Saturday, June 17, 2006

Democratic Agenda: 404

You go, Betsy!

Neighbor, Neighbor

Now I was walking down a dusty road
when along came a neighbor of mine.
He saw me walkin' with my head hung down,
he just had to stop and pass the time.

(ZZ Top, "Neighbor, Neighbor")

From the West Bank:

A Haaretz inquiry reveals that the Israel Defense Forces has increased its use of home demolitions during West Bank arrest raids since a ban on the forced entry of Palestinian civilians into homes of barricaded fugitives.

When the High Court of Justice banned the "neighbor procedure" eight months ago, senior Israel Defense Forces officers warned that this would likely endanger soldiers' lives. Haaretz has learned that new arrest procedures are not any more dangerous to soldiers, but that is because the IDF is using more aggressive tactics during the actual operations.

IDF sources say that the ban diminishes the tactical options of the officers. "The result is that very quickly we escalate in means, in other words, we use the bulldozers," one officer says.

In early October 2005, the High Court justices accepted the petition of human rights organizations against the "neighbor procedure." This tactic, employed hundreds of times in the territories during the first intifada, involved forcing the Palestinian neighbors of wanted militants to enter the homes of the barricaded fugitives in an effort to convince them to surrender, and consequently, also bring out information for the army on the conditions inside the home.

This forcing of Palestinian civilians to act as "agents" for the IDF drew intense public criticism, especially when a Palestinian from a village in the northern West Bank was shot and killed by his barricaded neighbor during the application of the "neighbor procedure."

The High Court ban forced the army to adopt new arrest methods, which do not endanger soldiers' lives as military sources had previously warned, says a senior IDF officer serving in the West Bank because "they take no chances. Not one of us will send a soldier to check a home in which it is known that a living, armed fugitive is barricaded, before we have carried out very aggressive action."

Unintended consequences; ick. The Court was clearly right to outlaw the neighbor procedure. And the IDF is sensible to use bulldozers sooner as a result. The Americans would clearly do the same thing. The troops are in an impossible position.


(nod to RL)

Friday, June 16, 2006

I don't think they are kidding...

Wow. Quite a site. They MUST be kidding, but still...

Here are the first four FAQs and the answers:

1. Can I get a signed photograph from Leader Kim Jong IL?
Soon the KFA shop will offer such article. (NOTE FROM THE END: THIS MEANS "NO."
2. Can I send a letter to North Korea and get a penpal in North Korea?
You can send the letter if you have an valid address and contact person. We provide no service for penpal friends. (NOTE FROM THE END: THIS ALSO MEANS "NO.")
3. Can I emigrate to North Korea and live in North Korea?
It's possible only in very special situations and having honor/merits. You must send a request letter stating your reasons, together with your complete CV, copy of your passport and certificates to (CERTIFICATES?)
4. Can I work in North Korea as a teacher/interpreter/(other)?

Thanks! That's all very helpful.


(nod to MWT)

Cheesed Off: Poblanos Onuf

I have been at a conference here in Park City, UT for the past week. Very pleasant. We are staying at The Lodges, which are very nice, and the conference (a combination of works on slavery and American political development, followed in the evening by student presentations and then a dinner that I get to cook for 16 people) is wonderful.

And, we get to spend time with UVA's Professor Peter Onuf, who is such a pleasure to learn from. So, to Liberty Fund, our sponsor: Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou!

But, to the real matter: like I said, I cook every night. And I made this one dish that was so easy, and turned out so well, I thought I would put it up here. (It is a vegetarian, though not vegan, dish. And you would have to like cheese a LOT to enjoy this.) The name should be self-explanatory.


8 large poblanos, washed, cut in half, deseeded and destemmed
8 ozs Monterrey Jack cheese
1 cup milk
3 large red peppers
bunch of green onions
1 large yellow onion
olive oil
1/2 lb sliced provolone cheese (8 slices or so)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1. Place poblanos, open side up, in large flat baking pan (if the peppers are two crowded, you may have to use two pans. They need to be separated by a little space). Drizzle with olive oil (should be little puddles of olive oil in cavity of peppers), and sprinkle with salt.
BROIL in oven, watching that you carmelize the edges and sides of the peppers without burning them. Oil should be bubbling, but if it catches on fire that is bad. Remove from broiler.

2. Melt cheese and milk together in large bowl (careful, as it will boil over) in microwave. Cook for three minutes on high, stir, and cook some more until the mixture is fairly smooth.

3. Chop red peppers, green onions, yellow onion, saute in olive oil until they all just start to soften. Don't overcook. Salt the mixture.

4. Pour milk/cheese mixture over onion/pepper mixture, over low heat, and stir until mixed well.

5. Pour onion/pepper/milk/cheese mixture over broiled peppers (make sure peppers/oil have cooled enough that this doesn't splatter!). Fill the cavities of each pepper evenly.

6. Put 1/2 slice of provolone over each 1/2 pepper. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

7. Cook at 375F in oven for 20 minutes, or until provolone starts to brown and whole mixture is bubbly.

(So, Kathy, there you go. I typed it up!)