Monday, March 31, 2003

Spot On

New York Times Buries The Lede

This is the second to last paragraph:

Fox News, on the other hand, owes Mr. Rivera no such loyalty.... He also violated the network's own pledge not to embarrass or betray the military in any way while America is at war.

The last crumb of integrity is now gone.

Fox News Jeopardizes The Lives Of American Troops

The hero of the Battle of Brentwood and decorated veteran of the 15th Street Campaign has fallen in battle. The United States military is sending Whoraldo Rivera stateside for blabbing details about a planned military attack.

Last year, the Faux News embarassment correspondent went on a one-man hunt for Osama bin Laden, but came up empty handed, save for some allegedly bogus news reports shown on Faux. But he didn't let failure and humilation stop him. In Iraq, Whoraldo said "he intended to ride into Baghdad in search of Saddam Hussein, 'the Iraqi Hitler.'" But the U.S. military is kicking him out of Iraq.

If that doesn't win the hearts and minds of Iraqi people, nothing will.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Idiot Of The Week

But I'm still skeptical about the Iraqi claims that two U.S. missiles have now struck crowded marketplaces and killed dozens. Why do these errant missiles always fall in crowded marketplaces and kill dozens? Why don't they ever fall in back alleys and kill one or two people?-- A. Hack

Did you ever think that maybe they do, and those incidents aren't reported as heavily because they don't involve the deaths of dozens of people?

Round the Clock Sully takes off another day, while the War Against Iraq continues. His e-mail server must be down.
A Man Who Should Spend The Rest Of His Life In Prison

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano was convicted Tuesday of federal charges he violated the civil rights of two preteen girls by sexually abusing them.

Tuesday was Giordano's 40th birthday. He faces up to life in prison at his sentencing June 13.

Giordano, imprisoned since his July 2001 arrest, showed no emotion as the verdict was read. A smattering of applause broke out among spectators as the jury was discharged.

How To Wound Friends And Influence People

From The Guardian:

But the crews of the two British forward reconnaissance Scimitars which were attacked by the A-10 could not contain their anger.

Lance Corporal of Horse Steven Gerrard, speaking from his bed on the RFA Argus in the Gulf, said: "I can command my vehicle. I can keep it from being attacked. What I have not been trained to do is look over my shoulder to see whether an American is shooting at me."

LCoH Gerrard, the commander of the leading vehicle, described to Patrick Barkham of The Times how the deadly A-10 attack began.

The pilot made two swoops. "I will never forget that noise as long as I live. It is a noise I never want to hear again," he said.

"There was no gap between the bullets. I heard it and I froze. The next thing I knew the turret was erupting with white light everywhere, heat and smoke."

He added: "I'll never forget that A-10. He was about 50 metres off the ground. He circled, because he can turn on a 10 pence.

"He came back around. He was no more than 1,000 metres away when he started his attack run. He was about 500 metres away when he started firing."

On the back of one of the engineers' vehicles there was a Union Jack.

"It's about 18 inches wide by about 12 inches. For him to fire his weapons I believe he had to look through his magnified optics. How he could not see that Union Jack I don't know."

Packed with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, as well as grenades, rifle rounds and flammable diesel fuel tanks, the front two Scimitars exploded into flames.

One of their comrades, Lance Corporal of Horse, Matty Hull, 25, was killed.

LCoH Gerrard also criticised the A-10 for shooting when there were civilians close by.

He said: "There was a boy of about 12 years old. He was no more than 20 metres away when the Yank opened up.

"He had absolutely no regard for human life. I believe he was a cowboy. There were four or five that I noticed earlier and this one had broken off and was on his own when he attacked us. He'd just gone out on a jolly."

Even the Murdoch Times is objectively pro-Saddam on this one. Its day of reckoning will come soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Howie Live

Give Howie a piece of your mind on Monday (Noon, Eastern). He can use it.

Of course, the fix is in:

Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions

Fucking Bastards

"'I want President Bush to get a good look at this, a real good look here,' he said in an interview with a Baltimore television station, as he held a photograph of Kendall. 'This is the only son I had, the only son.'

"In the days since, as he awaits the funeral this week, Waters-Bey has retreated but not backed down. He remains unfazed by talk-radio callers who denounced his outburst as unpatriotic."

(Read the whole story.)

One of the most repulsive things written since the war began is this column by Wes Pruden. Ostensibly demonstrating concern for United States Army Specialist Shoshana Johnson, who has been taken prisoner by Iraq solider, Pruden deliberately insults Johnson and uses her circumstances to push his own agenda.

Pruden says that "female casualties [in Iraq] will be mostly poor whites and ghetto blacks, anyway." What?! Why does Pruden refer to whites as "poor" and blacks as "ghetto?" Is he suggesting that African-Americans from rural areas and other socioeconomic groups aren't serving in the military? That "ghetto blacks" are incompetent soldiers? That African-Americans in the "ghetto" aren't poor?

In fact, Specialist Johnson is not from the "ghetto." She is from El Paso, Texas. She is the daughter of a retired military veteran of the first Gulf War and her sister is a Captain in the army.

But the real mark of Pruden's contempt is his refusal to refer to Specialist Johnson by her military rank. Instead, Pruden refers to her as "Miss." (Pruden also refuses to refer to Private Jessica Lynch, who was killed in Iraq, by her rank.)

Don't be fooled by Pruden's claim of concern. The man refuses to show Ms. Johnson (and, by extension, all female soldiers) the respect she deserves.

May Specialist Johnson soon be reunited with her daughter, and her family.

In That Order?

Seen on the back window of a minivan with a "MGADTOS" vanity plate:

We support President Bush and the troops GBA

Friday, March 28, 2003

What Do You Mean "We," Assboil?

"I want people to remain optimistic," Mr. Limbaugh said. "I'm not trying to avoid realism. There's no question that we have had setbacks. But we're the United States military; there's no way we're going to lose this." -- New York Times, March 28

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Programming Note

8.00 p.m. Cartoon Network Continuing coverage of the War Against Iraq, with Kent Brockman and Senior Military Analyst General Amos Halftrack at the CN Center in Altoona. Brenda Starr, embedded with the 5 and 7/8ths Irregulars of Camp Swampy, reports from Abu Sukhayr.

Does Anyone Remember Standards?

The last -- and perhaps the least important -- casualty of war is journalism.

Fox News broadcasting false rumors about France and Iraq.

Sky News and Sully reporting on fictitious chemical weapons facility.

Free Republic posts passing for news at the Moonie Times.

And here's "15 More Stories They've Bungled."

And does anyone honestly believe an Air Force officer would be pen pals with Ben Shapiro and send Ben a a chatty note about secret military computer systems and an international incident "kept under tight wrap by the governments involved?"

Untoward Christian Solider

In my litany of military and former military killers, spies and terrrorists who are not Muslim, I inadvertantly overlooked one Christian "freedom fighter":

"I am not a terrorist. I am a freedom fighter," bellowed Dwight Ware Watson of Whitakers, North Carolina, as he was being forced out of the courtroom by security officials.


Watson leaped to his feet and began screaming. "You put us tobacco farmers out of business," Watson yelled. Much of his outburst was unintelligible to others in the courtroom.

"I wanna represent myself," Watson yelled as federal Magistrate John Facciola was hustled out of the courtroom by a marshal.

Referring to a package he had apparently sent, Watson said the word "germ" referred to "germination not germ warfare."

Watson, a large broad-shouldered presence standing well over 6 feet tall, and a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, was not easily controlled. He was finally led away.


Watson had repeatedly threatened to detonate explosives as he drove his tractor around in a small pool near the reflecting pool on the Mall.

During testimony in court Wednesday, Park Police Detective Todd Reid explained why Watson's threats forced the closure of streets and buildings.

"He repeatedly said he had organic phosphates in the yellow trailer and on his tractor," Reid said. "He said he had 82 pounds of explosives. Our bomb techs estimated if he detonated that it would have a 500- to 700-foot impact area," Reid said.

During the standoff, law enforcement authorities determined Watson had military experience with anti-personnel mines of the kind he claimed to have with him that could ignite the explosives.

"He said he was willing to die for the cause," Reid said, without describing the cause.

"He said he wanted to bring Washington to its knees. He wanted to make a mark on the Mall that people wouldn't forget," Reid testified. Reid said officials attempted to negotiate with Watson over a cell phone for two days, but he continued to warn he was "ready to fight."

Still smirking, Tony?

