4/19/2003

LAURENCE SIMON DID NOT KILL JESUS CHRIST And neither did I. Or anyone else I know in the Jewish community, okay? The evidence is flimsy at best. Ever read the Gospels? Four guys who can't get their story straight. Two Jews, one living in Antioch writing self-hating polemics, the other left behind in Israel, another Jew going slowly mad on Patmos, surviving on desert cactus, and 'shrooms, seeing beasts with seven horns rising out of the sea (wow, that was some powerful shit man) and some Greek quack who wasn't even there when it (allegedly) happened! No prosecutor would go to trial with evidence that flimsy. Lionel Hutz could take that crew apart on the stand without breaking a sweat.

First off, I wasn't there at the time. It's impossible. That was 33 AD, and now it's 2000-something. Unless you think I am some sort of Two Thousand Year Old Man or I have a time machine jammed up my ass, I have an incredibly fucking strong alibi. If I did have a time machine, I wouldn't be going back and killing the Son of God. After finding out who really killed Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, I'd be castrating your father with a hedge trimmer just before he fucked his sister and she gave birth to you. [ ... ] Next, if you believe the creepy ghost story that the bearded hippie came back from the dead, then it really wasn't murder after all. When you murder someone, they're dead. Draw a chalk outline around them and start looking in their pockets for spare change. But Jesus apparently didn't die. A few days later, he's back causing a public disturbance again. You'd think that the first thing he'd do is bathe... being dead a few days must have stank up to high hell. But at worst, it was attempted murder and not Murder One like the holier-than-thou "Christ Killer" claim. Since we've got more lawyers in our clan than you guys, I bet we'll get off with reckless endangerment or assault, so after 3 or 4 years we'll get parole so you can kindly shut the fuck up about Christ Killers after 2005, got it?

To advance their careers, Rabinovich and Khaimovich decided to convert to Christianity. As they were afraid of the baptism ceremony, they dragged their feet for several months, each of them hoping that the other one would convert first and then tell about the procedure. Finally, they couldn't put it off for longer, so they threw dice. Rabinovich was to go to the church first, and Khaimovich would wait outside. With tears in his eyes, Rabinovich hugged Khaimovich and, shaking in fear, walked into the church. Khaimovich stayed outside, waiting impatiently for his friend's reappearance. In twenty minutes Rabinovich walked out, stretched his limbs and lit a cigarette. Khaimovich ran toward the new Christian and asked, "Nu, Isaak, tell me, how was it?" Rabinovich answered, "First, I am not Isaak, but Ivan. Second, kike, you better tell me why did you crucify our Jesus Christ?"
Cue the Bratwursts... Bush pointedly did not congratulate Schroeder on his narrow victory. The two have not spoken since November. German media have reported Bush has declined to take calls from Schroeder. "Even though differences of opinion on this question were so serious, it does not impair transatlantic relations," Schroeder said. "I think political leaders on both sides are professional enough to recognize relations are on a solid foundation." Nothing like a little cognitive dissonance to start the day off with. Gerhard ol buddy, have you noticed that Bush won't take your calls? I'd say that is a sign of an impaired transatlantic relationship.
WIBBLE Another scene from the Culture War. As soon as I get a handle on whether we're winning, I'll be sure to let you know.

A Perth principal who tried to cancel the school's traditional Anzac Day ceremony yesterday defended his decision, saying he thought a formal service might traumatise students from war-torn countries. Koondoola Primary School principal Rudy Rybarczyk [for the love of God, buy a vowel!] had decided it was not appropriate to have an Anzac Day service given the ethnic diversity of the students.

Western Australia's elite politico-educational bureacracy creaked dozily into semi-action mere days afterwards.

But Education Minister Alan Carpenter intervened yesterday and overturned the decision, saying it could have led to vilification of the school's Iraqi students. "Anzac Day is about understanding what war is about and it is an integral part of the Australian cultural landscape," Mr Carpenter said. "If I hadn't interfered this way, that school would have had everyone on their doorstep demanding to know why it was done. It would have done more damage than holding the service." [ ... ] Mr Carpenter said that since the war on Iraq began, his office had received many letters asking "in base terms" why the Government allowed Islamic schools. He was concerned about vilification which could extend to the school if it had banned the Anzac service. "It would have ignited all that ugly prejudice we don't want to see," Mr Carpenter said.

I note that the education minister's desire to hold the ANZAC Day service is prompted not by the fact that it's important in and of itself as an expression of Australian culture and identity, but because of fear of a backlash. Evil, racist, white Skippies, crazed with Christian fundamentalist-inspired hatred of the Prophet (pbuh), would doubtless descend on the school and tear the innocent Muslim students into bloody chunks. Puh-leeze!
CULTURAL CONVERGENCE I don't understand why the Left has it's collective pants in such a wad about US cultural imperialism, when it's as clear as day that New Zealand has already drifted over the event horizon and is even now spiralling swiftly into the unbreakable grip of the gravity well that is Getting Paid For Being Insulted.

A student who accused a Maori Anglican bishop of racial insults received a secret payout of $10,000. Miriama Mokomoko claimed she was driven from a social services course by bullying tactics from Bishop John Gray, who heads the Maori Anglican church in the South Island. The bishop taught cultural awareness to social work students at Te Whare Wananga O Te Waipounamu – the church's regional training and education arm. He allegedly called Ms Mokomoko a "mixed-up Maori" who had "too much pakeha" because she wore attractive clothes and make-up.

