Monday, February 28, 2005

Album Review: Paul Motian Trio "I Have the Room Above Her"...

I must say that when I hear people mourning the passing of various Jazz greats, there tends to be a tone of mourning for not only the artists, but a bygone era. It's as if, to these people, Jazz died in '68 when Miles started fucking with electronics and ambience.

When it comes to me, I learned Jazz backwards. That is to say that instead of "Porgy and Bess", my intro to jazz was Miles's electric period stuff. The "Bitches Brew" era took all I loved about funk and rock and mixed in elements of Indian music and , in what I consider to be truly revolutionary, the implementation of ambience and vamps set to beats. If the last part of that sentence sounds familiar, it should. That description could easily be applied to today's electronic music and hip-hop. Such was the influence of Miles' hellish fever-dream of a musical career. It may be decades before we fully understand the influence of Miles.

Back to the present. Against the backdrop of clowns like Wynton Marsalis and Ken Burns (the Jazz doc-series does stop at Bitches Brew), who insist on a backward-looking, almost classical view of jazz as an idiom, there are what I consider to be many of the greatest jazz musicians in history. That's right, I said it... Jazz is not dead. It is, in fact, more alive than ever. Some of the great modern American composers are alive and breathing now and may be under forty years old! Ben Allison, Bill Frisell (his incredible "Unspeakable" just won him an overdue Grammy) and Joe Lovano all can be placed in this group.

So what happens when you take Lovano and Frisell and put them into a room (or a club) with someone with true golden-era creds like Paul Motian? It is nothing short of magical. I know that sounds really fucking cheesy, but it is not a stretch at all. There are moments of lucid dream-scapes contrasted with jutting triangular through-composed pieces. The interaction is seamless. From the opening track titled "Osmosis Part III", the listener is confronted with the brilliance of these three musicians. All three are at the top of the game. With Motian especially, it is noteworthy. This is a man who was a contemporary of Elvin Jones (god rest his swinging soul), Tony Williams , Coltrane, Bill Evans and anybody else who came into their own in the '50s Jazz scene. Here he is again, pushing the envelope of jazz. Pushing it places that Marsalis can only dream of with the help of two of the finest, most sensitive and intelligent players on this planet.

Who says jazz hit it's high point in the '60s? Or even that jazz means BeBop or any other style invented by the masters. This art form is in good hands, perhaps even some of the best hands in Jazz history.

G Dub gets the coveted "Nature Boy" vote..

Perhaps it's because I was a child when Reagan took down the empire that was responsible for over one hundred million deaths. Or perhaps it is because I believe that the undertaking of Democracy in the Greater Middle East seemed like an impossible task not too long ago. I don't know for sure because after all, we still have a long and bloody road ahead. It's just too soon to see where this is all headed, but I can't remember a succession of powerful events like these since the fall of the Wall. One can even sense that Palestinians are growing weary of the Islamists who have hijacked their cause and poisoned an entire generation of youth with pure blood-hate (Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc.).

I've maintained for a long time that Lebanon is a microcosm of the Arab dilemma. They are normal, diverse people who want to make a living and enjoy life who have been slaughtered by the thousands by their leaders and their Euro-enablers. It certainly is exciting to watch the shit hit the fan over and over again, in rapid succession (like TommAy with the ladies of Florida). This shit isn't over with yet, but I've got to hand it to G Dub. He is achieving the impossible before our very eyes, it seems.

Barf

If you want a healthy dose of disingenuousness and mendacity it’s hard to beat Maureen Dowd’s column. Today she compares Bush and Putin and guess who comes up short? To the left the United States is the worst country in the world by far (except, perhaps, for Israel). This is especially so when the country is presided over by a Republican. My favorite part of her column is where she argues that President Bush doesn’t have the moral high ground to complain about the way Putin handles the Russian press because Bush, “prefers tossing journalists who protect their sources into the gulag to giving up the officials who broke the law by leaking the name of their own C.I.A. agent.”

Is Dowd so lacking the ability for rational thought that she cannot make the obvious connection here? The journalists that are on the verge of being tossed into the “gulag” are in that position because they refuse to tell the government exactly “who broke the law by leaking the name of their own C.I.A. agent.”

The reporter-source privilege is more of a tradition than it is established law. At any rate, the privilege was never intended to cover communication between reporters and their sources where the communication itself is illegal. If a law was broken in the Plame controversy at all, it was broken when officials leaked her name to reporters. Reporters have a duty to protect whistle-blowing, not law breaking.

Sean Adds: The Dowdinators' little purring lefty sex-kitten act is not aging well. In fact, it can be said that menopause is not kind to little purring sex-kittens in general. She longs for days gone long ago when people cared what sassy leftist had up their sleaves and people actually paid to read the Old Gray Nutsack. The times they are a changin' and so is the temperature in the op-ed room at the Times. It seems to have gone up since the "rape" of Iraq and the advent of Mo's hot-flashes.

W's Greatness

I think Tom’s right that Bush could be one of the greats, but there is much that has to be settled first.

Things are happening now in the Middle East that would have seemed impossible to any reasonable person just a few years ago. Afghanistan and Iraq are both functioning democracies! This alone is shocking, but there is so much more to the story. American actions have fueled positive changes across the area. Qadhafi, terrified by the sight of Saddam’s fall in Iraq, has been leading his country away from terrorism and back towards the international community. There has been an election in Saudi Arabia and there is going to be one in Egypt. These elections are mere tokenism will do nothing to change the power structures in those countries, but still, the fact that Middle Eastern dictators now feel the need to bow to democracy is a substantial improvement. Bush could also pay a key role in coming to some kind of resolution in Israel. He was right to hold out aganst Arafat, and he is also right to support peace in Israel now.

The recent events in Lebanon are flat out astonishing. The pro-Syrian government even threw in the towel today. This is huge, and many of brave Lebanese fighting the Syrians have said that they were inspired by the recent elections in Iraq. They have also been emboldened no doubt, by the perception that the United States is looking for an excuse to kick Syria in the crotch. The fact that the Syrians have coughed up Saddam’s brother is a strong indicator that their clothing is reeking with the stench of fear sweat. This is not only entertaining to watch, it's also good for the world.

If these trends hold, if Afghanistan and Iraq are sill democracies twenty years from now, and if they have been joined by other nations in the Middle East, historians will have no choice but to list George Bush among the greats (assuming also, that the spread of democracy leads to a reduction in international terrorism). Even if things go well I still wouldn’t place him above Reagan, who pulled us out of the economic morass of the 70’s and hastened (or perhaps even caused) the demise of the Soviet Union and its satellite communist states. Also, Reagan is the man who made conservatism respectable. It's impossible to imagine W without Reagan paving the way for him.

However, things in the Middle East have a way going into the crapper, and if this happens Bush will have to be labeled a bust. He will also have get a historical F if things go terribly wrong with Iran, Russia and North Korea. If he allows nut cases to get and keep nukes, and they later launch them on us or our allies, Bush will justly get low marks from historians (if there are any historians left among the Mad Max survivalists after the nuclear holocaust).

Also, on the domestic front, he hasn’t been that great. He throws our money around like a drunken Democrat, and has allowed the government to grow too big. He can wipe out his first term’s domestic missteps if he succeeds in passing dramatic Social Security or tax reform, but that’s a pretty big if.

Though, in the end what matters the most is how he handles the spread of democracy and the war on terrorism. These are the big issues, and if he is proven right on them he will be one of this country's greatest presidents no matter what else he does.

Tom adds: Yes, the outcome of W's foreign campaigns still do remain to be determined. I should have stated that he could become, which is what I meant, rather than he is becoming. But since I believe that all of this indeed will happen, and indeed appears to be happening, I tend to speak on this subject "as if". But even if things all go according to plan and the entire middle-east is transformed into peaceful, vibrant and prosperous democracies (and whichever other hugely positive implications this would cause on a world level) and we all get through this crucible in one piece, you still wouldn't put his legacy as more far-reaching than Reagan's? Difference of opinion, I suppose. But I did want to get you to bust out your history smarts on my ass, and you did. And yet so gingerly, I might add.

Maybe sooner than we thought?

With these new developements, the Bush Revolution could be taking shape much sooner than anticipated. Even I, who believes that Bush's legacy would eventually dwarf Reagan's legacy at some point in time, didn't expect this kind of quick progress with these democratic stirrings in the middle-east that are now happening. It is more likely every day now that Dubya is becoming the most decisive and consequential president since Lincoln (and there's plenty more to say about that).

PS Noay, you are more than welcome to challenge these assertions with your history book smarts should you feel inclined. Though, I too am of the opinion that Harry Truman was "the bomb" (pardon the pun).

Friday, February 25, 2005

Leave My Potato Chips Alone!

Perhaps the most annoying wing of the modern left is the nanny-state wing. I know they mean well, but that’s no excuse for heaping all of our freedoms one by one on the pyre of safety (maybe “pyre” isn’t the best safety-related metaphor) and tossing a lighted match. People should be able to do dangerous things if they want to, and that includes eating at MacDonald’s.

Now the nannies want to take away our salt. An organization called the Center for Science in the Public Interests is suing the FDA to get them to declare salt a food additive in order to give the FDA power to “regulate salt in food, whether through warnings on packages and menus or mandatory or voluntary limits”

First of all, who made them the arbiters of “the public interest”? There is no “public interest” there are only private interests, and I don’t want them screwing around with my private interest to eat French fries dipped in the Dead Sea or to lick the ice melter off the bumper of my Toyota.

