Monday, September 20, 2004
A is for Abysmal, one of my favorite words, and one which describes my blogging lately.
B is for Bills. I paid my homeowner's insurance today, and it's more than twice what it was in 2000. We're still paying for 9/11. And the lawyer tax.
C is for Chirac. Every single day brings more confirmations that France is not, and will not ever be in the near future, in any sense an ally; it is more accurate to call them an enemy of America. Chirac's advocacy of a global UN tax is just the latest. Stories like this warm my schadenfreude-loving heart.
D is for Daschle, who it really looks like we're going to be rid of. *crosses fingers*
E is for ebay, where I spend much of my life these days. My favorite recent ebay customer was a guy who bought ebay items the same day, one from me, and one from someone else, and sent me all the money. I'm still wondering what he was thinking.
F is for Fallujah. There is a lot of cheerful boosting in certain segments of the Western press of the murdering swine who are blithely sawing off heads and rigging bombs these days, as from today's London Times:
[Zarqawi] is already credited with establishing a mini-Islamic state in the
rebel stronghold of Fallujah...where his Mujahidin volunteers from across
the Arab world operate in relative freedom after forcing out US troops in
Large sections of the city have been abandoned by the civilian
population, allowing al-Zarqawi’s men to establish safe houses and plan
future kidnappings, suicide car bombings and assassinations.
A bearded man emerged from noon prayers yesterday praising the latest
beheading of a foreign hostage at the hands of his former neighbour. “God
willing, Abu Musab will emerge victorious in his fight against the American
and Zionist infidels who are wreaking havoc in Iraq,” said Yousef Khilleh, 30, a
stonemason, clad in a knee-length white robe, the dressing code of purist Salafi
Muslims. “What Abu Musab and his Tawhid wal-Jihad group are doing in Iraq is
halal (sanctioned by Islam), because Iraq is in a state of war and jihad
(against the invaders) is allowed,” he said before disappearing down a dusty alley.
First, I am trying to imagine these same reporters during World War Two writing about Hitler. "A lederhosen-wearing man emerged from the beer cellar yesterday praising the latest gassing of Jews and Gypsies at the hands of his former neighbour." I can't see the reporter of 60 years ago writing that. Second, I don't think that Fallujah in its present political configuration is very long for this world. Abandoned by civilians=eligible for wholesale destruction, in the current Iraqi political calculation. Today's Washington Post article on the subject makes that clear. (REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Use firstname.lastname@example.org as the email, and kerrysucks as the password).
G is Gleeful, which is what today's Miami Herald calls people like me in the wake of the Dan Rather scandal. H is for Hobbes, who is the political philosopher I think of most when I look at Iraq, which is a classic Hobbesian situation: The Leviathan in opposition to those who would ensure that life is nasty, brutish, and short. Hobbes makes it very clear that there is no other choice: You either support the Leviathan, or you support the cannibals and ghouls. There is nothing else.
I is for Inevitable Distractions. And also Iran, which is below the radar right now with everything happening next door in Iraq and the American presidential election. I note the recent 60-day ultimatum that the British gave them a few days ago; that works out to just after the American presidential election. This is not a coincidence, I think. Any confrontationwith Iran would mean, among other things, a nasty oil shock and an immediate spike in prices, which would not be tolerable in an election year. Once the election is over, and assuming Bush wins, I think the mullahs are in for some difficulty.
J is for Jews, who are supposedly still voting 69% for Kerry, which really shocks me. Especially when black support for Kerry has fallen below 80% in some polls.
K is for Karl Rove. This cracks me up.
L is for lightweight. Hee.
M is for Movies, which I have less and less time for these days. The last movie I saw with a happy ending was
N is for Nuts, which Teresa Heinz Kerry clearly is. I know it baffles my friends from other countries, but First Ladies really do matter here, which is another reason I think that Kerry is unelectable.
O is for Over, which describes Dan Rather's career.
P is for Pinhead, one of my favorite Ramones songs. R.I.P. Johnny Ramone.
