AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 8/14/2003 10:09:00 AM ----- BODY: NEW BLOG! Gun-Toting, Carnivorous Jew is now The Waterglass! Join us at http://www.thewaterglass.net And thank you for reading! Dave, the Gun-Toting, Carnivorous Jew -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 8/11/2003 06:44:00 PM ----- BODY: Don't Go! Stay tuned for an exciting new blog. Coming soon, I promise! -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 7/02/2003 06:22:00 AM ----- BODY: I Lied I'll be on hiatus after this one mention of Ray's advice column:
Do you have any suggestions for a really tasty vegetarian entree? Something kind of nice, you know, for impressing ladies or special occasions. I used to make this orange pepper risotto but I'm kind of tired of it now and looking for something really good to feed my vegetarian friends at my next dinner party.

(I hope you're not one of those snotty meat-eaters that won't even try a vegetarian dish.)
Thanks! — SPS

Dear Vegetarian,

I guess I do eat meat but I can still think of some things which you may like to cook, even though you have pre-emptively insulted me. A Nicoise salad without the tuna, a gardenburger with grilled onions and sharp cheddar cheese…you know what? Fuck you vegetarians. It’s like, every time you write in for help you’re actually just looking for another opportunity to push your retarded agenda. Meat is part of the diet. Did you see those sharp teeth in the mirror the last time you pretended to smile? Eat it in moderation, buy it from responsible sources. Don’t go flappin’ your pussy lips in my face just because you misunderstand your place in the food chain.

I hate that shit.
Included because it has definite relevance to the Carnivorous part of this website. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 7/01/2003 04:48:00 PM ----- BODY: Blog Hiatus I will be in Calgary on a business trip and won't be back to blogging until Monday, July 7. In the meantime, read Lileks. Check out Achewood. Pray that I don't get another sinus infection. And never forget: if the glove don't fit, you must acquit. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 7/01/2003 06:06:00 AM ----- BODY: A Blog about Blogging I normally hate this self-referential stuff; there're a million avant-garde blog articles out there discussing the nature of blogging and why people blog and what their blog would taste like if it was covered in chocolate chips on the planet Venus, but here's an article that I thought was somewhat interesting:
I was vaguely aware that blogging was popular among non-professional writers, but only very occasionally stumbled across one of these diaries while trawling the internet. And I was happy to avoid reading them — I took the view that I couldn’t read everything I wanted to each day as it was, and I certainly didn’t need to spend time cringing at other people’s mundane ramblings....

I feel in need of some analysis myself and call Oliver James, the psychologist. In his view the fundamentals of blogging are “loneliness and narcissism and the need for contact with others”. He says that historically the diary has played the role of confidant to lonely people. Now, in cyberspace and particularly with the cloak of anonymity, people can “have relationships with a lot of other people without the hideousness of flesh-and-blood relationships. It’s attractive.” He adds: “There is a curious assumption that exists, particularly among young people, that the most tiresome aspects of their lives are interesting to other people. And they are, as one can see from Big Brother.”
Ultimately, this article consists mostly of the ramblings of a too-clever-by-far English journalist who's just stumbled upon this whole blogging thing. Like a blog, almost. Well, I'm here to tell you that I'll never bore you with the minutiae of my life out of a feeling of loneliness and narcissism. Never. Everything I say and do is extremely important and doesn't really fit into the category of "minutiae." And I'm sure that some of the readers out there in cyberspace are indeed hideous, or would find me hideous, or would taste hideous if covered in chocolate chips on the planet Venus, but I don't care. You are my public, and I shall always cherish you, hideous or not. All four or five of you. (Thanks to Jeff Jarvis) -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/30/2003 01:16:00 PM ----- BODY: Portrait of a Cretin Pop quiz, hotshot. Take a look at the photo below and tell me which "Celebratrix of Diversity" will most likely be legally discriminated against in a future job or law school appointment because of her race: (Hint: sunglasses) -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/30/2003 07:25:00 AM ----- BODY: Those Droll English Professors Check out this article from the UK's Daily Telegraph:
An Oxford University professor has provoked outrage by rejecting an application from an Israeli PhD student purely because of his nationality.

Andrew Wilkie, the Nuffield professor of pathology and a fellow of Pembroke College, is under investigation after telling Amit Duvshani, a student at Tel Aviv university, that he and many other British academics were not prepared to take on Israelis because of the "gross human rights abuses" he claims that they inflict on Palestinians.

Prof Wilkie made the comments after Mr Duvshani, 26, wrote to him requesting the opportunity to work in Prof Wilkie's laboratory towards a PhD thesis. Mr Duvshani, who is in the last months of a master's degree in molecular biology, included a CV detailing his academic and outside experience, including his mandatory three-year national service in the Israeli army.

In a reply sent by email on June 23, Prof Wilkie wrote: "Thank you for contacting me, but I don't think this would work. I have a huge problem with the way that the Israelis take the moral high ground from their appalling treatment in the Holocaust, and then inflict gross human rights abuses on the Palestinians because they [the Palestinians] wish to live in their own country.

"I am sure that you are perfectly nice at a personal level, but no way would I take on somebody who had served in the Israeli army. As you may be aware, I am not the only UK scientist with these views but I'm sure you will find another lab if you look around."

[After it got out that he's an anti-semitic prick,] the professor, who was elected Nuffield professor of pathology last month, said that he could understand the distress and anger felt by Mr Duvshani. When asked if he would look again at the student's application for a PhD, he replied "absolutely" and added that he "entirely accepted" the university's equal opportunities and race equality policies.
You know, I'd have more respect for this asshole if he'd stick to his guns and not let the Israeli student in instead of backtracking like that. I mean, at least have the courage of your convictions, for Christ's sake. I wonder if he gets his news from the BBC? (Thanks to Andrew Sullivan) -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/30/2003 06:44:00 AM ----- BODY: Israel's Message to the BBC: Seeya! From the UK's The Times:
ISRAEL broke all contact with the BBC yesterday in protest at its repeated “demonisation” of the country and today’s planned showing on BBC World of a critical documentary on Israel’s nuclear, biological and chemical arsenal.

The move will involve a refusal to put up official spokesmen for BBC interviews. There will be visa restrictions, not imposed on other news organisations in Israel, to ensure that the bureau chief is rotated every few months and to make it hard for BBC staff to report.

“The BBC will discover that bureaucracy can be applied with goodwill or without it. And after the way that they have repeatedly tried to delegitimise the state of Israel, we, as hosts, have none left for them,” Daniel Seaman, director of the government press office, told The Times.

“We see the well-known pro-Arab touch of the Foreign Office and the traditional anti-Semitism of parts of Britain’s Establishment in the way they are acting against us.”
First thing is, I don't understand what a "critical documentary" is supposed to be. I thought that a documentary was, well, supposed to simply document things, not put a slant on them, critical or otherwise. Of course, we do live in the days where Michael Moore can lie and misstate facts in a documentary and get an Academy Award for doing so, so it shouldn't be unusual. Jeff Jarvis, from whom I got the link to this article, states: "By cutting off the BBC, they also cut off information and cutting off the BBC's audience and that is a mistake. But the frustration is clear." It's a valid argument, but I think that when you have a particular ideological slant (like anti-semitism), you don't need any extra information; you can always state the facts in a way that will get your slant across. The BBC has long been an anti-U.S., anti-Israel news agency, and I applaud Israel for taking this stance. Make no mistake: when you're living in the Information Age as we are, one of the biggest punishments you can mete out is the refusal to provide data. Fuck the BBC; let 'em get their news from CNN. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/30/2003 05:56:00 AM ----- BODY: Obsession The Bleat is back! Thank God. And it's chock-full of bleaty goodness like:
Some people are obsessed with thinking that we are obsessed. They think we spent our nights drenching our ids with the marinade of anti-communist paranoia, because we never confronted these things in the light of day. Never mind the headlines, the stories on the news, the covers of the magazines - no one talked about Communism, so the fears spurted out through twisted fissures in the popular cultures. Hence things in the culture that had nothing to do with communism were actually explicit parables about Leninist aggression.

I’m not saying that these things don’t affect the shape and flavor of a culture’s products; obviously they do. But a free society tends to hit these things head on. If everyone was so quietly terrified of the Red Peril, why didn’t more movies deal directly with the idea? “Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers” is not a metaphor for us vs. the Rooskies. It’s a story about Us versus flying saucers, for heaven’s sake. Perhaps that’s because we wanted an escape from the perils of the planet, or perhaps because it’s just cool to see flying saucers smack into the Capitol dome. Smash. Bang. Whoo-hoo!
Actually, I just saw The Hours over the weekend. It sure seemed as if it lasted for, well, hours. And it's really all about commies. You can tell. I mean, it's like, so obvious. Either that, or it's about lesbians. Julianne Moore kissing Toni Collette! Smash. Bang. Whoo-hoo! -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/30/2003 05:48:00 AM ----- BODY: Beef! Check out Roast Beef's fate. Things look grim. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/26/2003 09:45:00 AM ----- BODY: Another Place to Boycott Read this excerpt, then try to guess the author, then follow the link and read the whole thing:
Abercrombie & Fitch, a chain that some say markets a "classic American look," faces a lawsuit, filed by a group of "civil rights organizations," aided by a law firm that specializes in "anti-discrimination cases."

Why? The clothier allegedly suddenly either fired or demoted Hispanic and Asian floor salespersons in favor of women possessing this so-called "all-American look" -- presumably blonde surfer types. (Note: A friend recently visited an Abercrombie & Fitch store and noted at least two Asian saleswomen.)

