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Friday, May 28, 2004

This question needs to be asked more... 

...and not only because I'm the first person I know who's raised it. (Not that ego gratification isn't a good reason to pursue something, but people with insufficient dedication to my self-esteem need motivation too, if only to point out where this has been brought up before.)

Danny O'Brien brings the issue up as well, pointing out that "people like Moore" can broadcast two-hour political ads any time they like. I put "people like Moore" in quotes because it specifically refers to people who have the connections to get a motion picture made, which usually means rich people of a more liberal mindset. Basically, if you want unrestricted, unregulated political commentary, all you need is the approval of rich Hollywood liberals. I'm sure there is a perfectly legitimate reason our campaign finance leaders haven't pounced on this.

Cinematic wiseass Evan Coyle Maloney suggest that rather than complain about it, the right should instead locate, develop, and fund its own Michael Moore. Speaking of self-interest, if the right were actually to do this, Maloney would probably be the perfect choice.

Someone needs to ask Moore directly what he thinks about 30 second ads being shut down as we approach election day, while he's free to cram his movie into as many theaters as he's able to up to and including while we go to the polls. If he's dedicated to freedom of expression and all that, he wouldn't want that kind of unfair advantage. Of course, if he's the self-obsessed windbag the right portrays him as, he'd probably be cool with it.

I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding on my part.

But will he accept now, or later, for fundraising purposes? 

It seems the Iraq Governing Council has decided who they want as Prime Minister. I don't know enough about the guy to have an opinion one way or another - Saddam seemed to hate him, which is a good start, and hey, he's not Chalabi. (It was never going to be Chalabi.)

Now the true test - does this guy take office? Everyone, including the UN and the US, seems to be surprised by the decision. But will anyone actually let the IGC pick the candidate? After all, I'm sure Moqtada "Mookie" Al-Sadr was not consulted.

It'd be great if this were all a carefully orchestrated show - the US has other ideas in mind, but when the IGC demonstrates its willingness and ability to handle affairs of governance, they willingly step aside - demonstrating the true desire to hand finally place Iraq in the hands of Iraqis.

I know, I know...they're not that smart. And the UN wouldn't be that benign. But a guy has to dream, and my wife won't let me dream about Halle Berry in her Catwoman costume. (And not without reason. The plot is reputed to be atrocious.)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Interesting... 

Normally, if you kill someone in the U.S., especially if the murder is particularly brutal or heinous, your best bet is to hit the bricks north or south, (depending on which border is nearer), as neither Canada nor Mexico will extradite anyone who may risk execution. (Mexico even refuses to extradite people facing sentences of more than 60 years, so serial killers, you know where to go.) This is often pointed out by our moral betters, who explain to us our insufficient committment to protecting the rights of the accused, often using the same tone of voice used to explain to a four year old why he can't put the gerbil in the microwave.

Which leads to this highly interesting story. Basically, a spoiled rich jerk and his friend slaughter the rich jerk's family, and, being smart (and in the Pacific Northwest), they high-tail it to Canada, which ultimately refuses to extradite them until the prosecutor agrees to waive the death penalty.

Here's where it gets funny. The RCMP helps out with the investigation while these two bozos are in Canada, and basically bugs the hell out of these guys' phones and house, and all sorts of other stuff that usually doesn't fly here, but apparently is kosher in the Great White North. With this new evidence (that probably would never have been obtained that they stayed in the US), once they were extradited, the prosecutors had them nailed to the wall. Three consecutive life sentences await. (Add this to the many reasons I love Canada.)

Now, unfortunately, we can't really lecture Canada about it's lackluster commitment to privacy rights and unreasonable searches and all that, since, you know, we went ahead and used the evidence to nail these guys.

But still, it's nice to see a clever plan to get away with murder backfire.

Great. Cesear's. Ghost. 

What's wrong with the city of Washington, D.C. could fill an encyclopedia. But, one thing they do well, (I'd venture to say better than any other metropolitan area in the world) - if you put a piece of personal litter in a public wastebasket, they will track your criminal ass down.

Link via Volokh.

Will the circle be unbroken... 

Here's the circle. Kerry proposed dumbass idea. Entire country jumps down his throat. Kerry retreats from dumbass idea. Kerry accuses anyone who criticizes him for having dumbass idea in the first place of "questioning his patriotism."

Sometimes Kerry varies. Sometimes he accuses his critics of simply .being ignorant of history, while getting historical facts wrong himself. Mocking him for this is probably the moral equivalent of accusing Max Cleland of communist sympathies.

In any event, Kerry has backed off his dumbass idea of flouting every campaign finance law on the books, and will go ahead and accept the stupid nomination.

So, he's doing what he was going to do anyway, but his way, we spent a week hearing about his stupid, and possibly illegal, new idea.

And this is the guy who will restore a competent purpose to the War on Terror.

Update - Fixed an incorrect link. Thanks, Cube.

If they couldn't make it, what hope is there for the rest of us... 

You saw Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley together, and you believed in love all over again. Sure, you heard about their breakup, but you hoped. You believed.

Now their divorce is final. And I just don't know what to believe in any more.

And justice for all... 

Fantasia wins. All is right with the world.

Our governor owes NC Gov. Easley a bushel of peaches and NASCAR tickets. I suspect betting against Fantasia will be cited as yet another example of mismanagement when Perdue comes up for re-election.

Curse those slender devils! 

I've been wondering for awhile what Animal Rights loonballs have been doing about the whole Atkins craze. Essentially, you can lose weight if you modify your steak and fries diet...by replacing the fries with another steak. It doesn't make sense to me, but they have studies backing it up, and I personally know a bunch of people who said that on it, they lost a bunch of weight, and fairly quickly.

OK, I was a bit behind the curve, apparently. Of course, the wackjob clearinghouse better known as PETA has a hit site on Atkins, and of course, they gladly lied about his death to further their cause.

But hey, you're nobody in American unless you're suing somebody, so a group that really wishes we'd all switch to tofu has found a man willing to sue the Atkins estate.

It's not based on anything but a moderately educated guess, but I've always thought that Atkins had to have some unpleasant long-term consequences no one had divined yet. I'm no nutrionist (I consider the bacon cheeseburger to be a food group in and of itself), but it seems that limiting a diet that severely, while it may work on the whole weight loss department, has to have other consequences for the rest of your body. So there may be something to it. Unfortunately, the accompanying shrieks of PETA and friends will probably turn off discussion, unless the animal rights crowd has developed an awareness of reasoned, informed debate I haven't heard of (in my experience, they tend to act like a cross between the kids who always got beat up in high school and Hamas).

