Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Very Special Episode of 24


Now that Sean Astin is slated to join the cast of 24, GOP and the City's The Man has issued the challenge: "Who would you like to see on the next season of 24: Sean Astin or some other actor? What role would they play in the show?"

Well the answer is obvious. It should be Barney, the loveable purple dinosaur. Let me set the stage. Jack Bauer learns that terrorist masterminds have been using childrens' shows to turn American parents into raging, mindless zombies unable (unwilling?) to resist murderous assaults on the nation. His source? None other than Barney the dinosaur, who has decided to turn on his handlers and bring the whole scheme down. But before Bauer can bring him in from the cold, the terrorists learn Barney has been flipped, and they have taken him hostage on the roof of a building in downtown New York City.

The scene:

Jack Bauer is shown, pistol drawn, running up a staircase towards the rooftop. He gets to the door at the top and kicks it open, eyes darting right and left for signs of danger. Vecchu Paratha and Thengai Sadam are on either side of Barney, pistols jabbed into his back.

Vecchu Paratha: Put the gun down, Jack! You can't win!
Bauer: Drop it! Let Barney go!
Barney: Don't worry about me, Jack! It's too dangerous. Save yourself. And don't forget to tell the kids about smiles and giggles and rainbows!
Barney: [stunned silence, hurt at Bauer's harsh words] Jack ...
Thengai Sadam: You can't win, Jack.

Meanwhile, Bhindi Barwan is sneaking around the stairwell housing to get Jack from behind. Barney sees him.

Barney: Behind you Jack!

Jack drops to one knee, spins around, and fires off four rounds. Bindi's gun goes off into the air as the terrorist crumples. In the ensuing commotion, Barney breaks away from his captors and starts running towards Jack.

Jack: RUN!
Barney: JACK!

Jack fires and hits Sadam in the collarbone, dropping him. Vecchu Paratha fires on Jack, who dives for cover. Barney is still running. Jack rolls, fires, and hits Vecchu Paratha between the eyes. Barney doesn't know Paratha is dead. Camera tight on Barney, so we can't see behind him. Super-slow motion.


Camera moves to the right, and we see Sadam, pointing his gun with his last ounce of strength. He pulls the trigger. Camera tight on Barney, where a bullet emerges from his chest is a cloud of yellow stuffing. He stumbles, keeps running.

Bauer: BARNEY!

Sadam shoots, then shoots twice more. Each time we see Barney's plush innards spray. He drops to his knees, then falls still. Bauer fires twice, hits Sadam, kills him. He runs to Barney.

Bauer: Barney, no, Barney! I didn't mean to put you in danger!
Barney: [coughs pitifully] Jack ...
Barney: Forget it, Jack. I'm gone.
Bauer: I tried to save you!
Barney: Just remember ... Jack ...
Bauer: What is it, Barney?
Barney: There's always time for smiles and giggles and rainbows. [He dies]
Bauer: I'll remember, Barney.

Fade to black.

Meanwhile, at the evil terrorist headquarters, terrorist mastermind known only as Samosa is on the phone. With him in the room are Anthony, Jeff, Greg and Murray, known to children throughout the world as The Wiggles. Samosa hangs up.

Samosa: It's been confirmed. We've lost all three of them.
Greg: What about the traitor?
Samosa: He's gone. And so is the trail. Bauer can't prove anything now. [He leaves].
Anthony: I can't believe Barney's gone.
Murray: Oh, get ahold of yourself!
Anthony: Why are you so mean to me all the time? It's because we made you be the gay one, isn't it.
Murray: I never agreed to be the gay one!
Jeff: Murray's the gay one? I thought Greg was the gay one.
Greg: No way am I the gay one.
Jeff: What are you talking about? You're wearing bright yellow, for crying out loud!
Murray: Yeah, well you're the one wearing purple. Everyone knows purple is the gay color.
Anthony: I think you're getting us confused with the Teletubbies.
Murray: I still don't understand why there has to be a gay one in the first place.
Greg: We've been over this before. Mr. Fallw... I mean, Samosa insisted that there be a gay one. Jeff: Well, he's the boss, but I still say Murray's the gay one...

Fade to black.

Placeholder Post

This non-post is just filler. I'm working on a humor piece, and it feels a little schizophrenic to stick it next to the previous thing.

So, uh, how 'bout them Liberals, huh? Pretty crazy, aren't they?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Until three and a half months ago, I lived in New Orleans. It is a beautiful city in a beautiful state. I'm glad I had a chance to see it when I did, because I may never again get a chance to see it like it was.

I've been meaning to post some of the pictures my wife and I took while we were there, and I just never got around to it. Now it's more than just photoblogging, it's a tribute, an elegy, a lament for the Crescent City.

My wife and I used to go jogging on this street in Old Metairie. I love the massive live oaks in the medians, huge branches twisting like gnarled fingers. You can find the trees everywhere -- along the streets, in City Park, and in Audubon Park.

The massive roots rip up the sidewalks and streets. You have to have a bit of a death wish to ride your bike around here.

I'm trying not to post all of my pictures, but some of them are just too good to pass up.

If I had grown up in that house, the temptation to climb that tree would have haunted my dreams.

I post this one because I'm so proud of my library. My heart goes out to those who love books as much as I do, who couldn't pack them before the storm burst. There's only so much room in the car for the things you hold dear.

Just south of the French Quarter. The blue sign is for Bella Luna, a restaurant that overlooks the Mississippi, the churning steamboats, and various walkers, runners and tourists. My wife and I ate their just before I graduated, even though we couldn't really afford it. I guess the student loan people can afford it.

A balcony on the southeast corner of Jackson Square in the Quarter. Just below this balcony you could see painters, charicaturists, palm readers, mimes and musicians entertaining the tourists and making a little money.

The corner of Madison and Chartres. Louisianans can't pronounce anything properly. The name "Chartres" is pronounced "Charter." And if you think you know how to say Burgundy, Esplanade, Calliope or Pontchartrain, unless you're from Louisiana, you're wrong.

Lunch in the Quarter. There's a place called Cafe Giovanni's -- which was waaaay too expensive for a student, although I ate there twice anyway -- that has live opera singers and a concert pianist while you dine.

The back of St. Louis cathedral. The haunted history tour guide told us that at dawn, you can hear the clash of ghostly swords near the gates. I heard the huge oaks fell down, ripping out huge sections of the gate, but the statue of Christ is still standing (minus a thumb and a forefinger).

In the Quarter, you can get away with a pink house with green shutters. Everything there is so lively that "garish" is virtually impossible.

The view from inside Jackson Square. A clown gave my son a balloon airplane that he loved until it popped, about three and a half minutes later. I'm just glad he was happy while he had it, because balloon airplanes and days in the park with your parents never last forever.

Continued at Elegy, Part Two.

Update: Thanks so much to everyone who linked this post. Also, more pictures here.

Elegy, Part Two

The above-mentioned artists. To be honest, most of it wasn't very good. But the atmosphere was wonderful.

