" /> A Small Victory: March 2004 Archives

« February 2004 | Main | April 2004 »

March 31, 2004

Tonight's Moment of Zen

I seriously think everyone should do this, every night. It's good for you. [click for bigger] You can find Izzy and other photos over at the gallery.

You taste better now than you did back then

My list of Five Songs will have to wait until tomorrow morning. It's not I'm too busy to put it up (I am working on putting a new set of photos in the gallery and deciding on tonight's Zen picture), but I just can't narrow the list down to five. I should have made it ten. Anyhow, I thought I would pick out my favorite list so far from those who posted. Ryan gets the nod with this list: bq. Girls - Beastie Boys Candy Girl - New Edition Kick Start My Heart - Motley Crue The Way you Look Tonite - Sinatra Sympathy for The Devil - Jane's Addiction Simply because he is man enough to admit that he listens to New Edition. They ruled! Really. Them and Bel Biv Devoe. Total 80's. Go post yours if you haven't already. And be honest, like Ryan.

now and later

I'm done ranting. I swear. I just needed to get that out of my system. I'm going to have a nice cup of herbal tea (Raspberry Zinger with a slice of lemon) and help the kids with some school projects. I am trying to find some zen in this day. Hell, in this week. Month. Year. Don't forget to go over and join the Five Songs party. I'll be posting my own Five Songs here a little later tonight. They are not the same as I posted over at Dodd's two years ago. In fact, only one on that list remains today. Some of you might even be able to guess which one. Zen. Zen. Zen. Update: Almost forgot! Go read the April Fool's edition of the CotV. Lots of blogging goodness and some foolery fun.

same rant, different day

Listen up. Fallujah has always been a hotbed of anti-Americansim. Most of the Sunni triangle were Saddam's favored people. They worshiped him, followed his orders, acted on his behalf. And, just like the Palestinians, they raised their children in the same fashion. It did not take a war for them to hate us. They have hated us for a long time, and they did so at the prodding of Saddam and his regime. They were rewarded by being protected. Go look it up. It's all around you, if you care to take a look. Like I said previously, the people who committed these horrible acts today were not your everyday Iraqis. They are, in fact, the evil we came to wipe out. They are just an extension of Saddam, doing his bidding even though he is not there to call to them. But they know. They know by heart what Saddam would be saying to them now: Kill the Americans. Make them hurt. They are not the people we are trying to liberate. They are not people who give a rat's ass about democracy. They are the enemy. They are Saddam. In order to restore peace and bring democracy to Iraq, they must be contained. I'm sickened by the people who are saying that Americans deserve this treatment because we killed Iraqi babies and raped their wives and burned their oil fields and probably stole all their food and ate their cattle. Regardless of what nationality the victims were or if they were independent contractors or employees of the United States government, they were victims of a brutal crime and now their families are victims of the heinous acts that followed. Yet you sit there in your comfortable chair in a democratic world, screaming for the troops to pull out of Iraq and just leave them there, stranded halway between oppression and freedom. You play your moral equivalancy card or you start up with your theories claiming that the Bush administration are may have staged this - just like everything else bad that happens in the world - in order to get "the Bushies" in a rage that will lead to Bush activism. How it must suck to be you, to spend your days trying to spin and turn every phrase, every action into a negative story. The hatred you carry around is a disease. You want bio-terrorism? What do you think happens when you spread that disease around? It certainly doesn't make for peace, does it? I mean, isn't that what you're about? Peace? And don't think that our enemies don't know what you're up to. They revel in your hatred and negativity. They take it a sign that they are winning, that eventually they will be able to just waltz right in here and blow shit up. Guess what? You'll be dead as well and the last thing I will do will be to thank you for all that you did to embolden our enemies. Please, if you can't let your hatred for George Bush and America go for just one minute - if you can't bring yourself to feel some sympathy for the men that was burned and mutilated today then just shut the fuck up. Your words are poison.

Parts of a Whole

January, 1973. Ten years old. I was standing by the front door with my parents - I believe it was early evening, could have been a little later than that. My father was holding the door open, my mother was next to him and I was in front of them, just outside the door, hopping from foot to foot because it was cold out and I had on socks, but no shoes. Funny what we remember, isn't it? My father was flicking the porch light on and off. As we looked down the block, we could see most of our neighbors doing the same. Someone was beeping a car horn, long and short beeps that sounded like morse code. We stood there in flicker light, amid short bursts of cheers and a few firecrackers from our surrounding neighbors. Then we shut the door against the cold and the noise and sat down to watch the news. The Vietnam war had all but ended. I probably didn't know what a ceasfire meant at that age; I wasn't even sure what the war was about. I just knew it caused a lot of turmoil, rage and worry. I knew that my cousin protested the war every night, much to the worry of my aunt. I knew that the nightly news upset my parents. I knew that a lot of people had died. So it was with much relief that I greeted the end of the war. There were other moments like that in my life, ones that I remember with just as much clarity; putting yellow ribbons around our trees at the start of the first Gulf War and watching all my neighbors do the same, or staring out of the window of my high school at the busy road, cars streaming past with their headlights on even though it was broad daylight on a clear day. It was something started by a local radio host - everyone drive with your headlights on for the hostages in Iran. One kid in my class that day - I believe it was English Lit - asked our teacher what the purpose of doing such a thing was. His exact words were "What's the point? It's not like the hostages can see us." The teacher (I wish I could remember his name) replied that it wasn't for the hostages as much as it was for us - the people who were watching the hostage drama unfold. He said, We want to be a part of something bigger than us because it makes us feel less helpless in a situation like this. We can't really do anything for the hostages, but we can do something for ourselves. We can be united, and that gives us strength, and perhaps it will give the families of the hostages strength as well. Paraphrased, of course. My memory isn't that good. Fast forward to 2001. September 12th, to be exact. The Day After. It was late, maybe around 9pm. I went to the store for milk or bread or something mundane like that. After I left the parking lot of the store, something compelled me to drive around. Aimlessly, I drove. Down main streets, side streets, past strip malls and houses and the elementary school. There were people out, in large numbers. They stood on sidewalks, sat on curbs, hung out on their porches or gathered in the schoolyard. They had flags and they had candles. They sang, they talked, they hugged. I was still ensared in the liberal net at that point. Admiteddly, I was no great patriot. But the site of all those flags waving made me feel something I had not felt in a long time. Pride. Pride in my country and its people. I got out of my car by the school, but stood off to the side. I watched for a little while as an elderly man led a prayer amid a circle of people holding candles. A few minutes later, I headed home. Almost every house I passed had candles out at the curb. All kinds of candles set out by the street so that the whole block was glowing with the flickering of the flames. When I got home, I found some candles and put them outside by the street. I brought the kids outside and we lit the candles and said a prayer. There's nothing like 3,000 people killed in a terrorist attack to make an atheist pray. The kids went in and I sat on the grass for a while, staring at all the candles, watching my neighbor's flag sway in the wind. I felt part of something. Part of a whole. For the next few days America was that whole. We were together, we were strong. Even while we cried and mourned, we had strength and resolve. We were all in this together and while the candlelight vigils could do nothing to turn the clock back to September 10th, they at least gave us hands to hold. So what happened? When did we slip away from that great togetherness and split into fractions? I don't remember it happening all at once - it must have been a slow process, like ice breaking away from a glacier. I suppose this is why both sides of 9/11 - the September 10th side and the September 12th side, are so strong willed in their fight to be right. We each belong to part of a whole, and for most of us, that's an important thing to be. In much the same way people join fan clubs or go to Star Trek conventions or join book groups, it's because it makes us feel less alone. To feel alone is to feel helpless, sometimes weak. So we pound our stake in the ground of the side we've chosen, put out our sign and shout and holler with the rest. If we've reached a fever pitch, it's because we each feel the frightening scenario of our side losing coming closer. What happens when we are on the losing side? Our ranks thin, our circles of candle-holding friends gets smaller and we stop feeling like part of a whole. We become shards of glass. So each of us - whether you are on the left or on the right - fights like hell to keep that togetherness within the group. We fight because being part of something is the only way we can feel as if we are doing something to make ourselves heard; if turning on your car lights or tying ribbons or chanting slogans are the only way we can stop ourselves from feeling helpless, we do it. I miss those post 9/11 days when we were all, for the most part, in the same circle. I thought it was clear back then the we all had a common enemy and that enemy was not ourselves, not America. We've made enemies of each other now, and while we are busy fighting each other, our real enemies laugh at us and know that to divide is to conquer.

four more years!

Happy Anniversary to you Happy Anniversary to you Happy fourth blogging anniversary to one of the most kick ass people I ever had the pleasure of meeting and whose site causes my retinas to burn with orange and pink flames.............. Happy Anniversary Faithiepoo!

blame

A mob of "insurgents" in Iraq surrounded a military vehicle, set it on fire and then dragged the corpses of the five or six foreign nationals out of the truck, poked them with sticks and dragged them around, all the while cheering. Sick? Yes, indeed. It's horrible, it's terrifying, it's sad and it's gut wrenching, especially when you see the photos. Even sadder are the people who just can't wait to place the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of George Bush, Halliburton, the VRWC and all the other usual suspects. The monsters who committed this atrocity are not your ordinary Iraqi townspeople who have been so frustrated by the "occupation" that they are turning into cold blooded murderers. The Iraqis who did this are the ones we were fighting against to begin with. They are Saddam's legacy, men bent on hatred, destruction and death. They hated Americans long before this war started, long before Bush came into office or Halliburton became a household name. They are people who have been steeped in violence since they were young, men who grew up with machine guns on their shoulder and hatred in their hearts. They are the ones who tortured prisoners, raped young women, worked the death squads and carried out their leader's wishes. They are the ones who believe that their religion gives them the right to hate and kill. They are the fruit of Saddam and his regime and the Americans, Tony Blair or the war are no more to blame for their crimes than you are. If anything, their actions should be proof that we have to stay in Iraq to finish what we started. We cannot let these people who held the power before we got there to regain that power. Some people have an awful lot to learn about placing blame. Whether it's planes crashing into buildings, suicide bombs in Israel, Bush supporters getting beat on or soldiers being killed, the victims are not to blame. It's the people who perpetrate the acts that need to have fingers pointed at, not the victims of the acts. Update: I've been thinking about this a little more and I wonder if the presence of the Reuters crew had anything to do with the "celebration." Apparently, they filmed the whole thing. How "fortunate" that they were there right at that time. All in the name of news, I guess. animals.jpg bq. Children point to a body part, tied to a brick and hanging from a telephone cable, after an attack in the restive town of Falluja March 31, 2004. A crowd of cheering Iraqis dragged charred and mutilated bodies through the streets of Falluja on Wednesday after an attack on two vehicles that witnesses said killed at least three foreigners. Photo by Ali Jasim/Reuters Reminds me of Palestinian Child Abuse.

Reviving the SQotD with the FSYCLW

quest.jpgThe Sporadic Question of the Day has returned. This time, I've taken someone else's idea from long ago and revived it. So, by way of Dodd circa 2001, I invite you to go make your contribution to the the Five Songs list thingie. Five Songs You Can't Live Without Oh, look at this! The Yanks are leading 12-1. Guess that whole "Yankees suck" thing will be short lived. Hah.

Comment-ary

New comment policy for ASV:

If I deem that you are being an asshole, I will delete your comment. My definition of "being an asshole" varies from post to post. I owe you no explanation if your comment is deleted. I owe you no explanation if you have been banned from commenting. If you email me asking why you have been banned or your comment has been deleted, I will delete your email. If you've been reading this site for any amount of time, I'm sure you'll be able to figure out on your own how you have pissed me off.

If you find your comment has been replaced with the following image (or a similar image, depending on the circumstance), consider that your first and only warning.

bunnysuck.gif

March 30, 2004

Tonight's Moment of Zen

Yes, I'm going to do this every night. Maybe. [click for bigger] Put some new photos up at Pictures of You.

Let it be Written

Let it be done. The Messiah is here and his name is Reverend Moon. bq. The five great saints and many other leaders in the spirit world, including even Communist leaders such as Marx and Lenin, who committed all manner of barbarity and murders on earth, and dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons. Emperors, kings and presidents who enjoyed opulence and power on earth, and even journalists who had worldwide fame, have now placed themselves at the forefront of the column of the true love revolution. Together they have sent to earth a resolution expressing their determination in the light of my teaching of the true family ideal. They have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent. This resolution has been announced on every corner of the globe. This is great news because it ties in with something I was thinking about today (stay with me here, I'll get to the Messiah part eventually). I spent a good portion of my day staring into space and thinking about Alien v. Predator. Well, not so much Alien v. Predator my thoughts ran more along the lines of coming up with a whole genre of "VS "movies. Sure, they've already done Freddy v. Jason, but that just sucked. Who wants to see two ancient villians fight it out for one last grasp at some box office money? What we need is films with real characters. But they can't just be any historical figures that you pull out of hat. No, they have to have something on the line. You can't just have Voltaire v. Teddy Roosevelt and expect people to pay money to see it. Well, the more I thought about that, the more I realized it was just a foolish idea, because everyone knows the greatest VS movie ever has already been made. And that would be Godzilla v. Mothra. So I took the idea to another level. What if we staged real battles? None of this actors and make-up and special effects crap. Real, fight to the (not quite) death battles. Think of how this would help the economy grow. I've created thousands of jobs right there! Managers, booking agents, promoters, popcorn sellers, program writers - it would be a boon to America! Which is where the Reverend Moon comes in. See, I have a feeling that Jesus is none too happy with the Reverend's announcement. (I'm sure there are a few other people feeling just a little pissed off, like Allah, maybe Moses or King David or Little Buddah, or a host of other Messiahs. Techinically, even Buffy is a messiah). So all of the above leads me to the final conclusion of today's thought: Who would win in a fight? Jesus or Reverend Moon? And would you watch it on Pay-per-View for, say, $25? Just asking.

1976, Stephen Green and Rockets Red Glare

Incredibly busy day at work here today, hence the light blogging. I did want to drop in to tell you about the dream I had last night. I was driving in a car with Stephen Green when I turned to him and said "Since 1976, I've been worried about them destroying our infrastructure." At that point, rockets started falling from the sky, blowing up highways and train tracks. Stephen looked at me and said "Hey, you remember the gas shortage in the 70's and waiting on those lines? "Yes, I do." "Won't matter if there's another gas shortage what with no roads and all." There were several other people in the car, none of whom I recognized. But they were all wearing red, white and blue shirts that had iron-on decals that said 1976 in a real groovy font. What was very cool about this dream is that it was in black and white. I have never, ever dreamed in anything but color. It felt very Wizard of Oz-ish. At one point I asked Stephen if he was going to blog about the rockets or should I? Anyhow, back to work.

The Tuesday WTF: Condi Edition

I'm going to sue the Dems and the rest of the left for whiplash. Let's see - just yesterday they were screaming that Condi should testify, and screaming loud. Now that the White House has agreed to let her testify, this is what I've found on left blogs and Dem sites: * It really doesn't matter if she testifies or not * She's just going to lie, so why bother * The White House is flip flopping * This is all some kind of Vast Right Wing Conspiracy * Who cares? * It was a plan by Bush to begin with to have it turn out this way * This means the CNN poll was a big lie WTF people? You want her to testify, then when she does you find something else to complain about. My head is going to explode. I need to read some comics. Update: Well, who knew? It was all about a book deal.

Testify!

Breaking on CNN and Fox: White House will allow Condoleezza Rice to testify publicly under oath before 9/11 commission, a senior administration official tells CNN. Call me crazy, but I think this is the worst thing that could happen to the Democrats.

I've Got Two Words For You

playball.jpg

Play Ball!

Some things are worth getting up at 5am for. Update: Well, that sucked. If that game is a harbinger of the season ahead, I am going to be one cranky bitch for the foreseeable future.

Sorry Seems to be the Hottest Word

Looks like apologies are in vogue. bq. While the major media, from The New York Times on down, has largely remained silent about their own failings in [reporting on the war], a young columnist for a small paper in Fredericksburg, Va., has stepped forward. For a second, my heart stops. A reporter is going to apologize for the media's one-sided, bad news only coverage of the war? I just may faint. Well, that was too good to be true.
"The media are finished with their big blowouts on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and there is one thing they forgot to say: We're sorry," Rick Mercier wrote, in a column published Sunday in The Free Lance-Star. "Sorry we let unsubstantiated claims drive our coverage. Sorry we were dismissive of experts who disputed White House charges against Iraq. Sorry we let a band of self-serving Iraqi defectors make fools of us. Sorry we fell for Colin Powell's performance at the United Nations. Sorry we couldn't bring ourselves to hold the administration's feet to the fire before the war, when it really mattered. "Maybe we'll do a better job next war." Mercier admitted that it was "absurd to receive this apology from a person so low in the media hierarchy. You really ought to be getting it from the editors and reporters at the agenda-setting publications, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post."
I must respond to Mr. Mercier: Perhaps because you are young, you still have that tiny shred of idealism that usually disappears by age 30 or so. Or perhaps you have been swayed by too many readings of Noam Chomsky columns. Or perhaps you were swayed by Mr. Apology himself, Richard Clarke. Following a trend, maybe? Insincere mea culpas are the new black, I suppose. But here's the main thing that bothers me: your list of reasons to be sorry seem borne out of some alternate reality; perhaps a bizzaro world where the media doesn't question the administration, write negative articles or dig for dirt when they are standing on cement. I've just spent some time looking back at news articles from the past year, and it seems to me that most of the media concentrated on the bad things going on; the lack of WMDs, the slow hunt for Osama, the death toll, the despair of the Iraqi people and so on. Judging from the hundreds upon hundreds of news stories spanning the last twelve months, what the media needs to apologize for is misleading the public into the thinking this war reached quagmire status about twelve hours in. Even when good things did happen - for instance, the day that Baghdad fell and the statue was toppled - the media put a negative slant on every report. They tried to tell us that the statue toppling was set up. They tried to tell us that Iraqis hated us, yet there were Iraqi bloggers popping up all over the place telling us the opposite. I could go on with many examples, the most glaring of which are the exagerrated body counts and the comparisons to Vietnam, but I think I've made my point. The media should be sorry. They should apologize to the coalition soldiers from other countries who are made to feel insignificant when the media calls this war unilateral. They should apologize for the swarming coverage of anti-war protests and the complete lack of coverage of rallies for the troops. They should apologize for going out of their way to find negative statistics when good things like rebuilt schools and hospitals were staring them in the face. They should apologize for pretending as if the freedom of the Iraqi people was inconsequential given that no WMDs have yet to be found. I really like that snide little comment about the "next war" that you managed to insert in there. That lets me know what side of this war you are on, giving your credibility on this issue a zero balance. So, Mr. Mercier, your apology is worthless. I will, however, forward it to a bunch of Iraqi soldiers I know to see how they feel about it. In fact, I'll forward it to all the Iraqi bloggers who have spent quite a bit of time thanking the American troops and President Bush. I'm sure the soldiers in particular will be thrilled to know that in Fredricksburg, Va., there is a small time reporter who thinks the media should have done even more to turn this country against them and make their job even more difficult than it is. Speaking strictly for myself, I would like you to take the paper your apology was written on and stick it up your ass. Thank you.

March 29, 2004

limericks and pictures

If you haven't read all the Yassin limericks, go now. Put your drinks down first. Thanks for all the name suggestions for the photoblog. I went with my own, which is not a very exciting or clever name, but one I really like nonetheless. And that's my sister's eye in the graphic.

your moment of zen

Ending the night on a mellow note. [click for bigger]

It's Limerick Time! (Dead Terrorist Edition)

Yes, again. Another ASV limerick contest is upon us. You'll like this one. Allah today linked to this article about some lovely songs that are all the rage for Palestinians mourning the death of their beloved Sheik Yassin. Oh, those wacky Palestinians! What will they think of next? Sonnets for Arafat? Concertos for Hamas? One of the songs has the endearing name of There Once Was a Fighter for Palestine: "The song describes Yassin's assassination from the time he left the mosque in the morning and details his struggle on behalf of the Palestinians." Well, you know I just couldn't resist. That song title is just crying out loud for a limerick to be made. You know what to do. The limerick must start with the line There Once Was a Fighter for Palestine. I know, I know. It doesn't really follow proper limerick protocol, but just go with it. We'll call it poetic license.

Symbolism

I had a very disturbing incident happen this weekend. If I take any lesson from it, it's that we should never try to shield our children from the uglier things in life, because they must have the ability to recognize such things as being ugly. Saturday morning, DJ was busy at the computer, working on his Neopets Guild layout. If you don't know how to make such a layout, there are other Neopets users who will share their code with you, and all you have to do is change a few lines here and there to substitute your words for therirs. Basically, they are lending you their design. So DJ, having experienced too much frustration in trying to make his own layout, decided to ask one of his Neopet buddies for a layout. The buddy (known only through AIM and Neopets) happily agrees and sends DJ the needed code. About twenty minutes after DJ plugs the code for the new design into his layout, he comes into the living room where I am sitting, looking very disturbed. "Mom, some guy just IMd me and said that I have to take my layout down because he's Jewish and it offends him." "What's on your layout?" "A cross." Well, that doesn't seem right to me. So I tell DJ to tell the person that he doesn't have to join the guild if he doesn't like DJ's use of a religious symbol. DJ does that. He comes back five minutes later, tears in his eyes. "Mom, the kid says he's going to report me if I don't take it down. I don't understand!" So I get up and go into the kitchen, where DJ's computer is. I ask him to show me the layout. He does. I can actually feel my face turn white. There, on DJ's layout, is on Iron Cross with a swastika embedded on it. I think I panicked. "Take it down. Right now. Down. Take. It. Down." DJ looks both confused and scared. He immediately erases the entire code, sensing my alarm. "What is it, mom?" "You don't know what a swastika is?" "A what?" "A swastika?" "No, I don't know! I swear, I don't know if it's bad or not, I just wanted to use it 'cause the red and black matched the rest of my guild!" He's starting to cry now. I briefly explain to him what the swastika represents. He is well aware of the Holocaust and of Hitler, but for some reason, the swastika was never brought up during history lessons at school. Meanwhile, the other kid is IMing him at frantic pace, telling him that he's going to get DJ's Neopets account taken away and that if DJ doesn't take the picture down, it's a hate crime. I get on AIM and start talking to the kid, who seems to be older than DJ, maybe in his early teens. I explain that DJ had no idea what the swastika represented, that he's very sorry. The kid relents a little, but I can tell he's still mad. The kid's father gets on AIM and tells me that they immigrated here from Israel about ten years ago. I exlpain over again about DJ's ignorance of the symbol, and I feel horrible that my son did not know. He should have known. The father is very understanding, very nice. He checks and sees that DJ has taken the offending graphic down and assures me that he will not report my son to Neopets. Then we both realize that the person who sent DJ this graphic not only has it on his own guild, but stores the image on Neopets. The father agrees to be the one to report the kid to Neopets. That part of the ordeal over, I approach DJ, who is now in his room, still crying. He feels so guilty that he upset this kid and his father, and very guilty that he had that symbol of hate on his site. Was it my duty to teach him what a swastika is? I just assumed that they would go over these things in class as part of history. After all, history is filled with probably more bad things than good. It's not like you sit the kids around the table one night and say, well, now that we've told you about date rape and dirty syringes, we'll show the hate symbols of the past. How do you bring this stuff up out of nowhere? At least in schools, they would teach it in the context of a history lesson, which I just assumed was happening. Even when we did talk about Hitler or the Holocaust at home, I never bothered showing him a swastika I felt that he just didn't need to know about it. How wrong I was. Knowledge is power. Had DJ been able to recognize the symbol when he first saw it, he would have never put it on his site and he would have reported the kid who sent it to him right away. I wonder how many other things I've not bothered to tell my kids about will end up costing them in the future? I certainly can't depend on the public school system to teach them everything; that's apparent by the textbooks they bring home each year. History has been whitewashed. Well, lesson learned, I suppose. The hard way, of course, but not many lessons are learned the easy way.

Monday Morning Malaise

So, wouldn't this be about the time that a great flood comes, wipes everything out save for a couple of people and animals, and we start over?

March 28, 2004

WTF? What is wrong with you people?

Scooby Doo 2 debuts at #1. I swear to jeebus, if Garfield the Movie hits #1 at the box office, I will track down each and every one of you who spend money to see it and force feed you lasagna until you puke your black souls out. Do you know that they are making a movie version of Strangers With Candy? That had to be the worst show ever aired on Comedy Central and that includes Mad TV. To make matters worse, it will star Sarah Jessica Parker, whose rise to stardom I still cannot understand. There are a lot of things in this world I don't understand, folks. I don't understand the popularity of America's Funniest Home Videos. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that a precocious little girl pushing her baby brother down the stairs is something to laugh at. What kind of parent stands there videotaping while their kid's head is stuck in the toilet bowl? And I really, really do notunderstand The Swan, the people who came up with the idea and the people who agreed to be on it. It's just ten different shades of wrong and gives credence to the crusaders who say our the moralf fiber of our society is slowly crumbling. The one thing I do understand is that a flying crocodile beats a flying sharkevery time.

Hey...

I need a name for the Photoblog. Can't come up with a neat design or logo until I have a good name.

almost there....

godz0328.jpg Go, go Godzilla! Less than two weeks. I can almost smell the peanuts and cracker jacks.

They're right about Gattaca

I'm busy tweaking and adding to the new photo gallery. Plus, I'm in one of those "I don't have anything nice to say, so I'm not going to say it" moods. Trust me, you're better off. So, I'm sure you've all seen this link already - it's been in my link dump file for about a week. I just haven't had time to blog it what with my spending every waking moment being a "hateful, slimy warmnonger" and "an ingnorant bitch who probably fucks clowns." Really, no idea what that insult means, but I found it rather amusing. Anyhow, the linked article is about movies that don't get the love they deserve. You know, those movies that you watch 100 times and everybody thinks you must be retarded to hold Toxic Avenger is such high regard. Not for nothing, but there's some real shit on that list. But whoever compiled that list more than makes up for it with the inclusion of one of the greatest movies ever made, The Last Boy Scout. Don't even argue with me on that one - I won't listen. I'm actually going to review the entire list later on, because it's Sunday and I'm a lazy shit and I'm tired of packing. Right now, I'm going back to the photo sorting and whatnot. Come visit if you get a chance. And it wouldn't hurt you to leave a comment. But your job (because I just love to hand out jobs) is to stay right here and list the movies that you believe are underappreciated. Feel free to elaborate on your choices.

March 27, 2004

Fun with Photos

I've been wanting to install some kind of photo gallery software on the site forever. It's only today I realized that Hosting Matters will do this for you. It was on my C-Panel the whole time, just waiting for me to click the button. So click I did. And in under a minute, I had a photo gallery. Just another reason to love Hosting Matters. I just started uploading the first of about 2,000 photos. You can start here with my pics from when I went to Ground Zero. There are a couple of pics here of David's soccer game today. Let me tell you, watching three year olds playing soccer has to be the best way to forget all the crap going on in the world. Cutest thing ever. Come visit my gallery opening!

the left redefines the word "victim"

I've seen some ridiculous defenses of the union guys who beat on Matt Margolis and his brother, but this one gets filed under "Are you fucking kidding me?" bq. You have this little smart ass college kid with too much time and money on his hands, all dewy-eyed because his hero, the Great Deceiver in Chief is in town and he gets in the face of burly blue collar worker who is struggling to meet his mortgage because of Bush's economic policies. What did they expect? That the union guy was going to thank this spoiled brat, whose parents are probably still paying his bills, for his input? And further down: bq. Margolis, enjoying the privilege of an expensive college education, verbally pushed this guy first. The union guy probably didn't get the same advantage, so he fought back with what he had, his fists - and Margolis is, or should have been, smart enough to know that he was likely to do so. From those two paragraphs alone we can infer two things: That this mental midget thinks educated white deserve to be pummeled just for the hell of it; that union guys are dumb and uneducated and therefore can only respond to being "verbally pushed" with their fists. Then there's the guy who responded on Matt's blog with this comment: bq. Hitler had his beliefs, just like Matt has his. Sometimes violence is the only way to show people how devastatingly bad their ideas are. When society is so distraught about policy that individuals feel the need to take violent action, revolution is not only expected, but neccessary. I'm no union man, but I'd have probably taken a swing at you too. What's really frightening is how many people blame Matt for this incident and never take the union guy to task for resorting to violence. Actually, I shouldn't be surprised. The left is all about blaming the victim and comforting the aggressor.

Word of the Day

Is masticate. [inspired by this masticater] You may use it in a sentence if you so wish.

mea culpa

I'm going to lower my blood pressure by watching my three year old nephew play in his first soccer game. First, I have to correct an oversight. It was Scott Burgess who was the inspiration for my PETA post the other day. I feel awful that I forgot to credit him, so do me a favor and go visit his blog? Please?

Nobody's right if everybody's wrong

First, let's get this out of the way: My anger and digust have reached levels I haven't felt since Ted Turner traded Brett Butler. Reading leftie blogs has become an exercise in raising blood pressure. I just don't get how these people can be so smug, so righteous when they do everything they accuse the right of doing. Do they really believe their shit doesn't stink, or are they so used to wallowing in it they got used to the smell? Leftie blogs that used to be even-handed and informative have gone so shrill I can't even look at them anymore. Every single post is another episode in the internet show knowns as "I Hate George Bush." I'm not saying this blog is without its venom, but I do try to temper it with other things. I just can't bring myself to be all hate, all the time. The more I read on sites like DU and Indymedia, the more sure I am that this country is going to erupt into something very ugly come August. Don't blow me off by saying that the DU and Indymedia crowd are just a minority fringe. That's just not true. Who are the people who come out to the protests? Who are organizations like Answer and Democracy Now made up of? Who are the people smashing windows and knocking over mailboxes during protests? Yes, it's the "minority" fringe of the left. Except they aren't such a minority anymore, and they should be feared as if they were a throng of milliions. Last week, Matt Margolis and his brother were smacked down by some union anti-Bush protesters. You can say that's just an anomaly, that protesters and anti-Bushies aren't really violent. But you would be wrong. Take, for instance, this DU thread on the "Margolis Incident" as it's come to be called. It devolves into a call for violence, street fighting and more ugly tactics to take against conservatives. First, one poster puts the blame for the "brawl" on Bush's shoulders, even though it was the union guys who provoked and did the hitting. Then one condones the violence, and one looks forward to violence. The whole post reeks like a locker room at halftime of the Super Bowl. You can almost feel the "pumped up" vibes coming off of DU and the readiness to crunch bones for a "win." The closer we get to August (the GOP convention) the more the line between far left and left will blur. I see it happening already. The Dems are accusing the Republicans of staging a nasty campaign but all I see from their side is slurs, insults and contemptable attempts to lay blame on the president for everything from 9/11 to mad cow disease. More and more people who considered themselves moderate lefties are now carrying the placards of hate that used to belong solely to the DU crowd. I see it on some blogs as well, mostly from certain people who like to hurl accusations and insults and then accuse the people their invictive is aimed at of being hateful. I'm at the point where I no longer care to spend my strength fighting the urge to despise these people. If you want to paint all Bush supporters with the same broad strokes, don't be surprised when you're lumped in with the Indymedia gang. In just a few months this country will no longer be divided into groups with prefixes like far or moderate. It will be left and right only because we will be forced to take a side. And yes, I am placing the blame for this solely on the left, because they are the ones on the constant attack, they are the ones who are walking around with signs and banners that put swastikas on the lapel of every Republican, they are the ones who bemoan the death of a terrorist, they are the ones out there cheering on strong-armed protesters as they beat on the right. What are we supposed to do? Just sit here and not respond to the catcalls and lies? How do we fight back without becoming the thing we hate? I don't know the answers. I just know that this summer is going to be long and hot and the fall doesn't look to be any better. At some point during those months, people will choose their sides and stand on either the left or the right and, like hot air and cold air meeting, the noise is going to be thunderous. Sometimes I think that other countries are providing the laughtrack to the ridiculous freak show we have become.

