February 28, 2005

Kate

posits that Canada's purpose is now to serve as a "warning" to the U.S., and recounts a charming encounter with an addled American:

Last weekend a woman who was purchasing artwork from me at the dog show began to ask about "what it was like to live in Canada". She confided that they had to sell their house while it was "still worth something" and leave before the country was completely destroyed. Her young son's skills made him very attractive to the military and there was no doubt he'd be drafted. She was enthusiastic about our health care system, and wanted to live in a "more socialist" country.

Sometimes I wonder that there may be some force .... (fate?) .... that places people like myself in just the right place, at just the right time. For a moment I felt a twinge of guilt in the realization that my Canadian citizenship had been twisted into cruel bait for a hapless little moonbat - like savory French cheese perched temptingly in a leg hold trap.

Posted by Attila at 09:35 AM | Comments (1)

Welcome,

70,000th visitor.

Posted by Attila at 09:08 AM | Comments (2)

Clint's Big Night

A complete list of Oscar winners is available here.

It was annoying to have that whitewash of Che Guevara shoved down my throat, and heartbreaking to see Carlos Santana participate in it by watching him sing a song from The Motorcycle Diaries. But I was gratified that an Academy full of people who are still (let's face it) a bit disgruntled at Bush's re-election decided not to punish Eastwood for his Republican leanings.

It's especially lovely to see Eastwood get this kind of recognition. I remember watching some prick journalist interview him before the awards show in 1992, and asking him "how many Oscars have you won?"

Clint, even and forthright: "Zero."

He's been written off a whole bunch of times, most of them before his three masterpieces, The Unforgiven, Mystic River, and Million Dollar Baby. And he's made a whole lot of crappy movies. (My favorite? Pink Cadillac.)

But he is still brilliant, and an American treasure.

Posted by Attila at 09:05 AM | Comments (7)

He's At It Again

Iowahawk unearths the episode of Scooby Doo, Where Are You? that featured Hunter S. Thompson as a special guest:

We were ten minutes south of San Clemente when the putrid green daisy walls of the van started closing in. I recall the fat four-eyed lesbian sweater girl saying something like "are you okay, Mr. Duke? We've got a mystery to solve..." when suddenly the gullet of the garish chartreuse steel beast began to spasm, as if a digestive track readying itself to vomit. I began clawing at my hamstrings and when I turned my head I was looking into the irridescent eyes of a grotesque animal screeching "Ruh Roh! Ruh Roh!" in a hoarse irritating dog-accented gibberish. That's when it things began to turn weird.

It gets better from there; don't miss this one.


Posted by Attila at 07:01 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2005

Premium Position Available!

Upper left ad space is open! This is a highly desirable adstrip, and it's terrific exposure for any project or blog you might have going. Also, it's super-affordable, and my readers have that elusive quality you've been looking for in your target demographic: they have jobs!

Come on, now: don't make me write a lame-o "house ad" that promotes Little Miss Attila right here. I'll feel dirty and stuff.

Posted by Attila at 02:18 PM | Comments (4)

February 26, 2005

The BTK "Capture"

Overtaken by Events has the definitive linkfest.

Posted by Attila at 07:05 PM | Comments (0)

Twist-top in My Sobriety

So my friend Matt Carnation used to drink a lot. He's now been sober in AA for 20 years or more, but he refers to his drinking back in the day as that of an "outrageous, flagrant" alcoholic. The problem first appeared with wife #1, with whom he went so far as to have kids; and they now have grandkids. He's burned through two wives since her, and things are cordial in the way they have to be when eveyone has to see the grandkids, so the parents of those grandkids have to try not to play favorites—even when there's been a divorce in the family.

And though Matt lives here in the L.A. area, his son and daughter in law, and the children, live in Phoenix. His ex wife is there as well. So Matt flies off to spend holidays with his family, and that includes Wife #1.

At one point he opens the refrigerator and reaches inside. Because of the angle she does not see the coke cans adjacent to the beer, and is appalled, thinking he's reaching for a longneck. "You can't have that!" she exclaims.

"Why not?" he enquires, amused by the way she's jumping to conclusions.

"Remember the 1970s?" Her voice is starting to rise just a little in frustration.

"No," he answers. "I don't." And he smiles.

Posted by Attila at 01:10 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2005

The Latest on Ward Churchill

Yesterday's revelations on Ward Churchill had the effect of reversing my position on what should be done WRT him. Malkin has the best summary of the '03 transcripts. That goes beyond mere speech, in my opinion, and crosses over into the realm wherein one is, indeed, yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater. Toss him out.

Via Mikal the bookseller comes the latest wrinkle: Churchill has also been in the habit of selling his own personal artwork, which draws on existing art about/by Native Americans to the point of plagiarism: it sparked this discussion on Little Green Footballs. Also, Malkin has a few of the side-by-side comparisons here, with links to the Freepers' coverage on this issue.

I can't believe this bozo was being supported with public money. I knew some elements in academia were beyond accountability, but the degree to which that is the case shocks me.

Posted by Attila at 01:58 PM | Comments (6)

The Gaming World Goes To the Next Level

I'll bet the Rez game with its "Trance Vibrator" is better than drugs. And, of course, even more so if you put the vibrator between your legs. Is this thing available in the States? Just askin'.

There is an old tradition of listing the various activities women can do that unadventantly—or incidentally—provide stimulation: my favorite is muleback riding (though not horseback, for whatever reason). And then there were the stories about a particular style of trundle sewing machine, used in factories in the late 19th century IIRC; word was, the seamstresses really threw themselves into their work with a will.

Hey. Don't complain, guys: you can pee standing up. And you have that muscle mass thing, too. Some of you even have wives and girlfriends who let you think you're smarter than they are: what a treat that must be.

Hat tip: Prof. Purkinje. (I'd link your page, dude, but you have real contact information there. What kind of a blogger are you, anyway?—get a gmail account. And a better name, like Cat Stevens Manque or something.)

Posted by Attila at 01:24 PM | Comments (1)

On "Mommy Madness"

Iowahawk is on fire, writing on the international effort to save wealthy women in Chicago and the coastal cities from the dangers of perfectionistic parenting:

From its inauspicious beginnings in rural Florida, the battle to preserve priveleged urban women's happiness has spread like wildfire. America's minority communities have been especially active in the cause.

"Suffering knows no color," says Latasha Evans, 26. "When I heard about all the career and time management struggles of these unhappy white women, I knew as a Christian, I had to do my part."

A mother of two in Harvey, Illinois, Evans persuaded her fellow parishoners at Calvary Zion AME Church to act on behalf of the victims. Evans' church choir, The Mighty Gospel Wings of Mercy, recently recorded a self-funded album to promote awareness of Affluent Supermom Syndrome. Entitled "Sweet Glory of Self-Esteem," the CD's proceeds will go directly to offset victims' Ballet and Pilates class dues.

