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  • Tuesday, May 31, 2005


    Those who are about to die, salute me.

    Fortunate son Posted by Hello

    Things are going swimingly he says:

    Asked whether the increase in violence meant the insurgency was getting more lethal, he pronounced himself "pleased with the progress" in Iraq, including the installation of a democratic government; expressed confidence in the ability of the Iraqis to develop their own security; and said the insurgents were being driven to greater violence by the prospect of seeing democracy take root.

    Progress being:

    The death toll for American troops in Iraq rose in May to the highest level since January, with the U.S. military saying Tuesday that insurgents have doubled their number of daily attacks since April.

    This latest spree of violence by insurgents, who rose up after the American-led invasion in 2003 toppled President Saddam Hussein, put a dramatic end to a period when attacks on U.S. forces had waned after the historic Jan. 30 elections.

    At least 77 U.S. troops were killed in May, according to a count of deaths announced by the military. That is the highest toll since 107 Americans were killed in January. It marked the second straight monthly increase since 36 U.S. troops died in March, among the lowest tolls of the war.

    Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said insurgents are staging about 70 attacks nationwide per day.

    If our "progress" improves any more we're going to need a draft.

    posted by tbogg at 11:24 PM



    But the Founders wanted our prisons to be Christian prisons

    The Supreme Court strikes a blow for delusional people and their four-headed gods:

    The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Tuesday that a new federal law requiring prison officials to meet inmates' religious needs is a permissible accommodation of religion that does not violate the separation of church and state.

    The court rejected arguments by Ohio officials that the law, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, violated the Constitution by elevating religion above all other reasons a prisoner might seek special privileges.

    The state had said that by requiring prison officials to cater to the demands of adherents of Satanist or white-supremacist religions, the law would result in attracting new followers to these sects, to the detriment of prison security.

    The five Ohio inmates who brought the case belong to nonmainstream religions, including one, Asatru, that preaches that the white race needs to use violence and terrorism to prevail over the "mud races."

    You may be familiar with "Asatru" by its Internet name: Little Green Footballs.

    posted by tbogg at 11:12 PM



    Creating their own reality

    Let's do the time warp again.

    posted by tbogg at 2:44 PM



    Scenes from a journalism steel cage smackdown

    You can go read the Okrent vs Krugman blow-by-blow yourself, but I thought this admission by Okrent deserves attention:

    But I laid off for so long because I also believe that columnists are entitled by their mandate to engage in the unfair use of statistics, the misleading representation of opposing positions, and the conscious withholding of contrary data. But because they’re entitled doesn’t mean I or you have to like it, or think it’s good for the newspaper.

    So Okrent is the cop who looks the other way and then bitches about crime after he retires.

    Good work if you can get it.

    posted by tbogg at 11:00 AM



    Accuracy in Media? Maybe. Accuracy in history? Eh. Maybe not so much.

    Gary Larson (not the cartoonist although almost as goofy) writes at Accuracy in Media:

    Stretches by mainstream media (MSM), such as likening the war in Iraq to one in Vietnam, rely on false premises. Only cranky "liberals," plus a handful of confused conservatives, argue a quagmire faces the US-led coalition in Iraq.

    First off, they're too late. "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is all but over. Democracy won. A wobbly one, certainly; it will take time to bloom. Iraq is free from tyranny, but not yet from short-term terrorism, as daily headlines remind us.

    Casualties still occur. Sadly, more will die. Fanatical killers do not submit easily. Mop-up operations are nasty. Just like after World War II. Roving bands of Nazi "werewolves" were hunted to ground after V-E Day. Mostly ex-Gestapo, they gunned down fellow Germans, whom they called "collaborators," built bombs from leftover ordnance, and murdered allied forces trying to restore order. Sound familiar?

    Well, actually no:

    National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice embellished the message with what former White House speechwriters immediately recognize as a greatest-generation pander. "There is an understandable tendency to look back on America's experience in postwar Germany and see only the successes," she told the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio, Texas, on Aug. 25. "But as some of you here today surely remember, the road we traveled was very difficult. 1945 through 1947 was an especially challenging period. Germany was not immediately stable or prosperous. SS officers—called 'werewolves'—engaged in sabotage and attacked both coalition forces and those locals cooperating with them—much like today's Baathist and Fedayeen remnants."

    Speaking to the same group on the same day, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld noted,

    One group of those dead-enders was known as "werewolves." They and other Nazi regime remnants targeted Allied soldiers, and they targeted Germans who cooperated with the Allied forces. Mayors were assassinated including the American-appointed mayor of Aachen, the first major German city to be liberated. Children as young as 10 were used as snipers, radio broadcasts, and leaflets warned Germans not to collaborate with the Allies. They plotted sabotage of factories, power plants, rail lines. They blew up police stations and government buildings, and they destroyed stocks of art and antiques that were stored by the Berlin Museum. Does this sound familiar?

    Well, no, it doesn't. The Rice-Rumsfeld depiction of the Allied occupation of Germany is a farrago of fiction and a few meager facts.

    Werwolf tales have been a favorite of schlock novels, but the reality bore no resemblance to Iraq today. As Antony Beevor observes in The Fall of Berlin 1945, the Nazis began creating Werwolf as a resistance organization in September 1944. "In theory, the training programmes covered sabotage using tins of Heinz oxtail soup packed with plastic explosive and detonated with captured British time pencils," Beevor writes. "… Werwolf recruits were taught to kill sentries with a slip-knotted garrotte about a metre long or a Walther pistol with silencer..."

    In practice, Werwolf amounted to next to nothing. The mayor of Aachen was assassinated on March 25, 1945, on Himmler's orders. This was not a nice thing to do, but it happened before the May 7 Nazi surrender at Reims. It's hardly surprising that Berlin sought to undermine the American occupation before the war was over. And as the U.S. Army's official history, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946, points out, the killing was "probably the Werwolf's most sensational achievement."


    The Army history records that while there were the occasional anti-occupation leaflets and graffiti, the GIs had reason to feel safe. When an officer in Hesse was asked to investigate rumors that troops were being attacked and castrated, he reported back that there had not been a single attack against an American soldier in four months of occupation. As the distinguished German historian Golo Mann summed it up in The History of Germany Since 1789, "The [Germans'] readiness to work with the victors, to carry out their orders, to accept their advice and their help was genuine; of the resistance which the Allies had expected in the way of 'werewolf' units and nocturnal guerrilla activities, there was no sign. …"

    Don't you just hate it when your whole point collapses under the weight of a myth?

    posted by tbogg at 9:17 AM



    Too bad "Hardball" is already taken

    CNN to do show on creepy masturbating lawyers.

    Now they just have to figure out what to do with the other twenty-nine minutes.

    posted by tbogg at 12:30 AM


    Monday, May 30, 2005


    Don says Rockies/A's World Series a "total lock"

    I would be remiss if I didn't share this little tidbit about our buddy Don Surber from below. Now Don actually makes his living as a "columnist" for the Charleston Daily Mail, where he writes editorials with








    (It really helps if you have emphysema when you read his work out loud)

    Anyway, it appears that some people actually read Don (probably right after Marmaduke, but before Cathy) and it seems that way back in 2-ough-ought-3 Don had himself a bad case of the "premature exaltations":

    March 03, 2005
    The term 'quagmire' now seems apt
    Don Surber has sometimes erred in defending war

    By W. Joseph Wyatt

    On April 11, 2003, the Daily Mail's Don Surber crowed about the fall of Baghdad, "Opponents of this war will never admit their error... Critics could not wait to blast the war plan. They should have. It worked."

    A week later, April 18, 2003, he wrote about the financial costs of the war, "Critics even got the price wrong. They said it would cost more than $80 billion. So far it has cost $20 billion and it might cost another $10 billion in the next six months."

    Meanwhile the war's monetary costs have skyrocketed toward $280 billion, and the term "quagmire" seems increasingly apt.

    If his earlier misperceptions concern him now, Surber hasn't mentioned it to the rest of us.

    On Jan. 22, he reiterated the administration's "it's all about freedom" rationale for the war. "A free world is a safe world. That is why we fight."

    What about the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction? Many of us do not agree that the reasons to go to war are interchangeable.

