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October 11, 2002

*While the Congress has provided President Bush with War Powers against Iraq, there is a concerted effort by those who prefer U.N. inspections (most of whom live in areas unlikely to be the target of Hussein's weapons) to avert war. This is a commendable sentiment (which rings hollow coming from the French, who do billions a year in business with Iraq), but I think it's important to have a little skin in the game. So here's what I propose: all of the weapons inspectors must either agree to relocate their families to Israel, or sign a document authorizing U.N. security forces, in the event that a chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon traceable to Iraq is used, to execute their parents, siblings, spouses, children, and grandchildren.

Knowing one's own family is at risk might change one's perspective, I think. That's why gun control advocates tend not to act on the suggestion that they display front yard signs that read: "This home is gun-free."

*Remember when the Israelites spied out the Promised Land, only they got scared of the inhabitants, and tried to turn back to Egypt? Moses talked God out of striking them all dead, but in turn God decreed that none of the adults over age twenty would enter the Promised Land (except for Joshua and Caleb, the two faithful warriors). It will be forty years, He said, until the children of Israel get in.

Everybody remembers the forty years part, but they forget that God first said the Israelites would be restricted from the Promised Land until the last of the rebellious men over age twenty was dead. Now, the Israelites were a stubborn bunch, as proved by the fact that immediately after the chastisement, they worked up the chutzpah to try and take the land themselves, which led to a solid smack-down from its inhabitants. So I'm thinking the odds are that they must have heard those two decrees (until everyone is dead, forty years), and thought to themselves, "hmm, I wonder if we can speed this up a bit."

The point is, did you ever wonder what it must have been like for that last guy left from the original rebellious bunch? I mean, he knows everybody's waiting for him to drop so they can go into the Promised Land. He's pretty sure they won't just kill him, because back then murder actually led to swift punishment. But don't you think they probably did what they could to reduce his life expectancy a bit?

"Hey, Saul, what say you start the fire tonight?"

"Hey, Saul, mind helping me with this really heavy stone?"

"Have another greasy quail wing, Saul."

"Hey, Saul, I'll bet you 200 pita chips you can't climb up that cliff blindfolded."

Poor Saul. The pressure must have been unbearable. He knew the limit was forty years, and that he was coming up on it fast, but he never knew for sure if his kinsmen really did want his company all those times they invited him to join them as they sharpened knives.

The lesson, of course, is that when God tells you to go into the Promised Land, you go.

*I take a train for part of my commute. I'm sitting here trying to work, and on one side of me a fat man with a horribly loud and grating Jersey voice is yapping at the woman next to him, while across from me a woman is droning on and on into her cell phone. Everyone around them is giving them evil stares, but people like this are oblivious.

Note to self: either start packing earplugs, or the Beretta. Maybe both.

*Recent conversation in Virginia:

Me: "Caleb, do you need to go potty?"

Caleb: "I don't need to go poo-poo!"

Me: "Then why do you have your hand on your behind like you're trying to keep it in?"

Caleb: "No. I don't need to go poo-poo!"

Me: "It's going to happen sooner or later, man. Everybody poops."

Caleb: "Nope."

Considering some of the uptight people I run into on the Metro, I think he may be right.

*A good friend pointed out that I never provide any updates on Eli. That's because Eli says nothing other than "da-da-da-da-da." Frankly, he's been a bit of a one-trick pony.

But lately he is getting to be more interesting. One of his favorite things is to grab my ears and try to eat my face. He has two teeth now, which means this always carries a hint of danger. When it's chilly we put a little cotton cap on him; on each side it extends into a string so you can tie it under his neck. When we got home from a drive last week we discovered that he had untied it and managed to pull it over most of his face, so that he could only see partially out of one eye. He had his head tilted so he could make the best use of the half-eye, and was busy turning left and right in an effort to figure out where everybody went. I wonder if you traumatize children by leaving them in such predicaments long enough to take a picture.

Posted by Woodlief on October 11, 2002 at 07:06 AM


I wonder if you traumatize children by leaving them in such predicaments long enough to take a picture.

Only if you're mean enough to talk about cute kid pictures without sharing them with people.


Posted by: Tom at October 11, 2002 8:37 PM

Now that's what I am talking about Tony

Posted by: deborah anderson at October 11, 2002 11:38 PM

Dude! Re: people yapping on the train, you need an iPod! I know you don't know you need it but once you have it you'll wonder how you lived without it.

Posted by: JenBen at October 12, 2002 4:53 PM

Tom's right. PHOTOS!

Just wait.....someday this will be the most loving and incredible gift you can give your kids....all the memories of their childhood - through your eyes....and maybe they will remember snippets....and you can sit, quietly, on a veranda, exchanging versions...

Posted by: Da Goddess at October 13, 2002 3:28 AM

Da Goddess has said the right...Tonight I left my bible at church.I know I can recover it with relative ease and if I never see it again, I have several others that will readily take it's place. There is, however, contained within this one a photo of my older brother and I that cannot be replaced and it was the first thing that popped into my head. He in a white sweater while I wore blue. I smile at the thought of my mom arranging us just so in the South Carolina heat,"But y'all looked so cute" she would say...

Posted by: Rob at October 13, 2002 10:52 PM

Speaking of great baby pictures, thanks for giving me an excuse to link to ,a href=http://trojanhorseshoes.blogfodder.net/archives/2002_10.html#004505>one of my son.

Similar situation. Clothing on in a completely inappropriate way, and we couldn't bring ourselves to fix it until we had the camera.

Posted by: Tony Hooker at October 14, 2002 3:10 PM