G. A. Cerny
Thursday, February 26, 2004
  A site I'm very sorry I found
One of my favorite books in adolescence was Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. Couldn't get enough of it.
It's been a number of years since I last read it -- I'm not even sure if I still have a copy -- but I still retain for it the esteem that most of us have for the books we loved loved when we were children. A book you read a dozen times before you were old enough to shave stays with you.

Which is why I'm so sorry that I came across the web-site of its author. I've understood for a long time that the writer's personality is separate from his works, but I was still disappointed, even hurt, to learn that Orson Scott Card is such an ass:
In the first place, no law in any state in the United States now or ever has forbidden homosexuals to marry. The law has never asked that a man prove his heterosexuality in order to marry a woman, or a woman hers in order to marry a man.
So it is a flat lie to say that homosexuals are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. To get those civil rights, all homosexuals have to do is find someone of the opposite sex willing to join them in marriage.

After that, Card's essay gets worse. Really. 
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
  "It was just like running a neighborhood watch, except that I was scared all the time and people were shooting at me."
Fascinating article at Slate on the Marines' "Combined Action Program" which they used with some success in Vietnam and which they are trying to apply to counter-insurgency in Iraq.
As I wrote back in December, this might be reason to be optimistic about the occupation.

A friend in the Corps writes:
smarter, not harder. A quick anecdote. The Marines have a reputation world-wide, we don't have to emply harsh tactics to get things done. In Somalia, the Marine Task Force Commander made his guys wear their black boots instead of the desert brown usually worn in those environments, so that the local population could distinguish between us and the Army. They called us "black boots" or "white sleeves", and wouldn't mess with us. In fact, worked with us. They shot at the Army whenever they got the chance. 
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
  Andrew Sullivan, who has been both a leading apologist for Bush and a strong supporter of gay marriage has the scales fall from his eyes:
Those of us who supported this president in 2000, who have backed him whole-heartedly during the war, who have endured scorn from our peers as a result, who trusted that this president was indeed a uniter rather than a divider, now know the truth.

Does this mean that Sullivan will now admit that he's been full of it for the last few years?
Will he refund the pledge money that he took in, now that it's clear that he was so profoundly wrong?

Did he not deseerve our "scorn"?

Sullivan wasn't misled by Bush; he misled himself, and anyone foolish enough to credit him, because he lacked the capacity that Orwell called the ability "to see what is in front of one’s nose":
Medically, I believe, this manner of thinking is called schizophrenia: at any rate, it is the power of holding simultaneously two beliefs which cancel out. Closely allied to it is the power of ignoring facts which are obvious and unalterable, and which will have to be faced sooner or later. It is especially in our political thinking that these vices flourish.
  Bush comes out for a ban on gay marriage. As someone who wants to see Bush defeated, I'm happy.

You're John Kerry giving a speech to some unemployed factory workers in Ohio or Pennsylvania or some other swing state. Someone asks you about amending the constitution to ban gay marriage.
You smile in an "aw shucks" way, shake your head, and say, "Don't you have a state legislature up here in Ohio? I think they can handle it for you."
[if Edwards, replace "you" with "y'all"]
"You'd think that with so many people out of work, with the defecit, and with the war on terror, the President of the United States wouldn't even have enough time to deal with this right now, but I guess GW is a harder worker than we thought."
[pause for laughter and applause]
"But, not to change the subject, if you have a daughter who wants to get married to some nice young man, like I'm sure many of you here do, are you going to have the money to give your little girl the wedding she dreamed of, when you're out of work?
If your kids can't find jobs, jobs that will give them enough to start a family, to raise a family..."
[voice should tremble with some emotion here, and some anger]
"isn't that a real threat to the American family?"
[cheers, applause, continue with the rest of the stump speech]

If Bush wants to run for re-election on a platform of banning gay marriage, good.
Bring it on. 
  EMI, there is no reason why
EMI sends lawyers after Doug Arellanes. Bastards. 
Monday, February 23, 2004
  Campaign Spam From Beyond the Grave

FROM: "Clark in 2004 Meetup"
SUBJECT: Clark in 2004 Meetup Venues and Agenda Items

Your Clark in 2004 Meetup is happening in Baltimore, MD on
Monday, Mar 1 @ 7PM.