Q is for Quagmire, which is what Iraq is supposed to be. Thing is...I note the Robert Novak column where he predicts that we will be cutting and running from Iraq shortly after the election. I disagree--I think we will be in Iraq for a while--but I'm not as upset by the belief as many are. The thing I have always believed is that if the Iraqi experiment in democracy fails, it's not our failure, it's Iraq's. You can only lead a horse, etc. And in that sense it would make our dealings with the Arab world much simpler, in the sense that we could be all stick and no carrot. Ultimately, a failure of the Iraq experiment in democracy would be a step backwards not only for the Arab world, but for us, as our relations with the Arabs would more or less be conducted with, generically speaking, gunboats.
R is for, um, Repose, which I am getting about 5 hours of per night.
S is for Suicide. This is an actual post, presented without comment, from the Democratic Underground website after the links between the forged Bush memos and at least a part of the Kerry campaign became known tonight:
Is there really any reason not to off myself. Because I absolutely cannot give
my 2 grandsons and my 2 daughters 4 more years of the horrible, disgusting, life
in the US of the power hungry, white, stupid, oil rich male regime of the
bushes!!!! I am known as the rosy colored glasses optomist of most group but I
am absolutely freaking out at the possibility of the hell that may be in front
of us. HELP!!!
T is for Troops, as in "we support the troops." Why do I think that a lot of the people who mouth that little platitude mean it in this sense?
U is for UN. Words cannot adequately express how much I hate this evil organization, after 1) the Fox News report on the disgraceful Oil for Food scandal the other nights, and 2) their sullen response to the President's speech to the General Assembly today. They have gone all the way past "useless" to "malign." GWB's use of the word "evil," as in "I understand that there is evil in the world" is like Kryptonite to these people.
V is for Vote or Die, which is the desperate name of P. Diddy's pro-Kerry organization. Hype much?
W is for Warming, as in Global Warming, a thesis whose proponents have lost their minds. Take a look at this story, which juxtaposes the following two lines without even the remotest sense of how they utterly contradict each other:
Such shellfish have not been recorded off the islands since Viking times
1,000 years ago during another warm period.
U.N. scientists say the Arctic is now warming faster than any other region
because of human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released
from burning fossil fuels in cars, factories and power plants.
X is for XXXenophile, the collectible card game produced by Phil Foglio a few years ago. I put up 23 random cards and they went for over a dollar a card. Unbelievable. We've been getting great prices on our auctions lately, which is very odd for a country suffering from the worst economy since the Great Depression. Yes, I can't write non-politically to save my life.
Y is for Young, which I am less as of Thursday, my birthday.
Z is for zzzzzzzzzzzzz, which I really ought to get.
Monday, September 06, 2004
Vanity Fair is one of those movies that, as you're watching it, you know is going to leave a bad taste in your mouth for months. It's painfully anachronistic, and there is this grotesque Bob Fosse-esque dance number in the middle that turns what was the experience of seeing a merely dull movie into a new experience in torture. And then, in the closing credits, the filmmakers give a credit to that despicable little fraud Edward Said for "inspiration," which inspired me to hate this crappy film even more.
The most interesting thing to me about the Swift Boat Vets controversy that has torpedoed the Kerry campaign is the viciousness of the attacks by certain segments of the Democratic party on the Swifties. "Not interested in the truth," says James Carville. "Ugly," "Dishonest," "Dishonorable," "Bitter," "Nasty," "Shameful," "Sham," says the Kerry campaign.
Hearing this kind of hysterical fury, I was struck by one thought: that the appearance of the Swifties was in one sense a great psychological relief for many Democrats. That is, they had to endure a Democratic convention in which they all had to grit their teeth and pretend to love the military and to love defending America. It seemed to me that the hateful reaction to the Swifties was, by contrast, completely sincere: It represented what the Left really thinks of the military.
There were only two good things about going to see Vanity Fair: First, it didn't cost anything, as I had passes from the marketing company that gives them to us in return for putting movie posters in the store window. Second, I went with my sister, who is seemingly miraculously liberated from EverQuest these days.