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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Why be president

if you can't fire scum like this?

If I was President and an organization that I rely on for catching terrorist is helping the terrorist defeat me I would start putting people in handcuffs. The reporters that this info was leaked to should be arrested and forced to turn over their sources. I’m not against leaks if it is real whistleblowing. I’m all for exposing government corruption. However, by any metric, this is an agenda driven, politcal leak and action must be taken to catch those leakers.

Is the president going to do anything about this? Is anyone? Dn't hold your breath.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

US higher education in Egypt

seems just like higher ed in America, to me.

Shoe bomb trade show...

gets record attendance.

Choosing the wrong career path

Burglars could be surgeons:

If burglars put their skills to lawful use they could be as talented as surgeons or pilots, says a study published yesterday.

Claire Nee and Amy Meenaghan, psychologists at the University of Portsmouth, have concluded that housebreakers use speed and efficiency that was potentially an "untapped resource for employers".

Their findings follow interviews with 50 serial burglars at Winchester Prison. They believe that had the felons focused on a lawful job they could have climbed to the top of the career ladder.

Ah, the wrong choices we make when young. If only I had chosen the right career path, I would have Robert Osbourne's job by now. Or, considering that I know the words to every popular song written between 1930 and 1990, I might have turned that into a lucrative career. I knew librarianship wasn't quite right for me. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I no longer ask, "DO I look fat in this?"

Why? Because Mr Charm hasn't actually looked at me in oh, about 20 years. The last time he actually said something to indicate that he had noticed how I looked, or what I was wearing, etc., was an occasion when he told me he could see through my skirt as I was coming downstairs. If I ask him, "Do you like this skirt/dress/coat he always says, "Yeah yeah--very nice. Can we leave now?"

I can prove that he never looks at me. I went to have my eyebrows done Monday. The eyebrow lady asked me what was on my face, and showed me in the mirror--the left half of my face was covered in soot. She wiped it off, and proceeded to do what needed to be done.

On Tuesday, we went out to lunch. I had to go to the bathroom, and when I looked in the mirror I noticed that the left side of my face was black. Mr Charm had sat across the table from me for half an hour and never noticed.

On Wednesday, my face was black again. I had breakfast with him, said goodbye, and went to the gym, where several people asked me, "Why is your face black?" or "What happened to your face?"

It's comforting to know that if I came down with leprosy he would still think I looked great; he wouldn't notice that my nose had fallen off.

What is the black stuff? Am I coming down with a dread disease? No, I'm fine, but my phone is sick. The black finish of the receiver is coming off on my face every time I make a phone call.

Dating--men vs women

Lots of discussion at Rachel's blog about who's pickier.

It all reminds me of poor Ron, who worked at our library for a while. Mostly he was known as Poor Ron, as in:
"Ron called in sick today."
"Oh, poor Ron."
"Phone call for Ron."
"I think he went to lunch. Poor Ron."

Ron lived with his mother. I suspect she picked out his clothes. He gave all his money to Dr Atkins of diet fame. Atkins felt Ron's problem was carbs, and that he needed weekly vitamin shots. He was as thin as a rail and for lunch brought, not a sandwich or salad or slice of pizza like everyone else, but some Godawful mess prescribed by Atkins.

Poor Ron used to talk to me about his romantic problem, his problem being that he didn't have any romance whatever. I don't think he ever went out with a girl in his life. He wanted to place a personal ad in the local paper to see if he could meet someone.

I tried to help him formulate an ad, until I realized that Ron had exacting requirements. He wanted a woman between the ages of 25-28 (he was 42), 5'6" and 120 lbs. She had to be educated and successful, a good dancer...but you get the idea. Ron, the dork, wanted a woman who probably could snag Brad Pitt.

I don't know how his ad campaign turned out, but when he left us he was still alone, dressed by his mother, and getting weekly vitamin shots. I guess no lucky girl jumped at the chance to take on Ron.

Guns don't kill people

But us pissed-off grannies might.

Ht to Tim Blair.

This reminds me of a true story which took place in New Jersey several years ago.

A little old lady, a widow, was playing cards with a group of friends when an intruder tried to break into her house. She warned him to get lost, and went back to her game.

Later in the evening, he tried to break in again, and the stout codgerette shot him. Whether he was killed, I don't know--I think not. But he was effectually stopped.

The old lady was arrested. Seems it is illegal to have a gun in Paterson, NJ. After a public outcry, the charges were dropped.

Mess with us old ladies at your peril.

Monday, September 25, 2006

In Arizona, a hateful 9/11 monument

This is disgusting. Read it and weep.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Iraq war creates more terrorists

Oh yeah?

From a report so secret that they can't tell us what's in it, exactly, cause it's classified:

A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Does this proceed by the same logic as the idea, harbored by my mother, that leaving food out created cockroaches?

No-one can say that there would be more, fewer, or the same number of terrorists if we were not at war in Iraq, because we are at war in Iraq. We would need an alternative universe to test this hypothesis, one in which we were not at war in Iraq. We could compare the two and see how many terrorists there were in our alternative world. But we're way past hypotheticals here. The only question which has any relevance is, what do we do now?

Mozilla upgrades again, curse them

They downloaded an upgrade to my computer, and I have been unable to access it directly ever since. I didn't ask them to, they just did it. I hate upgrades.

Beta blogger is awful, too. Some of my fellow bloggers have it, and I can't post comments half the time. Now you know why I am not commenting, friends. You'll see me migrate to beta blogger right after I vote the straight Democratic ticket.

Bush goes public, gains in opinion polls

Now that President Bush is appearing in public and arguing his case for the war in Iraq, his ratings are gradually rising.

His recent relentless focus on anti-terrorist policies, coupled with a sharp decline in the price of petrol, appear to have ended the slump that began after Hurricane Katrina last year.

His personal approval rating rose to 45 per cent in a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll, up five points from July. A Gallup poll gave him a 44 per cent rating, his highest in that poll in a year. His ratings had dropped to the low 30s.

The change in mood follows high-profile speeches on terrorism by Mr Bush as he pursues a political strategy that served well in the 2002 mid-terms.

Did everyone see Chris Wallace's interview with Clinton? He seems to think that the Democrats will win the mid-term elections, as long as the big bad Republicans don't persuade them they have something to fear.

But we do have something to fear. I am reminded of a quote, I think from James Thurber: "It's hard for children to realize that Santa is not real, even though we can see him, and the wolf at the door is real, even though we can't see him." We have a wolf at the door. The threat is real. The big bad RoPs are out to get us.