The famous Cafe du Monde, across from Jackson Square. If you want it less crowded, you can try the mall in Metairie, but it's not quite the same thing, of course.

The south entrance of Jackson Square at dusk. This is one of the few pictures I took. My wife did most of them, proving she has an eye for aesthetics, after all.

Far and away the best part about New Orleans. I had two children born there. That alone is enough to forever tie my heart to the Crescent City.

Jean LaFitte National Historic Park is on the West Bank. It's in the heart of the bayou, complete with alligators. The live oaks push themselves out of the ground with knuckled roots like they are trying to avoid the swamp below.

It's hard to believe, but that green patch is water. Or rather, it's a layer of scum on top of filthy water.

The egrets, with their delicate legs and long, graceful necks, are so much whiter and brighter than their surroundings that the camera makes them glow.

I like how creepy this one looks. It would be a lot creepier at dusk.

This little fellow was good enough to hold still for me long enough to get a shot. I owe him one.

I love this one. I love the long, grey beards of Spanish moss reflected in the water.

Two baby alligators hiding in the spotted shadows under the leaves.

A crafty little fellow. The look in his eye reminds me of my little boy, when he's hatching mischevious schemes.

Lake Pontchartrain at sunset. You can see the Causeway bridge, the longest bridge in the world. I heard it was wiped out.

The view towards New Orleans' Ponchartrain shore.

Monday, August 29, 2005

And Now, In Lieu of Actual Content ...

SobekPundit presents the text of the 1999 King Missile song "Cheesecake Truck."

So then I got this idea about driving a cheesecake truck,
Because I figured at the end of the day
I could take some of the leftover cheesecakes home,
And I love cheesecake.
So I went to the cheesecake company,
And they asked me if I could drive a truck,
And I said yes and they said you're hired.
So the next day I got in the truck with all the cheesecakes,
And I drove about a block and I just had to have a cheesecake.
So I pulled over and I opened the trunk and I got a cheesecake,
And I also took one for later,
And I took one for my friend Farmboy,
And I took one to bring home,
And by that time I had eaten one of the cheesecakes.
So I took another one.
Then I figured I might as well stop at my house to drop off all the cheesecakes.
So I take five cakes to eat on the way,
And I drive another block and a half to my house.
Now it's lunchtime so I eat ten cheesecakes and a cheesecake for desert.
I should point out by the way that all of these cheesecakes were very delicious.
Anyway, I decided that the only thing to do would be to eat all the rest of the cheesecakes and hide the truck somewhere and leave town.
And I miss everybody a lot,
But I'm not really sorry,
Because they were very delicious cheesecakes.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Weekend Caption/Photoshop Contest

The Man's got his weekend caption/photoshop contest up. Go check it out. And don't end sentences prepositions with.

Update: I didn't get this one sent over in time:

Senator Frist calls a press conference to finally admit that his stem cell plan ended up having disastrous consequences.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Quick Question

Anyone know how to get a penny out of a standard CD player in the dashboard of a 2001 Honda CRV? Thanks in advance.

Update: Just, you know, hypothetically.

Further Forays Into the Exciting Field of Jurisprudence

Here's a couple of cases where the Court got it right. I note the first one because it's a great fact pattern, and the second one because now I'm thinking about moving to Arizona.

In Harold's Club v. Sanchez, 70 Nev. 518, 275 P.2d 384 (1954), a woman was in a casino gambling and drinking. The testimony is she knocked back five or six double Scotch whiskeys. I don't know much about alcohol, but that sounds like a lot.

So after about an hour and a half, the lady was up by $1400. She told an employee of hers to take $500 of it back to her place of business, and she stayed to keep gambling with the rest of it. She soon lost her $900, so she staggered out of the casino and back to the restaurant she owned. Her other employees told her they never saw the guy come in with her five hundred bucks, so she staggers back to the casino and asks the pit boss where her employee is. The pit boss tells her he's upstairs. So she starts to walk towards the escalator.

Let me note at this point that this is a case from 1954, and the court takes great pains to explain what an escalator is and how it works. I got a kick out of that.

Andyway, at least three casino employees warn her not to use the escalator, because it's clear to everyone that she's is toasted. She ignores them all and gets on the escalator anyway, loses her balance, falls, and fractures her ankle. And, of course, she sues the casino.

The issue in the case is whether a casino has a duty to physically restrain a patron, bombed out of her skull, from using the escalator, or whether it's enough to just give verbal warnings. The casino won, and I think that's about right. Especially given that the woman, according to the court, was six feet tall and weighed 279 pounds. The employee nearest her when she tried to use the escalator, a hostess, weighed 130 pounds. I'm glad there was a time when the Supreme Court had the sense not to require, as a matter of law, that a casino order its 130-pound hostess to try to subdue a 6-foot, 279 pound drunk woman.

The second one is State v. Cromwell, (no citation, but here's a link to the .pdf file), a truly horrible affair. A mother met Cromwell while walking to the story in the early hours of the morning, with her two daughters alone at home. After Cromwell mistook the mother for a prostitute, they got to talking, and he offered to accompany her to the store and then back to her house. At her house, they went to her bedroom to chat, while she smoked meth for an hour. Then she agreed to go bar hopping with him. All the while, her to daughers were still asleep.

Already, this lady is gunning for mother of the year.

They go back to the mother's place. A friend calls and asks the mother to go help resolve a dispute of some kind. The mother leaves Cromwell in charge, because he seemed so darn nice. While she's gone, Cromwell vicious rapes the lady's 11-year-old daughter, stabs her in the back nine times, and crushes in her skull with a television set while the terrified younger daughter, in the other room, listens to the horrible sounds from her bedroom. When the mother and her friend return, Cromwell attacks them both with a pool cue and flees. The paramedics get the 11-year-old to the hospital. The doctor notes the extent of her injuries, especially the crushed skull and multiple stab wounds, and stops life-saving measures.

The Arizona Supreme Court just affirmed his death penalty conviction. Sounds like a good place to be. Now if they can just ditch John McCain...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Battle of the Courts

The Man thinks he's got a pretty wacky judge over there in New York City.

I'll see your drunken race-baiter who dates an alcoholic would-be kidnapper/priest, and raise you a state Supreme Court that thinks it's okay to kill your husband and collect on the insurance policy.

Top that!

Actually, maybe I'm picking a fight with the wrong state.

For My Mother-In-Law, Who Thinks Alan Colmes Looks Like a Turtle

Eh. It's a bit of a stretch...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Heather Used to Have Two Mommies

Dave almost writes the perfect headline for this post. (Check out Partisan Pundit's take, too).

The story is here. According to the World Net Daily piece, a California court just creatively reinterpreted the state's child support laws to cover lesbian couples that separate. The World Net Daily piece quotes Stephen Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy, who criticizes the ruling for judicial activism a la the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts:

"The arrogance of the California court in attempting to redefine the family by the mere stroke of a pen is nothing short of extraordinary."