    Surber concluded his column that day, in part, by terming "ingrates" those who possess the temerity to point out that no weapons of mass destruction were found. Why "ingrates"?

    It would benefit his readers if Surber would do some additional fact-checking, whether writing about war or other matters.

    ...and the letter kind of goes downhill from there.

    I can't really speak for the other Democrats (that would be those of us whom the party didn't leave in the middle of the night for fear of waking up next to coyote ugly) but I'm kind of relieved that Don had his epiphany back in March 2002.

    At least now, he's not our embarrassment.

    posted by tbogg at 11:53 PM



    Lying through his teeth

    Laugh now soldiers, I'm making sure you have a
    shorter life span than mine Posted by Hello

    Dick Cheney stopped by Larry King tonight and, in a studio reeking of old man smell, allowed Dick to lie like a motherfucker:

    “Frankly, I was offended by it,” Cheney said in the videotaped interview. “For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don’t take them seriously.”


    Cheney said detainees at Guantanamo “have been well treated, treated humanely and decently.”

    “Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment,” Cheney said. “But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated.”

    Because none of this shit ever happened.

    Never happened. Posted by Hello

    This is Summer Camp Posted by Hello

    Guests being escorted to the pool. Posted by Hello

    Yoga class. Posted by Hello

    A visit to the spa. Posted by Hello

    Full body massage Posted by Hello

    Lots of fresh air. Posted by Hello

    ..and, of course, costume parties. Posted by Hello

    American exceptionalism at its best. America at its worst.

    posted by tbogg at 11:15 PM



    Writing - B.... Reading Comprehension - D+

    Yesterday Garry Trudeau used his Sunday Doonesbury strip to the list the names of all the soldiers that have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom (aka Operation Inigo Montoya). Unfortunately it's going to take more than one strip. But the fact that Trudeau specifically stated that the names were only from Operation Iraqi Freedom seems to have been lost on Don Surber who needs a field of straw men to give him something to blog about.

    In his neverending quest to promote himself, Garry Trudeau has devoted "Doonesbury" to listing the deaths in Iraq. Ignore him. He is a controversy junkie. He does not feel validated unless he is "censored." Sounds like a Daddy Problem to me.

    He does not dare list the names of the 184 military men and women who died at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. The military has not forgotten. The Pentagon Memorial Fund is building a Monument to Their Sacrifices.

    Well, yeah. But that wasn't the point of the strip, now was it? He didn't list the names of all the soldiers who died in WWII either so what's your point?

    Courtesy of The Blog of Death and a little googling, I offer those names that Trudeau never dares to put in his cartoon, because they remind us of just why we are fighting in Iraq -- because we don't want to fight these bastards in Poca! They are more than names. They are people who paid a price in service to our freedom. I linked a biography to each one.

    Actually, no. They were the reason (more or less) why we are fighting in Afghanistan, but never mind that. What is important is the fact that the Islamofacists covet Poca, West Virginia (Home of the Fighting Poca Dots...I'm not making that up). No. It's true! From the Al Qaeda training manual:

    Top Ten Cities That We Totally Are Going To Kick Ass In

    1. New York City
    2. Los Angeles
    3. Washington D.C.
    4. Chicago
    5. Poca
    6. Miami
    7. Boston
    8. San Francisco
    9. Miami (they really hate Miami)
    10. Atlanta

    So I can see why Don might be upset. And, besides, he's had a really hard time of it since March of 2002 :

    ...when I joined the Republicans. My party left me, not the other way around.

    Yeah. He's one of those.

    There is no more true believer than a coverted true believer.

    posted by tbogg at 12:05 PM



    "The Reluctant Warrior" . So that's what the kids are
    calling chickenhawks these days...

    As has been our habit here for almost three years, we again point out President George Bush celebrating Memorial Day laying a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier Who Went To Viet Nam In George's Place Because George Jumped To The Top of the TANG List.

    You have to give him credit though, this is one military commitment that he doesn't try and run away from.

    Bush said America “has always been a reluctant warrior,” but then noted the more than 400,000 who perished in World War II alone.

    “All who are buried here understood their duty,” he said, “and all carried with them memories of a family they hoped to keep safe by their sacrifice.”

    “Today, we also remember the Americans who were still missing. We honor them, and our nation is determined to account for all of them,” Bush said.

    Speaking of missing...anyone claim the reward yet?

    I didn't think so.

    posted by tbogg at 11:30 AM



    Internet IQ up 14 points on light trading

    If things on the internets this holiday weekend seem a bit lighter and a bit brighter, well, you can always say that it has something to do with The Corner being shut down for fumigating, which has meant that we were deprived of their Algonquin-like wit and bon mots:

    RE: LAST POST? [K. J. Lopez]
    Nice try, Mark.
    Posted at 11:50 AM

    LAST POST? [Mark Krikorian]
    Did I win?
    Posted at 11:46 AM

    LAST... [The Pod]
    Posted at 11:59 AM

    An e-mail: "I would think K-Lo would spend the weekend watching all the Star Trek TV shows and movies so she could be up on all the references Jonah is constantly throwing out. Or is that developing a new and potentially bad habit?"
    Posted at 11:59 AM

    Jeebus. At moments like this that you realize that The Corner has become Hee Haw for the beltway crowd.

    posted by tbogg at 11:16 AM


    Sunday, May 29, 2005


    Making friends for the world to see

    Maybe, just a wee bit over-the-top. Possibly less
    flames next time. Do you have it on velvet? Posted by Hello

    Sure he's evil and a Nazi and Satan, but he's our evil-Nazi-Satan, so quit picking on him.

    That's our job.

    Good likeness though. Kudos.

    posted by tbogg at 11:08 PM



    One-two-three...shovel, kick, spin, step. Okay, again. But this time with jazz hands.

    Via The Gropinator we see that our governor still thinks it's all a movie:

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger traveled to a quiet San Jose neighborhood Thursday, and -- dogged by protesters -- filled a pothole dug by city crews just a few hours before, as part of an attempt to dramatize his efforts to increase money for transportation projects.

    The choreographed press opportunity -- at least the governor's fourth recent event involving transportation issues -- seemed aimed as much at thwarting the demonstrators who have followed Schwarzenegger for weeks as grabbing new attention for his proposal.

    Schwarzenegger strode toward television cameras on Laguna Seca Way to the sounds of the Doobie Brothers' "Taking it to the Streets,'' while flanked by 10 San Jose city road workers wearing Day-Glo vests and work gear. After speeches by the governor and city officials, a dump truck backed up and unloaded a mound of black asphalt and, as television cameras recorded the moment, Schwarzenegger joined the work crew, taking up a broom and filling the 10-by-15-foot hole, later smoothed over by a massive roller truck.

    Before I go on, I want to stop right here: "Takin' It To The Streets"...."10 San Jose city road workers wearing Day-Glo vests and work gear". God. This has Village People and Can't Stop the Music written all over it.

    Sorry. Onward:

    The governor's brief San Jose appearance, announced at the last minute, left some residents scratching their heads.

    "For paving the streets, it's a lot of lighting,'' said resident Nick Porrovecchio, 48, motioning to a team of workmen setting up Hollywood-style floodlights on the street to bathe the gubernatorial podium in a soft glow.

    Porrovecchio and his business partner, Joe Greco, said that at about 7 a.m. they became fascinated watching "10 city workers standing around for a few hours putting on new vests,'' all in preparation for the big moment with Schwarzenegger.

    But their street, he noted, didn't even have a hole to pave over until Thursday morning.

    "They just dug it out,'' Porrovecchio said, shrugging. "There was a crack. But they dug out the whole road this morning.''

    "It's a lot of money spent on a staged event,'' said Matt Vujevich, 74, a retiree whose home faced the crew-made trench that straddled nearly the whole street. "We still have the same problems. Everything's a press conference.''

    No. It's show business! Some people just don't recognize it when magic happens. Now excuse me, I have to go see if craft services has got the salad bar set up yet...

    posted by tbogg at 10:18 PM



    Stop me if you've heard this one before.

    A ready-made excuse for those who think the party has left them:

    After a lifetime voting for and working for Democratic candidates and independents, I'm finally going to make the switch and become a Republican.