Run, Jim, Run

Good news:

Although I am not yet prepared to declare my candidacy, I would like to assure my fellow bloggers, my readers, and other supporters that I am taking this matter seriously. Very seriously.

The usually smart Slate dumbs down with this scare story about "Radical Muslim soldiers."

The article i.d.s five such soldiers, Sgt. Asan Akbar; Jeffrey Battle, a former Army Reservist alleged to have some sort of ties to al-Quida; Semi Osman, a Navy Reserve mechanic and Muslim cleric who pleaded guilty to an unspecified weapons charge in January; alleged Beltway sniper John Muhammed, a Gulf War I vet who left the military years before he became notorious; and Ali Mohamed, a major in the Egyptian army who also served in the U.S. Army for three years and was secretly a member of Islamic Jihad.

The article points out there are at least 4,000 to 15,000 Muslim men and women serving in the United States armed services

What the article leaves out is the following:

-- The religious affiliations of the four Fort Bragg soldiers accused of killing their wives last year

-- The religous affiliations of the Air Force Academy cadets accused of raping dozens of female cadets

-- The religious affiliation of convicted spies Air Force Master Sergeant Brian Regan, and

-- The religious affiliations of McVeigh, Nichols and Fortier.
To name a few.

I guess affiliation doesn't matter unless your name has "Mohammed' in it.

Product Placement

Today's New York Times reports that some companies have started providing free merchandise to bloggers who link to the companies' websites. For example, Nokia has comped an 18 year old Louisiana high school student with a free cell phone, just for including product plugs between blog entries about "a trip to the auto mechanic, her thoughts on an episode of 'The Simpsons,' an argument with some friends at school." (And you thought this blog was a pile of crap.)

In that spirit, I stand ready to activate any or all of the following links, immediately, should any of these fine corporate citizens wish to shower me with swag.

and, of course,

Rival companies not listed, and companies with other types of merchandise, should feel free to bid for my devotion. And I can assure all generous benefactors that I will not engage in any public soul searching or navel-gazing re: my lack of integrity.

Of course, all links will be in the utmost good taste, and will blend seamlessly and unobtrusively with my regular content. For instance:

Grand Old Police Blotter, Powered by Sony

Jaguar Dick of the Week

Safeway Food & Drug Presents: Those Fucking Moonie Times Bigots

It's the kind of publicity you just can't buy.

Until now.

Operators are standing by at

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Supporters: Al-Arian Backed Bush, Received White House Access

Thank God we're at war! I doubt Bush could have Clinton's cock-ed his way out of this one.

Mac Diva's New Blogs

The blog world is much richer tonight with the addition of Mac Diva's Mac-a-ro-nies and Silver Rights. Mac Diva has generously contributed to Roger Ailes on previous ocassions, and I will be reading these new blogs often and with great interest.

This post at Silver Rights takes a look at U.S. troops in Iraq, and brings to mind the question of "supporting our troops." On CNN tonight, Bill Schnieder said that only 30 percent of African-Americans support the present war, compared with 60 percent who supported the first Gulf War. Could the reason be that African-Americans are aware of the real cost of this war and will bear a disproportionate share of that cost?

Eleventh Circuit Rules: Judicial Watch Lawsuit Is Utter Crap

Krazy Kounsellor Klayman Vows To Waste More Judicial Resources

MIAMI - The Miami relatives of Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez cannot sue former US Attorney General Janet Reno for allegedly using excessive force in the 2000 raid in which US agents seized the boy, a US appeals court said in a ruling made public today.

The case is one of the lingering legal actions resulting from the fierce custody battle three years ago over the young boy whose mother died on an ill-fated voyage from communist-ruled Cuba to the United States.

Elian, who was found in November 1999 floating on an inner tube in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida, was ultimately returned to Cuba with his father despite efforts by his distant Miami relatives to keep him in Florida.

In other shite lawsuit news, a U.S. District Court has dismissed Krazy Kounsellor Klayman's lawsuit against President Clinton, alleging that the President "ignored a stock scam and Pentagon corruption in exchange for a $1 million donation to his presidential library from Global Crossing chairman Gary Winnick." David Kendall, a master of understatement, called the lawsuit frivolous.

I've asked it before, and I'll ask it again: Has crackpot Klayman ever won a dollar in damages in any suit against the Clinton Administration, its officials or its supporters?

Election theft enabler Antonin Scalia demonstrates that if you want a child to be a bigot for life, you've got to start early:
"If this law is struck down, do you think a state also could prefer heterosexuals to homosexuals to teach kindergarten?" asked Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.

A state government would have a hard time showing the need for such a policy, responded Paul Smith, lawyer for the two men.

"Only that the children might be induced to follow the path of homosexuality," said Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia then spoke fondly of a pre-school teacher who was instrumental in instilling in him the virtues of intolerance and discrimination.

Later, Shecky Scalia tried out his "B" material, playing the courtroom for big laughs:

What about laws against adultery or rape? And what about bigamy, Scalia asked.

"I mean, who are you to tell me that I can have only one wife, you blue-nosed bigot?" he said, joking.
Newt Gingrich has decided to one up Trent Lott. For Newt, Lott's fantasies about President Strom Thurmond lacked vision. Instead, Newt dreams of a victorious Robert E. Lee.

The Georgia adulterer has teamed up with some mass market paperpaper back wack job who wrote a series of novels about a time-travelling Civil War regiment that fights space aliens. Together, they've penned a neo-Confederate stroke novel in which the South prevails at Gettysburg:

The battle that, even before the guns fell silent, was the focal point of endless debate. As the years passed, it has become the great "what if," of American history.

"Gettysburg" unfolds an alternate path for General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia, the victory that "might have been" on the fields of that small Pennsylvania town. Full of dramatic battle scenes, military strategy, and captivating period details, Gettysburg stands as a remarkable entry in the pantheon of Civil War literature.

I shudder to think what perverted fantasies could have inspired Newt to write this work of literature. But it was smart to get someone else to write the battle scenes and strategy passages, since Newt is uniquely unqualified to opine on those subjects.

They Elected The Wrong Baucus

"I don't think we have any business being in a preemptive war against Iraq," she said. "Anytime you drop bombs, there are going to be a lot of innocent people hurt. A billion Muslims all over the world are in pain to see their brothers losing their homes and their families losing the stability of their civilization."

She added: "Baghdad is where the beginning of civilization occurred, literally where the wheel was invented, where the very first city was built, where writing began, and it has a very deep and profoundly beautiful history -- which we should never take lightly, no matter who the existing president is."

Even if it's Saddam? "I think he is very proud of the history of his country. I think it's we Americans who don't know the facts about what anthropologists call 'the cradle of civilization.' When we watch the bombing on television, we really don't seem to understand or appreciate that some of these places are sacred. . . . I disagree with those who say that Saddam Hussein doesn't think about this. He cares about these places and their people."

She continued: "I don't think American lives are threatened by him. There is no evidence of weapons of mass destruction and we have no right to make a preemptive strike on another country and try to assassinate its leader. We have no right legally or morally. We are way out of line."

Update: I've changed the hed. I should have remembered that no G.O.P. leader would permit such dissent. At least Mrs. B isn't a DINO.

Grand Old Police Blotter: I Smell A Rat Boy Edition

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) doesn't want to talk about a Texas grand jury's probe that includes questions about the operations of "Texans for a Republican Majority," a political action committee he helped found.

Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle is looking into whether a group called the Texas Association of Business illegally used corporate money. The Republican group mimicked one of the business group's fundraising mailers on behalf of a state representative, which apparently is what has drawn the prosecutor's interest. -- Washington Post

I don't want to prejudge DeLay's culpability, so I will just recite the G.O.P. mantra: Silence equals guilt.

The Good News

Washington Post or The Onion? You make the call.

CNN Pulls the Plug on Connie Chung

P. Diddy Reconciles With Ex-Girlfriend

Maxim Reader Eager To Put Newly Acquired Knowledge Of Women To Use

Mission Accomplished

"The oil fields have been saved." -- George Will

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

John McCaslin, Free Republic Stenographer

Intrepid Moonie Times reporter John McCaslin has found a way to save wear and tear on the old shoe leather. No need to interview witnesses, confirm allegations or even get up off your ass. All a good reporter needs is access to the Free Republic homepage and sufficient motor skills to cut-and-paste.

Scoop McCaslin writes:

One group of war protestors in Washington isn't so concerned about saving lives after all.

