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Sunday, January 30, 2005


Okay, so yesterday I had my fourth class in improv. It's an 8 week class that meet for one two-hour session every Saturday.

This week's class was remarkable in two respects:

1) On the way, a store caught my eye. "The Steeple People Store". Maybe it's just me, but it strikes me that there's a really great horror-movie concept in that store name somehow.

2) Man, did I suck. I sucked like a cheap whore with above-average lung capacity. I sucked like a chest wound. My acting muscles and instincts were rusty and atrophied when I started this, but I was actually beginning to improve. Talk about taking a step back.

I have, however, taken enough classes to know that I really, really like the form. Improv is an incredibly fun way to express yourself, particularly if you can let your inhibitions drop in front of people. Lots of people are really mouthy on their blogs, but I bet 95% of them would never get in your face in real life. I would never get in someone's face if I didn't know them, but I'll certainly get in my family's or friends' faces. Enough so that if I didn't, I think they'd worry about me.

But now I have another outlet for that, and it's really fun. The only thing is that most of what we've done so far are simple little exercises and games designed to embarass us while developing one or two aspects of our ability to participate in an improv performance. We have yet to do anything resembling an impromptu scene, for instance.

An example: this week we learned a game the instructor called "185". Basically, the instructor stood 7 of us up in front of the class. Having learned that often the first volunteers get off easy, I volunteered along with 6 others. She turned to the rest of the class and asked them to blurt out an occupation. Someone blurted out something. I don't remember what it was, because I drew a blank (did I mention I sucked this week?), but the idea is to quickly take whatever they blurt out and make up a joke about it in the form "185 [occupation]s walked into a bar and ordered a drink. The bartender says 'we don't serve [occupation]s here'. The [occupation] says [punchline]". Each time somebody stepped up and delivered the joke, they would sit down and somebody from the audience would take their place. She called for another occupation every two or three jokes to keep it interesting, and her plan was to keep going until everybody in the class had had a turn.

About half way through, I finally had a minor inspiration when somebody blurted "chiropractor". "185 chiropractors walked into a bar and ordered a drink. The bartender says 'we don't serve chiropractors here'. The chiropractor says 'my friend, you need an adjustment." May I have a rimshot after that?

Probably the most important, and also the most aggravating, thing about improv is that if you're doing it right and improving, then you're very, very, VERY uncomfortable. It's a little like athletics, I guess. When I started running, I was almost puking after a mile. Gradually, as I worked hard, I was able to improve my endurance until I could knock off five miles without any real discomfort (although if I run too far in a run my feet let me know later). If I stopped working at it, it wouldn't hurt as much but I also would stop improving.

It's the same with improv. You have to stretch yourself psychologically out there into the danger zone. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, more dangerous to your ego than to tell a joke to a group of people you don't know. I have no idea how comedians do it, but I've gained a newfound respect for their courage and audacity. I've been lucky so far in that I'm working with a really good, supportive group with a great instructor, but if I keep on doing this that won't last. Sooner or later if I'm good enough to perform with the troupe (which is anything but a given), I'll get heckled. What will I do then? I have no idea, but it might be fun to find out. Until then, I'll just keep practicing.

Final note: as part of a suggested exercise, I sat for 15 minutes and watched people pick out vegetables in a busy grocery store. I highly recommend that as a people-watching opportunity. You can learn all you need to know about a person by watching them pick out a cantaloupe.


Saturday, January 29, 2005

Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds 

I'm certainly in Glenn's camp. I used to read Sullivan daily. I even hit his tip jar with $20 once after a particularly insightful post. It was really cool to read his stuff (when he wasn't bellyaching about gay issues, which I don't really care much one way or the other about except to be against gay marriage but for civil unions).

But now he seems like a silly bitch who can't learn how to shut up, and now he's attacked Glenn. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge partisan of Glenn's. It's just that while I think he gets rather more press than his blogging talents would suggest to me personally that he deserves, I do believe he is one of the most moderate voices on either side of the blogosphere, and you have to be a shrill dickhead to attack him from either side.