I think these disastrous dips in poll numbers, not just for Bush but for the Iraq war, would not have occurred if Bush had publicly made his case, over and over, as he is doing. But Bush has preferred to behave like the groundhog, sticking his head out once a year. It won't do.

That's a leader's job! If he is honest about the war and our objectives, the people will believe you and follow you. The stakes are really high.

Happy New Year Part II

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

I've got enough education...

I don't want to learn another damn thing. Actually, I don't mind learning per se, I'd like to learn Photoshop, for instance, but I don't ever want to spend a night or weekend thinking of the test I have to take or the paper I have to write. I actually used to dream about them! Imagine spending you nights with nightmares about Botany 101 or what Shakespeare meant by writing Coriolanus. Or trying to suss out the meaning of some 20th century poem.

In my senior year of college, I took it easy, taking nothing but English courses and fluff. And I got all A's, except one. I had discovered the secret of getting on the Dean's List. The English Department liked me. I even babysat their kids. I took only one course that gave me trouble.

It was a psych course, or a sociology course, I don't remember which; not that it mattered: the classroom hours were taken up by the professor, a pedant with a faux British accent, rambling on about Human Behavior or some such and the suckups in the class sagely nodding their heads. Apart from an astute comment now and then, my contribution was nil. I hadn't even read the textbook--no, correct that: I hadn't bought the textbook, which gave me no trouble keeping up. The only thing: he announced as the class was winding down that he would be giving an open-book final!

How do you go to an open book final without a book to open? The library didn't have it, so that was out, and it was an expensive book which I didn't have the money for at the time. It would have been totally embarrassing to show up without a book. I couldn't face it.

What did I do? Well, I asked the college bookstore to lend me the book over night. They did it! for one dollar. I returned it the next day.

I only got a C in the course, though.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Moldy library? So what!

No-one uses the library, anyway:

Artificial turf on the football field, a wellness center-sports arena and a new student center come first. Then they'll work on solving the mold problem in the university library.

Never mind the potential nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye or skin irritation that students with mold allergies might contract. Never mind that some people could even have more severe reactions.

Because few students apparently use the library, President Allen L. Sessoms justifies putting this problem on the back burner. He's supported by the chairman of the board of trustees, who contends that the Internet has outpaced libraries as a research tool for students.

No wonder college graduates are functional illiterates!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy New Year!

from our Zionist oppressor household to yours.

Alternative apologies to be made by the Pope

The Pope's apology was perhaps not diplomatic enough: So here are some suggestions for apologies he could have made:

I am so sorry that you lunkheads wouldn’t know a logical theological disputation if it up and bit you on the butt.

I am sorry that large numbers of you are so illiterate that you believe any old load of old shoes that the imam tells you in the Friday sermon.

I am sorry that most of you have an overdeveloped sense of entitlement, and an underdeveloped sense of logic, technological skills, and smell.

I am sorry that a fair number of you want to turn Western Europe right back into the disease ridden, violence plagued, and autocratically ruled hellholes that you crawled out of.

Those are the milder ones.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

How Jewish is George Allen?

The question was raised at a candidate's debate:

During a debate between the two candidates, one of the media questioners, a local tv news person named Peggy Fox, asked Allen:

It has been reported that your grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, was Jewish. Could you please tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended?

Such a question is plainly out-of-bounds.

Well, I have a little quiz which would enable us to comprehend where Mr Allen's ethnic loyalties lie.

1. Do you feel guilty for no reason?
2. Do you call your mother every day?
3. Do you like Chinese food?
4. How about bagels?
5. If the answer to the previous question is yes, please specify which foods you choose to accompany your bagel: a) peanut butter and jelly; b)ham and Swiss; 3) lox and cream cheese?
6. Given a choice, which food would you prefer: a) gefilte fish; b) lutefisk; c) fish sticks?
7. What is your favorite sport: a) bowling; b) football; c) chess?
8. Are you a member of: a)the vast rightwing conspiracy; b) the communist party; c) your office bowling team?
9. Do you read a) the New Republic; b) National Review; c)the comics.
10. Translate the expression oy vey.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Gay American tells all

All about being gay, that is.

His life as a crooked-politician-American is kind of glossed over.

Leave it to McGreevey to usher in a new low for sexual politics: The he-said, he-said.

On one side, we have a fallen leader waxing nostalgically about how it took the love of another man to make him finally feel like one.

On the other, McGreevey's so-called savior, Cipel, says he was sexually harassed and assaulted by his boss.

In The Confession, which hits bookshelves today, McGreevey writes of finding a soulmate in Cipel, saying their first embrace "was the first time in my life that a kiss meant what it was supposed to mean."

In an interview with my colleague John Shiffman in Sunday's paper, Cipel recalls the 2001 encounter much differently: as a physical attack fueled by Jagermeister shots and McGreevey's insatiable lust for power.

McGreevey, Cipel said, "comes up, turned toward the den very fast, and pushed me toward the bedroom. I froze, and I said, 'What's going on?' He pushed me again on my chest. He jumped on me, and we wrestled. He tried to kiss me. He tried to sexually assault me."

Neither of these guys is entirely believable, but at least both men agree on one thing: McGreevey's unforgivable sense of timing.

The night that changed both of their lives forever claimed two other innocent victims: McGreevey's wife and infant daughter, facing the future alone in a hospital room, miles away.

The New Jersey crook of the day

An embarassment of riches.

Today’s thieving bastard is democrat State Senator Wayne Bryant, who is the chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee (i.e. the Money Committee). It seems that according to a Federal Monitor’s report, which will be formally issued tomorrow**, in 2003 Senator Bryant leaned on the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (“UMDNJ”) to have himself hired as a “Program Support Coordinator” (a position that did not exist prior to his hiring) for $35,000 per year. Link.

You might ask, what does a Program Support Coordinator for UMDNJ do?

In Senator Bryant’s case, the Program Support Coordinator didn’t do much of anything.

Apparently, Bryant showed up almost every Tuesday from 9-12, and read the newspaper. Now that's a job I could handle.

I always wanted Robert Osborne's job, since all he has to do is watch movies and say something about each of them. I like movies. But this is far, far better.

I want to be a Program Support Coordinator!

The Carnival of Personal Finance is up

Pay them a visit at freemoneyfinance.

