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Monthly Archives: May 2002

Another Brick Out of the Wall

May 29th, 2002 - 12:03 am

Conception took place in Gdansk in 1980, with the formation of Solidarnosc. Gestation took nine years instead of nine months, but the painful birthing process took place when the Wall came down in 1989. And let

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A Simple Question

May 28th, 2002 - 9:52 pm

Now this is useful. A huge thanks to Fred Pruitt for putting this list together.

The question is, how many old ladies or atheist half-Jews fit the desciption of any of these thugs?

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Not an Apology

May 28th, 2002 - 9:47 pm

Apparently I ruffled quite a few feathers with my Pope post earlier today.

I play rough, but I do try to play fair. Why, it was only a week or so ago I was praising the Church for its “rigorous intellectual tradition.” How short some memories are.

There is something rotten in the Catholic Church today. That rot is pedophilia, as I’m sure you all know. How deep that rot goes is entirely up to the Church hierarchy, ending with the Pontiff, himself. Should the bureaucracy in Rome choose to weed out the bad priests and establish some sort of reasonable method of preventing future rot, well

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We just finished watching HBO’s “In Memorium” documentary on the WTC attack. Just sitting there has left me physically and emotionally exhausted. Melissa decided not to finish, and went home about ten minutes before it was over.

What got to us wasn’t all the new images. Nothing caught on tape or film could match our nightmares in the near-sleepless nights after the attack. The moonscape, the falling bodies, even the testimonials — we’d seen that, and anything we felt was closer to catharsis than to fresh horror.

What shook me was the reminder of all those little details I thought I’d forgotten. All those people just holding their hands over their mouths as the second plane flew into Tower Two. Guilliani’s first press conference that afternoon. The calm competence of the firemen and police officers, smoothly going about their duties as hell literally rained down on them.

And for no reason I can give you, the memory that keeps coming back wasn’t in the program tonight. I remember an attractive ER doctor, waiting with her colleagues at a triage station outside some Manhattan hospital. She told the FNC crew that they were ready for large numbers of casualties, no matter how badly wounded. Her bearing and her voice were competent and reassuring.

The coverage cut back to her later in the evening, asking how many people she’d treated. Her voice cracked just a little as she told the camera they hadn’t had one patient.

Also be reminded of this: We are better than our enemy.

One September 12, there were no state-organized “demonstrations” across the country, chanting “Death to Islam.” No nuclear-tipped missiles were launched in anger at Kabul or Baghdad or Tripoli. Not once did our leaders ask our teenagers to martyr themselves in senseless attacks against shoppers in Ramallah.

Remember instead that New Yorkers first praised their firefighters before calling for justice against those who killed them. Remember the quiet desperation of those who held up pictures of their missing loved ones for the news cameras. Remember how remarkably little panic there was, even as the famous New York skyline tumbled into the streets.

Remember 9/11.

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Trouble With a Lowercase T

May 28th, 2002 - 6:37 pm

Teen girls who don’t rebel against their parents? Next, Newsweek is going to run some bogus report claiming that masses of teenage boys have developed good taste in music.

It’s wrong, I tell you. Just wrong.

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Get Your Own Copy

May 28th, 2002 - 5:38 pm

My copy of Ken Layne‘s novel, Dot.Con, just arrived in the mail. I’m excited to finally be able to read the thing, suspcicious Australian spellings and all.

Class act that he is, Ken doodled a little martini glass on the mailing label. Thanks, Ken — but next time I’m in LA, the first round is on me.

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Why are we pulling out of the Philippines already?

Because, says Sarge, we’ve completed the mission. And the mission did not include rescuing a couple of kidnapped missionaries.

Look at the bright side: In the old days, didn’t the locals just eat the missionaries? Whomever knows I’d be ready to kill anyone trying to put shirts on the native girls and limit me and the VodkaFianc

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Now Kiss and Blow Up

May 28th, 2002 - 3:35 pm

And some complain about my treatment of the Pope?

The latest from The Onion (link via Sullivan) may be the meanest, funniest thing I’ve read since the Ken Starr report.

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Mile High Club for One

May 28th, 2002 - 3:22 pm

DayPop brings us two great links this afternoon.

The first may be the first time there has ever been two great Old Media stories on blogging in a single day. The Seattle Times‘ Paul Andrews takes a non-snide look at blogging, and how blog software might be put to good use by (drumroll, please) large corporations.