    The reasons are many, not the least of which is age. I turned 55 recently and, having lived more than half my life, I can't afford to worry anymore about the other guy. It's time for me.

    As a Republican, I can now proudly -- indeed, defiantly -- pledge to never again vote for anyone who raises taxes for any reason. To hell with roads, bridges, schools, police and fire protection, Medicare, Social Security and regulation of the airwaves.

    President Bush has promised to give me more tax cuts even though our federal government owes trillions of dollars to its creditors. But that's someone else's problem, not mine. Republicans are about the here and now, and I'm here now.

    Honesty can be so refreshing at times....

    posted by tbogg at 9:55 PM



    See how we are

    Heh. Indeed. Posted by Hello

    (Click to enlarge)

    posted by tbogg at 9:30 PM



    Don't come home from drivin' with lovin' on your mind.

    Robby Gordon, whom I have never heard of before, is having a bad day amongst the blogs.




    posted by tbogg at 12:07 PM



    Won't you please lend a hand?

    Give till it hurts.

    posted by tbogg at 9:59 AM


    Saturday, May 28, 2005


    And one post shall pretty much cover it all...

    Assorted links and stuff:

    First off, a laurel and hearty handshake to new blogroll members: Martini Republic (golf claps), Crooks and Liars (loud huzzahs), Shakespeare's Sister (gleeful tittering), and Feministe (inappropriate hooting and whistling).

    >< >< ><

    I was reading this post by Amanda over at Pandagon about some California high schoolers getting a rude lesson regarding our evershifting freedom of speech and I noticed something in the linked article that should become the next Great Crusade of the Perpetually Outraged:

    The drama department, voted No. 1 in the nation by the American High School Theatre Festival, is raising money to perform "The Laramie Project," a controversial play about the death of a young gay man in Wyoming, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland this August

    The next sound you hear willbe the clarion call of the cultural HomoHunters™ who seek to hide the delicate eyes of our youth from the love that dare not speak its name...especially when Ken Mehlman is in the room.

    >< >< ><

    I had to go to Target today.

    Yeah, I know, but they have something there that I find difficult to find elsewhere, so I just hadda go.

    Standing in line in front of me was a woman Who Lives In A World Without Mirrors reading a copy of People/Us/Entertainment Weekly/whatever with a cover story about Jessica's New Bikini Body Secrets. This would probably be a good time to mention that the aforementioned woman was sporting an ass that looked like it was hosting a puppy convention that was currently having a dance. Next to her stood one of her spawn, a boy about ten in a sleeveless T who bore an uncanny resemblance to the Michelin Man except for the fact that, instead of being pasty white, he had the reddened face of either a potential high blood pressure victim or JD Hayworth (R-Stroke Anytime Now) or possibly both. Spread out on the checkstand counter before them was a Jonah-sized box of Ding-Dongs and other assorted fatty snacks.

    The store muzak was playing: "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" - Elton John & Kiki Dee.

    It was like that God I keep hearing about was showing me what my private hell is going to look like.

    The horror. The horror....

    >< >< ><

    Many thanks to Douglas in Arlington VA. for sending me a copy of Nick Cave's B-Sides & Rarities. I had never really heard Cave and was only familiar with him (other than seeing his CDs) via Johnny Cash's version of The Mercy Seat found on the Cash Unearthed set (which is a must-have). The Cave set has a terrific cover of Neil Young's Helpless. Very Cool.

    And speaking of music, the lovely Jane of firedoglake shared with me an mp3 of the Czar's Paint the Moon which sounds like a more soulful Mavericks. After about three minutes of extensive research I was able to locate and purchase an import copy of their Goodbye CD proving that this Internets thing is pretty darn bitchin' and might just make it after all.

    >< >< ><

    Tonight Beckham discovered June bugs. He now has a new hobby.

    >< >< ><

    Julia writes about eggs.

    >< >< ><

    When I was a kid playing Little League I thought it was way exotic when we traveled to some far off place like, oh, Lemon Grove which is about fifteen miles away, to play a game. In high school I once traveled as far as Saddleback College in OC for a track meet and I thought at the time that that was pretty impressive (keeping in mind that this was the early seventies and the world was much larger back then and not so Friedman-flat).

    This week Casey received an invitation to go play soccer in Brazil for ten days in August.


    The country. You know, that one down there.

    She's fifteen. I still have to drive her to the mall.

    I don't understand the world anymore.

    >< >< ><

    Shorter Power Line

    Oil Companies: The New Philantrophists!

    >< >< ><

    I'll be seeing NIN on Memorial Day and will pass along any comments that Mr. Reznor might have about the current administration that MTV seems to favor.

    >< >< ><


    In wartime the state seeks to destroy its own culture. It is only when this destruction has been completed that the state can begin to exterminate the culture of its opponent. In times of conflict authentic culture is subversive. As the cause championed by the state comes to define national identity, as the myth of war entices a nation to glory and sacrifice, those who question the value and the veracity of the myth are branded internal enemies.


    States at war silence their own authentic and humane culture. When this destruction is well advanced they find the lack of critical and moral restraint useful in the campaign to exterminate the culture of their opponents. By detroying authentic culture -- that which allows us to question and examine ourselves and our society -- the state erodes the moral fabric. It is replaced with with a warped version of reality. The enemy is dehumanized; the universe is starkly divided between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. The cause is celebrated, often in overt religious forms, as a manifestation of divine or historical will. All is dedicated to promoting and glorifying the myth, the nation, the cause
    - Chris Hedges

    >< >< ><

    Thank you for your patience. I'll be here all week.

    posted by tbogg at 9:08 PM


    Friday, May 27, 2005


    Memorial Weekend Random Ten

    It's Memorial Day weekend which can only mean that the lovely and talented Mrs. Tbogg and the equally lovely and talented Casey are gone for the weekend to a soccer tournament in Cerritos (or as I call it: Northern California) while I stay home home with the boys (that would be the puffy and gentle Satchmo and the wiry and destructive Beckham). While a weekend to my own devices should include scantily-clad supermodels and naked karaoke, it usually means going commando and watching baseball and puttering about which is what guys my advanced age do. Looking at the local "scene" such as it is, I see that ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead is playing tomorrow night, a mere five minutes away. But since I'm going to see NIN on Monday night, I would be risking exposing myself to more weekend excess than is recommended by the FDA for people in my demographic. So, we'll just leave that option up in the air.

    And so here is my Friday Random Ten which is neither edgy or cool like Norbiz or Amanda's, but, dammit it's mine and, besides, I don't have to live in Texas to have it:

    "Spanish Moon" - Little Feat (live)
    "Sands of Nevada" - Mark Knopfler
    "Strung Out Again" - Elliott Smith
    "Daddys Little Defect" - Sugarcult
    "Lounger" - Dogs Die In Hot Cars
    "I Want You Back" - Hoodoo Gurus
    "Cool As Kim Deal" - The Dandy Warhols
    "Black Cadillacs" - Modest Mouse
    "Highway 61 Revisted" - Bob Dylan and the Band Live
    "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate" - The Flaming Lips

    Hmm. Not too bad, if I do say so myself.

    posted by tbogg at 10:01 PM



    Pickler hearts Pickles

    Nedra Pickler (oy, we could go on and on about her) writes about the First Lady:

    Mrs. Bush spoke to reporters in front of the Giza pyramids after getting a tour of a new excavation site there. Earlier in the day, she and Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, spent time together at the Ittihadiyya Palace, a school for girls and the set of the Egyptian version of "Sesame Street."

    The first ladies taped a segment on reading with Khokha, a peach puppet with a mop of purple and brown hair that is the star of "Alam Simsim." The show is in Arabic but "Auntie Laura," as Khokha called Mrs. Bush, read her lines in English and nailed it in one take.

    We'll assume that Pickles the Animatronic First Lady wasn't reciting Henry's St. Crispin speech for Sesame Street so you'll have to color us today's color: unimpressed.

    posted by tbogg at 11:18 AM


    Thursday, May 26, 2005


    From the engorged tongue of L. Brent Bozell

    Brent Bozell using his tongue purtier than a twenty-dollar whore:

    L. Brent Bozell is with the Parents Television Council. He said the ad for Carl's Jr. hamburgers is inappropriate for television.