The bottom line is that I enjoy reading Glenn way, way, WAY more than I enjoy Sullivan's now-tired flogging of dead and meaningless issues, and for that reason I wish Sullivan would go vent on Kos or Atrios (who, I notice as of this writing, is helping Sullivan attack Glenn by dubbing him "wanker of the day", and Sullivan's being in league with a wanker like Duncan Black should tell you all you need to know) or even the Rottweiler, all of whom are better targets anyway.

Or so it would seem from this small corner of the blogosphere.


Friday, January 28, 2005

A Good Article 

And an apt comparison. I still don't understand how the Dems can just sit there indifferently--or worse, attack the people trying to help--while the terrorist murderers in Iraq kill and maim not just our fathers, brothers, and sons, but also many, many completely innocent Iraqis.

And all this somehow gets blamed on Bush, rather than the guys producing videos of decapitation of live people by dull knives and blowing up women and children. Amazing.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

More UN Perfidy 


The diplomad has further reasons for us all to kick the UN's worthless ass out of our country. I am SO ashamed that that Egeland turd is from the country of my ancestors.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Difference Between Conservatives and Liberals 

A recent incident:
When two men walked into a popular country store outside Atlanta, announced a holdup and fired a shot, owners Bobby and Gloria Doster never hesitated. The pair pulled out their own pistols and opened fire.

The armed suspect and his partner were killed. The Dosters won't be charged, according to local officials, because they were acting in self-defense.

Now if you're a conservative, you're most likely cheering to yourself as you read that story, are ready to point to it as a good reason to keep the second amendment intact the next time somebody wants to ban guns, and you want nothing so much as to go and find those people and buy them a beer or dinner or something.

If, on the other hand, you're a liberal, you likely want them incarcerated for life or shot, you're comparing them to Hitler as you read the story, you believe that the guys who walked in and shot their gun were poor, innocent victims and the people who shot them were vicious killers, and you're pretty sure the whole thing is Bush's fault, has something to do with Iraq and/or Halliburton, and could have been prevented if all guns everywhere were simply banned.

Ah. Now I feel better.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Evil Imperialist Israelis 

Oh, the humanity. Just look at the horrible abuse the IDF inflicts on the poor, innocent palestinians in the "occupied" territories. It's not often you can catch them red-handed like that. Somebody should get a pulitzer.


When Peace Activists Attack 

You better watch out. I sure am glad they're peace activists. Just think what warmongers would do.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Thought for the Day 

Michael Newdow is an asswit. I have nothing but utter contempt for him and all he stands for, and I really, really, REALLY hope they find a way to make him pay all the cash he ever made or ever will make for wasting so much of the court's time and money on his asinine dribblings.

I have nothing against atheists, having been an agnostic at one time myself. I have a LOT against atheists who find it their "holy" duty to scrub all traces of God from the public arena. If God doesn't exist, then there's no harm in sitting through a prayer, right? Just in the interest of mollifying those weak-minded theists, of course (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)?

Man, that guy is a prick.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Media Reporting in Iraq Sucks 

Okay, so that's not really news per se, but I came across this little bit from one of the guys that are actually over there doing our work for us:
What if domestic news outlets continually fed American readers headlines like: "Bloody Week on U.S. Highways: Some 700 Killed," or "More Than 900 Americans Die Weekly from Obesity-Related Diseases"? Both of these headlines might be true statistically, but do they really represent accurate pictures of the situations? What if you combined all of the negatives to be found in the state of Texas and used them as an indicator of the quality of life for all Texans? Imagine the headlines: "Anti-law Enforcement Elements Spread Robbery, Rape and Murder through Texas Cities." For all intents and purposes, this statement is true for any day of any year in any state. True -- yes, accurate -- yes, but in context with the greater good taking place -- no! After a year or two of headlines like these, more than a few folks back in Texas and the rest of the U.S. probably would be ready to jump off of a building and end it all. So, imagine being an American in Iraq right now.

