The Daily Brew

Friday, June 28, 2002:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The pictures that follow certainly are. Of course, in the original article, they were accompanied by words. Unfortunately the words are written in Arabic. If anybody can read it, I would love a translation.
Common Sense // 3:19 AM


It looks to me like the kids in the middle on their knees are pretending to be the Isrealis. Just their shitty luck to get that part in the school play.

Common Sense // 3:16 AM


These young first graders are being taught crucial lessons to prepare them for a peaceful co-existence with Isreal...

Common Sense // 3:14 AM


Here is a young Palestinian who will warm the hearts of the entire NRA membership...

Common Sense // 3:13 AM


Since there isn't enough blood being spilled in Palestine, they did a mock up for the children...

Common Sense // 3:08 AM


Thursday, June 27, 2002:

Think Lieberman would be out in front of the pledge if it went like this:

I pledge allegence
to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands
one Nation
under Allah
with liberty and justice for all.

Common Sense // 1:46 PM


Wednesday, June 26, 2002:

I get about five of these spam messages trying to rip me off everyday. Usually, I just delete them. This time I responded. Think they will send me the money?

I am very interested in this transaction, Dr. Spiff. However, I will need a showing of good faith on your part to consider proceding further. I would regard the immediate deposit of $10,000 into my account as sufficient to make such a showing. For your convenience, I have set up a paypal account at my website,, to allow you to make this deposit. Once it has been recieved and verified, I will contact you to further our discussions.


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:34 AM

Firstly, I must crave your indulgence, by virtue of this contact to you, to please go through this message, with all seriousness, and give it a very confidential dispostion. This is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. A member of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (N.E.P.C.) who was part of the federal government delegation to your country during a trade exhibition gave your particulars to me. I have decided to seek a confidential operation with you in the execution of the deal described hereunder for the benefit of all the parties and hope that you keep it top secret because of the nature of the business. Within the ministry of petroleum resources where I work as a director of engineering and projects, and with the co-operation of four other very top officials, we have under our control as overdue contract payments, bills totaling Thirty One Million United States Dollars, which we want to transfer to a foreign account, with the assistance and co-operation of a reliable foreign individual account to receive the funds.

The source of the fund is as follows: during the last military government here in Nigeria which lasted about eleven months, government officials set up companies and awarded themselves various contracts which were grossly over-invoiced in various ministries. The present civilian government is not aware of the atrocities committed by their predecessors and as a result, we have a lot of such over invoiced contract payments pending which we have identified floating at the central bank of Nigeria ready for payment. However by virtue of our position as civil servants, we cannot acquire this money in our names. I was therefore delegated as a matter of urgency by my colleagues to look for an over seas partner into whose account we would transfer the sum of US$31,000,000.00 (THIRTY ONE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) hence we are writing you this letter.

Since the present civilian government is determined to pay foreign contractors debts owed so as to maintain an amiable relationship with foreign governments and non-government financial agencies. We have decided to include our bills for approval with the co-operation of some officials of the federal ministry of finance (F.M.F) and the central bank of Nigeria (C.B.N). We are seeking your assistance in providing us with a good company account or any other offshore bank account into which we can remit this money by acting our main partner and trustee or acting as the original contractor. This we can do by swapping of account information and changing of beneficiary and other pertinent information to apply for payment. By this act, we would be using your company information to apply for payment, and prepare letters of claim and job description on behalf of your company. This process would be an internal arrangement with the departments concerned.

I have the authority of my partners involved to propose that should you be willing to assist us in this transaction, your share as compensation will be us$6.2 million (20%), us$21.7 million (70%) for us and us$3.1 (10%) for taxation and miscellaneous expenses.We intend to use our share of the funds in importation of agro-allied machineries.

This transaction is closely knitted and in view of our SENSITIVE POSITION we cannot afford a slip, I assure you that this transaction is 100% risk free. We will avail you with our identities as regards our respective offices, when relationship is fully established and smooth operation commences. I am at your disposition to entertain any question(s) from you in respect of this transaction, so contact me immediately via my direct email or my fax number 234 1 7597517 for further information on the requirements and procedure. We are making arrangement for confidential telephone number because we cannot afford to use our official telephone number because of the nature of this transaction .Please note that this transaction needs utmost confidentiality and your immediate response will be highly appreciated. I will expound further the necessary details that you need to know, when I have heard from you..

Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.

Yours Faithfully,
Dr Spiff

Common Sense // 12:47 AM


Tuesday, June 25, 2002:

Common Sense // 3:16 PM


Four Dead in Ohio. (I'm starting to wish this would die, but the University won't let it)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tashjian, Lee"
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 11:44 AM
Subject: In response to your email concerning SP02 Commencement

It appears from your email that you are referencing information contained in an inaccurate news story the Associated Press issued - and later corrected - regarding Ohio State's commencement. Unfortunately, that incorrect report has received wide distribution on the Internet. Here are the facts.

First, remarks addressing the possibility for demonstrations made by a university spokesperson prior to our commencement ceremony were directed at behaviors that had the potential to be disruptive and get seriously out of hand. They were not directed at expressions of peaceful dissent. Peaceful protest was not discouraged and, in fact, has long been an integral part of this university's culture. You may be interested to know that there were expressions of dissent at our ceremony as a few people stood and turned their backs to the podium as President Bush rose to speak. This expression of dissent was peaceful and did not disrupt the proceedings for those (parents, students, friends and relatives) who wished to enjoy and celebrate the commencement ceremony. There were no arrests associated with expressions of dissent and no one was asked to leave the proceedings.

Second, remarks asking for a "thunderous ovation" were directed toward outgoing university president, William Kirwan, and not President Bush as was erroneously reported. This was Dr. Kirwan's last commencement ceremony at Ohio State as he is leaving to accept a new position out of the State of Ohio.

We will continue to express our desire that our commencement ceremonies be enjoyed for what they are: celebrations of the remarkable achievements of our graduates.

Lee C. Tashjian, Jr.
Vice President
University Relations
The Ohio State University


Dear Mr. Lee:

Thank you for your note seeking to clarify the issues related to the recent graduation ceremonies. Unfortunately, and not to put too fine a point on it, I find your response rather unconvincing. I have received first hand accounts that flatly contradict your assertion that "there were no arrests associated with expressions of dissent and no one was asked to leave the proceedings." Further, the lack of specificity concerning what exactly was communicated to those in attendance creates the appearance that the University in fact overstepped its bounds, and is now simply trying to control the damage.

Still, my information could be mistaken, so I would appreciate it if you could clarify some points from your message. My hope is that your response will provide me with an accurate understanding of what transpired at the graduation ceremony, so that I can forward it to the 350,000 or so daily visitors to my website, and subscribers of my email list. Should you decide that no response is warranted, I will draw the appropriate conclusions, and communicate that information with my readers.

You state: "remarks addressing the possibility for demonstrations made by a university spokesperson prior to our commencement ceremony were directed at behaviors that had the potential to be disruptive and get seriously out of hand. They were not directed at expressions of peaceful dissent."

Can you provide specifics as to the contents of these remarks?

It is my understanding that prior to the commencement, graduating students had widely advertised a protest that would consist of silently turning their backs on Bush. You acknowledge in your letter that this was considered an acceptable form of protest by the University Administration. Can you confirm that University officials were aware of this planned protest, since in the face of this admittedly acceptable planned behavior, you still concede that you issued some form of a warning? On a related note, did University officials have information that led them to anticipate "behaviors that had the potential to be disruptive and get seriously out of hand"? If so, what were the behaviors that were anticipated, and the sources of that information? Could you also clarify exactly how the distinction between "expressions of peaceful dissent" and "behaviors that had the potential to be disruptive and get seriously out of hand" was communicated to those in attendance? Are you stating that the students and guests were specifically informed that "expressions of peaceful dissent" (such as the widely advertised protest) would be tolerated, or were people in attendance supposed to somehow know what forms of Constitutionally protected free speech the University would and would not tolerate?

It is my further understanding that in the practice session prior to the actual graduation ceremony, students were specifically threatened with expulsion and the loss of their degree for protesting. Will you comment on whether this threat occurred? If it did occur, as with the threats at the actual graduation event, could you also clarify whether it contained a specific disclaimer indicating that it was not directed at "expressions of peaceful dissent" such as the widely advertised protest? Further, were such harsh sanctions a University policy prior to the event, or was this simply an ad hoc approach directed towards quashing dissent at this particular event?

