May 31, 2008

Steyn on Vera Atkins

Last week, in honor of Ian Fleming (perhaps I should write "in honour"), Mark Steyn reprinted an obituary he'd written previously on the Canadian actress who played "Moneypenny" in most of the Bond films.

She is interesting, indeed. Even more interesting is the woman who is widely regarded as the model for Moneypenny, but ultimately didn't have that much in common with her except for the old Executive Assistant trait of having power out of proportion to one's rank: Vera Atkins.

There are two biographies out about Ms. Atkins: a work of journalism and a sort of romanticized version of her life that gets her hair color wrong.

She sent somewhere between 400 and 470 agents behind enemy lines into France, including around 40 women. She lost 118 agents, including a dozen women. It was Ms. Atkins who investigated their deaths, and helped to bring their killers to justice after the war at the Nuremberg Trials.

For the rest of Ms. Atkins' life, she endured criticism for having sent females to their deaths. But not, I suppose, the far larger number of males.

The NYT obit on Atkins is one of the best short summaries of her life, by the way. The Telegraph tribute is also quite good.

What an extraordinary woman.

UPDATE: For more on the women of the SOE, go to 64 Baker Street. The interface is a bit old-fashioned, but it's an amazing site—a real labor of love. (Or a "labour of love." You get the idea; we really need to agree on some trans-Atlantic spellings, style rules, and grammar, stat. It's a smaller world now than it ever was in the past.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:32 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Team Barbie

This is a very clever concept; I imagine the Mattel people are feeling a bit foolish that they initially balked.

Of course, the concept depends on a society that's achieved a certain level of prosperity. Certainly, Argentina counts.

Look for a Barbie Store in the States before too long. And, thank heavens for little girls.

h/t: Fausta.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Real McCain

Nice Deb is a real conservative. I may not be: I am, at my core, a libertarian. That makes me more of a Goldwater girl than anything currently on offer politically.

So we've each had huge problems with the idea of supporting McCain this fall. But the War on Terror is the biggest issue of our day, and McCain has the brains, the knowledge, the flexibility and the passion to execute it as few others could.

And then, there is this story about McCain taking time out from the campaign last summer to sit down and talk to a woman who lost her brother in Iraq. No reporters. Just John McCain, and Jimmy McCain the Marine—who would deploy to the sandbox soon.

We can do this, people. We can pull it together and vote for this man. We can even send him money and campaign for him.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

When McArdle's Away . . .

the mice will blog about whatever they darn well feel like:

I'm quite curious about how today's Latino immigrants will feel about immigration once they've been around as long as the Irish. Though perhaps we'll all be thinking whatever our robot overlords tell us by then.

Bonus: actual video of Megan, before her triumphant return; the guest-blogger of the day is Conor Friedersdorf.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And, Out of Nowhere . . .

now that we're moved, it's time to adopt a soldier through Soldier's Angels. Or maybe just sign up to send care packages out to Iraq and Afghanistan.

My non-warmongering readers should remember that one of the diverse outreaches through Soldier's Angels is focused less on supporting the military, and more on helping them to meet the needs of Iraqi kids. So there is truly a program for everyone within SA—even my lefty fans!

Now that I'm going to follow up on this, it's time for the rest of you to do it, too: after all, I have a birthday coming up in July. Join an Angels outreach for my birthday! Yay!

(This is on my mind because Greta does such great work with them—as does Whatever Beth. They are good examples, and it's time to get my hands dirty.)

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

On Middle Management

Shauna has a tone poem up regarding management. She thinks she is talking about the restaurant industry, but she is talking about life: about being a mom or housewife; about owning a business; about teaching; about journalism; about the managing editor slot at a consumer magazine; about Chief of Staff at the White House; about entrepreneurism; about being a sergeant in the armed forces; about writing a sonnet; about producing a play; about managing an office or being a realtor.

Read it, whether you are a chef or not. Okay? Because we are all in middle management—even the person at the top. The owner, the CEO, the Chair of the Board—everyone is in middle management, because every single individual still answers to someone: the market, the shareholders, the need to sell product, the almighty dollar.

Whatever it is, "this is the business we've chosen." So, go. And enjoy it. Okay?

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fly the Friendly Skies, You Lowly Maggot.

(Via Insty, who keeps hitting my buttons with the topic of air travel suckage.)

A "New" Form of Transportation?

The only good I can imagine coming out of the slump in air travel is the possibility of high-speed rail (or even normal rail) taking over for some short flights: along the West Coast, for example, where passengers now share pokey trains with freight, and with town-to-town passengers. We can drive between Californian coastal cities, for example, much more quickly than we can get there by train.

And it would be excellent to have rail service between L.A. and Las Vegas / SF and Las Vegas—but, again: it would have to be nearly competitive with driving. If it were at least semi-equivalent to the drive (rather than nearly double the drive time), it would be especially attractive: people who want to start their drinking early would probably prefer to take a train—as would those who like to stay downtown, or on the Strip, and not bother with a car during their stay. (There are cabs in Las Vegas . . . and monorails! Just like Anaheim, but without having to cope with people who are dressed up like Mickey Mouse. In fact, Vegas is widely regarded as an amusement park for grownups . . . and grownups tend to prefer booze to cotton candy. Maybe they shouldn't, but they do.)

Making rail transportation attractive (in the West especially) would probably improve the U.S. public safety profile with respect to terrorism, since trains can't be made into flying bombs. One cannot force them off the tracks and into public facilities, government buildings, and national monuments. Can't be done, outside of action movies.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, though, the U.S. is too big a country to rely on rail. We need an air-travel renaissance so we can stop losing billions of dollars a year (see the first link in this entry).

But How Did We Get Into this High-Altitude Kettle of Fish? And What Can the Average Person Do To Make Flying Suck Less?

The problem with flying lately is the apparent unholy alliance between the TSA and some airlines, which use the need for "safety" as another excuse to essentially screw the customer. Although I do tend to shop by price, if there were an airline that made flying suck less, I'd pay more for a consistently less-bad (or even kind-of-good) experience. This is the danger and the opportunity presented by Virgin America, which I've never flown—but which is clearly going for the "fed up with flying" market. As is the express-security Flyclear service, which might be promising, but hasn't yet hit La La Land. (The blogger "Sack of Seattle," however, has high hopes for Flyclear.)

Personally, I liked the warm chocolate-chip cookies that Midwest Airlines was handing out for a while, because at least it indicated an effort to please the customer. (Have they stopped doing that? I thought I heard that they had: unfortunately, I don't have a lot of access to Midwest, since that means Going to the East Coast, which I generally only do once a year, and it's only if I luck out on the second "leg" of the journey after connecting to MW in Kansas City or wherever.)

Eric Classic points out that Southwest Airlines sucks less than most of the other airlines, whereas U.S. Air and American Airlines suck more.

Remember that Southwest isn't part of most Expedia/Hotwire/Priceline-type online booking services; neither is Continental, which also has great fares. One has to check out the "indies," in addition to seeing what the usual web sites can do for one. I believe Virgin America also has to be checked separately, apart from the Web Consortia—though I'm not positive about that.

I've had reasonably good success with Continental, provided that I know my plans a good 4-6 weeks in advance—preferably more. Their service is decent, but their fares spike when it's close to trip time.

But Surely Flying Isn't That Bad.

Vanderleun rather gloomily suggests that air travel suckage will simply get worse over time:

Food goes, blankets go, seats get jammed in, pillows vanish, oxygen is reduced, peanuts change into tasteless "freeze-baked crunchy things with salt" which come two to a pack and you only get one. Don't even get me started on Homeland Security which is just biding its time until you will be required to fly naked after an anal probe by uniformed dwarf.

I know I am far from alone when I say that after years of flying many times a year, often on a whim, I am now at the point where only the most powerful forces in life -- love and death -- can get me on a plane.

It is not that the whole experience is uncomfortable, which it is, but that the process has become -- through a Satanic collusion between the airlines and government -- utterly dehumanizing. Bean-counters and bureaucrats have combined to create the one central experience of American life in which you are reduced to a hunk of meat.

The situation for consumers is really dire. For example, I am a tiny woman. I shudder at how scrunched in I am in coach—at least with the Prozac, I'm no longer experiencing panic attacks, but I still feel like a sardine. And yet my spouse is more than a foot taller than I am, and he is still folded into the same space. We have taken to booking aisle seats across from each other, so I don't feel too hemmed in (and so I can get up to pee without crawling over people), and so A the H can stick his legs into the aisle. Of course, last time we flew it was a short flight in a small plane, and a warning was broadcast about keeping feet, knees, elbows, and shoulders out of the aisle so the beverage cart could go by. Good times for me; better times for my husband.

Flying has become a truly miserable undertaking, except for the rich, who can afford British Air and its ilk—or at least spring for first class on a normal plane. (And, of course, for the super-rich, who simply charter planes and lecture the rest of us about how we should be driving Priuses for environmental reasons.)

Back when we had money, A the H once flew business class to Southeast Asia, and swore he'd never go back to coach again. But we're very broke once more, so he flew coach to Chicago for a marathon this past summer—and came back the same way. (Keep in mind that it takes him days to gear up for a marathon, and nearly a week to recover therefrom: getting folded up for five or six hours before and after running over 26 miles is not a great idea.)

What Is To Be Done?

The point (and, as Ellen Degeneres would say, I do have one) is that the American flying industry is at a crisis point. Quality had fallen to a certain level prior to 9/11 in the name of cutting costs; just at the point when the market might have corrected that, eleven Islamofascists took out the World Trade Center—and made an attempt on the Capitol Building and the White House on the same day (once of which ended up in the side of the more-distinctive Pentagon building, and one of which ended up on a field in Pennsylvania).

After that, the airline industry hid behind the skirts of the FAA/TSA/Homeland Security, and vice versa. The entire industry began to act like a branch of the Federal government, complete with the "fuck you" undertone one sees in the worst Post Offices, the worst public schools, and the worst (that is, the most publicly subsidized) healthcare providers.

So the entire American approach to air travel must change, or wither / downsize considerably (bringing down with it the entire travel industry, and any number of tourist towns, tourist-dependent cities, and "resort communities" / vacation destinations).

I know Reynolds is always urging the rich to fly commercial, and I think that would change things a lot: fewer chartered planes would mean that the quality of flying would have to improve for those well-off folks who are flying with the hoi polloi. This is one of those situations in which doing the right thing for the environment would also mean doing the right thing for the economy. How many choices like that do we get to make? (At least the non-famous rich should try this; I do get that it's tougher for people in entertainment. I really do.)

Irrespective, there is a choice ahead for the airline industry. I hope it chooses wisely, and well. And I hope the Feds can back off enough to let it make the right decisions.

Or we are all going to be driving just about anywhere we need to go on the continental U.S.

In the meantime, figure out which airlines treat you the best, and stay loyal to them, whenever feasible. Figure out which airports have the stupidest, slowest, and surliest security staffers, and avoid them--sending letters to them to make sure they know why you're doing it. If you have particularly egregious experience with a particular airline--send a note regretfully stating that you won't be using them any more, and then blog about (in a way that will make it findable to the average curious person, such as using the phrase "XXXX Airline Sucks").

Try not the patronize the worst offenders--both in terms of airports, and in terms of airlines. They need to get the message.

UPDATE: Apparently, alliances aren't the answer, since for two airlines to communicate about price requires antitrust immunity. Heaven forfend that anyone do well in a dying industry.

One wants to weep.

UPDATE 2: There's an interesting little thread on flying here, which begins with Ed Morrissey rather uncharacteristically blaming the victim. The comments are very illuminating and instructive, though.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 30, 2008

"The Surge Worked."

Via Hackbarth, Vets for Freedom asks a few pointed questions of Senator Obama:

I think the summary would be something like "things have changed, Buddy: you might want to check it out."

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Men from Developed Countries Offer to Help in "Panties for Peace" Campaign.

In the latest news on Myanmar, men from industrialized nations around the world are offering to save women postage—by offering to "pass your panties along to the Burmese government, cross our hearts we will" if their female friends will just hand their underwear over to save the oppressed people in Burma.

My personal feeling is that the government in Myanmar doesn't deserve my panties. They haven't earned 'em.

Not that I'm belittling the power of textiles and vaginal secretions. Nope. That's powerful stuff. But instead, I'll be sending them a picture of my Glock, which is rather more to the point.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:54 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The FDA vs. Human Longevity.

Over at McArdle's digs, Henke takes a look at this piece on the perverse incentives created by the FDA.

Jon—who is, BTW, my blog-nephew, and far more successful than his Aunt Joy—suggests:

There's a research project in this for some enterprising investigator.

• Find out how many medical treatments and procedures have been declined by health insurance companies and health care providers over the past 5 years.

• Contrast that with the potential medicines, procedures and devices that have been rejected, delayed or buried in regulatory tape, and the likely treatments and procedures those would have provided.

I would speculate that you'll find the unintended consequences of FDA regulations have had a far larger impact than the cumulative declined treatments of the health care industry.

Well, yeah. But there is, as the original article points out, a mindset that can't quite make the leap of faith that might suggest we could make progress in biotech as rapidly as in computing and electronics. The only factor that can make inroads against the socialist-medicine mindset has to do with anti-aging technology that is "skin deep": because insurance isn't expected to cover cosmetic surgeries, these are more likely to be innovative than other types of medicine.

But even these often have to clear one major roadblock, and that is the FDA.

Vaguely related: I sometimes wonder how the history of health would have been different if it weren't for the Dalkon Shield. Did the pendulum swing too far in the other direction? Is that how we got into this fix?

(The longevity issue—and Henke's take thereon—got a 'Lanche yesterday.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I Liked Harvey Korman.

He was willing to laugh at other people's jokes. That is the mark of a comic who is also a gentleman.

So long, Buddy. So long.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"What Part of 'No' Don't You Understand?"