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Hey, then...never mind... 

If there's one thing that makes left-wingers mad...the world would be a much more pleasant place. Unfortunately, many things make left-wingers mad, one of them the never ending calvacade of sanctimonious right-wingers carping about media bias. Obviously, the media is a giant corporate megalopoly with no reason to upset the pro-Bush applecart...what do you mean, I've said this all before?

Oh. Well, anyhoo, I'm here to recant. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has reported that no less than National Public Radio is a hotbed of conservative thought.

That's right. National Public Freaking Radio. And if they've sucked down the Captain Unilateral Kool-Aid, what hope is there for the rest of the Murdoch Clones?

Well, as Tim Graham points out, it's not like they're analyizing what stories are covered, or what they actually say (or, for that matter, what mistakes they make.)

But hey, if you can't trust a group that has "Fairness" and "Accuracy" right there in the title, who can you trust?

Must...not...make...inappropriate...joke... 

Via Oxblog, we learn that Palestinian terrorists have added bad, sanctimonious pop music to the list of things they have taken from Israel, as threats to Madonna and her family have caused her to cancel three concerts in Israel.

OK, since I can't stop myself, let's just get it out of the way: Could someone forward these bozos some intel on Britney Spears?

Just to note - apparently Madonna denies receiving threats. The "official" version is that she wanted to schedule shows in Tel Aviv, but, due to violence, her manager wouldn't let her, and if it were up to her, she would go. (Cause when you think of pop stars who get bossed around by their handlers, top of the list is the Material Girl.)

Also amusing is this comment from the assuredly reliable Electronic Intifada. It is obliquely suggested that Palestinians lack the means to target Madonna, nor any great reason to want to frighten her. (Apparently they're not aware she was once photographed naked with Vanilla Ice). Per the "article":

"However, if the reports are accurate, the threats must come from someone who has the capability to move around easily, as they had enough information on the movements and whereabouts of Madonna's aides and children — enough, that is, to scare the hell out of Madonna."

Geez, you'd think in a journal called "Electronic Intifada", you wouldn't need to dance around blaming the Mossad.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

John Kerry: Screw the law - Just win, dammit! 

OK, so it's not "Let America Be America", but it's catchy, and it's accurate. Kerry is apparently considering not accepting the nomination at the Democratic convention, so as to skirt campaign finance rules that would hamper his ability to spend.

There is only one important question that arises from this possibility:

Has Kerry been drinking paint, or what? I understand the tactics, but I don't know of any way this turns out. And I ain't alone, either. More or less sane liberal Michael Tomasky doesn't see an upside either. It makes the convention essentially a pep rally, which really doesn't warrant much news coverage, and oh, yeah, it's a blatant skirting of all those campaign finance reform rules the Dems were supposedly convinced were moral imperatives. Now, my Bastard Buddy Mike likes the idea, but keep in mind as you read the post, Mike doesn't actually like Kerry. I'm just saying maybe not everyone has Botoxus Magnificus' best interests at heart, here. And, some Tacitius poster with a sillier name than mine makes out a decent case that what Kerry is proposing would be illegal.

Still, as someone who was never a big fan of massive campaign regulation, I appreciate the Democrats making it clear that their "reforms" are just games they play to try and seize advantages on the opposition. Makes all the moralizing funny, but ultimately, something that can be ignored if you have better things to do.

Such as get a head start on re-watching season Six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you watch the episodes out of order, start with "Once More, With Feeling." You won't be disappointed.

Shocked, yes, shocked I am... 

Remember...no liberal media. The media today consists of right wing shills Fox News, right wing shills on talk radio, and a bunch of people too afraid of being accused of "liberal bias" to do anything but report uncritically on the Bush administration line. (Best confirmed by the national press' shameful downplaying of events at Abu Ghraib prison.)

Anyhoo, pay absolutely no attention to any study that might suggest the reporters who decide what stories get covered may be in any way more liberal then the rest of America. Especially ignore any evidence that five times as many journalists identify as liberals than conservatives, as that may cause you to forget that the problem with media bias is Sean Hannity. Liberals are fair minded people, capable of setting aside their preconceptions and fairly presenting both sides of issues such as whether or not Donald Rumsfeld actually ordered the sexual mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, or merely pleasured himself after learning of it. It means nothing.

Remember, if the mainstream media isn't pro-Israel, pro-war, pro-gun, and anti-abortion enough for you, just threaten to accuse them of liberal bias. They'll cave. They always do.

Vent opened at Instapundit.

Free at last.. 

Via Cube, I hear about something I wasn't sure I was going to hear: Kim Jong-Il letting the children of abducted Japanese nationals go to Japan to be with their families.

Prime Minister Koizumi is coming off like a hero, although there are potholes: Families of Japanese victims claimed as dead by North Korea are outraged, and the family of U.S. Army deserter Charles Jenkins will only get to see him in Beijing, as Jenkins risks deportation if he sets foot in Japan. Also, the resumption of aid makes the whole thing look like a ransom payment, (which it is). Still, getting hostages out of a nuclear power run by a megalomaniac doesn't have perfect solutions outside of action movies, so if you wanted those folks to see their families again, this was probably as good a result as was possible.

The heartbreaking part is the reactions of the kids as they learn exactly what kind of country they were raised in. They grew up fed the same Kim-worship as everyone else in the country, with parents who were afraid of what would happen if they tried to teach their kids any different. Now they're facing what it is they were taught to adore all those years. It can't be easy.

I. Am. Canadian! 

A few things I learned visiting Canada...

Windsor, Ontario is still a great city. You should go.

No matter how good a blackjack player you think you are, if the dealer keeps giving you 14's, you're going home with less money than you started out with.

If you hurt yourself bowling, you are seriously out of shape. Especially if you hurt yourself bowling Canadian style.

Detroit still sucks.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Dog blog... 

I'm off to Canada for a friend's wedding reception (when we lived in Detroit, all the cool people lived across the border in Ontario). As a quick adieu, here's a shot of the dogs...Koshka and Otchki have tired of posing, but Mishka, who knows what a camera is for, never gets tired of hamming it up...



I'm sure there will be more politics when I get back. This is Bush and Kerry we're talking about. There should be many screwups between now and then...


Thursday, May 20, 2004

True story... 

My wife's job requires her to deal with immigration issues at the company she works for. She calls me and leaves a message while I'm in court - she has questions she needs the answer to. I call her back, and here are her questions:

Could Giles have legally hired Anya to work at the Magic Box, what with Anya being a vengeance demon instead of a U.S. Citizen?

For that matter, after Giles lost his job at Sunnydale High, who sponsored him to let him stay in the country legally?

