Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Go read my

marsh-hugging post over at Distance Blog.

It is, of course, dedicated to Acidman. ;)

So sad

This poor lady.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I was just clicking through the photo gallery on the CNN website and there's a picture of an old man, in a soaking wet t-shirt and boxer shorts, being helped through the flood waters. His wife is on a john boat in the background. They both look so vulnerable, it's heartbreaking (I don't know how to post a direct link to the pic; you can go to CNN's gallery of Katrina pics and look for it).

I wonder what will happen to those poor people?

A co-worker emailed me today saying that the town of Surfside Beach is collecting stuff to send to LA and Miss. - canned goods, bandages, etc. Surfside got smacked pretty hard by Hugo and received aid from people all over the country; it wants to give back. I think it's terrific that the town is doing this but I couldn't help but wonder if it wouldn't be more helpful just to give the Red Cross some cash and let the Red Cross use it to meet the victims' needs. What if we ship NO a bunch of stuff they already have too much of? I assume they (the people doing the collecting and shippint) know what they're doing and the stuff will go where it can be used, but I wonder.

Anyway. If you're interested, this blog has a list of relief organizations. That link is via Velociman, btw, but don't let that deter you. I'm pretty sure those organizations are legit . . .


Tuesday night catblogging

Does THAT look like a Boston Terrier to anyone? Hmph.

That's TC last Fall, when he was still in quarantine. That picture cracks me up - he has such a psycho expression. He'd fit right in at mycathatesyou.com.

His Feline Herpes symptoms - the runny nose and eyes - cleared up nicely and he's ridiculously healthy, except for being fat. He was an adolescent kitty in that picture; now he's grown into a hefty cat. He's easily three times bigger than he was then. It's embarrassing to have such a fat cat. I fear it reflects poorly on me. But I don't feed him junk, as the Flying Spaghetti Monster is my witness! I think he porked up because I had to crush up his Lysine tablets in canned food twice a day. He's on a STRICT diet now, though.

I'd nominate him to be the New Face of the Left, but he might scare the moderates and fence-sitters . . .

America groggily wakes up

Oh, God, how America's head hurts. Bejus, how many shots did America have last night, anyway? America's mouth is dry. America's head is spinning. America hates itself. "God, let me live through this hangover and I'll never drink again," America vows silently.

Where the hell is America, anyway . . . In some strange room. America's right arm is numb, asleep. A heavy weight upon it. The sound of hearty snoring.

Slowly, because movement causes pain, America turns its head to see who's sleeping beside it . . . It's George W. Bush. Bush's fuzzy head rests contentedly on America's arm. Bush's eyes are shut, his jaw slack, he's drooling a little.

America tries get its arm out from under Bush's head. Bush stops snoring, stirs, then snorts abruptly and resumes his rhythmic snore.

America chews off its own right arm.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Shorter Publius

"Liberals are so mean!"

OK, that's not really fair to Publius, though the "shorter" conceit* was never meant to be fair.

But he is - I do hesitate to say this, but the situation compels - somewhat full of baloney here:

I had a disturbing realization last Friday night during the Bill Maher show. The guests were Arkansas Republican governor Mike Huckabee, columnist Dan Savage (who guest-posted for Andrew Sullivan recently), and playwright Eve Ensler (who wrote the Vagina Monologues). It was an interesting trio – a Southern Republican governor, a playwright, and a gay liberal columnist/humorist. The problem was that by the end of the episode, I liked Huckabee much more than I liked either Ensler or Savage. Even though I agreed with both of them substantively, they were bitter, snide, and thoroughly unlikeable. In short, they were – like too many of the Left’s public faces – horrible rhetoricians.

Bless Publius's heart, he's so easily swayed by the affable face of ee-ville - he thought Rick SANTORUM was a likeable guy, for Gawd's sake. And who the hell died and made Eve Ensler and Dan Savage "the Left's public faces?" I mean, I personally love Dan Savage's funny, raunchy sex advice column, but really, is it fair to hold "the Left" responsible for what Dan Savage says on a TV show?

I didn't see the Maher show (and won't since I'm not getting HBO until The Sopranos comes back on). I've never read or seen Ensler; I read Savage's columns and I think they're funny, though ruthless; it's hard for me to imagine him being "bitter, snide and thoroughly unlikeable." But hey, maybe he was. But let's be fair:, Tom DeLay, Ann Coulter, and Bill First aren't exactly huggable, either.

Maher's show is an entertainment show, and it seems to me silly to complain about "the Left" based on what a couple of relatively obscure writers say . . . or how they appear. I said Publius was "somewhat full of baloney" because he makes many good points in that post. But he doesn't offer any criticisms of what Savage and Ensler SAID, he just doesn't think they were likeable. I certainly agree with him that the left needs more effective "rhetoricians" - Nancy Pelosi just isn't very skillful - but I'm not sure what he thinks we should do about the likability quotient. It's so subjective. I'd rather have a beer with Howard Dean, or Bill Clinton, or James Carville, or Paul Begala, or just about ANYONE on the left than with, say, Tom Coburn. I expect a lot of people on the right would rather have their eyes gouged out with hot knitting needles than have a beer with Howard Dean. No one is likeable to everyone. So what's "the Left" supposed to do? Trot out a Golden Retriever puppy to expound the left's point of view?

That would be just ridicul- hmmmmm .

(Stolen from the excellent busybusybusy)

Update: Here's another highly likable contender for the Face of the Left.

Catapulting the propaganda right onto the gravestones

where it can ricochet onto the mourners.

Old-ish news, but the AP reported that the gravestones of soldiers who were killed in the Iraq invasion are engraved with the slogans the administration's marketing department selected for this war:

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Unlike earlier wars, nearly all Arlington National Cemetery gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts.