According to an attorney for the plaintiffs, "Through means both subtle and direct, Abercrombie has consistently reinforced to its store managers that they must recruit and maintain an overwhelmingly white workforce. The company has systematically cultivated an all-white 'A&F Look' and then faulted Latino, African American and Asian American applicants, potential recruits and employees for failing to fit this racially exclusive image." The plaintiffs further claim that Abercrombie & Fitch "direct that minority Brand Representatives (salespersons) be fired, moved to a stockroom or overnight shift or have their hours 'zeroed out,' which is the equivalent of termination." One plaintiff said, "Abercrombie's corporate representatives came to our store on an inspection tour, pointed to a picture of a white male model and told the manager that he needed to make the store 'look more like this.' Within two weeks, five Asian American employees, including me, were terminated and an African American Brand Representative was transferred to the night shift at a different store. The store then hired about five white Brand Representatives to replace us."

At least one of the un-hired applicants found work at Banana Republic, another clothing establishment that, according to him, "has almost all minorities working there." Does Banana Republic's sales staff result from laws pressuring companies to seek a "diverse work force," or because Banana Republic's marketing niche seeks a "diverse" clientele, or because they simply hired based on their perceived quality of the applicant? In either case, a private business ought to have the right to hire and fire as it pleases, just as employees may quit and customers may refuse to patronize the store.
Here's the whole story. While I understand and agree with a non-tax-funded company's right to hire whomever it wants to fill whatever position it needs, I have to say that it's a pretty dumb idea to fire all the minorities so that the store can have a more "all-American" look. Despite the Supreme Court's recent ruling on race, I was under the impression that if you're a United States citizen, you're all-American. You made it. No, I'm not entirely able to look beyond someone's skin color upon meeting him or her, but I don't know anyone that is, and by God I think I do a pretty good job of taking people on individual merit, person by person. It's stupid shit like this that continues to screw up race relations across the country. Yes, it's legal. But it ain't right. Remember the all-white prom that the Georgia kids held? Same thing: legal, but stupid and wrong. A&F can take their clothes and ram 'em. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/26/2003 06:42:00 AM ----- BODY: Good Luck, James Check out today's Bleat. The Instapundit says to put some dough into the tipjar, but I wouldn't; instead, go buy one of his books if you haven't done so already, preferably The Gallery of Regrettable Food. It's a scream, trust me. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/26/2003 06:30:00 AM ----- BODY: Raiders of the Not-Lost-After-All Ark I know it's all blown over, which is why I'm bringing it up now: the "rape of the Iraqi museum" fiasco. Remember that? It had been initially reported that over 170,000 objects had been stolen, but we learned later that maybe 33 or so were actually taken. David Aaronovitch of The Guardian puts the hysteria very succinctly:
When, back in mid-April, the news first arrived of the looting at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, words hardly failed anyone. No fewer than 170,000 items had, it was universally reported, been stolen or destroyed, representing a large proportion of Iraq's tangible culture. And it had all happened as some US troops stood by and watched, and others had guarded the oil ministry.

Professors wrote articles. Professor Michalowski of Michigan argued that this was "a tragedy that has no parallel in world history; it is as if the Uffizi, the Louvre, or all the museums of Washington DC had been wiped out in one fell swoop". Professor Zinab Bahrani from Columbia University claimed that, "By April 12 the entire museum had been looted," and added, "Blame must be placed with the Bush administration for a catastrophic destruction of culture unparalleled in modern history." From Edinburgh Professor Trevor Watkins lamented that, "The loss of Iraq's cultural heritage will go down in history - like the burning of the Library at Alexandria - and Britain and the US will be to blame." Others used phrases such as cultural genocide and compared the US in particular to the Mongol invaders of 13th-century Iraq.
At the time, I'd said:
The press has been up in arms lately regarding the ransacking of museums in Iraq since Saddam's overthrow. It's important to note that this ransacking and looting is being performed by the Iraqi people, and not coalition forces. It's also important to note that we are being blamed for the looting, as if in all the shooting and precision bombing of military targets, we were supposed to take men and women off the front lines to protect museums. There are several issues here, and I'm going to address them one by one. I'd like to make it known, however, that I find it extremely awful that artifacts dating from the beginning of civilization are being taken and/or destroyed. I know that they're irreplaceable, and we are all much poorer for their loss. However, I'd burn every museum in Iraq to its foundation and every scrap of papyrus in it if it would save the life of a single coalition soldier. That's just me.

There are many, however, that don't feel the same way. They feel that chunks of carved stone are worth more than human lives, and are willing to say so without shame or equivocation. Their words can be found here. To get the full effect, however, you absolutely need to read some of the comments; they're extremely telling. I must warn you, however: they're not pretty. They're from people who judge the liberation of an entire people not worth the destruction and theft of some artifacts. "Ivory Tower" doesn't scratch the surface; these people are living on Mars.
I decided to re-visit the site that stated things like, "History lost. . . mention this to the blinkered ideologues who brought this about, and the arrogant blowhards who support them, and they'll point to a picture of Saddam's statue being pulled down and say something smug and self-righteous about the freedom of a people being more important. This is a good time to slug them." And, "How could people who believe so fundamentally in the depravity of man be so unprepared for a completely predictable consequence of invasion? Idiots! Fools! Vandals! Bastards!" Oh, and, "A thousand years from now, this will be remembered. How could we even begin to explain this to Rumsfeld; as if your Liberty Bell, your Constitution, God knows what else were lost. Not even. Things ten times older than America in shards, scattered. What will be his sound bite for history? How will this be remembered...The Nazis stealing art, hell, Napoleon's idiotes shooting the nose off the Sphinx, that at least was comprehensible, but this...I cannot begin to wrap my mind around this. And us all "chicken littles", are we? You smug, arrogant fool, Rumsfeld. Bad enough that you might yet get us all killed, but these should have outlived your new and frightening American century and whatever myriad perversions you would warp America into. Long after the last star fell from the Stars and Stripes, these should have endured. I am sure you will die peacefully in your sleep, Rumsfeld, dreaming the peaceful dreams of Stalin and all those other zealots who remained convinced of their rightness and infallibility until their last breath. When Kissenger passes on, will he be troubled by the thought that he brought the Khmer Rouge to power? No, of course not." So I figured that now, these dumbfucks would at least be able to manufacture some level of shame. I mean, they were wrong. They believed that the U.S. army destroyed the cradle of civilization. If you can't admit feeling ashamed, you should at least shut up, right? Wrong. Check this out:
Assorted ankle-high freepi have gotten the idea that this should be the occasion for a vast confession of left-of-center error and guilt. Wrong, wrong, wrong. No one owes anyone an apology for having believed a story that was reported by every major news feed on the planet. And if anyone were owed an apology, these pismires aren’t the ones it would be owed to; so what the hell are they doing trying to collect on it? Go away! Take dance lessons or something. Get a different hobby.
Actually, you total cretin, you do owe the rest of the world an apology. You and every other shitbag that compared this administration to Nazis. Not because you were wrong, but because you used what was then considered a tragedy to advance your typical anti-war, anti-U.S., Bush-hating stance. It was so easy for you to believe that not only had we let the artifacts be stolen, but that we'd likely encouraged such behavior. As usual, you took a situation that was bad and twisted it way, way out of whack to fit the axe you had to grind. If you're not going to apologize for that, at least have the good grace to shut your trap. Sound mean? I'm just sick to death of the left hijacking the moral high ground on every issue under the sun. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/25/2003 07:25:00 AM ----- BODY: Affirmative Inaction Okay, my understanding of the recent Michigan affirmative action decision handed down by the Supreme Court is that it's okay to discriminate based on race and skin color in law school admissions, but it isn't okay to discriminate based on race and skin color in undergraduate admissions. With this in mind, I have to ask one pressing question: What the FUCK? I mean, I don't get it. There's just so much wrong with this that I find myself wondering if I haven't dreamed the early part of this week and at any moment I'm likely to wake up and it'll be Monday morning. Which is fine, because aside from this I think the week has been shaping up just fine and I wouldn't mind living through it again. I just hope I don't wake up until I see what the Powerball numbers are tonight, that's all. Anyway, that's beside the point. It'd be silly to bring up Martin Luther King Jr.'s quote, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," because it's very clear by now that Dr. King's concept of race relations doesn't relate to reality. Guilty white people and the majority of the African-American community are not interested in equality, but rather redress for past wrongs. Affirmative action is simply a symptom of that, and don't give me that "equality of opportunity" bullshit either, because I've heard it all before. If you were really intertested in giving everyone a fair shake, you wouldn't make affirmative action programs based on race, but rather economic circumstances; i.e., giving more points to poor people instead of people who happen to be properly pigmented. And yes, I know that inner-city schools suck, which is why I'm also in favor of school voucher programs that give children greater opportunities. Thing is, I'm not in favor of giving poor kids a leg up either. Sounds mean, but fuck 'em; when you move away from the meritocracy, you take another step forward into mediocrity. If you reward mere circumstance instead of ability, you drag everyone to the same level. Yes, I know that the poor have been taking it in the shorts for some time, but why should the rest of us be punished? When you play general economics like a zero-sum game, then eventually you end up becoming a socialist. Just because I have a piece of the pie, it doesn't mean that I automatically took it from the mouths of starving children. The point is that the concept of "quality" (read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to understand "quality," if you can) is something that needs to be examined more fully, because despite everything, "quality" is not something inherent in all of us. There are vast numbers of people who simply tread water and take up space. There are whole subcultures that feel they have a greater "right" to resources because they feel that they have been victimized. Affirmative action programs foster these feelings. They contribute to (or are symptoms of) something that has poisoned our society for decades now: the lionization of the victim. It used to be that if something bad happened to you, you put it behind you and moved on. Now, instead of overcoming obstacles, it's more in vogue to claim helplessness in the face of them. Rather than fight, it's easier to demand a check. Bull. Slavery's over, Asian and Jewish kids seem to have a strong work ethic, and life is generally unfair: GET OVER IT. As a citizen of a free (and wonderful) country like the U.S., you have a right to the pursuit of happiness. You don't have a right to a living at the expense of others. For every job or position affirmative action provides, it displaces someone else who would have otherwise been successful on merit. Diversity in and of itself isn't an intrinsically good thing, a concept that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Diversity does not automatically equal quality, despite what liberal college campuses think. Yes, I think it's a good thing for young people to meet people of differing backgrounds, cultures, points of view, and skin pigmentation in academic environments. But I also weigh that against the scholastic merits of a school, and the quality of classroom learning is what tips the scales every time. If you want to start a college that has the express intent of exposing its students to students of other melanin amounts as its main draw, then you do indeed have a pressing need for diversity. Ultimately, what will end up happening in colleges that are looking for kids of the proper skin color is that they'll just develop a different nomenclature for quotas. Instead of "points," there will be "allowances." It's okay. The Supreme Court said so. Of course, when Dick Gephardt's in office, he'll change that and any other wrong thing that the Supreme Court does, so it doesn't matter anyway. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/25/2003 05:52:00 AM ----- BODY: We're with You, James Send some good thoughts down Minnesota-way to James Lileks:
Other adages for today: when life hands you lemons, head down the hall, hide in the closet of your enemy, wait until they get a papercut, then leap out shouting BANZAI and crush the lemon in your hand right over the papercut. Save the peel. Go downstairs to the bar. Order a vodka. Use the peel. Yum!