Everybody knows that too much salt isn’t good for them, and those who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure have been given ample warnings by their doctors. We don’t need fascist do-gooders literally depriving us of the savor of life.

And notice the way the nanny staters operate. They don’t petition congress and try to pass laws. They use the most undemocratic hammer in the lawmaking toolbox: the lawsuit. This is the same tactic that they use against cigarette companies and gun makers. They know they can’t pass legislation. They know that their school marmish hen pecking and nagging are not exactly popular with the general populace. They can only win in the undemocratic courts.

If the people at CSPI succeed in getting the FDA to limit salt I swear this oath: I will break into each and every one of their homes and loosen the lid on their salt shakers. My Doritos will not be tampered with!

Sean Humbly Adds: Yeah! Don't you dare touch my sodium or partially hydrogenated oils! So I'm going to die of ASS CANCER (a great name for a speed-metal band, by the way), we'll all die some day anyway! I might as well enjoy these synthetic chips before my colon starts spewing polyps all over the place. This post by Noah reminds me of the common refrain of many of my co-activists when I was making no money while giving my life to a certain local enviro non-profit. The scene usually went something like this: we would leave the office for a breath of "fresh air" (a smoke). While sitting there consuming our cancer stix, somebody would pipe up about the poor air quality in Salt Lake and how it was due to ignorant, flamboyant driving habits of Mormons (code word: swarthy Americans). Interesting, I thought, how these words were being pooped out of one side of their mouths while the other side grasped a personal smokestack. That, in a nutshell is the problem with the current fleet of activists. I can take self-righteousness, but not hypocrisy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

May the Gods of Law Bless You, Noah.....

And comfort your loins with the knowledge of a passed bar...Let me clarify; I don't wish it upon you to actually pass a bar of something (lets say soap, or gold). I mean to pass the bar exam. May the ghosts of Matlock and Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer whisp you away to lawyerdome, and may they do that deed in peace.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

NBA All-Star Weekend highlights, Ambassador Vince, dunk contest thievery

The highlight of NBA All-Star weekend 2005 did not end up being what I had anticipated it would be: the long awaited pairing of Lebron and Iverson to see who-knows-what (the pitiful olympics didn't count). They had a couple cool plays together, but it didn't come anywhere near the level of general nastiness that I had expected. That award goes to Vince Carter, for the "dunk of the night". Though nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will ever get as dangerously, severely filthy sick and depraved as this, i.e. the coolest fucking thing I've ever seen done in the game of basketball (2000 Sydney Olympics). That Vince Carter, he just a nasty ol' dogg.

I think it would be fair to say that these new sour relations we have with France did not necessarily start with disagreements over Iraq, but rather can be traced back to that glorious, obscenely cruel and abusive, and poetically beautiful moment in not only Olympic history, but American history.

That 'dunk heard 'round the world' was as foreboding of things to come as any piece of legislation or policy passed by Congress ever was. I believe Vince will not only go down in history as a ruthless nasty baller, but also for having carried out his titular role of 'Shaper of American Foreign Relations' with distinction, as well as a receiver of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for that singular action that one day in Sydney.

PS The dunk contest was a farce. The dude with easily the coolest dunk of the contest, or of perhaps the last 10 years, got screwed, and then robbed. I've been looking for it online but couldn't find it, like it's a hot news story that's been intentionally buried or something. It was JR Smith's first dunk (not Josh Smith--thief of the dunk contest trophy), so if anyone can find it, post it. I promise, it's INFDL worthy.

Sean Adds: You are correct sir, The Carter dunk was the most nasty, sleazy, funky thing ever done to the French. That alone is reason enough to drop a "NO" bomb on us in the Security Council. Amare Staudamire's reverse was nasty also (I think he and Jermaine Oneal are as close to Malone in his prime as anybody). Got to give props to Iverson. That man is gifted beyond what the Lord giveth to the rest of us.

One more thing: Lebron really is the real thing. He's already better than Koby. A prediction: if he stays healthy, he'll be the first since Oscar Robertson to do the 30 point and 10 assists average.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Crossing the Bar

Well Sean, it's good to know that at least one of us is going to be having fun tomorrow. I won't be. I'll be taking the bar. People have been asking me lately if I'm nervous about it, and I'll give the world my answer right now: no, I'm not nervous, there is no room for nerves when you're overcome by despair.

I've spent three years in law school and another couple months studying for the bar exam, and it occurs to me that I know next to nothing about the law. It has also occurred to me that perhaps I should not have arranged my law school schedules with the single goal of making sure I had Fridays off (and Mondays as well, if possible). Also, I should have perhaps showed up for Constitutional Law more than four times (even though the professor was the worst).

For some reason the same lines from Tennyson keep popping into my mind:


Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.


Of course, I do not wish to see my Pilot face to face on Wednesday afternoon, but, leaving that aside, the poem was clearly written specifically for the nonce. It's the connection between "crossing the bar" and death that seems appropriate.

I don't think I'll fail the thing (I just knocked on wood a bit too hard and did significant damage to my knuckles), but I do not relish the thought of two straight days of bending my fingers out of shape answering questions about "negotiable instruments" and other equally dreary subjects.

By the way, negotiable instruments class was taught on Fridays, so I have no idea what they are.

North my friend...

It's off to Idaho (Lava Hot Springs) for some much-needed R&R with Jessica. We're leaving right now and we'll be back on Wed. night. See you then, boys!

Crazy shit in Lebanon...

Wow, is stuff ever changing in the Middle East. In Lebanon, we may be watching a revolution on par with the Ukraine, but with farrer-reaching (I know, farrer is not a word) consequences. The first thing to mention is the mass-demonsrations in Beirut. Perhaps the Syrians (read: the Mullahs of Iran) are listening. Check this shit out: Syrian troups will begin a pull-out! This article reads very casually, but if this is to believed, it is nothing short of revolutionary.

Syria is Iran's proxy evil doer when it comes to Israel. It is the means for the opperation of that Jew-Slaughter-house Hezbollah, which is Iranian. I'll hold back total enthusiasm until we see how this shakes out. The Lebanese are a freedom-loving people, and Lebanon is a jewel of a land- absolutely stunning. I cannot wait to go back someday (as all of us probably know here at INFDL, I lived in Israel for a time as a young child). Let's all cross our fingers, because we have never seen this type of change so fast in the region. Perhaps in the days of Began and Sadaat we saw this kind of movement, but that progress wasn't butressed by a massive Democratic movement.

Hunter Thompson's dead...

He shot himself yesterday at his ranch in Colorado. Say what you will about him personally, but this dude could write real good-like. Even his recent work with ESPN.com was excelent. Go there and search under his name. I always thought that he might be the prototypical blogger as well. I know he went to hell, so I hope he's good at Black-Jack.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Lynne Stewart Defended

Marjorie Cohn, the executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, writes to the New York Times in defense of Lynne Stewart:

Even though the government eavesdropped on Ms. Stewart's conversations with her client long before Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration opportunistically waited until after the 9/11 attacks to go after Ms. Stewart.

Wow, leftie paranoia runs deep at the National Lawyers Guild. The Bush administration opportunistically waited until after the WTC attacks to prosecute Stewart? Ms. Cohn is implying by this statement that that Bush knew that the attacks would occur (a belief that is not all that uncommon on the left). You can't opportunistically wait for something you don't know is going to happen. I would like to have heard the planning session between Ashcroft and Bush (as the two are laying down on the backyard trampoline one lazy Saturday morning):

Ashcroft: Hey, I'm bored, let's huck the book at Lynne Stewart.

Bush: Naaw.

Ashcroft: Why not?

Bush: If we wait until after Al Queda flys jets full of people into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon we'll have a better shot at gettin' the hussy locked up.

Ashcroft: Good idea . . . but I'm soooo bored.

Bush: Well, why don't you go put clothes on all the naked status at the Justice Department.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Hillary Continues to Move Towards the Center

Senator Clinton has moderated her speech on abortion and actually outflanked the President to the right on immigration. Now she's giving the war effort in Iraq a glowing report. She's in Iraq right now and she's telling people that constant stream of suicide attacks are a sign that the insurgency is failing. Quoth Clinton:

The concerted effort to disrupt the elections was an abject failure. Not one polling place was shut down or overrun . . . The fact that you have these suicide bombers now, wreaking such hatred and violence while people pray, is to me, an indication of their failure.

She's right, of course, and it's good to hear a Democrat say it. I'm just wondering what she'll do next. Will she flip the electric chair switch on a mentally retarded murderer (as her husband practically did in his election against Bush senior)? Will she call for the invasion of France? Senator Clinton is a woman who is running for president and distancing herself from Massachusetts style liberalism. It's kind of fun to watch.

Update Sean: You hit it, Noah. No matter what you think of her policies, she's an incredibly skilled politician. She surely knows a knock-out when she sees one. While other clowns from the left try to justify their "opposition-for-the-sake-of-oposition" pre-war view, she finds herself in a position where she can actually point to previous hawkish statements to bolster her credibility on national security and the recent elections in Iraq. She knows that she needs to flank the right from the right on national security to win an election.