    "This is erotica. It's a quantum leap down this pike where we try to scrape the bottom of the barrel," Bozell told NBC "Today."

    Because once the horse is out of the barn you've got to get on your high horse and run with the pack until the cows come home or you're left with your pecker in your hand because beggars can't be choosers when you're buying the milk even though the cow is giving it away for free.

    Or something like that.

    posted by tbogg at 6:09 PM



    Thursday Night Basset Blogging - Surf Dawg Edition

    The very distinguished and slightly overweight Satchmo. Posted by Hello

    A little earlier than usual since we're going to opening night for the San Diego Surf Dawgs.

    (Added): Surf Dawgs win! Surf Dawgs Win! Surf Dawgs win! 9-2. Well, it's not like you were going to hear anything about it on ESPN.

    posted by tbogg at 3:53 PM



    Scott from the Bloch

    For those of you have been following the actions of mealy-mouthed homophobe Scott Bloch over at AmericaBlog, here's a blast from the past.

    posted by tbogg at 3:13 PM



    We're not #1 but it's not for lack of trying....

    The aptly named Wretchard burbles:

    I'd have to say that Amnesty International's Report claiming the US is the world's worst human rights violator condemns itself far more than it does the United States. Anyone who has lived in the Third World or any of the places which Amnesty International purports to care about knows -- and I mean knows for a fact -- what police abuse, torture, arbitrary detention, etc. really are and that it cannot be compared in any wise to the "Gulag" in Guantanamo Bay. Moreover, anyone who has lived in such places knows that the last place where victims can find practical help is from Amnesty International(my emphasis)

    The worst?

    From AI's Secretary General's statement:

    In 1973 AI published its first report on torture. It found that: “torture thrives on secrecy and impunity. Torture rears its head when the legal barriers against it are barred. Torture feeds on discrimination and fear. Torture gains ground when official condemnation of it is less than absolute.” The pictures of detainees in US custody in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, show that what was true 30 years ago remains true today.

    Despite the near-universal outrage generated by the photographs coming out of Abu Ghraib, and the evidence suggesting that such practices are being applied to other prisoners held by the USA in Afghanistan, Guantánamo and elsewhere, neither the US administration nor the US Congress has called for a full and independent investigation.

    Instead, the US government has gone to great lengths to restrict the application of the Geneva Conventions and to “re-define” torture. It has sought to justify the use of coercive interrogation techniques, the practice of holding “ghost detainees” (people in unacknowledged incommunicado detention) and the "rendering" or handing over of prisoners to third countries known to practise torture. The detention facility at Guantánamo Bay has become the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law. Trials by military commissions have made a mockery of justice and due process.

    The USA, as the unrivalled political, military and economic hyper-power, sets the tone for governmental behaviour worldwide. When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity and audacity. From Israel to Uzbekistan, Egypt to Nepal, governments have openly defied human rights and international humanitarian law in the name of national security and “counter-terrorism”.

    Here's the full listing of countries mentioned, but you'll notice, unlike say the BCS College Football Rankings, there is no ranking for #1 and #2 to see who gets to torture politial prisoners in the Orange Bowl next January. So it's seems the Wretch (can I call you Wretch?) is a bit thin-skinned on this point.

    As for Wretchard's comment that "Moreover, anyone who has lived in such places knows that the last place where victims can find practical help is from Amnesty International" is, well, pretty stupid when you get right down to it.

    Amnesty International is an independent human rights watchdog that issues reports on abuses in every country in the hope that bringing these abuses to light will facilitate change or international pressure to change.

    Wretchard is a jingoistic chickenhawk with a well-thumbed copy of Su Tzu who gets off on war just as long as others are fighting it. You have to admit that this is 'practical' for Wretchard, but not so much for the ones who die for America and the ones who die because of America.

    posted by tbogg at 12:39 PM



    Camp Manglalang

    Pictures like this make Michelle wet... Posted by Hello

    Shorter Michelle:

    If a tree falls in a forest and the FBI didn't witness it...it didn't happen

    posted by tbogg at 12:17 PM



    The Jonah-Ramesh feud bubbles over

    I'm not sure what brought this on:

    THE PONNURU T-SHIRT [Jonah Goldberg]

    I don't know why exactly, but if Derb can have "Pop Culture is Filth" as his slogan, I'd like to see this on a t-shirt:

    "Because tsunamis happen, is it okay to slaughter Asians?"

    But I think a slap-fight is in the offing.

    posted by tbogg at 11:07 AM



    Noonan of Arcadia

    Peggy finally comes out of the closet:

    And I believed them, because I am an idiot.

    Okay. She was being sarcastic, but her point seems to be that politicians shouldn't get up in front of cameras and talk about their accomplishments...

    Back to the senators. Why did they put on that performance the other day? Yes, it was sheer exuberant egotism; it was the excitement of the TV lights; it was their sly conviction that if they laud themselves they will be appearing to laud the institution; and it was, no doubt, the counsel of their advisers that in the magic medium of television, if you declare you are a "hero" often enough people will come to associate the word "hero" with you. Advisers, you must stop telling them this. Please.

    ...unless, of course, it's a prime-time spectacle.

    George Bush finally began his second term on Wednesday night with an address that marked the return of the Bush of the stump, the Bush who was re-elected president three months ago and whom the nation knows well. His State of the Union address underscored that he meant what he said when he ran: Efforts to move against junk lawsuits, protect marriage and reform Social Security are all on the table. America continues as a friend of liberty throughout the world. The speech was marked by an air not of insistence but of persuasion.

    George Bush made it clear he does not intend to cooperate with the tradition whereby second terms are all anticlimax enlivened by scandal. He will not be at the mercy of history. He means to continue doing big things.

    This was the plainspoken Bush of old. The state of our union is "confident and strong." We must be "good stewards" of the economy, must "renew" and "update" "great institutions," will try to make the tax code more coherent and just. Refreshingly, he called for "spending discipline"; he said he wants to "cut the deficit in half" by the time he leaves office.

    ...maybe she wasn't kidding about the 'idiot' part.

    posted by tbogg at 10:38 AM



    Regular folks don't steal hubcaps

    Bill O'Regularwhiteguy

    For those who don't remember, here's Bill's hubcap quote.

    posted by tbogg at 12:49 AM


    Wednesday, May 25, 2005


    Arigato gozaimasu

    A big hearty thanks to Dean in Chicago for sending me a copy of Strawberry Days : How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community written by our good friend David Neiwert (one of the few bloggers that I have actually met in person, bloggers being the shadowy mysterious types like Knights Templar or Clippers fans) at Orcinus.

    Now go buy yourself a copy and make Michelle Malkin cry.

    posted by tbogg at 11:47 PM



    I've got a metaphor and dammit I'm gonna use it
    no matter how much you guys giggle

    Tom Friedman meets Product Placement:

    Yet, with a few admirable exceptions, American business has not gotten out front on these issues. In part, this is because boardrooms tend to be culturally Republican - both uncomfortable and a little afraid to challenge this administration. In part, this is because of the post-Enron keep-your-head-down effect. And in part, this is because in today's flatter world, many key U.S. companies now make most of their profits abroad and can increasingly recruit the best talent in the world today without ever hiring another American. (my emphasis)

    "flatter world"? of what does this man speak? Ah I see. I must purchase his book to understand and appreciate his insights and clever wordplay.

    posted by tbogg at 9:40 AM


    Tuesday, May 24, 2005


    I am here to give you millions in free publicity

    Jeebus. I never thought there would ever come the day when I would defend Paris Hilton...or Carl's Jr. for that matter. But I was pleased to see Carl's tell the Parents Television Council to blow it out their ass just as soon as they remove the stick that is firmly wedged therein:

    Hamburger chain Carl's Jr. is making no apologies for its new Spicy Burger television commercial, which features Hilton hotel heiress and reality TV star Paris Hilton in a skin-tight swimsuit soaping up a Bentley and crawling all over it before taking a big bite out of the burger.