Why yes, I am being oblique, and I will remain so until things shake out. Don’t worry - I’m not fired; we haven’t been evicted from Jasperwood. Everyone’s fine, but everything is different now, and how this will affect the Bleat I’ve no idea. If all turns out as I expect, nothing will change, but for a while you might expect shorter stuff and more throughout-the-day, posted-at-night quasi-blogging.
I hope things are all right. Someone who has shared his talent as unselfishly and consistently as Mr. Lileks deserves our support, if nothing else. Good luck, man. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/24/2003 06:29:00 AM ----- BODY: What a Dick This is what presidential hopeful Dick Gephardt had to say about The Supreme Court and what he'd do when he became President:
"Any effort to deny our nation's compelling interest in ensuring diversity is short-sighted and wrong...When I'm president, we'll do executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day."
Forget about that whole Constitution nonsense; it's irrelevant these days. Dick's gonna do what Dick thinks is best, and damn the torpedoes. Affirmative action? When Dick's in charge, he'll diversify every workplace and every college until every person who wants a job has one, no matter what qualifications that person possesses. Roe v. Wade? With Dick in the Oval Office, there'll be an abortion clinic on every corner. And if you like entitlements, well you ain't seen nothing yet. Those rich will pay, by golly. Honestly, I couldn't make this up. He actually said it. Even if you think Fox News is misquoting, CNN has the same quote. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/24/2003 06:07:00 AM ----- BODY: Those Whild and Whacky French Here's an article from Time.com:
As Secretary Of State Colin Powell traveled to the Middle East last weekend to try to get President Bush's road map back on track, U.S. frustrations with the stalled peace efforts have begun to focus on a familiar target: France. State Department and White House sources tell TIME the U.S. has lodged complaints that Paris is turning a blind eye to fund raising in France by front organizations for Hamas, the terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for most of the recent wave of suicide attacks. The U.S. also claims France is blocking European Union efforts to restrict these front groups elsewhere. "There's a lot of intelligence to suggest that the French have become increasingly a conduit for funds to Hamas and that they're just not taking the steps that are necessary," says a State official. Some Administration hard-liners suspect the French of positioning themselves to influence the Arab-Israeli peace process by leveraging Hamas' European funding.
I think by now that it'd be pretty disingenuous for anyone to act surprised at this. The past sixty years or so have shown us that the French are inveterate anti-Semites and irrational haters of the U.S. There are many explanations for this, but they all end up sounding like rationalizations once you look at what's being explained: for whatever reason, the French are doing their best to be our enemies. At what point do you just say, "Look; we were allies before, but not any longer. It's over. Take yourselves and the UN and cram them sideways," huh? Eventually, you have to admit that the baby's ugly and deal with it. (Thanks to Instapundit) -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/23/2003 06:47:00 AM ----- BODY: Don't Give Them any Ideas! Check out this article by Kevin McCullough:
See what Hillary or Al or Terry or the rest of the liberal leadership need to do is not go around securing $10 million donations that won't keep a network running for more than about a week. What they need to do is learn how to sit down, think for themselves, put some ideas on a computer screen in front of them, and see if the American public buys into it.
Actually, I think it's a very typical liberal thing to do: throw money at a problem in hopes that it will go away. The "problem" is that you can't get away with being a liberal asshole in public any more (like the Dixie Chicks). And it isn't that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, and Pacifica can't get the message out effectively, either. It's that NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR IT. Peter Jennings, Al Franken, and Katie Couric don't do it for America any longer, and this fact just kills them. Nobody likes being ignored and marginalized, like the left has been doing to conservatives since the days of Dick Nixon. Now it's coming full circle, and the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy is feeling it. So in the future, we're going to hear more crap about liberal talk radio and AlGoreTV, but it doesn't make a difference: they're still selling a shitty bill of goods, and nobody's buying. But hey, good luck with it, guys. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/23/2003 06:23:00 AM ----- BODY: I Didn't Know B.D. Wong Was Gay Jonah Goldberg talks about mainstreaming homosexuality:
After repeated protests from gay groups in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hollywood stopped casting gays and lesbians as villains (think of "No Way Out" and "Basic Instinct"). By the end of the '90s, gays could be found all over movies and TV, but they were depicted as virtuous celibates. In movies like "Sling Blade," "My Best Friend's Wedding" and that execrable drek by Madonna "The Next Best Thing," gays were cast as the only decent and honorable white men around.
I didn't know that there were any decent and honorable white men, according to Hollywood. Anyhow, it's an interesting article, and you should read it. On a side note, I think that the next "stage" in bringing homosexuality into the mainstream would be to make the occasional movie character gay...without making a big fucking deal over it. I know it's a stretch, but wouldn't it represent a truly effective change in paradigm, where the main character just doesn't seem at all interested in the love interest? As an example: the Civilizing Influence and I saw The Transporter over the weekend. It was extremely bad, but had a few good moments. Wouldn't it have been cool if the main character, played by Jason Statham, just holds up his hands and shakes his head when the Love Interest exposes herself? "I'm sorry, I'm not into that," he apologizes. "I'm gay." I know he's supposed to be a tough guy and all, but the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. He doesn't make it a big deal and he's still able to get the job done insofar as explosions, shootings, and beating the snot out of people are concerned. We also saw Tears of the Sun over the weekend. Fun film. Monica Bellucci is always easy on the eyes, even though her exchanges with Bruce Willis were extremely painful to watch. (Thanks to Instapundit) -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/19/2003 06:42:00 AM ----- BODY: Chimpy's a Big Fat Liar ...and it's all about the oiiiiiiiiilllllllllll... Sorry; had to get that off my chest. Anyhow, I was doing some thinking about the "Bush lied to us about WMD" issue, and I still can't wrap my head completely around it. It doesn't pass the laugh test, that it's all a big lie and we all fell for it. Here's the torturous train of thought that led me to it. First, you must remember that this is all predicated on the fallacious notion that we went to war in Iraq only because we thought that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass murder. This is a common belief among the Bush-haters, whose voices grow louder as fewer and fewer people listen to them. So I'm not going to get into the idea that Hussein's regime sponsored terrorism, and I'm not going to discuss the fact that we went in there to stop a monster from committing murder, torture, and rape. Yes yes, I know that there isn't enough "proof" for a lot of us that Hussein sponsored terrorism; to some, there will never be enough proof, because in their minds, there's never enough justification for any war (these same moral midgets would likely have chained themselves to the gates of Belsen as "human shields" to protest American hegemony had they been born a few decades earlier). And I also know that there are lots of other murderous dictators in the world that the U.S. doesn't do anything about, so we shouldn't have gone into Iraq (an argument that only makes sense when you put on your "Bush=Hitler" glasses). With that out of the way, we'll focus on the argument that we went to war in Iraq because President Bush lied to the world about its WMD program. If Bush lied, then he must have had a reason to do so (unless he was a pathological liar, in which case his name would be Clinton). What would Bush gain from a war in Iraq? Oil revenue from Iraqi oil fields? Possibly, but it'd be hard for him to personally profit from that without some very very clever financial dealings that would have to escape the microscopic scrutiny under which he lives daily (as part of his position as leader of the free world). The only other thing he might stand to gain was a higher approval rating, which translates to a greater probability of his being reelected in 2004. Which means that he went to war so that he could grab more power for himself. I mean, who wants to be President of the United States of America, unless it's someone who has an appetite for exercising authority? That seems more likely. Bush must've known that if he sent troops to Iraq to take out Hussein, people would be killed in the process: coalition soldiers, pilots, Republican Guards, Iraqi conscripts, and civilians who were caught in the crossfire. If this was simply a power/oil grab, then Bush deliberately sent thousands of people to their deaths for personal gain. That's a textbook definition of evil, right there. It validates the darkest thoughts of the "Bush=Hitler" left, and it's the only logical conclusion. A lie this big would require a great deal of planning, as well as several accomplices. One accomplice would have to be Vice President Dick Cheney. How would Cheney gain? Well, he no longer has a direct connection to Halliburton, so revenue from Halliburton's fire-extinguishing and rebuilding efforts would have to be fairly well hidden (under that microscope once again). It's not likely that he'll run with Bush for his reelection for health reasons. Perhaps, then, so that he could end his career on a high note in order to profit from the lecture circuit. Nah, that's stupid; Bill Clinton left office under a cloud as dark as Richard Nixon, and Clinton's speaking engagements still earn him big bucks. So I'm not sure what Cheney would gain, so we'll just assume that he's going along with it for complex personal reasons. Who else would Bush need to help with the Big Lie? Certainly Colin Powell; after all, he presented the case to the UN (though it's likely that he's just a dupe instead of a really great actor). Bush would also need Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Oh, and Tommy Franks. Not to mention their aides, assistants, and various agents in the field. So once Bush gathered this cabal (something he must've done months, if not years in advance), he set The Plan in motion. Only the problem is that we haven't yet found the WMD's. So, apparently, Bush and his cronies are so fucking stupid that they'd make up a false reason to go to war and then not even fabricate some kind of dummy anthrax canister to dump in Saddam's basement. I mean, if it was so easy for them to lie to us, why would it be any harder for them to plant fake evidence of WMD's? Get some perspective on it: Tony Blair, President Bush, and everyone in a position of authority who supported them are so venal, so avaricious, so power-hungry that they sent thousands of people to their deaths in order to personally profit. They lied so well that the majority of people in the U.S. believed them, but lacked the brains to plant the reason for the lie where it might be easily found (and therefore complete the con). That's the "he lied" argument. What's more likely: that, or the idea that we just haven't looked everywhere yet? -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/18/2003 06:36:00 AM ----- BODY: Love, Hate, and Indifference It's hardly an original thought that the opposite of love isn't hate, but indifference. Both love and hate require energy. Even weary contempt requires some small amount of effort, as does absent affection. Keep this in mind when reading David Carr's commentary about a recent show on the BBC titled, What the World Thinks of America.
The BBC has a great, big monkey on it's back and that monkey is America. The nabobs who run that state broadcast organisation just don't understand how a country that (in their eyes) does everything wrong can end up so supremely dominant in terms of power, wealth and influence, while a country that does everything right (such as France) seethes and whines impotently about the unfairness of it all.
There's more, so read it all, especially the comments on the bottom of the page. I think that the pissing and moaning and passive-aggressive bitching about how the U.S. doesn't know enough about other countries and "world affairs" is linked to the notion that the amount you "care" about a particular issue has a direct correlation to not only your moral worth as a person, but your ability to do something about it. A perfect example: in the early 90's, Hillary Clinton cared so much about the "health care crisis" in America that she developed a plan to give everyone in the country free health care. It was unworkable, it was silly, it was without value in any respect. However, she really cared about the issue, so in her and many other people's minds, she was qualified to do something about it. You know, I don't really give a shit if my doctor really cares about doing a good job, as long as he does it. Caring without positive effort is meaningless. The U.S. is a great force for good in the world and continues to do great things, whether we care enough about French history, British cuisine, and German fashion or not. Which brings me in a roundabout way to my other point: there's a general feeling in the world that because your average American high schooler can't point out Luxembourg on a map in under thirty seconds, the U.S. lacks the intelligence and knowledge to comport itself properly in international affairs. President Bush is relentlessly mocked for his "simplistic" moral stance on any number of issues, that he can't see the endless shades of gray in the black-and-white world he's apparently painted. If he had European refinement, he'd see how wrong he was about Iraq. If he wasn't such a "cowboy," he'd leave well-enough alone in North Korea. If his country had the sophistication of, say, France, he'd let the Jews (in their "shitty little country") and Palestinians just kill each other. But like the rest of America, he's a bull in a china shop. Honestly, I don't know how to say "bite me" loud enough. If you don't like our culture, don't import so fucking much of it. If you don't like our success, kick us out of the UN and give us the office space back. If it bothers you so much that kids don't know if Italy is in the EU or not, GET OVER IT. And that's what infuriates them from coast to coast and pole to pole: it isn't that the U.S. hates Europe or England or Australia; it's that we don't think of them as often as they think of us. I'm going to paraphrase Clive Barker here and say that the flame of lust is like no other: it burns hotter and longer without fuel. In literature, unrequited love is treated as an almost noble thing, but unrequited hate just drives people nuts. Sorry, Nigel: we're just having too much fun in the U.S. to give a damn what your countrymen think of us. (Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer) -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/18/2003 05:51:00 AM ----- BODY: Yougle and Google James Lileks laments:
I was vaguely annoyed that Google hadn’t cached the page. C’mon, guys, we depend on you for his sort of thing. We all need a personal Google, a place that automatically gathers the scraps, the flotsam, the little bits of our life that get shaved off, swept up and thrown away. That lost scrap of paper with a babysitter’s phone number? Look it up on Yougle.
Well, in Robert Sawyer's Hominids, there is a sort of Yougle. If you haven't yet, go read it. Very interesting science fiction; one of the more original stories to come around in years. On the other hand, I doubt that James would take my advice even if he was reading this; he actually liked that waste of celluloid named Star Trek: Nemesis. The movie's more fun if you pronounce the last part of the title "Nem-EE-sis." Why, I don't know. Try it. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/17/2003 06:03:00 AM ----- BODY: My Man Bill Bill O'Reilly from The O'Reilly Factor seems to have a problem or two with the Internet:
Nearly everyday, there's something written on the Internet about me that's flat out untrue. And I'm not alone. Nearly every famous person in the country's under siege.

