AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/29/2003 02:50:00 PM ----- BODY:

Goodbye for now

I will soon be leaving for England for the Rencontre d'Assyrologie, and then joining Mrs. Marduk as she bikes her way across the Alpes. As well, I think that I need a break from blogging, and I'm sure that blogging needs a break from me. So I'll see you in September with a brand new Moveable Type blog at

www.babylonianmusings.com

IF YOU CAN HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR 10 SECONDS, YOU WILL BE REDIRECTED TO THE BEAUTIFUL NEW LGF-DESIGNED SITE

-------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/26/2003 10:00:00 AM ----- BODY: The racist, schizophrenic, and always entertaining Mac Diva has apparently come to the conclusion that all other bloggers of colour are, in fact, "Uncle Toms:" "But, how about the little people in the wee blogosphere? Scared Negro disease seems to be on a rise here since a minority blogger was harassed for daring to speak out about racism among some 'liberal' bloggers. Prometheus 6 recently rolled over in his back and waved his legs in the air because a Right Wing blogger praised him for an entry on racism that said next to nothing about racism. Jesse of Pandagon has been strangely silent about his own experiences with racism from some conservative and liberal bloggers. In fact, he is doing some brown-nosing of Right Wingers, too. McBain, of course, is the poster boy for scared Negro disease. I suppose this proves the blogosphere reflects the real world. However, even a few voices emanating from minority bloggers who will not urinate in their pants if a white blogger voices the slightest disapproval can and will make a difference. I will be doing whatever I can " -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/26/2003 09:20:00 AM ----- BODY:

can you believe that this is Qaddafi's daughter??

Aisha al Qaddafi Quite pretty, right? Looks normal, right? She's still got the loony, murderous genes of her father: "Aisha who is dubbed the 'Libyan Claudia Schiffer' calls for the liberation of Palestine by Jihad. Her slogan has always been 'yes for Intifada, no for surrender.'" (Al Bawaba) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/26/2003 09:02:00 AM ----- BODY:

The resentful blogging of a have-not

Susan Madrak of Suburban Guerilla should really get a better financial advisor and boost those capital gains. Or at least a better job. That way, we can be spared the following jealous spew: "WELL! ISN'T THAT SPECIAL? This, from today's NYT: Long-term capital gains accounted for 64 percent of the income of the top 400 in 2000, nearly double the level in 1992. Wages contributed 16.7 percent to the incomes of the top 400 in 2000, down from 26.2 percent in 1992, and dividends made up 2.8 percent. A second report that the I.R.S. will make public today shows that the number of Americans with high incomes who pay no taxes anywhere in the world has reached a record. In 2000, there were 2,022 Americans with incomes of more than $200,000 who paid no income tax anywhere in the world, up from just 37 in 1977, when the report was first issued." -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/26/2003 08:41:00 AM ----- BODY: The aptly-named "Slacktivist": believes that fancy swimming pools are the cutting edge of Republican strategy to foster class warfare: "The upper class is fighting an undeclared war on everyone else, and it's winning. This war sometimes involves the use of weapons of mass destruction -- such as runaway federal deficits, massively regressive tax cuts and oxymoronic schemes to "privatize" Social Security or "privatize" public education. But just as often this war involves conventional weapons, including the "politics of envy." Arrogant and irrelevant articles about the lifestyles of the rich and careless play a function in reinforcing and defending those lifestyles. They hold up the illusory promise that your life could be like this. They suggest that happiness is to be found by separating yourself from most people and ascending to join the pampered elite. They subtly encourage people not to work to improve life for the majority, for the neighborhood, for the community, for the country -- but to escape the bounds of such constraining ties and join the happy few who lavish themselves with decadent luxuries like: A $350,000 pool [with] three waterfalls -- one of them emptying into a raised spa -- complete stonework decking, custom lighting, fencing and landscaping. The barbecue area alone cost $45,000. That's one version of the American Dream. It's a narrow, individualistic and selfish vision that sees America as the land of the opportunity to acquire lots of stuff for me and mine. It's also a winner-take-all vision, a nightmare of community as a war of all against all. Life in this Hobbesian jungle may be nasty, brutish and short for most, but not for the winners. The winners get to cool off in their private, backyard resorts." Slacktivist then asks, in all seriousness, whether I would want the above-mentioned pool, or the following: "a less-ostentatious, but more accessible, pool in a park.... a pool which would be for the entire community -- publicly funded, publicly owned, publicly enjoyed. The question is this: Which pool would you rather swim in? Or, to ask the same question in another way: What kind of America do you want to live in?" Well, I don't know, Slacky. It really all depends on whether or not unwashed Idiotarians like you are in that public pool. If so, I would probably opt for that private job. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/26/2003 08:00:00 AM ----- BODY: The goddamn dog dug up all the flowers again -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/26/2003 07:54:00 AM ----- BODY: The mouthpiece house organ for Saudi Arabia, the Arab News decides that it should comment on the Supreme Court's recent rulings on affirmative action. Normally, I would quote a little of what they have to say. But in view of the fact that up until a few years ago slavery was a widespread and legal practice in Saudi Arabia, I can't imagine anything that the Arab Times has to say that would be relevant to anyone not living in the 8th century. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/26/2003 07:40:00 AM ----- BODY:

A moment of revelation at the Daily Kos

"We subscribe to nothing. We have no attention span, no sense of history, no sense of posterity. Arrogant, indifferent, disconnected, aimless, self-absorbed, our lives are arranged around familiar pastimes ... and the occasional search for new pastimes. When the going gets tough, we wait ... hoping the going will just go away. If it doesn't, we eventually reach for the remote." yep...that just about sums it up from an Idiotarian point of view. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/25/2003 05:40:00 PM ----- BODY: I never really had any true animosity towards Clinton while he was president. His venal hucksterism after he left office, however, is another matter entirely: "Clinton says gains made under him being erased " "Former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday pointed his finger at the Bush administration, saying it is erasing accomplishments that he worked hard to achieve. Clinton said the United States cannot be strong abroad, a reference to the war on terrorism, and weak or divided at home over social issues.... Clinton also spoke about President Bush's tax cut plan that, for him, will equal an estimated $80,000 windfall. He said he'd rather not get a check if it means cutting education, health care, after-school programs and raising the cost of student loans..." (Chicago Sun Times) Oh please....this guy gets $100,000 a pop whenever he shows up. How much do you want to bet he didn't waive his fee for this appearance? As far as he is concerned, if it's not nailed down, it's for sale. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/25/2003 02:53:00 PM ----- BODY:

Checklist for the groundskeeper of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon: peatmoss, garden hoses, nuclear centrifuge, grass seeds...


"Iraqi scientist turns over centrifuge, needed to develop nuclear bomb, that had been hidden in a garden in Baghdad." (CNN) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/25/2003 11:32:00 AM ----- BODY:

The Rotary Club, Bake Sales, and Hamas

Article 17 of the Hamas Charter: "Article Seventeen The Muslim women have a no lesser role than that of men in the war of liberation; they manufacture men and play a great role in guiding and educating the [new] generation. The enemies have understood that role, therefore they realize that if they can guide and educate [the Muslim women in a way that would distance them from Islam, they would have won that war. Therefore, you can see them making consistent efforts [in that direction] by way of publicity and movies, curricula of education and culture, using as their intermediaries their craftsmen who are part of the various Zionist Organizations which take on all sorts of names and shapes such as: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, gangs of spies and the like. All of them are nests of saboteurs and sabotage. Those Zionist organizations control vast material resources, which enable them to fulfill their mission amidst societies, with a view of implementing Zionist goals and sowing the concepts that can be of use to the enemy. Those organizations operate [in a situation] where Islam is absent from the arena and alienated from its people. Thus, the Muslims must fulfill their duty in confronting the schemes of those saboteurs. When Islam will retake possession of [the means to] guide the life [of the Muslims], it will wipe out those organizations which are the enemy of humanity and Islam." -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/25/2003 08:15:00 AM ----- BODY:

Pot, Kettle, Black

"A top Russian military commander Saturday took an indirect swipe at the United States by accusing global powers of using the war on terror as a pretext for spreading their influence abroad. Chief of staff general Anatoly Kvashnin's comments appeared to be directed at US troops stationed in the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia as part of their Afghan campaign. 'It is one thing when a country is fighting terrorism on its own territory, and some other countries assist them,' the Interfax-Avn military news agency quoted Kvashnin an officers' graduation ceremony in Moscow. 'But it is quite another thing when, under the guise of fighting international terror, some countries are in fact trying to get involved in the internal affairs of the nation they are meant to be helping,' said Kvashnin. " (IRIBNEWS) One word; Chechnya -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/25/2003 08:02:00 AM ----- BODY:

