Tuesday, May 31, 2005
While Islamist fanatics and ignorant Westerners sow panic over the alleged desecration of a Koran at Guantanamo Bay, no one mentions a startling fact: When it comes to destruction of the Koran, there's no question who the world champion is--the government of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi state religion is the primitive and austere Wahhabi version of Islam, which defines many traditional Islamic practices as idolatrous. Notably, the state bans the importation of Korans published elsewhere. When foreign pilgrims arrive at the Saudi border by the millions for the annual journey to Mecca, what happens to the non-Saudi Korans they are carrying? The border guards confiscate them, to be shredded, pulped, or burned. Beautiful bindings and fine paper are viewed as a particular provocation--all are destroyed.
Why hasn’t anyone else pointed this out?
Also, Scrappleface really put the Koran Flushing story into perspective with this funny bit of satire.
Apparently there’s a white wristband out there that proclaims the wearer's desire to end poverty. The irony, however, is that these wristbands are manufactured in dreadful sweatshop-like conditions:
FASHIONABLE wristbands worn by pop stars, actors, top athletes and celebrities to publicise the Make Poverty History campaign are produced in appalling "slave labour" conditions, damning evidence has revealed.
Chinese factory workers producing the white rubber bracelets are forced to toil in conditions that violate Chinese law and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) set up to establish international standards for working conditions . . .
According to a report on the Tat Shing Rubber Manufacturing Company in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, dated 12 April 2005, the company uses "forced labour" by accepting "financial deposits" from new workers - against both Chinese law and the ETI.
The report also revealed a category of weaknesses including inadequate health and safety provision, lengthy hours, seven-day weeks, employees cheated of their pay, inadequate insurance, no annual holidays and no right to freedom of association.
Another audit at the Fuzhou Xing Chun Trade Company in Fujian province found workers were paid at below the local minimum hourly wage of 2.39 yuan (under 16p) and some as little as 1.39 yuan (9p).
An “anti-poverty activist” wearing one of these bands is the equivalent of a member of PETA who beats a fur coat wearer with a live mink, or an environmental crusader who drives around in a huge Lincoln and flys everywhere in a private jet (Arianna Huffington, cough, cough, nudge, nudge). The hypocrisy here is of the rankest variety.
Now, personally, I think the folks on the left are a little too hard on so-called sweatshops. The only thing the Third World (or, to use the politically correct term, “developing shithole”) has going for it in the competitive economic arena is the fact that its inhabitants are willing to work for less than the rest of us. If they didn’t have lousy low paying jobs they wouldn’t have any jobs at all. Even by my relatively lax standards however, “slave labor,” cheating employees on pay and denying them the right to freedom of association all seem to go waaay over the line. Tim Blair appears to be onto something when he asks, “how bad must working conditions be if they violate Chinese law?”
Monday, May 30, 2005
In aid to Rusty in his ongoing effort to get an actual Fatwa issued against him, INFDL offers a simple proverb from the kings of scatological Rock, the Mentors. Slight alterations to the lyrics have been made :
Original version here. Most of the fun stuff at Rusty's is photoshop deluxe. Also, it is Memorial day and we shouuld note that El Duce died in '97 after getting drunk and falling asleep on some train tracks.
Listen little shiek, it´s near the hour
Come with me and take a golden shower
Listen little Abdul, do as you´re told
Come with daddy for me to pour the gold
Golden shower, it´s getting near the hour
For a golden shower, I´ve got the righteous power
All through my excrements it shall roam
Open the book and taste the foam
Bend up and smell my anal vapor
Your Koran is my toilet paper
Golden shower, I´ve got the power
For a golden shower, I´ve got the righteous power
Our relationship I don´t want to spoil it
You are my personal toilet
Listen little Imam, It´s getting near the hour
On its pages I leave a shit tower
Shit tower, prune skin power
Smellin´ sour, it´s the shit tower
Golden showers, It´s getting near the hours
For a golden shower, I´ve got the righteous power
TommAy: ahh, that brings back some great memories of all the many chuckles we got after repeated viewings of PMRC's greatest accomplishment, the hysterical Rising to the Challenge video. To INFDL readers who are not privy, this was a video released by Tipper Gore's PMRC in the late 80's to warn parents about the bad influences/consequences of heavy metal music. Of course, it had the reverse effect on some of us. They damn well made celebrities out of some of those bands/people featured, with us at least. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister sure had some shining moments on that video too, not to mention The Mentors (who obviously stole the show). Funny thing is is that it was a video that only went around the neighborhood by being passed from parents to other parents. When it reached my home, somehow I got ahold of it and it found a home. Great trip down memory lane, Sean!
Sean Says: How did I know that this would draw out TommAy? If we could get a copy of "Rising to the Challenge" digitized, we could see first hand the everlasting wisdom of Tipper. The official "Vision Statement" of the Mentors lovingly says:
The MENTORS are committed to providing the planet with entertaining lyrically obscence heavy metal with musical integrity. We also wish to encourage drug and alchohol use, and promsicuoity.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Is this a sign that the French populace is beginning to "get it"? No. Rest assured that for the most part, the French still believe that they are the center of a flat universe. In fact that may be why they have rejected the EU so profoundly: the EU, with its rotating UN-esque presidency and scores of diplomats devoted to centralizing power and dispersing it as they see fit, fail to acknowledge the natural superiority of the land of frommage. Far from being a rejection of that same consolidation of power, the French reaction is more akin to a temper tantrum aimed at the rest of Europe for not giving the French their natural due.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
DISCLAIMER: The Opinions Expressed in this Post are not Necessarily Those of INFDL or any of its Contributors
He considered this for a moment and then said: “yeah, but those people are worthless.”
Anyway, I only mention it because an Edgardoesque character made it into Chapter 3 of my novel, Uncle Theo. You’ll find it here.
(Edgardo reminded me of the Native American character Chief White Halfoat from Catch-22 who says: “Racial prejudice is a terrible thing . . . It really is. It's a terrible thing to treat a decent, loyal Indian like a nigger, kike, wop or spic.”)
