Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Image Of A "Terrorist"

According to Israel

Monday, December 22, 2008

What? Did We Run Out Of Shoes??

While Bush himself didn't fare nearly as well, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raked in at least $316,000 in gem-encrusted baubles from the kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia alone, making her one of top recipients among U.S. officials of gifts from foreign heads of state and government and their aides in 2007.

In January, Jordan's King Abdullah II gave Rice an emerald and diamond necklace, ring, bracelet and earrings estimated to be worth $147,000, according to the State Department's annual inventory of such items released Monday just in time for Christmas.

The king and his wife, Queen Rania, also gave Rice a less expensive necklace and earrings along with a jewelry box valued at $4,630, the document shows.

Not to be outdone, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia presented Rice with a ruby and diamond necklace with matching earrings, bracelet and ring worth $165,000 in July. The inventory also includes a $170,000 flower petal motif necklace the Saudi monarch gave to Rice in 2005, which the department says was not previously disclosed.

Meanwhile, back in Gaza....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friends Of The Clintons

I know the elections are behind us.. but this is too delicious to pass..

The Clinton Foundation has finally released their list of contributors, and here are some of the more interesting findings:

- Blackwater, the mercenary group in Iraq (and other places) donated upwards of $25K to the Foundation

- The Saudi government also donated $25K, but private contributions from other Saudi individuals and corporations come closer to $500K

- Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei and Oman gave $1 million to $5 million each.

- Saudi businessman Nasser Al-Rashid gave $1 million to $5 million.

- Friends of Saudi Arabia and the Dubai Foundation each gave $1 million to $5 million

- Harold Snyder, director for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the largest drug company in Israel. His son, Jay T. Snyder, serves on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, which oversees State Department activities, and served as a senior U.S. adviser to the United Nations, where he worked on international trade and poverty. Jay Snyder donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the foundation.

- Issam Fares, a former deputy prime minister of Lebanon, donated close to $100,000

- TV producer Haim Saban and his family foundation, who donated between $5 million and $10 million, splits his time between homes in Israel and California. "I'm a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel," he told The New York Times in 2004.

- Slim-Fast diet foods tycoon S. Daniel Abraham, a donor of between $1 million and $5 million, has been a board member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which promotes Israel's interests before the U.S. government. (I'm so ready to give up on my diet now)

and many more.. for a complete list, go to: http://www.clintonfoundation.org/contributors

Now, keep in mind that most of the money goes to charity, particularly the fight against AIDS, famine and poverty... while some goes towards the Clinton library in Arkansas..

Still, you have to wonder, what favors did the Clintons have to provide in return? and now that Hillary is about to head the state department, how are these revelations going to affect policy?

What assurances do we have that there will be a complete separation between the work of the foundation, Bill, and Hillary?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoes Of The Season

I just love the way how US media outlets, in their coverage of the shoe incident, have to explain (in a very National Geographic tone) that throwing shoes at someone is considered a form of insult in the Arab world.

Really? Why? Is throwing shoes at somebody in the US considered a term of endearment?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Showtime In The Kingdom

Audiences in Saudi Arabia can finally go to the movies again.

Saudi Arabia has officially lifted the ban on movie theaters. Movies will open on two screens in Jeddah and Taef on Dec. 9.

The first movie to play in the kingdom will be "Milk" the story of the gay civil rights hero as portrayed by Sean Penn. (ok, that's actually a joke)

The first title is actually a local film titled "Menahi"; a $2 million movie directed by Ayman Makram, it is the first bigscreen incarnation of popular Saudi TV persona Menahi, a naive, humble farmer who often finds himself involved in comic escapades. It centers on Menahi's involvement in a get-rich-quick scheme and traveling from his tribal homeland to the booming metropolis of Dubai.

The movie has already opened in neighboring Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.

Saudi film execs have been inching their way toward this day for many months. In May this year, the Dammam Literary Club held the the conservative kingdom's first official film fest.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Playlist in Beirut - Part 2

Playlist In Beirut

Special episode of Playlist about the emerging music scene in Beirut

Friday, December 5, 2008

Do you REALLY want to hurt me?

Boy George was found guilty on Friday of falsely imprisoning a Norwegian male escort by handcuffing him to a wall.

