April 30, 2003

Are friends ethernet?

Today's show features robot porn.

(Yes, that's right, I said PORN. Porn porn porn porn PORN! That's for any little commenters who want to be stupid. You know who you are.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:14 PM | Comments (6)

Carrie Nation Lives

From the Department of People Who Want to Stop Everybody's Fun Because "Somebody Might Get Hurt" comes this article on the "Neo-Prohibition Campaign." Ith over at A Gaggle of Gals (and one Guy) has three posts on it, here, here, and here, so I'll just make my standard smartass quips and suggest you move on to the site.

Like so many Helpists, the anti-boozers aren't satisfied with their actions against drunk drivers and other obvious scourges; they have now decided to attack a larger foe, which is, of course, the alcohol industry, and "drinking culture" as a whole. Of course, the idea that liquor is the Devil's brew is at least as old as the oldest brewery, and when the first hunter and gatherers were giggling around the campfire after eating fermented berries there was probably at least one sourpuss per group who refused to imbibe, preferring instead to sit on the sidelines shaking his head and mumbling disapprovingly. But it looks as if the successes of the anti-tobacco brigade, who have made the air of New York City's outside unbreathable because of their dislike of smokefilled rooms, have encouraged these new puritans to start sharpening their axes. There's no thrill for a certain type of person like the thrill of taking a pleasure away from the populace, "for their own good," of course. Quite frankly, it makes me want to have a drink or three.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:49 PM | Comments (8)

Another blogger down

Say what? Dang! There is no joy in Blogville tonight. :(

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:11 PM | Comments (1)

Negotiating away the peace

Think the UN should be the organization to take over reconstruction of Iraq? Weren't convinced by their stellar non-performance in places like Kosovo? Try their looking-to-be-as-stellar non-performance in Afghanistan. Short summary: things aren't getting done in that country because the UN way of doing things is to sit around talking about it for years. But people still seem to think that saying "United Nations" is a real-life version of "Abracadabra!" I can only figure that they have been subjected to so much propaganda on how the UN is the be-all and end-all of human political existence that they have grown a titanium scar around those particular brain-nodes that deal with the subject. If the United Nations was a surgeon, the way to deal with a cancerous tumor would be to talk at it and form committees about it in the hopes that it would voluntarily leave the body.

(Via Dave.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:42 PM | Comments (5)

This means war

A foolish citizen of the Great White North has dared to dis Krispy Kreme. We are told that the superior establishment is something called "Tim Horton's." The challenge is thus laid forth. This must not stand! Aux armes! And may the best donut win.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:50 PM | Comments (19)

Yesterday and Today

Yes, it's another bore-blogger post!

Well, yesterday I went on my walk to the park, which is situated between three small lakes and has a playground, a senior citizen center (where you can play pool! Hmmm.) and a tiny little wood with a raised wooden walkway through it (that's necessary here in the Land of Sogginess). I took my little baby digital camera with me, and took some nice shots of the lakes, and tried to get some shots of a nest of baby hawks (they were too high up, though, and I doubt I got them), a family of coots, and a group of half-grown ducklings that were all huddled up on a miniature island in one of the lakes. My memory ran out before I could get a picture of the ibises, but they flew off anyway. (I had tried to get a picture of a Great Grey Heron that was standing in a little creek that runs into the lakes, but a garbage truck happened by on the street next to the park, and it flew away.)

Not that any of this matters. While I was uploading the pics, my computer froze up so bad I had to completely power it off, by the switch in the surge protector. And I had to wipe the memory in the camera. I think I need new batteries. They probably weren't the greatest pictures anyway. I need a real digital camera soon.

I may go for another walk and take my film camera -- or I may go to Cracker Barrel for lunch instead.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:22 PM | Comments (4)

Take a pill

LOL! Every once in a while Glenn Reynolds gets off a zinger. This is a good one (because it agrees with my sentiments, of course), in response to some fruity praise some writer guy is getting for his anti-genetic-engineering book being 'brave':

What really interests me is that people think that they've made a moral argument against genetic engineering when they say that the idea "sickens" them. The idea of sodomy "sickens" some people, too. So does the idea of interracial marriage.

So you feel ill. Why should I care? After all, pompous, empty-headed moralizing sickens me, and nobody's stopping that.

Tell me about it.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

Stop, Speed Racer, stop

Uh oh:

Longwood is one of the growing numbers of Central Florida law-enforcement agencies cracking down on aggressive driving.

I drive up and down that part of State Road 17-92 all the time.

There are certain elements in this campaign that ring my cynicism bell:

Leon James, a University of Hawaii traffic psychology professor, said aggressive driving is a national epidemic. Drivers need to relax behind the wheel. Instead, adults are teaching children bad driving habits, he said.

Yay, citing a psychology professor is one of my favorite ploys by the powers that be to control the unruly populace. And it's a double whammy -- the learned prof also manages to squeeze a reference in to the Children™. (And it's an academic from the University of Hawaii -- I know someone who'd get a big laugh out of that.)

One academic is not enough. Further down they cite some other egghead from SUNY Albany. Loretta Malta, a "clinical psychology doctoral student," tells us earnestly:

Some aggressive drivers are competitive young drivers, and others have serious psychological problems, Malta said. Many are "regular folks" who take uncharacteristic chances on the road, she said.

No kidding. I thought they were all aliens from outer space. Then again, maybe some are -- earlier in that paragraph we are assured:

Aggressive drivers cross age, gender and socioeconomic lines, experts say.

Even crazy drivers can't escape the New Diversity.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:44 AM | Comments (2)

April 29, 2003

Good afternoon

For no particular reason, here's a picture of my cat on the windowsill.


I need to go for a walk. See ya!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:45 PM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2003

Islamoloon watch

Charles Johnson has been keeping tabs on Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has some interesting (not really) observances.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)

Chocolate-covered pissants

Bleeding Brain has a solution to the Belgians and their support (or coercion) of some Iraqis' little "putting General Franks on trial for warcrimes" game:

The carpet bombing of Brussels followed by the carpet re-bombing of Brussels and finally, a targeted bombing of Brussels to knock down any stubborn spires that remain standing.

Sounds good to me. I've already been there, and my dad went about three years later. When I was there, everything was the fuck closed because of some Saint Wipe-Arse day (it was Tuesday). When my dad went, again everything was closed because of some Saint Wipe-Arse day. And then they lost his luggage on the train from Brussels or Antwerp or wherever the hell it was, so he had to arrive in Copenhagen (or wherever, some other Euro-ville) stinky and wrinkled. Blow 'em off the map if they squeak.

(Via Acidman. There, I'm reading!)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:42 PM | Comments (5)

King Babies

When Jonah Goldberg is bad he's horrid, but when he's good he's even better. Jonah on the reaction to the "crushing" of the Dixie Chicks' "dissent" :

The New York Times's Paul Krugman got his dress so high over his head about all of it, he compared some radio-show stunt in a parking lot with Dixie Chick albums to the book burnings which marked the Nazi rise to power. Ah, subtlety, thy name is Krugman.

And here's a sample of what he has to say about Hollyweird's concept of democracy:

Democracy means never being criticized. And, the refusal to sponsor speech you don't like amounts to having one's "right to work" repealed. This is childish. Oh, I don't mean childish as in silly, I mean literally this is childish. This is the way children talk and think, especially in our gitchy-goo self-esteem culture. Not understanding the difference between their desires and rights, they insist they are entitled to do whatever it is they are doing. No matter what they do with their crayons, children expect to be told "That's so good. Good for you." Any criticism elicits a tantrum about the unfairness of it all. Maybe it's because Hollywood types live as King Babies and are never told they're wrong about anything, or maybe their view of democracy is one in which they are the customers of expensive restaurants and the rest of the world are simply waiters. Waiters are supposed to receive criticism with intelligence and geniality but never, ever, talk back.

Posted here mostly because I just wanted to have these quotes within easy reach, to reread and savor.

Adendum: and here's what he has to say about this weekend's hacking of the site:

Speaking of free speech for me but not for thee, you may have heard that NRO was hacked over the weekend by someone who can neither spell well nor tolerate the free expression of views he disagrees with. The homepage went down for part of Sunday and was replaced with a message reading "Hacked by DarkHunter ... Freedom for palestian and Iraq ... gr33tz to #USG and #teso channels." Maybe the radio signals in this guy's fillings garbled the text.

Anyway, I thought about delivering a "we're gonna get you, sucker!" diatribe and a defiant call-to-arms like Cyrus in The Warriors: You can't stop NRO! Caaaaannn youuuuu diiiiigggg itttt!?" But you know what? That's what these date-less wonders want: some attention. I'm sure this guy or someone else with too much time on his hands could hack us again if they were determined to do it. As the old adage goes, you can't stop someone from making a jackass of himself forever. So, good for you DarkHunter, I'm sure your inflatable wife and dog are very impressed.

ROTFL. The guy who hacked Actors Against War was a lot funnier. (And you know, it is curious how these hackings and other internet site problems always seem to happen in groups: my hosting service, Cornerhost, has been having problems -- not hacking, but something else that is as of this moment still keeping SgtStryker.com from being completely up. My site was out a few hours this weekend.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:02 PM | Comments (6)

A real, live princess!

Excuse me for being unimpressed, but -- so what?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:09 PM | Comments (4)

Baghdad museum looting: drawing the map

I'm late getting to this (thank Steve H. for pointing the way for me): Tobacco Road Fogey has an entry about the looting, and why, due to the other strategically important venues surrounding it, the museum wasn't exactly top priority.

No, I will not stop harping on this.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

Loud music for bad people

Nothing like a little Sponge to help clear out those Monday cobwebs. (PS: is the pre-21st-century website design deliberate? Am I missing some sort of postmodern joke here?)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

Free the Kiwis

What do they want? FOX News! When do they want it? Now!

One reason given:

It annoys lefties so much that they write really outraged things about it, like these people here and here and here and even satire. Outraging lefties is a good thing. Can you imagine how our local do-gooders will react when rampant American neo-conservative triumphalism is beamed into people's actual houses in the People's Republic of Aotearoa-New Zealand? They'll probably want to outlaw it! If you're anything like me, you'll be hugging yourself with excitement at the thought of how upset they'll get. (Links in the original. -- Ed.)

Can't argue with that. Go, NZPundit!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

If I convert, this will be why

Monk who gave cappuccino its name beatified. "Mother Mary, full of caffeine..."

(Via Blog Of Xanadu.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:00 PM | Comments (8)

Meme bomb

As a follow up to this post of mine, I thought I'd post a link to a collation of the discussion on various sites of the whole thing. In short, some fellow named Aziz postulated on possible Israeli WMD's -- a fair enough line of speculation, but he didn't stop there, not being content to leave mention of Jews defending themselves without making his own contribution to the blood-libel canard.

Anyway, read on, and follow the links too, if you want to know what I am babbling about. I think you should: it's a textbook case of how people react to an instance of unreason in the modern world.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:12 AM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2003


Uday Hussein liked to play around with a real iron maiden. (Side note: hmm... I wonder if this revelation was why one of the area rock stations was playing "Number of the Beast" last night.)

Via Tim Blair.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Anti-anti-semitism sematics

This is fecking disappointing. Insert into the "don't complain when they attack you because it makes you look bad" file. That's all I have to say for now.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:32 AM | Comments (1)

Timely verse

Dean writes a haiku
A simple little word play,
Think that they'll get it?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:13 AM | Comments (0)

Not thug safe

I was just talking with someone about the fact that Saddam Hussein had some of fantasy artist Rowena's paintings hanging in one (or more) of his love nests. Well, I'd never heard of Rowena. but I have heard of scifi-fantasy artist Brom. I happened upon one of those art books of his stuff at a bookstore somewhere. It was too expensive for me to buy at the time (and still is), but at least I can still look at some of his stuff on the internet. Somehow I get the feeling that this artist's work would not have been to the tastes of Uday and Co.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:45 AM | Comments (6)

Across the universe -- of your t*****s

Sure, Kevin's got Jude Law and porn, but Treacher has robot coitus interruptus. I love the internette!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:08 AM | Comments (3)

April 26, 2003

My site and other assorted stuff

I finally got around to installing Winamp. Maybe I'll install that Winamp MT plugin on the blog that shows what I'm listening to one of these days -- but I've got to get some more mp3s. Michele has promised me some Goth ones. We wants them we wants them we wants them!

Sadly, I think the bottle of shiraz will be gone by tonight. Frown.

Oh yes -- I have discovered what those pink puffball plants are that are all over the apartment complex lawn. They are catclaw mimosa plants, which can grow into a shrub or small tree. They are non-native and considered invasive. Good thing the maintenance people mow regularly or we'd be in a forest of the things right now. They are kind of pretty. Maybe I'll dig one up and plant it in a pot. My sinuses are pretty well shot anyway.

Right now I am listening to some sort of trance internet radio station on the Winamp right now. Have I mentioned how much I love having 512 MB of RAM? I just felt like some trancy ambient crap at the moment.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:08 PM | Comments (3)


::Sob:: I wanna go back to England...

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:16 AM | Comments (1)

Why the Baghdad Museum looting wasn't stopped

This is the most detailed answer I've come across so far:

The Americans have a ready answer. “We were fighting the whole time,” Captain Jason Conroy said, wiping his brow as he guarded the museum gate. “For four days we were taking machinegun-fire and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) from these buildings around here. They had a bunker around the back of the museum with a cache of RPGs. Guys were running out of that alley, firing Kalashnikovs at us.

When we shot them, they threw out hooks, dragged the bodies and guns back and came at us again.”

After four days of intense street battles with Saddam’s Fedayin and Special Republican Guards, Captain Conroy said, his company of Abrams tanks and armoured vehicles was ordered north on April 15 to destroy an anti-aircraft gun.

“When we got back the next day, everything was already on fire here and the press were here asking us: ‘How come you weren’t in the museum three days ago?’ I said: ‘If you guys had been here three days ago, you would know why.’”

This won't be enough for people, though, who think that the US military is possessed of supernatural powers that they refuse to use simply out of sheer meanness.

(Via The Ghost of a Flea.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:20 AM | Comments (2)


Why, god why?

Child victims of the war in Iraq are to benefit from a new CD featuring 18 major artists.

Here's the list:

Paul McCartney - Calico Skies
Avril Lavigne - Knocking on Heaven's Door
David Bowie - Everyone Says Hi
Travis - The Beautiful Occupation
George Michael - The Grave
Ronan Keating - In the Ghetto
Lee Ryan - Stand Up as People
Beverley Knight - Love's In Need of Love Today
Moby - Nearer
New Order - Vietnam
Basement Jaxx/Yellowman - Love is the Answer
Spiritualized - Hold On
The Charlatans - We Got To Have Peace
Beth Orton - O-O-H Child
Tom McRae - Border Song
Billy Bragg - The Wolf Covers Its Tracks
Yusuf Islam - Peace Train

Next month's washed-up pop dollies get together with their irrelevant, talent-drained forebearers for The Children™. Expect this to show up in the 2-cds-for-$3.99 bargain bin within a week of its release.

(Via NZPundit.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:14 AM | Comments (1)

On poverty of vision

I like this post on Random Jottings, especially this passage referring to the sniping and the backbiting and so forth engaged in by the "left" or whatever the anti-change, pro-status-quo contingent is to be called these days:

I've been totally disgusted by the way lefties have pounced on any mistake or hesitation by our forces, without even a pretense of making "constructive criticism," or a pretense of feeling joy and pride for the liberation of Iraq. But really the situation is like that optical illusion where you squint and the goblet turns into two faces. I should be feeling sorry for those poor pathetic goops. Their poverty is so patent. They are like hungry dogs under a banquet table, snapping at any crumbs that fall. They have no plans, no visions, no dreams, and not the least inclination to do anything positive or creative. All they can do is watch the magician perform, and hope that he drops the ball, or fails to find a rabbit in his hat.