I just read yet another distorted and grossly exaggerated story from a major news organization about the "failures" in the war in Iraq. Print and video journalists are covering only a small fraction of the events in Iraq and more often than not, the events they cover are only the bad ones. Many of the journalists making public assessments about the progress of the war in Iraq are unqualified to do so, given their training and experience. The inaccurate picture they paint has distorted the world view of the daily realities in Iraq. The result is a further erosion of international public support for the United States' efforts there, and a strengthening of the insurgents' resolve and recruiting efforts while weakening our own. Through their incomplete, uninformed and unbalanced reporting, many members of the media covering the war in Iraq are aiding and abetting the enemy.

It's almost unanimous both ways...I don't think I've read a really positive story on Iraq in the major media since the start of the war and I don't think I've read anything BUT positive stories from people who are actually in theater and on the ground. Who you gonna believe, the guys who are out talking to any and all Iraqis, helping build schools and hospitals and stuff, or some reporter isolated in a hotel in Baghdad except when he travels to downtown fallujah looking for "representative Iraqi opinion" (so that he can torpedo this "immoral", "illegal" war effort and hopefully give Bush a PR black eye in the process)?

Read the whole thing. It's an incredibly damning analysis of the MSM from someone who seems to have real standing to talk about these issues, unlike the average New York Times or Los Angeles Times or Boston Globe reporter.


Thursday, January 13, 2005

"Liberal" Racism 

I'm not entirely sure why, but conservatives are constantly smeared with the racism tag. Even in my own comments, Ben (a Native American of the finest stripe) has gently chided me with backhanded comments about "brown people" from time to time. I don't really mind; I don't consider myself to have a racist bone in my body. I have a "brown" brother-in-law, two "brown" aunts, a handful of "brown" and half-"brown" cousins, etc.

I was raised in a small town in Minnesota in such a way that I had no real idea that racism existed until I went to college. By that time it was too late for me to learn to hate people based on the color of their skin, so I spent a lot of time working with arabs, Indians, and the like.

If her family would have allowed it, I would have taken a half-Indian, half-Pakistani Muslim girl to my senior prom (they wouldn't allow it because I was Kufr, though I didn't understand that at the time). Man, I was crazy about that girl.

In fact, it was when I began to run across a lot of stuff like this that I began to move rightward. You see, I was raised to be Left, but not in the cynical, vicious way that Kos or Atrios or DU any of those dorks espouse. According to my liberal mother, it was supposed to mean understanding, and standing up for the little guy when he couldn't for himself, and loving the environment without using it as a club to beat people with. My father is a quiet man and didn't try to inculcate me with any particular views, but preferred to speak with his noble actions and kind manner. He spoke loudly that way, and well.

I still believe those things. That's why I am now labeled "conservative", though I register as an independent. Tomorrow the conservatives won't like my opinions and they'll call me a "liberal" again.



Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Conclusions on the CBS Report 

I haven't drawn any myself. Shortly after the Rathergate thing hit, I concluded beyond a shadow of a doubt through my own personal experience as a software developer of trying to work with font typefaces, sizes, serif/sans-serif, and so on that there was no way any typewriter from the early 70s (or the late 70s, and probably any mechanical/electric typewriter ever made, for that matter) could have produced the documents in question. Even if they could, the simple fact that the documents can be reproduced in 2 or 3 minutes using Microsoft word LEAVING THE DEFAULT SETTINGS IN PLACE makes any claim for the documents' authenticity laughable on its face. You could as easily sit 1 monkey down with a typewriter and expect that it would come up with the complete works of Shakespeare, with no typographical errors, in ONE year.

So that was all the conclusion I needed, and the report is academically interesting but gives me no real opionion-affecting information. Others around the blogosphere have had fun with it, however, and I refer you to Big Trunk over at Powerline--the ones who probably had the largest hand in blowing the thing up--who seems less than satisfied. Leave it to a lawyer to use several paragraphs to say "it sucked".

