December 31, 2005

Dr. R. L. Hymers

. . . used to run a "Christian" cult in Los Angeles in the 1970s. It was a very odd phenomenon: a church whose doctrines aped those of classic mainstream Christian denominations—albeit with a sharp fundamentalist edge—yet operated for all intents and purposes like a cult. His "church" first called itself Maranatha Chapel, and then changed its name to Open Door Community Church, on the theory that this would give him and his "church elders" a quasi-mainstream aura. Later, I heard that he'd gone in the other direction, labelling his followers The Fundamentalist Army.

When I was in Hymers' cult it preyed on teenagers, and the lonely. His followers went door to door, flushing out those who might have any sort of emptiness in their lives, and offering human companionship at what probably looked like a real church. He rented houses and apartments under the church's name and let teenagers and twenty-somethings live in them dorm-style for very little in rent—paid weekly. It made it easy for these young people to leave their familes and practice the "total immersion" 24/7 approach to Church life that made it less likely that anyone—especially impressionable youths—would pull away. This brand of "Christianity" separated the individual from his or her work, family, studies, or other commitments. When I lived this life I was in a prayer meeting or Bible study every single night of the week. As the weekend began we had a large, rowdy prayer meeting on Friday night, followed by door-to-door prosylytizing on Saturday, and a marathon of services on Sunday: one on the Westside in the morning, one in Hollywood around noon, and one in Echo Park in the evening.

How did I pull away? you ask. I got mononucleosis. Without the indoctrination, I could see very clearly why this organization was an unsuitable place for me to spend my time and money at the age of 14.

Bob Hymers' preaching is a sort of Protestant pastiche; he loves to use stories about Martin Luther (though he never quotes the man's anti-Semitic rants, of course), the Wesleys, and John Calvin.

His style is simple, and that is deliberate: when his book UFOs and Bible Prophecy was published, he bragged to his congregation that it was written in the style of The National Enquirer. (I believe that was the first book, though he tossed off two or three of these glorified tracts in the two years I was in his "church.")

No matter the vocabulary he uses, that Bob Hymers egomania always shines through, as it does in this passage from the sermon linked above:

I realize that the Communist governments in China, Vietnam, and other places, filter out the message I preach on this website each Sunday in six languages. They say preaching like mine is dangerous to the Communist cause. And they are exactly right. Nothing is more dangerous to the security of an atheist state than the simple preaching of the gospel of Christ.

Note that the governments of China and Vietnam are not just blocking out Christianity: they are specifically blocking out Robert Leslie Hymers, because he is personally such a threat. I'm actually wondering how much Ronald Reagan or Pope John Paul II had to do with the dissolution of Communism in Eastern Europe: those advances were more likely achieved by a lunatic preaching fire-and-brimstone sermons in Southern California. A man with a little run-down crackpot web site. A man who operated a cult in what he cast as an effort to "take the L.A. Basin for Christ."

And his fun techniques for exploiting others have continued to the present day: there's the fact that when I was at UCLA, his group (by then called The Fundamentalist Army) would actually recruit during finals week, exploiting the emotional vulnerability of students during this stressful time.

There was his mid-80s appearance on The Wally George Show, including that moment when the two of them began laughing as old frauds do when the jig is finally up: whatever they were "debating" was cast aside, and it became clear that both of their lives were pure theatre.

And what watcher of dumbed-down quasi-religion can forget this incident many years later, in 2003?—

In Los Angeles, R.L. Hymers Jr., the pastor of the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle called on his 400 member congregation in a prayer for the death of Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennen, Jr. because he supports a woman's right to have an abortion. He also ordered up an airplane to circle overhead trailing the message "Pray for Death: Baby-Killer Brennen." "I think it may be that we're on the avant garde: we're doing something that others will do later," said pastor Hymers.

Bob Hymers' status as a former cult leader really doesn't show very much in his writing, or even his demeanor among some mainstream ministers: you must examine his actual methodology to understand his "contribution" to Christian culture. A cult is defined—to my way of thinking—not simply by its beliefs, but by actions such as going door-to-door in an effort to lure the lonely and disturbed into your flock; declaring that once someone has joined your particular church, they cannot be "saved" anywhere else; proclaiming that you alone can spot that special something that distinguishes the "saved'; by excommunicating people from your "church"(cult) and declaring that if they ever want to be "saved," they must go back through your own church—and no other.

You do it by maintaining a level of control over your followers' lives that would make Joseph Stalin take notes. (Yes: when I was in this group I was told how to dress.)

What I concluded from my experience with Hymers' cult is that when you evaluate someone's approach to faith, you mustn't simply listen to their words. You look at their deeds as well. Even a few years after I left the R.L. Hymers cult of the 1970s, I had a strange, narrow view of religion—one that would have appalled Jesus Christ. It did, in fact, appall Him when he saw a different version of it among the Jews of his day. Those that see religion as an external measure of a man. Those that proclaim their faith to the rooftops and yet are unable to show compassion toward a fellow human being.

This experience has left me with a deep distrust of those who speak fondly about "the Lord," or those who quote scripture excessively. I love my family members who share this brand of belief. I adore some other bloggers whose beliefs are passionate, and every bit as Biblical as any faux-fundamentalist's. Yet most of these people are clearly aware that the strongest witness anyone can make is through his or her actions—a fact that appears never to have crossed Dr. Hymers' mind. (If it did, he took two aspirin and went to bed early that night.)

Action lies in individual moments of faith and mercy and decency. In doing the work. And, very often, in having the courage to be happy.

What does this mean to me? Well. We are not all called to suffer. Some of us are called to show the power of God—and the power of love— by being a living witness to the world. Those who are called to suffer do it with grace.

And part of my witness, to the degree that I'm entitled to call myself Christian despite my doubts, my scientific upbringing, and my extreme vulgarity, is my ability to triumph over where I've come from.

If I can do this in a way that furthers my personal and spiritual growth, if I can continue to learn kindness and love for my fellow humans—and still slay the dragons in my own psyche where they crop up, I will have done my duty. Done it, I hope, with joy.

And the God I worship is the same God my Jewish friends worship (or at least, in most cases, have a nodding acquaintance with). My relationship with Him depends upon the fact that He likes to use broken vessels. And since parts of me lie around in tiny shards, I feel I qualify, all my doubts and neuroses notwithstanding.

God has shown an extraordinary loyalty to me, and as I get older I'll return the favor in a more and more consistent fashion. And I will pass it along to my children.

More on Robert Hymers' church, along with other "fringe" churches that appear to operate in a similarly cult-like fashion. And here is what a few of his followers have said, upon leaving. (And, yes: I knew some of these people personally from my stint in the "church" at ages 12 to 14. That was, um, months ago.)

Apparently, some of those who engage in theological squabbles with this person refer to him as "Hot Dog Hymers."

My fondest memory of a sermon by R.L. Hymers? That moment when he confused the words "fetid" and "fecal." Loudly. From the pulpit. I should have bought him a dictionary after that. Instead, I got mono and left.

For copy editors only: go here and play "count the typos"! How high can you count, by the way?

Have a snarky little New Year. And, uh—keep the faith.

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Would Someone Please Reassure Me

. . . that this is just a phase he's going through?

"Though I won't stop you, I don't want you to
Break away."

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I'm Not Generally a Big Fan of Rob's

But I did like this post. Be sure to read the comments, because it turns out Rob and a few of his commenters were guilty of stereotyping. I hope they sent themselves to bed without supper.

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By the Way . . .