Did Angel pay social security taxes for Wesley and Spike?

I love this woman.

Not Fade Away... 

Due to the drastic shortage of nerd-TV comments on the internet, now that I've seen the Angel finale, I feel...let down. The first 58 minutes was Angel at his best - his team rallying, Wesley finally, really, getting through to Illyria, her words to Gunn "Don't die. I do not find your form unpleasant" showing that she was starting to get attached. Lorne's disenchantment with his mission, Lindsey's bravado, Spike as a poet again, Conner - as good as any episode Joss ever gave. (My wife thinks a Conner spinoff would work - the normal college student with the happy life who also knows the truth about demons - kind of like Buffy back when she had a secret identity.)

People were left believing there would be another day. I can't join them. The final seemed to be crafted with the hope that someone else would pick it up, or go ahead and sign the deal for a movie. But it seems to me like everyone in the show is ready to move on. Which means this was it. Which means the conclusion to the whole Buffyverse saga was either Angel and perhaps a cohort or two surviving against impossible odds or him finally succumbing after fighting the good fight and receiving his well-earned redemption. And they'll never tell us which.

Dawn says farewell also. And, briefly, so does Jonah Goldberg, whose probably right about a slayer army run-in being a good way to keep people alive. But it's all speculation, and we might as well speculate, because I don't think we'll ever know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Farewell... 

As I write, I know nothing about the series finale of Angel, except that Joss Whedon really wanted to go another season. I hope we get a suitable goodbye, because this isn't just the end of a show - it's the end of an entire world, and mostly, it's the end of the character Angel. (Talk all you want about future movies - everyone's moved on. It ain't happening.)

Angel has suffered for centuries, and those of us who first saw him on Season 1 of Buffy have watched him working towards redemption ever since, losing friends, allies, and (during sweeps) his soul. I hope he gets it - Angel's salvation would be a truly worthy end to the whole Buffyverse.

Here goes everything.

Thus it begins... 

Since the world has finally found some abuse of Iraqi citizens it can get outraged about with a clear conscience (committed by Americans), hopefully people will take heart at the plea of guilty of Jeremy Sivits, one of the perpatrators. Certainly, Sivits' one-year sentence may not placate anyone, but people should understand that his court martial was the first of several, and Sivits has agreed to testify against others, who presumably face more severe sentences.

In old, unrelated news that I'm only talking about because I can't face the truth about how evil Bush and Rumsfeld are, seven Iraqis who had their hands amputated by Saddam Hussein were given state of the art prosthetics here in the U.S. (Thanks to the German company that donated the limbs - cause I'm all about the multilateralism.)

While I'm on the subject, I wonder if any Arab media have covered this story?

Hmm. Guess not. Oh, well, I'm sure they're working on it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Suppression of dissent... 

It seems like such a minor thing, to take a little time out of your day and post a thought on the Internet. To rebut something you heard on the news, criticize this official or that decision. I mean, why wouldn't you, if you had something to say?

Well, if you lived in China, you might not because the government will put you in prison. Apparently Du Daobin (remember that name), committed the grave sin of circulating online petitions critical of the Chinese government.

Why I don't listen to people who get hysterical about John Ashcroft, Exhibit A.

Our responsiblity... 

It's been awhile since we've heard anything about Specialist Joe Darby, the brave soldier who blew the whistle on the Abu Ghraib abuses. That's in part due to Darby, his family, friends, and neighbors declining to speak with the media.

And not without cause, apparently. According to the article, there are those in and around Spec. Darby's hometown who feel he betrayed his comrades in the military, possibly exposing them to greater dangers. (The fate of Nick Berg is of grave concern to the locals, many of whom have loved ones serving in Iraq right now.)

Kevin Drum, from whose site I took the above info, asks everyone to keep Spec. Darby in mind. I would take issue with him calling what Darby did "ratting out friends and coworkers," though. "Ratting" is what mobsters do in exchange for plea bargains. There should be a more noble word for Darby's brand of whistleblowing. In any event, while I echo Drum's call to spare a thought for Spec. Darby, I would also like to encourage it especially among the pro-war, pro-military folks. What is eating at Darby and his loved ones is the idea that he has betrayed a trust, and betrayed an ideal. He needs to know that people who support what he was trying to do when he went over there still support him now. Read some of the comments left at Drum's post (quotes below, or scroll down to read the whole discussion). With all due respect to Drum, I don't think it gives Darby any peace of mind to know that he's considered a hero by people who think Bush belongs in prison. He needs to hear it from people who won't use his story as a "gotcha" moment to smear a cause and an institution he probably deeply believed, and may still believe in.

He needs to hear it from us. Spec. Darby will ultimately help give us a better military, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude.

"I think it's sad that there are people who think he somehow did the nation a disservice. Hell, if this helps sink Bushco, I'll buy him a car."

"If you want to do something for Darby, take up a collection for him and help him get his family out of the trailor park."

"Just goes to show that even two-timing rats know the difference between good and evil. Joseph Darby, if you're out there, man, come to California. The weather's better, the people friendlier, and the animosity is definitely aimed where it should be, right at the White House." - (Note the "two-timing rat" phrase is probably tongue in cheek - it was an NY Post headline.)

"Are these the "True American" red state values we're all supposed to be so enamored with? The values that say you're not supposed to tell the truth about what's really going on? Is it really considered more noble in these circles to cover up wrongdoing out of "loyalty" than to let the world know what's going on so that it stops?"


This isn't happening... 

Via Sully, we learn about a fictional event. Something that flat out did not occur. I'm referring, of course, to the Bush administration's recent move to speed up approval of combination AIDS drugs, a move that will make retroviral therapy more accessible to Third World countries devastated by AIDS.

Evil racist greedbag Bush? If it happened, (which it didn't), it must have only been because Bush wanted to distract attention from Rumsfeld signing off on torture at Abu Ghraib.

That was the reason last year, when Bush was praised for his concern about Africa, too.

He's a bad guy. Never forget it.

Monday, May 17, 2004

A little levity... 

A co-worker of mine was at the jail today, (there's a courtroom in the jail to hold probable cause hearings for defendants who can't make bond), and he and some of the jail staff were discussing the new indigent defense system we're setting up around here. One person thought it wouldn't be cost effective.

Jail Staff #1: We'll have to pay for them to hire secretaries, investigators, set them up with law books for research...

Co-Worker: And I think they're entitled to Lexis, too.

Jail Staff #2: Lexus? Shoot, just give 'em an old patrol car!





More on the ball than I... 