Sensitive Male Alert

One of my favorite movies for the past few years has been The Hours, not the least of which is its excellent score by Philip Glass. The DVD came out yesterday, and I watched it twice last night. Once without commentary, once with. Both times sobbing into my popcorn. I would say that my MQ (manly quotient) is about a 3 (out of 10). -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/25/2003 07:53:00 AM ----- BODY: Only a complete and utter moron would call the wounding of Syrian border guards by U.S. troops a "war crime." Wait a minute. Billy of Billmon.org: "Anatomy of a War Crime 'Protocol 1, Additional to the Geneva Conventions, 1977 In the conduct of military operations, constant care shall be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects . . . those who plan or decide upon an attack shall: do everything feasible to verify that the objectives to be attacked are neither civilians nor civilian objects and are not subject to special protection but are military objectives . . . and that it is not prohibited by the provisions of this Protocol to attack them; take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of attack with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects . . . ' 'Syrian Border Guards Hurt in Convoy Attack' 'Syrians Wounded in Attack by U.S. on Convoy in Iraq'" -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/25/2003 07:43:00 AM ----- BODY: One of the few good reasons to read the Guardian (other than for laughs, that is), are the articles by David Aaronovitch. On Sunday, he wrote an excellent article on the strange confluence of Arab and European anti-Semitism: "The new anti-Semitism" "We got to Abdel-aziz al-Rantisi a couple of weeks before the Israelis almost did. Our yellow taxi-bus had taken us down an anonymous side-street in Gaza city, and stopped outside a grey-black four-storey apartment block. There was no decoration on the ground or first floors, just bare concrete steps, with no banisters. One flight up we passed a room in which a sub-machine gun sat, ownerless, on an armchair beside a sunny window. Mr Rantisi was in the room above. The Hamas leader, a famous hardliner in that organisation of hardliners, was going, I hoped, to answer a specific question. Why, in article 32 of the Hamas covenant, was there an approving reference to a document, an anti-Semitic forgery of the early twentieth century, once described by a leading historian as a 'warrant for genocide'? The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - supposedly a transcript of a meeting of the world's top Jews, called to discuss the achievement of world domination - was concocted by an ultra-orthodox member of the Tsar's secret police, Sergei Nilus in about 1903. By the early 1920s it was being widely circulated in Europe and America, was later taught in the schools of Nazi Germany and is now to be found on any good neo-nazi web-site near you. It is the classic of Holocaust-era anti-Semitism, portraying the Jews as a conniving, Machiavellian race, plotting how to gain power well beyond their puny numbers, through manipulation and money. So what on earth is it doing in the twenty-first century manifesto of an Islamic movement? The Covenant says that 'the Zionists' want an Israel that extends from Cairo to Basra, and then next stop, the world. 'Their plan,' says Mr Rantisi's Covenant, 'is embodied in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.' " Read the whole article. Twice. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/25/2003 07:34:00 AM ----- BODY:

They'll have to pry the barbecue sauce out of my cold dead fingers

You think you have a problem with gun control in the States? Here in Canada, we have a far worse problem: barbecue control. "Turn off barbecues, Torontonians urged" (National Post) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 06:00:00 PM ----- BODY: Shit-for-brains self-styled revolutionary, Steven Charest, safely living in Lincoln Nebraska, apparently feels that the Afghan girl who participated in an attack on American troops is a heroine worth of a legend: "Reader Lis did add something to that and pointed out that in the article attached to the picture, it was reported that a 12 year old girl was involved in the latest round of attacks against American troops. I recently learned of the Afghan heroine Malalai, who carried the Afghan flag forward after the soldiers carrying the flag were killed by the British. She becomes a heroine for her show of courage and valor. Are we watching a similar legend in the making?" Asshole -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 12:52:00 PM ----- BODY: Ahhh....To be young again: Read Courtney's Five Year Plan. Normally, I could get maudlin over this. However, the kids are leaving tomorrow for sleep-over camp!!! Plus, I'm in the midst of a chocolate-mocha frappucinno...The ice-cream machine makes these as well. Actually, I forgot to put the lid on properly the first two times, and it sprayed me and the room with espresso extract and ice. However, on the third try, I got it right. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 12:36:00 PM ----- BODY:

Great Moments in fuckwit hyperbole

"Great. We invaded Syria. U.S. special forces crossed into Syria last week in hot pursuit of what they believed were former Iraqi leaders and exchanged fire with Syrian border guards, seriously wounding three of them, Pentagon officials said yesterday. Details of the episode remained sketchy, and some U.S. officials said the strike could turn out to be a case of mistaken identity. The U.S. troops, backed by an AC-130 gunship, attacked a convoy of three to seven sport utility vehicles near the western town of Qaim last Wednesday. The convoy was apparently headed toward the Syrian border when the strike occurred, killing an unknown number of people that U.S. officials believed to be former Baath party leaders and security forces loyal to Saddam Hussein. The Syrian border guards were injured when U.S. special forces soldiers on the ground chased at least one person who tried to flee the charred trucks through a border checkpoint, according to defence officials who received second-hand reports from the field about the incident and asked not to be identified. The officials said the Syrians were being given U.S. medical attention and would be repatriated to Syrian authorities." (Sisyphus Shrugged) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 12:17:00 PM ----- BODY: Heheh: "Prepare yourselves, bloggers, for new lows in dishonesty and nastiness, demented scribblings at depths to which even the most vermin-encrusted of Mesopotamian sewer rats can only aspire." (Jimmy C) I don't know Jimmy, I usually achieve my aspirations, however low. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 10:47:00 AM ----- BODY: Good God! Exactly how schizophrenic is Mac Diva? On her Silver Rights blog, she writes this on Monday: "I've said before I am not much of an admirer of personal blogging. That preference grows out of my taste in reading and writing in other contexts I suspect. I engage in those activities mainly to look outward, though sometimes looking outward can inform the inward. Too much of personal blogging is navel-gazing in my opinion." On her Macaronies blog, she writes this on Tuesday: "After deciding I had become much too focused on blogging and the book I am trying to finish, I relented and went out on a couple dates. The first went well enough, but, as is often the case, the bad date was more interesting." She then goes into excruciating personal details about her big date. This is one very seriously deranged person. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 10:36:00 AM ----- BODY: So I showed the following to the Marduk Dog, to see her reaction: "Dog clears the table, helps with laundry, and fetches beer" "Most dogs can fetch slippers or the paper, but one dog in Twinsburg can clear the table, help with the laundry and the dishes, and even grab a beer from the fridge."(WKYC.com). The Marduk Dog's immediate reply: "Yes, but can that stupid bitch inhale an entire black licorice jelly bean through one nostril, and make you pay $500 to have it removed?" -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 10:26:00 AM ----- BODY: Imagine my surprise: Dennis Kucinich is Max Sawisky's favorite candidate, because, get this, "Kucinich has the more powerful, rational message." (MaxSpeak). Absolutely. In fact, al-Jazeerah is equally impressed. So much so, that they prominently reproduce this letter: "A letter from Dennis Kucinich 6/24/03 Dear Friends: With the June 30th second quarter fundraising deadline approaching, I need your help. My name is Dennis Kucinich, which is spelled www.kucinich.us For four months, I have been campaigning for President coast-to-coast. As journalists have reported, we are attracting the largest crowds, and the biggest audience responses. We have had 1,000-plus gatherings in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Northern and Southern California. Grassroots activists are flocking to our campaign In four months, we have built an insurgent campaign to challenge not only the Bush Administration and its climate of fear, but to shake the Democratic Party from its climate of fear. On the campaign trail, I continue to question this Administration's fraudulent war in Iraq and a reckless foreign policy that isolates our country more than the terrorists who seek to attack us. I am the candidate calling for cuts in a wasteful Pentagon budget that rivals the military spending of all other countries in the world combined. I propose not piecemeal, ineffective changes to our corporatized and crisis-ridden health care system, but a rational system of universal, single-payer national health insurance. Like other industrialized countries, we can afford that -- as well as quality education, environmental cleanup emphasizing clean energy, and secure retirement with the Social Security retirement age returned to 65. It's all affordable, but only if we end corporate welfare, challenge Pentagon spending that's more fit for empire than defense, and reverse the Administration's tax breaks for the wealthy -- all of them, not just some. On the campaign trail, I am meeting union workers, family farmers and environmentalists who support my pledge to withdraw from NAFTA and the WTO -- trade deals that benefit multinational corporations, not the public or planetary health. I am getting support from civil libertarians for my vow to repeal the misnamed "Patriot Act," which I proudly voted against in Congress. Only a frontal challenge to this Administration's policies, coupled with a serious alternative program, can defeat George Bush in 2004. Half-way challenges, where Democrats concede to him on war and defense policy, will lead to disaster -- like they did in November 2002. I'm waging a campaign that is a total challenge to this Administration's reckless policies at home and abroad. The only thing limiting our campaign is money." I hope to see you on the campaign trail. I'm Dennis Kucinich... you know how to spell it. Sincerely, Dennis" Isn't the donkey the symbol for the Democratic Party? -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 08:42:00 AM ----- BODY:

Ah...Poetry

"We must drive ourselves in times of trouble. Mustn't tarry, must be free. We shall work to oust him. Bush misleads. For in our hour of darkness Bush is fueled by ego, fueled by greed. We shall work to oust him. Bush misleads. Bush misleads, Bush misleads, Bush misleads you and me. We shall work to oust him. Bush misleads. The poor and broken hearted people Living in the world agree. Bush is not the answer. Bush misleads. He lures us into starting wars and Slashes taxes gleefully, Only for the wealthy. Bush misleads. Bush misleads, Bush misleads, Bush misleads you and me. Dems will be the answer. Bush misleads. Bush misleads, Bush misleads, Bush misleads you and me. Dems will be the answer. Bush misleads." (courtesy: Madeleine Begun Kane, "Humor" Columnist) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 08:06:00 AM ----- BODY:

The Glorious and Beloved Leader issues new guidelines to his loyal troops

The Daily Kos Speaks: "As of late, I have noticed a general erosion of discipline on the threads, with people posting off topic comments. And god forbid those comments have anything to do with the Greens or Dean, as either of those topics will hijack any thread. In order to maintain the integrity of these boards, I will be more militant about enforcing the off-topic rules, issuing temporary bans to those who violate them"

AS IT IS WRITTEN, SO IT SHALL BE

-------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 07:31:00 AM ----- BODY:

