9.07.2002

It would appear that a group of British Muslims are planning on gathering on 9.11.02 in order to celebrate the "positive outcomes" of the attack, as well as celebrate the founding of the "Islamic Council of Britain." Al-Qaeda members will be welcomed to join, though the founder, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, assures the AP that he "personally regret[s] the loss of life."

The biggest problem with this is not that this group of Islamofacists is allowed to celebrate the murder of 3,000 innocents. It's that they're naming their organization with such a benign name. The Islamic Council of Britian sounds academic, scholarly -- perhaps the sort of place that would hold Tuesday lunchtime lectures on obscure points of Islamic history. It doesn't sound like the sort of place that reviles in murder and mayhem. They should be forced to rename the organization "Islamic Council of Radical Fundamentalists" or "Council of Deranged Terrorists."

Hey, honesty is the best policy.


[ed. -- Here's another article on the same group.]
Thought of the Day

"One should never allow chaos to develop in order to avoid going to war, because one does not avoid a war but instead puts it off to his disadvantage" Niccolo Machiavelli
Right Wing News has a new page of enviro-mentalist quotations. Some of these are real gems:

Everything we have developed over the last 100 years should be destroyed. -- Pentti Linkola
The tremendous Jay Nordlinger has an interesting take on Tiger Woods the Cablinasian. Definitely worth a read.

The most fascinating part is the connection people are trying to draw between Tiger and the Augusta Golf Club not permitting women as members. Who is he to say anything? Funny that the people demanding that he do something are the same people essentially saying "It's a black thing -- you wouldn't understand." Last time I checked, he was Mr. Woods. Do people really want Tiger to go in waving around the magic green jacket demanding changes?

9.06.2002

We needed a scientific study to show us this?


The worst procrastinators received significantly lower grades in a college course with many deadlines than did low or moderate-level procrastinators, a new study found.
The worst procrastinators were also more likely than others to use rationalizations - such as saying "I work best under pressure" -- to justify their behavior in school.


I could have told them that. "No, honestly, this article is so simple. Just 5000 characters. I can write it on Saturday and blog all Friday night."


[ed. -- This info sheet on procrastination is actually fairly interesting. This is the main problem with having a blog; I feel as if I'm learning (because I am) and therefore I'm working, but it's not getting my work done.]
I have only one thing to say on this:

Free Luna!

9.04.2002

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack. My absence was due to a dearth of things to write about, followed by a Labor Day weekend getaway. But I'm back now. Let's go.
You can't honestly tell me that you think Harry Potter is comparable to post-9/11 America. That's just too...ninth-grade English essay due the next day and instead of writing, you sat up and watched the Buffy marathon, and wrote the essay on the way to school. Yes, the Harry books are coming of age stories, but have you ever read one where there wasn't a change in atmosphere? Isn't that the point of a coming of age story?
PS. Speaking of teaser trailers, has anyone seen one for the West Wing yet? Does anyone know when the premiere is?
PPS. Sopranos in two weeks!!!

Am I going to read the article on Dead Tree soon? Because I'm getting annoyed. Plus, I don't know if I want my Democrats piece on the internet. Is the whole backlogging thing on the web going to happen?

9.03.2002




The silence of the UNGA is deafening. In his speech, Negroponte also said: “For too long, the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council have been silent when Israelis are the victims of terrorism. Member States must reject the rationales given by Hama, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and others that their terrorist bombings are somehow justified by the state of affairs in the Middle East.” This blind spot was a heavily contended point with regards to the proposed Jenin fact-finding mission. Israel, arguing that Jenin was attacked because it was a hornet’s nest of terrorists, wanted the fact-finding mission to investigate not only the actions of the IDF, but also to look at the evidence that there were, indeed, terrorists working from the Jenin refugee camp. The UN refused. And this was despite the evidence that a captured Fatah document referred to Jenin as as-simat al-istashidin, which translates as “martyr’s capital.” In another press release from July 17, Annan says that “the Palestinian Authority should take immediate and specific action to prevent terrorist acts against Israel, and its leadership must do more to de-legitimize terrorism among the public.” There has yet to be a resolution in response to Annan’s words; Negroponte felt it necessary to reiterate Annan’s statement, saying that a condemnation of terrorism is “important, very important” before the US would lend its support to any further resolution regarding Israel.