Karol and Smash both caught this story about the discovery of a roadside bomb rigged with an Iraqi artillery round containing deadly nerve gas Sarin.

I'll. Be. Damned. A chemical weapon. In Iraq. Veddy, veddy interesting. And wait? What's that sound I hear? Could it be the Goalpost Relocation Committee?

Why, yes it is. Just read on for the true story of how this came to be:

"Awful damn convenient that the person in the world most under the microscope right now that has more access to chemical weapons than anyone else in the world just popped his head in the door to have a pep rally last week and an old sarin shell shows up minutes after he left."

That's right, dipshit. Donald Freaking Rumsfeld showed up in Iraq with a sarin-filled artillery shell hidden in his boxer shorts (sorry, ladies), and rigged a crude bomb to frame those poor Iraqi insurgents and justify another round of sodomy at Abu Ghraib.

Or you're a moron, I haven't decided.

Greeks and those who visit them - rude dangerous jackasses... 

OK, that's a little harsh. But not really, seeing as how the U.S. is advising athletes to refrain from waving the U.S. flag during the Olympics.

Now, just in case one were to think this was just designed to ward off the kind of immature gloating that annoys everyone (a U.S. track relay team made asses of themselves in 2000), please note: "If a Kenyan or a Russian grabs their national flag and runs round the track or holds it high over their heads, it might not be viewed as confrontational."

Kenyan and Russian patriotism being more of the "cute and harmless" variety.

This is promising... 

I've never heard of him before, but this Mohammed Abdul-Latif character sounds useful. Latif both served in the Iraqi army and was imprisoned by Saddam, so he has both military qualifications and non-Baathist street cred, which has got to be hard to come by.

"...We can help them leave by helping them do their job, or we can make them stay ten years and more by keeping fighting." - this is how it needs to be explained. I'll admit, I was one of the turn-Fallujah-into-a-crater crowd. But who knows, maybe there's something to this diplomacy stuff after all.


Nah.

Outrage... 

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? If innocent civilians are slaughtered, and no American is nearby to blame, did it really happen?

Of course it happened. People are dead. It just doesn't matter as much.

Pop-Culture-riffic! 

Saw the movie Troy over the weekend. I loved Greek myths growing up, and this movie was one of the two or three I was most looking forward to in 2004. (Miracle and Spider-Man 2, if you're keeping score.) Having seen it, it was good, but it could have (should have) been great. The cast was there, and everything looked great, but...the ending was a bit anti-climactic (it's hard to make a big deal of the whole horse thing when Odysseus is just a supporting player.) Eric Bana does a great job as Hector, Pitt's fine as Achilles, and you pretty much want to smack Orlando Bloom's Paris every time you see him, which is the point. Call it two and half stars. Of course, reasonable minds will differ. (Naked Brad Pitt notwithstanding, the missus was bored out of her skull.)

And, of course, the other major screen event (at least among those of us who truly care about quality entertainment) was the finale of The Practice, and the subsequent setup of Fleet Street, the James Spader-William Shatner spinoff. Not to put to fine a point on it, but the Practice finale blew whale chunks. A prosecutor and defense attorney completely ignore the facts of the case at hand to spend their closing arguments discussing the ramifications of the Abu Ghraib scandal, Bobby Donald does nothing, no Lindsey, no Helen, no Becca (possibly the only member of the firm who didn't deserve to get disbarred six times over), and Jimmy and Big Pussy work in more Italian-American stereotypes in 20 minutes of screen time than we've seen in six years of the Sopranos.

On the positive note, Allen's cripple-fetish client's reaction to seeing Rebecca De Mornay in her neckbrace was the funniest thing I've seen on TV in a long time.

"Denny Crane."

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Definitely doing something wrong... 

Several years ago, I was another anonymous intern in Washington, D.C., doing my part to give something back to this great country of ours (or get a cool line on my resume, I forget which).

Anyway, the annual return of the interns is apparently quite the event in D.C., although I must say, my own internship was nothing like that. I was apparently doing something wrong.

In any event, the description of the hordes of interns descending on D.C. reminded me of something...I just don't recall what...

Define "evenhandedness" 

Palestinian PM just wants US to treat them as equals with Israel.

No word as to whether he means letting Israel shoot pregnant women for sport, or just throwing a party when it happens.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Oops, our bad... 

I suppose it's to be expected that the brutal murder of a pregnant woman and her four children has become ancient history, just more background noise in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But before we all forget about the Hatuel family, answer me one question - how the hell does NPR "accidentally" imply that this was justified if their reporters have any business keeping their jobs? (Also, scroll down the corrections column, see how many "oopsies" they've made that just happen to make Israel look worse. At some point, doesn't that stop being a coincidence?)

Second, I've been checking Google News to see if any Arab media has had the courage to name the Hatuels as victims. Anyone surprised that I haven't found any?

Dog blogging... 

Having finally managed to get my scanner working - I can finally do what I've always wanted since I discovered blogs - post pictures of my dogs.

All three are purebred Keeshonden (pronounced Kayz-honden, not Keesh-hounden), though not from the same litter. I never had a dog of any kind until Mishka came home, and I am now a crazy dog person. And, thanks to the Internet, I can now spread the madness.


That's dedication... 

The state of Hawaii is basically one giant get-out-the-vote operation for Jasmine Trias.

People voting 100 times, local media and political figures getting involved...if I didn't know it was Hawaii, I'd swear it was Chicago.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Nice try, Botox-boy... 

How freaking bi-partisan. John Kerry has listed two Republicans, Senators John Warner (VA) and John McCain (AZ) as possible Secretaries of Defense should he be elected President. God love the man, willing to build bridges across party lines, seeking only what's best for the country. Statesmanlike, even.

Of course, if Warner or McCain were to take a gig in Kerry's cabinet, that would open up a Senate seat, which would be filled by appointment by the governor. Now, I'm sure it's a coincidence that the governors of both Arizona and Virginia are Democrats. I'm sure Kerry never considered such a thing, and would be surprised to learn this. And, I'm sure someone besides me is going to mention this when news stories of Kerry's interview circulate.

I'm also sure excessive sarcasm causes weight loss and reverses thinning hair.

Welcome back... 

Rob is back and blogging. Apparently excessive dentistry has left him cranky, which, though he may suffer, will make his postings more entertaining for us. And isn't that what's really important.

So, should we revoke Hawaii's statehood, or what? 

Thanks to Fox's excessive promotion of "the movie George Bush doesn't want you to see" (because when you absolutely, postively, have to promote the living hell out of a movie that terrifies George Bush, you call FOX!), the American Idol results show aired at the same time as the second to last episode ever of Angel. Now, the end of the Joss Whedon-verse is going to control at my house. (My wife was sure ending Buffy violated some human rights law - I concur, if only because of the increased likelihood of Sarah Michelle Gellar starring in movies with her useless husband.)