Well, there is that angular part at the beginning—kind of like two incomplete triangles that are missing their hypotenuses. Then there is that other thing that is sort of like a circle, but not quite round. And yet not really an oval, either.

Those parts. The rest, I'm fine with.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So, Go Here.

And read the entire post, which is lovely and has a nice "button." (I spend a lot of time searching for good post-buttons, but they always turn into digressions. It's hard to find something that really completes the circle in a blog entry.)

But where is Megan? She sneaked away while I was moving my digs. Never trust tall girls: never. Certainly, never get drunk around 'em.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 29, 2008

Pick Your Poison.

Or, you know: let the market determine which poison is the nicest, without the government telling us which one it wants us to have.

I'm starting to withdraw from the notion that we shouldn't make fuel out of corn or soy: if those fuels will make money, we can grow more of 'em, and feed people at the same time. The critical issue is figuring out which fuels take less land—and energy—to "produce."

Via Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Yeah. I Know My Old Car Is Still in Front of the House.

But, you know: it is parked on a public street, Babe.

Push me too far, and I'll get it jump-started, re-register it, and park it across the street from you.

Then you can look at it every day. And so can the neighbors across the street who got us cited by the city for leaving our trash cans on the street overnight, the night before trash day. And oh, what fun you'll have with them, in any event!

(I know, I know: A the H won't agree to insuring the old car for another few months, and it's a mean, petty idea anyway. But somehow at this moment the notion really pleases me.

Perhaps I am a mean, petty person. Or perhaps I'm still recovering from a particularly grueling move, and tomorrow I'll go jump-start the honorable old warhorse, like a good girl.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rachel Ray's Checkered Past.

Sorry, boys and girls. I know I'm supposed to see a keffiyeh here. But I don't.

Of course, I haven't talked to the Dunkin's Donuts stylist yet, so I could be off on this. But Ray's scarf just doesn't look like an Arafat special to me: the "Palestinian scarf" always looked to me like an old-fashioned American checkered tablecloth, except with black instead of red (insert Rolling Stones joke here).

The fact is, I'm not really high on any intentional use of a keffiyeh design in any outreach aimed at a mainstream American audience, but to proclaim any use of back and white as an approving reference to terrorism is plainly ridiculous: that amounts to a center-right sort of political correctness. Suddenly, the toys we get for infants are naughty advocacy on behalf of murderers. Art deco color schemes are a tip of the hat to bombers. It gets very silly very quickly.

I'm going to have to side with Linda Lowen on "scarfgate," to some degree. Particularly if the scarf at issue sports a paisley design, rather than checks, like my terrorist-loving chess set.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought we were on the side of freedom of speech, and it was the Islamic radicals / fundamentalists / terrorists / extremists who advocated either censorship—or at least a sort of walking-on-eggshells approach to expression.

So. That's that.

Oh, yeah: I've been wondering about something. Is Virginia Woolf's Lighthouse really a penis? I used to bristle at the suggestion; now I'm not so sure. The book certainly has to do with the conflict between authorship as a writer, and "authorship" as a parent. Last I knew, the penis was implicated in human reproduction . . . though of course that could change once we perfect cloning.

Isn't that what men are afraid of?

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:27 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Back to Reality . . .


The spouse will be gone between tomorrow morning and Monday evening. I was hoping to sneak in a Grandma-run (a quick overnight trip to Shell Beach), and maybe even a mini cousin-run (to the Bay Area, as long as I'm halfway up the coast seeing my grandmother) this weekend, but that's clearly impossible if I want this place to be inhabitable in the next few days.

So instead of a drive up the coast I'll head to the hardware store for some switchplates, and pick up a photo from the frame place. The thrills are a mile a minute around here. (Actually, they are: the new place is beautiful, and we are a lot less overwhelmed with boxes than I feared we might be at this stage of the game.)

I tried to catch up on news, politics, and the blogging world yesterday, but I kept falling asleep over my laptop. In point of fact, I spent most of the day yesterday unconscious, and most of today unpacking.

Life is good, though I have no idea whether Western Civilization crumbled while I was focused on other things. (My concept of same being a bit analogous to the spouse's POV on football games: if my attention drifts, external events will go all to heck. It's only my continued concentration that keeps the ship afloat.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 28, 2008

Well. That Was Bracing.

I just worked a 26-hour shift on the move, from 8:00 a.m. Tuesday until 9:00 a.m. Wednesday—minus twenty minutes or so, trying to sleep next to my husband on the floor of the old house in the middle of the night. We started working again at 4:00 a.m., stopping only to have a few spirited words about how pleasant it is to move from a house to a condo with half the square footage—and how great it is to sort through twelve years' worth of accumulated stuff as dawn breaks on the day the new owners are set to take possession of the House on the Hill.

We've been napping in shifts, though it's a bit warm in our new bedroom: we need window treatments in there to cut down on the glare. The first time the cable/phone person showed up, A the H took the lead. The second time, I did, while he started his nap.

I'm eating part of a leftover bagel, and drinking some milk to get some protein in me and cut the dehydration. The idea of figuring what we're going to eat tonight sounds overwhelming, as does bending over, lifting anything, or even getting dressed.

I had all kinds of plans for setting up the new kitchen very quickly, but that isn't going to happen. The new place looks great, but we are both exhausted and hurting: sometime after dawn, I realized I was sort of shuffling around like an 85-year-old. I couldn't even really walk.

Life keeps pitching, and we keep hitting.

More blogging later. Maybe.

UPDATE: The alert will notice that I've now blogged the equivalent of my eight-year "decade," or Obama's 57-state Union. I've always thought I should get some extra time each day, and I guess that desire is bound to come out every now and then . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:57 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 26, 2008

The Name Notwithstanding . . .

I have a hard time thinking of John McCain as Irish. But I suppose it doesn't just show up in his wartime heroism: he is, after all, the only candidate with a sense of humor.

That's worth a lot.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

S.R. Sez:

Everyone knows that Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember those who lost their lives fighting for the US. Ever wonder about its origins? Memorial Day was originally called Declaration Day. More than two dozen cities and towns lay claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. In May of 1966, President Lydon Baines Johnson officially declared Waterloo, New York, as the birthplace, but there is no conclusive proof they were first. Many towns had spontaneous or planned gatherings to honor war dead in the late 1860s, following the Civil War. In 1868, General Logan officially proclaimed the day a day of remembrance and honor. Even though Memorial Day is now a three-day weekend of beer, barbecue and discount sales, we would do well to remember those who have given their lives for a cause greater than themselves.
Posted by Attila Girl at 07:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2008


. . . on why we shouldn't take kids away from their families without good reason, and a little bit of case-by-case sorting.

Apparently we have a presumption of innocence thingie in this country, and that means law enforcement isn't supposed to have quite so many swashbuckling adventures in the realm of family law.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hi. I Am the Ambassador from Planet Male.

Why is it that even now, men try to tell me about The Male Perspective on life, sex, women, and . . . yes, even equilateral triangles? And I'm not even talking about ex-boyfriends, here. Each guy thinks he can speak for his entire sex.

Um. First of all, I have a brother. Also, I have nephews, and young cousins. And a couple of cousins from my own generation. I have lots of male friends and colleagues from all walks of life, though they do trend a bit intellectual. From there they go either artistic or technical/math oriented. Sometimes both.

And, you know: I wasn't 100% a virgin when I married. I know men, and there is no "male viewpoint" on just about anything. There are a couple of trends (such as the fact that lots of men want to have sex with women, and a superior ability to detach emotionally from many situations that do not involve teenage daughters). But there aren't any universals.

So can we stop with the amateur sociology, here?

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:28 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Hm. I Think the System Could Still Use Some Improvement.

By the time I have these systems installed in my parents' homes, I'm hoping they will have a red alert—complete with flashing alarm and buzzers—that will let me know if they have any fun, so I can call them up and tell 'em to knock it off.

Of course, 3-4 decades down the line when my nieces and nephews are catering to my every whim looking after me, all the kinks will be worked out, and I'll get notices by email: "the System tells us you didn't get out of bed today. Are you all right?"

"Fine," I'll respond. "I was just reading a good book, so I didn't bother. However, I'm on my last 100 pages or so, and I know who the killer is, anyway. Bring over some more weed, booze, and pizza, mmkay?"

Oh. I mean, "medical marijuana." Does THC go bad? 'Cause, like, maybe I should be stocking up now.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

One Child. One School.

The New York Times discusses one of the schools that toppled in China's quake. Reading it is heartbreaking: parents shouldn't have to endure their children's deaths.

And yet, and yet . . . a 7.9 earthquake is not a manageable thing under any circumstances. A 7.9 is mass death, no matter what. The Northridge quake was a motherfucker that hit the San Fernando Valley hard—and brick buildings miles away—an entire mountain range away—in Santa Monica nearly as hard.

You'll recall that the Richter scale is counter-intuitive. It is not normal, linear deal. (What is the terminology I'm looking for? Not arithmatic, but something-or-other? Not thingamajig, but doohickey? Doesn't progress like a thermometer, but spikes more and more with each point? Help a sister out.)

So, yeah: I do want to cut my own heart out after reading the NYT article, and a sic-year-old building should be reasonably safe, but I have some essay questions nonetheless. For instance:

(1) How many children were lost in the average American family two generations ago? How about in China one generation ago? Is child mortality going down in China, or up?

(2) Has the carnage in China's schools as a result of the quake altered the average Chinese perspective on the one-child-per-household policy? Or didn't the writers at The New York Times ask about that?

(3) How has the widespread availability of education changed Chinese life over the last 30 years? As your eye doctor would say: is it better, or worse?

(4) Which country has worse building codes: China, or Mexico? China, or India? China, or the Philippines? China, or South Korea? China, or North Korea?

That is, I see that rural schools in China might not be up to the standards we expect, here in the richest country in the history of mankind. But how do things look from a broader historical or geographical perspective?

In short, there was a lot of data in the NYT piece. But not a lot of information.

h/t: Memeorandum.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Adams Family

The Netherlander points out some of the Adamses were also creepy and kooky, and that those with two Ds in their names didn't have all the fun.

So. Point taken.

I can't think of any associations between the Kennedys and ghosts, though I'll admit that the Roosevelts don't seem to have many, unless you count Montgomery Clift.

Personally, I miss Banquo.

Here's some more James Thurber, not verbatim, but as close as I can get it in a hurry:

"Well, anyone who rejoins our species after being quit of it can scarcely be called bright, can she?" I asked.

"It was Banquo who made that scene, not Lady Banquo," she replied.

I could have pointed out that Lady Banquo wasn't dead, but it would have been too easy. "She put him up to it; you know how lady ghosts are," I told her.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oh, Just Go Away.

I'm busy packing, exhorting the painters to finish the job at the condo, fending off my husband, who is vaguely unhappy that I have so much stuff, or that I'm not filling very many boxes, or that I'm not working hard enough, or that I'm too short. Or that until the end of the day tomorrow we're basically homeless.

I'll be doing double-duty today: heading over to the condo to approve the accent colors (and then again to take the painters a check, and kiss their feet for working today instead of Friday, when the carpeting people dominated the scene). And coming back in between to pack things into boxes.

We seem to be running short of cardboard containers, so I asked my father to drop by at noon—wearing his grubbiest clothing and toting about a million gazillion boxes. (I'd ask my mother to help, too—but she's buying me the flooring in the new place. Also, I'm not sure she and my father would have anything to say to each others, or that Mandy the pit bull would be able to resist the temptation to, um, "unpack" the packed boxes. If you get my drift.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2008

Back to Little Armenia.


Aw, come on: I know that people in the foothills love to complain about Armenians, but that's overexposure talking. Like my paternal grandfather and his fixation with Mexicans.

In truth, I adore Armenians and want to read up on the Turkish slaughter so I can get really mad. Maybe I'll learn Armenian, if it isn't too hard. Or if it's hard enough to cover up for my lack of ability with any non-English language.

And, yeah: lot of nouveau riche Armenian-Americans have a penchant for Big, almost Sovietesque architecture. And some of the men are a bit retro in their attitudes toward females. (Case in point: the carpet-installer who had to be told that the client had been promised her yummy sand-colored wall-to-wall before the move on Monday [Tuesday latest], and therefore he pretty much had to man up and get my carpet installed within two days, whether he wanted to or not.)

But in truth there's no one in the world with a perfect aesthetic regarding buildings, other than me. And there are only ten or fifteen men in this entire country with Just the Right Amount of Machismo, such that they would be entitled to buy me a plate of pasta—with lashings of red wine—for lunch. (Women? Good question. Perhaps eight in the 50+ states in the Union. With girls I tend to go for breakfast/brunch fare: If you offer me eggs benedict and a Mimosa or two I will listen to anything you have to say--with rapt attention.

Even if it's about the Turks.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Who'd You Be For . . ."

If The Monkees and Green Acres had to do battle with Moonlighting and Freakazoid!?

Speaking of Cosmic Battles of Surrealism, here's some entirely made-up dialogue:

A: "Let me strap your seatbelt on, in case your recliner makes a sharp turn sometime soon. Safety first."

B: "So, you're afraid that the condo is going to step out at night, as condos often do? It's going to leave the complex? Are you concerned that it might go off to see a lady condo?

A: "Um. I'm going to need more time for that one."

B: "Then I win this one."

A: "Yes, you win. This one."

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Clinton Should Withdraw from the Democratic Race,

but only based on the Party achieving certain benchmarks. She has not set a date certain.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2008

Apparently, My Blog Does Not Exist Right Now.

But I do.

Busy, exhausted—and doing just fine.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2008

And, Yes.

We did close both deals today, which means that we no longer own this house: we're just leasing it for four nights after the three-day grace period. We do, however, own the condominium, where I shall be meeting tomorrow with:

- the handyman;
- the carpet installers;
- the painters;
- the cable people who will install our cable TV/internet connection;
- the cable people who will install our phone lines.