March 26, 2004

i'm funnier than he is. i hope.

What else is there to do on a Friday night besides steal Thomas Friedman's identity? Yep. Quizzes. Thomas L. Friedman
You are Thomas L. Friedman! You're the foreign
affairs expert. You're liberal on most issues,
except you're a leading voice in the pro-war
movement. You're probably the most popular
columnist at the Times, but probably because
you play both sides of the Iraq issue and
relish your devotion to what you call
"fanatical moderatism." You sure can
write, but you could work on your sense of
humor.

Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
What Video Game Character Are You? I am an Asteroid.I am an Asteroid.

I am a drifter. I go where life leads, which makes me usually a very calm and content sort of person. That or thoroughly apathetic. Usually I keep on doing whatever I'm doing, and it takes something special to make me change my mind. What Video Game Character Are You?

The Weekly Unappreciated Friday Night Post

One of the reasons I don't like to post on Friday nights is because the lack of comments only serves to remind me that I am likely the only one of us without a nightlife. Well, just in case there's one or two of you out there who spend Friday nights putting an ass shaped dent in your couch, this one's for you. What? Did you think there was more? Hey, I took the time to make the damn post, the least you could do is move it along. Work with me here, people. Put down the porn and give me something to go on.

I Can Be Just as Boring as Kottke

I'm just following a trend. I bought a huge box of garbage bags yesterday. I only use Hefty Draw-String bags (large, unscented) for the kitchen. Nothing else will do. I've tried those store-brand bags, but they tend to break easily and the last thing I need is to be carrying the garbage out to the can and the bag breaks and my neighbor or uncle or little cousin is standing there when things like an empty tube of K-Y jelly and a slightly greasy looking cucumber fall to the ground. Trust me, the strong bags are worth the extra money. Last time I used the cheap bag I had to pay my neighbor $50 to keep quiet about the receipt for the Coldplay cd that slipped out of the torn side of the bag. I have a reputation to keep, you know. So, anyhow. I bought some Hefty garbage bags, a box of 100 in fact, and hopefully that will keep my uncle from every setting eyes on my discarded collection of 70's porn again.

From the PETAfiles, vol. 26

A few years ago, when PETA realized that meat-eating adults weren't listening to their propaganda, they decided to target children instead. Kids are easier to guilt than adults. Show them a few dead animals, tell them that their parents are murderers and suddenly you have a vegetarian activist on your hand. And when the kids get just a bit older, you can indocrinate them into the world of activism through guilt. PETA has become notorious for using children to fight their battles. They've handed out stickers, told kids to cut up mom and dad's credit cards, and handed out scary comic books and calling parents nasty names in front of the children. That's just for starters. There's also the Burger King bloody crowns, the cow episodes and many, many more acts of child abuse. Welcome to the latest episode of Veganism By Fear: Bucket o' Blood. [click for bigger and bloodier image] bq. As the latest salvo in its campaign to get people to “kick the bucket” and boycott KFC for its cruelty to chickens, PETA has created its own “Bloody Bucket,” spoofing KFC’s iconic corpse receptacle. PETA will be handing out the buckets—filled with “bones,” “feathers,” an evil “Col. Sanders” figure, a plastic chicken with her throat slit, and lots of fake blood—to kids at KFC locations nationwide. I'd like to use the rest of this entry to make a plea to PETA: Dear PETA activists, I plead with you, even beg of you, to please come to my local KFC with your traveling circus of freaks. The address is 2428 Hempstead Tpke, East Meadow, NY. If you need directions, or you just want to call ahead to let them know that you will be harrassing their customers, the number is (516) 731-9256. I'll be looking at the PETA site often to find out if you plan an action at this particular site, which I really hope you do, because I would really be happy to meet all of you. I'll bring my young, impressionable, vulnerable children. I'll send them out of the car alone, money in hand. Then, when you approach them with your bucket of propaganda, my children will follow the instructions I gave them and, if all goes well, the activist who had the unfortunate opportunity of approaching my kids will be met with a pie in the face. Oh, not just any pie. A meat pie. MMmm....meat. Oh, the younger one will be wearing this Davy Crockett hat he's had since he was little. You know, the raccoon hat. We're going to make a racoon's head out of paper mache and smear blood all over it, then attach it to the hat. My daughter will be wearing this shirt. And then I will get out of the car, take my kids by the hand, and walk into KFC, where I will purchase $50 worth of chicken. We will then seat ourselves at the picnic table outside of the store and proceed to eat the yummy chicken. And with each bite, one of us will imitate a crying chicken. We'll have a good laugh, my kids and I. Oh sure, I won't be making much of a point, and I'll have stooped to your level, but damn, that's going to be fun. I dare you. I triple dog dare you (oops, was that offensive to dogs?) to come at me. After all, I'm a meat eater. I'm probably unstable or mentally deficient from all those toxic things that the Angry Meat Overlord injects into cows and pigs. I may or may not follow the plan I set forth above. I just might snap when I see that bucket of blood gimmick in action and that's when I'll beat the shit out of you, carve a chunk of skin off of your face and eat it right in front of you. Soylent Green is PETA activists! See you at KFC!

Fool You Once

I just love watching people get their Ashcroft panties in a bunch over things they just haven't fact checked. But hey, Ashcroft is involved, so let's just run with it! I'm not exactly a fan of the Ash Man, but it sure would be nice to check some sources before you go around sighing and crying about the certain doom of the bill of rights and America as a whole. As Tony Millionaire so sweetly put it: I find it interesting that fuck you. Or this: Don't take that tone with me, young man, I'm old enough to be the pimp that got paid for the fuck that made you. You want to make a difference in this world? Then read Maakies, damn it. And if you don't laugh at this strip, then go read Family Circus, k? Actually, it really would have been funnier with cunt instead of vagina. But then again, isn't everything?

March 25, 2004

Have Yassin Chris?

Looks like Laurence has met his match in the offensive department. Allah's entry into the wheelchair race: [Update below] Wheelchair1.jpg I think we have a winner. You know what would be even more offensive? If I put up the mp3 to REM's Superman. Ok, I won't. Update: Allah sends an alternate version: Wheelchair2.jpg *hums*...I'll keep you by my side with my superhuman might...

Thursday's Bookmark Clearance Sale

I always save the best links for the end of the day. And they're cheap, too! I finally remembered to fulfill my guest posting duties over at Boi From Troi while the BFT is off trekking through Prague. I tell a story about the Georgetown Hoyas. I cleverly titled it Oh Boya, it's Hoya! David the genius has solved the Israel-Palestine crisis once and for all. I have to say, I really do love his suggestion. As usual, Allah is sizzling. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get angry, you'll realize why I have a major crush on him. Even though I'm not even sure he's a he. That's the thing with anonymous bloggers. You never know what you're falling in love with. If you liked that little Richard Clarke song thingie I did today, then you will love Charles's John Kerry ditty. The offensive blog post factor on this picture goes to 11. Update: Laurence comes through with a (mildly) offensive post. Anyone else? Mark it 8, dude. And that's tonight's link dump. Feel free to dump your own links in the comments.

crawling on his belly

Kerry's been awfully quiet lately, for a guy who's running for president. Sure, he's off skiing, but you gotta figure he would read the paper in the morning and think "Holy shit, they killed Yassin!" and maybe call his blog guy and have him post something like "Senator Kerry condemns this action." Or he would see that there's a hell of a lot going on in Pakistan, so he would call his blog guy and have him write something like "Hahahaha, we are losing the war on terra!" Ok, if not those things, then you would think he'd at least have something to say about the 9/11 hearings, like "I applaud Dick Clarke and everyone else who has given their time to get to the bottom of the truth behind that tragic day." But, no. Instead, Kerry the snake crawls out from under his rock for this very important story - Bush makes WMD jokes. His people issued a five paragraph statement on Bush's stupid joke. Granted, the joke was kind of inappropriate, though I do know what Bush was going for. But that's not what this is about. I just think the fact that he had nothing to say about pretty important events yet Kerry find the time to open his yap when he sees a chance to say a few bad things about Bush (and throw in a plug for his veteran standing) says a lot about this candidate.

would you like some fries with those rolls, kid?

What's more disturbing: the fact that BBC chose to use a photo of this kid in a story about the McDonald's clothing line: bbbmc.jpg Or that they gave it this file name? [click for supersize images] [via Fark - the happiest place on earth]

apologies and a stream of crap

[I've been working on this all day. I've written and deleted ten different things, ranging from two words to five paragraphs. While I was deleting Jeff Jarvis wrote basically the same thing. But I'm going to go ahead and publish mine as well.] Richard Clarke's opening statement yesterday:
I welcome these hearings because of the opportunity that they provide to the American people to better understand why the tragedy of 9/11 happened, and what we must do to prevent a reoccurrence. I also welcome the hearings because it is finally a forum where I can apologize to the loved ones of the victims of 9/11, to them who are here in the room, to those who are watching on television. Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you. We tried hard, but that doesn't matter, because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and for your forgiveness.
First point: Most American people already understand why 9/11 happened. Those who aren't busy trying to make everything Bush's or Clinton's fault understand. It happened because there are people of a certain ideology that would like to see every American and every non-Muslim person dead. If it wasn't 9/11, it would have been another day, another way. Second point: These hearings are not going to help prevent a reoccurrence. They will only serve to point fingers, deflect blame and further divide our country. If there is to be a reoccurrence of a day like 9/11, it is probably already a plan in action and having everyone sitting around discussing the past instead of worrying about the future is counterproductive. Third point: By apologizing, you are assuming guilt. I do not hold my government responsible for 9/11. Even if we had caught and killed bin Laden, the plan was already in motion. It wouldn't have mattered. Even if we cut off the head of the snake, his body still goes on slithering. My government did not fail me. If they failed me, there would be more than 3,000 dead people. If they failed me, we would be under Sharia law or, going back further, a communist country. I believe with all my heart that my government - from the Clinton years to the Bush years - did their best for us with what they knew. An apology like this one is a passive-aggressive move designed to elicit hugs and handshakes and maybe a few book sales. What I would prefer is that someone would stand up in D.C. and say "We have nothing to apologize for. The Murdering Islamists and their followers are the ones who need to apologize, and you will never get that." And then we kill the bastards, move forward and try to stop this from every happening again. Put down your signs, put away your dossiers and get off your ass and actually do something except Monday quarterbacking. ..........You know, this is getting redundant and ridiculous. Every day, I write the same story with different settings. Every day, I write out of anger or despair or worry. And I preach to the proverbial choir. The people who aren't in that choir - for the most part they stop by, they drop a few assumptions and insults in the comments and they move on. There are some readers who stick around, and have stuck around for a long time, and they know how to converse and debate and I appreciate them for that. But what good is it doing me to rant and rave every day? What purpose does it serve to sit down at the keyboard every morning and type away about terrorism and war when nearly everyone who reads this thing feels the same way I do? I have 43 articles in a folder waiting to be written about or cited. I have emails with links to other articles or blog posts. It's what I do. Write about all the bad things going on the world. I have to do that at Command Post as well. Even if it's on a different level over there, it still makes all too aware of everything that's going on around us. Before I started a blog, I didn't know that much about world affairs. Now I feel like I know too much. And it all comes tumbling out every morning, sometimes in the afternoon and evening, and jesus christ people, aren't you getting tired of it? Aren't you tired of reading what I'm tired of writing? Yet, I don't stop. Even though I have no idea what the purpose is, I don't stop. I've been interviewed three times in the past two weeks by people writing papers on blogging. Each one has asked me "Why do you blog?" I said to the last person, I don't know. I honestly don't know.

And out of the darkness, the Zombie did call*

I'm trying to lay off of the armageddon-is-coming/I hate the world posts for today.

Well, let's keep with armageddon for a bit here. Fictional armageddon, that is. Armageddon via zombies.

Who doesn't love a good zombie flick? You've got horror, death, violence and brain chewing. Doesn't get much better than that. Plus, there's always that one asshole you just know is going to get eaten alive at some point and you feel great joy when one of the walking dead tears into the guy's flesh.

If you'll notice, the zombies in the new Dawn of the Dead are flesheaters. Most zombies that I have known have been brain eaters. I suppose, just like any living thing in nature,t he living dead also have various forms of their species.

On the one hand, the brain eaters are very cool because the act of them tearing into someone's head and causing brains and goo to spurt everywhere is a very gratifying moment, worth the price of the movie on its own. Especially if, right before the impact of teeth on skull, the zombie shouts out "BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIIINSSSS!" Gotta love it.

The flesheaters have their postive attributes as well. It takes much longer for a victim to die when attacked by a flesheater. Unlike the eating of brains, in which the first bite usually kills, the eating of skin and bones can cause the victim to linger in agony, watching as his limbs are torn apart by a very hungry zombie. However, that is also the downside. Depending on who the actor/actress is, the screams can really get out of hand and grate on your nerves. That's the reason I prefer braineater zombies. Nice, quiet deaths mean you don't have to listen to any emoting by B-movie actors.

Regardless of what type of zombie you like (and there are other genres, like stiff-walkers vs. runners), just by loving the entirety of the zombie world and the movies that are odes to them makes you somewhat of an expert in the field and, therefore, able to take part in my zombie survey.

For starters, I will introduce you to a few of my favorite zombies and their respective films.

Just a few to get you started.

So, your job. Favorite zombies, zombie movies, zombie species, zombie moments, etc. etc.

[I don't want to start any arguments here, but I will maintain during the entire time of this poll that the deadites from the Evil Dead trilogy are not zombies. They are somewhere between zombies and demons, but not zombies in the true sense of the word.]

Update: It's zombie. It will never be Zomby. Deal with it already!

*"Call Of The Zombie"
Rob Zombie

And out of the darkness, the Zombie did call
True pain and suffering he brought to them all
Away ran the children to hide in their beds,
for fear that the devil would chop off their heads

An Ode to Richard Clarke by way of Dead or Alive

You spin me right round, baby Right round like a record, baby Right Round round round You spin me right round, baby Right round like a record, baby Right round round round

In which I make up a story about Frank Miller

Once again, some filler until I get to the real juice today, which will include responses to comments from this post, more Stupid PETA Tricks, and, if you're lucky, a zombie poll. That's in between some rants about Richard Clarke, DU, boy bombers and other wordly adventures. For now, more answers to more questions. David asks: In the series, "That Yellow Bastard," why was that bastard yellow? crayon.gifA: It's a little known fact that Frank Miller originally called the series "That Burnt Umber Bastard," but his editor was afraid they would get sued by Crayola. I mean, everyone knows that Crayola just made up that color, right? What the hell is an umber and why is it burnt? And why did its brother, raw umber, get forced into retirement by Crayola? Who is speaking up for the rights of umbers? Anyhow, Burnt Umber Bastard was out, and Miller decided on yellow to remind him of how his editor was a coward about the whole Crayola thing. And there you have it. Another burning (burnt?) question answered.

March 24, 2004

I'm gonna miss you...

Attention left coasters: American Idol spoiler below. mattrogers.jpg Matt, you'll always be my American Idol. We had joy, we had fun We had seasons in the sun But the wine and the song like the seasons have all gone I need a moment alone.

I'm guessing it wasn't a pig

Al Jazeera has the scoop on what really went down when Yasin was killed: bq. A leader of Morocco’s Jewish community has condemned what he describes as the “arrogant” killing by Israel of Hamas founder Shaikh Ahmad Yasin, calling it “an act of bestiality”. Maybe it was a donkey? View image

Almost Home

They accepted the offer. We go to contract tomorrow. If all goes well the inspectors, etc., we move in May 1st. I never knew it was possible to feel both elation and dread at the same time.

Fear and Self-Loathing in America

Pre-ramble: I've been listening to the 9/11 hearings and I'm sort of disgusted at the whole thing. I think it bears repeating what I said yesterday. In fact, maybe I'll post this every day. I love the blaring headlines that say "9/11 Who's to Blame?" I thought perhaps we could blame, oh...al Qaeda? Maybe, just maybe, both Clinton and Bush both did all they could with the intelligence they had and 9/11 - or another day like it - were just inevitable. Just a thought. Ok, got that out of the way. One other note: Maybe you just want to skip this whole, long-winded post and go read this. Actually, that's an order. Just read it. Come back if you feel like it. If you’re still thinking that the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians have nothing to do with you, it’s time to take your head out of the sand. The death of Sheik Yassin on Monday has only served to prove what those of us who have watching the situation closely have been saying: They are all around us. Who is they? The radical Muslims, for want of a better phrase. The Islamists. I’m always careful to put a disclaimer in front of the words Muslim. Radical. Militant. Something that sets those crazed, suicidal, murderers apart from the peace-loving, people-next-door who practice the same religion. The problem I’m having with that now is I see less and less of the latter. I have yet to see any of the moderate Islamists (is there such a thing?) stand up and condemn their brothers for their acts of violence; violence done in the name of Allah, their god. I can define myself in many ways; atheist, Republican, Yankee fan. Whenever anyone in those groups does something I find offensive, I distance myself from them. I make sure to stand up and say “Hey, I’m an atheist, but don’t lump me in with those other atheists. I do not condone what they are doing.” So where are the followers of Islam who do not condone the branch of their religion that is being practiced by those who see suicide belts as a fashion statement? Do they even exist? If any event can shed the light on how some have underestimated the strength and numbers of the followers of radical Islam, it is the death of Sheik Yassin. Suddenly, the whole world is mourning and chanting and throwing stones. They protested his death in Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan and Iraq. They burned flags in Beirut. Yes, you say. Of course. Those countries mainly practice Islam. Ah, but it doesn't end there.
More than a hundred people carrying Palestinian flags and protest signs marched outside the Israeli consulate in New York on Tuesday to condemn Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Bush after the assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin. "I'm here to demonstrate as an American that I'm so tired of Israel and their crimes and I'm disgusted in our government," said Rajee Mustafa, a 51-year-old electrical engineer from Jersey City, New Jersey. ... At the evening rush-hour protest across from the consulate, demonstrators carried signs such as "Sharon and Bush -- War Criminals," and raised chants including, "Sheikh Yassin, rest in peace, Israel will never sleep." Later at a memorial gathering in Brooklyn, speakers praised Yassin, founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, as a freedom fighter who had dedicated his life to the Palestinian struggle. Among those addressing a hall crammed with several hundred people was anti-Zionist Rabbi David Weiss.
Anti-Zionist? Is that what they're calling it these days? So here are these people in New York, praising a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people. Sheikh Yassin, rest in peace. Spiritual leader. Freedom fighter. What do we know about this "spirtual leader?" Israelis call him the Palestinian Osama bin Laden Co-founder of Hamas Was responsible for dozens of suicide bombings from 2000 to the present, resulting in the deaths of over 400 people Favorite quote? The so-called peace path is not peace and it is not a substitute for jihad and resistance. These people who live just miles from me praise this man. They cry over his death. In fact, they wail. They curse Israel, curse America and wish death upon everyone but themselves. Where are their leaders, the ones who claim to be moderates and wonder why people walk on the other side of the street from them? Speak up. Tell us that you denounce Yassin and Arafat. I'm not asking that they turn around and praise Israel or defend her actions, I'm just asking that they show me who they are, that there are Muslims who do not fall to their knees in despair when a despicable mass murderer dies. One Brooklyn protester said: "People are so angry now, and I know they are going to try to explore that anger somehow. Sheik Yassin was not a terrorist. He was a spiritual leader for all Palestinians." And now that spiritual leader is dead and another one replaces him. Meet the new boss. Worse than the old boss. Abdel Aziz Rantisi (also Rantissi) A Hamas hard-liner who has pushed for accelerating attacks on Israel and rules out all compromise was elected Tuesday as the new leader of the Islamic militant group in Gaza after Israel's assassination of its founder. Take a deep look into the psyche of this Rantisi:
We hear the readiness of youth," says Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a local Hamas leader. "Some young people clearly say that they want to be martyrs. We hear that and choose from these people." Rantisi's recruits have paid dividends. Among the suicide bombings Hamas has claimed responsibility for: the Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem last August, which killed 15 Israelis, including seven children; and the March 27 suicide bombing that killed at least 20 people who were sitting down to a Passover meal at a hotel restaurant in Netanya in northern Israel. But Rantisi seemed caught off-guard when his oldest son, Mohammad, 23, who is a medical student in Iraq, said he, too, would be "honored to be chosen to become a martyr." "He doesn't know what he is saying," said Rantisi, with a dismissive smile. "He is only saying this because of his youth. "Some men must grow up to become doctors," Rantisi said. "But for that to happen, others have to sacrifice themselves and become martyrs."
Kill one roach, another takes its place. I am continually suprised and disgusted by the depth of hatred these people have for Jews and for all free people. I should no longer be shocked by this behavior. Tell me, who was it that bombed the WTC the first time? Who bombed the Kohbar towers? Who bombed the USS Cole? Who pushed Leon Klinghoffer overboard? Who took hostages in Tehran? Who bombed the embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut? What about the embassy in Kuwait? Or the hijackings of Flights 221 and 847? Who bombed the disco in West Berlin? Flight 103? Anyone see a pattern here? We need to confront these people in order to stop them. We don't need to talk or coddle or appease or make nice. Confrontation is the only way now. Everything else has been tried. While some of those attacks were made by Palestinians and other by different Islamic factions, they can be lumped together because they themselves do that; when one terrorist dies, the supporters of all terrorist groups mourn. Witness the people in Iraq and Syria and other place mourn the death of Yassin, praise the Palestinians and burn Israeli flags. One in the same, as far as I'm concerned. It's become a common theme of mine, one I repeat almost daily now, that we are in the path of an unavoidable war. A world war, a war of civilizations, pitting the haters against the hated and I suppose which side is which depends on where you are standing. From where I stand, we are the good guys. We do not blow up buses or schools. We do not purposely target children. We do not think that people who do not praise our God are infidels and they should die, nor do we think our Gods are the kind who would want us to do such a thing. They flew airplanes into office buildings. They blew up embassies. They are the "them" in the us v. them. Say what you want; call me racist, call me bigoted. I don't care anymore. I have given so much benefit of the doubt to the Muslims who walk the same sidewalks as me. I thought that they were different, that they did not want us dead. But look, there they are, crying for Yessin, burning American flags. The others remain silent, never standing up to condemn what their fellow Muslims are doing. They are accepting Rantisi as the new Hamas leader in Gaza. They will praise him, they will follow him and their counterparts in Gaza will die for him. Or send their children out to die.
This is from Tal G's weblog, June 23, 2002.Here is a picture of a Palestinian kindergarten student with her hands raised and dyed red to recall the lynching of 2 Israeli soldiers in Ramallah. The article describes the kindergartens run by the "Islamic Charitable Association" in Gaza, which are attended by about 5000 Palestinian children. The article describes a "graduation exercise": The kids burned and Israeli flag and recite: "in the name of the martyr Muhamad Al-Dura and the infant martyr Iman Haju, we pledge to continue the Jihad in resistance and in intifada" A girl raised her "bloody hands", then a child dressed as Hamas leader Hassan Nasrallah recited a few lines about how the Hizbullah fought the Israelis and were rewarded from above. The kids carry toy rifles.
Read the rest - there's a translated article describing in detail what the Palestinians are teaching their kids. Is it any wonder that the violence goes unabated? Is it any wonder that the cycle never ends? Just today: bq. A Palestinian teenager wearing a suicide bomb belt was detained Wednesday as he approached a crowded West Bank checkpoint in an apparent attempt to kill the soldiers there, the Israeli military said. It's not just the Palestinians. It happens in all Muslim areas, even right here in New York, where kids are taught that violence and hatred are ways of life, and that death is their reward. Whether you realize it or not, we are in the midst of a world war. It only escalates from here. Today, I have walked farther down the slope than I ever thought I would. I have begun to hate. I can no longer pick out the good from the bad, I can no longer pick and choose the practioners of the religion of peace that I will or will not condemn. I don't want to be here, but I've been more or less pushed. I hate myself for feeling this way, but I would hate myself more I didn't try to explore why I have these feelings. I am afraid. Anyone who reads this space knows that by now. But the fear gets greater with every day, with every bombing, with every sign that an American holds up, calling their own country evil and deadly. They don't know what deadly is. If they did, they wouldn't be parading around in their Birkenstocks praising our enemies. The world gets more dangerous by the day. When I was young, I thought the world would be headed in the opposite direction and we would be headed towards peace by now. We would be embracing our fellow man. Little did I know that our fellow man would never embrace us back. Where have all these multi-cultural and inclusion programs gotten us? What have we gained by welcoming this culture into our country and accepting its people as Americans? Nothing. It has not worked. It has only made it easier for them to walk among us, plotting, planning and spitting on our flag. And Islam is not the only culture that permeates our society to the point of disaster. There is the culture of hate, spawned by Americans themselves, the ones who teach Palestinian kids to hate the USA, the ones who side with dictators, the ones who praise our enemies and tell people to not support the troops. The clash of civilizations is not just between two peoples, but three. It's us, them and those who are the bridge between us and them. You know who you are. Our own government isn't helping. It's time to stop sitting around pointing fingers and laying blame on things that happened in the past. Instead, we should be concentrating on trying to stop those things in the future. We should be pointing our fingers at our enemies and going after them with all the zeal that our representatives are going after Bush and Clinton and whoever slept in the White House in the past twenty years or so. I'm done. If you've gotten this far, I thank you for indulging me in my moment of rather distasteful truth. I've become all the people I used to shake my head at with disgust. Can you blame me? Now, you may shout at me, send me hate mail, turn your back on me. I probably deserve it. But remember, I did not get to this place easily, nor with any sense of pride. Many of these links were found on LGF, or brought to my attention by Allah Update: Tactitus tackles the same subject.

Q&A #5: Jolly Time

[Consider this a placeholder for long, rambling morning monologue]

I haven't forgotten your questions, you inquisitive kids. I'm just taking them a little at a time.

Both Peat and Bonnie ask:

What happens when you make microwave popcorn with the wrong side up?

pc1.gifIn my never ending quest to answer every inane question that comes my way, I always go to the full extent of my abiliities. So, last night, I put a bag of popcorn in the microwave. Upside down. I do live the daring life.

Well, Peat, Bonnie and the rest of you curious cats, I can now tell you what happens. But I'm going to make you guess.

This is what occurs when you put an upside down bag of popcorn in the microwave:

  1. The bag explodes with such force that the microwave bursts into pieces, scattering shards of plastic, metal and glass throughout yourhouse, causing you to run for the phone and immediately dial the number for your attorney.
  1. A magic genie appears, but he's a dark genie and instead of granting wishes, he beats the shit out of you and then turns you into dust.
  1. An mysterious agent dressed in black appears in your house, admonishing you for not following directions and slaps you with a summons. You notice this is the same man who appeared when you wantonly ripped the tag off the mattress.
  1. Nothing happens. And I do mean, nothing. Apparently the instructions are written that way for a reason.

According to the nice lady from Jolly Time, a leading maker of microwave popcorn, the bottom of the bag contains a reflector that helps spread the microwave energy, which comes from the top of the oven, uniformly throughout the product. Turn the bag upside down and the popcorn will still pop, but it may take longer, and some of the corn may be dried out or scorched.

Thanks, Cecil.

Have a ridiculous, personal or theoretical question you want answered? See here.

March 23, 2004

You Could Be Mine

[click for bigger] The thought of buying a house has my stomach in a constant knot. Especially in a seller's market and in this area. For the price this house is going for, I could buy a mansion somewhere else. But I have this thing about not leaving my family, and I guess I'll be forever broke for them. They better recognize! Putting a binder on this one tomorrow. Someone get me a Tums, please.

thinking out loud

I love the blaring headlines that say "9/11 Who's to Blame?" I thought perhaps we could blame, oh...al Qaeda? Maybe, just maybe, both Clinton and Bush both did all they could with the intelligence they had and 9/11 - or another day like it - were just inevitable. Just a thought.

Link Mining

Things that I bookmarked today: * Ed Moltzen writes his statement to the 9/11 Commission. * Andy has a clever game to play: Name That Tune * I always theorized that all deep sea life is descended from space creatures, most likely Martians. Now they discover that Mars once was a beachfront property. Coincidence? I think not. * For some reason that I don't want to know, Mikey offers up a tribute to Barry Manilow. * The cranky guy has a musical tribute to John Kerry. * Speaking of Crank, make sure you go answer his question over at my SQotD page. * Play Infocom text adventures on AIM. There goes the rest of the evening. Guess I didn't bookmark a whole lot of stuff today. But what's here is of the finest quality and that's what matters.

Ask A Silly Question...

WP asks: 10th level Dwarf with a magic shield and a ring of fire immunity versus an angry Burninator..Who survives? Oh, come on. Everyone knows a Burninator beats all. burninator.jpg Trogdor the Burninator. He's burninating the countryside. He's burninating the peasants. Trogodor will even burninate your sissy little 10th level Dwarf with a magic shield and a ring of fire immunity because he used the magnetic duck/dragon thing to steal the ring of fire immunity from it. draguck.jpg Next.

questions, commissions and crashes

I just wrote a whole thing about something in regards to your questions. IE crashed. The thing about the thing disappeared. It's ok because I'm busy listening to the 9/11 Commission live on the radio. It's actually pretty interesting if you're into that kind of stuff. So here's what I'm going to do. Because of the overwhelming (yet disquieting) response to my plea for questions, I will be caching them and answering a few each day. And once in a while I will use them for fodder over at the SQotD page. Like right now. So head over there and answer the comics-to-film question while I sit here rivited by Former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen's testimony.

Mo' Questions, Mo Answers

[For relevance, see here] Dave in Texas asks: bq. In "The Flintstones - the Movie", did you see the growing conflict between Betty and Wilma as inevitable, a result of the endless dreariness of family responsibilities, financial stress as a result of single income working class status, and the natural heartache of the marriage relationships cooling from their initial intentities, or was Wilma just being kinda bitchy? Dear Dave, I admire your courage. Not many people would admit that not only did they watch The Flinstones movie, but they agonized over the psychological nuances as well. May I suggest some therapy, Dave? Go rent Quest for Fire. bq. A prehistoric adventure about a trio of warriors who travel the savanna, encountering sabre-toothed tigers, mammoths and cannibalistic tribes in search of a flame that would replace the fire their tribe has lost. Wilma and Betty's petty little dramA pales in comparison.