Like Partisan Pundit, my initial reaction was negative, but that changed between the time I read the headline and the time I read the rest of the story. We're dealing here with the tension between two basic interests: the interest of groups like Crampton's in preserving traditional legal definitions of family, and the interest of a child (in this case, several children) in getting financial support from a parental-type figure who has abandoned him or her.

Yes, I agree there are political undertones to this case. But the practical result of the case, had it gone the other way, would have been to penalize the child because of the relationship decisions of the parents. There is all the difference in the world between the Massachusetts case, which reflects a judicial decision to try to shape American culture in spite of the wishes of the vast majority of Americans, and the California case, which reflects the best interest of children who, one way or another, need support. Any political undertones, in my opinion, need to take a back seat to that interest.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

To the Most Wonderful Wife I Could Ever Hope For:

I love you even more than I love Spam.

And I'm a man who enjoys his Spam.

Dude, That's Hard Core

Viva Las Vegas. The great thing about studying law is that people don't go to court unless something has gone horribly awry.

The case of Sheriff, Clark County v. Anderson, 103 Nev. 560, 746 P.2d 643 (1987), rev'd by City of Las Vegas v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court ex rel. County of Clark, 118 Nev. 859, 59 P.3d 477 (2002), involves a challenge to a law that I'm not at all surprised to see in Nevada. Nevada Revised Statutes 465.075 makes it unlawful "for any person at a licensed gaming establishment to use, or possess with the intent to use, any device to assist: 1. In projecting the outcome of the game; 2. In keeping track of the cards played; 3. In analyzing the probability of the occurrence of an event relating to the game; or 4. In analyzing strategy for playing or betting to be used in the game, except as permitted by the commission."

So that seems simple enough, right? You can't bring in a device that helps you calculate odds or stuff like that. But Mr. Anderson challenges the statute as unconstitutionally vague. The idea of a challenge on the basis of vagueness is that an ordinary person can't tell what conduct is forbidden, and what conduct isn't.

Well, let's see whether Mr. Anderson thought there was some genuine ambiguity in this case. It seems he went into the Westward Ho Casino. Security noticed he "exerted unusual toe movements while playing." So they confront him and tell him they suspect he is wearing "cumputer shoes." He admitted he was. I'll just quote the next bit so you can see what this guy had rigged up under his clothes.

"Anderson wore shoes and socks. The socks were cut away in order that the bare toes could input data into the computer. Switches were attached in the shoes with velcro. Anderson would push up with his toes for one, down for two, up for eight, down for four. These combinations permitted Anderson to add up to any number. Wires extended up Anderson's legs to a battery pack located in his left rear pocket. The main portion of the computer was strapped to his left calf. Inflated balloons kept the apparatus away from the skin to prevent burns. The computer sent vibratory signals to a special receiver located inside an athletic supporter. The signal told Anderson whether to hit, stand, double down, or split. The computer calculated Anderson's advantage or disadvantage with the house and advised him of the remaining cards in the deck. Anderson was arrested and indicted."

So let's review the morals of this story:

1. This guy complained that the statute in question was too vague for him to know what was permitted and what was not. Please. If it wasn't clear to you as you were hooking wires to your crotch to help you cheat at blackjack that you were breaking the law, you're an idiot. Incidentally, that's how the court ruled. (Of course, no one in Nevada is surprised when the court rules in favor of a casino).

2. THIS GUY HOOKED FREAKIN WIRES TO HIS FREAKIN CROTCH JUST TO WIN AT BLACKJACK. As I said in the title to this post, dude, that's hard core. I mean, you've got to seriously want to win if you're willing to risk anything going wrong in such a scenario.

3. No, seriously, he hooked wires to his crotch, just to win at blackjack. How insane is that?

4. Also, that's one talented crotch he must have, if he can use it to decipher four different electrical impulses and determine whether to hit, stay, double down or split. Mad props to an incredibly talented crotch.

5. Along those same lines, THE GUY HAD FREAKIN WIRES HOOKED TO HIS FREAKIN CROTCH! What could possibly possess a man to do such a thing? The lure of money? We're talking about a man's crotch here, people. There ain't no amount of money in the world, I'll tell you what.

Hard core.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Blogroll Cleanup

I just cleaned up my blogroll a little bit, to get rid of some (regrettably) retired blogs. That leaves it a little thin, so if you have a blog or a recommendation, let me know.

France Invaded; Misc.

This story lends chilling new meaning to the phrase, "le grenoille mange le pamplemousse."

But I must admit I'm a little confused. Isn't that headline a little like saying Russia gets invaded by Russians? Or that the Democrat party gets invaded by frothing-at-the-mouth insane liberals?

Okay, I admit I'm making no sense. Just click the link.

Dave has a quasi-open thread for 2008 presidential speculations. Also, Keith Richards.

Ace criticizes Elizabeth Edwards' claim of solidarity with Cindy Sheehan. Feh. More interesting are the hystrionics in the comments section, where apparently a bunch of Lefties decided that no matter how tangential the reference, they have a duty to criticize Bush.

Basil's riff on the headlines is always worth your time. But it looks like he's no fan of the Moog synthesizer. All I have to say is that without the Moog, there would be no Man or Astroman? and that would be a crying shame. (Destroy All Astromen was their finest work).

Larry, you're in my non-demoninational prayers and incantations during this time of grief/exploitation.

Query: should it be legal to sue a blogger who quits blogging for emotional distress? COME BACK!!!

Normally I don't care what happens in Robbo the Llamabutcher's back yard, but this deserves a link.

Two Dogs crunches the numbers on a scare piece about blacks and spending habits. Very interesting. It's a good lesson in how using numbers out of context can distort the reality.

Goldstein has the money quote on what the Crawford protestors think about reasoned debate. (First Update). Astounding. Not that they really believe such a thing (we already knew), but that they're dumb enough to say it out loud.

Finally, I'm adding The Therapist to my blogroll. Why? Probably because I have a wierd subconscious desire to send all my traffic to better sites than my own.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Haiku

Frog in a blender
Red and green and red and green
Anyone thirsty?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Another Unnoticed Triumph

I wrote a couple of posts on the recent peaceful coup in Mauritania, which even the Bush administration now apparently tentatively supports. I was stunned how little reaction to the story I saw in the blogosphere. When we think War on Terror, we generally think of Iraq, Afghanistan, and their immediate neighbors (e.g. Syria and Iran). But as Richard Miniter convincingly argued in his book Shadow War, North Africa has a tremendously important role to play in how that war turns out, at the very least because the sub-Saharan region is a great place for Islamic militants to hide out. (Miniter goes further, and argues that Osama bin Laden is hiding there now).

While the Mauritania story clearly has yet to be played out, and there's no way to decide how it will end, so far we have some indications that things might be looking up (e.g., favorable reports from AU envoys, the U.S. softening its condemnation of the coup, the installation of a prime minister who before was posted in a Western nation, and most importantly, a promise that no one involved in the coup will run for election).