Both of my economy blogad strips ("Silver," and "Copper") are empty, which means that you can probably cut a good deal on those spaces (obviously boutique blogs will often bargain more successfully than for-profit organizations selling goods and services). But the adstrips are pretty economical at the existing rates.

Obviously, I'm not going to be able to attend CPAC if you don't buy nice ads (and/or Paypal me some travel grants). So if you want to boost your traffic, or get a little more exposure for a neglected revenue stream, this is the place to start—and you'll definitely be watering the flower bed of citizen journalism.

The Silver strip is on my left sidebar; the Copper strip is on my right. Get into the groove, boy; you've got to prove your love to me.

/demonic possession by 80s pop idols

Management apologizes; it's not certain how Madonna got in here. Security will be tightened in the wake of this unfortunate incident.

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December 30, 2005

Some Great New Dispatches

. . . over at Michael Yon's site, including an article about the Georgia National Guard, and Yon's piece on propaganda/information that really addressed that meme head-on—this is a must-read, of course.

Also, Yon is continuing to sell prints of his signature photograph, the one that portrays the rescue of a tiny Iraqi girl. I'm buying that and his book in March, as soon as my costs for the CPAC trip have been covered (my priorities now are to get out to Washington D.C. in February, and to expand my editing business so I can continue to cover events such as CPAC).

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Patience: Still Not My Strong Suit

Which reminds me:


Oh, come on. Tell me you've never wondered. I stole that from Ilyka, BTW, who stole it from Zendo Deb.

And Ilyka has some further thoughts on the issue of "Intelligent Design" as Science. She doesn't appear to quite be sold on it.

(No. I have not entered the ID fray, and will not. I'm not convinced we need to tell schoolchildren how human life began at all. As long as they are quite clear that human beings did not share the earth with dinosaurs. And that evolution does occur. Teach evolution early on, and then throw a copy of Darwin's Black Box at 'em later on to see if they can write a decent paper on it.)

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How Come Jews

—excuse me, I mean "the Jews"—get to do all the cool projects?

Oh, wait. I get it: that's part of the conspiracy. Excellent.

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. . . is here!

Go say hi. The boy is a serious cutie, and as a newborn! Extraordinary.

My favorite comment from that thread: "will he be blogging here, or does he have his own website?" First things first.

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December 29, 2005

Reader Survey Time!

Prof. Purkinje's wife, Dr. Ethnomusicology, wonders where my readers come from. I had always imagined they came out of their mommies' uteri [rimshot, please].

Seriously, I now realize that I generally track referrals more than actual readers. And perhaps I need demographic data, like the print media use. (Though I suspect we'll have more fun with it than they do.)

If you're a regular here, please leave a comment and answer these questions for me and the rest of the class:

1) Where do you live (city, state, or province, region + country, or what drugs you're presently on)?

2) How often do you stop by Little Miss Attila?

3) From whom—or what—did you first hear about Little Miss Attila?

4) Explain either what you do for a living, or a juicy tidbit of gossip about you.

5) What do you most like to read here? (A: Analysis; B: News/current events; C: Joy prattling on about her personal life; or D: Joy waxing philosophical about the world around her.)

6) What sorts of products do you (or might you) buy over the web? [That is, we know you are a consumer of blogs. But what other sorts of advertisers should Little Miss Attila be selling to?]

Thank you for participating. In exchange, I promise to be extra-interesting for a full week.

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If I Were Allah

(the deity, not the blogger) I'd single out Indonesia for the next natural disaster.

But, you know: women are vicious that way.

(h/t: Beautiful Atrocities)

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The Chicago Tribune Examines Bush's Case for the Iraq War

The Commissar points out that the Tribune has done a nice job of combing through all the claims made before the war and evaluated each one against what turned out to be the case, or (with respect to future predictions) what came to pass.

Definitely worth a read.

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December 28, 2005

"No, no,"

insists Attila the Hub. "When I said I wanted to experience you as a 'painted lady,' I didn't mean get a job doing faux finishes in Manhattan Beach and come in at the end of the day smelling of turpentine, with specks of brown and gold and green on your clothes, and streaks of 'Goof Off' in your hair."

Now he tells me.

[Purists will insist that I shouldn't blog my husband's witticisms, but please recall that California is a community property state, and half of his jokes are mine by law.

My jokes? Also mine. Fair's fair.]

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December 27, 2005

Why Christians Should Not Celebrate Kwaanza

LaShawn makes a very reasonable case.

Her best point? Non-Christians shouldn't complain about what she has to say on the subject, since her recommendations are directed at Christians. This may sound obvious, but there is a huge tradition of strange bullying within the Black community, based solely on blackness. I mean, when reduced to its essence, isn't that the whole idea behind some of the kookier claims of "black leaders"? It amount to "I'm black as well, so I should get to tell you what to do." The response to this should be a sort of universal shrug and "say, what?" But it's been a long time in coming, and a lot of people are only now coming to realize that just because someone shares your race gives them no right to tell you what to do.

I'm just waiting for some largely European white trash with ancestors on the Mayflower, suspected black and Jewish contributions and Osage Indian "blood" to tell me What Holidays the Thinking Mongrel Celebrates These Days. Won't I give her a piece of my mind! Hah!

(Via Malkin.)

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What a Great Week.

I've always loved the week between Christmas and New Year's. Even when I've had to work regular office hours, I've enjoyed the fact that offices are often sparsely populated around then and one can actually get things done: catch up on filing, or really focus on that whatever-it-is.

And when it's been a vacation week it's always been sweet, with most of the hustle/bustle of Christmas over with. There's always a cool gift or two to play with or read or wear or eat, and a sort of fat and happy contentment. I usually have some late cards to send out. (This year is no exception: as a matter of fact, since we didn't really send cards or a holiday letter this year I'll likely be producing little personalized notes and cards well into March. But so what? This way, I can enclose my business card for copyediting/proofreading without it being too gauche.)

I'm winding down, now. I'll be getting up at an obscenely early hour tomorrow, and doing my fun physical job most of the day. Feel free to tell me how glamorous my blue-collar charm is: I'm packing a lunch! I'm wearing my painting clothes! I have a cap I'll wear to cover my hair, since I tried a bandana and it just looked too lame. (I mean, it was very 1920s Eastern Europe, but how can I expect my friend's clients to get that joke? One should try to look semi-professional, even with colored paint flecks around the edges of one's clothing.)

My goals for the day: 1) learn to do something other than sanding and final light coats of polyurethane, 2) no drips, this time: B. should not have to touch up my mistakes, or he'll be losing money on my presence, and 3) no caffeine on the way home. Stopping at Starbucks twice is lovely, but I have no business having chai latte in the afternoon—either biochemically or financially. (That one is the morning is absolutely necessary.)

I'm a little sugared up, here: can you tell? I myst go stabilize my blood sugar and read something really, really boring. Then sleep, with a little luck.

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What Are Wives For?

Prairie Biker's wife tells us all about his faults.

I wonder what my husband would . . . no. I don't.

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But at What Cost?

Still—there's no sweeter news than the end of a war.

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Phones and 4-in-1 Printers

I'll be finalizing my decision tomorrow on my husband's phone system. The candidates are V-Tech, AT&T, and Sony. We'll be getting him a main phone (the mother ship) with integrated answering machine, and an additional phone to go downstairs in his office. The main concerns are cost, reliability, and a signal that will go through a couple of walls and one floor.

I also need to get him a 4-in-1 printer within the week. The idea here is to get the best value, taking into account the fact that both HP and Epson make most of their money on consumables: cartridges are part of the calculations, here.