Get Me Off This Crazy Thing: Smiling Bob v. The Shower Head

bq. By now we have all seen the Enzyte Smiling Bob commercials - my question is two fold: If Enzyte is the product for natural male enhancement - is there a product for natural female enhancement? And if there is such a product would sore back Suzy be the equivalent mascot to Smiling Bob? --- Chris If by enhacement, you mean make the sexual organ of a woman larger, then no. That's just not necessary. There is only one thing necessary to make a woman becomethe equivlanent of Smiling Bob and that thing is called an orgasm. Learn how to make it happen, guys. If your woman is not experiencing orgasms on a regular basis while having sexual relations with you, expect that she will start experimenting with other ways to reach that elusive climax. Once she discovers the shower head, you're sunk. She won't care if she ever gets laid by you again. Many men have lost the love of their life to the sainted shower head. So Smiling Bob can smile all he wants. But if he doesn't learn how to be a selfless lover, he will only be smiling at his hand, and all that Viagra or whatever he's taken will be money down the drain.

Get Me Off This Crazy Thing: Answers

First three questions: bq. What's up with the bad guy in the new "Punisher" film.... Shouldn't they have used the same Kingpin person that they used in Daredevil? I think linking these comic-movies would be a smart move, but obviously someone doesn't think so. - Tom A: Tom, the Daredevil movie sucked. Christ, it had Ben Affleck. That alone is enough to kill it on arrival. The Punisher looks better with every trailer and still photo I see. It is a testament to the intelligence of the producers of Punisher that they do not in any way try to connect their movie to Daredevil. bq. Why didn't they ever make the sequel to Buckaroo Bonzai? Buckaroo Banzai: Against the World Crime League That was the last thing on the screen right before the credits. -- Head Zero A. First of all, no script was ever written. No script, no film. That, and the movie wasn't really a financial success. It does, however, enjoy cult status on video, cable and now on DVD, which contains lots of extras and quite a few hidden features. And dude, what's with your name? bq. What do YOU think the watermelon in Banzai was doing there? - Lair The short answer is this: to mess with your head. The long answer can be found here. Something abotu critical stress and feeding third world countries. More answers forthcoming.

Get Me Off This Crazy Thing

I really need to lighten up here. Too much angst and anger the past two weeks or so. Too bad my mind is devoid of anything else to blog about besides how angry and angst-ridden I am. Geez, I am a walking Nirvana song. Let's play Q&A. Ask me a question about any of the following topics: Gaming or comics or movies. Anything you want to know. If this doesn't work I'm going to restort to either reprinting old posts or posting results to stupid quizzes. Get me out of this mood before I implode.

A Dangerous Mind

One thing you can say about Robert Fisk is there is no mistaking his stance. He's not wobbly, he never wavers, he never straddles the line between two sides. Fisk is very clear in his politics and loyalties. And if, for some reason, you were still unsure as to where Fisk stands, today marks a watershed point for you, then. Fisk has pretty much become the Democratic Undergrouand and Indymedia of the legitimate press. Things that make your jaw drop on DU can sometimes be dismissed as the ramblings of an idiot, but Fisk - he's a well known man with books to his name, an award winning PhD with a byline in several papers. Yet for all of his education and prominence, he still comes off like a rebellious teenager who's read one too many pamphlets from the "underground." Today is no different. Wait, yes it is. Today's column is somehow creepier than anything the man has ever written. In fact, it borders on deranged. He starts off with a bang: bq. London - It doesn't take an awful lot of courage to murder a paraplegic in a wheelchair. It takes even less courage to murder a man in wheelchair who has never been responsible for the death of innocents. Besides, the poor goy in the wheelchair is responsible for many deaths. Fisk even says so himself in the next paragraph. So let's not go there. bq. Take the old man himself. From the start, the Israeli line was simple. Yassin was the "head of the snake" ... Do you think by calling Yassin "the old man" Fisk was trying to grease the wheels of sympathy? Next, Fisk goes into the prison trade episode that let Yassin free from Israeli prison.
Two Israeli Mossad agents had tried to murder a Hamas official in Amman, the capital of an Arab nation which had a peace agreement with Israel. They had injected the Hamas man with poison, and the late King Hussein called the US president in fury and threatened to put the captured Mossad men on trial if he wasn't given the antidote to the poison and if Yassin wasn't released. Netanyahu immediately gave in. Yassin was freed and the Mossad lads went safely home to Israel.
Perhaps not a great tradeoff, but Netanyahu did what he had to do in this situation. It's never good policy to let your own citizens die because of blackmail tactics by your enemy. Netanyahu was pretty much damned if he did, damned if he didn't. So he did.
So the "head of the snake" was let loose by Israel itself, courtesy of the then Israeli prime minister - a chapter in the narrative of history which was conveniently forgotten yesterday. Which is all very odd. If the elderly cleric really was worthy of state murder, why did Netanyahu let him go in the first place? It was not a question that anyone wanted to ask yesterday.
See above, Robert. And no one asked it yesterday because it was no longer relevant. Only a person who has been so poisoned by the mindset of the people he writes about would try to twist the story of Yassin's death in such a way that people are questioning Netanyahu instead of looking at the reasons why Yassin deserved to be dead in the first place.
But there was something infinitely more dangerous in all this. Yet another Arab had been assassinated. The Americans want to kill Bin Laden. They want to kill Mullah Omar. They killed Saddam's sons. Just as they killed three al-Qaeda men in Yemen.
Stop. Go back and read that again. Is Fisk really bemoaning the death of despicable tyrants and murderers? Of course the Americans want to kill bin Laden. He's only responsible for the death of 3,000 people on American soil. Omar? He's the one who said this: The promise of Bush is that there is no place on earth where you can hide that I cannot find you. Plus he's the leader of that little band of merry men known as The Taliban. Saddam's sons? Do I even have to express why those cretins deserved to be dead? And those three men in Yemen? They were al-Qaeda terrorists. One of them was behind the bombing of the USS Cole and the American Embassies in Africa. Fisk makes it sound like we're on an some wild duck hunt, just shooting at random, killing people because they are Arab. bq. The Israelis repeatedly threaten to murder Yasser Arafat. It's getting to be a habit. Yea, the U.S. and Israel just won't stop trying to kill those damn terrorists and their leaders.
No one has begun to work out the implications of all this. For years, there has been an unwritten rule in the cruel war of government-versus-guerrilla. You can kill the men on the street, the bomb-makers and gunmen, but the leadership was allowed to survive. Now all has changed utterly. Anyone who advocates violence - even if they are palpably incapable of committing it - are now on a death list. So who can be surprised if the rules are broken by the other side?
What the hell? I had to read that three times to make sure I wasn't misinterpreting his words. Let's see if I got this: Israel has upped the ante because they actually killed the leader of a terrorist group instead of his minions. They killed the mastermind behind the deaths of hundreds of children, the icon of all suicide bombers, and somehow they have broken the rules? I get it. Israel should not have targeted Yassin because the poor guy is a cripple and, while he can certainly come up with plans and direct his people to carry those plans out, he can't actually, you know...pull the trigger. So he should just get a pass. As for the rules being broken by the other side, I guess the bombing of buses filled with school children was on that list of "things that are ok to do." bq. The top guys are now in the firing line. Let us not say we didn't know. They've always been in the firing line, you idiot. Even Fisks's beloved terrorists want to kill Bush. Hell, they would probably line up Rice, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft against the wall if they could. Just shoot them all, one at a time, while their followers danced in the streets. I just cannot fully comprehend the way this man thinks. How can he write this stuff day after day and not feel the least bit like a fraud? And how can people hang on his every word as if he were some guru teaching them zen? Fisk is defending a depraved murderer. He's making Israel out to be the bad guys for wanting to take out a man who has caused the death of so many of its innocent citizens. He's chastising America for going after the men who have committed terrible acts against the free world. He's accusing America of being a nation of haters who just want to attack people for their nationality or religion, when it's the people he is defending that have done just that - attacked us because we are American and because we are not Muslim. They have attacked Israel because they hate Jews. Some day they will get you, too, Fisk. You'll be sitting in a cafe somewhere in the Middle East, jotting down notes for a story extolling the virtues of militant Islam, when a man dressed in designer grenades and bombs will walk in the door and blow himself up. He won't care that you are Robert Fisk. He won't care that you are a terrorist supporter. He's just doing his job, after all. You know, just defending his poor terrorist pals from the likes of toddlers, mothers and scholars. The title of today's Fisk piece is The gloves are off in terror war, and everyone is at risk. The gloves have been off since, at least, 1993. We're practically in round ten already. Where the hell has he been? And in case he has forgotten about these little things called terror alerts, and places like Bali and New York and D.C. and Spain, we have been at risk long before Yassin became a blood stain on the ground.

March 22, 2004

pixie dust, pizza and pesach

So, yes. Today was craptacular. But in the end, Fate herself was good to me and opened a much prettier door than the one that was closed earlier. I'd like to thank Fate, but she's pretty much unreachable, being an invisible entity and all. Not to mention a figment of my mind. Nevertheless, I'd like to share the sparkling fairy dust that she has sprinkled on my head. Let's pay it forward, shall we? [Hated the movie, liked the idea] I don't have any fairy dust, but I do have a few dollars in my emergency cup. And I know just the people I want to send my good vibes to. I'm sending two Pesach Packages to soldiers of the IDF. Maybe I'll throw in a pizza and soda as well. Paid forward. Anyone want to join me in thanking these incredibly courageous men and women for all they do? Just go here.

reading lessons

[click for readable size]Read the pages to the left. Did you understand them? Could you answer questions about them? Good, I thought you could. That's what we call reading for comprehension. It's one of the basic components of reading, usually taught to children beginning in kindergarten. I'm sure none of you have yet to enter kindergarten, so it dismays me to see that there are so many of you who cannot read for comprehension. You skim, you glance, and then you assume where the word are going rather than taking the time to know where the words, taken as a whole, are headed. So here's the deal: Either you read the entire post, taking in the words and their meanings, conceptualizing the ideas and understanding the context of those words, or you don't leave a comment. If I asked about the pictured pages, What does Sally say she likes?, and you answered, Sally likes when the puppets make her feel all tingly inside, you would be taken for an idiot. Perhaps this whole concept of comprehension is just a little too much for you and you should try some sites that tell cute little stories in Comic Sans font with flashing animation to help guide you through the story's concept. I'll break this down real simple for you: If you don't read the whole thing, don't leave a comment. This prevents my taking you for a raving idiot. Lesson ended.

quick turnaround

The fates work in strange ways. Perhaps the best thing to happen to us today was losing out on the house we were supposed to rent. Yea, it looked like the worst thing, didn't it? We were forced us to make a decision. We made it. We will be moving, probably within the six week time frame we had originally planned on. That's all I'm going to say for now. More when I feel less anxious about it.

Growling

Well, this day is shot to hell already. Woke up to the news that the "gates of hell" have opened. Got a rather disturbing call from the school social worker today in regards to DJ. Found out the new house has been pulled out from under us. Now we, and the 56 already packed boxes stacked up in my kitchen, have six weeks to find an equal or better new place to live. The quickest way to figure out if someone is a true friend or not is to do business with them. Hey, don't you think it's a little ridiculous for Palestinians to crying about Israel killing a poor, helpless guy in a wheelchair? Leon Klinghoffer sound familiar, you pissants? I am not in a good mood, to say the least.

The Links

al Qaeda. Saddam Hussein. PLO. Islamic Jihad. Hezbollah. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Abu Sayyaf Group. Taliban. Hamas. It is not necessary to have a paper trail of arms sales and monetary exchanges to link these groups together. It is not necessary, to most thinking people, to have a solid, tangible piece of proof to know that these groups are all working under the same umbrella. Oh, not a formal umbrella, with a name and office to work out of. But it's there nonetheless, a common bond that links all these terrorists and wannabe martyrs together. It's called annihilation and it's aimed at you. Well, not if you're Muslim (and if you are you should really think about going hardcore, because I don't think these guys care much for moderates). As long as you belong to the Jew-hating, America-hating, freedom fearing 12th century bastardization of the religion of peace, you're safe. Well, not really. Because if you live in America or maybe even Britian or Italy, they aren't going to take the time to round up all the Muslims before they blow up a disco or nursery school. Maybe if they're hijacking a plane, or storming the Olympics, they'll take the time to pick out the Jews and Americans. But when it comes to grenades and metal-filled bombs, time is of the essence and you're pretty much out of luck. They are all one in the same just for the fact that they are our enemy. Oh, there's those little things, like combined jihads, or Saddam giving payment to families of suicide bombers. There's the great desire to Israel washed into the sea and the Satanic entity that is America bow before Allah and face Mecca. Their most common trait is hatred. If that's not enough to link these groups together, then you are asking too much. In these eyes, Saddam is forever linked to bin Laden who is forever linked to Arafat and so on and so on until you've formed a nice little circle jerk of terrorists. They run in the same circles, they play the same games, they want the same prize. That makes them connected. How can you not get it? How can you not see that the war on terrorism is in full swing and our enemies are joining hands to form a larger, stronger coalition against us? Much like the lefties who defend them, they are blurring their issues until the only clear thing about what they stand for is they hate us. It's only a matter of time until their links are formalized and they give themselves a clever name, like United Terrorist Network and hell, maybe they'll even incorporate or apply for tax-free status as a charitable organization. They'll have stationery made up and a president (bin Laden) and a vice-President (Arafat) and have meetings and secret handshakes and all-day workshops like Effective Suicide Belt Making or Teaching Your Children to Die for Your Cause 101. You know what else binds them? They all gloated about 9/11. Every one of them thought we deserved it, looked at al-Qaeda as heroes for the new millennium. I don't need any other proof that they are all linked other than they all want me dead. We are at war. Stop sleeping with the enemy. Please. ______________________________________________ Elsewhere: It's a small terrorist world, after all. A complete compendium of Yassin kills. Survival Strategies in a Barroom Brawl

Hmmm...

This entry was deleted because I hit "save" instead of "dreaft"(which I only realized when two comments were emailed to me) and now I have to step out of the office and can't finish it. I'll get to it later.

Have No Fear

You have to wonder. Are world leaders condemning the killing of Yassin because they think Israel had no right to do such a thing, or are they condemning it out of self preservation? I'm sure Hamas is looking at who is crying foul and who is not. Death to those who don't mourn for Yassin and all. So, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Yassin was a murderer of the worst kind; he plotted, he planned and he sent out young men, sometimes boys, to kill - and die - for Hamas. He had the blood of hundreds of Israeli children on his hands. It is Yassin who kept the cycle of violence going, by setting himself up as a spiritual leader and more or less teaching parents to raise their children to murderers. In that view, the death of Yassin cannot be seen as anything but good. One less bastard in the world. [By the way, Matthew Stinson pretty much predicted this in January] But there is always the other side of the coin. What does this mean for the people of Israel? For Jews in general? Will this only spurn more suicide bombings, more death of innoncents? Will the Muslim brotherhood of terrorists take their anger out on the soldiers in Iraq? Those are frightening thoughts. I do believe that in the long run, Hamas will fall without the leadership of its head murderer. However, before it does fall, the people of Israel will pay - probably in great numbers - for the destruction of the inner sanctum of Hamas. So is the strike on Yassin combatting terrorism or adding to it? Are the people of Israel willing to die in order to stop to Arafat and his band of thugs from trying to wipe their country off the face of the earth? One of the first things I did when I heard the news this morning was to check on Allison. At first she was worried. She thought about staying under the covers, keeping the kids home from school. Instead she got up and carried on.
Despite it all, I still head out to meet my friend for coffee, we sit in an outdoor cafe in the sun under some trees and have a late breakfast. It's a beautiful day, the cafe is full. Nothing in the scene would indicate that the "gates of hell" are opened.... Are we all in denial? Are we all crazy? Or are we just doing the sane and logical thing by living our suburban lives?
She's a brave woman. I would have chosen to hide under the bed all day. Over in the West Bank, people are lining up to be volunteers in the suicide bomber brigade. The Mideast reaction to Yassin's death is just fueling the fire of anger. Egypt, Iran, Yemen...everyone is going out of their way to condemn the assisanation and call for Sharon's head. And now the U.S. and some of its allies in the war on terror will condemn the killing of terrorist mastermind Yassin. Yet we actively pursue bin Laden and other al-Qaeda and Iraqi leaders and vow to take them "dead or alive." So how can the leaders who would put a bullet between the eyes of one terrorist condemn the killing of another? Unless, of course, it's out of fear of retaliation. The would be suicide bombers and martyrs will be standing in line for the next few days, waiting to be handed their bomb belts. Their mothers will kiss them, their fathers will praise them and they will go into Israel smiling, as if they were doing God's work. And they will kill themselves in a blaze of supposed glory, going for the gusto by aiming for places packed with women and children. Doesn't anyone see the difference between Israel and the Palestinians? Israel aims for murderers, terrorists. They go out of their way to avoid civilian deaths. But Arafat's people - they hit where it hurts the most. They aim for the innocent, the young. And they revel in those deaths. That's a depraved group of people for whom I feel no pity at all. I look at them I feel disgust. They are not people at all, but monsters wearing the faces of humans. As Banagor said:
That we enjoy and celebrate his death is fine with me. I do not consider it to be anything like the celebration of the deaths of innocents at the hands of suicide bombers, but then again that is exactly what separates my side from theirs. That is the entire reason why we are fighting this war. If somebody doesn't understand this then they should stick their head back in the sand and hope that the danger will pass over their soon-to-be dead body.
People say, let us not rejoice in the death of others. Well, that's a fine sentiment if you're pious and righteous and I claim to be neither of those things. So I will rejoice. I will feel glad that there is one less piece of scum dirtying up the earth. And I will not feel bad if a hundred Palestinian martyrs in training die in the ensuing, inevitable battle. Enough is enough. The Palestinian people would never be happy until every Israeli on the face of the earth is gone, dead. They are all enemies of peace and play a big part in the war on terror that world should be fighting together. Don't you get it? People who raise their children to spill the blood of innocents are our enemies. They are part of the big picture, the whole scenario that makes this world the unstable place it is. Every other peaceful country should grow some balls and admit that Yassin being dead is a good thing. They should stand behind Israel in its fight against these ruthless murderers. But that will not happen because they are afraid, and that fear makes groups like Hamas even stronger. If Allison, in Israel, can go out today and have coffee as if it were an ordinary day and not one in which thousands of people have just vowed to kill everyone in her country, then she is braver than most world leaders. And she has taught me something about myself. We cannot be afraid. We cannot show our fear. Never again will I speak of being so scared of a terrorist attack that I don't want to leave my house. Never again will I cower at the sight of a low flying plane. We need to stand up and look these people in the eye and say, if you come for us, we will come for you. Twice as hard. Have no fear except the fear of what will happen if we sit back and take all the abuse that terrorists like Yassin want to heap upon us. Oh, and don't let those cries of "poor quadrapeligic in a wheelchair" tug at your hearstrings. Since September of 2,000 474 people have been killed in 112 Palestinian homicide bombings. You can bet that Yassin was behind about 98% of those bombings. And to all those protesters over the weekend who burned Israeli flags and marched in support of Palestine - you support a cult of death. You support terrorism masquerading as religion. If they strike at America, they will not care if you are a friend of Palestine or not. You will die with the rest of us. But keep waving that flag. I'm glad he's Yassin is dead. I wish the rest of Hamas the same fate, and soon. [And if this sounds like I am confused, it's because I am. I didn't think this one out, I just wrote]

March 21, 2004

Speechless

This is how they stage a peace rally these days. 117-1743_IMG.jpg There are many, many more pictures from the SF "peace" rally here, taken by LGF reader zombie. Most of the sentiments were just as bad as the one above. I still stand by my Winds of Black Hate post. The far left has gone from absurdly creepy to... I don't know. There are no words for people like this. Maybe I'll have something to say about it tomorrow. Right now, I just feel like crying. [via Allah]

Update....

To the post below this. I linked to Fritz's fight with Discovery Channel and I have to say I made a mistake in not really looking at what I was linking to. Fritz sent out an email and asked for people to link to his story, I put it in my bookmarks and then linked to it when I was doing a link dump this morning (that sounds kind of gross, doesn't it?). Kevin says that the "hate symbol" Fritz is referring to is the Iron Cross, which is still in use in the Germany Air Force and not really a hate symbol at all. After some research, I discovered that the Iron Cross is only a hate symbol when worn together with a swastika. In fact, Wikepedia says: Since 1957, German law prohibits the wearing of an Iron Cross with a Swastika. Today's Luftwaffe uses a stylized Iron Cross as its symbol. If anyone else wants to shed some light on this subject, I'd be happy to hear about it.

something old, something new, an earache and some links for you

[worst. title. ever.] I haven't done a blog roundup in a while and there's no time like a Sunday morning when your child was up half the night before with a brutal earache, thus keeping you awake as well, while you rubbed his back and thrust half of the medicine cabinet down his throat in an effort to make the pain go away. Parents of infants, beware. When they are teeny tiny babies and they scream and cry, you will say "I wish my baby could talk so I would know what's bothering him so." Alas, knowing what's bothering them and being able to fix it at 4am on a Sunday morning are not the same thing. And one without the other leaves you feeling just as helpless as you did when you spent the night roaming the hospital hallway while your 18 month old son was getting a spinal tap in an effort to figure out what the hell was causing him such agony. Well, here's to crawling back into bed and having another dream about Mickey Kaus. Meanwile, I leave you with my collected bookmarks for the week past: * Fritz is being harassed by the Discovery Channel over a parody post he wrote - but is it really about that particular post or the one where he calls TDC out for selling products with hate symbols on them? * If you, like myself, are a fan of the His Dark Materials trilogy, you need to read the Archbishop of Canterbury's debate with Phillip Pullman on the subjects of life, God and the universe. * In case you're wondering, Stephen King supported Howard Dean, Nelson DeMille supports John Kerry and Babs supports ABB (anyone but Bush). * I'm supposed to be part of an eclectic group of guestbloggers over at Boi from Troy while the BFT is off trekking through Prague. I will get over there at some point today, but meanwhile you should check out how the other guests are doing. See, when you're a nice guy, like BFT is, you get guest bloggers who treat your home with respect. Unlike some other people. * New (to me) blog son my list that I think you'll enjoy: The Moderate Voice, Large-Regular. * The Tobacco Road Fogey has moved. Ajdust accordingly. * How sweet. The DU denizens are wishing George Sr. death for his birthday. * Arafat on Passion of the Christ: It's a four grenade movie! * You probably know by now that Nukevet has moved, but make sure you check out the splash page. * Don't miss HurryUpHarry's visit to the London protests. * I am seriously behind on my email. I'm not ignoring you, I'm just practicing my procrastinating skills. Well, that and I need a few more hours in a day to get everything done that I need to. Alright, today is if you got it, link it day. Proceed to whore yourself, drop some good links or just bitch and complain in the comments. I've got more packing to do and a pediatrician to call.

March 20, 2004

Jesus, Snails and Me

It's Saturday night at ten and I'm on the couch, reading blogs and taking ridiculous quizzes. Normally, I would be out on a Saturday night, most likely partying with movie stars and sipping champagne with heads of state, but I gave up that life when I realized it was only happening in my head. Spent all day packing and purging. I swear, if we had the money to spare, I would just empty the entire contents of this house into a garbage dump and start fresh in the new house. Well, except for the DVDs and CDs. Took too long to accumulate them. And the kids. I don't think the people moving in here when we leave would appreciate finding two kids stuffed in the closet. While I was packing, I was also thinking. Plotting out that movie where Jesus takes on the zombies. I decided the zombies should win, but they don't get to gloat too much because God pays a visit and smites them all with a ten ton megawatt lightning bolt. And then Jesus comes back for the sequel: The Fashion of the Christ, in which Jesus is maligned by the fashion community for those hideous robes that are all the Jesus wannabes are wearing. Anyhow, Saturday night after a day spent packing up, getting bitched at for being a minion of satan (if only - I hear the pay is great) and bitching about protesters. It's always good to end a day like with a few useless quizzes. inv_terror.gif 7.gif 8.gif

Do They Hear What I Hear?

[cCick images for full size. All images from various Indymedia sites or Yahoo News] M20 is what they are calling it; a day that anti-war folk around the world will head out to the streets to protest the "occupation" of Iraq during this "illegal" war that "Imperialistic" America has waged upon the poor, put upon men that helped Saddam rule over Iraq with an iron fist. One year later and they are still protesting, still comparing Bush to Hitler, still yelling about oil. They are still calling for the troops to be immediately pulled out of Iraq. They are still shouting out their insults and cursing at George Bush, still blocking traffic, chanting in the streets and holding up signs that detail all the ways in which America suck, all the while complaining about John Ashcroft taking their liberties and freedoms away from them and turning America into a police state. They always fail to see the irony in that. Today was no different than all the other days these people gathered en masse(and I use that term loosely) to protest the war. What war is that? The war in Iraq, of course. Why do you look so confused? Oh, yes. You're right. That is an Israeli flag on that lovely banner there. Does anyone else see something slightly askew with comparing Israelis with Nazis, or is it just me? So what's going down in the land down under? Well, in New Zealand they're putting flags on the barbie. Mmm....roasted flags. These people don't even have enough balls to hold a burning flag in their hands, they have to use a bucket? The protesters of the 60's laugh at you! Now here's an interesting ant-war protest. Free Saddam. It occurs to me here t hat the only kind of person who would want Saddam free is a terrorist, or "militant" or even "freedom fighter" in anti-war speak. Having this guy at your protest is like having a ringer on your baseball team. Should he really count as a real protester? Aren't these people for peace? Because it seems to me that anyone who wants the Iraqi leaders free is not exactly preaching peace, if you know what I mean.
Oh, look. More fun with Israeli flags. Now, last I checked Israel wasn't taking part in the war in Iraq, so methinks that, once again, the anti-war organizations are just fronts for Arafat's money laundering schemes. Kidding! Really, just a little anit-war humor there. Now this has got to be my favorite. The sign says: U.S., The Barrier to World Peace. In what Twilight Zone type world do you have live in to think that the United States is stopping peace from happening? Let me get this straight; the anti-war crowd wants us to pull our troops out of Iraq, thus sending that country back into the stone age, resulting in the deaths and torture of thousands of innocent Iraqis and giving no chance for a democratic society to grow, but we're the ones who are putting a stop to peace. They guard the homes of terrorists, teach Palestinian children how to hate America and defend the actions of Arafat's bullies, but America is somehow a barrier to peace. They want to free Mumia, they idolize Che, they hate cops and they ignore the plight of the people in Iran and Syria while fretting about political prisoners in Gitmo, but America is the barrier to world peace. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it. I wonder if these people (the turnout ranged from several million to one gazillion depending on who you ask) know anything about the last year in Iraq besides what they read on Indymedia. Maybe they should take a look. I wonder if, when they purport to be speaking for all the soldiers in Iraq, they have bothered to talk to any soldiers who are proud of what they have done and what they are doing. Have they talked to real Iraqi people? Not the ones who have been in America for years and seem to have forgotten their fears with their newfound freedoms, not the Iraqis who want Saddam back in power, but the Iraqis who are still there, striving to make their homeland a place to be proud of? Do they know there are real, existing Iraqis who actually like George Bush, like America and are grateful for what the coalition forces are doing for them? Of course not. If they did, this is what they would hear:
It’s very cozy and comfortable to drink the tea in the morning, getting out of your first-class houses, driving your fancy cars, speaking loudly against your governments, criticizing your prime ministers and presidents, saying “ I want this thing”, “ I don’t agree on this decision”, “ I hate Blair and Bush”…..etc. Look you coddled pampered people… why don’t you want us to do what you’re doing now ? why don’t you want us to live like you ? Are you idiots? Selfish? Or what ? You ‘protestors’ I’m sure you didn’t use your mind when you got out of your houses.. just let me tell you something: when you want to refuse something or say that’s wrong, first of all you should study the whole case and discuss it thoroughly before saying it’s wrong, and when you say it’s wrong, GIVE A PROPOSAL to solve the case, now when you said “ No war….” What is the right thing to do to get rid of Saddam and build democratic countries in the region? Tell me … Otherwise, when you don’t know ANYTHING about Iraq and Iraqis do you know what to do? JUST SHUT UP and stay at home.
Or they would hear this: Thanks to the friends of the free, democratic and prosperous Iraq and down to the terrorists and the hypocrites and their ideologies. Or this:
A heart felt greetings to the heroes of this brave and just operation who never spare an effort to help us and listen to us. God bless the souls of those heroes who died during this operation. That was not a war but a salvation and a wonderful dream and unbelievable dream coming true.
But what would an anti-war, anti-George Bush, anti-America protester want to hear that for? The truth would just kill their blurry little causes.

Speak of the Devil

We were just talking about the Misfits in the comments of my Metallica post last night. Conservative Punks for Bush - and there's Michael Graves talking about his hero, George Bush. Conservative Punk website And hey, let's not turn this into a Danzig/Graves fight, ok? I've had enough of them to last a lifetime. (For the record, I like both their stuff, though Danzig's solo albums are a stratosphere above any Graves era Misfits)

No what for what??

While protesters all over the world are standing around yelling out chants and silly rhymes to support their idea that the Iraq would have been better off with Saddam still in power, President Bush is in Orlando giving the speech of his life. Hopefully, they will have the text up quickly.

What He Said

I was sitting here typing this long, convoluted post about a myriad of subjects, but this is much more succint and accurate: [click for bigger] Day by Day by Chris Muir [And don't forget, free Damon!]

kicking zombie ass for the Lord

I've read at least three articles already today about Dawn of the Dead v. Passion of the Christ at the box office. Zombies v. Jesus, which one will be the top moneymaker this weekend? The fight for number one!

That got me thinking. These two movies each bring in a different kind of audience. Each movie will make a (relative to the cost of the film) ton of money. Each will have taken a place at number one on the box office charts. And, most importantly, the movies share a common theme: rising from the dead! So I had a blockbuster idea, one that will combine the two disparate, yet large, group of movie goers who are fans of each film. One that will be able to suck the cash out of the pockets of both zombie fans and Jesus followers, bringing them together in a force so large, it will forever change the way blockbuster movies are made.

[click for poster size]

Yea, my Photoshop skills suck. But I still think it's a good idea.

March 19, 2004

now playing

shows.jpgI've mentioned here a thousand times before that I just can't stand listening to Metallica anymore. Old, new, whatever. It just pains me. But damn, Battery is still a great song. Makes me wish I was a heavy metal rock star. I have this sudden urge to bang my head while flashing the metal sign.