I remember at school, any Maori student who did well in exams was labelled a "Mallowpuff" (chocolate on the outside, but white in the inside, the US equivalent would be "Oreo") and teased unmercifully. It was a way for some of the dumber kids to drag their superiors down to their level by imposing an assumption about Maori culture not valuing education. Being clever just wasn't "street" enough. I also recall that there were plenty of Maori kids who refused to buy that crap, but others lacked the will to defy the collective. At least this girl stood up for herself!

Four other students who attended Te Waipounamu are now locked in their own battle with the Anglican church. They are demanding almost $90,000 compensation for alleged "abhorrent behaviour" by Bishop Gray, and other grievances. One of the students, Sharyn Wasley-Hill, alleged the bishop asked her how she would react to the name "white trash". Another student, Nyree Bowen-Lilly, complained after being told the bishop had allegedly called her a "half-baked cookie" behind her back.

How much of this race hucksterism is going on that we're NOT hearing about?
SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE AT THE AL-GUARDIAN Remote probes are sending back weak signals from behind the lines indicating that a few brave souls are still operating deep in enemy territory, Top special forces operative in this sector of the Culture War is Julie Burchill, god bless her and all who sail in her.

When anti-war/pro-Saddam types had finished trotting out all the dumb clichés to no avail - "It's About Oil!" (yes, among other things, and unless you live in a cave or a windmill and walk everywhere rather than take a car, bus or plane, then shut up, you hypocrite); "We Armed Him!" (not much, the USSR mostly, but even if we did it a bit, then surely it was our responsibility to make up for that by taking him out); "It'll Make Muslims Angry!" (duh! they were angry before) - they always came over all misty-eyed about the troops. "Our Boys! Bring them home! Now!" Yes, what were formerly units of the English Fascist Imperialist Killing Machine, all through the 30-plus years of keeping the Catholics and Protestants from massacring each other in Northern Ireland, who as an occupying army deserved all they got from those brave kiddy-killing Republicans (but anti-abortionists! the IRA, like Reagan, believed that the sanctity of life began at conception and ended at birth), are now suddenly precious flowers of humanity, not one of whom the most hardline of self-loathing Brit-haters can bear to see suffer so much as a flesh wound.

Smoke her a kipper, she'll be back for breakfast, just in time for tea and medals.
I've changed my mind
And think that everyone should immediately begin making donations to PETA. Recommendation? Send them a bag of charcoal. Nifty purse design suggestions might help, too.
HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN? I can't even begin to forget, even assuming I wanted to, which I don't think I do. I think the images of 9/11 will be with me for the rest of my life. James Lileks says for him, the sight of the US flag that flew at the Pentagon on that day covering the face of that statue of Saddam bookends the experience. I can see why. It may not be the end, or even the beginning of the end, but as Churchill said, it is the end of the beginning. I've spent the past wek or so rather obsessively viewing DVDs about 9/11. Not sure why. Maybe, like Lileks, I'm feeling the need to bookend the past 19 months. The victory in Iraq has triggered several reactions, the main one being...weariness. Not the "too tired to fight anymore" tired, just the need to stop, take a breath, look around, and live like a human being for a moment. Like a lot of people, I'm not the same person I was on the 10th of September, 2001. Not at all. Those planes brought my entire world crashing down in flames and rubble. The experience scratched me fiercely and deeply, in a way that goes beyon mere politics. It's altered me in ways I'm still exploring. The cynical might suggest I'm much more willing to employ violence than I was, and I wouldn't disagree. And I don't apologise for that. That's another change. I don't apologise for anything anymore. I'm sick of it. By launching his challenge to the West, Osama miscalculated badly, as Arabs almost always do. He forced many of us to reflect seriously on "why they hate us". Trouble is, upon investigation, it turns out we're Number One! Western civilisation has brought an end to slavery, the concept of human rights, rule of law, free speech, democracy and capitalism. In the meantime, Arab culture has developed the suicide bomber and not such else. Compare and contrast. I'm reliably informed that Islamic culture was the dog's bollocks circa the 12th century. Fantastic. Congratulations. What have you done for the world lately? They've been in freefall since the collapse of Al Andalus (caused by Islamic fundamentalist intolerance of Jews and Christians, there's a clue in there for anyone who cares to look) and nowadays all I hear is a lot of whining about how it's just not fair Arabs don't run the world. But very little actual reflection on the causes of their relative decline, and some that do talk about objective reality tend get a fatwa-inspired reprimand between the shoulder-blades. Ask Naguib Mafouz. A side-effect of this forced reflection on culture, politics, religion and identity has been (for me, and possibly for others) a rediscovery of history as a process. History isn't somerthing that happened years ago, it's something that shapes us, and which we are shaping in turn. My own journey has led me to look at my own cultural roots in England and Scotland. Now I know as a white person that I am supposed to have no culture, that anything I own was stolen from indigenous third world victims, and my role in life is to make amends for the alleged sins of my ancestors. But here's what I say to that sort of thing nowadays. Get stuffed. Let me tell you something about my ancstors, and lessons I have learned from studying their deeds. Back two hundred years ago, they lived short, painful, impoverished lives in appalling conditions, with rampant disease, shocking levels of infant mortality, and vicious tribal warfare. Needless to say, this lifestyle has now been glamourised as the glorious days of yore when the Clans fought with honour in the romatic glens and lochs of the Highlands. The battle of Cullodden, which finally ended the Gaelic-speaking Highland culture, has been painted as some sort of gallant last stand of ancient warriors, standing shoulder to shoulder in the Celtic twilight for that most Gaelic of things - a Lost Cause. Let me tell you something, as a descendant of one of the commanders of the Jacobite Army at Cullodden. It gives me no particular pleasure to say this, but here goes. It's a good thing that the Hanovrian Army beat us. It's a good thing that the lowland Scots were finally freed from the terror of the armed tribes. It had to happen. The future was coming, and if that feudal warrior mentality had lasted, Scotland would have fallen under it's wheels and been crushed. Instead, the extinction of the military power of the clans, the prohibition of highland plaid and forbidding of the Gaelic tongue forced the medieval serfs out of their darkness and into the modern world, albeit very much against their will. The Highland Clearances, which replaced people with more profitable sheep, forced a massive migration of Highlanders to America, Canada, Nova Scotia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. That's why there are so many Scots names in your local phone book. They're citizens of the modern democracies, all because some bastard laird sold out their ancestors, broke the ties of feudal loyalty, and was paid handsomely by an absentee landlord for the land they lived on. More money could be made from running Cheviot sheep than people. And in the Enlightenment, who needed several hundred loyal men-at-arms anyway? Don't get me wrong. I'm not excusing what happened. Crofts were burned over people's heads. Evicted families ate seaweed on the shore or starved. When the emigrant ships left Tobermory, there was often cholera below decks before they lost sight of shore. An average 70% of the children under fived died during the voyage. An entire culture and language died, or lived on in incresingly dim memories in Ontario, South Carolina, Ballarat and Dunedin. It was ugly, it was unfair, and many people suffered terribly and died because of it. But here I am now, a citizen of the modern world, speaking English, using the very best communications technology on the planet, living a free, prosperous and (hopefully) long life. And all because of an act of near-genocide two centuries or so ago. Will there be any Arabs in the year 2203 who will reflect similarly on their position? Will they acknowledge that something had to be done to jerk them out of their madness, and turn them, perhaps forcibly, towards the modern world? Because it has to happen. Bonnie Prince Shit-for-brains got all the way to Derby before turning back, and although Osama and others of that ilk haven't met with similar success yet, the danger they pose to the modern world is very real indeed. When the Hanoverian forces went up north in pursuit of the retreating Jacobites, a new, third verse was added to the National Anthem.

