A University of Massachusetts at Amherst graduate student is apologizing to Pat Tillman's family. ... Gonzalez said in an e-mail to a Boston TV station that he was trying to say Tillman's celebrity had factored into his being labeled a hero. He admits he tried to prove his point in an "insensitive way" and that the article wasn't worth publishing.There were many messages I got out of Gonzales's editorial, but not one of them had anything to do with Tillman's celebrity had factored into his being labeled a hero. Nor do I think this is any sort of apology. Gonzales's words cannot be taken on their merit simply because of things Gonzales has written in the past concerning war and politics. But that's not the point today. We're going to talk instead about freedom of speech, as it pertains to both Gonzales, weblog comments and Ted Koppel. Let's start with the comments. While I think Gonzales is a spoiled, ignorant brat who should be ashamed of himself for printing such an ignorant rant, I do not think that what he did calls for a beating to be delivered upon his person. Nor do I think he should be shot, hung, buried alive or scalped. All of the above suggestions were mentioned in the comments on this post. Some of the comments printed the phone number and address of Gonzales. I deleted most of them, but there are a few more I need to get to. If you want to play the part of vigilante, I'd much rather not be your sidekick. Yes, you have the freedom to throw your ideas out there - but this being my website that I pay for, complete with a space provided to you free for all your commentary needs, I have the right to ask you to remove yourself and your ideas from this place. Frankly, I'd rather not be a part of it when Gonzales is found in a bloody pulp on his own doorstep, should you be so inclined to follow through on your threats. And now a few words about Mr. Koppel. While I applaud Sinclair TV's move to not have their ABC affiliates air Koppel's thinly veiled swipe at the ongoing battle in Iraq, there is a part of me that hopes they reconsider. In an ideal world, we all make our own decisions, which we are then held responsible for. By taking Nightline off the air for that night, Sinclair is both making a decision for every one of its viewers and letting Koppel off the hook in those specific cities in which the show will not be seen. Sinclair should instead give their viewers the chance to watch or not watch the show on their own accord, and put a disclaimer on before Nightline stating that they do not agree with the content of the show, but are going to air it so as not to take away the right to watch it from those who want to. Koppel was on Curtis and Kuby (WABC radio) this morning. He was explaining how important it is that he read the names of the war dead, otherwise the dumb American public will never know the cost of the war. So, Koppel thinks that we are so uneducated about the war that we have no idea people are dying every day, that our soldiers are coming home in caskets, that death is a part of war. We know that, Ted. We are well aware of the casualties of war, both civilian and military. What I want is for Koppel and ABC to be honest about what they are doing. Just come out and say it. But don't drape the program in some patriotic flag and tell us you are doing it for our own good. If that is the story they are sticking with, then that tells me that ABC and the producers of Nightline believe that, as a nation, we are clueless, unniformed and naive. We are not. Whether you are with this war or against it, you know the toll. You know the numbers (exaggerated as some of them may be). You know many of the names and faces. No one I know is hiding their head in the sand and pretending that every soldier who goes overseas will come home in one piece. War is ugly, brutal and deadly. And, sometimes, necessary. This is what I said at Bill Quick's this morning, when Bill linked to a quote by U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey: bq. "The decision by Sinclair ... to keep this program off its stations is being made by a corporation with a political agenda without regard to the wants or needs of its viewers," Hinchey said. "This move may be providing a chilling look into the future if we allow media ownership to be consolidated into fewer and fewer hands." To which I replied: And one can conversely say "The decision to air Koppel's reading was made by a corporation with a political agenda without regard to the wants or needs of its viewers." So where does that leave us? Perhaps we should just allow anything and everything to be aired and leave us to judge for ourselves whether or not to watch or listen? Then we can react to what we have seen or heard and not to what was not seen or heard. Everything out in the open; biases, agendas, partnerships, affiliations - full disclosure. Have a crawl on the bottom of CNN saying, "This is an ant-Israeli station" whenever they report from Israel. Have Fox put up a disclaimer saying "We are staunch conservatives who suppor the war" on their station. Newscasters should wear buttons proclaiming support for their favorite politicians. Interviewe shows can open with a little segment in which the interviewer says "Not only do I hate the person I am interviewing, but I slept with her and she dumped me the next day, so I harbor much bitterness towards her." This way, we will have no guessing as to the subtext of a certain segment or editorial. We'll know exactly what we are watching and we can make our judgment on the show's worth based on that. Yea, well Ted Koppel read those names the other night, but he came right out and said it was designed to lower support for the war, so I turned it off. Oh? That's when I turned it up. I thought it was magnificent. But then, I'm anti-war. Oh yes, I know - eventually it will lead to liberals watching liberal shows and conservatives watching conservative shows, and if one watches the other, it will only be to gather ammunition for the next water cooler debate. Much like blogs, where we visit DU or FR just to find out what the "enemy" is saying. And then we'll all live in little echo chambers, where the only sound is the sound of our own opinions bouncing back at us, over and over. Or will we? Would you be more inclined to watch something if you knew outright that the moderator of the show was fervently opposed to your ideals? Would a gay person watch a politcal talk show where the anchor was wearing a lapel pin that read "I hate gays?" See, there's no real solution to media bias. We just have to let it be and try to figure out for ourselves what's truth and what's half truth and what's plain old agenda. I'm glad the Daily Collegian printed Gonzales's editorial. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard, no matter how ignorant and vile it is. Exposure of ignorance is a good thing. But silencing that ignorance with rocks and clubs is not a good thing. It is not good for liberty, for freedom or justice for all - the very things we purport that Pat Tillman was fighting in the name of when he died. If Tillman has become a hero, it is because of his celebrity, in a way. And that's a good thing. Pat Tillman's face and name, for many, have become the face and name of the war dead. Unfortunately, Pat Tillman's name won't be heard on Nightline tonight. He died in Afghanistan. Koppel is only reading the names of the Iraq dead. Maybe he should tell us why. _______ Related: When Idiots Attack Ted's Tribute Ted Koppel, War Profiteer, and The War Dead On Pat Tillman
The ABC Television Network announced on Tuesday that the Friday, April 30 edition of "Nightline" will consist entirely of Ted Koppel reading aloud the names of U.S. servicemen and women killed in action in Iraq. Despite the denials by a spokeswoman for the show, the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq. There is no organization that holds the members of our military and those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in service of our country in higher regard than Sinclair Broadcast Group. While Sinclair would support an honest effort to honor the memory of these brave soldiers, we do not believe that is what "Nightline" is doing. Rather, Mr. Koppel and "Nightline" are hiding behind this so-called tribute in an effort to highlight only one aspect of the war effort and in doing so to influence public opinion against the military action in Iraq. Based on published reports, we are aware of the spouse of one soldier who died in Iraq who opposes the reading of her husband's name to oppose our military action. We suspect she is not alone in this viewpoint. As a result, we have decided to preempt the broadcast of "Nightline' this Friday on each of our stations which air ABC programming. We understand that our decision in this matter may be questioned by some. Before you judge our decision, however, we would ask that you first question Mr. Koppel as to why he chose to read the names of 523 troops killed in combat in Iraq, rather than the names of the thousands of private citizens killed in terrorist attacks since and including the events of September 11, 2001. In his answer, we believe you will find the real motivation behind his action scheduled for this Friday. Unfortunately, we may never know for sure because Mr. Koppel has refused repeated requests from Sinclair's News Central news organization to comment on this Friday's program.Of course, someone will immediately look into the management of the Sinclair group, discover there's a Republican or two on the board, and declare this all part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Related: Ted Koppel, War Profiteer, and The War Dead On Pat Tillman
Late last night I looked at the standings in the Spirit Of America Challenge and concluded that with less than 24 hours to go, it would be hard for the Victory Coalition to catch the Fighting Fusileers for Freedom!, not impossible - but then again not likely. Then a funny thing happened, I noticed that together the teams has raised nearly $36,000 in the last week, and in an e-mail to Dean wondered whether we could reach $50,000. Dean mentioned that the original goal was to raise $50,000, and sent a message to all the teams this morning to gage interest in working toward that common goal. After a host of e-mails all three teams agreed that working together on the last day we might be able to push the combined funds raised over $50,000. Of course the members of Team Spirit all would prefer that you donate through the existing teams donations pages, but at the end of the day it's the donations that matter not the teams. Each team will try to cross promote the others current offers in the push to reach $50,000 in donations. To minimize the number of places you have to visit to keep up on all the offers check these three central posts:All of the current offers from the Victory Coalition and the Fighting Fusileers for Freedom are listed at vBay: Smash, who I can like again, has more. 50k. We can do it. We don't care who raises the most, we just want to reach 50k by tonight.
Amongst the other offers, we of course have our own blog giveaway. Not just one, but two blogs. I build it, Michele does your logo and Kevin adds those special scripty touches. All you have to do is get ten friends and bundle a nice fat soft money contribution to the cause. At least two groups have started the battle, but more are needed.
Gerard is offering something this blog needs desperately, professional editing.
Michele, the newest Dear Abby of the 'sphere, is answering your questions for a small fee. Is she Dear Abby or Lucy Van Pelt?
Kate is offering dinner in Hawaii (travel not included) plus booze!
Quick! Pay money and see Sean in a Lions jersey.
Dorkafork wants to cook you dinner, plus booze!
Jay will redesign your hideously colored (red background, green text?) blog.
Three letters, BBQ!
If that isn't enough to get you off your butt and onto the donation page, what is? Booze, blogs and BBQ, sounds like a great party.Wait! Laurence is forming a gathering of pussy photos! ___ Ok, so that's the offers on the table right now. Don't be a fool. Cough up some cash and get in on one of those bargains right now. For those who have already donate, thank you very much. Your generosity is a beautiful thing. Back later with the answers to all your burning questions, but no answers for your burning urinary tract.
Note: this post is part of today's Spirit of America challenge. To find out what's going on and what you missed already and how to join in, please start here and scroll up. All the questions are in one happy place.Questions. You ask them. I answer. And here we go again #26: What is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything? 42, of course. #27: How can I aspire to be a great as you? You can aspire all you want. Just click your heels and wish. Whether or not anything happens is another story. I'm assuming by "great" you mean mediocrity at its best. 28. Which hockey team do you support (or do you ignore hockey altogether)? I'm an Islander fan, though I have been known in the past to be seen in a Rangers jersey, as well as a Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey. I lost my passion for hockey when they started with all the rule changes and sissifying. 29. If you could add or remove an Olympic event, which would you change. Remove: synchronized swimming, ping-pong and that thing the gymnasts do with the ribbons. Add: Gladiator style fighting, celebrity death matches, air guitar and feeding terrorists to lions. 30. What's your favorite meal? Twenty dollars worth of Taco Bell and a beer. 31. Your choice of "it," as if it could be any other way: Why do you do it? It's alive, afraid, a lie, a sin It's magic, it's tragic, it's a loss, it's a win It's dark, it's moist, it's a bitter pain It's sad it happened and it's a shame It was in my face, and I grabbed it. 32. Who is the lamest comicbook superhero? Everyone knows it's the old school Aquaman. Let's see, he swims and mind controls the fishies. And he's, well... Skeletor: Hero, my ass. Hey everyone, Luke is sleeping with Aquaman! Hahahaha! (much laughter from crowd. Aquaman gets up and runs out the door, crying) Spiderman: Awww, geez. Must you guys do this every time? Crow, go get him. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Here's where I tap my fingers, sip my coffee and consider which direction to go in. I stop for a moment to get the kids out of bed, wait a few minutes, flick the bedroom lights on and off and then yell again for them to get out of bed. I sit down at the computer. Again.