Sometimes it's what you don't say that matters

John Kerry's speech on the anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq:
Today marks the one year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. It is an important day to recognize the courage and enormous skill of the United States military. Our men and women in uniform are the best and the brightest the nation has to offer, and their efforts to defend Democracy should be honored each and every day. We also must remember those that have given their lives in the fight for freedom. "Before the war started, I repeatedly called on the President to build a genuine coalition to reduce the military and financial burden on the United States, to go to war only as a last resort, and to have a plan to win the peace. I voted to give him the authority to go to war only when he promised me and other members in Congress that he would do these things. He broke those promises. "He misled the American people in his own State of the Union Address about Saddam's nuclear program and WMD's, and refused - and continues to refuse - to level with the American people about the cost of the war. Simply put, this President didn't tell the truth about the war for the beginning. And our country is paying the price. "It's time for George Bush to start being consistent on Iraq. It's time for him to finally find the right policy for Iraq. It's time to take the target's off the backs of U.S. soldiers, reduce the burden on America's taxpayers, and finish the job in Iraq
Hmmm..they must have forgotten to quote the part where he talks about freedoms restored in Iraq, Saddam Hussein being captured, the deadly duo being dead, the torture rooms closing, the children in prisons running free.... Oh, I see. He didn't talk about those things. He just wanted to take the opportunity on this day to remind people that no matter what good has come out of this war, if no WMDs are found, it's not worth it. Compare and contrast: Bush's speech

spontaneous combustion

I've let out more curses today than the script of Scarface and Glengarry Glenn Ross combined. Barely two inches of snow on the ground and the schools close. Of course, ours is the only school district stupid enough to close down for the day. And, of course, this is one of those rare days my husband is not home. So here we are. Home. It's ok, I tell myself. I have a lot of Command Post work to do today. Well, no. Not if my cable connection doesn't cooperate. Which it hasn't since about 6am. Ten snowflakes and the cable goes crazy. My tv's digital cable is out, too. Just some snow and the occasional scrambled picture, reminding me of how we used to watch porn back in the early days of cable. Watching George Bush give a speech that way just does not give me the same thrill. Sure, the internet connection is working, but it's working as if I were on a 14k dial-up. Frustrating, to say the least. I just can't work like this. DJ has been playing the opening riff to Smoke on the Water over and over, once in a while stopping to play whatever else he picked up from School of Rock. I unplugged his amp after half an hour. It didn't help. I can still hear him. When we move in May, I am soundproofing his bedroom. Natalie has been on the phone all morning, relaying to her friends the "horrible, dreadful nightmare" she had last night, in which John Peter Lewis (aka The Pen Salesman) was voted off American Idol. I was tempted to relate my nightmare, in which severed, bloody heads were being thrown out of an airplane and onto the field at Yankee Stadium during the World Series, at which former mayor David Dinkins was pitching against Daniel Pipes. George Steinbrenner was there, wearing a Speedo, and every time a bloody head landed on the field, he would shout "heads are gonna roll!" and then he would laugh and laugh and laugh until his laughing was the only sound one could hear, at which point Mickey Kaus (who looked sort of like Bruce Willis circa Die Hard) got on the PA system and announced that there would be a karaoke contest after the game at Burger King. And then he pulled out what appeared to be some kind of futuristic machine gun that was soldered onto his arm and shot down the plane with the bloody heads. It was actually a pretty interesting dream. Certainly better than today's waking life, with spotty connectivity, Deep Purple as interpreted by an eleven year old and the screech of a 14 year old girl as she finds out that her mother has seen her Live Journal. It's really too early to drink isn't it?

TCP Wants You (to join our birthday celebration)

Regarding the Command Post birthday, I'd like to add something Alan wrote over at TCP:
[We] will post some thoughts on the past year throughout the weekend, and we'd ask the same of our contributors. So contributors, if you have thoughts on the past year, especially regarding how you, us, them, blogs, journalism, or politics may have changed, post them in Op Ed. And readers, we want to hear from you, too! If you have thoughts about the past year at Command Post, or opinions about the intersection of blogs, journalism, and society, email them to info at command-post dot org. As long as they pass our subjective tests of decency and respect, we’ll post them on the Op Ed page (be sure to tell us in your email if you don’t want your name revealed). We’ll take submissions through Monday. We’d love to hear from you, and you can see your name in lights!
While you're over at TCP, please read A Year in Iraq. It's an incredibly interesting, informative article, written by experts in the field (By Major John Voorhees and First Lieutenant Adria Toth) detailing everything that took place in the first year of the war, from the Road to Baghad right down to an Operation Summary. It's a must read.

The Command Post: One Year Old and Still Kicking

One year ago from today I had an idea. A year from tomorrow, that idea was put into motion, thanks to Alan. Alan and I were both covering the start of the Iraq war, as were many other bloggers. We saw a need to converge all of that coverage, to put it one place where people could get as much information and commentary as they wanted on one page. We opened a Blogspot account, sent the word out to other bloggers and the Warblog Corner was born. Just days after, when we realized that we had created a monster, so to speak, we bought a domain name, signed up with Hosting Matters, hired Sekimori Design and The Command Post came to life. For the first few months, the news was happening fast and furious and, thanks to contributors that spanned the globe, TCP was on top of things, often posting news before the mainstream media websites did. We made fast friends with quite a few people in the news industry, enabling us to get scoops and leads before most news outlets. Our bright idea worked because of supply and demand. People were demanding up to the minute news; we were supplying it. Readers wrote to tell us that they kept TCP open at work all day because it was the only way they could get decent coverage of the war without a television. The CNN newsroom was monitoring TCP. Military news outlets were aware of us. We were hounded for interviews. I think Alan and I both realized early on that we were onto something huge. Even as the war - and thus the news - was at its peak, we were looking forward, thinking up ways to keep TCP relevant even after the major news from Iraq waned. At one point we realized that if we wanted to continue to be taken seriously as a news site, we would have to separate the obvious opinion pieces from the straight news, so we created the OpEd section, a place where people were free to opine and rant without worrying about presenting the news in a biased fashion. The OpEd section has grown quite nicely, often featuring guest pieces from both bloggers and reporters. Still, we needed to expand more. There were other things going on in the world besides our fight with Saddam's men. Eventually we created the Global War on Terror page and the Global Recon section (which started out as a North Korea page, which spread into a page covering hot spots around the world). Global Recon became an important place when news broke that didn't quite fit into any of our other sections; news like the blackout that hit the Northeast last summer. Many mainstream media outlets pointed to TCP as a way to get up to date news on the situation. It wasn't until then that I realized the potential of TCP; we were performing a service of sorts, not just a gathering of links and news bites, but a real service. Later, that thought would resonate again when we covered the Bam earthquake and other news from around the world that most media outlets were ignoring. Again, that is because we have an amazing lineup of contributors from around the world. We had firsthand accounts from uprisings in Iran, bombings in Israel and a coup in Haiti. People right there, able to quickly update our readers on volatile situations without having to go through a submit process or work with editors. I think that's one of the most outstanding features of TCP; it's raw news. It's not sliced up for easy consumption, it's not stripped of emotion. That's what separates TCP's coverage of breaking news from other news outlets. Another thing that makes TCP different is the comments feature. While many news sites have message boards, TCP has, like most blogs, a comment feature built right in to each post. The conversations and discussions that go on in each thread only adds to the personal aspect of TCP; often readers will leave links to updates on the stories they are commenting on, or add information we didn't have. In order to keep TCP fresh and viable, we needed to keep the news fresh. When the breaking news is slow (which is really a good thing in most cases), we still needed to find ways to keep the site fresh without rehashing old news. Fortunately, there is always something going on, especially in an election year. So we created the Election 2004 section, which, over the past few months, has clearly been the most popular place on TCP. We covered each primary, each speech, each caucus live. We had reporters on the spot in all the states necessary, posting photos and conducting their own exit polls. We covered speeches, debates and news conferences live. We were the source for up to the minute election information, and we hope to continue to be that for the rest of the election season. It's certainly hard to become a popular destination on the web without help from other people. Glenn Reynolds and Jeff Jarvis were two of our earliest fans, and linked TCP often enough to keep fresh readers coming over. We'd like to thank them, Stacy for her hard work and dedication to TCP, everyone who ever linked to TCP, our incredible contributors, everyone who made a donation to TCP to help cover the costs of running the site, our advertisers and our loyal readers. TCP is only going to get bigger and better. If you would have told me a year ago that today I would be equipped with a laptop and a press pass to the GOP convention because of Command Post, I would have thought you crazy. But here we are, at just such a place. Alan and I both run the place in our "spare" time. We both have full-time jobs and families. But every letter we received from a reader who appreciated our work, from a soldier in Iraq who uses TCP to keep up with things going on besides the war, every time we were able to direct our readers to relief efforts or charitable organizations makes it worth every second and every penny spent. I love doing this. If I could afford to do it full-time, I would. Perhaps some day. It's been an interesting, exhausting, wild year. I wouldn't trade it in for anything. I know look forward to another year of news, and hope for most of it to be good. I want to take a moment to personally thank Alan for his inspiration, dedication and overall brilliance. TCP is nothing without him; he's the brains behind the operation. I just work here. Again, thanks to everyone who supported TCP and encouraged Alan and I to keep it going. A toast to all of you. [Links to all articles in which TCP is mentioned or featured can be found here. Please visit our contributors and give them a nice round of applause for all of their hard work. There is no way TCP exists without them.]

March 18, 2004

there's news over there

I apologize for the crap posting today, but sometimes Command Post must take precedent. If you are interested at all in what's going on in Pakistan, you should check out the very cool terrain maps that a Command Post reader whipped up for us. Does anyone else find it odd that CNN, FOX, MSNBC and every other major media outlet is covering this story by the minute, with bold headlines, graphics an everything, and Drudge hasn't even mentioned it yet? He used to be big on war stuff. He seems to have gone the way of gossip columnist lately. Yes, I know. I have a chip on my shoulder about Drudge. You don't have to bring it up.

naming names

Call off the search for a name for the laptop. Now that I think about, there really is no other choice. It's name is Spider. This is why: Originally written in June of 2003, it's even more appropriate these days.
I've been knee deep in Trasmet collected issues for the past few weeks. My writing - most of which you've never seen - comes from a place deep within. In that place is everything I loathe. It sits there like a magic elixer made of the necessary ingredients to keep me writing. Hate, fear, loathing, disgust; they are all very powerful emotions. And while love and beauty are powerful in and of themselves, they do not give me the quite the muse that negative emotions do. When I write, I feed on anger. I drink the blood of indignation. I call upon past incidents, in much the same way an actor will recall significant moments in his life, to bring out the emotions I felt at that time and feel them as if they were raw and new. Sometimes a simple song can do that. Sometimes, all I have to do is dream about it. Much of what comes out of those lingering feelings, you never see. They are pieces I write with an old fashioned pen and paper and they get folded and stuffed into a box with the rest of my scrawlings. I do, however, use the same tactic here. It's why I troll the sewers of Indymedia, why I read Morford and Rall, why I dig for stories that make me want to scream in anger. It gets me going. It's what interests me. It's what makes me part Spider Jersusalem, unable to write a decent screed unless I am full of rage or righteous indignation. Sure, Spider has a plethora of futuristic drugs to help him along. I have the blogging equivalent, I suppose. An endless supply of emails - people who send me links to things they know will outrage me. Like feeding heroin to a starving junkie. I hate it here, sometimes. I hate the internet, I hate the my town, I hate Long Island, I hate New York. But I love them all as well. I'm just more passionate about the things I hate. Beauty and love and all things happy, I'd rather just sit and admire, take it all in and keep it there. But hate, vitriol and fear - those are meant to be purged and it's when purging them that I come alive as a writer, when the ink is flowing like blood and the words are flying out of my head faster than I can write them. From issue #4: Spider: The point is, the only real tools we have are our eyes and our heads. It's not the act of seeing with our own eyes alone; it's correctly comprehending what we see. Channon: Treating life as an autopsy. Spider: Got it. Laying open the guts of the world and sniffing the entrails, that's what we do.
Well, if I can't Spider I can at least name in inanimate object after him.

no more wires

First post from laptop. I'm wireless baby! I made this post from my bed. Now comes the special moment: It's time to name the laptop. Everything has to have a name, you know. Our desktop is named Akuma. My benefactor, the person who gave me this beautiful machine, had set the name as "Michele's Box." Cute, eh? Taking suggestions for a new name.

Blogging goes Boom

A Boom Time For Bloggers - Philadelphi Inquirer My partner-in-crime Alan was interviewed for this article. Oh, and this blog gets called sassy. Say it with me. Sassssy. Reporter Beth Gillin did a great job on the article. Kudos to her for mentioning Scott Elliot's parents and Bob Zangas.

while you were out

It figures. I step away from the computer for a while and all hell breaks loose. Well, not really. But we are very, very busy over at Command Post, bringing you the latest details on the capture of a very "high ranking" member of al-Qaeda, possibly the #2 man in al Qaeda. I'll be over there for a while. Heh. Not only are the DU people making the usual claims that this is all staged or fake, but some of them insist that CNN is in on it! And Drudge, that super reporter, is still headlining the alarmist asteroid-headed-towards-earth news.

What year is this, anyhow?

It's not just the far left moonbats that are pissing me off these days. The far right bigots are certainly holding their own.
Rhea County [TN] commissioners unanimously voted to ask state lawmakers to introduce legislation amending Tennessee's criminal code so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature. "We need to keep them out of here," said Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who introduced the motion. County Attorney Gary Fritts also was asked by Fugate to find the best way to enact a local law banning homosexuals from living in Rhea County. .... Rhea County, about 30 miles north of Chattanooga, is among the most conservative in Tennessee. It holds an annual festival commemorating the 1925 trial that convicted John T. Scopes on charges of teaching evolution, a verdict thrown out by the Tennessee Supreme Court on a technicality. [emphasis min]
We have a long way to go before this country can call itself progressive. There are no amount of words that convey my anger towards the people of Rhea County. This is sheer lunacy. Nevermind that the whole thing, like Michael Totten says, is unconstitutional and will never pass. Just the mere fact that there are people who think like this, people who agree with them and people who condone this behavior as if it were a righteous thing to do makes me wonder exactly how much we as people have evolved. There is no defense for this behavior. None. You certainly have the right to be biased towards homosexuals, but to try to make your bigoted, ignorant, neanderthal views law is reprehensible. Sickening.

On Second Thought

Nevermind. After spending two hours on this thing, I realized that there is just no point to in writing seventy paragraphs on the liberation of Iraq when those who will read it have already seen the light or just plain refuse to see the light. No point in preaching to the choir, and certainly no point in preaching to the deaf.

Open Discussion: One Year Later

I'm busy working on a few things that will take a lot of research and a few hours of writing. Blogging will be non-existent until then, perhaps later this afternoon. Meanwhile, I'd like to make the comments on this post and open discussion of this topic: It's been one year since the start of the Iraq war. What has Iraq gained since then? What has the world gained? Do you see the world differently now than you did one year ago? Do you believe that the war in Iraq and the war on terror are really just two parts of one big war? Part of what I'm working on involves positive developments in Iraq and the war on terror since March 19, 2003. Links, thoughts, statistics, and anything else relevant to that will be appreciated; ten paragraph discourses on the "Bush is a liar" theme will not, just because it's not part of what I'm looking for today. Please try to keep it civil. Trolls will be banished to Siberia.

March 17, 2004

Never Again

Clutching pictures of relatives they lost, survivors of Saddam Hussein's 1988 chemical weapons attack gathered in this northern town Tuesday to remember the thousands who died. .... "This day reminds us of our grief ... (But) it's also a day of happiness because the dictatorship has collapsed," said Drakshan Kakasheik, who lost her husband, brother and three children, including a 5-month old son who died in her arms. "We smelled a foul smell and my brother went out and said: 'We're doomed. These are chemical weapons,"' she recalled tearfully. An estimated 5,000 people were killed and another 10,000 injured by the poisonous bombs Iraqi forces dropped on Halabja on March 16, 1988. "For those in my country and elsewhere who ... still wonder if the war was worth fighting, I say, 'Come to Halabja,"' Bremer said. "Look in the faces of the survivors here today. See how a peaceful village was turned into a hell overnight by evil."
Saddam will never be able to murder like that again. But, you know, the world isn't any safer since he's been locked up. Right? Tell that to the survivors in Halabja.

Hide the Credit Cards

Amazon opened a comic and graphic novel store.

Believe it.....or not

A group claiming to have links with al Qaeda said on Wednesday it was calling a truce in its Spanish operations to see if the new Madrid government would withdraw its troops from Iraq (news - web sites), a pan-Arab newspaper said. In a statement sent to the Arabic language daily al-Hayat, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed 201 people, also urged its European units to stop all operations. "Because of this decision, the leadership has decided to stop all operations within the Spanish territories... until we know the intentions of the new government that has promised to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq," the statement said. "And we repeat this to all the brigades present in European lands: Stop all operations."
Yes, I'm skeptical. But it sure wouldn't be a surprise to me if it turns out to be real. Update: I deleted a comment by someone called Truth Out Now, an anti-war activist who tried to speak for a dead soldier. It was rude, crude, crass and just plain wrong. So if the comments look weird to you, it's because a comment that people are referring to has been taken out.

on a lighter note....

We've taken over Bill's blog. Don't ask how we got in. But damn, are we making a wreck of the place. The bastard deserves it.

your time is gonna come

Friday will be the one year anniversary of The Command Post. In thinking about that today, I was finally able to pinpoint the source of the black cloud of doom that's been hovering over my head. Everybody loves an anniversary, terrorists included. Numbers, symbolism, special dates - conspiracy theorists have a field day with that stuff. But it's not always theory, is it? Now that we know al-Qaeda is seeking revenge for America and its allies participation in the de-throning of Saddam, I have to wonder if that merry band of murderers has something up their collective sleeves. Then Allah directs me to this Debka story: bq. Italy’s counter-terror unit reports large Muslim group of 80 from different nations stand ready to carry out mega-terror attacks in Italy. La Repubblica, Rome, cites possible dates as March 19 – start of Iraq war, April 4 – Easter, and June 12-13 – EU elections. Normally, I take all Debka articles with a huge grain of salt. But this one was also reported here, who got the story from Reuters. The story was also reported at La Repubblica. I cannot for the life of me imagine why any nation (other than Arab nations) would not stand by our side in the fight against our combined enemies. They have to see that there is no difference now. al-Qaeda, Iraq "insurgents," whatever other terrorist groups are out there - they are one force operating under several identities. There is no time to separate the Iraq from bin Laden. There is no time for semantics or arguing. We are at war. Any country that does not give their all to this war is, for all intents and purposes, siding with the enemy. In their defiance of the coalition of those who want to fight, these cowardly countries are, in essence, declaring to the terrorists this statement: We will not fight you. You're ok with us. Go bother those other countries that want to wage war with you. It's similar to a kid joining sides with a bully just so the bully doesn't pick on him. It's cowardly. And it's wrong. What can we do to make those countries and their leaders understand that this is a war of ideas, a war of ideologies, and not one about land or oil or even weapons of mass destruction? All the rage pointed at Blair and Bush and Halliburton and the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is rage misplaced. Somebody sent me an email that said this was all the fault of the U.S. because "we should have let sleeping dogs lie." Those dogs were never, ever sleeping. Those dogs were in Bali. They were in New York, twice. They are forever in Israel. They were in the Khobar towers, in Scotland, in the waters off Greece, at the Munich Olympics and at the U.S. embassy in Iran. They are a great, big pack of countless mongrels baring their teeth and don't you think for one second that you are safe or that it is George Bush's fault that you are not. It's hard to wage war against an idea. It's difficult at best to aim a machine gun at someone's ideology. But we must try. There are packs upon packs of militants or insurgents or freedom fighters, as those who love the square quotes call them. They all want one thing; for their way to be rule. For their god to be the only god. For their laws to be the only laws. Freedom is their enemy. How could you not fight against that? If we do not all stand together in this battle, it is going to be difficult to win. The more countries that back away from the fight, the more countries the terrorists will have to look for shelter, for places to make their deals and exchange ideas. The more we let things in Syria and Iran pass by, the more opportunities there will be for our enemies to purchase weapons and make plans. The time has come to mean it when we say are you with us or against us. It's no longer a unclear line. It's right there, drawn in blood. Where are you going to stand? Where will your country place itself? The time has come. It's not a good time, it's not a safe time. All of our wars have blended together into one and it's time to draw swords.

A shot for me, a shot for Damon

A secretary in this building brought in enough corned beef and cabbage for everyone to enjoy a nice Irish lunch. However, the more imporant thing is, she also brought in a bottle of Jameson's to make Irish coffees. I'll take one Irish coffee. Hold the coffee, please. I wonder if it's against protocol to do shots at work. Aside from the myriad of other posts I've been working on, I've been putting together something about people who have this foolish notion that blogs need to be bi-partisan. You know, slag one side, slag the other. Praise one side, praise the other. News flash, people. Blogs do not have the responsibility to be fair and balanced. The scales of opinion tip in my favor when I am writing on my website. Oh, and the key word there is opinion. Well, more on that later. For now, let me wave my partisan flag. [click for bigger] Courtesy of the fabulous, conservative, multi-talented Chris Muir. Free Damon!

The Rock: A St. Patrick's Day Story from my Misguided Youth

[[Click for bigger image - it's a St. Paddy's Day greeting from my husband]The last time I went to the city (New York City, of course) on St. Patrick's Day was in 1980, with a few of my closest high school friends. We were in the home stretch of our high school careers; June would bring graduation, separation and higher education. We decided to make the most of our final months as high school juvenile delinquents and wreak as much havoc as possible.

So on March 17, 1980, we found ourselves on a westbound train at 7:30 in the morning instead of on a bus on our way to school. There was no other place to be on St. Patrick's Day besides New York City.

I don't think we saw much of the parade. Mostly we walked around the streets acting like idiots until lunch time, when we parked ourselves inside the Steak & Brew, a restaurant that gave out free beer with meals. Those of us who were only 17 showed fake ID, which the waitress barely glaned at. We stayed for a couple of hours, drinking and laughing, until the waitress said if we weren't going to order more food, we should leave. It had been a couple of hours.

We decided to walk over to Central Park. Drunk, perhaps a bit stoned, and surrounded by a massive crowd of other drunks and perhaps stoned people, we made our way through the throngs of Irish-for-the-Day revelers. We sang Danny Boy and some other Irish songs that everyone but me - the lone non-Irish person - could sing. We worked the crowd, not caring what anyone thought of us. We introduced ourselves to strangers, shared cigarettes with a homeless man and drank green beer with a bunch of firemen. Kevin shook hands with anyone and everyone, using his signature greeting of "have a nice life!" Man, were such geeks. Such idiots. But we had so much fun.

We closed out the afternoon pretending to scale rocks in Central Park. When we tired of that, we stretched out on one huge boulder, the five of us spread out, staring up at the gathering clouds. And we talked. We talked for what felt like hours about hobbits and pinball machines, about Todd Rundgren and the Grateful Dead, about the Yankees and the Islanders, and all the other all the things that bound us together through four years of high school, things that seem insignificant now, but were so important to us then.

I was the only girl among the five of us. It never felt odd to me, though I know it looked odd to other people. Those four guys were the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I had the greatest times of my life as part of that group of geeky kids. We weren't the jocks, we weren't the burnouts, we weren't the honor students or drama crowd. We were just us, the kids with no single identity, the kids who appeared to be friends with everyone, but were really only friends with themselves.

We talked about life, too, laying on that rock in the park as the sun started to disappear and the day turned cold. We guessed what our futures would be like. We wondered how long our friendship would hold. We made plans, laughed at our own far-fetched dreams of fame and fortune and stayed on that rock until our fingers and ears went numb from the cold. It was as if we knew that we were experiencing one of our last great days together. We hung onto it for as long as we could, and then we made an impossible promise to each other. We promised that no matter where life took us, no matter how far we roamed, we would come back to that very rock on St. Patrick's Day in the year 2000. Twenty years. We'd share our stories, show off pictures of our families, give each other autographed books and albums since we were all destined to be famous authors or musicians. We spat on our palms and gave each other wet high fives to solidify our vow. And then we headed for home.

I haven't seen them in quite a few years. I think it was 1999 when an old high school friend had a bunch of us over to reminisce. Only three of the five of us showed up, and it just wasn't the same without the other two. It wasn't right. And we forgot about our promise - not one of us mentioned it.

St. Patrick's Day, 2000 came and went. I didn't go to the rock, but I swear, I did think of my four friends that day. I wondered if any of them remembered our promise to meet there. I wonder if they still think about hobbits and pinball machines, if they still think of all those parties at my house when they watch Islander games.

Well, Happy St. Patrick's Day to Kevin, Chris, Tim and Jim. Hope you guys are having a nice life. I am.

KERRY, KERRY, THAT'S OUR MAN! IF HE CAN'T SCREW US, NOBODY CAN!

John Kerry, Man of Action. Or inaction, when it comes to defense. NARRATOR: “Few votes in Congress are as important as funding our troops at war. Though John Kerry voted in October, 2002 for military action in Iraq, he later voted against funding our soldiers....” SENATE CLERK: “Mr. Kerry:” ANNOUNCER V/O: “No..” NARRATOR: “Body armor for troops in combat.” SENATE CLERK: “Mr. Kerry:” ANNOUNCER V/O: “No.” NARRATOR: “Higher combat pay.” SENATE CLERK: “Mr. Kerry:” ANNOUNCER V/O: “No.” NARRATOR: “And, better health care for reservists and their families…” SENATE CLERK: “Mr. Kerry:” ANNOUNCER V/O: “No.” Not the guy I want in the White House at a time like this. I'll have more on this later, for now see Ed Moltzen rip Kerry apart on the issue of homeland security.

March 16, 2004

I take back that headline of the day award

I'm giving it to the BBC instead. Good news, Syrians. Someone in the mainstream media has finally decided to recognize what's going on in your country. bbc.gif So come on, tell us. Were the Kurds "killed" or were they, you know, killed? Stupid media.

more voices

A few days ago, Bart left a comment saying that he thinks I should expand the Voices project. I gave it some thought and he's right. It's something I want to do. I'm still going to keep all the writings as they appear now in one place - 9/11 stands alone for me, for various reasons. However, I would like to find a way to include anyone who has ever been a victim of terrorism - and by that I mean not just people who were there when an act of terrorism occurred, but people who were affected in any way, shape or form, just like the Voices project. I'm still fleshing this out and I am open to suggestions, ideas, advice and whatnot. Does this sound like something worth pursuing?

The missing News

Just in case you were wondering, that revolt in Iran is still going on. Blogs will keep you updated because the media seems to have time for Courtney Love and pandas having sex, but can't seem to find someone to cover an uprising that is being met with incredible violence. Oh, and that little thing going on in Syria? Yep, still going on:
"They are rounding us up" I have just received news from a friend in northern Kurdistan who has family in Syrian Kurdistan: In the Zorava neighborhood, Kurdish men between the ages of 14 and 50 are being arrested. Approximately 2,000 have been arrested in these operations.
I now return you to your force-fed U.S. news diet of Martha and Kobe while Britian brings you a comprehensive, ground breaking story that elderly Jewish voters in Florida aren't going to vote for Bush. Did I mention the word uprising? What about violence? Two countries whose politcal stability could have great impact on us? You know, that whole axis of evil thing? Thank jeebus for blogs. Of course, you can also find all this news over at Command Post.

i always depended upon the kindess of not-quite strangers

The generosity of the people who make up the blogosphere has never ceased to amaze me. Adding to my complete awe of my readers is the news I received this week - a person who wishes to remain anonymous is sending me a laptop. A laptop. Dude, I'm getting a Dell. It should be here tomorrow. To that person: I cannot bestow enough kind words of thanks upon you. I'll buy a wireless card and whatever accessories I need with the money my generous benefactors have deposited in my Paypal account. I can now blog the GOP convention (though I'm still trying barter favors for a press pass) and any other interesting events outside of the house. I can blog from bed, from the train (in a box, with a fox). I promise not to blog while driving, though. My readers rock. Thank you.

Headline of the Day

French Going Wild For Senator Kerry In Election Fever Nope. Too easy. Not gonna do it.

E-A-B-E-A-B-A-E-A-B-E-A

Calling all guitar heroes: I know I'm going to regret this, but I just printed out the tabs for the intro to Smoke on the Water. I figure DJ can play that easily. He's getting really good with the guitar and his lessons are going great. But he's constantly looking for tabs to "real rock" songs that he can practice. His only stipulation is that it can't be anything with a slide because his arms are just too little to get the slide down right. I f you can suggest any songs that an eleven year old novice rock god (and quick, dedicated learner) should learn so he can impress the girls (well, his aunts), it would might kind of you.

Exactly

Cox & Forkum are back from their hiatus and they sum up the Spanish election nicely. Welcome back, guys.

point #1

This is exactly what I meant the other day when I wrote about the FAR left and their mean, hateful bullshit. I just got finished reading the DU thread on the missionaries (two of them a bloggers's parents) killed in Mosul the other day. Let me sum up 90% of the posts there: bq. They deserved it for trying to convert the world to their religion. They deserved it because they were stupid to go to Iraq in the first place. The "water purifiers" who were killed were only there acting for Halliburton. Rove sent the missionaries. Bush sent them. They are really there at Bush's request to force the "occupied" land of Iraq to convert to Christianity. They obviously have a mental illness because they are trying to spread their faith. They were Southern Baptist morons and for that reason alone they should be dead. We should send more of them over. And that was enough to read. Listen, I am not one for prostelyzing, especially in country that hates other religions. But I don't wish death upon those who do. Not only were the comments about deserving death sickening, but those idiots who gleefully blamed Bush and Rove as if this was some sort of agenda of theirs to convert every Iraqi are incredibly ignorant. Some of the DU'ers said the victims deserve to die and they were stupid for going to a hostile land where they ran the risk of getting killed. So, with that line of thinking in mind, it would have been ok for right wingers to exhibit as much glee if anti-war human shields died during an Iraq battle? Or is that somehow not morally equivelant? It was just about a year ago that the left was screaming about the right's handling of Rachel Corrie's death. Don't speak ill of the dead, etc., etc. You asked for proof of my accusations the other day. I'll keep posting shit like this every day if you want. How do you far lefties justify these harsh words? Or will you just pull out your moral equivelance cards and say "you've done it, too?" Sickening. Update: Check this out as well. At first I thought that DU thread was some kind of parody or joke, but it seems like the Undergrounders are pretty serious about going on a "dirty trick" campaign. I wouldn't tolerate crap like that from the far right either, so don't even bother trying to argue that angle with me.