The former Culture Club frontman was at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London to hear the verdict, which came at the end of a two-week trial.

The jury broke to consider its verdict at around noon on Thursday. He will be sentenced later.

The 47-year-old, tried under his real name George O'Dowd, denied falsely imprisoning Audun Carlsen at his flat in April last year, the Press Association reported.

O'Dowd told police he had invited Carlsen to his home after a cocaine-fueled pornographic photo shoot in January because he suspected the Norwegian of stealing pictures from his computer. During the trial, Carlsen countered that the singer had handcuffed him to a wall and beaten him with a chain because he was angry he had refused to sleep with him when they first met. O'Dowd did not give evidence during the trial. The court heard Carlsen describe how he sustained injuries during their meeting in April, 2007, from being beaten and handcuffed.

O'Dowd's lawyer said the injuries were consistent with bondage gear the Norwegian had worn.

The singer shot to fame in the 1980s, thanks to his distinctive voice and androgynous image, and Culture Club topped the charts with hits like "Karma Chameleon" and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"

But he has struggled with drug problems, and in 2006 served community service in New York after admitting to falsely reporting a burglary. Police responding to his call found 13 bags of cocaine in his apartment.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Britney Rules Search

Yahoo just released their "Top Search Terms" for 2008.

Despite a year full of turmoil, hurricanes and other natural disasters, not to mention a very heated election, Britney Spears was the most searched on "term" for the entire year.

Number two was "World Wrestling Federation" and third was "Obama"

Hey, whatever happened to "Sex" and "Free Porn"?

Monday, December 1, 2008

What He Did For Love....(or that he just owes her)

To make it possible for his wife to become the top U.S. diplomat, the officials said, former President Clinton agreed:
  • to disclose the names of every contributor to his foundation since its inception in 1997 and all contributors going forward.
  • to refuse donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Global Initiative, his annual charitable conference.
  • to cease holding CGI meetings overseas.
  • to volunteer to step away from day-to-day management of the foundation while his wife is secretary of state.
  • to submit his speaking schedule to review by the State Department and White House counsel.
  • to submit any new sources of income to a similar ethical review.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Joey Fatone Takes A Dump In Times Square

What a relief! The free public restrooms operated by the Charmin toilet paper company in Times Square during the holidays are being rolled out for another year.

It's the third straight year for the 20 deluxe stalls.

The plush potties feature flat-screen televisions, attendants dressed in tuxedos and plenty of Charmin.

The loos are so luxurious that Charmin promises Times Square tourists will feel like kings sitting on their thrones before making their royal flushes.

The toilets are being inaugurated Monday with a ceremonial first flush by pop singer and Broadway star Joey Fatone.

They'll be open every day through the end of the year except Christmas Day. For the first time they'll be open on New Year's Eve for the crowd watching the 2009 ball drop.

and with the right glory holes, you may even get to see Joey's Balls dropping

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What A Stupid Moron

The head of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party, MP Walid Jumblatt, said Thursday that communication with the US government "might be more difficult in the coming phase" as Washington makes the transition from George W. Bush to Barack Obama, adding that the Lebanese "would deploy all efforts to promote ties with the new administration."
Jumblatt's statements came during a dinner held in his honor by the PSP in Washington.
The PSP leader concluded his visit to the US by meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney, Senator John Kerry, and other senior US officials (who clearly have no problems meeting with a so-called socialist).
Jumblatt thanked the United States for what he called its "continuous support for Lebanon," adding that recent US political strategy in Lebanon was a "successful example" for the coming administration.

If the last few years qualify as a "success" for Jumblatt, I would hate to see his idea of failure...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Betrayed By The Democrats

This is an outrage...just after Americans clearly voted for change, Democrats clearly did not get the message.. In a "secret" (WTF?) vote they decided to reward the senator from Tel Aviv, Joe Lieberman for the betrayal of his own party.

Note to Democrats.. this will not be politics as usual in DC.. we will remember this in 2010, 2012...

Zune Paint

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kids Playing

By Sabine Weiss

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Excellent CD - Arab Tango by Soumaya Baalbaki

I picked up her CD today.. absolutely wonderful.. lush, romantic, great for late night listening with a glass or wine and a razor

Friday, November 7, 2008

Like Father, Like Son? Hope Not...