Anyway, I missed the outrage. Buh-bye, LaToya. Now, granted, LaToya was a much better singer than Jasmine, but what did people really expect? Simon flat out told the whole damn state of Hawaii that they needed to vote the way Massachussetts senators demand Rumsfeld's resignation - excessively. They listened. LaToya is from Oakland, and had the whole damn state of California at her disposal. Blame them. Meanwhile, Jasmine will go next week, because Georgia is united behind Ms. Degarmo, and the rest of the country should recognize where Fantasia is concerned.

Re: Angel - I don't like that the final villain is a group we've never heard of till now - I was hoping for a showdown with the Senior Partners themselves - but it looks like it's setting up for a worthy finale. Which we need, because frankly, the way Buffy went out blew.

Give 'em hell, guys... 

I've accepted that we're never going to have another Miracle on Ice here. We've just gotten too big and monolithic. But thankfully, you can still enjoy it when it happens to someone else.

Iraq's soccer team has just qualified for the Olympics.

Best of luck, guys.

Link via Tapped

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Pave the Gaza Strip... 

You're a band of Palestinian terrorists. (Forget that you have hygiene and morals for a minute and just go with it...) Your crew just brutally murdered a pregnant woman and her four young daughters, because, you know, they were Jews, and they weren't armed. You're wondering, how can I possibly top this?

You open fire on the funeral.

Israel is bulldozing the houses they say were used to provide cover for the killers.

Bothers me not one bit.

By the way, I was just wondering if any Arab media had the courage to talk about the victims of this attack. Google thinks it's unlikely.

To hell with them.

Well, it shouldn't close early then... 

If you were waiting for the list of Tony award nominees, (and really, who wasn't), you'll be pleased to know that Wizard of Oz prequel Wicked is tops with 10 nominations.

Or, maybe you're me, and your spouse is hauling you to New York for the specific purpose of seeing this thing, you're just glad to know it probably doesn't suck.

...cause, you know, we're concerned... 

Back when Fabrizio Quattrocchi was killed, Middle East media had a fit of conscience and elected not to show any of the footage of his murder. The more cynical among us suspected that this decision was made because the footage would not further a specific agenda. Of course, Abu Ghraib images do further that agenda, and have been broadcast relentlessly. I'm sure this is just a coincidence.

Now that another hostage has been murdered, there's that conscience again. Of course, the effect of this murder would damage that old agenda again.

I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

I'm surprised they didn't think of this sooner... 

China has been trying threats for years now trying to get Taiwan to knock off all this indepence nonsense. Finally, someone has hit upon a brilliant idea: China will just pass a law mandating unification! It's just that easy!

I'm sure everyone in Taiwan is clear on this. China's making a list of independence advocates. And should they ever get ahold of Taiwan, they will be checking it twice.

How to ID the bad guy in a conflict... 

When I heard that Hamas and/or Islamic Jihad had detonated a mine, killing six Israeli soldiers, I found it hard to believe at first. Targeting actual soldiers with guns generally requires more testicular fortitude than Hamas and friends tend to possess.

But, heaven forfend Hamas do anything without reminding you of what kind of people we're dealing with here.

"Hamas and Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility for the attack and announced they are holding body parts of the dead soldiers, which were scattered hundreds of meters from the scene of the attack by the force of the blast. Officials from the terrorist organizations demanded to enter negotiations with Israel to exchange the body parts for Palestinian security prisoners incarcerated in Israel."

Israel is currently searching the area house to house looking for these folks, as well as the remains of their comrades. Should any of these homes be damaged or destroyed during this process, the usual suspects will expect us to be outraged at Israel.

File that one under long shots.


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Wrong... 

Don't let the claim that Nick Berg was beheaded because of Abu Ghirab become conventional wisdom. The name Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dropped. Zarqawi is one of Al-Qaeda's men in Iraq. Berg was killed for the same reason, and by the same means, as Danny Pearl - because they could, and because the world would pay attention to it.

Zarqawi and company have a host of reasons to behead Americans, ranging from our failure to let them crush homosexuals under giant rocks in peace to our failure to set them up with one of those temporary marriage things to Britney Spears.

Sully makes the point well, although I don't think I agree with his demand that the media show Zarqawi holding up Berg's head. We are the good guys after all. Save the severed head footage for when the head in question is Zarqawi's.

Interesting... 

The first Abu Ghirab defendant is scheduled for court-martial May 19.

Reading the article, folks seem to think there is, or will be, a deal in place for this defendant (alleged to be one of the photographers), to give evidence against someone higher up the food chain. Seems to make sense to me - it's unlikely any defense lawyer would want a trial so quick, with emotions running so high and your client's scalp the only one on the chopping block. Also, the current crop of defendants are looking for people higher up the food chain to blame, and putting that defense together is going to take time.

So, maybe we'll start to hear about who gave the orders. If this defendant doesn't plead out and give evidence, then at least there should be a speedy succession of trials.

And trials about human rights abuses committed in the Middle East are long overdue.

Amazing coincidences... 

Via Citizen Smash, we hear that, wonder of wonders, the Arab League has announced a call for greater democracy, specifically that they "establish democratic practices, including making court systems independent, greater freedom and human rights for citizens and greater rights for women"

Of course, it's important to note that this has absolutely nothing to do with anything Bush has done or said since taking office. There is absolutely no fear of Captain Unilateral or anything he might do playing any role in this whatsoever. Nope. Not a bit. Really. We swear...

Not that I'm complaining about any step forward, but I'm still waiting for something specific as far as "greater democracy." Specifically, installing mechanisms for replacing the big kahunas. To test a nation's commitment to democracy, I hereby announce the Crosblog Democracy Buckstopper Test:

1. Every nation has one guy at the top of the food chain. He may be called Prime Minister, President, Premier, Father of all Turkmen, but there's one guy whose authority overrides all others. Identify that individual.

2. If the citizens of the country have no idea how to peacefully remove that person from power, you ain't a democracy.

3. Iran, we're looking at you. You're not fooling anyone by pretending Khatami's in charge.


Give it up for the Sons of Dialogue! 

OK, supposedly human troll doll Moqtada al-Sadr is representing a legitimate segment of Iraqi society that fears being denied a voice in post-Saddam Iraq, or some other such nonsense. As an austere cleric, Al-Sadr would surely decline any attempt to seize any personal advantage from this crisis, as he only seeks the best for his people.