Update: Example No. 1. Example No. 2.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:58 AM | Comments (2)

Shoot 'em in the head!

Note to self: do not ever cease intake of sufficient amounts of meat-derived protein, lest I suffer the sort of paresis of the brain that makes one write letters like this one to Meryl Yourish.

Very, very unwise.

Belated PS: kudos to anyone who gets the reference in the title to this post. ;)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:35 AM | Comments (8)

Bizarre audio dynamite

Okay, I'm really afraid to download and listen to any of the digital sounds contained herein, but that doesn't mean you have to be a chicken too! Have at it, kids -- and if your stay in the mental ward isn't too long, get back to me and let me know how they were. (Via that Chris Pirillo semi-celebrity guy.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:05 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2003

My wine

Hm.... I may just finish off this lovely bottle of Australian shiraz that I picked up in Publix... Anyway, here's a toast, to the Australians and New Zealandians-- Zealanders--- um, Kiwis for Anzac day, and a matching toast to Rosemary whose birthday it is, and also a toast to anyone else who is having a birthday today or just had a baby or got engaged or bought a new Playstation or---

(Glug, glug, glug.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:50 PM | Comments (4)


Oh dear, I am so evil.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:09 PM | Comments (2)


I can see that the rest of today -- and probably the entire weekend -- is going to suck.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:00 PM | Comments (3)

No blood for pipe-weed!

One ring to fool them all. The Orcs were just protesting against being marginalized!

(Via alert reader Joe McNally.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

Some are born to greatness



To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Via Dave.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:00 PM | Comments (6)

Teller plőksib

It's another Estonian blog. This one is actually in Estonian. Help, Sam!

Anyway, collecting blogs in foreign languages that I don't understand is a kind of hobby of mine. This one has some nice site design, and he even offers wallpapers. Only two -- perhaps there will be more. And I have already learned one word: "Otsi" obviously means "search" or its equivalent.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:22 AM | Comments (9)

Shout out to Oz

Happy ANZAC Day to the people of Australia and New Zealand.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)


I do believe my previous post was the boringest boreblogger post by me ever! Of course, some of you may have a different opinion on which of my posts is the most boring.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:21 AM | Comments (3)


Guh. Well, I was going to post stuff, but work was busy as hell, from the minute I got in (there were... horrors... customers) until the minute I fled half an hour later than usual. And I have more work when I get there tomorrow night, yay.

So I was really hungry, but too tired to cook, and I didn't feel like fast food -- I have already done that Bad Thing three times this week. So I went to Albertson's intending only to buy a carton of half-and-half for my coffee. Ha ha, me in the grocery store while hungry -- there was no escaping without a whole precooked rotisserie chicken (spicy barbecue, yum), some other foodstuffs, and some spiced olive, garlic, and pepper antipasto from the self-serve deli. So I have eaten well, and now my little eyes are closing... I also woke up at 9:30am today, which is early for me considering the hours I keep.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:01 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2003

Immaterial Girl

Madonna, whose portfolio or whatever they call it is worth a gazillion dollars, says Americans need to stop being so -- wait for it -- materialistic.

"We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values -- looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous"

Uh. Time to write an imaginary letter:

Dear Madonna,

I know you're busy and all, delving into your spirituality and making Important Political Videos and stuff, but I'm still caught up in the material world of putting cash in the bank -- so all those checks I wrote to my landlord, auto finance company, insurance company, and grocery store plastic surgeon don't bounce -- and such. But I still want to help. It can't be easy focusing on higher matters with all that money lying around so I have an idea: how about writing me a check for one million dollars. I'm sure it will be good. I promise to build you a tiny shrine in my laundry room next to the cat litter box.

Your Concerned Reader, Andrea Harris

(Via Asymmetrical Information.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:22 PM | Comments (17)

Pippin update

Here's a treat for the Billy Boyd obsessives out there: an interview with the ex-hobbit. He answers fan questions. (Via TheOneRing.net.) Check out the reference to a movie he and fellow ex-hobbit Dominic Monaghan are cooking up set in my ex-home town. Have I used "ex-" enough?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:08 PM | Comments (2)

Disappearing Bleat?

Still no Lileks for me, and some other people can't get to him either. Last night I was getting a secure site when I went to his website -- now I get one of those busy pages that asks you if you want to make them your home page when you try to leave. Hacked by a spam site?

On the other hand, some other people can get to the site just fine. Weird.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:52 AM | Comments (9)

Smell the Blög

Heavy Metal, man.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:28 AM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2003

Postwar Wankoff

I am providing a link to this Independent article even though they have taken a Salon-like step and decided to force people -- or at least, Americans* -- to pay a pound for the dubious privilege of reading their columns in their entirety. (I'm surprised they don't charge in Euros.) I could not read the paragraphs whence Peter Briffa (warning: Blogspot busted-archive-workaround link will rot, it's the post for April 22, 2003, 10:45:03 AM) derived these tantalizing quotes:

"I thought this war justified, until this evidence that it was being conducted in an improper and uncaring way".


"It would not have been hard to foresee that law and order would have been difficult to maintain in the wake of the collapse of the Iraqi regime, and it would have been quite proper for American troops to have shot looters in these circumstances. That is what war consists of, and it would have saved a culture from this catastrophe".

(Bolds mine in both cases.) The header to the article reads: "Crimes against culture are remembered for ever -- The Muslim world will ask why US forces let the looting happen and produce a simple answer: they hate Islam." On the contrary, many "crimes against culture" are either forgotten or attract scabrous debunkers (cough the Holocaust cough); and in any case the Muslims who think that will, as usual, be wrong, especially considering that the looters were fellow Muslims.

But I am intrigued by the idea that the column's author, one Philip Hensher, apparently thinks that 1) it is possible to fight a "caring" war (how? Drop sympathy cards and flowers along with bombs?) and 2) that the best way to show "caring" would have been to shoot more civilians. The ways in which the minds of anti-Americans work never cease to cause amazement.

*In the comments to one of his posts, Peter Briffa expresses surprise that a reader was confronted by the demand for cash from the Independent, so I have therefore brilliantly concluded that British readers are identified by their IP addresses and not charged.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:02 PM | Comments (9)

This planet ain't big enough for me

I need 6.3 of them. Woohoo! I rule. Get out of my way, puny humans! (Was that the proper reaction to this quiz? Well, it feels proper to me -- and everyone knows that if it's based on feelings, then it is proper.)

(Via The World Wide Rant and Lileks.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:30 AM | Comments (18)

Bones of Contention

I open this website, and see that the owner is a member of "Web Rats -- Journals With Attitude." There's something about people who have the need to proclaim their membership in groups of like-minded people as a proof of their individuality and uncompromising stance that wakes up the Iago side of my personality. I hate the boors, especially when they gather en masse.

I have encountered this Vera woman before. Here, in fact. This conversation, and its aftermath, seems to have caused her discontent. Her April 20th entry (no permalinks) starts:

Take a seat and hold on to something around you while I rant.

I was already sitting down, so I grasped my mouse in one hand and my coffee cup in the other. (I believe in doing more than necessary when it is warranted.) She says:

It looks like the blogosphere picked up the comments I made in Teresa Nielsen Hayden's blog comments area about the destruction of the Iraqi museum and ancient historical artifacts versus saving a baby's life.

In the comments for April 12, 2003 "Loss" entry, I said:

This may sound horrible, but given a choice between saving a museum and saving a baby, I would probably run and save the museum. Better yet, I would probably offer them a choice of shooting me if that means the historical artifacts remain unharmed.

Italics hers. I am not sure what particular artifact she is talking about -- she does not seem to have considered other scenarios, such as the idea that the looter might not want to "harm" the artifact but merely remove it, or that he might solve the problem of baby and adult female in the way by shooting both of them dead and then going on to do as he pleased. (How its protector's dying will protect an inanimate object from being harmed is not something I can figure out with my weak brain.)

To her apparent surprise, her views were not accepted with universal hosannas:

I was labeled as "that Vera woman is the worst" and "Vera you make me sick" and "that moral wasteland."

Well, maybe she should have used some emoticons -- or maybe she should have used some other false dichotomy to show off her Student-of-the-Month bona fides than that one. On the internet, no one can hear you scream, but they can see things about your character that you probably didn't intend to reveal:

[...]I was amazed more and more at one thing I saw over and over -- the complete disregard on many individuals' part of the value of cultural history, cultural memory, of symbols and of principles -- not objects of great monetary value but objects of great meaning.

(Bolds are mine.) So -- symbols and principles are set against... what? Individuals? That's certainly what it looks like to me. And the anger her critics direct at her is supposed to indicate that they therefore do not value "cultural history, cultural memory" and "objects of great meaning." And we are accused of thinking in simple "black and white" terms... And her examples simply do not scan; do I really have to be the one to tell her that cultural memory means nothing if there are no living brains to hold those cultural memories?

Is it not worth to give one's life for something other than another human life?

(Bolds in the original.) Well -- that depends, I should say, on the situation and the object in question. And that really wasn't the situation in Baghdad... but we have left that city and its travails far behind by this time.

She goes on and on, wandering far off into la-la land where even the elves don't go, ranting about would we sacrifice a human life for the Cure to AIDs™ or the last recording extant of Mozart's works or the complete dvd set of Fantasy Island including Hervé Villechaise's short film Shot From a Cannon... Okay, I made that last one up, but I swear on the altar of Ishtar that the rest of them are true and there are more incredibly dull entries from the Standard Cultural References handbook that I just couldn't bear to copy and paste.

But I will not get into this fake argument anymore, this unseemly brawl over the dead bones of Mesopotamians. Personally, my problem wasn't with the hysteria over whether or not human lives were more important than the alleged looting of the Treasures of the Ages. My problem was with the hysteria surrounding the alleged looting of the Treasures of the Ages. Jim Treacher speaks for me (as they say), here: STOP THE LOOTERS. DON'T KILL ANY CIVILIANS. YES, BOTH. Wow, you mean I can have a third choice?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:25 AM | Comments (8)

April 22, 2003

Bribery/Treachery update

The latest creature to hatch from the primordial ooze is George Galloway, who is some sort of Scottish commie, and who was also apparently in the pay of the Ba'ath regime, hence his rabid defense of Hussein and his cronies before the war. Links to pertinent articles in these two posts by Tim Blair. I'm sure there will be updates everywhere.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:39 PM | Comments (17)

Freakish outage

Well that's odd. Earthlink seems to be down, which means I can't receive mail, and my "always on" indicator says "cannot connect, check your network" or something like that -- but I am still connected. I guess that means that Time-Warner -- excuse me, "Brighthouse" (that freaked me out when I called to get my bill and they answered with that) -- is not having the problem.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

Turn to face the strange

The King is dead, long live the king!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:06 AM | Comments (1)

The War of Unreason?

Apparently there is a Horrible Conspiracy™ behind the war on Saddam Hussein -- to bring democracy to the entire Middle East. I'm not kidding -- a fellow named Josh Marshall thinks this way. Wunderkinder has all the links. Quite frankly I was unaware that there was any other reason to even bother with the Middle East in the fashion that we have. If we simply wanted revenge for all the terrorist attacks against us and/or to impress the world with the mightiness of our arsenal, we would have flattened the area with a few nukes. But we aren't that kind of hegemonical empire. No -- apparently we are something worse: a nation that actually means to improve the human condition outside of its borders. Fiendish!

(Via Instapundit.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:47 AM | Comments (6)

Sign of the coming Apocalypse?

Oh. My. God. MC Hammer is on Conan. I had no idea that he was hosting new "reality teevee" show The Surreal, because I don't follow such things. I didn't even know he was still alive. Hmm... maybe I should give this teevee thing a chance.

(Personal note: if my ex-boyfriend wasn't a dad now of a toddler and waking up at 6am for some sort of "real job" gig every day, I'd be calling him and telling him to turn on Conan now, because he tormented me with the CD of all the known remixes of MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" when we were dating. No that isn't why we broke up.)

PS: and a week of the White Stripes, one of the few decent bands to come out recently. Gonna be watching Conan all week.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:20 AM | Comments (0)


One of these days I'm going to sort my blogroll out. And I will have two blogrolls: one called Spiffy Movable Type (or Other Blogging Software That Works Like Pmachine) Blogs, and the other called Still Stuck on Lameass Blogspot Blogs.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:59 AM | Comments (4)

Don't watch tv -- watch our tv commercial!

Just for that, Adfarters, I'm gonna turn on my tv. And I don't have cable so I don't have CNN so I can't watch your AD. Ha Ha!

Inspired by this guy and this lady.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2003

More on Iranian Webloggers

On BuzzMachine. And here is a banner you can put on your site to show support for the blogger arrested recently in Iran.


Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

Hobbits Go A-Hunting

I was just looking around (innocent stare) and found this, from around this past New Year's. Maybe I should set up a new category: "Things to Upset Hippie Vegans."

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:13 PM | Comments (2)

Those who can't do, teach

A conference is holding a panel on "warblogging." However, none of the participants are warbloggers, so far. The Trent Lott reference adds to the dated, so-2002, feel. (What use are these conference things, really, beyond a chance to collect ballpoint pens with logos on them?)

(Via Richard Bennett.)

Update: hah, their lame trackback thing doesn't work, I get a 500 internal server error. :P

Update the second: I thought I had included the link to the site. Bleh.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

Fun with Instant Messenger

Heh heh. I was just complaining to Dave Tepper that I couldn't find the Lord of the Rings AIM Buddy Icons. Then I remembered that they are on the movie site. Now I'll show up as Frodo. I'm so pathetic. frodolookdown 1.gif

Update: I've just made an icon of myself, so I may or may not change to that. I look pretty good, I think. me lovely me

Update the second: I have now made the AIM name linkable -- you can click on it to send me an instant message. (Thanks to Andy at World Wide Rant.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:18 PM | Comments (4)

Outrageous, Inc.

I rarely bother talking about Florida politics, for a variety of reasons. But I have to say something about this article on our own Bob Graham's decision to run for president in 2004. I won't say he's pulling a Kerry, but he approaches that senator's technique with his statements about how he saw the country as "headed in the wrong direction" after September 11th. What direction is that, you ask? Why, towards war, of course -- what else?

It motivated him to drop his usual bipartisan approach and take on the president over what he saw as a misguided war against Iraq.


The Iraq war, he argued, would distract the country from the more important battle against terrorism and could invite reprisals from terrorists in the United States.

I can see him thinking this before the war, but after a successful campaign? Are Democratic senators in some sort of different space-time continuum from the rest of us?

And the article tantalizes us with Graham's hints that the administration covered up "groups" and governments that might have aided terrorists, but doesn't name names -- I guess he is saving his bombshells for the campaign trail. What do you want to bet he's going to say "Saudi Arabia Syria Pakistan"? He claims it is because the administration didn't want to "offend" these countries -- sure, and I'm the Queen of England. Either he is too naive to be in a position of power, or what is more likely, he thinks that the American people are dumb enough to think that fear of giving offense is behind any of the machinations of this current administration's actions. Whether you disagree or not with Bush and his advisors, you must admit that they don't seem particularly concerned with anyone's feelings.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:41 PM | Comments (4)

Exciting discovery

I've found Puce's guru! Now that we know his faith, maybe we can decipher his strange communiqués. Or maybe not.