Your Meetup in Baltimore, MD is at:
Austin Grille
2400 Boston Street
Baltimore, MD 21224

Please RSVP here:
** For "YES, I'll be there" go to:
** For "NO, I can't make it" go to:
NOTE: Meetup will be cancelled if fewer than 5 people say "Yes"

  To hell with third parties
One of the reasons Nader gave yesterday for running -- he did not cite his monstrous ego -- was to oppose the what he called "two-party duopoly."
This is a fight for all third parties: Libertarian, Green Party, other third parties, other independent candidates, all the way down to the local level, who want a chance to breathe politically. They want a chance to have a chance to compete.
This is not a democracy that can be controlled by two parties in the grip of corporate interest. I don't think America belongs just to the Democrat and Republican parties

But, as even a moment of reflection will establish, third-party candidates can't work in American politics. What is more, parliamentary democracies in Europe do not function much differently from the two-party system.

There have been quite a number of members of congress who were not affiliated with either dominant party. But these independents -- Bernie Sanders comes to mind -- always side with one party or the other on the only thing that really matters in the House -- the Rules Committee.
In return these "independents" are treated as members of one party or the other for the purposes of the only things that matter to members of congress: committee assignments and seniority on those committees.
In the Congress, this is a mere eccentricity; in a presidential election, it's a disaster.
The US Congress does not elect the president; a parliamentary majority is neither necessary nor sufficient to select the chief executive. A Green Party member of the House can't vote for a Democrat-Green coalition president the way that his European counterpart can support a coalition prime minister.
Since no coalition can be formed after the election, it is vital that anyone who cares about the outcome forms with as many others as possible before the election. Kind of like a...party.
The main practical difference between the US system and the parliamentary democracies of Europe is when the coalition is formed.
The Greens in Germany had enough clout to get Gerhard Schroeder's Foreign Minister selected from their ranks; but Joschka Fischer still endorsed the Kosovo war.
Italy may have too many parties to name, but all that counts in the end is if those parties are in the governing coalition or in the opposition.

In America, third-parties have tended to be their own worst enemies. Who has more influence over the GOP: the Christian right, or the Libertarians? The former did the trench work of politics by raising money and getting out votes, the latter have their own party and their own candidates. The Christian right got John Ashcroft, and the Libertarians have the shop in the mall where the Leftorium used to be.

How much power could the Greens have in the Democratic Party if they had the discipline that the right has shown in taking over the Republican Party?

Nader must, on some level, be aware of these facts. But he never entered a Democratic primary, or urged his followers to work in the party contests, or endorsed Kucinich, whose policies are close to his own. Whether it's a refusal to compromise or an overgrown ego that animates his entrance into this race -- and are they that different? -- he doesn't deserve a single fucking vote. 
Thursday, February 19, 2004
  I always did get those two mixed-up. 
  Dean supporters, please, please, hook up, and then support whomever the party nominates. For the love of all that's holy, do not follow that madman off a cliff
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
  Czech Sumo Union
I will now be able to say exactly when it was that I'd seen everything.
(dekuji vam, Idle Type
  "11 Iraqis Killed in Failed Suicide Attack"
What's wrong with this headline? Think fast!

Or this one:
"Rosenbergs execute new CD nicely"
(copped from Romanesko's letters page
  "Take all the rope in Texas"
Toby Keith played Baltimore last night. According to the WaPo, the popular country singer was introduced by G. Gordon Liddy, who told the 11,000 fans: "I love Baltimore. It's one of the few towns where I haven't done time."
So we have Liddy's approval going for us, which is nice. But back to Keith.

I'd succesfully avoided Keith's music for some time; the country I like doesn't make it to radio, and my feelings toward the stuff that does were well expressed by the late Mr. Cash.
But, I'd been told good things about a Toby Keith song called "Beer For My Horses." He sang it with Willie Nelson, I figured that it had to be worth a listen. And it's a great title.