Evans is also donating her time to the effort, travelling by CTA bus twice a week to Chicago's Gold Coast and North Shore as a volunteer care provider for needy white supermoms in need of a break for self-reflection.

"It's tragic when you hear, first hand, how these women don't get the parenting help they need from their male partners," she says. "The experience has made me realize how lucky I am to have D'Shawn [Collins], my babies' daddy, and the $150 he sends me most every month."

Read the whole thing, and if you really want to be good to yourself, follow his link to Lileks, who also weighs in on "Mommy Madness."

Posted by Attila at 02:59 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2005

Hollywood on Blogspot

When Oakland Jeff posted a link to this site, I wasn't sure what to do with it—other than to stare at it in awe, and wonder, as usual, where does he find this stuff?

But I sent the link to my husband, who forwarded it to his best friend (also a veteran of the entertainment industry) with the subject line, "if studio executives wrote scripts."

Disclaimer: Not all studio executives are idiots, though many are. No studio executives were hurt in the writing of this post.

Posted by Attila at 09:04 AM | Comments (1)

February 22, 2005

The Language of Politics: Immigration and the Blogswarm

One of those little things about political speech: the terms people use to frame an issue serves as a signal to the like-minded about where they stand. This phenomenon has its uses, but if you're writing about current events it never helps to persuade anyone to your point of view. Know the difference between cheerleading and persuasion; make it your friend.

For example, I have plenty to argue about with other SP Repubs in terms of immigration. Matter of fact, it's sort of an exciting time, because no real concensus has emerged among libertarian-leaning righty warmongers on this particular issue. Naturally, Malkin has persuaded a lot of people that the conservative approach—sealing the border, making sure everyone has to stand in line—is the way to go, but it's not really a done deal yet: we haven't tended to swarm one way or the other with respect to immigration policy, and people like Larry Elder and Desert Cat are still advocating a more flexible immigration policy that's libertarian in principle, yet common-sensical in its specifics. The President appears to be working toward this middle ground in his approach.

My sympathies here are with the President, but I listen to everyone. I have to say, though (getting back to my thesis) that whenever I hear the word "illegals," my mind tends to shut down: I figure whoever is throwing that word around is preaching to the converted, and I oughtn't to listen in on their private conversation.

Take-home questions for bloggers and political junkies:

1) When you talk, write, blog, or debate others on political issues, do you use terms that will be meaningful to them, or do you try to strong-arm them into thinking your way with your language?

2) Where are we going here regarding immigration policy? Is this something that the right side of the blogosphere (Malkin aside) hasn't focused on sufficiently? Discuss.

3) Who is doing the best job in covering this issue, other than the illustrious Ms. Malkin? Where are the best arguments for/against liberalization of these policies, a tightening of border controls, or some variation on guest-worker programs? How about amnesty—it that dead, or is there a good way to handle it?

4) When you think about immigration, are you driven by a) security; b) issues of fairness; c) culture and language; or d) economic concerns? How sensitive are you about cultural issues, and is this "fair game," or merely a reflection of prejudices? (That is, where do you draw the line between bigotry versus believing English should be the common language in the U.S. and/or wanting a certain "cultural imprint" on immigrants?)

5) How do immigration concerns in the States differ from those in other Western nations?

UPDATE: Steve at Secure Liberty has some practical, hard-headed suggestions for getting our arms around this problem. However, one element in his plan contains a small measure of "amnesty," a dicey concept (and also a good scare word for the anti-"illegal" hysterics).

And that's the problem at the heart of this: one side insists that we militarize our borders, and throw anyone out who didn't originally come here legally—no matter how long they've been here, how hard they've worked, or how clean a life they've led. The other side wants to ignore the problem entirely.

And, yes, at the fringes there are people who are simply turned off by Latin American culture and want it out of their cities. And at the fringes of my position there probably are corporate interests who want cheap labor, no matter what.

It's another "third rail" issue, for sure.

One more thing: for those of you who insist that this has to do with the "rule of law," and people following the rules no matter what it means to their families' lives, I'm just wondering if your grandparents were adults during Prohibition.

Are you sure they never took a drink? Positive?

How about you? Ever try pot? Not once?

Rule of law, Baby: it's a bitch.

Posted by Attila at 08:57 PM | Comments (3)

Holy Shit!

The President, in his Party Boy days, smoked weed.

I'm going to need to be alone for a while.

Posted by Attila at 05:50 PM | Comments (5)

Andrew Cory

. . . takes on the prospect of a Hillary candidacy in '08. Writing in Dean's World, he maintains that she won't run.

I think she will.

Posted by Attila at 04:52 PM | Comments (2)

Heads Carolina, Tails California

22a1storm3.jpg
Sorry about bringing the bad weather to California while guest posting. The weather is more like we get here in the Carolina's, whith the tornado's and all. Mudslides, no. Y'all be carefull out there.

Posted by William Teach at 08:21 AM | Comments (8)

February 21, 2005

Yoda is on Fire

Dr Rusty has had a an interview with Master Yoda, who gives forth on a variety of subjects. I would like to know what Yoda thinks of civility in Congress.

Posted by William Teach at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

How Old Is It?

A new analysis of bones unearthed nearly 40 years ago in Ethiopia has pushed the fossil record of modern humans back to nearly 200,000 years ago — perhaps close to the dawn of the species.

Researchers determined that the specimens are around 195,000 years old. Previously, the oldest known fossils of Homo sapiens were Ethiopian skulls dated to about 160,000 years ago.

JK.jpg
Former Democratic presumptive Presidential candidate John Kerry stated in regards to the announcement "President Bush has done a great disservice to the American People, the world community, and my cousin by keeping this secret for 40 years."

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

UN Sex Chief Resigns

From the AP/ABC news:

After months of criticism, Secretary-General Kofi Annan decided that U.N. refugee chief Ruud Lubbers had to go because of the growing controversy over allegations that the former Dutch prime minister had sexually harassed female staffers.

Lubbers didn't go easily. He resigned Sunday but proclaimed his innocence, saying he felt insulted and accusing Annan of giving in to "media pressure."

Perhaps if Kofi had done the right thing in the first place, and investigated the allegations from the get go, it wouldn't have come to this type of parting. Lubbers could have gone out feeling the disgrace he should. The UN is now putting together charges against Lubbers. Barn door, horse.

Surprisingly, I took a tour of the 'Sphere, and only found one reference to this story, and that was at a site that LMA said she would never link again (hint, the Jordan/Political Teen affair). As much as the Right side dislikes the UN, would think there would be more interest in the story. Maybe today, since lots of folks take a break on Sunday.

