Friday, July 06, 2007

Introductory Irish Vlog

How to say a curse in Gaelic, how to pronounce the various parts of your computer in Gaelic, and a number of other Gaelic imponderables.

Tomorrow is 07/07/07, and Joe the Plumber called with disturbing news - he bears scars on his arm that spell out: - 7 -. Is Joe among The Chosen?
Super-Elastic Flattering Clothing Sizes

I shop for clothes about as often as I spot unicorns, so it was rather a fluke this afternoon to enter Ross' Clothing Store looking for bargains. I went for the knit shirts.

Normally, I'm a 'Large', but for some reason, with these knit shirts, I'm a 'Medium'. I don't think I shrank to fit the shirt - I think the shirt expanded to suit me.

On the way back, I stopped for a bite at McDonald's (among those ultimately to blame....)
Presidential Popularity

G.W. Bush is more unpopular than Carter ever got, and very nearly as unpopular as any President has ever got.
Having Paris' Old CellPhone Number

Lots of interesting calls:
Shira Barlow had her new cellphone number for only two days when the flood of calls began.

Birthday wishes, inquiries about locations for "in" parties, requests to get on guest lists at the hottest Los Angeles nightclubs.

Most of the calls were placed between 2 and 4 a.m. on weekends. Some were annoying. Many involved slurred words.

When the callers were told they had reached a UCLA college student, they refused to believe it.

"Baby girl, how are you?" a man purred in a foreign accent.

"Why are you doing this?" one woman asked. "This is so rude."

Little did Barlow — or her callers — know that she had inherited the phone number of one of the nation's most ubiquitous and sought-after young celebrities: Paris Hilton.

...Service carriers say it is common for them to hold numbers for users an average of six months before reassigning them.

In theory, the wait allows people to inform family, friends and business associates about the change.

But Michael Shames, executive director of the Utility Consumers' Action Network, says the turnaround time for recycled numbers is closer to three months — or as little as one.

...Barlow agreed that it was amusing to inherit the phone number of a celebrity.

...The first flurry of calls and text messages came within days of the heiress' Feb. 17 birthday, just after Barlow got her new phone.

"Oh my God," a caller said, indicative of most. "Where's the party?"

One weekend, Barlow answered a call and was lectured by an unidentified woman who took umbrage when asked if she was calling from Florida.

"I'm so insulted. You must be on drugs," the woman said before calling back five times to lecture Barlow on how "tacky" people were from the Sunshine State.

Another time, she had a half-hour conversation with an aspiring rap artist who, after learning he was not talking with Hilton, still invited Barlow to a party.

More often than not, however, the conversations were brief and polite. Then came the day that Hilton went to court for violating probation after pleading no contest to an alcohol-related reckless driving charge.

...In short order, calls and texts that previously inquired about parties and nightclubs were replaced by dozens expressing their condolences.

"People were scared for her," Barlow said.

...But with Hilton now free again, a new crop of communiques is flooding Barlow's telephone.

There was Hilton's former bodyguard who sent his love.

A girlfriend called to commiserate and lend support. Barlow told the caller she had received good wishes from dozens of people.

Text messages also expressed love. "It's disgusting how they treated you in there, but once again you have showed the world that you can do anything," one wrote. Said another: "I'm so proud of you."

"I hope you're enjoying Maui," one of the messages read Wednesday.

Barlow resisted the temptation to pose as the heiress to get herself and friends on the guest list of exclusive parties.

But she did message supporters "thanks so much," believing Hilton would appreciate it.

Barlow plans to keep the number because she says it has been a greater source of amusement than a hassle.

Plus, she said, "It was really out of convenience. I didn't want to switch again."
Las Vegas Shooting

It makes me feel ill at ease when I could easily see myself in the victims' shoes - I've been on that walkway many a time. And it's no surprise that they are back to normal operations so quickly - it takes more than just a little blood to deter a casino from its day-to-day operations:
A gunman opened fire on people in the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas early Friday morning -- wounding four people before he was tackled by officers and patrons and arrested.

Police said the man is believed to be in his early 50s and a Las Vegas resident.

Two women and two men were taken to a local hospital with what is being described as non-life threatening injuries.