The Stepford Blogs

I noticed quite a bit of traffic coming in from this site today, from a page titled The Most Influential Reporters and Bloggers. So there I am at number five. Ego-pleasing? Yes. Accurate? Probably not. Look at the top twenty: 001. Glenn Reynolds - Instapundit.com 002. Kevin Drum - Calpundit 003. Joshua Micah Marshall Talking Points Memo 004. Andrew Sullivan www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish 005. Michele A Small Victory 006. Eugene Volokh The Volokh Conspiracy 007. Tim Blair 008. James Joyner Outside the Beltway 009. Paul Krugman The New York Times 010. Dana Milbank The Washington Post 011. Cory Doctorow Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things 012. Mike Allen The Washington Post 013. Atrios Eschaton 014. Howard Kurtz The Washington Post 015. Daniel W. Drezner 016. Robert Scoble Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger 017. Steven PoliBlog 018. Roger Simon 019. Imao 020. David Brooks The New York Times Hey, I have no last name. Just think of me as the bloggers' Madonna or Cher. No, wait. Don't do that. Elvis? There's just no way in the world I'm more influential than Dave Winer, Cory Doctorow, Atrios, Roger Simon and William Saletan. Hell, out of the 200 listed I can see at least 100 blogs at first glance that I would have guessed would rank above this one. But far be it from me to argue with obvious professionals. Instead, I shall bask in all this glory and hope it brings me new found arrogance, snobbery and untold riches so I can retire to Pismo Beach and be a happy miser. I know, I know. You want to know the secret to our influentialness is (which is not even a word, but us influential people get to make words up). How do we get people to read, to link, to deposit large sums of money in our Swiss bank accounts and to appease us by sacrificing rising bloggers to the flaming pits of the underworld? In fact, you may wonder what the secret "thing" is that any influential blogger has that you don't. It's not talent. It's not skill. It's not even nice boobs or great abs. I am finally going to reveal the secret of Glenn Reynolds, Tim Blair and the rest of the top ten:

ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD!

hypnotoad.gif You had no idea, did you? Just look into his eyes. you will link this post....you will link this post....a small victory is the best blog on earth.....look into my eyes and rub my head.....link...read....

sympathy

Yesterday, I learned about a military blogger who was killed in Iraq. Today, I learn that Scott (Election Projection)'s parents were among the Baptist aid workers killed in Mosul. My condolences to all Scott's family and the Zangas family.

By the way...

Did you know that there's an uprising going on in Syria? If you've been reading Fox or CNN you probably wouldn't know that. If you've been reading weblogs or The Command Post, you would. Same thing with the uprising in Iran. Funny what's news to some and what's not. I mean, Whitney Houston in rehab is just earth shattering front page news, you know? Same with Mel Gibson doubting Bush and Prince rocking the Hall of Fame. But countries in turmoil? Can't find a thing.

teaser

Coming up later... Inside blogging: importance, men v. women, rankings, news reporting, etc. Oh yea. It's a winter weather warning today. Dude, where's my baseball weather? And Andrew was right: 1. An ink blot. 2. A two-tone ink blot. 3. A large ink blot. You people are sick.

March 15, 2004

cycling

You've got to be taught before it's too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate, You've got to be carefully taught

silence is golden

[click each for bigger] 1. 2. 3.

The Tiger or the Lady

So here's a question for you: Let's take a trip to imagination land, where we see that the Islamofacist terrorists - that would be al-Qaida, all of its offshoots and spinoffs and copy cats and whatever the rebels in Iraq are calling themselves now and - are now able to vote for the President of the United States. Kerry or Bush?

Afternoon Mix: Zen, meat, Australians news, I'm Rick James, Bitch and An opening between the legs

While I am in the midst of fending off a migraine and taking the advice of my Zen master (watch the Weather Channel), you can peruse today's required reading. Wait, first an important reminder: Let us not forget that today is International Eat an Animal for PETA Day. Now, I have been told that PETA actually stands for People Eating Tasty Australians. While I'm sure Tim Blair and his fellow citizens might be pretty tasty roasted over the barbie (oh, look! I made a cliche Australian joke!), I have no desire to have Tim for dinner, being that he promised to buy me a drink when he gets here in August. What person in their right mind would chow down on someone who offers them a free drink? So, you go eat the Australians. I'll stick to animal meat. And by animals, I mean non-mammals. This lovely woman is a PETA activist. She's drinking out of a toilet bowl to prove some point. Hey, I know some guys who would get turned on by that picture. Maybe that's why Andy posted it. I really can't think of any other reason to be leaning over a toilet while wearing fake fur. Come to think of it, I can. Ah, those were the days. Ok, now the reading: Winds of Change: Hippercritical's Winds of War - an excellent roundup of world news. Silent Running: Lacrimosa Jonah Goldberg: On a Lighter Note (And that's just because I agree with him. Dave Chappelle is the funniest man in America right now). And am I the only one who has had The Clash's Spanish Bombs playing in their head for three days? And I don't mean that in a flippant sort of way. It just crawled into my mind and won't leave. Ok, when you're done reading all that, go watch this short movie. Get back to me on it [Relax, there's no politics involved. Just err...blood].

Stain of Mind

A bomb went off in Shea Stadium yesterday. Of course, it was a mock bomb, part of a mock drill to assess mock response to a mock terrorist attack. Everything may have been fake about that bomb, but I can tell you, the fear is real. Everyone I talk to, from the deli owner who is thinking about moving back to Trinidad, to the elderly couple on line in the movie theater, is afraid. Don't let them fool you. Don't let anyone tell you that the Socialists won in Spain because 90% of the people were against Spain's involvemnet in the Iraq war and they were voting with that in mind. This paragraph appeared in the March 11th New York Times - before the bombs went off on the trains in Madrid: bq. Spain goes to the polls on Sunday, and Mariano Rajoy, a 48-year-old lawyer, who has pledged to adhere to Mr. Aznar's policies, enjoys a comfortable lead in the polls. Even less charismatic than Mr. Aznar, he nevertheless has benefited from the extraordinarily well-disciplined machine of his center-right Popular Party and the country's strong economic performance. A comfortable lead. Obviously, the Spanish people were not voting with the Iraq war in mind. And then, the bombs, the deaths, the fear; al Qaeda. Terror struck Spain and a message was sent in the form of flames and explosions: We will kill you. It was blackmail of the worst kind and the payoff was the votes of the people of Spain. Unfortunately, their votes spell certain doom for other countries, other innocent people. It's not hyperbole, it's not some form of right-wing histrionics to cry that the terrorists have won, because they certainly did. They want the Popular Party out and the party that would deal a blow to the Iraq war in. And they won. So now the spotlight is on Bush and how Americans react. Will they blame Bush for not ridding the world of bin Laden and driving al Qaeda into the ground? I'm sure that's what the terrorists have in mind. They are hoping to sway the American voters with residual fear. And if the polls don't change and Kerry doesn't take a commanding lead soon, perhaps they will try to sway us with death. Maybe today people are waking up and thinking, hey Kerry will pull our troops out of Iraq. He'll make nice with Chirac and Schroeder. He'll use "vigorous law enforcement" to fight terror. For some reason, those things do not make me look at John Kerry as the man to keep us safe. Kerry also said:
At the core of this conflict is a fundamental struggle of ideas. Of democracy and tolerance against those who would use any means and attack any target to impose their narrow views. The War on Terror is not a clash of civilizations. It is a clash of civilization against chaos; of the best hopes of humanity against dogmatic fears of progress and the future.
It most certainly is a clash of civilizations and a president who cannot see that is a president who does not understand terrorists at all. Oh sure, he's right in that it's a struggle of ideas; they want to kill us, we want to live. "You love life, we love death," as the saying goes. They want us to worship their god and follow their religious guidelines to life. We like our freedom to choose. ...democracy and tolerance against those who would use any means and attack any target to impose their narrow views. I don't know about you, but the words democracy and tolerance, when used in the terms of dealing with people who want to kill you, strike fear in my heart. These people want us dead. Well, dead or wearing veils and facing Mecca. So, Kerry says Bush has done too little in the war on terror. Bush opposers say that al Qaeda striking in Spain is proof that that the war on terror isn't working because al-Qaeda is still alive and well. Which leads them to believe that if we had captured OBL two years ago, al-Qaeda would be dead as a doornail. al-Qaeda is just an umbrella organization for a host of terrorists, would-be martyrs, murderers and thugs. Even if OBL was hung in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on international television, these groups would still exist. From the closest offshoots of al-Qaeda to the fringe groups, they would act separately and together to fulfill their mission. Do you think it would really matter had bin Laden been captured already - or at least proven dead? I don't think so. It's likely that OBL stopped running the show soon after September 11, 2001. If he's not dead already, then he's holed up in a shabby hut somewhere, powerless and feeble. It's not like al-Qaida was formed on 9/10/01 and then struck with force the next day. They've been around a while. And before them were other groups and other factions hell bent on turning the world into one giant Muslim playground. As it will always be. The war on terror probably can't be won anytime soon. But we can play the best defense we know how and hold them off from scoring again. For every OBL that bites the dust, another one rises in his place, spurred on by dreams of heavenly virgins and martyrdom. It's our job to strike these self-appointed leaders of murder down as they appear, and just keep hacking at them until either their numbers are diminished or they get the hint that we don't want to live under their law, their religion, their rules, and we will fight them every step of the way. So no, the capture of OBL months or years ago wouldn't have mattered. It might have been a moral victory for us and a moral letdown for them, but, like cockroaches, they would gather up again and look for the crumbs of fear to prey on. They'll move out of Spain and into places like Poland or America. They'll once again try to sway elections with fear, driving cars laden with explosives into crowded buildings, sending out signals that it's time to submit or be killed. Of course the terrorists have won. They've been emboldened and strengthened by the Socialist win in Spain. Fear wins. Terror works. So they pat each other on the back for a job well done and start planning the next. I'm no longer sitting around wondering when the other shoe to drop. I see its shadow hovering above us. It's not the mock shadow of a mock attack. Any minute now.

March 14, 2004

crapfest

Quick review of Secret Window: It sucked. Longer version: If you are going into this movie expecting something scary, don't bother. If you're looking for a taut psychological drama, don't bother. If you're looking for thrills and chills and a bit of terror, wait for Dawn of the Dead. Even a shitty remake of a cheesy movie has to be better than Secret Window. Johnny Depp must have been doing someone a personal favor when he signed onto this film, because he sleepwalks through his role. Though, that could be the crapfest of dialogue he was given to work with. Hokey, predictable (my eleven year old son had it figured out early on in the movie) and tedious. Oh, and that PG-13 rating? Unecessary. The only "sexual content" was a flashback shot of two adults in bed (no nudity) getting caught in the act. If you blink, the scene is over. Violence? Most of it implied. Terror? Please. Gore and blood? I've seen more blood playing Tony Hawk Underground. Rating: Five pieces of crap on the crap-o-meter (five being worst). Speaking of the crap-o-meter, tonight's Simpsons episode would have clogged up the bowl.

The word of the day is: dhimmitude

Dhimmitude: the Islamic system of governing populations conquered by jihad wars, encompassing all of the demographic, ethnic, and religious aspects of the political system The terrorists got what they wanted. They won. And now the U.S. will have one less ally. One less country to count on the war against terrorism. They'll pull out of Iraq and it won't be long before they pull out of fighting the terrorists all together. Appeasement is the new black. Welcome to the new age of al-Qaid and radical Islam on the whole, built on the deaths of 200 people. They've been emboldened by the Spanish left. They've been told that terrorism works, terrorism gets results. Lest you think I'm projecting, read Roger Simon and his email from a Spaniard. Read John, blogging from Spain: bq. What happened? It's clear: the people of Spain are not willing to risk standing up to domestic or international terrorism and would prefer to appease the terrorists in hopes that they will be left alone in the future. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will be the next Prime Minister, and one of the first things he will do is pull Spain out of the Coalition. Spain will join the Paris-Berlin axis. I assume Spanish troops will soon be leaving Iraq. And lest you think this is not a WORLD war, think again. And again. Allah's usual hyperbole is, unfortunately, not so hyperbolic today. In fact, he's spot on. It's the dawn of the dead. Stock up on duct tape. [More - lots more - on this tomorrow]

200 or 11, it's horrifying just the same

al-Qaida doesn't have a monopoly on atrocities. Let's not let Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades slip into the background just because OBL's boys kill on a larger scale. Eleven dead in Israel Homicide Attack. The first time I looked it was five. By the time I got my coffee and sat down to write, it was eleven. bq. The terrorists exploded their bombs inside the office of a chemical facility and may have been targeting bromide containers. Eyewitnesses report that the bombers walked in and asked for water, and that one of them asked where bromide containers were kept at the port. Had they found these containers, the bombs could have possibly caused a much larger chemical explosion. Terror is everywhere. It's not relegated to one group of people, it doesn't come from just one faction of some militant rebel organization. It's bound for all of us at some point, which is why we need to stand together to fight it. Don't get all outraged that al-Qaida is still going strong and then not even flinch when Arafat's gang of thugs commit murder. Terror is terror, no matter who it's perpetrated against. You want to live in a place with that scene as the norm? I didn't think so. The war on terror is this nation's number one priority if we want a future of peace.

boxes, boxes everywhere

We've got six weeks left until the big move and I have all of two boxes packed, and about six hundred pounds of absolute junk to wade through. I just know that somewhere in all that junk are little things I would like to keep or old letters I should read or maybe that long lost necklace. Otherwise I would just take out some Hefty bags, fill them up blindly and throw them to the curb. I just can't bring myself to get rid of all this stuff dragged out of closets and drawers without going through it. Even though I know it's junk that I should have thrown out in the first place. Lesson #1 of things learned while packing: Be more organized in the new house. If I had been organized here, I probably would not have ended up with seven unopened packs of loose-leaf paper and various other school supplies I had stuffed in a box somewhere and went out and bought duplicates of all those supplies because I forgot I stuffed them in a box somewhere. And even if I did remember that I stuffed them in a box, I probably wouldn't have remembered where that box was. On a side note, has anyone seen Secret Window? DJ is dying to see it and I want to know the movie lands on the PG side of PG-13 or the R side. Those PG-13 movies are tricky. I guess I should get started. I'll leave you for now with the quote of the day, from Jeff:
Here's a happy thought: tonight, while my wife and I are enjoying pizza and a movie (Chuck & Buck most likely, unless I can convince her she'll like Mother, Jugs & Speed, which is doubtful), Saddam Hussein will be squatting over a bucket somewhere, dreaming of gold-plated toilet seats while he wipes his ass with old Nation articles. Ain't life grand...?
Ok, one more thing: Sean is looking for Kerry-critical posts for his ongoing series, Kerry's House of Ketchup.

point/counterpoint: today's required readings

Atrios takes his millionth stab against Bush and how he handled 9/11: bq. September 11th happened on Bush's watch, after his administration completely ignored the threat of terrorism. Right now, We All Know that George Bush showed "great leadership" after 9/11. How do we know that? Well, because the goddamn Democrats keep saying it. Truth? Bush ran and hid and then didn't stop wetting his pants until 3 days later. I'm not touching this one, because it's been done with perfection. Ed Moltzen gives Atrios a pretty good Fisking, backed with facts. bq. Where to start? If Bush "completely ignored the threat of terrorism," than how did President Clinton react to it? By letting street cops do all the work. After the first World Trade Center bombing, Clinton never even used the word "terrorism" to describe the attack. Go read the whole thing. Ed's a master at this stuff.

March 13, 2004

Operation Hook

Like Kelley, I have a feeling that our own Sgt. Hook is riding into the Afghan mountains. Good luck, Hook. Stay safe. [Kelley also stole my idea to use "Hook In?" as the title of this post. And when I say "stole" I mean she used her evil witch vibes to suck it out of my brain]

Are You Feeling This?

So, you hear this song on the radio and you think its pretty catchy. You're not sure who it is - the group sounds very familiar but you can't quite place your finger on it - but you end up singing along every time its on. Finally, it bothers you enough that you don't know which band and you break down and ask your kid. And he says.....Blink 182. Why does that make me feel dirty, like I'm in seventh grade and just got caught with a copy of "Wifey" with the good parts highlighted? Oh, yea. The lecture.
It's time to teach these kids right from wrong. Mind you, I don't care what kind of music they listen to. But I insist they pay homage to the bands of my wreckless youth properly. They sit on the floor, more frigthened than Dave Matthews in a mob of Guns n Roses fans. This, I say, is punk. I spit when I say the word punk. I'm holding a Misfits album. Yes, album. As in vinyl. I don't have a turntable to play it on, but they get the point by just looking at the album cover. I run through my vinyl collection. I call out the names of the bands and shout PUNK! after each of them. My husband punctuates this by yelling out New Found Glory, NOT PUNK! We go through the metal CDs. We show them Slayer and Pantera and contrast that with Linkin Park and Saliva.
After that I told them when they listen to Blink 182 they have to do it with headphones on. And here I am, tapping my feet and nodding my head along to a song by the very group I loved to hate. Defeated yet again by a catchy hook! That was a year ago. DJ's taste in music has branched out more with each guitar lesson. Now, squeezed in between the Good Charlotte and The Darkness CDs are selections by Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Lynch Mob and Van Halen. He's even been borrowing some Led Zeppelin CDs, having been turned on to The Immigrant Song from School of Rock. Nat, she's a confused child. One minute she's all goth and dark and inspired by AFI. The next she's swooning over Clay Aiken. But hey, at least she digs Faith No More and what more could this mother want? Anyhow, that was all a long, drawn out way of saying, enjoy this: Blink 182 - Feeling This (mp3)

Bombers possibly caught

According to el Mundo, five arrests have been made in connection with the Madrid bombings.

Reminder

Welcome back from vacation, Alan. And thanks for this. Speaking of reminders, I don't see what the big deal is that Rumsfeld has a piece of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. In fact, I'm glad he has it. There's nothing like holding death in your hands to help keep your focus on the important things. Like making sure death on that scale never happens again. I've held a piece of the World Trade Center in my hands. It never felt like a souvenir . It felt like sadness. For some, sadness gives way to resolve. Maybe everyone who questions the war on terror should be made to hold a piece of burnt steel or wrecked airplane in their hands. Rumsfeld has been the backbone of that war. I hardly think he keeps that piece of 9/11 like one keeps a ticket stub from a Metallica concert. Give the guy some credit. And stop blowing everything out of proportion.

mailbag

[All words in quotes are actual words from emails received in the last 24 hours] You know what? I have nothing to apologize for. I re-read my words from yesterday and I still feel the same way, even after "letting the anger dissipate" a bit and "sleeping on it". The only thing I would change in those words is to put the word "far" in front of "left" so as to avoid half of the arguments that ensued in the comments. One thing I want to address is this: Most of the arguments against my words were about the minority of the far left, that they are small in number and shouldn't matter. Bullshit. They get the press, they get the attention and they vote. So they matter. When people like Sean Penn and Barbra Streisand speak on behalf of the far left, they matter. When Robert Fisk has a national column that speaks for the far left, they matter. I don't owe anyone an "apology." And this is my own personal website. It's not a newspaper of record, I don't get paid for this, I have no "guidelines" to follow. If I want to "spew my opinions" until the proverbial cows come home (mmmm....cows), I will. You can either "change the channel" or leave a comment. And, yea. If I was such a "coward" or a "hate-filled reactionary who won't listen to anyone else" I wouldn't have an open comment policy, would I? Nope, I sat here and let people insult me, refute me and call me names on my own site, yet I'm somehow an "oppresser of the left, a silencer of opinions." Right. So for all you people who hurled insults, wished ugly things upon me or just acted like assholes, my sentiment of the day is for you: bunny3.jpg

Two Days Until Meat Day

[click for bigger size] Second Annual International Eat An Animal For PETA Day information here. More of my posters here and here. Other contributing posters here, here and here.

March 12, 2004

The Last Word

hbbutt.gif

This Blog Brough to You By Tums(c)

tums34.gifI really don't get paid enough (read: nothing) for this crap. Honestly. I had no idea that I was supposed to offer explanations for my opinions. Does anyone else get this shit? Do you get twenty five emails in the span of an hour telling you that your opinons are worthless, your words are stupid and invalid, that you suck as a person? Not worth the agita I'm getting. Not at all. Then again, who knew my opinion could create so much posturing by so many people? And as for you, Tooney, if you hate this blog so much why do you keep reading - and linking to - it? As for your Ann Coulter bit, if you took any time at all to figure out who I am or what I'm about, you would know how much I despise both her and the far right. Eh, but what do you care about truth and facts? Just because I blasted the moonbats of the the U.S. that must automatically mean I'm a rabid right-wing harpie like Coulter, right. Ass.

Million Mourner March

An incredibly sad day in Spain; yet a hopeful one. Perhaps their resolve has been strengthened. It often takes events like this to help resolve along. The millions that marched in Madrid today are our allies. They are our fellow soldiers in the war against terror. They took to the streets in Spain Friday by the thousands. They stood in the rain and cried and prayed for the victims of yesterday's terrorists attacks that killed 198 and wounded over 1,000 people. In the evening, nearly two million people marched through the streets in a mass protest against terrorism. The marchers were led by Spanish royal family members and leaders, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and EU President Romano Prodi. The march, which is still going on right now, is making its way through the city and towards the train station where the blasts occurred. A silent protest was held in Washington, D.C. today in front of the Spanish embassy. The attacks claimed their 199th victim; a baby who die in the hospital today. Millions of people, joined together for one cause. I remember that. I remember feeling united as one after 9/11. I hope for Madrid's sake, that feeling of unity lasts for them. You can't fight terrorism without it.

whomp, there it is

I'm going to step away from the computer until I shake this mood. Meanwhile, I added a great new blog to my list that I think you might enjoy: Whomping Willow

The Despair Factor

Some days you feel hopeless. Helpless. This is one of those days. I've been researching and reading for various projects I'm working on and in that research I've seen the faces of too many terrorists and too many destructive people. And every time I look at a photograph of one of those killers - whether it be a suicide bomber or some twenty year old kid who sliced up his ex-girlfriend - I feel despair. I jokingly said yesterday as I stood by waiting for President Bush's arrival that the last time our little town had seen so much media was when Joel Rifkin buried hookers in his backyard. Joel Rifkin, like other murderers and terrorists, was a child once. I knew who his parents were (didn't know them personally but saw them at the library often). I felt such anguish for them. One day you are holding a sweet, sleeping baby in your arms and years later you watch him get sentenced for multiple counts of murder. I had that thought again today as I went through pages and pages detailing the acts of murderers, dictators and terrorists. And then I remember that I once wrote something on the very subject. I'll leave you with that while I go drown my despair in coffee, donuts and work. [Originally written in October of 2002] Whose Child is This You give birth and moments after you hold your tiny child in your arms, stroke his head, look into his eyes and feel an overwhelming sense of love. You hold him close to your chest and vow to keep him safe forever. You vow to love him unconditionally. As the first days go by, you stare in awed wonder at your child. You listen to his tiny little cries, watch as his fingers curl and uncurl, sing softly to him as his eyes close and he falls asleep on your chest, his tiny baby breaths falling softly on your neck. You imagine what the world has in store for him. In your mind, his life fast forwards and you see your child reaping all kinds of rewards; the honor student bumper sticker, the baseball MVP, valedictorian, employee of the month. Your mind only lets you see great things ahead for your child. You don't look into your baby's eyes and envision him growing up to be a terrorist, a murderer, a junkie. I wonder about this as I watch the news and the cops surround a car, pulling out guns and barking orders. Someone's child is in that car. Sure, he's 41 years old now, but he is still someone's son. I imagine him as a baby, his mother cradling him in her arms, brushing his cheek with her finger and silently hoping that her son will have all the good things life has to offer. That man in the car was a baby once. Someone had hope for him. Someone held him and sang to him. He was a toddler, unsteady on his feet. He was a young boy, watching cartoons and playing ball. What happened to turn that toddler with his goofy, milk-stained grin into a killing machine? I sit at my desk each work day and watch the parade of prisoners that are brought past my office. Some are in orange jump suits, feet shackled. There are men and women both, some well-dressed in business suits and dresses, some unkempt and reeking of alcohol. They all have their arms behind them, their wrists bound together in metal cuffs. They were children once. They were babies who smiled and toddlers who giggled. What does a parent think as they appear in court to bail out that child? What does a parent think when they turn on the news and see their son or daughter's face in mug shot form with the words "wanted" underneath it? I look at the tv and try to imagine killers and terrorists as babies. I see the drug addicts and petty thiefs march into the courtroom every day and I try to imagine them learning how to ride a bike, their fathers holding tight to their arms so they don't fall. As a parent, all you want is to be proud of your child, from birth to adulthood. You want to look at them one day and say "what a fine young lady you turned out to be." I don't care if my kids end up being doctors or professional cashiers. I just want them to be good people. I want them to respect the human race and the earth they live on. I don't want to see their faces splashed on the cover of the Daily News with target signs drawn over them. I think of mothers in other countries, mothers who praise their god when their son dies in a suicide bombing because he was able to kill many "enemies." I think of fathers who train their children in the use of explosives, parents who dress their children in weaponry and ammunition, parents who teach their children that killing is good, that being a martyr will get you free sex in the afterlife. I can't imagine raising my child to die. I don't know what it's like to have a policeman knock on your door in the middle of the night to say your son has been arrested for manslaughter. I don't know what it's like to have your daughter call you from a payphone in the city, asking you for help in getting away from her pimp. I don't want to know. I just know that I look at baby pictures of my children and the journals I kept for them when they were infants. I see all the hope I had for them and I worry that this world has killed the hope, has killed the chances my kids have for a future free from bombs or poverty or terror. I worry that every word I whispered to them when they were little and slept in my arms, all that talk of the world being theirs, the life that stretched before them being filled with promise and hope, I worry that I said those things in folly. All the things that happen between infancy and young adulthood, all the things that create your path and direction and lead to your future, they are not at all controllable. I can only do my part to give my children the values and morals they need to become decent adults. But I have no control over the outside world. I have no control over the influences of people they meet outside my home, the affect the events of the chaotic world around them have on their psyche. I just know I feel for every mother or father who has had to watch their child become something less than human. I feel for the parents who did all they could but lost their children to evil in the end. In the end, the ultimate responsibility for a person's behavior lies with themselves. But you can bet that the parent of every serial killer, evey mass murderer, every shoplifter or hooker or societal drop-out has said to themselves at one point Where did I go wrong? How did my child go from that laughing infant to the man I see on tv in handcuffs? That is, every parent save for the ones who bring their children up to hate and fight and kill. And to that I ask, where did the world go wrong in making it a place where parents like that exist? Teach your children well. It's the only thing you can do to help make your future and their future one that doesn't involve hatred and gunfire.

Winds of Black Hate

I was interviewed a few days ago by a gentleman from the University of North Carolina who was doing research on blogs and politics. We got to talking about the great divide between the left* and the right and I repeated to him a point I made some time last year: The left no longer have causes. They have anti-causes. Being anti-everything makes for bitterness and anger, and it is increasingly evident that all of those negative vibes the left has been surrounding themselves with have gotten in the way of clear thinking and reason. Back in the days when I was more of a liberal, the left stood for things. They were about clean air, protecting freedoms and getting along with the rest of the world. Somewhere along the line, their Kool-aid was injected with venom and they swallowed it in huge gulps, then asked for more. You can practically hear the liquid hate sloshing around in their bellies as they walk past you. They don't care about the world anymore. They only care about their one, single agenda: hating and ridding the world of George W. Bush. These people aren't really for John Kerry. They wouldn't care if he were Atilla the Hun or Jeffrey Dahmer; they crusade for him simply because he's not George Bush. They secretly - and some not so secretly - rub their hands in glee every time a soldier is killed in Iraq or a bomb goes off somewhere and al Qaida is blamed. Another notch in their anti-George belt. They gloat about death, smirking over dead bodies and chanting their catch phrase of "I told you so." Mostly, they blame. It seems that their number one priority is to take anything that goes wrong in the entire world and figure out a way to blame it on George Bush or the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. I imagine the key leaders of the movement sit in some dank basement, drinking chai tea, listening to old Peter, Paul and Mary albums and connecting the transparent dots. Of course, yesterday's bombings in Madrid are the fault of George and the Underground Republican Coalition to Benefit from Death and Destruction. After all, that same group was responsible for 9/11, right? They are the same people who killed Paul Wellstone, the same people who looted the Iraqi museums, the same people who got Ted Rall's comic pulled from the New York Times. Busy people, these coaltion guys. Must be thousands of them in order to pull of such grand schemes. Many months ago, I had a pleasant email exchange with the infamous Latuff of Indymedia fame. I tried to see his point of view. I tried to put my mind where his was, to understand why he hated so much, why he was so callous about the deaths of young children. I eventually agreed to disagree with him, but we never spoke again after those few emails. Nor do I think I ever will. I no longer want a glimpse into the mind of someone who creates something like this: [click for bigger] Oh, he wasn't the only one. Check the usual places, the usual faces. Somehow, someway, this is all Bush's fault and, mark the words of the left, Bush is going to profit off of this. That's their mantra. Whether or not the attacks yesterday were brough to you by al Qaida or ETA, it doesn't change the fact that 200 people are dead. In the end, it doesn't really matter who packed those suitcases with dynamite, who placed them on the trains, who planted the van with the Quran near the bombing site. All that matters is we come together, pool our resources, hold hands in the fight against terrorism. Well, that's not going to happen. Not when the left views our own leaders as terrorists. Not when they refuse to believe there are bad guys in the world who don't live in that big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue. al-Qaida is coming to get us. Again. Make no bones about it, the wheels are already in motion and spinning fast. And that's why it sickens me to see people protest the money spent on the war on terror. There was a women at the protests yesterday, wrapped in an American flag and holding up a sign that said "Afordable Housing for the Homeless." Another had a sign that said "Feed them, don't bomb them." A young, earnest couple that looked like Woodstock refugees discussed root causes with a young, earnest reporter who drank their words like - well, like Kool-aid. Of course, they wouldn't want to kill us if we just had a heart for their plight and understood their motives. They just want peace, too! Right. Who knew that killing hundreds of civilians on their way to work was a peace process? That's something I don't want to understand. Ever. So, who benefits from these attacks? Who reaps the most rewards as a result of people dying and families being torn apart? Who stands to make the most ground in their underlying motives when innocent people get blown to bits? The left. That's who. They take each death as another reason to celebrate their hatred for Bush. They take each bomb, each explosion, each crashed airplane as a sign that they are right. Bush Lied, People Died, is how their saying goes. For every other casualty of war or terrorism (which really are one and the same), their theories and twisted lies get bigger and their voices get louder. bq. "We bring the good news to Muslims of the world that the expected 'Winds of Black Death' strike against America is now in its final stage...90 percent (ready) and God willing near." That's what yesterday's alleged letter from al Qaida read. Yet the left keep opposing the war on terror. They oppose our intolerance for radical Muslims. And all their bitter opposition sounds like cheers to to our enemies. I stand next to these people and I can sense the negativity. They sweat hatred. You can smell it. It smells like sulfur that hangs in the air when a match is been struck. You can feel it, too, like you can feel your hair stand up on the back of your neck when lightning is just about to strike. On a day when 200 people lay dead, stuffed into black body bags, waiting to be identified by relatives, a group of people stood outside an event where the president was and demanded we pull out of Iraq. They demanded that we understand Islam better. They demanded that we abolish Homeland Security and stop funding the war on terror. They have no causes. They just have an agenda of subtraction. And every single thing they go on chanting about is based in selfishness. That and their hatred for Bush. Such a deep, vile hatred that they will do anything - even crusade for a man they don't find dignified in any way - just to rid the White House of their perceived enemy. It's a sad state of affairs, really. I think of that boy from last night, standing there holding the flag so defiantly, so proudly. I wonder what was going through his mind as he listened to those protesters calling his president a murderer. I wonder how, if at all, yesterday will shape his future. I wonder if we have a future. What is going to be left of us if an appeaser is voted into the White House just because he wasn't George Bush? I hope I never find out. Update 1: See also here. Update2: I moved the disclaimer up here because some people had a hard time with that "continue reading" link. Go figure. *Disclaimer (in order to avoid the usual parade of comments and emails) When I say "the left" I mean those who tend towards the farther end of the political line. I don't use the term "liberal" or "Democrat" as disparaging remarks - I use those words when I want to address the relatively sane people left of center. So when I use the term "the left" it generally means the tin foil crowd.

