Thursday, August 17, 2006


Going away for a few days with the family, and yes, this will include more mixing with fellow Americans in public places, in one case, an amusement park. How amused I'll be after a couple of hours amid rides and crowds remains to be seen (factor in also the crazed Michigan drivers, among the worst I've ever encountered), but I go into it with some optimism, given that I'll be with the three people closest to me. That helps. So no new posts till Sun, but more likely Mon.

A few things:

I'm part of an upcoming panel in Tarrytown, NY. As the press release puts it:

Horror and Chaos in the Middle East:
Who's to blame, and is there a remedy?

Wednesday, August 30th, 7:30 pm

A panel discussion featuring:

Morton Klein and Sidney Zion vs. Dennis Perrin and Nada Khader

Moderated by WABC radio host Ron Kuby at the legendary Tarrytown Music Hall (minutes away from MetroNorth)

Did the latest round of atrocities begin with the Palestinian abduction of an Israeli soldier or was it triggered by the Israeli abduction of a doctor and his brother from Gaza? Are Israel and America attempting to further destabilize the Palestinian and Lebanese territories for their own benefit or is Israel (with America's support) simply defending its people against the unprovoked attacks of its neighbors? Ultimately, what are the genuine motivations of the movers and shakers on all sides? What role does the existence of religion play in all this? Can real peace ever flourish when people primarily identify themselves with diametrically opposed faith-based belief systems? Could a tilt towards secularism in conjunction with an all-out assault on poverty yield a more hopeful future for everyone? Come join us as we address these questions and grasp for solutions.

The panel discussion will be followed by Q & A from the audience.

More: here and here.

If any readers nearby can make it, please do. I expect myself and Mort Klein to bump heads more than once. Thank God for my metal plate.

And speaking of the Middle East, here's an informative discussion between Thomas Ricks, the Pentagon correspondent for the Washington Post, and Noam Chomsky. Note how civil the exchange. Ricks doesn't always agree with Chomsky, but he does show him respect, which is returned. And contrary to what some liberals claim, Noam doesn't sound anything close to over-the-hill. Far from it. Listen. Learn.

Did you ever think we'd see more wall-to-wall JonBenet Ramsey cable coverage in our lifetimes? I honestly believed that was over, but that's what happens when you think positively. I notice on my Yahoo page the headline, "Man Says He Drugged, Had Sex With Ramsey" -- who was, let's recall, six-years-old. Perfect necro-porn fodder for news junkies and media heads. Should take us right through Labor Day.

Here's one of the best scenes from David Lynch's "Lost Highway." Just because.

And here's John Lydon and PiL on a show called "Check It Out" from 1979. The song is "Chant" from PiL's "Metal Box," one of the best reactions to rock and roll ever recorded. Then Lydon, after receiving a surprise video attack on his music and reputation (not shown here, but I've seen it elsewhere), responds as only he could and still can. Too bad bassist Jah Wobble's audio is bleeped. But you get the gist of what he's saying.

Have a safe, stress-free weekend. I know I'll try.