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:: Friday, January 03, 2003 ::


:: Peter 1/03/2003 09:57:00 AM [+] ::

AFI is at it again

Peter Filichia get an early look at the ballot for the American Film Institute's50 greatest heroes and the 50 greatest villains of the screen. The ballot contains 400 screen characters. While Mr. Filichia, the theater critic for The Star-Ledger, is looking over the list with an eye towards how theatrical characters are represented he discovers one interesting omission. Mainly, even though both fictional and non-fictional characters are included:

" Then I started thinking that maybe the list didn't include people who actually lived, just fictional characters. But another look through the book proved that theory wrong, for there were Emile Zola, Malcolm X, and Douglas MacArthur.
Hmmm. Under those circumstances, shouldn't the central figure of Jesus Christ Superstar appear on the list -- if not for that movie, then for some other?"

What do you think: would the AFI actually consider Christ to be a hero?
:: Peter 1/03/2003 09:01:00 AM [+] ::

Dear Arab

While not as amusing as the last Dear Arab column (which dealt with a woman married off at 13) this one, at least, has the added benefit of the columnist finding it difficult to provide an answer to the question. Namely, should a man dump his poor wife whom he loves for a rich one he doesn't love. Apparently, this is a dilemma which even the advice columnist doesn't know the answer. Ah, love.

Jasser wants to know if Bernard Shaw was right when he said there are only two ways to get rich — marry a rich woman or work hard for 20 years and then marry a rich woman. There is no third option. Jasser wrote that he has a similar problem to the one Shaw wrote about. He has been working hard for 16 years and has finally met a very rich woman who wants to marry him and turn her fortune over to him. He likes the idea but is upset because it will mean abandoning his child and his present wife whom he married when they were both in their teens.
He does not want to give up his wife but he is impatient to be rich. They have been struggling together for the past 16 years. It was she who persuaded him to travel to the Gulf country where he presently works. He worked hard, almost round the clock — an accountant in two companies and a translator in a third. He never went on vacation during the first seven years and his only aim was to get rich. It was the shared dream of him and his wife to start a profitable business venture in their hometown when he returned home.
In fact, he saved up a fair amount of money during the years he worked. With the money, Jasser finally went home. His wife was very happy. For months they looked for a profitable investment opportunity. Finally, he invested all his money in a poultry farm. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bad choice as he had no experience and so he lost all his money.
Once again, he went back to the Gulf in search of more money. It was not difficult to find a good job as he was both experienced and hard working. This time he got a job in the real estate field. After eight years of hard work, he was an expert in the field. The nature of his work required him to deal with wealthy people and in the course of it, he met with a widow with plenty of money. His work impressed her very much. She found him trustworthy and one thing led to another and she finally expressed a desire to marry him.
Now he is confused. Marrying her would make him immensely rich, and so fulfill his life’s ambition. At the same time, marriage meant he would have to give up his wife and child. Now he wants my advice.
I have no advice to offer as the choice is a difficult one. He is on the threshold of fulfilling his ambition. He can have only one — either a poor loving wife or a life of ease with a rich one.

You can really see why this man has people writing to him and asking for his advice, his penetrating insight is nothing short of astounding. No?
:: Peter 1/03/2003 08:43:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, January 02, 2003 ::


When was the last time you saw any images on TV of the World Trade Center or Pentagon attacks?

If you're like me, outside of the Anniversary, the answer is never. Nada. Zilch. You simply haven't. It's as though they never happened. No wonder there's so much complacency around the idea of carrying on with the war on terror. The only images we see are of places far away (read: Israel) which doesn't quite have the visceral impact of those planes hitting on US soil. It's a damn shame. It's an embarrassment. It's an absolute sign of weakness ('Look at those pitiful Americans, they can't even bear to look at the hurt we gave them"). It's as sure a sign as any that we're simply not ready for war, not preparing for war.

First rule of warfare: Know thy enemy.

Well, then, I ask you: Who is our enemy?

No...'terrorism' is a TACTIC OF WARFARE. It's not an 'enemy'. Again, who is our enemy?

The answer is politically incorrect. So, Americans don't know who they're supposed to be fighting. Hopefully, those leading us in battle know. God help us if they don't. They might not say it in public. But they better know.

Show the images. Over and over again. We are not afraid. We are not too weak to see them.

If not, we'll see more. New attacks. New victims. The same enemy.