(Via Dave Barry, somewhere on his Blogspot blog. What Mr. Dave "Celebrity" Barry needs is a Movable Type blog. Then again, I like having something nicer than a celebrity has. Forget I said anything.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 05:02 PM | Comments (6)

Happy fingers

So far I'm loving the new keyboard. It's even got a scroll wheel so I can give the old mouse hand a rest. Though I have noticed that ever since I got rid of the wheel-mouse and went back to an old-fashioned plain, two-button mouse, my mouse hand has not been as sore.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

Baghdad looting update

Jim Miller has a reasoned post on the necessity of waiting until all the facts are known on the Baghdad museum looting and library burning before we start pointing fingers:

What we do know is this: Iraqi officials, from Saddams regime, have charged that there was extensive looting of the institutions they were obliged to protect. Credulous reporters, many from anti-American British newspapers, have spread this story over the entire world without much effort to check on the facts. I don't think it is intellectually responsible to go farther in our conclusions than those two points, until more facts are available.

But as he says earlier in the post, to some people this story is so good a stick to beat the US with that they prefer it be true, whether or not the facts of the case bear it out.

(Via Moira Breen.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

Stepping out

Okay, folks -- I've finally got AIM installed (I tried Trillian, but that program is just whacked for me for some reason). You'll see my AIM ID over on the sidebar. So if you want to chat, and you aren't a freak, I'll add you to my buddy list. (Freak = I decide who is a freak. You'll know if I decide you are a freak, believe me.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:24 PM | Comments (2)

10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or more

Peter Jackson plays with aeroplanes:

Film maker Peter Jackson turned to directing of a different sort yesterday as he helped choreograph a World War I battle scene in the Marlborough skies.

(Via TheOneRing.net.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

Give Peace Some Pants

Okay, now Jim Treacher and Kevin Parrott are both my heroes. Post the letter, Kevin!

Update: he did!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:27 PM | Comments (1)

More than a feeling

In the I Had No Idea (Probably Because I Didn't Care) department, file the news that Seventies-era rock-group Boston is apparently still together and releasing albums, though their latest one sucks, according to Kim Du Toit.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

The Rules of Fisking

This is actually a pretty useful guide on copyright and libel laws as concerns the practice of "fisking" -- which I think has pretty much become a standard blogging term whether some people like it or not. (Note: this is a straight target link to the post, because as usual Blogspot's archives are screwed up. As such, the link will rot once the post scrolls off the main page. It's the post for April 21, 2003, at 5:48 AM.)

Via Instapundit.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

It's the stupidity, stupid

Deb explains freedom of speech to Tim Robbins and Co.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

Scratch an actor...

"...and you'll find an actress." -- Dorothy Parker.

It seems that someone thinks Elijah Wood is Very Very Gay. Now why would someone think that? (Actually, it is my theory that all actors are gay, and all actresses are straight, which is why they -- the actresses -- are so bitchy. Why do you think La Sarandon really has that look on her face all the time like she just bit into an underripe lime?)

Update: oops! I forgot to say -- via Dave Tepper, who's been a very naughty boy. Probably.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:52 AM | Comments (5)


Check out Unigolyn, "an individual from Estonia." Especially this post, about looting and anarchy after a totalitarian regime falls. And I am glad I was right about the site description -- it is in Welsh. I just have one question: why Welsh and not Estonian?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:32 AM | Comments (5)

Punk Rock girl

Way cool: a website dedicated to my favorite Quincy episode, the one where the punk rock kid gets killed. Like this writer and her friends, my friends and I also mocked this episode relentlessly. At the time, of course, it was stilted and silly, even though many of the things featured in the episode were actually true (a lot of punkers really did slash their skin, most of punk was relentlessly negative, at least that segment of the punk scene that made the mistake of taking itself too seriously -- but even the sarcasm inherent in the Sex Pistols' shtick was a dark, nihilisitic sarcasm). What we didn't realize was how prescient it was -- but then, we couldn't have realized it, because some things you come to understand only through the passage of time. Now I am more likely to listen to the sort of music that ends the show than loud punk or goth stuff (though I still crank up the loudness on occasion), and I am not as sanguine about idiot kid movements as I was, even though ny "involvement" with the punk scene went no farther than listening to the music and going to concerts. (No self-mutilation for this girl, thank you very much.) So I would probably not be so inclined to laugh at the "naive" reactions of Quincy and the other squares in the show the way I used to.

I will say, though, I have never seen the CHIPs punk rock episode. There were just some things I refused to do, and watching CHIPs was one of those things.

(Via Fraterslibertas.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:50 AM | Comments (3)

April 20, 2003


More evidence that I'm really a man. Here's what I left in the comments:


Carpet has cat hair dustballs stacked an inch high in the corner. Check.

Kitchen floor looks like the remains of an archaeological trench after a rainstorm. Check.

Dirty laundry piled on bedroom floor. Check.

Wall of: computer and peripherals, laser printer, tv, dvd player. Check.

Books lying all over the place. Check.

Bed unmade. Check.

Unused yet working computer taking up space in bedroom. Check.

Cardboard boxes from move a year and a half ago, contents still inside, stacked against walls, serving as "temporary" furniture for spare tv. Check.

Refrigerator contains: new carton of coffee cream, three-quarters of a stick of butter, some oranges, half a loaf of bread, and a row of "Peeps" Easter candy from last year. Check.

Verdict: I'm really a man.

Well. I did by a new scent thing for the plug-in air freshener. But really, all the men I have known have not only not been slobs, they have been almost fanatically neat. Picking up fresh crumbs off the carpet with their fingers neat. Stacking things in anal little piles everywhere neat. It's probably a good thing though. If I met a man like me our house would probably end up on the news as one of those homes that the health department people had to clean out with a backhoe.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:00 PM | Comments (4)

Two Towers dvd news

Here's some release info for the 2-disc set. I wonder if this time I will be able to hold out for the extended release...

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:20 PM | Comments (2)

Florida nature

I've been playing with my toy digital camera. Here is a picture of the current scourge of my sinuses (click for larger). I don't know what these things are called, and they are pretty, but they are killing my nasal passages:

And here is a picture of a view of some swampland out near Osteen:

I had to pull over and park at the beginning of a bridge to get the picture, and cars and trucks and such were whizzing past me at great speed, because no one here drives under 50 miles per hour if they don't have to.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:11 PM | Comments (8)

Iranian blogger/journalist arrested

The Iranian government continues to dig themselves into a hole; now they have gone and arrested a journalist and blogger who was well-known and popular in that country. The excuse the authorities gave for the arrest sounds like the usual compendium of totalitarian weasel words: "threatening the national security by giving interviews to Persian language radios outside Iran, wrtiting articles both in newspapers and his weblog." Yeah, words threaten governments who are losing their hold on power. Sounds like they are taking the Castro route of reaction to the success of the US and its allies in Iraq. But unlike Castro, the Iranian government doesn't have a contingent of leftist celebrity twits to defend their every move.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:51 AM | Comments (1)

I think I know where Puce gets his material

Experiment: take this Mark Morford column, and run a phrase or two from it -- pick one at random, it doesn't matter -- through Google's translator. Try English-to-German then back to English.

I picked this:

Who's your daddy, beeyatch? Thump thump thump on the manly chest of great liberator America! Liberals suck! Go, war! It's Miller Time.

First to German:

Wer ist Ihr Vati, beeyatch? Thump Thumpthump auf dem manly Kasten des großen Befreiers Amerika! Liberale saugen! Gehen Sie, war! Es Ist MillercZeit.

And got this:

Who is your dad, beeyatch? Thump Thumpthump on manly the box of the large Befreiers America! Liberals suck! If you go, was! It is Miller time.

See how it now makes more sense? Puce just lifts Morford's sentences right from his column verbatim. For shame!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:56 AM | Comments (4)

"Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out"

Well, well, well:

Germany's intelligence services attempted to build closer links to Saddam's secret service during the build-up to war last year, documents from the bombed Iraqi intelligence HQ in Baghdad obtained by The Telegraph reveal.

They show that an agent named as Johannes William Hoffner, described as a "new German representative in Iraq" who had entered the country under diplomatic cover, attended a meeting with Lt Gen Taher Jalil Haboosh, the director of Iraq's intelligence service.

As I said, all sorts of things are going to come to light. (Via Steven Den Beste.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:30 AM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2003


Oh no, Mr. Glenn Reynolds hasn't been kidnapped... he's been throwing puppies in the blender! Hey, it's from Frank J., so you know it's reliable news. Right?

And look -- another scandal! Compromising the lives of puppies for the sake of the family dog and the Children™, suuure... We believe you. icon_hellno3d.gif

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

The ultimate keyboard quest, cont.

We'll see if this does the trick. At least it has a bigger backspace key. (Click for a larger pic.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:58 PM | Comments (12)

Pucism of the day

Rumpseld small Lord Ring caracter, talk US killbaby soldier, lies lies. Wepon find? OOOOP!!! CLICK


Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:59 AM | Comments (4)

Shoot the imams

As usual, where there is trouble in a Muslim country you can usually find an imam at the center of it. Why don't we take these guys out? As in -- take them out to the desert and leave them there. So they want us gone, do they? They should be careful what they ask for. We could just up and leave, citing these "requests," and let them pick up all the mess themselves.

As for the complaints in Baghdad about their city being without running water and electricity for two whole weeks -- what a bunch of wimps. After Hurricane Andrew passed by my neighborhood my block was without electricity for three weeks, in the middle of August, when temps went up to the high nineties and even the low hundreds. (As for water, 1992 was a drought year -- Andrew was one of the driest hurricanes ever, with hardly any rain; it was mostly wind and storm surge. And we were occupied by the US Army too, and we also had plenty of looters.)

(Via Tim Blair.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:47 AM | Comments (1)

Alternative Weekly Blues

Well here in Disney World we have one of those ubiquitous weeklies that purport to show the "alternative" side of life in whatever communities they infest. The Orlando Weekly is like all the other (Insert City) Weeklies: ads for liposuction, breast implants, and tattooes, lists of local garage band appearances, reviews of foreign and independent films, a general air of earnest superiority. I think a chain puts them out.

These things were useful back in the days when I still used to go to concerts and clubs and was still interested in the music scene, but now they just seem like another sort of boring filler. I happened to pick one up at the Thai restaurant I went to tonight, because I had forgotten my book and I can't sit there and eat without something to read. I ended up only being able to make it through a review of a local 24-hour Mexican place (not far from me, I think I'll check it out some 3am). The feature story was this woman's tale of woe thinly disguised as yet-another-tired-complaint that you can't find a good abortionist when you need one. It actually digs up the now-ancient fight in this state over the "Choose Life" car tag movement. Now, I don't know anyone who didn't know that this tag and the people behind it were against abortion and thus trying to promote alternatives -- and whether the writer likes it or not, things like not getting an abortion are alternatives to getting an abortion -- but she professes to be shocked, yes shocked, that

The Choose Life Inc. website even promotes the tag as a way to "speak up for the unborn."

The entire article reads like it was written several years ago. And the writer's own story of her travails as an abused woman only makes me want to write an entire side essay on how the feminist movement has abandoned women in favor of power and pleasure. (Stay tuned for that one.)

So then I turned to this little essay: "Get What You Give." The on-site synopsis is: "the touchy business of supporting our troops without being driven by guilt." Sounds more like "the touchy business of supporting our troops without having to give up one's feelings of moral superiorty. The writer does not seem to have many sources of news. For instance, she writes:

But is anyone else wondering how the women and children are faring in a country where men and money do the talking? There's been a suspicious absence of everyday women in the war coverage; the same for the word "rape." There is so much more unthinkable suffering yet to be uncovered.

I am not sure what she is trying to say here, because like too many writers found in periodicals of all sorts these days she is irritatingly vague in the way she expresses things. For example, in the paragraph where she describes a neighbor who is trying to put the charitable squeeze on her it is not clear who is being referred to in this sentence, the writer or the neighbor: "I served as a military wife and have firefighters in the family." This vagueness resulting in incoherence is yet another effect of the Politically Correct school of writing, where you can't refer to anything definitely because that might insult somebody, somewhere, someday.

In any case, what does the passage quoted above, about "everyday" women and children, have to do with the problems in supporting the troops? Not a thing, it was just dropped in there like a lug nut into a bowl of jello. As for there not being any, or many, stories or interviews of women and children, I supposed it has not occurred to her that the old-fashioned Muslims which populate most of rural Iraq probably keep the women in the background and let the men do all the public speaking, especially to strange Western invaders. But to say so might get the writer accused of ethnic prejudice, so instead she leaves the passage seeming to infer that the coalition troops are raping the native women.

I'll end here, because I am just bored with this paper and its website. I can only read so much of this stuff before getting a headache. But one more complaint: she quotes someone as saying that "economic time are 'uncertain.'" Sometimes I think that some people never got over having to move out of their parents' homes and no longer being able to depend on their weekly allowance. The economy is always uncertain, life is uncertain. Whether or not I will get any sleep tonight is uncertain. What isn't uncertain, though, is that this essay sucks.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:04 AM | Comments (6)

April 18, 2003

I love me, I hate you

Photon Courier has a post on a study showing that -- surprise! -- focusing on a child's "self-esteem" turns kids into lazy little pricks if they are lucky, and borderline-psychotic delinquents if they (and we) aren't.

What surprises me is why this "just keep telling Johnny how great he is!" shtick lasted so long. Actually -- no it doesn't. After all, this self-esteem nonsense has been going on since I was in school -- that's a good thirty-plus years ago. I was fortunate in that I was smart enough to escape more than the edges of this nonsense, because in the early days the Self-Esteemers ignored the smart kids, figuring if anything that smart kids had too much self-esteem. Then the first generation of below-average-to-average kids who had been bathed full-on in SE-rays grew up, and entered the education system on the other side of the desk podium lectern beanbag chair on the floor of the rec room, because that was all they were fit for, to be clones of their indoctr-- I mean, instructors. Now Self-Esteem Building™ has become a lucrative profession. Just visit any bookstore and scan the titles on the shelves in the Self-Help section.

But I digress from my original subject: why the SE crap only makes kids worse, not better. I think it has everything to do with the openly empty-calorie nature of the movement's methods. Since they come from the low end of the dummy side of the bell curve, the SE-ists are not the most perceptive people in the world. They see smiling, obedient children and think: "Our videos and posters are working!" No, a child's desire to please is working. Children, at least up to puberty, are incredibly easy to manipulate emotionally. Of course they are going to smile at a video that is nothing but some cartoon character telling them how wonderful they are. (And half of them are drugged on Ritalin or other kiddy calmers.) But deep down inside they know that they are being lied to, and it causes them to develop another wonderful emotion that has added so much to our society: contempt, mainly for the people in charge, such as the adults who are feeding them this load of garbage. It's no surprise to me that children are turning out twisted. Their caretakers were spoiled rotten for the most part too.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:43 PM | Comments (8)

Decisions, decisions...

Coffee or sleep?
Coffee or sleep?
Coffee... sleep?

Eh. I can sleep when I'm dead. Excuse me a minute.

Update: check it out!


A present from DavidMSC.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:16 PM | Comments (3)

Baghdad museum looting developments

Jeff Jarvis has 'em. Read the comments too.

Update: here's an article on the WSJ's Opinionjournal on the real looter of Iraq's historical treasures and history: Saddam Hussein. (Via Tim Blair.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

Biological weapon of mass destruction

While people are still crying over the missing artifacts, a much more important ancient artifact was really destroyed by Saddam Hussein: the Tigris-Euphrates wetlands, which may have been the inspiration for the story of the Garden of Eden. Why did he do it? To get back at the Marsh Arabs for opposing his regime. He didn't even bother using the excuse that he wanted to build a new Walmart. Anyway, it looks as if now that he is out of there, the marshes can be at least partially restored. Read the whole story. (And I agree with Glenn Reynolds: Bush will still be considered an anti-environmentalist president, mostly because he declined to ratify a useless piece of paper (the Kyoto thing).