Meanwhile, right next door we have a positive development among Morocco, Algeria and Western Sahara. The Polisario Front, a guerilla group that (I'm going by memory here, so pardon me if I miss some details) helped in the civil was that split Morocco and Western Sahara, has held over four hundred Moroccans as prisoners in souther Algeria for the past 30 years. Last Thursday, the released all of them. Why?

"Their release follows mediation by the United States and removed one of the obstacles to peace for the Western Sahara region."

Score a political/diplomatic victory for the U.S. Ah, that explains why I haven't heard more about it, I suppose.

Of course, that's no excuse for conservative bloggers who like to point out positive developments in the War on Terror. Diplomatic resolution of conflicts, in a region that sees very little by way of diplomacy or resolution of conflicts, is a nice riposte to liberal arguments against establishing democracy in certain nations. It's really a shame this isn't getting more press.

Also: this guy has more background on the conflict between Western Sahara and Morocco. And an interesting observation about Arab objections to occupation.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Message for Dave

Dude, shut up.

Choices, Choices ...

Well, this week-end I can either blog, or finish reading The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck. Hmm. I'll have to think about that one...

Update: I suppose I can split the difference, since The Moon is Down is very short and I already finished it. I highly recommend it. The funny thing is that my mother just encouraged me not to read the story (in lieu of blogging), even though it's in a book she gave me for Christmas a year or two ago.

The story is about the Nazi occupation of a small village in an Scandinavia. The villagers are so stunned by the sudden attack that only six people are killed in the invasion, and the story details how they eventually learn to resist. In a great scene, two men are about to try to escape to England and ask for help. The mayor gives them instructions:

"This is no honorable war. This is a war of treachery and murder. Let us use the methods that have been used on us! Let the British bombers drop their big bombs on the works, but let them also drop us little bombs to use, to hide, to slip under the rails, under tanks. Then we will be armed, secrertly armed. Then the invader will never know which of us is armed. Let the bombers bring us simple weapons. We will know how to use them!"

Winter broke in. "They'll never know where it will strike. The soldiers, the patrol, they'll never know which of us is armed."

Tom wiped his forehead. "If we get through, we'll tell them, sir, but -- well, I've heard it said that in England there are still men in power who do not dare to put weapons in the hands of common people."

Orden stared at him. "Oh! I hadn't thought of that. Well, we can only see. If such people govern England and America, the world is lost, anyway."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The New James Bond

Ace has a lively discussion going on about who should replace Pierce Brosnan as the next James Bond. Come on, guys, the choice is obvious:

David Hyde Pierce, people! He nailed Niles Crane. Obviously he could nail 007. But in the off chance that David is busy with other projects, I came up with two other alternatives:

I'm pretty sure this guy isn't doing anything.

I know Pinhead hasn't done anything since Hellraiser: Bloodlines. And there's no doubt he'd be better than Timothy Dalton.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Just In Case You Need Another Reason to be Disgusted with the Media

Dave's got the goods.

There's something deeply satisfying about the occasional seething rant, ripping into something stupid someone has said or done. Case in point:

"The Washington Post dropped its sponsorship on Monday of a walk organized by the Pentagon to remember victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks and to support U.S. troops, saying it was possible the event would become 'politicized.'"

Given that a) war was declared on the United States by murderous thugs who slaughtered 3,000 innocent civilians, and that b) war is an inherently political act, YOU'RE DAMNED FREAKIN RIGHT IT MIGHT GET POLITICIZED, YOU BRAIN DEAD WANKERS! All 9/11 anniversaries will, from here on out, be politicized, in exactly the same way we remember that "day of infamy" -- you know, back when the U.S. press wasn't actively rooting for America to lose a war, ignoring stories of American heroism and Iraqi progress, focusing exclusively on the death and mayhem THAT OUT SWORN ENEMIES WANT YOU TO FOCUS ON, YOU MOLDY DOUCHEBAGS!

Anyway, Dave's got more invective, and I don't want to steal his thunder.

Sheehan's Selective Recall Problem

Several days ago I wrote about Professional Grieving Mother Cindy Sheehan and her apparent difficulty remembering certain details of her meeting with the President last year.

I've been doing my diligence as a CITIZEN JOURNALIST and I've found some more of Sheehan's, er, "creative" recall of history:

The moral authority of women who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. is absolute!

The moral authority of a woman who set herself on fire to protest the South Vietnamese government is absolute!

The moral authority of a woman who was forcibly deported to Cuba at the hands of the Imperial Federalist Government is absolute!

The moral authority of federal agents who forcibly deport children to Cuba is absolute!

The moral authority of giant mutant monsters from the sea that routinely trash Tokyo and battle, for example, Mothra, is absolute!

Update: The Therapist is all over the funny.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sorry, No Posting Today


Saturday, August 13, 2005

He-Man Croquet

Last month during a family reunion, I learned how to play He-Man Croquet. Now I feel I have an ethical responsibility to introduce the goodness that is He-Man Croquet to the world.

Basically, the rules are just the same as in regular croquet. But instead of normal croquet balls, you use bowling balls. Instead of little wooden posts, you use rebar (and if you have the means, bent pieces of rebar for wickets, but regular wickets will go if they're big enough). And instead of regular croquet mallets, you use A FREAKIN SLEDGE HAMMER, BABY!!! Considering my generally sedentary lifestyle, my arms hurt a lot afterwards. But it was so worth it. The only problem is that my brother-in-law won, and now I have to wait until next summer for a rematch. Chump. See, that's part of the reason I just don't like that guy very much.

By the power of Greyskull, if you hit my ball again I'll feed you to Cringer!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Break Out the Tiny Violin

I love reading Nevada cases. Usually it's because our judges seem to be playing a long, extemely elaborate practical joke on the state, but sometimes it's because of what one of the parties does.

Case in point.

In yesterday's Weaver v. State Dept. of Motor Vehicles, Mr. Weaver is suing to get his driver's license back. He lost it after crashing his gray, convertible Porsche into a wall. (Cue the tiny violins). The police officer who arrived on the scene noted that Weaver slurred his speech, had bloodshot eyes, and reeked of alcohol.

Weaver's defense? "No officer, I wasn't drunk while driving. I crashed my car, then walked home and drank two beers [in a later version of the story, he walked home and drank five or six beers and four or five shots of tequila], then walked back to the scene of the accident so you could smell me stinking like booze."

Uh huh.

Update: One fact I forgot to mention: his blood alcohol level was 0.272, almost three times the legal limit.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

IntegrityWatch: 2005 DAY 3

As the clock ticks away on the biggest blogging scandal of the summer, IntegrityWatch: 2005 is disappointed to learn that notorious liar Ace of Spades has so far refused to do the responsible thing by apologizing to America and resigning. Further, as detailed here and here, Ace is now making outlandish charges against Single-Celled Americans. I guess I shouldn't have expected better from the Right Wing Attack Machine, but I'm still disappointed.

You know who else is disappointed? The Single-Celled Americans who suffer the brunt of insensitive remarks like those found on Ace's blog. In order to put a hum- ... er, a more familiar face on this issue, I got an interview with Adolph, an anthrax bacterium and now full-time protestor of the Ace of Spades JUGGERNAUT OF LIES!