Families of fallen soldiers and Marines are being told they have the option to have the government-furnished headstones engraved with "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" at no extra charge, whether they are buried in Arlington or elsewhere. A mock-up shown to many families includes the operation names.

The vast majority of military gravestones from other eras are inscribed with just the basic, required information: name, rank, military branch, date of death and, if applicable, the war and foreign country in which the person served.

Families are supposed to have final approval over what goes on the tombstones. That hasn't always happened.

Nadia and Robert McCaffrey, whose son Patrick was killed in Iraq in June 2004, said "Operation Iraqi Freedom" ended up on his government-supplied headstone in Oceanside, Calif., without family approval.

"I was a little taken aback," Robert McCaffrey said, describing his reaction when he first saw the operation name on Patrick's tombstone. "They certainly didn't ask my wife; they didn't ask me." He said Patrick's widow told him she had not been asked either.

"In one way, I feel it's taking advantage to a small degree," McCaffrey said. "Patrick did not want to be there, that is a definite fact."

The owner of the company that has been making gravestones for Arlington and other national cemeteries for nearly two decades is uncomfortable, too.

"It just seems a little brazen that that's put on stones," said Jeff Martell, owner of Granite Industries of Vermont. "It seems like it might be connected to politics."

As you may recall, the Pentagon had to be sued into releasing photographs of coffins returning from Iraq.
Seems to me the Pentagon is missing a golden opportunity to catapult the propaganda far and wide: Why not emblazon the coffins with stirring slogans such as "Operation Enduring Freedom" and allow them to photographed, even televised as they return to the States? I'm convinced the only reason the Pentagon isn't doing that now is 'cause they just haven't thought of it. Boy, what Karen Hughes couldn't do with those coffins . . .

(Bush on "catapulting the propaganda (heh heh)" here - warning, audio)


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Think good thoughts

For our friend Anntichrist S. Coulter, who is entirely too close to this monster of a storm. And for everyone in the path of this beast.


Saturday, August 27, 2005

I had a vision today, almost

I was on the beach and Flying Spaghetti Monster appeared to me. He was hovering in the clouds.

Then I realized it was just an octopus kite.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

I knew her when!

Desi hits the big time!


Monday, August 22, 2005

Where's Kyra Phillips?

She can ask this boy if he undersands the meaning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I am pathetically grateful

for this.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Roberts Memos

Reporters are now poring over the thousands of John Roberts memos that were recently released by the National Archives.

These caught my eye:

TO: The President
FROM: John Roberts
RE: Socks

The question presented is whether the President must wear evening socks of silk to the upcoming birthday party for Betsy Bloomingdale, which the President and First Lady plan to attend, or may the President wear black socks of sea island cotton?

Although the wearing of silk evening socks may be perceived as elitist by some so-called "working class" critics on the left, it is equally plausible that the wearing of cotton socks would be perceived as a shallow attempt by the President to express solidarity with some purported underclass. On the other hand, the fact that the cotton socks are woven of the finest cotton from the Sea Islands of Georgia, cotton reputed to be favored by wealthy white men of means, could be perceived as an affront to those who used to pick it.

Nonetheless, in some circles, cotton, while certainly more exalted than nylon and rayon and similar synthetics, is viewed to be the "common man's fabric" by those who pay attention to these sorts of things.

Because etiquette calls for silk evening socks, and because to wear cotton socks could be perceived as pandering by the President to the so-called working class, it is advisable that the President don the silk evening socks. In so doing, it is likely that he will be viewed as a man who is confident in his own skin, not to mention his own evening wear, as opposed to a man who needs to seek the counsel of lawyers prior to taking the most trivial decision.

TO: The President
FROM: John Roberts
RE: Saddle, riding attire

The question presented is whether the President should wear English or Western riding attire, and use English or Western tack in his photo session with Life magazine.

The President will be photographed riding one of his horses. He has available to him both English and Western style tack, and English and Western style riding attire. English style riding attire consists of jodphurs and, usually, high boots of smooth black leather. Occasionally, particularly when the rider means to have his horse jump fences, a velvet cap over a hard hat is worn.

Western riding attire consists of jeans, tooled cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat. Sometimes chaps and ornate spurs complete the ensemble. Other decorative items, such as bolo ties, may also be worn.

Obviously, if the President wears English attire, and uses an English saddle, he may be perceived as "elitist," "upper-class," "effete," or "gay." And of course, although many Americans are not attuned to the differences between English and Western riding styles, those who do know the difference may well resent the implication that the President has chosen East Coast modes and styles over the rugged American individualism that the Western style signifies.

On the other hand, if the President elects to pose in full Western riding regalia, there exists the perception that he will be mistaken for one of the Village People. Whereas for him to proudly don jodphurs and mount an English saddle would symbolize his manliness and defiant refusal to be defined by cultural stereotypes. Moreover - at the risk of pandering to the affirmative action crowd - any doubts engendered by the President's appearance in riding breeches would be alleviated if the First Lady were to balance things out by wearing cowboy boots and riding a Western saddle.

For the aforementioned reasons, I would recommend that the President wear his English riding attire and use an English saddle in the photo shoot, and that the First Lady wear Western riding attire and use a Western saddle.

TO: The President
FROM: John Roberts
RE: Rumsfeld meeting with Saddam Hussein

The question presented is whether Donald Rumsfeld should meet with Iraq's president Saddam Hussein, convey to him the President's warm regards and approval, and be photographed with Mr. Hussein.

Sure, why not?

TO: The President
FROM: John Roberts
RE: The First Lady's astrologer

The question presented is whether the President and First Lady should seek the counsel of an astrologer to guide their daily personal and political decisions.

While it is my opinion that the President should continue to rely upon legal counsel in all matters great and small, I see no harm in the President's and First Lady's entertaining themselves by consulting an astrologer.

As long as they don't get caught doing it.


publius at Legal Fiction has an excellent round-up of some of the Roberts memos.