It’s an argument I’d read somewhere before, that blogs could be as revolutionary to corporate communications as was email. But it sure is nice to see it argued in a real paper. This site aside, there’s more to blogging than unadulterated crank-iness.

In the second story, Village Voice writer Tristan Taormino explores how to smuggle dildos into Texas.

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Preaching to the Choir

May 28th, 2002 - 3:14 pm

Reliably hawkish, Michael Barone takes much of the evidence against the Saud family, and kindly assembles it into one column.


Barone buries the lede way down at the bottom, but it comes as no surprise:

President Bush has said that we must have regime change in Iraq to be safe from terrorism. It is increasingly clear that we must have regime change in Saudi-ruled Arabia as well.

Can I hear an amen, brothers?

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Bush And Pope Discuss Sex Abuse Scandal

May 28th, 2002 - 3:07 pm

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush and Pope John Paul discussed on Tuesday the child sex scandals that have rocked the U.S. Roman Catholic Church, and the Pope said he hoped they could meet again in future.

The Pope, whose health has been failing, appeared relatively well as he greeted Bush in his private study in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

As Bush was leaving, John Paul told the President he’d found the talk “stimulating,” and couldn’t wait “for round two later tonight.”

In reply, Bush was overheard to tell the Pontiff, “Next time we need to discuss pedophilia, I hope you’ll be keeping both hands out from under your robe.”

The Pope, who has difficulty walking due to an unspecified bulge, received Bush standing at attention at his desk in his frescoed study.

After the two sat down, the Pope smiled and brought his hands to his lap, shielding it from photographers’ flashguns in a joking gesture. He then made the “OK” symbol with his left hand, while moving his right index finger repeatedly in and out of the “O” part.

“Holy shit,” said Bush.

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Can I Borrow That MP3?

May 28th, 2002 - 1:50 pm

This afternoon’s Required Reading is Jesse Walker’s Reason interview with net guru Lawrence Lessig.

The article should be of particular interest to bloggers and file sharers — Lessig is one of the go-to guys on internet copyright and fair-use issues.

And I never get tired of saying this: Do yourself a favor and subscribe to Reason already. A mere fifteen bucks gets you an entire year of some of the best writing you’ll find. And if you stick around long enough, they might even send you a free coffee mug.

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Pass Me the Mullah-Whiz Please

May 28th, 2002 - 1:15 pm

I might have to give up any future attempt at satire after reading this from Fox News. Thanks (?) to the esteemed Juan Gato for the link.

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Dogs and CATS Living Irradiated Together

May 28th, 2002 - 1:10 pm

The Washington Times confirms it — lots of people would die in a South Asia nuclear exchange.

In assessing the harm a nuclear, chemical or biological attack could inflict, Mr. Rumsfeld’s analysts at the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency employ sophisticated computer models.
The agency’s Consequences Assessment Tool Set (CATS) is designed to capture the scope of the danger facing the two sides.
Last week, a reporter and a graphic artist from The Washington Times used a computer terminal of a CATS system to attempt to gauge what would happen if nuclear war were to break out in South Asia.
The system, comparable to the one used by the Pentagon, was made available by the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Media and Public Policy, but the scenarios and analyses for this article were done by The Times.
Factoring in weather conditions, the size and type of the nuclear missile used, the population at the target site, and the delivery method employed, the software produces detailed tallies of the likely casualties at ground zero, as well as the projected damage from nuclear fallout.

What I want to know is, does anyone have a link to this CATS thing?

UPDATE: Very Smart Reader Suzie Nolan has everything you need to know about CATS right here. Was I being optimistic hoping for a downloadable shareware version?

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One More Boxing Metaphor

May 28th, 2002 - 12:44 pm

Have you seen Justin Sodano’s The Weigh In blog? You should.

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Barsoom Monsoon

May 28th, 2002 - 12:38 pm

This is, at last count, about 17 different kinds of cool.

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Cannibalistic Feeding Frenzy

May 28th, 2002 - 12:35 pm

Richard Bennett continues his long, slow descent into silly irrelevance.

I’m kidding, of course. He’s actually rushing in headlong.

Vitriol is one thing — hell, my best posts are usually nothing but. However, what Bennett has been doing is the most hateful trolling I’ve seen this (right) side of that Eric A Blair guy. Frankly, Richard, I’d rather my daughters were well-adjusted lesbians than repressed fundamentalists. But I’ve got this silly little bias towards human happiness.

