I started a new job Tuesday, and I think it may have been a mistake to have taken it. The money is a little bit better than the old job (a 10% raise), but now I have a 45 to 60 minute commute via subway and bus. I expected that part, and figured I could deal with that (hey, worst case I can get some reading done). What I did not know, or expect, is that we are apparently expected to stay until 6 PM ever day, because after all, we're eating lunch, right? Now, maybe I'm just spoiled in thinking that nine to five still exists, but you know what? As much and in as many ways as my old job sucked, it did have that at least. Sure, sometimes I would work a 60 hour week, or have to travel on a weekend, or whatever, but for the most part if I got my work done then I could leave at 5 (or fuck, at 3 if I really had everything squared away). Anyway, the issue is that from my perspective, I have lost three more hours in the day (I've been leaving at 8 and getting home at 7:30 at night) in exchange for another few grand a year, which, breaking things down hourly, means I'm being paid way, way less than I was before. I'm not sure if that is worth it. Not like I can quit soon anyway, because that sort of thing really looks bad on your resume.

And there are some things making me feel a bit suspicious. It's a fairly small company (about 10 people), with several interns and so forth. And nearly all of them are either students or young people working under an H1-B visa, and I suspect none of them have ever worked for another company. Hell, I'm 24 and the 4th oldest person there, behind the two founders of the company and one senior engineer. That is to say, they may not realize that this is not exactly a fantastic setup. I don't know, I may have a different feel on it, but one of the guys there, who actually hooked me up with the job when we came into contact for unrelated reasons, told me that the work hours were really flexible when I was first talking to him about it. I think perhaps he had a different idea of that that I do, as I'm used to being able to show up at 10:30 if I want, or leaving at 3, or whatever (yes, yes, I know I'm spoiled, what else is new), as long as I got everything done, versus this mandatory 40 hours of client work thing. I should mention that both this job and my last job are doing consulting of various kinds. Billing 75% is considered normal. 90% is really high (burn out, it's-time-to-quit high). 100% is just silly.

In all fairness, the IP and non compete agreements are quite reasonable, much better than my old job. Good enough that I can do consulting on the side (legally, that is), which is fortunate because that is exactly what I will be doing in a few weeks. But still, to only have 5 hours after work to do things? That just seems crazy to me. It will be much worst (at least for me) in the winter, when it will be dark by the time I leave and bitterly cold by the time I get home. That will suck quite a bit.

Oh well, I guess that means there are some more questions I need to remember to ask next time I interview for a job. And a couple of friends have started a consulting firm and are lining up some things for me on the side. If worst comes to worst, I can do that full time - I don't know who the client is, but there is a project coming up they are willing to pay me $110 an hour on, which will provide a nice buffer if I do leave. I'm going to give this a while longer, I don't want to have a 2 day job on my resume, but I'm not terribly enthused right at this point, and I can't imagine staying that long, which seems like a bad sign for a job I just started. Shouldn't I still be really happy about it? I don't think I am supposed to get bitter quite this fast...

Dear Apple Repair Folk,

I realize this is almost certainly the first time you specifically have seen my laptop, but it has been unusable for about seven weeks. While it originally went in for video issues, it took two trips to fix that and upon its second return it had somehow developed a nasty habit of kernel panicking. I suspect DHL “sorted” it with a boot, but I really have no idea. After numerous hardware scans and tests found nothing, it was suggested I reinstall the OS. (Supposedly, merely downloading any file not produced by apple can cause massive system instability.) They’ve also shipped me new RAM which I’m fairly confident I installed correctly or I don’t think it would ever turn on. According to the applecare representative, they’ve replaced the logic board, LCD (twice?), RAM, and keyboard. The hard drive successfully executed a 7 pass zeroing. Applecare says this means it’s not the hard drive, but doesn’t rule out hard drive cables.