Finally, you state that "remarks asking for a "thunderous ovation" were directed toward outgoing university president, William Kirwan, and not President Bush." Can you provide specifics as to the contents of these remarks? How, exactly, were those in attendance to know for whom the remarks were directed? In the call of "thunderous ovation" was Dr. Kirwan's name specifically used, or were graduates and guests to simply infer this distinction?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to clarify these points.


Common Sense // 3:14 PM


Common Sense // 3:09 PM


Eric Alterman has taken Joe Conason to task for advocating an independent commission to investigate 9-11.

Eric says: What Joe and others who are focused on this issue fail to realize is that an independent commission is likely to be as much a political exercise as Congressional investigation.

Eric continues: Joe writes, “This is not an ideological question, and shouldn’t be a partisan issue.” Sorry, wrong, country. Everything in America is a partisan issue. But unfortunately, only the Republicans seem to realize it-and thus make it so. It is simply impossible to remove politics from politics and Democrats should stop being the only ones to pretend you can. You cannot win if you do not play.

Eric is right to note that everything is political. So, the point isn't whether there is an independent commission, or just a Congressional commission, the point is that whoever, whatever, investigates 9-11 must do so with a scope broad enough to reach into the White House. Right now, Congress isn't planning on having that broad of a scope, and that is the flaw in the program an independent commission could cure.
Common Sense // 11:35 AM


Monday, June 24, 2002:

Barbara Hatch Rosenberg is Chair of the Federation of American Scientists Working Group On Biological Weapons. She is a professor at SUNY-Purchase. The following are excerpts from what she said June 19th. The full text of her comments can be found here:

The Likely Suspect--Early in the investigation, a number of inside experts (at least five that I know about) gave the FBI the name of one specific person as the most likely suspect. That person fits the FBI profile in most respects. He has the right skills, experience with anthrax, up-to-date anthrax vaccination, forensic training, and access to USAMRIID and its biological agents through 2001.

The Suspect is part of a clique that includes high-level former USAMRIID scientists and high-level former FBI officials. Some of these people may wish to conceal any suspicions they may have about the identity of the perpetrator, in order to protect programs and sensitive information. This group very likely agreed with David Franz, former Commander of USAMRIID, when he said "I think a lot of good has come from it. From a biological or a medical standpoint, we've now five people who have died, but we've put about $6 billion in our budget into defending against bioterrorism" (ABC News, 4 Apr. 02).

Late last summer the Suspect had a career setback that challenged his high ambitions and left him angry and depressed. Quite possibly he interpreted the event as indicating lack of appreciation both for him and for the magnitude of the biological weapons threat. Perhaps he decided to mount an anthrax attack that would kill few people, if any, but would wake up the country and prove that he was right. Or perhaps the letters were actually an official assignment (after all, in the '60s DOD sprayed our own service men with nerve gas to test their protective equipment, according to Pentagon documents made public on May 23).

Containment of the Suspect-Not long ago, actions were taken that could curtail the Suspect's career and separate him from sensitive matters; but there is also evidence for efforts by some officials to reverse the situation.

The FBI has stated more than once that it insists upon 100% proof before making an arrest in this case-a very stringent requirement. Why? --Either the FBI is under pressure from DOD or CIA not to proceed because the Suspect knows too much and must be controlled forever from the moment of arrest; [For the good of the country, is it really more important to hide what he knows than to let justice be served?]
--or the FBI is sympathetic to the views of the biodefense clique;
--or the FBI really is as incompetent as it seems.

Fragmentation of investigative activities and undue control of investigators by a less-informed hierarchy seem to be the hallmarks of the anthrax investigation. This profoundly unscientific approach eliminates the cross-fertilization that can occur when seemingly isolated facts are brought together. There has been a tendency to write off a direction of inquiry, or to swing radically in the opposite direction, on the basis of superficial results or incomplete data. The likely outcome for the investigation is continued stalemate, marking time on the off-chance that an unknown informer will turn up with a smoking gun. Maybe time is not a factor in the typical FBI case, but in the anthrax case, rapid resolution is critical. The significance of the anthrax attacks and our response to it cannot be overstated. By breaking the taboo on the use of bioweapons, this event has engendered a future threat that could dwarf 9/11.

By speaking out in this manner, in my humble opinion, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg is not only putting her carreer at risk, she is also very likely putting her life at risk. She is as credible a source as one can find. Yet her views, to my knowlege, have never been reported by any maintream television news program, nor have they been published in any newspaper of national scope. To my knowlege, they can only be found on obscure websites.