Obviously, I'll be interestsed in any extraordinarily good (or bad) experiences you've had with these brands, or any other insights you might want to share.

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The Problem with Limousine Liberalism

. . . is that not everyone can afford a limousine.

Via Insty.)

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Aw, Shit.

A milblogger, home with his family, was murdered there. His wife is under suspicion, and his two kids are now staying with their mother.

The authorities are looking at his blogs, the blogs of his children, his wife's blog, and the blogs of family friends.

Say a prayer for this man, and for his kids. Pray for justice. Pray that all involved will be able to think clearly.

And pray for the human race. I worry about us.

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December 26, 2005

Ilyka's Back!

She's decided against that virtual gender-reassignment surgery after all, and claims she won't be covering politics. But the good Dr. Feminist is in.

We shall see what we shall see about the "no politics" policy; has anyone ever been any more successful at "giving up blogging about politics" vs. "giving up blogging entirely"?

But, you know, I'm sure it's worth a shot:

I'm not trying to insult people who run political blogs. If that's your thing, great. I probably even read it--certainly if you're on my blogroll, I read you. It's cool if that's your thing. I respect it, honest.

But it is not my thing, and here's why: If I blog about politics, some of my readers understandably begin treating my blog as a political blog, behaving as though they were in a political climate, one in which things can be debated and discussed. Unfortunately, some of them then bring that very same "free to question, nitpick, and argue" attitude over to my personal posts, like they're on fuckin' Crossfire or something.

And guess what? My personal shit is not up for debate, you assmonkeys. Most people get this, but it's just stunning to me how many people don't.

I know the feeling. People come by here to disagree with me about Matters Political, and just to make their arguments more "persuasive," they throw some insult in that's based on data in a personal post. One assumes they've misplaced their copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Anyway: welcome back, my friend. Glad you decided against the virtual dick: it would have caused weird lumps in your virtual blue jeans.

Via TFS Magnum.

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The War of Information

There's a nice entry over at OTB that discusses the public information aspect of the War in Iraq. Of course, what needs to be spelled out is that the struggle over here is just as pivotal as the the struggle over there.

Of course, the point is made that the mainstream media over here has authorized itself to label any spin on Iraq other than its own "propaganda," or "misinformation."

This hurts its credibility not at all. Keep it up, guys. Enjoy yourselves.

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The Media Report

. . . that the claims of left-wing bias in academia are just as overwrought as those hackneyed claims of liberal bias among mainstream news outlets.


(Via Insty.)

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How to Make Christmas Fun as an Adult

An eccentric guide.

1) Don't set a timetable—or if you do, don't take it too seriously. If your husband were that determined to have dinner at 4:00, after all, he would have put the turkey in the oven himself. If all else fails, offer him a tuna sandwich.

2) Just because an object resides in the boxes marked "Christmas Decorations" does not mean it has to be displayed this year. Maybe it can go up next year instead. Rotate the Christmas knicknacks. Think about giving some away.

3) The house doesn't have to be any cleaner on Christmas Day than it is on any other day. If people wanted to be in a clean house, they'd be at your stepmother's place.

4) When in doubt, make a joke of it. Self flagellation isn't funny: the persistent temptation to engage in it is, however, hilarious.

5) Anything that goes wrong should be blamed on your nonexistent cook and household staff. Explain very earnestly that they've been spoken to harshly, and/or sacked.

6) Skip the nice china: it sets the wrong tone. Set out those cheerful Christmas plates your mother got you eight years ago: the ones with the bright colors and trees and reindeer that you regarded as a criminal waste at the time. China and silver that have to be washed by hand are only to be used when absolutely necessary, or when the world will end the next day via nuclear annihilation, and therefore all the dishes (every single last one of them) can be left in the sink.

7) When contemplating any aspect of holiday celebration, ask yourself, "do I feel like doing this?" This guideline will never steer you wrong.

8) Delegate tasks to your husband and mother. Have kids so that they can be given assignments in a decade or so, and—with any luck—take over the primary responsibility entirely in another 25 years. It's the only way to transition into the coveted "support" role your own mom enjoys.

9) There are 364 days a year to make yourself and everyone around you miserable. It doesn't have to be this day.

10) Buy most gifts at the ABC stores in Hawaii, so they'll be super-affordable and you won't go broke. Make it a point to still have money on December 26th.

Madeleine L'Engle: "We want nothing from you that you do without grace. And that you do without understanding." [From memory: A Wrinkle in Time. Feel free to fact-check my ass.]

11) If you're still subscribing to Martha Stewart Living, cut that out. She's a con, for crying out loud. Get Radar instead. Or something pornographic.

12) Make sure to get some of your Christmas decorations in the Hanukkah section at the store. That blue and silver stuff is much prettier than the garbage they foist off on the Anglo-Saxons. What are the Jews going to do to you, anyway?—kill Christ all over again? Relax.

13) The most important dose of Prozac all year is the one you take on Christmas Eve.

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December 24, 2005

Wow. A Blog Like a Sugar Bowl.

It's just . . . well, it's adorable.

Via Photon Courier.

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Look Out, Pajamas Media!

Annika's rubbing your face in the dirt. Already.

Shockingly, I got this one from Dennis the Peasant.

[Editor's Note: I'm agnostic on whether Pajamas Media will succeed or not: I kind of hope it does, if you want to know the truth. But I find Dennis' passion about it compelling. I still don't know what drives it, but the sheer intensity of his contempt makes for fascinating reading, at the same time I really respect a lot of the work put out by the individual PM blogs, and I hope they keep getting those checks. Truly, boys and girls: anyone who can make money off of blogging earns my respect. Except Wonkette, of course. Oh, and the current incarnation of Sully.]

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Steyn Maintains

. . . that the Arab/Muslim King isn't wearing any racism. Or something like that.

Via Beautiful Atrocities.

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Merry, Merry.

Just a shout out to my readers. It blows me away that I have "readers." How cool.

Thanks for stopping by over the past year. It's nice to know that some people are following new media—even at the boutique level, where I live—and this has been great fun over the past two years and change (actually, it'll be three years this March; tempus fugit).

Now [this is beginning to sound downright polite, and I don't want to blow my image] please start saving up to buy my crime novel in a year or so. Thanks.

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I Tend to Assume

. . . that my readers are simply a subset of Goldstein's, but for both of you who didn't follow me over from Protein Wisdom, I want to point out that his coverage of the NSA/wiretapping non-scandal is simply nonpareil (that means I like it). He may have done more digging on this than anyone out there.

Just go to his main page, and scroll.

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And the Best Single-Line Link Goes To . . .



Love him or hate him. But every now and then the man does get a good line off. More here.

It's a Sad World

. . . wherein you have to wear feathers to make a point like this. May she forever be a thorn in her family's side. And may her racy pictures torment her uncle for the rest of his short life.

As for her own safety, I've thought for years that feminism needs its own Mossad. Wouldn't it be terrible if those who participated in honor killings were themselves offed?

Terrible. Horrible. I'll be organizing a training camp in the Eastern Sierras for the spring of 2006. Included: firearms and edged weapons, evasive tactics, linguistic skills, disguise, survival ability, and Manuevers for Screwing with Sexists' Morale.

E-mail me if you're interested. We'll be a bit more lethal than Bambi and Thumper—but just as buff. And we'll be protecting Ms. Dufour.

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Physical Work

. . . can be very satisfying. Two days in a row of it knocked me out, though. Who knew that cleaning and paint prep both involve lots of deep-knee bends?