I’m returning to school on August 12’th and I really need this laptop. I’m a CS student and while it was working it was an absolute joy. The reason I’m bothering to write this letter is not to berate you or tell you how to do your job, but simply to ask that you don’t send it back the second it successfully boots. The kernel panic is fairly intermittent. 95% of them appear while logging in or waking the computer up from sleep. Still, I’ve had the computer boot, wake and then crash while I was typing an instant message. It even crashed once while shutting down in safe boot. Sometimes it fails to go to sleep or wake up after waiting for five minutes. It’s only conjecture, but I’d guess it’s crashing then too.

Please test it thoroughly before you decide it’s fixed. If you need ideas on getting it to die call me up at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Every time we’ve wiped it or swapped a part it works fine for some amount of time and then fails, but it always fails. I love my powerbook and desperately want it to work again. I swear, if you get it working and stick a piece of paper with an address in the anti-static bag I’ll mail you a batch of chocolate chip cookies. They could even have walnuts.


Employers seem to treat their employees so badly nowadays. What is the deal? Just read Muon’s story above. I’ve written briefly about my employment troubles elsewhere. But the employer-employee funfest that’s been on my mind most the last week or so is my daughter’s.

She’s a licensed massage therapist. I was uneasy when she said she was going to massage therapy school. There are two schools of massage in our state and they churn out a new set of graduates every six months - that’s a lot of massage therapists for a low-population state. I’ve known any number of people who got the training and then couldn’t find enough work to support themselves and are now doing something else.

On the other hand, I thought she might be good at it. Part of being successful as a hair dresser or other service oriented jobs is personality--making the customers want to come back to YOU. And my daughter has always been very social, friendly, etc. No way to know in advance whether she could actually give a good massage.

So anyway, I and others warned her about job prospects, but she forged onwards and got the (very expensive) training. And it turns out she gives a very good massage. Then the job hunt began.

After two years and innumerable resumes, interviews, part-time/on-call jobs, she was working at the best job she had found so far. She worked three-and-a-half days a week in a chiropractor’s office. The going rate for massages in this area is $40 for an hour-long massage. She got half of this. This seemed reasonable to me, since the chiropractor was providing the clients and the premises. HOWEVER, though she was expected the be there from 8 to 5, she was only paid for the actual massages she gave, so on slow days she spent a lot of time reading and crocheting and got paid nothing. And I’m sure I need not mention that she got no insurance, no paid holidays or sick days and she had to buy her own K-Y for the screwing she was getting.

Since the chiropractor wasn’t paying the massage therapists when they weren’t working, and because he had an extra room, he kept more than one massage therapist on duty at a time. This way, he could get maximum returns during busy times, and (apparently) he didn’t care that during slow times the two therapists had to share little or no work, and thus made little or no money. Because there is such a glut of massage therapists out there, he could always find somebody willing to work under these circumstances.

My daughter kept on sending out resumes and going to interviews. Then about two months ago she called me all excited. She had gotten a new job. The company which owned the massage school she graduated from was setting up a day spa right downtown in the biggest city in the state. It was to be super elegant, upscale, tra-la-la. She would be full-time and would be getting BENEFITS!!!

How wonderful, I said. How great. I’m so glad for you. What will they be paying you? She had been too shy to ask and they hadn’t told her. Oh-oh, I thought, but I kept my mouth shut. (It turned out to be $9 per hour. Sigh. They charge the customer $40, and pass on less than a quarter to the person who does the work. Typical, I thought.)

So she gave her two-weeks notice to the chiropractor, and started commuting to the new job. There were a couple of weeks of training and set-up before the spa actually opened, and they paid the staff minimum wage during this time. Then they had what they called the soft opening. The doors were open for business, the staff was working the kinks out of the new system on real, paying customers. The date of the grand opening was approaching fast, advertising was appearing here and there, the staff was getting excited for the big day...

Three days before the grand opening, they “down-sized”. They laid off half the employees. Including (I know I need not tell you) my daughter.