Posted by William Teach at 05:38 AM | Comments (2)

R.I.P., Hunter S. Thompson

Goldstein has the links/details on his suicide-by-firearm. Most of us are still in shock.

I heard him speak once, at UCLA in the 1980s. He was a talented man, and the world will miss him.

Posted by Attila at 05:30 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2005

The Outrage of Gannon/Guckert

Paul over at Wizbang is discussing how, now that the whole gay bashing thing by the left hasn't worked (though, it is still continuing), the Left is pushing the "gannon wasn't a journalist" angle. He links to an interesting story regarding how many of the White House press corps view this "controversy."

Let's face it: the Left has nothing else. No one is really listening, and even Big Media has been ignoring them as of late. Leftist web sites such as the Democratic underground and the Daily Kos serve mostly to feed each other, not be opinion changers for the middle of the road folks, while we see the Right side reaching out to not only the base, but to those whose minds can be changed. Heck, I am one of those people. I'll admit it. I voted for Clinton's 2nd term and for Gore. I will vote for who I see as the best candidate at the time, after carefull consideration. There is no possible way this shat-slinging from the Left would persuade me to vote Dem. I may never vote for a Dem ever again, the way they are going, no matter how good the candidate.

But, I digress. The Left's fixation on the the Gannon/Guckert issue has plainly become their own little heroin habit. It is their hunt for the Snark. They have not only forced Gannon/Guckert to no longer cover the WH, he no longer works for Talon News. All because he asked some pro-conservative questions, then someone found his link to gay porn. Just remember, it's not about the sex, though. It's about.....what is it about? Oh, yes, I forgot, it is the "scalp hunting" that the blogosphere was accused of.

There is a monumental difference between Rathergate and the Eason Jordan affair. Essentially, there were damaging facts involved. The Right side of the blogosphere (or, as I like to call it, the SBM, spine biting media) saw issues, and called Rather and Jordan, 2 high profile media figures, on them. The pontificated and obstructed, which led to their own destruction. A humble apology when they were called out, and Rather might not be retiring, and Jordan would still have a job with CNN.

Gannon/Guckert was a minor player at a minor internet only paper. He did nothing wrong professionally to deserve the attention that he is recieving, accept that he became the scape goat for the Left to somehow attack Bush and Co. They Left has even made claims that he is the link between the WH and whoever outed Valerie Plame. Yet, there has been zero proof produced, just the standard Leftist conspiracy.

By what right does the Left have to involve Gannon's non-journalistic life into the mix with such venom? When Kerry picked Edwards as his running mate, it was truly a very small minority that made any more then fun of the pictures of Kedwards touching and hugging all the time. It was funny. It was amusing. It was silly. What is happening now to Gannon/Guckert is disturbing. No matter what one's opinion of homosexuality, Guckert is an American and a human being. He is a pawn for use by the Left. We know were the Left is truly headed these days, which is why I used this particular category that LMA had in her list ["Highway to Hell." --Ed.]. She may have meant it for other things, but I think it fits the Left very well these days.

Posted by William Teach at 01:31 PM | Comments (4)

Testosterone, or something

For those who haven't seen the video of the train hitting the strawberry truck (there is a Captain Queeg joke there somewhere) in Oxnard last week, go here. Link is middle right. Next stop was the underwear section at Target.

Every guy out there who had a train set as a child (or now), has tried this. Nothing more male then destroying our toys.

Posted by William Teach at 09:25 AM | Comments (4)

Women Are Wonderful: marry one NOW

On the heels of the previous post, here is a wake up call, guys (especially since it is 6:30 on the West Coast)

Turns out Sweet was close to the mark on its old pop hit Love Is Like Oxygen. Some may recall the song's hook: ``Love is like oxygen / Not enough and you're gonna die.''

Positive marital relations translated into lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The lower the cortisol, the faster compounds are delivered to a wound to kick-start the healing process. A correlated study of older married couples - married an average of 42 years - found lower cortisol levels helped reduce the risk of infectious diseases and perhaps cancer.

''Men get a lot more out of marriage than women do in terms of an extra boost,'' Kiecolt-Glaser said. ``This is probably because women have broader social support networks. For men, the wife is the major confidante and if they are not married many may not have a confidante.''

Sounds good. If you are single, propose right now. If married, give her a kiss and thank her. Make something low fat for breakfast, though:

Married men are more likely to become obese than never-wed or previously married men, a 1997 Cornell University study found. This, naturally, could compromise the health boost that marriage provides, the report said.

That's ok, you can take some nice walks together.

Posted by William Teach at 06:46 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2005

One for the lovely ladies

From Free Republic via Michelle Malkin:

LONDON - A woman who keeps quiet during an argument with her husband is four times more likely to die from heart disease and other causes, according to a study published in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal.

Researchers believe women who argue with their husbands are warding off heart disease and other causes of death...

To the scurvy dogs out there, hey, I be just reporting this tid bit. Ye may thank me later.

Posted by William Teach at 03:18 PM | Comments (6)

Bloggers as Legit Journalists?

Very Interesting:

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation on Wednesday to achieve meaningful reforms to federal government information laws, most notably the Freedom of Information Act of 1966 (FOIA). The Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act of 2005 (OPEN Government Act) is aimed at substantially enhancing and expanding the accessibility, accountability, and openness of the federal government. U.S. Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee’s senior Democrat, is the bill’s co-sponsor.

Importantly for bloggers, the Cornyn-Leahy legislation grants privileged FOIA fees for bloggers and writers for Internet outlets, providing the same status as old media and will protect access to FOIA fee waivers for legitimate journalists, regardless of institutional association - including bloggers and other Internet-based journalists.

If this passes, will bloggers be spine biters to the MSM, instead of ankle biters?

Posted by William Teach at 10:07 AM | Comments (2)

Caption Time

kerrydean.jpg

Linked to the Outside the Beltway Caption Contest

Posted by William Teach at 05:38 AM | Comments (18)

February 18, 2005

The Decline of Liberalism

Via The New Republic (free registration req'd), is an article about the decline of Liberalism:

Ask yourself: Who is a truly influential liberal mind in our culture? Whose ideas challenge and whose ideals inspire? Whose books and articles are read and passed around? There's no one, really. What's left is the laundry list: the catalogue of programs (some dubious, some not) that Republicans aren't funding, and the blogs, with their daily panic dose about how the Bush administration is ruining the country.

Posted by William Teach at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

Ahoy There!

When LMA asked me to guest blog, the prospect was a little daunting. How to connect? Hmmm. Well, one of the interesting things I have thought about recently, via MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, is the circles that we in the Blogosphere run in. We all tend to hit the big folks, Right Wing News, Powerline, Instapundit, Captain's Quarters, etc. But it is the small fry, Large Mammal and under, along with the readers, who really make the whole thing work. I hope everyone will indulge me a bit.