Sobek: Thank you for joining me.

Adolph: Thank you. I'm a big fan.

Sobek: Oh, stop.

Adolph: I mean it. You're so much cooler than Osiris.

Sobek: Yeah, I've heard that before.

Adolph: Really.

Sobek: Anyway, I understand you've started a vigil outside of Ace of Spades HQ, until he agrees to come talk to you and explain to you what "noble cause" is served by his vicious attacks on Single-Celled Americans, like yourself.

Adolph: That's right, Sobek. The American people won't stand for the non-stop hate we see vomited forth from mouths like Ace's. This is a free country and all, and he has a right to say what he wants, but I have rights too, you know.

Sobek: Of course.

Adolph: I have rights. For example, I have the right to camp out here, outside of Ace of Spades HQ, and garner vast, fawning media attention.

Sobek: Yeah, I meant to comment on that. I didn't realize Ace of Spades HQ was a real place.

Adolph: It's all part of the smoke screen, Sobek.

Sobek: I see.

Adolph: Let me tell you something, Sobek. Let me tell you about my son, who was killed in Iraq because of Bush's immoral war.

Sobek: I thought we were talking about Ace...

Adolph: I'm getting there. I had a son, Sobek. His name was Casey. He was a wonderful kid, with a bright future. He was going to go to college. He was going to get a good job. He was going to start a family.

Sobek: Yes.

Adolph: And that family was going to multiply and fill someone's lungs until that person died of acute respiratory or cardiac failure.

Sobek: ...

Adolph: ...

Sobek: I'm sure you mean that as a figure of speech ...

Adolph: Sobek, I'm an Anthrax bacterium.

Sobek: ... Well, I see that, it's just that ...

Adolph: Oh, not you, too.

Sobek: No, no, it's not like that! I was just ...

Adolph: You're just like all the others. How dare you, you know? How dare you sit there, all high and mighty, and judge me, like you're so perfect!

Sobek: I didn't mean to imply ...

Adolph: I mean, it's not like you've never dragged someone into the Nile to devour them.

Sobek: Hey, now that's just going a little too ...

Adolph: Well I've had it with this kind of hypocrisy, Sobek. That's the kind of thing I'd expect from Ace, or maybe those creepy Llamas, but not from you. I'm leaving.

Sobek: ...


Sobek: Crap.

Blogroll Cleanup

I finally got around to fixing Goldstein's link. The old link automatically sent you to the new page anyway, so it's not like I had a lot of motivation to update it. But I was updating anyway, so there you go, Jeff.

I also added Preston Taylor Holmes of Six Meat Buffet. I've been meaning to do that for a while, but he had the unfortunate timing of first linking me during bar prep, so I can pretend that's my excuse instead of laziness.

Finally, I added Nouri's blog The Moor Next Door. I'm sucking up so I can eventually ask for advice on how to use my tagine. I enjoy exotic cuisine, like food from India, Morocco, Connecticut...

State of the Blog

Preparation for the bar exam has had a ... less than healthy effect on my traffic rating:

Before I graduated and had to think about the Big Bad Bar, my traffic was doing a great job of steadily increasing. The dip in November was because of a spike in October traffic caused by the election, and the February anomaly was an Instalanche after I suggested Glenn Reynolds is a former midget stripper. Ah, good times. Then I graduated...

Let this be a lesson to you. If you're a student, never graduate, under any circumstances. It's traffic death, I tell you!

So now I'm working on getting my traffic back up to respectable levels. Before the slump, I was only a few links away from finally making Marauding Marsupial on the TTLB ecosystem, and now I'm short by 22 links. The good news is that of today, I'm two spots ahead of Communists for Kerry, so, you know, hooray for me.

The Guardian Prints Column by al-Qaeda Financier

Via -- um, I'd rather not get into that right now. Let's just say his name rhymes with Space of Blades.

It looks like the English newspaper The Guardian has published an opinion column by Saad al-Fagih, an al-Qaeda financier. You know, because a homicidal thug's opinions are as valid as anyone else's, I guess.

But rather than devote a post to the Guardian's obvious and severe problems (you can find that here), I thought I'd actually address the substance of al-Fagih's column, entitled "Give up your freedoms - or change tack."

al-Fagih's argues that England is playing directly into al-Qaeda's hands with its harsh new crackdowns on Islamist fanatics. "No one will be more pleased than Osama bin Laden with the new measures announced by Tony Blair." I beg to differ. The Brits who no longer have to breathe the same air as the human garbage who actively agitate for the violent overthrow of the government -- and who until now have done so with government protection -- will be pretty darn pleased. Then again, it seems there's a fair number of Brits who don't feel that way (George Galloway I'm looking at you).

"There are two reasons for Bin Laden's satisfaction at what doubtless looks to him like a historic victory.

"First, he will believe he has succeeded in forcing Britain to abandon a number of hard-earned achievements in the fields of justice and liberty - achievements that took centuries of struggle and evolution to accomplish."

Uh, yeah. I'm sure Osama bin Laden, of all people, thinks that the Western world is full of justice, while the Islamic world is not. Right. I guess that explains why he lives in Afghanistan and plots the destruction of every non-Muslim government in the world.

"The second reason for Bin Laden's satisfaction is that his strategy is based on absolute polarisation. The world is to be split into two opposing camps: a bloc of Muslims with no infidels in their midst and one of infidels with no Muslims in their midst."

If that's his strategy, then he's a much bigger fool than anybody has ever given him credit for, for two reasons. First, his terror network survives only by virtue of its ability to blend into society. If polarization causes human society to split into two discernable camps, and if one of those camps has a (ahem) clear military advantage over the other, then the war will soon be over, with the radical Muslim extremists on the losing end. Consider that the only reason fighting is still going on in Iraq is because U.S. troops aren't up against a standing, discernable army; they are fighting against a shadowy enemy that usually isn't discernable on sight. Change that equation, and you strip away the only military advantage the Iraq jihadis enjoy right now. Is Osama that dumb? I'd like to think so, but I tend to doubt it.

The second reason is that as long as society is unpolarized, there will be terrorist apologists biting at the heels of those who are serious about stopping the terrorists. If the world is divided into only two camps -- those who think militant Islam is a good thing, and those who think it is a bad thing -- then those who think it is a bad thing will enjoy unrestricted freedom of action in crushing militant Islam in the most efficient way possible. No one can seriously doubt that the Zarqawis of the world are playing our media outlets and our private political dissensions for their own advantage. Will bin Laden really be happy to lose that advantage? I tend to think he's smarter than that.

"It is perhaps not surprising that Bin Laden was able to manipulate the cowboy element in the American political structures to his advantage, turning them into his own PR outfit, which influenced huge numbers of Muslims to become supporters of his group."

Now this is just bad timing, coming so soon after a poll showing support for bin Laden and terrorism is declining in Muslim countries. I guess the guy should spend more time on the internet.