I've posted an article of mine regarding the UN's blatant anti-Israel bias. Any comments or complaints are greatly appriciated. I would especially appriciate a comment if you disagree with the ideas I put forth in the article; I realize that it's heavily pro-Israel, and I'd be interested in speaking to someone who can look at this from the opposite point of view.

Keep your eyes open for another article of mine (this one on anti-Arab bias), as well as one by Becky (that one on the Dems in the Senate). All in good time, all in good time.

9.01.2002

I'm going to keep this short because Becky has threatened retribution if I spend too long dwelling on either Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Sept. 24, season preview, UPN's teaser is pathetic).

Jim Schwab over at BlogCritics digs into JK Rowling for the time it's taking her to write Book Five. He says:

Apparently, J.K. Rowling's successful movie-making career and the success of the first four Harry Potter books has just plain drained her. What a tragedy. How Sad....I don't care if you are [suffering from Writer's Block] and if you're not, does that imply that you are just too busy with the nice life to make it worthwhile for the fans that have given you that nice life?

First off, JKR doesn't "owe" her fans anything. No writer does; writers write -- or should write -- because they want to, not because they have to. Even journalists on deadlines complain about the deadline not because they don't want to write the article, but because they don't appriciate their editor breathing down their neck about drafts and revisions. It's probably this sense that is putting the damper on JKR's creativity. If she feels that she "has" to write an amazing book, then I guarantee that she'll get stuck on writing. Orson Scott Card, on his website has said that the best way to find your muse is to write. He's correct, but it doesn't mean that what gets written is bestseller quality material. Harry Potter at first glance is nothing more than a really good children's book, but it is quite complex when seriously considered. It's not Tolstoy or Dickens, but it's not Dr. Seuss. Schwab reads the books with his daughter, something he aludes to in his post, which no doubt accounts for his opinion:

The "burgeoning sexuality" of the characters is also a total fucking non-issue...This is literature folks, not real life. If you're uncomfortable addressing such pre-teen and teen subjects, LEAVE THEM OUT. These books aren't about coming-of-age, they are about a story, plain and simple.

Oh boy. First off, literature is best when it is a successful imitation of real life. For fantasy and sci-fi, correct and detailed characterizations are essential to maintaining a good story; the environment is so radical that the characters must be what allows readers to connect with a story. I would have real issues with a story about two fifteen year old guys and one girl which contains no mention of "burgeonin sexuality". Would someone write a book about a Muggle high school and entirely ignore the romantic relationships of the characters? I think not.

And the Harry Potter books are a coming of age story that bears remarkable similarities to our post-9/11 world. Three children who have previously known only peace are thrust into a new environment where they are the targets, where people close to them have been killed, and where the enemy bears an irrational hatred to anyone of a certain ethnicity (Muggles). Sound familiar? I could go on, drawing parallels between Harry and America, but I won't. I gather that you can figure it out on your own.

In the meanwhile, if someone is so starved for Harry Potter material that they feel the need to write nasty letters to JKR, there are a plethora of more enjoyable alternatives. Go read other published sci-fi authors: Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Diana Wynne Jones, George RR Martin...the list could go on. Or read Harry Potter fanfiction -- and I can feel Becky glaring at me for daring to mention this -- but there is a huge online community of HP fans who have produced some very impressive prose.

"Isn't it funny how people say they'll never grow up to be their parents, then one day they look in the mirror and they're moving aircraft carriers into the Gulf region?"

The Onion strikes again.
A Perfect Morning

PontifexExMachina is planning a website to commemorate 9/11. The idea, essentially, is to publish a bunch of essays written by bloggers (I'm probably going to submit something). Pretty simple, eh?

Except it needs submissions. I highly encourage everyone to take a look at what he's planning and if you're not going to submit an essay, then at least pass the word along.
Yeah, it's awesome that these people support Israel, but it's severelyunsettling.