Halfway across the river the tube was somehow upset and the woman fell into the swift brown water. As she fell she dropped her baby. It was night and the water of the Rio Bravo is heavy with silt. It was impossible to see the baby. Someone held her up while the rest of the men frantically dove under the water and felt around for the drowning child who was being swept downriver. Luckily someone grabbed the baby and hauled him out. In the confusion everyone’s clothing was lost.
The group arrived in Texas dressed only in their underwear. They were quickly rounded up by the border patrol and repatriated.
The border is a dangerous place. According to a story in today’s New York Times, 190 illegal immigrants died while attempting to enter Arizona in the fiscal year 2003-2004. A person named Sue Goodman, founder of “Humane Borders” says the American people are at fault for forcing poor immigrants to go on a desert death march.
Ms. Goodman. . . said a common misperception since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was that terrorists hid among the immigrants.
"I'm out there every day, and what I see is a 23-year-old man and his wife and their 2-year-old son, and they're coming here to work," she said. "They're going to pick cherries in eastern Washington. They're shoveling manure in Kansas, or they're landscaping yards on Long Island. Why should people die when they're on their way to work for us? We're willing to make them walk through a deathtrap to get to work."
The increase in patrols since Sept. 11 - not only by federal agents, but also by self-appointed border guardians whom some people call vigilantes - has meant longer walks through inhospitable snake-ridden terrain for immigrants who seek to avoid the patrols, many of which stick to roads and well-traveled paths.
Our border with Mexico is over 2,000 miles long and Ms. Goodman wants us to sleep better at night because she has not personally seen any terrorists crossing it. She has seen no mad prophet beards or greasy turbans. There’s nothing but young couples and two year olds as far as the eye can see.
I think, perhaps, that Ms. Goodman is being a wee bit naïve. If terrorists have not yet taken advantage of our border with Mexico (and there is evidence that they have), they will. It just makes sense that as we tighten up visa procedures (particularly for people from the Middle East) the terrorists will look for other ways to enter the country. Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans successfully scramble under the fence every year. It would be incredibly easy for a handful of bomb-laden jihadists to scramble under with them. (I wonder, for example, why the two Saudi’s mentioned in this story were on their way to Mexico.)
And Goodman’s assertion that we are making “them walk through a deathtrap” is ridiculous. We are not forcing them to do anything. No one has a bayonet to their back! We are simply enforcing our law and they are deciding to break it. And a border defense strategy that didn’t patrol “roads and well-traveled paths” would be a waste of time.
The best way to save these 190 lives a year is to shut down the border completely (except, obviously, for the legal checkpoints). If no one can cross, no one will try to cross. If this means mobilizing more volunteers, hiring more border guards, building a 2,000 mile long “Buchanan Fence” or sending out the national guard I’m all for it. The answer to saving these lives is not a looser border, it’s a tighter border.
This is a national security issue. In the wake of 9/11 the government has spent millions of dollars on “homeland security.” Much of this has been squandered on silly projects like providing highway patrol officers in rural Georgia with ATV’s. A significant chunk of our security budget should go to the Mexican border.
TommAy: my appreciation for Noah's experience with the Nortenyos (and Los Tigres del Norte)is due to one of the best dirty jokes I've ever heard, which Noah claims to have heard from some sweet Mexican college dude in some dusty and sweaty industrial town somewhere in the north of Mexico (though that can't be corroborated, so it might very well have come from Noah's creative noggin one night when he was dreaming, or talking in his sleep, in spanish. We won't ever know for sure). Here it is, the same way as told by Noah, starting with the punchline: Pero Doctor! No he hecho nada mas que ver peliculas pornograficas y comer chetos! English translation: But Doctor, I've done nothing more than watch pornographic films and eat cheetos! The joke is about a guy who goes to see the doctor about his orange penis. And for some odd reason this joke is even more funny when told in spanish.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
(And, since it’s on a blog, Chapter 2 appears above Chapter 1)
Monday, May 23, 2005
Eisenhower believed that a democracy could not wage war without popular, widespread support for and understanding of the war effort, which only the press could create. At his first press conference, he told the reporters that he considered them “quasi members of my staff,” part of the “team,” a thought that delighted the reporters to no end . . .
Can you imagine the reaction of the modern press if an American general suggested that they were a part of his “team”? They would howl with derision and then they’d hound the poor General into resignation. This is a problem. They should be part of the team. I’m not saying that reporters shouldn’t be objective, but American journalists should see themselves as Americans first and journalists second. Instead they see themselves as journalists first and Americans . . . well, not second. Their country rates much lower than second.
Another passage that seemed to resonate through the years concerned the appointment of Eisenhower’s wartime chief of staff, Walter Bedell Smith, as ambassador to the Soviet Union after WWII. Smith suffered from ulcers and they helped turn this gruff man into a flat out mean son of a bitch. One time a woman who worked at his office poked her head through the door while he was in the middle of a meeting. He shouted “get the hell out” and before she could go he turned to the other people in the room and said “You’ll have to excuse her gentlemen. She’s an idiot.”
When Smith became ambassador to the U.S.S.R. Ambrose writes this about Ike’s reaction:
Eisenhower said he did not approve of professional soldiers serving as diplomats, but then, thinking about the men in the Kremlin having to put up with Smith and his ulcer, he grinned and remarked, “It serves those bastards right.”
And it will serve those bastards at the U.N. right when John Bolton shows up.
I also agreed with some of their more surprising selections such as: the Purple Rose of Cairo, Kind Hearts and Coronets and City of God.
But many of the choices were exceedingly strange. Barry Lyndon is a snooze fest and E.T. is one of the most dreadful movies of all time. I had fond memories of E.T. from my childhood, so I rented it about a year ago and was rendered comatose by the sheer volume of treacle I was force fed through the movie’s flickering images.
The 1933 King Kong was on the list. The movie was Hitler’s favorite. Many people think that this is because he identified with the gigantic gorilla, but I suspect he actually enjoyed the thought of all the suffering this dreadful movie would inflict on its audiences. He no doubt hoped that many of the world’s "Juden" would see it. King Kong may have been a big deal in its day, but the movie is unwatchable now. No matter how bad the forthcoming version by Peter Jackson is, it will be better than the original.