How to weed your books

James Lileks gives some suggestions. The first:

Put them through the return slot at the library and run away. Not recommended.

We at the library had stringent rules on accepting gift books. No-one paid the slightest bit of attention to them.

People got around the rules by dropping off books outside the door of the library in the early hours of the morning. When the staff arrived at nine o'clock to begin their bright and cheery day, there the books would be, like infants abandoned on church steps. We always took pity on them and took them in.

If they were moldy, we got rid of them immediately. Why anyone would think we needed mold at our library when we already had the library board to supply toxicity was not explained. I guess we should have given the moldy books to the board members, but none of them ever opened a book, so that wouldn't work.

Then there were the sets of encyclopedias, many going back as far as the 70's, or more recent ones with one or more volumes missing. And the Reader's digest condensed books, a definite drug on the market.

We also got complete runs of National Geographic, many, many of them. I doubt there is a library in the western hemisphere that doesn't have a complete set of RD since its inception. Many of these were donated to us, over and over. We gave the copies to school kids doing reports so they wouldn't cut the pictures out of our books; I mean our own books, of course.

Most of our donations went into our permanent floating book sale, headquartered in the room with the copy machine, our most popular attraction. The copy machine got heavy use, particularly during tax season, when it usually broke down from overwork.

We got lots of bestsellers, which usually sold rather quickly. Someone once bought Mr Charm a copy of a bestseller--I think it was by Tom Wolfe--and before he could finish it, three copies had been donated to the library. Talk about ausgevorfene gelt!

People donated romance paperbacks, which were added to our collection, ditto paperback mysteries. We put stickers with the date of acquisition on them, and threw them out after a year. These were really popular with the public.

Then once a year, generally in the summer, we would weed, and get rid of duplicate bestsellers, outworn or outdated books, and books that looked so awful no-one would take them out. These included books that we had bound. No-one, we discovered, wants to read library-bound books except a nut like myself, who loves to read neglected and rejected books to see if I can discover a masterpiece. Generally not, but we live in hope.

What surprised me was that people would buy these despised and outcast volumes when they wouldn't take them out of the library for free. The book sale made us hundreds of dollars.

On the principle of waste not want not, we donated a lot of the rejects to the veteran's hospital (the better ones); the county jail (second best); and a pastor in Paterson who would come and get anything that was left (which were awful).

So the public got rid of their unwanted books, we got money for them, and a bunch of people wound up with books they wouldn't have had otherwise, and everybody was happy. Except the library board, of course. But they were never happy, except when they could make life miserable for one or another of the staff.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A new element has been discovered

and it's changing the whole discipline of chemistry.

Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take over four days to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years; It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's Mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium - an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons, but twice as many morons.

How to win a promotion

the RoP way.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

This headline...

no longer seems out of the question.


(or the Bible)
Offers to convert to Islam if he can continue to wear his Pontiff costume
--Says if he is forgiven he will help destroy Israel--
Promises to turn over the name and address of every Christian
Also says he will fly commercial airliners into buildings if asked
Also promises to mount machine gun on Popemobile to kill
American tourists near Vatican

Here's a Pope who doesn't mind sharing his opinion that the Iraq War is unjust. Not that anyone asked him. But he can't stand a little healthy displeasure from the RoP crowd. Stand up like a man, Pope! Stick to your guns--don't apologize.

Laundry hamper to the stars

courtesy of tan.

Where's the flag?

This post by Mike reminded me of something I noticed when I voted. Not something that was there--something that wasn't there.

All my life I have known where to vote because of the American flag prominently displayed at the polling place. Has this practice been discontinued?

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam

20,000 men died this day in 1862.

What are the Democrats whining about?

Carnival of Insanities is up

at Dr Sanity.

Pat Santy's blog is a terrific read itself. I visit her frenquently. Smart lady.

An Iranian journalist is persecuted

where's the outrage from the MSM?

This is really torture:

I wonder how those Western journalists who are mesmerised and duped by the Islamic Republic officials would feel, if they were to receive 74 lashes from the Islamic courts?

Young Iranian journalist, Massoud Bastani, has been in prison before. Last year, Massoud Bastani refused to ask for a pardon and was imprisoned amongst ordinary criminals in Arak.

"Even though living in prison is difficult, but I am not willing to ask for a pardon, for a sin that I have not committed. Freedom is sweet, but its price is more important" Bastani's reply to the offer of a pardon.

Now Bastani is waiting for the rest of his senetnce, 74 lashes. His mother has offered to sell all her gold to save her son from this inhumane punishment. His wife is anxious that her husband will not be able to tolerate 74 lashes, and as it has happened before, die under the burden of the Islamic lashes.

Its pointless to ask what his crime is? For in the Islamic Republic, punishment is not related to having committed a crime, but related to a refusal of being servile to the authorities and the self appointed representatives of Allah on earth. Yet, it is appropriate to ask where are the Western journalists? Should they not be standing by their colleague?

What an airlline announcement would really sound like

if it were truthful.

Thankfully, no-one has paid any attention to these announcements since, oh, 1975.

Ht to enrevanche.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

We have leftard moonbat college professors

even here in Delaware.

[A]freind of mine returned that night from his World Religions class ... to tell me that his professor was as ridiculous as it gets. The man had a peace sign tatoo 1" in diameter on his cheek, 2 peace signs on his computer and a "War Is Not The Answer" sticker right there facing towards the class. Needless to say, my friend was in for a 3 hour lecture about how terrible America is....that Americans dont know how to love, that U.S. taxpayers are all murderers, and that many of the students in the class have ancestors who raped and killed his ancestors. The man claimed to be a pacifist in the most absolute form as well....Supposedly he is an easy A, but I'm not concerned about that. The man is clearly here to preach, and I worry for the minds who are in his class ready to be brainwashed. At least the University of Delaware isn't as liberal as many others, but with professors like this man it is climbing up the charts.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another thing to clutter up my site

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Peace-lovers burn the Pope in effigy

So--what else is new?


Pope Benedict XVI came under a hail of criticism from the Islamic world Friday for comments he made earlier in the week regarding the Prophet Mohammed and the Muslim faith, in some cities provoking street protests.

A growing chorus of Muslim leaders have called on the pope to apologize for the remarks he made in a speech in Germany on Tuesday when he used the terms "jihad" and "holy war."

It reminds me of an old joke. Two guys are about to go before a firing squad. One says to the other, "Do you think I could ask for a cigarette before they shoot us?" The other replied: "Shhh...don't make them mad."

