October 31, 2004

Time for Bunnies!

Madman Entertainment in Australia just made a little music video for a band called (as I understand it) This Is Serious, Mum, or TISM. The new single from their album The White Albun is entitled "Everyone Else Has Had More Sex Than Me," and it's now time for you to go hear it (if you're not in a major hurry, I recommend the album mix, but I'm a take-your-time, 70s-style, album-ey girl, so what the fuck do I know? Nada).

But I think I'm beginning to understand John Edward's strange affinity for bunny-rabbits.

Hat tip for the bunny video goes to Lileks (who, in the last big paragraph of the linked post, explains how he handles it when his toddler sneaks into the room while he's playing a video about angst-ridden bunnies who are dissatisfied with their erotic histories—that lay in the house that Jack built).

Ye gads; could I be any wordier? Goodbye.

Posted by Attila at 03:12 PM | Comments (11)

Killing Joos and Americans

I don't know whether to weep or to eat my gun when I read things like this:

A talking animal on a Palestinian children's television show has advocated starting a massacre with AK-47 firearms.

The violent suggestion came in response to a question from a child moderator on the program, which runs on official Palestinian TV, reported Palestinian Media Watch.

The recently aired episode was dedicated to the importance of trees. The moderator asked "Tarabisho," a talking chick, what he would do if someone, specifically a "little boy," were to chop down his tree. In his squeaky little voice, Tarabisho answered that he would shoot the little boy with an AK-47 automatic rifle, create a massacre and make a riot.

The following is the full text of the translated dialogue between the child moderator and Tarabisho:

Girl: If a boy comes in front of your house where a tree is planted, and cuts it down, what would you do?

Talking chick: I have two trees in front of my house.

Girl: If a little boy cuts them down, what will you do to him?

Talking chick: What I'll do to him? I'll fight him and make a big riot. I'll call the whole world and make a riot. I'll bring AK-47s and the whole world. I'll commit a massacre in front of the house.

Palestinian Media Watch, which features a video of the exchange, reported the moderator twice checked her notes while asking the questions, suggesting this was not a spontaneous discussion but was a deliberate educational message planned by the writers and producers of the show.

The program aired shortly after the Israeli army leveled many of the trees used by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza to hide rocket launchers.

As WorldNetDaily reported, Palestinian Authority television produced a "Sesame Street"-like children's program called the "Children's Club" – complete with puppet shows, songs, Mickey Mouse and other characters – focused on inculcating intense hatred of Jews and a passion for engaging in and celebrating violence against them in a perpetual "jihad" until the day the Israeli flags come down from above "Palestinian land" and the Palestinian flag is raised.

In one song on the "Children's Club," very young children are shown singing songs about wanting to become "suicide warriors" and to take up "a machine gun" to direct "violence, anger, anger, anger" against Israelis.

During the show, which featured children aged 4-10, one young boy sings, "When I wander into Jerusalem, I will become a suicide bomber." Afterward, other children stand to call for "Jihad! Holy war to the end against the Zionist enemy."

It always makes me wonder how guys like Jeff and Laurence can joke about the sick, murderous nature of Palestinian society. How are you able to make light of the fact that people want you dead? I find myself railing at them each for a moment every now and then until I remember that I'm now in the same situation myself, and I've only really been aware of it for three years.

I'm just not yet accustomed to the fact that there are a lot of people out there who want to kill me because I'm from this country. And nothing else would matter to them.

A lot of aware Jews out there have lived with this their entire lives—at least on a theoretical level—and are therefore coping better than I am.

(Also, Laurence and Jeff are funnier people from the get-go.)

The riff started with Protein Wisdom, who provided the link to this rather horrific little bit of news.

Posted by Attila at 04:22 AM | Comments (5)

October 30, 2004

Local Guy Makes Good

Power Line's Hindracker hits the big time:

NBC News has asked me to be part of their election night broadcast team. I'm not sure yet exactly what the format will be, but I'll be in New York at the NBC studio. I'll once again be paired with the Wonkette. Given the long hours that these election night shows consume, I expect to get some air time. I'll try to lend whatever balance I can to NBC's coverage, and if I get the opportunity, I'll let Tom Brokaw know that I'm one of the guys he called a "Jihadist" in connection with Hurricane Dan.

So: tune in to NBC on election night. If it's a good night for President Bush and the Republicans, I'll be the only happy guy in the building.

I'll be with the Los Angeles Bear Flag Leaguers on the West Side, celebrating the Bush win, and I would think we'll probably tune in, though it certainly won't be up to me.

Posted by Attila at 08:06 PM | Comments (4)

And at the Eleventh Hour

Over at Jane Galt, Megan McArdle has fiiiinaaalllyy made up her mind. She goes through the issues close to her tree-hugging, libertarian heart and tells us which guy wins out on each issue before making her reluctant declaration.

It's good reading, because she in some ways a genuine centrist, and she's smarter—and better-informed—than I am. Good stuff. Go, now—no matter your political persuasion. It's one of the most thoughtful political essays I've read this whole damned election season.

Posted by Attila at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2004

Red Hoodies, and the Collapse of Civility

Oh, no fair. Eminem has this new video to underscore the fact that we're never the cool kids on the block. And they're all wearing their black hoodies to the polls.

Nice video, though: I like the way the animation is integrated into the live action of Eminem himself.

Hm. Should I wear my gray zip jacket with the hood? Will it make me cool? At 42, I'm finding that quality more and more elusive.

We should wear hoodies that are white. Or multicolored ones in red, white and blue. Or orange hoodies, since it'll be two days after Halloween. Or maple-leaf brown, for autumn.

You know what we should wear?—red. It's the symbol of blood and bravery.

Michele praises the video, and notes that it's Eminem's right to speak his mind about the President. But she points out that it's a little hypocritical of the left to 1) lionize celebrities who speak out on politics only when you agree with them, and 2) suddenly decide they like Eminem after all, when just ten minutes ago they despised him as a gay-bashing misogynist who glorified violence.

Hey, Michele—that was then. This is now.

You know what sucks about this election? In a sane year, efforts like those of Election Protection would be bipartisan efforts, rather than the Democrats having their own poll observers and the Republicans, our own. Or we'd at least be able to cooperate to the point that we would have squads of observers, equally matched as to party, at each location to make sure that no one is intimidated, but that no voter fraud occurs. Instead, we have mutual suspicion and rumors of intimidation based on race—and yet, at times, an out and out celebration of vote fraud by Democrats. And of course that isn't right, either: whenever someone votes fraudulently another citizen is being disenfranchised.

This sucks. No matter what happens, I hope America regains its equilibrium, and I weep for what we've lost.

I hope it doesn't take another attack to bring us together again.

Please get this over with, and please—let there be some peace and reasonableness when it's done. And get my democracy to some radiation therapy, please: it has cancer.

Posted by Attila at 10:26 PM | Comments (6)

The Latest from Our Bomb-Wielding Friend

Watch your backs, boys and girls. Bin Ladin might be getting ready for another attack over the weekend; CIA analysts are trying to figure out if there are hidden instructions in his latest videotape.

Of course, he might not try to attack us, figuring that Americans could well react just the opposite of the Spaniards in such a case.

But keep on the lookout anyway; it'll be a scary weekend in a very literal, non-Halloween-like way.

Posted by Attila at 02:31 PM | Comments (3)

The Council of Watchers Has Spoken

And they voted my entry, "Letter to an Undecided Voter," the best non-council entry! That's pretty gratifying.

The best Council entry was Alpah Patriot's essay on Judging Character.

Posted by Attila at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

Has Anyone Noticed

. . . malfunctions in the Rove chips? I'm having trouble thinking straight. Lots of static.

Supposed to say . . . Russians took the explosives from Al-Qaqaa . . . Ter-AY-suh is ugly, and Edwards is dim . . . we're up in Florida and Pennsylvania, and still might take Ohio. Michigan is falling, falling to us fast. Hawai'i is being seduced by the dark side . . .

Out. Signal's out. Nothing to blog about.

Perhaps Voldemort can help me; as it turns out, he's a good IT guy. Who knew?

Posted by Attila at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2004

Why Bush Gets Along with Cheney

Megan McArdle, guest-blogging for Glenn Reynolds, links to her idea of an "October surprise."

I think it's cute, but I'm crude. I've been told that it's about ten years old.

Posted by Attila at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)


All I can say is, I hope he's in a lot of pain. Maybe he'll have a slow, lingering death—just in case there isn't a hell. (I'm not against hedging my bets.)

My favorite part of the coverage is the fact that his wife has to join him from France, reminding us that his family is safely ensconsed in Europe: he only wants other people's families to die.

Outside the Beltway:

It must be getting serious. The press is already dusting off the Arafat obituary. Apparently, contrary to my belief that he was a mass murdering scumbag, he was simply a dynamic leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize. I stand corrected.

That's vintage Joyner.

Posted by Attila at 10:02 AM | Comments (2)

Got Truth?

A new group, The Truth About Iraq, is trying to counter the media distortions and omissions about the liberation; they even ran an editorial in the L.A. Times to try to get it across to skeptical Americans that Iraqis really do want democracy:

Nearly 55% of Iraqis say that toppling Hussein was worth the price of the current difficulties. These figures are easy to understand when you look at another set of numbers. In an Op-Ed article circulated this year among the more than 200 independent newspapers now published in Iraq, an Iraqi democratic activist observed that Hussein tortured and killed as many as 750,000 of his own people. Iraqis don't understand the debate about whether Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. To them, Hussein was a weapon of mass destruction.

UNICEF, hardly an apologist for the Bush administration, estimates that 5,000 Iraqi children a month died of starvation and malnutrition while Hussein siphoned funds from the U.N.'s oil-for-food program to build his palaces and enrich French politicians.

Via Dean Esmay.

Posted by Attila at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2004

Christopher Hitchens

Wrote a rather remarkable essay called "Why I'm (Slightly) For Bush." And one of the most remarkable things about it is that it was printed in The Nation.

Real Clear Politics has it listed right next to Andrew Sullivan's endorsement of John Kerry, of course.

Wonder if they're still talking. I hope so.

Posted by Attila at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

Oh, Those Missing Explosives

Jeff at Protein Wisdom sums up the situation:

If we are to believe the subtext of The New York Times / Kerry / CBS missing explosives story—which argues, however obliquely, that US troops under the command of the Bushies allowed high-grade explosives to be pilfered by terrorists from beneath their noses—we must accept at least two conditional assumptions upon which the Times / Kerry / CBS News axis pins its hopes—first, that an initial cursory search by the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division overlooked (or, at the very least, missed the IAEA seals labeling) the explosives that were in fact still there at the facility; and second, that between this time (April 10) and the time “a special U.S. exploitation team looking for weapons of mass destruction searched all 32 bunkers and 87 buildings” and found nothing (May 27), hostiles were able to remove the explosives from the facility while many US forces remained in the general area (and where the roads were closed)—managing not only to avoid detection by US forces on the ground, but managing likewise to thwart surveillance by satellites and spy planes, loading the explosives on a large number of heavy trucks and disappearing unnoticed. Couple these two conditional assumptions with the Times / Kerry / CBS News’ cabal’s omission, in its recent reporting, of two reports from early April of 2003 suggesting the 3ID had already investigated the Al Qakaa facility, and we’re now left with yet another narrative nodal point where—if we are to believe the Times / Kerry / CBS version of events—we must assume US military command incompetence is ascendent.