Police said the gunman entered the casino from the walkway to the MGM Grand a little before 1 a.m. and randomly shot at people on the casino floor below.

...They said no hotel employees were hurt and the casino and hotel were operating normally again Friday morning.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


With a Middle East war raging that supposedly no one can stop, and an Administration that simply refuses to obey the law, Davis Broder calls for even less accountability in Washington, D.C.:
A particularly virulent strain of populism has made official Washington altogether too responsive to public opinion.

...In today's Washington, a badly weakened president and a dangerously compliant congressional leadership are no match for the power of public opinion -- magnified and sometimes exaggerated by modern communications and interest group pressure.

...The collapse of the immigration reform bill in the Senate last month means that the broken border system, which allows a continuing flood of illegal immigrants to enter the United States with no hope of attaining the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, will continue for at least two more years. No one is talking of reviving the effort until after the 2008 election installs a new president and Congress.

With all its shortcomings, the defeated legislation offered some prospect of improving at least some aspects of that broken system. But it was buried by an avalanche of phone calls to the Capitol from good citizens decrying what they had been told on many talk radio stations and by some conservative politicians: that it was an amnesty bill.

...The "fast-track" process, in which Congress casts only an up-or-down vote on trade deals negotiated with other countries, has been the key to a vast expansion in world trade. But the resulting trade agreements have run into populist protests from labor and liberal groups that blame them for the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

...I think labor and the environmentalists have made a good case for including their protections in these trade deals. But ending the president's negotiating authority will only do our country damage. "America needs to remain open for business to the 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside the United States," said U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab. And she is right.

The point is pretty basic. Politicians are wise to heed what people want. But they also have an obligation to weigh for themselves what the country needs. In today's Washington, the "wants" of people count far more heavily than the nation's needs.

You can win elections by promising people what they want. But you win your place in history by doing what the country needs done.
Stabilizing The Bunny

She has good days, and she has bad days, but Cloudy the Bunny seems to be responding to care, and doesn't seem immediately in danger of losing her life. Her rear legs are wasting away, and she requires attention, but her appetite is good and she remains optimistic about the future.
Britney's Satire

Britney has got a sense of humor, yet the media often miss it:
Later in this column I’ll give some background as to what Britney is satirizing and why I think she’s being so blindingly, hilariously brilliant. But what I really want to ponder, and what will require further background, is why such satire is so much more powerful coming from Britney than it would be from someone like, say, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, or Eminem.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth Of July

To start their holiday, Ira, Marcy, and Daniel Gershin flew into Oakland from Las Vegas, and drove to Sacramento (Daniel's sisters Rachel and Beth are gallivanting across Europe and thus couldn't come). They checked into the Hyatt Regency Hotel and called about 1:15 p.m.

We drove to Old Sacramento and went to the California State Railroad Museum. Afterwards we bought salt water taffy, and bought some bottled water at the Alhambra Safeway. They returned to the hotel to swim and relax. I went home for a nap.

In the evening, we went to Cal Expo to see the free fireworks display, billed as the biggest spectacular ever staged in Sacramento. Indeed, it was a big spectacular, with various 'Saturns', 'Hearts', 'Smiley Faces', and all sorts of big booms, enough to panic the ducks along the American River into flight. Too bad I lost my camera - lots of fun shots!

Incredible amounts of smoke came from the fireworks, from the cars, from the fair food concession booths, and from the smokers among the tens of thousands of people present. For an air pollution perspective, it was awful - a vast mob gathered to make just as much smoke as humanly possible, short of an auto-da-fe, or a forest-fire fiesta.

Marcy mentioned being very tense from the close-pressed crowds that somehow none of us anticipated, but she wasn't the only one - I was quite tense as well. Cal Expo has been known to have security problems over the years. It took half an hour in claustrophobia-inducing lines just to get through entrance security. I was worried about the stampede potential in those lines. The fireworks display itself took about half an hour, but in order to drive them back to their hotel, it required an hour - an hour at the wheel to drive from Cal Expo to downtown Sacramento (!!!!) Horrible traffic jams - just the worst! An urban hellhole!