Also, I love that "manipulate the cowboy element" bit. It makes me wonder whether this was written by a terrorist financier, or some of the guys I knew in law school. It's uncanny how similar they tend to sound.

"Yet Blair did not follow his acknowledgements to their logical conclusions. He did not say that this growth of al-Qaida occurred during his and Bush's colossal war against it, using all the military, political and intelligence powers at their disposal. The logical conclusion must be that the so-called war on terror in its present form, including the invasion of Iraq, is yielding precisely the opposite results to those intended."

That's an interesting theory, but he's failed to mention that al-Qaeda was also growing during the Bill "Ignore them and they'll go away" Clinton era. And he failed to mention that, as a result of the War on Terror, 25 million Afghans, including women, had a chance to vote for the first time in the history of the nation. And 25 million Iraqis, including women, had a chance to vote for the first time in the history of the nation. And Libyan dictator Muamar Ghadaffi opened up his country to weapons inspectors. And Lebanese protestors managed to peacefully topple a puppet government and force Syrian troops out after thirty years. And Kygyzstan kicked out a dictator. And now Mauritania has kicked out a dictator. And Ukraine peacefully mobilized against a would-be election-rigger. And Egypt loosened some restrictions on voting. And Saudi Arabia granted women the right to vote in municipal elections. And Kuwait and the U.A.E. are seriously discussing expanding women's rights.

And gee, that's an awfully long list; a mighty impressive set of trophies on Bush's mantlepiece. Compare all of that to what happened before the War on Terror. What does Bill Clinton have on his mantlepiece, other than a stained blue dress?

"I thought this composure would translate into alarm at Blair's subservience to the Americans. Then the political machinery started to run, using the American method of turning the smallest of prejudices, suppressed by centuries of civilisation, into fires stoked by politicians and the media. I have been surprised at the ease with which hard-won hallmarks of civilisation, historical and ethical commitments, have been dismissed so lightly."

Yeah, well, you blow people up in their own country, they're not likely to start liking Muslim extremists more, you know? Interesting that this clown considers a pile of dead British bodies such a trifle, such an insignificant speck, that it's positively shocking that the Brits had the audacity to react with anything other than stiff indifference.

Tell you what. Let's discuss Tom Tancredo's plan to nuke Mecca a little more seriously, and see how Muslims "lightly dismiss" their "historical and ethical commitments." Better yet, let's duct tape this pile of pig droppings to the tip of the Tomahawk missile we finally end up launching into bin Laden's filthy cave.

More Lies Exposed in Ace of Spades IntegrityWatch Scandal!!!

Oh Ace, when will you ever learn that Truth cannot be hid from the American people? There's a shocking new development in the unfolding IntegrityWatch: 2005 story. Consider:

"But not only has Ace utterly failed to admit his utter disregard of all things truthful, now he's engaged in scurrilous attacks on Single-Celled Americans in this hideously racist post."

And yet as a very small amount of research demonstrates, it wasn't Ace of Spades who wrote that post at all -- IT WAS GUEST BLOGGER LAURAW!!!

When will you end this charade and simply resign from blogging in shame, like you should have done yesterday? The American people are counting on you to do the honorable thing and end this farcical assault on truth, Mr. Of Spades.

IntegrityWatch: Day 2

Contrary to all hopes that this might end well for the blogging community and truth lovers everywhere, Ace of Spades continues with his defiance of his moral obligation to quit blogging for a second day.

But not only has Ace utterly failed to admit his utter disregard of all things truthful, now he's engaged in scurrilous attacks on Single-Celled Americans in this hideously racist post. For the sake of your readers, man, quit now! Before you single-handedly taint the entire blogosphere with your web of nefarious lies!!!

Update: Read the latest here.

Two Dogs Gets Mail from a Secret Admirer

Seriously, you and your pen-pal need to get a room.

A Good Reason Not to Live in a Small Town

Highway 6 in central-ish Utah has a massive crater in it. Wow.

My parents live in Price, Utah. The only way to get from Price to the nearest major city, Salt Lake City (hey, it's all relative) is through highway 6. That means my parents are effectively stranded in small-town Utah.

On the plus side, given the nature of your typical southern Utah town, they at least have access to plenty of ammunition.

I've driven that highway a hundred times. It's a really dangerous stretch of road. But gigantic craters are a new one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Lies Continue!!!

The perfidious lies of Ace of Spades seem to know no boundaries. It was recently revealed here that "Terry Brooks must be spinning in his grave." But as everyone knows, Terry Brooks isn't even dead! When, oh when will Mr. Of Spades' hegemonic war against the Truth ever end?

Do the honorable thing, Ace. Apologize and resign in disgrace.

The Almost-Daily Mauritania Briefing

You know, for an undemocratic military junta, so far they're not doing too poorly.

America has already softened its language condemning the coup. The African Union, which immediately suspended Mauritania's membership, sent envoys who reported that they are "reassured."

"'We were reassured because there is a consensus on the reasons, even the necessity, for change,' said Nigerian Foreign Minister Oluyemi Adeniji, who led the AU delegation."

Well, both the reasons and the necessity were always rather clear-cut, I thought, the only issue was whether a military take-over was the way to do it. But consider that, because Taya was out of the country at the time of the coup, no blood has been shed (that I've seen reported). The reports suggest the population is happy about things -- everyone except the old president, in fact.

"The impression that we've had since our arrival is that there is peace everywhere," Adeniji told reporters. "All the people we met with indicated they agreed with the change. And we think it would be simpler to take the transitional process toward democracy."

As some may have thought it was." Well, you can't blame us, Nouri. This kind of thing does not usually end well. If I'm hopeful that the new head honcho will be good for the country, it's the naive optimist in me. But hey, we can still hope.

Defense of Taya

As Nouri notes in another post, initial worldwide reaction to the coup was decidedly negative. That's probably not because everyone loves Taya. It's widely accepted he's a tough authoritarian who viciously cracked down on dissidents. His is the only country in the world with an open slave trade. And yet, in a region where people don't expect much better out of their government, the simple fact is that his willingness to play ball on some issues (Iraq, Israel) suggested he was better than many other alternatives.

It's the same phenomenon in Saudi Arabia. The magical kingdom has more than its fair share of objectionable problems, including anti-Americanism taught to young kids in public schools, their sometimes ambiguous stance on terrorism, voting and other rights (or lack thereof) for women, and their legal system.

In other words, Taya wasn't perfect, but since America can't invade every un-democratic country in the world simultaneously, it's best to stick with an acceptable-for-now guy until something better comes along. When something else comes along, in the manner that it came, it's natural to be skeptical that it will be something better. So far, the new guys have said all the right things - democratic elections within two years, no one in the ruling junta is eligible for election, making diplomatic contact with the AU, Senegal, and perhaps others. And most importantly, as far as we know, no bloodshed. No terrified populace, no dragging dissidents from their homes at night, never to be seen again. If -- and I stress that it's a huge if -- they can walk it like they talk it, then great things are about to happen in Mauritania.