In an interview with the Israeli daily "Ma'ariv", Rahm Emanuel's father, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, said he was convinced that his son's appointment as Obama's chief of staff would be good for Israel.

"Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel," he was quoted
as saying. "Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House."

What an ass....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

La Vie En Vert

French Diva, Mireille Mathieu, performed for Libya's tyrant Muamar Ghaddafi during his visit to Moscow yesterday. In a typical Ghaddafi style, a massive tent was set up outside the Kremlin for everyone to party and hang out...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How To Spend The RNC $150K

Piper Palin carrying her new Louis Vuiton bag... very small town "value", except, unlike the ones you find at the typical small town local flea market, this one is not fake and came from Neiman Marcus.

Before the RNC allowance


Palin in a $2,500 Valentino jacket from Saks Fifth Avenue

Palin's Hairy Past

Because we pay attention to that sort of stuff....

Monday, October 20, 2008


Police say a Michigan man has been arrested after "receiving sexual favors from a vacuum" at a car wash.

The Saginaw News reports the 29-year-old Swan Creek Township man was arrested Thursday in Saginaw County's Thomas Township, about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.

Police Sgt. Gary Breidinger says a resident called to report suspicious activity at the car wash about 6:45 a.m. An officer approached on foot and caught the man in the act.

The suspect, whose name wasn't immediately released, is being held in the Saginaw County Jail

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bears Are So In

Never mind the credit crunch: A 1,000 euro, or $1,400 at current exchange rates, Karl Lagerfeld teddy bear by German maker Steiff found willing buyers during its unveiling at Colette on Friday. “I bought two, ssssh,” whispered Camille McMillan, a Los Angeles-based design student, who got one of the bears signed by the man himself. “When I saw it I thought that’s the best Christmas present in the world,” said Gareth Pugh, though he won’t be indulging that whim. “Are you kidding us? Do you know how much they are?” he exclaimed while snapping a flock of eager Lagerfeld fans for his blog on Style.com. Lagerfeld, meanwhile, departed with number one of the 2,500 numbered bears, which wear his “uniform” jeans, jacket and tie from the K Karl Lagerfeld collection and his signature black shades from his eyewear line.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I See Your True Colors Shining Through

McCain and Decent Arabs

Hilarious commentary from the Daily Show regarding the racism coming out of the McPalin campaign. (About 4 minutes into the clip)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thank You Ms. Brown

Right On Sister

Planet Green... Riz Khan Interviews Thomas Friedman

While I disagee with Tom on his position regarding the Middle East, when it comes to global warming and other environmental concerns, he makes a lot of sense..

Watch for his hilarious comments regarding Sarah Palin (about five minutes into the interview)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where Homophobia and Islamophobia Intersect

One of the nice things about having the day off from work (it's Columbus Day here in the US) is the joy of catching up with daytime TV.

So, here I am flipping channels as I'm sipping tea, and I land on ABC's Family Channel which still carries Pat Robertson's 700 Club.. in High Def Too

So, two stories in a row... one about the CT Gay Marriage rule that was passed last week, followed by an interview with a dutch right wing activist about the scary rise of Islam in his country and how that is an ideology (not a religion) of hate, barbarism, and submission...

Needless to say that old Pat was outraged about both stories and went on ranting about the evils that both Gay and Muslims present to our "values".. the "Judeo-Christian" values... you know, the values that are responsible for most was in history and the death of countless humans.. those values.

I remember watching Pat's hate fests ever since the 80's.. nice to see somethings never change, except the tons of additional make-up needed for the high definition feed.


The Ladies from the View rock... well, except for Elisabeth...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Banned In The UAE

The United Arab Emirates has been identified as one of the countries that extensively filters content online in a global survey by the OpenNet Initiative.

The UAE not only blocks content that is religiously, culturally and socially inappropriate, but also filters political content. The report pointed out that internet users in the country were also prevented from legitimately using privacy and anonymizing tools and online translation services as they could be used to bypass filtering systems.