I have to admit that I've been skeptical about her scincerity in the past. At the same time, she seems to "get it" more often than not on this issue compared to her party-mates. I hope she's for real. The left in general needs to realize that we are not making up this threat because Wal-Mart wants to rape Iraq of all it's rescources, or the Carlyle Group needs human (preferably Muslim) livers for it's new rocket-powered Kosher missiles. They simply aren't serious, and we can all see it, and one of their own realizes that we take this shit seriously. That's good. As she said today;
"The results of the election are a strong rebuke to those who did not believe that the Iraqi people would take this opportunity to demonstrate their own commitment to their own future."

Friday, February 18, 2005

RE: Gravy Related Accidents

I really enjoyed Sean's last post, but I have a few suggestions as to what he might want to do to the next group of "professors" who show up at his restaurant. He should "accidentally" spill a gallon tub of scalding hot gravy on them. They'll get mad and say something like "you clumsy oaf!" And then they'll ask, "do you guys even serve gravy here?" When they find out that Sean's restaurant does not actually have gravy on the menu, and that he brought it from home in a thermos, they'll get pretty mad. At this point Sean will have two choices: 1) giggle and run away, or, 2) play the race card. In his last post Sean says he is "mostly white," but I happen to know that he has more Native American (Hawaiian) in him than Ward Churchill. Actual percentages don't matter, it's all in the wild island hair.

Oh, and welcome to INFDL Brig . . . I want my DVD's back.

(I would have put this on as an addition to Sean's earlier post but for some reason Blogger isn't allowing me to do that.)

Sean Adds: As the INFDL in-house expert on military gravy stategy, Noah's advice is invaluable. I will try the gravy trick and report back.

Blogger CBFTW to write a book--this is kick ass news

Ok, since the new entire INFDL team (good to have ya, Q) has represented today, then I shall make it complete. One of the things I found most newsworthy lately was the revelation that blogger CBFTW has been hired to write about his complete war experience in Iraq for a fall 2005 publication. If the publisher allows him to use the same colorful language from his blog days last year, then I think his book will be, very simply, a book for the ages. There's no need to spend much time on his blog nowdays, since he has had to remove every post relating to military operations, i.e., the good stuff. Nothing of much worth is on there anymore. No more original, scary and entertaining-as-hell stories of going out on S&D operations while listening to Slayer and working the "50." I guess we'll have to wait for the book. His blog days only lasted about 2 1/2 months before he was discovered and made to stop blogging by his superiors. There are a couple of funny and/or revealing posts that are still available that give you a taste of his literary flair. Here: Combat Jack (scroll down), and his first ever post.

Sean Adds: Hell, yes. TommAy directed me to this very talented writer a few months ago, and I agree that his work is a must read for all. Som of the best combat-patrol writing I've seen since Orwell.

North Korean News Story of the Day

The celebration of Kim Jong Il's birthday continues as all North Koreans (who aren't in prison or starving to death) express the unmitigated joy they feel at being ruled over by a demigod (Kim Jong would probably prefer it if I nix the "demi" part of that word). The Korean Central News Agency has the scoop:

The joy of the Korean people enjoying February holiday was added by acrobatic performances of the Pyongyang Moranbong Circus and the Pyongyang Circus and comedies by the State Comedy Troupe, replete with unique skills, dexterous gifts, optimism and laughter.

North Korea has a State Comedy Troupe? Watch out Yakov Smirnov! I wonder if they make fun of Kim Jong Il's absurd haircut or enormous glasses? Somehow I doubt it.

As a clownish, under-educated, poorly read, mostly-white guy,....

feelings of insufficiency are not new. In fact compared to the bold and brazen intellect of my three compadres here at INFDL, my logical abilities register somewhere between Tony Danza and Jessica Simpson. I can cope with these feelings usually by reading some posts on INFDL, or checking out the current brilliant piece by Victor Davis Hanson. Last night, though, I had a real run-in with this complex.

Most of you know that I serve tables on the weekends for cash. Among many other guests, I had a table of five-- three gents and two ladies (one great with child). It was a night hewn from pure server-nightmares. I was, of course, the only server there, seeing as the people of Salt Lake still haven't caught on to the idea of reservations or realized their usefulness from a staffing standpoint. But this table caught my attention. They were obviously military personnel of some sort. I kept catching words coming from the table like "sortie", "Mosul", and "50 mm".

Surely these men couldn't be in the Air Force. Not with their keen knowledge of food and the casual banter about Balkan history. Especially not with their deep understanding of wine (two bottles of mid-90's Super Tuscan). Aren't they supposed to be torturing helpless Baathists and pointing at their genitals? Aren't they supposed to be blood-thirsty knuckle-dragging, sister pokers? Or, as in Michael Moore's alternate universe, perhaps they are small town middle Americans who's jobs have been outsourced so they have no choice but to enlist?

As the place wound down, I decided to thank them (and their ladies) for the obvious sacrifice that they had made. I told them that I thought they were helping hold the world together. Upon doing so, they told me that two of the three gents had just gotten back from their second six-month tour in Iraq. They were both eager to go back.

As I watched one of the men help his very pregnant wife out of her seat, I could not help but feel small. Very small compared to these brave men. After all, what the hell have I done lately to help advance Democracy? How ironic that they were making the ultimate sacrifice so that the table three spaces down could sit back, drunken and full of themselves, and say stupid shit like "George Bush looks like a monkey" (direct quote from a Univ. of Utah professor) or "What we need is a runoff election like Russia" (same table, different professor) or "Capitalism is truly the most dangerous thing in the world" (same table, yet another professor).

While some don't think twice about slandering those who sacrifice themselves to ensure that the Eason Jordans and Ward Churchilsl can continue spouting their idiotic propaganda, there are many of us who really do recognize what's going on. We recognize that we are part of another "Greatest Generation".

Tom would like to add: do you mean to say that these military families actually did not resemble these brilliantly creative and original caricatures provided by the ever increasingly creative and original Village Voice? Notice that the guy in the first frame with the cowboy hat is made to look like he is literally devoid of a cerebrum! Nothing less, and nothing more, than Shari'a on all those twits at the Voice could be more appropriate.

Welcome, oh wise Brig...

Welcome to the highly exclusive gentlemen's club that is INFDL. Really it's only a gentlemen's club because our women are generally smarter than us and hence have more important things to do. And I should clarify that in this gentlemen's club, there is no lap-dancing. I'm still working on that angle.

Let me close this post by speaking for all of us, including Joe Yowzie, David Jorgensen, the esteemed Willy Liu, and Megan Blaylock. Welcome, kind Brig, we're stoked to hear what you have to say.

A Purple Figure 11

First, I would like to thank Mr. Neves for providing such a fine forum to hear what others have to say and that I thoroughly enjoy reading the posts to the site. Television needs defenders, and who better than Tom with whom I've spent many hours researching the subject, and Noah who doesn't have cable, but can luckily get Fox? Conservatives need voices and humor and who better than you all.

In honor of B. Isaacson, Margaret and Chad, Amanda Burr, and Jennie Lin (since I just saw her at the Salt Lake City Library and not because I saw her at the last Hips concert), I concur with Thomas Friedman's suggestion that the people of Lebanon extend a purple finger to Syria and add that perhaps they should add one more finger for a powerful, purple figure 11.

Friedman writes:

Nothing drives a dictatorship like Syria's more crazy than civil disobedience and truth-telling: when people stop being intimidated, stand up for their own freedom and go on strike against their occupiers. . . . They must start playing by Baghdad Rules.

Baghdad Rules mean the Lebanese giving the Syrian regime - every day, everywhere - the purple finger.


In another part of the article, Friedman reports that Hariri, before Syria killed him (or at least allowed for his murder), and others in Lebanon were emboldened by Iraq's experience to make new efforts to get Syria out.

Is there a story that makes you feel better than Iraq?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

For Every Left Winger We Lose to Canada . . .

. . .we gain Alanis Morissette. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that she became an American recently. When asked about her decision this is what she had to say:

I'd like to make political comments and not have my chops busted by people who say I don't have the right to comment.

Let me get this straight, she became an American so she could criticize America?

This is great, what this country really needs is newly-minted American celebrities with political comments to make.

Unsolicited DVD Review

I Watched Any Number Can Win last night and I really enjoyed it. It's a French heist film from the early sixties and the basic plot is something we've all seen a hundred times: a wise and somewhat aged thief (Jean Gabin) gets out of prison and decides to pull off one last job. He gets a young rebel (Alain Delon) to partner up with him they knock over a casino. This inevitably involves a lot of crawling around in air ducts and shimming down air shafts, and there are a number of close calls, a gun is drawn here and there, and so on and so forth.

Still, I liked it. It was a good story with strong performances (who knew a guy as old and pudgy as Jean Gabin could look so cool?) and I happen to like heist films.

It's pretty clear that Henri Verneuil, who directed the movie, had seen Stanley Kubrick's The Killing. Here's a spoiler (at least if you've seen The Killing), Any Number Can Win has the exact same ending as Kubrick's film except it involves water rather than wind.

Now that I'm on the subject, let me just say I love The Killing. Even though it's eight or ten years older than Any Number Can Win, it has aged less. It's crosses and double crosses, gritty violence and high body count make it seem very modern.

Adios Lynne

In his New York Times op-ed today Andrew Nepolitano claims that “the conviction of Lynne F. Stewart for providing material aid to terrorism and for lying to the government is another perverse victory in the Justice Department's assault on the Constitution.” The only thing this conviction assaults, however, is lawyers who help their clients commit terrorist acts.