And those images, like those from 9/11 will be edited out of our memories by producers trying to protect us. Until the next time. New attacks. New victims. The same enemy.

"Let's roll..."

:: Peter 1/02/2003 01:59:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 ::


Ever just have one of these days?

:: Peter 1/01/2003 12:03:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 31, 2002 ::

Happy 2003!

Ok, we'll ignore the fact that I'm still at work on New Year's Eve. We'll even ignore the fact that I'll be working New Year's Day. It's still a happy event. 2002 has been, at times, harsh and at times so achingly sweet that words completely fail me. 2003 will see the birth of my second son. It will see my 4th wedding anniversary as well as my parent's 40th. My mother will turn 60. My wife, well, she'll have a birthday too.

To all of you who have spent some time here, thank you. May every day bring blessings and happiness and joy.

:: Peter 12/31/2002 07:38:00 PM [+] ::


I'm sorry, is this "cartoonist" (fun with Reuters scare quotes) actually suggesting that George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon are the moral equivalent of 'Yasser,' 'Osama,' 'Saddam,' and 'Kim'? How absurd.

:: Peter 12/31/2002 11:11:00 AM [+] ::

Say What?

"Addressing the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers he chaired at the Yamama Palace here yesterday, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd asserted that “this dangerous escalation by Israel and the return to the policy of assassinations and demolitions, aims at torpedoing all Arab and international efforts to calm the situation. It confirms the Israeli authorities’ challenge to the legitimate international resolutions and all other efforts being exerted to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the region,”"

This, from an article in the Arab News.

Yes, that must be it, Israel is 'torpedoing all Arab...efforts to calm the situation.' It's amazing, they must think, how calm everything will be once us pesky Jews are dead.
:: Peter 12/31/2002 10:10:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 30, 2002 ::


:: Peter 12/30/2002 03:08:00 PM [+] ::

A Modest Proposal?

Satire, parody or arrogance? Written by Khaled Al Maeena, Editor-in-Chief of the Arab News.

"With the desire to disseminate information ever present, I must respectfully offer a suggestion to Mr. George W. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Ms. Rice and the entire American administration: Why not sponsor a similar training program for Sharon, Peres and the other blood-thirsty Israeli politicians and generals? The Arabs may need to learn what democracy is all about but the Israeli need to learn some basic lessons in humanity is far greater. They could be taught the meaning of “Peace through Withdrawal.” They might also have a class or two on “Rage Control,” “How to Treat Children” and “How to Deal with Those who Clamor for the God-given Human Rights of Self-Determination and Self-Government.” Surely these items could be included in the extremely generous annual American aid package to Israel. After all, American economic and military aid to Israel over the past 50 years is approaching $90 billion! With a budget that size, the State Department will surely be able to hire the best psychologists, analysts and PR people to educate Sharon and his supporters. Why not try Qorvis Communications!
With any luck, the State Department might even slip in a few experts who would be able — or who could at least try — to change the Israeli mindset and attitudes which bear a large share of responsibility for the present situation in the Middle East."

Now, that's just a part, go read the whole thing.

:: Peter 12/30/2002 08:29:00 AM [+] ::

Letter to the Arab News

"Powell’s eyewash
I refer to the letter “Powell’s project” by Chris (Dec. 25). If the United States wanted peace in the Middle East, it could have achieved it decades ago, and we all would be living in peace by now and the world would have been a better place. But it has wasted more than 35 years by supporting Israel in every possible manner, supplying arms every year, supporting it at the United Nations by using its veto power, and by allowing its Middle East policy to be dictated by Israeli lobbies.
The US can rein in Israel if it wields its power and influence as it does when dealing with other countries. But, all these years, it has chosen not to do it.
And now Powell comes up with “ideas”. How many times were ideas suggested in the past? Every time they were rejected by Israel. Does not the US have the power to persuade Israel to comply with America’s own ideas or UN resolutions?
So, let us speak the truth. The US does not have the power, or the will, to contain Israel, and all their new ideas are just an eyewash and propaganda.
Parpia, Vancouver, Canada published 30 December 2002"

Let me see if I have this straight: The main point of your letter seems to be 'If the Americans would just let the pesky jews die there would be peace.' Is that what you're saying? Well, tough. America won't try to persuade Israel (and that's been through Democratic and Republican administrations, by the way) for one very simple reason: Israel is a democracy. Try it, sometime.

:: Peter 12/30/2002 08:24:00 AM [+] ::

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