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:22 AM | Comments (6)

Lifting Iraq

Steven Den Beste has a long comentary on the CNN Brouhaha: the revelations of CNN's acquiescence in the Saddam Hussein regime's suppression of unfavorable news stories. At the very end he has this to say, to a reader's speculation that Eason released his report to stave off unfavorable "spin" caused by revelations of what would be found in Iraq:

That seems like a completely reasonable explanation to me. I wonder who else out there is becoming nervous about captured Iraq records?

I will say that when I first heard this story the first thing I thought of was this line from the tv series I, Claudius, where Claudius keeps saying: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." I think I know why so many groups were dead-set against this invasion, and it had nothing to do with the ickiness of war or concern over precious ruins and artifacts. I wonder what sort of slimy creatures will slither out into the light of day in the coming weeks and months.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:08 AM | Comments (0)

Iranian blogs update

Hossein Derakhshan is now off Blogger and using Movable Type. Check out the pics! Mmm... Sangak bread looks like nan bread...

We have quite a large Iranian (call them Persian!) community in Florida, especially around Orlando. I haven't seen any Persian restaurants, though. But there was one in Miami in my old neighborhood that I ate at a couple of times, good food -- I recall the flat bread like that pictured here, and a yoghurty dip for it, and some sort of ground meat on a skewer over rice the name of which I forget. Before I moved up to O-town, the place had become a pizza take-out joint.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:41 AM | Comments (4)

1,001 Things to Do With a Live Terrorist

I love Dipnut's idea. Which is actually here. Bob Lang also has a nice idea. Dipnut is right though: I was too kind. I was kind of thinking, though, that maybe they could be sort of well-fed sharks, not really all that hungry right then, maybe just looking for a little snack, something to fill up those little extra inner spaces. They could just sort of chew on Abu for a while, and then he could be pitched overboard.

Hm. I haven't read The Hobbit in while. I'm not sure why I just thought of that.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:17 AM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2003

The New FAQ

Comments will now be closed after fifteen days.

I do not tolerate emotional abuse. Abusers will be banned. Behavior I would not tolerate in a real-life relationship will not be tolerated here. That goes for people who use the "you said mean things to me in the past" bullshit argument on me. Trust me, I do not remember all the people I have insulted in the course of my life much less in the years I have been on the internet. If I said something to you two years ago on someone's blog comments, I have forgotten it, because I did not and do not care. Don't bring it up unless you want to be freshly insulted. (Read the comments here for an example of what I mean.)

Banning policy: unpredictable, and totally arbitrary. There is no one else to appeal to: I am the sole proprietor and absolute ruler of this website. What I say here goes. Don't like it? That's just Too. Fucking. Bad.

Whining about being insulted by me is liable to produce one or more of the following responses: further insults and mockery, cursing and ranting directed at the whiner, banning the whiner's IP. What it will not result in: craven contrition, promises to be sweeter and more understanding, an offer to buy the whiner dinner and send flowers and candy to make up. If you are a thin-skinned, fragile-egoed sort, I suggest you make this visit to my blog your last, because sooner or later I will rub you the wrong way and like as not ruin your week.

I am female. I am not: nurturing, your mother, kind and loving, patient, ready to listen to your troubles, your psychiatrist, your priest, your grandma, your girlfriend, your muse. If this disappoints you, get an electron microscope and look through it -- you may be able to see the tiny violin I am playing for you.

If you don't like my new rules, we can meet on the corner of Tough and Shit and work it out. Not.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:12 PM | Comments (9)

More on those old pots

This will not change the minds of those who believe it was America's and America's fault only that the Baghdad Museum got looted, but here it is anyway: Experts: Looters Had Keys to Iraqi Antiquity Vaults:

Paris (AP) - Some of the looters who ravaged Iraqi antiquities had keys to museum vaults and were able to take pieces from safes, experts said Thursday at an international meeting.

The U.N. cultural agency, UNESCO, gathered some 30 art experts and cultural historians in Paris on Thursday to assess the damage to Iraqi museums and libraries looted in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion.

Although much of the looting was haphazard, experts said some of the thieves clearly knew what they were looking for and where to find it, suggesting they were prepared professionals.

"It looks as if part of the looting was a deliberate planned action," said McGuire Gibson, a University of Chicago professor and president of the American Association for Research in Baghdad. "They were able to take keys for vaults and were able to take out important Mesopotamian materials put in safes."

Cultural experts, curators and law enforcement officials are scrambling to track down the missing antiquities and prevent further looting of the valuables.

The pillaging has ravaged the irreplaceable Babylonian, Sumerian and Assyrian collections that chronicled ancient civilization in Mesopotamia, and the losses have triggered an impassioned outcry in cultural circles.

Many fear the stolen artifacts have been absorbed into highly organized trafficking rings that ferry the goods through a series of middlemen to collectors in Europe, the United States and Japan.

Officials at the UNESCO meeting at its headquarters in Paris said the information was still too sketchy to determine exactly what was missing and how many items were unaccounted for.

But they were united in calling for quick action to track down the pilfered items.

"I have a suspicion it was organized outside the country, in fact I'm pretty sure it was," said Gibson. He added that if a good police team was put together, "I think it could be cracked in no time."

Critics of the failure of the coalition to stop the looting have been acting as if those things were so safe in the museum when the country was under Saddam's rule. They have been using this event as an occasion for moral grandstanding and as yet another opportunity to call the president a moron and his administration a pack of grunting Neanderthals. Even though I am sure that these outraged guardians of human culture don't actually believe that old pots (and pretty gold things) are more important than freeing a country of its thuggish dictator, they certainly came off that way.

Now I am going to tell you all a secret about myself: in general, I prefer interesting artifacts from ancient civilizations to people. Heck, I prefer old moldy bread crusts to some people. But you know what -- I realize, at least, that this is a fault within myself, however jokingly I may speak of my misanthropy, and I have trained myself to not give into this feeling when there is no good reason to, and to not brag about this tendency of mine as if it was some kind of virtue. I mean, after all, my most favoritest novel has as its plot line the necessity of destroying an ancient, powerful, unique, and most precious gold object.

(Via A Small Victory.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:13 PM | Comments (16)

Above and beyond

This will break many hearts: U.S. troops cringe as they crush classic cars in Iraq:

Dozens of classic cars owned by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and other Baath Party leaders were among the choicest selections for looters in Baghdad. But U.S. concerns that the cars could be used in suicide bombings or roadblocks has resulted in orders to have them destroyed.


The decision to destroy the cars was a painful one for many soldiers.

"I love cars. It was hard to see a Bel Air destroyed," said Pfc. Raul Carbajal, a 20-year-old from Chicago.

I am waiting for the first article or comment from someone comparing this destruction and the emotional response of the soldiers to it to the American (but not that of British or Australian or any other coalition members) "callousness" towards the Iraqi's destruction of their own museums and libraries. Feel free to post a link if you come upon one.

(Via Colby Cosh.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:36 PM | Comments (3)

Just like prison

So Robert Fisk is feeling the Iraqi's oppression and pain again -- at the hands of the coalition forces, what else? It seems that "the Americans" (the heck with the other member nations of the coalition, they're just dupes and fools, I guess) have issued a request to people in Baghdad to not leave their homes at night since fighting is still going on and, you know, someone might get hurt. At least, that's how it reads to me, but Fisk Knows Better:

So now – with neither electricity nor running water – the millions of Iraqis here are ordered to stay in their homes from dusk to dawn. Lockdown. It's a form of imprisonment. In their own country. Written by the command of the 1st US Marine Division, it's a curfew in all but name.

Gasp! Curfew. The most dreaded word in the English language to someone like Fisk. I left this in Steven Chapman's comments, but I figured I might share my wisdom with you all:

[...]here we have an example of what really frightens those that are pleased to call themselves the "progressive left" -- the idea that anyone's personal movements should be subject to any restriction whatsoever, no matter how temporary and how much for one's own good, and no matter if it is in effect nothing more than a request and a caution. I still remember my friends and I back in our own "progressive" days getting shriekingly indignant over a city-imposed curfew on Miami's teens, even though we were already in our twenties at the time and so the law didn't even apply to us, and even though it was in an effort (only semi-successful) to cut down on teen crime and gang warfare inside city limits.

I know it's a cliché now to refer to P.J. O'Rourke, but something he said about the essentially toddler-like philosophy of modern-day "liberals" still stands: freedom to them means the right to "put anything in their mouths, to say bad words and to expose their private parts in art museums." (From Give War a Chance.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:02 PM | Comments (1)

I have a new hero

His or her name is Puce.


Make as fat US, kill in sands with plane tank and wepon

Hallo fat America! Chew and smiling for flappy stomich fill with more Irak childs, phoney towerevenge. Statue fallens from Sadam, put Chucky Cheeze rastorant with cola in locate!



Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:28 PM | Comments (7)

This Old Pot

The sequel to This Old House: a modern-day Iraqi family coping with invading coalition forces, water and food shortages, looting, the wacky efforts of Zany Younger Son Hassan and his get-rich schemes involving some gold artifacts he "found somewhere," and importunate yet clueless British journalists, will be shown on a split screen with their counterpart Sumerian family from five thousand years in the past (and five-hundred feet under the present-day house), and their zany, wacky adventures coping with invading Hittites, half-witted Younger Son Um-Pal and his crazy get-rich schemes involving gold-leaf-encrusted court seals he "found somewhere," as well as corrupt priests of Ishtar, plagues, and famine. All playing on this channel. Tim Robbins narrates.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:38 AM | Comments (1)

Seeds of Our Demise, Pt. 568

Rodney King is the world's luckiest congenital fuck-up. That's all I can say.

(Via Acidman.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:51 AM | Comments (6)

Tapestry of lies

A while back I got into a fight on someone's comments over the issue of whether or not Colin Powell made the U.N. cover a tapestry rendition of Picasso's "Guernica" out of "discomfort with its antiwar message." I finally had enough and wrote this post. Anyway, here is an article with more proof that the "Guernica" fuss was manufactured out of -- excuse the pun -- whole cloth. Of course, proof isn't enough for some people -- heck, actually being there and witnessing the event themselves wouldn't be enough for some people, but I just wanted to point this out.

(Via Tim Blair. See the post for April 17, 4:22pm. Also: comments for that old post of mine are turned off so don't try to comment there.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:36 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2003

Blogger gets sucked into TV screen

Details this coming Monday: Michele's gonna be on CNN. What a time to not have cable teevee. Oh well, I'm sure some nice blogger out there will be taping it, right? Oh come on -- we don't all have Tivo.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:23 PM | Comments (3)

History's Prodigal speaks

Well, I might as well attract more trolls (the ones my latest Michael Moore post haven't already sucked in). Everyone is always jawing on about how intelligent and smart and he-went-to-Oxford-Rhodes-Scholar ex-president Bill Clinton is, as opposed to "Our Current Moron-in-Chief." Well, Mr. Smarty Pants said this recently, and it sure sounds like an opinion off the short bus to me:

"Since September 11, it looks like we can't hold two guns at the same time," Clinton said. "If you fight terrorism, you can't make America a better place to be."

So... we should quit this silly terrorism-fighting thing, and do whatever it is constitutes in Slick Willy's mind "makes America a better place to be"? And we will enjoy these fruits of well-being up until the next terrorist attack, right? Dumbass.

For more opinions on BJ's latest emission of wisdom, check out moxie, and Tim Blair.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:07 PM | Comments (28)

How's about a hug?


So which LOTR Villain are you? Hmm??

made by Michelle at EmptySpace.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:27 PM | Comments (10)

Killing's a breeze

Note to self: if desirous of murdering someone, make sure to do it in the Netherlands.

(Via Henry Hanks. Direct anchor link used because, you know, Blogspot.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:48 AM | Comments (0)

Down in a hole

Rachel Lucas links to a story that she says people against this war should read. Yes, they should read it. I wonder what excuses they will come up with to make the Bad Reality Stuff go away then. Well. I'm sure they'll think of something. But I can't.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:23 AM | Comments (2)

Chirac's phone call to Bush

Why am I so sure that it really did go something like this? Except Jacques probably said something a lot fruitier than "dude" all the time. I'll bet he kept saying "Mon vieux." That's what the French dudes say when they are trying to be chummy.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:15 AM | Comments (1)

Blogspot blahs no more

Another one has joined the Dark Side. Soon MT bloggers shall rule the galaxy! Bwahahahahahaaa!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:06 AM | Comments (3)


We have finally got our hands on notorious Palestinian terrorist Abu Abbas. Guess where we found him? Oh, but there are no ties between terrorist groups and Iraq...

I like Tim Blair's suggestion of what to do with him. But I would add sharks.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:13 AM | Comments (1)

Road Rage

Playing around with my templates calms me down. Hope you like the new art.

By the way, I drive an invisible car. All this time I thought I was driving an ordinary, gold-colored 2001 Toyota Echo. I had no idea my little bank account emptier had this amazing cloaking device that renders it invisible to all the assholes and pinheads that are allowed behind the wheel here in Floridor. It's especially invisible to people in BMWs who are in a hurry to get to their hair appointments, and to young toughs in muscle trucks (the pickup beds of which never feel the touch of anything harsher than the edge of a surfboard). And then we come to the tourists from up north in their land-yachts, who come from states that apparently have no flat spaces, so that their amazement at the Florida vistas on all sides causes them to careen madly from lane to lane.

Listen, I grew up in Miami, where it's like NASCAR all year. I've driven in Los Angeles, for chrissakes. In Miami we knew what we were doing when we ran someone off the road, and in LA I actually observed people using their turn signals and obeying traffic lights. Here it's like they think it's all Disney, and the pretty sparkly lights that blink on and off are just for show. And don't even get me started on the foreign visitors, who come from countries where all the laws are "ha ha" laws, as in, if you have money, you can say "ha ha" to the laws. I don't really feel like being the introductory lesson to our traffic court system for some fellow from Paraguay.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:19 AM | Comments (9)

April 15, 2003

Atomic Hairsplitting for Fatboy

There is apparently no end to the lengths Michael Moore fans will go to prove their beloved has been persecuted. That post goes the website of someone who has gone to a lot of trouble to support their assertion that CNN turned up the boos on Moore's Oscar speech.

Well you know what? Who gives a shit about what CNN did? The Oscars weren't first broadcast on CN-fucking-N, they were broadcast on whatever network teevee station I sat and watched the thing on. Read that? I sat and watched the live speech. The boos were loud. They were noticeable. Maybe everyone booing had hidden amps in their lapels or some shizzat, 'cos they all knew that Moore would try to Expose the Machinations of the Man, and the booers were all members of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy that is right now hounding and persecuting Saint Michael, I dunno. But CNN didn't have to do a thing. The boos happened, Mikey fans. Deal with it. He does't get 100% approval everywhere he goes, I think he'll survive anyway.

Christ on a stick. I have an .mp3 of a recording someone made from the actual teevee show on the actual night, not whatever bullshit CNN pulled, if they indeed pulled any bullshit, which I doubt. They don't need to make things bad for La Moore -- they had other, more powerful tyrants to kowtow to.

(Via Jim Treacher.)

Update: ha ha ha.

Another Update: BWAHAHAHAHA! (Via Tim Blair.)

And the last update to this: ha ha and triple HAHAHA. It won't happen, of course, but it sure is funny. (Via lots of people, but I finally got around to nicking the link from Glenn Reynolds.)