But what are holidays for, after all?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Right From The Crib

Babies and their lies:
Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Simple fibs help to train them for more complex deceptions in later life.

...Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. By eight months, more difficult deceptions became apparent, such as concealing forbidden activities or trying to distract parents' attention.

By the age of two, toddlers could use far more devious techniques, such as bluffing when threatened with a punishment.

Dr Reddy said: "Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.

...Dr Reddy thinks children use early fibs to discover what kinds of lie work in certain situations, and also learn the negative consequences of lying too much.
Yes, Together We Applaud

People on the right have a certain authoritarian vision of patriotism that insists on unanimity. I once experienced that vision firsthand, while attending a protest at a Jerry Falwell rally. Moral Majority volunteers boxed us in on all sides, grabbed our hands (tightly, without our consent), as everyone sang 'America, The Beautiful'. Yes, Together We Sang!

Thelma Domenici, sister of Senator Pete, kind of creeps me out, with that same authoritarian mindset. She misrepresents events at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport in order to convey that same sense of unanimity (emphasis added).
In the Dallas airport on the final travel leg of my journey home, I was changing concourses when over the public address system a voice said: "Attention. The airport manager would like to speak to you. In just a few minutes, a group of our troops returning from Iraq is going to deplane. If you look up, you'll see a glass wall. That is the walkway you'll see them going through. Please join us in welcoming our soldiers back home."

As I looked up, the doors opened and, for the next 25 minutes, these men and women moved through that walkway above us and, for 25 minutes, the applause never diminished. We couldn't hear each other, but the energy of connection was there. They threw back hugs and kisses and we waved and cheered. We could feel them, and they could feel us.

It was the most profound, grateful, heartfelt, absolutely spontaneous reaction I've ever experienced. It gave me an incredible sensation as a cross-section of America sitting in this airport stood in unison to applaud our troops. In the entire concourse, no one was sitting and the applause never stopped or even faltered. I was so amazed, I had to share it with someone close, so I dialed my sister in Virginia and held out the cell phone.
Yet, this response, while heartfelt, is not spontaneous, but rather, is well-orchestrated by a group of volunteers:
On any given morning, about 50 volunteers are at the airport to greet the 250 or so soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The crowds of supporters, many waving posters or wearing red, white and blue clothing, embraced the troops, offering hugs, kisses, handshakes and pats on the back. Others showed their support, providing food, cigarettes, and in Ms. Barron’s case, free minutes so soldiers could call home.

“It’s nice,” said Army Spc. Justin Steiner, who was fighting in Afghanistan. “Sometimes we feel forgotten with all the action going on over in Iraq.”

There are all types of volunteers -- Vietnam War veterans, office workers, church members and students. On Tuesday, even the horse mascot for the Weatherford Wranglers baseball team trotted to the terminal.
Which is all well and fine. I'm sure many passersby get caught up in the spirit and applaud spontaneously as well. I'm sure if I was there at DFW, I'd applaud too. But then, at least I could spy the cheerleaders. Not like the folks reading about it secondhand from Domenici in the Albuquerque Tribune.

There is something unpleasant about Domenici not informing one's readership about the organized nature of the applause. While most of the country supports the troops, most of the country does not support the mission, at least the Iraqi part of it: even if there is a mission, since the rationale mutates into a different shape every six months, depending on contingencies. This business of unanimity is all about boxing the liberals in, just like the Moral Majority used to do.

Happy Fourth of July!
The Land Of Strange Analogies

Also known as the Land Of Enchantment:
Albuquerque has hovered in the high 90s for the past several days, and could hit 100 today --- prompting a few grumbles from those who'd been spoiled by a temperate spring.

...But the truth is, there's hot — and there is hot.

For example, in 2006 scientists at Sandia National Laboratories hit a record high temperature of about 3.6 billion degrees on an instrument called the Z Machine, used to test high-temperature physics.

A number like 3.6 billion qualifies as a world record (it's hotter than the sun), but it was set in only a fraction of a second.
Riddles Wrapped In Conundrums And Enveloped In Mysteries

Mary Nichols is the new California ARB Chair:
Mary Nichols will take over the embattled Air Resources Board, where she previously served as chair 30 years ago under then-Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. She also served as secretary of resources under Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, and as a high-ranking environmental official in the Clinton administration.