The paint-prep work also means getting up early, but it's a full day, so it ends up being more lucrative. I charge $40 to clean in the Pasadena area, and $50-60 to clean in West Los Angeles/Santa Monica. Paint prep work in Manhattan Beach netted me $123 for a full day at the bottom rung as an unskilled laborer. (That is, if I learn to do stencils and specialty finishes it'll be more.)

Of course, copyediting/proofreading/fact-checking pays $25-35 an hour, but requires top-notch communication from clients in terms of what level of checking they want. Oddly enough, many publishing houses just don't know. They think they do, but they don't.

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War of the Worlds—with Spoilers!

We finally got around to watching it tonight, and I'll just set down a few impressions before I'm tempted to peek at the reviews that came out when it was released. (I try to avoid movie buzz whenever possible before I see the films in question. Sometimes that means holding out for an extended period, as in this case, because I'm cheap cheap cheap and often prefer to see 'em on DVD. So sue me.)

1) I have the advantage of being a sort of space alien myself. At least, the previous versions of War of the Worlds all fall into one of the little lacunae in my pop culture knowledge, so I was able to go in fairly innocent: I mean, I know the premise, and I'm aware of the events surrounding the first radio broadcast. But I didn't have many details.

2) I knew I'd dig the special effects. No disappointments there. My inner 17-year-old boy was pleased. Thank you, Industrial Light and Magic. Don't ever leave me; it's a cold, cruel world.

3) I had several quarrels with the plot. One is obvious, and probably unavoidable: the original story has the aliens running afoul of Earth's native micro-organisms, rather than being overcome by our protagonist. As I understand it, that was in Wells' original, and so it probably needed to remain. But I certainly experienced a consquent letdown at the end of the movie. The screenwriters at least give us Tom Cruise besting one of the metallic monsters, so the damage to the narrative arc is limited. But it's there: an intrinsic weakness.

I als saw some apparently inexplicable actions, such as Dakota Fanning running outside just in time to be captured by space aliens, after sitting tight in the basement through many tense encounters.

(Attila the Hub: asn't it a bit odd to watch her scream as the tripod comes for her, and yet stay in one place?

Joy: At least it's a child acting in this fashion. If it were the 1960s, we'd be watching full-grown women behaving just as inteptly for no other reason than the screenwriter needed 'em to.)

It would have been nice for her to have a compelling reason to flee at this specific time. I didn't buy the one I was offered. Fact is, something prosaic like a snake in the corner of the basement might have worked better than yet more alien-related effects.

I also would have appreciated it if we'd been given a cursory explanation of how Justin Chatwin's character—the son—survives his hours offstage. Or how, despite his apparant devotion to his young sister, he has the impulse to abandon her to a biological father he doesn't really quite trust.

Nice little display of how a fatherless girl can end up looking up to her big brother. I think I'd have been happier to see him bully her just once, though. Because in real life, boys do that. They abuse this power. You can trust me on this. No complaints, but human nature—you know—rarely changes.

4) I'm aware that young Miss Fanning is getting most of the press attention, and she did a fine job, here. But the Justin Chatwin was amazing, and IMHO underappreciated. Those youngsters can both act. (Yes. A twenty-three-year-old is a "youngster." Cruise should have had himself arrested after wrestling with the kid.)

5) Is there any discernable difference between this movie and Signs? It isn't just Attila the Hub's complaint that this movie all took place in Tim Robbins' basement, just as Signs was unduly limited to Mel Gibson's farmhouse. There was the overall claustrophobic feel to it, and the neurotic little girl at its center. (Not that I have problems with nuerotic little girls: some claim I am one myself.)

As with Signs, it would have been nice to get a sense of the invasion's scope.

And I'd like to know why the casting director decided to have Tim Robbins reprise his Mystic River role here? Is there a shortage of actors? Do we need to recycle them? Can we get more of 'em from Alaska?

It was a nice little piece of eye candy. But I yearned for it to be more, and I felt like it could have really been something special with only a bit of tweaking.

But they never listen to me, do they? And now it's tragically too late.

Thanks for the visual callbacks, however, that the framing of pictures through broken glass. Joy likes. And the tripod creatures reflected by their tripod technology.

Steven, call me before the next movie. I'm a smart girl, and I can help you. It doesn't have to be this way.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 23, 2005

Oh, Man.

Tired like backpacking tired. Minus the clean air. But when I finally sleep, it's going to be nice.

And I earned enough to get us a small tree, and a few gifts. So I'm stringing up lights tomorrow and buying a turkey. Yeah—Attila the Hub likes turkey for both holidays, even though they're only a month apart. And turkeys are so cheap and easy it's not like I can argue.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I Go Off Today

. . . to learn a useful skill. Maybe. Wish me luck.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:30 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 22, 2005

This Sonofabitch

. . . truly makes me want to give up blogging now and again. Thank God I don't try for humor—at least, not most of the time.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Why Blogging Will Destroy the Universe

Hubris explains it all, over at In DC Journal.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's Official! (Holiday Blegging)

I've been approved for Blogger's Alley at CPAC this coming February 9-11.

So I'll be going to Washington, D.C. in seven weeks or whatever. I'll be renewing my contacts at Americans for Rice while I'm in town, as well as meeting with a few of the Cotillion blogstresses to plot our strategy for world domination.

Where will I be getting the dough to pay for my cheap redeye to the East Coast, my usual travel diet of protein bars, and one overpriced gin and tonic, you enquire?

Well, that's where you come in: I'll be trying to get one big media or corporate sponsorship, but at least half of it will come from you people, in $10, $20, and $30 increments. If you support the idea of citizen journalism, speak to me in that language I love: the mother tongue of your disposable income.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Okay. I'm There.

I'm officially In the Holiday Mood. Cranky, obsessive, petulant. Parsimonious, unyielding, hostile. The hair-trigger lady: jealous of my time, possessive of my dough. Suspicious that all the merriment around me is some kind of trick.

Merry fucking Christmas.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The World Ended Today

Congratulations, Elton.

Now everyone's going to be upset at me. But when I think of all the stupid energy that poor man put into pretending to be straight in the 70s, it really frosts me. Virginia Woolf: "Opinions that one now pastes in a book labelled cock–a–doodledum and keeps for reading to select audiences on summer nights once drew tears, I can assure you."

My nieces and nephews don't remember this, but there was a time when it was assumed that a man had to be straight to produce world-class rock 'n' roll. It all seems so far away, but I remember it. All the "debate" about Elton, and about Freddie Mercury too, for that matter.

What a waste.

Best wishes, Buddy. I remember when rock was young . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Is This a Great Country, or What?

Here's yet another thing I've never heard of before, and yet somehow "need." Topless sandals.

You know: so I won't have those unattractive tan lines from my existing flip-flops.

(Via Lair.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:50 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 21, 2005

One Day I'll Just Scream

I meet a friend at a mutual friend's house. I've never been there before. I'm thrilled by his collection of Buddha statues, because they come from several vastly different Eastern traditions: one is Indian, another is southeast Asian. Yet a third is Chinese. He has a laughing Buddha; I love laughing Buddhas.

We stop there for tea, and I hit it off with my host, he of the many Buddhas. The topic of taxes comes up, and he remarks, "you have to pay taxes, unless you're Halliburton." He winks at me; his meaning is clear.

He's a nice guy, but like everyone else in artistic L.A. he takes it for granted that we all hate the Bush administration and the war and the nasty capitalists and the dirty republicans, and the rich. (Oh, wait: what about the rich in the entertainment industry? Do they get a special dispensation?)