Hey! And I didn't even see this link! Thanks, Instadude! Now I shall watch my hit count rise -- oh wait, I don't even have a hit counter. Well, I could just got look at my analog files, but zzzzzzzz---nssnsksxx... hunh? Oh, sorry. Fell asleep thinking about boring stuff like log files and hit counters. I just delete my log files anyway. All they do is take up space.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:18 PM | Comments (41)

More on the Baghdad Museum looting

Michele is tying all her posts on this together. She also links to this post (for April 14th, 11:58pm -- you know, Blogspot). And I have found some pictures of the missing treasures. They are certainly very pretty and obviously important pieces of work, and if they were left in glass cases or even in vaults in the museum where people could get at them then I am the Queen of Thailand. Of course, I could be wrong, but I don't think so. As we have already seen, there are people who would put precious antiquities (especially pretty ones made of gold) before anything else, and I don't think they are all on this side of the globe.

Update: Instapundit has a link to this excerpt from Kanan Makiya's war diary. He's in Kuwait, talking by satellite phone to some friends in Baghdad:

One friend told me that the looting of the National Museum--something that cut deeply into me--was the work of newly deposed Baathist officials, who had been selling off our patrimony as they saw their days were numbered. As the regime fell, these (ex-)Baathists went back for one last swindle, and took with them treasures that dated back 9,000 years, to the Sumerians and the Babylonians. One final crime perpetrated by Saddam's thugs.


Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:57 AM | Comments (7)

Pippin passes

I know a few people who will enjoy this interview with Billy Boyd. (Via the OneRing.net.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

Just a note on a blog

I think Yahmdallah has commented on my site before but for some reason I never linked to his blog, so it is now on the blogroll. He's not a right-winger -- but then, neither am I. I don't see much to argue about in his political screed here. (I don't know if the permalinks are working right -- this is Blogspot, after all -- so just scroll down to the image from one of those laughable political quiz things.)

Except for this: he says here, of education:

I think public education should be available, for free (through taxes, of course), up through the graduate/vocational degree level[...]

Er, ah, no -- actually, if it is paid for with taxes, then it is not really "free." Taxes, last time I checked, were paid with real money. At best, "free" public school is "prepaid." Now I have no objection to taxes being used to pay for a public school system. (The argument is with how the funds are being used and what the results are; private, pay-as-you-go schools are not automatically better just because they aren't paid for through a government agency.) But let's not say silly things like "free means taxes paid for it."

But otherwise he seems to be a sensible liberalish sort. Don't pass up his account of being on the receiving end of some of the Worst Conversion Attempts Ever.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:13 AM | Comments (3)

Beneath the movie theater

Oh man, I've seen the movie James Lileks is talking about in today's Bleat. Beneath the Planet of the Apes. First you come back to earth, discover it's run by apes, everyone dies, and then everything is destroyed (by a nuke -- how else?). I disliked the ending of Planet of the Apes. I hated with a white hot passion the ending of the sequel, and all the movies like it that came out in the seventies that assured us that Life Sucks Now and It Will Suck Even Worse and Then We'll All Die Screaming. Reason number 9854 why I hated the seventies. Even the fricking entertainment was like wearing a hairshirt. And I had forgotten the details of this movie until Lileks had to go and remind me. Damn him! Damn him to hell!

And on that note -- check out this discussion of religion in art during the seventies. The Blowhards have a question: was the seventies actually a period of religious revival (or, well, something) for America? My reply: you bet it was. All the crappy parts of religion. Good-bye, fun ceremonies and reassuring traditions: hello fanaticism and asceticism, or at least stabs thereat. We were Searching For Real Faith, Man, and we were gonna get it if it meant making everyone wear ugly clothes and watch ugly movies with ugly actors playing ugly characters. And can we forget: Anita Bryant?* ::Shudder::

I. Hated. The. Seventies. Can I say it enough?

*Ps: it's true about the snow. I remember that day: it actually dropped into the high twenties, and it was actually a cloudy day -- unusual during the cold season in Miami -- and it snowed for maybe five minutes. Not in my neighborhood, though -- but a couple of miles up the road. The flakes, such as they were, melted before they even hit the ground. I did get to play with some frost, though. I don't remember anyone complaining about the snow being some sort of godly payback for anything, but then we didn't run in those kind of circles.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:40 AM | Comments (8)

Baghdad Museum Looting, cont.

For a more level-headed discussion on the looting of the museum in Baghdad, go here. Dr. Weevil links to this very useful site, which has some more details:

halls with still-intact display cases (objects removed for safekeeping before the war started); the big orthostats and lamassus still there with their protective sandbags; some objects were taken to a safe haven under the supervision of US troops shortly after their arrival in Baghdad on Wednesday.

It looks as if the hand-wringers and civilization-mourners were a little premature. But I am sure that it is still too soon to know what really went on. And I am sure that there will be no letup in the condemnation of Bush and the coalition forces for not making the place a top priority.

That being said, I'll say another thing. The discussion elsewhere seems to have bogged down in a round-robin game of What's More Important, live people or dead artifacts? I have played the game as well, but it's a diversion from the crux of the topic, which is: has anyone noticed the curious fact that no one seems to have entertained the notion that American troops (and, by proxy, the other members of the coalition forces) would even think of looting the place themselves? Throughout history, conquering nations have looted the places they conquered. But that is not what is happening here. Instead of the coalition forces being the looters, the country's own citizenry is doing the looting. But I haven't heard that used as a point of praise for our forces, or even for modern Western civilization in general. It's as if it was not only expected of us to act that way, but as if it wasn't even worth mentioning, like breathing. That's nice, and says scads about us as human beings -- but it also hints that we are taking ourselves too much for granted and not giving ourselves credit. Too much self-effacement can tip over into a kind of proud refusal to admit to the possibility that we can be weak. That can't be a good thing.

Update: looks as if I was wrong -- this insane article, entitled Was Saddam Right? Are Americans the New Mongols of the Mideast?, makes this claim:

[...]like the Mongols, U.S. troops stood by while Iraqi mobs looted and destroyed artifacts at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. They also reportedly joined looters who pillaged other lucrative targets like office buildings, stores, and private homes.

But it's from Counterpunch.org, whose writers are all apparently in the last stages of crack withdrawal paranoia, so I'd say take it with a grain of salt.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:50 AM | Comments (14)

April 14, 2003

Primary colors

Hey everyone, enter your poster for peace here. You may win an Amazon gift certificate. And even if you don't, the website owners promise that you'll at least "feel just a tiny bit better." Well that's reward enough for me! (Wouldn't want to feel a lot better, now -- that would make someone who only feels a tiny bit better feel bad.)

If you need more pointers on what sort of poster to make, Jim Treacher has done one. The site owners haven't seen fit to accept either his or Ken Layne's submissions yet, but I'm sure they'll be getting to it any minute now.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:09 PM | Comments (2)

How Hollywood "fights the power"

Here's an explanation of why so many Hollywood celebrities are antiwar, from a Hollywood insider. Sounds reasonable to me. And note the juicy tidbit about Germany and France, those American-culture-despisers.

One commenter asked: "What about the audience?" I think we all know what most of Hollywood thinks about the people for whom all these movies and shows are being produced: terms like "cattle" and "submen" come to mind.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:58 PM | Comments (1)

France is dreaming

Anarchy for La Patrie.

(Via Rand Simberg.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)

Home and castle

This might appeal to some people: you can buy a home in Rivendell. Of course, it looks like you'll be needing to make a troll's hoard of a salary to afford it, but livin' large Elf-style don't come cheap. (Caveat: these homes don't really look anything like Elrond's digs, but instead seem to be the usual higher-end, vaguely "rustic" style suburban ranch-type home. Some of them even have those hideous, useless entry-archway things that are too big to to be called "stoops" and too small to be any type of porch. Via Dustbury.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 05:23 PM | Comments (5)

Well this is interesting

Afghanistan's foreign minister is expressing interest (as they say) in normalizing relations with Israel. Well well well... die of effing shock? Or... maybe realize that it has occurred to the Afghans that "Hey! We aren't Arabs! Muslim, shmuslim, even we can figure out which country in the Middle East is the success story that isn't just based on the accidental placement of a large amount of a single natural resource." (Note: you'll have to register -- it's free -- to read the article.)

(Via Amish Tech Support.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

TV Party tonight

Usually I delete the newsletter I get from Earthlink, but this time they had something that I know all you kiddies will enjoy! TVParty.com. Sure, it's a commercial site full of pop-ups (hint: right-click from the taskbar to get rid of pop-ups), but you can watch Ronald Reagan's last tv role! (Besides being president -- come on, these days it's a tv role as much as anything.) You can watch snippets of Irwin Allen's lost scifi tv show pilot! Old Batman episodes! It's a smorgasbord of delight! Or something.

So kick back, have a couple of brews, and relive those awful days of after school syndicated reruns, after homework was done but before it was time for Starsky and Hutch to be on. You know you want to. (Note: some words shamelessly appropriated from Black Flag's punk hit "TV Party." True story: I almost saw Black Flag play live, at a punk club on Miami Beach whose name escapes me at the moment. No one went near the stage until well after midnight. We sat through about three local bands that were mostly awful, and had to endure the pestering of a waitress who wanted us to buy more drinks. Finally it was nearly three-thirty am, and still no freaking headlining band. We were nearly comatose by this time -- from exhaustion, not booze -- and since one of us lived nearly twenty miles from the beach, we decided to leave before we were unable to drive. So I never actually got to see Henry Rolllins live. Boo hoo.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:57 PM | Comments (1)

Cake or death to Saddam!

Wow, the White House has Eddie Izzard doing press releases now. And they say this administration is unfriendly to the alternative crowd!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:38 PM | Comments (3)

While all the women came and went

Barefoot servants too* -- in Saddam's love shack. Dig this description of the mustachioed ex-tyrant's crimes against interior decoration:

The doors of the town house opened to reveal a playboy's fantasy straight from the 1960s: mirrored bedroom, lamps shaped like women, airbrushed paintings of a topless blonde woman and a mustached hero battling a crocodile.

And a blue shag rug. If nothing else, the world must agree that the coalition forces have done us all a favor in removing another crappy, anachronistic bachelor's pad user from the face of the earth. Allow me to use another quote from Austin Powers: "Freedom, baby, yeah!"

*Lyrics by Bob Dylan. Article via Ipse Dixit.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:28 PM | Comments (5)

This must be stopped!

I'm serious -- sign this petition before it's too late.

(Via Dave Barry.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:16 PM | Comments (8)

Time is fleeting, madness takes its toll

But until that happens, congratulations to Michele, Long Island mother of two children and "one of the hottest Web logs about the war in Iraq." (Dismay quotient: they put in a word about The Plagiarist The Agonist. Why? Guess they didn't get the memo...)

(If you can guess the two movie references in this post, you'll get... a congratulations from me!)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:41 PM | Comments (6)

How to make a link

Guys, I haven't put my handy formatting buttons back on the comments form, and I have noticed that some people are having trouble making links. Here is how to do it:

<a href="puttheURLhere.com">Link text</a>


Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)


Say what? Say it isn't so: another blogger must go on hiatus for some silly reason like he needs to make a living or something like that. But -- but blogging is life! And the way to make showers of gold coins pour down on you! The voices told me so! I'm still waiting...

But seriously, everyone go and say Good Luck! to Mr. Prather in his new business venture.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:29 AM | Comments (1)

Museum of Dead Ideals

Oh man, I was going to say a little something about this funeral for Human Civilization™, but Treacher beat me to it with one succinct, perfect sentence. I'll just be over here fiddling with my blog, pay no attention...

Though seriously, I'd like to address one issue that no one seems to be talking about much -- probably because that would mean treating the citizens of Baghdad like human beings instead of Helpless Victims/Zombies Rampant. Where were the curators of the ransacked and looted museum before the coalition forces drove into the city and the authorities, such as they were, skedaddled to wherever? What were they thinking? Were they so bemused by the hallucinogenic rantings of Baghdad Bob that they were absolutely sure that the Americans et al would be turned to dust before ever setting foot within the city's environs, and therefore never even gave a thought to their "national treasures" -- such as taking the precaution of tucking at least the more valuable and easily transported bits into the vaults? These museums do have vaults, don't they?

Or was there something else taking up room in the vaults, so that not even a necklace or a cuneiform tablet could be squeezed? Things such as -- oh, I don't know, cannisters of nerve gas, or explosives, or guns, or something. Who knows -- everyone is too busy crying over the theft of the artifacts to wonder why they were still sitting in their glass cases instead of being stored away. I also wonder how many relatives of the museum's personnel were among the "thieves and looters," but then I have a nasty suspicious mind...

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:34 AM | Comments (13)

Comments tidiness

Well okay! I used this nifty little script to close all my comments on both blogs that are older than thirty days. So don't try posting to something from back in February, because you won't be able to. I am debating, actually, whether or not to set the comments to close at fifteen days, or maybe even a week. It's not as if many people are posting to anything that runs off the main page; but at least this will cut down on any possible future troll fights. (You need your blog set up to use the mysql database to use the script, and also your server must have php installed.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:18 AM | Comments (3)

Oh look, the site is different again

Dark, light, dark, light -- can't she make up her effing mind?

No. Shut up.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:00 AM | Comments (12)

April 13, 2003


Okay, that's an hour without a site. I don't know what happened (I am waiting on an email) but it happened while I was converting this thing's database to MySql. I did that because I have read that it is more stable than the Berkeley Database MT starts out with, and the script they provide to change it isn't too nerve-wracking, though it is somewhat hands-on. I always get the heebee geebees when I have to edit one of my config files. But it all seemed to go fine -- probably because my database lives on a different server than my main site. Anyway, now I will see if I can set up some of those MT hacks you can only use with a MySql database.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:43 PM | Comments (5)

Aaagghh! Part 2

Don't worry, peeps, this is just temporary. I just really screwed up my template last night, so I went and grabbed one of the templates over at MT at random. Also, I was feeling a little... dark. But it probably won't stay like this. Intention: to provide at least two choices of skins (light and dark) for people with various needs. I'm trying to do it the most cross-platform way I can. But I can't please everyone. If you are really having trouble, you have two other ways to read the main blog: the print-friendly page, and the PDA version.

PS: sorry for the excess medical detail for you sissies extra-sensitive folks. What I meant by the reference was that I shouldn't play with my templates when I am not feeling well, not that I was bleeding on the keyboards or anything.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)


Back to square one. I really shouldn't play around with my blog while I have my period.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:02 AM | Comments (10)

April 12, 2003

Florida wildlife report

Sight of the day -- the week, really: a small gray squirrel running along the roof of the place I work in (it's a one-story building that surrounds a tree-shaded courtyard), carrying a large red hibiscus blossom in its mouth. Of course I didn't have my camera with me.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:09 PM | Comments (1)


What's with those wacky Iraqis? Don't they know that they are supposed to be insulted when American flags are flown in their country? Come on, people -- get with the program!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2003

Craven No-News Network

The only surprising thing about the revelation that CNN was more interested in the questionable prestige of having a news bureau in Iraq than actually reporting anything that might upset their hosts -- such as news of atrocities committed by the regime, is the number of people who are surprised by this. Rand Simberg asks:

please tell us why your reporting from Damascus, or Gaza, or the West Bank (as just three examples) should be given any credibility whatsoever. How much of Arafat and Assad's thuggish behavior have you been covering up? And if you now propose to tell us, why should we believe you?