One odd aspect of the list is that many of its movies are not even the best films of the people who made them. For example, Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and Ikiru are on the list, and while they are both wonderful, neither of them is as good as The Seven Samurai.
Furthermore if you have to have a movie by Preston Sturges on the list, why do you choose The Lady Eve? Though the movie has an entertaining supporting cast, its two leads (Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck) are absolutely unlikeable, and the love story preposterous. Sullivan’s Travels would have been a better choice.
And if you have to have an Ernst Lubitsch movie, why do you choose The Shop Around the Corner and Ninotchka instead of the much better To be or Not To Be?
From the output of the Cohen brothers they chose Miller’s Crossing, and while I love the movie, it seems to me that Fargo and The Big Lebowski are both much better, and yet neither made the list.
Time selected a few westerns and The Searchers is one of them. I guess they wanted to give John Wayne his due but they could have picked a better movie. Rio Bravo seems like the obvious choice to me.
Some of the choices are just silly. Are they kidding with A Hard Day’s Night, Finding Nemo, Chungking Express, Out of the Past and Meet Me in Saint Louis?
My list would have included Die Hard, L.A. Confidential, Groundhog Day, The Third Man, No Man’s Land, The Seven Samurai, Sunset Boulevard, My Fair Lady, Adaptation, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, The Killing, The Maltese Falcon, M, Shawshank Redemption, Waiting for Guffman and Bottle Rocket, just to name a few. If you disagree with any of these you are just plain wrong!
(I know TomAy is something of a film junkie and I’d particularly like to know what he’d have on his list.)
TommAy: thanks for the invite, Noay. Yes, lists always seem to find their way to become "damn shitty lists". But at least this movie list from Time didn't try to rank them, which is the key ingredient that can transform any list into "certifiable dogshit". Do you remember AFI's 100 best film rankings? Citizen Cane the top movie of all time? Wtf. These film-philes obviously have something else in mind from the rest of us when they're compiling these lists. And to choose Miller's Crossing to represent the Coens rather than Fargo or Lebowski, and to include Barry Lyndon as one of the two Kubrick flicks to make the list? And Goodfellas (to this day I still don't see its appeal)? And Wings of Desire? Yeah, this makes me wonder if they're not out to prove something, because this list is quite a bit different from any other top 100 list I've seen out there. Also, this list from Time was compiled by only two movie critics; hardly a good sampling. But my biggest complaint: no Apocalype Now? Now that's the only movie that I, personally, have ever been able to call the best movie of all time and space. They just don't make movies like that anymore, and they never will again. But enough of my backtalking jive talk. Here's part of my list, which consists of my "great" films and my "awesome" films, because it's all the same to me:
Apocalypse Now, 2001, Paths of Glory, Once upon a time in Mexico, Total Recall, Straight Story, Lebowski, The Ring, Hero, every Seagal film before 1995, Harold and Maude, most of Eastwood's spaghetti westerns, In the name of the Father, The Professional, Kill Bill vol. 2, Empire strikes back, Thin Red Line, Days of Heaven, Team America, Ong Bak, Matewan, Men with Guns, Pump up the volume, Heathers, Matrix (not the trilogy), Gladiator.
PS In paricular, any list on VH1 is terrible. Their top 40 most metal moments SUCKED, as did their top 100 greatest hard rock artists, which was an abomination. Example: Cheap Trick better than Alice in Chains? Sonic Youth better than Ratt? Lita Ford better than Yes!!???Soundgarden the #14 greatest hard rock band? It's needless to say that I was livid at those fucking scrawny music geeks from Rolling Stone magazine that put these lists together, and who are also commentators that try to comment (i.e. try to be funny, BUT FAIL) on these shows as well. Just terrible!
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Muslims in an area of Middle East are being killed off by a mysterious
disease - they are exploding.
Thousands of the Muslims have died in recent days in Iraq’s Baghdad
district, with their bodies swelling to bursting point.
The Muslims' entrails are propelled for up to a metre (3.2ft), in scenes that have been likened to science fiction.
Scientists are baffled. Possible explanations include an unknown virus or a fungus.
"You see the animals crawling on the ground, swelling and then
exploding," conservationist Werner Smolnik told AFP news agency.
It's creepy, and I think it should be brought to the attention of the World Health Organization.
Tom adds: I can't believe it's taken this long for someone to bring up the relationship of "spontaneous human explosion" with the originators of the like phenomenon "spontaneous human combustion", Spinal Tap's drummers. Though I would be more comfortable to attribute the Spinal Tap drummers' odd meetings with fate more to their ferocity of banging on the 'skins (an obvious imperative when drumming for "England's loudest band"), than merely to randomness. But it could very well be due to the same fungus responsible for the fate that befell the frogs (or muslims), because if you recall your Spinal Tap history, Peter "James" Bond, an early Tap drummer, left behind a "little green globby one" on his drum seat (and a scarred set of drumsticks) after spontaneously combusting.
Sean blabbers: Tom, not to be a stickler for detail, but I believe that David St. Hubbins was referring to a "little green globbule" and not a "little green globby one". And didn't Joe "Mama" Besser explode like a little German frog at the end of the movie in Japan?
Tom responds: Yes, if it was in fact David St. Hubbins who made the statement, then indeed it could have been described correctly as a "globule". After all, David St. Hubbins does come from rich heritage, as his name suggests, and his correctly using a technical term should not be so suprising (his namesake, Saint Hubbins, is the patron saint of quality footwear). But sorry, I have always thought of Nigel Tufnel saying it-- so, naturally, in my fuzzy memory, "little green globby one" has always seemed more authentic in that context.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Over the past two years, I have compiled a database of every suicide bombing and attack around the globe from 1980 through 2003 - 315 in all . . . The data show that there is far less of a connection between suicide terrorism and religious fundamentalism than most people think.
The leading instigator of suicide attacks is the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a Marxist-Leninist group whose members are from Hindu families but who are adamantly opposed to religion. This group committed 76 of the 315 incidents, more than Hamas (54) or Islamic Jihad (27). Even among Muslims, secular groups like the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Al Aksa Martyr Brigades account for more than a third of suicide attacks.