In the meantime I'll be wiping out cupboards like a crazy person, cleaning the fridge, etc. etc. and starting to get a few necessities over there—such as yogurt and Coca Cola in the fridge.

After I wipe it out with baking soda, of course.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ah, Yes. The Farm Bill.

Price supports; corporate welfare. It's got it all.

Take it, WSJ.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Look at It This Way . . .

The kids in Waco weren't just wrenched from their homes; they were burned alive.

But it's okay; it was in the interests of defeating a "cult."

It is perfectly fine to destroy children's lives in order to save them.

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

I Just, You Know . . .

I can't figure out where Peter Gabriel was going with this.

Can anyone decipher that one?

It's just . . . opaque.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:36 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

No Justice

. . . no peace.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ever Want To Know What Life Would Be Like In the U.S.A. Without the Bill of Rights?

Look north.

Kathy Shaidle—herself, of course, potentially a victim of Canada's repressive attitude toward freedom of speech—recounts some of the leadup to the upcoming tar-and-feathering of Mark Steyn and Maclean's in Canada:

So, “when the British Columbia ‘Human Rights’ Tribunal finds us guilty,” writes Steyn, “they are statutorily obligated to issue a cease-and-desist order that will have the effect of preventing Maclean’s running any writing on Islam by me or anybody of a similar bent — even though the plaintiffs have not challenged the accuracy of a single fact or statistic or quotation.”

He continued:

So four weeks from now I’ll be banished from the Canadian media. … But a year or two down the line, many other subscribers to Maclean’s and the Chronicle-Herald and eventually the Globe and the Toronto Star will be wondering why there are whole areas of debate that no longer seem to get much of an airing in the public prints. In 1989, Muslims who objected to Salman Rushdie burned his novel in the streets of England. Two decades on, they’ve figured out that it’s more efficient to use the “human rights” commissions to burn the offending texts metaphorically, discreetly, offstage … and (ultimately) preemptively.

In many respects, the June 2 Tribunal’s guilty verdict will represent the ultimate triumph of those “progressive” “Trudeaupian” ideals that have been infecting the nation’s institutions for generations.

“At one point,” remarked Steyn after that televised “debate,” “I looked across at the Sock Puppet Three [the "aggrieved" Muslims who lodged the official complaint] and thought: It’s not about who wins the argument. They’re the future of this country, and that’s that.”

Via Insty.

Hey—I've done my part. I bought America Alone in hardcover, and my radical chic T-shirt arrived a few days ago.

Son of a bitch, I'll miss free speech in Canada. And I've never even been there. And self-defense is illegal in England. What has happened to the Anglosphere?

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dudes! It's a Joke!

Stephen Green was buying this, too. And now AllahP at Hot Air. What is wrong with people?

Parody. Get it? It's like when Sheryl Crow wrote about using a single square of toilet paper when she pees, and people took her seriously.

Sheesh. Just because someone works in L.A. does not make him/her dumb as a board. (Unless we are discussing a studio exec, of course. Those people are stupid.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I Can't Stand It When Someone Is Productive Around Here

. . . while I'm trying to blog.

There are busy footsteps wafting up the stairway, and the sounds of someone furiously packing.

My husband is clearly taking a shortcut of some sort, since we don't move until this coming Monday, and it's cheating to start packing before Sunday. Saturday, earliest.

I also have editing to do. And housework. But I'm not sure how to access the internet while I'm physically working; is there some sort of IV drip available now?

Work, work, work. Tromp, tromp, tromp. He's doing it on purpose. He wants me to feel guilty.

The only way out, as I see it, is to take a nap. But, here. On the couch. After all, the WiFi doesn't seem to work very well from the bedroom.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What I'm Reading:

Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics. (No, not the third edition. I got the second edition because it was cheaper. And I wanted to own a copy so I could dog-ear the pages. Pricing helps us to determine how to efficiently manage resources; did you know that?)

Sowell is a fucking God. He just is—dorky-looking quasi-afro and all.

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

More Inside Blogball . . .


I've cut out the numbers because I was told there would be no math on this blog.

I'm glad he's learned to take orders from the boss. The 'sphere, after all, is a harsh mistress.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MainStream Bloggers Too Big for Life-and-Death Issues?

Well, maybe.

Of course, I've always felt that Reynolds does a pretty good job, considering the fact that he has a family and little that part-time law-professor thingie. And the podcasts. And the freelance photography. And the tech reviews. And the cooking. And the book-writing. Also, he's a person, rather than a web-spider, which has to cut down on efficiencies of scale.

And he cannot link every worthy cause, and every bitchin' little boutique blog (though of course he should link me just a bit more often, because I'm so fabulously wonderful, and most certainly first-among-equals for those who only get 250 hits a day).

Furthermore, Mr. Bloody Protein Shakes did eventually link a Malkin-site/See-Dubya post on the subject. I also think the crew at Jawa has been pretty supportive of Jane's work on behalf of the Yemenis, and Ace most certainly has been, so there's no call to get mad at all the "big dogs" of the 'sphere. Unless we want to.

But, yeah: I can see the temptation to compare Glenn with Goliath rather than with David. It was inevitable that that would happen at some point. I'm sure he'll see the compliment in there.

(FWIW, I still get more traffic from an Instalanche than I do from a mention on CNN, a link from the NYT, or prominent placement on Memeorandum. Glenn is, indeed, a one-man force of nature, or perhaps he's some other mixed metaphor I can't quite think of right now.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MPI Is Doing a New Version of Harrison Bergeron!

These are the people who distributed Mine Your Own Business and The Singing Revolution—and helped Evan Coyne Maloney's Indoctrinate U gain a lot more traction than it otherwise would have.

Here's an interview by Sonny Bunch at DoubleThink that discusses the new short, and also gives some more background on MPI, one of the most professional indie production companies around (and certainly the most libertarian-minded).

Harrison Bergeron is a terrific story all by itself, vaguely reminiscent of Brad Bird's The Incredibles. (Well. I mean that the other way around, of course. It's just that the last two times I watched The Incredibles I couldn't remember what it was tickling in the back of my brain. And now I know. "If everybody's special, then nobody's special." Uh-huh.)

The MPI version is supposedly going to be the best adaptation of the story ever, though I thought the 1995 production with Sean Astin, Eugene Levy, et al. was nicely done. I do like the fact that MPI will be changing the name, since I've always had a mental block about it. (The reasoning? The Vonnegut fans will watch it anyway. And Harrison Bergeron is hard to spell. Yup.)

Anyway, keep a lookout; it's always going to be hard to find a screening of a short movie like this; I do hope it'll be out on DVD at some point. And I hope it brings the crew at MPI to a new level.

MPI: Call Bruce Willis and Michael Yon. They might have an idea for you to kick around . . . something about an outfit called Deuce Four, as I recall.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:41 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Hey. I Like the Dead Kennedys As Much As the Next Girl.

And I love "California Uber Alles." I even like, G-d help me, "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now," which of course wasn't 100% flattering to Ronald Reagan.

But I'll bet Michael Savage didn't play the latter on the day Reagan's diagnosis was announced. And to play the DKs yesterday was just cold and uncalled-for.

Of course, my Michael Savage tolerance is lower even than my Bill O'Reilly tolerance. Lower than my Dr. Laura tolerance. When I'm driving north and he comes on the radio, it's a question of how quickly I can get my hand to the radio to change the station: I've become lightning-fast in that regard.

There is such a thing as human decency, and some of these radio idiots ought to look it up.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:53 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008

Goldstein Threw Up a Post!

It's real. And it's magnificent.

First, he quotes Talisman Gate:

The author, writing under the pseudonym ‘Dir’a limen wehhed’ [‘A Shield for the Monotheist’], posted his ‘Brief Study on the Consequences of the Division [Among] the [Jihadist] Groups on the Cause of Jihad in Iraq’ on May 12 and it is being displayed by the administration of the Al-Ekhlaas website—one of Al-Qaeda’s chief media outlets—among its more prominent recent posts. He’s considered one of Al-Ekhlaas’s “esteemed” writers.

The author tallies up and compares the numbers of operations claimed by each insurgent group under four categories: a year and half ago (November 2006), a year ago (May 2007), six months ago (November 2007) and now (May 2008). He demonstrated that while Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq could claim 334 operations in Nov. 06 and 292 in May 07, their violent output dropped to 25 in Nov. 07 and 16 so far in May 08. Keep in mind that these assessments are based on Al-Qaeda’s own numbers.

The author also shows that similar steep drops were exhibited by other jihadist groups […]

So. What we have is jihadists virtually conceding defeat, while the leading Democratic candidate for president essentially campaigns on a way to turn that defeat into a victory by removing the obstacles to jihadi success.

To which I say, keep your chin up, al Qaeda in Iraq! After all, O! is promising hopeyness and changitude! — though for a while there, he had me convinced he was directing that message at the US electorate.

Instead, turns out he’s just pitching it toward our adversaries and the uninformed here at home — and of course, to those who feel that shows of US military strength are just part and parcel of an unsavory US international hegemony, one that needs to be thwarted so that we’ll learn our lesson about crass interventionalism (defined as interventionalism in our own national interests, rather than the kind that smacks of showy altruism); stick to ourselves, culturally speaking; and concentrate on important things, like how best to have the government regulate our thermostats, our medical care, our eating habits, etc., as well as how best to “put every American to work” in the service of the State — a small offering, if you will, to the Secular Godhead and His cult of personality.

Somewhere, Mussolini chuckles.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

He's Not Just a Kennedy; He's Ted.

And he's still here.

It feels as if everyone's pulled out their file obituaries, changed some tenses, grabbed a few fresh quotes, and run with that. I don't want to read about the man's brothers; I want to read about him. I don't want Camelot and the tragedy of John-John or Joe or anyone else. What is it about the "K" word that makes journalists insane?

There's too much fiddle-faddle going on.

My heart goes out to the Kennedys, but the coverage of Ted's illness seems almost as absurd as everything else written about this troubled family. Here's a random quote from the WaPo article:

Theodore Sorensen, JFK's speechwriter and alter ego, observed yesterday: "Only the Adams family in the earliest days of the republic had the kind of stature, respect and impact on public life as the Kennedys."

Wasn't there a family in the late nineteenth century and early 20th century that had an even larger impact on public life? Name started with an "R," if I recall. Pure silliness, and one more blurring of the man with the "dynasty."

And, yes: I'm still upset about the wind farm dealio, but today isn't the day for that. Today is for prayer. Respect for the good that the man did (and tried to do) by his own lights. And hopes that he'll stick around—that the news isn't as bad as it appears to be right now.

That is all.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:16 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The Cycle of Congressional Hope.

Iowahawk carves up our congresscritters once more, exposing their ooky innards for the world to see. Revolting. Disgusting. Beautiful.

All this, and classic cars. Thank you, Sir.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Take Off Your Che T-Shirt; It's Making Me Angry."

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.:

I'm sure that you have had this experience before, or something similar to it. You are sitting at lunch in a nice restaurant or perhaps a hotel. Waiters are coming and going. The food is fantastic. The conversation about all things is going well. You talk about the weather, music, movies, health, trivialities in the news, kids, and so on. But then the topic turns to economics, and things change.

You are not the aggressive type so you don't proclaim the merits of the free market immediately. You wait and let the others talk. Their biases against business appear right away in the repetition of the media's latest calumny against the market, such as that gas station owners are causing inflation by jacking up prices to pad their pockets at our expense, or that Wal-Mart is, of course, the worst possible thing that can ever happen to a community.

You begin to offer a corrective, pointing out the other side. Then the truth emerges in the form of a naïve if definitive announcement from one person: "Well, I suppose I'm really a socialist at heart." Others nod in agreement.

On one hand there is nothing to say, really. You are surrounded by the blessings of capitalism. The buffet table, which you and your lunch partners only had to walk into a building to find, has a greater variety of food at a cheaper price than that which was available to any living person — king, lord, duke, plutocrat, or pope — in almost all of the history of the world. Not even fifty years ago would this have been imaginable.

All of history has been defined by the struggle for food. And yet that struggle has been abolished, not just for the rich but for everyone living in developed economies. The ancients, peering into this scene, might have assumed it to be Elysium. Medieval man conjured up such scenes only in visions of Utopia. Even in the late 19th century, the most gilded palace of the richest industrialist required a vast staff and immense trouble to come anywhere near approximating it.

We owe this scene to capitalism. To put it differently, we owe this scene to centuries of capital accumulation at the hands of free people who have put capital to work on behalf of economic innovations, at once competing with others for profit and cooperating with millions upon millions of people in an ever-expanding global network of the division of labor. The savings, investments, risks, and work of hundreds of years and uncountable numbers of free people have gone into making this scene possible, thanks to the ever-remarkable capacity for a society developing under conditions of liberty to achieve the highest aspirations of the society's members.

And yet, sitting on the other side of the table are well-educated people who imagine that the way to end the world's woes is through socialism.

. . . . . . . . . .

Whatever the specifics of the case in question, socialism always means overriding the free decisions of individuals and replacing that capacity for decision making with an overarching plan by the state. Taken far enough, this mode of thought won't just spell an end to opulent lunches. It will mean the end of what we all know as civilization itself. It would plunge us back to a primitive state of existence, living off hunting and gathering in a world with little art, music, leisure, or charity. Nor is any form of socialism capable of providing for the needs of the world's six billion people, so the population would shrink dramatically and quickly and in a manner that would make every human horror ever known seem mild by comparison. Nor is it possible to divorce socialism from totalitarianism, because if you are serious about ending private ownership of the means of production, you have to be serious about ending freedom and creativity too. You will have to make the whole of society, or what is left of it, into a prison.

But other than that, socialism is a fine idea.

h/t: Hackbarth, who loves the idea of a buffet table as a symbol of capitalism's success. This was part of today's economics linkfest, and those are always fun: one-stop shopping for the brain.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

So, Who's Lying? The Obama People, and Time.