We—creative Republicans—are the Last Minority. In the 1970s one used to be able to get buttons at the Sisterhood Bookstore in Westwood that asked "how dare you presume I'm heterosexual?" Others queried, "how dare you presume I celebrate Christmas?"

If neither my husband nor I ever needed to work again, I'd get us buttons that read "how dare you presume I hate the President?"

It would blow a lot of people's minds to know up front that we don't.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Mark My Words


The Democratic Party have contrived to get themselves into a situation where bad news from Iraq is good for them and good news from Iraq is bad for them. And as there's a lot more good news than bad these days, that puts them, politically, in a tough spot—even with a fawning media that, faced with Kerry and Murtha talking what in any objective sense is drivel, decline to call for the men with white coats but instead nod solemnly and wonder whether Bush is living "in a bubble."

Oh, wait, and this, too:

George Clooney, the matinee idol, made an interesting point the other day. He said that "liberal" had become a dirty word and he'd like to change that. Fair enough. So I hope he won't mind if I make a suggestion. The best way to reclaim "liberal" for the angels is to get on the right side of history -- the side the Iraqi people are on. The word "liberal" has no meaning if those who wear the label refuse to celebrate the birth of a new democracy after 40 years of tyranny. Yet, if you wandered the Internet on Thursday, you came across far too many "liberals" who watched the election, shrugged and went straight back to Valerie Plame, WMD, Bush lied.

Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers. That's what this is about: Millions of Kurds, Shia and Sunnis beaming as they emerge from polling stations and hold up their purple fingers after the freest, fairest election ever held in the Arab world. "Liberal" in the American sense is a dirty word because it's come to stand for a shriveled parochial obsolescent irrelevance, of which ''Good Night, and Good Luck,'' Clooney's dreary little retread of the McCarthy years, is merely the latest example. (Clooney says he wants more journalists to "speak truth to power," which is why I'm insulting his movie.)

Isn't he precious? Read the whole thing.

Via good ol' Whathisface.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Latest from Michael Yon!

Today's dispatch covers the election, and includes some meditation on the last two elections held in Iraq. How is it, Yon wonders, that we've often had so much less courage for and confidence in the Iraqis than they've had in themselves?

Read it all: "Third Time's the Charm."

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Privacy Is as Privacy Does.

Via Malkin:

Democrat Rep. Jim McDermott of Seattle, who leaked the contents of an illegally recorded cell phone conversation between former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. John A. Boehner, is complaining about the NSA's warrantless surveillance progam.

Her commentary is brief: "chutzpah." Yup. Here's the audio.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Wouldn't It Be Nice."

I wish I could imagine that Saddam had been beaten by his captors. As it is, I'm left hoping that some enterprising MP accidentally swung a rifle butt in the wrong direction when no one was looking. Ah, well.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Oh, For Crying Out Loud

Could we get ANWR drilling passed if we simply prohibited northeasterners who've never even been to Alaska from voting on any bill that includes such drilling?

This can be done in such a way that the ecosystem is protected. Alaska needs it, and the country needs it. Drill.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2005

Well, That's One Book

. . . I won't read unless I feel a burning desire—and can get it on inter-library loan. Like Michael Moore, he won't see a dime of my money.

UPDATE: Against my better judgment, I've fixed the link.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:38 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

The Sky Is Falling! And Our Civil Liberties Along With It!

Matt of Froggy Ruminations:

The idea that the US should put its fingers in its own ears and repeat, “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you!” when terrorists communicate with their agents in the US is one of the most ridiculous and silly ideas that I have ever heard.

Via Goldstein, who quotes a few intel experts at length here. A must-read.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 19, 2005

Okay. Problem Solved.

According to Scott Ott, the President has just started a national "Do Not Wiretap" list.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Hubris/Liberace Connection

Why didn't I ever notice the resemblence before?

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That Wascally Awdolino

Beautiful Atrocities has a fun little interview with fun little INDC Bill:

BA: What woman do you consider a guilty pleasure?
INDC: I used to feel guilty about Hermione Granger, but John Derbyshire disabused me of such silly artificial shame constructs.
Posted by Attila Girl at 10:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A New Map!

The latest cartography from The Commissar. Unfortunately, my little corner of Wingnery isn't shown, but I hope that will be fixed in the revision.

This effort is unique in that it displays the layout of Kostria (including Laurenthia and Jeralyn), as well as showing the relationship of Centro-Rinonia to Wingnery.

Check it out.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Video Montage on the Iraqi Elections

It's available at Michael Yon's place; meanwhile, he's working on a dispatch about the elections. Stay tuned.

He's also still offering copies of his book, Danger Close, which would make a nice holiday gift for your favorite warmonger.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How Do We Measure the Wealth of Nations?

Here's one way. The World Bank's approach underscores something that has been on my mind for years: the fact that producing wealth often hinges less on "natural resources" than it does on what Thomas Sowell calls "cultural capital." The obvious example is Israel, whose natural resources are nearly identical to those of the surrounding Middle Eastern states (or inferior to them, if one takes into account the oil reserves in the area). Yet the Israelis have built a strong economy out of little more than education, salt water, and . . . sand.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:12 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Eugene Weixel's Slices of Life

I'm becoming addicted to the autobiographical vignettes over at Fat Old Jewish Guy Who Lives in the Projects. I know Eugene's politics are at odds with my own; they were shaped by who he is. He's a night owl like me, and he tells amazing, gritty stories about life in New York City. They deal with his past (driving a cab, not quite being sent to Vietnam) and his present-day life (dealing with the bureaucracy he works for).

I happened to discover him because he chose my blog to advertise on. You can discover him by clicking on his ad.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:32 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 18, 2005

Goodbye, Steven Malcolm Anderson.

Steven Malcolm Anderson died a few days after Thanksgiving, and I've been too preoccupied by the flu and Attila the Hub's marathon last weekend—not to mention our trip to Hawaii—to catch up at Dean's World and find that out.

I just feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me. Steven was my favorite commenter at Dean's World, and his perspective was badly needed.

Up with beauty. Up with color. Up with guns and gays. Thank you, Steven, for all your wisdom. Thank you for your style.

I'll say a prayer for you today. You restored my confidence in so many things that were so dear to my heart.

The online world will never forget SMA; he is an institution, and he will endure.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Dean suggests public execution for those who leaked the surveillance story to the New York Times.

At any rate, those responsible must be tried. We need to send a message that exposing operations of this nature is not okay.

And, no: when it comes to plotting the murder of innocents, I don't see any reason to put off the gathering of intelligence.

UPDATE: More discussion here.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2005


I've been there.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 16, 2005

I Keep Getting Up

and thinking, "that's it. I'll need to rest a lot, but I'm able to at least function now." Flu effectively over.

That conviction is generally followed within minutes by: "holy shit; I'm exhausted. I'd better get back to bed."

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Goodbye, John Spencer.

We'll miss you.

One wonders what The West Wing's producers are going to do about Spencer's death. A delicate matter, that, and dependent upon who the next president was going to be in the parallel universe the show occupies: if Alan Alda's character were going to win the election, they might not need to replace Spencer's character at all. If Jimmy Smit is destined to get the job, there are a lot of scriptwriters who are very busy right now.

I'm also starting to worry about whether middle-aged and elderly actors are going to be affected by the deaths of their brethren who die in the middle of acting commitments. After John Spencer, Jerry Orbach, and Richard Harris, I'm a bit concerned that casting agents are going to hire fewer seasoned actors and rely instead on makeup to make younger actors appear older. I certainly hope not.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Amazing Yemeni Article

. . . on Jane's work to help the people of Yemen.