Had breakfast (ok, another cup of coffee), did laundry, took shower. All in a morning's work when you get up at 4:45 a.m. I fell asleep at 9:30 last night - passed out so hard I'm sure I was snoring and sputtering because when I woke up half an hour later my pillow was soaked with drool. Don't make those faces, you all drool when you sleep hard. Don't pretend you don't.
At ten I transferred myself from the couch to the bed. Kids were still up, husband was still painting. Not me. I had this overwhelming desire to sleep like a dead person.
Not to be. I woke up ever half hour or so. I couldn't get comfortable, the dreams were bad, my neighbor was gunning his motorcycle again. Always something. The fitful night finally ends and I wake up exhausted from chasing down an orphan girl in my dream - an orphan girl that turned out to be my daughter at an earlier age. Well, how could she be an orphan if I was still alive, my dream self wondered. And then she came and sat with me, next to a reflection pool that had been emptied of water, but whose cement floor was scattered with pennies and dimes turned blue from chlorine.
I almost wasn't here, you know, she says to me.
I know, I say. I'm glad you are.
And that was that. Orphan girl/daughter got up and walked away, stopping every few feet to pick up a faded coin.
I wake myself up thinking about that line, I almost wasn't here, you know. And that much is true. I had some complications late in the third month of my pregnancy with Nat. The problems were enough to warrant the fear that I was having a miscarraige. When I told my then husband about it, he immediately started making plans for the money we would save by not having a baby.
I remember this distinctly. Driving down Fifth Street, towards our apartment, in his yellow Subaru wagon he inhereted from his older brother. I was wearing loose black pants and a long t-shirt. Even at just three months, my belly had already started to swell. I had black Converse low-tops on my feet and those feet were rested on the passenger side dashboard, because I was supposed to keep the lower half of my body elevated, which seemed a bit ridiculous to me because if I was going to miscarraige, gravity wasn't going to make much of a difference.
It made my heart hurt just a bit to hear him treat our child-to-be with such indifference and I said so. It's not a child, he said. It's just a...thing. It's just a three month old thing.
That thing eventually healed itself and made its way out of my body and became our daughter and there were times when I was in that delivery room, pushing and sweating and cursing, that I wanted to remind him of the moment when he referred to this baby as a thing, but I couldn't, because he wasn't there. Wasn't his thing, is what he said. Not a delivery room kind of man.
So I was there alone when the monitors went crazy and the oxygen mask came out of nowhere and I had this absurd moment when I thought I was on a crashing plane and the masks were popping from the ceiling, but that was probably the Demerol speaking.
I had no idea what I was doing, I realized at some point. I wished I could rely on my Lamaze lessons, but the husband wouldn't go to those because he had better things to do and I couldn't go alone because, towards the end of the pregnancy, I didn't quite fit behind the wheel of my Mustang or his Subura and I depended on him to drive me everywhere, but everywhere did not include a few lessons designed to make childbirth easier. So I wasn't sure how to breathe and I wasn't sure how to find some comfort in this physical nightmare, and the nurses just wanted to pump me full of Demerol and give me way too much of that epidural.
Just a little, I want to be able to push, I told them. Two minutes later, I was numb from the pelvic area down. There would be no pushing.
You could today put me on an empty cruise ship in the middle of a vast ocean and I would feel less alone than I did in that hospital room.
The rest is a blur of motion and fear, soundtracked by a too-fast beeping monitor, a barking nurse and my puzzlement that my own OB/G had yet to show up. It was when I saw the forceps, oversized and ominous, and knew those forceps were headed for a space between my legs, that I nearly passed out. They threw an oxygen mask on my face and told me to shut up and calm down.
I asked them to please let my husband in the room. Not because I wanted his comfort, but because I wanted to rip his balls off for leaving me alone like this. The nurse shook her head disapprovingly when she realized my husband did not take his little course that would have allowed him in the room.
So there I was, alone, and they were using scissors or something very much like them to slice open my va-- well, they call it an episiotomy. Eventually, my baby girl, the thing, as my husband called her, decided she had enough and made her appearance kicking, screaming and red faced.
Later they wheeled me out to another room and my husband, whom my sisters had to go find to tell him that his daughter had introduced herself to the world, was holding the baby and while other new mothers might be overwhelmed with joy at this sight, all I wanted to do was crush his heart into tiny, bleeding pieces.
Which I did, six years later. Six years and another child too late, I know.
It wasn't really that particular day that warped and molded me into the person I am today, but the six years that passed from that day until October of 1996 when I finally realized that I had, indeed, given birth to a thing; a weird version of myself, that is. Like Frankenstein's monster or anything created out of a vulgar hatred for yourself, a mutated personality is born and it's not until someone performs an intervention of sorts and shows you a mental film clip of that monster that you realize what you created.
So now, almost eight years after that six year period of gestation, the monster has been slain and the place from which I got the body parts is mostly a distant planet, still viewable off in the far reaches of time, but a safe mileage away.
It's good to keep the telescope out, as I have done. It's good to look at that place every once in a while and remember the monster that existed there; the thing that walked the earth on its own accord, powered by anger and fueled by self-loathing and a hatred for most everything in its path.
Packing yesterday, I found a stack of some mix CDs I made. In my usual haphazard fashion, none of them were labeled. I grabbed a handful of discs so I could check them out on the way to work, to see what kind of music was on them.
The first disc struck me like the proverbial hammer. Damn, I was angry. There was one song - a slow, hard sludge-rock song - that acted like a zoom lens on that telescope and I saw it all so clearly, if from a safe distance. And I felt it, too. It's amazing what one simple song can do to bring back everything associated with it; every single feeling and emotion, every moment of the creeping death of who you were and the slow crawl to what you are.
If I've learned one thing over the years, its that anger at the world and anger at one specific person are two entirely different animals, and while neither one is particularly productive, at least you can act upon your anger at the world with productive action, while acting upon your anger at a person will only land you a restraining order.
As with most of my rambling reminiscences, this started out as something else - at first it was one of those dedication posts (Faith wanted me to write about the Michele that she knows, which is in some ways different from the Michele that most of you know, as she knows me outside this box), then it was going to answer some questions about blogging, and then it was supposed to be about abortion and the rally in D.C. yesterday, but it turns out its about all of that and more - you just have to read between the lines to get to it.
And there's a lot more to this story, if you want to know it. I'd be more than happy to write it down if you put it in the form of a request accompanied by a donation to SOA.
I'm not a whore, I just play one for charity
6. Bo and Hope or Luke and Laura? Bo and Hope were dirty. I hated Bo, hated that beard and hated their stupid story lines. Hope had nice lips, that much I remember. Now Luke and Laura, there was a match made in heaven. He rapes her, she marries him. But they were fun, where Bo and Hope were just mired down in dumb plot lines. And while Luke looked like a shorter version of Bob Rossi, Laura was quite pleasing to look at. 7. Stuffing or mashed potatoes? Mashed potatoes made with garlic and sour cream. Serve in a huge helping, making a small valley in the middle of the pile, in which you pour gravy and corn. 8. This August will mark the 30th anniversary of the first time a certain band played their first show in good old NYC. The band is one of the most influential bands ever, although not many realize it. People like Bruce Springsteen and U2 attribute their success directly to them (Bruce's first top 10 hit was actually written for them, and U2 covered several of their songs to get their first recording contract because they had yet to write their own). Who are they?I need help with this one, guys. Rob wrote to say that the band in question broke up a few years ago, they used stage names and two of them are no longer with us. I'm drawing a blank. Posted by: IgwanaRob at April 26, 2004 09:54 AM
3. * Is Alex Rodriguez overpaid? * Have you ever eaten grits? * Can Eli Manning save the Giants? * Aren't Southern accents shexy as hell? * Who's your favorite NASCAR driver? * What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?Yes. Yes. Grits with cheese, butter and salt is the breakfast of Gods. Dude, the Giants play in Jersey. Nothing can save them. Ever. Not even the lesser of two Mannings. Southern accents are better than New England accents, that's for sure. I prefer mid-western accents, to be honest. Unless someone is going to pay me to watch those cars go 'round and 'round and 'round, you'll never catch me watching NASCAR. So I couldn't give you an answer to that, unless the answer is: none. And as I walked on Through troubled times My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes So where are the strong And who are the trusted? And where is the harmony? Sweet harmony. Where is the harmony? Where is the love? Nothing funny at all, Skillz. Nothing at all.
How devoted am I to the SOA/VC cause? Just look below. There is not one person in the other coalitions who has sacrificed as much as I just did. Smash doesn't count because he risked his life in Iraq before this whole challenge.
Do you know what it is like for a life long Yankees fan/Red Sox hater to wear the emblem of the dreaded enemy? It's like killing just a little piece of yourself. If I were a samurai, I'd be all about the seppuko, driving the blade in my stomach to the hilt right now. Good thing I'm not a samurai, eh?
I did this with my head held high, though. It was all in the name of a noble cause.
I will keep telling myself that.
Forgive me, Thurman Munson.
I need to shower with steel wool now.
|Total Raised||Amount Raised|
|Castle Argghhh! Fighting Fusileers for Freedom!||$10755.50|
|The Victory Coalition||$7718|
|Day Two Results||Amount Raised|
|The Victory Coalition||$3,231.00|
|Castle Argghhh! Fighting Fusileers for Freedom!||$1,498.50|
|Overall Results||Amount Raised|
|Castle Argghhh! Fighting Fusileers for Freedom!||$8103.50|
|The Victory Coalition||$6208|
Look who kicked ass on day two!!! We knocked over $1700 off the Fusileers lead, and we're just getting started.
Upcoming offers: Friday you will get the chance to purchase a true blog scoop, an exclusive new picture of Amanda Doerty, that refutes the claim that a guy is writing the Hot Abercrombie Chick blog. You'll get to run debunk the hoax story with the picture. That's pretty much a guarantee of big traffic.
The Victory Alliance is just getting warmed up...DONUTS, PEOPLE! KRISPY KREME! That's over $16,000 raised in just two full days. Give yourselves a hand, folks. Come on, get up! Standing ovation for all the contributors! Don't make me take out the cigarette lighter beg you to play Freebird.