...Or (and here’s the possibility the NYT / Kerry / CBS collective doesn’t want to acknowledge) another explanation is, the explosives had already been either removed or destroyed before US troops arrived.

Granted, this second possibility isn’t so sexy—no stealth super terrorists to embarrass the dundering US military and its evil, arrogant Commander in Chimp by filching materials needed to detonate a nuclear weapon out from under our imperialist noses—but from the standpoint of plausibility (and, I almost hasten to add, terrestrial physics) ...well, I’ll let you decide which of the two scenarios is more likely.

Get over there for the links, updates, and other coverage of this issue—as well as pictures of John Edwards with bunnies and pages from Martha Stewart's prison diary. It's your basic one-stop shopping for info and entertainment.

Posted by Attila at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2004

More Required Reading

. . . from Mark Steyn, in which he uses the recent "assassination joke" on the part of a countryman as a point of departure to discuss cool irony and the European penchant for passivity. As in, how does it fit into the current world conflict, with people getting their heads chopped off just for attempting to do good works?

Not very well, he concludes:

This new war requires action, resolve, ongoing participation—and most of America's "allies" just can't be fagged. The Spanish vote was a vote for passivity, a call for inaction, and a quiet life no doubt with many "ironic jokes" about the absurd Americans. The "civilised world" sees itself like Continental skating judges at the Olympics, watching the Yanks career all over the ice and then handing out a succession of cranky 4.7s. The decadence of passivity does not express itself solely in "ironic jokes".

My problem is that John Kerry is part of that culture: he wants to criticize people of action rather than actually doing anything himself. Look at his lackluster Senate record, and listen to his micro-criticisms of the Bush Administration's accomplishments. Listen to his own plan: I'd have done everything better somehow, and people in other countries wouldn't dislike us so.

It may be too late for John Kerry to grow a spine, but I still have some hope the Western Europeans will figure things out soon. Certainly there are plenty of English who "get it." And then there are the Australians, to whom I'm grateful. Even a few Canadians (Kate, are you reading this?). And the Polish, for whom this is a labor of love. God bless them.

Posted by Attila at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

Gmail Trouble

So, I can't access the old Yahoo account from this computer, probably because I need to clear out my LMA in box. I thought I'd mostly solved that problem when I opened the Gmail account, but now Gmail won't come up for me. Could this be because my machine is a little light on memory?—or is there another explanation. I haven't been able to get to my Gmail at all since I returned from Santa Barbara. So that's over 24 hours.

Let me know if you have insight.

Posted by Attila at 09:46 PM | Comments (1)

Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities

Gives us the Complete Idiot's Guide to Bumperstickers. Brought to you from spectacular Berkeley, California—the bumpersticker capital of the world. Enjoy.

Posted by Attila at 08:38 PM | Comments (2)

By This Time Tomorrow

. . . I'll be at 30,000 unique hits to this site, unless there's a huge drop in traffic.

Every 10K visit mark gets easier to get to—they come closer and closer together.

However, I'm not yet at the point that I can claim I'm getting all Dan Rather's old viewers. Not yet.

Posted by Attila at 06:03 PM | Comments (2)

Why Bush Will Win

My husband has a friend who's a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat—a staunch union advocate, someone who associates the GOP with society's elites. He's had a troubled relationship with his party for years, especially when it was pushing hard for gun control in the 1990s. But on the whole he's been remarkably loyal. He despised Gore for the phony he was, and swore he wouldn't vote for him. But at the last minute he found himself at the polls pulling the level for Albert, Jr., with a heavy heart.

He's voting for Bush this year.

Why? Well, for one thing, he was in an army LRRP unit in Vietnam, and got wounded. When they offered him a purple heart, he refused it: in his mind, purple hearts were reserved for those who got badly wounded—shot up so much they needed surgery to survive. People who suffered, not people who got scratches. And for another thing, as an anti-elitist he despises the fact that officers can recommend themselves to receive decorations for valor—and enlisted men cannot. The fact that Kerry took advantage of this inequity disgusts him.

And Kerry's actions when he returned from the war do not help at all.

But most of all, our friend is convinced that we are locked in a mortal conflict with an enemy who wants to kill us, and we need someone decisive at the helm. Someone who really wants to win this war, rather than hold summits.

Kerry's history, and what it says about his character, doesn't help. But mostly, our friend wants the guy who's willing to do what it takes to protect this country.

So he's holding his nose and voting for Bush.

And he won't be the only one: there are plenty of Democrats who feel the same way. They may not proclaim it loudly right now, but in a week they'll let their ballots do the talking.

Remember the "Reagan Democrats"? They're back.

Posted by Attila at 04:41 PM | Comments (3)

Election Projection

. . . has Bush at 296, and Kerry at 242 EVs. Plus: Cal-ee-fornia has just moved from "Solid Kerry" to "Close Kerry." Mary Beth Cahill is in bed with a headache.

Real Clear Politics has it much closer, of course: Bush 234, Kerry 228, with a handful of undecideds—but those include both Florida and Ohio. Obviously, Bush needs both those states to win (well, he might not need Ohio, if he gets Minnesota and/or Wisconsin—but no one wants something close enough that the Dems can contest it in the courts).

Posted by Attila at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)

Scrappleface Exclusive! Bush Admits He's "Hiding Bad News"!

Scott Ott breaks the story! Bush concedes that there will be bad news after the election:

"My opponent speaks the truth when he says that some Americans are going to get some bad news--maybe even before the sun comes up on November 3," said Mr. Bush, "It will involve defeat and the realization that huge sums of money have been wasted on an unwinnable battle against a determined and entrenched foe."

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Attila at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

More on the Explosives "Scandal"

From Roger L. Simon:

If the reports that Mohammed El Baradei or someone close to him is behind the leak of the putative documents that caused the new NYTrogate Scandal regarding missing explosive in Irag, the implications are staggering.

Consider this: That means a high official of the United Nations... and not just an ordinary high official but one empowered with preventing nuclear weapons proliferation... is trying to influence a US election. And we thought we had seen everything with the Oil-for-Food scandal!

Read the whole thing.

Via Protein Wisdom.

Posted by Attila at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)


. . . gives us "tomorrow's news today"—

On Thursday, the L.A. Dog Trainer will run a long piece on the Iraqi quagmire, repeating uncorrected the claim that 380 tons of explosives disappeared from the Al Qaeda military facility, long after President Bush had sent troops into Iraq. Patterico will then send a polite email to “Readers” Representative Jamie Gold, informing her that the explosives actually disappeared shortly before our troops arrived last year, and that in any event, the facility is called Al Qaqaa, not al Qaeda.

It just gets better. Go, now.

Posted by Attila at 01:34 PM | Comments (1)

So Much

. . . for the Kedwards October surprise. You'd think the poor dears could do better than this ancient "missing explosives" nonsense.

Posted by Attila at 01:15 PM | Comments (1)

Steyn Has a Thing or Two to Say.

All of which you need to read, right now. But here's a money quote for you, anyway:

This is no time to vote for Europhile delusions. The Continental health and welfare systems John Kerry so admires are, in fact, part of the reason those societies are dying. As for Canada, yes, under socialized health care, prescription drugs are cheaper, medical treatment's cheaper, life is cheaper. After much stonewalling, the Province of Quebec's Health Department announced this week that in the last year some 600 Quebecers had died from C. difficile, a bacterium acquired in hospital. In other words, if, say, Bill Clinton had gone for his heart bypass to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, he would have had the surgery, woken up the next day swimming in diarrhea and then died. It's a bacterium caused by inattention to hygiene -- by unionized, unsackable cleaners who don't clean properly; by harassed overstretched hospital staff who don't bother washing their hands as often as they should. So 600 people have been killed by the filthy squalor of disease-ridden government hospitals. That's the official number. Unofficially, if you're over 65, the hospitals will save face and attribute your death at their hands to "old age" or some such and then "lose" the relevant medical records. Quebec's health system is a lot less healthy than, for example, Iraq's.

One thousand Americans are killed in 18 months in Iraq, and it's a quagmire. One thousand Quebecers are killed by insufficient hand-washing in their filthy, decrepit health care system, and kindly progressive Americans can't wait to bring it south of the border. If one has to die for a cause, bringing liberty to the Middle East is a nobler venture and a better bet than government health care.

Via Roger L. Simon.

Posted by Attila at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2004

Skerry News for Halloween

If Hawai'i is in play, the Dems are in even more trouble than they appear to be.

Posted by Attila at 07:40 PM | Comments (1)

Thank God for Bill

With all the contradictory poll data going around, it's nice to see Clinton hit the campaign trail on Kerry's behalf. There's no better indication that the Democrats know Kedwards will be going down in flames.

(Why, you ask. Well, because at this point Clinton's legacy is getting pretty dicey, and I genuinely think he would like to be part of the first/only husband-wife team to take the White House separately: it would ensure him a unique place in history. You can take your conspiracy theories, 'cause I think most Democrats want desperately to take the White House back right now. But I also think Bill would like to see Hillary ensconsed there in '08. He wouldn't be campaigning for Kerry if he thought the Dems had a chance this year.)

Posted by Attila at 06:53 PM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2004

Out of Town

The husband and I are driving up to Santa Barbara for a two-night mini-vacation. I believe he'll be taking his computer, so there will be a dialup connection through his Earthlink account, but if all goes well you won't hear a word from me until Monday night.

Posted by Attila at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2004

Bush Wins Illinois

. . . among teenagers, that is. I'm hoping One Vote's Mock Vote is a harbinger of things to come: it was quite a little landslide for the President. Illinois!

Via martini man.

Posted by Attila at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

Letter to an Undecided Voter

I spend too much time preaching to the choir. This essay is different, because it is where I will lay my case out for re-electing George W. Bush. It is not for political junkies, but for people who only follow the news when they have a chance between their other obligations. I'm going to put it to you as straight as I can, and try not to inject a lot of emotion into this piece—though I promise I am passionate about it.

I want you to vote for the President, no matter what you might think of him as a man, or as a speaker, or as a politician. No matter which of his policies you might disagree with. And no matter what your party affiliation might be. I'll try to keep it short. I have high hopes that I'll at least get you to think about a few important issues. Please read this through, and if it makes you think at all, pass it along to your friends—whether I persuaded you or not.

