Archive for February 2006

Anti-Semitic Jews? What’ll They Think of Next?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Israeli cartoonist Amitai Sandy thinks he has a solution to the whole cartoon controversy over Muhammad and the Holocaust. How about anti-Semitic cartoons, drawn by Jews and Israelis? Oy vey!

Says Richard Silverstein:

The problem with all this is that most Jews are understandably uncomfortable with anything that remotely smacks of anti-Semitism. Our vaunted sense of humor (remember Lenny Bruce?) takes leave when it comes to this subject. But Sandy is saying: “why should it?” Why can’t we talk about it like we talk about any other subject that is important to us? Why can’t we poke fun at the anti-Semites using their own graphic weapons (big noses, horns, the works)? And most of all, why can’t we poke fun at ourselves as Jews have done for millenia?

I agree. If there’s one thing about Jews, at least here in the U.S., their humor tradition is quite rich. And here in Hawaii we also have an rich multi-ethnic humor tradition which has fallen by the wayside in recent years because we have just become too darn sensitive. Explaining it is one full entry in itself.

May the best cartoon win!

iPod by Apple…Packaging by Microsoft?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

I’m sure my resident Mac nut friends Eric and John will kick my ass for suggesting this, but…what if good ol’ Bill Gates had a hand in designing the otherwise simplistic iPod packaging? The answer might (not) surprise you.

(thanks Linkmeister)

Dubai or Not Dubai…

Monday, February 27th, 2006

Very interesting post from Citizen Smash, a blogger who has spent time in Dubai.

As The Moderate Voice advises, I’m going to ask that you read the whole thing. But I will give my take on it. Smash paints a picture of a modern, cosmopolitan city on the Persian Gulf, and one of the major ports in the area. Perhaps Dubai is not so foreign after all.

Still Got It…Actually, Never Lost It…

Monday, February 27th, 2006

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

Ah, this brings back memories. 8th grade math was good to me…I’ve still got my state Mathcounts trophies somewhere. Too bad they didn’t give bonus points for speed.

Now, if only I could have managed my classes better at King, I would probably still be teaching 8th grade math.

(via Linkmeister)

Arab Port Controversy: Should We Turn Away Japanese Planes Too?

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

Just what is our country coming to? A foreign company buys out another foreign company, both of whom are in the business of managing terminals at seaports around the world, and suddenly alarm bells go off on Capitol Hill because the buyer just happens to be (gasp) an Arab company, Dubai Ports World based in the United Arab Emirates.

While we’re at it, let’s demand that Honolulu Airport refuse to let any Japanese planes land. After all, it was Japanese airplanes that bombed Pearl Harbor, yes? We certainly don’t want their kamikaze planes to be divebombing our skyscrapers. Especially those huge 747s! Yes, I know, we’ll have to forego the $$$ that comes from their tourism, but hey, this is a war, right? We should protect ourselves from foreign influence at all costs.

If you actually agree with what I said in that last paragraph, there’s a little red button in the top right corner of your Web browser. Click it. Now.

Still here? Good. A few deep breaths here are in order.

Certainly, the fact that the United Arab Emirates was home to two of the September 11th hijackers can is worth taking a little closer look. And yes, once bitten, twice shy. But the strong, knee-jerk, visceral opposition I’m seeing here is way out of proportion.

And speaking of swatting a fly with a sledgehammer, some in Congress are even suggesting that all foreign companies be banned from operating at U.S. ports. Come on now. Some of our largest ports have terminals that are operated by foreign-based companies. The ports of Long Beach and San Francisco have a Chinese company (and not just a Chinese company, but a Chinese STATE-owned company) leasing their terminals to load and unload containers. And by some estimates, many ports around the nation are in the same boat, so to speak, with companies based in different countries. Do we really think that we’ll be doing the nation a service by disrupting the operations of our largest seaports in the name of nationalism?

Nothing but racist, anti-Arab xenophobia.

Richard Silverstein’s Tikun Olam, which I read regularly for his moderate, pox-on-both-houses take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has jumped on this issue big time. Go read.

Tags: Dubai Ports World, Arab ports controversy

Just How Tight is Hawaii’s Rental Market?

Friday, February 17th, 2006

It’s no secret that Hawaii is no paradise for renters. My friend’s studio apartment in the heart of downtown Honolulu draws over $1200.

But just how tight is Hawaii’s rental market? Lee Cataluna in the Honolulu Advertiser reports on a house in Kailua that put up a closet for rent on Craigslist. Yes, you read that right. A walk-in closet that’s probably big enough only for a twin bed and a nightstand. All for $100. And guess what? There were not one, not two, but 33 replies. And apparently a laundry room in the same house went for even more.

How someone can stand living in what is probably no more than an 8 x 10 ft space, I don’t know. But I guess it beats sleeping on the beach, I guess.

Breakfast in Tehran: Coffee and Danish Roses of Muhammad

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

They tried peaceful protests. Then they tried torching their embassies. Now the Islamic world is trying another tactic against the Danish…hitting them where it really hurts.

Bakers in Iran have taken the step of renaming the well-known Danish pastry as “roses of the Prophet Muhammad,” in retaliation for the by now infamous cartoons.

Of course, we in the United States should talk, seeing that we banished the French from our fries and toast in certain quarters. And we banished German names from our menu during World War I.

But of course, all of this probably comes to naught. French fries may not have come from France after all, but rather from Belgium or Spain. But France may have actually been the birthplace of the Danish pastry. Nothing is what it seems.

(Thanks Linkmeister)

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Separated at Birth?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Commented Eric: “Dr. Evil…Dick Cheney…there is a resemblance.”

Oh…you mean something like this?


Yes, Joy, I know, your fiance could do a much better job of photoshopping than I did, but hey…

(Apologies to AFP and New Line Cinema)

Cheney Comedy

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Comedians and humorists are having a field day over VP Cheney’s accidental shooting, with punch lines aplenty.

Starting locally, the Star-Bulletin‘s Charles Memminger puts pen to paper and gives a litany of punch lines about the incident.

And of course, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, and Craig Ferguson are having a field day. My favorite, from Leno:

“I think Cheney is starting to lose it. After he shot the guy he screamed, ‘Anyone else want to call domestic wire tapping illegal?'”

I respectfully disagree, though. In order to lose something, you had to have had it in the first place.

Another Argument for Gun Control?

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

All over the news today was the story that Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a hunting companion in the upper body (namely, the head and chest). Fortunately, it was buckshot and not bullets, else that would really be a story…Cheney would probably be facing manslaughter charges were that the case.

I’m reminded of a Tom Lehrer song (listen to MIDI file) that went something like this:

I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.

and goes on:

The law was very firm, it
Took away my permit,
The worst punishment I ever endured,
It turned out there was a reason,
Cows were out of season,
And one of the hunters wasn’t insured.

That the hunter that was mistaken for the quail was insured is the least of my worries. Let’s just hope the VP himself is adequately insured.