Unfortunately, a less poetic but just as accurate title would be, "Lynch a Nigger and Do Shots."

Some of the lyrics:
Grandpappy told my pappy: "Back in my day, son,
"A man had to answer for the wicked that he done.
"Take all the rope in Texas, find a tall oak tree,
"Round up all of them bad boys, hang them high in the street,
"For all the people to see that:
"Justice is the one thing you should always find.
"You got to saddle up your boys,
"You got to draw a hard line.
"When the gunsmoke settles, we'll sing a victory tune.
"We'll all meet back at the local saloon,
"We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces,
"Singing: 'Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.'"

Keith probably doesn't know the name Lige Daniels, which is a shame; The postcard made of Lige Daniels' death at the end of a rope in Center, Texas would have made a great album cover.
Consider the picture. Observe the men who drew the "hard line"-- it requires very little imagination to picture them having a whiskey or two after the hanging as they congratulate themselves for having the courage to kill an unarmed teenager. It is just as easy to imagine that the children in the postcard who are smiling under the hanged man's swaying corpse will grow up to tell their own children of this great day of Texas justice. Indeed, could one of those grinning urchins be Keith's own grandpappy?

Of course, there is no particular reason to associate "Beer for My Horses" with that particular lynching. The killing of Daniels, who was dragged from his cell by 1,000 men to the oak tree where they hanged him, was typical of the 5,000 or more lynchings that took place in the Jim Crow era. According to the Texas NAACP, 493 lynchings were commited in the state between 1882 and 1968, third most in the nation. There is no telling which particular dead black man Keith's granpappy told Keith's pappy about.

Often, as in the murder of Daniels, the killers would pose for pictures with their victims. The exhibition Without Sanctuary, later published as a book of the same title, collected some 81 postcards that were made to celebrate lynchings.
It is worth taking the time to look over the pictures, especially on the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education.

I should add that Keith's song is likely a result of his ignorance and not of any malice on his part. What of it? The result is the same: a glorification of lynching; an drinking song that presents the lowest cowards as examples of bravery and social responsibility. The songwriter's ignorance doesn't excuse that. Moreover, we are all at some point, responsible for our ignorance, and for failing to correct it.
But Keith is, after all, just a vulgar twit, a profiteer of pop-country for bad drunks and wannabe rednecks.

Willie Nelson is different. As a performer, as a Texan, he is an icon. He is on the short list-- with Bob Willis, Ornette Coleman, and Buddy Holly -- of truly immortal musicians from the Fair Republic. Nelson should damn well have more sense than to associate himself with this trash. 
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
  "Today the voters of Wisconsin sent a clear message," Edwards said, speaking to supporters shortly after the television networks called the race for Kerry. "And the message was this: Objects in your mirror may be closer than they appear." -- WaPo

Will this stunning surge break the dread "electability" meme that's propped up the lifeless corpse that is John Kerry? -- Wonkette 
  Democrat Ben Chandler Wins 6th District Congressional Seat in Kentucky. It's perhaps unwise to make too much of this; Chandler has great name recognition in that state, and conservative views that played well in the district.
But, it is worth recalling the Pennsylvania special election in 1992. Harris Wofford, a minor hero of the civil rights movement, beat Dick Thornborough for the Senate seat vacated by the death of Heinz. Wofford's upset of a former governor, and Bush I's AG, was the first tangible sign that the momentum of the first Iraq war was not going to be enough to re-elect the president. After Pennsylvania, there was a race.
Just saying...
  Ralph: this week?
Veteran Nader-watcher Matt Welch links to this persuasive analyis of why Ralph will run again- and why he shouldn't.
Here's why I think Ralph is running. He doesn't see a logical difference between the major-party contest of 2000 and the major-party contest of 2004. Either way, there won't be enough discussion of issues like poverty, corporate crime, living wages, public financing of elections, media concentration, and universal health care. Add in the fact that Kerry voted for the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, NAFTA and some other relatively obscure sops to corporate power like the Contract with America's "Private Securities Litigation Reform Act," and you've got a full-scale Naderite critique of another milquetoast Democrat.
The problem with this line of reasoning is 2004 isn't 2000.