See also Dahlia Lithwick at Slate.

War is hell.

With Democrats like this

who needs Republicans?

David Sirota (via NTodd) on Democrats trying to out-jingo Republicans. Well, certain Republicans. As Sirota notes, some Republicans (such as Sen. Chuck Hagel) aren't on board with the stay-in-Iraq-at-any-cost program.

Freeze, motherfucker!

Other, better bloggers have rained deserved derision upon this simultaneously dopey and odious Ann Althouse post, in which Prof. Althouse posits that a "greater good" can arise from the shooting of an innocent man by the London police. Namely, people will stop acting "suspicious" and wearing bulky clothing and so forth.

Some commenters took exception to Prof. Althouse's post, whereupon some of her regulars (I take it) rushed to her defense. Here's Aaron:

The passivity of Ann's critics is quite interesting. They take umbrage it seems to me because part of her comments ask for the public to take some actions to aid in their own security. Reading them I feel like this is the source of their emotionalism. They resent being asked to take any steps or pains to keep themselves or their fellow citizens safe. How dare the government not do it all? How dare I be asked to change my behavior at all! My freedom to behave in any way I like under any circumstances is not to be questioned! This is infantile both in what consittutes freedom and what constitutes the responsabilities of a citizen of a free society under attack. The bill of rights is not a suicide pack [sic].

Yes, Aaron characterizes those who object to the police's shooting dark-skinned people down like dogs as "passive."

More from Aaron:

We need a responsible citizenry. I don't want the cops to have carte blanch [sic.] and neither does Ms. Althouse. I'd still like folks to do what they can to help law inforcement do their jobs. If we all sit on the side-lines criticizing the government while passively demanding we be protected we will most assuredly lose.

I'd like to see Aaron himself lead the way, by going about the streets naked so that the police can see that he is unarmed and has nothing to hide. If Aaron fails to do so, then I suggest plainclothes Aaron take matters into his own hands thusly:

Aaron: "Freeze, motherfucker! Hands where I can see them!"

Aaron: "What the - Jesus! What is this, a stick-up? I don't have anything! Don't point that gun at me!"

Aaron: "Shut the fuck up! Put your hands on your head and get on the ground!"

Aaron: [runs]

Aaron: [shoots self in the head multiple times]

See? SEE?

Here I am, and where are all my so-called commenters?


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Shorter Michael Totten

"Cindy Sheehan asked for it."

("Shorter" concept stolen from busybusybusy)

(graphic by Mike Judge, GIMPed by MD)

"The Iraq Brigades"

I think Steve Gilliard is a jerk, oh, about 75% of the time, but this post is classic.

In fact, it was so good I fixed his blog's name in the illustrious RoguePlanet blogroll.

How were the truffles?

I thought James Wolcott was too smart to write a sentence like this:

Interesting transition the other night. We were taxi-ing to Ouest, an Upper West Side restaurant that serves the most divine truffle omelette appetizer, and passed a vigil for Cindy Sheehan at Straus Park.

Maybe it's satirical, and I'm just too dense to get it.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

I see how y'all are

When I'm here, nobody comments. But when I announce I'm going out of town, suddenly, comments from all four of my readers.

Y'all must think I keep my liquor stashed in my comments section . . .


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I'm LEAVING this blog! ForEVER!

And going on a hunger strike until Satan updates his blog.

Well, not really, but I am going out of town for a day or so, so no posting. It will be hard for all of us, but God willing, we'll all get through a couple of days with no new posts from me.

Steely-balled rocket man

Roy at Alicublog links to a couple of Peggy Noonan columns which display an unseemly interest in parts of Dumbya's anatomy. Two parts, to be precise. This bon mot is so delicieux that Nooners relates it in two columns:
"As a West Point official said to me in passing, 'He's [Bush] got two of 'em.'"

Maybe Nooners just forgot that she'd already used that "he's got two of'em" line. [hic] I [hic] can certainly [hic] understand [hic] how that could happen [hic].

Anyway, Roy seems to think Nooners and her anonymous West Point source are referring to Dumbya's BALLS, but it's entirely possible that Mr. West Point Official was referring to Dumbya's thumbs, both of which were wedged up Dumbya's ass on 9/11.

Or maybe he was referring to Bush's two left feet.

In any case, Nooners' latest effort , which is spectacularly [hic] disjointed (remember, SHE gets paid for this and I don't), expounds on why Republicans like Bush:

Republicans like him because he seems like a normal guy--business, family, sports, Top 40 on the iPod. Democrats hate him for this--how common, how plebian; he'd have more elevated tastes if he were a more elevated man.

It pains to me to admit it, but Nooners is half right. A number of Republicans, in my unscientific anecdoctal observation, DO think Dumbya is a normal guy. They actually don't realize that he was born into a wealthy, influential east coast family, that he's not from Texas, that his wealth, in part, derives from his former ball club's getting the city of Arlington to seize a shitload of land and turn it over to Dumbya and his pardners, that he's no more a cowboy than you or me. These are, in my unscientific observation, the same people who think Bush is "a real Christian" and Kerry isn't.

Staggering to the end of her latest column, much as I am staggering to the end of this blog post, Nooners gives props to Laura. Saintly Laura.

Well done. Well and amazingly done. Someone should do a monograph on what it is she did and how it is she did it. And it should of course be noted that she is another reason for her husband's popularity with his base, and outside of it, too.

Yeah [hic.]. Someone [hic] should do that shit [hic].

How to put the screws to the mother of your children

World O'Crap
links to a website, laughably called "Intellectual Conservative," which counsels men on how gain a judicial advantage over that *&#%ing greedy psycho bitch who happens to be the mother of their children.

Child support is expensive, reasons the "Intellectual Conservative," and that *&#$ing #@&%, the mother of your children, will probably just spend it buying crack for her new boyfriend anyway, so men should try to win custody of their children from that *#$%ing $%*@$, their mother, says the "Intellectual Conservative."