"God grant that General Wade May be Thy mighty aid Victory bring May he sedition hush And like a torrent rush Rebellious Scots to crush God save the King"

It never really caught on in Scotland.

4/18/2003

Recipe time again
The name of this is 'that chicken thing I just made up'
4 chicken wings
about 1 cup or so of cooked rice
1 can of cream of chicken soup
Garlic powder
onion powder
pepper
butter (of course)
Prepare rice in rice cooker, with liberal dosage of garlic and onion powders and a couple of tablespoons of butter. Arrange chicken wings in the bottom of Pyrex dish. Coat liberally with garlic and onion powders, and pepper. Mash cooked rice onto and around wings. Add more butter. Dump can of cream of chicken soup on top, as is. Cover and bake for one hour to one hour 15 minutes in a 350(F) oven. Chef's tip: Do not take a nap and let this cook for almost three hours instead of the recommended period. It doesn't burn, per se, but the chicken does stick to the bottom, and is so tender that it comes apart when you dish it up. The nice golden brown and crispy skin parts get left behind. Still tastes good, though.
Escalation
Things have totally gotten out of hand now, haven't they. What started out as simply a morning annoyance has now spread half way around the world, leaving consternation in its wake. I'm just as amazed as Bruce is, that this situation continues unabated. The only first hand example I can draw on is the 5am prayer calls from my time over in the Gulf. Wake you up they will, the first two or three mornings, blasting over the finest PA system that can be rigged from a mosque tower less than 100 yards away from your billet. Usually, however, by the third morning or so, it is an expected background noise, and it doesn't even register. Since this was a possibility, and there weren't any scary images being generated for constant consumption on all the cable channels, letting this just play itself out was the first choice. Have to say that no, can't just whistle up a cell of BUFFs to lay in a full load of Mk82s on the neighborhood. Wouldn't want to either, as this would certainly be assigned to the 'high risk of collateral damage' targeting list. This would call for much subtler weaponeering - to the point of obliterating the target (woodpecker), without inflicting damage to either the metal flue stack, nor the surrounding shingling. Think we've heard a lot about this bird? Imagine what it'd be like every time it rained if there was a leak in the roof! The outrage would make the looting of the Museum in Baghdad shrink to the level of a kid swiping a candy bar from the corner 7-11 in comparison. Direct action (such as the Arc Light approach, or even the popular JDAM through the upper left corner of the top right window) would probably be way too messy. It also runs additional risks as well, the possibility of running afoul of Federal Animal Protection statutes and all. Sheesh, the thought of the US Attorney's office and PETA teaming up to come after you...the stuff of nightmares. That pretty much eliminates that type of approach, thank goodness. The staffing of the request up to the JCS (including but not limited to - background papers, PowerPoint briefings, funding and apportionment hassles, impacts on recurring training and qualification levels for the crews, the studies to determine effect on the overall life cycle of the weapon system, the need for a specialized improvement to existing detection and targeting systems to increase the percentage of times that the woodpecker 'signature' is correctly identified, spiral development timing and cost estimates for the upgrades program, formulation of specific tactics, techniques and procedures for woodpecker engagement in a variety of modes to include low level, medium level, and high level, along with a complete integration of known or suspected threats and options for dealing with same in all profiles, plus the exercises and live range validation of these procedures...) is a 'significant hurdle' to overcome for just a frikkin noisy bird. Not that it couldn't happen, with the right backing, but without that, realistically estimate that by the time all the paperwork is done, if there isn't a fight in Congressional appropriation for the funding, and there are no unexpected glitches from the R&D realm, we might have a solution for the problem by the 3rd quarter of fiscal year 2009. Not so sure I can really endorse the psyops options described either. Although some humans may have demonstrated a marked lack of environmental adaptability in this particular situation, there are many examples of birds doing so. For years now, civilian and military airfield managers, particularly along migratory flight paths, have grappled with the issue of birds. Not for the noise factor at 6am, but simply because the modern turbofan engine gets severe indigestion after sucking up a few ducks, or a couple of Canadian geese. Now while the artificial noise tack does seem good on