To begin with, I want to point out two things about the voting process. First of all, it's private. You don't have to tell anyone the way you voted. Not your spouse. Not your parents. Not your teachers, co-workers, or friends. Some of us let our concern over what other people might think prevent us from voting the way we might want to in our most private moments. To do this is to squander the privileges that a lot of men (and a huge number of women) died for over the centuries winning our independence, strengthening the Union, and defending this country. Democracy is precious; use it to its fullest. I may wear my politics on my sleeve, but there is really no need for you, dear reader, to be as vulgar as I am.

Secondly, political thought is not an aesthetic issue, but one that requires reason and common sense. In other words, when you are thinking about your vote, do not use the part of your mind that puts your wardrobe together, or arranges your art on the wall, or engages in any creative endeavor: this project needs your problem-solving mind, the part of you that figures out how you're going to make more money this month when you're short on rent, or how to open new markets for your small business, or how to position yourself so you can get that promotion next year, or how to sell your art. This realm is a function of your left brain; fashion and aesthetics have nothing to do with it.

What I'm suggeseting here, in part, is that you can be a Bohemian and still vote for Bush: no one will confiscate your hemp clothes or your vintage hats if you do so. Promise.

There are a lot of arguments either way about whether we should have invaded Iraq. The fact is, we are there now, and millions of people are better off without Saddam Huessein in power. By deposing Saddam, we saved a lot of lives that would have been lost if we hadn't followed through on regime change (a policy that was initiated by Bill Clinton, by the way). Let me say it again: there are people who are alive now that wouldn't have been if Saddam had stayed in power.

And now that we're in Iraq, it's worth noting that some Iraqis are saying the terrorist/Baathist insurgents in their own country will take heart if George Bush is not re-elected. It will be seen as a repudiation of his policies, and there will be a very real expectation that John Kerry, as President, will be more likely to cut and run. The predictable result: there will be more assaults on innocent citizens of many countries, and particularly Iraq.

No matter how or why we got into the Iraq situation, it would be fatal to falter now: for the sake of the Iraqi people, we need to see this situation through in a resolute fashion. A win for John Kerry would cost lives, no matter what policy course he pursued. If you want to stop the suffering of the Iraqis, you'll vote for Bush.

This is a hard one, because for so many of us prosperity has appeared to be "around the corner" for some time now, and it's hard to keep the faith when you're one of the ones who isn't working. Yet considering the suddenness with which the "dot-com" bubble burst, and how closely after that 9/11 occurred, the economy has made a dramatic turnaround over the last two years. Obviously, the way to create jobs is to cut the taxes of those who are in a position to hire people. As is so often said, I don't usually get hired by people who are in a weaker financial position than I'm in; usually it's people (and companies) with money that do the hiring, and when they are being taxed at a high rate that simply doesn't happen as much.

There are two allegations against the President in this regard: that he hasn't executed the War on Terror very well (either in Afghanistan or in Iraq), and that the military is at this point stretched so thin that a draft may become inevitable. As to the first charge, both the Afghani campaign and the Iraqi effort were far more successful than anyone dared hope. Certainly Iraq is at a delicate point wherein there are a lot of insurgents trying to do a lot of damage. But the Iraqi bloggers tell us that if Kerry is elected the insurgents will assume a drastic change in U.S. policy. Right or wrong, they'll perceive a high likelihood that we'll "cut and run." This would be a complete disaster for both countries. In fact, some maintain that the modern Islamic extremist movement that is hell-bent on killing Westerners started in Afghanistan, in the power vacuum left when the Soviet Union and the U.S. finished their proxy war there and abruptly departed. Do we want to risk electing a guy—John Kerry—who might set up exactly the same conditions in a Middle Eastern country?

In fact, a lot of what Kerry has said indicates that his priority would be getting out fast, rather than leaving the country in the strongest possible shape a new democracy can be in. If this project is handled right, Iraq can be a beachhead for democracy in the Middle East, and that entire region can set a new course. But this cannot be undertaken by a man who doesn't believe we should be there in the first place. Kerry is the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time to pursue a strategy for making this country safe. In fact, he appears to have very few ideas beyond doing things differently than Bush would, and trying to make other countries like us more.

I don't want to be liked. I want to be safe, and I want my friends and family to be safe. As long as there is a guy in the White House who is perceived to be a bit of a "cowboy," we are safer—because although the "non-state actors" may not care too much what we might do, the countries that have been feeding and supporting them will care a great deal. Nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran will come around because they will fear that this crazy guy Bush might—just might—invade them, too.

In the particular world we live in this will be a good thing.

And, as for "the draft," every military expert says there's no reason we'll need any such thing: the armed forces would rather use people who volunteered, because they are motivated and smarter, and they fight harder. The bill proposing a draft was brought up by Democrats, and when it was brought to a vote it was defeated very quickly. Those who talk about a possible draft are usually trying to scare people into voting for the wrong guy: it's a sleazy tactic.

There is a tremendous concern out there that because the Vice President used to work for a company that handles both military contracts and energy, there might be a conflict of interest in terms of our conducting a war at all—and certainly our invasion of a country that has huge oil reserves. Three points:

1) Cheney is paid money from that company that compensates him for work he did in the past, and the amounts are the same no matter how successful (or unsuccessful) the company is—so there is no conflict of interest;

2) A lot of the work done by military contracters in Iraq can only be done by a very specialized workforce. Bush-haters like to talk about "no-bid contracts," but most of these contracts date back to the Clinton era—when we were downsizing the military and it made sense to "farm out" some of their work—and were only renewed during the Bush Administration. Furthermore, there's no point in having an elaborate bidding process when there are only a handful of people in the entire world who can really tackle a particular job;

3) Over 40 people who work for Kellogg, Brown and Root (the military contractors who are part of Halliburton) have died in Iraq. There are a lot of guys who work in either the infrastructure part of Halliburton, or its energy side, who just want to make a living. They are not "the military-industrial complex," or rich buddies of the Vice President. They're people who are feeding their families doing really hard work that is sometimes quite dangerous.

Some see our invasion of Iraq as an amoral project, and maintain that energy interests close to the Bush Administration merely wanted to get hold of Iraq's oil. If they just wanted the oil, though, they could have bought it from Saddam. That would have been less moral, but much easier and cheaper—and without the political price that Bush had to pay.

There was some bad intelligence before the Iraq war, but everything that Bush and his advisors thought before we invaded Iraq was believed by every nation around the world that has any intelligence capability at all. And by officials in the Clinton administration. And by John Kerry. And by John Edwards. In fact, some of Saddam's advisors have said his public statements were meant to deceive other nations—Iran in particular—into believing that he had Weapons of Mass Destruction. He was bluffing, and we called his bluff.

We certainly know that as soon as the inspectors left Iraq, Saddam intended to get his weapons programs back on track. So unless we planned on leaving the inspectors in his country long-term, we would have ended up where we thought we were to begin with. In the meantime, we had tried to keep Saddam under control with sanctions, which led to suffering in his country. Then the U.N. began its oil-for-food program, which turned into a way for Saddam to stash money away for his future WMD programs, and meanwhile to reward countries such as France for allying themselves with him. Billions went to Saddam, and to officials in other countries, and relatively little went to the Iraqi people. It was an obscenity.

Let's also discuss race. There is a notion out there that Republicans in general—and the President in particular—are uncomfortable with people who aren't white. Yet three of his advisors are black, and his nieces and nephews (Jeb Bush's kids) are Latino. There were a lot of allegations that black people were disenfranchised in Florida during the 2000 election, but there have been many enquiries and no one has been able to document that any such thing occurred. When a charge that serious is made, it should be backed up; otherwise it is just a partisan slander.

The Republicans are the party of Lincoln, who issued the order that ended slavery in this country. The Republicans voted for the Civil Rights act of 1964 in greater percentages than the Democrats of the time did. The GOP is the party of racial equality.

Please do not be ruled by prejudice (or the innuendo of those with a partisan agenda) on an important issue like whether a candidate is a bigot or not.

The fact is, black support for Bush has doubled since the last Presidential election; word is finally starting to get out that there is no conspiracy or desire to hold African Americans back, and that the ever-increasing employment rate helps all of us, regardless of our color. As small business owners, many black people are starting to realize that high taxes hurt them, too.

It's a new world, and the old ideas about racial polarization no longer work. (If, in fact, they ever did.)

That's my case. It isn't artful; it isn't particularly well-written. It comes from the heart, and it's meant to make you feel okay about giving the President one more term.

Thank you for your time.

Joy McCann, aka Little Miss Attila

Please circulate this to your friends and relatives (as text or as a link), particularly if they are considering voting for Kerry, or insecure in their support for Bush. Or if they live in Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Ohio, Arkansas, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, or Iowa. Or any of the other 37 important states in the union. Or in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Attila at 09:39 PM | Comments (14)

October 21, 2004

What They Say About Ann

John Hawkins has a brisk little interview with the devine Ms. Coulter. My liberal readers should make sure their blood-pressure meds are working before clicking on the link.

Of course, I shouldn't be linking him, since I'm not on his "favorite blogs" list. I should punish him for the slight, make him feel the fiercesome power of Attila Girl! (Wait . . . that might not work.)

Posted by Attila at 10:42 PM | Comments (7)

This Just In

There's a new political spot being rolled out in the what is supposedly the most expensive political ad campaign this year; it focuses on Ashley, the girl who lost her mother in the 9/11 attacks, whom the President comforted last spring, to the point that she was finally able to cry. You've seen the picture before. Go here to see the ad, which has a Quicktime option (hooray!).


I've always loved that photo for the way the President looks in it.

Via Dean Esmay.

Posted by Attila at 03:00 AM | Comments (0)

Blog Interruptus

Blogging light to nonexistent for the next two days: I'm working my office job and fending off my usual sleep disorder thingie ("delayed sleep syndrome," they call it).

And on Saturday, the spouse and I are headed to Santa Barbara for 2-3 days, so you may not hear too much from me for the next week.

Be good.

Posted by Attila at 01:52 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2004

The Politburo's Show Trial

. . . focuses on chick warbloggers today. Go watch the fun before we're all shipped off to the Gulag—or whatever punishment he has in store for us.

Clenched fist salute to the Commissar; is nice to be included. I'm sure will enjoy Re-Edukation very much.

Posted by Attila at 01:40 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2004

Wickedly Funny

The Club for Growth has completed final edits on the hilarious ad produced by David Zucker, of Airplane! and the Naked Gun series. Please do three things:

1) Go take a look at it, even if you're a pacifist in the War on Terror, and/or a Kerry supporter. I promise you'll still get a laugh out of it. And

2) If you aren't a pacifist, please send whatever you can afford to the Club for Growth to help them buy airtime and get this commercial shown in some of the states (Ohio, Florida, Arkansas, Iowa, Pennsylvania) that are hanging by a thread. Who knows? If they get enough money they might even air the ad in New Jersey, which is now in play (despite being a Democratic stronghold, and appearing on almost no lists of "swing states"—have you noticed that the President and First Lady are spending lots of time there these days?). If each of my non-pacifist readers gave $20, that would be $2,000 for the cause. And if the other bloggers who are currently linking only had my level of readership and did the same, that would be $200,000. But they don't only have my level: Glenn linked to the ad as well, and I wouldn't be surprised if they raise the whole two million, if people are responsive enough. And

3) If you are a blogger, link to this spot and remind your readers that the Club for Growth could use their help in getting the word out.