Michael Goldfarb has the video:

I can't say I'm surprised that Time magazine and the Obama campaign managed to miss this clip which completely undermines their shared narrative. But now we have a new narrative: Obama intends to meet with Ali Khamenei, the man with the real power in Tehran, because even though Obama pledged to meet with Ahmadinejad, and said it was a "disgrace" that Bush had not, he never had any intention of meeting with Ahmadinejad, and McCain is a liar for saying different.
Posted by Attila Girl at 01:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Mythbusters

. . . do their part for the environment and energy independence. Via a Go-Kart. Tough work, boys—but I suppose someone has to do it.

h/t: Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Our Jane."

Yes; when I say that I usually mean Jane Austen.

But today the toast of the blogosphere is Jane Novak, the unlikely crusader on behalf of the Yemenis, whom The New York Times finally got around to noticing.

Jane is, as usual, too modest. She is, indeed, a journalist and analyst. She has been for years—but it happened so gradually, she didn't notice.

Thanks for your efforts on behalf of free speech and the Yemeni people, Jane.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 19, 2008

"Is There Anything Vodka Can't Do?"

Um. Let me think . . .

Be an ingredient in a real martini?

Hey. If I'm going to use spirits around the house, I should use ones that contain botanicals; I'm pretty sure it makes Mother Earth happy. I know it makes juniper farmers happy. And I'm absolutely certain that it makes me happy.

h/t: (where else?) Vodkapundit.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:28 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

My Ultimate Road Trip CD

. . . has one data point—if that—in common with this one.

Via Althouse, who clearly has Radar Love on hers. Now we're talking.

Mine will have a fast segment and a slow segment ("Hijera," by Joni Mitchell; "Fast Car," by Tracy Chapman; "True," Concrete Blonde).

I mean, I'm not adverse to rocking out, and I don't mind if the title or chorus is "on the nose" in the lyrics department. For instance, "Life in the Fast Lane" is not out of the question. But "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A."? Puhleeze. If you want musical junk food, why not something like "Ballroom Blitz"?

Or maybe something that reminds you to get liquored up for the Road? Try "Red Wine and Whiskey."

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

This Is an Achievement?

I've been running my body on coffee for years.

Well. Earl Grey tea with a bit of whole milk in it. "Let's stick to the facts." And I suppose it's a bit more of a big deal when one is powering an entire car.

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

More for the Blogger-Foot Fetishists.

Sure. I'll give it a shot.

Clockwise, from the high heels: Rachel, David, Jonathan, Eric.

Do I get a prize?

Via Eric, this time around.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Dunno, Megan.

Over the past five years I've run the gamut from excellent entertainment-industry health insurance . . . to no insurance . . . to amazingly sucky, exorbitant coverage that costs us thousands more a year than it "really" costs, because we have to continue A the H's production company in order to qualify for it, when we'd really like to let that go and slash our overhead.

And most of my friends are freelancers; I suspect they, like me, would be thrilled to get something decent for a semi-reasonable cost that wouldn't be pulled out from under them every time they changed jobs or careers.

I realize that a lot of people "expect" employers to pay for health care, but (1) a that number will decrease as people no longer "expect" that they'll necessarily be working staff jobs, and (2) a lot of people, given the choice by their companies, would prefer to take the cash versus the benefits. Or some of the cash, versus the benefits. Or having the flexibility to work anywhere they want to, rather than being "married" to one company or another due to some "pre-existing condition."

I remember sitting in my publisher's office in 1990 when I was living on $16,000 a year in West Los Angeles, with a commute to Burbank and a diet that consisted largely of macaroni and cheese.

This publisher was trying to convince me that, at the age of 28, I should purchase health insurance through the company. The problem was that it would have cost me a lot of money that I simply didn't have.

But of course my publisher thought I should be covered. He didn't want this enough to pay his staffers salaries we could actually live on, but he wanted it. Sort of. At least, he wanted to lecture me endlessly on the point while I was scrambling to make his deadlines.

At some point I just told him that I'd gotten insurance through one of my parents. He knew I was lying, but what could he do?

Save me the paternalism. Just give me the cash.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Jim G. on the Rules of Political Discourse:

According to Barack Obama—"when one of my political opponents uses a term, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less."

The question is, which is to be master?—that's all.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MKH Is Right.

McCain is the only goddamned candidate out there with a sense of humor; he should play to his strengths.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Michael Moore Expands His Repertoire of Ways to Lie

Michael Yon on the difference between a technically illegal—yet acceptable—lifting of a photo, and Michael Moore's theft of one of his own signature image (the one that, by the way, graces the cover of his Yon's new book, which I just bought):

When someone’s grandmother disseminates the photo of Major Beiger cradling a dying girl in his arms, I allow the usage because I feel she is trying to share the human tragedy. When Michael Moore puts that same photo on his web site, alongside images of George Bush, John McCain and Hillary Clinton, the clear implication is that Farah’s death is their fault.

That is a misrepresentation of the facts on the ground, as well as the story of the photo. Farah was killed by a suicide car bomb in Mosul on May 2, 2005. Major Bieger and other soldiers literally risked their own lives to save many children and adults that day, but Farah didn’t make it.

Michael Moore apparently does not understand – or refuses to acknowledge – the moral distinction between a man who would murder innocent people, and a man who would sacrifice himself to save them. The photo, as I took it, is the truth, but Moore uses it – illegally – to convey falsehoods. His mind is that of a political propagandist who sees Farah’s death not as a human tragedy, but a tool.

Yon is one of the great journalists of our age. He points out to his angry readers that this situation must be handled in a legal fashion, but I have no problem citing this as one more example in which Moore uses powerful images to tell flagrant lies.

This—like splicing together words from different Charlton Heston speeches to make it sound like he said things he never said—reflects upon Moore. Not on whatever topic he has chosen to lie about that day.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why Not?

It's the party of the Klan, and the party of black separatism. I actually don't see much of a contradiction, here.

But I would invite my friends of color to get off the Dems' plantation, and embrace the party of the Great Emancipator.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:40 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack


Today brings us

Next from Bruce Ramsey: The Khmer Rouge -- Misunderstood Warrior-Poets

A few weeks ago I read a few lines from Ace aloud. At least a couple of posts were represented.

"What the hell?" I wondered. "Am I delighted, or appalled?"

"Yes," suggested A the H. "But he's just as brutal with himself as he is with the rest of the world."

"Maybe," I replied. "He's no rifle crank; that's for sure."


"I mean, he isn't spending untold hours sightin' anything in."

"He's a shotgun man," A the A responded. And he turned the page the book he was reading.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Barack Obama:

on the GOP:

to start attacking my wife in a political campaign I think is detestable.

Hm. A lot of people feel that way about Michelle attacking the country and its values.

Look. I don't like people attacking the families of candidates; I'd love to see us get away from attacking Presidential offspring, in particular. But when a full-grown adult woman is making independent campaign appearances, she can probably take any criticism the media and campaign spinners want to throw at her. And to take the stance that she can dish it out, but not take it, is sexist and detestable.

Obama cannot have it both ways.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:27 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

The Examiner on the Farm Bill

Via Insty, some harsh—and well-deserved—words about the "Farm Bill":

Pathetic. Craven. Irresponsible. Unprincipled. Those and similar adjectives apply to every member of Congress who voted for the bloated, anti-consumer piece of legislative corruption known as the Food and Energy Conservative Act of 2008 a k a as “the farm bill.” President Bush has promised to veto the bill. To put it plainly, everybody in Congress who votes to override the coming Bush veto should be retired come November because they will have voted for a measure that is nothing more -- or less -- than a $300 billion giveaway of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. This is especially true for conservative Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats who brag about their fiscal rectitude.

We’ve already editorialized that the bill is a budget buster even without the grab bag of spending gimmicks. We’ve noted that it will continue to give subsidies to millionaires who actually live in Manhattan and who might not even use their “farmland” for food crops. (Those subsidies will come from tax dollars confiscated from millions of working families of four making, say, $35,000. How is that fair?) But we actually understated the expense and duplicity of providing retroactive “disaster relief” for crop losses for which the 2002 farm bill previously covered in advance through federal crop insurance. As it turns out, the bill also keeps the crop insurance going forward, plus provides $3.8 billion in advance for any unforeseen “disasters” that may, uh, crop up.

On these pages last Friday, columnist Tim Carney described how the bill increases subsidies for domestic sugar growers that, combined with restrictions on imported sugar, will drive up U.S. food prices substantially -- and, even worse, how it provides for the government to buy “excess” sugar at high prices, then re-sell it to ethanol facilities at as little as one-tenth the price.

There also are inexcusable local-interest flimflams such as a $250 million tax credit for a private land sale in Montana and a provision to “sell” national forest land, necessitating a shifting of the Appalachian Trail, to benefit a Vermont ski resort. Worse -- and this is brand new -- House and Senate negotiators “air-dropped” several expensive provisions into the bill that neither chamber had voted on, including $170 million for salmon fisheries in California.

Emphasis mine, just because I'm so pissed, and I suspect my lib friends may skim that passage; I do want them to grasp how hyper-destructive this bill is.

Please find out if your congress-scum and senate-idiots voted for this thing, and let them know how you feel about it.

Let me put it this way: the bill is so egregious, President Bush even found his pen: he plans to veto it. Most of the time, he can't spend money fast enough.

The pathetic thing is that as it stands, the our fine legislators can override the veto. The ray of hope being that we can kick them out in November.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 18, 2008

Just Returned from Anaheim.

We had a nice little party to celebrate Joe's launch into the world of shrinkdom.

I asked him where he learned to read lips, and unfortunately he picked that up from his speech therapist as a child. I still think I should earn lipreading and/or ASL before my hearing starts to go in a few years: I have seen the future, and it is my grandmother. If there are steps I can take to avoid becoming quite so isolated, they would be a good idea.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2008

Just When You Think You Despise Huckabee As Much As You Can, He Outdoes Himself.

What was NRA thinking in the first place, letting an idiot like Huckabee address its membership?

But if it's killed any chance of him being considered as VP, it might be worth the fact that the lefties will use this to malign gun owners.

Huckabeen. Please.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Karl at PW

Just made Libby Copeland of WaPo his bitch.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Goodbye, Robert Mondavi.

You changed everything. And it's still changing.

Thanks for all the varietals. Thanks for the top-notch—yet dirt-cheap—vino.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aw. C'mon, Now.

If they really needed understanding and such, why would they have been born male?

Checkmate, Bay-bee!

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 15, 2008

Eric Classic

. . . on why black people should, as one of my African-American friends once put it, "stop picking cotton on the Democratic Party's plantation."

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, Then.

Let us go gaily forward.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:55 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Morrissey on Agricultural Subsidies

I know I'm supposed to be even more pissed off at the Republicans than at the Democrats, here, but I'm pretty fucking pissed off at the entire House right now. There are a lot of people who are struggling to pay their bills right now, and this fucked-up farm bill is what our congresspigs come up with? Unbelievable.

The subsidy program exists far beyond its intended purpose. Like many New Deal programs, FDR didn’t intend on making subsidies permanent, and he certainly didn’t intend on turning them into corporate welfare programs. Today, that’s exactly what these programs are. The majority of subsidies go to commercial farms, not family farms, and the average income from a subsidy-receiving farm is $200,000—an income which Barack Obama considers “wealthy” for tax purposes.

Price supports make some sense for food security when prices are low, but that’s hardly the case now. Thanks in large part to subsidies for ethanol production, food prices have skyrocketed over the last few years. The market distortion has created hunger worldwide while robbing American taxpayers. Thanks to subsidies, Americans pay twice for foolish policy—once with the IRS, and a second time at the store with higher food prices. Small wonder, then, that the average household income for farmers has risen to almost $90,000 and that land values have doubled in the last eight years.

Do subsidies have any place at all at the federal level? I’d argue no, but at the least, we should stop subsidizing commercial farms and let the marketplace dictate prices, using subsidies sparingly to support independent farmers. We have to stop using corn and other foods for ethanol. We should use food to feed people and animals and not our cars. Our inability to deal maturely with our energy requirements has created food shortages and inflation where we can least afford it.

My emphasis.

The really charming part is that unless we can transform some more legislative piggies into rational human beings, they can override Bush's veto on this nonsense.

Call your congressasshole, and tell 'em corporate welfare sucks, especially when it distorts markets in such a way as to increase hunger.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Let's Ditch the Ethanol Tariff.

For, um, all kinds of reasons.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2008

Menopause: An Owner's Manual

Web M.D. has a partial list.

Coping With the Symptoms of Menopause

There are many ways you can ease menopause symptoms and maintain your health. These tips include ways to cope with mood swings, fears and depression:

• Find a self-calming skill to practice such as yoga, meditation or slow, deep breathing.

• Avoid tranquilizers.

• Engage in a creative outlet or hobby that fosters a sense of achievement.

•Stay connected with your family and community and nurture your friendships.

• Seek emotional support from friends, family members or a professional counselor when needed.

• Take steps to stay cool during hot flashes, such as wearing loose clothing.

• Keep your bedroom cool to prevent night sweats and disturbed sleep.

• Take medicines, vitamins and minerals as prescribed by your doctor.

• Eat healthfully and exercise regularly.

That's fine, as far as it goes. Naturally, I had a few thoughts of my own:

• Invest in a Cool-Max pajama top.

• Buy your wine by the box.

• Use plenty of lime when burying bodies.

• Keep sorbet on hand for hot flashes.

• Consider alternatives to firearms, such as razor wire and edged weapons.

• Eat lots of Rice Krispies.

• Find a copendent friend whom you can endlessly berate over the phone when your estrogen levels are low. Avoid people with self-esteem.

• If you find yourself with a staff job, make a study of your boss's dietary habits. Buy a small manual on untraceable poisons. You may never need it, but it'll give you peace of mind.