To say the least.

Is Dean's stubborn, to say nothing of delusional, refusal to leave the race a tacit encouragement to a third-party bid?
BTW: Dean-punks fuck off
  Congratulations to Olomouc's own Veronica Varekova, who graces the cover of Sport's Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue. It's the second year in a row that a Czech model has been on the cover. 
  Daniel Libiskind would strike me as a better choice to design a musuem in Prague devoted to Salvador Dali if the great architect's website wasn't so annoying.
To say nothing of pretentious:
The PROJECTS have developed in unexpected directions through a practice which does not mimic existing procedures, but attempts to break through into the excitement, adventure and mystery of architecture. By dropping the designations form, function, program and engaging in the public and political realm, which is synonymous with architecture, the dynamics of building take on a new dimension. The celebrations of drawing into building, the pathos of production and the dreamlike routines configure into a substance that is not identifiable on any drawing board. This 'substance' which sometimes appears totally opaque and inscrutable often glimmers with belief and offers CONTACT to a reality of the deepest hope.
  Am back to blogging after a long and relaxing Valentine's/President's Day weekend away from computers, newspapers, and the phone.
Ready to face the world again and...
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
  Line of the day:
Cosmus, Duke of Florence, was wont to say of perfidious friends, that “We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.”-- Francis Bacon 
  Howard Dean at Stalingrad
In his death struggle with his own ego, Howard Dean is willing to take down the Democratic Party with him.
How else can you explain it? Yesterday, he withdrew his pledge to withdraw if he should lose next week's Wisconsin primary. Today he dissed Kerry as part of "the corrupt political culture in Washington."

I am not surprised by Dean's latest tantrums; his campaign has encouraged it among the faithful, even as the faith of the true believers has sustained him.

Last week was the one-year anniversary of the Dean Meetups. I went to one in Baltimore, held in the cavernous upstairs lounge of a bar in Canton. I was curious about how Dean's passionate supporters, many of whom had never been a part of an election campaign before, would deal with that most elemental experience in politics: defeat.

It was only a month before, on the first Wednesday in January, that they'd felt on top of the world. Howard Dean was the front runner for the Democratic nomination, had broken fund-raising records, and had built, over the internet and at Meetups all over the country, a grass-roots army of volunteers to carry him, they believed, all the way to Washington. A revolution in American politics.

A lot can happen in a month.

The $40 million dollar war-chest was empty; the campaign was laying off workers. Joe Trippi, the architect of Dean's strategy, had resigned. He'd spent the night before analyzing the primaries with Chris Matthews on cable news.
Dean had been beaten in all nine of the state contests held in the last month; one analyst calculated that he had spent $207 for every vote he got.

What would the mood be like?

"My name is Bill. I've been for Dean since July of 2002."
Those were the first words spoken by the emcee. I ordered a Yuengling, the Staropramen of Pennsylvania, just to make sure that I hadn't wandered into a 12-step meeting by mistake.
It had been, Bill went on, "an emotional few weeks for all us...a catharsis."

There were tables stacked with handouts and fliers, most of them, I was told, leftovers from Delaware. "We loaded up a truck [of Dean paraphenalia]," the woman setting up the table told me.
In addition to the Deleware leftovers, there was a printed sheet titled "What Happened," which Bill urged us to read. It began, "Our initial strategy was to go all out...to end the race early. It didn't work."
The two-page handout blamed the press, the other candidates, the establishment; there was even a brief mention of the Dean campaign itself:
Weeks of sustained attacks and negative press caused us to slide rapidly in the Iowa polls. By responding to negative attacks...with negative attacks of our own, we compounded that slide.

That was the extent of the self-criticism. Nowhere was there mention of Dean's flaws as a candidate-- his gift for saying the exact wrong thing in precisely the way that would offend the most people -- or for the deficiencies in a campaign that had blown $40 million and had so little to show for it.
There was a request for more money.