In order to make his point Pape has ordered his information in a very dishonest way. He has put all the Tamil Tiger bombers into one group, but has divided Islamic terrorists into a number of different groups. While he tries to argue otherwise, his own data clearly shows that the vast bulk of suicide bombers are Muslims. It makes no sense to differentiate between Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Al Queda. Islamic fundamentalism is behind all the terrorist bombing in the Middle East.
Also, though they don’t believe in God, Marxist-Leninists are essentially a religious group. In fact, the philosophy is more religious than most religions. Christians, Jews and Muslims all believe in God despite the fact that they have never seen him. Marxists-Leninists believe in Marx and Lenin despite the fact that they are both demonstrably dead and their creed has been entirely discredited. Now that’s faith!
And if these people aren’t motivated by religion what is it that moves them? Pape has an answer:
What nearly all suicide terrorist attacks actually have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland. Religion is often used as a tool by terrorist organizations in recruiting and in seeking aid from abroad, but is rarely the root cause.
If this were the case then why are the vast majority of the suicide bombers in Iraq from other countries? Pape claims that most of the bombers in Iraq are Iraqi Sunnis and Saudi Arabians. But this is simply not true. Very few of the suicide bombers are from Iraq. The bulk are from Saudi Arabia and their attacks make no sense as strikes against “occupation.”
How to solve the problem? Pape has this incredibly unhelpful answer:
BEYOND recognizing the limits of military action and stepping up domestic security efforts, Americans would do well to recall the virtues of our traditional policy of "offshore balancing" in the Persian Gulf. During the 1970's and 1980's, the United States managed its interests there without stationing any combat soldiers on the ground, but keeping our forces close enough - either on ships or in bases near the region - to deploy in huge numbers if an emergency. This worked splendidly to defeat Iraq's aggression against Kuwait in 1990.
The difference here is that pretty much everyone in Kuwait was on our side when we liberated them. There was no insurgency. The suggestion that what worked with Kuwait might work with Iraq is preposterous.
How do we solve the problem of suicide bombing? Kill them first.
Additional Musings: I wonder if the phenomenon of exploding Muslims is related to this equally strange phenomenon.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
That being said, is doing things like drilling in the ANWR really the answer to our energy woes? Is there anything in the congressional release language that specifies that all of the oil extracted there will be applied only to the US market? If not, then the charge that we are drilling for our own security dries up. From the ANWR website:
At today's oil prices, ANWR's 10.4 billion barrels (mean estimate) represents over $500 billion worth of investment domestic investment. Developing these resources is expected to create over 750,000 new jobs for Americans.Without a doubt those are huge numbers, and without a doubt those are very optimistic numbers. Nearly a million jobs, just by drilling this worthless, putrid stinking tundra? Well buy me a Hummer already (a Hummer car, that is). From the same site:
In 1980, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the Coastal Plain could contain up to 17 billion barrels of oil and 34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.So we see that it is not a home run yet. All we have signed off on is some oil prospecting. If we get the low end of the spectrum (600 million barrels), we might not have enough oil from ANWR to power George Soros' jets as he darts from one enviro rally to the next. If we're at the upper end, we'll have increased global reserves by less than one percent, seeing as there is no language that I can see in H. Con. Res. 95 that specifically reserves these deposits for American use. This may be because it is only budget language, I'm not sure. Anybody (Brig?) please correct me if I'm wrong on this.
U.S. Department of Interior - 1987. After several years of surface geological investigations, aeromagnetic surveys, and two winter seismic surveys (in 1983-84 and 1984-85), the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), in its April, 1987 report on the oil and gas potential of the Coastal Plain, estimated that there are billions of barrels of oil to be discovered in the area. DOI estimates that "in-place resources" range from 4.8 billion to 29.4 billion barrels of oil. Recoverable oil estimates ranges from 600 million barrels at the low end to 9.2 billion barrels at the high end. They also reported identifying 26 separate oil and gas prospects in the Coastal Plain that could each contain "super giant" fields (500 million barrels or more).
Conversely, are we to believe the many greenies that tell us that nuclear energy is somehow worse than fossil-fired energy? As a dreamy enviro-type myself, I can attest to the sheer terror that the very utterance of the N word used to cause me. It was enough to keep a young hippie up at night, envisioning all of the wonderful animals running around with huge thyroids and extra testicles. It was precisely this type of fear that has caused our domestic nuclear interest to atrophy.
These are just a few of the possibilities on our plate. Throw in emerging renewable technologies, hydrogen fuel cells and nanotechnology and we could bark at each other for hours and not make any real headway. So is there a workable alternative to the oil boogeymen who mount us at every turn without so much as offering some of their plentiful oil as lube? If there is, it will most likely involve everybody losing some ground. Victor Davis Hanson has this to say in his most recent essay on the subject:
He later spanks the greenies:
The Right used to believe that the omniscient market could adjudicate almost everything: let the specter of eventual $5-a-gallon gas deal with the problem of driving a 7,000-pound, 10-mile-per-gallon behemoth down the street to the supermarket. When the tab at the gas station get too high, or so free-market gospel preaches, people can make their own adjustments far more efficiently than clumsy bureaucrats and distant functionaries.
While persuasive in theory, such laizze-faire policy, in fact, is fraught with peril in the case of national energy policy. Whereas Detroit turns out too many gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks, Japan, reminiscent of the 1970s, is once again ahead of the curve and capturing market share in providing more fuel efficient and better hybrid cars with long-term detrimental results for the US economy, as crisis returns to the American automobile industry.
While high gas prices would eventually determine consumer choices, in the meantime billions of petrol dollars will continue to pile up in Iran and the Gulf, and thus fuel everything from Teherans nuclear ambitions to world-wide Wahhabist madrassas and mosques.
Meanwhile, the Left is straight jacketed by the same purist creeds. We have been told for three decades that solar power and hydrogen will save us, along with windmills and wave-machines, even though such alternate sources of powers are presently either impractical or years away from fruition. Environmentalists insist that coal is too dirty and hot, nuclear power too dangerous, hydroelectric too injurious to native streams and fish almost everything too something to exploit fully.
In consequence, as we bicker and remain paralyzed, the cost of energy skyrockets, many of our enemies grow even more awash in cash, and our financial and security options are increasingly curtailed by energy considerations.