Posted by Attila at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)


George Will discusses the NRA in this New York Post article, explaining why the Democratic Party has abandoned gun control as an issue, and why gun owners and other Second Amendment advocates will be crucial in getting out the Bill of Rights vote for George W. Bush on November 2nd.

Hat tip to the L.A. Cowboy.

Posted by Attila at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2004

Final Words on Mary Cheney

Ilyka gives us a nice dissenting opinion on the Kerry-Mary flap. Go here, and skip down five paragraphs to the discussion of electoral politics. She thinks it's no big deal, and tells us why. And:

I have just one question: Where would the Bush campaign be right now if the Democrats had actually nominated a guy who was any good at this game?

He might be fucked. I do know that if the Dems had nominated Lieberman I would have taken a good, hard look at him and I might have voted for him. And I don't think I'm alone.

But they didn't.

Posted by Attila at 10:46 PM | Comments (3)

Team America: World Police

Well, we went to see Team America today. I thought it was pretty funny, actually, although I don't usually go for really crude humor and I have never seen one episode of South Park.

The husband and I had at least one disagreement about the plot, wherein something I saw as noise looked like signal to him. But the noise-to-signal issue is fascinating, here, because a lot of the really broad humor was, in my opinion, a way of getting the film made in the first place. I think the puppet gimmick and some of the grosser moments were a device for Parker and Stone to hide behind when they needed to: "hey, it's a movie made with puppets, who have sex with each other. And it skewers the idea of American exceptionalism." Yeah. But not like it skewers terrorists and their enablers on the left.

What's amazing to me is that this film got made at all, because 1) it's fundamentally a pro-America, pro-testosterone piece that discusses the very real intentions of overseas terrorists to kill us (while grossly exaggerating this threat, cartoon-style); and 2) it savages the Hollywood left as thoughtless appeasers who are pro-peace until it's time to take up arms against those who want to stop the world from being blown up.

I don't agree with everything in it, and it isn't what you'd call a "think piece." Its comedy is (deliberately) over-the-top. But the tunes are catchy, and there aren't a lot of places you can go to see a Jeanine Garafalo puppet state that "I read the newspaper every day, and then I spout those opinions as my own." Or to hear a theme song whose chorus is "America—fuck, yeah!"

And there's no argument to be made about what an technical achievement this film is. My understanding is that there's little computer animation in the movie, and that most of the effects are achieved by using elaborate sets of international landmarks. The puppets are amazing to watch, yet Parker and Stone made a point of having the strings show at all times—just so we know they don't take themselves any more seriously than they do the Hollywood establishment (epitomized in the movie by the organization the Film Actors Guild; tasteful, the movie is not).

Frankly, I'd like to see this movie do well, because its point of view is underrepresented in my town. But I can't recommend it in good conscience to anyone who's sensitive about . . . anything. There's not a family value to be found in the film, so go in with your eyes open.

But any movie that threw Sean Penn off to this degree can't be all bad. And isn't. It's clever, it's fun, and it's full of bodily fluids, sex and explosions. Enjoy.

Posted by Attila at 03:29 PM | Comments (4)

Goodbye to Kennedy's Speechwriter

Pierre Salinger died yesteday. James has the scoop at Outside the Beltway, including an excerpt from the MSM coverage and his own thoughts about Salinger's evolution from reasonable journalist to . . . something else.

Posted by Attila at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

He Wanted, He Got

Matthew Heidt of Froggy Ruminations lays out his case for the notion that Osama bin Laden is now facing his virginless eternity—and has been for some time. In the course of the entry he explains why Bush's message discipline over the issue of Tora Bora shows that the President places the interests of the country over his own re-election campaign. And he makes a good case.

Via Protein Wisdom, and a couple of others who have clean slipped my mind. Sorry!

Posted by Attila at 01:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2004


Figured I'd write it now, and save time later.

Bush and Cheney will win in a landslide. Cheney will retire three years into the second term, and Condi Rice will become VP, thereby positioning her to run against Hillary in 2008. Jeb Bush, who think he'll be the next guy by that name to occupy the Oval Office, will arm-wrestle Condi for the '08 GOP nomination. He'll lose.

John Kerry will look even more haggard and pathetic over the next four years than Al Gore has over the past four. He'll lose his Senate seat and mope around the houses until the day Ter-AY-suh declares, "work, or walk." After they split, he'll couch-surf at his friends' and daughters' houses, a broken man.

John Edwards will become the new lib-punk TV commentator, eclipsing George Stephanopoulos.

Elizabeth Edwards will be found in a dark alley in D.C. with her throat cut and a double-ended dildo sticking out of her. Lynne Cheney will have an alibi.

So it goes. (Or will go.)

Posted by Attila at 10:16 PM | Comments (5)

The Club for Growth Grows Up

. . . and produces a hilarious and hard-hitting political ad. Their most recent spot is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. It even made my husband laugh out loud, which isn't easy to do. (He's a . . . well, he's a jaded comedy connoisseur. Sorry, Honey. Love you.)

Rumor has it that David Zucker (the producer of Airplane! and the Naked Gun movies, a "9/11 Republican," and a member of the so-called Hollywood Underground) was involved in its making, and if that's true it makes a lot of sense; you'll see what I mean when you watch it. I hope the commercial gets wide exposure.

Via Power Line.

UPDATE: The Club for Growth has confirmed that David Zucker produced the ad, and has completed editing on it. Go here for my blegging to get this spot on the air, stat. Send them money. Blog the link. Send the link 'round to your mailing list. You know the drill.

Posted by Attila at 09:57 PM | Comments (0)

Taking One for the Team

The husband and I are going to see Team America as soon as possible; any movie that can make the LLL media critics shit their pants like this is a Good Thing.

Posted by Attila at 09:39 PM | Comments (3)


Today Attila the Hub and I took a class on "Baby Basics" at the adoption agency. My attitude swings back and forth, but is trending more positive these days. When the attitude slips, I start to resent the fact that it's such hard work and such a long wait to adopt a baby. When it's good, I'm glad that we have an opportunity to learn so much about how to raise a kid before we are actually faced with one.

I tell a friend of my husband's that we'll be asking the customer-service people at the California Highway Patrol to check the positioning of our car seat, to make sure the tolerances are correct. He tells me, "what they're telling you is not the real world of parenting."

I want to answer, "it's the real world of adoptive parenting, where the standards are consistently higher than they are for any biological parent."

But I hold my tongue and remind myself that if there's ever an accident when my baby is in the car, I'll be happy the seat was installed correctly.

I first decided that I did indeed want to become a mother 14 years ago. We started trying six years ago. Even if we're approved, we'll probably have to wait another two years before we're matched with a biological mother and can anticipate actually getting a child.

It's been a long road, and with a little luck we'll be approved in November. Our social worker is coming by for a home visit on the 10th.

You'd think that three weeks would be enough time to clean, straighten, and baby-proof (to social-worker standards) a 2800-square-foot house.

But I'm shaking in my T'ai Chi shoes. So wish me luck. (And tell me what your best cleaning/organizing tips and favorite safety gadgets are.)

Posted by Attila at 04:36 PM | Comments (0)

I Get the Feeling

. . . that Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities reads Stephen Green on a regular basis.

Though I could be wrong. In fact, I'm secretly hoping that he did watch the last debate on meth.

Posted by Attila at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2004

Protein Wisdom Weighs In

Jeff Goldstein puts forth "Nine more Andrew Sullivan rationalizations for the Democrats' use of Mary Cheney as a gay Presidential debate prop."


3. "The American people have the right to know that, should George Bush die and Dick Cheney assume the presidency, the White House would be overrun with biker chicks and short-haired women in flannel shirts."

Be good to yourself; read the whole thing.

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

More on the Drafting of Mary Cheney

Slings and Arrows makes an interesting point on a post entitled "On Lesbians and Diplomacy": Kerry has campaigned on the idea that he will be some kind of Ambassador/President.

Kerry says he was trying to be positive. He says he was trying to point out what strong families do. What he did instead was anger a huge number of people. What we saw in Kerry's comments about Mary Cheney was the extent his diplomatic skill in miniature. And his diplomacy was a miserable failure.

Yup. Kerry appears to me like one of those people who simply cannot see themselves through others' eyes: he appers to genuinely believe he possesses some kind of diplomatic balm that will heal the wounds of the world.

Posted by Attila at 01:19 PM | Comments (5)

Bush in the Lead on National Polling

I'm not much of a national polls girl, because there is a real possibility this year of George W. Bush winning the popular vote, but losing the election in the electoral college—so I've been watching the maps. But the tide has certainly turned again in terms of the popular vote. Via Outside the Beltway, word comes of a new four-point lead for Bush in the rolling three-day Reuters/Zogby poll.

Bush led Kerry 48-44 percent in the latest three-day tracking poll, which included one night of polling done after Wednesday's debate in Tempe, Arizona. Bush led Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, by only one point, 46-45 percent, the previous day.

An improvement in Bush's showing among undecideds and a strong response from his base Republican supporters helped fuel the president's rise. "The good news for the president is that he has improved his performance among the small group of undecideds," said pollster John Zogby, who found 6 percent of likely voters are undecided. "Nearly a quarter now say that he deserves to be re-elected, up from 18 percent in our last poll." Zogby said the difference between Kerry's 79 percent support among Democrats and Bush's 89 percent support from Republicans also should be "worrisome" for Kerry in such a tight race. "Kerry needs to close the deal with his fellow Democrats," Zogby said.

Both candidates headed to the swing state of Nevada in upbeat mood on Thursday after their final debate and renewed their battle during separate appearances in Las Vegas over who was best suited to lead the middle class to prosperity. The focus of the race now turns to less than a dozen crucial battleground states, with Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and Iowa -- where Bush and Kerry are running neck and neck -- all certain to see plenty of the candidates down the stretch.

The new tracking poll found Bush pulling into a tie with Kerry among Catholics and women voters, and moving slightly ahead with young voters. Kerry still holds a solid lead among seniors.

The poll of 1,220 likely voters was taken Tuesday through Thursday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. The rolling poll will continue through Nov. 1—the day before the election. A tracking poll combines the results of three consecutive nights of polling, then drops the first night's results each time a new night is added. It allows pollsters to record shifts in voter sentiment as they happen.

The poll showed independent candidate Ralph Nader, blamed by some Democrats for drawing enough votes from Al Gore to cost him the election in 2000, with the support of 1.1 percent of likely voters.