paper, the 'stupid' animals usually catch on pretty quickly, and ignore it. Most places have hired teams, with dogs, random noisemakers, all very expensive. As for the final set of four courses of action, exploring the military option makes about as much sense. Keep in mind that these tips come from a bunch of folks dedicated to making sure that nary a feather on the lil' darlings heads gets ruffled in the process. Somehow, I have a hard time visualizing, much less even conceiving, of Meryl climbing on the roof with a roll of hardware cloth to construct a barrier around the chimney vent to keep the woodpecker at bay. Not that I don't think she can manage the construction aspect of it, its that she herself has mentioned an absolute dread of heights. however, sidestepping this fear of heights might just be the ticket. Meryl needs to sweet talk somebody into climbing up there. But not armed with unsightly hardware cloth. Pine resin. Now is the time of year for it, and its everywhere. Just check your car (jeep) if you park anywhere near pine trees. And it isn't too water soluble so it won't just wash off with the first heavy rain. Its sticky. *note* most birds HATE sticky. Avoid it like, well, sticky. Get someone to coat the top of the flue (only the top) with some pine resin. It isn't sticky enough to make the woodpecker a semi-permanent rotting fixture, but enough to probably make him cross it off his '10 good ways to pick up babes' short list.
THE WOODPECKER MUST DIE! Hands up everyone who is as sick of Woody Effing Woodpecker as Meryl Yourish? Yup, thought so. Right, this whole episode has gone on long enough. It's time the Blogosphere took a hand in this deteriorating situation, and moved in to stabilise matters, paving the way for a peaceful resolution fair to all the parties, and ratified by an international body to add credibility to the process. That, or kill the damn bird. Actually, you can't do the simplest and most obvious thing - plink the little bugger with a BB gun. Woodpeckers are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act as migratory, nongame birds. Some species are also protected by state laws. You cannot shoot them! Also, hiding in bushes in a suburban street pointing a firearm might get one invited to drop by the police station to explain matters. Okay, let's take a look at the problem. In essence, Meryl keeps getting woken up at the crack of dawn by a woodpecker trying futilely to hammer it's way through sheet metal. When they were handing out brains to birds, this guy was clearly at the head of the line - to hold the door for everyone else. Let's assume we're dealing with the Pileated Woodpecker, the most common species in the US. It says here that the pileated woodpecker feeds mostly on carpenter ants, which are found in decaying wood. They also will eat termites, acorns and berries. A mated pair of woodpeckers will get together each morning to search for food. A pair eh? Meryl only mentions one. Maybe he's hitting the dating circut, and he's whacking away at the metal just to draw attention from a lady woodpecker. "Hey babe, lookit this. I can make a REALLY loud noise. See? I can even make a human get out of a nice warm bed to come outside and biff an ice-cube at me. Pretty neat eh?" Let's take the direct approach. Assuming for arguments sake that Brad can't whistle up a B-52 "Arc Light" strike, we're left with more natural approaches. When sparrows were making a shocking mess of the Crystal Palace during the 1856 Great Exhibition, they couldn't shoot the damn things because they'd smash the glass. The sparrows were too smart for poison. Frankly, the experts were stumped. So Queen Vicky turned to the Duke of Wellington and asked him. Once he'd completely woken up (he was getting on a bit by that stage), he thought for a bit and finally said "Sparrowhawks!" and resumed his nap by the fire. Worked a treat too. Let's see, what are the natural predators of the Woodpecker? Squirrels, tree-climbing snakes, other nesting birds and birds of prey. Hmmm, squirrels eh? Meryl, I seem to recall it's pretty much squirrel central where you live, your cats were always trying to catch them running along the fence. But even if you caught a squirrel and put it on your roof, it'd just jump off. I suppose you could tether a hawk to your roof, but that might not be easily arranged. You'd probably wind up getting your face clawed to rubbons. Your cats? They might have, ah, "issues" with you if you put them on your roof in the pre-dawn. Pissed off cats are not nice to be around. They hold grudges. Trust me, I know. Okay, let's try a moderate technical approach. You may not be able to force the woodpecker's natural enemies onto your property, but there is a way to attract them to the vicinity, giving you a better chance of having the bird perish by natural causes. I refer of course to Johhny Stewart Wildlife calls - tape recordings of distressed wildlife guaranteed to attract just the critters you need!