My daughter isn’t certain, but she thinks they laid off everybody who was hired as full time and thus entitled to benefits. So here we sit, dazed and confused, asking ourselves, what the hell happened? Was this whole plan set in motion by some totally incompetent jerk with overly grandiose ideas and it went this far before someone higher up the food chain caught on and pared things down? Or (a dark thought, this) did they cynically hire all these young people, taking them away from the jobs they already held, as cheap labor to help them get the spa set up, planning in advance to dump them when the place was up and running?

So now my daughter is working part-time as a janitor. It breaks my heart.

While I was in the plane coming home from Portland last week I saw the flight attendants decanting water from cartons labeled Talking Rain. I thought that would be a good name for a story. The story came to me in 1.2 picoseconds.

I tried to write it. I couldn't. I'll tell you why in a moment.

All of my stories start with an image. A sort of hallucination. Usually it's something fractal -- fractal means "fractional dimension", so you have to think of the hallucination of only being marginally part of this world in every conceivable way. It's fractional in time, space, resolution, compatibility, coherency, consistency, applicability, etc. Sometimes the images are cartoony, like animation. Sometimes they're in 70mm with 12 channel Dolby sound. Sometimes they're in "feel-o-vision" where I can feel what the characters feel, but nothing else. There's also "smell-o-vision" and "run-o-vision" and "worry-o-vision" and "you-are-there-o-vision". Someday I'll explain those.

These fractal hallucinations are mostly static. There's a snippet of music, and something vivid.

Talking Rain is a Canadian beverage company. It's not one I have ever run into before, so if you're Canadian and live with Talking Rain commercials day after day, you'll wonder why anyone could be struck by the words. If you're me, you get an image.

It went something like this:

There is an old man standing under a leaden gray sky that's bleeding rain in torrents. The man is saturated. We see him from behind. His shirt is gray and sticking to his back in folds. His dark trousers leak water from the cuffs around his ankles.

He is barefoot. Mud and dead leaves cling to his heels. His thin gray hair is matted to his head. His shoulders are hunched. His arms are held outward barely from his sides as if he's trying to turn his palms upward to beg for mercy but doesn't have the strength.

We are in his backyard. He's standing on a grass lawn that has been allowed to grow just a bit too long. In the rear of the yard by the stockade fence there's a vegetable garden staked out and surrounded by chicken wire. There's nothing growing there except dandelions. To his left is a detached garage. There's a thin layer of dark green moss growing on the wet roof shingles. The white paint is peeling from the sides. The garage door is closed. On the ground where the garage wall meets the dirt is a pair of woman's gardening gloves and a small hand shovel.

A large crow stands silently on a branch of a tall maple tree to his right.

The old man's son has had a mediocre relationship with him. Now that the son is as old as his father was when he was a kid, he's seeing the world through his dad's eyes, which makes him even more critical of his father in many ways. Also, it makes him sympathetic. What he hated in his father, he now hates in himself. What he loved about his father he loves in himself and tries to cultivate.

But everyone's imperfect. They ignore the good things, and they tend to be intolerant of each other's imperfections, because they're their own.

The son has shown up unexpectedly. He is in the house at the screen door looking out onto the backyard and his father in the rain. He calls out to him, but the father doesn't answer.

The father wants to die but is perfectly healthy. His wife passed away some months ago after a prolonged illness. For reasons the son attributes to psychological fragility, the father, who has never been religious or superstitious or subject to sudden flights of fancy, now believes he can hear his dead wife's voice in the rain.

How will the son deal with this? For there to be a story, he must try to get involved with the old man's fabrication. What will he find? In trying to fix his father, is he being selfish -- just trying to make Dad easier to handle? Is he interested in the hallucination? Does he want to speak to his dead mother? Does he believe in the rain voices? Where does it lead? Will they wind up meeting the native shaman who gave the mother the idea of the talking rain to pass to the father?

How does it end? What does it mean? Why did I think this?

Please fasten your seatbelts put up your tray tables as we are beginning our descent to San Jose Airport. Discontinue use of all electronic devices. A flight attendant is coming down the aisle to collect all remaining service items.


