Saturday, March 30, 2002

Here's a great one from Andy Borowitz: "U2's Bono proposes sweeping social security overhaul".

While Bono's plan is garnering high marks on both sides of the aisle in Congress, it faces stiff opposition from one quarter: Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, who excoriated Bono's proposal at an Aerosmith concert in Foxboro, Mass.

My aunt has just returned from a trip to Europe, and tells me that she and her two travelling companions were thrown out of a restaurant in Cannes because they didn't speak French well enough.

To quote Eric Cartman, French people piss me off.

(With apologies to Emmanuelle.)

More awful news from Israel.

To the man behind the artillery that's pointed at that animal: In the name of peace, goodness, and humanity, I beg of you the following: sacrifice your life, defy your orders, and PUSH THE FUCKING BUTTON.

Any sympathy I had for the plight of the Palestinian people is gone.

NOT THE OBITUARY I WAS HOPING FOR: The Queen Mum has died. It's hardly a shock since she was about one trillion years old, but it's sad news nonetheless. I absolutely adored her. I'm glad it was a peaceful passing.

Friday, March 29, 2002

Well, I'm off early to begin to get stuff ready for the huge Easter dinner with the family. Wishing a happy and safe holiday to everyone who's got one to celebrate.

With any luck, my next post will be an obituary for YOU KNOW WHO.

Can Yasser come out and play?

posted by Emily at 1:29 PM

"No Palestinian and no one in the Arab nation will surrender or kneel."
-Yasser Arafat

Screw you, Mr. Arafat. Surrender is hardly what I've got in mind.

More lovely images from the West Bank:

We're more than happy to make you a martyr, Mr. Arafat.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

Jeepers. I've just noticed that I sound like the Jazz Man from "Brilliant" (b.k.a. "The Fast Show" in Britain) in my last few posts.


The "march on Washington" to protest the "war against terror" is on the same day as Adolf Hitler's birthday. Demonic coincidence?

The "mobilization" organizers claim "we will not initiate violence against any living thing". I guess that means vandalism isn't out of the question: "because we also recognize that property destruction increases...risk, we strongly discourage the use of such tactics at our event/march."


Juan Gato on Jacques Chirac describing the Paris shootings as "not human":

One of my least favorite words is "inhuman". These acts are human. It's all part of the wonderful ball of wax that is humanity. Perhaps it is a nice detachment for ourselves to try to describe somethings as being outside the realm of humanity, but it is a fiction. To try to cast certain things as "inhuman" or "nonhuman" or whatever is to try to strip responsibility for people's actions. Or maybe it is a fear that to acknowledge them as human would be to say that something such as that may lurk within ourselves. Choices are made. All of them human.


"The Simon Wiesenthal Center today condemned the latest suicide bombing in Israel, and urged the Jewish state to respond to the act 'with the same force' the United States used in the aftermath of Sept. 11."


Thanks to Peter Briffa for noting this gem: You ask the questions: Martin McGuinness.

A few beautiful excerpts:

What exactly did you do on Bloody Sunday?
Michael Simon, York

As I have said many times, I attended the march like thousands of other people from Derry and beyond. I have made a detailed statement to the Saville Tribunal and I am awaiting a date to give oral evidence. I think it would be inappropriate to comment further until after that happens.

(what he's really thinking: I drove a stake through the heart of an effigy of the Queen, really wished I could shoot a few of those Unionist bastards, sang a few rounds of "the Internationale", and had seventeen and a half pints)

How will you be spending the Queen's Jubilee?
Peter Wright, London

As an Irish republican, I obviously have no real desire to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reign of the British monarch. However, I recognise that there are many who hold the monarchy in high regard and who wish to celebrate this event. Therefore, provisions have been made by my department to allow schools to take a holiday on this date if they wish. If they do not, then the holiday can be taken at a later date.

(what he's really thinking: plotting.)

If a young man or woman who was a nationalist asked you for three reasons why they shouldn't join the IRA, what would you say?
Cillian Harrington, Derry

It has been the role of Sinn Fein for many years to build on the peace process. If we continue to move forward, the sort of society we create will ensure that no young person – be they nationalist, republican, Unionist, loyalist or British – will once again find themselves in a situation where they are considering involvement in military conflict in Ireland

Notice that he didn't give one fucking reason?