Greetings, Hi, Michele. I just donated $100 to the SoA on behalf of the Victory Coalition. For the blog post you'll be writing, I would like one about how the Yankees are going to blow it against the Red Sox in the playoffs because Jeter refuses to move to third base. Of course, if you think that having a player at shortstop with less range than Britney will actually help them beat the Sox, you can write that too.First, I'd like to say thank you for the donation. Thank you. Now, I don't remember saying that I was going to write fiction, but what the hell. IT was a dark and stormy night. George Steinbrenner paced back and forth in his office, practically wearing out the carpet. Just last year, he had twelve underpaid seamstresses hand embroider a portrait of Roger Clemens sucking Andy Pettite's dick onto the carpet. It had only taken a few months for Steinbrenner's incessant pacing to wear down the formerly beautiful colors and art. Just two days away from the 2004 playoffs against the Sox, and the shading on the Clemens's uniform had turned flat and ugly, much like his fastball last year. Steinbrenner had not been this fraught with anxiety since the day Billy Martin came over to borrow a few cups of vodka, wished him a Merry Christmas, and drove off. Real problems were at hand. Jeter would not move to third base, despite offers from Steinbrenner ranging from sex with the Rockette of his choice to a starring role in the next Britney Spears video. George had been "friendly" with Britney ever since that Punk'd episode where she agreed to sleep with A-Rod if he scored a "touchdown" for her. Silly girl. George felt sorry for her and ended up beating the shit out of Ashton in retaliation for his making a fool out of an otherwise beautiful and intelligent woman. Britney was so thankful, she ended up taking a job with the Yankees, processing parking validation tickets for the Yanks' travel manager, George Costanza. Anyhow, no amount of cajoling could convince Jeter to make the move to third. Steinbrenner knew that the move had to happen if the Yanks were to mercilessly send the Sox packing once again this fall. As he paced that stormy evening, he heard a shy knock at the door. He mumbled for the person to enter. The door opened slowly, the light from the hallway shining across the carpet, illuminating Pettite's petty little dick. George stared at the doorway, expecting A-Rod to be standing there complaining that his contract specifically called for a red Hummer, not a blue one and Steinbrenner was ready to show him what hummer wasreally was about. But it wasn't Alex. It was Britney. Standing there in the dim light, the shadows playing upon her face and bosom, Britney appeared an angel on this hellish evening. George welcomed her, his arms oustretched. Come to daddy, he whispered. Britney snuggled in his arms. What's the matter, Georgie Peorgie? Oh, I don't know what to do, Britney. Derek just won't play third base, no matter how much I plead. I even offered him a Rockette for the evening. Oh. Maybe you should think outside the box, George. Outside the box? Oh.....you mean? Yes, offer him a night with Mike Piazza. They both giggle at their little inside joke and continue nuzzling. You know, Georgie, I played softball in high school. In fact, I played third base. Awww, my little sports girl. How cu.....oh...third base?!? Yes, and I was very, very good. An hour later, a meeting had been convened, papers drawn up, signatures made and shots of the best tequila money could buy were drunk off of Mariah Carey's chest. The night of the first playoff game came. Jeter, pouting and petulant, stamped his feet and flung his hat around in the dugout. He had been replaced by a girl! And not just any girl, but professional porn star Britney Spears! Britney took her place at third base for the start of the game. All eyes were on her and her fetching uniform. The bottom of the Yankee logo curved so sweetly over her right breast, it was hard to keep your eyes off of it. Still, the baseball purists and Yankee fans who were not sucked in by the thought of Britney's breasts heaving up and down as she lunged for a line drive were dubious. Britney was tested early in the game. Nomar, batting second, smacked the ball right toward her. The crowd held their collective breath and fixed their eyes upon her ass as she stretched her arm out, keeping her foot on the bag. The hard, fast ball zoomed right into the pocket of her glove, as if it belonged there. The fans let out a sigh. From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar, like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore. "Go Britney! Go Britney!" shouted someone on the stand, and it's likely they'd have swarmed her had not Jeter raised his hand. Yes, Derek "stepped up to the plate" as it were, came out to the field, nodded towards the crowd and announced his retirement effective immediately. It was obvious Britney was both a less selfish player and a better draw. Jeter realized that people long ago tired of his New York smile and charming personality. They wanted sass. They wanted boobs. They wanted someone who would play third base so A-Rod could get his way. And now, they had it all. So Derek packed his bags and headed where all disgraced, petulant, whiny Yankees go to retire - Houston. They Yankees went on to win the series in a sweep, Britney was named MVP and A-Rod hit twenty two home runs in four games. However, the Hollywood ending just didn't happen, as the Yanks lost the World Series to... the Astros.
The Spirit of America Soft Money Bundling Contest! In the spirit of thumbing our noses at McCain-Feingold, we've decided to offer a fabulous prize for the person that can cajole and threaten their relatives, friends and co-workers into giving the most money, per capita and total, in one lump sum to the Victory Coalition's effort on behalf of Spirit of America. Two winners, two prizes The rules: 1. Minimum of ten individual contributors 2. The payment must be made in one donation, and we'll need the confirmation email as proof. 3. Tell us how many contributors you rounded up. The prizes: Free hosting and a new blog here at Blogmosis for each of the winners. I'll set it up for you, Michele will design your logo and Kevin will add all the scripty gizmos your heart could desire. No time limit, no restrictions (Well, except porn. We do have a couple of standards left). Keep it for yourself, give it away to someone deserving, whatever you'd like to do. How hard can it be? Walk around your office and beg ten bucks off of everyone. Call your parents and say you need a new engine for the Yugo. Take out a second mortgage on your home. The contest starts now, and ends when the drive ends, 12:01am Pacific time on Thursday, April 29. If you're up to the challenge, let me know in the comments. We'd like to track your progress. May the best scrounger win!The VC: Killing the other coalitions DEAD. Link it up. Now. New dedication post coming soon.
I'd like you to write a post about either 1. fat-bottomed girls, 2. turtles, 3. Friendly's, 4. Pizza.I can go you one better, Bobby. I'll write about all of them at once. A little known fact about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is that they were originally drawn in black and white. Another little known fact is that the creators of the turtles, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, wrote their first original TMNT story as an ode to Frank Miller. Mr. Eastman happens to be the same age as me. And that's where our paths part. He is a multi millionare, I assume. He made a living writing about four teenage turtles with nunchucks. No, he didn't write with nunchucks. The turtles had them....nevermind. Also, Mr. Eastman is married to this chick. Her name is Julie Strain. You may recognize her from such films as Heavy Metal. You may also recognize her from many poses in which she reveals that nothing comes between her and her leather loincloth. Guys, there is a lesson in this for you. Even a comic book geek can get the hot chicks. And what comic book geek would not give his left arm for a hook up with a hot, sexy B-movie babe? Not a one, I'm sure. Hell, I'd give my left arm for those tits. To have, not to hold. Pervert. So, where was I? Oh, yes. Even though Julie appears to be fat-bottomed in some photos, you can rest assured that the Queen song Fat Bottomed Girls was not, in any way, written with Ms. Strain-Eastman in mind. You can pretty much bet that Ms. Strain is not spending her nights scarfing down pepperoni and anchovy pizzas and chasing it down with a gallon of Friendly's Double Chocolate ice cream. Not that I do that. Not at all. My ice cream comes from Cold Stone Creamery. And I hate anchovies. My god, my thighs are huge. Huge, as in Julie Strain's... you see where I'm going.
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Before I go over my own list of worst songs, a few things have to be clarified.
There are certain criteria you must take into consideration when making such a list:
I haven't seen Blender's list yet, on which this topic was based. But that doesn't matter much, as this is a very subjective subject and one person's list is another person's playlist.
Bad songs can be divided into groups or genres. For instance, we have Subjects That Should Not Be Approached in Song. Leading the pack in this group is Cher's Half Breed. My father married a pure Cherokee/My mother's people were ashamed of me/The indians said I was white by law/The White Man always called me "Indian Squaw. At the end of the songs, she blames her life of sleeping around on the fact that the White Man brought her down. Damn the man!
Also showing up in that category is Torn Between Two Lovers: There's been another man/That I've met and I love/But that doesn't mean I love you less/And he knows he can't posses me/And he knows he never will. And then she begs him to stay even though she's sleeping with another guy who fulfills some need that this guy can't. You want to have an affair, that's your choice. But don't tell the world about it in song.
And then there's Having My Baby.
Didn't have to keep it/Wouldn't put ya through it/You could have swept it from you life/But you wouldn't do it, no, you wouldn't do it. Jesus. A song about a girl who slept with a guy and then, to prove her love to him, didn't have an abortion.
Another genre is the What the Hell?? song. It's all about those tunes that approach subjects so obscure and random they leave you scratching your head and wondering what the songwriter was huffing when he penned this one. To wit: You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name/
It felt good to be out of the rain/In the desert you can remember your name/
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain. This is the one category when music actually comes into play. There are millions of obscure, nonsensical, drug-induced lyrics out there (See, Strawberry Letter #22), but many of those songs make up for the psychedilia of their words with decent music. And then there are some songs that wouldn't be redeemable even if they were played by the greatest rock ensemble ever put together: Muskrat Susie, Muskrat Sam/Do the jitterbug out in muskrat land/And they shimmy/And Sammy's so skinny. That song makes me want to jam a Q-tip in my brain. In addition to Muskrat Love, this genre also includes Mr. Roboto and Stairway to Heaven (see, here).
Next, we have death songs. Tragedy occurs every day, I know. And it's sad when people die. But for the love of Death, keep the bereavement therapy in your journals. Some songs about death are ok, especially the ones where the singer is actually doing the killing - hey, I'm not condoning murder, I'm just saying that Murder Ballads are far better than funeral dirges cloaked as pop hits. As such, Used to Love Her is good: I used to love her/but I had to kill her/I had to put her/Six feet under/And I can still hear her complain. Come on, that's funny! Last Kiss is bad: Oh where, oh where can my baby be?/The Lord took her away from me/She's gone to heaven, so I've got to be good/So I can see my baby when I leave this world. Possum Kingdom is good: I'm not gonna lie/I'll not be a gentleman/Behind the boathouse/I'll show you my dark secret. Sorry, but songs about murder are sexy in a really odd way. Ok, maybe just for me. This, however, is bad: But as they pulled him from the twisted wreck/With his dying breath they heard him say/Tell Laura I love her tell Laura I need her.
Now we deal with treacle. The treacle department is where all the cheesy songs go to (I wish) die. Sappy lyrics written solely with the intention of making you cry all the way to the record store. I'm not having any of that. Just thinking about these songs make me cringe. I must counter the toxic affect of looking up these lyrics by listening to Bloodhound Gang's One Fierce Beer Coaster on repeat. It's the only antidote.
There are a million songs that could fit into the treacle category, but I'll just deal with the ones I really hate:
Sure, there's more. That's just off the top of my head.
And now, I present to you my top three Worst Songs Ever Recorded:
Daddy please don't
It wasn't his fault
He means so much to me
Daddy please don't
We're gonna get married
Just you wait and see
See...she's pregnant, daddy's pissed and Joey and I guess he's pissed at Julie, too because Julie comes running out of her house with bruises on her face. And as she runs to Joey screaming that her Daddyy's got a gun, daddy fires away. And kills his precious, pregnant daughter. I swear I saw this movie on Lifetime last year. The best part is the end of the song, when Julie sings her dying words....
Daddy please don't...We're gon...na get... mar...ried...... She's all breathless from dying. So poignant. So sad. So bad.
See, Seasons in the Sun had my name in it (Goodbye Michele, it's hard to die) and that made it not so much sad as annoying. The first few times my neighbor sang the song to me, it was funny. Then it got infuriating. Then I put a brick through his head. After that, he stuck to playing Michele, My Bell on the trumpet as I passed his house each day.
Anyhow, I had the Seasons in the Sun 45 because, if were cool like me, you had all the top ten 45s. Being the music aficianado I was (and still am), I actually listened to the flip sides of songs, unlike my peers who were concerned only with the Billboard hits.