    The ad, which has been running in major markets since last week, has drawn the ire of television watchdogs, including the Parents Television Council.

    "This commercial is basically soft-core porn," said Melissa Caldwell, research director for the PTC. "The way she moves, the way she puts her finger in her mouth -- it's very suggestive and very titillating."

    Then Melissa started squirming in her seat and moaning and licking her lips seductively as her skirt slid ever higher over her tawny thighs, her breasts spilling out of her red demi-bra causing her sensitive nipples to assert themselves against her silky blouse, her engorged blossom of womanhood...throbbing...throbbing with want and need--

    Oh wait, this is Melissa Caldwell.

    Never mind.

    (Jane has a slightly different take)

    posted by tbogg at 11:55 PM



    I wish I had written that

    Holden gets the Headline of the Week award

    posted by tbogg at 11:47 PM



    My last goddam post on Keith Thompson

    He's been ridden hard and now it's time to put him away wet, where, a week from now, shivering and mildewed, he'll be wondering why Rush never calls anymore.

    We neglected to mention that he's a writer, one of those well-meaning souls who so dearly wants to put pen to paper (or type on the keyboard thing and make words appear on that TV-like thing, like all the kids are doing these days) to express themselves and explain the fact that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Or so I hear. Anyway, Keith is one of those guys who chucked it all away (the fame! the fortune! the hairline!) because he wanted to write so badly. And badly, he does:

    Opening to this truth does not require embracing the GOP platform, or for that matter, signing up with the supposed correctness of, say, a rightwing ideology that's as myopic as its left-wing counterpart. I say this in response to those who assert: "Okay, Keith. It's clear why you've left the political left. Now, it's incumbent on you to apply the same critic to the political right."

    Actually — no, it's not incumbent on me to do that. Here's why. I haven't been laboring in the vineyards of conservative politics for most of my adult life, such that criticizing the right would be to criticize my own tradition. Whereas I have lived on the left, in such a way that coming to terms with my past commitments involves self-criticism.

    Remember kids: if you just starting out in that crazy world of freelance writing...don't try this at home.

    posted by tbogg at 11:17 PM



    Tonight John Stoessel reports: "My Horoscope Was Wrong"

    All the other journalists are going home. John Stoessel has just locked up next year's Peabody award:

    "The psychics go to the police department," says Shermer. "They give lots and lots of statements. 'I see the body in a -- body of woods, some water, a railroad track, and so on.' When the body is finally found, they retrofit the statement to see how it fits with what actually happened. So, 'Oh, yeah, that psychic said something about a railroad track.' Yeah, but the psychic also said something about 100 other things." Often psychics say, the body is "near water," but water can mean an ocean, stream, puddle, bathroom, underground pipe, or most anyplace. If the body is found by a puddle, someone might say, "Wow, the psychic said 'near water.'"

    Rhea claims she finds missing people all the time -- sometimes three or four a week. The FBI maintains psychics have never helped solve a single missing-person case.

    Rhea charges a fat fee. ABC News managed to get a special, low price: $1,800. Rhea explained to Kupka and the private investigator Kupka hired that Kristine had been murdered. Rhea was confident that she knew where Kristine's body was. Rhea told us to go 30 miles north of Kristine's old neighborhood, looking for a road that branches off like a Y, something that looks like a country church, and something with the letter S. We tried to follow her instructions, using map companies, contacts with police, and numerous trips, but it turned out there were hundreds of Y's and V's in the road and all kinds of signs with S's. We were stumped. When I complained to Rhea about that, she said, "What do you want me do, the leg work?" Facing yet another useless "psychic vision," Kathy collapsed into tears.

    "My heart just fell," said Kupka. "I was like, she doesn't know."

    Kathy Kupka's sister disappears. She consults a psychic to no avail. Along comes John Stoessel and ABC who take her hand and lead her to another psychic ("Hey. We'll pay! It's on us") to get her heart broken again.

    On TV.

    For ratings.

    Good fun.

    posted by tbogg at 10:46 PM



    Power Line: Fans everywhere!

    Reader Doug writes:

    The Artist Formerly Known as Hindrocket whines in a sputtering circle:

    Your Tax Dollars at Work

    A headline in today's Washington Post: "States May Deny Sex Offenders Funds for Viagra." They must be kidding, you say? Read on:

    A federal agency began notifying states Monday that they do not have to pay for Viagra for convicted rapists and other high-risk sex offenders.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services acted one day after the New York comptroller's office said audits from 2000 through March found that 198 sex offenders in the state received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra after their convictions. Their crimes included offenses against children as young as 2, Comptroller Alan Hevesi said.

    Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said later Monday that Medicaid has paid $93,000 to provide Viagra to 218 sex offenders in that state over the past four years.

    Here's what I don't understand: year after year, the American people vote for conservative candidates. But it just doesn't matter. You can vote for conservatism, but you can't have it. No matter who gets elected, government programs spiral ever farther out of control. And--especially tonight--one really wonders whether there is anything the voters can do about it.

    Yes, those of us in the reality-based community who have real experience with Medicaid and blue-collar insurance realize that John is a dolt. But first, allow me to parse his words.

    In response to the Post story, John claims that "government programs spiral ever farther out of control." Since this story is about a correction of a gross misjudgment (a correction apparently carried out by a liberal, since John is complaining about a lack of conservatism in such agencies), is John saying the new policy of not paying for Viagra is a sign of this horrible spiral? Does John want taxpayers to compensate certified perverts for their erectile disfunction? Regular Power Line readers would surely say not, but John's fancy Dartmouth writin' skills are seriously lacking. Perhaps composition was not part of the English requirements, or perhaps his shock and anger over the filibuster deal (he seems to have healthily skipped the "denial" stage) have left him as speechless as W. with a malfunctioning Tele-Prompter, and he simply isn't thinking clearly.

    Writing aside, Hinderaker implies that the method of passing out free hard-on pills to the likes of Kinko the Kid-Loving Clown was the due to the direct involvement of one of those liberal hippies hopelessly infesting every facet of our lives. More likely, such policy is the love child of Pfizer bedding a bureaucrat. On a similar note, my insurance provider (Aetna) will gladly give me a fistful of blue pills for the price of a heart-shaped Whitman Sampler and a bottle of Cold Duck, but if I want to buy a Dial-A-Day for my wife, I'm on my own. No lack of conservatism here. Health care - public or private - is increasingly the work of marketers and moralists, not moonbats.

    Don't like it? Well, if you subscribe to the incoherent, infantile tantrums of Time Magazine's Blog of the Year, there's probably nothing we as voters can do about it. That's real patriotism, there.

    As Keith Thompson might put it: you go, boyfriend!

    Wait. That didn't sound right....

    posted by tbogg at 12:53 PM



    Lay down yout weary trunk, Lay down the song you strum,

    More fallout from the filibuster-buster that didn't bust. The Big Trunk has retired Hattie Carroll allusions and moved onto to the other groovy sounds of the sixties:

    I doubt that our readers need much commentary on the deal announced last night, and in any event John and Paul have provided everything I need. Last night I kept thinking of the titles of a few Aretha Franklin songs (and one Beatles song) as saying everything I had to say; I trust that you'll fill out the points and transitions for me.

    "Break It To Me Gently." "Don't Play That Song." "Going Down Slow." "Think." "Prove It." "Ain't No Way." "It Ain't Fair." "Pitiful." "Drown In My Own Tears." "Chain of Fools."

    I guess this is the end of philosophizing disgrace and criticizing all fears.

    Don't you hate it when a musical era ends?

    Except for that swing thing from a few years ago. That sucked...

    posted by tbogg at 10:51 AM



    Me and Dot went in to adopt on account
    a' somethin' went wrong with my semen...

    Please be advised that the failure to nuke the filibuster has delayed the advent of the Republic of Gilead. From the comments over at Opportunistic Nation:

    As I said in another post, this fillibuster is about one issue - abortion. That's it. The "deal" will fall apart as soon as Bush nominates his first Supreme Court Justice. It doesn't matter who the nominee is, the Dems will threaten to fillibuster and the GOP will be forced to use the Constitutional Option.