The meetup turned into an open-mic night. It was a combination of a wake and an Amway meeting. Some speakers were wistful as they recalled their efforts for Dean. Several claimed a certain measure of victory for their campaign because the other candidates, especially Kerry, had adopted many of the attacks on Bush. "We paved the way," one said.
Others vowed to fight on, with several insisting that if so much could change for the worse in one month, surely it must be possible for their situation to change for the better in a few weeks.
This struck me as akin to arguing that because it had taken only a moment to get hit by a bus, it should only a few seconds before you'd be up on your feet again. I ordered another beer. Desperate rationalizations always make me thirsty.

Their level of commitment would be praiseworthy if it weren't so pathetic, and if it didn't have at least some potential to hurt the ticket in November.
If Kerry is a tool of the establishment, then why shouldn't say, Ralph Nader, get in the race? If, as Dean keeps saying,
I ran because Democrats wouldn't differentiate themselves from Republicans. It now turns out that they are more like Republicans than we knew.

then why shouldn't the Dean-ites back Nader?

I doubt that Dean's backers, even the most fervent ones, are so stupid or so perverse as to throw in with a third-party candidate. But Dean himself, while he earlier pledged to support the eventual nominee, seems to be doing everything he can to divide a party that must be united to have a chance to win.
He is doing so not out of any great idealogical disagreement with Kerry, but out of petty grievances of his own.
Dean thought that he could be president, but hadn't realized that politics is a contact sport; now his bruised ego is the only point he seems in the game.

What a fucking child
  Congratulations to Del Quentin Wilber of the Baltimore Sun, winner of the Al Nakkula Award for police reporting.
How, exactly, Del became white in the photo in the Rocky Mountain News story announcing the award is a mystery...

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
  More on the expat vote
Some coverage of this weekend's Democrats Abroad caucuses that in the Times yesterday and from UPI today.
Both stories play up anti-Bush passion among voters abroad. But while I am sure that this phenomenom is quite real, I'm still bothered by how anecdotal the stories are.
As I've argued before, nobody know the size of the expat vote, or how they actually vote.
Americans vote their pocket-books. While I don't think that there is such a thing as a typical expat, a great many of them are corporate types doing a stint abroad. Based on income, they're Republicans.
How are they voting this time around? That's the key question. It would be nice if someone in the press were to try and answer it. 
Thursday, February 05, 2004
  The Lost "Hey Ya"
TMFTML makes available "some of the couplets originally removed by the record company for reasons of space or content." 
  Line of the day:
"For blacks, America is like a rich uncle who paid your way through college.
And molested you." -- Chris Rock 
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
  "The suspense is unbearable: Will Ralph Nader jump into the presidential race?":
"Still testing the waters," Nader informs us, responding to rumors that circulated over the weekend that he had indeed decided to run. On Saturday, at a memorial service for former Washington Post editorial page editor Philip Geyelin, some attendees beseeched the consumer advocate to stifle his political ambitions -- "three people out of 300," Nader says.
Paying no heed to Democrats still steamed over his spoiler role in 2000, Nader says, "I'm still deciding," and promises a decision soon: "It's got to be sometime this month because of the ballot access laws."

Matt Welch, who covered Nader's 2000 campaign, is also keeping an eye on Ralph
  Here at the Famous Pundits School in Westport, Conn., we offer a comprehensive program leading to an advanced degree - doctor of mundane letters - in political punditry.
Listen to what some of our graduates have to say:
"Before enrolling at the Famous Pundits School, I had no outlet for the hate and venom that consumed me. Now I am able to spew to a national audience." Ann Coulter.

(via Romenesko
  The last link on the subject. This is for you MacMillan.
(thanks to Old Hag
  PragueBlog celebrates its first anniversery
  "an obligation to get the facts straight"
Marc Racicot, chairman of President Bush's re-election campaign (which from now on I'll just call CREEP) sent out an e-mail with the header "A New Low" decrying attacks on Bush's "war record"- that is, his time in the National Guard.
He doesn't give much of a defense of Bush's actions:
The facts are simple: President Bush served honorably in the National Guard and he was honorably discharged. Today, he serves as our Commander-in-Chief. Peter Jennings called the accusation by Michael Moore, "a reckless charge, not supported by the facts," and the Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania has said that the charges are unfounded.