The song was called Put the Bone in (later covered by Soul Asylum for some odd reason). Roll that around on your tongue a minute. Put the Bone in. And no, it wasn't a metaphor for "let me fuck you." It was about a doggie. A poor, dying doggie.
Put the bone in
She yelled at the store
'Cause my doggie's been hit by a car
And I do want to bring him home something
Put the bone in
She yelled out once more
Because the meat from the pork is so sweet
And the bone from the pork give to me
Put the bone in she begged him
As she paced across the floor
Put the bone in she yelled out once more
I swear on Homer Simpson's grave that those are the real lyrics. The meat from the pork is so sweet. Oh, I bet it is, baby. Give me that bone!
And the number one worst song is.....it's a tie!
Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay
It's Independence Day
I'm pretty patriotic. I love my country. I hate terrorists. But this just drives me crazy. The day of the reckoning? Let the guilty play? Why doesn't he just open his show with war cries? Now, you know I'm a warmonger, as the pro-Iraq war people are called these days, but if your gonna mong a war, do it with just a bit of tact. I can't really put my finger on why this song, in the context of Hannity's show, bothers me so much, but it does enough for me to make it share the number one spot with..
I wrote about this one already at Blogcritics, but I'll repeat what I said there.
Have you forgotten how it felt that day to see your homeland under fire
and her people blown away
have you forgotten when those towers fell
we had neighbors still inside
going through a living hell
and you say we shouldn't worry about bin laden
have you forgotten
Instead of bringing me to my knees in prayer or making me want to run out and hold my neighbor's hand as we get ready to fight the good fight, the lyrics make me want to crawl under a rock.In the same way I cringe whenever a musical artist uses his own name in a song, the use of the name bin Laden - rhymed with forgotten - makes me almost want to break out in a fit of giggles.
And there you have it. Not a complete list, by any means. Just the ones I thought of today.
I thought it fitting that my annual TV Turn Off Week post should be a rerun.
Why write something new when I still feel the same, eh?
I was asked by a rather closed-minded person at baseball practice yesterday if I was observing TV Turnoff Week. No. I mean, Hell No!
I make no apologies about being a tv addict. I make no excuses for my kids loving the television. And I really don't want to get into a twenty minute discussion with someone about it if that someone cannot accept the fact that not every person thinks the same way. I also will have the urge to put my fist down your throat if you dare hint that I am in some way inferior to you, not as good a parent as you, not worthy of breathing the polluted air around us, if I watch a lot of tv.
If you want to turn off your tv, that's fine. More power to you. If you don't own a tv, that's great, too. That's your prerogative. I admire your staunch stand on the issue. Just don't throw your tv-less ideals at me, ok?
We love tv. And no, I am not going to sit here and pretend that all the tv we watch is educational. Sure, we watch the Discovery Channel and Biography and National Geographic TV. We love that stuff. But we also watch cartoons and sitcoms and the adults in this house watch late night softcore porn on Cinemax and violent movies and infomercials. And sports. We watch a whole lot of sports.
Don't tell me that tv keeps us from reading. We are all readers. We read every single night. Sometimes together, sometimes alone.
Don't tell me that tv keeps us from enjoying time together as a family. We manage to cram plenty of family time into the few hours a day we have together. Yes, we get outside. We play sports. We take walks. We run around. We hike through the local nature preserve. We sit on the lawn and stare at the stars and talk.
We do talk. We talk at dinner, we talk in the morning, we talk at bedtime. We talk while we watch tv. And we listen.
Don't tell me that we are mindless sheep suffering at the hand of advertisers. My kids do not get, nor do they want, everything they see on commercials. We are not name brand whores. We aren't mesmerized by advertising. That's the beauty of a remote control and 140 channels. Commercial comes on, we switch to another hockey game, another news channel and yes, another cartoon.
We like entertainment. Not every moment in our lives needs to be a learning experience. Sometimes we want to watch something for fun. Sometimes we want to just sit in front of the tv and stare glassy eyed at music videos as we let a rough day slip away. Not every moment in our lives is structured and organized and divided into neat compartments where each moment is an experience that will somehow shape our future.
It's not like I'm letting the kids watch programs that aren't meant for children. And it's not like Justin and I spend our Saturday nights watching a Tom Green/Pauly Shore marathon. We do have some standards in our tv watching.
I will not turn off my tv. I most certainly will not turn off my tv during the NHL playoffs. I will not give up the History Channel and Adult Swim and the Chappelle Show They bring me enjoyment. Why does it matter so much to you what the source of my enjoyment is?
You can turn off your tv. You can throw your tv out for all I care. Good for you. As long as you don't preach to me that going tv-less makes you a better person than me, you can talk to me about it all you want. The minute you tell me that (even though you were fucking your neighbor while your husband was on a business trip) you are a better mother/person than me, or that your family (even though your son was expelled twice for punching a girl) is better than mine or that your home life (remember when the cops came to your house after your husband fired that gun at your dog?) is nicer than mine because you turned your tv off for one whole week out of the year, that's when I stop caring what you have to say on the subject.
They say that one man's garbage is another man's treasure. So it stands to reason that one person's idea of an awful song is another's person's idea of what they want to dance to at their wedding.
Different songs do different things for different people. While I might be inclined to agree that Motley Crue's Home Sweet Home isn't the greatest tune out there, I'm attached to it in a way that only the memory of punching out your sister's best friend in a drunken rage while fighting over the music selection at a party can grab onto your brain and make you think you love the song when you really just love the memory of being so drunk that violence seemed like the most peaceful solution possible.
You know what I'm saying.
So what makes a song really bad? Is it cheesy lyrics? A too-simple bass line? A nasal voice? Or is it really not a case of a song being so bad as much as it is a case of your local DJ playing the song to death and thus making you despise it? Perhaps it's a bit of all of that.
Ok, I was going to try to do this in prose form, but I have too much real work to do today, so I'm just going to run down your song selections while I eat lunch at my desk. I'll update as I can, so keep checking back.
Nevermind. The song sucked as much as the sex did.
I just saw a comment from one Reggie and I must reply:
WARM LEATHERETTE WAS THE SHIT!
Melts on your burning flesh
You can see your reflection
In the luminescent dash
You are a sad, sad man, Reggie.
Tonight's blogging objective: scanning and
You people who pick on me have no idea who you are dealing with.
I know Darth Vader.
Yep, I've even done the limbo with the guy.
Evil is on the side of.....me. And the Die Puny Humans coaliation.
I'm going scan happy. Be prepared.
The national 9/11 commission has been hijacked by political shills -- men and women eager to subordinate truth to partisan advantage; who hold a transitory victory on Election Day more dear than American victory in the war on terror. Tawdry ambition has eclipsed sacred duty; all Americans are diminished, but none more than the families of the 9/11 victims -- who expect better from the commission, and certainly deserve it. Unless it is the thousands of young Americans now under arms in Iraq and elsewhere; their bravery and devotion to duty is inspirational. How shameful that the commission attack dogs hold their sacrifices so cheaply. And John F. Kerry, who presumes to the presidency, acquiesces. What a disgrace.An open letter from 9/11 surivors and families:
Forty relatives of 9/11 victims are slamming the so-called independent investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that too many on the panel are using the probe to "grandstand for political gain" in a bid to damage President Bush in an election year. In an open letter released to the New York Post on Tuesday, the 9/11 relatives blamed the commission for fostering "the incredible notion" that President Bush knew 9/11 was coming and did nothing. "I see the commission going partisan and that's not the way it's supposed to be. If it does that, it will be nothing but a political disgrace," former United Firefighters Association chief Jimmy Boyle, whose firefighter son Michael died on 9/11, told the paper. Instead, said Boyle, Bush deserved praise for the way he's conducted the war on terror since 9/11, saying, "It's a whole new world as of Sept. 12 and I believe President Bush is the right man."But who gets all the press? Three women with a uniform hatred for Bush. Maybe if Jimmy Boyle was cute and fiery and was a widow instead of "just" a fireman who lost a son, people would pay more attention to him. But Jimmy Boyle isn't good tv. He isn't good copy. I mean, after all, who wants to hear from someone that thinks Bush is doing a good job or that Bush isn't to blame for what happened on 9/11? Bush cheerleaders just are not in vogue. You want press? Put on your "Anyone But Bush" t-shirt, suck up to the 9/11 commission and turn your back on a country that did everything they possibly could for you after your husband was killed by a raving lunatic and his merry band of murderers. To paraphrase Public Enemy, The 9/11 commission is a joke. Interesting paraphrasing there, seeing as that Bush has suddenly become Public Enemy number one to Democrats and partisan hacks. Come to think of it, he's also the main enemy of al Qaeda, al Sadr's troops, Hamas, the Iran Mullahs and a host of other terrorist organizations. Strange bedfellows, eh? I think I'll cut this one off before the broken record starts skipping again.
US Marines seek to equip seven (7) television stations serving local communities within Al Anbar Province, Iraq. The Province includes the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. These stations will offer information that is more accurate and balanced than existing alternatives. The goal is to improve understanding between Americans and Iraqis, build trust and reduce tensions. Current TV news in Iraq often carries negative, highly-biased accounts of the U.S. presence. Unanswered, its effect is to stoke resentment and encourage conflict. The Marines seek to ensure the Iraqi people have access to better, more balanced information. By equipping local television stations and providing the ability to generate news and programming, the Marines will create a viable news alternative - one owned and operated by local Iraqi citizens.Read the rest and donate. I'm going to do what I can by donating a free ad on ASV to the cause. If Paypal wasn't holding my money hostage, I would donate cash. But that's another story.
Presidential Press Conference Drinking Game: - Take a shot every time a reporter uses the word ďmessĒ in a question about Iraq; - Take two shots the first time a reporter mentions ď3 million jobs lostĒ; - Take two shots every time the word ďVietnamĒ is spoken; - The first time the Aug. 6 PDB is mentioned in a question, chug a beer; - If a reporter asks about the FCC crackdown take a shot; - If Howard Sternís name is mentioned, do a shot and chug a beerI'll be sober because one of us has to maintain a sense of decorum and keep the conversation focused on the speech. And I don't really condone making light of the president's speech while he is talking about war and death. However, once the reporters get in the act, all bets are off. Bottoms up! [You can add your own suggestions, as Laurence already has. I think I'll be chugging Advil and water]
1. Do you think your country did the right thing sending you into Iraq? Yes, and so did everyone around me. 2. Are you doing what America set out to do to make Iraq a democracy, or have we failed so badly that we should pack up and get out before more of you are killed? We did what we were there to do, no thanks to douchebags like you. 3. Do the orders you get handed down from one headquarters to another, all far removed from the fighting, seem sensible, or do you think our highest command is out of touch with the reality of your situation? They never seem sensible, but the farthest HQ we had to deal with was in Qatar, and they weren't out of touch at all. 4. If you could have a medal or a trip home, which would you take? I hate this question. How about a democratic Iraq, followed by a democratic Middle East? And maybe a 1-way trip to Iraq for cock-jockeys like you. 5. Are you encouraged by all the talk back home about how brave you are and how everyone supports you? Ignoring your sarcasm, yes, we were encouraged by it. We were not encouraged by Time magazine's cover "Mission Not Accomplished!", among other things.Thank you, Dave. Anyone else?