Lynne Stewart is the self-anointed “civil rights attorney” who was hired to represent the terrorist Abdel Rahman (the man behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center). She defended him with the utmost zeal, and should be commended for representing such a highly unpopular individual. However, despite the opinion of Judge Nepolitano, she is not on her way to prison for defending a despicable individual. She’s headed to the slammer because she passed way over the line, broke the law and aided terrorism.

While defending Abdel Rahman Stewart signed “an affirmation that she would abide by special rules requiring that she communicate with the sheikh only about legal matters. The rules also forbade her from passing messages to third parties, like the news media.” These special rules were seen as necessary in this case because the government didn’t want Abdel Rahman to continue to run his terrorist operation from behind bars. If Steward had a problem with this agreement she should have fought it at the time. Instead, she signed it, and immediately broke her promise.

Here’s Nepolitano’s basic argument:

Mr. Ashcroft's rules, with their criminal penalties, violate the Sixth Amendment, which grants all persons the right to consult with a lawyer in confidence. Ms. Stewart can't effectively represent her clients - no lawyer can - if the government listens to and records privileged conversations between lawyers and their clients. The threat of a government prosecution would loom over their meetings.

A defendant has the right to confidential communication with his attorney. That right, however, does not cover communications that are themselves crimes or in furtherance of a crime. For example, if a lawyer and a burglar get together and to plot a bank robbery, their communications do not come within attorney-client privilege. The Lynne Stewart case is analogous. The communications for which Stewart has been convicted had nothing to do with the defense of her client whatsoever. They were simple acts to further Abdel Rahman’s terrorist activities, and the government had the duty to prosecute her for them.

Nepolitano further argues:

These rules also violate the First Amendment's right to free speech. Especially in a controversial case, a defense lawyer is right to advocate for her client in the press, just as the government uses the press to put forward its case. Unless there is a court order that bars both sides from speaking to reporters, it should be up to the lawyer to decide whether to help her client through the news media.

Nepolitano is also right that a lawyer should be able to advocate her client in the press, but, once again, that’s not what happened here. Stewart was not barred from speaking with reporters. She isn’t being convicted for going before the cameras and saying “my client is innocent . . . his conviction is a terrible miscarriage of justice . . . he’s always kind to children and kittens . . . yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah.” What she did was pass messages which helped him run his terrorist operation from behind bars, and she did it despite signing an agreement not to.

The jury, thank goodness, was smart enough to see this.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"George Michael's Latest Release"

Old pop stars never die, they just fade away . . . Oh, wait, it's old soldiers who fade away. Pop stars never go anywhere at all. That's why I don't believe George Michael for one moment when he promises that he is going to dissapear from the public eye. Pop stars are worse than Michael Jordan, they're always having farewell tours and goodbye concerts, and they're always coming out with their absolutely last album. But it's never true! Cher too recently said that she would no longer foist herself upon the public stage, but I don't believe it for a moment. If only it were so!

And do we need an announcement from George Michael that he is planning to withdraw from the public eye? If it hadn't been for the unpleasantness in a public toilet a few years ago no one would ever think about him at all. His announcement is in fact merely an acknowledgement that nobody listens to his music anymore and that his name has become the punch line to dirty jokes.

In fact, the title of this post is the punch line to a joke David Brent mangles in an episode of The Office (the build up involves a question about a substance found in a urinal). Ten bonus points if you caught the reference.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I Like Television

This is apropos of nothing, but I think it needs to be said: I like television

Every once in a while I'll hear someone quote a line from the Simpsons to a group of people and there's always one guy (actually, it's usually a girl) who'll say "Oh, I never watch television." They employ the same tone of voice they would use if they were saying "I'd never smoke crack" or "I'd never piss on my mother's grave." This aversion to television is really nothing more than a pathetic form of snobbery.

Television is good, and I'll tell you why:

1) Sports
2) The Simpsons
3) Arrested Development
4) Curb Your Enthusiasm
5) Ali G
6) The Office (I know it's no longer on the air, but I still feel the show's warm glow in my heart)

This is just my first string. I could go on and on about with second string programs and all time classics (like Seinfeld or Monty Python's Flying Circus) but I don't need to. I've proven my point. Even with all the pollution of "reality TV" the good things on the tube justify its existence.

Tom would like to add: I like television too. In fact, I luuuuv it. Yes, I've long held that those who just love to proclaim their disdain for television (in the same tones Noah describes) are, in fact, boring people. Look what they're missing. And yeah, ok, as always there are a few exceptions to this rule, but I find that it's mostly true. Television isn't what it used to be 10 years ago, as there are now almost 200 channels of all sorts of shit. And when you think about it, alot of our education comes from tv watching. When you consider that almost half of all channels are educational channels like Discovery and Natl. Geographic and History and Public Television and three versions of CSPAN, you're ass will get learned watching television. TV can be a rich and rewarding experience if you choose your viewing wisely. Television also accounts for the reason that I, a Utahn, can move to Florida and fit in with the locals here perfectly well and with little adjustment, because we're all connected to the same culture through television. And a kid from Bismark, ND, who watches Chappelle and Seinfeld and MTV, likewise wouldn't need much adjustment.

An Escalation in Lebanon...

After the vaporization of former Lebanese P.M. Rafiq Hariri, many questions come to mind. First, who did this? The popular assumption in Lebanon, of course, is Syria. Syria has a vested interest in the status quo there. They have gradually, since the end of the Lebanese civil war, tightened their grip on that particular sliver of Mediterranean coastline. Lebanon is strategically essential to the ultimate goals of the Assad regime, and seeing as Syria represents one of the last bastions of Pan-Arabism, it is likely to act in a progressively erratic manner. Is this possibly the last straw for the people of Lebanon, who've suffered through many years of brutal occupation by Syria and their estimated 15,000 troops in Beirut? Could we possibly see an uprising against the Assad regime?

Another possibility is that this was the work of a large Salafist terrorist organization (read: Saudi Arabia). Al Qaeda falls in this category and this bombing bares all their markings. If so, then what are it's motivations? Of course this was intended, by whoever did it, to throw some sugar in the tank of the current peace process. The goal might be to turn the heat up and hope for all-out war, which would effectively stop the current talks.

The third possibility, and perhaps the most likely, is that what we are seeing is cooperation between all of these powers. We may now be watching an alignment of players on par with the alliance of the Axis powers in WWII; many disparate interests united in the goal of the vaporization of the West. Iran is not an Arab state. In fact, they have perfected the art of the slaughter of Arabs over many years (see the Iran-Iraq war). Yet we are now seeing them exert enormous power in Syria through Hezbollah (an Iranian invention) and other factions. The Pan-Arab, Islamist, and Palestinian causes are now becoming one.

This all may seem overly spooky on the surface, but in many ways, it gives us a better shot at beating them. One of the distinct advantages that Al Qaeda had in the days before 9/11 was the fact that the West was in an utter state of confusion when it came to analyzing the many different forces at work in that region. Remember all the talk of the Arab street? Or all the talk of possible Iranian interference in Iraqi affairs once the Shiites come to power (a highly unlikely occurrence seeing as Arab Shia have been slaughtered in Persian Shia lands for centuries)? These are both perfect examples of our ignorance of the many dynamics in the region. As the days go by, we are learning more and more about the actual inner-working of these organizations, and as they consolidate themselves, they expose themselves as well, providing us solid targets.

One of the most overlooked benefits of the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan is the importance of establishing an actual front line in the war on Islamo-fascism. I remember my own personal confusion as to the right path after 9/11. The question went like this; how can we fight somebody when we don't know who they are, who their friends are, and where they are based? They are now answering that question for us and giving is a clearer vision of what needs to be done.

What about peace in the Middle East? Unfortunately, any agreements that are reached are likely to fail until we directly confront Iran. There is simply no way around that. I would love to think that we might see an Orange revolution there, or some non-military solution, or that the elections in Iraq and Palestine will force the Mullahs to their knees, but they seem pretty hell bent on crushing any chance for peace in the region through their military-by-proxy in Syria. Bush has been preparing for that inevitability by flanking Iran on both sides via Iraq and Afghanistan. He has done the same with Syria via Israel and Iraq.

I'm sure that the Bush team is holding out hope that these measures will apply enough pressure on the Mullahs and inspire them to embrace reform (read: Capitalism). I certainly hope so, but I've got a feeling that Islamo-fascism will not go down without taking a few people with it.

American Euro-weenies discuss the Hot Topics of today

Ok, has anybody out there in INFDL land noticed how terribly pathetic the anti-war discourse gets sometimes? For example, "mother of slain marine embraced by iraqi woman at Bush's state of the union address. Was this staged by Bush for political reasons? ". This would be funny were it not completely malicious and below absolute contempt. These assholes who spend all their time thinking this garbage up, scrutinizing and belittling the one and only great moment that will ever come from these women's losses, could also be questioned just as easily (and just as lazily) about the sincerity of personal moments of their own. Like if they were thinking of somebody else while consumating their marraige on their wedding night, for example. If anybody were questioned by someone about something as personal as that, with absolutely nothing to prove it, anybody would feel justified to lay a scoundrel like that out cold. And so it is with dipshits that have done the same thing with these two women who shared a truly great and greatly personal moment together.
Noah recently introduced Paul Krugman to INFDL, a man among the most petty of them all. While unfortunately seeing his asshair face on "Prickball with Chris Matthews" while I was channel surfing, I stopped on it. I'm always curious as to what kind of catastrophe he will see in his Bush-economy crystal ball. I heard the panel discussing whether one of the most popular super bowl televison ads, the Anheiser-Busch commerical showing returning soldiers getting a standing O at an airport, was appropriate or not because it "might have been exploitative". Watch it and judge for yourself whether it "exploits." Well there's no question where Krugman stood, as what I believe he was really trying to say was, beneath his stand on "principle" that it was exploitative and meant nothing more than to sell beer, that anything that could be remotely construed as promoting a positive image involving US troops and hence "promoting Bush's policies" must be attacked. And it surely was. Here's Krugman doing the same damn thing in October 2003, with a sense of worry that the economy was picking up. "Oh shit, call the NY Times emergency hotline, Bush's economy might be showing positive numbers which might mislead the american worker that he could be prospering!" I question whether or not, when psychoanalyzing people like these mentioned in this post, if, for them, it's truly that nothing is ever what it seems and that there's ALWAYS something hidden, or if what it is is a purposeful conscientious smear job done for their own selfish reasons. I wonder, because how else would one explain the fact that MOST of the world believes there was CIA or Israeli complicity in the 9/11 attacks?