Do you support the war on terror?
Natasha Wood, Devon

Terrorism is ethically indefensible. Those responsible for the atrocities in the United States must be brought to justice. What happened in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania was, as the UN Human Rights Commissioner and former Irish President Mary Robinson said, "a crime against humanity". Progressive struggles throughout the world have been set back by the attacks in the USA. There is no excuse, no justification for those type of actions. But while nations have an individual right to defend themselves and their citizens, only the UN can give global legitimacy to the struggle to eliminate terrorism. The real challenge is for dialogue, not retribution. That is the lesson of the peace process on this island.

(what he's really thinking: why yes. Of course I do. What makes you think I...excuse me? Oh, I apologize. I thought you said "war of terror". No, no. Down with the imperialist Yankee bastards.)

A bomb is placed in a litter bin outside McDonald's in Warrington on a busy Saturday afternoon. How can you justify targeting children?
Tim Knight, Bristol

I do not justify targeting children and I never have. I recently travelled to Warrington and met with the families of those killed on that terrible day. I admire the manner in which they have conducted themselves and the efforts they have made in building the Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball Peace Centre. It is our duty as political leaders to ensure that there are no more Warringtons, or Bloody Sundays.

(what he's really thinking: I do not justify targeting children. Killing a mother of ten because she comforted a British soldier while he was dying, however, is perfectly acceptable.)

Do you feel that your lack of education is a handicap to being Education Minister?
Mrs Carol Gregg, Glasgow

I don't feel that I have a lack of education. I may have a lack of qualifications, but I think that I have displayed in my work that I am an effective minister dealing with a challenging but ultimately rewarding brief.

(what he's really thinking: I'm Education Minister?)

Hey people, help this guy out, would ya?

Hello everyone,
I am doing a survey to determine the 2 most favorite Presidents of the United States. I think that this will show the attitudes of how we Americans feel about the current political events going on around. I plan on comparing your results with similar surveys done 15, 30, and 55 years ago to see if the answers of everyday Americans have changed and how they have changed. Then I will post the results and send you an email with the URL.

Please help me by:
1) Listing your two favorite US Presidents.
2) Some quick reasons why, I’m not looking for an essay, just one or two things you admire about them.
3) Respond by sending it to this email:
4) Forward this email on to your friends/family to help build the database, the more responses I get, the more comprehensive this survey will be.

Thank you for helping make this survey a reality and please don’t forget to forward this email on!

Remember THIS IS NOT SPAM, this is a real survey being conducted by just one guy who thinks it’s darn interesting! ME!

Thank you for your help in advance,
William Paris
Again, the email to respond to is:

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

As if the illustrious Asparagirl couldn't get better...well, she went and got better. And I'm not just saying that because of all that trickle-down Sullivan action I had coming my way. Or maybe I am. Either way, she's hella groovy (ask a Northern Californian if you're not sure).

According to the newest test on the Spark, the Cutthroat Quiz, I'm only 21% cruel and unusual. I'm so disappointed in myself.

The Professor writes:
"WENT TO THE DEATHCLOCK SITE. Entered my info. Clicked. Nothing happened. Guess that means I'm not going to die."

Bloggers everywhere cheer...

If you don't go see this now, you are going to suffer eternal damnation. I'm not joking. Go now .

In spite of a number of interesting offers, from a litter of hairless kittens and four unmatched tube socks, to seventy-five cents and a collection of Bazooka comics, it appears as though the highest bidder in the BBC auction is Mr. Worley. So congratulations, Dave. You are now the proud owner of a once mighty but now flailing radio and television network.

Immediately following the conclusion of the auction, I dispatched the following two letters to the BBC on Mr. Worley's behalf:

Give War a Chance HQ
The bar next to the race track at Hollywood Park
Inglewood, CA 90303

March 27, 2002

Chief Executive
BBC Worldwide
80 Wood Lane
London W12 0TT
United Kingdom

Dear Chief Executive:

I am writing this letter to inform you that the BBC network and the entire of its assets have been sold at auction to one David Worley for the sum of fifty-one United States dollars. Given current market values and currency exchange rates, this translates into roughly two British pounds (enclosed).

Kindly instruct your managerial and administrative staff to exit the premises immediately, so that Mr. Worley can begin the proper ownership transitions. Also, please inform Ms. Jennifer Saunders and Ms. Joanna Lumley that they are now the property of Mr. Worley and must report to him immediately, should they wish to continue their regular working relationship with the network.

I wish you and your colleagues the greatest of success in all of your future endeavors and thank you in advance for your co-operation with this matter.

Emily Jones


Give War a Chance HQ
The bar next to the race track at Hollywood Park
Inglewood, CA 90303

March 27, 2002

Jamie Oliver a.k.a. “The Naked Chef”
C/O BBC Worldwide
80 Wood Lane
London W12 0TT
United Kingdom

Dear Mr. Oliver:

You are so fired.