1. Do you think your country did the right thing sending you into Iraq? 2. Are you doing what America set out to do to make Iraq a democracy, or have we failed so badly that we should pack up and get out before more of you are killed? 3. Do the orders you get handed down from one headquarters to another, all far removed from the fighting, seem sensible, or do you think our highest command is out of touch with the reality of your situation? 4. If you could have a medal or a trip home, which would you take? 5. Are you encouraged by all the talk back home about how brave you are and how everyone supports you?Let that all sink in. Go ahead, read them again. I'm going to ignore 1-3 for now. Lots of folks have covered them already. Check Misha and Bastard Sword. Read Rantburg. Question number four: 4. If you could have a medal or a trip home, which would you take? Giving the soldiers these two choices is like putting a puppy and a child in front of a man and asking, which would you rather stab with a fork? No matter what the answer, the man will be viewed as a terrible person. Andy does not give the soldiers an opporunity to say - neither, I would much rather stay here and win this thing and come home in one piece, medal or not. Which, I believe, most of them would say. The question Rooney presents is very leading. He wants a certain answer that will allow him to rip apart the soldier doing the answering. So he asks the question in such a way tht is designed to give Rooney ammunition for the ensuing rant. Much in the same way 60 minutes conducts a lot of its interviews. So let's ask some other people the question, but let's be fair and put a third choice in there, which would be c) other. Lt. Smash? Sgt. Hook? Chief Wiggles? Black Five? Baldilocks? How would you soldiers answer that? Oh, Baldilocks gets off a good one on Andy: If someone loved you, Mr. Rooney, theyíd stop you from drooling in public. Now, question number five: 5. Are you encouraged by all the talk back home about how brave you are and how everyone supports you? This man is paid to interview people and this is what he comes up with? Well, no sir. We actually hate it when people encourage us. We hate when they call us brave and support us. We really like those other guys, the ones who call for our death. What a complete bucket of slop that question is. What kind of answer is Rooney looking for? Oh, he probably is just waiting to hear this "Please don't support us, America. We are bad people doing a bad thing. Mommy, I want to go home! They are making me kill terrorirsts!" Here's the real question Rooney should pose instead: Are you discouraged by the amount of American people supporting the insurgency? How does it feel to know that you are here putting your ass on the line so we don't end up on the receiving end of a massive bomb someday and there are people in San Fran marching the streets with signs calling for the insurgents to kill you? Are you discouraged by the show of support for al Sadr and Saddam's thugs right here in the U.S.? How do you respond when you finally get to see some U.S. news and you're greeted by people marching on the White House depicting you as a murderer who deserves to die? How do you feel when you see people calling for your withdrawal so that everything you have worked for so far will be all for nothing? And how do you feel knowing that your family back home is confronted everyday with images of your fellow soldiers being kidnapped, killed and maimed and there are an awful lot of people, your neighbors even, who think this is ok because soldiers deserve that? And I would add one thing to that: How do you feel about Andy Rooney asking these questions at all? Rooney has the right to ask these things of the soldiers. First ammendment and all that. You know, that thing they never had in Iraq. Free speech, I believe it's called. But once Rooney makes his senile, batty questions public, he is open to the backlash that comes with it, and he is open to people questioning his patriotism. Yes, his patriotism. Anyone who can look a soldier in the eye and ask the question Are you doing what America set out to do to make Iraq a democracy, or have we failed so badly that we should pack up and get out before more of you are killed? is willfully, knowingly and deliberatley contributing to lowering the morale of our troops. Rooney should have give it up a long time ago. I say this not just because of these questions he came up with. I always questioned the wisdom of having this man on television. He has nothing to offer the world. His segments on 60 minutes are usually nothing more than the blusterings of a man who has yet to figure out that watching him is like watching corrosive acid leak out of a battery. In a different time, Rooney might have been fired for saying such things as he said in his column. The one titled: Our soldiers in Iraq aren't heroes bq. Treating soldiers fighting their war as brave heroes is an old civilian trick designed to keep the soldiers at it. But you can be sure our soldiers in Iraq are not all brave heroes gladly risking their lives for us sitting comfortably back here at home.
When the U.S. troops entered the abandoned factory shed Sunday, they found a hastily abandoned campsite full of jumbled clothing and bedrolls, scattered sneakers and gym bags, broken eggs and dirty cooking pots. But there were other, less innocent objects half-hidden in the gloom. Sacks full of chemical-coated rocks. Leather belts stuffed with explosive putty, and one smeared with dried blood. Boxes of batteries with wires taped to them. Instructions for making bombs. "This was a 16-man terrorist cell," pronounced a Marine captain, rifling through the mess. "See? All the bags and sneakers are brand new, all the same make. This took money and planning. Someone sponsored them."Explosive putty. Chemical coated rocks. Sounds like a nice combo of Hamas and Iranians. Keep gathering, guys. It's good to see you all in one convenient place. And now they're kidnapping Russians. Smooth move. Really.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah are secretly providing outlawed Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr with money, training and logistical support for his violent campaign against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, The Post has learned. U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials said last night there is evidence that Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the security services loyal to Iran's hard-line religious leader Ayatollah al Khameini, have funneled as much as $80 million into Shiite charities established by al-Sadr's influential family that have been diverted to fund his fanatic al-Mahdi militia. Intelligence sources also said operatives from the Lebanese Hezbollah, a Shiite terror group created by Iran, have trained 800 to 1,200 al-Mahdi fighters in guerrilla warfare and terrorist techniques at three camps in Iran near the Iraq border. Al-Sadr's group is also believed to have been recently provided with 800 satellite phones and new radio broadcasting equipment by diplomats at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, sources told The Post.Webloggers have been saying this all along. Iranians have been saying it. But it's gone virtually ignored. Now that the mainstream media has picked it up, hopefully this story will grow legs, as they say, and people will smarten up. It's terrorists vs. us. It's us v. them. They all want us dead, and for most of them it has nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq. Iraq is just the golden key they were looking for to open the door to jihad on Americans and its allies. It's time to lay the smackdown on Iran. Iranians know this and they are ready for it:
Nobody else is saying it, so, once again, it is left to me to explain what really happened in Iraq yesterday. Iran declared war on the U.S. The signs have been there for a long time. I donít know if they have been intentionally ignored by U.S. forces in Iraq, or whether there is some master plan at the Defense Department to deal with this scenario. All I can tell you is we are now fighting a regional war. Our local opposition in Iraq is being trained, armed and directed with foreign support Ė by neighboring Iran.We already know al Qaeda is in Iraq. We already know that Syrian terrorists groups are there. I've told you before that Iranians are shipping their might in and financing al Sadr. But none of the naysayers believed me. Spin this, lefties. Let's see how you deny this or justify it. This is not a war against Iraqis. It's not a war against the regular, peace-wanting citizens of Iraq. It is, as I have said again and again, a war against terrorists. The war on terror encompasses Iraq, not just Afghanistan. If you are one of those idiots who are showing solidarity with the insurgents, you are showing solidarity with those who would repeat 9/11 many times over. It's the 11th of the month. Two years and seven months ago today, full out war was declared on the U.S. Our enemies include so many different groups and factions that to name them all would take too much time. But they all have this in common: they are, in the name of their religion, combining forces to bring America and its allies down. They are, in the name of their religion and thier bastard leaders, trying to bring down more buildings, kill more Americans, take your family away. Imagine if Saddam was still around? The whole circle jerk of terrorist leaders would be complete. And there you are, showing your support for them, raising your banners and chanting your idiotic words that we are somehow at fault for terrorists being what they are. Don't be so stupid as to think that al Sadr wasn't a gutless, murderous bastard before we went into Fallujah. He wanted us dead long before that. Hell, he's living out his dream right now, one that has been festering for a long, long time. You know what's going to happen if we don't take these bastards out? Look here. Read these stories. That's what will happen. We will live that all over again. And some of us won't even live it. We'll be dead. That's what you are supporting, you traitorous fools. This is war. The insurgents and their backers are our enemies. Either put down your signs and get on the right side or head over to Iraq, strap on a suicide belt and show your real support for these goons. Oh, it's so much easier to just chant and sing, isn't it? You are a bunch of cowards. Traitors, cowards and supporters of mass murderers and tyrants. If that's the kind of people you support then get the fuck out of here and go live with them. And the hell with your moral equivelancy. Drop your crappy little fool's lies in the comments about how everything is our fault, how we made poor little al Sadr and all the Mullahs and Arafat and all those other henchmen hate us. I no longer consider your comments even worthy of my laughter. I'm going now to spend Easter Sunday with my family. If you people don't want us to fight terrorism, I better go enjoy as much time with my family as I can while we're all still free to do so. Assholes.
Happy Easter to all those who celebrate this day.
While I may not practice Catholicism anymore, I still believe in many of the lessons of Easter; you don't have to be Catholic or Christian to recognize the values of faith and hope.
The followers of Jesus counted on one thing as they watched their saviour go through the stations of the cross: that they would not be let down by the God who they placed their faith in. Jesus would go through pain, he would suffer and he would die; that much was certain. But they knew that Jesus's father would not let him die in vain. Something good would come of this, because that is what their faith told them. They had hope that, through the death of Jesus, others would live. It would take great suffering and pain and sacrifice, but man would be rewarded in the end.
It is a tough thing to have faith when all around you is despair. I've always believed that true, pure faith was an absolute virtue. I am in awe of those whose convictions are so deep that they never question the ending of the story they are living. Good will prevail. Evil will not. God will see to that, they think.
Whether or not you believe in God, most humans want to believe that good will indeed prevail. Whether we are sitting on a jury in a courtroom or reading a suspense novel or huddling in your house with your family while war wages around you, there is always that shimmer of hope.. This too will end, we think. We will get through this. The good guys will win, evil will be defeated and our full faith in God, in the system, in the world - will be rewarded.
I do have faith in humanity. I have to, because to lose faith in humanity would be to lose faith in the world and in life. I know in my heart that the good outweigh the bad, that those fighting for justice outweigh those whose idea of justice is a swift sword against the neck of those who oppose them. We give people chances, we try to understand their ways, we try to work things out to obtain a balance between their idea of good our and ours. Sometimes, the balance tips in the favor of the bad guys, and when we look at the scales to find out why, we see that our enemies are no longer alone; others have joined them. So we must fight not only our original foes, but the friends of those foes. It gets hard to keep your faith when the enemy becomes a gathering storm bearing down on you. But we must. We must never lose our faith, never lose our hope.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rab-bo'ni!" (which means Teacher).
Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."Mary Mag'dalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:1-18.
The faith that one must have in order to believe this with all their heart is admirable. We all really do want to believe in something like this; that from all the pain and suffering and death, something good will rise. We watch the ashes and wait for the Phoenix to emerge because we know it must. Without that faith and hope, humanity is nothing. We may as well turn ourselves over to our enemies, to the devil himself, if we do not believe that good prevails and from ashes come new life.
There are people who want you to resist the hope you may have. They will take your faith, wrap it in their hate and throw it back at you. They will twist your beliefs until everything you think you know is just one big knot. And they will try to make you a friend of your enemy.
These are the people who side with evil. They march up and down the streets proclaiming their solidarity with those who wish you harm. They say - but there are two sides to every story! But to them I say, only one side is motivated by goodness. The other is motivated by hate.