Today's example comes from Web sites that picked up a false report from The San Francisco Chronicle that said a San Francisco radio station dropped The Radio Factor. If anyone had bothered to make even one phone call, they would have learned that Westwood One made a deal with another San Francisco radio station, weeks ago to move The Radio Factor. Thus the word "dropped" is obviously inaccurate and dishonest.

The reason these net people get away with all kinds of stuff is that they work for no one. They put stuff up with no restraints. This, of course, is dangerous, but it symbolizes what the Internet is becoming.
First thing's first: I watch The O'Reilly Factor every night I'm home to do so. It's an entertaining show, Bill's a fun guy to watch, and he often has some interesting guests. However, this whole "unrestrained Internet" thing is quite silly, and from the article quoted, seems to be born out of a rather petty and small concern. You can't be a television host without having skin a rhinoceros would be pleased to call his own, and if Bill's hurt by some stupid and/or inaccurate comments made on a website, he needs to find other work. I say bad stuff about people all the time here, without censure from my targets. I speak ill of the dead (like Rachel Corrie), I generalize about gigantic groups of people, and I make sweeping statements on any number of issues. BIG FUCKING DEAL. I know my corner of the Internet is pretty small, but hey: I live in a country where I have a right to speak my mind as long as I don't cause harm to others. And so does Bill O'Reilly. As much as I like his show, the hypocrisy he evidences here is somewhat...disturbing. Lileks weighs in as well, saying it all a lot better than I:
I’ve noticed that for some “on the Internet” is meant as some sort of sinister intensifier. Like this:

1. Bob Johnson is accused of torturing dogs and taking pictures.

2. Bob Johnson is accused of torturing dogs and taking pictures ON THE INTERNET.

The second one sounds worse; it makes you think of the Temple of Doom in the Indiana Jones movie, a dark fetid cave with people bowing to some mad leering priest showing them unspeakable acts.
(Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer.) -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/16/2003 10:19:00 AM ----- BODY: It's No Fun Being an Illegal Alien Michelle Malkin (no relation to the Nazi-hunter Peter Malkin) brings a deeply disturbing truth to light:
It's every mother's worst nightmare: A 9-year-old girl, dragged from her San Jose, Calif., home in broad daylight, is kidnapped and raped over three days before being released by her attacker.

The story made headline news all week. Now, here is the story behind the story that the liberal media has failed to tell.

The man arrested and charged with nine felony counts related to the terrifying abduction and sexual assault is an illegal alien. As of this writing, not a single newspaper covering the story has bothered to report on the accused attacker's immigration history.
Grim stuff indeed. Honestly, I can't even begin to imagine what it's like for the parents, let alone the poor girl. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/16/2003 08:08:00 AM ----- BODY: What Liberal Media? Jonah Goldberg reviews Eric Alterman's tome What Liberal Media?
Tell typical Americans that there's a right-wing bias in reporting today, and by about a 3-to-1 margin they'll call you a false prophet. But the false prophets have a new Holy Book--a tome entitled "What Liberal Media?" by Eric Alterman. It adds a sterling new example to the old observation that liberals will believe anything convenient if someone will just say it loud enough and often enough.