CT116A Squealing Bird Grown Woodpecker Distress Super Effective On All Predators CT116B Baby Woodpecker Great Sounds For Cats, Coons & Coyotes CT116E Squealing Woodpecker Rapid, High Pitch Distress Will Bring Impressive Results

According to the website, any of these recorded distress cries should bring you bears, bobcats, cougars, coyotes, foxes, and raccoons. Um, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't suddenly have a pack of cougars wandering past your window, or get slapped with a nuisance writ by your neighbours because a grizzly took little Timmy. Suburban Richmond would only have raccoons and maybe foxes, right? Right? Back me up here! Actually, what it almost certainly WOULD attract is cats. And even if they don't nail the woodpecker, he might take one look at your neighbourhood, now swarming with deadly felines, and decide Maryland looks a lot healthier. There, a possible solution. And they say the Internet is a waste of time! If all else fails, I suppose you could always read "4 Ways to Get Rid of Woodpeckers", but I'm sure Meryl wouldn't want to do something as obvious as that.
Say No to the UN Ask these guys how many roads they have built in Afghanistan in the past year and a half. If the answer is none (it is), then why should we allow them to control Iraq's reconstruction?

4/17/2003

I wonder why the Dems got left out?
Dogs, Guns, Weasels, say no more
Perry de Havilland over at Samizdata has a pretty good take on the latest ploy from the Weasels...in terms even PETA can understand.
A good reason not to try to write while playing Twister...
Can be found in Marc Cooper's online essay at the LA Weekly. Must have been trying to get his left foot on blue while he had his right hand on green, or some such thing, when he came up with his analogy to denounce the latest excesses of the Castro regime in Cuba in delusional terms of an amok John Ashcroft.
Have you ever imagined what it would be like living in a society where, say, a John Ashcroft would be unrestrained by the niceties of constitutional law? Where draconian enforcement of a Patriot Act includes long prison terms for alleged thought crimes? Where, in the name of fighting “terrorism,” nonviolent prisoners are summarily executed after being denied even the trappings of due process?
Somebody get the man a fresh roll of tinfoil. Marc does show a slight glimpse of recognition of sanity, way, way off in the distance, at least enough to realize that what has happened in Cuba lately is horrid, and that, hey, there is actually a difference between a totalitarian dictatorship and, say for instance, the United States.
I don’t pretend to know the minutiae of Cuban law (a seeming oxymoron) well enough to tell if it is a high felony to hobnob with gringo diplomats. (I do know I have had coffee numerous times with Cuban diplomats here in the U.S., and they have given me books and magazines, and I never once thought that would land me in prison.) But when police arrested these dissidents they found no grenades, dynamite or guns. But rather, in a scene right out of Fahrenheit 451, the uniformed defenders of the Cuban Revolution confiscated fax machines, typewriters and computers. Spin this any way you please, but in the end these people are being jailed not for anything they have done — but rather for things they have said. Or read.
[emphasis mine]
Marc continues to seem to drift in a nether leftist void, where reality is visible, yet can only be described in the most abstract and esoteric ways, seeming to lack any solid point of reference
Some friends of mine urged me not to write this column, arguing that at a time when U.S. troops are occupying Iraq, this would only “play into the hands of the right.” That is, of course, ridiculous. There are many enemies of freedom in the world, and — no — not all of them live in Washington. The actions taken by Fidel Castro this past month, precisely in this moment of American belligerence, are guaranteed to only please the ultraright. They help confirm my longtime suspicion that Castro lives in mortal fear that his most powerful tool of social control, the U.S. embargo, will one day be lifted.
This thought process must inhabit an orbit out near the Oort cloud somewhere - to frame these actions in terms of being, somehow, pleasing, to anyone borders on absolutely revolting. The bottom line conclusion, that Castro did this to incite the US into a position of not dropping the sanctions is quite probably accurate, but what a surreal path this follows to get there. Sometimes it is actually easier to just call evil exactly that - no paranoid comparisons required, nor a Twister spinner, either. (Via Instapundit and Matt Welch, who has some comments of his own)
SHE IS WEIRD, SHE HAS CATS, AND SHE IS FROM TEXAS! My dear friend Jennifer (whom, like several other dear friends I have never met) has finally caught the blogging bug. I'd like to think that it's the weird Silent Running infliuence that made her make that historic step. I hope she realizes that there is no way back, and that her and her family's life will never be the same. We are all looking forward to some delicious weirdness, possibly along with some pictures, that may or may not involve cats and/or breasts. In any case, plenty of beer is to be expected. Wind, will you please do that thing that you do and add Jennifer to our ever expanding blogroll?
"AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, THE ONLY THING THE FRENCH SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO HOST IS AN INVASION" Rowan Atkinson is only funny when he's being verbal. I find his attempt at silent physical comedy as "Mr Bean" about as funny as...well, three very unfunny things. Having said that, I have to declare "Johnny English", the James Bond spoof movie he's just done, to have the soundest Anglospheric politics of any entertainment currently available (outside of "24", but that's a TV show). Oh, it's a pile of old kack, don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not trying to assert that it's a particularly good film, I mean, Natalie Imbruglia as an Interpol agent? She's restful on the eyes, and how often to you get to see an Aussie pop tart shot out of a car in an ejector seat, but that's about it. What I like is the general attitude of the movie towards our dear, dear friends the French. The main villain is a French nobleman who plots to replace Lizzie as Monarch so he can turn the UK into a giganting dumping ground for the planet's riff-raff, and his henchment are all sinister Germans. Perfect! And the French villain is played by John Malkovich, with possibly the fakest French accent since Inspector Clouseau. Critics are saying it's a piss-poor accent, but I think they're missing the point. I reckon it's deliberate. Malkovich actually lives in France, and I think can be relied upon to know what he's doing. I reckon its a deliberate send-up. "John, bubeleh, we just got a script from Rowan Atkinson, he wants you to play a villan in a Bond spoof" "For Gods sake, what sort of an agent are you? I'm a serious actor, I don't do cheap British comedies". "Rowan told me to be sure and tell you you'll get the chance to mock the French". "I'll be on the set at nine". As noted at Sasha and Andrew's Roundtable, Malkovich may live in Frence, but he's no fan of their foreign policy.