Conservatives will dismiss any statement in the press with which they disagree as evidence of a corrupt and biased media; if they agree with it, Peter Jennings becomes the burning bush.

But I'm not interested in whether or not Bush's behaviour during the Vietnam War was honourable. Read this WaPo story, or this one in TNR, if you are.
No, what interests me most in Racicot's letter is something he writes a little earlier:
Sadly, none of the Democratic Presidential candidates, including John Kerry, will repudiate these slanderous attacks against our President.
"I don't even know what the facts are," Kerry said yesterday.
However, a man seeking the presidency has an obligation to get the facts straight before he sends his surrogates out to slander the Commander-in-Chief. Don't let the Democrats get away with these false accusations against President Bush.

In 2000, four years ago to the month, Bush was in trouble. Senator John McCain had beat him in the New Hampshire primary, and the Vietnam war hero was rapidly gaining ground. Bush needed to win in South Carolina.

Jake Trapper reported from Hilton Head, SC:
A few yards away from Sen. John McCain's wife, Cindy, and their four children, (ages 8 to 15), a man handed out flyers slamming Cindy for having "stole(n) ... drugs from a charity she directed and used them while mothering four young children."
[GOP political consultant Michael] Graham is an unlikely Bush-basher. He doesn't support McCain because he has concerns about the former POW's temperament, and his conservative credentials include having worked on Pat Buchanan's 1992 campaign. Nevertheless, he says he is stunned by Bush's mean-spirited campaign. While driving upstate recently, he caught a little of the poison Bush-backers were spewing on Christian talk radio.

"It was everything except 'Do you know John McCain has a pentagram in his back yard? Have you seen his goat head?'" Graham reports. "It was all-out negative. There were no positives on Bush. They're trying to nuke McCain."

Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Michael Novak argues (and Instapundit quotes without criticism) that combat deaths in Iraq are over stated by the press. Part of his reasoning:
These 343 (not 500) combat deaths, furthermore, need to be set in context. During 2003, the number of homicides in Chicago was 599, in New York City 596, in Los Angeles 505, in Detroit 361, in Philadelphia 347, in Baltimore 271, in Houston 276, and in Washington 247. That makes 3,002 murders in only eight cities.

Baltimore has a population of 650,000 people or so. There are, if memory serves, some 130,000 US troops in Iraq. So, if we put the numbers, as Novak says, "in context," the death rate for our soldiers in Iraq is five times the murder rate in Poetown. Or, put another way, some 1,350 people would have to be murdered in Baltimore every year for this city- one of the most violent in America- to be as dangerous as Iraq is for those serving there.

Numbers are very sharp things. If you try to juggle them, you'll get cut.

  Line of the day:
Al Gore tried to run on the Clinton record of peace and prosperity. The Bush campaign looks like it will run on arguable prosperity and war. 
  Will Ralph run?
Nader has said that he will decide by the middle of this month.
Most- damn near all- of the left would love for him to sit this one out. His claim in the last election, that there would be no meaningful difference between a Bush administration that of Gore, seems to have been just a bit of an overstatement. With Kucinich in the race, Nader can't argue that the Democratic Party voters didn't have the chance to vote for an angry nationalize-the-banks type, populist vegan. And, Nader formally severed his ties with the Greens, under whose banner he ran in '96 and 2000.

It makes no sense for Nader to throw his hat in the ring.
But he's going to run anyway.

I think that he will partly because everyone I know who has worked for Ralph Nader, for years in some cases, is confident that he's going to run. They regard his entrance into the race as inevitable.
Dean's rapid collapse opens the way for him to claim that the "establishment" party has won again, and that someone, someone whose initials are RN, is needed to speak for the masses that Nader claims to represent. This scenario was even hinted at by Dean himself when he claimed that his supporters would never back a "conventional" politician.
It's a thin justification, but, I think, more than enough for Ralph.

