Monday, July 10, 2006
Best. "New Yorker" Article. Ever.
Four quotations from Ben McGrath's Where Hip Hop Lives:
- "I reach my hand over, and I see I’m bleeding. I didn’t see the hole. I can’t see behind my ass."
- "I’m the first African-American to be endorsed by a motor oil."
- "We got mouth blood!”
- "Damn. Who needs Hot 97? I got New Yorker and MySpace."
Monday, February 27, 2006
In the meantime, please enjoy the reading to be found under Target-Rich Environments to your left. And slightly below.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
One Small Problem with the War in Iraq
From the Wall Street Journal:
On Christmas Day, Cpl. Alberto Reyes began to wonder if something had gone wrong with his ambush.
He and his Marines had arrived under cover of darkness Christmas Eve and selected a good position: The second story of an empty house with a clear view of a route insurgents were likely to travel if they wanted to plant bombs near a provincial government center. But no insurgents came their way. Instead, as the day wore on, Cpl. Reyes noticed that Iraqi civilians passing by on the street below consistently slowed to take a look at the front of the building.
Finally, the next day, the Marines called it quits. As they left the house, they found a handwritten note on a piece of cardboard taped to the front door.
"Attention," said the Arabic-language note, which the Marines have kept. "There's an ambush with American snipers inside the building."
White House Press Gaggle
... with your host, Scott McClellan. Some answers have been edited for clarity.
Q Scott, you said three-quarters of al Qaeda leadership who's been captured or killed -- I assume you meant known leadership.
MR. McCLELLAN: That's right. Well, and we know that they replace their leaders. We've talked about that at blah blah blah. Oh, and 9/11.
Q But we've been unable to capture Osama bin Laden. He's still capable of sending out messages, he's still capable of threats, and I assume, still capable of attacks.
MR. McCLELLAN: I think, clearly, he is on the blah blah blah. Plus, 9/11.
Q Explain why it's so difficult to find him, just for the American public who may say, we're so technologically advanced, the greatest army in the world, but we can't find him --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you have to look at the nature of the enemy that we blah blah blah.
Q Ideological war, or not, why is it so hard to find him?
MR. McCLELLAN: He is someone who is clearly on the run and has been hiding, and we will continue to pursue him and bring him to justice.
Q Would it make a huge difference if he was found at this point, or killed or captured?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, that's why I made the point that it is much broader than any one blah. And don't forget 9/11.
Q Why do you keep linking Iraq and 9/11 and so forth? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and you keep -- we started the war in Iraq. We brought the terrorists in, so-called.
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that's a misunderstanding of --
Q -- and 20 to 50 people are dying every day in Iraq.
MR. McCLELLAN: I think, one, that's a misunderstanding of the global war on terrorism that we are engaged in --
Q We invaded.
MR. McCLELLAN: Some people take a narrow view of the war on terrorism. The President recognizes --
Q Innocent Iraqis are paying the price.
MR. McCLELLAN: The President -- well, first of all, the Iraqi people, we have heard from many of them who have expressed their appreciation for the removal of a brutal and oppressive regime --
Q Many are dead. Thousands are dead.
MR. McCLELLAN: Second of all, blah blah --
Q They don't want a foreigner in their country.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- planes into buildings blah blah blah. 9/11. 9/11 9/11. Blah blah blah.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
The Dreidel of Doom, or "Whoville Changed Everything!"
Dispatches from the war on Christmas, courtesy of Fafblog!:
"I hear they got Rudolph today," says me.
"No!" says Giblets. "Not Rudolph! With his unmatched dogfighting skills and his nose so bright he was invincible!"
"It's true," says me. "Zombie Judah Maccabee shot im down over the Island of Misfit Toys with his dreidel of doom."
"Damn you Hannukah!" says Giblets. "Will your eight days of madness never end!"* * *
"Secularists don't decorate Christmas trees," says me. "They decorate Secularmas trees, which are big holes dug in the ground to demonstrate the absence of trees."
"On Secularmas, they do not exchange presents," says Giblets. "They exchange identical cardboard boxes filled with rocks and mold and broken childhood dreams and nothing!"
"But even so," says me, "maybe we can make peace with the secularists by comin to understand their strange but unique culture."
"Never!" says Giblets. "That would only embolden them to steal Christmas again! Whoville changed everything!"
"There was never a convincing link between Hannukah and the Grinch, Giblets," says me.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Somewhat Shorter Max Boot
From the Los Angeles Times:
If the President of These United States does not have the unfettered right to abrogate any law whatsoever in the interest of the national defense, then we are doomed, people. Doomed, I say. DOOMED!
Or we could do what the Constitution requires and have Congress and modify the laws as needed.
One of the two.