    Lex's analysis of what happened to the Left in the 1970s was right on target and his experience pretty much mirrors my own. Democrats' abandonment of the unborn is evil and without parallel in human history. It's worse than communism, Nazism, slavery, terrorism, and segregation combined. It is especially galling for me b/c my wife and I cannot have children and adoption is extraordinarily difficult because liberals keep killing the children we want to adopt. When NOW or Planned Parenthood opens up adoption agencies, then they can honestly say they are "pro-choice". Until then, they are nothing but merchants of death.
    (my emphasis)

    Selfish liberal bitches. Killing all the good white Christian babies....

    posted by tbogg at 8:57 AM


    Monday, May 23, 2005


    Some dog is going to get it's ass kicked tonight

    I am so fucked... Posted by Hello

    Bad news for Scooter:

    Focus on the Family Action Chairman Dr. James C. Dobson today issued the following statement, upon the announcement by members of the U.S. Senate that a "compromise" had been reached on the filibuster issue:

    "This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats. Only three of President Bush’s nominees will be given the courtesy of an up-or-down vote, and it's business as usual for all the rest. The rules that blocked conservative nominees remain in effect, and nothing of significance has changed. Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Chief Justice William Rehnquist would never have served on the U. S. Supreme Court if this agreement had been in place during their confirmations. The unconstitutional filibuster survives in the arsenal of Senate liberals.

    Cry havoc and unleash the Belt of Wrath...

    posted by tbogg at 11:42 PM



    Your tax dollars at wo-- Oh hell, this isn't even funny anymore.

    My name is David Barrett but you can call me Inspector Javert:

    Congress has refused to halt spending on a decade-old investigation of Henry Cisneros, former secretary of housing and urban development, despite Democratic senators' attempt to stop it.

    A Senate provision that would have ended spending on the probe next month was killed during closed-door negotiations on a broader bill paying for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.).

    The bill for the Cisneros investigation had reached nearly $21 million at the end of September. Independent counsel David Barrett said much of the spending goes to overhead costs, such as rent, which is required by law to ensure the independence of his probe.

    "Even waste has a constituency," said Dorgan, who sponsored the measure to end the spending.

    Cisneros admitted in 1999 that, when being considered for a Cabinet job, he lied to the FBI about how much he paid a former mistress. Cisneros, housing secretary from 1993 to 1996, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was fined $10,000. President Bill Clinton pardoned him in January 2001.

    Here's an article by Byron York from June 2003 on Barrett:

    Now the bonus question. Remember David Barrett? Unless you follow such things very, very closely, you probably won't be able to recall that he was the independent counsel appointed to investigate the Cisneros case. Barrett was sworn in on May 24, 1995, to investigate allegations that Cisneros lied to the FBI about payments he had made to Medlar. The Barrett investigation reached its peak over four years later, on September 7, 1999, when Cisneros pled guilty to a misdemeanor and agreed to pay a $10,000 fine.

    What few people realize is that, nearly four years after achieving the main objective of his investigation, Barrett is still in business today. Now writing his final report, Barrett was still working on live, investigative matters until only a few months ago. His report will likely be finished by the end of the year, a testament either to the corruption of the Clinton administration or to the lunacy of the independent-counsel law. Or, perhaps, both.

    ...or maybe Barrett doesn't have a job waiting for him and is milking it for every cent he can get.

    posted by tbogg at 11:29 PM



    One Trick Pony

    I really hate to make Keith Thompson my personal pinata but every time I stop by there's another limb full of candy hanging off that only requires the slightest tap.

    Five or six days into blogging and he's already repeating himself. His latest:

    Likewise, I’ll be glad to cheer when the Children’s Defense Fun gets around to advocating dedicated parenting as kids’ first and foremost need. Until then, I’ll keep saying to Dr. Laura: You go, girlfriend.

    From his website interview with himself (and doesn't it seem odd to have someone interview you...and then post it on your own website?):

    Likewise, I’ll be glad to cheer when the Children’s Defense Fun gets around to advocating dedicated parenting as kids’ first and foremost need. Until then, I’ll keep saying to Dr. Laura: You go, girlfriend.

    He has now gone from amusing to plain fucking sad.

    Next stop...Hannidate.

    posted by tbogg at 10:52 PM




    Imagine a world where you are told that white is black, war is
    peace, and 2 + 2 = 5.

    Having trouble with that? Okay, try this:

    To my knowledge, Krugman's principal critics--most notably, Donald Luskin--have been scrupulously accurate in their criticisms, and have not engaged in the statistical sleight-of-hand to which Krugman is addicted.


    posted by tbogg at 9:58 PM



    If it makes them unhappy, then why do I feel so bad

    Like a lot of people I'm not sure that I care for the compromise (partly because it was announced by the human invertebrate, Joe Lieberman). I guess, like a hole card face down on the table, nobody really knew how the vote was going to go and so they all collectively blinked, giving up the bluff. The big upside is that the rightwing base is feeling betrayed and whenever they lose or even feel like they have lost…we win.

    I don't really care that Frist's presidential ambitions may have been damaged by this because, having seen enough of him now, I never thought he had much in the way of "get people off the couch" appeal that will turn out the masses. At least Bush can pull off that 'common guy' crapola that appeals to people stupider than himself which helps supplement the true believers who aren't stupid so much as insincere/hypocritical/soul dead (choose one...or all). Either way, Frist looks like a bigger out-of-touch privileged doof than he did before, so I guess that's a plus.

    I'm not happy that Owens may be confirmed in that I believe that she is corrupt to the bone. Brown isn't corrupt, she just has a twisted soul, the kind that usually drives people to become Randians or Amway drones. As for Pryor, he's a religious prig who will bring the full force of Opus Dei to the court (see Scalia, Fat Tony) and his youth is an indication that he's being groomed to fill the Scalia seat when Tony's God finally has enough of his shit and sends him packing on an eternal vacation.

    But we have to look on the bright side, which is that the Democrats have left themselves some wiggle room when it comes to the Supreme Court, which is where the big boys play. The wildcard is whom the Puppet in Chief picks to replace Rehnquist as chief justice and who fills the open seat. Take solace in the fact that George Bush is just as much in the dark about this as we are. We all have to wait for Karl Rove to make his pick, and Karl hasn't exactly been on a winning streak lately as he has gone from Schiavo to Social Security privatization and now this.

    Turd Blossoms run of luck may have just run out.

    posted by tbogg at 9:33 PM




    I forgot to do America's Worst Mother™ this week but World O'Crap "had my back" as the middle-aged white guys might put it, so you can go read it here.

    Pay particular attention to son Capote's latest overture to Jocasta Mummy that would have have made Tennesee Williams squirm.

    posted by tbogg at 12:01 PM



    Having the calculated effect

    We're seven minutes into Keith Ferguson's 15 minutes of fame and he's already back on Rush so his re-branding effort seems to be working out.

    Unfortunately he's turned off his comments (shame on you guys) which means that To Be A Man doesn't include taking heat. Maybe he can hire some of Rush's call-screeners later when he gets the advance from Regnery.

    All in all, I'm guessing he's going to have the shelf life of a bowl of potato salad left in a hot car in August.

    posted by tbogg at 10:26 AM


    Sunday, May 22, 2005


    I think I've seen this movie before

    Our turn... Posted by Hello

    In light of the recent revelations about torture, our plans to stay, and the daily drumbeat of insurgent attacks, I can't recommend The Battle Of Algiers enough. I watched it again last night and the parallels are frightening.

    Col. Mathieu: Interrogation becomes a method when conducted in a manner so as always to obtain a result, or rather an answer. In practice, demonstrating a false humanitarianism only leads to ridiculousness and impotence. I'm certain that all units will understand and react accordingly.


    Journalist: M. Ben M'Hidi, don't you think it's a bit cowardly to use women's baskets and handbags to carry explosive devices that kill so many innocent people?

    Ben M'Hidi: And doesn't it seem to you even more cowardly to drop napalm bombs on defenseless villages, so that there are a thousand times more innocent victims? Of course, if we had your airplanes it would be a lot easier for us. Give us your bombers, and you can have our baskets.


    Col. Mathieu
    : Should we remain in Algeria? If you answer "yes," then you must accept all the necessary consequences.