On which James comments:

Bush's strong showing among women and the young is especially interesting--although it should be noted that young voters are among the least likely to actually turn out and vote. Bush's lead among Catholics is surprising, too. Not only is Kerry a Catholic but Catholics tend to vote Democrat, valuing the welfare state over abortion and similar issues. Indeed, if Bush is running even among women and Catholics, I wonder whose support he's losing to have him in such a tight race.

James also turned me on to Real Clear Politics, which has political articles, a running electoral vote map, and a summary of what different polls are showing in the battleground states.

At this moment, Real Clear Politics has Bush at 264 electoral votes, and Kerry at 237. But the margins are razor-thin on that—many are within the margin of error on the polls themselves.

So we're still biting our nails. Especially those of us who have been predicting a Bush landslide ever since Kerry was nominated. (I'm sticking with that prediction, by the way: but I do sweat a little in the middle of the night once in a while.)

Posted by Attila at 10:15 AM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2004

Ladies and Gentlemen . . .

Scott Ott, for your dining and dancing pleasure:

Kerry Sorry for Remark About Cheney's Lesbian Child

(2004-10-14) -- John Forbes Kerry, father of two heterosexual daughters, today apologized for referring to the sexual preference of Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter during last night's final presidential debate.

"There's nothing wrong with being one of God's homosexual children," said Mr. Kerry, an openly-heterosexual veteran of foreign war who is also a U.S. Senator, "And far be it from me to pry into the private life of Mr. Cheney's lesbian child, who is gay and a homosexual. People can't choose whom they will love, and so I should not have mentioned that his daughter is a lesbian person, and not a heterosexual, but in fact a gay homosexual woman who is a lesbian with the last name Cheney."

Read the whole thing, before Kerry feels the wrath of Lynne Cheney, and the disgust of moderate voters, who generally see through these types of shenanigans.

This guy won't be electable as dogcatcher after this.

Posted by Attila at 05:05 PM | Comments (8)

The Lesbian Card

There is a fine line between discussing Mary Cheney as it pertains to a frank exchange on views of homosexuality, and violating her privacy (and that of the Vice President's family). I think most people felt that John Edwards was coloring within the lines when he discussed the young Ms. Cheney in an intimate setting over a table with the Vice President last week. But John Kerry was out of bounds in the way he talked about Mary Cheney last night: there was nothing germane in bringing up her sexual orientation, and it came off as cheap theatre, a transparent attempt to drive a wedge between the President and his conservative base.

Plus, the fact that both events occurred—that Ms. Cheney was discussed twice in a row—makes it look like there's a strategy afoot. That's just not something that happens naturally.

Apparently, if you don't want your daughter to be used as a political football, it means you are "ashamed" of her. That's how Elizabeth Edwards put it, anyway. What a cunt.

She probably believes anyone who's right-of-center on any issue at all is a hopeless homophobe. (That's why Kerry pulled the stunt in the first place: the presumption is that the GOP base is laced with homophobia.)

God help this country if these creeps get elected. They are the scum of the earth.

I can't stand what's happening to this country, and I can't wait till this election is over.

Ohio, don't fail us.

Posted by Attila at 03:39 PM | Comments (4)

Final Debate '04

It was really hard to be objective about this particular debate, because I know enough about the issues—and John Kerry— to find Kerry's laundry lists of candy and gum he'll be giving us all rather boring and laughable. By the end of the evening I was wondering if I could look up the phrase "stereotypical politician" in a dictionary, and find Kerry's picture there. Those were his better moments: I was also reminded of snake oil pitch men, and used car salesmen.

After watching the tape I'd made of the debate I poked my head into my husband's office and enquired, "did you know that when Kerry gets elected it'll start raining hundred dollar bills?"

"I got that idea," he replied.

"I mean, we'll have so much extra money and government benefits, it'll get downright annoying."

The clincher, though, was the sequence wherein our guys made their closing statements. Bush came up with an image—a painting of a sunrise over a hill in Texas—that evoked two different Reaganesque phrases: "morning in America," and "the shining city on a hill" that Reagan thought America was and could be. I thought it was important for Bush to do something to show that underneath the surface, where he discusses hard realities and Kerry makes endless promises, there is a level on which he is the optimist and Kerry, the pessimist.

This race hinges on how the undecided voters break: some analysts claim they'll break for the challenger, and some, for the incumbent.

I thought Bush did well. I still wish he were fluent in English—but you can't have everything. He's a good man, and he's doing a lot to keep this country safe. I'm convinced he'll do a better job than Kerry on that score, and that he'll be a better facilitator for economic growth as well.

I thought he won the second presidential debate, though the Fox panelists—tough guys, all—scored that one as a tie. This time I thought perhaps it might be a draw, but the Fox guys gave this one to Bush.

It doesn't matter what we think, though. It matter what people in New Mexico and Ohio think.

Posted by Attila at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2004

Yet Another Score by Dean

Dean Esmay has another interview with a Swiftie up on his site. This one is with Kerry's CO, George Elliott. It's very good. Go read; see you later.

Posted by Attila at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2004

Tell a Friend

CNN continues to display its contempt for the principles enshrined in the First Amendment. Which brings up the obvious question—why are they afraid of this page?

Spread the word, folks: there's no better punishment for those who abuse the law than to make sure whatever they're trying to suppress gets seen by more people.

Posted by Attila at 11:50 AM | Comments (2)

Let Them Eat Ketchup

Kate of Small Dead Animals has a very nice spoof of the old Great White North bit running over at Protein Wisdom. In this version, our heroes interview Teresa Heinz Kerry. Over beer, natch.

Just for grins, I followed Kate's link back to this link about Teresa's latest idiotic statement, and began thinking about that "need and greed for oil" line again. When I first heard it, I remember wondering about Teresa's fortune, and her "need and greed" for tomato sauce. I've read that if she and her husband win this race they'll be the richest first couple in history—richer than the first JFK and Jackie. But, whatever.

What struck me this time was the word need. We can argue all day about how effective it is to install democracy at the point of a gun, though I'm going to have to agree with all the Japanese, Germans, and Afghanis who say it's just fine. But to suggest that this country needs oil, but oughtn't to do anything to ensure that it has a steady supply of it—even when the results are beneficial to the other country involved on a humanitarian level—borders on "let them eat cake" territory. After all, if the economy went into the toilet because our energy needs weren't being met, a lot of people would lose their homes. But Teresa would still have her four. Tra la la.

Posted by Attila at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

Hard Words from Mark Steyn

James points us to this column by Mark Steyn, which was spiked by his editors at the Telegraph and is published at his own site. It has to do with the dangers of getting sentimental during wartime, and why we need to take a clear-eyed look at how our actions endanger other people. Obviously, the degree of national alarm and outrage over Ken Bigley's murder in Britain and Ireland simply makes it more likely that other Britons and Irishmen will be kidnapped and killed.

By contrast with the Fleet Street-Scouser-Whitehall fiasco of the last three weeks, consider Fabrizio Quattrocchi, murdered in Iraq on April 14th. In the moment before his death, he yanked off his hood and cried defiantly, “I will show you how an Italian dies!” He ruined the movie for his killers. As a snuff video and recruitment tool, it was all but useless, so much so that the Arabic TV stations declined to show it.

If the FCO wants to issue advice in this area, that’s the way to go: If you’re kidnapped, accept you’re unlikely to survive, say “I’ll show you how an Englishman dies”, and wreck the video. If they want you to confess you’re a spy, make a little mischief: there are jihadi from Britain, Italy, France, Canada and other western nations all over Iraq – so say yes, you’re an MI6 agent, and so are those Muslims from Tipton and Luton who recently joined the al-Qaeda cells in Samarra and Ramadi. As Churchill recommended in a less timorous Britain: You can always take one with you. If Mr Blair and other government officials were to make that plain, it would be, to use Mr Bigley’s word, “enough”. A war cannot be subordinate to the fate of any individual caught up in it.

And, if you don’t want to wind up in that situation, you need to pack heat and be prepared to resist at the point of abduction. I didn’t give much thought to decapitation when I was mooching round the Sunni Triangle last year, but my one rule was that I was determined not to get into a car with any of the locals and I was willing to shoot anyone who tried to force me. If you’re not, you shouldn’t be there.

None of the above would have guaranteed Mr Bigley’s life, but it would have given him, as it did Signor Quattrocchi, a less pitiful death, and it would have spared the world a glimpse of the feeble and unserious Britain of the last few weeks. The jihadists have become rather adept at devising tests customized for each group of infidels: Madrid got bombed, and the Spaniards failed their test three days later; the Australian Embassy in Jakarta got bombed, but the Aussies held firm and re-elected John Howard’s government anyway. With Britain, the Islamists will have drawn many useful lessons from the decadence and defeatism on display.

Our first was Daniel Pearl, so we as Americans are getting good at this. We—the Western world—must use these incidents to increase our resolve, rather than to waver. It's easy to say, and hard to do. But it's necessary.

Please link to Steyn's column, and get the word out about it.

Posted by Attila at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

More on that "Nuisance"

Eugene Volokh and one of his co-conspirators, Orin Kerr, discuss John Kerry's odd analogy between terrorism and gambling/prostitution in a series of posts that begins here. Kerr finds a possible explanation in the fact that Kerry spent some time as a prosecutor who tackled gambling related to organized crime.

I found myself thinking about that old canard to the effect that if what you have is a hammer, all your problems begin to look a lot like nails. Kerry's father was a diplomat, and one of the dominant points he's been making throughout his campaign is that he would be a better diplomat than Bush is. He's also signalled that he wants to return to the "law enforcement" model for combatting terrorism.

But both of those measures were used during the 1990s, and they failed miserably. Clinton's administration treated terrorism as a law-enforcement issue, and only emboldened Al Qaeda. And I suspect that Clinton was also one of the best diplomat-Presidents in history, if the tales are true about his level of personal charm and charisma.

Kerry is looking at the problem of terrorism from the perspective of what he considers his strong suits, rather than the perspective of what will work, and he wants to return to the strategies that didn't work in the 1990s.

And better than 45% of the U.S. population appears unable to figure this out. Truly amazing.

Posted by Attila at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2004

Mapping the Electoral College

Stephen Green has his latest map up at Vodkapundit. I'd been waiting several days for this, but I wasn't that happy when I saw it: he has the GOP at 271 votes, and the Democrats at 267. Very close. Of course, he gives New Mexico to the Dems, and I still think it will wake up on November 2nd, realize it's a Western state, and vote accordingly.

He also shows us a scenario under which New Hampshire could well determine the fate of the nation. (Check the extended entry—he accidentally clicked Vermont instead of NH, but his point still holds, since the two states are only off by one electoral vote: NH could conceivably become a tie-breaker.)

Posted by Attila at 12:30 PM | Comments (2)

Let Freedom Reign

Glenn Reynolds has a wrapup on the hugely successful Afghani election.

Power Line, was, I believe, the first to run this wonderful photo from the area of Fremont often called "Little Kabul"—


Posted by Attila at 07:27 AM | Comments (3)

Kerry: Terrorists a "Nuisance"

Kerry let his true attitude about the War on Terror shine through in a New York Times puff piece.