Then the juice:
A conservative should accept that government guidance in the domestic market is not as bad as empowering a nuclear Iran or Wahhabist Saudi Arabia.A plague upon both houses! It might be the only way to make some headway on this issue. I'd gladly give up a few choice wild places if I knew it was essential to our security. In fact, you can park a nuclear reactor on my patio if it keeps a few Franklins out of the hands of the Wahhabis. In return, how about some real live government help in the emerging technologies? It's a departure from my recent dabbling in libertarian ideas, but every now and then the government does stumble upon some cool technology when it puts its mind (dollars) to it. Remember the internet?
While dreamers insist on waiting for a world of windmills and rooftop photovoltaic cells, they should concede that insistence on the future perfect solution will be the death of the good option right now, given that 30 years of energy crises have still not yet produced a viable alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear power. Finally, conservatives, as their name implies, should conserve; and liberals must be liberal and open to once taboo solutions to old problems.
Noah Adds: I don’t see how enormous thyroids and extra testicles are a problem. It’s just more meat!
Tom addzz: regarding the title of your post, any time you use the word "sensible", you must pay a tax to the owner of that word, Tom Friedman. In fact, the whole title could very easily pass for a Tom Freidman title on one of his "gray nutsack" op-eds.
Sean responds: I appologize to anybody confused by the title. Tommay points to a truth. I think Friedmans' version would ad a few colorful nonsensicle made-up words like "Enviro-dastardlyness" or "Oilexploration-alterworship". Anyway, I could kick Friedmans ass in a bar fight before he could even say the word "Earth-flattenerizer".
But of course this "recant" comes in the "cover your ass" format that many in the MSM have been perfecting lately, to an extent that would make the Clinton spokepeople (of past and present) proud. Read this bullshit for yourself:
Whitaker (Newsweek editor) told Reuters that Newsweek did not know if the reported toilet incident involving the Koran ever occurred. "As to whether anything like this happened, we just don't know," he said in an interview. "We're not saying it absolutely happened but we can't say that it absolutely didn't happen either."What? Wait, backadafuckup that last sentence. It sure went to print sounding like they said it had happened. How greasy is that? One thing that dissapoints me about this is that it was Michael Isikoff who originally reported it, someone that I have held in some esteem. God bless the blogs, for what they do (both directly and indirectly) has been what this world has needed throughout the history of mankind. Seriously. There are no less than 5 major developments/scandals/shakeups out there that the blogs have initiated and/or brought to light.
Sean Adds: I think that this has to rate pretty high up on the scale of the most reckless media moments of today. You are right to point out that most of this stuff would be shoved down our pie holes and accepted as conventional wisdom if not for the blogosphere. Roger Simon and Austin Bay have been ripping this shit up pretty good as well.
Noah Adds: I suspected the whole thing was bogus from the beginning. How many times have you taken a dump that has just helicoptered around the bowl before becoming hopelessly lodged in the pipes (I would imagine it’s about 80% of the time for Brig)? One time, after I got home from a camping trip (I hadn’t done #2 for four days) I took a dump that just wouldn’t go down and I had to go outside, get a stick and poke it into smaller pieces. The point of this story being: you want me to believe that some dude flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet? If my soft brown toilet trout won’t go down then there’s no way the Koran ever would.
I suggest we do a group INFDL experiment: go out and buy a copy of the Koran (Bantam has an edition for about five bucks) then take it to a toilet (I suggest you use a public restroom so you don’t damage your own pluming) drop the sucker in and flush. I can say with confidence that IT WILL NOT GO DOWN. This may be because Allah prevents it, but another possibility is that copies of the Koran (even the cheap-ass Bantam edition) are too big and too hard to fit down the pipes.
Apparently the folks at Newsweek only take dainty little rabbit craps and they don’t know this.
Sean Adds again: Noah, don't you know that it is not propper morning bantor to refer to ones' "soft brown toilet trout" or Newsweeks' "dainty little rabbit craps" without due warning? I now have second degree burns on my eyelids from the spit take that ensued. Now watch Newsweek backpedal like a pant-treat in a southern hemisphere toilet. Perhaps they only wiped with the holy Koran. It would still be just as damaging to the infidels, what with the words of the prophets blurred by pouty American skidmarks.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Here is a sampling of names from the list: Brett Farve, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christopher Reeve, George Lucas, Laura Bush, Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, Ellen DeGeneres and (I am not making this up) Dr. Phil McGraw (Oprah made the list as well).
Who didn’t make the list? Well, for starters, a couple Founding Fathers named John Adams and James Madison.
Also, few writers (despite their claims to being the “movers and shakers” of the world) made it onto the list. That’s fair enough, but the awful Maya Angelou made it, while Robert Frost, Herman Melville, Emily Dickenson, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Saul Bellow and (to the Discovery Channel’s everlasting shame) P.G. Wodehouse did not.
Jimmy Cater, Richard Nixon, and Michael Jackson are all on the list despite having done much more harm than good for the country (I should be on the list before those guys, at least I haven’t done actual damage). And James Polk, one of the most successful presidents in American History, has been left off entirely.
I think we should compile a list of America’s Worst Lists. The Discovery Channel’s Greatest American’s wouldn’t be number one, but that’s only because these stupid lists never get anything right.
(Via The Corner)
Much has been said about his stand-up and sketch comedy, but one of my favorite aspects of his show is his approach to musical guests. Every musical act is different and rarely if ever do the acts perform in front of the audience. An example: when the mighty Mos Def (a frequent guest on sketches too) was the featured music, his act was to throw a tape into the dash and cruise around town with Chapelle and a camera while rhyming and driving.
I need not rehash how bitchin the show is (or sadly, was) for all at INFDL have probably feasted on classics such as the afore mentioned "the Niggars"--a sketch that was a mock black and white 'Leave it to Beaver' where instead of the Cleavers, the subject was a milky-white family called the Niggars.
While sometimes uneven and stony, the Chapelle show is ground-breaking not just because of the reckless abandon with which it deals with so-called 'sensitive' issues (R Kelley's under-age pissing fetish aside), but also because of its representation of Hip-Hop as music and comedy. Here's hoping Chapelle makes it out okay because I need a good laugh.