We want peace, we want a world that is full of faith and hope. We don't want our children to someday have to stare at the ashes of what was, waiting for something to rise from it. I just do not believe that my country means harm. To believe that would be to have lost my faith and while I may not have that unquestioning belief in a divine power, I do have that same kind of belief in humanity, in goodness and in all the people who want the world to be a decent, humane place.
My faith in humans runs very deep, but it is constantly being tested by those who use religion as a sword and those who justify the targeted, intentional deaths of innocents.
It is being tested by those will take every word, written or spoken, that opposes their view and disort those words until they can be jammed into the giant jigsaw puzzle they have created. And look at that puzzle now, now that it's practically complete. The jagged egdes, missing pieces and obviously wrong placement of others are of no mind to them. They will tell you it is supposed to look like that. I look at those people in despair; their hatred and animosity, misplaced as they may be, worry me.
They have faith and hope in the wrong things. They have faith that we will lose. They hope for for our failure. I pity those who so smugly carry around sounds supporting the enemy. Perhaps they can't be blamed; maybe they don't know who the enemy is. They are just confused. And perhaps someday they will learn the hard way just who they have supported, they they placed all their faith in the people who will just turn on them in the end, anyhow.
And maybe these people think that the insurgents will be grateful and perhaps save them some day when all the joined forces of insurgents, militants and the like come for us. But, no. Sadly, they will be turned towards death with us, their posturing and protesting and solidarity all for naught.
I have the utmost faith and hope that out of the ashes of the former Iraq will rise a new one; one with peace, hope and prosperity among its chief resources. I have faith that those who oppose this peace will be shut down and those who embrace it will be heard. I have faith that the right things will happen and that evil will be turned away at the gate, forced to go somewhere else, to move on like nomads in the night. And all that evil will eventually be forced out of every country and made to gather in one small space where it will be served with justice.
It's interesting to look at the differences in what each religion believes. For the would be martyrs, they believe when they die they will be greeted by a God who views their murdering ways as a triumph, and they will be rewarded for all the evil they spread throughout the world.
For others, they will be greeted by a God that forgives them for their sins while also forgiving the enemy for their sins as well.
And for others who don't believe in God, they will die with the knowledge of what they have done.
Either way you look at it, they all leave some kind of legacy. For those on the side of wanton murder, oppresion and tyranny, the legacy is one of fear and sadness. For those on the side of freedom, peace and hope, the legacy is one that will last forever; they leave some of themselves with the ashes and when we finally do see something rise up, they will be a part of it. There is a reason that most religions believe that good rises and evil travels downward to hell.
Whenever I tell people that I don't believe in one higher, diving being, they claim that I am faithless, that I don't believe in anything. Not so.
I believe in the human spirit. I have faith in the inherent goodness of people, that even though there are some people who just lack that ability to see beyond their own needs, the selfless, hopeful people of the world will always outweigh their opposites. I believe that everyone deserves the freedoms I have. I beleive that those who are free owe to those who are not to help them obtain the same freedoms. Not give them those freedoms, but help get them on the road to being free. I don't believe in turning loaves into fish if the people receiving the fish are not willing to learn how to perform the same task; but I do believe that sharing the fish in the first place will make them want to learn.
Perhaps one day we will all eat the same fish and drink the same wine and do it at the same table. Sure, we will all eat from different dishes and drink from different glasses, but we will all be able to agree that the meal is delicious.
My mother often looks at my lack of religion and asks herself where she went wrong. But she didn't go wrong at all. While iI may have strayed from her church and some of its teachings, there is a lesson my mother taught me that I never forgot. Interestingly enough, it is a lesson from Greek mythology.
When I was growing up, my mother was fascinated with mythology. She had this two volume book-of mythological figures and stories. one volume (the red one) was an encyclopedia, the other (blue) was filled with the myths based on the figures. I would often sneak the books out of my mom's room at night, take them to my room and read until I could not keep my eyes open. It was the story of the Phoenix that caught my attention time and time again. The concept of rebuilding, of rising from ashes was one that I would come to again and again in my life, the most significant time being on September 11, 2001. And now, watching the events unfold in Iraq and specifically in Fallujah, I think of the Phoenix again.
The willing bird; to burn is his desire.
That he may live again; he's proud in death,
And goes in haste to gain a better breath.
The spice heap fired with celestial rays
Doth burn the aged Phoenix, when straight stays
The Chariot of the amazed Moon; the pole
Resists the wheeling, swift Orbs, and the whole
Fabric of Nature at a stand remains.
Till the old bird anew, young begins again.
Early Christians used the symbol of the Phoenix to represent of immortality and resurrection.
On this Easter Sunday, I can't help but compare Jesus, the Phoenix and Iraq.
It only appears to be death. It only appears to be the end. From this, all things rise.
Today, besides being Easter Sunday, is also the third anniversary of the day my former brother in law died of massive heart failure at age 31. My children were upset that the anniversary, so solemn for them, lands on Easter this year, which is supposed to be a joyous day.
I look at my son and I see his uncle's sense of humor, his love of music, his great skills at third base. I look at my daughter and see her uncle's eyes, his thoughtfulness, his willingness to believe that everything in the world is good.
They both have the same laugh as their uncle. They both have that same crooked smile.
I tell them, out of ashes comes life. Out of your uncle, comes parts of you. Everything rises. Everything is reborn, renewed somehow. That is faith.
AN ALTERNATIVE HISTORY: WASHINGTON, APRIL 9, 2004. A hush fell over the city as George W. Bush today became the first president of the United States ever to be removed from office by impeachment. Meeting late into the night, the Senate unanimously voted to convict Bush following a trial on his bill of impeachment from the House. Moments after being sworn in as the 44th president, Dick Cheney said that disgraced former national security adviser Condoleezza Rice would be turned over to the Hague for trial in the International Court of Justice as a war criminal. Cheney said Washington would "firmly resist" international demands that Bush be extradited for prosecution as well. On August 7, 2001, Bush had ordered the United States military to stage an all-out attack on alleged terrorist camps in Afghanistan. Thousands of U.S. special forces units parachuted into this neutral country, while air strikes targeted the Afghan government and its supporting military. Pentagon units seized abandoned Soviet air bases throughout Afghanistan, while establishing support bases in nearby nations such as Uzbekistan. Simultaneously, FBI agents throughout the United States staged raids in which dozens of men accused of terrorism were taken prisoner. Reaction was swift and furious. Florida Senator Bob Graham said Bush had "brought shame to the United States with his paranoid delusions about so-called terror networks." British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused the United States of "an inexcusable act of conquest in plain violation of international law." White House chief counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke immediately resigned in protest of "a disgusting exercise in over-kill."Read the rest. Twice.
I was going to respond to a rather long and tedious comment on this morning's post, and I was going to do it here, rather than in the comments, because it really needs responding to. However, something more important and serious has come up. Perhaps this something might explain my behavior over the past few days. Trust me, I have not been myself. I know this. My family knows it. And anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time knows it. More importantly, I have not liked being this way.
I did a very stupid thing.
I've been taking Paxil CR (38.5 mg) for almost two years. About six months ago, my doctor put me on Wellbutrin (XL - 300mg) for various reasons, in addition to the Paxil. He said he would start weaning me off the Paxil as soon as I got adjusted to the Wellbutrin.
Well, that took a while, because I had an allergic reaction to the Wellbutrin at first. Once that disappeared, I felt great. In fact, I felt better than I had in years. So we mad a joint decision that I would stay on both meds for a while.
Last week, I decided that I was being overmedicated. Part of this decision was a vain one; I had gained an incredible amount of weight since starting Paxil (a common side effect) and I was feeling physically horrible because of it. So, when it came time to get a refill of Paxil, I didn't.
That was six days ago.
I really thought that being on such a high dose of Wellbutrin would offset any effects of going off Paxil cold turkey, which I knew could be a Bad Thing.
It started slowly and really came to a head yesterday. I became agitated, high strung and anxious. I attributed all this to covering the war non-stop on Command Post and writing so often about that and terrorism in general on ASV. Job hazard, I guess.
Then I started getting belligerent. I was very short tempered with my kids and the rest of my family. I got in my father's face the other night in such a mean way that the rest of my family, gathered for my brother in laws Passover dinner, had their jaws hanging open. In 41 years, I have never disrespected my father like that.
It wasn't just anger and irritation. I was having wild mood swings. And I do mean wild. And severe. I was crying, I was screaming, I was totally unpredictable. I noted that this was probably the worst PMS I've ever experienced. Well, I had to blame it on something.
Then today. I started getting dizzy. But it was a weird kind of dizzy. It was as if someone was shooting off a taser gun inside my head. Electroshocks. They would throw me off balance sometimes.
Some time in the past four hours or so, the shock-like feelings became so severe that they were happening at the rate of at least 15 a minute. (There goes one right now - it's almost as if your head goes numb for a second).
Finally I accepted the fact that this had to have something to do with the lack of Paxil in my system. When in doubt, hit the internet.
Within seconds I discovered that the little shocks are referred to as zaps and they are a common symptom of Paxil withdrawal. Imagine that - not only was I not going crazy (or dying from a brain tumor as I had imagined at one point), but there was actually a name to this crazy feeling.
I started Googling Paxil withdrawal. Some of the symptoms:
nausea, dizziness, electric shock sensations sometimes known as "the zaps," headache, flu-like symptoms, balance problems, anxiety, sleep problems, gastro-intestinal problems, sweats, vivid dreaming, sensitivity to light and/or sound, etc.
Well. I've been nauseas all day. Dizzines, yes. Zaps. yes. Oh my god, the sensitivity to light! I was complaining not less than an hour ago that someone must have turned up the brightnes on the laptop screen because it was blinding me. The vivid dreaming, I always have. But this week's dreams have been more than bizarre (on that note, I dreamed about Sheila last night and she dreamed about me - and we were doing the same things - but that's another story).
Check out some of these common symptoms of Paxil withdrawal:
bq. Agitation, Irritability - Aggression, Severe Mood Swings - Extreme Irritability and Anger - Outbursts of Tears For No Apparent Reason
And there we go. My last few days in a nutshell.
That's not to say that I never had those emotions before going off the Paxil. God knows I've covered them all in the past month alone. The difference here is the extreme. There were times this week that I could not even stop myself from saying/doing/writing things I knew would just end up causing trouble; either for me or someone else. Poor DJ and Nat. They felt the brunt of this, I'm sure. And my husband, who kept saying all along that I should be taking my Paxil, but I completely ignored his pleas.
My moods and behaviors this week have indeed been extreme. I sincerely and without reservation apologize to any of my friends that I have slighted, hurt or caused distress to this week.
Oh, I meant most of what I wrote - that stuff was nothing new. I just am really sorry for the way in which I approached some subjects.
So what am I going to do? I am not going to call my doctor, I'll tell you that. He'll want me to go back on Paxil immediately. I don't want to. I can make it through these withdrawals now that I know what they are and I no longer thing I'm dying or going crazy. I think there is no scarier feeling than thinking you are really, honestly losing your mind.
So for the next few days, I'll get the zaps and maybe slur my speech a little and feel a little confused at times - that sounds like a typical night from my high school era anyhow Without the groovy hallucinations. I'll temper my emotions now that I know where they are coming from and I would be so frightened at my anger when it pops up. I'll just take a few Excedrin Migraine, put on the headphones, turn up some Portishead and mellow out.