When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. ‘’We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance,'’ Kerry said. ‘’As a former law-enforcement person, I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day, and fundamentally, it’s something that you continue to fight, but it’s not threatening the fabric of your life.'’

That’s the difference: Unlike Clinton, Kerry does inhale.

In fairness, the defenders of this remark are suggesting that Kerry isn't saying terrorism is at a "nuisance" level now, but rather that we might get to that place after fighting it for a while—beat it back to where it was before. Unfortunately, where it was before, with the law enforcement model being used during the Clinton administration and the anemic responses to the attacks of the 90s, is how we got where we are today. Terrorism is not a criminal act; it is an act of war. And in the parts of the world where it is used, no respect is earned by treating it like a criminal act: we merely communicate that we are "soft," and encourage more of the same.

Kerry's strategy for dealing with the biggest challenge of our age—one that expressly threatens the Western world itself—is insane.

Via Armies of Liberation.

Posted by Attila at 05:16 AM | Comments (2)

Slate on the Debate

William Saletan of Slate discusses the second presidential debate, and concludes (rightly) that Bush won. What's interesting about it is that he's a liberal who believes Edwards won the VP debate. In reading it, one almost gets the feeling that he wants Kerry to be more lawyerly. Naturally, I don't think that would help their side in the least.

But it's a good read, and contains a link to the official GOP platform, which I'd never had a chance to glance through before.

Posted by Attila at 04:39 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2004

Blog Fraud!

Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities is blowing the lid off the biggest scandal in the Blogosphere since INDC Bill (or whoever) started taking pictures in Oliver Willis's bedroom. Apparently, Jeff's niece and her friends have been posing as political bloggers and just raking in the dough from their tip jars. They are mean girls, and Jeff exposes their little game for all to see.

"Blogs," they explained,"are these utterly LAME websites that LOSERS put up like vanity license plates, & ramble as if anyone gives a rat's ass! SO - we started putting up blogs with fake names, & ranting, & people LOVED it!"

"But you don't know anything about politics," I said. "We just make shit up!" they screamed. "Your average blog-reader has the IQ of a bag of hair!"

Blogs affected include Bill at INDC, Charles of Little Green Footballs, Frank J of IMAO, and Wonkette.

(And there are times that it pays to be a small-time blogger. Oh, yes. I pride myself on staying underneath the satire radar.)

Posted by Attila at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2004

Second Presidential Debate, 1

Bush won. Not in a slam-dunk kind of way, but he won.

Some key moments:

1) When Kerry was trying to address the fact that we haven't had any major terrorist attacks since 9/11. This fact is one of his biggest weaknesses, and he knows it.

2) Kerry's handling of the stem-cell research question and the Federal funding of abortion question. In both instances he professed respect for life, and then essentially told the questioners to fuck off. With a lot of blah, blah, blah added in. This was one of the best opportunities for people to see through his lawyerly talk.

3) That moment when Kerry looked around the room and proclaimed that—from the looks of it—only he, the President, and Charlie made more than $200K a year among the people in that room. It seemed clear to me that he was making a classist judgment about what someone might look like who makes good money. As an Angeleno, I found it rather bizarre that one could presume to tell from someone's dress what sort of income they are pulling down. He might well have been correct, but his methodology was essentially a snobby one, and his outlook was very East Coast.

4) Bush's "timber" joke. It was the best line of the evening, and it broke through the audience's resistance to laughter (I suspect they had been instructed not to audibly react to what Bush and Kerry were saying).

5) The closing statements. Kerry stayed in one place and delivered some sort of little canned speech. In the background, a woman looked like she was slightly too bored to really be contemptuous of him. Very static.

When Bush gave his closing statement he walked around a little, and was animated. His entire demeanor was different from Kerry's.

The format, stilted as it was, played to Bush's strengths.

Posted by Attila at 09:08 AM | Comments (7)

So Much for Kerry's Sister

John Howard has just announced victory in the Australian election, and even picked up some seats in Parliament. We can hope that this is a harbinger of victory for Bush here in the states; it's certainly an indication that a lot of Australians understand what's at stake in the War on Terror, and that they support the Coalition of the Coerced and Bribed Willing.

With this news and that of Kenneth Bigley's murder, please keep our allies in your prayers. I'm unspeakably grateful that there are people around the world who understand what's going on.

Speaking of which, here's an impassioned piece by Silent Running (via My Pet Jawa) that I hope a lot of people read. There's a perception around the world that we in America are fierce in defending freedom, and have told the jihadists that we will destroy Mecca if they target New York or London or Sydney with WMDs. But I look at the polls, and I don't feel fierce: I'm just afraid. Afraid that there are an awful lot of people out there who simply don't get it.

Posted by Attila at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2004

A Moment of Chagrin

Boy. Blogging sure has been light for the past 24 hours around here. I'm afraid this blog is starting to suck.

But, fear not. I have a plan for improving it. A plan!

You feel better already, don't you?

Posted by Attila at 11:53 PM | Comments (2)

JibJab Strikes Again!

So here you go.

(Yes, I took the day off. Yes, I'll have something to say about the debate. No, I'm not watching it live. Yes, I might not make it back until tomorrow morning. Enjoy the fine folks on my blogroll, and I'll catch you later when I've caught up on sleep.)

Posted by Attila at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2004

The Clairol Boys and Intelligence

Turns out that's an oxymoron. Today the Senate voted the most dramatic change to our intelligence services in half a century. The vote was 96-2 in favor of the new framework, based on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

Two senators didn't vote. Guess which ones.

Posted by Attila at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

Attack on the Sheraton

Rockets hit the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Baghdad earlier today. So far, it looks like no one was killed or injured. But my heart aches.

I wish we were fighting an enemy we could reason with or predict. These people aren't the same brand of evil as the Nazis, of course—but the Nazis were a more straightforward enemy to fight.


Posted by Attila at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

VP, The Final Battle


Just three things about this matter of Cheney and Edwards having met before the night they debated:

1) If Cheney's misstatement was done on purpose, it's worthy of condemnation, because I don't want those of us on the libertarian/right side of things to get into the habit of thinking the ends justify the means. (Or that information can be "false but accurate.") That's for some of the other guys.

2) It seems perfectly likely that Cheney just didn't remember. Those of us who aren't in public life probably can't imagine what it's like to have a job that involves meeting people by the thousands, and smiling at them and shaking their hands. And Cheney has spent decades doing this; it might not be natural at all for him to remember one junior senator, before that senator rose to prominence.

3) The best evidence that it was a simple oversight is the fact that Edwards forgot as well. How do we know this? We know it because Edwards didn't say anything about it during the debate. And he would have, too: both men were entirely willing to finish up a previous question before moving on to the one they were asked to speak on at any given moment. It would have been very easy for Edwards to say, "Before I answer that question, let me point out that I met the Vice President at a prayer breakfast." He didn't do that.

Posted by Attila at 12:58 PM | Comments (4)

October 06, 2004

I'm Ready

For Team America.

Oh, yes. I am.

Posted by Attila at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

Gmail Invite?

Does anyone have a Gmail invite they can spare? I got one a month ago, but I was still working on my old machine and couldn't make use of it before it expired.

I'm on Yahoo, and it's gone from bad to just horrible; I can't even get my mail half the time and when I do I can't respond to it.


UPDATE: Got one. Thank you for playing.

Posted by Attila at 02:15 PM | Comments (4)

More on the VP Debate

My mother used to have an emotionally disturbed dog that yipped at everyone and barked, and jumped up at people—sometimes several feet into the air. It was a little miniature pinscher, and its barking was always somewhat comic in relationship to its size.

That's what Edwards reminded me of last night: a little yipping dog.

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

I'm Trying to Think

. . . of a good word for George Soros other than asshole.

Posted by Attila at 12:41 PM | Comments (3)

Well, That's Succinct

Shackleford sums up what he calls Kerry's "Tooth Fairy Diplomacy" plan for Iraq:

To recap Kerry's plan: a) call meetings b) do same thing as Bush only better cause I'm not Bush.
Posted by Attila at 04:27 AM | Comments (3)

VP Debate, First Impressions

I was out this evening, so I watched the debate on tape.

I'd say Cheney made it clear that you can win a thing like this without losing your composure or lowering yourself to the other guy's level.

Kerry and Edwards are coming across as guys who have no better ideas than to attack everything the President does. And Edwards was painfully scripted tonight, repeating the same phrases over and over. When Cheney needed to underscore a point, he generally found fresh ways to express his most important ideas. (With the exception of his verbal tick, "the fact of the matter is." If Cheney were ever again to be in a public debate, that would be the drinking phrase.)

Note that on several occasions Cheney declined to use up all the seconds allotted to him, and on a few he "threw away" entire half minutes. He was selective about what he resonded to, and was entirely willing to wade out of the mud, as when he said his piece about gay marriage, heard that Edwards' rebuttal included an allusion to his own daughter—and when the spotlight came back to him simply thanked the senator "for his kind words about my family." This was an intensely classy way to avoid defending the one area where I suspect there is a policy disagreement with the course the administration has taken, and where there really wasn't anything left for him to say.

I was also struck by the fact that he listened closely to the instructions for the question about what they each brought to the table as potential VPs. He shared biographical material while also confessing his discomfort in talking about himself. He talked about why his working relationship with the President was so good, and what made it effective. And when it was Edwards' turn he couldn't even remember that he wasn't supposed to say his running mate's name, and shared nearly nothing about his own background. It was as if the prefabricated script had taken over, and the man himself had simply left the stage.

I'm hearing "first half to Cheney, second half to Edwards." The people who say that are grading on an age-adjusted curve. This one was Cheney's, in large part because people are not voting for a litigator: they want a Chief Executive. Someone who doesn't just poke holes in others' records, but gets things done.

Finally, the VP went on the attack early on when he felt he had to. Offered another opportunity to kick the senator in the teeth, he didn't do it. Another example of restraint.

I don't want to send anyone into a tizzy here, but I'm thinking of voting Bush-Cheney this November. Leaning that way.

Update: Joyner has his own analysis, plus a roundup-by-trackback.

Posted by Attila at 01:08 AM | Comments (4)

October 05, 2004

Those Splendid Amino Acids

Protein Wisdom has the list of affirmations John Edwards will be using today to prep himself for the Big Night. Including

3. "When you mention ‘tax cuts for the wealthy,’ try not to giggle like you did that time with Kennedy over a pitcher of Bombay Sapphire martinis.

UPDATE: I'm taking input on whether I should delete the spam comment on this entry. It's kind of hilarious, and it clearly wasn't written by the person whose blog it's attributed to. Your thoughts?

UPDATE 2: The spammer is apparently stalking another blogger. I was asked to remove the spam, but I couldn't bear to—it's so . . . refreshing. So I've removed the web address of the blogger who's a victim of his/her efforts. For more information on the most bizarre stalker I've ever heard of, go here, and of course do check out the actual blog.