I do feel his pain, but I hope he didn't expect that CBS would fall on their sword. I'm surprised they didn't just maintain that they were right. They've already shown themselves to be competing for the same audience as Pravda, why stop now?

UPDATE: And then there's this, which shows that CBS' OWN EXPERT told them it was a forgery, and they went ahead and did it anyway, concluding:
Leave aside the "no political bias" finding; leave aside the kid-glove treatment of Dan Rather and Andrew Heyward. This abdication of responsibility by the panel in the face of their own expert's conclusions is so startling that it legitimately calls into question--by itself--everything else in the report.

Anybody who is still hanging on to the possibility that these documents are authentic should seek therapy, Dan Rather should never be allowed near a camera again, Mary Mapes should never be allowed in a newsroom more trustworthy than the National Enquirer again, and the entire leadership at CBS News should be summarily fired with no severance. Anything less, and CBS can never hope to regain a shred of credibility.


And in the "What the Hell" File We Have... 

This. It's got to be some sort of weird timing thing, or a bookkeeping anomaly, or maybe some special one-time writeoffs on the books or something. Still, it portends good things. It's a trend we could definitely stand to see more of.

But color me skeptical. Even if such a trend did start, congresscritters everywhere--Democrat, Republican, and otherwise--would begin drawing up plans to waste it.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Too Good to Be True 

But we can hope. I don't put a whole lot of faith in reports from Debka, but they do get some things like this right.

Interesting, although if it's true, then the plan has been blown. The first thing we should hear about something like this is when it suddenly happens. We gave Saddam plenty of time to get his shit together, too, and look what it got us.


Right-Wing Nazi Paranoid Moonbat Thought 

I just had an interesting thought. Remember during the election, when Sandy Berger was caught almost literally with his pants down, stuffing top-secret documents into them? He was obviously up to no good. I have no idea what it was that he was up to...except that I consider him a Clintonista, and in general that camp stayed remarkably aloof from the whole election proceeding. I doubt he was doing anything in the vein of trying to help John Kerry. In fact, I suspect he and his friends couldn't give a crap about Kerry and never could.

But I do think that if you looked in Berger's wallet, you'd find an official Hillary Clinton fan club membership card.

I have no idea if Hillary will or will not ever run for president, and for now I don't much care. But if you were considering running for president, wouldn't it be awfully convenient to have friends that still retain security clearances and such? I'd think it would be especially handy if you actually had some skeletons you'd like removed from the closet via the secret back door. And what better time to schedule the removal but during a period sure to be filled with news (like maybe during an election), so if things go bad (like say if your guy gets caught with his pants stuffed full of documents), it's lost in the rapid news cycles? Have you heard boo about what's happening with Berger since he was caught? Because I haven't.

Now, I'm no moonbat right-wing Nazi delusional...oh, wait, yes I am. So I'll just say that I'd like to see more information on that whole Trousergate thing now that other things have died down a bit. Because you see, that whole thing happened before Rathergate demonstrated the power of the blogosphere to take powerful people to the mat. Whoever put Berger up to those shenanigans, if indeed it was someone other than himself, thought they only had the MSM patsies to deal with.

I think it's time for the blogosphere to give Trousergate a retroactive enema. It would be fun for kids of all ages.


We Have a Template 

Chrenkoff reports the outstanding rundown of great news from Afghanistan.

I remember a day not very long ago when we were encouraged to believe that Afghanistan was not meant to be a democracy. Leave them alone, the Left told us. They don't want or like us. Let them go back to their warlords and mad mullahs, it's what they want.

Well, BULLSHIT. They needed some help, is all. Not hard to imagine...even the US needed help from *spit* France *spit* to gain the room to establish itself. And that's how we need to look at the fight in Iraq. To me, Iraq doesn't look any worse off than Afghanistan was a couple years ago, and a lot better in some respects. If we give that fight the same patience and optimism we gave the Afghans, the same results are likely to follow. Will it be different? Sure. We've already lost a lot more soldiers in Iraq, for one thing, and the proximity to Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia with their meddling is problematic.