She has an English translation of it up on her site.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Back in L.A.

We flew back in Wednesday evening, and spent the day yesterday getting re-acquainted with our home—in as physically passive a way as we could manage it.

I did end up going to a clinic while I was in Honolulu. Actually, I was taken there by a husband who didn't like it when I tried to throw up into the hotel trashbasket. (Nothing happened, since my tummy was empty at that point. The incident may not, however, have been the erotic high point of our relationship.)

Now I'm on Tamiflu and an anti-nausea medication. I still have the flu, but the symptoms are easing up at a rapid rate, so I'm semi-functional aside from being very tired.

Posting may be sporadic until the last of the virus has been driven, screaming, from my body.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 14, 2005

The Sorting Hat

Odd. I would have sworn I'd be in Slytherin.

You scored as Ravenclaw. You have been sorted into Ravenclaw- you value intelligence, and love the chance to use your cleverness (and maybe even show it off- just a little). You're keen and incisive, and you just love a challenging problem to solve.









The Hogwarts Sorting Hat!
created with

Via Mikal.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:38 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Remember Homer's swear jar?

Looks like a couple of high schools are trying their version

HARTFORD - Reprimands did not work. Neither did detentions or suspensions. Frustrated over their inability to stop high school students from cursing aggressively, educators and police officials decided it was time to get tough.

In November, they authorized police officers assigned to two of the city's public high schools to begin issuing tickets to students who hurl expletives. The fine: $103.

The officers have issued about 60 tickets to students at Bulkeley and Hartford High Schools in what several experts think is the first such effort in the country. There are already signs that the new approach may be working, some teachers and principals said. Fights have decreased, classrooms are calmer and there is less cursing in the corridors.

"Has it gone away completely? No," said Zandralyn Gordon, the acting principal of Hartford Public High School. "It is helping a whole lot."

I'm by no means a prude, but it is jaw-dropping how much open swearing there is on high school campuses.

Posted by Darleen Click at 12:02 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 13, 2005

Now I understand

what my German Shepherd, Misty, was thinking when she saw I caught the cat in the kitchen trash can, yet again. *

Posted by Darleen Click at 08:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Cotillion -- Dressing up for Christmas

Tammy of A Mom and Her Blog is hosting this week's dance of The Cotillion. As usual, the offerings of writing runs the gamut of topics from gun rights to the reason for the season.

Well worth the read!

Posted by Darleen Click at 07:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 12, 2005

Feverish in Waikiki

Yes. Attila the Hub finished the Honolulu Marathon yesterday, raising thousands of dollars for cancer research. I cheered him on at mile 5, and near mile 25—along the final incline below Diamond Head.

Based on his projected time of arrival, I had a few hours to kill in that second location, so I ate breakfast (Starbucks coffee, string cheese, cut-up papaya from the local ABC mart). Then I joined with a couple of the locals in cheering the runners up the hill. We clapped and clapped as thousands of people ran, walked, and limped by, and because I'm rather stupid I didn't stop yelling even after it became clear that I was losing my voice. I was having too good a time with my bilingual friends, who taught me how to cheer the runners on in Japanese. (No. I don't remember the phrase I yelled out hundreds of times, exhorting the Japanese to "keep going," because I have a mind like a sieve. However, I'm told I got the pronunciation better than a lot of round-eyes do.)

And when Attila Hub came up the hill I jogged alongside him, even though I was wearing tennis shoes—not running gear. I even tried to sprint to the finish line, though I didn't make it, of course: he was running downhill by then, and he's a good deal taller and fitter than I am. No matter: his sister cheered him over the finish line, quickly repositioning herself after offering some encouragement at the 21-mile mark.

I didn't realize that supporters have to dress as though they are themselves running: wear the proper shoes, for one thing. And train a bit. I guess that means a minimum of four 20-minute workouts during the week, when I'll be cheering, clapping, and jumping up and down. Then there will be a "long cheer" on Sunday afternoons, wherein I'll hold a sign, act excited, and yell for two hours straight. This will take place in my backyard, of course, and ensure that the neighbors continue to give us a wide berth.

Walking along the course early yesterday morning, I passed by the finish line, so I got to see some of the top-50 finishers—those who managed to complete the event in the first few hours. They all looked svelte and young. Whassup with that?

Now I have some sort of vicious mini-bug, so Attila the Hub is sightseeing around the island with his sister while I cough in our hotel room, read a little Richard Miniter, and doze.

No matter. There's a beautiful view from the balcony, and my fever seems to have gone down. In a while I'll go out again and walk by the water. It's safe here: it just doesn't get cold like it does at home. Being sick in paradise is better than being depressed at home.

There is that lovely moment when you know you're getting better, but still need to take it easy. And avoid coughing very wetly on other people.

Sightseeing tomorrow, if I'm up to it and the cough eases up.

Congratulations, Honey.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:03 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Feminism Kerfuffle

No, I haven't read all the posts and cross-posts; I'm on vacation. But I do like Darleen's summary of the current blogstorm.

I continued to call myself a feminist right up to the point that some self-proclaimed leaders of the women's movement publicly justified William Jefferson Clinton's exploitation of Monica Lewinsky. Then I backed off for a few years.

Since I've started blogging I've used the label on occasion—to distinguish myself from conservatives of the LaShawn stripe—but I generally like to remind people that the word feminist has about as many interpretations as there are people hearing the word.

What do I mean when I say it? I mean sexists are icky. That's all.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:29 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Breaking news

Banner on -- Gov. Schwarzenegger denies clemency for Tookie Williams.

Posted by Darleen Click at 12:41 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Oh, there's still time

Right Wing News puts up a list of 40 Most Obnoxious Quotes of 2005.

Yet there's 3 weeks left in the year and Pelosi still has access to a microphone.

Posted by Darleen Click at 07:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 10, 2005

Richard Pryor - RIP

the groundbreaking comedian whose profanely personal insights into race relations and modern life made him one of Hollywood's biggest black stars, died of a heart attack Saturday. He was 65.*

However the rollercoast of his life and the ebb and flow of his career, Pryor was rock-solid funny, something a lot of flash-in-the-pan "comedians" put second to shock.

IIRC the first time I saw him was as a guest on The Glen Campbell show back about 1969 or 70. He was one of my faves of the show, along with another little known (at the time) comedian, George "Wonderful World of WINO" Carlin.

Posted by Darleen Click at 03:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dean screams the US is a loser,

Kerry says American troops are terrorists, Pelosi and Murtha call for immediate troop withdrawal starting Dec 16, but that's not what concerns Democrats

...Democratic colleagues see him [Lieberman] as undercutting their party's efforts to wrest control of Congress from the GOP next fall.
Ahh, they sure have their priorities straight, don't they?

Posted by Darleen Click at 08:02 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

December 09, 2005

why it's dangerous

to describe the institution of marriage as a "right"

Posted by Darleen Click at 01:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

and good will towards men

"... a crass product of merchandised morality from Disney and Walden Media, a media company owned by Christian evangelist billionaire Philip Anschutz. ... In keeping to a PG rating, not to mention placating his Christian paymasters, Adamson makes war seem a pretty bloodless and painless affair *"

"... DEATH to Christmas!!!!*"

"...You oppressed them, so give a part of Europe to the Zionist regime so they can establish any government they want ... Why do they insist on imposing themselves on other powers and creating a tumour so there is always tension and conflict?*"

"... When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists, and the American Civil Liberties Union, at the forefront ... It is the ACLU, which is overwhelmingly Jewish in terms of membership and funding, that is leading the attack against Christianity in America.*"

Posted by Darleen Click at 12:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 08, 2005

Fun Times Packing with Attila Girl

Joy: Are you panicking?