We all get some interesting overlap. For instance, I live in North Carolina, but I probably have about the same amount of NC bloggers on my roll as I do Bear Flag League folks. As well as from all over the country, and a few international.

That being said, let's take a look at one of the others Bear Flag League members, Byron from Slings and Arrows, who has an interesting excerpt from The Opinion Journal:

In his new role as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Dean has stressed that Democrats are stronger than Republicans on defense.

"Defense is a lot broader than swaggering around saying you're going to kick Saddam's butt," Dean said Thursday, drawing cheers from the crowd in this city that overwhelmingly voted Democratic last November.

It's not clear how this shows that "Democrats are stronger than Republicans on defense." After all, "swaggering around saying you're going to kick Saddam's butt" was precisely the policy of the last Democratic administration. The current Republican administration actually kicked his butt and even took down names. That strikes us as a pretty broad policy.

And from my NC blog buddy Ogre, we have a story about how Some Freedom Remains regarding the Christians who were arrested in Philly awhile ago for peacefully protesting.

Posted by William Teach at 04:10 PM | Comments (2)

So, William Teach

. . . from Pirate's Cove will keep the home fires burning here for the next 3-4 days as I head out of town until Monday (or possibly Tuesday, to avoid holiday traffic).

He's holding down the weekend, so if there is a gap it'll be on Monday. You'll all live: just check out my blogroll, which has some fine readin'. Or you could hang out at Jeff's, or Jeff's. But before you resort to any of that, click on my advertiser's banners: Photon Courier is the master of the short, brilliant essay on economic trends and management philosophy (along with about ten other interesting subjects), and Wizbang! is . . . Wizbang! He should be a daily stop for you, you know. They both should.

I'll be able to post once or twice if my mother's getting along with technology these days. I won't if she isn't.

William will probably bring a little necessary testosterone to the place, as that other eminent pirate did for Ith, when he guest-blogged at Absinthe and Cookies a few months back.

Now, you all be good, and don't do anything I wouldn't do. (Or, you know—if you do, post pix.)

Posted by Attila at 07:14 AM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2005

DIY Religion

This is a very interesting model for a Catholic Parish.


Via the little elf-man.

Posted by Attila at 12:58 PM | Comments (3)

Noonan

. . . discusses blogging with grace, insight, and that increasingly annoying sentence repetition that she should consider giving up on as a rhetorical device.

(Via Goldstein.)

Posted by Attila at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

Hot Rod Science Fiction

. . . from Iowahawk. Some of the characters sound familiar, but I just can't be sure . . .

It's about a town full of hormone-infused teenagers who find their burg overcome by a very large blob, um, blog.

Sobering tale.

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

I Just Walked Away

. . . from an argument over at Dean Esmay's site with two guys named Kevin and Michael that started with a discussion of Alan Keyes' family life and mutated into debates on:

• Parents' obligations to their adult children.
• Whether the term "colored" is offensive.
• Whether homosexuals can really "love" each other as much as heterosexuals do. (I really got drawn into that?—can you imagine? Next, I'll be debating my stuffed Stoney the Bear doll about Marxist dialectic.)
• Whether adoptive parents can love their children as much as biological parents do. Naturally, at this point—being on the verge of adopting—I felt myself about to blow a gasket and withdrew from the discussion.

Anyone who wants to take on the Christian Taliban over there, be my guest.

In the meantime I'm left to reflect on my passion as a potential mother. So far, I've experienced the echoes of this in terms of being an aunt. As I mentioned over at Dean's site, I'm very protective of my nieces and nephews, and if anyone messed with them they would be very likely to look like Swiss Cheese afterward (depending on the ordnance used). But there's a kind of defensive anger there. What scares me is what I turn into when the anger, the defensive emotion, is removed and only the ruthlessness remains. There's a whole new level once I attain parenthood.

My husband had oral surgery once and I had to convey him home afterward. We stopped at the drugstore on the way for his medications, and there was a line at the pharmacy. I became charming, and engaging, and spoke with the clerk, and the pharmacist, explaining that my husband was post-op and dozing in the car and it would be terrific if they could get me his medications as soon as possible. I was not cranky, which is what normally happens when I experience delays. I worked sweetly with the employees at the drugstore, and I went out to check on my husband in the passenger seat of my Saturn a couple of times. And if it would have helped I would have taken a hatchet to the back of the counter girl's head. With a smile on my face. I was going to get the drugs for my husband, and get him home to bed in the shortest period of time possible. By whatever means necessary, and with no rancor at all.

"Swell," I thought. "I can teach my child how to be a cheerful sociopath." I'm hoping, of course, that my morals will come back, but later that day I thought of those fierce-yet-calm feelings of protectiveness and my blood ran cold. "That's what I'll be like as a full-time mom. Holy shit."


They say black bears are only dangerous if you stray close to the spot where one has hidden its food, or if you unwittingly get too close to a momma bear's cubs. And when the momma bear sees that and puts you down for good, she does it without getting mad at you.

It's just business.

Posted by Attila at 01:17 AM | Comments (1)

February 16, 2005

There Are More Things in Heaven and Earth,

Horatio, than are dreamt of in your blogging stereotypes.

Via Jeff of Beautiful Atrocities.

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

February 15, 2005

What Happens in Davos, Stays in Davos

Iowahawk scored the transcript of Eason Jordan's remarks! Now there's some CITIZEN JOURNALISM! As Goldstein would say, GIVE THE MAN SOME PIE!

Posted by Attila at 02:54 AM | Comments (0)

Now THIS

. . . is sexual McCarthyism.

Do the lefties really want to be the party of gay-bashing? Do they really want White House reporters to clear some kind of "morals" background check before being admitted to the West Wing?

They need to get out of people's bedrooms, and out of the witch-hunt business. This whole Jeff Gannon affair is just nauseating. Let people's pasts remain so.

Posted by Attila at 02:34 AM | Comments (18)

February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

Via reader Daniel, this— which is salacious and depressing at the same time.

It reminds me of a line from the 1970s movie Outrageous!, in which Craig Russell played a hairdresser whose upper-crust female clients prattle at him about renovating their houses.

He remarks to a friend of his, "they should renovate their shitty little lives."

How lovely to be in a marriage that includes—15 years after my husband and I started going out—tickle fights.

And, if I'm ever murdered please let the cops know that those thumb-size bruises that occasionally appear on my thighs are from martial arts sparring with the husband, and it's all playful stuff.

And that I'm a lucky, lucky woman.

Posted by Attila at 10:57 PM | Comments (3)

Modems, Trains, and Automobiles

As most of you know, I'm the one libertarian in the country who still believes rail transit could work in the Southwest, even in Los Angeles—provided it's handled in a smart way. (Mostly, of course, it has not been.) For instance, there should be a high-speed train running between L.A. and Las Vegas, and probably one running to SF or the East Bay. I happen to like to drive to those places, but for most people it's a chore, and a bullet train would be a lot more convenient for most. (Particularly the drinkers going to Sin City.)