In two weeks I am going to Alaska with friends. I have Antarctic friends in Alaska. They are letting us stay at their house.

I have been dreaming about Alaska for months and now I am finally going. It works like that, usually. If I dream about something long enough, it happens.

I have a regular life. I am trying not to dream of anything bad.


That phone rings on my desk. Nobody I know calls me on that phone. They all call my cell.

I don't answer. Let it roll over to voice mail. I listen to the message. It's a cold call. Verbal spam. The good old fashioned spam of our ancestors.

"Hi, this is Jeremy from Oxford. I'm doing a reference check on Tung Tran, an ex-employee of yours and I'm wondering if you can help me. Please call me back."

Sorry Jeremy. Did you think of the "I'm doing a reference check..." ploy yourself, or is it on a sheet in front of you along with, "I have a candidate who has heard of you by reputation and has always wanted to work with you?" You are young and have a lot of time to spend trying to make a buck by selling services to uninterested people. I wish you had a better job. But you don't.

Nobody named Tung Tran has ever worked at this company.

I'm not terribly old, but I don't think it's necessary to answer cold calls anymore. Nobody loves me anymore if I do, and nobody loves me any less if I don't.

I delete the message. It is out of my life.


My cardiologist says that my not sleeping is putting a horrible strain on my heart. I will wind up with problems if I don't sleep. "Problems" to him means heart attack or stroke.

I haven't slept a whole night through in over a year. It is caused by stress.

My blood pressure is very high that day. My cholesterol is under control. My cardiologist knows he can't tell me how to live my life. He can only try to keep me alive living the life I have chosen. He does this with pills.

He tells me he knows I hate pills because I used to hate them. Now I don't anymore. When he writes me a prescription I'm thrilled. I need to be different than the way I am, and I pray these drugs will change me.

The druggist says, "Do you know what these are?" and I don't. I've heard the name. Don't know the effect.

"These may make you sleepy."

I say, "Let's hope so."

She smiles. I go home and take one. Nothing happens that day. The next day I take two, even though it says "one" on the label.

I sleep the entire night for the first time in over a year. My body feels like lead. Like young lead. It doesn't want to get up but my brain tells it to. My body is actually happy. I can feel it thanking me, thanking my brain for ending the beatings.

I sit down and try to write the story of the man standing in the rain, but I can't. He's in the rain but it doesn't mean anything. It's just a picture. Something I once thought made sense. Now it's like something I read. I go to work. It's the same stressful existence. I'm looking at everything that pisses me off and I'm calculating answers. They're the same answers I would have come to before, only now my stomach isn't in knots. My chest doesn't feel like an alien is going to come crashing out of it.

I go to the men's room and stand at the urinal. I think to myself that all that worrying got me nowhere. I'd be in this exact same place if I hadn't taken these drugs, and I'd feel like hell. Now I feel fine. My business may be crumbling around me, but getting angry and depressed about it doesn't make me work harder or more effectively. In fact, if I'm less effective due to depression, then any productivity reduction I suffer from these pills is equal, only I'm not dying in the process. So that must be good, is my logic.

Only I can't write. I have no creativity. I listen to music and it's not interesting. I'm not interested in sex. I'm alive and marginally happy. Maybe that's why the great writers were so tortured. Maybe you have to be tortured to be good.

Now I understand what hell is. You can be miserable and in hell, or happy and in hell. Either way, it's called hell for a reason.


The phone on the desk rings. I forget to think before answering. It is Jeremy from Oxford. He doesn't mention Tung Tran. He wants to introduce himself and his services.

In my new drug-induced calm I tell Jeremy I have no need for him or his services. I feel sorry for being terse, the poor guy is just trying to make a living. I say that to him, he denies he's trying hard. He has a lot of clients, he says. They're all happy with him. Money is rolling in. He's buying a boat. People cut short important meetings when he calls.

I tell Jeremy I have to pee now. Goodbye. Good luck with the boat. Remember to put oil in the gas and to hose it off when you come back to port. Goodbye.

