Friday, December 22, 2006

Hasta La Vista Baby

Attention, all faithful Zlog readers. Do not despair over the lack of postings by yours truly over the next two weeks or so. After celebrating Hanukkah and Festivus at the parents' house tonight and tomorrow, Mrs. Zwicker and I will be flying to Michael Vick Country for some R&R. We'll spend the first few days with the in-laws until they leave, after which Mrs. Zwicker will spend our last vacation for just the two of us for the next number of years. Try to survive without me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

In Your Face

As I wrote in my previous post, former President Jimmy Carter has refused Brandeis University's invitation to its campus to debate Alan Dershowitz. In an op-ed in today's Boston Globe, Dershowitz goes on the offensive. Dershowitz rebuts Carter's claims that Dershowitz is ignorant on the subject. Dershowitz also corrects Carter's feeble complaints that criticisms are coming only from Jews. More importantly, Dershowitz dismantles Carter's claims of objectivity:

Nor is Carter the unbiased observer of the Middle East that he claims to be. He has accepted money and an award from Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan , saying in 2001: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." This is the same Zayed, the long-time ruler of the United Arab Emirates, whose $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School was returned in 2004 due to Zayed's rampant Jew-hatred. Zayed's personal foundation, the Zayed Center, claims that it was Zionists, rather than Nazis, who "were the people who killed the Jews in Europe" during the Holocaust. It has held lectures on the blood libel and conspiracy theories about Jews and America perpetrating Sept. 11. Carter's acceptance of money from this biased group casts real doubt on his objectivity and creates an obvious conflict of interest.

Dershowitz ends the excellent piece, the whole of which I recommend reading, with this gem:

What most rankles is Carter's insistence that he is somehow brave for attacking Israel and highlighting the plight of the Palestinian people. No other conflict in the world -- not even the genocides in Rwanda and Sudan -- evokes more hand-wringing in the media, universities, and human rights organizations than the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Jimmy Carter isn't brave for beating up on Israel. He's a bully. And like all school-yard bullies, underneath the tough talk and bravado, there's a nagging insecurity and a fear that one day he'll have to answer for himself in a fair fight.

When Jimmy Carter's ready to speak at Brandeis, or anywhere else, I'll be there. If he refuses to debate, I will still be there -- ready and willing to answer falsity with truth in the court of public opinion.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Keep Digging That Hole, Jimmy

For someone who has been opining on the Israel-Palestinian conflict so much over the past few years, former President Jimmy Carter seems to have avoided his homework and not read much on the subject. In response to allegations that he plagiarized materials from a book by Dennis Ross, Carter responded recently that was impossible since he had never read Ross' book. Such a defense is flabbergasting. Ross was the United States' lead negotiator in the conflict during the Clinton administration. In other words, there is probably no non-Israeli or non-Palestinian who is more intimately familiar with the "peace process" than Ross. According to Carter though, it wasn't worth it to read Ross' accounts of the process.

Carter apparently has also not read Alan Dershowitz's The Case For Israel. That book is as comprehensive a take-down as there is of the Palestinians' claims against Israel. Yet, in refusing Brandeis University's recent invitation to Carter to debate Dershowitz, the former said, "There is no need ... to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine." (Quote and ellipses courtesy of the Boston Globe here.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Future Classic

I'm a big believer, at least with certain things, in planning ahead. One of those things is MNFBBQ. You don't just decide a few hours before hosting to go grocery shopping and see what the store happens to have in stock. Between January and August, when the NFL is in its offseason, you also don't wait until the last minute to get a movie. That's why I was glad, just 10 1/2 weeks before I host next, to find that American Pie 5: The Naked Mile will soon be hitting the shelves at our local Blockbuster.