• Read books on revenge carefully; learn to cover your tracks when you go on the karma-balancing prowl. Consider getting even with people other than those you imagine are somehow wronging you. After all, someone will pay it forward, some day.

"Did I get 'em all?" I asked Attila the Hub.

"Almost," he replied. "Just one more."

• Howl like a wolf for hours on end.

"I thought I was doing that already," I remarked.

"No, no. I don't mean internally, or using mere words. Or blogging, for crying out loud. I don't mean like Alan-freaking-Ginsburg. I mean actual, literal howling."

"Excellent idea. I'll try it. But I think I'll have some sorbet first."

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

Yeah. When I Worked Graveyard at Ship's in Westwood,

a customer called me "Honey." Men need to be careful using terms of endearment with strange women. (And remember—most women are strange as hell . . .)

I didn't mind "I love women in uniform." Because, after all, who doesn't look great in an orange dress, nylons, a bun in one's hair, and white tennis shoes with salsa stains on 'em?

But I didn't like "Honey." I just peered up through my bangs, leaned on the counter and told the guy. "I'm the waitress. I call you 'Honey.' That does not mean you get to call me 'Honey.'"

That was, BTW, the best job I ever had: I got to work all night, eat silver-dollar pancakes at 4:00 a.m., get the breakfast rush started, and walk home to my apartment just off UCLA's sorority row to have a second breakfast with my roommates before going to sleep.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

On Vietnamese Nail Salons . . .

Yup. I started going to my local one several years ago, after I gave up acrylic tips on my fingernails, and just had my toes done when I felt like it (usually during the summer).

The Vietnamese salon doesn't just have better prices than the white-run salon: it also has "spa chairs," in which one sits up high in a massaging chair with a basin of water underneath it, and less guilt (the women don't have to hunch down quite as far to reach one's toes). They throw in a few minutes of massage for free, and one can pay an extra five bucks for an extra five minutes.

There is also a Korean-run salon near one of my main clients' offices, and that is more unusual on the West Coast, though I understand in New York there are a number of Korean manicurists.

I think it's kind of cool that there are professions immigrants can study in their native languages to ease the transition into this country.

Oh, wait: I must pander to my culturally far-right, border-obsessed readers. Sorry. I'm outraged that instruction is offered in Vietnamese; people must learn English if they intend to live here! IT'S CALLED ASSIMILATION! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!!!!!one!!!!eleven!!!

h/t: Virginia Postrel.

Good News!

Our congresscritters—and senator-things—are financial geniuses.


Posted by Attila Girl at 10:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Yes. Those Are My Feet.

No; I have no idea how they ended up in an entry about pit bulls. Though I admit that Mandy likes to lick them when they are bare.

I do keep all shoes away from her, of course. Her notion of engineering, whether it has to do with a shoe or a suitcase or a chair or a vacuum cleaner, is that anything built "to last" was actually built to be a challenge when it's time to destroy it.


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

May 13, 2008

The Awesome Power of the Pit.

Eric is not exaggerating. Though I've developed a sense for when Mandy might noiselessly pounce, and I can usually nip it in the bud with a command. (Unless she is trying to get out of the car and go off-leash; we have had some vigorous "discussions" about that, and if she really wants to make a break for it I will give the leash to my mother, when feasible: Mom has more weight than I do.)

Hard to explain: the girl can bluster and bark and growl, but if she goes into stealth mode, she moves like lightning.

She is a true athlete, and a work of beauty. And she has soft, silky fur.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Endgame,


Posted by Attila Girl at 07:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Okay. I Admit It.

Despite the fact that I've never gotten around to learning the names of all the birds that alight on my balcony here in La Canada, I may miss them after we move: they come in all sizes, from hummingbirds to crows—and everything in between.

At the condo in Glendale we've seen signs of pigeon-proofing all over the railing. Though no actual pigeons. I suppose it isn't pigeon season.

I guess that's part of the Urban Experience: supermarkets within walking distance, and fewer species of birds.

If I play my cards right, my next digs will feature pterodactyls. We shall have to pterodactyl-proof our balcony, lest the beasts get in our way when we grill chicken breasts on hot summer nights.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:38 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Well, of Course It's Racism.

Just like it's sexism when people don't visit my site, or send me enough money.

This isn't rocket science, ya know . . .

Nor is this. Or, so CalTech Girl claims. She is, by the way, a bit down right now, and she needs a new laptop. So give her traffic and money. Or you're a freakin' sexist.

Peace out.

h/t: Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New York Sean

. . . on seeing American culture with fresh eyes, from drinking to our restaurants' odd notions about portion sizes. I handle the portion-size thing by always getting a takeout container (and very often keeping a small ice chest in the back of my car); I don't know how I'd cope if I lived in a city that depended on public transportation. I guess I'd get appetizers for dinner whenever I went out. Or maybe I'd just waste a lot of food.

There is something about New York City that's ridiculously invigorating. It's just so . . . city-like. Vaguely reminiscent of San Francisco or Chicago, but ever so much more so.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Rupert's Back.

The Rachel Boyfriend has returned. Go say "hi."

He looked smokin’ hot in his uniform. Oh lord. I was tempted to test social boundaries and fellow travelers’ patriotism by jumping him right there at baggage claim - I mean, are people really going to say anything to a guy in uniform? - but I controlled myself.

The uniform did come in handy at one point, which is when while boarding that flight, the agent stopped him and said, “Would you like to sit in First Class, sir?” Well of course he would, thank you very much. So that was nice for him.

Yeah. A the H reports that flight attendants were always nice to him when he flew in uniform. I like the Glenn Reynolds approach (though at present I can't afford it): when you see a group of people in uniform, send them a round of drinks.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Coco the Pit Bull

. . . seems more interested in the Obama gay sex murder scandal than she was in Hillary's alleged lesbian affair. Probably because of the "murder" part.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I've Always Been Suspicious of Antibacterial Soaps

Not that it's to my credit: I think it comes from having lived with OCD Girl, whose compulsiveness was often in slightly different areas from my own—and whose passive-aggressive abilities were far superior.

But it's always nice to be proven right.

The fact is, soap is very effective in getting bacteria off of one's skin. It just <>is. Even water is very, very effective if one uses enough of it.

I've always suspected that a lot of these "antibacterial soap" users were the sort of people who go on antibiotics at the drop of a hat. I've even considered the possibility that some of 'em don't even know the difference between viruses and bacteria.

Which, by the way, is one of two data any given individual needs in order to successfully negotiate the modern world. (The other being the difference between its and it's.)

h/t: Glenn.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:49 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

She Passed for Jewish?

Hm. To me, she looks like my best Celtic friend (the guy we call "Count Linguist"), in drag.

In all seriousness, she really looks quite beautiful to me.

Thank you, Irene. And goodbye.

(And thanks to AoS's Krakatoa as well. It's nice to hear good news every now and then.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Joy Tries To See Matters from the Perspective of the Frustrated Male.


I try to accept the woman-haters for what they are: guys who haven't been laid since high school, when they were embarrassed by the fact that one of their dates had to get out a magnifying glass to find their itty bitty dicks.

Oopsie. Did I say that out loud?

Anonymous Cotillionite A:

LOL. Don't hold back, Joy. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

Anonymous Cotillionite B:

Yes, you did, Joy—and I find it so nice that you can restrain yourself and describe those guys so kindly. *snicker*

Little Miss Attila: a source of understanding, sweetness and light for misogynists since 2003 . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Light Blogging for the Next Several Days.

We're packing things up for the move, which is a week from Monday. Meanwhile, the final walk-through on this place will occur on Sunday, so there are contradictory impulses going, here: the desire to get everything boxed up, vs. the need to keep things clean and tidy, because the female buyer is bringing her mother along, and the Buyer Mother will be seeing the house for the first time.

So it's crunch time. The practical-minded will tell me that it's okay if the house looks messy for the buyer's final walk-through. And they will be right.

I broke down yesterday in fear, and called the Clutter Lady. If she could stop by this week and bark out a few orders, that would be great.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just No.

I've made my peace with the McCain candidacy, despite his rather colorful past with respect to the Bill of Rights.

But if Huckabee is added to the ticket, all bets are off. And I will join AllahP and write Hillary in. Gladly.

UPDATE: Sean Hackbarth, wearing his political consultant / stupid grownup hat, concedes that he's unenthusiastic about the prospect, but points out that "politically, it’s not a horrible idea," and talks about the energy, optimism, and web-savvy the Hucksters might bring to the McCain campaign.

All I know is that as economic conservative, civil liberties nut and populism-hater, I would be livid. After all, the GOP has already told me to "fuck off" once in this election cycle; I don't really care to hear it twice. And the idea that I might ever—even theoretically, even if McCain were Certified Immortal—hear the phrase "President Huckabee" scares me down to my size-five shoes.

Furthermore: (1) I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way. Also, (2) the Immigration Militants make me look like a softy.

If the Republicans want people to stay home on Election Day, they are making all the right moves.

And I ain't even the base. Not by a long shot.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:03 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 12, 2008

Dollars to Doughnuts

. . . there's a right-wing equivalent to this movement.

And I'll bet they produce even less trash. And live better.

Of course, part of this has to do with the fact that everything is better with guns, including lifestyle choices. Firearms are to daily life what sprigs of cilantro are to a Thai or Mexican meal: necessary. Seductive. Worth, for a few irrational moments, trading one's soul for.

(Usually, one's conscience interferes before one does anything foolish. Usually.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day.

As I stopped by the supermarket, the woman at the checkout counter asked if I was a mom.

"Oh, no." I replied. "But I'm a daughter, and I'm cooking for my mother in a few minutes."

Please note that "cooking" is rather a grandiose term for throwing together some pasta, cut melon, and a green salad—and keeping the dog away from the table while my husband and mother were having dinner. (No, no: I ate, too. I'm not that codependent.)

Happy silly Hallmark holiday; kiss the folks you love.


Not bad for 72, huh?

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So, What Is Swift-Boating?

Baseball Crank is glad you asked.

h/t: Hot Air

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It's a MADD, MADD, MADD, MADD World . . .

We gots us an organization that's experiencing "mission creep."

I may start an organization called "Drunks Against Mothers (DAM)."

Or maybe one called "Busybodies Against Fun (BAF)." How about "Hermits Against Nearly Everyone (HANE)"? Or, "WhatEver You Are Doing Must Stop Abruptly, Right Now (WEYADMuSARN)"?

Naturally, I'm just trying to help. If we can stop just one person from being seduced by the logic of the neo-temperence forces, it will have been worth it.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:03 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

No, Not Jonah . . .

Jeffrey Goldberg is ready to ally himself with those crazy Muslims over the issue of eatin' ham and bacon. I think I might be able to give up bacon, but smoked ham is the ultimate meat-as-condiment. Life without navy bean and ham soup sounds dire. Not to mention ham and cheese, prepared every possible way and using every different kind of ham. And cheese.

This is without getting into the issue of pizza, and how it ideally is topped with pineapple and Canadian bacon . . . i.e., ham.

What I want to know, however, is whether Islam permits one to mix dairy products and meat at the same meal. Because I'm starting to think that I wouldn't be a much better Jew than I'd be as a Muslim.

And being vegan would be great most days, until I ran out of peanut butter and lentils—at which point I'd start Jonesing hard on milk, eggs, cheese, and . . . ham.

Thank you, thank you, Sam I am.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 10, 2008

I Just Looked Out the Window

. . . to see a faint yellow-orange glow that surely comes from the ambient lights over the town. Of course they wouldn't appear white at this range. And I know stark white lights went out of fashion in the late 70s/early 80s: I distinctly remember looking out at the view over the Whittier Hills from my grandparents' deck when the transition was almost complete—but you could still see some white lights mixed in with the off-yellow ones, all the way out to Catalina Island.

When the air is dirtier it hides Catalina, but it changes the light; that's why sunsets are prettiest on smoggy days. The contrast with my laptop screen makes good, virtuous city lights appear even more yellow, natch.

But I'm jittery; I just Google-Newsed "fire" to make sure Pasadena wasn't in flames all over again.

Once when A the H was in Cambodia I awoke in the big bed to the smell of smoke, and a faint bit of light over the hill. I threw on shoes and a T-shirt—a tight one, it turned out—and set out on the road. I felt that with my husband out of town I needed to be especially careful about protecting the homestead. Sure enough, one of the sheriff's deputies had blocked the road around the corner near the girl's school, and I had a brief conversation with him. Rather, I talked to him, and he talked to my chest, explaining to my breasts that there was a tiny brush fire on the slope below, but it was already contained, and the fire department was simply continuing to check that no embers remained that might spark and create problems later. He told my breasts that the neighborhood was surely safe, but if the fire re-sparked, they would certainly go door-to-door and wake everyone up to evacuate the area. It was okay for my breasts to go back to sleep.

I inferred from that that it was safe for the rest of me to sleep as well.

Back home, snuggled under a very light blanket—with the window still open, to awaken me if the smoke got worse or the fire went on the move—I dreamed about orange light, smoky air, and my husband far away in steamy Southeast Asia. I remember thinking that wasn't the most practical place for him, at that moment.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 09, 2008


Aw, come on. It's the same as G.W. Bush not being able to recall the name of Pakistan's President--even if he was able to give a brief digest of the man's rise to power.

Exactly the same.

Stolen from AllahP at Hot Air.

And Chris swapped out his daily strip to accommodate this. I'm hoping he's going to run the one that was up earlier, though . . . I liked it.

And now someone is going to slam me on my numerical memory. Well, I don't usually conflate odd numbers with even ones. Though I did once compose a "sonnet" that was a full quatrain short, and in conversation at a party once in the middle of the night (and not the least bit tipsy), I suggested something about the "decade" between 1972 and 1980.

"Um. Aren't most decades ten years long?" I was asked.

"Not that one," I informed the questioner. "A lot was compressed into that particular one, so they cut it off by two years. No one wanted any more seventies than they absolutely had to put up with."