Howard Dean: Moderate

In his New York Times op-ed today Paul Krugman argues that Howard Dean, the new leader of the Democratic Party, is a moderate:

Mr. Dean is squarely in the center of his party on issues like health care and national defense. . . Mr. Dean's political rejuvenation reflects the new ascendancy within the party of fighting moderates, the Democrats who believe that they must defend their principles aggressively against the right-wing radicals who have taken over Congress and the White House.

So, let me get this straight. According to Krugman a moderate is a person who is in the center of their party. Using that logic Herman Goering was a moderate because he was in the center of the Nazi party. Kim Jong Il is a moderate because he is in the center of the North Korean Communist Party. This is an absurd way to define the term. Moderates are people like Joe Lieberman and John McCain, men who are not in the middle of their party, but in the middle of the American political landscape. Krugman's idiocy continues:

It was always absurd to call Mr. Dean a left-winger. Just ask the real left-wingers. During his presidential campaign, an article in the muckraking newsletter CounterPunch denounced him as a "Clintonesque Republicrat," someone who, as governor, tried "to balance the budget, even though Vermont is a state in which a balanced budget is not required."

So, because the people at CounterPunch are to the left of Mr. Dean, he's a centrist. This is even more ridiculous than calling him a moderate because he's in the center of his party. Krugman is saying that as long as someone is to the left of you, you're a moderate. Using this reasoning one can say that Uncle Joe Stalin was a moderate because he had Trotsky to his left. In fact, if you add Lenin to the list Stalin becomes a right winger.

And it's interesting that Krugman does not apply this logic to the Republicans. There are plenty of Republicans to the right of the administration and yet he characterizes the White House as being populated by "right-wing radicals."

The piece goes on and on in this vein. If you want to read it you can find it here.

Monday, February 14, 2005

About the lag in posting...

Sorry for the sorry posting the last few days. Valentines made a meal of me at the restaraunt. That place was crazier than a churo stand on Micheal Moore's street. I promise to have some worthwhile bullshit in the coming days. If you ever do get bored with the pace around here, dear readers (all two of you), check out Noah's excelent online novel.

Update: whadup TommAy!

North Korea and Fred Kaplan

Sean and Noey, thanks for reminding us all at INFDL of the North Korean place in the Bush Doctrine, and particularly just why missle defense is an actual necessity, and not merely something that Bush thinks is cool (though there's nothing wrong with that).
The public/political discourse on North Korea has produced some of the most phoney bullshit (required redundancy) and rhetoric ever, all for the sake of protecting Clinton's ass (and to spin "another Bush screw up" of course) . Personally I have a hard time blaming Clinton for most of his montrous foreign policy blunders, because who could have even imagined the world of shit we now live in before 9/11? Shitt, half of this country and most of Europe still doesn't believe in the world we now live in. So now we find ourselves in it much deeper now that there's new kids in town with the bomb, and nuclear politics as we knew it during the cold war is suddenly a different and more ominous game. So, quite naturally, in come the petty dickheads whose only interest is to point fingers and play I-told-you-so tag in their shittyass columns; introducing Fred Kaplan. This guy is a master of ignoring his past predictions of complete failure to only again spin the future to how his agenda sees fit. I suppose it's better than distorting the past. His latest in Slate about North Korea is a real beauty. A real laugh, actually. What he attempts to do in it is actually applaud the N. Korean policy of Clinton and spin it as something that was a major success! Here's a fun snipet:
In 1993-94, the North Koreans threatened to reprocess their nuclear reactor's spent fuel rods into plutonium—the fastest way to get nuclear weapons. After a tense standoff, Kim Jong-il and President Bill Clinton signed an "Agreed Framework." The rods were locked in a pool and placed under continuous monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency...By the end of the decade, the deal was collapsing...But those fuel rods, which could have processed enough plutonium for more than 50 bombs by the time Clinton left office, stayed locked up.
Man, that was a really cool idea, Kaplan. You're right, the Clinton deal to keep the plutonium rods "locked-up", in NORTH FUCKING KOREA, was sheer brilliance. That idea sounds so GAY that it had to be something Jimmy Carter whipped up. Oh wait a minute, he did! Do huge fuck ups ever get more painfully obvious? Kaplan goes on to suggest that we negotiate with North Korea, as if we're not, but to do it unilaterally. Would doing what Kaplan says exclude China from the talks, the only country that could smash North Korea for disrupting it's regional endeavors without including the nuclear destruction of Seoul? Yes it would. Is Kaplan a buttlick? Yes he is. Even worse. Here's Kaplan explaining just how Bush screwed up the "majorly successful" deal we had in place with North Korea thanks to Jimmy Carter's bold efforts:
Unfortunately, common sense was in short supply. After a few shrill diplomatic exchanges over the uranium, Pyongyang upped the ante. The North Koreans expelled the international inspectors, broke the locks on the fuel rods, loaded them onto a truck, and drove them to a nearby reprocessing facility, to be converted into bomb-grade plutonium. The White House stood by and did nothing.
Bush screwed it all up over a few shrill diplomatic exchanges? Really? Now there's a convenient premise for a bullshit conclusion. Is this the only thing he's got? So this must explain North Korea's ever unpredictability, right? A few shrill diplomatic exchanges, huh? Never mind what kind of power really plays in those parts of the world, lets just focus on feelings, right? That's what we have Jimmy Carter for, I suppose. Geez, when mere scribblers decide to start thinking actual foreign policy, do they really think that what they scribble on paper needs to be implemented? No, I don't think so. Give any one of these scribblers a job at DoD or the State Department where actual words throw around alot of weight and affect the lives of millions, and I'd bet my 3rd arm they'd choose playing I-told-you-so tag in their dipwad columns instead.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Most Horrifying thing EVER!

Reading this made my landing gear shrivel:

LONDON (Reuters) - A British woman was sentenced to two and a half years in jail Thursday for ripping off her ex-lover's testicle with her bare hands during a drunken brawl after he refused her sex.

Amanda Monti, 24, flew into a rage in May last year after Geoffrey Jones, 37, who had ended their long-term relationship, rejected her advances.

She grabbed him by the genitals, tearing off his left testicle, then hid it in her mouth before a friend of Jones handed it back to him saying "that's yours."

Monti, of Birkenhead, near Liverpool, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding at an earlier hearing.

She makes Lorena Bobbit look like a lightweight. Knife! Who need a knife?

Tom's own PTSD moment: Ever since reading this I've been hearing a voice in my head, a Brando-like whisper echoing "the horror, the horror..." (pronounced "horr-uh"), over and over again. Anybody else experiencing this?

As Cock-Rockers Cinderella Once Said...

"You don't know what you got until it's gone". I wonder if I am alone amongst Jazz fans when I fondly recall the days of automatic playoff berths (21 in a row-- a US pro sports record), MVP awards growing on trees and nights where your top guy goes off for 61 points.

Karl Malone announced he is retiring today (a wise move). He will hold a press conference on Sunday at the Delta Center. Jazz fans had become so spoiled by basketball excellence that many happily shoed him out of Salt Lake after eighteen seasons in which he avaraged 26 point and 11 rebounds. I never thought we should have gotten rid of him. His last year in a Jazz uniform, he averaged 21 points and 8 1/2 boards. You don't let those types of numbers just walk away. I think, especially now, Larry Miller regrets ever letting him go. Word is he will now work for the Jazz in some capacity. How about assistant in charge of toughness? Maybe he will provide security or handle all of the team's trucking needs.

When I started this blog, I thought that I would be posting about my beloved Jazz at least once a week, but watching this current Jazz team play is something like slamming your balls in the car door. Truly painful. Who could have known that Carlos Boozer is Diet-Kieth VanHorn (the Cavs, by the way, might win their division)? Who could have foreseen the dive in skills that we saw from Arroyo (now on the Pistons)? Who would have thought that Sloan, after the passing of his wife, would be subjected to 82 games of this wafting sausage of a team?

What I am trying to say is this: Karl Malone was a once-in-lifetime power forward. And the Jazz won many games because of it. In fact, more wins than anybody in the 90's. You want to take issue with his greatness? Check out his numbers, my friend.

More on Ward Churchill

Ann Coulter's most recent hatchet job (I mean the phrase in the most positive sense) is a hilarious demolition of Ward Churchill's claims to be a Native American. My favorite bit was this line:

In the early '90s, he hoodwinked an impecunious Cherokee tribe into granting him an "associate membership" by telling them he "wrote some books and was a big-time author." A tribal spokeswoman explained: He "convinced us he could help our people." They never heard from him again — yet another treaty with the Indians broken by the white man.