    Rent it. Buy it. Watch it.

    (And thanks again to the reader from Texas who sent me a copy.)

    posted by tbogg at 10:10 PM



    The Tillmans hate America

    After reading this,

    Former NFL player Pat Tillman's family is lashing out against the Army, saying that the military's investigations into Tillman's friendly-fire death in Afghanistan last year were a sham and that Army efforts to cover up the truth have made it harder for them to deal with their loss.

    More than a year after their son was shot several times by his fellow Army Rangers on a craggy hillside near the Pakistani border, Tillman's mother and father said in interviews that they believe the military and the government created a heroic tale about how their son died to foster a patriotic response across the country. They say the Army's "lies" about what happened have made them suspicious, and that they are certain they will never get the full story.

    "Pat had high ideals about the country; that's why he did what he did," Mary Tillman said in her first lengthy interview since her son's death. "The military let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect. The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting."


    Patrick Tillman Sr. believes he will never get the truth, and he says he is resigned to that now. But he wants everyone in the chain of command, from Tillman's direct supervisors to the one-star general who conducted the latest investigation, to face discipline for "dishonorable acts." He also said the soldiers who killed his son have not been adequately punished.

    "Maybe lying's not a big deal anymore," he said. "Pat's dead, and this isn't going to bring him back. But these guys should have been held up to scrutiny, right up the chain of command, and no one has."

    That their son was famous opened up the situation to problems, the Tillmans say, in part because of the devastating public relations loss his death represented for the military. Mary Tillman says the government used her son for weeks after his death, perpetuating an untrue story to capitalize on his altruism -- just as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was erupting publicly. She said she was particularly offended when President Bush offered a taped memorial message to Tillman at a Cardinals football game shortly before the presidential election last fall. She again felt as though her son was being used, something he never would have wanted.

    "Every day is sort of emotional," Mary Tillman said. "It just keeps slapping me in the face. To find that he was killed in this debacle -- everything that could have gone wrong did -- it's so much harder to take. We should not have been subjected to all of this. This lie was to cover their image. I think there's a lot more yet that we don't even know, or they wouldn't still be covering their tails.

    "If this is what happens when someone high profile dies, I can only imagine what happens with everyone else."

    ...we have to wonder how soon the Right Wing will start trashing Tillman's parents.

    On cue, Free Republic obliges:

    Accidents happen in war, part of the "game". I was in the Army over 30 years ago. These parents have no clue. Their willingness to join the dark side show they aren't made of any "steel". I hope they are happy helping our enemies.

    6 posted on 05/22/2005 9:39:55 PM PDT by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)


    To: drt1

    Sad to see that they are allying themselves with those who hate their son. I doubt if that is what he would have wanted.

    12 posted on 05/22/2005 9:48:40 PM PDT by Eagles6 (Dig deeper, more ammo.)


    To: drt1

    The army is evil. The pentagon is evil. The administration is evil. America is evil.

    But the folks that mocked their son and belittled their son and called him names not worth repetition because he left athletics to serve his country are not evil, apparently, because the parents have joined with them.

    I respect their son's service. HE is a hero.

    I respect their pain.

    I do not respect their reaction to pain. I have had my fill of parents presuming to speak for their children against the choice they made to serve their country. They can speak, but I refuse to listen any longer.

    13 posted on 05/22/2005 9:51:55 PM PDT by Soul Seeker


    I'm sorry, but this smells and it's not the military

    The father is calling the men that served with Tilman, murders
    17 posted on 05/22/2005 9:58:17 PM PDT by Mo1 (Hey GOP ---- Not one Dime till Republicans grow a Spine !!)

    posted by tbogg at 9:52 PM



    Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go...

    Oh my goodness, our ranks have been thinned once again by another "I didn't leave the party, the party left me" Former-Liberal-Looking-For-A-Book-Deal. Meet Keith Thompson:

    Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.

    I'm leaving the left -- more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.

    I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere -- reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.

    Because nothing harshes mindless curbside cheerleading like someone pointing that sometimes the home team doesn't win. And so that moment became Keith's "tipping point" when he walked away from a party that no longer dated him and would it kill them to call him every once in awhile? Of course, no self-respecting newly-born conservative can really be reborn without laying out the details of their pupal state. See how many of these you recognize from the other conversions on the way to road to neo-conism:

    I began my activist career championing the 1968 presidential candidacies of Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, because both promised to end America's misadventure in Vietnam. I marched for peace and farm worker justice, lobbied for women's right to choose and environmental protections, signed up with George McGovern in 1972 and got elected as the youngest delegate ever to a Democratic convention.

    Eventually I joined the staff of U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio. In short, I became a card-carrying liberal, although I never actually got a card. (Bookkeeping has never been the left's strong suit.) All my commitments centered on belief in equal opportunity, due process, respect for the dignity of the individual and solidarity with people in trouble. To my mind, Americans who had joined the resistance to Franco's fascist dystopia captured the progressive spirit at its finest.

    Youthful idealism? Check.
    Marching for peace/civil rights/environment/women's rights? Check.
    Use of the expression "card-carrying"? Check.

    But then came every teetering liberals nightmare. The dreaded dinner party where an ugly truth slips out...and everything changes:

    A turning point came at a dinner party on the day Ronald Reagan famously described the Soviet Union as the pre-eminent source of evil in the modern world. The general tenor of the evening was that Reagan's use of the word "evil" had moved the world closer to annihilation. There was a palpable sense that we might not make it to dessert.

    When I casually offered that the surviving relatives of the more than 20 million people murdered on orders of Joseph Stalin might not find "evil'" too strong a word, the room took on a collective bemused smile of the sort you might expect if someone had casually mentioned taking up child molestation for sport.

    My progressive companions had a point. It was rude to bring a word like "gulag" to the dinner table.

    Fucking dinner parties. We lose more comrades this way. The dropped silverware. The stony silence. The condescending hoi poloi elitists with their fancy-schmancy French pronuniciation of Pouilly Fuisse. They are going to be the ruin of the Democratic party someday, I'm telling ya. (Cue Peoples Parties)

    Years later, after 9/11, Keith watched in horror as all of the intellectuals (insert sneer here) who would become the post-9/11 bête noire of the right said (or infered or insisted or intoned or choose your own in- word) things that, although complex, could be simplified to mean that America might not have the cleanest hands at the dinner table (those damnable dinner tables again):

    Susan Sontag cleared her throat for the "courage" of the al Qaeda pilots. Norman Mailer pronounced the dead of Sept. 11 comparable to "automobile statistics." The events of that day were likely premeditated by the White House, Gore Vidal insinuated. Noam Chomsky insisted that al Qaeda at its most atrocious generated no terror greater than American foreign policy on a mediocre day.

    All of this came back to me as I watched the left's anemic, smirking response to Iraq's election in January. Didn't many of these same people stand up in the sixties for self-rule for oppressed people and against fascism in any guise? Yes, and to their lasting credit. But many had since made clear that they had also changed their minds about the virtues of King's call for equal of opportunity.

    And so Keith threw up his hands and watched as the party borrowed a friends truck, packed up its stuff and moved out on him, taking some of his books and CD's and that little donkey figurine that they picked up at Kings speech in DC ("we'll always have DC..."), while Keith yelled at the closed door, "You'll come crawling back to me. You'll see. You just wait and see.....Don't go.....I love you." (cue "She's Out of My Life")

    So how is Keith adapting to being free of the old ball and chain? Well he timed his little coming out party to coincide with the launch of his...blog.

    Now you would think that someone who has been a "card-carrying liberal" would not exactly jump into the deep end on their first day swimming, but with so much competition from such well-established "Hey, where'd the party go?" ex-liberals such as Roger Simon and Michael Totten, Keith decided to make a splash with one of the more lunk-headed strawman arguments this side of Power Line. Enjoy:

    Today's lesson is called "Fun with Scenarios."