Example from IMDB (edited by moi):
GrantZilla: Darth Vador has to be one of the most bad-ass villians ever created, outside The Joker in Batman. He's mean, he's ruthless, he's just bad ass. Anakin is none of these things. He's a whiny, puny, sissy boy. I understand that he hasn't become full on evil yet, but atleast make him TOUGH. Anakin should have been played off like Matt Damon's charecter in Good Will Hunting. A very smart, troubled, tough kid. If he was written like this, I could actually see the likes of Natalie Portman falling for him, because he's a bad boy.
Respondent #1: So are you saying that girls like Padme only fall for "bad boys"? If you are, you are so wrong. A wuss hunh. The best Jedi in the galazy is a wuss? I don't think so.
GrantZilla: Best Jedi? Dude got his arm hacked off by 82 year old Christopher Lee in a matter of seconds in a light sabor fight. That's what you call the best Jedi? Only thing I saw him do was hack up a bunch of sand people. Like that's a big challenge.
Respondent #2: "Only thing I saw him do was hack up a bunch of sand people. Like that's a big challenge." I'd like to see you do that.
GrantZilla: Anakin is going to have to grow a pair before I'm convinced he could ever become Vador. As for her falling for a bad boy. I would find it a lot more convincing for her falling for a bad boy then a whiny little wuss. She has more gonads then he does. Atlest if he was a bad boy she'd find him interesting, and try to bring out the good side. DO you know how many good girls fall for bad boys?
Respondent #3: Hate to break it to you, (Respondent #1), but most women prefer bad boys. As someone who has been a nice guy and a bad boy at different times in his life, I can verify.
Respondent #4: I have to agree that Anakin and indeed all the Jedi, including Obi Wan, were entirely too weak. Both Anakin and Obi Wan were beaten far too easily by Dooku--and Anakin had two sabers!!!
Respondent #1: Yeah, he is the best Jedi in the galaxy, Christopher Lee is a sith :D Long Live the Sith
GrantZilla: Luke was a whiny little wuss because he didn't have daddy smacking him around telling him to grow a pair. Instead grew up as a wussy little brat by his uncle, who didn't give a rat's ass about him. Luke probably ran to auntie whenever Uncle was mean to him. By the time Return of the Jedi came around, he finally stopped being a wuss and acted like a real Jedi. I'd think that Yoda or the other Jedi's would tell him to stop being a wuss or he'll never be a Jedi. I mean seriously. I don't see why the Emperor would want him.
Respondent #5: The Emperor wants him because he's stronger in the force than anyone else.
Respondent #6: I agree Darth Vader is a badass, but if you put him is a room with Hannibal Lector I am afraid he would not come out alive.
Respondent #7: WOOT!! do you honestly think so? Darth Vader could crush Hannibal's throat with a thought, shoot him with force lightening or just instantly kill him.
Respondent #1: Vader can't use force lightning because his arms are robotic and the force powers he can use is force choke. But i aggre with you that hannibal will be killed quickly by Lord Darth Vader easily if hannibal tried anything.
Respondent #7: i really dont think loss of a limb can stop anakin from force lightning but the real danger is he might short circuit his suit!!!!
Respondent #2: Anakin may be a whiny little puss but haven't you ever heard the expression dynamite comes in small packages? He is a young man that has had a whole lot of crap happen to him in his life. He has this huge responsibility of being "the chosen one" lying on his shoulders. Now that must be a huge burden to anyone. what would you do if from the time you were 10 years old you were told YOU would be the one to bring balance to the force? Hayden plays a perfect anakin. He comes across as a real teenager with problems.
Respondent #8: Bottom line people, Gayden can't pull this role off and never will. He was simply miscast.
GrantZilla: I really hope Anakin grows a pair by the new movie. So far I have not seen any evidence that this whiny brat could ever become Vador.
Respondent #9: V-A-D-E-R It is spelled Vader for god's sake! Be mindful of your spellings, Young Padawans.
Respondent #1: Wow, you can't even spell "Vader"...How do I know you are a "Star Wars" fan? You are basing your views on Anakin off of Episode II, Not episode III.
Respondent #10: first off to the prick who said "how he got his hand chopped off by a 82 year old" no i dont think that hayden and jake were too pansy! they are just right, it shows how a nice kid can become the most cruel despot in the galaxy given the wrong circumstances!
GrantZilla: Why exactly am I a prick for saying that? Oh wait, because you disagree, guess that makes me a prick. Great logic buddy. Are you Mr. Lucas by any chance?
Respondent #10: dear grantzilla you are not a prick for your opinion, even if i dont like them, they are yours and i respect them, you are a big prick because you spelt Darth Vader as Darth Vador!! It's VADER not Vador or Vadar, VADER! god! atleast get the man's name correct before criticizing him. ever had a lightsaber up your @ss??
Respondent #11: So people don't think Anakin is bad-ass? Ohhhh ... http://img248.echo.cx/my.php?image=anakingivesobitheevileye7an.jpg change anyone's opinion?
Respondent #10: that pic freaked me out man! i am shivering darth didnt scare me that much
Respondent #12: Its Darth Vader and light saber. Learn to spell loser.
Noah Adds: Fortunately Tom, you're a certified bad boy and have a real shot at Padme/Portman. Just pull up in front of her house in the Good Times Van and start honking.
Sean says: Vader would totally kick Hannibals' ass, man. What the frick!
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Doesn't that quote just tempt the soul to indulge in this video? Yes, it does. And the video lives up to it in every way. And Dennis Madalone, a name that screams "BON JOVI REJECT" (but God Bless him), has provided some seriously entertaining images in his patriotic video. This is the kind of shit I can imagine super-cheese politicians using in their campaign rallies, which is one of the biggest drawbacks of the republican party, sadly. But thankfully, in these times, it is one of the only drawbacks of the party in control.
Self correction: After re-reading this I must now clarify something. Of course it's not the entire GOP that I accuse of being cheesy, but rather those few (not to name names or anything) who embarrass the rest of us when they ham it up to Lee Greenwood and shed tears. That's all. Because for the most part, the repubs are definitely the coolest of the two parties right now, personel-wise and certainly idea-wise.