Her appointment follows the recent departure of two top board officials who each complained publicly that meddling by the Schwarzenegger administration on behalf of business interests limited their ability to draft effective regulations for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.

Nichols replaces Robert Sawyer, who says he was fired after pushing to implement more aggressive action to curb global warming than the administration supports. While administration officials claimed Sawyer was fired for not being tough enough, the displaced chair's claims were backed up by the former executive officer of the board, Catherine Witherspoon, a longtime veteran of the agency who quit Monday.

Witherspoon said she and her staff were also pressured by the administration to ease a crackdown on heavy diesel construction equipment after industry representatives complained the draft regulations were too tough.

But the appointment of Nichols, one of the state's first environmental attorneys, is likely to blunt complaints from administration critics that Schwarzenegger's actions on the environment are not living up to his bold promises.
Paris Hilton's Trash

Maybe we can work out a trade instead? Bunny pellets for Chihuahua nuggets?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Chicago - Musical Brasil - E Tudo e Jazz

Danielle Winnits and company translate the idiosyncratic Windy City idiom for 'murder' into Portugese.

Scooter Libby Sentence Commuted

Few events express better the utter contempt the Bush Administration has for the rule of law than this commutation. The violation of the law was demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt to a jury that actually was quite sympathetic to the accused. No guilt or remorse was ever expressed by Libby, or his boss, Dick Cheney. Fines remain, but donations from a few well-heeled neocons with government contracts, and it's all taken care of. So, betray one of your own spies, betray your country, lie to the grand jury, and there is no price to pay.

Look, when push came to shove, at least Paris Hilton went to jail. The minions of the Bush Administration don't even have her moxie....

From Anti-Federalist Paper No. 67 (1787) - via Publius at Obsidian Wings:
It is, therefore, obvious to the least intelligent mind to account why great power in the hands of a magistrate [i.e., a single executive], and that power connected with considerable duration, may be dangerous to the liberties of a republic. . . . [T]he unrestrained power of granting pardons for treason, which may be used to screen from punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the crime, and thereby prevent a discovery of his own guilt.
Staten Island Weirdness

[A] peacock, a male several years old, wandered into a Staten Island Burger King parking lot and perched on a car bonnet on Thursday morning. Employees had been feeding him bread when the man appeared.

He seized the bird by the neck, hurled it to the ground and started kicking and stomping on the creature, said worker Felicia Finnegan, 19.

"He was going crazy," she said.

Asked what he was doing, she said, the attacker explained, "I'm killing a vampire."

Employees called police, but the man ran when he saw them. Authorities were looking for the attacker, described as being in his teens or early 20s.
New Book Out

"The House That George Built," by Wilfrid Sheed:
"Alexander's Ragtime Band," Berlin's unstoppable 1911 hit, though not technically ragtime, introduced a fascinating syncopated rhythm that would revolutionize pop. "Whatever he'd heard as a boy in Harlem was part of him now," Sheed writes, claiming that this Russian-born, New York-bred son of a cantor did more than anyone "to secure the beachheads of the dance floor and the music rack" with his "semi-black and faintly Jewish melodies." Not bad for an "unschooled immigrant kid" who, though no world-class piano player, was heralded as a genius even by as high-minded a musical theorist as Igor Stravinsky.
Good Leaders Deserve Good Followers

So what do bad leaders deserve?

(Left: from Bruce Taylor at B3ta.)
Children Beware

Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

death (3x); gay (x2); scat (x1)

What about your blog?
June Rainfall

Except for all the death and destruction wrought by floods along the SE coast, June was a pretty good month for rainfall in some hard-hit drought areas in eastern Australia.

But will it continue? The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is at 5 and dropping like a stone, but that's probably because a high pressure system is building across Australia right now. Kick that high pressure away! Make the SOI rise instead!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Immigration Bill Post-Mortem

Walt, Marc, and an analysis from Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall:

The other night, I received a call from an opinion pollster. I like getting such calls; I may actually have more influence through participation in polls than by voting! Polls ask only 500 to 1000 people; so I contribute 0.1 to 0.2% of the total, in contrast to a national election, where my vote is 0.000001% of the total.