In order to gain the upper hand in a contested case, the "Intellectual Conservative" instructs men to abuse the judicial process:

Perseverance - Money and Emotional Stress Will Wear Your Ex Down

Although the child custody laws favor women [this is not true- kc], and although your ex may have free legal help from one of those government funded organizations that provide free legal help to low-income women who claim they are victims of domestic violence, you can still overcome this unfair disadvantage through sheer perseverance. Attorneys themselves tend to burn out in this area of the law, because of the emotional stress, particularly attorneys who are working pro bono or for very little money working for Legal Aid. Whether you are representing yourself or have hired an attorney, keep in mind the more work you create for your ex, the more you will wear down her resolve to fight you and keep full custody of the kids.

Just don't get caught doing this, cautions the "Intellectual Conservative":

The key is not to annoy the judge, if the judge suspects you are filing frivolous pleadings just to harass your ex, he may rule against you and you could end up being ordered to pay for your ex's attorney fees.

So by all means, use the judicial system to harass and hound that *&#$ing *$%#, the mother of your children, just don't let the judge catch you doing it.

The "Intellectual Conservative" also warns men that the court-appointed guardian's custody evaluation may favor that *&#$ing *&@%$, the mother of your children, therefore men should retain their own experts and instruct the experts to ask the kids leading questions designed to make that *&$#ing *&#@$, the children's mother, look bad:

One way to combat these custody evaluations is to preempt them with a psychological evaluation of your own. Find a child psychologist who has a reputation for being favorable to fathers, and preferably also one on the court's approved list of psychologists, if the court has one, and have him do a preliminary evaluation of your child. You may want to give the psychologist leading questions to ask your child, such as whether your child would rather live with you, if mother abuses drugs, alcohol, or smoking in front of the child, if people close to the mother abuse or sexually touch the child, etc. - whatever bad things your child has indicated to you about living with your ex.

Perhaps you are thinking this sounds emotionally abusive to the children? Sure, but it's worth it to get one up on that *&%$ing cow, their mother. The "Intellectual Conservative" is notably devoid of any advice that men consider the best interests of their children; I guess we can all just assume that their best interests will be served by getting a court to take them away from their *&#@ing slut-bitch-whore of a mother and give them to you, so you won't have to pay child support.


Monday, August 15, 2005

I love our troops more than you do!

notes a new trend:

I've been thinking for a while that we might
be seeing the beginning of a new trend in American politics --- the
anti-military right. Rush is calling marines "pukes," veterans are
being called cowards and fakers, disabled vets are mocked for not
having the right wounds or getting them in the right way, GOP hags are
wearing cute little "purple heart" bandaids on their

It goes hand in hand with another trend I've noticed, but I haven't
seen anyone else comment on it: The lionization of the military by
some on the left. I couldn't disagree more with this post by Kos, especially where he says

But there is real danger when those who make
the decisions to go to war are completely bereft of military

What is that "real danger?" Kos doesn't tell us, so we can only
speculate. In any case, I completely reject the notion that only
someone who has military experience should make the decision to go to
war. The people who should make that decision are our elected
representatives. I'll admit I was pleased that the Democrats had a
couple of bona fide military men running for president the last tiem
around (for all the good it did us), but I would never condition my
vote for president on the sole consideration of whether the candidate
has military experience. It's one of many factors to consider and
although it's usually a positive one (especially if we're talking
about bona fide military service, like Kerry's or Clark's, versus
phony pad-your-political-resume string-pulling military "service" like
Mark Sanford's), it's not the only one. As several Kos commenters
pointed out, FDR didn't have any military experience.

Getting back to the rise of the anti-military right, Digby speculates
that some right wingers are turning on the military because they blame
the military for failing to produce the expected result in Iraq, i.e.,
instant democracy and a grateful, flower-throwing Iraqi populace. I
respectfully disagree - I think these right wingers have demonstrated
for years that they will turn rabidly on anyone who fails to fall in
line with their agenda. Hence the vicious attacks on Kerry and Clark.
But it wouldn't surprise me one bit if, when things continue to
spiral downwards in Iraq, some wingers blame the military, along with
"the left" and the Iraqis themselves. They'll be pointing the finger
at everyone except those truly responsible for this debacle.

Drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay part II

This is what I said about Hitchens a few days ago.

This is what I would have said, if I were as eloquent as Publius.

Here's the "money quote," as Andrew Sullivan would so vulgarly put it:

Just to be clear, if we are unsuccessful in Iraq, the people to blame are the people who caused the war to happen, not the people who didn’t want it to happen. If we are unsuccessful, the leaders who executed the war are to blame, not the liberal groups who had exactly zero influence in the war planning and execution.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Art appreciation

Recently, one "Floyd Alvis Cooper" left a comment at The Poor Man that was, in my opinion, a work of art. Floyd wrote:

I know this isn’t going to popular on this website, but may I just point something out?

A soldier’s #1 job is to stay alive. If you die, you can’t accomplish the mission, and you weaken your team and put your buddies in danger.

Obviously Sheehan’s son, I forget his name at the moment, didn’t die on purpose, and he may well have have had no control over the circumstances that let to his death.


In war, there are no excuses. You find a way to stay alive, whatever it takes — if you’re a good soldier. Sheehan’s son didn’t do that. He paid the price. but he als failed the mission and let down his buddies.

As a soldier, he was a failure. He was brave (maybe), but he was also incompetent.

So, really, how much exactly are we supposed to grieve over this guy? Isn’t a certain amount of disapproval in order for the guy — and by extension his mom, for making such a fuss over a person who was, in the last analysis, by definition a loser?

So shouldn’t Mrs. Sheenhan be showing a little more shame about the situation and maybe not wanting to get her son and his shortcoming splashed all over the media?