More video fun via DW here and here.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
In a post today Hart raises what Huffington calls “the most important long-term question on Iraq.” The question? “Are we there to promote democracy, or are we there to stay?”
If the goal of the Project for a New American Century . . . was to overthrow Saddam Hussein, install a friendly government in Baghdad, set up a permanent political and military presence in Iraq, and dominate the behavior of the region (including securing oil supplies), then you build permanent bases for some kind of permanent American military presence. If the goal was to spread democracy and freedom, then you don’t.
Hart and Huffington have given us an either-or proposition here; either we are in Iraq as a permanent presence, or we are there to promote democracy. They would have us believe that these two options are mutually exclusive. The logic of their argument, however, is so faulty that even my four year old son could see through it. Just ask him if he would rather eat broccoli or go to timeout and he’ll tell you this: “I’d rather eat an ice cream sandwich.” There is a third possibility that the duo have disingenuously chosen to ignore: we could be building bases with the intent of keeping troops there for a long time, and we could simultaneously be there to promote democracy.
Hart and Huffington are being willfully ignorant. We’ve been celebrating the end of WWII for the last couple of days so it’s doubtful that they’ve forgotten about the existence of Germany and Japan. Those two countries have had American bases and thousands of American troops within their borders for the last sixty years and (Hart and Huffintong might be surprised to learn) they’ve enjoyed a great deal of democracy and independence over that time period.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Unfortunately, when certain of his friends come over to play these toys have to be hidden because their mothers (and in one case, their father) don’t approve of their children playing with war toys. Some nights I slip into bed only to find that a veritable arsenal of plastic weaponry has been stashed under my covers because my wife has inexplicably decided that my side of the bed is the best hiding place.
But why on earth shouldn’t children play with war toys? Frankly, I think that playing with such toys teaches children many positive things. First of all, they teach patriotism and history. When I was a child playing with my plastic guns or toy soldiers I always pretended that I was fighting the Nazis or the Johnny Rebs. These early imaginary conflicts sparked an interest in history that has continued unabated to this day. When my own boy plays with war toys I channel his play in a historical direction in the hopes that a similar interest will take root.
The ban on playing with war toys is, for many proponents of the ban, based on the idea that weapons are inherently bad. But this is not the case. Weapons won our independence from the British, weapons won the freedom slaves in this country and weapons put an end to Hitler’s murderous regime. In nearly every armed conflict weapons are used in a just cause by at least one of the combatants. When a marine shoots an insurgent driving a bomb-loaded car he has done something noble with his rifle. Distinctions need to be made. Children shouldn’t be taught that weapons are evil. They should be taught only that certain uses of weapons are evil.
Children should be taught that the use of arms can be a good an glorious thing.
If I someday die a Menendez-style death, I take all this back.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Friday, May 06, 2005
Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura has again warned North Korea to return to nuclear talks or face being taken to the UN Security Council.
Uh-oh, we’d better check Kim Jong Il’s underpants for skid-marks because if that warning doesn’t scare the crap out of him I don’t know what will.
Does Japan really think that “we’re going to sic the UN on you” is an effective threat? The Great People’s Pompadour has been watching the limp-wristed way the UN has treated other bullying thugs and has no doubt discovered that when faced with an evil dictator the UN’s policy is to give speeches (not about the dictator, but about something totally different, like how evil Israel is), and then to double park in front of some swank Manhattan restaurant and send the bill to the world’s taxpayers.
To hell with that! Foreign Minister Machimura should say, “look Kimmy, back off the nukes or we’ll go Nanking on your ass.”
Thursday, May 05, 2005
For example, there were two nicknames on the list that compared Bush to Caligula (Caligula Jr. and Crawford Caligula). Caligula, of course, was a cruel and insane Roman emperor who famously made his horse a senator and ordered his troops to attack the god Neptune by wading into the ocean and stabbing it. He was most famous, however, for his sexual depravity (which included incest and bestiality). This isn’t a good nickname for W for the obvious reason that there has never been even a hint of sexual scandal to mar his presidency. If you say “Caligula Jr.” most people will think you're talking about this person.
Many of the names essentially call him a Nazi or a fascist (Hillbillies Hitler, Chunpenfuehrer, Bushitler). Somewhat surprisingly, no fewer than four compare him specifically to Mussolini: Bushollini, Il Bushe, Il Dunce and Il Douche. But if you refer to someone as “Il Douche” most people will assume you are talking about this person.
I was also surprised to find that a lot of the names compared Bush to a bunny (Bunnypants, Captain Bunnypants, Commander Bunnypants and Chimpy McBunnypants). I have no idea where the whole bunny motif came from but, once again, there’s a lib to whom the epithet could be better applied.
Finally, I don’t see how “Commander Codpiece,” “Busch,” “El Busho,” “Furious George,” “Mr. Potato Pants” or “Satan’s Monkey” are insulting at all.
The basic story is we posted a terrorist's e-mail. A reader with an Arabic sounding e-mail address sent off a message to the terrorist. The terrorist responded. The FBI was informed. The FBI didn't do diddly-squat. The reader kept bugging the FBI. The FBI finally investigated, and ...... drumroll please ..... the FBI now has said terrorist locked up in a jail.Yes they do, my friend. The real kicker is that the terrorist dude was in the country illegally. All jokes aside, this demonstrates in yet another stunning fashion the true networking power of the Blogosphere. Open scource information fucking rules! Lets go get us a terrorist!
The Jawa Report readers get shit done.
Our relations with the French have always been spotty. Just a few years after the American Revolution we were fighting the bastards on the high seas, and their invasion of Mexico was a clear violation of the Monroe Doctrine (which they would not have gotten away with so easily had Abraham Lincoln not been otherwise engaged in 1862.) We can celebrate this day as a Mexican victory or a French defeat . . . I’ll do both.
Viva Mexico! I’m gonna see if there’s anywhere around here I can get a good plate of mole poblano.
Also, I realize that a lot of my posts have appeared to be anti-France, and I don’t want to give the wrong impression. I DO NOT HATE FRANCE . . . I just hate French people.
Happy Cinco AND Birthday, Noay. Yes I remembered. Tom
PS It's 30 today, right?