Let's have an anti-war rally. But DON'T INVITE THE JEWS

Remember the San Francisco antiwar rally of last year sponsored by A.N.S.W.E.R? They didn't want to let Rabbi Lerner of Tikkun Magazine address the crowd, despite his impeccable left credentials, because of his nominal support of Israel. Well, the following is making its way through various anti-war sites: "A call for mass meetings everywhere on September 11, 2003" "We're going to meet on 9/11/2003 (or since that's a Thursday, maybe you'll want to make it on Sept. 13-14, the weekend; or maybe all four days if you're ambitious). In town halls and city venues all over the nation and the world, people with the means and the conscience are going to contact people they know who are like-minded and just as outraged, and organize a program that will consist of speakers, videos, panel discussions, and town-hall-style Q&A forums to devise strategies that will remove the rich killers from power as soon as possible. Organizers, be very wary about enlisting the help of political parties, political action groups or religious organizations to accomplish your goals. Most of them - if not all of them - may have alluring presentations that make you think they are on your side, but when you look more deeply, you will find some glaring contradiction, some suspicious omission in their agenda. That will mean they aren't really there to help as much as achieve their own limited objectives, and that is not what these meetings should be about. My top choice for speaker would be Cynthia McKinney, the Georgia woman who lost her seat in Congress simply for asking questions - and not making charges, as mainstream media falsely reported (find Greg Palast's latest piece) - about who knew what prior to 9/11. Simply for asking a basic question, she was run out of Congress by the Jewish lobby, who FOR SOME REASON must have really wanted to cover something up, wouldn't you say? Even Cynthia on video would be great. This is why I advise caution about Jewish participation. It stems from the confluence of two facts that may at first seem unconnected. Why is the only certainly sacrosanct item in the U.S. federal budget aid to Israel, when that country has never once paid back a dime? And the fact that all major U.S. mass media are owned by Jews, except for Murdoch's Fox, which is even more fascist then the rest of them. Put those two items together in your mind and let them circulate a little. Then ask yourself how you can believe any person who professes to be Jewish and a supporter of Israel can honestly participate in any antiwar action? It's a question I've had for a long time, and it has never been answered satisfactorily. This is why I've said before and will continue to say the two most important items on your checklist to decide whether the story you are reading or hearing in whatever media outlet is 9/11 and the Jewish question. If Israel is not mentioned, you're seeing the bias of Jewish owners who are covering up the biggest story of the new century, which is the ascendance of China back by Israel and the premeditated destruction of the United States by multinational corporate murderers." -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/24/2003 07:22:00 AM ----- BODY: You know, the Israel-haters always beat the drum that it's only Israel that's the problem, not Jews. In fact, they usually try to hug a Jew at least once a day. Jeff Rense and his porcine webmaster James Neff are in this category. So you wonder what they think they are doing when they publish the following: "Blurring The Line Between Synagogue & State from theneworder.org 6-23-3 Envoy to the Holocaust appointed There is no U.S. envoy to the Crucifixion or a special State Department office for the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption. But there is now an official representative to the Holy Hoax in a blurring of the line between Church and State--or should we say, SYNAGOGUE and State?" If you have the stomach for it, go to the cited website, www.theneworder.org, and look at this lovely banner on the site: How friggin stupid do they think people are? -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 01:22:00 PM ----- BODY:

It's arrived!!! It's arrived!!!

The single most important piece of equipment for our office was finally delivered today: Ladies and Gentlemen: The Taylor Freezemaster 339 Ice Cream Machine "This free-standing soft serve dispensing freezer by Taylor lets you offer two individual flavors or an equal combination of both with a twist. The mix you use determines the type of product. You can make reduced fat, low fat, non-fat, and fat free ice creams, ice milk, frozen yogurt, frozen custard, sherbet, sorbet and tofu." Ick...forget about the tofu. You can stick anything in this machine and it will make ice-cream out of it. I have in mind Reese's Pieces, Milky Way chocolate bars, Baby Ruths....Ben and Jerry's as a soft ice cream cone. In about an hour and half, I'm heading over to the grocery stores to pick up supplies. If you place your order now, I can have your ice cream ready later on this evening. Mmmmmmm a Milky Way double-dipped in chocolate....MMMmmmmmm. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 12:56:00 PM ----- BODY:

Remember: Vote Early, and Vote Often

Don't forget to cast your vote in the democratic primary being held at MoveOn.org. Personally, I've cast 4,275 votes for Al Sharpton and 3,564 votes for Carol Moseley Braun. Only they can regain America's respect for the Democratic Party. Oh wait a minute....does it matter if I'm not a citizen? -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 12:15:00 PM ----- BODY:

A Paleo-conservative speaks

At the best of times, columnist and isolationist Jew-hater Charley Reese is a senile turnip. This time, the shit-for-brains turnip is rancid: "The basic facts of the conflict are that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip is illegal. Israel was ordered to withdraw from those territories by the United Nations Security Council in 1967, when Israeli forces in the Six-Day War captured them. There is nothing to negotiate. Israel must simply withdraw. Another basic fact is that all of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza are illegal. They are a direct violation of the Geneva Convention. They, too, have been condemned by the United Nations. Another basic fact is that Israel's "annexation" of East Jerusalem is null and void and was so declared long ago by the United Nations. You will note that all of the international lawbreaking has been done by Israel. The Palestinians are the innocent victims, yet Mr. Bush, in turning normal human behavior upside down, demands that the occupied protect the occupier and the victim negotiate with the criminal. He demands that a weak, impoverished non-state guarantee the security of a regional military superpower, an absurd impossibility." If "all the international lawbreaking has been done by Israel," one wonders how Charley would classify the near-continuous murder of Israeli civilians by suicide bombs, "misdemeanors?" -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 11:58:00 AM ----- BODY:

One more in a series of unbelievably stupid blogging quotes

Commenting on 9/11, xymphora spews: "Within this many months of all the major American conspiracies of the last forty years we were still confused, but we had some idea as to what was going on. This case is remarkable for the fact that we know almost nothing about what happened. The United States has embarked on two dreadful and unsuccessful wars based on the excuse of these attacks, and turned the country into a fascist security state. You would think there might be the slightest effort to answer some of these questions. The Bush Administration is stonewalling on even the most basic documents, and appears to have gotten away with one of the greatest cover-ups yet devised. The most striking thing is that most if not all of these issues could easily be resolved if the right people were forced to answer some rather simple questions." -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 09:46:00 AM ----- BODY: Arianna Huffington, the left's favorite reprobate Republican, has apparently decided to shift her focus from blaming soccer moms in SUVs for terrorism, to psychoanalyzing the Bush administration: "WMDs and the psychology of fanaticism. We?´re not saying Bush is nuts -- psychologists are. "By all accounts, the behind-the-scenes battle within the Bush administration over just what information should be used, or spun, or hidden, to make the case that Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to America and the rest of the world was a knockdown, drag-out fight between the facts and a zealous, highly politicized, "who needs proof?" mindset. And, at the end of the day, the truth was left writhing on the floor. Hey, why let the facts get in the way of a perfectly good war? This pathological pattern of disregarding inconvenient reality is not just troubling -- it's deadly. And it's threatening to drag us into a Sisyphean struggle against evildoers in Syria, Iran, North Korea, or whatever locale Karl Rove thinks would best advance "Operation Avoid 41's Fate." Since I'm not a psychiatrist, I consulted the work of various experts in the field in order to get a better understanding of the fanatical mindset that is driving the Bush administration's agenda -- and scaring the living daylights out of a growing number of observers. Dr. Norman Doidge, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, has identified among the telltale symptoms of fanatics: an intolerance of dissent, a doctrine that is riddled with contradictions, the belief that one's cause has been blessed or even commanded by God, and the use of reinforcement techniques such as repetition to spread one's message." Well since we're talking about the psychopathology of avoiding reality, perhaps Arianna would like to ask her pet psychiatrists what their diagnosis would be of a woman who ignores the fact that her husband is gay, and in fact angrily denies it even when he openly admits it. But when that woman is Arianna Huffington, who stood to collect millions of dollars in a divorce settlement, "reality" just becomes another inconvenient word. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 08:44:00 AM ----- BODY:

Yet another example of the deliberate distortion of reality by ignorant anti-war fools

Last week, I dealt with the ignorant and amateurish analysis of the looting of the Iraqi Museum by Teresa Nielsen Hayden of Making Light. Today we have her tag-team partners in asshole punditry, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, of Electrolite, dishonestly imply that the recovered and priceless Uruk (Warka) vase was irretrievably damaged, and that said damage is the direct result of the U.S. military's incompetence. Either Patrick is an utter moron, or a mendacious idiot (I'm betting both). The so-called "pristine" state that he alludes to of the pre-theft vase was, in fact, largely a reconstruction. When the vase was originally excavated, you dolt, it was in pieces-- one large section and a half dozen or more smaller ones. The reconstruction of this and other artifacts is always done in such a manner so as to not be permanent. This makes it easier to preserve and reconstruct, if necessary, in the future. The recovered vase had exactly the same component pieces in exactly the same condition as when they were excavated. I'm also betting that it had already been taken apart by restorers, and that what had been stolen were the individual pieces. Next time, fool, before you and your wife decide to make political hay about something you are obviously and abjectly ignorant, try educating yourself about the rudimentary aspects of the field of archaeology. Or else just stick to fantasy. By the way, I notice that neither of the Haydens has mentioned the likelihood that the former director the Museum, Donny George, a Baathist appointee and ass-kissing toady to Hussein, was more than likely involved in the systemic looting of the choicer artifacts long before the Americans showed up. But then, of course, this would take away from the central raison d'etre of the Haydens and their ilk, which is not the concern for Mesopotamian antiquities, but a search for ammunition in their resistance to the liberation of Iraq. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 07:51:00 AM ----- BODY: You really have to wonder sometimes when the fuckwit who runs Alas a Blog remains absolutely convinced that Cynthia McKinney, "one of my favorite American politicians," was screwed by the "racist, lying, white media." Hmmm...I wonder which part of the racist, lying white media forced Cynthia McKinney's father and campaign manger to label her Republican opponent "a racist Jew." Or also forced him to state: "Jews have bought everybody. Jews. J-E-W-S." -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 07:26:00 AM ----- BODY:

Yet one more sign of the impending fascism overtaking the United States

The Supreme Court has upheld the right of the University of Michigan to employ affirmative action practices. Not that I care about affirmative action one way or the other, but doesn't this ruling by a "conservative, right wing court" show that the Idiotarian rant about the inevitable rush of the United States judiciary towards kneejerk right wing decisions is a tad overstated? -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 07:20:00 AM ----- BODY:

Once again, the mouthpiece of Saudi Arabia has the nerve to give a lecture on democracy