Liberal media my ass.
Common Sense // 12:33 PM


Common Sense // 12:25 PM


Sunday, June 23, 2002:

Here is an interesting site the Bush administration is sure to love.

In the "questions" section, you can vote for the questions you want answered. Here are a few I voted for:

"Given the Bush family's close ties to the Bin Laden family is there a conflict of interest at play here which may have influenced Bush II to limit or kill any investigation?"

"When will the Bush family's long financial history with both the Bin Laden family and the CIA be brought under the light of critical examination?"

"Please explain in detail the negotiations which occurred between U.S. state department representatives and the Taliban government prior to 9/11. Assistant Secretary of State, Christina Rocca testified on 9/25 before the House International Relations Committee that every effort to talk to the Taliban about terrorism was rebuffed. Please explain the final meeting with taliban officials where U.S. representatives offered an ultimatum. What exactly was this ultimatum, what exactly did it entail, and by whose authority was it made?"

"Why is it that the United States continues to buy oil from Saudi Arabia... the country that gave birth to fifteen 9/11 terrorists... the country that commits awful human rights atrocities against it's own people... the country that openly broadcasts it's hatred for America nad Israel... Why do we buy their oil when our Russian friends consistantly produce as much or MORE than the Saudis?"

"Anthrax was mailed to the U.S. Capitol. A 1990's Army project (Ft. Detrick) studied how to make weaponized anthrax letters. Did Bush use anthrax to force the evacuation of congress, resulting in congress voting for the Patroit Act sight unseen and without debate? Why has the anthrax investigation died?"
Common Sense // 12:31 PM


Don't rip me for this yet, its just a random thought I wanted to write down before I lost it. I'm too tired to think it through.

Since we can't seem to stop the rich from controlling our government by buying politicians for pennies on the dollar in campaign contributions, shouldn't we at least make them pay a steeper price for the access? What if instead of one vote per person and privately funded campaigns, you got one vote for each dollar you paid in taxes, but all campaigns had to be totally publically funded? I think the vast majority of taxpayers would be buying far more influence than they currently have. Another good twist would be to combine this with a policy where the government took on no debt. Instead, when the government needed to borrow money, the debt was apportioned to the taxpayers individually, pro rata with the taxes they last paid. Think that would snap the budget into balance?

I'm not saying it would be "democracy"; the rich would still be in charge, but it would cost them more, wouldn't it? Wouldn't it still be an improvement over the total, almost free-ride, plutocracy that currently exists?

On a related note, if the war on terrorism is going to go on forever, doesn't that evicerate the acceptability of using deficits to finance it?

Common Sense // 2:35 AM


I am about to completely rip a site.

I do believe that September 11 was set up by the government, but I also know why they did it. Everyone should do a little research on the subject. Maybe you may find some excellent reading out there and get a little education. It may change the world.

Now tell me If you found the world's FINAL & LARGEST energy resource and knew it could sustain the world's population longer than the dying oil supply we have now. And you didn't want a dictatorship getting their hands on it. And you knew that the timing of acquiring this oil would save millions of lives. And getting this hydrocarbon resource meant saving billions of poeple on the planet, yes, billions.

Would you:

use terrorists to damage buildings?
build your own governments in countries where the pipeline HAS TO run through?
quell all protests cause protestors are usually half ignorant of the situation and prone to groupthink?
be sincerely remourseful of all of the families affected by 9-11?
use your military strength to acquire this energy knowing that those protestors are going to thank you kindly for doing it in due time when they still have the gas to drive there and have that protest.

Not saying I don't admire your voices, I'm usually with you, but your way wrong buddy, you need to do more research, and then have a moment to think it through.
Billions of people could die without the stable energy flow that the earth has been providing them, billions.

and this one

>Speak for yourself. I’m not evil and neither are most people. If you are evil, get off our planet. You’re not welcome here. Go away.

I'm not evil either. I'm just stating the facts. Ask any Socialologist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. About 10% of people are just plain evil and would love to see you dead. 10% may be goody-goodies and the rest fall in between. Those in the middle are fair game for either side.

Wanna see what happens with anarchy. Read "Lord of the Flies". Or watch the movie. When there's no rules people get killed.

>Over the years I have performed an experiment. I have asked literally thousands of people if they personally needed the gun and the club to keep them in line, and if there were no law enforcement would they personally run amok. Every single one answered “no,” and most said something to the effect of “but everybody else does

Wow, that's an amazing study you've done there. Pretty scientific. Did you finance it with government grants or was it strictly out of pocket?