IntegrityWatch: 2005

Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me no great pleasure to do this. But it is my solemn duty, as a CITIZEN JOURNALIST, to seek out the truth, no matter what the cost. Yet there are some bloggers, so blinded by partisan goals, so lax in their duties to inform the public after rigorous and multi-layered fact-checking, that the only way to save their honor is to demand that they resign from blogging.

Ace of Spades is just such a blogger.

Today, Ace had the unmitigated gall to write the sentence: "For the love of everything holy, do you think the government gives a rat's ass that you've read all of the Elfstone of Shannara books?" He did this, even though it is a verifiable fact that he was implying the series was named after the Elfstones, when it was only the second book in the series that had that name! And he called it "Elfstone" instead of "Elfstones"!

Terry Brooks must be spinning in his grave.

Ladies and gentlemen, we must not let the truth stand hostage to the likes of Mr. Of Spades. The clock will tick on the official SobekPundit IntegrityWatch: 2005 banner until we get a full apology, and Ace vows never to show his face on the internet again. This is worse than the time Dan Rather tried to pass amateurish forgeries off on the public; worse than the time Eason Jordan made unsubstantiated claims about U.S. troops in a war zone during a time of war; worse than the time Brit Hume said something with which Oliver Willis disagreed! I'd even go so far to say that Ace, with his relentless propaganda machine, is worse than Hitler.

So inundate him with hateful e-mails! Spam his comments! Take his mother out for a nice buffet dinner, and then never call her again! This will not stand!

Update: Thanks to Dave from Garfield Ridge and John from Wuzzadem for helping spread the word about the depths to which Ace is willing to sink. Check the main page for continuing updates as Ace continues his war against the truth.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Consistency: Hobgoblin of Small Minds

Drudge is reporting that Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq, has changed her story about her meeting with President Bush after the tragedy.

Not having a lot of time, I glanced at Drudge's piece, decided I didn't really care, and moved on. After all, this is a story about a woman, understandably upset over the death of her son, who is very hostile to the administration, and who is trying to gin up publicity to hurt the administration. While perhaps a somewhat rare confluence of elements, there's not really much to add, regardless of whether her claims are true.

But it looks like Lefties have lost no time in turning her into a cause celebre. AmericaBlog says she's been harassed by the local sheriff (along with four or five other posts referencing Sheehan). Apparently, John Aravosis isn't too troubled by his heroine's abrupt change of heart, dismissing Drudge's piece as "GOP attacks." Atrios links this criticism of the Drudge story on

A few points:

1. I still don't particularly care about the substance of the Drudge story. The story of the kid killed in Iraq is a very sad one, but I guess I've just been too desensitized. Blame CNN, I suppose, for dwelling on the deaths so much. The story of the bereaved family is sad, too, but alas, thiers is one of many. Finally, the story of a Bush-critic parlaying personal tragedy into publicity to get at the President -- well, I'm more jaded of that old song than of any other.

If Drudge turns out to be wrong, then that sucks for him. His credibility takes a hit, he probably won't lose any traffic or sleep over it, and Lefties will have something to crow about. If Drudge is right, Lefties will never concede the point, his credibility won't take a his, and he won't lose traffic or sleep over it.

2. There's an interesting surprise in the post. Quite naturally, Lefties hate the Catholic church and everything it stands for (no, I'm not making an exception for "Catholics" like Ted Kennedy or John Kerry, who clearly aren't big fans of Catholic teachings about being a fat drunken lout who killed his mistress through ineptitude or selling out one's country to communist thugs). But if you're doing a piece on why Cindy Sheehan is a saintly woman who should be believed at all cost, why not mention that he son was an altar-boy? It's more sympathetic, you see, if not perfectly intellectually honest.

3. "The point, we guess, is that Cindy Sheehan is just like Kerry and Wilson and the rest of them, 'a flip-flopper,' and so nothing the woman says can be trusted."

I won't pretend to be able to read Matt Drudge's mind and discern what his point was, but let me simply concede that to the extent that anyone concludes that someone who changed her story can never be trusted on anything ... well, that's just silly. Certainly it goes to her credibility on this particular topic, but I daresay most conservatives aren't about to go so far as to disbelieve everything the woman says.

4. Finally, to the substance. We're presented with a timeline of statements and events, designed to show that "Cindy Sheehan has been completely consistent on the war from Day One." Right. Well, I guess if you ever took John Kerry seriously, that may be true, but you're clearly using some interpretation of the word "consistent" that most English-speakers have never heard. To wit:

"April 4, 2004: Casey Sheehan, 24, and six comrades are killed in action south of Baghdad."

Well, that's not really a statement, so I'm not sure what it's doing in a post intended to rehabilitate the woman's credibility as to her statements. But whatever.

"April 7, 2004: The San Francisco Chronicle interviews the Sheehan family and Casey's former scoutmaster, Bob Vollmer..."

Pardon me, how is an interview with the deceased's scoutmaster supposed to tell us anything about Cindy? Our authors are nowhere good enough to tell us.

"April 19, 2004: Story in Contra Costa Times about Sheehan and two other soldiers killed in Iraq: 'But the Sheehans also hope the soldiers who have come home to be buried here also raise more questions with the public about the conflict in Iraq. They watch the news and wonder why more young soldiers must die. Like Crowley, the couple said they support the military, but not the war in Iraq.'"

Do you notice the huge problem with this quote? That's right, it's a quote from a reporter, not a quote from Cindy Sheehan. Again, how does this rehabilitate Sheehan's credibility? And there's another point to be made here, so don't forget this one.

"June 24, 2004: Travel to Seattle area for visit with Bush."

Uh ... you know, that's not really a "statement" either. Unless, again, you're simply redefining words to suit your uses. Not a fan of Orwell, are you?

"July 12, 2004 (just 18 days later): Cindy Sheehan and her daughter are listed on a news release from Military Families Speak Out as willing to speak with reporters about their opposition to the war. The release states: Through their grief, military families who have suffered unbearable loss say: 'not one more family should suffer what we have suffered, for a war that should never have happened, for a war based on lies. Military Families Speak Out asks the United States Senate: How can you ask a soldier to be the last to die for a lie?'"

Okay, here we're in business. It doesn't matter that Sheehan didn't write the words on the release, because she presumably signed her name to it and thereby adopted the words as her own. That's close enough to a quote to count this one. But while our author wants to suggest that "just 18 days later" isn't much time, it's impossible to avoid the fact that it's still after the meeting with Bush, and therefore doesn't help her timeline approach at all.

Okay, so the timeline is pretty useless, as a collection of actual statements, as that word is usually defined. Now to check the consistency against Drudge. Note first that Drudge's article first quotes from a 2004 article, and that the 2004 article doesn't contain a single quote or statement attributed to President Bush. So there is no way to read Sheehan's more recent comments as offering a contradiction of direct statements by Bush. Instead, all we get are descriptions of the mood and atmosphere. From the 2004 story:

- "'I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis,' Cindy said after their meeting. 'I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith.'"
- "For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle."
- "'That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,' Cindy said."