While I'm peeing I imagine Jeremy on a Boston Whaler with big outriggers bending in the breeze as he speeds through the channel to the sea. He is doing well and doesn't need pills to relax.

I imagine it is exactly the same thing Jeremy is imagining.


I had to prepare a couple of my short stories for someone to look at so I printed them out. But I knew they weren't good enough yet so I asked my editor friend if she would please look at them and help me.

She did. She read through the first one and said, "This is good. It's my favorite but you don't motivate the ending." She explains why.

Because I'm on drugs, I don't complain to her that she doesn't understand what I was thinking. What she explains makes perfect sense. I read the story and I agree. The ending has nothing to do with the beginning. What was I thinking?

I change it. I'm worried what I have written isn't as intense or edgy, but she tells me it's great.

"You're a great writer," she tells me. She coos into the phone like a lover. "You are really really good."

She is smart. I write what she wants. "This one, I made the kid older so she could have some dialog."

"It makes more sense now. See what I mean -- the reader doesn't have to wonder."

"I was trying to be more like Stanley Kubrick," I say.

"You are not Stanley Kubrick. You need less Stanley Kubrick. You are worthless as Stanley Kubrick. You need to be you. You need to show us what's in your head. You are a really good writer. I love what you write. In this next one, you have to cut off the last two paragraphs. "

I don't complain. I cut off the paragraphs. The story isn't the same as what I was thinking, but somehow it's still my story.

"Everything is so much better now," she says to me on the phone.

"Yes. Everything is better," I agree.

If she was close to me I would kiss her. I feel like being naked and close to another person for the first time in a year.


"Hello. This is Jeremy from Oxford."

"How's the boat, Jeremy?"

"I have a great candidate to present to you. He's heard of you by reputation and would really like to work for you some day."

"This is not the day, Jeremy. This is not the year. Jeremy, tell me. Have you ever been to Alaska?"

"I'm in New York."

"I know that. But have you ever been to Alaska?"

"This candidate is perfect for you. Our fees are reasonable. We used to do business with your company before you started. Ask your coworkers. We have a great track record with your company."

"I know. I know all that and I want to ask you how you feel when I say that there was no company before I started. There are no coworkers. We're talking about Alaska, here. I'm asking you how Alaska makes you feel."

"But I have a contract here that says..."

" Jeremy, I have a dream about Alaska. That there's a woman there who talks to the whales and eagles. She's ancient. She's a member of a very old native tribe and none of them can tell you exactly when she was born. She remembers when there was no snow on the mountains. And she's called the 'Owl Woman'. Now the Owl is the messenger of death. Everyone's scared of the Owl Woman because she brings death, but how stupid is that, Jeremy? Everyone is going to die. We should be friends with death. It's part of the life we got when we were born. So the Owl Woman is simultaneously our greatest fear and our best friend in the universe. And I have the feeling when I go to Alaska I'll be closer to her and she has things to tell me. Did you ever feel that, Jeremy? Like destiny is not a foregone conclusion or the name of a bad 70's wedding band, but rather, your own private Holy Grail. You have to quest for it. You have to quest for your destiny, Jeremy. What's your destiny? What do you think it is?"

"I would really like to work with your company..."

"Jeremy, a company is simply a group of people who talk to each other regularly for the purpose of making money. When the people stop talking, there is no company. Doesn't that sound fragile to you? Impermanent. Ethereal. Ephemeral, perhaps. What is real is the Owl Woman. What is real is death, Jeremy. Someday you are going to die and when you do, you'll realize how wonderful every second of your life was, and you'll wonder why you spent it this way. You hang up this phone right now, Jeremy. The next time I hear from you, you'd better be calling from your cell phone on the bridge of your boat out off Point Pleasant with a fishing pole between your legs. Did I ever tell you I was from New York? I have friends in New York, Jeremy. They're Sicilian. They'll cut your balls off if I ask them to."


"Yes, Jeremy."

"I've never been to Alaska."

"Neither have I."

"Have a good trip."