In fact, I think I'll do that right now.
P.S. This is not an excuse for being an asshole. It's an excuse for being more of an asshole than usual.
The military cordon that has formed around Fallujah is the new face of the American invasion; the Jenin phase. The city is surrounded with razor wire, the curtains are drawn and the punishment has begun. All the reports indicate heavy fighting and, perhaps, as many as 200 Iraqis have been killed so far. (Many of them children) This is what is meant by Iraqi Liberation. Let's be clear about what is going on in. The world's only superpower has invaded a sovereign nation without cause and is waging war against a civilian population. At present, that war is being won by mere force of arms, absent any moral justification. At the same time, fighting has spread throughout the country in response to Muqtada al Sadr's open defiance of the occupationGo ahead, read rest. I'll wait. So this Mike Whitney thinks that Iraq is the new Jenin. Too bad the whole Jenin incident was proven to be a fallacy. As for the children, not even Reuters or AP, those bastions of credibility, are reporting anything about the mass killings of Iraq children. Mr. Whitney also thinks that al-Sadr's organized war against the coalition troops is just defiance. Defiant is a two year old kicking his mother when he doesn't get his way. This is not defiance. So Whitney is sitting in his computer chair, clacking away and making all kinds of assumptions about what is going on in Iraq. Here's an idea - let's see what an Iraqi thinks! bq. Of course, Sadr has set up offices in almost every city, town, and village in the south. And I have mentioned earlier that they had assumed full control over my small village where I work in the Basrah governorate weeks ago, terrorizing IP officers, civil servants, and doctors but nobody was listening. I don't think I will be heading back there any soon now. What surprises me is the almost professional coordination of the uprisings in all of these areas. I'm assuming, of course, that the money and equipment supplied by our dear Mullahs in Iran is being put to use good enough, not to mention the hundreds of Pasderan and Iranian intelligence officers.. sorry I mean Iranian Shia pilgrims that have been pouring into Iraq for months now. But what does he know? I mean, he's only in the middle of it. Read the rest of Zeyad's post. Go back and read Whitney's. Compare and contrast. Notice espcially Zeyad's last words: No one knows where it is all heading. If this uprising is not crushed immediately and those militia not captured then there is no hope at all. If you even consider negotiations or appeasement, then we are all doomed. My money is on Zeyad's version.
Those words were prompted by an episode in Kerbala. An aide to Sadr had been killed and when his body was carried away people were chanting, "Today we will free Kerbala from the Jews." There's no question that the chanting is hateful and speaks of a generalized rage that it may not be possible to dissipate peacefully. But I don't think you have to be Mother Teresa to work up enough empathy to see how those sentiments could arise in a population under occupation. The question that really bothers me, though, is this: How much distinction is there between those chanting crowds and our warbloggers? Notice the way that the distinction between Muslims and radical Muslims is sometimes acknowledged and sometimes elided in the quoted passage. If these warbloggers are right about the nature of the conflict, then what would victory look like? The question isn't just how many American lives are we willing to spend. We also have to ask how many people we're willing to kill. It looks to me like the warbloggers and the radical Muslims agree that if you kill everybody who isn't part of your clan then you've got it about right.For those of you too slow to comprehend, let me repeat this for you in a simple, easy to understand style. Terrorists kill. Terrorists kill innocent people. Terrorists like the ones above would like everyone except those who are radical Muslims like themselves dead or under their power. Warbloggers (speaking for myself, really) do not want to kill everyone who isn't like them. I do not want you dead. I do not want Jews or Protestants or people who worship space aliens dead. I do not want to kill Africans or Brazilians or Red Sox fans. However, I would like to kill those who would, if given the chance, guide a jumbo jet into a skyscraper. I would like to kill those who think Jews should be wiped off the face of the eartht, women, children and Jewish pets included. I would like to kill those who stand behind little girls while shooting at people. I live among many people who aren't in "my clan." I love many of them. We practice different religions and have different ethnic backgrounds. And as long as they don't committ themselves to tying on a suicide belt and killing my family, I won't be looking to take them out. Got it? Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that.
Attack on gypsy village goes unanswered By Anthony Shadid WASHINGTON POST QAWLIYA, Iraq - No one lives here anymore. A month ago, Qawliya's collection of perhaps 150 homes in southern Iraq contained a small red-light district, an isolated warren known for prostitution and gunrunning and as a haven from the law. Today, it is destroyed, the few sounds of life made by barking dogs and scavengers piling bricks from razed homes. Its residents -- hundreds of men, women and children, mostly members of Iraq's tiny Gypsy minority -- were driven out by a militia controlled by a militant Shiite Muslim cleric, residents and police say. Neighbors systematically looted it. Some accounts say the village was burned, though the militia denies it.Read it and cry. And then give me a reason why we shouldn't grind that bastard into meat and feed him to pigs. I noticed a lot of leftie blogs yesterday writing about the ten year anniversary of the horrible genocide in Rwanda. The U.S. and the rest of the world turned their backs on those people. We should be ashamed. And that's what most of those lefty bloggers wrote about. So why shouldn't we care about ethnic cleansing in Iraq? How do you guys pick and choose who you care about? Do you have meetings and decide which oppressed countries get your sympathies? Don't even look at me like that. I care about all of them. Iraqis, Rwandans, Cubans, Russians, Iranians. I wish we could help them all. Maybe if some of the pussy nations that refuse to join us would lend a hand, we could help everyone.
Hi. My name is Lenore. Some of you refer to me as the Little Dead Girl. My goal in
life is to have you all experience my dark muffins.
I've graced this site on and off for three years now. Every time I get out, you pull me right back in. You make me feel guilty for leaving in the first place, like I abandoned you or something. Hey, I have my own
life death to live, people. I don't work at your whim.
Well, here I am again. I hope all of you are happy now. Blah, blah Lenore, blah, blah dead girl. I wish you would find another pet icon to worship. What about Spooky? He's lots of fun and he makes noise when you squeeze him. Or Filler Bunny? He's a load of laughs if you just give a sharp instrument. Whatever.
I guess if I'm going to hang around I should tell you a few things about me.
I was created by Roman Dirge. This is Roman. He's kinda cute, ain't he? I have my own line of comic books, toys and other assorted things (the proprieter of this very site even has a Lenore lunchbox), which you can find at Slave Labor.
If you have nothing to do, you can go over here and play dress up with me.
Eww, not like that, you perv. Ugh. I should kill you for even thinking that.
So, anyhow. I'm back. Stop your bitching now.
Glenn Reynolds, instapundit, thinks it's a good idea to harrass Kos's advertisers, or at least doesn't objects. Well, if he thinks it's a good idea for Kos, I think it's an excellent idea for him. As I have plenty of time, I think we could give him a dose of medicine he thinks is good. Now, he may have some weasel claim that HE didn't call for a boycott or harassment, but you know, when you lie down with dogs, you pick up fleas. He wants to pass on a bad idea, well, he'll get to live with the consequences if Kos is affected. We're not going to lie down, excuse his actions or find a way to live with it. You fuck with one of us, we'll come back and play the same game. I don't like or believe in boycotts, for anyone. But there is no day I'll stand by and watch someone who helped me get their ass kicked.First of all, Glenn did not harass Kos's advertisers. He posted about the loss of advertising on Daily Kos, and linked to some people that were writing to Kos's advertisers. My question to Steve is this: Why go after Glenn? Why not go after the people he linked to, the people that were actually writing the emails and calling for the boycott against Kos's advertisers? Actually, I know the answer. It's because Glenn is visible. Steve's idea is to launch an attack against the guy who may not be responsible, but is high profile. That's just bad form, Steve. bq. So if Glenn, safely protected by tenure, wants to limit the free speech of someone else, even with a wink and a nod, well, we're gonna take a lesson from the White House. We're gonna blame HIM, not the guy he linked to. He's gonna be the one reading quotes back in his local paper and getting to deal with the hassles from nervous advertisers. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If he wants to play Bill O'Reilly, I'll sure play Al Franken and I won't be alone. Hello, Steve? Calling for people to email advertisers (which Glenn did not do, by the way) is hardly limiting someone's free speech. No one has called for Kos's site to be taken down. No one is trying to limit what he can say. No one has asked his hosting company to pull the plug on Daily Kos. So please explain to me just how Glenn and everyone else is stepping on Zuniga's right to free speech? Steve, you sound awfully angry about your friend Zuniga being taken to task for his words. That's ok, be angry. Go ahead. But don't take your anger out on the wrong people. Here's an idea: ask your friend Zuniga why he thought it was ok to gloat over the brutal deaths of these people. Ok, ok. Forget that, because you agree with him. But answer me this, Steve-o; how come none of Kos's little groupies are taking issue with the fact that he tried to hide his words, that he cheated with his redirecting of links, that he lied, lied, lied to not only those against him, but to his own readers? Do you really hero worship a liar, cheat an coward? Shame on you, Steve. Steve then writes a little letter to Glenn, including this paragraph: bq. This is a two-sided game. You want people to boycott Kos's advertisers, people can boycott yours. It may not be fair, but neither is life. I think it's best we all let each other speak freely and leave the boycotts and advertiser letters alone. But if you want to cripple his site, I'll personally write a letter to your advertisers, department heads, school newspaper and every other place I can find. Cripple his site? Are you that delusional, Steve? Have you been so blinded by this left disease of moral equivilancy that you can't even see what a fool you are making of yourself? Cripple? The guy gets about 300 comments on each of his posts. He will still, after all is said and done, have one of the highest ranked blogs in the poltical part of the blogosphere. And just what would you say to Glenn's employers? That he took a guy to task for reveling in the the fact that the mutilated bodies of American civilian employees in Iraq were dragged through the streets and burned? Would you tell his school paper that Glenn objected to a guy who rearranged his site in order to cover his ass? You'd be laughed at. Nobody is stopping Kos from speaking freely. Charles Johnson isn't showing up at his house with a muzzle. In this country, we are actually allowed to protest things people say that we don't agree with. And we are allowed to write these little words on a computer screen calling someone an ass. Steve concludes with: These guys want to mess with your right to express yourself. I think they deserve the same. Again, please show me where Glenn has tried to mess with Zuniga's right to express himself. For the record, this is what Glenn wrote: bq. I haven't led a campaign, or called for people to de-link him, or anything. I find de-linking campaigns dumb, even when they're not conducted by Jim Capozzolla. (But as Kevin Drum notes, when Democrats like John Kerry delink Kos, it's because they have to -- statements like his are vote killers.) I just noted Kos's comments. And what bothered me about it wasn't Kos. It was that Kos -- who I used to think of as a reasonable if partisan lefty -- seems to be infested with a degree of hatred that I previously associated with the Democratic Underground and other fringe sites. And then this: bq. UPDATE: Kos now appears to have taken down his site. That seems excessive to me. All he really needed to do was to issue a genuine, non-weasely apology. But then, he's trying to make it as a political consultant, and as Kevin Drum notes, comments like the one on "mercenaries" undercut his value there. However, I'd like to see him back and blogging, in a somewhat more reasonable mode. (It was just a few days ago that I was recommending him as a reasonable lefty to Hugh Hewitt, though it seems like longer now.) Yea, that certainly sounds like a guy who is stifling someone's free speech. Steve Gilliard, you are an ass. Personally, I don't think Kos is a "scumbag" or whatever some people are calling him. I just think he's misguided and err, wrong. But that's just me. [Gilliard link via RJ West] Oh, and look here at this DU thread, accusing the VRWC of hacking Kos's site or having it taken down. Sorry, he was just changing servers, which is why his site was down this morning. Don't expect we'll be seeing an apology or retraction from those DU folks, though. Another note: I don't really agree with the "this is what the left has become" threads. I saw many left bloggers, including Oliver Willis, CalPundit and Jack Cluth giving Kos a smackdown. It's more like "this is what Kos has become." Basically, he's become a moonbat. One more note: I do not - I repeat, do not - agree with nor condone what some of the more, shall we say, brain cell deprived rightwingers are saying, in calling for Kos to be beat up, burned, murdered, stalked, harrassed in person, etc. etc. That's just disgusting behavior. You should be ashamed of yourselves. That kind of crap makes you the right wing equivilant of those idiots on DU.