Matt Braynard was traversing city streets Friday afternoon when he observed a group protesting in the middle of 14th and K streets NW, one of the busiest intersections in Washington.

"At the front of the group of cars that were obstructed was an ambulance with sirens on full volume," Mr. Braynard reveals. "Fortunately, a group of police on bikes that [outnumbered] protesters quickly emerged and pushed the protesters aside.

"So this is what the protestors have resorted to," he says, "blocking ambulances at city intersections."
And freeper newbie "Matt Braynard" writes:

In Washington DC today at around 1:30 PM EST a group of protestors tried to block the intersection of 14th and K street NW � one of the busiest in the city. At the front of the group of cars that were obstructed was an ambulance with sirens on full volume. Fortunately, a group of police on bikes that double the number of protestors quickly emerged and pushed the protestors aside.

So this is what the protestors have resorted to � blocking ambulances at city intersections.

Is the story true? Your guess is as good as John McCaslin's.

P.S. to Matt: "the group of cars that was...."

Roger's Mail Sac

I'm not sure, but I think someone has sent me the other Roger's e-mail:

To :

Subject : Rogerailes Lose Weight


premium Seaweed Soap

"wash your way to a great looking body."

Thanks, but no thanks.

If the Wall Street Journal wants to hire an intelligent columnist to replace Peggy Noonan, they couldn't do better than Jesse Taylor.

He even writes Noonan better than Noonan.

Update (3/26): Now fortified with more Noonan!

A Call For Action

The War Against Iraq is pushing everything else out of the public mind. And some Republicans intend to take advantage of that fact. The last time the Republicans tried to push legislation limiting the right to compensation for children injured by Thimersol -- attached to a homeland security bill, no less -- public outrage forced the Republicans to withdraw the provision.

But now, according to the blog Wampum, Senators Frist and Gregg are seeking to reintroduce legislation "which will essentially gut the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, not only for children with mercury-induced neurological disorders, but possibly for ANY vaccine-injured child (and there have in fact been thousands of claims previously settled)."

What can be done? "Lisa English has a great suggestion: If your budget is tight, take advantage of the toll-free Congressional switchboard at 1-800-839-5276. You pay for the service with your tax might as well take advantage."

Many people who oppose the invasion of Iraq feel helpless, given that even the Democrats have handed Bush almost unlimited authority to prosecute his war. Maybe it's best to start with a small victory -- shutting down Frist -- and build up some momentum for bigger victories.

Monday, March 24, 2003

The Importance of Being Honest

"NO: I didn't watch the Oscars."

"Okay, so I did watch the Oscars for a few minutes - in the 'Billy Madison' commercial breaks."

How very Clintonesque Bushesque.

Nooner: Twin Towers Falling Was A Good Thing

It's not what she meant, one hopes, but it's what she said:

"The coming victory is going to be the biggest good thing that has happened in the world, the West and the United States since the twin towers fell."

This is a professional writer. Someone needs to teach Saint Delphina to write a column with style, substance and clarity.

(Via TBogg.)

We Lie While People Die

Always follow the link.

Sully says:

WHAT WE CAME FOR? A huge chemical weapons plant uncovered by U.S. troops, according to Sky News. We'll see. My favorite line in this piece, though, is the following: "UN weapons inspectors said they are not aware of any large-scale chemical sites which could be used to make chemical weapons in Najaf." Imagine that.

Link says:

The Pentagon is playing down reports that US troops have found a "huge" chemical weapons factory in the town of Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad.

Sky's Washington correspondent Keith Graves says it now appears as if the facility has not been manufacturing chemical or biological weapons.

"Officials are urging journalists to treat reports of this type of find with more caution," he said.

Murdoch and Sully, birds of a feather.

To be fair, it looks like Sky "updated" (that is, retracted) the story after Sully's post. And Sully uses all the right weasel words. But that only suggests he knows a Murdoch outlet is an unreliable source.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Around the Clock, My Ass

Update (3/24): Apparently there is now a whole day's worth of (bitter and worthless) comments where there were none at past midnight East Coast time yesterday. Did Sully post them all sometime after midnight, or were they there and I didn't see them because my browser didn't refresh properly?

Meanwhile, the heroic Sully threw himself in front of a live DVD of Billy Madison "[f]or relief." While soliders die.

Update, Part II: Sully reports that he watched Billy Madison on commercial television, not DVD. I regret the error.

TV Guide Online describes the film as "an unfunny farce about a slacker who repeats all 12 school grades to prove he is worthy of taking over the family business. [Para.] Billy Madison (Adam Sandler) is a spoiled rich kid in his mid-20s who whiles away his days getting drunk by the pool, perusing porn, and chasing an imaginary giant penguin." So I guess if Sully starts characterizing Bush as Madisonesque, I'll have to agree.

Question of the Week

Where are the embedded warbloggers?

San Francisco's Prosaic San Mateo Bridge Is A Possible Terror Target

Moving it to San Francisco so the terrorists can't find it. Very clever.


Little Mick should look up "hack" in the dictionary.

Dealing With Terrorists

A reader kindly provides this followup concerning Dwight W. Thomas, the North Carolina tobacco farmer who threatened to explode a bomb in Washington D.C. and threatened to kill any law enforcement officer who attempted to disarm him:

Dwight Watson of Whitakers, North Carolina, was being arranged Thursday in federal court.

Meanwhile, police said representatives from the Department of Agriculture agreed to talk with Watson about his complaints that federal policies are driving tobacco farmers out of business.

This is a disgrace. Why is the Administration appeasing this violent criminal (or, at a minimum, violent mentally ill man)? What's next, Eric Rudolph advising John Ashcroft on Supreme Court nominees? John Poindexter and Elliott Abrams advising the Administration on foreign policy?

Ban Da Bomb

MTV Europe is trying to protect its profit margin during the war by sanitizing its video playlist:

We therefore recommend that videos featuring the following are not shown at the moment:

war planes
riots and social unrest
other obviously sensitive material

Examples include:
System of a Down "Boom!" - anti-war video containing facts and figures about, amongst other things, the projected casualties in the war in Iraq.
Aerosmith "Don't want to miss a thing" - contains footage from the film "Armageddon".
Manic Street Preachers "So Why So Sad" - contains footage of soldiers being killed and man throwing a hand grenade.
Passengers/U2 "Miss Sarajevo" - contains missiles, guns and buildings being blown up.
Bon Jovi "This ain't a love song" - contains war scenes and victims in distress.
Iggy Pop "Corruption" - contains wars, riots, guns and captions "we love guns" and "we love rifles".
Paul Hardcastle "19" - contains war footage.
Radiohead "Lucky" - contains war footage including injured children.
Billy Idol "Hot in the City" - contains an atomic explosion.
Armand van Helden "Koochy" - contains an atomic explosion and ships being blown up.
Trick Daddy "Thug Holiday" - contains soldiers being killed at war.

Furthermore, videos with words such as "bomb", "missile", "war" or other sensitive words in the artist or song title should not be shown at the moment.

Examples include:
Outkast "B.O.B (Bombs over Baghdad)" - song title may offend.
Radiohead "Invasion" - song title may offend.
Megadeth "Holy Wars" - song title may offend.
Gavin Friday "You, Me and World War Three" - song title may offend.
B-52s videos.

Apparently, "Megadeth" isn't offensive unless the band sings about holy wars.

I recommend they also ban I Rock, I Roll by Mystikal, I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls, and the cover of La Bamba by Los Lobos.

Moonie Times Racist Paul Craig Roberts Compares Bush To Adolf Hitler

Surprisingly, he apparently did not intend it as a compliment.

Even more surprisingly, he did not compare the invasion of Iraq to the "invasion" of the Confederacy.

Chickenhawk and Awe

Rat Boy and his sidekick, Chunky, whose combined military service totals 0 days, 0 hours and 0 seconds, have attacked proud military veteran Senator Tom Daschle for his opposition to Bush's war:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) this week told Daschle in French to "shut your mouth," and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), normally reserved in his rhetoric, said Daschle came "mighty close" to providing comfort to the nation's enemies. In an interview yesterday, DeLay said Daschle and other outspoken congressional Democrats are only "emboldening Saddam Hussein" by echoing concerns raised by France and other international critics of Bush's approach.

Daschle's South Dakota colleague, Democrat Tim Johnson, has a son serving in the Marines, stationed in Kuwait, who previously served in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia.