But the principle is the same. Iraqis on the whole are a smart and decent people, and given a real taste of self-determination and true representative republican democracy, they'll quickly get addicted.

And now it's time for a mea culpa. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I was FURIOUS (and I still am). My voice wasn't one of the loudest, but it most definitely WAS in the chorus screaming for nukes in Afghanistan. The way it has worked out has been much, much better than that, and there you have the primary reason why I didn't run for president. I just don't have the temperament. Otherwise, you can be sure I'd run and win in a landslide.


French Humiliation 

It is sweet.


Monday, January 10, 2005

Wish It Were True 

I doubt it is...but a guy can hope, right?


Interesting Concept 

One question: why the hell aren't we doing this already? I thought this was already part of the package. I simply cannot believe we are not trying to kill the leaders of the insurgency already. My favorite bit:
The experience of the so-called “death squads” in Central America remains raw for many even now and helped to sully the image of the United States in the region.

My Salvadoran brother-in-law does not have a "sullied" image of the United States. He is now a citizen, and claims frankly that the United States generally and Ronald Reagan specifically "saved" central America. I don't know why I should take the word of a paper half a world away from the area in question over that of the man who married my sister, who I know well, who grew up in El Salvador and who has a lot of family still living there (many of whom I have also met).

Anyway, I would have thought this sort of thing was what our special ops guys had been doing since before the invasion. Apparently I assumed wrongly. Somebody please point out in comments what I'm missing.


What Would YOU Send? 

Heh. My favorite bit: "What is it that some people have against people who can, you know, do stuff?"

I think that is a question I would like to see answered by all anti-Americans, but most especially by the anti-American European Left. They don't seem to have any better ideas (and quite a few worse ones), they sit kvetching on the sidelines, taking cheap potshots at what the US is doing, and yet they are devoid of answers or solutions to the things we're trying to solve. We're just supposed to believe that they're right because...well...they're Europe.


UN Report Card 

You know, whenever I get into a bitchfest with my fellow UN-haters, most of us acknowledge that the UN has done some good work in the past, which it has (on rare occasion). Often you'll hear some sort of qualifier to a complaint about the UN, like "the UN sucks; they should stick to giving handouts, they don't seem to screw that up as bad as things that really matter".

We're now into day 16 after the tsunami disaster. The UN has yet to accomplish a single task on the ground. Do they actively hate the tsunami victims, or what exactly is going on here? It's like a bad cartoon.

We really, really need to get the US out of the UN, and the UN out of the US. I'm ashamed that my country belongs to and endorses this fraudulent monstrosity of an organization.


Saturday, January 08, 2005


It's a bad day for some navigator somewhere.


Friday, January 07, 2005

"White Noise" Review (SPOILER) 

Be advised that this post will give away some of the good stuff about the new movie "White Noise".

That said, this was a really, really good spookfest. I was incredibly depressed that Michael Keaton is looking so OLD, and it took a little effort to suspend disbelief enough to believe that he was married to such a hottie, but beyond that it was really, really good. I noted that one teenage girl did not share my opinion, saying as we left "that sucked".

Keaton is an architect married to a novelist of some fame and fortune. They live in an INCREDIBLE house on a river near the ocean. One day, the wife never gets home from a meeting. Later her body is found upriver, and they assume she had fallen on some rocks and the tide had carried her back upstream. Soon Keaton's character notices he is being followed by some guy. When Keaton confronts the guy, he is told that the guy has received messages from his dead wife.

The guy is into EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomenon. Basically, he sits around all day staring at a flickering snowy tv screen waiting for dead people to talk to him. If you can suspend disbelief past that (and I have nothing if not imagination) you're golden.

But it turns out that there are ghosts who aren't so nice, and who trick you, and want to hurt you. Some of them can get living people to help them hurt other living people. And remember that the average person you meet is going to call for the nice young men in the clean white coats if you try to tell them you've gotten a message from their dead spouse/parent/child. Just before they punch you in the face.