In my defense, I once knew a guy who balanced his checkbook in base-8. I feel that this was on the nerdy side.

UPDATE: Insty has a "57-gate*" roundup. We who cannot remember numbers are discriminated against! Though I do like the idea of someone asking him to name all 114 senators.

* "Fifty-seven-gate"? "57gate"? "57Gate"? LMA style generally uses words for numbers between one and nineteen, and numerals for 20 and larger. Except, of course, at the beginning of a sentence.

LMA style permits the vulgar use of -gate as a suffix for scandalous phrases. Its copy chiefs, however, have yet to reach an accord on whether these locutions should be hyphenated.

You know, my fierce OCD could be a powerful force if it were only used for good, instead of . . . compulsiveness.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:02 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Please Buy Ads.

And send me money. It makes me even more brilliant.

(I was just looking at my stats, and noticed that they spiked last Friday, in a non-Insty kind of way. So I was happy at first, until I realized it was just because I had used the word "cunt." That's a silly, arbitrary reason to see an uptick in one's traffic.

It's as if people are just looking for the word cunt on the web, and if one were desperate enough for traffic, one could just drop it in and watch the hits roll in. Spam spam spam spam cunt cunt cunt cunt.

Please buy ads and save me from becoming the internet equivalent of a verbal coke-whore.

Or, to put it another way [channeling Blazing Saddles]: "one false move, and the cunt gets it."

Please, please, do what she says. [Eyes wide, chest heaving.] I think she means it!)

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More on the Eugene Marathon

. . . here. Just keep scrolling.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nice Deb

. . . discusses when certain vulgarities may or may not be employed by polite people.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The 2008 Election as Muse

. . . at least, for poets who had access to time machines.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Spent 45 Minutes on the Phone Today,

with the people from AT&T, trying to figure out whether it was a better deal to get television, telephone, and internet service from them at the new place (with the aesthetic evil of a dish on the balcony), versus the same bundle from Charter Communications (without the aesthetic evil of a dish on the balcony).

Afterward I considered eating my gun, but that's a trick you can only perform once. So I descended the stairs and informed my husband that I was tempted to do something freaky: "what if I just let the people who know how to do phone service do that, and the people who know how to give us extra TV channels do that, and stop trying to save ten dollars a month or whatever by getting all these functions from one entity, gambling that they'll actually be able to deliver it properly?"

He was into the idea, but I'm going to make one more round of calls on Monday to be sure. At least the internet part is easy: x amount of bandwidth for y amount of money.

Tomorrow morning's good time: Compare carpeting to vinyl tile. Conveniently, carpeting is priced per square yard, and vinyl tile is priced per square foot. Fortunately, my mother will probably pick up the flooring costs for us (instead of buying us a groovy energy-efficient washer-dryer), so that will help out a lot. Yet I still have no intention of paying more than it's worth—whether we're "on scholarship," or not (the first estimate I got was unacceptable, no matter who's paying). So back to the calculator I go, reminding myself that a square yard is not really three times a square foot, but rather nine. Because flooring arithmetic uses one more dimension than, say, cooking arithmetic.

We're considering taking the old carpeting out, putting sawdust on the floor, and living without television, telephone, or the internet. We can communicate with the outside world by carrier pigeon. (A the H suggests that we might even release those pigeons and seal up the windows, so as not to take a chance on having to see the outside world. "Also," he reminds me, "that would save us money on window treatments.")

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 08, 2008

Ms. Rubin, Writing in Commentary

(Dear Jennifer—whom I forgive for having nicer clothes than I do, and darker, curlier hair.)

Barack Obama accused John McCain of “smearing him” by claiming that Hamas wants Obama to be President. But this isn’t a smear, it is fact. A spokesman for Hamas, you will recall, did endorse Obama. [. . . ]

Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition had this comment:

It’s understandable that Obama would like to make this go away. However, the reality is, Hamas is comfortable with Obama and they endorsed him. It’s the truth, not a ‘smear.’

As for the McCain camp, this will be an early test of their willingness to go toe-to-toe with Obama. Will they let this Obama remark pass? Or set the record straight and make clear Obama is, as he did in the “100 year” fight, fudging the facts? And we can expect more of this. Every bad fact for Obama or questionable association is a “smear” and every attempt by the McCain camp to set the record straight is “gutter politics.” It is up to McCain’s team to decide whether they will play along or call foul.

I subscribe to the theory that Obama has already made himself look bad by going after McCain. The better retort was, "ah, those crazy Hamas people; they have no idea what is and isn't in their best interests."

Or, as Michael Totten put it (Glenn quotes him here):

Obama could easily make this go away: “Hamas will be VERY sorry if I am America’s president. They need to be careful what they wish for.” He doesn’t have to say anything else, but I doubt it occurs to anyone on his staff to go after Hamas instead of McCain. To me, that’s the obvious fix. What could McCain possibly say after that?

Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately), Obama is not that sophisticated. This could still end up being an advantage—after all, people may perceive him as "refreshingly naive" about the dirty, dirty business of politics.

But if he goes on the offensive every time someone brings up any little unhandy datum, he's going to look really bad by the time the general rolls around.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, Andrew.


If the modern conservative position is that the U.S. is, indeed, a "Christian" nation, why exactly is it that the term "neocon" is, in some circles, a synonym for "Jew"?

Just askin'. You stay special.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Mountains of Burma

Megan McArdle:

Invading Burma to disburse humanitarian aid seems (note my ironic understatement) like sort of a bad idea. But if they continue refusing to let aid workers in, what's wrong with violating their airspace to carpet bomb the place with relief air drops?

Well, there's this thing called international law, and we're unlikely to violate that.

Though in a situation like this, one longs for a state that will play "Dirty Harry." Hmmmm. Maybe we have to save that one for special occasions, though. The International Harold Tribune:

UNITED NATIONS: With 1.5 million people in Myanmar now believed to be facing the threat of starvation and disease and with relief efforts still largely stymied by the country's isolationist military rulers, frustrated United Nations officials all but demanded Thursday that the government open its doors to aid and aid workers.

"The situation is profoundly worrying," said the United Nations official in charge of the relief effort, John Holmes, speaking in the measured tones of diplomacy. "They have simply not faciliated access in the way we have a right to expect."

He said that Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had spoken with the senior general in Myanmar's government, Than Shwe, to similarly urge him to allow aid workers into the country to do their jobs.

Five days after Cyclone Nargis inundated Myanmar's densely populated coast, wiped villages off the map and left untold tens of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless, the first two United Nations flights carrying relief supplies arrived in Myanmar on Thursday.

One carried a mere seven tons of high-energy biscuits. The other contained a larger load of humanitarian supplies. But because of logistical delays heightened by the storm damage, officials were not immediately able to distribute the supplies in the disaster areas.

Since the cyclone hit, aid officials said, Myanmar's military rulers have approved visas for aid workers only grudgingly and placed restrictions and roadblocks on supplies coming into the country, while reassuring citizens that it has a grip on the worsening humanitarian crisis.

The government's slow response has drawn international criticism that echoes the condemnation it received after its brutal suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations last September. Its usual wariness towards outsiders is widely believed to have been heightened by a national constitutional referendum scheduled for Saturday, from which it has barred international monitors.

I'd love to argue with the use of the word "right," but in fact giving humanitarian relief is a right in the same sense the Founding Fathers used the term: something self-evident that is granted by God [or, for my agnostic and atheist readers, the divine in human nature].

We are halfway into the 10-day window, after which supposedly casualties are likely to spike, unless we get these people some fresh water, food, medial attention, and temporary shelters.

Pray for the people of Myanmar [or, you know: vibe them in a nondenominational way]; I don't know what else to do. I go now to cry my eyes out.

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

"Dear Barry"

Iowahawk channels the good senator while dispensing love advice. A taste:

Dear Barry:

My heart has been crushed so many times before, I have almost lost count. It seems like every four years I get in a serious relationship with a new guy; it starts with infatuation but he invariably turns out to be a boozer, an abuser, or a loser, and I am left to pick up the pieces. I swear sometimes I must be cursed or subconsciously a masochist.

Finally, though, I think I may have met Mister Right. He's tall and dark and handsome, with this mysterious, dreamy, rugged faraway look in his eye that tells me he is THE ONE. Whenever he needs to borrow my car, or some money for his experimental jazz project, he always looks deep in my eyes and says "thank you" in that smoky baritone, and I swear I think I'm going to melt.

Long story short, we've moved in together. But now that I've finally found true love, some of my so-called "friends" have been less than supportive. Most of them are very positive, but a few have lately been "warning" me that he's no good, and hangs out with a bad crowd, and blah blah blah. How do I deal with this kind of petty jealousy? Also, when would be a good time for me to ask my new boyfriend what his name is?

Puzzled in Washington

Dear Puzzled:

Don't listen to the nay-sayers! I say follow your heart, and hop on your dreamboat tramp steamer for a mystery love cruise to Fantasy Island. Even if that Island is deserted and filled with tropical disease, you can still make beautiful experimental jazz together.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Professsor Purkinje Explains Making a Compilation Tape.

(That is to say, the 1980s version of ripping a music CD.)

"It's like free-association. Or shitting."

Much the same with blogging; hadja noticed?

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

The Rove Has Spoken.

He doesn't think our girl is going to pull out the miracle. Which leaves us with Senator White Wine. (Which, at least I hope it's something with a little oomph, like a Pinot Grigio; I don't want to see Chardonnay being served in the White House. That would just be too grim.)

Mrs. Clinton may battle until June and possibly until the convention in August. There's nothing Mr. Obama can or should do about it. After a long, bitter struggle, losing candidates often look for reasons to feel aggrieved. There is no reason to give her one. No pressure from Mr. Obama or party Chairman Howard Dean is better than pushing her out of the race.

The Democrats' refusal to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations at their convention is an unresolved problem. If they insist on not seating these delegations, Democrats risk alienating voters in states with 44 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. And here Mr. Obama is at greater risk than Mrs. Clinton, especially in Florida. He trails John McCain badly in Sunshine State polls today, while Mrs. Clinton leads Mr. McCain there.

The length of the Democratic contest has been—in some ways —a plus for the party. The AP estimates that more than 3.5 million new voters registered during the competitive primary season. And the hundreds of millions of dollars spent energizing Democratic turnout will leave organization and energy in place for November. Mr. Obama is a better candidate for having been battle tested. And Mr. McCain has to fight hard for attention. He's mentioned in less than 20% of the coverage in recent months, while Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton are talked about in 60% to 70% of the coverage.

The length of the Democratic contest has been—in some ways —a minus. It has revealed weaknesses in Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton came across as calculating, contrived, stiff and self-concerned. Mr. Obama is increasingly seen not as the Second Coming, but as a typical liberal Chicago pol with a thin record, little experience, an array of troubling relationships and, to top it off, elitist sensibilities. Nominating him will now test the thesis that only a Democrat running as a moderate can win the White House.

The primary has created a deep fissure in Democratic ranks: blue collar, less affluent, less educated voters versus the white wine crowd of academics and upscale professionals (along with blacks and young people). Mr. Obama runs behind Mrs. Clinton's numbers when matched against Mr. McCain in key industrial battleground states. Less than half of Mrs. Clinton's backers in Indiana and North Carolina say they would support Mr. Obama if he were the nominee. In the most recent Fox News poll, two-and-a-half times as many Democrats break for Mr. McCain (15%) as Republicans defect to Mrs. Clinton (6%) and nearly twice as many Democrats support Mr. McCain (22%) as Republicans back Mr. Obama (13%). These "McCainocrat" defections could hurt badly.

State and local Democrats are realizing the toxicity of their probable national ticket. Democrats running in special congressional races recently in Louisiana and Mississippi positioned themselves as pro-life, pro-gun social conservatives and disavowed Mr. Obama. The Louisiana Democrat won his race on Saturday and said he "has not endorsed any national politician." The Mississippi Democrat is facing a runoff on May 13 and specifically denied that Mr. Obama had endorsed his campaign. Not exactly profiles in unity.

As much as Mr. Obama's cheerleaders in the media hate it, Rev. Jeremiah Wright remains a large general-election challenge for Mr. Obama. Not only did Mr. Obama admit on "Fox News Sunday" that Mr. Wright was a legitimate issue, voters agree. Mr. Obama's favorable ratings have dropped since Mr. Wright emerged as an issue. More than half of Mrs. Clinton's supporters say it is a meaningful reflection on Mr. Obama's character and judgment.

This will be a very difficult year for Republicans. The economy's shaky state, an unpopular war, and the natural desire for partisan change after eight years of one party in the White House have helped tilt the balance to the Democrats.

Mr. Obama is significantly weaker today than he was three months ago, but Democrats have the upper hand in November. They're beatable. But it's nonsense to think this year is going to be a replay of George H.W. Bush versus Michael Dukakis or Richard Nixon versus George McGovern.

Mr. McCain is very competitive. He is the best candidate Republicans could have picked in this environment. With the GOP brand low, his appeal to moderates and independents becomes even more crucial.

My analysis of individual state polls shows that today Mr. McCain would win 241 Electoral College votes to Mr. Obama's 217, with 80 votes in toss-up states where neither candidate has more than a 3% lead. [ . . .]

Mr. McCain is realistic enough to know he will fall behind Mr. Obama once the Democratic nomination is settled. He's steeled himself and his team for that moment. And he's comforted by a belief that there will be plenty of time to recapture the lead. Mr. McCain saw Gerald Ford come from 30 points down to lose narrowly to Jimmy Carter in 1976, and watched George H.W. Bush overcome a 17-point deficit in the summer to hammer Michael Dukakis in the fall of 1988.

The battlegrounds will look familiar. It will be the industrial heartland from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, minus Indiana (Republican) and Illinois (Democrat); the western edge of the Midwest from Minnesota south to Missouri; Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada in the Rocky Mountains; Florida; and New Hampshire.