    Assume a Democratic president — perhaps John Kerry. Let's say that, on the strength of his personality and his powerful narrative rendering of what should have happened at Torra Borra(sic) but didn't, Kerry got to the White House with a big enough margin to return leadership of the Senate and House to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

    Say Reid controls the Senate by 55 votes. The people of Searchlight, Nevada, are justifiably proud of their native son. (Kerry's victory wasn't enough to save Tom Daischle.(sic))

    So President Kerry offers this short list of six candidates to fill as many seats on the federal judiciary: Gloria Alred(sic), James Carville, Susan Estrich, Laurance(sic) Tribe, Julian Bond, Alan Dershowitz, and Elizabeth Birch (former head of the gay and lesbian advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign).

    In addition, suppose cries of "Don't be greedy," "Let's compromise," "We'll vote yes on the 3 least liberal nominees" were to go up from: Orrin Hatch, Rick Santorum, Bill Frist, John Kyle(sic), and Kay Bailey Hutchison — all of whom threatened to filibuster the nomination process, in the name of "simple fairness."

    Given that scenario, do you think we could expect to hear ringing defenses of the filibuster from Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Chris Dodd, and Carl Levin? Or do you suppose they would be leading the charge against the filibuster as a "procedural gimmick being used by obstructionists to deny the judicial candidates their right to an up or down vote?"

    Just asking.

    Wow. He really took to it like a fly to shit. Kudos. But we really shouldn't be too surprised at how naturally that all came out, after all, when he wrote about himself he did say that:

    In 1992, he surprised (and appalled) many of his self-styled progressive pals by doing an impression of Sen. Ted Kennedy on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. Two years later, he hosted a weekend talk-radio host at a Santa Cruz radio station.

    So I'm guessing the party may have left him a long time ago over his dalliance with Limbaugh, but since he's been busy working on his book, he just now found the note on the pillow.

    Cue "She's Gone".

    (Added: We see that Keith has started marketing himself in the appropriate venues. It's good to see that Power Line has a new pet rock)

    (Added even later): I love this from Keith's blog. He sends the link to Power Line and others (AKA "blogwhoring") and then writes this:

    So — I write an essay called Leaving the Left, and what happens? I hear from lots-o-peeps — several hundred. From far and wide. It is hard to describe the richness and, let me say, the beauty of the vast majority of the responses that showed up in my in-box today. The predominant theme: Welcome Home. "We left the light on for you," said one writer.

    Because the piece got picked up by several right-of-center online publications, it's not surprising that my musings got a decided thumbs-up.

    Leaving aside the ridiculousness of a fifty-one year-old man using "peeps", he points out that his piece got "picked up" by the "right-of-center on-line publications" (which is apparently what the kids are calling blogs these days when talking to their "peeps" or their "boyz") and he makes it sound as if it was Kismet and not a classic example of Advertisements for Myself that was the reason why he popped up all over Right Wing Blogistan today.

    You know, anyone will eventually get some action if they hang out on a corner long enough and tell every passerby, "Blow you for a nickel.".

    posted by tbogg at 4:31 PM



    The "follow-up question"? Nope. Can't
    say that I've ever heard of it.

    I read Michael Sokolove's wet sloppy kiss to Rick Santorum (R-Beagle) this morning at about 1AM, but I was too tired to go into it. But one thing that struck me was Sokolove's complete lack of curiousity with regard to anything that Santorum had to say.

    Example #1:

    Santorum rarely argues from a purely religious viewpoint. His line of reasoning usually goes like this: The founding fathers were men of faith. They believed in a nation based on traditional, religiously derived values, the same ''moral absolutes'' that he finds in his faith, and to diverge from them is to undermine the health of American society. The same reasoning, taken to its extreme, edges toward treating the Constitution as a kind of Christian document, but Santorum doesn't go quite that far.

    When I asked him if he viewed gay marriage as a threat to his own marriage, he answered quickly. ''Yes, absolutely,'' he said. ''It threatens my marriage. It threatens all marriages. It threatens the traditional values of this country.''

    A good journalist, and I'm sure Sokolove knows a few, might have asked him, "Why? Why does it threaten your marriage? Is the fact that gay marriage isn't an option the reason why you don't dump Karen and take up with, say, Norm Coleman or Saxby Chambliss?" As a reader, I kind of expected Sokolove to ask the obvious, and was surprised when he just moved on.

    Example #2:

    To a woman who wanted to know how soon Roe v. Wade could be overturned, he said it was ''not imminent'' and called for ''support for women with unintended pregnancies'' and for ''love for all God's children.'' Several times he used the phrase ''culture of life,'' which for religious conservatives generally encompasses opposition to abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and euthanasia (but not always opposition to the death penalty, which Santorum supports). Someone else in the audience complained that the local schools were substandard, and Santorum used that as an opportunity to touch a broader theme. ''What's needed,'' he replied, ''is to give parents real control, as opposed to what we have today, the control in the hands of the bureaucrats and the experts.''

    His answer was an echo of Republican attacks on federal judges, the news media and perceived elites of all kinds, and I asked him about it later. Why would the parents in this struggling community, or any community, be better at running a school district than professionals trained to do just that? I began to say that in my own children's schools, the curriculum is designed by --

    ''Experts!'' he interjected. ''The curriculums are designed by experts. But even though they may be experts, they are narrow experts.''

    ...and then. Nothing.

    Okay. I really shouldn't have to hold Sokolove's hand about this, but don't you want to know what a "narrow expert" is? I do. I want to know why an expert, or even a "narrow expert", is less qualified to run a school and develop a curriculum than a parent whose only qualification may have been a night of 'hot and sweaty' after a pitcher of mai-tais and a Josh Groban CD. Sokolove just seems to nod his head and say "Hmmmmmm. I know what you mean" like someone's date who has stopped listening and is just wondering when they're going to stop with the yadda yadda yadda and start getting naked.

    Sorry. Mr Sokolove. Not well done (as Attytood points out) Next time, show work.

    So we're going to have to give this article a D...for dog


    (I see Steve and I were, you know, kind of thinking along the same lines)

    posted by tbogg at 12:16 PM


    Saturday, May 21, 2005


    Throw in a few "stroking the pony" jokes and it's SRO.

    Laura Bush isn't exactly packing them in:

    Mrs. Bush spoke at the Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center, a sparkling new structure overlooking the Dead Sea. It was the most high-profile event of a three-country tour that will include visits to programs that are advancing childhood education and women’s roles.

    Her appearance came on the second day of a three-day international conference sponsored by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum. It brought together about 1,300 international business and political leaders as well as a few celebrities, such as actor Richard Gere. The forum is best known for its glitzy annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

    In some ways, Mrs. Bush was speaking to the choir. She echoed the sentiments of many speakers at the conference and her appearance was not an overwhelming draw, with the auditorium only a little more than half full.

    Maybe 'flogging Flicka' jokes don't translate well.

    posted by tbogg at 11:03 AM



    So that's what the kids are calling "retirement" these days

    Powerline really is the gift that keeps on giving. Today the Rocketman defend one his fav's, James Watt under the ironic headline of Lies and the Lying Liberals Who Tell Them:

    Thanks to Jim Watt for pointing out today's article to us. Mr. Watt is a kindly gentleman who was enjoying a well-deserved retirement from public life, when he was dragged back into the political fray, against his will, by virtue of being relentlessly libelled by Bill Moyers and other liberals. It's good to see that, having been forced to participate once more in public debate, he is defending himself with the skill and determination that, decades ago, he brought to his years of public service.

    I'll agree with the "well-deserved retirement" part:

    In a press conference on 21 September 1983, made the following comment about his staff: "I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent." He resigned eighteen days later.

    Oh. And speaking of lying:

    On 2 January 1996, Washington lobbyist and former US Secretary of the Interior James Watt pleaded guilty to withholding documents and information from a grand jury in 1990. In exchange for his guilty plea, 18 felony perjury charges against him were dropped. Watt had intentionally concealed documents which had been subpoenaed during a grand jury investigation into the Reagan-era HUD scandal. He received five years' probation, 500 hours of community service, and a $5,000 fine.

    Granted he didn't perjure himself about something as reprehensible as, say, a blowjob. No, it was all about money and influence peddling:

    Before the plea bargain, Watt had been charged with felony counts of perjury and making false statements to cover up his work as a consultant seeking federal aid from HUD after he left government in 1983.

    ...so that's okay, good Christian that he is.


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