Daily commutes are harder to handle, but I like staggering people's arrival times, so that some get to the office early, and others get there late. This helps ease up on traffic, and wastes less fuel from the stop-and-go effect. But VariFrank's idea of getting more people—a lot more people—to telecommute is pretty brilliant. My first thought is, can most people create an office in their homes? I realize that of course they can, even if it's even in a corner. A lot of homes I know have a "junk room" that its occupants would gladly clear out if it were going to save them ten hours a week that they could then use for anything they wanted.

Via Glenn, who has a few thoughts of his own on how to approach energy policy without turning it into a moralistic crusade and sounding like a bunch of Sunday school teachers. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by Attila at 12:14 PM | Comments (4)

February 13, 2005

That Awful Deficit

Cassandra uses information gleaned from the EconoPundit to place the current U.S. debt level in historical perspective. Three charts demonstrate 1) this country is far from its peak debt level, in terms of real dollars (that peak occurred in 1946), and 2) there are other Western countries carrying more debt than we do. Furthermore, 3) our debts are more "collateralized," in that enormous swaths of the U.S. are owned by the Federal government.

For the short version of the story, go to Cassandra's blog (first link above). For the same charts plus some fascinating insights (including an interesting comparison of China now to Japan in the 1990s) go to the EconoPundit link.


Via Beautiful Atrocities.

Posted by Attila at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2005

BoiFromTroy

. . . has a new advertiser whose promos essentially amount to softcore porn. So I'll have to go back there after dinner and be scandalized all over again.

Wait: go through the Boi's site. That way he gets the credit when you click through. Upper right, not that you'll have trouble spotting it, and there are cute female models, too (there's a "just us girls" spinoff line). Something for everyone.

Posted by Attila at 06:57 PM | Comments (7)

Over at Wizbang!

Jay Tea just published another "Winter Driving Tip." Here is mine:

When deciding where to live, look around for one of the following three objects:

1) palm trees;
2) cacti;
3) Joshua trees.

If you don't see any of these items in the landscape, do not move into the area.

UPDATE: This entry is in my "Extreme Weather" topic category, because to me extreme weather means anything below 55 degrees, or above 105. Or if it rains, of course: that's extreme.

Posted by Attila at 06:42 PM | Comments (4)

Replacing "Blogosphere."

Leopold Stotch thinks we should replace it with something a bit less lame, and is taking suggestions. I agree that it doesn't get dorkier than blogosphere, but no one at Outside the Beltway seems to be doing any better. Go have a shot at it, though: there's got to be something we can call this community/phenomenon that doesn't make us sound nerdier than we already are.

Posted by Attila at 06:27 PM | Comments (6)

Oh, Thank God.

I thought I was losing my mind, but it's only early menopause sending my hormones out of whack again, without any regard for the calendar whatsoever. So I'm losing my purely theoretical fertility along with my looks—but my juicy little brain is intact.

I just want to buy the world a big bouquet of roses, just in time for . . . what are we supposedly celebrating this weekend? [I'm afraid I never was much of a girlie girl in most senses. But I look like one, and I do make a mean omelette, which seems to make all the difference to my spouse.]

Posted by Attila at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

Media vs. Academia: How They Will Change

Yes, I think it's good that Eason Jordan quit. No, I don't think Ward Churchill should follow on the basis of his inflammatory statements (the charges of sloppy scholarship are another matter entirely).

Academia and journalism are very different arenas. Both should depend upon facts, but in the case of academia it's really paramount that scholars feel free to say provocative things.

If you're part of a mainstream news outlet like CNN (on the left) or Fox (on the right), there should be a greater sense of responsibility: the line between information and propaganda can be very fine.

Both the mainstream media (other than Fox) and academia (other than Texas A&M) tend to tilt left, and the solution to that is not to fire the lefties, but for these institutions to begin hiring some bright people who do believe in capitalism, who do think America has done some extraordinarily positive things in its short history, who do believe it's okay for for people of faith to publicly express it, and who don't necessarily think government is the only implement in the toolbox of social progress.

In the media, the pendulum is moving to the center very slowly, forced by 1) market changes (as the viewing public rejects traditional left-leaning sources or balances those sources with Fox, The Wall Street Journal, or the right side of the blogosphere); and 2) pressure from blogs when a particularly egregious example of disinformation occurs (Dan Rather airing obvious forgeries, Eason Jordan making outrageous statements about the U.S. targeting journalists).

In academia it'll be harder, because there isn't a market in the conventional sense: it's not as if those who voted for Bush are going to keep their kids from going to college to protest the death-grip moonbats have on higher learning. Change will come slowly and painfully, pushed by people like David Horowitz and the amazing Evan Coyne Maloney.

It's a more entrenched culture, and one that's much less transparent to its consumers, who are in many cases impressionable kids. They may not always understand that they are being fed lefty propaganda, and in many cases they will be delighted if they can grab a shocking idea here and there that might rattle their parents' cages.

And so the wheel turns slowly.

[Dr. Neuron: feel free to comment, though of course I'm discussing the humanities more than science, here.]

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

My Advertising Policy

No, it's not true that I only accept ads from guys whose first name is "Kevin." (Looking at my sidebar, I'm seeing Wizbang! and McGehee right now, so I thought I should make it clear that I do not discriminate on the basis of first names.)

Posted by Attila at 10:37 AM | Comments (3)

Gerard Lays Down the Law.

In rhyme.

Guidelines for navigating this crazy old world of bloggy blogossitude.

Extra points if you can figure out exactly which poem he's parodying.

Posted by Attila at 01:49 AM | Comments (1)

February 11, 2005

My Unofficial Decorator

. . . came by today. Fortunately (and, unfortunately, for my blogging endeavors and my sleep life) he had tons of ideas, many of which will require little or no money to be implemented.

Consequently, I'm on the hot seat again. I have a bunch of actions that need to be taken over the next several days. Some of them may even require me to change out of my bathrobe, which I hate.

The husband and I still don't know whether we will be able to hang onto the house, so it isn't clear whether we're fixing it up to enjoy or to sell. But for most purposes it doesn't matter: a lot of the actions are going to be the same.

In the meantime, I guess I'll tidy things up. After I have a nap.

It occurs to me that I come from a family that believes in making omelettes without breaking eggs. We are supposed to accomplish great things, but without using any resources whatsoever. And without letting go of anything, even the ugly valances over the drapes in the living room.

Two generations later, the Great Depression is still inside my family's psychic body, like a cancer. We should all get together for some kind of mass chemotherapy.