Attila the Hub [blandly]: Sure.

Five minutes later:

Joy: Are you still panicking?

Attila the Hub: No. I stopped.

Joy: Well start up again! If you respected me, you'd panic. At least make yourself useful, and try to figure out what I'm going to forget, so I can remember it!

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:50 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Oh, Yes.

Darleen's on duty, I see. Cool.

I'll be leaving tomorrow morning at an obscenely early hour and flying to Hawaii to accompany my husband to a charity fundraising event for a few days.

If anyone has on-the-ground information about the weather conditions in Honolulu, let me know. Otherwise, I'm just going to pretend that I'm going to the East Coast in the summertime (that exotic humidity thing), but I'm taking a jacket in case the wind off the sea chills my thin California blood.

I might check in one more time before we head out, but I'm going to try not to make this another "pre-trip all-nighter," so we'll see. And naturally, I'll at least try to say hello from the land of Five-O. I'll be pretty busy out there, however—and I know you're in good hands.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:21 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Lennon - wither or not?

Little Miss Attila is going to be taking a few days off and has asked me to keep her spot warm... chase out the dustbunnies, alphabetize the cd's ...

Actually I'm going to see what booze she keeps in the cupboards and what magazines are tucked waaaay back in the closet.

In the mean time, let's discuss the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death and the legacy of The Beatles. I confess, I'm a bit agnostic about the Beatles. I was in jr high at the height of their popularity, but I wasn't a fan. Yes, I liked much of their music, some of the popular tunes have passed into classics; however, I can't really read so tedious a piece of writing without wondering if either I'm missing something or if once the full-of-itself Baby Boom generation passes into oblivion, so will go The Beatles. I do like the music but stuff like this makes me shake my head:

Nobody ever pushed the possibilities of rock & roll like John Lennon, and nobody in the music's history has really mattered as much. [...]

He was also self-important enough to believe that he could wrestle with the times he lived in and make a difference -- and the difference he made was immense. [...]

when Lennon applied his hurt and vitriol to his music, the result was transcendent. [...]

The man wrote pop music. Much of it good, a handful of great.

Two hundreds year later and much of Beetoven's work is widely recognizable. Sixty years plus hasn't faded swing. Where will the Beatles' work stand in 2163?

Posted by Darleen Click at 01:05 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 07, 2005

So Where's My Effin' Cut?

Apparently, there's reason to think we're all on the take. If we are, I hope I get my check soon, since the rainy season is starting and I need new tires.

I'm ready, eager, and willing to sell out. I just need a buyer.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:49 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Shot Fired by an Air Marshall

Apparently someone claimed to have a bomb, and this led to the Air Marshall discharging his weapon. At least one person injured.

UPDATE: Not injured. Killed. What a horrible business: having to shoot a man who might just be mentally ill in order to protect other people's lives. Awful. I feel for this poor woman. Of course, if my spouse were mentally ill I wouldn't let him/her near an airplane without his/her meds; flying is stressful even in the absence of a bipolar condition. But we don't know the dynamics of their marriage, and in any event it's an awesome and terrible thing.

Via Goldstein.

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

The Movie Industry: A Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Ed Driscoll interviews Breitbart, and presents his thoughts on why non-leftist filmmakers might save Hollywood from itself. But it sounds like he regards it as a bittersweet propsition that might "Balkanize" the flim industry.

He may not realize just how much of a scarlet letter openly conservative filmmakers are wearing. And even those who are not "out" still have to avoid discussing politics with their colleagues, who at the very least begin to regard them as "odd," and become less enthusiastic about working with them. Naturally, the taboo about libertarian/conservative viewpoints increases the degree to which actors are insulated from any viewpoint that might smack of a "redstate" perspective.

In L.A. there is often very little desire to find out what different intellectual angles might be on political topics. And this is killing the legacy media, film, and television. Other than that, of course, it's all working out fine.

(h/t: Glenn.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:07 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 06, 2005

Hubris Is Coming Out

About time.

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

Defending Religion

Or something. Code blue at the Weblog Awards!

Much as I have sentimental attachments to Beautiful Atrocities, Iowahawk, and Six Meat Buffet, there is the urgent business of getting Protein Wisdom caught up with the hipsters manqué at Jesus' General.

So until Jeff G. catches up with the Kossacks' Choice, I'd say vote for Protein Wisdom. Early and often.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:27 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Vote in the Weblog Awards!

. . . particularly if you are a libertarian/conservative, or a supporter of undiscovered blogs. There are a few good reasons I ask you to do this. Here's one out of my partisan bag:

The Weblog Awards, presided over by Kevin of Wizbang!, go to some trouble to be representative of the entire blogosphere, not just the pro-war side. Consequently, some care is taken to include left-of-center blogs, even out of proportion to the nominations received. However, because fewer nominations come in from the lefty blogs, fewer of these are represented. Of course, this has the effect of placing them in a stronger position, because the right/libertarian votes are split among more entries.

Please take a moment to survey all the categories and figure out which ones you feel qualified to vote in (some good choices: the humor category, the group blog category, and the ecosystem-based categories—particularly the ones down the list that grant needed recognition to smaller blogs).

Once you've selected a few categories that you like to vote in, do it every 24 hours until the voting closes. Because the evil people who support [insert name of blog you don't like because it's in competition with your fave] will be doing that as well.

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

Yesterday I Had Lunch

. . . with Radio Lone Star, who brought me some nice gun porn, including an entire special issue magazine devoted to the .45 government model. Naturally, we talked about how the gun industry has changed: there was a time when it was harder for publishing folks to "admit" that they worked for firearms-oriented magazines than it was to concede they work down the street at the Hustler offices. It started to change a little in 1999, when the underground "Y2K preparation" scare led some to re-examine their feelings about self-sufficiency in a number of areas, including home defense. But of course after 9/11 the public settled into a realization that all uses of force—even those that require hardware—are not evil in and of themselves.

That is, it might not be any more wicked to have a sidearm under your bed (secured so your children can't get to it) versus bondage equipment (which no one ever insists should be secured away from the kids).

Around the time we drift away from ordnance and onto media in general, the waitress comes by and I order a margarita on the rocks. No salt. Lone Star looks at his watch, which reads 12:40.

"Is this breakfast for you?" he asks.

"No. I had tea," I respond.

"But have you eaten today?"

"Well," I tell him. "There was milk in the tea. I think that counts."

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Left-Side Blogad Open!

I still haven't raised my rates quite yet, so it's an extraordinary bargain: $20 for a week, or $45 for a full month.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Birds of Baghdad

Michael Yon just posted an extraordinary article about the birds that fly over Iraq's capital city: both the organic kind and those made of steel.

He's also sending a note around acknowledging the buzz being generated by the possible Bruce Willis deal, and assuring us that he'll let us know when there's real news to report.

Finally, he's re-printing his book, Danger Close, in a signed limited edition. If you want to read it, I'd recommend that you pre-order a copy off of his sidebar. Some of his photographs are also available there, most in signed editions. Naturally, I recommend supporting his work, since he is the only independent journalist reporting a lot of these stories, and we'd be operating in total darkness without him and the milbloggers. (As others have noted, the U.S. government should be paying domestic publications to print stories about progress in Iraq, since it isn't happening now.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2005

More on the Churchill Dinner at the Claremont Institute

SoCalPundit has some more great pix from Mark Steyn's speech on Friday night, including some of the lumnaries who were there that evening. (Too bad we had to duck out right at the end of the event! I would have loved to meet Tammy Bruce, among others. Next time, for sure.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On Islamic Jihad: Laurence Simon

. . . has a suggestion for decreasing media enthusiasm.