Mr. Obama will argue he puts Virginia and North Carolina into play (doubtful), and may make an attempt at winning one or two of Nebraska's electoral votes (it awards its electoral votes by congressional district). Mr. McCain will say he can put New Jersey and Delaware and part of Maine (it splits its vote like Nebraska) in play. But it's doubtful he'll win in Oregon or Washington State, although he believes he can.

Almost everything we think we know right now will be revised and even overturned during the next six months. This has been a race in which conventional wisdom has often been proven wrong. The improbable or thought-to-be impossible has happened with regularity.

Yup. We've only just begun: white lies and promises.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

That Wild-And-Crazy MainStream Media

Morrissey at Hot Air notes that families are being evacuated from Sadr City in Baghdad, so the Iraqis may be getting ready to drive out the last of the Sadr militia and many of the Iranian-financed thugs.

Since Sadr refused to disband the militia, Maliki has little choice but to root it out and destroy it. The US and Iraqi forces have already started doing that by building barriers to keep the Mahdis locked into known positions, with some skirmishes already taking place in Sadr City. Now that they have the battleground defined, the next step will be the military action that will end the Mahdi Army as an organization and establish lawful control over the last of the rebel ground Sadr controls.

This will likely take weeks to complete. Once the battle starts, expect to read and hear plenty of media reports emphasizing civilian deaths, setbacks in the battle, defections in the Iraqi Army, and statements of defiance from Sadr. What we won’t hear is progress by Maliki and the US in finishing off Sadr’s forces until it suddenly becomes impossible to ignore it — and then we will hear about how inept the Iraqi forces were in achieving victory.

Call it the Basra Narrative.

Insty quotes Ed, and remarks that we should brace ourselves not just for the offensive, but for our own media's "creative" treatment thereof:

The basic rule of press coverage is that if there's fighting, we must be losing. All wars produce ups and downs, bad news and good. It's interesting, though, that our press seems mostly interested in making things look bad, though they're not even very good at reporting the bad news that matters. [ . . . ]

UPDATE: Reader Walter Boxx emails: "The way the Japanese could tell they were losing WWII was that the great victories reported by their media were getting closer and closer to home. Our media problem is like a fun-house mirror version of this - the way we can tell we are winning is that our crushing defeats are happening less often and to different enemies."

I'm really looking forward to this particular "crushing defeat."

Here's a past post from Glenn (which he linked in his post above) about how it isn't just good news that goes unreported by our MSM, but important bad news as well: he points out that bloggers don't have the same access as MSM reporters, and it would be great if the latter were to step up to the plate.

I am not, of course, holding my breath.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 07, 2008

McArdle on the "Gas Tax Holiday" Ideas.

She sure has been making all three candidates her bitches lately, particularly WRT short-term manipulations of the tax code:

It is true that the gas tax is fairly trivial. It is also theoretically true that a windfall tax could claw back the lost revenue, though I have my doubts. So why does it matter? Because when it comes to regulations, one should never arbitrarily increase the complexity or uncertainty of the law.

Complexity is bad because it ups compliance costs, often makes evasion easier, and because complexity itself increases uncertainty: as tax laws proliferate, it becomes harder to know whether you are in compliance. It also makes the government's administrative overhead multiply like those bacteria that can kill you in five minutes after first contact.

Uncertainty is bad because it reduces the ability of people and corporations to plan for the future. It's hard to estimate your ROI if the tax laws that govern your investment change every year.

Change is bad in general because every time the tax law changes, your nation experiences a sudden loss of human capital: all the understanding of how the old law becomes useless, and people have to spend valuable hours learning to understand the new law. This is often time that could have been better spent doing new deals, or regrouting the bathtub. Mold doesn't take care of itself, you know.

Obama's plan is bad because windfall taxes increase complexity and uncertainty. They also reduce the incentive for investment by lowering the return on it.

McCain's plan is bad because the gas tax holiday complicates tax administration and compliance, and because the revenue has to be made up somewhere else. That somewhere else is almost certain to be one more complicated tax of some sort.

Clinton's plan is doubly bad because it combines the uncertainty of a windfall tax with the complexity of both the Obama and McCain plans.

That's why she's Megan McArdle, and I'm not. RTWT.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Obama "Had to Win Indiana" to Fend Senator Clinton Off. Unless He Didn't Win It, In Which Case He Still Did Win It. Sort Of.

I have to admit that I'm rather surprised by how the arithmetic is different today than it was a few days ago. Mrs. Clinton was supposed to drop out of the race if she couldn't take Indiana. She did take it, but she's supposed to drop out anyway. Say what?

Insty responds to a reader: "I guess they weren't able to gin up enough votes in Gary, despite the extra time . . ."

Guess not.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"The Riddle of Conservative Happiness"

Ace snarks about the hypothesis that conservatives "rationalize" more than liberals, and how those who study these things sometimes can't see the forest for the state-mandated-redistributionist trees.

Hm. The study appears to be as condescending and silly as most of these things are, but of course it got me thinking about how few people I know are really happy—conservative or liberal.

I do think it's more of a challenge for people who are overbrained. Though please note that I don't see neurotic hand-wringing as a sign of high intelligence. I just think that like everything else, happiness tends to be hard work. And, as with everything else, some people have more of a talent for it than others do.

But not to try seems like a tragedy at best, and a slap in the face of God at worst. I suppose that I ultimately agree with Dennis Prager: if one has the choice, it is more merciful to those around us—and more respectful to our better selves—if we do our best to be happy.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Scientific Inquiry vs. Equality

Michael Gerson in WaPo:

Nazism largely discredited the old eugenics. But a new eugenics -- the eugenics of genetic screening and abortion, the eugenics of genetic selection in the process of in vitro fertilization -- is alive and well. Its advocates contend that the new eugenics is superior because it is voluntary instead of compulsory, and unrelated to race. But Levin responds: "Surely the most essential problem with the eugenics movement was not coercion or collectivism. . . . The deepest and most significant contention of the progressive eugenicists -- the one that made all the others possible -- was that science had shown the principle of human equality to be unfounded, a view that then allowed them to use the authority of science to undermine our egalitarianism and our regard for the weakest members of our society."

The point here is not to catch liberalism in an inconsistency. At its best, the liberal tradition has combined its belief in science with a firm commitment to the equal value of all -- including the disabled and imperfect.

But science can easily become the power of some over the lives of others.

RTWT; it's short.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Rachel Lucas has been reading C.S. Lewis. (And dressing her dog up like the Queen of Angels, but there's nothing too new in that; I hate to admit it, but I love it when she dresses her dog up—except, maybe, in the bee outfit, which was a bit much.)

One line from Lewis’ book that actually made me laugh out loud (at myself) was that if people “cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them.” I’ve mentioned before that I’ve read the Bible a couple of times, but the thing is, I didn’t read it as a real grown-up. The last time I read it, I was actively looking for faults to prove that I was right. I wasn’t truly being objective and considering it in a historical or scholarly context.

It’s difficult to articulate on a blog why I’m even bothering trying to learn about Christianity now because as I’ve mentioned before, I hate being misunderstood. The truth is that I am not exactly seeking salvation or God or anything like that, and frankly if I were, I would not talk about it with virtual strangers at this stage of the game. At this moment, my biggest aim is simply trying to relieve myself of the terrifying feeling I’ve had for years that I live in a society full of and run by people who believe a theology I don’t believe in, and that therefore I am surrounded by crazy people. It’s a bit of cognitive dissonance that I simply couldn’t take anymore.

Is my dad a crazy person? Are 90% of the people who read my blog crazy people? Are most of my friends crazy people? If I think Christianity is crazy, then the only answer to those questions is YES. But it just never added up.

This rings so true for me: in fact, a lot of my family and friends do think I'm crazy—or weak—for believing in God. Crazier still for believing in Jesus as my savior. And I know that plenty of 'em think that's why I'm an "right-wing racist gun nut." But in fact my religious beliefs are entirely separate from my political beliefs: the only connection is that I'm willing to buck the trend in both arenas.

But, Jesus: well, I'm one of those people who do not believe he was a "great teacher," and just a man. I cannot feel a bunch of warm fuzzies about him if he wasn't who he said he was. Either he was the Son of God (and therefore God), or he was, as Evan once put it when we were in Junior High School, "an insane rabbi with charisma."

For me, Occam's Razor applies here.

I would say, "that's all," but it most certainly isn't. However, I'll stop.

Kudos to Rachel for investigating this with an open mind, and for re-thinking some of her preconceived notions about organized religion. The very best we can hope for from anyone is intellectual honesty. She is, indeed, awesome.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:16 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

May 06, 2008

Dr. Helen

. . . takes on the male-bashers, once more:

Men may look aimless but underneath it all they actually have a purpose--to protect themselves from a society that considers men responsible for the welfare of women and children but offers them little or nothing in return. Who can blame them?

That said, it all depends on the man. And (in a heteronormative context, of course), the woman.

One thing that always disturbs me is when a woman tells her guy he should "be a man." What she is suggesting, in the ugliest possible way, is that he will be truer to his sexual identity--and therefore, to himself--if he only . . . well, does what she wants. If not, she will feel free to berate him for not meeting her idiosyncratic standards of masculinity. It is often tantamount to emotional blackmail, and it happens all the time. It's dirty pool, just as it's dirty pool for a man to say things he knows will elicit an emotional reaction from a woman, and then stand back with a puzzled--and slightly superior--look on his face, aghast at female "irrationality."

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Matt Welch

. . .on that SDSU drug bust:

If having illegal narcotics in your post-high school learning environment "greatly diminishe[s]" your chances at success, then California has been doomed to failure since what, 1959? Somehow the state, and its college graduates, manage to muddle through.

More seriously, I always wonder what happens to these guys who are arrested in their early 20s for meeting a sliver of the insatiable undergraduate demand for pot-smoking. I was never any dealer, nor much of a user, but I've known and worked with quite a few perfectly successful people who dealt drugs in college.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You Can Peel My Tanktop

. . . off of my cold, dead torso.

Oriana Fallaci once interviewed the Ayatollah Khomeini during his rise to power. Of course, she had to agree to wear a burka during the session, and one of her first questions was "how do you swim in this thing?"

I wonder if Barbie has also been wondering that lately.

The way I heard the story, Fallaci ended up taking the hood and robe off during the interview, which I understand: they say it's hot over there in the Middle East.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Plagiarism at the University of Florida

Virginia Postrel is one of the victims.

What surprises me is that people think they can get by with it in this day and age—even if the community of libertarian and pop-culture writers didn't catch Professor Twitchell, the electronic tools we all use every day was bound to.

I just don't get why James Twitchell thought he could get by with this. Did he want to get caught? It's whacked.

MORE: Postrel adds:

It's unfortunate that newspaper accounts of such scandals rely so much on "objective" parallel passages rather than getting at the true disservice to the reader. When James Twitchell fails to cite sources for his statistics, leading readers to assume he is the source, he deprives those readers of further information on the subject, including when the stats were gathered and how. He also slights readers when he offers an unsourced summary of another scholar's idea without telling readers where to find the original, and far more thorough, development of that idea. Then there's changing facts to make them inaccurate [as he did with some of the work he lifted from Postrel] ...

As an offense against other scholars and writers, plagiarism is a sign of bad character. But, more important for the public sphere, it's a sign that you don't care about your readers.

That's it in a nutshell, and how odd it is that I didn't read these posts until today, after I'd blogged about using Postrel's own citations as a resource for further reading when I was done reading her books.

AND: More from one of Twitchell's other eminent victims.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:48 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Does Wonder Woman Shave Her Pubes?

Glad you asked. Looks like she doesn't. At least, not much beyond the bikini line.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I Had Wondered . . .

how Coco the Pit Bull would react to the allegations of a lesbian affair between Senator Clinton and her advisor. Eric suggests that she's in denial, and possibly a bit jealous:


I'll try to get Mandy's reaction this week: it's true that Clinton has a major following among female pit bulls, but Mandy is black, and I've always suspected her of having a soft spot for Obama. When I complain that Obama's policy proposals aren't very specific, Mandy merely requests that I throw a tennis ball for her—her way of changing the subject.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Today: 400,000 Hits Total.

Of course, this is significantly less than many others who've been at it for the same amount of time as I have. (Over five years—though who's counting?)

And yet, it's a lovely thing; now if only I could get this site to pay for itself! Soon, soon.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on the Flight 93 Memorial . . .

from Nice Deb.

I'm glad that the issue is getting coverage, since it behooves us to know what we're buying when we purchase something like this. It's a bit too late once it's been built.

But personally, I don't care if the memorial looks vaguely like a filled-in crescent, which in turn appears somewhat Islamic, if that's what one is looking for. After all, the field is bowl-shaped, and circles are kind of a big deal in the history of civilization. (We would have had a much harder time inventing the wheel without 'em.)

What matters, once the Flight 93 memorial has been built, is whether the net effect of visiting this landmark is to be (1) inspired by the sacrifices made by Todd Beamer and the rest, and (2) grateful to them that the Capitol Building is still standing, and (3) inspired to follow the example of the Flight 92 heroes when the terrorist extremism hits the fan.

I care about that a lot more than I care about somehow magically transforming a round land formation into a rectangular one.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack



Posted by Attila Girl at 02:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Karl Rove: "I Am the Antithesis of Cool."

We know, Baby.

That's what we like about you.

Ask Huey: he'll tell you that it's hip to be square.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Hm. Fair Use, or Copyright Infringement?

I sure hope the revolution will be fabulous, though: I could use a Coach/Browning Hi-Power, myself.

(Darrell! That was a joke.

Um, I mean, unless you really do find one, in which case I at least want to know about it.)