You see, large chunks of "What Liberal Media?" are simply prose versions of those spider-webby diagrams purporting to expose a vast right-wing conspiracy. So-and-so gave money to think tank A, which gave a job to writer B, who penned an article for magazine C, which once got a grant from foundation D, blah, blah, blah. You can almost imagine, in Mr. Alterman's mind's eye, a retromingent slug leaving a trail linking each nefarious conservative outlet and scalawag. Wherever the creature goes and whatever it touches becomes automatically tainted, somehow less than honest.
I don't know what "retromingent" means, either, but I bet it's pretty bad. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/16/2003 06:19:00 AM ----- BODY: Rumsfeld is So Damn Cool Donald Rumsfeld has recently told Belgium to go to Hell. The Belgians (Belges? Bilges?) have been doing their damnedest to try everyone from Israelies to Prime Minister Blair to General Tommy Franks in the International Criminal Court for war crimes, among other things. Perhaps if we bought more of their waffles, they'd be upset. Anyhow, Mr. Rumsfeld has suggestted to them that they repeal their "genocide law" or else we'll pull NATO out of Brussels:
The Belgian government reacted angrily Friday to mounting U.S. pressure to rescind war crimes legislation, arguing that the country had already addressed Washington’s concerns. Belgian government officials said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had only made the issue more difficult to deal with by threatening Thursday to find another venue for North Atlantic Treaty Organization meetings if Brussels did not act on U.S. demands.
Read Den Beste's take on it, who provided the pointer. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/11/2003 06:14:00 AM ----- BODY: The Second Holocaust Ron Rosenbaum has written a chilling column about the possibility of a second Holocaust.
There is a horrid but obvious dynamic going on here: At some deep level, Europeans, European politicians, European culture is aware that almost without exception every European nation was deeply complicit in Hitler’s genocide. Some manned the death camps, others stamped the orders for the transport of the Jews to the death camps, everyone knew what was going on—and yet the Nazis didn’t have to use much if any force to make them accomplices. For the most part, Europeans volunteered. That is why "European civilization" will always be a kind of oxymoron for anyone who looks too closely at things, beginning with the foolish and unnecessary slaughters of World War I, Holocaust-scale slaughter that paved the way for Hitler’s more focused effort.

One has to put the European guilt complex not just in the context of complicity during World War II. One must also consider the malign neglect involved in the creation of the state of Israel. The begrudging grant of an indefensible sliver of desert in a sea of hostile peoples, to get the surviving Jews—reminders of European shame—off the continent, and leave the European peoples in possession of the property stolen from the Jews during the war. And that was when they didn’t continue murdering Jews, the way some Poles did when some Jews were foolish enough to try to return to their stolen homes.
There's more, lots more. Should be required reading. Bottom line is that on the surface, the thought of another concerted effort to destroy the Jews seems like it should be relegated to the realms of conspiracy theory and paranoia. A burned synagogue does not a Shoah make. Nevertheless, there's a lot going on here and it warrants serious thought. You need to determine where you draw the line between caution and paranoia: at what point do you decide that you're in danger, and what steps are you prepared to take in order to maintain safety? An example: I don't think anyone truly expected that Saudis would fly planes into American office buildings so that they could get laid in Paradise for the rest of eternity. However, in light of embassy bombings, past threats, and the USS Cole, we can see that the attacks on the Twin Towers were part of a war against the U.S. that the terror masters (Victor Davis Hanson's term, not mine) had been waging for years. Only, we didn't know it. We weren't prepared. If we had known then what we know now, I don't think a bunch of Saudis would've been able to take over a few planes as easily, no matter how many stewardesses they cut up on the way to the cockpit. The term I'm looking for is "vigilance." We were in danger, and didn't know it until three thousand people were murdered. Jews say, "Never forget." Never forget the concentration camps, the exile, the murder. Never forget that there are entire peoples who hate us and would see us dead. It's a hard lesson, but now America must learn it. My friend Kelly McCann always says, "The first confirmation of an attack generally comes in the form of injury to you." Real conflicts don't start like West Side Story where the bad guy malevolently brandishes a switchblade, singing, "When you're a Jet you're the best you can get." A real conflict starts with a furtive look, a hidden hand, and if you're not careful, it ends with you missing your wallet and several pints of blood from screwdriver stab wounds. That's why with every burned temple, with every news story blaming Israelis for retaliating when a homicide bomber destroys a pizza parlor, with every elected official claiming that U.S. foreign policy is dictated by Jewish interests, we need to be watchful. Eventually, all of those little offenses add up. It happened once; we can't afford to let it happen again. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/11/2003 05:41:00 AM ----- BODY: Life Lessons Ray has the first installment of his advice column up. Go read it.
I'm having a little trouble with the drink. I'd given up liquor, for it turns me into a smallish, chubby man who thinks he is a hulking brute. This past weekend, I forgot my promise to myself and put my fist through my wall, nearly breaking my hand in the process as I punched one of the studs.

How can I maintain a penchant for sobriety? Failing that, how can I keep myself on beer and wine, and not fall through to the temptation of liquor? —A.A., Atlanta


Dear A.A.,

Do not blame your bad attitude on liquor. It makes me feel terrible when people blame alcohol for things, because alcohol is an innocent chemical substance, much like a carrot or a tomato. It's like what they say: “guns don't kill people, people kill people.” In the case of liquor the saying should go, “liquor doesn't punch holes in walls, you just hate your dad.”

However, if you want to stay off the hard stuff (which has more of the Devil in it), try just drinking like five times as much beer. You'll thank me.

I hope this was good advice.
-------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/10/2003 06:27:00 AM ----- BODY: Civil War in Palestine? Dennis Prager suggests that only a civil war in Palestine will bring peace to the Middle East:
A significant percentage of Palestinians do not want peace with Israel; they want peace without an Israel. If these individuals and groups are not fought by those Palestinians who want peace with Israel, peace is impossible.

The need for Palestinians to fight one another in order to make a state is hardly unique. Many states, including the United States and, to a lesser extent, Israel, have had to fight civil wars in order to survive.
I think that Dennis here isn't going far enough. It's more than a "significant percentage." I'd say, "Most, if not the vast majority." They are a people for whom hatred isn't an emotion, but a facet of character. They hate the Jews, they hate the west, and they hate their fellow Arabs. Born and bred to hatred of Jews, I shudder to think what they will do with a legally-recognized country of their own. It sounds harsh, but I don't feel that they can be trusted to govern themselves. They'll become a UN-funded terrorist factory with as much clout as Israel, and we all know how much the UN loves Israel. More and more I see columns from pundits like Charles Krauthammer and Cal Thomas that foretell doom and gloom for Israel if it continues to follow this "Road Map to Peace." They say that every concession Ariel Sharon makes serves to weaken Israel more and more. I disagree. I think what Sharon is doing is giving the Palestinians one last chance, one last go at acting like human beings instead of angry chimps with C-4. Not because he feels that at heart they want peace, but to say to the world after the next atrocity committed by a homicide bomber, "See? We did everything you asked, and they still attacked us. They are monsters, they are a cancer, and we will have to excise them from the skin of the planet before we are consumed." And while Israel may lose U.S. aid in the brutal, cleansing attack that follows, no reasonable person will deny that in this case, no amount of diplomacy would have stopped it. Oh, the UN will carp, and anti-semites the world over will have more ammunition with which to attack the Jews, but what else is new? I know, I know. I sound like a warmongering racist who hates Arabs and wants them all dead. That's not true. The only people I want dead in the Middle East are the terrorists, the people who harbor them, the people who support them, and the people who feel that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Because if you can make common cause with the sort of people who would bomb a dance club full of teenagers, then guess what: you've just allied yourself with evil, and I'd rather see you dead than let you threaten me or my family. Call it pre-emptive self-defense. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/09/2003 06:58:00 AM ----- BODY: It Doesn't Get Much More Awful Check this out from the UK's Daily Telegraph (registration required):
Cannibalism is increasing in North Korea following another poor harvest and a big cut in international food aid, according to refugees who have fled the stricken country.

Aid agencies are alarmed by refugees' reports that children have been killed and corpses cut up by people desperate for food. Requests by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to be allowed access to "farmers' markets", where human meat is said to be traded, have been turned down by Pyongyang, citing "security reasons".

Anyone caught selling human meat faces execution, but in a report compiled by the North Korean Refugees Assistance Fund (NKRAF), one refugee said: "Pieces of 'special' meat are displayed on straw mats for sale. People know where they came from, but they don't talk about it."
I hope you don't think that I'm making light of this, but once your people start having to eat the "special meat," it's pretty clear that your country's close to being irretrievably fucked up. Well hey, like Iraq, it's probably none of our business and we should let them eat each other if that's what they want to do. I can imagine the protest signs being crayoned in liberal basements upon hearing a future declaration of war against the North Koreans right now: No Blood for Toddler Steaks or America Bad, U.N. Good, Baby Bibimbop Tasty or Bush=Hitler (an old favorite). I know it isn't funny, but if I don't make awful jokes about it, I'll end up putting a fist through the wall. And no, I don't think that we should immediately "go to war" against North Korea. But goddamn it, something has to be done, and who else is going to do it? Not the UN Not France or Germany or Russia. And if that "something" ends up having to be a long drive across North Korea in a score of Abrams tanks heading directly for Kim Jong-Il's palace/capital/bolt-hole, I'm all for it. Is the U.S. the world's policeman? Well, unfortunately, I think we sometimes have to be. (Thanks to Instapundit) -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/09/2003 06:11:00 AM ----- BODY: Terrorism and Poverty It's long been a convenient assumption that terrorists who strap bombs to themselves and detonate them in school buses are poor, ill-educated, and generally disadvantaged. This article states:
In a study we recently circulated as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, we considered support for, and participation in, terrorism at both individual and national levels. Although the available data at the national level are weaker, both types of evidence point in the same direction and lead us to conclude that any connection between poverty, education, and terrorism is, at best, indirect, complicated, and probably quite weak.
As I and many others say so often, read the whole thing. Thanks to Jeff Jarvis for the pointer. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/09/2003 05:55:00 AM ----- BODY: A Couple of Disjointed Thoughts First, Hillary Clinton's book comes out today. I may buy a copy as a gag gift, but I think it'd be a more ethical thing to steal it. More money in the Clintons' pockets is a bad thing. I also heard about the Barbara Walters interview with her last night on a local news radio station as I was driving into work this morning. The liberal crank on the radio could've been Sid Blumenthal's twin brother, ideologically speaking, so it wasn't surprising that he agreed with Hillary that there was indeed a right-wing conspirac- er, network, excuse me, that wanted the Clinton presidency to go down in flames. He cited such outlets as talk radio and Fox News as agents of the network. Upon hearing this, I felt it incumbent upon myself to calmly tell the radio, "No, you fucking moron. Just because there are people out there who don't like you and think you do a shitty job, it doesn't mean that there's a network/conspiracy out to get you. But hey, if you think that Ken Starr, Rupert Murdoch, and Rush Limbaugh sat around at a card table at 2 A.M. in Vegas with the express intention of humiliating Bill and Hilary Clinton, you go right ahead. Paranoia will destroy ya, by the way." *Matrix Spoiler Alert* In other news, I saw The Matrix Reloaded again over the weekend; the first time I've seen a movie in the theater twice since Total Recall came out. Notice the screens behind Neo when the Architect is talking about the evils of human civilization: President Bush gets shown, briefly. I guess if I were that clever, I'd be a multimillion dollar director, too. But at least I wouldn't cross-dress. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/05/2003 02:49:00 PM ----- BODY: Ann, Sweet Ann I've communicated in this space before about the ambivalence I feel toward Ann Coulter. She's so damn cutting that I sort of feel uncomfortable with her on my side, but she's also fairly easy to look at, which helps one to forgive a lot of sins. However, she did make me laugh with this sally:
Seething with rage and frustration at the success of the war in Iraq, liberals have started in with their female taunting about weapons of mass destruction. The way they carry on, you would think they had caught the Bush administration in some shocking mendacity. (You know how the left hates a liar.)