UPDATE 3: It's a Kate-a-lanche! Welcome, Small Dead Animals readers.

Posted by Attila at 03:42 PM | Comments (5)

Dean's Tour de Force

Dean Esmay is running an excellent interview with Van Odell of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. I know you're all tired of hearing about the Swifties, but this does have some fascinating material in it, and it clears up a few common misconceptions about the SBVfT and their assertions. Odell served with John Kerry in Vietnam longer than anyone else did.

Here's a teaser:

DW: Do you consider the members of Kerry's crew, who have backed his version of the story, to be liars? If not, why do you believe their perceptions of the events in question differ so widely from your own?

VO: No I don't consider them liars. I consider them led by Kerry right now. One of the incidents that I can talk about, why I think their story differs, is that Rassman said he heard gunfire from the bank. I didn't see any gunfire and I was at the highest point of the field. I think Rassman just heard our gunfire, and when we realized we weren't under fire we stopped.

You would otherwise have to ask them why they think their memories are different. So far only Del Sandusky has been allowed to talk to reporters, so we really don't know what the others have to say.

I don't know why these guys' memories differ, you will have to ask them. I only know that over 60 who served in An Thoi--and we had about a hundred men in our division at any one time--we've got 60 people from there who say his service was questionable in Viet Nam and who take him to task for lying about us as murderers and war criminals when he came back in 1971. That stacks up to only 7 of his own swift boat people that follow him.

Read the whole thing; it's fascinating.

In other news, it's no longer called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The organization has merged with the POWs for Truth, and it's now Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth. A new commerical has come out that concentrates on the experience of POWs; you can watch it here, and you might note that the site now uses four different video players, so those of us who weren't able to watch the ads before can see them now.

The POWs for Truth also produced a long-running video, Stolen Honor, which you can see clips of and order here.

Posted by Attila at 02:48 AM | Comments (2)

October 04, 2004

The Liberty Film Festival, 4:
Exclusive! Must Credit Little Miss Attila! My Interview with Michael Medved!

According to Govindini Murty, co-organizer of the Liberty Film Festival, Michael Medved has been a tremendous supporter of her and her husband Jason Apuzzo—both as filmmakers and in their efforts to put together a kick-ass film festival that celebrated the free market, the open exchange of ideas, democracy, and the United States as a force for good.

Mr. Medved flew down to Los Angeles from Seattle yesterday and spent a good chunk of the day at the festival, both participating in a panel and providing a special introduction to their presentation of The Ten Commandments. He was extraordinarily generous with his time and energy.

As most of you know, Medved is nearly unique among conservative voices, in that he recognizes the importance of film as a medium and has an encyclopedic knowledge of movies. He was one of the forces behind the Golden Turkey Awards series (which helped to popularize Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space as a cult classic), and is the author of Hollywood vs. America, a dissection of the ways in which filmmakers systematically flout the values and beliefs of mainstream America.

And he frequently articulates—as he did last week on his radio show—the fact that beauty and truth, contra Keats, are not the same thing, and we can appreciate a beautifully made movie while recognizing that the values that inspired it—or the message it delivers—are misguided (and, in some cases, horrific).

Attila Girl: Do you see conservative and libertarian filmmakers creating an alternative power structure within the entertainment industry to market our own work?

Michael Medved: To some degree, though [such a structure] won't become the dominant force. You're not going to see Hollywood become a conservative bastion; that just will not happen.

But change will come as it did with the other Evil Empire: as a response to pressure from without.

Attila Girl: Do you envision a sea change occurring with events like this and the American Film Renaissance Festival in Dallas?

Michael Medved: Yes; the great thing is that people are finally tackling this issue. When you think about the forces of conservatism over the past few decades, people like William F. Buckley—despite their contributions to public debate—were mostly detached from popular culture, and that's now starting to change.

Attila Girl: Do you see us as ever reaching something close to parity within the film industry: say, 40%-60% in their favor?

Michael Medved: Maybe more like 30%-70%. I'll tell you, the one place where I do think we'll see 40%-60% is within the Jewish community. You saw that in our panel earlier, where we had participation from people like David Zucker.

Attila Girl: Almost half of you were Jewish, right?

Michael Medved: A few of us were. I've been very active within the Jewish Republican Coalition, and this election year we're seeing a real change, one that began after 9/11 and has gotten stronger.

Attila Girl: People have had enough?

Michael Medved: Yes. They have.

Note:The exchange above is not quite word-for-word, but pretty darned close. After getting that precious three-minute interview, I discovered that the battery on my tape recorder had given out, so I quickly jotted down the whole conversation from my memory, which is pretty good for this type of thing—though bad on where I put my keys.

Posted by Attila at 06:09 PM | Comments (2)

The Liberty Film Festival, 3

My husband and I convoyed to the Liberty Film Festival today. He was going early and leaving early, and I was going late—and knew I might stay late.

So he saw the first two films, which looked fascinating: Borrowed Fire, by Salil Singh, and Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East. I felt bad about my late arrival, but I 1) overslept; 2) had to water the plants, which were languishing after days of neglect; 3) had to make some turkey sandwiches we could sneak into the theater for lunch; 4) was blinded by the sun, and overwhelmed by four opponents; 5) had my homework consumed by the house canine; and/or 6) thought it was the thing to do at the time.

I got there in time for Brainwashing 101, which was a rough/partial cut of Evan Maloney's expose on political bias in academia. Maloney and his equally brilliant cohorts have started a website that keeps students abreast of political correctness and other evidence of bias, and actively solicits their contributions for the feature form of the movie. It's a clever idea, actually.

One of the things that helps Maloney is that he is not a fire-breathing wingnut; he's a reasonable guy who just wants to see a little more dialogue, a little more rationality in the public debate. In other words, one senses he'd be interested in the excesses of the right, if he had the feeling they were being shoved down commoners' throats.

A panel discussion followed regarding the "new Hollywood blacklist," and this event included David Zucker, Michael Medved, Doug Urbanski, Morgan Brittany, Andrew Breitbart and Dan Gifford. The colorful-if-unrestrained Jim Hirsen (Tales from the Left Coast) moderated. The discussion included a mini-debate about whether the right-oriented media "lock out" dissenting views (e.g., should Waco: Rules of Engagement have attained more notice on talk radio?) and the issue of whether libertarian/conservative/WOT-supporting flimmakers should attempt to climb up within the existing industry structure, or build a parallel system that would allow them to bypass the "filtering" function of studio executives (who are often some of the, um, most limited people on the planet).

The only concensus appeared to be on the idea that the current "blacklist" is not one of names, but rather one of philosophy and ideas.

The surprise of the evening was Michael Moore Hates America, which was badly named. Director Mike Wilson picked a provocative title, and one that reflected his anger at a fellow midwesterner who appeared to slam his homeland, but the finished movie is a shockingly balanced look at Moore's work. It's also a meditative piece on Wildon's own life and history, and whether it's possible to tell the truth entirely when filming a documentary. Penn Jilette of Penn & Teller appears as the sort of angel who exhorts Wilson to tell the truth, no matter what, and not let the ends justify the means. (The carrot appears to be Wilson's desire not to turn into Michael Moore himself; the stick is Jilette's exhortation at the end not to distort his own views, or "I'll hunt you down and kill you.")

It's a beautiful film, but just the opposite of what you expect from hearing the title.

After this, my husband had to get home to conquer a few deadlines. I walked him most of the way to his car and got back to the theater just as they were dimming the lights.

This was for Impact: The Passion of the Christ, which discussed Passion, but also the effect it had on people worldwide. The documentary's stance is aggressively Christian. It was an affecting movie, but I think I prefer filmmakers who work in more shades of gray. Still, it was solid and informative: it visits the debate over anti-Semitism while also sharing stories of religious revival and the redemption of people's lives. If you're looking for a frankly joyful celebration of Christianity, this is your cup of latte. If not, there's still plenty of information in it.

There was a short break, during which I stalked Michael Medved in the lobby until he gallantly agreed to a two-minute interview just before he was due on stage. The evening ended with a showing of The Ten Commandments, which was introduced by Medved and included a short statement by Lisa Mitchell, who played one of Jethro's daughters and had a few words about how Cecil B. DeMille changed her life and her political philosophy.

I confess I tended to view the movie as a civil rights movie rather than a Cold War parable, but I see that it works as either. And though people were tired, they still clapped whenever Heston needed to stand tall and lay down the law.

I know everyone's going to get mad at me, but The Ten Commandments also works as soft-core porn: you end up seeing a fair amount of the young Heston's body, and a non-trivial amount of Yul Brynner skin. This worked fine as well.

More later. I'll be starting to post those interviews tomorrow; in the meantime it'll take me all week to get onto a non-vampiric sleep schedule. If, in fact, that happens at all.

Posted by Attila at 04:57 AM | Comments (3)

Lileks, Once More.

I always forget what a genius he is, and that I have to read him every day, or regret it. Some snippets of his post-debate analysis:

I could talk about the blogger party tonight where the luminaries of the Northern Alliance gathered to watch the debate, and peck out snark and insight. It was quite a sight: bloggers on the sofa, laptops open, family and friends gathered behind, all eyes and ears on the big TV. Behold the ankle-biting pajama-clad ticks!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I was standing behind the sofas, pacing, reading the blog entries before they were posted. (The very definition of having upper echelon access, perhaps.) But I had to leave early, and while I regretted leaving the party, I was also glad. I hate the debates. I have a vision of 65 million undecided Americans tuning in and making a snap judgment for all the wrong reasons. Wow, he pounded the podium to emphasize each word - but the other guy pounded each syllable. What’s this about sealing Fallujer? Is it leaking? Did they have a flood?

But mostly I hate the debates because I simply cannot abide hearing certain statements I’ve been hearing over, and over, and over again. I can’t take any more talk about bringing allies to the table. Which ones? Brazil? Mynmar? Microfrickin’nesia? Are there some incredibly important and powerful nations out there whose existence has hitherto escaped me? Fermany? Gerance? The Galactic Order of the Belgian Dominion? Did we piss off the Vulcans? Who? If we mean “France and Germany,” then please explain to me why the reluctant participation of these two countries somehow bestows the magic kiss of legitimacy. They want in? Fine. They don’t? Fine. At this point mooning over France is like being that sophomore loser dorm pal who spent his dateless weekends telling his loser roommate about a high school sweetheart who stood him up for the prom. Give it up. Move on. I understand; they are wise and nuanced, we are young and dumb. We’re the cowboy leaning with his back against the bar, elbows on the rail, watching the door; we need our European betters to teach us how to ape the subtle forms of Nijinsky, limbs arrayed in the exquisite form of the Dying Swan. Understood. But I don’t want to be the Dying Swan. And I don’t want posture lessons from a country that spent the last 20 years flopping on its back and grabbing its ankles when Saddam showed up waving stacks of Francs in exchange for bang-sticks. Don’t you think I know about France’s relations with Saddam? Surely the advocates of the French Touch must know, and don’t care. Or they don’t know – in which case their advice is useless.