>What does this teach us?

teaches me you know much about running an experiment.

>We have rules. They’re called customs. They work just fine.

Cannibals have customs too. How about those? If I decide I wanna be an anarchist can I adhere to cannibalist's customs?

Common Sense // 2:11 AM


I am about to completely rip a site.

I thought that my feelings towards, not America itself, but rather capitalism, were founded on facts. I take as examples the necessity of a Third World to sustain a capitalist state or the inequalities capitalism creates because of the principle of inheritance, when an individual is penalized with lesser opportunities for having economically inefficient genitors. I also thought I remained critical of the external affairs policy of the American establishment because of several facts that came to be known due to the consistent work of investigative journalists and human rights activists. Again, I take as examples the discreet American bombarding of Laos in the 60's, which had nothing to do with the Viet-Nam war, but rather a social reform that was about to happen there. There are also the U.S. sponsored military coups d'état in Indonesia, in 1965, and in Chile, in 1973. I can also state the creation, training and weapon supplying of the "death squadrons" by the CIA, in El Salvador, the sponsoring and protection of the CIA for drug lord Noriega in Panama until things went wrong, when he suddenly became a menace. President George Bush was condemned by the International Court of Justice for "illegal use of military force" in the raids on Nicaragua and yet, he could still launch Desert Storm, of which could be said many things regarding military procedures to invalidate the use of diplomacy. American aid to the state of Israel is illegal since 1977, when it was decided than any contribution to a government secretly producing nuclear weapons was prohibited. Israel may today have more than 200 nuclear warheads. The American establishement also admitted its contribution to the invasion by Australia of East Timor, where oil is abundant, resulting in the death of more than 150 000 people. A blind eye was turned on the massacre of 700 000 Indonesians after Suharto's U.S. sponsored coup d'état.

So to me, it seems evident that the American government's motives are more often than not quite questionable. History proved that corporate media twisted many facts to spread patriotic propanganda, revealing the truth only decades afterwards, in the government's archives, where few people look.

What I want to say is that although it is still too early to jump to conclusions regarding the events of September 11th, questions ought to be raised and a thourough inquiry has to be conducted, regardless who the guilty party is. Like in many other crimes, all the implicated parties have motives and alibis. The inquiry is just as necessay as it is for Americans citizens to be more objectively critical of their government and less inconditionally patriotic.

Common Sense // 2:10 AM


Common Sense // 1:58 AM


This page just keeps on coming:

I am what you might call a right-winger. I despise unions and pray for lower taxes, even if that means the death of some lazy slob who gets his well-fare cut off.

However, I am very suspicious of 9/11. Usually in these things there is a nugget of doubt at the core, which can't be satisfied. In JFK, it was the inhuman ability LHO would have needed to do that alone. For 9/11, questions that haunt me are "how did they find the car in the parking lot so fast?" and "what the hell were they after in that Boston Hotel, and what did they find (destroy)? I thought for sure, that after JFK, America would never be so gullible again. I guess it was me who was gullible.

Common Sense // 1:56 AM


klep·toc·ra·cy (klp-tkr-s) n. pl. klep·toc·ra·cies A government characterized by rampant greed and corruption.
Common Sense // 1:42 AM


More rippage from this page.

The corporations are in control here, not the government. They control the means of production, the means of communication, the food supply, the energy supply, the land, the money and the government itself.

The government is nothing but a front for the corporations. The corporations are a front for the three hundred or so families who rule the rest of us as surely as feudal lords. This is not democracy. This is plutocracy. The rich rule. To them, the rest of us are nothing but livestock.
Common Sense // 1:40 AM


I ripped this next post from here.

Mr. Sanity Goes To Washington
by Mr. Sanity • Wednesday June 12, 2002 at 06:31 PM

I admit it: The only reason I attended the April 20 pro-Palestinian rally in Washington, D.C., was to cause trouble. Put 50,000 fundamentalist Muslims, angry Arab-Americans, '60s-liberal leftovers and tie-dyed, 20-something neo-hippies in the same place, and the comedy potential is too great to pass up.

So on Saturday morning, I parked my car a safe distance away and strolled toward the Washington Monument. The first thing I noticed was that I had been the victim of false advertising. This was not a "pro-Palestine" rally. It was a "Down with Israel and George Bush" rally.