March 11, 2004

say uncle

Sure, I do all that work, running around town, taking pictures, shouting down protesters and my uncle ends up on tv. Towards the end. You'll recognize the name.

thou doth protest too much

I wasn't going to go back to look for protesters, opting instead to stay at home and man the post. But then everyone wanted Wendy's. And to get to Wendy's I have to go past the park. Where the protesters were supposedly hanging out. I tried to stay away. Really. And there they were. Chanting, screaming, whatever it is they were doing. I flew by them at about 50mph, but I could still hear the strains of "How many kids did you kill today?" following me like a bad smell. DJ wanted to go back. So we went through the Wendy's drive through and headed for the Home Depot parking lot across the street from the park entrance. [Pardon the quality of the pictures. The sun was in a blinding, mid-set position] There were quite a few people gathered on my side of the street; mostly gawkers who couldn't quite understand why those hippies across the street were yelling nasty things about 9/11 when the family members were in the park. Seriously. Lady: Why are those hippies across the street yelling nasty things about 9/11 when the family members are in the park? Man: Because they don't know any better. Kid: That's rude. So I start snapping pictures and the happy little hippies are waving and posing and chanting. They launch into a Bush Go Home thing. Suddenly, DJ starts screaming at them. FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS! He's pumping his fist in the air as he shouts. Well, it wasn't until about thirty seconds later that I realized his middle finger was raised. Oh well. No worse than the protester who had her toddler daughter yelling out "Bush is a murderer!" Nice. That's when I spot my new hero. There's this lone boy, couldn't be more than thirteen, standing about fifty feet to my left. He's holding this huge American flag, the kind someone in an honor guard holds. He's got the strap for it and everything. He's perfectly still. His face is set in stone. He stares across the street, through the traffic and over the heads of police officers, stared right at the protesters. His look is one of defiance, anger and pride. It was all I could do to keep from running up and hugging him. His parents sat in a parked mini van behind us. I took a photo of their son and smiled at them. They smiled back, wide smiles filled with pride. And then DJ and I tired of the chants and slogans and went home to eat our dinner. [today's other president stalking posts are here and here]

reach out

Like I said, the war on terror is everyone's war. spain.jpg [AP Photo/Peter Dejong] Remember this? Grief shared is grief comforted. To send flowers to the Spanish Embassy: 2375 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. - Washington, D.C. 20037. The Embassy phone number, which you'll need to enter for Internet orders is 202.452.0100. [info from Instanpundit]

so close....

What a day. Still didn't see George, but I'm having a blast. I stood with about 200 people on Hempstead Turnpike by the park waiting for him. The sneaky bastard went in another way. Anyhow, I'll tell the whole story later. There was lots and lots of media there and they mostly paid attention to the forty or so protesters instead of the 200 Bush supporters - not to mention all the people in cars honking their horns and yelling "Four more years!" I can't wait to see how they play this on the news tonight. [click for bigger] I'm headed out again, this time to meet my sister on the other side of the park where's there's a protest scheduled for 4:30. We're either going to counter protest or just take pictures and throw popcorn at the protesters. Back later with more pictures.

stalking Looking for the Prez

So I'm playing super sleuth this morning (or super stalker, whatever works for you), driving around trying to scope out the area and figure out how Bush is going to get into the park. I looked around for street closing signs, which would give clues as to his route, but didn't see any. I did hear that the president would be taking a little "tour" of the town, driving through on his way to the park. So, I'm on East Meadow Avenue, on my way to the park entrance for the third time today (the secret service guys probably ran a check on license plate already) and I get stuck in a massive traffic jam - this is only a small, two lane road - by the firehouse. There's a county Hazmat truck parked going across the road at the edge of the firehouse, its lights going. There's a bunch of other county and town fire trucks, chief's cars and men in uniform milling around. Maybe Bush decided to visit the firehouse. It would make sense, no? I take a shortcut and finally get into the park entrance. Now this park is huge - 930 acres huge. On the right is the golf course, some park buildings and the restaurant where Bush will be rallying the campaign troops tonight. On the right is everything else; the lake, the mini-golf and batting range, playgrounds, tennis courts museum and general park-like things such as picnic tables and nasty squirrels. The sides are divided by four lanes of roadway. This is a major thoroughfare which takes commuters from East Meadow to Garden City in a much faster fashion than taking the main roads. My point here is that you can drive through the park without actually going to the park. As I drive through I see the NBC truck and the Univision truck. They are both trying to get into the field 6 parking lot, which looks like the media gathering area, but they're being turned away as the lot is full. So at least if I know where the media is gathering, I can figure out where the prez is going to be. I drive a little further and come upon a caravan of parked police cars, blocking off one portion of on area at the end of the park. So that's where they are building the memorial. Now, mind you I don't want to take pictures of the memorial or the groundbreaking and I intended to be nowhere near the place when the actual ceremony started because that would just be rude. I just wanted a teeny tiny glimpse of my president! And if I couldn't get a shot of him, I would settle for a man in black looking dangerous or a sharpshooter on the roof of a nearby building. I reach the exit of the park and make a left onto Merrick Avenue, figuring that the place where the ceremony is going to be held is facing the street, so maybe I could something. No such luck. The entire east side of Merrick Avenue is lined with county dump trucks and MTA buses. Looked like that for about a mile. Whoa, time out! I'm watching Bush live on tv now and he's still at the factory in Bayshore! I still have plenty of time to charge up the battery, scope out the roads and do some more stalking. I bet they'll be taking the Southern State to the Wantagh Parkway. Maybe if I stand on one of the overpasses, I can get a shot of the caravan..... Am I sounding crazy here? Because I feel it.

it's everyone's war

I'm so glad I get the EuroNews channel. CNN, FOX and MSNBC gave the tragedy in Spain a couple of minutes and switched to more important things like recipes, Kobe Bryant and American Idol. It's not every day that 200 people are killed and 1,000 injured in a terrorist attack. Terrorism affects all of us, not just the immediate victims. We don't even know if ETA is really to blame for today's blasts in Spain. The whispers of al-Qaeda have gone from sounding like conspiracy theories on sites like DU to being seriously given a voice from major media sites. U.S. coverage should be better. They should react to this story the way they do to Scott Peterson type stories. Gather some experts. Give us information. Send some reporters. Tell us about ETA, explore the al-Qaida connection and hey, how about just spending some time talking to witnesses and expressing some outrage and sadness? The world stopped for us on 9/11. It amazes me how our major news channels seem to brush international news aside. They did the same with the coup in Georgia and the Chechnyan rebels and they do it all the time with Israel. Five minutes of breaking news time and then back to celebrity secrets and fashion advice. We will never win the war on terror if we go on thinking that the only terror that matters is what happens here.

Empathy

Terror attacks used to be a foreign concept to me. They were things that happened in other countries, to other people and I could never completely grasp their sorrow and despair, because I had never been in their place. But now I have, and I know. It's a terrible, sad day in Spain. bq. We live close to Atocha, which was the focal point of the attack. Everyone's busy but nobody knows what to do, in the temporary limbo this kind of thing causes, the shock that paralyses you. Many are heading for hospitals to give blood, to make up for the blood that has been lost. But I don't think they've provoked terror in Spain at large. Anger, sorrow and shock, yes. And solidarity against them,of course. Lots of solidarity. So, whatever it was that they thought they were trying to achieve by this, then they've failed miserably. I watch the news (EuroNews has fantastic coverage) and listen to the reports and see the carnage and I feel so deeply for these people. Scenes of confusion, smoke clearing and people crying catch my heart and mind in a ways they never could before. It's times like these that I wish I had someone, something to pray to.

Delayed by Terrorism

I'll be getting a late start over here today. In case you haven't heard, there's been a devasting terrorist attack in Spain. I'll be busy over at Command Post covering the story. Keep the people of Spain in your thoughts today.

March 10, 2004

Acme, the President and Me

The president is coming to town tomorrow. After the groundbreaking ceremony for a 9/11 memorial, he will attend a campaign fundraiser/dinner at the park's restaurant. earthpills.jpgI'd like to get close enough to the dinner/rally to at least get one photo. Of course, I could have just paid to get in legitimately, but I didn't have $2,000 to spare. So, my plan of attack. How will I get myself into the restaurant without attracting attention or landing in Gitmo? When in doubt, go to Acme. Some ideas: * The air drop, I can land safely in a tree top and get a birds-eye view of the prez. * Release the Acme bees, thus sending the secret service men scurrying about, so they won't notice me sneaking into the restaurant. * Put on the Acme female roadrunner outfit. Nobody can resist a sexy roadrunner. When one of the agents comes over to hit on me, I can knock him out with an anvil, switch clothes with him and just act non chalant, like I really belong in that size 42 black suit. * Use the giant kite kit to fly onto the roof of the restaurant, drop down a vent, put on a chef's hat and mingle in the kitchen. * Use the earthquake pills to cause a medium sized tremor, hop into my superhero's outfit, whisk the president off to safety and become a hero. Or, I can just skip all that and go with the tried and true invisible paint. If none of these tricks work and I don't get in, I'll just head over to the protesters and give them a clue collecter.

A Tale of Two Eggs

A Jenifer Update Jenifer, my grand-egg perished in an unfortunate accident caused by a rambunctious teenage boy. Some Ian character tried to grab poor Jenifer's basket out of Nat's hand. He let go abruptly, causing the basket to swing wildly and sending Jenifer into the air, where gravity took hold and sent her smashing to the ground. She lay there, broken and stunned while Nat ran after Ian. While Nat was pursuing Ian, her best friend John came along, noticed Jenifer on the floor, saw that she was cracked beyond what any extreme makeover could do for her proceeded to eat Jenifer the Egg Baby. When Nat returned from chasing down Ian, John was standing in front of Nat's locker, guiltily licking his lips. Because of the circumstance - mainly that Ian was being a jerk - the Home and Careers teacher boiled a new baby for Nat instead of giving her a bad grade. Jenifer 2 looks remarkably like her deceased sister. And she is swathed in enough cotton and cloth to prevent any other crack-ups from happening. As a side note, I should tell you that we have already run out of egg puns in my house.

Citing Precedent

[Re post below this] I found some prior incidents that are precedent for the Bertuzzi case. I didn't think I would find any. * Most recent is the Marty McSorely incident. In 2000, McSorley hit Vancouver Canuck Donald Brashear with his stick. McSorley was charged with assualt, convicted and received an 18 month probation sentence. * 1968/NHL (exhibition game): Chico Maki of the St. Louis Blues hit Ted Green of the Boston Bruins with his stick, fracturing Green's skull. Green retaliated and both players were charged with assault. They were both acquitted of the charges. * 1975/NHL: Dave Forbes of the Boston Bruins used "excessive force" on Henry Boucha of the Minnesota North Stars. Forbes borke Boucha's face and permanently damaged Boucha's eyesight. Forbes went to trial, which ended in a hung jury. * 1977/NBA: Laker Kermit Washington punched Houston Rocket Rudy Tomjanovich in the face. He broek his nose, jaw and skull> Tomjanovich was in the hospital for five months and never played again. He had to have his face rebuitl. Kermit wasn't charged with a crime, but Tomhanovich filed a civil suit and settled out of court for $2 million. Then there's also Mike Tyson, who tried to bite Evander Holyfield's ear off. He was never charged with a crime, though. I'm sure there are hundreds of minor league hockey incidents where criminal charges were filed against a player - I found fifteen after two minutes of looking around. So yes, there is precedent for charges being filed against Bertuzzi. He has an NHL hearing to face this afternoon. Hopefully, the NHL will do the right thing (though one can never count on Bettman to do the right thing) and suspend him for a good, long time. And then turn him over to the police. I know there is some kind of law about undue risk, or exceeding inherent risk at a job. I guess it will be in the DA's hands at that point. I say put Bertuzzi in the hands of Avs fans.

Ain't That a Punch in the Head?

I've written many times about how much I love "old-time" hockey (the most recent one here). The heated rivalries, the bench clearing brawls, gloves and sticks scattered on the ice; it added an exciting element to an adrenaline filled sport. Yea, it sounds barbarian on some level, but most hockey fights are mutual things; two goons standing up for their teammates, trading punches until the ref steps in. Barbarian, however, is cheap shots. It's sucker punches. It's coming up from behind a player and slugging him full force in the temple and then jumping him when he falls to the ice. Todd Bertuzzi (Vancouver Canucks), as most of you know by now, did just that the other night. Came up behind Mike Moore of Colorado, punched him, jumped him and fractured Moore's neck. Apparently, Bertuzzi's sucker punch was in retaliation for a cheapshot Moore laid on Canucks player Markus Naslund on Feb. 16. The old revenge factor. First, let's address the one thing that most stories about this incident have not addressed: Bertuzzi must be a complete idiot. He's an All-Star. 17 goals and 43 so far this season. His team is three points out of first place in the Northwest division of the NHL. He had to know what was at risk when he decided to take fate into his own hands and make sure that Moore got the not-so-instant karma he deserved. It was a stupid, immature move and Bertuzzi's teammates should be pissed at him - who knows how long he'll be suspended for. He may even face some jail time. Well, let's see what teammate and captian of the Canucks Mark Naslund has to say: Everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. We all stand behind our teammate and friend, 100 per cent. Hmm..let's see what went wrong. Well, maybe Moore didn't use his sixth sense to let him know that someone with a clenched fist and a passionate rage was approaching him from behind. Or maybe Bertuzzi's flying fist of rage went completely out of control, took on a mind of its own and swung into Moore's face. Bertuzzi was really just trying to hug him. Naslund also said: "He tried to do something he thought was right for his team, to challenge someone," Naslund said. "He wanted to make a point that you don't go out and hit our players. Right for your team? How is doing something you know will results in penalties and/or a suspension right for your team when you're just heading into the playoff stretch? He could have made the point the way hockey players with balls do; instigate a fight with him. Face to face. Drop your gloves and go. And what does Bertuzzi's boss have to say? bq. Vancouver general manager Brian Burke said Bertuzzi was "too distraught" to attend Tuesday's news conference, but the Canucks right wing tried to contact Moore at the hospital. "That to me shows the sincerity more than any statement that we could issue," Burke said. Yes, it shows the sincerity of the Canucks management and Bertuzzi's agent in trying to save face as fast as possible. Bertuzzi gave fighting a bad name. Everyone is going to be up in arms about the brutality of hockey now. The FCC will want to take the NHL off of television. Parents for a Fuzzy Bunny World will picket NHL games. The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy will start a letter writing campaign to get Wayne Gretzky's sponsors to drop him. The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy will hold forums on how to present a kinder, gentler hockey game. Now comes the million dollar question: As I understand it, the police have already been contacted. Should Bertuzzi be brought up on criminal charges? Does this incident constitute something that should be kept within the confines of the league or should law enforcement play a part in Bertuzzi's punishment? Personally, I think his teammates should kick the shit out of him. But that's just me.

Ninjas, WTF and Sister Christian: Your Morning Mix

Must.Keep.Eyes.Open. Can't. Dumb dreams about black helicopters and exploding dogs. Fending off stealth ninjas with cardboard swords is very tiring. Yea, I've got another one of those long tirades coming up about nanny governments, but there is no way in hell I can write it now without lapsing into a non sequiter about dogs, ninjas and helicopters. So, that WTF movies thread went over so well yesterday, I think I'll take Josh's suggestion of WTF songs and run with it now, thus giving me time to get my act together, yet still fulfilling my morning obsessive/compulsive need to have content here before 8am. So, this is what Josh said: bq. How about a WTF music thread. I nominate early Laurie Anderson "Big Science", "America 1-5", "Oh Superman", "Let x=x", "Walk the dog". It's too early for me to think of one. But you can go right ahead. [And I know how you wise asses like to throw Sister Christian into any music thread here, so be forewarned. Don't do it.]

[Holy Night Ranger, Batman. There are three pages of references to Sister Christian on this site. That's just sad, man.]

March 09, 2004

The Little Known Subsection of the First Amendment Where Ted Rall Gets to Have his Comic Published Without Ever Being Fired

Teddy Boy writes:
Right-wing bloggers are at it again. It wasn't enough to get my cartoons pulled from The New York Times--now they say my "whining" about it is unseemly. Of course, the warbloggers like to keep this tactic to themselves, they're so damned good at it. But to hell with that. If you're tired of losing every cultural and political battle, then please join me in mimicking the relentlessness of the right. Write to the Times to let them know how you feel about them pulling my cartoons in response (solely, as they admit) due to Republican pressure: Martin Nisenholtz, CEO of New York Times Digital New York Times Letters to the Editor Ombudsman Daniel Okrent I don't stand to make a penny either way--this is solely about the First Amendment.
First, allow me translate: bq. Right wing bloggers have called me out for trying to start a letter campaign against the Times when I've been bitching that it was a letter campaign that got my comic pulled. My free speech has been stifled. The first amendment states: bq. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Basically, it means that - in the venue of free speech - the right to freedom of expression (speech) shal be free from government interference. Point #1: The government did not make a law against the NYT publishing Ted Rall's comic. Point #2: The government in no way, shape or form interfered with Rall's comic being place in the NYT. Point #3: The New York Times, as Ted's employer (even though they didn't pay him for his strips) has every right in the world to take the strip out of their paper. They even have the right to remove the strip because they caved to public pressure. Point #4: Nowhere in the first amendment does it say that an comic artist has the right to air his opinion in the local paper without interference from that paper. Point #5: Nowhere in the first amendment does it say that the New York Times must carry a comic by one Ted Rall. So -and excuse me if I have my facts wrong - someone explain to me how Ted Rall's right to free speech has been violated. Especially when his comic appears in many other places, as does his column.

Contains Nudity, Violence and Smoking

This is really getting out of hand.

the devil is dead

Breaking on CNN: I have never been so damn happy to see somebody die. If there is a god, this guy will get to hell and find out that even Satan won't have him. I swear to all that is holy, I would piss on his grave if I could. [I never forgot Leo Klinghoffer]

the thingie in the thingie with the thingie

Hey, I know how much you guys like contests and list making, so I thought I would send you over to Dave's place. He's got a John Kerry limerick thingie going on, as well as a CD list making thingie. Thingie should be a real word. Well, we've got four discs worth of Futurama to watch. Nothing bonds a family together like listening to Bender's sarcasm. This is what we consider quality time.

WTF movies

Ok, let's get away from the heavy stuff for the rest of the day, shall we? I was emailing with my buddy Todd and we got on the subject of the movie Private Idaho. Which provoked Todd to ask me this question: bq. What was the most bizarre movie you've ever seen, one that made you scratch your head and go...what the fuck?? I immediately answered Doom Generation (which I actually own on DVD). He said Bad Lieutenant (which I think is WTF movie in a very creep way.) And they definitely are both WTFmovies, but in completely different ways. Which means the question is pretty much open ended and the answers should entertain for a while. So, answer already.

drugs are bad......mmmkay?

Eldin is dead. Even when Murphy Brown jumped the shark (hell, it jumped ten sharks and three tractor trailers) I still tuned because I loved Eldin. eldin.jpe CNN: Murphy Brown's Robert Pastorelli Dead at 49

Those Krazy Krips*

I drive my daughter to school every day. It's on my way to work, the timing is good and we get a few minutes alone. It's usually during this "quality" time together - all three minutes of it - when she remembers to tell me something she supposed to tell me (or give me a school notice about) the day before. The subject of today's forgotten memo was the school's dress code. Apparently, the school administration has been quite worried about gang activity that most likely does not exist in my town. An assistant principal and a guidance counselor went around to each class to lecture them on the dangers of choosing the wrong wardrobe. First order of business was the "skank code," as Natalie put it. That means the "skanky girls" can no longer wear mini skirts up to their butt cheeks, pants down to their ass cracks or shirts which reveal newly forming breasts. That's not a problem with my daughter. See, there's only two fashions available right now. Skanky or baggy. Nat is in the baggy club and, while she looks like a slob sometimes, I'm quite comfortable with the fact that she is not trying to look like Britney Spears posing for Maxim. Ok, so the skank code isn't a problem. Oh, but there's more. 1305a.jpe First, guys are no longer allowed to wear "those long shirts like gang members wear." Because, of course, they are a fire hazard. Yes, that's what the students were told. Long shirts are a fire hazard. Nothing to do with gangs. Nope, not at all. However, it was then stated that students are no longer permitted to wear ALL ONE COLOR. I put that in caps in case you thought you were seeing it incorrectly. The teachers specified blue and red (think crips and bloods), but stated that all one-color outfits were off limits. Well, that poses a problem for us. As Natalie obviously inherited her fashion style from me, most of her clothing is black. If for some reason she can't find a black shirt in the morning, she'll wear something else with a black sweatshirt over it. I'll be damned if I'm going to go out and purchase a new wardrobe for my kid just because the school district all of a sudden got this idea about gangs in their heads. Ok, so there are gangs around these parts. There are crips, bloods and the notorious (around these parts) MS-13. But they are very small, concentrated groups located in very specific parts of very specific neighborhoods. There has been no gang activity in my town. There have been no arrests made of middle school kids slicing and dicing rivals from other towns. Sure, some kids burned down the playground at the elementary school and yea, there's some vandalism and graffiti and maybe some drug use. But gangs? No. Yet the administrators and teachers somehow feel the need to go and lecture each homeroom individually on the dangers of wearing red or blue or shirts that are too long. They didn't address the gang issue; they aren't having any kind of assembly or lecture where the kids will learn the dangers of gangs. [I know someone posted something about a similar issue yesterday. I just can't remember who] If they think these students are in danger of becoming boys in the hood, then why just address the gang-wear issue? Isn't that like saying "Oh, we don't care if you are in a gang. Just don't wear your colors in school, ok?" Regardless, Nat will go to school in her usual black ensemble tomorrow. In fact, I'm going to make sure that there isn't a spot of any other color visible on her clothing. I understand dress codes in school. But I don't understand half-addressing a problem that doesn't exist with a short lecture that barely skims the issue and issuing an edict that would not solve the problem even if it existed. And really, who would wear all red, anyhow? That's just gauche. * Krazy Krips

Book Contest Winner

Is right here.

All this and Richard Nixon's Head

Best Buy. Lunch Hour. Bender is mine. futurama3_pr.gif From the Godfellas episode (included in this FOUR DISC(!!) set: Fry: "Is there anything religion can do to help me find my friend?" Pastor: "Well, we could join together in prayer." Fry: "Uh huh, but is there anything useful we can do?" Pastor: "No." Is it a sad commentary on my life that the purchase of this DVD will be the highlight of my year so far?

Presented Without Commentary

Howard Stern, this morning: "George Bush invented the religious right."

in a bunch

See previous post for reference. By the way, the crack about my Cheney's Vault panties - what were you doing in my undies drawer? chpant.gif

The Defense Rests

You know, I was going to tone it down today. I was prepared to move on, to write that long overdue piece on new Hall of Famer Jackson Browne. But too many things from yesterday something are nagging at me. In fact, the whole subject of the 9/11 widows and the Bush ads kept me awake most of the night. Words, thoughts, comments, quotes; they were all like little fleas nipping at my skin. I brushed one away, another one took its place. So I sit here with the imagery of September 11, 2001 on my mind, fingers poised at the keyboard. Instead of writing about making out with some hot French Canadian at a late 70's Jackson Browne concert, I'm rehashing yesterday's news. Call it a compelling tug at my brain. Yesterday, I once again addressed the issue of the Bush ads. Towards the end of the comments, someone named Wally wrote these words: bq. Two questions: 1: Are the The Families of September 11th actually family members of victims of those who died on 9/11? And, 2: If they are, how is this attack on them any different than Ted Rall's "Widows" cartoon, other than the ideology of the attacker? And later: bq. But you can't have it both ways. You can't call someone out for an attack on one group, and then mirror that attack on a similar group. Family member's motivation is irrelevant. And today I saw this and this. Mr. Tooney expands on Wally's thoughts, to grandious proportions. Oh, he makes a veiled reference to yours truly: bq. Of course, the Rall-Hatin' Punk Rock Queen of the 9/11 Repub Set (guess who) has her "Cheney's Vault" panties twisted up over the response to the ads as well. He links to McGehee's post in which he links me, rather than linking to me himself. Whatever. Then he does this Rall parody, in which he is parodying people like myself, not Rall. And further up, he addresses the issue yet again, basically calling Debra Burlingame a stooge for Republicans because she was able to lobby - using her Republican connectins, I presume - to get her brother [the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon] a hero's burial in Arlington Cemetery. Wow. That certainly proves that she's in the pocket of the Republicans! Tooney all but accuses Burlingame of being prompted by the secret undeground Republican cabal in what to say during interviews. But that's neither here nor there for now. Allow me to address both Wally's questions and Tooney's assumptions. When I talk about the 9/11 widows am referring to a very specific, small group of widows who claim leadership of The Families of September 11th. I believe I made that clear yesterday. Also, I accused the women in question of having a political agenda, not a monetary one. Let's has this out (and some of this is reprinted from the comments I left Wally). Six months after 9/11, Ted Rall prints a comic that depicts the firemen's widows as money hungry women who are reveling in the deaths of their husbands because it's going to make them rich. I speak out against that vile comic. Two years after 9/11, I write about a tiny group of family members who are casting themselves about as representative of all the victims' families when they clearly are not. It is -fact- that their agenda is to get John Kerry elected president. It's pretty much out in the open and they admit it in all their interviews. All their posturing and bitching about the ads is not because of grief, it's not because of loss; it's because it gave them an excuse to knock Bush and to do it in the name of people who do not feel the same way. Are we seeing the difference yet? Wally? Tooney? I don't have a Republican agenda. When I vote for Bush in November, I won't be doing it in a flag waving, cheerleading kind of way. It's the "least worst" choice for me. I don't have a Right Wing agenda, because I am not a right winger. Simply put, I have a personal agenda. And that is to separate the wheat from the chaff. In my eyes, there is a difference between the family members who have taken it upon themselves to speak on behalf of every family member of every victim of 9/11, regardless of whatever political or monetary issues they are agonizing about. There is a difference between those who have seized this opportunity to use 9/11 as a political tool - something they have accused Bush of doing - and those who use 9/11 as a tool for betterment. Rall's original cartoon was despicable in that it lumped hundreds of women together and portrayed them as blood-sucking vampires of the almighty dollar. It was just six months after 9/11. He was crucifying people who were recently widowed in a most horrific way, people who were still in the grips of devastation. And that's why I thought it was ugly and cruel. My gripe with the women and men who are lambasting Bush's use of the images of 9/11 is this: Their cries of being used and abused by Bush's campaign are dishonest. They actively campaign for Kerry. The head of the IAFF is co-chair of the Kerry campaign. Can we expect them to be honest in their assesment of the ads? Can we really expect them to say the imags don;t bother them, that they think it's ok? That would negate any political gain they could get by showing anger towards the campaign and Bush. I have never called these people un-American. I never said they didn't have the right to bitch and complain. It's America, they have every right to stand up at a podium and curse the world if they want to. But they cannot and should not do that while under the guise of Families of September 11th. By doing that they purport to speak for all family members and they give the impression that they are speaking for all widows, widowers and relatives of the dead. If they called themselves something different, like The Fearsome Foursome or Kerry's Kids, I would have no problem with their posturing. If you cannot see the difference between my indignation and Rall's comic, you are not looking hard enough.

March 08, 2004

losing our mojo

Via Ken Layne, I found out today that Mojo Nixon is retiring.
Pigfoot, Louisiana- March 2004-Mojo Nixon, has announced that on March 20, 2004 he will perform his final concert at the Continental Club in Austin Texas. Rumors have been circulating about Nixon's retirement for some time and Nixon finally confirmed this will indeed be his final performance. I have nothing more to say," says Nixon. "Not only am I empty, but obviously nobody gives a rat's ass about the things I have been saying for twenty years. The masses are just as blinded by the light of stupidity, prudery and the shiny objects of hate."
Mmm....shiny objects of hate. Cranky bastard, ain't he? Mojo Nixon w. Jello Biafra - Love me I'm a Liberal mp3 [Originally written by Phil Ochs, Jello and Mojo updated the lyrics to make them more timely] I cried when they shot John Lennon tears ran down my spine and I cried when i saw "jfk" as though I'd lost a father of mine but malcolm x and ice-t had it coming they got what they asked for this time so love me, love me, love me i'm a liberal i go to pro-choice rallies r ecycle my cans and jars i'll honk if you love the dead hope those funny grunge bands become stars but don't talk about revolution that's going a little bit too far so love me, love me, love me i'm a liberal i cheered when clinton was chosen my faith in the system reborn i'll do anything to save our schools if my taxes ain't too much more and i love blacks and gays and latinos as long as they don't move next door so love me, love me, love me i'm a liberal rush limbaugh and the l.a.p.d. should all hang their heads in shame i can't understand where they're at arsenio should set them straight but if neigborhood watch doesn't know you i hope the cops take down your name so love me, love me, love me i'm a liberal yeh, i read the new republic(an) rolling stone and mother jones too if i vote it's a democrat with a sensible economy view but when it comes to terrorist arabs there's no one more red, white and blue so love me, love me, love me i'm a liberal once i was young and had an attitude stickers covered the car i drove in even went on some direct actions when there weren't rent-a-cops to be seen ah, but now i've grown older and wiser and that's why i'm turning you in so love me, love me, love me i'm a liberal [I think we need some updated lyrics for this song]

reading between the lines

[click for biggie size]

and the phrase of the week is....

Fill me full of barbecue sauce because I'm dumb as hell!

Ignignot_spinning.gif If you have to ask, you won't get it

How Egg-citing!

We have a new addition to our family, thanks to eighth grade Home and Careers class. After much gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands and two trial runs which resulted in the death of two siblings, Jenifer Michele was born at about 10pm last night. She will be part of our family for two weeks or until Natalie drops/loses/eats her, whichever comes first. I can only pray that Jenifer makes it the whole two weeks. I do not want to see the drama that will ensue should Jenifer errr..come out of her shell too soon. Ha. Ha. She's a cutie, isn't she? [click for larger images] I hope this project is all it's cracked up to be. I know, the egg puns are really bad yolks. Uhh..jokes. I'll stop now.