Or, if you agree to not to haul him in the dock on murder charges, he'll stand down. Actually, a formal agreement to defer the murder charges until the transfer of sovreignty sounds okey-dokey to me, especially if the stories of Al-Sadr wearing out his welcome in Najaf have anything to them.

Sadreddin al-Qombanji, the local representatives of Iraq's largest Shiite political party, told reporters that efforts to mediate an end to the standoff in Najaf and its twin city of Kufa were revived Tuesday...
...''We are working for a dialogue that was stopped but today was revived with a great deal of energy,'' he said at the local office of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI. ''We are the sons of dialogue and peaceful solutions.''

I really hope Iraq's first globally successful rock band is named the Sons of Dialogue.

Incidentally, while somebody's talking to al-Sadr, could we get an opinion on
his underling's announcement that it's OK to keep captured female soldiers as slaves? Or, at least, an estimate as to how many discrete inquiries have been received about keeping male prisoners as slaves?

Monday, May 10, 2004

Over the weekend... 

Saw Van Helsing over the weekend. Stupid and fun, but mostly stupid. Hugh Jackman plus vampires plus Kate Beckinsdale in leather really should add up to more than it did. Not the worst thing I've ever seen (that'd be John Carpenter's Vampires), but it's the reason God made Netflix.

While waiting for the movie to start, hung out at Borders, where I got the new P.J. O'Rourke book, Peace Kills. I'm in the middle of it right now, and the way I read, I should be done later this week. Very similar to Give War a Chance, (in a good way). If anyone cares, I'll probably put up a thought or two after reading the book. (I'm a huge P.J. fan).

By the way... 

The first sentence that popped into my head when I read about Specialist Joe Darby was "He's a bigger hero than Pat Tillman." Silly to compare the two, I know, but I've had cause to think about what Tillman, and those who serve there today, are trying to do in Afghanistan.

When talentless jackass Ted Rall and wannabe courageous journalist Rene Gonzales spit on Tillman's grave by accusing him of racism (Rall), and calling him an idiot who got what he deserved (Gonzales, and come to think of it, Rall again), they cast aspersions on the mission in Afghanistan. Gonzales claimed the Taliban were "more Afghani then we were" and Rall said Tillman should have taken the money and left Afghanis alone.

Had there been no invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban would still be in charge. And men who poisoned little girls for attending school would not be condemned by the government as "beasts."

They would be the government.

Don't cry for me, Uzbekistan... 

I'm not a fan of the way President Bush has handled Uzbekistan. I understand (to some degree) the strategic value it has, but President Islam Karimov is a buttsponge who has no quarrel brutally putting down anyone he thinks is in his way, and I've always been wary of the idea that Karimov thinks his strategic usefulness is giving him a pass.

Then I read this report, about a pastor in Uzbekistan who is praying for Bush to be re-elected. Why? According to the pastor, Captain Unilateral scares Uzbek officials, so they don't crack down so much.

I'm not sure I'm wholly convinced that the U.S. is dealing with Uzbekistan the right way, but it's interesting to hear someone who actually lives there express this level of support for Bush.

Michael Moore - bald-faced liar, or fatuous windbag? 

Sigh...nothing's ever easy when the one-man Blue Collar Comedy Tour that is Michael Moore is involved. A British newspaper reported that Moore misrepresented Disney's obligations for the purpose of drumming up publicity. With the general tendency of European press to go easy on people like Moore (the right kind of American), my own general disdain for the man, and Moore's own well documented willingness to put his own agenda above the truth, I believed the story credible.

Well, if the word of Michael Moore himself helps, he has issued a statement claiming his deal with Miramax included distribution (emphasis added.) If so, (and assuming there is no out clause that was validly exercised), Moore may have grounds to sue the crap out of somebody.

On the other hand, Disney appears to be standing behind its statement that Moore is full of it. I'm sure those who believe most corporations are evil incarnate and the Bush brothers are willing to take time out of their days to ineffectively silence documentary filmmakers will believe Moore, and those who do not list Zach De La Rocha liner notes as a news source will not.

I don't outright believe Moore, but since I 1.) own an autographed copy of Downsize This!, and 2.) have a mustard stain on my shirt from lunch, I think I can try to empathize. I don't wonder if there wasn't an option to Disney to distribute, that Moore, for one reason or another, assumed would be executed until he learned otherwise. That would explain both why Disney can say the deal was for financing only, and why Moore thought they were going to distribute it. (Although Moore is quoted as saying he knew Disney wouldn't distribute it...nevermind, I'm trying to give the man an out...)

But if somebody's gotta be lying like a rug...

Unsung hero... 

I haven't said anything about Abu Ghirab and all the abuse allegations that have been made. No particular reason, just didn't think I had anything to add prior to today. A quick summary of my thoughts leading up to what I do have to say today:

- The abuse depicted in the photos is horrifying and beyond defense. While the fact that worse occurs in other countries makes their selective outrage laughable, is does not justify a lack of outrage from people who expect better.

- I'm undecided as to whether or not Rumsfeld should resign. The soldiers involved should be prosecuted to the fullest. Their commanding officers should be prosecuted as well if they knew of the abuses, or stripped of their commands and drummed out of the military as incompetent boobs if they didn't. Rumsfeld can prove he's worthy of his job by how the whole discipline thing turns out.

- I like Tacitus' suggestion about decommissioning the offending unit. I'm inclined to agree that those particular shoulder patches have been tarnished forever, beyond repair.

- I think what was done in Abu Ghirab borders on treason. It made every possible positive outcome in Iraq more difficult and far off in the future, and it will result directly in the deaths of American soldiers.

All this leads to my point, which is Specialist Joseph Darby, revealed last week as the man who blew the whistle on the abuses. From the report, he doesn't at first sound like the kind of guy who'd step off the reservation, which just goes to show how people are capable when the right thing presents itself.

There are all sorts of heroes fighting overseas, from Pat Tillman to all the people doing the same thing as Pat Tillman that we don't hear about cause they never made the NFL, to these guys passing out soccer balls in a small town near Fallujah. (The latter being the sort of thing we're not going to hear about thanks to the crapsacks who brought us Abu Ghirab.)

Anyway, my point, is Spec. Darby belongs on that list.

Wow... 

Blogger looks like it's grownup. Must have gotten tired of everyone moving to Movable Type once they get the hang of this thing.

I'll probably be fouling this thing up over the next few days as I play around with it. Should be good times for everyone.

Friday, May 07, 2004

All you need to know about Illinois politics... 

