DAILY BRIEFING
Slimane the Jihadist & Willie the Cat

Sept. 27 - Here's an interesting story: "Dansk Cubafange mener, det er lovligt at angribe ministre" ("Danish Cuba-Prisoner Thinks It's Lawful to Attack Ministers"). That's the big story in the Danish media this morning. I'm going to try to translate, concatenate, and paraphrase on the fly:

Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane, the Danish prisoner released from Guantanamo about six months ago, has publicly declared his belief that Denmark's political leaders are legitimate targets for Muslim warriors.

The 31-year-old says it would be okay to go after the Foreign and Defense Ministers, among others, because they launched or went along with the invasion of a Muslim country. He says that since Denmark and America seem to feel it's appropriate to target the leaders of their enemies, he'd be lying if he said those leaders themselves weren't legitimate targets. He says he won't personally take up arms in this way because he signed a document upon his release from Gitmo saying he'd be a good little boy and not go around committing jihad anymore. (He was captured two years earlier in Afghanistan.)

The precocious little darling also observes that if he hadn't signed that little piece of paper he wouldn't be in Denmark right now talking about all this, but rather in Chechnya. (He does not elaborate on what he would be doing there, but it's worth noting that the only things he swore not to do were "wage jihad, participate in terror, or fight for the Taliban or Al Qaeda," so it's obviously one of those four activities he's hankering to take up in Chechnya.)

All of this is raising hackles throughout Denmark. There's some concern that Mr. Abderrahmane seems to be putting his religion above his nationality, which doesn't go over well in this secularized, socialist-democratic constitutional monarchy. The political response has been strong: left-wing politicians suggest he put a sock in it and that maybe Danish authorities watch him a little closer. Right-wing politicians suggest he be tried for treason.

While wandering around his native Denmark explaining out loud how legitimate it would be for a Muslim to assassinate his own country's political leaders and wishing he could go running off to jihad in Chechnya, he's preparing to sue the American government for compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

The purpose of his lawsuit, he says, is to protest the policies of the American government.

"But if I can get a little money out of it, I won't say no thanks," he elaborates.

Cognitive dissonance and a good lawyer—the most important things you'll need to succeed on this bitch of an earth.

* * *

I sort of miss having a tabloid press I can understand. I mean, this guy's first name is Slimane. The Post would have turned that into Slime-Man in a New York minute.

* * *

If you're interested, here's a link to a list of the allowable names for Danish girls. Here are allowable names for boys. (Conspicuously absent: Slimane.)

* * *

Allow me to introduce Willie the Cat, a Lamaze Toy Molli received as a gift.


Willie the Cat: "This sweet kitty shakes and purrs when tail is pulled. Features soft, velour body with dangling yarn ball, jingly tag, crinkle legs and clinking rings.".

Willie the Cat is not the name recommended by the manufacturer. It's the name recommended by my wife. Trine is very good at naming things, but she doesn't always tell me what she's named them. Giving her a foot massage not long after we first got together, I was horrified to be informed that the big toe on one of her feet was known as "Mr. Albert Toe." Something about male toes on my girlfriend didn't appeal to me. I said as much. Trine shrugged and said, "How do you think he feels?"

So although I know she's a master of nomenclature within the confines of her own mind, I don't make many inquiries—and when the occassional name tumbles out, I have the good sense not to dispute it.

So he's Willie the Cat.

Here's a little anatomy lesson on Willie the Cat: his legs are stuffed with weird crinkly stuff that make satisfying crinkly noises when you squeeze them, the ball on his right paw has a little jingly bell in it, the hoops in his left paw have some kind of rattle action going on, and if you pull Willie's tail he vibrates like—well, let's just say he he vibrates. ("Shakes and purrs," says the manufacturer. Someone needs to send a vet to the manufacturer's house, because there's definitely something wrong with his cats.)

Willie has, since the day of his arrival, been a source of indifference to our daughter. That's not saying much—it's only the last two weeks or so that Molli's demonstrated interest in anything without a nipple. He's been lying on his side in her playpen, where he seemed perfectly content to be neglected until his "crinkle legs" and "clinking rings" rotted clean off him.

At some point on Friday, Trine was playing with Molli and plopped Willie beside her as a lark (a feline lark). Molli tossed out an arm and whacked Willie the Cat in the gut. Willie recoiled with his trademark crinkling, clinking, and jingling.

Molli's eyes widened and she smiled hugely. She flailed around a little more, needing about three or four good practice swipes before she managed to connect again, but connect she did—whack! And Willie the Cat crinkled and clinked. She giggled soundlessly. After abusing the cat for a few minutes, she finally got her hand caught in his clinking rings. Now he rattled and crinkled and jingled and clinked whenever she so much as twitched. Her delight was monumental, celestial, transcendant. She didn't seem to have any idea how she was connected to Willie, but she certainly seemed to understand that her own movements were somehow required to generated something from him.

The lesson has stayed with her. She played with Willie the Cat many times over the weekend. The play genie is out of the bottle. She's still completely spastic, has little control over her limbs, and has no real concept of cause and effect—but she has learned that jerking her arm around when that big orange thing is next to her eventually causes the big orange thing to make sounds—and mommy and daddy to jump around and laugh and applaud. . .

Which gets me wondering, now that I think about it, whether it's really Willie the Cat's reactions that she seems to enjoy so much...

* * *

At one point over the weekend I was helping Molli play with Willie the Cat. She seemed a little restless, so I tried giving her a pacifier while the thrashed out at Willie. She got going on that for a while, very eagerly, and when the pacifier finally popped out of her mouth she turned to Willie for help, bringing the furious power of her mouth to bear upon first his clinking rings, and then his jingling ball and even the tinkling ball he wears as a pendant.

"Molli's ready for a meal," I observed aloud to Trine.

"Can she wait a little longer?" Trine asked. (She'd been eating very often ofter the weekend.)

"I don't think so," I said. "She's kind of frantic. She's licking the cat's balls."

Molli's meal was delayed another five minutes, which is how long it took Trine to stop laughing.

* * *

On September 27, 1964, the Warren Commission issued its final report, concluding that president Kennedy had been assassinated and was probably dead.

The 27th is the birthday of Gwyneth Paltrow (1972), Shaun Cassidy (1958), Mike Schmidt (1949), Meat Loaf (1947), Wilford Brimley (1934), Greg Morris (1934), Jayne Meadows (1926), Arthur Penn (1922), and William Conrad (1920).

September 27 is not a significant holiday that I'm aware of.

Enjoy the weekend.

2004, The Moron's Almanac™

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