Well, I can answer those questions: it shouldn't, a lot of it, and no.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:12 PM | Comments (1)



Take the "How Do You Use Magic?" test! Written by Brimo

(Via ***Dave.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:28 PM | Comments (2)

No, your eyes aren't bleeding

Yes, I know it's hideous, but I'm tired, and I have to get some sleep. Don't worry, I'll be working on the site tomorrow, or maybe next week.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:54 AM | Comments (4)

Changes to comments

One of the things I have decided to do is to strip down this blog and speed it up as much as possible. Inspired by this post on SgtStryker.com, I have set the comments to open only on the individual entry page for the post. (I am leaving the ability to read the comments inline on the main page, since that doesn't depend on the same script and doesn't seem to slow the site. We'll see.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:25 AM | Comments (3)

Oh that's funny

Not. I post a message saying my site "might hang or look funny" 'cos I'm going to be working on it, I go into the other room for a bit -- and when I come back I can't get on my site. At all. And it is still effing slow.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:53 AM | Comments (2)

Site changes

I'll be working on the site tonight so if it seems to hang or look funny, it's just construction dust. Hah hah, I make 1997-era web joke.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2003

Smokin' in the Boys' Room

Ken Layne has a funny. No no -- you must see this. Go there now!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:43 PM | Comments (1)

Now this is too much to dream

I had a dream last night that I got married to Tim Blair. We went to Miami (where I had vowed to never go again or at least not until five years had passed -- there are two to go) and had the ceremony in the same dreary, swimming-pool-hued-interiored, Sixties Ultra-Moderne-styled, bland Methodysterian church (like these, only all in whitewashed concrete and aqua tile) my cousin Jane got married in in 1968. And all the bridesmaids wore aqua.

I fucking hate aqua.

Time to quit drinking so late at night.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:13 PM | Comments (19)

I'm stealing this quote

That's right -- I'm going to take this quote from a post that Colby Cosh wrote, which is the Best Quote Ever (that I have seen, so far) on the weird phenomenon of the completely hopeless reponse of the left to the removal of a fascist tyrant from power, and keep it on my blog for posterity:

How are antiwar liberals hoping to reach Americans if they can't sympathize with such a simple human sentiment as exhilaration over dethroning and possibly killing a dictator/torturer? How emotionally plastinated and downright cockamamie do these people have to be? They're the new Nancy Reagan: telling people to "say no" without giving any indication of ever having been high.

And I may just print it out and frame it too. I mean, Holy Donut-Rolling Jebus on a Motorcycle, what is it with these people? Saddam wasn't even a Communist! His Baathist Party was some sort of freakazoid offshoot of Nazism with Arab flavoring. He has more palaces than baby Doc! Gold fricking toilet seats! While Iraqi children, as we were famously reminded about every thirty seconds not too long ago, were Starving Because of the Sanctions. But now that the old torturer is out of power and his statues are being toppled and the formerly oppressed Iraqis are dancing and kissing Marines, the peacenuggets are crying in their herbal tea. You'd almost think--

Nah. Even the peacenuggets couldn't be that bad.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:08 AM | Comments (9)

Dean Allen is Better than us

Well. "Killblogger." "Babyconservative dogpile" (on poor, poor Agonized Sean-Paul Kelly the Plagiarist) . So that is what passes for learned liberal discourse. I'm glad to see he doesn't seem to care about plagiarism or intellectual property theft. I wonder how he would feel if I downloaded something of his -- say, his blogging software -- and offered it to others saying I invented it? Oh! That's not the same thing, foul thief! he'd no doubt cry. Yawn. So bored with these bores. They should all be drowned in a butt of Manischewitz.

(Via Dean Esmay, the Conservababe.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:32 AM | Comments (3)


Tim Blair is right these are the wonderful photographs. Of course, some people don't see it that way. (See my previous post.) Oh well. Sucks to be them.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

Paint it black

So this is what happens when the Ritalin generation grows up.

(Via Jim Treacher, who has new signs for the kiddies too!)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:02 AM | Comments (1)

April 09, 2003

Lookin' at a thing in a bag

Yup. I could use some drinks right now. I've run out of wine, dammit! And Publix is closed. And the other stores that are open late or all night are too far to walk. And I am in no shape to drive. Guess I'm gonna have to try the bag ploy...

(Via Michele. Why is Strongbad cool? No, don't try to answer. It will spoil everything...)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:09 PM | Comments (3)

Kitty porn!

Heh heh heh. Just kidding... actually, I know you all have been waiting with bated breath to see more of my cat. Here is a little something for you: a short film featuring the furred one. You not only get to see my cat, but you get to see what a slob I am too. How can you resist? (Note: it's an .avi file, so you'll probably have to right-click and "save target as," and then open it in Windows Media Player, or another program that plays .avi files. It's about 2.5 megabytes.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

Hell no way, we won't pay

Kevin Parrott tells artists where to get off.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

Delusions of poseur

Who could possibly be unhappy about the liberation of Baghdad except for Saddam Hussein and associates? Why -- who else but Professional Fat, Loud, Obnoxious Person (and Future Toilet Seat Cover for Satan) Michael Moore:

It appears that the Bush administration will have succeeded in colonizing Iraq sometime in the next few days. This is a blunder of such magnitude -- and we will pay for it for years to come. It was not worth the life of one single American kid in uniform, let alone the thousands of Iraqis who have died, and my condolences and prayers go out to all of them.

Hear that, Iraqis? It wasn't worth it. Quit all that cheering and dancing.

God, and the fake, teevee-evangelist-type sincerity he uses to express himself: "Can I share with you...?" "I tell you all of this..." "And that, my friends..." "...millions of Americans who think the same way we do." Gag me with a gravy boat. He's the Oral Roberts of the Left. But all is not woe in Mooreville: a kabillion people have requested the Columbine video -- or anyway, more people than have ordered Chicago -- he's gotten funding for more propaganda films documentaries, and best of all, his web hit counts have gone through the stratosphere! And only 75% of them are from porn-site bots! (Okay, I made that last one up.)

As Jeff Jarvis says, it's all about "Michael Moore, greed machine." On second thought, "Satan's Toilet Seat" is too distinguished a future position to give the enlarded one.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:38 PM | Comments (8)

They hate us, love Saddam update

Oh, they hate us all right:

(Photo source.) Via Instapundit. More hate can be seen in Donald Sensing's teevee screen captures. Don't forget to snag the video of Saddam's statue being pulled down! I'm sure the peace creeps will think of some way to spin this into a disaster, though.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:05 PM | Comments (1)

PETA goes after Peter

Amitai Etzioni, whose blog you should have in your blogroll (because I say so! do not question me!) has discovered PETA's latest campaign. Obviously they weren't getting enough of a rise out of people with their other campaigns.

But seriously: of course they have an 800 number you can call to get the so-called statistics that prove their case. Perhaps someone will ask them why meat-eating populations didn't just die out ages ago, leaving us a race of happy, peaceful, hot-to-trot vegans. And the "people didn't eat as much meat then as now" argument won't wash -- if all meat is murder now, and bad and evil, it was the same then, right? Whatever -- I can't go any further in trying to understand the convoluted mental spasms that resemble thought in the minds of PETA activists.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:46 PM | Comments (6)

Handout on Plagiarism

Here's a useful thing: a simple, straightforward, guide to what Plagiarism is, and how one can avoid it. This is put out by the University of Virginia, which notes that you can be expelled for committing plagiarism. (Via Chris lawrence.) And here is the pertinent page on my university's "Golden Rule" (student rights and responsibilites) handbook site (it's under "Academic Dishonesty/Cheating").

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:48 AM | Comments (3)

Compare and contrast

Baghdad before the coalition invasion:


Baghdad after the coalition invasion (click for larger):

(Via Balloon Juice. Larger version of photo found here.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:13 AM | Comments (4)

What's in a name?

At the bottom of this post Steven Den Beste complains about the dull, prosaic names Americans tend to give wars:

Unfortunately, these things have a tendency to name themselves rather than being susceptible to any deliberate naming. "Operation Desert Storm" was a reasonably catchy title, but eventually Americans came to call it "The Gulf War". (As if it was the only war which anyone had ever fought in the Gulf.) I suspect the current operation will end up being called "The Second Gulf War" or something equally prosaic. Somehow it seems a shame that we should end up giving such uninspiring names to places and times where we think the issues are so important that we're willing to send our young people fight, and kill, and die.

I was reminded -- of course! what were you thinking? -- of a passage in The Lord of the Rings -- the book, not the movie. It's in the chapter "The Grey Havens." The problem of what to call a new street of hobbit-houses, built as part of the restoration of the a battle-damaged neighborhood, has come up:

"The was some discussion of the name that the new row should be given. Battle Gardens was thought of, or Better Smials. But after a while in sensible hobbit-fashion it was just called New Row."

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:56 AM | Comments (13)

You can't hide when you're crippled inside

What sort of person could say, of the story of children freed by coalition forces from one of Iraq's notorious children's prisons, something like this:

Of course the thousands that have been killed, lost limbs, or lost family members would be alive, whole and have parents.
But hey, at the very least, these 100 kids are now free to roam around the city and have a cruise missle land on their heads.

This person, in the comments to Michele's post on the story. I officially put Chip Tijuana in the internet pillory. Let the taunting and throwing of rotten cabbages begin.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:11 AM | Comments (6)

April 08, 2003

Filthy Little Thieves

It's my turn to weigh in on the Agonist Plagiarism Scandal. I'll just say... I wasn't surprised when I heard about it, nor about Mr. Kelley's lame excuse of being "too busy" to cite his sources. That excuse was bullshit on so many levels -- not the least of which the man has a Bachelor's Degree in History and is studying for his MA, and if there is one thing that is still one of the pillars of Academe it is that you WILL at all times cite your sources.

But the arrogant, I'm-above-the-rules attitude inherent in first, his lifting of articles without attribution from Stratfor's for-pay site, and then in his feeble excuses and unsatisfactory, "I'm sure I'm sorry" apologies, has always been this person's most notable characteristic.

When I first started reading that Mr. Kelley's blog had become a famous, Big Media-cited warblog on par with the Comand Post and some others, I was a little surprised. In fact, the first thing I thought was: "Gee, I wonder if Sean-Paul Kelley has taken down his 'Fuck you you bloodthirsty warbloggers' post?" I almost posted that thought to my blog, but I didn't for a number of reasons. I now regret my decision to let sleeping dogs lie. As you can see if you click on the link above, Mr. Kelley has not removed the post in question, which is a broad, sweeping attack on all so-called warbloggers, whom he accused of not displaying the proper sensibilities, of thinking war is "like a video game," and so on. (The only person he cited by name was Andrew Sullivan, who AFAIK has not mentioned his love of warlike video games, or any video games at all, on his site. Then again, I haven't searched it, so maybe I missed the drooling post on how dropping bombs on Afghan children was almost as much fun as playing Quake.)

But anyway -- the post is still there, but the comments are gone. Mysteriously so -- he claims in his apology post that they are "broken," and invites people to post to a bulletin board for which he provides, again, no link. Uh huh. In any case you'll have to take my word for it (and the words of commenters in my post on the matter) that there was a lively discussion going on concerning this in his comments. The only trace of this discussion now exists on my site here. I still have some emails on my other computer from our rather acrimonious email exchange, but I don't have all of them -- some of them were eaten by some email problems I had.

Anyway, that the writer of the Agonist is pretentious and has an ego the size of Jupiter doesn't surprise me at all. That he was latched onto by Big Media as a star warblogger also doesn't surprise me -- he is photogenic and obviously knows how to promote himself. In less telegenic times an episode like this would have made him a social and academic pariah -- he might have had his degrees rescinded; he surely would have been shunned by the academic community and had his career, whatever it is, effectively ruined. But in these modern, "enlightened" times I am sure that his ship will sail on. I wouldn't be surprised to see a three-figure book deal or tv offer in his future. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to see his name on a campaign poster someday. He has all the makings of a perfect politician.

I have one last thing to say, though. Ken Layne has a lengthy (and better than mine) essay on journalistic integrity, blogs, and the necessity of citing sources. See, I also had a nasty, suspicious thought that this whole episode had an ulterior motive. Some people are touting blogs as the "new media," or the "rival media" to Big Media. There's been some jabs taken at blogs by some professional pundits on bloggers' "lack of editors" and so on. Also, there has been a perception that Big Media is leftist, while "warbloggers" at least are right wing. I am not going to say whether or not that is true. What is true is that when one blogger gets caught out in an act of blatant plagiarism, whether or not we like it it affects us all. The internet itself has suffered under a not-entirely-unjustified (no, not at all) reputation of being nothing but lies and pretense, seeing how it has been used as a medium for pedophiles to get underaged girls and such. And now we have this prominent, interviewed-on-CNN blogger who has been caught out in a laughably blatant act of plagiarism.

I have a nasty suspicious mind, and my thought was: what if this wasn't a series of "stupid mistakes"? What if it was deliberate? Mr. Kelly has not concealed his biases against "warbloggers" in the past. Something tells me he wouldn't think it at all wrong to stoop to subterfuge to discredit them.

Update: Dean Esmay has an entry on this, and it includes a tidbit of info that I did not notice:

In the earlier versions of his site was a statement that all items on the site were uncopyrighted, because:

"Intellectual property is theft."

In other words, copyright is itself immoral. Creative works should automatically be everyone's property. This was up on his site for some time, in place of where you normally see a copyright or Creative Commons notification.

I have no comment.

Last update, I swear: my vote for best comment on this goes to Laurence at Amish Tech Support: "I don't care if you're writing on the floor with your own feces. You cite your sources, or you're a thief. End of story." Bow. Down.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:52 PM | Comments (24)

Can you see the real me, can you, can you?

And now, a treat for my readers. I realize this does not show off certain endowments, as was requested by... someone. But at least you can see my new hair. (I dyed it, finally. I got tired of seeing three inches of gray roots.) Click for larger:

The picture didn't come out that well because I forgot to set the flash as well as the timer. I also look as if I have a cat growing out of my ear, but that's just Xena lying on the back of the futon behind my head.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:31 AM | Comments (12)

The Long and Short of It

Okay, that does it. I am sick and tired of reading -- everywhere -- BS from anti-war people along the lines of "Americans won't accept a war on terrorism if it looks like it will be long and casualty-heavy, because they were promised a short, easy war with no more dead Americans, and Feeble Fickle Fack Vietnam! Vietnam!" Here, puppies, is the original presidential speech right after the World Trade Center was attacked and destroyed, along with the lives of thousands of Americans and foreigners living and working here. And here is the money quote, which I will make LARGE so you all can see it:

"Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

Clear enough? I'm only sorry that I can't make a looping file of that part of the recorded speech to play over and over when people come to my site, because the ram file no longer seems to be archived here.

(Inspired by this post on Dean Esmay's blog.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:08 AM | Comments (2)

April 07, 2003

My newest toy

I went to Walmart and purchased a cheap-o Vivitar digital camera, mostly to practice with until I am able to get a grownup camera. The pictures it takes aren't too bad -- perfectly adequate for web purposes. I just need a little practice in aiming and shooting and such. It's set up more or less like a regular snapshot camera -- no little screen to see the pictures on, I get to wait until I get home and connect it to the computer. At least it's faster than waiting for film pictures to be developed, and scanning them. Here is my first example, a picture of my new green plastic patio table:

I can also make a sort of video from a sequence of shots, and it can also be used as a pc camera, though I have to get some software for that, or figure out how to do it with XP. (And now that I have the Gimp configured, I am going to be scanning some of my better photographs too and uploading them. Stay tuned.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:33 PM | Comments (7)


More boreblogging tomorrow, I promise. In the meantime, I leave you with these new blog-related terms that I thought of on the way home from work today:

Blogtastic (that one I may have seen somewhere).

Blogopoly -- it was Blogspot, but now everyone's opening up their own mom 'n' pop blogs with the help of software such as MT. Ah, capitalism!