After Air set the bar pretty high by showing American Pie Presents Band Camp in his MNFBBQ swan song hosting MNFBBQ, I think that I have found another film that will endure in our august organization's distinguished annals. After all, I cannot go wrong with a piece of art for which IMDB provides the following plot summary: The movie will shift its focus on Erik Stifler, the cousin of Matt and Steve (Seann William Scott in the first three films), a youngster who is nothing like his wild relations. Peer pressure starts to turn him to live up to the legacy of the other Stifflers when he attends the 'Naked Mile', a naked run across the college campus. Things get worse when he finds that his cousin Adam is the life of the party down at the campus. If that's not promising enough, the cast of stars guarantees success. Candace Kroslak, fresh off her star-making roles as Hot Chick in the White Christmas episode of Las Vegas and Girl #1 in the Slap Bet episode of How I Met Your Mother, leads the list of actors on IMDB's summary.

I just hope that the two MNFBBQ members who show movies before me don't beat me to the punch.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mazal Tov

Mazal tov goes to O's Fan and Dr. O's Fan on the birth yesterday of a baby girl. May her birth be the first of many years of happiness that she brings to her family. Let us also pray that O's Fan sets good precedent and doesn't disappoint his revered father-in-law this coming Saturday afternoon.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Cry Me A River

Eric Rudolph, an inmate in the federal corrections system, is complaining about the conditions of his confinement. According to a wire story that likely appeared in most of the country's newspapers, Rudolph says that the Supermax prison in which he will likely live the rest of his life has the purpose of isolating its inmates to the point of causing negative emotional and mental effects.

In case you forgot who Eric Rudolph is, he is the psycho who bombed the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, killing one person and injuring over a hundred more. After that, Rudolph bombed at least two abortion clinics and a nightclub, killing at least one other person and injuring dozens more. Pardon me if I shed not a tear.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Defending The Indefensible

As most of you, especially faithful Zlog readers, are aware, former President Jimmy Carter has recently released a new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." The title alone should give an indication of what disgusting thesis Carter is propounding. The book's name, in and of itself, is absurd. South Africa's apartheid was meant to restrict the rights of a country's citizens. Israel's separation from "Palestine" is meant solely to preserve Israeli citizens' most basic right, that of life.

In the past few weeks, Carter and his book have come under attack from people defending Israel's right to exist. The attacks have not been coming just from Republicans and conservatives. Some of those who have taken Carter to task are Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Stein, the latter of whom is an Emory University professor who recently resigned as director of the Carter Center because, in Stein's own words, "[b]eing president doesn't give one the prerogative to bend the facts to reach a prescribed reality."

Well, Carter has decided to defend himself in today's Los Angeles Times. Carter argues that he is coming under attack because of the "the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices." I guess he has never heard of operations like CAIR. Carter uses words like "oppression" and "persecution" to describe the "Palestinian" lifestyle. He does manage to condemn terrorism but it of course comes in the mealy mouth moral equivalence that we hear from anti-Israel dignitaries right after condemning self-defense measures by the only democracy in the Middle East.

If you think you can stomach it, you can read Carter's pathetic defense here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ooh That Smell

I know it's juvenile, but I had to laugh when I saw this headline: Flatulence, not turbulence forces plane landing in Nashville. If you really want to know the whole story, and you know that you do, click here.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Falling City

Louisville holds a pretty special place in my heart. It's where Mrs. Zwicker was born and grew up. It's where we got married, albeit with a dairy meal. We've gone back to visit often and have enjoyed good times with Mrs. Zwicker's family. We even won some money at Churchill Downs this past Thanksgiving. Our winnings may have been less than two dollars, but it's better than losing.

Louisville, a city that has a good blend of Midwestern and Southern attitudes, seems to be changing and not in a good way. The city recently banned smoking in all bars and restaurants. I've previously written about my disdain for such rules here. Now there is a proposal before the city council to ban all trans fatty acids from restaurants. Once again, there are those who believe that it is the government's responsibility to tell people what is best for them, even when it hurts nobody else. To top it all off, over a thousand people lined up last night at a local store for a book signing and promotion by former President Jimmy Carter. What was the book? "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." At least the signing was at a Sam's Club.