The Pope now joins a list of other people who make them mad, such as us Jews. We make them mad simply by inhaling oxygen. Anything else we do simply adds flames to the fire. We try to be nice and talk a lot of cant about The Religion of Peace and that infuriates them. We defend ourselves, that's worse. Our original offense is breathing, and they will be mad until we stop. Screw 'em.

Ht to Rachel.

Help stamp out this filthy word

To those of us who care about the English language, Help!

Phallogocentrism, n.

1. A term coined by Derrida (blessed be his name, Oh great postmodernist thinker) indicating a (usually spoken) discourse, especially in Western culture, whose meaning(or truth, from logos) is inherently phallocentric (biased towards the male).

"Used by Derrida to recognise not only a cultural emphasis on the spoken word (logocentrism), but particularly the gender based power structures of the spoken word. Phallogocentric language is rule-based, linear, structured, directive, and assertive." (At least, according to the Feminist Lexicon)

2. A term used by bitter old feminists, gay studies scholars, and leftists to indicate their extreme displeasure with evil Western male-dominated society whose males act like men and whose females don't act like men.

Of course, as enlightened scholars we all understand that men continue to hold women back, and that most poor women (sheep that they are) don't understand they're held in place not only by things like babies and families, but by the very words that they speak every day. That eminent feminist, Luce Irigaray, explains to us that "women's social inferiority is reinforced and complicated by the fact that woman does not have access to language, except through recourse to 'masculine' systems of representation . . . The feminine is never to be identified except by and for the masculine."

Women don't have access to language? What have I been using to talk with all this time? Morse code?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Jon Swift is confused...

Are we allowing the terrorists to win?

It seems like a lot of people in America today want to help the terrorists win for some reason. I think letting the terrorists win is the last thing we should want to do. Perhaps the best way to make sure the terrorists don't win is to figure out what they want and do the exact opposite no matter how difficult, painful or even self-destructive that might be. Lately, I've been wondering if there is anything I'm doing that might help the terrorists win and I've been trying to live my life by doing the opposite of what the terrorists would want me to do. I have to admit it has been very difficult, especially since I'm not always sure what it is that the terrorists do want.

Read the whole thing.

Never mind Armitage...

What I want to know is, why did a bunch of Big Government Honchos, who undoubtedly had nice big offices and excellent alaries and pretty much knew everything, (they're spies, aren't they?) send an employee's husband so casually on a trip to Niger? Is that how decisions are made in the Big Bad Spy Agency?

"We suspect something is going down in the Dry Tortugas. I need someone to go there and investigate."

"Great idea. Why not send Fred?"


"Yeah, you know Fred. The guy that runs the copy machine--he's an excellent collator and stapler."

"Wow! What a great suggestion. I wish I'd thought of that."

It all seems very much like an incident which happened in the library, back when I was throwing my weight around as a library director. Our Board had become quite concerned about the state of libraries in Resumespeedistan. This was a small Third World country, where the natives spoke Elvish, due to their great respect and admiration for Elvish Presley.

Now I felt that Mr Charm could do with a change of scene, and the weather was lovely in Resumespeedistan at that time of year. Besides, all expenses would be paid. So I suggested him for the job, and the Board enthusiastically agreed.

Mr Charm duly went. He flew to South Africa, switched to a propeller driven plane left over from World War II, and then proceeded by camel to Resumespeedistan. In three weeks, he concluded his investigations and returned home.

Mr Charm regaled us with the details of his trip. The natives were friendly, and he drank lots of mint tea and smoked a bit of hashish, went to the beach, and had a few of those sweet drinks with cherries and little umbrellas in them. He attested to the fact that there were libraries there, quite a few of them for such a small place. We eagerly inquired about the state of these institutions, and he replied, "That's hard to say. I don't speak Elvish."

However, he had a nice tan. So I guess the trip was a success.

The moral of the story is this: don't send a husband to do a spy's job.

Pressing the argument

The Hatemonger's Quarterly thinks the New York Times just don't get it.

In the September 12 number of The New York Times, a staff op-ed offered a reaction to President Bush’s recent address to the nation. Surprise, surprise: The folks at the Gray Lady weren’t that impressed. Who would have seen that coming?

Entitled “President Bush’s Reality,” the piece had one particularly glaring line toward its start:

When Mr. Bush warns that Al Qaeda means what is says, that there are Islamist fanatics around the world who wish us harm and that the next assault could be even worse than the last, he does not need to press the argument.

In other words: Spare us the platitudes, President Bush.

Ah, but in offering this assessment, the folks at the Times get things exactly wrong. When discussing these obvious aspects of the War on Terrorism, the President most assuredly needs to press the argument. And the argument requires pressing for the simple reason that the Gray Lady’s staffers don’t get it yet.

After all, it was the Paper of Record that has offered full-frontal assaults on the President’s legal attempts to catch terrorists. Further, it was the Paper of Record that gave column space to a former Gitmo prisoner with oodles of ties to terrorism and who dubiously claimed that he went to Afghanistan for a “dream vacation.” It was an outrageous lie, of course, but, hey, as long as it helps terrorists and hurts the President, it’s worth it to the folks at the Times.

Moreover, it was the Paper of Record that offered its editorial page to the ostentatious blowhard Joe Wilson, whose own column presented an untruthful account of his personal report on Saddam Hussein’s attempt to procure uranium in Niger. And it was the Paper of Record that routinely trumpets bad news regarding the War on Terrorism and hides or dismisses the good news.

In short, President Bush must discuss the most mindlessly clear aspects of our War on Terror because the staff of the Gray Lady is still hazy about it.

As we’ve said before, we don’t think that “Pinch” Sulzberger and Co. actually pine for America’s enemies to defeat us. Still, they perceive that the Bush administration is a greater threat to the world than is Osama bin Laden and his minions.

Until the fools at The New York Times understand why this is a ridiculous opinion, we urge the President to press on with his platitudes.

In a class on public speaking, I learned the secret of a successful speech. 1. Tel them what you are going to say; 2. Say it; 3. Tell them what you said.

Bush hasn't been telling us these basic truths often enough, and we are left to believe what the MSM chooses to tell us. He needs to tell us early, tell us often, and not stop telling us until the message sinks in.

We didn't want to intrude on their grief...

so we allowed a bunch of Taliban fighters to get away.

This story beggars belief:

190 Taliban fighters were in sight of a U.S. drone when U.S. intelligence officers were told they could not bomb them because they were standing in a cemetery.