Update: Political Animal has a more reasoned response, including:
Superhawks always claim their programs are vital to American security, and they almost always turn out to be wrong. We didn't need to intern Japanese-Americans during World War II, we didn't need Joe McCarthy's theatrics during the Cold War, and we didn't need COINTELPRO during the Vietnam War. And when the Church Committee outlawed the most egregious of our intelligence abuses in the 70s, guess what happened?
The Soviet Union disintegrated a decade later.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Best Summary of the Government Spying Crisis & General Fucked-Up-Ed-Ness
Garance Franke-Ruta in TAPPED:
George Bush is trying to overturn the law designed to protect America from another Richard Nixon.
Now, everything is clear.
Iraqi Election Update
From the New York Times:
Early voting results announced by Iraqi electoral officials on Monday, with nearly two-thirds of the ballots counted, indicated that religious groups, particularly the main Shiite coalition, had taken a commanding lead. ...
The results also indicated that much of the electorate is staunchly religious, even though many experts once believed that the country had a large secular middle class....
The results come as a blow to Mr. Allawi, a White House favorite, and his fellow candidates....
An important question is whether the Sunni Arab parties will be invited to join in the new government. They disagree with the religious Shiites on fundamental issues like whether autonomous regions should exist and how oil revenues should be distributed. If the Sunnis are denied their say, that could further inflame the insurgency and possibly undermine plans to draw down the 160,000 American troops here.
Nice. 160,000 American troops defending an Iraqi theocracy.
Impeach him. Impeach him now.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Somewhat Shorter George W. Bush
From his Sunday address to the nation:
- Some things in Iraq didn't go exactly as planned.
- It's still really important to establish a "democracy" in Iraq, even if by "democracy" I mean an Iranian-leaning theocracracy.
- By the way, I elected myself king a little while back, and there's nothing you can do about it.
- My balls are this big.
Impeach him. Impeach him now.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Shorter Max Boot: Special Man-Rape Edition
From the Los Angeles Times:
Consent? Never heard of it.
Somewhat longer Max Boot:
Our troops go through training so tough it would violate the Geneva Conventions. Therefore, torture should be legal.
Before proceeding with the man-rape, we note that Boot is especially familiar with the subject at hand from his days training for the 101st Fighting Keyboards.
After reading Boot's column, Pro-War.Com was struck with several questions:
- Is Boot incapable of distinguishing the training of friendly soldiers from the incarceration of enemy ones?
- Does he think boxing should be illegal because it's against the law to hit people?
- Is the idea of consent truly foreign to him?
- Would there be a way to teach him about consent, and would it involve anal sex?
The answers are Yes, Probably Not, Maybe, and Let's Lube It Up.
Introducing ... Bubba. Bubba is a fictional character who has just been released from prison. And he's agreed to help out with teaching our sweet neo-con.
PWC Bubba, you're a pretty big fella.
Bubba Thank you. I'm about 6'4, 320. But I was bigger in prison. When I got out, I started on Atkins.
PWC Nice. But I bet all that size came in pretty handy in the big house.
Bubba Don't know what you mean.
PWC Did you ever force yourself on someone? You know, sexually?
Bubba Heavens, no! All my acts of prison love were consensual.
PWC That's what we like to hear. But did you know that some people don't believe in consent?
Bubba No -- that's crazy talk.
[Bubba reads Boot's column.)
Bubba Well, this is quite shocking!
PWC What do you mean?
Bubba Right here, where he acknowledges that the US engaged in what would "probably qualify as torture — albeit a much milder and more justified form of torture than what the Baathists practiced." I am embarrassed that the justification for such immoral behavior is "Saddam was worse." And he calls himself an American?
PWC Yes, he ...
Bubba And this part, where he says that torture is "said to have yielded valuable intelligence." Who said that? Anyone reputable? And is he not aware that Bush's demonstrably false claims of a Saddam-9/11 connection were based on statements made -- under torture -- by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi?
PWC True, true and true. But about consent--
Bubba I see your point. Boot does not understand that you cannot subject just anyone off the street to what goes on in military training. These are soldiers, and they've agreed to receive the punishing treatment associated with military training! They've consented to be treated like shit because it might just keep them alive!
Bubba And without consent -- well, it would just be torture!.
PWC Right again!
Bubba Like if I were to forego seduction and simply use my massive girth (and prison wiles) to force someone to have sex -- which can be very loving -- with me. But I wouldn't call that sex. I would call that rape.
Bubba If it were a man.
Bubba And that would be terrible thing to do.
PWC That's not how Max Boot would see it. He would look to all of your experiences in prison -- all of which, you happened to say, were consensual -- and see that those people did not complain. Therefore, your man-rape victim should not complain now!
Bubba But that's stupid.
PWC I know, Bubba, I know.
Bubba How can I help? What can I do to drive home the point -- forcefully and repeatedly -- that, absent consent, a beautiful, intimate moment between two cons -- neo or otherwise -- is just a sordid case of man-rape?
PWC I don't know, Bubba, I don't know.
Bubba Unless ...
PWC Be gentle.