And It Will Get A Lot Worse Before Too Long
NEAR NASSIRIYA (Reuters) - U.S. Marines battled Iraqi guerrillas for control of the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya on Sunday, taking "significant'' casualties in a fight to open a route north to Baghdad, U.S. officers said....

U.S. field officers said the Marine battalion spearheading the fight had suffered significant casualties in a battle with irregular guerrilla fighters known as Saddam's Fedayeen.

They gave no details but a CNN television correspondent at Nassiriya quoted eyewitnesses in the battle as saying they had seen at least 10 American bodies around an amphibious assault vehicle that had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. -- New York Times, March 23

(See also this story in The Guardian and this one in the San Diego Union-Tribune.)

Saturday, March 22, 2003

The Last One For Now

Has Sully fallen asleep at his post despite his promise to blog around the clock for the benefit of the Iraqi people? This article has been online for hours and Sully hasn't used it to smear anyone yet. How will we win the war without a snide comment about how Howell R. and Greg Dyke are in bed with the Workers' Revolutionary Party Young Socialists? According to Sully, they're all "Saddamites." (Get it?)

Can Sully Get Anything Right?

Of course not.

(Via Quiddity Quack.)

Just Pathetic

"The two lead photographs (in the dead tree version [of the New York Times]) for the "Nation at War" section, are a marine seemingly wounded (although he looks unscathed) by a land mine and an Iraqi child also wounded in the head. Neither is a fatality. I'm not saying these pictures don't belong in the paper. I'm saying that on a day of extraordinary military advances, their placement tells you a lot. And it will get a lot worse before too long."

It is already worse, Sully. For the Marines and for the Iraqi children. In case you're interested.

Tom Spencer at Thinking It Through has some very thoughtful and opinionated analysis regarding the War Against Iraq. Definitely a daily read.
I heard Bush's Saturday radio address on NPR this morning. I swear 90 percent of the text was cut-and-paste from Wednesday's Oval Office address. Maybe we can use some of that voice-recognition software they used on the Saddam videotape to determine if it was actually Bush. I'm concerned this will be second time Bush has deserted right in the middle of a war.

What's The Sentence For War Profiteering?

I'm no fan of Mo Do, but when she's not trying to be clever or petty, she can write a good column:

Stephen Labaton wrote in The Times on Friday that Mr. Perle was advising the Pentagon on war even as he was retained by Global Crossing, the bankrupt telecommunications company, to help overcome Pentagon resistance to its proposed sale to a joint venture involving a Hong Kong billionaire.

The confidant of Rummy and Wolfy serves as the chairman of the Defense Policy Board, an influential Pentagon advisory panel. That's why Global Crossing agreed to pay Mr. Perle a fat fee: $725,000. The fee structure is especially smelly because $600,000 of the windfall is contingent on government approval of the sale. (In his original agreement, Mr. Perle also asked the company to shell out for "working meals," which could add up, given his status as a gourmand from the Potomac to Provence, where he keeps a vacation home among the feckless French.)

His convictions of right and wrong extend to the right and wrong investments. On Wednesday he participated in a Goldman Sachs conference call to advise clients on investment opportunities arising from the war, titled, "Implications of an Imminent War: Iraq Now. North Korea Next?"

Read the whole thing. The American Enterprise Institute is already picking out Bush's next patsy.

A Thousand Points of Light

Frank Samuel Baechtel, a forensic examiner with the F.B.I. who was allowed by the court to testify as an expert witness, said the carpet was subjected to three levels of testing. In the first, the carpet was examined under an ultraviolet light that causes bodily fluids to fluoresce. "Multiple areas of that carpet glowed very dramatically," Mr. Baechtel said.

"Does an image come to mind?" asked Peter S. Jongbloed, the lead prosecutor on the case.

"Outside on a clear night, you see a lot of stars," the witness answered. "It was kind of glowing like a galaxy." The witness asked permission to inspect the carpet from the well of the courtroom and approached the swatch as jurors and the judge craned their necks to see the 39 spots where the government said it had found stains. -- New York Times, March 20

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Jim Capozzola, Pennsylvania's best hope for 2004, has been writing on the furrowed brow phenomenon in American politics.

Some enterprising pharmaceutical company should market an artificial furrowing drug for baby-faced aspiring pols. They could call it Xotob. Presidential hopefuls could start planting seed corn in their foreheads to demonstrate the depth of their convictions.

Personally, I'm not cut out for politics. I've already got my appointment at the Biotherm counter scheduled for this weekend.

He's A Pathological Liar, Too

The United States-led coalition in the War against Iraq includes at least one N.G.O., namely, the Faux News Channel:

It was Fox, however, that best illustrated another danger: when professional journalists leave a war zone, rumors can flow unchecked. On Tuesday, Oliver L. North, who was in Kuwait with the First Marine Expeditionary Force, told Fox News over a videophone that he had heard "rumors" that French Embassy officials in Baghdad were helping to destroy evidence of French cooperation with Saddam Hussein's stockpiling of chemical and biological weapons.

"That is more than inaccurate or untrue," said Nathalie Loiseau, the spokeswoman for the French Embassy in Washington. "It is insulting." Ms. Loiseau said the entire French delegation left Baghdad on Tuesday morning.

Irena Steffen, a Fox News spokeswoman, said: "Oliver North is a military contributor to Fox. He is neither a reporter nor a correspondent."

Maybe they'll have him pick off Wolf Blitzer and Nic Robertson with a sniper rifle while he's over there.

Fox News Channel's new slogan: We Lie While People Die.

If the oil wells in Iraq belong to the Iraqi people, to whom do the oil wells in America belong?
I tried to do something with the story on the "conservative" alternative to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, but couldn't come up with anything funny. (But then, neither could the guys who came up with the idea.) TBogg has.
The indefatigable Mac Diva, over at the watch, has posts up on Dwight W. Watson, Trent Lott and James Moran, Rachel Corrie and the current state of the Democrats. All of them are must reads.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Rum's Bush Edition

Dozens of e-mails detailing a lobbying campaign by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his staff on behalf of Bacardi Ltd. have been filed with a U.S. trademark court as evidence of illegal "political pressure" by the president's brother.

Havana Club Holdings S.A., a joint venture between Cuba and France's Pernod Ricard, is using the governor's e-mail traffic to try to convince three administrative law judges at the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to reconsider a Jan. 21 ruling that Bush's one-sided contacts with U.S. Patent and Trade Office officials did not break any law.

Federal rules prohibit ex parte communications on the merits of a case between interested parties and certain agency officials.

The governor's e-mails flowed while the world's biggest rum maker and its Miami-based executives poured tens of thousands of dollars into the political war chests of Bush and the Florida Republican Party -- more than $200,000 since 1998, the Miami Daily Business Review reported in October.


Specifically, Rodriguez Marquez asked Gov. Bush to help persuade the trademark office to cancel the registration of the Havana Club brand by Havana Club Holdings. "We need your help," Rodriguez Marquez wrote.

"Jorge, I will see what I can do," Gov. Bush wrote back the next morning.

It was the first of 12 e-mails the governor wrote over the next three months to his staff, including his chief of staff, Kathleen Shanahan, or to Rodriguez Marquez about the matter.

The e-mails show representatives of the governor's office spoke and met in secret with various officials from the trademark office, including Deputy Director Dudas. -- Dan Christensen, Miami Daily Business Review
The liberal New York Times has a review of Eric Alterman's What Liberal Media? by Orville Schell, the guy who stole Savage Weiner's job as the Dean of U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. An obvious conflict of interest.

(Link via Atrios.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

High School Students Suspended For Burning Flag During Protest

But it's got a happy ending.

Idiot of the Week

Tony Blankley is a disgrace. The lapdog of the Moonie Times laughs like a jackass while advancing a wingnut apology in support of a man who threatened to kill law enforcement officials:

As I write this column here in our nation's capital on the eve of a multi-billion dollar, high-technology war, our security perimeter has been penetrated and downtown traffic has come to a standstill for 14 hours because a North Carolina tobacco farmer, Dwight W. Watson, has driven his John Deere tractor into a pond on the Mall near the Department of the Interior. Mr. Watson, a flag-waving Army veteran, apparently is upset about the government's tobacco subsidy program (as who amongst us is not?) and threatens to blow up his tractor. The formidable threat of an exploding tractor has overwhelmed all the anti-terrorist assets of our capital.