Something to consider, anyway.

Not everyone appreciated Floyd's art. Lots of people, quite understandably, thought Floyd was a dead-serious wingnut. I however felt myself to be in the presence of a great talent.

The Editors of The Poor Man wrote a whole post about Floyd, in which The Editors recognized that Floyd is an artist but expressed a certain amount of disdain for his medium, trolling.

Me, I love a well-executed troll post, in part because they're so rare. Trolls abound on the Internet but 99% of them are dreadful, witless bores. Truly talented trolls, trolls of genius and artistry, are few and far between.

My favorite troll ever used to frequent ABC's message boards under various screen names, "Jed_Chalmers" and "Venus_Montgomery" being two of them. "Jed" was a GENIUS. A surrealist, he created whole series of posts that were works of art. I cut and pasted and saved a handful of them, but only a handful, alas. I didn't save the other posters' outraged and disgusted responses, which were in their own way just as funny as Jed's work. Anyway, here is a sample of Jed's art:

Author: Venus_Mongomery
Do others think Powell's small stature to be a hindrance to his performing his diplomatic mission. I have read a report that when the Egyptian representative saw how small Powell stood he started grinning and spoke to Powell in a most disrespectful manner. Later he was heard to refer to our Sect of State as a "runt" and "a mere child" because of his diminished stature (apparently between 4'8" and 5'2" from what I have been able to find).

Author: Venus_Mongomery
As an American I am very very ashamed by C.Gordin Powell's stature. This man is representing America and I see no purpose in sending something who is barely five foot tall around the globe to pursuade allies and foes that we are in this for the long duration. An Arab diplomat hit the nail on the head when he said "People who are tiny like Powell tire easy. Diminutive men like Powell should not be used to represent the interests of the US." I agree. I have even seen a homepage which states the man stands less than 5'. That's crazy.

Author: Venus_Mongomery
So everyone is telling me they care not that we send a 4 foot runt who's metal arms hang uselessly by his side out to represent this country? I for one am appalled and slackjawed by the circus freakshow atmosphere that attends this "general" whereever he goes. What is the point of heavy metal arms in any case? He can barely move them and just standing exhausts him so much he more often than not makes his entrance lying in a wheelbarrel gasping for air. His appearance in India last week made the Prime Ministers wife shriek with fright at his initial appearance. "He was like a little monster." the shocked woman cried. "A little monster with gleaming metal arms."

4. Subject: SAGER
Author: Venus_Mongomery
I am very interested in assessing the physical stature of individuals engaged in politics. From Senator Bruce Torrence (who barely stands one inch tall) to Jack Babs Babbett (PM of Tongo) who stands more than 11 foot tall. I am particularly interested in the use of metals in body composition because I myself have large parts of my body composed of metalic and ceramic substances.

5. Subject: ERZULIIE
Author: Venus_Mongomery
No wait just a minute. I'm not here to be insulted by the likes of you. It just so happens that I, like Powell, am comprised of materials that are both metal and ceramic. Several of my organs are made of a metallic substance (kidneys, liver, pancreas) and many of the bones in my hands are made of ceramic. My father, the Barron Jed Chalmers who lived in the Castle Brent in the French Districts on the West Bank did this to me. I resent it.

Author: Venus_Mongomery
My skeletal structure is comprised mostly of a shiney ceramic material. When I first became aware I found myself working in a farm field and considered myself to be a large large farm machine. Once, upon moving close to the river, I heard the unpleasant children of the Baron mocking me and saying "Look, look at the monsterous giant Father has made out of flesh, metal and clay." From that day on I have struggled to come to grips with two issues: physical height and material composition. I therefore find the tiny tiny runtish Powell and his metal arms quite interesting

7. Subject: TO: iSLAM666
Author: Venus_Mongomery
Dear Mr. Islam666 (though I doubt that is your true name). No I am not as famous as Powell nor am I as physically as small as the tiny 2 foot metal dwarf who basically sits motionless in a wheelbarrel. But you see I myself am physically freakish (I stand more than 15 foot tall) and am made of many many materials other than human flesh. The only consolation is that I can move, whereas Powell is one piece of metal with no moving parts. I once had a small child like that. I gave birth to my baby. It was made of metal. It moved a little but then it stopped and was still. I poked at it but it did not move. It did not make any noises. It just lay there. Finally I put it in a closet where it remains to this day. In Paris.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Here are all the funny conservative bloggers

Philly blogger Mithras asks "Where are all the funny conservative bloggers?"

Well, I found two: I've known Satan for years - we're like THIS - and he's one of the funniest writers I know, liberal or conservative. Of course, Satan is a conservative. What else would he be? Sadly, it's been many months since his last blog entry. I guess that grand jury investigation is keeping him pretty busy.

Velociman is also reliably funny. Don't tell me this didn't make you laugh. Come on. You laughed. Don't try to deny it.

Anybody know of any others? I'm open to suggestions . . .

New to the illustrious Rogue Planet blogroll

Grace Nearing's Scriptoids.

Because I like her blog, and because she has excellent taste.

What's wrong with being a carpenter?


Not only do they not have a sense of humor, they have no talent. And they're proud of it. Here we have Karl Rove's special Christian blowjob purveyor, Tim Goeglein, making the assertion that liberals choose different professions than conservatives because a couple of Democratic friends of his said at a dinner party that they wanted their kids to be writers or editors. He finds this surprising because his Republican friends want their children to be doctors, lawyers or businessmen.

Gee, what do Goeglein's friends have against carpenters, plumbers, and auto mechanics?

Michelle Malkin is a dreadful woman

As evidenced by posts like this. And by her book entitled "In Defense of Internment." She's not a nice woman, and her views and words deserve to be mocked, insulted, and vilified.

Still - at the risk of sounding like the liberal Humor Police recently taken to task by the Rude Pundit, I wish some of Malkin's critics would lay off the horribly sexist, racist language .