For the sake of their tiresome argument, let's stipulate that we will find no weapons of mass destruction – or, to be accurate, no more weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps Hussein was using the three trucks capable of assembling poison gases to sell ice cream under some heretofore undisclosed U.N. "Oil For Popsicles" program.
I just love the "Oil for Popsicles" line. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/05/2003 07:04:00 AM ----- BODY: Conversions (Consider this an anecdote mingled with a rant, so if you're not interested, read Lileks or something.) I was at a dinner party yesterday with some good friends, pretty much all of them fairly left of center. They do a weekly dinner party at their house, a tradition that is almost unparalleled in its coolness. Anyhow, one of the other guests informed me, "You know, I've converted at least three conservative Republicans to the cause." The "cause" being, I assumed, liberalism. I didn't know what to say to that that wouldn't be construed as rude or insulting, so I simply nodded and refilled my champagne glass. I do my absolute best to avoid political discussions at the dinner table, the lunch table, the barbershop, and the vet's office, despite the fact that you can politicize pretty much anything. Such conversations are too much like minefields, in that it's very easy to cause an explosion with one misstep, and it's no fun to dance. Unless you're discussing issues with people who have a similar outlook, someone's going to get mad. When I have the facts properly marshalled in my head, I can argue with the best of them, so it's not an issue of timidity. Call it an issue of civility. Here, in my own corner of the datasphere/cyberspace, I don't have to be civil, and I can say what I want. And while I welcome any and all reasonable feedback, I'm not obligated to respond to any of it. I'm certainly not going to ruin anyone's dinner by doing so, at any rate. With all that in mind, I found it interesting that the guy I was talking to used the terms "convert" and "cause." In any issue, from whether the earth is round or flat to school vouchers in inner cities, from the Weaver stance to the dynamic isoceles, you'll find people who want to convert you to their way of thinking. This, I know, won't come as a surprise to any of you. What's important to realize is that nobody believes in anything that they think is stupid and wrong. I'd say that most people who espouse a political ideology have that set of beliefs validated every day through life experience. Of course, there are certain objective facts in life, things that no amount of spin from Salon or National Review can alter (such as, say, the fact that a socialist system invariably grows murderous and cannibalistic), but most of us deserve the benefit of the doubt that we've thought our beliefs through and are comfortable with them. It's a lot like religion, unfortunately. I say "unfortunately" because despite all the information available out there on every issue under the sun from every media outlet imaginable (including me), we all end up choosing what to believe, instead of having the objective truth of the world handed to us. If you don't agree, if you believe that what you read in the New York Times or the Daily Sun or Cat Fancy is the objective truth, think of it this way: the greatest, strongest country in the world had a leader who quibbled about the definition of the term "is." That shows you where objective truth went in modern society. So no, you won't convert me, any more than I can't convert you. You have to come to my set of beliefs yourself, and it needs to be validated by your worldview and life experience. I'm not going to deny that if you don't agree with me on certain issues I'm going to consider you wrong, misguided, or even evil (depending on the issue, of course). And despite the rhetoric above, I will say this: I believe that the war in Iraq was a mitzvah of incredible proportions; that despite its flaws, the United States of America is the greatest force for good the world has ever seen (or is likely to); and that Christopher Walken is one of the most talented movie actors of the past thirty years. I believe in these things so strongly that to me, they are objective truths. Lots of people think I'm dead wrong (especially about the last point), but my life experience has validated all these things time and time again. This is not to say that my opinions on all things are set in stone; far from it. When presented with evidence to the contrary, I've certainly changed my views on certain issues before, and will again. And I generally welcome the opportunity to talk about them in certain circumstances. Heck, I changed my mind already this morning, going from my typical plum preserves to a four-fruit spread on a planned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But when it comes to the "cause," be it the nanny-state economics and moral relativism of the left or the notion that all human life on earth was started by aliens from the planet Ogo, don't try it, bub. Political ideology is a religion as much as Methodism or Bhagwan-ism (the worship of Rolls-Royces and women with lots of pubic hair), and if you want to turn me into a liberal, you're going to be shown the same door as the Jehovah's Witnesses. I hope I've made myself clear. (By the way, if you don't know what the "datasphere" is, read the Hyperion saga by Dan Simmons. The man's a visionary, as well as a terrific writer.) -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/04/2003 06:47:00 AM ----- BODY: Liar, Liar Hey, was Chimpy lying about this:
BASRA, Iraq (AFP) - At least 500 bodies have been unearthed from a mass grave near the central city of Najaf, in the latest such find in post-Saddam Iraq, witnesses said.

An AFP journalist at the site in Makhazen, 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf, saw the remains of about 200 bodies laid out on plastic bags.

Bones of women, children, elderly people and soldiers were identifiable by scraps of clothing or identity papers.
I have to wonder about the self-righteous, hypocritical pissing and moaning that dickheads like Paul Krugman and E.J. Dionne have been doing lately, calling President Bush a liar because we haven't yet found a big heapin' helpin' of WMD buried in the sand below Baghdad. Okay, so the war wasn't justified on that reason. They can have temper tantrums over the monetary costs of the war if that makes 'em feel better. But these dumbfucks DARE NOT go on and on about the cost in human lives. Not when faced with mass graves filled with dead women and children. WMD or no WMD, we stopped that sort of behavior in Iraq. If you don't consider that an all-round good thing, I'm sorry, but your moral compass is so completely, abysmally fucked up that you've lost the ability to be taken seriously on any other issue. Yes, yes, I know that millions of people out there think that the mere act of dissent against the majority is a Good Thing, that "going against the grain" has intrinsically good qualities. I also know that millions of people out there haven't matured past a kind of adolescent stage of viewing the world, where it's always cool to say "no" when everyone else says "yes." Here's a wake-up call: it's not cool to bitch about stopping a mass murderer. It's not. It makes you look stupid and possibly evil. And when you ask to borrow the car for tonight's date, take out the trash first. It makes a "yes" answer much more likely. And to end on a pleasant note, Lileks informs us:
I read today of another mass grave discovered in Iraq. This one was reserved for children.

I repeat: this was a special mass grave for children.

The article said that dolls were found among the bodies. Which meant that the little girls were clutching their dolls when they died.

