Khaled Meshal, the political leader of Hamas, gave a defiant speech on Saturday, vowing to build an Islamic Palestinian state on all the land of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Speaking [in Gaza] before tens of thousands of supporters on the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Mr. Meshal said the Jewish state would be wiped away through “resistance,” or military action. “The state will come from resistance, not negotiation,” he said. “Liberation first, then statehood.” His voice rising to a shout, Mr. Meshal said: “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on any inch of the land.” He vowed that all Palestinian refugees and their descendants would one day return to their original homes in what is now Israel. “We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation, and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take,” he said. “We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone. Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem.”The time has come to implement as a response to this what's outlined in this recent S&F post.
On a much-too-regular basis, the disease serves me up with a teasing special of the day, or a flavor of the month. It might be random sores and ulcers, on the tongue or in the mouth. Or why not a touch of peripheral neuropathy, involving numb and chilly feet? [...] On the less good days, I feel like that wooden-legged piglet belonging to a sadistically sentimental family that could bear to eat him only a chunk at a time. Except that cancer isn’t so...considerate. Most despond-inducing and alarming of all, so far, was the moment when my voice suddenly rose to a childish (or perhaps piglet-like) piping squeak. It then began to register all over the place, from a gruff and husky whisper to a papery, plaintive bleat. And at times it threatened, and now threatens daily, to disappear altogether. I had just returned from giving a couple of speeches in California, where with the help of morphine and adrenaline I could still successfully “project” my utterances, when I made an attempt to hail a taxi outside my home — and nothing happened. I stood, frozen, like a silly cat that had abruptly lost its meow.Again thoroughly irrationally, and this time almost embarrassingly, we were thunderstruck and could not keep from hearing, over and over again in our innermost ear, the musical excerpt we quoted in our last entry;viz., We can think of nothing consoling to say at this point, either to Mr. Hitchens or to ourself. Would that we believed God and miracles possible.
Climbing a tree [or running, I would add] makes sense to me only if behind you there are Nazis. —Fran Lebowitz (quoted in The New York Times)
The bottom line is that the iPad has been designed and built by a bunch of perfectionists. If you like the concept, you’ll love the machine. The only question is: Do you like the concept?To which our response is: What concept? From what we can see, the iPad is nothing more or other than a monster-sized iPhone display on which one can select and run "apps" just like on the iPhone. The notion that the iPad could in any way replace a full-featured laptop computer or even act as a stand-in is simply prima facie absurd. The iPad has, of course, all that sexy touchscreen stuff going for it, but, for us, far from being sexy, touchscreens are a huge turnoff. We hate touchscreens. They seem to us almost perverse. We, for instance, could have had the display of our new Dell laptop be a fully functioning touchscreen and didn't even consider the option, inexpensive though it is. The last thing one should do with a computer display is touch it with one's fingertips (or anything else, for that matter). The proper function of a computer display is to do one thing and one thing only: display text and images with the utmost in detail, accuracy, and clarity. Period. Full stop. For us, the thought of touching a computer display with one's fingertips is as repugnant a thought as, say, the thought of a surgeon operating on a patient without first donning sterile surgical gloves. So, what's the point of an iPad? No point at all that we can discern other than to be a slick new toy for those with too much disposable income on hand (the entry price of the bloody thing is on the order of some $500, for which money one could buy a fairly decent, full-function Windows laptop), or for those who are Apple devotees or cultists (which latter abound for reasons which elude us entirely). Will the iPad turn out to be a commercial success? If one subscribes, as we do, to Mencken's (in)famous, barbed, but spot-on dictum that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public, and broaden its reach to publics beyond America, it almost surely will. Score another victory for the aesthetic brilliance of Apple's designers, the genius of mass marketing, and the