A Lonely Jew on Christmas" by Kyle Broslofski It's Hard to Be a Jew on Christmas My Friends Won't Let Me Join in Any Games I Can't Sing Christmas Songs or Decorate a Christmas Tree or Leave Water out for Rudolph Cuz There's Something Wrong with Me I'm a Jew a Lonely Jew on Christmas Hanukah Is Nice but Why Is it That Santa Passes over My House Every Year and Instead of Eating Ham I Eat Kosher Latkes Instead of Silent Night I'm Singing Hoo Hach Togaveesh and What the [Bleep] Is up with Lighting [Bleep]ing Candles , Someone Tell Me Please ? I'm a Jew , a Lonely Jew I'd Be Merry but I'm Hebrew on Christmas ..........I'd like to give a shout out to Meryl, who's a Jew, Laurence the Jew, Allison, a lovely Jewish girl, that Jew blogger Aaron, and Allah, who is not a Jew, but likes to use the word a lot. Whether you are Jew, have a friend who is a Jew, married to a Jew, or just like Jews in general, go forth and Joogle! [via Emily, who was profiled by Norm this week]
We're off to baseball practice, and then the NYFD/NYPD hockey game.
I thought I'd leave you with something light, so here's another quiz. This time, it's movie quotes. They are divided into lightweight, tricky and hardcore. And I don't have the answers! Also, I am too lazy to number them, so just copy and paste the quote you are answering.
Please remember my admonition about Googling answers and baby Jesus crying.
[I promise to address all of your Five Songs later on in the day.]
"This is not 'Nam, this is bowling. There are rules."
"It just be raining black people in New York"
"You will never fins a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious"
"As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster"
"I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper"
"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!"
"I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle."
"Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?"
"You know, there's nothing more off-putting at a wedding than a priest with an enormous erection."
"We called him Mother Superior on account of the length of his habit."
"You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down."
"Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadingsÖ and call off Christmas!"
"Me so horny, me love you long time!"
"What's the sense in risking the eight of us to save one guy?"
"I do wish we could chat longer but I'm having an old friend for dinner."
"You can milk anything with nipples."
"Please put down your weapon. You have twenty seconds to comply."
"We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?"
"Kneel before Zod!"
"I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it."
"A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
"Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown."
"Listen, I appreciate this whole seduction scene you got goingÖ but let me give you a tip. I'm a sure thing."
"All my life I've been waiting for someone and when I find herÖ she's a fish."
"Anti-wrinkle cream there may be, but anti-fat-bastard cream there is not."
"That's your problem! You don't want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie."
"Frank, my lips are hot. Kiss my hot lips."
"I carried a watermelon."
"I've often speculated on why you don't return to America. Did you abscond with the church funds? Did you run off with a senator's wife? I like to think you killed a man. It's the romantic in me."
"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"
"Who is gonna mug two black fellas, holding pistols, sat in a car thatís worth less than your shirt."
"I'm hard to get, Steve. All you have to do is ask me."
"You're a disgrace to them gloves, your father and the traditions of this boxing hall!"
"He asked me to forcibly insert the lifeline exercise card into my anus!"
"I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper?"
"It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?"
"There is an intruder - male, caucasian, possibly armed, certainly weird - in my kitchen."
"It's a fire. All fires are bad."
"A day in the marine corps is like a day on a farm. Every meal's a banquet. Every paycheque a fortune. Every formation a parade. I love the corps!"
"How do you explain school to a higher intelligence?"
"There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum. It's breathtaking, I suggest you try it."
"You dumb assholes, I'm a mental patient, I'm supposed to act out!"
"Captain, being held by you isn't quite enough to get me excited."
"I'm Agent Johnson, this is Special Agent Johnson. No relation."
"Oswald was a fag."
"Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?"
"If I were the man I was five years ago I'd take a flame-thrower to this place."
"How would you like to have a sexual encounter so intense it could conceivably change your political views?"
"Weíll see you Monday, when we talk about Freud. Why he did enough cocaine to kill a small horse."
"They're only noodles, Michael."
"Well, we're not in the middle of nowhere, but we can see it from here."
"I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round perdition's flames before I give him up!"
"Don't threaten me with a dead fish!"
"You can't fight in here, this is the war room!"
"We're no longer called Sonic Death Monkey. We're on the verge of being called Kathleen Turner Overdrive, however this evening we are Barry Jive and the Uptown Five."
"All right, I'm comin' out. Any man I see out there, I'm gonna kill him. Any sumbitch takes a shot at me, I'm not only gonna kill him, I'm gonna kill his wife. All his friends. Burn his damn house down!"
"What, no small talk? No chit-chat? You know, that's the trouble with the world today. No one takes the time to do a really sinister interrogation anymore."
"Naked force has resolved more issues throughout history than any other factor. The contrary opinion, that violence never solves anything, is wishful thinking at its worst."
"I feel like such a heifer. I had two bowls of Special K, three pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, four peanut butter M&M's and, like, five pieces of licorice."
"A relationship, I think... is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we've got on our hands is a dead shark."
"Hell is only a word. The reality is much, much worse."
"How in the name of Zeus' butthole, did you get out of your cell?"
"If shit was worth something, poor people would be born with no assholes."
"You're trying the save the life of the man who ruined your career, and avenge the death of the guy that fucked your wife."
"My regime? The regime from which the radicals are trying to get free? Are we selling face cream or staging a coup?"
"You're going to the cemetery with your toothbrush. How Egyptian."
"He's in a gunfight right now. I'm gonna have to take a message."
"My name is Johnny WishÖ Wishbone. Johnny Wishbone and I am a psychic from the Island of St. Croix."
"Never joke about a woman's hair, clothes or menstrual cycle."
"What is your malfunction, you fat barrel of monkey spunk?"
"It's been one long goddamn hot miserable shit-ass fuckin' day every inch of the way."
"I'm much more than a walking penis, I'm a flying penis!"
"I'm gonna hit you so hard, your children will be born bruised!"
"This stuff will make you a God-damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me!"
"Bless me Father, for I have just killed quite a few men."
"Case Western High! Ned Ryerson! I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show."
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned for Sega."
"Sports make you grunt and smell. Stay in school, use your brains. Be a thinker, not a stinker"
"Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children."
"Do you realise it's snowing in my room, Goddammit!"
"Your body's dying. Pay no attention."
"Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun"
"Never date a guy who knows more about your vagina than you do."
"Hello? We're your new neighbours. Don't be alarmed, we're negroes."
"You see, no one wants to hear it, but the terrible secret is that being young is sometimes less fun than being dead."
"I can't make out whether you're bloody bad-mannered or just half-witted."
"Now let's see if you can defend yourself, you sweat from a baboon's balls."
"I wouldn't live with you if the world were flooded with piss and you lived in a tree."
"We could head on down to the maternity ward. You know those chicks put out."
"There are three things in this world that you need. Respect for all kinds of life, a nice bowel movement on a regular basis, and a navy blazer."
I was about to publish a new article to the website when I noticed about the attack in Faloja. So I stopped and couldnít do any thing till this morning, honestly because I was so shamed and didnít know what to say, I even didnít want to open my website today so I wont read any comments about it, I was afraid that people would think that all Iraqis are savages. But let me tell you this, the people who stood there even to watch whatís going on are not human. Itís really difficult to describe what I felt, but I will try. I felt anger, disgust, terror, depressed, pain in stomach, and even guilt, I am sure I wasnít thinking clear so I waited a while before I left back home. But Now I know that I want to tell the world that me and the Iraqi people I know and those whom I saw since yesterday all shamed of what happened and refuse it and want to do something to stop things like that. Of course we need the help of the coalition to do so but we will do our best.I should leave you with the words of Ali: bq. We have suffered enough to get our freedom, thanks to our friends who sacrificed much to achieve their peace and ours, and we canít turn back and we will never accept slavery again. No, better to die free than live as slaves for our fears. And you want to deny him that? That is the height of smug selfishness.
I figured I would take my Five Songs and do them one at a time. Because I can, thatís why. And, because I am the boss of this place, I may even do more than five.
Todayís songs is Faith No More, Helpless (which was on my original list). As with everything I write about, it has a story to go with it. I wrote this in my journal, almost three years ago when this blog had a separate journal page.
sense of snow
We sat in the car, huddled in the back seat underneath a comforter. We were parked in the lot of a closed-down restaurant, overlooking an expansive field of dried out grass. Behind us was the highway, the road that would once again separate us. It was March and it was cold and we were tired of these short bursts of togetherness. We were sitting there, plotting and planning for this to be the last time I would make the trip home alone. Next time, he would come with me. He would move his belongings, his life, his world into mine. All that planning and dreaming didn't make this farewell any easier. No matter how many times you do it, no matter how many times you throw kisses into the rear view mirror as you pull away, it never becomes easy.
So we put it off for a little while, that kiss. We stayed hunkered down in the car, talking and kissing and not thinking about the long stretch of time between this visit and the next.
We watched the clouds move in and form a wall of threat in front of us. The sky had gone gray and dull since we first pulled into the lot. The air changed, the cold became bitter. Still, we made no move to go. We watched out the windshield as a storm moved in. As we kissed, the wind whistled at us.
The first flakes fell with precision and grace, dancing from the sky onto the windows, where they would sparkle momentarily and then melt and run away.
We both knew I should leave. Driving through the mountains of Pennsylvania in a snow storm was a frightening thought. But it didn't look like a huge storm; just some flakes here and there. So I stayed a bit more. I wanted to soak up as much of him as I could before I left.
The snow started to fall a bit harder, a bit faster. We listened to the sound of the snow; a soft, shuffling sound that like slippered footsteps on the roof of the car. The flakes that landed on the windows no longer had the luxury of melting and disappearing. Before they could flee, more flakes fell on top of them, piling up until there were millions of them, held captive on my windshield. We could no longer see out. The wind carried the snow around the lenght of the car, and soon we were encased in darkness, buried under a storm that minutes ago had seemed benign.
We made no effort to turn on the wipers and look out. We liked it there, under the blanket, under the snow, under the wintry sky.
Eventually the coldness of our cocoon became too much and we turned the car on. The wipers went to work, pushing the sleet and snow from the windshield. It made little difference. The world out there was white all around. The restaurant a