The fighters were gathered, close together, to attend a funeral, but soon disbanded and quickly disappeared into the mountainsides. NBC News reports that U.S. Army officers were blocked by the rules of engagement that forbid a missile or bomb strike in a cemetery although, in Iraq, battles have occurred in cemeteries before.

Keep in mind this order came as NATO was being asked to send in more troops to Afghanistan because the Taliban had been regaining strength so quickly it had been able to take back the areas it had been swept out of. Eliminating the Taliban has proved difficult, largely, because it is nearly impossible to find them in their hideouts. A large gathering like this appeared to be a gift until our military was told it was a "no go." Are we fighting a war to win it or not? It sure feels like our brave armed forces are being hamstrung.

What a funeral they could have held if we had sent them all to Allah! Just leave a few around to bury the others. These guys love death so much, it's a pity the couldn't have experienced it firsthand.

Seriously, what the hell happened? Are our armed forces run by a bunch of dimwits? They seem to think we're playing a nice peaceful game of softball on the village green. That only works if both sides agree.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You'd never know it from reading the papers...

but NATO forces are beating the s**t out of the Taliban.

The end of Plame

from the New Republic:

Why did Armitage not just tell everyone that he was the culprit?

Clearly, Armitage and Powell wanted to subvert the President's plans from within. Obviously, they never cared for Bush's Iraq policy. I'm not sure I'm that crazy about it myself. However, I don't work for the man.

What ever happened to resigning in protest? It would have been the honorable thing to do. Now would be a good time for Armitage to do it. Never happen.

Much has been said of Condi Rice's loyalty to Bush,as if it were a bad thing. It isn't. She believes in Bush and in what he is doing. Any president is entitled to that kind of service, if he is to accomplish his goals.

Annoying things: I could go on all day.

because I'm often annoyed.

To me, what is most annoying about my new situation is that no-one in Delaware can pronounce "Miriam." I'm not saying it's a great name, but it's mine, and I don't like to be called "Marilyn." Or "Marion."

In New York and New Jersey, everyone can pronounce "Miriam." I guess because everyone there is a little bit Jewish by association. (Those are also the only places where you can get a decent bagel.)

What is so terribly wrong about Miriam? It's not totally foreign-sounding, like Shprintze or Isocrates.

Yesterday, we went to Panera Bread for lunch. You order, they take your name, and call you when the order is ready. I knew it was time to eat when someone called out, "Maureen, your order's ready."


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New video by terrorists is really scary...

But Baron Bodissey isn't buying it:

Don’t you think that Zawahiri would rather have marked the fifth anniversary of 9-11 with a major attack on the West, preferably the United States? Instead we get yet another Al Qaeda propaganda video.

It could be a slogan on a terror-camp T-shirt: “September 11th Came And Went And All I Got Was This Lousy Video”.

Al Qaeda is starting to sound like the UN, issuing warnings in the face of events they disapprove of. Next thing you know they will be expressing Grave Concern, or Studying the Situation. They may even consider sanctions against the infidels, or convene a special commission to look into our offensive behavior.

OK, we’ve been warned, Ayman. We hear you. This is our, what, 14th warning? When do you finally ground us and take the car keys away?

Seriously, we all know they’re trying to mount another big attack on us, and one of these days they almost certainly will succeed. But, after five years, if this is the best they can do…

My seal

The seal of Miriam

A credo for moonbats

by Dr Sanity.

Bad company

I think I have written before about my adventures with the Company Store, who sent me one nightstand when I had ordered two, then billed me for two, then three, and finally four.

The Company Store has lovely things for those who are in the market for $125 blankets. I'm not, but one of my relatives is, and I sent her one for Christmas last year. Of course I receive their catalog. The only other item the store ever carried which I would have been able to afford is the Nightstand of Doom.

I don't want to reiterate my troubles with this outfit, who kept telling me that they had sent me two nightstands even though they hadn't. Their records proved it, so they said.

Anyway, I called the company when I was billed for four nightstands, and had a nice long chat with some customer service rep. He told me I had paid for the nightstands and not to worry. I asked what would happen if they sent me another bill, and he said just to throw it away. As the phone hit the receiver, I knew I was in for Trouble.

Another bill. I called the bank which had the account and they knew nothing about it. They gave me a number for the company which proved to be a fax machine. So I wrote them a letter.

I told them I had only received two nightstands and two pillow covers, worth about $200 in all. I told them I was totally befuddled by them, but I did believe I owed them about $200. I asked them to write to me and accept this as payment in full, and then I would pay them the $200. I sent a copy of the bill to the bank.

They keep calling me. They would be happy to accept the $200, even over the phone, if I wished. I told them I was awaiting a letter. They told me they don't send letters; anyway they weren't going to send me one. Undoubtedly no-one in this well-run company could find a stamp. Or a computer. Or a brain.

So there we are. I have spoken to Barbara, Tracy, Stacy, Lynn and Anne, who have all called me at various times of the day. Neither Barbara, Tracy, or Stacy is willing to send me a letter. Lynn and Anne are similarly obdurant, and so am I.

Wow! Got that off my chest--I feel better!

When feeling blue...

take three Johnny Virgil posts and don't read the papers for 24 hours.

The man is funny! A sure blues chaser!

Monday, September 11, 2006

It's almost over

September 11, that is.

I have nothing particularly edifying to say about where I was or what I was doing. I wasn't doing anything different from what everyone else was doing. I do remember that it was a beautiful day, just as today has been. I also remember knowing in my gut that this meant war, that this was war.

I was reluctant to post anything today; when I examined my feelings, I realized that I was waiting: waiting for something horrible to happen before the day was over. It's almost midnight now, and nothing has happened. I can start breathing again. Soon.

We watched the ABC docudrama about the approach to 9/11. It was riveting. A perfect storm of bureaucracy, timidity, indifference, careerism and just plain incompetence. Then we watched Bush's speech. I don't see how anyone can deny that the President set out all the facts of our situation today. I can't imagine that anyone doesn't see the disaster ahead if we cut and run. Reasonable people can differ on what to do now, but all this carry-on about why we are in Iraq is pointless. We're there. Get used to it.

Senator Rockefeller had the audacity to claim that the world would be a better place if Saddam Hussein were still in power. It quite frightens me to think that his kind could be running the Senate in a few months.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Man accused of harassing a neighbor

by gnome.