I found the pacing of the thing to be pretty decent. The characters outside of Keaton's were a little shallow but not bad. The director took some cheap shots at us with scares simply from loud noises and sudden emphasized natural movements, but there was plenty of really cool scary-as-hell imagery too. There was a point near the end where I felt like I had ants crawling all over my back, which is usually the sign of a great horror flick. Based on the ant count, I'd put this one in a league with "Sixth Sense", "The Ring", and "Grudge".

Very cool, four out of a possible five stars.


Prime Example of UN Leadership 

Kofi stuns us all with his incisive analysis of the tsunami's aftermath:
Flying over miles of ravaged shoreline, a shaken U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked: "You wonder where are the people? What has happened to them?"

Earth to Kofi: they're freaking dead, moron. And a hundred thousand or more are in danger of dying in the aftermath. That's why we couldn't wait around forever while the UN had meetings to decide when to have meetings about who to send to meetings to coordinate meetings about when to have meetings. Sorry if we've stepped on your toes by jumping in and saving lots of people, but your toes weren't moving and the situation wasn't going to wait for you to have umpteen meetings.

I can't believe this moron is in charge of the UN. More than that, I can't believe there are Americans who want to turn our sovereignty over to this moron and others just like him. We'd all die waiting for the UN to finish their meetings.


Dead People Voting 

This doesn't much surprise me. I don't believe much of this sort of thing happens here, though, mainly because I've seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears what a flock of moonbats I live amongst in this state. They don't need to cheat here because they have somehow taken over and are running things. Of course, sanity has been making inroads the last few years, so maybe when I'm watching Washington state, I'm watching Minnesota's future. We'll see.


An Interesting Quiz 

Everybody should be required to take this quiz before they offer a public opinion on Abu Ghraib.

I've been criticized for believing that there are situations in which torture--even REAL torture, unlike what happened at Abu Ghraib--is justified...a believe that was strengthened last night after watching The Day After. If you haven't seen it, it was a made-for-TV movie that aired in about '82-'83 about a nuclear war and what would happen afterward. I watched it then as a freshman in high school and it gave me nightmares for years afterward. It was a little too real. To stop a scenario like that, I'd torture as many people as you wanted me to torture, and not just by putting underwear on their heads.

Anyway, leaving aside the whole question of whether or not torture can be justified, and leaving aside the related question of whether what happened at Abu Ghraib constitutes torture, just take the quiz, which is based solely on provable facts. Judging from the stories I've read and the hype, I'm guessing most reporters and editors at major news organs would fail it miserably.

UPDATE: Quote from the answers section of the quiz:
If you'd heard this quote from during the time of the 60 Minutes / "Rathergate" story you might have been misled on this question: Ms. Mapes is also responsible for CBS's reporting on the Abu Ghraib pictures, a story she helped break. According to TV reporter Gail Shister, "The scoop was the result of more than two months' legwork by 60 II producer Mary Mapes." In an interview with Charlie Rose, Mapes described how hard she worked to find the incriminating pictures:

"We ended up chasing it, chasing it halfway around the world and back again. Trying not just to chase the rumors of it, but---but to find out what the reality of it. And in the beginning, a lot of it was whispered accounts of pictures that existed somewhere, an investigation that was going somewhere against someone, and we were able luckily to narrow that down and get our hands on the pictures which really gave us our first real hard proof that this was real."

Yes, that's right. Mapes, the one who spearheaded the forged-documents story, also broke the Abu Ghraib thing. She REALLY has an anti-jones for Bush.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I should probably add that after all has been said and done, the whole Abu Ghraib thing looks to me like it was about 90% the fault of the individuals involved and about 10% the fault of a command structure and discipline that was too loose. I don't think there was gross negligence on the part of the chain of command, but more negligence that we like to see.