Or they dropped them in terror at the edge of a grave. The soldiers kicked them in.
Jesus Christ. I hope he was reading something someone made up. If reading that doesn't bug you, even a little bit, you're a tougher man than me, that's for certain. UPDATE: Whoops. Looks like Lileks wasn't making it up. Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/04/2003 06:16:00 AM ----- BODY: Big Media, Small Blog Jeff Jarvis says:
As for the anti-big-media bashing we've seen from webloggers -- inspired lately by the FCC and by the New York Times screwups -- I'll argue that they are essentially jealous. Webloggers are nanomedia moguls with big-media aspirations. Most of them are conservative or libertarian and thus should abhor regulation, even of media. But in this case and this case only, they endorse regulation. Why? Because they hate big media. And they hate big media because it has the resources and the distribution and the audience they don't have. Hell, big media pays; blogging doesn't.
I'm a conservative with objectivist leanings and a generally libertarian slant on many issues, and I'm against regulation of Big Media. Do I count? What's the effective difference between ABC, CBS, and NBC? They all show the same crap aimed at the same people. Who cares who owns what? Deregulate it all, I say; God will know His own. Ramesh Ponnuru puts in his usually valuable two cents:
Deregulation is supposed to spell the death of localism. Presumably people will still want to hear about local news, sports, and weather. It is true that it will be possible for networks to buy up a bunch of local stations. That's how Fox got started. The effect was to increase, not to reduce, competition. (Which is why Rupert Murdoch was allowed to break the usual media-ownership rules.) And when it comes to a story like the war in Iraq, it takes such networks to provide coverage. A mom-and-pop operation in the heartland isn't going to do it. As a result of Fox's existence, we didn't have to rely as heavily on Peter Arnett as we did during the previous Gulf war. (We did have to put up with Geraldo Rivera, but life is full of trade-offs.)
He's right. There's a lot of text in both articles, but read 'em both. With a thousand cable channels all clamoring for your time and a million more just waiting to get started, it's only the liberal Henny Pennys that cluck "monopoly" in such a buyer's market. Oh, and the jealous bloggers. But at least I'm not one of them. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/04/2003 05:56:00 AM ----- BODY: Ray's Place Ray has some good advice about a first date. Oh, and if you haven't read Achewood before, start at the archives and work your way forward. It might not grab you at first, but it's worth it. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/03/2003 07:13:00 AM ----- BODY: Can I Wear a Veil, too? I feel I must weigh in on the whole Sultanna Freeman thing. I know it's old news to most of us, but there may be some out there that don't know about it. In a nutshell, there's a Muslim woman in Florida who refuses to remove her veil so she can be properly photographed for a driver's license. The state won't let her have a legitimate driver's license because of it, so she's suing (of course!) because the state is denying her her religious freedom. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP Whoa! Let me turn that off. Whew! The Bovine Feces Calibrator went into the red zone for a few moments there. Thought it was gonna blow up! As a lawyer, how do you defend a case like that? In parental terms, it's like trying to think of an answer when your kid asks, "Why?" to your request that he put on a coat before going out to have a snowball fight on a snow day. It's not about religion, you fucking moron. It's about the state having a need to identify your stupid ass when you get pulled over for speeding, among a million other things. I can't help but think of Dale Gribble from King of the Hill when I see news about this case. I'm sure that they've got an episode of him trying to get a Texas driver's license for his "Rusty Shackleford" alias while wearing a pair of mirrored sunglasses, a gigantic (and obviously fake) mustache, and a baseball cap. Well, whatever happens, we all know that Islam means "peace," and the judge's verdict will likely trample all over somebody's rights. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/03/2003 06:14:00 AM ----- BODY: Caption: Kikes Paid off by Chimpy The Instapundit thinks that this political cartoon is anti-semitic. Glenn Reynolds/Instapundit comments:
The equivalent would be a blubber-lipped Jesse Jackson eating watermelon and saying "I sho' lub 'dese Democrats," while Tom Daschle beamed in the background. That cartoon never would have seen print, and the columnist would have been fired. The racial stereotyping here was just as obvious -- and, historically, tied to even worse things than Jim Crow -- and if it was really published out of ignorance, then the folks who oversaw it are too ignorant to work in the news business.
I've been saying for over a dozen years that the culture of victimhood in America is getting way, way out of hand. The freedom, the right to be offended has become so pervasive that free speech in this country has suffered greatly in terms of "campus free-speech zones," political correctness, and the inability to speak one's mind without causing a firestorm of hate speech allegations and name-calling. That said, is this cartoon offensive? Yeah, I think so. I also think that Reynolds is right on the money when he changes "Jew" to "black" in his hypothetical example. Should anyone be fired over it? I don't think so. The cartoonist was simply giving us his opinion, that President Bush is paying off hook-nosed, greedy Jews so that they'll make peace with the Palestinians. It's not an unusual opinion, and I know many Klansmen, David Duke fans, conspiracy theorists, and skinheads feel the same way. That's not necessarily wrong. Hell, Jesse Jackson can get away with calling New York City "Hymietown" and Louis Farrakhan can call Judaism a "gutter religion" without much censure. Jew-bashing is back; just ask your average Frenchman. Okay, okay. The sarcasm was getting a bit thick at the end there. Point is, I think the cartoonist is an anti-semitic wretch, but he and his handlers shouldn't be fired over it. If newspapers (especially Jewish-owned ones) decide to no longer pick up his work for publication, well...they're free to do that. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/02/2003 09:43:00 AM ----- BODY: Go See this Check out http://protestwarrior.com today. These people are my new heroes. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/02/2003 06:41:00 AM ----- BODY: Yes, but... Mona Charen talks about President Bush, Bob Geldof, and AIDS:
Reuters is now reporting that Bob Geldof, who, to his credit, never abandoned his interest in Africa's welfare, is praising President Bush's AIDS initiative.

"You'll think I'm off my trolley when I say this," Geldof told international aid workers, "but the Bush administration is the most radical -- in a positive sense -- in the approach to Africa since Kennedy." Lord Alli, described by Reuters as "an aid activist accompanying Geldof on the trip," agreed, adding "Clinton talked the talk and did diddly squat, whereas Bush doesn't talk but he does deliver."

And this raises the question: Why hasn't President Bush gotten more credit for this here at home?
Because it's all about Chimpy's oooooiiiillll... -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 6/02/2003 06:32:00 AM ----- BODY: Tax Cuts and Handouts Bruce Bartlett talks about the recent tax cuts:
It doesn't matter that no responsible economist, inside or outside the Reagan administration, ever said that the tax cut would instantaneously pay for itself. Nor does it matter that the economy did grow sharply after passage of the tax cut, even as inflation fell. All the liberal warnings about how tax cuts would be dangerously inflationary went right down the memory hole. Because deficits went up, the Reagan tax cut failed in the liberal worldview.

Now, liberals are trying to do the same thing with the Bush tax cut, implicitly claiming that it would lead to an immediate increase in the stock market the moment it passed Congress. Never mind that no supporter of the tax cut ever said this would happen, or that the bill had not even been signed into law yet, or that key details of the legislation were not even known on May 23. All that mattered was that stocks didn't go up the day the bill passed, and therefore it was a failure.
Read it all. What I just can't wrap my head around, what just drives me completely nuts trying to understand, is why the left constantly whines/bitches/moans about things like tax cuts and tax breaks for business owners. I honestly don't get it when they pound their rattles on their high chairs, screeching, "These tax cuts only benefit the rich!" It simply shows such a completely dicked-up worldview that I often find myself wondering if it's not all some big joke that they've been playing on us for decades, that at some point someone's going to say, "Ha ha! Gotcha! That's two for flinching! Sure, we always knew it's your money, we were just messing with you. Here, you can have it all back." The refrain that the federal income tax cut isn't going to help poor households is ludicrous because families who work at the poverty level don't pay federal income tax. To complain that the poor are getting shafted here doesn't make sense. It's a tax cut, not a handout. The Democrats still don't seem to get that you can't make poor people rich by throwing other people's money at them. And we won't get into the fact that in the U.S., we have the richest poor people in the world. The bitching that rich people don't deserve tax cuts is silly because they still take up the majority of the tax burden. On its face, that seems like an irrefutable argument unless you believe that the people who earn money in this country don't deserve what they've earned. That's a standard collectivist/socialist/Democrat concept: punish success by taking money from wage-earners and giving it to non-wage-earners. No, I'm not against all government programs: just the wasteful ones. Don't forget that the definition of "rich" in this country, according to Dick Gephardt and his ilk, is pretty close to what I'd call "upper middle class." That's pretty subjective, though; at least as subjective as the definition of "poor." The notion of a "budget surplus" drives me totally batshit. That's MY MONEY. A "surplus" is simply money of mine (and yours, of course) that the government hasn't yet spent. It's not found money. It's not free money. It's what I earned from working. If you don't know what to do with it, give it back. If you're worried about government spending and deficits, it might not be a bad idea to start lowering senatorial salaries. Rant, rant, rant. The Bartlett article didn't cover all I talked about, but I had to get it off my chest. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/29/2003 11:36:00 AM ----- BODY: It's too Funny to Laugh at Mike Tyson says to interviewer Greta Van Susteren:
"I just hate [his rape victim Desiree Washington's] guts. She put me in that state, where I don't know...I really wish I did now. But now I really do want to rape her."
What else can you say? I suppose this isn't funny, really. But it is. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/29/2003 07:28:00 AM ----- BODY: The Second Sex No, I'm not talking about sloppy seconds, you preevert. Suzanne Fields writes:
Modern feminism has freed women to work, but it liberated them to be lonely. Those who get the most gratification from the sexual revolution are men in their late 20s and 30s who enjoy the life of Don Juan (without having to cultivate the charm), picking from a new crop of single women every year.

A woman may need a man like a fish needs a bicycle, as Gloria Steinem famously said, but women listening to the tick-tock of their fertility clocks, no matter how successful they may be in a career, want to marry a man who will be a good father to the children they yearn to have. Their love lives, alas, are often limited to the transitory terms of hedonistic "hook-ups." (Ms. Steinem finally got her bicycle.)