Police have taken a dim view of a man's glowing garden gnome and threatened him with arrest unless he removes it.

The solar-powered policeman figure stands sentinel in the garden of Gordon MacKillop's home in Treovis, near Liskeard.

His neighbour, former policeman John McLean, says the gnome is annoying and upsets buyers viewing his home.

Now police have served Mr MacKillop with a notice for "placing a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment".

Ht to chase me ladies.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

How nerdy am I?

I am nerdier than 12% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Must-have for terrorists

from the Purple Avenger:

The digital pocket Koran

The perfect gift for stylish modern "on the go" jihadis who you're having a problem finding a gift for. Explosives can be difficult to obtain and tricky to transport/store. Firearms can get you into legal problems for executing a "strawman" purchase. The digital pocker Koran has none of these liabilities.

Stylish. Sleek. A marvel of modern electronic wizardry. The digital pocket Koran includes a built in clock/timer, cell phone, GPS, and special plug for hooking up detonators. You will be stylishly equipped for even the most demanding detonation scenarios.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Newt Gingrich makes a point

From today's Opinion Journal:


he analysis Mr. Bush offers the nation--before the Joint Session on Sept. 20, 2001, in his 2002 State of the Union, in his 2005 Second Inaugural--is consistently correct. On each occasion, he outlines the threat, the moral nature of the conflict and the absolute requirement for victory.

Unfortunately, the great bureaucracies Mr. Bush presides over (but does not run) have either not read his speeches or do not believe in his analysis. The result has been a national security performance gap that we must confront if we are to succeed in winning this rising World War III.

Gingrich's article is very complex and deals with many problems, which I do not want to discuss here. But one thing is very clear: the president has not tamed the bureaucracy, and like a lion tamer who ignores the lion, is attacked and undermined. He must have learned this stuff at Harvard Business School--that's the only place that would be dumb enough to counsel an executive not to control his suboordinates. The timeservers and placemen have undermined him at every turn. This Richard Armitage mess is just the latest example.

Is anyone asking for Armitage's resignation? Of course not. Does anyone control the CIA, which has been wrong about 95 percent of the time in the last 50 years? Heaven forbid. Has anyone kicked ass in the State Department? Ha. Ha. So these folks make a monkey of the president and run rings around him--and get away with it!

I can't imagine Roosevelt or Truman putting up with it. Or Reagan.

Reflections on Delaware vs New Jersey

1. Delaware is prettier. My neck of the woods in NJ kind of had a used-up look, as if it were coated with a barely visible coating of dust.

2. People in Delaware are friendlier.

3. But Delaware drivers are dumber. Way dumber. Many of them seem to be driving in their sleep. They dreamily change lanes or make left turns in front of oncoming traffic. They'd be run over by an 18-wheeler if they dared to drive that way in New Jersey.

4. On the bright side, Delaware drivers drive more slowly. Particularly when they are in front of me in the left lane.

5. People who come to your house to fix things are more incompetent in the First State. Particularly Verizon and Comcast. The guys who attempt to fix computers. Plumbers. I'm sure the Garden State had its share of clucks, but they didn't darken my door. My computer guy was brilliant. Cablevision worked. However, I do have a wonderful handyman, and I'm not going to tell you who he is.

6. Less crime in Delaware. Or so I thought. However, since I had my wallet stolen once and my car broken into twice in the past year, I am re-thinking this, and installing a burglar alarm and motion detectors.

7. Delaware has fewer cops lurking around. NJ cops had a way of lying in wait for drivers, then ticketing them for something. Advantage Delaware. I suppose this would be a disadvantage if you happened to need a cop. So far, I haven't.

8. DE--lower taxes all around. NJ--highest property tax of the 50 states. That was the deal maker for me. In NJ, I kept running out of money before I ran out of month. I get to keep more of my money here.

9. Shopping. New Jersey wins. No question.

10. Medical care: New Jersey has my knee doctor, who is a genius. Delaware obviously does not, but the docs seem competent. It's a draw. St Francis Hospital, DE, is confusing and has a terrible parking situation; Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, the same.

New Jersey: in all its grotty and gritty ways, it just felt like home. Delaware: it will feel like home as soon as I learn where everything is.

I need some fresh blood in my blogroll

Everybody reads the Big Ten or Big 20 bloggers: you know who I mean. I read them too. Instapundit, etc.

I'm looking for some new bloggers, new ideas, new insights. I love quirky ideas. I like funny stuff, too.

If you read this and enjoy coming here, and if you blog with a certain amount of regularity*, please comment and I will add you to my blogroll and try to read you regularly.

*Regularity does not mean once every 6 months.

Note: That doesn't mean you're never allowed to have a vacation.

Nightmare scenario

from Dave Nalle, what might happen if the hard left takes over.

I hope he's wrong.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The latest in British hospital gowns

for Muslims.


For Jewish women, a modest suggestion from Pillage idiot:

becoming, isn't it?

My life as a Democrat

I wasn't always a Republican; I began life as a Democrat. This was particularly useful in Albany, NY, where Republicans did not have potholes in their streets fixed or the snow removed (There was a lot of snow).

Albany had a notorious Democratic political machine, reaching back to Martin van Buren, I guess. We had a county boss--Irish--who pulled the strings behind the scenes. Our Mayor, Erastus Corning II or III or V--I don't remember, was the longest serving mayor in the United States. He came from a fine old family. He didn't live in Albany, of course, having a nice place in the suburbs, but had a fictitious domicile of record on South Lake Avenue, I remember.

The Dems hired a lot of the local citizens as elevator operators or gardeners or such--something that would be done by a machine elsewhere. Also supplied baskets at Christmas, I think. They would clean your street if you applied to the proper person, and were a Democrat.

When we first moved to Albany, we lived on the second floor of an old house with very high ceilings, and therefore a long of flight of stairs. You really had to be young or strongly motivated to drop in chez Charm.

A regular visitor was our district leader, a little old man with a bad smoking habit. He would ring our doorbell, then climb the stairs, wheezing continually. He would take a few minutes to catch his breath, and then tell us who to vote for in a tremulous voice. We said okay and voted for whom we pleased.

We then bought a house. When we acquired it, it was assessed at a low figure, say $10,000. As soon as the property changed hands, the assessment went up to three times that. We were told that we had to call our Committeeman and ask him to represent us in lowering the assessment. Every time I called the guy he was going to a wake or funeral. (He was also Irish. And a politician.)Or a meeting. Or a wedding. Mr Charm prevailed upon someone in the know to talk to him, and he filed our assessment request. The cost immediately dropped back to $10,000.