Further, note that no pictures have surfaced of prisoner abuse that were not taken all on that single day, unless you count the controversial pictures of those SEALs harassing Iraqi prisoners, which has mostly been shown to be legitimate use of intimidation. If I'm wrong on that and there are others, somebody correct me in comments, but I haven't heard of any further pictures surfacing. That's actually amazing to me, given the number of teenagers with guns we have running around Iraq and the massive reasons the "insurgents" are giving our guys to take some payback.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Hero Alert 

The Diplomad is my new one:
Seeing these UNocrats perched at the table, whispering to each other, back-slapping, shaking hands, they seemed like a periodic reunion of old cynical Mafia chieftains or mercenaries who run into each other in different hot spots, as they move from one slaughter to another, "How are you? Haven't seen you since Bosnia . . .." As the hours wore on, however, and I nervously doodled in my note pad, shifted in my chair, looked at my watch, and thought about all the real work I had to do that evening, I decided that, no, labeling them mafiosos or mercenaries was much too kind. They seemed more to be the progeny resulting from a mating between a mad oracle and a giant carrion-eater. They were akin to some sort of ancient mythical Greco-Roman-Aztec-Wes Craven-Egyptian-bird-god that demands constant sacrifice and feeding, and speaks in riddles which only it can solve. Yes, I decided, the UNocrats are great hideous vultures, roused from their caves in the European Alps and in the cement canyons and peaks of Manhattan by the stench of death in the Turd World. They leisurely take flight toward the smell of death; circle, and then swoop down, screeching UNintelligble nonsense. They arrive and immediately force others, e.g., the American tax payer, to build them new exclusive nests in the midst of poverty, and make themselves fat on the flesh of the dead. My friends, allow The Diplomad to present to you The High Priest Vulture Elite (HPVE).

Words of wisdom, my friends. Words of wisdom. And from someone who knows and who is there witnessing the whole slimy spectacle. Brings a tear to my eye, it does.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Nick Coleman Craps in his Nest 

There has been an ongoing brouhaha here in the great Metropolis of Minneapolis-St. Paul, home to the fine blog Power Line, as well as an odious little creature who is employed by the odious local paper, the Minneapolis Star/Tribune, my subscription to which I cancelled about 7 or 8 years ago and have never missed since.

It all started when Coleman (a disgrace to a fine name) attacked Power Line in his regular column.

Power Line (and a large portion of the rest of the blogosphere) shot back, pointing out inaccuracies and rightly ridiculing a pitiful little man.

The rest of the story is here.

The upshot? Coleman already lost in the first exchange, and now he has cost his employer one of the very large local advertising accounts.

Ouch. Sucks to be Coleman, but I'd LOVE to be a fly on the wall when his editors call him on the carpet. Blogs seem to be getting some real-world muscle lately.


Democrats Evolve 

I know, I know, it's hard to believe. But if you read it in National Review, it's gotta be true:
Quaint, of course, brings us to Alberto Gonzales, the White House counsel nominated by President Bush to be the next attorney general of the United States. Gonzales has been numbingly libeled for having called the Geneva Conventions "quaint." Naturally, this is not close to what he said. Rather, he asserted that the terrorist style of warfare had rendered "quaint" the notion that al Qaeda captives merited such Geneva-based provisions as "commissary privileges, scrip (i.e., advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms and scientific instruments." Incidentally, he made this statement in a memorandum to his boss — that is, from the White House counsel to the president. In the height of mid-90s scandal, Democrats and the mainstream media tended to view the very thought of intruding on that relationship as an unspeakable violation of the attorney-client privilege and the end of the Bill of Rights as we know it. Now...they want the rest of the memos. Evidently, they've evolved.

Just once, I'd like to see a president's nominee for the cabinet or the courts NOT be demonized. That goes for the Republicans as well. This hyperpartisanship needs to stop. Yes, there will always be partisanship. Yes, many times it will be hyper. But we've just lived through 8 years of vicious demonization of Clinton, followed by what will probably stretch to 8 years of vicious demonization by the Dems of Bush.