(Continued)

As I was saying before I had to cut the last post short for work-related reasons. My favorite part of the new Iraqi constitution: bq. All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect, opinion, belief, nationality, religion, or origin, and they are equal before the law. Discrimination against an Iraqi citizen on the basis of his gender, nationality, religion, or origin is prohibited. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his life or liberty, except in accordance with legal procedures. All are equal before the courts. That is a beautiful thing. It's something most Iraqi citizens probably never thought they would read as applying to them. This is not a quagmire. This is progress. Incredible progress. Yes, there is still a long way to go, but what a beginning. Keep reading. More from the constitution: (
A) Public and private freedoms shall be protected. (B) The right of free expression shall be protected. (C) The right of free peaceable assembly and the right to join associations freely, as well as the right to form and join unions and political parties freely, in accordance with the law, shall be guaranteed. (D) Each Iraqi has the right of free movement in all parts of Iraq and the right to travel abroad and return freely. (E) Each Iraqi has the right to demonstrate and strike peaceably in accordance with the law. (F) Each Iraqi has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religious belief and practice. Coercion in such matters shall be prohibited. (G) Slavery, the slave trade, forced labor, and involuntary servitude with or without pay, shall be forbidden. (H) Each Iraqi has the right to privacy. Article 14. The individual has the right to security, education, health care, and social security. The Iraqi State and its governmental units, including the federal government, the regions, governorates, municipalities, and local administrations, within the limits of their resources and with due regard to other vital needs, shall strive to provide prosperity and employment opportunities to the people.
There will be no Sharia law. There will be no dictatorship, no tortures, no oppression. This is the closest the citizens of Iraq have ever been to freedom. Rejoice for them, even if just for a moment. Even if you still think the war was wrong, please admit to me that this consitution, this moment in history is a good thing.

All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect

Over at TCP, I've posted the entire text of the new Iraqi (interim) Constitution. Funny interesting that today of all days Robert Fisk leads his column with: 'It's the same old Iraq, just a tiny bit worse than it was last month' Bite the chocolate, Fisk. [If you read the article, you'll understand]

The Polls Are Open

It's time to choose the winner in the Book Contest. The judges panel has narrowed the 80 entries down to a workable ten. You get to do the rest.

Just Saying...

You can't both scream in anger about Howard Stern being "silenced," and gloat about Ted Rall being canned by the NYT. It's called contradiction. Look it up.

Theirs, Mine, Ours

This is a continuation of yesterday's discussion about the 9/11 widows and the Bush ads. Please read here for context. Today's Opinion Journal offers an editorial from Debra Burlingame, "a life-long Democrat, [and] the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame, III, captain of American Airlines flight 77, which was crashed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001."
Ms. Burlingame is not offended by Bush's use of 9/11 imagery in his campaign ads. Ms. Burlingame is probably in the majority of relatives of 9/11 victims in this opinion, but you would never know that. The squeaky wheels get the grease, and certain widows belonging to certain organizations are mighty squeaky. In the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on our country, the families of those who perished on that day became forever linked through our shared anguish and grief. But "the 9/11 families" are not a monolithic group that speaks in one voice, and nothing has made that more clear than the controversy over the Bush campaign ads. It is one thing for individual family members to invoke the memory of all 3,000 victims as they take to the microphone or podium to show respect for our collective loss. It is another for them to attempt to stifle the debate over the future direction of our country by declaring that the images of 9/11 should be off-limits in the presidential race, and to do so under the rubric of "The Families of Sept. 11." They do not represent me. Nor do they represent those Americans who feel that Sept. 11 was a defining moment in the history of our country and who want to know how the current or future occupant of the Oval Office views the lessons of that day.
She then goes on to make a very salient point, one which I wanted to address from the start: bq. The images of Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville have been plastered over coffee mugs, T-shirts, placemats, book covers and postage stamps, all without a peep from many of these family members. I suspect that the real outrage over the ads has more to do with context than content. It's not the pictures that disturb them so much as the person who is using them. Precisely. After all, as I mentioned yesterday, the 9/11 Victims Assocation is aligned with Moveon.org and Democracy Now!, two strong anti-Bush organizations. This hardly makes their motive here altruistic. Don't be fooled. These people aren't concerned about feelings, memories or painful reminders. No, they are just on a crusade against Bush getting re-elected. Burlingame says about those who purport to represent 9/11 families: bq. They are "9/11 family members" and therefore enjoy the cloak of deference that has been graciously conferred upon them by the public, politicians and, most significantly, the media. In fact, I have viewed this specific, limited faction of family members as more of a lobbying group than anything else. 9/11 belongs to all of us. Nobody owns it. Nobody has control to the rights over pain, tears, sorrow, anger or memories. Nobody, not even a group of women who think they can run roughshod over your feelings has the right to speak for you. bq. The leader of a lobbying group advised individuals at a 9/11 family meeting shortly after the attacks: "Make no mistake, you have a lot of power. Politicians are more afraid of you than you know." They know. As "relatives of 9/11 victims," they are virtually immune to challenge on the issue of who should have the loudest voice regarding the legacy of this national tragedy. You have a lot of power. And now they are using that power to practically run a presidential campaign on the platform of sympathy. bq. We should not tolerate or condone remarks such as those of the 9/11 relative who, so offended by the campaign ads, said that he "would vote for Saddam Hussein before I would vote for Bush." The insult was picked up and posted on Al-Jazeera's Web site. In view of the sacrifice our troops have made on our behalf, this insensitivity to them and their families suggests a level of self-indulgence and ingratitude that shocks the conscience. They are lobbyists, these people. They have an agenda, and it is not one based on carrying on the memories of their loves ones. It is a political agenda, and - to me, at least - that sours any emotion at all I carried for the members of this group. Burlingame is right. 9/11 belongs to all of us. Every one of us. We all suffered, we all felt fear and panic. We all cried and carried the sorrow of 3,000 families. I lost people I knew that day. My family was traumatized. She lost a dear friend. He saw the first plumes of smoke from his seat on the train. His uncle was on one of the planes. He was there. He was lucky to make it out alive. Did anyone ask those people their opinions? Did the people who call themselves The Families of September 11th ask if they could go around representing the feelings and needs of every single family member of every victim? Probably not. And for them to go around demanding that Bush's ad be taken off the air, campaigning for John Kerry and saying ignorant things about voting for Saddam under the guise of that name is tantamount to usurping someone's grief. And you, the American public, are being duped by those people. They are guilting you, shaming you, into rallying behind them. They are using their victimization as a tool to get you to vote a certain way in November. They have become master manipulators of the media and the public. All of these people have stories to tell. 9/11 belongs to them, as well. It belongs to the shopkeeper who lost his business. It belongs to people who lost bosses, teachers, teammates, clients. It belongs to everyone who felt fear, sadness or anger. No one has the right to herd everyone into one small compartment and say it's for your own good. I am as angry now as I was in the days right after 9/11. We are being taken advantage of. We are being used. Peaceful Tomorrows and the 9/11 Victims Association and even, to some extent, the IAFF are playing us for all it's worth. They want to use our empathy to further their political motivations. Burlingame closes with this: bq. George W. Bush says that his presidency is inspired by an enduring obligation to those who lost their lives on that brutal September morning. The images of that day stand as an everlasting example of our country's darkest day and finest hour. They are a vivid reminder of the strength and resilience of our great country. They belong to us all--including this president. Let the candidates make their own choices. I trust the American people. The left accuses the right of politicizing 9/11. Seems to be that most of the politicizing is being done by those who are complaining loudest about the ads. After all, when the people who demand the ads be removed are actively campaigning against the president and for his opponent, the pot is talking to the kettle. [Update on this post here] The Voices project is an ongoing collection of personal stories dealing with 9/11. New entries are always welcome.

March 07, 2004

Bitchslap Ted Rall Day is Back!

From Ted Rall's blog:
Hundreds of people have written to the New York Times since the story broke in Editor & Publisher and elsewhere, including Tom Tomorrow's popular blog, about the paper's website's decision to drop my cartoons--a decision that they admit was in reaction to getting tired of dealing with reader (i.e., right-wing) complaint emails. I don't know whether your letters will make a difference relative to getting them to pick up my cartoons again, but I do hope that it will make them think twice the next time they decide to do something similar. If censors face as many complaints from outraged readers as non-censors do from outraged nonreaders, the balance of power may begin to shift. In the meantime, I recommend keeping on the pressure. If you haven't yet written to the Times, please do so.
In other words:
The New York Times caved in to a letter writing campaign by right-wingers who wanted the Times to take action against my comic and have it pulled from the paper. I was outraged, appalled and disgusted that such a thing could happen. The people at the Times are Stalinists and have no backbone. Now please, let's start a left-wing letter writing campaign to pressure the Times into taking action on this issue!
Hey, Ted? Thanks for the material. You make it so easy.

Worth Defending

Allah pointed me to this post over at Blogcritics by Mike Larkin. I'm not sure whether to thank him or curse him. I'll just quote the entire post here, as it's relatively short:
The society the GOP wants to create is not a society worth defending against terrorism. Since Bush will probably get re-elected, this means that the United States will shortly become a society not worth defending against terrorism. Under Bush II, we will witness savage tax increases and spending cuts to stanch the deficit. Privatized Social Security will impoverish the lower classes. The military will continue to grow beyond society's ability to pay for it. Religious extremists will reign. The impoverished bottom fifth of the population will be left to fend for itself while elites continue to loot the state. Republicans, in solid control of all three branches of government, will be free to impose their secretive agenda without regard to public opposition. The republic will essentially be liquidated. And so I say that on November 3, 2004, the United States will most likely cease to be a society worth defending against terrorism. On that day, for me, it's going to be pencils down.
Please, allow me to respond. Dear Mike, Are you implying that, if Bush should win the election, we should just pull back, dismantle every cabinet and organization devoted to stopping terrorism and wait for the bombs to fall and biochemical warfare to begin? Perhaps your brain is clouded by bad judgment and you are not seeing the future clearly. While another four years of Bush may not be your ideal world, it is certainly far from the gloom, doom and apocalyptic scenario you set before us. The world will not end. However, if more people had the same attitude as you, the world probably would end. If everyone just gave up and decided to the let the terrorists do what they want, it would be the beginning of the demise of civilization. Billions would perish because your tin foil hat was screwed on too tight. Not worth defending? Are you really that self-centered and egotistical that you think we should shut down our defenses because you don't like Republicans? This country is certainly worth defending and to say anything different is repugnant. Even people I know who are so far left they make Chomsky look like Ann Coulter would never say a thing like that. Hate the country, hate the president, hate the laws. But to say that everything in the United States is not worth the fight is ignorant, foolhardy and must come from the mind of a petty, bitter, selfish man. So, when November 3rd comes around and your choice doesn't get the nod, are you going to openly support the terrorists? Or are you just going to drink the rest of that Kool-Aid and keel over? Go ahead, drink it. You're a complete disgrace to humanity, anyhow. I'll keep on supporting the war on terror even if it means protecting your thankless ass. [After I wrote this I saw that Mike had replied in the comments on Blogcritics] bq. Glum? I'm living large, baby. If I'm not living in Canada by November 3, 2004, I'll be kicking back, knowing I don't have to lift a finger to support the war on terror. Free at last, free at last... To which I replied: Why wait til November, Mike? Why don't you go now? Write me in a bit and let me know how that socialized medicine thing is working out for you, k? He doesn't want to support the war on terror, but the jackass doesn't realize that even in Candada, he is being kept safe by that same war.

site news

* My crack team of friends and readers have gone over the 80 entries in the book contest and narrowed the field down to ten. We will convene in a secret, underground cavern tonight where we will determine the winner, if we don't get eaten by a grue first. * Not all contests are that successful. The Dear Abby thing didn't get enough entries, so that's called off. Thanks to those who did send in letters. * Speaking of the left, I discovered that someone is edging out my leadership role in Obssesive Ted Rall Hater Club. * I have given up on my attempt to be mostly non-political and to not address what the left is doing. I have too much to say to let it all go. Beware. I'm going to get all vitriolic on your ass this week. Update: Godfather won on the Pacino poll, but the ballot has been invalidated because it didn't include Godfather II. Am I the only one who thought his performance in Scent of a Woman was cringe-worthy?

On Campaigns, 9/11 Widows, the Media and Reading Between the Lines

[This post has been edited for clarity and general typos] Ezra at Pandagon has the most coherent non-conservative reaction to the Bush-9/11 ads: bq. but it boils down to a 1-second picture of Ground Zero in Bush's advertisments being crucified by 9/11 Victim's Associations and the Firefighter's Union for insensitivity and bad taste.
To be honest, it would be quite ridiculous for Bush to run this campaign without mentioning 9/11. The most shocking thing about the ads was how tasteful they actually were. The Bush Campaign merely dipped their toe in the water of 9/11 invocations. The media, of course, is covering how their toe looked. The real story here is that the toe immediately got bit by a shark.
The coordinated response to these ads has been absolutely spectacular. Well, just go read the whole thing before I blockquote it all. I'll wait. I want to address one area of Ezra's post: a 1-second picture of Ground Zero in Bush's advertisments being crucified by 9/11 Victim's Associations and the Firefighter's Union for insensitivity and bad taste There's a whole lot I want to say here - and have been meaning to say - but I've held off for personal reasons. However, Robert Prather wrote a post on this subject today and it just cranked that old emotion train up again. In Robert's post, he cites a Newsday article about the big fuss over the use of 9/11 imagery in Bush's campaign ads. While I've seen the articles where the firefighter's union (IAFF) rants against the ads, I've not seen this story anywhere but Newsday: bq. More than a dozen families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11 attacks released an "Open Letter to America" Saturday declaring their support for President Bush and his use of images of the destroyed World Trade Center in campaign ads.
"There is no better testament to the leadership of President Bush than Sept. 11," the letter states. "In choosing our next leader we must not forget that day if we are to have a meaningful conversation."
"In the November election we will have a clear choice laid before the American people," the letter reads. "President Bush is rightly offering us that choice and the images of Sept. 11, although painful, are fundamental to that choice. The images in President Bush's campaign television ads are respectful of the memories of Sept. 11."
Jimmy Boyle, former president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, spearheaded the letter, signed by 22 people who lost loved ones _ mostly firefighters _ in the Trade Center attacks.
Boyle, who said he will be voting for a Republican president for the first time in November, said he decided to ask other families to sign the letter after hearing that the president was being criticized for using Sept. 11 images in campaign ads.
"I don't think he's taking advantage of Sept. 11 and I feel that he's given us the leadership that we need," Boyle said. This is the comment I left on Robert's post: bq. I know Jimmy Boyle and this doesn't surprise me at all. The difference between Jimmy and some of his IAFF brothers is that Jimmy will be voting with himself and his family in mind; not according to the desire of his union.
My father lost many friends on 9/11. He is a retired member of the IAFF and, in fact, lectures them on fire safety and other subjects around the country. He's pleased with Bush's campaign and disgusted with the union and those widows who, despite their claims to the contrary, are politicizing their victimization.
I can tell you stories about the behavior of some of these "terror widows" that would make your jaw drop. The Bush video is just another example of them, and the union, thinking that the world needs to stop for them and their needs.
I'm sure if Jimmy searched around, he could find a lot more than 22 people to sign his letter. Has anybody asked the widows, widowers, parents and children of the non-firefighter victims of 9/11 how they feel? Why is this just centered around how the IAFF feels? The media picks and chooses their quotes so they can result in the most controversial, paper-selling, agenda-carrying story. The only reason that Newsday, generally a liberal paper, is giving both sides of the issue is because so many of the victims of 9/11 were from Long Island. Newsday needs to play both sides of the fence so they can both carry the message from those who oppose the ads and help voice the opinions of those who don't. John Hawkins came up with some interesting facts regarding the two major groups that oppose not only Bush's use of the ads, but Bush's re-election run as well. For instance, many media outlets have been running the story of IAFF president Harold Schaitberger. What those stories have not revealed is that Schaitberger is co-chair of the Kerry for President campaign. Another interesting thing John uncovers is this: Apparently Peaceful Tomorrows has received millions not only from US taxpayers -- which is mind-blowing in and of itself -- but it has also received "4.3 million...from the Howard Heinz Endowment". Yes, Heinz as in Theresa Heinz-Kerry. Just an interesting fact. Even Newsday's mostly postive article has a little touch of spin: Reactions were especially strong by some in the wake of controversy over Bush television commercials released last week, which showed -- some say inappropriately -- firefighters carrying shrouded remains from Ground Zero. If you haven't seen the ad, the wording firefighters carrying shrouded remains from Ground Zero might make you gasp in horror. When you see the ad and the whole three seconds in which the 9/11 appears, that phrase loses some of its shock value, no? President Bush is coming to my little town - East Meadow, NY - on Thursday. He'll be at the groundbreaking of a 9/11 memorial and then hold a fundraiser at a restaurant that is located in the same park as the memorial. bq. Joanne Lehman doesn't care that President George W. Bush is holding a fund-raiser right after he attends a groundbreaking ceremony for the Nassau County 9/11 Memorial Thursday. She doesn't care that Democratic presidential contender John Kerry is accusing Bush of capitalizing on the tragedy to jump-start his re-election campaign.
What matters to the Sept. 11 widow is that the president of the United States this week will acknowledge what she lost 2 1/2 years ago, and come to her community to do it.
"The bottom line is that this happened during his presidency, and it changed our lives forever," said Lehman, 43, of Glen Cove, whose husband Edward, 41, died in Tower Two of the World Trade Center. "He's taking the time to do this -- to acknowledge us and our efforts to keep the memories alive." Look for most media who report on this story to leave out this crucial phrase: Ian Siegal, president of the Nassau County 9/11 Memorial Foundation, said the president already had scheduled the fund-raiser when the foundation invited him to attend the groundbreaking. It makes sense to me. This area is a huge Republican stronghold. The $2,000 a plate fundraiser will put just a bit of cash in the president's coffers. I'm going to attempt to get to the memorial groundbreaking on Thursday. Local news stations say it's expected that there will be protests from those who don't support Bush's use of 9/11 in his ads. So, families of 9/11 victims and other anti-Bush advocates will disrupt what is supposed to be a solemn, poignant moment to make their point about Bush politicizing 9/11. What's wrong with this picture? Then there's yesterday's New York Times article, which has this statement: But a group of families who lost loved ones held a news conference in New York on Friday to say they found the advertisements offensive. Officials at Moveon.org., a liberal advocacy group, said they paid for the event. A liberal advocacy group? Try an organization, funded by socialist interests, whose main purpose seems to be convincing the public that Bush is Satan in disguise and whose current agenda is to back John Kerry. You would think these 9/11 organizations would be careful about who they align themselves with. The Peaceful Tomorrows group has aligned themselves with Democracy Now!, a tv show created by Amy Goodman and which features such partisan stalwarts as Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore. This is not to say that relatives of 9/11 victims can't be anti-war advocates. What I am saying is that the anti-Bush and anti-War movements need to be separated from the 9/11 advocacy groups. Why? Because the association taints the message of groups like Peaceful Tomorrows and the 9/11 Victims Association. It makes them appear to be activists not for the families of the victims of that day, but as agenda-driven, partisan political groups. Kristen Breitwieser especially has aligned herself with groups that subscribe to all the tin foil conspiracy theories about 9/11. Everyone has a right to their opinion. In this case, the public has been made aware of most of the opinions, but has been mostly sheltered from the dissenting views. Back to the ads, I repeat my view on this again: In my eyes, it was Bush who gave the country hope and comfort in the weeks after 9/11. We looked to him, we trusted in him and, from my end, he delivered. Everything about his presidency after September 11, 2001 revolves around that day. Why shouldn't he use it? How is different than Kerry trotting out one of the most devastating times in our country's history - the Vietnam War - for his political gain? Politics is a world of double standards, hidden agendas, bias and negative activism. It's an ugly place, that world, but the media does not have to contribute to that ugliness by printing/televising more of those components and printing less of the truth than is available to them. Ah yes, once again I ramble. If you've gotten this far, I think you get my point, though. You may not agree with it, but I think you got it. Update: I should add this; Bush's presidency has been defined by September 11, 2001 and therefore, I think he deserves the right to bring it up in his campaign. Personally, I would rather he brought it up again and again than not address it all. I would find that offensive. We should never forget, nor should we ever pretend to forget.

Meat Loves Us All

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you the most offensive poster ever designed for International Eat an Animal for PETA Day. It's so offensive that when I laughed - and I was Rolling on the Floor Laughing My Ass Off, as the kiddies like to say - I felt horribly guilty. And then I read it again and laughed some more. Allah is treading that thin line between genius and self-destruction.

Attention Hosting Matters Clients

Instead of assuming the worst when your site temporarily disappears, and instead of bitching and moaning about the service when the site does reappear, you may want to check the forums before you get pissy. As with any other outages in the past, HM has told their clients repeatedly to check the help forums before sending in a ticket or posting a message or going into cardiac arrest. Today, they were physically moving their servers to a secure location (remember when one was stolen? Won't happen again). Everything should be fine now. Next time don't make me come over there and give you the smackdown.

March 06, 2004

pick your pacino

The intent of this post was to open a discussion about the best tension-filled scenes in movies. However, it's more like a discussion on Al Pacino's best movies. So of course, I thought a poll would be necessary. If you notice, there are no recent movies here. I stopped with Glengarry Glenn Ross in 1992. After that, every Pacino role was the same; a little bit of acting, a lot of emoting and the big scene where he makes a poignant speech.
Pacino's Best Performance
Godfather I
Scarface
And Justice for All
Dog Day Afternoon
Serpico
Glengarry Glen Ross
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

ride of the valkyries

I spent a good portion of the day working on my husband's online art gallery. For all who have been asking, digital prints of his work will be available for purchase by Wednesday. Today, on a whim, the husband and an artist friend of his decided to create something with hummingbirds. This is one of my favorite pieces of his. Very simple, not much detail, but it certainly looks like there's a great story behind it. riders.jpg [click for bigger it's a big image so it opens up in a new window rather than a pop-up]

Blood is a Big Expense

I'm watching The Godfather, again. I've lost count of how many times I've seen this movie. I just know the first time was in the movie theater, when my friend's mother took us to see this R rated movie when we were just ten years old. I kid you not. Every time the flick gets to the part with the gun in the bathroom, I hold my breath. Every time. Whether it was the second time I was watching it or the 500th time. I know how the scene is going to play out; I know that Michael secures the gun and does what he came to Still, I feel that nervous tension I felt as a ten year old as if I had never watched the seen at all. That was Pacino's finest moment. His fear is yours; his adrenaline is yours. When he has the gun in his hand you feel his relief. Some movie buffs point to the act after Michael finds the gun - the actual shooting in the restaurant - as one of the greatest movie scenes ever filmed. Perhaps. But as I watch the movie again today, it occurs to me that the bathroom/gun act is the most tension-filled scene in any movie, ever. Yes/No/Other?

celebrity meat endorsements #1

[the following poster is not in any way, shape or form printed with permission of Jessica Simpson, nor did any buffalo receive compensation for the artwork herein. This is purely a work of fiction. Fantasize at your own risk] [click for bigger]

meat, it does the body good

I've been at this all morning. I made quite a few, but this the first one ready to go. Simple, yet says so much. Oh, what is this about? You mean you didn't know that International Eat an Animal for PETA Day is just around the corner? Well then, go here for more details on the history of this important day. [click for bigger size - save to your own server if you intend on using it] Mooooving, isn't it?

March 05, 2004

''OH MY GOD! IT'S JUST LIKE AFTER THE OJ VERDICT!'

I wonder how Martha will feel when she finds out she didn't even rate a Drudge flashing siren. I'm feeling kind of bad for Martha, so I'll do the right thing and make her feel like this was all worth it: siren.gif MARTHA MAYHEM! FOUND GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS - HOMEMAKERS EVERYWHERE RIOT! PANIC IN THE STREETS OF THE HAMPTONS - K-MART LOOTED! [click for super k-mart size]

Dear Abby, From Homer: One contest continues, another one begins

Book Contest: At the request of a few people who are basically weekend internet users, I've been asked to extend the Book Contest. So I shall. You now have until Sunday evening, 10pm to make your entry. We're already above 70, so make it good. But I've got something new. It's not a contest, per se, as it has no prize. It just sounds like fun. See, I read this post over at Hoystory about the Dear Abby staff falling for a prank letter. The beginning of said letter: bq. DEAR ABBY: I am 34 and have three children. My husband, "Gene," and I have been married for 10 years. He is greedy, selfish, inconsiderate and rude. I don't know why I married him, nor why our marriage has lasted this long.
Gene put off getting me a birthday gift for as long as he could; then he bought me a bowling ball. It was the last straw. Not only do I not bowl - he had the holes drilled for his fingers and his name was on it. Sound familiar? It should if you are a Simpsons fan. The whole entire letter was a reproduction of "Life on the Fast Lane" from Season 1. Eventually, an alert staffer caught on and the letter was pulled before its scheduled publication. For Abby's answer, see the Hoystory post. Anyhow, this opens the door for some Friday Fun. Simply take any television show, book, movie or -what the hell - song, and write a Dear Abby letter from a character's point of view. EMAIL THEM TO ME (simpsons-AT-asmallvictory.net). DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE COMMENTS. I'll post them all tomorrow morning and we'll see how many you can guess correctly. Maybe there will be a prize. One for best letter and one for the person who gets the most right. I'll think of something prize worthy. Get cracking. And remember, email only. Comments are for questions

The Day the Klan King Wore Laura Ashley Sheets

Thus far, the comment of the day: bq. RALL RULES! All you fascists eat your own shit on tablecloths with eyeholes cut out. I can't even begin to say how superior we are to you! Kerry, Hillary, Dean, etc are the future! There is no room for your hate mongering, tiny brained, cross burning kind in our new world order. We will remake the world in our image. All out war - no more fascist conservatives! Alrighty. Let's forget the New World Order, skip over the facism, ignore the hate mongering comment. What I want to know is this: Why do the tablecloths have to have eyeholes cut out of them? Can't we eat shit on nice tablecloths? I mean, is someone going to wear it after we're done eating? And is it a nice plastic checkered tablecloth or is it one of those linen deals? It would be much easier to get the shit stains off of plastic than linen, you know. Oh, wait. I bet it's a white tablecloth, right? And, when we are done eating, one of us will put on the white table cloth with the eyeholes and look like a KKK member, right? Well, they don't wear tablecloths, dummy. They wear sheets. Although, once my mom used a old sheet as a tablecloth when we were having cherry ice-pops and coloring with magic markers, because she didn't want us to ruin that cute Fourth of July tablecloth she had. I imagine if we put eyeholes in that one she would have been pissed. Then again, we weren't shit eating facists...yet. That came later. And it was a beige sort of sheet, with flowers. I think a KKK member would look very funny dressed like that. Come to think of it, they could use some levity at their gatherings, no? Judging from that movie American X, those KKK dudes are all business, really serious. So, no. They wouldn't wear a Laura Ashley sheet over their heads. Unless all their other white hooded garments were at the Nazi dry cleaners and there was an emergency cross burning and they had nothing else to wear. I imagine in that case, the red checkered tablecloth would do. And the dude's wife would let him cut eyeholes in it for the sake of the clan. But that shit eating part, I just don't get. Wouldn't we put it on plates and not directly on the tablecloth? I guess I just didn't get that guy's comment at all. Oh his email address is f@u.com.....oh. Hehehehe. That's clever. Those superior anti-fascists. Always coming up with teh funny.

who needs classmates.com?

You find people you went to high school with in the strangest places. That's a man who fulfilled his dream and his destiny. He was the class clown and easily one of the funniest, most good natured people I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Little did I know (until now) that all these years later, he's still making me laugh. We graduated with this guy, too.

ted rall is not eating garbage for dinner tonight

On Ted Rall: Rall is not out on the streets begging for kitchen scraps because the New York Times canned him. He didn't get paid for those strips. He let the Times have them for FREE. So he has not lost one freaking cent, is not unemployed, will not go on welfare or work the corners and is still printed in many other publications. So nobody killed his career or cut off his life support. In fact, he probably gained a few readers from the publicity his "firing" got him. On the IAFF supporting Kerry: Gasp! A union supporting a Democrat? How strange! How uncommon! Not. Maybe I'll expand on this later, maybe I won't.

stern and the secret underground cabal

Howard Stern is losing me. I started listening to Stern when he was on AM radio in the afternoon drive slot. I was friends with Gary Dell'Abate when he was hired by Stern (after working with traffic repoerter Roz Frank) and quickly dubbed Boy Gary. I listened only because I knew Gary and it was cool to hear his voice or hear Howard mention his name. Stern kind of grew on me. He was funny, abrasive, arrogant and daring. I loved it. I followed him to KRock and was a steady listener for a while, until there were more strippers and lesbians than good jokes and skits. I still listen every once in a while on the drive to work, when Curtis and Kuby are annoying me and I need to turn the station. We all know what's going on with Stern now. Clear Channel took him off their stations. He's in danger of losing his show all together. I've been listening every morning this week to hear what he has to say on that matter. I feel for the guy, but I'm starting to back away from his corner. Slowly, carefully, like you would back away from a snapping crocodile. Today he's talking about conspiracies. Secret cells of senators and public officials plotting against the freedom of the United States. Stern is comparing today's government (or secret cabal within the government) to Nazi Germany and says we better be careful or soon it will be a Nazi state. His whole rant sounded awfully tin-foil hat to me. Yes, I know. Clear Channel is run by conservatives who give money to Bush. Stern is basically campaigning for Kerry. Therefore, it must be an underground faction of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that is kicking Stern off the air. Just like it was the VRWC that got Ted Rall fired from the New York Times. Maybe Stern - and Rall - should take just a bit of responsibility here. I don't know about you, but women letting their brothers make out with them for money on the radio just isn't entertainment to me. My reaction is to change the station. Some people complain with phone calls and letters. I'm not about forcing my opinions down people's throats. I'm not about getting someone fired because I don't like the content of their show. But I'm not going to sit there and listen to these off-the-radar conspiracy theories about powerful Nazi-like politicians forming splinter cells and exchanging money with corporations just to get one shock jock off the air. I defend Stern's right to free speech, I defend his being indignant at the turn of events, but I am not going to defend his theories.

Ventriloquism, Lileks style, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the foreign policy

I'm going to have to start publishing my morning posts the night before so Lileks doesn't steal my thunder. Well, no. He always has more thunder than me. It's just that we seem to be on the same wavelength most days and he gets to compose his screed before I compose mine. Some days that's a good thing. Like today. Let's just copy and paste from today's Bleat. Put a "me, too" at the end of it, and you have my morning essay. I have one issue above all: the war. And yes, I’m one of those deluded types who thinks we’re at war, and that the absence of attacks since 9/11 no more means we’re not at war than the absence of air raids on Manhattan in 1942 meant we weren’t at war with Germany and Japan. Yep. Well, just read the whole thing, from where its says Update right to the end. Picture it over, at this site. Every word. Every. Single. Word. Go, read. Then come back here, pretend I wrote it and comment on it. Now I'm going to ask you the very same questions James asks at the end of today's Bleat. bq. Okay. A simple quiz.
1. We should promote the rebuilding of the international community through the UN to stop tyrannical regimes through forceful nonviolent intervention.
Or:
2 "You’re either with us, or with the terrorists."
Imagine a bomb just went off in your local mall. Choose one. Maybe a bomb didn't go off in my local mall, but two planes crashed into a building not too far from me, killing people I knew. You know which one I chose.

March 04, 2004

and whatnot

* Less than 12 hours to enter the book contest. There's already 52 entries, so you better make yours good. * I don't know if this is a record for trackbacks on this blog, but the Ted Rall post has 17 links back so far. I guess Teddy boy hits the hot button with a lot of people. And if you're here for the first time from one of those links, you can find my slew of Rall posts here. * Allah is a genius. * What the hell?