I know our government is doing all it can, but who could have expected an insidious good ol' boy running a tractor into a 3-foot-deep pond? The police are afraid that ol' Dwight has a fertilizer bomb on his tractor. Well, of course they can detect some fertilizer, he's a farmer, for goodness sake. But (perhaps surprisingly, I know my way around a John Deere tractor) there is no where to hide a large quantity of exploding fertilizer on a John Deere � no capacious trunks or hidden compartments � just the gas tank, less than two cubic feet in size (even on the big tractor he is driving). Given the solid quality and thick gauge steel of a John Deere, such a small explosion probably couldn't even disable the tractor, let alone threaten surrounding stone and steel buildings.

The Park Police should just drag Dwight and his John Deere out of the pond, slap him on the wrist and get ready for the real enemies in our midst.

Blankley's plea for sympathy for a man who threatened to kill federal officers is full of distortions, according to legitimate news accounts. The police didn't think Watson had a bomb because they "detected fertilizer" on his tractor; they thought he had a bomb because Watson said he had a bomb and threatened to use it. Watson specifically threatened to harm any law enforcement official who tried to apprehend and disarm him, referencing the Waco incident where four ATF agents were murdered by anti-government lunatics. While it's unlikely Watson could bring down buildings from his position in the reflecting pond, he certainly could have used a bomb or other weapon on any one who approached to "drag him out of the pond."

Watson is a terrorist -- regardless of whether he is also mentally disturbed or was simply lying about his ability to kill. And his past military service and American flag waving don't make him any less of a terrorist.

�Saddam, my savior, we are doomed. The 99th Airborne we can handle, but our men in the field now tell us we may get a 'Begala Award.'� -- Eric Alterman on the first British casualty of the War against Iraq

The Stand

The next pop culture icon whose work may be torched by rabid mobs on the right is none other than Stephen King. King, along with numerous other authors, signed an anti-war letter featured in an advertisement in today's New York Times. Here is the letter. And King's takin' it to the streets, too, says the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

The peace walk here drew several well-known figures, including author Stephen King and his wife, Tabitha. Several area politicians, including Jan Schneider, Wayne Genthner and his dog, Percy, who all ran against and lost to Katherine Harris for a seat in Congress, also walked as temperatures spiked into the uncomfortable range at midday.

"It's important to stand up and be counted," said King, 55, who lives on Casey Key. "I haven't been out on one of these things since 1970."

Tabitha King's T-shirt expressed her view: It bore an image of President George W. Bush's face with "International Terrorist" written over it.

Perhaps rampant illiteracy has allowed King to avoid the wrath of the warmongerers so far.

Update (3/20): Link added, thanks to Steve at No More Mister Nice Blog, who also reports on allegations that Manny, Moe and Jack are objectively pro-Saddam.

More American Terrorists

In a single-day bench trial on Monday, the defense argued that Mr. Kopp had shot Dr. Slepian in the hope of merely wounding him and making him unable to abort fetuses the next day. But the prosecution countered with a litany of evidence portraying a man who meticulously planned to kill, not maim.

Mr. Kopp bought a Soviet-made assault rifle under a false name, and used full-metal-jacket bullets that tore into Dr. Slepian, obliterating two inches of his spine. After the bullet struck him, the doctor fell to the floor as his wife and four sons crouched over him, desperately trying to stanch the flow of blood gushing out of him.


Abortion rights advocates were also looking forward to the trial, hoping it would expose what they believe is a vast network of people who helped Mr. Kopp and who planned to recruit others to harm abortion doctors if Mr. Kopp was convicted. A Brooklyn couple, Dennis J. Malvasi and Loretta C. Marra, have been charged with giving Mr. Kopp money and support before his arrest.


The short trial did, however, provide a fascinating account of the shadowy life Mr. Kopp led as a roving anti-abortion activist, moving from town to town, assuming multiple identities and making friends among fellow travelers. Over the years, Mr. Kopp had made dozens of fake identification papers, lied many times about who he was and worked at odd jobs to support himself.

How about going after these terror networks, Mr. Attorney General?

"It's almost show time."

Second generation racist Wes Pruden parks his fat ass in the Barcolounger, grabs his Brylcreem lubricant, and turns on the Fox News Channel. Hope there are enough corpses to get you off, Wes.

Annoying Technical Crap

The "Comments" feature appears to be working, but you have to refresh the screen sometimes to see it.

If "The Straight Story" Starred A Freeper

Dwight Watson is a Freeper with followthrough:

Four years ago, Watson said he brought his tractor to Washington and tried to meet government leaders. "I did it the right way. I came up here and talked to them, but the government ignored me. Before any government officials put me on my knees, it's going to be a war."

He referred to government leaders as "Nazis" and alluded to incidents in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Tex., where government agents used force to end standoffs with civilians. And he said he was acting alone but also hoped Americans would rally behind him. "I want to be able to lay down and know I made the best effort I could," he said. "If people don't want to accept it, that's fine, but I want to know I sounded the alarm."

The man has declared war on America and has shut down portions of the nation's capitol with his threat to detonate explosives. I have only one question: Where is Johnny Asscrack?

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Mark A.R. Kleiman is on to one of the practitioners of the racket known as auto insurance.

And he's a financially responsible driver, too. We need more of those.

Does anybody know if Dumbchuck Quackenbush ended up in the pokey for his misdeeds?

A Wingnut Terrorist Threatens Washington D.C.

At this moment, a wingnut traitor from the homeland of Helms and Liddy Dole is threatening to kill Americans:

A North Carolina tobacco farmer angry with the government forced the closing of a portion of federal Washington yesterday, extending his siege at the Mall for a second day by continuing to insist that he had explosives.

Dwight W. Watson, who kept scores of law enforcement agents at bay, said in a midday telephone interview that his goal was to deliver a message to the American public about the plight of farmers or "die trying."

In a second interview last evening, Watson said that he did not want to hurt anyone and that he told police negotiators he would surrender peacefully tomorrow if they "treat me with respect."

But in both conversations, Watson referred to other highly publicized confrontations with federal authorities that ended in death, including the incidents in Waco, Tex., and Ruby Ridge, Idaho. "If they jerk my chain, I'll fight back," he said....

"I will not surrender," Watson said early yesterday afternoon, adding that he had plenty of food and water, as well as a toughness and stamina dating to his days in the Army. "They can blow my ass out of the water. I'm ready to go to Heaven."....

"They're not going to call my daddy a liar," he said. "This is supposed to be the city of liberty and justice for all, but that's a bunch of bull."....

Asked why he decided to protest this week, Watson said: "I just played it by ear. The Lord told me to do it. He said, 'Time is running out, Jack.' "
How many of the wingnut commentators who found the religion of the accused Beltway Sniper so significant will write similiar columns about this man's faith and hatred of America? And how many will compare this man's views to the bile on display daily at Free and

Not surprisingly, the Moonie Times article on this fanatic contains no reference to Mr. Watson's religious beliefs or right-wing political views.

It Takes A Thief

Buzzflash reports:

Former Bush campaign aide Jim Wilkinson, (forever seared into the American psyche as the spokesman for GOP Miami-based protesters clamoring to stop the Florida ballot re-count during the 2000 election) has been hired as Tommy Frank's top spokesperson at the media center, and will be responsible for overseeing 42 military public affairs officers charged with managing hundreds of international correspondents covering the war.

In other words, the media center that's been built by the military, has been designed, in part, by the Hollywood art director who adds the Orwellian ambiance to George Bush's speeches. And to make matters worse, this entire public affairs operation is headed Jim Wilkinson, one of the thugs who protested the Florida recount.

Ever the good soldier, (though a civilian, Wilkinson reportedly wears a military desert camouflage uniform to work), Wilkinson is poised to "manage" journalists working at the center, many of whom are currently enjoying Ritz-Carlton accommodations, open bars and free buffets and belly dancing. "It's a first-class war," said Peter Lloyd, correspondent for Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The Connecticut Republican Party's Candidate For United States Senate, 2000

From the Associated Press:

Prosecutors played a tape Monday of former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano as he watched his sons play tee-ball and worked his cell phone, allegedly arranging a meeting with a prostitute and one of her preteen relatives.

"Today's her birthday, you know," the prostitute said.

"It is?" the mayor replied, the last inning of the game audible in the background.

"Yeah, she turned 9 today," the prostitute said.

The recording from July 2001 was one of more than 100 played in Giordano's federal trial Monday, and prosecutors say the call instantly transformed a corruption case into a child sex investigation.