Well, one thing led to another, and we moved to NJ. I took a notion to vote in the Republican primary; I knew one of the candidates. So I registered as a Republican. I tried to go back once or twice, but was too indolent. After a while I started to act like a Republican, and think like one. It was too late.

One of my friends, who had been an ardent and active Democrat, moved from the city to the suburbs. She called up someone in the Dem Party and offered to volunteer. They told her they didn't need any volunteers.

So she volunteered for the Republican Party. They were happy to have her. She was an indefatigable worker and knew everybody. She became a staunch Republican activist and rose to be County Republican Chair.

It's the first step that counts.

Jewish community shoots self in foot

Endorses racist Jew-hater.

Among other things ... are: Ellison's local leadership of the Nation of Islam, his defense of the "truth" of an attack on Minneapolis Jews as "the most racist white people," his affiliation with convicted murderer and Vice Lords gang leader Sharif Willis, his support of the Vice Lords gangbangers charged (and subsequently convicted) with the murder of Minneapolis police officer Jerry Haaf, his outrageous attacks on law enforcement authorities, his demand that Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist Sara Jane Olson be freed, and his concern for the continuing freedom of convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur on the lam in Havana. Not one of these elements of Ellison's public record has been reported in the local media.

We have used Ellison's various public incarnations as Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison and Keith Ellison-Muhammad to raise the question: Who is Keith Ellison? In the course of the present campaign, Ellison has held himself out as a friend of the Jewish people and of the state of Israel. Several prominent Jewish supporters have vouched for him in the face of a long public record that belies his present avowals. As a kind of exclamation point or capstone to our "Who is Keith Ellison?" series, we reported the appearance of Hamas supporter and CAIR executive director Nihad Awad at an August 25 fundraiser for Ellison. Awad's appearance for Ellison went unreported by the Star Tribune except indirectly in the quotation of a debate statement by candidate Michael Erlandson a week later.

So tell me, what else is new?

A lot about WalMart,

and some stuff I didn't know about Target:

I want you to do some research,... twice a week go to Walmart,and walk thru the store,and look at all the employees,then drive over to Target,and do the same thing,do this for six months,then tell me how many employees that work at Target you see that worked there 6 months ago,and do the same with Walmart. I can guarantee that the number will be higher at Walmart. Why? Because Target has a policy that after the employees 90 day probation period is over they are slowly written off the schedule,that way they don't have to pay insurance or give a raise,and they hire a new employee,and do it all over again. They will tell the employee that they are still employed there,but right now they need to give more hours to new employees so they can train them,and this goes on until the employee quits,because they can't make it one 6 hours a week.

A young person in my family was subjected to the same treatment--hours cut until they were non-existent, and I think it's a rotten thing to do. I wondered why Target is always hiring people--there are signs all over the store, and they have a kiosk where you can apply right then and there.

We don't have a WalMart; I have to make do with Target, and an occasional visit to Costco. But I wish we did have one. Why? Because competition benefits the consumer.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Glenn Ford is dead

I always liked him, possibly because Mr Charm resembled him in his youth.

GF had a good long life, and when he died his significant other was 44 years younger than he.

Way to go, Glenn!

My sentiments exactly

let' not have any more independent counsels.

Labor Day! Bah humbug.

I thought today would be a good day to have something fixed on my car. I drove hither and thither, and no-one was open, not even Jiffy Lube. I can't believe Labor Day has such deep meaning to the population in general. Apparently here in the boonies everyone takes Labor Day off.

Labor Day as a holiday doesn't have much going for it. It doesn't appeal to patriotism, it isn't religious, it doesn't have fireworks. All it has is Jerry Lewis and the depressing thought that the summer is over. The swimming pools close and school opens. Whoopee! The stores, which are already decked out for Halloween, now bring out their Christmas decorations.

I know it is unreasonable, but I like stores and gas stations and drugstores to be open all the time. Movies too. That's why I like New York City. No holiday or happening overwhelms it. Christmas, Yom Kippur, Ramadan; the city is bigger than any of them. Something is always open, something is always going on somewhere. It gives one the feeling of unlimited possibility, even if it is only the possibility of refilling a prescription or buying a quart of milk.

The whole metropolitan area, North Jersey, Westchester and Long Island, seem to have caught on too. Years ago, stores closed on holidays. Now I believe they are only closed Christmas and Thanksgiving. It's not that I want to buy anything. I just want to know that I could.

Against multiculturalism

The Bishop of Rochester weighs in on the situation in Britain:

[I]n the name of multiculturalism, mosque schools were encouraged and Muslim pupils spent up to six extra hours a day learning the Koran and Islamic tradition, as well as their own regional languages. Finally, there are the grievances. Some of these are genuine enough, but the complaint often boils down to the position that it is always right to intervene where Muslims are victims (as in Bosnia or Kosovo), and always wrong when they may be the oppressors or terrorists (as with the Taliban or in Iraq), even when their victims are also mainly Muslims.

Given the world view that has given rise to such grievances, there can never be sufficient appeasement, and new demands will continue to be made. It is clear, therefore, that the multiculturalism beloved of our political and civic bureaucracies has not only failed to deliver peace, but is the partial cause of the present alienation of so many Muslim young people from the society in which they were born, where they have been educated and where they have lived most of their lives. The Cantle Report, in the wake of disturbances in Bradford, pointed out that housing and schools policies that favoured segregation, in the name of cultural integrity and cohesion, have had the unforeseen consequence of alienating the different religious, racial and cultural groups from one another.

A very significant number of policies will have to be rethought. In this, the Government will need expert help. There must be greater encouragement for moderate Muslim voices to be heard more clearly. All religious leaders, representing any faith, wanting to work here, must be required to show that they are properly qualified, can speak English and are willing to undertake courses in adaptation to culture in this country: a number of suitable institutions offer such courses. Immigration policy should be shaped in such a way as to be able to discover whether potential immigrants have sympathy for characteristically British values and for the way of life here.

The cultural heritage of people who come here must be respected. They should be able to take pride in their language, literature, art and spiritual background. At the same time, if they are to adjust to life in this country, they should be prepared to live in mixed communities, and not on their own. Their children should attend school along with those who come from the host culture, or from other cultures and traditions. They should be willing to learn through the medium of English and to be socially mobile, rather than "ghetto-ised" on the basis of religion, language or culture.