Bloor -- a boorish blog. (No links -- think of your own examples.)

Bloos -- what I get when I can't blog.

Blooger -- a mistake on a blog; or, perhaps, a pointless blog post.

Blahg -- a boring and/or depressing blog.

Blogasm! -- an especially excited blog post; an overwrought blog post; a blog post that rises to a shrieking climax then collapses in exhaustion. Or: what a blogger experiences when they move off of Blogspot and onto their own server, and finally get the blogging software (not Blogger) working. Heh heh -- I said "rises."

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:52 AM | Comments (5)

Music to War By

After I read this story, I thought of this:

"And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City." -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King.

(Via Scott Chaffin.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:56 AM | Comments (0)

Fark unleashes WMD

Now the Iraqi Information Minister, whose title is a near-perfect example of the book mot matching the cover, has drawn the wrath of Fark.com, for his latest demented claim (that the US has gone all the way to Iraq merely so we could hand out booby-trapped pencils to Iraqi children; silly man, it's poisonous candy -- get your Evil Childkiller Schemes straight). Sample:

Capnpaco: "Does this dude ever sleep? Every time I look at the damn TV he's up there talking about America's plans to shoot the sun down out of the sky or whatnot. Can they possibly let the poor dude take a nap and let someone else read the propoganda?"

He is showing all the signs of sleep-deprivation-induced dementia. Then again, maybe he's just the Iraqi version of those old guys down at the Legion Hall that everyone avoids because he is always ranting about the government's plot to turn everyone into soulless zombies by fluoridating the water. I'm not surprised a wackjob like Al-Sahaf is holding such a high post in Saddam's (soon to be ex-) government; Saddam didn't seem to care much for reality, so it stands to reason he'd want to surround himself with people who were disconnected from it.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:32 AM | Comments (0)

An addition to the lexicon

You know how Robert Fisk's last name became a verb that was used to describe the process of dicing up idiot op-eds (Like Fisk's) and applying the Clue Hammer and the Reason Wrench to them? Well, now there is a new verb to be made: to "rall" -- as in to completely gut, eviscerate, and flay the spewings of a total dumbshit, such as Steve does to Ted Rall's latest. Enjoy.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:20 AM | Comments (0)

Another blogger rescued from the sinking ship

Damian Penny will be moving to a Movable Type-powered blog by the end of April, he says (in his post of April 6 at 8:56pm -- the dates on his blogspot blog are set up with the dates first and of course the permalinks aren't working, because, well you know -- Blogspot*).

*It's time for a sequel to "Manos" the Hands of Fate, isn't it? PS: if you aren't really into Mystery Science Theater 3000 you'll have no idea what I'm talking about. For those who do, here is the "Manos" the Hands of Fate Personality Test.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:01 AM | Comments (1)

April 06, 2003

Bloggin' down the highway

Ooh, I'm blogging from my HP Jornada Handheld PC! Now all I have to do is get a wireless card and then there will be no place safe from my blogging!

I have also noticed that the blog looks like ass in the tiny little WinCE version of IE. Oh well.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:45 PM | Comments (4)

An admission

I bought the sticky buns. I ate one last night. Then I ate another one for breakfast.



Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:12 PM | Comments (10)

Your moment of Zen

Speaking of the Nü-Pacifist countries, in particular, Russia, I present to you this koan:


Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:05 PM | Comments (1)

A clarification

Sigh. As regards the hacking post, I would like to clarify a few things:

  1. I don't condone hacking.
  2. Laughing at something isn't condoning it; I disapprove in general with the act of hitting people over the head with a weighted sock, but it was funny when Homey the Clown did it.
  3. I was mainly inspired by the urge to make a pun with the title of that rather obscure David Bowie song. There are links to the entire lyrics plus the title in the original post, to help non-Bowie fans (non-fans of Bowie?) get my little inside joke.
  4. Number two is a reference to a recurring character on the defunct tv show In Living Color.
  5. I would not know how to hack a website, and wouldn't do it if I knew how.
  6. Yes, it would be very annoying if someone hacked my website. I might laugh, however, if it was an especially clever and funny hack; those are few and far between, though.
  7. (This one is for Steve H.) I am not sure that hacking constitutes "censorship" unless the government does it by official fiat. I think a better term for it is "vandalism." I prefer that term because, for one thing, censorship is not against the law (it can't be, since it is usually enacted by laws); vandalism, however, is.

I am only posting this because I have been getting some minor flack from a few people here and there, because I didn't put some sort of disclaimer in my post about how even though I think this is funny I think hackers should be fed while alive to rabid wolves. So here: I think that hackers should be fed, while still alive, to rabid wolves. Feet first. Is that better?

(Yes, I am in a rather bad mood. I am in no mood to coddle the sensibilities of "netizens." Well that is nothing new; but I have started and cancelled several posts on various subjects that were turning out too rancid for even my tastes, which is why you have not seen very many posts from me in the last few days. Consider yourselves lucky.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:53 AM | Comments (5)

April 05, 2003

The horror, the horror...

You know, I keep telling people how like hell the Seventies were, but I don't think they fully understand what those of us alive then survived through. This site may help.

(Via Neal Sheeran.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:33 AM | Comments (5)

Hacked Actors

Crack, baby, crack, show me you're real
Smack, baby, smack, is all that you feel
Suck, baby, suck, give me your head
Before you start professing that you're knocking me dead

Someone has hacked ActorsAgainstWar.com (click for larger):

Via Right-Thinking.

(*Rest of lyrics available here.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:20 AM | Comments (12)

The Blair Watch Papers, the End

Tim Blair is back home! A happy ending for one of us at least. Me, my flask has run dry, I lost my hat running around like a crazy person last night (long story), and I can't seem to find my way out of these darn woods. Hm, that rotting log looks familiar. Hey, where did these weird figures made out of twigs come fr

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:35 AM | Comments (1)

An observation

Gosh, people sure do like monkeys.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:20 AM | Comments (5)

April 04, 2003


I think we have a new national logo:


Picture courtesy of James Lileks.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:48 AM | Comments (5)

News from the ex-hometown

I've not been to Miami in about two years, but I was born and raised there, so if you hear about an anti-Castro protest in the form of huge traffic jams consisting of Cuban-Americans in their late model Chevy Impalas beeping their horns in that city's streets let me tell you the reason why:

In a highly unusual move, the top U.S. diplomat in Havana on Wednesday night warned Cubans not to undertake any more hijackings, telling them in a message read on communist-run television that they would be prosecuted by U.S. authorities and lose the right to seek American residency.

The message by James Cason, chief of the U.S. Interests Section, demonstrated growing worries about the possibility that such hijackings could end in violence or spark a migration crisis.

PS: the reason that's on a Canadian news site is that Canadians love going to Cuba. Sorry, Canucks, but you do. Anyway, here's the Miami Herald's take on it. Incidentally, people in Miami used to put bumper stickers on their cars that said "I don't believe the Miami Herald." I forget what facet of the Ongoing Crisis caused that -- probably some controversy concerning the Mariel boat lift that made my final year of high school so... interesting. That and the riots.

One thing I miss about that town are the 24-hour Cuban cafés. The only place in O-town that doesn't roll up the sidewalk at midnight is Denny's.

(Via ken Layne.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:57 AM | Comments (1)

The skull beneath the skin

My skull, that is. I know I said I was going to provide different skins for this here blog. I'll get around to it... Really! For now, continue enjoying Bag End.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

Baht ahv cawse!

is a
Tofu-Eating Rhesus Monkey

...with a Battle Rating of 3.7

To see if your Food-Eating Battle Monkey can
defeat Andrea, enter your name:

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:42 AM | Comments (18)

Wartime, uncut

Kevin is currently in Umm Qasar. He found a newsman's camera. It had that handy "picture preview" mode.

Oh -- you read the rest.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:36 AM | Comments (1)

By the way

I have been reading here and there that polls in other countries -- like the UK, Canada, and so forth -- are starting to show an upsurge in support of the US military actions in Iraq. I can't remember where I read them. (Feel free to leave links in comments. Remember to use correct html.)

(By the way, I am listening to a CD I picked up at Walmart, one of those cheap-o collections of old songs. It's swing, and then the next one coming up (I have a 3 cd changer) will be Big Band hits, and then a cd collection of the Ken Burns Jazz special. I just felt that the time was right for it. Later I may crank up the dvd player and put in Fellowship of the Ring. Yeah.)

Anyway, I had read on someone's blog that they had been reading polls that show that support for the US-led war in Iraq was increasing in places like Canada and the UK, and I forget where else. Probably not France, though I sense the attack by thugs on the British war hero cemetery in that country are starting to awaken some of the French from their cynical, postmodern coma. But when I read these accounts of increased support from previously not-all-behind us places, a thought occurred to me:

Everybody loves a winner.

This is not a cynical observation, but a statement of fact about human nature. We need to think seriously about this. Americans have been culturally anxious about the friendliness of the citizens of other countries towards us for quite some time, there is no getting around that fact. While the stereotypical American is supposed to be a xenophobic buffoon, the cultural elite that controls American media (and therefore American culture, at least the face Hollywood puts on it and presents to the world) is as slavishly adulating of other cultures, especially that of Old Europe, as medieval peasants in the presence of the king.

The problem is, this is the stance of a loser. Despite evidence of the enervation and even decadence inherent in much Old World culture, which is part of what our ancestors fled here to get away from (and people are still fleeing), there is the sense that the Old Cultures are Our Betters. It does not seem to have entered the heads of the easily-impressed American intelligentsia that "old cultures" can grow as senile as old persons.

But people aren't fools, deep down. They know a loser when they see one, and despite the so-called love of the underdog and worship of the victim that modern Western culture is supposed to contain, it's the underdog who triumphs against the odds that they care about, not the victim who sits there and whines. The antics of the real sad-sack victimists in society aside, most ordinary people want to enjoy good news and victory, even if only vicariously.

That is what is behind a great deal of contempt for American culture that we got and are still getting from the "Old World," and that includes the Middle East. Things are even more visceral and simpler in that part of the world, despite all the surface complexity. Remember the "Arab street"? Remember how we were all supposed to fear, over here, an uprising from the Muslim masses if we finally quit slipsliding around and confronted them? Remember how quiet the "Arab street" was after we pretty much took over "fearsome Afghanistan" in a month, and watch as the "Arab street" will fail to do more than burn a few polyester stars-'n'-stripes knockoffs in the town square on their lunch hour after we mop up in Iraq. I am not saying this to show some kind of arrogant contempt for Arab culture (not that I think that there is anything wrong with arrogant contempt), but to show that these people will respect us when we stop dicking around with the diplomacy and the irony and the self-deprecation that is so attuned just to our own culture and show that we are serious. When we say "stop that" we have to be able to show that we mean it. The world is a three-year-old child testing it's parents' boundaries; you can't give it an inch or you'll get to endure tantrums the rest of your life. It's only common sense.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:13 AM | Comments (3)

April 03, 2003

Bloggers get mail

Not me this time -- nothing can get through the John-Kerry-hairpiece-strength shield of Nigerian Spam that is currently occupying my email zone -- but other bloggers are receiving hate mail from peacenuggets bitter about the quick and decisive victory our forces are enjoying in "fearsome" Iraq. Of course, it's a real mistake to send a piece of lamebrained hatemail to someone whose blog is a roach motel for lefty softheads. Cases in point: Jim Treacher takes care of one, and then some real lobotomy case tried to take on Dipnut. Enjoy the carnage; I know I did. (I'm also taking notes -- I'm a good student that way.)

(Note: this post has had a spelling mistake corrected -- har har, I said "peace of lamebrained hatemail" instead of "piece." ROTFL.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:32 PM | Comments (1)

Dog story

And now, dogs in elk. No, it's not some arcane Canadian recipe.

(From Meryl.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 05:10 AM | Comments (3)

Sugar 'n' Spice

I haven't talked about the rescued POW Pfc. Jessica Lynch because everyone else has, and I had nothing more to contribute than "Yay!" But I do now -- not about the rather ghoulish "Was she tortured, even... you know--?" about Private Lynch. I'll just address the attitude towards her apparent cuteness, that seems to have at least one blogger rather dismissive of other bloggers' ire at the treatment of her by media figures (which apparently extend to calling her by her first name, not her rank, calling attention to her looks, etc. -- I haven't seen it, but it sounds like an accurate assessment of how our Cute-ified media treats every subject under the sun -- if torture were part of our culture we'd have cutesy segments about it on the Today show, with Katie (see the diminutive) Couric saying pert things about the latest designs in nail-rippers and testicle pinchers). I'm not going to get into the argument about women in combat, pro and con, because my attitude is basically spelled out in this bit of dialogue from The Return of the King, where Eowyn says:

"All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more."

But enough of that. Anyway, Private First Class Lynch is handicapped, apparently, by her cute girlieness. Well, this doesn't sound like the actions of a cute, delicate little girlie:

Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued Tuesday from an Iraqi hospital, fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition, U.S. officials said yesterday.

Lynch, a 19-year-old supply clerk, continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die around her in fighting March 23, one official said. The ambush took place after a 507th convoy, supporting the advancing 3rd Infantry Division, took a wrong turn near the southern city of Nasiriyah.

I guess someone forgot to tell her that cute girlies don't fight to kill. But people are free to go on thinking that.

(Personal note: I was considered terribly cute as a child. People were sure that I was friendly, sociable, a "people" person, just because I was a curly-headed, big-blue-eyed moppet. They couldn't have been further from the truth, and people were constantly backing away from me -- or rather, what I allowed them to see over the top of whatever book I was reading -- in confusion. There's nothing worse than being a cute misanthrope.)

(Via Transterrestrial Musings.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:57 AM | Comments (17)

On Going Too Far

Kim's back, and he's bad as ever. (I mean that in a good way.) Especially here -- and I agree with him too.

Which brings me to torture. I promised a post earlier on the subject, didn't I? This post on Letter from Gotham got me thinking. No, I can't say as I have many qualms at the thought of torture used on the sort of thugs we are fighting. For one thing, we have been shown by the actions of these self-proclaimed Warriors of Allah, or Champions of the Arabs, or whatever they think of themselves, that their concept of honor is restricted to themselves alone; it is not extended to us, the worthless infidels that we are. All of what Kim du Toit calls the Marquis of Queensberry-type rules that we are attempting to adhere to (the "Geneva Conventions" and so on) mean absolutely nothing to this enemy that thinks it's a fine battle tactic to hide behind women and children.

The argument against torture and so on -- against "going too far" -- hinges on what the people proposing it claim to be our own self-respect. I think that's a lot of hooey. I know I could certainly not respect myself if I treated some terrorist scum in my power civilly in order to find out some urgent info, which could not be gotten out of him with any sweet persuasion or respectful coaxing, only to learn later -- after whatever plan he refused to divulge had come to pass, causing the deaths of others -- that he was laughing all the time at my Western weakness. That notion that we mustn't "give in" to our "dark side" and become "just like them" is nothing more than the desire to keep our beautiful souls pristine in order to impress our peers -- the same fault we accuse the peacenuggets of cultivating.

But let us consider such a thing as torture. Like anything, it must be done right. In other words, even going outside the boundaries has rules. For one thing, it must not become yet another dreary bureaucratic industry, with rape rooms in the Baathist manner, and professional torturers who need to get a license just like insurance salesmen, and courses (that you can take at home in your spare time!), and companies dedicated to the manufacture of "multi-use" electrodes and cattle prods ("Acme Electrical Appliance, Inc., Serving Three Needs: Agricultural, Sexual, and Political Since 2005!"), and so on.