"Goodbye, Jeremy. Goodbye."

I had been lurking on e2 for the past 3-4 years. I had dialup internet access with expensive metering, and that too sporadically. e2 was my internet. I would connect, open a random node, and from there open a trail of nodes in separate windows till my computer (the old slouch, praise him!) could take it no more. Then I'd disconnect, and follow that trail with a hot cup of tea/coffee. Bliss, I tell you. No Pesky Ads, no 300k JPEG's, No irritating Flash Monkeys.

I had almost no internet access for the last 6 months or so (which is not as bad as it sounds. you get to /msg real people face to face). Anyways, a month ago I got an 24/7 ADSL connection. The first thing I did was register an email and then use it to get myself a e2 account. (Yes, I didn't (and soon, won't) have email. I also don't have a cell phone. I am Free). Something in me thought that finally the time had come for me to give back to the community

Now, when I say give back to the community, people think that I want to become a responsible noder producing thrice proof read informative nodes chock-a-block with content and march on in my quest for the perfect node. But actually, when I said give back to the community, I meant to have a lot of fun writing nodes that attempt to be somewhat of a fun to read.

Needless to say, this disagreement in definitions ensured that my time as a noder on e2 was short and bitter. Yes ofcourse, there is nothing wrong with a a node having useful information. Similarly, there is nothing wrong with a node that has none. Guys, THIS IS NOT WIKIPEDIA.

A node can be a mindnumbingly idiotic purposeless diatribe. And I am not on e2 because I want to improve my writing skills. I just want to read mindnumbingly idiotic purposeless diatribe. Sometimes, when I need to find out about quarks or geology I go to wikipedia. But I always come back to e2 for it's refreshingly purposeless idiotic diatribes.

There used to be a node titled The Only Leonard Cohen quote you will ever need. I do not remember the noder's name. It contained a single writeup containing only four lines.

The Only Leonard Cohen quote you will ever need

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

That, to me, was the perfect node. And some motherfucker deleted it. Ofcourse, technically the writeup was a goner - nodes are not supposed to just list lyrics - it containted zero information content. But it was my perfect node. May god forgive such sinners who 'technically' evaluate nodes and delete what someone else might cherish. Don't you remember - Perception differs from person to person, place to place, time to time.

My last writeup (about a H.G. wells book) was my worst and least original. It had, on last count, +ve rating. It contains basically a collection of links, and text copied from the reviews. My own insights are minimum. I hate myself for having written such a informatively unoriginal writeup. Yet, It is my highest rated writeup.

Going through my writeups will give you a very distorted picture of my writings, because more than half the nodes which I have produced have been deleted. And these are the half that I liked. They may not have been the perfect read, but if only the nightingale sang the forest would be a very quiet place indeed. That is my main argument. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE A WRITEUP, FEEL FREE TO DOWNVOTE IT. BUT THERE IS NO REASON WHATSOEVER TO DELETE WRITEUPS. No, saying that it belongs better to the daylog is not a reason. The hell, i've had had writeups deleted for 'we already know that', 'the title is better than the content', 'we already know that', 'this writeup does not contain links', 'don't try to be a smartass because we already know that"....

Everybody knows it is a bad thing to rape kittens, but hearing about it from someone who did not know that, and raped a kitten, and then realised his mistake, and noticed that there is not a node about raping kittens, and so is now writing about it - that (was) an e2 speciality.

e2 is full of some excellent, mostly moderate and some downright silly nodes. let it be. I got hooked on to e2 that way, and never would have stopped unless some stupid managerial monkey would have cried about raising the bar.

I enjoyed e2 because of its overall lighthearted and carefree writing style. Believe me, until I had opened an account I never paid any attention to all the FAQ's and 'official' stuff on the left - I always thought that the only rule was that there were no rules.

My internet access ends in about a week from now. Then I will list both my email and e2 account on http://www.bugmenot.com/ (at which point the e2 cops can book me for some or the other rule violation and ban my account, but not until then :] ). I have surfed and surfed and surfed, and finally am bored of the internet. Yes, it is very useful at times, but only at times.The Real world is better *cheesy grin*.