Some churls see this state of affairs as male chauvinist revenge for the world created by the feminist sensibility that first relegated boys to second-class status. Classrooms are often organized to suit the female sensibility. Sugar, spice and smarts win. It's easier for girls to sit still and "cooperate" with the female (and often feminist) rules. They get better grades, too.
No, Ms. Fields, it's not male chauvinist revenge. It's the chickens coming home to roost. In the past couple of decades, no group of people has been so relentlessly demonized in every media outlet imaginable more than the American male. When men argue, it's because they're testosterone-soaked primates. When men make judgments, they're perpetuating the patriarchal tyranny that has kept women from being all they can be. When men succeed, they do so on the backs of subjugated women. And when men fail, it's because they've ignored and marginalized women all these years. The Quest for Equality has become, like so many issues, the Demand for a Victim. Environmentalists do it by calling yuppie SUV drivers the scourge of the ozone layer. Collectivists/Leftists do it by calling conservatives money-grubbing fat cats. The militant feminist movement has been doing it for so long, however, that it's now become an ingrained aspect of the American psyche. It's a joke, from car insurance companies that make "funny" commercials portraying the castration of a cheating boyfriend, to Katie Couric facetiously asking a jilted bride if she had considered castration as an option. If you keep cutting off balls, eventually you won't find any more to play with. I'm not saying that all women feel oppressed they way militant feminists say they are, or that all women are responsible for the castration of the American male. Unfortunately, however, we do live in a time and place where all complaints are viewed as having equal weight, where everyone is entitled to a feeling of victimization (unless you're a white American male), and where the fear of offending anyone is so great that it's de rigeur to appease the minority, however small or insignificant. That said, most behavior that characterizes the male psyche is generally viewed with no little scorn; after all, men are in charge, so it's okay to ridicule them. When so beleaguered, what else can you do but turtle up and make yourself as small a target as possible? We kid around (men included) about how all men are dogs, that "boys" will lie, cheat, and steal to get into a woman's pants. If that's a joke so common that it's no longer funny, what does it say about current popular attitudes about men? What's the solution? Got me. I'm a primate like all the rest of them. I will say this, however: if men are the loutish brutes so portrayed in the popular media, then women have surely failed in their attempts to civilize us properly. Jesus Christ, girls, you've had centuries. If I'm a brute, then you're a fuckup. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/29/2003 05:46:00 AM ----- BODY: Jesus Was Gay Really! At least, that's what Rollan McCleary of Melbourne, Australia has been paid public funds to prove.
Melbourne-based Rollan McCleary, who will today be awarded his doctorate, earned $17,000 a year to work on his three-year thesis on homosexual spirituality.

As well as his revelation about Christ, Dr McCleary has also reached the conclusion that three – or possibly four – of Jesus's chosen disciples were also gay.
Right. You may ask why the GTCJ is posting about Jesus? Because I can. Actually, I think the issue's more about junk science and insanity in academia than homosexuality. According to some, Abraham Lincoln was also gay, so go figure. Tell you what, though: suggest in public that Mohammed was gay. Try it and tell me that the Intifada won't come down on your head, a' la Salman Rushdie (whose latest book, I hear, will be titled The Satanic Verses of Buddha, that Fat Fuck). Thanks to Jeff Jarvis for the pointer. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/28/2003 06:26:00 AM ----- BODY: That Despicable John Fitzgerald Kennedy William F. Buckley comments on the recent admission by Marion Fahnestock that she had an affair with then-President John F. Kennedy over 40 years ago.
Never mind his abstract indifference to adultery. What he did was to seduce a 19-year-old girl working in the White House under his command. A Great King, seeking that day's vessel for his runaway appetite. The commander in chief opportunizing on his rank in order to overwhelm a teenager who, as Sidey reports, was once spotted in the presidential limousine in Bermuda, "sitting on the floor of the car like a child playing hide-and-seek." It is simply disgusting, to use a word which, like virtue, has lost its license.
I know that a book has recently been published regarding JFK's personal life, but it seems to me as if Mimi Fahnestock is trying to grab her 15 minutes before fading away into deserved obscurity. If she's going to go public with it, I think she should go all the way: tell us stories of fellatio in the Lincoln Bedroom. Give us the details of fucking JFK in the presidential limo. Boning on Air Force One: How I Entered the Mile-High Club and Didn't Even Get any Frequent Flyer Miles. "Tonight on A Current Affair: Grandmother Marion "Mimi" Fahnestock describes JFK's johnson. John Stossel reports." Indiscretions like hers should be mocked. The broad should've kept quiet and let it die down. Anything else seems like grandstanding. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/28/2003 06:07:00 AM ----- BODY: Septermber 11 and the Death Penalty Byron York has a good article about shifting attitudes toward the death penalty:
In a new Gallup poll, 74 percent of those surveyed say they favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder. Just two years ago, in May 2001, support stood at 65 percent, its lowest point in more than two decades....

The climb has reversed a trend that began in the late 1990s, when support for the death penalty fell as a result of the "innocence" movement. Opponents of the death penalty argued that the capital-punishment system was so flawed, and the chance of an innocent person's being executed so great, that the whole system should be abolished....

"After 9-11, the country has come to grips with something that lies behind a good deal of support for the death penalty," says death-penalty supporter Bill Otis, a former federal prosecutor who is an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University. "And that is that there is actually evil in this world, that there are people out there who will blow you to bits because they hate you, or for amusement, or to advance some bizarre view of the world, and that the only thing that represents proportionate justice in those cases is the death penalty."
Hear, hear. The biggest refrain I hear from death-penalty opponents is, "Capital punishment doesn't deter capital crime!" Sorry, but that's patent bullshit. Executing murderers keeps them from killing again, be it other inmates or corrections officers. Don't forget that many of the same people who are against capital punishment have very little problem with late-term abortions. Seems like a contradictory argument, but I'm long past trying to figure the left out. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/27/2003 06:08:00 AM ----- BODY: The Matrix Reloaded Lileks has some interesting things to say about The Matrix Reloaded:
Short version of the review - Attention, Wachowski Brothers: put down the bong and step away from the script.

Long version follows.

Of my innumerable complaints, the one that rankles me the least is Zion, but it's a long-standing worry of mine: who builds these massive lairs? Zion is a gigantic underground complex; looks to be about thirty stories deep. Who built it? Oh, I know: after the machines took over, everyone got down on their hands and knees and just dug like crazy until they heard Chinese voices. No, that can’t be right. It appears to be some sort of pre-Matrix industrial facility; I think I saw “ZION STEEL” on the side of some great wheel....

The Matrix may be fake, but so is lo-fat soft-serve dessert. Zion is that crappy homemade ice-cream that has chunks of salt and carob instead of proper chocolate. Everyone’s commented on the infamous rave scene, in which the population of Zion crams into the Temple Of No Particular Faith and confronts their imminent death by dancing ecstatically. Big huge slo-mo close-up of feet squishing in the mud. All of a sudden I was channeling my inner Agent Smith. I can’t stand the smell, he said of the Matrix. Buddy, if you thought an average air-conditioned office was bad, try 3 AM in a huge nightclub packed with a quarter-million sweaty people who live on beans.
Well, anyone who's read Lileks for any amount of time knows that he has a great interest in architecture, so it's not surprising that he'd ding the Wachowskis for set design in that regard. Me, I liked it. I wasn't looking for any deep philosophical insights, and I found none. I was looking for neat fight scenes, explosions, plenty of action, nifty special effects, and Monica Bellucci, and I got lots of all (even though Bellucci's dress was pretty silly). The cliffhanger ending didn't bother me, because I expected it. The dime-store destiny/free will philosophizing didn't bother me, because I expected that, too. I've noticed that most negative reviews of the movie include the term "disappointment." The way I see it, disappointment isn't the filmmaker's fault; he/she/they can't be responsible for whatever baggage you took into the movie theater before the starting credits roll. As far as I'm concerned, the Wachowskis delivered what they promised. Any disappointment you subsequently feel is your own damn fault. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/27/2003 05:54:00 AM ----- BODY: Rumsfeld Apologizes Check out this article from Scrappleface:
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld apologized to Senate Democrats today for pre-war "hyping" of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's regime.

"I'm sorry Senators Biden, Rockefeller, Byrd, Roberts and others," said a contrite Mr. Rumsfeld. "We overestimated the threat posed by a lunatic dictator, who hated the U.S. and Israel, and who paid rewards to families of Palestinian terrorists. In an age when two of the world's tallest buildings can be brought down with tools used by the stockboy at K-Mart, we should have demanded more concrete evidence of exotic weapons of mass destruction. Saddam was helpless as a kitten up a tree."
Read it all. I must remember to put Scrappleface on my Links section. The best part is the last paragraph. Short sentences today. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/26/2003 09:25:00 AM ----- BODY: More Apologies Sorry everyone; still not at 100%, blogging will continue tomorrow I hope. I'm not giving up on you, I promise. Today will be spent watching Planet of the Apes movies, hoping my sinuses drain, and gloating over the fact that the peppers and strawberries I recently planted are already beginning to sprout. Now if the tomatoes can follow suit, life will be good. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/22/2003 10:27:00 AM ----- BODY: More Light Blogging Still sick, etc. etc. Check out this article on Jayson Blair. The guy's a shitbag. That's it. Laughing about plaigiarism, happy to have lied, glad to have been an example of everything that's wrong with affirmative action (as if the whole concept isn't bad enough). I refuse to write about him any longer; clearly, all he wants now is publicity and I'll be damned if I help him in that. Shitbag. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/21/2003 05:56:00 AM ----- BODY: I'm Back But only for a bit. Blogging will be light today due to exhaustion and ear infection. Read Lileks, especially today's bleat about the dickhead in the BBC who's been publicly claiming that the Jessica Lynch rescue was faked. Drink your milk. Don't go to Canada when you're sick. -------- AUTHOR: Dave D DATE: 5/15/2003 07:05:00 AM ----- BODY: One more Thing This from Emmett Tyrrell:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The dark times at The New York Times grow darker. Just days after the paper flagellates itself with a front-page story admitting that it repeatedly published fabricated stories full of plagiarism and other journalistic sleight-of-hand from a 27-year-old con-man reporter whom the editors of the Slippery Rock Herald would have apprehended, the indispensable Drudge Report announces that "at least two more NY Times reporters are being investigated for possible journalistic irregularities."

Drudge, one of modern American journalism's prodigies (and naturally a fellow objurgated by establishment journalists everywhere), goes on to reproduce a memo from the Times' editors calling all "news room colleagues" to "an open forum."
Just what the FUCK does "objurgated" mean? I've never even seen such a word. I think he's making it up. --------