Sometimes I think Israel will ultimately need to save us from ourselves.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Boston Legal Theme Music

Mr. Google has let me down, and I thought it might be faster just to ask if anyone knows who does the opening theme music for Boston Legal. My mother and I are looking in particular for the segments that harken back to American folk music (negro spirituals and the like).

And, of course—I like a beat. My mother doesn't especially share my passion for bass and drums.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Results Are In!

For the Warblogger Awards, over at Right Wing News.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Voter's Guide to the 2005 Weblog Awards

I'll throw some code in here later, or perhaps re-post the list with the links. But I did want to make sure everyone was aware that we have a lot of Cotillion members who are finalists in various categories, Vote here.

Best New Blog
Merri Musings
Atlas Shrugs
Common Sense Runs Wild
Soldier's Angel Holly Aho

Best Group Blog
The Cotillion!

Best Conservative Blog
The Anchoress

Best Culture/Gossip Blog
Knowledge Is Power

Best Canadian Blog
A North American Patriot

Best European Blog (Non-UK)
Free Thoughts

Best Top 250
My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Best 251-500
Florida Cracker

Best 501-1000
The American Princess
Armies of Liberation
reasoned audacity

Best 1001-1750
Maxed Out Mama
Right Wing Sparkle
Portia Rediscovered
Girl On The Right

When you have to choose among several Cotillion babes, just .. . . follow your heart.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 04, 2005

"Because I'm the Mom."

"And when you're in trouble, whom do you turn to? What would happen if someday you called me and I just wasn't there? Not very good, huh? Now run along and play."

I'd love to see this whole story traced a bit more closely: it's hard not to wonder if this leak was part of the war going on within the CIA.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2005


Just eek.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

John Hawkins Has a Terrific Interview

. . . with the amazing Tammy Bruce, who of course now has her own blog.

I have to say that I'd love to read her most recent book, though it's in line behind Thomas Sowell's latest. (Actually, there are three waiting lists: political, crime, and "other.")

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Very Famous Women of the Cotillion.

It's just so tiresome: the continual requests for interviews. The paparazzi outside our homes. The continual demands for comments on the issues of the day. Al Jazeera on the line, again.

And, of course, the mentions in the newspapers.

Not everyone can handle the pressures of the Cotillion life.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thanks, Hindrocket!

When Powerline links you on a Saturday morning, you may find that your usual "weekend slump" has turned into a sharp upward spike.


Gotta go. I'm looking for a Christmas ham to send to Tennessee. Who knew that this linking stuff would be so successful?

(Okay. Seriously, I just wanted to thank Hinderaker for the work Powerline did during Rathergate. We do owe him and other vanguard bloggers a huge debt for that.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

But Where's bin Ladin?

Soon. Soon.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What a Spectacular Night!

Last night Attila the Hub and I went to see Mark Steyn speak at the Claremont Institute's Churchill Dinner. He was there to receive the 2005 Henry Salvatori prize—and, of course, to entertain the Institute's supporters with his amazing wit and insight. In truth, his speech was inspiring and sobering, and I'll have further details tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime I'd like to thank the Institute for inviting us. We shared a table with Flap, PrestoPundit, Gay Patriot West, Matt Peterson, who blogs for the Institute, John of Write Enough, and Matt of Flash Report, along with Kevin and his charming wife.

I also got to meet John Hinderaker of PowerLine, who is a Fellow of the Institute. Naturally, he got swarmed somewhat when he showed up near the blogger's table, but I believe we were all polite about it.

Tammy Bruce was also in attendance, but she was also seated at one of the Fellows' tables. And there was at least one well-known actress there, but I'm not sure she's out as a conservative, so I'll leave her name out of this post.

Special thanks also must go out to The Bear Flag League (the glue that holds conservative Californians together) and to Justene, who does most of the heavy lifting therein.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:28 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 02, 2005

Okay. I Know Everyone's Going to Get Mad at Me Again.

But I have to survey my female readers, here. I read a story at writer's group last night (a little autobiographical piece about my relationship with my body) and mentioned that it was "fun" to get my first period, at the age of 14. The five others present—all female—questioned that word. My mouth nearly dropped open: sure, menstruating can get to be a drag in any number of ways after months and years go by. But I had a classic Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret? experience, and genuinely wanted that confimation that I was becoming sexually mature and that my body worked properly. It sounded like a grownup thing, getting periods, and like most teenagers I longed for the trappings of adulthood (stopping just short of responsible behavior, of course, like most teenagers).

Am I the only one who was thrilled and gratified to see those spots of blood for the very first time?

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:45 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

Charmaine's "Moment" on Rush Limbaugh!

Lower right-hand corner, on the main page. (Backstory: the abortion-rights activist failed to yield the mike when it was Charmaine's turn to speak, and had to be [gently, we trust] nudged aside.)

UPDATE: Speaking of Charmaine, here's the video of her from Paula Zahn's show, making a very polished argument in favor of parental notification laws. (Yes, she and I are technically at opposite sides on this particular debate—another chink in my "conservative" armor—but notice the skill with which she turns the other woman's own argument against her position. Nice.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


. . . about retro pulp-fiction cover art from the like of James Bama and Frank Frazetta.

What a fun glimpse into someone's boyhood memories.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gerard and the Pajamas Empire

Vanderleun writes a nice meditation on Pajamas Media/OSM and its launch party. Trust him to refrain from casting the first, second, 30th, or 80th stone when everyone else is having a merry time throwing.

I realize I haven't shared my perspective on PJM. I came very close to joining. Twice. But the type of commitment required to participate seemed very large to me, and I was at the break-even point going the BlogAds route. So I decided to trust my inner rebel and stay independent for the time being, realizing the risk: I'm not a big name, and if I didn't get my foot in the door then, there was every chance PJM would grow too big and important for the likes of me. Which is fine.

So I'm sticking with Blogads for now. (By the way? Buy one. Thanks. If not, buy two.)

But I think it's a brilliant idea: we who swim in the bloggy waters may not realize how overwhelming it is for those who are just starting out to find the quality material that will keep them coming back. Hence the need for a reliable portal to get them started. Without mechanisms like PJM (and, perhaps, another left-tilting one to play CNN to PJM's Fox News), it's going to be a lot harder for the average person to find information he/she feels is trustworthy.

Of course, as Gerard points out—and Dean echoes—everyone wants to take a shot at the new kid. But PJM represents a hell of an online brain trust, and even if it pays the price for being the pioneer (sometimes, you pave the way, and the next enterprise steals the glory), it's a more-than-worthy endeavor, and a swashbuckling achievement for Roger, Charles, et al.

I reserve the right to shoot holes in it: I'm a blogger. That's what I do. But win, lose, or draw, the Pajamas People have brought an aura of something like respectability to what we do—without taking away our outlaw charm—and I'm grateful for it.

And by the way? I live in Los Angeles. Roger L. Simon only wears the fedora on special occasions. At ordinary events, he's always in a baseball cap. Trust me on this. After all, I'm your local-girl-on-the-scene.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)

Buy Blogads from the
Network here.

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

KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— ERROR: is currently inaccessible

My Wish List

• 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"

• 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

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


• 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


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

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
—Suburban Blight


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)
Cigar Jack

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

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—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

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

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


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


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