The software SmartFilter, from the US-based firm Secure Computing, is used to filter content from specified categories outside the free zones in the UAE. According to the report, the UAE does not just “...extensively block targeted content but they also unnecessarily overblock unrelated content. For instance, Iran and the United Arab Emirates block flickr.com entirely because they have deemed some of the photographs posted on the site objectionable.” The country was given a rank of ‘low’ for its consistency in filtering content.

Based on the global survey, 25 out of 40 countries were found to prohibit access to certain content online. 11 out of those 25 countries are from the Middle East and North Africa region - Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.

Interestingly, broadband internet access is growing faster in the MEA region than any other region in the world.

Obsessive Propaganda

If you live in an American swing state you may have received a copy of ‘Obsession’ in your Sunday paper. ‘Obsession’ isn’t a perfume: it’s a documentary about ‘radical Islam’s war against the West’. In the last two weeks of September, 28 million copies of the film were enclosed as an advertising supplement in 74 newspapers, including the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education. ‘The threat of Radical Islam is the most important issue facing us today,’ the sleeve announces. ‘It’s our responsibility to ensure we can make an informed vote in November.’

The Clarion Fund, the supplement’s sponsor, doesn’t explicitly endorse McCain, so as not to jeopardise its tax-exempt status, but the message is clear enough, and its circulation just happened to coincide with Obama’s leap in the polls.

The Clarion Fund is a front for neoconservative and Israeli pressure groups. It has an office, or at least an address, in Manhattan at Grace Corporate Park Executive Suites, which rents out ‘virtual office identity packages’ for $75 a month. Its website, clarionfund.org, provides neither a list of staff nor a board of directors, and the group still hasn’t disclosed where it gets its money, as required by the IRS. Who paid to make ‘Obsession’ isn’t clear – it cost $400,000. According to Rabbi Raphael Shore, the film’s Canadian-Israeli producer, 80 per cent of the money came from the executive producer ‘Peter Mier’, but that’s just an alias, as is the name of the film’s production manager, ‘Brett Halperin’. Shore claims ‘Mier’ and ‘Halperin’, whoever they are, are simply taking precautions, though it isn’t clear against what. The danger (whatever it is) hasn’t stopped Shore – or the director, Wayne Kopping, a South African neocon – from going on television to promote their work.

The 60-minute film was first released in 2006 and shown during the mid-term elections on Fox News. Since then it has received top billing at ‘Islamo-Fascism Awareness’ week on American campuses, at Christian-Zionist conferences and at events organised by Republican politicians in Florida. It has found a powerful backer in the real estate magnate Sheldon Adelson, who describes himself as ‘the world’s richest Jew’. The Endowment for Middle East Truth, a neoconservative think tank in Washington DC which recently hosted a series of seminars named after Adelson and his wife, arranged distribution of ‘Obsession’, at a cost in the tens of millions.

The makers of the film, like their subjects, are soldiers of God. Almost everyone associated with it or with Clarion has worked for Aish HaTorah, an ‘education’ group with offices in East Jerusalem and strong links to the settler movement. Clarion was incorporated in Delaware to the New York offices of Aish HaTorah and Rabbi Shore was the director, as well as the founder of its media organisation, Honest Reporting, which campaigns against a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine. It’s illegal in the US for nonprofit organisations, or for foreign nationals, to try to influence the outcome of an election.

The film’s chief claim is that 2008 is like 1938, only worse, since there are more Muslims than Germans and they’re more spread out geographically: ‘They’re not outside our borders, they are here.’ Violent raptures and spectacular carnage unfold in slick montages set to throbbing Middle Eastern music: Pakistanis deliriously burning the American flag, Palestinians celebrating the 9/11 attacks, Hizbullah chanting ‘death to America’, clerics praising the ‘magnificent 19’ and the murder of unbelievers, children training to become suicide bombers, the planes crashing into the towers. These images are interspersed with footage of Nazi rallies and Hitler’s speeches. A chapter – narrated by Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s biographer – is devoted to the Mufti’s collaboration with Hitler.