The questions made it clear that the poll was sponsored by US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Graham is a freshman senator, up for his first re-election next year. Before he became senator, he was a US House Representative for 8 years. The town where I live is in his former congressional district – it's part of his home base.

The questions focused on which Republican presidential candidate do I like, and on Graham’s re-electability. There was a question on do I approve or disapprove of the immigration bill. I said “strongly disapprove”. Up to that point, the poll could have been organized by Graham or alternatively by someone else considering challenging him. But the next question made it clear it was Graham paying for the poll. “If you knew that, in addition to legalizing aliens, the immigration bill also did X and Y and A and B and C and D and E and F…would you then support the bill?” It was a long list of bill provisions which were supposed to make people feel better about amnesty. It was the longest question I’ve ever heard in a poll – much too long to remember the content, and give a considered answer. Obviously, Graham himself wanted that question, as some sort of self-justification.

I answered “No, I would still not support the bill, even if I knew all that stuff”. Because of the poll structure, I couldn’t tell her why I didn’t support the bill, so I’ll do it here.

I am aware that the immigration bill is supposed to be a compromise, which gives illegal aliens amnesty, but also has provisions for strengthening the Border Patrol, and for extending the border fence. I got that. So it’s supposed to be a “give and take”, with something for everyone. I don’t really have a problem with the way the bill is written. I just don’t believe that border security provisions will ever be seriously implemented, if the bill passes.

We already had a compromise immigration bill. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was passed by a Democratic House, a Republican Senate, and signed by a Republican President. The bill gave amnesty for several million illegal aliens, and also criminalized employment of illegals. I naively supported it, thinking that several million amnesty grants was an acceptable price to pay for legislation that would make additional illegal immigration unattractive for aliens. However, when implementation time came, the amnesty was granted, but the employment laws were never enforced. I feel like the Indian who stopped fighting in order to sign a peace treaty, only to find that the treaty stole his land.

Who would be so stupid to, after having fallen for a dishonest trick once, agree to fall for the same exact trick a second time? Lindsey Graham, that’s who.

What about me? Am I an ostrich who has his head in the sand, who can’t face up to the immigration problem? I don’t think so. I know there are millions of illegal aliens in this country, and more on the way. I know that most of them are honest people (if you excuse breaking immigration law, and continued evasion of law enforcement). But I also believe, as Fred Thompson said, that America is our home, and we get to say who comes into our home. I also have no illusions about the “Great Father in Washington”: someone who acts in bad faith once, will not shrink from lying a second time. I will not support any new amnesty package until, first, I see enforcement of the provisions of the 1986 amnesty bill. This Indian agreed to an unjust treaty once, but he will not do so again.
As far as it's possible to be, I'm neutral on this current bill. I think people have trouble grasping adequately with immigration issues in general, and the secretive way the negotiations were handled in the Senate were not a good omen for coming success.

I'm trying to come up with an adequate answer to this blogpost regarding exactly what drives conservatives so nuts about immigration reform. Hilzoy's argument is quite clever, drawing a parallel to Israel's 1982 Lebanon War. Nevertheless, his end point strikes me as too pat:

I think that if people did not already have the sense that their country was in some sense slipping away from them -- if they felt secure enough about our country and its direction -- then they would be a lot less inclined to think that illegal immigrants were taking it away from them. But the reason they think their country is slipping away from them need have nothing to do with illegal immigration itself, as opposed to a more general sense that the rules are stacked against them, and no one obeys the laws, and decent people who work hard get screwed.

People have always felt that the rules are stacked against them. There is more at work here than that.

Ever since the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election, I've been trying to figure out why the conservative grassroots campaigners here thought that the recall campaign was a good model for dealing with immigration issues. Immediately after that election, and I mean literally the next day, they started to campaign on immigration issues.

In some ways (I think in many ways), the recall campaign was a protest against what conservatives saw as the illegitimate nature of the 2002 California gubernatorial election. The nearly non-partisan former LA mayor Richard Riordan was the Republican candidate most likely to defeat the incumbent Democratic governor Gray Davis. Riordan was not the conservatives' choice, but he was the one most likely to win the Republican nomination.