In Clinton's case, some of it was justified, but precious little was supported by anything remotely resembling fact. In Bush's case, I haven't yet seen anything that warrants a more severe reaction than mild suspicion, an emotion I have actually felt a few times over the last 4 years myself.

Why is Cheney required to disclose any details at all about the people he met with while formulating the administration's energy policies? People can see the end result for themselves. What is the point of trying to find out who had input? And how do we know whose input was actually used?

Why is almost every judge Bush nominates rated "well qualified"--or at least "qualified"--by the Bar Association, and yet the Dems pretend to have "deep reservations" about their fitness for office? Do they know things the BA doesn't? When Clinton was nominating judges, the seal of approval from the Bar Association was sacrosanct, and it was all that was required and everybody better just shut up about it.

Why do so many conservatives have this knee-jerk reaction to call people commies or socialists if they support a particular kind of social program? I LIKE that there is some sort of safety net for people who have fallen on hard times. I don't think it needs to be as comprehensive as it currently is, but that doesn't mean I want it completely dismantled. A lot of those programs do good work, particularly at the state, county and local levels.

Is it even possible to reduce partisanship anymore? Do we really need to reduce it? After all, it's not as bad as it used to be. There aren't any Aaron Burrs shooting their political opponents. Still, I've got this wistful little wish that the tide of politics, after a long high, could finally begin to ebb and we could return to a more normal time.

I don't suppose that's realistic, though.



A hugely interesting and informative blog by American Foreign Service officers. I highly recommend it, not least because they share my opinion of the worthless, preening scumbags at the UN:
Well, dear friends, we're now into the tenth day of the tsunami crisis and in this battered corner of Asia, the UN is nowhere to be seen -- unless you count at meetings, in five-star hotels, and holding press conferences.

Aussies and Yanks continue to carry the overwhelming bulk of the burden, but some other fine folks also have jumped in: e.g., the New Zealanders have provided C-130 lift and an excellent and much-needed potable water distribution system; the Singaporeans have provided great helo support; the Indians have a hospital ship taking position off Sumatra. Spain and Netherlands have sent aircraft with supplies.

The UN continues to send its best product, bureaucrats. Just today the city's Embassies got a letter from the local UN representative requesting a meeting for "Ms. Margareeta Wahlstrom, United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and the Secretary-General's Special Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance in Tsunami-afected countries." Wow! Put that on a business card! And she must be really, really special because she has the word "coordinator" twice in her title!

Clearly a superior blog. Read the whole thing, and then read the rest of their posts. You won't regret it. I haven't liked a blog this much since I first found Wretchard.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I see by my little sitemeter that at least a couple of you made the jump with me. I won't have a lot of time to spend posting in the near future, but I'll make some posts now and then out of sheer habit, I'd imagine. I suppose I'll also have to figure out how to host images for free, too. Sigh.

In the spirit of continuity of the purpose of the site, I'd like to state once more for the record that France sucks, the UN blows, and al Qaeda sleeps in the wet spot.

Well, that should do for the moment.


Sunday, January 02, 2005

Last Post 

I'm outta here. After this, you'll need to go to http://frozentoaster.blogspot.com to find me, and you may not find me updating very often. Other facets of life are overtaking me.

I should, however, say that Wretchard over at the Belmont Club has what I consider to be a definitive outline of the major problems with the UN, why it is so exquisitely useless, and why it should be shitcanned. I can't say it better than he does there.

Meanwhile, Darfur burns and children are raped under their noses. Or the UN are raping children and selling the videos of it for fun and profit in the Congo. Kofi will go free without ever having to account for the billions of oil-for-food dollars that disappeared under his watch. Nobody at the UN will lose their place on the gravy train. Saddam will likely be freed to rape and pillage and burn at will, at least if France and friends get their way. And the best part of it all is that the US is the major financier of this debacle. We should be ashamed that we continue to support this institution.

Have a nice day.

UPDATE: Guess some 'tard decided to camp out on http://frozentoaster.blogspot.com, so I'm moving to http://dannelson.blogspot.com. You can't always get what you want, as some guy once sang.


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