"I'm afraid of color for the wall," I tell my paint-specialist friend. "What if I'm wrong?" (Keep in mind that one of my sidelines is designing business cards, ads and brochures for businesses, so I'm fine with colored ink.)

"If you're wrong, you re-paint the wall," he replies.

No, no, no. In my family, if you do something wrong, you don't correct it. You can't correct it. That's $40 worth of paint that's gone forever.

No wonder we never finish anything. No completion means less self-flagellation.

Gotta go now: first the nap. Then I shoot my parents. Later, I tear down the valances.

Posted by Attila at 12:00 PM | Comments (4)

I Spent Yesterday

. . . cleaning a friend's house for $50. It's a good workout, though it takes a day for my respiratory system to recuperate from breathing in that much dust, and it's not particularly good for my hands.

I'm still trying to think of other ways to generate revenue, and I've had some great ideas. The trick is to find the ones that don't require initial capital investments.

The money is out there; I just have to find it.

Posted by Attila at 10:13 AM | Comments (9)

February 10, 2005

Re: North Korea's Shocking News

Goldstein gives us "Nine OTHER Chest-Thumping Announcements North Korea is Set to Make This Week," including:

In 1975, a North Korean 4-year old named Jin-ho defeated both Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in a best of seven chess match. Jin-ho then returned to her family’s farm, where she helped plant rice and weave baskets.

So get on over there; it's good stuff.

Posted by Attila at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

Suddenly, We're Talking About Sex Again*

And I wonder what it says about you people: you seem obsessed. I'm not sure it's healthy. Sex, sex, sex. You should take long walks or cold showers or something.

My husband and I, like all good Republicans, take T'ai Chi. On Wednesdays, we are in sequential classes. Last night I ran out of the house in a hurry, and wasn't wearing my wedding ring when I showed up at the site where we meet to get our Chi on. And there was the Overly Friendly Guy, being Overly Friendly, as usual. I've never been able to figure out what the deal is with the OFG: whether he's attracted to me, or just doesn't have the social skills to speak naturally. I can't figure out whether he has Asberger's syndrome, mild mental retardation, a slight case of autism, or is just an engineer.

But it's awkward. If I knew for sure that he'd figured out I'm married, I could make myself be nice to him. I really could. But he's friendly to me in a way he isn't to any of the other women (or men, for that matter) in our particular group, and I find myself being just a little bit cold to him, just in case. Then, of course, I feel guilty. What if he does have Asberger's, and I'm being unkind? The memories come flooding back about what it was like at 12 and 13 to have breasts suddenly appear on my body, and the slight inkling that all the men who suddenly started striking up conversations with me at bus stops might just be trying to pick me up—but no way to be sure.

Last night I'm wearing a favorite T-shirt: one of those that appears to be made from fabric with old writing on it that describes a once-premium commodity (in this case, indigo dye). The graphics are muted, and the writing isn't necessarily legible to someone who isn't right on top of my tits. The effect is supposed to be something like a seventeenth-century ad, made into a fabric—and then a shirt.

"What does your shirt say?" asks the overly friendly guy.

"It's about old dying materials," I tell him, and then turn to one of the women. "Can you read my boob, here, or is the writing too small?"

"It's a little too small," she remarks, and we laugh in a friendly way. Situation de-fused, thank goodness.

The beginner's class ends, and my husband shows up for the advanced class. We say hi to each other. "Kiss me," I tell him under my breath, and he does, though we rarely engage in PDAs at Chi central.

"Was that for someone else's benefit?" he asks.

"Yes. But I could be wrong," I tell him. "You know what an egotist I am."

"I know."


* The title is adapted from a James Thurber story, one of his cute pieces set in a bar. Entitled "Midnight at Tim's Place," it contains the line: Suddenly, we all had another drink.

I've always loved that story, and I can actually recite most of it aloud. Scary.

Posted by Attila at 09:45 AM | Comments (14)

February 09, 2005

Would Someone Let Me Know

. . . when Goldstein's site is back up again? I'm Jonesing.

UPDATE: Back up, though I'm still have to endure several seconds of that "maintenance screen" before the real blog comes up on occasion. However, all's well that ends well.

Posted by Attila at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

Classic Council Winners

Forgot to post these a few weeks ago, and they are all sound blog entries. The entire set of results from that vote are here. Check out the best of the best:

Council Winner/Runners Up:

WMD and Death By Chocolate Cake, by Dr. Sanity

Ted Kennedy’s Contract on Your Paycheck, at The Sundries Shack

Disaster and the Existence of a "Just" God, at Wallo World

Democrat for a Day, by The SmarterCop

 
Non-Council Winner/Runners Up:

Welcome Neighbor!
Varifrank uses a nice law-enforcement analogy to discuss elements in the Iraqi War.

In Aiding and Abetting the Enemy, Blackfive quotes a Lt. Col. who discusses the "help" given by the media.

Diggers Realm gives the Immigration Firsters some red meat in Illegal Aliens and Immigration Reform Report #4.

John Hawkins is a virtual valium in There's No Need To Get Worried About Black Blog Ops.


 

Posted by Attila at 01:04 AM | Comments (3)

February 08, 2005

It Wasn't Linda Lovelace?

CalTechGirl is making book on the true identity of Deep Throat, which we are apparently about to find out.

I love a good mystery, and CTG has links to some of the juiciest speculation.

Unfortunately, we have the "unfair advantage" of knowing that one of the reasons we're about to find out is that DT is very ill right now, so that gives us another angle to look at. Almost ruins the puzzle. Almost.

Posted by Attila at 02:39 PM | Comments (4)

Walk with an Erection

This is an interesting model of masculine vs. feminine walks. I believe most people I know, to the degree that their walks are gender-differentiated at all, are just to either side of the "neutral" model.

But it's an interesting thing to observe tiny points of light that stand in for joints, because one has so little information about what this theoretical "human" looks like: it's all in the movements.

Check it out.

Via the Dr. Mengele of the rat world.

Posted by Attila at 02:28 PM | Comments (3)

February 07, 2005

Mudwrestling: Crime Against Humanity

The fact that a couple of female MPs engaged in some mud-wrestling at an Army Detention Center in Iraq isn't too shocking. Young people like to party hard, and cops party even harder.

As long as the women—and the men cheering them on—were off-duty, and provided none of the prisoners witnessed the event, I'm not so sure this was an awful, awful thing.

Kids are at the mercy of their hormones sometimes, and need to blow off steam. This was a way to do so relatively harmlessly.

Posted by Attila at 12:17 PM | Comments (4)

February 06, 2005

Professor Purkinje

Describes the act of skimming my blog, trying to find updates on my life, or interesting observations. Or (one supposes) political essays that will make him mad. Or, whatever—something, anything!—that doesn't have to do with the blogging world.