Rather, It's all a matter of passion -- and style. I am all for the interrogator suddenly going apeshit on a terrorist. It should be timed right, of course. It should take the terrorist completely by surprise. He should be made to believe that his whole world is going mad. One more thing; men should not torture women. There's a sex-bias, buried-chivalry/twisted misogyny dichotomy that will mess things up. If it's a female terrorist, let another woman -- or women, we do the ganging up thing real well -- at her.

And needless to say there will be none of this rape stuff. Rape is so crass, not to mention it takes a certain amount of planning that destroys the necessary spontaneity. Remember: style. A really accomplished torturer shouldn't even have to break a kneecap -- shouldn't have to even lay a finger on the torturee.

(If this doesn't scare away the arbiters of the Republic of Nice from my website I don't know what will.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:25 AM | Comments (5)


And I keep forgetting: Bill Whittle has written an essay on war and historical perspective that my dad, a history teacher and Civil War buff (who dragged his two whiny daughters all over the baking hot fields of Gettysburg in August so he could read all the markers indicating the soldiers that fell there -- if you go there go in October, people, you won't be sorry) would have loved to read.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:43 AM | Comments (1)

Keep 'em burning

Home fires, that is. Connie du Toit's new troop-support blog, Keeping the Home Fires Burning, is up and running after a server outage.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:38 AM | Comments (0)

I can see!

There. I got tired of the hover-color-same-as-background-color disappearing links thing.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:47 AM | Comments (0)


Evan Kirchhoff takes a serious look at just what does Michael Moore and his fans believe. The short answer seems to be: nothing, really. Of course, I simplify -- but this reminds me of something I meant to blog about but never got around to it.

I've had jolly fun calling Mr. Fatty McMoorefat names (like that), but back in my less discerning, more "radical" days (radical in that I used to tape MTV's 120 Minutes "alternative" program and sneer at the prime-time pop videos), I used to watch Moore's show TV Nation. As I recall, it was mildly amusing, not really hilarious, but it provided the sort of irony-laden snarkiness that my friends and I mistook for fun back then. A sequence stuck in my mind: Moore had the Gay Men's Chorus stand outside the home of Senator Jesse Helms and sing whatever it is that group sings. The occasion was, I guess, to reprimand Helms on some anti-gay comment or move or other. Helms' wife was at home, but Helms was not. I remember that she came to the window, and was polite in her Southern way to these guys, complimenting their singing and so forth. I don't remember if she asked them to leave; that little snippet is all that remains in memory. At the time I was all, "Haha! Gotcha, Helms!" or something. But now I think of it, and I think: what kind of person harrasses a man's wife outside of her property because he doesn't like the man's politics or viewpoint? I guess it was easier for Moore to stage his scene outside the old lady's house in whatever city that was, instead of on the steps of the Capitol Building.

I remember another segment now. Moore had some guy move into a house by himself and act really weird -- drag large, heavy garbage bags to the back yard and bury them, create chopping, banging, hammering sounds late at night, wander around his property smeared with a reddish substance, and so on, all in full view of the neighbors, who were shown looking puzzled and occasionally revolted at the man's antics, but not doing anything else. I can't be sure but I think this was after Jeffrey Dahmer's arrest. Moore's point seemed to be that no amount of suspicious activity would cause your neighbors to call the cops on you or otherwise bother you. I was a snob but I wasn't stupid -- I figured out Moore's underlying premise, which was that American society was so standoffish and alienated from itself that a serial killer could do whatever he wanted in full view of everyone and no one would want to "get involved." Of course, I didn't consider the implications of that entire idea, because feeling superior to it all was more important than actually asking myself how people in society were supposed to simultaneously be completely watchful of each other and totally respectful of individual rights to privacy.

Kirchhoff says that Moore's stuff is "valued specifically because he's making it up and known to be making it up." That could be -- but there are plenty of Moore fans who are both intelligent (I was no dummy back then, at least about things that didn't have to do with reality) and actually believe -- in so far as such a shallow belief can be held -- that Moore's underlying premises are correct despite -- or even because of -- the lies and distortions in his works.

(Via Colby Cosh.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:22 AM | Comments (1)

They get them from home

Journalist shocked by common human decency. Details on site.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:39 AM | Comments (1)

The Blair Watch Papers

What could be behind the mysterious refusable of indispensable Ozblogger Tim Blair to return to his happy Blogspot home? He was last seen hiding out in the Blogs of War central command complex. Could it be that he is avoiding thousands of screaming fans? Or is something more sinister afoot?

I guess it's time for me to park my car carelessly by the road and launch myself into the trackless Blogland woods, armed only with a videocam, a flask of Jack, and a really lame yarn hat. Or maybe not.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:13 AM | Comments (2)

Darwin's delight

According to the Iraqi "Information Manager" (aka, "Professional Liar"), we've bombed our own people over there! But wait:

"Yesterday, an American warplane attacked two buses on the highway between Baghdad and Ahman," Mohammed Saeed al Sahaf told reporters.

"Those people on those two buses are human shields coming to participate in defending civilian installations like water sanitation stations, electricity generation stations, and so on."

The rest of his scolding was drowned out by the sound of loud cheering by our side.

Coming up soon: I post on my approval of torture!

(Via Curmudgeonly & Skeptical. One thing I want to know is -- where does he get all the wacky nun pictures?)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:42 AM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2003

Mt. Doom Live! with Geraldo

Bwahahaha! (Click for larger.)

Snagged from Slate. Found via the OneRing.net.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

Me so lefty

Algore, the Dembot that Wouldn't Leave, is now adding his digitally remastered support to the censored, oppressed Dixie Chicks:

"They were made to feel un-American and risked economic retaliation because of what was said. Our democracy has taken a hit," Gore said. "Our best protection is free and open debate."

Just think, if only 2Live Crew and Prince had made fun of Republicans, they'd never have been targeted by Tipper Gore's Ministry to Promote Virtue and
Prevent Vice
Parents Music Resource Center. (On that note, read what Rachel Lucas has to say.)

(Via Transterrestrial Musings, among others.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:40 PM | Comments (8)

I don't like spam

This is just an announcement to everyone that comment spam will be deleted and the IPs of the senders banned. I have seen it on other blogs, and today I noticed that someone named CmK, email galileo60@aol.com, IP address, left this in a post of mine:

I am developing a new marketing system that will be on sale to the public
soon - complete with casette tapes, several short booklets and an endless
list of success stories - to be marketed on late night infomertials for 3
easy payments of $ 99.99 on how I created fantastic personal wealth by
handling confidential financial transactions for defrocked government
ministers and princes of third world countries ..... IT REALLY WORKS!!!

Now, considering the subject of the post, this may have been a joke, but it looked like spam to me.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:27 AM | Comments (3)

Fables of the Reconstruction

Feste has some excerpts from Aesop that show how, despite the trappings of modern technology, the world is the same old place it's ever been.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:14 AM | Comments (1)

National Paralysis Radio

Aiee... can't move... must move... must get up and turn off radio.... snide British accent of announcer causing blood poisoning... getting weaker....

Hah! That's better. Jebus, what snotty guys these commentators are. Do they ever listen to themselves and realize, "God, what a snot-nose I sound like." (I was listening to the local classical station, if you must know, but they are another NPR-associated station in the Orlando area.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:12 AM | Comments (2)

April 01, 2003

New Clothes

AC Douglas has a new look. He's also had it -- with the notion that the war in Iraq is for Iraqi-people-freeing purposes. Well, I can understand his ire. Free Iraqis will be a happy result, one hopes, but that is mostly up to them. (For instance, if they just go do the traditional Arab thing and install another strongman, it won't be our fault, but theirs. No one is concealing the Guide to Responsible Government from anyone.) But it's not the primary objective, and it's important not to let the bleatings of the peacenuggets drive one into making that assertion. (Have I let this happen to me? I don't think so...)

I also understand why the administration has been pimping that theme. It is an unfortunate fact that the media is populated by softheads and moral babies who can't handle the truth. Fortunately the bulk of the population seems to see through this nonsense, or in any case I haven't heard much about the "poor oppressed Iraqis" about town from anyone who isn't employed at or going to university.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:27 PM | Comments (3)

Heartbreak Hotel for Bloggers

So that's why there haven't been any updates to Daimnation! or Tim Blair's blog today -- Blogspot is potty, and they've been given a temporary home on Blogs of War. I hope this leads to a realization for those two of how wonderful running MT on one's own server space is. I need my daily updates of Aussie and Canadian snark.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:33 PM | Comments (5)

News from Middle Earth

It's been a while, and I know you're all panting for more inane chatter about The Lord of the Rings films and related subjects. Here goes:

Apparently there is a scene from upcoming part three The Return of the King on the Two Towers Xbox/Gamecube game discs. Though from the scene described here, it could just as easily be an outtake from The Two Towers that will turn up on the dvd version of that film. Then again, that all depends on the sequence of how Jackson filmed the story's scenes.

Orlando Bloom (Legolas) may appear in a movie about Colditz Castle, one of the places the Nazis kept Allied POWs. I only mention this because there is an odd remark made by the screenwriter. (This is in reference to a controversy involving the possible whitewashing of the Nazis in that film.) The screenwriter says: "I think it's refreshing to see the German army of that period portrayed in a good light for a change." Okay, sure he's the screenwriter and he's going to say nice things about his own script, but what is it with this urge to spread niceness all over every damn thing? Some stuff that happened is evil, some people are just plain bad, and there is no need to nice them up. It's just another example of the mistaken notion that portraying evil as evil will somehow make more evil.

Here's a nice, interactive "Come to New Zealand" promo based on the films. it's got maps and interviews and things.

Sure, Peter Jackson is a great director, but I still have no interest in his latest project, a remake of King Kong. I can't think of a less necessary remake, though I'm sure anything will be an improvement over the Dino Di Laurentiis fiasco (of which I have only been able to endure tidbits). I've never understood the appeal of this film in any of its manifestations. Sorry, guys, giant ape movies just don't do it for me.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:26 PM | Comments (5)

So tempted

So tempted to forward MR. WILLAMS NELSON of South Africa (who wants me to handle some "confidential financial transactions" for him) the other offer I got from "Dr. Bonnie Lyon" to help me become "naturally slim." Or do you think he'd prefer 1 Year of Free Massages?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:26 PM | Comments (8)

"Big Brain" Revealed as Pea Shock

Dave Winer is supposed to be some big-deal computer brainhead, but where the war in Iraq is concerned, he might as well be a ten-day-old corpse for all the useful insight he can bring to this subject. Let us examine his assertions. Skip the BS about us being in Iraq's "house," -- except to note that he seems to think that this is a bad thing. Yeah, Uncle Sam is in the hizzouse now. You saying something's wrong with that?

It's this passage that is the most precious:

If you have a choice, you have no excuse going to war. You can only go to war if you have no choice. I'm sorry Dubya. Let's just put the tanks in reverse and bring the boys home. Say we're sorry and ask for forgiveness. It'll be a lot easier than playing it out. This war is just plain wrong.

I've got a little something to say to that (and I'm going to swear like a truck driver so be warned):

David Winer, you fucking moron.

Just what the hell do you mean by "choice"? You don't bother to say -- perhaps since the only thing resembling "choice" would be to let Iraq remain in Saddamite purgatory until the end of time. Ass. You blab about how awful it is that we are tracking dust all over the nice carpet of Iraq, and then you imply that their lives really don't mean shinola to you.

And I'd like to know one thing:

Just how the hell are we supposed to "bring the boys home," you sorry-ass excuse for a human being never mind American.

"Put the tanks in reverse," he says. "Put the tanks in reverse"??? Put them in fucking REVERSE??? What the HELL is this moron smoking? We can't just back up out of Iraq like a guy who's gone up the wrong highway ramp backing up his Chevy S-10. What the hell do you think we've been doing for the past week, Winer? Do you actually think we can just beam out of there, like on Star Trek? YOU ARE AN IDIOT, DAVID WINER.

And the arrogance of "Say we're sorry and ask for forgiveness." Jesus H. Bend Me Over and Fist Me Christ, this guy has just outdone Michael Moore. Moore only claimed to speak for the whole goddamn American working class. Winer seems to think that all we have to do is "apologize" and tell the Iraqi people "You can go on back to your suffering and oppression, sorry for the dead people, big holes, and broken windows -- but see, David Winer is a big computer brain, and he's all bummed and this war news is making him frown and feel all funny in his tummy, so we have to leave! We won't be picking up before we go either -- Dave said now, so we have to skedaddle! Now remember, be nice to Qusay -- he'll be your new boss!" And see, they'll be okay with it, 'cos Dave Winer is a nice man and bad things don't happen in his world to good little boys and girls who apologize nicely! It does not seem to have occurred to him (well, that would take thought, and that does not seem to have been used by Mr. Winer to write this) that stuff like his magnanimous offer is what makes the Iraqis think we are not to be trusted, and as long as people like Winer continue to go about with their heads jammed completely up the cracks of their asses in this manner, the Iraqis will be right.

Then he goes into a hysterical rant about how we just can't win this war, so I guess that the BBC, Al-Jazeerah, and Iraqi state teevee are the Winer household's main sources of news. Then there is a whole bunch of stuff about how the Fearsome Arab Fighter Terrorist Jihad The CIA FBI Suicide Bombers AAH! WE'RE DOOMED! EVERYONE RUN TO THE HILLS!

Perhaps Mr. Winer was afraid that if he didn't say anything about the war, he would be thought of as a fool. Well, now that he has said something, we no longer merely have to think that.

(By the way, the link in the above quote, copied from the original, goes to an image of very large black letters that spell out the word "wrong." I kid you not. What the hell is that supposed to prove? That he knows how to use Photoshop to make a jpeg?)

[Via Dean Esmay.]

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:51 AM | Comments (34)

Meat! Meat! arrgghh...

And just when I start my More Meat, Less Pasta diet, James Lileks goes and puts up the most godawful photos of meat, from a Family Circle cookbook.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:22 AM | Comments (5)

Another month is here

Another month. Don't these things ever run out?

Happy April 1st. Some of you are into that April Fools' Day thing. I'm not. In my experience (mine, I'm not intending to speak for anyone else) it is too often used as a chance to play those cruel little pranks that one dares not to at other times of the year. "I just got a call from your landlord! Your cat got out of the apartment when they went to fix the water heater, and got run over by the mailman!" "What?!?!?!!" "Ha ha! April Fool! Hee hee. Heh -- why are you holding the letter opener like that? The mail hasn't been delivered ye--aiiiEEEeeee...!!" "Ha ha! April Fool! Oops -- looks like that letter opener really was sharp, instead of just a joke! Oh well -- my bad!"

So as you can see I don't like April Fools' Day all that much. Take that as you will.

That being said, Robyn and Bjørn Stærk both have funny April Fools' Day things going on. Enjoy.

Update: oh, what the hell -- here's some more: Cold Fury has gone all mellow on us! Kim du Toit into quilting?!?! Inoperable Terran has gone Commie on us! Heh heh. You guys.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:09 AM | Comments (6)

Live Human Shields Nude!

Something Awful has a novel suggestion of how human shields could be used more efficiently.

Tie hundreds of civilians and Iraqi prisoners to yourself, hot glue them to the surface of tanks and Humvees, and when that just isn't enough combine the protective flesh of hundreds of human shields with a mechanical exoskeleton to create a protective battledroid.

It's too bad Saddam Hussein has already been reduced to (pick your favorite):

  1. gobbets of dictator-flesh
  2. a nose hooked up to a life-support system
  3. an overweight, rather ugly woman named "Layla"
  4. Timmy!

What might have been...

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:29 AM | Comments (1)