Giordano is accused of using his cell phone to arrange sexual liaisons with the prostitute's daughter and niece. He has pleaded innocent to 18 federal charges that he violated the civil rights of the girls by abusing them, conspired with the prostitute and used his cell phone - an interstate device - to set up sexual liaisons with the children.

That's not a furrowed brow, he just passed out with his head on the edge of the bar.
Kathryn Jean Lopez on Bush's war-ation:

I suspect this will go down as a great one--for him and for the U.S. presidency. The only thing I am surprised he did not do is make a more direct 9/11 link. That's not a criticism, I'm just surprised.

Not only is Lopez not the sharpest knife in the drawer, she shouldn't be let anywhere near the drawer.

Move Over Genius Grants, Here Comes The Idiot Awards

"Up to four people will win $250,000 apiece this September as the first recipients of the Bradley Prizes, a new set of awards for intellectual or civic achievement given by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation," John J. Miller writes at National Review Online (

"Recipients of the Bradley Prizes will fall into one of two broad categories, says Grebe. 'There are the "thinkers" who make intellectual contributions, and the "doers" who implement those ideas.'

"In the coming weeks, the Bradley Foundation will invite about 100 people to submit nominations. They will include figures from academia, public-policy research, journalism, business and the arts. They won't be allowed to nominate themselves, and six of them will be asked to serve on a selection committee with three members of the Bradley board and staff to review the nominations and pick the winners. The members of the committee will remain anonymous until the awards are announced," Mr. Miller said.

"The Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation has been a vital funder of conservative causes for nearly two decades. This year it expects to [disburse] about $30 million in grants to groups and individuals that include the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

No Balls

I don�t know what happened with �Hardball.� My scheduled appearance was postponed and rescheduled four days in a row (right after Bernard Goldberg got his own hour) and then, nothing. Anybody at MSNBC got any idea?

Wait until you get kidnapped by a Mormon "prophet," Eric, and then try again.

Coulter Alert Status: Orange

March 18, 2003 -- As the nation moved closer to war with Iraq, the NYPD last night was poised to launch "Operation Atlas" by beefing up police patrols at the city's news organizations, The Post has learned.

Monday, March 17, 2003

A National Review reader tries, and fails, to make the case for Jonah Goldberg's continued existence:

As you know, the whole "chicken hawk" thing is BS. Just a way for the champions of "free speech" to stifle debate. I have a simple answer for anybody trying the chicken hawk routine -- "OK, fine, then you can never discuss the economy or taxes if you haven't tried to start a business".

It's Just War

The government currently estimates that 3,500 Iraqi civilians and approximately 100,000 (give or take 50,000) Iraqi soldiers were killed during the 1991 war, which lasted about 100 hours.

But that death toll does not take into account the aftermath -- the starvation and disease that ensued. One Commerce Department report (authored by Beth Osborne Daponte and later suppressed by the government) claims the 1991 war took the lives of some 158,000 Iraqis, 83,000 of whom were civilians, including 32,000 children.

As to the currently contemplated war: Though the Bush administration will not release mortality estimates, some administration insiders say that tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens could die after an invasion.

As Elinor Turner wrote in City Paper's Feb. 27 cover story, "The Real Costs of War," the prominent humanitarian physicians' group Medact has estimated that Iraqi deaths from the war could eventually reach half a million.

But at least the oil fields will be safe.

"Dennis, darling, you know you are in great danger of becoming Sammy Davis Jr." -- Ariana Huffington, on Dennis Miller

(via Jerry Bowles)

Update (3/22): Link to permalink added.

Kevin Hayden writes about Thule, Greenland, history, and his father:

My father spent many years as a flight engineer on EC-121 reconnaissance planes (commonly called 'Connies'), guarding the north Atlantic from Soviet attack. Throughout my youth, he'd regularly disappear on 3-day TDY (temporary duty) flights to Thule, Greenland, from Otis AFB in Massachusetts.

read on...

Sunday, March 16, 2003

The Guardian's Guide to Anti-War Websites

Have You Forgotten (Something On Your Resume)?

Those discombobulated hillbillies throughout the South who've burned their Dixie Chicks CDs with their NASCAR lighters can listen instead to the opportunistic tunes of America's Chickenhawk Crooner, Darryl Worley.

In "Have You Forgotten," the able-bodied Darryl sings, "I've been there with the soldiers/Who've gone away to war." However, unless Darryl's speaking in the Lysistrata sense, this claim doesn't seem to hold water. Darryl's publicist has unexplicably left Darryl's military service off his official website bio:

His interest in songwriting blossomed at Martin Methodist College and The University Of North Alabama. Darryl funded his education by working at the local paper mill, in construction and as a commercial fisherman on the Tennessee River. He also formed his own country band and landed a regular job singing the songs of Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam at the Back Porch Restaurant in Shiloh, Tenn. [Para.] With degree in hand, he went to work as a research biologist in Tuscumbia, Ala., later returning to Hardin County briefly to teach school and sell cars. He next worked in chemical sales for a company in Baton Rouge. Then he formed a partnership with some friends and launched his own chemical-supply business. But all this time, music was tugging at his sleeve.

Maybe Darryl inhaled too much fertilizer while listening to Still in Saigon by Charlie Daniels, and had a faux-traumatic stress disorder (FTSD) flashback.

It appears that Hell-o-scam has deleted the comments for a good part of the past week. My apologizes to all who commented.

Please feel to leave a link to any reliable comment service in the Comments section below.

Terrorist Sentenced To Prison

Not all the news is bad news. The Associated Press reports that a terrorist has just been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. Although the sentence is much too light, I'll be celebrating each day of it.

Bitter at the federal government for what he perceives as its Jewish bias, former Louisiana state representative and ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke denied allegations that he bilked his supporters and cheated on his taxes.


For the first time since his return to the United States to negotiate a plea agreement, Duke spoke about the FBI and IRS investigation into his finances. In December, he pleaded guilty to understating his gross income in 1998 and bilking supporters of tens of thousands of dollars between 1993 and 1999 by falsely claiming in a mail campaign that he was in dire need of money.

On Thursday, the court accepted the plea bargain of a maximum 15-month sentence in prison and a $10,000 fine. He reports to prison April 15 and could get out in about 13 months with time off for good behavior.


Duke said that he intends to continue fund raising and publishing after his release from prison.

He downplayed his political ambitions, acknowledging he cannot run for political office in Louisiana again unless pardoned by the governor. But he said it is not out of the question for him to be eligible for federal office.

Wouldn't it be ironic if Duke ended up sharing a cell with one of the supporters he bilked?

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Another Air Force Disgrace

First multiple rapes alleged at the Air Force Academy, now this:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Four members of a Kirtland Air Force Base security squadron are accused of burning a cross in the back yard of a southeast Albuquerque home.

The men, who are on paid leave, also are accused of participating in supremacist activities.

Kirtland's public relations director, Ralph Francis, said the men had Ku Klux Klan literature and Nazi swastikas.

Holy Carp ... Or, I Am The Lord, Thy Cod

Many people here believe that it was God revealing himself that day to two fish cutters in the fish market, Zalmen Rosen, a 57-year-old Hasid with 11 children, and his co-worker Luis Nivelo, a 30-year-old Ecuadorean immigrant.


Here then is the story, according to the two men, the only witnesses. Mr. Rosen, whose family owns the store, and Mr. Nivelo, who has worked at the shop for seven years, say that on Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. they were carving up carp.

Mr. Nivelo, who is not Jewish, lifted a live carp out of a box of iced-down fish and was about to club it in the head.

But the fish began speaking in Hebrew, according to the two men. Mr. Nivelo does not understand Hebrew, but the shock of a fish speaking any language, he said, forced him against the wall and down to the slimy wooden packing crates that cover the floor.

He looked around to see if the voice had come from the slop sink, the other room or the shop's cat. Then he ran into the front of the store screaming, "The fish is talking!" and pulled Mr. Rosen away from the phone.

"I screamed, `It's the devil! The devil is here!' " he recalled. "But Zalmen said to me, `You crazy, you a meshugeneh.' "

But Mr. Rosen said that when he approached the fish he heard it uttering warnings and commands in Hebrew.

"It said `Tzaruch shemirah' and `Hasof bah,' " he said, "which essentially means that everyone needs to account for themselves because the end is near."