Davis poured millions of dollars into a campaign to impeach Riordan's conservative credentials with Republicans in their primary, focusing on Riordan's failure to even register to vote as a Republican until about ten years prior. It was a brilliantly-dirty strategy: Riordan's campaign imploded in the primary, and the conservative but painfully-wooden William Simon won the Republican nomination instead, and went down to predictable defeat in the general election.

The conservative grassroots were furious with Davis' interference in their primary. In their view, it wasn't Davis' place to skew their choices. Thus, despite proper formalities, they saw (and I think properly so) that the 2002 gubernatorial election was essentially illegitimate, and they wanted a do-over. Thus, the following year, Riordan's friend and pupil Arnold Schwarzenegger ended up as governor instead.

Yet immigration was a much broader, and much older, subject. What exactly might be illegitimate about our approach to immigration reform? Why would the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election be a good template for national action?

I think your reply helps fill in a piece of the puzzle. We already had immigration reform in 1986, and it failed in crucial ways. Thus, the debate regarding the current bill was essentially false, and maybe just theater: other interests were being addressed instead. Once again, people wanted a do-over.

It's funny how the debate over immigration will tie people in knots. In 2005, on conservative talk radio, the DJ and a caller ended up agreeing the problem was that the incentive structure of immigration favored illegal immigration, and things would greatly improve if legal migrants were treated much better. I suppose that might be true. If all it took to immigrate to the U.S. was a simple signature, then every one of the millions of illegals crossing our borders could be made instantly legal, and our illegal immigration problem would disappear. Of course, other problems might ensue........
An analysis from Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall:
But you have to be far more than ordinarily clueless to believe that the Republicans aren't overwhelmingly the losers in this whole debacle. The whole episode is only a little short of a catastrophe for the GOP, indeed, twice over.

The fact that the episode has further revealed President Bush's political impotence is relatively unimportant, given his extreme unpopularity. More important is that the whole run-through has further divided Republicans in the lead up to the 2008 election. But even that isn't the really big deal.

The real fall-out is that this has dealt a massive and probably enduring blow to Republican efforts to at least compete for, if not win over, the growing hispanic electorate. The model here is then-Gov. Pete Wilson's (R) 1994 reelection campaign in California -- a set of events that played out somewhat more amorphously but to real effect across the country in the mid-1990s.

Briefly, Wilson successfully rode the anti-immigration issue to victory, in particular through his embrace of Prop. 187 -- a successful ballot initiative to deny social services to illegal immigrants and get local cops into the business of policing people's immigration status. It helped Wilson get reelected. But it also basically destroyed the California Republican party. Destroyed may be too strong a word. But it put the state's rapidly growing hispanic population firmly into the Democratic camp and played a big part in making California into the solidly Democratic state it is today. (People forget, it didn't used to be that way.)

The kicker here is that at least Pete Wilson won his election. Indeed, anti-immigrant politics, in California and elsewhere, helped fuel the Republican sweep in 1994. In this case, the Republicans didn't even get it together and get a win in the short run. They managed to damage themselves in the short run and deal themselves a massive long term blow. That's great work.

Now, some people might say that Democratic votes in addition to Republican votes helped to scuttle the bill in the senate. But this ignores the salient fact that Republican opposition to the immigration bill -- not just in the senate but across the board -- has been overwhelmingly nativist in character. Democratic opposition has tended to focus either on the guest worker provision or other details of the bill. It's really as simple as that, indeed so simple it barely requires saying.

This whole episode has branded the Republicans as the anti-immigrant party. And that's not good for a party that wants to compete for the votes of America's largest bloc of new immigrant voters.
Emo Mug Shots

Some very sad; some seemingly happy.

All I did this weekend was try to clean the house.
Hamas Follows Standard Hollywood Operating Procedure

Character causes too much controversy? There are ways to deal with it:
A Mickey Mouse lookalike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas-affiliated children's television program was beaten to death in the show's final episode Friday.

In the final skit, Farfour was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a "terrorist."

"Farfour was martyred while defending his land," said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed "by the killers of children," she added.