Scary Muslims are everywhere, and the umma stands more united than ever, driven by hatred of infidels and Jews and determined to conquer the West, a civilisation gone soft, weakened by self-doubt, political correctness bordering on treason, and, worst of all, a ‘culture of denial’. Gilbert spells it out:

In the 1930s, the danger of Nazism was there . . . but people thought, well, this is a German problem, it’s a limited problem . . . And I think the same is true today . . . They don’t see that Islamic fundamentalism is a global network and a global problem . . .because if you come to that conclusion – and I’m sure it’s the true conclusion – then you have to do something about it.
‘Obsession’ doesn’t say what we should do – except steer well clear of dialogue and negotiation.
Although there are interviews with the usual ‘terrorism experts’ – Daniel Pipes, Alan Dershowitz et al – the film’s portrayal of the region is mostly left to native informants like Nonie Darwish (a leader of Arabs for Israel and the daughter of a slain fighter from Gaza), Brigitte Gabriel (the Lebanese-Christian author of They Must Be Stopped) and Walid Shoebat, a ‘former PLO terrorist’ who operates under a pseudonym – for security reasons, of course. Shoebat runs the Walid Shoebat Foundation, described on its website as an ‘organisation that cries out for the Justice of Israel and the Jewish people’. He’s made a career of recounting his journey from Islamic terror to Christian Zionism before audiences at Evangelical gatherings and the US Air Force Academy. It’s not clear, though, that he ever laid a hand on anyone. According to a relative, ‘the biggest act of terror he ever committed was to glue Palestinian flags on street posts.’ What is very clear is that, for the makers of ‘Obsession’, having once hated Jews gives you privileged access to the Muslim mind, and not only if you’re an ex-Muslim. Among the film’s authorities on radical Islam is a former leader of the Hitler Youth, Alfons Heck, who says that ‘what the Muslims do to their own children is even worse’ than the things the Nazis did to young Germans – as only a Nazi could know.

If you didn’t receive ‘Obsession’ with your paper, you can watch it on YouTube. It’s been posted by a former Muslim whose screen identity is ‘fuckmohammad’.

Cadillac Revolution

If the bailout plan really is a ‘socialist’ measure, it is a very peculiar one: a ‘socialist’ measure whose aim is to help not the poor but the rich, not those who borrow but those who lend.

‘Socialism’ is OK, it seems, when it serves to save capitalism. But what if ‘moral hazard’ is inscribed in the fundamental structure of capitalism?

The problem is that there is no way to separate the welfare of Main Street from that of Wall Street. Their relationship is non-transitive: what is good for Wall Street isn’t necessarily good for Main Street, but Main Street can’t thrive if Wall Street isn’t doing well – and this asymmetry gives an a priori advantage to Wall Street.

From Slavoj Zizek's piece in today's edition of the LRB

A Regime Change Starting In Wall Street???

The following quote is from today's NYT headline story:"US May Take Ownership Stake In Banks":

Fed officials increasingly talk about the challenge they face with a phrase that President Bush used in another context: “regime change.”

This regime change refers to a change in the economic environment so radical that, at least for a while, economic policy makers will need to suspend what are usually sacred principles: minimal interference in free markets, gradualism and predictability.

So, really, socialism comes to the US, courtesy of wealthy bankers and traders... what next? restaurants? gas stations?

and, is that really such a bad thing?


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Take The Land, But Don't Touch My Hummus


The latest conflict simmering between Lebanon and Israel is all about food.  Lebanese businessme are accusing Israel of stealing traditional Middle Eastern dishes like hummus.

Fadi Abboud, president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association, said Tuesday his group plans to sue Israel to stop it from marketing hummus and other regional dishes as Israeli.

"It is not enough they (Israelis) are stealing our land. They are also stealing our civilization and our cuisine," said Abboud.

He said his group also seeks to claim the eggplant spread baba ghannouj and tabbouleh, a salad made of chopped parsley and tomatoes, as Lebanon's own.

Hummus — made from mashed chickpeas, sesame paste, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic — has been eaten in the Middle East for centuries. Its exact origin is unknown, though it's generally seen as an Arab dish.

But it is also immensely popular in Israel — served in everyday meals and at many restaurants — and its popularity is growing around the globe.

While Abboud cites a history of complaints by Lebanese businessmen about Israel exporting and marketing Lebanese dishes as Israeli, it's not clear where the Lebanese might file suit since the two countries are officially at war.

Israel's Food Industries Association and the Foreign Ministry both declined comment.