Mr. Rosen panicked and tried to kill the fish with a machete-size knife. But the fish bucked so wildly that Mr. Rosen wound up cutting his own thumb and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The fish flopped off the counter and back into the carp box and was butchered by Mr. Nivelo and sold. -- The New York Times. No, Seriously. The New York Times

Oddly enough, the fish sounded like Peggy Noonan.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Blowing Smoke Out His Ass

Wingnut economist and columnist Bruce Bartlett argues that "Taxing Smoke Doesn't Work." In support of this thesis, he cites a report from the Small Business Survival Committee which claims that New York City had expected $250 million in new revenue by increasing its tax on cigarettes, but ended up with only a $43 million dollar gain. Hardly a failure.

Bartlett also argues that

The record is clear that cigarette smokers are not sheep. They do not sit back passively and just pay exorbitant taxes. They take actions to minimize their burden, which have the effect of reducing revenues without reducing consumption.

But the report he cites states that "22% [of smokers surveyed] say they do smoke less because of the higher cost." Bartlett also overlooks the fact that most people who no longer buy their butts in the city just buy them elsewhere, which is hardly a net loss for "small businesses" as a whole.

Most significantly, however, Bartlett omits to mention that "[f]unding for the study was provided by Philip Morris, USA." Put down the crack pipe, Bruce, and get a job you're qualified to hold.

Wesley's Friends

Wes Pruden once again waxes nostalgic about a simpler time, when Jesus was on the side of the slavers:

Southerners are often evangelical Christians (a capital crime in the circles of the elites) who know all the words to "Amazing Grace" and have to stifle the urge to stand up and holler when they hear the blood-stirring strains of "Dixie." A lot of them even root for the Confederates when they watch "Gone With the Wind" in the wee hours of the night, with the shades drawn.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

The Devil's Advocate

When last we visited Pat Robertson's Regent University School of Law, a third-year student and Republican activist was being charged with attempted solicitation of sex with a minor.

Now, from comes the slightly stale story of a former second-year student who sued Regent, claiming he was kicked off campus after his classmates accused him of being possessed by demons:

Chadbourne, a Persian Gulf War veteran who served as an Army Delta reconnaissance scout, was a second-year Regent Law School student in the fall of 1999. He had developed a facial tic that he said may have been the result of exposure to chemical or biological agents during the war.

"It was the sudden onset of this disability that caused at least one, if not several, of the plaintiff's religiously fervent classmates to inform the plaintiff that he 'had a demon and had therefore been cursed by God for being sinful,' '' Chadbourne said in court papers.

The unfortunate student, having only the benefit of a Regent education, wasn't able to squeeze much of a settlement out of Robertson's law school-with-ashtrays.

Now there's a case I would've loved to see go to trial.

By ordeal or drowning.

A Criminal War Correspondent

Among some of the media accompanying military units, there is a palpable gung-ho attitude. Many reporters have decked themselves out in uniforms virtually indistinguishable from those of the soldiers they will be covering, some even going so far as to have their names and the word "Correspondent" embroidered on their breast pockets. At least one reporter marched to the front with a large American flag clipped to his backpack.

The Fox News Network dispatched former Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, a conservative commentator, to a Marine unit to cover the war. -- Newsday
Roger's Crimestoppers Handbook Tip No. 1: Never hire a panhandling religious fanatic at sub-minimum wage to perform roofing work on your McMansion, just 'cause you're too fucking cheap to pay a licensed contractor.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Like Father, Like Scum Edition

A Washington Times Maryland statehouse reporter, S. A. (Steve)Miller, caused an ugly scene in downtown Annapolis last week during a Thursday night party hosted by the Baltimore Sun. According to witnesses, Miller drunkenly groped a female former legislator and asked her to "take off [her] shirt." Then, when other partygoers grabbed his car keys, he threatened to "trash" the large luxury house rented by the Sun's capital bureau.

That was enough for Sun statehouse reporter Mike Dresser to call the Annapolis Police Department at 12:37 a.m. Friday, according to the resulting "event report." It states that an "extremely" intoxicated Miller was taken away by officers and dropped off at a local hotel around 1 a.m. No charges were filed against Miller, who joined the Times last fall after working at the Frederick Post.

Witnesses told us that when the 41-year-old former legislator arrived at the Sun's annual mid-session party and gave hugs to old friends from the press corps, Miller also demanded a hug. Though the two had never met in person, she reluctantly complied. Then, one witness told us, "to everyone's shock, he grabbed her butt, told her she was beautiful, spit out some lewd comments then asked her to 'take off [her] shirt.'"

The victim is fortunate it wasn't Wes Pruden or Rbt. S. McCain with a jug of moonshine and a rope. Mr. Miller will remain employed by the Moonie Times, of course.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Whore Is Hell

Little Mickey Kaus recalls the tortured years following his combat duty during the Vietnam War.

"Those medals I threw over the wall? Oh, those weren't my medals! They were some other guys' medals! Why'd you think I threw my medals?"

My combat service in Vietnam? Oh, that wasn't my service! That was some other guys' service, but they're dead now. Why'd you think I served in Vietnam?

The Chickenhawk Went Down to Georgia

The heroic words of Chickenhawk Charlie Daniels, who was too busy fiddling with himself to proudly wear the uniform of the United States of America:

"One thing about it Mr. Penn, you will be remembered for a whole lot more than your acting. There will be hundreds of thousands of men and women who proudly wear the uniform of the United States of America who will remember you for a long time. ..."

"They will remember your words, criticizing the country they love enough to die for."

"I wouldn't be going to any Veterans of Foreign War meetings if I were you, Mr. Penn."

Media Research Center Smackdown!

If there is anyone who still believes the "Liberal Media" canard, a quick read of this week's Media Research Center's Cyberalert will bring him or her back to reality. It's an incredible display of intellectual dishonesty, posing as a list of . We have:

Two instances when questions are misrepresented as statements of the questioner's opinion;

One instance where a reporter is criticized for accurately quoting an Iraqi citizen;

One instance where a pro-Saddam quote -- by Saddam -- is characterized as an anchor's personal opinion;

One instance where an answer to a host's question is represented, without proof, as something the host "didn't want to hear;"

One instance where a reporter questions an unsupported claim, and proposes an equally valid alternative explanation;

One instance where a network "hides" poll results by posting them on its website;

One instance where MRC misrepresents what someone said about MRC;

And Brit Hume bashing Helen Thomas.

Nine items and not a single valid claim of liberal media bias. In fact, the only valid example of media bias in the whole list is the wingnut bile of crazy, hateful Uncle Brit.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Here's a report on an prison assault on John Walker Lindh, who is serving his 20-year sentence at the federal correctional facility in Victorville, California. Lindh was not seriously injured. Authorities are investigating whether the attack was the work of a white-supremacist prison gang. I have no problem with Lindh serving a prison term, particularly one he agreed to. But I wonder how much more death and destruction was caused by Lindh's "patriotic," Confederate flag-waving fellow inmates here in the homeland than was caused by Lindh himself.

Talk Left also reports on an upcoming New Yorker piece (not online) on Lindh and his plea bargain.

(Story referred by Mac Diva.)

Two Additions To The Enemies List

It's much overdue, but I'm adding Talk Left to the Enemies List. Talk Left is not just a blog, it's an invaluable resource for criminal law and related public policy news and opinion.

And I'm adding a newcomer, Hegemoney. The spirit of the site is revealed in the author's introduction, "I hope that you will not allow anger and cynicism to discourage you from believing that something can be done about the way in which big money controls our government." Surrender is not an option!

Reality Check


Tina Brown is at it again. She has nothing to say about the geopolitical realities we face in the world today. But, she does argue that it's all the fault of men. Here's her take on Saddam: "Macho is even more central to Saddam than to George Bush. When [Dan] Rather asked Saddam if he felt competitive with Osama bin Laden's owning the Arab street, Saddam replied, 'Jealousy is for women.' It's the kind of line W likes to come up with. ('And peace is for [expletive],' Dick Cheney would growl in assent.)" Huh? The truth, of course, is that the president has never said anything remotely that misogynistic, and anyone who knows him even vaguely will recognize that she simply doesn't have a clue about the current White House. And Cheney simply doesn't use words like that either. Ever. - Andrew Sullivan, Washington Times


Though he's done a decent job of hiding it in this election cycle, Bush has been known to use salty language. At the Republican National Convention in 1988, he was asked by a Hartford Courant reporter about what he and his father talked about when they weren't talking about politics.