Via Hot Air.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


It now has the McArdle seal of approval, and I must say my inability to keep my reading material below a few pounds for airplane travel makes it a very seductive option, indeed: I'd love to carry one lightweight item, instead of three magazines, one paperback book, and one hardcover. (Alternatively, I could develop an attention span, but the likelihood of that is not terrific at this stage in my life.)

One potential disadvantage to the Kindle lies in my not being able to write on it (I think—can someone correct me if I'm wrong?), but it isn't as if I go a lot of places without my laptop and/or a pad of paper. And I'm certainly not going to check my laptop in on a plane. Furthermore, the Kindle is so small and so light, I can tuck it into my purse; that's pretty cool.

Of course, it costs 2-3 times what I'd want to pay for something like that, and I have a few other technological needs that come ahead of it (such as the obligatory memory upgrade for the new Mac, a basic video camera for vid-blogging, and finishing my editing/writing site). But it would certainly help me to get rid of a lot of books, and allow me to use my time better when there is an unexpected wait (say, in a line somewhere) as part of my day.

Via Insty. And I'd like to throw in a shout-out (and a bouquet of other prepositions, while I'm at it) to the incomparable Virginia Postrel, who first got me thinking seriously about the Kindle, which initially struck me as the ultimate in techno-frivolity. (It's a source of grief to me that Postrel doesn't write books quickly enough for my taste, so I find myself trawling her bibliographies and endnotes, trying to find more bitchin' reads; that's a bit pathetic, no? But there is another on the way!)

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

May 05, 2008

So, How Does This Innertube Thingey Work?

Mmmmm. Back in town, and I'm ready to start really blogging again—along with editing a cool piece of fiction a friend's trying to knock into shape, and fixing up our new home in Glendale.

Mostly, though, I feel like sleeping for 12 hours solid before I get back to Real Life tomorrow. I mean, on one level it feels creepy to admit that I'm exhausted, but I did show up at three different locations on Sunday to take pictures. I did bring The Runner fresh water, and take his gear belt off of his hands at Mile 18. I did drive us back to the airport today.

So I'm ready for a night off. I'll be reading tonight, and going to bed early.

I am ready, in short, to surf the internet of the just.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"You Can Read That Contempt for the Military in His Work,"

remarks A the H.

Hackbarth, whom I never tire of linking, has a red-meat clip of writer Stephen King displaying his ridiculous prejudices about the armed forces in a public Q&A.

"Just the U.S. military?" I ask. "Or is it all of 'em?"

"I think he regards them all that way," A the H responds. "There's one book [The Stand] in which he has a group of soldiers masquerading as civilians, but they are so stupid that even out of uniform they still stand at attention and salute their officers, so the clever progressives are able to detect them."

Ladies and Gentlemen, the lowest-common-denominator brilliance of Stephen King.

UPDATE: It gets better: according to Ace, King has shut down his own message board, and is sending his fanbots after Newsbusters. Ace:

Wow. Steven [sic] King managed to write something that wasn't a thousand pages long.

BTW, the Newsbusters link above has lots of juicy details on Stephen-gate*; highly recommended.

* As you can see, after fighting the power for decades WRT "gate" as a suffix affixed to any scandal, I've decided to embrace the linguistic suck [age].

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:27 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 04, 2008

Yeah, Yeah. An "Endurance Test."

And it has been good reality TV. But some Democrats are getting bored, and wish that the Tribe would speak, already.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Take Me to the River . . .


I'm in love with Eugene, Oregon, but I'm sure it's just a passing fancy. After all, they got snow here. I suspect.

Anyway, it was forty-four degrees this morning, and it stayed that way for hours and hours and hours. I mean, cold.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Help Kick the Soldiers' Angels Up . . .

to the next level.

"Vote early and often."

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on Those "Cease and Desist" Letters

Yeah. "Public relations nightmare," indeed. (I'm quoted in California Lawyer as suggesting those letters tend to get posted, which one would think attorneys were starting to figure out. Actually, I think the tide may have turned: for instance, Hymers hasn't sent me one, with the exception of that anonymous threat about how a Florida woman got slapped with an expensive settlement for online libel—after she didn't show up for court. What a joke.)

h/t: longtime friend Henry Reynolds, Esq.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 03, 2008

In a Dark Room in Eugene, Oregon.

It is just past 8:00 p.m. on a Saturday night. I'm trying to remember how we handled this night-before business the last two times I accompanied A the H on a marathon trip; the early hours he has to keep make things a challenge. I'll see if I can get to sleep in another hour; otherwise, I could go for a walk, read in the lobby (or in the bathroom), or go grab a martini in the hotel bar. Right now a little blogging and a Damrak on ice are working for me, though potentially I should think about getting headphones for future trips, so I can watch video without disturbing the spouse.

One thing that's different this time: we only have one bed here at the Red Lion, which means that there's no second bed to be used purely for "staging"—a large flat surface only for marathon paraphernalia. He's had to use the desk for this. I tried to adopt a little sliver of that desk for my stuff, but have had to beat back his imperialist incursions into that space. Maybe next time I'll tape off my section—as if we were squabbling teenagers in the back of a car on a family trip.

We drove around town this evening so I could get my bearings; the idea is for me to get A the H to the starting line (or close to it, anyway) before too many of the roads close. Then I need to zip back over to this side of the river and see how many points I can intercept him on during his 26.2-mile par-tay. The critical meetup is at Mile 18, where I'm to take his empty water belt from him and hand him a fresh bottle of water for his final eight miles.

After that, I jump back into the rented SUV and book over to the finish line, so I can see him cross. Then (supposedly) I give him back his wallet, money, comb, cell phone, and wedding ring. [I'm not positive why a guy doesn't need his wedding ring for an endurance contest of this nature. I choose to believe that it's because his hands will swell up during the race. I realize there are other possible explanations . . . ]

Eugene is a pretty little town, and I do love it here. It reminds me of Northern California; it reminds the husband of the suburbs around Chicago. I understand that it probably wasn't quite so lovely here a few months ago. Even now, it got pretty chilly toward the end of the day, and I'm having trouble believing that it'll be over 70 degrees tomorrow. I'll be wearing layers, just to be safe.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:39 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 02, 2008

We're Safe.

It was an uneventful trip, though I'm as dehydrated as I usually am after flying. I might be able to get online for a time tomorrow morning, and I'll definitely check in at some point over the weekend.

But things might be just a bit light around here until I'm back in L.A.

Tonight, though, I'm going to bed: I was up all night last night. And tomorrow will involve some strategizing over a race map, and the collecting of Strange Marathoner Objects such as a piece of fabric ribbon, a Sharpie pen, and some packing tape.

You be a good blogosphere, okay? And don't forget to send me money.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:34 PM | Comments (208) | TrackBack

I'm Sorry. I Just Don't Understand the Power Some People Want to Give the Word Cunt.

Cunt-gate. Kuntuffle.

I don't use that word a lot, but I get flack at writer's group if I so much as place it in dialogue. I still don't get why it's so much worse than calling a guy a "prick." Or a "fuckin' asshole." Somehow women don't get called "assholes" quite as much; we tend to progress from "bitch" to "cunt" to whatever other [usually yawn-inspiring] phrases people want to come up with—I got "skanky gash" once, which I rather hoped was original with the guy who threw it out. It seemed inspired. I was also impressed when I read the term "cock-holster" on a discussion thread a year or so ago. I thought that was rather descriptive, though it all sort of boils down to the idea that women are containers, and intrinsically filthy. Which . . . okay. At least we can run without little jiggly bits jangling around. I mean, women can at least cross their arms, or just hold their breasts. Which is of course what I do when I'm going up and down stairs, and no one's looking.

Those who claim that "cunt" is lot worse than "prick" don't seem to get that they are fundamentally making female genitalia out to be dirtier and more offensive than male genitalia. If you call them on it, they say, "well, it isn't me. I'm only reflecting what's out there."

Well, no: you're perpetuating it by reaching for the goddamned smelling salts whenever someone utters a vulgarity that refers to the female body. The dirty, horrible female body, and the dirty, horrible genitalia thereof, which often harbors teeth; you knew that, deep down, right?

Back to McCain: I wish I lived in a world that would have permitted a politician to say, "not out loud, Buddy. By the way: you're single, aren't you? I can tell."

Remember that old Bill Cosby routine? "We have had some arguments. I've called her names I was proud I even thought of. And she's called me some that I've written down."

'Course, I also wish I lived in a world that would permit a politician to say "drug war? What the fuck were we thinking of?"

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:43 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

I Don't See How We Can List

. . . bad Clint Eastwood movies without mentioning Pink Cadillac. Unless, of course, "Dirty Harry" is planning one more post on the subject of Eastwood dazzlers and disgraces, labeling it "The Middle Five—Ugliest—Clint Eastwood Movies," or some such. Certainly In the Line of Fire was fairly forgettable, as was Blood Work (a lackluster movie based on a reasonably cool book).

Naturally, I disagree with D.H. on at least two of his choices: Mystic River, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. But I don't think I've seen anything like the entire Eastwood canon.

What constitutes "good," though? Is it about creating something thought-provoking, or is it simply about wish-fulfillment: Eastwood in cowboy boots and a serape, waving guns around so men can identify with him and women can ogle him?—vice versa for gay men and female gun nuts?

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Now You're Making Him Angry.

You won't like him when he's angry.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:48 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Today's Lessons:

1) If you decide to take your own life, do so in a place where you will not be found by your mother, your father, your spouse, or your child. Unless you are sending a message, of course.

2) Prostitution should be legal.

I wonder what pushed this woman over the edge; I'm not necessarily buying the narrative that's being peddled by the media. But my points still stand.

Via Memeorandum.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:35 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

May 01, 2008

Collins at Protein Wisdom

. . . on the chances that we might be able to end ethanol subsidies. I'd love to see the playing field leveled a bit, and see the government stop essentially paying people to make fuel out of soybeans and corn.

Sugarcane is fine. Soybeans and corn make me kind of queasy, unless or until we are into excess production on the latter two.

Switchgrass and algae, however, are awesome.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Light Blogging for the Next 24-72 Hours.

I still haven't decided whether or not I should crash for a few hours tonight, before we leave to catch our flight tomorrow morning to the Pacific Northwest, where Attila the Hub will be running a marathon on Sunday.

Why can't we just take a red-eye, like normal people?

I'll probably be talking to the husband's former boss during the event, since his wife is running a marathon in a different city at the same time. I hear T-Mobile is setting up a special "Embittered Athletic Spouses" rate.

I've had a lot of trouble focusing on the race, for obvious reasons. When I look at the map of the race course, my mind goes kerflooey. And yet I've really enjoyed the two marathons I went to in support of the husband. I think this one will be especially nice: for one thing, the weather will be cooler up there than it is here. For another, I suspect that A the H will set what they call a "PR" this weekend (stands for Personal Record, of course).

It'll also get me away from the real estate front for a while. But I am getting good at this: I keep thinking that if I can sell a couple of books this year, I might be able to pick up another condo before the market recovers completely, and rent it—or flip it, maybe. Though flipping really depends on market timing, which is why I prefer the idea of renting places out—it's more of a "buy and hold" strategy. (A the H reminds me that commercial real estate has the advantage of not leading to phone calls in the middle of the night because people's pipes burst. True enough; but people always need to live somewhere, no matter how tough times are. When there is a recession, though, they just conduct business out of their guesthouses, garages, extra bedrooms, walk-in closets, and the like. It's especially easy to work from home these days, and the whole thing has gained a respectability—even a cachet. So I'm more nervous about commercial R.E.)

On the home front, we're figuring out where we want to cut costs right now, so we can get the most important tasks accomplished before we move into the condo. I should be getting a more exact cost breakdown on flooring this coming Saturday. We might end up carpeting the entire condo, but we may be able to scrape up the dough for some premium fake wood (industrial-grade—not the cheap, icky shit). The contenders: quasi-bamboo; quasi-teak; quasi-cherry (with a super-light "stain"). Possibly some rustic greenish discolored pine. Elm, maybe. Or Alder.

We'll see how our finances look, and we'll see whether the HOA at the new place will give us the go-ahead, if we can get the noise-muffling level right.

The "window" I want to drill between the dining area and the kitchen can wait. Furniture can wait. Even decent window treatments can wait, at least for a few weeks; I'll put rice paper up if I have to.

Floors and walls have to be done now, even if it means we have to compromise on the exact materials we use, and re-do it a few years down the line.

I'm off to work on my May budget; it was due today. I'm starting to get looks from the person whom I was going to go over it with. Those sorts of looks.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Morrissey on Stein's Gaffe Regarding Expelled.

I'll have more on this tonight, but of course I think Ben Stein mis-spoke the other day. I'm sure not willing to pile on, however, with John "All Women Over 20 Are Over the Hill" Derbyshire.

Ed seems to get it right, here: the enemy is not science, and when we begin to imply that it is, we become what we've set out to conquer: opponents of free inquiry. The enemy is the perversion of science; this is the critical distinction to keep in mind.

That's why I felt that Expelled dwelt just a bit too long on "Darwinism," a word that has many different meanings to many different people. If we acknowledge that Darwin's writings were "necessary, though not sufficient" for the development of Naziism, we have not really said too much about evolution itself, except to note that it can be abused, like all good ideas.

That said, I'm still looking for the whole transcript, since I suspect Stein's quote was taken a bit out of context.

Not that I want to interfere with The Derb's righteous indignation.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oh, Hey.

Like, wow.

Are you getting the same colors I am off of the Safari browser window? 'Cause they've brightened it up a bit. I especially like the lime green mixed with cranberry, interspersed with streaks of hot pink.

Look at the coffee beans there in the canister. Do they usually breathe that fast? I think they're hyper-ventilating, myself. Hey, little dudes; relax. Time to meditate a bit.

Whose turn is it to call for Thai delivery this time? And where are the crayons? I might just lie on my back for a while: acoustical spray rawks.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:08 AM | Comments (3) | 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 Cañada.
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!


Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

Support a Blogger
at the
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!