The state of Illinois is basically Iowa, plus Chicago. The non-Chicago portion of the state is known as "downstate", and a lot of downstate Illinois politics, especially campaigns, involves downstaters carping about Chicago. Democrats are always at a disadvantage downstate because most Chicago politicians are Democrats as well, and downstaters frequently use the phrase "Chicago Democrat" as a quick and easy substitute for "lying crapweasel." (Not an entirely fair characterization, since Illinois Republicans are the ones who foisted George Ryan on the state, the man whose picture will soon adorn the dictionary definition of "lying crapweasel", but that's another story.)

My point is, via Volokh, I heard about Chicago Alderman Arenda Troutman, who is convinced that she is entitled to have a police squad car park outside her home when she's not there. I'd like to say I never would have believe she'd say this:

"Deserve it? Damn right," she said. "I should receive the protection I am receiving. I am an elected official. You're darn right."

...but then, I grew up in downstate Illinois. Clayton Cramer's aghast. Me? I'm not even surprised.

Chicago Democrat.

Whoo-hoo!! 

First, I'm thrilled to learn that Rachel Lucas is back and blogging. It was her blog that made me really wish I had one of my own, and besides, the word "asshat" is funny all by itself.

Also, I'm pleased to add Scott at Right Moment to the roll o'blogs on the right. Tight little ship he's running over there. Check it out.

Remember, if you're reading this, and you have a blog of your own, let me know so I can drop by.


Shocked, yes shocked I am... 

OK, Disney didn't want to distribute Michael Moore's new movie. Moore told us all that this was censorship, and more than a few people have claimed that this was pretty clearly Disney trying to silence criticism of Bush.

Now, if you thought Michael Moore was a lying sack of wind, you would probably not be surprised to learn that Moore has known for a year that Disney had no intention of distributing Fahrenheit 9/11.

Also, "Moore told CNN that Disney had "signed a contract to distribute this [film]" but got cold feet. But Disney executives insists there was never any contract. And a source close to Miramax said that the only deal there was for financing, not for distribution."

I personally, could care less whether this film sees the light of day or not. For me to think that our national debate required distribution of Fahrenheit 9/11, I'd have to believe Moore's dedication was to the truth, rather than himself, and frankly, that bacon cheeseburger was digested a long time ago.

Besides, if he has no problem lying in talking about the film, why should we believe he bothered to get his facts straight while making the film?


Thursday, May 06, 2004

Just wondering... 

As I understand it, if I shoot a 30-second TV commerical attacking John Kerry with the goal of turning the election against him, I am governed by a veritable dead forest of regulations.

Now, Michael Moore wants to release a two-hour or so movie attacking George Bush. He wants this to come out in the Fall of 2004, and I'm sure everyone agrees a major goal of Moore's is to have his film influence the electorate against George Bush. (Film's release subject to Moore finding a new distributor - he is, once again, the victim of a fast and far-reaching conspiracy to keep his brilliant light of truth from shining on the great unwashed.)

Anyhoo, my question - what, if any regulations govern's Moore's clear attempt to influence our election?

And don't tell me free speech allows Moore to say anything he wants about Bush at any time. That don't fly when the NRA wants to buy an ad going after someone who voted for gun control, it ain't flying here.

Just noting... 

It's been alleged by some folks, like for instance the President, that part of what fuels opposition to efforts in Iraq is the racist belief that Arabs are incapable of democracy. Not everyone on the right is cool with this idea, someone on the Corner, I believe, pointed out that accusing someone who disagrees with you of being a racist was annoying, stupid, unfair, and wrong when liberals did it, and it doesn't automatically become a good idea just because the opportunity to do the same presents itself. (I pretty much share this view - I think the general sense on the left is that Arabs are capable of democracy, and they would be glad to have that democracy manifest, provided it does so at a time and in a fashion where no conservative (and especially not Bush) can claim any credit for helping to bring it about.)

Bottom line, I dinna agree with it, and I agree with Dawn for pointing it out, and citing a George Will column going after this point of view.

But, because we hew to the fair-mindedness and sense of balance that makes blogging great, we feel compelled to point out that Ms. Irshad Manji has raised the question as well. Ms. Manji is a Canadian of African descent, a Muslim, a lesbian, and a feminist, so while it's possible she's a member of Dubya's right wing hit squad, I'd file that under "long shots." And, on the subject of Islam's capacity for Democracy, she says...

"There is I believe, such a thing as the soft racism of low expectations. And I believe that there is more virtue in expecting Muslims like anybody else, to rise above low expectations, because you know what? We're capable of it."

Say what you want about Bush's claim, but apparently people smarter than Bush, with a closer connection to the issue, seem to think something very similar.

Just saying.

Pave the West Bank... 

There is virtually nothing Israel can do that would move me to feel sympathy for the Palestinian "plight" anymore. Through Karol, here's the latest example of who exactly we're supposed to empathize with. A pregnant woman, four daughters, aged 2 to 11, gunned down and then shot in the head to confirm they were dead. This is billed as a "heroic attack" on "terrorists" by people who lack the guts to actually describe what was done. The people whose struggle for statehood we're supposed to support call these killers "heroes." Meryl Yourish does a fine job putting some perspective on all this.

To hell with them. To the killers, and the organization that helped them pull this off, to hell with them. To everyone who celebrated the murders, to hell with them. To everyone who refused to come out and call this atrocity a cowardly act of cold-blooded murder perpatrated and celebrated by ghouls unworthy of any kind of support, to hell with them.

Whatever Israel feels is necessary to ensure their security, I'm down with. And when our moral superiors at the UN and EU criticize those steps (and they will), remember the equivocating condemnation of this act, as though it were merely a bad tactical decision.

Then say to hell with them. To hell with them all.

Wicked cool geek stuff... 

Tired of getting your ass kicked in NCAA tournament pools? (Kentucky vs. Ole Miss final, anyone?) Put your nerd skills into an arena where they'll do some good, and hop on the John Kerry Veepstakes bracket. Set up like a pool, with "regionals" like Battleground States, Gravitas, and Chicks (They may use a different term) it's everything a guy who thought Stanford was a real Final Four contender could want!

The horrible bigotry of American Idol... 

I didn't want to believe it, but there it is, apparent for everyone to see. The horrible, blatant bias of the American viewing public. Who would believe, in this day and age, that we would still be seeing this kind of sexism from Americans?

George, the final male contestant, was sent home in the greatest miscarriage of justice since, well, since most everything that's happened on The Practice in the last three months. I just don't know what to believe in anymore.

And, just to get all TV-related thoughts out in one post, why is frickin' Andrew the only Buffy cast member hard enough up for work to do a guest spot on Angel?