"The French say that everybody else has a self-interest in Iraq. But none is more obvious than theirs, and they're absolutely blind to it," he says. "Why should America listen to what France now has to say? "I've lived in Europe for years. I have a lot of dear friends there. But if they're so smart, why Franco? Why fascism? I just think they should be more curious about their own regimes.'' Lest anyone question his right to comment on such matters, Malkovich adds: "My father was a soldier. My uncle was a soldier. And the reason that our parents fought and died for things is so that people can get up and shoot off their mouths about things they know fuck all about."

Any man whose idea of fun is threatening to shoot George Galloway and Robert Fisk is okay in my book.

4/16/2003

Cute Kitty Competition Winner.
Mr Kitty
And the Oscar for best contrived voting goes too…. Nadene for getting her whole class to vote. Beneficiaries of this action were Dusty and “Mr Kitty” with Mr Kitty coming out in front. This is not the first time Mr Kitty - or Rokan as it says on his cage – has been the subject of public acclaim. Recently he got to play with an escaped mental patient and the score was Tiger 1 – EMP nil. This was during some very high profile dog attack cases and there was some concern that Rokan might be for the chop as is the norm for dogs that try to eat people. Wellington Zoo was overwhelmed by concerned callers and visitor numbers went through the roof. However it turns that while there is NO shortage of loonies in New Zealand, Sumatran tigers are in very short supply. Besides, according to Nadene, “he’s just a softie and he was only playing”. The prize: It turns out that Nadene already has access to marmite and has deferred the prize to the second place getter. After examining the votes and the number of times some cats got voted for from the same IP, the judge has ruled that the prize will go to Fanbelt. The prize will be forwarded to Fanbelt’s representative on receipt of a mailing address. Next poll: Who is Silent Runnings Weirdest? Competition is bound to be fierce on this one with so many qualifying. Nominations can come from anyone who has posted or commented. Please include a sample of your nominees “weirdness” when you make the nomination either in the comments section or by mail.
Geriatric Delinquents Six members of Peace Action Kapiti were thrown off a train on Saturday after a confrontation with the trains guard. According to the poor peace loving protestors, the guard told them he supported the war and became abusive before forcing them off the train. The guards’ version; he put them off the train after they became rowdy and began sticking anti-war posters on to the train’s windows. The group included such august persons as Kapiti Coast district councillor Alan Tristram & Paekakariki Community Board chairman Barry Williams. Who took it upon themselves to complain to Tranz Metro, the rail company. After interviewing other witnesses who said, “the group were rowdy and some of their comments were getting nasty” Tranz Metro concluded the guard had acted appropriately. Interpretation: These people, drunk on their own perceived standing in the community and self righteousness, chose to use public transport travel to an anti-war rally rather than take their own cars so they could whip up some support. When support was sadly lacking (see next post) they did what all peace loving liberals do, they got aggressive and abusive, if not downright violent. Postscript: 1.Their ages ranged from 63 to 77. Guys, you’re setting a bad example for younger people, like my father! 2. The rally they were travelling to was such a flop NO ONE ran it as a story.
TV3 Watch The numbers may lie but they’re sure moving in the right direction. In the most recent TV3 poll here in NZ, 44% of Kiwis now support the war against Iraq and 46% oppose it. This is a double in the number of people that support the US lead operation according to TV3. Well excellent, it looks like we’re just about split down the middle and we can get rid of this “pacifist” label someone tied to hang on us. Just a second though, back up poll wagon. That 44% which is double from the previous poll, lets take another look at that shall we. The question there was “do you support unsanctioned action against Iraq?”. That poll included everyone who supported “UN sanction action” as being “against” the war. An interesting way to present the “facts” but even more telling when you realise that around half of that 46% “opposed” to war actually favour action against Iraq with UN involvment. In the same news report, PM Helen Clark took a three point hit attributed to her anti-US and anti-Bush comments of the week before. She is now getting hammered from all sides of the House demanding to know the contents of the letter of apology delivered in Washington. Looks like the peoples flag aint all that red any more Helen.
From: "Murray Hill" To: "Michael Moore" Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 5:54 PM Subject: You inspired me. Dear Mikey, I just wanted to let you know how much I was moved and Inspired by your film "Bowling for Columbine". It's seldom that I am ever compelled to take action by a movie; especially one I wasn't able to actually see myself. However your important message has filtered it's way down to me by many people who were likewise moved by your integrity and honesty and I’m sure I got an accurate picture of what you were saying. I know there have been detractors who have made scurrilous accusations about your work but clearly the award of an Oscar only shows that Hollywood itself backs you with all the credibility it has at it's command. As I say I was moved to action and as a result of your work, your integrity and your compelling honesty I purchased gun on the 15th of April in your honour. Ya get a big two cordite stained thumbs up from me big guy! Murray Hill
Bruce: Moore of the Awful Truth! Having barely gotten over the hit he took after being revealed as the infamous Torchy Kid of Bayswater, Mr Hill has made another tactical error in his public scorning of cats and cat people. We gave him a chance but he failed to come through so… Who could this be with that cute little kitten riding around on his shoulders because her paws are too precious to be allowed to touch the cold lino? Clearly someone who is ditzy about cats… one of the contestant’s humans perhaps? Possibly even Murray since clearly this a young Jessica perched on those broad fleshy shoulders.
Wait, perhaps he’ll turn and we’ll get a good look… oh the horror its...HIM!!!
But wait there’s more! Not only did he dote on little Jessica, when mum and dad went to work she would go and jump into bed with “Uncle Bruce” They had hours of fun playing together, Jessie’s favourite game being “washing day ambush” when she’d wait for Uncle Bruce to come staggering up the stairs with almost every item of clothing he owned in his arms. Then she’d wrap her herself around his ankle when one foot was off the ground. Being too afraid to put his foot down for fear of squishing little Jess, Uncle Bruce would invariable end up a broken wreck at the bottom of the stair well with Jess sitting at the top of the stairs looking VERY surprised.
Michele and Alan ROCK! (with Sekimori's help...)
If you haven't already seen it, go check out the new, improved, Sekimori designed Command Post. Tell ya what, Michele and Alan deserve all the accolades they've received for the CP. And then some. Its been an awesome ride so far, and I'm absolutely humbled to have even a minor role. What Alan and Michele have put together is simply just about one of the best things I've seen anywhere on the web, drawing on the talents of many, for the benefit of everyone. Thanks guys!
THE MARINES ARE HUMAN! Not only that, they are exceptionally decent humans as well! And wait for this one: they are (gasp) as good human beings as Arabs. Allah and his miracles be praised.This is the grounbreaking discovery Barbara Ferguson of the Arab News made, while embedded with the Marines. Next week: "Jews don't have horns!" Stay tuned.
SOME FOLKS STILL HAVEN'T GOT THE MESSAGE I'm really not sure what the United States has to do to get through to some people. I mean, it's just done the geo-strategic equivalent of going to prison and caving in the head of the toughest bastard in general population with an iron bar as a means of announcing that no-one better screw around with it. But the punks just don't seem to get it.