"In joke, in joke, in joke [mimics the actions of fingers scrolling on a Mac laptop's touchpad]; fuck off, fuck off, fuck off."

Here's a thought: if you quit your job, sold your children, divorced your wife, burned your book manuscript, and just lived like a normal person, you could spend 8-12 hours a day online, and you'd get every single joke on the "blogosphere."

Some people just don't want to make any sacrifices. Always the easy options, ya know?

Start with Instapundit. He's a college prof too, and his entries are mercifully brief (unlike, say . . . mine).

"In jokes." Well, I never.

Posted by Attila at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)

I Really Hope

. . . that the "hard choices" Condi wants Israelis to make do not involve letting Palestinian murderers walk the streets again to kill more innocents.

I reassure myself that Rice is committed to Israel's continued existence, but I hope she's equally concerned for the safety of its citizens.

Posted by Attila at 03:41 PM | Comments (4)

Christmas

. . . is just like planning a wedding. Someone (generally the woman, if one's available) works her ass off, forfeits sleep, spends evey penny she owns, and sacrifices endlessly so a bunch of other people can have a good time.

But all the while, the woman is supposed to pretend that this is all really fun, and that there's nothing grander than busting one's ass for other people. "Hi, I've been up all night. Isn't it GLORIOUS?"

The saying, of course, with respect to weddings, is "the wedding is for your friends and relatives. The marriage is for you." Well, you know: half of it, anyway.

To be fair, I had almost no help when I got married. I understand that often the bridesmaids help out with various tasks. My bridesmaids could barely be bothered to show up for the fitting of the dresses they complained about endlessly, but didn't help to pick out.


Naturally, I'm frightened about the child or children: I know this will be a life-changing experience. I know it will be a lot of hard work. I just don't know if I'll end up feeling used, or taken for granted. I just don't want it to be like all the other projects I've worked hard on for essentially no payoff. (The assumption out there being that women simply like to work really hard to make other people happy, so the act itself is its own reward.)

What they tell me is that kids are so wonderful that it's terrific to have them around (once you're past babyhood and the terrible twos). They say it's different. They say the work is grueling, but at the end of the day you don't really mind.

Can I get some of that in writing?

UPDATE: Attila the Hub takes me to brunch and mentions that he's read my blog. ("Why are you reading my blog," I want to ask. "That's my secret diary, where I file away things that I only want the entire universe to know." I think better of it.)

"Are you angry?" he asks.

"Of course not," I respond, souding like a six-year old, only a bit less mature. And, of course, the six-year-old would have the wit to explain that it's only her imaginary friend, Binky, who had periodically resented the division of labor in the household. I'm fine, but Binky is concerned that she doesn't get stuck making dinner every single night, because it's hard to cook when you're an invisible person.

On the way home I come clean and discuss my fears about the responsibilities of childraising, and we have a good discussion.

But honestly. Can you imagine trying to live with me? He has the patience of a saint.

Posted by Attila at 03:10 AM | Comments (14)

February 04, 2005

Speaking of Fascion

Jeff-in-Oakland has another photoshop over at Beautiful Atrocities that suggests something about the homoerotic undertones in Islamist culture. But, you know—delicately.

(Oh, come on, boys and girls: we're talking about guys who shave each other's bodies. Anne Rice's vampires do a lot less.)

Posted by Attila at 10:42 PM | Comments (1)

February 03, 2005

The Blogosphere is a Crazy Place.

Where children can be surprisingly mature, and supposed "adults" often act like kids.

"Stole an Instalanche"? WTF?

Should Austin ever start another blog in the future, I'll link to him right away, and put him on my blogroll.

And I don't expect to ever link Matt in my life. I most certainly won't ever link Jordan, whose behavior was egregious and unacceptable.

Remember the old saw about how you can judge a man's character by how he treats women? That comes from an earlier time, when women were bound by laws and conventions and less able to fend for themselves. It had to do with the notion that the way we treat those who are vulnerable shows who we are. It most certainly applies to the way any adult behaves toward the underaged.


I FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS THROUGH PROTEIN WISDOM, RUN BY JEFF GOLDSTEIN. HIS WEB PAGE IS HERE. (Go. He's selling "Free Austin" T-shirts!)

Posted by Attila at 03:12 PM | Comments (8)

But Seriously . . .

Can't we handle this in a different way? In this day and age, it seems profoundly unwise to plan an event that places, in one building:

The President of the United States;
His entire cabinet;
The Vice President, and the Speaker of the House.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff;
The entire Supreme Court
and both chambers of the legislature.

All it would take would be one very successful strike, and AQ could knock out our government more effectively than they planned to do on 9/11.

There would be no one left to rebuild the rest: we'd have to elect new everything from scratch. It makes no sense. It's unwise.

Posted by Attila at 02:11 AM | Comments (10)

For Some Reason

John Kerry didn't seem to be in the greatest mood. Wonder why.

Posted by Attila at 01:50 AM | Comments (1)

Dick Cheney

. . . really hates this shit. I think that to him the public part of his job is the most burdensome. He's like a mirror-image of the average VP: he is an actual advisor and helper to the President, but he dispises the ceremonial aspect of his job.

He's not just the classic VP who sits around and waits for the President to die.

Posted by Attila at 01:46 AM | Comments (1)

It Must Be Admitted

. . . that the boy has learned to speak in public. He kept that smirk on a short leash, and almost never stumbled over his words.

And he dug it when people yelled "no" while he made assertions about Social Security; he couldn't hide that. He likes conflict. He enjoys this process because he's pretty sure he's going to win the fight.

For an illiterate business major, he has big brass balls; they've got to clank when he walks.

And if you have any sympathy for his goals, it's hard not to like him.

Okay. I'm going to forgive the O'Shaughnessy incident. Let's never speak of it again.

Posted by Attila at 01:41 AM | Comments (1)

Okay. I'm Over It.

I mean, this is what you get when you vote a business major in as President of the United States. Mangled references from famous poems.

I'm all better now, really.

Where the fuck, by the way, were his speechwriters? Did none of them major in English?

Where were the fact-checkers? Drunk again?

Anyone in the West Wing have a bookcase in their office?

I'll be fine, though, really.

Posted by Attila at 01:31 AM | Comments (0)

FDR Didn't Write This Poem

Ode

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man, with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

—Arthur O'Shaughnessy
(who was not Franklin Roosevelt at any time)

I guess it's too late to take my vote back, huh?

Posted by Attila at 01:16 AM | Comments (1)

February 02, 2005

The CITIZEN JOURNALIST

. . . has filed another report.

No word yet on whether he's actually read Blog! yet.

Posted by Attila at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

Fabulous Captions, and a Great Pic

. . . of Condi over at Cassandra's place.