While the throng was thick with banners, very few of them mentioned the Palestine Authority and none - not one that I saw - mentioned the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. Instead, most of the messages were condemnations of Israel and Ariel Sharon. One popular motif was mixing the Swastika and the Star of David, a gruesome image for anyone but the most ardent Holocaust denier. And just to make sure the point wasn't missed, the crowd repeatedly chanted, "Sharon and Hitler are the same, the only difference is their name."

There was no doubt as to what the crowd was against: the "racist" nation of Israel and the evil government of America and its terrorist leader, George W. Bush. But what were these people for? Did they really support the creation of a new Arab Muslim nation led by Arafat?

To find out, I waded into the crowd with my minidisk recorder and started asking questions.

To Amanda from Atlanta in the "Free Speech, Free Media" T-shirt, I posed the question: "Which nongovernment-controlled Arab newspaper is your favorite?" When she couldn't answer, I pointed out that there aren't any nongovernment-controlled newspapers in the Arab Muslim world.

"Are you comfortable supporting the cause of a group of people who don't believe in either free speech or a free press?"

"I, uh, really, uh, that's a good question," was the best she could do.

Then I asked the gay-rights advocate with the "From Stonewall To Palestine: People Fight Back" sign: "Doesn't it bother you that virtually all Arab Muslim governments outlaw homosexuality? That most of the people in this crowd think you should be stoned to death?"

"I hadn't really thought about it," he replied.

And of every woman I met protesting on behalf of a new, Arafat-led nation, I asked: "Do you really want to see yet another Arab Muslim nation where women have few if any political rights (Kuwait), are lashed for committing adultery (United Arab Emirates) or are the victims of female genital mutilation (Saudi Arabia)?"

Vanessa, a liberal feminist from Michigan, answered this way: "That's their thing, and I disbelieve [sic] in that, but it's not just there. Women everywhere are captized [sic]." She went on to tell me that all Americans are "captized" too, but she wasn't exactly sure by whom.

When I asked Amina and Amira, two female Arab students from George Washington University, they had a novel response: They refused to acknowledge that any Arab Muslim nations restrict women's rights. I pointed out the obvious case of Saudi Arabia - where women cannot leave their homes without permission and can be beaten for showing too much skin in public. They all but laughed at me: "Saudi Arabia does not have a Muslim government," Amira told me.
So the Saudis are, what - Lutherans?

As I worked the crowd, I was tailed by a group of Arab gentlemen who listened in on several conversations before finally confronting me: "Why are you asking these questions?"

I told them I wanted to know if the people waving their "free speech/free press/free love/free Mumia" signs understood that they were at a rally supporting yet another oppressive, theocratic, dictatorial regime.

"That's none of our business," said Khalid, a Moroccan living in Massachusetts. "All I want is for the Palestinians to be free. This is all about freedom." Before I could crack, "Then they should move to Israel, the only place in the Mideast where Palestinians can vote," he interrupted again.

"You know what, America's government isn't the best government in the world. Do you like everything your government does?"

"Of course I don't always like my government," I told him. "But unlike Arafat, when I say so, my American government doesn't throw me in jail or kill me. And my government-approved Imam doesn't write editorials for government-run newspapers urging Muslims to kill Jews."

"That's not killing Jewish people," Khalid said. "It's liberating Palestinians."

"So, that's what you call it!" I replied.

The conversation was over. I moved on to another strategy. I put down my recorder and picked up a large, hand-made sign. It read: "HEROES FOR PEACE: Gandhi, MLK, Arafat."

It was, I thought, the perfect sign. It was parodying the Palestinian position, but without the obviousness of, say, "Suicide Bombers for Peace," a sign that might have earned me a bloody nose.

I took my insult to Dr. King and the nonviolence movement, and I marched into the heart of the crowd. I waved it, I shook it, I covered the rally from front to back. I pointed it at black ministers in the crowd and watched them read it. I stood next to "Down with Israel" signs and held it high. And I waited.

When would someone challenge this obnoxious argument? After half an hour, someone finally spoke up. A plump, middle-aged liberal with her "Visualize World Peace" button read my sign, then looked up at me and smiled. "God bless you," she said.

No, I thought as I walked dejectedly back to my car, God help us. We're gonna need it.

Common Sense // 1:23 AM


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