You've got to read the whole thing.

Oops

Yesterday I mentioned that the North Koreans didn't have missiles that could reach the United States. Apparently this is not true. They can reach Hawaii, Alaska and even the West Coast, althought there is some question as to whether or not they can mount a nuke to their long range missile (that sounds vaguely dirty). I wouldn't normally correct a blog post except for two issues present in this case:

1) I do not want to offend His Great and Powerful Excellency and Benevolent Mother and Father of the Magnificent People's Revolution of Korea, by suggesting that he has less firepower than in fact he does.

2) It'll give you something to think about on your next vacation to Sea World.

The frightening thing about nukes is that the technology to make them is from the 1940's, so any tin pot dictator who is willing to invest the money will be able to make them if he wants to. Unless, as Sean points out, they are afraid of American military power. Falling moabs and daisy cutters are very persuasive. Sean argued for missile defense the other day, let me add that we should also begin developing those small-nuke bunker busters the Pentagon wants.

Years ago when Iraq was developing nuclear weapons the Israelis put a stop to it by bombing the program to rubble. Since then rogue nations have moved their programs underground. The small nuke bunker busters will bore down to these burried labs and turn them to glass. We need them. There could be no greater tool to stop nuclear proliferation.

Where Nuance is Useless...

The always brilliant Wretchard (of the Belmont Club) believes that unless we get a handle on the pressing issue of proliferation, the pursuit of nukes may be the status quo in the years to come.

There is precious little historical basis to believe that every ethnic hatred in the world will not someday engage in its equivalent.

What, he asks, will keep nuclear weapons from becoming the common trump-card for any millennia-old conflict? Can we verbally convince those with nuclear aspirations to lay down their programs? Did that work with Pakistan? Or India? Is it happening now with Iran? Or fucking North Korea?

The one modern example of a rogue state agreeing to lay down the light-saber is Libya. What, might you ask, could have been the motivation for those clowns to drop the bomb (figuratively speaking fo course)? It certainly wasn't because Brussels promised them a year's supply of organic, non-GMO soy-nuts. It just could, however, be a direct response to the Bush administration's aggressive, flexible and inventive foreign policy. As it turns out, the old cliche of "those that rule with brute force only respond to brute force" just could play out that way.

Let's use a crass, simple analogy. If you awoke one day to the realization that a registered pederast had moved next door, and that he was petitioning for enrollment to the local elementary school, you'd probably oppose it with every means possible. I think many people would (forcefully, if needs be) try to defend their children from exposure to that miscreant. That is, on a base level, what we often see as the "public front" of Bush's foreign policy.

But there are more subtle and crafty things going on. Who would have thought that we'd see a US-arranged alliance between Japan and China against the Il regime? Who would have thought that we'd see a U.S. General (Lt. General William E. (Kip) Ward) appointed as the joint coordinator of security forces in Palestine? And who'd have foreseen Khaddafi laying down his weapons and opening his country up to outsiders for the first time in 25 years? There is now even talk of a possible Syrian pullout of Beirut.

None of these things would have happened without our intervention in Iraq. Period. And you can bet that Iraq looms large in the minds of Jong Ils world-wide. Il is apparently upset at the way he was portrayed in "Team America". Maybe that is what is behind his current puffing. Whatever his reason is, I'll bet that he knows deep down that we're not fucking around anymore, Jimmy Carter isn't there to listen to his side if the story, and the left's best argument for the situation ("Well, if America has nukes, everybody else has a right to them too") has lost all credibility. As Wretchard says;

The alternative is to abandon the "sophisticated" view of a stable international order and understand that we are a planet in crisis; that in some meaningful sense humanity is in a death match with terror.

This is the act of a desperate man. These are also the acts of a desperate religion. We must keep on doing what we say. That is our best weapon now.

Six Degrees of Separation Between Me and ...

Flash Gordon. I once was the stand-in double for Michael Bacall who played "Arturo" in the film "Wait Until Spring, Bandini". It's a forgotten movie (forgotten by me as well, until now) about immigrants in Colorado back in the '20's. I got to hang with Joe Mantegna (a classy gent) and the kid from the "Chuckie" movies was the little brother (a strange young man). The mother of the family was played by Ornella Muti who, most famously, was the cosmic main-lady of "Flash Gordon". She was a gracious woman- absolutely stunning and funny.

I know, I know. That's technically only one degree of separation, but a strange and true yarn indeed. Also, I believe all of us at INFDL have only a few degrees (three max) between us and headache-inducing, gas-giving, mind-melting master spittle monger Larry King. In fact, come to think of it, we really only have a few degrees of separation between us and The King- Elvis! I'm sure that at one point, one of the non-Donny Osmond Brothers has either opened for Elvis , or at least huffed Nitrous with him.

P.S. I had no idea that the soundtrack to the film "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" was done by Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch's composer and one of the truly fine modern film composers. Listen to the soundtrack to "The Straight Story" and you'll know what I mean.

Tommay adds: You've met Princess Aura, that's totally awse. Flash Gordon is one of my favorite cult movies. And speaking of soundtracks, Queen did the complete soundtrack to Flash Gordon and it's really bitchin! And yes, Badalamenti is the straight dope, one of the few best, methinks. He also did the soundtrack for "A Very Long Engagement" which was outstanding flick, and much better than Amelie in that it wasn't nearly as "french" as was Amelie. Though AVLE is still very "french" itself.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

TommAy's Closer to Nixon than he Thinks

It's true that I once met Bay Buchanan, but there are fewer degrees between Thomas and Nixon than you think, because I also once met Pat Buchanan. This is a transcript of our conversation.

Me: Hello Mr. Buchanan

Him: Hello.

Me: I read your autobiography, Right From the Beginning, and I really enjoyed it. (This was true, it's a pretty entertaining book.)

Him: Well, I'm coming out with a new one in a few months; it's called. . . (at this point he rattled off the most ridiculously long book title I have ever heard. It was more like a paragraph than a title.)

Me: Oh.

And that was that. When the book was published the title he finally went with was: The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization. Still a mouthful, but it's shorter than the title he quoted to me. I have not, and will not read it.

When I met Buchanan his glory days (the 1992 election) were already in the past, but he hadn't become quite the absurd figure he is now (how embarrassing was his run for president on the Reform Party ticket?) He's a dinosaur.

Rehnquist-->Deepthroat. U tell me.

Alright Noay, I'm sure you had this one picked all along. I never could tell where your loyalties lay though, like if you were even a Nixon fan or not (but EVERYBODY knows that there's never been any love lost between you and Adlai Stevenson!). But I would have the whole world know that my "six degrees of Richard Nixon" connection does, in fact, go through you. Here it is, check it out: Myself-->friend and accomplice of Noah. Noah--> was engaged in steamy conversation with lovely Bay Buchanan on one occasion (I'm not sure about the "steamy" part, but I'm giving u the benefit of doubt because I'm hoping that you wouldn't have let any of us down in that opportune moment). Bay Buchanan--> nutty sister of nutty Patrick Buchanan (such an old-school-old-fashioned-isolationist Anti-Dubya conservative that I now must go outside 2 vomit). Patrick Buchanan-->Nixon advisor.
Shit, man (in tone of "The Dude"), with presidential advisors like that, who needs an Oval Office jester. (Long live the "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes). Oh, and Sean, I would also have the world know that my "Six degrees of Kevin Bacon" connection also runs through you due to the number of films that your ass participated in. Though I'm still trying to find a way to run that connection through Scott Baio and Ted McGinley.

Madness! Madness! Madness!

I really don't understand how anyone can be against missile defense. How on earth is it an act of nuclear proliforation to create a shield to protect yourself from such weapons. Iran will soon have the bomb (though not missiles that will carry a nuke as far as the United States) and Korea has finally admitted what the world has known for a long time now: They Have Nukes. They don't have the power to deliver them to the United States yet, but they will in the not too distant future.

The leadership of North Korea is nuts. One of my favorite sites on the web is North Korean News. It's the nation's official English language news source and always provides creepy entertainment. One of todays top stories is: "Japan Termed Wicked trickster." Today's issue also reports on a Pyongyang film festival showing a "documentary" called Holding Great Brilliant Commander in High Esteem. I'm sure it's a tear jerker; its title alone is enough to make me cry. The North Korean News site is a mix of Kim Jong Il worship and anti American/Japanese/South Korean bombast. (Speaking of the Japanese, I watched The Hidden Fortress last night. It's one of Akira Kurosawa's most entertaining movies. I heartily reccomend it.)

And let's not forget the fact that the Chinese are out there aching to attack Taiwan, and that they do have missiles that could reach our west coast. And, let's also not forget that they have made vague threats in the past that if we ever came to the defense of Taiwan they would lob a couple of nukes at Los Angeles (which would only improve the city that Ed Abbey called the "plastic asshole" of the world).

Fire up the Missile-Defence System, Batman...

because we may need it sooner than we think. If you're kidding yourself to sleep at night, comfortable with our ability to defend ourselves, check this shit out. Trey Parker and Matt Stone should get the Nobel Peace Prize this year for their portrayal of Kim Jong "Il-Communication" in the masterpiece to end all masterpieces "Team America". This dude is crazier than Dan Rather on Texas X (peyote). It's time for China to step up to bat and use some of it's local neighborhood good will. Perhaps they should drop by the Il household with some funeral potatoes, because that cat's got a freaky death-wish, I'm afraid. His regime is, by many accounts, about to collapse and that's what makes him so dangerous. Seriously, mix this situation with a little Mullah-Nuke Saffron and we'll have a nice glowing shepherd's pie for dinner soon. My point: lets get some missile-fucking-defense rolling in short order.