And from 2005:

- "She vowed on Sunday to continue her protest until she can personally ask Bush: 'Why did you kill my son?'"
- "In an interview on CNN, she claimed Bush 'acted like it was party' when she met him last year."

Two questions arise: 1) are these two reports actually inconsistent, and 2) if so, can that inconsistency be explained in light of the pmionline post?

1. Yes and no. Again, there's no purported statement Bush supposedly made that is later contradicted. But the shift in tone is unmistakable and undeniable. It looks to me like Sheehan is simply offering an inconsistent spin on a consistent set of facts. Last year's playful bickering can easily be this year's "acting like it was a party," on an identical set of facts, with nothing changing except Sheehan's attitude toward the occasion.

2. Yes. It is entirely possible that Sheehan could be an adamant critic and opponent of the war and President Bush since whenever, that she could make statements to that effect, that she could meet with the President and, under the circumstances, decide not to make political hay out of the occasion, and later decide that political hay should have been made. There's nothing hard to believe about such a scenario. Frankly, as much as I dislike Harry Reid (for example), I doubt I'd turn a meeting with him into a publicity-hungry shriek-fest.

Anyway, that's the Leftist heroine of the day, for what it's worth. To read the Lefty blogs, you'd think she had done something miraculous, like cured cancer, or made Howard Dean seem respectable.

Oops: It looks like I went and wrote a long post without first finding all the relevant facts. John from Wuzzadem has more.

Smarter Than he Looks?

Dave and Digital Brownshirt (and update) both linked a story about Tommy Lee telling reporters he's glad he chose alcohol instead of his ex-wife, Pamela Anderson:

"I didn't want to give up drinking because I believe I can have moderation in my life. I did give up for a year, but I felt my fans would be disillusioned if they met their favourite rock star and he was drinking Evian."

Tommy, Tommy, Tommy. When will you realize that your fans lost respect for you when you stopped dressing like this:

I know that's when I stopped respecting you, at any rate.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Via Ace. Lefty blogger Mithras clearly doesn't understand the concept of taxonomy (you can follow Ace's links if you want). A list of ten "conservative" bloggers, along with petty attacks and non-constructive criticism, is not a taxonomy. A true taxonomy would be a great idea, and would consume much more time and effort than any reasonable person should have, so I'm a little surprised it hasn't been done before.

Rightwing Nuthouse comes a little closer, given that there's some kind of a classification system at work, but still I'd be generous to call it a taxonomy. Also, he's got a poor translation of Dante's famous "lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" (Inf., Canto 3:9). But hey, now I'm just getting pretentious.

I don't have anything to add to what Ace, Goldstein, and their commenters have to say about Mithras' latest demonstration of liberal racism/sexism. You see, Michelle Malkin makes the list, and it's not enough to simply disagree with Malkin; one must also remind the readers that she's an Asian whore. Hence Ace's conclusion: "If it weren't for double-standards, many on the left would have no standards at all."

I'm linking the story to highlight an angle which didn't get much attention. Over at Protein Wisdom, a commenter called Citizen Journalist says:

"Defending Michelle Malkin - a woman who not-so-subtly suggested that the Muslims better watch it, or we’ll 'start a discussion' about putting them in camps - by accusing her critics of being the real racists.
Yeah, I’d say that pretty much sums up the modern Republican party. "

CJ is roundly criticized for the statement by those who defend the central thesis, that lefties are hypocrites because of their racist views about how minority groups ought to think and act. In response, the best CJ can do is continue to assert that Malkin is a racist (without ever arguing that Leftist racism is okay when directed against other racists, perhaps with good reason).

Here's the problem. Even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that Michelle Malkin is a racist, with stupid ideas, how exactly does that lead to the conclusion that all criticism levelled against her must ignore the substance of her claims, and focus on her race? It simply does not follow.

But there's another problem, and this one cuts the other direction. I've just spent some of the most hellish hours of my entire life searching through old posts by the top ten Lefties linked on Right Wing Nuthouse, and I'm simply not finding the data to support the contention that all or even most Malkin criticism is directed at her race or gender.

From Americablog: "What's wrong with this picture? Oh, I don't know. Maybe that an Asian-American WOMAN could be so bigoted against Asians and women?" That's as close as we'll get from Aravosis. Granted, it does suggest a biased view that Asians and women can't hold certain opinions, but there's nothing concrete here.

Again: "What Malkin unfortunately doesn't realize is that the kind of America she's promoting is the very kind of America in which she'd be one of the first to be locked up (but I guess that would be ok to her, since the accomodations in prison camps are so swell, and in any case, whatever her alleged crime she'd obviously be guilty since she's not white like the rest of us - you never can be too safe)." Given the context, I don't see anything about this comment that is out of bounds. In the 1940s, Malkin might have been subject to the same internment she discusses in her book (although she's Philippino, rather than Japanese).

Atrios refers to "Ms. Maglalang." It's a link to a post where Malkin's Tagolog middle name is wholly irrelevant. But that's Atrios' only hit for a search for "Malkin" in 2005. By way of information as to my methodology, Atrios' archives are searchable by week, and I frankly don't have it in me to go back any further than the beginning of the year. Also, unlike Kos (for example), Atrios' and Aravosis' blogs don't let me automatically search the comments, and frankly, there's just no way I'm doing that one post at a time.

A search of the more user-friendly Daily Kos showed not a single hit that referred to Malkin by race, and nothing about her gender other than to refer to her as "her" - certainly not a mortal sin by any standard.

I got no hits on Oliver Willis' site, but it doesn't look to me like I was searching his whole archive. So there may be stuff there that takes more effort to find than I'm willing to put forth.

Anyway, that's as far as I got into RWNH's list, but it seems to me that, statistically, there's no way to argue that Lefties only or usually respond to Malkin by referencing race or gender, although it clearly does happen.

Mauritania Update

There's not much to update, really. The military seems intent on scoring irony points by promising to rule democratically after, you know, seizing power undemocratically. isn't even putting Mauritania headlines on its home page - you have to go searching for info if you're interested. Also, it looks like CNN only has one picture of ousted President Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya. That, or he only likes to be photographed in one pose.

The state-controlled Agence mauritanienne d'information loads extremely slowly, prompting me to wonder, quite seriously, whether it's possible that the government's official news outlet is on a dial-up modem. The Agence is reporting that the local populace supports the new government (sorry, no permalink, but the article is entitled "Les expressions de soutien continuent en faveur du CMJD"). Continuing along the irony theme, the article quotes the Association of Mauritanian Statisticians: "The taking root in the country of a true democracy and real justice is of the nature to cause peace and prosperity to reign in Mauritania; adhere to, support and sustain the Military Counsel for Justice and Democracy [CMJD] for the realization of its commitments to the Mauritanian people" (translation mine; pardon the poor style).

Yes, true democracy. Whether you like it or not. 'Cause we're the freakin military. And we seized power. Sure. Pardon me if I'm somewhat skeptical of the reliability of a government-owned website run by the army guys who just seized it.

You stay classy, Nouakchott