Abboud compares his suit to the one over feta cheese in which a European Union court ruled in 2002 the cheese must be made with Greek sheep and goats milk to bear the name feta. That ruling is only valid for products sold in the EU.

Abboud acknowledged an uphill battle, particularly over hummus — which Palestinians also claim as their own.

"Hummus might be debatable, in any case we will be happy if the Palestinians win... But nobody can even discuss whether tabbouleh or baba ghannouj are Lebanese," Abboud added. "We don't have to win. The important thing is to try."

AMD's New "Arab" Money

Advanced Micro Devices teamed up today with IBM and Abu Dhabi to create a new global manufacturing company, The Foundry Company.

The new company will have plants in both Germany and Upstate New York. In New York alone, the company will create an estimated 14,000 new jobs. As anyone who has been to that part of that state, this is great news for the local economy which has been suffering a lot lately.

Yet, in a CNBC interview with the new CEO of the Foundry Company and AMD, the anchor TWICE questions the motives of Abu Dhabi investors in such a deal... Call me paranoid here, but would that question be raised if those investors came from Russia, China, or any other non-Arab country?

Click Here To Watch The Interview

Monday, October 6, 2008

For Those In Beirut.. Or Nearby

Keating Economics

Watch, then send to a friend

New York Remembers Darwish

WNYC, New York's popular public station, broadcast a great piece on New Yorkers getting together to remember the great Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish.

Click Here To Listen

Friday, October 3, 2008

Occupation Idol

When national euphoria broke out last year after an Iraqi singer won a talent contest in Lebanon, the U.S. military considered producing an Iraqi version of "American Idol" to help build nonsectarian nationalism.

The idea was shelved as too expensive, an official said, but "we're trying to think out of the box on" reconciliation.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Talking To The Taliban?

The New York Times is reporting today that our man in Afghanistan, (and new friend of Sarah Palin)Hamid Karzai, was in Saudi Arabia urging the royal family to help set up talks with the Taliban...

So much for the "We Don't Talk To Terrorists" crap

Monday, September 29, 2008

Walking Away From HP

Precious Quote

"Madam Speaker, this bill offends my principles. But I'm going to vote for this bill, in order to preserve my principles. "

Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Resist.. Prove You Exist

It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the right's ability to use this crisis -- created by deregulation and privatization -- to demand more of the same.

Naomi Klein - Now is the time to Resist

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bailout Or Carte Blanche?

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Drill Baby, Drill

 Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist  best known for ‘The Vagina Monologues’, wrote the following about Sarah Palin:

Drill, Drill, Drill
I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it’s their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don’t like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them.. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists. But everything Sa rah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story — connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God’s plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin’s view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, ‘It was a task from God.’

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist’s baby or not. She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God’s name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we cr eate policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack.. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don’t move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, ‘Drill Drill Drill.’ I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

Eve Ensler

September 5, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Republican Voter Button

Three Fixes For America

First, make sure that the patents the new capitalists in Asia are working on -- continue to be "made in the USA." Second, make sure that people in Asia and elsewhere continue to think that Yale and Princeton offer the best possible education for the movers and shakers of the world. And third, ensure that American banks continue to offer the most sophisticated and secure financial services to those in possession of the world's accrued profits. As long as America retains full control of these three sectors, it will continue to hold the keys to real power. As long as the world continues to rely on America in the areas of scientific innovation, training the elite and allocating its assets, the important elements will be safe.

Bernard-Henri Levy in today's Huffington Post

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Arab American Beauty

"Towel Head",the new movie from Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, American Beauty) opens tomorrow in most US cities.

It's sort of a typical teenage angst flick,with added Anti-Arab bigotry to give it that extra realistic feel.

Oh,and Peter Macdisi, the hot Lebanese American actor, is in it too. He plays the heroine's father. You may remember him as the adorable prick, Olivier, in Six Feet Under.

Two Thousand Days Of Occupation

Today marks the 2000 day since the illegal occupation of Iraq by US forces. The irony that this falls on Sept. 11, the fake excuse W used to launch his war, speaks volumes.

We're Back

Apologies to all readers... Google shut down the blog due to a "Terms Violation"... We're still not sure what that was, but we are guessing it involved the F word.

Thanks to all who wrote and asked...

What do you think of the new look? Very Fall, no?