When is it Too Early to Tell Your Kid about the Holocaust?

Last night as my three year old was saying his nightly prayers, the boy said something interesting. He said, “please bless the Germans that they don’t kill all the mommies, and daddies, and little tiny babies.”

When he was finished and my wife and I had left the room she looked at me sharply and asked, “did you tell him about the Holocaust?”

“Uh, I might have mentioned it.”

“Why?”

“Oh, I dunno, I guess it came up in the conversation.”

“The Holocaust ‘came up’ in a conversation with a three year old?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I guess that explains why he was running around in the yard all day with his toy sword yelling ‘I’ll get you, you stinky Germans.'”

Now, I suppose I erred in telling my boy about the Holocaust (he’s too young), but in a world where anti-Semitism seems to be on the rise once again it’s something every child needs to be taught sooner or later (perhaps when they're four).

(My apologies to INFDL's large Teutonic readership, I’m now going to try to channel his anger towards the "Nazis.")


Sean Adds: I don't know what the propper answer is to this vexing question. All I know is that kids nowadays are getting way too smart way too fast. I found out yesterday that my 8 year old niece has her own blog (now on hiatus). I hadn't heard the word blog until about seven months ago. Before we know it, in this time of compounding-interest of knowledge, our children will surpass us and possibly be our bosses within months.



Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Free Speech isn't Free...

when the public pays your heating bill. This whole Ward Churchill mess has brought to the forefront the problem of tenure in general. We want our educators to be able to speak their mind, but when that speech crosses over into genocidal hate-speech, the taxpayers have a right to demand accountability. Would we even be uttering the words "free" and "speech" together if Churchill had said that the victims of genocide in Rwanda deserved it because they belong to a corrupt society?

In a way, I see this as a possible watershed moment in how the public views not only "progressive teaching" (aka, reconstituted hate-speech) in our schools, but also the views of modern leftism in general. Churchill's views, I am sad to say, are really just the standard-issue bumper-sticker fodder that passes for critical thinking in the left today.

Let's be realistic about this and apply it in real-time. Ask the next faculty member from a public institution that you meet what they think of Howard Zinn's "People's History of America". I, by way of faultless internal polling methodology, believe you have a 90% (+ or - 3%) chance of getting an answer something like this: "I think his work is some of the most important work since Huxley or Marx". Then, do me a favor and read "People's History of America" and tell me how it's all that different from "On Roosting Chickens..."

My Two Cents on Ward Churchill

Ward Churchill, the embattled college professor who pretends to be a Native American, is in the news once again. He delivered a speech at the University of Colorado to a group of nitwits who gave him a standing ovation when he finished. The AP reports on the sorry event here.

Its astounding to me that there are a thousand people in this country who would applaud a man for reiterating his conviction that the men and women who died in the World Trade Center were Nazis who deserved their fates. Churchill has said that these people were legitimate targets and in his speech today he called the terrorists "combat teams" and made reference to their "gallant sacrifices." While I have to admit that I cringe when people call the terrorists "cowards" (anyone willing to end their life for a cause, even an evil one, is certainly not a coward) calling them "gallant" is disgusting.

Churchill blames the U.S. imposed oil embargo for the deaths of 50,000 Irqui children (a number he apparently pulled out of his voluminous ass). He says that these deaths were the motivation behind the 9/11 terrorists, (nevermind what Osama Bin Laden has to say on the subject) and that the embargo was a perfectly valid reason to kill thousands of Americans. He wrote this nonsense before the oil for food scandal broke, but it is now clear that any deaths of Iraqi children during the embago years were due to the rampant corruption at the U.N. Still, Churchill apparently has no plans to issue a retraction.

Now, I don't think a man should be fired on the basis of what he says. Freedom of speech is sacred and deserves a high order of protection. However, if he actually teaches this sort of thing in the classroom he should be canned immediatly. He should be fired not for his beliefs, but for incompotence. I believe in academic freedom, but when something is patently nonsense it should not be taught. We don't hire people to teach that "shit don't stink" or "Helen Thomas is Hot," and Churchill's ideas on 9/11 are just that idiotic. What Bill Owens and the University of Colorado should do now is look into what sort of thing he actually teaches in his class.

I had a history teacher in high school who went on and on about the prophesies of Nostradamus, his survivalist techniques and his theory that the Commies were faking the fall of the Berlin Wall. He should have been sacked too.

I Have Been

I have been at a merit badge class where a man sawed a bar of uranium (in his basement). I have also gone camping with my Boy Scout troop at the mouth of uranium mine, and I have done extensive spelunking therein. "What's that pile of black dust on the floor? Why does it taste like metal in here? Ouch, what just bit me? Do bats have rabies? Is that a stick of dynamite protruding from the wall? Yes it is! Let's throw rocks at it!"

It's amazing that the death rate among Boy Scouts isn't much higher. "Hey, lets roll boulders down the mountain towards our camp! I've got an idea, lets huck sticks at that moose!"




Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Have you ever been...

at a Boy Scout merit badge meeting (Astronomy to be precise) when you suddenly get offered to go downstairs and see "something neat" and when you get down there, the man who minutes earlier was teaching you about the cosmos has put on goggles and proceeds to procure a rod of Uraniam and a saw, with which he saws furiously on the rod of Uranium, producing spectacular flames of green? Well, I have.

Incomplete Works

Every once in a while a friend or family member will ask to read my latest novel (they only ask this if they haven't read my last novel). Well, I've finally blogged the thing and those who are interested can read it here.

The book is called Incomplete Works. It's a comic novel, and though it ain't great I think it has a laugh or two.

I'll take any criticism my readers might have to offer. Go ahead and crap all over the thing if you want.

Sean Adds: I've got a beer and some pork rhinds and I'm gonna start on this tonight. Congrats on a finished work, my friend.

Ah, the Memories

It seems perfectly natural that I should be blogging with Sean because of an event that occured a long time ago.

When we were in high school Sean and I were in a health class together. Our teacher looked remarkably like a chicken and one day Sean passed me a note advocating the position that any man who engaged in amorous activities with her would become subject to criminal charges of indecency with a barnyard fowl. I read the note, stifled a chuckle, added a comment of my own, and then passed it back to him.

Unfortunately, my note passing technique was distinctly sub-par and the teacher caught me. Sean had the note in his hand when she demanded it. "Give me the note so I can read it to the whole class." I was a dead man (Sean was too, of course, but I was only worried about my own skin at the moment).

Sean froze, but only for a moment, and then he said "you want this?" Before the teacher could reply he crammed it in his mouth and ate it. It was the most brilliant piece of thinking under fire I have ever seen in my entire life. The class erupted in laughter and even the teacher joined in.

It was a very close run thing. I was so scared I nearly deposited a turd in my underpants.

Anyway, here we are, still passing notes back and forth.

Now, if Tom had written the note and the teacher had caught him, I susptect he would have just read it out loud to the class all by himself.

Sean Adds: Ah yes, it is all coming back to me now. Mrs. Koffard. The poor thing really was built in the image of a game hen. Me and Noah (mostly me) were ruthless. I do remember getting Noah in trouble a few times. Perhaps I should go into espionage, with my advanced self-destruct mechanisms. Call me Sandy Berger!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Attn: TommAy...

Did you, at any time in your service towards the Ukrainian elections, ever meet this angel (extra thanx to Ace)? If only we had someone this lovely to vote for in the states...

TommAy responds: ah yes, Yulia. Besides being an angelic piece of joy to look at (though I think of her more in terms of making out than angelic), she's a real sparkplug. Yeah, she was a leader of the Orange Revolution, Yushchenko's number 2 in fact. During that initial critical period Yushchenko could not be physically present alot of the time, for safety reasons I'm sure, so she would represent him and lead the movement in the meantime--front and center, taking on all comers. It was like you could see her bouncing from side to side with her clenched fists by her chest… Kind of like, ‘Come on mother fucka’! You got it in you?’ Aesthetically she brought "balance" to the "face" of the O.R. "A little bit hotness, a little bit Quasimoto", I think, could best theme it. Though not to diminish Yushchenko at all on account of his face, because there's no question that he's a certified P-I-M-P (more on that at a later time). But to answer your question; no, I missed catching a glimpse of her, and by only a few minutes actually. You see, I, unlike those hundreds of thousands of brave souls, was not all about freezing my ass off for very long in that ass-cold square in Kiev (they need to rename it "Ass-cold Square" in honor of those whose asses froze). After accompanying the marchers for a few hours walking all over creation, we winded back down to Independence Sqare where I stayed for about an hour, got lots of pictures, listened to the music presentation, and then booked it back to my hotel. Enough history making for me, it was way too damn cold for any more of it. 15 minutes later in my hotel room, I turn on the TV and there she is, cute as ever and waving her fist in the air (she would do the same thing in front of parliament that whole time as well, btw). Had I stayed a little longer, I could have caught a glimple of a real star, as opposed to catching glimpses of Ukrainian breakdancers and rock bands akin to Gorky Park. But it was still pretty early into the protests at that point, only 2 days into it, so she hadn't yet become the international figure she is. Had I known that she would, I would have willfully kept my asscheeks frozen for a little while longer to see her.
PS When I discover how to post pictures, I'll put some of them up. Out.