When Mithras said Malkin would "arrest herself for crossing a border," that was not racist; rather, it called attention to her own racism. And it was funny. But all those "Bangkok whore," "me so horny" cracks about her are puerile, stupid, and racist, playing on the most odious racist cliche about Asian women. I wish people would knock it off. If they can't be persuaded to stop saying those things because they're racist and wrong, maybe they could consider whether it's a good idea to let someone like Malkin portray herself as a victim.

(Yes, I admit that I myself am a racist in that I continue to believe that white people suck.)

That's all.

(Cross-posted at Distance blog)


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Check out the big brain on Brad

Perhaps you have heard it said that "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Some people are incapable of holding two non-opposing ideas in their minds at the same time, or at least they pretend to be. Case in point: Brad Warthen, who doesn't understand how one can support American troops while opposing the Iraq war - this is, he says, an "untenable stance." In fact, he doesn't just not get it, he sees supporting the troops by wanting to bring them home as "spitting on the graves of the 1,800 who have already given their lives."

Then, responding to a commenter, Mr. Warthen pretends not to understand how anyone could perceive his post as calling into question the patriotism of war opponents.

I wonder what Mr. Warthen thinks of the soldiers who want to come home? Maybe he thinks they, also, are "spitting on the graves" of their dead comrades. Or what would Warthen make of this soldier who, prior to returning to Iraq and being killed there in action, spoke in less-than-exalted terms of the war:

For anyone who's worried about the return of a military draft, Pellegrini was living proof that we already have one in George W. Bush's America. He desperately did not want to serve in the Persian Gulf.

He was just two weeks away from finishing up his six-year stint in the Guard when he was told that his tour of duty was being extended and that he would serve in Iraq for at least a year, maybe longer. The news could not have come at a worse time for Pellegrini. He was training for his first pro fight, newly engaged to be married, and settling into his job as a Philadelphia police officer, just like his dad.
Instead, he was ordered by his government to fight a war that he did not believe in.

He told us that the conflict in Iraq was "a so-called war" and that he saw U.S. troops as caught in an impossible situation.

Gee, would Mr. Warthen think that Mr. Pellegrini is spitting from beyond the grave on the graves of his fellows? Quite a feat.

Here are two more not-uncomplimentary concepts that Mr. Warthen seems to have trouble grasping: The idea that a person can be A) dead and B) a hero. I know Mr. Warthen is having trouble with that, because he spits on Pat Tillman's grave by characterizing him as a victim, not a hero:

Who get portrayed as heroes? Jessica Lynch and football star Pat Tillman — both victims. One was wounded and captured, the other killed by friendly fire.

In my book Tillman IS a hero, even if he didn't die falling on a grenade - he left a promising career to enlist and fight in a war he did believe in (Afghanistan). He didn't have to do it, but he did - he put himself on the line. But to Warthen, he's just a "victim."

Of course Jessica Lynch isn't dead, so I can't say that I see Mr. Warthen as spitting on her grave. He's just spitting in her face. If he's aware of her recent criticisms of the Pentagon (and he may not be; for a journalist, he seems remarkably uninformed - read his 10:54 a.m. comment), he'd probably spit harder.

You think I'm being too hard on him? I don't. When he accuses everyone who disagrees with you about this war of spitting on the graves of dead soldiers, he's sinking to Ann Coulter's level, and it's no saving grace that he prefaced his vile comment "I see it as."

How come a big chunk of space debris never falls out of the sky when you really need it?

Scriptoids gives us Katherine Harris discussing her run for the Senate.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay

Christopher Hitchens has a column up at Slate entitled Losing the Iraq War:
Can the left really want us to?

In it, he whines that left-leaning organizations aren't doing enough to help win the war against ee-ville. He wonders, "How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis . . .?"

I have two words for the useless sot: Marla Ruzicka. She bravely and tirelessly worked on behalf of individual Iraqi war victims. And when she got killed by a car bomb, this was the thanks she got from Hitchens's fellow war supporters.

More from Snitchens:

The United States is awash in human rights groups, feminist organizations, ecological foundations, and committees for the rights of minorities. How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East?

Here's a group supporting women's rights in Iraq:

NDI's program to strengthen women's political participation in Iraq is designed to foster an environment in which women are viewed as credible and effective leaders. The Institute works with political parties and civil society organizations in developing concrete, organic strategies for including women in political structures. NDI also continues to build a network for women political activists that provides a forum for assistance with an electronic newsletter which reaches across party lines and gives women the skills to present themselves as professional and competitive candidates. The Institute's workshops for female candidates has reached more than 200 women who were trained for the TNA and Governorate Council. As Iraqis engage in the drafting of the constitution and formation of a permanent government, NDI will continue to work with female members of the TNA and civil society to ensure constitutional gender equity

Why didn't Hitch mention NDI? Is it not "left" enough for him?

NDI is proud to draw on the traditions of the U.S. Democratic Party. While the Institute's identification with the Democratic Party enhances its standing throughout the world, NDI programs are nonpartisan, fostering universal values and supporting democratic processes rather than a particular party or ideology.

And here are some U.S. Senators supporting Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists:

Eleven women Senators sent a letter to President Bush yesterday expressing their concerns that the draft Iraqi constitution includes provisions that "may jeopardize the rights of Iraqi women." Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Hillary R. Clinton (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) cited recent comments by the United States Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, that the United States will work to guarantee equality in the new constitution in urging Bush to “continue to express our support for a constitution that would maintain rights for women and equality for all Iraqis.”