Emily Jones

So there you have it. It's all yours, Dave. Make us proud.

Latest BBC bid: Dave Worley is in the lead, offering fifty-one dollars and a date with Ab Fab's Patsy and Edina.

Reason # 3,456,002 why the BBC should be privatized (or "privatised" as the pips would have it): GUIDELINES FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED TELEVISION AUDIENCES.

Yes, so it's irrelevant, the fact that blind people probably don't watch very much television. But the BBC still finds it necessary to have "guidelines" about programming created for their benefit (I think it used to be called "radio").

Even more laughable, is their contention that guidelines have been set up in order to uphold "BBC standards including accuracy, impartiality, fairness, taste and decency and the welfare of children."

Somewhere in Britain, Peter Briffa is choking on his bangers.

Holy smokes! Bill K. from Indianapolis is offering fifty dollars for the BBC. His bid, however, is only on the condition that he retain the rights to the archives of Monty Python and something called "the Goons".

Sorry, Bill. As auctioneer, the Python archives are MINE.

He also wanted to know if the offer included the World Service as well. It does not. For the greater good of all mankind, this service is slated to be destroyed shortly.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Jonathan R. writes in with a bid for the BBC in the whopping amount of two dollars. Do I hear two fifty? Anyone?

Now, this is a great blog: Flying Monkeys. Go there. Now. And don't leave without checking out the fabulous picture of Gray Davis.

Major John Heslin (USAF) sends this link to an excellent website about the Battle of Kontum.

In order to place this presentation on the Battle of Kontum in perspective, I believe, it is important to better understand the American Experience in Vietnam in light of the French experience in Vietnam or Indochina. Perhaps if we had truly understood their situation, we might have been more successful in ours. There were three critical mistakes made by the French. These were: first, a flawed definition of victory; second, an underestimation of the Vietminh's mobility; third, the unforeseen ability of the Vietminh to create effective fire.

It is important to understand that France as a world power, in the post-WW II period, had a great potential for force in the form of military combat power. However, the actualization of that potential was quite limited and the French did not have a significant ability to project that force. On the other hand, the Vietminh forces' potential and combat power had its basis not only in themselves but also in their allies, especially China.

Go visit the site. It's got maps, links, loss reports, and even a glossary for us folks ignorant of a lot of military lingo. I can't describe what an superb job the author, Lt. Col. John G. "Jack" Heslin (U.S.Army, retired), has done.

Peter Briffa thinks the BBC should be either privatized or destroyed. "Stalin and Goebbels were mere children compared to these propogandist for the Liberal Terror."

I say put the wretched network up for auction. We'll start the bidding at fifty cents...

International observers ambushed by Palestinians: "The observers, serving in the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, were driving on a bypass road used mostly by Jewish settlers when their car came under fire near Halhoul, a West Bank town north of Hebron."

Two dead. One injured.

"The observers, recognizable by their clearly marked white cars..."

This was no case of mistaken identity. This was a calculated and willful act of murder against people helping to secure peace.

Anyone out there still think Arafat should get to sit at the table?

BBC1 is dropping its trademark globe in order to be more multicultural. Excuse me, but what could possibly be more multicultural than the entire planet?

"Basketball players in wheelchairs dance to hip-hop in the new BBC1 idents."

No, I'm not joking. Check out the story. There's a photo and everything.

The vacation's over for soon-to-be ex-Representative Gary Condit. We were all a little side tracked for a few months, but you didn't think we'd all just drop the whole thing, didya, Gary?

The sad news is that it's been almost a year, and there are still no leads as to the whereabouts of Ms. Levy. My heart goes out to her friends and family.

Afghan earthquake update: Yahoo! News U.S. is reporting (via Reuters - see Stephen for the "one man's news wire is..." jokes) "up to 2,000 dead", while Yahoo! News U.K. is enthusiastically claiming "4,800 people may have died".

What is it with the friggin' media and their great appreciation for death tolls? The higher the number gets, the more giddy they all are. What the hell is wrong with these people? Remember in the aftermath of September 11, the minute that missing persons numbers rose above 6,001, they were all shouting "Nearly seven thousand feared dead!!" Meanwhile, every person I talked to was saying prayers that survivors would be dug out of that awful rubble. Thank God the final numbers were at least half what the news hounds were hoping.

Anything to maximize the drama. Anything to increase advertising. Anything to sell a paper.