For your slice of life blogging pleasure...

Git on over to ASV. Ever read commentary on a panic attack posted while in the middle of said attack? One more reason to read Michelle whenever possible. Epecially if you like metal! I happend upon her blog while searching for info on the Dimebag Darrel disgrace.

Good News for Bush

The new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll has the president's approval rating at 57%. It's up from a lowly 51% a couple of weeks ago. This shouldn't be surprising in light of how well the election went.

What was a little surprising is the following little bit of polling data:

In the February poll, the majority of respondents, 61 percent, said that the Iraqi elections went "better than expected," and 31 percent felt it was "about as expected."

Who are these 31% who don't think that the election went better than expected? Are they Bush supporters who have had their rose tinted goggles welded to their heads? Are they people who were sure it would go great the whole time? Somehow I doubt it. My guess is that they are mostly anti-war types who don't have the grace to allow the President this victory. Nothing POTUS does could possibly go better than you thought it would!

Perhaps I'm being to negative. The truly amazing thing is that 92 percent of the population thought that the elections went as good or better than expected.

As far as I can see, the only thing that would have made the Iraq election better is if Tommy had been over there monitoring the thing (as he did the Ukrainian election). Tom would have had the nads to keep a proper eye on things, unlike that milquetoast Jimmy Carter whose organization watched the balloting from Jordan.

Sean adds (to everyone's dismay): Did Noah just say milquetoast?

Yukon Ho!

One of the most irritating habits of members the left is their constant issuance of threats to move to another country if they don't get things their way here. Alec Baldwin started the trend in the run up to Bush's first election. He said that if Bush emerged victorious he was packing up and moving out. He's still here (despite having been killed by Matt Stone and Trey Parker on numerous occasions), and as far as I know he is not currently engaged in any French real estate search.

A leftist saying "I'm moving to Canada" is extremly childish. It reminds me of that kid in the third grade who, when the game wasn't going his way, used to say "I'm going to take my ball and go home." But at least that kid made some sense. The ball was his after all, so his tantrum had weight. The liberals have no leverage in their threats. If they leave the country their cause is weakened.

In the past these threats were just so much hot air, but now, in the wake of Bush's reelection, some people seem serious. The International Herald Tribune ran a story on the subject today. According to one Canadian immigration lawyer "the number of U.S. citizens who are actually submitting Canadian immigration papers and making concrete plans is about three or four times higher than normal."

The number of those immigrating from the United States to Canada is expected to jump from 6,000 to 18,000 this year. And if 18,000 does not sound like a lot of people the IHT reminds us that the number is "more than double the population of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania."

Somehow, I am not awed by that comparison. Gettysburg is essentially a Pennsylvania truck stop that sells Civil War themed shot glasses and commemorative plates. (No offense intended towards the brave men, dead and dead, who struggled there.)

One of the people moving out it Miss Melanie Redman who has put "her Volvo up for sale and hopes to be living in Toronto by the summer." (Why am I not surprised that she drives a Volvo?) She and her Canadian boyfriend were planing to move to New York but the pair just can't stomach living in a George Bush-tainted America. Imagine the horror of living in a bastion of right wing extremism like New York City! The nausea induced by the thought was apparantly overwhelming.

I wish Miss Redman well in her new Canadian home, but it's too bad she and her cowardly compatriots don't have the courage of their convictions. If they really cared about their beliefs they would stay here, where they could most effectively promote them, instead of cravenly fleeing the Republican hordes. I don't remember even the nuttiest conservatives (Pat Buchanan) threatening to move out during the Clinton years.


Sean adds: I sometimes wonder why Canada is the chic choice for leftist expatriots (if you can call it that, seeing as all of them will surely continue their goverment payouts, aka Social Security, Medicare, etc.). Forget that softy, beady-eyed Canadian bullshit. Why not choose a place that truly exemplifies the leftist worldview? Someplace like Cuba or North Korea?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Seymour Hersh in the City of Salt...

The halls of the Salt Lake Public library were disgraced with the presence of the imminent clown of knee-jerk Foreign policy "Realism"--the New Yorker. He gave a rousing seminar on US hegemony (lefty catch word), I'm sure, judging by the fawning reception reported by the Salt Lake Tribune. It was taped and will be rebroadcast on Tuesday here in Salt Lake on local channel 17. I will watch it, throw some stuff at the TV, have a beer (or four) to calm down and report to the readers of INFDL on what I saw.

Update: This is relating to Noah's previous post about leftists of a certain age annoying propensity towards Vietnam comparisons. Seymour Hersh is one of that particular cadre. He cut his teeth in journalism covering the U.S. "defeat" in the Tet offensive. So we know that he is not interested in the "truth".

Message from TommAy: Sean, that sounds like a very exciting thing to stay home and drink beer to. But just in case it isn't, try a fun drinking game while watching the Seymour "Abu Ghraib" Hersh TV special. Here it is: Every time he says "Abu Ghraib", take 1 drink.
Got it? You'll be so totally William Holden-style shitfaced by hour's end that you'll soon forget who's hot/who's not in Wilson Phillips circa 1992.

Update from Sean: Couldn't find the damned thing on the tube. I think it was only available on Commie-cast channel 17, and seeing as I know no sorry suckers who use Commie-cast, I was shid owda lukk. I have a copy of the tape on hold at the Library. It should be available before week's end.

Iraq and Vietnam Compared . . . Again

One of the most common refrains of the opponents to the war is that Iraq is a second "Vietnam," and we'd better pull out now because it's a "quagmire" and we can't win. The San Francisco Chronicle has added yet another article to the pile of defeatist diatribes. The story begins with this setup:


The voters came to the polls in huge crowds, ignoring insurgent attacks and casting their votes under the protection of U.S. troops. International observers praised the process, calling it a triumph of democracy and a defeat for tyranny.
Iraq 2005?
No. South Vietnam in September 1967.


That's a prefabricated AH HA! moment. It would have perhaps been a more effective plot twist if the headline above the story had not been: Iraq's Election Turnout Carries Eerie Echo of Vietnam in 1967. The story continues:

As we now know, South Vietnam's experiment in democracy didn't work out well. Communist forces launched the Tet Offensive four months later, forcing the U.S.-backed government almost to its knees, and finally conquered the nation seven years afterward.
After last week's election in Iraq, many critics are finding eerie parallels with the Vietnam vote. Will Iraq turn out the same? Were the elections a sham, a foreshadowing of increased conflict, as claimed this week by Sunni clerics in Iraq who are close to the insurgents?


Oh no, It's Vietnam! Arrgh, run away, run away!

The Vietnam-Iraq comparison is overblown (you should check Walter's opinion on the subject in The Big Lebowski). The biggest problem with the comparison is that the South Vietnamese government fell not by the violence of the Viet Cong (the "insurgents" of the day), but by a full scale invasion of the North Vietnamese. The insurgents did not defeat the South Vietnamese government, a foreign invader did (and even then they only won because Congress cut off military aid to the South Vietnamese while the Soviets kept pumping weapons and money into the North).

Also, the devastation of the Tet offensive is a myth. The United States and its allies easily crushed the offensive. However, Walter Cronkite and the rest of the American media got ahold of the story and spun it into an American defeat (media bias is not a new phenomenon). This is exactly what they are trying to do in Iraq.

(To be fair, the story in the Chronicle did contain some examples of how the two conflicts are different, buy the first few paragraphs, which I have reproduced above, reflect the main gist of the piece.)

Sean adds: One possible parallel between the two conflicts (Iraq and Vietnam) that I am willing to accept is this: in Vietnam, when American forces pulled out, there was an epic blood-letting in southeast Asia at the hands of communists. Millions of people perished. We don't here much about that though, seeing as withdrawal was viewed by the left (media) as a major victory for them. I would also assume that it is viewed as a victory for "human rights" as well. Please forget the millions who died because they don't fit the prevailing narrative.

Iraq has brought many truths to the forefront (Oil for Food, Saddam's bribes, his pursuit of nasty weapons, European complicity, etc) but perhaps the most revealing is how those that claim to advocate the rights of humans really don't. They have proven that they are willing to ignore certain types of slaughter, if the slaughtered don't fit the narrative (oppressed by America and evil corporations, etc.). Well one thing is for sure; the best way to ensure a human slaughter comparable to late seventies' Southeast Asia is to pull out of Iraq before the people are safe. Then it really would have something in common with Vietnam.

TommAy adds: Whuddup Noey! The Vietnam comparison drives me crazy. One of many distinctions between the two that I see most clearly is, what I believe, one of the main points: The nature of the enemy. This one simple thing makes any comparison of Iraq to Vietnam very deceptive.

My Super Bowl of fun...

Quick post on the Super Bowl. Patriots win , but not big. Losing Chad Lewis hurts Phili and how healthy is Terrell Owens? I don't know, I could be (in proper Tommay parlance) W.A.F. (Wrong as Fuck). The wild card is Donovan McNabb. This guy really is sick. If the Eagles win, it's because of him. Pats 36, Phili 21

Update: got the Phili number right. Mcnabb choked for reals. Andy Ried forgot to teach his team how to operate with the clock ticking away. Oh, well. I was actually sort of rooting for Phili because of the many BYU connections (Chad Lewis, Ried, etc.).