Just two weeks ago, approximately 200 women staged a protest in Baghdad to demand full equality in the new constitution. Activists have also met with constitutional committee members to lobby for women’s rights. The current draft constitution would allow Islam to play an important role in the making of civil law. While Shiite Muslim leaders are promoting a larger role for Islam, women’s rights groups express concerns about provisions that would take away rights they already enjoy, including inheritance and divorce rights for women. Iraqi activist Hanaa Edwar said, “We are a pluralistic society and this constitution will determine our future. It is crucial for us. We cannot allow it to move us backwards and make a mockery of conventions that Iraq has signed on human rights,” reports BBC News.

I dunno, maybe the Senators just aren't prominent enough to get Hitch's attention.

It's ironic that he's complaining about a perceived failure by women's organizations to step up to the plate as it looks increasingly like the end result of his pet war will be a constitution that diminishes women's rights in Iraq.

One might well ask why his war hawk buddies on the right don't mount a "huge voluntary effort" to save Iraq women from fundamentalist Islamic oppression, especially since it was this war that unleashed the fundamentalists in Iraq - an entirely foreseeable outcome for which the administration utterly failed to plan. I wonder what type of effort Hitchens has in mind, anyway? Seriously - exactly what he does he think these groups should DO, besides what they are already doing? Re-invade the country, oust the interim government, and install a new one?

Women's groups were anti-Taliban long before 9/11 - before being anti-Taliban was cool. What was Hitchens doing, besides getting drunk and railing against the evils of Mother Teresa and Bill Clinton? According to Hitchens's Wikipedia entry he was opposed to Islamic fundamentalism since Khomeini issued the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. I don't have Lexis-Nexis, so I can only wonder if he gave the Taliban one tenth the attention he gave the nefarious Mother Teresa.

Feh on Hitchens, anyway. Shorter Hitchens: "Why won't the left disarm the mines planted by the right?"

("Shorter" concept stolen from busybusybusy)


Monday, August 08, 2005

Right wingers: The new champions of political correctness

I'm kinda jealous of Mithras, a Philly blogger I'd never heard of until this post by him ignited a shitstorm of indignation among right wing bloggers. Entitled "A Conservative Blog Taxonomy," the post insultingly describes a handful of left wing blogs. Proving that they are just as capable of being humorless twits as any left wing speech-code enforcer, a lot of right wing bloggers got their panties in a total wad about the post, particularly Mithras's description of Michelle Malkin:

2. Michelle Malkin - Far-right affirmative action hire who is so bigoted she'd arrest herself for trying to cross a border. Famously published a book praising internment of Japanese-Americans that was (a) incoherent and (b) probably not written by her. If she didn't have tits, she'd be stuck writing at Townhall.com.

I thought that was kinda funny, especially the "arrest herself for trying to cross a border." But the fact that Mithras mentioned her race, albeit obliquely ("affirmative action hire," "arrest herself for trying to cross a border"), and her tits, greatly offended bloggers such as David Bernstein of the libertarian-ish The Volokh Conspiracy. Professor Bernstein (he's a law professor at George Mason) mischaracterizes Mithras's post - he says Mithras is attacking Malkin for being a woman of color, when Mithras is actually attacking her for being an unapologetic BIGOT. Personally, I thought the "arrest herself for trying to cross a border" bit was pretty damn funny, though I grant you the "tits" bit was crude (and yes, some of the comments I've seen on Atrios about Malkin have been appallingly, inexcusably racist - and I say that as someone who admits hating white people). But Professor Bernstein thought the comments were beyond the pale.

Professor Bernstein, by the way, is the author of of You Can't Say That! The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws (Cato Institute 2003). *

Oh, and in the comments to his Mithras post, Professor Bernstein says "Future comments that diverge into Malkin-hating or loving will be deleted." Apparently there are a lot of things You Can't Say in Volokh land.

(Mithras apologizes for his political incorrectnesshere)

UPDATE: Because I'm fair and balanced, here's the Rude Pundit taking left wing scolds to task.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

War, after all

Via Atrios, Bush declares war on phrases that fail to sufficiently convey the martial nature of the global conflict against people who should be called "terrorists," not "violent extremists."

GRAPEVINE, Tex., Aug. 3 - President Bush publicly overruled some of his top advisers on Wednesday in a debate about what to call the conflict with Islamic extremists, saying, "Make no mistake about it, we are at war. Now watch this drive."


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

"It is entirely possible that the door fell open after making contact with my foot"

Oh, OK, he admits to deliberately kicking the door open. It's the physical altercation with the ex-fiancee where things get confusing.

Will Folks, Governor Sanford's former spokesman (shortly before this incident Folk had announced he would be leaving his post as spokesman on Aug. 1), was arrested on charges of criminal domestic violence after an incident at the house he and his ex-fiancee shared. The story made the big time media (i.e., tbogg).

Mr. Folks has decided to plead guilty, but before doing so, he wrote this editorial giving his side of the story; it appeared in the August 3 edition of The State.

At first, Mr. Folks said, he declined to comment on the allegations, partly on the advice of his family and lawyers, and partly because he "didn’t want to give the appearance of abusing [his] relationships with members of the media for personal gain."

Then he said, "To heck with that," and called member of the media Brad Warthen (The State's editorial page editor) and asked him to publish Folks's side of the story. Which Mr. Warthen did. An excerpt:

On the morning of July 22, I awoke at the home I shared with my former fiancee, took a shower and dressed for work. At around 8:30 a.m., before I’d gathered my belongings to depart for the office, a verbal argument ensued between the two of us that ended with her demanding that I leave our home. Seconds later, in walking to my car, I realized that my work bag, cell phone and cell phone bag were still inside.

I turned around and tried to re-enter our home, but discovered it had been locked with a chain. After repeatedly asking my former fiancee to open the front door, I did take the regrettable step of kicking it in. I shouldn’t have done it, but I was running late for work and felt it was completely unreasonable to be locked out of a home where I pay half the mortgage.

After retrieving what I needed from my office upstairs, I tried to leave the house again, only to find my former fiancee physically blocking the door from my office to our hallway. Much like a football player who makes a fake to avoid being tackled, I was successful in getting around her without significant contact. Quickly, however, she slid back in front of me and physically blocked me again, this time preventing me from descending our staircase.