You would think that the public relation firm for a medieval theocracy, also known as the Arab News, would at some point be embarrassed to write this: "The concept of honor was once an essential ingredient of the European democratic process. Politicians whose integrity was compromised by failure or scandal generally did the decent thing and resigned their office, at least until their reputation was vindicated by an enquiry. In extreme cases, they even shot themselves. However when the UK?’s Lord Carrington resigned as foreign secretary in 1982 because his department had failed to anticipate the Argentine invasion of the British-held Falkland Islands, there were many who thought the English nobleman was behaving stupidly. The average democratic politician has spent such effort and cunning clambering up the greasy pole of power that once he has attained office, he is not going to give it up so easily. Europeans are thus regularly treated to the unedifying spectacle of their political leaders clinging to their positions, until driven to let go by a tidal wave of protest. This growing blemish in the democratic process becomes even more serious when political parties win huge majorities for themselves in parliament. Both the Blair government in the UK and the administration of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy enjoy considerable parliamentary dominance, and each has used this to undemocratic ends. Tony Blair took his country into war against Iraq, despite the overwhelming opposition of ordinary Englishmen. No less seriously, Berlusconi has used his parliamentary forces in both chambers of the Italian legislature to award himself immunity from criminal prosecution. " -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/23/2003 07:05:00 AM ----- BODY: When I read the following by the asshole Rivero of www.whatreallyhappened.com, I am uncertain whether his use of the phrase "Night of the Long Knives" is due to his recurring ignorance about any historical matters, or due to his apparent conversion to Jews=Nazis school of anti-Semitism: "Sharon's "Night of the Long Knives" goes on." Rivero refers to the Israel's target assassinations of Hamas leaders. For those who don't know, the actual phrase "Night of the Long Knives" refers to 29th June, 1934, when Hitler ordered the SS to purge murder and kill the leadership of the Sturm Abteilung (SA), a major rival of Himmler's SS, and a potential rival to the regular German Army. What all this has to do with Israel and Hamas is a mystery. But then again, so is Mikey Rivero's relationship with rational human thought. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/22/2003 03:04:00 PM ----- BODY:

Yet one more reason to eliminate Malaysia as your holiday destination

"Anti-Semitic Book Distributed at Rally for Malaysian Leader" "Officials of the Malaysian prime minister's party gave out copies of American industrialist Henry Ford's anti-Semitic book "The International Jew" to delegates at a party gathering today. At a news conference afterward, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 77, who is planning to step down in October after 22 years of rule, said the distribution of the book had nothing to do with him. "I don't need that book to tell me what is right and what is wrong," said Mr. Mahathir, who had earlier basked in the adulation of his party faithful. "I'm not responsible for the distribution." Tens of thousands of Muslim Malays attended the last day of the three-day United Malays National Organization assembly to see Mr. Mahathir deliver his final speech as party president. Party workers at the assembly's secretariat handed out free copies of an abridged version of Ford's book, translated into Bahasa Malay and published in Johannesburg. The book, first published in the 1920's, also contained the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which was originally published in Russia in the early 20th century and has been used through the decades to peddle theories of an international Jewish conspiracy. Mr. Mahathir said that he had read the book years ago but was not influenced by it, adding that it was the injustice of the West handing Palestinian land to the Jews that upset him. He was unapologetic about remarks earlier in the week that characterized white Westerners as warlike and greedy and their liberal societies as promoting sexual immorality. He said Malaysia had "reached a level that we are able to thumb our nose at them. "I challenge anyone who says my speech about the Europeans is not true," he said. Mr. Mahathir denied being racist, but he said the lessons of history compelled him to speak out against Europeans, who he said included the white peoples of European descent in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand." (NY Times) I love it: A book written by a Yankee isolationist, published in Johannesburg, and distributed to Muslims. Who says that you can't unite humanity? Just give them a Jew to hate. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/21/2003 06:15:00 AM ----- BODY: "Pressed by Jewish Lobby, Bush Turns Heat On Hamas" "With presidential elections knocking the doors, U.S. President George W. Bush tried to reassure Jewish leaders in the U.S. of his support for Israel after they were irked by his criticism of an Israeli attack against a senior Hamas leader, shifting to place the responsibility for Mideast violence on Hamas and leaving Israel blameless, a leading U.S. newspaper revealed Saturday, June 21." (Islam OnLine) Sure. Because if it wasn't for the Jewish Lobby, Hamas would be recognized for the benevolent humanitarian service that it truly is. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/21/2003 06:11:00 AM ----- BODY:

It was only a matter of time

"Sunni Imam Accuses US Of Opening Iraq To 'The Jews'" 6-20-3 "A Sunni Muslim prayer leader charged Friday that US forces occupying Iraq were opening up the country to "the Jews" and chided Iraqis he said were working as "brokers" for the Jewish infiltrators. "The liberation of which they spoke boils down to liberating Iraq from its Arab Muslim people ... so that the Jews can enter it," Sheikh Mahmud Khalaf told the faithful during weekly Muslim prayers in Baghdad's Sheikh Abdul Kader al-Kilani mosque. "The Jews, civilian and military people, are now entering Iraq ... buying property, factories and companies while Iraqis work for them as brokers and guides," he said. "It is a sin for Iraq's people to sell their lands to the Jews and to deal with the Jews in this way," the imam said. Khalaf charged that the "honeyed promises" made by the US-led coalition that ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in April had "gone with the wind." "The economic situation is deteriorating, the citizens' conditions are steadily getting worse, our country's resources have been devastated and our will has been usurped," he said. "Unemployment is growing, vice is spreading, crimes are being committed in every corner, honor is being violated, and blood is being shed." Amid repeated hit-and-run attacks against US forces in Iraq, the US-led administration occupying the country has outlawed incitement to violence and said it was ready to enforce the ban even in mosques. The imam urged the Muslim faithful to "return to God" in order to earn relief from the misfortune that struck them "when the occupiers entered our country under the banner of liberation " (Agence France Presse) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/21/2003 06:04:00 AM ----- BODY: Let's wander over to Ted Rall's site and see what idiocy he has for us this week. Oh look. Like Billy from Billmon.org, Ted feels that the American people are ignoring his wisdom and prophecy, at their peril: "BUSH'S WILLING EXECUTIONERS: America Betrayed by Cowardly Citizens" "As George W. Bush's aristocorporate junta runs roughshod over hard-earned freedoms, as his lunatic-right Administration loots $10 trillion from the national treasury, as his armies invade sovereign nations without cause, as he threatens war against imagined enemies while allowing real ones to build nuclear weapons, those charged with standing against these perversions of American values remain appallingly, inexplicably silent. We have become a nation of cowards, and I am ashamed." Actually, if I were Ted, I would have a rather different list of things to be ashamed about, starting with his noticeable lack of cartooning talent. Oh yes, and his insistence on appending the following to everything he writes: "Ted Rall is the author of 'Gas War: The Truth Behind the American Occupation of Afghanistan,' an analysis of the underreported Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline project and the real motivations behind the war on terrorism." Still waiting for that pipeline to materialize, Teddy. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/21/2003 05:43:00 AM ----- BODY:

As far as I'm concerned, there is only one major problem with gay marriage

It looks like the Canada judiciary has, surprisingly, found its balls to do the right thing and sanction legal gay marriage. The problem is, that means that over the next year or so I can expect that I will have to attend at least 4, maybe 5 weddings. That means the dreaded tuxedo, tie, socks (from April until October I don't wear socks), shitty food, and worst of all, innumerable renditions of the execrable "I will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, who should be tortured and shot. Of course, the whole gay marriage thing allows asshats like Childe Jesse Taylor of Pandagon to construct bullshit and false straw men: "I really wish that conservative would stop acting like dumb, slavering animals over gays getting the right to marry in Canada. It's always liberal this and left-wing that, never willing to accept that they just might be wrong, and that, Heaven forbid, their idiotic intolerance might be just that - intolerance - and that nobody owes their backwards, incoherent ramblings a second glance or even the barest modicum of respectability. (Sorry for the change in tone. I just got done reading the National Review today, and that's pretty much a synthesis of their entire editorial tone. I swear, the right spends more time thinking up tilting-at-witty remarks than coming up with actual ideas. Maybe they wouldn't have to lie so much if they stopped being angry. Who knows?)" Unfortunately, at least in my circle, Childe Jesse's temper tantrum is patently incorrect. Just about every conservative that I know (and I know a lot) fully approves of legally sanctioning gay marriage. You see, being conservative does not necessarily mean being religiously intolerant. It means not usually being a fuckwit. Oh by the way, it seems that Childe Jesse is going to have a particularly nasty and painful operation next week, a septoplasty. Please go to his site and wish him well. Look, simply because the guy's opinions are laughably stupid doesn't mean that I want him to be sick, in pain, or die. Where would the blogosphere be if the Idiotarians disappeared? (Seriously, Childe, I hope it all goes well) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 01:28:00 PM ----- BODY:

Uh Oh, I better start transferring assets to Mrs. Marduk

"WWW.LIBEL.COM: Bloggers beware" "Author Michael S. Rose has taken some hard hits from critics of his controversial book Goodbye! Good Men!, which alleges that liberal dissenters and homosexual cliques within the Roman Catholic clergy have caused a phony crisis in priestly vocations. But only one critic has driven him to threaten a libel suit: a Michigan Catholic priest named Rob Johansen. Their dispute, which may be headed to court, provides a cautionary tale for the thousands of people who, ignorant of libel law, publish their opinions on the Internet heedless of the serious risks they are running. Johansen, a theological conservative, was an early and vigorous critic of the Rose book, which he considers to be a sloppy piece of journalism at best, and a tissue of malicious lies at worst. His fierce criticism ("Michael Rose is dishonest and cannot be trusted. ... [Rose] resorts to innuendo: the tactic adopted by liars and rumor-mongers everywhere.") has been featured in at least one magazine, on a nationally syndicated Catholic radio show, in widely circulated e-mails, and, most regularly, on his Internet blogsite. By August, Rose had had enough. He instructed his lawyer to write to Fr. Johansen and Johansen's bishop, James A. Murray of Kalamazoo, a letter containing a partial listing of Johansen's comments considered "blatantly defamatory" by Rose. The letter accused Johansen of "an obvious effort to intentionally damage and/or ruin Rose's reputation as an author and investigative reporter." The letter asked Johansen to publicly retract two supposedly false claims, and quit publishing commentary concerning Rose's character or literary abilities — or face a libel suit. Johansen went to his blog — a sort of running public diary published on the Internet — to accuse Rose of trying to intimidate him into silence. Then Johansen went silent on the Rose matter at the orders of Bishop Murray, who instructed him to refrain from further comment until the situation could be sorted out. (When contacted for comment by NRO, Johansen declined.) When asked why, of all those who have vented in print against Goodbye! Good Men, he singled out Johansen for the lawyer's letter, Rose said the priest is the only critic who "has gone far beyond the bounds of rational criticism." Rose said other publications, such as National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, and Crisis, have made negative comments about his work which he doesn't agree with, but which he believes are not legally defamatory. "Only Johansen's have been of a very personal and obsessive-like nature," Rose says. "None of those publications imputes untrue motives to me, or repeatedly calls or implies that I am a liar who is not to be trusted. None of the other critics evidences any malice toward me." Why doesn't Rose agree to be a good sport about this matter, and consider Johansen's critiques to be simply part of the cost of doing business as a journalist and controversialist? Because Rose believes Johansen is deliberately trying to destroy his literary career — and that the priest could succeed. Rose makes his living writing for an American Catholic audience, with particular appeal to the conservative subset of the whole. The potential damage to Rose's livelihood from false and defamatory statements circulated in public by a priest, particularly a priest with a following among conservatives, is clear. Now, unless the parties can reach an amicable agreement, a civil court will determine whether Johansen's commentary meets the legal standard of defamation. The Rose vs. Johansen dispute demonstrates how quickly passionate polemics undertaken by ordinary people on the Internet can unintentionally become a serious legal matter. Sandra Baron, a lawyer and executive director of the Libel Defense Resource Center in New York, says amateurs voicing their opinions on the Internet have brought on an "astronomical" rise in civil libel suits in recent years. "It's obvious that individuals are unaware of the risks of libel and invasion of privacy, and don't realize that what they're saying on these websites could set themselves up for libel lawsuits from individuals and entities from around the world," Baron says. "We've gotten a number of calls here, either by or on behalf of individuals who had no idea that what they were saying on these chat boards and blogs could subject them to litigation." Professional journalists almost always have one or more courses in libel law as part of their training, and traditional media outlets rely closely on the advice of lawyers to keep themselves from crossing the defamation line. Old media strives to function as a gatekeeper, keeping libelous commentary from being published. In new media, anybody with a computer and online access can say whatever they like, instantly. And when they do, they are no more protected from libel claims than the New York Times. "Once you publish something, you're a publisher, whether you're a priest, housewife, or shareholder," says Baron. "People need to learn to curb their enthusiasm before they post." They should also familiarize themselves with the basics of libel law, something that no one outside of journalism and publishing ever had to bother with until the Internet arrived. LRDC offers a bare-bones primer here. The Associated Press Stylebook, which has an updated section on libel law, is a must-have in newsrooms, and probably should be on the desk of every blogger. Parents should also be aware that they can be held liable for defamatory statements their children make on websites. Says Baron, "If you're going to teach kids how to keyboard, you need to teach them the rules of the road." One great thing about the Internet is how it allows ordinary citizens to bypass the old-line media, and bring fresh, sometimes-urgent commentary and reporting directly to readers. Yet the temptation all bloggers face is to post first, ask questions later, if at all. As Fr. Rob Johansen is learning, that can be a costly mistake." (National Review) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 01:01:00 PM ----- BODY: Roast Turkey Walking Hey, it's Friday afternoon, my dog has a jelly bean stuck up her nose, and I have to clean raccoon juice off my car. I'm entitled. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 12:36:00 PM ----- BODY:

Look...I dearly love my dog, but somebody has to draw the line somewhere

The Marduk dog has had what I thought was a cold for the past week. She's been sneezing all over the place. This morning, Mrs. Marduk took her to the vet, who informed her that my brilliant, brilliant golden retriever apparently has something stuck up her nose. So he performs a procedure where he sticks a flexible fibre optical scope up the dog's nose to see what's there. She just called me with the results. Guess what he found? A jelly bean. Black licorice. Cost to parents of stupid dog: $500 Value to vet as best pet story of the week: priceless. Between the raccoons and the jelly beans, this has been a very strange week. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 12:16:00 PM ----- BODY:

Well here's a shocker, this time France is doing the right thing (although probably for the wrong reason)

The French crackdown and arrest of 250 members of the Mujahedeen Khalq (Fighters for the People), some of whom have been setting themselves on fire, is the right thing. Make no mistake, despite the trouble they are causing for the fanatic clerical despots in Iran, they are no friends of the west or of democracy. The Mujahedeen Khalq was founded by radical university students in Tehran in the early 1960s in opposition to Western influence under the Shah. From the outset, the group has advocated the use of violence. It fought against the Shah, and then later against the government of Khomaini's Islamic Republic. And let's not forget that these loonies have assassinated U.S. military personnel and civilians in Tehran, and allied themselves with Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran in 1985. Of course, we all know that France is arresting these people, not because they are potential terrorists, but because their buddies in Iran are the only hope for Elf Aquitaine in the region. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 11:49:00 AM ----- BODY: This is a double-plus-good weekend for the Marduk household. My kids get to read the new Harry Potter book. And I get to read the new Roger Simon book, Director's Cut. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 11:46:00 AM ----- BODY:

Apparently these librarians haven't read Catch 22

"A cold war has broken out at a librarians' conference in downtown Toronto as accusations fly that pro-Castro elements within the American Library Association are trying to silence debate over Cuba's crackdown on independent libraries. The battle has laid the groundwork for the improbable scenario of a shouting match among librarians at a meeting tomorrow. The ALA has 'secretly maneuvered to have only pro-Cuban voices"'on a discussion panel, said Robert Kent, a co-founder of the Friends of Cuban Libraries and a librarian with the New York Public Library. 'And the extremists within the ALA are going to try to pack the meeting to exclude people who might be critical of the Cuban government.'...Their concern is for the 14 self-styled librarians, many of them journalists or writers, who open their private collections to the public, and who were jailed with 64 others in March for treason, while the world was preoccupied with Iraq. No books are officially banned in Cuba, but access to state libraries is controlled and monitored through written requests. The Cuban government has dismissed the informal household collections, which now number around 200, as neither libraries nor independent, casting their owners instead as counter revolutionaries... Without library degrees or state sponsorship, they have had difficulty pleading their case outside Cuba. Michael Dowling, director of the ALA International Relations Office, who is responsible for Cuba, denied the panel has been stacked, despite the fact that all five Cuban delegates are librarians in official, state-owned libraries, and many are openly critical of the independents. 'The grant [to form the panel] is to get Cuban librarians here so they can interact with their profession colleagues and make presentations on Cuban libraries,' he said, noting that he has not been told of any protests, but expects a strong debate in the question and answer session. 'I'm not sure what will occur,' he said. He said a condition of the grant to form the panel, from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, was that all delegates should be professional librarians." (National Post) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 11:27:00 AM ----- BODY:

Can a blogger be sued for libel?

A gentle reader has expressed much concern that my big, profane mouth is going to get me in trouble. Specifically, that I will get sued for libel. Touched as I am by the gracious concern for my legal well-being, I quickly dismissed the idea that any of the assorted fuckwits and asshats regularly skewered herein would even know how to hire a lawyer, let alone bother to sue little old me. Still, the issue poses some interesting questions. For example, is a blog considered to be on-line journalism, and thus subject to the "fair comment" exemption? If Blogger is the host, can it be made party to any libel lawsuits? And if so, can Blogger edit and even censor blogs? Is a blog created by someone in Canada, but published in the United States, subject to U.S. libel laws? Etc. Etc. Now, I'm not a lawyer (thank God), but I have more than a few in the Family. An interesting subject for Friday night dinner. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 11:17:00 AM ----- BODY:

Great moments in democracy

Liberian President Charles Taylor wants to be a democratically elected leader who respects human rights and won't engage in mass murder. But the people won't let him: "Liberian President Charles Taylor renounced his peace pledge to cede power, announcing Friday he will serve to the January 2004 end of his term — and might run again."The vast majority of our people, including chiefs and others, are now protesting that I can't step aside without their approval,"'the Liberian warlord-turned-president told reporters in the capital, Monrovia...'I said I was "prepared" to step aside,"'Mr. Taylor answered, stressing the word "prepared." 'I didn't say I was not going to run.'.. Hours before the opening of that conference, a UN-Sierra Leone war-crimes court announced Mr. Taylor's indictment for backing a vicious rebel movement in neighbouring Sierra Leone and urged authorities in Ghana to arrest him. Mr. Taylor also stands accused by the United Nations and rights groups of fomenting much of West Africa's conflicts for the past 14 years. He plunged Liberia into conflict in 1989 when he led a small force into the country to overthrow then-President Samuel Doe. UN authorities accuse Mr. Taylor of gun- and diamond-trafficking with rebels in Sierra Leone, which is newly returning to peace after a 10-year terror campaign by brutal rebels allegedly backed by Mr. Taylor. The terror campaign killed tens of thousands in Sierra Leone, and left thousands mutilated by the rebels' signature atrocity — the hacking off of limbs with machetes." (Globe and Mail) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 11:10:00 AM ----- BODY: The Arab News is quite concerned about Israel's WMD...as well they should be "Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has spelled out clearly his reasons for accepting the Middle East road map with 14 reservations. During the Aqaba summit on June 6, he said: “Permanent peace requires permanent security. This permanent security will bring about permanent peace to Israel.” To accept peace on Sharon’s terms would make the proposed Palestinian state a mockery in the service of Israel’s security. The most dangerous thing is that Israel is allowed to possess all kinds of weapons of mass destruction while Arab countries are denied these weapons under the pretext that Israel is under threat. Israel has said that it is not yet time to look at its nuclear arsenal and weapons of mass destruction because it has not yet attained permanent security and peace. As a result, Israel has become a depot for nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threatening the security of Arab, Asian and European countries. Does Israel require this large arsenal of banned weapons? The French constructed the Dimona nuclear reactor and produced enriched uranium. Israel was ready to produce its first nuclear bomb as early as 1965. In March 1969, Moshe Dayan celebrated the birth of the Israeli nuclear state and the Israeli nuclear scientist Vannunu has acknowledged that his country was in 6th position in the nuclear club in the 1980s. According to one estimate, Israel possesses at least 100 nuclear bombs. Apart from two plants in Dimona, Israel established a number of other nuclear plants in Nahal Suryak, south of Tel Aviv in 1958 and in Raishon Liston and Haifa. In 1994, US President Bill Clinton approved nine supercomputers to meet the needs of Israel’s nuclear program. Informed sources have estimated that Israel has 100 to 200 nuclear warheads, but another report put the figure at more than 500. Quoting Vannunu, American journalist Seymour Hersh says in his book that Israel possesses about 300 nuclear warheads. He also says that he has got information indicating Israel possesses hundreds of nitrogen bombs. Reports have confirmed that Israel has various types of nuclear weapons including nuclear bombs which could be dropped from planes, missile warheads, in addition to 25 hydrogen bombs. Israel also holds an unspecified numbers of tactical weapons. At least three international sources have confirmed that Israel had not only produced nuclear mines but spread them in various regions at different periods of the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially in Golan and Naqab during the military confrontation with Egypt in October 1973 and in January 1991. The question is: Who can ask the international community to disarm Israel of its mass destructive weapons?" And the answer is: no-one. Because Israel knows better than to put its trust for its survival in the hands of a bunch a venal, hypocritical and whorish Europeans. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 10:57:00 AM ----- BODY:

Best way for Lance Armstrong to piss off the French at this summer's Tour de France

(Hat-tip to Joe) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 10:46:00 AM ----- BODY:

Blogger is going to be the death of me

From yesterday afternoon until 1:30 Friday afternoon, Blogger Pro decided not to publish any of my posts. No reasons, no explanations, it just stopped. And the the thing about Blogger Pro is that, despite the fact that they take your money, they offer no phone support, no e-mail support. Just about as non-professional as a service can get. I'm currently in the process of transferring over to Moveable Type. And a CERTAIN SOMEBODY is graciously assisting me in this. Did I say assisting? He's doing the whole thing, since to me, Moveable Type is a Scrabble piece that is thrown at my head. Anyway, even though I promised the CERTAIN SOMEBODY not to bug him about when the new blog will be ready, you can be sure that I called him up and whined and cried. And of course, as soon as I got off the phone, the goddamn Blogger Pro started working properly again. Piece of shit software. Now I have to play catchup for the rest of the day with my long list of fuckwits to spit-roast. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/20/2003 10:33:00 AM ----- BODY:

yet one more schmuck to add to the long list of Idiotarians

The jerk who runs 100monkeystyping.com thinks he is being exceedingly clever by putting this up on his blog: Of course, the following, published by The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, illustrates the cartographical illusion of far too many Palestinians and their sympathizers, as well as the area of their incessant terrorist operations. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 12:47:00 PM ----- BODY: Laurence Simon, the guy who introduced me to the joys of animated GIFs, points his readers to the excellent web-site http://overtaken.blogmosis.com (I'm not sure what the blog's "offical" name is). The owner, Mat, has this great picture that's simply begging for a caption. First try: "He put it where?" -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 11:50:00 AM ----- BODY: I know that I'm still fairly new to blogging, so perhaps I don't quite understand why Billy at Billmon.org keeps referring to me as a troll. The way I understand it, a troll is an unwanted reader who posts on a particular web-site. As far as I can tell, that makes the score 2-0, Billy's favour, because as a rule I don't post comments on others' blogs, whereas Billy has posted at least 2 comments here. Be my guest. His cutting wit is certainly putting me in my place. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 11:41:00 AM ----- BODY: Ahhh...American politics. So much more fun than the boring Canadian version: "Liberal pariah Ralph Nader flirts with new White House run, possibly as a Republican" "Nader says that if the Greens reject him, he might choose to run as an independent, or possibly even as a Republican, which would pit him against George W. Bush in the primary. 'Wouldn't that be interesting? A Republican run'' he muses. When asked why a campaigner so closely identified with progressive causes would contemplate running for the White House as a candidate from a party on the other end of the political spectrum, Nader answers without missing a beat. 'To give the American people a choice as to the political institutions they desire and the clean elections they deserve," he said. "Isn't that what politics should be all about?'" (YahooNews). Absolutely. Which is why Bush is president now. And which is why the Republicans control Congress. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 11:23:00 AM ----- BODY: For a while now, I have avoided reading Michael Rivero's www.whatreallyhappened.com. Whatever entertainment value that it once had has long been used up, and the stench of its relentlessly crude Jew-hating and Israel-bashing is for the most part boring, predictable and certainly unimaginative. Nevertheless, my attention was brought to the following: "Zionist Pick-Pockets" Rivero is referring to the following: "The New York State Retirement Fund has set aside $200 million to invest in Israeli infrastructure projects. The $109 billion pension fund, the second biggest in the United States behind California, will become one of the largest private investors in Israel. A spokesman for New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi told Israeli and American businesspeople in New York this week that the move signifies a recognition that there “is a stable and growing economy in Israel,” and “allows us to express our solidarity with the State of Israel.” The Markstone Capital Partners Fund, which is handling the investment, pledged to invest $300 million in highway and utility-improvement projects in Israel." (JTA) In addition to being a garden-variety Jew-hater, Mikey is also a self-evident moron when it comes to investing and economics. As an investor in foreign debt, I have more than a passing acquaintance with Israeli bonds. In a global credit research report dated March 6, Moody's Investors Service (to which I subscribe) reaffirmed Israel's A2 credit rating. That's investment-grade, Mikey. Moody's also emphasizes that this already positive rating would be even higher were it not for "the aggravated geopolitical variable," and notes that "current events not withstanding, the outlooks for all Israeli ratings are stable." A hell of a lot more stable than, for example, a hole-in-the-wall editing service for those cheap-ass television commercials normally seen at 4:00 in the morning. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 09:55:00 AM ----- BODY:

From the annals of remarkably bad car drivers

I'm fairly certain that I am probably one of the worst drivers you have ever met. It's not so much my piss-poor driving skills (my record for a 3-point turn is 43). Hell, for that I have a pretty good excuse: I only got my drivers license when I was 32 (knocking around at various universities around the world, I never felt there was a need to learn how to drive). And that was only because my son was due to be born in two weeks, and I had a $500 dollar bet with two of my brothers that I would legally be allowed to drive my wife to hospital before she gave birth (not that Mrs. Marduk had any intention of letting me near the driving wheel). No....to my bad driving skills I also add a huge dollop of arrogance nicely mixed with a fairly unhealthy road-rage. I also drive a huge tank of a car which only reinforces my sense of droit de seigneur Oh yes, I also have absolutely no sense of direction. Which brings me to last night's little odyssey. Prince Marduk was at an end-of-school party last night that went rather later (12:30) than we normally allow on a school-day for a 14 year-old. But what the hell, he only has 2 days left of school. So it's my job to pick him up. Unfortunately, I have no idea where his friend's house is. Fortunately, my car comes with one of those handy-dandy GPS satellite driving direction machines. You just type in the address, and it guides you both visually and verbally to where you want to go. Unfortunately, this being a British car, the GPS voice has a plummy English accent exactly like the voice of a prick bastard of a professor that I had the misfortune to work under when I was in London. So when the GPS says "in the next 200 meters, make a left" it is actually saying "if you can manage it, you stupid Jew, see if you can turn that steering wheel." Consequently, I rarely use the thing. Anyway, this time I had to use the GPS thingy, so I plug in my son's friend's address. Unfortunately, I only put in the street name. Usually this is sufficient, but since the car's database is for the entire province of Ontario, there is a chance that a common street name will reside in more than one city. Therefore, you have to be careful to put in the city in which the road is. This I neglected to do. So off I go at 12:30 in the morning following the anti-Semitic GPS. After about a half an hour, I realize that I am in pitch dark somewhere outside of Toronto, heading God knows where. No cars are around, no houses. I mean I am in the middle of friggin nowhere. Suddenly I feel a bump, but I'm concentrating so hard on the stupid directions that I ignore it. I'll get to that bump a little later. In regard to the GPS, however, it turns out that the stupid machine was sending me to a small town in northern Ontario, some 250 kilometers north of where I was. That would be about a 3 hour drive to nowhere. So I finally find a house with a light on (by now it's 1:15), and knock on the door to get directions (did I mention that I forgot my cell phone at home?). The guy who comes to the door is about to answer my questions when he looks over my shoulder, calls me a sick bastard, threatens to call the police and slams the door in my face. I turn around to look at what the hell he saw, and see that stuck between the grill and the hood is not one, but two dead raccoons that I had apparently hit while driving around aimlessly. Moreover, because the grill of the car is huge (it's a Rover), from the house it looked like I had deliberately mounted the animals as some sort of macabre hood ornament. So as I'm pulling out, the cops arrive. After much earnest explanations on my part, they lead me to my son's friend's house, where I take him home. It's 3:00 A.M. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 09:15:00 AM ----- BODY: "A 9-year-old girl has been married to a stray dog in a ceremony in India's eastern state of Bengal as part of a ritual intended to ward off a bad omen, newspapers reported Thursday. The girl, Karnamoni Handsa, had to be married quickly to break an evil spell, according to the beliefs of her Santhal tribe in the remote village of Khanyan, the Hindustan Times said. Karnamoni's tooth had grown on her upper gum, which Santhals consider a bad omen. More than 100 villagers attended the ceremony held on June 11. The girl's father, Baburam Handsa, a poor sharecropper, could not afford the expenses of marrying his daughter to a boy, so he saved money by making a street dog the groom, the paper reported. Other news media also reported on the ritual, which does not interfere with the girl's life. She suffers no stigma and is free to marry later. She doesn't even need to divorce the dog." (CNN) If it was my dog as the groom, I have no doubt that a pre-nuptial contract would be demanded by the bride's father. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 07:46:00 AM ----- BODY: An update on the replacement of General Franks. As noted below, Bill from Billmon.org, the blogger who has been hailed by at least one Idiotarian as (drum roll please) "the new imam of blogging influence", felt it best to summarize the career of Lieutenant General John Abizaid as "Uncle Tom." In fact, General Abizaid's resume is slightly longer: "Abizaid, who is of Lebanese descent, is an expert in Arabic affairs with a masters degree in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard. He speaks Arabic, studied at the University of Jordan in Amman and served as an operations officer with a U.N. Observer Group in Lebanon. A West Point graduate, his 30-year military career has spanned U.S. actions from Grenada to Kosovo. He has a distinguished military pedigree - as an infantry commander, commandant of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and assistant to then chairman of the joint chiefs of staff General John Shalikashvili. He led a U.S. Army Ranger rifle company during the 1983 invasion of Grenada, inspiring an episode in the 1986 Clint Eastwood movie "Heartbreak Ridge" when he and his men used a commandeered bulldozer to advance on a Cuban position. Later, he led the 82nd Airborne Division's 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He commanded an airborne battalion that deployed to northern Iraq after the Gulf War in 1991 to protect Kurds from Iraqi troops as part of Operation Provide Comfort. He was assistant division commander of the 1st Armored Division in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He served as commander of the 1st Infantry Division based in Wurzburg, Germany when it formed the core of Task Force Falcon in Kosovo. Abizaid served on the Joint Staff from October 2000 to December 2002, first for a year as director of strategic plans and policy and then as director, a position that has put him at the center of U.S. military operations." You know, a reader asked a few days ago how I keep on finding these morons-who-blog. Are you kidding me? Just pick any of the camp followers on the Daily Kos link list. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 07:25:00 AM ----- BODY:

Here's a question for the moral equivalence crowd

Do you really think that the Israeli killing of a terrorist and/or the people who send him is the same as the blind firing of rockets into towns and cities with no idea, and no concern, whom they hit? If so, read this: "Rockets rain down daily on Israeli towns near Gaza" Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. These aren't human beings, they're Jew settlers/colonialists. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 07:09:00 AM ----- BODY:

And you thought terrorists had no sense of irony

The violently pro-Iranian mouthpiece al-Wilayah has the following headline: "FAIR [Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting] Study Finds Democracy Poorly Served in War" -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/19/2003 07:04:00 AM ----- BODY:

Today's Fuckwit Quote

Susan Madrak, who likes to style herself as a Suburban Guerilla: "I think people are too quick to dismiss the similarities. I mean, the Boy King is certainly a pale imitation of Hitler, but then, he's never been all that original, has he? Maybe he's growing into the role." Very nicely done Susan, the tens of millions of dead from World War II really appreciate your kick-ass humour. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 06:12:00 PM ----- BODY:

Essential Reading for visitors to France this summer

(From the print edition of Esquire) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 01:12:00 PM ----- BODY: Well, so long as I'm "stalking" Billy over at Billmon.org, I might as well point out this little gem: "'An Arabic-speaking Army general of Lebanese descent has been nominated to replace Gen. Tommy Franks as head of U.S. Central Command, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. Abizaid, a grandson of Lebanese immigrants, speaks fluent Arabic, which he studied at a university in Jordan. He also holds a master's degree in Middle East studies from Harvard and has said he loves the region's people and culture...' Does anyone know how to say 'Uncle Tom' in Arabic?" Now Billy, do you know how to say "ignorant moron?" UPDATE Billy now tries to furiously backpedal by protesting that he was not referring to General Abizaid as an "Uncle Tom" but to "that wafer-thin crust of Western-educated bureaucrats and oil sheikh aristocrats he (Abizaid) deals with as part of his imperial duties." He also revises the "Uncle Tom" canard to now read "Uncle Toms." Well, Billy boy, this "trollish reader" is able to read archived material, and not only are you a fuckwit, but a duplicitous one at that. If there is one thing that I can't stand more than an Idiotarian, it's a revisionist Idiotarian who doesn't have the balls to stand by his bullshit bluster. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 12:53:00 PM ----- BODY:

George Galloway was a very good boy; guess what he got for Christmas?

"George Galloway confirmed for the first time yesterday that he was in Iraq on the day that documents found by The Telegraph allege he met an Iraqi intelligence officer there to discuss 'continuous financial support.' The suspended Labour MP also admitted that he was "not yet" in a position to disprove the documents, which he claimed were forgeries and which were discovered in the looted foreign ministry in Baghdad. The papers purport to show that Mr Galloway received money from Saddam Hussein's regime - a slice of oil earnings worth at least £375,000 a year. One of the documents was a memorandum suggesting that on Boxing Day 1999 Mr Galloway met an Iraqi intelligence agent in Baghdad and laid out his demands for a larger slice of the revenue from the sale of three million barrels of oil every six months...Mr Galloway originally maintained that he spent one Christmas in Iraq but could not be sure which one. When The Telegraph first published the story earlier this year the MP was at his holiday home in Portugal...Yesterday, however, in an interview with the Radio 4 programme On The Ropes, he said: 'I was in Iraq on Boxing Day of 1999 and I spent Christmas Day with Tariq Aziz.' But he added: 'If I had spent all day with the second most important man in Iraq, why, the next day, would I meet a junior intelligence officer who has to write a memo to his boss, who has to write a memo to his boss, asking for financial support? If I had wanted financial support from Iraq I would have asked Tariq Aziz on Christmas Day.'" -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 12:36:00 PM ----- BODY:

Never mind what a journalist says about a particular issue; if he's a Jew, he's suspect

Via our Jew-hating friends at Counterpunch: "Illuminating Thomas Friedman" By M. Shahid Alam "A webpage on Thomas Friedman, maintained by Farrar, Straux & Giroux, declares that as the foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, he is in a "unique position to interpret the world for American readers. Twice a week, Friedman's commentary provides the most trenchant, pithy, and illuminating perspective in journalism.... Twice a week Friedman delivers his perorations on the Arabs, Iran, Israel, Turkey, the Middle East and Islamic world more generally. In addition, over the years, as the NYT's regular commentator on the Middle East, he has built a reputation as America's chief opinion-maker on the region. Is that reputation well deserved? Does he offer a balanced, objective, or American perspective on the region? Most Americans, of course, will answer in the affirmative, but I have some nagging doubts. In a recent television interview with Charlie Rose-published in the Forward of June 6, 2003-Friedman confesses that "Israel was central to my life as it was to all my friends." He was reminiscing about his years in high school. 'Today,' he laments, 'I'm probably the only one of my friends who is still emotionally involved in Israel.' Now, I would not have mentioned this if Friedman were not America's journalistic sage on Arabs and Muslims. However, since he is, isn't this confession pertinent to his sermons on the Middle East: and isn't it illuminating?" Coming next: Bernard Lewis: brilliant scholar of Islamic Studies, or biased Jew? -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 11:58:00 AM ----- BODY:

Lazy Blogger Watch

Tacitus at Tacitus "Wednesday open thread This will have to do for now." If you have nothing to say, just put up a "Gone Fishing" sign, and lock the door. But who the hell wants a bunch of unwashed commenters and assorted riffraf rooting around the empty house? -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 11:52:00 AM ----- BODY: Jimmy C. makes a shocking announcement in The Rittenhouse Review: "Some people spend a lifetime planning to run for public office. I thought about it, discussed it, and analyzed it, for about six months, much more seriously than I expected and far more earnestly than many Rittenhouse readers probably believed. As you already know, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) is facing a challenge from the right in the Republican primary from Congressman Pat Toomey (R) of Allentown, Pa. But there is, as yet, no declared Democratic candidate. It was this distressing fact that above all else prompted me to at least consider a campaign. The very idea that Pennsylvania Democrats would allow Sen. Specter to ride unchallenged into a fifth term -- assuming he wins the Republican primary, of course -- was to me unfathomable and indefensible. There had to be somebody else on the ballot, I thought, and if Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) can be a U.S. Senator, why couldn’t I? Of course, one doesn’t just sign on the dotted line and join the race. Pennsylvania is a big state, it’s an important office, and Specter is a formidable candidate. Discussions with politicos here and in Washington focused on the enormity of the task, with fundraising, statewide organizing, and lack of name recognition and political experience clearly the major obstacles. More personally, there was my own financial position to consider. I’m not wealthy and I don’t expect to be anytime soon. Unlike, for example, law-firm partners who continue to take their salaries and profit draws while campaigning for public office, it would just be me and my bank accounts. A scary prospect, that. And then there’s my health, which, as I’ve noted here in the past is, for the moment anyway, not so great. Could I endure a lengthy campaign, physically and mentally, and would my opponent ignorantly make an issue of the challenges I face on a daily basis? And finally, there’s the matter of the general tenor of American politics today. Sen. Specter is not the most scrupulous gentleman around, nor do I have a reputation for being tender when it comes to sparring with my opponents. (See, for example, Jeanne d’Arc: “I’m really glad Jim Capozzola doesn’t feel the same way about me that he does about Camille Paglia, because once he takes you down, you don’t get up again.”) I was eager for the challenge. I’m pretty sure it would get ugly, but in an intelligent and entertaining way. I’d give anything to go one-on-one with Sen. Specter in a series of debates. Taking all things into account, though, I’ve come to realize that it’s just not to be. The timing isn’t right and I’m ill-prepared. And so I’m abandoning any hope of or effort toward challenging Sen. Specter, bowing out, as it were." Damn it, I was just getting ready to renew my residency in Philly. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 11:44:00 AM ----- BODY:

"Oh Lord, you give them eyes, yet they cannot see"

For Bill over at Billmon.org, the thanklessness of being a prophet in his own mind time is becoming a bit wearing: "I've got some writing (the kind I actually get paid for) to do, so posting is going to be light here for the rest of the week. In fact, after my last post, I'm tempted to just shut the bar down for awhile. I mean, what's the point? How many different ways can you write that the American people are a bunch of clueless sheep, led by some very cynical swine? I'll probably get over it." -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 10:43:00 AM ----- BODY:

Countdown to the Tour

As I have mentioned before, the utterly insane Mrs. Marduk will once again be shadowing the Tour de France this year. She and 6 of her (male) buddies will be basically following the same route as the official Tour. The group will be headed by three former Tour participants who have arranged for permission to go on the route just 2 hours ahead of the official peloton. The security is crazy this year, since there is a lot of concern about the safety of the U.S. Postal Team. Anyway, I get enormous satisfaction of sending Mrs. Marduk off on this. First and foremost, of course, is my pride and admiration for her to be able to do this. That's the good side of me. The bad side of me, however, is snickering wildly at her schlepping 14 miles up a 9% grade. (Look, I never said I was a nice guy). So over the next few weeks, I'll be highlighting some of the more fun stages and bringing reports of Mrs. Marduk's progress. The route Running from Saturday July 5th to Sunday July 27th, the 2003 Tour de France will be made up of one prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,350 kilometre. These 20 stages have the following profiles : * 10 flat stages * 7 mountain stages * 2 individual time-trial stages * 1 team time-trial stage. Mrs. Marduk will be doing all 7 mountain stages and 6 of the flat stages, a total of 2,400 kilometers. Hhehehehehehehehhehe. UPDATE: Apparently, my American readers have a difficult in understanding anything in metric. Note to the future owners of Canada: if you are going to be proper neo-colonist imperialists, you're going to have to know metric measurements. In the meantime, here is a website for easy conversion from metric to U.S. customary. 2,400 kilometers equals 1491.29 statute miles. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 07:15:00 AM ----- BODY:

Madame Defarge Award

The ghoulish satisfaction of an Idiotarian fuckwit: RonK, a Daily Kos sockpuupet immerses himself in Schadenfreude: "Fifty US military fatalities Iraq in the 48 days since since May 1, when Dubya declared "Mission Accomplished". Marine Pfc. Ryan Cox, originally of Derby, Kansas, died of friendly fire Sunday in Najaf. A soldier (not yet identified) died in an "apparent non-hostile incident" Sunday in Taji. A soldier (not yet identified) was shot in the back by a sniper late Monday in Baghdad, and pronounced dead early Tuesday. One minor milestone on a long helical highway to nowhere." -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/18/2003 06:53:00 AM ----- BODY: Yesterday was a fantastic afternoon spent with Princess Marduk flying kites. My kite of choice? Spongebob Squarepants, of course: And before you ask...yes it was my choice of kite. For some reason I identify with Bob. So If you were near Edwards Gardens at about 1:30 yesterday, you might have seen this kite before pulled by a crazy-looking guy, a beautiful 11-year old girl, and three golden retrievers, all getting tangled up in string. And how did I get the Princess out of school? A doctor's note, of course. It's one of the few uses a Ph.D. is good for. Which also puts me in mind of one of my favorite cartoons (of which I have the original): -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/17/2003 10:13:00 AM ----- BODY: It's much too nice a day today to blog, especially after all the rain we had. So I'm going to take the Princess Marduk out of school early, and we are going to fly kites for the rest of the afternoon. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/17/2003 09:54:00 AM ----- BODY: For a nice roundup of the various bullshit flying about the looting of the Baghdad Museum, you should look at Spleenville and Cronaca. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/17/2003 09:14:00 AM ----- BODY: Meryl Yourish posts an interesting response to my post yesterday essentially stating that those bloggers who resort to "open threads" in lieu of actually posting stuff are, in my opinion, lazy gits. Meryl was not able to put her comments here, due to the generally fucked nature of Blogger. Rest assured, a major change is in the offing. Anyway, Meryl's comments are worth posting in full: "The commenters at Marduk's imply that he's too stupid to understand that it means the democratic process is at work, and that the lack of comments on his weblog imply that nobody cares about what he writes...I don't buy that at all. All you need to know if your site is being read is some kind of web statistics program tracking your site stats. I know that I'm making some kind of impression on my readers, because the number of readers has steadily increased since I started my weblog. Some of them even send me email. (Imagine that!) Sometimes, I even publish the emails. All of this has been accomplished without comments. In my opinion, a small percentage of blog readers write in the comments section of any given blog. The overwhelming majority of readers do not comment. I think that cliquishness turns off the regular readers. And every single time I have raised the question of adding comments to my readers, the same few people--mostly bloggers themselves--reply in the positive. The overwhelming majority is silent--which is an answer in and of itself. Open thread does give a blogger a chance to be lazy, but if you ask me, it's simply a fashionable thing to do. "Look, I can throw my blog open to The Little People. Aren't I democratic?" Actually, I take a far more simplistic approach to all this. I simply don't give a shit. Now don't get me wrong, having people write the rare nice things is pleasing to my ego, but ever since I took all site statistics off my blog, I revel in my ignorance of who or how many are reading this thing. I never check the Truth Laid Bear stats or even Technorati. For if I do, There Be the Way of Doom and Destruction. In other words, keeping track makes crazy. As can no doubt be discerned by the level of angry bile that spills out here on a regular basis, the function of this blog, first and foremost, is to be a soapbox for my ego. So why do I advertise? Ahhh....there's the inherent perverse contradiction in my personality: I want people, especially Idiotarians, to know what I'm saying, but I have no interest in what their opinions of my opinions are. Admittedly, not my most attractive personality trait. To be perfectly honest, the only reason why comments are included here is for the fun of dipping the trolls in shit. That's why, more often than not, any nice comments are left unanswered. It's not that I'm being intentionally rude, it's only that this is NOT a dialogue. Sorry...if you want to chat, that's why God invented Instant Messenger, and other chat services. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/16/2003 08:30:00 PM ----- BODY:

Indiana Jones and Me

Finally. The Indiana Jones movies are coming out in remastered DVDs, sometime in November 2003. I have to tell you, although I loved these movies (and still do), I utterly hated doing archaeology. I've been on a total of 8 digs, most in Israel, a few in Greece. Unfortunately, due to being Jewish, and rather obnoxiously so, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran were all rather out of bounds for me. The first thing you have to know about an archaeological dig is that for most of the participants, especially those of the undergraduate variety, the whole thing is essentially no different than digging ditches, except that you do it for no pay. When we were digging at a Phoenician site in Acre/Acco, for example, we started digging with picks and shovels at about 5:30 in the morning and went until 2:00, at which point, the sun being too brutally hot, we retired to the shade to sort pot shards. God, to this day, I shudder at the words "rim, body, handle." Mounds and mounds of shards, and all the same dull shit brown/grey in colour. Although the dig directors and senior staff generally tried their best to educate us as to what was going on, and arranged for daily progress lectures in the evening, I can't remember a single one that I attended; I was too bloody tired. Greece was more fun, because the classical remains were much more readily identifiable and interesting, at least to me, than the early Bronze Age stuff that we did in Israel. Of course, now, in retrospect, I realize that it was only the prettiness of the 5th and 4th century remains that attracted us, whereas the Bronze Age remains told a much more interesting and complex story. Anyway, at some point, I decided that sunburn, diarrhea, and scorpion bites (small ones, not poisonous), sucked royally, and that it would be far better to be the air-conditioned guy to whom you brought the stuff to be interpreted. Hence the long road to cuneiform studies and philology. When the Indiana Jones movies came out, I had been out of archaeology for a few years. Neverthless, I remember that it used to drive me crazy when my parents would alwys introduce me to their friends as their little Indiana Jones. Invariably I was asked where my hat and whip were. I can assure you, the most exotic costume that I ever saw on an archaeologist was the leopard print thong that one of the (male) site directors insisted on wearing on the beach. I still wake up screaming at night at the horror of it. -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/16/2003 02:15:00 PM ----- BODY: A minor item on Iran's checklist for its long transition out of the 9th century "Ayatollah urged to abandon 'supreme leader' status" "More than 250 Iranian intellectuals today called on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to relinquish his status as Iran's 'supreme leader' and abandon the principle of being God's representative on earth. A statement, signed by university lecturers, writers and some clerics, urges him to accept that he is accountable to his people. The statement denounces as "heresy" the possession of absolute power, according to one report in the New York Times." (Guardian) -------- AUTHOR: laurence DATE: 6/16/2003 01:55:00 PM ----- BODY: Damian Penny, a very fine fellow, whose opinion means quite a bit to me, chastises me for referring elsewhere to Jeff Jarvis, of Buzzmachine, as an "Idiotarian." So will someone please, please tell me how I should label someone who writes this: "Someone in my comments, below, asked what I think about Israel and Palestine. Not as if the world could care but since he asked: This is more than their war; it is victimizing most of the world. If the U.N. had any balls and knew what it was supposed to be good for, it would occupy Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza and force a ceasefire on them all until they settled their damned fight. Otherwise, there will be no ceasefire and no peace. Abdul Aziz el-Rantissi told IslamOnline.net, 'The word ceasefire is not in our dictionary.' He said outright that Hamas would stop killing civilians only after occupation ends. Everyone there should have their heads knocked together and until they do, the world will keep breeding bin Ladens.'" The moral equivalence exhibited by the phrase "everyone there should have their heads knocked together" is breathtaking and offensive. It also illustrates a person who, if not officially Idiotarian, then certainly an idiot. Sorry Damian. --------