Politicians keep talking about the need to teach British values so that there can be national cohesion. But what are these values, and whence do they come? The most fundamental of these has to do with the innate dignity of all human beings, with fundamental equality, with liberty and with safety from harm. Those learning such values will know how to respect the dignity of people who are quite different from them in appearance, language or belief.

They will not see themselves as superior because of their religious or cultural roots, but regard every human life as of equal worth. They will be committed to freedom of belief and of expression. They will know that their fellow citizens have the right to safety from harm and that this extends not only to individual security, but also the safety of those institutions, such as democracy or a free press, that make liberty possible and actual.

Values, however, are not free-standing; they are deeply rooted in a vision of society. Whether we like it or not, characteristic British values arise out of the Christian faith and its vision of personal and common good. These were clarified by the Enlightenment and became the bed-rock of our modern political arrangements. The Enlightenment, however, by consigning Christianity to the private sphere, also removed the basis and justification for these values in the public sphere.

It is this basis and justification that needs to be recovered if our values are to be secure, and if they are to help inculcate the virtues of generosity, loyalty, moderation and love that lead to personal fulfilment and social wellbeing.

Read the whole thing. The comments are thoughtful and interesting as well.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Here we go again

from Thomas the Wraith:

The Times UK has disturbing news.

On Thursday an all-party parliamentary inquiry will state that anti-Semitic violence has become endemic in Britain, both on the streets and university campuses. The report will call for urgent action from the Government, the police and educational establishments. ... ...

The July incidents “were more dispersed than usual”, Mr Gardner said. “It is usually a small number responsible for a large number of attacks, but these were very widespread across the country and included graffiti attacks on synagogues in Edinburgh and Glasgow.”

The attackers, when visible, are from across society, he said. “When it’s verbal abuse, it’s just ordinary people in the street, from middle-class women to working-class men. All colours and backgrounds. We hardly ever see incidents involving the classic neo-Nazi skinhead. Muslims are over-represented.” ... ...

In Hampstead Garden Suburb, swastikas and the words “Kill all Jews” and “Allah” were daubed on the house and car of Justin Stebbing. Dr Stebbing, who works at a hospital, said: “I felt violated. It’s horrible.”

Jon Benjamin, of the Board of Deputies, said: “The problem is the spin that Israel is an irredeemably evil regime, and we are concerned that it may become common currency to connect British Jews with this."

The same old, dreary story.

I want one of each

A miscarriage of justice in the Natalee Holloway case

from Potfrey.

Round-up on Armitage-Plame-Fitzgerald

if anyone cares.

For me, the most interesting thing about the whole mess (courtesy of your tax dollars) is the journalistic preening.

Three weeks before Armitage spoke to Novak, he made a similar, offhand disclosure of Plame's employment to Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward, the former colleague added. Armitage disclosed the conversation to Fitzgerald after Woodward reminded him of it in October 2005, and Woodward subsequently gave a deposition about the conversation.

"Of course, I have nothing to say about sources," Woodward said yesterday.

The pompousness and arrogance of this is breath-taking. Journalists seem to believe they are protected by divine right, like priests, or long tradition, like doctors or lawyers. They are wrong. And shield laws that protect them are a mistake. They are ordinary citizens, and should be obliged to obey the laws--just like everyone else.

The whole idea of anonymous sources needs to be scrutinized. It encourages tale-bearing by those with an axe to grind. A criminal defending himself in a court of law gets to confront his accusers. Why not a government official similarly accused?

I hope this will be the end of special prosecutors. Not one of them has done any good, and they have done a world of harm. Just ask Scooter Libby.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Summer doldrums

Nothing is happening, no-one is watching. All the big guns at Fox appear to be on vacation this week, leaving Team B in charge. Hannity and Colmes actually had a segment, I'm not kidding, about a midget who hit his head on a sink while shaving. He is sueing the prison officials for discrimination against the handicapped.

Can I fit the world "lame" in here somewhere?

Did the Fox journalists let us down by not dying?

We report, you decide.

I think the next time Fox hires journalists they should make sure they hire someone who has the integrity to die rather than convert to Islam. Perhaps they might screen prospective hires by asking on the job application if they would choose death or Islam. They could even stage a mock scenario where someone bursts into the room during the job interview and puts a gun to the applicant's head just to test the response. Clearly, Fox News must do whatever is necessary to avoid risking such a lapse in judgment again.

Now, I know some of you must be thinking: "What would you do, ... if someone tried to force you to convert at gunpoint?" Well, it's very easy for me to say that I would not convert if they held a gun to my head or to the heads of my family or to the heads of my pets or even if they held a gun to the head of La Shawn Barber or Debbie Schlussel. I can state that without any hesitation whatsoever. Of course, no one is holding a gun to my head right now.

So I'm reading this really good courtroom drama

Suddenly, just as the DA is pointing his finger at a witness, and our heroine is racing to get to court with the one person who will prove our hero's innocence, the action stops dead. The author then proves that he is a really thinking, caring and sensitive person who has credentials from the thinking-sensitive-caring community,
by inserting a sermonette on how dumb (evil, racist, vicious) President Bush is. This puts me completely out of the mood, causing me to ponder how dumb (irrelevant, witless) this is in the context of a novel. I no longer enjoy the book. I want to throw it out the window.

Why does every author, on whatever subject, have to make it clear that he/she is politically on the side of the angels? I swear, if you read an article on how to propagate marigolds, the author is sure to throw in a completely beside-the-point diatribe on Bush. If it is an older work, the darts are aimed at Reagan. Either way, I'm not interested. Not only not interested, turned off.

As a bonus, I think the author is a jackass.

While I'm on the subject, what makes Tim Robbins think I give a s**t what he thinks about anything? I've actually disliked Meryl Streep since she made her views of Alar known and practically destroyed the Chilean apple business.

Memo to actors, author, painters, journalists: Stay on topic.

A tribute to Naguib Mahfouz

by an Iranian living in London.

In 1989, after Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa for apostasy against Salman Rushdie, a blind Egyptian theologian, Omar Abdul-Rahman, told a journalist that if Mahfouz had been punished for writing this novel, Rushdie would not have dared publish his. In 1994 Islamic extremists attempted to assassinate the 82-year-old novelist, stabbing him in the neck outside his Cairo home.

Read the whole thing.

The Carnival of Comedy is up

at Steve the Pirate.