Here is where our stories split. All I remember was that I made another move to try to pass by her and get out of the house. In making that move, it is entirely possible that I might have shoved her arm off my chest in an effort to loosen her grip so that I could move forward. She remembers it differently, and I am perfectly willing to admit that as I was trying to get her to let go of me, she may have lost her balance or been knocked off balance with sufficient momentum to cause a fall. Whatever happened, I know for a fact that I did not intentionally grab or shove her so as to cause her to fall.

I never set out to deliberately hurt anyone. What happened at our home that morning was an accident, not an attack. I don’t have a violent bone in my body, and everyone who knows me and has worked with me all these years will tell you that. Sure, I’m aggressive when it comes to my job, but when it comes to physical violence — it’s just not who I am.

Ooh, that doesn't look so good, does it? Folks should have listened to his lawyers. And his dad.

The story is kinda sad, and banal. If Folks wasn't Sanford's former spokesman, it'd never have made the news at all. But Warthen thought it was newsworthy, as he explains in his blog:

How often do you get a piece that gives readers a direct look into the thinking of a man charged with domestic violence? How often do you get such a piece from the governor's ex-spokesman? The short answer to that is, "Never." So on the basis of news value alone, it was an easy decision.

Warthen also tells what what he cut out of Folks's piece and why.

Here come the Christ-o-crats

USA Today has an article about a network of ultra-conservative, politically active Christian pastors who aim to turn the United States into a theocracy *:

CANTON, Ohio — Pastor Russell Johnson paces across the broad stage as he decries the "secular jihadists" who have "hijacked" America, accuses the public schools of neglecting to teach that Hitler was "an avid evolutionist" and links abortion to children who murder their parents.

"It's time for the church to get a spinal column" and push the "seculars and the jihadists ... into the dust bin of history," the guest preacher tells a congregation that fills the sanctuary at First Christian Church of Canton.

That is his mission. Johnson leads the Ohio Restoration Project, an emergent network of nearly 1,000 "Patriot Pastors" from conservative churches across the state. Each has pledged to register 300 "values voters," adding hundreds of thousands of like-minded citizens to the electorate who "would be salt and light for America."

And, perhaps, help elect a fellow Christian conservative, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, as governor next year. That has alarmed some establishment Republicans who back rival contenders and warn that an assertive Christian right campaign could repel moderate voters the party needs.

Evangelical Christian leaders nationwide have been emboldened by their role in re-electing President Bush and galvanized by their success in campaigning for constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage, passed in 18 states so far.
Now some are organizing to build on last year's successes. They want to solidify their role in setting the political agenda and electing sympathetic public officials.

Their top issues are, according to this article, abortion and gay marriage. You know - Jesus's two pet peeves. He denounced abortion and gay marriage constantly.

Anyway: If you think "Christ-o-crat" is some dismissive term I invented for these people, think again: It's what some of them call themselves:

"I like to say I'm not a Republican or a Democrat, I'm a Christ-o-crat," declares Pastor Rod Parsley, a supporter of the Ohio Restoration Project and head of a similar venture called Ohio Reformation.

"Party of God" was, of course, already taken.

* That's MY characterization, of course, not USA Today's.

(Cross-posted at Distance Blog)

Look, it's not like we're at WAR or anything

Struggle, yes
. War, no.

Peter, Cabana Boy in residence at Blondesense, is a typical lie-beral - angry and bitter over President Bush's taking a hard-earned vacation. Bush is fixin' to set a record for most vacation by an American president during his presidency.

Bush works hard, incredibly hard, and I for one don't begrudge him a minute of his vacation. Why shouldn't the man take a break? It's not like this Iraq freedom thing needs his attention. Everything's under control there. Besides, as Peter himself is forced to admit, there's a good possibility Bush is not really missed in D.C. Let's face it, they probably get a lot more accomplished without Dumbya all underfoot - wanting to be read to, asking for the blue crayon, pitching temper tantrums, needing his diapers changed, etc.

Update: Oops. My bad. We ARE at war. Bush says so. And he's the commander, see? So what he says goes. And what he says is WAR.

Via Michael Miller at Public Domain Progress, Allen Bisbort makes the flip side of Albert Mohler's "you're immoral if you don't breed" assertion:

Like the roaring waves that flop onto the Atlantic shore, I was hit repeatedly in the head by one single overriding observation on my vacation: The American family is getting bigger.

By "bigger," I don't just mean wider -- statistics on childhood obesity are available to anyone who has the courage to look at them. All I seemed to see for four days were little fatties in American flag T-shirts and American flag trucks, chomping on burgers and donuts, sucking down Big Gulps, squatting in the sand or any available resting spot, chatting on cellphones. The American parents, too, waddled listlessly about, stopping now and again to catch wheezing lungs full of humid air and make endless calls back to the mainland to check on ... what? Business deals? The dog's progress at canine camp? They may as well have had a ball and chain attached to their wrists.

American families are, as the teenage girl suggested, bigger in another respect. There are more of them. Where did all these kids come from?! Four, five and six spill out of the same motel room, descending on the breakfast buffet and motel swimming pool like swarms of locusts. Just as America has collectively said "screw global warming" as they climb into gas-guzzling SUVs (with requisite "Support The Troops" ribbon), we've also collectively said, "screw smaller families."

As Joy Williams put it in her extravagantly nasty essay, "The Case Against Babies," "While legions of other biological life forms go extinct, human life bustles self-importantly on. Those babies just keep coming! They've gone way beyond being 'God's gift'; they've become entitlements."


I had several scathingly brilliant posts ready to go last night, but I couldn't get online because I, uh, forgot to pay the cable bill. Geez, Time Warner is so GREEDY . . .


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