Don't miss this one. Our future CIC so rarely loses her temper that it's nice to see her in a "take no shit" mood.

No one has ever laid a glove on that woman. Not at the 9/11 Commission hearings, not during the confirmation hearings. Not ever.

Posted by Attila at 02:21 PM | Comments (1)

Michele

. . . has the best side-by-side comparison of the "captured American" with the Cody action figure doll that was used to create it.

Quinton has the best roundup.

Apparently, the whole affair is already on Snopes, but the UK's Guardian is still cluelessly running the story about our guy held hostage by the jihadis.

The weird thing is that the MSM went with this. Don't they have people who can look at a picture and gauge its general authenticity? This is reminiscent of the RatherGate memo affair, in that there are a lot of details that are wrong, but beyond that the whole look is wrong: if nothing else, the head and the body are out of proportion to each other, and the face looks distorted, not quite human. (Just as there were dozens of problems with the RatherGate memos, but they were simply bogus as first glance: typed documents from the 1970s look different than MS Word documents from the 1990s/2000s, and these papers were clearly computer-generated. I would have found that whole affair forgiveable if the memos had been created using Courier, or some other typewriter-simulation font. But they were not.)

The only available conclusion: the MSM is, as a group, less intelligent than my old hiking boots.

My only question: did those who created this image make a tiny little banner to go behind Cody, or was that photoshopped in later?

soldier_held.jpg

Fortunately, in this case if the Islamofascists take his head off, it can be popped right back into place. I love happy endings.

UPDATE: Scrappleface tells the heroic story of how the doll hostage was rescued.

Posted by Attila at 10:22 AM | Comments (6)

60,000

Within a few days. Pretty good, for a small-time blog.

And my traffic is up again, which probably means that I need to keep you guys entertained.

"Honey, would you feed the blog?" (Nope. It don't work like that.)

Posted by Attila at 09:24 AM | Comments (2)

Women in Film

Govindini Murty has an interesting post up about the paucity of good roles for women in the current incarnation of Hollywood. For those who don't know, Murty and her husband, Jason Apuzzo, are the movers and shakers behind the Liberty Film Festival, last October's celebration of conservative and libertarian cinema. The event was an enormous success, and Murty/Apuzzo have now started a blog that will discuss film and "the industry" from a conservative point of view.

This issue of roles for female actors is one that Murty discussed at the flim festival itself, and I remember having mixed emotions about her central thesis: that there is something intrinsically degrading about a woman taking her clothes off, or having to utter four-letter words—probably due to the fact that I take my clothes off and utter four-letter words every day. Of course, Murty is a real conservative, and I'm a libertarian warblogger. (And in the wake of Bush's electoral victory and the elections in Iraq, we will see debate heat up between the two wings of the GOP that we represent; this is as it should be. No problem, as long as we are all respectful.)

The larger point, of course, is dead-on: good roles for women are becoming rare, particularly for an actress who doesn't care to engage in gratuitous sexual scenes. And the "interesting" roles are very often only so because they run completely perpendicular to the traditional values of this country: certainly there's a huge market out there for stories about women that are life-affirming, and that reflect the variety of human experience.

Would I call the current situation "misogynistic"? Probably not. But there's a huge market segment that's being underserved: it's possible to make stories about strong women that do not have to be ghetto-ized into "chick flick" status. To take an extreme example, Alien and Aliens were very successful in showing a strong woman character without fundamentally denying Ripley's femininity: in Aliens, her entire motivation for needing to destroy the mother-alien reflects her role as a surrogate mother to the child Newt and a desire to protect the families in the colony. She fights fiercely precisely because she is a woman.

No one wants to take women back to the June Cleaver model, but there is a wide world out there between the stereotypical notions we have of traditional women's passivity and the types of images we are getting now (outside of some very creative movies for children that we should be thankful for). There are stories to be told that a lot of people would like to see: some of them even live on the coasts!

Time to explore, boys and girls: there's money to be made.

Posted by Attila at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

Frank J.

. . . . explains how the Iraqi elections prove he's always been right about everything. (Note to self: must speak to his siblings regarding this assertion.)

Posted by Attila at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

For Those of You Who Wondered

. . . what Michael Moore was going to tackle next, there is the tantalizing possibility that it's the Blogosphere. I don't have the impression that he knows the lay of the land, or that he has any idea what he's up against.

So it would be really fun to watch, if indeed that were his plan. Sadly, I have my doubts.

Posted by Attila at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2005

Why We Fight

. . . and Why We Write.

Mike at Cold Fury sums up the case for the war in Iraq. He doesn't baby the opposition, though: if you're one of my lefty readers, you'll have to be in the mood for something bracing if you go there.

Hat tip: Andrea Harris, who is always bracing.

Posted by Attila at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

Once a Marine

Don Danz tells the story of Sgt. Rafael Peralta of the USMC, who was mortally wounded in the fight over Fallujah, yet managed in one last heroic act to save four other nearby Marines.

In compiling photos of Sgt. Peralta from his personal life, Don underscores the significance of this fine young man's actions. He was a credit to the Corps.

If you are a Catholic—or belong to another sect that remembers the dead in a special way—say a prayer for him.

If you aren't, do it anyway. And tell me how it feels.

Posted by Attila at 08:44 PM | Comments (0)

Laurence!

A graven image is a graven image, man. Pull yourself together.

And stop eating that bacon, or at least substitute turkey bacon, which might even be healthier.

Posted by Attila at 01:15 AM | Comments (0)

Finally Found One I Like

I51156-2005Jan31.jpg

Of course, the very best one is over at Treacher's place. I even saw that same pic in its original habitat, but somehow wasn't able to copy it onto my hard drive; very annoying. (I guess I could steal it from Treacher, but that would be wraaaawng.)

The point is, we deserve lovely images about this pivotal moment in middle-eastern history. One we helped bring about. Cherish them.

Posted by Attila at 01:00 AM | Comments (5)


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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This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings


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See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
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Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

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ENERGY RESOURCES:
• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"



MOVIES & TELEVISION:
Criticism—
• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John
Sullivan)

Real Indie Production
and Distibution
Companies—

• Moving Picture Institute


THE SAGA OF LIFE IN
THE R.H. HYMERS, JR., CULT:

• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


THE LITTLE MISS
ATTILA SAMPLER:


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Heterosexual
Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
Freakazoid!
—the Commentary
Freakazoid!
DVD

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other



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"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
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—Venomous Kate
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—Beth C
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—Ace of Spades
"Sexy."
—RightGirl
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—Suburban Blight

HAWT LYNX:

Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
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Cigar Jack

Science—
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Cognitive Daily

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Cars—
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SoCal News—
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Oh, Canada—
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Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Audio—
Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Shahrzaad
Money—
Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Sex—
Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're
legendary.)

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog

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