Palestinian Cabinet member Saeb Erakat said Wednesday that the United States violated the Oslo peace accords when it apprehended Abbas. Erakat pointed to the 1993 Oslo Accord, an Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement covering the West Bank and Gaza and signed by the United States, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the European Union, Russia, Jordan, Egypt and Norway. That agreement specified that no member of the Palestine Liberation Organization will be arrested or brought to court for any action that happened before September 13, 1993, the day the Oslo accord was signed, Erakat said.

You know, I could have sworn there was something in that agreement about halting terror as well, but in the demented bizzaro-world of the PLO, what's mine is mine, and what's yours is negotiable. Unless this "immunity" refers to some sort of "let me shoot Kiefer Sutherland in exchange for the location of the nuclear bomb in Los Angeles" kind of deal, than I don't think the US government will be terribly interested. Not that I'm against shooting Kiefer Sutherland, especially given his performance in "The Three Musketeers". What was he thinking? An agreement isn't binding when one of the signatories comprehensively breaks it, as I think we can all agree the Palestinians have done. So that's it. No immunity for you! Now duct-tape the bastard to a wheelchair, attach it to the steam catapault on the "Kitty Hawk", and shoot him off in the general direction of oblivion already!

4/15/2003

Scandal! Voting irregularities! Bribery & Corruption!!! Where you ask? Washington? The UN? Eketahuna RSA Social Club? No, right here at Silent Running where the need to have ones own kitty pronounced “the cutest” has lead to shenanigans that would leave a Maryland politician breathless so audacious are they. Yes, its sad but true dear readers, the auditing firm of Jessica T Hill & Assoc have carried out an check of voting in the Cute Kitty competition and discovered “irregularities”. When confronted with the damning evidence one contestant – whom we cannot name as Sarah, human of Kit & Caboodle – shamelessly admitted her own multiple votes and expressed no remorse. Other contestants have satisfactorily explained the sudden rise in the fortunes of their little darlings – Dusty has certainly gone ballistic – and no further action is needed in these cases. Well known “non-cat” person Bruce Hill was contacted for comment. Wah? He replied He went on to say “life a get” or some such phrase then generally ran on about “cat people” being weird. Of course Mr Hill now has 24 hours to tell us how great cats are or we publish “The Photos”.
heh heh heh
Check out this bunch of brutish 'invaders'. I think Murray wants them to frisk him. Tom repeated he wants an example of 'military discipline'. Dave already has his hands up, and the Captain has one hand up and ...hey, quit that!!
Nice Right Wing girls blog if you haven't seen it yet.
Gotcha!
US Forces played that popular game show known as GOTCHA! today in Iraq. Today's contestant was none other than Palestinian terrorist Abu Abbas. Although Reuters does the usual, describing Abbas as a 'geurrilla leader' and his victim during the Achille Lauro hijacking as simply 'an elderly American.' Abbas gets to play GOTCHA because he's a terrorist scumbag. Leon Klinghoffer wasn't simply an 'elderly American,' he was a man confined to a wheelchair, chosen by his murderers because he was Jewish. So Johnny, what has Abu won for playing GOTCHA today?
Yes! Mr. Abbas has won himself an all expenses paid airplane ride, hopefully with really tight handcuffs and leg irons on, to an idyllic 6 foot by 8 foot destination without a view. He'll be provided with the best ill fitting orange jumpsuit in the pile over there, and fed whatever slop we see fit to load up with pork fat for him. After a little while, Mr. Abbas can go on trial for MURDER with AGGREVATED CIRCUMSTANCE, and take a shot at the big prize, the Death Penalty! If he ends up with that prize he has so richly deserved for so long, we're sorry to say that he won't be going on a cruise ship, where he'd be duct taped to a wheelchair, butt stroked with an automatic rifle several times, then kicked overboard. (big awwww from the studio audience) He'll just be strapped down and be put to death quietly via lethal injection. (spontaneous applause, even without the prompters)
Thanks folks, tune in tommorrow, when we'll play another round of GOTCHA!