E2 is unfriendly to New Order. I was thinking about leaving quitely, but that made me realise that I am not alone in thinking what I do.

I leave e2 as a noder now. I shall still lurk here, but noding is probably not my thing now. Maybe it still is, but my laziness and imperfection has spoiled the fun for me. Maybe I'm just a nut. Still, to take advantage of my last node, I must thank all those excellent noders for all their not-so-perfect writeups that gave me those private childish chuckles on countless slow afternoons. And some that made me think. And some that made me.

Live a Life you Love

Use a God you trust

Don't take it all to seriously

"Let a little laughter into your heart - it's the best medicine. Unless you have staph. Then the best medicine is antibiotics. But the point remains."
-- dragoon, Creating nodes for the sole purpose of Random Nodes amusement (which itself has been deleted)
"I'm afraid they were not quite as surreptitious as you seem to believe. Promptly after I created my first node I received an email that stated: Welcome to Everything! While you're still finding your way around, the management feels it best to alert you that Pseudo_Intellectual is a raging cock sucker."
-- knifegirl
"What is this bitch-slap you speak of? I see no dogs!"

Newsflash: Today there was a terrorist attack on a bus in Israel.

Not very sensational any more, is it? Arab guy gets on bus and kills a bunch of innocent people... Man, those goddamn murderous Arabs are so inhuman, et cetera...

Well, not today. Today the victims were Arab-Israelis and the terrorist was a 19-year-old rogue Jewish soldier who had just recently settled in the West Bank.

As far as the media reveals at this point, ordinary secular boy Nathan Zaada found Orthodox Judaism around 2003, and changed his name to Eden Tzuberi along with that shift in faith. Recently he has shared the strong opposition, common among orthodox Jews, to Sharon's current Gaza pullout plan1, set to be carried out from the 15th of this month after the past two years of intense political struggle.

Two weeks ago, Zaada/Tzuberi - still a soldier, albeit with a history of miscellaneous troublemakings and trouble-havings - left a letter to his commander, stating that he could not bear to serve in an army that would deport2 Jews. He spent the time since then hiding in the Jewish settlement of Tapuach in the West Bank, and according to some testimonies, walking around saying he would do anything to stop the Gaza pullout.

Today he put on his IDF uniform, took his IDF-issued gun, and boarded the bus to Shfar'am - an all-Arab town where Muslim, Christian, and Druze Arabs live together on exceptionally good terms. Around 18:00 he started firing, killing four people (some of them outside the bus), and wounding a few others. Soon afterwards the bus was stormed by passing security personnel who brought Tzuberi under control and took his gun.

Tzuberi met his death by lynching; The mob surrounding the bus beat him to death as soon as the security people left him alone.

Now for some more opinion: We've seen Baruch Goldstein kill innocent Palestinians during prayer in 1994. We've seen Yigal Amir kill Itzhak Rabin for his significant progress towards peace in 1995. We've seen other right wing nuts commit horrible crimes before that; we've seen many others try and fail in between and afterwards. Now we see Tzuberi, the latest Jewish suicidal terrorist, and I think we're too quick to write him off as a singular maniac. Some people need to rethink their value system and tame their propaganda considerably, but like hell they will.

The, uh, funny thing is that I was going to write up Jewish supremacy, but thought I was exaggerating the severity of the situation and shelved it. Then came this attack and reminded me it only takes one maniac with a gun who takes his Judaism far too seriously.

1 This deserves a node of its own; Perhaps under Disengagement plan?

2 Opponents of the pullout plan, mostly the settlers themselves and those who would like to identify with them, are leading a massive campaign rejecting the existing Israeli establishment and its decision-making process; they do so using utterly fallacious arguments and catchy misleading slogans, i.e. they call their peaceful relocation from a wrongly occupied territory into the legitimate borders of Israel "deportation" and other terrible names. Again, this should be under Disengagement plan.

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