Sean Says: Happy B-day, Noah. I will celebrate by initiating a ciesta in your honor. Oh yeah, and here's a picture of a Chupacabra.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
You should also read Rich Lowry’s recent piece from National Review. I don’t think it’s in the free portion of NRO, but it’s worth it to buy the mag. Hell, it’ll be worth it just to see the look on the face the guy behind the register at Borders when he sees the filth you want him to ring up.
Here’s a quote about the action in Fallujah:
The performance of the U.S. forces was spectacular. Marines got shot and kept on fighting. When the battle ended, there was a rash of reports of previously ignored wounds. “Headquarters asked, ‘Why are you reporting 35 wounded so late?’” says Natonski. “We were reporting them so late because these kids didn’t report it when they were wounded. The Corpsmen bandaged themselves up and stayed in the fight. The Marines at Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir, and Vietnam set the bar pretty high, and they lived up to the standard.”
Heroism is astonishingly common among our soldiers and Marines.
The strangest line in the whole piece is this one is from an American general discussing the state of Baghdad when our forces arrived:
Imagine a non-functioning city the size of Detroit.
Yeah, we have a place like that in the United States, it’s called “Detroit.”
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
The only slightly gay part of the evening was when, on the drive home, we admitted to one another that we had enjoyed the movie “Pieces of April.” Wyatt buffered his admission by saying that he saw it against his will and liked it despite low expectations, but I had to admit that not only had my rental of “Pieces of April” been my choice, I had also watched it by myself. By the way, the conversation arrived at “Pieces of April” via the very masculine route of “Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle.” (Ten bonus points if you know the connection.)
So, having enjoyed my last man date so much I was looking forward to another. Perhaps, I thought, we should go and see “The Interpreter.” But then I came across Mark Steyn’s Column in today’s Telegraph:
The Sean Penn thriller, The Interpreter, was originally about Muslim terrorists blowing up a bus in New York. So, naturally, Hollywood called rewrite. Now the bus gets blown up by African terrorists from the little-known republic of Matobo. "We didn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way," said Kevin Misher, the producer.
Politics? It’s not politics! There are no politics involved when your country is in the middle of a life and death struggle with an implacable foe! Political correctness means ignoring the blindingly obvious: the terrorists are Muslims. The worst example of this in recent years was Ben Affleck’s abominable adaptation of Tom Clancy’s novel, The Sum of All Fears. Steyn remembered that film debacle as well:
But, when every movie goes out of its way to avoid being "encumbered", it starts to look like a pathology. Whenever some hapless studio exec finds he's accidentally optioned a property that happens to have Islamist terrorists in it, the first thing he does is change the enemy. Thus, the baddies in Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears were de-Islamicised and transformed into German neo-Nazis, a very pressing threat to America in 2005.
Imagine it's 1943, you're at a Warner Bros script meeting about Casablanca, and Jack Warner says: "I like it. But do the bad guys have to be Germans? How about if we re-set it in Massachusetts and make them sinister British neo-Redcoats?"
If Hollywood would come out with a movie where American troops were portrayed as good guys battling Islamofascists the movie would not only reflect the truth, it would also be an enormous blockbuster. I have hopes for the flick that Harrison Ford is supposedly doing about the Battle of Fallujah, but I’ll probably be disappointed.
Update: I saw The Interpreter last night and changing the Muslim bomber into a Sub-Sahara African made perfect sense and did no violence whatsoever to the story. Still, it was cowardly to make the switch out of a fear of being labeled a jingoist.
I liked The Interpreter although I could have done without the subplot involving the death/adultery of Sean Penn’s ex-wife. I could have also done without lessons on ancient Motubu wisdom. And though I generally have a very keen ability to suspend disbelief (I had no problem with the bit in Sahara where Matthew McConaughey shoots down a helicopter with a Civil War cannon that had been buried in the sands of the desert for 150 years) this movie seemed implausible at many points (why was the President of Motubu left alone in the U.N.’s green room just moments after an attempt on his life?) If the film had taken itself less seriously I’d let them get away with that sort of thing, but the movie was pretentious, so I couldn’t.
At a recent forum on his boycott at the American Institute of Architects' San Francisco office, he told the nearly all-white audience of the racial disparity in prisons and brought out PowerPoint charts and graphs about crowded conditions.
So, he wants to solve the problem of “crowded conditions” by refusing to build more prisons? That makes a hell of a lot of sense.
Sperry has support among other bay area prison reformers:
"It's great that the people who are designing these prisons feel that they shouldn't be built," said Braz, one of several prison reform advocates whom Sperry consulted. "Because you know, if they build them, somebody will fill them."
That’s right. Whenever cops notice there is extra room in the prison they just start rounding people up at random so they can cram them into empty cells. There’s nothing that annoys cops more than seeing a prison with the “no vacancy” sign unlit.
Some architects disagree with Sperry and say it’s a better idea to just try to make more humane prisons. Frank Green, a New York architect whose firm designs “detention buildings,” says that a better approach is to use, in the words of the Chronicle, “pod designs, better lighting and other inside-architecture flourishes for prisons.”
While this makes more sense than Sperry’s silly maunderings I’m not sure that murderers deserve good lighting and architectural flourishes. Green’s ideas remind me of the scene in Everyone Says I Love You where Goldie Hawn gives a speech to a group of prison guards trying to convince them that prisoners should have access to interior decorators to help them spruce up their cells.
My plan for prison reform? Reintroduce the cat ‘o nine-tails.
Monday, May 02, 2005
Sean Adds: My Penis is studious.
Sean Adds #2: This paragraph is forever etched into my mind:
“Testaclese” tipped the scales when he approached the university Provost, Edward J. Kavanagh, outside the student union. Apparently taking him/it for a giant mushroom, Provost Kavanagh cheerfully greeted him. But when Testaclese presented him with an honorary award as a campus “Penis Warrior,” the stunned official realized that it was no mushroom. After this incident, which was recorded on videotape, the promoters of P-Day were ordered to cease circulating their flyers and to keep Testaclese off campus grounds.
Mindful of how school officers had never once protested any of the antics of Vagina warriors, the P-warriors did not comply. The Testaclese costume was then confiscated and formal charges followed.