4/14/2003

As I was pondering my fate today, I got sidetracked by a news article about Iraq. It mentioned that many Iraqis don't trust our intentions. We have a chance to create an enormous amount of goodwill in the Middle East. If we do what we say and leave there quickly, even if it cost us a ton of money, it could repair all the damage that we have done over the years. It would also go a long way in "drying the pond" of terrorist recruits. I just hope we don't muck it up.
Noooooooo! Not THAT Smoking Gun! Or smoking THAT gun, or...(hurl)
I'd joked about it in various comments sections, following the revelation of Uday's lil nest-o-luv on the Tigris, that the worst nightmare about the whole thing might be the discovery of a secret video taping system. Yech. It appears again that reality holds more disturbing and twisted stuff than one can imagine. If the thought of a 'Best of Uday in Action' video makes your skin crawl, you don't even want to consider this -
Saddam, as 'Omar Studdif', Gay Pr0n Star!
Supposedly, this is the way Saddam 'worked' his way through law school, 13 bucks the hard way at a time. Somehow, the law school thing isn't that big a shock.... (Via The Emperor - why do people send him this stuff?) ::Update:: - Story is most likely bogus - source is the Weekly World News, a paragon of journalistic integrity, right along with CNN.
You go, John Howard!
Mentions that France should get the boot from the UNSC... Good on ya! (As seen over at LGF)
Garofalo Watch: SHOCK! Janeane is a big fat liar... Janeane Garofalo won't be honoring her promise anytime soon, according to her latest statement, made during an interview request.
"I have nothing to apologize for," she told WABC Radio's Steve Malzberg, who requested an interview with the comedian-turned-peacenik for his Sunday morning broadcast. Malzberg tells NewsMax that instead of agreeing to the interview request, Garofalo boasted that her upcoming TV show on [American] ABC was going forward despite a tidal wave of complaints received by the network. "Boycotters are welcome to keep giving me tons of publicity," she dared before reiterating, "There will be no apologies."
She's being hugely dishonest - in either reneging on her word, or simply denying that the conditions warrant her carrying through - in other words, she wasn't wrong. Deep, deep denial. I don't recall her attaching the caveat that Baghdad Bob had to specifically mention the Janeane Garofalo was wrong as being a criteria. I do plan on remembering her equivocation, however, and look forward with anticipation to her vapid 'look at me' endeavour to tank before it runs a full 13 week season. It should also be remembered the next time she steps out of the land of make believe to share 'deep thoughts' in the future.
"HOSSAM, BRING THE KALASHNIKOVS!" Words to live by. A nod of the head to the ordinary decent Iraqis, the kind we're depending on ultimately for the success of this whole operation. Looters were trying to break into Baghdad's Jewish Community Centre the other night, (Why? They suddenly had an urge to play mah-jongg?) but they didn't get very far.

Iraqi Muslims came to the aid of Baghdad’s tiny Jewish community yesterday, chasing out looters trying to sack its cultural center in the heart of the capital. “At 3:00 a.m., I saw two men, one with a beard, on the roof of the Jewish community house and I cried out to my friend, ‘Hossam, bring the Kalashnikovs!” said Hassam Kassam, 21. Neither Hassan nor Hossam, who is the guard at the center, was armed at the time but the threat worked in scaring off the intruders. Two hours later, the looters returned again and Hassan Kassem used the trick once more.

Good for them. Hey, maybe if you ask the soon-to-be-established Israeli Embassy nicely, they'll give you some actual Kalashnikovs (Motto: "The only item of Soviet military hardware that's worth a damn") Laurence Simon notes:

Even in a country with a fucked up "Allah is Great" in the flag, there's still a handful of Jews that remain worth preserving. I mean, you don't see "Yahweh Kicks Ass" in the Israeli flag, do you?

Of course not. I mean, it goes without saying, doesn't it?

4/13/2003

Come to think of it...
Aside from the absolute reprehensibility of Eason Jordan's admissions (free registration required) about what the CNN Baghdad folks knew was going on, but failed to tell the world... Isn't Mr. Jordan basically an accesory to the specific crimes he knew about in advance, but did nothing to prevent? Such as
We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan.
That sounds like prior knowledge of intent to commit murder, and with the other episodes that Mr. Jordan had knowledge of, he can hardly toss this off as being idle chatter or a bluff. He knew the man he was speaking with would actually try it, given the opportunity. Given that two of the three men mentioned ended being killed, his silence makes him an accomplice to those crimes, does it not? Criminal News Network - The Network more Dictators trust..... to keep quiet.
Iraq, Syria, nKorea, Iran.. the new Axis of Evil Looks like Syria wants a taste. Fine with me.