But why speak of rational reasons when discussing the decision process of a madman?
A story about Nader that I was told by a close friend who voted for him last time around.
Her brother, a Green Party activist in Maryland, had volunteered to drive Nader around Baltimore when he was making some speeches. He borrowed his father's safe, clean, fuel efficient, and reliable car for the day, thinking that his own car was a bit of a wreck.

When he met Nader, the candidate refused to get in: "It's a foreign car. I don't ride in imported automobiles."
Nader ended up getting a cab rather than be sullied by entering a vehicle that was assembled outside of the United States, sending hiis volunteer driver to race back to get his own car so that Ralph's principles could remain intact.

Could a man so arrogant, so sure of his own righteousness, take a seat? 
Monday, February 02, 2004
  "Spring Time for Hitler and Germany" in Germany? 
  Wal-Mart update
A civil rights suit filed against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. by Mexican immigrants has been expanded to include plaintiffs from Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and to accuse Wal-Mart of locking its janitors inside stores during their shifts. 
  O tempora, o mores!
I am sure that I'm not the first one I in the blogverse to be struck by this, but it took the Bush administration almost a year to announce an investigation into the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that we can't find, but less than 24 hours for the federal government to launch an investigation about Janet Jackson's exposed right tit.
This is as good a place as any to note that people, like Roger Simon, who refer to the "missing" Iraqi weapons of mass destruction are doing a violence to the English language.
If you can't find your car keys in the morning, your keys are missing.
But, if you don't actually own a car, it is misleading to refer to the "missing keys to your BMW."

UPDATE: Josh Marshall notes that the Bush is not taking the investigation into Janet's nipple as seriously as it's taking the inquiry into US intelligence failures and WMD; it's taking the Iraq inquiry a lot less seriously
  Is Shales an ass man, or just an ass?
You can write for one of the most prestigious newspapers in America, even be a Pulitzer winner, and still be shocked by a woman's breast.
As Ms. Cox, the Wonkette, wrote: "Boobies are American as apple pie, certainly as American as motherhood."

UPDATE: Hell, you can even be Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell and be shocked by a glimpse of a hooter.
The mind boggles.
  Andrew Sullivan calls John Kerry "the pompous, do-nothing, faux-populist, Establishment blow-hard with the Vietnam obsession."
"Vietnam obsession"?
Kerry served with distinction in the Vietnam War, showing a type of bravery and fortitude that Sullivan (and G. W. Bush for that matter) have never displayed. Kerry also picked up a thing or two about how military plans sound much better in the briefing room than they do while you're getting shot at. It may be presumed that Kerry took the lesson more to heart than he would have if he'd learned it reading Clausewitz.

Note well how Sullivan deals with what is, beyond all doubt, a Kerry virtue. He puts it at the end of a list of negatives, and then, by adding the word "obsession" after it, Kerry's hard won experience is made to seem a sort of mental pathology.
Sullivan is certainly aware of the stereotype of the crazed vet having flashbacks to the 'Nam. He's willing to throw it out there so casually, and when it is so unnesessary.
Even for Sullivan, that's low. 
Sunday, February 01, 2004
  Blasphemy is the last refuge of the inept
The tragic deaths in Mecca are God's fault:
Safety measures were in place at the site one where fatal stampedes have been frequent but "caution isn't stronger than fate," said Saudi Hajj Minister Iyad Madani. "All precautions were taken to prevent such an incident, but this is God's will."

"historical, FYI, trivia-for-the-hell-of-it backfill"

  • Rebuilding Madison
  • Jesse Walker
  • Baltimore City Paper
  • Baltiblog
  • Idle Type
  • Old Hag

  • Kafkaville
  • The Prague Monitor
  • Scott MacMillan
  • Doug Arellanes
  • Nicmoc
  • Petr Bokuvka (Daily Czech)
  • pragueBlog
  • Ota (Cestina)
  • Tomas Kohl
  • WildSoda
  • kohoco
  • Theo (Steal This URL)

  • Czech-American
  • Nazory
  • Alex Zucker

  • The District
  • Wonkette
  • Talking Points

  • elsewhere (kde? nevim)
  • EuroSavant
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  • Dave Kozyr (Blogo Slovo)
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