[click for supah size]
This must have something to do with what he's packing. * Watching Léon on commercial tv borders between torturous and hysterical. I think they actually subsituted bushwhack for bullshit. Yea, I know. Why bother? I have two versions of the DVD, yet I still get sucked into watching it on Bravo. Just one of those things. * Signing off to watch last night's Chappelle Show. Again. If you're not watching him on Wednesday nights on Comedy Central, you're not watching the funniest guy on tv. And there's your whatnot for tonight.

one man's amputee is another's 9/11

So, let me get this straight. John Kerry can trot Max Cleland around like a fucking stage prop during the primaries and Bush can't use the defining moment of his career in a campaign commercial? Spare me.

good thing, because i was tired of getting my protein the other way

This blog fully endorses the return of Protein Wisdom. Allelujah, amen and all that other crap. [Oh, and you've got about 12 hours left to enter the book-contest-with-an-actual-prize]

from out of nowhere

I have no idea how this popped into my head, but I just remembered this great (if cheesy by today's standards) game I used to play on the Atari 2600. FrogsAndFlies-2.gif I have no idea what made me think of that. Maybe I'm hungry? Of course I'm not telling you what it is. I want to see how many people know it just off the screenshot

the word 'endorse' looks funny when you type it often

Continuing with the endorsement posts. By popular demand, of course. Not only will I answer questions about whom or what I endorse (see all of last night's posts for details), but I will also consider any requests for endorsements. For instance, Dodd asked if I would endorse his John Kerry Running Mate Pool. Yes, I will. In fact, I entered. Kevin wants to know which "position" I endorse. You know what he means. Well, Kevin, as I am a control freak who needs to dominate every single person she comes near, I endorse the "woman on top" position. Handcuffs and mouth gag optional. Now, we know I don't endores Kerry. However, I do endorse his package. JHK.png Is that a Vietnam medal in your pants or are you just happy to be nominated? Picture stolen from Treacher. In the area of superheroes, I heartily endores the world's greatest actor being cast as Commissioner Gordon. On the other hand, I do not endorse the growing realization that the Batman flick is going to be full of Brits faking Gotham accents. Still taking requests. [This post made possible by Joe] Oh, yes. I very much endorse my book contest. Update: Jim adds his fifty cents.

Ted Rall is Being Crushed by THE MAN!

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. May I paraphrase from Ted Rall's blog? Thank you. bq. Waaah, waahh, waaaah. The Times cancelled my strip. Those big, bad right wingers made them do it. Waaah Waaah free speech. Blah blah hate mail. Yadda yadda conspiracy. Waah Waahhh everyone is out to get me. Note to Ted Rall: Maybe they let you go because you SUCK?

books. contest. prize.

I have a contest over at the SQotD page. It's a real contest, with an Amazon gift certificate as a prize, and it's about books. I'm going to reprint the whole post here. If you are going to trackback or link to the contest, please do it from this page, not the SQotD page. Entries, however, must be posted on the main contest page. This post is for questions only. bq. Today is World Book Day. It's interesting that they call it World Book Day when it is celebrated only in Ireland and the UK. Well, we're taking it to America today.
[World Book Day] is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all.
A main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own
.
reading.gifHere's what we're going to do: Everyone will "share" one book here. Fiction, non-fiction, children's, romance, sci-fi - even historical textbooks; they all count. Just one book that you treasure, one book that you enjoyed so much you would like to share that joy with others.
All you need to write is the title and author, a brief synopsis of the book (which can be copied and pasted from somewhere else, as long as you credit it) and, in 25 words or less essay, why you want to share this book with the world.
I'll keep this open for 24 hours. At the end of the 24 hours, I'll choose the ten most persuasive and/or compelling essays; the ones that made me want to go out and purchase the book immediately. Then I'll put up a poll of those essays. You will choose your favorite, and the winner will get a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
Sure, it's a contest. But it's also a way to introduce others to authors, titles and genres they might not have otherwise read.
Use the comments here to place your entry. Make sure you leave a proper email address.
You can choose a book that has already been posted - just make your essay better!
Now go over to SQotD and enter!

i'm here to rescue your brain

I know a lot of you - like myself - were going crazy with the movie alphabet quiz. Thanks to a link on MeFi, we now have the answers to the first quiz. However, because I am pure evil, I present to you Demon Balls.

March 03, 2004

i am totally against this

I do not, in any way, endorse Robert Rodriguez directing Sin City. Why don't people consult me on these things first?

it's a cruel world, after all

The shareholders sent a special message to Michael today at the annual stockholders meeting. eisnerfucked.jpg I think they are trying to tell him something, no? Yes, they are.

adam curry, contraceptives and peanut butter

Jack Cluth asks: Favorite foam contraceptive? I do not endorse foam contraceptives, Jack. Rather, I endorse the method that I used myself, wherein you go to the hospital and the doctor does a little snipping, a little tying of knots, and you never have to worry about things like contraceptives again. Annastazia wants to know where I stand on hosts of Headbanger's Ball: Rikki Rachtman or Adam Curry? My endoresement goes to Riki. Yes, he could be an ass sometimes, but Rikki was the Motorhead to Curry's Flock of Seagulls. This is no reflection whatsover on Adam Curry, as I crushed hard on Mr. Curry back in the 80's. curry.gifYou know what? Scratch that. Rachtman was a dick. Curry gets the endorsement. AimeeC wants to know the all-important PB&J endorsements. Chunky or smooth peanut butter? Jif or Skippy? Grape or strawberry? Rectangles or triangles? The only PB&J sandwich I will ever endorse is my own: First, you have to use Wonder Bread. No other bread will do. One piece of bread should be spread with a thick layer of peanut butter - Skippy smooth style. Two teaspoons of Welch's grape jelly gets spread on the second piece. You spread it with a spoon, so the bread doesn't break. Then - and this is the imporant part - you slam one piece of the bread on top of the other. Yes, slam. Then you hold your palm down on the sandwich until the jelly is bleeding through the bread. Cut in two triangles and consume.

Dennis Rodman, cricket, the evils of soda

[I am promising myself to write nothing serious tonight] C. Bassett asks about cricket and which team I will endorse - India or Pakistan. This blog endorses Pakistan. Take the over. Ellen asks the inevitable Coke v. Pepsi question. I don't make it a habit of endorsing sodas, as I thin carbonated beverages are evil. However, on the occasion that I do have soda (with pizza, or mixed with ice cream or rum) I endorse Coke. Pepsi tastes like medicine. Coke tastes less like medicine. Joe asks (in relation to something in the comments here) Pistons Rodman or Lakers Rodman? Pistons rodpist.jpg Lakers rodman.jpg Without question, I endorse the Bad Boy Rodman of the Pistons over the Bizarre Boy Rodman of the Lakers.

more endorsements

Dave in Texas asks which pizza crust I endorse. stuffcrustpizza.jpg My endorsement goes to the stuffed crust pizza. Not chicken stuffed, not vegetable stuffed. Just plain, gooey cheese. Any other endorsement questions?

maybe hill, but not bill

Billy Beck puts to rest the idea that Bill Clinton could be chosen to run on Kerry's ticket as vice-president. It's the 12th amendment, not the 24th. Unfortunately, there is nothing that precludes his wife from being on the ticket.

in which i discuss girlie things

This is what's it's like the day before I get my period: I wake up with a few zits on my face. My hair - no matter how many times I wash it or what I try to do with it - looks dull and lifeless and will not behave, not even with a fire-hazard amount of hair spray. My skin looks pasty, sort of like a zombie's before they get replenished with brains. I feel bloated all over; no matter what I wear, I like fat and puffy. I feel like my boobs are going to burst out of my bra and everything is too tight. I sense that my ass is so big you could rest a tray of donuts on it. I think everyone is staring at me because I must look like the fat lady from the circus. I'm awkward and clumsy. I drop everything I pick up. I trip over my own feet. I can't type, I can't spell, I can't dial the right numbers on the phone. I think about sex every ten seconds. So basically, every 28 days I go through puberty all over again. In the span of one day. And my husband wonders why I get so cranky. Someone get me a tray of nachos and a chocolate shake, please. And a force field that keeps people at least ten feet from me at all times. And a sign to put on my steering wheel that says "Remember: Road Rage Bad." Honey, I'm on my way home. Just a warning.

for the record: my endorsements

Like Joe, I am going to use my blog to make some hearty endorsements in this, the season of endorsements. In the area of oatmeal, I endorse Quaker Oats Cinnamon Roll. It's like eating a cinnamon bun for breakfast, but with less guilt. In the area of coffee, I endorse Peets Kona, ground fresh each morning. In the area of books which I recently read, I endorse The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases, which is quite unexplainable and features short works of Neil Gaiman and Cory Doctorow, among many others. In the area of video games, I endorse Prince of Persia for the GameCube. It's the hardest game I ever played, it's frustrating and it's nearly impossible to pull off some of the necessary moves, but damn is it pretty. In the area of tampons, I endorse Tampax Pearl. They may not be flushable like other tampons, but neither do they leave me feeling like a just stuffed a piece of sandpaper in my vagina. In the area of shoes, I endorse orange Chucks, for all your orange alert needs. In the area of songs to drive to in warm weather, I endore Rancid's Vigilante's Sidekick. But I do not recommend singing it too loud if your windows are open. We all know what could happen with that. In the area of people who take themselves too seriously but whom I adore anyhow, I endorse Morrissey. In the area of PMS, I endorse chocolate covered pretzels as the ultimate comfort food. Salt and chocolate. What more could a cranky girl want? And, last but not least, in the area people whose art you should buy, I endorse my husband, who is selling at Cafe Press for the moment. If you would like my endorsements in any other areas, just ask. I have special interests in every category out there.

say it ain't so

I'm so disappointed in Jason Giambi. Nothing else to say there. Looks like Bonds should familiarize himself with the word asterisk.

Hah!

Anyhow. Here's another quiz. Just because.
Which Colossal Death Robot Are You? That's right, Sparky. I'm Megatron. Keep back 500 feet or face painful destruction.

addressing issues

I'm sorry to do this, but we must address the delinking issue again. I don't have this grand notion that my linking to or not linking to a certain blog means anything to that blogger. It won't make one single bit of difference in their traffic because my blogroll is not public. The only part of my blogroll that you can see is the five most recently updated of my links. Because the blogroll is private, no one has any idea whose link I remove or when. I just happened to call attention to this one instance, because I felt it was important. I wasn't delinking the blog, but the man, so to speak. I've been associated with him before, was sort of friendly with him, commented on his blog and he commented here. I abhor racists. I felt it necessary, in this situation, to make it loud and clear that not only do I not condone what Rob was doing, but I denounce it. I wasn.'t speaking out against someone's website, I was speaking out against ignorance and intolerance that astounds me. I don't use racial or ethnic slurs here. When I refer to, say, radical Muslims, you will always see that word - radical - in front of the Muslims, so it's clear I am not referrring to everyone of that faith. Yes, there are some people I link to that may use a slur every now and then, but I have never read anything like Rob's post, which was so full of hatred, misguided notions and stereotypes that I had to read it twice to make sure I didn't misunderstand what he was saying. And he's not apologetic about it at all. I really don't have to explain myself to you, but for some reason, I am. This is not about being "PC." Anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time knows damn well that I am not PC. This is about slamming an entire race with just a few paragraphs. I've obviously annoyed some people, and I don't really care. My point is this - I realize no one's world is going to fall apart because I took them off my blogroll. No one should take their blog that seriously. Perhaps using the phrase de-linking was a mistake on my part. Perhaps I should have just said what I thought about Rob's post and left it at that. This was getting a lot of play around the blog world. There was no way I was going to stay silent and look like I was condoning it, which would be a slap in the face to several of my friends who took the most offense to Rob's words. What cracks me up is that some of the people who have emailed me or kicked me around in other's comments are the same people who will get all bent out of shape when other ethnicities and/or religions are treated the same way Rob treated black people. It's nothing but one step forward, two steps back around here. I don't pretend to think that anyone cares who or who isn't on my blogroll. That's not what this is about and if you think it is, then you don't know me at all, so don't pretend you know what's going on in my head. So...how about those Yankees?

First, I quote someone else

First order of the day is to blockquote Michael Totten, as his words may as well be mine (though his are written better than mine would be, which is why I quote him and not myself). [excerpts] bq. Until further notice, this blog officially supports George W. Bush for president in 2004.
I will not be his cheerleader. Though I will defend him from scurrilous charges, I don’t like the man, and I never have. I appreciate very much what he has accomplished in the realm of foreign policy, as anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows. And there is simply no way I can vote for his opponent who has spent the past year whining about every good thing we are doing and have done in the Middle East. This is by far the most important task now and ahead of us.
The Christian Right can take its hysterical reactionary agenda and stuff it. They are not my comrades, and they should not come looking to me for support. They will get none.
I cannot and will not be a team player for the Republican Party. None of the partisan “responsibilities” apply to me because I do not accept them. When I side with the liberals I am not a “traitor." bq. My favorite line is the last: Some people make the funniest judgements about others because of who they support as a president. It’s not until you change your mind about a president that you come to realize how petty that is. Go read the whole thing.

calm before the storm

I have so much on my mind today, so many things I want to write about. Heavy issues, divisive issues, controversial issues. Same shit, different day. But hey, let's not get all bogged down in a pile of steaming shit this early in the morning. Instead, let's all bitch at Mikey for sending me a link to this movie quiz, which has given me a headache at 7am and which will nag at me all day as I try to get all the answers because the author of the quiz does not give you the answers. So, the Movie Alphabet Game. Don't blame me for your frustration, blame him. One more thing before I go - I've been meaning to type these words for a week or so now: Aaron rocks. He just does. He's all class. Ok, one more thing: Open discussion at Command Post about who Kerry will choose as his running mate. Some people are whispering those two dreaded words: Bill Clinton. Update: And just to really screw with your head today, there's a part 2 to the movie quiz.

March 02, 2004

I am Caligula, hear me roar!

So sue me, I love quizzes. Especially this one.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey. Read more about me below. Third Emperor of Rome and ruler of one of the most powerful empires of all time, your common name means "little boots". Although you only reigned for four years, brief even by Roman standards, you still managed to garner a reputation as a cruel, extravagant and downright insane despot. Your father died in suspicious circumstances, you were not the intended heir, and one of your first acts as Emperor was to force the suicide of your father-in-law. Your sister Drusilla died that same year; faced with allegations that your relationship with her had been incestuous, you responded, bafflingly, by declaring her a god. You revived a number of unpopular traditions, including auctions of properties left over from public shows. When a senator fell asleep at one such auction, you took each of his nods as bids, selling him 13 gladiators for a vast sum. You attempted to have your horse, Incitatus, made into a consul and hence one of the most powerful figures in Rome. It was granted a marble stable with jewels and a staff of servants. At one point you forced your comrade Macro to kill himself - in much the same vein as your father-in-law - accusing him of being his wife's pimp. You, of course, were having an affair with said wife at the time. Things went from bad to worse. When supplies of condemned men ran short in the circus, you had innocent spectators dragged into the arena with the lions to fill their place. You claimed mastery of the sea by walking across a three-mile bridge of boats in the Bay of Naples; kissed the necks of your lovers, whispering sweet nothings like "This lovely neck will be chopped as soon as I say so,"; dallied with your sister's lover and made her pull her unborn child out of her womb prematurely. Towards the end of your reign, you had a golden statue of yourself made and dressed each day in the same clothes you yourself wore. When you eventually died, the terrified people of Rome refused to believe that such a cruel reign could ever end, and believed you to be alive for years afterwards.

it's ugly, little head*

There have been many times that I called public delinking of another blog an immature, spiteful thing to do. I'm going to make an exception here because, as Steve said, silence in this case can be construed as condoning. Rob/Acidman has been on my links list for a long time. He is no longer there. To be honest, I haven't been reading him all that much because, when I do go over there, I'm left with a weird feeling; like something simmering on the surface of his personality, ready to boil over. Guess I was right. I know Rob has been going through a tough time lately, but his blog has become vile and nasty. One specific post, with it's gratuitous use of "the N word" eleven times, was the last straw. There's just no reason for something like that. You want to self-destruct, that's your prerogative. It's just a shame that Rob chose to make it all uglier than it already was. He had a chance to rectify the situation, but chose to make it even worse. Maybe I live in a naive little world, but I thought generalizations and stereotypes like the ones Rob made were, you know, out of vogue. In a way, I feel duped. I thought for a long time that Rob was an intelligent guy. Turns out he's ignorant. [Oliver posted about it and has links to others who have as well] *post has been edited to remove certain links. [Follow-up to this post here]

By the way

If you're not reading The Temporal Globe, you're missing out on one of the best blogs out there for international news. Seriously. Richard rocks my world.

where i'm at

I'll be there all night, working hard so you can enjoy complete coverage of a very anti-climatic Super Tuesday.

i am ninja, hear me roar

It's the most inane quiz ever, but it had everything I love - the apocalypse, super hero powers and all kinds of blood.
Which Survivor of the Impending Nuclear Apocalypse Are You?
A Rum and Monkey joint. Update: Geez, steal a link from someone and they get all pissy if you don't link back to them and give them credit. This quiz was stolen from my husband. I apologize for not giving you props, dear. Now let's see that Tom Jones impersonation.

presented without commentary

Marge Schott is dead. Last time I spoke ill of the dead, I caused all kinds of trouble. So, umm....yeah.

my mom rocks

My mother has worked at the library for 20 years. For the past two years, she has been complaining, rightfully (I worked there at one point too, so I know) about the bad management and other horrid work conditions. She was planning on retiring in May, but it looks like it may not even come to that. My mom is one of those people who is indespensible to their workplace, but is treated like a third class citizen because she isn't full time, nor is she a librarian. She's just the peon that helps the patrons, keeps the entire children's room organized, decorates for all the special programs, mans the department while the rest of the staff is in the office gossiping and keeps the charming little children from wrecking the joint when their wonderful parents leave them alone in the children's room while they go browse for romance novels. They expect her to be everything and pay her like she does nothing. The proverbial straw and camel made an appearance today and my mother walked out of her job. She told her boss that she was leaving for the day and she probably won't show up the rest of the week and maybe, just maybe, she would be in Monday. Her boss told her she was scheduled to work this Sunday. She said she'll think about it, but it's not likely she'll be there. And she walked. She called me when she got home and I swear, she was giggling she was excited that she finally had the balls to do what she has wanted to do for years. The patrons of the children's room are going to be in an uproar when they find out because my mother was the only one who ever treated them with respect or gave them the help they needed. The kids love her, the parents depend on her. And now the rest of the masters-holding, stuffed-head staff has to deal with the stuff they were supposed to deal with all this time, without my having my mother to dump their dirty work on. Tough shit, ain't it? I'm so damn proud of my mother today.

psa

There's something wrong with mail. It's developed a black hole or something, because people are yelling at me for not writing back to them when I know damn well I did. If you're waiting for a reply from me, rest assured that I did write back to you. Probably several novels worth of words, too. It's just stuck out there somewhere in the virtual world of lost emails and vanishing websites. I'm figuratively talking to everyone, but specifically talking to Choire, Dr. Frank, Allah and Russell. At least you guys didn't yell at me. Or maybe you all did get my emails and you're just ignoring me. [Insert shrug here]

a blogger's work is never done

Blogging will be light today - I'll get to it at some point, but right now I've got all I can handle over at Command Post. It's Super Tuesday (ok, Kind of Spiffy Tuesday) and there's lots of news from Haiti and Iraq, plus a speech by Bush. I usually depend on my partner Alan to divvy up the work, but Alan is SCUBA DIVING OFF THE COAST OF VENEZUELA, THANK YOU. Oops. Didn't mean to yell, there. Bastard. Lucky bastard. Eh, back to work.

March 01, 2004

He probably wears a Saints jersey

Keeping with the God theme - John Kerry isn't sure whether or not God is on the side of the U.S. in the war on terror. See, this is where the religion thing gets sticky. Every side wants to believe God is with them. The fact that we're all talking about different gods is just semantics. Basically, everyone thinks the force is with them. Which leads me to wonder; what if God took sides? Do you think he'd be a Yankees fan? Or would he root for the Angels? And maybe, just because God has a sense of irony, he would support the New Jersey Devils. Would he use AT&T or Sprint? Drink Coke or Pepsi? McDonald's or Burger King? Marvel or DC? Mac or PC? I'm thinking he'd choose a GameCube over the X-Box, but I bet he'd have a Sega Genesis tucked away somewhere. I imagine a heated converstation in which we battle over old school rap v. hip-hop. Would he choose Dr. Dre or Snoop? As for war, I don't think anyone should claim God's allegiance. I have a feeling he just sits on the sideline, watching his creations and wondering where he went wrong. He sorts them out later.

impolite discourse

More on the religious front: The reason I hesitate to tell people I'm an atheist is because too many atheists treat religious people like retarded little children, and I'd rather not have people think I fall into that category. I've had a million debates about religion - there have been many on this site alone - and I have come to the conclusion that those who practice a religion have more respect for atheists than vice versa. Faith in a higher being is something that comes from within. To disrespect someone's faith is to disrespect them as a person. I may write about what I believe are the problems with certain religions and sometimes I may even poke fun at those religions; but I will never make fun of or be condescending to a person because of their faith. To make an analogy which may help me explain myself better - it's like two kids fighting over a rock band. It's fine to say "I think Dashboard Confessional is the worst band ever," but it's not fine to say "You're an idiot if you like Dashboard Confessional." As a non-believer, I walk around with the knowledge that I just may be wrong. There are no absolutes when it comes to religion; there is no proof of the existence of God or the non-existence of God. If I want people to respect that I choose not to believe, I need to respect those who do. If you are the type that gives a figurative pat on the head to Catholics or Christians or Jews or practitioners of any religion when you are having a discussion about faith, perhaps you should spend some time thinking about that. After all, we, as atheists, could very well be wrong. Wouldn't that be a kick in the ass when you die and are greeted by a spiritual figure. Your turn to be patted on the head like a little child who doesn't understand the first thing about life. It won't hurt you to listen to what people have to say. There's a lot to be learned from various religions that have nothing to do with higher beings or resurrections, but with living in general. That said, I've had to delete some comments on the passionate post. Just so you know where I stand.

he's laughing at you, not with you

It's finallly spring like here. Sixty degrees, sunny, no wind. Perfect day. So, last night I started going through our music collection - CDs, tapes, vinly and whatnot, trying to pack some of it up for the move. I came across a stack of CD-R's. Yes! All those mix CDs I made. About 50 of them. Now, none of them are labeled so I figure I'll get a nice surprise when I pop one into the car stereo or when I get to work. I hit gold with first one. My long lost CD of Music That Reminds Me of That One Time (no, you don't have to know what that one time is about). I made it when we first got the CD burner, when Napster was at its peak. I know it by heart, still. So I skip to song six. Tyler, by the Toadies. One of the greatest songs ever recorded. And one of the best songs to sing at the top of your lungs, all passionate and sinister-like, when you are alone. Well, I was alone. So I turned it up and sang my heart out. All the yeas and ohs and mmhmms, all the creepy lyrics and especially that one part where he says "she pulled the covers tighter" which just gives me chills. Apparently, it doesn't give anyone chills when I sing it. Or maybe the wrong kind of chills. Remember how I just said up there that it's a spring-like day? So, I'm driving with the windows open. But I'm not used to having the windows open, so I forget as I get lost in all the deranged emotion of the song and I'm banging my fists on the steering wheel and nodding my head and putting a little oomph into the "I will be with her tonight" chorus and it's all interrupted by a man's deep voice shouting, "You go, girl!" Holy embarrassment, Batman. I nearly choked on my own saliva. The shouting man was waiting for a bus on the corner where I was stopped for a red light. I gave him a weak smile and he gave me a thumbs up, but he was laughing; a kind of snickering, giggling laugh, signaling the depressing fact that I will be the joke of the day wherever laughing man works, and I will be the joke of the night when he goes home to his family and if and when he ever hears Tyler on the radio (which is unlikely, I'm happy to say), he will begin that giggle fit all over again and remember the girl in the Explorer who made the American Idol rejects sound like Annie Lenox. I'll be either shutting the windows or listening to talk radio on the way home.

passionate

I wasn’t always non-religious. I was raised Catholic, went to church every week, Catechism classes, sacraments, the whole bit. Then there was Catholic high school, Catholic university and a stint in which I became so involved in my church that it consumed my life. That was after my first bout with atheism that Catholic guilt forced me to abandon and before my final admittance that I didn’t believe in God. The church I remember was one based on fear. You feared God, you feared his wrath, you feared the nuns and priests and the gates of hell. There were only two consequences for the things you did in life; you either went to heaven for being good or went to hell for being bad. Bad was a subjective thing. It could be fighting with your siblings (which I admitted to in the confessional every Saturday) or stealing from your mother’s wallet or the big, bad sin of taking God’s name in vain. Almost everything we did had some sinful connotation to it. And all those things - the music we listened to, the words we said, the games we played, the jokes we told - were played out right in front of all-seeing God’s eyes and he would punish us severely for everything. Got a sore on your lip? A cold? Trip and fall? Slam your elbow on the table? Surely, it was because God was punishing you for something. My parents were the typical hypocritical Catholics. They sent us off to church every Sunday but they never went themselves. They weren’t even CAPE Catholics, those who go to church on Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Easter. They were what I call FW Catholics - funerals and weddings are the only things that bring them into church. We got all of the guilt and none of the loving, embracing God that my friends in other offshoots of Christianity got. We got a crucifix, blood, pain, suffering. We never sang that “Jesus Loves Me” song. We were pounded with guilt every week as the priests and the Catechism instructors hammered home the point that Jesus died for our sins, that he bled and suffered and had nails driven through his flesh for me. For me. By the time I had received the sacrament of Confirmation, in seventh or eighth grade, I came to the conclusion that either they were telling myths and legends about this Jesus guy or Jesus was off his rocker. It was much later on, after I left the church for good, that I went with a little of both those theories. I figured parts of the story of Jesus were like tall tales and legends; elaborated truth designed to make events seem bigger than life. Then there was that part of me that viewed Jesus as a power-hungry evangelist who fell for his own hype, no different than Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts or that Benny guy who heals people. Jesus was a man. A human, mortal man. That was the conclusion I came to and what I still believe today. For me, that makes the story of The Passion all the more tragic. Oh, I certainly believe most of that happened - Pilate turning Jesus in, the scourge, the blood and pain and agony, the nailing to the cross. What happened after Jesus died is open to interpretation. The tragedy of this story is that it could have been prevented. I blame Pilate, mostly. From what I hear, Passion glosses over the fact that Pilate was a treacherous, sadistic man who ruled by oppression. He was not a good leader, not a just man, and history contradicts the face that Pilate is given in most interpretations of the death of Christ. I don’t believe for a second that Pilate was torn as to what to do with Jesus. He played the crowd and the Christians like a grand piano. He never had any intention but to turn Jesus over. I’ve read the Bible, more than once. I’ve read hundreds of articles and various retellings of the stations of the cross and Jesus’s crucifixion. And I’ve seen all the movies, even the ones with the liberal interpretations of what happened. And each story, each picture, each film left me the same way; crying. I cannot help but be moved by the story of this man who so believed in his message and himself that he sacrificed his life for what he thought was the good of the people who loved him and believed in him. When Jesus asks why his father has forsaken him, my heart breaks. For me, the tragedy lies in my belief that it didn’t have to happen this way, it didn’t have to have such an agonizing ending. But there are others, millions of others, who believe that wasn’t the ending; it was just the beginning. And I can see how this ultimate sacrifice of one man can move them to tears and fuel their passion so much that they devote their lives to living according to the teachings of the man who died for them. What I’m getting at is this; you do not have to be Christian to be affected by The Passion of the Christ. While it may be historically inaccurate, as some are saying, and the blood and violence may be over the top, the message is coming through loud and clear. You can see it on the faces of the people who leave the theaters, you can hear it in the way they speak about the experience of sitting through Passion. It may not be a message all of us believe in; it may not even be a story some of you believe in. Perhaps, like me, you think that too much blame is placed where it doesn’t belong. But I can’t comment on how Mel Gibson handled that aspect of the story until I see the movie myself. And that’s my problem. I don’t know if I can bring myself to see it for the simple reason that watching even Jesus Christ, Superstar leaves me an emotional wreck. Sure, there are plenty of movies that have left me in such a state. I was completely overwhelmed at the end of Requiem for a Dream, for instance. But it’s different this time. Whether you believe in his power and glory or not, Jesus was a real man, who was really crucified. The fact that his words have touched so many lives makes him powerful in a way has nothing to do with whether you are religious or not. What I’m getting at is this: I’m not afraid of how, if I should go see Passion, how I’m going to feel when the movie is over. I know how I will feel. I just don’t think I could bear to watch the reactions of the people in the theater who believe in the story of Jesus with all their heart and soul. I don’t think I’ve made myself quite clear on this - it’s something that is hard to put into words. But quite a few people have asked me if I am going to see The Passion of the Christ and I thought I would explain as to why I’m a little wary of doing so. I don’t even know anyone who wants to see it, anyhow, and it’s not a movie I will see alone. I will probably feel alone enough as it is if and when I do watch it.

i might like you better if we slept together

Apparently, the purpose of Leap Day is not, as I thought, to take down your Christmas decorations (obviously, because not one of my neighbors heeded my advice), nor does it have anything to do with the rotation of the earth. A couple of people wrote to tell me that it is actually Sadie Hawkins Day, but they are quite wrong. That day, as anyone who read Lil' Abner back in the day would know, is November 15. However, it seems that some people insist that February 29th is a day for the girls to ask the boys out. Which would make today, March 1st, the day that girls dump the guys they asked out the day before. I was taught that it's not proper for a young woman to either call a young man on the phone or ask him for a date. By young, I mean middle school and high school. Once I turned 18 and started hanging out in seedy clubs doing shots of 151 rum and dancing to really bad pop music, all rules went out the window. Of course, grabbing a random guy by the hair, throwing him against the wall and shoving my tongue in his mouth is not quite the same as asking him out on a date. The way one person explained this thing to me is that you can't ask your existing partner out. It has to be someone else. So, I suppose this is a swinger's holiday? Everybody's getting their own day, it seems. I can see the Hallmark card now - (outside)Happy Swinger's Day! (inside) I'd like to bang your husband! She bang, She bang. She bang my best friend. Stay calm guys. This is only for the girls. We get to ask you out. We get to entice you with promises of wild monkey sex in order to lure you away from wife/girlfriend/skank of the week for just one day. Supersexy Swinging! I think most of you who emailed got it all wrong. I don't recall there every being a holiday for infidelity, not even once every four years. And if there was such a day, seven years would seem more appropriate, no? Well, we can pretend. After all, the day passed already and it's not likely that four years from now you'll remember that I once asked you to swing from the chandelier with me. So to speak. So, in the spirit of some holiday that one of my readers concocted out of thin air because she has a dirty, little gutter mind and is apparently horny, I will do the right thing (albeit a day late) and ask you, my sexy blogger guy that makes my loins ache, for a date. Or one night stand. Or what have you. Ok, here goes - Damn. Gotta go to work. Now you'll never know because by the time I get to work I'll have come to my senses. Kristal, I really hate you for putting this stuff in my mind. Now I need another shower.