Jay Nordlinger in today's NRO:

The idea is fixed, you see, that the attorney general ordered the draping of a half-nude statue in the Great Hall of the Justice Department. The media have spread it around — and not just ABC, which started the story, but David Letterman and so on. Everyone believes it. It is ingrained — already — in our culture and in our national consciousness.

But it just isn’t so. An advance woman in the Justice Department bought a standard “pipe-and-drape” blue backdrop for press conferences and the like. Such a backdrop is said to make for “better visuals,” as they say in the TV business. The advance woman thought it would wiser to buy the thing rather than rent it every time.

And the word got out — in a typically twisted and nasty way — that Ashcroft, intolerable and intolerant Christian prude that he is, ordered the covering up of a breast, which offended him. As I wrote in a piece for the last NR — “Ashcroft with Horns” — this story, though untrue, is unkillable. It will live forever. It has entered the bloodstream. Ashcroft will forever be the boob who draped the boob — even though the charge is completely bogus.

Well, bloggers, I'm calling the charge. Let's prove Mr. Nordlinger wrong, for a change. The biased (yes Ted, I said BIASED), mainstream media has far too much fun making asses of conservative politicians to EVER come clean about the fact that the whole Ashcroft/boob business is total road apples. So here is my plan: I'm going to repeat this everywhere and as often as I can. I'm going to post it on message boards across the internet, regardless of the topic. Even ones that give advice about the best way to get rid of hemorrhoids ("Lay off the hard booze, and hey, speaking of things that come from, ahem, there, did you know that all that nonsense about Ashcroft is bull-honkey?"). As soon as I win the lottery, I'm going to hire planes to write it in the sky all across America. When I die, the last word to cross my lips will be "Ashcroft".

Okay, so I was making that last bit up. My last words will probably be on the subject of beer. But y'all get my point, right?

Damian Penny finally got some hate mail! Congratulations, Damian. I know it's been a dream of yours for some time now.

Monday, March 25, 2002

Okay, a new point of view on Israel vs. Palestine. I'm too drunk and ill informed to offer proper comment on this one. Just read it.

If you haven't read the Frida Ghitis op-ed piece about women and Saudi Arabia from today's L.A. Times, you really, really ought to:

In 1991, when I was in the kingdom, I was visiting a sheep market with a television crew to record images in advance of Ramadan ceremonies. Suddenly I felt pain in the back of my leg. I turned to see a bearded man hitting me with a stick. My transgression consisted of straying from the men on my crew. As much as authorities had eased the rules for the visiting press covering the war against Iraq, I had, literally, gone too far--about 10 feet from the men. No woman was allowed to walk alone in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Welcome the new bureaucrats. The Transportation Security Administration has assumed responsibility for all FAA security functions. Their new motto? "Because we know changing a couple of letters will make America a safer place to fly."

"Nigerian Sharia Court Frees Woman in Stoning Case": too bad that the "news filtered out that another woman had been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery in a remote corner of a nearby state."

"We believe in the ability of the sharia court to discharge and dispense justice to all and sundry," said Attahiru Bafarawa, blaming pressure from human rights groups for prolonging the case (i.e. saving the woman's life) and saying they needed a better understanding of sharia.

Better understanding? Stoning people to death and cutting off their limbs? No thanks. I have no desire to know more about any religion or moral code that can justify punishments of that nature. This is one of those situtations where being sensitive towards cultural relativity isn't just difficult, it's downright irresponsible.

"What we need is not so much a diplomacy of hindsight, but rather a diplomacy of foresight."
-Jack Straw
U.K. Foreign Secretary and Resident Super-Weenie

What is he suggesting we do, call a psychic hotline? "Miss Cleo, what should we do about Iraq?! Where is Osama? Should Britain adopt the Euro?"

The UK and its allies should use diplomacy as an "early warning system" to prevent conflicts like Afghanistan happening elsewhere in the world, said Mr Straw.

Which is a great idea and all. Yes, diplomacy is a groovy thing. But we're dealing with a different sort of mentality here; the kind of mentality that says sneak attack and massive civillian casualties are not only viable avenues of attack, but also preferred. That's why it's called terrorism.

Mary McGrory drivel from the Washington Post:

"Vice President Cheney is back from his long, vain trip to the Middle East..." Yeah, vain because Yasser Arafat is a fucking terrorist.

"...with the prospect of having to go back almost immediately if Yasser Arafat comes across on peace promises." Looks like the VP isn't going anywhere any time in the near future.

Read the whole thing. It's a great laugh.

"Iraq Invites U.S. to Discuss Pilot"

More like they'd better be inviting us to bring his ass HOME.