Friday, October 19, 2007


Whatever group orchestrated yesterday's bloodbath in Karachi is probably still congratulating themselves on a smashing success: scores killed, hundreds wounded, and headlines worldwide. Most fingers are pointing at the Taliban, or al Qaeda, or at any number of usual suspects in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas. No doubt a plague of conspiracy theories will soon be upon us, brought to you by the same loonies who think 9/11 was an inside job. It's not hard to understand why. Let's look at the immediate results of the Karachi attacks:

1. Two days ago, President/General Pervez Musharraf didn't seem to have a friend in the world, much less in Pakistan. Now, he's falling over himself trying to push through the very emergency laws and suspension of rights he's been itching to implement for ages. Who's going to stand in his way now?

2. Two days ago, Benazir Bhutto was, to put it mildly, viewed with some suspicion within her own party for striking the deal with Musharraf that allowed her to return to Pakistan after eight years in exile. To many others in the country, she was under a cloud of suspicion for the corruption charges leveled against her when she was ousted as prime minister. Now, she's viewed as a heroic (if, by her own admission, somewhat foolhardy) defender of democracy.

3. Two days ago, most residents of Karachi probably didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the Taliban. Now...well, figure it out.

Overnight, both Musharraf and Bhutto have been unburdened of their most crippling political problems, and everybody hates the Taliban. Does Taliban mean "brain trust" in Urdu? I don't think so.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Full of Beans

Do you suffer from anxiety brought on by looming legume larder lacunae? Do burgeoning bean transportation costs keep you up at night? Come to Midwood, Brooklyn, and leave your bean worries behind.