: that Bush is the better candidate.

See you in 2006.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
I cast my vote, and now it's a matter of time.

What baffled me this morning is that my polling place had a total of 8 voting machines. In every other election, they've had ~20. The wait was 25 minutes, which is a lifetime compared to the usual "walk up and vote." Several people were turned away because this year they split our polling place with an elementary school in our neighborhood. Oh the disenfranchisement!! Somehow I doubt we'll hear loud cries of disenfranchisement or voter intimidation from my neighborhood...

If you haven't voted yet, get off your butt and vote. Now.

Monday, November 01, 2004
  Show of strength?
Main stream media never cease to amaze. The saga of Arafat's departure from Ramallah made me want to scream. You'd think he was the legitimate leader of a western democracy, not the fatigue-wearing (never seen combat, though), terrorist-enabling "leader" of a shit hole.

So another terrorist kills some dirty Jews, and Reuters describes it as a "show os strength". A show of strength was average Americans' reactions to September 11. A show of strength is Israeli business owners re-opening days after a suicide bomber blows their storefront to chards of glass and wood. Suicide bombers murdering innocent people is... uh... murder.

Suicide Bomber Kills 3 in Israel with Arafat Abroad

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - A Palestinian teenager blew himself up an open-air market in Tel Aviv on Monday, killing three people in a show of strength by militants three days after Yasser Arafat was airlifted to France for urgent medical care.

Of course the headline itself is just another example of how the media feel about the situation in Israel. When the IDF are carrying out operations and Palestinians are killed in the process, everybody is named by "nationality" in the headline (e.g. Israelis kill 3 Palestinians in Gaza raid, or something like that.) When a Palestinian terrorist kills some Israelis, you get the headline above: 3 faceless, nationality-less people killed by a random, also nationality-less suicide bomber. Oh, and Arafat is abroad... did ya know??? How Arafat's location has any relevance to three innocent people getting slaughtered is a mystery to me.

Now pardon me while I go pull my hair out.