Saturday, May 17, 2003

My birthday is more than a month from now, but Wind Rider already gave me a present. Go take a look.

Friday, May 16, 2003

I don't usually read blogs that are mostly filled with linkage, and I am trying to do my best to keep my blog from becoming one of those. One Instapundit is enough, and there will be no other any time soon, because he does his job very well indeed. Unfortunately, the reason that I don't check him out as often as I should is that I simply don't have the time to follow all the interesting links he provides. But sometimes I read something that just makes me go: "Did you see this?!!!", and this is all I can say. This is what happened when I read this. I am just going to add that for the last few years, while I was either busy with my life, or was sleeping (not nearly enough of that), the world has gone mad. Oh, and thanks to Steve for this post, and yes, for the link.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

It has finally happened. Today, as I often do when running errands in the morning, I was listening to the Diane Rehm show on NPR. Steve Roberts was sitting in, and the discussion was on the Saudi-American relations, following the latest attack in Riyadh. I was listening to the usual drivel by the usual suspects: some Arab apologists and their American supporters. I can almost always predict who is going to say what next on one of these shows, and unfortunately it includes the callers as well. I can also time fairly accurately when the word Israel gets thrown into the discussion: several minutes after the words "Arab anger" are uttered. I have long ago given up on trying to get on the air on one of those shows, but I am always hoping for some other sane person to succeed. It never happened, until today. The guy just let them have it, short and to the point. The apologists were audibly taken aback. A forced laughter, and some condescending lecturing followed. I have reached the parking lot, and got out of the car. My day had a good beggining.
It has finally happened. Today, as i often do when running errands in the morning, listening to the Diane Rehm show on NPR. Steve Roberts was sitting in, and the discussion was on the Saudi-American relations, following the latest attack in Ryad. I was listening to the usual drivel by the usual suspects: some Arab apologists and their American supporters. I can almost always predict who is going to say what next on one of these shows, and unfortunately it includes the callers as well. I can also time fairly accurately when the word Israel gets thrown into the discussion: several minutes after the words "Arab anger" are uttered. I have long ago given up on trying to get on the air on one of those shows, but I am always hoping for some other sane person to succeed. It never happened, until today. The guy just let them have it, short and to the point. The apologists wer audibly taken aback. A forced laughter followed. I have reached the parking lot, and got out of the car. There is justice in the world.
Something funny happened to me today: I went to Wal-Mart to get some things, among them a paint thinner. I ran into a clerk at the paint section, and told him that I need a thinner. "Excuse me?" "A thinner." "What?" It happens all the time: my accent. The really funny part was when the clerk who stood a couple of feet behind the first guy waved at me, saying: "I know what you are saying - it's over there". The guy was from India, accent and all. Both of us had a good laugh.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Well, what do you know: just when I decided to put the transfer idea aside for a while, some people seem to be warming up to it. That's good, not because I am so certain the idea itself is good, but because I like it to be on the table and part of the public debate. I agree with Diana that it is not practical at this point, though. But the "Road Map" is not, either. So, are we going to have to kill all of them, after all? Or is there a way to weed out the suicidal ones? Stay tuned.

Also, check out this post by Allison, including the comments. If I am going to rant on her blog, I might as well send her whatever little traffic I can - she deserves it.

And, BTW, in case you have not noticed after you read that last link: I am pissed.

Monday, May 12, 2003

With regard to this post: I really don't have a problem with the fact that Sadat's reasons for making peace with Israel were pragmatic, practical or even selfish. In fact, I wish there was much more pragmatism and practicality in the Arab world - all of us would have been much better off. There is enough selfishness going around there, but it has the most primitive form, one that for the most part is not based on long-term considerations.

Arab leaders are often held as examples of such self-defeating selfishness. It seems that even those in the West who recognize that there is a problem with the Arab culture, still tend to blame these leaders for that culture's failures. The thinking goes that most Arabs live under oppressive tyrants, who only care about their own well-being, and not at all about that of their own people. It is true, of course, but it misses the point.

We in the West mostly realize that there are at least some selfish motives to people's desire for leadership. But our system ensures that in the long term our leaders are better off when the country as a whole is better off. In the Arab world, there is no such system in place, so there is no incentive for leaders to strive for the improvement of their countrymen’s condition. That is quite obvious to many in the West, and that is why it is thought that establishing democracy in these countries will help solve the problem.

The problem with that is the underlying assumption that it is natural for people to strive for the improvement of their condition. Or, rather, that this is the top priority of all people everywhere. I am not so sure that is the case in the Arab world. Not that I think that Arabs don’t want a better life for themselves and their families, but I am afraid they have other priorities that are more important. In fact, some times those priorities may be even more important than one’s own life, not to mention the lives of others.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

The house is up for sale, and there is a lot of work to do putting it in a presentable shape. It is kind of hard to do with two dogs and two kids (one is 56) around. I painted the baseboards last night, only to find out this morning that they were not completely dry yet, and had bunches of dog hair sticking to them. You really needed to know that, right?

My son has finally discovered the ultimate argument: "It is my room, and I don't care if it's dirty." Are they supposed to come up with this stuff before they are teenagers?
And the way he kept asking grandpa "Why are you looking at me?" is kind of a teenage style, I thought. Speaking of grandpa, he is back home safely. He enjoyed Pashosh very much. However he kept wondering why am I yelling so much at such a well behaved child. Yes, sure, his mother yelled at him. Heck, she even beat him up. "Were you well behaved, grandpa?" "Sure I was." Grandpa did not get to spend a lot of time with his own children because of work, so I am guessing this makes his frame of reference somewhat unreliable. What is more interesting is that my husband shares his father's wonderment at my yelling. But that's a whole other post that you don't want to read.

Where was I? Oh, yes: busy. Last night I have figured out the basics of Citydesk, and am still trying to figure it out beyond the basics. I hope to move off of Blogspot after we move. I am also occasionally reading a book on HTML. It's kind of neat. Maybe by the time I'm old I will become a geek.

So there. Now you know why posting might be light again. Don't go away, though: we will be back sometime.