Others are covering this much better than I am — they have the advantage, apparently, of caring. So start off with Hoosier Review, than follow the links.

Sometimes, the blogosphere has to eat its own.

UPDATE: I forgot to link to Eric Olsen, who really got the pile-on going.

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The Last Sentence Is Satirical, OK?

May 28th, 2002 - 12:23 pm

Did VodkaPundit start the whole Rope-A-Dope thing with this post? I think maybe I did, and I’m almost sorry for that. (Here’s the latest mention that came to my attention.)

It’s a nice little bit of shorthand to describe the position contrary to the Prof’s Wobbly Watch posts. But, really — it is just a shorthand, and not meant to be taken too literally.

Ali coined the term to describe how he beat Foreman in Zaire. For Ali, Rope-A-Dope was a conscious strategy, formulated in advance. He was older and weaker than Foreman, and Ali knew it was the only way he could beat George.

I never thought that was the case with the Bush Administration. They’re using Rope-A-Dope because they don’t know what the hell else to do while they build up forces for the Main Event against Iraq. It’s not a victory strategy, it’s a measure of desperation. They have to do something to keep a lid on the Middle East until we’re ready for war.

So. Remember, the camp is not divided between Wobblies who think Bush caved in weeks ago versus Rope-A-Dopers who think Bush is a strategic mastermind, plotting moves years in advance.

The gradiations are much finer, much more varied, and much less diametrically opposed than is apparent in blogspeak.

And let’s hope all those damn loser Wobblies are wrong.

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Good Eats

May 28th, 2002 - 11:49 am

David MSC has a much better lowdown on our most enjoyable lunch last week than I wrote.

How could I forget the Bugs Bunny/Groucho Marx connection? And will someone please order some Monty Python DVDs for the man?

I also keep forgetting that his blog has some excellent cheesecake — and it’s the kind that’s safe for work. And for the ladies? Beefcake, of course. Equal opportunity titillation.

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Set Your VCR Again

May 28th, 2002 - 11:44 am

If you missed it Sunday night — and I did — HBO is replaying the 9/11 documentary tonight at 10 EDT.

I hope they eventually produce a DVD version as excellent as their Sopranos, Sex And The City, and Oz collections. From everything I’ve read in the blogosphere, it’s not to be missed.

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Blogrolling Down the Lane

May 28th, 2002 - 11:35 am

Finally, a reasonable approach to Ebonics. Read the post, then read more of DC Thornton’s stuff. A damn fine blog.

No word yet, however, on forcing certain immigrants how to properly speak the language.

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Oh, good — the FAA buys second-rate virus protection for its computers. Fly safe!

Big- and small-l libertarians have argued for years to privatize airline safety and air traffic control. This latest StrategyPage report on the FAA’s software silliness is just another example that government tends to economize in all the wrong areas.

The profit motive is a powerful factor in human behavior, perhaps second only to sex. Let’s use it somewhere it might really matter.

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Morning Grouch

May 28th, 2002 - 10:34 am

Goddamn lawyers.

(Yes, I know it’s a joke. Now go away and let me finish my coffee.)

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A Small Favor

May 28th, 2002 - 12:26 am

My Google searches haven’t turned up any first rate sources. Can anyone show me the way to a decent Order of Battle for both India and Pakistan?

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The Fourth (Fifth?) Indo-Pakistani War

May 28th, 2002 - 12:13 am

I stand by my prediction of no greater than a one in five chance of full-scale war in South Asia

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Those Angry Lithuanians Are Nasty, Too

May 28th, 2002 - 12:10 am

Did I mention that our favorite Mad Swede has the new Smarter Harper

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Yet More Hockeytalk

May 28th, 2002 - 12:08 am

Did I mention that Hockey God Peter Forsberg (suspected non-Jew) scored the game-winning goal in the Avalanche

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Protein Goodness

May 28th, 2002 - 12:07 am

Suspected Jew Jeff Goldstein had a nasty infestation of racists over the weekend, but he swatted them down with his typical joyful viciousness.

Funny stuff. Read it.

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Fire and Brimstone

May 28th, 2002 - 12:05 am


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Brandy-Fueled Rumination

May 28th, 2002 - 12:03 am

The Gulf War, with its decisive lines crossing the desert, its masses of armor, artillery, and planes, was the culmination of military art as first envisioned by Heinz Guderian in 1933.

The feint, the hook, the precision use of air power, the encirclement of the enemy on a massive scale

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