"Pussy," Bush replied. -- Jake Tapper,


It was a decision about which George W. Bush, among others, apparently felt less than enthusiastic. According to a recent account in Salon, he told an interviewer in 1994 that Yale "went downhill since they admitted women." -- Carter Wiseman, Yale Alumni Magazine

But it's nice to know Sully hears Dick Cheney's voice in his head 24/7.

Who You Gonna Call?

There is a Specter haunting Pennsylvania. But the Keystone State has a man with all the talents of Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore combined.

Roger Ailes wholeheartedly endorses the Capozzola for Senate 2004 campaign. Not just as an "anybody but Specter" candidate but as a candidate -- and a person -- who advocates the principles of progressivism, enlightenment and inclusiveness and who, with those principles, would well serve the citizens of any state.

I won't be able to vote for Jim Capozzola, but I hope he runs. And if he runs, I hope he wins.


I have the utmost respect for Kevin Drum, but I'm beginning to suspect he's really from El Paso or Corpus Christi. Like one of those imposter chickens that really isn't from California. What's my proof? Well, Kevin said this:

But I'm not so sure. Maybe I should call Arlen Specter's office and see what he's offering? After all, like they say in Texas, if you can't drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against 'em anyway, you don't belong in politics.

I know that quote is most often attributed to House Speaker Sam Rayburn, but many, including the very California-politics savvy Harry Shearer, credit California State Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh with the quote. (See also here and here.)

Why would a loyal son of the Golden State credit Texans (of all things) with this vulgar but amusing quote? A true Californian knows that Sacramento is the source of all things vulgar and amusing.

A reader writes to ask why I haven't commented on the United States' use of torture while interrogating suspected terrorists. Originally I was going to make a joke about the use of an Epilady as a torture device on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. But that would be making light of both the unimaginable suffering he is accused of causing and the moral basis of American jurisprudence, for which I have the most profound respect.

My position is simple. Violence -- which includes physical and psychological torture -- should never be used against a person who has been captured and therefore poses no immediate threat to anyone. It is a punishment without a conviction (not that torture should be used as punishment after conviction). To condone the use of torture is to say that there is no act which cannot be justified by claiming a proper motive.

For more perspectives, see Tim Henley and Kevin Drum on their reasons for opposing torture.

The First Commandment of Mel Gibson's Church

Do NOT talk about Mel Gibson's Church.

"When I called the church elder who was Holy Family's representative at the county meetings, he agreed to an interview and accepted my request to attend a service, on the conditions that I not identify him or any member of the congregation beyond Mel Gibson, and that I withhold details that might invite the interest of fans or paparazzi. He also asked that I refrain from speaking to the priest, the congregants or anyone else during my visit. He told me that anyone seen speaking to me ''will not be welcome back at our church again.'''

Well, at least they're not harassing people in the street or door to door. But I wouldn't want to drink their Kool-Aid.

p.s. Mel's dad is a real prince.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Roger Ailes has been at play in the fields of prescription medication for the past few days. Please enjoy the blogs to your right until the miracle of modern pharmocology has its way with Roger.

Please forgive the delay in reading and responding to your e-mails.

P.S. If you think CNN sucks, try watching it while nauseous.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

The Show Will Be Hosted By Michael Savage
The folks from NBC's latest reality show, "Looking for Love" -- a craven knockoff of Fox's "The Bachelor" -- are in town searching (according to Carlyn Davis Casting in Falls Church) for a caucasian "All-American Male -- Capitol Hill & Lawyer types a plus! 6 feet tall and above. Age 27 to 34. Single. Attractive & Interesting. REAL types. NO actors." -- Washington Post, March 6
Abort, Fail, Reload, Or, "Dude, I'm Gonna Blow You To Hell"

George Doughty hung his latest hunting trophy on the wall of his Sportsman's Bar and Restaurant. Then he went to jail.

The problem was the trophy was Doughty's laptop computer.

He shot it four times, as customers watched, after it crashed once too often.

He was jailed on suspicion of felony menacing, reckless endangerment and the prohibited use of weapons....

In police reports, Doughty said that he realized afterward that he shouldn't have shot his computer but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do. -- Washington Post, March 5

Doughty has been nominated for the NRA's prestigious David M. Keene Imperfect Self-Defense Award.

(Thanks to Mac Diva.)

Don't Mock This Guy, Nick Kristof Will Get Pistof
Gibson refused to be interviewed, but Noxon located the star's father, Hutton Gibson, in a Houston suburb. The elder Gibson has railed against the Vatican for more than 30 years, having written such books as "Is the Pope Catholic?" and published a quarterly newsletter, "The War Is Now."

Hutton told Noxon that Vatican II was "a Masonic plot backed by the Jews," called Pope John Paul II "Garrulous Karolus, the Koran kisser," and denied that the Holocaust ever happened. "Go ask an undertaker or the guy who operates the crematorium what it takes to get rid of a dead body," he said. "It takes one liter of petrol and 20 minutes. Now, six million?"

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

"Married" To The Father

If Sully is seeking a website featuring "double standards from those who claim to support the institution of marriage, but, in reality, just want to keep homosexual citizens permanently stigmatized," then I've got just the site for him.

More, better here.

Dick Morris, Lech�n Gigantesco del Dedo del Pie, has a column on the Estrada filibuster. In it, he demonstrates why he was such a valued consultant for Trent Lott:

And Hispanics are not blacks, so committed to the Democratic Party that it would take an act of genocide to breach their amity.

Associating with Morris is the one thing President Clinton never will be able to justify.

Crisis In Higher Education

The following sentence was written by a senior majoring in political science and philosophy at Johns Hopkins University:

Her remarkable skills as an writer notwithstanding, what makes Ms. Schlafly's argument even mildly tenable is the fact she is an educated woman presenting a message more consistent with the tones of June Cleaver than of Gloria Allred or most other women with a similar academic or professional background.

National Guard Major Calls Moonie Times Paleo-Klansman A Liar

Children of Maine Guard unit taunted by teachers...[Para.] Members of the Maine National Guard, called up to prepare for an attack on Iraq, have asserted that their children are being harassed at school by teachers who oppose the war. -- Robert Stacy BurkeCalhounDabney McCain, February 27

National Guard spokesman Maj. Peter Rogers said Monday that one Washington paper reported that teachers were taunting and harassing kids. "We never said that," Rogers said. -- Portland Press-Herald, March 4

I trust the American on this one.

(Via Hesiod and Atrios.)

You Could Lay A Billion Economists End to End And Still Not Reach Such a Stupid Conclusion

Just last week, Poor and Stupid author Don Lufkin was fretting that Howell Raines' wild-eyed liberalism would destroy the New York Times goodwill and drain the Sulzbergers' family coffers. The supply-side psuedo-economist looked into his Magic 8-Ball and predicted financial ruin for the paper's Chairman and Publisher:

And that's the guy [Sulzberger] who has to be worrying that maybe the critics are right, and that maybe for the sake of pursuing "liberal positions" he's letting Raines systematically destroy the brand equity of a once-great newspaper. And the Sulzberger family's wealth along with it.

So it's not Andrew Sullivan or Mickey Kaus -- or even me -- to whom Raines is speaking from the podium at the National Press Foundation. He doesn't even know we exist. He's talking to the boss. He's trying to convince Sulzberger that the freedom to have an egregious liberal bias is a "legacy we must protect with our diligent stewardship." No matter how much it costs.

But hey, it's only money....

How many billions will the Sulzberger family have to lose before they get tired of "justifying their existence" this way?

I hope Donny Dorko didn't lose too much sleep over the demise of the Sulzberger family fortune. According to Yahoo! Finance/Reuters, Sulzberger received a bonus of $1.5 million because earnings of the New York Times Company "'substantially exceeded' targets" in 2002:

"Annual bonuses are paid only if financial targets are achieved," the newspaper publisher said in its annual report to shareholders. "The 2002 earnings per share targets, which were used to determine annual bonuses for Mr. Sulzberger, Jr. and Mr. Lewis, were substantially exceeded."

Sulzberger also received a base salary of $950,000 and a shitload of other compensation, for a total package of about $6 million. So I don't expect to see Sulzberger crying over lost billions anytime soon.

Of course, maybe Donald has some inside information that theTimes Co. is just another Enron or Worldcom, propped up by sham accounting and about ready to collapse, all because of Howell's support for gender inclusive golf clubs and the United Nations. Or maye Don's just a bitter, irrational twerp.