Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Fiddler on the border


Tom Ridge resigns because “I wanted to raise some personal and family matters to a slightly higher priority.” He uses color codes for everything, doesn’t he? [Insert your own joke here about how he asks his wife for sex.] At his press conference, he talked about the hardships for his family when he was called by Bush to come to Washington on short notice, and how he looks forward to his son’s rugby games, and he said all this without any recognition that there are reservists and victims of “stop-loss” orders in Iraq without the ability to say “I just want to step back and pay a little more attention to some other personal matters.” (If that criticism seems strained or unfair, well, I’m not the one who keeps insisting this is a “war” on terrorism.)

Carlos the Jackal has gone on hunger strike against prison conditions, the poor baby. He has done this before; on 11/13/98 I wrote: “Carlos the Jackal is on hunger strike. What do jackals normally eat, anyway? Carrion? In a French prison that would of course be carrion with a really superb sauce and exactly the right wine.”

The Israeli military is now claiming that they didn’t order the Palestinian to play his violin at the checkpoint (they initially said they made him do it to prove there were no explosives in the violin, a story disproved by a photo of the event, showing him playing just a couple of feet away from the soldiers), that in fact he just started up spontaneously. The violinist says not. They told him to play “something sad.” We still don’t know what he played--honestly, reporters these days.

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