Germany? Whatever.

And it took lots of dead Americans to be able to say that.

Also dead Russians. Is Russia the great ally we’ve dissed? If we invite Russia to help, then we have to tell them things. I don’t want to tell them things. At least as they relate to the battlefield.

Perhaps the “ally” is that big blue wobbly mass known as the UN, that paragon of moral clarity, that conscience of the globe. You want to really anger a UN official? Tow his car. Short of that you can get away with anything. (Sudan is on the human rights commission, to cite a prominent and amusing detail. It’s like putting Tony Soprano on the New Jersey Waste Management Regulation Board.) I don’t worry that the UN is angry with us. I’d be worried if they weren’t. And I find it interesting that someone who would complain about outsourcing peevishly notes that we hired HALLIBURTON to do the work instead of throwing buckets of billions to French and German contractors who sold them the jets and built the bunkers.

. . . . . . . .

I’m not enthused about a [Arab] summit, unless we get to set the agenda. Item one: get over the frickin’ Jews, people. They’re not going anywhere, and if they do they’re taking all of you with them. Item two: You poke the hornet’s nest one more time and the skies of Tehran and Riyahd will darken with 747s, which will disgorge a fleet of Jeeps. We will ride around with bullhorns and announce that all women are free to leave, with their children, so they can live in a society where they get to show some shin without having some gynophobic wanker whip them with sticks. Your choice! Madrassas and no women, or a live-and-let-live world with women, and cable TV and the odd cold beer now and then, if you like. Beer will not be mandatory. We’re not the sort of people who impose beer on the unwilling. But you know, on 9/11 we recognized the downside of coexisting with societies that want to hang people for having a Pabst after a hot day. Your choice. Item three: we’re going to play a video of the events of 9/11. And then we’ll have a discussion. We’re willing to entertain all sorts of commentary, with one proviso: the moment you use the word “but,” you’re escorted from the building and put back on a plane home. You can never come to the US again. Your nice condo in the new Trump building will be sold for five dollars to a nice Jewish lesbian couple we met the other day at parent’s night at our school in Park Slope. One’s an artist, the other’s a lawyer.

. . . . . . . .

So, I get it. We are wrong and bad and stupid and stupidly wrong-bad. We failed to make France act as though it wasn’t, you know, France, a militarily insignificant nation that is understandably motivated by self-interest, and we haven’t convened a summit so we could be castigated for ignoring the extralegal use of Israeli helicopters to turn Hamas kingpins into indistinct red smears. You’d think we nuked Paris and converted everyone to Lutheranism.

Here’s the thing. I’d really like to live in John Kerry’s world. It seems like such a rational, sensible place, where handshakes and signatures have the power to change the face of the planet. If only the terrorists lived there as well.

That was a longish quote; hope he doesn't sue me. And, for crying out loud, go read the whole thing.

Posted by Attila at 03:20 AM | Comments (0)

Do Not Mess With Mama

Via Protein Wisdom, George Stephanopoulos and Condi Rice get into a spirited discussion about whether Iraq's aluminum tubes really were destined for nuclear weapons. Goldstein suggests that their debate reflects the philosophical divide between those who don't support the war and those of us who do: that we honestly believe the situation called for erring on the side of caution—with caution defined as "most likely to be in the best interests of the United States."

Commenter Sharkman then suggests that the correct response from Condi was this:

“Look, you diminutive semi-gay-hair-dresser-looking (not that there’s anything wrong with that) snot-nosed pundit!  The only thing you and your kind ever have to do is talk, talk, talk, but in MY world, in which I am an extremely POWERFUL WOMAN, ACTION must be taken!  And so ACTION IS TAKEN, sometimes on the basis of information that is not 100% perfect.  Now shut your cute little mouth and bring mama another espressso.  Can you do anything about this hair . . . ?”

Apparently, it's supposed to be read in an Aretha Franklin voice, the premise being (I believe) that in a more enlightened time Aretha would have had Dr. Rice's amazing education and experience and could have been NSA. Of course, foreign policy's gain would have been art's loss. So it goes.

Posted by Attila at 02:26 AM | Comments (0)

That's Not a Sofa

That's a gumball machine! Except it ain't gum it's giving Jeff.

Is his wife thinking of an intervention? And, if so, maybe she should just buy a new couch.

Posted by Attila at 01:53 AM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2004

The Liberty Film Festival, 2

Wow. Long day at the Liberty Film Festival. I went out there on three hours worth of sleep, so I had a secret plan to nap in the back seat of my husband's car at some point in the afternoon. (And I implemented same.)

The high points today were 1) Larry Elder's Michael and Me; and 2) the fact that I bagged two interviews, including a mini-interview with Mrs. Viola Elder, Larry's mother (known to all listeners as "the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court"), and a nice sit-down with Evan Maloney, the genius behind Brain-Terminal, a combination weblog and outlet for Evan's guerilla videos. Most of these shorts document the amazing stuff that passes for "thought" among the moonbats who go to anti-war protests. Today at the film festival we saw Peace Out, which is a classic moonbat overview.

We also saw the Protest Warrior short film Eagle Strike, which shows some of the great signs these people take to their local LLL gatherings, and lets us know that things do sometimes get ugly with these counter-protests.

Then there was a cute documentary called Is It True What They Say About Ann?, in which Elinor Burkett and Patrick Wright spend a few days with Ann Coulter. It was fun to watch even though my jury has been out on that woman for years.

Then it was lunch, and after that my husband walked me to his car. I got into the back seat, locked myself in, and checked out for two and a half hours, waking up in time to meet up with him before the Big Featured Indie Film, Terminal Island, made by Jason Apuzzo and Govindini Murty, the couple who put the film festival together.

And then there was Michael and Me, Larry Elder's response to Bowling in Columbine. Here, Larry lays out a comprehensive case for firearms ownership among ordinary people who are ready to handle that responsibility. Larry got around four standing ovations, so I guess people liked the movie. And it's already changing minds: the distributor sent three Democratic, liberal young women who supported gun control to evaluate the film. The next morning, they were in his office talking about how to buy guns and get trained with them. Overhearing, he asked them "why?"
"Larry Elder's movie," came the response. Naturally, he got Larry on the phone and wanted to deal.

We blew off the final tribute to Ronald Reagan (a screening of Desperate Journey), and headed home. We'll get that one on DVD and watch it with popcorn on our laps sometime this month.

I'll have more detailed reviews for you, either tomorrow or Monday. And I'll transcribe my interviews, too. But tonight I need to go to bed earlier. One more early call, tomorrow. And I'm tired.

Tomorrow's highlight, as you know, will be Michael Moore Hates America, at 2:00. That'll be great. There's also a documentary on the impact The Passion of the Christ is having, both in the industry and around the world.

Sunday ends with a screening of The Ten Commandments, with Chuck Heston. But we may leave by then, and (once more) simply owe ourselves another peek at an old classic.

Be safe and make sure the dialogue on your indie production just crackles.

Posted by Attila at 01:57 AM | Comments (5)

October 02, 2004


. . . needs a 12-Step program for Sims 2 addicts.

Of course, I may need one for bloggers, but that's another thing.

Posted by Attila at 03:28 AM | Comments (1)

Kerry's Pyrrhic Victory

The Commissar quotes a Gallup poll that brought to his mind the saying, "one more such victory, and I am lost."

Dean Esmay points out that sometimes the person who appears to have "won" in the first few days after a debate isn't the same person who's supposedly "won" a few weeks later. History sometimes behaves differently than that weekend's Sunday shows.

Posted by Attila at 03:18 AM | Comments (2)

The Liberty Film Festival, 1

What an amazing experience. The first night of the Liberty Film Festival was terrific, and showcased two veteran conservative filmakers and two newer voices.

One has to describe the evening in reverse order, I think, and start with Lionel Chetwynd, who has been laboring in the vineyards since the mid-70s. His credits include Hanoi Hilton, which he directed and wrote, as well as Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy, and DC 9/11: Time of Crisis (he also produced this one). Most recently he wrote Ike: Countdown to D-Day, which starred Tom Selleck (and also gave Chetwynd a producer credit). In short, he's the most successful writer/director/producer on the right side of Hollywood today.

This project was different, though. He was asked by Citizens United to create something that would serve as a response to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, and counter the lies and distortions therein. And he and his team put this amazing documentary, Celsius 41.11, together in a matter of six weeks. It's an astonishing achievement.

The house was packed for this segment (it had only been 3/4 full for the first "event," as they are calling the sections), and Chetwynd got a standing O at the end. He and his colleagues on the film answered questions, and it's a testament to the film's power that a lot of people were simply concerned with seeing this film get wider distribution. They are attempting to get a theatrical release going in the next few days—probably bypassing the distribution companies—and therefore if you have any spare cash in your pocket you might want to send it to Citizens United, which is doing excellent work. Celsius 41.11 does two things: it counters the common misconceptions about George W. Bush with factual material, and it discusses John Kerry's background in terms of how his philosophies may conflict with the duties of a wartime President. What it doesn't do is call him a traitor or tarnish his patriotism. ("If you are here looking for red meat," Chetwynd warned, "you're in the wrong place." People liked it fine, though, and they understood that its intent was not to "preach to the choir.")

In the Face of Evil was also a documentary, but it was a longer, more thoughtful, and really meditative piece on the struggle between good and evil in the last century and the miracle of Ronald Reagan's life and victories. Steve Bannon draws a straight line between totalitarian communism and naziism, which I buy, and between those two and Islamo-Fascism, which I'm not as certain about. But he certainly chronicles the Third World War (the Cold War) and discusses how Reagan won it. The film ends with the start of the Fourth World War (the one we are in now), and essentially leaves us with the question of whether we will face the challenges of this century as well as men like Churchill, FDR and Reagan faced those of the last. There are images from World War I, and a lovely history of Reagan's film career is included—without glossing over how his showdown with union thugs during "the battle of Burbank" informed his feelings about Communists for the rest of his life.

The evening wouldn't have been complete without the charming shorts that showcased the talents of a few bright young—and funny—indie filmmakers. Greg Wolfe's company, Career Suicide Productions, gave us Greg Wolfe: Republican Jew, which is discussed here. And Evan Maloney, the prolific young guy behind Brain-Terminal.com, had a hilarious take on The Clinton Legacy. (The link will take you to the Clinton mini-doc, but there are scads more on Brain-Terminal.com. Browse around.)

And now, it's time for bed. More tomorrow, which is the big day (it'll culminate with the world premiere of Larry Elder's first foray into film, an answer to He Who Must Not Be Named's Bowling for Columbine). Can't wait.

Posted by Attila at 02:55 AM | Comments (0)

In Case You Want It

Here's the transcript of last night's debate.

Posted by Attila at 01:18 AM | Comments (0)

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

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