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Punks... 

Via the Corner, I learn that the Iowa Hawkeyes have backed down from a scheduled baseball game against Bradley, the college team from my beloved hometown of Peoria, IL, because Bradley's baseball team is named the Braves. And, you see, Iowa has a policy against playing teams with Native American mascots. It's apparently a "human rights issue."

Unless, of course, big money's at stake. You see, Iowa is in the Big Ten, where they routinely play the University of Illinois, whose Chief Illiniwek has been derided as a racist symbol. (I think those people take themselves way too seriously, but if offensive mascots are the problem, the Chief dances at football games. Bradley uses, I believe, a bobcat.) According to the article, "The U of I makes an exception for the fighting Illini of Illinois in the Big Ten and for any tournament games."

So, if lots of people are watching, the game really counts towards something important, like a Big Ten or NCAA title, and there's big money involved, then offensive mascots are OK. (Also, if this were a big principle, someone might ask why they've been willing to play Bradley several times in recent years, but not this year. A cynical man would feel the need to point out that Bradley's baseball team is much improved this year, while Iowa, well, sucks.)

The University of Iowa. Where the mascot is the punk.

Since we're not sincere, why aren't you handling it? 

I believe the UN's primary function is to legitimize dictators. Sure, they do other stuff, some of it even noteworthy, (such as for instance, argue for walk-on roles in Nicole Kidman movies.). But there main purpose is to serve as a forum for the likes of Castro and Kim Jong-Il and various other crapsacks to act like they are the legitimate voice of their respective nations. Short answer, I'm not a fan.

Of course, those of us who average out right-of-center don't count as legitimate UN critics. Here, Kevin Drum essentially concedes that "UN bashers" are right, but they don't have the best interests of the UN at heart. The UN outrage du jour is their belief that the Sudan is qualified to investigate human rights violations. (And here's my main beef with the UN. The fact that they say "The Sudan" when what they mean is "Omar Hassan al-Bashir and some of his goons.") And once again, the UN defenders will sigh and say, "fine, you're right. The UN is whitewashing dictators and covering up for mass murderers, but you guys aren't sincere about reform. You just like bashing the UN."

Assume this is true. Could someone explain to me why UN reform isn't John Kerry's big issue, why reform proposals aren't decorating the pages of the Nation and the American Prospect, and why anti-war demostrations don't include speeches about the UN cleaning up its act enough that they can push for more UN responsiblity without being laughed out of the room?

You're right, we don't like the UN. You do. And people who want the UN to be trustworthy should act like it. If you want the UN to be a global joke, let the UN-bashers be the ones being heard.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Courage... 

I once read somewhere about a test that was given - there was only one question: "What is courage?" While all the other students wrote furiously, spending pages expounding on the concept, one student quickly wrote on his paper "THIS IS," turned it in, and left. He got an A.

It's not a perfect analogy, but it's what I thought of when I read about Hashem Aghajari. He was sentenced to death for daring to criticize Iran's ruling theocracy by the band of thugs who have attempted to equate all criticism of their despotism with apostasy and blasphemy. Aghajari's popularity is such that the mullahs are actually afraid of what would happen if they went ahead and executed him. It has been suggested, pretty strongly, that there could be some technical grounds by which the sentence could be overturned.

Aghajari is having none of it. Refusing to play the game set up by an illegitimate system of government, he has dared the Iranian government to execute him. And the mullahs are scampering away like frightened chipmunks. Still, if they feel they have to execute him, don't put it past them.

It boggles the mind to imagine what a nation like Iran could accomplish if the people running it cared enough about their country to let men and women like Hashem Aghajari and Shirin Ebadi to help in directing things. Here's to the day when Iran is ruled by those who love Iran, rather than by those who love running Iran.

Dixon freed... 

The lead story all around Atlanta today is the release of Marcus Dixon, who had his conviction overturned. The media coverage of the Georgia Supreme Court's ruling suggests that the Floyd County DA somehow should have disregarded all the serious charges and just recognized that this was nothing more than two teenagers having consensual sex. And I started to get annoyed again. I recognize that all the cool kids really like the Legend of Marcus Dixon, which is that he was locked up for crimes we all know he didn't commit, just to send a message to all those young black men about working their magic on the white women, and since every major news story caters to the legend, it should be accepted as fact (if it isn't already) within the next few months.

However, in defense of at least the Georgia Supreme Court, I actually read their opinion, and it seems perfectly reasonable to me. The decision was 4-3, and the dissent makes a number of perfectly reasonable points as well. It's actually a pretty complicated issue involving a number of conflicting legal doctrines. Which means, for those following the legend, that the actions taken by the prosecution were, while not ultimately upheld, well within the bounds of acceptable conduct.

It was a close call, they erred on the side of the defendant. (And for those who have used this case to impugn the entire state/region, please note it was the Georgia Supreme Court, made up of Georgia justices who rendered this decision.)

Tip of the cap to Dawn, where I first saw the news.

They're kidding, right? 

At first I was scared this was going to be tonight, but next year is bad enough. I mean, Bob Dylan on American Idol?

Back... 

I wanted the one post I made yesterday to stand alone, so I didn't post on anything else, despite other things happening. Back now.

Monday, May 03, 2004

In memorium... 

We take cops for granted. We expect nothing less than perfection from them. We blame them for not stopping every crime that was ever committed, and second guess every step they take. We don't pay them enough, and we never, ever say thank you to them. Until it's too late. Like now.

Even though we know better, we stand by while others compare our police to the secret death squads of the world's most totalitarian societies. Maybe we let a similar analogy escape our own lips once or twice. We're perfectly comfortable questioning their motives, their professionalism, or their integrity, just because we don't want to have points on our driving record. We have no way of knowing how many lives are saved because good police officers do their job day in and day out. The men and women on the road keeping the speeders in check, working the traffic accidents, and arresting the impaired drivers are keeping untold thousands alive, and all we can do is complain about that bleeping cop who wouldn't let us off with a warning. And we never, ever say thank you. Until it's too late. Like now.

Like when you hear about a career police officer, out working the road during hours when decent people are in bed. And how a traffic accident occurred that wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been his job to get the bad drivers off the road so I could have an uneventful morning commute. And how a wife is now without a husband, children without a father. And how everyone who lives around here is without a good man who worked hard to make this area safer. And how you think you'd come to grips with it after hearing it on the news, until you pass a car wash whose owner felt compelled to lower his tattered American flag to half mast. Saying thank you. Too late, just like I'm saying it now.

Still, saying it too late is better than never saying it at all. Rest in peace, Jimmy. God keep your family.

And thank you.


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